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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Clinton Keeping Spotlight on Taxes; Trump Has Republican Party Worried About Holding House, Senate; Trump Speech; Obama, Clinton Created ISIS. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired August 11, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: To battle increasing competition from commercial airlines, they're looking at upping the $25,000 a year retention bonus to get pilots to stay longer.
Thanks for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts right now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman.
Donald Trump is about to speak in Florida after brewing up a pot of controversy. A pot so hot that "Time" writes the party is thinking about dropping the pot altogether and focusing on congressional races. A pot that includes steamy new allegation that President Obama co- founded ISIS, which is a false pot.
BOLDUAN: Let's continue this. He's brewing the controversy.
Hillary Clinton today wants to talk about how much that pot of controversial coffee costs.
BERMAN: Oh, that's good.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
Clinton expected to talk about the economy with the speech in Michigan. It's basically a rebuttal to Donald Trump's speech on the economy earlier this week. She wants to keep the spotlight on taxes. And she's expected to release her 2015 tax returns this week, throwing down the gauntlet, hoping to keep up the pressure on Donald Trump to do the very same.
Would you like to take bets if that will work?
Jeff Zeleny is live in Warren, Michigan, ahead of Clinton's speech.
But first, CNN's Sara Murray in Miami Beach waiting on Donald Trump to take the stage.
Sara what are you hearing?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Kate. Certainly has been quite a buzz around the "Time" magazine story. We do know that Reince Priebus was very frustrated with Donald Trump last week. We have seen these tensions simmering between the RNC and the Trump campaign. And our understanding of these conversations was it was a frank discussion with Donald Trump about sort of where the state of the race stands. About the fact that what Donald Trump said had ramifications not just for his own campaign but for those other candidates who are going to be on the ballot, and they're also in tight re-election fights and they're going to need to do what they have to do to win.
Now, Trump is not expected to be talking about this here today. As you pointed out, Hillary Clinton is going to be talking about the economy and we're expecting Donald Trump to come out here and speak about the housing sector, to talk about the hit that it suffered, to talk about how, you know, the industry has not bounced back under President Obama, that Hillary Clinton would essentially be more of the same. He is hoping to stick to the script, to keep his focus on the economy. But, Kate, that was the plan from the beginning of the week. Clearly, it did not play out that way for the first couple of days so we'll see how it goes from here today -- Kate?
BERMAN: We will see, indeed.
Sarah Murray, in Miami Beach. We'll keep our eye on that lectern right there.
BERMAN: And Sara Murray as well.
In the meantime, let's go to Jeff Zeleny live in Warren, Michigan, where we are expecting to hear from Hillary Clinton in just a little bit -- Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: We are, indeed, John and Kate. It's Warren, Michigan, in Macomb County. If you're a student of politics, Macomb County is the place where "Reagan Democrats: was coined. Donald Trump would like to make them Trump Democrats. He is trying to win over blue collar workers, working class voters in the suburb of Detroit.
That's why Hillary Clinton is here, to give this economic address today in this factory I'm standing right now.
But she's going to call on Donald Trump to release his tax returns. I am told by a senior adviser to her campaign that she is going to release her 2015 tax returns as early as tomorrow. Tim Kaine, her running mate, is going to release ten years of tax returns, all trying to push pressure on Donald Trump to release his.
Now, he has so far not decided to do so. He is the first nominee of a major party to not release his taxes going back to Richard Nixon.
Now, she is trying to weave all this together in the argument that his business acumen, his business record, is not a strength but a liability. She's going to, of course, be talking about her economic plan as well. She says her plan would create some 10.4 million jobs during the opening days of her administration. That's a little hard to fact-check because the Republican Congress is almost certain to not approve all of those proposals.
But drawing a contrast here is her main point of this speech today in Warren, Michigan, and those taxes, which she says she'll be releasing hers as early as tomorrow -- John and Kate?
All right, Jeff Zeleny, great to see you. Thank you.
