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Soon: Trump Law & Order Speech; Trump: "I Don't Want to Pivot"; Trump to Begin General Election Ads in 5 States this Weekend; Sources: Ailes Advising Trump; Trump: Clinton Lacks "Physical Stamina." Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 16, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:10] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

We're waiting to hear from Donald Trump. He is in Milwaukee in a suburb there. He'll be speaking, as he did yesterday, from a teleprompter, this time talking about law and order. His remarks expected to be precisely the kind of button down, focused performance that some in the party would like to see more, of continuing to pivot, as some call it, toward general election voters. That is their hope.

However, they may be disappointed after tonight. That's because a short time ago, Trump told a local CNN affiliate that he does not want to pivot, he does not want to change. He does not think it would be true to who he is -- and in so many words, so be it.

We'll talk about it with the panel, but first, Sara Murray sets the stage.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER (voice-over): Donald Trump hitting the trail in Wisconsin today, hammering home his claim that he's the top choice for voters looking for law and order.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have to obey the laws or we don't have a country. We have a case where good people are out there trying to get people to sort of calm down and they're not calming down, and we have our police who do a phenomenal job.

MURRAY: Trump touring a memorial with veterans and members of law enforcement in Milwaukee, a city recovering from clashes after police shot and killed an armed man over the weekend. His security-oriented visit coming just a day after Trump delivered a foreign policy speech laden with promises to defeat ISIS.

TRUMP: My administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS.

MURRAY: But sparse on the details on how Trump would accomplish that aim as president.

As the GOP nominee looks to bolster his foreign approximately see credentials, sources tell CNN Trump will receive his first classified intelligence briefing Wednesday in New York. It's a primer that's caused heartburn among some lawmakers and former intelligence officers wary of looping in the free-wheeling candidate on sensitive information, and it comes just days after Trump reiterated his call for closer ties with Russia.

TRUMP: I also believe we can find common ground with Russia in the fight against ISIS. Wouldn't that be a good thing? Wouldn't that be a good thing?

MURRAY: One of Trump's aides seizing on news that Russia sent warplanes from Iran to target ISIS in Syria as a positive sign.

Trump's social media head Dan Scovino tweeting, "Another Trump idea becoming a reality. Russia going to bomb ISIS at the moment."

Trump has faced blowback for his calls to partner with Russia and has past praised for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Now, he's looking to turn the table. The Trump campaign blasting out a statement to highlight Clinton's ties to Russia, and claiming she and her allies sold out American interests to Putin in exchange for political and financial favors.

Sara Murray, CNN, New York.


COOPER: So with that as the backdrop, let's go now to Jason Carroll in West Bend, Wisconsin.

So, we are waiting for this Donald Trump speech, where you are right now. What are we expecting to hear tonight? The teleprompters are clearly set up. We are told this is supposed to be much more of a focused address.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And because the prompters are here, Anderson, the hope is among his supporters that he will be focused here tonight.

I think if you look at the interview that he gave a little earlier today, Anderson, I think that's going to will give us some insight into what he'll talk about here tonight. He was asked what he would do to pick the problems plaguing Milwaukee. He said two things. He said one, there needs to be a need for more economic development and there has to be law and order.

So, we expect him to once again make that claim, make that stand here tonight that he is the law and order candidate, and to draw a stark contrast between himself who he bills as being pro-cop and Hillary Clinton who he says is anti-cop, weak on crime, weak on terrorism. These are some of the themes we expect him to address tonight.

COOPER: Trump gave an interview where he addressed criticism that he needs to pivot. We talked about some of what he said. Talk more about that. CARROLL: Well, look, he was asked about this need to pivot. We've

heard it before and questions about his rhetoric and is that working for him?

Clearly, it has not been working so well for him in the state of Wisconsin where, as you know, Hillary Clinton is leading in the latest poll by some 12 points. So, he was asked, do you need to pivot? Do you need to change your tone? And Donald Trump said, "I don't think I need to change my tone. It's gotten me this far."

But then I want you to look at something. A short while ago, Anderson, he released a statement, a pledge to the American people and language that sounded very different from the language we've heard from Donald Trump before. Let me read part of it to you.

It says, "We will reject bigotry, hatred and oppression in all its forms and seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people."

Certainly, that's not the type of language we've heard before from Donald Trump.

[20:05:02] You know, his critics have been saying all along that he's not inclusive and he's run a divisive campaign. This seems to be somewhat of a pivot on paper in terms of what we hear later on here today. Expect that to be very much about being the law and order candidate -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll, Jason, thanks.

I want to bring in the panel before Trump's remarks, "Washington Post" political reporter Philip Bump, Clinton supporter and former New York City council speaker Christine Quinn, pro-Clinton super PAC advisor, Paul Begala, Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, Mary Katharine Ham, senior writer at "The Federalist" and fair to say a Trump critic, also Trump surrogate John Jay LaValle.

