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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
U.S. Officially Accuses Russia of Political Hacks; Trump Apologizes for "Locker Room Banter" in Old Recording; Trump Apologizes For "Locker Room Banter" In Old Recording; Trump Caught Making Lewd Comments About Woman In 2005; Trump In 2005: I Tried And Failed To Seduce Married Woman, "Grab" A Woman And "You Can Do Anything". Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired October 7, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:32:02] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
We have more breaking news for you now, this time about 2016 election. U.S. government officials have been reluctant to publicly the Russia agencies or Russian government as the definitively the culprits behind the widespread hacking of political organizations here in the United States. But that just changed. The U.S. government is formally now naming names.
CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is in New York and brings us the story.
Jim, U.S. officials have been debating whether to do this for a while. Today, the Obama administration formally said they're, quote, "confident" that Russia is behind DNC and other hacks. What changed?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, one, you want to get the intelligence right and get that level of confidence. Fact is, though, as you know, officials have been telling us on background for sometime, and even in some public comments pointing their fingers, if not directly, with a lot of hints at Russia. So they have seemed to have had the intel for some time. Then it becomes a policy decision. I've been told this debate has been going on in the administration for some time.
One of the factors has to be, frankly, the overall decline in the relationship. You look at Syria, you look at Ukraine. Not a lot of benefit to holding back right now.
There's also a positive reason for this. Meaning that we're getting very close to the presidential election here and they want to make it clear to Americans that they know where this is coming from, who is directing it, and at the same time to give confidence to Americans that even though this is happening, and this was in the statement, that the U.S. system is big enough, it's resilient enough that even with these hacks, the election will go on and you can be confident in the results.
TAPPER: I guess the next question, Jim, is will there be consequences for United States or for Russia for this action, of publicly naming and shaming Russia?
SCIUTTO: Well, in the menu of options when there is a hack like this, publicly naming and shaming is to some degree a consequence. It's something that the U.S. has used in the past with great degree of conservatism, only when they know it for sure. They've used it with China, publicly naming and shaming China. They used it with North Korea after the Sony hack.
You speak to U.S. intelligence officials, law enforcement officials, they'll say that when you publicly name and shame, when you catch someone red-handed that those countries often pull back, remains to be seen if that's going to be the case with Russia. You have other options, the possibility of economic sanctions that hasn't been decided yet.
You also have the possibility of offensive action, right? But that's something the administration is very reluctant to do because they are worried about a tit for tat that could escalate into something much bigger.
TAPPER: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.
Donald Trump did something he hasn't really done much of this entire campaign, or at all. He said he was sorry. What for? That story next.
[16:38:56] TAPPER: We're two days from a hugely consequential presidential debate. Hillary Clinton is off the trail for her third day, continuing to prepare. While Donald Trump brushed off his advisers suggestion that he was doing debate prep at a town hall last night in New Hampshire, though he is doing some prep today.
CNN senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar joins me now.
And, Brianna, some Republicans have been hopeful when they heard Trump was going to do a practice run at this town hall that Chris Christie set up for him. But he said, no, this is not practice.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It seems like Donald Trump and his campaign did not get on the same page ahead of this town hall. Donald Trump spoke to a group of handpicked voters in New Hampshire yesterday and he taunted Hillary Clinton again for preparing ahead of their next debate.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we're going to make America great again.
KEILAR (voice-over): Tonight, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both taking a break from campaigning to prep before they debate for a second time on Sunday night. Trump got a practice run on Thursday with town hall. His advisors even timing his responses to mimic the upcoming debate format, but he insisted it wasn't to prepare for this weekend.
TRUMP: I said, forget the big prep. I mean, give me a break.
[16:40:00] I'm here for one reason. I love the people of New Hampshire. I said I was going to be here, and I'm here.
KEILAR: After suggesting he might bring up Bill Clinton's infidelity Sunday, he's now shying away from the topic.
TRUMP: I thought it was just inappropriate to say what I was really thinking I would say. I'd much rather have it be on policy, and I didn't like getting into the -- into the gutter. And so, I did hold back.
KEILAR: House Speaker Paul Ryan who will campaign alongside Trump in Wisconsin on Saturday is optimistic.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We got two more debates. We're hoping for a good debate performance. I think Donald is going to do that. I think he's got the potential to absolutely do that.
KEILAR: Clinton is yet again dedicating a third consecutive day to debate prep but Trump is making it an issue of her health -- an unfounded claim.
