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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Clinton Meeting Warren, Fueling V.P. Speculation; FBI Investigates Drone Program Discussed on Private Clinton Server; Poll: Trump Losing Support of Independents; Top Republicans Wring Hands Over What to Do with Trump. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired June 10, 2016 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[11:00:00] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm with her.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Trump is picking on someone who is ethically bound not to defend himself, exactly what you would expect from a thin-skinned, racist bully.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: All of those Bernie Sanders voters, we welcome you with open arms.

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KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. As you might have noticed last hour, John Berman was a little busy this morning. But thank you for joining us.

What a difference a day makes. In the span of an afternoon, Hillary Clinton went from presumptive Democratic nominee to presumptive Democratic nominee with a whole lot of muscle behind her. The president, the vice president, the popular liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren all throwing their support behind Clinton.

And speaking of Elizabeth Warren, she's just arrived, as you see here -- she just arrived at Hillary Clinton's home in. D.C., moments ago for a private meeting with the presumptive nominee, obviously, leaving speculation to run wild right now. What could they be talking about? A V.P. spot perhaps?

Minutes, from now Clinton is expected to lay into her rival, Donald Trump, once again, this time, on women's issues in a speech that will be coming up next hour.

Trump is also to be speaking next hour before an influential group of evangelicals. We'll be looking to see what he has to say about his rival. A lot could be happening today. First, let's get to CNN's senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns,

for much more on -- Joe is at the site of Clinton's speech next hour.

Joe, tell us about what we're expected to hear from Hillary Clinton but also what you are hearing about this not-secret meeting with Elizabeth Warren.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. This is the ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel where we expect to hear from Hillary Clinton at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. About 1,000 people here expecting her to talk about women's issues. She is expected around noon eastern time. The question is whether that timeline is going to change due to the fact that Hillary Clinton is said to be meeting with Senator Elizabeth Warren at Clinton's home, which is just a short drive from here in northwest Washington.

This comes just the next day after Senator Warren endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, fuelling speculation that she might be on the short list for Hillary Clinton's vice presidential pick. Clearly, Senator Warren helped herself in that situation last night in an interview with MSNBC suggesting she is ready and able to perform the job of commander in chief.

So meanwhile, we also have to talk a bit about the Twitter war that continues between Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. Celebrated Twitter war, in fact. Just this morning, Trump, among other things, tweeting out once again calling Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas," which is considered by some in the Native American community to be an ethnic slur, referring to the controversy over the Senator's heritage, if you will, and she essentially responded back, "Seriously, delete your account," which is an echo of something Hillary Clinton wrote just yesterday.

So a lot to talk about here, and looking forward to hearing from Hillary Clinton. Not sure whether she's going to talk much about Elizabeth Warren today.

Kate, back to you.

BOLDUAN: Elizabeth Warren is doing a whole lot of talking herself and speaking out very forcefully, last night, and now taking to Twitter, of course, to take on Donald Trump. We'll see how that role for Warren does evolve as we hate to hear from Hillary Clinton.

Joe, thanks so much.

I want to turn to some breaking news on the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server during her time as secretary of state. A law enforcement official tells CNN that e-mails dealing with a CIA drone program were sent to her private e-mail and that is at the center of the criminal probe right now by the FBI.

Let's get over to justice correspondent, Evan Perez.

Evan, you're picking up all this new information. What are you hearing? Put it in perspective for us right now. EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. This was

a discussion around Christmas time in 2011 in which the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan at the time, Cameron Munster, started this discussion about what was a planned drone strike by the CIA in Pakistan. The CIA drone program is considered covert and classified the by the U.S. government. It's widely reported on in Pakistan when it happens. But it's still considered classified information and is improper for this discussion to have taken place on non classified e- mail system. And that's what happened here. The FBI is looking into it simply because the CIA flagged it as a classified set of e-mails that should not have been -- not only should not have been taken place on the low side, what they call the low-side non-classified e-mail system, but it also got forwarded to Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server in Chappaqua, New York. That is part of what's being looked at. It's still being investigated. As we previously reported here on CNN, the investigation is still ongoing. They're waiting to interview Hillary Clinton. We expect that no charge will be filed as long as that interview goes well -- Kate?

