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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Undercover Video Has Dem Operative Fired, Another Resigns; Trump Bringing Pres. Obama's Half-Brother to Debate; Trump Arrives In Las Vegas For Last Debate; 6 Come Forward To Corroborate People Writer's Story; Melania Trump: I Believe My Husband. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 18, 2016 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:09] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening from Las Vegas, site of tomorrow's final presidential debate right here on CNN.

Donald Trump speaking today in Colorado. He's due here shortly. He'll arrive under fire to complaining without evidence that the election is being rigged against him, with "People" magazine reporting that six men and women have come forward to corroborate a former people writer's allegation that he tried to force himself on her.

Hillary Clinton hit down under new scrutiny over her State Department e-mails, as well as something completely different.

Video emerging of a group of pro-Clinton political operatives talking about stirring up trouble and provoking violence at Trump rallies. The video comes from Project Veritas, brainchild of James O'Keefe, who's got a lot less than stellar reputation for accuracy.

However, some of the things you'll hear on the tape are certainly hard to ignore, enough we're learning for one person to be fired so far, another to resign. A lot of questions being asked about the recording.

Senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin tonight has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: The undercover videos produced by discredited conservative activist James O'Keefe suggest it was Democratic operatives, hired political activists, working in coordination with the DNC to instigate violence and incite reactions at Trump rallies.

And in one of the undercover videos, Scott Foval, a subcontractor for DNC-hired firm called Democracy Partners supposedly explains just how he does it.

SCOTT FOVAL, NATIONAL FIELD DIRECTOR AT AMERICANS UNITED FOR CHANGE: There's a script. There's a script of engagement. Sometimes the crazies bite and sometimes the crazies don't bite.

When they are outside the rally --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're harder to get in.

FOVAL: -- the media will cover it no matter where it happens. The key is initiating the conflict by having leading conversations with people who are naturally psychotic.

I mean honestly, it is not hard to get some of these assholes to pop off. It's a matter of showing up, to want to get into the rally, in a Planned Parenthood t-shirt. Or, you know, Trump is a Nazi, you know. You can message to draw them out or draw them to punch you.

GRIFFIN: According to the undercover videos, it was this man that Democratic National Committee turned to organize the work. Bob Creamer is the husband of Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. He's part of a group called Democracy Partners, and he too was caught on undercover video, here explaining how he was hired by the Democratic National Committee to stage counterdemonstrations and press conferences wherever the Trump campaign showed up.

BOB CREAMER, FOUNDER OF DEMOCRACY PARTNERS: Wherever Trump and Pence are going to be, we have events. And we have a whole team across the country that does that. Both consultants and people from the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party apparatus and people from the campaign, the Clinton campaign. And my role in the campaign is to manage all that.

GRIFFIN: Creamer stepped down from the campaign today, and announced his subcontractor, Scott Foval, was no longer working for his firm.

Both the DNC and the Clinton campaign denied any coordination with anything involving the incitement of violence.

Creamer himself told CNN his former contractors were committing barroom talk, insisting none of what is being described by Foval ever actually happened.

In a statement, Creamer writes, "We regret the unprofessional and careless hypothetical conversations that were captured on hidden cameras of a regional contractor for our firm. He is no longer working with us."

The Clinton campaign response, "While Project Veritas has been known to offer misleading video out of context, some of the language and tactics referenced in the video are troubling, even as a theory or a proposal never executed. We support the Democratic National Committee's appropriate action addressing this matter and look forward to continue waging a campaign of ideas worthy of our democratic process."

"James O'Keefe is a convicted criminal", they add, "With a history of doctoring video to advance his ideological agenda."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Drew Griffin joins us now.

So, what's the DNC doing about this? GRIFFIN: First, they put out a statement saying, Anderson, there's no

evidence that anything described on these tapes actually took place. They agree with Bob Creamer's decision to step away and separate from any work on the Clinton campaign. But they're also going to investigate, they say, James O'Keefe to find out if he did anything illegal in obtaining or gathering these tapes.

We also did just get a statement in from Democracy Partners. That's a group of -- partnership basically that works on Democratic campaigns. They said that "we were breeched and betrayed but still standing.

[20:05:02] And we condemn" -- excuse me here -- "violence and election tampering in all forms."

So, that's where it stands tonight, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Drew Griffin -- Drew, thanks.

You can bet the panel has got plenty to say about this.

Clinton supporter and former Obama senior advisor Van Jones is with us, Clinton supporter and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, chief political analyst Gloria Borger, Trump supporters Jeffrey Lord and Scottie Nell Hughes, and our political director, David Chalian.

