Return to Transcripts main page
Trump Deportation Plan Changes; How Does This Affect the Election?. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired August 26, 2016 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: We saw the next version of this in a big CNN interview. He actually says he's not softening now, he says he's hardening.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Well, Hillary Clinton is hitting back hard against Trump, slamming him for his ties to the alt-right and what she says is the emerging racist ideology. Meanwhile, Trump is digging in on his claim that Clinton is a bigot. Our coverage begins with CNN's Jason Carroll, he's live in Manchester, New Hampshire. Give us all the latest, Jason.
JASON CARROL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, clearly a lot of name calling that's going back and forth. Look, you know, a couple of things. A couple things that Donald Trump supporters like about him, Alisyn, as you know, first that he is plain spoken, he says what he means, but even now some of his supporters tell me they, too, are confused by exactly where he stands when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no path to legalization. Unless people leave the country -- well, when they come back in, if they come back in, then they can start paying taxes.
CARROLL: Donald Trump struggling to clarify his immigration stance, now telling CNN's Anderson Cooper he's ruling out a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the United States.
TRUMP: There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.
CARROLL: This after indicating earlier this week that he was open to the idea.
TRUMP: They'll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty as such. There's no amnesty. But we work with them.
CARROLL: Trump sending mixed messages.
TRUMP: There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people. I don't think it's a softening. I think it's ...
ANDERSON COOPER: But 11 million people are no longer going to be deported. TRUMP: I have heard people say it's a hardening, actually.
COOPER: But 11 million who have not committed a crime ...
TRUMP: No. We're then going to see ...
COOPER: There's going to be a path to legalization. Is that right?
TRUMP: You know it's a process. You can't 11 at one time and just say, boom, you're gone.
CARROLL: Some Trump supporters insisting their candidate cannot flip- flop on his central campaign issue, Sarah Palin warning in "The Wall Street Journal" "There would be massive disappointment if Trump were to go down a path of wishy-washy positions."
His reversal also provoking criticism from former rivals.
JEB BUSH, (R) FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: All the things that Donald Trump railed against he seems to be morphing into. It's kind of disturbing.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
CARROLL: This as Hillary Clinton launches a blistering takedown of Trump.
CLINTON: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.
CARROLL: Clinton accusing the Trump campaign of merging with the "Alt- Right", a movement linked to white nationalists.
CLINTON: A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories, drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far dark reaches of the internet should never run our government or command our military.
CARROLL: Trump defending his campaign, accusing Democrats of what he calls their oldest play in their playbook.
TRUMP: When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument. You're racist. You're racist. You're racist.
CARROLL: Trump also disavowing support from hate groups.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?
TRUMP: No, I don't, at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: And Trump says that there is no Alt-Right, there is no Alt- Left. He says his campaign is all about embracing common sense. He also says the vast majority of his supporters are not racist. When it comes to immigration, the campaign says that Trump has been consistent in one area. He's always said all along, no path to citizenship, no amnesty going forward. He will be delivering his speech on his economic plans. That's going to be coming next Wednesday in Phoenix. Chris?
CUOMO: All right, Jason. Thank you very much. We just gave you a quick look of Trump's interview with our Anderson Cooper. There is much more. One part, Trump openly acknowledging in his own words that he's actually hardening his position on immigration. The Republican presidential nominee recalibrating to be sure, once again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to end sanctuary cities. We're going to run a country like it's supposed to be run. We're going to have borders, very strong borders. And after that, we're going to see what happens, but we are going to find people and we're getting immediately -- and I mean first hour of my -- the first document I will sign will say get the bad ones out of this country. Bring them back where they came from.
COOPER: But I know, you know, I got to follow up. You said on Hannity, you used the word softening. Even last night on Hannity you talked about ...
TRUMP: But I don't think it's a softening. I think it's ...
COOPER: But 11 million people are no longer going to be deported.
TRUMP: I've heard people say it's a hardening actually.
[07:05:12] COOPER: But 11 million who have not committed a crime, there's going to be a path to legalization, is that right?
TRUMP: You know it's a process. You can't take 11 at one time and just say, boom, you're gone. We have to find where these people are. Most people don't know where they are. Nobody knows if it's 11. It could be 30 and it could be 5. Nobody knows what the number is.
COOPER: But if somebody has ...
TRUMP: I'll tell you what we know. Let me explain.
COOPER: Will they be deported?
TRUMP: Let me tell you what. We know the bad ones. We know where they are, who they are. We know the drug cartel people. We know the gangs and the heads of the gangs and the gang members. Those people are gone. That's a huge number. No it's not.
