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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

What Happens If Trump Train Derails?; Final Sprint to Election Day; Melania Trump Takes on Cyber Bullying. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired November 3, 2016 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:07]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Melania Trump today saying that cyber- bullies need to get off the Internet. I mean...

THE LEAD starts right now.

The place that could decide the race, brand-new polls showing every minute counts -- today, why the road to 270 could go through one single state, and both campaigns clearly know it.

With five days to go, the State Department is unloading more than 1,000 Hillary Clinton e-mails as the FBI continues to not give any more information about what might be on Anthony Weiner's computer.

Plus, they are loud, they are proud. Many want Hillary Clinton to be locked up. And they don't, apparently, have a plan B. What happens to all those people on the Trump train if the train gets derailed?

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Is anyone else -- do you have the knots in your stomach? Mine was last night watching an insanely competitive World Series. It went into extra innings. Cubs' fans, Indiana fans, just plain baseball fans across the country on the edge of our seats for 10 innings.

The commercials, they were supposed to offer us something of a breather. Instead, they delivered even more jitters. Why? Well, Hillary Clinton's and Donald Trump's campaigns aired ad after ad asking the nation to imagine dystopian America, one that they don't want.

The candidate commercials painting dark visions. This new ad from the Clinton campaign this morning putting life under Trump in rather stark terms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would look her right in that fat ugly face of hers.

He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured. OK?

You got to see this guy. Oh, I don't know what I said. I don't remember.

A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: These ads are not exactly morning in America, these ads not putting people first, these ads not change we can believe in.

You saw evidence of this more negative tone hours ago in Miami, where President Barack Obama was assailing Donald Trump's -- quote -- "twisted notions," the beliefs that he said would not suddenly change under the pressures of being president.

President Obama openly mocking the Republican nominee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anybody who is upset about a "Saturday Night Live" skit, you don't want in charge of nuclear weapons.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: No, I am serious. This is a guy who, like, tweets they should cancel "Saturday Night Live."

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I don't like how Alec Baldwin's imitating me.

Really? I mean, that's the thing that bothers you, and you want to be president of the United States? Come on, man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: President Obama going after Donald Trump's temperament in that speech in Miami, Florida.

He is in Jacksonville, Florida, right now delivering even more attacks on Mr. Trump.

Now, to hit 270 electoral votes and win the presidency, according to CNN's math, Donald Trump will need to win all six of the states that CNN has labeled tossup states highlighted in yellow, plus five more electoral votes.

Following the candidates today, both Clinton and Trump are putting a ton of attention in one particular battleground state, North Carolina.

CNN political director David Chalian joining me at the magic wall.

David, give us the scenarios. What is the path to 270 if Trump wins North Carolina vs. Clinton's path?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Let's start with what you just said, Jake, which is giving Donald Trump all the remaining battleground states, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and, as you are saying, North Carolina. That still has him short.

Remember, if he could flip a state like New Hampshire and then maybe get that congressional district up in Maine, he might be able to get to 270 that way. But just to show you how important North Carolina is, in that scenario, though, if I gave Hillary Clinton North Carolina, it is the state that can really block Donald Trump.

And take a look at the state of play in North Carolina. As you know, the candidates have been there nonstop since the conventions. Donald Trump has made 10 visit, Hillary Clinton seven visits. And our latest poll of polls in North Carolina shows a slight edge for Hillary Clinton, 46 percent to 42 percent. That's an average of about the last five reputable polls in the state.

TAPPER: Interesting.

And, David, today, we learned that Hillary Clinton is likely going to hold her final rally Monday evening in Philadelphia alongside Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, President Obama, first lady Obama.

Does this signal that the Democrats are worried about Pennsylvania?

CHALIAN: Well, I am not sure that they're worried. But take a look at the state of play in Pennsylvania. We had a poll out there yesterday, shows a 48 percent to 44 percent race, four-point margin.

