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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Kaine: Trump is Pushing KKK Values; Report: Trump Doctor Wrote Health Letter in Five Minutes; Trump Campaign CEO Faced Domestic Violence Charge; Trump Camp Sends Mixed Messages on Immigration; Trump Struggling to Stay on Message Over Immigration; Man Hops Airport Fence, Steals Truck, Rams It Into a Plane. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 26, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news -- the Clinton campaign accusing Trump of pushing Ku Klux Klan values. An explosive new charge tonight.
Plus, the Trump campaign's new CEO accused of attacking his ex-wife. The details from that case coming to light.
And a sitting governor leaves a profanity-laced, threatening voicemail. We'll speak to the lawmaker who got that call. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Jim Sciutto in again tonight for Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, Tim Kaine attacking Donald Trump today in really the harshest terms, equating what he calls Klan values with Trump values.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He has supporters like, David Duke connected with the Ku Klux Klan who are going around and saying Donald Trump is their candidate because Donald Trump is pushing their values. Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values. They're not our values, and we've got to do all we can to fight to push back and win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: This is the latest attack in an increasingly explosive war of words, particularly over race. Each candidate accusing the other of bigotry and racism. And just moments ago, RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer responding to Kaine's remarks, tweeting, and I quote, "KKK comments are reprehensible and over the top. Democrats who don't denounce are complicit."
Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT tonight. Miguel, both campaigns certainly digging in on this increasingly aggressive line of attack.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it is aggressive. And they are digging in. It may be the dog days of summer, but you wouldn't know it by the fact that the hot-button issue of race is playing the center stage in presidential politics.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and this kind of white supremacist, white nationalist, anti-Semitic groups should never run our government or command our military.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Clinton and her campaign, keeping up a blistering race-based offense against Donald Trump.
KAINE: Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values.
MARQUEZ: Trump rejecting outright support from David Duke or other white supremacists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No, I don't at all. Not at all.
MARQUEZ: Clinton citing Trump's hiring of Breitbart editor Steve Bannon to run his campaign. Trump's tirades against immigrants, Muslims and Mexican American judge and even using his own words against him, this Clinton TV ad now running in swing states.
TRUMP: What do you have to lose? You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs.
MARQUEZ: Trump hitting back --
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot.
MARQUEZ: Insisting Clinton has the race problem.
CLINTON: They are often the kinds of kids that are called super predators.
MARQUEZ: Trump releasing this Instagram video highlighting a term Clinton used in 1996. Many see it as racist. She has apologized for it, but it has dogged her campaign.
BERNIE SANDERS (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because it was racist term, and everybody knew it was a racist term.
MARQUEZ: Now, keep in mind that most polls show that minority voters have already made up their minds about these candidates. So the use of race in this situation seems to be candidates who are trying to point out that the other candidate, and this is for sort of moderate independent white voters out there, that the other candidate is worse on race -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Really and a strongest term possible as well. Miguel Marquez, thanks very much. OUTFRONT tonight, Patrick Healy, he is "New York Times" political
correspondent covering the 2016 presidential campaign. Clinton supporter Basil Smikle, senior advisor to the Trump campaign. Boris Epshteyn, Clinton supporter. Bakari Sellers, Trump supporter. Paris Dennard and Maggie Haberman, she is presidential campaign correspondent for "The New York Times," as well.
Bakari, I'd like to start with you. You heard Sean Spicer just as really moments ago saying Democrats have to denounce these comments. Do they?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. I mean -- and Sean is a good friend of mine. So, let me raise my hand as being one complicit in the charge and the assertion. For many people, especially young African-American millennials who I talk to in a regular basis, our fathers, our mothers got an opportunity to beat back many of the prejudices, xenophobia, bigotry, racism, hatred of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. I mean, it's not our turn to be that civil rights hero.
And yes, there are many values that Donald Trump espouses which are concerning. This xenophobia. The bigotry. The racism. You know, having white nationalist come out and say, he's speaking to us, I understand it. I think it's more than troublesome. And Donald Trump has to do more than say, you know, I don't think I want their vote. He has to actually do what John McCain did. And he has to do what Bob Dole did. He has to actually say that this has no place in the Republican Party, chose not to.
[19:05:09] SCIUTTO: But Boris, I mean, the difference here is -- they're not hinting that these are related to. Tim Kaine equating them with KKK values.
BORIS EPSHTEYN, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Well, first of all, I was shocked to see Tim Kaine on the trail. I thought he was sleeping for the past month. Haven't seen him out there at all. And he looked very weak. Very weak attack dog. So kind of pathetic. And this whole line started because Donald Trump went out there and started talking to the African-American communities. Talking to the African- American people and saying that we want to revitalize inner cities.
