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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Warnings of Cyber Attacks on Presidential Campaigns; Trump Meets with Kissinger, Says He'll Talk to N. Korean Leader; Sanders Says He's Staying in the Race; Inside the Trump Campaign. Aired 11:30- 12p ET
Aired May 18, 2016 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:31:35] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, new warning of cyber attacks against the U.S. presidential campaigns. That is according to James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence.
Let's bring in Phil Mattingly.
Not first the time but a huge concern, nonetheless.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. If you look at the entirety of the U.S. government, even private sector, cyber attacks are a huge threat. They're costing enormous amounts of money. You can look at Sony or the Office of Management and Budget.
Now James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, saying it is also hitting campaigns. He did not specify which campaigns but he was willing to make a prediction. Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: A combination DHS and FBI are doing what they can to educate both campaigns about potential cyber threats. I anticipate as the campaigns intensify we'll probably have more of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: It is interesting to note this isn't the time. In 2008, both John McCain and President Barack Obama's campaigns were targeted by foreign government hackers. U.S. officials said at the time that what they were targeting, people think, are private e-mail addresses and financial information but also privately briefings, national security briefings to the candidates get. Clapper not specifying which campaigns were targeted here but making very clear not only is it already happening but it's going to continue to happen.
BOLDUAN: When you look at big companies with big I.T. and I.T. budgets, they are having problems stopping hackers, the federal government can't stop hackers as well as they would like to. What is the campaign saying about this?
MATTINGLY: You look at the campaign infrastructure, look how campaigns are put together, on a shoe string budget quite often, they have hundred of millions of dollars, but that's doled out in specific ways. What type of information protection do they have? When I talked to folks involved in the 2008 campaigns, this was a very eye- opening experience. They just assumed why would we be targeted?
MATTINGLY: Why would we have valuable information? Obviously, things are different this time around. In 2012, 2016, information protection both at the party committees and on campaigns is certainly much more of a priority. But I think there's a recognition here that they don't have the money to go into what's say Bank of America or JP Morgan has and that leaves them very vulnerable.
BOLDUAN: We'll be hearing much more about this I'm sure.
Phil, thanks so much.
Donald Trump has a big meeting today, meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and this comes just on the heels of Trump dropping a foreign policy bombshell in an interview with Reuters, he's willing to speak directly with Kim Jong-Un, which is a sharp departure from current U.S. policy. Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION (voice-over): I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him. At the same time, I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China. People don't realize that.
UNIDENTIFIED REUTERS REPORTER: You say you would talk to Kim?
TRUMP: The one -- I would -- I would speak to him. I have no problem with speaking to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Let's bring in right now, get some perspective from Ken Adelman, former ambassador to the United Nations under Ronald Reagan and the author of the book, "Reagan at Reykjavik."
Ken, thank you very much for joining me.
You signed on in March -- I remember reading that letter back in March you signed on to this letter. I think it was more than 100 other members of the Republican national security community, standing up to Trump and his foreign policy views, calling him fundamentally dishonest. But when you hear what he says right there, also first this meeting with Henry Kissinger, what do you hope happens in this meeting?
[11:35:06] KEN ADELMAN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. & AUTHOR: I think nothing will happen in this meeting. I think Trump is doing it in order to get legitimacy. Sprinkle some fairy dust on him to show he's a serious guy, which he's not. And Kissinger basically just stays in the action and Kissinger's whole life he has been trying to stay in the action. He's doing that at the age of 92. You have to applaud him for that.
BOLDUAN: Why do you think -- pixie dust or fairy dust, some kind of dust, why do you think it's just that? Why isn't it something more? Why don't you believe he's making a shift and seeking out advice?
ADELMAN: Because Donald Trump has shown no capacity, absorptive capacity to learn anything on policy.
BOLDUAN: On policy, let me ask you this. This latest thing coming out, that interview with Reuters where he said he would have no problem speaking with Kim Jong-Un. As someone who was right there at the summit between Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev, what do you think of that position?
ADELMAN: It would be a very interesting meeting. They are both kind of bizarre. They are both have an authoritarian bent. I think it would be beautiful meetings of the mind because God knows what each would say to each other and God knows what relation it would have to anything in reality. And both of them love authoritarian figures. I think they would get along just great. Whether it would come out of it productive, nothing, because North Korea has shown a pattern over the last 70 years of being the most horrendous and immoral country on earth, the number of death and starvations and number of people in concentration camps basically in North Korea makes you cringe, the way a leader goes and has people eating grass and bark there, and claims that for legitimacy, just makes you sick in this day and age there are people like that.
BOLDUAN: Is there anything you could hear from Donald Trump between now and November that would make you more comfortable with his foreign policy views?
