Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Speaks Before Clinton's Rebuttal Speech; Joe Lieberman Endorses Clinton; Trump: Obama, Clinton Founded ISIS; Pelosi Calls DNC Hack "An Electronic Watergate." Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired August 11, 2016 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:05] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Now, everybody admits, you know the five percent number's just a number to make politicians look good, to make the presidents look good. Not only Obama, it was there before him although its gotten actually worse because more people -- the way they analyze these numbers -- more and more people -- that number gets lower and lower and the people can't find work.

You know if you give up looking for a job, after months, you go home. " I can't find one, Dad, I can't find one, Mom." You go, I can't find one" to your wife or to your husband -- can't find a job. You go home and you give up. After a while you give up. And everybody admits that there are no good jobs.

The good jobs we don't have anymore. Even the other side, we have jobs, we don't have good jobs. But you give up looking and yet you are considered statistically employed because the number's a phony number, five percent. Every time I watch that, unemployment is down to five percent, it's not down to five percent.

It's probably 20 or 21 percent. Some people think it's higher, but people want jobs and they quit, they give up looking.

Everyone's taxes we want to go down. Under my plan there are three brackets, I'm going to have three brackets instead of seven. We're doing a major, major, major simplification.

The one company that will not be happy is H&R Block.


Oh, I know people that go and spend a fortune on tax returns because they can't -- it's too complicated that they can't figure it out. Many Americans are going to pay nothing. They're going to pay zero because they're not making enough to live.

But they don't want to send -- they're not going to send a tax return, it costs a fortune bureaucratically. Billions of dollars. And they don't have money and they're not going to pay. So we're going to make that a little easier process.

Hillary Clinton has supported tax increases --

[11:32:03] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we've been listening to Donald Trump talking to the National Association of Home Builders. He's in Miami Beach. You heard at the very top, when we got into the speeches, him double, triple, quadrupling down on his statement that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were the founders of ISIS.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Back now with our panel.

Let's go to Hilary Rosen, a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Hilary, your response to Donald Trump --


HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You make me listen to him for 25 minutes. That was torture. So unfair.

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You loved every minute of it.

ROSEN: Really, I don't listen --


We're clearly in the business of torture. Now answer.

ROSEN: First of all, he was very, very low energy, wasn't he? Like, I never saw him so low energy. I think he's starting to get a little depressed. You know, he sort of gets out there, he's talking, he's droning on, you know, he's telling one lie after another. And I -- it's unfortunate that his economic analysis and his political analysis is so off. You're going to see Hillary Clinton today talk about her economic plan, and a real investment in infrastructure, real investment in jobs. And Donald Trump's entire economic plan is essentially giving tax cuts to the wealthy. Something we know hasn't worked in the past. And this nonsense about he's going to let the poor people not pay taxes. Guess what, they don't pay taxes anyway. The fact he is so off be in terms of connecting to real people, that he won't release his own taxes. What is he hiding? I just think this sort of whole speech is just kind of low energy political analysis and mostly nonsense. He's not giving people anything here.

BOLDUAN: Well, on the energy point, Andre, what do you make of it? It's a very different person than, say, you saw last night in his big rally. I mean, he was subdued. Sometimes that almost seemed like he was reading the notes for the first time because he read it and said this is great for you guys, realizing he's speaking from the home builders association. What do you make of this kind of different Donald Trump you see from day to day or rally to rally, speech to speech?

BAUER: Well, probably the schedule he's keeping. My understanding is he keeps a tremendous schedule. Let's be frank here, both these candidates are not spry young people. Not to say anything about their age, but when you're running that hard, I don't care who you are, I think after a while, everybody gets tired, and probably trying to do too many things, you know, with 89 days to go.

BERMAN: Ana Navarro, you were picking up on his energy. I was following you on Twitter during the speech.

BOLDUAN: Multitasking.

