Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump: If Clinton Wins PA, She Cheated; Tax Returns: Clinton Releases While Trump Refuses; Trump Calls Press "Lowest Form of Life"; Trump: I'm "Fine" with Sending U.S. Citizens to Gitmo. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 12, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:13] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. Just moments ago, Donald Trump saying the only way he loses is if Hillary Clinton cheats.
Plus, Clinton ups her releasing her tax returns. Will Donald Trump do the same? And severe, turbulence on a JetBlue flight. Dozens injured. Passengers flying out of their seats, one man who was on that flight OUTFRONT tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, a major hit in the polls, Donald Trump falling behind Hillary Clinton in key states. And just moments ago in Pennsylvania, Trump saying that if Clinton wins that state it's because she cheated. Now, here are the polls that we have right now. Trump down 14 points in Colorado. Thirteen points in Virginia. Nine points in North Carolina. That state Mitt Romney won four years ago and down five points in Florida which of course is Trump's second home.
That makes seven state polls this week that show Trump lagging, he hasn't been on top of a national poll since before the Democratic convention.
Dana Bash begins our coverage OUTFRONT. And, Dana, you know, we've heard Donald Trump say the system is rigged before but just moments ago and we're going to get back that piece of sound in just a moment and we'll play it. But he said the only reason Hillary Clinton would win the state of Pennsylvania is if she cheated.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We stopped in our tracks listening to him say that because just as you said, Erin, we certainly have heard him talking about the system being rigged and seeming to lay the groundwork for maybe some voter irregularities but this takes it to a whole new level saying as you said, if she wins it's because she cheated but then also saying, she can't beat us talking specifically, it seems about Pennsylvania where he is right now. And the only way she can beat us, I mean, is if in certain portions of the state she cheats.
So, you know, that's, again, raising these -- the, I wouldn't say allegations, but the potential for allegations to a different level and just obviously a little bit of context here, Pennsylvania, which is what he's talking about right now, has gone Democratic for the past several election cycles. So if it goes to Hillary Clinton that is just in keeping with the political trends that we have seen, and so you know, it would be I think pretty hard for him to argue that there's cheating going on unless, of course, he does have proof. But you know, kind of put this in the column on the list, really, really long list of things that Donald Trump is saying that most many, I would say all other politicians wouldn't do.
BURNETT: So he's in a crucial swing state tonight when he's obviously talking about Pennsylvania. With the polls though, that I was just going through, right? Seven in one week all of which have him behind in very important states, why is he spending his weekend in states that are not in play, right? He's going to places like Connecticut.
BASH: He is. He's going to be Connecticut tomorrow and holding a rally there. Connecticut has not gone red. It has been in a blue column since 1988. I asked his campaign why he's going there and the answer was well, they think that he can do well in Connecticut that he has messages that can resonate there that he is from neighboring New York. Republicans outside the campaign, though, Erin, I talked to say I don't get it. Why is he spending time there? It makes a whole lot more sense for him to spend time in Pennsylvania even though the polls are not looking great there for him, and other real, legitimate battleground swing states.
And I think that this Connecticut example is just one of several that have Republicans who really are still hoping Donald Trump can turn his campaign around scratching their heads. It's not just about the travel, but it's also about the fact that he has now amassed a pretty substantial war chest and hasn't spent any money on TV ads. Sixty four million dollars, I believe, he raised just in July and Hillary Clinton spent $40 million as the general election has begun and he spent nothing they say in the Trump campaign that got a strategy and they're not going to share it with us and that they feel that they can employ it when they are preparing, but a lot of people are getting extremely worried and that's separate from the messaging. This is just on the ground game and on the nuts and bolts.
BURNETT: All right. Dana, thank you very much. In the middle of all of this, Trump is still trying to clarify what he meant when he said President Obama is the founder of ISIS.
Jessica Schneider was with him at an earlier rally in Pennsylvania, she's OUTFRONT.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump is trying to clarify his comments about President Obama and ISIS.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I said the founder of ISIS -- obviously, I'm being sarcastic. Then, then -- but not that sarcastic, to be honest with you. So I said the founder of ISIS and in fact, very soon he's going over to pick up his most valuable player award. Did I say that? Right? I say it all the time. So, they knew I was being sarcastic.
[19:05:21] SCHNEIDER: That after Trump repeatedly insisted Thursday that the President was the founder of the terrorist organization. TRUMP: I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.
TRUMP: No, I mean, he's the founder of ISIS. I do.
HEWITT: He's not sympathetic to them. He hates them and he's trying to kill them.
