Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Republican Senator Jokes About Bull's-Eye on Clinton; Obama: Paul Ryan Votes for Trump, Kasich Writes in McCain; Trump Camp Reacts to White Nationalist Pro-Trump Robo-call against Evan McMullin; Clinton's Ambition Will be Questioned While in White House; Furious Dems Call on FBI to Release E-mail Details. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired November 1, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:04] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN has obtained audio of Republican Senator Richard Burr, who's locked in a tough re-election battle, joking about putting a bull's-eye on Hillary Clinton. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RICHARD BURR, (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Nothing made me feel any better than I walked into a gun shop, I think yesterday in Oxford. There was a copy of the "Rifleman" on the counter. It's got a picture of Hillary Clinton on front of it. I was a little bit shocked at that, it didn't have a bull's-eye on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now, the Senator is apologizing.
Joining us with new details, CNN senior political reporter, Manu Raju, who broke this story.
Manu, the apology?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah, that is right. Burr is in a very tough re-election, surprisingly so, in this race. He is facing one of the toughest challenges in the country against a little known Democrat, Debra Ross (ph), in a dead heat, a race that can actually determine the next Senate majority. He's really trying to fire up his base and align himself with Donald Trump.
At this private event with volunteers in Wardville, North Carolina, he made those comments you just played, similar to what Donald Trump said on the campaign trail in August, when he said the Second Amendment people should take matters in their own hands. But unlike Trump, Burr is saying sorry, saying the comment was, quote, "inappropriate, and I apologize for that."
At the same meeting, Burr also said, "I'm going to do everything I can to ensure Clinton does not fill that final Supreme Court seat that's vacant now." And he promised at that meeting he would be loyal to Trump.
A lot of his supporters actually praised him for being loyal to Trump. This is a man who is aligning himself and running with Donald Trump when a lot of Republicans are running away from the top of their ticket.
BERMAN: Interesting to see.
Manu Raju, thank you. Great reporting.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Manu.
Let's bring in our panel, Errol Louis, CNN political commentator, political anchor for Time-Warner Cable News; and Margaret Hoover back with us, John Jay LaValle back with us. He did not run away, let the record show.
JOHN JAY LAVALLE, REGIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE: Absolutely not.
BOLDUAN: John --
BERMAN: Standing firm.
BOLDUAN: John, Burr apologized, something we've not heard Trump do in the past when he has, not really joking terms, suggested similar things to what the Senator was joking at. Seeming to suggest there's a bull's-eye on Hillary Clinton. One time, he said her bodyguard should drop all their weapons, let's see what happens to her. Should Burr have apologized?
LAVALLE: First, Donald Trump has apologized.
BOLDUAN: Just a blanket apology. Not anything specific.
LAVALLE: That's right, covering a lot of things.
BOLDUAN: A lot of things.
LAVALLE: As far as Senator Burr, he's a good man. He will be re-elected. He made a joke. You know, it's a, you know, NRA, you know, rifle magazine, and he made a joke. I don't think he was suggesting anything --
BOLDUAN: Why do you think he apologized?
LAVALLE: He's just saying, hey, if it's offensive, I apologize, it was inappropriate, that's it. To make more of that is ridiculous.
What we need to start talking about and what Senator Burr is talking about is putting Americans back to work, making America safer. And this is what the democratic throughout this entire campaign. They've tried to distract everyone with nonissues.
BERMAN: Senator Burr apologized --
BERMAN: Hang on --
LAVALLE: He apologized, it's over --
BERMAN: We were asking you about the fact that Donald Trump has not apologized for that --
LAVALLE: Yes, he has.
BERMAN: The blanket apology is one I'm going to try. I'm sorry. It covered everything.
BOLDUAN: I'm going to tell you, I'm not going to let that one slide.
BERMAN: Not my cup of tea.