So "Time" magazine reporting this morning all the controversies around Donald Trump, surrounding Donald Trump -- stop it -- has the head of the Republican party worried about other Republicans, about other Republicans running for seats, to keep their seats in the House and Senate.
BERMAN: Donald Trump says the media has twisted his words, but is the Republican Party satisfied with Trump's words? I'm nervous right now.
BOLDUAN: I know you are.
BERMAN: Alex Altman says no. In "Time" magazine he writes, "Donald Trump's sinking polls, unending attacks has the GOP reconsidering its strategy for November."
Alex Altman is "Time's" Washington correspondent. He joins us right now.
Alex, you know, the big bombshell in your article this morning has everyone talking, you report the RNC, that Reince Priebus essentially threatened Donald Trump to turn things around or else, or else they will reallocate resources to congressional areas. Explain.
[11:05:21] ALEX ALTMAN, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, TIME MAGAZINE: I'm not sure I used the word "threatened." At one point last week, after Trump declined to -- initially declined to endorse Paul Ryan. He got on the phone to tell Trump in pretty frank terms that his poll numbers were headed in the wrong direction, that Republicans were frustrated with the way things were going, and that over the coming weeks the party had some difficult decisions to make, including, he suggested, potentially making the call to shift party resources, to down-ticket House and Senate races. But the story does not say, and our reporting does not suggest, that it was a threat or an ultimatum or the decision had been made.
BOLDUAN: Alex, Sean Spicer, of the RNC, he put out a tweet just this morning saying, the story about Reince telling Donald Trump they're going to reallocate resources, they say it is not true.
You can be sure inside Trump's campaign, no matter what they say, they don't want this out there, that there is this back and forth, that this conversation happened. What do you say about Sean Spicer refuting it this morning? ALTMAN: Well, I think it's important to note carefully the words that
he used. He said the decision had not been made and, you know, we had not reported that that decision had been made. But we can tell you that we stand by our story. We have good sources inside the party. We are confident in the report that this is something that the party will have to consider over the next couple of weeks depending on the trajectory of the Trump campaign.
BERMAN: In this article, you spoke to Donald Trump, and some people were detecting a slightly different tone about how he speaks about things, talking about the possibility of what he would do if he did not win the presidency on November 8th. He did it again this morning on an interview on CNBC. I want to play that sound.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Just keep doing the same thing I'm doing right now. And at the end, it's either going to work, or I'm going to, you know, I'm going to have a very, very nice long vacation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So that's a little bit interesting to hear, a very nice vacation. You don't usually hear candidates talk like that. Did it sound fatalistic to you when he said the same sort of things in the interviews?
ALTMAN: It's even a word we use in the piece, a sense of creeping fatalism. He acknowledged to us, while he said he thinks the campaign is doing better than anyone recognizes, he acknowledged he's now trailing in the polls. This is someone who has built his entire kind of ethos, this mythology around himself as a winner. He's down five or six points, which actually undershot it as the polls currently stand. But I think, you know, reality is beginning to set in for him. That, you know, phone calls with other Republicans with folks such as Chairman Priebus, certainly hammers it home. This has been a very, very difficult really three-week stretch for him since the conclusion of the Republican convention in Cleveland.
BOLDUAN: I think the quote you guys have in your article about this is when you said to you, "All I can do is tell the truth." Then he says, "If that does it, that's great. If that doesn't do it, that's fine, too." That speaks volumes.
Alex, good reporting. Thank you for coming on.
ALTMAN: Thanks for having me.
BOLDUAN: Let's discuss this, folk. With us tonight, today, whatever time zone your in, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, Hillary Clinton supporter, Hilary Rosen; CNN political commentator, Andre Bauer, former lieutenant governor of South Carolina and Donald Trump supporter; CNN political commentator, Errol Louis, a political anchor at Time/Warner News; and CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro, Republican strategist, no fan of Donald Trump. Andre, you've run a lot of campaigns. This tone you're hearing from
Trump, "Time" magazine sees it as a fatalistic tone, 89 days out from Election Day, does that concern you?
