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Donald Trump Calls Hillary Clinton a Criminal; Donald Trump's Tax Returns; Conspiracies Ramp Up Over Clinton's Health. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired August 22, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] BRUCE LEVELL, NATIONAL DIVERSITY COALITION FOR TRUMP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: No, because I would like to debate. I would like to debate substance and policies instead ...
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right.
LEVELL: ... of fantasy.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I've got to run.
LEMON: We're like four minutes over. Do you guys want to take a break or do you want to just go to the top of the hour? Producers tell me now. All right.
We're going to take a break. Thank you, gentlemen. We'll be right back. Don't go anywhere.
LEMON: Donald Trump outright calling Hillary Clinton a criminal. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. A rally in Akron, Ohio, he's going saying (ph) -- accusing Clinton of operating a pay-to-play operation while secretary of state, and saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant number of times it was done require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Trump is also postponing a major speech on immigration giving his new campaign team a chance to fine-tune the policy. But he's still insisting on building a wall along the border with Mexico.
A lot to get to this hour ahead. And I want to bring in CNN Correspondent Phil Mattingly. Hello, Mr. Mattingly. You're following the Trump campaign for us tonight. They're delaying that speech on immigration that he was due to give later this week. But he did bring the issue up at the campaign rally tonight.
[23:05:02] What's he saying?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, he did, Don. And look, if you listen to what his campaign is saying publicly, they're a bit all over the place on what their immigration strategy, what their immigration policy actually is.
One element, though, you know for sure will be in that final policy when that speech eventually occurs, the wall. This is what Donald Trump had to tell supporters in Akron tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Immigration security, we need to protect American jobs. We need to protect American safety.
We're going to build a wall, folks. We're going to build the wall. Don't worry. We're going to build the wall. That wall will go up so fast. Your head will spin and you'll say, "You know, he meant it." And you know what else I mean? Mexico is going to pay for the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: So, obviously, Don, no wavering on that key element of Donald Trump's immigration proposals that we've seen up to this point. But there is a lot of wavering and some equivocation on what Donald Trump means in terms of the 11 million undocumented immigrants that currently reside in the country.
The campaign started to back off a little bit on the hardline views that all 11 plus million would need to be deported. Now, how they're going to reconcile? This is up immediately right now. You heard Kellyanne Conway say on CNN's "State of the Union" that TBD would be the best way to describe things. But you wonder why that speech was postponed. This is the issue right now. Inside Trump Tower, the debate is how to push forward the immigration policy, but not do so in a way that kind of turns off a large portion of the electorate.
As you know, Don, they are looking forward to November right now and recognizing that they need to reach out to other groups than just the blue-collar white males that they've been doing so well with up to this point. This is what we're seeing in terms of why we're hearing different messages from different advisors on this specific issue, Don.
LEMON: All right. Thank you very much for that. Phil Mattingly reporting to us tonight from New York.
I want to bring in my panel now, bring in CNN Political Reporters Maeve Reston and also M.J. Lee. Hello to you. Thank you both for coming on. M.J., I'm going to start with you Trump delaying that speech on immigration to fine-tune the plan. But even tonight we heard him saying he's going to build a wall, Mexico is going to pay for it. It's pretty clear what he wants, right?
M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICS NATIONAL REPORTER: It is clear what he wants. He did talk about the wall, and that has obviously been very core to his campaign and his immigration policies, but we are seeing signs, as Phil just reported, that he is perhaps getting ready to soften some of his rhetoric on immigration.
I think it's important to point out it is not normal for a major presidential candidate and now the republican nominee to delay a major policy speech. This is not a normal thing that happens in presidential campaign. And the fact that he is interested in fine- tuning his message, or his aides have said he wants to get this one just right, does suggest he maybe wants to sort of tweak some of the policies that he really ran on during the primaries and maybe, you know, change the message that he ran on during the primaries to better make it fit for the general election.
I don't think that we should be terribly surprised if this is what we see happen in the coming weeks. He has said all along that he's a negotiator, that he's open to being flexible on a number of different things and obviously part of the calculation is that he knows that his campaign knows that it's very difficult to win over independent voters or moderate republicans with hardline anti-immigrant policies.
