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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Speaks in Wisconsin Shortly; Trump Endorses Rep. Ryan, Sen. McCain and Sen. Ayotte; Clinton Does Damage Control; Trump Calls Clinton "Close to Unhinged"; Clinton Clarifies (Muddies?) E-mail Claim; Keeping Secrets Safe; Obama to Trump: Keep Intel Briefings Secret; How Intelligence Briefing for Clinton, Trump will Work. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 5, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:16] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ACHOR: Good evening, John Berman here in for Anderson. I want to show you live pictures right now from Green Bay, Wisconsin. This is a Donald Trump rally happening now. That's his running mate, Mike Pence, warming up the crowd.
Donald Trump will take that stage in just a few minutes and we are expecting news here.
We've been told that Donald Trump will are vary the most recent internal party fight hatchet and endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan in his primary battle. Ryan is the senior elected Republican in the nation and a key figure in the key battleground state of Wisconsin.
However, and this is significant, neither Speaker Ryan nor Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker nor Wisconsin and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, none of them are at this event. No matter what else happens tonight, Donald Trump has already said plenty today.
He started by retracting his widely debunked claim about the secret Iranian video that he said he saw cash arriving as American captives were freed. He tweeted this morning, "The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!" That was this morning.
This afternoon he made a different unsubstantiated claim about Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think NSA probably has them, is that right? He just said NSA has them. Does NSA have them? I don't know. I mean, you know, some people have been saying that NSA has them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. That was today in Des Moines in Iowa. Tonight in Green Bay, we'll see. CNN'S Jason Carroll is there and he joins us now live.
Jason, Mike Pence warming up the crowd, Donald Trump about to take the stage, Paul Ryan, he's not there but perhaps he's watching on TV somewhere and watching closely.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, you know, he must be watching closely and listening closely especially to what Mike Pence just had to say as you heard him there. He was basically saying, talking about Donald Trump saying this is a man who is a fighter. This is a man who was fighting alone for a while, but now we stand united, perhaps a precursor to what is to come when Donald Trump takes the stage and as we've all heard now, planning to take the stage and endorse a very popular hometown her, Paul Ryan, when he does so, in just a few minutes.
You know, but it was just 72 hours ago, wasn't it, John, that Donald Trump said he wasn't yet ready to endorse Paul Ryan and that really created a ripple across the GOP and many people feeling as though Donald Trump was being petty and vindictive.
This also coming on the heels of those bad poll numbers in the number of key battleground states, it's been very, very clear that the campaign knew that they needed to make an adjustment and this is just one of them. John?
BERMAN: You called it a ripple and may have been more of a rogue wave. Jason, a lot has been made about Donald Trump and whether he's staying on message, whether he's going off message. How did he fare so far today? He was in Des Moines.
CARROLL: Right. And it's not just what we heard in Des Moines, it's what we heard yesterday in Portland, Maine, John. I think there is a feeling among some of Trump supporters that he is now more on message, staying focused on criticizing Hillary Clinton, going off message, a little bit less. The reason why I say a little bit less is because, you know, Trump wouldn't be Trump if he didn't go off message a little bit.
And he did in Iowa just earlier today when he talked about something that we heard when we were attending a rally in Virginia earlier this week, when he was making a comment about a crying baby. Well, the headlines went out that he was trying to kick out a crying baby. He says he was just joking.
Everyone thought it was over, but he brought it up again in Iowa. This, once again, is the feeling that Trump sometimes has a problem just focusing on and staying on message and just letting things go. But, you know, I spoke to one woman who was out here today and she said, "Well, Trump wouldn't be Trump if he didn't stay on message all the time." It's kind of what some of those who are real Trump supporters expect him to do but very clearly many of those within the GOP establishment would prefer he move on from some of these lesser subjects and stay focused on one name, Hillary Clinton.
BERMAN: ALL RIGHT. Jason Carroll for us right there inside that rally. Again, we're watching it very closely. Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, Donald Trump's running mate speaking right now. When Donald Trump take the stage, we will go back because we are expecting him to endorse Speaker Ryan.
What kind of language he'll use? Well, that's anyone's guess.
Speaker Ryan is not there. Speaker Ryan says he's not spoken to Donald Trump since the Republican Convention and Paul Ryan weighed in today on his own endorsement of Trump and how conditional it is.
[20:05:04] Here's what he told Wisconsin Radio Host Vicki McKenna when she asked him about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICKI MCKENNA, WISCONSIN RADIO HOST: Do you stand by your decision to support Trump's candidacy in an effort toward the party?
