tv At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan CNN May 31, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
i raised almost $6 million for the veterans, including putting up $1 million of my own money. millions and millions of dollars. i didn't have to raise ten cents. >> where is the money? >> whatever money came in, donald trump has distributed to worthy causes. >> hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. >> and i'm john berman. donald trump is about to show us the money or so he says. we're waiting on a news conference that's set to begin any minute at trump tower here in new york city. i think we have a picture of the podium. do we, the magic of television? there it is. a live picture from inside the room where donald trump will speak at any moment. this all has to do with a january fund-raiser that he held for veterans groups in iowa. that was where the fund-raiser was. he went there instead of attending a debate there. >> so these $6 million questions
facing donald trump today, how much did he raise and where did it go? pretty basic questions. at the time he said that he had raised $6 million. he said it that night at the event. since then reporters have been asking for an accounting of the money. those answers have been harder to come by. let's get to senior white house correspondent jim acosta. he is in the room. he's at trump tower waiting for this press conference to happen. jim, what are you seeing, what are you hearing? >> reporter: kate and john, that's right. we have heard from donald trump in the last several days give an explanation as to why this full accounting as to where that money has gone has been slow in am couldi-- coming. he's said we had to vet the vets. i expect we'll hear that. that it took all of this time to give this full accounting to the american people as to where this money went because not all of these groups were groups that you could put out there as having received this money right away, and so it was necessary for the trump campaign, the trump organization, to do some
homework, do some lay work in terms of putting those details together, but, yes, you're right exactly the way you set that up. it was back in january before the iowa caucuses. donald trump says i'm not going one of those gop debates. i'm going to hold a veterans event instead. donald trump said he raised at that event $6 million for veterans groups, but as you mentioned, over time the questions were coming in. reporters were asking which organizes had received this money. in the last few weeks corey lewandowski said it wasn't $6 million, it was $4.5 million and then donald trump contradicted his own campaign manager and said it's more like $5.5 million and i have made that $1 million contributions myself. hopefully we'll get some answers in a few moments. donald trump said at last week's news conference he was going to give a full accounting. we are starting to see what appear to be some representatives of veterans groups on hand. now, as you know, there are other questions that are going
to be asked at this news conference, if donald trump takes questions. one is about the trump university case that was just a few days ago where donald trump went after the judge who was handling his case, talked about the ethnicity, the fact that the judge in that case is mexican. that raised a lot of eyebrows. why is donald trump talking about the mexican ethnicity of the judge handling that fraud case in southern california. and then you also have this prospect of a third-party challenge, john and kate, which might be the biggest development of all, if we see that development in the coming days. bill kristol, the neoconservative in washington over the weekend was tweeting here comes a third-party candidate. who is that person and what does donald trump make of all this? so we may hear some of those answers in a few moments. >> jim acosta for us inside trump tower. keep one eye on jim and that event. we will get there the minute donald trump walks onto that stage. want to talk more though about what we're going to see, what we're going to hear, and what we don't know yet. joined by an army of some of the best reporters and analysts in the world. we'll start with drew griffin.
you have been looking into this veterans issue since january, since this fund-raiser happened. you have been trying to get answers to these very basic questions, how much did he raise and where did it go. >> and really i think this was a controversy of his own making. it was spur of the moment thing. he did it. many people thought it was a campaign stunt but then we did start asking the hard questions. okay, $6 million in, $6 million out. where is it going? been a lot of conflicting information. is it $4.5 million? is it less than that? is it more than that? we have been able to establish 27 vetted groups did get $3.1 million. then there were three donations made last week, $1 million to trump himself to a pretty good group that takes care of the orphans of marines, and then money that has gone to two other organizations, one of which our colleague bob woodruff, his foundation at abc got $75,000. so the money is coming out. trump complains a lot of this is
just too much persnickety reporters like me asking questions but he had to have known this is coming, had to have known we would look for every dime and now i think we're going to get a final accounting of where that money is and in the end, this is great. 6 million bucks to veterans' causes. you can't sneeze at it. how he got there, a little messy. >> we talked late last week when you had had a phone call with donald trump about this, and he was frustrated that you were asking questions or that he thinks the scrutiny has been unfair. you've got a better accounting of where the money has gone so far than most people, drew. what more does he have to answer today? >> well, i think he was frustrated -- this is a guy who is running a campaign. since january he's beaten out all these republican candidates so he's had a lot going on but he told me last week some of those pledges didn't come through. he had to get on the horn and call these people that made those pledges and remind them of
their gift. so he had that hanging over him. the money wasn't coming in. the other thing he said is that a couple of the groups we identified, we took another look at, and they weren't very good. >> they didn't pass muster. >> so he had to move the money around to where it was going. in other words, he had to devote his staff time to answering these questions and making sure that the vetting process both for the money coming in, the money going out, was going to work. he did tell me that some of the groups that originally got money will get even more money. so i think it's been a frustrating side show for him, but like i said, it was ill conceived when he did it and kind of rolled out there very quickly without any management that usual fund-raisers have and now they're catching up to that. >> i think we're about to see donald trump. you can see him walking in right now. there he is. donald trump will take the stage at any moment. >> i wonder what he's waiting for. >> i think he's probably waiting for more cameras. >> they're in his tower. >> he complains about the
