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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump Holding Florida Rally Amid GOP Battle; Clinton Campaign Manger Ties Trump Camp to WikiLeaks; Judge Extends Florida Voter Registration Deadline Following Hurricane. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired October 12, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: He didn't have to do that. That man started breathing on his own. The EMTs rushed him to the hospital. He's going to be OK. Much respect to Tim Tebow for jumping in to comfort and console that man in a scary moment.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: That was really nice. That was really nice.
Coy Wire, many thanks.
Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman. Kate is off today.
I want to show you live pictures right away from Ocala, Florida. Donald Trump is set to hold a rally there just minutes from now. Will he, A, attack Hillary Clinton, B, attack members of his own party, C, all of the above or, D? He has been on Twitter the last few minutes so that could mean something. We will take you there live.
This follows a night where he bashed the Republican establishment, namely John McCain and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump ripped them as the sort of human shackles who are weak and ineffective that have been holding him back and who Trump says he wouldn't want to work with anyway. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want his support. I don't care about his support. What I want to do is I want to win for the people.
The first sign of a little bit of difficulty, he un-endorses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
TRUMP: I wouldn't want to be in a FOX hole with a lot of these people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: CNN's Jason Carroll is live at the event in Ocala, Florida, following the Trump campaign.
Jason, what are we expecting to see?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We expect Donald Trump to continue to be defiant as ever. Whether or not he will continue to attack some of the GOP members as we have seen him do on Twitter here at this arena remains to be seen.
Yesterday, when he was in Florida, he wasn't lashing out at GOP members publicly. He did a lot of that on Twitter, and even this morning on Twitter, he's continuing to tweet, specifically going after the media, which he's done a lot. He's done it in arenas like this one. But going after the media, critical of the media, he says, for not going after -- not going after Hillary Clinton enough, especially on these hacked e-mails that were found from John Podesta. So he's still very much upset about that.
There is this thought, John, that the more he continues to go after the GOP and talk about the GOP establishment not getting behind him, the more he talks about this rigged system and fires up the base about that, the hope is that perhaps that narrative will overshadow the narrative and the talk about that vulgar tape where he was heard saying these vulgar things about women.
In terms of tweeting, though, Newt Gingrich weighing in on that this morning and saying that perhaps it is time for Donald Trump to stop tweeting so much, saying quote, "I don't think you want a president that randomly tweets," but it doesn't look like that's going to stop Donald Trump any time soon -- John?
BERMAN: Jason, for some people, stopping tweeting is like stopping breathing air. It is difficult.
Jason Carroll, thanks so much.
There's new questions this morning surrounding the trove of stolen e- mails released by WikiLeaks. Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, John Podesta, says it is likely that the Trump team had advanced warning about the latest hack of his e-mail account.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux in Washington with the details -- Suzanne?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John. Well, Hillary Clinton and her team continue to be dogged by this drip, drip, drip of e-mails being published by WikiLeaks. The hacked e-mails raise more questions about the campaign, the DNC, and the role of the Justice Department. There were two parts from yesterday's document dump, one in which Clinton spokesman, Brian Fallon, is communicating with the Justice Department -- this happened in May of 2015 -- about an upcoming action in a civil lawsuit. That resulted in the State Department releasing tens of thousands of Clinton's e-mails. So Donald Trump says this is collusion, corruption, and says it supports his call for a special prosecutor to look at what he is calling Clinton's crimes.
But the Clinton campaign says that Fallon was relaying information that was completely on the public domain, in the public domain at that time, had nothing to do with FBI investigation into Clinton's e-mail server.
The second part is from e-mails of Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. There are now more than 5,000 that have been revealed and it shows the inner workings of the campaign, the strategy dealing with Bernie Sanders, the reporters they like, they don't like, among other things.
