Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Holding Rally Tonight Amid Fight With Soldier's Family; Top Republicans Slam Trump Over Feud With Soldier's Family; Trump Denies Push To Go Soft on Russia in GOP Platform; Warren Buffett Challenges Trump to Release Taxes; CDC Issues Historic Warning on Zika. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 1, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, the breaking news, Hillary Clinton with a big post-convention bounce in our new CNN poll as she faces tough new questions about her e-mails tonight.
Plus, Donald Trump speaking live in this hour in a must win state of Pennsylvania. Will he keep firing back at the family of a fallen American soldier?
And an outbreak of the Zika virus prompting a travel warning in the United States. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Hi, good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, Donald Trump speaking live this hour. All eyes over whether he'll address the withering criticism over his war of words of the parents of an American Muslim soldier killed in Iraq. Criticism from the VFW to big name Republicans like John McCain. Trump has fanned the flames of this latest controversy refusing to let it go for days but he was noticeably silent on the issue at a rally a short time ago in Ohio. Moments from now though he will be with supporters in the must win state of Pennsylvania. We will be watching that to see if he addresses this crucial issue.
Also breaking, the CNN poll released just moments ago showing Clinton's post-convention bounce putting her nine points ahead of Trump in a head-to-head race. Nine points ahead.
So, I want to begin with our political director David Chalian on that headline, that is David a very big bump for Hillary Clinton.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It is indeed and that is the headline, on this day, at this snapshot Erin, this is a nine-point race. Outside the margin of error, Hillary Clinton besting Donald Trump in this poll, 52 percent to 43 percent as you just show. And let's take a look at where those numbers grew when you compare before the Democratic convention. Take a look at where Hillary Clinton was just prior to the Democratic convention.
She was at 45 percent support compared to her 52 percent support now. So, that is a seven-point convention bump that we see for Hillary Clinton. Remember, last week we had a poll and we showed Donald Trump with a six-point convention bump. So he, too, got a bump out of his four nights in Cleveland. BURNETT: And that of course as you mention, he got that bump. So
what is the bottom-line, David, when you look at before the conventions, either one of them started and where we are now, who was the winner?
CHALIAN: Well, so when we talk about a bounce out of a convention, remember, it's like a ball, bounces up and bounces down.
CHALIAN: So, we saw the up bounce for Donald Trump and then came along Hillary Clinton's convention and we saw the down bounce for Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton due to the scheduling of the conventions gets the last word of those two so we see her up bounce in this poll and now the question is, Erin, does she sustain that? Is this nine-point advantage the new reality in the race, or just the halo effect from the convention and she, too, will come down from that before the race fully settles and heads into the fall.
BURNETT: That of course is the crucial question. And it comes, thank you very much, David Chalian. Because it comes as Clinton is fending off criticism for insisting that the FBI said she had been truthful about her use of a private e-mail server, a statement that appears to contradict what FBI Director James Comey told Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: My answers were truthful and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on e-mails either sent or received. Was that true?
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: That's not true. There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is traveling with the Clinton campaign OUTFRONT tonight live in Omaha, Nebraska where she was at a rally earlier today. And Jeff, first of all, what is Clinton's reaction to this latest poll number, seven-point bounce, nine-point advantage out of Donald Trump now.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Erin, her reaction was very strong, very positive. In fact she is still shaking hands behind me here. She was introduced on stage by Warren Buffet. And I have not seen as much of a bounce in her step quite literally because of that convention bounce. She does believe her convention was a success. They do believe they are heading in the right direction. But the reality is they know this is an Electoral College dog fight.
They know that they have to thread the needle here. It's why she's in Omaha at the very beginning. Because there's this one electoral vote in Nebraska up for grabs. President Obama won in '08. She wants to win it as well. But that is a sign that they are not confident in the rest of their strategies, that they are worried about a tie, 269-269. So she is campaigning here in Omaha but, Erin, I can tell you her advisers are very happy. Of course they are not, you know, fully thrilled by the numbers because still those high rankings of people do not find her honest or trustworthy. One adviser told me earlier today, Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996. His honesty numbers were also in the tank. So, that might just be the reality of this campaign -- Erin.
BURNETT: And Jeff, on this issue of the e-mails again surfacing its ugly head, what is the campaign saying about this discrepancy over what the FBI said and what she said
ZELENY: The campaign is downplaying that. They said that, you know, Democrats don't care about these e-mails. She was simply saying that she did not lie to the FBI. But, Erin, this is one of the challenges with the Clinton campaign. Whenever she talks about the e-mails, this has been going on for a year and a half now publicly. She still does not have a smooth or correct answer for this here. They know that this will dog her until November, maybe beyond here. Democrats say they don't care. The problem is these independents and moderate voters like the ones here in Omaha, Nebraska who may still harbor questions about her because of her answers to things like the e-mail controversy -- Erin.