TRUMP: Do you really think that Hillary Clinton is debate-prepping for three or four days? Hillary Clinton is resting, OK? She's resting. (AUDIO GAP) for Sunday (AUDIO GAP) to stay home.
KEILAR: Before the last debate, where polls showed voters thought Clinton won two-to-one, Trump had criticized her for spending too much time preparing.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate and yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president and I think that's a good thing.
KEILAR: Clinton is relying on surrogates to rally voters. Vice President Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, Bernie Sanders in Maine and New Hampshire, and Elizabeth Warren in Wisconsin.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: And thank you for being the state that will send Hillary Clinton to the White House.
KEILAR: As Hurricane Matthew barrels along the Florida coast, taking out power for more than a million, Republican Governor Rick Scott, a Trump supporter, denied Clinton's request to extend the voter registration deadline beyond next Tuesday.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I'm focused on a storm. I'm focused on making sure people, every life is -- you don't lose a life. That's what I'm focused on now. We're in the middle of a storm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vote before the election.
KEILAR: As Trump raises concerns that undocumented immigrants will be able to vote after he met with border patrol officials.
TRUMP: They are letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to hurry up and fast track them so they can go in and be able to vote for this election.
TRUMP: And these are the professionals. You hear a thing like that, it's a disgrace.
KEILAR: And actually, a bit of a fact check on that. Because the border patrol has come out clarifying what Donald Trump and also that union representative said, a spokesman for the border patrol saying that a mistake was made, that there's no evidence to support the allegations that the U.S. citizenship and immigration service employees have been asked to ignore criminal histories of people who are applying for citizenship.
TAPPER: And, Brianna, there is some breaking news right now.
David Fahrenthold of "The Washington Post" got his hands on a tape from 2005 of Donald Trump and Access Hollywood's Billy Bush, he's also now on "The Today Show", they were tapping -- Trump was there to tape a cameo on "Days of Our Lives" and he and Billy Bush had something of a raunchy conversation much of which we cannot recite on air.
Tell us about that.
KEILAR: That's right, and I will do my best to edit some of the graphic descriptions here, but also communicate exactly what was said. So, there was a hot mike and it picked up a rather lengthy and pretty tawdry conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush. And this I actually back when Billy Bush was working on Access Hollywood.
So, in part. Donald Trump is talking about a woman whose full name is not given in the video. This is short-handed time after he was married to Melania Trump. And he appears to be talking about some time prior to that we don't know.
He says to Billy Bush, according to "Washington Post" in this audio, "I did try and F her, she was married," Trump says. And then a little later goes on to talk about how, "you know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet, just kiss, I don't even wait," he says.
"And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything." "Whatever you want", says another voice, which is apparently Bush's, that's according to this "Washington Post" report. And Trump says, "grab them by the", and he uses a word that begins with P, which is a slang term for women's genitalia, he says, "you can do anything."
TAPPER: And Donald Trump issuing a statement apparently acknowledging that this is real. KEILAR: And not only that, the only time we've ever actually seen an
apology, period. He says, it says, this is a statement from him. It says, "This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course, not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended."
TAPPER: All right, Brianna. Thanks.
We just got a copy of this tape. We have bleeped out the appropriate words, I believe. Let's roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I moved on her actually, she was down in Palm Beach and I failed. I'll admit it.
BILLY BUSH, RADIO AND TELEVISION HOST: Whoa.
TRUMP: I did try (BLEEP) She was married.
BUSH: She was (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Oh, no, Nancy - no this was - and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, "I'll show you where there's some nice furniture." I took her up -- I moved on her like a (BLEEP), but I couldn't get there. And she was married.
[16:45:24] TAPPER: All right. It goes on from there. Pretty crass stuff. I'm here with our panel, Kirsten Powers from USA Today, a columnist there. And Bill Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard. Tough stuff and hard to imagine that this is not going to continue the slide of Donald Trump in the polls.
[16:45:44] KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY COLUMNIST: Yeah. I mean, it's definitely -- you sort of sit here and think wow, we're really talking about somebody who could be the President of the United States. And this is his very adolescent way to talk about women in a very vulgar way. You know, for somebody who was just recently attacking, you know, Alicia Machado because she allegedly was in a sex tape, sort of holding himself -
TAPPER: Which she wasn't.
