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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Changing Stance On Immigration?; $20 Million Settlement In Ailes Sexual Harassment Suit; Trump Campaigns In North Carolina; Clinton Takes Questions From Reporters, Slams Trump On Taxes, The Path To 270; Trump Defends Donation To Florida's AG. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired September 6, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:10] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us for a second hour of "360".
Coming up, the latest from both campaigns as Hillary Clinton takes questions from reporters on her plane. Donald Trump's stance on immigration still very much seems to be in the air. Also a look at the relationship between Trump and former Fox News Chief Roger Ailes now that Fox has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former anchor for $20 million and an apology.
We begin this hour on the Trump campaign trail. He finished up a rally a short time ago in Greenville, North Carolina. Sara Murray joins us from there now.
So Trump talked a lot about Hillary Clinton's e-mail server, the FBI report tonight. What did he say?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, he was really building on his message of national security today and trying to point out that the way Hillary Clinton dealt with her e-mail server is, in his view, disqualifying in her pursuit of the presidency and in true Donald Trump fashion, he used some pretty colorful language to describe her use of a private e-mail server and various communications, devices, calling it shady behavior.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They used hammers to destroy phones so they couldn't be turned over, and by the way, who uses 13 different iPhones in four years? Who? The only people who use that many phones are usually involved in very, very and I mean very shady activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MURRAY: Now, our new CNN/ORC Poll shows Donald Trump is actually trailing Hillary Clinton by a few points when it comes to that commander in chief test but obviously, those are numbers the Trump campaign believes they can turn around.
COOPER: He also talked in more detail about his plan to sort of get his generals to defeat ISIS.
MURRAY: Right. And he has on it a pretty short time frame. As he was talking here in North Carolina he said he will convene these generals and he will give them 30 days to come up with a plan for how to defeat ISIS and in talking to the campaign a little bit more about this, they were explaining that they don't feel like there's a clear mission right now for the generals about the different milestones they need to hit in order to defeat ISIS and how exactly they would do it. Trump says he's going to approach that much differently than Hillary Clinton would if he is president.
COOPER: All right. Sara Murray, thanks very much.
After managing to stay mostly under the radar with the press for months, not doing news conferences or many interviews, Hillary Clinton is giving reporters more access with nine weeks to go until Election Day. She's using the question/answer sessions to keep hitting hard at questions about Donald Trump like why won't he release his taxes for one.
Briana Keilar reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton taking questions from reporters for the second day in a row on the new plane she now shares with the press after avoiding a formal press conference for nine months.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Had so much fun yesterday. I did want to do this again. Adventures on the plane.
KEILAR: With polls showing the race tightening, Clinton has become more accessible and more consistently on offense. Clinton criticizing Donald Trump for not releasing his tax returns.
CLINTON: Truly, the list goes on and on. The scams, the frauds, the questionable relationships, the business activities that have stiffed workers, refused to pay small businesses. So clearly, his tax returns tell a story that the American people deserve and need to know.
KEILAR: She spent the day in battleground Florida.
CLINTON: His whole campaign has been one long insult to all those who have worn the uniform to protect our most cherished American values.
KEILAR: And her campaign is out with a new ad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump compared his sacrifices to the sacrifices of two parents who lost their son in war.
KEILAR: Highlighting Trump's comments about the military and veterans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What sacrifice have you made for your country?
TRUMP: I think I made a lot of sacrifices. I built great structures. I've had tremendous success. I think I've done a lot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are sacrifices?
KEILAR: Clinton is trying to convince voters they can't trust Trump to lead on the world stage but most voters don't trust her, period, and they trust Trump more.
A new CNN/ORC Poll shows 50 percent of voters say Trump is the more honest and trustworthy candidate compared with to 35 percent who say Clinton is. Vice President Joe Biden telling CNN's Jeff Zeleny, Clinton needs to open up.
VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN, (D) UNITED STATES: Let them see your heart a little more. And she has the heart.
KEILAR: She also, it appears, has allergies.
CLINTON: Every time I think about Trump I get allergic.
KEILAR: Her coughing fits have happened a few times now on the trail including Monday. And Donald Trump, the first nominee in modern history to openly engage in wild and false conspiracy theories, is questioning her wellness. Tweeting today, "Mainstream media never covered Hillary's massive hacking or coughing attack yet it is number one trending. What's up?" Just the pollen count, says Clinton and she's upped her antihistamine.
[21:05:06] CLINTON: Now, the advice of course is just don't talk. You know, that's not going to work.
Brianna Keilar, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Brianna mentioned there in her report, the new CNN/ORC Poll that shows Clinton trailing behind Trump on the issue of trustworthiness. That nationwide poll shows a virtual tie among likely voters nationwide but the state by state picture, the path to 270 electoral votes, that's a different story.