questions when they're asked. christine romans you're here. the minute tramp starts talking we'll take it. you say this raises questions about management issues. donald trump said he's a big executive, he raised $6 million in january and it took some time to account for it. >> he's running that he can solve problems quickly. did he solve problems quickly? >> let's listen to donald trump. >> it's been a great period of time. it's been really as george said amazing. we've gotten the nomination. we're going to have an incredible period in cleveland. we look forward to it. we've started working already on the convention, and lebron, good luck in the series because we're going to have a series which, of course, the longer it goes, the less time we have but that's okay, and it's going to be very interesting to see what happens. but as you know, they're playing the basketball championships partially in that arena, so i think it will be very exciting. it will add to the excitement in cleveland and that's good. that's what we want because it's going to be an exciting period
of time. we have -- we've done some awfully good work. i was just informed, it was certified out that we have more votes than anybody in the history of the republican primaries and we still have, i guess, six or seven locations to go, states to go, and in the history -- think of it, in the history of this great party, we've gotten substantially more votes than anybody else, by many millions more than anybody who has ever run. so that's a great -- you know, when you think dwight eisenhower and ronald reagan and everybody, we have the most votes by far. so that's something to me that's very exciting, and overall it's just been a very exciting process. i think we're going to do very well. we have no idea what's going to happen on the democrat side, but they're certainly having difficulty. i don't like to see people having difficulty, but anybody has to have it, let it be them, and i think it's going to be very interesting, but i'm very proud to say that we've gotten the most votes and also if you
look at the overall primary, the amount of votes cast, that's also a record. so we've broken a lot of records in terms of the voters. our polling has come out and the polls are doing very well. as you know, we're pretty much even and in some cases ahead of hillary, and i think we're going to have a very, very successful number of months and i think it will all culminate in november, and we're going to make america great again, okay? so that's the way it is. does anybody have any questions? yes, yes? >> you've been dogged for the last four months about questions about the $6 million you say you've raised for veterans groups after that fund-raiser in january. you yourself say you pledged $1 million. who got that money, when did they get it, and why did it take so long to get it to them. >> okay. i'm glad you asked the question because i have to tell you, i have raised a tremendous amount of money for the vets, almost $6 million, and more money is going to come in i believe over the next little while too, but i
have raised almost $6 million. all of the money has been paid out, and i'm going to give it to you in a second. in fact, i brought a list just in case that question was asked. but the money has been paid out. i have been thanked by so many veterans groups throughout the united states. one gentleman called me up recently crying, that out of the blue he got a check for $100,000. but i have been thanked by so many great veterans groups and outside you have a few people they're picketing, they're sent there by hillary clinton and they're picketing that the money wasn't sent. the money has all been sent. i wanted to keep it private. if we could, i wanted to keep it private because i don't think it's anybody's business if i want to send money to the vets. but i have to say this, i raised close to $6 million. it will probably be over that amount when it's all said and done, but as of this moment it's $5.6 million. when it started -- this started with a speech in iowa when i said let's raise some money for
the vets and it went up from $1 million to $2 million to $3 million, and it now ends up to be almost $6 million, and, again, i think we can even do better than that. but i will say that the press should be ashamed of themselves, and on behalf of the vets the press should be ashamed of themselves. they are calling me and they are furious because i sent people checks of a lot of money, and we're going to give you the names right now which is what you want, and instead of being like thank you very much, mr. trump, or trump did a good job, everyone is saying who got it, who got it, who got it, and you make me look very bad. i have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job, so i will give you the names if that's what you want, right? okay. are you ready? i brought them here. it takes -- because you have to vet each -- you know, much of this money was paid out very early. but you have to vet all of these different groups because these are many different groups. you have to go through a process. when you send checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars
to people and to companies and to groups that you've never heard of, charitable organizations, you have to vet it. you send people out. you do a lot of work. most of the money went out quite a while ago. some of it went out more recently. but all of this has gone out and i will give you the names. are you ready? do you have your pad? and again, i really think the press -- look, the media, you know my opinion of the media, it's very low. i think the media is, frankly, made up of people that in many cases, not in all cases, are not good people. but i think this is an example. on behalf of all of the folks that have worked hard on this and all of the people that have made contributions, including myself, i gave $1 million, but i just want to tell you that there are so many people that are so thankful for what we did. one other thing that's important to know, it's zero dollars have been taken out for administration. you know, when you go to a lot of these different groups, in this case zero dollars have been
taken out for administration. so a lot of these companies they make a lot of money with doing the administration stuff. so no money -- it costs zero dollars to accumulate all of this money, okay? so you have 22 kill and that's $200,000. you can call these people. that was another thing. a lot of the money when it was sent out, different people would call. i could tell you -- i'm not going to mention anybody specifically, but there were a couple people that were really disgusting. they'd call and these vet groups, they don't get a lot of calls from the press, and maybe some of them would keep quiet or they didn't know or they didn't want to talk to the press or they didn't feel comfortable. so if they didn't say they got the money, which they all did, 100% got the money, all certified checks but rather than saying could i see a certified check, they said well they didn't say they got the money. they all got the money but they're not people that always talk to the press. many of them do talk to the
press. i guess you found $2 million or $2.5 million where they'll talk. well, the number is $5.6 million and it's going to possibly go above that because i believe some other people are coming in. ready? 22 kill got $200,000. now, these are checks that have been delivered, that have been cashed, that are now being used to help the vets. achilles international, great organization, $200,000. much of this money was paid a long time ago. american hero adventures, $100,000. americans for equal living, $100,000. america's vet dogs, the veteran k-9 corps, inc., $75,000. am vets, $75,000.
