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Michigan Gov.: "Many, Many More Children May Be Poisoned; Michigan Gov.: We Are Complying With Every Investigation; Michigan Gov.: I Won't Resign; Trump Announces Vets Rally To Compete With Debate; Trump: I Was Being Taken Advantage Of By Fox; American Freed From Iranian Prison Speaks; Trump: I Don't Like Being Used; Trump: "I Was Pushed Away" From The Fox News Debate; Iowa Women Get Candid About Clinton; Clinton's "Experience" Argument Working?; "Trustworthiness" Questions Plague Clinton; Monica Lewinsky Still An Issue?; Bill Clinton: Asset Or Liability?; Age-Gap An Issue For Clinton?; American Held In Iran Speaks. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired January 27, 2016 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:02] GOV. RICK SNYDER, (R) MICHIGAN: Again, this is where there was a failure in government, in terms of people not using common sense enough to prevent this from happening. And identifying it soon enough.

HARLOW: A local pediatrician, one of the first to discover the lead in the water here, calls the impact on the children, irreversible and multigenerational.

For those parents that are sitting here today, and wondering, is my kid going to not reach their potential because of this. And that's going to happen to some of these kids. We know that.

Dr. Mona Hannah Attisha told me that what can be done is that you can minimize the impact through early literature programs, universal preschool, access to healthy foods, to say, the calcium binds instead of the lead to the child's bones, et cetera, mental health services. She put a price tag on that, Governor. And she told me it's going to cost $100 million just to do that. Will you make sure they get $100 million?

SNYDER: I'm not sure she would know how to put the price tag. I have reviewed recommendations she has made. And actually, a number of those actions we were already working on doing in Flint.

HARLOW: She's done the analysis. I'm asking you again, $100 million, will you make sure they get that if that's what they need?

SNYDER: Well, we're making sure that they get what they need.

HARLOW: A 2011 study found water from the Flint River would have to be treated with an anti-corrosive agent to be safe to drink. To do that, would have only cost $100 a day. But that was never done.

I was speaking with a young man this morning, and he said to me, "They put money over people." And he said, "The Black lives and the poor White lives weren't worth it."

When you look at the numbers, $100 a day, what happened?

SNYDER: Well, that's the failure point. I mean, in terms of cost structures, $100 a day, this is where the huge error was. It's people -- there were people that were subject matter experts in this that they didn't believe that needed to be done. That was a huge mistake. That's part of the fundamental mistake of this whole situation.

HARLOW: Do you need to be done, why?

SNYDER: Well again ...

HARLOW: Because money was ...

SNYDER: ... in terms of, no, not on that point.

HARLOW: ... given priority here over these people?

SNYDER: Not at all. This is where the investigations will follow up and all of those -- in terms of the details of all that. We're cooperating with all of those investigations because I want to find out what went on. I want the facts out there.

HARLOW: The kids were being poisoned by the water they were drinking here. The EPA knew about it, your spokesman, your former spokesman knew about it in July 2015 and sent an e-mail about it. And you didn't declare a State of Emergency until January of this year. Why did it take so long?

SNYDER: Actually, I learned about it in October. And I took action immediately then, offering filters, working with people on getting water, I'm doing water testing. Again, we needed to do more, though. So as soon as I learned about it, we took dramatic action. The failure was, is people kept on ...

HARLOW: Was it dramatic action because the mother this morning said to me ...

SNYDER: Oh yeah.

HARLOW: ... "No one came to my house immediately back in October and knocked on the door."

SNYDER: No, I mean, that's why I said, we needed to do more. And so at this point in time, all the other efforts weren't as much as I would have liked. And so the point is, now that was the point of calling the National Guard out, about making attempts to visit every home in Flint.

HARLOW: Why not just immediately replace all of the lead pipes?

SNYDER: That's a question you can ask across the country. And the challenge of that is, that's not a short ...

HARLOW: But I'm asking you, because Flint ... SNYDER: ... term project.

HARLOW: ... has had people poisoned.

SNYDER: That is not a short-term project, in terms of ripping up all the infrastructure, replacing all that. That can take an extended period of time.

HARLOW: Your former spokesman wrote an e-mail back in July of 2015. Here's a part of it. "I'm frustrated by the water issue in Flint. These folks are scared and worried about health impacts and they are basically getting blown off by us."

You have said, since then, that you knew about that e-mail. And that you were made aware of that. Why not act then?

SNYDER: The experts came back from both the Department of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services to say they didn't see a problem with lead in the water or lead in the blood.

HARLOW: Folks here did. They were getting rashes.

SNYDER: And, well, in fact, this is in ...

HARLOW: Their kids were having rashes, the water was discolored.

SNYDER: Let me finish, Poppy. I mean, that makes me feel terrible. I mean, I wish you would have done something different.