Gloria, how big a deal is this? I mean, it certainly looks damning on the tape.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It does look damning and we don't know how big a deal it is. It's just more garbage in what's been a very ugly and divisive campaign. We don't know whether this was locker room talk, to coin a phrase, to use the phrase or whether --

COOPER: It is sort of, I mean, though, ironic that they're using the term barroom talk when they condemn Donald Trump for saying locker room talk.

BORGER: Exactly. We don't know how this video was gotten. We don't know how it was edited. There are so many unanswered questions to this story, so you need to start peeling the layers of the onion here.

What I will say, though, you know, on the face of it, you see the story. It first appears in Breitbart. It confirms an existing negative narrative. If you are so disposed to belief that the Clinton campaign is dishonest, et cetera, et cetera, it will do that.

I think however this is a story that needs a lot more reporting on it. And the tape is quite disturbing, honestly.

COOPER: Jeffrey, I mean, as a Trump support you hear these people talking about, you know.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not surprised --

COPPER: Egging people on and fomenting violence. LORD: Yes, I'm not surprised in the least. As a matter of fact, I

said some version of this months and month ago without knowing about this and said this is what the American left historically does. They do things like this.

The whole Chicago riots in 1968 were based with these kind of provocations. And to be bipartisan about it for a moment, the first thing I thought of when I heard this was Nixon's plumbers, who were out there breaking the law deliberately, burglarizing Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist office and this kind of thing.

This is not acceptable in American politics. This is totally unacceptable. And here we are.

COOPER: Maria?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. It is not acceptable at all, which is why I'm glad that the DNC and the Hillary for America campaign came out and said as much.

I do think we have to underscore, though, the fact that James O'Keefe has zero credibility in this area. He's the one who did the doctored videos of Planned Parenthood, which were completely false. He's a criminal, right?

And so, I think we have to look into it to make sure that, you know, none of this actually happened. The DNC says none of it actually happened. And in fact, this group and this guy was not working for the DNC --

COOPER: I think to say he's a criminal by the way I mean --

CARDONA: -- convicted criminal, isn't he?

COOPER: He was convicted of a crime. I don't know if you want to brand someone criminal the rest of their life based on one action.

Van, what do you make of it?

CARDONA: That's true but I think you have to continue to look it and see what's going on.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There are two different things here. One is looks like a confession from Creamer that they are sending people to the rallies to stir up trouble. That's not illegal. It's distasteful. But you can kind of live with that.

The other, though, is horrific. The other is a conspiracy to rig an election. Now, I would take that much more seriously if it didn't come from Pinocchio. I mean the guy -- I don't like calling people criminal --

COOPER: That is Donald Trump's plane arriving in Las Vegas, arriving for the debate tomorrow.

JONES: I would take it a lot more seriously. (BOOS)

JONES: They're booing not for me definitely.

(INAUDIBLE)

(CHANTING)

JONES: I think that the fact that this comes from O'Keefe is reason to withhold judgment.

It's a reason to withhold judgment, because this guy literally is Mr. Pinocchio. If there is a more -- a less-trusted figure in American politics, I don't know who it is.

CARDONA: That's right.

JONES: But if any is even remotely true, it is disconcerting.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, let me put this out about James O'Keefe, let me be the one person, the second person to defend him. Remember, ACORN lost their taxpayer funding because of James O'Keefe and his investigation into housing fraud.

JONES: All turned out to be false.

HUGHES: And talked to Republicans and Democrats -- well, I don't know about false.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: -- Congress into doing something horrific.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: He did. In fact, all turned out to be false.

HUGHES: What we're finding out is you cannot sit there and disparage him.

JONES: Mr. Pinocchio.

HUGHES: He's not Mr. Pinocchio. His work actually has accomplished things.

It doesn't fit your narrative that Republican that Trump supporters are horrible and they're for violence. It actually shows once against they were instigated. That the whole year we've been demonizing that we are just the ones causing all this violence at our rallies, and this just proves like the Chicago rally, like it proves about the woman with COPD, that they were sent in to instigate.

[20:10:05] It wasn't necessarily to be a part of the democratic process.

CARDONA: There's no proof that any of it happened. HUGHES: There is. They claimed it right here. They had no reason on

secret tape too lie about it.

COOPER: By the way, that's the same Donald Trump had no reason to lie about molesting women on a tape to Billy Bush.

