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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Promises Attacks Against Clintons if More Tapes Released; Clinton Ahead by 11 Points in First Poll Since Trump Tape Leak; Deciphering Debate Body Language; House Speaker Ryan Won't Defend Trump of Campaign for Him; Preibus: RNC Remains Behind Trump; Mark Burnett Says He Cannot Release "Apprentice" Tapes; Trump Admits Avoiding Taxes. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired October 10, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:02:18] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
Donald Trump tonight not letting up on the attack and he's not ruling out the possibility that more damaging tapes of him exist. Listen to what he told the crowd today on the trail in Pennsylvania.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If they want to release more tapes saying inappropriate things, we'll continue to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton doing inappropriate things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now let me show you this and just consider what a difference a campaign makes. This is the Clinton celebrating Donald Trump and Melania Trump's wedding. After the past 72 hours, it's fair to say this is the last time you'll see these four doing this type of thing again. Clearly a whole new world. Trump's new threat coming less than 24 hours after he slammed the Clintons during the debate in St. Louis and just days after that tape of him surfaced of him telling Billy Bush about being able to sexually assault woman and get away with it because he's a celebrity.
Tonight, new reporting on the possible existence of other tapes on and the growing divide within his own party and growing confidence on the Clinton side, which is where we begin with CNN's Joe Johns in Detroit.
So Joe, what's the strategy for the Clinton campaign in the wake of the leaked tape over the weekend and the debate?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the things they're definitely trying to do and they have been trying to do for a while, Anderson, is get more voters registered, so that they'll be able to vote on Election Day. And even before that, in early voting, the registration deadline here in the State of Michigan, as well as in Ohio, is tomorrow, so they're working very hard on that. They're also trying to make the case for what Hillary Clinton would do as president, but that kind of messaging, they say, is a little bit difficult, because Donald Trump attracts so much media attention. They say it's very hard for them to get their message through. On the other hand, they're putting out a lot of ads in the hopes that they can reach voters very directly. At the same time, important to say that Donald Trump is a person who they believe they need to keep the heat on again and again and again, showing not only why they believe he is not qualified to be president, but why Hillary Clinton is qualified. If you listen to the sound bite tonight from the Ohio State University, Hillary Clinton, the largest rally of her campaign, you can see some of that at play. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And on the day, on the day that I was in the Situation Room, watching the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, he was hosting "Celebrity Apprentice". So if he wants to talk about what we've been doing the last 30 years, bring it on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There's been more talk within the Clinton camp of trying to expand the map, stepping up their game in red states. What's the latest on that?
[21:05:03] JOHNS: Right. They've talked about that again and again, and they're talking about Arizona, they're talking about the State of Georgia, typical red states. Some suggestion from my colleague, Dan Merica, who's been traveling with them the whole time, that there maybe a trip in the works possibility to Atlanta, somewhere like that, to talk to Evangelicals.
The essential idea is to make the Trump campaign work hard in defending states that typically would be GOP strongholds, Anderson.
COOPER: Today WikiLeaks put out another 2,000 Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta e-mails. What was in them and how has the campaign responded?
JOHNS: A lot of it is minutia, a lot of it is the day-to-day kind of e-mails you would see in any very large campaign, and even some things that people frankly wish they hadn't written, including one staffer suggesting that Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, is a spoiled brat.
But the Clinton campaign put out a statement, putting all of this on Donald Trump. The whole WikiLeaks problem. And I think we have that right now. It says, among other things, "It's absolutely disgraceful that the Trump campaign is cheering on a release today, engineered by Vladimir Putin to interfere in this election, and it comes after Donald Trump encouraged more espionage over the summer, and continued to deny the hack even happed at Sunday's debate. The timing shows you that even Putin knows Trump had a bad weekend and a bad debate." So, the debate over the WikiLeaks continues and it probably will all the way to November, Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah. Probably more e-mails to be released. Joe Johns, thanks.
Well, both candidates appearing to be pleased with their debate performances. I want to take a closer look now at how viewers may have perceived it. They've been dissecting the debate on social media, including the nonverbal aspects. Certainly a lot of that going on during those 90 minutes. Our Gary Tuchman consulted a body langue expert to break it down for us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When people use their voices, they can lie, they can tell fibs, but body language sometimes uncovers those lies and fibs. Right, Nick Morgan?
NICK MORGAN, BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT: That's absolutely true, Gary.
TUCHMAN: Let's watch the beginning of this debate.
MORGAN: Well, they didn't shake hands, first and foremost. And as everybody's noted, that's awkward and showed the level of hostility that existed.
