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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
The Relationship between Trump, Clintons; Paul Ryan Calling News Conference to Put Presidential Run Rumor "To Rest"; Interview with DNC's Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired April 12, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:32:11] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A new look this morning at the relationship between the Clintons and Donald Trump. This is a relationship decades in the making. It goes back. The Clinton Presidential Library just released nearly 500 pages of records pertaining to Trump, including birthday cards, briefings on Trump's possible 2000 presidential run, and even this, an autographed copy of "The Art of the Deal" addressed to a Clinton aide with the note, "Your mom is the best."
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live at the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas for more.
Jeremy, you were there. You were able to see all the documents. What did you find?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's really interesting is that President Obama is not the first president to have had to consider how to answer questions about Donald Trump. We saw a couple of briefing books from 1999, October '99. That's interesting because that's when Donald Trump actually announced he was forming a presidential exploratory committee to run, and his aides, the Clinton aides are advising him on how to field questions about whether Clinton's own scandals have contributed, essentially to the celebrity candidates now considering running for president.
And we have an interesting one from a briefing book in 1999 where Clinton is advised to respond that this is kind of the way things are, that the media is going to cover it, how it's going to cover it, and that he trusts the American people to essentially sort out the chaff from the wheat. And he's essentially saying he's confident in the way Americans are going to consider candidacies such as Donald Trump.
BERMAN: Bill Clinton giving media training to Donald Trump. Because Trump has been involved in the media for a long time.
Any sense of how close the relationship was or the familiarity --
BOLDUAN: That's always been a question.
BERMAN: -- While Bill Clinton was in the White House?
DIAMOND: In 1996, we have some discussions between Clinton aides, considering whether or not to send a birthday note to Donald Trump just before his birthday in June of 1996. It's interesting because initially they're saying yes, and three days later, there's a note from Clinton's personal secretary saying cancel letter to Trump. It shows the long-standing relationship between them.
And it's interesting to note that Donald Trump as he's gearing up for a fight against Hillary Clinton in January, he went after Bill Clinton, talking about him being one of the great women abusers of our time and essentially calling Hillary Clinton a, quote, "enabler."
It's interesting to see while Donald Trump had a long-standing relationship with the Clintons going back to at least the 1990s, today he's changed his tune as he's running on the Republican ticket and potentially going to run against Hillary Clinton.
[11:35:06] BOLDUAN: That relationship has clearly changed from the days of the birthday e-mails, the signed copies of "The Art of the Deal."
Jeremy Diamond, in Little Rock, thank you.
BERMAN: Along those lines, you want a sign of the changed relationship, Donald Trump has a new line of attack against Hillary Clinton, calling her entire life, a quote, "big, fat, beautiful lie." I don't think that Donald Trump will be getting a birthday card from the Clintons going forward.
The head of the Democratic National Committee joins us to discuss. Coming up.
BOLDUAN: Plus, moments from now, President Obama will be dedicating of a national monument dedicated to women. Don't miss this historic moment.
I think we have now. Let's listen in.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much, everybody.
OBAMA: Thank you.
OBAMA: Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat.
OBAMA: Thank you for the introduction.
It should be noted that today is Equal Pay Day, which means a woman has to work about this far in 2016 just to earn what a man earned in 2015. What better place to commemorate this day than here at this House where some of our country's most where this history needs to inform the work that remains to be done.
I want to thank some of the leaders who have worked to keep this House standing. We have members of Congress, like Barbara Mikulski, who has fought to preserve this site for years and has been the longest- serving woman in the United States Senate.
OBAMA: Our secretary of the interior, Sally Jewel, and her team as we celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Parks Service this year.
OBAMA: One of our greatest athletes of all time, one of the earliest advocates for equal pay for professional female athletes and a heroin of mine when I was still young and fancied myself a tennis player --
Billie Jean King is in the House.
OBAMA: And the National Women's Party board of directors, Paige Herrington, the executive director of the House and the museum.
OBAMA: Over the years, Paige and her staff have built a community, and cared for this House, repairing every cracked pipe and patching every leaked roof. We're grateful for their stewardship. I know it was not easy.
Equal pay for equal work should be a fundamental principle of our economy. It's the idea that whether you're a high school teacher, a business executive, or a professional soccer player or tennis player, your work should be equally valued and rewarded, whether you're a man or a woman. It's a simple idea. It's a simple principle. It's one that our leaders of the Democratic caucus in the House, Nancy Pelosi, has been fighting for, for years.