HUGHES: Completely different things. This is a conversation with one other. This is much worse.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: But there is a certain amount of hypocrisy. I mean, either, you know, you can believe Donald Trump was bragging about something he didn't actually do. You can believe these people on the tape were bragging about something they didn't do to make themselves more important. I'm not saying they did. I don't know who's right and who's wrong in this.

But it's strange to think one is bragging --

HUGHES: One demonized one person. One demonized an entire movement. Trump supporters have been made out to be the most evil people and that's not right. It's not fair. They are the most peaceful.

COOPER: Go ahead, David.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Even the hypothetical was serious enough that the Clinton campaign out to reject that in their statement. They wanted to make that clear.

I do think you can hear in Scottie's comments, this is going to give a lot of energy and juice and comfort to Trump supporters, because the media covered so much of the violence at Trump rallies --

COOPER: Right, exactly.

CHALIAN: -- really extensively. So, now that they have something, Trump supporters have something now to hang on to, to say, hey, this wasn't just some natural phenomenon.

COOPER: Which, by the way, was an allegation being made by Trump supporters on our air at the time saying this -- and I think even Donald Trump --

(CROSSTALK)

CHALIAN: Big energy boost for Trump supporters.

COOPER: Van?

JONES: Jeff, you get your shot, but I don't think that saves you. Look, people have to take responsibility for their own actions. If somebody goes to a Hillary Clinton rally and says Hillary Clinton is the B-word and then somebody punches that person. The person who did the punching has to take responsibility. People get provoked all the time. This is the real world. LORD: And you are sounding more like me everyday. This is great. A

conversion on air.

BORGER: But here is the thing. The DNC says that they have no evidence to suggest that the activities articulated in the video actually occurred.

CARDONA: That's right.

BORGER: That's where the reporting has come in. We have to match it.

LORD: Gloria, you know where this is going to lead, don't you?

BORGER: No, I don't.

LORD: A congressional investigation at some point.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Are you calling Jason Chaffetz?

CARDONA: We hope so, because part of what the DNC said is that they are looking into the James O'Keefe and whether everything that he did not so above board. And, by the way, huge connection between James O'Keefe, Breitbart, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone. So, again --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: One at a time.

CARDONA: This has done nothing to change minds.

HUGHES: This just proves this idea that whether you want to talk about media bias or you talk about pundit bias, you're all out there --

CARDONA: You guys are the ones talking about media bias.

COOPER: Let her finish.

HUGHES: Right now, you have Trump supporters who say, "I want to vote for Mr. Trump in these polls, but I'm afraid to say it."

You saw on Friday, you saw a line of cars at that Trump/Pence rally be completely vandalized. You saw a fire bombing on Saturday night of a Republican headquarters that had Trump/Pence signs.

LORD: Exactly.

HUGHES: This is -- it goes against the narratives that the Democrats are trying to paint, as Republicans and Trump supporters as deplorables. It doesn't work anymore.

COOPER: All right. Let's take a quick break. There's a lot more to talk about, including this. Donald Trump just arrived her moment ago. We show you that. It made a stir with the people he invited to the last debate.

Well, we just found out who his latest big guest will be. We'll tell you who that is next.

Also, Hillary Clinton at this point, is she only trying to run out the clock? Or is she could be running if she's doing that? When we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:17:23] COOPER: Welcome back.

Breaking news with Donald Trump now here in Las Vegas. His Boeing 757 touched down just moments ago.

We've just gotten word one of his guests tomorrow night, you'll remember he invited Bill Clinton's accusers to the last debate. This time, he asked President Obama's Kenyan-born half brother Malik. He apparently said yes. According to a number of reports, he's an American citizen who when he's not in Kenya lives in Washington, D.C.

As for what the Trump campaign hopes to accomplish by inviting him remains perhaps unclear. Malik has said he's supporting Donald Trump in this race.

We got correspondents covering both campaigns tonight. Jeff Zeleny on the Clinton forces. Jim Acosta on the Trump's.

Let's check in first with Jim Acosta.

You were at the Trump rally earlier today, Jim. What was his message to the Colorado Springs crowd?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson. I think Donald Trump's message was not apocalypse now but apocalypse three weeks from now. He said that if he loses on November 8th that Americans will lose their independence, that the United States will become a one party system. He says the media is so dishonest that people should avoid the mainstream media and get their information right off of the Internet.

Here's more of what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: History will record that 2017 was the year that America lost, truly lost, its independence -- truly lost its independence. And, by the way, this is our final shot, folks. In four years, it's over. You're never going to be able to win. You're never going to be able to win.