More interesting, perhaps, was that when Hillary walked out, she walked with a real kind of grounded confidence. She had a big smile on her face, it looked real. Trump, on the other hand is -- his head is pitched forward, he's squinting, he's got a fake smile on his face. So he doesn't look as confident and as happy to be there.
TUCMAN: When Hillary Clinton was talking about e-mails, you notice something about Donald Trump's expressions while he was listening to her. Let's watch.
CLINTON: Obviously, if I were to do it over again, I would not. I'm not making any excuses.
MORGAN: He shuts his eyes, his body language indicates he's disengaged. He moves back and forth. He looks like he'd rather be anywhere but there.
TUCHMAN: Let's watch Hillary Clinton's reaction when she hears something that she doesn't like.
TRUMP: And believe me, she has tremendous hate in her heart. And when she said "deplorables," she meant it.
MORGAN: Her first reaction was literally for her jaw to drop, her mouth to open. She was shocked. And then she went into t fake smile to conceal her anger. It's a classic way people who aren't terribly comfortable with expressing anger use to hide their real feelings. And it creates a reaction in us that this person isn't being sincere.
TUCHMAN: One thing a lot of people noticed, a lot of viewers, is what is perceived to be Donald Trump looming behind Hillary Clinton. CLINTON: And I'm going to fix it, because I agree with you.
MORGAN: So what he's trying to do there, whether consciously or unconsciously, is to distract her. And she does very well by continuing to focus on the questioner and answer the question. And he's lurking behind her is, I believe, an attempt to intimidate, but the result is -- doesn't have any effect on her.
TUCHMAN: There's a lot of talk about Donald Trump's sniffing.
TRUMP: And so abusive to women. Any way you want to say it, I'm going to say it. And I hate to say it. It's been a disaster.
TUCHMAN: You don't think the sniffing has anything to doing with a cold or being sick. There's another meaning to it.
MORGAN: Absolutely. What he's doing is he's marking his thoughts, his phrases, his sentences there, and he's indicating approval. So he's saying to himself, nailed that one. That was good, there goes another one. So this is a way of he has of keeping track of where he is in his thought process.
TUCHMAN: So the sniff is like an exclamation point?
MORGAN: Absolutely. Yeah.
TUCHMAN: But he's not aware he's doing it?
MORGAN: I think it's completely unconscious. But clearly it's a nervous tick that he uses to talk to himself, to give himself a pat on the back and it's not working for him.
[21:09:58] TUCHMAN: One more debate left, as a coach, as an expert in this, what piece of advice do you have for Hillary Clinton?
MORGAN: I think Hillary needs to get more comfortable with her emotions.
TUCHMAN: And Donald Trump?
MORGAN: Donald Trump badly needs to reestablish some sort of trust. At a simple body language level, he needs to open up, he needs to open his eyes, he needs to warm it up, he needs to stop scowling at us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's Gary Tuchman reporting.
More now on what a variety of people take away from what they saw last night in St. Louis. Joining us, "Atlantic" magazine national correspondent, James Fallows, who's written the cover story this month titled, "Who Will Win the Debates and the Election?" It's a fascinating article. We spoke before (ph) the debates I want to get his thoughts after. Also with us, Republican consultant debate coach and communications strategist, Brett O'Donnell, and our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger. Gloria, with Paul Ryan saying what he has said, is this just a sign he thinks it's impossible for Donald Trump to become president?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it is. I think he's taking a look at the polls and you don't have to be a rocket scientist or speaker of the House to understand that this is all heading in a really bad direction for Donald Trump. And what he is doing and has been doing, quite frankly, is giving members permission to go their own way. Because he doesn't want to lose control of the House, nor does he wants Republicans to lose control of the entire Congress. And he got a little bit of push back on that from congressman in ruby red states, who feel like it's really in their benefit to be on the Trump train.
But I think it was very clear from what he was saying, it was like, each man for himself here. You've got to do what you've got to do in order to save your own skin.
COOPER: And James, I mean, if you look at the polling now, the first polls that have come out since the tape leaked on Friday, and it's really incredible, when you look at this, Hillary Clinton with an 11- point lead in a four-candidate race, a 14-point lead when it's just her and Donald Trump. Has a candidate ever come back from a double- digit deficit like this?
JAMES FALLOWS, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTIC: Not in modern times. There's never been, I think, probably since the Republican Bull Moose split of more than a century ago, there's never been this kind of defection of elected senior officials from their party's nominee.
You know, Paul Ryan is still careful to say that he condemns and doesn't support Donald Trump. On the other hand, he's still voting for him. He's technically endorsed him. But many, many other members of the Senate and the House, governors have said they're not voting for him at all. And I think there is just no precedent for this at all in modern times.