But it's one where we still fall short. Today, the typical woman that works full-time earns $.79 for every dollar a man makes. And the gap is wider for a woman of color. A typical black woman makes only $.60, a Latino woman, $0.65 for every dollar a white man earns. Now, if we truly value fairness, then America should be a level playing field where everyone who works hard gets a chance to succeed. That's good for America because we don't want some of our best players on the sidelines. That's why the first bill I signed as president was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Earlier this year, on the anniversary of this, we began collecting data on pay by gender, race and ethnicity, and this action will strengthen the enforcement of equal pay laws that are already on the books and help employers address pay gaps on their own. And to build on these efforts, Congress needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to put sensible rules in place and makes sure --
[11:40:04] OBAMA: And makes sure employees who discuss their salaries don't face retaliation by their employers.
I'm not here just to say we should close the wage gap. I'm here to say we will close the wage gap. If you don't believe me, then --
OBAMA: If you don't believe we'll close the wage gap, you need to come visit this House --
-- because this House has a story to tell.
OBAMA: This is the story of the National Women's Party whose members fought to have their voices heard. These women first organized in 1912 with little money but big hopes for equality for women all around the world. They wanted an equal say over their children, over their property, their earnings, their inheritance, equal rights to their citizenship, and a say in their government, equal opportunities in schools and universities, workplaces, public service, and, yes, equal pay for equal work. And they understood that the power of their voice in our democracy was the first step in achieving these broader goals.
Their leader, Alice Paul, was a brilliant community organizer and political strategist, and she recruited women and men from across the country to join their cause. And they began picketing, seven days a week in front of the White House to demand their right to vote. They were mocked. They were derided. They were arrested. They were beaten. There were forced feedings during hunger strikes, and through all this, women young and old kept marching for suffrage. Kept protesting for suffrage, and in 1920, they won that right. We ratified the 19th Amendment, but the suffragists didn't stop.
They moved into this historic House and continued their work. From these rooms, steps away from the capitol, they drafted speeches and letters and legislation. They pushed Congress and fought for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. They advocated for the inclusion of women in the U.N. charter in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They campaigned for women who were running for Congress. This House became a hot bed of activism, a centerpiece for the struggle for equality. A monument to a fight not just for women's equality but ultimately for equality for everybody. One of the things we've learned is that the effort to make sure that everybody is treated fairly is connected.
And so today, I'm very proud to designate it as America's newest national monument, the Belmont Paul Women's National Equality Monument, right here in Washington, D.C.
OBAMA: We do this to help tell the story of the suffragists. In these rooms, they pursued ideals which shouldn't be relegated to the archives of history, shouldn't be behind glass cases, because the story they're fighting is our story. I want young girls and boys to come here, 10, 20, 100 years ago to know women fought for equality. It was not just given to them. I want them to come here and be astonished that there was ever a time when women couldn't vote or a time when women earned less than men for being the same work. I want them to be astonished that there was a time when women were outnumbered in the boardroom or Congress or that a woman had never sat in the Oval Office. I don't know --
OBAMA: I don't know how long it'll take to get there. But I know we're getting closer to that day because of the work of generations of active, committed citizens.
One of the interesting things as I was just looking through some of the rooms, there was Susan B. Anthony's desk. You had Elizabeth Katie Stanton's chair. And you realize that those early suffragists had preceded Alice Paul by a generation. They had passed away by the time that the vote was finally granted to women. And it makes you realize -- and I say this to young people all the time -- that this is not a sprint. This is a marathon. It's not the actions of one person, one individual, but it is a collective effort where each generation has its own duty, its own responsibility, and its own role to fulfill in advancing the cause of our democracy.
[11:45:28] That's why we're getting closer, because I know there's a whole new generation of women and men who believe so deeply that we've got to close these gaps.
I have faith because what this House shows us is that the story of America is a story of progress. And it will continue to be a story of progress as long as people are willing to keep pushing and keep organizing, and, yes, keep voting for people committed to this cause and full equality for every American. I'm hoping that a young generation will come here and draw inspiration from the efforts of people who came before them.
After women won the right to vote, Alice Paul, who lived most of her life in this very House, said, "It is incredible to me that any woman should consider the right for full equality won. It's just begun."
That's the thing about America, we're never finished. We're a constant work in progress. And our future belongs to every free woman and man who takes up the hard work of citizenship to win full equality and shape our own destiny. That's the story this House tells. It's now a national monument that young people will be inspired by for years to come.
It would not have happened without the extraordinary efforts of many of the people in this room, not only the active support of this House and preserving it, but also the outstanding example that they are setting, that you are setting.
I'm very proud of you. Congratulations.
Thank you very much, everybody.
BOLDUAN: And with that you just saw right there, President Obama dedicating the Belmont Paul Women's Equality National Monument. This is a House that served as the head quarters of the National Women's Party for decades. See right there, him making this on an important day, Equal Pay Day.
Let's talk about this with a man who worked for that guy. Let's bring in CNN political commentator, Dan Pfeiffer, formerly a senior advisor to President Obama.
Dan, you were with President Obama for a very long time. Everyone remembers his first law he signed in taking office was the Fair Pay Act. From the conversations you've had with the president, why is this important to President Obama?
DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: For two reasons. One, it's a question of pure economic fairness. In all the years I worked for President Obama. This is an issue important to men. It affects their family income. Also more important to that to the president is he is the son of a single mother, the father of two daughters, married to an impressive, strong woman. These are issues that matter to him. Political movements that have inspired him in his life, whether it's the civil rights movement, you heard him au him talk about this today, this is inspiration to him as he thought about his campaign and the bottom up change that's part of the Obama movement.
BERMAN: I have to ask you a question on a different subject. Moments ago, we learned that Paul Ryan has scheduled a speech later this afternoon at the Republican National Committee. Aides tell Dana Bash he's going to rule out that he would let himself be drafted at the Republican convention, and he wants to put this matter to rest completely. Your reaction?
PFEIFFER: Look, I have always believed the Paul Ryan convention white-knight scenario was absurd. Paul Ryan is the walking, talking embodiment of everything the Trump and Cruz supporters hate about the Republican Party. He's pro Wall Street, pro trade, wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. These are the things that have -- he embodies the disconnect between the working class populism that Trump is using with the establishment supply side Wall Street friendly Republican party in Washington. And so he was never going to be president. He would have lost handily in a general election, and I think there would have been riots at the convention, maybe not real riots, but figurative riots if they picked an establishment figure like that after Trump and Cruz get the overwhelming majority of the pledged delegates. I think it was never going to happen, probably wise for him to put it to rest now and try to move on and be able to focus the next few months at least on whatever legislating he is still available in the remaining part of 2016
[11:50:07] BOLDUAN: You make an interesting point. Wise for him, or wise for helpful to Republican Party and the presidential race? What impact do you think -- even though he said I'm not going to be president, I don't want the nomination, but a not-so-quiet whisper campaign, rumor they were thinking about in the end to take the nomination, what is the impact on the actual race, on the dynamic out there right now?
PFEIFFER: His -- his greatest interest in putting this to bed is for himself and his staff so they cannot answer a thousand questions. But for, you know, the never Trump movement, the stop Trump movement, whatever you want to call it, if Paul Ryan is not a solution to that, either because he doesn't want to do it or doesn't make sense it is best to take it off the table so people can come to terms with the real options. Basically accept Trump or take Cruz. If you want to focus the #neverTrump, or whatever you want to call it in to one vehicle is Cruz and taking the Ryan fantasy away may make people come to terms that Cruz is the only option.
BOLDUAN: It would be important, the wording of this speech. How he says this. What he says.
We will have more on the conversation on this in just a moment.
Dan, stick with me.
We will have more on the breaking news. Paul Ryan just announced the House speaker will be making a speech from Capitol Hill. CNN is hearing from aides he will put to rest speculation. He will not be the nominee for president if it comes to one of those scenarios at a brokered convention. More on this breaking news after this.
BOLDUAN: Breaking news from Capitol Hill that House Speaker Paul Ryan will be speaking later today at the Republican National Committee, making remarks basically to say that he is going to rule himself out of the savior, white knight scenario, if it came to the, at the Republican convention.
Let's go to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill for more on this intrigue and what it means and what we are learning from the House speaker and his aides.