Phil, let's start with you. I mean, this idea of Donald Trump talking about law and order tonight, he clearly -- their campaign clearly sees this as a potential advantage they have over Secretary Clinton.

PHIL BUMP, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, that's true. I'm not sure whether or not that bears out in the polls. If you look at the polling, people trust Clinton to repair the damage between the black community and the police more than they trust Donald Trump to do so, for example. He's made this the focus of his campaign, but what we've seen over the past month or two months with the campaign is he's not figured out how to extend his core base and support.

I'm not sure that the law and order emphasis is going to continue to let him expand outward in terms of the number of people that he's reaching. He's consistently in the low 40s in terms of polling, I'm not sure that reinforcing the same thing in this way is going to move him pass that mark.

COOPER: It's also interesting, Christine, because -- I mean, you know, there were a lot of articles just today about lack of outreach to the African-American community in the United States and even to African-American conservatives.

CHRISTINE QUINN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. And reports are that a lot of his supporters and advisers are urging him to begin doing that.

I honestly think the Trump campaign hasn't done any outreach to African-American voters because some of his team is smart enough to know he's not going to do well there. He's not going to do well there, period. But he's certainly not going to do well there against Secretary Clinton who has a lifetime record of working to help low- income community ands people color in this country move upward.

And on top of that, you know, the divisive rhetoric we've talked about over and over and picking out community, that doesn't sit well with African-Americans. Even if you're -- they haven't been targeted because they know they'll be the next community.

COOPER: Kayleigh, as a Trump supporter, is that something you would like to see Donald Trump do?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What I want to see him do tonight is build a bridge. I think there are a lot of Americans who have looked at the Obama administration with a lot of frustration and worry. When you see a number of officers killed in Dallas, when you see unrest in Milwaukee, six businesses burned he ground and when we see Ferguson burn, when we see Baltimore and riots, there is a lot of unrest here at home.

And a lot of people thought Barack Obama had the opportunity to be a bridge between the African-American community and those who are sometimes on the wrong end of police brutality and the police community. Barack Obama hasn't been that bridge.

And Donald Trump tonight to speak to the economic plight of the African-American community and say, look, there are incidences of police brutality that need to be addressed, but overall, law enforcement is good. Police are good and they're there to protect you and enforce the law. If he can be that bridge, I think that's something people really have wanted to see for eight years.

COOPER: Paul, we are learning that the Trump -- the campaign is going to start general election campaign ads in five states this week in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, something they really haven't been doing. He did have a very good month of fundraising last month, I think $80 million. I think Secretary Clinton brought in $90 million, but $80 million in small donations we're told.

How significant is this ad buy? Because -- we should point out, your super PAC was also --

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: In fact, we announced -- our super PAC is standing down for now in three of the nine or ten states.

COOPER: Why? In battleground states.

BEGALA: Frankly, because she's winning by so much, and there's only so much resources and we want to retarget to where we think we can do the most good, and perhaps even the field. You know, it's remarkable that 84 days out, we're looking at expanding the field and reaching out to states that Mitt Romney carried.

You know, Hillary doesn't have to win any of the Romney states. She has to carry the states President Obama carried. She's now leading in states that Romney won like North Carolina.

COOPER: So, when the Trump campaign says, well, look, we haven't even begun to really spend all of the money that we have in our arsenal and haven't even been, you know, the Clinton campaign, and the super PACs have been spending tons of money on ads and Trump has all this money ready to go now. Does it worry you?

BEGALA: Yes. It does. It will tighten up. Any Democrat who thinks this thing is going to be a cake walk is out of their mind.

QUINN: Absolutely.

BEGALA: In all of American history, there were only three Democrats that got 53 percent or more, Andrew Jackson, FDR and LBJ, that's it. The list of Republicans who got 53 is as long as my arm. This is going to be a close race, believe me. Those ads, Trump has able people around him. They're going to make good ads and it's going to have an effect.

QUINN: And everyone on the campaign believes that. And that's clearly the belief in Hillary's campaign and on the team. You have to fight this until the end. You can't assume anything, nothing is won until --

COOPER: It is interesting, John, that we have much more focus on Donald Trump in the last two days. There was the speech yesterday. The speech tonight and there was this tweet today and yet at the same time, Trump says, "I don't want to pivot even though back early on", I remember in multiple interviews, he would say, I did interviews with him where he would say, yes, I think after the primary, you know, I'll be more presidential, I can be anything I want to be.

[20:10:11] He clearly -- I mean, which is it? Is he pivoting or is he pivoting without saying he's pivoting?

JOHN JAY LAVALLE, TRUMP SURROGATE: If you know Donald Trump, he is going to be himself. He is not going to pivot. What you're seeing right now, is he's reaching out -- we spoke about the African-American community. He's reaching out to them through his policy positions because it's the Democrat policies that aren't working.

COOPER: But at some point, doesn't he have to go to an African- American church? Doesn't he actually have to go and talk to them?

