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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Poll: Trump Up in Florida; Clinton Aides in Hacked E-mail: "Clean Up" Server Issue; Gingrich to Megyn Kelly: "You Are Fascinated with Sex"; New Trump Video: "I Always Loved Fighting"; New Pro-Clinton Ad Features Actor James Franco. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired October 26, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:06] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.
It is live event-palooza once again this hour. Hillary Clinton live in Lake Worth, Florida, her second straight day in that battleground state. Donald Trump will be on the right of your screen. He is in Washington opening his new hotel there. That is not Washington County, Florida. For that matter, that's not in Washington, North Carolina or Washington, Pennsylvania. They exist. He's in Washington, D.C.
BERMAN: Which has never voted Republican in the history of ever.
That aside, after days of polling problems, this morning Trump is enjoying a tiny ray of survey sunshine. Brand new Bloomberg poll show shows him up a couple points in the must-win state of Florida. Most recent polls have shown Clinton ahead there. Curious, if he will say this poll is rigged. But we digress.
Let's get to our correspondents. CNN's Jeff Zeleny with the Clinton campaign is in Lake Worth, Florida; and CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, is at the Trump event.
Let's start with you, Dana, with campaign and lodging news.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right here, it's just lodging or, more importantly, business promoting. The truth is that, you're right, this is not an official campaign event. He is going on, in fairness to the campaign, to North Carolina which is very much a swing state. He will have a couple of events there.
So it seems to me the sort of story here, the fact that Donald Trump is at this hotel for its opening or maybe even reopening, because he's done several opening events here, is not so much about where he isn't but the fact that he is using the fact that he has hundreds of cameras, frankly, who are here and people who are following him around because he is the Republican presidential nominee, 13 days before the election, to get, he hopes, he hopes, free media for his property. So this is about promoting. And some of those pretty remarkable audiotapes "The "New York Times" got a hold of, it was in this morning's paper, had Trump himself talking about the fact that he likes to get free media and not pay for advertising. And this is clearly an example of how he hopes to do that.
I should say that because it's not a campaign event unless he issues, if he sticks to what he discusses -- if the subject that he talks about here is only about his property, we are not going to see it live on CNN.
BOLDUAN: That's exactly right, Dana.
Dana, thank you so much.
Let's go to Lake Worth, Florida, where Hillary Clinton will be taking the stage any time now.
CNN's senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, is there and joining us live.
Jeff, see the people gathering. What are we going to hear from Hillary Clinton?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John and Kate, we are in Palm Beach County, Florida, the site of many political moments from presidential campaigns gone by. But Hillary Clinton is trying to drive up Democratic turnout, the Democratic vote, during this early voting period. So you can see behind me, this is what an early voting rally looks like. There are signs that say iwillvote.com. There are other people encouraging voters to go to the poll right now, to bank those votes.
She is not in the persuasion period of her campaign. She's not trying to win over Republicans here. She's trying to encourage and push Democrats to vote. So she will be appearing here in just a short time on her 69th birthday. She spent the night in Miami, went to an Adele concert last night for her birthday, and will be here speaking on her birthday.
But the campaign is also still trying to get beyond the daily drip and distraction of e-mails that are coming out in those hacked e-mails, the WikiLeaks. An interesting series of them yesterday, going back to a different set of e-mails, her private e-mail server that she set up when she was secretary of state.
Let's look at a couple right now. Long-time Clinton friend and adviser Neera Tanden, wrote last March to John Podesta, chairman of the campaign. She wrote, "Why didn't they get stuff like this out 18 months ago. So crazy." Podesta replied, "Unbelievable." She shot back, "They wanted to get away with it." By the "they wanting to get away with it," she is referring to members of Secretary Clinton's internal circle there, Cheryl Mills, long-time chief of staff and adviser and others. This is one sort of flavor here of how concerned and surprised some Clinton supporters and advisers were when they learned about that private e-mail.
This is something that is going to stay with Secretary Clinton long beyond Election Day here. Her advisers don't believe it will affect the outcome but you have to wonder, among the Independent voters who still don't trust her, if it will influence their decision, those Independents so important here in Florida as well as other battleground states -- John and Kate?
BERMAN: Jeff Zeleny for us in Palm Beach County, one time home of the butterfly ballot.
We will go back to Jeff when Hillary Clinton begins that event. We'll keep our eye on it.
BOLDUAN: They like to claim that.
[11:05:13] BERMAN: Exactly. It says it on the sign, home of the butterfly ballot. I'm not sure. Might be too soon.
