tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 21, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT
the question voters on both sides are asking, is this any way to run a campaign? this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. clinton versus sanders. trump versus cruz and kasich. how long will it take for the front-runners to seal the deal and pivot to the general election? and if it all comes down to hillary clinton versus donald trump, how will bernie sanders supporters vote? could they actually switch to trump? let's get right now to cnn's jim acosta with the trump campaign in maryland. good evening to you, jim acosta. we saw a different, more diplomatic donald trump in last night's speech. but how about today? >> reporter: right. yeah, i don, i think we can toss that donald trump and the rhetoric we heard last night, which was much softer, i think that's out of the picture. donald trump went back to being
donald trump today, and i think that is an acknowledgement of what they feel inside the campaign, that donald trump is going to set the tone for this campaign. you know, out on the campaign trail in indianapolis and here in maryland, he went right back to referring to ted cruz as lyin' tid. last night he referred to him as senator cruz. and hillary clinton is now crooked hillary is the way donald trump describes her. at one point during his remarks this evening here in maryland, don, he suggested that as president he will continue -- or he wants to investigate hillary clinton's e-mail practices. so nothing has changed in terms of that. i think if anything, we had a brief reprieve from it last night in new york. >> interesting. so donald trump is trying to pivot to the general election, saying that ted cruz is all but finished mathematically. but i mean he still had to win a delegates, jim, to capture this nomination. what's the strategy going forward? >> reporter: that's right. you know, we obtained an internal campaign memo earlier
today that is essentially distributed to surrogates. when sur gags go on tv, they essentially have the trump campaign talking points. what they're talking about is once again what they consider to be this rigged system of allocating delegates inside the republican party. not only is donald trump saying this out on the campaign trail. they want their surrogates to say this as well. and, you know, this is basically a strategy to take all the way to the convention. if they don't have the delegates they need to clinch the nomination, they can say, listen, this is a rigged system, and it gives donald trump essentially that opening if he wants to bolt the republican. this is what he can blame. we'll put this on screen because one of the things mentioned in this memo is donald trump's belief that the establishment is essentially afraid of what he's trying to bring to the republican party. and we could quote from this memo here. it says, quote, this movement scares the hell out of them, talking about the establishment, and the people scare them. so they will do whatever they can to keep power. so, you know, this is something that we've never seen before,
don. think back to 2012. would a mitt romney campaign member ever have said something like this? absolutely not. shows you this is a different gop front-runner we're dealing with this time around. >> we thought 2008 and 2012, we thought those years were crazy, but this -- you know, we hadn't seen anything then. jim acosta, thank you very much. see you soon. i want to bring in cnn's jamie gangel who went behind the scenes with the unanimous who may have the worst job in washington. he's going to have to deal with all this. he's been having to deal with donald trump and ted cruz and john kasich and the entire thing. >> correct. there are two parts of his life. there is his life before donald trump, when he was the savior of the gop party, raising millions of dollars, revolutionizing technology, data, opening up the party. and then there is his life after donald trump, when he's found himself in the middle of a firestorm. so we started by asking him have
there really been shenanigans to get rid of donald trump? and a question he did not want to answer, which is what does he really think of the three gop candidates. i want to do a quick lightning round with you. okay? word association. >> oh, great. >> okay. here we go. >> these are trouble. >> i say john kasich. you say? >> great governor. >> ted cruz. >> smart. >> donald trump. >> big. >> meaning? >> everything he does is big. lots of attention. >> you have no -- you're laughing. why are you laughing? >> these are like the uncharted waters of being chairman of the rnc. spontaneity is not usually your friend. >> and that's the least of his problems. >> hey, it's reince. >> without a doubt, reince
priebus, the mild-mannered 44-year-old lawyer from wisconsin, has the toughest job in politics this year. >> good morning. >> working 20-hour days. >> you should come. >> preparing for the possibility of a contested convention. >> i think the system is working. >> and navigating the gop through the year of trump. >> the system is rigged. these are dirty tricksters. >> it's a crooked system. >> the republican national committee, they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of crap to happen. >> non-stop damage control. >> i find it to be rhetoric and hyperbole. this is a very normal system that we've been using for many years. >> sometimes you can't fix it. sometimes you can just take a seven-alarm fire and just make it a four-alarm fire. it's still burning, but it's not as bad as it was. i don't want you to feel sorry for me. i signed up for this.