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I didn't hear it. I don't know the tone --
BOLDUAN: When you read this quote, this is not a man who kind of says things like this.
BAUER: Well, it doesn't sound like the Donald Trump I've heard speaking for the last year. So I would like to hear more about it. But it doesn't sound like what I'm used to hearing from him. I can't see Donald Trump 89 days out from an election giving up. Just doesn't sound like him.
BERMAN: It doesn't sound like him, which is why it's remarkable.
BERMAN: You heard him in his own voice saying I'll take a long vacation. You know, as his supporter, someone who put a lot of energy to backing Donald Trump do you want your candidate talking about the possibility of a long vacation?
BAUER: Absolutely not. I want him to talk about how bad the vacation would be if we had four years of Hillary Clinton. I want him to stay on message with that.
[11:09:57] BOLDUAN: Ana, what do you make of this real or perceived split happening now with Trump and the RNC? Talk of moving resources away from Trump to House and Senate races for down-ballot Republicans? Even if it's something that hasn't been decided but it is being discussed, if it happened in a conversation if that was part of a conversation with Donald Trump, what does it say to you?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First, let me say that I'm a big fan of Reince Priebus, of Sean Spicer, of Katie Walsh. I think they are a very difficult, difficult position. And I'm not part of the club that wants them chased out of the building.
Now, at some point, Republicans, particularly the RNC, they've got to come to the realization there's going to be no pivot. There's going to be no transformation. There' going to be no magic wand that spreads fairy dust over Donald Trump and turns him into a presidential candidate who is more appealing to more than just his base. This is what we have, folks. And, yes, is dragging the ticket down. It is a huge problem. So many Republican candidates have got to spend the bulk their time explaining, distancing themselves, just trying to justify and run as far away as they can from the crazy stuff this man spews week in and week out.
BOLDUAN: But, Ana, to your point --
NAVARRO: At some point, cut the anger lose.
NAVARRO: Either the entire damn ship sinks or you cut the anchor loose and you focus on the Senate and the House.
BOLDUAN: But to you point, what do they do now? What happened to those conversations that Paul Manafort went to Capitol Hill, and behind closed doors, was telling these Senators that he's going to change, he's going to change, he's going to pivot? I mean what happens to those conversations?
NAVARRO: Kate, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Everybody expected the guy to pivot. That's what happens in a general election. Pivot, become a more appealing candidate. Change your tone. Realize you are now the nominee of a major party and you become more presidential. You grow into the position. It has not happened with Donald Trump. This is Trump. You either love him or you don't love him. I am definitely in the category of people who do not love him.
BERMAN: Errol Louis, Donald Trump last night said that President Obama founded ISIS. He said it a lot last night. He's actually said it before. But last night with particular force. This morning -- by the way, he did not found ISIS, which is strange to have to make on the TV --
BOLDUAN: Good fact check, John.
BERMAN: Conservative radio talk show host was sort of giving him an out. You didn't really mean he founded ISIS. You didn't really mean that. This is what Donald Trump told Hugh Hewitt this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP (voice-over): No, it's no mistake, everyone's liking it. I think they're liking it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Everyone's liking it, that I said President Obama founded ISIS.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
BERMAN: What do you make of this?
LOUIS: I make of it that, as has been true for a year now, Donald becomes the creature to the crowd in front of him. You know, when we talk about people who are accused OF being demagogues or being or orators that are inciting the passion of the crowd, we seldom think the reverse is true, which is what happens with Donald Trump. The crowd gets a hold of him. He's basing his statements, his preferences, his choices, on what the 5,000 or 10,000 people in front of him think, without adequate sort of consideration of what it's going to mean not just to the rest of the Republican ticket, but to the 10-odd-million people -- actually the 100-odd-million people who are still making up their minds, you know. If you look at the expected turnout for the general election compared to the very high turnout for the primaries, you've still got something like 100 million people who are just now tuning in and checking this stuff out. If he's going to make a decision on something like this, should I accuse the sitting president of the United States of co-founding a terrorist organization and claim falsely that he's being honored by that organization, you can base it on a roar that you get from the 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 people in front of you or you can think about it more broadly. And by more broadly, I'm not even talking about governing. I'm talking about getting from here to November 8th in some kind of decent shape. He's making some bad choices.