just so you understand, when i didn't do the fox debate, the one fox debate because i didn't think they treated me right but actually they've been extremely fair over the last three or four months, i have to say that about fox, but when i didn't do that one event, the debate, i gave a speech. i didn't have to do this with the money for the vets but i decided too because i thought it would be a good idea and i had some very generous people. karl icahn gave half a million. phil ruffin give a million. ike perlmutter gave a million. it would have been easier just to give the speech. the problem with the press, what they do is they convince people like me not to do it, not to give money to different things because it's a lot easier actually that way. armed services, ymca of the united states, $75,000. bob woodruff family foundation, inc., they do a good job,
$75,000. central iowa shelter and services, these are all vet related, $100,000. connected warriors, inc., $75,000. disabled american veterans charitable service trust, $115,000. fisher house foundation, great people, $115,000. folds of honor foundation, $200,000. foundation for american veterans, $75,000. freedom alliance, $75,000. green beret foundation, $350,000. higher heroes usa, $75,000. homes for our troops, $50,000. and just so you understand, we got a long way to go. this money was raised during a
little speech that i made rather than doing a debate. the one debate i missed. it was the lowest rated debate, by the way, but i won't say that. honoring america's warriors, $100,000. hope for the warriors, $65,000. intrepid fallen heroes fund, $175,000. k-9s for warriors, $50,000. liberty house, $100,000. marine corps law enforcement foundation, $1,100,000. i gave $1 million to them. they're a great group. navy s.e.a.l. foundation, $465,000. navy marine corps relief society, $75,000.
new england wounded veterans, inc., $75,000. operation home front, $65,000. partners for patriots, $100,000. project for patriots, and we're still vetting them, by the way, the check is ready to go but they don't have all of their appropriate -- in fact, we have down here and will be released to them upon receipt of the irs determination letter, it's the only one, which we hear they're fantastic, but they have to give us that final document, this is what i mean by vetting. you have to have all the documents otherwise you can't give them the money. project for patriots, $100,000. puppy jake foundation, $100,000. racing for heroes, inc., $200,000. support suland soldiers, $1,000.
task force dagger foundation, $50,000. the mission continues, $75,000. the national military family association, inc., $75,000. veterans air lift command, $100,000. veterans count, $25,000. veterans in command, inc., $150,000. vietnam veterans workshop, inc., $75,000. warriors for freedom foundation, $50,000. and i believe we're going to have some more coming in, some friends of mine, some more coming in. and that adds up to $6 million -- well, let's see. that adds up to $5,600,000 total, and we're going to have some more coming in. [ applause ]
thank you. thank you. every one of those checks has been passed other than the one check which is being held subject to their getting a final approval from the government. but every one of those checks has been passed. this is my check for $1 million. we have many letters from the different groups thanking us very much for the money, and they didn't ask -- and i didn't ask people to be here. i could have asked every one of the group unlike hillary who asked people to stand out and say donald trump didn't give the money. nobody gave this kind of money. so i save $5,600,000, more is coming in, probably tops the $6 million number. i never thought we were going to raise $1 million when we started, and we end up doing almost $6 million. so i have to tell you, the press is so dishonest, and so unfair. a lot of the people behind me
and some of the people over here helped in vetting the various requests for money, and i just want to thank all of those people. yes? >> shouldn't we be -- >> how personally involved were you in deciding which organizations were to be recipients and how much they got and how did you prioritize some? some of those you mentioned are well known, others are more obscure. >> i wasn't too involved in picking the organizes other than i gave $1 million to the law enforcement marines. they are fabulous people. they honored me last year at the waldorf-astoria. i knew them. i was going to give it to three companies or three groups and we couldn't vet them quickly and so i gave it to the marines. if you look at that number, the marine corps law enforcement foundation is a fabulous group, and i didn't have to go through a big vetting process with them because i was going to split the million dollar check up among three or four different groups and in the end i just didn't want to go through the process of having to vet all those
different groups. >> just the verification process -- >> i wanted to make this out of the goodness of my heart. i didn't want to do this where the pregnancy is involvss is in. then we said who it went to. how much was it? we gave -- look, when this started, i think you were there, i said if we could raise $1 million that would be good. and we ended up raising almost $6 million and i'm going to have more coming in over a period of time. >> but don't you believe you should be accountable to the people? >> i'm totally accountable but i didn't want to have credit for it. what i got was worse than credit because they were questioning me, and this is money -- and by the way most of that money went out very early, just so you understand, but a lot of these groups -- getting vetted by, you know, when you pay the money out, they need government documentation plus we want to find out is it a good group? i had teams of people reviewing statistics, reviewing numbers, and also talking to people in the military to find out whether or not the group was deserving
of the money. we have given to groups that are unbelievable groups, and honestly, i wish you could hear the phone kaultion acalls and s letters and i'm happy to do it. i didn't want the credit for it but it was very unfair that the press treated us so badly. >> to follow you you keep calling us the dishonest press -- >> generally speaking that's 100% true. >> i disagree with that. if i can ask you the question, it seems like you're resistant to scrutiny that comes with running for president -- >> excuse me. i have watched you on television. you're a real beauty. when i raise money for the veterans and it's a massive amount of money, find out how much hillary clinton has given to the veterans, nothing. and then i see a few guys standing out there, they don't even know what they're there for. they have no idea. they're there because hillary clinton's campaign sent them and actually i think it was you or one of you that found out that they actually were with hillary clinton's campaign which was