[19:05:35] BURNETT: All right. Jeff, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, national security policy adviser to Donald Trump, retired admiral Chuck Kubic. Former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz Amanda Carpenter. Trump's supporter Kayleigh McEnany. Clinton supporters Basil Smikle and Karine Jean-Pierre.
So, thanks to all of you. Chuck Kubic, let me start with you, this new poll for Hillary Clinton support surging after her convention, right? She definitely as David Chalian said, it's a ball, it bounces and it comes back down, it certainly came back down for Donald Trump. She now has the bounce and he doesn't have a convention to answer. In fact, he has a whole lot of controversy. She certainly seems to have the momentum right now the with the nine-point advantage.
REAR ADMIRAL CHUCK KUBIC (RET.), NATIONAL SECURITY, POLICY ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you, you know, the game has just started. We have just kicked off and there's a lot of game to play. So, I think we'll all be watching these numbers.
BURNETT: So, what do you say, Basil? I mean, this is something to celebrate. As you literally heard Jeff Zeleny said, she has not had such a bounce in her step in a long time. Seven-point bump. That is one point more than Trump got.
BASIL SMIKLE, EXEC. CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, I'll take it but we can't rest on our -- look, we start about this race, always talked about this race being a close race. We're going to fight for it day in and day out. So, yes, I think the bounce is great, it's hopeful. You know, I've also said that, you know, I'm looking forward to the first debates as well, which I think Donald Trump is going to be watching.
That NFL game or something instead of actually going to the debate. But that said, I'm looking at the first debate too. I think once we get into September, we'll see the numbers sort of start to settle in. But it's a great bounce. It's a great convention. I'm excited about, you know, the next couple of weeks.
BURNETT: Okay. But one thing that has not changed and just pointed this out Kayleigh, is the unfavorable ratings for Hillary Clinton, the dishonesty numbers but unfavorable numbers 54 percent, that numbers is not bad. It's been in the mid-50s the past few months. I'm sure that gives you, you like that. However, the overall numbers, she is still jumping, it is as if people do not care, they may not like her, they may not think she is honest but they are still going to vote for her.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: She has the advantage right now there is no doubt about that but as you point out, the unfavorables remain the same. And still, just 34 percent of voters in the poll said they trusted her. And this is where Donald Trump, he hasn't ran any ads yet, he's going to just now start doing that. He can really put his finger on that number through advertising and put a face to that distrust and remind people why they don't trust her because the FBI director did contradict her and then she goes on national television this Sunday saying, he did not contradict me and everything I said to the American public was consistent, which was not the case.
BURNETT: Basil, the "Washington Post" gave her four Pinocchios, OK? Just for anyone who doesn't know what that means, that is four big Ls for her answer on the e-mails.
SMIKLE: Well, look, she didn't -- the FBI director did not contradict. He said that anyone looking at the e-mails that they had some markings on it could reasonably conclude that they were not classified. There is no contradiction there.
MCENANY: She didn't turn over work-related e-mails. She uses multiple devices. There is no information marked --
SMIKLE: But there was no contradiction. She did not lie and the FBI director did not find any illegality -- case closed.
MCENANY: But "The Washington Post" is no friend of Donald Trump --
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The favorability ratings, they are so poor because they're decades in the making. This isn't just about the private server. It goes back way back to the vast right wing conspiracy. (INAUDIBLE) to Benghazi, there's case after case of that. Hillary Clinton can't heal that in one convention. I do think she had a better bounce than Donald Trump because she had a lot of people testifying to her character. She took a lot of action. She tried to heal that. But that was all undone with the interview with Chris Wallace where she sought to mischaracterize what everyone saw the FBI Director say in public. SMIKLE: Well, I don't think that --
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: I don't think it was all done. Look, we have 99 days before the election. Right? And the national polls don't matter. This race is going to be a ground game and we have to look at the battleground states. There's a reason why she went to Ohio, there's a reason why she went to Pennsylvania. Hey, there's a reason why she's in Nebraska today. And it's close, right? So, the Democrats have to fight for every vote and what they care about is jobs, the economy, health care. That's what voters actually care about.
CARPENTER: Well, I want to say one thing. Both candidates have problems with the truth with voters and voters have to decide on some other issue because they don't trust them to tell the truth. They both have terrible trustworthy with these numbers so they're going to go to other issues because there's no other choice.
