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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Trump to Clinton, Shame on You; U.S. Navy Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Boat; Strong Aftershocks Hit Already-Damaged Italian Area; Maker of EpiPens Agrees to Drop Cost, With Conditions. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired August 25, 2016 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:30:50] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jim Sciutto. And I want to bring back our panel. Now before we get to the latest questions on what exactly Donald Trump's immigration plan is, Donald Trump had some very strong words just moments ago, scolding Hillary Clinton for slandering his campaign and his supporters. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton and her donors, and advisers, pushing her to spread smears and her lies about decent people. I have three words. I want you to remember these three words. Shame on you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: Angela, in Washington, did he strike a cord there?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Strike what kind of a cord, Jim?

(LAUGHTER)

SCIUTTO: Well, a -- he is basically saying she is attacking his supporters as opposed to the candidate.

RYE: So I think like this campaign is maddening to me because we're constantly chasing Donald Trump and his supporters and his spokespeople and his surrogates down some crazy rabbit hole. Donald Trump also in this speech just moments ago called Hillary Clinton a race baiter. He's telling her shame on her when he should be looking at himself and saying shame on me.

Shame on Donald Trump -- shame on Donald Trump for having an adviser like Roger Stone who called pundits on this network "negroes." Shame on Donald Trump for having Jeff Sessions by his side at his event in Jackson, Mississippi, yesterday, who's a noted person who's had struggles with racist comments with his former employees. Shame on Donald Trump for hiring the Breitbart -- the king of Breitbat to be his new campaign chairperson.

Shame on him. And shame on every spokesperson that continues to make any type of analogy, draw any type of analogy, to Donald Trump, the nightmare, to Martin Luther King, who had a dream. Shame on that.

SCIUTTO: Katrina Pierson, national spokeswoman for the Trump campaign.

KATRINA PIERSON, DONALD TRUMP NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: You know, I'm just looking forward to CNN doing a full blown study on Hillary Clinton's campaign operatives like John Podesta and Huma Abedin so I'll be looking forward to that.

RYE: For what?

PIERSON: But I'll also say -- but I'll also say that this is a very interesting discussion because we do finally have a candidate who is out there saying what a lot of people think and what a lot of people feel. However, when he calls Hillary Clinton a bigot -- what is a bigot? A bigot is someone who's intolerant of someone else's views. It is Hillary Clinton and the Democrat supporters who are burning the American flag, who are assaulting supporters.

BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Who -- what are you talking about?

RYE: What?

PIERSON: Who are doing all kinds of horrible things.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's a protected right, Katrina.

SMIKLE: What are you talking about?

RYE: What?

CUPP: Katrina, that's protected right.

PIERSON: OK. All kinds of horrible things.

SMIKLE: And what are you talking about? What are you talking about?

PIERSON: And so he's absolutely right.

(CROSSTALK)

SMIKLE: What are you -- I don't know what you're talking. What I know is the definition --

PIERSON: You don't want to let me finish because you don't want to hear what I had to say.

SMIKLE: I heard what you had to say. That Hillary Clinton supporters are burning American flags. I don't know what you're talking about.

RYE: No.

SMIKLE: What I do know -- what I do know.

PIERSON: CNN doesn't show that footage.

SMIKLE: What I do know is that calling Hillary Clinton is -- a bigot is ridiculous to me. Angela is absolutely right. The fact of the matter is that this man, throughout the course of his business career and public career, has maligned communities of color and dug his heels in deeper during the course of this campaign.

He is not speaking to African-Americans because he's really interested in their engagement. He doesn't have a real clear policy on immigration.

(CROSSTALK)

SMIKLE: We're 75-76 days out. And his immigration policy is to be determined.

SCIUTTO: Folks, there's a lot to say here.

SMIKLE: What is that?

SCIUTTO: And because Basil raised immigration, and that -- that was the point, the story here. I do want to play for our viewers again, Donald Trump's -- shall we say evolving position on immigration. Here, listen to his comments on undocumented immigrants, November 10th last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're going to have to send people out. Look, we're a country --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what will you do?

TRUMP: We're a country of laws. We either have a country or we don't have a country. We're a country of laws. Going to have to go out and they'll come back, but they're going to have to go out and hopefully they get back, but we have no choice if we're going to run our country properly and if we're going to be a country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: They're going to have to go out. Now here is Donald Trump last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[16:35:02] SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Everyone agree with that? All right.