TRUMP: I don't care. He's the founder.
SCHNEIDER: Trump's attacks on the President comes as more evidence surfaces that Trump also wanted to rapidly pull troops out of Iraq including in this 2011 interview on CNN.
TRUMP: Iraq, we shouldn't have been there and I'd get them out real fast.
SCHNEIDER: It's not the first time Trump has claimed sarcasm to get out of a jam when he said this back in late July.
TRUMP: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
SCHNEIDER: He later dismissed the uproar.
TRUMP: I obviously, was being sarcastic. In fact, the people in the room were laughing, they found it very funny. Everybody knew that.
SCHNEIDER: Trump's supporter Newt Gingrich this morning encouraging the straight-talking businessman to be more careful with his words.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: One of the things that's frustrating about his candidacy is the imprecise language and he sometimes uses three words when he needs ten. He has got to learn to use language that has been thought through and that is clear to everybody.
SCHNEIDER: As the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows Trump lagging in key states, trailing Clinton by 14 points in Colorado, 13 points in Virginia and nine points in North Carolina and five points in Florida, Trump even acknowledging he's having trouble in traditionally red Utah.
TRUMP: I'm having a tremendous problem in Utah. Utah is a different place and I don't know, is anybody here from Utah? I mean, I didn't think so. We're having a problem.
SCHNEIDER: And Donald Trump still speaking here in Altoona tonight acknowledging the important of this state, telling his supporters we need to win Pennsylvania. He's been talking here in Altoona for about an hour. He brought a local business owner up on stage and also traveling with him throughout the day today, Erin, RNC Chair Reince Priebus in what could be seen as a show of solidarity -- Erin?
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, Trump supporter, former rival for the 2016 Republican nomination, Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson, let me just play for you what Donald Trump just said here a moment ago in Pennsylvania. I believe we have the sound bite now. Let me just play it for you about Hillary Clinton cheating in the state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: She can't beat what's happening here. The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Dr. Carson, what do you say to that when he says the only way she can win the state is if she cheats?
DR. BEN CARSON (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, he's obviously referring to some of the well-known irregularities that occurred around the Philadelphia area in the last presidential election, but really it probably would be a much better thing to concentrate on how to make sure that there is no voter fraud. That's where the energy needs to be placed and that should be helpful to both sides.
BURNETT: Now, we have polls out this week though out in Pennsylvania, nine, ten points. I mean, that isn't something that any voter fraud could explain away. I mean, the broader question I have is, do you think it's okay for the system and what he's saying about our Democratic process is if he's talking about the only way she could win is if she cheats by using that word "cheat."
CARSON: Well, again, you want the emphasis to be on how do we make sure that there is no voter fraud? You know, we're living in a society now where there are people who actually feel you don't need to have identification, official identification to vote. Every other country I've ever been to you have to have that. So, in our country people say if you want that you must be racist. It doesn't make any sense. We need to actually come back to a point where we use common sense once again.
BURNETT: And you're, you know, you're giving a nuanced answer here but I guess I'm really just trying to understand, do you think he went too far when he said that she would cheat?
CARSON: I would have said it in a different way. I would have said there have been some irregularities and we want to make sure that those don't occur and that's something that should be helpful to all of us. And let's use our ingenuity and our technology to make sure that there is no way that someone can game the system.
BURNETT: So, you also heard Donald Trump talking about whether he's being sarcastic, not that sarcastic when it comes to President Obama being the founder of ISIS, right? He said he was the founder.
[19:10:10] BURNETT: He was given outs to explain that what he really meant was just that he created a vacuum in which ISIS was able to flourish. He said, no that's not what I mean. I mean that he is the founder of ISIS. And then he said anybody who thought that he really meant that was, didn't understand he was being sarcastic and then he said he was not being sarcastic. Which is it here?
CARSON: Well, I don't think there's anybody even the most ardent left-winger who actually thinks that he believes that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama went over there and actually organized ISIS. No more so than I don't think there's anybody who believes that when Hillary said that he was a major recruiter for ISIS, that he had set up a recruitment station. You know, this is hyperbole. It's used all the time. And, you know, I really think it would be an enormous thing if the media in this country would refocus people away from that kind of stuff and say, you know what?
