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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Put out Ads Critical of One Another; Interview with Donald Trump Special Counsel Michael Cohen.. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired May 24, 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] BRIAN FALLON, PRESS SECRETARY, HILLARY FOR AMERICA: About a third of the seats on that platform drafting committee went to Sanders supporters. That is a decision that we supported because we want to have a diversity view. We want the Sanders supporters at the table when that platform gets drafted.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Brian Fallon, thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.
FALLON: Thanks for having me.
CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news this morning, including we will speak to Donald Trump's campaign manager about all of these same issues, so let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is a disaster waiting to happen.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You learn very little from a tax return.
CLINTON: He could bankrupt America like he has bankrupted his companies.
BERNIE SANDERS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We believe in an old- fashioned concept called democracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Cosby and his accuser could come face-to-face in court this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If found guilty, Bill Cosby faces prison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Cosby deserves a fair trial, but so does Andrea Constand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a major offensive going on to retake Fallujah from ISIS.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Violence rising as opposition to the Iraqi government grows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside the war in Iraq. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, May 24, 8:00 in the east. And the attacks are escalating between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. On one side, you've got a new ad from Clinton, targeting Trump as a greedy developer, and there is a new Instagram video from Trump spotlighting Bill Clinton's past sexual assault allegations.
CAMEROTA: Hillary Clinton also taking heat from Bernie Sanders, who is committed to fight through the final Super Tuesday contest in two weeks. He is warning that the July convention could be quote, "messy," if the party does not adopt a more progressive platform. We have the 2016 race covered the way only CNN can. So let's begin with our Phil Mattingly who joins us in studio. Hi, Phil.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Alisyn. For Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's campaigns, this is a critical moment. This is the time where you essentially define your opponent, or at least try to. That's why we're seeing the attacks. They're coming fast and heavy. And they're relying heavily on the past.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to unify the Democratic Party and stop Donald Trump.
MATTINGLY: This morning, Hillary Clinton taking a new line of attack against Donald Trump, her campaign painting Trump as a greedy billionaire in a new ad.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope that happens, because people like me would go in and buy.
MATTINGLY: Hearkening back to Trump's controversial comments before the 2008 housing market collapse.
TRUMP: If there a bubble burst as they call it, you know, you could make a lot of money.
MATTINGLY: Clinton swiping at the nominee on multiple fronts before a union crowd Monday, issuing a warning about Trump's four bankruptcies surrounding his casino holdings.
CLINTON: He could bankrupt America like he has bankrupted his companies.
MATTINGLY: And sticking with another tried and true assault, Trump's temperament.
CLINTON: The last thing we need is a bully in the pulpit.
MATTINGLY: All as the billionaire continues to hound Bill Clinton's past infidelity, sending one of his top advisors to swipe at Hillary Clinton.
ED BROOKOVER, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: She overregulates, she overtaxes, she overpromises and doesn't deliver.
MATTINGLY: The hostility spreading, with both candidates facing record high negatives in the most recent polls. But Trump is getting new support from Capitol Hill in the form of Tennessee senator, Bob Corker.
SEN. BOB CORKER, (R) TENNESSEE: His approach to foreign policy, that's something I want to hear more about it. I heard more about it today, and I appreciated that.
MATTINGLY: Though Corker is still downplaying talk that he may be high on Trump's V.P. list.
CORKER: I'm not angling for any job. I think the best way to not end up in a position like those is to angle for it. But I have no indication whatsoever that I was even being considered.
MATTINGLY: So the intrigue of who will be Donald Trump's running mate, that's going to continue and likely until July at the Republican national convention, but it is really important to note right now, Chris, as you focus on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both campaigning out west today, the attacks expected to continue. All you need to do is look back to 2012 to recognize how important defining your opponent is. That's why President Obama is likely still in the White House. Chris?
CUOMO: All right, Phil Mattingly, appreciate the reporting.
Let's discuss these goings on in the campaign with Michael Cohen, executive vice-president of the Trump Organization, special counsel to Donald Trump. Counselor, as always, a pleasure. I want to deal with a bit of business I know matters to the organization first. The money for the vets, OK, everybody remembers the history, Donald Trump skipped the debates, said instead I'm going to run money for the vets, raised an estimated $6 million. Since then, we've been asking questions, where's the money, when is the money coming? It's been slow. He has put out tweets about it today. Whichever one they put up first, I'll read first.