COOPER: And Brett, do you have Trump also, you know, doubling down, saying if more tapes come out, he'll turn around, continue the attacks on Clinton. Is that the kind of strategy, you think, is going to get him new voters, more voters?
BRETT O'DONNELL, DEBATE COACH: No, the strategy that's going to get him new voters is for him to display total contrition, to say that those were in the past and that I'm changed now, the campaign has change me, so that any tapes that come out, any new tapes that come out, he can point back and say, "Look, I'm a changed man, I'm different, I'm moving forward," and then start talking about issues that are important to the American people. If it becomes intentionally personal, that's not helpful to Trump and it's definitely not helpful to the American people.
COOPER: Although, Gloria, if you're a Trump supporter, I mean, a lot of people believe last night, you know, who support Donald Trump, that he stopped the bleeding, essentially, with his debate performance last night.
BORGER: Well, what he did was sort of give a primary debate performance, to a great degree. So he was preaching to the choir when he was getting personal about Hillary Clinton, I mean, "Lock her up" had been the big cry at the Republican convention and he did his own version of that last night, you know, "I'd put you in jail."
The problem that I think some Republicans had is that he can't win with his base. He's got to broaden this out. And the way he can do that is to talk about the issues that some conservatives wanted to talk about, which is, say, ObamaCare, or trade, or status quo versus change. Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy on the e-mails. Those are the issues that have a lot of resonance for Republicans, but we saw him out on the campaign trail today, and he is talking about these personal issues over and over again, which leads them to believe that it's not really about the Republican Party for Donald Trump, it's about Donald Trump.
COOPER: James, I mean, you and I have been talking in the weeks running up to this -- to last night's debate. You wrote this amazing cover story for "The Atlantic" about debating, talking to all different people about sort of strategies for debating. I'm wondering what stood out to you? Because I read some of your tweets in the wake of the debate, you were live tweeting last night, and you focused on, you know, Donald Trump Saying if he were president, she'd be in jail. What else really jumped out?
FALLOWS: So there are a lot of things. I think because this is not the first time we've seen Donald Trump, we're sort of used to things he does. And if this were the first time, many of them -- more of them would stand out. On substance, the "She would be in jail" thing was, from my perspective, outrageous. In terms of style, there was something that you saw in person and the rest of us were seeing on T.V., and I've received a flood of mail about this in the last 24 hours, from women, who felt that Donald Trump's looming up behind Hillary Clinton in this huge way was something that just was, for many female -- mainly female viewers, just this atavistically terrifying thing.
[21:15:10] I mentioned that we talked about Jane Goodall and there sort of a primate analogy, but this was something he may have done as a dominance display, but it just was -- it does not seem to go over very well with the majority of female viewers.
COOPER: Brett, I mean, you've helped prep President George W. Bush, Republican nominee, John McCain for town hall debates, you said debates can't win elections, but they can lose them. How do you think each candidate handled the format last night?
O'DONNELL: Well, the real loser last night was the town hall audience. I mean, they didn't get to ask very many questions, and they were seemingly ignored and lost in the back and forth between Trump and Clinton. I thought Trump got so intentionally personal that it probably was very uncomfortable for people seated around them, and I didn't think Hillary did a particularly good job of connecting with the audience as well. So I think the real losers last night in the debate was the town hall, the kind of different format that that debate brings, where an audience is a major component.
COOPER: And James, I mean, nine days is the final debate, assuming it takes place, and no reason to believe it won't, do you expect to see Donald Trump using the same strategy or -- I mean, this is obviously not a town hall format. Chris Wallace is a single moderator. I guess there's no way to really know. I mean, nine days in this election is a lifetime.
FALLOWS: It is true. We don't know whether he'll show up. We don't know whether he'll have a team of advisers.
I will say, as I was saying last night online, I thought that actually the format last night, I thought the moderators did a good job, including the audience and being able, also, to persistently follow lines of argument. So I thought that actually set a good example.
So, what Trump will do in the next couple of days, we don't know, but think we've seen that Hillary Clinton through her debating career has never really been wrong-footed. In the face of a lot of different stuff coming at her, including having the four women in the audience, she managed to keep more or less on keel.
COOPER: James Fallows, Brett O'Donnell, Gloria Borger, thank you all. Fascinating discussion.
FALLOWS: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, just ahead tonight, the possibility that more Trump hot mike moments exist out there. Plus, new insight to just how the tape we do have got on the radar. Later, we'll focus more on the tone of last night's debate and how it differs from nearly anything anyone as ever seen in moderate debate history.
[21:20:28] COOPER: Breaking news tonight on the question| that came up practically the moment the Donald Trump/Billy Bush video hit the air. Is there more out there like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I better 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. Just kiss. I don't even wait.
