Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump's Ever-Changing Immigration Position Changes Again; Clinton Campaign Smashes Fundraising Record in August; White Nationalists Praise Trump's Immigration Speech; Tens of Millions in Path of "Life-Threatening" Hurricane. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired September 1, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, immigration blowback. Donald Trump's Latino supporters jump ship. One of them saying he doesn't want to be part of Trump's scam.
Plus, a dangerous hurricane bearing down on the U.S. millions in its path from Florida all of the way up the east coast and CNN going one- on-one with Trump's controversial doctor. Wait until you see this. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, whiplash. In less than 24 hours Donald is speaking on both sides of the border and both sides of his mouth. Trump talking tough today on immigration on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Build the wall! Build the wall!
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We're going to build the wall. Mexico is going to pay for the wall. We're going to stop --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But in a radio interview with conservative host Laura Ingraham, Trump created more confusion by saying, he was going to soften his position on deporting undocumented immigrants.
TRUMP: Well, there's softening. Look, we do it in a very humane way and we're going to see with the people that are in the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Joe Biden hitting the campaign trail today firing back at Donald Trump dismissing Trump's high-profile Mexico visit and his immigration speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't know if he knows his own immigration policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And Tim Kaine charging that Trump lost his nerve when he went face to face with Mexico's president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Losing his will and losing his backbone in key moments when negotiator but then pouring on the red meat and saying the divisive things when he thinks it's going to wipe an audience up. Again, to keep America safe. It's no time for amateurs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jim Acosta begins our coverage OUTFRONT tonight in Miami. And Jim, so last night the fiery speech after the much more tempered speech in Mexico, and now today saying he's softening. What's going on?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. Donald Trump is back to referring his immigration stance as a softening, but that is not how his toughest critics and even his strongest supporters see it and as we saw earlier today, some of its own high-profile Latino surrogates are bolting from his campaign.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Donald Trump proved once again today his stance on immigration is a moving target.
TRUMP: We're going to build the wall. Mexico is going to pay for the wall.
ACOSTA: At two different events in Ohio, the GOP nominee was both talking tough on immigration while toning down his rhetoric on Mexico one day after his historic visit with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. A visit designed to show he could be diplomatic.
TRUMP: I just came back from a wonderful meeting with the President of Mexico where I expressed my deep respect for the people of this country.
ACOSTA: Adding to the confusion, a talk radio appearance where Trump insisted he is softening, suggesting he will prioritize the deportation of undocumented criminals over the removal of law abiding unauthorized immigrants.
TRUMP: Oh, there's softening, we have a lot of people in this country that you can't have and those people will get out and then we're going to make a decision at a later date once everything is stabilized. I think you will going to see there's really quite a bit of softening.
ACOSTA: Problem is --
TRUMP: There will be no amnesty. You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country.
ACOSTA: Most of his supporters and critics heard Trump hardening in his immigration speech in Phoenix warning every undocumented person in the U.S. is subject to deportation. He addressed some of his own Latino surrogates strait for the exits.
JACOB MONTY, FORMER TRUMP HISPANIC ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBER: I've resigned. I know other people have resigned. It's not a good feeling because the alternative is not much better but I'm unwilling to be part of his propaganda machine.
ACOSTA: The Clinton campaign insists Trump hasn't softened a bit except when it comes to confronting Mexico's president over who should pay for a wall on the Southern U.S. border, a matter Trump claims he didn't discuss with Pena Nieto.
TRUMP: We did discuss the wall. We didn't discuss payment of the wall.
ACOSTA: The Mexican president insists he made his stance clear.
PRES. ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICO (through a Translator): I was emphatic to a firm that Mexico would not pay by any means for the wall.
ACOSTA: Tim Kaine accused Trump of cracking on the wall.
SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: That was a choke, and I think it shows that diplomacy is not for amateurs. Donald Trump is an amateur.
ACOSTA: And Erin, we should point out tonight, there's a bit of a mini staff shake-up going on inside the Trump campaign. We found out from sources that earlier today Rick Gates, a deputy who is under the former campaign chairman of Paul Manafort is leaving the campaign while the campaign is now bringing on a man named David Bossie to be the deputy campaign manager. You might remember, David Bossie worked with the conservative group Citizens United and so here we go heading into the final stretch of this campaign, it's September now and Donald Trump is still making moves with his staff -- Erin.
[19:05:24] BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim.