SMIKLE: But there's a difference between, in my opinion, what's built into sort of these polls in the -- sort of untrustworthiness to talk about over the last couple of decades, and telling the truth. She is telling the truth. Whether it's underreported or ignored. She has a decades long career --
CARPENTER: She may have a very precise loyally fashion that the public can't follow but she is cherry-picking to such a high degree that --
[19:10:04] SMIKLE: Her -- old career in public service is not cherry picking. And as you said in this convention, she was able at speaker up to speaker to testify to the kind of career that she has had. And so, to me, you know, it's one thing if you want to talk about this untrustworthiness being baked in. I mean, I think that I actually started when she said very plainly, I am not going to be the typical first lady. And that's where it started and if you really want to get down to it.
BURNETT: I mean, how concerned are you though about the reality of the fact which is, she has these sky high unfavorables dishonesty rankings and yet she's still easily, in the national polls, and Karine has a fair point, right? State by state it's been easily now in this national poll beating Donald Trump.
KUBIC: Well, hey, Erin, I'm enjoying watching the show here from Virginia Beach.
And the, I think the real issue here is the trustworthiness of Hillary Clinton, not only with her e-mails but we know that she not only lied to the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, she then doubled down and accused them of lying and this was all during a dignified transfer ceremony. You know, she's made the statement that she doesn't know where the bottom is with Donald Trump. But I'll tell you, wherever that bottom is, she's way below it looking up.
BURNETT: All right. Well, you're all going to stay with me. I know you have a lot more to say. I understand.
Us here and you out there in the ether, Admiral, we'll be back in a moment because we are all awaiting Donald Trump about to rally supporters in Pennsylvania. The big question now is whether he'll keep up his war of words with the family of a fallen Muslim American soldier.
Plus, Trump struggling to clarify his remarks saying Russia wouldn't invade the country of course, Russia already did take over part of Ukraine. My guest, the former CIA and NSA Director General Hayden.
And Warren Buffet challenging Donald Trump to a showdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN BUFFET, BUSINESSMAN: I can bring my tax returns, he can bring his tax returns and just let people ask the questions about the items that are on there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:18] BURNETT: Breaking news, Donald Trump about to rally supporters in the must win state of Pennsylvania. The state is key. It has gone Democratic in the past six elections. And we are watching to see whether Trump is saying more about his battle with the parents of an American Muslim soldier killed in Iraq. So far today, he is not backing down. Moments ago, in a local television interview saying, he was viciously attacked. The Khan family though is not backing down either.
Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania traveling with the Trump campaign.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ninety nine days until the election and it's Khizr Khan not Donald Trump whose all over the airwaves.
KHIZR KHAN, GOLD STAR PARENT: And he should listen to America, what America and the world is telling about the remarks, about the lack of empathy.
ACOSTA: The father of a fallen Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq, Khan electrified the Democratic convention accusing Trump of Islamaphobia. And he hasn't lit up since demanding that the Republican Party reject its nominee.
KHAN: Enough is enough. Every decent Republican has rebuked this behavior, yet nobody has stood up and said, enough, stop it. You will not be our candidate.
ACOSTA: Trump who's not want to let an attack un-answered is causing major heartburn inside the GOP tweeting back Mr. Khan who does not know me viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over TV doing the same. Nice. But Trump is also hearing back from Khan's wife after his comments over the weekend.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: His wife, if you look at this wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say. She probably maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say.
ACOSTA: Her silence at the convention she told CNN was due to her grief not her faith.
GHAZALA KHAN, GOLD STAR PARENT: I can say that my religion or my family or my culture never stopped me of saying whatever I wanted to say. Without saying a word, I had lots of love, I touched lots of heart.
ACOSTA: Top Republicans to leaders in Congress to Trump's critics John Kasich and Lindsey Graham are also stepping forward to defend the Khan family. Senator John McCain, a former P.O.W., whose felt Trump fiery before it released a scathing statement saying, "I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement." I hope Americans understood that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers or candidates.
ACOSTA: Erin, we're waiting to see what Donald Trump has to say about these old controversies. He's due out at this rally here in Pennsylvania in just a few moments. We should point out Erin, earlier today in Ohio, he did not talk about the Khans at all whatsoever at a rally in that state. But we should point out as you mentioned a few moments ago, he did talk about this with a local station earlier today. He said in that interview that he has great honor and great feeling for Mr. Khan's son.