>> you are the man in the middle. you have donald trump doing his thing. and then you have the gop establishment, whatever that is. >> yeah, that's a word that apparently no one can quite define. but, yeah, i understand. >> all those people over there who are not on the same side as donald trump, they're saying, well, it's all your fault. how did you let trump -- why didn't you get rid of him? >> yeah. well, look, being in the middle, you have to accept the fact that there is a thousand opinions. i mean i'm so used to it that i don't -- i don't even care. it doesn't bother me. >> you're not pulling out your hair? >> not -- no, i'm not. people assume, oh, you must be miserable. you've got a horrible job. but i don't see it that way. i'm not -- i'm not pouring bailey's in my cereal. i'm not sitting here trying to
independent too the johnny walker. this is fun. >> in fact, the day we spent with him, he raised $1.2 million with just a few phone calls. >> let's talk about money. >> took a brief break for hoops. >> i'm going to take you guys down. we have a shot off this ball. there we go. come on. >> and showed off his prized possessions. the gavel? >> the gavel. this is when i actually won in 2011. >> ever attempted to use it? >> well, i don't have to try that hard. this is the chair that clint eastwood spoke to actually at the convention. >> really? >> this is the one that -- yeah. so when this all happened, you know, i obviously was perplexed when i was watching it. >> you and everyone else. >> and then when i leaned over -- because i was down behind the stage most of the time. i leaned over the balcony to
look and see the center teleprompter, and it was blank. and i thought, oh, my gosh, there's nothing on that screen. he's just winging it. and then i remember going back. i left, went back behind the stage, and i told the chief of staff at the time, i said get me the chair. >> he also keeps three items nearby he says are critical for getting through the day. the greek orthodox liturgy, the republican party platform -- >> this is my safe zone. >> and this. >> and of course i've got the brewers' schedule on top because i will put on, you know, mlb tv and have that in the background if i need to not watch the news. >> other escapes? time with his family. >> try to eat with cameras in your face. >> and he plays the piano really well. ♪ >> so i just goof off. that's what i do. that's how i play.
>> but priebus admits he's always been a proud political nerd. as early as third grade, he was lobbying classmates to support ronald reagan, and he even used the gop to woo his wife. >> you went to prom together, but sally, on your first date, he took you to a political dinner. he took you to the lincoln day dinner. >> right. >> swept you off your feet. >> right. >> what kind of first date is that? >> it's crazy. i think he tricked me. i think he tricked me, and i ended up at the political event, which i didn't know about at first because he told me we were going to the movies. but, you know, we made it. it was pretty boring. it was pretty bad, but we did go to the movie afterward, and we had a great time. >> and he says you can't say you didn't know what you were getting into. >> right. right. i did. >> that said, neither one ever thought their lives would be
consumed by the roller coaster of donald trump. >> reince is very strong. he has a thick skin. he lets it roll off his shoulders. he's -- you know, he's tough. he doesn't tolerate a lot of drama. >> including rumors that he might try to convince one of his best friends, speaker paul ryan, to be a so-called white knight candidate in a contested convention. >> he would kill me, and i wouldn't do it. and i agree with him. i don't -- you have to want to actually be president of the united states. he doesn't want to be right now, and he's not going to have a floor operation to get it done. it won't happen. >> he said if i do that, he'll kill me. >> yeah, yeah. >> you would kill him? >> yes, i would. yes, i would. >> an old political pro told me to be rnc party chairman, you're either the bravest person in town or the craziest person in town. which is it for him? >> it probably requires a little bit of both would be my guess,
especially these days. reince is -- i'd put him in the bravest category. >> brave or crazy, priebus insists his only concern is being neutral. for the record, are you conspiring against donald trump? >> of course not. of course not. >> is there a plan to steal the nomination? >> no, there's nothing to steal. i mean either you have the votes or you don't. >> and you will be at peace if he is the nominee? >> i'm going to be at peace with whoever the nominee is because i know that whoever the nominee is is going to beat hillary clinton. >> so, jamie, you know, it's a tough job. i'm not sure anyone would want to be in his shoes with donald trump attacking him, saying he should be ashamed of himself. i believe him when he says it doesn't bother him much, but some of it has to penetrate a little bit, doesn't it? >> we spent a lot of time with him. he gets frustrated, and he does not like it when the party is attacked. his favorite word these days is "transparent." he wants to really be neutral.
