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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Trump Celebrates Brexit Vote in Scotland; Trump Blames Obama for Brexit; Trump Blames Obama For Brexit; E.U., U.K. Split Puts World In Uncharted Waters; Examining Foreign Donors To Clinton Foundation. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired June 24, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PETER COOK, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We feel confident that this special relationship including the special defense relationship we have will certainly continue.
[16:30:04] BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The optimism is not shared by all.
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST : What we're seeing a potential for a reorganization within NATO and a potential weakening of the security environment in Europe.
STARR: Despite exiting the European Union, the U.K. remains a member of NATO, though its financial contribution to the military alliance could be at risk if its economy falters.
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Today, as we face more instability and more uncertainty, NATO is more important than ever as a platform for cooperation.
STARR: European Union and NATO members are going to meet to discuss closer cooperation in issues like cyber and terrorism. On ISIS and fighting terror threats, Britain and the U.S. still will share the most highly classified intelligence.
MIKE ROGERS, FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: That agreement is not going to be impacted by this in any way, shape or form.
STARR: But the CIA director points out with 28 countries now in the E.U., there are already significant problems.
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Within each of those countries, they have sometimes several intelligent security services. They do not have the interconnectivity, either from a mission and legal perspective or from an I.T. perspective.
STARR: So what about the war on ISIS?
Well, look, there have been critical gains on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria. But ISIS has still demonstrated the ability to inspire jihadists to go to Europe and launch attacks there and that is going to be something for the new government in London to deal with -- Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Barbara, thanks so much.
From his golf course in Scotland, Donald Trump congratulating the U.K. on leaving the E.U. Did the United States just get a preview of November? That story is next.
[16:36:16] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
From his golf course in Scotland today, Donald Trump welcomed the Brexit decision as many draw parallels between the U.K.'s vote to leave the E.U., and Mr. Trump's own distinct band of politics.
CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is live for us outside Trump's Turnberry resort in Scotland.
Jim, Mr. Trump landed in Scotland just after the Brexit votes were announced but that wasn't necessarily what he at least initially wanted to talk to reporters about.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he wanted to talk about golf and quite a bit, Jake. But Donald Trump did celebrate Britain's decision to leave the European Union as if he just won presidential primary. For the presumptive GOP nominee, the timing could not have been better as he was touring part of his real estate empire here in a suddenly very different United Kingdom.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Don't look now, but Trumpism just crossed the Atlantic. At least that's how Donald Trump sees Britain's so-called Brexit from the European Union, even drawing parallels to his own race.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: People want to take their country back. They want to have independence, in a sense. They want to be able to have a country again. So I think you're going to have this happen more and more. I really believe that and I think it's happening in the United States.
ACOSTA: At the grand reopening of his Turnberry golf course in Scotland, Trump hailed the vote in the U.K. as vindication of what to the scourge of open borders. And the presumptive GOP nominee shrugged off the immediate panic in global financial markets, as a potential business opportunity for Britain and himself.
TRUMP: When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly, apparently.
ACOSTA: Trump seemed to welcome the political fallout in London, where Prime Minister David Cameron announced he's stepping down. The two leaders have tangled over Trump's proposal to ban Muslims entering the U.S. and shows opposing sides over Brexit.
TRUMP: He was wrong on this. He didn't get the mood of his country right.
ACOSTA: Trump had misread part of Brexit himself, tweeting that Scotland was going wild over the vote. But the return showed Scotland had actually decided to remain in the E.U.
TRUMP: The world doesn't listen to them.
ACOSTA: But this was a victory lamp for Trump, as he slammed President Obama and Hillary Clinton for wading into British politics against Brexit.
TRUMP: I thought it was inappropriate and then she doubled down and she did the same thing. And, obviously, for the 219th time, they were wrong.
ACOSTA: Clinton responded to Brexit in a statement saying, "This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House". Her campaign savaged Trump's reaction as frightening.
JAKE SULLIVAN, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN: He's not concerned with the American people or their retirement accounts or their security. He's concerned with himself and that's it.
ACOSTA: Trump says it's his skills as a businessman that this country needs.
TRUMP: Do we have a problem?
ACOSTA: People will say the country is not a golf course.
TRUMP: No, it's not. You'd be amazed how similar it is. It's called -- it's place that has to be fixed and there's nobody that knows how to fix things like me.
ACOSTA: As for those Trump properties, the real estate tycoon says he would continue holding campaign events at venues bearing his name.
TRUMP: My properties, number one, I have the best properties.
ACOSTA: And said he'll give up control over them if he wins the White House.
