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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Inside the RNC Day 2; Interview with Rep. Michael McCaul; Trump Camp Denies Melania Lifted Parts of Speech; Clinton Defends Email Use As Secretary of State. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired July 19, 2016 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:31:25]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Jake Tapper inside the Republican National Convention.

But I want to take you right now outside. That's where we're seeing growing protests.

Let's go right to CNN's Martin Savidge, who is in the thick of it.

Martin, what is going on out there?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, this began about maybe 20 minutes ago.

We're in Public Square. That's probably a block-and-a-half away from inside of the arena where the convention is taking place, and this was sort of a mixture different groups that all seemed to coalesce on Public Square at the same time.

And it was a couple agitators with bullhorns that began really stirring things up. What the police are trying to do is move in here and divide up this crowd into kind of manageable herds.

It appears you have got a Black Lives Matter group that is in the foreground here with a large sign, but there have been groups of all different backgrounds and all different causes that are here. Authorities are trying to maintain order at this point.

It has not moved beyond anything than a lot of shoving and shouting, but authorities are trying to make sure that it doesn't progress into something more violent. They keep bringing in more and more officers, and they right now have a handle on the situation, but it is tense -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Martin Savidge keeping an eye on all of the activity out there for us, we will come back to you if we need to. Thanks so much, Marty. Be safe.

Donald Trump swears he saw Muslims cheering as the Twin Towers crumbled. Hillary Clinton swears she did not send or receive any classified material on her private e-mail server. The half-truths and outright lies keep coming at terminal velocity this campaign cycle. But after so much doublespeak and misdirection, how can voters tell what is fact and what is fiction?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:37:35]

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. We're coming to you live from the Q in Cleveland.

The theme of tonight's convention platform is make America work again. This comes after Republicans repeatedly hammered Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration last night for, in their view, failing to keep America safe.

Joining me now is one of those speakers, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Congressman Mike McCaul.

Congressman, thanks so much for being here. We appreciate it.

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: I want to ask you. Last night, you spoke about keeping America safe, waging the war on terror. And here is one line you had about America's standing in the world. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAUL: Today, our allies no longer trust us. Our adversaries no long fear us, and our enemies are plotting against us. This did not happen by accident. It happened by design.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Just to unpack that a little further, you are suggesting that the Obama administration wanted that scenario, or what did you mean?

MCCAUL: I think there is a failure in foreign policy.

And you have to acknowledge that under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton was the architect of that foreign policy. Whether it was malevolent or not, I don't know. But we have made mistakes along the way.

The one I pointed out particularly was the complete withdrawal from Iraq, no status of forces agreement, no political engagement with Maliki. She went to Baghdad one time for three hours. And then the entire country imploded and al Qaeda in Iraq became ISIS.

And that's what we're dealing with today. I think also the foreign policy of embracing Iran at all costs, to the exclusion of our allies and neighbors in the region, has created a lot of uncertainty. There's uncertainty as to who is an ally, who is an adversary, and also the plotting against us, I was talking about ISIS. TAPPER: There is a lot to unpack there, but I don't have time to get

into the whole history of Iraq, so I do want to move on.

Somebody could point out that the status of forces agreement was negotiated by the Bush administration, the Bush presidency, as to when the U.S. would withdraw. I know that there are people who say, well, Obama could have pushed harder and gotten troops there, but the withdrawal was negotiated by the prior administration.

MCCAUL: Well, Condi Rice told me they gave it to the Obama administration. The Obama administration, under Secretary Clinton, failed to negotiate that with the Iraqis.

[16:40:00]

TAPPER: I want you to take a listen to what Mr. Trump said on "60 Minutes" about defeating and destroying ISIS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to declare war against ISIS. We have to wipe out ISIS. These are people that chop off heads.

LESLEY STAHL, CBS: With troops on the ground?

TRUMP: I am going to have very few troops on the ground. We're going to unbelievable intelligence, which we need, which right now we don't have. We don't have the people over there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: There more than 4,000 U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq right now fighting this war, including some very -- the elite fighting forces, the Navy SEALs and Delta Forces of the world.

What would Mr. Trump do that is not being done right now, given that he is not calling for 10,000, 20,000 troops?

MCCAUL: Well, first, I think defeating the enemy where they exist, so they cannot conduct external plots in the homeland.

