AP calls Clinton the Democratic nominee, while Trump remarks about judge alienate GOP

The AP has declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee, a conclusion that was reaffirmed when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed her -- although Sen. Bernie Sanders is still hoping for an upset in California. Meanwhile, Donald Trump faces criticism from the GOP over his racially charged standoff with a judge. Political director Lisa Desjardins and John Yang report.

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    First up: the 2016 contest for president.

    From one end of the country to the other, it was a day for voting, for delegate-counting, distancing, and a little explaining.

  • WOMAN:

    You think you're going here today?

  • SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, Democratic Presidential Candidate:

    I think we got a shot.


    Senator Bernie Sanders making one last push in California this morning, in San Francisco, hoping not just for votes, but for an argument to keep his campaign going.

    Overnight, the Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton now has enough delegates to nail down the Democratic nomination. She touted the news in Long Beach, but urged her supporters not to relax.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: I got to tell you, according to the news, we are in the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment.



    But we still have work to do, don't we?


    All told, another 694 delegates are at stake in the states voting today.

    Bernie Sanders appealed to his voters to disregard the delegate count.


    That's really not accurate. And that's not me talking. That is the Democratic National Committee, who says that the media shouldn't lump together the pledged delegates, which are real delegates pledged to a candidate, and superdelegates, who will not be voting until July 25, and who have the right to change their mind.


    But any way you count delegates, Clinton was well ahead going into the day's primaries. Significantly, if you look at just pledged delegates, the one Sanders sees as real delegates, Clinton led Sanders by 291 this afternoon.

    When superdelegates are included, the Associated Press had Clinton at the magic number, 2,383, more than 800 ahead. One of the most prominent superdelegates lined up behind her this morning. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California officially ended her neutrality on ABC.

    REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), Minority Leader: I have voted for Hillary Clinton for president of the United States, and proud to endorse her for that position.


    It is history eight years to the day since Clinton conceded the nomination in 2008 to then-Senator Barack Obama.

    But as camp Clinton celebrated today, Republican Donald Trump came under intense new criticism from within his own party, at issue, his claim that a Latino judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University is biased against him and his claim days later that Muslim judges could also be biased.

    In Washington, House Speaker Paul Ryan took Trump to task, but stopped short of rejecting the presumptive nominee.

    REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), Speaker of the House: I disavow these comments. I regrets those comments that he made.

    I don't think — claiming a person can't do the job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It's absolutely unacceptable. But do I believe that Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.

    Do I believe that Hillary Clinton is going to be the answer to solving these problems? I do not. I believe that we have more common ground on the policy issues of the day and we have more likelihood of getting our policies enacted with him than we do with her.


    A former Trump rival, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, went further, in The New York Times. He said: "This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy. If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it."

    But, in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie, another former rival and now a Trump backer, came to his defense.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), New Jersey: Donald Trump is not a racist. And so the allegations that he is are absolutely contrary to every experience I have had with him over the last 14 years.


    Late this afternoon, Trump himself defended his criticism of Judge Curiel, saying in a statement that his comments had been — quote — "misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage."

    This even as Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois reversed his earlier endorsement of the presumptive nominee, announcing that he had — quote — "concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world" — end quote.

    Well, now we turn back to the Democrats, with our John Yang in Santa Monica, California, and political director Lisa Desjardins. She is in Brooklyn, New York.

    Thanks to both of you for being here.

    Lisa, to you first. It is a historic moment for Hillary Clinton, but, as we reported, she is telling her supporters not to relax. Is that a real worry for them?


    Clinton doesn't seem worried about clinching the nomination. In fact, on background, her staff has told me that they think tonight is the night, an historic night.

    They will proclaim themselves as having clinched the nomination tonight on this stage behind me. But, Judy, they want to win California. They want to go into the general election with a sign of strength. Losing California, that wouldn't be such a sign of strength. Right now, they're pivoting to going after Trump even more.

    On her schedule, the next two public events are in Ohio and in Pennsylvania in one week. What's significant about those states? Oh, a little thing called swing voters. Those two states will be critical to whomever wins the presidential election this year in the fall.


    So, John, in California, shoe on the other foot, how concerned are the Sanders — is the Sanders camp that their supporters may just fade away if they think this contest is over?


    Well, Judy, if you go by social media, it may have done the other — gone the other way.

    Overnight, Facebook, Twitter full of messages accusing the media of conspiring to suppress the Sanders vote here in California. Whether that translates into a big surge or a big turnout for Sanders remains to be seen.

    There are about — it's hard to judge from the polling places. The estimates are that more than half the ballots cast in today's primary will have been mail-in ballots, mail-in votes. A check — I have been calling around to — very random, unscientific check of polling places, of poll observers in Northern California, here in the Los Angeles area, here in Santa Monica, say that the polls have been slower than they were even four years ago, when there was no real Democratic contest, in the renomination of Barack Obama.

    So, we will know in a few hours what the effect is — Judy.



    So, Lisa, you were saying the Clinton folks focused on what's next.

    What are you learning about whether her message is changing, given the fact that we're at this turning point in the campaign?


    Yes, Judy, tonight, Hillary Clinton is going to go all in on the women message.

    She's going to debut a video which shows repeated images of women. In fact, looking at this video, there's almost no images of men, where she's talking about being a woman, promoting women, and about this historic moment tonight for her.

    It's no secret she wants to win the presidency with women and also in this video minorities. So, she is pivoting fully that way, which is different than in 2008, Judy, you remember, where she said, I happen to be a woman, but I'm not running as a woman.

    It seems tonight, Judy, they're launching a message where she's running full stop as a woman, no doubt about it. And it's a little different. I remember being at that speech eight years ago where she conceded to Barack Obama. The campaign tonight feels like they want to really flex their muscles.

    And to be honest, Judy, they are expecting Senator Sanders eventually to be magnanimous. They say they will reach out to Sanders voters, but no decision yet on whether he will be mentioned by name, at least when I talked to staff recently, tonight or not. We will have to wait and see.


    So, John, what are Sanders people saying about what comes next? Everybody wants to know, is he taking this all the way to the convention or not?


    Well, they acknowledge their only path to a nomination is if they can convince superdelegates to switch from Hillary Clinton to support Senator Sanders, and that their argument would be that he is the stronger candidate against Donald Trump in the fall. They also acknowledge that no superdelegates — they cannot name a single superdelegate who has switched. They say that they were hoping obviously for a win in California to bolster that argument. They would also argue that they had a West Coast sweep, winning Washington, Oregon state as well, but they also say that no decisions are going to be made about how to keep going forward until tomorrow, after the votes are — the results are known here.

    They also say that the campaigns have been talking, the two campaigns have been talking at the staff level about the way to move forward, and they acknowledge those talks will intensify after tomorrow — Judy.


    Well, whatever the delegate count at this point, we are all on the edge of our seats, and we will be talking to both of you through the night.

    John Yang, Lisa Desjardins, thanks.

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