Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump Deportation Plan "To Be Determined"; State Department Told to Assess Nearly 15,000 Clinton Docs; New Fundraising Numbers on Trump, Clinton; Clinton Dilemma on Who Will Play Trump in Debate Prep. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired August 22, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: You're going to have a deportation force.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He will lay out the specifics of that plan.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Will that plan include a deportation force?
CONWAY: To be determined.
Unidentified CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hold on. Are you comparing Hillary Clinton's health to an NFL player?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just release the medical records.
TRUMP: I've asked the African-American community to honor me with their vote.
What the hell do you have to lose?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman. Kate Bolduan is off today.
This morning, one of the key ingredients of Donald Trump's immigration plan has gone from ASAP to TBD, as in "to be determined." Up until now, Trump has always said the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, they need to go, leave the country, perhaps even by force, a deportation force. This is what he has said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to have a deportation force. And you're going to do it humanely.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MORNING JOE CO HOST: Are they going to be ripped out of their homes? How?
TRUMP: There they're going back where they came. If they came from a certain country, they're going to go back to that country.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: You're rounding them all up.
TRUMP: In a very humane way. They're going to be happy because they want to be legalized.
They will go out, they will come back. Some will come back, the best, through a process. They have to come back legally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: But now, now Trump's new campaign manager says a key part of this plan is "to be determined.
I want to bring in CNN's Sunlen Serfaty to get to the bottom of this.
Sunlen, explain it all.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, as you laid out so well, what's so striking on that TBD is Trump's newly minted campaign manager was asked about something at the very core of one of Donald Trump's primary campaign proposals. This also comes on the heels of a meeting he had Saturday with adviser of his, some of whom left the meeting with the impression he may be softening his stance with immigration at large.
First what CNN's Dana Bash, when she talked to Kellyanne Conway, the Trump campaign manager, about this, she indicated maybe deportation force policy is not a policy that's set in stone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: As the weeks unfold, he will lay out the specifics of that plan that he would implement as president of the United States.
DANA BASH: Will that plan include a deportation force, the kind that he just -- you just heard in that sound byte and that he talked about during the Republican primaries?
CONWAY: To be determined.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And the dustup that has continued after that interview and after Trump's weekend really has forced Trump to be in the defensive morning. He came out in that interview and he insisted even with these mixed messages coming from this campaign that his stance on immigration is not changing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So you're not flip-flopping?
TRUMP (voice-over): No, I'm not flip-flopping. We want to come up with a really fair but firm answer. That should be very firm.
TRUMP: But we want to come up with something fair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: And Trump is set to potentially give some clarification on all of this. He's set to give a major policy address on immigration this week, John, but of course it should be noted that this is Donald Trump's signature issue, what he really -- really staked the first part of his campaign on, the hallmark of his campaign. So this potentially could be a big reversal for him.
BERMAN: What does fair mean? What does firm mean? Would have been a good follow-up question. Love to know what Donald Trump thinks about that.
Sunlen Serfaty, thank you.
What happened inside this weekend meeting with Donald Trump and his Hispanic advisors? What did they leave thinking that he felt?
Rick Figueroa, he was in that meeting. He joins us right now.
Rick, thanks very much for being with us.
I'm not a lawyer but I'm going to try to go through this clinically to understand what was said and not said and perhaps inferred by those at the meeting. Did Donald Trump in this meeting say, say, he was open to some kind of legalized status for the 11 million or for some of the 11 million undocumented workers in the United States?
RICK FIGUEROA, MEMBER, NATIONAL HISPANIC ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR DONALD TRUMP: Good morning, John. How are you?
I'd like to tell you, it was an honor, first of all, an honor to be asked to go see Mr. Trump, especially in his office. It's an honor that I didn't take lightly. I believe the man has a great principle. I believe he loves his country.
What I can tell you is we spoke very frankly with Mr. Trump. We were very honest. We told him there's a lot of hurt and pain in the Hispanic community and we need to address it.
I will tell you the notes were taken feverishly. I had Kellyanne next to me. She was taking notes. With the campaign and how the campaign morphs their policy, if they did at all, that's up to them. But as a leader in the Hispanic community, I believe, and I tell you with my heart that they were listening. They were listening with passion and empathy. I think it was exciting. The leadership around that table was impressive. I just was blown away -- (CROSSTALK)
[11:05:15] BERMAN: Rick --
FIGUEROA: I will tell you that -- yeah, John.
