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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

Carson Says Trump Should Apologize for Obama Birther Comments; Trump Still Not Releasing Tax Returns; Donald Trump National Security Speech. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired September 7, 2016 - 11:30   ET

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


[11:30:00] NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: And they say, listen, this is the guy who floated this, what they say was a racist or racially tinged idea, that Barack Obama was not an American, that he was born somewhere else, that he was sort of a Manchurian candidate listen, Donald Trump didn't just stop there with the Birther thing. He offered Obama $5 million right before 2012 campaign in November to release more records. Release his college records. So, I mean, he was very much part of the Birther movement. He was kind of king of the Birthers in 2012. That is how he I think formed his identity in 2012. I think this is a big issue they'll try to keep bringing up. It's certainly not the main reason. He's a Republican and African-Americans have tended for many years now to give their support to Democrats for policy reasons. I doubt he will apologize.

(CROSSTALK)

HENDERSON: He has sort of suggested, oh, I've done things I regret, maybe that's a part of it.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: He's also making news on taxes. No, he's still not releasing them. He did say he could, and would do so immediately, in his words, "I'll release my tax returns immediately, if Hillary Clinton releases her e-mails." Up until this point, he says he cannot release his returns because he's under audit and that's under the advisement of counsel. He will release it if Hillary Clinton releases her e-mailings. Is he playing a game here?

JOHN JAY LAVALLE, CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY & TRUMP DELEGATE FROM NEW YORK: No, last night, he further spoke on the issue. He said when his audit's done, he will release his taxes.

BOLDUAN: No. At the end of that interview, he said, "When is she going to release her e-mails? She probably knows how to find it. Let her release her e-mails and I'll release my tax returns immediately."

LAVALLE: I will say this. He will not release his taxes until after the audit. That is my assumption. That is what he said in the past.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Is he playing a game?

LAVALLE: No, it's not a game. It's like the Birther issue. Can you imagine we're actually talking about that issue? The country's economy is failing. America's status in the world is waning. Our military's failing --

(CROSSTALK)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: John, that is not -- when the president produced still more birth certificates, Donald Trump refused to say he was wrong.

LAVALLE: He said I'm satisfied. That's what he said.

BOLDUAN: He never said he was wrong.

LAVALLE: It doesn't matter. He said I'm satisfied with what he saw.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: -- talk about the issue, it doesn't explain why he felt --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: -- presidential campaign, I am telling you that African- Americans --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Is his thinking about the current president and the validity of the current president being in office, does that matter to voters?

LAVALLE: No.

BOLDUAN: I think it does --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: No poll says that. Your opinion.

BOLDUAN: It absolutely --

(CROSSTALK)

BRAD WOODHOUSE, PRESIDENT, CORRECT THE RECORD SUPER PAC & FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, DNC & HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: It's a question of Donald Trump's temperament, question of his judgment --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: No.

WOODHOUSE: It absolutely is --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: The polls do show they do care about seeing his tax returns --

(CROSSTALK)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Back to the tax returns, the audit is done in 2008. That's one thing he still has not reconciled. Attorneys in a letter in March said the audit is done from 2002 to 2008. He still has not released that span yet. So this is something you're going to be seeing in the coming days. Because Mike Pence, his running mate, is releasing his tax returns, either tomorrow or Friday. That, I have a question about. Why are they trying to draw transparency? Because it invariably draws attention to the whole --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: Because he wants --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: If Pence wants to release his, he said I'm going to release mine. Whatever Mr. Trump does, that's his business.

BOLDUAN: Voters don't care about it, why is Mike Pence releasing his returns?

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: They don't care.

BOLDUAN: Then why is he releasing his tax returns?

LAVALLE: They asked him to. He said OK. That's it.

WOODHOUSE: Kate, we don't know if Donald Trump is under audit. We're taking his word that he is under audit. He could actually release a letter from the IRS saying he's under audit. He could go that far. Just so we had that level of credibility. But this is a joke. Every -- the IRS has said there's nothing that prevents him from releasing his tax rushes because he's under audit.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: We've talked this over and over and over again. Donald Trump, in an interview with Bill O'Reilly last night, contradicted himself within the same interview saying he cannot release them until the audit is done, and then said, I'm going to read it again in a dramatic fashion.

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: Tongue in cheek.

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: I believe -- she releases the e-mails which are completely gone from the face of the earth, we may find out differently real soon.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Here's the thing, I'm going to leave it at this, who's job is it to have to constantly interpret? I don't think it should be anyone's job to constantly interpret what Donald Trump's meaning is. Shouldn't he just be clear?

LAVALLE: He has been clear he will release them after the audit. That's what he has said predominantly.

WOODHOUSE: Predominantly.

BOLDUAN: Predominantly.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Unless Hillary Clinton releases --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: OK, we're going to be back in just a minute.

(LAUGHTER)

[11:44:44] BOLDUAN: Stick around. Donald Trump getting ready to speak. That speech should begin soon. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: All right, we're waiting for Donald Trump to speak. He is in Philadelphia, due to give a speech on national security.