[08:05:00] I want to put up the one first about how he blames me for this, blames the media for what's going on the with the vet money. But put up some of Donald Trump's tweets from this morning, if we can. Well, whatever.
He's been saying "While under no obligation to do, so I've raised between $5 million and $6 million, including $1 million from me for our veterans. Nice. Much of the money I've raised for our veterans has already been distributed to go shortly to over veteran groups. Despite all the money I've raised for veterans, I get nothing but bad publicity from the media."
MICHAEL COHEN, SPECIAL COUNSEL TO DONALD TRUMP: How sad is that.
CUOMO: Hold on.
COHEN: Donald Trump, who goes ahead and raises, whether it is four, five, or $6 million, whatever the number is, a guy who clearly has shown himself to be someone who is interested and cares very deeply for our American veterans, going back to when he saved the Veteran's Day parade. The man cares deeply about veterans. He cares deeply about people who have offered their services and put their lives on the line. Right now it is four or five million, whatever the exact number may be, that's a lot of money for one person to raise, which he did as a result of electing to skip a debate that he knew was going to be unfair to him. So if he blames the liberal media, I think he is justified.
CUOMO: But h is not justified, and here is why, OK. Forget about the tax returns and his charitable donations.
COHEN: We'll get into the tax returns if you want.
CUOMO: That's a separate issue, OK. He said $6 million. Now he says between five and six. The campaign has said we're not sure, maybe it's about three. Those are their numbers. We didn't play with the numbers. All we've asked for is where is the money? That's it. No disparaging. No --
COHEN: Whatever money --
CUOMO: He is blaming the media for what is all him, all the organization.
COHEN: Whatever money has come in as a result of Mr. Trump's request to people for the donations for the veterans, he has distributed.
CUOMO: That's not what the campaign says. The campaign says we're getting it out. It's sloppy because some people pledged but didn't come through with the money.
COHEN: As I said, whatever came in has gone out. This isn't like a Clinton Foundation where they take the money in and they don't pay it out, like whatever happened to the $100 million that was supposed to go to the Haitian hospital that was never built. This is whatever money came in, Donald Trump has distributed to worthy causes. And by the way, there is also a process where you have to vet these causes to make sure that they're legitimate.
CUOMO: That's fine. But what I'm saying is, don't blame us for this. We've been asking the question. You're not doing it, but this is Trump and you speak for him.
COHEN: I do blame you.
CUOMO: I know, but you're wrong to blame me. I ask you where is the money? Who did you give it to? You can't tell me. That's my fault?
COHEN: We do tell you, but it's not enough. That's the problem. They want more.
CUOMO: No, no, no.
COHEN: There is always more.
CUOMO: Nobody wants more. It is how much did you take in? How much did you give out and to whom? These are simple questions. Simple. This isn't unfair reporting.
COHEN: It is.
CUOMO: He is not a victim.
COHEN: He is the victim. You're right. He is never a victim, right. He went ahead and raised millions of dollars for veterans and for veteran causes, but, unfortunately, right, people have not sent in their pledges yet for whatever the reason may be. Maybe it has to do with their taxes, right --
CUOMO: Whatever it is, whatever it is. You said you raised the money, and I ask where it is and you blame me? Come on.
COHEN: When it comes in Donald Trump will distribute it to the --
CUOMO: Find, but all I'm saying is asking these questions, this is not unfair. The fact that you gave money in the past doesn't make this -- it is not irrelevant.
COHEN: What they're doing is attacking him on a cause that he has done something great and they're trying to diminish it.
CUOMO: NO. But prove what you did. That's all. You said it was a certain amount of money. Now you say it's less. You said you gave it out. Then you can't show you gave it out. That's not on us. That's on you.
COHEN: That's not true. That's not true. I know that the media has gone out and they have actually called many of the various entities that we've sent checks to.
COHEN: They've confirmed that the money has been received.
CUOMO: Half the money we couldn't account for. That's why we were asking the question. Listen, all we want is for the money to be distributed. This is not a gotcha game. That's why I don't understand why he is playing the victim. Enough of that. He said he is going to make sure it is going out to various other veterans groups. And by the way, its' the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, the IAVA, that was most upset about this, not the media. But he says he's going to put it out. Let's put this to the side.