How do you get it done? I think you have to have greater participation by the coalition forces, but under U.S. leadership. We don't have that participation right now. Also, the Arab League of Nations should be stepping up to the plate. It's their backyard. It's their religion.

I think what he is talking about is we're going to defeat them, we're going to destroy ISIS, but let's do it where we're not carrying the burden alone. Where is that ground force going to come from? It can't just be the United States alone.

And I think I have had discussions with the campaign about this. I have been selected to be one of the national security advisers. And there is a smart way to do this, but we have to get it done. TAPPER: All right.

Congressman Mike McCaul, it's always good to see you.

MCCAUL: Thanks, Jake.

TAPPER: Thank you, sir. And nice job on your speech last night. I know that that is not an easy thing to do.

MCCAUL: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continue to say a whole lot of things that cannot withstand myriad fact-checkers, we wonder, does the truth really matter in the 2016 election?

Plus, Donald Trump is under pressure today from rock 'n' roll legends Queen. That's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:45:51] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD, live from the Republican National Convention.

You know, the concept of truth almost seems a quaint one these days. Months ago, the presumptive presidential nominee claimed to have witnessed on television thousands and thousands of Muslims in Jersey City cheering as the Twin Towers came down on 9/11. He, of course, did not witness such a thing. Since he first made that claim ten months ago, not one person has been able to produce a video clip showing that scene.

Same goes for Hillary Clinton. She said, I never sent or received any classified material -- not true according to the FBI. More than 2,000 of the e-mails contained classified information, the FBI says. Well, they weren't classified at the time, she has said. Also not true, 110 emails in 52 email chains were classified at that time.

Well, they weren't marked classified at the time, she said. Not marked classified. Once again not true.

This waterfall of untruths that have showered upon the American people -- well, it keeps pouring. The latest example came today from the Trump campaign. In reference to Melania Trump's speech, the Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANAFORT: There's no cribbing of Michelle Obama's speech. These were common words and values that she cares about her family and things like that. I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night, she knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy.

I mean, it's so -- I mean, this is, once again, an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It's not going to work. (END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Just to state the obvious, that is not true, there was very clearly cribbing. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: You work hard for what you want.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: That you work hard for what you want in life.

TRUMP: That your word is your bond.

OBAMA: That your word is your bond, you say what you're going to do.

TRUMP: You keep your promise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: I mean, I don't know who is responsible, but the lines were clearly lifted from the Michelle Obama speech. And when you use someone else's words without attribution, it is called plagiarism.

Now, at the same time Michelle Obama's words were being uttered to the Republican national convention, words about values, I might not, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was talking about her e-mail scandal with Charlie Rose, an interview in which she said that she took issue with many of the facts Charlie Rose presented her, including this one about FBI Director James Comey calling the way that Clinton treated this e-mail system which contained classified materials as real, quote, "sloppiness".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLIE ROSE, TV HOST: He said it was sloppy.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No, he did not.

ROSE: He said real sloppiness.

CLINTON: No.

ROSE: What did he say?

CLINTON: He said --

ROSE: Correct me if I'm wrong, if in fact, because you know much better, I'm sure because of the interest you have in it. He said, if in fact, someone said, what's the definition of carelessness, and he said real sloppiness.

CLINTON: Well, let me say this, there were three, at probably at least 300 people on those e-mails, the vast majority of whom are experienced professionals in handling sensitive material. They did not believe anything they were communicating was classified.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: OK, back to the issue of the FBI director saying that showed real sloppiness, the facts are with Charlie Rose. The FBI director was asked when he testified before the House what he meant when he described Clinton and her team as having been, quote, "extreme careless" in their handling of very sensitive highly classified information. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I intended it as a common sense term. It's one of those kind of you know it when you see it sort of things. Somebody who is -- should no better, someone who is demonstrating a lack of care that strikes me as there's ordinary accidents and there's just real sloppiness. So, I think of that as kind of real sloppiness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Folks, there is such a thing as empirical fact.

[16:50:03] And while in movies, people can perform Jedi mind tricks and say things that are not true --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARACTER: These are not the droids you're looking for.

CHARACTER: These are not the droids you're looking for.

CHARACTER: You can go about your business, move along.

CHARACTER: You can go about your business, move along.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: And Jabba the Hut once said, your mind powers will not work on me. We at THE LEAD, we're not falling for it, and we hope that you at home are not either.

