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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
FBI to Release Clinton E-mail Interview Report, Agent Notes; African-American Pastor Supporting Trump Apologizes for Black-Face Clinton Tweet; David Duke Trying to Tie Himself to Trump; Trump to Deliver Immigration Speech Tomorrow; Trump's Influence on Races in Florida, Arizona. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired August 30, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: If you ever see Bull Durham, he used words that will get you thrown out of a game.
I want to move to other issues breaking just now. We got word a short time ago that the FBI is going to turn over the report it gave to the Justice Department recommending no charges against Hillary Clinton for her e-mail situation, in addition to the notes that FBI agents took during their interview.
Molly Ball, you're a reporter. I suspect you feel like I do. I have a keen interest in seeing those notes and exactly what was said between the FBI and Hillary Clinton.
MOLLY BALL, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE ATLANTIC: Absolutely. I'm going to be very interested to see what they say. You had someone from the Clinton campaign on earlier saying we wanted this, it's going to vindicate us, et cetera, et cetera. That may be true. There's no question that the Clinton campaign would prefer this issue is not continually in the news. The fact we continue to get more information about this, which of course we want, we want more transparency, more information. In political terms, the Clinton campaign would like the entire next two months to be a referendum on Donald Trump. The more this issue surfaces and the more information we get about it, the more it underscores the problems for her situation.
I think that's exactly right. I take them at their word, that they want this out there. Every reason to believe that the Clinton campaign doesn't want just Republican members of Congress to have this. If they're going to have it, they want the public to have it, too.
Lanhee, to Molly's point, I guarantee you we'll be talking about them tomorrow when the report comes out, it's a day we're not talking about other things with Donald Trump.
LANHEE CHEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's true. The candidate's approach which is nothing to see here, I don't think that's sustainable. Going into the first debate in a few weeks, they'll have to figure out strategically how can she appear to come clean with the American people while not compromising the things she said previously. That's going to be a very difficult task. BERMAN: Her answer to Anderson the other night, people are looking at
that and saying, gosh, if she's been say that with so much of an abject apology all along, maybe we wouldn't be where we are right now.
LANHEE: The problem is, you look back to all the times when she said she didn't disseminate classified information or the various times she said all these different things, I think those will come back to haunt her. I agree with you, I think the tone is right. She has said so many things, she's got to remember that that tone, that apologetic tone is carry into that debate.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think you're right. She will continue to focus on the apology, what she should have been focused on all along. She has apologized repeatedly. I think the fact that the Hillary Clinton campaign called for these notes to be out there for the public so Republicans aren't the ones who are initiating the selective leaks, trying to make it look nefarious when it's not is good. Obviously they would rather not be talking about this and would be focusing on Trump. But I also think it gives them the opportunity the way Kristina Schake did brilliantly with you, to also contrast it with what we're seeing from the Trump campaign. We know everything about Hillary now. Now we'll even know what she said to the FBI. One of the things we'll see which has not been talked about, this decision from Comey's team was made unanimously, all his investigators, all his operators, all the people who looked at this, all the analysts --
BERMAN: We don't know. We'll have to wait to see what we see and we'll go over it.
CARDONA: That's exactly right. The end of the day, the contrast with the complete lack of transparency, we don't know what business dealings Donald Trump has because he hasn't let us see his taxes, I think is a good one.
BERMAN: We're all for transparency. I think both candidates could have a little bit more. There's a lot we would like.
BERMAN: No, no. I'm going to change subjects. An important thing I want to get to, which is race in this campaign. The discussion about race I think to some extent is unexpected. The players are somewhat unexpected.
Pastor Mark Burns, a big supporter of Donald Trump, put out a tweet of Hillary Clinton in black face saying she was pandering to get minority votes. He has apologized. He's actually apologized fairly profusely for this tweet, but says he stands by the substance of it, that Democrats have failed minority voters.
Andre, is this muddling the message that Donald Trump wants to give these next few days in advance of his race speech, prominent support for Donald Trump, having to apologize on along the way for racial insensitivity.
ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Absolutely. Any time you avert the discussion, it muddy it is water. Clearly the message is still there. Donald Trump didn't put this out, but a surrogate did. It diverts the conversation which is never healthy. There's plenty out there to talk about, when you just finished up with Hillary, I think about her being on the talk show the night before saying these were dull, boring e-mails. That is again a lie to the American public. The next day, she says something totally different to Anderson Cooper. I was on the panel when she said that. Again, you don't use bleach bits to wipe out information when it's just yoga. This is concerning and misleading the American people. And that's why --
[11:35:20] BERMAN: Andre, I am impressed by your ability to turn the question about race to Hillary Clinton's e-mails.
BAUER: I answered it.
BERMAN: I want to keep this focus on race.
Molly Ball, here. It is surprising to me Molly, the extent to which we're talking about this and the extent to which the Trump campaign continues to talk about it despite the roadblocks with pastor burns. Donald Trump is going to be speaking about this on Saturday. Who do you think wins when there's a continued discussion about race in this campaign?
