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Soon: Donald Trump Speaking in Texas; Trump: "Certainly Can Be a Softening" on Immigration; Trump Responds to AP Clinton Investigation; Soon: Donald Trump Speaking In Texas. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 23, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:28] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us tonight.

Tonight, will Donald Trump keep backing away from the immigration hard line he rode all of the way to the Republican nomination? Is he backing away? He'll be speaking shortly tonight in Austin, Texas. We'll listen to that.

And just this afternoon talking about the millions living here illegally, he mapped out what could sound like President Obama's current deportation policy, a lot of Democrats are certainly saying that. We'll see if he does it again tonight. We'll talk about how his hard-line supporters might react to what he himself will be softening tonight.

We'll ask his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who's with us tonight about whether this constitutes a real change, fine-tuning, or a flip-flop, because we've heard it called all three.

Later, with Trump and his surrogates fueling conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health, we'll take a closer look at what we know about her health and also about Donald Trump's fitness.

Also, we have breaking news, the bruising headline for candidate Clinton, more than 50 percent of the private individuals who met with her when she ran the State Department were Clinton foundation donors.

We begin, though, with Donald Trump immigration, with CNN's Jason Carroll at the event in Austin, Texas, tonight.

Jason, obviously, a border state and Donald Trump, according to some, backing away from some of his immigration policies. But we'll talk to Kellyanne Conway about that in a second.

Do we expect him to hit on that tonight?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We do. I mean, look, it's very clear that going forward and what we've seen in the past or has been a change in some ways in terms of what Donald Trump has put out in terms of his immigration policy, initially saying as you know, Anderson, that he would deport some 11 million illegal immigrants living here in the country, then changing to say he would just get rid of the bad ones and altering it again and saying that he would follow along with much of what the president has already been doing.

And then, earlier this afternoon at a taping on another network, when asked the question about what about those illegal immigrants who are here and contributing to society and not committing any crimes, Donald Trump said the following. He said, certainly, there can be a, quote, "softening because we're not looking to hurt people."

But when I spoke to some people here in this crowd, Anderson, about the softening position, two men I spoke to said, look, this has been the cornerstone of this campaign and if he's softening his position on this issue, he's going to lose our vote. But then I spoke to another woman who said what's happening here is that Donald Trump is learning more about the country and learning more about the laws that are in place, and if he softens his issue on this particular point, not going to lose her vote.

But it's very clear there are some questions about how this is going to go over with his base -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jason, we've also heard Donald Trump continue to reach out to African-American voters in these rallies. Are we expecting that well tonight?

CARROLL: We are. As you know, we've heard him reach out to African- Americans before in previous speeches and last week again, this week. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has said earlier today, expect there to be some sort of reference to once again, reaching out to the African- American or Latino community.

I think the question is not a question of will he reach out? The question is how he does it and what language he uses. This is what's key, simply because we've already heard him this week talking about reaching out to the African-American community, and doing it in a way talking about, look, if you're an African-American, what do you have to lose and talking about African-Americans getting shot in their communities.

And I think what we saw with that was, you know, a response from some in the African-American community and Latino community that he's not acknowledging those African-Americans and Latinos who don't live in communities like this who aren't worried about getting shot, but worried about discrimination and getting a job.

So, the question isn't if he will reach out. The question is how he chooses to do that -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll, thanks again.

We should be hearing from Donald Trump shortly. We'll bring you that.

Unclear yet whether he's going to directly mention the new reporting on just how many Clinton Foundation donors met with her while he was secretary of state. A good bet he probably will. He's already reacted by e-mail to that "Associated Press" item.

Bottom line, as we mentioned, it is at first glance, bruising more than half of the private individuals she had meetings with were Clinton Foundation donors.

On that story, Jeff Zeleny joins us with details -- Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, are reacting swiftly tonight to this report. Now, they've already been calling for the Clinton Foundation to be shut down.

But tonight, they're escalating these calls and using this story as another way to fire up their supporters by suggesting the Clintons are in the words, corrupt.

In a nutshell, this peer report says this. It says more than half of the people who met with Hillary Clinton as secretary of state contributed to the Clinton Foundation.

[20:05:04] Trump says this is evidence of pay for play.

Now, we have no evidence of that in our reporting, but there is no question it creates at least the appearance of conflicts and for the Clinton campaign that's one more headache in this ongoing controversy.

COOPER: And I -- the Clinton campaign has reacted. What did they say?

ZELENY: They have, Anderson. It was a short time ago and they released a scathing response to this report. They said the story is flawed and the meetings examined by the A.P. were cherry picked. Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon went on to say this in a statement.

Let's take a look. He said, "The data does not account for more than half of her tenure as secretary and it omits more than 1,700 meetings she took with world leaders, let alone countless others she took with U.S. government officials while serving as secretary of state. Just taking the subset of the meetings arbitrarily," he goes on to say, "selected by the A.P., it is outrageous to misrepresent Secretary Clinton's basis for meeting with these individuals."

Now, tonight, Anderson, a State Department spokesman telling CNN that donors for the Clinton Foundation do request meetings all of the time. So, there's nothing unusual or improper about that. The bottom line is this, is that appearance of influence, a fine line being crossed and the Clinton damp camp has to fight back.

The foundation obviously where there is a problem here changed their policy. It was just yesterday former President bill Clinton said he would step down and start fund-raising if she was elected. That move is designed to quell this controversy. That, of course, did not happen.