COOPER: But that's Jeb Bush's policy. I mean ...
TRUMP: I don't know anything about Jeb Bush. He wasn't building a wall. Jeb Bush wasn't building a wall. Jeb Bush wasn't making strong borders. And I'm not knocking Jeb Bush, but I was with him for a long time.
COOPER: Right. But he was mocked for saying that, look, you can't deport 11 million people. It now seems like -- I know you're not focusing on the ...
TRUMP: First I want to see what's going to happen. We're going to deport many people, many, many people.
COOPER: The vast majority of those 11 million are not criminals.
TRUMP: But we don't know that. We're going to find out who they are. We have crime all over this country.
COOPER: If they haven't committed a crime, is there going to be a path to legalization? I'm talking about citizenship.
TRUMP: No, there's no path to legalization.
COOPER: You talk about paying taxes on Hannity.
TRUMP: Unless people leave the country -- well, when they come back in, if they come back in, then they can start paying taxes.
COOPER: So they still have to ...
TRUMP: But there is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.
COOPER: So that means of the 11 million who are here, even if they haven't committed a crime.
TRUMP: You don't know, again, you keep saying 11 million. You don't know what the number is. You know, millions of people ...
COOPER: Well, however many. That's the estimate.
TRUMP: ... and using the existing laws of our country, using the existing laws. Millions of people are deported every year.
TRUMP: You know that right.
TRUMP: You know, people don't talk about that. It's Obama, they don't talk about that. But you have a lot of people being deported. We're going to do that vigorously. We're going to go with the laws that are existing. But we're going to have a very strong border and we're not going to have people pouring back in. And when these people -- the drug lords and all of these guys that are thrown out, they're not coming back in to the country.
COOPER: So, if you haven't committed a crime and you've been here for 15 years and you have a family here, you have a job here, will you be deported? TRUMP: We're going to see what happens once we strengthen up our border. We're going to have a strong border, as strong as any border there is anywhere in the world. We're going to have a real wall. We're going to have tremendous protection, both technological protection and everything else. And then we're going to see what happens. But there is a very good chance the answer could be yes. But there's no legalization. There's no amnesty. And if somebody wants to go the legalization route, what they'll do is they'll go leave the country, hopefully come back in, and then we can talk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right then. We do have a lot to talk about. So let's bring in Trump campaign Senior Adviser and Republican Strategist Boris Epshteyn, and CNN -- it's not boring. It's Boris -- and CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist Paul Begala, never boring. He's a senior adviser for a pro-Clinton super PAC.
Gentlemen, thanks so much for being here. Congratulations on becoming senior adviser to the Trump campaign. And it's great to have you here actually this morning because perhaps you can explain to us what exactly is Donald Trump's deportation plan?
BORIS ESHTEYN, TRUMP CAMPAIN SENIOR ADVISER: Well, he explained it yesterday to Anderson Cooper. So, he was very clear. That once he becomes president, the illegal immigrants who are criminals will be deported.
CAMEROTA: Only the criminals?
EPSHTEYN: That's exactly what he said, right. He's been consistent on that now for months. Once that's done, he'll work within the laws that are on the books now with additional laws and the constitution and do it humanely and make sure that we deal with the rest of the illegal immigrants humanely.
CAMEROTA: We've got it. So, just a second.
CAMEROTA: So no difference. The criminals are already being deported.
EPSHTEYN: 300,000 have not been under Barack Obama.
CAMEROTA: Where are you getting that number?
EPSHTEYN: That's the number we have in our research. 300,000 illegal immigrants who committed crimes and then it'll allowed back in the country or stay in this country. That's why we have terrible crimes like the murder in San Francisco happened.
CAMEROTA: Look, obviously there are always these incidents that are horrible and tragic. However, the laws on the books are that if you commit a crime here, you go back to your home country. Hold on. But one more thing, Boris, during the primary -- I can see you're getting ready to interrupt -- during the primary Donald Trump said repeatedly every one of them, all of them. All of them. So that is a change from what he said in the primary.
EPSHTEYN: And also, here are some of the other points, the key points. Ending sanctuary cities, making sure he verifies in place. And what I find very interesting with the narrative that the media compares Donald Trump to Donald Trump. We should be giving the voters a binary choice because that's what it is.
Hillary Clinton has 100 day amnesty plan. She wants to increase Syrian refugees and that's about 550 percent. And that's an open-border policy. So, we should be giving the voters a binary choice between Donald Trump who wants to security the borders and secure America, and then Hillary Clinton who wants to swing the borders wide open.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN COMMENTATOR: He's running a single-issue campaign about something that he knows a single thing about.
