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THE SITUATION ROOM
FBI Director Confirms Clinton Email Probe Over; Interview with Rep. Adam Schiff; Trump Stumps in Key Battleground State of Michigan; Interview with Rep. Jason Chaffetz; Report: Trump Lacking Sleep, Hates Being Alone. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 6, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:14] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting from Washington. It's 7:00 p.m. here in the nation's capital.
We're following the breaking news in the race for the White House. Less than 48 hours before the election. The FBI Director James Comey has completed his latest review into Hillary Clinton's e-mails and in a letter to Congress, Comey says he has not changed his bottom-line conclusion from July, that there was no evidence of criminal activity in those documents on the part of Hillary Clinton. Certainly, a sigh of relief for the Clinton campaign. But Clinton herself did not respond to the news today at her rally in Cleveland. Her running mate Tim Kaine, tells CNN this is the outcome that the campaign expected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think there are still a lot of questions about it, about how it happened and why it happened, and obviously altered dynamic for a few days. But we did have the confidence, when we were surprised with it two Fridays ago, that it would be back in this place. Because they spent so much time looking at it and reach, a conclusion that was so unequivocal. So, we're glad to get that news but not surprised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Meanwhile, we're waiting to see how Donald Trump will react to the news. He's getting ready to speak at a rally in Sterling Heights, Michigan, this hour. We'll have live coverage. His running mate, Mike Pence, told a crowd in North Carolina just a little while ago that Hillary Clinton, in his view, is still guilty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Mishandling classified information is a crime. And Hillary Clinton, let's remember what we know. Hillary Clinton said that she never sent or received any classified information, and the director of the FBI told the Congress, classified information was sent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The night is nowhere near over for the presidential candidates. Next hour, Hillary Clinton is scheduled with Kaine to appear in Manchester, New Hampshire, while Trump will travel to Moon Township in Pennsylvania. The FBI Director James Comey, is caught in the crossfire yet again. First in July when he said no prosecutor would recommend charges against Hillary Clinton. Once again when he sent the letter on October 28th about a new e-mail discovery. And now today with the latest letter to Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
But first, let's go to our justice correspondent Pamela Brown. Pamela, tell us more about this extraordinary letter, the conclusion, the timing of Director Comey's conclusion.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It really is extraordinary, Wolf. FBI investigators worked around the clock to review the large volume of e-mails. According to sources we've been talking with, it wrapped up sooner than expected, even from people in the FBI and sources say, that is because a lot of this is a matter of technology. Without the technology used, it would have taken a lot longer. And also, Wolf -- Wolf, most of the e-mails found to and from Clinton were duplicates.
In other words, e-mails that have already reviewed in the prior investigation. And many of the e-mails were also personal. So, that is also why it was expedited. So, the probe is considered over for now, though with not all the deleted e-mails recovered and not all the devices in the FBI's possession, it is always possible something else could turn up that would require more review. There were some classified e-mails found, according to sources, my colleague Evan Perez talked to, the officials stressed though that the issue is intent. It is not the classified information. So, you have to prove intent. Clearly, there was nothing proving intent and that is why the Director stuck with his decision in July to not recommend charges against Clinton -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Pamela, thanks very much. Pamela Brown reporting. Let's talk about the political fallout from today's letter from the FBI Director James Comey.
Joining us now is Sean Spicer, he is the chief strategist and communications director for the Republican National Committee. Sean, thanks for joining us.
SEAN SPICER, CHIEF STRATEGIST, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: You bet, Wolf.
BLITZER: Do you accept the findings released today by the Director James Comey?
SPICER: I mean, I guess sure. But I guess I'm baffled now as I was in July. Which is, in his July findings, he enumerated what would be considered gross negligence back then. And since then, what we've learned is that that the information was on Anthony Weiner's laptop that he was sexting with young, underage women. Additionally, we've now found out that Hillary Clinton's aide was tasked to print off classified information, something that she clearly didn't have the clearance for. So, you know, I'm equally baffled today as I was in July when Director Comey laid out the case of Hillary Clinton's actions and then came to a conclusion that didn't meet the standard of gross negligence that he laid out.
[19:05:01] BLITZER: But do you have confidence that the FBI director is doing the right thing, that he should stay on the job?
SPICER: I don't -- it's not up to the communications director for the RNC to decide whether or not the FBI director should stay or not. But I do think that as we enter the final 48 hours of the election, that it is important for people to understand that really nothing has changed. The FBI said in July that Hillary Clinton was reckless, that she'd met the standard for gross negligence, and I think that what we've seen since then continues that narrative. If you are a voter going out right now and think that the first four years of a Clinton presidency would be anything different than the last 30 years, especially the last six months, then I think you have another thing coming to you.