The insignia of the Republican National Convention here in Cleveland is an elephant on a electric guitar, a nod to the city's historic root, as heartland epicenter of rock and roll, to say nothing of the presence here of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So, it's a bid odd, if not ironic, that the convention's most ambitious use of rock so far, a hit by the British rock group Queen has created a royal controversy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER (voice-over): The undeniable authors of Donald Trump's message so far this week, the rock group Queen. "We are the Champions" captivating the convention as Trump took the stage Monday night.

(MUSIC) TAPPER: But those inspiring lyrics and rocking tone, that was played without permission, the band says. Quote, "An unauthorized use at the Republican convention against our wishes," Queen tweeted, just the latest clash of the crossroads of politics and rock.

And no city knows it better than this.

(on camera): Here in Cleveland, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there's a whole exhibit about the intersection of rock and politics, with many exhibits detailing tense moments such as these.

Here is the outfit that Bruce Springsteen wore on the cover of "Born in the USA." Here's the notebook where he wrote down the lyrics. Ronald Reagan used the song "Born in the USA" in 1984 for his reelection campaign until Springsteen suggested maybe he should listen to the lyrics.

(voice-over): Reagan thought the song was about a bright American future.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: It rests in the message of hope, in songs of a man so many young Americans admire, New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen.

TAPPER: Springsteen actually penned the tune about the dark side of the American story and the harsh treatment of the Vietnam veterans.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president Greg Harris says musical mix ups are a bigger problem for modern campaigns.

GREG HARRIS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: Years ago, they actually had songwriters write the campaign songs, sort of co-opting popular songs with something that's only happened in the last couple of decades.

TAPPER: The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has an eclectic playlist at his rallies, one that includes Jock Jams, Opera, and until recently, Twisted Sister.

(on camera): This is a t-shirt and jean jacket worn by Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider, whose conflicts with politicians date back to 1985 when he was hauled before the Senate to testify against warning labels on record albums. He most recently had to make a call to his friend Donald Trump.

DEE SNIDER, LEAD SINGER, TWISTED SISTER: I said, man, you've got to stop using the song. People think I'm endorsing you here. I can't behind a lot of what you're saying.

He said, Dee, fair enough.

TAPPER (voice-over): But you can't always get what you want. The Rolling Stones told Donald Trump to stop using their songs. Still, the hits keep on coming.

(MUSIC) TAPPER (on camera): When he introduced his running mate, Mike Pence, who is reputed to be not his first choice necessarily, the Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want" was playing.

HARRIS: It sounds like he needs a better music editor, and then somebody has to read the lyrics.

TAPPER (voice-over): Then, again, taking a risk and riling up a crowd, that's why exhibits like this exist.

HARRIS: Being at odds with the status quo, that's what Rock and Roll is all about.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Much more live from the Republican national convention after this quick break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:58:30] TAPPER: Welcome back.

While Republicans continue to rally here in Cleveland, Hillary Clinton is in Vegas, trying to let -- refusing to let, rather, Donald Trump dominate all the headlines.

Brianna Keilar is in North Las Vegas for us.

Brianna, has Clinton reacted at all to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She has in fact. She just did a short time ago. She said it was surreal. She likened it to "The Wizard of Oz" and Donald Trump to the man behind the curtain himself.

But when it comes to the plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech, that's something the Clinton campaign really isn't touching. It's almost like there's a gag order on that in Brooklyn. The only thing we've heard is something from Hillary Clinton's communications director responding to Paul Manafort saying that it was the Hillary Clinton campaign ginning up interest in that. Jen Palmieri tweeting, "Nice try, not true."

But Hillary Clinton trying to deal, of course, with some character issues of her own. A lot of polls show voters questioned her trustworthiness. She's been trying to turn that around on Donald Trump. She was introduced here today by a housekeeper at the Trump Hotel here in Las Vegas who the campaign says was fired for unionizing or trying to unionize at the hotel and then later reinstated with intervention by the union.

But right now, it's top aides who are very involved in this veepstakes process. We know right now, still top of the list, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine who Hillary Clinton noted has not lost an election, as well as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren also being vetted, or has been vetted. Senator Cory Booker, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

TAPPER: Brianna Keilar in North Las Vegas, thanks so much. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Here's Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper.