Return to Transcripts main page
FBI Releases Files From a 15 Year Old Bill Clinton Investigation; Hillary Goes After a Protester; Both Candidates are Working Hard on the Trail. Aired 4-4:30a ET
Aired November 2, 2016 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[04:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The median salary is now 54 grand. Pay varies depending on distance and employer but that's well above other blue-collar jobs like machine operators and construction workers.
Overall, pay increased 2.8 percent from the year before. We'll see what the government says about wages on Friday when it releases the October jobs report but at least, anecdotally, especially in places trucking. You're starting to hear about wages rising.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: What a long strange, lucrative trip it's been, says the grateful dead.
ROMANS: Well done John Berman.
BERMAN: All right. EARLY START continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior of people who support Donald Trump.
ROMANS: Hillary Clinton on fire last night, lashing out at a protester. We'll show you what set her off.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the biggest scandal since Watergate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Donald Trump, will he stay on message, the last week of this campaign? His staff enthused so far.
ROMANS: A new FBI move drawing something questions, a sudden release of files from the 15-year-old Clinton investigation, with less than a week to go before Election Day. But what's the FBI doing?
Good morning. Welcome to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.
BERMAN: I'm John Berman, it is Wednesday, November 2nd and it's 4:00 a.m. in the east and we are just six days to go until this race is over folks. And if you went to sleep last night, you missed a bunch of stuff. Hillary Clinton she went after a Donald Trump supporter. She went after a protester during an event in Florida in a way that we haven't seen before.
Donald Trump's campaign just hours ago denounced to show support from the KKK's official newspaper. And the FBI put out a statement defending itself after tweeting out documents from a long-closed Clinton investigation. They tweeted themselves from a long dormant twitter account that time it did raise some questions.
ROMANS: All right. With less than a week to go, both candidates were on the trail, deep into the night. And we saw something at the Hillary Clinton event that we have not seen before. At a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, she went right after a protester who called her husband a rapist. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I love this country. I think we already are great. Now, I think we can be greater. And, you know, I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior of people who support Donald Trump. It is time for us to say no, we are not going backwards. We're going forward into a brighter future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. The very passionate Hillary Clinton on the trail last night. She is calling out the cavalry this week. President Obama, Vice President Biden, Former President Clinton. Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, they're all out there on the trail. Crisscrossing the country from Carson City to Kalamazoo, CNN's Jeff Zeleny has the latest from Fort Lauderdale.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Hillary Clinton is heading out west today. She'll be campaign in Las Vegas and Arizona. Part of the plan to expand the battleground map, particularly Arizona, that red state. But I can tell you, she is focused on blue states more than ever she had planned to be.
She was in Florida all day yesterday campaigning across the state at three rallies. Seldom that she had three campaign rallies in one day. Of course Donald Trump often does. But now she knows this race is tired than she had ever expected. At a rally in Sanford, Florida, she allowed just for a moment the possibility this could not turn out her way.
CLINTON: I want to build on the progress that President Obama has made. So, think how you'll feel if there was something you could have done, but didn't on November the 9th. If this doesn't work. Personally, I can't imagine.
ZELENY: For Secretary Clinton is using that as a rallying cry, trying to get her voters to the polls through early voting or at the polls next Tuesday on Election Day. The Clinton campaign now is trying to fortify that blue wall. They're advertising in states they had not planned to, blue states like Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, trying to fortify that as Donald Trump tries to puncture that.
Now, the next six days of this campaign will be so interesting. The Clinton campaign is trying to assess the fallout from the e-mail controversy. She is trying to turn Arizona blue but then she'll be heading back to the east coast hitting some of those blue states again like Pennsylvania and Michigan and Detroit there on Friday. John and Christine, the finish to this election much more interesting than we ever thought it might be.
ROMANS: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much for this morning.
The FBI facing brand new questions about the timing of some of its actions. The bureau released a new set of files related to the Clinton's past. A release that critics are calling inexplicable.
