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Donald Trump Arrives in Las Vegas for Final Debate; Clinton Under New Scrutiny for State Dept. E-mails; Undercover Video has Dem Operative Fired, Another Resigns; Trump Campaign Manager Speaks Out; Trump Supporters on What He Should Do at Debate; Evangelical Women Torn Over Supporting Trump. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 18, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:48] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening from Las Vegas, site of tomorrow's final presidential debate right here on CNN.

Donald Trump arrive just a short time ago. He comes here under fire from statements he's made, allegations against him and on top of that he's behind in the polls.

Hillary Clinton has been keeping a very low profile, also under very tight scrutiny over her State Department e-mails, as well as something completely different. Allegations and potentially videotaped evidence that a group of pro-Clinton political operatives sought to stir up trouble and even provoke violence at Trump rallies.

Now, the video comes from Project Veritas, brainchild of James O'Keefe who in the opinion of some people has lesson stellar record for accuracy. However, some of the things you're going to hear on the tape are certainly hard to ignore and should not be ignored. We're learning from one person -- one person already has been fired and another has resigned.

CNN senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, joins us now with what we've been learning. Drew?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, these videos were first released yesterday by this man. His name is James O'Keefe. As you said, it's undercover video and a big caveat. O'Keefe has been widely discredited and is known for editing video to fit his conservative narrative. But what he showed in these tapes was enough to have one man fired, as you say, another stepping down from working with the Clinton campaign. And the DNC moving sharply away from the progressive lobbying group where these guys worked.

First, the video. In this one released yesterday, a man named Scott Fovel, you see him there, who was a contractor for a DNC-hired firm called Democracy Partners is seen and heard discussing hiring people, Anderson, to attend Trump rallies and start fights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SCOTT FOVAL, NATIONAL FIELD DIRECTOR AT AMERINCANS UNITED FOR CHANGE: I mean honestly, it is not hard to get some of these assholes to pop off.


FOVAL: 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, and draw them to punch you.


COOPER: Drew, it's important to point out, I mean, the Trump campaign months ago was saying there are provocateurs being sent into these rallies. So this fits that narrative that the Trump campaign itself was saying very publicly. And a lot of Democrats said there's no evidence of that at all. Is there evidence that what they actually are bragging about or talking about doing on these tapes that they actually did?

GRIFFIN: I should say, at this point, we still don't have evidence of that. But in the videos, Foval, this guy on tape, cites specific examples. A Las Vegas event. A rally in North Carolina where a frail woman was attacked. An event in Wisconsin, where a sign was waved in front of Scott Walker's face. All he says, he did, to incite other violence or get some reaction at these Republican political rallies.

COOPER: Where is he now?

GRIFFIN: We couldn't find him. He no longer works for Democracy Partners. It seems he was relieved of duty.

The guy who hired him, Anderson, Bob Creamer, he's one of the partners in Democracy Partners. He announced today that he, too, will no longer be working on the Clinton campaign.

COOPER: So, these guys on tape, they were working directly for the Clinton campaign, is that correct?

GRIFFIN: Not for the campaign, but with the campaign. That is how the Clinton campaign is describing the relationship. Creamer's group, Democracy Partners ...

COOPER: I'm not so sure I see the difference there.

GRIFFIN: ... was hired by the Democratic National Committee to work with the campaign to stage these countered protests and demonstrations and news conferences at Trump campaign events.

We should also know, Anderson, Bob Creamer is the husband of Chicago Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. I spoke with him on the phone. He described what's being said on these tapes as barroom talk. And he told me, "With respect to Foval's comments on tape, they are flat-out wrong. We have gone to extreme measures to ensure no violence took place at any of our events." For its part, the DNC is also distancing itself from the whole thing telling us there is no evidence, anything describes on the tapes actually happened, Anderson, and that the DNC is going to investigate the filmmaker, James O'Keefe, to examine whether O'Keefe may have broken laws in gathering these undercover videos. Anderson?

[21:05:02] COOPER: All right, Drew, thanks very much.

Joining us now, Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.

If, in fact, these people weren't just bragging and they were actually doing this, this is really serious stuff.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: It's very serious, Anderson. It's serious on its face, but it's also serious, because if you go back, the Trump campaign was forced to cancel events like in Chicago because of the protesters inciting violence. And now we know some of them may have been paid, certainly, egged on.

It's very disappointing too, because I want a stronger statement from Hillary Clinton and her campaign disavowing this conduct. The way they came out when one of our North Carolina offices just two days ago was firebombed, had anybody been in there, they could have been maimed or, worse, killed.

Where is a strong statement disavowing that? I think Hillary Clinton's scarcity is strategy, I get why they hide her for days before a debate. People don't want to be reminded of how much they don't like her, they don't trust her.