BOLDUAN: Hilary, we want you to jump in on this.
But, Andre, I want you to respond to this as well.
General Michael Hayden, he was on "Morning Joe" this morning, this reaction to this statement from Donald Trump about -- hold on, everybody, I think Donald Trump is taking the stage in Miami Beach. Let's listen in to this really quick.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: -- most valuable player, MVP, you get the MVP award - ISIS will hand her the most valuable player award. Her only competition is Barack Obama, between the two of them.
So we'll see. But I think we're going to do, I think we're going to do very well. We have a situation that -- I was just with some of you folks, and we were talking about different elements of what's going on with the housing, and they would tell me the regulation.
[11:15:03] In fact, I noticed when I mentioned regulation before everybody perked up because you're driven wild with regulation.
But in the last five years, regulations on building houses -- building homes, you know, building homes, and you all know what you're doing -- have increased by 29%. And now, a number I was just given which is shocking, you have a 25% of your total cost is in regulation. I don't understand how that is possible. In fact, where is your leader? He told me that number.
You wouldn't even think that, that is a possible number. 25 percent of the cost is to regulations. So that's a pretty sad story.
And I will say this, and I say this to you very strongly, if short circuit Hillary Clinton ever gets elected, it's only going to be worse. It is going to get worse. It's going to be four more years of Obama but it will be worse because she's mandated to go to the left, because 45 percent of Bernie's people -- they want her to head in that direction. And with judges -- Supreme Court judges -- you know, a lot of the problems that you have are judicial with litigation lawsuits. I know the problems that you have -- you will build a beautiful house and sometimes you make mistakes OK? And sometimes you build a lousy house OK, and they should sue you.
But I know the people, many of the people in this room, you're professionals. You build great products, you have a tremendous problem with the court system. I've heard actually, it's a really big problem with the court system. So we are going to make sure that you know -- we are going to make sure that a lot of the things that are happening to you, just can't happen.
We want it to be a fair system. You have a lot of frivolous lawsuits -- has anybody in this room have what they call a frivolous lawsuit? I would think -- that's all? There's not that many. Seriously? OK, they're just embarrassed to raise their hands, OK. I'll bet you it's every single person in the room.
But very interestingly, a Washington Post story that was written yesterday that was so devastating to Hillary Clinton, primarily because it was in the Washington Post. And when she was a Senator -- because believe me they are a one sided deal -- but the press is extremely dishonest, so that's OK.
The people are starting to really get it. I mean, the people understand it. They are smart.
The American voter -- the American people are smart, they understand what's going on with the horror that we know as the press. I mean, we have one newspaper that actually admitted that they're covering me unfairly. But they said, "we hate him so much, it doesn't matter. It's OK."
Can you believe that? A major paper. But I knew that before. So you know, I was reading the story -- I'm like bored reading the story.
But the Washington Post did a story -- the Washington Post did a story on Hillary Clinton two days ago that was so devastating in terms of -- if you're looking for like what you folks want. You want efficiency, you want jobs, we want jobs, the country wants jobs.
When she was person running for the United States Senate from New York, she said things that were so unbelievable, she was going to take because her husband signed NAFTA. And NAFTA destroyed upstate New York, it destroyed it.
Our factories closed, our jobs fled, many to Mexico, which is the third world -- I mean, when you look at Mexico -- it's third world now, when you look at the factories that they're building there. I don't know -- has anyone seen what's going on in Mexico? They are taking our businesses, they are taking our plants.
A friend of mine builds plants, he said, "it's the eighth wonder of the world of what's going on in Mexico." How are we doing in the United States? Not so good. OK. Not so good. What a sad sad state of affairs.