And the Democrats became so paranoid, they started calling him a bigot and racist to respond. Well, who is using race to divide people? It's not us, it's not our campaign. It's the Democrats, and it's the kind of language by Tim Kaine, the deplorable language. By Tim Kaine you just saw that there. So, it's very disappointing that Governor Kaine has decided to go there. You obviously has vote experience in national politics. And that's why he decided to do it.
BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NY STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: So we're paranoid, is that --
The bottom-line here -- we're paranoid because -- we're paranoid because a man who is leading a national ticket didn't engage the Black community. He spoke at the black community. He talked about black people. He talked about black people -- about black people in a way that was condescending and basically threw up every racial stereotype he could put together.
No, I let you talk. Excuse me. Let me talk -- I let you talk. Now let me talk.
SCIUTTO: Let Basil finish --
SMIKLE: Now, let me talk. Let me talk.
SMIKLE: The bottom line is that he has not -- as Bakari has said, he has not renounced a lot of the support --
EPSHTEYN: Yes, he disavowed, disavowed, disavowed.
SMIKLE: And what he needs to do is if he's really want to engage communities of color, he's go into these communities. Don't talk about them in absentia like they don't exist.
EPSHTEYN: He is going to community --
SMIKLE: What he needed to do, he needed to do that early on.
EPSHTEYN: The timing --
SMIKLE: Listen, would you let me talk?
SCIUTTO: Let him finish. I want to let him finish and get Boris to response.
SMIKLE: The fact is of the matter is what Donald Trump is doing is incredibly dangerous. And he has not taken any proactive steps to actually tone it down and stop it.
EPSHTEYN: All he's doing is saying to these communities we want to revitalize you. We want a better life for everybody. What is wrong with that?
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
SCIUTTO: But Boris, Patrick first --
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There's been a real run-up of very hot language this week. And it's worth remembering, though, that Hillary Clinton and her campaign have been -- has been g the word "bigoted" to describe Donald Trump since, you know, for months now. For months. And there's, you know, reason that they can certainly argue for why they've been doing that.
SCIUTTO: KKK is a step up though --
HEALY: KKK is a step up. You know, Donald Trump went to Mississippi to call Mrs. Clinton a bigot. That word hadn't been used before. And now KKK has to step-up. The problem for Trump here is that he's open himself up. He's so vulnerable to this by, you know, his sort of hitting on illegal immigrants, you know, his sort of attacks on illegal immigrants. The anti-Semitic tweet that came out. You know, sort of, the language --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
EPSHTEYN: Any candidate who's running this country for a long time. The --
SCIUTTO: I want to -- if Donald Trump has a path here with African- Americans, why does Hillary Clinton today have 86 percent of the black vote to two percent for Donald Trump?
PARIS DENNARD, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, a few months ago it was zero percent, and then two percent --
SCIUTTO: Within the margin of error.
DENNARD: That is three percent and you know --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three percent in some polls.
DENNARD: I see a range. But I think what you're seeing is Hillary Clinton is so desperate and so afraid that Donald Trump is going to connect with the black community because he is actually going and speaking --
SCIUTTO: Why do those numbers spark fear? Eighty six percent to two percent?
DENNARD: Why is she doing this? Why? Because she knows that --
SCIUTTO: I do want to ask Maggie to pipe in here. Because the Trump campaign pushing, it's not just saying the word "bigot," right? But they've released this campaign video. I'm going to show a clip here, bringing up some of her past statements. Let's have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the civil rights act of 1964.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's as if you are minimizing "I Have a Dream." It's a nice sentiment, but it took a white president to get blacks to the mountaintop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The damage between the Clintons and African- Americans in this country might be irreparable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama's support among hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Maggie, is there a vulnerability there for Hillary Clinton? MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There were certainly bad
moments for the Clinton campaign in the '08 primary.
SCIUTTO: Then you covered it.
HABERMAN: I covered it. I covered a lot of what she said at the time. She has addressed some of that. She's also addressed things like the super predator line from during the crime bill which the Trump campaign has talked about a lot. I think what we've seen with the Trump campaign, Patrick is absolutely right, that Clinton has been making a variance of this charge for a while. She's doing two things. She's trying to make it so that essentially that the pivot Trump has been attempting in the last week can't stick, which is a lot of what this is about. Trump and his responses to Clinton increasingly the last couple of weeks have basically been she levels a charge, he levels the exact same things back.
[19:10:12] There is a difference when you have, yes, Trump has said the words "I disavow" about David Duke. His campaign gets very, very defensive whenever they are asked about it. They're trying to suggest that, whichever a reporter attempts to raise this, is doing something strange or weird. I don't think that Trump has a huge chance at improving his appeal among black voters in the way that he's going about this. And perhaps we are wrong and we'll see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the community --
SCIUTTO: We'll be able to get back to this. Because thankfully we've got more time with you after this break.
OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump's doctor says that he wrote that glowing letter about Donald Trump's health in just five minutes. Was it accurate?
Plus, Trump's campaign Chief Steve Bannon, charges of battery and domestic violence in his past now surfacing. Our report coming up.
And Maine's governor threatens a lawmaker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (bleep).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:14:32] SCIUTTO: This just in to CNN, Donald Trump's personal doctor for 35 years says that he, wrote the letter proclaiming that Trump was in excellent health in just five minutes as a limo driver waited for himself outside his office. He's speaking out to NBC News tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN, DONALD TRUMP'S PHYSICIAN: I thought about it all day, and at the end, I get rushed, and I get anxious when I get rushed. So, I tried to get things -- five minutes to write the letter while the driver waited for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Now this comes as Donald Trump and his supporters continue to question Hillary Clinton's own health.
Jim Acosta, he is OUTFRONT tonight. Jim, is this going to be an issue for Trump, particularly in light of how aggressively he's gone after Hillary Clinton's health records?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think so, Jim. Keep in mind, Dr. Harold Bornstein, he has been Donald Trump's physician for some 35 years. And he once again stating for the record that he believes the GOP nominee is physically fit to be president of the United States. Now, Dr. Bornstein has already released a letter on Donald Trump's health. We know that. We can put that up on screen. Here's a clip from it.
It says, "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." That's obviously a very strong statement from the doctor there. Now, the doctor told NBC News that he wrote that letter in five minutes while a limousine sent by Trump's office was waiting outside of Dr. Bornstein's office. That's obviously going to -- that kind of disclosure is going to raise questions about Donald Trump's physical fitness to be president of the United States.
And on top of that, as you just mentioned, Trump and his surrogates have been airing their own doubts about whether Hillary Clinton is physically fit to be president. They've been saying in recent days and including Donald Trump, he said it himself, doubting whether or not she has the physical and mental stamina to be president. And Jim, keep in mind, this is also something that we're going to be hearing about, Donald Trump's personal physician, Dr. Bornstein told NBC News that in his opinion, Trump's health is, quote, "excellent," especially his mental health.
So the doctor there felt it was necessary to emphasize that he also believes that Donald Trump's mental health is also in excellent shape. Obviously this is not the last we'll be hearing from Dr. Bornstein. There will be lots of other news outlets including this one, who will going to want to get this kind of comment from Dr. Bornstein on the record, as well -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Jim Acosta in Las Vegas.
Also tonight, other hard questions for the Trump campaign. New revelation that's Steve Bannon, he is the new head of his campaign, was accused of domestic violence, keep in mind in 1996 by his then- wife.
Chris Frates is OUTFRONT tonight with our report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CLINTON: The latest shakeup was designed to, quote, "Let Trump be Trump." So to do that, he hired Steven Bannon, the head of a right wing website called Breitbart.com, as the campaign CEO.
CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But now the conservative news chief is drawing headlines of his own. Bannon was charged with battery and domestic violence stemming from a 1996 incident involving his then-wife. According to documents obtained by CNN, an argument over money allegedly got physical after Bannon's then-wife told him she wanted a divorce. The responding police officer wrote, "She appeared as if she was very upset and had been crying. I saw that her eyes were red and watery. She first said, oh, thank you, you are here."
The police report went on to say that Bannon grabbed her by the neck and wrist pulling her down and leaving red marks where he grabbed her. The report said she fought back, got away from Bannon, and dialed 911. Neither the Trump campaign nor a Bannon spokeswoman return request for comment. Bannon's -- a line of some of Trump's inner circle have drawn controversy. Former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort's lobbying ties to Ukraine and Russia and former campaign Manager Cory Lewandowski's rough treatment of a female Breitbart reporter drew unwanted scrutiny.
And defending Trump from a decades' old rape accusation that Ivana Trump later walked back, Trump Attorney Michael Cohen argued, quote, "Of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse." Trump friended unofficial adviser Roger Ailes left FOX News, the channel he founded, following allegations of sexual harassment.
FRATES: Now, Trump seem to invite controversy sometimes. Just today news that the campaign hired Bill Stepien as his national field director. Stepien if you remember was a top aide and campaign manager to Chris Christie who the New Jersey governor fired amid the 2014 Bridgegate scandal, for some aides close lane on the George Washington bridge as political retribution.
Now, Stepien was never charged in the federal investigation. But just this month, court documents revealed a text between Christie's aides that said the Governor had flat-out lied about Stepien not being involved in those lane closures. Christie denied there was any truth to that text. Pretty show just how long that controversy lingers, some two years later -- Jim.