And OUTFRONT now, David Gergen served as adviser to four presidents including Reagan and Clinton. Clinton supporter Basil Smikle, senior advisor to the Trump campaign Boris Epshteyn, Clinton supporter Karine Jean Pierre. A national spokesperson for Moveon.org. Trump's supporter Joe Visconti and Mark Preston, executive editor of CNN politics.
Mark, let me just start with you, though on that news, yet another change, shift within the Trump campaign. A Manafort loyalist out and another change. Change is still happening here, three different leaders in just two months. MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right, and the question
is, will we continue to see changes, you know, in the coming weeks? Look, this has been a campaign that is certainly unconventional and has really thrived on chaos in being disarray. However, we are at the point right now where the campaign really needs to bring it together, and I have to say though that Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon when they had taken over a few weeks ago have really tightened things up. I don't think it's necessarily going to hurt Donald Trump right now. I think his bigger problem right now is really appealing to a broader base of voters and he really needs to focus that.
BURNETT: All right. And Boris, to that point, a broader base of voters. Jacob Monty resigning from Trump's Hispanic Advisory Council, one of several today to saying they no longer could stomach being with the Trump campaign. This is not what you wanted to hear after last night. These are guys who had gone on TV, Hispanic-Americans and said Donald Trump is not that bad. Vote for him.
BORIS EPSHTEYN, SENIOR ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Steve Cortes is another Hispanic-American who continues to be an ardent supporter. You know, and it's one thing in the report to name names, Jacob Monty is the only name we just heard. So, there are those --
BURNETT: There are several others.
EPSHTEYN: Now, with all due respect to those individuals and that's their individual choice and we do hope to win back their support by November 8th and for them to vote for Donald Trump because in the end it's a binary choice between Donald Trump on one side who will secure the border, who will end sanctuary cities and catch and release and make sure e-verify is universally instituted and Hillary Clinton whose immigration by the way is completely muddled.
But what we do know is 100 day amnesty, 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees. Her immigration policy is open borders, no America. That's the bottom-line.
BURNETT: David, okay, Basil, go ahead.
BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Listen, what Donald Trump has been doing is playing good cop/bad cop with the American people. His speech last night was one of the darkest I've ever heard. It was authoritarian, and the specter of these deportation forces going into my community, into our community.
EPSHTEYN: Oh, nice!
SMIKLE: And rounding up individuals is scary to me. And I think the American people should resoundly reject the kind of language that -- the kind of language that Donald Trump is bringing to this race. It's absolutely scary.
EPSHTEYN: But that's not what's happening in the polls.
SMIKLE: But the fact of the matter is that Hillary is about keeping families together. That's not what Donald Trump is talking about. BURNETT: You're right the polls are narrowing, but David Gergen, what
is the significance? You had Alfonso Aguilar, you had a pastor in Texas. You had Mr. Monty. All of these individuals, high-profile Hispanics, you said, they could no longer be with the campaign. Basil is right. Others are saying. But those people have all been out vocally saying, last night's speech was too much. Will it matter?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I think we have to see it in context and that is Donald Trump is getting closer and he still could win this thing. Nobody should count him out, you know, he's showing the strength that we had not expected given everything else that's happened. Having said that, this has been a mess and he wasted basically two weeks, precious weeks in the campaign over trying to find a position he can support that would keep his base while also expanding his appeal in the Hispanic community.
And at the end of two weeks, he's come around always full circle and he's done it in a way he's now strengthened his base, but at the expense of the Hispanic-American, he has totally bombed his bridges into the Hispanic community now. This is basically over. You know, we're going to see more resignations from this group.
EPSHTEYN: If I may --
GERGEN: OK. But I just want to finish here. And during these two weeks he could have let Hillary Clinton be the headline and she's been all the defensive.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
EPSHTEYN: I know we're not the same person. Very different views, mine are right, his are wrong.
SMIKLE: Yours are right and mine are left.
EPSHTEYN: You just came out today, you had more e-mails come out today that the Clinton Foundation -- Doug Band requested passports of Huma Abedin, she said, we'll work on it, we'll figure it out. So, that's the real key --
BURNETT: Now, that was to go with Bill Clinton to release the journalist from North Korea. So, that was the context for that --
We are going to talk about --
EPSHTEYN: As far as the specific issue goes on immigration, Donald Trump has been specific and been consistent on immigration. I've been on this program for two weeks -- these two weeks saying exactly what he said --
BURNETT: Okay. Hold on for a moment because here he is -- it doesn't seem like that, okay, because it does seem like he's trying to have it both ways. Here he is yesterday, OK? In an eight-hour period in Mexico and in his speech. Let me play. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[19:10:07] TRUMP: We did discuss the wall. We didn't discuss payment of the wall and that will be for a later date.