that said, i will tell you he told us straight out, i get a long with donald trump. you're laughing. >> because here's the thing. i'm laughing because i think if most people, if you meet donald trump in person, he's a very personable guy. but then some of the -- you know, when you see him out on the campaign trail and then you see these bombasts, you're like who is this guy i met in person? >> that's what happened to him. remember a couple of weeks ago, trump went down to the rnc. they had this meeting. everything was fine and dandy. then the delegate thing came up, and trump goes, as we say, crackatella about it. but priebus said, look, he sees that as a political move to energize his base and get out the vote. >> so how much scrutiny is he under, and does he feel the pressure of trying to prove to everyone that the system is not rigged, that the process isn't rigged? >> that i think is frtrue, and think it's the reason he's never
done a profile like this before. his wife has never done an interview. i really think he wanted to show exactly that open book. >> my firefighteavorite? >> the liked the piano. >> he's an award-winning pianist. >> he's a complicated and very talented person. >> right. >> but i liked the sense of humor he had about the clint eastwood moment and that he keeps the chair in his office. >> absolutely. >> because as head of the party, wouldn't you be like oh, my gosh. what the heck is he going to say? >> he said, go get me that chair. >> what did you -- did you learn anything -- i guess you probably learned a lot about him that was unexpected. i mean, you know, i'm sure you did your research on him. but being there with him, what did you think? is he worried that donald trump says, i'm going to fire reince priebus as soon as i become the nominee? >> first of all, he's elected to office, so he can't get fired. also he speaks very openly that apart from anything else, this was really going to be his last term. i think one of the hardest
things on him is that there are gop establishment folks who blame him for donald trump. they think he's been too fair. so he's getting -- he's going to have to get some more body armor because he's getting it from both sides. >> and cleveland is coming up, and he's going to really -- >> get ready. >> get ready for all the criticism and every going after him. thank you very much, jamie. don't go anywhere. we're going to continue to talk with you. when we come back, donald trump's landslide victory in new york hasn't turned him into a kinder, gentler candidate. he still says the system is rigged and the supporters are eating it up. but is he on the verge of winning enough delegates that none of that will matter? "credit karma says my credit score just went up!"