LEMON: Yeah. And that's why, as you said, he's probably tweaking what he's going to say.
Maeve, I want to turn to you now. Trump is not doing well in comes to Hispanic voters. So, what is the campaign weighing, you think, when it comes to this immigration plan?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think exactly to what Phil and M.J. just said, I mean they're looking to straddle the lines here between not alienating all of those supporters that got on board with the Trump campaign because they liked that very hard- edged tone that he took on immigration during the primaries. I don't think that he has a lot of hope given his unfavorable numbers among Hispanics, of picking up a lot of Hispanic voters at this point no matter what he says in his immigration policy speech.
But he is speaking to swing state voters, those independents, who don't want to see, you know, a massive immigration crackdown. And to that point, I think that this is actually one of the issues where Donald Trump was very clear on what he wanted to do during the primary. He talked about an operation in the style of what went on in 1954 under President Eisenhower where they literally rounded up undocumented immigrants on farms and ranches, put them on buses then ship them back to Mexico in cargo boats.
So, Donald Trump has a lot of quotes on this subject and so it's going to be interesting to see if he tries to really back away from that now at how easily he'll be able to do that.
[23:10:02] LEMON: Yes, because all you have to do is play the tape, you know ...
LEMON: ... when someone comes on from either party saying, "My candidate didn't say that, you just roll the tape." So, M.J., Trump is also -- he's also attacking Hillary Clinton over the, you know, a judge -- judge ordering the State Department to release 15,000 new documents. Here's more from Trump tonight and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: After the FBI, the Department of Justice whitewashed Hillary Clinton's e-mail crimes. They certainly cannot be trusted to quickly or impartially investigate Hillary Clinton's new crimes, which happen all the time.
Some former prosecutors have even suggested that the coordination between the pay-for-play State Department and the Clinton Foundation constitute a clear example of RICO, Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization Enterprise.
The justice department is required to appoint an independent special prosecutor, because it has proven itself to be really sadly a political arm of the White House.
LEMON: So M.J., Trump calling for special prosecutor in the e-mail scandal, the e-mails. That's new.
LEE: Yeah, and this is very -- a harsh rhetoric that we're seeing from Donald Trump against Clinton on the e-mail issue. And I think if you are a Trump surrogate or Trump aide or even his, you know, former campaign manager, number of ex-aides, I think you see Trump behave this way tonight, take this kind of zone. And you're wondering where was all of this this summer? You know that his aides and his campaign advisors have wanted so badly for so long for Trump to really focus and get on message and hit consistently on this issue that makes her so vulnerable. And that is the issue of trust and the e-mail issue directly feeds on that.
I think the fact that the Clinton campaign is expecting potentially tens of thousands of new documents, some of them may be e-mails, so we just don't know yet. But that may be released in the coming weeks. This is obviously a big political headache for the campaign.
Clinton, unlike Trump, has actually been quite focused and on message in terms of talking about the economy, going after Trump and painting him as temperamentally unfit, and so that these new documents are released. Clearly that becomes a big distraction.
LEMON: And, Maeve, Donald Trump is also hitting Hillary Clinton over the foundation calling the "the most corrupt enterprise in political history", that's a quote from him. And that comes after the foundation announced that if Hillary Clinton is elected president, that the former president would stop accepting paid speeches and that they'd stop accepting foreign and corporate Donations. How is the Clinton campaign responding to the attacks from Trump about corruption and conflicts of interest?
RESTON: Well, as what the Clinton campaign is saying is that, you know, they have done unprecedented disclosure of Clinton Foundation donors. You also had her campaign chairman John Podesta coming out and trying to turn the issue back around on Trump saying that we need to know a lot more about his business deals, and ties to China and the Kremlin. And certainly, there is a lot we don't know about Trump's business dealings.
But I think the larger point here is that the democrats even are asking is, "Why didn't the Clintons do this, make this kind of announcement about taking money from foreign governments a long time ago?" This issue continues to haunt her campaign. There's now the overlay of these e-mails about the Clinton Foundation with the e-mail scandal. And a lot of voters out there just kind of see a big mess and don't understand, you know, why this is so complex. And it certainly hurts Clinton with those honesty and trustworthiness numbers.