COOPER: You don't think it's just debate prep? You think she's intentionally kind of ...

CONWAYS: With 23 days to go, she's gone for five of them. That's their strategy. But I would like her to put out a statement saying this is activity that we do not condone whatsoever. They don't speak for us because, as your reporter just said, Drew just reported, they're working with the campaign.

COOPER: It's interesting -- by the way, we invited the Clinton campaign to come on tonight and talk about this ...

CONWAY: I'll take their spot.

COOPER: OK. It's also interesting to me that Bob Creamer, this guy, well, I don't know, would use the term, this is just barroom talk. I mean, it's kind of hypocritical for Democrats to be attacking Donald Trump for what he described as locker room talk and say, well, it's not just locker room talk, and then for them to use this term, oh, this is just barroom talk.

CONWAY: That's right. And all these e-mails and FOIA requests, by the way, not just WikiLeaks revelations, really bring us back to the same point. You know, Hillary Clinton surrounds herself with people who when they're not spewing anti-Catholic bigotry, they're worried about what is in her core, what will her message be, can she find her voice? This woman has been finding her voice for 30 years. Then we see a FOIA request, the fact that you're -- you have collusion between the FBI, the State Department, the Department of Justice.

The State Department is being used as a concierge for foreign nations, for favorite donors. The 200,000 victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010 have to wait a little bit longer for help, because the State Department is trying to figure out who the friends of Bill Clinton are who should get the contracts.

I mean this is terrible. You don't want these people running the government. And then, of course, we know how she feels about people when nobody's looking. Deplorable, irredeemable, Bernie Sanders voters are basement dwellers.

COOPER: She did apologize for saying half ...

CONWAY: Only because she was caught.

COOPER: Well, I'll leave that up to the voters to decide. How much do you want to hear from Donald Trump tomorrow continuing to prosecute the case against Hillary Clinton as he did in the last debate?

CONWAY: It's all I want to hear.

COOPER: Is it really?

CONWAY: It's all I want to hear. Donald Trump is best when he's on the issues. I mean, we've got ...

COOPER: But those aren't necessarily issues. Those are character. I mean, you do ...

CONWAY: Well, it is character but -- I'm sorry, Anderson, excuse me. Yes, it's both. It's prosecuting the case against somebody who has been in government or in public life for 30 years and is calling that experience and seasoning.

Experience can't -- isn't always necessarily a benefit. It's always not necessarily a good thing. Why are 3.7 million more Americans in poverty than when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took over? Why are over 12 million women without health insurance sit next to you? So if she's been fighting for women and children, where is the product?

So you've got to prosecute that case against her, too. I think there are many foreign hotspots around the globe that she's partly responsible for, have her fingerprints on, that was her Russian reset, that Syria the red line that was false, the humanitarian crisis, now 80,000 children dead. So she needs to own this. I want him to prosecute the case that this election is still with three weeks to go, but it's always been past versus future.

COOPER: Do you want -- today President Obama said your candidate should stop whining about rigged elections. Do you want to hear tomorrow during the debate him continuing this line about rigged elections? I'm talking about rigged media, in his term ...

CONWAY: Well, he is.

COOPER: I know, but actually rigged elections, voting rigging.

CONWAY: I think there are a couple of things that go into the definition of rigged and corrupt. It certainly is collusion between many in the media. We just had the journo donations yesterday. I mean you're talking about -- 96 percent of their presidential campaign donations coming from working reporters, Anderson, went to Hillary Clinton. Those numbers don't lie, 96 percent is -- it's really close to 100 percent. It's a 27 to 1 difference.

And 23 million Americans through these three major networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, heard 23 minutes worth of these allegations against Donald Trump and his accusers, who he has denied completely, Melania Trump last night denied completely. She stands by her story. She stands by her account of the "People" magazine reporter. They got about 56 seconds worth of what we learned from the e-mails through WikiLeaks versus 23 minutes on the three big networks accounting for a 23 million share of Americans. So he's got a point when he says things were unfair.

COOPER: But again, you're talking about the media. I mean, what about ballot irregularities? I mean he's talking about a rigged system, not just media. He's talking about the actual -- and a lot of these states are Republican, you know, Republican governors, Republican secretary of states who have come forward. The guy in Ohio has come forward and said, look, there's nothing irregular here.

[21:10:07] CONWAY: Well, he did, but in Colorado, you know, the CBS Denver affiliate found out that dead people were voting, somebody who died in 2006 was still voting. You see right here, dead people are registered to vote in Virginia. We know that goes on.

COOPER: Right, but you know that a Loyola study which shows like a couple dozen examples out of billions of votes cast.