BALL: Well, on the one hand, if you 1 percent of the African-American vote, there's literally nowhere to go by up. It's possible by just opening the conversation and saying he wants minority votes he could attract a few people. As you pointed out, pastor burns didn't apologize for the substance of his comments. The substance of his comments are the same as the message that Donald Trump has been saying, in his speeches and outreach to minority voters when he's saying that Hillary Clinton is bigoted and the policies she advocated intentionally' miss rated minority communities. That's message to get across to say the Democrats they have overwhelmingly supported have intentionally made their lives miserable. I think the kinds of people drum has surrounded himself with make it difficult for him to go into those communities and start to win people over.
BERMAN: All right, guys. Thanks so much for being here and rolling with the breaking news, which keeps on coming. We'll check back in when something new happens in the next two minutes.
In the meantime, Donald Trump promises a major speech on immigration, but his campaign is still having a hard time explaining exactly what his position is. Will we get any clarity tomorrow? We'll ask one of his advisers next.
[11:41:30] BERMAN: An African-American pastor and Donald Trump surrogate is responding to heavy criticism after he tweeted two images intending to show Hillary Clinton in black face. Pastor Mark Burns deleted and issued an apology for the first image, a cartoon, but not apologizing for the substance of it.
Joining me, Steve Cortes, a Donald Trump surrogate, a member of the National Hispanic Advisory Council.
Steve, thanks so much for being with us.
This latest episode, a Donald Trump surrogate tweeting out pictures of Hillary Clinton in black face, on top of the episode with Judge Curiel, on top of his distancing himself from the KKK earlier in the campaign, without re-litigating each separate one, how much work does Donald Trump need to do to heal his relationship with minority communities?
STEVE CORTES, DONALD TRUMP SURROGATE & MEMBER, NATIONAL HISPANIC ADVISORY COUNCIL: Well, look, John, I'll be the first to concede that we have a lot of work to do, Republicans in general. This isn't just Donald Trump. For decades we've done terribly and I think it's a disgrace that the party of Lincoln has not earned larger support from the African-American community and Hispanics. The pastor has apologized and quite profusely so, and he should. Black face is a caricature and it's divisive.
I will also say I think Hillary Clinton should apologize for her disgraceful Ku Klux Klan commercials where she tries to equate Trump supporters with a couple of hateful bigots she found somewhere. As a Hispanic and Catholic, I find that deeply offensive. I would say to Pastor Burns and to Hillary Clinton, let's get out of the mud pit. Let's start talking about policies, stop the race baiting and get to what can actually advance our agenda of growth forward for all Americans and especially for people of color who have not done well in this economic recovery.
BERMAN: David Duke is supporting Donald Trump. Donald Trump has renounced David Duke and denounced robo calls where David Duke tried to tie himself to Donald Trump. No denying that David Duke, former Klan leader, is campaigning, tying himself to Donald Trump.
CORTES: Sure. David Duke can do whatever he wants. He has First Amendment rights. He's an idiot, a hateful bigot. He endorsed us. We did not endorse him. I'm sure we can find some pretty embarrassing people that support Hillary Clinton, but that wouldn't be fair. She doesn't pick who supports her.
The point is, there are millions and millions of Americans who do support Donald Trump. I think there will be millions enough to win the election come November and, by the way, we're not sticking to the traditional Republican model. As a campaign, we're being intentional and aggressive about trying to reach out to Hispanics and African- Americans saying we understand some of the problems that face your community, and give us a chance. What you've tried for decades with the Democratic Party, those policies have not worked for you. Give us a chance to use our policies that make your lives better, make you more prosperous and safe in your communities.
BERMAN: Let's talk about policy, because we're about 24 hours now from Donald Trump giving a big speech on immigration. I'm wondering if you know exactly what Donald Trump's policy is when it comes to the 11 million undocumented immigrants now in this country.
CORTES: John, I think you'll understand that, if I do know things that are not already in the public realm, I certainly can't tip my hand right now or I won't be on Team Trump very much larger. What I would say is this, though, Donald Trump has been remarkably consistent. He's being accused of waffling. He's been consistent on a couple major points all along. One is that the border must be secured. We are going to build a wall, that's non-negotiable.
BERMAN: Yes, he has said that.
CORTES: The second thing that is non-negotiable is whatever he does decide regarding illegal immigrants, there will be no path to citizenship. We cannot reward criminal activity --
CORTES: -- with United States citizenship.
[11:45:15] BERMAN: Steve, you know those are two big issues. There are other huge issues. In fact, the thorniest issue, what to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in this country, not citizenship, but should they get legal status? If you're not going to formalize going to work to remove them? Donald out, by a deportation force if necessary. But now he's not clear, is he?