LAVALLE: He's reaching out to African-Americans -- he's talking to African-Americans, but you have a community where there's 7 million more people today than seven years ago considered impoverished. Thirty percent unemployment rate in the African-American community his in these urban communities. The K to 12 system is failing miserably in our inner cities.

COOPER: Right. But the question --

LAVALLE: What the Democrats really doing --


COOPER: Mary Katharine, is Donald Trump reaching out?

MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. I think that those points are correct and there is an argument to be made there. Will Donald Trump be able to successfully make it? I don't think so.

I think he may very well be disciplined on the stump tonight and as you see often is a pattern with him, he cannot keep a lid on his id, the pot will boil it over tomorrow. And he will do undo any work that he did the night before. This happens every time because he does not want to pivot and doesn't want to be the teleprompter guy, and it is true that that is not what has worked for him in the past.

But I don't know if it will work for him this --

COOPER: Let's take a quick break. And we're going to have more with our panel in just a moment.

Coming up next, the FBI takes an unprecedented step, giving Congress secret material from its e-mail investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Also, what appears to be growing momentum for her in some very important states.

Also, as we look ahead to the speech tonight which we'll be bringing you, we'll talk about ousted FOX News founder Roger Ailes and the new role our sources say he has in the Trump campaign and how women voters may react to that.


[20:15:36] COOPER: Breaking news tonight: ads from the Trump campaign going up this weekend in five key states. Meantime, as Paul Begala mentioned before the break, his super PAC is pulling advertising in three states because in his words, Hillary Clinton is so far ahead in them.

However sunny as some of her polling numbers look in most of the big battleground states, there's also a cloud and fallout from her e-mail issues and a big step today from the FBI. We'll have more on all of that right now from our Joe Johns.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton campaigning today at a Philadelphia voter registration event. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: When Donald Trump speaks,

he speaks about fear. He speaks about such negativity and such pessimism.

JOHNS: But her e-mail controversy is still casting a shadow over her campaign.

The FBI releasing a new report to Congress detailing why it recommended no charges be filed against the former secretary of state over her use of a private e-mail server. The report also includes notes taken by the FBI during witness interviews. The report is classified, but it does keep the controversy alive for Clinton while offering Trump another talking point against her.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton lacks the judgment, as said by Bernie Sanders, stability, and temperament, and the moral character to lead our nation.

JOHNS: The Clinton campaign saying they prefer the report be released publicly rather than parts selectively released by someone with political motives against Clinton.

Meantime, Clinton is polling very well in key battleground states like Virginia. A new "Washington Post" poll finds Clinton ahead of Trump by eight points there, 51 percent to 43 percent among likely voters.

In fact, Clinton is doing so well, her super PAC, Priorities USA, is pulling ads in Virginia, along with crucial states, Colorado and Pennsylvania, for much of September.

AD ANNNOUNCER: Priorities USA Action is responsible for the content of this advertising.

JOHNS: The group telling CNN, Clinton's early success on those states means they can focus their attention and cash in states where it's more needed.

In Philadelphia today, she was working hard to turn out African- American voters in record numbers.

CLINTON: We want you all to register to vote. We have places to register because we don't want you on the sidelines come November.

JOHNS: Clinton courting the black vote a day after vying for white working class voters alongside Vice President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, trying to hold on to the battleground state that has gone to Democrats in every presidential election since Bill Clinton won it in 1992.

CLINTON: Friends should not let friends vote for Trump.

JOHNS: And the Clinton campaign is already putting together its transition team, announcing former Colorado senator and interior secretary, Ken Salazar, will lead it.

Joe Johns, CNN, Philadelphia. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And back with the panel.

Kayleigh, I mean, again, as a Trump supporter, do you think that this latest chapter on the e-mail saga that it continues to resonate with people and obviously with Trump supporters it does, but with independents and others who haven't made up their minds yet?

MCENANY: I think it absolutely does and polling bears that out and if you look at the way NBC poll, just 11 percent of voters trust Hillary Clinton. That is an astonishing new low.

And if Donald Trump can drive this home in a way that becomes real to voters, saying, look, she imperiled national secrets and here's how she did it, she perjured herself before Congress allegedly, that's what House Republicans are saying, they listed four areas where she told Congress something that the FBI director actively contradicted. If he can drive that message home, she perjured himself before Congress and she could be lying to you. That is an effective --

COOPER: Paul, I think your super PAC on focus groups on something this, does it resonate?

BEGALA: Yes, it's done real damage. It has. I'd say, when the story broke, I -- to quote George W. Bush, I misunderestimated the damage that this would do. So, I'm a little chasten.

But when it comes from Donald Trump and the congressional Republicans voters, voters discounted them immediately, we were 84 days before the election. I have to say, my capacity for ironies is completely gone, but we need a clock ticker for the town hall meeting coming up tomorrow.

How many seconds, how many milliseconds before Republicans in Congress mishandle the classified information they're being given about an allegation that their opponent mishandled classified information? They're going to leak this stuff so fast and it is beyond irony, it's hypocrisy. The fact --

HAM: They might --

BEGALA: Pardon me?