[19:19:33] SCIUTTO: Chris Frates, thanks very much. My panel is back with me.
We also have joining us, Tara Setmayer, she's a CNN political contributor. But Boris, if I could start with you. I mean, the real question here is about the pattern. You have these past charges against Steve Bannon, his new campaign manager. You had Lewandowski with what was described as a violent encounter with a female reporter. You have Ailes, forced out of FOX News. Comes on as an informal adviser to the Trump campaign. Does this create a cloud around the Trump campaign regarding treatment of women?
EPSHTEYN: Of course, let me set the record straight. Roger Ailes is not an informal adviser. It's just not true. So, whoever is telling you that is not correct.
SCIUTTO: He's not advising the campaign -- he's not advising the in -- the candidate in any way?
EPSHTEYN: He's not a formal or informal adviser with the Trump campaign. That's one. Two, in neither, none of the instances that Chris Frates -- and is also called brilliant reporting was there any conviction. Steve Bannon's case was dismissed. Now, he didn't mention that. Mr. Frates did not mention that in that report. That's something that's very key to mention.
SCIUTTO: When you're on the air --
EPSHTEYN: When you're talking about somebody. Let me finish now.
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I will set the record straight when you're done.
SCIUTTO: Tara, you're next.
EPSHTEYN: And this was part of a divorce. And Mr. Bannon is still close with his ex-wife. They get along fine. They have raised two college-aged children --
SCIUTTO: The divorce came for than a year later.
EPSHTEYN: So, let me give back now to the issue on hand. We're talking about this -- must be a slow Friday. We're not talking about the fact that Hillary Clinton used bleach bit to wipe all her emails that she could find. We're not talking about the fact that she perjured herself in front of Congress. We're not talking about issues that --
SCIUTTO: We have talked about. That but --
EPSHTEYN: Twenty-year-old stories about campaign staffers, not the fact that --
SCIUTTO: But on this issue because it's new --
EPSHTEYN: Hold on --
SCIUTTO: I do want to get a different point of view with Tara Setmayer --
EPSHTEYN: -- not the fact that the Democrat candidate for president broke the law. And it's not once to be president. That's what we should be talking about.
SETMAYER: Well, the reason why we're talking --
EPSHTEYN: Tara, on the issue of relation with women and advisers around the Trump campaign. And that's their response.
SETMAYER: The reason why we're even talking about this is because Donald Trump continues to surround himself with people who are not competent, that have these kind of sordid history. Everyone think that Donald Trump is supposed to, oh, he is going to surround himself with the best people. Minus Kellyanne Conway who is phenomenal, I've known her for a long time -- the Trump campaign stuff is going to disaster in a bunch of amateurs. So, the reason why we're talking -- I'm talking now. Yes. Normally. But, you know, are we going to start this now, Boris?
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
So, the reason why we're talking about this now is because of that Donald Trump. Now, as far as the Steve Bannon case, the reason why that case was dismissed was because his ex-wife did not testify. So, the judge threw the case out. Because he allegedly, according to the divorce papers, she said that he told her and his attorney told her to get out of town. So that she wouldn't get served.
EPSHTEYN: This is from 20 years ago --
SETMAYER: No, in the divorce papers. That she was told to leave town so that if she wouldn't get served so the case would go away. And then they got divorced later. So, if it was an abusive relationship, that kind of stuff goes on there. So, let's not act like it was dismissed because there was nothing there.
SCIUTTO: I do want to ask Maggie Haberman a question here. Because we can't entirely adjudicate this case tonight. But to this issue of perception because Trump does have trouble with women voters. We threw this up on the screen. Sixty seven percent of women already have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton has a 19-point lead among women voters. That in a full way, presidential race. How does he win over women voters with at least the --
HABERMAN: A couple of points. And I'd like to go to the first one. Roger Ailes is advising Donald Trump. That is reality. He was in a meeting where he urged in a shakeup of Donald Trump's campaign. He reviewed ads. He's helped -- so we can, so we can, and the times time first reported that. So, we can say that that's not true. That's reality, number one. Number two, Steve Bannon is not running for president.
Cory Lewandowski is not running for president. So, we know all of that. But most campaigns go to great pains to check in to the people who come to work for them and backgrounds and so forth. There have been three shakeups, and lots of people have come in --
SCIUTTO: Manafort, not with women issue, but with ties -- HABERMAN: Correct. There were reports about his work in the Ukraine.
And so, at a certain point it becomes something of a critical mass. I still think Trump's problem, excuse me, with women voters is his own words. I mean, that's really what we've looked at. But this does become a way that the Clinton campaign can focus on it and say, look at who he surrounds himself with. And you're seeing that now.