donald trump wasting no time after his big victory in new york hitting the campaign trail tonight in maryland, one of the five states in the northeast holding primaries. back with me now, jamie gangel, bob beckel, author of, i should be dead. and republican strategist john brabender is here as well as matt lewis, senior contributor to the daily caller and author of "too dumb to fail." good to have all of you. he won in a landslide last night, winning almost all the available delegates. yet, he is still calling the system rigged. let's take a listen to his victory speech. >> nobody should be given
delegates, which is a ticket to victory, and it's not a fair ticket. and even though we're leading by a lot and we can't be caught, it's impossible to catch us, nobody should take delegates and claim victory unless they get those delegates with voters and voting. and that's what's going to happen, and you watch, because the people aren't going to stand for it. it's a crooked system. it's a system that's rigged, and we're going to go back to the old way. it's called you vote, and you win. >> this seems to be the new speech for donald trump at the moment. is it working with his supporters, matt? >> it certainly works with his supporters. there's a strategy behind this, and it could even play out in cleveland, where you have people intimidated or pressured because there's a sense that it's being stolen. of course it's a complete strategy. but i feel like right now donald trump also has this identity crisis happening. what you're seeing with trump is a microcosm of the trump campai campaign. on one hand, there's a sense that he should soften his
rhetoric a little bit, be more professional, be more presidential. on the other hand, there's the old donald trump instinct, let trump be trump. it's got him this far. keep doing it. >> jamie, do you have an idea -- first of all -- yeah, go ahead. i wanted to put up the numbers about how the system is actually working in donald trump's favor, but he'scomplaining. when you said the old donald trump versus the new donald trump campaign, do you have some ideas about how the two might merge and he becomes one singular candidate out of this? >> i don't know that he will ever become one singular candidate just because we saw one last night, and then he was right back to the old donald trump today. but i do think that you're seeing two tracks on the campaign. you're seeing the old donald trump track, and then you're seeing the paul manafort and friends track. and they are going to handle this in a very different way. they're going to be more
professional -- >> teleprompters. >> teleprompters, try to discipline. and some days, they'll succeed. and some days, they won't. >> okay. so let's talk about the system being rigged because, listen, according to our numbers here, donald trump has won 47% of the delegates so far. and about 38% of the votes across all contests. so, you know, the delegate process is actually in his favor because it's almost 50%. but he keeps saying, you know, it's rigged, it's rigged. >> yeah, well it's a byzantine and archaic system, and it is rigged for donald trump as you can see. he's actually overperforming. he's gotten more delegates than he should have if it were purely based on the votes. but it's also a good talking point. and i would say that the establishment has done a very poor job heretofore of pushing back, saying it's rigged, the fix is in as a bumper sticker message. finally tonight a saw sean
spicer, a republican rnc go had an analogy that made a lot of sense. he said, it's like a football game. if you get close, you don't win. so if you get to the 2-yard-line, we don't give you a touchdown. >> it's not like horseshoes. >> exactly. >> john, what's your take on this? >> well, look, i advise candidates on messaging, and i do think donald trump is making a mistake right now. everything is about what if he doesn't get to the magic number? how does he get people saying, i still want to have him? the way to do that is first talk about hillary clinton. for our party, she's the great unifier. you talk about hillary, everybody on our side gets unified on wanting to beat her. second of all, i do think he has to offer more of a vision and get rid of just talking about delegates. he's got to get people to say, i can see him as my president. i can support him, and i think he can beat hillary. and i don't think that's where the rhetoric is right now. >> bob beckel, your turn. >> thank you. i think getting donald trump to be different than donald trump would be like getting me to be a