[20:20:00] HAM: They might even get punished for it since they're not running for president.

BEGALA: They will get away with it.


COOPER: Christine, the Clinton campaign has said put it all out there. Don't just give it to folks in Capitol Hill who will let it out piecemeal.

QUINN: And I think that speaks volumes about the confidence Secretary Clinton has --

COOPER: Or just wants to get it over with all at once.

QUINN: No, because that wouldn't be the case, because in that case, you know, you hope for the best, right?

COOPER: I mean, you're saying she knows they can't release it

LAVALLE: Exactly, Anderson. That is the point.

She's saying that because she knows it's impossible for it to be released, to say, oh, please, please, release it.

COOPER: So it looks like transparency.

LAVALLE: How about release your Wall Street speeches then, if you're so interested in releasing --

QUINN: How about release your taxes, Donald Trump?

HAM: I mean -- hello!

LAVALLE: The taxes, that is the biggest misnomer. Another red herring in this campaign.

COOPER: How so?

LAVALLE: He filled out his financial disclosure form which discloses all his financial --

COOPER: Not the same.

QUINN: Not the same.

LAVALLE: It's very similar.


BUMP: It doesn't include non-profits.


LAVALLE: Exactly to the dollar?

COOPER: The difference --


BUMP: Yes, particularly because we're talking about someone who is a billionaire, self-professed billionaire, that has all this money and has all these business connections, we don't know any of them. We have seen his personal financial disclosure that has lists of what he owns and where he get some income from. We don't know his annual tax rate and we don't know how much he is giving to charity.

COOPER: And by the way, if it was exactly the same thing, he would have no problem.

BUMP: That's right.

LAVALLE: I didn't say it's the same thing. It's a document that discloses what entities he owns, what the approximate value of the income is.

COOPER: Right, although --

LAVALLE: The financial disclosure is --

COOPER: I don't want to get in the weeds on this, but a lot of that value is Donald Trump's idea of what the value is based on his brand and things like that, as opposed to what the IRS is actually --

QUINN: I filled out many financial disclosure forms and the assumption is that the person is being honest. You put in brackets that something could be worth $10,000 to $250,000 and it's a range and no one vets it. And your taxes which I've also released many years ago when I was an elected official are totally, totally different. You can say it's a disclosure, but it is not the same.

COOPER: Do you think voters care about the tax returns? Because Democrats are trying to hit this hard and Donald Trump has his story all along, has said, "Look, I'm being audited. I'm not going to do it" --

HAM: The problem for both of them is they're fighting on equally unlikable, dishonest grounds.

The American -- the good news for Republicans is that she is unliked and --

COOPER: And won't release the speeches.

HAM: And the bad news is that he is also. I mean, they are offering the American people two 72 Pintos in different colors, and the American people are, like, don't they all blow up? I mean, this is not a great situation --

COOPER: There has to be a small group of 72 Pinto voters, clubbers out there right now who were like, who cares (ph)?



LAVALLE: It's trying to spin everything away from what is coming out now. And the fact that the foundation -- they've been selling the influence of the U.S. government to individuals who are contributing to this foundation. They are now directly linking her personal aides, his personal aides and their campaign workers to the foundation, to the government and they're selling the interest of the United States.

HAM: And I wish they were a good as you --

COOPER: There were questions about sort of this confluence between the foundation and access to the State Department.

QUINN: First, let me say -- love you, John, but that's a gross overstatement of what the facts are, A. B, the three or four e-mails in question were released by a far right-wing group that has been trying to hurt Hillary Clinton for decades.

COOPER: It doesn't make the email --

QUINN: And the two or three e-mails in question were between staff. They were not with the secretary in any way, shape or form, and the two e-mails that are most in question the gentleman who wanted to speak, the former ambassador --


QUINN: Wait, the man who wanted to speak to the former ambassador and anybody who sent the request never got the meeting and the kid who wanted the job, anybody can ask if you want to get the kid a job, is whether you respond, they got no job.

LAVALLE: But why they wanted the job? Why they wanted --

QUINN: It doesn't matter! They didn't get it.


QUINN: There was nothing to buy and so they didn't get it.

LAVALLE: Really?

COOPER: If Secretary Clinton becomes president, does the foundation continue? Because I mean, they are also, I asked her about this. Would Bill Clinton continue to be on the foundation? I mean, it does raise some complicated issues.

BUMP: Sure. It's a great question. Part of the challenge she's having now is while she was secretary of state it existed and that's causing a lot of these somewhat overblown allegations that we've been hearing over the course of the past few weeks. You know, obviously, there are ways that people have to deal with their entanglements once they go into office. Donald Trump would have to put everything to a blind trust to hand it over to his kids.

They would have to figure something out. Yes, I mean, I don't think it does them much good. The goal was to have Bill Clinton to continue to have the presence on the global stage and that worked.