Margaret, I want to ask about Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan said today, last week, in early voting Wisconsin, he voted for Donald Trump. John Kasich, governor of Ohio, told us overnight he wrote in "John McCain." Compare and contrast.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Wisconsin's not going to go for Donald Trump. So it was nice for, you know, Paul Ryan to, you know, I guess vote for the guy who he always said he was going to support and he has basically endorsed all along even though he wasn't helping all these candidates. Ohio is a dead heat. Most of the polling shows Trump is within the margin of error, slightly ahead of Clinton. We also all know a ground game can be three to five points. We also know that John Kasich, the governor there, has the power to control a really robust ground game in favor of Donald Trump. Not only has he not done that, not only has he not endorsed, he didn't support him, and then publicized he supported the 2008 nominee. This suggests if Trump doesn't have the ground game, Ohio could be very close. I think Republicans have thought all along, yeah, Trump will probably get Ohio, but then he's got to get other states. Look, maybe he doesn't get Ohio.
BOLDUAN: If he doesn't get Ohio, then that's a problem.
BERMAN: I've talked to a lot of Democrats who think Donald Trump looks way better in Ohio than he does in other states.
HOOVER: A sitting governor of a state not supporting the presidential nominee is, again, one of the historic pieces of this election. BOLDUAN: Paul Ryan, after he said he voted for Donald Trump last
week in early voting, he acknowledged despite being Paul Ryan, the House speaker, the most important elected Republican to come from the state of Wisconsin right now, he had no knowledge that Donald Trump is planning to be in Wisconsin today, except when he found out about it just before his interview on FOX, like moments before.
What's does that tell you, Errol?
[11:35:30] ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It tells you he's probably not going to be at whatever event Donald Trump is holding. It tells you he doesn't want to be anywhere on camera with Donald Trump which I guess has been his position for a few weeks now.
BOLDUAN: And vice versa, it appears. Donald Trump doesn't want to be with him.
LOUIS: Exactly right. Look, this is the schism, the choices, the touch choices that leaders in the Republican Party face. We never really quite knew what the impending civil war was going to look like. It starts to look like this. You have people doing strange things, like Kasich effectively throwing away his vote.
LAVALLE: That is just not accurate. Historically, the speaker of the House travels around the country supporting his members, you know, for re-election or election. That's what they do. They don't foul the presidential candidate around their country --
LAVALLE: He'll be in Suffolk County this week, and he'll be all across this country supporting his members.
BERMAN: He did vote for Trump.
LAVALLE: By the way, Tip O'Neill wasn't running around following the Democrats --
BOLDUAN: I made no assumption he was following him. If Donald Trump is coming to your home state in the last seven days, if you want to Show of force to bring Republicans home, that's all I'm asking.
LAVALLE: As a show of team work, what you do is you cover this country. As the presidential candidate Donald Trump is going to cover those swing states. As the speaker of the House, move around this country to the districts. They're going to be pockets -- why would he be in New York this week? Why, because there are pockets that they want to cover. That's what he's doing. To look at this any other way --
BERMAN: Let me get a little bit more sound here.
BERMAN: In Utah, in Utah, there is this robo-call going around by a guy who says he's a white supremacist and also says he's supporting Donald Trump.
BERMAN: Whatever it is, he also says he's supporting Donald Trump. Let's just listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM JOHNSON, SELF-DECLARED WHITE NATIONALIST & TRUMP SUPPORTER (voice-over): Hello, my name is William Johnson. I'm a farmer and a white nationalist. I make this call against Evan McMullin and in support of Donald Trump. Evan McMullin is an open- borders amnesty supporter. Evan has two mommies. His mother is a lesbian married to another woman. Evan is OK with that. Indeed, Evan supports the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Evan is over 40 years old and is not married and doesn't even have a girlfriend. I believe Evan is a closet homosexual. Don't vote for Evan McMullin. Vote for Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right, we should say this is about $2,000 worth of phone calls which can get you about 190,000 calls --
BOLDUAN: Almost 2,000 calls.
BERMAN: The Trump campaign has denounced this.
Can we just all agree this is a new low?
LAVALLE: Completely ridiculous.
BOLDUAN: Crazy pants, I mean, on fire.