He goes on to say he's concerned -- as far as he's concerned, he is a hero. But in the words of Donald Trump, horrible things were said about me, I think it was frankly very tough, so all I did is respond and I will always respond, Erin. Those are the word straight from Donald Trump's mouth on this entire controversy, on this back and forth with Mr. Khan. And as you know, that is not an apology -- Erin.
BURNETT: No, it is not an apology and obviously he is very proud not to apologize.
All right. Thank you very much Jim Acosta. My panel is back with me. Admiral Kubic, let me start with you. Mrs. Khan, we talk about the controversy with Mr. Khan. But I wanted us to talk about one with his wife. She did not speak at the convention. She stood next to her husband while he spoke. Trump then came out and said, she may not have been allowed to speak. Those are his words. The clear implication being that she was silent because of her religion. You just heard her defense herself. KUBIC: Excuse me, Erin. Why do you think it was the clear
implication because of her religion? He never articulated that. That was articulated in the media and became a lot of the source of the controversy. He just commented that she didn't speak and then commented that maybe she wasn't supposed speak. Meanwhile he did --
BURNETT: Well, he said she may not have been allowed to speak. It's the use of the word allowed admiral, that is the problem.
KUBIC: Okay. Well, he didn't really know. Because it may have been scripted, it may have been, you know, timed. And so, it may have been planned that it would just be Mr. Khan that spoke. But either case, he expressed condolences early on, you know, for the emotional grief that they continued to feel, even after 12 years and he clearly reinforce it tonight, you know said that he considers their son to be an heroic American soldier. And then we've had a lot of political back and forth since then, which has really had a stray from some of the key issues in the race, as well as the deeper meaning.
You know, the question really becomes, I was there in that time frame after the first battle of Fallujah, my CV division was still there attached to the marines when we saw the rules of engagement changing. And there were many soldiers just like Captain Khan who got caught up in the shift between combat rules and the new rules of engagement --
[19:20:20] KUBIC: -- where they were not allowed to take direct action. In that result, these are political decisions and we need to really look at these things because that's the one issue that's come up and we're talking about that now.
BURNETT: And I understand you want to have this conversation and you know what, it's probably a conversation a lot of people want to have. It's maybe the thoughtful conversation that we could be having. But unfortunately Donald Trump said she may not have been allowed to speak. And that is a pejorative way and a pejorative thing to say.
So, Kayleigh let me ask you, as a woman, I mean, does it upset you that he said it? Because he didn't say that at all. If he just went straight to the issue, we would not be having this conversation right now.
MCENANY: Yes, he should not have said that. I definitely think that he should have left that comment out. You know, he did say that Captain Khan is a hero and I want to emphasize that, he is an absolute hero. Mike Pence has reiterated that, Donald Trump has reiterated that. But I understand the broader argument that he has about the Islamic world and women's rights in that world but bringing that into this interview and this context was not the right way to do it.
BURNETT: Let me just jump in here --
CARPENTER: I had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Khan on Sunday and coming from that conversation, I was left at the thought thinking about leadership. Leadership isn't just being strong as a president, it's convincing people to follow you. And if you have a presidential candidate who will attack a gold star family who gave everything, lost their son, how can you expect other people to follow you into a crisis? I mean, judging that, I wouldn't even follow him on a July 4th Day parade with that kind of behavior. But it's a serious thing, if you can't clean the confidence of people to follow you in something -- like that, then you won't turn their back on them, you don't deserve that office.
SMIKLE: All right. I was on the floor of the convention front and center for this speech. It was one of the most powerful and compelling moments of those four days. I remember afterwards everybody looked at each other and said, what an amazing dignified family that is, their unsalable in terms of their fortitude, to be able to endure all that they have and still be able to get up in front of this incredible crowd and say his words. And somehow Donald Trump has found a way to go after him. I mean, that is leadership -- going to your point, you know, time after time people go after him about his thin-skinned but he proves it to be true every single time.
BURNETT: He said, though, and all I did was respond and I will always respond. They did speak at a political convention, right, with a political message. Does he have a leg to stand on when he says that they have been out giving many interviews?
JEAN-PIERRE: Rule number one, you do not insult a gold star family. You just don't go there. And how could you be interviewing for commander-in-chief and show little to no respect for the family of a fallen hero, a fallen soldier. It just continues to show like when he gets attacked, he just, you know, he just slings insults, that's what he does, over and over again, to the point where today, the last couple of days, he's been going after the fire marshal at his town halls.
BURNETT: Admiral Kubic, let me give you a chance to respond.