COOPER: Let's take a quick break.

We'll have more on this. Time for a quick break and much more ahead with the panel including discussion on this, is Roger Ailes helping Donald Trump get ready to face Hillary Clinton on the debate stage? That's what's happening, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. But is that really the best idea given Trump's situation with some women voters? Ailes having to resign from FOX News because of a sexual harassment scandal? We'll get into all of that next.


[20:29:10] COOPER: History might not repeat itself, but often like tonight it rhymes. Donald Trump who models part of his campaign in Richard Nixon's back 1968 is now working with an old and legendary Nixon campaign adviser. Back then, Roger Ailes taught Nixon how to be a better television candidate. Today, knowledgeable sources say he's helping Trump with debate prep.

The campaign says otherwise, we should point out. If our sources are right, though, it does raise certain questions about what some women voters may make of it given that Ailes just left FOX News under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations and Donald Trump has had record of making controversial remarks about women.


TRUMP: Rosie O'Donnell is disgusting. I mean, both inside and out. You take a look at her, she's a slob. We're all a little chubby, but Rosie is just worse than most of us.

I view a person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10. OK? I mean, they have to be extraordinary. You have to have the face of Vivien Leigh to be a 10, if you're flat-chested.

You dropped to your knees. It must be a pretty picture that you dropped to your knees.

[20:30:02] You see you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever.

Kelly has a habit of just speaking whenever she wants to speak.

I know where she went. It's disgusting. I don't want to talk about it.


COOPER: Joining the panel, Paul Begala and Kayleigh McEnany, Chief Political Analyst David Gergen and Brian Stelter anchor of CNN's "Reliable Sources".

David, first of all, I mean Roger Ailes has a successful history of prepping presidential candidates for debate, but clearly hanging over Roger Ailes or the sexual harassment accusations and the ouster of Fox News. What do you read into the state of Donald Trump's campaign that his willing to bring on Roger Ailes?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, is a certain desperation there, isn't there. But it, you know, is it a marriage made in heaven or a marriage made in hell? You know, there are Trump supporters who will tell you, listen, he's been -- he is gift Roger Ailes his gifted. There is no question about that. He built Fox News. And for years, long before he even went to Fox, he've been a successful media adviser, and I remember him back in the late '60s, early '70s where Richard Nixon he cast a spell over Nixon, and he's probably the only man on the planet who can get Donald Trump to listen and turn him into a better candidate on TV starting with the debates.

That said, why in the world would you turn to somebody who just been forced out of a job over sexual harassment? It's not just one case, there are many cases, as you well know. And at the very time that Donald Trump is trying to win over women voters, he has to get more women voters in order to win. This is a sort of a thumb in the eye to people who, you know, believe it is important.

You know, where you stand on those kinds of issues and why can't he get more high-quality people round him? I mean where that his campaign manager Paul Manafort has just embroiled in another controversy, about his past associations with some -- very shady characters from Russia.

So I think on balance, Anderson, I think it would help him in the debates. It will help Trump in the debates, but on balance I think it puts -- again, puts a firmer lid on how high he can go in attracting voters he needs to win.

COOPER: Kayleigh, I mean do you think voters really care who may be advising Donald Trump officially or unofficially.

MCENANY: No. I think voters care about how the policies that each candidate are going to affect their families. And in terms of female voters, it's very clear to me that if you want your family to be safe, you want them to economically sound, Donald Trump's policies are the policies for you.

COOPER: So it doesn't bother you at all him bringing on Roger Ailes even if it's just unofficial event?

MCENANY: Well, the campaign says he's not a formal adviser or an informal adviser, I trust the campaign it stays says that, then that is when I take as truth. And if, you know, I don't think the Clinton campaign wants to get into a fit for tat of sexual allegations, because, you know, you have Bill Clinton who's been accused of sexual assault twice and sexual harassment eight times. So I don't think that's the discussion of the Clinton team wants to get into.

COOPER: Brian, your shaking your head.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN RELIABLE SOURCE HOST: Whether he is an informal adviser to Donald Trump, he has been for months and now he is very it's different about the debates. So we know they were together on Sunday, at Trump's golf course in New Jersey, for example.

Certainly Ails doesn't need the money and Trump doesn't need the trouble so there won't be a formal relationship but definitely, informally. Think about the stakes here, Roger Ailes has been running a network that in some way an anti-Clinton network for 20 years. Now this is almost one final battle for Ails, one final showdown. Clinton and Ailes as a proxy when Trump sort of doing the battling up on stage in December.


BEGALA: This is where it's really stupid idea, for Trump to do this, not because -- Kayleigh is right. Nobody votes on who your advisers are, that's not the problem. The problem is his targeting on this. Roger is hard wired for the same people Trump already has. Angry, older, high school educated white men that's his -- you can made a billion dollars of Fox News doing and he did. As a TV program he is a genius, as a political strategist, he is 50 years past his prime. The world has place ...

COOPER: You think has this information is out of like his ...

