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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  May 10, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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voters go to polls in west virginia in just a few hours as donald trump tries to clarify his take on taxes and debt. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. trump says he is the king of debt, and he has some surprising things to say about this country's $19 trillion debt. >> the united states government. first of all, you never have to default because you print the money, i hate to tell you. >> i'm going to ask the experts if that passes the truth test. plus, hand to hand combat in the gop has trump's race with hillary clinton heats up. and the justice department
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takes aim at north carolina over the state's bathroom bill as the attorney general compares it to jim crow. an interesting show we have planned for you. but donald trump's talk about the economy making headlines tonight. what would his policies really mean? here to discuss is economic analyst ali bell shi, and cnn global economic analyst ra na fa rue har. is this 2008 all over again? i think i was like anchoring the newsroom in the middle of the afternoon when we had this. what happened? the dow just went down? what's going on? it's good to see you back here. >> we always bring good news. >> so let's talk about this debt issue. donald trump, cnbc late last week. here it is. >> i borrowed knowing that you can pay back with discounts, and i've -- i've done very well with debt. now we're in a different situation with the country, but i would borrow knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. and if the economy was good, it
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was good. so, therefore, you can't lose. >> knowing you could make a deal? that kicked up a whole lot of negative headlines. what do you think? >> that's how it works in the corporate world. when interest rates go up or an industry starts to suffer, let's say you're in the airline industry. either your company is suffering or the entire industry is suffering. investors, lenders, don't know if they'll get their money back. so you say, you know what, i can give you 70% or 80% on the dollar if you tell me you've lent me money and i tell you, hey, suddenly i'm unemployed, you might not get your entire money back, but i'll give you 80 cents on the dollar. >> you're saying that's not how it works in the real world? >> the united states is the safest best in the world for borrowers. just the idea if things go bad, maybe we won't pay it back of if donald trump were closer to presidency. >> as the commander-in-chief, had he said that, what would happen to the markets? >> markets down. it's amazing that he would use
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the faith and credit in u.s. debt as a football the way he is. i mean we are the world's reserve currency, and as ali said, this is junk bond market logic. you know, the point, too is that you have to have money to borrow back to pay for that debt, even if it's 80 cents on the dollar. every time you do something that calls into faith the credit of the u.s., you'r borrowing costs go up. that creates this terrible snowball where you're bore woeing more money to get into debt. >> this morning, this is what he said he really meant. >> so here's the story just to have it corrected. if we have an opportunity where interest rate goes up and you can buy debt back at a discount, i always like to be able to do that if you can do it. that's all i was talking about. >> so how is this better than what he said on thursday? >> so he's basically this is just circular. he's trying to get himself out of saying, i kind of misspoke or what i s dn't really make
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sense. he keeps trying to modify it a little bit. none of it's a hundred percent wrong. he was a guy who was involved in junk bonds. he is a guy who has bought his own debt back at a discount. but now we're talking about being the president of the united states. and when you start playing with this, i want to remind you back one of those times when we were together when the congress didn't lift the debt ceiling on time, the net effect of having done that is going to have ended up costing taxpayers many billions of dollars. this is real money we're talking about. >> this is douglas holtz aiken. he said this about trump's debt idea. he said donald trump might get a good deal one time, but the next president is screwed. you don't want to be the north korea of politics. do you agree with that -- of economics, excuse me, not politics. >> just think about some of the countries that have played fast and loose with their debt recently, greece, argentina. these are pariah countries now. the other thing is this idea that you can just print more
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money and get yourself out of debt that way is, again, that's what zimbabwe does. this is not a club you want to be in. it also hints at something really quite dark, which is the making the fed a political entity. so the fed has to print that money. the fed's always been independent. he's talking about saying, hey, the fed has to do what i say. that's again a very worrisome comment to the market. >> that's not how it works. >> the u.s. can print its own money. but printing your own money to pay your own debt. what's that worth to you? if you knew the u.s. was doing that, all of a sudden the dollar would go down in value. interest rates would go up. we'd have inflation. >> you put the cart before the horse because i wanted to play a sound bite first before you said that. but let's listen to that sound bite because he was trying to clear it up, and then he kicked up a fusz. he fuss. >> first of all, you never have to default because you print the money, i hate to tell you. okay? so there's never a default. >> there you go. >> on that he's right and