[11:06:03] BOLDUAN: All right. Evan Perez, breaking news and the latest on the e-mail controversy that's sure to fire up Republicans and continue to be a conversation, important conversation, on the campaign trail.

Thanks so much.

All right. Let's continue this. Let's talk about this and also kind of put the state of the race in perspective today. Let me bring in CNN political director, David Chalian, for much more.

David, you have the latest of the e-mail controversy that is continuing -- that will continue for Hillary Clinton. But also if we can just take a moment and look at the state of the race right now. A lot has happened in the last 24 hours. Democrats lining up. Republicans surely do not look like the picture of unity at the moment. And new poll numbers coming out showing that Hillary Clinton is narrowly leading Trump in a FOX News poll, 42 to 39. What do you make of it?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Listen, it's a margin of error race. In May, he was up three points, now she's up three points. We should note, Kate, this poll does not capture everything you just unifying behind its nominee in Secretary Clinton. This was taken before the Obama endorsement, the Warren endorsement, the Biden endorsement, and the final results on Tuesday night with her big win. So that will have some effect the way it did for Donald Trump when he sort of wrapped up the Republican nomination. You should expect to see the same thing for her. She'll get a bit of a bump out of consolidating her own party now that the nomination season is over.

Having said that, Donald Trump in this poll, in this FOX News poll, clearly has taken a bit of a hit since May, and specifically among Independents. I think he's taken an 11-point hit, slide from the May poll to now among Independents. Not the direction he clearly wants to be going in with this key voting group. And you mentioned the e-mail story to talk about the overall state of

the race. I do think the frame is very clear of how each of these candidates are portraying the other. She in every speech, secretary Clinton raises questions about Donald Trump's temperament and whether he's fit for office, and in every tweet and in every narrative frame he builds around her, he says she's crooked and can't be trusted due to ethics issues surrounding the e-mails and the Clinton Foundation and what have you. So this notion of his temperament versus ethics questions around her is sort of how each side is building the negative frame that they're going to prosecute their arguments through from now through November.

BOLDUAN: You can see -- we're seeing the playbooks laid out before us.

David, thank you so much. Happy Friday, my friend.

CHALIAN: Happy Friday.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

Let's talk much more about everything that's going on right now. CNN political commentators, Kayleigh McEnany, Doug Heye, and Angela Rye are here with us. Also with us is Democratic strategist, Jonathan Tasini, author of "The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America," a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

Kayleigh, first to you.

David Chalian speaks truth. Everything David Chalian says is fact. One poll does not make a trend. Interesting though what you are seeing though in this new FOX News poll, it's not that it's a margin of error race. It looks like it will be a fight for some time. But it largely comes from Donald Trump's weakening support among Independents. You have said yourself often this is a very important voting block that Donald Trump will need to bring over that you think Donald Trump appeals to. This could be a problem though.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Definitely was a hit this week, and I think you will expect to see that gap widen a little bit given that Hillary has clinched the nomination. I think David is absolutely right about that. But Donald Trump is still winning among Independents. I believe the poll showed by six points. It's a narrower win but he's still winning. I think he can still recover. I think his speech on Monday is very important.

BOLDUAN: This is a speech that will be directly taking on both of the Clintons.

MCENANY: Yes. And the numbers can change. It's early. They do change. They will fluctuate. We worry there's a sustained trend and at this point there is not that.

[11:10:00] BOLDUAN: It does seem right now, Doug Heye, a tale of two parties. You have got Democrats lining up and Republicans splitting up? I'm not really sure what's going on within Republicans right now. Here is Mitch McConnell. I want to play this for our viewers when he

was asked about Trump's eventual running mate. Listen to this.