So I don't know that this really changes anything. We've clearly know Hillary Clinton did not abide by the rules that were set forth at the time. We continue to learn more and more about that. And I think that there is a lot of voters that have had their choice impacted by the admission of how she handled classified information.
BLITZER: The FBI director in July said that Hillary Clinton was extremely careless, reckless, if you will, in dealing with the classified information on her private e-mail server. But his bottom- line conclusion was that no reasonable prosecutor would recommend criminal charges against her. Yes, she was careless. But no criminal charges. He reiterated that today. So, the conclusion that he reached in July still holds today after reviewing the hundreds of thousands of e-mails found on Anthony Weiner's computer.
And that's with only two days to go. Was it appropriate in the middle of a presidential election, within 60 days of an election, for the FBI director even to be making these kinds of statements? You know, the tradition is that Justice Department officials, FBI officials, don't comment on politically sensitive matters so close to a presidential election.
SPICER: Well, first, I'm not sure I completely agree with that. 1992, the Clintons benefitted when Caspar Weinberger was indicted days before the election. Subsequently did not move forward and was found innocent, if you will. So, when it benefitted the Clintons, they didn't have a problem then in 1992, when it benefitted subsequently President Clinton. So, but at the end of the day, all of this stems from Hillary Clinton's actions, Wolf. This wasn't made out of whole cloth. It was her decision to have a private server. It was her decision to lie about the e-mails. It was her decision to self-select those e-mails. It was her decision to talk about the lack of classified information.
It was her decision to bleach it. It was her decision to hammer those devices, literally with a hammer. So, all of this stems from her actions, which the director said were reckless and met the standard of gross negligence. So, if new evidence comes forward, I don't care if it is five hours before an election, all of these stems from her and her associates mishandling and not being honest with the facts of what they had done.
BLITZER: Yes, but still, he didn't recommend criminal charges in July. Today after reviewing these new e-mails, he's still not recommending criminal charges.
SPICER: But I also think --
BLITZER: The FBI -- go ahead.
SPICER: I believe that it is not accurate. I mean, we have seen case after case of individuals who have mishandled, misused classified information that have been prosecuted and punished. And so, for the FBI director to come to that conclusion, I just don't understand it. I really don't on that.
BLITZER: His argument has been that in those other cases, there was intent. The individuals were charged and convicted and knew they were mishandling classified information. In this particular case, he said there was no intent on the part of Hillary Clinton.
SPICER: But again, that's one part --
BLITZER: Again, that's the difference that he makes.
SPICER: Right. But there are two parts to that. There is intent and then there's gross negligence. And gross negligence as to find is someone who should have had a reasonable expectations of knowing what they were doing is wrong. As a secretary of state, you would know that when you set up a classified server, and --
BLITZER: He did address the issue of gross negligence and there are ways to convict someone. He says, no prosecutor would go forward on that gross negligent point.
SPICER: But that's not --
BLITZER: That is what the FBI Director James Comey said in a sworn testimony to Congress.
SPICER: I understand that. But unfortunately, it is unprecedented for the FBI director to make that decision. Their job at the FBI is to collect evidence and present it to the Department of Justice to decide whether or not to prosecute. He went a step further and made that decision on behalf of the Department of Justice. Obviously, they still have the right to move forward. They're moving forward with an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. So, they continue to investigate. But the fact of the matter is, is that he did take an unprecedented step in making that decision which frankly wasn't his to make.
BLITZER: Well, he made that recommendation and Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General, deputy Attorney General, they accepted that recommendation from the FBI director. That's the way he explained it. SPICER: I understand that. And you do know or you are well aware,
but I think it is odd that this came on the heels of the Attorney General meeting for 25 minutes on a tarmac with former President Bill Clinton, right before that decision was made. So, we can understand how people are a little bit weary of how these decisions got made.
[19:10:18] BLITZER: Sean Spicer, the communications director, chief strategist for the Republican National Committee. Thanks very much for joining us.
SPICER: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Joining us now for a different perspective, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California, he is a major Hillary Clinton supporter. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, you received that letter today from the FBI, Director James Comey. Did the letter do enough to reassure you? What was your reaction when you got that letter?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, my reaction was that this is not very surprising at all. I think the director made it pretty clear in July when he said that no reasonable prosecutor would move forward, that there was no evidence of intent, as you were pointing out. And I think many of us believe fully that they wouldn't find any evidence of intent in these e-mails. If anything, they would probably find duplicates. And so not a surprising finding. Surprising only that this was found two days before the election. And I think it underscores the original mistake, the very serious error in judgment of releasing the first letter over a week ago.
Because had the FBI taken the time to go through these e-mails and not made that public a week ago, right before the election, there wouldn't be the necessity of this follow up step. And so you had a number of people voting in this interim period. Without that information and with that innuendo hanging out there. So, I think that was a disservice but nonetheless not a big surprise only perhaps the surprise and the timing.