SCIUTTO: Let Tara respond. I want to give you a chance but I want to give Paris a chance to talk, as well.
DENNARD: This is ridiculous. This is a distraction. If the Hillary Clinton campaign wants to engage in this type of dirty politics, we can look no further than Bill Clinton and his issues with women. Or we can look at Anthony Weiner who was Huma's husband, who has a lot of issues, current issues with women and we can analyze that --
SCIUTTO: He is not running for president.
DENNARD: Okay. Neither is Bannon, neither is Manafort --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
EPSHTEYN: Let's talk about Huma Abedin for a second --
SELLERS: That was also an unfair attack on Huma. Just briefly, because of the fact that Anthony Weiner has no role in the Clinton campaign. But I think this is, I want to step back.
EPSHTEYN: The chairman --
SELLERS: Boris --
EPSHTEYN: Come on!
[19:24:19] SELLERS: There's only one -- only one piece that I really want to lay out here. And I think it's indicative because we really don't know what happened 20 years ago. And I personally, like many others, don't tolerate domestic abuse in any shape, form, or fashion. But what we do know is that, as Maggie was saying, campaigns go to great lengths to vet the people that work with them. And I think what's indicative of this hiring of Steve Bannon -- we know Bannon is a racist. But now when you have someone who has this in their envelope of a resume who has this -- that goes along with them, that brings more luggage to the table, when you already have a deficit with women, it just proves not to be prudent or --
EPSHTEYN: Let's talk about the --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
Huma Abedin, hold on, hold on -- I want to finish. She wrote -- Huma Abedin, deputy chairman of that campaign --
SCIUTTO: I'm giving you a chance to respond --
EPSHTEYN: -- that's anti-woman, 9/11 truther, anti-Semitic and anti- gay.
SCIUTTO: I'm giving you a chance to respond. Just quickly because we have to go to break, Steve Bannon's a racist? How do you respond?
EPSHTEYN: I mean, the basis, that's what Democrats are doing. They throw out these --
SCIUTTO: We'll have to hold those thoughts --
EPSHTEYN: Our staffers and our candidates --
SCIUTTO: We'll get back to some of these issues. OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump, he is ever-changing immigration stance. Is it hurting him with his own supporters?
And there's new video tonight of a man who drove a pickup directly into a passenger plane at a major U.S. airport. How could this happen?
[19:29:44] SCIUTTO: Tonight, mixed messages on immigration. Donald Trump sending out conflicting signals about whether or not he will deport 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally. He was until he wasn't until he was again. Still, moments ago, a defiant Trump insisted that Hispanics are responding to his campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We've been doing very, very well with the Latinos. We've been doing amazing. Far greater -- far greater than anyone would understand. And they want to see jobs come in. We're going to bring jobs. They want to see things --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: But why is Trump struggling to give a clear answer on what is his core issue?
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT tonight with tonight's "Big Number".
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump's rapidly evolving position on immigration seems to have come full circle.
TRUMP: There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.
SERFATY: Trump is now ruling out a path way to legal status for the nation's undocumented immigrant.
TRUMP: No, there's not a pass. There is no path to legalization.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You talked about paying back taxes -- TRUMP: Unless people leave the country -- well, when they come back
in, if they come back in, then they can start paying taxes.
SERFATY: A sharp departure from his comments made just two days ago.
TRUMP: There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people.
SERFATY: On Tuesday, Trump seemed open to providing legal status for undocumented immigrants who had not been convicted of crimes.
TRUMP: No citizenship.
Let me go a step further -- they'll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty as such. There's no amnesty.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Right.
TRUMP: But we work with them.
SERFATY: But he's walking that back now.
TRUMP: I don't think it's a softening. I think --
COOPER: But 11 million people are no longer being to be deported.
TRUMP: Look, I've heard people say it's hardening.
SERFATY: The GOP is not clarifying how he would deal with those in the country, illegally, and whether he's sticking to his pledge during the primary to deport all undocumented immigrants from the U.S.
TRUMP: We're going to see what happens, but there's a very good chance the answer could be yes, we're going to see what happens. Before I do anything, I want to get rid of the bad ones.
SERFATY: Trump backer Sarah Palin says Trump risks losing support if he doesn't hold firm on his tough immigration stance.
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Donald Trump understands that enforcing the laws and building that wall are paramount to what the will of the people is, and thank God he's still preaching that. If he were not, then there would be a huge erosion of support.
SERFATY: And as we wait for more clarity over what exactly is Trump's immigration policy, there are some interesting comments from former Bush administration official, Paul Wolfowitz. He was President George W. Bush's deputy secretary of defense. He says he has a lot of concerns about Donald Trump. He calls him dangerous, so dangerous, Jim, that he says he might be forced to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton instead.