CONWAY: We can compare our studies, but I think Mr. Trump's point is the same where if you already feel like the system is against you, because you're trying to challenge the system ...

COOPER: Right. What study do you have that shows otherwise?

CONWAY: We have a bunch of studies where he -- they're right here, actually. I can hold them up or I can read them. But his point is the same which is that in a country, you know, a government that was supposed to deport 800 criminals, who were here illegally, hit the wrong button, and gave them citizenship and they stayed instead of being deported, the same government that runs ridiculous, you know, pieces like that.

COOPER: There's certainly -- right, I mean, there's a famous Pew study, which has shown a lot of, you know, people who are on the rolls who are deceased, things like that. But that doesn't mean that those people are being used to vote that is actually resulting in voting irregularities. CONWAY: It doesn't mean they're not. And, you know, absent widespread fraud and irregularities, we will, of course, accept the result of the election and maybe because ...

COOPER: You will?

CONWAY: Well, sure, because we're going to win it, so we'll be very happy to.

COOPER: Ed Rollins today on Laura Ingraham's show -- Ed Rollins is a support of Trump, said it would take a miracle for Trump to win. I think that's ...

CONWAY: And we've seen them before. And Ed's a great guy and a friend and we're happy that he's involved in the super PACs. We can't communicate with him because of that. And he knows, he seen this before because he worked for Ronald Reagan who was dismissed by people and was behind in the polls in October.

COOPER: So you believe that there are people who are, what, not represented in the polls?

CONWAY: I do believe that. Well, I can't find a single hidden Hillary vote in the whole country. I mean, they're all out and, you know, holding their signs up here behind you tonight and I think for Hillary -- for Hillary Clinton, she's got the current president, a past president, she's married, she's a very popular first lady, more popular than Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, she's got the vice president, she has endless amounts of money.

And as I tried to say when I last speak on your show, Anderson, why can't she get to 50 percent and stay there anywhere? And that's an important question in answering yours, because she's like the 46 percent gal. She's just -- she's nowhere near the margins that President Obama got twice in states that where we're competitive.

COOPER: Right, but why can't your candidate beat somebody ...

CONWAY: ... Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, states that Barack Obama, he carried North Carolina one time. But states that he carried twice with well over 50 percent of the vote, she's never been at 50 percent.

COOPER: I'm not arguing that she's a great candidate, but why can't your candidate defeat somebody who you're saying is not a very good candidate?

CONWAY: He can and he will. Oh, my goodness, she has so many advantages. She has endless money. She's got a lot of the media. She has a very popular president and first lady out there campaigning for her. I mean, I will tell you, I'm mystified as to why she can't get to those 52, 53 percent numbers in some of these states given the disadvantages we're handed every day. And I don't feel sorry for us.

COOPER: She needs Kellyanne Conway. CONWAY: I just think that we -- I think that we -- we're going to win this because people love a comeback story. The one thing Donald Trump has that she simply does not is the mantle of change and disrupter and Washington outsider, successful businessman versus typical politician.

You know what else he's going to do, Anderson? He'll continue to campaign. We get criticized a lot. He's doing rallies. Will those people vote? Will the people who stood in the rain for four hours to see him at a rally sometimes -- today in Colorado, they were overflow, you know they're going to vote.

COOPER: We shall see.

CONWAY: And I think they're not all counted in the polls. Thank you.

COOPER: Three weeks from now. Kellyanne Conway ...

CONWAY: Thanks for having me.

COOPER: ... good to have you on.

Just ahead, sorting the facts from the smoke when it comes to the latest allegations surrounding Hillary Clinton's e-mails. The question, did the State Department try to cut a deal with the FBI and whether or not some should declassified it.

Later, what Trump supporters want their candidate to say tomorrow night's debate? We'll talk to some of them. What they would like to hear might actually surprise you. We'll be right back.


[21:17:31] COOPER: Well, it's a theme Donald Trump has been hitting for weeks now. Washington, he says, is corrupt. He says no one personifies it more than Hillary Clinton, and nothing, he says, exemplifies it more than the alleged deal making between the State Department and the FBI over change in the classification level on certain Clinton e-mails. Take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The undersecretary of state, Patrick Kennedy illegally pressured the FBI to unclassify e- mails from Hillary's illegal server. In other words, the State Department was trying to cover up Hillary's crimes of sending classified information on a server our enemies could easily access, which is what we're talking about.