HARLOW: As this scope of the crisis has grown, residents have rallied, demanding the governor step down.

A number of the residents that I've spoken with in Flint have said ultimately they want accountability. Governor, will you resign?

SNYDER: No. Again, I think its normal the right action is, if you have a problem that happened from people that were -- you are responsible for, you go solve it.


ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 ANCHOR: So Poppy, the Governor has been subpoenaed this week by attorneys representing citizens of Flint in a class action case to release all his e-mails and texts back to 2011. What's he going to do?

HARLOW: At this point, he has not said he will release those. He told me today that he is cooperating, that he will comply with the investigation.

[21:05:02] But he insists at this point that the 2014 and 2015 e- mails, Anderson, that he did release, that those are sufficient. And he said those are the relevant ones, Anderson.

COOPER: You pressed him on the dollar figure. Do we know at this point how much money Michigan ultimately will put toward trying to solve the crisis and helping these kids? I mean the so far it's only $28 million is been allocated.

HARLOW: And I'm so glad you asked that, because this is going to cost, according to all the experts, hundreds of millions of dollars. As you said, only $28 million has been allocated. You heard the doctor tell me, you need at least $100 million just to give these kids a fighting chance to counteract the lead poisoning. Then the EPA says it will cost between 50 and $75 million to replace all the lead pipes here, if they do that. And then you have the millions and millions of dollars right now that needs to go towards bottled water, et cetera.

So you're looking at hundreds of millions of dollars. No idea at this point in time where that's going to come from. I will tell you though, the governor said to me, time and time again, we will do what is needed. We will make this right. So you've got to hope and think that money is going to come.

COOPER: All right. We'll watch. We'll see. Poppy Harlow, thank you.

Coming up next, now presidential politics. Thanks but no lives at stake, only may be egos or careers. Tonight, Donald Trump who is campaigning in South Carolina went on Fox News, the network that he's feuding with to say once again that he will not take part at Fox News Debate tomorrow night.

We spoke with Bill O'Reilly was fascinating. At times the anchor lectured the candidate on being too self-centered and too quick to take offense at other moments he was almost imploring Trump to rejoin the debate.


BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: When the American public elects a president, they elect two tracts. They elect policy and a person. Would you say that right now Donald Trump, all right, is a person who can let petty things and that's what I think this is all about? These petty things influence him to the extent that he doesn't do what maybe he should do?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, let me put it a little differently. I don't like being taken advantage of. In this case I was taken advantage of by Fox. I don't like that.

Now, when I'm representing the country, if I win if I'm representing the country as president, I won't let our country, because that's a personality trait.

O'REILLY: Will you just consider, I want you to consider, all right? Think about it. That, look, I might come back, forgive, go forward, answer the questions, look out for the folks. Just want you to consider it. You owe me milk shakes, I'll take them off the ledger if you consider it.

TRUMP: Well, even though you and I had an agreement that you wouldn't ask me that, which we did, I will therefore forget that you asked me that. But it's not the Fox it's not up to me, Bill. What they did ...

O'REILLY: You're actually telling the truth there.

TRUMP: You actually did break the agreement.

O'REILLY: You're telling the truth that I said ...

TRUMP: Because I told you up front, I said don't ask me that question.


COOPER: Will this, of course, just the latest battle in his war with Fox. Here to talk about it. CNN Political Commentators, Amanda Carpenter and Jeffrey Lord, she is a former Communication Director for Senator Cruz. He is the Reagan White House -- Former Reagan White House Political Director, both conservative writers.

Also with us tonight, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Republican Pollster and Columnist for the Conservative Washington Examiner. So, Jeffrey, your quick reaction to what you just heard.

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that was amazing. I have to say. I mean if they have been friends for decades. So it's very interesting there. And if there was a milk shake bet, I'm pleased to hear that, you know, somebody is going to keep their end of the bargain. But I don't think he's going to reconsider. I would be -- surprised.

I mean, at this point he's got this other event scheduled in the same timeframe. So I think it would be impossible. Although I must say, it certainly would be add a little touch of drama if in the middle of this debate he walked on the stage.

COOPER: Amanda, I mean putting your loyalties for Ted Cruz aside for a moment. Is there an upside in all of this for Donald Trump? Because I've heard some of his supporters say, look, he's showing strength. Rush Limbaugh was saying, look he's not, you know, just kind of going along with this process that is rigged against him or that he feels is rigged against him. Do you think there's any up side for Trump in this?

AMANDA CARPENTER, FMR COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: Oh, yes, there is up side for Trump. But number one, I think it just disrespectful to the process, it is respectful to the voters. But Donald Trump wins by staying in the media. I think he's avoided very real scrutiny in this election by creating controversy everyday. We're always talking about, you know, what's he going to do next? And there hasn't been a real vetting process. That has started to begin among conservatives, you know, we saw last week national review come out with their coalition sort of anti endorsement.