Bill Clinton, why go after Bill Clinton? Isn't that bad for Donald Trump? COHEN: Why? Why is it bad for Mr. Trump? What he is doing is he is
exposing, not just Bill Clinton for what he was and what he had done, but it's the same as it relates to Hillary. She attacked Mr. Trump as being sexist, misogynist, and that is inaccurate. Donald Trump is not any of those things. And again, what they're trying to do is portray him as such so they can end up turning the women against Mr. Trump, when in fact, the women seem to be turning against Hillary Clinton for being the enabler in chief.
[08:10:02] CUOMO: If you are not a sexist, what you usually say is I'm not a sexist, here are all the things that prove that I'm not. Here are the beautiful women in my life.
COHEN: Which Mr. Trump has done many times.
CUOMO: You don't turn around and say actually you're the sexist. You call me a sexist I call you a sexist. It seems juvenile.
COHEN: Except what she's doing is she's deflecting. The issue is she is the enabler in chief and he happens to be the sexist. So instead, she needs to win the women's vote. She is certainly not going to win the men's vote. She needs to go after the women's vote. She is not going to be able to do that if Donald Trump is not portrayed by the Clinton campaign as a sexist. So she is deflecting --
CUOMO: His numbers with women were not good before she said anything like that.
COHEN: His numbers are good. His numbers are getting better each and every day across the board.
CUOMO: Which ones?
COHEN: With women, with Hispanics, with African-Americans, with Muslims.
CUOMO: Here are my two reasons I think it is bad for him. One, hypocrite, two, glass houses. He defended Bill Clinton for years. He said the same allegations that you guys are talking about now were a waste of time, were wrong, were hollow, that Bill Clinton was a terrific guy, that he was a great president, that the impeachment was wrong, that it was a waste of time.
COHEN: And Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump was one of the smartest businessmen in the United States. Now she is attacking him on these ads.
CUOMO: So she is bad, too. Isn't he bad for going after him?
COHEN: All he is doing is giving the facts.
CUOMO: No, no, no. He knew the facts then in the '90s when this was happening.
COHEN: He was a private citizen who was friendly with the Clintons, and he was trying to protect a friend, all right. Now, it's a different game. It's 2016. He's the presidential --
CUOMO: Michael. If you decide to run for office and people say you knew Cuomo. Back then you used to say --
COHEN: I will always deny that.
CUOMO: You say now I'm running against him, Cuomo is a bum, that makes it OK.
CUOMO: Come on. Michael, please.
COHEN: If I was telling the truth --
CUOMO: So he was lying, then?
COHEN: He was not lying. He was protecting a friend. There's a difference.
CUOMO: What is the difference?
COHEN: He was being a true friend. It didn't matter to him.
CUOMO: So he would be friends with a guy that he thought was a piece of crap basically?
COHEN: What his relationship with his wife is between the two of them. Now it's different. They're attacking Mr. Trump on a daily basis. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent in attack ads, right, where it's funny because I keep seeing CNN and others talking about the two ads that are going against one another. Mr. Trump spent probably $250 on his ad and no expense in terms of getting it out, and she has probably spent several millions of dollars.
CUOMO: Why is he going after stuff that -- he called Paula Jones a loser.
COHEN: Do you know what the difference is? The ad that he put out against the Clintons is legitimate. The one she put out against him is inaccurate.
CUOMO: He says it's illegitimate. He said Linda Tripp was a lying loser.
COHEN: Let's talk about 2016, Chris. We're not going to talk about 1990 when he was defending Bill Clinton because it didn't matter.
CUOMO: Why would I trust you if you say all the things you said then were false?
COHEN: He was a private individual --
CUOMO: So you tell the truth when you're politician but you lie when you're private individual?
COHEN: He had no obligation to say anything to anybody.
CUOMO: He said plenty.
COHEN: So what? He is Donald Trump.
CUOMO: That's the record of what you believe.
COHEN: No, no, no. It was -- he was standing up for a man who he considered to be a friend at the time.
CUOMO: So he was saying things that he knew was untrue at the time?
CUOMO: Did he believe them to be true at the time?
COHEN: I don't think he knew the answer. He was standing up for a friend.
CUOMO: He called Paula Jones, called Linda Tripp the personification of evil.