We will build a great wall along the Southern border and Mexico will pay for the wall.
And there is crime, as you know, there is a lot of crime and there are a lot of problems, but I think together we'll solve those problems.
I am going to create a new show, deportation task force, focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America.
For a second and third generation Mexicans are just beyond reproach. Spectacular, spectacular, hardworking people.
We have no idea who these people are, where they come from. I always say Trojan horse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOE VISCONTI, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think this is unbelievable. People don't realize what he said last night. The left has been looking for substance and he's bringing substance. The countries that will not -
BURNETT: But the question here is, he's saying different things at different times. Not the substance.
VISCONTI: No, no, very careful what he said. He said countries won't take these immigrants back these illegals. You watched for Donald Trump, game this situation and shake down those countries for money at the end of the day however this pans out. So they'll pay for the people that should go back to those countries, whether it's Mexico, Guatemala. Countries that won't take the people back. Watch Trump turn this into a financial win.
BURNETT: Quick final word. Mark, quick final word.
PRESTON: He won the day in the morning, he lost the day in the evening and the ramifications are, is what we're seeing in the last 24 hours and will continue over the next few days.
BURNETT: All right. You're all staying with me. Next, a dangerous hurricane about to slam the East Coast. One governor calling it life- threatening to the millions in its path. We have the very latest on this as the storm approaches coming in the next couple of hours.
And breaking news, Hillary Clinton releasing record-setting fund- raising numbers. Should the Trump campaign be scared?
And CNN goes one-on-one with Donald Trump's doctor. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did you write that letter? Was it a joke? The words you chose, the way you wrote it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just rushed for time. I had people to see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:53] BURNETT: Breaking news. Hillary Clinton smashing fund- raising records for the month of August. Just moments ago the campaign revealing that the Democratic nominee has $143 million from August, that was involving 37 fundraisers, $62 million of that total haul is directly for her campaign. It is the biggest yet for her campaign.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT. And Jeff, obviously this came from more than just fundraisers but even so, you're talking about millions of dollars from fund raisers, each of them and some very rich people.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: No doubt about it, Erin. It really is a gold-plated list of who's who of celebrities, first of all. And a combination of celebrities, actors, athletes and others. Remember that California fundraising swing shake a couple of weeks ago, $20 million in three days alone on that. Last week in the Hamptons, one night alone some $7 million here. But it's not only that, to add up to the eye-popping number of $143 million, she's also getting a small set of donors to give to a lot of state party committees across the country. The maximum amount that some people can give if you give to absolutely everyone $366,000 from one person alone. That's how this number gets so high, Erin. All legal and part of the campaign finance laws, but that's how the number gets so high.
BURNETT: And by the way, and I say this totally, politically, it's why people think the system is so broken. And you say, there's limits of this and you can give nearly $400,000. I mean, it seems ridiculous to most people. But she's doing very well obviously when it comes to fundraising, how though is that impacting the polls or are the polls reflecting that big haul?
ZELENY: Well, Erin, not really. I mean, other than that aside, August had been on track to be a good month for her after that convention. And our CNN poll of polls which is a survey of the five most recent, highly respected national surveys, she started the month ten points ahead of Donald Trump. But Erin, she's ending the month only five points ahead of Donald Trump. You can see right here 42 percent to 37 percent.
So still a lead for sure in this national poll of polls, but not what many Democrats had hoped for and the reasons campaign officials believe is the drip, drip, drip that we talk about so often here. The e-mail controversy, the Clinton Foundation controversy. But when Labor Day begins the traditional kickoff of the campaign, that's where she begins here, a lot of money, but quite a few vulnerabilities, as well.
BURNETT: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much. My panel back with me. And Boris, you have to admit these fund-raising numbers are impressive. These are big numbers.
EPSHTEYN: Listen, the Clintons have proven, they're good at making brags, they're good at taking money, they've been doing that since they left the White House.
BURNETT: OK. These are fundraisers --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
That's what happens when you leave the White House dead broke and now are worth $250 million. May I just -- it's all about the polls. We are either tighter up in a lot of these few polls.
EPSHTEYN: LA Times, Reuters, et cetera.