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there's agreement across the board that the united states is not likely to ever default on its debt. but he's conflating two issues here. >> but you print money and you get runaway inflation. the other thing that's really interesting to me about this, usually when donald trump makes a kind of a wrong-headed, off the cuff remark about economics, there's some political gain in it. there's some eq. he talked about trade even though his policies aren't great. you can see why they resonate with people in the rust belt that have lost their jobs. >> it doesn't get you voters. i can't figure out what this is about. >> in fact, it has united liberals and conservatives. you read liberal and conservative economists all day today and analysts and they all agree that he doesn't make any sense on this stuff. >> are you reading my mind? >> i was just going to say that it seems like we're, you know -- this panel, this discussion is pretty harsh on donald trump and we're beating up on him a bit. but this is not a partisan discussion. this is purely economics and how the financial system works. >> that's right. i mean he's -- >> is there anything positive to
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say? you said he's right about that, but is there anything that -- >> i got to be on cnn. >> but in truth, a lot of people were very excited about the idea that we're finally getting to issues, that we're finally going to talk about the national debt, which is a major issue, only to find out it's a silly, circular argument. at some point if we are going to talk about this in this election, it's useful to find out where everybody stands. >> i want to play another interview because he had trouble explaining his tax plan. he said taxes for the rich will go up somewhat, then today he says that's not the case. he's really just staking out a negotiating position. listen to this. >> what i said -- and that really is a proposal because we have to go to congress. we have to go to the senate. we have to go to our congressmen and women and we have to negotiate a deal. so it really is a proposal. >> so you said part of it, you said, was junk bond. but this part is sort of a real estate style negotiating tactic that he wants to take to the oval office. could that work? is that workable?
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>> so he's got an interesting situation in that he does not want to cut entitlements. he wants to increase military spending. he wants to do all of these things that have a number of people have measured will increase the debt or reduce the revenue by about $10 trillion. so cnn money has a great write up on why you have to look at this carefully. in the end, you would have to grow the economy at a rate of 16% a year to pay for everything he suggests. we're growing at 2%. >> right. and also there's no evidence -- i mean trickle-down economics, this idea that you can have tax cuts and it's going to bolster growth, that hasn't worked in a while. you look back at the bush tax cuts of 2001, 2003, they didn't bolter growth. the obama tax cuts didn't really bolster growth either. this is conventional republican trickle down economics that hasn't worked in a while. the basic math is if you reduce taxes across the board, unless you close a lot of loopholes which involve contentious wrangling in congress, you have to cut spending.
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>> so this is a discussion that many people have been wanting to have around the issues but yet we're seeing, you know, attack ads and your husband did this and you did that or whatever. so now we're having this discussion about how when people ask for specifics, many people have been asking for specifics not only from donald trump but also from bernie sanders as well. how are you going to pay for all of this? so now we're getting down to it. what does this say -- what should trump supporters be listening to? should they be more open to this conversation because you know they're not. most of them are not. >> i think rana makes a really good point. it's not clear where he gets the points on this one. what he has done is develop a fiscal policy that is at once conservative and liberal. it's increased military spending, increased entitlements, increase everything, lower taxes. it's just weird. bernie sanders at least is fully on one side of the equation, right? tax rich people and banks more to make college education free and have a $15 minimum wage. it's very progressive and very
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liberal. he's all over the map. >> he's trying to have it both ways. what's interesting is he seemed to be going to the left of hillary clinton on trade. he's now appearing to go to the right on taxes and then tack back left. i agree he's all over the map, and there's no details about this. >> i am so glad we had this time together. >> it's so good having you both of you on. >> thank you. >> really nice. thank you very much. when we come back, you think this race has been crazy so far. just wait. the general election is about to heat up. donald trump versus hillary clinton. the gloves are off. look at 'em!