BERMAN: One thing, he did pull out that chart, which is a chart which gets to that he's been making, which is that home ownership has dropped precipitously, which it has. You know, if he gave a speech where he was just holding up that chart, that might be an argument, an economic argument I think Republicans would want him to run on, Ana.

[11:35:00] ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: For a while, thought that chart was about his energy level where it topped off and now it's going down to the end. I just wish I was controlling Jeb Bush's Twitter feed because I'd write out a tweet, hey, buddy, who's the low energy candidate now. What we saw right now is weird. I think we are seeing the wheels come off this campaign, this candidate. Andre is right. It is a rigorous process to run for president. Neither of these folks are in the best of shape.

That being said, we're watching the mercurial Donald Trump going from high to low. It is almost like the child who gets chastised and behaves for a couple of hours before he goes back to throwing the baseball through the window. And I think we see this with Donald Trump over and over again. It is coming across as increasingly weird and hard to follow or interpret.

BOLDUAN: Can I just make one point --


BOLDUAN: Hang on one second, Hillary. Hang on one second, Hillary.

Ana calls it weird. He's speaking before the National Association of Home Builders. He did hold up a chart talking about home ownership rates. He is talking about the economy. He also hit on things like ISIS, hit on supreme court justices, also hit on relations with Russia when he was saying, you know, back to what we've heard him say before, in a sense, saying wouldn't it be great if we had a good relationship with Russia, leaving it out there and no one reacting in the audience. The audience he's speaking to, it seems a little disjointed.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, yes, and meandering. He's talking about selling condos to Chinese clients and so forth. It's kind of meandering all over the place. You're looking at where he's speaking, because their logo was behind him, and I spent the first few minutes trying to focus in on or trying to imagine what was the original message he came here to convey. It really wasn't until he pulled out the chart that you could sort of figure out, well, this originally was intended as an economic speech, talking ownership and blaming the current administration for home ownership. Perfectly valid point.

I thought -- in fact, I was intrigued by what he said about regulations. He didn't get a response from the crowd, but I imagine he must have been talking about financial regulations, because, you know, other regulations related to home ownership and home building are strictly local, you know, zoning and so forth. So if he's talking about financial regulations, well, yeah, let's get into that. Let's talk about why home ownership dropped. Let's talk about the crash. What does it mean to have one or, you know, under 2 percent economic growth and what's your plan to spur it? You could sort of piece it together. But he's making me, as a viewer, he's making all of us, as viewers, work too hard to figure out what he means.

BERMAN: All right, guys --


BERMAN: -- thanks so much. We have to run. I'm so sorry. Thank you all for watching that with us.

Donald Trump continues to speak in Miami Beach.

Meanwhile, he ran with Al Gore in one election, he endorsed John McCain in another, and until now, Joe Lieberman wasn't ready to endorse, but now he's made his pick for president. To whom will he lend Joe-mentum? Find out next.


[11:42:01] BOLDUAN: To endorse or to un-endorse, that's one of the big questions this week. As Donald Trump is losing support from several high-profile Republicans, Hillary Clinton is adding at least one very high-profile Independent to her list of supporters. Joe Lieberman was Al Gore's Democratic running mate, everyone will remember. This time around, he is saying I'm with her.

BERMAN: Former Senator Joe Lieberman joins us right now.

Senator, thanks so much for being with us.


BERMAN: There was some mystery surrounding who you would get in this election. Why? You ran a Democrat, you were a Democrat. Then you supported John McCain. Then there were some stories maybe he's looking at Donald Trump.


BERMAN: Why did you come around? What made you decide to endorse Hillary Clinton?

LIEBERMAN: I decided quite a while ago, but I also decided after there began to be some confusion. I'm a co-chair of a group called No Labels with Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah. We're working to bring people in both parties together so that after the war that is this campaign is over, maybe we can help build a peace that will enable the new Congress and new administration to get something done. So I thought I'd stay out of the presidential for a while. Then people were making wild judgments about what that meant.

