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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Bradley Weighs In On Trump's Russia Comments; Police In Riot Gear Move In To Clear Demonstrators; Rep. Chaffetz Flips, Decides He Can Support Trump; Anti-Trump Ad Uses Nuke to Warn Voters. Aired 4:30- 5p ET
Aired October 27, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:30:36] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
You're looking at live pictures from Toledo, Ohio, where Donald Trump will speak momentarily. We just missed the national anthem there. Let's stick with our politics lead and talk to our political panel.
We have with us CNN political director David Chalian and chief political analyst Gloria Borger.
David, you have been reading these WikiLeaks along with the rest of us. What strikes you about them? It seems to me that there are two different spheres in the Clinton world, and if she, in fact -- if these polls are proven correct, this is going to be a big theme in her White House.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: There is no doubt about it, Jake.
Remember at the beginning of the Clinton campaign, one of the big conversations was, is she going to bring in a new guard to help her run this campaign or bring back the same sort of insular world that was around her throughout her White House years into the Senate and into her 2008 presidential campaign. And she did break with a lot of those folks and put other people in charge that had been sort of from Barack Obama's universe, not necessarily these old Clinton hands.
I look at these e-mails and I say, this is exactly one of these narratives that has formed around her, the culture of being a Clinton. And it does not play well for them because, at every turn, you read more information where it looks like, today with Bill Clinton and Doug Band, it looks like just trying to leverage their positions, whether at the Foundation or their position in society, for their own personal gain and that they're not sort of playing by the same rules as everyone else.
I just think that is an impression that had been formed long ago, one they really want to break free from and one that, if she does win the White House, I do think is going to be front and center for quite time for her to show that she can create a different Clinton culture.
TAPPER: And, Gloria, it's not tough to figure out which individuals are enabling some of the behaviors that get the Clintons in trouble.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
TAPPER: And which individuals are trying to fend it off.
BORGER: Right. I think it says something about the Clintons themselves, because, over 30 years in politics, you have a group of people that travel with you throughout. And then, as we see in the campaign, you have a new group of people that's been brought in. And there is a conflict.
Neera Tanden's e-mails to John Podesta asked really legitimate questions, such as, why didn't they get this e-mail stuff -- I am paraphrasing -- out 18 months ago? And her -- her answer was, because they were trying to get away with it.
And so, what we're going to see, if -- should there be a Clinton administration, is a struggle for the heart and mind of Hillary Clinton. And she is going to have to choose, as she did to a great degree during the campaign when she put John Podesta in charge, who has a long-time relationship with Hillary Clinton but -- and with Bill Clinton, but they're going to have to make a decision about whether it's -- it's the old gang or it's the new people that come in and can set her on the sort of straight and narrow here.
I think that this is -- when I read these e-mails, it was kind of, for me -- I don't know about you, Jake -- it was sort of deja vu all over again back from the '90s.
TAPPER: Yes. I mean, I just hope, assuming she wins -- nobody should assume anything these days -- but should she win, I hope she chooses wisely regarding the group of individuals she surrounds herself with.
But let me -- let me turn to the other side of the aisle. And, David, yesterday, Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz reversed himself on his support for Trump. Listen to what he had to say to Don Lemon right after the "Access Hollywood" tape broke three weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: My wife, Julie, and I, we've got a 15- year-old daughter. You think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorse Donald Trump for president when he acts like this? I'm not going to put my good name and reputation and my family behind Donald Trump for president when he acts like this. I just can't do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: And yet, here is what Congressman Chaffetz tweeted yesterday. Quote, "I will not defend nor endorse Donald Trump but I am voting for him. HRC is that bad, Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is bad for the USA."
David, for all practical purposes, there any sort of difference between saying you endorse somebody and you're going to vote for somebody?
CHALIAN: Not for a public figure, Jake.
[16:35:01] I don't understand this. This has been sort of the -- of this election cycle this has been one the weird language games people have been playing. I'll vote for but don't endorse.
If you're a public figure and you're announcing who you're voting for, that's an endorsement. I don't -- I don't see any other way around that.
And I actually think that Jason Chaffetz is probably experiencing -- obviously he has his own political needs that he is trying to take care of here, but also it reflects what we see in the polls more broadly. When Donald Trump is mired in controversy that is dominating the headlines, it's Republicans who tend to flee him, not his die-hard supporters but other Republicans, and then when he stabilizes a little bit, and help to support his number a little bit. And I think we are seeing that play out with someone like Jason Chaffetz.
BORGER: You know, Jake, I was on with Don Lemon that night and I listened to that Jason Chaffetz interview, and he said "I'm out." "I'm out."
And there was no confusion that evening. And clearly, he said he wasn't going to vote for Hillary Clinton, but I think that there is something to be said about these politicians who are acting are saying, I don't -- I'm not going to -- I don't endorse, but I'm not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. People don't want to parse your words. They want to know where you stand.