So, you don't want to have a campaign with an October surprise certainly and the e-mail scandal continues to be this drip, drip, drip that her campaign has to deal with.
LEMON: Maeve, before I let you, I want to ask you this because we're going to talk about this a little bit later on the show, but I want to get your take on what we're seeing with Trump surrogates raising questions over Hillary Clinton's health. Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City Mayor says that people should go online and google her name, and the word "illness". What's going on here?
RESTON: Well, I think this is one of the clearest demonstrations we've seen so far of what the tone will be of the new Donald Trump campaign. As we all know, he had a big shake-up last week, you know, bringing in Bannon and other leaders. And I think this is going to be just a bare-knuckled fight all the way to November. The fact that they're bringing up issues like her health which is something that you would see talked about most often on Drudge or, you know, conspiracy theory websites. That just shows you how tough this campaign is going to be. And I think Hillary Clinton has tried at various points in the campaign to kind of deal with this issue with a sense of humor and that may be the way that she does for the rest of the week.
LEMON: It's interesting to have -- especially someone, M.J., like Rudy Giuliani doing that, considering all the conspiracy theories and what you see online about 9/11 and those sorts of things that he's pushing people to websites where things have may not be true.
[23:15:02] LEE: Well, and I think it's so important to point out that Rudy Giuliani happens to be one of Donald Trump's most prominent and respected by many republican leaders, one of his most prominent surrogates. And the fact that Rudy Giuliani is out there telling people, encouraging people to go and google Hillary Clinton and illness, when -- I think a lot of people think that Giuliani could be talking about national security, he could be really talking about why he believes Donald Trump is the only person that can keep the country safe. Certainly, you talked to a lot of republican strategists and republican leaders. They don't think that this is the best use of a surrogate like Rudy Giuliani.
LEMON: Thank you, both.
And just ahead, the value of Donald Trump's golf courses. What he tells voters and what he tells tax officials. Is it just a case of business as usual?
Also ahead, conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health. We're going to talk more about that. We'll see who's behind them when we come back.
LEMON: Will voters get to see Donald Trump's tax returns before Election Day? I want to bring in now Drew Harwell, a Staff Writer at the "Washington Post", and Andre Bauer, the former Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina who is supporting Trump.
I want you both to listen to Hillary Clinton last week in Cleveland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have no idea what tax rate he pays because unlike everybody else who's run for president in the last four or five decades, he refuses to release his tax returns so the American people can't really judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[23:20:02] LEMON: So Drew, Hillary Clinton is talking about what you call the mystery surrounding Trump's personal finances. What are some of those mysteries?
DREW HARWELL, STAFF WRITER, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, the tax returns give us a lot of big questions right there. We don't really know how much money he makes every year. We don't know how much money he pays in taxes every year. We don't know how much money he gives in charity every year or how much he keeps in foreign accounts. All of this is information that would be in the first three pages of his tax returns. But we haven't seen those in a long time. And from what we do know about his tax returns, he has spent several years not paying taxes. And there are plenty of questions from his personal financial disclosures, from -- big questions about his debts.
Over the size of his empires, the size of his debts, what he actually owns and how successful as a businessman he is. Way more questions than answers we have.
LEMON: Yeah, you have a new report about Trump's golf courses and you detail how Trump's claims one value to impress voters, right, and then another to determine tax value. What's the story there? HARWELL: Yeah, so if you're a homeowner, you know about disputing your taxes and you know about the difference between what you're taxed on for your house and what you could sell it for. Trump sort of does a little spin on that in that he values his golf courses at a very high number in his election regulator filings saying courses are the biggest and the best and they're worth more than 50 million. While also saying to the same counties and towns and cities that tax those and depend on that tax revenue that they're actually was far less that they should be taxed as if they were worth 5 million or there are 1 million or 10 million.
There's a huge discrepancy there and the numbers should be a little closer than you would necessarily see if there was a different business. So, why are they different here? It's likely because, you know, Trump sees value in having the properties look as grandiose and as luxurious as possible in one venue while saving a lot of tax money on the other.