SCIUTTO: Incredible. Sunlen Serfaty, thanks very much.
My panel back with me.
Patrick, I want to begin with you. Sarah Palin there saying maybe a huge erosion of support. Does Donald Trump have a problem here?
PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, as long as he -- from his point of view keeps saying amnesty and I'm going to build a wall, that's like a safe zone for him. I mean, that's really where the -- the points that they keep trying to push. That conservatives will sort of accept maybe some, you know, sort of practical, you know, thinking that comes out, as long as he's saying those things.
But, look, I mean, on Tuesday, he was saying softening. On Thursday, to Anderson Cooper, he's saying hardening. There's a real muddle here.
It reminds me of Hillary Clinton's kind of tortured explanations around the emails that went on for a year. It's like sort of finding your way. The things is that Hillary figured out eventually -- Trump has 11 weeks to kind of get a large number of undecided voters to come to --
SCIUTTO: Boris, I'm going to give you an opportunity here. You advise the campaign. What is Trump's position? Deport the 11 million or not deport?
BORIS EPSHTEYN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Here's the position and it's multilayered. First, all those illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in this country are deported.
SCIUTTO: That's not all the 11 million, which was his original position.
EPSHTEYN: Two -- and that's what happened in San Francisco. We prevent that, 300,000 illegal immigrants, criminals allowed to stay in this country under President Obama.
SCIUTTO: Focus on the criminals. Let's be frank, that's a tiny percentage. I want to know, he said definitively they're going to go. Then he said they aren't. Then he said again --
EPSHTEYN: As to illegal immigrants who are not criminals which will be deported, those will be dealt with according to the laws on the books now, additional laws, the Constitution, and humanely, which Donald Trump has been very consistent.
Now, here's one thing I like to point, we've done this comparison --
SCIUTTO: We don't have much time. I want to give Tara a chance to respond. I want to give Tara a chance on that issue, because you say he's been clear throughout. The fact is even his own supporters say he hasn't been clear.
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He's not been very clear on this. That's why we've seen the flip-flops back and forth for days. That's why the immigration speech was postponed. He polled the audience, for goodness sakes, when he was on "Hannity" the other day. Should we kick him out? He's all over the place on this, clearly.
But Donald Trump from the beginning said they all have to go. He ran on this issue. This is what put him above the rest during the primary season, separated him from other people. Now -- now he's actually so desperate that he's citing the Obama administration figures about deportation which aren't even accurate.
[19:35:07] So he is --
HEALY: The problem with his base, the problem with the base is if he's saying we're going to enforce the laws on the books, that's what --
SCIUTTO: I want give Paris a chance to respond.
Can you clear it up? Can you clear up what the position is?
PARIS DENNARD, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's very clear. Mr. Trump is consistent as it relates to his position on illegal immigration.
SCIUTTO: Not on deportation?
DENNARD: Well, but the fundamentals are there. We've got to build the wall. You've got to fix a broken system. That is tied to jobs and the economy.
The issue that a lot of people responded to with Donald Trump was not necessarily about immigration. It was about the jobs and bringing jobs back to this country which is tied to immigration. So --
SCIUTTO: Bakari, in the primaries, anyone who said anything, Cruz, Rubio, Bush, about anything short of kicking them out, he called them a weakling.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that's correct. I think the accurate term now is a mess of public policy on the big stage, which is something that we really don't see a lot, especially when it is why you got elected to be -- it was the number-one issue in exit polls throughout the country. Every time we had exit polls, the number-one reason that people came out to vote and voted for Donald Trump in large numbers --
EPSHTEYN: It was economy, Bakari.
SELLERS: It was immigration. It was immigration.
What we're seeing now is -- although Boris laid out what we believe to be his immigration policy, although that's not necessarily what he said last night, what he did was he called amnesty by another name. That's exactly what it is.
And I'm going to channel my inner Rush Limbaugh. I heard Rush I believe it was yesterday morning. Rush said it is amazing to him that first they started with the gang of eight. And then they tried Jeb Bush. And the person to bring amnesty to the base of the Republican Party --
SCIUTTO: Rush Limbaugh laughed when he brought that point up.
SELLERS: I quoted Rush Limbaugh.
SCIUTTO: Maggie, does this -- you heard Sarah Palin tee that up. She warns of an erosion of support. It's too early to see it in the numbers. Is that a risk here? If not to have them vote, say, for Hillary Clinton, maybe not to show up at the polls?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It is certainly a risk when people like Sarah Palin, when you have people, Ann Coulter initially was sort of apoplectic on Twitter and then said, well, maybe it's not that bad. She said she's not leaving him. You have had people who are immigration hard-liners such as Congressman Steve King of Iowa who recently endorsed Trump. He had been a Cruz person, say he think this could be problematic. And another hard-liner essentially said very bluntly he thinks Trump blew the election.
