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Melania Trump Breaks Her Silence; Trump To Supporters: Election Is "Rigged"; Melania Trump Defends Her Husband. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 18, 2016 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:11] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: She's also dismissing Trump's comments on that 2005 "Access Hollywood" video as "boy talk". Here's more of Anderson Cooper's conversation with Melania Trump.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It was ten days ago that "Access Hollywood" released that tape. I'm wondering, when you first saw it, when you first heard it, what did you think?

MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: I said to my husband that the language in inappropriate. It's not acceptable. And I was surprised because that is not the man that I know. And as you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on. It was only a mic. And I wonder if they even knew that the mic was on, because they were kind of boy talk and he was lead on, like egg on from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.

COOPER: You feel the host, Billy Bush, was sort of egging him on?

TRUMP: Yes. Yes.


ROMANS: We're going to bring you much more of Anderson's interview with Melania Trump later on in the program.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump calling for a top State Department official to be fired even though the FBI is denying a quid pro quo arrangement with that official over the declassification of an e-mail on Hillary Clinton's private server. Newly released FBI documents appear to show undersecretary Patrick Kennedy trying to convince FBI officials to declassify the e-mail while offering to look into the agency's request for more personnel overseas. It is unclear whether he offered or he was asked by the FBI, but apparently it was discussed in some way. This has Donald Trump calling for Kennedy's removal.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Newly released FBI documents made public just today reveal just how deep this corruption goes. You saw it. The undersecretary of state, Patrick Kennedy, illegally pressured the FBI to unclassify e-mails from Hillary's illegal server. That's a lot of illegality in that one statement, isn't it? That's just one after another. In other words, the State Department was trying to cover up Hillary's crimes --


BERMAN: All right. Listen to the State Department's response to that request to have Kennedy removed from his post.


MARK TONER, SPOKESMAN, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, that's their prerogative. But I can say that Pat Kennedy is going to remain at his job, and he has the full confidence of the Secretary of State.


BERMAN: Trump claims the FBI documents reveal a criminal act worse than Watergate. Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, downplayed that accusation. He says, it is well known that there are disputes between State Department and other agencies about classifications and they are often a back and forth over what should be classified and what should not be.

ROMANS: OK. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is railing on the campaign trail making unsubstantiated claims about the presidential race being rigged. He is even calling on his supporters to quote, go around and watch polling places to make sure nobody cheats. Trump claims the national polls are rigged too. Here they are. Hillary Clinton, leading by four points in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, nine points in the CBS poll, and double digits in the NBC and Monmouth University polls. We get more this morning from CNN's Sara Murray.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good morning, John and Christine. Last night, as Donald Trump was campaigning in Wisconsin, he and his campaign were set on refocusing on Hillary Clinton. Focusing on her e-mails, casting her as a corrupt politician. The only problem, Donald Trump can't seem to stay on that message. Instead, he once again went after the American election, calling it a rigged system.


D. TRUMP: They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths. And believe me, there's a lot going on. You ever hear these people, they say, there's nothing going on. People that have died 10 years ago are still voting. Illegal immigrants are voting. I mean, where are the street smarts of some of these politicians?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't have any.

D. TRUMP: They don't have any is right.


MURRAY: But it wasn't just Donald Trump's claims of a rigged election. He once again came out and claimed that all of these allegations of sexual misconduct are completely false, completely made up. That comes after Melania Trump spoke to our own Anderson Cooper and said she believes her husband. The fact that they keep talking about it day after day means this story is going to be even tougher for Donald Trump and his family to move beyond. Now, he'll be back on the campaign trail today trying to do just that in Colorado just a day before the third and final presidential debate. Back to you guys.

BERMAN: All right. I want to bring in CNN Political Commentator Lanhee Chen, making his EARLY START debut. He is a campaign wiz, former policy director of Mitt Romney, who ran for president a couple times.

[05:05:03] ROMANS: Welcome.


BERMAN: Thank you for being here. So big interview on CNN last night where Melania Trump sat down with Anderson Cooper and addressed a lot of the accusations against her husband and also the "Access Hollywood" tape that came out that she said she was embarrassed by. Listen to little bit more of what she aid.


M. TRUMP: Well, I see it how the media is portraying. I see how they are reporting and what they want to say and what they don't want to say. They are going, just for example, he makes a speech 45 minutes long. They take a sentence out and they are going on and on about that sentence. Nothing else.


BERMAN: So I guess, we were talking. The basic question we have is, do you think it was a good move to put her out there for this interview, also an interview on Fox, three weeks before the election? Does this shine the light right back on those issues that Trump's been having?