BLITZER: Yes. He had promised Congress in the sworn testimony after he released the original conclusion back in July that if there were new development to review new information, he'd inform Congress. And from his perspective, congressman, he was simply living up to that promise he made to Congress when at the end of October, October 28th, he released that letter. What was wrong with that?
SCHIFF: Well, first of all, Wolf, the footage I had seen, the Director said that if there were new evidence that came to light, he would review that evidence. I don't remember seeing him go be beyond that in his testimony. If he did, that was an exchange.
BLITZER: There was an exchange -- there was an exchange he had with some Republican members saying, I will take that into consideration. When they said, will you come back and let us know? He sort of indicated that he would. SCHIFF: Well, if he did indicate that he would, that was a mistake.
And when he started sending investigative files to Congress, I said that was a mistake. I said what you're calling transparency will come to be known by a different name, and that is mistake. Because you don't release this kind of information before an election. You don't, in fact, talk about pending or closed cases. And while I understood the exceptional circumstances surrounding the July statement, I think to go beyond that injected this bureau into this presidential campaign in a way that was very destructive.
Not just to a candidate in the unfair treatment of that candidate, but destructive to the bureau, by making the bureau an issue. And I think this whole chat, this whole episode will be reviewed by directors in the future, by the Department of Justice, as sort of an abject lesson in what goes wrong when you violate these DOJ policies. So, in my view, Wolf, that letter should have never gone out. In fact, the prior information, files that were sent to Congress, should not have been provided either.
That was antithetical to the DOJ policy, as well. And that is what has led us to this rather extraordinary 48-hour in advance of the election announcement. Nonetheless, as I mentioned, not surprising. I would hope it would lead the Trump campaign to pull down those horribly distorting ads they've been airing, suggesting all kinds of things based on nothing more than innuendo and their wishes. But do I have faith they'll do so? Not in terms of the context they've run this campaign.
BLITZER: What do you say to what we've just heard from Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee that Hillary Clinton has herself to blame, that she created this private e-mail server, there was classified information on the server. It was clearly mishandled. The FBI director said she was grossly negligent, if you will. She didn't handle that e-mail -- even though he recommended against criminal charges, that she herself is to blame. And Sean Spicer says, she was engaged in gross negligence.
SCHIFF: Look, the Secretary has admitted a long time ago that it was a mistake for her to set up out of convenience a separate e-mail account that she used for both work and for private. She wasn't the first secretary of state to do that. Colin Powell did it, as well. But nonetheless, it was a mistake. But it was not Secretary Clinton's mistake to inject this into the campaign in the last two weeks. That was the FBI's mistake. The FBI decided, as long ago as July, that there was no prosecutor to bring charges here. And having been a prosecutor for six years, that conclusion made a lot of sense.
You don't go forward where you can't prove there was some intent to do wrong. And there's never been any evidence of that. So, the case should have been closed at that point. If there were no information that came to light, that could be reviewed. But that is not something that you share publicly when you don't know what you have. And as we later learned at the time of the director's announcement last week, he hadn't even reviewed the e-mails. Had they taken the time to do that, I don't think we wouldn't ever had this final chapter that we have that has so embroiled the FBI in this campaign. [19:15:44] BLITZER: Very quickly, should Comey resign?
SCHIFF: Look, all I'm prepared to say is, I think this was a very bad judgment by the director. And at this point, I'm going to leave it at that. But I hope we will learn from this. I hope the bureau will learn from this. It not only was, I think, a mistake to inject this into the race, but we've had that mistake, unfortunately, compounded, Wolf, by and these leaks before and more significantly after that letter was published.
And that really needs to be looked into, too. That statement from Mr. Giuliani, that he had advance notice of this, the pride in which he took of that in talking to other bureau agents, apparently. That, I think, is among the most appalling, that you might have people at the bureau sharing inside information with one of the campaigns in a way that really brings discredit upon the bureau.
BLITZER: Yes. All right. We'll leave it on that note. Giuliani by the way told me on Friday, he did not have advance notice but we'll continue this conversation. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.
SCHIFF: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Reaction fallout pouring in from this latest development, this letter to Congress from the FBI Director James Comey. Senator Dianne Feinstein released a statement, saying in part, and I'm quoting, that Comey unfairly hurt the campaign of one candidate and changed the tenor of this election.
Let's bring in our panel. CNN political commentators David Swerdlick and Ryan Lizza. With us, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger. The executive editor of CNN Politics Mark Preston. Our senior politics reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, and our chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
So, Dana the damage to Hillary Clinton and her campaign over these past nine days, is the damage already done?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: In many ways, yes. There is no question. If there was no such thing as early voting, maybe the damage would be mitigated a little bit. But it just starts there. The fact is that a lot of people, I mean, you're the early voting expert here, but millions of people have gone and voted. And they did so with this information front and center in the campaign. You know, leading the dynamic of the 2016 presidential race. And the biggest thing that hurt Hillary Clinton was just putting this question of the FBI, the question of investigations front and center.