TRUMP: I mean, go a step further. They'll pay back taxes, they have to pay taxes, there's no amnesty as such. There's no amnesty.

HANNITY: Right.

TRUMP: But we work with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: Kayleigh McEnany, why isn't that a flip-flop?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, first of all, he himself described this as a softening the night previous. And --

SCIUTTO: It's more than a softening, though, to be fair.

MCENANY: He said that he's listening to voters and we're going to have to wait to hear his speech but he's listening to voters and I think that's a good thing, but I have to bring up something Angela said because she talks about rabbit holes, and she also described Hillary Clinton's speech as a perfect speech.

You know, I don't think -- I think it's really an insult to the American people to describe a speech that didn't have one policy position as a perfect speech. It was not in fact perfect.

SMIKLE: Whoa. What?

MCENANY: Donald Trump is trying to be inclusive. Donald Trump brought up energy policy. How it affects the African-American community. And immigration. And he has proffered solutions for this community.

SMIKLE: Well --

MCENANY: And I do also -- this is the third time it's been said, Martin Luther King was a Christian.

RYE: Yes.

MCENANY: Everyone has a right to quote him. No one owns his statements.

RYE: Agree.

MCENANY: In trying to bring up together and be more inclusive.

SMIKLE: Yes, but -- well.

MCENANY: As what Donald Trump is doing --

(CROSSTALK)

SCIUTTO: One second, Basil, because I want to bring in S.E. S.E., because in fact Donald Trump on immigration is actually moving closer to your candidate, Jeb Bush, almost word for word on the policy.

CUPP: Yes. Allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country is the definition of amnesty. And whatever side of that argument you're on you can't get around the fact that the centerpiece of Donald Trump's campaign has now been abandoned by him saying, no, we're going to let some stay.

But let me just -- I have to get this out. For a history lesson, for anyone who's like in high school watching, I do not want them to go away thinking that the definition of bigotry has anything to do with burning the American flag, which is actually protected under the First Amendment.

PIERSON: Intolerance.

JACK KINGSTON, SENIOR ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Jim, Jim.

PIERSON: Intolerance.

CUPP: Another -- another constitutional lesson that we have to teach the Trump people.

KINGSTON: Jim. Jim, let me say this.

SCIUTTO: Congressman Kingston, you'll get the final word.

KINGSTON: Let me say this about Donald Trump on immigration. Number one, as long as we're talking about it, we are winning because Hillary Clinton is pro-amnesty. She is pro-sanctuary cities. And she is pro- giving American jobs away to illegal workers who are in this country. Donald Trump has talked about consistently enforcing existing laws, building a wall, no amnesty, no sanctuary cities and protecting American jobs, and the fact that he has taken it on and lead with this issue I think is a very, very positive thing.

RYE: Is Mexico paying for the wall?

SMIKLE: If I can -- if I can say this.

SCIUTTO: Basil, quickly.

SMIKLE: And I want to address a point you were starting to make earlier about Martin Luther King. I appreciate that you know the quote, but there are people who are fighting this fight.

RYE: Yes. Yes.

SMIKLE: Every single day, and are burdened with it every single day.

RYE: Yes.

SMIKLE: And my concern and my point, which I think is what was so great about Hillary's speech and what has turned me off and I think should turn a lot of people off about Donald Trump is that he has never taken the opportunity to truly understand what that means for a person of color.

(CROSSTALK)

PIERSON: I am one of those people, too, that have been in that fight for a very long time. I have been fighting these liberal policies for the black communities.

RYE: He's absolutely building a wall.

PIERSON: He has been listening. He has me out there. And just because CNN doesn't report it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

(CROSSTALK)

SMIKLE: I'm not for blaming CNN, I'm for blaming the candidate.

KINGSTON: And we understand that the candidate was scared to death but the candidate is reaching out to the African-American community.

SCIUTTO: CNN is not --

RYE: Why do you come on a network that you hate?

SCIUTTO: CNN is not letting anything here. Listen.

RYE: Jim, why does she come on here if she hates CNN?

KINGSTON: We understand that Hillary Clinton is scared to death.

SCIUTTO: Listen, folks, we're going to have to go.