republican. it ain't going to happen. and, number two, you don't -- the other thing you've got to consider here is this is all part of the 100 vote strategy. he gets within 100 votes, he's going to win this thing. he's going to keep the pressure up about a rigged system so he can go to the delegates that are not committed. it's a smart strategy. the last thing i would say is who in their right mind would run on a ticket with donald trump if they had any political future? ask yourself, if you were adviser to a senator or governor, would you say take that job? >> listen, if you believe the people who support him and donald trump, they could end up working for the next president of the united states. i mean not many people -- >> where were you last night? were you out late last night? >> honestly, a lot of people who are supporting are people who have a bright future behind that, the scott browns of the world, the rudy giulianis. >> corey lewandowsky, they have been behind him from the very
beginning when just about everyone else said he doesn't stand a chance. even you, bob beckel, said this is going to go until september -- >> he doesn't stand a chance. here's the test of this. you find me a senate candidate in a marginal seat who will appear with donald trump in their state. they'll be on the other side of the state, but they ain't going to appear with trump. who would? >> john -- >> i mean really. >> i'm just glad that bob earlier said that hillary can win from jail because it's clear the democrats are working on that campaign plan. >> that goes back to another segment that we had that bob beckel said in our 10:00 show. i want to talk about something bob said regarding this magic 100 number because cnn obtained a copy of an internal campaign memo and it predicts trump will get 1,400 delegates before the convention. that's well over that 1,237 magic number. do you think that he can do that, john? >> i think that based on the
momentum from yesterday, where he got 60-some percent of the vote. cruz got last than 15. you're going to have five states next week where i think donald trump may very well run the table. i think there's going to be a certain inevitability. i think there's going to be fatigue among the republicans saying why do we keep hitting our head against the wall? maybe we have to figure out if he's really going to win this many delegates, how to actually join him rather than fight him. i think there's a real possibility if he does run the table next week. >> jam may, there are many on the democratic side who are hoping for the turmoil on the republican side for a contested convention. when if he's able to win this nomination outright? what happens with their strategy? >> the strategy goes away. you know, on the other hand, he is -- he's going to do donald things, so there's always a lot of material. >> and there's so much video footage of things he's done anyway. even if he became mr., you know,
big wins in new york for donald trump and hillary clinton, changing the dynamics of both the republican and the democratic races. back with me, jamie gangel. jamie, you're basically just co-hosting the show with me tonight. >> i'm so happy to be here. >> bob beckel is here, john brabender, and matt lewis. listen, donald trump and hillary clinton are one step closer to becoming the presidential nominees of their parties. but what happens in november if this is a matchup? megan mccain says she shinks that bernie supporters could actually throw their weight behind trump instead of clinton. >> bernie sanders is a cult leader, and he has a bunch of cult followers, i saw people
saying last night they would vote for trump over clinton. don't underestimate -- i was going to say something inappropriate, but how angry bernie sanders supporters, the young millennials who have bought into this cult, how angry they're going to be at her. >> okay, mr. beckel. let's assume for a moment that trumps wins the republican nomination. you have said there is no way that trump can win the general election. i mean do you think trump can get some of bernie's supporters? >> well, if they're drunk enough. i don't -- listen, the chances of anybody who supports bernie sanders, be they black, women, latinos, millennials, they're not going to do it. i mean it's just -- it is so -- i don't know who gave you -- you're a smart guy. whoever gave you that lead out on that last break was crazy. tell the writers to get that off. i don't want to see you go with that. >> i wrote it myself, bob. i'm going to say that jamie -- raise your hand. jamie gangel is going to -- you know, will defer, will differ.
they thinks it's possibility. >> i'm a big fan of jamie gangel's but i'm not going to give her the political analyst's hat yet. i think for her sake, she's a brilliant person. stay away from politics. >> let her have her say. go ahead. >> i was trying to give her an out, man. >> bob, i love you. we've known each other a long time. so this is just anecdotal. but i will tell you that in the last six months out on the campaign trail, talking to civilians, i cannot tell you the number of times when i would say to someone, who are you going to support? they said donald trump. and then i would say, well, if it's not donald trump, who would you support because frankly i was trying to figure out where in the republican field they would go next. and inevitably, the answer was bernie sanders. i apologize, bob. i apologize. >> there is something to that, right? so they're both consummate outsiders, and the populists say