Our country is almost $20 trillion in debt. We have some tremendous problems with unemployment and divisiveness and a prison system that is growing way too big. School systems that are not working, particularly in inner cities. Let's focus on those things. But if you guys could do that, it would be a tremendous service to the American people because that's the very reason that the press is protected by the constitution so that they can do things like that, not so that they can be --
BURNETT: Well, you know, I sit here, Dr. Carson as someone who would love to do that. But unfortunately Donald Trump says some things that make that impossible. What he has said about ISIS, what he has said about the Gold Star family. This week it is not about the media. It is 50 former foreign policy leaders -- current former policy leaders who say that if he were president he would be the most reckless president in American history. Senator Collins yet another Republicans thinks she cannot vote for him. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Republican, right? Coming out and saying Trump's comments on Obama founding ISIS went far too far. Those are his words. This is not the media.
CARSON: You have children or grandchildren and you have people coming behind us. Let's be more concerned about them than what Hillary Clinton said or what Donald Trump said. You know, we just keep getting sucked into that cycle. We don't need to be sucked into that. We have such important issues to deal with, and as I said, everybody knows that that's political hyperbole. There's no one who doesn't know that.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Dr. Carson, thank you very much. I appreciate your being with us.
And I want to bring in my panel. Trump supporters, Boris Epshteyn, senior advisor to the Trump campaign. Andre Bauer, former lieutenant governor of South Carolina along with Clinton supporters Basil Smikle, executive chairman of the New York State Democratic Party. Doug Elmets, spokesman in the Reagan White House who is voting for Hillary Clinton. There is no one he says that that does not know that Donald Trump was engaging in hyperbole when he made his comments about Obama being the founder of ISIS.
BASIL SMIKLE, EXEC. CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: I have no idea what he means by that. The fact that Donald Trump has said, in no one's certain terms repeatedly that the President of the United States founded ISIS, that Hillary Clinton was a co-founder of ISIS. I don't see the wiggle room in that and I don't understand the sarcasm. Sarcasm is he saying Donald Trump is a thoughtful candidate. That's sarcasm. Sarcasm is not you coming out and very clearly saying --
The opposite. Yes.
BORIS EPSHTEYN, SENIOR ADVISER, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: You also believe that they were given MVP trophies? As he said, did you believe that part, too, or did you think that is sarcasm?
SMIKLE: Well, I think that's reckless.
EPSHTEYN: Let me talk.
SMIKLE: You asked me a question and I'm answering it. That is reckless.
EPSHTEYN: Now, that's a statement by the fact that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama allowed ISIS to be born, allowed it to flourish and 2300 U.S. Humvees to be used by ISIS. So, you talk about what happened with ISIS. ISIS was born because of Obama and Hillary Clinton --
SMIKLE: No, no, no, that is completely incorrect because you don't even give weight to the role that George W. Bush played in that. Which is a separate issue. I'm dealing with the fact that you have the leader of your party, the standard bearer of your party is reckless. Is reckless in his language.
EPSHTEYN: Hillary Clinton was secretary of state for four years. This country is less safe because of it. You cannot --
SMIKLE: That's not according to Senator Susan Collins.
EPSHTEYN: Well, according to people in Orlando --
SMIKLE: So that's her fault? That's her fault?
EPSHTEYN: Well, she's allowed --
SMIKLE: No, no, I want you to be very specific --
EPSHTEYN: That is her fault that she has not kept this country more safe. Absolutely.
SMIKLE: No, no, no, you raised these issues. You raised these shootings. You're saying this is her fault. I want you to be clear about that. Now, I want you to be clear about that
that is her fault. Those shootings are her fault.
EPSHTEYN: Her fault that this country is being less safe now and she's running on her record.
BURNETT: OK. Let's hit pause. Both are going to be with us.
EPSHTEYN: -- four years of presidency.
BURNETT: Along with Andre and Doug. And next, Clinton pressuring Trump to release his taxes, is she fighting a losing battle?
Plus, who is Donald Trump talking about here?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:08] TRUMP: These people are the lowest form of life. I'm telling you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And the art of the steal. How Trump signs are disappearing across the country.
[19:19:12] BURNETT: Tonight, Hillary Clinton releasing up on the ante on Donald Trump releasing her 2016 taxes. She and Bill Clinton made a combined $10.6 million last year which includes $1.5 million for six paid speeches by Hillary Clinton herself. Of course, she could only give paid speeches a brief time last year before she announced her run for the White House. So, that's a pretty good runway.
Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT with tonight's big number.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (VOICE-OVER): Hillary Clinton is keeping the pressure on Donald Trump to release his tax returns.
CLINTON: He refuses to do what every other presidential candidate in decades has done and release his tax returns.