Back with us, our panel to discuss more about this and the goings on in politics.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: We're also joined by CNN executive editor of politics, Mark Preston.

Mark, I want to pick up where we left off. We were talking among other things about Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns. One of the things the Trump campaign says is they don't care about tax returns. An ABC News polls says 64 percent of Americans want to see it. The "Suffolk News" poll said more than 70 percent.

Isn't that what he said?

BOLDUAN: 70-plus, yes.

BOLDUAN: So Americans seem to want to see it.

[11:39:50] MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: We've also seen those numbers in the Quinnipiac national poll as well from last month. You know, just because Donald Trump says the American people don't want to see it doesn't necessarily mean it's true. We're a voyeuristic society. We should at least acknowledge that. I think there's a part of Americans, though, that don't -- or certainly understand that things should be remain private. When you're running for president of the United States, when you talk about how you're going to use your acumen as a businessman and how you made all this money, putting forth your tax returns seem paramount to explaining how you did, quite frankly, backing up a lot of the claims you have made. So while Donald Trump says that, Kate and John, fact of the matter is, the American people do want to see those tax returns.

BOLDUAN: Mark, after -- if it's after -- if it's after Election Day, does it even matter? You can't go back and say oh now what I've learned of the tax returns, I would like to change my vote.

PRESTON: Right. And look, I'll put it out there. I don't think we'll see these tax returns before Election Day, which means, to your point, I don't think we will ever see these tax returns. Donald Trump has said he's not going to release them until the, quote/unquote, "audit's over." As your panel's talking about, we don't know if there is an audit, we don't know if there isn't, we're just taking his word, Donald Trump's word, that in fact he is under audit at this time.

BOLDUAN: I'm not sure that's a big limb you're going out on, Mark Preston, saying you don't think we'll see his tax returns.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: John Jay, why are you jumping over the table?

LAVALLE: No, I agree with Mark that we are --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Don't agree with Mark Preston.

LAVALLE: I do. Great guy. But do Americans want to see, yeah, out of curiosity. Do they really care? No. It is not --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Where do you get --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: I'm telling you, it's not a --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: They care.

LAVALLE: When you look at polls, number one issues are economy. Number two, terrorism.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Do you think Donald Trump --

(CROSSTALK) LAVALLE: Hold on, Kate. Number one --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, all three issues.

BOLDUAN: You think Donald Trump should release them?

LAVALLE: It's his decision.

BOLDUAN: Yes. That's what the polls say.

(CROSSTALK)

WOODHOUSE: Number-one issue is the economy. Donald Trump is running as a businessman. He can't even release his tax returns that would demonstrate whether or not he has made, you know, good business decisions, whether or not he has had investments in Russia, whether or not you know --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: That's actually --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: We already know those answers. Because tax returns don't reveal that. Tax returns don't reveal what happened this year. His financial --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: Hold on --

(CROSSTALK)

WOODHOUSE: The number of years Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine have put out will tell a story. We don't know, in the '70s and '80s, he paid no taxes at times in those years. Maybe he doesn't want to reveal that.

LAVALLE: Let's talk about --

WOODHOUSE: Let's see them.

LAVALLE: -- two things, one the financial disclosure form, over 100 pages, all the entities he owns, what businesses they do, income, et cetera. Very extensive. So we know the answers --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: You don't know his income, his tax rate --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Hold on, John. You don't know what charities he's given to. You don't know how much dollars --

(CROSSTALK)

LAVALLE: He's released that list.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: He hasn't given us how much to each charity, not at all, not even close. This is why Americans want to see his tax returns because a lot of the claims he's made on the campaign trail. This is why candidates release their taxes, including Richard Nixon, who was under audit.

WOODHOUSE: I think his real motivation here is what he said previously. He thinks Mitt Romney made a mistake releasing his tax returns. We did learn things from Mitt Romney tax returns that. We did not learn in his personal financial disclosures.

BOLDUAN: Everyone is going to release their tax returns and lay them on the table during this commercial break)

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:43:03] BOLDUAN: We're going to take you straight to Philadelphia. Donald Trump giving his speech on national security. Let's listen in.

DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, I'm here to talk to you about three crucial words that should be at the center always, our foreign policy, peace through strength.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We want to achieve a stable peaceful world with less conflict and more common ground. I am proposing a new foreign policy focused on advancing America's core national interests, so important, promoting regional stability, and producing and easing the tensions within our very troubled world.

This will require rethinking the failed policies of the past. We can make new friends, rebuild old alliances and bring new allies into the fold. And we can do that.

I'm proud to have the support of war-fighting generals, active duty military and top experts who know both how to win and how to avoid endless wars that we're caught up in, like the one we have right now that just never ever ends, our longest war.

Just yesterday, 88 top generals and admirals endorsed my campaign. And these people are fantastic.