BEGALA: Yes, his whole perspective, I did a campaign against Roger, OK let me break. His candidate was Dick Thornburgh in Pennsylvania, popular two-term governor. He was 47 points ahead when the race started, my guy beat him by 10 and that was 25 years ago, OK? That the world had already gone past him in politics by 1991.

COOPER: So what is he not understand that?

STELTER: I'd give him more credits than that.

BEGALA: What he had to understand, is that unmarried woman, younger people, people of color, Fox News average audience, prime time, right Brian?

STELTER: Above the age, yes.

BEGALA: 60 -- it's god's waiting room. If it's the last thing you see before you expire.

STELTER: We've got allowed with wonderful ...

BEGALA: How is Trump going to get 18-year-olds right now to ...


COOPER: You're an ageist, Paul Begala.

BEGALA: Yes, I am, because they're not -- they're not the voters going to drive this election. Trump already has them, he needs younger people, he needs unmarried women, he needs people of color. Roger has no gift for reaching them. None whatsoever.


MCENANY: I don't think that's true. I mean Roger Ailes has quite a political resume of success and one of television success, as well, and his success comes in understanding how to take complex points and present them in a way that is centered around themes and that is compelling and that is simple to grab on to and understand.

[20:34:59] So rather than the 10-point plans and the 12-point plans and the, you know, kind of weeds that Hillary Clinton gets lost in Roger Ailes understands how to drive home a theme, drive home a message.

BEGALA: But two voters -- that Donald already have. I'm happy his doing it OK. But he's going to be reaching voters that Trump already has.

COOPER: Yeah, David go ahead.

GERGEN: Yeah, let me it's quick. I think Paul Begala is some making a very good points about the voters he needs to reach him and this doesn't help him reach it. And Paul, you know, you really ought to be a stand-in, some of this Clinton (inaudible), that's the best argument I've heard of Trump in a while.

But having said that, I disagree with the idea that Roger is 50 years behind his prime. I mean Fox News continues to dominate and he continues to score successes. It's his departure from Fox really doesn't have anything to do with how successful he was, I think that was probably a counter argument. It has to do with sexual harassment.


STELTER: That's more 20 women that have spoken and mostly anonymously to investigators alleging sexual harassment over a period of decades. This is a big scandal and frankly hasn't gotten as much attention as otherwise would have because of the election season.

But Roger Ailes has fall from grace from Fox News, one of the biggest media stories in the last decade and to the extend that it does get attention, voters do know about it, just the fact they are speaking may hurt Trump in some indirect way.

I agree voters don't make decisions based on who is advising who, but in an indirect way, people do pay attention to who your friends and who your enemies are.

COOPER: We're going to have more ...

GERGEN: Well, I don't think that's right about the advisers.

COOPER: I'm sorry, David.

GERGEN: I just think, in my experience going back to the Nixon days, the advisers matter a lot and the reputation of people around the president and the presidential nominee matters a lot and he needs -- where are the high-quality people he needs in order to win a presidency?

COOPER: We're going to have more with the panel ahead. We'll talk at why Donald Trump is now questioning Hillary Clinton's physical stamina and investigate whether he's playing to a long-running conspiracy theory on that. Of course we'll bring you the Trump speech when it happens.


[20:40:48] COOPER: Welcome back. Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton doesn't have the, quote, "physical stamina" to fight ISIS. It is a curious charge given that Trump is actually two years older than Clinton. So one has to wonder is he trying to say something about her being a woman as some Democrats have suggested or is he playing a into a conspiracy theory one, that Fox News' Sean Hannity has given traction to lately.

Jessica Schneider, tonight reports.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton lacks the judgment as said by Bernie Sanders, stability and temperament and the moral character to lead our nation.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump taking on not just Hillary Clinton's character, but also now raising questions about her health.

TRUMP: Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face.

SCHNEIDER: Trump made the comments about Clinton's stamina on the heels of reports from the conservative site Drudge Report proclaiming sick talk, weekends for rest.

The videos are now swirling online. Clinton tripping after climbing the stairs of her plane in 2011, seemingly needing help in a February campaign event in South Carolina and stumbling while stepping off the podium at a rally with Joe Biden this week. The conspiracy sound speculation about Clinton's health propelled in part by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Some of the weird pauses she has, the coughing fits she has, there are moments when I'm literally watching her and I'm thinking, OK the facial expressions are odd. They seem off.

It's a violent, violent repetitive jerking of the head here, you know. You know, you can see, it's uncontrollable. Watch the reporter like pull back as -- the reporter got scared and she keeps doing it. What is that?

SCHNEIDER: But the Associated Press reporter says Clinton's head movements weren't uncontrollable or violent and that she was simply reacting to the barrage of questions thrown at her. Clinton responded with an exaggerated motion shaking her head vigorously for a few seconds.

The health hoopla dates back to 2014 when Republican strategist Karl Rove was quoted in a "New York Gossip" column saying Hillary Clinton may have brain damage. KARL ROVE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: She had a serious episode. A serious health episode. This was a serious deal.