Talk radio has been going through his support for the bailout stimulus, abortion, et cetera. That vetting is beginning to happen in some circles. [21:10:00] And frankly, Donald Trump doesn't like it. Donald Trump doesn't like being accountable for his previous statements and beliefs, because this whole thing started when Megyn Kelly asked him about statements he made about women. That's what he is avoiding, and so he's throwing it a big temper tantrum. We're talking about that and he doesn't have to answer for previous positions.

COOPER: You know, it's so interesting, Kristen, because I mean, nothing that was supposed to, you know, that a critic said, would hurt Donald Trump or pundits said, would hurt Donald Trump so far in this campaign, has actually hurt Donald Trump. Why should this be any different tonight?

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMNIST: The reason why this is a gamble for Donald Trump is that, there's a risk that this cuts at the core attribute that he is selling to the American people.

The fact that he's a jerk, people already know that he's a jerk. That hasn't hurt him at all. The fact that he's not really a conservative, that sort of miraculously hasn't really hurt him that much up until this point.

Where he wins a lot of voters is by making the case, "Look, I'm tough, I'm strong, I'm a winner and I'm going to make America a winner and fight for you. I know when to walk away from a bad deal". He thinks that's the message he's conveying by taking the step to say, "Look, I'm not going to the Fox Debate.

But it's been very interesting watching Cruz and other opponents of Trump come after him as this is weakness. There's that hashtag, "Donald Duck", that he's chicken, that he's ducking the debate.

If this begins to go after Trump's core message that he's strong, that he's brave. Instead if it begins really looking like he's weak and cowardly, that's the reason why this is a potentially a gamble for him.

COOPER: Everybody hold on that thought because I want to continue with that and get Jeffrey to weigh in on that.

But we're going to have more after a short break and also later, my exclusive interview with a man who went to Iran as a scholar and left as a survivor.

An American arrested, thrown in prison, kept in solitary confinement. He was taken off the street and driven directly to this prison, very infamous prison in Iran. His ordeal and his strength and the face of it, ahead on the program tonight.


[21:15:20] COOPER: Four days until the Iowa caucuses and a day until the Republican debate and all vets are off. All expectations of what this was supposed to look like, how it would play out or simply no longer valid would make sure assumingly a great conversation. Back with Amanda Carpenter, Jeffrey Lord and Kristen Soltis Anderson. Jeffrey, we heard from Kristen before the break saying essentially that there is a danger for Donald Trump and that he's going to end up looking weak from this. Do you think that is a real danger?

LORD: No. No, I don't. You know, Rush Limbaugh had the best analysis today, it wasn't analysis he was really taking sides. He doesn't do that. That he was doing an analysis here that basically said what Donald Trump is doing is breaking all political convention, political formula, and everybody else can't figure out how to deal with it.

This is his strength. And this is why he is so popular out there in America. This is why his poll numbers are so high. This is what people are crying for. They want somebody who is going to go in there and overturn everything and start over again. And, you know, obey the rules, obey the constitution, but not all of these sort of political rules that are -- just sort of ephemeral and layered over every discussion we have. You can't say this because of political correctness, you can't do this.

You know, that we've lost on let say cram to this bill or illegal immigration but we're going to call it a win. He's going to speak very bluntly. They know he's fearless, they see it this way. Not for a second are they going to believe that Donald Trump is weak on this.

COOPER: Let's play some of what Limbaugh said actually today. Let's play that.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW HOST: This is what it looks like. When some guy stands up to the rules and the game and says, screw yours, I'm looking out for me first. That's all this is.

And you can say whatever you want, but I am not dumb. I'm not going to give you the gun and the bullet, and stand still. You want to hit me, come get me. But I'm not going to put myself in your line of fire.


COOPER: So I mean, Amanda, to that point, how do Cruz and others deal with Trump tomorrow night? Do they and we heard Cruz earlier this evening, we played some sound from a live event he was in, in the last hour where he was kind of trying to use humor, essentially saying if somebody, you know, doesn't show up for a job interview, they get fired.

CARPENTER: Well, here's my concern. Yes, Donald Trump is breaking all the rules. Yes, he's standing up for himself. But to what end? What is he doing with all the attention on himself? You know, today I just couldn't deal out of me.

Bernie Sanders, a known socialist, was standing outside of the White House talking about how great his campaign was going. But no one talked about that, because we're all talking about Donald Trump. We're all debating, you know, whether Megyn Kelly is a bimbo.

Donald Trump has generated a lot of attention for himself. He's not using it for a good end. He needs to talk about where we're taking the country. Instead we are just debating Donald Trump's bad attitude and for that it's not good for the Republican Party and I can't get behind these crazy tactics.

COOPER: Just for the record, we are not debating whether Megyn Kelly ...


COOPER: ... is that word I just ...

