Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Clinton Lead Shrinks in New National Polling; Trump Speaking Tonight in Swing State North Carolina; Stolen Emails Detail Distress In Clinton Campaign; Gingrich, Kelly Spar Over Trump Assault Allegations; Gingrich To Kelly: "You Are Fascinated With Sex". Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 26, 2016 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:14] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Another big night ahead, including never before heard interviews, Donald Trump's kids telling a biographer about the father they know, including their take on some of his most controversial statements.

But, first, with the Trump underway in North Carolina right now, a fresh batch of polling that opens a new window on where the battle for the White House now stands less than two weeks from Election Day. Together, they raise the question, is this election closer than we've been thinking? Or is this one of those days when a few points of random variation just makes it seem that way?

CNN "INSIDE POLITICS" anchor John King joins us to break it down by the numbers.

So, John, new polling tonight. Some significant gains it seems for Trump. What exactly is changing?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is tighter, Anderson. We should not be surprised. Remember the country we have lived in the last 20 years, it should not be a surprise that this race gets tight as it gets to the end.

A new FOX national poll out tonight shows Hillary Clinton up just three points. Let's average that out, as we'd be smart to do, don't focus on just one poll -- when you average out the recent national polls, we have Hillary Clinton with a six point lead. That is still a commanding lead in this race nationally, but it's down from eight or nine just a few days ago because the new national polls show a tighter race.

Now, some of the state polls get more interesting. You say, does Donald Trump have a chance as we have 12 more days of campaigning? Look at these numbers in Florida tonight. Other polls have shown Secretary Clinton ahead in Florida in recent days.

But new Bloomberg poll, Donald Trump up, 45-43. Now, statistically, that's a tie, within the margin of error. But it does seem to indicate some Trump momentum in a state -- he just spent three days there -- in a state he absolutely has to win.

And, Anderson, when you look closer into this Bloomberg poll, it tells you a lot about the challenge for the candidates, heading into these final 12 days of campaigning after tonight. If this issue is about the economy and about changing Washington, look at this, Donald Trump has lopsided edges when voters are asked who is best on those issues. If he can focus on the economy and changing Washington, that gives him standing in the race.

If this is about who has the temperament to be president, who's the role model for our children, who's the best commander in chief -- well, that's Hillary Clinton's wheelhouse, which is why you hear her repeatedly saying Donald Trump is unfit. So, how the candidates frame this election in the final days could go a long way in telling us how tight this gets.

Let's look at battleground New Hampshire. And we skip here, touch Maine instead. Some conflicting advice out of New Hampshire tonight when you look at the polling.

A Monmouth University poll shows some Trump momentum, down to a four- point race. She had been well ahead. But at NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll still shows a nine-point lead. So, we'll keep an eye on New Hampshire, some volatile in the polling there.

One more, Anderson, I want to get to, out in Nevada, Hillary Clinton thought a week ago this state was moving her way. She was about to put it away. But new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" out tonight shows a tie, 43 percent to 43 percent.

So, if you look at Nevada, you look at Florida, you look at the tightening national perspective -- no question, Donald Trump can claim some momentum. How much momentum? We'll filter through that in the next few days.

COOPER: So, do the better numbers give Trump a clear path to 270 electoral both?

KING: Clearer path, yes. Steep path still, dramatically.

Let me go to the other map and show this. I just want to show you this through.

We still have Secretary Clinton with an overwhelming edge when you go state by state. Dark blue, solid Democrats. Light blue, lean Democrat. But we're going to have to look at Nevada and Florida over the next couple of days.

If those numbers are right, we have Nevada leaning blue. What if Donald Trump can take it away? Now, we'll put it back to the tossup first if we do. But I'm going to give it to Donald Trump just for the sake of this map.

If Donald Trump is moving in Nevada and can hold that state, Florida is the most important state for Donald Trump, 29 electoral votes. If that vote tonight is correct, not an outlier, and that's moving his way, let's say Donald Trump gets that.

But here's, Anderson, here is how it gets so hard for Donald Trump. Let's say he has that momentum. He still has to be almost more than perfect, if you will, in the final days. He has to win where he is tonight, North Carolina, can't get it to 270 without it. He has to hold Ohio. That's a tie right now, maybe a slight edge for Trump. He has to hold that.

Even if he does that, wins Nevada, not easy. Wins Florida, not easy. Wins North Carolina, not easy. Wins Ohio, not easy. Even Republicans think in these close races, Clinton will win in the end because of the edge in her ground game.

But let's get them to Trump in this math. Why is Mike Pence in Utah tonight? Because they still have a problem in the ruby red west. Hillary Clinton leads in Arizona, Trump must get that back. He must get this one back. She's leading right now.

Even if he does all that, Anderson, and again, that's a perfect, perfect ten days ahead, he's still behind.

So, even if Trump is perfect, even if Republicans come home, even if he wins the close races, he still has a ways to go. So, is it better for Donald Trump tonight? Yes. Is the hill still very steep? Absolutely.

COOPER: Let me ask you, John, why should anyone believe these polls? I mean, if I'm sitting this at home, for the last couple of days, it seems like the Democrats have been crowing about how big things look, you know, cautiously, but still, they seem very optimistic. Suddenly, new poll numbers come out and the race is all of a sudden tightening.

I mean, how accurate are these things?

KING: Don't believe any one poll. Don't believe any one poll. Average them out. Look for trend lines.

What is happening in these polls, though? Remember, the tightening should not surprise people. Donald Trump cratered after that "Access Hollywood" tape came out.