And that being the focus and not what it was before, which were, you know, Donald Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape, the allegations of groping and so on and so forth. So, the fact that it has shifted to Hillary Clinton's big, big problem which is, the fact that she has been here in Washington for so long and allowed the drain the swamp and everything else to become front and center, that was very problematic. Now, you know, can she recover in the next two days? Maybe. But it certainly was a big, big mistake for her. And it helped Donald Trump a lot.
BLITZER: The polls were tightening. Gloria, here's what the Speaker Paul Ryan, is saying about this letter released today by Director Comey. "Regardless of this decision, the undisputed finding of the FBI's investigation is that Secretary Clinton put our nation's secret at risk and in doing so, compromised our national security. Fortunately, the American people have the opportunity to ensure Secretary Clinton never gets her hands on classified information again." Very strong statement from the Speaker of the House.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And that is because, A, this is a good issue for them. And, B, I mean, the FBI Director last July called Hillary Clinton reckless. He decided not to prosecute. He decided not to proceed any further. But he made an editorial statement. And I think that was the original sin. And I think that's where all of this comes from. The original sin, of course, I should say, was Hillary Clinton using a private e-mail server.
BORGER: Let's go back to that. But the Republicans have found an issue that motivates their base. That independent voters look at. And it goes to the honest and trustworthy issue. And so, I'm not surprised that they're not giving up on it. It's not going to change Donald Trump's stump speech one bit. And Hillary Clinton, I was told today by a senior adviser, is not going to be talking about the fact that she was exonerated in any way, shape or form because she doesn't want to be talking about e-mails in the last couple of days of the campaign.
[19:20:18] BLITZER: Donald Trump, we're waiting for him to speaking fairly soon, we're told. We'll have live coverage of that. Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, in North Carolina, responded to this latest development. And he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: And I guess today, I don't know if you heard, today they announced that they had not changed that conclusion. You know, mishandling classified information is a crime. And Hillary Clinton, let's just remember what we know. Hillary Clinton said that she'd never sent or received any classified information. And the director of the FBI told the Congress, classified information was sent. Hillary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her e- mails, sent or received. And the FBI Director told the Congress, that is not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So, Ryan, what's your reaction?
RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: You know, there's a little bit of Lucy and the football quality to this investigation. Right? Over and over again, Republicans have exaggerated the political impact of this investigation and exaggerated how much they think political jeopardy Hillary Clinton is under. How likely was it that more of Huma Abedin's e-mails were going to be any different than the ones -- than the thousands that the FBI already looked into? And instead of sort of playing it cool, Pence and Trump, they basically said Hillary was about to go to jail because of Comey's reopening this investigation. And I mean, it was entirely predictable. It was very, very likely there wasn't going to be a whole lot on this hard drive.
BLITZER: You know that Donald Trump, David, is going to say the whole system is rigged.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He's been saying that. And he'll keep saying that. And as Gloria said, he's going to say that regardless of events as they develop. Republicans are going to continue to make this case that Comey let Clinton off the hook in July. That is why Democrats are going to continue to make the case that the two letters in the last nine days were out of bounds for him. But big picture, Donald Trump wants to continue to drive this narrative that the media, that the government, that everything is rigged against him and his supporters. He presented no specific evidence of this. I don't think any of the events with the FBI, you know, supports him. And now that there's been the second letter, I think Clinton can get back to her main message.
BLITZER: Donald Trump. Now, take you to the podium. Let's listen to him to hear what he has to say.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Once again, no politician will do that. They don't have a clue.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
I've been fighting for the car industry for years. I was honored five years ago. Man of the year in Michigan. That was a great honor for me. And during my speech, all I talked about is what Mexico and these other countries are doing to us. And especially what they're doing to Michigan. That's all I talked about. And I was criticized. They said, Donald, speak about something else. I said, no. What's happening is horrible. What's happening is terrible. One of the main reasons I ran for president is to stop it. And these politicians will never do it. They'll never do anything about it.
I want to share- they'll never do it, folks. We'll bring the jobs back and no more are going to be leaving. There are going to be consequences if they leave. I want to share a special message with my many friends in the union all across the state. And the unions love me. And the non-unions love me, too, I will tell you. As well as to Democratic voters here and across our country. The economic policies of Bill and Hillary Clinton have bled Michigan dry. Almost more than any other place. They rake in hundreds of millions of dollars from special interests who specialize in shipping new jobs to other countries. The Clintons gave us NAFTA. Think of it. The worst trade deal ever signed by any country ever. China's entry into the world --
BLITZER: All right. We're going to continue to monitor Donald Trump. He's in a stump speech right now. If he speaks about the James Comey letter, we'll of course go back there live. So, stand by. Mark, you think he's going to address this issue publicly? Because
I'm sure it is a disappointment to him and his campaign that the FBI director has now concluded the same conclusion he had in July, no recommended criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.