KUBIC: Well, you know, again, thinking -- act of the speech itself. I recall it basically having two parts. The first part was a real tribute to the Gold Star families, to the grief that they were feeling and then it switched into a political attack. I think that's part of the point that Donald Trump is making. He has empathy for the family, for Mr. and Mrs. Khan and for all Gold Star families. But then when they switched and they turned it into a political attack, it's like, the rules of engagement changed right there as well.
We've been struggling with this for days and days and it really is, it just keeps going social --
MCENANY: And you should answer this Basil, because I see a complete double standard here the Admiral mentioned that earlier with Pat Smith who Hillary Clinton effectively on a Sunday talk show said, she did not remember the truth, she didn't remember the event. Effectively called Pat Smith a liar, Pat Smith's story, the Benghazi mother has been corroborated by Charles Wood. Hillary Clinton is allowed to effectively call these parents a liar and she gets a free pass? I think that's completely --
SMIKLE: Well, I don't think so. I think she's talked about -- I think she's talked about Benghazi and her version of Benghazi for over a year now. So, I don't think that's calling her a liar. But I will say to the Admiral's point, we're here trying to -- some are trying to have this family separate themselves from -- separate and create a difference between them losing a child and being Muslim. Being a Muslim is not something that you can take on and off, like blackness, for example. I can't separate those two.
I'm a -- whether he's Muslim or me being an African-American, I embrace that. I could also lose a child and I can't separate those two things and we're asking this family to separate those two. Them being a Muslim in America, having lost this child in battle and still having the patriotism of all Muslims being called into question. And that I think is what we're all wrestling with and that is something that the Khan family is simply just not going to let go.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate all of you taking the time. All of you here. And of course, Admiral Kubic there joining us from Virginia Beach.
And OUTFRONT next, we're awaiting Donald Trump about to rally supporters in Pennsylvania, this a Trump campaign faces allegations of -- the GOP platform to go easy on Russia. True or not. Well, we have the bottom-line on that.
Plus, Warren Buffet introducing Hillary Clinton in a trail just moments ago. Why Buffett is backing her tonight?
[19:29:33] BURNETT: Breaking news. We are standing by for Donald Trump. These are live pictures right now. His campaign rally and mechanics for Pennsylvania. He is going to be taking the stage any moment. He is defending not only he is comments about a Gold Star family but also his comments about Russia and the fact that he said that Russia wouldn't invade Ukraine, even though of course Russia did annex Crimea.
Now Trump says he knows that and was talking about the future when he's president. He says, when I'm president, Russia will not enter Ukraine.
[19:30:00] This comes as Trump faces allegations that his campaign changed the Republican Party platform to make it pro-Russia. Is it true?
Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Could it be in the days leading up to the Republican Convention, the Republican Party actually caved to the Trump campaign and went soft on Russia, by changing three words in the Republican Party platform? Well, that's one media outlet reported, and many others run with. But
there's a problem, that story is just not true.
First and foremost, the GOP platform is tough on Russia. It accuses Russia of aggression, cheating on missile treaties and invading Ukraine.
It's why the Republican platform calls for "support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions against Russia, unless and until Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored."
Pretty tough, right? Well, now, the alleged controversy and it involves these words from the Republican platform on Ukraine. "We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces." Apparently someone inside the committee discussing whether those words were right thought they should be stronger and wanted to add and also support "providing lethal defensive weapons," not just appropriate assistance.
And the fact that the words were not changed, says Trump critics, is a softening of the GOP position towards Russia.
General Mike Flynn, who is with the Trump campaign, points out the whole thing is moot because the current platform is tough enough.
LT. GEN. MIKE FLYNN (RET.), TRUMP ADVISER: It's not a weakening of the position. I actually think it's a strengthening of the position, absolutely.
GRIFFIN: Why is this even remotely an issue, rising to the level of conspiracy? It's because of this man, Paul Manafort, a political adviser to Trump's campaign. He was also a long time political adviser to the former president of Ukraine and that Ukrainian president is pals with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
So, the conspiracy theorists suggest Paul Manafort is deliberately softening the GOP's platform on Russian, so that when and if Donald Trump becomes president, President Putin can do whatever he wants in Ukraine.
The only problem, Paul Manafort says that also is simply not true.
PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: It absolutely did not come from the Trump campaign. I don't know who everybody is, but I guarantee you --
CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: So, nobody from the Trump campaign wanted that changed in the platform?
MANAFORT: No one. Zero.
GRIFFIN: Erin, I talked to Paul Manafort by phone today, he doubled down on that, saying the Trump campaign did not have anything to do with any changes, real or imagined, in the GOP platform concerning Russia and, quite frankly, he's still not convinced there was a change.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Drew Griffin, thank you.