For that we turn this hour to CNN "Inside Politics" anchor John King breaking it down by the numbers. So let's look state by state. What do they look like at this point?
JOHN KING, "INSIDE POLITICS" ANCHOR: Anderson, if you're Donald Trump you like the trend line of this race, you like that it's coming your way but if you look at this map, we'll start with this one, pretty simple. Donald Trump has to turn some of this blue, this is the Obama/Romney race, has to turn several of these blue states to red.
At the moment, the only one he can claim a lead in is Iowa. Only six electoral votes. All the big ones, Hillary Clinton. They may be small leads but Hillary Clinton has a lead right now.
So, Anderson, as we look at it very tightening national race without a doubt, if you look at this map, even if Hillary Clinton lost one, two, three, four, five of these tossups which include Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, we have it right now, if the election were today, she would win with at least 273 electoral votes. Donald Trump, the race is improving but at the state by state level he's got business to do.
COOPER: So if you had to pick one state to watch, what would it be?
KING: The state where Hillary Clinton was today, the State of Florida. Why? Because it's the biggest prize. It's 29 electoral votes.
And yes, can I give you a path of Donald Trump winning without Florida? I can do that but a lot of people would question my competency if I did. It's just very, very hard. But if Donald Trump can win Florida, it gets him into play. Now that would get him at 220. If Donald Trump can win Florida, hold North Carolina, it was a Romney state and get Ohio, then he's in play. He still has to do more. But if you take Florida out of the equation, even just put it back for tossup, 29, without those, the math is almost impossible.
COOPER: Trump was in Virginia today. Obama carried it twice, obviously Clinton has a healthy lead, plus her running mate is from the state. Does Trump have time to pull ahead there?
KING: Actually makes sense to try now. We'll see what it looks like a month from now but it makes sense to try now. On average, the Clinton lead is about five points. Some polls have shown it bigger. But if you average out the recent polls, it's five points.
Let me show you something on the map here. First I want to go back to where we started. This is the Clinton advantage at the moment, 273 to 191, according to the CNN projections. Here's Trump's plan A. Trump plan A, win Florida, hold North Carolina, again, Romney won in 12, win Ohio which requires a flip, and then Trump wants to flip Pennsylvania. If Trump does that, those four states, he wins. But that -- this is why he was in Virginia.
Let's just assume Jeffrey Lord won't like this, but Jeffrey Lord's state stays blue, Pennsylvania stays blue. And how does Trump do it? This is plan B in the Trump campaign. Try to get Virginia and get Iowa. That gives him 272 and the presidency.
Again, he's behind in Virginia right now. It's a tough state if you look at the demographics but still pretty close. Five or six points, makes sense for Trump to give it a run now. Because if plan A doesn't work, he may need it for plan B.
COOPER: All right. John King, thanks.
Coming back to the panel. We'll start out with our nonpartisans reporters and analysts. Gloria Borger, I mean, it is so fascinating when you look at the national numbers, the national, you know, all the states and then you start to actually look at the battleground states which is really where the rubber meets the road.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And, you know, John just laid out the scenarios. So I think the path for Hillary Clinton is a lot easier than the path for Donald Trump right now. And everybody understands that. But if a lead really starts shifting, then the battleground states start shifting also. And they usually shift all at the same time. So I think that you have to keep a look at the national numbers only insofar as it affects the states and there are about 20 percent undecided voters out there so nothing succeeds like success. You see a winner out there, you're like, OK, maybe all ...
COOPER: That was my question, Dana, which is how many minds are already made up and how many people are there actually out there still to win over?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, according to the polls, and certainly ours, it seems that there are a number of undecided voters. Certainly, the sense is given where we are and who the candidates are and what we know also based on lots of polling, what people think about the candidates, a lot of those people are probably thinking, you know, who do I hold my nose for and vote for, because people aren't thrilled with the choices on the main ticket.
But the thing to keep in mind with all of those states that John was pointing out is the ground game. And just for example, Pennsylvania is obviously very key for Donald Trump if he doesn't win Virginia or Colorado or some of the other states John was pointing out.
I was just calling around getting ready to work on a story in Pennsylvania and I got like four layers deep in the Clinton team on their field operation there, just trying to find the answer to a basic question, the press operation, so on and so forth.
And on the Republican side, on the Trump side, there are a handful of offices. They are working with the RNC and they do have a Senate race there which means there's a lot more resources than in a state like Virginia, where there isn't. But there is a big difference.
[21:10:02] That combined with the very, very stellar stable they have of Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, so on and so forth to get out the vote.
COOPER: Right. And I guess, Kirsten, the Trump campaign comes back and says well, look, we have enthusiasm on our side. We have folks -- this is an unprecedented race, we have folks waiting in line who have, you know, been doing this for months. They're going to bring people to the polls. There's a whole sort of hidden voters who are going to come out.
KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY COLUMNIST: That's an untested business r model in politics. You know, so it's possible it could happen. And I think that, you know, a lot of people were surprised at how well he did in the primary states with very little ground game but you need more of a ground game in a national race than do you in a primary race.
And PBS NewsHour had -- they did a survey and they found that Hillary has three times as many paid staffers and 15 in battleground states. Kind of, you know, we had a couple reports about how there had been one office in Florida, for example, for Trump. That's probably not going to do it. You know, she's going to need a better ground game because her people are less enthusiastic, but he's getting some kind of ground game.
COOPER: Although I can hear Trump people saying, well, look, she's got a bloated staff and he's lean and mean.
KING: You need a wave. You need a wave. And Donald Trump had a wave in the primaries. There was a wave among Republican voters. There were also 17 candidates, let's be honest, but there was a wave among Republican voters that we don't like what we got, we want something really different.
In the general election, you see high negatives for both of these candidates. High unpopularity. Huge baggage for both for these candidates.
The Trump campaign is going to have to pick. Hillary Clinton has, you know, they are outgunned and outmanned if you want to, you know, get a little Broadway line there. She's got more money, she's got more staff on the ground. They did this in 2012. Mitt Romney was never down more than three points in the final days of the 2012 campaign. Look what happened on Election Day. Barack Obama won 332 electoral votes. That is kicking their butts on the ground.
BORGER: And now ...
COOPER: I'm sorry. We got to get a break. John King, by the way, throwing in a Hamilton reference.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice, Anderson.
BASH: Well done, Anderson.
COOPER: I know. Dana also a Hamilton fanatic. We'll get the other side of the table after a quick break.
Also ahead tonight, Donald Trump changing his position on immigration or seeming to again, or at least holding the door open. Now he seems to be saying there could be a path to citizenship or legal status for the immigrants who are in the country illegally. The question is whether his supporters know where he stands or even if it really matters at this point to a lot of them. We try to find out coming up.
[21:15:47] COOPER: Well, there's still two months until the Election Day. Anything can happen, really, but the race seems to be very close right now according to the new national CNN/ORC polling. Let's not forget the first debate happens in just a few weeks.
Back now with the panel. I mean, Jeffrey, we're talking about kind of state by state polling, the path to 270 electoral votes. How concerned are you about the ground game compared to Hillary Clinton's ground game ... JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Oh, it's important. I mean, there's no question it's important. And I've been checking on this in my own area of Pennsylvania. There's a Trump headquarters five miles from my house. I spoke to the guy ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guy.
COOPER: The guy.
LORD: The guy. The guy who heads it, thank you very much. That was good. I know they're out there door knocking as we speak and making phone calls and doing all of this. They've got a lot of people.
COOPER: They don't want ...
LORD: Right. I mean, they are very intent on doing this. They know what they're about and this is all to the good.
One of the other things I would add, I see that Elizabeth Warren is coming into Philadelphia in a few days. Philadelphia is a Democratic city. Why in the world would you send Elizabeth Warren there unless you were somewhat concerned that you're not going to get your margin out?
COOPER: Hilary, why would you do that?
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, this is ultimately a base election, right? We want to pretend we're growing the map, both, you know, Donald Trump wants to pretend he's growing the map. He's really not. Hillary Clinton is bringing out the Obama coalition. This is about getting our vote out in the most thoughtful, technical way possible. That's why, you know, my money's still on Hillary Clinton because they have built a campaign district by district, data point by data point. They know where every voter is and they know where the voters they need to go get registered are. They're going to be out there in early voting.
The Trump campaign and the RNC is so far behind where the Democrats are this year finally for the first time, it's really exciting. And that is how this campaign is going to be won on a state by state basis.
JACK KINGSTON, SENIOR TRUMP ADVISOR: One of the things, though, that Mitt Romney lost because so many evangelical Christians and Reagan Democrats stayed at home. They did not vote or did not participate. Donald Trump is connecting with them. They will show up.
But the other thing I want to point out is still the right track, wrong track. That favors the party that's not in power.
KINGSTON: And right now, that's giving some wind to Donald Trump and it's very, very important.
And just one more point. Hillary Clinton, there's nothing new there. Going back to that excitement factor. While I agree it's not a business model for a campaign, the reality is people want a change and there is an excitement factor. And when you look at Hillary Clinton, she's been in public office for 30 years. There's nothing really new. Nothing to get excited about. Just kind of regenerated old ideas. And I'm not saying those don't work a lot of times but I don't think they're going to pull her through this time.
MARIA CARDONA, 2008 SENIOR CLINTON CAMPAIGN ADVISER: But there's a couple other factors to keep in mind. You talked about right track, wrong track. A lot of that is progressives who don't think that the country is going in the right track because of the Republican opposition that Obama has had for so many years.