I'm for Hillary Clinton. I've known Bill and Hillary Clinton since they were at Yale Law School, which is a long time ago. I served with Hillary for eight years in the Senate, worked with her when she was secretary of state. She's strong, she's smart. In terms of what our government needs, among the many things we need, we need a president who has a proven record of working across party lines to get things done. And that's what I saw Hillary Clinton do in the Senate.

BOLDUAN: That's what you like about Hillary Clinton. What's wrong with Donald Trump?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I guess I'm going to say that -- particularly because of the No Labels and because I think there's such terrible back and forth in his campaign, I'm going to try to stay affirmative and just say why I'm for Hillary Clinton. I agree with her on most but not all issues.

BOLDUAN: But if it came down to it, do you think Trump is qualified to be president?

LIEBERMAN: I'm going to leave that to the voters. Let me put it this way, because I chose Hillary Clinton, she's better qualified, by experience. And I agree with her on more issues. In other words, she has a strong record of keeping America strong in the world, and that's important to me. I think it's important for America's security. I think she also knows how to keep the economy moving. And part of that involves good relations with our allies across the world.

BERMAN: 50 former national security officials, most of who worked in a Republican administration, signed a letter, which I'm sure you've seen, which called Donald Trump dangerous and said he was unfit to be president. I only bring that up because a lot of those names are names you actually agree with on a lot of subjects.


BERMAN: Did you agree with the basis of that letter?

LIEBERMAN: That was stunning to me. I've been meaning to go back and look at comparable times in history, maybe the -- after Barry Goldwater was nominated, after George McGovern was nominated, did people in their respective parties depart from them in that? I don't think so. I think this is really unprecedented. You're right, I've worked with a lot of people on that list. I was surprised at the strength of the language used against Donald Trump. I think it hurts him. And it hurts the Republican Party.

[11:45:21] BOLDUAN: You are a member of an exclusive club called the Three Amigos. Two of the Three Amigo, you and Lindsey Graham, you have come out against Donald Trump. You're for Hillary Clinton. Lindsey Graham is not going to vote for either. John McCain, the third Amigo, he is supporting Trump. Have you had conversations with McCain about it? What do you say about that?

LIEBERMAN: Well, we talk regularly. John is my dear friend. He's just a great person and a great public servant. So I think I've got to let him speak. I'm sorry to disappoint you. I don't like to share -- unless there's some bad jokes that he tells me that I can share in public. BOLDUAN: You can share those any time.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah. I -- I --

BERMAN: Do you think he's making a bad decision by supporting Donald Trump right now in advance of his own primary?

LIEBERMAN: No, I think -- the obvious effect is he's in a tough re- election. And he's working tremendously hard. He's working with the energy of a guy who's about 30 years younger than he actually is. He's in great shape. And I'm confident he's going to work the primary and get re-elected in November. He deserves it.

I loved what John Kasich said the other day about him, John McCain is such a national asset that really he ought to be able to serve in the Senate as long as he wants without having to run for re-election.

BERMAN: You know that's unconstitutional.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, it is.


BOLDUAN: We will leave it at that.

Lindsey Graham was on, and he said John's got to do what John's got to do to get re-elected. That's essentially what he said. Would you be surprised if Senator McCain pulled back, since we're seeing many Republicans do that now, would you be surprised if Senator McCain pulled back his endorsement after his primary?

LIEBERMAN: I would. I think we're more likely to see is what we've already seen John McCain do, which is that when Donald Trump says something that John McCain disagrees with, he's going to make that clear. But he's a Republican. He's running as a Republican. And in that sense, he's giving the Republican nominee for president his support.

BERMAN: Which candidate Joe-mentum right now?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I'd say Hillary has Joe-mentum right now.


It doesn't take a political sage to say that. Obviously, in a way that's been remarkable, Mr. Trump has hurt himself with a lot of the things that he said. But there's still a long time between now and Election Day.