BERMAN: Did he say, did he say --
FIGUEROA: Can you hear me?
BERMAN: Did he say he's open to some kind of legalized status for some of the 11 million undocumented workers in the United States?
FIGUEROA: What he says is he's considering things. But it is up to them. I'm not in the campaign. I am telling you --
BERMAN: No, I understand, but it's a very big issue. It's a very big issue in this campaign now, what he said in that meeting and what the people who were in it left think. So I'm trying to establish if he said out loud that he's open to the idea of perhaps allowing some of the 11 million undocumented workers to say. Did he say it?
FIGUEROA: It is a complete -- especially for me specifically, being Hispanic. Telling you very clearly what my impression was, he was taking notes of our opinions OK, what we wanted to see what we wanted to be implemented. I don't know what he's going to do. And he took those notes with intention I think of incorporating them. Maybe he didn't. I'm not in the inner workings of the campaign. That's up to them. I will tell you he was very specific about what he understood us to be concerned with regarding 11 million and what we wanted to do and what were some ideas. But that was it. I can't speak for Mr. Trump. His campaign can speak for him.
Again, I think Kellyanne talked about "to be determined," as they're calling it. I will tell you it is a big step, especially in the Latino community, getting invited to somebody's house, to be asked frankly for your opinion and to have intent to understand that opinion --
BERMAN: Rick --
FIGUEROA: I think that's a huge story. Yes, sir?
BERMAN: The fact of the meeting was very interesting, and I'm glad you got to be a part of that because, obviously, it was very interesting. We've established. I don't think you said you heard him say he was open to the idea of legalizing at least some of the 11 million undocumented workers but you left with the impression that he would at least consider it, is that what you're saying?
FIGUEROA: He was considering all our input. I will tell you that was a very strong impression. I'm telling you it's up to them what they want to do and how they --
FIGUEROA: I don't want to stir -- but I think it's important that --
BERMAN: But, Rick, just to be clear, just to be clear, you do agree that if he is considering some kind of legalized status for some of the 11 million undocumented workers in the United States that would be a change, that would be something new that would be something that perhaps you at this meeting helped convince him of in the last 48 hours.
FIGUEROA: You know, I'm not in the political spectrum so I can't tell how political campaigns evolve. I know it's posh that pivots and changes are always part of the process. I don't know if he's going to. But I know he was listening to us.
I will tell you what I know. He was listening to us with a lot of sympathy. He was taking notes. There was strong dialog. John, I want you to understand in order for authentic dialogue to occur, I think there's got to be respect for what's said in the room. So I'm not trying to be evasive. I'm trying to honor that. It was important though for a Latino who grew up in government housing, working on a ranch as a day laborer, now I'm a ranch owner, that I think he heard me. I'm a pretty good reader of character. Where it goes, that's up to Mr. Trump and his campaign. I think that their considering it. We'll see what happens. But I'm excited about it. He's got a trip in Texas coming up soon. I'm excited about having him here in Texas. And I'm excited about having him speak to this issue specifically. I think it's going to evolve quickly.
BERMAN: So you think they are considering it. Just one last question, would you like to see it be something that Donald Trump changes on? Would you like to see him be open to the idea of some kind of legalized status for some of the undocumented workers?
FIGUEROA: I think this is a political football to the detriment of the Hispanic community. I think historically it's been a challenge because the political factions have used it to their advantage. I think that good people have suffered. And I think that we need to address that. I think we need to -- I believe in law and order. That's what I believe. And I think that immigration currently does not have any law and order. It's a chaos system right now. I think that good people, Hispanic people, and also the American people, and anybody, has suffered from this. And I think it would be a crying shame to go to this whole presidency, this election, if you will, and not for something to change. This was said back in '08 when Obama, you know, he told us he was going to do this and nothing happened. And I think that this political football's getting kind of tiring. So I'm hoping that change is imminent. BERMAN: Rick Figueroa, I know you're not a politician, so I
appreciate you coming on, trying to get to the bottom of what was said and what people left with from that meeting helps shed some light.
So, Rick, thank you very much.
FIGUEROA: You're gracious, John. Thank you.