POWERS: Which she wasn't, which we established last week. But my point being is that she -- you know, he goes on the attack against other people as if he's sort of holier than now and then we hear things like this, and of course, he has a lot of evangelical supporters, this type of stuff you would think will not go over very well with them, he has a lot of problems with women voters, and he's - and I think the republicans are very alarmed about that, and how it's actually affecting down-ballot races. I don't think this kind of stuff probably helps very much either. And it -- by the way, attacking Bill Clinton, he's not running against Bill Clinton, he's running against Hillary Clinton. So even if this happened and we don't know that it did, it's irrelevant. She not responsible even if Bill Clinton said this stuff which he has no proof that he did, it's like, what does it have to do with Hillary? She's not responsible for that.
TAPPER: Bill, as you know, 15 -- 16 years ago now, it came out towards the end of the campaign cycle that George W. Bush had been involved in a - in a DUI much, many, many, years before, and the only reason I bring it up is because Karl Rove, who was Bush's -- one of his top political aides, says that that ended up costing them millions and millions of evangelical votes, people who just were disgusted and didn't turn out. One can only imagine what this - of the effect of this tape might have.
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR OF THE WEEKLY STANDARD: One would normally think that, on the other hand, there's so much are already out there on Trump and people have apparently rationalized supporting him that they did -- won't have much of et cetera. They like his excuse that it's a locker room - you can say locker room talk. Of course it was - the reason to people - well, as you say it's adolescent but locker rooms are usually full of 20 year olds and 25 years olds, and they do -- snap towels and say these kinds of things. Donald Trump was what at this time? 59, 60 years old, just married for the third time. I mean, it is, of course, a window into his character. And I do think - I hope frankly that it does get some seriously moral and religious people thinking about the character of this man that some of them have decided to support. Mike Pence, whom I like, and I just remember sort of praising his debate performance the other night, he says over and over again about Donald Trump, "He's a good man." He said in Utah a month ago, that he's a good man with Utah values. One should ask, I mean, is Mike Pence comfortable? I mean, you know, you can still vote for the guy for president, you can say he's a vulgar guy, you shouldn't you know - it's just part of the price of he is who he is.
POWERS: The whole argument - the whole argument against Bill Clinton among evangelicals was that he didn't - he lacked character, right? This is the whole argument that, you know, what he did with Monica Lewinsky showed that he lacked character, and yet we see with Donald Trump on his third marriage, he's openly speaking about cheating her, he's openly spoken about cheating before, and you do have to sort of ask like -
POWERS: -- "Why the double standard?"
TAPPER: Well -- and as you point out, Bill's not their nominee and his behavior might be completely contemptible, but he's not on the ballot.
TAPPER: One thing that is - it's tough to talk about this stuff without using words that you're going to prompt people to change the channel because they have kids at home, but this describes a certain - he's describing behavior when you're a star you can do anything, you can grab a woman by the "P-word".
POWERS: Right. Yeah.
TAPPER: I -- you know, look. I was single once, I was no choir boy, I never said anything like that. I never thought anything like that. I mean, what is that?
POWERS: I know. Well, that's why - I mean, we were talking about this in the green room actually.
POWERS: No, I mean, it's like, who talks - who talks this way? I mean, even -- I'm sorry even when you're single, it'd be a strange thing to say. And this sort of entitled attitude that like women are there for the taking because I'm a star, you know, is I think offensive to a lot of women, and I think to people, forget about women, it's offensive to people, right?
KRISTOL: (INAUDIBLE) said this before we'd get on the air. This would make -- the whole U.S. will become a hostile work environment.
TAPPER: Right. Donald Trump is president of the United States.
POWERS: I mean, because we have to stay here and talk this way and look at poor Breanna trying to like -- to on air, discuss the things that he said.
TAPPER: Well -- and one of the things that the Clinton campaign and their allies have run some effective ads against Donald Trump, and one of the things that they've run as -- that's effective, I know just as a dad is the ad of children watching Donald Trump. And one wonders that even conservative women who have daughters or conservative men who have daughters, and they see this and they hear this, and God knows what else is out there, and they think, "Do I really want to be trying to explain for four years why a grown man talks this way?"
KRISTOL: Yeah, they -- you don't. But also you know, the Clinton campaign, what presumes might have about something to do with getting this tape and persuading someone to get it to The Washington Post.
TAPPER: Yeah, maybe.