[20:05:00] A lot of Republicans from Donald Trump. In the days since, a lot of those Republicans have come home. We live in a very evenly divided country. Republicans have come home. So, Donald Trump is back in play.

There is skepticism about the polls but these are professionals. Again, don't believe one. Average them out. Strap in, we got 12 days to go.

COOPER: All right. Strap in. John King, thanks very much.

Donald Trump, as we said, campaigning tonight in North Carolina. He is back in a battleground state, where GOP strategist want him to be after a detour to Washington, where attended a ribbon cutting at his new hotel, in the old Post Office building, just down Pennsylvania Avenue, from the House.

That is where CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash managed to pull him aside for a rare face-to-face interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: First, I want to ask you about your event here. There's a new audio tape of you talking about the fact that you really have relied on your popularity and the fact that people come to your events, and that helps you with free advertising. Is that what this was about?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: No, not at all. This was just under budget, ahead of schedule. That's what this is. Under budget, ahead of schedule.

We built a hotel that is going to be one of the great hotels of the world. Just opened today. It officially opens today, and we built it for less money than was anticipated and we built it ahead of schedule by over a year.

And if the country would do that, we would have a country that would be in much better shape than it's -- you know, highways, they build highways for double and triple the cost, they build hospitals --

BASH: And so, to people who say, you're taking time out of swing states to go do this, you say --

TRUMP: I say the following. You have been covering me for the last -- long time. I did yesterday eight stops and three major speeches, and I've been doing this for weeks straight. I left there for an hour and a half. I'm going to North Carolina right now, then I'm going to Florida, I'm going up to New Hampshire.

For you to ask me that question is actually very insulting, because Hillary Clinton does one stop and then she goes home and sleeps, and yet you'll ask me that question. I think it's a very rude question, to be honest with you.

And what I do is I want to back my children. My children worked very hard, Ivanka in particular. And at the opening of the hotel, I want to back my children. It's very important to me.

So, we had a ribbon cutting, which was very quick, and I stopped in D.C. But the real key to this is, I want the American people to understand that this is under budget, ahead of schedule, and we need that for the United States.

BASH: And just so you know, I've been reporting on the fact that you're going to North Carolina for a couple of stops straight from here. But my next question is, there is a new poll in Florida that has you up a couple of points. Other swing states have you really in the hunt.

Given that, are you prepared to write a check to help yourself get over the finish line, and if so, how big? And I'm talking about advertising.

TRUMP: Let me just tell you that we have -- I'll have over $100 million in the campaign. Hillary Clinton has nothing in the campaign. She's all special interests and donors and they're giving her money, then she will do whatever they tell her to do.

But I will have over $100 million in the campaign, and I'm prepared to go much more than that.

Now, here's the question. New polls are coming out, we're leading Florida, we're doing great in North Carolina, we're doing great in Pennsylvania, we're doing great all over. We're doing really well in New Hampshire, Ohio, as you know, and Iowa, are doing fantastically well.

I'm telling you, CNN doesn't say it, but I think we're going to win.

BASH: So, but to do that, you have a pretty big bank account, you can -- and time is running out. The clock is ticking. Will you write a check --

TRUMP: I've already written a number of them.

BASH: But specifically to get up on the air to combat the ads that you say Hillary Clinton is running against you?

TRUMP: Well, in Florida, she has 50 to 1 against me. Fifty. You were the one that told me that.

BASH: But you have the means to combat that.

TRUMP: Sure I do. But in the meantime, 50 to 1 and I'm leading. How would you like to have spent -- you know, in the old days, you'd get credit if you would spend less money and have victory. That would be a good thing.

Today, they want you to spend money. I'll have over $100 million. I'm willing to spend much more than that if I have to. I'm seeing just great signs.

You know, one of the other things we're seeing in Florida, we're seeing it in other places, the lines going into voting booths, going into voting areas, are unbelievable. I mean, in Florida, yesterday, we passed four of them, the lines were three and four blocks long. Those are not her voters, because her voters have no enthusiasm whatsoever.

BASH: Can you just be specific how much are you willing to put down in order to put up new ads?

TRUMP: No, I will have over $100 million in, I'm willing to invest more than that.

BASH: Like how much?

TRUMP: Don't -- let's go with your next question, Dana. BASH: OK. Well, my last question, because I'm getting the hook over here, is -- in this speech here, you talked about the fact that this is the second best piece of real estate on Pennsylvania Avenue. In 14 days, are you hoping that you're going to be spending after that more time here or down the street?

TRUMP: Well, look, I just hope that -- I built a great company. This is truly a great company. Some of the great assets of the world. Not only in our country but in other countries.

And I predicted Brexit. You were one of the people that asked me about Brexit.

[20:10:00] And I said it's going to happen. I'm not even saying this is Brexit. But I think the result is going to be the same if not more so.

We are going to have I think a tremendous victory. People don't want four more years of Obama. They don't want Hillary with all of the corruption and all of the problems and you see all of these WikiLeaks coming out and they're a disaster.

And when you see John Podesta, who I think is terrible, the way he speaks about her, but that she has bad instincts, John Podesta saying the person he works for has bad instincts, I think it's terrible. But so many other things, even worse than is about her honesty and her dishonesty.

I really think that we're going to have a tremendous victory. And you know what? If I didn't think that, I would say we're going to be fighting hard. Now, we will be fighting hard, but I believe we're winning. I actually think we're winning.