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donald trump stepping up his attacks on hillary clinton. i want to talk about that now with bob cusack, editor in chief of the, bob beckel and conservative political analyst amy holmes. so on friday we were watching as donald trump said hillary clinton was an enabler of bill clinton's infidelity. amy was here. this morning, trump told chris cuomo that clinton is playing the woman's card to the hilt. and now tonight this web video from a clinton super pac. >> she came to my wedding. she ate like a pig. seriously, the wedding cake was -- it was like missing in action. >> does she have a good body? no. does she have a fat ass? absolutely. >> i just don't respect her as a journalist. i think she's highly overrated. but when i came out, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.
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>> so you treat women with respect? >> uh, i can't say that either. >> all right. >> you don't like that. you don't -- what do you think of that ad, amy? >> i don't like the things that donald trump is saying in those ads. how effective it will be in attacking donald trump, i think there are two things. we already know that his disapproval ratings among women are extraordinarily high. like seven in ten women disapprove of him. but it's also an attack on donald trump's character that he's willing to use this type of language, these personal attacks, especially when it comes to women and female femininity. he attacks men, that's true. and bizarrely his supporters say, well, he attacks both genders on a personal basis. i think if he wants to be effective in attacking hillary clinton, he needs to attack her on her record as secretary of state, which is not all that sterling. even hillary clinton couldn't come up with her greatest achievement when asked.
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>> bob beckel, what do you think? only the beginning of what we're going to see? >> i certainly hope so. i think it's a good ad, and i think what it does is -- look, trump's going to try, i think, to try to patch things up with women. and the way to stop him from doing that is use his own words to remind people this guy has had a history of doing this. and you don't expect anything is going to change here. he's dealing with a majority of the voters in this country are women. so, you know, if you stick to where he is now, he's going to have to win 80% of the white male vote which is not going to happen. the other thing i would say is he's playing the male card very well. he gets out there and sort of throws this big macho thing around about women and talks about how men have been abused and all that. this guy is not going to get it right with women, and if he doesn't get it right with women, he's not going to be president, and he won't be president. >> to bob beckel's point the only person who keeps talking about the woman's card is trump. i mean by definition, she may be more qualified to run for
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president than anybody who's running or who has run. >> that's both -- >> in this particular cycle. >> yes. it is both good and bad in this cycle in that this is the year of the outsider and that's why donald trump and ted cruz did so well and bernie sanders is doing so well. but his numbers are very poor among women and that's what he's going after. whether he's using the right strategy, that remains to be seen. we did see this similar type of ads. the electorate is give different. the democrats have used the war on woman card very offensively. trump has tried to push back by going after bill clinton and hillary clinton kind of as a combo deal. we'll see. but fasten you're seat belts. >> i think donald trump does need to go on the offensive, that the democratic party has played the woman card and hillary clinton herself very explicitly when she has said
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that she has a deep personal commitment to having a woman in the white house, that she wants to bring the highest hardest feeling there is in politics, and she's tried to appeal to this female solidarity. you remember what madeleine albright said there's a special place in hell for women who don't support women. donald trump is trying to push back on that, but i don't think his personal attacks are an effective strategy. i want to see conservative arguments, substantive arguments about why hillary clinton is not capable and i don't think she has the track record to be an effective commander-in-chief. >> bob beck el, usually you could say there's a consensus about how republicans feel about this. but do we know how republicans are going to react, you know, in general to this particular video? >> well, i mean i think that what they're reacting to, is they abhor all these things, when he did the megyn kelly did all of this came out.