COHEN: The person who called all of them the worst was Hillary Clinton, the great enabler.
CUOMO: This is about your guy, what he said, Paula Jones is a loser and she may be responsible for bringing down the president indirectly. Did he know it or did not know it?
COHEN: You'll have to ask him that question.
CUOMO: Mike -- Michael, that's a nice dodge, my friend, very well done on that. What I'm saying is that is the hypocrisy part. You defended the guy more than anybody else basically who didn't have go, and now you're bringing all the same attacks and saying it's different now, I'm running for office. I think that sounds like a...
COHEN: Like I said to you the very first time I came on this show, Donald Trump is a counterpuncher. Had she not turned around and brought out the issue where she is referring to him as a sexist and misogynist, this ad would have never come out. What is going to be even worse, here is a little hint for them. Donald Trump is this uber billionaire real estate developer, possibly the greatest negotiator in the history of this planet.
[08:15:02] He'll never come out with his first offer, right, in real estate right off the bat. Meaning she thinks this is bad, right, this is nothing. He's not coming out with his strong, right, from day number one.
CUOMO: How far can he go?
(CROSSTALK) COHEN: How far? You're going back to 1970s, 1980s, 1990s you guys feel it is okay to go back as far as you want in order to take a snippet, right, whereas --
CUOMO: Twenty-five years ago, when he first --
COHEN: You're going back 30 years.
CUOMO: -- when he pretended to be a pr guy on tape.
COHEN: Well, that's your opinion.
CUOMO: So, you're saying it wasn't him on the tape still?
COHEN: I'm not --
CUOMO: He admitted it in the past.
COHEN: I'm not so sure he admitted anything.
CUOMO: I know you're not that sure because you're a lawyer and you're very good one. But what I'm saying, not everybody wants to litigate these things. Another problem is, the hypocrisy, the other part is, glass houses.
Back then, when he was defending Clinton, kind of a joke, but kind of wasn't. He said, you know what his real problem is, he answered the questions. He should have refused to answer. He shouldn't have been honest with the American people.
COHEN: What's the joke about the allegations that he --
CUOMO: He made fun about the women. I'll tell you.
COHEN: -- ruined women's lives and then had his wife go after them.
CUOMO: Right, women that Donald Trump said were losers, were terrible, were liars, and were ugly. That's why this was an issue. Kennedy had Marilyn Monroe. He was on a different level with beautiful women of sophistication. People would have been more for giving if he had an affair with people like that.
That's what he said back then.
COHEN: You know Mr. Trump, and he has a sense of humor, whether you like the humor or not. He was making a statement that was -- because Marilyn was a beautiful woman, right?
CUOMO: But it's the context that you say it. What I'm saying is this, this is where we're starting to vet in real, OK, both sides.
COHEN: Chris, you have --
(CROSSTALK) COHEN: You have two candidates right now. Actually, you really only have one. You have the presumptive Republican nominee.
CUOMO: We have three right now.
COHEN: It's interesting Hillary has taken the position that she is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party. Not if you ask Bernie Sanders.
COHEN: And he's going to take her to task.
CUOMO: Fine and that's an issue.
COHEN: And she's being taken to task by Bernie Sanders.
CUOMO: That's an issue.
COHEN: Wait until Donald Trump comes in.
CUOMO: -- like how much dirt can you go with?
COHEN: So much, every year of the --
CUOMO: Why do you want the election to be about that? Isn't it about making America great or is it making it its worst election ever?
COHEN: Of course, it's making America great.
CUOMO: How is it making this great, by talking sexual past of 25 years.
COHEN: Let's talk about file-gate, pardon-gate, China-gate, travel- gate. Let's talk about the Clinton foundation.
COHEN: Chris, you and I should go into businesses buying gates, right, when it comes to the Clintons.
CUOMO: That started with Watergate.
What am I supposed to have Harry Hurt on and go through his book about Donald's scalp surgery, it made him crazy and physically abusive? Are we supposed to do mob stories about what the Castellano guys have been saying for years about Trump? Is that fair stuff in this election?
COHEN: What's story --
CUOMO: You read what was in "New York Magazine". I've been hearing those stories for 20 years about what kind of concrete he bought. COHEN: The same concrete that the city of New York bought.
CUOMO: Did he pay for the same price.
COHEN: Because the city of New York --
CUOMO: Who did he hang out with.