PAUL RYAN, (R) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Yes, you know why, because he won the election. He won the election, as Speaker of the House, I feel that it's my duty to support our party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. Joining us now as we wait for Donald Trump to speak, Hillary Clinton supporter, a former Clinton 2008 Senior Adviser Maria Cardona, Donald Trump supporter and New York City Councilman Joseph Borelli, CNN Political Director David Chalian and from Madison, Wisconsin, you just heard her voice, Vicki McKenna.
Vicki, I want to start with you. In the interview you had with Speaker Ryan this morning, he also said that his endorsement of Donald Trump is not absolute and he can revoke it. It's actually the second time in as many days he made that point. Do you think that's a real possibility though?
I mean, twice in the last two months Paul Ryan has said that Donald Trump has gone beyond the pale. If he's already beyond the pale more than once, it's hard to imagine what line Donald Trump can cross when Paul Ryan would revoke the endorsement.
MCKENNA: I think what you have to do is understand is Paul Ryan leads with the idea that it is his responsibility to unify the GOP. So no, I don't think Paul Ryan will revoke an endorsement of Donald Trump.
But he's always said that he has reserved the right to be critical of Donald Trump when Donald Trump and Paul Ryan and, you know, the conservatives in Wisconsin disagree, and he has done that. And I think that he has always maintained his pledge that he is going to, you know, be the guy who stands behind the candidate in an effort to unify the party.
BERMAN: So David Chalian, this Friday seems like tie up loose ends Friday or settle grievances Friday. You know, he admitted that he didn't see a video which doesn't exist this morning, Donald Trump get in tonight. We're expecting him to endorse Paul Ryan which created quite a controversy and we need to not endorse Paul Ryan in the primary just 72 hours ago. Do you think this will heal a little bit of those wounds that have resurfaced again this week within the Republican Party? DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I think it will heal some. I think damage has been done, there's no doubt about that. But I think that damage -- is a more broad problem than just not endorsing Paul Ryan, John. I think the larger problem is the controversy over Captain Khan and the gold star families.
That lingered for so long. That is what gave so much discomfort to many Republicans who believed that Donald Trump was cutting off avenues with that fight of potentially broadening his support. So yes, this gets personal that he withheld the endorsement from Paul Ryan.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the RNC clearly very upset personally. And he clearly felt a lot of pressure to get right with that. And now, we'll see like you said what the language is, but to go ahead and offer his endorsement to Paul Ryan. But I don't think it solves the larger problem that there is concern among Republicans that Donald Trump is not broadening his message enough to bring in new general election voters.
BERMAN: Joseph Borelli, I want to bring you into this discussion. You know, Donald Trump, you know, for better, for worse, he does make a lot of news on Twitter. And usually it's for somewhat incendiary things he says or provocative things he said. This morning he made news for, I don't know if he admitted he was wrong but he revised a statement, he revised a statement about the video that doesn't exist that he didn't see that he claimed that he saw.
JOSEPH BORELLI, NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN: Would now exist.
BERMAN: Well, that's a separate thing. I mean, the video he says he saw didn't exist and he didn't see it. Do you think that that marks a bit of a turning point? Do you think this means he's listening to advisers who say, "Look, you got to be more careful?"
BORELLI: I think he is. I think people have told him that when something innocuous like this mistake over this video which you might misidentify at some point, just admit it and move on. And then, the media will stop hounding you and you can move on to attacking your primary target which is Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or the Democrats in general.
I think the actual issue with this particular video is really not something that's driving the conversation. I don't think this actually works against him because it allows us to talk about this $400 million again and again which as the White House admits could be used to fund Hezbollah terrorists.
BERMAN: Maria Cardona, Hillary Clinton supporter, I'm going to bring you to this conversation. And I should tell everyone, we are going to talk about Hillary Clinton's e-mails in just a moment, but right now on Donald Trump.
You know, you heard Jason Carroll say since yesterday, over the last 48 hours, Donald Trump more on message, not diving into the areas they got him into so much trouble earlier in the week. Does the Clinton campaign think that an on-message Donald Trump can gain traction?
MARIA CARDONA, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, Ill say this, first of all, only has been 48 hours and what we have seen in these bursts, these short bursts of time when he is on-message he can't help himself, and he will do something to go off message.
But to your point, the Clinton campaign has got to wake up every single day and not take anything for granted. They have to pretend that Hillary Clinton is 10 points behind with her back against the wall, because Donald Trump is somebody who is, again, his unpredictability which he loves to talk which I actually think is a danger to the country, but in a political campaign you never know how it's going to play.