COOPER: Problem is, not everyone knows exactly the details of what he's talking about. There's been so much partisan smoke on both sides, it's very easy to lose sight of the facts. So before we talk about with the panel, here are the facts and CNN's Jim Sciutto.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Here's what the e-mails and interview notes from the FBI's Clinton e-mail investigation show. The allegation is based on two somewhat contradictory interviews, with FBI officials, recently released to the public. In the first, someone from the FBI's records management division, whose name has been redacted, told investigators that another FBI employee told him that the State Department undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy, pressured to have one e-mail remain unclassified in exchange for a quid pro quo. The return favor, stationing more FBI agents overseas in sensitive areas.

According to investigators' notes, the individual believed, "State has an agenda which involves minimizing the classified nature of the Clinton e-mails in order to protect state interests and those of Clinton."

But a second FBI employee, who said that he or she spoke to Undersecretary Kennedy personally, said that it was the FBI, not the State Department that proposed the quid pro quo. That is stationing more agents abroad. To be clear, in the end, the e-mail in question was upgraded to classified, and no new FBI agents were stationed overseas.

Throughout, the State Department and the FBI have denied that this was even a proposed quid pro quo. On CNN today, State Department spokesman, John Kirby, offered this explanation.

JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Pat Kennedy did call the FBI and tried to get a little bit better understanding about why they wanted one particular e-mail classified secret. We didn't see it that way, we didn't think it needed to be classified, but the FBI held firm to their position. There was no bargain rendered. This was simply an interagency conversation about the classification over one particular e-mail. So there was no wrongdoing here.


[21:20:13] SCIUTTO: So, is there disagreement within government agencies and between them over classification? No question, I had a security clearance, I've seen it happen. And keep in mind, this is an e-mail that was not classified. It was being raised to the secret level during this whole process. And you have the State Department reach out, it disagreed on that change in classification.

From what we understand, the FBI, once it found out this e-mail was about Benghazi, lo and behold, it said no immediately. So there was no change. It went up to that classification level as the FBI wanted. There was no quid pro quo. But let's be honest here, it involves e- mails, it involves classification levels, and it involves Benghazi. It's certain to come up in the debate tomorrow, I would have to expect, and it's something that Secretary Clinton and others will have to answer for. Anderson?

COOPER: Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.

The panel's back. Joining us for this hour, CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson.

Jeffrey, I mean, is there more than just smoke here?

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, we'll find out. I mean, I'm sure there will be an investigation of this.

This is the problem when you have -- I mean, I've been in government. You have people trading around like this, if they feel they've got to protect the boss. This is the kind of thing that happens. This is what happened in Watergate. They felt they had to protect ...

COOPER: But this guy, Patrick Kennedy was in the administration under Republicans as well ...

LORD: Right, right, and that is exactly the point here. Is that the careerist here get so caught up in this stuff all the time or are dragged into it by the political people that they find themselves in a situation now. I don't know his situation here, but clearly, there is a problem. And it's not unusual at all.

COOPER: Nia, I mean, do you think this is something that's going to, you know, mobilize voters? Do you think this is something that Donald Trump can effectively use against Hillary Clinton?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: You know, I think so. One of the things that's going to happen tomorrow night, you imagine, is this is the first time a lot of voters and viewers are going to be hearing about this. And it's kind of a complicated scandal. It's not even really a scandal, but you'll see, I think, Trump try to make it a scandal. You've heard from the Hillary Clinton campaign, Robby Mook was on a conference call yesterday, where he essentially said this was just bureaucratic infighting. They said that a lot about this whole e-mail situation.

I think for Hillary Clinton, the challenge is, whenever she's defending the status quo, she's not in a good position, right? So she's got to explain it in some ways, but not seem to be defending the status quo.

I think the challenge for Donald Trump is sometimes, often, he speaks in hyperbole. I think he called this -- he compared it to Watergate. He said it was one of the greatest miscarriages of justice ever. So I think he's got to take the Ryan approach and try to keep it narrow, kind of say, you know, this is about the classified information about Hillary's mishandling of it. And say that it smells of a cover-up, but not get too far ahead it.

COOPER: But Gloria, it also, you know, kind of fits into that overused word, the narrative of the FBI and whether they are, in fact, you know, kind of honest brokers in all of this, which now, there are allegations about Director Comey and whether or not, you know, lower level FBI agents thought that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted. This just sort of again feeds into that.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It's kind of a toxic brew if you mix it all up for Hillary Clinton. This is a complicated bureaucratic story on a lot of levels about what should be classified and what shouldn't be classified, and if I do you a favor, can you do me a favor? We know all of that, none of it sounds good. How big it is? I don't think it's -- I don't think it's huge, but these are the last three weeks of the campaign, so anything is Watergate, honestly. Anything is Watergate.

And I think that it does play into this notion that Hillary Clinton hid her e-mails, she had private servers, she's above the law and this is what Donald Trump is going to be telling you about ...