BERMAN: Joining us to discuss, Kirsten Powers, a CNN political analyst and "USA Today" columnist and former Clinton administration official; Dan Pfeiffer, CNN political commentator, former senior adviser to President Obama; Carl Higbe, a conservative pundit and Donald Trump supporter; and Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor at Time-Warner Cable News.
Let's talk about housing and lodging and hotels opening up in Washington, D.C. That's where Donald Trump is right now. He's opening up that hotel shortly.
Dan Pfeiffer, you take particular umbrage with this travel schedule. You think it's a bad idea. One more time, why?
DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I can't even imagine what the argument in the campaign context would be for how it's a good idea. There's nothing more valuable in a campaign, particularly the last two weeks, than the candidate's time. Hillary Clinton is doing what candidate should be doing, which is in a key battleground state trying to get votes. Donald Trump is in a -- not a state, he's in Washington, D.C. That he's not going to win, advertising his business interests. So it makes no sense in any way. The campaign strategists on both sides of the aisle are shaking their heads at this one.
BOLDUAN: Carl, I don't see you shaking your head. Is this a good idea?
CARL HIGBE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's absolutely a good idea. Guess what? We are sitting here talking about it on CNN. Additionally, this is what Donald Trump's signature accomplishment is, building things. He's there right before the election about to open a hotel that was opened under budget, way ahead of schedule. This is what he has run his entire campaign on is the success of him being able to build stuff like this. So, absolutely, this is totally worth his time.
BERMAN: I will say this. Even if you buy Dan Pfeiffer's argument that a candidate's time is the most valuable resource, it hasn't -- Errol, Donald Trump hasn't been using that time more wisely than Hillary Clinton? He's been doing two, three, four events a day. She's been doing one a day, tops. Today, she has two. Trump's going to North Carolina for two events later today. What's the big whoop? ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: On the other hand, she's got
something like 40 fundraisers planned for the last two weeks. He's essentially ended a lot of in-person fundraising. We will see how that all works out.
I think also, it's important to remember, Donald Trump, any day that he's in Florida is a really good day for him. He just got this good news from the Bloomberg poll that he has a slight lead over Hillary Clinton. He wants to hold on to that lead and extend that lead. This has got to be a distraction. Yes, I'm sure he hopes that everybody in Florida is watching television but there's no -- you know, this is Election Day. In the early voting era, this is Election Day. That's the day you want to tell people go across the street -- you pick strategically where to have the rally and tell people go across the street right now and put those votes in the bank. That's what he ought to be doing.
HIGBE: What about this campaign has ever been conventional?
LOUIS: This is true.
HIGBE: It's working.
LOUIS: Of course, this question about is he in this for the public good or does he have commercial interests that he's never wanted to detach himself for, it's not a great question to have lingering around here because what's he going to talk about today? Is he going to talk about the public good, about ISIS, about --
BERMAN: I expect he will talk about marble fixtures on the walls.
BERMAN: But in North Carolina later today, he will have two events where I think he will talk about voters and Obamacare.
BOLDUAN: That is true.
Hillary Clinton, we should say, as we say, we are waiting, she will be having a rally any moment. She will be taking to the stage. And when she does, here's a question, Kirsten, will she talk about Obamacare? Will she talk about the bad news that came to her because of the bad news coming from Obamacare yesterday? She did not address it before a crowd yesterday. She did talk about it, though, during a radio interview in Florida. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): We are going to make changes to fix problems like that. The president and I have talked about it. And look, this is a major step forward. 20 million people, and actually, I'm sure you know this, predominantly working people, African-American, Latino people now have access to insurance but the costs have gone up too much. We are going to really tackle that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Does that settle it?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think what she just said is exactly right. I think specifically talk about how to fix this problem. You can focus on the positive aspects of Obamacare, which is you do have a lot of people covered who weren't covered before. And, look, what happened was basically more sick people got on to the exchanges than anticipated. They can say we didn't anticipate this, now we have -- the people who aren't getting subsidies who are sort of bearing an extra burden here, and we need to figure out a way to sort of relieve that burden because it's not fair to put that on those people, but overall it's been successful.
Can I just also say about what you are talking about before about Donald Trump, is that it's not only that it's a bad use of his time. I think it's a little bit of a tell. Because the fact that he is now focusing on his business, which really -- I'm sorry, I know he builds things but I think most people probably already know that at this point -- sort of suggests that what he's really trying to do is what a lot of people have accused him of doing all along, which is to build his brand. It seems like he's thinking about post-election more than he's thinking about the current election, and add in that all he does is attack the polls and say the system is rigged. He's acting like a person who thinks he's going to lose.
[11:10:27] BERMAN: Guys, we have some breaking Twitter news right now.