It's tilting. It's going to be a one-party system. This is your final shot, for the Supreme Court.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ACOSTA: Now, Trump did roll out a new campaign theme today, drain the swamp in Washington. He backed up that with a call for congressional term limits.

Anderson, if you strip away all the outrageous comments that Donald Trump made today at this rally, that was a message that really resonated with his supporters. The problem is they had to get past all of the other things that he said to focus in on that.

COOPER: He's also invited President Obama's half brother to the debate tomorrow night as his guest. What's the idea behind that?

ACOSTA: Right. Well, I've reached out to a number of campaign officials. They haven't said exactly what they are up to in inviting the president's half brother Malik. We should point out though that this invitation, I guess, was announced just hours after President Obama earlier today at a Rose Garden press conference said that Donald Trump should stop whining about the possibility of a rigged election.

So, this appears to be a shot across the bow at President Obama. And keep in mind, it's very much in line with what the Trump campaign did at the last debate, by inviting out President Bill Clinton's past accusers of sexual abuse.

[20:20:03] It is a way to try to get inside the Clinton campaign's heads, but there's no indication that that had any lasting effect at the last debate -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jim Acosta -- Jim, thanks.

Now, Hillary Clinton has been so low key. She's practically off the radar.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny covering the campaign, joins us now with the latest on how she's getting ready for tomorrow.

So, Clinton was off the trail today I guess prepping for tomorrow's debate. How -- is she prepping differently for this one?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: She is in many respects, Anderson. She flew here and arrived just a couple hours or so ago, and I'm told she's in another debate prep session. She flew here with a team of advisors. They talked about things on the plane.

And you may wonder what more do they have to prepare for after three debates? Well, part of it is, all these leaks of thousands of WikiLeaks, their campaign e-mail from a year ago. She now has gone from studying Donald Trump's own words and his record to studying her own, in the words of her advisors.

So, these WikiLeaks, everything from the speeches, from Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, into something that, you know, her staff said about Bernie Sanders to just the calculations that went on inside her campaign. She believes she will have to answer for some of that tomorrow. And it really sort of gets at a point here of her honesty and trustworthiness, how everything painstakingly even to the sending out a tweet went through a committee here.

So, she's going to have to answer in her own words tomorrow night in ways that she perhaps hasn't up until now.

COOPER: And, Jeff, as Jim Acosta mentioned, President Obama weighed in today, calling Donald Trump a whiner. How does that fit into the Democratic strategy?

ZELENY: I think in a couple ways. One, it is part of -- he also was pushing back against this rigged system. Really politicians across the board, Democrats and Republicans are pushing back on this, but certainly Democrats.

So, first of all, the president said, look, this is not a rigged system. There are Republicans who are running elections as well. But it also is an attempt to get under Donald Trump's skin, no question at all, calling him a whiner.

It was more locker room talk if you will. Donald Trump likes to use that. That was President Obama's version of that. He was trying to get under his skin by saying, look, if you are man enough to get in the White House, you shouldn't be whining about things like losing an election. He said, you should go out and get the votes, not whine about ones you're not getting.

So, all about getting under Donald Trump's skin.

COOPER: And who is Hillary Clinton bringing to the debate?

ZELENY: Well, first and foremost, Bill Clinton will be here in Nevada as well for this third debate, but she's also bringing a couple of billionaires who are opposed to Donald Trump. Meg Whitman, who's a California billionaire, ran for governor there, of course, has been campaigning as a lead Republican.

And she's also bringing a man from South Sioux City, Nebraska, who she met in 1994 during healthcare hearings. He spoke at the Democratic Convention. He has dwarfism and he's been in a campaign video.

She's going to use him to show that she is for people with disabilities. It's a very interesting segment of the election that the Clinton campaign is going after, the Republicans and Democrats. But he's a very high profile symbol of someone who lives with disabilities here.

So, he will be front and center tomorrow night as well, Anderson.

COOPER: Jeff, thanks so much.

Back with the panel.

Jeffrey, is tomorrow night Donald Trump's -- I mean, how important is it for him?

LORD: The debate?

COOPER: Yes.

LORD: Yes, I think it is important for him, definitely. I mean, this is the third of three for them. We rarely had a situation as debates went on, they increased in importance.

I think this is one of those situations but I think he's going to be very aggressive as he was the last time around and really get right in there. He's going to be talking I would suspect about these WikiLeaks which are very damaging to them. He may even talk about the O'Keefe videos for all I know and get on to that.