[19:25:04] MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, I suspect that the information is like acid right now that he's ingested and it's just eating him up inside. He really wants to do it. The question is, if he does, how will he do it? Will he do it in a way that goes back and harkens to the time of him kind of going off the reels and trying to rally up the crowd, or does he do it in a way that says, look, this is another example of what I've been saying. This is a rigged system, in a way to try to get voters to come to him. And look, it is 50/50 on what happens with that.
BLITZER: Nia, what do you think?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. I mean, I think so far, if what we've, seen of Donald Trump is any guide, I think he's probably going to talk about it continuously in hyperbole. I mean, that is what he's done. He's compared it to Watergate. He says it's the worst thing ever. And it's really been an evolution from what we heard at the convention, the idea that Hillary Clinton should be in jail. Lock her up. Lock her up. So, you know, I imagine that it will be still in that same vein, making these broad arguments. And essentially saying the last 30 years of Clinton and sort of Clinton being surrounded by controversies and scandals, if you like that, and you'll like a Clinton in the White House. That seems to be the argument.
BASH: Yes. And -- saying that this episode over the 11 days did for Donald Trump is he did something that was very hard, really impossible for his aides to do up until then. Which is, bring something into focus so that he could latch on to it and stick to it. And it worked. It worked. I mean, for -- look, there have been times over the past several days where he has gone way off script. But for the most part, he hasn't. He's been as disciplined and focused as he has this entire year and a half. And as one aide told me, I was reporting on why he was so disciplined, as one of his associates said to me, it was like a thunderbolt from God when the FBI letter came two Fridays ago. And it allowed him to focus. And that is something that you just can't come up with --
BASH: -- as an aide to a candidate who has trouble with discipline.
BORGER: You can't turn around, you know, he can't criticize the FBI now after he applauded the FBI.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God giveth and God taketh away.
BORGER: No, no. Let his surrogates do it. Let Newt Gingrich out there doing it. Let his surrogates do that at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you met Donald Trump?
BLITZER: We'll see if he does. We'll see if he does. Everyone, stay with us. There is a lot more coming up. Let's not forget. Forty million Americans have already voted over these past few days. Another 70 or 80 million expected to vote by Tuesday.
We'll take a quick break. Much more on the breaking news right after this.
[19:31:53] BLITZER: The breaking news tonight, the FBI clearing Hillary Clinton again in the probe into her private e-mail server that she used as secretary of state. The FBI Director James Comey telling Congress newly discovered e-mails, whose revelation rocked the presidential race nine days ago have been found irrelevant and he stands by his earlier finding, that Clinton should not be charged. Clinton and Donald Trump are campaigning into the night with the election now less than two days away. They both have events coming up at the top of the hour. More events.
CNN's Brian Todd is at Leesburg, Virginia where Trump will hold his final rally of the night a bit later.
Our senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns is in Manchester, New Hampshire, where Clinton will be speaking soon. Brian, the marathon day continues. The rally there in Virginia will be Donald Trump's fifth campaign stop today alone. What are you seeing? What is the latest?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, a lot of energy here in Loudoun County, Virginia here in Leesburg. You're right, this was a late add in the campaign schedule today. Five campaign stops added by the Trump campaign late in the weekend. This is the last, as you mentioned. But a lot of energy in this crowd. Even though it is a late ad here and Trump is still on his way, this rally scheduled to start here in a couple of hours. These people have been lining up since early this afternoon.
Thousands of them. They are going through security here. And we're going to show you, as the crowd winds around, it goes all the way back around these buildings here. And we'll take you down here, where you can get kind of a sense of the scope of the crowd. You may not be able to see it because of the darkness up on the ridge there, but there are hundreds and just thousands, really, of people just winding down this road here. At least several hundred yards. They've been here all day today. And the Trump campaign is really counting on this enthusiasm.
Because they think that Louden County could really tip the balance for them in Virginia. Louden County narrowly went to President Obama in 2012. But it is on the western edge of Northern Virginia. And they think that Louden County can really tip the balance for them this year, Wolf. And that's why he added this campaign stop late in the day today. But, you know, again the Trump campaign, Hillary Clinton a few points ahead in the polls. Trump campaign thinks this county here might tip the balance for him and create a comeback for him in the state of Virginia where the race is tightening -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Joe, Hillary Clinton, at least for now has decided not to address directly, personally, the latest FBI letter, clearing her once again. She's leaving that to her vice presidential running mate and her aides. What are you hearing?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. She didn't talk about it in Ohio. We hear she doesn't plan to not talk about here it here in New Hampshire as well. A number of reasons for that. Among them that every time she talks about the e- mail issue, it turns out to be the sound bite on the news. But they also said they wanted to keep it positive in the closing days and they don't want to engage in a back and forth with the FBI Director, Wolf, over this issue of the e-mails. Just the same, this campaign has a lot to do here in New Hampshire.