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most republicans in h-- donald trump and hillary clinton are both known and decided by favorable, unfavorable, by 95% of the people in this country, more than mitt romney ever was when he ran for president in november. so it's fixed, and trump is not going to be able to fix this. it's too much of a history of it. so i think it would be nice to talk about the issues. the problem donald trump has is talking about the issues means he has to talk about the issues and i don't think he knows any of them. anybody that doesn't know the triad should not be president of the united states. >> amy holmes said in one of the earlier panels donald trump does well when he actually talks about those issues. you just heard my panel of experts in the segment before this break down trump's comments on debt and taxes. why do you think voters are unfazed by the thinks donald trump says and according to the experts how little he knows about economic policy? >> well, it's a great question. he has just been basically a trump phenomenon where he has
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been so teflon on a range of issues. a lot of things he said -- you know, one of the things that ben carson publicly said is that donald trump needs to show more humility and i think distance himself from the comments he made previously, that would be a good move. say listen, i was just trying to be an entertainer. i didn't mean anything by it. and i think if he's going to win the independent vote -- and this is going to be up for grabs between hillary clinton and donald trump because a lot of people are not -- they don't like either one of them. so i think he's going to have to be a little -- he's going to have to tone it down. i think that's what paul ryan is going to have to say. but can trump do that remains to be seen. >> bob beckel, you have the last take. you get the last word. >> well, taxes and debt, i mean it's ridiculous. you all say that he's teflon. he's teflon only among that percentage of republican primary and caucus-goers who support the guy, which is a relatively small sliver of america. this guy, the reason he's 67% negative is people have listened
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to the guy over the course of this pitch. you know, donald trump seems to think when he speaks to these people in these rallies, that represents america. it doesn't represent america. it represents a sliver of people who are alienated and it does not represent anywhere near the majority of the country. >> he still has a lot of people who support him. >> where? he's got 10 million voters. >> okay. >> i hate to correct you. >> more votes than any other republican primary contender in history. >> look at this. you're talking about the munchkins. are you talking about -- >> he got more votes than john mccain and for mitt romney actually when they had finished the election last time. >> mitt romney and john mccain went in with the republicans rallying around them. this guy is not doing that. >> i think, bob, the important point is that if donald trump hopes to unite the republican party, which is still an open question because he said that, maybe i don't need to, but he needs to if he wants to become president of the united states, to unify the republican party, he needs to get right on the
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issues with conservatives. he needs to be more substantive, more presidential. it will help him with the gop. it will also help him with those independents that bob was mentioning. >> i tried to give you the last word, bob, in that particular segment, but you didn't do it. stand by, everyone. we'll continue our conversation. don't go anywhere.
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mr. trump goes to washington, but will his meetings with gop leaders thursday bring the party together? back with me now, bob cusack, bob beckel, and amy holmes. bob cusack, to you first. tonight we learned that in addition to the meeting with paul ryan on thursday, donald trump is going to meet with mitch mcconnell and other republican leaders. what needs to happen at these meetings. >> they all have to get on the same page and that's going to be very difficult. paul ryan has suggested he's not a big fan of donald trump, and both mitch mcconnell and paul ryan have denounced trump's ban on muslims. so they've got to get in the room, and they've got to decide how are we going to get on the same page? paul ryan is a -- he likes to talk about policies. he's going to put out this big conservative agenda in the middle of a presidential
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election year, and i think that's to rebut what trump is doing. so this meeting could go well. paul ryan could get on board to some degree and offer his endorsement, but this meeting could also go badly because i think trump is not going to be giving much to these congressional leaders that he's won the nominee, he should be respected. >> they have to get on the same page. they have to be in the same book. i don't even think -- i mean for goodness sakes, we have donald trump who is flip-flopping on taxes, taxing the rich. first he said it will go up. now it will go down. donald trump making statements that he might even threaten to destabilize the u.s. dollar. the $15 minimum wage that he's considering. i mean he is so far outside of the policy play book for paul ryan and conservatives in washington, d.c., there's a lot of -- a lot of reading that needs to be done to stretch the metaphor. >> bob beckel, i know you're a democrat but you have run campaigns before and you know strategy. cnn has learned that dr. ben carson has asked for a meeting