ADELMAN: No. No. Because it's not a question of policy. It's a question of temperament. It's a question of honesty. It's a question of decency. It's a question of holding America up to what's best about America. My party -- and I love the Republican Party -- is the party of Lincoln, the party of Ronald Reagan, the party that talks about America as a shining city on the hill. It's not that oh, my god, we're a third-world country, we're a disaster. We're not a disaster. It's a great question. Make America great again? We are great right now. This is a great, great country. And to go --
BOLDUAN: But, Ken, what do you say then to the millions of voters who voted for him and supported him in the primary, and when you see in poll numbers that voters think that he would do a better job of -- he would do the best job of handling things like terrorism, what do you say to those voters?
ADELMAN: There's a lot of resentment, and rage excites people. If you have somebody that's raging and mad about this and mad about that, people think I'm mad too, so you get behind them. Plus, you have a lot of people who basically don't take this seriously. I think in the general election, they'll take it more seriously. The primary is always kind of fun and you can really act out your emotions. I think the general election, you really act out your reasoning and choose somebody who you would really want as president of the United States.
So I make no excuses to the people who voted for Trump. I think it's outrageous any woman could vote for Trump or any minority would vote for Trump. And I think it's outrageous that any Republican would vote for Trump. He's not conservative and he's not bringing out the best in people and he's not representing the party of Lincoln or the party of Reagan. And he's not thinking of America as that shiny city on the hill. He's thinking of America as a third world country, as he called it, and I see America as great.
BOLDUAN: We'll see what voters think as we head into the general elections, especially on the issue of foreign policy views. It's interesting to get yours.
Ken Adelman, thank you very much for your time.
ADELMAN: You're welcome, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
ADELMAN: It's a pleasure.
[11:39:30] BOLDUAN: Ahead for us, inside the Trump campaign. One reporter was given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the candidate, to his operation while he was really battling primary opponents and sparking Twitter controversies and practiced some very interesting superstitions all the while. That reporter is joining us next.
BOLDUAN: Bernie Sanders last night in front of a raucous group of supporters had a clear message for Hillary Clinton. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I think we have a real shot to win primaries in a number of states that will be coming up.
SANDERS: And don't tell Secretary Clinton, she might get nervous, I think we're going to win here in California.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: This comes amid this, this public feud between the Sanders campaign and the Democratic Party leadership over the chaos that broke out at the Nevada Democratic convention between those on stage, Democratic Party leaders, and Sanders supporters in the crowd.
Here with me to discuss, CNN political commentators and Bernie Sanders supporter, Bill Press; and Bernard Whitman, a former Clinton pollster, Democratic strategist, and the author of "52 Reasons to Vote for Hillary."
Guys, great to see you.
[11:45:14] BOLDUAN: Bill, on this feud that ensued, we had Barbara Boxer on at the top of the show. She was at that. She spoke on the stage and tried to calm the crowd down. She said she felt physically threatened over it. That's one perspective. The other perspective, coming from the Sanders campaign, is they condemned the violence. That comes from Jeff Weaver. Bernie Sanders said it, they condemn any threats, not violence, any threats. But they go on to say the party isn't listening. They are voicing frustration over what they thought is an unfair system working against them, when at this convention and beyond. But when you see what played out in Nevada, who is right and who is wrong here?
BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, I think as to be careful that this thing does not -- this discussion or debate, whatever you want to call it, does not escalate out of control and we forget there's a lot more that unites us than divides us. I heard Barbara Boxer say that.
Having said that -- and that's really true and this party is going to be very united in November starting in Philadelphia. Having said that, I think two things are -- two things, number one, what happened -- was what happened in Nevada wrong? Absolutely, no way, no how should they could be condemned. Should have never be violence, disgusting. Two, is the party system rigged against an outsider? Yes is the answer to that, too. The fact is it is. To say that does not incite violence.
But, look, I was a state party chair of California --
BOLDUAN: You were a super delegate.
PRESS: I was a super delegate. I know how the establishment pulls together, they make their own rules, and somebody coming from the outside is an uphill fight.
BOLDUAN: So assuming --
PRESS: And move forward to nine more contests.
BOLDUAN: Assuming the party works it out. To be honest, today it is not clear the party will. You did not see the dismissive face on Bill Press when I said that right there.
Today, at this moment, it is unclear where things go from here but, Bernard, Hillary Clinton regardless, it's very likely she'll be the Democratic nominee. She needs Bernie Sanders supporters. How does she respond to not necessarily what happened to Nevada, but the frustration that bill is talking about to try to get them on board? Because it sure doesn't look from what happened in Nevada that they are close to it?
BERNARD WHITMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST & AUTHOR & FORMER CLINTON POLLSTER: I absolutely agree. The time for the Democratic Party unity is now. Unfortunately, I think Bernie Sanders missed an opportunity to begin forging that partnership with Hillary Clinton. I really believe that the time is now to form a powerful progressive partnership with Hillary Clinton because, at the end of the day, Bernie Sanders has done an incredible job exciting nine million people to support his candidacy. He deserves the right to bring that voice to Philadelphia. However, he also has the responsibility to unite this party with the eventual nominee who will be Hillary Clinton.