[11:10:10] BERMAN: We have some breaking news when it comes to Hillary Clinton and her use of a private e-mail server. A judge has just given the State Department until September 22nd to come up with a plan of how they're going to release many thousands more documents uncovered by the FBI. These are documents that were not previously handed over by Hillary Clinton's attorneys. But I think they were documents that we understood that James Comey told us about when he spoke on July 5th.
CNN's justice correspondent, Evan Perez, join us with the details.
Exactly what e-mails?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: You're right, John, these are the e-mails James Comey talked about when he did this very surprising press conference on July 5th in which he announced he had recommended no charges against Hillary Clinton for the use of server. A judge today said there were about 15,000 e-mails that he wants the FBI to go through and decide -- I'm sorry -- the State Department to go through and decide, again, by September 22nd, how to release them. The key here being that he wants them released as soon as possible, not after October, as the State Department had initially suggested, and certainly not after the November election, which is what I think the Hillary Clinton campaign had suggested as well.
Now, the question here is whether what's contained in these e-mails and what it's of any use to Hillary Clinton's opponents, for them to use between now and the Election Day. That's the big question I think Judicial Watch, which is the group that has been bringing these lawsuits, is pursuing. They want this stuff released. Because they believe inside these documents we're going to learn some big new secrets that might determine the election.
Obviously, again, the judge here saying that about 14,900 documents, he wants the judge to review them and decide how to release them as soon as possible -- John?
BERMAN: I was just re-reading what James Comey said in a statement. He said of those e-mails that were not handed over, three, they determined, were classified. So three out of the 14-plus-thousand we believe were classified. What else is on the other 14,000-plus --
PEREZ: Well actually, since then, John, just real quick, just since then, in the last week, Comey clarified further, because it turns out two of those e-mails, it turned out marked as classified, and so the State Department has now clarified that. We are waiting to hear about this one additional e-mail. We don't know what that contains.
BERMAN: All right, very interesting. So seeing them will renew our knowledge of their existence, not new. That clarification is interesting based on what people are saying so far in the last few minute.
Evan, thank you.
BERMAN: I want to bring in our panel now. Carl Higby is a former Navy SEAL, Donald Trump supporter; Angela Rye, a CNN political commentator and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus; and Susan Del Percio is a Republican strategist, who worked for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
I want to back up to before Evan's reporting, if we can talk about Donald Trump and his immigration plan first.
I had Rick Figueroa on here trying to explain what was said and not said in that meeting. Maybe a little more clear, not a lot more clear, what was said.
He thinks, Carl that Donald Trump is considering -- that's what he told me right there -- is considering some plan that would allow for some legalized status for some of the 11,000 undocumented workers to stay in the United States. That would be a change, yes?
CARL HIGBY, FORMER NAVY SEAL & DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Donald Trump was listening. He mad the statement that he was considering. Donald Trump listened. He clearly said he didn't make any statements for or against any type of legalized status, so to be determined. They're going to wait for him to ponder all the facts, find out what it is. I believe there will be strong deportation.
BERMAN: He's considering it now. If he does decide on some legalized status, you agree, that would be a change?
HIGBY: Sure, let's discuss that bridge when we come to it.
BERMAN: Is that the same thing as amnesty because a lot of people have said that?
HIGBY: We'll have to find out and see what he says. I'm not going to speculate when we don't even know what he's going to do. That guy who was in the meeting couldn't even give you a clear answer.
BERMAN: The last point on this, the idea that we're -- what are we, 78 days until another election day -- the idea about something central to his immigration plan, central to his campaign, is to be determined. How much is still to be determined at this point in the campaign?
HIGBY: I think what we've seen here, right now he's currently standing on the principles he's run on, the wall, deportation. He's a law and order candidate. We want people who are going to abide by the law. If you've come here illegally, you're not abiding by the law. Until then, I don't think it's worth pondering --
BERMAN: He did say -- his campaign manager said "to be determined," so that is otherwise. It's not a reversal yet, but it's considering perhaps a reversal.
BERMAN: Angela, what do you make of this?