And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH, RADIO AND TELEVISION HOST: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
BUSH: Look at those legs. All I can see is the legs.
TRUMP: No, it looks good.
BUSH: Come on, shorty.
TRUMP: Oh, nice legs, huh?
BUSH: Get out of the way, honey. Oh, that's good legs. Go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That is, according to the Department of Justice, the definition of sexual assault.
On Saturday, Bill Pruitt, a producer from the first two seasons of "The Apprentice" claim there are other so-called hot mike clips out there that he claims are, in his words, far worse.
Late today, "Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett said he does not have the legal ability to release show footage, denying reports that he's intentionally blocking material that may harm Donald Trump. Now, whether or not that material actually exists is right now an unknown.
Meantime, when it comes to the tape we have seen, we're learning more about what NBC knew about it and when.
Joining us CNN media analyst, Bill Carter and Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent and anchor of CNN's "Reliable Sources".
Bill, why did it take so long for -- I mean NBC had this tape, do you know it for how long and why they didn't release it?
BILL CARTER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Monday to Friday. So they -- what they say is they were looking through these legal issues. Now, it's also interesting that they kind of said it had to do with consent. But the guy was wearing a mike, so he clearly had consent. California is a state that has two-way consent, so they would have to cover that, but they hadn't covered. They also said there was some kind of contractual issue, same thing Mark Burnett said. That there's some sort of contractual issue that ...
COOPER: Well, also, let's be real. How much were they trying to protect Billy Bush, who they've just elevated to anchor ...
CARTER: They said they weren't trying to protect him. And look, you know, my theory at first was that they were trying to edit him out somehow or ...
CARTER: ... soften this thing. They say no, that they knew they couldn't do that.
COOPER: Right. Brian, I mean, they just paid this guy probably, I don't know how many millions of dollars to now anchor the 9:00 "Today" show. They're suddenly now going to release this tape.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIORN MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This was a multi-million dollar investment by NBC. He had just started, he just moved to New York with his family. Now, if the plan was to try to protect him, the plan backfired. Strangely enough it is Billy Bush who's been punished more severely in some ways than Donald Trump. Billy Bush's suspension is effective immediately and it goes on for as long as it goes on. The sources I have at NBC say he'll probably never be back on the "Today" show. There was even a surprise party planned by NBC for this coming weekend, a Billy Bush welcome to New York Surprise party. Today it was canceled.
COOPER: And I mean, I don't know, is "Access Hollywood," who I guess originally had these tapes, is that owned by NBC?
CARTER: Yes, and that's another interesting thing.
CARTER: NBC News was allowing them to break the news that "Access Hollywood" was going to break that story, and not NBC News.
COOPER: So the question is how long did "Access Hollywood" know that they had these recordings?
STELTER: Well, it was on the show for 11 years, right?
STELTER: They say they only remembered they had it last Monday. Still, that was a four-day period. "The Washington Post" turned this around in about four hours.
COOPER: The other question now about "The Apprentice", Mark Burnett is saying he cannot legally release tapes that he has.
CARTER: Yes. That doesn't -- that means -- he's saying that there's some contractual blockage. He has some deal with Donald Trump. Donald Trump was a co-owner of the show ...
CARTER: ... so there's some possibility that that's a complication there. I think Burnett is a pretty decent guy. I know -- I've known him for a long time. I don't think he would be in the middle of something that he was trying to manipulate like this ...
CARTER: ... if it was really explosive. But there's some other aspect of this. And NBC would say, we're not going to comment on what it is. And I said there's some mysterious issue here, and they said, yes.
COOPER: We should point out, there was a report, I can't remember where it was online, just saying that Burnett had threatened people with lawsuits ...
CARTER: BuzzFeed reported this. He denies it. COOPER: He's denied it categorically.
COOPER: He says, he's -- I think he's even said he's not a Trump supporter.
CARTER: That's right.
CARTER: But he's friend of Trump, for sure.
STELTER: I think this is a reminder that Trump of course was, in some ways, supported by NBC through "The Apprentice," right? He rose up for years through "The Apprentice." This has been an NBC story through and through. That it was an NBC "Access Hollywood" tape that ultimately really did severe damage to his campaign, and yet it ended up being leaked by the "Washington Post".
STELTER: Throughout all of this, Donald Trump, the entertainer is what we see. And tonight he said, if there's more tapes released of me, I'm going to keep talking about Bill Clinton. He is producing this spectacle, producing this show right up until the last day of the election.
COOPER: So on "The Apprentice" thing, we don't know -- it's unknown at this point whether those tapes would ever come out.