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with paul ryan before the trump meeting. why would he do this? >> he's looking for some advance work to try to get things so they can walk out of that meeting and go before cameras and say, we've made great progress. the problem is that the progress can't be made unless somebody gives. that trump gives on taxes or any range of things or ryan and the republicans give on things they've been united with for years. and i don't think that's going to happen. so what do you do? what do you do in this stage of game? do you say we're going to be form anyway which means you're selling out to your principles. ted cruz today is working very hard to get people to get his delegates placed on the credentials platform committee because i think krifrn h conservatives want to reemphasize the republican platform has been around 23for years and years. >> maybe bob cusack this is why paul ryan told the milwaukee sentinel, he will step aside as the chairman of the gop convention in july if he's asked. what do you think is motivating
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him? do you think he's saying i don't want to be involved in all this craziness? >> paul ryan and donald trump are two very different type of politicians remember pul ryan was on the romney ticket. and we know what romney thinks of donald trump. so ryan respects romney. so this could go in any different ways and he's saying, listen, if we can't have an agreement, i can step down as chairman of the convention. we're seeing a fair amount of republicans who are distancing themselves from trump. some are endorsing. some are very popular in their districts. i think ryan is key. if you can get ryan on the trump bandwagon to some degree, i think a lot of politicians will follow. but that remains to be seen. the bottom line is that politicians think about what they want to get. paul ryan needs to protect his majority, which is extremely large, the largest in 80 years in the house. mitch mcconnell has a very narrow majority and he wants to remain majority leader. and whatever that is going to
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get, that result is what they're going to do. >> bob, do you think there could be a compromise? i mean how long -- and if there is a compromise, more importantly, how long would it last? >> first of all, i can't imagine how you could compromise on the differences here because you've got a big gulf here. there's some substantial differences. >> amy said not even in the book. >> good point. i don't think -- look, donald trump came out. you remember when he won, he said nice things about ted cruz and then all of a sudden the next day he was back to attacking hinl. i don't think that donald trump has got a position in the republican party that will unify the republican party. a number of people are already saying as i pointed out on this show several months ago, they don't want to be his vice president. a lot of people aren't going to show up at the convention and a lot of other people are going to be fishing when he shows up in their state. they can't get associated with him. he names chris christie and his transition guy? are you kidding me? >> i was telling don during the break, i mean there are a lot of conservatives who are still
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angry with chris christie embracing barack obama right before the 2012 election. i'm not really sure why donald trump thinks this is a good strategy to try to bring the republican party together. but one of the things perhaps that they could agree on, you've mentioned the republican party platform at the convention and some, you know, key elements of that. perhaps also for donald trump to take on some trusted and respected conservative economic and foreign policy advisers onto his campaign, that could be helpful to try to bring this together. you know what, at the end of the day, it's up to donald trump, and he's been making remarks that seem to suggest it's not all that important to him. >> bob -- go ahead, bob beckel. >> i was going to say you really think respected republican economists -- there are many of them -- are really going to get aboard. >> larry -- >> most other republican economists have turned on trump viciously in the last week saying it just can't work. it's crazy. >> bob cusack, i want to ask you this. the speaker of the house, as everyone has been saying, they're two completely different
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people, at least policy-wise. one of the things i think he took exception to were donald trump's comments on muslims. so trump told "the new york times" tonight that the newly elected london mayor, sadiq kahn, would be an exception to his ban on muslims. what's your reaction? >> well, he's pivoting, and he might be pivoting too quickly, as amy mentioned changing positions on taxes and minimum wage in a short amount of time. but at the same time, mitt romney didn't pivot enough, and that's part of the reason why he lost and lost kind of big in 2012. they talked about the etch a sketch but they really had no strategy for getting hispanic voters. so thi exception to the muslim policy, i mean donald trump is a deal-maker. and whether he's talking about taxes or anything, he's open to deals. so if paul ryan and mitch mcconnell say, hey, well, what if you take a look at this bill, make it part of your platform, i think donald trump is going to say yes. but the big problem for donald trump is improving his numbers among women and especially hispanics. that's going to be key.