[07:10:02] What I'm -- by the way I'm not a big fan of the flip flop charge. I think an intelligent person changes position when the facts change. The facts haven't changed politics after 75 days before an election.
Donald Trump began his campaign with a racist announcement speech where he said Mexican immigrants were rapists. Now, he's trying to say, well, basically, I have Barack Obama's position which is -- by the way, President Obama has deported more undocumented folks than any president American history. He's got more people policing the border than anybody since Woodrow Wilson was chasing Pancho Villa with Black Jack Pershing 100 years ago. So by the way, a net migration of Mexico is to Mexico, not to America. Mr. Trump's wall will only slow down their departure. And mine. If he wins, I'm going to be on a beach in Puerto Vallarta.
EPSHTEYN: I think he's going to go to Canada.
Now listen. Come on, that's not true. The wall and making sure that illegal immigrants don't stay in this country are two separate issues. The wall which by the way, Hillary Clinton in 2008 said that there should be a barrier between Mexico and the United States. The wall is there to make sure that illegal immigrants do not continue to come into this country and terrorists don't come into this county.
CAMEROTA: Yes, we're more interested in what appears to be an evolution.
EPSHTEYN: Of course. Why are you so interested? Why don't we talk about Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump?
CEMAROTA: Because when politicians say something different than what they staked their campaign on, we need to point it out and get to the bottom.
EPSHTEYN: So let's talk about what Hillary Clinton has said about her e-mails where she say she's going to turn them over but she hasn't. CAMEROTA: At the moment, Boris, we're talking about deportation. I see that you're trying to change the subject because it is a little bit confusing. But just to be clear, so now not all of them have to leave. Now the good ones can stay.
EPSHTYEYN: Within about a week, there's going to be a detailed policy speech on immigration and we'll go through all these points one by one. It will be absolutely -- Let me finish the entire so we can move on them.
It's not the only thing we're running on. First of all, the speech when he announced was not racist. What he was saying is that folks who come in here illegally commit crimes in this country. That's a fact. Tell that to kids [inaudible] family. That's a fact. Two, he's running on the issues of economy, national security. This is a multi-issue campaign that's appealing to all Americans
CAMEROTA: OK. Do you have anything to say, Paul, before I move on?
BEGALA: I actually want to ask Boris, are you going to let him debate Hillary? I'm not kidding. I said this last night, if I were his adviser, I wouldn't let him either. She's going to kill him.
EPSHTTEYN: If it were up to me, we'd have a debate tomorrow.
BEGALA: So you're committing. You're official with the campaign. You're committing that he's going to show up at those debates?
EPSHTEYN: We aren't going to be at the debates. She hasn't had a press conference in 265 days.
BEGALA: I need to go to mass right now.
EPSHTEYN: Hold on. Hold on Paul.
EPSHTEYN: Can I respond to that? She hasn't been out there in 265 days answering questions.
EPSHTEYN: All her spokespeople are so off their game. When you see them out there, she's off her game. That means that that's worth ...
CAMEROTA: Well, she did give a big speech, as we know, in Reno, Nevada, yesterday. And the issue of racism has become central in this campaign on both sides. As Hillary Clinton gave a speech about it, what she calls Donald Trump's prejudice and relying on conspiracy theories. And she's also put out a new campaign ad about this. So let's watch a moment of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason a lot of clan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes we believe in. Donald Trump will be best for the job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am farmer and white nationalist. Support Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EPSHTEYN: Gutter politics at its absolute worst. Hillary Clinton has no basis for this. And the Clintons have a long history, long history of racism on their own. Talking about Barrack Obama carrying their bags, the racial tensions of the 2008 campaign, the super predator talks, so there is absolutely no basis for that ad. If I were the Clintons, I wouldn't be putting things like that out there based on their history.
CAMEROTA: Paul, your response?
BEGALA: Who told Trump to call Hillary a bigot? Was that a planned thing or is that's just like him freelancing? Was it in a prepared text?
EPSHTEYN: It's absolutely no.
BEGALA: You know, was it in a prepared test or was he freelancing?
EPSHTEYN: Does it matter? That's what he said.
BEGALA: Well, that's a good point. What I think is that he just freelances and you guys can't control him because he's just like, kind of really powerful or as an eccentric figure.
EPSHTEYN: It's about the candidate running the campaign.
BEGALA: Right. So he believes that Hillary Clinton is a bigot?
EPSHTEYN: Hillary Clinton will say anything to get votes.
BEGALA: No, no, she won't. She won't say that Mexicans are rapists. She won't say that the president of the United States was not born -- excuse me for speaking. She will not say that the president of United States is not an American citizen. She will not say that a judge, an honorable federal judge in San Diego is somehow not qualified ...