[20:10:14] What I do believe this week has done, these, actually, past couple of weeks has done, is it has ingrained in a larger swath of voters than ever before how dangerous Donald Trump's unpredictability really is. When you talk about, you know, the Russian hackers, when you talk about his closeness to Putin, when you talk about the fact that he knows nothing about national security that puts in people's minds that this man is temperamentally unfit to serve.
BERMAN: Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, endorsing Donald Trump who is taking the stage right now. Vicki McKenna, quickly, if we can get one more question as he does take the stage, Paul Ryan sent out a fund-raising letter telling Republicans they have to prepare for the possibility of a President Hillary Clinton.
Actually, Vicki, hold on to that. Let's listen to Donald Trump right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So how good he's he? He's a special man, a special person -- that has become -- there are a lot of people here.
Hello, everybody. Your football team's going to have a great year. I watch. I watch. You got the quarterback, you have the whole deal. I think it's going to be a very good year. And if you get into that Super Bowl I'll be going, all right?
So you know, I wrote something down before, and I think it's important because -- I love you too. Because we need unity, we have to win this election. This is truly one of the most important elections, certainly in my lifetime because we're about to go. We lose it. We are in the wrong direction and maybe it's gone.
Supreme Court justices always remember that, but so many different levels and when you see what happened with crooked Hillary today it was a disaster, a disaster. She had a disaster. She lies, folks. She lies badly.
So I wanted -- I'll just throw this out. I wanted to say to this group, you know, I had a really great time when I was in Wisconsin and I didn't quite eke it out. I thought I was going to, but after that it worked out. Well, you built me up, you taught me about politics. And when I left here I said, "I think I've learned a lot".
So I love it. I love the people. I have many friends in Wisconsin and they're incredible people. You're incredible people. I have to tell you that and we're going have a lot of fun. We're going to have a lot of fun, but I had it right.
This campaign is not about me or any one candidate. It's about America. It's time for a change, we need a change, a real change, not an Obama change. Remember Obama change? We don't need an Obama change. We've had enough.
It's time to change a rigged political system that works only for the insiders and to replace it with a government that serves the people, have to do it. And I know both sides. I've been on the other side, believe me. I actually like this side better. This is a movement. This a movement like they maybe have never seen in this country, according to even the political pundits that truly hate me, OK?
This is a -- they -- oh. This is a movement that some say, most say, is one of the great phenomenons that they've ever seen in politics. Some say it's the single greatest phenomenon. Though, the media doesn't want to talk about it we've done something, we, all of us together. I'm a messenger. I'm only a messenger. We've done something truly historic together.
Standing before you as nominee for president, and I am not a politician, proudly. I'm not part of the system.
[20:15:00] I ran against the system and I'm probably better off running against the system. I ran against the donors. I'm my own donor, essentially. I have a lot of money into this deal. This is a very expensive process, I want to tell you. I funded, as you know, I funded the primaries, and now I'm in for over $60 million, and I'm largely funding my campaign as we go forward.
In addition to that -- in addition to that, we've raised tremendous amounts of money and much of it from small donors $61. $61 as a Republican, that doesn't happen. It happens because of what you are seeing in front of you today.
And if you remember just prior to June they did a story, Donald Trump has aren't really done too well with fund-raising. Well, that's because I didn't even know -- I'm not going to raise funds. I would have had enough if I didn't make it. I would have said bye-bye politics, but I wanted to make sure.
So I got it and then I started raising money for the Republican Party and we raised a lot of money. We started really on June 14th, Flag Day, my birthday. My birthday, and in June we raised, approximately, think of this, $51 million, can you imagine? And those people couldn't believe it. They were really surprised, big headlines, you know, because they don't give me too many good headlines.
I could do the greatest things. I do things that I think are fantastic and I say, "Good, there's no way they can cover this badly and they cover it badly." I gently tell a woman that I love her baby and let the baby cry. It's OK. As the baby that had a voice that was superior to pavarotti continued to cry now. I remember I told her to stay, don't worry about it. But after three or four minutes and I'm trying to speak, and it was in Jacksonville, we have this massive, massive crowd, filled up the stadium and the baby is screaming.
So I said, "Ma'am, I'd like to reverse my order. Perhaps you can nicely take the baby out." I did it so nicely. She was happy. Even the baby was happy, he stopped crying. Maybe you could take the baby out, would that be possible? The whole place was cracking up and the next day in the newspaper it said. "Trump throws baby out of arena."