interesting but i wasn't surprised. i don't want the credit for it but i shouldn't be lambasted. and remember this, so out of the almost $6 million that was raised, not one penny did i take for administration costs. that's unheard of, okay. >> why do you continue to attack the press though, mr. trump? >> you talk about not wanting to get credit for this, you did host a very public fund-raiser -- >> how else am i going to raise the money? >> what i'm asking is when you did this fund-raiser, it was televised. instead of doing the debate, it received wide attention -- >> i would have given -- just so you understand, until i was criticized -- i'm the only one in the world could raise almost $6 million for the veterans, have uniform applause by the veterans groups and end up being criticized by the press. yes, i made a speech, and during my speech i said let's raise a little money for the vets. it turned out to be a lot of money, not a little money. i thought if we could get to $1
million it would have been great -- >> but you've repeatedly touted the fact you've taken -- >> that's right. i do raise millions. >> mr. trump, writing a $1 million check is incredibly generous but the night of that iowa fund-raiser you said you had raised $6 million. clearly you had not. you're critics say you tend to exaggerate, you have a problem with the truth. is this a prime example? >> no, i raised almost $6 million. some of it didn't come through but more money is coming through than didn't come through. the number probably is going to be when we finish it probably going to be over the $6 million. >> why exaggerate? >> good to see you, sir. so to follow up a little bit on what jim was saying, you do realize that when the democrats are out there raising questions about this money, the press is also reflecting what your opposition is saying about you. it's not just us throwing questions at you because it's coming from some of them. >> i don't mooind it coind it c the opposition. what i mind is when i raise all
these millions and when we started out nobody thought it was -- >> but what you're doing is you're answering the questions now that we had back then. it was just a question. >> here is the story. >> is the question an attack? >> i have been dealing with the press a long time. i think the political press is among the most dishonest people that i have ever met. i have to tell you that, okay? of course, you're excluded, carl. but i think the political pre press -- i see the stories and i see the way they're couched. for instance, i went down this weekend to do rolling thunder. i was invited. i didn't have anything to do with it. we had a tremendous gathering of people, thousands -- i don't know how many thousands but many thousands of people, and i joked, oh, i thought we were going to go from the jefferson memorial to the lincoln. i was joking. they said donald trump was disappointed. everybody knew i was being sarcastic and joking. they said -- some of them said donald trump was very disappointed that it didn't go from jefferson to lincoln.
you know, millions of people. i was joking. i said, oh, i'm used to watching it -- i was joking. so they put it down as serious. they know i was joking. i'll give you another example. we had a certain -- the same event. it was roped off where you could only get so many people there and there were a lot of people. i don't know. 10,000, 15,000, maybe 25,000. i don't know. there was a lot of people. plus that were people breaking the seams all the way along. gene washington, a man i like actually, wrote an article like there were 5,000 people there. there were many times that and you weren't allowed to have any more people and all of these people were with their motorcycles in parking lots all the way -- they're waving to me as i'm going by, but wait a minute, the point is law enforcement, these people, didn't allow to have any more people. i think the press knew that. i had a tremendous crowd, but it was the biggest crowd you could have had because it was all cordoned off. they weren't allowed to have any more people than they had. so instead of saying trump made a speech in front of a packed
crowd, they said trump was disappointed because i didn't have millions of people going from jefferson to washington. i mean, give me a break. honestly, it's dishonest reporting. go ahead. >> how are veterans -- [ inaudible ]. >> well, the veterans believe me. let me tell you the veterans, why they believe. and i have -- one group was here -- is al here? maybe you want to say, this is a group i gave money to. now, i could have asked all these groups -- he just showed up. i just saw him. but i could have asked all these groups to come here and they could have -- i didn't want to do that. i'm not looking for credit. but what i don't want is when i raise millions of dollars, have people say like this sleazy guy right over here from abc, he's a sleaze in my book -- you're a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well. go ahead. >> thank you, mr. trump. first of all, for the record, i'm a state represntative from
new hampshire ten years on the veterans affairs committee, 22 years in the marine corps, retired first sergeant. what i want to clarify here, first of all, i would never ever in a million years put my name on a candidate that did not from his heart look me in the eye and tell me he's concerned about veterans. that's donald trump. i met him over a year ago. i have been involved with many fund-raisers. there are many scam artists out there. he did the right thing by vetting these groups there. if you look at some of the groups that give 20 cents, 40 cents on the dollar and they're spending the rest for, you know, their nice lavish trips. he gave 100%. the liberal media is the only ones that have been calling me on the foundation, all right? i'm the former chairman. i have been dealing with this stuff for years. stop using veterans as political pawns. you got a guy outside, mccoy, go do a google search on his facebook. he's out there, his pictures with clinton. they are using veterans as
political pawns. it must stop. donald trump is doing this for the heart. you're all focused on the way he's raising money and you're not looking at the 22 veterans that are killing each other every day. you're not concerned about the thousands of veterans that are on wait lists. look at his plan on trump's website. he talks about medical cards. he talks about fixing the va. he talks about competition. i think the liberal media, and i have been dealing with you a long time, need to get your head out of your butt, focus on the real issues. thank you. [ applause ] >> what i did is i didn't ask al -- i have gotten to know al a little bit primarily through new hampshire where we had great victories, but he showed up this morning because he was upset and many of the other groups are very upset. they received $100,000 in the mail. they didn't even know what it was for, it was from me. other groups received 200, 250,
$250,000. they didn't know what it was for and i have, again, upstairs, i have received phone calls with people crying. i have received heartfelt letters, and, you know, it's -- it really -- the bad part about the dishonesty of the media is that people like me will be inclined not to do it anymore because why should you raise $5.6 million, and i think i'll go over $6 million pretty easily, nobody said that we started this out as a small little project where it was less than $1 million because it just kept mushrooming and building and building. nobody talks about that. so we raised $5.6 million. we have so many happy groups, so many happy veterans, and then i see these guys, these hillary clinton people outside -- now, of course, they don't know the extent. they probably figured based on reading the press that trump didn't make, you know, didn't raise this kind of money. but we raised a lot and i'll be raising more and we'll be sending it to other people as we get along.