And so, where did this come? I guess that's the question. If they didn't do it, then where did it come from?
GRIFFIN: Erin, from all our fact checking on this day, we simply can't confirm any of this is true. Any of this reporting is true. Multiple people we talk to are telling us a completely different version of events that ones described by other media outlets. Unfortunately, that story was picked up by broadcast networks that did some talking on the Sunday talk shows and this just kind of got out of hand.
We talked to one of the co-chairs of the Republican platform committee. He tells us there was an attempt to strengthen language based on one handwritten hard-to-read note submitted by the delegate from Texas. It was discussed. The committee just decided to leave the language general. He also confirmed that nothing was done at the request of the Trump campaign.
You know, it's really an example, Erin, of how fragile the facts are in this controversial election cycle.
BURNETT: Absolutely, and certainly seems that the campaign -- the facts come out in their favor on this one. Drew Griffin, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT tonight, the former director of the CIA and the NSA, General Michael Hayden.
And, General Hayden, thank you so much for being with me.
You know, Donald Trump is now clarifying what he meant when he said that Vladimir Putin would not go into Ukraine. He says when he is president that he wasn't ignorant of the fact that Putin had, of course, annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
Do you believe him?
GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN (RET.), FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, I watched the interview yesterday and it seemed to me as a native English speaker that he just didn't have the full set of facts when he made his response to George Stephanopoulos. And more troubling to me, Erin, is not whether or not he did or didn't understand the geography of the region, more troubling to me is the statements that he's made that he might be willing to recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea, which overturns whole history of American and European post-World War II global order. That's really troubling.
BURNETT: So, on this issue of Crimea, though, Crimea had a referendum, voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. Now, it's a referendum, of course, that the United States has not recognized, Europe does not recognized.
[19:35:01] But the concept of this, if Trump is supporting the idea that people should have the right to vote on who leads them, what would be inherently wrong with that, General?
HAYDEN: Inherently wrong, Erin, is that the history of post-World War II Europe is that, the lines are the lines. And, look, Europe is a polygon of nations and languages. Every nation has got some internal tensions.
If you begin to change any of the lines, all the lines are up for grabs and now, we've got an increasingly unstable situation in Europe.
BURNETT: So, just in terms of the practicality, what you're talking about is stabilization is more important and it's the more pragmatic and right goal than just a straight democracy.
HAYDEN: Than to allow every minority a voice to determine in ever decreasing pockets of populations who does or does not get to be independent or belonging to another state.
Look, I realize that's a harsh message and it cuts against the sense of democracy and of popular sovereignty. But once you leave this devil out of the box, it's really hard to stop it and I don't know how you get it back in.
BURNETT: So, Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he doesn't have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, that just this weekend he repeatedly said it. So, let me just play that for you, General.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I have no relationship with Putin. I have no relationship with Putin. I don't think I ever met him. I never met him. I didn't meet him. I haven't spent time with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was this weekend, General. But, you know, over the past couple of years, he's also said these things.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I do have a relationship and I can tell you that he's very interested in what we're doing here.
When I went to Russia with the Miss Universe pageant, he contacted me and was so nice.
I was in Russia, I was in Moscow recently and I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: General, do you think both of those sets of comments can be true?
HAYDEN: No, obviously, they can't be true. And, look -- look, Erin, I recognize that flexibility and creativity
might be good selling used cars or selling real estate, but when you want to be the head of an international super power, precision and consistency are really important. And so when I see things like that, plus the comments on Crimea and on the (INAUDIBLE) in Eastern Ukraine, when I see statements like that, it scares me, because if you're heading a global superpower, consistency, predictability, those are great values.
BURNETT: General, you've endorsed Jeb Bush. You then endorsed John Kasich when Bush dropped out of the race. You have said you're not supporting Donald Trump, OK? Does that mean Hillary Clinton has your vote? Because, ultimately, if you're going to vote, you most likely are going to choose one or the other, and certainly if you're going to vote for the next president, you're going to pick one or the other.
HAYDEN: Well, I am right now in the I cannot support Mr. Trump. It does not yet mean that I'm in the camp of I will support Secretary Clinton. I mean that from the heart, Erin. I have not made that decision and I don't know if I will.
BURNETT: All right. General Hayden, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
HAYDEN: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Hillary Clinton picking up another key business endorsement. What is behind the billionaires backing Clinton?
And an outbreak of the Zika virus in Miami. Now, the CDC issuing an unprecedented travel warning in the United States for pregnant women.