RYE: Why do you come on a network that you hate so much? Why come on here? That's ridiculous.

SCIUTTO: Listen. It's a measure of the spirit of this campaign but we are going to have to go.

Kayleigh, Katrina, Basil, Angela, S.E., Congressman Kingston, thanks very much. These are difficult issues. We appreciate you sitting down with us.

Be sure to tune in to CNN tonight 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. He will sit down with Anderson Cooper, this is an exclusive interview. You're going to want to watch it.

And now as well, way too close for comfort. Four small Iranian ships making a B line for a U.S. Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf. We have now learned this was just one of several aggressive moves from Iran. One, ending with warning shots.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:43:20] SCIUTTO: Welcome back, breaking news now in our "World Lead."

Confrontation on the high seas once again. U.S. officials telling CNN that the Navy fired three warning shots at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard patrol boat after it repeatedly harassed American vessels in the Persian Gulf. This coming just after four Iranian vessels conducted a high-speed intercept seen here of a U.S. destroyer. That's earlier this week.

Let's get right to CNN's Barbara Starr. She's live at the Pentagon.

Barbara, this seems to be an escalation from the Iranian side. BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It does, Jim. You know,

military tensions with Iran now rising to the point the U.S. Navy compelled to fire warning shots one day after the first high-risk encounter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice-over): All four boats you see here are Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels approaching at a high speed and apparently on a collision course with the U.S. Navy destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz.

This video shot from the USS Nitze. It warned the Iranians with horns and flares to back off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Weapons uncovered.

STARR: But at least two of the Iranian boats kept approaching, coming within 300 yards. Forcing the Nitze to alter course Tuesday, the Iranian boats finally turning away. By Wednesday, a significant rise in tensions. Revolutionary Guard Corps boats harassing and endangering U.S. Navy vessels three times in 24 hours. The most dangerous resulting in the U.S. Navy firing warning shots at the Iranians.

PETER COOK, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: They did feel compelled ultimately to fire three warning shots. And the reason for that is they had used steps -- they had taken steps already to try and deescalate the situation.

[16:45:07] STARR: It happened at the northern end of the Persian Gulf. An Iranian fast boat like this approach two U.S. Navy patrol craft. The USS Tempest and USS Squall. U.S. official say that Squall, using its 50-caliber machine guns fired three warning shots into the water at the Iranians.

This after the Iranian boat had circled around the U.S. vessels. At one point coming within 200 yards. The U.S. Navy crews had fired warning flares. Eventually the two sides had a short bridge-to-bridge conversation. But the warning shots fired when the Iranians still did not back away.

The two U.S. Navy boats have been harassed earlier, then the USS Stout also confronted Iranian boats. The third tense incident on the high seas.

CHRISTOPHER HARMER, INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR SENIOR NAVAL ANALYST: The danger of miscalculation is very high because sooner or later somebody is going to make a mistake.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: And that is the big worry here at the Pentagon. The assessment is that the Iranians are essentially out there, if you will, joyriding on the high seas and the worry is there will be a miscalculation. The U.S. Navy not wanting to see an incident -- Jim. SCIUTTO: Extreme danger. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks very

much.

A survivor alive. The heart-stopping rescue of an Italian little girl buried underneath rubble for some 17 hours. Her story now being called a miracle. Countless others could be running out of time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:50:34] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. The death toll in the Italian earthquake is rising. At least 250 now dead. Nearly 400 others injured. Just a day after a powerful 6.2 magnitude quake hit strong aftershocks still rocking the already devastated areas of central Italy. Search and rescue efforts are intensifying with every precious minute and just when you think it could be hopeless, a miracle arises from the rubble.

Take a look here.

Dramatic, really. An emotional rescue. Emergency crews lifting a 10- year-old girl to safety nearly a full day after that massive quake.

Want to go to CNN's senior international correspondent Frederik Pleitgen, he's right in the middle of it, near the epicenter, in Amatrice.

Fred, a big question here is how many people are still missing. Give us a sense of how -- and whether the death toll could rise.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Italian authorities, Jim, certainly believe that the death toll can still rise and will still rise. And they say that they believe that there still could be quite a few people actually buried underneath the rubble, possibly trapped underneath the rubble. However, they also say they can't really put a number on it and the reason for that is, of course, that this is a tourist region. They believe that many people may have been here visiting their families when this earthquake struck. Of course none of them really registered here when this disaster unfolded. And at the same time it also happened in the very early morning hours when these people were asleep. And so they basically had no chance to escape.