[04:05:04] The heavily reacted documents relate to a 15-year probe of President Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich. Rich was a big derivatives and hedge fund traders whose wife donated to the Clinton Presidential Library and to Hillary Clinton's senate campaign. He was pardoned, I think back in 2001.
And joining us now, CNN Politics Reporter, Eugene Scott. Eugene, why were these documents released now so close to the election?
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well that's certainly what people on the Clinton campaign are asking. This information became public yesterday about 130 pages from the investigation of Mr. Rich. Was -- were tweeted out yesterday from an FBI account that had been dormant for more than a year.
The FBI says that whatever issues existed with that account were fixed Sunday. And that this release was automated. Now, it's worth mentioning that Sunday is also the same day that the Clinton campaign really doubled down on much of its criticism of FBI Director James Comey following his decision to go public with an investigation into a Clinton campaign this past weekend.
BERMAN: Yeah and Democrats and the Clinton team not at all happy about the timing of this release.
SCOTT: Not at all. We saw Brian Fallon tweet yesterday that it was odd and this is after Robby Mook came on CNN earlier today to say that the FBI has a bit of a double standard. They haven't been as public with ongoing investigations of Donald Trump and his dealings with Russia, as well as other concerns.
ROMANS: How is the FBI responding? How is it defending the timing of this release?
SCOTT: Yeah. Well, we have some of the FBI's defense here. The FBI is saying impart, "By law, FOIA materials that have requested three or more times are posted electronically to the FBI's reading room shortly after they are processed." So they're saying this is not abnormal, this is just routine. It just seems to be a bad ...
SCOTT: ... routine to put in place for the Clinton campaign just days before the election. BERMAN: You know, it's routine from the twitter account that hadn't been acting all that routinely ...
BERMAN: ... up until just now which is why it raised some eyebrows. Eugene Scott, great to have you on T.V. with us though we miss you here right next to us.
ROMANS: Come back tomorrow.
SCOTT: I will.
ROMANS: OK. Good.
BERMAN: All right, Donald Trump, he's not coming back with us tomorrow, he's going to Florida. He's got events in Miami, Orlando and Pensacola and his running mate Mike Pence goes to Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.
At a rally in Wisconsin overnight, Trump jumped all over Hillary Clinton's e-mails. He raised a newly released hack from Wikileaks in which Clinton campaign chair John Podesta told and they were "Going to have to dump all those e-mails." Now Trump seems to suggest that Podesta meant erase them. That appears false. The context of what Podesta was writing about in the general Washington speaks, indicate that he meant release the e-mails. When you had document dump it means release. CNN's Jim Acosta has the latest.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine. Donald Trump is showing off a side that we rarely see out on the campaign trail, message discipline. At a rally here in Wisconsin, Trump stayed on the attack on Hillary Clinton's e-mail saga saying she only has herself to blame. He also went after her campaign manager John Podesta whose e-mails were hacked and released by Wikileaks. Here's what he had to say at this rally in Wisconsin.
TRUMP: In a newly released e-mail John Podesta has been caught saying we have to dump all of those e-mails. Can you believe this? That's Wikileaks. And he also said, to me this made a big -- a big statement, John Podesta, I'll tell you what if he worked for me, I would fire him so fast. He is such a nasty guy. He would -- I would fire him like "The Apprentice," John, you're fired.
ACOSTA: And Trump is reminding people here in Wisconsin and a handful of other states that they can actually change their vote if they cast an earlier absentee ballot but it's an option that's rarely ever used by voters. John and Christine.
BERMAN: All right. Jim Acosta, thank you so much. This morning the Trump campaign is denouncing a show of support from the official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan. This is the front page of "The Crusaders". This is the KKK publication. It borrows the Trump campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." And it says the way to achieve that greatness is to become a white Christian republic. And the Trump campaign distance himself from this quickly. They've released a statement saying, "This publication is repulsive and their views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign." You remember the primary as Donald Trump and an interview with Jake Tapper where he did immediately denounce or refuse David Duke former Grand Wizard.
BERMAN: He later did. And now, of course, the Trump campaign much, much quicker to react.
ROMANS: And they moved quickly yesterday to denounce that. What is reported to be from a white nationalist robocall in Utah, the Trump campaign ...