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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER (voice-over): You need somebody highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it's pretty obvious he doesn't know a lot about the issues. You see that in the debates in which he's participated.

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BOLDUAN: Mitch McConnell saying of the Republican nominee, it's clear he doesn't know a lot about the issues.

Doug, how is this helping you guys?

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it doesn't help, and, in fact, I would say Donald Trump even doubled down on that this morning when he said that his voters don't care about his lack of specifics. Now, the truth is Donald Trump is right about that. His voters don't care about that. You look at any Trump acolyte that goes on TV, any Trump surrogate, they will talk about Mr. Trump is great for this reason or that reason but not specifics. The difference is Hillary Clinton is going to outlay a lot of specifics. She's uniting the party. Donald Trump is still having a lot of trouble getting any Republicans together at the table and the Republicans that he does have aren't really his best advocates out there and so we'll see Hillary Clinton and her team after Donald Trump's speech on Monday with Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, start to dominate the media in a way that Donald Trump has had and maybe even tamp down on his speech which should have a lot of fireworks Monday night.

BOLDUAN: Kayleigh, how do you respond to all the muscle that will be coming at him?

MCENANY: There is going to be a lot coming at him. I want to take issue with something Doug said. He said you never hear specifics from surrogates but you hear a lot of specifics on trade, taxing imports from Mexico, his foreign policy vision, going after ISIS. I could go on and on and on --

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HEYE: I think, Kate, what we've heard --

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MCENANY: -- tax rate for business approximates.

BOLDUAN: Hold on, Doug.

MCENANY: You hear a lot of specifics. You can generalize and say you don't but, in fact, you do.

BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Doug.

HEYE: Kate, I think the specifics we heard over the past week was Donald Trump was right about a lawyer -- or a judge who was presiding over a case about his fake college. We didn't hear one thing from the Trump campaign or his surrogates about the dismal jobs report we had last week and that's another missed opportunity for the Trump campaign that just doesn't have the professional operation to do whether in the air or on the ground the things it needs to do to win right now.

BOLDUAN: Regardless of if Donald Trump will apologize or whatever he's going to say about it, which he won't, it does seem -- all of Trump's statements of late seem to indicate that they do understand, Doug, that it has been a least.

Let's look at the Democrats really quick.

Angela, this meeting between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, the thing about meetings are if you want them to be secret, if you want them to be private, you can pull it off. I think there's a way to make a meeting not really public knowledge. Why do you think they want us to be talking about this so much?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think a couple things. First, Kate, let's be a little more fair. We are inching a lot closer to a general election, and it is very tough when you have, whether there are folks inside a campaign or folks just on the periphery of a campaign, that want to keep their new sources happy so it makes it increasingly tough to keep something quiet. On the other hand --

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BOLDUAN: If Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren wanted this to be secret, I'm confident they could pull it off.

RYE: I think maybe they could. But if we're going to -- if he Benefit of the doubt and say they wanted it out, this is a good one to leak. These are two women who are hitting Donald Trump so hard. Hillary Clinton -- it wasn't the endorsement of Barack Obama yesterday, it wasn't Joe Biden, it wasn't even Warren. It was deleted your account. She took the news cycle. This is great for her to be having this meeting with Elizabeth Warren. As you know, Hillary Clinton has had a little bit of trouble with women and -- some women and progressives in particular this cycle. Having this meeting with Elizabeth Warren, having her support, and having her strongly support her yesterday and then, of course, meeting with her today is great. I have said for some time I think it would be great to have both of them on a ticket. I don't know if I have enough buy in yet on that but I think this is a perfect meeting to leak for her and it just keeps the momentum going for her into the weekend.

BOLDUAN: Jonathan, this is an important time for Team Sanders, an important time for Sanders supporters like yourself. You have Elizabeth Warren. She's come out to back Hillary Clinton now. You've been on Team Sanders the whole way. When you reflect on kind of everything that happened yesterday with all the big endorsements, are you ready to support Hillary Clinton? JONATHAN TASINI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST & AUTHOR: Well, let me start,

first of all, if I can, Kate, with something that's happening in California. 2.5 million ballots, that's 40 percent of the ballots that were cast, have not been counted yet, which could significantly affect, I don't know about the overall, but certainly the allocation --

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BOLDUAN: It won't affect the fact she's the presumptive Democratic nominee.