CARPENTER: But people are.

COOPER: Yes. No, I understand what you're saying. I just want to be on the record on that one.

CARPENTER: No. Not tonight. No. No. Thank you. I appreciate that, Anderson.

COOPER: Kristen, I mean it's not like Trump is taking tomorrow night off, I mean that's the other interesting components of this he says he's going to be fund raising, focusing on veterans' issues. Does that give him some pushback when people criticize him? And, yeah, I guess the flip side of that, is can he be criticize as using veterans to kind of deflect, you know, deflect of negativity against him?

ANDERSON: Remember that Donald Trump has a complicated relationship, and that sort of putting it as politely as I can with veterans, given that one of the big controversies of the campaign was when he came out and sort of insulted prisoners of war. You know, and got into that spat with John McCain.

The thing to remember about Donald Trump is if you look at his poll numbers, going back to the early summer when he first began saying he might run for president, is his numbers have gone only dipped twice. And both of those times his numbers have dipped, it was moments when he was out of the headlines, either because things were happening on Capitol Hill with Speaker Boehner, leading into Speaker Ryan. Or it was because something had happened in another debate that had taken the spotlight off of him, the rise of Carly Fiorina, Jeb versus Marco Rubio in that CNBC debate.

Those are the only two moments when Trump's numbers have not been going up. So he knows that being out of the headlines is a big problem for him. That being on that debate stage with all of his other competitors makes him one of equals, makes him just part of the mix.

And, so by stepping out and doing his own event, it's -- in a way potentially very savvy that he's trying to create headlines for himself, away from the rest of the field, because being in the headlines is the oxygen he needs for his campaign to survive. [21:20:02] COOPER: And his shadow is -- by not being at the debate maybe even loomed larger over the debate itself. Kristen Soltis Anderson ...


COOPER: ... on the program, Amanda Carpenter, Jeffery Lord as well.

Up next our media gurus weigh in our Donald Trump's, Steve with Megyn Kelly in Fox News and his tense conversation with Bill O'Reilly tonight.


COOPER: In the election year done, the presidential politics, candidates go toe-to-toe with each other all of the time. What we don't often see is a candidate railing so hard against a journalist or network or magazine or microphone or any of the other foes who've incurred the wrap of Donald Trump and in some cases it's just seems merely by existing.

The bizarre vendetta that Trump is wielding against Megyn Kelly in Fox News took another strange turn just tonight we went on Fox News. Here's more of what he said on Bill O'Reilly's show just a short time ago.


O'REILLY: The terrorists are going to come match it and it's going to be personal. They're going to do everything they can to diminish you ...

And you hope, as president, you have to rise above that, all right? And do what's best for the country. And this exposition that we're talking about today, people are going to say, you know, Trump, he's just too self absorbed to be president.

[21:25:00] TRUMP: There's got to be something because you set the all time record in cable history and so did CNN.


O'REILLY: They want to know you. They want to know you.

TRUMP: No you're trying.


O'REILLY: You're not giving them the opportunity to know them as well as they would like.

TRUMP: I'm not walking away.


COOPER: Joining me now, CNN Senior Reporter for Media and Politics, Dylan Byers and CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter, host of "Reliable Sources".

Brian, I mean, it's interesting, you guys Donald Trump not backing down to O'Reilly, who's basically kind of admonishing but also at times almost pleading with him to come back to the debate.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. It was an extraordinary lobbying effort by Bill O'Reilly on behalf of Fox News and Trump is not giving one inch.

This is all about a paradynamic, I think, between these two men and between this campaign and this network. They should be natural allies, talking about the GOP frontrunner and the GOP's favorite channel. But to see them at logger head and to see Trump really coming out ahead here and not giving one inch, it's extraordinary.

COOPER: Dylan, Fox has canceled interviews with Trump before during this campaign. Why has this interview moved forward after all he said and tweeted about the network and Megyn Kelly the last day or so?

DYLAN BYERS, CNN MEDIA AND POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well two reasons, I think. And you're absolutely right, Anderson, that Fox News has canceled interviews with Donald Trump before, although that's certainly not the way Donald Trump would spin it.

But two reasons here. One, Fox News is declaring that it is still going to treat Donald Trump fairly, that it will have a podium for him on stage, if he wants to show up at the debate. And in the same vein, it will have a chair for him if he wants to sit down for an interview.

But there's a second calculation here, as well. And that calculation is obviously ratings. We're on the eve of this debate, this has become the sort of most highly anticipated moment in the 2016 campaign so far. If you're Fox News, if you're Bill O'Reilly, why aren't you going to take that interview? Why would you give that interview to another network?

COOPER: It's interesting -- I mean, Brian, Trump has been publicly reigniting this feud with Megyn Kelly.

STELTER: Yeah, yeah.