If you're not -- you know, if you're not supporting Donald Trump, you're not supporting Donald Trump, just say it.
TAPPER: Well, just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in.
Gloria Borger and David Chalian, thank you both.
A new political ad being compared to the controversial "Daisy" ad from 1964. Now, a former presidential candidate is revealed to be the one behind. He'll join me ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: That's more than all the men, women and children living in Columbus, Ohio.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:41:00] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
Staying with politics. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have sparred over who is more
equipped to have control over the thousands of warheads in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. And now, a new pro-Clinton super PAC is taking direct aim at Donald Trump's judgment -- his temperament as commander in chief -- with this ad, which is airing in battleground state Ohio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: One nuclear bomb can kill a million people. That's more than all the men, women and children living in Columbus, Ohio.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: They're hearing a guy running for president of the United States talking of maybe using nuclear weapons. Nobody wants to hear that about America's president.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Then, why are we making them? Why are we making them? Why are we making them? Why are we making them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Joining me now is the man whose super PAC is behind that ad, none other than former New Jersey senator and one-time Democratic presidential candidate, Bill Bradley.
Senator Bradley, thanks so much for being here. Nice to have you.
BILL BRADLEY (D-NJ), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Good to be with you, Jake.
TAPPER: So, Senator, let me just start off with, I mean, this is -- this ad is evoking comparisons to that famous or infamous "Daisy" ad released by Lyndon Johnson's campaign in 1964. As you know, it only aired once. Young girl in a field counting flower petals and then cuts to a nuclear cloud, incredibly controversial. But it's credited with helping to win Lyndon Johnson re-election.
Do you really think that it's fair to say Donald Trump might start a nuclear war?
BRADLEY: Well, I think that we have to ask ourselves who do we trust with our life when we are looking at a presidential candidate. And personally, I think that he doesn't have the experience or the ability to defuse a crisis diplomatically before it reaches the nuclear level. I mean, John Kennedy was able to do that 50 years ago in the Cuban missile crisis. But Donald Trump is not John Kennedy.
And then there is a problem with his personality. I mean, it's erratic, it's undisciplined. He lashes out. I don't think that's the kind of personality that we want to have in charge of nuclear weapons in this country.
I mean, then there is the question of his focus. I mean, you saw all of the debates. I mean, he focuses 40 minutes, maybe an hour, maybe 50 minutes. He didn't even focus an hour and a half. And when you are the president of the United States and you are a nuclear power, you've got to be on focus 24/7, not sometimes. TAPPER: Right. But this isn't the theoretical argument. I mean, you
are suggesting in this ad that you think he could actually cause a nuclear disaster, right? I mean, that's what you think.
BRADLEY: I'm saying that his personality and his absence of experience and his ability leads to the potential for miscalculation, misreading the intent of the enemy, and without -- and not having the leadership skills to defuse a crisis.
TAPPER: Well, let me ask you, because Donald Trump has said that Hillary Clinton might cause World War III, suggesting that that would be with the Russians. You are somebody who has said that we should be trying better as a nation, or leaders should be, to repair our relationship with Russia.
Do you still feel that way, especially given all that's transpired with the WikiLeaks and the information that is coming from Syria in terms of Russia's participation in the bombardment of civilians there?
BRADLEY: Yes. I think it's important to have a dialogue to try to get agreement in areas particularly related to nuclear weapons where we can. On the other hand, the Russian involvement in our democratic election process is, in my view, outrageous, and I think that we simply have to reject that.
And clearly, there is one beneficiary of that, with all the WikiLeaks coming. And I think that that will backfire. And I think ultimately, people are going to say, we want to defend our democracy. The reality is that Donald Trump is taking positions against our democracy.
[16:45:00] I mean, you know, the whole thing with putting Hillary Clinton in jail, not abiding by the results. And today, you saw a group of trump supporters, saying revolution to prevent her from being - from being inaugurated. I mean, Jake, I know we all said the pledge of allegiance to the flag, and it ends with liberty and justice for all. In other words, you're pledging allegiance to American democracy, but Donald Trump is attacking American democracy. And I think that we should have the American people who care about, and they can be republicans and democrats, and independents, it's not just democrats, who can see the danger of a Donald Trump presidency, who understand the strength of American democracy, and know that we can improve it but it needs to be defended, not attacked.
TAPPER: Former senator and famous New York Knick, Dollar Bill Bradley. Thank you so much for your time, sir. Always good to see you.
BRADLEY: Thanks, Jake. Good to see you.
TAPPER: Police in riot gear clashing with protesters. A tense showdown now underway over a controversial pipeline. One of those protesters, actor Mark Ruffalo, joins us next.