ROMANS: ... also -- they denounced that as well. The financial power of both presidential campaigns playing out on the nation's airwaves. A total of $44 million to be flooding local station and cable channels. It's according to Kantar Media and CMAG they track this stuff.
[04:10:03] The Clinton campaign and her super pacs are spending $25.5million on ads in this final week before the election. Donald Trump's campaign and outside groups they are unloading $18.6 million. These numbers will likely grow. The Trump campaign says it will spend a total of $25 million. The Clinton campaign says it will spend six figures and where they're spending is really key here. Advice for the Clinton campaign, in Colorado, Virginia and Michigan and New Mexico. Clinton has burned through $225 million on TV ads since the primary has ended. Trump has spent a total of $91 million. By the end of this election, the campaigns and all outside groups are forecast to spend more than $500 million on TV ads.
BERMAN: Yeah. Some interesting new ads going out in ...
BERMAN: ... New Mexico and Michigan ...
BERMAN: ... from the Clinton team raising some questions about asset allocations. All right, just a few days ...
ROMANS: Did you just say asset allocation?
BERMAN: Asset allocation, and I did even swear. Listen, George P. Bush, the nephew of Former President George W. Bush, the son of Jeb Bush, the grand son of Former George H.W. Bush.
ROMANS: Oh, that.
BERMAN: That's George P. Bush. Gave some information last time about how who he thinks his uncle, George W. Bush might be voting for. Come back.
[04:15:32] ROMANS: Voters head to the polls in six days, six, six long days. Hillary Clinton goes west today trying to flip Arizona from red to blue and also Nevada. Donald Trump is all about Florida. I want to bring in Senior Media Correspondent, Host of CNN's "Survival" of course it's Brian Stelter and CNN's Politics Reporter Tom LoBianco in Washington.
So we're sitting here on the great. We're very interested in this story that Berman is very interested in which is the story about the Bushes, John.
BERMAN: Can it get your monitoring.
ROMANS: Give us his ...
BERMAN: This is how Dallas Morning news. I know, it's the Dallas news writes it. George P. Bush says he's the only member of this powerful family who will be voting straight ticket Republican. That his grandfather and uncle, both former president could potentially cast ballots for Hillary Clinton.
So George P., you're looking at him right there as the land commissioner. In fact that he's an elected official. He's endorsed Donald Trump. His grandfather George H. W. Bush has indicated he's going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Up until this point, we have no inclination that George W. might. But if George P. is speculating that he might, it's a pretty decent indication. He later told the associated press. He goes, you know, I don't know how they voted. I'm speculating to be honest. I've got to say, you float that out there, Tom LoBianco, it's sort of a big deal.
TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Of the three Bushes what's -- what makes George P. Bush, he's got future in political office. And this is kind of the big dynamic that the Republicans have been struggling with throughout the entire election, which is, can you run from Trump? Can you run from, not just Trump where his comments are and when says this, you know, outrageous things that would get other people in trouble, but his base. And that's why they've struggled so much with this.
That George P. Bush is young. He has a bright future. And he has to find a way to bridge that, W., H.W., they don't have to worry about this anymore.
You know, we saw that with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, another political dynasty. Ironically pulling the lid off of the George H. W. Bush apparently voting for Hillary Clinton a few weeks ago. So, you know, that's the critical dynamic there. That's why George P. can say, yes, Trump.
ROMANS: You know, it is a reminder I think Brian Stelter, that when you go back say to the convention, you did not have the previous nominees. You did not have the previous presidents from that party.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right, right.
ROMANS: You did not have other people who had been running in the primaries against that candidate. I mean it's just a reminder again of how Donald Trump is an absolute outsider.
STELTER: Yes, it isn't just Republicans versus Democrats. It's Trumpism versus whatever the opposite of Trumpism is. And we see that with these sorts of leaders either voting for Clinton or not supporting Trump.