I think that's an overstatement. I think a lot of Trump supporters are with him. They're not going to leave him. And they hear, you know, the side of what he says that they like, and they stick with that.
I think the problem is that, again, we are spending a third or fourth night trying to decipher where he is on a really key policy issue that -- that the country has tried to deal with for something like 12, 14 years now. And he's not giving a speech next week, as it turns out. But they've cancelled it again.
But at the same time, if you think about the week -- this is what makes Republicans who would like to win the White House back who don't back Trump very upset, think about the week Hillary Clinton could be having.
HABERMAN: There could be a lot of focus on the emails. There could be a lot of focus on an important question that Anderson Cooper asked her which was -- and there's still not a clear response to this, as to, you know, if -- if the foundation needs to be sort of wrapped up in a certain way, if she becomes with the, why wasn't it the case when she was secretary of state. And that is not the focus in part because of this.
EPSHTEYN: I'd love to talk about that.
SCIUTTO: Lost opportunity.
ESPHTEYN: I'd love to talk about the pay-to-play. SETMAYER: I think he got the chance to talk about the Clinton foundation and say we should give them benefit of the doubt. The question is, does he want to win --
SCIUTTO: We have to leave it there.
Folks, thank you. We covered a lot in a short time. Appreciate it.
OUTFRONT next, Maine's governor challenges one of his lawmakers to a duel. That lawmaker is OUTFRONT tonight.
And breaking news, new video from a security breach at a U.S. airport as a man rams a truck into a passenger plane about to take off.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, somebody jumped into a truck on the runway; you have any visual on that?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
[19:42:56] SCIUTTO: Tonight, Maine's governor under fire after leaving an expletive-laced and threatening voicemail for a state lawmaker.
Phil Mattingly OUTFRONT with more on this story. And we want to warn you, some of the language is clearly inappropriate.
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's Maine Governor Paul LePage. His target, Drew Gattine, a state lawmaker LePage thought had called him racist. The governor did not hold back.
I want you to prove that I'm racist. I've spent my life helping black people and you little son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) socialist (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker.
You -- I need you to -- just friggin'. I want you to record this and make it public because I'm after you. Thank you.
MATTINGLY: And LePage, right out of the 19th century, the governor later challenges Gattine to a duel.
LEPAGE: That's how angry I am. And I bet -- I would put my gun in the air, guarantee you. I would not be Hamilton. I'd point it right between his eyes.
MATTINGLY: LePage is no stranger to controversy.
LEPAGE: I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular. MATTINGLY: Something he himself acknowledged in his endorsement of
Donald Trump earlier this year. But the parallels go further, an outsider riling up the establishment, a fighter willing to go to the mat with political foes. LePage's daughter even works for Trump's campaign.
And yes, he's a politician with a history of not-so politically correct comments.
From strong words to President Obama --
LEPAGE: As your governor, you're going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying, Governor LePage tells Obama to go hell.
MATTINGLY: To punctuating a dispute with the NAACP like this --
LEPAGE: Tell them to kiss my butt.
MATTINGLY: And recently on the father of a Muslim American soldier killed in action in Iraq.
[19:45:04] LEPAGE: Then there's the mighty powerful ones like Mr. Khan -- which is a con artist himself. And he uses the death of his son, who's an American soldier, which we respect and honor. He uses that to go after Trump which I found very distasteful.
MATTINGLY: But it's comments related to the state's heroin crisis that have followed LePage for months.
LEPAGE: These are guys that are named D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these type of guys from Connecticut and New York. They come up here. They sell their heroin, then they go back home.
Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad things because then we have another issue that we've got to deal with down the road.
MATTINGLY: Now, Jim, the governor's office did put out a lengthy statement later today apologizing to the Maine people for the language in the voicemail, but not the voicemail itself. As for that duel, the statement made clear -- it was just a metaphor. He didn't actually think dueling was still legal -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: He did talk about pointing his gun at his head. Phil Mattingly, thanks very much.
OUTFRONT now, we have the man who received that voicemail. He's Democratic State Representative Drew Gattine of Maine.
The governor called you a lot of things I cannot repeat on the air, multiple times. What's your response?
DREW GATTINE (D), MAINE STATE LEGISLATOR: Well, it was pretty shocking to get that voicemail yesterday. I have never received a voicemail like that before.