I don't even think it's a question of we're going to try and win. You start looking into the polls, what's happening, and more importantly, starting looking at all the people going to vote and sending in their ballots, we're way ahead on virtually every state, every area. And I think we're going to have a great victory.

BASH: Thank you, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Thank you.

BASH: Thank you for your time, I appreciate it.

TRUMP: Thank you.

BASH: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Dana Bash joins us now.

So, why were you pressing him on whether or not he'll write a check? Explain the significance of that. BASH: It's because I have heard more and more frustration from

Republicans, Anderson, who want Donald Trump to win, who think he can win, that he is sort of fighting with one hand tied behind his back in that as he even admitted to me, he is being sort of outspent or outgunned by Hillary Clinton on the air in these really hard-hitting television ads against him, especially in places like Florida.

So, the complaint among these Republicans is, you know, he has the means to go up with his own ads, hitting her, to have a fair fight. In fact, Anderson, I was told that earlier this month the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, went to him and said, please, Mr. Trump, you've got to get out that bank account and add to -- yes, he's already given tens of millions of dollars, tens of millions, but even give more because it is such a nontraditional campaign that he is running. He's self-financed in the primary, he's been raising money alongside the RNC, but he's sort of in never-never land when it comes to the fundraising mechanism, certainly way different than any modern day Republican or any presidential candidate has had.

So, that is the reason. It is because people think this is doable, it is gettable, but he needs to be fighting a fair fight. And for somebody like Donald Trump, that means put your own money in.

COOPER: All right. Dana Bash -- Dana, thanks.

Let's bring in the panel, Clinton supporters Jonathan Tasini and Karine Jean-Pierre. Jonathan is a political strategist, host of the Working Life podcast. Karine is the national spokesperson for MoveOn.org. Also with us, "New York Times" presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Haberman.

And to my left, Trump supporters, Jeffrey Lord, Scottie Nell Hughes and Corey Lewandowski.

So, Maggie, you heard Donald Trump talking about being willing to put even more money into the race. How much of a difference could that make and do you think he actually would do that?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: With 12 days left, he's talked about a $100 million figure, he's about $60 million, just short of that. So --

COOPER: Sixty million of his own money.

HABERMAN: Of his own money. That would mean another $40 million of his own money in the next 12 days. That's a lot of money that I don't think that's going to happen. He might put in more, I don't think it will reach that amount.

But Dana's reporting is correct. There is a lot of frustration from national Republicans that Trump has not -- he talks about his bank account. He has not put in more of his own money. He has struggled to raise from some of the party's traditional donors who don't like him or don't like his message or who he's criticized.

I don't think it can make much of a difference now. It could have made a difference on television ads and getting to go parity many weeks ago, or on working on the ground game and improving it, or adding additional staff. He has never liked putting in his own money. He did put in a lot more of it than I think people thought he was going to.

COOPER: So, what do you make of those polls? Why do you think they're getting tighter in Florida, for instance?

HABERMAN: I think John is right. I mean, I think that -- among other things, Florida is a tricky state. I mean, President Obama barely won it in 2012. It's important to remember how close it was.

But he's absolutely right, we're in a partisan country. People are looking for a reason to vote either Republican or Democrat.

And you also saw one thing that I think hasn't been talked about much. Clinton started making it more of a partisan race after sort of trying to isolate Trump as not a Republican, he's something different. She's now moved to helping down ballot Democrats, by definition, doing that is going to make the race sort of more partisan and less about wooing independents.

COOPER: Karine, does that worry you that she's focusing on down ballot Democrats?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: No, not at all. If anything, she's being smart. She wants to be able govern if she wins.

COOPER: But is it overconfidence?

JEAN-PIERRE: No, I really don't, because if Democrats coming out, it's good for everybody, right? So, I don't think so at all.

But, look, I mean, just going back to the polls for a second, if you look at the CNN polls averaging the polls after polls, she's up by six, which we've got to remember, the president I think won with less than five percentage points. So, six is -- for a divided, polarized country, six is not a bad number.

[20:15:00] I just want to talk about Florida for a second. I think that poll, the Bloomberg poll, is an outlier. I'll say this and the reason why I'm saying this is because Bloomberg is historically known for bad sampling.

The party ID for Republicans is plus four, which can't be the case, because Florida demographics is changing. African-Americans in that poll is at 12. And it should be between 14 and 15. So I think that poll is questionable.

COOPER: I mean, arguably, whatever happens in Florida, there's still a tough path to 270 for Donald Trump. How -- do you think the Democrats getting overconfident?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I do. I think they've got two problems. One, they've got the enthusiasm gap problem. And two, I think they're -- they've got this overconfidence problem. And the two of those together can be fatal for them.

What Donald Trump is going for him are the issues and he is getting at these issues every day. And through the gift of the gods, he's getting this gift about Obamacare.

And just giving you an example from Pennsylvania. Penn Live is the online version of the "Harrisburg Patriot-News", featured a story, and they've endorsed Hillary Clinton, featured a story saying Obama insurance rates were going up 33 percent and then went through chapter and verse what that went in the local area.

COOPER: And you think that's sinking in.

LORD: Yes, absolutely.

COOPER: All right. We're going to have more from panel in a sec. We've got to take a quick break.

Just ahead, top Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich tangling with Megyn Kelly over Trump's female accusers? Was it an example of, some are saying, of mansplaining and misogyny? What the encounter and the Trump's praise for Gingrich afterwards could be saying to woman voters. Different opinions ahead.

TRUMP: Defer their dreams to another day and another decade, which is really what they mean. Everywhere I go --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: With only some of the polling turning favorable late today for Donald Trump.