BROWN: Clinton and her husband Bill today released their 2015 tax return which showed they raked in $10.6 million last year when she was running for president, much less than the nearly 28 million they made in 2014. They paid roughly a third of their income to Uncle Sam, 3.2 million, making their effective tax rate 30.6 percent, on par with their 32 percent effective rate in 2014. At the same time the campaign disclosed ten years of returns for
running mate Tim Kaine and his wife Ann Holton. They reported about $313,000 in income and paid nearly $63,000 in federal taxes for an effective rate of 20 percent. The Clinton campaign says now it's Trump's turn.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: You have to ask yourself, what's he afraid of?
BROWN: It's part of a coordinated effort by the campaign that includes a new web video featuring prominent Republicans calling on Trump to release his returns.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will only really know if he's a real deal or a phony if he releases his tax returns.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: The last 30 or 40 years every candidate for president has released their tax returns and I think Donald Trump should, as well.
BROWN: Trump says he'll release his returns once an IRS audit is complete.
TRUMP: Well, look, I'm in a routine audit and every lawyer tells you including Greta who is a lawyer but she said, you know, when you're under a routine audit, you don't give your tax returns.
BROWN: As Clinton urges transparency on tax returns, she is still not releasing transcripts from her paid speeches, a point that Bernie Sanders seized on during Democratic primary and Trump could revive.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am going to release all of the transcripts of the speeches that I gave on Wall Street behind closed doors. Not for $225,000, not for 2,000, not for two cents, there were no speeches.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BROWN: And Clinton has said that she will release her speech transcripts when Donald Trump does. Meantime, the returns today showed that nearly 10 percent of the Clinton's income went to charitable contributions and most of that, a million dollars, was donated to the private Clinton Family Foundation -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you very much. And OUTFRONT now, former senior counsel and U.S. Justice Department Tax Division, Rob Kovacev. Also senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Steve Rosenthal. Boris and Basil are back with me.
Steve, let me start with you. The Clintons did this, putting these taxes out tonight to put pressure on Trump. Trump keep saying, look, I have put out most recently 104 pages in financial disclosure forms that taxes aren't going to show anything additional to that. Is he right? STEVE ROSENTHAL, SENIOR FELLOW, URBAN-BROOKINGS TAX POLICY CENTER:
Well, no. He is not right. A tax return is fundamentally different than a financial disclosure form. A tax return is precise. It adds up all of the income and subtracts the deductions and finally gives a tax liability. By comparison, the financial disclosure has maybe a thousand different entities and a sprawling enterprise in which it estimates ranges of income and ranges of value impossible to meet that all together and get one number.
BURNETT: All right. So, in other words, there is a lot we don't know. Now, let me ask you, Boris, Hillary Clinton just tweeted many people are saying, OK? That's obviously her doing a play on Donald Trump. Many people are saying. Many people are saying, Trump won't release his tax returns because he is hiding something. What do you think it is? She then gives you a multiple choice on her twitter. He doesn't pay any taxes, he parks money overseas, he inflates his weight, he is not very charitable.
EPSHTEYN: So, I guess Hillary Clinton is not down for the weekend. I thought she wasn't working. We know Bill Clinton even is working and he's in Vegas for the weekend. Who knows what's going on over there? And this is what Hillary Clinton is doing. Here's what we do know about the Clintons. She promised that the Clinton Foundation would not take any money from foreign governments while she was secretary of state. That was a lie. She broke that promise. She promised that the Clinton Foundation, we separate from her job as secretary of state.
Again, we know from the different report that was again, a lie. Donald Trump has no obligation to release his tax returns, she released hers but if she can restate those as she did four years of Clinton Foundation tax returns, because they lied on those two. Did she short circuit on that as well? She is short circuiting all of that --
[19:24:03] SMIKLE: I actually don't know what you're talking because the foundation financials are available, number one. Number two, I think her, releasing her tax returns is her attempt to be more transparent than what Donald Trump is being and my guess is, you know, whether she have her effective tax rate somewhere around 40, some- ought percent.
BURNETT: Thirty one.
SMIKLE: Thirty one. All right. Even if it's 31 percent --
EPSHTEYN: Will she release the 33,000 e-mails?
SMIKLE: Yes. That said -- that said, that said, where is Donald Trump and why isn't he releasing his e-mails? Mitt Romney had about 13 percent.
BURNETT: OK. So, hold on for a second here because I want to get Rob in here. Would you -- Donald Trump now is under a lot of pressure, right, to release his returns. Warren Buffett has come out and said, he should do it. In fact, he said I'll do it when you do it. I'm also under audit and that's not an excuse. What do you say as a tax return.