Manu, what are you picking up?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Paul Ryan believes all the chatter has become a distraction from his speakership. He tried to make it clear for months he did not want to be a candidate, but as you have seen the nominating contest involved into a contest. We don't know what will happen at the convention. The chatter about his name as intensified. There are things the speaker has done that had caused speculation but they tried to be clear it was not intended to be an effort to run for president. I believe the speaker wants to make that clear this afternoon when he makes his speech at the Republican con national committee headquarters. And there is no way he will accept a nomination no way whatsoever. We will see how much this dissuades folks from pushing his name out there. Clearly, a lot of folks want him to run -- Kate?
[11:55:15] BOLDUAN: I think a lot of that comes down to his terminology. We will see.
Manu, thank you so much.
Let me continue the conversation and much more by bringing in the Democratic National Committee chairwoman and the Congresswoman from Florida, Debbie Wassermann Schultz.
Congresswoman, thank you for joining me.
This is just happening right now. I'd love to get your reaction to what you are hearing about your speaker, that Paul Ryan will be making this speech, maker making remarks later this afternoon that he will rule himself out of this white knight scenario of being nominated at a brokered convention. What do you think of it?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, (D), FLORIDA & CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, I'm not surprised that Paul Ryan -- not at all surprising that Paul Ryan doesn't want to step in front of an oncoming speeding train. He's already had to be the savior of the Republican Party when he had to be recruited as a reluctant candidate to become their speaker because he's got massive chaos in the Republican caucus and the House. They have been at a civil war with one another for a long time and we have gotten almost nothing accomplished because of their divisiveness and not surprise he doesn't want to step in front of the train wreck occurring in the presidential campaign, as well.
BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the presidential campaign right now. One thing I found interesting last night and the last 48 hours. We have heard Trump offering support to Bernie Sanders saying the system is rigged against both of them. I don't think we have time to play the sound but he says Bernie Sanders, every weekend comes and Bernie Sanders wins, wins, wins, and these people are saying he can't win because the system is rigged. He's together with Bernie Sanders on this. What do you say?
SCHULTZ: You know, Donald Trump should probably worry more about how to organize his own campaign starting with his own family. He isn't organized enough to have made sure his own children were registered to vote as Republicans so they could cast votes for him in the Republican primary in New York next week, to say nothing of his lack of the rules of his own party. He should worry about the rules of the Republican Party and we will worry about the Democratic nominee and I'm confident that we will get through our primary nominating contest and our candidates both understand how to go through that process and will come together behind our nominee. And the Republican chaos can play out on the other side of the aisle.
BOLDUAN: Reince Priebus tweeted, he spoke out about the issue saying, "The rules were set last year. Nothing mysterious, nothing new. The rules have not changed. The rules are the same. Nothing different."
Do you and Reince Priebus stand shoulder to shoulder on this topic?
SCHULTZ: I will say that both the RNC and DNC have similar processes. What we do is -- I this think their process works this way. I know ours does. We have a lengthy process by which our state parties submit their delegate selection plans to our party rules committee. Every state does make that submission and the rules committee, which is quite large, reviews the delegate selection plan. 0 our priority is make sure there is diversity and a wide opportunity for people to cast ballots and the process is fair. Of course, we then go out and try to educate folks, typically our candidates about each delegate selection process. It is incumbent on those campaigns to get to know that process and understand it as each caucus comes up.
BOLDUAN: You know, we have a big debate this Thursday between two Democratic candidates, this back and forth over the debate, when they have a debate, where they will have a debate. It was silly as it was playing over the airways. After this debate on Thursday there was two one more debate in California is that still on?
SCHULTZ: We have been taking each debate one at a time in terms of candidates' schedules because the candidates' schedules have obviously intensified. The DNC is working with each candidate's campaign debate by debate to work through their schedules, have the campaigns communicate with us and make sure we can get them on the same page and schedule a debate once they agree on location and date and we bring it in for a landing.
SCHULTZ: At this point, like I said we are -- the candidates have agreed to four additional debates. There is one remaining. One before we discuss the next debate. That's what the candidates agreed to.
BOLDUAN: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, always good to see you. Thank you very much for your time.
SCHULTZ: Thank you, Kate. No problem. Sure.
BOLDUAN: All right. A programing note for all of you. We are just two days away from the CNN Democratic presidential debate. You don't want to miss Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders facing off live from Brooklyn, New York, Thursday night, 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.
And that is all for us today. Thank you so much. "Legal View" with Ashleigh - "Legal View" starts right now.