>> -- the verification process and how you want to make sure these groups are what they say they are and you want to make sure that you're giving the money -- >> it's a complicated process, right. >> does that process involve reviewing those groups' tax returns and if so -- >> no, it doesn't. it really -- you know, the government sort of approves different groups for a lot of reasons, and so it really -- and more than anything else it's also speaking to other veterans. we have a circle of veterans and who is good -- i don't want to send $250,000 check to a group that doesn't do good work. so it's called vetting. we vet the vets. but it's called vetting. >> mr. trump you seem particularly bothered by criticism on this. why? do you need a thicker skin to run for this office? >> i think it's bothersome because i love the vets and i have worked hard for the vets and, as you can see, i have given a lot of money and raised a lot of money for the vets, and i think when the press portrays it differently, the press is being very dishonest so i don't like that.
i don't like dishonesty. not you. >> mr. trump, a change of gears here. jeff sessions -- >> jeff sessions. >> he's expressed an openness to be your running mate. have you had any -- >> jeff sessions is a fantastic man. jeff segs ssions is one of the t highly respected people in the united states senate. jeff sessions is a person that i believe that ted cruz has the most respect for and i think ted thought he would get an endorsement. you know, jeff sessions has never endorsed a presidential candidate before as many years as he's been in the senate. so, you know, jeff sessions certainly is somebody that i would consider, absolutely. he's a fantastic person. >> policy question -- >> -- the situation at the cincinnati zoo and animal activists are outraged that they killed this gorilla who was holding the 4-year-old boy. how do you feel about it -- >> i think it's a very tough call. it was amazing because there were moments with the gorilla, the way he held that child, it was almost like a mother holding
a baby. looked so beautiful and calm and there were moments where it looked pretty dangerous. i don't think they had a choice. i mean, probably they didn't have a choice. you have a child, a young child who is at stake, and, you know, it's too bad there wasn't another way. i thought it was so beautiful to watch that, you know, powerful almost 500-pound gorilla, the way he dealt with that little boy, but it just takes one second. it's one second. it's not like it takes place over, well, he's going to do it in 30 seconds from now. it just takes one little flick of his finger and i will tell you they probably had no choice. >> mr. trump, policy question. policy question on veterans. [ inaudible question ] >> i'm in favor of fixing the va health care. the va is one of the great catastrophes in this country, what's going on. you look at what's happening in phoenix and different places throughout the country where they're catching people stealing
and they don't even fire them, where people are waiting five days, six days, seven days. they're dying while they wait online and i am in favor of if they can't get to a doctor within a reasonable period of time, they're going to go see a doctor and the country is going to pay for it. they're going to go to a private doctor or a public hospital, some place that can take care of them immediately. we're losing thousands of people waiting in line, and the veterans administration is run by obama just as incompetently as he's running our country. you look at the tsa. you look at what's going on at the airports, and you look at that. okay? just take a look at that. that's like the veterans administration. nothing in our country works anymore. it's a mess. and maybe that's why i'm doing so well in the polls. yes? >> -- the veterans can use a card -- >> it doesn't have to be privatization. what it has to be is when somebody is in line and they say it's a seven-day wait, that person is going to walk across
the street to a private doctor, be taken care of, we're going to pay the bill and it will be a lot less expensive. and we'll check it out and be careful but it's going to be a lot less expensive than what are going on. these people are living in hell and hillary clinton said the veterans administration is working just fine and the head of it, mcdonald, said last week that waiting in line is not bad. look at disney world, okay? these are the kind of people we have running things. it's ridiculous. dave? >> there's a rasmussen poll out that today that says half of americans think hillary clinton should stay in the race even if she's charged with a felony. does this suggest your continuing to pound her, are you a little out of sync? >> that's their choice. you have a party called the democrats and they're going to have to make that choice. you know, i think it's probably going to be her because it's rigged, and i think if you people will say i'm the one that came up with the term rigged, i used it for myself except i won
by such big margins that the fact that -- the whole system is rigged on both sides. same with the republicans just less obvious. the democrats with the super -- with the whole superdelegate thing, it's ridiculous. so i think that they're going to have to make that determination. if you're asking me who i'd prefer running against -- >> no. do you think she committed a felony? sgloo >> i think what she did was very bad and i think a lot of people have done a lot less than her and their lives have been destroyed. >> you know the press exposed the va issue so shouldn't the press get some credit for that? >> i think that's fine. >> can i ask you about trump university though, sir? there have been a lot of questions about that and you also challenged the credibility of the judge handling that case. >> the judge has been very unfair, has not done a good job. he's been a very bad judge. he's been very unfair, and i will win the trump university case. i already am as far as i'm concerned but i will -- >> why antagonize the judge in
that case. >> because i don't care. why antagonize? because i don't care. i have a judge who is very, very unfair. why? >> you'll see it in court documents. but i have a judge who is very, very unfair. he knows he's unfair. and i'll win the trump university case. i could settle that case. i could have settled it. i just choose not to. in fact, when i ran, they said why don't you settle up that case? i don't want to settle the case. >> why mention the judge is mexican? >> because i'm a man of principle and most of the people who took those courses have letters saying they thought it was great essentially. it was groood, it was great, an when they're on the stand and you say how come you signed a letter saying trump university was so good, how come you signed a letter -- the woman that was the original plaintiff in the case, they went to the court and the judge allowed her to get out of the case. the case should have been dropped. whole case should have been dropped. they wanted her dismissed from the case. you know why? because she was deposed. she was such a bad witness, that we win the case easily.