If you look at the Gallup poll that just came out on what Obama has done in the past eight years, right now, the majority of Americans believe that their life is better under eight years of the Obama Administration and Obama's policies. As long as he continues that trend and he is still over 50 percent in terms of popularity, that is going to be critical for her and he's going to be a big asset to her going around.
The other couple of things are, there are some fundamentals that continue to be a benefit to Hillary Clinton in all of these polls. College educated women. She is leading Donald Trump by 23 points. And that, I mean, Mitt Romney as you know won them by six and still lost the election. So that is going to be critical.
BASH: That's true, but she has a big deficit with married women. That Donald Trump is doing, is doing well but she's not doing as well as she should be ...
CARDONA: And men.
BASH: ... given where the numbers are and, you know, given what we've seen historically.
CARDONA: Sure, but if you still look at the number overall, it benefits Hillary Clinton.
[21:19:59] KING: You have two flawed candidates, there's no question about that. You have some dysfunction between the Trump campaign and RNC. We'll see if they can figure it out in time. We know Hillary Clinton, she disappeared in August, it hurt her in the polls without a doubt but she raised $143 million.
I'm a Red Sox fan, I stay up late night watching baseball games. Donald Trump is running ads all the time on New England Cable network to get to Red Sox fans who live if New Hampshire. They're effective. He was missing the entire summer. Now he's there.
The Clinton campaign has been gone because they backed off in a lot of states. I suspect they're going to be back up pretty quickly. But this one's for your staff, Anderson, more than anything. You can have the fundamentals of a campaign working in your favor but now big papi, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox came out today, he says he's against Donald Trump, all the things he says about Latinos and immigrants. You can run $100 million of ads in New Hampshire. David Ortiz ...
KINGSTON: President Obama's popularity is only up now because he's been gone. He's been out of sight. All coverage has been on this election ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He'll be back.
KINGSTON: ... on Donald Trump. The people again, I want to get back to the economy, people out there are hurting. And the people often on -- in the Washington circuit don't understand Middle America, they're looking for jobs. They want a change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a very important point.
ROSEN: But, you know, one of the things that is going to be Hillary Clinton's biggest challenge in talking about Donald Trump is to be talking about the economy.
You know, Gloria, you did a great documentary on Donald Trump this week and everyone should see it out there if you haven't, I'm sure it's on demand. But it was so illustrative compared to the Hillary Clinton documentaries, the people who criticized Donald Trump are the ones who knew him the best, who did business with him, who said he's not on their side, he's not going to help them.
COOPER: OK. We're going to take a break. Just ahead, some die-hard Trump supporters weigh in on the confusing messages Trump has been sending about -- sending out about a court tenet of his immigration plan. Are mixed signals giving them pause or it's a part of strategy? We'll be right back.
[21:25:50] COOPER: As we've been talking about the last few days haven't done much to clarify Donald Trump's immigration plan. If anything there may be more confusion than ever over the promise he made to deport all undocumented immigrants, a promise he made without reservation during the primary season and one that many consider the core of his campaign in addition to building a wall.
When asked about it this weekend, he said he isn't ruling anything out, so what are some Trump die-hard supporters making of all this vagueness, I guess you could say? Does it actually concern them? Gary Tuchman went to find out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They wait for hours in the hot North Carolina sun to see Donald Trump. These are among his most loyal supporters.
JAMES PRINCE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I believe he's going to pull the country back to what it used to be.
TUCHMAN: What did it used to be?
PRINCE: I think it used to be for the truth and the American way.
TUCHMAN: Donald Trump's immigration proposals are widely seen here as a way to get back to that America of yesterday. Despite the fact that his immigration plan isn't entirely clear. Regarding people in the U.S. illegally, Gladys Suesle says ...
GLADYS SUESLE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: They don't deserve to be here.
TRUMP: You can call it whatever the hell you want. They're gone.
TUCHMAN: And Suesle says she also like that Donald Trump last Wednesday said people who are in the U.S. illegally must go back to their home countries and apply if they want to come back legally.
He did say that during his speech in Arizona last week. But this weekend, he said I'm not ruling out anything, we're going to make that decision into the future, OK.
TUCHMAN: Regarding people in this country maybe not having to go back. Does that bother you that he changed his mind?
SUESLE: No. I am going to wait to see what he says definitively. I'm not going to second-guess him. I will not do that.
TUCHMAN: But the fact that he goes back and forth, that doesn't trouble you?
SUESLE: I don't care. No. He will make a definitive thing.
TUCHMAN: While critics may slam Trump for his ever-changing plans, here his sometimes evolving positions on issues like immigration are defended.