SCHNEIDER: Clinton sustained a concussion in 2012 when she was secretary of state. In the medical report released by her campaign in 2015, Clinton's doctor said her concussion symptoms including the double vision resolved within two months.

Trump was in criticized with his fast food habit and lack of exercise released this letter in December with his doctor declaring, if elected Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. Clinton took to her personal campaign podcast last week to stress she is fit to be commander in chief.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I, knock on wood, am pretty lucky because I have a lot of stamina and endurance which is necessary in the kind of campaign that I'm engaged in.

SCHNEIDER: With the two presidential nominees among the oldest in history, Clinton 68 and Trump 70, health questions could keep swirling.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, New York.


COOPER: And just moments ago a new statement from the Clinton campaign it reads in part, "Hillary Clinton has released a detailed medical record showing her to be in excellent health plus her personal tax return since 1977 while Trump has failed to provide the public with the most basic financial information disclosed by every major candidate in the last 40 years. It's time for him to stop using shameful distractions to hide his own record.

Turn out obviously it refocuses this on taxes. Back with the panel, including Brian Stelter, he did extends reporting, our "Reliable Sources" this past weekend on Sean Hannnity's speculation about Secretary Clinton's health. That reporting prompted Hannity to call Stelter a quote, "Little pip-squeak" on Fox, this morning.

And that's a little ...

STELTER: Yeah. You know, I know your going to mentioned that, have used that jokes but not that.

COOPER: As well, you got. I mean -- I was kind of amazed that Sean Hannity did put that sort of analysis of that ridiculous head moving video which was obviously just her having a fake almost like spit-take reaction to what a reporter was saying.

STELTER: Anderson, Sean Hannity is an excellent broadcaster and he's entertaining. He's definitely an entertainer, but he's doing a disservice to his audience by peddling these conspiracy theories.

[20:45:06] And the Clinton campaign whether they group (ph) or not, they are right tonight to be saying these are just conspiracy theories. They've been debunked time and time again. But unfortunately to some viewers, to some readers of the Drudge Report and Sean Hannity's show, they believe this stuff, that actually does a disservice to the audience.

COOPER: Oh Kayleigh, I mean to some Democrats who were supporter to Clinton, they think this is sort of code word for, you know, he's raising questions about her being a women. Do you see -- how do you see him when he talks about her physical stamina.

MCENANY: No, I mean first of all with regards to Sean Hannity, quickly. You know, he brings up her physical health -- we've had multiple people, we've done segments on here about the mental health of Donald Trump. So I think, you know, Sean wants to bring up physical health, you know, we brought up mental health of Donald Trump so I think that's entirely fair.

That aside, your not going to win to an Election Day to on someone's physical health, and I think when Donald Trump mentions physical stamina it's just part of what he does. You saw him question, you know, low energy Jeb Bush. That's a line of attack that he put forth with regard to Jeb Bush.

And also let's go back to 2008 when people were saying John McCain was confused actually Barack Obama came on CNN and said that Donald -- that excuse me, that John McCain lost his bearings. So that was clearly a hit at his physical, I guess well-being or bearings. So I think that we've seen this throughout campaign history, this is nothing new and Donald Trump is not trying to get much out of that statement.


BEGALA: Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours on the Hill in one day, it was one of the most grueling things I've ever seen, she's passed it with flying colors, she's conducting for the campaign. This says a lot more about Donald Trump and the conspiracy theorists than it says about Hillary. This is now about character and Sean is a gifted broadcaster, it's a bit of a blockhead, but honestly he's pretty good guy.

But now, he's engaging in sleaze, which I never thought he was a sleaze at all. But this is really been even -- we're not even Sean, I'm -- normally been have used to go on his radio show from time to time. But this is really sleazy thing, but frankly, again, it's not going to get them any votes.

MCENANY: If you think it's fair to question the mental health of Donald Trump, if you're so hard on the question ...

BEGALA: No, I -- maybe on like a colloquially, I may say he's crazy, but I don't mean that literally, no.

MCENANY: But there are several credible Democratic commentators who have said on our air that he is not mentally healthy. And, you know ... BEGALA: He does this some eccentric things, but I just think maybe that's because his actually what he pretends to be, right. That he was he holds himself out, I think he is what he is.

You know, Mrs. Obama said, it said, character is revealed in a presidential campaign more than it's tested and frankly, it is for all of us and to Sean's character thing revealed, one day his children or grandchildren are going to look back on this, I don't think they're going to be proud of what he's doing.

COOPER: Brian, you trace this sort of this health thing back years ago to some at Twitter, right?

STELTER: Yes. You know, there's a grain of truth in the stories because of her health scare several years ago, but her doctor said ...

COOPER: She had a concussion. She fell at home or something.

STELTER: Right, and so that give this grain of truth and there's been this mountain of lies, it's been built on top of it. Even tonight, her doctor once again saying she is in excellent health.