CARTER: We don't know. We don't know if they're real or no. We don't know if there's any -- the thing that came out today, which is a transcript of a conversation didn't seem that bad to me and wouldn't -- I don't think it would affect it ...
COOPER: But we don't know what is or is not out there.
[21:24:59] STELTER: But other news divisions are now doing the same thing. Looking at their transcripts, trying to find more of this ...
CARTER: Donald Trump's been on a lot of these T.V. shows.
COOPER: Yeah, that's for sure. Bill Carter, Brian Stelter, guys, thanks very much. Fascinating days.
Coming up, Donald Trump admits he is not paid federal income taxes for years, says he's proud of it. The question is, should he be? We'll look at it, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Donald Trump has admitted that he hasn't paid federal income taxes for years. At the debate, I asked him about "The New York Times" report on three pages of his taxes from the '90s, showing he claimed a loss of almost $1 billion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Did you use that $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes for ...
TRUMP: Of course I do. Of course I do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So how was it that someone who's supposedly so rich pays no federal income tax? You're probably not going to like the answer. CNN senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It's become the center of Democratic attacks against him. The idea the speculation billionaire Donald Trump pays no federal income tax. Not only is that possibly true, says real estate tax attorney, Richard Lipton, in the big world of big league real estate, it's perfectly legal and almost expected.
RICHARD LIPTON, REAL ESTATE TAX ATTORNEY: Most real estate investors pay very little, if any, tax provided that they are active real estate investors.
GRIFFIN: That's right. Active real estate investors can pay little to absolutely no taxes. And in Sunday night's debate, Donald Trump made no apologies about it.
TRUMP: See, I understand the tax code better than anybody that's ever run for president.
COOPER: Can you say how many years you have avoided paying personal federal income taxes?
TRUMP: No, but I pay tax and I pay federal tax, too. But I have a write-off. A lot of it's depreciation, which is a wonderful charge. I love depreciation. You know, she's giving it to us.
[21:30:04] GRIFFIN: It is literally a gift from Congress. The IRS rules that allow businesses to write-off depreciation on just about everything, even if it's a building and even if the value of the building is increasing. Here's how. Think of a huge group of companies. That's what Trump has. And what he listed on his financial disclosures. Some may make big profits. Some may have big losses. And some, like his real estate holdings, can have both at the very same time.
Take, for example, 40 Wall Street, one of Trump's biggest properties. It could be making a huge amount of money on rent, but he could end up not owing income tax on it because of tax breaks like depreciation. Example, you can write-off wear and tear on cabinets, elevators, even the building itself, even though the building's market value is going up. If Trump can add up enough on-paper losses year by year, he can basically erase his taxable income from the property itself and even income from other Trump operations, like licensing, leasing, and T.V. reality shows.
Real estate expert Richard Lipton says, it wouldn't be surprising if all these paper losses reduced Donald Trump's federal income tax to zero.
LIPTON: So if you're running a T.V. show, call it "The Apprentice," and you have real estate and its generating losses, the tax losses from the real estate can be used to offset the income from your T.V. show.
GRIFFIN: And the losses can be huge, even when your income is huge. Thus, in 1995, Donald Trump files a tax return with a $916 million loss, but still, apparently, lives like a king. Don't blame Trump, says tax analyst and journalist Lee Sheppard, blame the politicians who wrote the rules to benefit big developers.
LEE SHEPPARD, TAX EXPERT: That's why we say that commercial real estate is self-sheltering. That's why we look at a guy like Donald Trump and we say, is he at zero? It's like, yeah, he's at zero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Drew, so we know we had this huge write-off in 1995, and that could have prevented him from paying any income tax or personal federal income tax for many, many years, it sounds like it's feasible that he could still not be paying federal income tax.
GRIFFIN: Yes, and that's what could be preventing Donald Trump from releasing these tax records, not that audit that he talks about. You see, Anderson, there could be a huge flow of income coming through the front door of Trump's organizations, but because of all of those tax advantages and write-downs and depreciation he talks about, the end result could be zero in terms of his federal tax liability. These experts say nothing illegal about it. In fact, nothing particularly special about what Trump may be doing here. It is just the current tax law.
COOPER: And have you heard from the campaign any news on releasing those tax returns?
GRIFFIN: I have asked again today, Anderson, no response.
COOPER: All right, Drew Griffin. Drew, thanks.
Joining me now, someone who knows more than most about Trump's finances, Timothy O'Brien, was a business reporter of "The New York Times" in 2004, co-wrote a piece about Trump's wealth, not being what he claimed. Trump said of O'Brien's sources, "You can go ahead and speak to guys who have 400-pound wives at home who are jealous of me." Trump also sued him for $5 billion, but the case dragged because Trump wouldn't turn over his tax and other financial records, and then a judge threw it out. Timothy O'Brien is the author of "TrumpNation, The Art of Being the Donald," he joins me now.