CAMEROTA: Hold on. I want to -- But I want to talk about ...
EPSHTEYN: Paul Ryan said at one ...
But I want to talk about for a second the political strategies of ...
EPSHTEYN: ... American movement.
CAMEROTA: That is not true. That is -- Because seriously that if it's ...
EPSHTEYN: ... it's an internal memo from the 2008 campaign.
CAMEROTA: This has been looked at time and again. Maybe there was a Clinton supporter somewhere, but she did not condone it.
EPSHTEYN: But then there's Mike Pence, how the Clinton supporters running the campaign.
BEGALA: But that's not Hillary. And he's not working for ...
EPSHTEYN: And he was working with Hillary.
CAMEROTA: I'd like to move because I want to talk about this becoming -- how politically each side is using racism.
So, Hillary Clinton in her speech -- her Reno speech, Paul -- she brought up Republicans. And she talked about how previous Republicans did it differently. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: The week after 9/11, George W. Bush went to a mosque and declared for everyone to hear that Muslims love America just as much as I do.
[07:15:05] In 2008, John McCain told his own supporters that they were wrong about the man he was trying to defeat. Senator McCain made sure they knew Barack Obama, he said, is an American citizen and a decent person. We need that kind of leadership again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Paul, that's a curious turn. Why bring up these two GOP leaders that don't support her?
BEGALA: Well, because more and more Republicans are coming to support Hillary. In the last Quinnipiac poll, she had 6 percent of the Republican vote. Not much. Same that Barack Obama had winning re- election.
In yesterday's Quinnipiac poll, it's gone from 6 to 12. Why? College- educated white folks, who are Republicans, right -- that's like the definition of a Republican -- are fleeing from Trump. In that same poll, 59 percent of all Americans, 59 percent, say that Trump traffics in bigotry. And it's just 58 among college-educated white folks.
This is a catastrophe. This is why he's projecting. You know the psychological phenomenon projection where you take what you know about yourself and you project it.
EPSHTEYN: Hillary Clinton lost in L.A. because it is kind of hubris.
BEGALA: It is true that 59 percent think he's a bigot.
EPSHTEYN: Look at that you've got poll we're tied. Look at Florida, we're up.
BEGALA: Yes. All is well in Trump land.
EPSHTEYN: If you will go all over the country, the polls are tightening. We'll be absolutely fine. And again, what Hillary Clinton is doing, she's doing it well because it's working here obviously. She was distracting the horrible week she's having. The e-mails, the foundation, and everything else. She shouldn't even be running for president. She should be defending herself against an indictment.
CAMEROTA: Paul, Boris, thank you for the debate.
EPSHTEYN: Thank you so much.
BEGALA: See you at the debate.
EPSHTEYN: See you later.
CAMEROTA: Heard it here, Chris.
CUOMO: Robust. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, you just heard it, accusing the other of playing racial politics. Accusing the other of being a bigot. Are these attacks doing anything to sway minority voters? A member of the congressional Black Caucus offers his take next.
[07:20:46] CUOMO: Well, race has its place in the election now to be sure. You have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fighting about who is really the bigot. You have Clinton swiping at Trump, painting him as a man of history with discrimination, Trump fighting back with insults, including outright calling Clinton a bigot.
Is this helpful on any level? Let's bring in New York congressman Hakeem Jeffries. He's the congressional black caucus whip and a Clinton supporter. Congressman, good to see you.
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK: Good morning.
CUOMO: I know the answer to these questions. Everybody does who's rational. This is terrible. It couldn't be more counterproductive. The question is, how can this in any way become something that is helpful to improving the situations in certain big city-impoverished communities?
JEFFRIES: Well, I think Hillary Clinton consistently would like to keep the campaign focused on issues of empowerment for all Americans, including the African-American community and other communities of color. But time and time again, what we found is that Donald Trump has sort of outsourced parts of his campaign to white supremacist groups. He did that in the primary in very clear fashion, and he's continued that pattern in the general election.
CUOMO: In fairness ...
JEFFRIES: We can't ignore that.
CUOMO: There's something we hear, Congressman, in this election, I think especially so, which is one side does something that deserves to be criticized, and what they do is they deflect by saying, yeah, but what about this thing -- we're seeing that right now. Hillary Clinton is beating Donald Trump with a big stick of being racist in his thoughts, racist in his politics. She spent a lot of time doing it. This ad with this white national is, you know, the hooded fool that they have in that ad. She's doing the exact same thing. She's not talking policy. She's going at him personally and saying that what he does is bigoted.