So, I think they are important and he understands it.

HUGHES: But let me tell you, the thing that I think he needs to focus on is what he started today. I wish he would have actually started this months ago. This drain the swamp congressional term limits. Granted he wasn't popular already with the D.C. insider crowd, fear that their meal ticket is probably ending, but this is something that Republicans, Democrats, libertarian, in fact, 75 percent of all Americans according to the 2013 Gallup poll, believe she should have some term limits in Congress.

This message resonates. I hope -- I like focusing on the WikiLeaks and all the others, but I think this is exactly the right --

BORGER: I agree.

HUGHES: -- if he wants to be a winner tomorrow night --

COOPER: David, you're nodding your head as well.

CHALIAN: Yes, I think it's one of the strongest messages. There's no doubt about it.

I think back to his businessman appeal, why a lot of people actually found him attractive initially. People were not intended to be Washington and politics forever. And that is an attractive message for a lot of people, beyond just his core support.

Anything he can do beyond just his core supporters and I will say this, though -- I think his biggest challenge is actually where it was before the first debate as well.

COOPER: How so?

CHALIAN: Because he still has not solved the problem of temperament for the office, being fit for the office and being seen in people's eyes behind that desk in the Oval Office.

[20:25:02] He hasn't crossed that threshold yet. That was his mission before the first debate. He didn't do it in either of the two debates previously.

And as much as there is material to go after Hillary Clinton, I hear what you guys were saying, I still think his core mission has to be to prove to the American people he has the temperament to serve. BORGER: And that would be on substance. I mean, what he has do and

Chris Wallace's long list of questions indicates that he'll be talking about issues like immigration and health care. What Donald Trump has to do is make the case for his policies against her.

I agree with you, being a reformer always works, particularly if you are a Republican reformer. That works twice as well. He's an outsider. That is all great for him.

I think what he was saying today, this is your final shot. I think that works well for him too. But I also -- also believe that on the substance, you know, Hillary Clinton can be wonky. We know that. But he has to go toe to toe with her on policy.

COOPER: Is that really true --

BORGER: To a degree, I think it's true.

COOPER: We have to go.

JONES: Look, you know, I'm a nerd. So I would love for us to have a substantive debate.

BORGER: That's a compliment.

JONES: I am. I love this stuff.

But here is what I think -- he has a hard time now. His constant talking about our elections not being legitimate is very dangerous. And there is a way in which he's almost hardening his base to not accept the outcome of the election.

That is not presidential. That is the opposite of presidential.

Listen, the Republicans actually I think have a case to make about bias at this point. I think if you are a Republican, you could be forgiven for saying, when it comes to Bill Clinton, we can forgive personality defects and focus on policy. When it comes to Donald Trump, we will not forgive personality defects and will ignore the policy. You could make the case.

But to go so far as to say that would potentially invalidate an American election which is where they're going I think is very, very irresponsible and you cannot correct that in one debate.

COOPER: We got to take a break. We'll have more with the panel. We'll start with Maria next time.

We'll take a look at what Hillary Clinton needs to do tomorrow and the biggest risks for both candidates.

And after Melania Trump told me she doesn't believe her husband's accusers, "People Magazine" now says a half dozen people have stepped up to corroborate the accuser, who's a former writer for them. What are they saying and what some of them saw or say they saw in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:31:50] COOPER: Little more than 24 hours from now here in Las Vegas. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off in their third and final debit. The stakes are especially high for Trump whose poll numbers are falling, so what do both candidates need to do tomorrow night? We are back with the panel.

Maria, just in terms of what you want to see Hillary Clinton doing and what you maybe hope Donald Trump does.

CARDONA: Sure. So, I actually think Hillary Clinton has a complicated debate that she has -- she's going into reasons for a couple reason. She eviscerated him in the first debate. She played him like a fiddle, right. Saying all the things, doing all the things that she knew is going to get into her skin and he took the debate. The second debate she did well. She beat him but he talked a lot more about policy. But he did talk about policy. He was kind of all over the place with kind of incoherent even threw his BP under the bus (ph).

I think tomorrow Hillary Clinton needs to do a parallel track. She needs to talk about a positive vision for the country and that is focusing on policy. Not getting too wonky but connecting it with real people. That's one of the reasons why I think she's bringing the penal she is to the connect what she wants to do for the count to the effect on real people's lives.

But I also think she has to when she has the opportunity and I'm sure Chris Wallace will go into in this in terms all of the negative news about Donald Trump and the accusers but she also has to underscore every chance she gets that this is a man that has done everything to prove to the American people that he's completely unfit to be president of the United States.