LEMON: But Andre, the question is, "Is this just business as usual?" I mean big businesses have highly paid lawyers. They've got people, accountants to get the best deals possible for their clients. Does that sit well, you think, with supporters who can't, you know, get those kinds of breaks, themselves?
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it's hard form to digest, quite frankly, what big business does. I know that there's a little bit of a rub with the fact that, you know, folks who make a lot of money don't pay sometimes there as much because of tax advantages.
Trump just said, quite frankly, we need to change the tax structure. But I will tell you a little interesting tidbit, Don. Danny (ph) Brad Thomas, a former real estate developer, wrote a book on Trump. It came out last week. It's called "The Trump Factor". I'm about halfway through it now. And he basically took the last three years, went to each property, analyzed the books, he looked at it (ph). He says, "Look, Trump's debt to income is very low. His worth -- his debt is a little over 600 million." He says his value is getting close to 10 million. Not quite at 10 million. But he takes things and he breaks down like the old post office on Pennsylvania Avenue, currently spending about 200 million on it, it's got an assess value of 400 million. He takes his first property that he bought for less than $1 million, he G.E. financed it. When he walked away, he made 142 million on it. That was the old Commodore Hotel that was transferred into the Grand Hyatt. So, I know there's a lot of mystery out there but it is an interesting book and it's giving me a lot better insight into some of the Trump property.
LEMON: And so what is that? What do you mean by that, to see how he is?
BAUER: Well, you know, there have been a lot of people that said he's only worth a couple million dollars. Well, "Forbes" says he's worth 4.5 billion. This book says he's worth almost 10 billion. But just say "Forbes" is right, he's still worth almost $5 billion and it's been argued that he's only worth a couple hundred million. LEMON: So, Drew, I want you guys to listen. This is Donald Trump about his tax return and we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, why not just get them out there?
TRUMP: Well, because my returns are extremely complex. And I'll make a determination at the right time. I'm in no rush to do it.
I will absolutely give my returns but I'm being audited now for two or three years so I can't do it until the audit is finish.
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSSETTS: Every time someone has raised the questions of his taxes, he evades and you don't do that if you are planning on releasing them.
TRUMP: I have very big tax returns. I'm sure you're seen the pictures with the returns. And literally from the floor up to here, it's extremely complex. I can audit it.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Do you think you can do it before the election though?
TRUMP: I hope so. I'd like to. I have no problem ...
TOOD: Do you pledge to do it before the election?
TRUMP: Excuse me. Sure, if the audit is finished. I'll do it as fast as the audit is finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Even his new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on CNN had said before she was his campaign manager, she was with Ted Cruz. She said he should release his tax returns.
So Drew, what is the explanation in your opinion? Is there a bombshell?
HARWELL: We can't really know. I mean, the excuses Mr. Trump has given so far don't stand up to scrutiny. He blames the audits and yet there is nothing that the IRS says should prevent somebody from releasing your tax returns if you're under audit.
[23:25:06] Richard Nixon released his tax returns while he was under audit. Every candidate, major candidate over the last 40 years has released their tax returns. And if Mr. Trump is proud of his business success, so proud of his wealth, there's nothing to prevent him sharing these tax returns on a public base a he's called for other republicans to do for many years.
So what's hiding in there? I don't really know. Trump talks about how complicated the returns are and I'm sure they are complicated. But the first three pages would tell you extraordinarily important information that we need to know about a commander in chief or a tax collector in chief, stuff like his income, stuff like how much he gives to charity or how little he gives to charity. Stuff like how much he has in foreign accounts including in places like Russia. Stuff likes when he files his business expenses, he could file that cosmetics or his hair or his plane as business expenses.
So, you know, all of these are important to know about someone who claims to be a successful, you know, empire owner, a successful businessman and moneyman, and they're extraordinarily important to know if it's going to be somebody leading the country.
LEMON: He was very vehement in the last election cycle, Andre, saying Mitt Romney should release his tax returns. Mitt Romney's comments now, you heard he's hiding something. Do you think he's hiding something?
BAUER: Yes. I don't think he is but I don't know. I thought Governor Stanford gave a great compelling, you know, argument a little while earlier when you had him on the show. And even Brad does as well. So, I'm intrigued as a lot of folks are. I don't know the nuances of, you know, turning things (ph).