COOPER: Well, also, Scottie, for a candidate who has, you know, effectively argued for his supporters that the system is corrupt, everything is rigged, the elections, the media, basically, everything judiciary, this feeds into that idea as well.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely. And I think tomorrow night, you're going to see Donald Trump take Hillary Clinton's number one asset, her experience, which involves this entire brew, and use it against her. The buck stops with Barack Obama. But second to him, it stops with Hillary Clinton. All of this happened underneath her. We have not seen people being held accountable.

I'll give credit to the Democratic Party and to those with this latest scandal that James O'Keefe have. They've already had people resign, they've already had names, people have already taken care of. We still have Patrick Kennedy in office today. We still have people not being accountable for what happened yet with these e-mails. All we have is people taking the fifth. That does not restore trust. That just shows that Hillary Clinton's a part of the status quo of Washington, D.C., which is broken.

COOPER: Maria?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think what we need to consider here, and Jeffrey, you said that there needs to be an investigation. There was an investigation. The FBI investigated this. These are -- this came out because they are notes from the FBI investigation back and forth.

[21:25:09] So I think if anything, maybe, the Congress needs to bring James Comey back up, and have him explain this because there was a reason why the FBI decided not to move forward with any charges. And it was clearly because there was nothing there that merited going forward with the charges. I think that's the point that Hillary needs to make.

COOPER: Van, as a Democrat, are you just looking at your watch every day, like, oh, my gosh, 20 more days. Let's just get there. Is that sort of the mind frame?

VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATOR OFFICIAL: You know, it's like when you're peddling and you just take your feet off and you just hope you can coast across.

Look, this is bad for Hillary Clinton, it's good for Donald Trump, but it doesn't matter a whole lot and I tell you why. First of all, honest reporters know, and you already said it yourself, Jeffrey, the level of back and forth nonsense between agencies is unreal. I think it's hard for Americans to remember. We have a million people that work for the federal government, plus a million in the military.

LORD: Problem one right there.

JONES: From your point of view, I'm quite sure. But what that means is, any idiot at any point can send an e-mail that causes chaos. And so, you know, we know, I think those of us who have been around the barn, this is pretty minor stuff. It does play into the narrative and you can make a big deal about it. But at the end of the day, I think, people are pretty have it baked into their brain that Hillary Clinton did some funny stuff with e-mails. I don't think it's going to cause anybody to change their vote. There's another story about it.

HUGHES: But why do you say it's minor? This is classified information that they wanted to come down and there was going to be the offer of giving more money and a budget overseas. That's not minor. They wanted it to be ...

CARDONA: Except for ...

HUGHES: ... be declassified, so that it would not be under these classified e-mails that were supposedly on her server that will make Hillary Clinton guilty.

CARDONA: Except for nothing happened, though, because the agency said, no. They did not follow what Hillary Clinton's director wanted.

JONES: You asked the question, why does it minor? Because the people involved were minor. When you have people down in the lowerarchy of the hierarchy trying to curry favor into all kind of nonsense and nothing comes of it, that's called people being people. It doesn't get presidents elected. You have a much bigger problem than these e- mails.

COOPER: All right, I want to thank everybody.

With the final debate less than 24 hours away, what do Trump supporters think he needs to do on that Vegas stage? We heard from some of them outside a rally. That is next.


[21:31:22] COOPER: At this time tomorrow night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be facing off on the debate stage for the last time. Gary Tuchman's focus on Trump supporters outside a rally on this very windy day in Colorado Springs to see what they thought Trump needs to do in the final debate. Take a look.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There was an urgency among some Donald Trump supporters heading into the last debate.

What would you like to see Donald Trump specifically do during the debate tomorrow, on his last debate?

CHRIS STACKHOUSE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Put it to Hillary, in a serious way.

TUCHMAN: Many who lined up to see Trump in Colorado Springs have been to multiple Trump rallies and feel they have good debate advice to offer up to their candidate.

Does he need to talk more about himself a little bit and give people who are undecided or wanting to vote for her the (inaudible) vote for him?


TUCHMAN: You don't want to see that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I want to see him bring her down.

TUCHMAN: But in the very same waiting line, Trump supporters with very different advice.

JASON KELLY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Just act more presidential. Just don't let people get under your skin and then let it be so obvious.

DON QUAGLIATO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Just focus on the issues and not have to worry about Hillary, tell everybody what he wants to do for our country. How he wants to lead us.

JANETTE CIMINO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think Donald should stay on the topics that are important to people.


CIMINO: Stay away from all the controversy that's surrounding him.

TUCHMAN: And you think that's a way for him to attract more voters?


TUCHMAN: Katrina Baylor thinks the same thing, but would offer Trump some additional advice, specifically to ...