[20:20:01] He's in North Carolina, just wrapping it up tonight.

Back now with our panel.

Corey, I mean, it's always fascinating to me because I remember, I don't know -- I feel like it was eight weeks ago, it was all positive polls for Donald Trump. It seemed like he had momentum. Then all of a sudden, it switched. Now, we see polls getting close again.

I mean, should these polls be believed?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think John is right, you have to look at the totality of all the polls to be fair. But I do think that it is unquestionable that Donald Trump needs to win Florida if he has a path to the White House.

COOPER: Right.

LEWANDOWSKI: There's no question about that.

So, what we saw over the last two or three days, he had seven or eight events in Florida, North Carolina today --

COOPER: Do you think him spending time, big events in Florida, that's what's having the impact? Or is it just a natural tightening?

LEWANDOWSKI: It's going to be some of that. I mean, you know, when he gets to a local area and drives that local media coverage, which he does very well, has large rallies, consumes that local media market, that DMA, it's really good for him to get his message out in those areas.

And if you look at some of the places he's been in recently, they've been traditional counties where you have to lock up your vote. It hasn't been Hillsboro County, Florida, which is a bellwether county in the state. But, you know, what we see right there, the recent polls, it's one point race, which means anything can happen.

COOPER: You know, Jonathan, he was getting flack from some for going to the hotel opening. I don't quite understand that. I mean, A, he's able to travel to a lot of different places. It also does, to his point, I mean, you saw him repeat multiple times in that interview, under budget -- you know, on time, under budget. It does sort of reinforce his brand as a -- not a career politician, as a businessman who can do that for the country like he did for his hotel, no?

JONATHAN TASINI, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Actually, the interview, what I got from that, Dana's interview, what I got from that is again, his problem is going to be in the next 13 days is how undisciplined he is. Here he had a chance to talk to the country and he started arguing with Dana about her questions, then talked about Hillary taking a nap.

It does not give the country, viewers, a chance to see somebody talking about the issues that they care about, which I think is number one. Number two, just in terms of Florida, remember, and this is on the CNN website, Democrats are leading dramatically in the early voting. So, 7.3 million Americans have already voted. And aside from Iowa, Democrats are doing far better than they did in 2012, including Florida, where as CNN points out, deeply cut into the traditional Republican advantage in early ballots cast so far.

And the last point I would like to make, what John said about the ground game, we keep forgetting that. In close states, a close election, the ground game the Democrats have is good for at least two or three points in those races.

Hillary Clinton has 80-plus offices in Florida. Donald Trump has nothing. The Democrats have the labor movement in the industrial states, close states. In Nevada, where you have the unions, the casino workers, hotel workers are pulling out people.

And part of that is because of Donald Trump's continuing feud with the Republican establishment. He never put together the ground game. I think that's going to make the difference in the election.

COOPER: Scottie, do you buy that, he just doesn't have the ground game?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, but it depends on what ground game you're talking about. I mean, this shows the difference between the two campaigns. From day one, the Hillary Clinton campaign has a great ground game

built on politician. Donald Trump has not built it on politicians, he's built it on the people.

(CROSSTALK)

JEAN-PIERRE: That's not a ground game.

TASINI: Scottie, 80 offices in Florida is not based on politicians, it's based on thousands of volunteers.

(CROSSTALK)

LEWANDOWSKI: Model years ago is a scam. Have you ever walked into Amazon and bought something? Why? Because you don't get to walk in to more store anymore. This notion that you have to have these stores and these offices --

(CROSSTALK)

LEWANDOWSKI: They have cellphones.

TASINI: It's nonsense.

LEWANDOWSKI: They have phones you can call from home. You can do these things over the internet. You don't need to bring people in to have 80 offices around the state. It's ridiculous. You know why? Running the campaign four and eight years ago.

JEAN-PIERRE: Wait. As someone who worked on the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, that's incredibly insulting what you just said.

TASINI: It's dumb, too.

JEAN-PIERRE: It's just not true. Face-to-face, having a face-to-face program, knocking on doors, talking to voters, actually works.

LEWANDOWSKI: It's not right now.

JEAN-PIERRE: It actually does work.

HUGHES: Trump is leading in Florida.

JEAN-PIERRE: That's one outlier. The last 16 out of 17 polls actually showed Hillary Clinton leading by three to four points in Florida.

And look, it's a battleground state. A battleground state is not a red state. It's not a blue state. It's a purple state. It is going to be close in those states.

TASINI: And the reason Democrats had the lead in the early voting is because of that ground game.

JEAN-PIERRE: Exactly.

TASINI: They knock on doors. Sign people up. Those people go and vote.

(CROSSTALK)

LORD: Why am I seeing hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Trump signs all over -- and one Hillary sign. That's part of the ground game. Where is it?

TASINI: Jeff, OK, how do you explain in the early voting, I'm going to grant you something, let's say the polls are totally wrong, how do you explain that the early voting is overwhelmingly Democratic?

LORD: Why do you assume they're all voting for Hillary?

[20:25:02] TASINI: No, these are Democratic --

LORD: Remember the Reagan Democrats.

TASINI: Now, come on, now we're dealing at the UFO kind of level.

LORD: No, I don't think so.

TASINI: Democratic votes coming out, I'm going to shock you when I say this. Democratic voters who are coming out for early voting are voting for Hillary Clinton.

LORD: You know this.

TASINI: I know this might be a shock.

COOPER: All right.

TASINI: Do you really want to debate that, Jeff?