COOPER: Yes, a big story today. Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

I want to get reaction to that and the changes that seem to be coming from the Trump side on immigration and just how the campaign is going. Joining us now is Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

It's great to have you here. Thanks so much.


COOPER: First of all, this A.P. story, you heard the Clinton campaign saying essentially the data is flawed. They, in their release which Jeff did mention, they cite two people. They said, look, meeting with Melinda Gates, the wife of Bill Gates, who co-heads his foundation, and meeting with Nobel Prize-winning economists, nothing is wrong with that.

Of course, there are other people she met with, civilians she met with, who clearly wanted some sort of influence or wanted help with a Visa problem or something like that. How bad do you think is this?

CONWAY: Well, it's not great and it's not great. I think the Clinton campaign is actually having one of their worst weeks ever in the campaign and it's only Tuesday. And the reason I say this is very simple -- everything that you're discussing and everything that is unfolding as we sit here, the details, plays into what people don't like about career politicians and the insider game, and the rigged, corrupt system, and it's reflective in everybody's polls, including CNN's polls.

Even after Hillary Clinton's Democratic convention, Anderson, 64 percent of Americans in the CNN poll they don't find her to be honest and trustworthy. I think we take that too much for granted. It's been so high for so long, yes, but, and they pivot to Donald Trump. Let's focus on that number for a moment.

COOPER: He does have very high negative.

CONWAY: For very different reason, though.

You know, distrust of her versus distaste of him is an argument I'm willing to wage, because hers is seen as more fundamental character flaw, and when you have reports like that from the venerable A.P. and her campaign, I thought for all of the smart people, I thought it was a pretty weak statement tonight and they maybe should have waited and thought it through, because they're always blaming someone else and explaining something and they just came off of Secretary Powell having to say that's actually not true. I had that dinner with her a year she had set up a private email server --

COOPER: And Condoleezza Rice also said she had no memory of that.


CONWAY: -- I call it the Clinton scandal logger, there always seems to be a new chapter in it. So, I don't think it helps.

And once in a while, just like I did last week on TV as a new campaign manager, Anderson, I came on places like this and I said, we're behind, the polls are not good for us right now. We're the underdogs but we're lighting a fire under ourselves.

I think once in a while the Clinton people would do themselves good and today was not a good day for the home team.

COOPER: Donald Trump has said this is essentially pay-to-play, and that's what a lot of Republicans are saying. Donald Trump himself gave $100,000 at least to the Clinton foundation. Was he giving that money? Pay to play.

CONWAY: The Clinton foundation does a lot of good work. And I also want to say for the record, they do. But the question is why these meetings at the State Department? Shouldn't --


COOPER: Right. Was your candidate donating that money so that he could have access to Hillary Clinton whenever he wanted?

CONWAY: It seemed like he had access with him whenever he wanted. She went to his wedding. They went to his wedding. He seemed like he --

COOPER: He gave money. I mean --

CONWAY: As he says -- sure, because they do good work and let's hope that money went to good use.

COOPER: So, he wasn't paying to play.

CONWAY: No, he was not paying to play. He's actually running against her pretty strongly for president.

But here is the real important issue here because people may say, well, it's so convoluted, I don't think it really affects me and my family. It does, and here is why -- on Capitol Hill, you have Republican and Democratic senators and congressmen. When they want to raise money, they leave their congressional offices and they walk across the street to their party committees because it's against the law and also is improper to make those fund-raising phone calls from your official office that we're all paying for.

[20:10:05] They're doing the people's business and they walk across and they do that. She's entertained people to give money to a foundation, $156 million other worth of donations. :

COOPER: Well, we don't know that she's entertaining them so that they give money or they've already given money and they want some sort of access.

But Donald Trump himself, I mean, on whether he was paying to play, I mean, he has sort of said, look, I have friends. I have friends in a lot of places. I gave a lot of money to a lot of people, I know the system better than anybody else, it's a corrupt system.

I mean, the intimation is, you know, he knew how things worked and so, he was taking part of it just like all the others.

CONWAY: He has never told me he was going to the State Department to have a meeting with Hillary Clinton. But apart from that, I think the other point here is as I was walking over here tonight, Anderson, I noticed another report, probably 75 entries had been erased from the State Department visitor's log and we'll have to see if that holds up.

But that, too, plays into what are you covering up? Why would those be erased? You know, in other words -- and I think every day that they're e explaining this away. They're explaining away the State Department and the foundation --

COOPER: It's not a good day, certainly.

CONWAY: Well, I think that we'll look back and say the last two weeks she had an opportunity to really put us away and missed her opportunity. She went into hiding. No press conference in 262 days and the press outrage --


COOPER: Well, you guys had a very good week last week. This is -- I mean, it's no coincidence it's when you come onboard, but Donald Trump was very focused last week. He gave a lot of very focused speeches night after night after night, hitting similar themes and issues which I want to talk about, as well.

One more thing on this A.P. story, though, James Carville was on the show last night, said the Clinton Foundation shuts down like Donald Trump says it should. People are going die and 9 million people get access to low-cost HIV drugs or drugs they couldn't get otherwise, and people's lives have been saved. You said it does good work.

Are you worried about that that just perhaps the appearance of impropriety, people will die?

CONWAY: I would ask Bill Clinton then what thinks of that particular line of argument, and he said if his wife gets elected, then they'll stop accepting foreign donations, which I think would really shrink their capital to be able to execute on the good works that they do, Anderson.

So, are people going to be less helped because she's president, you know, following along that reasoning? I would also offer my agreement with James Carville's remarks on a different network this morning where he said, you know, either people will go to hell or heads will roll if this is true.