So Trump saying -- Donald Trump is saying, look, this massive write- off, it makes me incredibly smart. I know the tax code better than anybody. You actually say it shows he's a bad businessman.
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, AUTHOR, "TRUMPNATION: THE ART OF BEING THE DONALD": Well, it's a mammoth write-off, which is a loss in 1995. And at that point in time, he was very close to personal bankruptcy. So it wasn't as if at that time he was actually living like a king. He needed to borrow as much as $30 million from his siblings. Otherwise, he would have been broke.
He lost most of his major real estate holdings. He was going into the crater in Atlantic City. So he was in a very desperate state. It wasn't -- you know, that loan, I think, drives from about $900 million in personal guarantees he gave against around $3.6 billion in loans he borrowed and he couldn't pay back.
COOPER: But the banks essentially needed him to stay afloat though.
O'BRIEN: They needed him to stay afloat because the banks didn't want to run all of this stuff that they inherited from him after they took it over, because he couldn't keep up with the debt payments. In the end, he lost most of it. You know, they kept him on along enough to be able to move the stuff off the table. But, you know, the -- for example, the West Side Yard, it's a huge parcel he owned at the time in New York. He kept for a few years until they found a Chinese buyer. And then they force him to sell it to them.
COOPER: What about the claim, though, that Donald Trump makes, look, politicians, he says, like Hillary Clinton who have passed these laws that allow him and other real estate developers to do this?
O'BRIEN: Well, I mean, it is. It's the tax code and he's well within his rights to use it aggressively to protect his income. The reality, though, is Trump has never had as much income as he says he has. He's a comfortably wealthy person, but he's not a mega-billionaire.
[21:35:06] And the trouble he runs into when he tries to talk his way around this is on the one hand, as he mentioned to you in the debate, he wants to present himself as a shrewd navigator of the tax code. On the other hand, he doesn't really actually want to show the documents and reveal what the real underpinnings of his business are or to show that he's not paying taxes at all.
COOPER: It's so interesting Warren Buffett, by comparison who's obviously a Hillary Clinton supporter, he actually said -- he now said that he paid taxes every year since 1944, including nearly $1.9 million last year. He also gave $2.85 billion to charity.
O'BRIEN: In one year.
COOPER: In one year.
O'BRIEN: In one year.
COOPER: And he's encouraged a lot of other billionaires to give away all their money...
O'BRIEN: Bill Gates ...
COOPER: ... to give away their money while they're still alive. Obviously, compared to Donald Trump, Trump has given away a fraction of someone like Buffett.
O'BRIEN: Trump hasn't even given close. You know, Buffett has given away more in one year.
COOPER: Do you think Buffett did this and talked about this publicly in order to kind of tweak Donald Trump?
O'BRIEN: He mentioned Trump by name. When he released it today, he said, I've been under audit and I have got no trouble releasing my taxes. Mr. Trump could easily do the same. There's no question that Warren Buffett sort of threw the gauntlet down on this to goad Trump into releasing his taxes. Because I think Buffett knows like anyone else that the idea that there's an audit preventing Donald Trump from releasing his taxes is just garbage.
COOPER: Timothy O'Brien. Tim, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
O'BRIEN: Good to be here.
COOPER: Up next, what does it mean for the dignity of the country when one presidential candidate calls the other the devil and says she has hate in her heart? I'll speak with two presidential scholars, next.
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CLINTON: It is -- it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you'd be in jail.
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[21:40:47] COOPER: In case you're only just now starting to exhale from last night, I hate to break it to you, but there is another debate in nine days. After last night, tough to imagine how much -- well, how much tougher it could possibly get.
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TRUMP: If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse, mine are words and his was action.
CLINTON: He has said that the video doesn't represent who he is. But I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.
TRUMP: Because Bernie Sanders, between superdelegates and Deborah Wasserman Schultz, he never had a chance. And I was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil.
CLINTON: OK, Donald, I know you're into big diversion tonight. Anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way its exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you.
TRUMP: Believe me, she has tremendous hate in her heart.
CLINTON: It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
TRUMP: Because you'd be in jail.
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COOPER: Joining me now, CNN's senior political analyst, David Gergen, former advisor to Presidents Reagan, Ford, Clinton and Nixon and presidential historian and history professor, Douglas Brinkley.