BOLDUAN: Prepare yourselves.
BERMAN: Let me give you a dramatic reading of a tweet by Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, FOX News contributor and current Donald Trump supporter, writes, "For the record, "Megyn Kelly was wrong. I don't have anger management issues. I do have media bias issues."
All right. Why is this news, you ask?
BOLDUAN: Give the back story.
BERMAN: Why is this news, you might ask? Let me play a rather dramatic exchange between former speaker Gingrich and Megyn Kelly that happened overnight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: So it's worth 23 minutes of the three networks to cover that story and Hillary Clinton in a secret speech in Brazil to a bank that pays her $225,000 saying her dreams an open border where 600 million people can come to America, that's not worth covering.
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: That is worth covering. And we did. GINGRICH: Go back to tapes of your show recently, you are fascinated
with sex and you don't care about public policy.
KELLY: Me, really?
GINGRICH: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. Aside from that being very interesting to watch on a somewhat personal level, Kirsten, is there any bigger meaning here? Newt Gingrich may have been Donald Trump's running mate at one point.
POWERS: Look, I think it's interesting because it's consistent with pretty much what we have heard Donald Trump saying which is they don't understand sexual assault. The idea that because Megyn is asking him about allegations against Donald Trump of sexually assaulting women, and then he says you're obsessed with sex, it's like -- it's not about sex. It's about assaulting women. It just shows they still fundamentally don't understand this issue.
BOLDUAN: This is Newt Gingrich speaking to FOX News viewers and saying this. How is this helpful when you see a top surrogate like him saying that?
HIGBE: Look, tensions are high. People have been not sleeping. I know I'm one of them, for like four weeks now and we are coming to the end.
BOLDUAN: You are blaming this on lack of sleep?
HIGBE: No. What I'm saying is Newt Gingrich right here is in a spot where he's sick and tired of the media's bias. When he said sex, I don't know if he was talking about actual -- the act of, or the entire thing of what's going on now with the sexual assault scandals, whether getting debunked as fast as they are coming out. I don't know what he was talking about. But I do know the fact he did point out there is acute media bias in this race. That's what he's annoyed about.
BERMAN: Dan Pfeiffer?
POWERS: They are not getting debunked. I have to say that. They are not getting debunked.
POWERS: They are not getting debunked. They are not getting debunked. It's just not about sex. It's about -- sexual harassment and sexual assault, it's not about sex, it's about abusing women, it's about power. Let's keep that clear, OK?
HIGBE: If it was such a big deal why didn't they come out when it actually happened?
BOLDUAN: We have talked about this, Carl, though, a million times.
POWERS: Because that's not the way it works.
BOLDUAN: This was triggered, these accusers say, from Anderson Cooper's question to Donald about the "Access Hollywood" video. When he said I never did anything described in the video, these women say that's what triggered them and that's what made them come forward, is when they heard this on a presidential debate stage. Just for the record --
HIGBE: That's fine. But I'm pointing out here is two of the women who came out and said this happened, the events they said it happen at never occurred.
BERMAN: I'm not sure that's actually the case. But that's two out of 11. So there's nine more to go, even by your math there.
Dan Pfeiffer, what's interesting, beyond what we have been talking about already about this, is the digital assistant to Donald Trump put out a tweet about this, but Donald Trump hasn't. I'm not praising him for restraint. I'm merely stating a fact that Donald Trump has not weighed in to this Megyn Kelly/Newt Gingrich issue where, in the past, he has not resisted going after Megyn Kelly or tweeting about almost anything.
PFEIFFER: Well, the day is still young, John. We'll see what happens. I don't think Donald Trump has developed late-in-life discipline here. We may hear about this in North Carolina.
I would say it's pretty rich at the Trump campaign is now at a point where they are complaining about media bias at FOX, which did more to promote Trump's candidacy than just about anyone else. These are all signs of a campaign that's losing and knows they are losing.
BOLDUAN: Errol? Your thoughts?
LOUIS: Look, I think it's understandably frustrating for Newt Gingrich and other top surrogates and other members of the campaign that this issue won't go away but the reality is, just in pure television terms, seeing the candidate say these things, these obscenities, these boasts about what he does to women, does not compare with a hacked e-mail that suggests some further reporting may be needed. It's not, in any way, I think biased to say this is what the guy said, these are words out of the candidate's mouth. 11 women came forward and said he's a liar. And I don't know why Gingrich thinks the media is supposed to just drop that and say, well, we don't want to talk about that anymore, especially when the candidate keeps bringing it up as he did at Gettysburg.