COOPER: We're going to take a break. We'll debate that during the commercial. A lot more to talk on 360.

We just had new details from the latest trove of stolen Clinton campaign e-mails, including what her staff that you ought about her use of a private e-mail server. Stunning stuff, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: As you know, WikiLeaks has been releasing thousands of hacked e-mails from the Clinton campaign. More than a dozen batches so far. They've been dogging the Clinton campaign everyday for almost a month.

Tonight, there are new details about how key staffers viewed her use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state, plus intriguing if ambiguous references to her head.

CNN's Jim Sciutto has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wow. JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Newly released stolen e-mails show the distress in Hillary Clinton's inner circle the moment the news broke in March 2015. On March 7th, Philippe Reines, one of her longest serving advisers, writing, quote, "There is just no good answer."

[20:30:03] One word per line. Seemingly for emphasis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm particularly honored that she's here ...

SCUITTO: In other stolen e-mails on March 2nd and 3rd, Neera Tanden, a co-chair of Clinton's transition team expressing to campaign manager John Podesta blistering criticism of Clinton's top aides handling of the private server issue. Why didn't they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy. And continuing in a follow-up e-mail, I guess I know the answer. Condon wrote, "They wanted to get away with it."

Condon specifically referenced Cheryl Mills, deputy White House council under Bill Clinton and close aid to Hillary Clinton. This is a Cheryl special. Now you love her but this stuff is like her Achilles heel or kryptonite. She just can't say no to this expletive.

The Clinton campaign has not commented on specific e-mails saying they are stolen and they can't verify their authenticity. The U.S. intelligence community blames the Russian state for the hacks which has solely targeted the Democratic Party.

Several hacked e-mails make reference to Clinton's head. Some in the right wing media are drawing connection to her injury based on those e-mails and questioning if she had fully recovered.

In one September 26th, 2015, John Podesta writes to Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, how bad is her head? Palmieri writes back, don't know. Huma left here about an hour ago. I just pinged again to ask about prep. haven't heard back. Reached by CNN a Clinton campaign official did respond to this e-mail saying, they are clearly about her frame of mind or her mood.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And Jim Sciutto joins us now. So when the Clinton campaign was e-mailing about Clinton's head what was going on in the campaign at the time?

SCUITTO: Well, in that specific instance September 26th, 2015, in that same 24 hour period, AP story broke talking about how the Obama administration had discovered that the Clinton campaign had not released a whole trove of e-mails after the Clinton had said that they had reasonable to make a connection between that story and a campaign advisor asking where her head was on it. There was another exchange related to whether again mentioning her head and I can't believe we're talk about this Anderson but again mentioning her head in relation to whether she had notes on a particular policy issue. Whether she had to follow those notes or just go off script in effect.

You know, listen it's difficult to make a substantive connection between the mention of her head and any specific reference to what her state of mind was or her health was looking at these e-mails frankly doesn't seem to be a lot of there, there.

COOPER: That's a real conversation. Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.

All of this could now for Clinton critics, joining us now CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, and journalist author and CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein, his books include "A Woman In Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton".

Gloria, I mean the words written by Neera Tanden, I guess I know the answer they wanted to get away with it. It does seem to reinforce the narrative, the Republicans have been reiterating for months and Hillary Clinton knew her e-mail server was wrong and when she got caught her aides, you know, when she got caught she tried to conceal it. Her aides wanted to conceal.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: It sure does. And it's a bad story line for her, it continues. And it hasn't seem to move the needle at all Anderson. And maybe it is because it is a little bit at this point, at this late in the game like saying oh there is gambling gong on here in Casablanca. Sure. Of course Hillary Clinton plays by a different set of rules and the people who aren't going vote for her because of the e-mails have already decided to dismiss it.

And so the question is whether more of these revolutions will move the needle more in the future? I kind of tend to doubt it. These issues with Hillary Clinton have been around for a while. Donald Trump has trouble sticking to the script whether is talking about e-mails or talking about ObamaCare premium increases. And so with the different candidate opposing her, it might have made more of a difference but right now I think it's just a little late in the game and this stuff is already baked in.

COOPER: What Carl, I mean one of the other interesting things here there seems -- there was one faction within the Clinton inner circle that wanted more transparency. Wanted her to apologize right away and another faction that wanted her to be hunkered down and try to, you know, weather the storm I guess.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the women who have been around Hillary Clinton for many, many years the so-called Kool-Aid drinkers including Cheryl Mills, they have never wanted any kind of transparency when there has been trouble around Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton. Whereas those who were charged with winning an election like John Podesta they wanted transparency.

Remember her favorability ratings at this time coming out of being Secretary of State were very high. They wanted her to appear transparent and do away with this old narrative of secrecy and hiding things and covering things up.

[20:35:07] And so they were very frustrated by this. Understandably.

COOPER: Well Gloria, I mean your attended also wrote in the e-mails that Hillary Clinton has in her words terrible instincts. How much does that hurt? I mean Donald Trump is certainly seize on that comment in the last few days understandably.

BORGER: Sure. And, you know, the thing about Neera Tanden's e-mails is that they all actually happened to be true. People who have covered Hillary Clinton and Carl you've written a book about it understand and I think she even said to you that she's not a natural politician like her husband was.

She doesn't have the greatest political instincts. She's a policy person, less than a political person. I think if it were up to Hillary, there would be more secrecy than maybe someone like John Podesta would like. She's been in public life for 30 years. We've all watched her. And Neera is kind of I think there just stating the obvious. And you see this infighting between the folks who have been with Hillary Clinton for a very long time who want to protect her as Carl says. And those who are kind of trying to get her elected president this time. And I think if she is elected, I would presume that this kind of stuff could continue.