CHEN: I think they did this because they felt they had little choice. I think that there were probably a lot of questions out there about where she was. You know, it is interesting. You think about the spouses of candidates -- usually, they play a very active role in campaigning. You think back to Ann Romney four years ago. You think to Michelle Obama and how she helped Barack Obama. Candidate spouses can be crucially important. Mrs. Trump has basically been out of the spotlight and off the trail since the convention. Now part of it is because of the speech she gave at the convention and the response to that.

BERMAN: Michelle Obama's speech, or parts of it that were taken --

CHEN: Yes, the whole controversy over whether there was plagiarism there. So she's been off the trail. They probably figure they were going to keep her dark. My guess is their plan was to keep her dark for the rest of the campaign. I don't know if that's true or not, but my guess is that's what the plan was. When all of this arose, they probably figured, or they have data to suggest that they needed something to soften Donald Trump's edges a little bit, and that's what I think she does, more or less. ROMANS: Let's talk a little bit about this injecting the voter fraud

angle into the campaign. Because we heard it from Donald Trump very overtly. He says, illegal immigrants are voting. He says, dead people are voting, and they're voting for Democrats. And he says this point blank on the campaign trail, with no evidence to back those claims. And we heard from (ph) Kellyanne Conway, people around the campaign have been raising the question, if not saying there's voter fraud, saying, we should be asking questions about voter fraud. Listen to her yesterday.


KELLYANNE CONWAY: If there is compelling evidence of voter fraud, obviously as early voting goes on --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there hasn't been any evidence of that.

CONWAY: I didn't say that. I said if there is. That certainly we would take action. In the meantime, it is very frustrating every day to just see that we can't get complete coverage of the race. Almost all the coverage is about Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton. I think that's a disservice to the voters who deserve to really see what the choice is, the stark contrast.


ROMANS: So it's -- the media's rigged, and there's voter fraud, and we should be -- how does that play with the GOP base?

CHEN: Well, this is a talking point that traditionally does very well. The problem for the Trump campaign is that Donald Trump is out there talking about voter fraud. The rest of the campaign like Mike Pence is saying, well no, the media is rigging the election. You can't have it both ways. I think what they're trying to do is to say, did we say voter fraud? We didn't say voter fraud. But if voter fraud is out there, I mean, you got to -- this is the classic, well worn political campaign technique. Just sort of float the issue out there and see who nibbles on it. And you know, the problem is that at some point, it gets to the integrity of the election. And I think that's where they've gotten now.

BERMAN: And that's why you see the Republican secretary of state, like (inaudible) in Ohio standing up and saying, stop, stop. Where is the race right now, Lanhee? Because we see these polls, a couple of them that came out yesterday that have it at double digits, between Monmouth and CBS yesterday at nine points and then you have the NBC at 11 points. That is a spread the likes of which we have not seen really since 1996. Is there anything that can change that? Where does the FBI and State Department e-mails factor into that? Is that enough to change the trajectory?

CHEN: Well, even if she's only got a four-point lead, that would translate into a huge win in the electoral college for her. People forget that, these polls are great, but really, the electoral college is what determines the presidency. And Democrats came into this election with an advantage in the electoral college already. When you start with California and New York, as an example, it really narrows the number of states over where there is competition. And so, I think regardless of where the national polling is, I do think she's at an advantage.

Now, the issue with her e-mails and the trustworthiness, the question there becomes, does her base show up to vote? That is the big question. And all of what Donald Trump is doing, yes. It's about firing up the Republican base, but it's also about turning down the volume for the Democrats as well. It's about convincing them not to show up on election day.

BERMAN: Lanhee Chen, making his pearlies start to -- you know, we're going to have you back in the 5:30 half hour.

CHEN: You are impressive people for getting up at this hour.

ROMANS: You know what? The most successful people in the world are watching TV right now. Or they're sleeping.


Thanks so much. Talk to you in a few minutes.

[05:09:59] Donald Trump's tax plan would boost growth and create jobs in the short-term, but then it would have a negative effect on the U.S. economy longer-term. That is the analysis, the brand new analysis by the Wharton School and the Tax Policy Center. By the year 2018, Trump's plan would add a little more than one percent to the GDP. By 2027, his play would shrink GDP by, you can see there, just about half a percentage point, and by 2040, it would cut growth by almost seven percent.

The labor market would see a similar effect. 1.7 million new jobs created, and then nine years later, Trump's tax plan would end up costing the economy about 692,000. By 2040, the labor market would suffer a hit of 11 million jobs.

Now here's the issue that researchers have here with Trump's plan. His tax cuts cost money. And without anything to replace the lost revenue, the government would have to borrow more money. That, in turn, would slow the economy. The Trump campaign rejects these findings. They don't factor in his other economic policies, they say, like his trade policy, they think will explode the economy. We'll tell you what the forecasting models predict for Hillary Clinton's plan later this hour, but they've really come out with some very specific of both of these plans here, three weeks ahead of the election, for voters to understand what exactly is on the table.