BOLDUAN: 89 days to be exact.

LIEBERMAN: Who is counting?

BERMAN: Plenty of time for you to come back.

Thank you so much, Senator Joe Lieberman. BOLDUAN: Thank you.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you. Take care.

BOLDUAN: Great to see you. Thank you.

So coming up for us, an electronic Watergate. That's what a top Democrat says about the suspected Russian cyberattack targeting the Democratic Party. New reports that the hack was bigger than anyone expected, including even personal e-mail accounts.

BERMAN: All right, the friends and family discount. Hillary Clinton makes the case that Donald Trump's plan for the economy will only help his millionaire and billionaire friends, drawing traditional partisan lines on the economy. Hillary Clinton's economic speech coming up.


[11:51:21] BERMAN: Donald Trump just wrapped up remarks to the National Association of Home Builders in Miami Beach. He once again reiterated remarks he's been making on the campaign trail, saying President Obama and Hillary Clinton are co-founders of ISIS. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Our government has unleashed ISIS. I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They're the founders. In fact, I think we'll give Hillary Clinton the -- you know, if you're a sports team, most valuable player, MVP, you get the MVP award. ISIS will hand her the most valuable player award.


BOLDUAN: Joining us is Texas Congressman Michael Burgess, Donald Trump's surrogate.

Congressman, great to see you.

Thanks so much for coming in.

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS, (R), TEXAS: Good to see you guys. Thanks for having me on.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

We heard from Donald Trump last night. A lot of people were talking about it. He went at it again today, saying it is absolutely no mistake that he said they were the founders of ISIS. He said it there, and he said in an interview that's exactly what he meant. Do you agree?

BURGESS: I was actually in the country of Iraq five years ago this month, probably one of the last congressional delegations to be in Iraq just prior to the time that all the troops were withdrawn. And I remember wondering if it's a good idea to pull everyone out of the country. General Austin at the time said we've done everything militarily we can do, and it's up to the politicians in Iraq to take charge of their own country. But still, even General Dempsey several years before said we'll withdraw but keep a force within striking distance within the country, and then that didn't happen. You had the three large embassies, Basra and Baghdad. Hillary Clinton was the secretary of the State Department. Was this enough to tolerate what happened in Iraq? That's a part of the world that doesn't tolerate a vacuum. I assumed it would be Iran that would come in and cause the problems. I never thought it would be Syria. But we certainly saw what happened over the next two or three years.

BERMAN: Congressman, it's certainly an important discussion to have about whether President Obama's policies led to or contributed to the rise of ISIS or perhaps aren't effectively battling ISIS. That's an important discussion, one we need in this country, and I'm sure in some ways both parties welcome. That's different than saying President Obama founded ISIS. When asked if he meant that in some kind of metaphorical way, he said, no, no, no, he literally founded ISIS. Do you think that's taking it too far?

BURGESS: I'll stay with the metaphorical. Again, this is the part of the world that doesn't tolerate a vacuum. When I asked people in the State Department, people in the Department of Defense late in the summer of 2014, what was the plan, what was -- when I was there, I thought, well, there's got to be some idea of what's going to happen next, some off-the-shelf plan.

BOLDUAN: Congressman, do you use that terminology --


BURGESS: There never was a plan.

BOLDUAN: Do you use the terminology that Barack Obama is the founder of ISIS?

BURGESS: There never was a plan. You knew the place was a powder keg and you knew it didn't tolerate a vacuum. What did you think was going to happen? What was the plan on the shelf that, hey, we can go to this, we can pull this ring. If things go bad, here is where we come back. There was no expectation.

BOLDUAN: We hear you. We hear you. To Hugh Hewitt this morning, this is exactly what was asked. Hugh Hewitt said, "I know what you meant. You meant he created the vacuum, he lost the peace." Donald Trump said, "No, I meant he's founder of ISIS. I do." It's different.