You know, there are a lot of honest Democrats who seemed really outraged about this chain of events because they also feel that this was Bernie Sanders' entire point, and he wasn't a lone wolf. What did he do? He got 22 state victories over her, millions of voters who really just can't abide what they see as the rigged corrupt system and the insider's game and don't be surprised if you see those of us in the Trump campaign borrowing an awful lot from Bernie Sanders on charges Hillary Clinton in the primary, because they're absolutely resonant on our behalf, as well.

Sorry. I also wanted to make the point that when it comes to Hillary Clinton, I don't understand why she can't just give speeches or issue press releases or statements to the press what is her position on Obamacare? What is her position on immigration? What would she do to rebuild the economy?

These speeches don't exist. She promised to give us speech this Thursday about --

COOPER: Well, she's certainly been very clear on issues on Obamacare. I mean, she's certainly behind it and wants to extend part of it. I mean, she talks about health care all the time.

CONWAY: I sure hope so. I sure hope so, because it's widely unpopular, and -- but the point is this, watch when you have people on your show or on CNN anywhere, Anderson. It takes a Clinton supporter about five seconds maximum to mention Donald Trump. If you were to ask them, so what will --

COOPER: Well, they're clearly trying to make this a referendum to Donald Trump.

CONWAY: And that's -- guess what? I think that's unfair to the voters. I think this election needs to be a contrast on issues. Let's lay them out.

COOPER: Although, in all fairness, I mean, Donald Trump has spent a lot of time, you know, crooked Hillary Clinton, coming up with nicknames and names for all the --

CONWAY: And giving the speeches that you just mentioned last week.

COOPER: That's a relatively new development.

CONWAY: Tonight on immigration. So, it's going to be a continuing development because I think the voters deserve and expect a conversation on the issues.

COOPER: We're going to continue our conversation, particularly I want to talk to you about immigration, a lot of other things and the question about whether Donald Trump is changing his stance on immigration. We'll continue that conversation in a moment and we'll hear from the panel.

But shortly from Donald Trump himself tonight in Austin, Texas.


[20:17:59] COOPER: Hey. Welcome back.

We're going to hear from Donald Trump in Austin, Texas, tonight. We're talking to Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conaway. The panel is going to join us after this.

Let's talk about the immigration plan. First, I want to remind viewers some of what Donald Trump has said particularly the primary season. Let's play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have a law, right? You're supposed to come in legally. I would get people out and it would have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.

If they're illegal immigrants, they've got to go out.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: But how would you do it in a practical way? You really think you can round out 11 million people?

TRUMP: You know what? At some point, we're going to try getting them back, the good ones.

You're going to have a deportation force and you're going to do it humanely.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Are you going to be sending in officers --

TRUMP: We're going to be sending in people in a very nice way.

BURNETT: -- force of people into people's homes to get them out?

TRUMP: We're going to be giving notice. We're going to be saying, you have to go.

We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out. They will come back, some will come back, the best through a process. They have to come back legally.


COOPER: So, now, tonight I understand on Hannity, he has talked about a possible softening of the law. I actually have the direct quote. He was asked, "Is there any part of the law that you might change that can accommodate those people that contributed to society, have been law abiding, having kids here, would there be any rule in your mind?" He says, "There's certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people. We want people. We have some great people in this country and we're going to follow the laws of this country."

So, 11 million people, is he no longer saying they all got to leave even though the good ones can come back?

CONWAY: I think what he said we don't want to hurt people is very consonant with what he said all along, Anderson, which is we want to find a humane and effective way and that should be resonant to millions of Americans. Frankly, that's just how we should all feel about each other, just generally speaking.

COOPER: But that's not what we heard so much, particularly during the February. I mean, those quotes were from 2015 all of the way to the summer to November that we just played tonight. Eleven million people, he said they've all got to leave. Is he no longer saying that?

CONWAY: So, what he's saying is that we need to find the mechanism that works and that is fair, that is legal and in his words humane, he doesn't hurt people.

[20:20:06] And here's what --

COOPER: So, he's no longer saying all 11 million got to leave.

CONWAY: No, what he's saying is a couple of things. There are a couple of principles to his immigration plan. Number one, enforce the laws. And everybody'd say, oh, everybody says that. But imagine if we did enforce the laws.

You know, public opinion says that people would rather enforce the laws on the books with respect to immigration that pile on new laws. We don't need new laws. We actually need to enforce.

And when you enforce the laws that exist currently, you do find that some of it takes care of itself. By the way, President Obama has enforced the laws and he has deported, I think it's 2.5 million people is what I read? So, I hope it's within that margin, but it's a significant number and he's been criticized by people on the left for it, frankly.

Number two, Mr. Trump wants to find a fair and humane way and effective way to address the fact that roughly 11 million illegal immigrants live among us.

Number three and this is something that's very different from Hillary Clinton. President Obama -- excuse me, a PPresident Trump would -- he wants to be fair to everyone. So often the conversation is only about what's fair to the 11 million immigrants. How about what's fair to the American worker who is competing for that job? How about what's fair to a business that says I -- I went ahead and got on E-Verify and I want to wash my hands clean? What's fair to the rest of us?

And so, in principle, it's exactly the same and it's how to execute. And he's been taken to counsel many people what is possible and what is plausible.

COOPER: But you say it's exactly the same, but you're not -- but he's no longer 11 million people got to leave, the good ones can come back. Essentially, you're saying the people who have committed crimes and not the crossing of the border, but people convicted of actual crimes, they're the ones who will make the focus, but 11 million people are no longer going to be deported under Donald Trump.