BURNETT: OK. Karine, respond to this --
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, NATIONAL SPOKESWOMAN, MOVEON.ORG: Yes. Way to muddle everything. Look --
EPSHTEYN: It's called an answer.
JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. Well, that's what you think. Look, she's playing the long game here, right?
JEAN-PIERRE: There are -- her map is expanding while his map is shrinking, right? It's about getting to 270 and maybe more. And so, this is what's going on, so she's getting all this money and it's great and this is what the national political campaigns are all about is fundraising and you can't run the campaign --
VISCONTI: We're doing it in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, and Ohio and Florida.
JEAN-PIERRE: She's running a real campaign.
VISCONTI: But more money in the product no one wants -- that's why her polls are going down.
JEAN-PIERRE: She has an army in ten to 11 states.
BURNETT: Hold on everybody, because here's the thing. This money is coming from rich people. Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney. I mean, it's hard for her to say, it isn't hard for her to say. Oh, I'm with the average American when it's all these rich celebrities.
SMIKLE: Oh, she could say that because she actually has a record of supporting the middle class. She has a record of going into communities.
EPSHTEYN: Where's the example?
SMIKLE: She has a record of going into communities and working with people.
VISCONTI: She has a record of supporting the Clinton Foundation.
SMIKLE: She's actually has a record doing this, but I will say this because --
EPSHTEYN: Hold on. Hold on.
SMIKLE: It was the Warren Hatch bill.
EPSHTEYN: Would you stop?
SMIKLE: That say, there was a mention of state parties, let me talk about that, because what that money actually helps us do is build the party from the ground up. All of these state races --
BURNETT: She's raising money for a lot of others. OK.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
JEAN-PIERRE: I want to add.
SMIKLE: You had state Senate races and areas where things like the death penalty are on the table.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
JEAN-PIERRE: The Senate is in play and, you know, the house and we'll see what happens there. But that is also very important, that's the long game. It's not just her president --
EPSHTEYN: You keep saying, but we're gaining in every state.
[19:20:38] BURNETT: Hold on a second. David, to that point, the polls are tightening significantly. She spent a lot of time fundraising. Trump had a tough month, okay? And yet her lead was cut in half by the poll.
GERGEN: Well, I think there was the convention bump, to be fair about it. And yes, I think they get settled into a five-point race and what the Trump people really ought to be worried about is that once it closes more, they are still behind. They're behind in every single swing state. Eleven swing state behind. Every single one of them. Now, Trump is very competitive here, but why are they raising all this money? Obviously, it's partly for insurance for her campaign. But it's also, they want to roll up the score, and again realize that if they can get the Senate and if she can open this race up more, if they can go back to ten points after the first debate and then she can get the House and she can govern more effectively. That's what the name of the game is really here is how do you -- we can win the presidency, but how do we govern and we need a big win to govern that. BURNETT: Is that really possible, Mark?
PRESTON: I'm sorry, that's just not happening.
BURNETT: House and the Senate.
PRESTON: Yes. I mean, look, the Senate is obviously a lot easier than the House.
VISCONTI: They'll never get the house.
PRESTON: The Senate is obviously a lot easier than the House and there's a good chance that the Republicans will hold on to it. But David is right. The positions that the Democrats are in the right now, as opposed to seven or eight months ago, and they're in a much better position. But to the point, all the criticisms of Hillary Clinton and even from us from not doing press conferences is she should be doing conference --
GERGEN: I agree with that.
PRESTON: -- is that the dog days of summer and her being not out there and raising all these money is going to pay off for her to buy ads in all of these states and we've seen her go up in Arizona.
JEAN-PIERRE: But she's up --
PRESTON: But that's how it works. That's how it works.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
JEAN-PIERRE: She's up in Arizona which is a state that should be Republican.
EPSHTEYN: Hold on. Can we just be fair on one thing? We are not down in every battleground state. We are up in North Carolina, we're up in Florida, we're tied in Ohio.
BURNETT: Well, it depends on the polls.
EPSHTEYN: We are not done and the polls are a snapshot. We all agree on that. We have 68 weeks to go.
GERGEN: If the election were held today, he would lose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that but let me --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
BURNETT: Right. Which is why the polls don't matter right now.
SMIKLE: The Brexit people are down by about three or four points. The polling can be wrong.
BURNETT: The polls were wrong.
SMIKLE: The polls were wrong.
EPSHTEYN: Wait a second --
BURNETT: Hold on. Hold on one moment.