PAUL LOFTIN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I thought being negotiable. He got to stand (inaudible). In that position you have to be negotiable to a certain extent. That's one reason why I like Donald Trump. He's a businessman. The guy wrote the book "The Art of the Deal". I mean, that should tell you right there the man's got brains. He's smart.
TUCHMAN: But what about this particular immigration issue that helped define his candidacy?
His promise when he started running was everyone who's here illegally is going back to their home country. You think he still stands by that?
DELORES HARRIS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think he's going to do everything to make people legal here.
TUCHMAN: But you think he still stands by it like he did when he first said it?
HARRIS: I mean, he's talking about words. I mean I might express it one way today and another way tomorrow but I still mean exactly.
TUCHMAN: Does it worry you that he won't keep that promise if he becomes president?
HARRIS: I trust that man.
TUCHMAN: And for many here, that's what it comes down to despite his verbal somersaults, they trust Trump and they intensely distrust his opponent.
CATHERNE EDSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: If you look at any candidate, they're not going to be able to say or do everything that they're going to say or do. Again, I ...
TUCHMAN: But does it bother you about Trump because he was so definite, so definitive about everyone who's not here legally going back? Does it bother you?
EDSON: Does it bother me? Not as much as Hillary Clinton bothers me.
TRUMP: You know what, folks, she doesn't have a clue. Not even a clue.
And for many here, that's what it comes down to despite his verbal somersaults, they trust Trump and they intensely distrust his opponent.
TUCHMAN: And that dislike of Clinton certainly gives a sometimes ambiguous Trump leeway among his fans.
DANIELLE ELKS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Changing a position doesn't mean that you're weak.
TUCHMAN: It means what?
ELKS: It means that you're becoming better educated on the facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Gary joins us now. Did Trump mention immigration in his speech tonight?
TUCHMAN: He did talk about immigration, Anderson, but not about the issues he's wavered on. Instead he talked about suspended the Syrian refugee program if he becomes president. And also, that southern border wall and he declared that Mexico will pay for it once again and that was his biggest applause line of the night as it often is at Donald Trump rallies. Anderson?
COOPER: Yeah. Gary, appreciate the reporting tonight. Thank you. A lot to talk about. Joining me is Reverend Ramiro Pena, pastor of Christ -- excuse me, Christ the King Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, member of the National Hispanic Advisory Council and a Trump supporter, also, CNN political commentator, Republican strategist Ana Navarro. Pastor Pena, thanks for being on the program.
Last week after Trump spoke in Phoenix, you sent the campaign an e- mail which was subsequently leaked to the press saying that you felt he lost the election with that speech.
[21:30:05] What made you say that and what makes you continue to support him?
REV. RAMIRO PENA, NATIONAL HISPANIC ADVISORY COUNCIL: Well, sure, that night I had really high hopes. First let me thank you for having me.
But I had really high hopes for hearing some other things that night and being one in that peculiar position of being involved and giving a lot of meaningful input. I had hopes for other things that might be said and when those hopes were dashed for the moment, I was disappointed. And again, that was a private e-mail I sent to my friends at the RNC and the campaign. To let them know how I felt and that I was disappointed in that moment.
COOPER: And yet, you are still, you continue to advise him. I mean do you think he'll listen to you?
PENA: Well, you know, I said to the campaign I was going to take a couple days to pray about it and think about it, and I did. And after doing so, and a lot of reflection and talking to friends, it became clear that I still had a responsibility and an opportunity to have an influence. And my exchange with him before has been a really thoughtful one. He's not afraid of ideas. He invites people around him that have different perspectives and I think that reflects a great strength of character on his part. So I was glad and I felt a responsibility to continue on and have as much influence as I could on the things that I care deeply about.
COOPER: Ana, the fact that Trump, his campaign now seem to be suggesting he may in fact support a way for non-criminal undocumented immigrants to get some form of legal status after he certainly seemed to close that door during his speech last week in Phoenix, "The Washington Post" saying his speech would have meant -- what he said in that speech would have meant, you know, some six million undocumented immigrants would have been -- had to leave the country. I mean, is he trying to play both sides of the fence here? Is he trying, no pun intended, is he trying to just keep it kind of open so some voters will, you know, think one thing, other voters will think another?
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Anderson, I frankly think he doesn't know what he's doing.
Here's the bottom line. This guy does not have the basic policy knowledge to be able to formulate and articulate basic immigration policy. Immigration policy is intricate. It is complicated. I don't think that if you asked Donald Trump what 245(i) is or what B visa is or what an A visa is, he can answer. He might be able to tell you what seasonal workers are because he's brought in a lot of them for his property.
But I think that the people you just interviewed -- that Gary interviewed are right. Policy does not matter. It doesn't matter on either side. If you are a die-hard Trump supporter, it doesn't matter that he shifts around.