[16:05:02]

That's closer than the Democrats would like for a state that they really want to keep leaning in their direction. But, Jake, remember, Pennsylvania, unlike Florida or North Carolina or Ohio, where we have seen so much activity, it doesn't really have a tradition of early voting.

So it is not uncommon to see candidates go into Pennsylvania late because they're really trying to affect the Election Day vote on Tuesday.

TAPPER: Also a lot of bang for your buck in Philadelphia. You need to win Philly and the outlying suburbs and you can win the state.

David, Utah is another state that we're keeping a close eye on with independent candidate Evan McMullin getting a significant share of the vote there, according to polls.

CHALIAN: Yes, a brand-new poll from Monmouth University today in Utah. And look at this. Donald Trump is actually hanging onto it now. There was a concern that Evan McMullin, that third-party candidate, that never-Trumper, was surging.

But now new poll, 37 percent, 31 percent for Hillary Clinton. She is even ahead of Evan McMullin. Donald Trump really needs to hang on to those six electoral votes if he's going to have any shot. Right now, it looks like he may be doing that, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, David Chalian, thank you so much. And just into CNN, new voting numbers for early voting, as David was

just talking about, and some insight into exactly who is participating in early voting.

Let's go to CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston.

Mark, how many people have already voted?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, as you said, five days until Election Day now, Jake, and about 31 million people in 38 states across the nation have already cast their ballots.

Let's dig in a little bit on two specific states that are getting a lot of attention from the candidates, as you noted, those states, Florida and North Carolina. Let's first go into Florida right now. A little more than 4.2 million people have already cast ballots in the Sunshine State.

If we go a little bit deeper right now and see who has an edge, well, right now, the Republican Party has an edge by about 16,000 ballots returned up to this point, not a huge lead, but significant, and very significant for this reason alone. If you go back to 2008 right now, Democrats had a 73,000-vote lead at this same time, Jake. Very troubling right now for the Democratic Party.

Let's go a little bit deeper, though, in Florida, and look at some of the demographics of those who are voting at this point. If you look right now, African-Americans account for about 12.3 percent of the electorate, Hispanics about 14 percent. We go back to 2008, as you can see right there, there is a drop-off of about 3 percentage points in black voters right now, not good news for the Democratic Party.

But what is heartening news right now for the Democratic Party is look at this increase right now amongst the Hispanic voters who cast early ballots in 2008 and where they are now. That is about a 336,000- ballot advantage, so good news right there when it comes there, so mixed news all around when you hit Florida.

We go up to the state of North Carolina right now. Who has the advantage in North Carolina? Well, about two million people have already cast their ballots. And we see who is leading right now. And the Democratic Party is leading. At this point, they have about 243,000 ballots more cast than the Republican Party, but not all is great news, because, if we go deeper into that, they had a 307,000- ballot return advantage at the same time, Jake, so, again, not terrific news for the Democratic Party.

We go a little bit deeper and we look at the race demographics right now of what's happening in North Carolina. And look at this. The African-American voters are about 22.7 percent of the electorate, Hispanics about 2 percent, round up a little bit. But look at that drop-off again right now. You're talking about a 5 percent dip right now in participation by African-Americans in the early vote, a little bit of an edge up right now, Jake, when it comes to Hispanic voters, but certainly not enough to offset it.

We will continue to follow North Carolina and Florida in the closing days of this election, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Mark Preston, thank you so much.

Let's go now to CNN political reporter Sara Murray. She's in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. That's in Chester County, outside Philadelphia. It's part of the suburban collar where Pennsylvania is typically won or lost. And it's where Melania Trump spoke publicly on the campaign trail for the first time since the Republican National Convention.

Sara, if Democrats weren't at least a little concerned about Pennsylvania, then one wonders if the president, first lady, Hillary Clinton wouldn't be holding that rally in Philly Monday night. I'm sure that is what the Trump campaign is thinking.

SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, a very prominent rally and designed to do what Hillary Clinton's team is hoping will be to shore up that blue wall.