COOPER: But Carl, I mean the e-mail from Jen Palmieri, she asked Hillary Clinton or she asked about Hillary Clinton saying, "How bad is her head?" We were talk about that with Jim Sciutto. Are people just going to see what they want in that comment? I mean some might think it is a reference to her health. Others will say it's, you know, her frame of mind.

BERNSTEIN: I think on that particular one, the Alt-Right movement, the Breibart's, the Drudges of the world will see it as they want but I don't think it will have much traction as Jim says.

What's so fascinating about the e-mails are, is that they show us who Hillary Clinton really is in a kind of nuanced way. They are an accurate picture of her. Both good and bad. The e-mails released about the speeches for Goldman Sachs for instance, show her how to be or she once said when she was a college student, a mind conservative and a heart liberal. We see how she likes policy. We see how she wants to have things both ways. There's a lot of nuance in these things. It's a pretty good picture of her and at the same time it is not a flattering picture. And if Donald Trump is going win, perhaps the combination of what's in the e-mails in some ways the unflattering stuff along with the excitement generated by new poll numbers and perhaps some other events, then he might have a slight way toward winning. But this is an advantageous thing for him, no question.

COOPER: Yeah, Gloria, thank you. Carl Bernstein as well.

Coming up, Newt Gingrich telling Megyn Kelly last night that she is fascinated with sex. That is exactly what he said. We'll play you the exchange talk about whether Trump and his surrogates are alienating women in general and public women in particular.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:41:57] COOPER: Well Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich went head to head in explosive exchange with Fox News' Megyn Kelly on a program last night. Kelly asked Gingrich about current polling early voting in the battleground states, but the fireworks really flew when she asked about the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Well you want to know why Donald Trump has had a tough time ...

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Is Trump is a sexual predator that is?

GINGRICH: He's not a sexual predator.

(CROSSTALK)

GINGRICH: I'm sick and tired of people like you using language that is inflammatory that's not true.

KELLY: Excuse me Mr. Speaker.

GINGRICH: Donald, Donald ...

KELLY: You have no idea whether it's true or not. What we know is that there are ...

GINGRICH: Neither do you.

KELLY: That's right. And I'm not taking a position on it unlike you.

GINGRICH: Yes you are. When you use the word you took a positions ...

KELLY: So what I say is ...

GINGRICH: ... and I think it's very unfair for you do that Megyn.

KELLY: ... incorrect.

GINGRICH: I think that is exactly the bias people are upset by.

KELLY: I think that your defensiveness on this may speak volumes sir.

GINGRICH: Where you want to go back to the tapes of your show recently. You are fascinated with sex and you don't care about public policy. You know, that's what I get out of watching you tonight.

KELLY: You know what Mr. Speaker, I'm not fascinated by sex. But I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we're getting in the Oval Office. And I think the American voters would like to know.

GINGRICH: And therefore we're going send Bill Clinton back to the east wing because after all you are worried about sexual predator. You want a comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator.

KELLY: We on the "Kelly File" have covered that story as well sir. I will play the poll ...

GINGRICH: I want to hear your words. Bill Clinton sexual predator, I dare you. Say it Bill Clinton sexual predator.

KELLY: Mr. Speaker we covered ...

GINGRICH: Just ...

KELLY: Excuse me sir ...

GINGRICH: That this bar...

KELLY: Excuse me. Excuse me.

GINGRICH: 850,000 on a penalty.

KELLY: Excuse me sir. We on the "Kelly File" have covered the Clinton matter as well. We're going to have to leave it at that. And you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them Mr. Speaker. Thanks for being here.

GINGRICH: And you too. And you too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: At the opening of his hotel today Trump congratulated Gingrich on that interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And by the way, congratulations Newt on last night. That was an amazing interview. That was an amazing.

We don't play games, Newt. Right? We don't play games.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Joining me now a panel there Republican political commentator, Trump supporters, Scottie Nell Hughes, Republican strategist, Ana Navarro who does not support Trump. Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany and also Amanda Carpenter who run op-ed for the "Washington Post" by the way Trump is conducted his campaign and how she believes its affected Republican women.

Amanda, you actually wrote about Newt Gingrich in that "Washington Post". What do you make of that exchange last night?

AMANDA CARPENTER, WASHINGTON POST OP-ED: Well, another example of this unique ability that I think Trump has in bringing out the worst in people. In that clip you saw Newt act condescending. Shake his finger. And Megyn Kelly is particular figure of interest in this political cycle because she of course was the one who was the first to really publicly question Donald Trump about the sexist statements that he has made to women. And they have been hung up about that. They have targeted her again and again, labeled -- Donald Trump used his massive platform to label her a bimbo.

[20:45:01] And then you see Newt Gingrich shake his finger to -- at her saying she's obsessed with something she's clearly not. He is questioning her ability to cover a story. They've been trying to take her down as a journalist many, many times and it just played out spectacularly last night on Fox News.

COOPER: Scottie, I mean for Newt Gingrich to accuse Megyn Kelly as being fascinated by sex. I mean this is the guy who's went on his third marriage. Cheated on his first two wives, and was having an affair when he was impeaching Bill Clinton. Was in -- isn't that right?

HUGHES: Well he is a -- he was -- he is (inaudible) throw stones across word for anyone of us right now. I think what you saw last night was two people very passionate about the positions that they have had, that shows we're 13 days out from this election and that was a conversation I think that's happening at dinner tables across the United States right now.