This is one of the states Hillary Clinton lost in the primaries to Bernie Sander. It's also one of the states that does not have early voting. And polls show it is tight here between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. So, they have quite a bit to do. At the same time, the campaign saying officially they're very happy that this issue is resolved. They expected it to be that way, but talking privately with some campaign aides. There is a sense of frustration because they believe they lost ground during the last week. And they don't know they can make that back up -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Brian Todd reporting for us. Thanks. Brian Todd and Joe Johns reporting for us. Joe and Brian, thank you.
A new report from inside the Trump campaign is revealing what the candidate is like behind the scenes. During the final days of his campaign, the "New York Times" reporting, and I'm quoting now, "Trump is not sleeping much these days. Aboard his gold plated jumbo jet, the Republican nominee does not like to rest or be alone with his thoughts. Insisting that aides stay up and keep talking to him. He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law."
[19:36:02] The piece -- the article goes on to describe a highly anxious Trump who squabbles with his campaign staff. But it also reveals how heavily involved he has been in speech writing, advertising, content and campaign spending.
Let's bring back our political panel. Quite an amazing article that all of us just read over the past few hours in the "New York Times." And it shows what is really going on, if you believe the "New York Times" in this report, behind the scenes.
BORGER: Well, it seems as if Donald Trump is looking for assurances, as all candidates do, from their staff, that they're not going to lose. And he is very involved in the details of his ads, being someone who is being on television for a lot of his life. So that's not surprising. What's interesting to me is the extent to which he has to be sort of cajoled, convinced. And you really got in this piece a sense of the ups and downs of this campaign and the kind of frenetic nature of the travel at the end of it. And the craziness of this particular race in which, depending on whom you listen to, 14 states could be in play.
BLITZER: All right. You know, the article also says that in recent days, they've take away his access to Twitter.
BLITZER: And they've made him more disciplined. He himself acknowledges that. You can imagine in the not too distant past, not too distant past, development like today, he would have been tweeting about that within an hour and a second.
BASH: Oh, yes. Right. And it's been obvious. We've been reporting on his discipline and the fact that he hasn't been tweeting. Never mind at 3:00 a.m. Crazy things, but really any time of the day, things that become the story as opposed to what his campaign wants the story to be. And so, you know, I did an interview with Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager, a couple of weeks ago. And I asked about this twitter thing. And she said, well, I'm not going to take a grown man's twitter account away. But guess what? They kind of did. You know, they keep a focus on it.
And the other thing that I found fascinating all along, but especially in these last couple of weeks, and we did some reporting on this, as well, is the effect of Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, Ivanka's husband. He's been involved much more than anybody realizes in the nitty-gritty of this campaign, from the budgets to the spending to everything. But now, how he's taking on a different role, in that he has become a Trump whisperer, the person around him to keep his calm and to be on the campaign trail.
Look, it is not just Donald Trump. I mean, I remember John McCain, people wanted to keep his calm. They used to give him Joe Lieberman and cookies. I mean, it is true for every single candidate. Because it is so grueling. And it gets very lonely. Your aides, their aides want to surround them with things that make them happy.
BORGER: Sometimes the bubble is actually a good thing for a candidate because you can shield them from the daily ups and downs and the, you know, the minutiae of how one poll moved and another moved. But this notion of sort of trying to keep him under control and making sure that only allowing him to dictate his tweets --
BORGER: So that somebody else has to type it, so they can sort of translate.
BLITZER: But Mark, it certainly has helped his campaign in recent weeks as he stuck to the teleprompter --
BLITZER: -- stopped tweeting so much, not making these kinds of statements. I don't think he's done many serious news interviews lately either.
PRESTON: No, he hasn't. It's interesting. You know, as Gloria says, the bubble is comforting and it's safe. But for Donald Trump, he has to be outside of the bubble. He's watching cable television 24/17. If you talk to people who are on the plane. He puts it up and it's just, again we go back to the idea that it eats him inside. And if you read the story, which was so terrifically done --
BORGER: Are you saying cable television is anxiety?
PRESTON: Absolutely not. Keep watching.
BASH: That's right. Best thing ever.
PRESTON: But you know, look, the bottom line for Donald Trump is, if you read the story, which again, was so well done --
PRESTON: He talks about how he doesn't want the "New York Times" reporter to come on because he's doing so well. Like he can't thrust himself.
HENDERSON: Yes. Yes.