And you know, it's -- you know, this is a governor, as you pointed out, who continues to cross the line. And every time you think he's crossed a line, you think he can't go any further, he draws a different line and crosses it. This is a pattern of behavior with this governor, and I think it's unfortunate, because I think Maine people deserve a lot better from their governor, and from the leader of our state.
SCIUTTO: Has he spoken to you since then? Has he pulled any of this back, at least apologized for some of the vitriol in that call?
GATTINE: No. He hasn't pulled anything back. You know, any comments that he has made to me. That's not his style. This is a governor that likes to double down. It doesn't surprise me that, you know, he hasn't pulled back the statements. And I don't really expect him to.
SCIUTTO: Now, he says he made the call because - he says that you called him a racist or a reporter told him that you called him a racist. Did you accuse him of being a racist?
GATTINE: No. I -- I'm not a name-caller. I'm not going to play that game with the governor. I was asked to respond to the comments he made about our drug crisis and I said that racially charged comments are not going to help us solve this extremely serious problem that we have up here in Maine.
We need to focus on prevention. We need to focus on treatment. We're not spending enough to treat people who are extremely ill with substance use disorder, and we need to support law enforcement. But the governor seems to want to continue to make this a conversation about race an seems obsessed and fixated with the race of people who are importing drugs in our state. And I don't think that kind of conversation is going to help solve the problem. And that's what I said yesterday, and that's what I believe today.
SCIUTTO: What is the difference between accusing the governor of being a racist and of uttering racially charged comments?
GATTINE: Well, I think there's a big difference. You know -- calling somebody a racist is one of the worst things you can ever call somebody. And it's not something that I've ever called anybody, frankly.
And again, I'm not going to engage in name-calling with the governor. I think it was wrong for the governor to interject every time we talk it this issue, issues about race. I think the issue and the problem we need to solve is about the fact that we're not investing enough in treatment.
People who need treatment can't get it here in Maine. This governor's policies are making it much more difficult for them to get treatment. And that's why I think we need to focus our attention.
SCIUTTO: Drew Gattine, Democratic legislator from Maine, thanks for joining us tonight. GATTINE: Thank you very much for having me on.
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, just in to CNN, new video. A man gets past security, rams his pickup truck to a passenger plane at a major U.S. airport. That's next.
[19:53:23] SCIUTTO: Tonight, a frightening scene at Omaha's main airport, after a man jumped a security fence and rammed a truck into a passenger plane full of passengers on the tarmac. We now have new video of the man behind this major security breach. That is him there.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We looked over to the left side of the plane and there was this truck, you know, like ramming into the plane next to us.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stunned, Omaha, the moment a truck slamming into the nose of a Southwest plane.
LAH: The driver here on this gurney was erratic, screaming and wearing only his boxer shorts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just got a report of a person possibly jumping the fence over at the airfield.
LAH: Airport tower radio traffic caught the moments before the crash. Officers were chasing after 35-year-old Delairo Koonce in a nearby parking garage outside the Omaha airport's perimeter.
CHIEF TIM CONAHAN, OMAHA AIRPORT AUTHORITY POLICE: The suspect at some point in the garage removed his pants.
LAH: And then climbed over a 8-foot fence topped with six strands of barbed wire, gaining access to one of the most secure parts of the airport. Police say Koonce found a white pickup truck, engine running.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, somebody jumped in a truck on the runway out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He ran into a Southwest 737 just in front of the tower.
CONAHAN: I think he was trying to get away from the officers. Every time the officers were approaching, he tried to elude them.
LAH: This incident, says aviation experts, is an example of a larger aviation security problem. MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: The larger issue is here that
the backside of our airports in this country generally are not secure enough. That is a fact.
[19:55:00] We need to really think about enhancing the perimeter of security, 360 degrees around the airplanes.
LAH: A report released this year looked at TSA security breaches from 2009 through 2015. It says on average, U.S. airports had 2,500 breaches every year. Some involving perimeter and airport access points.
And those security breaches are trending upward. There are numerous examples. April 2014, that's a 15-year-old jumping out of a plane's wheel well in Maui. The teenage stowaway snuck into the wheel well in San Jose, making it to Hawaii undetected. Philadelphia, March, 2012, police are chasing a Jeep that broke through a chain link fence and drove on to several runways, forcing planes to circle the area.
LAH: Now, the TSA says it has taken a number of concrete steps to enhance airport security, nationwide, and it has updated its national guidelines. As far as this case, the Omaha airport case, we did find out, from the police department, that that suspect, Jim, did, indeed, test positive for methamphetamine use -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Kyung Lah in L.A.
And we'll be right back.
SCIUTTO: Thanks for joining us. I'm Jim Sciutto. It's been nice being here this week with you.
"AC360" starts right now.