COOPER: Right, but just I mean again to accused for a male like him with his record on relationships, to accuse Megyn Kelly as being fascinated by sex just seems a particularly ironic.

HUGHES: His main point was a point out media biased and right now what sort journalists ...

COOPER: I didn't hear the word ...

HUGHES: Well he did. He said certain journalists are focusing, look at the stories your focusing on, the time you spend on it, my -- and then look at the stories that actually do matter. Like her pay for play speeches that are happening. That something you know.

And that was the point of that entire interaction. And it was very uncomfortable to watch. It'll be the first to admit it. Those two are probably very good friends up until last night. They'll be friends again but this is a conversation that divide that's happening amongst the Republican Party, and we at least have to -- we at least have to respect that at least the conversation is happening and hopefully it won't be too damaging.

COOPER: Ana?

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You said ironic. I think the word you were looking for is hypocritical.

COOPER: That would be another word.

NAVARRO: Yes, that would be another word. Now let's remember that Newt Gingrich's wife when he was running in 2012 told all of us, told the media. Said it in public, said it to a camera, that Newt Gingrich offered her the choice between an open marriage or a divorce. So maybe, just maybe, just maybe if all of that baggage is on your shoulders, maybe you shouldn't be the surrogate out there wagging your finger and accusing the woman who was reporting on sexual assault but it's also -- let me explain it slowly. Sexual assault and sex are two different things. One is unwanted. One is wanted. So maybe they need to understand that to begin with. But as not conflate sexual assault and sex. And if you are going to get a surrogate to speak on it and wag his finger on national TV, maybe, just maybe go find the pope or somebody that's been on his knees in a chapel for the last 20 years. Not Newt Gingrich.

COOPER: Kayleigh, was it a mistake for Donald Trump to at his event today single out Newt Gingrich talk about the interview last night?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Not in the slightest, because I think we're really misreading this conversation. And I quite frankly think this entire panel discussion is emblematic of America's frustration with what's going on now. We're having conversations right now about Newt Gingrich's sexual indiscretion, about Donald Trump's that feels like the National Enquirer, quite frankly. Voters in every focus group tell us, we want to hear about the issues. So when Newt Gingrich said last night you're obsessed with sex. He is meaning the media. You were obsessed with sex. We want hear about public policy, voters tell us that ...

COOPER: I think he's talking about Megyn Kelly, because he then said I've seen your show ...

MCENANY: Right.

COOPER: ... you know, all you have been covering lately is sex stuff.

MCENANY: As an example of what the mainstream media is doing.

COOPER: Right.

MCENANY: He was ambled (ph) -- when he said ...

COOPER: There is a difference between sex and sexual assault, I mean as Ana pointed out. And what Megyn Kelly is talking about is sexual assault.

MCENANY: What everybody focus group has told us is they don't want to hear what we're talk about right now. They want to hear about public policy.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: What every rating point tells you is that is not true. I mean when that tape of Donald Trump was released it was -- probably it was the most, you know, downloaded most clicked on things, one of the biggest stories of this campaign so far which tells me that it's not a media fascination. It's a public fascination.

MCENANY: And I'm not saying that shouldn't have been covered. It absolutely should have been covered but the degree of coverage when media research centers says we cover that 7/1 over WikiLeaks, which actually affects public policy. If Hillary Clinton has a public and a private position, that affects public policy. That affects ...

COOPER: Amanda, is just about media bias then? CARPENTER: No, I think if there is one issue that Donald Trump has campaigned on deliberately relentlessly is media bias and what played out in that interview is really interesting. And it gets to Donald Trump cheer leading, high fiving Newt Gingrich publicly for taking it to Megyn Kelly.

Listen this is Fox News. This is a friendly place for Newt Gingrich for many, many years. He's a contributor there. They have respected him as an intellectual heavyweight to talk about Republican policies. This is a friendly interview and now they are to the point where they are so in the barricade with themselves that they think Megyn Kelly is out to get them? And you can see why this is hurting his campaign.

Ivanka Trump who's supposed to be appealing to all the independent progressive minded women, she is been so boxed in, that was I follow they said, they can't put her out in the campaign trail, she has done as a surrogate when she campaigns the places like Ohio, we see Dana Bash in the trail, she can't even take questions before an audience because they are so in the hole. The boxed themselves, talked up this thing about media bias so much that they themselves can not talk to anyone else.

[20:50:03] NAVARRO: You have to ask yourself, if Trump's focus group is Trump says that were people want to hear about is policy and agenda, why did he bring it up today some, why did he high five Newt Gingrich for that ridiculous exchange with a woman who Trump talk about her menstrual cycle, 18 months ago? Why are you picking a fight with this conservative darling? Again, if you are calling Fox media biased what are the rest of us?

COOPER: I want to get the Trump surrogates response to that. We're going to take a quick break, we'll continue the conversation in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're back talking about Newt Gingrich's contentious interview with Megyn Kelly at last night in Donald Trump's endorsement of it today. I just want to play his reaction again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: By the way, congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview. That was an amazing. We don't play games, Newt, right? We don't play games.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Let's continue the conversation now with the panel. Scottie, I want to give you an opportunity to respond with the.

HUGHES: No, I'm sure that Megyn appreciates your defense Ana, but to be honest to be I think that she does not consider herself the conservative media darling. In fact she she's always called some prided herself on being an independent on being the journalist. But once again, the segment who ended out being about sex and not exactly about what American female voters wanted to focus on, on why they're supporting Donald Trump or why they're supporting Hillary Clinton.