So Podesta was asked about the impact that all this is going to have on the campaign and who is behind this. Here's how he responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN PODESTA, CHAIRMAN, HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: I would say that the Russian interference in this election and their apparent attempt to influence it on behalf of Mr. Trump is I think -- should be of utmost concern to all Americans, whether Democrat, Independent or Republican.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: WikiLeaks claims to have more than 50,000 of Podesta's e- mails, which they say they will release piecemeal.
So while Podesta and Clinton's team say they don't believe there's anything really damaging here, it's still a distraction and, John, they still don't know what else is coming.
[11:05:21] BERMAN: All right. Suzanne Malveaux, everyone waiting for that to be sure, though.
Thanks so much, Suzanne.
Meantime, we have breaking news just in. A judge in Florida has just extended the voter registration deadline an additional week. The deadline was supposed to be yesterday. Initially, a judge extended it until today because of the hurricane that went through there. Democrats wanted even more time and a judge agreed, gave them another week. This is a blow to Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Donald Trump supporter, who essentially said voters have had plenty of time to register in Florida. So there's that.
Now let me bring in Manu Raju, CNN senior political reporter; Jackie Kucinich, CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief of "The Daily Beast"; and Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of "The Hill."
Guys, thanks for being with us.
Bob, let me start with you.
As far as I can tell, it's been, what, about 15 hours since Donald Trump last tweeted about someone in his own party or did a national interview attacking them out loud. Maybe he's turned a corner, yes?
BOB CUSACK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: Well, maybe. I think we've got to wait a few more hours. Overall, when the party that's not united is the party that usually loses. It's an interesting strategy by Donald Trump. Every time he's talking about anyone else other than Hillary Clinton, it does seem like a distraction, whether that's the Khan family, Miss Universe, John McCain or Paul Ryan.
But it is interesting, this strategy. Maybe it's just to get people to stay home. Trump knows his turnout will, I think, be pretty good. His supporters are going to show up. But are there enough of them. On the other side, the Democrats, Barack Obama says, if you stay home, if you don't vote, that is a vote for Donald Trump. You are going to hear that message over and over, over the next four weeks.
BERMAN: It does seem there's a bit of a backlash against the backlash against Donald Trump.
Deb Fischer, Republican Senator from Nebraska, who said this weekend she wanted Trump off the ballot, now says she's back to voting for him.
So, Manu Raju, my question to you is, who is in the middle of this storm right now, what's the latest update on the House speaker, how he's feeling and how his membership is feeling about him?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, he's getting some push-back, John, from some of the conservative members of his Republican conference. In fact, when he had that conference call on Monday, actually I was told upwards of eight, nine members expressed their concerns about his position of not defending or campaigning with Donald Trump. And today, just moments ago, the first House Republican, who actually supported Paul Ryan for speaker, now saying he may not support Paul Ryan for speaker. This is Congressman Jim Bridenstine, of Oklahoma, just tweeted, "Given the stakes of this election, if Paul Ryan isn't for Trump, then I'm not for Paul Ryan."
That is significant because of this. Even if the Republicans keep the House majority, Paul Ryan cannot afford to lose many votes on the House floor in order to be re-elected as House speaker. He lost about 10 house votes when he won his speakership in 2015. And if it's a narrow majority in the House, which we expect, he cannot lose many votes. So if he sees more conservative members joining Congressman Bridenstine that could be a problem for Paul Ryan.
Now, I should add, Paul Ryan has not officially said he's not endorsing or voting for Donald Trump, just that he's not campaigning or defending Trump. We will see if that distinction makes a difference. Clearly, some anger on the right -- John?
BERMAN: This is clearly a thing if his own members are putting this out there, saying if Ryan doesn't support Trump enough they won't support him going forward.
Along those lines, Jackie, I sense not just from Trump's aggressive tweets and comments on TV, there's a more forceful push-back from the Trump campaign directly against these members.