LEMON: The governor said that it would be better if he wants to have -- if he wants to be a proponent of transparency, then he should release his tax returns if he's trying to get Hillary Clinton to release other things like speeches and transcripts and all of that.
So, he actually, he's saying he's going to vote for Donald Trump. You're talking about the Congressman Sanford. But he said Donald Trump should release his tax returns. Do you think, as a supporter, that he should release them, Andre?
BAUER: I would like to see them released.
LEMON: OK. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
Up next, conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health.
[23:31:10] LEMON: Hillary Clinton's opponent stepping up efforts to sow doubt over her health. Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's moments like these that right wing groups are pouncing on to push the narrative that Hillary Clinton's health is failing. This was Clinton at a muffin shop in June, reacting to reporters peppering her with questions. When critics suggested Clinton had a seizure, one A.P. reporter who was there set the record straight writing, "Clinton responded with an exaggerated motion, shaking her head vigorously for a few seconds. After the exchange, she took a few more photos, exited the shop and greeted supporters waiting outside."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Conspiracy theorists have cooked up just about every condition for her, brain damage, check. Parkinson's, check. Autism, yep, even syphilis. None of it, though, is based on fact. But that hasn't stopped Donald Trump in recent days from fueling the speculation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Importantly, she also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: The physical stamina, he said, suggesting she's too frail for the Oval Office. It's a popular theme among even mainstream conservatives, including former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, a Trump adviser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP ADVISER: She looks sick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Clinton's team, meanwhile, suggesting Trump is parading lies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We hear rehashed conspiracy theories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Rumors about the former Secretary of State's health first began back in 2012 after she had a bad fall and suffered a concussion. She admitted in interviews she experienced double vision and dizziness but said repeatedly she felt great.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. CLINTON: I felt fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Her husband, Bill Clinton, echoed that while slamming those fueling the conspiracies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: First they said she faked her concussion and now they say she's auditioning for a part on "The Walking Dead". She works out every week. She is strong. She's doing great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Doing great, that's not how conspiracy theorists see it and they see proof in images like this, Secret Service appearing to hold her up at a rally, aides helping her up the steps and her falling as she boarded an airplane. They suggest it all points to her being sick. Conspiracy theorists are also obsessed with Clinton's cough on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. CLINTON: Excuse me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Her constant use of pillows during interviews and her long bathroom break during the ABC debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. CLINTON: Sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Even her hearty laugh is an indication, they suggest, of a brain issue.
All this despite a letter released in July last year from Clinton's internist of 15 years, Dr. Lisa Bardack describing Clinton as healthy, listing her medical conditions as hyperthyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies. The doctor ended the letter saying Clinton is in excellent physical condition and fit to be President of the United States. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
LEMON: You don't want to miss the panel discussion about this right after the break.
[23:38:13] LEMON: I want to talk more about the growing conspiracy theories over Hillary Clinton's health with Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump supporter, Bakari Sellers, a Clinton supporter, Andre Bauer, the Former Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina who is supporting Trump. Political commentator, Carl Bernstein, the author of "A Woman IN Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton".
OK, everyone. Welcome to the panel. Kayleigh, you first. You just heard the report from Randi Kaye, Hillary Clinton appearing tonight on Jimmy Kimmel and they joked about her health. He apparently took her pulse and then gave her a test of strength. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST OF "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Can you open this jar of pickles? This has not been tampered with. This is -- oh, oh, it's not been touched.
H. CLINTON: That's so funny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So my question is, why are so many Trump surrogates fueling these rumors about Hillary Clinton's health?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I think it started on some of the right wing sites and then people picked up on that. I don't think it's the most fruitful path to go down. There are a myriad of scandals you can attack Hillary Clinton on and her health really isn't one of them.
Now, I just want to quickly contrast with some of the surrogates have said with what the candidate has said, Donald Trump has continually contrasted his stamina with that of Hillary Clinton but always in the context of she's off the campaign trail seven days, I'm working all these days, I'm in Louisiana helping flood victims, she's on Martha's Vineyard taking vacation. So if he wants to make that comparison, that's fine. But I think the road some of the surrogates are going down probably isn't the best.