TASINI: No. Wait a minute. I know that people want to say all that, but, look, until those super delegates vote at the convention, that will be the point at which we know who the nominee is. Yesterday, I was at a rally here in D.C., perhaps the final rally before the final primary in D.C. I can tell you there were thousands of people that are very, very enthusiastic about Bernie, and he gave the same speech he's given since the beginning of the campaign and people, not just here in D.C., but through my social media that I have been reading, they are still behind Bernie, whatever track he takes, and they to prosecute this political revolution, whether it happens at the convention or after the convention.

[11:15:28] BOLDUAN: Even though she does get -- the biggest name endorsements, she does have clearly work to do to get Sanders supporters behind them.

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That's for sure.

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Kayleigh, Doug, Angela, Jonathan, thank you so much.

TASINI: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys. Really appreciate it.

Coming up for us, Paul Ryan, he now calls Donald Trump's remarks about the federal judge, Paul Ryan calls them beyond the pale. Republican Party's chief strategist is joining us next to discuss.

And later, the final farewell as thousands gather in Louisville, Kentucky, to pay their respects and celebrate the life of boxing great, Muhammad Ali.

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CROWD: Ali, Ali, Ali.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [11:19:45] BOLDUAN: As the Democratic party took a giant leap toward unifying overnight, the Republican party not so much. The top Republicans in the country, they seem to be wringing their hands at the very least over what to do about Donald Trump. It almost sounds like it's becoming a soap opera.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, again, condemning Trump's attacks on a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage. Listen here to Paul Ryan to ABC.

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REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is something that needed to be condemned. That comment is beyond the pale. That's not political correctness. Suggesting that a person can't do their job because of their race or ethnicity, that's not a politically incorrect thing to do, that's just a wrong thing to say.

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BOLDUAN: That said, Paul Ryan is still supporting the nominee, Donald Trump. And Ryan is not alone in that, still backing -- condemning yet backing Donald Trump.

Joining me is Sean Spicer, chief strategist and communications director for the Republican National Committee.

Sean, you heard Paul Ryan right there. This is the first time that we've had the chance to speak since Paul Ryan called Trump's remarks the "textbook definition of a racist" comment and now he says it's beyond the pale. Do you agree with Paul Ryan?

SEAN SPICER, CHIEF STRATEGIST & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I think Donald Trump addressed that on Tuesday, put out a statement talking about the fact that it wasn't -- he wasn't addressing the judge's heritage, and moved on from that, and I think --

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BOLDUAN: You think --

SPICER: Hold on. Hold on. Kate, let me answer the question. Mr. Trump addressed it, talked about the fact he was not trying to attack the judge's heritage.

That being said, I mean, there's a sharp difference between the two parties. We have someone who is a nontraditional candidate who the speaker and others have said we don't like some of the rhetoric. On the Democratic side, you have a nominee who the White House acknowledged is under criminal FBI investigation and who further has vast policy differences. There's a big difference. We have someone who from time to time says things that are non traditional and that some of the folks in our -- that have had an issue with. On the Democratic side, they have vast policy differences. They're talking about bridging the gap between far left progressive Socialism policies. That's a much greater gap. With all due respect to the open, the idea that the Democratic Party is unified that's ridiculous. Bernie Sanders is talking about making changes to the Democratic platform both in terms of foreign policy, with respect to Israel specifically and --

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BOLDUAN: We're definitely going to be talking about the Democrats. We will talk about the Democrats.

I want to talk about your party with you since you are one of the leaders of your party. You're the chief strategist of the Republican --

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SPICER: Great. I'd love to talk about it.