[11:55:13] BURGESS: Again, a difference looking for a distinction. But the caldron was set. The dials were all twisted in the proper direction to allow this to happen. I'm no expert in Middle East affairs. These people are. Why in the world hadn't they considered some of the things that could have happened that were quite likely to happen?

BERMAN: Can you tell me what Donald Trump's plan is now to battle ISIS?

BURGESS: Look, I -- as far as the battle of ISIS is concerned, the Congress actually needs to take the next steps. That would be an Authorization for Use of Military Force. That debate over an AUMF, Authorization for use of Military Force, should be the sunsetting of AUMF, one in 2001, one in 2002. Before I arrived in Congress, most members of Congress had not voted on Authorization for Use of Military Force. That needs to be delineated. We need to know what the objectives are, what the exit strategy is. All of that should be up for discussion right now. It's an election year. It's hard to have those discussions. It's actually up to the Congress. The president needs to propose something, and I wish he would. In fact, the last National Defense Authorization Act from last year required the president to come forward with a proposal, which really has still been lacking. But it is up to the Congress to authorize the use of military force, and there is no AUMF covering Syria, and yet we have on going activity there.

BERMAN: Congressman Michael Burgess, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

BURGESS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: An important discussion.

BERMAN: Also, there's also big news dealing with the Democratic Party, an electronic Watergate at the hands of the Russians. That's what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling the cyber hacking of congressional Democrats. And the report is this hack is way, way bigger than initially suspected.

BOLDUAN: Joining us, Roger Altman, the former deputy secretary of Treasury under President Bill Clinton. He is a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Deputy Secretary, thanks for being here.


BOLDUAN: Are you concerned that your e-mails -- as this gets bigger and bigger and bigger, are you concerned your e-mails are caught up in this?

ALTMAN: Well, anybody would think that a Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee is a pretty bad thing. Democratic National Committee probably should have had better protections to prevent that, but it's unfortunate.

BERMAN: You nervous there might be an October surprise somewhere in these e-mails that have been hacked?

ALTMAN: I doubt that. If you look at the e-mails released earlier through WikiLeaks, it was pretty small bore stuff, very intramural. I doubt that.

BOLDUAN: The head of the DNC had to step down because of it, though.

ALTMAN: Well, because those e-mails showed a bias, or some sort of bias against Senator Sanders, and that shouldn't have been the case. And so that stepping down was appropriate given those circumstances. But in terms of things that affect the American people, because this is what the election is about, I don't think any of the e-mails revealed by that hack got into things that affect the American people, and I don't think you'll see any October surprise either. What we ought to be talking about is the huge difference between Donald Trump and his planned economic --


ALTMAN: -- and Secretary Clinton's plan.

BERMAN: Let's talk about GDP right now. At 1.2 percent GDP, just came out a week and a half ago. Should the American people be satisfied with that?

ALTMAN: Well, we can do better than that. At one level, the unemployment rate is 4.9 percent. We've seen 14 million new private- sector jobs created since the Great Recession began. We've seen average hourly earnings beginning to rise in the last year at about a 2.5 percent annual rate. That's good, but we can get growth up and we should. That's one of Secretary Clinton's objectives. We can get middle class incomes up. That's the core of her plan.

It's amazing how different these two plans are. Trump's plan is let's cut taxes, huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. He wants to eliminate the estate tax. Can you believe that? The estate tax. Today, if you have an estate valued at $5.4 million or less, you don't pay the estate tax, you're exempt. So the only people who would benefit from an elimination are people whose estates are worth more than $5.4 million. How is that going to benefit working families in this country? The answer is it isn't. Nor are his proposed tax cuts for corporations where he wants to cut the rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.


ALTMAN: That only cost $5 trillion over 20 years. And he wants to cut the highest -- the income tax rates of the highest Americans down to 33 percent. That just doesn't make sense for a middle class --