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One is it sounds like Rick was so excited to be in the meeting, he perhaps didn't carry the substance of the meeting out of it. I would say I think the thing that's particularly frustrating for someone who loves politics, I can't ever get a clear answer, whether before this answer or after this meeting, about Donald Trump's policies and proposals. I know Rick said stuff. I don't know how you implement stuff, right? So I'm concerned not only for the people who are the 11 million undocumented but also the people who Donald Trump called drug rapists. I'm concerned someone would implement a public policy for people who he has lacked a whole lot of compassion for.
[11:15:39] BERMAN: The general idea of this outreach, and Rick Figueroa said he was honored to be in the meeting. The idea of outreach is important for the Trump campaign.
SUSAN DEL PERCIO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They have to do it for a whole lot of reasons. You have to build on what happened in 2012. His standing with Hispanics is very poor. He has to build on that.
But with the trouble the campaign potentially if they do modify it, depending on how much, people are going to be concerned about can you take Donald Trump at his word. Because a lot of people also are supporting Donald Trump because they're concerned about the court justice and the Supreme Court. So if you can't trust him on where he stood on immigration, should there be a change? How can you trust him on anything else? So that will be a big problem. So I don't expect to see a major change in policy, because it will be too hard to say, you know, does he mean what he says, does he say what he means. But I do expect maybe a little rounding of the edges.
BERMAN: I want to come back to that in a second with Carl.
Part of the target may not be Latino voters who may be --
DEL PERCIO: Oh, absolutely.
BERMAN: Part of it may be, you know --
BERMAN: -- white suburban women, for instance, people who I think you know something about. DEL PERCIO: Absolutely, there's no doubt that the last few speeches
that Donald Trump has given, even part of his visiting Louisiana, has been directed to show a leadership and someone who is more responsive, more -- shows more empathy towards other people. He needs to get back white women. Republicans overall. Let's not forget his popularity with Republicans is in the 70s. He can't get elected unless it's in the 80s and 90s.
BERMAN: Carl, does he risk losing, if he decides after consider -- and even if we concede right now he's just considering, hasn't made a decision -- but if he does decide to change his policy and allow for some legalized status, do you think he would lose some Donald Trump supporters?
HIGBY: I don't think so. The supporters are going to support Trump regardless of this policy. We'd love to see law and order on the immigration side. The fact of the matter is people who vote for Donald Trump is going to vote for Donald Trump.
DEL PERCIO: I agree he'll keep his base supporters --
HIGBY: Yeah, I think he'll gain more.
DEL PERCIO: -- but the people voting for him because they just can't vote for her which there's a lot of it, it does come down to the Supreme Court for a lot of them. If he won't keep his word on policies that can have a longer-term effect --
BERMAN: Let's talk about the e-mails, Carl, for one second here. The news from Evan Perez, 14,000 pages of documents, e-mails that have now been turned over to the State Department. They've been ordered to figure out some kind of way to release them. We don't fully know what's in them. At this point, we think there may be one e-mail that was classified.
The idea that Clinton campaign documents could be made public in the October period has got to be the source of some concern.
RYE: Well, September, right. So if it's September, this could be one of those things that they turn around and use as like an underdog strategy. If she gets hit hard right before that first debate, then she's got to come out fighting. We know Hillary Clinton doe her best when she feels like she's the underdog. This is one of those distractions that they just can't afford to have. I'm not calling what's in the e-mails a distraction. I'm saying this is something that is not what they wanted to see after Donald Trump of course had his very worst week.
DEL PERCIO: This is horrible for Hillary Clinton. The story on the September 22nd, just announcing what the timetable is. Then you're going to have more of a drip, drip, drip, like we saw last fall into the winter of her e-mailings, which led to her 11 percent untrustworthiness. It will really hurt her, especially, as you mentioned, with the debates coming. BERMAN: But I can barely remember back several months.
It was the fact of the release more than what was in them at the time that was the problem for her.
DEL PERCIO: Yeah, but it all goes back to that central core issue of her having that server, is she trustworthy. It is going to be --
BERMAN: We're going to have more time to talk about this subject coming up. So stick around.
Appreciate you being here.
A lot more going on, including debate prep. Who will the Clinton campaign find to play the role of Donald Trump in this debate prep? Why is it such a hard task?
That, plus on the subject of e-mails, sharp words from Colin Powell to the Clinton team on her use of private e-mail: "Stop trying to pin it on me," he says.
[11:19:50] And breaking news, a big sponsor for Ryan Lochte has just dropped the American swimmer in the wake of the mess that happened in Rio. We have details ahead.