she signed a letter and she's on film, she's on tape like these cameras saying unbelievably good things about trump university. so they didn't want her anymore because she's a disaster for them. so they went to the judge and they said, your honor, we'd like to have her not be a participant, not be the plaintiff in the case, and he said, oh, that's okay. she's the one that started the case. now they don't even want her to testify. they don't want her to testify because she's a disaster. she has all sorts of beautiful statements about it, and importantly she's on tape saying how great it is. they don't want her. i wouldn't want her either. now, i could have settled that case. i could settle that case. i can settle that case. i don't want to. i'll go through the process. >> you yourself recently reacted against what you called a spoiler indy candidate in this race. yet earlier in the primaries you didn't rule out an independent run. >> because we're down the line. the fact is you can't win as an independent. for the most part you can't even
get on texas and various other states now, it's too late, but texas is out. so here is what happens. what happens is you will not have -- and very importantly you will not have supreme court justices. you're going to lose. you could have as many as four or five. that's over. now, kristol is the one -- he's the last one. don't forget, he said trump will never run. the guy is not a smart person. he said donald trump will never run. remember? do you remember? i actually blame you. why do you put this guy on television sni see him on the different shows. he's got no credibility. said i won't run. if i run i won't do well. if i do well, this and that. he looks like such a fool. i saw him on one show, he's practically crying because he can't justify. now he comes out with a tweet over the weekend over memorial day weekend. it sounds like he's going to put somebody up. even i thought it, i thought they're going to find some indy. now he comes out with something saying he was almost, almost kidding. okay? let me tell you, that's people
are losers. he's trying to make you -- he's trying to drive you guys a little bit nuts. if they do an indy, assuming it's decent, which i don't think anybody with a reputation would do it because they'd look like fools, but what you're doing to do is you lose the election for the republicans, and, therefore, you lose the supreme court. therefore, you will have a group of people put on the supreme court where this country will never, ever recover. it will never, ever be the same. >> mr. trump, when you talk about conservatives -- >> a follow up -- >> when you refer to some republicans and conservatives as losers -- >> i didn't say that. i said bill kristol is a loser. and i'll tell you why, carl, he has called every single -- take a look on me. he's going to lose this state. i win in a landslide. wait a minute, carl. i didn't say everybody. many. but i didn't say everybody. >> so -- >> wait, wait. bill kristol is a loser. ice magazi
his magazine is failing as you know. i don't think it even survives. he's getting some free publicity, but bill kristol, i have been watching this for two years. trump isn't going to run. then i go into a race, we go into new hampshire. he's not going to win new hampshire. win in a landslide. every place i went i was not going to win but i win in a landslide. do you think maybe he doesn't like me? one or two more. >> sir, there's a question directly related to this. today fred, nixon administration official, long time big financier in republican politics who is tsaid you have to stop beating up on republicans and goes on to say you essentially got some 30% of the republican vote, there's a lot -- >> he's wrong. >> let me finish the question and then you can have at it. >> my last one was 78%. i didn't get 38%. >> is it going to make it more difficult for you to unite the party when you are criticizing your critics from within it? >> here is the way i look at it. when i have somebody that's not
on my side, okay, you know -- by the way, i've gotten great applause from the press and, you know, in terms of as an achievement because the republican party is really well unified. people that you would have never thought possible are now saying, i support trump. so remember that. we don't talk about that too much, but actually last week the big story is how fast the republican party is healing because it is a healing process. it was a rough -- that was a rough campaign. i don't know fred malik. i can say this. the real story is how fast we're getting together. now, if i have a republican that's not on my side, i'm not going -- why should i be particularly nice to that person? i'm not going to go after it like i would hillary or crazy bernie, but you know what? why should i be nice to that person? if itch a pers have a person th going to support me, i have no obligation. politically, i may be right, i may be wrong, but that's who i am. i'm a very honest person, carl. if somebody is going to say a little bit negative or a lot negative about me and if they happen to be a republican, i may
choose to hit them back. not always, not always, but i may choose to hit them back. >> what was the motivation -- >> right in the last week you have said that the former republican nominee walks like a penguin, you criticized susana martinez -- >> mitt romney lost an election he should have won and if you read the front page of the "wall street journal," he mitt romney, he looks like a fool. >> i raised a lot of money for mitt romney. i made robocalls for him, made speeches. he let us down. if you read the front page of the "wall street journal" this weekend, mitt romney looks like a fool. now, why would i say good about mitt romney? >> you said you're committed to party unity. >> what about the governor of new mexico. why take that fight on? >> she was not nice. it was just a little bit of a jab but she wasn't nice. you think i'm going to change, i'm not changing, including with her. >> how do you unify the party? >> bob dole said you should -- >> bob dole is a fan of mine.