But the Trump campaign is just not sitting idly by. They're definitely making a play for this state, and as evidenced by Melania Trump being here today, like you said, in those collar counties, trying to win over those critical suburban voters.

And it's rare to see Melania on the trail. This is her first speech since that controversial speech at the Republican Convention in which she plagiarized portions. But today she really laid out her vision for what she wants to be as a first lady if her husband is successful, including trying to combat cyber-bullying. Listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.

[16:10:01]

We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MURRAY: Now, she made no mention of her husband's prolific use of Twitter, for instance, to hurl insults at both his political rivals as well the people he feels have offended him in the media.

But she did make the clarification that, if you are an adult, you can take the heat, you can take the criticism, you can take the lies, but she does not want to see that happening to America's children -- Jake.

TAPPER: Of course, some might argue that a political leader should be an example for children.

Sara Murray, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Hillary Clinton is also focusing on North Carolina, where tonight she will appear with former rival Bernie Sanders and musician Pharrell Williams, two of the high-profile surrogates hitting the trail for the Democratic nominee in these final days.

CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly is in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Phil, what more are you learning about how Clinton is planning to close out her campaign on Monday night?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously, you have noted there are big names, the biggest names that you can possibly have, all on the same stage.

And when you talk to Clinton advisers, the rationale is twofold, first and foremost, the symbolism that comes with the city of Philadelphia, the historic nature of the city and the historic nature of the 44th president and the historic nature the Clinton campaign hopes of the potential 45th president.

But you also noted, Jake, there is a very real electoral reason for having this event. David noted it a little bit too as he broke through the map. In Pennsylvania, you vote on Election Day. You can't bank early votes there. The Clinton campaign knows that in Philadelphia and in those collar counties you were mentioning, Jake, if they get out their vote, they can put the stake to bed, period, regardless of any movement that Donald Trump has seen over the last couple of weeks.

That's why they're having the rally. It's as big as it gets. They're billing it as big as it gets. They really hope that it kind of has that dual-track result, both on closing the door on Philadelphia and also leaving that lasting image in the minds of the voters as they head to the polls on Election Day -- Jake.

TAPPER: Phil Mattingly, thank you so much.

Obviously, a lot of Philadelphians also worried about how the mass transit strike there is going to affect voting on Tuesday.

AS Clinton tries to navigate the final five-day stretch of the campaign, even more Clinton e-mails hit the Internet just minutes ago. These, however, are not stolen by the Russians from an illegal hack. These are from the State Department, releasing more of her e-mails recovered by the FBI. They come as details emerge about disagreements within the FBI over how it handled investigating Clinton's private server, intentions over whether to launch a case investigating the Clinton Foundation.

CNN's Jim Sciutto joins me now.

And, Jim, what do we know about this new batch of e-mails?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have got a team reading here through them right now.

But we know that none of them involve classification upgrades, 357 documents, 1,280 pages, this after eliminating duplicates. But, again, the headline issue here, nothing that has been upgraded to classified and that was released as a result of this FOIA request.

Now, on the issue of investigation of the private server, you will remember we have reported already about disagreements between the FBI and the Justice Department over Director Comey's election stretch revelation of new e-mails possibly related to Clinton.

But we're learning now of equally sharp divisions within the FBI itself over investigations both into that private e-mail server and now a preliminary look at the Clinton Foundation, this as Donald Trump is seizing on anything FBI-related to attack his Democratic opponent.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO (voice-over): Five days before the election, Donald Trump seizing on what he claims is new evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton.

D. TRUMP: It was reported last night that the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's pay-for-play corruption during her tenure as secretary of state.

SCIUTTO: The facts are somewhat different. CNN has learned that some agents wanted the FBI to investigate the family's charitable foundation after allegations of donor fraud appeared in the controversial 2015 book "Clinton Cash."