Listen to Kellyanne Conway this morning on "Good Morning, America." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We want the support of anybody who's going to publicly endorse us, but enough of the pussyfooting around in terms of, you know, do you support us or do you not support us. And the fact is that, you know, some of these leaders have been very wishy-washy. And I think Paul Ryan has a job to do to keep the majority in Congress, and a new president of the United States will go ahead and be with him to help get legislation through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. First on the word choice there, Jackie. That cannot be accidental, can it?
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No. To I'm sure Trump supporters, cheer that sort of thing, but it also kind of hints at that campaign isn't taking what he said very seriously, which I don't know if that will play well with voters who are actually upset about that.
But when talking about Paul Ryan, it's a good problem for Paul Ryan to have, if he has to worry about his speakership. Because that means Republicans are still in charge. That is his job right now. You have the conservative members who don't really have to worry about re- election because they are from districts where they are safe. He's looking at the full picture. He's looking at members who might be at risk of losing to Democrats in a wave against Trump. So that is his primary concern right now. It's about protecting the House and keeping it in Republican hands.
Donald Trump is going -- he has to think about these tweets long-term if he's actually going to be president. How in the world is he going to work with these people who he has insulted over and over again? Maybe that will be a good problem for him to have because he will be president and have to figure that out.
[11:10:44] BERMAN: I do want to come back, if we have to, to the idea of the change in language from the Trump team about how they are referring to the "Access Hollywood" tapes and talking about the fact he bragged about being able to grab women. It has shifted the last few days.
But I want to get to WikiLeaks, Bob. Specifically, in "The Hill," your publication, you guys talked about some stuff out there that's Clinton advisers dealing with the issue of Catholicism. It's complicated but there were comments and e-mails about Rupert Murdoch's Catholicism. An outside group, leader of an outside group e-mailed Jennifer Palmieri in the campaign about Rupert Murdoch's Catholicism. She responded, "I imagine they think it's the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion," she wrote, "And their rich friends wouldn't understand if they become evangelicals."
There are some people who say that the way that Clinton advisers or people close to Clinton are talking about religion and Catholicism, is offensive.
CUSACK: Yeah, some Catholic groups are very upset about that and calling for action from the Clinton campaign this morning. So this is a problem. I think this honestly would be front-page news if Donald Trump was not in this civil war with rest of the GOP.
Joe Biden is a Catholic, and it is embarrassing. Just think if every e-mail you ever sent was released publicly. There would be some things we all would not want out. That's the problem for Hillary Clinton is that this e-mail issue continues to dog her. And when you this about there's court cases going on, there's going to be potentially tens of thousands of e-mails released between now and Election Day, and that's a problem. And that's what Democrats -- that's the only thing Democrats are really fearing now. They think that Hillary Clinton is going to win but they are very worried about WikiLeaks and what is the next shoe to drop. I think that Donald Trump's got to be talking a lot more about her e-mails than Paul Ryan.
BERMAN: Jackie, is it that there's a bombshell on the WikiLeaks or is it just that there's so many little things, which even Democrats have told me are embarrassing, that it ends up like death by a thousand cuts?
KUCINICH: There is the drip, drip, drip, and this has been the problem with the e-mails stretching back forever. It also goes to some of the things in the e-mails, goes right to Donald Trump's campaign message that the system is rigged. That's not helpful for the Clinton campaign. You have to imagine going forward maybe in the Clinton White House there will be a lot of phone calls made rather than e-mails sent.
BERMAN: Text messaging, Facebook messenger, all these things may be a better option.
Manu Raju, Jackie Kucinich, Bob Cusack, thank you all for being with us. Appreciate it.
RAJU: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: Any minute from now, Donald Trump takes the stage in the battleground state of Florida. A lot of people are suggesting he should walk up to the lectern and read these WikiLeaks e-mails out loud. Does he do that or talk about Paul Ryan and members of his on party? We will bring it to you live.
But first, the man who could be the next RNC chair is standing by Donald Trump and slamming some Republicans for bailing on their nominee. We talk to him next.