CORTES: Not yet. He will be tomorrow night. Listen, I think he's shown real leadership. He's saying I reconsidered my position or am at least reconsidering it, will come out with a detailed proposal for what he will do as president. I'm speaking personally, not on behalf of the campaign. My advice to Mr. Trump is while we probably need to deport a lot of people. There are dangerous folks who are here, folks who just got here illegally, they ought to go and should go quickly. There are also many people who and have not been criminals, haven't been a drain on our system, have families, have jobs. In my opinion there should be a process by which they can stay.
By the way, it will be an onerous process. It won't just be, OK, you stay. It will be vetting, background checks, penalties, back taxes, perhaps a touchback. I'm not divulging what the plan will be. We will find out tomorrow night.
BERMAN: If he does agree with you, that would be a huge change. One more thing for us to wait and see tomorrow.
I hope you come back, Steve Cortes and talk to us again after that speech. I think it will be an interesting discussion. Appreciate it. CORTES: Will do.
BERMAN: Voters heading to the polls right now. Big primary battles under way right now. John McCain facing a test in Arizona. His challenger running on a tough campaign, calling him weak and too old for another term.
[11:51:05] BERMAN: Voting under way right now in races in Florida, where Senator Rubio and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are batting to retain their support. In Arizona, John McCain fighting challenger, Kelli Ward, and walking a fine line in uneasy alliance or uneasy peace or no comment with Donald Trump.
Joining me now from Phoenix is Dan Nowicki, the national political reporter for the "Arizona Republican."
Dan, I want to look forward, because John McCain I think will prevail in the primary. The question is what's next for him before the general election? He has a tough race against Anne Kirkpatrick. A lot of people think John McCain, who was not willing to pull back his endorsement of Donald Trump until today, might feel differently over the next self weeks.
DAN NOWICKI, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, ARIZONA REPUBLICAN: Right. I think McCain really wanted to avoid kind of kicking the hornet's nest of the Trump supporters while he tries to get through a Republican primary in Arizona. I think you will see him more willing to put distance between himself and Trump. I don't want know if we can expect McCain to fully denounce Trump and take back his endorsement, outside of some extraordinary circumstance, maybe if Trump says something really outrageous or more so than McCain would consider that. Right now, like he mentioned, it's an uneasy piece. I think probably it's in the interest of McCain to keep it that way as far as he can. When he can and where he can on issues of foreign policy, he is delineating himself and Trump.
BERMAN: Of course, that could be -- Arizona could be a tighter general election race than be seen before.
Dan, stand by.
We will go to Florida, where Senator Rubio is in a primary campaign and faces a tough, potentially, general election battle.
Mary Ellen Klas, capitol bureau chief of the "Miami Herald" joins us right now.
Again, Marco Rubio leading in the primary polls, heading into the general election, and one of the big questions is how did Marco Rubio deal with Trump? He last endorsed Donald Trump, a man in the primary, the presidential primary he called a con artist. We saw an interview where Marco Rubio doesn't look comfortable talking about Donald Trump, exactly. MARY ELLEN KLAS, CAPITOL BUREAU CHIEF, MIAMI HERALD: No, you are
right. It's very clear that Marco Rubio reluctantly endorsed Donald Trump. I think it will be interesting to see how he manages things after elections. Does he distance himself more? I think like in Arizona, it is very likely to be dependent on what Donald Trump says in the coming weeks.
I think what his immigration speech that's expected this weekend will be an important indicator. If he embraces some of the principles that Marco Rubio has indicated he is supportive of, that might be kind of a bridge that will help be a bit of an olive branch.
BERMAN: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former head of the DNC, up for re- election in a House primary. Bernie Sanders endorsed her opponent but Bernie Sanders didn't go campaign for Tim Canova, did he?
KLAS: No. It is very clear that Bernie Sanders -- Tim Canova embraced Bernie Sanders and really got most of his support and unusual support from Bernie Sanders' supporters. But Debbie Wasserman Schultz has never face faced a primary challenger before. This is her first challenger. He has been enormously successful. But it doesn't look as though, according to polls, he is going to be able push it that far. I think Bernie Sanders recognized that.
BERMAN: Bernie Sanders perhaps --
BERMAN: -- not wanting to weigh if unless he could get a victory there.
Mary Ellen Klas, thank you so much.
Again, Arizona voting in the primary, Florida voting as well. John McCain, if he wins in Arizona, faces a tough general election against Congresswoman Anne Kirkpatrick. And Marco Rubio, if he wins in Florida, faces perhaps a tough general election against Congressman Patrick Murphy. We will stay tuned and watch those races coming up.
[11:55:24] In the meantime, the star quarterback of the 49ers, he may mot be the only player refusing to stand during the national anthem. Hear why the rookie that wanted to join him just backed off this idea to protest. A lot more coming up. Stay with us.
[12:00:02] ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. Welcome to "Legal View."
There are now exactly 10 weeks left for the candidates for president to win friends and influence voters. And a little more than one left for Donald Trump to do what we're all waiting for --