they're both against, you know, adventurism. there's both against free trade, and they're both tapping into this working class, white, angst and frustration out there. can you blame immigration as trump does. you can blame globalization as trump and sanders does. nobody blames automation, which actually is a big part of this story. but there is something out there. i don't know that they're going to actually end up showing up. i think more likely they stay home. >> so that's it before i get really in trouble with my old friend bob beckel here. i will say those are anecdotal stories, and i truly believe what's much more likely is those folks will stay home. they won't vote for anyone. >> i would tell anecdotal stories about what people would say to me about donald trump, especially after intervewing them, looking over their shoulder and saying, you know, don, i like that trump guy, and it has, you know, transferred to them actually going out -- people actually going out to
vote for him. so my question, john, is are democrats underestimating how angry these young millennial voters are just as they underestimated donald trump's appeal? >> yeah, and i did. and i think a republiclot of res did. the truth of the matter is, at least what i've come to believe, is that donald trump is not about donald trump. it's about the people who are supporting donald trump, and they're channeling through them. he's they're megaphone, their lobbyist because they would never be able to afford a lobbyist. they like the fact that he irritates people that are on this show and that he irritates the establishment, and they see that as he's authentic. because of that, they are going to be there for him come hell or high water in november. and i disagree with bob. i think that hillary will lose from jail. >> listen, keep this number in mind. 62% negative. that's never happened. he couldn't win a rigged election in cuba. i mean it's just not going to happen. >> clinton's negatives are high as well. >> yes, they are, but they're
moveable. trump's are not moveable. back to buildings, come on. >> trump went through a lot more incoming than hillary has come through so far, and i think that her unfavorables are going to go a lot higher. >> for 25 years she's been under incoming. >> she complains about bernie sanders and, you know, it's like going to tea parties there, you know. not the kind on our party, you know, where they rough up each other. i mean the truth of the matter is hillary's had a pretty easy ride. we haven't spent a lot of time about whether she is going to go to jail or not. and at some point, a lot of this is going to be talk about that. >> bob, listen, i know that if you can, you know, separate yourself from what you actually believe is going to happen and just become a political -- someone who has seen the process before, let's just say that these voters, it does happen. how much will it hurt hillary clinton if these voters stay home? >> well, not much. i mean a lot of these voters are
not going to be -- i mean will it hurt her? maybe in michigan a little bit. maybe in illinois a little bit. but i just don't see the coalition of trump voters who are going to -- they'll stay home. they won't vote for hillary clinton. there's no question about that. but the idea the trump voters would vote for sanders or sanders voters would vote for trump, you're talking about a cold war here. would the russians vote for the americans? no. i am being a political analyst, and i'm telling you this ain't going to happen. >> so, listen, donald trump, though, has already drawn a comparison between himself and bernie sanders. he says bernie wins and wins and wins, and the pundits say he can't win, just like they do about him. so is he already trying to appeal to these voters? take it away, whoever wants it. >> why not? >> okay. matt? >> i don't think he's trying to appeal to the voters. i think what he's trying to do is make this a bipartisan argument in a sense that it's not -- it's the american people feel like the game is rigged, and the american people feel like we're not winning and that we're having these horrible
trade deals and we're getting involved in -- and that the elites are controlling things. i think he's making that a bipartisan argument. and there is -- i mean i think that resonates. >> donald trump speaks out against wall street. bernie sanders speaks out against wall street. they separate on some -- >> if donald trump runs against hillary clinton, he could hit hillary from the left on a lot of things and frankly his arguments against hillary would be very similar to bernie's arguments against hillary. >> thank you, everyone. bob, i got to go. >> that's fine. when we come right back, president obama's chilly reception in saudi arabia.