COOPER: Jeffrey does Donald Trump continue to prosecute a case against Hillary Clinton as he did in the last debate.

LORD: What he does is he broadens it out. I mean we now have a situation here, you have Hillary Clinton's on situation. You have sort of mismanagement and corruption arguably in the State Department. You have all these unhappy FBI agents angry because they think that she was given special treatment. You broaden this out to a culture of where you have the ruling class, if you will and -- if were the American elite's versus the American people. And that's where he has to go with this, because she is per force, the representative of the elite's and the ruling class.

COOPER: And I hear -- I think it was Ed Rollins who's on -- I think -- I don't know if the radio today, essentially saying, you know -- he said that it would take a miracle for Donald Trump to win it.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Do you agree with that?

LORD: No, I don't, I don't. COOOPER: Because you think the polls don't accurately represent.

LORD: What I honestly don't know, is I have seen for myself at these rallies the enormous enthusiasm and the enormous crowds. And I've also seen through the press indications that there are a lot of folks out there on her side that are just not enthusiastic about her. I mean when President Obama has to come to Philadelphia to campaign for her. She's going to carry Philadelphia. The only reason for him to be there is to try and gin up the base as it were and get people to come out.

COOPER: But isn't that what Donald Trump is doing, ginning up his base?

BORGER: Right, he is. And the one thing I didn't hear Jeffrey talked about and what he think Donald Trump ought to do, is this question of rigged election. Should he continue to talk about that? Because that gins up his pace and it doesn't expand his base at all. It may -- you know, some Democrats worry it could depress their turn out.

[20:35:05] But what this is really about is solidifying his base and making sure they turn out.

LORD: Yes.

BORGER: And hoping that maybe there are some voters out there that pollsters haven't counted.

LORD: Let me add one thing ...

BORGER: Should you -- should he do that usually?

LORD: Yes, I think he should and I'll tell you why as the Pennsylvanian. We -- I did a piece eight years ago, statistics from the Philadelphia County board of election that they had over 250,000 new registrations and 57,000 of them were rejected because of the funny business. We had a state senator in Philadelphia thrown out by a federal judge accusing the Democrats of massive fraud. We have a problem with this in Pennsylvania. We've had it for a very long time. So this is something to discuss.

COOPER: Van?

JONES: Well look, I see it somewhat differently. I agree that he has to try to put the system on trial. That's what he's got to do. He's got to say listen, the status quo and the broken system. I'm going to put him on trial, she's got to put him in trial and his temperament. If you don't think the system is working, you know, you think the bus is going in the wrong direction you don't put a drunk guy behind the wheels. You've got to say look, whatever you think this guy is going to make it worse.

But I think there is something else happening here. Which I think is much more important for ordinary people. This election is sickening people. The way that this is being conducted. That the low ball gutter nature now on both sides is curdling that the spirit of the country. And I think that whichever one of them at least acknowledges that and tries to put -- you know, your guy really starting to point to that city on The Hill it is going to get ...

COOPER: All right.

JONES: ... a lot of support.

COOPER: We're going to have more with our panel ahead. Also next Melania Trump if you saw the interview with her yesterday she said she does not believe the women who are accusing her husband of sexually assaulting him, including a former "People Magazine" writer. Now, the magazine says six people have come forward to say that the writer told them what she says happened at the time and one woman who said she was actually Melania Trump -- with the writer when she ran into Melania Trump on the street which Melania Trump has denied.

Details on that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:41:08] COOPER: There is more breaking news tonight. Six people have come forward to corroborate the story of the former "People" writer who said she was assaulted by Donald Trump when she was assignment for the magazine. Now Trump denied the account and even suggested on the campaign trail the writer Natasha Stoynoff isn't attractive enough to have, you know, be interested in her.

In one part of her story Stoynoff recalls running into the Melania Trump in New York and Melania hugging her and asking why don't see her anymore. When I spoke with Mrs. Trump yesterday, she said, "That never happened, she wants her attraction (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: How we could believe her? That never happened. I was never friend with her. I saw her. She interview us twice, she came to the wedding and for that story. That's it. I would not recognize her on the street or ask her why we don't see her anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Among the six people now corroborating the "People" writer story, her friend who says she was there when that encounter with Melania Trump happened. Also the writer's former journalism professor who said she called him in tears after Trump attacked her.