I mean, David, for a candidate to say you have tremendous hate in your heart, the devil, I thought -- when we said the devil thing, I thought back to, I think it was Hugo Chavez talking about George W. Bush on stage at the U.N. -- I mean, have you -- has there been rhetoric like this in a debate at this level?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR TO REAGAN, FORD, CLINTON AND NIXON: I can't remember one in modern times. If you go back early in our republic history, you know, they were vitriolic.
GERGEN: But they usually composed their differences before it was all over. And in this case, you know, we're more and more polarized, we're more and more separated. And I must tell you, you know, usually when it come (inaudible) who won the debate, they like to retreat, all the voters won. We had a great -- last night, the voters lost. It was an embarrassment for the country.
COOPER: You really think so?
GERGEN: I absolutely think so. I just -- I can't tell you the number of people who told me today, I went to bed, I went cringed. I was just like, there's so much mud-slinging, it's really very tiring from now for people and I think stressful for a lot of Americans.
COOPER: Douglas, I mean, throughout history, have we seen anything quite like this? This kind of no-holds-barred style or certainly modern history?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Not in modern history. The first presidential debate was in 1960. We haven't seen anything like that since it's been televised. And you would have to go back to the 19th century, in the era of duels and caning of opponents and the like to see such a kind of crude, primitive behavior that Donald Trump exhibited. I mean, we're really looking at it. I think it was like an ugly nightmare last night for people, watching him prowl around the stage and berate Hillary Clinton, talking about like a third rate dictator, talking about, I'm going to jail my opponent. It was embarrassing for him.
However, not in significant, Anderson, he was a wrecking ball of the Republican Party. He has decided to be the king of the alternative right and he's not going to be the one that loses. Hillary Clinton might beat him, but it's the GOP that's going to lose, because Trump's going to threaten, in coming years, to run a third party movement, to be in future debates. All you need is that 15 percent bar to be qualified for the debate. The notion he's just going to resign and take it easy seems very unlikely.
COOPER: Although he does, David, you know, like winning, and so if -- does he really want to kind of be a perennial third party, assuming he doesn't win this time around?
GERGEN: I think he wants his brand to win and he's in some danger of that going south as well. But let me just say, yes, he did. He was prowling around the stage last night. You were there as moderator. And I don't know -- it must have been very physical.
COOPER: It was. I mean, it was reminded of -- I mean, the only other people I've seen kind of wonder really that, Al Gore did a bit of that, certainly, John McCain sort of famously did, although with John McCain, it seemed more of kind of just walking around. Although Donald Trump did a fair amount of that although others say that he was sort of following her.
GERGEN: Yeah, he was like a lion in a cage ...
GERGEN: ... to the viewer. I mean, this big, bulky guy, you know, have prowling. I think that's right. But I do think -- in fairness to him, you have to say that he did hearten his own supporters last night.
COOPER: No, without a doubt.
GERGEN: And there's a good chance, he's going to have 50 million votes before this is all over. Romney got about 59. You know, he's going to get somewhere in that vicinity.
COOPER: And I mean you could also make the argument that he came off in a better way than he did the first debate.
[21:45:05] GERGEN: He was a better debater last night and I don't think she was as quite as commanding. I think he did come up short on what he needed to do. He was, you know, I think he needed to win the debate. The CNN poll and, you know, there's one other poll out there both say that she won the debate.
But I think what's distressing, Anderson, is to realize, there are 50 million people out there who are really angry. And his base is something we haven't seen before in my memory. And I don't know where that base goes. I think Doug's asking the right question. What happens if he loses to all those 50 million people? Where do they go in our politics and what difference that make?
COOPER: Next debate, nine days away. Douglas Brinkley, David Gergen, thanks very much.
Just ahead, we're going to dig deeper on Donald Trump's claim that Hillary Clinton laughed at a 12-year-old victim in a rape case 40 years ago. You'll hear the tape for yourself.
COOPER: During last night's debate, Donald Trump called attention to four women his campaign invited to the town hall. Three of Bill Clinton's accusers and a fourth woman who first crossed paths with Hillary Clinton 40 years ago, when Clinton was an attorney assigned to defend an accused rapist.
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TRUMP: One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped at 12. Her client she represented got him off and she's seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman, is here with us tonight.
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[21:49:59] COOPER: Well, there's certainly no argument that Clinton mounted a vigorous defense on behalf of her client. It's also true that she laughed when discussing the case years later in an interview but not when talking about the victim. Here's Randi Kaye.
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RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It happened on this stretch of highway in Fayetteville, Arkansas back in 1975. A 12-year old girl brutally attacked by a 41-year old man. They were reportedly in his pickup truck after midnight and parked in a ravine. That's where she says he beat and raped her. The sixth grader ended up in the emergency room.