COOPER: You know, kind of in the run up to this. And privately, at least according to Fox News, his campaign manager was making threats to actually get her removed. And they released a statement, Fox saying in part, Lewandowski, the campaign manager, was warned not to level any more threats but continued to do so. We can't give in to terrorizations toward any of our employees. He obviously denies making any kind of threats.


COOPER: I mean, was -- do you think Trump was looking for a way to get out of this debate or?

STELTER: There were couple of times even tonight even this O'Reilly interview where Trump does refer to the high number of debates or his six debates so far. He comment to about how at some point we're going to stop debating and do other things. However, he says, he enjoys the debates he was up for it.

So there's a kind of two different stories here. I think there might be some truth in both. Certainly some of Trump's rivals believe he was trying to avoid this debate. Cruz tonight, Ted Cruz in a campaign trail is calling Trump, "Gentle Donald, poking fun of the Donald that way". I'm sure we'll hear more of that tomorrow night as all these other candidates try to take up some of the oxygen that Trump won't be taking up in the room.

COOPER: Dylan, who do you think has more to lose here, Donald Trump or Fox News?

BYERS: Well, that's the million dollar question, right? I mean, Donald Trump's gamble here is that he is bigger than the Fox News Network, that he can drive the media story tomorrow night. And that he'll get a lot of turnout and he won't lose supporters.

Now, of course, Fox News is a cherished network among many Republicans and many conservatives. But, you know, there's a growing trend here happening and its part of the larger sort of civil war taking place on the right.

I've spoken to a lot of conservatives, sort of die hard conservatives, talk radio folks here in Iowa, who don't feel that Fox News sort of adequately represents their views. They don't feel like Fox News has been a fair home to Donald Trump or a candidate like Ted Cruz.

And so that is sort of enabled Donald Trump to sort of take this risk and sort of, you know, make the gambit that he can actually convince these conservative voters to go over to his show instead of the Fox News show.

COOPER: Interesting. Dylan Byers, great to have you on the program, Brian Stelter, as well.

Just ahead, Hillary Clinton counting on strong support from women obviously to help her clinch the nomination, but does she have a trust problem?

Randi Kaye talks to a group of women in Iowa who did not mince words.

We'll be right back.


[21:33:10] COOPER: Well, just four days to go until the Iowa caucuses. Not much time left to close the deal with voters, talking Democrats now.

The latest CNN/ORC poll shows Bernie Sanders with an eight point lead in Iowa over Hillary Clinton.

And take a look at this. From a recent Quinnipiac poll among likely Democratic caucus goers, 66 percent say they trust Hillary Clinton, while 93 percent said they trust Bernie Sanders. 27 point difference that adds up to a pretty big trust gap for Secretary Clinton. Those numbers are consistent with what Randi Kaye heard in Iowa when she talked to Democratic women about whether Clinton has their vote.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have pinot noir and a sauvignon blanc.

KAYE: Let me try that.

At the East village spot in Des Moines, a mix of pampering and politics. This networking group of Democratic women called "Women who wine" gathered here to drink and dish about Hillary Clinton.

CHRIS HARTLINE, NOT VOTING FOR HILLARY CLINTON: I'm glad that there is a woman present in the race. I just wish it was a different woman.

KAYE: Chris Hartline prefers Bernie Sanders over Clinton, mainly because Mrs. Clinton voted in favor of the Iraq war. She calls Clinton morally bankrupt.

Does she come off as sincere to you?

HARTLINE: No, I think her moral compass is a little skewed.

KAYE: Trust is a big problem for Hillary Clinton among this group.

KENNA NEIGHBORS, LEANING TOWARD SANDERS: I really like Bernie. I like his personality.

KAYE: And what don't you like about her?

NEIGHBORS: My heart and intuition is just not trusting. What she is about.

KAYE: Still, for some, her record is enough to get their vote.

MARIA MAYBERRY, LIKES HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah. I look at all the amazing things that she has done, she has helped children, you know, always advocated for women. She has advocated for healthcare.

KAYE: What draws you to her?

[21:35:00] TABBY HINDERAKER, LIKES HILLARY CLINTON: Yeah, I think for me it's her history in fighting for the issues that I care about.


KAYE: Issues like pay equity, women's health and women's reproductive rights.

And for Clinton supporters here, it is not just about electing a woman president.

Is it important to you to see a woman as president?


KAYE: Is that why you would support her?

ROESER: No. No. I have -- I hold too strongly to my philosophical, you know, beliefs.

KAYE: Mrs. Clinton also loses points among this group for how she handled her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky. Old news? Not to this woman who calls Clinton a sellout.

NEIGHBORS: If my husband would have done anything like that, he would have been out of there. And she stayed in, and I think she stayed in for a reason, because she wanted to be where she is right now.

KAYE: And as a woman, that bothers you.

NEIGHBORS: Yeah, it does.