Joining me now is "People Magazine" executive editor Kate Coyne. Kate, thanks for being us. Were you surprised at all by Melania Trump's response yesterday? I mean you're obviously standing by your reporter's story. Do you believe she doesn't remember this encounter on the street or is it possible this encounter never happened?

KAYE COYNE, PEOPLE MAGAZINE EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I'm certainly willing to concede that is very possible Melania simply doesn't remember. An incident that should have been very innocuous to her. There's no reason why she wouldn't necessarily recall it in vivid detail. She had no knowledge of what had occurred in the months prior to that incident on the street.

And so, you know, a quick run in with somebody who had interviewed you a few times who, you know, may very well have prompted the exchange and said, you know, hello, remember me. I'm Natasha, you know -- that's all very possible and probable. But as you said we do very much stand by the reporter's story. And, you know, very much believe in her.

COOPER: One of the things that Donald Trump has been asking out loud is why is this being released just now? Why didn't Natasha Stoynoff come forward at the time? Why did it come out earlier in the campaign? How do you respond to that?

COYNE: Well this week's article is essentially an answer to that question. This is your response, Mr. Trump. And the answer is everything from the journalism professor, her mentor who essentially advised her not to come forward at the time when she called him in tears because he feared on her behalf the retaliation she would face, the damage to her career that could be awaiting her. To many other colleagues who have come forward to say she was an absolute wreck when it happened.

But that very quickly she shifted into a mode that I think is all too familiar to victims of this sort of incident, which is she began to blame herself. She began to worry that maybe she had caused with some way that maybe her recollection was faulty. She had a -- her lot of reasons to want to minimize this. One of the main ones (inaudible), you have to remember no one else has ever come forward to say anything like this. So she essentially facing the possibility that she was step forward and be completely on her own and be a lone voice. And for a young reporter in her position, I think it was understandably a daunting proposition.

COOPER: From what I understand Ms. Stoynoff went from being on the Trump beat for many years to never covering them again.

COYNE: Correct. I think if you look at how many bylines Natasha Stoynoff had covering Donald Trump to where they went after that story about the anniversary, there are essentially none. She stopped covering him after 2005. And this is the reason why.

COOPER: Something struck me in the letter that was sent to "People Magazine" by Melania Trump's lawyers refuting the meeting on the street. It doesn't refute the most damming parts of the allegation against Donald Trump which Melania Trump obviously believes never occurred. Were you surprised by that that they are not asking for a retraction specifically on those allegations?

[20:45:15] COYNE: I mean I think many people have reached their point where nothing that Donald Trump does can surprise anyone anymore. They are narrowing in as you are correctly saying on a very, very small sliver of this incident which we nevertheless have an eye witness to. So we continue to stand by that. It is the only part of the story that directly involves Melania, which is perhaps why she feels compelled to share her version because otherwise when it comes to everything else as far as Melania is concerned she's only able to essentially rely upon what sees been told.

COOPER: Kate Coyne, appreciate you being on. Kate thanks very much.

COYNE: Thanks.

COOPER: Melania Trump certainly is not the first woman stand by her politician husband after such allegation and sexual misconduct, impolite. It's actually a press conference, we've seen time and time again. And then there's what happens after that. That is next.

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COOPER: Well, so far, there are at least nine women who say Donald Trump touched them inappropriately. He says they're all lying. I asked Melania Trump what she thinks yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:50:03] COOPER: So a number of women have come forward, they've made allegations against your husband. Some of them go back more than 30 years. He said they're lying. Do you believe him?

TRUMP: I believed my husband, I believe my husband. This was all organized from the opposition. And with the details that they go, do they have -- do they have her check the background of these women? They don't have any facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well Melania Trump certainly not the first spouse who's been put in this kind of situation by a politician. She's just the latest. Tom Foreman tonight looks back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From the campaign launch through town halls, debates and the convention, Melania Trump has stood by her husband against every accusation of improper treatment of women.

TRUMP: I was surprised because that is not the man that I know.

FOREMAN: All the while expressing her independence and sounding like another candidate's wife from years ago.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not sitting here as some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette.

FOREMAN: Politics is full of personal relationships colliding with public embarrassment. When New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was caught using an escort service in 2008, his wife and family held firm through his resignation.

ELIOT SPITZER, FORMER GOVERNOR NEW YORK: Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the love and compassion they have shown me. FOREMAN: But five years later, their marriage was done. Senator John Edwards told his wife, Elizabeth, about an affair in 2006. She stood by him through a failed presidential bid and even as it went public in 2008.

JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My Lord and my wife have forgiven me. So I'm going to move on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will your marriage survive?