TRUMP: I win, I would -- even though I don't have to do that, I would probably put everything in trust, my children will run it along with my executives.
ACOSTA: Now, over the weekend, Trump will visit another golf course in the town of Aberdeen where some residents have raised Mexican flags to criticize his rhetoric on immigration. And even though some Republicans wish he would just come home and campaign, Trump defended this trip saying he's now doing it for his children. As for this trip overseas, as his children now handle much of the family business and we saw that today, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Jim Acosta in Scotland for us, thank you so much.
[16:40:00] Our political panel joins me now to discuss.
What lessons U.S. politicians might be drawing from the seismic news coming out of the U.K.?
With us, Yahoo News chief Washington correspondent Olivier Knox and CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
Olivier, let me start with you. Today, Mr. Trump said of the political climate that led to the Brexit, quote, "I believe it's happening in the United States." Do you think that's right?
OLIVIER KNOX, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO NEWS: I think unless you've been asleep for the last 15 months of American politics, you know the blend of anti-elite, anti-immigration, and anti- globalization, we can also say anti-trade, if you've missed that, then today, you were reminded that it's an extremely potent political concept.
TAPPER: Dana, here was the Clinton campaign's response to Trump's press conference today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: We are now in unprecedented territory.
TRUMP: Golfers will stop and they'll go and get something to eat and then they go into the 10th hole.
ANCHOR: The shock wave is truly global, political and financial.
REPORTER: Are you traveling with any of your foreign policy advisers?
TRUMP: Well, I've been in touch with them, but there's nothing to talk about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: The press conference was vintage Trump. You see the Clinton reaction there. What do you think?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, Hillary Clinton's campaign would be committing political malpractice if they didn't immediately put something like that out.
You know, I went back and looked, Donald Trump began his statement by talking for about seven sentences, 31 seconds about Brexit, and then he talked for 12 minutes or so about his golf course, about the sprinklers there, about his family, understandably about his mother being from Scotland. And it took that long for him to get to questions, which led to some of the remarks that you heard in Jim's piece.
But it was a little bit stunning, even though understandably the whole purpose was to cut the ribbon and to formally open this, that when you have that kind of political gift, literally, literally under his feet on the ground where he is standing and he doesn't really try to lean into it right away, kind of surprising.
TAPPER: Although, to be fair, Olivier, Hillary Clinton responded to the news by putting out a paper statement saying the U.S. needs a steady hand, to lead it. She said, Brexit, quote, "also underscores the need for us to pull together to solve our challenges as a country, not tear each other down."
I have to say -- I mean, one is a paper statement and one is a major press conference in Scotland. You can disagree about the message, but one of those two is out there talking to voters.
KNOX: Yes. Absolutely. She did sort of put her finger on one issue that's very important, one of the more obvious impacts on the election in the November, is going to be whether this has any lasting negative economic effects and who will be blamed for those. But, sure, her campaign put out a paper statement and then did a press conference. Donald Trump actually got out and face reporters. Those are obviously two different reproaches.
TAPPER: And, Dana, obviously, as Olivier noted, this is a potent feeling, whatever you call it, a movement, the groundswell in the U.K. and in the United States. People thinking that immigration is out of control. People thinking that globalization is hurting them. People thinking that the elites are out of touch with them, don't care about them.
We saw what happened. He's basically failed, Cameron, David Cameron. And what might be the impact here?
BASH: Absolutely. Look, Donald Trump on this is right. That's the point I was trying to make before. I mean, this is a political victory lap he should be taking because he did have his finger and does have his finger on the pulse of this real movement that is going on globally to look inward, to be very afraid of globalization, of immigration and trade agreements.
And, you know, he's getting that and he's obviously been tapping in to that in a way that even the leaders in Great Britain and obviously the E.U. and the current president and the person who wants to take his place on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, didn't get.
She -- I also found it interesting, Jake, that she tried to kind of, again, frame it as a guy who's not necessarily -- doesn't have the temperament to be president versus her saying she's someone who has calm, steady, experienced leadership to take through. So, she's obviously using this uncertainty to, once again, impress upon voters that she is somebody with experience and has that solid nature about her.
TAPPER: Impress upon voters in a paper statement that you read.
Meanwhile, Olivier, let me play for you a sound bite from Donald Trump, blaming the President Obama for helping bring about the Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was actually very surprised that President Obama would have come over here and he would have been so bold just to tell the people over here what to do, and I think that a lot of people don't like him and a lot of people voted -- I think if he had not said it, I think your result might have been different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: As quickly as you can, Olivier, did Obama influence this vote one way or the other?