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that's why mitt romney lost in 2012 largely. >> thank you, panel. >> it's going to be impossible. >> coming up, why the attorney general compares north carolina's so-called bathroom bill to jim crow. what's with him? he's happy. your family's finally eating vegetables thanks to our birds eye voila skillet meals. and they only take 15 minutes to make. ahh! birds eye voila so veggie good if you have allergy congestion
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the justice department sued north carolina today over the state's so-called bathroom bill, banning people from using public bathrooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates. the governor fighting back with a lawsuit calling the justice department's decision a radical reinterpretation of title 7 of the civil rights act. a democrat from north carolina's house of representatives is here and roger severino. thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> i want you to listen to what attorney general loretta lynch said earlier today. >> the legislature and the governor placed north carolina in direct opposition to federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender
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identity. more to the point, they created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals who simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security. a right taken for granted by most of us. >> so, roger, you've been on before. i know you disagree. you support this bill. why is that? >> first i have to say i'm very disappointed with my former colleagues in the doj civil rights division. i litigated cases for several years including one of a landlord who was spying on his tenants while they were showering. so it's astounding to see the department of justice now say north carolina cannot prevent men from having unfettered access. it simply does not make any sense, especially since north carolina already allowed accommodations for transgender people and are simply acting to protect the safety of his women and girls.
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it's raw ideology, pure and simple. >> you disagree because you're leading the charge against the north carolina bill. how did we get here if what did you make of mr. severino's comments? >> i completely disagree, and i'm from north carolina. i know what's been going on on the ground here for the last few weeks. and this bill is pure and simple about discrimination, and it is about attacking transgendered and lgbt individuals who are citizens right here in north carolina. and it's about fearmongering and i'm really disappointed to hear roger's comments, once again creating fear and trying to create this hypersensitivity about bathrooms and locker rooms when we know that there's really no evidence about that. there's more danger of a child being molested at home or someone else by someone they know. so this whole bathroom situation is absolutely ridiculous, and the republicans really believe that this was going to be their political issue to help them in november. this was their wedge issue, and
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it has backfired on them, at the same time hurting our economy and hurting north carolina. >> you know, what is your evidence, roger, because the people who don't support the bill would say that, you know, your comments about showering, it's a red herring, it's just to rile people up for your position. what's your evidence of that? >> sure. i wrote an article on it on daily you can check it out. virginia, california, ohio, pennsylvania, maryland all have cases, including washington as well, where people have abused access to bathrooms and showers and locker rooms. men who shouldn't be in places with women and girls and have been convicted and arrested. this is a real problem that will actually be furthered if doj gets its way and says men will have unfettered access to bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. there's another way. there can be accommodations and people who are transgender, who actually change their birth certificates under north carolina law, will be given access to the bathroom of their choice. in that way, all interests will be accommodated. >> do you see this as people
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thinking that you're possibly calling transgender people, saying that transgender people are going to somehow -- something untoward is going to happen to someone in that bathroom by bringing that up? >> not at all. i' what we're saying is there's another side to the issue. for example, there are women victims of sexual assault who simply will be made uncomfortable and retraumatized if they see a biological male changing in front of them in a locker room. these voices need to be heard. they need to be appreciated. this is not all one-sided and north carolina is responding to a real issue to protect women and girls in their state. >> trisha, the attorney general compared the bathroom law to jim crow law and says history is on their side. >> north carolina has had a bad past as everyone knows and we've made tremendous progress in the last few decades, but now we're going backwards.
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this is wrong and i completely disagree with what roger just said and find it highly offensive. if we want to talk about women and children being abused, just look at the numerous bills of legislation that the north carolina republicans have put forward to attack women and children. but let's talk about real crime and child abuse and sex abuse, which is 81% by someone that the person knows, the victim knows. it's not some stranger in a bathroom, and i can assure you that you've been going to bathrooms with transgender people for your whole life, and you haven't even known it. and you're doing just fine. >> mm-hmm. the facts do show, roger, that most people -- most children are abused by people they know, one in six abused by people they know. one in six children are abused, but most of them are by people they know. >> yes, and they should be protected as well. this law doesn't change that at all. this came from the city of charlotte, forcing businesses to change their policies regarding bathrooms. unilaterally forcing people when it was necessary.