CONWAY: I am saying what he said there, which is there could be a way to figure out how to do it so to you're -- we're not here to harm people. And I think that's a very important phrase out here.

COOPER: So, deportation force, we're not going to be hearing Donald Trump talking about a deportation force for 11 million undocumented.

CONWAY: He has not said that for a while, and, by the way, Senator Jeff Sessions who I know --

COOPER: So, that's a change in policy? CONWAY: A friend to CNN, I know Senator Sessions also said, you know, you don't know -- there is not a deportation force, you don't deport 11 million people, you find a way to abide by the law and see what that provides.

And I want to repeat again because I think it gets lost --

COOPER: OK. Just so to that point, Donald Trump early on said 11 million people got to leave. The good ones can come back and he talks about a deportation force. We're not going to hear that from Donald Trump, he's no longer saying 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, illegal immigrants in this country, illegal immigrants in this country all have to leave. They're going to be removed.

CONWAY: We're going to look at what he said tonight with respect to that, and I'll repeat that because he said that he wants to, he's not flip-flopping on immigration, and he wants to find a way --

COOPER: That seems like a flip-flop.

CONWAY: A way to execute on his principles, Anderson, without hurting people.

COOPER: A flip-flop is a political criticism. It does seem like a change in policy, right? Wisely or not, whatever it may be, it certainly seems like a change in policy.

CONWAY: What I know, too, is that I can't find an issue -- and I can find very few issues where he and Secretary Clinton were different. I mean, she's to the left of President Obama in this. She has expressed support for executive orders on this, which basically means as a presidential candidate, she's expressing no interest whatsoever to work with the Congress on such a complex issue.

This is a complex issue --

COOPER: I get -- I've just got to keep asking this, though, because it is important and for those supportive of Donald Trump who early on loved his hard-line stance of 11 million illegals, immigrants got to leave, undocumented workers got to leave. He is no longer saying that? He has changed his position?

CONWAY: I hope that he is saying what he says, Anderson, which is that you don't just look at people and try to harm them or treat them inhumanely. I think that's a very important thing, and, frankly, it's leadership and it's presidential.

And I hope that these questions a not by you, but just generally, are asked of Hillary Clinton as strongly when it comes to say, TPP, trade promotion and she literally has diverged from --

COOPER: She talked about the gold standard right before the debate.

CONWAY: Right. And I think -- but I also think and she differs from President Obama and others on this. So, that is true. But anyway, I want people to focus on the choice here. That's what I think most important. I think this entire campaign has been so centered on personality and not principles, on individuals and not ideas and on the issue of immigration, I invite everybody to see how different they are and make their choice.

COOPER: But didn't that benefit Donald Trump certainly early on in the primary, when he stood on that stage with 16 others, you know, and some of who you call low energy and whatever, he stood out because of his personality and people liked his what they viewed as telling it like it is, speaking off -- you know, he gave interviews to a ton of people and I gave him credit for that from the beginning. He spoke to people he probably shouldn't have spoken to, but he wasn't afraid to go into interviews. And you can argue whether he's wise or not, and he's certainly cut back, he's really only giving interviews to FOX these days. But I always gave him a lot of credit for that.

[20:25:03] The point is what we heard from him during the primary season which a lot of people picked him in the primary because of his tough stance on immigration, this is an evolution of his position.

CONWAY: Well, his tough stance on immigration will not change and it will be a priority in his administration.

COOPER: The wall is still going to be there.

CONWAY: The wall is there. He says Mexico's going to pay for it, and many of these different tenets of his immigration plan --

COOPER: But it is changing. It is changing.

CONWAY: He's examining how to actually execute. And on this I think he deserves tremendous credit. So many typical politicians, Anderson, don't bother figuring out the details, how will we execute? How will we implement? It's just the sort of this laundry list of promises that --

COOPER: Look, I have no problem with somebody evolving and the more they learned. Obviously, something should evolve. But it's weird not to actually say this is a change in policy.

CONWAY: But remember, I think also to compare him to the people that he ran against, I think amnesty was the death knell for some of those Republican presidential candidates, and that is -- he would not be for that. And that is not what he's saying about this, either.

I think again, under Hillary Clinton's plan is a complete open borders, and we also -- we always talk about build the wall, border security, roughly about 40 percent or so of the immigration, the illegal immigration here and people who overstayed their visas. And so, I don't think that gets enough coverage when you talk about build a wall. They didn't cross the border. They just stayed on a visa and never went back.

So, and a lot of people think that's unfair. They think, hey, if you can be -- we are the most generous country when it comes to -- (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: OK, bottom line. We're going to take a break. But no more deportation force talk and the 11 million it's not everyone's got to leave and good ones come back.

CONWAY: Looking at the mechanism, but also not touch back, but looking at the mechanism, and making sure that whatever the policy is that he implements as he has said in the past, it is done humanely and fairly, that we know there are people involved here.

COOPER: We're going to take another quick break. Can you stick around one more break? We have a couple more questions.


COOPER: Great.

CONWAY: My pleasure.

COOPER: We'll talk about the theories about some of the ideas that are forward by some Trump surrogates about Hillary Clinton's health.

We'll also keep an eye on the stage in Austin, Texas, where Donald Trump will be speaking any moment now.


[20:31:02] COOPER: We are back with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, as we wait for the candidate to speak shortly in Austin, Texas. The panel is going to join us shortly as well.