WHITMAN: I think it was a crisis of leadership for Bernie Sanders not to come out in denouncing the attacks, and as he did about violence that occurred at Donald Trump had. I'm not comparing them. I think there's a couple of bad apples down there. But at the same time, he could have risen above and shown himself to be a true leader, working in the interest of the party, and more importantly, in the interest of the country. But I mean, when Bill talks about the --
BOLDUAN: On that point --
WHITMAN: Bernie Sanders is an Independent. At the end of the day, he switched to the Democratic Party months before he began his candidacy. At the end of the day, is the system rigged against outsiders? To some extent, yes. But this is a nomination for the Democratic Party. The challenge for Hillary Clinton is going to be attracting Independents, many of whom have been Sanders supporters.
BOLDUAN: You're shaking your head. You don't think Bernie Sanders needs to do more?
PRESS: I think Bernie Sanders -- look, in terms of the violence, he condemned it, and I think it's outrageous. It had nothing to do with Bernie or the campaign. These were out-of-control Sanders supporters in Nevada --
BOLDUAN: Couldn't he just come out and said exactly what you just said?
PRESS: Pardon me.
BOLDUAN: Couldn't he just come out and said exactly what you just said?
PRESS: The statements I've seen from him have been pretty strong. But, again, what do you want? There are nine more contests. This is my absentee ballot in California -- (CROSSTALK)
BOLDUAN: Keep your hands off that.
PRESS: Right. I want that to be counted. I just say we're two weeks out, man, just chill. We're going to be through this process and come to Philadelphia and then we can sing Kumbaya.
PRESS: Let's keep on.
BOLDUAN: Bill Press will be leading in that song.
Bernard, I don't know if he's going to be on tune with him. We'll see.
WHITMAN: We will.
BOLDUAN: We will.
Just trust us, Bill says, it's all going to be OK.
Bill, Bernard, thanks, guys. I really appreciate it.
[11:49:56]BOLDUAN: Coming up, ever wonder what it's like to be a fly on the wall in Trump tower? Now you won't have to wonder. One reporter got exclusive access behind-the-scenes to the Trump campaign and the organization. He's here to tell us all about it. That's next.
BOLDUAN: So he was in the trenches with Donald Trump during some of the campaign's most challenging days, from one especially infamous re- tweet, to the arrest of Trump's campaign manager, to the effort to make Donald Trump more presidential. Robert Draper's fascinating story today in "New York Times" magazine, appropriately titled "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride: Down the Stretch with the Impossible Nominee."
And Robert is here.
It's great to see you.
ROBERT DRAPER, WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: Thanks for having me.
BOLDUAN: It's been a long time. I know like we saw you in Iowa.
BOLDUAN: How much time and what kind of access did you get with Trump? DRAPER: Sure. It was over a period of five weeks. I've flown on his
plane four times and spent a day and an evening in Mar-a-Lago with him and spent an awful lot of time with his campaign team. So I hesitate to say fly on the wall but close as one can come to it, I guess.
BOLDUAN: It seemed, from reading your piece, it seemed that you had a similar experience with Donald Trump than we've heard others who were getting to know Donald Trump. He's someone in private and seems someone different in public.
[11:55:09] DRAPER: Sure, yeah. You see him in campaign rallies, Kate, and he's very boisterous. He says incendiary things. He still says some maybe ill-advised things one-to-one but in a much more subdued manner. He's dealt with the media for over 30 years. I mean, everyone now acknowledges him as a master of the media but doesn't mean just saying outrageous things. It means knowing when to turn on the charm and he's certainly capable of that as well.
BOLDUAN: One incident you write about is when he re-tweeted that demeaning photo comparing Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump. About that, you wrote this, "He told me he felt the passing urge to knock the crap out of somebody." So that's what he did?
DRAPER: Yeah. At that point, he had no reason to feel any animus. This was on March 23rd. He had just come off a great victory in Arizona. I had dinner with him and Melania Trump that evening. But clearly, something was getting under his skin, the whole "Lyin' Ted Cruz: thing. And the fact an anti-Trump super PAC put out a photo, a tweet of Melania Trump, and seemed to be disparaging her, so this was his means of counterpunching, which he did after saying good night after dinner.
BOLDUAN: It seems to speak to what a lot of folks are saying now, even if he has this campaign staff, Donald Trump, he plans his P.R. and handles his P.R. Donald Trump is the man at the top.
DRAPER: You know, I've covered a lot of campaigns, Kate. You often hear a campaign manager say, oh, the candidate was responsible for this speech, the candidate was responsible for that policy, and it's almost never true. In this case, it's 100 percent true. He's the director of his campaign. He's the communications director. They come to him at the end of every day with a million interview requests, and Trump himself decides which ones he's going to take, and sometimes it's someone who is a liberal reporter, sometimes it is a talk radio person, a part of the Never Trump movement, but he thinks he can sway them and isn't interested in anybody else's opinion.
BOLDUAN: It's a fascinating piece. We just scratched the surface. I urge everybody to read it.
It's great to see you, Robert.
BOLDUAN: So Donald Trump's wife, Melania Trump, is speaking out in a new interview here. Hear what sparked her to say that her husband is, quote, "not Hitler."