[19:42:31] BURNETT: New tonight, a tax return showdown. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett challenging Donald Trump to release his taxes, saying he will meet the Republican nominee anytime, any place before the election, and together, they will both release their returns. Apparently, Buffett says he's also under audit. No word on whether Trump will take Buffett up on this offer.
But Buffett is now the third billionaire in less than a week to help Clinton build a base against Trump.
Brynn Gingras is OUTFRONT.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In front of a Nebraska crowd, billionaire Warren Buffett is investing big in Hillary Clinton.
WARREN BUFFETT, BILLIONAIRE INVESTOR: I'm going to talk about my favorite subject, which is going to be what Hillary can and will do in the eight years following January 20th. GINGRAS: Buffett joins a growing list of the country's ultra rich
backing the Democratic presidential nominee. Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg, Tim Cook, and most recently, Mark Cuban.
MARK CUBAN, OWNER, DALLAS MAVERICKS: I'm here to endorse Hillary Clinton.
GINGRAS: The Dallas Mavericks owner once called Donald Trump the best thing to happen in politics -- but not anymore.
CUBAN: Leadership is not yelling and screaming and intimidating.
GINGRAS: Clinton is winning support from some of the country's wealthiest, despite her position on taxes.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Wall Street, corporations and the super rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes. When more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that's where the money is.
GINGRAS: For Cuban, who is worth more than $3 billion, supporting Clinton is not about the money.
CUBAN: The companies and jobs won't be created by terrifying people. No, Donald Trump.
GINGRAS: Same goes for billionaire Michael Bloomberg. The Republican-turned-independent considered jumping into the presidential race, but took the stage at the Democratic convention to pledge support for Clinton.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: Trump said he wants to run the nation like he's running his business? God help us.
GINGRAS: An attack, Trump says is suspicious coming from the former New York City mayor.
TRUMP: I think personally I think he made a deal with Hillary where he gets a job because he'd like to -- because Michael Bloomberg has wanted to run for president for probably as long as you've known him and guess what? He's never had the guts to do it. Now I see this guy up on stage saying negative things? He knows nothing about me.
GINGRAS: And that's a big argument, right, Erin, that these are successful men or women who will get taxed hard likely if Hillary Clinton is in the White House.
[19:45:00] And Warren Buffett, he said it this way today, he said, I'll be worse off, I can take it, we'll be better off.
And in the case of Bloomberg and Cuban, well, those are two men who have spoken out favorably for Trump and now going against him.
BURNETT: Right, right, certainly in the case of Mark Cuban, he was very favorable to Trump before.
All right. Thank you very much, Brynn.
And our political director David Chalian is OUTFRONT now.
So, David, let me just start with this tax return showdown. This is actually pretty exciting. Warren Buffett challenging Donald Trump to release his taxes, saying you're only afraid if you got something to be afraid about. Should Trump take him up on this offer? They are both, let me be clear, to everyone watching, both under audit.
DAVID CHALIAN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. He's trying to dare him, right? He's daring him to show his taxes.
But you heard Donald Trump over the weekend, Erin. You know, he is still refusing to release those taxes while he is under this audit. And he won't release taxes for years that aren't under audit because he says they're all linked to each other.
So, Donald Trump as recently as this weekend holding firm. I doubt that Warren Buffett is going to be the person that is going to be able to persuade Donald Trump to release his taxes.
BURNETT: All right. And, you know, the other thing that, David, over the past couple of month, has really fascinated about Warren Buffett, he's not been secretive of Hillary Clinton, he's been a supporter of hers. But he said that Donald Trump being in the White House would not hurt the U.S. economy. He actually said in April no matter who wins, the United States will, quote, "remain a remarkably attractive place in which to conduct a business".
That is hardly a damning statement about a Donald Trump presidency, and frankly, compared to some of the doom and gloom things we've heard from people in the market, it's remarkably positive.
CHALIAN: It's hardly a damning statement at all. And, Erin, you probably know this much better than I do, but Warren Buffett tends to -- even when he gets involved in politics, like you said, he was out there chanting "Hillary", today and clearly has been a supporter, but he doesn't tend necessarily to throw all of his investments and all of his prognosis for the U.S. economy into that political partisan well. He does try, as least as I've seen him pass presidential cycles to maintain some distance and ability to separate out his belief of what will happen with U.S. economy, a bit separate from his involvement in partisan politics.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, David Chalian. Obviously, the big support but saying the U.S. will remain remarkably attractive, whether it is Trump or Clinton at the helm.
OUTFRONT next, we're waiting Donald Trump about to rally supporters in Pennsylvania. Will he come up his war of words with a family of a fallen Muslim American soldier?