Terrible, they're very dishonest. That was a tough one, and I just had a reporter come up to me backstage, a reporter tell me, "Mr. Trump, sir, but why did you throw that baby out of there", and I said. "I was having fun. I was so nice. I was so nice. Everybody liked me. The baby liked me. The mother liked me. We had a good time."
And I tried to keep the baby in, but the baby had such a powerful voice. In fact, I want to find out who that baby is, because I want to sponsor the baby, and that baby will sing some day in Philharmonic Hall, OK, New York City, the great Philharmonic.
So I'm not part of the system. I ran against the system. I ran against the donors, because I'm largely my own donor. I'm running against myself. That's sort of -- I never thought of it that way. And against the status quo and the status quo, we have to get rid of because it's not working, folks. This country is a mess.
And that's why I put up a lot of money, but while the Democrats nominated the candidate of special interests and really a candidate of total corruption. I mean, you take a look at what she's doing. The Republicans made history by choosing a nominee from outside of this very, very corrupt system. It is a corrupt system. It's a corrupt system.
You want something done, they can do it for you. And that's not necessarily and usually it isn't good for the country. That is why we are going to be able to deliver real change and real safety and real opportunity to all Americans. We have to unite. Remember that.
Everything I've accomplished, I've done by putting together a really fantastic team. Including Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, has done an incredible job.
[20:20:02] My wonderful staff of people that really love what we're doing and they're working so hard. My family, my friends and it's expanding all the time, but I need a Republican Senate and a House to accomplish all of the changes that we have to make. We have to make them, right?
I have to embrace the wisdom of Ronald Reagan's within the party, big, big tent. Remember, Ronald Reagan, great man, great guy. Remember he included Reagan Democrats and Independents and Republicans, a lot of people. We're going to have the same thing, there are a lot of Democrats perhaps in this room, there a lot of Democrats in this room, raise your hand. I mean, I don't think we need too many to be honest with you, but -- so I embrace the wisdom that my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy, Ronald Reagan, stated by Ronald Reagan, pretty good.
We will be the big tent party. We are going to have a lot of crossover. We'll have a lot of Bernie Sanders people coming in because of trade. Because Bernie Sanders knew we were being ripped off by trade. Trade is a disaster with China, with Japan, with Mexico, with Vietnam with so many countries, with every country, every country. We don't win at any level with anything.
And as a unified party, we will lead our country to unity as well, very important. We need the unity. We have to win this election. No, we have to win it, have to win it. Otherwise our big movement was not as big as we thought, and that's not good. That's why November 8th, you've got to get everybody you know and you know all of this voter I.D., nowadays a lot of places aren't going to have voter I.D.
Now, what does that mean? What does that mean? You just keep walking in and voting? So you have to be very careful, very vigilant, you have to be careful.
But we will have disagreements, but we will disagree as friends and never stop working together toward victory, and very importantly, toward real change. So in our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan. Good. He's a good man. He's a good man and he's a good guy. And we may disagree on a couple of things but mostly we agree and we're going to get it done and we'll do a lot of wonderful things.
He's a good man and while I'm at it, I hold in the highest esteem Senator John McCain for his service to our country in uniform and in public office and I fully support and endorse his reelection, very important.
We'll work together. I also fully support and endorse Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. A state I truly love, primarily because that was my first victory but I love New Hampshire. No, I love New Hampshire. It's one of the most beautiful places.
She is a rising star and will continue to represent the great people of New Hampshire so very well for a long, long time. Senator Kelly Ayotte, working hand in hand, we will grow our majority in the House and in the Senate.
[20:25:03] We need that. We've got to get things done.
Arm in arm, we will rescue the nation from the Obama-Clinton disaster which is exactly what it is. That has bled our country dry and spread terrorism unabated across the world. That's what's happening. You saw it just now. The maps came out yesterday. They said ISIS is far bigger and it's all over the place. It's all over the place.
We're going to get rid of it, folks. Our military is depleted. We're going to build up our military. We're going to get others with us, believe me. We're going to get plenty of others with us. And speaking of others, wouldn't it actually be wonderful if we could get along with Russia? Wouldn't that be nice?
They talk so big and so brave and so tough, they're the tough ones. You know, Hillary is real tough. Give me a break.
Wouldn't that be great, we get along with Russia and we go out together with others and we knock the hell out of ISIS, wouldn't that be great? Together, we will our country back to prosperity, security and peace, OK?
I mean, when you look at the world and what's happened. So we have the queen of corruption. She's the queen of corruption. She's a disaster. I said before, if crooked Hillary Clinton becomes president, terrorism will destroy the inner workings of our country. Believe me. They are loving it.