BOLDUAN: That's wonderful, Sean. You said that his comments are sometimes -- people in your party don't like some of his remarks. It's not just that they don't like the remarks. Let's be very clear. They're calling his remarks racist. That's an important distinction. You do not think those remarks are racist?

SPICER: No, I think Mr. Trump's comments speak for themselves in the sense that on Tuesday he was very clear that he was not trying to speak to the judge's heritage. So I'm going to take Mr. Trump on his word on that. But --

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BOLDUAN: You really believe that his line that they were misconstrued, Sean?

SPICER: Hold on. No. What I'm going to say is he's gone out and clarified his intent. I'm not going to re-litigate the past. We're ready to move forward. Tomorrow along, we have a national day of action around the country. 5,000-plus volunteers going through 14 battleground states to getting ready for November. We're on track when you look at the polls and the enthusiasm. Look, people have had enough of Hillary Clinton. They're ready for a change. We've had enough of the corruption, enough --

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BOLDUAN: Is Paul Ryan wrong? Is Mitch McConnell wrong? Is Ben Sasse wrong?

SPICER: No, they're not wrong. This is not a question --

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BOLDUAN: Is Susan Collins wrong?

SPICER: No. This isn't a question about wrong. It's a question of they have objected to some rhetoric that was used. Mr. Trump addressed it. So I know that there's this obsession --

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BOLDUAN: They're still objecting to it. That was a new interview with Paul Ryan with ABC News where he says his remarks were beyond the pale. They're still addressing it.

SPICER: No, no. They are continuing to re-litigate something that has been clarified. That's the point, Kate.

BOLDUAN: You are comfortable -- his intent -- he calls it misconstrued but he's the one who brought up the Mexican heritage, calling this federal judge a Mexican. You are comfortable with your nominee, backing and embracing a nominee that people in your own party say is engaging in racist commentary?

SPICER: No. No, I'm not. I guess my point is that the concerns were addressed to Mr. Trump saying, hey, the way this is coming off appears to have these connotations. Mr. Trump on Tuesday addressed that and said I'm not intending to do that, I understand that. I'm going to take him at his word. I'm not saying by any means we're comfortable with the way they came out but when brought to his attention, he clarified what he meant. And I think we're ready to move on and talk about how we're going to win in November.

BOLDUAN: Two more questions for you. There is now no longer whispers but a lot more talk of a revolt or you could it an insurrection on the convention floor. What do you say to the Bob Vander Plaats and the Hugh Hewitts of your party?

SPICER: There are a lot of individuals who supported a candidate passionately that wasn't Donald Trump and they're trying to figure out how they can get their issue put in, but now we're headed into Cleveland where we're going to be unified, and the delegates to this convention -- again, we've litigated this before. There's a degree to which they are bound on the first and second ballots. I think this is a great Twitter conversation and something that people love to talk about at barbecues and amongst the New York elites, but this is not where the direction that it's headed in.

[11:25:34] BOLDUAN: Real quick, you mentioned it. You guys have a big weekend. You're training volunteers across 14 states.

SPICER: We do.

BOLDUAN: This is hugely important for your ground game in November. I don't need to tell you that, you know that. How is Donald Trump helping you in building that ground game with these volunteers?

SPICER: It's a great question because there's a level of intensity that the people who supported Donald Trump, he got more votes than anyone in Republican Party history. Those people are unbelievably passionate. We send out an e-mail to volunteers saying we're having this training session. The response has been unbelievably overwhelming, exponentially larger than in past cycles. We will have the largest, most comprehensive ground game in political history. We will put forward the most focused ground game, and data and digital operation, either party has ever seen and that will propel us to victory in November.

BOLDUAN: Sean Spicer. Thanks, Sean.

SPICER: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: See you later.

Coming up next for us, Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and won the endorsement of President Obama. Senator Bernie Sanders is now -- he still says he's going to fight on, though he is giving a nod towards unity. What does that mean for his supporters, like his sole backer in the Senate? Senator Jeff Merkley is joining us next.

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