American voters -- females want to hear right now about immigration, economy, Supreme Court justices.

[20:55:01] COOPER: You don't think character is a major issue for many voters?

HUGHES: For women today, I think American women, they're wanting to say, they're going to decide with their heads. They're going to talk about the issues that affect their pocket books. The once that affect their families. They're going to talk about more on the wallets and their jobs.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And so why is he not doing well among women then.

HUGHES: Well, but because Republicans have traditionally had a problem with women. In the fact that we have this divide this time. I mean maybe it's because we're all united and binding is under Romney, so we're were all kind of, you know, they can go against to all of this together.

But the divide that we have right now, the truth is, those 74 percent of Republicans are backing Donald or saying that they're going to support Donald Trump right now. That's a good number and that includes many females. Because the females are saying I'm not looking to him to teach my children values. To be an example a role model for my child where it comes to how they should treat others and ethics.

I am actually -- my husband, the men in my family, they are two ones they're suppose set the example. I'm looking for a leader of my country that is going to revolve the economy and provide the economy, and protect our families. That's why they're voting for Donald Trump.

COOPER: It is amazing today that people no longer expect the president of the United States to set an example for the country. And I'm not blaming this on Donald Trump, you know, you can make the same argument about Bill Clinton when was in the White House. But I mean it's a that's -- I mean when I was a kid, you grew up ...

NAVARRO: I don't agree that's -- I don't agree with that. I don't think ...

COOPER: Kayleigh?

NAVARRO: ... that's true. I think look, I think that in today's culture, they are certainly, leaders are much more accessible than they once were. We see them in situations we never did because of Twitter, because of Snapchat, because of social media and all that. But I think we absolutely look at the leader of the free world, that the president of the United States, as the first lady, as somebody that permeates through culture into all of our lives and does set an example for children, does set an example for adults, does set an example for foreign leaders, that's an example for all Americans, because the duty, the responsibility, the weight of representing all Americans, there's something that means and requires character.

COOPER: To Scottie, you're saying that's not a pointed ...

HUGHES: Not at this point, no we're $19 trillion in debt. We've seen in deploy -- our military is in a horrible state right now, where we're seeing people without jobs, health care costs going up. I'm sorry I never told my child, yes, professionally it's great to be president. Look up to President Obama. But for some things he's done, I do not see him as a hero.

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: Here's my problem, my problem is that I -- if I think the president is the lowest form of life, if I think he is an orange amoeba, I cannot get on discuss policy. Because I'm stuck down there, at the fact that he's not fit to be president.

HUGHES: But that's your business.

CARPENTER: It's unfortunate the way that Donald Trump has coarsened the political culture in such a dominant way. And I do hope it is temporary. And I do think the conversations that Trump and the male leaders of the party like Newt Gingrich and others have started by supporting him and also being condescending to women at the same time has opened up a new opportunity for conservative women.

I hear conservative women talking about, you know, I've never heard conservative feminism before. But maybe we need to forge a new way. Maybe we need to make the country the effort to call and the men in our party to be chivalrous, to be family man again. But also support us in the workplace and duties and making new modern effort, that's not outdated, that clearly there's some work to be done and I do think it is somewhat generational for the Republican men. You see people like Donald Trump act like this, I never saw my bosses like Ted Cruz, i never saw Marco Rubio act like this. I hope it's generational. I think there is a way forward, but we have to learn the lesson that's we see playing out and tell us every time.

COOPER: Kayleigh you were shaking your head no.

MCENANY: What's so interesting to me here, there has been such an effort to caricature Donald Trump as a male this chauvinist, you know, XYZ, whatever you want to call the media has done a great job in trying to make him that. But I believed in stats, I believed in statistics, I believed in numbers.

So therefore I look at the Fox poll today that just came out. Guess what? Donald Trump is only trailing among women by 8 points among registered voters. That is better than Mitt Romney, that is than John McCain, that is tied with George W. Bush.

So this whole notion that we're marred with women forever, polling does not bear that out. This panel is not representative of the way Republican voters think, because as Scottie pointed out, the same number of Republicans are consolidating around Trump as Democrats around Clinton. There is not of a sexist of Republican women. There is on political panels, there is in the political class in Washington D.C. but the average Republican woman is not represented by this.

COOPER: Amanda?

CARPENTER: And just another extension of the point largely made by the Trump campaign about media bias. They have picked a fight with the media. They have assumed the worst about the so-called main stream media that they have in ...

(CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: Their reaction has been to expect people like Megyn Kelly to be bias for them. That's what Breitbart is all about, they set to be bias ...

MCENANY: Amanda why ...

CARPENTER: ... Breitbart to have an agenda for them. That's not the appropriate reaction if you want to bring unity in the country. It comes from a place of vengeance. And it is very angry and it's ...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: One at a time, one at a time. Let Kayleigh respond.

MCENANY: Amanda, do you know what the approval rating of the mainstream media is right now?

CARPENTER: Why don't you tell me ...

MCENANY: The lowest ...

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: Because I went to Harvard Law School and I believed in numbers and fact.

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: When you look at, I have a law degree from Harvard. I'm not getting any personal ...

[21:00:02] CARPENTER: Did you study there for years?

(CROSSTALK)

MCENANY: For Gallup, the media has the lowest approval rating in recorded history. This ...

CARPENTER: So I'm teaching (ph) what Donald Trump says to forgive does and ...

(CROSSTALK)