She wants to have 550 percent more people coming in from Syria and that region into our nation and we don't know who they are. We don't know where they come from, really. We don't know if they're ISIS, some will be, and look at the damage that's done in San Bernardino with a couple, probably he became radicalized by her, a couple, and these were friends of theirs. These were people that gave a party in celebration of the birth of their child and they were gunned down, 14 people killed, many, many injured.
Take a look at Orlando. Take a look at Orlando, how disgusting that was. Take a look at the World Trade Center and so many other places.
Go to the probably ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Donald Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin, speaking about the need for unity. In that vein, Donald Trump just moments ago endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan and his primary battle in Wisconsin, endorsing Senator John McCain and his primary battle in Arizona, endorsing New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte in her tough battle for reelection for senate in New Hampshire. Three things he was unwilling to do just a few days ago.
Let's get reaction now from our panel, David Chalian, trying to set things straight, it seems, heading into the weekend.
CHALIAN: Without a doubt, john. This is total Friday cleanup for Donald Trump getting right with his party, clearly showing that he wants to put to bed this intra-party battle. He started by withholding the endorsement.
And let me just tell you that moments after he endorsed Paul Ryan, his campaign sends out an e-mail to collect e-mail addresses and get support for the Trump campaign. He's, like, I've officially endorsed Paul Ryan and together we're going to fight for you and make America great again, now sign up on my website and join the cause.
So he endorsed immediately and then is using that as leverage to bring Republicans united into his fold of the campaign.
BERMAN: And Vicki McKenna, you know, he endorsed Senator John McCain and the language he used, he honored Senator McCain for his service to the country. This is Donald Trump who famously last summer ridiculed almost John McCain's role as a POW saying he wants people who weren't taken prisoners, people who weren't shot down and Donald Trump even going there for John McCain who though was been critical of Donald Trump, is supporting him.
MCKENNA: Well, a lot of Republicans, sitting Republicans are critical of Donald Trump, but if the name of the game is unity, then Donald Trump's got to lead the unity train not just the Trump train.
[20:30:00] And it looks like somebody had a meeting with the campaign and said this is what you're going to do in Wisconsin.
There's a reason I think why Scott Walker and Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson aren't at the Green Bay rally, and that's because that was a show of solidarity I think with Paul Ryan and a show of solidarity with the idea of the attempts at unity, but everybody's been saying, "Look, its Donald Trump's game." He's going to be the one to lead the charge on this.
I'll tell you what, though, I think that was about as on-message as he has been in a long time. I think he was concise. I think he had some bullet points he was working of. He was funny. And I think that that probably did do a lot of damage control for him, at least in Wisconsin it did.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: And, Joseph Borelli, Councilman, you know, you noted he was reading off that paper very carefully, reading off that paper as he was endorsing, your view of that.
JOSEPH BORELLI, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, John, take a big picture. This objectively has been a rough week for Donald Trump. You can't ignore that, but this is exactly what we want to see from a Republican candidate.
He spoke about Ronald Reagan. He spoke about big tent Republicanism. That's what's going -- it's going to take to actually get some Democrats, get some independents, get conservatives who are perhaps unhappy with him onboard.
I am extremely pleased everything that happens tonight. I'm sure right now he's pivoting into attacking Hillary Clinton, which is exactly what he should be doing. I'm hoping this will dominate the headlines for the next day or two.
BERMAN: And Maria Cardona, again, the Clinton campaign watching this has to say, "OK, you know, this is the Donald Trump that can be much more of a problem for us than the one we saw earlier this week."
MARIA CARDONA, 2008 SENIOR CLINTON CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Sure, and again, like I said before, that's exactly how they need to wake up every single day and think about the campaign, right? But I think a couple of things happened just now, and yes, he is been more on message today than he has been. I'm sure his supporters are thankful for that because it was -- has been a disastrous couple of weeks for him.
But I noticed two things. The first one is everything that he says is all about himself. I, I, I, me, me, me, me Trump, Trump this, Trump this, Trump campaign.
BERMAN: But he said it's not about me. He said I'm only a messenger.
CARDONA: He said that, that was the first line that he said and then he can't help himself. It's all about him. That image, that message is the one that is sinking into voters.
The second thing is he talked about how great it would be to get along with Russia. That's not a great message for him to put out there after you have so many people talking about, you know, and today Mike Morell, former CIA, right the big headline in the "New York Times" endorsing Hillary Clinton talking about how Trump's connections to Russia and the way that he acts towards Putin makes him seem like a puppet of Putin.
When he talks about Russia that way that sinks into people's minds and they're like, "This man is going to be dangerous as our commander-in- chief."