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target rent down this route volu voluntarily, and you have people pledging to boycott target because they don't feel their children will be safe. their stock prices tanked as a result. people care about this. it's a divisive issue to be sure, but it kb dealt with sensitively, and north carolina has done just that. it allows transgender people to be accommodate fd they really need it, but it also protects women and children in these sensitive areas. their interests have to be taken into account because their privacy and modesty is at stake. >> a number of other businesses have pulled out and are threa n threatening to full othreate threatening to pull out because of this particular law and those are big, big companies. the financial impact would be dire to north carolina. the governor is defending his lawsuit. he is demanding the federal court clarify anti-discrimination laws. trisha, what's your reaction to that? >> i find it absolutely laughable that he has the
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audacity to talk about overreach when it was the north carolina general assembly that completely inserted itself into the charlotte ordinance, which they do have the right to do. but they selectively pick and choose for political reasons to help them coming up in elections. and so to say overreach, that's absolutely ridiculous. he should do his job. he should be the leader of the state, house bill 2 has been devastating. it's put north carolina on the national map for something we don't deserve. it's affecting our economy. and instead of just passing the buck to someone else, let's actually work as leaders together and try to fix this solution. but we're not going to discriminate against people, and that's what they seem to think is the solution. we cannot discriminate against -- it doesn't matter what size of a portion of society we're talking about. discrimination is always wrong. >> thank you, trisha. thank you, roger. i appreciate it. coming up, as the battle over the basket room bill heats up in north carolina, a group of cadets at west point are under fire all because of this picture.
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the justice department and north carolina battling over the state's so-called bathroom bill. here to discuss, ben fergson and mark lamont hill, cnn political
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commentator. i don't know if you guys have ever met each other. you usually agree, i think. at least that's what i hear. >> always. >> mark, we were just talking about this bathroom bill in north carolina. it's a whole lot of drama for a law that was ultimately made where many say no problem exists. >> it's a solution in search of a problem. there's no real danger here. there are no people lurking to assault children. all of these things are just excuses and pretexts to humiliate and shame trans people who already have to undergo social critique, abuse, exploitation, et cetera. it's sick. >> ben ferguson, do you agree with that? >> i think this bill was actually in response to the activist community that was pushing the issue. this was not something that came out of nowhere in any of the states that are dealing with this. they're now having to respond to people that are wanting to push this issue, that are wanting to make this the next civil rights movement. we saw the attorney general
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today take that bait and say this is the civil rights movement when in reality, it's not crazy to say that if you're a boy, you go to a boy's bathroom. it's not crazy to say if you're a girl, you go to a girl's bathroom. it's not crazy to make sure that the locker rooms are not coed when you're in high school, especially the showers. >> that was never a law before. >> ben, you're misrepresenting the problem. the debate isn't whether boys should go in boys locker rooms. the debate is whether a trans girl is a girl or not. essentially what you're saying is if you identify as a trans girl, you should go in a boys bathroom. >> we can debate that. if a 16-year-old decides to become, in his words, transgendered and wear clothes that he used to not wear, does that mean he should be able to go into the women's locker room and change and shower in there at 16? >> but, again -- >> most parents would say, no, that's inappropriate. >> first studies don't show that most parents say that. you just made that up. >> i strongly disagree with you. i didn't make it up. show me a stat that says the majority of americans -- >> there was a poll --
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>> support guys going into girls bathrooms. >> what you keep doing is misrepresenting the -- >> the poll that was taken asking if they favor a law -- 57% oppose it. almost 60% of people oppose the law. go on. >> there's a difference between a law and saying -- >> but let me -- ben, two things. one, you said that studies show, and there was no study. you have no study. if i'm wrong, feel free after the show -- because i don't want to teak tweak the study that yo >> what i said was. >> let me finish the bigger point. >> you keep saying boys going into girls locker room. you said if somebody at 16 decides they want to be a girl. that's not what trans identity is. this is who they are. this is who they are at their essence. this is what they were born in a body that might be different than their identity suggests or their body parts might not
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reflect their gender identity. it doesn't mean it's a boy who goes into a girls locker room. >> you think somebody is going to identify as trans because -- when you think about what happens in elementary, junior, and high school, especially people who are coming out as gay or whatever, you think someone is going to say, i want to go into the girls locker room, so i'm going to tell everybody that i'm trans knowing the stigma that goes along with trans. ben? >> i think that there are people out there, and there's very, very, very few of them who are going to exploit this to their advantage for their own personal reasons. and that's my concern. i'm not concerned with someone who truly is going to change their life. they have a right to do that. if you want to go through the steps, you want to change your birth certificate, i will respect that, and you can go to that restroom. that's called respecting a difference of opinion. but there are people out there that do exploit these type of situations to be able to gain access to people that they do not need to be around. and the fact is -- but it's not laughable. if you talk to people that have been molested, mark -- >> by trans people?