Let's talk about the discussions around the health of Hillary Clinton and her doctor has said she's in, "Excellent physical condition". I want to show some where Donald Trump and some of his campaign surrogates haven been saying. Let's take a look


TRUMP: One thing she doesn't have the strength or the stamina coupled with all of the other problems that this country has.

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: What's new are the other reports of the observations of Hillary Clinton's behavior and mannerisms specifically with what you just showed in those previous clips as well as her dysphasia, the fact that she's fallen she had that ...

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-AL), CHAIRMAN TRUMP'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISORY CMTE: All I can tell you is I'm not a doctor, I'm not diagnosing it, but she's not even doing press conferences and she's doing such a few events compared to Donald Trump.

RUDY GUILANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: She looks sick. Go online and put down Hillary Clinton illness, take a look at the videos for yourself.


COOPER: I mean, are you, as a new campaign manager comfortable with this people diagnosing, I mean there's no evidence Hillary Clinton has any severe probably type, and we know far more about her health situation based on her doctor's reports than Donald Trump.

CONWAY: Well first of all, I'm glad to hear that Secretary Clinton is healthy according to her doctor I would wish nothing else. I'm not a doctor and she's not my patient. So I -- that's not really my style. What I do see is a strategy that has nothing to do with her health. Just a strategy of scarcity, if we just don't put her out there, if people will forget they don't like her and they don't much trust her and so we'll make this election just about Donald Trump and ...

COOPER: Right they clearly want to make this reference on Donald Trump ...

CONWAY: ... yes, they think it's a strategy.

COOPER: But, but, I mean it's also a strategy that your candidate is talking about her stamina.

CONWAY: That's different.

COOPER: That you got Mayor Giuliani of all people telling people to go to the internet and look up stuff. And if people get to the internet look about stuff about 9/11, there's going to be a lot stuff Mayor Guiliani is not going to be happy with and nor should because it's lies.

So -- I mean should Donald Trump be out there talking about kind of giving a perhaps a wink-wink on this whole conspiracy and there is no evidence she has any health problem.

CONWAY: Well, I will say that I'm not a doctor, but I can see someone who is not a very joyful on the trail, doesn't seem to like the rigors of campaigning, but I certainly it's not tied to her health for me at all because I'm not qualified to answer that question.

What I would say is that voters expect and probably deserve to see more of their candidates on a regular basis and I'll tell you, Anderson, I've been straight about this from the beginning and I'll repeat it on your show for you and your viewers. I want to beat her on the issues. I want to have a great debate on the issues and I'm hoping they can do that even before we keep here whether will be debates, we're going to wait for debates to talk about the differences on immigration and health care and the economy and energy and ISIS. She calls them our determined enemies. He at least calls him terrorists to our ...

COOPER: Why are the surrogates for your campaign making up this stuff time and saying this stuff on television time and time again.

CONWAY: I haven't heard as much this week, have you?

COOPER: Well, no, but I mean it's out there. They've been saying it. Rudy Giuliani just said, it I don't know, a couple of days ago.

CONWAY: And I'm so thrilled that Mayor Giuliani tonight came out as did Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey coming out and two former prosecutors coming out and calling for a special prosecutor. By the way Chris Christie needed ...

COOPER: Why not have Guiliani come out and say, you know, what there is no evidence of any health problem rather than doing this -- go on the internet and look at the videos and you'll see her tripping on a stairwell into an airplane a while ago?

CONWAY: And I would say that I appreciate that Governor Christie, I was trying to finish my sentence, now I'll ...

COOPER: OK, sorry.

CONWAY: ... get back to your question, so I'll get back to it. While we are sitting here, he came out with a statement that basically said voters deserve to get to the truth before they cast their votes as I remember, I think the very poignant way of looking is looking at, you know, to really encapsulate for people why they should care about the State Department and why they should care about the Clinton Foundation.

COOPER: We actually know more about Hillary Clinton's health than we know about Donald Trump's health. His doctor, the only thing we really know about his health was from this letter that his doctor put out at the request of the campaign.

[20:35:08] It's a letter like most many people, many observers, many other doctors who we've interviewed have never heard a doctor write before. I mean not only the grammars wrong, there are spelling mistakes, there was a website that was I think defunct with the link on it, he says he's a fellow of the American Oncology or Gastroenterology, he actually been -- has been a fellow there since 1995. He says he's a member of the G.I. Division of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. He's actually not.

I mean, is the campaign going to be putting out anything more about Donald Trump's health if they're raising all these questions about Hillary Clinton?

CONWAY: I'll need to discuss that with Mr. Trump directly because it derive personal matter, but I will tell you, and again I'm not a doctor where I can tell you, it's very difficult to keep up with this man on a daily basis. I mean his energy and his stamina for somebody who is 70 years old and every time you turn around, Anderson your announcing he's about to speak at this rally, it's in different cities, have been in two or three that day.

He loves the vigorous of campaigning, he loves going out with the people. So, I think that is important to him. That's not a contrast to her, but to him it's very important for him to sort of keep that pace.

COOPER: Although arguably, you know, Hillary Clinton has a lot of meetings with small groups of people, listening with people, Donald Trump ...

CONWAY: Like five fund raisers tonight.

COOPER: ... has a big rally and goes into the city, has a big rally and then leaves. I mean so to different style of campaigning, but I'm not sure you can say that Hillary Clinton doesn't campaign as hard or hasn't been campaigning as hard certainly the last couple of weeks she's been focusing on fund raisers.