Now throughout the day you're absolutely right. We have seen the rescue efforts here intensify. The crews have been bringing in more heavy equipment but it is those aftershocks that just keep making life so difficult for the crews here on the ground.

We experienced one that was quite scary, actually, when a lot of buildings started shaking, the ground was trembling, and there was one building that had already been damaged by the original earthquake that just absolutely crumbled. And the rescue workers who were nearby, all of them, had to evacuate that area immediately. It took about half an hour before they could start again. So they are working under very, very difficult circumstances. And at this point in time, they're not really finding many people alive under the rubble any more. However, so stories like the one you just showed, that little 10-year-

old girl, that really keep moral high, keeps these guys going. They're in for another very, very long time, as they're continuing to work but they they're not letting up until they've gone through this entire area. Of course, Amatrice, the town that by far is hardest hit of the 250 people who are known to have died in this disaster, more than 190 were killed here -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Let's hope for more signs of life. Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much.

For some parents, it's become a choice between paying the bills and buying a potentially life-saving device for their child. Now after widespread outrage, the makers of EpiPens are offering a coupon, but there is a catch.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:57:47] SCIUTTO: We are back with our "Health Lead" now. And after fierce backlash for allegedly putting profits well over people, the maker of the life-saving allergy medication, these EpiPens, said that it would now slash the price by issuing coupons covering, they say, up to $300, for patients in health plans that have high out-of- pocket costs.

EpiPens used by people with severe allergies during some of the most desperate moments in their lives. Mylan Pharmaceuticals increased the price of a pair of them from just around $100 into 2009 to as much as six times that today.

Joining me now is CNN Money correspondent Cristina Alesci.

So, Christina, more than three million Americans, they carry them around. My sister is one of them. They depend on them. Do these coupons actually solve the problem? CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: They solve the problem at

the fringe. Right? And this is how it works. Basically if you have an out-of-pocket expense of about $300, you're going to get the drug for free because it's a $300 --

SCIUTTO: From your health plan. Right.

ALESCI: It's a $300 credit, right? And also -- this company also says that it's going to be expanding an assistance program. So if you're a family of four making less than $97,000 a year, you'll get the drug for free. And it also says that it's planning way to sell to customers directly. But to your point, these savings cards, these coupons don't apply to programs with Medicare and Medicaid. Critics say that still means that taxpayers are bearing the brunt of these high prices because at the end of the day, you're not reducing the price of the drugs. And that is at the core of what is going on because all pharmaceutical companies have been -- you know, when their products are in high demand, they increase prices.

SCIUTTO: I mean, either the health care plans is paying for it, someone is paying for it, right? Because you've got to pay into it. Heather Bresch, she's Mylan CEO. She's actually the daughter of Joe Manchin, Democratic senator from West Virginia. Filing showed that her compensation doubled since 2012. Of course as the drug price was going up. What's been her response?

ALESCI: Her response is it's not our fault. It's Congress' fault. She vaguely, you know, blames this system where middlemen take a cut of the profits. Right? But the bottom line, if they want to fix this problem, the buck stops with them, right? Because you can't rely on Congress. That's going to take an immense amount of time. We've seen the hold-ups there. They want to address this problem. They could take some money out of their profit margins.

SCIUTTO: Right.

ALESCI: Which on this drug, I think we have it on a full screen, have increased substantially from 9 percent --

SCIUTTO: Triple, I think, yes.

ALESCI: From 9 percent to about 55 percent.

SCIUTTO: Wow.

ALESCI: Nine percent in 2008.

SCIUTTO: Six times.

ALESCI: To 55 percent.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

ALESCI: And like I said, look, this is not uncommon. This is an industry practice and that is why it's going to become a political issue over the next couple of months.

SCIUTTO: No question. Cristina Alesci, thanks very much.

I want to remind you, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, @JimSciutto or tweet the show, @TheleadCNN. And most importantly be sure to tune in to CNN tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, he will sit down with our Anderson Cooper. This is an exclusive interview.

That's it for THE LEAD today. Thanks very much for joining us. I'm Jim Sciutto in for Jake. I turn you over now to Brianna Keilar. She's in for Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."