LEMON: He calls her sleepy or something, right, or something like that. Bakari ...
MCENANY: Low energy, kind of ...
LEMON: When you hear the surrogates and you hear Donald Trump make references about Hillary Clinton's stamina and compare her health to Trump's energy and endurance, what do you think that's rooted in?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, it's rooted in absurdity. And I think that it starts with Rudy Giuliani.
[23:40:02] I think that's kind of where it starts and stops for the most part. He's taking out his vicious 2000 failure to run against Hillary Clinton out on the mainstream today. But it's also, I think, a hint of sexism because I don't think that you would question the stamina or capacity or health of a male candidate running against you.
MCENANY: Jeb Bush?
SELLERS: But I also think that -- I also think that this is a very -- this is a very cool opportunity for Donald Trump because as Kayleigh said, he's not the one necessarily leading these chants but he can actually push back on some of these things and actually say, "Hey, no, I'm actually talking about this, this, and this. I'm not talking about the conspiracy theories that are pushed forth by my new campaign CEO, Steve Bannon and my chief surrogate Rudy Giuliani."
LEMON: Do you think that it distracts from the message, Andre, as Kayleigh has said, to focus on these issues?
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do. I think there's so many issues that resonate better with the voters. And quite frankly, we know Hillary is going to be fine because she's one of the few people that got to keep her doctor.
SELLERS: That was cute, Andre.
LEMON: That was it. That was it, Andre. So I got ...
BAUER: Let me fix my pillow here. My pillow's getting fixed right now.
LEMON: Carl, you're no stranger to campaign politics. Why do you think, folks, especially Rudy Giuliani who is very highly respected in some circles, are pushing out conspiracy theories. And I watched one program on another network the other night where they were showing her doing the head thing. She was clearly joking around with reporters but they were taking this report as being serious. It was laughable.
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because the people behind Trump's candidacy including Giuliani, including Roger Ailes, including Roger Stone, including his so-called brain trust, believe this stuff works. And there's some evidence that some of it might. There's also a lot of thought that this, as Kayleigh suggested, this could backfire.
First of all, Trump has given much less information about his own health than Hillary Clinton has. And in terms of substance, there's a real problem here that neither of these candidates is transparent about much of anything including their health. And what we need in the long run in campaigns is something like a presidential debate commission, the doctors -- some kind of panel of doctors consult with the candidates' own doctors, gets to look at the medical records and we get a real sense of the health of these candidates. It's not going to happen in this election season but it ought to happen and it ought to stop this nonsense such as these surrogates they're throwing around and Giuliani is probably the worst of them in terms of irresponsibility.
LEMON: It's interesting and I said this ...
SELLERS: Can I chime in real quick, Don, if I may?
LEMONN: Go ahead, Bakari.
SELLERS: Just real quickly because Carl brought up a good point. Some of the people who are running the campaign of Donald Trump, the Steve Bannons, the people behind the scenes like Roger Stone who is a very, very small man, it's bothersome because it pushes the campaign in the direction that's less than wholesome. It takes it off the track. And when you hear people like Kayleigh and when you hear people like Andre sit up here and talk about the fact that there are issues that you can hit Hillary Clinton on, there are real dialogues that we can have. But you have people like Donald -- like Roger Stone who has absolutely no character. You have people like Steve Bannon who's led Breitbart, who take us off in this path of racism and take us off in this path of xenophobia, and take us off in this path of bigotry and that is not good for the discourse of this country.
LEMON: Yeah. But as Carl said ... BERNSTEIN: This is a campaign strategy. This is a strategy.
LEMON: At some level, it has to be working or they wouldn't be doing it, right, Carl? Carl, hold on. At some level, if it didn't work, they wouldn't be doing it.
BERNSTEIN: Well, this is a nice strategy.
BAUER: Don, I want to say two things. First -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
LEMON: No, go ahead, Andre. Sorry, there's a delay. Go ahead.
BAUER: I was going to say two things. Number one, I think it was a good move on Hillary's part to do Jimmy Kimmel, to be light-hearted about it. The pickle thing, I think that really -- I think it sends a great message to voters to kind of laugh it off. So I actually think in diffusing it, that's a great way to do it.