CONWAY: And I'm not going to put a domino on either one of them to prove or distress the point. I think their style of campaigns into your point Anderson are so different.

COOPER: We can put fit bits on both if you want.

CONWAY: I could use one.

COOPER: I know, we all could.

CONWAY: But seriously speaking, when it comes to campaigning, their styles are very different, I think she's got four or five fund raisers today. You know, she's hanging out with celebrities in Los Angeles tonight ...


CONWAY: ... and he's with the parents of the children who were killed by illegal immigrants. And I think that's how she something also about the way they spend their time, yes he goes to fund raisers, but she said 300 fund raisers. None official of press as far as you can tell. No -- 262 days with no press conference.

I think this is all relevant to what do the voters deserve? In other words, the way you're running your campaign, how it intersects with what voters deserve and expect. And that I like our odds better than hers.

COOPER: As I said, I'll always give credits to Donald Trump early on and for long time for giving interviews from lot of different people. Is he going to start doing that again? Because he's only been giving interviews to Fox News and I'm not saying this about personal interest, just whether it's CNN or anybody else. Is he going to be putting -- because he hasn't done any other interview with anybody other than Fox since his interview with George Stephanopoulos, I believed if my memories serves me correct about the Khans which didn't go so well for him.

CONWAY: I will look into, I'm hear and know I'm chopped liver compared to the candidate. But ...

COOPER: We're having -- we've done 40 minutes with you. So we're very happy to have you here.

CONWAY: Thank you very much, I appreciate the platform for anybody on Twitter is going to attacking for me giving a me platform ...

COOPER: I'm sure they will believe ...

CONWAY: ... you at least appreciate democracy and free thinking and we -- and there are two candidates in this race and we very much appreciate the platform, and I will pass that on to the boss that we had a great experience here. Tough questions and fair questions, and the platform, but, you know, I look ...

COOPER: I'm not booking looks, I'm not booking an interview.

CONWAY: ... in schedule, and I actually think if you want to interview him, your going to grab (ph) like travel around the country and follow him because we're doing the advanced schedule now and it is grueling, all he wants to do is add to it. He called me several times today. I want to go there and whether -- he just -- he can't get enough of being with the people. He needs more ...

COOPER: It does seem like since you've come on I've noticed a big change -- I mean just last week which was probably the best week they've had that you had in a long, long time and just in how he speaking, he's using a teleprompter but, it's very much sounds like Donald Trump, it's not -- I mean Donald Trump at APEC, and I know to your point was the first time had probably he's used a teleprompter.

But, you know, I think other folks wrote it and it just didn't sound like that -- it was a Donald Trump trying to be somebody else. This -- his speeches now sound like Donald Trump, for better or worst you can agree with ...

CONWAY: Right.

COOPER: ... like that or not, but it does sound like him but its more controlled. Am I wrong?

CONWAY: No, I mean we have saw that. I think that that's what many Americans are concluding and this is why when people say you have to change, you have to change, you have to change. Nobody can change. We see with so many politicians what happens when they listen to a focus group or poll to tell them what they believe and what to do.

Polls are great for telling you that this is the message that you're intending to convey to America, but they're not hearing with the noise and silence. So you need to do better, you know, in conveying that and delivering that.

I think that he has to be authentic and true to himself above all else, but to your point, Anderson, as someone who has known and observed him over the years, you've seen him as his true self. My only goal was for the rest of America to start to see what those of us who have been in his company personally and professionally has seen which is a very fun-loving, very gregarious, funny, generous and loving human being who happens to be running for president of the United States.

[20:40:00] So you can't look -- he's got to be himself and you see him being himself and you see him being himself with substantive speeches that people can look at and you can disagree with him and you can say, I don't like your ten-point veterans administration reform plan, I don't like the way your going to attack ISIS, I don't like your approaching the economy and we should could read them.

COOPER: For the record, never hung out with him personally or Hillary Clinton.

CONWAY: No, I mean you get nervous ...

COOPER: Personal, that just for the record. Just interview them. But Kellyanne Conway, it's great to have you.

CONWAY: Thank you for having me Anderson.

COOPER: Thank you very much, appreciated.

One quick note, we also asked the Clinton campaign if they'd like a senior official to come on the program tonight as well they declined.

We get reaction from our political panel next. A lot more to discuss ahead as we await for Donald Trump's speech in Austin, Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got the BLM, the EPA, Endangered Species Act as 200 species proposed to be added to that list.


COOPER: Welcome back. Waiting here from Donald Trump, he's going to speaking at a rally in Austin, Texas, just minutes from now we're told about immigration. Before the break you saw our conversation with his new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and her answer to questions about whether he's making a break from what he campaigned on in the primary.


COOPER: To that point (inaudible) Donald Trump earlier on said that 11 million people have got to leave, the good ones came back and he talks about a deportation of course. We're not going to hear that anymore from Donald Trump, he is no longer saying 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, illegal immigrants in this country all have to leave. They're going to be removed.

CONWAY: We're going look at what he said tonight with respect to that, and I'll repeat that because he said that he want to -- he's not flip-flopping on immigration and he wants to find a way ...

COOPER: That seems like a flip-flop?

CONWAY: ... a way to execute on his principles, Anderson, without hurting people.

[20:44:59] COOPER: A flip-flop is a political criticism. It does seem like a change in policy right? It's wisely or not, whatever it may be, it certainly seems like a change in policy.

CONWAY: What I know, too, is that I can't find an issue like if I'm very few issues with where he and Secretary Clinton were different, I mean she have elected President Obama and this she has expressed support for ...