And the breaking news we just told you about, a Florida judge handing down a crucial decision regarding the voter registration in that battleground state. This is something that Democrats will cheer and it could have a big impact there. Details ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:17:48] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, A.C. 360: Donald Trump goes rogue, goes to war with his own party.
BERMAN: The list just keeps on growing.
TRUMP: I don't want his support. I don't care about his support.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), ARIZONA: When Mr. Trump attacks women, I just have to part company.
TRUMP: John McCain, who has probably the dirtiest mouth in all of the Senate.
COOPER: Donald Trump continues to blast Clinton over stolen e-mails.
TRUMP: This is collusion and corruption.
PODESTA: The Russian government seems to be trying to interfere in this election.
TRUMP: The election of Hillary Clinton would lead to the destruction of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Donald Trump, who is getting ready to speak any minute in Florida, drawing battle lines inside the Republican Party, taking fresh swings at House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain, again and again. So is this the pivot and, if so, to what exactly?
Joining me, Doug Heye, CNN political commentator, former RNC communications director; and Robert Graham, chair of the Arizona Republican party, and someone a lot of people are saying could be a possible successor to Reince Priebus.
Mr. Graham, let me start with you.
What is your message to Republicans who have been wavering or fleeing Donald Trump?
ROBERT GRAHAM, CHAIRMAN, ARIZONA REPUBLICAN PARTY: I think it's more of stop being reflexive, focus on the mission at hand, and that is stopping Hillary Clinton and making sure we can protect our nation. Ultimately, at this particular point, we are seeing people that reacted, and now you are seeing some people recant a little bit. But we saw a great performance in his debate on Sunday and now we are leading into this election. Everything we should be working to do is to stop this process that Hillary Clinton is trying to pad herself for the future. We want to stop her from being president.
BERMAN: Senator Deb Fischer, of Nebraska, is one of those Senators who seemed to come out against Donald Trump before and is now back in the fold. She will vote for him. One Senator who has not come back in the fold is your own senior Senator, John McCain. Donald Trump is going after him hard. Listen to what Donald Trump said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: McCain was desperate --
TRUMP: No. He was desperate to get my endorsement. I gave him the endorsement because he needed it for the primary. Frankly, he ran against a very, very good woman. I feel very badly I gave the endorsement, but that's OK.
TRUMP: He ends up getting my endorsement. He easily wins his primary, he easily wins his primary, and then, all of a sudden, you know, he does the un-endorsing.
BILL O'REILLY, FOX HOST, O'REILLY REPORT: He doesn't like the tape thing.
TRUMP: -- because he's never heard -- oh, give me a break. He's never heard salty language before? John McCain, who has probably the dirtiest mouth in all of the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:20:28] BERMAN: John McCain is the senior Senator from your state, Arizona, and many people consider him a hero as well.
Mr. Graham, do you approve of what Donald Trump said about him last night?
GRAHAM: Actually, I think what's interesting is Donald Trump and Senator McCain will have their jousting. That's the nature of the beast of politics and people start to go at each other.
But let me point out, my jobs chairman of the Arizona Republican party is to support all of our nominees. Senator John McCain is my nominee. He won the primary handily and is up 17 points right now in the general election and did well in the debate. He will press forward and be our Senator going forward, certainly.
BERMAN: Did you like that Donald Trump said that last night? Did you like it when Donald Trump said it?
GRAHAM: No -- let me tell you, when you're chair, you get elected by your base, and your mission is to try to unify everybody. Obviously, we want unification. We don't want this bantering back and forth. It doesn't feel good going either direction. But the reality is that our mission is simple. When you see everybody, we started looking forward, we have to look past one individual and we have start thinking about the impact as if we lose as Republicans. In this situation, you Republican elected that have pulled back and you have a body of an RNC that's working hard to make sure we get him elected, but also, we have a duty to get all our other people elected in the state. The formula is different, the calculus is different between McCain and Donald Trump for sure.