KAYE: It may bother some, but others consider Clinton battle-tested and see that as a good thing.

ROESER: She's been through a lot. Do I think she's a saint? No, I don't think she's a saint. But I think that she's had very adverse situations where there probably wasn't an easy right answer and I think she has always done the very best she could and I think she's always cared about her causes and people in general.

KAYE: Even those here who don't like Hillary Clinton think she was a good secretary of State and strong on the world stage. They just don't want her to be president.

She likes to say on day one she'll be ready to be president, based on her experience. Is that important to you?

NEIGHBORS: Yes. That is important to me.

KAYE: Not enough to say ...

NEIGHBORS: Not enough to say that I will vote for her. Not yet.


COOPER: Randi, did it seem like the headlines, the scandals that have dogged Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton over the years, rightly or wrongly, had an impact on how these women feel about her?

KAYE: Absolutely, Anderson. I asked them all about Benghazi, I asked them all about the questions about Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server.

And many of them told me that they just didn't think she was transparent about those cases. One woman told me that she thinks Hillary Clinton believes that she simply above the law and that doesn't fit so well with her. But even as you mention those older scandals for her husband, Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky or Gennifer Flowers, a lot of these women have read everything. And they really believe that Hillary Clinton worked to discredit Monica Lewinsky and those other women and I don't believe that she's fighting for women as she promises on the campaign trail.

But, Anderson, having said all that, I asked them, would you vote for Hillary Clinton if she is the nominee and they all said absolutely.

COOPER: Randi, thanks very much. A lot to talk about.

Joining me now, CNN Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger, also David Yepsen, Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a former political reporter from the Des Moines Register.

Gloria, the fact that Secretary Clinton is still making the kind of pragmatic experience based argument for a candidacy that really she made back in '08 and it didn't seem to be working with some women voters or doesn't seem to be is we just heard, how big a problem is that?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think it is a problem. If you go back to 2008 and the Democratic primaries then, she barely won a majority of women then against Barack Obama.

Now she has got a real problem, because she has a real gap with men. And so, she has to make up for it with women. And you see Bernie Sanders doing really well, particularly with those younger women. She does very well with women over 50, and he does well with young women.

And that's a problem for her. So that's why we see her talking an awful lot about pay equity. I was with her this morning at a campaign event. And she really hit those women's pay issues and childcare, and children's health issues that she's been talking about for a long time to appeal to women voters to get them out here.

COOPER: David, in terms of trustworthiness, has Clinton dealt with that issue sufficiently enough? And I asked this now, because we have heard about it just now in Randi's piece.

But also, I just think about to just the other night during the CNN Town Hall, you know, the young voter saying his friends think she's dishonest. And he said it right to her face.

DAVID YEPSEN, DIRECTOR OF THE PAUL SIMON PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE: I think that's a big problem for Secretary Clinton. I saw that here in 2008, the trustworthiness, the candor. I just think she has a real problem with both men and women on that trustworthiness issue.

COOPER: And Gloria, I mean when it comes to -- I mean, Monica Lewinsky, for instance. It's interesting to hear that women voters, whether or not they agree with how Clinton handled it, actually still think about that as an issue almost two decades later. BORGER: I think there's a lot of Clinton fatigue that if Hillary Clinton is the nominee, is going to come back, I don't think Monica Lewinsky among Democratic women is going to be a huge issue.

But I do think, if you get into a general election, particularly if you have a Republican nominee, like a Donald Trump, for example, who's not shy about raising it.

[21:40:03] Rand Paul hasn't been shy about raising that issue, that the whole Clinton issue could come back to haunt her, and to haunt Bill Clinton, particularly with, you know, Republican voters.

COOPER: David, to that point, does Bill Clinton out on the campaign trail then complicate things?

YEPSEN: I think he does a little bit. I mean, he brings back up the past. And I think voters are wanting to look to the future. Bill Clinton can help turn out voters for his wife.

But, you know, in an era where people crave authenticity, I mean, then, you go to a Bernie Sanders rally, and you look at all the young people there, young women.

And what you realize is that they are - they have a chance to support someone who could be the first woman President of the United States, and they're opting to support grumpy, rumpled man called Bernie Sanders. And the fact is, it has a lot to do with authenticity, and Clinton's trustworthiness problem is a problem with younger voters.

COOPER: Gloria, I mean, do you think where -- just go ahead.

BORGER: If Hillary Clinton were to become the nominee, I think that her problem with women would be with suburban, married women. That she's generally kind of had a problem with.

But I think that those younger women who now are attending towards Bernie Sanders, would go right back to Hillary Clinton, to a degree, because, they would have to choose between a Republican Party that perhaps many of them are alienated from, and a Democrat.

And then in the end, you know, you can't underestimate the factor of just electing a woman president. And in the end, it's hard to say standing right here in Des Moines and how that would affect women voters heading into an election. It's just really hard to know right now.