ROBERT KOVACEV, FORMER SENIOR COUNSEL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TAX DIVISION: I would tell both of them, don't release your audits. If you're on audit, don't release your tax returns, period. That's just not a smart thing to do.
BURNETT: So, you think Donald Trump should stick to his guns and not cede to the pressure.
KOVACEV: Yes. Absolutely. There is nothing for to be gained in the tax process on the audit side and I think it would show a lot less than people think if they actually looked at it.
EPSHTEYN: There are less issues with it. Right? That's what you're saying. Are you talking about -- what do you mean by less?
KOVACEV: Right. Well, the thing is, if you look at Mr. Trump, he's basically a large, corporate enterprise.
KOVACEV: So if you're looking at his tax returns, they'll going to be huge and they'll going to have a lot of complex, corporate tax deductions and other things that to people who aren't tax lawyers might be confusing, might look sinister. But to an actual tax lawyer, you look at them and that's pretty standard.
SMIKLE: Yes. My sense is, you know, look, I totally understand what you're saying, my sense is though, he is a public person now, he is not a private entity anymore. He is running for president of the United States, the highest office in the land. And there is a tradition of releasing tax returns. So, I think it's incumbent upon him to actually do this. My guess is that, developer said this that it's probable that he's not doing this because his effective rate is zero.
BURNETT: Well though -- Basil though, shouldn't she also be putting out her transcripts? She now says when she puts out her transcripts, she doesn't have any transcripts. So, that's a non-starter. Should she be putting out $1.5 in paid speeches just last year in the few months before she announced she was running. Why not put them out there?
SMIKLE: You know what? I don't begrudge her aide doing the speeches of putting out and not putting out the transcripts because there is no pay to play, there is no quid pro quo which is what the e-mails -- people are saying that --
EPSHTEYN: -- For $200,000 because she's a good speaker? She's an awful speaker. Let me say something --
SMIKLE: She is an internationally known leader. Because she's an internationally known leader. She has a lot to say. (CROSSTALK)
BURNETT: Secretary of State, not to use a private server, not to break laws, not to break rules.
SMIKLE: She didn't break laws. She wasn't even indicted.
EPSHTEYN: You should care about that and you should --
SMIKLE: I do care about that, but she hasn't broken any laws?
EPSHTEYN: Really? I think she did.
SMIKLE: That's your thought.
BURNETT: Well, there's no Boris allegation of anything in this. Right? This is just what was in there? Was she cozy to the banking industry? That she has reporting to take on her or not, that's the question.
EPSHTEYN: The allegation is this, that she has said that she's anti- Wall Street. She's rating millions, millions, millions of dollars from Wall Street. Obviously, that's a lie.
SMIKLE: And look at her economic policy. Her economic policy is talking about penalizing corporations that go overseas. She's actually taking, she's actually trying to be more strict with respect to these companies where Donald Trump is saying, let's get rid of Dodd Frank. She hasn't said that.
EPSHTEYN: Well, those are policies and we all know she's lying. And people on Wall Street --
SMIKLE: Just the fact that you keep saying it doesn't make it true.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all. Up next, the people that Trump loves to hate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The lowest form of humanity. Not all of them. They have about 25 percent that are pretty good, actually.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And the breaking news, Trump saying if he loses in Pennsylvania, it is because Hillary Clinton cheated.
Plus, extreme turbulence causing a JetBlue plane to free fall. A father of two who were all onboard that plane join us tonight.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK> [19:31:33] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: New tonight, Donald Trump stepping up his attacks on the press, blasting the media today, saying we misunderstood the sarcasm in his repeated assertion that President Obama founded ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: These people are the lowest form of life, I'm telling you. The lowest. They are the lowest form of humanity. Not all of them. They have about 25 percent that are pretty good, actually, but most of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. These attacks, just the latest in the billionaire's love/hate relationship with the press. Brian Stelter is OUTFRONT.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump's campaign is all about attention, media attention.
TRUMP: Look at all those guys, look at all the red lights.
TRUMP: It's a little bit ridiculous.
STELTER: But Trump likes to have it both ways. His favorite show is beat the press.
TRUMP: These people are the lowest form of life, I'm telling you.
This sleazy guy right over here from ABC. He's a sleaze. "The Washington Post," one of the most dishonest papers in the world.
STELTER: When the going gets tough, Trump gets tough on the people covering his campaign right now especially CNN.
TRUMP: FOX has been fair, but CNN has been catastrophic. It's so dishonest.
STELTER: Lately, he doesn't seem to want the attention at all.