At this point, it is easier to interpret ancient Sanskrit than it is to figure out what Donald Trump is saying on immigration, he had said so many things. And it also doesn't matter, policy, to people like me who oppose him because this is all based on persona, character or lack thereof, personality ...
NAVAROO: ... and the things that he has already said and not said that go beyond policy. I think the scrutiny level on policy is lower on him than on other candidates.
COOPER: Pastor, do you feel you know, I mean, obviously where he is on the wall is obvious, a number of these issues. Do you feel, as a Trump supporter, you know exactly what he wants done with the 11 million or however many undocumented immigrants are in this country, most of whom, you know, have not committed crimes while they're here, are working, want to stay here, do you believe you know 100 percent what Donald Trump plans for those people?
PENA: I agree with Ana. This is an extremely intricate and complex issue. And I think he's working through the issue. And I think he is listening to great advisers including some of the members of his Hispanic Advisory Council, Rudy Giuliani among others, and he is working through the issue. It is highly complex. And I believe at the end of the day, he's going to come to a very good place. He is a man that cares very deeply about his family, about families in America, about Latino families.
COOPER: Right. But I guess ...
PENA: He doesn't want to see Latino families destroyed. And I think he's working through those issues that are extraordinarily important.
COOPER: But as a Trump supporter, it doesn't concern you that he was very clear during the primary season, all 11 million, they got to go, the good ones can come back. That's clearly, it seems to be shifting or, you know, maybe he's rethinking things. It doesn't concern you that he doesn't necessarily have a position that he has been able to very clearly state? You think that's OK, that's just part of the learning process?
PENA: Well, I think on the contrary, I'm very encouraged that he's working through the issue in a serious way.
[21:35:00] He is what may appear to be ambivalent or moving from place to place, may appear that way, but I think that's simply the fact that he is working through very complex issues. He cares deeply about them. And if it was just as easy and pat as some would make it seem to be, you wouldn't hear these kinds of things.
But I think what you're seeing reflected is someone that's working through, chewing on, reflecting in a very thoughtful way the complexities and the great ramifications of the policy decisions he ultimately needs to put in place ...
NAVARRO: But you see, what should bother all of us, though ...
PENA: ... worked on by some very thoughtful people, it seems to me.
COOPER: Ana, I want you to respond and then ...
NAVARRO: What should bother all of us, though, is that this man has been anything but deliberative or thoughtful for the last year. He has been offensive. He has shot from the hip. He has spoken in slogans and sound bites. Very offensive racist and hostile sound bites for awhile. For a year, he has done that. It should be horrifying to supporters, to opponents, to any American that it is nine weeks before an election, about four weeks before absentee ballots go out in so many states, and this guy is still thinking and working through the main issue that he has based his campaign on. It is horrifying. You know, being the commander in chief of the United States is not a learn as you go job.
COOPER: We got to leave it there.
PENA: I would disagree that's the main issue. He's working through jobs, the economy, tax reform, regulatory reform, trade reform, the tax code, education, choice ...
PENA: ... the Supreme Court nominees. There are many issues he's working on. It's an oversimplification that this is the only issue.
COOPER: Pastor ...
PENA: And I think he's doing a great job, working on all of that.
NAVARRO: I didn't say it was the only issue. I said it was the one he based his campaign on.
COOPER: Pastor Pena, I appreciate it. Ana Navarro, I appreciate it as well.
PENA: Thank you, Anderson. Thank you for having me.
COOPER: Thank you very much.
Just ahead, a donation Donald Trump made to a group backing Florida's Attorney General broke IRS rules, resulted in fine. But Donald Trump denies he made the donation to put the brakes on a fraud investigation of Trump University. Drew Griffin drills down on the facts.
[21:40:59] COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Donald Trump spent part of Labor Day weekend denying made a political donation to sway Florida's Attorney General from investigating fraud allegations against Trump University. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I've just known Pam Bondi for years. I've a lot of respect for her. Never spoke to her about that at all. And just have a lot of respect for her as a person and she's done an amazing job as the attorney general of Florida. And she's very popular.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that's what Trump said to reporters he invited on to his plane yesterday. In the past, though, he has, of course, boasted about giving donations to politicians over the years with the idea that he'd get favors in return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I've given to Democrats. I've given to Hillary. I've given to everybody. Because that was my job. I got to give to them. Because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass, OK? It's true. They kiss my ass. True. True.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Trump says that is not what happened with Pam Bondi. His campaign has confirmed that Trump paid a $2500 fine resulting from the donation to a group backing Bondi. That's because it came from Trump's foundation and that's against IRS rules.
Now, the revelation of the fine is rekindle allegations that Trump paid off Bondi to avoid an investigation into Trump University. Tonight, Drew Griffin lays out the facts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL: It is my great honor to introduce to you ...