TUCHMAN: However, others think he should take the bait and run with it, believing aggressiveness is a top priority.

If the moderator or Hillary Clinton brings up the incident on the bus where these accusers against him, what do you think Donald Trump should say or do?

THOMAS VEREINE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: He might as well just say it, what he said on the bus, grab her by the [ bleep ], grab America by the [ bleep ], we're all [ bleep ] like we need to ...

TUCHMAN: Are you being serious about that? VEREINE: Yeah. We need ...

TUCHMAN: How does that benefit him?

VEREINE: How does it benefit him? Because he already said it, so why not say it again?

TUCHMAN: And then there's the prevalent belief that the relationship between Hillary Clinton and the White House is corrupt and should be called out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody has even brought up the fact that our president, right now, is out campaigning for another president candidate. Nobody's done that in the history of campaigning ...

TUCHMAN: That happens a lot. That happens a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it doesn't. Ronald Reagan campaigned for George H.W. Bush. It happens all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... reporting ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's our taxpayers ...

TUCHMAN: It's happened the in the entire history of this ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody's reporting about ObamaCare.

TUCHMAN: You don't think Reagan campaigned for George H.W. Bush?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, absolutely not.

TUCHMAN: Well, he did. And finally, there are those who say, see how it all plays out after the debate starts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he should talk about the issues, but if Hillary brings up any of those so-called problems, which are -- which they haven't proven out yet, then he should attack back.

TUCHMAN: So there is clearly no consensus here about debate strategy for Donald Trump. But there is an overwhelming consensus about how it will conclude.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump will kick ass tomorrow.


COOPER: Gary joins me now. I assume most of the Trump supporters that you talk to feel like he won the first two debates?

TUCHMAN: Yeah, most of the people we talked to, Anderson, felt he did very well in the debates. But we did talk to some people who were underwhelmed, but for two very different reasons. One group of people told us that they feel Donald Trump should be more positive and more specific about how he will make America great again. And there was another group of people who didn't think he did too well, because they believe that while he criticized Hillary Clinton, he needs to do much more criticism of Hillary Clinton. So two very different opinions, a very interesting dichotomy. Anderson?

[21:35:04] COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman, thanks very much.

Just ahead on the eve of the final presidential debate, are there lessons for both candidates in the first two debates? A look back at the -- some of the highlights and perhaps lowlights, ahead.


COOPER: At this time tomorrow night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be in the thick of their final debate here in Las Vegas and in living rooms, bars around the country, drinking games will be in full swing. Tonight, anything is still possible. Either candidate could make a misstep or pull off a check mate. With that in mind, a look back at the first two debates and the lessons they may hold. Here's Phil Mattingly.



TRUMP: I will say this about Hillary. She doesn't quit. She doesn't give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She's a fighter.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted and I think that says a lot about Donald.

MATTINGLY: And the low points.

CLINTON: Look, it's just not true, and, so, please ...

TRUMP: Oh, you didn't delete them?

COOPER: Allow her to respond, please.

CLINTON: Personal e-mails, not official ...

TRUMP: 33,000?

CLINTON: Well, we turned over 35,000.

[21:40:00] TRUMP: Oh, yeah. What about the other 15,000?

COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn't talk while you talked.

CLINTON: Yes, that's true, I didn't.

TRUMP: Because you have nothing to say.

MATTINGLY: So what are the lessons of the first two debates? Clinton advisers described the first debate as ideal, an opportunity for Clinton to showcase her preparation. CLINTON: I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.

MATTINGLY: And also for her to set this trap for Trump.

CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping, because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name ...

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

MATTINGLY: For Trump, it was an uneven performance. There were moments where Trump hit on the exact message that GOP leaders want him to hammer.

TRUMP: And now, you want to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it. Then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is, and you said, I can't win that debate. But you know that if you did win, you would approve that, and that will be almost as bad as NAFTA. Nothing will ever top NAFTA.

CLINTON: Well, that is just not accurate. I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out. I wrote about that in ...

TRUMP: You called it the gold standard.

CLINTON: Well, I ...

TRUMP: You called it the gold standard of trade deals. You said it's the finest deal you've ever seen.

MATTINGLY: And others where it appeared he'd lost control.

CLINTON: Well, I hope the fact checkers are turning up the volume and really working hard. Donald supported the invasion of Iraq ...

TRUMP: Wrong.

CLINTON: That is absolutely proved ...

TRUMP: Wrong.

CLINTON: ... over and over again.

TRUMP: Wrong.

MATTINGLY: But Trump advisers point to the second debate, the town hall format, as an unquestioned victory for Trump, despite polling that showed otherwise.