KRISTOL: Yeah, and pretty good timing, would you say? The - this does show the advantages of having a professional, well-financed campaign that's working for a whole year, doing huge amount of opposition research, call -- you know, calling every place that the guys ever been basically to see what tapes is sitting around, finding sympathetic producers to get them to you, getting them to reporters who get a scoop out of it, as some of the general reporting, I'm not criticizing anyone, but - and they get it out, what, the Friday, before the second debate, which is Sunday night, which really is I think Trump's last chance to have some kind of come back.
TAPPER: Baiting him into attacking Bill Clinton.
POWERS: Well, that was I was just going to say.
POWERS: I doubt he's been really bragging about the fact that we should all be so, you know, recognizing how great it is that he hasn't gone after her husband's cheating on her. But now, you do wonder if he's on - feels like he's on the attack if he isn't now going to go after her on that issue.
KRISTOL: Yeah, I'm going to have to watch the debates instead of - instead of the Packers - instead of the Packers-Giants game.
TAPPER: We just heard, you know that there is a -- what's called "The Protective Pool" of reporters, it's a small group of reporters, they rotate, and they're around the presidential nominee and the vice presidential nominee. And we're told that the Protective Pool around the vice presidential nominee for the republicans, Mike Pence, has just been sent away. You are our political hand. You see this reaction from the Trump campaign where he says he apologizes and I don't know that he has done that as a candidate. I can't say definitively he's not, but I can't remember him ever apologizing. He certainly didn't apologize when he seemed to be making fun of a disabled reporter, and I could go on, but we onIy have nine minutes. Tell us what you think is going on right now as a seasoned political hand for him to put up the statement pretty quickly apologizing, there -that -- I sense the hand of Kellyanne Conway and others there saying, you know, "You have to say you're sorry now."
KRISTOL: Yeah, I think that's right. This is - to have the actual tape is different from - well, i don't know -- you'd say push me a tape of him saying these things as a candidate - think about that. About the disabled report, about women, very (INAUDIBLE) and so forth. So, we're living in some parallel universe here, but yeah, I think they too think this is - they've been sliding. They've had a pretty bad week, really. And they're at the -- a bit of a tipping point, perhaps it's just, you know, (INAUDIBLE) campaign and melt down with doesn't have a chance to come back with one month left. So they must have decided, we've got to try the staunch this one, and try to be able to pivot, as they keep saying, for the debate where we can focus again on the issues that Trump thinks he's stronger. But this really could be -- this is where -- very well-timed. If the Clinton people put this out, this was extremely well-timed, I think.
TAPPER: And we'll see - and we'll see what the reaction from Donald Trump on Sunday evening. Before that, a very tough decision or maybe not so tough, maybe it's not, but House Speaker Paul Ryan and other big Wisconsin Republicans are supposed to appear in public with Donald Trump tomorrow at a big rally. I want to go to our Political Director David Chalian who's joining us on the phone. David, this news is obviously sending a shockwave throughout the political and media worlds right now. What are you hearing right now from the Trump campaign and people around it about the reaction and how difficult they think this might make any sort of comeback?
[16:53:30] DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yeah, Jake, I think the question now that hovers over the Trump campaign is -- can you recover from this? Is this a recoverable event? And obviously there are 30 days left, but this is a body blow and as Bill was just saying, you know, this is timed for this home stretch, October surprise, two days in advance of the debate, to deliver that kind of body blow, there's little doubt about that. You know, you raise the point about Paul Ryan tomorrow and you picked the first question here that's going to have to be answered is by the Republican establishment. (INAUDIBLE) pretty busy with Paul Ryan who have gotten behind the Trump's candidacy, is this the moment they want to present part of unity or not. But Jake, remember where we were right before the first debates? The question was going in, can Trump assuage concerns about his temperament, about his tone, about his fitness for the Oval Office. That was the big question because the majority of Americans, he's not yet to leave that about him. And the debate performance obviously did not resolve that, so that remained an open question heading into this debate and this story starts delivering a real answer for a lot of voters. The danger now for Donald Trump is that this is now when voters will be solidify their perceptions, and they may answer that question for the final time now that he is not fit for that office. And that is the danger right now for Donald Trump.
TAPPER: If you're just tuning in, The Washington Post, David Fahrenthold breaking a big story. It is a tape of Donald Trump and television personality Billy Bush talking rather crassly about women in 2005. Let's roll the tape.
TRUMP: I'm moving on her actually. You know, she was down in Palm Beach. I moved on her and I failed. I'll admit it. I did try to (BLEEP) her. And she was married.
BUSH: She was married.