[11:15:17] BOLDUAN: We will be talking about WikiLeaks in the show. Do not worry. Newt Gingrich just decided to pop into our Twitter feed so we decided to bring it up. Thanks, guys. Great to see you.
All right. Fear of losing, a love of fighting. New audiotape just released offering new insight into Donald Trump in his own words. That's next. BERMAN: Plus, we have our eye on two events in two different
locations. You are looking at live pictures from a hotel in Washington, D.C., a new Trump property that he's going to open up proudly there.
And also, Hillary Clinton is in Palm Beach County, Florida, for a rally there. Will she address the Obamacare issues? Will she address, frankly, this new feud between Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich? Stay tuned.
[11:20:02] BERMAN: This morning, a revealing new look inside the hopes and fears of Donald Trump, not to mention, what he was like when he was in first grade. New audiotapes released from an extensive 2014 interview with his biographer, Michael D'Antonio. In it, Trump discusses his obsession with media, his celebrity status and his love of all forms of fighting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): I was a very rebellious kind of person. I don't like to talk about it, actually. But I was a very rebellious person. And very set in my ways, and --
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, JOURNALIST & AUTHOR (voice-over): In eighth grade?
TRUMP: I loved to fight. I always loved to fight.
D'ANTONIO: Physical fights?
TRUMP: All kinds of fights.
TRUMP: All types of fights. Any kind of fight, I loved it, including physical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Joining us now is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Michael D'Antonio, the author of "The Truth about Trump," and the man Trump is talking to in the interviews. Also with us, CNN political analyst and Washington bureau correspondent -- Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast," Jackie Kucinich; and Doug Heye, CNN political commentator and former communications director for the RNC; and Carl Higbe, former U.S. Navy SEAL and Trump supporter.
Thanks for being here.
Michael, you interviewed Donald Trump for hours upon hours for this book. This part of it, this -- his like of fighting, all types of fighting, did it stick out to you at the time? What does it tell you? What did it tell you?
D'ANTONIO: He is a very fighty kind of guy. He really likes conflict. What struck me is that he's most comfortable in conflict. That different from many of us, who are conflict-avoidant. I actually think he prefers the action of an aggressive contest with somebody and it does go way back to when he was a little kid.
BERMAN: He's not conflict-avoidant.
Neither apparently is the vice president of the United States, Joe Biden. Thanks to the vice president, and the Republican nominee, we have what I consider to be one of the most absurd back-and-forth exchanges of this entire campaign. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The press always asks me don't I were debating him. No, I wish we were in high school so I could take him behind the gym. That's what I wish.
TRUMP: Did you see where Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn? Me.
He wants -- I would love that. I would love that.
TRUMP: Mr. Tough Guy. You know, he's Mr. Tough Guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: This is too much even for me, Doug.
BOLDUAN: What? That's the line?
BERMAN: This is absurd. Affirm me here. We shouldn't be seeing this from people like Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, of course it's absurd. I'm a big Joe Biden fan, but I don't think this is an example of when they go low, we go high.
BERMAN: We go to the barn, we go to the gym.
HEYE: Also, the Trump attitude he displayed in the comments that were released today remind me a whole lot -- Jackie will remember this -- of the House of Representatives during the shut-down, during some of the fiscal cliffs we dealt with, when I worked there. There's a lot of mentality with a lot of the Republicans in the House and the Senate where they want to fight Obama, fight Hillary Clinton, but what we don't hear, for all their desires to fight, is a strategy to land punches, to win the round and ultimately win the fight. That's why Republicans have the problems they have.
BOLDUAN: Maybe, Jackie, not a win on policy, but maybe that's how you win an election?
JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, no, not really. Even on policy, getting something done, and some of these found themselves in trouble as a result of the shut-down. And you could argue that they suffered for it at the polls. But the Biden/Trump thing, sometimes you get a peek into an alternate universe of what it might have been like if Biden had run and been the nominee. I guess it would have been fisticuffs between two 70-year-old men.
BERMAN: Or what might it have been like in 1958 behind a gym?
BOLDUAN: Let's be honest. They are both standing in front of crowds and this is when they say it.
HIGBE: Historically, the Republican Party has been plagued with non- fighters, despite McCain's veteran status, he was not really a heavy fighter when it came to the debates. When Mitt Romney had the chance to beat Obama to death with the policies that had been failing, he didn't take that shot. Mitt Romney would have been a great president. He was a horrible candidate. But you have Donald Trump fighting hard. And the American public, seeing the war on is, seeing what's going on with the economy, they want a fighter. That's why he's doing the things he is.