[16:50:00] TAPPER: Welcome back. We're back with the "BURIED LEAD." That's what we call stories we don't think are getting enough attention. Plans for a pipeline in North Dakota have been met with passionate protest by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, their supporters and others. Tensions are mounting, just hours ago police in armored vehicles and riot gear started moving in making two dozen arrests, we're told. Authorities say demonstrators had illegally set up roadblocks and trespassed on private property. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is pushing back, they're calling for the Department of Justice to investigate claims of law enforcement abuse. All of these over a $3.7 billion oil pipeline that would cross four states, but cut right through what the tribe claims is sacred Native American land. The developer, Energy Transfer Partners says the project would be an economic boom. An estimated 7.4 billion barrels of oil that could make the U.S. less dependent upon foreign suppliers. But protesters say construction would destroy sacred burial grounds, prayer sites, and could potentially disrupt their water supply.
Joining me now, one of the protesters, actor and activist Mark Ruffalo. Mark, thanks so much for joining us. You spent three days at the protest site this week demonstrating on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. What motivated you to join the protest?
MARK RUFFALO, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: Well, I made relationships with these people during the Climate March here in New York, where 500,000 people from all over the world gathered to stop climate change. And I also got to know some of them while we were making --fighting against hydrofracking" here in New York State. Ultimately, you know, a lot of the work I do has to do with protecting water, and that's what these people are doing there. And so, I was invited by some of the folks I knew there to deliver a solar system to power the camp for the wintertime, Wahela Johns is a - is a Navajo leader who built the solar system and asked me to join her when we went to deliver it.
TAPPER: Interesting. So, the Sioux and other protesters are saying that the law enforcement have been violent. Have you witnessed any violence against the protesters?
RUFFALO: I didn't witness any violence while I was there, but I witnessed and heard the stories from the young people who had witnessed and felt the violence. I met a girl who had her arm broken a few days ago. Many of the protesters had had encounters with the police in their arrests where they were thrown into jail cells naked, they were strip-searched. We had an encounter with the police yesterday. We went to one of the road blocks just to - just to say hello and get - and get a sense of the, you know, the feeling there. And the feeling that the police were sort of emanating, and it was definitely -- there was two police officers with AR-15s with their fingers right next to the trigger, with the black - you know, their dark sunglasses on, very, very aggressive. Now, I spent a day on the camp, in the camp, the forward camp, the one that you're seeing here, where there are people were engaged in prayer. Every single person you see there was trained in peaceful - in peaceful resistance, which means that no one is allowed out in that area unless they've had some sort of peaceful resistance training. The mantra of the place is it's not the police, it's the pipeline that we're - that we're protesting or protecting ourselves against. And they spend basically the entire day doing prayers, chanting. I've never been around so peaceful a stand. It's led by young people. You could see in these photos, the first people who began this whole movement were young people from 10 years old to 17, 18 years old. And the tribal leaders are still taking their lead from them.
TAPPER: So, let me just ask you to play devil's advocate, the developer says it's private land, they went through the proper permitting process, the tribe sued, they had its day in courts, they lost. What do you say to that?
RUFFALO: I'd say that, you know, what we've seen repeatedly happen to these people is they have made one treaty in 1851 - 1861, and ever since then, that treaty has been violated. That land that they're talking about, that easement, is actually treaty land. That's -- that is owned by the Native American people based on the single treaty they made with the United States. That treaty supersedes any laws that the state might make later.
[16:54:52] And so, today, Obama could literally - there's a - could say that we are honoring the 1851 treaty and we are not allowing that easement to be taken as private property. That's basically at the crux of the issue. That easement that they're talking about as private property, based on the 1851 treaty, the standing treaty that these people made with the American government, is Indian land, it's Native American land that belongs to this - to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, and nation.
TAPPER: Mark Ruffalo, you get involved in a lot of environmental causes, but have you been involved with Native American causes before?
RUFFALO: Yes, I stood side by side with my - with my native brothers and sisters here when we're fighting hydrofracking in New York State. The (INAUDIBLE) pipeline is about to move through New York State, and we're also setting up a camp just like this one in the Sioux country. What's significant that people don't know is that this particular issue has brought together 500 tribes from all over the nation. Never in the history of our nation has all of the Native American tribes come together under one issue. And they see this as a very special, historical moment for them.
TAPPER: Thank you so much for your time, Mark. I really appreciate it.
RUFFALO: Let me tell you this, people being really hurt there. I've been on the phone all day with them. It's very scary. And these people are just like us, we can't - we can't forget our humanity in the face of these kinds of things. You have a corporation and a state who's working on behalf of a corporation to hurt our people. They're militarized. The National Guard has been called in. I mean, this is not an emergency. This is not a national emergency. These are peaceful protesters. The state department, the Department of Interior, the DOJ, and President Obama himself has asked them to voluntarily halt any construction until this can be worked out in a peaceful manner. And the governor, Governor Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, if there's blood on anyone's hands, it's on his hands.
TAPPER: All right. Mark Ruffalo, thank you so much. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back.
RUFFALO: All right.