BERMAN: All right, guys, stick around. We have much more to talk about, a lot more coming up. Vicki, hang on a second. We want to talk about this more a little bit Donald Trump talking about Hillary Clinton, calling her names tonight. Early in the day, he called her unhinged. We'll talk about that.
We're also going to talk about Hillary Clinton in her new, some say, fuzzy explanation of a statement she has been repeating which contained falsehoods about her e-mails and what the FBI Director said about her honesty. The question, did today's attempt at damage control actually control the damage or did it confuse the issue?
[20:36:50] BERMAN: The breaking news, Donald Trump just moments ago endorsed three influential Republicans. He had either held off endorsing or refused to endorse until just now, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator John McCain and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. So that just happened.
Earlier in Iowa he stepped up his attacks on Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: She's really pretty close to unhinged and you've seen it. You've seen it a couple of times, but peoples in the background know it. The people that know her know it. And she's like an unbalanced person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: His remarks came shortly after Secretary Clinton tried to do some damage control on the e-mail controversy and her repeated false statement that FBI Director James Comey gave her a clean bill of health in the honesty department when it comes to what she has said to the American people.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: America is better than Donald Trump.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton laying into Donald Trump today at a conference for black and Hispanic journalists in Washington.
CLINTON: We need to stand up as a country and say that Donald Trump doesn't represent who we are and what we believe.
MALVEAUX: Clinton was asked about her claim in a pair of recent interviews that FBI Director James Comey said her public answers about her e-mails were truthful. Here is what she told "Fox News Sunday".
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: After a long investigation, FBI Director James Comey said none of those things that you told the American public were true.
CLINTON: Chris, that's not what I heard Director Comey say, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to, in my view, clarify. Director Comey said that my answers were truthful and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people.
MALVEAUX: That statement which she repeated in another interview, Wednesday ruled false by fact-checkers. Today, Clinton tried to clarify those comments, referring specifically to what Comey said about her FBI testimony.
CLINTON: I was pointing out in both of those instances that Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful. That's really the bottom line here.
Well, I may have short circuited it and for that I, you know, will try to clarify because I think, you know, Chris Wallace and I were probably talking past each other because, of course, he could only talk to what I had told the FBI, and I appreciated that.
MALVEAUX: Clinton also addressed questions about her struggles with voters who do not see her as honest and trustworthy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you lead a nation where a majority of Americans mistrust you?
CLINTON: Every time I have done a job people have counted on me and trusted me. I take it seriously, and it doesn't make me feel good when people say those things and I recognize that I have work to do.
MALVEAUX: As the Democratic nominee picked up another high-profile endorsement. In a "New York Times" op-ed today, former CIA Director Mike Morell said he'd be voting for Clinton in November and warned of Trump's impact on the world stage saying, "Mr. Trump has no experience on national security, even more important, the character traits he has exhibited during the primary season suggests he would be a poor, even dangerous commander-in-chief."
[20:40:11] Morell also slammed Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin saying, "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."
Nationally, Clinton's lead over Trump continues to widen and an upswing helped, perhaps, by President Obama's rising job approval rating and a positive jobs report.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Suzanne Malveaux joins us right now.
Suzanne, what has been the reaction to the Trump campaign on this?
MALVEAUX: Well, John, you know, I was in the room with those other 1,400 journalists and at times it was meandering, it was confusing, it was a five-minute, nearly, a five-minute response. And when she said this kind of short-circuited explanation, didn't really seem to shed much light. And so, it really is an opportunity for the Trump campaign to go after her, to follow the narrative that's she's not trustworthy.
The statement, reading in part here that "Clinton knows the actions she has taken are disqualifying for someone wishing to become commander-in-chief and that is why today's painful, pretzel-like response to a simple question about her illegal server was obvious to everyone watching."
The Clinton campaign, John, as you know, trying to make the case here that, "Look, let's not focus on the e-mail, response to the e-mail, let's look all the things she's done and accomplished to the American people, the American voters that put their trust in her to accomplish those things for them." That is what they are trying to drill down. That is the narrative that they are trying to push, John.
BERMAN: Suzanne Malveaux, thanks very much.
More now on how Secretary Clinton's explanation could play out from here. As you saw, she didn't let it all hang out, as they said, in the '70s. It was perhaps more like what Nixon White House, the John Ehrlichman, once called a modified, limited hangout.