LAVALLE: Completely ridiculous:
HOOVER: Utah's a state that's a very religious conservative state. You would think maybe a low below like this would appeal if it's a strongly religious voter or electorate. Maybe the same way these sort of polarizing wedge issues, social issues may play in the south, you see playing in the south. But Utah's actually different. You'd be surprised. Utah passed a fully comprehensive non- descriptions protection to protect transgenders teachers from loosing their jobs, protects gay people from being kicked out of their housing. Utah's not the religious conservative state that -- it has traditional value against -- towards LGBT people that you might think. So this actually in a way is probably more ill-suited than you would think call to knock Evan McMullin. If anything, it raises his name I.D. across the country.
BERMAN: I'm glad we all agree here.
BOLDUAN: I want to just sit here and kind of marinade in it.
But John Jay, do you have concerns this goes to 200,000 people?
BOLDUAN: And yes the campaign has completely said it's ridiculous.
BOLDUAN: I mean, that --
LAVALLE: No, Donald Trump will have nothing of this. And in anything this is an opportunity to highlight that, that he has been wrongfully accused of these types of things. He'll have nothing to do with this. The campaign has nothing to do with this. This is one individual who's obviously a little off. It's not going to have an effect on the Trump campaign. In fact, how he's handled it is going to be more towards his credibility --
BERMAN: One more piece of sound in here. President Obama went on a talk show, comedy, Samantha Bee show, a comedy host --
BERMAN: He was asked Samantha Bee sort of about the challenges Hillary Clinton will face in the White House if she wins the election because she's a woman. Listen to what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA BEE, COMEDIAN: If and when Hillary is president, what do you think will be the female equivalent of you weren't born in this country?
[11:40:03] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's an interesting question.
BEE: Thank you. I have a lot of those.
OBAMA: I think the equivalent will be she's tired, she's moody, she's being emotional.
BEE: There's just something about her?
OBAMA: There's something about her. When men are ambitious, it's just taken for granted. Well, of
course, they should be ambitious. When women are ambitious, why? That theme I think will continue throughout her presidency. And it's contributed to this notion that somehow she is hiding something.
BEE: What a nasty woman.
BOLDUAN: Errol, interesting comments from the president.
LOUIS: He could have made these comments even before this candidacy. The reality, this has been quietly shadowing Clinton throughout this campaign, that there is a degree of sexism that finds its way into other channels that people sort of criticize her. A lot of what Donald Trump said around the notion that, oh, she's feeble, she stumbles, she needs rest, and all of this sort of stuff, is sort of I think thinly disguised form of sexism. It probably won't end after this election. Although this would be a burden that if Hillary Clinton should win, she'll have to carry, much as President Obama carried a burden of trying to sort of show that as a breakthrough candidate of a kind we've never seen before. He has to hold himself with dignity, demand respect, try to educate the country by his actions. Hillary Clinton will have that. It will be something none of her predecessors, if she becomes president, will ever have to do.
BERMAN: Guys, thanks so much. Always appreciate your presence on set with us. Appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, guys.
BERMAN: We want details and we want them now -- that is essentially what Democrats are saying to the FBI right now, in the wake of the new part of this Hillary Clinton e-mail probe, but will the federal government be able to deliver before the election? That's ahead.
BOLDUAN: Plus, surrender or die, that's the message from the Iraqi government to ISIS fighters holed up in the key city of Mosul. Iraqi forces are preparing to enter the city at any moment. We're going to take you to the front lines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:46:30] ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANGER: It's a total breach of protocol. That's why former attorneys general from Democratic and Republican administrations have said this was a mistake. We were told he was warned by his superiors at the Justice Department not to do this. Now that he has opened the door, now that he has weighed into this election, we're saying let's get all the information out there. Let's get the information out on Hillary Clinton that he supposedly might have. Let's get the information out on Donald Trump. The voters are smart and they can figure this out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That is Hillary Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook. He is talking about is FBI Director James Comey, and what Robby wants is for the FBI to get the information out regarding the search of e- mails that may be connected to Hillary Clinton.
BOLDUAN: Joining us to discuss, former FBI special agent, who served as chief of staff for the FBI's New York office, James Gagliano.
James, great to see you. Thanks for coming in.
JAMES GAGLIANO, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT & CHIEF OF STAFF, FBI NEW YORK OFFICE: Great to see you guys again.