COOPER: Yeah. Gloria Borger, thank you very much. David Yepsen, as well. Good discussion just ahead.

My exclusive interview with an American man who was captured and held in a prison in Iran for 41 days. He was a student in Iran, studying the language.

Dark days he had, many of them in solitary confinement in that prison after they told him he would never leave. He tells me how he got through it, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:46:07] COOPER: Now, my exclusive interview with American man who was held for more than a month in a notorious Iranian prison and was just released a week and a half ago.

His name is Matt Trevithick. He's not told his story anywhere else. This is the first time he's speaking out and in a world dominated by partisan politics and all of that, it's a breath of fresh air and a privilege to bring it to you.

Matt was in Iran studying Farsi. He'd been there for a few months, was walking on the street, going to buy his ticket home, when three men arrested him. Took him to prison and told him he was never going to leave. He was there for 41 days in solitary confinement for 29 of them.

Now he's readjusting to life back here in America. I spoke with Matthew about his time in captivity, how he got through it, and how he's doing now. Here's part one of our conversation.


COOPER: First of all, why did you go to Iran?

MATTHEW TREVITHICK, HELD IN IRANIAN PRISON: I thought it would be fantastic to be a student again in Iran, studying Farsi and really kind of sinking my teeth into what's going on here. It's a country that so many people are trying to piece together. Maybe I could go there, and study Farsi and see.

COOPER: So, when did you realize you were in trouble?

TREVITHICK: So, it's a very odd thing. You're standing there, you know, on the valley after the street, walking since their main street in Tehran, and you're reading the newspapers. I'm a Farsi student, I want to practice my Farsi as often as possible, working on reading and writing in particular.

And you're reading, you know, these headlines that just get progressively more xenophobic and progressively more specifically anti-American but also just generally anti foreign.

And that was particularly, you know, you're always sitting there, standing there and wondering, and with the other foreign students too. I'm not the only foreign at there. Does this mean me?

COOPER: So, you were just arrested on the street reading the paper?

TREVITHICK: I was arrested on the street, just walking down the street on my way to buy my ticket to come home. Three people, yeah, in an unmarked Hyundai Sonata, which is their car of choice for this kind of work, came up and said very quickly as I watched right by far, just feet from the dorm I was staying in at Tehran University. "Are you Matthew?" "Yes". In the car you go, 15 minute drive to even prison. COOPER: They take you directly to the prison.

TREVITHICK: Straight there. And once you're or through the gate, I couldn't help but notice that it was a very busy day. It was not the only Hyundai Sonata parking the gate that's getting checked on the way on to prison.

COOPER: What happened then you're inside the prison?

TREVITHICK: Inside the prison, and, you know, within an hour of standing on the street, walking down the street, very excited to buy my ticket to go home, I feel like I've checked the box on Tehran, it's been great, I learned some things and now it's time to go home and see the family for Christmas.

I'm sitting in an interrogation cell in the second floor of a specific building, used by the Intelligence Services in Iran. And their very first sentence to me was do you know Jason Rezian. I said, "Of course, the whole world knows Jason Rezian," everybody knows that name.

And, you know, they were pacing behind me, the prayer beads clicking in his hand and he said he's never leaving and neither are you. And that's when, you know, it starts to hit you. You're actually in even prison. And, you know, even that sense takes several days to accept the reality of -- I'm in prison, I'm a prisoner.

COOPER: Were they accusing you to your face?

TREVITHICK: Absolutely. Yeah.

COOPER: What were they so?

TREVITHICK: I was accused of trying to overfill the personally, the Iranian says (inaudible), personally trying to overthrown the Iranian government.

I was accused of having access to bank accounts with millions of dollars and I was accused of knowing the locations of weapons, caches that they've been secretly planned to there, on their country to prepare for my work.

And, you know, when I pointed out to them that the entire, you know, the tools I had available to me to accomplish this deed which I would say it would be fairly difficult consisted of some Farsi textbooks that I had purchased in Iran, a newspaper, some flash cards and some pens, you know, they said, well, it's not our plan, it's yours.

COOPER: And where were you in isolation this whole time? And in the solitary confinement?

[21:50:04] TREVITHICK: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, the first room that you're placed in is solitary confinement. It's approximately 60 by seven feet. And there's a ceiling approximately eight feet tall at one point and 12 feet tall at another point. And that's becomes your home, you know, that is home. You can -- I could touch -- I'm over six feet tall so I could touch, you know, all three sides of my room at any given point.

And it's very thin carpet, there's no bed, there was, you know, no pillows, things like that. And there's a very thin carpet over a concrete floor. And, yeah, that's home. And that was my home for 29 days.


COOPER: A solitary confinement in Iraq for 29 days.