Back with the panel, David Chalian, I want to start with you here. Specifically the issue before today was that Hillary Clinton had said twice that FBI Director James Comey had said not only that what Hillary Clinton had told the FBI was truthful, but what she seemed to indicate was that James Comey said, what she had told the American people, was also truthful. He hadn't said that. She seemed to try to revive that part of it today, but it took an awful lot of words. DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It did indeed. And I, for the like of me, cannot understand why Hillary Clinton is relying on James Comey's comments for anything. Anybody who watched his press conference and watched his testimony before Congress saw someone who was delivering a rebuke of her behavior throughout this process and, yes, she is right. He did say her answers were truthful that the FBI agent she interview with had no reason to believe that she lied to them, but he answered questions, you'll recall, John, to members of Congress on that committee about her public statements saying that they didn't match what they have found. So I just don't understand why she thinks Jim Comey is a validator for her here, when really she should simply say he didn't bring charges. So, as I said, there was no criminal activity and she should continue, I think, to hit the point that she made a mistake.
Every time, John, Hillary Clinton gets in the weeds on this, gets into the number of e-mails that had markings, that didn't have markings, she is reviving a story that doesn't do her any good.
BERMAN: So, Maria Cardona, the reason that people keep bringing this up is just that, first of all, honesty is important ...
BERMAN: ... and prior to today, which she was saying Comey said to the American people ...
BERMAN: ... was not exactly honest, but people keep looking at this saying there seems to be a much easier way out of this politically that Hillary Clinton is choosing to take.
CARDONA: Well, I agree with David that what she needs to focus on is sort of the bigger picture. She has apologized to the American people several times about this. She has said she knows it was a mistake and she would never do it again. And she will continue to say that as this question arises.
But I do have to say that the reason that she brought this up is because there is a frustration and even though Comey obviously rebuked her, but he also did say that there's no evidence that she lied to the FBI. He also said in the hearing, not to her, but in the hearing, to Democrats, he said things that did exonerate her. So, for example, he said and I'm going to read this, when they talked about the -- Congressman Cartwright talked about how there were no markings on these three e-mails that he says were the ones that were classified. Congressman Cartwright said there were no markings on it. So therefore if Secretary Clinton really were an expert in what's classified and what's not classified and were following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were classified. Am I correct in that? And he says that would be a reasonable inference.
That's important for people to understand. But, I agree, it doesn't make sense for her to get in the weeds on this, because not, you know, the American people were not focused on that.
BERMAN: And, again, and you have to get in the weeds ...
BERMAN: ... just to explain what she was saying.
CARDONA: Exactly. That's right.
BERMAN: And Director Comey never said that what Hillary Clinton was saying to the American people was truthful.
[20:45:00] CARDONA: That's right.
BERMAN: He just refused to get into that.
CARDONA: But he did say that that there's no evidence that she lied to the FBI.
CARDONA: And that those are connections that she was trying to make.
BORELLI: What Maria said was true. She told the FBI the truth and that's critical because it proves that she actually knew what the truth was and what was a lie. And she chose to tell the American public ...
CARDONA: That's not true. It's absolutely ...
BORELLI: ... something that's fundamentally not true. And this is part of who she is. She never get nice to the marines in the '70s. She wasn't under sniper fire in the Balkans. She told the victims of Benghazi, their families, one thing and she told the American public -- I'm sorry, she told her own family something different. Trust is earned and she's earned all of her negative poll numbers in this.
CARDONA: If you want to go up, Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump, on who has lied the most, I will do that every single day and twice on Sunday because Politifact and reporters have said over and over and over again that Donald Trump has been the biggest liar during this campaign than in any other presidential campaign.
BORELLI: I disagree.
CARDONA: Let's get serious. Let's go for that.
BERMAN: Vicky, I want to bring you in.
BERMAN: Go ahead, Vicki.
MCKENNA: Yeah, if I may. BERMAN: Go ahead.
MCKENNA: If I may. But -- listen, this is how it's going to go down, folks. Is Hillary Clinton going to be able to convince more Americans that she is honest and trustworthy after having told lie after lie? And thank you for bringing up the Bosnia lie of flying in under sniper fire. Is she going to have an easier time convincing the American people that what they already know, what has already baked into the pie of this election that she's honest and trustworthy when she just wasn't again? Then Donald Trump is going to have of convincing the American people that he is competent and he passes the fitness test.
CARDONA: Yes, she will.
MCKENNA: And I guarantee you.
CARDONA: If that's what she's going to do.
MCKENNA: I guarantee you.
CARDONA: Because what she's going to do ...
MCKENNA: Hey, guys, if Hillary Clinton is going to have to hang her campaign in her success on convincing America she's trustworthy, then put my money down on Donald Trump.