BOLDUAN: They've got agents investigating. They've got work ahead of them, needless to say. They've got hundreds of thousands of e-mails. They've got a warrant now for the computer to search it as it relates to possibly a review of Hillary Clinton's situation. What are they doing right now? How fast cam they work?
GAGLIANO: First of all, Kate, every case, every individual case, has its own tempo. There's just no way to speed things up. There's no way to slow things down. I know we're hurdling towards an election, less than a week. But the FBI director's calculus, the individual agents, have to be hyper focused on the evidence in front of them.
BERMAN: All those lines, I'm curious what conditions they're working under right now. "The Washington Post" reports that, "The department signaled it now wants the politically charged investigation to follow standard procedures, including strict limit on official comments about the probe and a provision of updates to Congress through routine channels."
Now they want that? I mean, can you un-ring the bell?
GAGLIANO: I think the issue with Director Comey, first, I served under four FBI directors. Two appointed by Democrats, two appointed by integrity is unimpeachable. He was caught in a quandary here with the election coming up. You understand there's a lot of partisan effect going on where he's lauded by one side, crucified by the other, now the script has flipped. I believe the reason he came forward with that recent letter to Congress last week was because he had given testimony, I think some five hours to it, to the Judiciary Committee. And I think he felt like after answering questions about, would you return and tell Congress if anything further develops, I think he was compelled to do that.
BOLDUAN: A lot of this is we don't what's in there. They don't know what's in there. But you think there must have -- must have seen something in these e-mail also related to Clinton? Do they have to see something, do you think, without knowing --
GAGLIANO: Kate, great question. I think what they initially got was the metadata. They knew there were e-mails coming from particular servers into that particular computer or device or the cloud that dumped it into the device. I think from there they saw a massive trove of them. Whether or not they saw something that the FBI director said, quote/unquote, "that was significant or not," I can't say. It would be speculation. I just don't think it would be this likely he would come out right now and say the investigation had been reopened unless they had something.
BERMAN: Of course, we don't know exactly. That's what he's not saying.
We do know FBI Director James Comey met with Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, today or yesterday. The point is -- they talked Monday, I should say, we just found that out. So how do you think that meeting went, given what we learned about the fact that Justice Department officials did.
[11:50:06] GAGLIANO: John, I think the FBI director was put in an incredibly un-tenuous position. Once that meeting between the former president and the attorney general took place, the attorney general, in my estimation, did the right thing by recusing herself. It thrust Director Comey into a position of saying I've got to do something, as everybody said, that is unprecedented. I'll go out and speak to an investigation that we're not going to press for this to go forward to trial. I've got to go forward and give the American people something because of the election looming.
BERMAN: Now he's the target of Democrats. Hillary Clinton campaign going hard on him. Robby Mook, the campaign manager, this morning said we didn't cause this problem. James Comey opened this door. It's now up to Comey to explain it. Is Mook wrong?
GAGLIANO: I would argue there's a reason why FBI directors have a 10-year term, establish by Congress after Director Hoover passed away in 1972. They wanted the director to have an apolitical position that could survive two terms of any presidency. I don't believe what the director did was wrong. I think the rank-and-file FBI agents are the ones that know the investigation was conducted without a finger on its scale, which has been put out there. I think they're behind this director. He's the most communicative director we've ever had.
BERMAN: James, great to have you with us. Thank for helping us she light on this.
BOLDUAN: Thank you very much.
GAGLIANO: Thank you. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: New information just in about Huma Abedin, the Hillary Clinton aide at the center of this new development regarding the FBI's review. She's missing on the trail three days and one of Hillary Clinton's closest allies. You often see her in every picture Hillary Clinton would take. Where is she today? That's next.
[11:55:37] BOLDUAN: And this just in, Hillary Clinton's closest aide, one of her closest aides, Huma Abedin, does not appear to be on the trail again with the presidential candidate, making four day now since the news broke. Of course the FBI reviewing e-mails found on the computer of Anthony Weiner, Abedin's estranged husband.
BERMAN: Plus, we're keeping an eye on Pennsylvania, King of Prussia. Is that Mike Pence on the stage? Yep. Donald Trump's running mate warming up the crowd. We're expecting to hear from Donald Trump shortly. Stick around. We'll bring it to you. Just seven days left to go.