BERMAN: All right, we have breaking news on Ryan Lochte. This all has to do with the incident at Rio at the gas station. Some sponsors now starting to drop him. Speedo, which makes swimsuits, small ones, for athletes, has apparently dropped its sponsorship of the Olympic swimmer. Speedo said in a statement that "it cannot condone Lochte's behavior and hopes he learns from the experience." The company says it plans to donate 50,000 of Lochte's endorsement fee to charity.
All right, back now to politics. I want to talk about politics and money. New fundraising reports now. The Trump campaign has $38 million cash on hand. Hillary Clinton, $58 million. This, according to new reports just released in the last 24 hours.
Let's bring in CNN political director, David Chalian; and "CNN Politics" executive editor, Mark Preston.
David, those are the money reports. We also got some news in the last 12 hours about what the Clinton campaign plans to do with that money.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Exactly. You see that $20 million advantage on cash on hand. Now we do have a clue as to where they're spending some of that money, John. That's of course on television air waves across these critical battleground states. The Clinton campaign announced they're booking $80 million worth of television advertising from now through Election Day, November 8th. And as you know, five to seven states will see the bulk of that advertising. It's a huge amount. They're trying to show some overwhelming force. And I think they're also by announcing this number, John, trying to sort of dare the Trump campaign into revealing how much they're going to spending on the air waves.
[11:25:21] BERMAN: Not spending in Colorado and Virginia, interesting, in and of itself.
Mark Preston, another big political development. This has to do with Hillary Clinton and her e-mail. A story about what Colin Powell suggested to her in terms of how she should use a private e-mail address when secretary of state. Clinton said Powell told her at a party once, thrown by Madeleine Albright, she should use private e- mail and then sent him a memo about the subject. Colin Powell was asked about this over the weekend at an event in the Hamptons. He told "People" magazine, "For people trying to pin it on me, the truth is she was using the private e-mail server for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did."
Mark Preston, Colin Powell doesn't seem too happy that he's being connected or involved in this e-mail situation.
MARK PRESTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: Right, and Colin Powell certainly doesn't want to get into the middle of this boxing match between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Colin Powell at times has weighed in on presidential races and has been controversial because he is a Republican and his willingness to back a Democrat. Certainly, at this point, I think Powell would prefer if the Clinton campaign just handled this situation themselves and didn't keep dragging his name into it.
BERMAN: It was interesting, though, because a lot of people are wondering will Colin Powell endorse in this election. He obviously endorse President Obama President Obama before that, was a big supporter of George W. Bush. He's been quiet this time around.
PRESTON: He is. It's interesting to see who he would back. We saw 50 Republican foreign policy leaders endorse Hillary Clinton a few weeks back. But Colin Powell was not one of those. I wonder if Colin Powell was sitting on the sidelines until he thinks his endorsement might mean something. That could come later in September or perhaps October, or perhaps maybe, John, he just decides to stay out of this race which has become very volatile and very dirty and very --
PRESTON: Yeah, just a big fight.
BERMAN: -- in and off itself.
All right, David Chalian, also this weekend, some news about debate prep. It's going on. We know both campaigns say they're doing it. There's an article in "The Washington Post" today that says the Clinton campaign is having a hard time finding someone to play Donald Trump in the mock debates.
CHALIAN: Yeah, and what qualities they're looking for, you know, not somebody who can just do the SNL impersonation of Donald Trump, but looking for somebody who is willing to take it to Hillary Clinton in unexpected ways with maybe with, you know, stories that Hillary Clinton would rather not be presented with, her husband's past infidelities, whatever Donald Trump may bring up on the debate stage to knock her off her game, they need to find a sparring partner for her who's willing to do that and in a way that she's willing to take it.
BERMAN: The idea is you actually have to be harsher. You have to be tougher than the actual candidate is. That's what makes for a good sparring partner.
All right, David Chalian, Mark Preston, thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it, guys.
Rudy Giuliani says that Hillary Clinton has a secret illness. Of course, his only proof, he says, go online, look at the Internet. Because on the Internet, everything is always true. What's the deal with these conspiracy theories? That's ahead.
Plus, terror at a wedding and the suicide bomber, the leader of Turkey says just a child. Ahead, how young children are being used now as weapons of war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)