Plus, a Zika virus outbreak right here in the United States. Tonight, the CDC issuing a travel warning within this country. And then, Jeanne Moos on the sky driver who brings new meaning to the
word "daredevil", five miles up, no parachute.
[19:51:38] BURNETT: Tonight for the first time in its history, the CDC is recommending pregnant women avoid traveling to part of the United States. The reason: Zika.
Florida officials say 14 people in northern Miami neighborhood had been infected with Zika from local mosquito bites. Let me say that again, mosquito bites. This is Zika in Florida. This is significant because most of the Zika cases in the United States have been found in Americans who travelled to other countries.
Nick Valencia is OUTFRONT from Miami.
And, Nick, this is an unprecedented move for the CDC. What forced them to make this decision?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And as you mentioned, there have been previous cases of Zika reported in the United States, but this is the first time in the continental U.S. that there's been a local transmission. These 14 people, according to state and CDC officials are believed to have contracted the virus from a local mosquito, 12 of them men, two of them women, six of them were discovered by random door-to-door community surveys.
We went into these neighborhoods and talked to some of the resident and you'd be surprised. As much as they're trying to get the word out about this virus being in the area, some people here didn't know it happened in this area or that is this is local transmission zone -- Erin.
BURNETT: And, Nick, of course, one of the things that's very frightening about this for people, is that you now have mosquitoes with Zika in the United States in Florida. And, of course, the great fear is, especially in the summer months that this spreads north, it spreads to other states, it becomes a much bigger problem. What are they doing to stop that?
VALENCIA: One of the worries of the CDC is the flippant reaction, so to speak, of some of the locals here, even pregnant women. That's the biggest concern, women that are pregnant, women that are trying to get pregnant, this causes birth defects.
We've talked to dozens of people in this area and the majority have told us that they're not really concerned. Earlier, I did interview a pregnant woman who said she was going to ignore the CDC advisory to stay o of this square mile. The tourism board here said that so far, they have not seen a significant impact on tourism that we've seen countries like the U.K. and Ireland issue travel warnings for pregnant women coming to this area.
Another thing that was pointed out earlier this evening they interviewed the CDC director is that they believe while they are spraying insecticides in the area trapping mosquitoes, that it is possible that the mosquitoes in this area could be resistant to the efforts of state officials and the CDC -- Erin.
BURNETT: A very, very big moment, as we said in all of this, an unprecedented move by the CDC.
Nick Valencia, thank you, live in the ground in Miami.
And next, Jeanne Moos on the skydiver who jumps from 25,000 feet, OK, without a parachute, jumped from 25,000 feet. You shall see, next.
[19:57:52] BURNETT: Nothing but net. A man jumps out of a plane and free falls nearly five miles towards the ground, no parachute. Just a net.
Take a look for yourself. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who needs a parachute? Not the guy in green, 42-year-old Luke Aikens (ph) was aching to free fall all the way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been training this for two years. My whole life has been dedicated to sky diving.
MOOS: He's made almost 18,000 jumps. Now from almost five miles up, Luke aimed for a net the size the third of a football field in the desert north of L.A.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, that net is going to catch me like if you're going to catch a raw egg.
MOOS: Either that Luke's going to end up scrambled on a live Fox TV broadcast program with his wife and 4-year-old son watching.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd be lying to say if I'm not a lot nervous.
MOOS: They tested and tested the net, using 200 pound dummies. One time, it failed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It actually ripped through the net and went boom on the ground and hit the ground.
MOOS: So they made the net stronger.
Just a day or two before the stunt, Luke says the Screen Actor's Guild, the union, told him he couldn't make the jump unless he wore parachute. Since he had to land on his back, Luke said wearing the chute back there would be dangerous and at the last minute, the Actors Guild relented.
UNIDNETIFIED MALE: He's not required to do so.
MOOS: One by one, Luke's teammates open their chutes leaving Luke alone like a 120-mile-per-hour speeding bullet headed for the net.
Almost a decade ago, a daredevil in shorts jumped without a parachute, a sky diver locked on like mating butterflies and fastened the guy to his harness and they floated down together.
For freefalling Luke, the critical point was turning his body a second before he hit the net so his back would hit first.
He lay there a moment, the net was lowered, he hugged his wife.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm almost levitating. It's incredible that this thing just happened. I mean, the words I want to say can't even get out of my mouth.
MOOS: Swish, nothing but net.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Unbelievable. Thank you so much for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT anytime, anywhere on CNN Go.
"AC360" starts right now.