bob dole endorsed me so don't tell me about bob dole? >> what about gary johnson? >> gary johnson got 1% of the vote last time. i watched that whole situation. it was really pretty disgraceful. i think it's a total fringe deal. i think he's a frainge candidat you want to know the truth. i watch what he says, i think that he's a fringe candidate, and your second, weld, when you do a little research on that, i think it's not going to be a factor, okay? >> i think you have set a new bar today for being contentious with the press corps, calling us losers to our faces. >> not all of you, just many of you. >> fine. enough of us. >> not you, david. >> is this what it's going to be like covering you if you're president? >> yeah, it is. let me -- >> we're going to have this kind of confrontation in the press room. >> it is going to be like this, david. if the press writes false stories like they did with this because, you know, half of you
were amazed i raised all of this money. if the press writes false stories like they did where i wanted to keep a low profile -- i didn't want the credit for raising all this money for the vets. i wasn't looking for the credit and by the way, more money is coming in. i wasn't looking for the credit, but i had no choice but to do this because the press was saying i didn't raise any money for them. not only did i raise it, much of it was given a long time ago and there is a vetting process an i think you understand that. but when i raise almost $6 million and probably in the end will raise more than 6 because more is going to come in and is coming in, but when i raise $5.6 million as of today, more is coming in, and this is going to phenomenal groups and i have many of these people vetting the people that are getting the money and working hard and then we have to read probably libellous stories or certainly close in the newspapers and the people know the stories are false, i'm going to continue to attack the press. look, i find the press to be extremely dishonest.
i find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest. i will say that. okay. thank you all very much. thank you. thank you very much. >> so that happened. welcome back. we've been watching donald trump. he's been holding a press conference that started about a half an hour ago, 40 minutes ago actually, to talk about his fund-raiser when he raised money in iowa in lieu of going to a debate. he was raising money for veterans' causes and then we saw this all play out. to recap what we've learned in the last 40 minutes, the number, the final number that donald trump raised for veterans' causes, $5.6 million going to at least 41 charities. then from there it became an unloading on the media calling reporters sleazes to their faces and also don't worry, he took a question about the gorilla being shot in the cincinnati zoo.
>> i think the headline wasn't the money he raised or how many groups got it, but it was just how petulant and peevish he was saying the press should be ashamed of themselves for asking questions like how much did you raise and where did it go? i want -- >> on a factual basis, those are pretty simple questions you should answer when you're raising money, when you're raising money for charity if you're doling that out. >> cnn chief political correspondent dana bash joins us right now. he attacked our reporter jim acosta. dana, he attacked abc news calling him sleazy again for asking questions like how much did you raise and where did it go. >> you know, i'm -- i pride myself as we all do on being dispassionate, but this is a situation where i don't think we should be dispassionate and the reason is because let's just take a step back to where we were and where you guys were in new york leading into this press conference. it was drew griffin who was one of the people who not only asked the questions about where this
money was going or how much was raised by donald trump but go back a year plus, he was the one who exposed the problems in the va in the first place. a member of the press corps. that was going to be we all thought the story of the day. a good news story for donald trump, that, yes, as drew griffin said it was bumpy, it wasn't necessarily the cleanest way to do it, but at the end of the day he raised almost $6 million for veterans groups. instead, what did he do? he attacked the press, as you said, as sleazy, as dishonest, multiple times, and, you know, not to get too corny about it, but it is the press. number one, it is our job to ask questions, particularly of public figures, especially somebody who wants to be the leader of the free world. when they make a promise and they do it in a very public way like he did with this big rally for veterans to say -- it is our job to say where is the money, where did it go, how much did
you raise? it is a fundamental requirement and responsibility of a free press. it's what makes us different than north korea or other places, and he hasn't had to answer questions like this in his prior life. he's been a public figure for decades and he hasn't had to answer questions because he's been a public figure in the press, if you will, but he's been a private citizen. it's a different ball game now, and so it is up to us to ask the questions and i think it's because people like drew griffin and others were asking questions about where this money is going that these veterans groups were able to get this money, and he was able to give all of these big dollar amounts to all of these fabulous organizations. so i think we should just be clear here that the press is very easy target. we all understand why. and it's understandable why he's doing that but in this
particular case, he was got to be ready to take questions and on this particular issueand d ad it well. >> why he was upset he was going to be answering these questions is he said, i don't want the credit for it but i shouldn't be lambasted for it. i'm totally accountable but i didn't want credit for it. i'm not looking for credit. you really don't think he was looking for credit when held this televised public fundraiser to compete with a televised presidential debate? he didn't want credit for raising money here? >> listen, the purpose of this press conference, the press conference came because there was a media frenzy going on started by some -- >> barry, asking how much you raised, asking how much you raised and who got it isn't a frenzy. >> yeah, but unfortunately, the questions went way beyond that. they went to statements of fact. but he didn't raise the money. he's not giving it to groups.
only $2 million away? none were factual by the press. >> because he was not accounting for the money, barry. >> incorrect stories. >> not on our part, barry. >> no, there were stories out there, some journalists wrote that were factually incorrect that were dishonest. you can't dispute that. >> drew griffin is here with us to weigh in on this. barry, it is your job as an investigative reporter to hold the powerful to account. to ask powerful people questions and again, these were simple ones raised where you went. and part of the reason it took so long to find the answers because the answers were not fast and coming. >> i thought it would be handled in an e-mail from a staffer and get the numbers after it happened and we'd report it out and by the way, i don't know who that is on the tv -- >> barry is the senior advisor. >> you ought to tell donald trump that simple communication is how this is all buttoned up. we've been asking for this.