I want to play something Joe Biden said today, OK? Because one of the things that your campaign is trying to pick on about her is the Clinton Foundation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
BURNETT: All right? Joe Biden was asked about this today and mark, there was a less than resounding defense of Hillary. Let me play Joe Biden about in the Clinton Foundation today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think Americans should be concerned at all about the ethics of the Clinton Foundation? Has the Clinton Foundation always been 100 percent ethical in your view?
VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: Look, I think the Clinton Foundation like all foundations have found themselves in a position where things are changing, and I think she's going to change and adjust to the realities of how complicated it's all become.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was not a ringing endorsement for her defense.
GERGEN: It was not, and frankly, if you talked to some of Mrs. Clinton's closest friends, you will find them sort of baffled and the last 24 hours --
BURNETT: It's interesting word. Baffled.
GERGEN: -- and they're baffled and they don't understand because they respect her in so many ways and so many things she's done and they look at this and they say, why? How did this happen? How did they allow this to happen? It looks too sloppy and it's coming back to hurt her. There's a definitely drag on her campaign. And that's why I thought Trump ought to get out of the way of this thing and let the story play out and not go down to do all of these Mexican thing.
BURNETT: All right. We're going to hit pause. We're going to hit pause.
Thank you and next, one group applauding Trump's immigration speech is white nationalist. The line in Trump's speech is getting their attention is next.
Plus, a space X rocket bursting into a fireball at launch in Cape Canaveral. What went wrong? And tonight, live pictures from Florida. A massive hurricane set to
make landfall, tens of millions along the east coast in this massive storm's path. A live report coming up.
[19:28:40] BURNETT: Tonight, white nationalists are seizing on Donald Trump's tough talk when it comes to immigration insisting Trump is speaking to them when he talks of deportation and restricting immigration. The campaign disavowing that support, but these followers have become an issue for Trump.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TRUMP: It is our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whether Donald Trump wanted to or not, his tough immigration speech triggered support among people who see immigration by minorities as a recipe for disaster.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I know, the speech last night was beautiful. It was really, really good, and I was really happy about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The obvious difference was his skin color.
FOREMAN: Neo-Nazi Andrew England was thrilled as he appeared on the radio show a former Klansman David Duke who was pretty happy, too.
DAVID DUKE, FORMER IMPERIAL WIZARD OF THE KU KLUX KLAN: We have to take America back and we have to defend the heritage of the people who created America.
FOREMAN: In other words, white people. One goal excited special praise.
TRUMP: To keep immigration levels measured by population share within historical norms.
FOREMAN: Some of these groups clearly believe that would mean a preference for white Christian immigrants. White nationalist writer Richard Spencer cited long-ago legislation severely limiting immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, Africa, Arabs and Asians. Trump is returning to the ideas of the 1924 immigration act. Immigrants will reflect the racial makeup of the country and white nationalist publisher Jared Taylor called the speech almost perfect. Donald Trump has tied our foolish immigration policies to every problem we have.
Trump has already been accused several times of encouraging bigoted or racist views.
TRUMP: For a total and complete shutdown. FOREMAN: For example, for his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants.
Now, he's pushing a somewhat different approach.
TRUMP: Applicants will be asked for their views about honor killings, about respect for women, gays and minorities, attitudes on radical Islam.
FOREMAN: And his running mate insists these policies are not about race.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump is saying we need to make sure the people that are coming into America of every race and creed and color share a fundamental appreciation for the ideals of this country. A fundamental admiration for the people of this country, and that's been something that's been a part of our immigration system for generations.
FOREMAN: Still, even as the campaign says it wants nothing to do with David Duke and his ilk, Trump's approach is energizing some people who like America as a fundamentally white Christian country and wants every entrance guarded with that in mind -- Erin.
BURNETT: Tom, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser, Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn.
And, General Flynn, thank you very much for being here with me in person.
You just heard Tom Foreman's report. What's your reaction to the fact that Donald Trump's message last night is resonating with white supremacists?
LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET), TRUMP'S FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: White supremacists and KKK needs to go away. And I mean, I would just say not only does Donald Trump disavow him, but I think most Americans disavow that line of thinking and those kinds of groups.
And, Erin, as you and many, many people know, the KKK came out of the Democratic Party. Senator Byrd who is deceased now --
BURNETT: What's relevant is what they're doing now.
FLYNN: I know it, but don't -- don't try to tie, you know, the KKK to the Republican Party or conservative movement in this country.