Well, NAFTA made that all possible. And it was signed by her husband. But she's running for the Senate -- years ago -- and she said that she's going to straighten out upstate New York, and she's going to hit 200,000 jobs, it's going to be unbelievable. It's a disaster, a disaster.
She passed no legislation that helped, couldn't get out her own way, it went down like you've never seen, one of the worst in the country. And it's been a total unmitigated disaster, except for the people that made money trying to work out her plans, they made a fortune, the consultants and others.
And she'll make a speech today and she'll be talking about what she's going to do for the country, she don't -- she doesn't have the talent to do it. And if she wanted to do it, just remember this -- and I think very importantly -- if she wanted to do it she couldn't because her donors wouldn't let her.
You know, when we look at Hillary -- and we look -- you look at her donors, her hedge fund donors -- I had a chart made up yesterday which was amazing.
[11:20:10] She's taken in $48 million from hedge funds, I've taken in $16,000 -- I'm trying to figure out who the $16,000 is from.
But these are people that -- I mean these are people that are very smart people, they're not necessarily nice people -- I know half of them. But these are people that you know, when they give her $5 million, and $2 million, and $10 million or whatever they give, and they raise all that money, they're working for them -- they want that for them, they're not looking for the country.
So by my putting up money from my campaign, I financed my primaries, I'm financing now this -- I'm raising a lot of money for the RNC and for the Republican Party, and we're getting tremendous small contributions, thousands, and thousands of small contributions, $61 average or there about.
And it's amazing we've taken in a lot of money and I think very few Republicans would be able to do that but, you have to take a look at this washing Post story because it's amazing. But I wrote down some notes and I just wanted to talk about the policies of Obama, and Clinton, and where we are, and what they've done, and the last thing you want is four more years of Obama.
The last thing you want are judges put on the United States Supreme Court that are going to destroy our nation. We lost Judge Scalia, who was a great justice -- was a great judge. We lost him -- that was shocking because he was going to be there at least another ten years and that seat was taken. But all of a sudden, before we even start -- so this president actually could have as many as five -- its unlikely five -- but probably four, almost definitely three -- that's a lot -- but it could be an all time record, could have five. So that's probably the single most, or one of the -- certainly one of the very big -- I mean defense I always say is the most -- we have to be safe. We can't let ISIS come in, we can't let the Syrians pour into our country like they are right now, we have no idea who they are, where they're combing from, we have no idea what their thought process is, we just don't know.
And there's no way you can vet them, but they're pouring in and Hillary wants 500 and 50 percent more to come in than what we have right now, which is just insane. So we have to be smart, we have to be tough, and we have to be vigilant and I will say that President Obama and Clinton have economic policies that have produced -- you saw the latest report -- 1.2 percent growth, right, 1.2 percent.
If that ever happened in China they'd have a revolution. They get to seven percent, or eight percent and they start devaluing their currency and they start taking more business out of the United States. And we allow it to happen because we have people at the top that are not smart, number one and are probably controlled by people that want it to happen.
But then that's smart people, so China starts devaluing -- and I have nothing against China, I like China, I -- I have polices with China. The biggest bank in the world is a tenant of mine, one of my buildings in New York.
I sell condos to the Chinese, the Bank of America building in San Francisco, I own that with a great partner. And I got that through China, indirectly and directly.
So I've had great relations -- I've made a fortune with China. But they don't respect us. They don't respect our country, they don't respect our president. They don't like our president.
Putin doesn't like our president. Putin has no respect for Obama whatsoever. Wouldn't it be nice if we could actually get along with Russia, wouldn't that be a decent thing? Wouldn't that be nice?
So -- but there's no respect. But the 1.2 growth percent was a startling number for a lot of people. The national debt has nearly doubled under Obama. And by the time he gets out it'll be more than double.
The U.S. trade deficit, all of this work we do for trade, trade, trade, we make all bad trade deals. It's nearly $800 billion last year, $800 billion, billion, billion dollars. With a B, $800 billion, we have re-negotiated.