COHEN: He bought the concrete from the same people, because it was the city that gave the license to only a handful of people to sell concrete. And you know that as well.
CUOMO: One of them shut down as the mob --
COHEN: Of course, because you had this young Turk out there making great moves, he was this young billionaire.
CUOMO: With the mob?
COHEN: Nothing to do with the mob. You know, if you go ahead and you have waste going back pre-Giuliani and you had waste disposal coming in and picking up your garbage.
CUOMO: Dirty business.
COHEN: Are you now involved in the mob?
CUOMO: Dirty business.
My answer, no. But what I'm saying is, is that what you want this election to be about? There are plenty of stories out with as much behind them, as a lot of these stuff that you just put on Instagram.
COHEN: Not even close. Not even close.
In order to make the country great again, women, Hispanics, African- Americans, whites, everybody wants the same thing. We want fix the economy.
COHEN: You cannot exist with a $19 trillion debt. We want jobs.
The only thing --
CUOMO: Then, talk about that.
COHEN: Let him speak about it.
CUOMO: You just put out this video about this. COHEN: It's in response to an inaccurate video put out by the Clinton
campaign that they spent millions of dollars on.
CUOMO: He could respond any way he wants. Shake my hand.
CUOMO: You and I are going at it on the commercial.
No, I love having you on here. You deal with the issues at hand. I appreciate it.
COHEN: You lose that argument too.
CUOMO: I do. I lose most of them. You're smarter than I am.
Michael Cohen, thank you very much for being on NEW DAY as always.
CAMEROTA: I went out for breakfast, but I'm back.
Bernie Sanders warning the Democratic convention could get, quote, "messy" if officials do not promote a progressive platform. What does that mean? What will it keep to Sanders and his supporters happy if Clinton is the nominee?
We'll get a take on that, as well as what you just saw, from David Axelrod, next.
[08:22:55] CAMEROTA: Welcome back. I hope you didn't miss what happened moments ago.
CUOMO: You said you went for breakfast.
CAMEROTA: Well, I did. I could hear in my ears.
We just spoke with the executive vice president of the Trump Organization. He's also special counsel to Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, and he strongly tried to defend Trump's attacks on Bill Clinton's past and Cohen also vowed that this is just the beginning.
Here to discuss this and so much more, CNN senior political commentator, David Axelrod, former senior adviser to the Obama administration.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey, Alisyn. I'm exhausted. I don't know if I can go on here.
CAMEROTA: I mean, it was a rowdy, raucous interview that Chris just had with Michael Cohen, and there are lots of things to dive in, but one, basically Cohen said you haven't seen anything yet, the attacks that they've unleashed on Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past, nothing yet.
What do you think?
AXELROD: I don't think that's shocking. I mean, we've seen Donald Trump throughout the course of the campaign, and he has no reverse in his gear shift. I mean, he's just straight ahead, right at you. And I expect to see more of it. The question is, does -- do all these attacks on Bill Clinton hurt Hillary or not. You know --
CAMEROTA: What's the answer?
AXELROD: I think there is an element. We've heard all of this stuff for 20 years. If they can make the connection to Hillary, you know, they're trying to make the enabler argument, but the Bill Clinton stuff is so luminescent, and people may look at it and say come on, man, it's 2016, we know about all this stuff. We knew about it --
CAMEROTA: All right, Michael Cohen --
CAMEROTA: -- just pulled the plug, wherever he is in the Green Room.
CUOMO: This is the point that we have to make on the other side of him. He is right? Do you say, oh, I remember this? I remember this? What if you're 25?
CAMEROTA: Absolutely. That's the point.
CUOMO: What if you're new voter.
Axe, you can't get away that easy. You don't get just skip out and kill the feed like that.
So, Axe, the other side is, we remember it, but are they going for these largely independent younger voters, who did not live through it, where a lot of it is fresh tales?
[08:25:07] AXELROD: Yes, I don't know. Maybe so.
But I think a lot of these young kids are interested in, you know, climate change. They're interested in human rights. They're interested in a lot of things that have nothing to do with this.
I think a lot of them may look at it and say, I don't know about this. You know, talk about the stuff that I care about.