And then secondly, I actually would disagree a little bit with the fact that, you know, doctors ought to examine them. If that were the case, FDR may have never been president, not that he was one of my favorite presidents but, you know, questioning somebody's health doesn't really tell you whether they can do the job. You know, they could be in a wheelchair and be fine to still do the job. They may have physical ailments but that doesn't mean mentally they can't still be prepared to do the job of being a president.
MCENANY: It's also important to point out though the double standard, Bakari, because, you know, you're calling on Donald Trump to dismiss conspiracy theories. But I could do the same with Hillary Clinton because there are multiple of her surrogates and Democratic commentators I've heard on this very network questioning Donald Trump's mental health, is he crazy, should he be medically examined? Those are certainly disclosed by the other side.
SELLERS: That's not -- but that's just -- no, that's not what they're saying.
MCENANY: No, I've heard that on this very network. I've sat on this panel.
BERNSTEIN: Your question is very different.
SELLERS: No, but that's not what they're saying, Kayleigh. What they're saying is -- and I've done it many times before and I stand by that
BERNSTEIN: And temperament.
SELLERS: I question Donald Trump's capacity.
BERNSTEIN: Same here.
SELLERS: I question Donald Trump's competency. I question Donald Trump's ability to be commander-in-chief based on his intellectual depth and know how. [23:45:00] That's vastly different from characterizing Donald Trump as being someone who has a mental health.
LEMON: Carl Bernstein.
SELLERS: In fact ...
LEMON: Go ahead. Go ahead, quickly. Make your point then Carl will get in.
BERNSTEIN: Yeah, yeah, I've ...
SELLERS: No, I was saying in fact I think it's dangerous for people to question Donald Trump's mental health because of the fact -- and actually, we have a mental health problem in this country and it lessens that by calling Donald Trump "crazy".
LEMON: Go ahead, Carl?
BERNSTEIN: Well, Trump's conduct, his temperament, his stability in terms of his attacks on individuals and the way he's done it is a real issue in this campaign and a factual issue that journalists need to be looking at.
LEMON: Okay. And that is -- I mean that's something for everybody single campaign when people talk about ...
LEMON: Yes. And when these people talk about releasing your tax returns, and there are things that you do, you release your tax returns, you release your health records and there are other things that you do when you're a presidential candidate that is just done. People do -- are interested in whether the candidate is going to be healthy for the next four years or next eight years. I think that's important for the American public to know. So stay with me, everyone.
When we come back, our conversation is going to continue. We're going to talk about e-mails if my panel will let us get to that. We'll be right back.
[23:50:00] LEMON: Back with me now, Kayleigh McEnany, Bakari Sellers, Andre Bauer and Carl Bernstein. Bakari, I want to talk about Hillary Clinton's e-mails. Colin Powell is pushing back on "The New York Times" report that Hillary Clinton told the FBI investigators that he suggested to her that she used a private e-mail. Colin Powell responded to People Magazine" and he said this, "Her people are trying to pin it on me. The truth is, she was using, talking about her private e-mail server, for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did. I mean, why can't they end this issue? Why keep discussing it?
SELLERS: Well, they didn't keep discussing it and that's kind of the misnomer here, Don. I mean, that is where people get this convoluted or conflate the issues. In fact, she was actually speaking to federal investigators at the FBI and they take their notes, their investigative notes, or what are called 302s. Those 302s were turned over to the United States Congress and they have since been leaked to "The New York Times". So no, she wasn't throwing this in the face of Colin Powell or anyone else.
But what I will not do as a supporter of Hillary Clinton or a commentator of CNN or anyone else is try to impugn the character of Colin Powell. I just won't do that. I will say that I think that there is a lot going on here, a lot we don't know because, again, that's one of the reasons that I wanted these notes to be released to the public in full, not piecemeal, because now we have leaks and we only know one part of what was said and not the full conversation.
LEMON: Go ahead, Carl.
BERNSTEIN: Look, the whole server question is her Achilles' heel. If she were to lose the presidency and this race, it's going to be because of the server and her e-mails, because her conduct on this issue is indefensible. It was reckless. It endangered the national security, setting up this server in the first place as Comey explained. There is no justification for it. Now we have another 15,000 pieces of information, most of them e-mails that we're now going to see the contents of.