BERMAN: Doug, let me let you get in here. Deb Fischer, the Senator from Nebraska, again, as Robert was saying, she backed away from Donald Trump and is now going back to Donald Trump. There are people suggesting that Paul Ryan, Manu Raju was reporting, a congressmen saying Ryan doesn't stand up for Donald Trump. What are these people seeing that are creating this backlash against the backlash?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You're probably two things. One, the reaction from throughout the country of shock and horror at the things Donald Trump has said and done, and also, shock and horror from their on base that support Donald Trump, want Donald Trump to win. But the challenge Republicans face, what the chairman alluded to with this jousting between McCain and Trump, that's not the jousting that any Republican needs. We need to focus on Hillary Clinton. We need to focus on John McCain winning re-election, Martha McSally, a great congresswoman from Arizona, winning.
The challenge we see from what Donald Trump created, he's taking our eye off the ball in key states and we are not doing the job we need. Examples, in my state of North Carolina, Republicans are getting their clocks cleaned on early voting. In Florida, since in the last month, Democrats have registered 6800 more Democrats than Republicans have. In Arizona, the "Arizona Republic," today reported that 5,000 more Democrats were registered than Republicans since late August. That's because Donald Trump is depressing the outreach Republicans should be doing every day and registering those voters because they are turning away from the ugly messaging we have seen from Donald Trump. That's why we have to shore up John McCain.
GRAHAM: You know --
BERMAN: Go ahead.
GRAHAM: You bring up the Arizona registration. You got to understand we have 175,000 more people registered. Right now, we have lines and lines of people that haven't been calculated that came into our office to be registered. A very diverse group of people that registered, this is on the last day of registration. A
Also, you look at the registration, you look at the mobilization factor, even poll watching, for heaven's sakes, we would be lucky if we got 50 people to be poll watchers the last cycle. Right now, we have 1,000 people that are signed up that are asking to be trained so they can be observers in the polls.
GRAHAM: It's an unusual movement that's happening.
BERMAN: Let me jump in. I want to get one question that I would like you both to answer very quickly.
Doug, first to you.
Who is closer to the Republican base right now, who is more in line with the rank and file of the party, is it Donald Trump or is it Paul Ryan?
HEYE: I think for the base that's vocal, it's probably Donald Trump, but for the base that wants to win and have effective conservative policies, that's Paul Ryan. That's why he's making sure that we keep the House of Representatives. His focus is where it should be, not defending the indefensible. But making sure Martha McSally wins in Arizona and other Republicans in tough races win their races.
HEYE: They can't depend on Donald Trump.
BERMAN: Robert, if you have to choose, Robert, whose party is it? Is it Donald Trump's or Paul Ryan's?
GRAHAM: Yeah. Let me tell you, Donald Trump, when you look at Paul Ryan, there are people that support him and understand his role. The people that are behind Donald Trump, the masses -- last night, I was at a fundraiser for a lot of leaders, women leaders in Congress, and that base of donors and people that were there that normally would be kind of viscerally appalled to what's been going on, are saying we have no choice. You have a little bit of everything.
These are people that want to win and have great outcomes and want to stop Hillary Clinton. We know if she loses, she ceases to be relevant.
BERMAN: It sounds like you're saying it's Trump's party, Robert.
GRAHAM: I'll tell you what, it's the people's party. It should always be the people's party. Right now, we have seeing the turnout. You watch. In Arizona, we are working hard to make sure it stays red. You will see the rest of the nation will see turnout. Hillary is a motivator to stop. People are very motivated to stop Hillary Clinton. You can't discount that by any level.
[11:25:29] BERMAN: Robert Graham, Doug Heye, great to have you both with us. Thanks so much.
HEYE: Thank you.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
BERMAN: As we've been saying, a judge makes a decision in the state of Florida that could have a big impact on the election. We will tell you that verdict next. While some Republicans are deserting Donald Trump, one is going a step
further. A key Republican in the State of Florida is saying that he will now vote for Hillary Clinton. Stay with us.