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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Dems Sue Over Minority Vote; Melania Trump Calls for More "Respect and Kindness"; Refugees Share Horror Stories of Living Under ISIS; Will Trump Supporters Accept Results if Clinton Wins? Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired November 3, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:31:52] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
Staying with politics. The Democratic National Committee has filed a lawsuit, accusing their Republican counterparts of supporting what they call Donald Trump's effort to, quote, "intimidate and discourage" minority voters from casting their ballots. The DNC says that it's clear from Trump's warnings about a rigged election and his call for supporters to head to urban areas to make sure there's no cheating, that Mr. Trump wants to suppress minority voting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don't come in and vote five times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: A judge is going to hold a hearing to discuss the DNC filing tomorrow. My political panel joins me now.
We have with us, former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, Angela Rye, and former Ted Cruz communications director, Alice Stewart.
Alice, what do you make of this complaint and they're saying that Trump is calling upon his supporters to intimidate minority voters?
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think his whole line throughout the campaign of rigged election, and rigged media, and rigged everything, I think it's way off the mark. And I think he needs to get away from that. I do think it has led to some voter intimidation in terms of people think, well, if the system is rigged and voting is rigged, why go vote?
He hasn't gotten the memo, voting is done state by state, and county by county. To say all of them are figured is factually incorrect.
And I think just the fact that we've even had this discussion leading to this action by the DNC is unfortunate. There are certainly more important things that we could spend time on.
TAPPER: Angela, I want to show you this new ad from the Trump campaign that was just released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: America's most sensitive secrets, unlawfully sent, received and exposed by Hillary Clinton, her staff, and Anthony Weiner. Hillary cannot lead a nation, while crippled by a criminal investigation. Hillary Clinton, unfit to serve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: A brutal and devastating ad. Certainly, the re-emergence of Anthony Weiner is not doing any favors for Hillary Clinton.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He has not done any favors for anyone this whole election cycle including himself. And thankfully, he is not running.
I think the one thing that I would say is this ad in particular is interesting because it reminds me of past political ads where people can say anything and, of course, they're not rooted in fact. The one contrast I would offer here is Hillary Clinton's ads, they've been negative but they've been Donald Trump's negative words here.
Here they're talking about a criminal investigation that doesn't exist and they're talking about Hillary's e-mails on Anthony Weiner's laptop and we don't $ know that' the case yet. He is kind of playing in the false, not so true area.
TAPPER: There are State Department e-mails that might be on the computer. We're not sure exactly --
RYE: That's exactly right.
STEWART: I think it's fair game. When we're talking about potential for classified information to be on the laptop of the perverted, estranged husband of Hillary's right-hand woman, I think people are concerned about that. Heaven knows what else we'll find out when this investigation continues.
And I think, you know, I know Comey is under a lot of fire for bringing this to the surface at this point. But this is something people are certainly concerned with. It doesn't help, you know, unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, bringing Anthony Weiner into the fold with all the e-mails.
RYE: She didn't bring him into the fold. That's a gross exaggeration.
[16:35:01] TAPPER: Well, let me ask you a question. Is it not fair game?
I mean, Huma Abedin is one of Hillary Clinton's top aides. She's referred to her as a surrogate daughter. She is married, although now estranged, to Anthony Weiner, who has this checkered past --
TAPPER: -- and present and is now being investigated for allegedly sexting a minor. And now, these emails show up in his computer. I mean, those are just facts.
RYE: No, I think that's right and I think it's not fair to say there are some concerns. I think what's not fair game is to say, oh, there is a criminal investigation now. That was not true before and it's not true now.
So, I think you are playing in a gray area, and, of course, we know Donald Trump is not just playing in a gray area, he has actually dove right into this election. So --
TAPPER: Well, political ads are not known for nuance and subtlety.
RYE: You're right.
TAPPER: Speaking of which, of nuance and subtlety or lack thereof, Melania Trump -- you used to work for Ted Cruz.
TAPPER: And there probably is nobody who is bullied more by Donald Trump and his team and his supporters than Ted Cruz, Heidi Cruz, Rafael Cruz. What do you make of Melania -- first of all, I take her at her word. I am sure she actually means this and she wants to -- if she is first lady, she wants to make it a project to combat cyber bullying.
But is it not a little discordant given her husband's activities on Twitter?
STEWART: Right. When you see her give her speech and talk about the need to address cyber bullying, it is a serious problem. But I think there was a collective gasp across the nation going, have you met your husband, Donald? Because yes, this is something he's done throughout the primary, as you say. He was very, very brutal to Ted and Heidi and Rafael, and not only tweeting falsehoods but going out on the campaign trail and reigniting them yet again and making, you know, a news story out of something that's not true whatsoever.