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name three people in the whole world -- >> okay. hang on. stand by. stand by. stand by. >> let me finish. >> let me finish. as someone, ben -- and i've done the research. as someone who has been abused as a child, it's usually by someone you know. it's usually not by a trans person. >> right. it's usually a family member. >> it's usually by a heterosexual person who knows the child. so you saying, you know, otherwise is completely different than altogethl of the research. >> mark, we know statistically, and, don, those people that have access to children, especially those that are family members or are close people with a family, it is easier for them to molest someone because they have access. but we also know that people do cross the line in these schools, in bathrooms, and we've seen it happen before. and we've seen the arrests happen before. >> but none of them were trans. none of them were trans. >> there's no reason to believe that a trans person is more likely to -- >> can you guarantee me, mark --
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mark, can you guarantee me that if you make the rules and you change the rules where a grown man can go in the bathroom with young girls, are you telling me -- >> i'm not suggesting that. >> that no one is going to exploit that? come on. >> that's a false argument because there are no absolutes. >> first, ben, again i reject and i actually resent this idea that it's a man going into a women's bathroom. these aren't fakers. these aren't people who are pretending to be something. a trans woman is a woman, not a guy going -- >> end of story because i want to talk about this photo, okay? these are female african-american west point graduates, okay? so they are allegedly being investigated for holding up the fist, right? which they think -- people think it has something to do with black lives matter movement. is this a problem? it's under investigation. should they somehow face some sort of, you know, expulsion or suspension or something for this? >> it's ridiculous.
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the fist signifies power, unity, self-determination. what west point says is that you can't have a partisan affiliation. there is nothing partisan about holding up a black fist or any fist. the fact that it might scare some folk is not enough for them to lose their position. >> not just black people hold up fists in ferguson. >> i said black fists or white fists. >> here's the thing. it doesn't scare me first off. >> you sure? >> i do think it was a political statement and i think whether it be holding up a make america great again sign or supporting a republican. when you wear a uniform, you're supposed to be non-political. it's a very clear rule. if you don't like rules, don't go to west point. it's pretty clear when you go to west point, there's a ton of rules that you have to deal with. so rules -- >> the rules say you can't be partisan, ben. >> right. and i think this was obviously trying to make a statement. do you really believe that this picture was not talked about tonight because it was a statement? >> i want to get this in.
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>> lots of things are statements. >> at west point, they don't like it when you make statements. >> ben, it's the most political thing you can do. doing this isn't -- >> okay. >> when you go to west point, you agree to the rules. no one forces you to go to west point. you agree to the rules. >> that ain't one of the riles. >> thank you. bye-bye. we'll be right back. >> see you guys. >> bye. . . .
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that's it for us tonight. we will see you right back here at 10:00 tonight. "early start" with john berman and christine romans begins in new york right now. >> voters hitting the polls in west virginia and nebraska. donald trump has the nomination locked up. will up coming meeting release the tension in the gop? hillary clinton may be the democratic front runner, but is she an under dog in west virginia? and at least two dead, homes destroyed and cars overturned. tornadoes tearing across the plains


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