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the families of 9/11 victims are expressing outrage over the white house threat to veto a bill that would allow them to sue saudi arabia. that's as president barack obama meets in saudi arabia with the king. officials saying they cleared the air amid tensions between the longtime ally. joining me now, ari fleischer,
former white house press secretary. the obama administration argues this bill would allow other countries to retaliate against americans with their own legislation. is that a valid argument. >> i think there's a lot to be concerned about because there is part validity to it. for example, the united states military, we operate in syria. we operate in iraq. we operate in a number of nations. we operated in libya. if our military kills civilians, will we now lose our immunity? will our pilots, our military now have to go to courts in other lands and be sued? this opens up a world that has previously been closes. immunity has been an agreement that has benefited the united states around the world. if we start to unravel it now, here, we could be at risk if other nations misinterpret it to target us. >> saudi officials have long denied any involvement in the 9/11 plot, and the 9/11 commission has found no evidence that the saudi government or senior saudi officials individually funded the plot. do you believe they played a role and at what level? >> i would very much like to see
the 28-page classified senate report. i have no problem if that gets made public. i'd like to know what they know. based on what the 9/11 showed and what i knew from the bush administration, the saudi government was actually tremendously helpful to us in fighting terror. there was no evidence that the saudi government played any role in september 11th. below the highest levels of the saudi government, saudis do play a two-faced game. they wink and look the other way as many of their princes and underlings and other people from the hobbyist institutions and pay money to make terrorism go away inside their own borders. pakistan and saudi are two of the nations that have the most two-faced approaches. but at the top levels of the government, the king, the foreign minister, the minister of intelligence, the top people in the military, they were powerfully pro-american and have been for a long time. >> let's talk more about the 28-page report that you're talking about. on monday, president obama and the white house said it's almost finished with a review of the confidential 28-page sxz of the
report and can determine whether it's going to be declassified. families of 9/11 victims would like to see these 28 pages be released. do you think they should be? >> absolutely. i think people have a right to know what happened. if there's something that they have that the 9/11 commission did not have, we all have a right to know. >> why are they classified? >> i suspect because of sources and methods. that's probably the best reason why, because they have something that indicates how we got something and they don't want that known. >> the president landed in saudi arabia today where he will work to ease tensions between washington and riyadh. what do you make of his visit? >> i think the united states sadly has missed a tremendous opportunity in the middle east. there's been historic strategic realignment that puts israel, egypt, saudi arabia, jordan on one side and iran and a couple other nations on another size. and we have taken the side basically of iran against saudi arabia. that baffles me. and so the united states has bad relations with saudi arabia right now basically because of our acwee essence to iran and
are missing the boat an a big strategic realignment. >> ari fleischer, thanks. >> thank you, don. i want to discuss this with jim richards, the former deputy chief of the new york fire department. his son lost his life on 9/11. thank you for being with us and i'm so sorry for your loss. i want to -- your son lost his life in the world trade center. >> he was a fireman. he died in the north tower. >> i want to get your reaction to this because this bill would allow victims' families to sue the saudis. you want to see this passed, but even the bill's co-sponsor, lindsey graham, has put a hold on the bill over concerns that the new changes could expose the u.s. to legal attacks. what's your reaction to that? >> i think -- i mean i'm sitting here listening to the bush administration saying people told us about the weapons of mass destruction. they told us at ground zero everything was fine. everybody got sick. they have some nerve. i mean we should be allowed -- all we're doing is looking for a right to sue, not -- you know,
they can go to court, and what they're doing now is they have sovereign immunity. this law will wipe out the sovereign immunity and we'll be able to go to court and sue them if they abetted, aided the terrorists. >> what do you say to lindsey graham, who is the co-sponsor of the bill saying this could open up the u.s. to legal attacks? >> he sponsored the bill and now all of a sudden, maybe saudi arabia has a lobby down in washington. i think the families deserve the right. this was not a routine attack. it's not a routine thing. this was a mass murder of people. we need this legislation to prevent this from happening again, to punish the people that fund these attacks. and we have nothing right now. and if we continue like that, we'll never have nothing. >> you say it's a slap in the face to the families, and do you think that the white house -- and now lindsey graham, do you think they're looking at a bigger picture? >> i think there's looking at something else between saudi arabia and them. they ought to think of the
american families who lost their loved ones that day. 3,000 people died. i picked up the parts down there. they're worried about the saudi arabia feelings. let them doe what they want. we have to stop the terrorists with the funding and everything else. right now we're not doing it. president obama was going to reject the bill. he didn't even read the 28 pages in the classified report and he's saying we're going to get routine lawsuits. 9/11 was not routine. it was a major, major attack. we need legislation to prevent countries from doing this. otherwise, paris is going to happen again. san bernardino and 9/11 is going to happen again and again unless we hold these people accountable. >> ari fleischer said that the administration is worried this could put americans overseas in jeopardy. do you agree with that? >> i don't agree with that. this is legislation that's strictly for terrorist attacks. we're not going to be support terrorist attacks. if you do, you do deserve to be sued and be held accountable.