I think we've got to look at this campaign now in terms of negatives about these two candidates, this being her worst negative and positives. And she's got a long record of public life to be examined and great contributions, and can we say the same of Donald Trump? Neither of them is transparent. Neither of them believes in transparency. They're awful about it, both of them. But she has a real record, a whole record over 30 years and Trump does too in public and it doesn't hold up in terms of being prepared for the presidency the way that Hillary Clinton does. But this is going to be the biggest problem she has and if Donald Trump is elected, it's going to be because of this.
LEMON: So what Carl has been referring, everyone, is the State Department being ordered by a judge to review 15,000 new Hillary Clinton documents provided by Judicial Watch. And you don't know how many e-mails or just what other documents or attachments, whatever. But here is how the campaign has responded. The campaign is saying, "As we have always said, Hillary Clinton provided the State Department with all the work-related e-mails she had in her possession in 2014. We're not sure what additional materials the Justice Department may have located, but if the State Department determines any of them to be work-related, then obviously, we support those documents being released publicly as well" You're shaking your head, Kayleigh. Why?
MCENANY: This is -- it's baffling and this is why this issue doesn't disappear, for that statement to say we stand by our statement that Hillary Clinton turned over all work-related e-mails. We've had the FBI Director, Jim Comey, come out and say under penalty and perjury before Congress, only a perjury before Congress, she did not turn over all work-related e-mails. In fact, there were thousands that we found. She said that her team went e-mail by e-mail and took personally the work-related ones. We've found out by the FBI director, that is not what happens. They did search terms. They did not scrutinize every single e-mail. So to double down on the statement that the FBI director has already contradicted is why this story continually stays in the news.
LEMON: Andre, what's your reaction?
BAUER: Well, I think it's why her negatives are as high as they are. It's not just this. It's he continual drip. And it's not just trying to put the fire out, admit all guilt and move forward. And when you look back, you know, I heard him say that Hillary has a great pass. Well, I would argue. You know, as a United States Senator, what bills did she put forth? I think other than naming a courthouse, she didn't pass one bill as United States Senator.
SELLERS: She's actually one of the ...
BAUER: Just because she helped with the title doesn't mean she really did anything.
SELLERS: But she was actually one of the people who fought for the funding for first responders and worker's compensation funding for first responders in New York after 9/11. But please continue, Andre.
BAUER: Bakari, you and I have been in the legislature a long time and both of us fought for all kinds of things and we can take credit for something that really somebody else pushed through because we were a co-sponsor of a bill. And so, she doesn't have anything ...
LEMON: But even -- but I have to say, Andre, that even first responders living here in New York, even first responders and members of their family, families will say that Hillary Clinton fought for them and fought on their side.
BAUER: Okay. Well, she ran on creating 200,000 new jobs in Upstate New York. They actually have a negative one. You go to Secretary of State, you examine her record there, all kinds of improprieties whether she sold favors, raised money.
[23:55:04] She said she was going to end this with the foundation, now she says she's going to do it again if she gets elected. Why not do it now? It's kind of like you're having a blue-light special. Look, we got 78 days. Give all you can before she becomes president. It's an overall tone that she's never cleaned in the mess, that she just doesn't admit guilt and move forward. And that's why it's a continual problem.
LEMON: Carl, I have about 30 seconds. Why do you call this a cultural war going on? You said Gettysburg of the cultural wars, why?
BERNSTEIN: Because the Clintons have been in the midst of this terrible national debate for the last 35 years over what kind of country we are. And they have been blamed for all the sins of the left and the center left, and the right wing has taken them on. She has been identifying the best right wing conspiracy. And now we're seeing a fight to the death of these two points of view, of Trumpism and Clintonism. But Trumpism transcends just a political question but it's also about his business practices and on and on and on. Whereas Clintonism is about a view of public life, public service and what it ought to be ...
LEMON: All right.
BERNSTEIN: ... and whether people in this country support it or they don't.
LEMON: Thank you all. We'll be right back.
[24:00:02] LEMON: That's it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here tomorrow night. "AC360" starts right now.