The young lawyer called on to defend the suspect in the case was none other than Hillary Rodham. Just 27 she had moved to Arkansas to be with her then boyfriend, Bill Clinton.
Hillary Rodham was running the legal clinic at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, the defendant Thomas Alfred Taylor who deny the charge have requested a woman lawyer so the judge appointed the future Mrs. Clinton. It would be her first criminal defense case.
Mahlon Gibson was the prosecutor at the time.
MAHLON GIBSON, FORMER PROSECUTIR 1975 RAPE CASE: The day after she was appointed, in fact she called me and wanted to know if I could get her unappointed. She didn't want to represent the rapist. KAYE: Despite her objection, Clinton immersed herself in Taylor's defense as she was legally obligated to do. In this affidavit seeking a psychiatric evaluation of the victim and signed Hillary Rodham, the rookie lawyer painted the victim as emotionally unstable suggesting she brought false accusations like this before, that she fantasized about older men and that experts say children like the victim tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences.
CNN contributor Josh Rogin interviewed the victim, now in her 50s, back in 2014, nearly four decades after the crime.
The victim said the allegations in the affidavit are untrue that she'd never romanticized sexual experiences or made any false accusations before.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There's never been any evidence presented by anyone to substantiate the allegations that Hillary Clinton made in that affidavit to the victim, this was an attempt by Hillary Clinton to smear her in order to exonerate her attacker. The victim believes that Hillary Clinton lied in order to win.
KAYE: A spokesman for the Clinton campaign told us regarding the affidavit, "Clinton was simply citing information from experts and investigators involved in the case as a reason to seek further expert opinion." In other words, the affidavit didn't express her opinions about the victim.
Clinton also insisted on getting her own expert opinion on the accused rapist's underwear after the crime lab had cut out the key part of the sample to test then lost it.
In a bold move for her first-time defender, Clinton brought what was left of the accused rapist's underwear from Arkansas all the way here to Brooklyn, New York, more than 1,200 miles just so a renowned forensic expert she'd hunted down could look it over. A move considered aggressive even by the prosecutor's standards. Maybe so, but it worked.
Clinton's expert cast doubt on what was left of the evidence saying it hardly showed the defendant's blood or semen. The prosecution's case quickly started to unravel.
GIBSON: We began to scrambled and consider possibilities of lesser offenses.
KAYE: The story was mostly forgotten until in 2014, audio emerged of Clinton talking about the case with an Arkansas journalist back in the 1980s. Listen to her laugh describing the moment she delivered her forensic expert's findings to the prosecutor.
CLINTON: I handed it to Mahlon Gibson and I said, well, this guy's ready to come from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice.
KAYE: Those recordings were played for the victim by Josh Rogin during the interview. Her reaction was anger. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I heard that tape I was pretty upset. You lied on me, and you're supposed to be it for women? You call that for women what you've done to me and I heard you on tape laughing.
KAYE: The Clinton campaign says she was not laughing at the victim. In a statement a spokesman for the campaign told me, "The reactions were very clearly expressions of disbelief at breakdowns in the handling of the case and absurdities she encountered within the system's bureaucracy." Adding, "In the interview she called this a terrible case, and it's clear she is pained to recall it."
There is another piece of audio that Clinton's critics have pointed to for some time. Clinton on the same tape laughing about her client passing a polygraph.
CLINTON: He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which destroy my faith in polygraphs.
CLINTON: But, you know, what was sad about it was that the prosecutors had evidence.
KAYE: But whatever evidence the prosecutor had was trumped by Clinton's defense. In fact, even the prosecutor told us Clinton was doing what any good defense attorney would do.
[21:55:04] GIBSON: She was just doing her job. She was going to present the best defense she could and she was certainly going to require us to prove his guilt.
KAYE: In a plea deal, she got her client's charges reduced from rape to unlawful fondling of a child. For rape, Thomas Taylor could have gone to prison for life. Instead he was sentenced to one year in the county jail. Even that was reduced two months for time served. Clinton was asked about the case weeks after her audio tapes emerged during this interview with an online parenting network in Britain.
CLINTON: When you're a lawyer, you often don't have the choice as to who you will represent and by the very nature of criminal law, there will be those who you represent that you don't approve of but at least in our system you have an obligation and once I was appointed, I fulfilled that obligation.
KAYE: No matter her explanation, the victim sees it very differently.
ROGIN: She said that the sentence was a miscarriage of justice. In the victim's view, you cannot once smear a rape victim and then turn around and claim to be a defender or role model for women.
KAYE: Shortly after this case, Clinton was inspired to set up Arkansas's first rape hotline. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
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COOPER: And we'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[22:00:05] COOPER: OK, that does it for us. Thanks for watching. "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon" starts now.