(APPLAUSE) TRUMP: In a Trump administration, our actions in the Middle East will be tempered by realism. The current strategy of toppling regimes with no plan for what to do in the day after only produces power vacuums that are filled simply by terrorists. Gradual reform, not sudden and radical change, should be our guiding objective in that region.

We should work with any country that shares our goal of destroying ISIS and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we're going to form new friendships and partnerships based on this mission and this mission alone.

We now have an administration and a former secretary of State who refuse to say radical Islamic terrorism. And unless you're going to say the words, you're never going to solve the problem. It's very simple.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Immediately after taking office, I will ask my generals to present to me a plan, within 30 days, to defeat and destroy ISIS.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: This will require military warfare, but also cyber warfare, financial warfare and ideological warfare, as I laid out in my speech on defeating radical Islamic terrorism several weeks ago.

Instead of an apology tour, which you saw President Obama give over and over again, I will proudly promote our system of government and our way of life as the best in the world, just like we did in our campaign against communism during the cold war.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We will show the whole world how proud we are to be Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: At the same time, immigration security is a vital part of our national security. We only want to admit people to our country who will support our values and love our people. They have to love our people.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: These are, in fact, the pillars of a sound national security strategy. Unlike my opponent, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not destruction.

Hillary Clinton's legacy in Iraq, Libya, Syria has produced only turmoil and suffering and death. Her destructive policies have displaced millions of people. Then she has invited these refugees into the West with no plan to screen them, including veteran health care costs -- and this was just announced and read over the last number of weeks -- the price of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will total approximately $6 trillion. We could have rebuilt our country over and over and over again.

Yet after all this money was spent and lives lost, Clinton's policies as secretary of State have left the Middle East in more disarray than ever before. Not even close. Had we done nothing, we would have been in a far better position.

Meanwhile, China has grown more aggressive and North Korea more dangerous and belligerent than ever. Russia has defied this administration at every single turn. Putin has no respect for President Obama and has absolutely no respect for Hillary Clinton.

Sometimes it seemed like there wasn't a country in the Middle East that Hillary Clinton didn't want to invade, intervene in or topple. She's trigger happy and very unstable. Whether we like it or not, that's what's going on.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: She's also reckless, so reckless, in fact, that she put her emails on an illegal server that our enemies could easily hack, and probably have. Then Clinton's team used a technology called BleachBit, which is basically acid. And this is going to acid wash her emails.

Who would do this?

And nobody does it because of the expense.

Who would do this?

They even took a hammer to some of her 13 phones to cover up her tracks in obstruction of justice.

These email records were destroyed after she received a subpoena -- remember that word -- after -- after she received a subpoena from Congress to turn them over.

If you do that in private enterprise, it's a violation of the law. She did this after receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress.

In the FBI report, she claimed she couldn't recall important information on 39 separate and different occasions. She can't even remember whether she has trained in the use of classified information. And she said she didn't know the letter "C" means confidential or at least classified. If she can't remember such crucial events and information, honestly, she's totally unfit to be our commander-in- chief, totally unfit.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: But I have a feeling she did remember and she does know and that also makes her unfit. (APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: Her conduct is simply disqualifying. She talks about her experience but Hillary Clinton's only foreign policy experience ended up in absolute failure. Everywhere she got involved, things got worse.

Let's look back at the Middle East at the very beginning of 2009, before Hillary Clinton was sworn in.

Libya was stable. Syria was under control. Egypt was ruled by a secular president and an ally of the United States. Iraq was experiencing a reduction in violence. The group that would become what is now called ISIS was close to being extinguished. It would have never happened. It would have never happened.

Iran was being choked off by economic sanctions.

Fast forward to today.

What have we gotten from the horrible, horrible made by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton?

Libya is in ruins. Our ambassador and three other brave Americans are dead. And ISIS has gained a new base of operations and taking their very valuable oil.

Syria is in the midst of a disastrous civil war. ISIS controls large portions of territory. A refugee crisis now threatens Europe and the United States. And hundreds of thousands of people are dead.

In Egypt, terrorists have gained a foothold in the Sinai Desert, near the Suez Canal, one of the most essential what worries anywhere in the world.

Iraq is in chaos and ISIS is on the loose. And Iran, by the way, will be taking over Iraq and their vast oil reserves.

ISIS has spread across the Middle East and into the West. Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, is now flush with $150 billion in cash, being released and released by the United States, plus another $1.7 billion that was just learned about last evening in cash ransom payments. We thought it was $400 million. It turns out that it's now $1.7 billion in cash.

In other words, our country was blackmailed and extorted into paying this unheard of amount of money as ransom and our president lied to us.

Worst of all, the nuclear deal puts Iran, the number one state sponsor of radical Islamic terrorism, on a path to nuclear weapons. And at best, will go very quickly.

This is Hillary Clinton's foreign policy legacy -- failure and death.

But that's not all. President Obama and Hillary Clinton have also overseen deep cuts of our military, which only invite more aggression. Really, we will have...