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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Campaign Delays Immigration Speech; Interview with Senator Jeff Sessions; State Department to Review 15,000 Clinton Documents in E-mail Case; North Korea Issues Nuclear Threat Amid Rising Tensions. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired August 22, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:01] BERMAN: This afternoon three other companies followed suit, Ralph Lauren, a matter supplier, air weave and a hair removal company all said they will end their partnerships with Lochte.
That's it for us. Now Brianna Keilar in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, John. Happening now breaking news. Not flip-flopping. Donald Trump is long called for the forcible removal of millions of undocumented immigrants but his new campaign manager suggests that's now undecided. Trump insists he is not changing his stance but a source says Trump will now delay a major immigration speech while the campaign fine-tunes its policy.
Air scares. Donald Trump's first TV ad warns about immigration and border security, attacking Hillary Clinton for a rigged system. Clinton's new ad warns about Donald Trump's temperament and one wrong move in a dangerous world. Will these attacks make a difference?
Shifting foundation. As Donald Trump calls for an immediate shut down of the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton faces new questions about ethics and a stepped-up review of more documents from her time as secretary of state.
And un-afraid. Kim Jong-un is not backing down in the face of a new allied military exercise as North Korea warns that any aggression would lead to a preemptive nuclear strike turning South Korea into a heap of ashes.
Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
KEILAR: Breaking news, a Trump campaign source says a major speech on immigration is being pushed back so the campaign can fine-tune its policy. This comes as Donald Trump's new campaign manager says it's to be determined whether Trump will continue to support the forced deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.
Trump himself says he is not flip-flopping on immigration. But with new advisers in place, Trump has been reaching out to minorities, huddling with Hispanic advisers on immigration and telling African- Americans they have nothing to lose by voting for him. Trump is staying on the attack calling the Clinton Foundation the most
corrupt enterprise in political history, adding it must be shut down immediately.
Bill Clinton says he will step down from the foundation if his wife is elected but Clinton campaign is also calling on Trump to divest himself of all his business conflicts.
And new problems for Hillary Clinton from her old e-mail system. A federal judge orders the State Department to step up the review of 15,000 documents dating back to Clinton's time as secretary but Clinton is also on the attack. With the new ad challenging Trump's fitness for office, warning that one wrong move could bring catastrophe.
I will speak with Republican Senator Jeff Sessions. He is a key adviser to Donald Trump. And our correspondents, analysts and guests have full coverage of today's top stories.
Let's begin with Donald Trump and this new hint that he may be softening his stance on immigration. CNN political reporter Sara Murray is covering this.
What are you hearing, Sara?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, Donald Trump was supposed to be headed to the Denver, Colorado, area later this week to deliver a speech on immigration. And now that has been postponed. The trip -- the public event to Denver has been scratched. All of this is coming as some people are wondering whether Donald Trump might be considering toning down his immigration policy, which has been very controversial, very strict, in pursuit of more moderate general election voters.
MURRAY (voice-over): Tonight Donald Trump's immigration plan a cornerstone of his campaign is coming into question.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to build a wall, don't worry. We're going to build a wall. Going to build a wall.
MURRAY: Trump insisting he is not backing away from his proposed immigration overhaul. Including restrictions on new visas, building a wall and forcibly deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.
TRUMP: No, I'm not flip-flopping. We want to come up with a really fair but firm answer. It has to be very firmed. But we want to come up with something fair.
MURRAY: Trump's clarification came after his newly minted campaign manager. Kellyanne Conway told CNN's Dana Bash deportation force Trump said would he create as president may no longer be part of the plan. DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Will that plan include
a deportation force, the kind that he just -- you just heard in that sound bite and that he talked about during the Republican primaries?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: To be determined.
MURRAY: The mixed message about the potential pivot come as Trump made an attempt to soften his tone. Meeting with his Hispanic advisory council this weekend and vaguely apologizing for previous insults.
TRUMP: Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words, or you say the wrong thing. I have done that.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, look, Donald Trump is not an experienced politician who carefully selects his words, speaks right from his heart, right from his mouth.
[17:05:04] MURRAY: Trump's new campaign manager insists the candidate is dialed in and focused on the fight against Hillary Clinton, not on attacking others.
CONWAY: Well, but he doesn't hurl personal insults. He's challenging the Democratic Party, he is challenging Hillary Clinton and President Obama's legacy.
MURRAY: But that lasted less than a day. Trump spent the morning tearing into two cable TV hosts tweeting that Joe Scarborough and Mica Brzezinski are two clowns. Calling Brzezinski a neurotic and not very bright mess.
Today's jabs come as polls show the GOP nominee trailing Clinton in battleground states across the country. He's also far behind in fundraising and on the air waves.
Clinton is reserving $80 million in television ads across eight states through Election Day. Swamping Trump's first ad buy which was a meager $4 million.
MURRAY: Now there's good reason for Donald Trump's advisers to consider that it might be time to tone down some of his language. Even though he is trailing in battle ground states, he is definitely in striking distance in some including right here in Ohio where he's going to be campaigning tonight. The latest Monmouth University poll out today shows that Clinton is ahead by just four points.
Of course, Brianna, as you know, a big opportunity to turn this all around to beat these presidential debates. And we know that Donald Trump has already begun prepping. Back to you.
KEILAR: All right. Yes, it certainly will matter. Sara Murray for us in Ohio. Thank you.
Let's turn now to CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston.
So tell us what you're hearing from your sources because the question is, is he pivoting away from deportation force? Is he just emphasizing it less? What is he doing?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I think it's a little bit of everything right there as well as deciding not to have this immigration speech this week as Jeremy Diamond is reporting, somebody who travels with Trump on a daily basis. They are trying to fine-tune the speech with would include the deportation force in some probably less offensive language. And I'm also hearing that they didn't want to have the speech this week because they see an opportunity for Hillary Clinton to have to take the spotlight over the next couple of days on e-mails, on the foundation, on Bill Clinton's speaking fees and appearances.
And what we've seen in the past from the Trump campaign, whenever there was an opportunity to take a step back and allow Hillary Clinton to try to take a little bit of a fire from the media, Donald Trump would always go out there and say something and take it back from him. Well, now the Trump campaign can take a step back and see how the Clinton campaign handles this e-mail controversy.
KEILAR: Well, what about Twitter? Because you know you'll see days where -- I mean, for instance this story today with Judicial Watch, that there are 15,000 more documents including e-mails that were not previously released that arguably by the standards should have been.
KEILAR: And yet he says something about a cable news host, calling her neurotic.
KEILAR: And not a very bright mess. So, I mean, how do they really square that?
PRESTON: Well, it's really hard to square something that's a circle, right? And in a sense that, you know, Donald Trump, I mean, you're right, goes out on a tier this morning attacking somebody over at a rival network. Two hosts at a rival network. But at the same time when they are trying to keep him on message.
Listen, when they say let Donald Trump be Donald Trump, that is let Donald Trump be Donald Trump but let's try to dial him back a little bit. Giving a major immigration speech, though, would certainly overtake any discussion about this e-mail controversy that Hillary Clinton is having. So in some ways politically it's smart for him to step back.
KEILAR: Yes. We've been wondering why he hasn't. So we'll see if it works and if he can make that work for him.
All right. Mark Preston, thank you so much.
KEILAR: Joining me now, we have a key adviser to Donald Trump. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
Sir, thank you so much for being with us today. We do appreciate it. Were you going to add something there?