COOPER: But he ...

CONWAY: ... executive orders on this which basically means as a presidential candidate she's expressing no interest or whatsoever to work with the Congress on such a complex issue. This is ...

COOPER: I get --I just going to keep asking this, though because it is important and for those supported of Donald Trump who early on loved his hard-line stance of 11 million illegal immigrants got to leave, undocumented workers got to leave. He is no longer saying that. He has changed his position.

CONWAY: I hope that they are saying that he says Anderson, which is that you don't just look at people and try to harm them or treat them inhumanely.


COOPER: Lots to discuss with the panel. Clinton supporter's Christine Quinn and Paul Begala, "New York Times" Political Correspondent Patrick Healy. Trump supporters Jeffrey Lord and Andre Bauer, Conservative Trump critic Tara Setmayer and CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan.

Jeff, it does sound like he's changed his position, no? He's no longer saying 11 million undocumented workers have to leave and the good ones can come back.

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Anderson, as I was listening to your conversation with Kellyanne this it reminds me very much of Ronald Reagan who was underlying philosophy at the Cold War, was we win, they lose.

Now, he was criticized a lot for not meeting with Soviet leaders and he cracked at one point they keep dyeing on me, but in fact he didn't and there was a method to this. Eventually, he did.

Was there a change in that sense? Yes. Was there a change in the ultimate policy of saying in this case with Donald Trump that our country has borders, every country has boarder? No. I don't see that at all. I mean how you get there is probably going to change.

COOPER: If somebody once said 11 million people, got to leave and the good ones can come back, whatever that means.

LORD: Right.

COOPER: He is not saying 11 million people got to leave, his like, well we got to do some humanely, the criminals, those convicted of crimes have to leave. They ...

LORD: No, he's still saying that.

COOPER: No, those convicted of crimes, not every 11 ...

LORD: Right.

COOPER: ... every one of those 11 million people.

LORD: That's right, but his essential policy of having borders in this country.

COOPER: Well, yeah of course it dose, I think we don't have borders.

LORD: Well, well no.

COOPER: OK, you're not going to answer this question. Andre, does it sound like a change of policy to you?

ANDRE BAUER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It does sound like a softening in policy which I don't have a problem with, you know, clearly, all of us evolve through life, the more information we get ...

COOPER: I'm just wondering of the other folks, the other Republicans who were on those debate stages with him, essentially arguing you can't deport 11 million people are now thinking like are ...

BAUER: Endorsing tomorrow is what their thinking.



LORD: I'm not sure John Kasich will endorse him yet?

SETMAYER: No. Now look, this is absolutely a flip-flop and change in policy. Donald Trump for the last year plus has rocketed to the top based off of his tough stance on immigration starting with the Mexican rapist comments when he first announced. Other people like Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Jeb Bush who were excoriated for having off for supporting immigration reform and they were called all kinds, you know, of pro-amnesty and this and that. They were run out of town because of the position that Donald Trump is now taking today.

He's saying that, their criminals should be the priority and he's saying that there should be, you know, an increase in border security, increase in border patrol, internal enforcement. All of those things are the same things that all of the guys I just mentioned.




HEALY: I mean throughout the primaries both in interviews with me, with others and at his rallies he would say deportation force.

SETMAYER: That's right. HEALY: They got to go, folks. These people got to go. I mean it was very tough language. And he feels that he won the primary in part because he was willing to say in very blunt, emotional language what resonated with all of these voters.

And now, and tonight, 180 degrees different ...

SETMAYER: I was told further ...

HEALY: ... on Kellyanne told you, in saying that it needs to be fair and ...

SETMAYER: Right, and humane.

HEALY: ... humane and we're enforcing the laws.


COOPER: He never used the word softening to ...

QUINN: Absolutely.

COOPER: ... what's the name -- Sean Hannity.

HEALY: This is a new Trump for the next 11 weeks.

SETMAYER: This is Kelly.

HEALY: Now this is a clear game plan that they have that Kellyanne Conway has ...

COOPER: Paul is this about reaching out to independents and others?

PAUL BEGALA, CLINTON SUPPORTER: No, this is about Donald Trump being remarkably consistent. He's a con man. Always has been, always will be. Trump Tower was built decades ago in part by undocumented workers from Poland. The Trump Hotel that's being referred it was in Post Office, two, three blocks from the White House. Washington Post committed journalists, they went over there, they found lots of undocumented folks working there.

This has always been a con for Trump. People more cares about immigration than the man on the moon but he conned the far right in the primaries, now he's trying to con folks in the journal. I don't think it's going to work, OK? I mean that's why he's trailing. But I don't think it's going to work.

[20:50:01] The only thing he's probable authentic about is being an insult comic from the beginning and the end of this campaign, that won't stop. But this is all been con for him, he don't believe it.


SETMAYER: He's demagogue, the issue -- look, he demagogue the issues so that he could gen people up during the primary with very gynephobic language and in 2012 he complained that Mitt Romney was, "Too mean spirited" in his immigration policy and commended Democrats for having it right but just a little variations on the policy that they were kind and now ...

COOPER: OK, let's get Jeffrey -- let's get Jeffrey Lord respond.

LORD: He was saying a version of this to me two years ago before he was running for president. Long before he was running for president. I mean, I am hearing a version ...

COOPER: But Jeffrey, I know, your essentially you're saying he's still tough on immigration, I get you're saying that, but just honestly if one month you say 11 million people got to leave the good ones can come back and now you're not saying, your not saying they've got to leave anymore, isn't that -- that is a change.