PRESTON: Donald Trump himself knows what his limitations are.
HENDERSON: Exactly. Right.
PRESTON: He knows what is really interesting and I'll leave it on this. Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were once friends. The story behind Bill Clinton was, if you got on an airplane with him, he would not let you sleep.
PRESTON: You had to play cards with him. He had to talk with you. You had to talk with him. So, it's interesting the comparisons between these two gentlemen who are now bitter enemies.
HENDERSON: Yes. But in some ways, I mean, you, this wasn't exactly a flattering portrait of Donald Trump. Right? I mean, it's sort of made him look like a man child surrounded by all of these people who were feeding him cookies in some ways. And you wonder about a campaign, at this point, on the one hand, they're saying there is momentum, they'll going to win Michigan, they're going to win Mexico, we're in Colorado.
Maybe they'll win all sorts of states. They're leaking this kind of information that doesn't make him look like a man in charge. That doesn't really make him look like a leader. You wonder about a campaign, where there are people who are willing to leak this kind of information and make someone who, again, wants to make everybody thinks that he is a leader, makes him look pretty bad.
[19:41:14] BLITZER: Yes. It was a revealing article in the New York Times.
BASH: Remember, Melania said she had two boys at home.
HENDERSON: Yes. It's true.
BORGER: And would like him to stop tweeting --
BLITZER: We have more coming up on the breaking news. The FBI confirming the probe into Hillary Clinton's email server is over.
We'll going to get Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz reaction to the decision. There you see him. He's standing by live. We'll speak with him right after this.
[19:45:57] BLITZER: We're on a standby for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, expected to speak in Manchester, New Hampshire, shortly. We'll have a live coverage once that begins. You're seeing James Taylor performing at that event now. Right now, the big news today, the big story, breaking news, the letter sent by the FBI Director James Comey, saying after a thorough review of the latest e-mails discovered on Anthony Weiner's computer, the FBI stands by its original decision back in July. No criminal charges recommended against Hillary Clinton.
Joining us now from Salt Lake City, Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, he is the chairman of the House Oversight Government Reform Committee, one of the members who actually received this letter from Director Comey today. Congressman, thanks for joining us.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: The last time we spoke, you seemed pretty convinced that this new investigation would turn up new evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton. No such evidence according to the FBI director emerged. Do you trust Director Comey's conclusion in this new phase of the investigation?
CHAFFETZ: Well, there may be new evidence, but the idea that he's not going to prosecute, I wholly understand. And, you know, if that is his conclusion, I'm glad he communicated it. But obviously, ten days ago or so, when they said, hey, we are looking at this information, they had reopened what they were looking at, then you know, we're all left with, wow, would you do that so close to an election unless you had something that was of real substance? And so, you know, one of the most memorable elections we've ever had. It still begs a lot of questions that still need to be answered.
BLITZER: Yes. A lot of people thought that his FBI agents told him there was something startling to issue such a statement, a letter to you and other members of Congress with only 11 days or so remaining.
BLITZER: And now to conclude they've reviewed all of these hundreds of thousands of e-mails and his original conclusion stands. Do you trust this investigation? Do you believe that the FBI director should be staying on the job or do you think he's been compromised?
CHAFFETZ: I have never suggested that he has been compromised. It begs a lot of questions that I think we need to answer long term. No matter who wins this election because we've got to understand, there was reference in the FBI documents about a quid pro quo. We need to understand that. The FBI director back in July gave about 12 minutes of very stunning, you know, statements about how careless Hillary Clinton was with classified material. How is it that classified material migrated to an unclassified setting?
And still to this day, we learn more and more about the idea that Hillary Clinton gave classified -- or access to classified information to people who had no security clearances. So there is a lot of things that we still need to figure out. And we also don't know what is going on with this probe or investigation of the Clinton Foundation. And Bob Goodlatte and I, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and I also sent a request to look at, did Hillary Clinton lie under oath when she provided testimony to Congress? That they haven't answered, as well. So, I could go on and on for another half hour, Wolf. We have a lot of questions that need to be answered.
BLITZER: So, basically, how do you think the Trump campaign should react, Congressman, to the latest development which basically says, at least as far as the FBI is concerned, the case against Hillary Clinton and her e-mail server is closed?
CHAFFETZ: Look, I'm not going to give the Trump campaign any sort of advice. It's really up to the American people. I think there are still a lot of questions that America has to answer. And they get to make this decision the next 48 hours or so. Because she did put classified information at risk. She did put people, unnecessarily, at risk. That is undisputable. Nobody is disputing that.