BERMAN: Three weeks left. Melania Trump insists her husband was engaging in boy talk on the "Access Hollywood" tape. She said he was egged on by Billy Bush. She said she's accepted his apology. So what was that discussion like? We'll have more on this interview with Anderson Cooper coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [05:15:39] BERMAN: Melania Trump breaking her silence. She says she has forgiven her husband for what he said on that leaked "Access Hollywod" tape, and she says voters should too. She insisted Donald Trump, 59 years old, was egged on by host Billy Bush during that chat. Here's more of the one on one interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: Is that language you had heard him use before?

M. TRUMP: No. No, that's why I was surprised, because I said, like, I don't know that person that would talk that way. And that he would say that kind of stuff in private. I heard many different stuff, boys talk. The boys, the way they talk when they grow up, and they want to sometimes show each other oh, this and that, and talking about the girls. But yes, I was surprised, of course. But I was not surprised that the tape came out. I was not surprised about that.


M. TRUMP: Because as I said, there's many people from the opposite side that they want to damage the campaign. And why now? Why after so many years? Why three weeks before the election?

COOPER: Your husband said that -- he said he apologized to you after the tape and that you accepted the apology. What was that conversation like? Can you talk about it?

M. TRUMP: Well, when we talk in private, we keep it private. And he apologized. I accept his apology. I hope the American people will accept as well. And it was many, many years ago. He's not the man that I know. And as I many times said, and he said it as well, it's very hard, especially for him, when he decided to run for presidency because he did so many stuff in his life. He was on so many tapes, so many shows. And we knew that, that tapes will come out. People will want to go against him. But my husband is real. He's raw. He tells it as it is. He's kind, he's a gentleman. He supports everybody. He supports women. He encourages them to go to the highest level, to achieve the dreams. He employs many, many women. And as you can see, it's also I see now, it's a lot of backlash on the media, the way they treated him.

COOPER: He described it as locker room talk. To you, you sort of alluded to that as well, is that what it is to you? Just locker room talk?

M. TRUMP: Yes. It's kind of, two teenage boys. Actually they should behave better.

COOPER: He was 59.

M. TRUMP: Correct. And sometimes I said, I have two boys at home. I have my young son and I have my husband. So, but I know how some men talk. And that's how I saw it, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: OK. So for the women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct, Melania says she believes her husband. She insists those allegations were orchestrated by the Clinton campaign.

BERMAN: Big year for the city of Cleveland, right. They had the convention there, they won some basketball championship, and now they have a team that's one win away from going to the World Series. Hines Ward with this morning's Bleacher Report, that's next.


[05:23:50] BERMAN: The Cleveland Indians now just one win away from reaching the World Series. This will be their first trip since 1997.

ROMANS: Hines Ward has more this morning for us in THE BLEACHER REPORT. Hi, there.

HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Good morning, guys. How are you? This could be Cleveland's year. The Cavs broke a 52-year championship drought and now the Indians look unstoppable. Indians pitcher, Trevor Bauer, who was supposed to start game two, cut his pinky while playing with a drone during his free time. And in the bottom of the first, the stitches in his pinky, they gave out. He was bleeding all over the place and it got so bad that he had to be taken out of the game.

Now big moment in the top of the sixth inning. Jason Kipnis goes deep to centerfield, giving the Indians the lead. And then check out this play. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Kipnis makes a nice play at second to end the game, the Indians win 4-2, and they're one win away from going to the World Series. You can watch game four later today, 4:00 Eastern, on our sister network, TBS. And also, the Cubs and Dodgers, they get it going on at 8:00. The series, they're all tied up, one game apiece.

[05:24:55] Now blowout on Monday night football. J-E-T-S, look like a M-E-S-S. Cardinals running back, David Johnson ran all over the Jets defense last night. And he had a monster game for fantasy owners, scoring three touchdowns. Now Arizona's defense, they also, they frustrated Ryan Fitzpatrick all night. It got so bad that the Jets put in back up Geno Smith late in the fourth quarter. Things didn't get any better, because he looked pretty bad as well. The Cardinals win the game, 28-3.

And honestly, to me, the most entertaining part of last night was before the game when Cardinals Patrick Peterson lost a bet with his teammates and had to dress up like a T-Rex during warm up. Now, they had a bucket challenge and the loser has to wear an outrageous outfit for the warmup. So this was pretty funny, watching Patrick Peterson have some fun during pregame warmup.

ROMANS: I think he did it with style. If you're going to lose a bet, you have got to go big. You got to go big and just own it. He owns it.

BERMAN: That's the way to be a dinosaur. That is a good dinosaur.

BERMAN: Thanks, Hines. Nice to see you.

All right. Melania Trump finally speaking out, defending her husband against sexual misconduct allegations, and she brushes aside his language on the "Access Hollywood" videotape. Anderson Cooper's one- on-one interview next.