that's what it's about. they're worried about routine lawsuits. there's nothing routine about 9/11. for them to say that, it's ridiculous. >> you say you believe the president didn't read the 28-page classified report. but you want that report to be released. why is that so important to you? >> it's so important to us because we want to have the right to sue and we also want to bring this information into the court. if you look at those 28 pages, some of the people that have read it, down in san diego embassies, money exchanged hands between handlers and the 9/11 hijackers from the saudi embassy out there. they treated these people with kid gloves. the bush administration flew 100 people right after 9/11, of the bin laden family back to saudi arabia while we, the firemen, were looking for our loved ones. let's not worry about their feelings. let's worry about the country, prevent these attacks from happening. and if we do this with this bill, we'll prevent these countries. they'll be held accountable because nobody has been held
actab accountable for 9/11. all we're doing is being able to go to court. if they're not guilty, they'll be able to defend themselves. if these pages show they didn't, they'll be off the hook, so i don't know what they're worried about. >> if you're allowed to sue, what will you sue for? what do you want? >> i'm not even -- we're not evening thinking about money or anything like that. we want accountability. we want it to be known that saudi arabia, if you look at these pages, that they said it doesn't affect national security, but that's the reason they held them. why did they hold them up? was it because bush and them had oil ties with the king of saudi arabia? we have to ask these questions. why did they protect them? they had numerous things in these 28 pages where local police departments had information, and the fbi squashed it. they said, no, no, it's the saudis. leave them alone. this is in those 28 pages. let's release them. those who forget history are
doomed to repeat it. but we're never going to get to know the history if they hide it from us. >> have you been paying to the president's trip and what do you think of it? >> i just saw he got a cool reception at the airport, and i think he ought to put them right in their place and say, listen, if you're not guilty, you have nothing to worry about. and the families deserve -- there's 3,000 families heartbroken. our hearts pour out every day. my son's never going to walk back in the door. we deserve to see the 28 pages and it would be a good law to prevent future attacks in the future like paris, san bernardino, 9/11, and we don't want them happening here on american soil. that's what they're going to protect. >> thank you again. we're sorry for your loss. i really appreciate you coming in. thank you. we'll be right back. "ow..."
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anthony bourdain is back this sunday with an all new season of parts unknown. in the premiere, he heads to the capital of the philippines, manila, and discovers what he says is the best thing you could ever eat with a cold beer. >> night in metro manila and i'm ready for my single favorite filipino street food, possibly the best thing you could ever
eat with a cold beer. i'm talking, of course, about hod sizzling pig face with a runny egg on top, and you better ask somebody because nothing is getting in between me and this spicy, chewy, fatty goodness. >> fix it up and go? >> there's a lot of restaurants here, but here is the best. >> this is really, really good. >> this evening's dining companions, cover band regatta. ♪ . >> you may remember them from such epic office christmas parties as last night's. ♪ >> this is the christmas season. a lot of christmas parties? >> yes. >> a lot of work? >> yeah. >> a big season. >> all over southeast asia, any hotel lobby, any hotel bar, there's a filipino band.
>> exactly. >> and i've sat there drunk and challenged band after band, all of dark side of the moon, no problem. all of guns n roses, no problem. >> make sure you tune in sunday night at 9:00 for the premiere of the all new season of "parts unknown" with anthony bourdain right here on cnn. we'll be right back. . . . .
that's it for us. i'll see you right back here tonight at 10:00. "early start" with john berman and christine romans starts now. presidential candidates back on the campaign trail. new strategies in play as a critical day of primary elections nears. criminal charges filed in the flint water crisis. and a chilling welcome for president obama. will a strained relationship prevent any progress on isis? welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> nice to see you. i'm john berman. it is 4:00 a.m. in the east. this morning, it is a new/old donald trump on the campaign