There was this off-the-cuff zinger that landed. TRUMP: I think I should respond, because -- so ridiculous. Look, now she's blaming -- she got caught in a total lie. Her papers went out to all her friends at the banks, Goldman Sachs and everybody else. And she said things, WikiLeaks, that just came out. And she lied. Now she's blaming the lie on the late, great, Abraham Lincoln. That's one that I haven't -- OK, Honest Abe. Honest Abe never lied. That's the good thing. That's the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you. That's a big, big difference we're talking about. Some difference.

MATTINGLY: It was according to one senior Trump adviser, a demonstration of a more focused and more prepared Trump. Something the campaign is seeking to replicate Wednesday night here in Las Vegas. As to any pre-game theatrics, one Trump adviser told CNN, stay tuned.

CLINTON: I have a feeling that by the end of this evening, I'm going to be blaming for everything that's ever happened.

TRUMP: Why not?

CLINTON: Why not? Yeah. Why not?

MATTINGLY: Phil Mattingly, CNN, Las Vegas.


COOPER: A lot to discuss. Joining us again, CNN senior political reporter, Nia-Malika Henderson, and CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Gloria, I mean, looking ahead to tomorrow, what do you think?

BORGER: I think ...

COOPER: What are you expecting?

BORGER: Fireworks. And I think Hillary Clinton, in a way, has a tougher job than Donald Trump tomorrow night because she has to come up with a better explanation for the e-mails. She has to continue to show that she has the temperament to be president. And she has to kind of attack at the same time and take down Donald Trump. It's not easy.

And I think Donald Trump, on the other hand, just kind of has to prove that he can be in the Oval Office -- that people have to see him as somebody who can occupy the Oval Office. He hasn't gotten there yet.

COOPER: Not the people who already see him in that way ...

BORGER: Exactly. Broaden it ...

COOPER: ... undecided people ...

HENDERSON: It's really moderates, right? I mean, it's independent voters. It's college-educated voters of both races. It's older voters. These are all of the voters that Hillary Clinton is over performing among. And Donald Trump is underperforming relative to Mitt Romney. And I think you're right. He's got to make those people believe that he has the temperament. 60 percent of voters in these last polls -- and that's been pretty consistent, don't think he has the right temperament. So he's got to figure that out.

I think he's got to not talk so much about himself and how great he is. He's got to talk about voters. He also has to talk about the economy. That is his strong suit. If you saw that last debate, the first debate, when he was talking about TPP, when he was talking about trade deals, that really worked for him.

I also think stylistically, he has been horrible. He's got to really figure out a way to improve, and know that this is a television performance.

BORGER: Right.

HENDERSON: He's always lost on those two shots. He seemed to be stalking her in that second debate. And SNL did a pretty good parody of it. So he's got to figure that out, too.

[21:50:01] COOPER: The question -- I mean, during the first debate, she, you know, baited him. I think, arguably, very successfully. He sort of went down a lot of rabbit holes to chasing what she had thrown out there. We saw less of that in the second debate. He seemed much more sort of on the attack, prosecuting the case. Do you think she attempts to do that again, or was that like a one trick that you can't repeat?

BORGER: She might. I think President Obama did it when he said stop whining about the rigged election. I think that was kind of poking the bear a little bit.

If he raises the rigged election issue, which I anticipate he probably will, it's an odd closing argument if you ask me, but if he raises it, I think she'll probably poke him the same way and said -- will say, stop whining about the election before a vote is cast. So I do think, because he's such an easy target that way, and he can't resist, it would be now practice if she didn't try and poke him a few more times though.

HENDERSON: Yeah, and do it in a way that seems authentic and not in a way that seems like she's just reciting a cam (ph) line, she's obviously been practicing a lot, but a lot of those lines she go ...

COOPER: Trumped up trickle down.


HENDERSON: Just roll off the tongue.

COOPER: Gave it like two tries and finally ...

HENDERSON: I don't want to hear that again. And hopefully we won't hear about Abraham Lincoln again. That seemed to be a line that worked better for Donald Trump and not so much for her.

BORGER: Right.

HENDERSON: And she's also got to say, why should she be president? I mean she's very likely to win this campaign. What is America going to look like under a Hillary Clinton presidency? Can she bring folks together?

So she's got -- I think you're right, she's got a lot of work to do, primarily because WikiLeaks, she hasn't answered to any of this stuff because she's been practicing.

BORGER: You know, it's always a good idea to try and make a positive case for yourself when you're running for president, but we haven't seen a lot of that. And maybe we'll see it tomorrow night.

COOPER: It's so old fashioned, Gloria.

BORGER: Sorry.

COOPER: Gloria Borger and Nia-Malika Henderson, thanks. It's going to be a fascinating night tomorrow night.