That's not productive. That's not policy. Fair point?
JEFFRIES: Well, actually, no, I think what she's doing, Chris, is she's connecting many of the policies that he's peddling to the fact that he has a history of engaging in racially provocative things. Going all the way back to his time as president of a real estate company where they were sued for housing discrimination, settled as a result of what was clearly a racist practice of labeling blacks and Latinos with a "c" and then denying them access to apartments, continuing all the way through to what he did with the central park. Five case where you have five individuals, four of whom were African- American, one of whom was Latino, wrongfully ...
CUOMO: Sentences were vacated. He had been put out a big ad about them and then he didn't apologize afterwards.
JEFFRIES: I mean, if it was up to him, Chris, these individuals would be on death row right now. You can't ignore that history. And of course with Barack Obama and what was done in terms of challenging his citizenship of the first black president. So you have a history and a context here that has to be folded into some of the policies that he's peddling.
CUOMO: What I'm saying is, you work in the community so actively all the time. You're trying to be positive. You're trying to create policies that change some of these, what seem to be hardened realities in small and big cities of poverty realities.
I can't believe that an African-American voter, hearing what's going on from Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, is motivated to vote. Am I wrong?
JEFFRIES: Well, I think there's going to be a lot of motivation for African-Americans and others to vote because the stakes are so high.
CUOMO: Who's the bigger bigot? How does that going to, you know, how does that make a black man or woman want to come out and vote?
JEFFRIES: Well, I think it was irresponsible for Donald Trump to accuse Hillary Clinton of being a bigot, not withstanding a long history.
CUOMO: But she says what he says is bigoted, is racist. Right or wrong, I'm just saying that level of dialogue, how is that productive? JEFFRIES: But let's also put this in the context of what happens in terms of what started this discussion. Donald Trump made a very provocative speech in front of a 95 percent white community allegedly to African-Americans labeling our community largely as impoverished crime-ridden, unemployed ...
CUOMO: That you get shot when you walk down the street.
JEFFRIES: Exactly. When you walk down the street, the experience of the overwhelming majority of African-Americans who live both in inner city communities and the suburbs and throughout a rural America, particularly in the Deep South. And so that is what jump started this conversation as it relates to, well, who has the better policies.
And I agree with you, Chris, that ultimately the American people deserve a discussion of how do we deal with poverty, for instance, both in the inner city, communities that I represent, but the overwhelming majority of persistently poor counties in this country are actually represented by Republicans who are white because they ...
CUOMO: Deep South in the lighter part in legislature.
JEFFRIES: Appalachia and rural America.
[07:25:11] CUOMO: Look. I understand the facts. I'm not disputing the in this instance. But, you know, what I hear from a lot of the Clinton surrogates is, why are you holding her to this higher standard than you hold him?
That's the basis of your campaign Hakeem. You guys are saying he's unfit. She fit, she knows how to lead. Why match tactics with him in this way? Why go back and forth about, you know, we know he's really of a much bigger bigot than he could ever comment. Why not just hammer the policies and trust in the voters especially African-American voters, to see through the BS of playing color politics.
JEFFRIES: Well, I think it was necessary for her to lay out the case in a clear, dispassionate fashion, which is what she did yesterday without a lot of pomp and circumstance. It was factually-based, went through his history, and went trough some of the things that he's trafficked in on the question of race during this campaign. Well, I think what you will see her continue to do moving forward is lay out the policies for dealing with the conditions that the African-American community faces and beyond because she has said consistently, it's not just a slogan. It's what she believes that we are stronger together as Americans than we are apart.
CUOMO: I got stopped walking on the street. Just quickly respond to this. Reverend stops me here in Manhattan and says the brothers and sisters aren't going to come out if this continues. They're not going to come out. And, you know, he just kept walking.
Do you think there's a concern that this type of rhetoric will stifle that vote, keep it home because it just doesn't seem there's anything out there for them? JEFFRIES: Well, I think Americans generally are put off by the negativity that has increasingly dominated politics over the last several decades. And I think that turnout will suffer in a highly negative campaign and people in both sides of the ideological divide will say attacks on both the houses. But the stakes are so high in this particular election that I do think that it's incumbent upon everyone to exercise their Democratic right. Pay attention to what Hillary Clinton is saying from a policy perspective and then draw your conclusion about who is best for our community.
CUOMO: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thank you for being on "New Day" as always. Appreciate it. Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: All right. As you've just been discus discussing, Chris, race of course is now a key issue in the presidential race. So, which candidate stands to benefit more? Kirsten Powers weighs in next.