TRUMP: They cover things that are -- that should not be covered. Hillary Clinton does face daily scrutiny, especially about her e-mail server. But Clinton usually keeps media critiques private, Trump tweets his on an hourly basis.
CNN, "New York Times" and "Washington Post", he's subjected to a dozen things just this week alone. On Friday, he called CNN "ratings challenged", but odds are he's watching this program right now. Watching cable news and then reacting to it is a defining feature of his campaign. TRUMP: You ought to see these news organizations yesterday when I
said Obama, right? Did you see that? That Obama is the founder of ISIS.
STELTER: Time and time again, he says the media is rigged against him.
TRUMP: The media is rigged. It's rigged. It's crooked as hell.
STELTER: He is far from the first can at to blame the media.
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Here is a little news flash for those reporters and commentators. I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion.
STELTER: Sometimes when campaigns are down in the poll, the anti- press talk gets even louder. The difference for Trump is the intensity and he is not just running against Clinton. He is running against us.
STELTER: At best, Erin, this is a savvy campaign tactic, attacking the messenger. But at worse, it's an attack on our very legitimacy, a refusal to recognize the very purpose of the press. What Trump is saying tonight how he will only lose in Pennsylvania if the election stolen must be challenged by journalists. Erin, he's given us quite a job to do, isn't he?
BURNETT: Yes, he absolutely is, in every way. Brian, thank you.
I want to bring back my panel and Brian just mentioned what Donald Trump just said about Hillary Clinton would only win Pennsylvania if she cheats. I want to play exactly what he said to this rally moments ago. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Call up law enforcement and we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching because if we get cheated out of this election, if we get cheated out of a win in Pennsylvania, which is such a vital state especially when I know what's happening here, folks.
[19:35:07] I know she can't beat what's happening here. The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean, this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state, they cheat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRE BAUER, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: This is an unconventional candidate in an unconventional election. If I were him, I think his real message is the economy and jobs. This is a job creator and I think he would stick to the message. But I did -- I would say this, a few weeks ago, CNN actually did a
story and it showed a guy with a clicker that could actually change the votes with the voting machine and I saw it right here on the station and it can be done. And so, you know, he will do everything --
BURNETT: So you think the voter fraud is a real enough issue that he should be bringing it up and the only way she wins is if she cheats?
BAUER: I, quite frankly, I got -- what got me attracted to Donald Trump was a businessman, a change agent in Washington and I think that's his best message. That's where I would like him to see him take the message, much like Gingrich. I think Gingrich really nailed it and he needs to explain himself a little bit more, because I think that's what wins this election and that's where people are more frustrated. I understand he has a very different tactic, and he's got elected to the second highest office in the land to play the game, and I haven't, so I can't challenge --
BURNETT: What do you make of this coming out and saying that the only way she wins is by cheating.
DOUG ELMETS, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, first of all, it's great to be with the lowest form of life.
BURNETT: That's right. You are really --
BURNETT: I have the lowest form of life.
BORIS EPSHTEYN, DONALD TRUMP SUPPOTER: For 25 percent ,Erin --
ELMETS: Frankly, he is his own worst enemy and really Hillary Clinton's most he is unraveling and in the process he is unraveling the Republican Party. It's a tragedy, the party that he's hijacked and frankly, you're never really sure what he's going to say day to day, but for us, he's the gift that keeps on giving because we know tomorrow will be another thing.
EPSHTEYN: Wasn't he a Republican a couple of years ago and now it's for us.
EPSHTEYN: Folks like who lead the Republican Party. Now, as far as voter fraud goes, what I experience as an aide on the McCain campaign, ACORN and organizations like that are a real threat to American democracy. There is real voter fraud that goes on in this country.
BURNETT: You are talking about people that vote many times over?
EPSHTEYN: The whole Dallas Cowboys offensive linemen that are registering to vote, when actual people have been (INAUDIBLE) to vote, bussing folks from Chicago in Illinois to Ohio to vote -- let me finish, Basil. I see you want to jump in. BASIL SMIKLE, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: You see that, right? Go
EPSHTEYN: There's no issue with Donald Trump saying, "I will win Pennsylvania," every candidate should go into a state and believe they're going to win that key state, that's great.
Two, there's no issue, and as you played the longer clip, saying we know what happens at the polls, we want to have police watch, we want to make sure there's no voter fraud. Both sides should agree with that.
BURNETT: OK, but that's where he -- he then continued to say and if she wins, it was only because she cheated.
SMIKLE: Right, but first of all, but it happens. If you go to a polling sites, there are police officers there.