So, yes. I think, if she wanted to have a good-faith effort in cyber bullying, start with offender number one, Donald Trump.
TAPPER: Let me ask you a question. North Carolina, so much of this election will come down to just a handful of states, and North Carolina is one of them. Why do you think black turnout is so down in these early voting states like North Carolina? They are very, very concerned, the Clinton team and Democrats, about African-American turnout being way low.
You used to be executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, what's going out?
RYE: Well, a few things. One, I don't think that black turnout is as suppressed as has been said. I will say, though, that North Carolina in particular, it is interesting that this is a state that had voter suppression in the state legislature signed into law by Pat McCrory, and now you have --
TAPPER: To reduce the number of --
RYE: Of early voting days. And normally, black people, Democrats disproportionately turn out on early voting days. So, ironically, right, or not so ironically early voting is down and turnout is down. In addition to that, you do have an election where folks are not -- not only not excited but actually really frustrated by how negative the tone is, how frustrating it is that both candidates are not as well-liked, and in some instances, not as well-respected.
I think there has been a turn-around, though, over the last couple of days. I know in particular, Steve Schale (ph) talked about Florida. There is now an increase. There has been a bump of 55,000 black voters today. So, I think that we shouldn't necessarily count black folks out just yet. We always show up and we are very reliable voting bloc.
TAPPER: One thing that Trump -- something that Trump has done strategically that I think has been effective is reminding African- American voters that Hillary Clinton in 1994 -- this was taped I think Andrew Kaczynski from KFILE for CNN first unearthed, that Hillary Clinton was the one who first started talking about super predators --
STEWART: Super predators, right.
TAPPER: -- and how much African-Americans really, understandably, hated that term.
STEWART: Well, and she has since walked that back, of course. At the time, she was doing that to support Bill Clinton and efforts he was working on. She has walked that back. But, clearly, that is a case where he can, with all reason and cause, use her own words against her. That is something that has hurt her, and it's something that I think is good for him to push.
At the same time, I think -- you know, he has certain other areas. He needs to focus on his vote in the minority community is so, so low, he is much better spending his time on -- he already has the base, but the undecided and independents that are concerned with things like Obamacare and they certainly are concerned with national security and the Supreme Court.
But really doing a focus on Obamacare, which is in the forefront of people's minds because it is a pocketbook issue, that is a key -- that's more successful.
RYE: But, Jake, on super predators, I think the thing that we have to remember that I think so many of us think about now is the Central Park five for Donald Trump. It's really hard for him to point a finger at Hillary Clinton about super predator, when he has the Central Park five who he called for their executions in four New York papers and still has not apologized, $85,000 investment in the calling --
TAPPER: Do you think Democrats have made that argument as well as Trump --
RYE: I don think so. But don't be surprised this weekend.
TAPPER: I hear the argument that you are making but you're the first person to make it on the show, I think. The Central Park five.
RYE: Watch this weekend.
TAPPER: And we've heard super predator -- we've been hearing super predator for six months.
[16:40:01] RYE: You're right. And I'm not saying that --
TAPPER: Including, by the way, from some Bernie Sanders' backers, Killer Mike and Ben Jealous.
RYE: And I've talked about it too. I've been on this air and I said it was a horrible term. But what's worse, is to treat people like they're super predators and to call for their death.
TAPPER: You guys are great. Thanks so much for being here. We really appreciate.
They are Trump or bust, die-hard Donald Trump supporters who have said they'll not accept a Hillary Clinton presidency. So, what happens to them if, if, their candidate doesn't win?
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Let's turn to our world lead now.
The final brutal battle now underway two years after Iraqi troops dropped their weapons and fled, surrendering Mosul to ISIS. They have now breached the city and are fighting the terrorist group street to street, even house to house.
[16:45:04] This comes as ISIS issues a call to arms in an audio message purportedly from its reclusive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He tells his followers to fight to the death, quote, "Holding your ground in honor is a thousand times better than retreating in disgrace," he says.
CNN's senior international correspondent Arwa Damon was on the front lines earlier today. And she joins me now from outside Mosul. What was it like being on ground so close to the fight?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jake, we were along the main Irbil, Mosul highway that the counter-terrorism unit is now pushing down as they try to begin to enter Iraq's second largest city. And already people are fleeing just from that particular area by the thousands, carrying whatever it is that they can, the clothes on their backs, a few blankets, trying to escape the intensity of the fighting and the Iraqis were sending trucks, flat beds, buses, to try to move them out of the battle zone and towards safer areas.
And each family, each individual, each child, has an absolutely horrific story to tell from hiding underneath staircases to try to keep themselves safe. Some of them say that mortar rounds fell on their neighbor's homes. One woman who we met doesn't know what happened to her two sons or her husband. Some women who we met had their faces still covered. They said it was because their relatives were inside Mosul. They had, in fact, tried to escape but ISIS shot at them and forced them back into their homes.