we've been getting partial information and if you go look back at our trail of reporting, every piece of information, we put out there accurately, factually, and we didn't have any of these stories he's talking about. i really don't know where these stories he's talking about came from. >> barry? do you like the way donald trump handled this? >> do i like the fact he raised $5.6 million for veterans? do i like -- >> no. you know exactly what i'm talking about. you are a rational human being. you know i'm not talking about about the fact he raised $5.6 million. every time we talk about this, drew said it maybe four times already this hour, it is great that he raised money. it's great anyone raises money. that is not what it is about. the media's job is to hold powerful people accountable. that's what drew griffin was asking and other reporters were asking. don't twist the words. you like the way he handled his press conference? taking on the media like this? >> he said this himself. the only problem --
>> he does seem to have a problem. >> well, that's your interpretation of it. but still, some of these people saying he didn't raise the money. he didn't give the money. not going to give the money. there were people coming on your air and other people saying these things and they weren't true. >> i think for the most part, all the stories were trying to account for the money, asking questions, like how much did you raise and where did it go? you said out loud he raised more than $6 million and today we learned $5.6 million. which is great. $5.6 million is great for veterans to get. that is a wonderful thing. it's not the $6 million he said, but there could be very good reasons why it did not equal $6 million in the end. those are only basic questions that were being asked. jim acosta, our senior white house correspondent covering the trump campaign. jim acosta, he called you a real beauty and has seen your work. >> you were gorgeous. >> so there's that. >> i have not seen donald trump
this aggressive with the press despite the fact he talks about the press at every event. this was as petulant as i've ever seen him. >> reporter: you know, i tried and tweeted every time he says this to the news media because i think it should be recorded. not that anybody cares, but the disgusting media, the dishonest media, liars, and so on. he does on a regular basis on the campaign trail and did it on the press conference and asked at one point, is this what a white house press conference would be like with donald trump? and he said yes. this is exactly what a white house press conference would be like with donald trump. if anyone is wondering how he he would treat the press as president of the united states, you just saw here in the last hour here in the lobby of trump tower. now, i will say that and echo what you said a few moments ago, yes, it's a great thing that $5.6 million was raised for worthy causes and by the way, it's on his web site right now. you can look at all the groups that received this money but at
the same time to go after the news media for asking these questions over the last several months is sort of criticizing the news media for doing their job. you and i have covered for a long time. since when have we had a presidential candidate break away from a debate and then raise money for an outside group or an association of various groups? you have never seen it before. it was only natural that the news media would go and ask these questions and by the way, corey lewandowski, the campaign manager for donald trump, giving a slightly different estimate. a million dollars off versus what his boss, the candidate said, and the candidate said a week later, two weeks later, no, it was closer to $6 million. so of course the questions are going to be asked but this was vintage donald trump today. what you see is what you get. he is going to go after the press and went after me. i don't think he meant the real beauty thing as a compliment and called my colleague, tom yams,
slime for something like that. >> sleaze. >> reporter: i think that's totally objectionable and he's a fine journalist and i'm proud to call him a colleague. this is donald trump being donald trump. his gop rivals, his vanquished rivals used to this treatment and hillary clinton will get the same treatment. he feels like this is what works for him as a candidate and so it should be no surprise he's going to continue to do that whether it's aimed at the press or other candidates. >> let's bring in right now cnn political commentator, amanda carpenter a carpenter. this is vintage donald trump. why is today important? what do you make of what just happened? >> first of all, the media was essential in holding trump accountable on this matter. and that said, he doesn't mind creating a spectabcle out of it. donald trump needed to state settle money questions.
not just the issues with veterans but the court case coming up and get a document dump later today. trump wants to resolve these questions, get information out there to preempt the democrats from unloading him because hillary clinton hasn't been able to make those attacks and that's what he's making today all about. >> steve is with us as well. he was deputy campaign manager for john kerry in 2004. steve, also, democrats supporting and raising money for her. we hear a lot from democrats. hillary clinton doesn't get half the attention donald trump does. why don't you cover hillary clinton events? we covered this donald trump press conference right now. do you feel it's helpful to get the press coverage he's getting? >> i don't think 45 minutes of that on live national television was helpful. i think it raises the questions people will have about him and will have about him, does he have the temperament to lead the free world? and i think when we go from the
republican primary process to the general election and speak to 150 million people like that, he's not going to get elected president. >> if you look at it from one angle, and we do also point this out a lot, this is the, how many press conferences has donald trump held? it's almost every day. a lot of folks can't remember the last time hillary clinton held. he does put himself out there and takes a lot of questions. that is something that you don't see coming from hillary clinton. >> unfiltered insults is not necessarily a good strategy. attacking the press, attacksiin the hispanic governor in new mexico, attacking the federal judge in california, again, i don't think that's a path to be president of the united states. i don't think that's what voters look for. hillary clinton talks the a lot of reporters. she does a lot of media. she'll be on cnn. >> i'm with you. >> a lot of sunday shows. i don't know that unfiltered access is necessarily the path to get elected president. >> cnn politics editor mark preston, a few seconds left.
donald trump doing this today, the document dumped second from now in trump university and out in california. what does this campaign want to do right now? >> certainly, they want to deflect any questions regarding the trump university case that we'll hear from in the next couple of hours but what we saw today is donald trump taking his greatest strength which is the ability to raise money for veterans and really increasing his greatest weaknesses, inability to try to capitalize on it and that's what we saw today, john. >> all right, guys. thank you. >> thank you for sitting with us. jake tapper interviews hillary clinton this afternoon on "the lead" at 4:00 eastern only right here on cnn. >> that's all for us. i think that was enough. thank you for joining us. >> "legal view" starts right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello, everyone, i'm ashleigh banfield and welcome to