And my problem is this conversation about voter fraud is a proxy for a lot of what has been happening over the last few years where something like 20 to 30 states have enacted laws to make it more difficult for people of color to vote, that have made it more difficult for people of color to vote where they've had to actually go to court to try to take that away. The Supreme Court itself has gutted the Voting Rights Act.
So, when people talk about -- particularly Dr. Carson who talks about, well, in and around Philadelphia, to me, what that says is there is a concern that black and brown are not doing, are not doing what they're supposed to do and somehow cheating the system and that's a problem for me because all of this conversation about voter fraud is about tamping down the vote --
EPSHTEYN: Just like having an I.D. to get in this building tonight, to go to the library, to go to the gym, it's OK to have an I.D. to vote. That's not a racist issue. That's an issue of keeping our system correct and keeping it honest.
SMIKLE: I understand you may not see it that way.
SMIKLE: I understand you may not see it that way, but when communities of color have historically had multiple barriers to get to the voting booth, and here in New York, you don't need any I.D.
ELMETS: Boris, don't interrupt me while I try to talk.
That is the -- I do wonder whether he wants to win. I think he raises these things because he's trying to set up this play that he might actually lose and in fact, I think he's acting like a loser in the process. BURNETT: Boris, is that what he's doing because he's saying it's not
going to be my fault, it's the media or it's the system rigged or if someone is cheating, it's not me?
EPSHTEYN: This was an hour-long speech in which he talked about jobs, terrorism and keeping this country safe, we're focusing on a short snippet in which we talk about making sure the elections are fair and there's nothing wrong with that.
[19:40:00] Let's talk about the jobs, let's talk about the 700,000 jobs lost in this country because of NAFTA, millions of jobs that will be lost because of TPP, all things that the Clintons have supported. That's what he talked about --
BURNETT: When he uses the word "cheat", it does create, support him, when and if he loses, they will feel completely disenfranchised by the system. Isn't that a very negative thing that someone who wants to be president shouldn't be doing?
EPSHTEYN: The Clintons have spent their public life cheating the system, cheating the American people.
EPSHTEYN: They have. Just like she cheated the system with her e- mails, she cheated the system with pay to play. Bill Clinton cheated the system --
BURNETT: Well, she did go around the system with her emails. She did go against the system.
EPSHTEYN: You don't have to call it cheating, called short circuiting, but she did it. And he's saying she's going to do it again with the election.
SMIKLE: There's no pay to play.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all of you.
And next, Trump says he would send Americans to Gitmo. Can he do it?
Plus, turbulence so severe, a toilet was completely ripped off its base in mid-air. I'm going to talk to a passenger who was on the JetBlue flight who talks about how people were flying out of their seats. He was on with his two young sons.
[19:45:02] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump going one step farther than promising to keep Guantanamo Bay open. He now says he's open to sending American terror suspects to Gitmo, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Would you try to get the military commissions, the trial court there to try U.S. citizens?
TRUMP: Well, I know that they want to try them in our regular court systems and I don't like that at all. I don't like that at all. I would say they could be tried there. That would be fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, our national security commentator, former chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Mike Rogers, who is also advising Donald Trump's transition team on national security issues.
Good to have you with me, Congressman.
Do you agree with Donald Trump on sending American citizens to Guantanamo Bay?
MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Well, it's not the advice that I would give him, that's for sure. However, this notion that it's illegal I think is completely wrong. So, there was a case in 2002 roughly, George Bush versus Padilla. He was arrested providing material support to al Qaeda, a U.S. citizen. He was declared an enemy combatant and then could be held by the military at any military and legitimate military installation.
So, the president has the ability to go through this process to declare someone an enemy combatant, and then could take them down to Gitmo, and as I said, I wouldn't do it. What I think would be smart to allow the president flexibility if there are 50 or 80 or 100 people who rise up in major city, declare their allegiance and begin what we would call combat-type operations or terrorist type operations, you'd probably want the president having at least the capability to declare them an enemy combatant.
So, a confusing issue, I don't -- I wouldn't recommend it. Remember, the next president is going to be surrounded by military officers and intelligence folks and senior legal advisers to provide a list of legal options and they're all going to be legal options and I think that's important to remember here.
If he was trying to say I'm the law enforcement guy, I think it was clumsy speech, not the advice as I said I would give him or others should give him, but at least it's not illegal, I heard it on the news a lot, it's illegal to do this. It really isn't --
BURNETT: Not illegal.
ROGERS: As long as he goes through the process of declaring them an enemy combatant.