And what stands out to me, and that Donald Trump is ought to make the word "establishment" a dirty word, an ugly word in the past year. But another word for establishment, for a George W. Bush is a leader, a leader that many, many Americans respect. And to hear leaders like George W. Bush not explicitly supporting Trump and maybe supporting Clinton. I mean we'll see what they say base if Trump says anything ...
BERMAN: Well, that's the big deal. I mean there are Republicans, you know, John Kasich wrote and John McCain. There's not voting for Donald Trump...
BERMAN: ... but if W., Former President George W. Bush votes for Hillary Clinton and said so, aloud. I have no reason if you will ...
STELTER: Yeah. We'll see if he said so aloud, right.
BERMAN: ... that's a big deal. Let me bring up something that happened overnight. Jon Stewart was on an event. So the Bob Woodruff charity event, Stand Up for Heroes last night. He went on a whole rift about this election after saying that by the way, he would assumed the election would be over after the "Access Hollywood" tape after Donald Trump admitted to grabbing a woman's genitals and getting away with it. He's got ...
ROMANS: And he did not use the word genitals. It was different word.
BERMAN: He did. He did. Jon Stewart then said this, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART, AMERICAN COMMEDIAN: There's only one way -- I mean honestly you go from Billy Bush, I'm going to grab her in the (inaudible). Anthony Weiner, he's got it locked up. There's only one way this election get in. One way. It's tie. It's a tie. And there's only one vote to be cast and suddenly they cut away. There's a white bronco driving down the freeway. It's on J. oh J is out. He's been a white bronco, and a holy (inaudible). He can't vote, he's a felon. He's never going to vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Brian Stelter, I know you miss his presence.
STELTER: Well, Dr. Alpha Del (ph) he shows somehow he still finds a way once and while to weigh in on this election. You know, there is no Jon Stewart of this year. But so many comedians have gotten so serious this year. Many of them pretty explicitly warning of threat of a Trump presidency. So it's funny to see Stewart weighing in to find that.
ROMANS: Yea. He really left that show, right at a crazy moment.
ROMANS: I don't think how much material he would have. OK. Thank you, guys. We'll talk to you again very, very soon here.
ROMANS: A lot to talk about with six days to go, nice to see you this morning bright and early Tom LoBianco.
[04:20:01] President Obama on the campaign trail with a message for the men of the best you guys -- for the men of America. That's next.
BERMAN: The young boy.
ROMANS: All right. Welcome back. Twenty-four minutes past the hour. Nearly 25 million Americans have already cast ballots in early voting. And there might be signs of trouble for Democrats. There's a drop off in African-American turnout in key battleground states. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina. And North Carolina, early turnout among white voters is up, over 6 percent from 2012. And early voting by African-Americans is down more than 5 percent.
BERMAN: It's interesting.
[04:25:02] The Obama team will tell you, they are turning out more white college-educated voters, though.
ROMANS: Right. In North Carolina.
BERMAN: They hope that makes up the gap in North Carolina. Although I think that trend is concerning to them. As if on cue, President Obama heads to North Carolina and campaign for Hillary Clinton. He has been hitting a new theme on the campaign trail. In Ohio, he challenged men to think about what he considers the double standard that Hillary Clinton faces as a candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: I want every man out there who's voting to kind of look inside yourself and ask yourself if you're having problems with this stuff, how much of it is, you know, that we're just not used to it. So, like, you know, like you know, when a guy's ambitious and out in the public arena working hard, well, that's OK. But when a woman suddenly does it, suddenly you're like, well, why is she doing that? I'm just being honest. I want you to think about it because she is so much better qualified than the other guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So that was Ohio last night. North Carolina today. Tomorrow, for the president, Jacksonville, in Miami, in Florida. They've all counting tere Jacksonville very important for Democrats in that state.
On Friday, the president will campaign somewhere TBD. We're told it's where he will be need most by the Clinton team.
ROMANS: Yeah. Nothing is a coincidence in the next six days. Not any penny spent on the airwaves, not any mile flown on a plane. Not any word spoken in a rally.
All right. One candidate angry and animated. The other sticking to the script. But it's not what you think, role reversal in the race for president. That's ahead on EARLY START.