Hillary Clinton made a very conscious decision early in this process to do something that was convenient for her but put our nation at risk. And that's part of her background and people are going to have to process that and determine how important that is as they make a decision whether or not to vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
[19:50:19] BLITZER: Yes, the FBI director said in his testimony to Congress, she was extremely careless in the way she dealt with her e- mail. That private server. But he also concluded that there was no intent to deal with classified information in an illegal way, if you will. And as a result, he said no reputable prosecutor would go forward and prosecute Hillary Clinton in this case.
CHAFFETZ: But that's a question --
BLITZER: I understand you don't accept that, right? CHAFFETZ: Well, I think it is a question. Where is intent? I read
the conclusion of where you need to get to intent. I believe the statute says if you have the intention of storing classified information in a non-secure setting, that's enough to violate the statute. And certainly the Department of Justice prosecuted people for far less than what is talked about here. And while we're talking about just Hillary Clinton, let's remember, you have other people from Huma Abedin to Sheryl Mills to Heather Samuelson that had to have immunity agreements put in place. If this is truly closed, I think Hillary Clinton should look people in the eye, and look into the camera and say, don't plead the fifth, no more immunity agreements.
Go to Congress in a bipartisan way and let us question them. Let's get to the answer to this. Because it is one scary thing for people in our intelligence services, in our military, to suggest that well, if you don't have the intention of giving this information to the Russians or the Chinese, go ahead and take home the classified information. Go ahead and put it on your home server. Are you kidding me? That puts people's lives in jeopardy. So, where is the level of intent that you need to get to so the FBI can prosecute it? They prosecuted for far less than Hillary Clinton did.
BLITZER: We'll continue this conversation down the road. Congressman Chaffetz, thanks for joining us.
CHAFFETZ: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Coming up, battleground America by the numbers. For Trump's path to 270 electoral votes, he must clinch either North Carolina or Pennsylvania. The final fight for the swing states, that is next.
[19:56:25] BLITZER: Both campaigns swarming the country these last two days before the election. Hillary Clinton relying on a bit of star power today. She was introduced by basketball star LeBron James during a rally in Cleveland. Donald Trump running on overdrive, holding rallies in five states today, including one that just wrapped up in Michigan. During that rally, he again raised the issue of voter fraud, repeated his claim that the campaign would have people monitoring the polls. Comments like that have galvanized not only Republicans but Democrats, as well.
CNN Sara Sidner is joining us live from Philadelphia right now. Sara, what are you learning?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in the city of brotherly love, Wolf, the political battle is as fierce as it's ever been. But in some polling places, people are going to see something that they did not see in 2012, and that's folks who are watching the polls.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: 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. SIDNER (voice-over): The words of Donald Trump galvanizing people to
(on camera): Watch certain areas. What do you think he means by that? Is that racially charged?
REV. DR. ALYN E. WALLER, ENON TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH: It is racially charged. Because he is appealing to people that already believe black and brown people are inherently dishonest and dangerous.
SIDNER: Trump argues this is not about race, but instead potential voter fraud. Still, there are reports white supremacist group say, they'll show up to monitor inner city polls in Philadelphia. If they do, they'll have company. From members of mega churches like Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church to local mosques. Some 400 men of color say, they will be at polling places this year, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it is raining, we'll have umbrellas. If the lines are long and people feel like giving up, we're going to tell jokes and entertain them so they don't leave. If someone comes to disrupt, we're going to shut that down through proper authorities. We'll be willing to call the police and also escort persons away from those areas. We will not allow anyone to disrupt free and fair elections in Philadelphia.
SIDNER: I also talked to a Trump supporter who was out waving flags around, saying he plans to also watch polls after he votes. A lot of folks thinking about that, but it is very important to note that there really isn't early voting here. Just a few people allowed to vote by mail. Here in Pennsylvania, you've got to vote on the day, which is of course Tuesday. So, they expect to have very long lines. And so, when it comes to these poll watchers, there could be five to seven of these guys out at each of the polls, especially in predominantly black neighborhoods -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I take it there must be a lot of anticipation, a lot of excitement where you are in Philadelphia right now. Give us a little flavor of that.
SIDNER: Yes, I mean, no matter where you are, if you're getting the Philly cheesesteak, as you can get in the city and they're really good, people are talking about it. If you're going down to the corner store, people are talking about it. It doesn't matter where you go, everyone is talking about this election. But one thing that people are very worried about is there is a septa strike. So, public transportation isn't available right now. And there is a fight, push, right now, and in the morning to try and get that going again. We know the Democrats have offered rides and so has uber. Free rides to the voting polls here in Philadelphia -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Sara, thanks very much. Sara Sidner reporting for us. That does it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in the SITUATION ROOM. Anderson Cooper picks up our special coverage right now. ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, thanks very much. Good evening
everyone from Washington, D.C. Thanks for joining us. What a night. If you are waiting for yet another shoe to drop in a presidential campaign that has, at times, resembled Imelda Marcos' closet, just take a look at the floor. There is a brand new piece of footwear on it tonight.