EDWARDS: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

FOREMAN: Oh, no. Already struggling with the cancer that would take her life, she left after news he had fathered a child with his mistress.

Many deny the charges initially, Congressman Anthony Weiner did that when first caught tweeting lewd photos.

ANTHONY WEINER, FORMER CONGRESSMAN NEW YORK: This is a prank, not a terribly creative one. And it's a distraction.

FOREMAN: But then he admitted it, was caught again, and again.

WEINER: It was something that I did that was just wrong. And I regret it.

FOREMAN: And when he finally deleted his Twitter account, his relationship was gone, too. His wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, left him.

REP. MARK SANFORD, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I've been unfaithful to my wife.

FOREMAN: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's wife, Jenny, knew he was having an affair before the public did and before he slipped off to see his mistress, claiming he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

JENNY SANFORD, FORMER WIFE OF MARK SANFORD: I had my doubts, but I was hopeful he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Because ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't you worried about he was missing?

J. SANFORD: I had kicked him out of the house. I had asked him to leave

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was not known.

J. SANFORD: Because he was begging to see his mistress, and it was ripping me up, so I said, you know, you need to leave.

FOREMAN: They divorced, too, and then he finished his term as governor and is now a U.S. congressman.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And back now with our political director, David Chalian, and CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

When -- I mean we've seen so many instances where a politician's wife is called to stand at a press conference or give interviews side by side. Does it affect voters? Does it help convince voters if their loved ones is standing by them?

BORGER: I think in Bill Clinton's case, for example, that if Hillary Clinton did not stand by him, if she had said, this is ridiculous, I'm rejecting him, I'm leaving him, I think it would have had a huge impact on his political career, potentially impeachment. I mean, I just think that her support was so important.

So you can't underestimate it. I think if Melania Trump has had gone out there and unendorsed her husband and said, I can't stand by him, these things have occurred. And I believe the accusers, it would have had a huge impact. What they do is they stop the bleeding on these issues and they say look, I've forgiven him, you should, too. And by the way, Melania said he didn't do it. Just as Hillary said, right- wing conspiracy. Melania said left-wing conspiracy.

CHALIAN: I do think that it's the supreme validator I mean ...

BORGER: Totally.

CHALIAN: ... it's right. So, because what happens is I think the viewer at home, the voter sits and looks and says, you know, what this is really impacting her a lot more than it's impacting me or my life.

COOPER: You know, she can ...

CHALIAN: That so she can deal with it, however she's going to deal with it. I'll move on and think about other things, I think that happens a lot. I did notice, watching that Tom Foreman piece, it's all men that behave badly.

BORGER: Really?

CHALIAN: We don't have a lot of stories about female politicians who have been exposed to have these kind of things and need their husband to stand next to them. But I thought it was interesting, Anderson, that Melania -- remember, there were reports that they were going to do a joint interview together. And the fact she decided to do a solo interview yesterday, I thought was very, very telling.

[20:55:02] COOPER: Yeah, I think Maggie Haberman from the "New York Times" said on the program last night that the campaign had wanted them to do something joint early on and that perhaps it was Melania Trump who had decided not to do that. But clearly, not only doing the interview with us yesterday, but also with Fox News.

BORGER: Yeah, I think it's harder to do a joint interview. Because there have clearly been some serious personal discussions that have gone on. You have to put all those aside and you have to manage this conversation publicly.

COOPER: Well also the conversation a reporter would have with the candidate ...

BORGER: Yes.

COOPER: ... who's actually accused of these things is going to be a lot more specific and uncomfortable than the one you would have with the candidate's wife.

CHALIAN: And if we're to take Melania at her word, she said to you, she is in charge of all of her appearances, deciding what she does and what she doesn't do in the campaign, you've got to believe she was the one who made the decision to do this alone.

BORGER: She made it clear. She's an independent woman.

COOPER: Do you think they waited too long to have Melania Trump come out and speak? Then there would have been more bigger impact to kind of stop the bleeding if you said earlier in the week?

BORGER: Sure, I think it would have been more advantageous for them ...

COOPER: I mean she's a very effective spokesperson. She's, you know, a very strong person.

CHALIAN: She is, but putting her out in the middle of the maelstrom.

BORGER: Well, that's what I was going to say, all these women kept coming out and so it's sort of difficult to choreograph.

COOPER: All right. More with the panel in the next hour of "360." I'll also speak with Trump campaign manager, Kelly Anne Conway. She'll be joining us. Stay with us.

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