But think about, I think what does means about the conservative media ecosystem and in 2012 there were something called unskewed polls where conservatives online were convinced that Romney was actually winning, Barack Obama was actually loosing, and they were so surprised on election day when Romney lost.

There's something similar happening now with claims, conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, convincing that some Trump supporters online that actually Trump has it in the bag, that actually he's winning in the polls, actually Clinton is not going to be able to be president because she's got some secret health problem, et cetera.

These voters are going to be in for a real rude awakening on election day and they're getting misinformation from some of their favorite news sources and I think that -- that's why I'm say they're doing does disservice to the their viewers. The Drudge Report does disservice to its audience by pedaling this kind of stuff. I would use a more vulgar word, but we're on prime time here.

This is stuff that does not belong on a lead website -- like a Drudge Report or on the Fox News Channel.

COOPER: All right.

STELTER: It doesn't belong there, and the fact that it's showing up again and again, it shows that Donald Trump is in some ways mainstreaming conspiracy theories.

COOPER: We -- we're going to be taking Donald Trump's speech tonight. We're told it's more of a speech than a traditional rally which is not something we would just take because as you seen before this is word called as more of a speech and we'll be taking this.

Up next, now we just want to quickly change the topic, because what's happening in Louisiana is just extraordinary and we want to have you meet this hero who rescued a woman and her dog from a car sinking into the Louisiana floodwaters. He joins me to share how he did it.


[20:53:04] COOPER: Well more politics coming up. First we want to talk about Louisiana. The flood water is there have now claimed 11 lives. More than 20,000 others have been rescued including a woman and her dog. Now, you've probably seen this video. We first told you about it last night. Baton Rouge rescue was caught on video. Volunteers in a boat came upon a car that was sinking quickly. One of the rescuers David Phung, you seen there jumped into the water, went into the car, got the woman's arm, pulls her out of the car, saving her life.

As soon as she's able to take a breath she pleads with Phung to get her dog who is still trapped somewhere inside the car. He thought it was too late he dives back under the water, finds the dog just in time and happy to say David Phung, joins me now on the phone.

David, it's a real pleasure to talk to you. You and so many other folks have just been doing incredible work helping out, reaching out to people in need. What's it been like for you in terms of what you're seeing out there?

DAVID PHUNG, RESCUED LOUSIANA FLOODING VICTMS: Oh, it's overwhelming to see what areas that have been impacted and I mean all this water. Never would have thought all this water getting so high, so quick.

COOPER: How did you start doing this? Did you -- I mean, did you have a boat, did you just know people who had a boat? What made you decide to start helping out?

PHUNG: I have my own boat and I'm just, I guess I just decided to go help. Knew some areas that had water in it. I was probably the first boat, maybe the only boat that was there.

COOPER: How many hours have you been out there?

PHUNG: Couldn't tell you. I've been since Saturday.

COPPER: Wow. Well the video that by now, you know, has been seen around the world probably multiple times, it's just incredible. If you could kind of walk us through first of all, what was going through your mind when you came across that car that was sinking?

[20:55:04] PHUNG: Oh, all I knew was it was the major thing, because what was the apparent with the water that she was in, I just had to get her out quick. I just knowing she was in there, in the car, going down, I didn't want to see somebody die right in front of me. I just had to do what I had to do.

COOPER: You know, I mean it's a risky thing to not only go in the water and rescue someone like that because they can panic. At one point she sort of, you know, holds -- kind of grabs on to you. Were you worried at all about your own safety, that you could even be pulled under with the car?

PHUNG: It actually didn't really cross my mind. I was just focused in and I just knew I had to get her out before the car actually sank all the way to the bottom and actually get hold of her.

COOPER: And then when she said that the dog was still inside the car, how difficult first of all was it to find her in that car, because it looks like you were able to grab her arm first.

PHUNG: Yes. I grabbed her arm, then I just yanked her out. When she got up, I knew she could swim. That's when I actually kind of held on to the car and started looking for the dog and the car actually got to bottom, where it was too deep to keep my head up. I said I'll give it one last effort, took a deep breath, went down, just reaching around, felt something furry and luckily that was the dog. And luckily the dog was still alive, too.

COOPER: That must have been an incredible moment when, you know, you bring up the dog and you realize the dog still alive and that, you know, both of them were safe.

PHUNG: Yeah, I couldn't believe it myself. The dog being down there as long as it was, yeah, I couldn't believe it.

COOPER: Well, David, I just think it's, you know, it's a -- in these difficult times where people are polarized and, you know, a lot of people are at each other's throats, it's just amazing to see, you know, folks like you out there volunteering your time and saving lives. And I just want to thank you. It's a real honor to talk to you.

PHUNG: All right. Thank you.

COOPER: David Phung. A lot more ahead in the next hour of "360" including our breaking news from the campaign trail. Donald Trump soon talking law and order we are told in Wisconsin. We'll bring you the speech in a moment.