KNOX: There's no evidence that he did, but obviously to the extent that "leave" vote was powered by the anti-elite and very nationalistic impulses, it's very possible.
TAPPER: All right, Olivier, Dana, thanks. Both of you have a great weekend.
Divorce is always messy, but the U.K. split is unprecedented. Exactly how and when will the E.U. separation begin? That's next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Even Liz Taylor might do a double take at the size and scope and messiness of this divorce between the U.K. and the European Union, hammering out all of the details could take years and, guess what, where are the children who could feel the impact? Here's CNN's Erin McLaughlin.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, it's official. The U.K. will be the first country to leave the 28-country block and the separation and the separation could be messy and difficult, taking at least two years, probably more.
[16:50:03]First the U.K. invokes Article 50 of the E.U. Treaty, which outlines the process for a country to leave. It's only five sections long, but those lines hold the key to the U.K.'s future and how they are interpreted by both sides will make a world of difference.
Once Article 50 is invoked, the negotiations begin on treaties and trade deals everything from fishing and agriculture subsidies to financial markets to immigration, each member state will have their say on every single subject. It's going to be complex negotiation.
The U.K. has just two years to negotiate its exit. After that, it could be unceremoniously kicked out of the E.U. unless all remaining member states agree to extend that deadline. And this Brexit has triggered fresh fears of further fractures in Europe.
Scotland has already hinted that it may call its own independence vote so that it can join the E.U. In fact the only certain think about a Brexit is that no one knows exactly what is going to happen. The U.K. will be sailing solo into unchartered waters. Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Brussels.
TAPPER: Erin McLaughlin, thanks so much.
His music made a comeback when it appeared in the George Clooney movie "Oh Brother Where Art Thou," a look and listen at the life of a bluegrass legend coming up next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Politics now, Hillary Clinton's campaign is pushing back today against the report that raise new questions about transparency during her State Department tenure.
The "Associated Press" report found 75 instances when the then secretary of state had meetings with political allies, Clinton Foundation donors, or corporate interests, that they were not recorded or participants were not named on her official State Department calendar.
Now a Clinton campaign spokesman responded to questions about the discrepancies by pointing to more detailed planning calendars that were made at the time, quote, "The different schedules you referred to simply reflect a more detailed version in one version as compared to another, all maintained by her staff. Both, of course, are now public."
This comes as Donald Trump is raising questions about foreign donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. CNN correspondent, Drew Griffin filed this investigative report on that.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is no question the Clinton Foundation has received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments. That includes Saudi Arabia, which gave $14.5 million. The foundation says none of that came while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
You also have Kuwait donating between $5 million and $10 million, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, all donating between $1 million and $5 million over the years, even the Embassy of Algeria donated $500,000. Is there a common thread?
All of course are Middle Eastern countries with poor human rights records and poor records when it comes to women's rights. And even with private companies there is smoke. Monsanto is a U.S. based global food giant that has been trying to increase its worldwide business in the biotech food industry. It's donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
And while she was secretary of state, Secretary Clinton made general statements supporting biotech foods as the company was asking for government help to open up new markets. For her critics, it's enough to cry foul.
TRUMP: Maybe her motivation lies among the 1,000 foreign donations Hillary failed to disclose while at the State Department.
GRIFFIN: There's no evidence that is accurate. What we have learned is that the foundation said it did fail to disclose a funding source while Mrs. Clinton was at the State Department. That donation, the $500,000 from the government of Algeria. The foundation called the lack of disclosure an error.
But again said there was no connection between the donations and the policies of the Clinton's State Department. Earlier this year, Hi1lary Clinton told CNN's Jake Tapper the foundation is an open book.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have disclosed everything. You can see what we do. We've put out reports. We can find you millions of people who feel that their lives have been improved because of the work.
GRIFFIN: To avoid potential conflicts, the Clinton Foundation did sign an agreement with the Obama administration before Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state. That agreement banned Bill Clinton from personally soliciting donations and also banned donations from any government that hadn't approved by an ethics committee at state. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
TAPPER: And our thanks to Drew Griffin for that report. Our Pop Culture Lead today, we are remembering music legend, Ralph Stanley. Stanley helped inspired the revival of the bluegrass music scene with his songs in the popular movie "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou." Take a listen to his song "Oh Death" from that movie.
TAPPER: That movie sent him soaring into the mainstream music scene in his 70s even earning an Emmy for this acapella rendition on the soundtrack. Stanley began his musical career in the 1950s playing the banjo and singing alongside his brother, Carter, like in this song "Angel Band."
TAPPER: Ralph Stanley was 89 years old. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."