TRUMP: Oh, no, Nancy. No, this was - and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out, furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, "I'll show you where there's some nice furniture." I took her out for - I moved on her like a bitch. I couldn't get there, and she was married. And all of a sudden, I see her, she's now got the big phoney tits and everything. She's totally changed her looks.
BUSH: She's a girl that's hot as shit, in the purple
TRUMP: Whoa. Whoa.
BUSH: Yes. Yes to Donald to score.
BUSH: Oh, my man. Wait, you got to look at her when you -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- set this up.
TRUMP: That is very - BUSH: You give me the thumbs up.
TRUMP: OK. But you are pussy.
BUSH: You got to put a thumbs up. You got to give a thumbs up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't be too happy.
BUSH: Yeah, let me just - you got to give a thumbs up.
TRUMP: You and I will walk out.
TRUMP: Maybe it's a different one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It better not be the publicist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's her -
TRUMP: Yeah, that's her with the gold. I got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. I just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it, you can do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. I can do anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those legs, all I can see is the legs.
TRUMP: No, it looks great.
TAPPER: All right. So, that is Donald Trump, the Republican Presidential Nominee, and television personality Billy Bush, who is probably in NBC public relations right now. Like - Kirsten Powers, it's kind of stunning to hear the Republican nominee, father of five, married to Melania Trump, a person who won handily the evangelical vote, talk this crudely about women. And again, I don't want to pretend that I'm acquirable, but no, I don't that way about women, and I haven't - and I don't think I ever even thought crazy things like that when I was single.
POWERS: Right. When I think of that, that's also the biggest thing probably for the evangelicals - I think for most people, that he was married. He's been married for four months at this point. He's talking about a married woman, and I think having it on tape, also makes it very powerful, because most of the things we know about him in the past are recorded, but I don't think - I think you could easily kind of sweep them under the rug, and he could say, "Well, that was my past, that was my youth, and I was playboy."
TAPPER: His youth is 59 or 60 years old.
POWERS: Well, that's what I'm saying. At this - but at this point, he's not. At this point, this is - this is later in his life.
TAPPER: He's a grandfather at this point.
POWERS: Right. Exactly. And I think that that makes it, you know, even worse.
KRISTOL: He's a dirty-old man.
TAPPER: Really. I mean, you know what's interesting about this is that we're in an era right now when I think the behavior of a certain generation of men when it comes to women is really being chained and judged in a harsh and very, very difficult - very tough way. And this is just the latest example I could - I could - I could say to others.
TAPPER: But it's not acceptable to talk about women like that.
POWERS: No. No. And the truth is, you could - you can write this up to generational behavior to a certain extent, but there are a lot of men of his generation who have been enlightened. You know, who have as they've grown older realized and looked back and said, "This actually wasn't OK. And actually I have daughters and grandchildren, and I don't want to talk about women this way."
KRISTOL: I was - I was six years older than that. There a lot of his generation looked like this. I really want to make a point in that.
KRISTOL: I mean, it is vulgar - it's vulgar for a young person perhaps excused when you're a 23-year-old single guy and you're in a locker room. A 59-year-old man who got married four months before?
TAPPER: Hillary Clinton just tweeted about this as one might imagine. And can you read that to me again? So, let me just repeat it. I don't have it - "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president." There it is. So, that's the obvious response.
POWERS: Yeah. And I think - you know, I also do think that there is this somewhat predatory part to this as well, the way he's talking about sort of preying on a woman. I can't quote what he actually said, but, you know, the way he's talking about it is very predatory. And I think that that's also very concerning as well. And that's something that, you know, I'm sure the Clinton administration is going to focus on. And I also want to say that's not an apology. When you - when you apologize to somebody you don't attack - make an attack and then an apology.
TAPPER: Bill Kristol, obviously, Bill Clinton has been accused of many things, including crimes against women, and that is the Donald Trump response, that is going to be the Republican response. What do you - what do you make of that?
KRISTOL: I must say Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about something he did with a - well, a young - you know, a younger woman and another woman in his past, but he's not running against Bill Clinton.
KRISTOL: Yeah. And I think - I think personally, I would have not tweeted if I were Hillary Clinton. This is - this is a (INAUDIBLE) story. She's not even automatically get all republican and hackles up by saying, "Hey, why is Hillary Clinton lecturing there?" She should let this story go on its own. And the key for -- if I were running the Clinton campaign, step out of it and let the media ask Paul Ryan who's a really descent person, and must be horrified by this and Mike Pence, what they think of this.