But after reviewing the findings, Justice Department officials felt there wasn't enough evidence to move forward with a full investigation. Divisions within the FBI have widened in recent months over the investigation into Clinton's private e-mail server, according to law enforcement sources.

Some rank-and-file agents, particularly in the New York field office, were at odds with the agency's headquarters in Washington and officials at the Justice Department, who they felt were trying to protect Clinton.

Those suspicions were magnified when Director James Comey took the unprecedented step of announcing the agency's findings to the public in July.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

SCIUTTO: Tensions reached a boiling point after e-mails belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin were discovered during a separate FBI investigation into her estranged husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Over the course of several weeks, officials debated whether, when and how the discovery should be made public, until, just 10 days before the election, Director Comey wrote his letter to Congress.

[16:15:05] RON HOSKO, FORMER ASST. DIRECTOR, FBI: I spent 30 years there. It's completely unprecedented, in my tour of duty with the FBI. I don't recall anything like this surrounding an election. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: You'll remember GOP Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa, he wrote Director Comey, demanding more information on these new Clinton- related e-mails. The deadline, tomorrow, but we are told that that deadline, unlikely to be met. We are not expecting anymore more update from the FBI, Jake, before Election Day.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Although maybe we'll get some more leaks.

Jim Sciutto, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

SCIUTTO: Absolutely.

TAPPER: She said she wouldn't want her daughter in the same room as Donald Trump and she is a Republican senator up for re-election. How does Trump counter that? His deputy campaign manager will join me, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Let's stick with politics.

Melania Trump, the wife of Donald Trump, spoke a short while ago in the Philly suburbs. She talked about how she wants to combat negativity on social media.

[16:20:03] Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers. It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground, and it is absolutely unacceptable when it's done by someone with no name hiding on the Internet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Mrs. Trump distinguished between cyberbullying of children and cyberbullying of adults. But some would argue that adults do set an example and Mrs. Trump might want to take a look at her husband's Twitter feed. He has been called a cyber bully himself.

Here are some random tweets from his timeline, April 24th, 2015, quote, "I promise you that I'm much smarter than Jonathan Leibowitz. I mean, Jon Stewart at "The Daily Show" who, by the way, is totally overrated." Strange invocation of Jon Stewart's real name.

On March 22nd of this year, Trump tweeting, quote, "Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a GQ shoot in his ad. Be careful Lyin Ted or I will spill the beans on your wife."

September 5, 2015, Trump wrote, quote, "Meghan McCain was terrible on 'The Five' yesterday, angry and obnoxious. She will never make it on TV. FOX News can do so much better."

OK. Joining me now, deputy campaign manager for the Trump campaign, David Bossie.

David, I have to be honest here, I don't know any major public figure in America who launches more personal negative attacks against people via social media than Donald Trump. If it's not okay for kids to do it, why is it okay for Donald Trump to do it?

DAVID BOSSIE, TRUMP DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, first of all, what an amazing speech by Melania Trump. This is not her thing. She is not a public speaker. She has not been out on the campaign trail.

And for her to come out today and really deliver what I think is a speech that people will remark about for a long time is a wonderful thing for Mr. Trump and our campaign. She did an amazing job to make people like me, parents, really focus on what their children are going through. I think, you know, everybody can agree that cyber bullying of children needs to be addressed here in America.

Now, Mr. Trump takes on his opponents and takes on the liberal media. That's not cyber bullying. That's not hiding behind -- cyber bullying mostly is people hiding behind things. Mr. Trump takes on those who take him on, and he takes them on directly and forcefully. That has nothing to do with cyber bullying.

TAPPER: Actually, a lawyer with the Internet safety group "Wired Safety" described Mr. Trump's behavior in the "New York Times" as a textbook example of cyber bullying. She said his methods were characteristic of, quote, "mean girl cyber bullying because he goads his followers on Twitter into parroting his attacks." This expert saying Donald Trump is exhibit A.