SETMAYER: And I think ...


LORD: Yes.

COOPER: Yes? Yes.


SETMAYER: Oh my god ...

LORD: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. It's a change but it's not a change in the end game.

COOPER: He still want to be tough on immigration.

LORD: He still says build the wall, right?

COOPER: Yes, he say build wall.

LORD: All right.

COOPER: Yes, he does.

HEALY: Good, how was there -- how was there not an element to this. I mean the degree to which he said what he needed to do to win the primary and now he's hoping that he can say what he needs to do to win in the suburbs.

BAUER: But ...

QUINN: And it's all about ...

BAUER: ... you know Pennsylvania.

QUINN: It's all about Donald Trump saying whatever he needs to say at whatever moment to benefit his own game.

COOPER: Well, but which by the way the Trump campaign will quickly say Hillary Clinton ... QUINN: But we're talking about Donald Trump right now.


BEGALA: We all do that in life, but to get back to Jeffrey's point this is like Ronald Reagan, not changing how he negotiates with the communists, it's like Ronald Reagan joining the Communists Party.

SETMAYER: Right, he said.


BEGALA: This is nuts, this is what he launched his campaign on, I think her race is announce some speech calling Mexicans immigrants rapists and murders, some are good people he said. But this has been the heart of his campaign. Now he thinks, 76 days in the election, he's going to change. Have the facts changed? Well no, of course not. The politics have. It's the only applaudable explanation.


BAUER: The day after the primary, if that was the case, if the end game was just to appeal the news ...

COOPER: Because they were up in the polls.

QUINN: Right, exactly.

SETMAYER: And this is the difference. Two words. Kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne knows that issue well. She was one of the 10 plus pollsters who participated in a Mark Zuckerberg pro-survey during 2014 for immigration reform, because Mark Zuckerberg was a big proponent of immigration reform and Republicans are trying to figure out what to do, and Kellyanne was part of that.

And in a memo that she co-authored, she said that the majority of American people agree with a pathway to legalization of some sort, and that three and four Tea Party members did not see that immigration reform as amnesty and also that it would benefit the Republicans with swing voters not only in 2014, but also in the next election.

So she understands the politics behind this issue, so legally I know Kellyanne has talked to him and said you've to soften on this issue because it doesn't resonate any other way, 71 percent of the American people believe only pathway to legalization. 80 plus percent of Republicans believed in that, and she author the co-author that survey ...


HEALY: It so important to know that today Donald Trump, you know, is saying Kellyanne Conway's language ...


HEALY: ... but remember tonight a rally. SETMAYER: No doubt about it.

HEALY: Tomorrow night a rally in Jackson, Mississippi.


HEALY: Can Donald Trump control himself to stay on message during a 60 minute rally and not lapse into one of those clauses, one of those sub clauses.


COOPER: Let Jeffrey respond.

LORD: I was -- to give you a good example here. I was with Donald Trump a couple of weeks ago about five miles from home in Central Pennsylvania, and he never wants to go back to that Khan controversy, mention that Khans not once either in private conversation with me or on the stage. The people I talked to never mentioned the Khans. I came home and it was on the television and that's all it was about. Donald Trump gave a speech in which he was totally on message throughout. So of course ...

BEGALA: What his message, I mean ...


BEGALA: ... how can make to this point about the rally's, he's finally running ads, OK good for him right, he's raised much money and now that he's running ads in more conventional apathy short. What's the ad? It's demagogue and immigration. It's not softening, look at the ad. It is ...


BEGALA: That's exactly right.

SETMAYER: That's my point.

BEGALA: So this is not about principle.

SETMAYER: That's right.

BEGALA: This is -- so he is trying to sent Kellyanne very able person who by the way to a few months ago was on this network saying oh and I quote, "Trump built his business on the backs of the little guy, he's a history of not paying his contractors", I hope he's paying Kellyanne, because he's not paying her enough, because she's defending the indefensible here.

QUINN: But, you know, what this is really all about, is Donald Trump has been plummeting in the polls and what this is about is his political team trying to figure out what to change, how to change, how to rechange, reset to try to get him minimally stable and hopefully up ticking in the polls.

COOPER: Is it going to work?

[20:55:13] QUINN: And they can -- I don't think it is going to work because Americans can dispose it, be conned. They know what he said, they now how racist he was and people are not going to forget the pain and hateful of those statements.

HEALY: He's tired in the new polls, "LA Times" poll today he's up 15 points in Utah which he should be winning but as we know recently we're about him being in trouble there.

QUINN: But even ...

SETMAYER: Only 39 percent support him in that poll. Only 39 percent say they actually support him.

COOPER: Andre, do you think though whether you think this is a flip- flop, a change in position, and evolution he's learned more about the issue, do you think it will help him in the general?

BAUER: I do.

COOPER: You do.


COOPER: And others who might ...

BAUER: Sure. Cclearly he was a hardened candidate in the primary. He is softening. People like Kellyanne giving him a different perspective, and that's for a being a leader, you get folks and that give you insight from other.

COOPER: We got to take another quick break. Then we expect Donald Trump speaking tonight in Texas. A lot more ahead.


[21:00:00] COOPER: And good evening, thanks for joining us.

Looking there at the Donald Trump rally in Austin, Texas. Senator Jeff Sessions at the podium now. The candidate himself has been running bit behind schedule, we should be hearing from him very soon, we'll bring that to you.