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi is a huge supporter of Donald Trump.
BONDI: The next president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
GRIFFIN: Bondi is also the Florida attorney general whose office decided not to pursue a case against Donald Trump. And the decision was made almost exactly at the same time Trump made a $25,000 donation to Pam Bondi's political PAC.
TRUMP: I've just known Pam Bondi for years. I have a lot of respect for her. Never spoke to her about that at all. GRIFFIN: Trump on his plane this weekend denies any connection. Pam Bondi also forcefully denies any connection, calling it bullying by the Clinton campaign.
BONDI: I will not be collateral damage in a presidential campaign, nor will I be a woman bullied by Hillary Clinton.
GRIFFIN: So what did happen? Here are the facts. Pam Bondi took office in 2011. Trump University was already out of business. Prior to her taking office, Florida's Attorney General's office received 20 complaints against Trump Institute, a business affiliated with Trump, but it, too, was out of business. Since Pam Bondi took office, up until the decision was made, Florida received just one complaint against Trump University.
According to a spokesman for Florida's Attorney General, it wasn't enough to justify Florida filing suit. Instead, staff doing due diligence reviewed the complaints and the New York litigation and made the proper determination that the New York litigation would provide relief to aggrieved consumers nationwide. In other words, Floridians could join New York's lawsuit.
The spokesman also told CNN, Pam Bondi had nothing to do with it. The decision was made by staff. In fact, the spokesman says Pam Bondi didn't even know there were complaints against Trump.
But around the same time the Florida Attorney General's office was deciding to not pursue a case against Trump, Pam Bondi was pursuing Donald Trump himself for a political donation. It was September of 2013. Trump's foundation donated $25,000 to Bondi's political action committee. Bondi's Attorney General's office never pursued the case. Did one follow the other? Pam Bondi again today on Fox Business News says no.
BONDI: Of course asked Donald Trump for a contribution. That's not what this is about. She was saying he was under investigation by my office at the time and I knew about it. None of which is true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[21:45:02] COOPER: Drew, Trump says many states looked at Trump University and decided against filing any lawsuits. Just one state, New York, chose to sue him which he says is political. Is that correct that many states looked at it, decided not to sue?
GRIFFIN: It is true. Many states had complaints and even preliminary investigations against Trump University, Anderson, but they did not pursue lawsuits in Texas, it's because Trump agreed to stop operating in the state. In other states, like Maryland and Massachusetts, the attorney general there decided not to pursue a case after Trump agreed to stop using the name university.
I don't think any of those decisions exonerate Trump's operation but it does show attorneys general across the country were deciding if it was worth it or not to file a lawsuit. And Florida, remember, by the time Pam Bondi would have made her decision, Trump University had been out of business for several years.
COOPER: And a quick update, Trump University is still being sued, cases are still moving forward, correct?
GRIFFIN: Three lawsuits, two class action suits in California and then that $40 million lawsuit filed by the attorney general of New York, all three moving ahead towards trial, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Drew Griffin. Drew, thanks.
Well, up next, a settlement by Fox in the sexual harassment case against Roger Ailes charges. The ousted Fox News chairman denies. But now Ailes is said to be helping the Trump campaign and that, of course, a Trump scrutiny. Details ahead.
[21:50:10] COOPER: An unprecedented move by Fox. The network apologizes as giving former anchor Gretchen Carlson $20 million of a sexual harassment claim she made against Roger Ailes. The ousted Fox chairman has denied the charges against him. Sources say Ailes is now helping the Trump campaign.
The question tonight, should Trump take advice from Ailes? The two have known each other obviously for decades. Suzanne Malveaux tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The relationship status between Donald Trump and Roger Ailes, well, you could call it complicated.
TRUMP: He's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person.
MALVEAUX: Trump heaped praise for Ailes after the founder of Fox News was hit with allegations of sexual harassment from former Fox Anchor Gretchen Carlson.
TRUMP: It's very sad because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he's done. So I feel very badly.
MALVEAUX: Trump even followed up with an attack on Ailes' accusers.
TRUMP: I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them and even recently, and when they write books that are fairly recently released and they say wonderful things about him and now all of a sudden they're saying these horrible things about him. MALVEAUX: But for a time during the campaign, things seemed strained between the two.
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.
MALVEAUX: His very public war with Fox News over what Trump saw as mistreatment by Fox anchor Megyn Kelly put the powerful men at odds.
TRUMP: Megyn Kelly is a lightweight. This is the lightweight. This not a reporter. This to me is just a lightweight. Megyn Kelly shouldn't be in the debate. I don't care about Megyn.
MALVEAUX: Ailes repeatedly defended Kelly saying Donald Trump's vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land. Eventually, the two men agreed to a truce.