I mean, everything that Donald Trump is talking about has to do with all Americans in this country and all those immigrants that want to come this country legally.
So, this whole issue about what's been said about, you know, the white supremacist movement -- to me, I find them disgusting.
BURNETT: So, I understand that, but David Duke --
FLYNN: And their view is disgusting.
BURNETT: David Duke, grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted in response to the speech, "Excellent speech by Donald Trump, deport criminal aliens, end catch and release, enforce immigration laws and America first."
That's David Duke associated supporting, endorsing Donald Trump. That isn't the media tying David Duke to the Republican Party.
FLYNN: Donald Trump can't control what David Duke tweets out. Nobody can.
So -- but, you know, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that there's zero support, zero and zero avowment of what he represents. I mean, let's be very, very clear about that.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you, when Trump id and you just heard him there in Trump's piece, to keep immigration levels measured by population share within historical norms, what is he saying? Because historically that would mean that you're going to preserve a white country if it changes and you have more people who are not white that want to come into the United States, this country could become white, unless you were to keep immigration levels measured by population share within historical norms. Is that a white supremacist thing to say?
FLYNN: I don't know the details so you've got me on that one there. But what I will tell you is that, just looking at immigration flow into this country and how many we bring in every year and all of the different countries that people are coming from, I think one of the things that came out of Donald Trump's speech last night, one of the points they think is really important is these countries that do not want to accept their illegals back into their countries, and I think the number that Donald Trump talked about was 22 countries.
And so, I mean, if those 22 countries are getting any support from us financially either foreign, military sales or any other security and diplomatic funds, those are the kinds of things we ought to be looking at.
BURNETT: And that might be something. But again, I know you said this is sort of beyond your area. But to keep immigration levels measured by population share within historical norms, is there any way to interpret that other than to keep this country white?
FLYNN: I don't know. I don't know. I think what you'd have to do is you have to look at how do we currently do it and currently bring immigrants into this country and take people through the legal process which I believe takes 18 months on average. That's what I believe. I think that that system is obviously not working and the number of individuals in this country that stay beyond their visa period that are here, again, illegally, I mean, we have to fix this problem. We have to have security in this country. If we don't, then we don't have a country. BURNETT: So would you have phrased this, this way?
FLYNN: I'm not going to -- I'm not going to, you know, sit here and debate you about the way the particular words were phrased. I don't -- I don't read it like that, and I listened to the speech last night, I thought it was an excellent speech and I thought it was comprehensive and there was meat to it that people can actually say, OK, here's how we are going to approach this problem, here's how we're going to prioritize and how we're going to deal with illegals. So, there's a lot to it.
BURNETT: So, last night, Jacob Monty --
FLYNN: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, because I mean, what's happening is people are trying to tie, you know, tie racism. This is the argument. They're trying to tie racism to Donald Trump and basically the entire campaign.
They're making a mistake. That's a big, big mistake because it's so untrue when you look at --
BURNETT: When someone says they want to ban Muslims, there's no racism in that at all?
FLYNN: I don't think it's ban Muslims and it's where the countries of origin from some of these because it's not a blanket, because we have Muslims trying to come into this country from a variety -- and we have a lot of them already here that are great. They are great Americans and contributing.
But I know that there are some that are coming from some countries and we know -- we know that the Islamic State has said they are going to use the refugee flow into Europe and the United States to infiltrate into those populations. So, we have to take that seriously and when we talk about vetting of some of these individuals coming out of Syria or coming out of Iraq and out of Afghanistan, we have to take seriously the fact that they're going to do this, because every time they've said that they're going to do something, Erin, they do it.
BURNETT: All right. General Flynn, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
Next, one-on-one with Donald Trump's controversial doctor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Do you fully believe Mr. Trump is capable of being president physically?
DR. HAROLD BORNSTEIN, DONALD TRUMP'S DOCTOR: Oh, absolutely. There's no question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And a major hurricane threatening the East Coast, millions in its path. We're going to go live to Florida.
[19:41:39] BURNETT: Tonight, one-on-one with Dr. Harold Bornstein, Trump's controversial doctor who admit he wrote the letter vouching for Trump's help in just five minutes. He wrote in part, if elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.
Now, those words and the phrasing raised quite a few questions about the doctor himself.
Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT.
GRIFFIN: Good morning, Dr. Bornstein.
(voice-over): We met Donald Trump's Trump entering his Park Avenue office just as he's done for the last 35 years.
(on camera): How is it going?