CARDONA: What her focus is going to be is to convince the American people that for 30 years, what she has focused on is public service and making Americans' lives better, fighting for families, fighting for children, versus Donald Trump with the only thing he has ever done.
MCKENNA: How has she fought for family?
BERMAN: Hang on, hang on, hang on.
CARDONA: The only thing he has ever done is to try to enrich himself inline his pockets at the expense of American workers.
BERMAN: David Chalian ...
MCKENNA: That is a -- that that is a contest that she will win over and over again.
BERMAN: Hang on. David Chalian has been the most patient person here. So David Chalian gets the last word. Is Hillary Clinton going to make this campaign about her honesty or is it part of the reasons she's been talking about Donald Trump so much, that she really wants to make this a lot about him for the next few months. CHALIAN: Yes. Clearly, she's trying to make this election an entire referendum on Donald Trump and his fitness for office. And I would just say, the American people have ruled on her honest and trustworthiness. They don't think she is honest and trustworthy. Her unfavorables are higher and she still hasn't significant lead in this race.
CARDONA: And she's winning.
CHALIAN: So I don't think that it's going to come down to honest and trustworthy for Hillary Clinton. I do agree that that's baked in and that is why she's trying so hard every day to make this a referendum.
BERMAN: You see the challenges ahead for both candidates.
Thank you so much, everyone.
With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump about to start receiving intelligence briefings, what President Obama has to say about that and a look at what kind of classified information the nominees will be getting. That's next.
[20:52:07] BERMAN: Hillary Clinton received a high profile endorsement today from former acting CIA Director Mike Morell. Morell who served under presidents from both parties wrote a "New York Times" op-ed saying, "My training as an intelligence officer taught me to call it as I see it. This is what I did for the CIA. This is what I am doing now. Our nation will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president."
Both Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump will soon begin receiving intelligence briefings. President Obama who had flat out called Trump unfit to be president made it clear yesterday that both candidates will be treated equally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As far as Mr. Trump, we are going to go by the law, which is that both tradition and the law that if somebody's the nominee, the Republican nominee for president, they need to get security briefings so that if they were to win, they are not starting from scratch in terms of being prepared for this office.
And I'm not going to go into details of the nature of the security briefings that both candidates receive. What I will say is that they have been told these are classified briefings. And if they want to be president, they have got to start acting like the president. And that means being able to, you know, receive these briefings and not to spread them around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you worried about that?
OBAMA: Well, I think I've said enough on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, how exactly will the briefings work? Here's Barbara Starr.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The plan to give secret intelligence briefings to the presidential candidates isn't new, but this year, it is different, says former CIA officer and briefer, David Priess.
DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA OFFICER: You have a candidate who seems to say what he thinks without a filter. And on the other hand, you have somebody that the FBI Director has called out publicly for being careless with classified information. We've never had a situation like this before.
STARR: Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal put the country at risk.
TRUMP: And I'm saying, you can't brief her. You can't brief her. Let's protest.
STARR: Democratic leaders have a different solution for Trump.
HARRY REID, (D) MINORITY LEADER: Oh, I said publicly give him fake briefings.
STARR: But the man in charge, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, is making clear both will be briefed and get exactly the same intelligence.
JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It's not up to the administration and certainly not up to me personally to decide on the suitability of the presidential candidate.
STARR: Priess knows the type of secret intelligence Trump and Clinton will receive.
PRIESS: On the one hand, it's no kidding classified information, including top secret information, which by definition, can cause exceptionally grave damage to national security.
[20:55:04] STARR: But there are limits.
PRIESS: It's not the crown jewels. It is not everything about the intelligence sources, the things that would put lives at risk.
STARR: ISIS is a likely topic, but only a president-elect and a sitting president would be told about covert counterterrorism operations against the group. Trump and Clinton don't need security clearances to attend the briefing, but their aides would. Intelligence experts say Trump may find the briefings a unique new experience.
PRIESS: Donald Trump will present a challenge to a briefer, but a challenge that most briefers that I worked with back in the day would have relished. Here's a chance to try to get a message through to somebody who appears to take information differently than many other people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: And the candidate who already may know the most, not Hillary Clinton, but Senator Tim Kaine, her running mate. Kaine is already a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, and those positions give him access to classified information. John?
BERMAN: All right, Barbara Starr, thanks so much. We'll be right back.
[21:00:00] BERMAN: That does it for us. Thanks so much for watching. "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon" starts right now.
LEMON: Breaking news, Donald Trump reversing his earlier position and endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan for re-election --