Up next, more on my conversation with Matt including the story of his release from prison and how he got out.


COOPER: Now, more on my exclusive interview with Matt Trevithick. An American who was just release from prison in Iran.

Matt was in Iran studying Farsi when he was taken off the streets and taken directly to prison, he was told he would never leave. He was held for 41 days, 29 in solitary confinement, interrogated often. His story is remarkable, his strength, exceptional.

Here's part two of our conversation.


COOPER: At some point said you were released from solitary and ...


COOPER: Then you met other prisoners?

[21:55:00] TREVITHICK: Yes. So, and that actually was fantastic for me and my mental well being. So I was taken out of solitary confinement and we kind of walked over to cell blocks and put to another cell. This is cell is what they call the suite, I wouldn't have agreed with that description because ...

COOPER: Do you know why you were taken out of solitary?

TREVITHICK: I think that's standard operating procedure. They spend approximately 30 days from what I understand ripping your life apart. You're kind of in a isolated environment. They're trying to understand, they're trying to build their case.

COOPER: When did you know you were going to be released?

TREVITHICK: I had no idea I was being released until the minute I was in a barn, you know, and an SUV with diplomatic plates surrounded by foreigners who were saying, "Next stop is the airport".

But, you know, an hour before I was release, you know, was, yeah, definitely the most, I think dangerous, two hours probably dangerous and difficult time for me. I was, you know, violently pulled out of my cell, put it into the, you know, rushed down to the basement. You make a series of left, right turns that are obviously design to disorient you. You go downstairs.

And, you know, I could not believe even having spent 41 days there. Could not believe what I was looking at. I'm looking at a pitch black room with a single spotlight pointed at a chair with an ultra high definition camera, not the similar from the ones you have, pointed in my face in a white sheet next to the camera. I sit down. My interrogator walks in, stands behind the white sheet. I've no idea what they're about to film.

The man operating the camera has a surgical mask on. You know, I'm sitting there, spotlight on me, and they say "Matthew or Matt, this is your last chance. You know, admit why you are here. Admit that you are here to overthrow the government. Admit that you work for the U.S. government. Admit, admit it. Admit the truth".

And, you know, this was a particularly proud moment for me. I contemplated it. They said, "Do you need time to think?" And I said, "Yes." They said, "We'll give you a few minutes but this is your last offer. This is the last chance. We've been very nice to you this far.'' And I believe what they're saying.

They come back into the room. And I look right into the camera and I said, "I say everything I have to say.'' And I stand up and turn my back to the camera. You know, you have the metacognition going, your inner critic, "Matt, what do you doing, what are you doing, what are you doing? This is -- this could be a very bad decision."

COOPER: Right.

TREVITHICK: I really just felt it's the right thing to do. And they kept saying, "Well, you've made a very bad decision now, rip me out of the cell, throw me up against the wall."

I stay there for several minutes and then I'm rushed back to my cell. And OK, that's happening, just take this. Lunch is on the ground. I eat lunch for a few minutes before another guard comes back, rips me out of my cell says, "Collect all your things. So you only collect all your things and then if you are leaving or if you're being relocated.''

And I walked on the hallway. It's about 10 paces from my cell. You go left that's the door towards the exit. You go right, you're going deeper into the cell, you're going deeper into prison toward solitary confinement cells. And God knows what else.

And I stop. My heart is racing. My inner critic, you know, it was louder than ever. And then "Great Matt, you're about to reap what you've sown.'' And probably enough, they say turn left. And OK, pack your things, OK, and quick medical examination. I was like, very hurriedly put me back in my street clothes, everything that I have when I was taken minus several things.

And blindfold back on, sitting in the back of a car. And car makes a few turns and take off the blindfold, "OK, now look ahead'', and that's when I see a, you know, a sight I'll never forget, two Swiss diplomats when the door open to car. And said -- one of them said, "You know, Matthew, we'll go now, get in the middle seat" and the car took off at a hundred miles an hour to the airport.

COOPER: If there's somebody out there who was considering going to Iran as a tourist or going to Iran to study like you were, what do, what would you say to them?

TREVITHICK: I wouldn't advise that they go. Sadly. And that comes with -- unfortunately I don't think the time is ready for you to go. I think there was a window and then I think traditional, modern, Iranian politics got in the way of that window and I would not encourage people to go to Iran.

COOPER: Well, I'm glad you're back.

TREVITHICK: Yeah. It's fantastic to be back.

COOPER: Yeah. Well, thank you very much for talking to us.

TREVITHICK: Absolutely.


COOPER: Probably scary experience. Matt told me the first thing he did when he got home to Boston was go to his favorite burger place and with his mom and that is very much looking forward to seeing the new "Star Wars" movie.

[22:02:00]That does it for us. Thanks very much for watching. We'll see you again 11 p.m. Eastern for another edition of "360".

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon, starts now.