And I think that's, you know, I'm not sure if this is an appeal to young people, I think they're way off track. I think what it is, an appeal to women, maybe older women, to try to knock some of those folks away from Hillary, because right now, he is getting - there is a huge gender gap against him among women. CUOMO: I think he has a two headed beast doing this. One is the hypocrisy. This "Washington Post" piece out this morning, you know, that reporting is there. He was a friend of Bill Clinton in the '90s. This idea that now he's running for office, so he says different things, I don't know how compelling that is.
But there is the second one, I'm more concerned about as a journalist covering this, which is his stuff, books have been written, magazine articles, sexual assault allegations and suits that were then, you know, dismissed.
CAMEROTA: One, right? We're talking about it was recanted.
CUOMO: But there are other allegations. There's one lawsuit where the lady recounted and he settled the contract suit. There is mob stuff. I'm not saying it's real, but I'm saying, if it's brought up, it kind of becomes real, just like the stuff that they're doing about the Clintons.
And is that what this election going to be?
CAMEROTA: It is a tough one, David, absolutely to get mired, it is tough to figure out what thread you want to follow that's fair.
AXELROD: Yes, look, I think the hypocrite thing is real. But you know, there are so many areas in which he has contradicted himself and he's gotten away with it so far. We'll see if that hurts him.
But for sure, what we're looking at is a race like we've never seen before. There is going to be a lot of paint scraped off on the walls before we get to November. It's going to be a really wrenching, unpleasant affair. I think that's pretty clear and unfortunate.
I think what you saw there is a preview of what we're going to see. When Donald Trump is attacked, he hits back. I think what the Clintons have learned from the Republican primary is if you let Donald Trump play on your side of the field the whole game, you're going to lose. So they're going to punch back at him.
And I think that's the reality of what we're facing here. We are not going to have an elevated discussion. Mr. Cohen said we want to talk about debt. I don't think they really want to talk about debt, because the Tax Foundation said his tax plan added $10.5 trillion to the debt.
CUOMO: Just a suggestion.
AXELROD: I think that this is the race they want. This is the race we're going to see.
CUOMO: It was just a suggestion. It wasn't a plan. It was a suggestion.
CAMEROTA: David, let's talk about Bernie Sanders. He continues to duke it out, obviously against Hillary Clinton in the primary. And he has predicted again this morning in a taped interview that the Democratic convention will be messy.
How do you interpret that?
AXELROD: Well, I think that Bernie -- well, first of all, the question is what is Bernie's intention? I mean, after the -- he also said in the same interview, I saw that interview, he also said that he thought that he would finish ahead on pledged delegates or could finish ahead on pledged delegates after the California primary. I just saw a poll where he was well behind there. I don't know if that is an accurate poll.
But clearly, he is not going finish way ahead to the point where he would be leading in pledged delegates. So, you get to -- after California, you're behind in pledged delegates, you are behind in popular votes, you're behind in delegates, so you're left with little argument.
So, then it becomes, what do you intend to do? Are you going to go to the convention and have a scorched earth convention over a series of issues, a messy convention that hobbles the candidate or not, or are you going to turn your guns on Donald Trump. That's the choice that Bernie Sanders is going to have to make.
CAMEROTA: David Axelrod, great to talk to you. Thanks so much.
CUOMO: The Axe.
AXELROD: Nice to see you, guys.
Cool off there, Chris. Cool off.
CUOMO: I was fine. Look, this is what this is about.
One of the reasons I love having Cohen on the show, it is, one, he is completely authentic to the cause there, which is good. Two, he knows how to make the case. That's what's going on here. It is not about the depth of conviction.
That's what he said about Trump, is that in the '90s, he was his friend and so was saying those things. Now, he is running for political office, so he's saying different things. You have to judge whether you like that explanation. But the guy comes and is willing to make the case. I think that's the best thing we can offer.
CAMEROTA: He is more than willing to mix it up with you. That is for sure.
CUOMO: Yes, absolutely. And we shake hands because I like him. We've got to be friendly in this process. We're just making the case and I'm testing it. That's what we do.
So, one of the things we didn't get to with Cohen was what's going on with releasing his taxes. It is a big deal for Hillary Clinton. What does that really mean, though?
We're going to ask a conservative radio host named Glenn Beck. You may know him.
CAMEROTA: I've heard of him.
CUOMO: What does he make of the taxes and what does he make of what we just heard from the Trump campaign about the state of play now and going forward.