KUCINICH: But it's all bluster and no substance. I think that's one of the problems he's having. He hasn't been able to take advantage of what's happening with Obamacare. He put his foot in his mouth. Sometimes just flailing, to Doug's point, doesn't really -- it doesn't really get you anywhere except makes your arms tired.
HEYE: I would say a lot of the rhetoric we have seen isn't just fighting rhetoric. It's ugly rhetoric aimed towards women, towards Muslim Americans, Hispanics. And right now, I think we can add, based on what we saw last night, Newt Gingrich to the 2016 no-dignity all- stars. That's why so man people are looking at Trump surrogates and hearing what Trump is saying and moving away from his campaign.
[11:25:22] BERMAN: We want to hear more of your chat --
BERMAN: We want to hear more of your chat with Donald Trump. In this clip now, he talks about --
BERMAN: And losing.
BOLDUAN: Exactly right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP (voice-over): If you lose a lot, nobody's going to follow you, because you are looked like as a loser. Winning is a very important thing. And the most important aspect of leadership is winning. If you have a record of winning, people are going to follow you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, Michael, he likes to win. We get that point.
Do you think knowing him like you do, that he's entertaining the possibility that he may not win this election?
D'ANTONIO: Oh, I think he is. What he does is he sets a new goal. If he sees defeat on the horizon, he will say I'm not really headed in that direction anymore. So in this case, he is positioning himself for a post-defeat reality, which will be his TV network. I actually think he's thinking about Donald Jr as a candidate in future elections. He has real ambitions. And Donald is nothing but an attentive father with his adult children. He wants to take care of them.
It's winning, avoiding losing. And the idea of being defeated by a woman is almost unimaginable for him. So he's now trying to craft the excuse for why it was taken from him. That's what the whole rigged election thing is about. He doesn't believe the election is rigged. He doesn't believe there are of falsified votes. He just wants to establish an excuse.
BERMAN: I will say he's talked about rigged elections before. He's got a record about talking about rigged elections four years ago when he wasn't even in it, so.
BOLDUAN: That's right.
D'ANTONIO: But that's the escape hatch mentality. He always has a trap door to fly down and escape defeat. BOLDUAN: Sounds almost like magic.
I want to talk about this, you guys. There is a new super PAC ad, Priorities USA, supporting Hillary Clinton. They just announced a $1 million ad buy, a digital ad buy and you just need to take a look at the ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: The smartest guy in the room is always her. After she opens a can of whoop-ass, she always recycles the can. Her Secret Service code name is Hermione, because she's a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). She's the most interesting woman in the world. I don't always endorse candidates, but when I do, they're extraordinary. Vote wisely, my friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: This is the actual digital ad buy. The Hermione bit -- look at Carl's face right now.
Yes, Carl, that did just happen on TV.
HIGBE: Donald Trump did some crazy things in this election. That tops all of them.
BERMAN: He's never stooped to the James Franco level?
You're saying never gone James Franco.
HIGBE: I literally have an opinion about everything. I have no idea what --
BOLDUAN: John Berman not a fan of James Franco I learned.
BERMAN: Not at all.
BOLDUAN: Let's do this. Let's talk strategy. Will this put them over the top?
HEYE: No, it's funny, we can all have a laugh at it, maybe they should pay some royalties to Joseci's (ph), but it's not going to do anything.
HEYE: Because it doesn't have any substance behind it. It's more celebrity sizzle which is great fun for Hillary's campaign but doesn't have real deliverables.
But also, it's another troubling thing that we saw, starting with Donald Trump. It's another ad where we see bleeping. The language and rhetoric we have seen in this campaign is one thing that turns so many people off on politics and that's unfortunate.
HIGBE: But I think -- I will give them the credit for this, Donald Trump has raised this base of people from unconventional methods and maybe they are just trying to step out -- I don't think it will work.
BERMAN: I agree. I think this is show biz. Donald is a showman. I think this ad is suggesting, well, we can play, too. The time we spend talking about this is time we don't spend talking about e-mails or WikiLeaks. So it's a distraction that might be effective.
HIGBE: Show Biz being effective is Frank Sinatra helping win West Virginia for JFK. It's not James Franco trying to be the most interesting man in the world.
BERMAN: I will say I think you are all underestimating the pineapple express lobby.
BERMAN: Right now --
HIGBE: I haven't seen that. That may be true.
Doug, you are not wasting your time.
BERMAN: Guys, thanks so much.
All right, this. We are going to go out guns blazing. A warning from one Republican as they make a huge investment to try and save their majority.
BERMAN: And the drip, drip, drip continues. New revelations in a new batch of hacked e-mails released about Hillary Clinton's private e- mail servers, and why one adviser said they wanted to get away with it.