All of this, of course, reiterating those concerns we've been hearing about that ISIS is going to be using the population inside Mosul as human shields. Many of these people who we have been speaking to say that they're very relieved that ISIS is being driven out but, at the same time, they remain quite wary. This is not necessarily a population that has full trust and confidence in the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces, but despite the hardships of it all, we're still seeing a lot of smiles.
But for some, the memory of ISIS and what they endured is going to continue no matter what. One woman we met, a mother, told us of how ISIS took her prisoner for about a year and a half, enslaved her. She said she was raped. She bore a son and she says she can only pray that he will never find out who his father is, Jake.
TAPPER: Arwa Damon, thank you so much. Please stay safe.
What happens to Donald Trump supporters if he does not win the White House? That story next.
[16:51:36] TAPPER: We're back with more on our "Politics Lead." With just five more days to go, polls show that the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is within the margin of error nationally. But the consensus among pollsters seems to be that Clinton has an edge. And the facts are that Trump needs to sweep six out of six tossup states to get even close to a hope of winning.
So how might Trump nation react if he doesn't win?
I want to bring in CNN's Sunlen Serfaty in the pivotal battleground state of North Carolina.
And Sunlen, you've been speaking with the most passionate Trump supporters. Are they prepared for a worst-case scenario?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, they really aren't, Jake. Most of the Trump supporters who are, as you know, fiercely loyal to Donald Trump, most of the supporters I talked to said that they are convinced that he is going to win. But on this question of what if he doesn't, there has been some heated rhetoric and some, at times, alarming rhetoric coming from Trump supporters, and even Trump campaign surrogates, from the podiums at Donald Trump's own rallies, suggesting what they could do, and what might happen if he loses.
SERFATY (voice-over): With just five days left until Election Day, Donald Trump supporters are confronting a tough question. What happens if he loses?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attack. Attack. Attack. We will never accept defeat.
SERFATY: The Republican nominee has sewn doubts about the integrity of the electoral process.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a rigged system, folks.
SERFATY: Fueling fears of a dishonest democracy.
TRUMP: Hillary's election is a threat to democracy.
SERFATY: And he has refused to say that he would accept the results of the election.
TRUMP: I'll keep you in suspense.
SERFATY: And it's just the candidate. A small but vocal group of high-profile Trump supporters are firing verbal warning shots steeped in violent imagery of post-election unrest, from sheriffs --
SHERIFF DAVID CLARKE JR., DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: It is pitch-fork and torches time in America.
SERFATY: To former congressmen.
JOE WALSH, FORMER U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: It's time to boycott, picket, maybe even stop paying taxes.
SERFATY: And conservative radio hosts.
WAYNE ALLYN ROOT, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: We're coming to tear it down. We're coming to rip it up. We're coming to kick your ass.
SERFATY: The incendiary rhetoric is being echoed now by some Trump supporters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it actually happened, are you saying that we can't? Isn't that what D.C. is for? Is to breathe our frustration?
SERFATY: This man telling the "Wall Street Journal," he'd take matters into his own hands if Clinton is elected.
DAN BOWMAN, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: There's going to be probably a movement where we will go and take them out of power.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds like you're saying that it would acceptable to assassinate a president. BOWMAN: If she is corrupt, why should she be able to stay in office?
SERFATY: So has this historic election really come down to win, lose or draw? None at all says Wayne Root, who insists his fiery speeches before Trump rallies aren't meant as a literal call to arms.
ROOT: Nobody is going to Washington to actually burn it down. No one is going to actually tear it down, but I think you can go and fire a lot of people.
SERFATY: On the campaign trail, most Trump loyalists say they will be much more likely to retreat from the political process than to riot against it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll be very upset. I'll cry and I probably will never vote again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I may not stay living in the U.S., but I'll accept the results.
[16:55:04] I'd rather leave the country than get involved in the revolution.
SERFATY: And nearly all Trump supporters say they will stick with him win or lose, whatever his next steps might be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to see him run again in 2020. I think he could do something.
SERFATY: And to reiterate, by far, the vast majority of Trump supporters that we talked to over the last week in many battleground states across the country, they said, if Donald Trump loses, yes, they will accept the results of the election and that no, no form of violence is acceptable or OK. And that said, many have clearly thought through some of the next steps, where they want to see their, in their words, movement keep going, everything from starting a new party, Jake, to a million-man style march on Washington.
TAPPER: Fascinating. Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much.
If, if Hillary Clinton wins, he says he has enough evidence to investigate her for two years. Congressman Jason Chaffetz will explain next.