BURNETT: All right. You've got "Declassified," your latest premiere of this coming up on Sunday. This is your series of undercover agents, it's pretty incredible the stories that we've never heard before and all of this was undercover. This week, you're going to let viewers see how hard it is as an undercover agent tries to stop an Iranian man. His plot to buy American weapons, which is pretty stunning, and here is a little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another level where you see is working is performing for the primary audience. That's the suspect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want to drink, we'll have the people downstairs make it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is consistent with my role to be as charming as possible. Every case might be very different. I have, on occasion done the exact opposite and tried to raise someone's anxiety level when it served a purpose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The work of an undercover is similar to that of a high-priced call girl. I am what you want me to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: High-priced call girl.
ROGERS: Well, I did some undercover work, and I don't think I would relate it to that when I was an FBI agent. Nothing as sophisticated as this, that's what makes this case so exciting.
It's multinational. They had to bring in a foreigner who was an arms dealer in the past, pretty shady character, to teach the agents and how to be a shady arms dealer in the international market. They had to set up a fake company overseas, and this Iranian dealer was trying to buy very sophisticated U.S. military hardware, take it back to Iran so they can copy it and deploy it against U.S. troops.
It's a fascinating case, if you like intrigue, if you like cloak and dagger, if you like a little mystery, Erin, you're going to love this on Sunday night at 10:00.
BURNETT: Well, you know, I certainly will and there you go. That is exactly, Sunday night at 10:00, "Declassified," an absolutely excellent installment.
And next, dozens injured on a JetBlue flight. Passengers thought the plane was literally falling out of the sky. Absolutely terrifying, a man was on a plane with his two young sons, OUTFRONT next.
[19:53:14] BURNETT: Tonight, at least 24 people recovering after severe turbulence rocked a jet that was traveling from Boston to Sacramento. The disturbance coming on so quickly, passengers and flight attendants were sent flying. To give you an idea of just how shaking how -- severe the shaking was, it literally ripped a toilet from the plane's wall. That is just terrifying to even contemplate.
Because of the injuries, the flight was diverted to South Dakota, ambulances were standing by.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMERGENCY RESPONSE: This is going to be an Airbus 320 coming up and they have numerous injuries on the flight due to turbulence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Casey Corcoran. He and his family, his wife, his son and daughter were all passengers onboard that JetBlue flight.
Casey, this is something that terrifies people to hear about it, to imagine when you think about a toilet being ripped from the wall. What happened at the moment the jet hit the turbulence?
CASEY CORCORAN, PASSENGER ON JETBLUE FLIGHT 429: We really have very little warning that there's going to be turbulence. We were told to buckle our seat belts about 15 minutes before, but there was a very strong shaking of the plane for a couple of seconds and it was almost like you hit a wall and it dropped. It was a matter of five or ten seconds and that's it, but it was an absolutely extreme -- and absolutely terrifying.
BURNETT: I mean, what did that drop feel like? I mean, you describe it as hitting a wall and then dropping. I mean, was the plane going nose down? I mean, I imagine your stomach literally drops? I mean, what happened?
CORCORAN: Imagine one of those rides at amusement parks where they zip you up very quickly and they drop you very rapidly. It was like floating. We all came up out of our seats and everything is flying everywhere.
People were crying and screaming and I've never felt anything like that.
[19:55:01] And, of course, it was like hitting an air pocket. So, it wasn't like the nose going down, but it was like just a straight drop down, the plane just literally going down.
BURNETT: I mean, what was happening with your children?
CORCORAN: You know, they were really, really scared. It was terrifying for all of us and, you know, what we did is what my wife Margie and I did as parents was try to reassure them that while it was really scary, we were safe, we were smart, we had our seat belts on.
And I was very fortunate and I work for an organization called Futures Without Violence and we do work around kids and trauma. So, it was my work life meeting my personal life. You know, really using those skills.
BURNETT: Wow. I mean, as the plane went down, Casey, did you think that it could crash or that you were going to die or did you think it would be okay? Isn't that -- in that moment, in that drop, what were you thinking?
CORCORAN: You know, honestly, when my wife and my kids on the plane I had to believe that it was going to be okay. It was too terrifying to think anything else. I felt confident that our pilots would get us on the ground safely. I felt confident that the plane would get us there, but I have to tell you I was incredibly relieved to touchdown.
BURNETT: All right. And that's, of course, where you are now safe and sound, and best wishes to you and your ongoing journey and, of course, to your children and wife, too.
Casey, thanks so much.
CORCORAN: Thanks. We really appreciate it. Thanks for having me on.
BURNETT: All right.
And we'll be right back.
BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us.
"AC360" starts now.