BOSSIE: Yes. I don't know what expert -- so-called expert that would be. I can tell you when Jon Stewart or "Saturday Night Live" or any other member of the media, especially comedians, go after Mr. Trump, you know, getting it back is called getting it back, not cyber bullying. I think you're just -- and whoever this expert is, is just kind of misplacing it.

TAPPER: In a radio interview, Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican in a very tight race in New Hampshire, who is, by the way, voting for Mr. Trump, Senator Ayotte said she would not want her daughter in a room with Donald Trump, and part of why is that "Access Hollywood" tape, of course. What would your message be to Senator Ayotte?

BOSSIE: My message to Senator Ayotte is quite simple. Thanks for your vote. Just like a majority of people in New Hampshire are going to be voting for Donald Trump on Tuesday. We're going to win New Hampshire, and it's going to be because people like Senator Ayotte are voting for Donald Trump.

I am excited about where the polls are. We have new polls out just in the last couple of days, including today, that show it a dead heat in New Hampshire. We are rising across the country. And it's going to be a great day in New Hampshire on Tuesday when Donald Trump wins. And it's going to be a great day because Kelly Ayotte is going to win her re-election as well.

TAPPER: So, the thing is, she is addressing something in her comments about not wanting her daughter in the same room as m Trump, that Hillary Clinton is also talking about, which is the concerns that so many voters have, including and perhaps especially women voters, the alleged groping of women, his comments about women, that are the focus of Hillary Clinton's closing argument on TV. Take a listen to this ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HILLARY FOR AMERICA" CAMPAIGN AD)

DONALD TRUMP: Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

TV ANCHOR: More accusers coming forward to say they were sexual assaulted by Donald Trump.

TRUMP: I'll go back stage before a show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TRUMP: And everyone is getting dressed.

TV ANCHOR: Donald Trump walked into the dressing room while contestants, some as young as 15, were changing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:25:13] TAPPER: So a lot of that, of course, just Donald Trump's own words. David, what's your message? I have known you for a long time. I have never heard you talk that way about anyone, but especially about women. What do you tell a Republican woman who wants to vote for Donald Trump but she sees that ad and it's just Donald Trump's own words and she thinks it's repellant.

What would you say to her?

BOSSIE: First of all, Jake -- yes, first of all, that's desperation. What that ad shows you, when she goes -- when they go low, we go high. All of that is right out the window. They're in the gutter. All they have is fear mongering. All they have is this.

TAPPER: Those are Donald Trump's own words. It's his own words.

BOSSIE: I wouldn't want -- Jake, I wouldn't want my daughters in the same room with Bill and Hillary Clinton. I can assure you of that. One is a serial predator, and the other one is somebody who attacks the women that he preys on. So, I can tell you Hillary --

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: How is Donald Trump -- how is Donald Trump -- Donald Trump, there are now -- there are now a dozen women who have come forward and said, yes, what you heard Donald Trump say on that "Access Hollywood" video, he actually did that. Take his word for it. Fact-check, true. BOSSIE: Jake, Jake, Jake, there is no evidence that any of that is

true, okay? What you're doing is rehashing --

TAPPER: The women's accounts and contemporaneous of them telling their friends and family.

BOSSIE: There is none -- no, there is not one shred of evidence. Not one shred of evidence. Mr. Trump has said it's not true. It's as simple as that.

TAPPER: When we say not shred -- one shred of evidence, somebody's first-hand on the record named account and contemporaneous accounts of their friends and family, that's not evidence?

BOSSIE: Jake, not one person has come forward as a witness to anything other than people who are put up by Gloria Allred and the DNC and the Clinton campaign. So, we dismiss all of it.

TAPPER: Except, they're just describing what Donald Trump says on the tape is his behavior. It's his own words.

No? All right. David Bossie, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

BOSSIE: Thanks for having me.

TAPPER: It's her speech since the GOP convention. So, did Melania Trump deliver the white female suburban Philadelphia vote that Donald Trump needs to win Pennsylvania? That story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)