TRUMP: Roger Ailes is a special guy. He's a good friend of mine and we just spoke two minutes ago. I mean, Roger Ailes is a great guy. And no, I have no problem.
MALVEAUX: And for weeks, Trump appeared almost exclusively on Fox News. And in July, just days after Ailes was out at Fox, Trump coyly fuel speculation that he could play a role in his campaign.
TRUMP: I don't want to comment but he's been a friend of mine for a long time and a lot of people. I think he's going to run my campaign.
MALVEAUX: In mid-August pictures and reports emerged of Trump quietly holding meetings with Ailes and top campaign staff. But the Trump campaign notably distanced themselves from the controversial figure.
KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SPOKESWOMAN: I don't know what they're talking about in private conversations, but he's definitely not playing a role informal or formal in the campaign. There's a lot of people that give Donald Trump advice but that doesn't mean they're part of the campaign.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Mr. Trump speaks to many different people. Roger Ailes is a genius when it comes to television, when it comes to communicating with people, but so is Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Multiple sources tell CNN that Ailes is giving Trump advice directly. The first presidential debate, it is now just 20 days away, and Trump, when asked about Ailes role, says he is not his debate coach. So, the questions remains, what type of role does Ailes play? Anderson.
COOPER: Suzanne, thanks very much.
Back with the panel, John King, Kirsten Powers, Dana Bash, and Gloria Borger. I mean, if it was Mitt Romney back in 2012 taking advice from Roger Ailes, who, you know, after what had happened to Ailes at Fox, it would be a whole different story, but it's interesting it doesn't seem to certainly matter to Trump supporters.
BORGER: Right. If it were Mitt Romney, we'd all be scratching our head and going, really? Because ...
KING: Probably Mitt Romney wouldn't take advice at this moment from Roger Ailes.
BORGER: He wouldn't. Well, but he did get his endorsement, remember that. No, he wouldn't take advice from him.
KING: With all this public, if this were happening right now.
COOPER: Mitt Romney wouldn't have?
BORGER: He would never do it. But we've kind of become sort of used to this or immune to this in a certain way. And look, Roger Ailes could help Donald Trump in these debates. He's pretty good at it.
BASH: And that's why he's helping.
BORGER: Yeah, exactly.
BASH: And that's the bottom line. That is why he's helping. Yes, they are friends and they have been friends, I'm told, by many people who have talked on the phone obviously during his Fox years, but ...
BASH: ... since he was fired from Fox. And Roger Ailes has attended at least a couple of Donald Trump's Sunday debate sessions.
As Suzanne said, maybe he's not a debate coach but he doesn't have a coach. I'm told that he is working with him on the thing that Roger Ailes made his name on, which is ...
BASH: ... the one-liners.
BORGER: Debate lines.
BASH: And sort of channeling Donald Trump into something that is authentic to him but that is more palatable and memorable in terms of ...
COOPER: And Kirsten, I mean, we understand the Clinton campaign is essentially kind of doing a deep dive on trigger points for Donald Trump as well.
[21:55:00] COOPER: So, it makes sense to have somebody from a purely debate standpoint, I would assume that the Trump campaign ... POWERS: Yeah. If you take out all of the scandal that's associated with him that it would make perfect sense to have him. But in any other situation, this would not be considered acceptable, considering the fact that Fox News has come out and apologized ...
COOPER: Correct. Fox has made a statement is -- right.
POWERS: So, for Trump who -- when I interviewed him right after all the news broke and I asked him about his defense, I interviewed him for my "USA Today" column. At that time, he's sort of feigned ignorance, you know. It didn't think it really had happened.
But at this point, the Fox News has come out, and basically, acknowledged that it's happened. And so, it's a different situation.
COOPER: And also, it's interesting that Trump was racing questions. I mean, I guess he was referencing Gretchen Carlson about reachingly publishing a book, clearly Fox has now apologized.
KING: Do not be surprised, they're debating this is in Clinton campaign, does she raised it in a debate saying what kind of people do you associate yourself with, try to get to the suburban woman argument? Did they raise it in the campaign ad, putting Roger Ailes and with other things Donald Trump has said?
In my first experience, Roger Ailes, back in 1988, my first campaign that "Michael Dukakis and the Tank" ad, and the Willie Horton ad, he knows what he's doing when it comes to framing campaign debates. That's a long time ago, but can he be helpful to Donald Trump? Yes. Can he also be hurtful to Donald Trump? He could be.
BORGER: He also supplied the line to Ronald Reagan which, you know, decimated Walter Mondale during the debate.
COOPER: And about not using the ...
BORGER: You send an experience plans, exactly.
COOPER: I want to thank everybody in the panel. We'll be right back.
[22:00:06] COOPER: Hey, thanks for watching. Hope you have a good night. I'll see you tomorrow night.
"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.