Just ahead, in the key battleground state of Florida, the fallout from the sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump that he completely denies. Are Evangelical women going to stand by Donald Trump or has their faith in him been shaken? We'll take a look at that, ahead.


[21:50:51] COOPER: 21 days to go. The Trump campaign is set to out spend the Clinton campaign on television ads this week for the first time in the general election. Florida, of course, is a big target of bad buyers to both campaigns.

Now, in the latest Quinnipiac Poll, Clinton is leading Trump by four points in the crucial battleground state, 48 to 44 percent in a four- way match-up. Clinton's gains come mostly from independents. Florida is obviously seen as a must-win state for Trump. Evangelicals could be crucial for him, but for some, the sexual assault accusations now facing Trump have tested the result. Randi Kaye tonight reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Six Evangelical Christian women torn about who to vote for, for president.

When all of you vote, does faith come first?





KAYE: So, Cheryse, what is your moral dilemma right now?

CHERYSE SANTOS, UNDECIDED VOTER: My moral dilemma is that, as Denise mentioned, I don't know that Trump necessarily aligns 100 percent with my faith.

KAYE: That is the same moral dilemma for nearly everyone in this group. All members of Metro Life Church in Miami.

DENISE ZANUDO, CHRISTIAN VOTER: I just don't feel that Donald Trump represents my values or my party. That's why I'm in this turmoil because I can't support Trump.

KAYE: She can't support Trump, she says, especially after that "Access Hollywood" tape was leaked. On it, Trump said he kissed and groped women without invitation and got away with it because he's a star.

How did you feel when you heard that audiotape that was leaked?

ZANUDO: I was disgusted. I was absolutely disgusted. The men in my life don't speak like that. So to me that's not normal. It's not OK.

KAYE: It's not OK for this woman either.

SANTOS: My religion, my religious beliefs have me more inclined to lean towards Trump. I was shaken by what I heard.

SABRINA HOSELL, FIRST TIME VOTER: As Christians we do have to respond with grace and with love and with forgiving manner but that doesn't mean that we have to dismiss the things that we have seen.

KAYE: Almost all of these women have doubts about the timing of Trump's accusers who say that he groped them. But the leaked tape is different. That was Trump in his own words still three of the women here say they will vote for Trump. One reason the others are still even considering it is because Trump apologized for what he said.

ASHLEY VERDUGO, TORN BUT VOTING TRUMP: I don't think any women can sit here and say, yeah, men talk like that, we should excuse it. It's disgusting, but it's so disgusting that he not only apologized on video, he apologized in the debate.

KAYE: How does it feel to vote for a candidate who you've heard say things or you've seen do things that don't lineup with your faith?

VERDUGO: I do not have to agree with him on everything he says in order for me to know that I think he would be a better president than Hillary.

CINDY ZORRILLA, VOTING FOR TRUMP: And we've never heard any type of apology from her. What kind of a president would she be if she would just continue not having any type of accountability, yet have more authority given to her? KAYE: Part of your faith includes forgiveness, right?


KAYE: That's a big part of it. So, it sounds like you would like to be able to forgive him and really vote your faith?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, definitely..


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I also believe that everyone deserves grace and forgiveness and I do, you know, from what I've heard, it's been several years ago.

KAYE: Part of the reason they want to forgive him is because they believe Trump may be their best hope for the Supreme Court.

VERDUGO: Trump or Hillary will be there for two terms and that's it. Supreme Court justices are there for almost for life.

KAYE: If Donald Trump is elected president, how will you feel when you wake up on November 9th?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cautious. I'm going to pray a lot.

KAYE: One word?


KAYE: Anxious.





COOPER: And Randy joins me now from Miami. It does seem like these women are really struggling with their decision. It's a very hard call for them.

KAYE: Absolutely, Anderson. What they're really praying for is some clarity here. I mean, even though they believe that the next president is God's will, one woman told me tonight that she is so torn up about this that she'll probably stay home on Election Day.

[21:54:58] And, Anderson, this was going on long before the accusers came forward, long before the "Access Hollywood" tape, they've had some issues with Donald Trump over the fact that he's had multiple marriages, that he was once pro-choice, that he has said things about Muslims, wanting to ban them from the country, has also said things about minorities. So that's why they're struggling. And as Christians, they told me today that they are all about love and grace, and responding with that, not aggressiveness, not being nasty. So when Donald Trump gets like that, they say, it really makes them think long and hard about whether or not they could vote for him, and many of them, Anderson, are still trying to square their faith with who they think he represents and they may not decide until Election Day.

COOPER: Randi Kaye. Randi, thanks very much. We'll be right back.


[22:00:06] COOPER: Well, that does it for us. I want to thank all of you for watching, all the students here at UNLV.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.