BORNSTEIN: Nice to see you.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Harold Bornstein is a 69-year-old gastroenterologist who took over this practice from his father and suddenly finds his lifetime of serving patients being turned upside down because of one letter.
(on camera): Hey, can I ask you just a couple of questions? Did you really write that letter?
BORNSTEIN: Did I really write that letter? Yes.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): It was a letter Donald Trump produced last December to prove he is healthy. A note that is being ripped apart by other doctors because of what they say is strange wording, medically incorrect terms and its unprofessional conclusions. Trump's "test results were astonishingly excellent," he writes. And "If elected, Mr. Trump will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
Combined with his somewhat unconventional looks and his unconventional patient, Bornstein has been made out in the aggressive election coverage to be somewhat eccentric.
(on camera): So, can we just ask you a few questions without --
(voice-over): The soft-spoken doctor finally agreed if we weren't intrusive or insulting, to take a few questions on the bench outside his office. Warning us his wife would not be so hospitable.
BORNSTEIN: Right here is fine. My wife will come back. She'll get angry.
GRIFFIN (on camera): The press has tried to make you into being some kind of a lunatic or something.
BORNSTEIN: Lunatic doesn't have credentials. The only thing I've wanted to do my life is practice with my father which I managed to do until his death in this office.
GRIFFIN: And we've looked, believe me sir, we've looked at your record and we've looked for any signs of trouble and you've had a couple of medical malpractice suits that were settled.
BORNSTEIN: But that's the normal.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The fact is that is normal for a long- practicing doctor, a few malpractice suits from decades ago settled. He's never lost his license, has never faced criminal allegations whatsoever.
An expert CNN has talked with whatever his looks or his client's, Dr. Bornstein seems like a fully competent medical professional.
(on camera): Are there any regrets you have getting involved in this crazy election?
BORNSTEIN: No. These people are my patients. I take care of them the right way.
GRIFFIN: And you fully -- whatever you wrote in that letter you fully believe Mr. Trump is capable of being president physically?
BORNSTEIN: Oh, absolutely. There's no question.
GRIFFIN: Why did you write that letter? Was it a joke? The words you chose, the way you wrote it?
BORNSTEIN: I was just rushed for time. I had people to see.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): There was no Trump limo waiting outside, he says. He just wrote the letter for a patient that he's been seeing for the last 30 years. A patient his mother found.
(on camera): What do you make of being interjected into this election?
BORNSTEIN: I make the injection. I grew up in Jamaica, New York.
[19:45:01] There's my wife. I grew up Jamaica, New York. They lived across the street and my mother found him as a patient as a member of his golf club and he stayed for 30 years.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Then, as he warned, his wife arrived.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're done.
BORNSTEIN: Stop it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're done. You're on private property and we're going to call the police. I'm going to call the police. GRIFFIN: I appreciate you, doctor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to call the police right now. You're in private property.
GRIFFIN: Thank you, Doctor. Thank you very much.
BURNETT: My goodness.
GRIFFIN: Yes, it wasn't the Marcus Welby M.D. ending, that's for sure, unconventional and you know, he's a physician. He's treated Donald Trump for 30 years. Who better to tell us whether he's physically fit or not?
BURNETT: He seemed rather soft-spoken, sweet and endearing in the interaction that I saw with you.
GRIFFIN: That's exactly right. He didn't want to talk to us, and he didn't want to talk us to because he feared what happened at the end and he was afraid his wife would come in. She was parking the car when we did the interview and when she came in she made it very clear enough.
BURNETT: It was a whole new look at him from what we saw before. Thank you very much, Drew.
And OUTFRONT next, a monster hurricane about to slam into Florida and then head up the east coast. We are live where the strong winds and heavy rain are picking up.
And a massive explosion on the launch pad of Cape Canaveral. What went so wrong?
[19:50:19] BURNETT: Breaking news: tens of millions of people in the path of a massive storm tonight. At this hour, Hurricane Hermine barreling toward the gulf coast with winds of 75 miles an hour. These are live pictures of the panhandle in Florida.
The storm is, as I said, hours away from slamming Florida bringing, potentially deadly storm surges of up to eight feet. Even more rain to already flooded areas. This is the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in over a decade.
Let me say that again, the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in over a decade. Florida's governor warning it's a life threatening storm. Parts of Georgia and North Carolina also under states of emergency. Warnings extend as far north as New Jersey.
Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is OUTFRONT from the Florida Panhandle tonight.