If I used home-builders to negotiate, that wouldn't be happening. Believe me.
I could take 90 percent of the people in this room, maybe higher. But I can take -- because I know the people in this room. I could take 90 percent of the people in this room, put them in charge of some of these trade deals that we make with these different countries.
And our country would be flush.
[11:25:01] We'd be rolling in dough. But we had a trade deficit of $800 billion. We had a trade deficit with China, this is the big one, of $505 billion.
Think of a trade deficit, does anybody think they couldn't do a better deal? Raise your hand if you think you couldn't do the better deal. Does anybody?
Oh, he raised his hand, he has the guts.
Get outta here, we don't want you.
He's not a true home builder.
That was very cute, thank you, I'm sure you don't believe that but that's OK. You do play (ph) -- your businesses must be suffering, right?
Nearly 24 million Americans in their prime earning years are out of the labor force. In the last seven years, another 14 million people have left the workforce. And Hillary Clinton's going to make a speech tonight.
She's going to raise taxes, $1.3 trillion, I'm going to cut taxes big league, big league. We're having a massive cut in taxes. We're having a massive cut in regulations. You know...
And that includes banking regulations, that's for you people because it's impossible for you people to go get mortgages. So hard for people to get mortgages today.
Unless you have a lot of money in the bank and unless you don't need money, you can't borrow, right? You can't borrow.
I have friends that call me, could you give me a reference to a bank? I say why would you need a reference, you got a good business. They said, "no, they want us to have like more money than we want to borrow."
I say well, if you had that you wouldn't have to borrow, right? So why -- it's impossible. With Dodd-Frank, with all of the different things that you have and I know people that can't get mortgages to buy houses.
And that's why your housing numbers are way down from what they were in terms of new capacity. One in five American households do not have a single member in the labor force, think of that.
Home ownership -- well, this is a biggie for you -- home ownership is at its lowest rate in 51 years. Now, think of that. You know, this is like the American dream, right? Owning a home was the American dream.
It's at the lowest rate in 51 years and I have a chart -- where's that chart, ah-ha. Look at this, see I'm into the world of charts, lately.
So here's a chart, most of you can see, you don't need very good eyesight to see what's going on. So here's Obama and here's the end.
He's not finished yet.
Isn't that a terrible -- no seriously, isn't that a terrible picture? Look at that -- home ownership. So you take a look at what's happened. That's the American dream right there folks.
And then they wonder why 25,000 people come to my rallies and why 10,000 people, and 10,000 and 5,000 more, we have a room that holds 200. And why -- I mean even your meeting. It was supposed to be one third this size and look at it.
But look at this, and to me that says so much because it's home ownership, that's the American dream and it's the lowest its been in 51 years, wow. So I think that's a pretty sad thing. I hope you know I had that chart not necessarily made for you but I figured it would be a good one to pull out, right.
Nearly 12 million people, more Americans, are dependent on food stamps and 2 million more Latino Americans live in poverty. Latino Americans, incredible people, they're living in poverty, 2 million. 58 percent of African American youth are not employed, 58 percent.
American households are earning $4,000 less. See this is, to me, so incredible. American households are earning $4,000 less today than they were 16 years ago - the real number is 18 years ago. But this particular group says 16, statistically -- sixteen years ago.
Many workers are earning less money than they were earning in real dollars in 1970 and then you wonder why they're angry, you wonder why they really want a voice. And the voice is us. I mean we have a movement going on, its been an amazing thing and the polls are getting very close, very, very close. It's very interesting what's happening.
We will create millions of new good paying jobs, we're going to cross the board on income tax reduction. I mean this is one of the things that we have to do, we have to do. We're going to create millions of jobs.
[11:30:05] Now, everybody admits, you know the five percent number's just a number to make politicians look good, to make the presidents look good. Not only Obama, it was there before him although its gotten actually worse because more people -- the way they analyze these numbers -- more and more people -- that number gets lower and lower and the people can't find work.