And, Jennifer, how bad is this going to get? JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the winds have really picked
up, Erin, and they will continue to do so over the next couple of hours. We are still hour away from landfall and the winds are extremely gusty. We've seen portions of tin roofs start to peel off. We've seen street signs start to go and so, we have started to see some of those signs that you get when you have a tropical system.
The very strong winds and we've also had the very heavy rain. Not raining at the moment, but I just looked at the radar and any second now, we are going to get in one of those downpours once again. The biggest problem here across where I am, in Apalachicola, and the Big Bend of Florida is going to be the storm surge. It's a very vulnerable area, a lot of bays, a lot of intercoastal waterways could see five to nine feet of storm surge and that could be deadly.
That's why they tried to evacuate many of those coastal areas, those mandatory evacuations. Not only that, the tornado threat will remain throughout the overnight hours, the wind damage --
BURNETT: All right. It looks like we lost Jennifer Gray.
I want to say, as that storm hits Florida, it will move up the coast and as we said, warnings as far north as northern New Jersey.
Also in Florida today, a massive explosion rocking Cape Canaveral. The gigantic fireball bursting into the sky. The rocket destroyed, its payload gone. That included the satellite that Facebook was using. The blast was actually a series of explosions that went on and on for more than four minutes.
The CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, tweeted that the occurred while the rocket was being fuelled, and at this time, we don't yet know the formal cause of the blast. No one though was injured.
OUTFRONT next, inside a group led by a flamboyant spiritual leader with more than 100 faithful followers. Is it a cult?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Without a doubt, for you, it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it's -- it's totally a cult.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:56:42] BURNETT: It was supposed to be nirvana, but turned out to be hell for some. Tonight, CNN goes inside Buddha Field, a mysterious community that some members call a cult.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid the idyllic beauty in the Hawaiian island of Oahu, behind a secluded home draped for privacy sits one of the residences connected to a mysterious spiritual group to which Murti Hower once belonged.
MURTI HOWER, FORMER MEMBER: I gave 25 years of my life and I woke up and I realized I was duped.
LAH: Hower's former group is the subject of the film airing on CNN called holy hell. It offers a decades-long look at a spiritual community that went from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, and now thrives with more than 100 followers in Hawaii, led by an eccentric and charismatic guru who goes by multiple aliases. He is often seen throughout the documentary wearing nothing, but Speedos. His face, former followers say, distorted by apparent plastic surgery and surrounded by adoring followers like Hower.
HOWER: We called it a cult. The best word you can describe it when you actually get out, it's a cult. Of course, they would say, we're not a cult. They would say, they're just wakening up, you know?
LAH (on camera): But without a doubt, for you, it is?
HOWER: It's totally a cult.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can only comprehend what this means to finally, I have things to reveal to you in its purest form.
LAH (voice-over): Followers saw a higher being, giving up their time and their relationships and their money. But the most damaging allegation in the film is that the leader coerced male followers into sexual relationships.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He started running you through homosexual fantasies.
LAH: Chris Johnston says he was in a five-year sexual relationship with the leader.
CHRIS JOHNSTON, FORMER MEMBER: You always say yes to the master because the master is the light, is the one who is bringing the experience of god here.
LAH (on camera): He hasn't had any criminal charges filed against him that we could find.
HOWER: They're well aware how to stay in the law and when you tell the police, the police only say, we don't have any evidence that we can go on.
LAH: Is the group hiding?
LAH (voice-over): Jentry Petzold says he left the group a year ago, but remains close friends with the leader. Petzold says he's afraid of the backlash from the film. He calls the leader a benevolent guru. JENTRY PETZOLD, FORMER MEMBER: He taught me how to love myself. He
taught me how to love other people. He allowed me to be loved by other people.
LAH (on camera): In your personal experience todayM do you believe that he is a predator?
PETZOLD: No. Not even close.
LAH: People currently within the group maintain that thx sexual relationships were consensual between adults. Now, the leader did send us a written statement calling the film devastating and heartbreaking for him. He writes, quote, "'Holy Hell' is not a documentary. Rather, it is a work of fiction designed to create drama, fear and persecution knowing that's what sells. If any of my actions were a catalyst for their disharmony, I am truly sorry" -- Erin.
BURNETT: Kyung Lah, thank you very much.
And the CNN film "Holy Hell" airs tonight at 9:00.
Thank you so much as always for joining us. Don't forget, you can watch OUTFRONT any time, anywhere as always on CNN Go.
"AC360" begins right now.