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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Colin Powell: Trump Is a 'National Disgrace'; Trump Releases One-Page Medical Summary; Trump in Flint. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired September 14, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This just happened. We shouldn't allow it to happen. Shouldn't allow it to happen.
They will make their cars. They will employ thousands and thousands of people not from this country. And they will sell their cars right through a very weak border, no tax, no nothing.
And we will have nothing but more unemployment in Flint and in Michigan. It's horrible.
When we send our jobs to other nations, we're also sending our tax base that supports our infrastructure, including, by the way, our pipes that we get our water from.
I just met the most beautiful family, and they are devastated by what's happened with the water. And it's had a huge impact on them mentally and physically. Incredible to see what's going on.
But the infrastructure, and all of this is going to other nations. Our jobs are going to other nations. Our money is going to other nations. We get nothing. We get no tax. We get unemployment. That's about it. Closed factories, I see them all over. Hillary Clinton supported NAFTA, supported China's entry into the World Trade Center (sic).
And, by the way, NAFTA is probably the worst trade deal ever made in the history of our country, probably in the history of the world, in the history of the world, signed by Bill Clinton. Allowed China to run up a $1 trillion in cumulative deficits and trade deficits with the United States.
China now, if you look at what is going on, a trade deficit of $500 billion. Hillary failed on the economy, just like she has failed on foreign policy. Everything she touched didn't work out. Nothing. Now, Hillary Clinton...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for...
D. TRUMP: Oh, oh, oh, OK, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to give a political speech.
D. TRUMP: OK. That's good. And I'm going to go back on to Flint. OK.
D. TRUMP: OK. Flint's -- Flint's pain is a result of so many different failures. And I must say that that -- no, I never. Never would. Never would. Never would.
And, frankly, "TIME" magazine, as you know, they reported this year that the federal government, they have got a long way to go to bring Flint back. And I look at the damage done, and the damage -- and the damage can be taken care of.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Pastor.
And the damage can be corrected, and it can be corrected by people that know what they're doing. Unfortunately, the people that caused this tremendous problem had no clue. They had absolutely no clue.
So, it's an honor to be with you. Pastor, it's an honor to be with you, and I appreciate it, Armstrong.
And I will say -- I can only say in the strongest of terms that we can fix this problem. It's going to take time. It's amazing the damage that's been done. But we will get it fixed. And it will be fixed quickly, if I am elected. But it will be fixed quickly and effectively, and Flint will come back. Most importantly, we will bring jobs back to Flint.
So, without the jobs -- and without the jobs, so important. Thank you very much.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to the lead. I'm Jake Tapper.
You just saw Donald Trump speaking to a historically black church in Flint, Michigan, Bethel United Methodist Church. There was some disruption there, the pastor first going on stage while Mr. Trump began a political speech and said that that was not the reason that she had invited him there, not to give a political speech.
And then there was somebody in the audience -- I don't know if it was heckling or shouting out questions, and the pastor said to be polite to Mr. Trump. And his remarks were cut a bit short, I believe.
Flint, of course, is the town ensnared in that massive water crisis that you have seen earlier this year. We will have more on that story later on Mr. Trump's visit to Michigan.
But, right now, we have some brand-new battleground polls breaking right here, right now in our politics lead. Two swing states just swung towards Donald Trump.
Let's bring in CNN political director David Chalian.
David, these are polls of Florida voters and Ohio voters, who now support, a plurality of them, Mr. Trump. And this is a difference from just a month ago.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes.
This is now mirroring what we have seen nationally, that since -- in the last few weeks a real tightening of the race, momentum on Mr. Trump's side in some cases.
Jake, these are two critical battleground states, as you know, Florida and Ohio. Here are new numbers, Donald Trump 47 percent, Hillary Clinton 44 percent, Gary Johnson 6 percent, Jill Stein 1 percent. That's among likely voters in Florida.
Take a look at Ohio. Ohio, Donald Trump, five points ahead here, 46 percent to 41 percent, Gary Johnson down at 8, Jill Stein down at 2. Remember, that's likely voters in Ohio.
Among the broader universe of registered voters in both states, we see that Donald Trump doesn't get quite as big of a lead as he does when we screen for likely voters, the most enthusiastic voters.
Take a look at independent voters. Critical group. Donald Trump winning by 10 points among independent voters in Florida. Take a look at independent voters in Ohio. Donald Trump also in Ohio doing much better than Hillary Clinton by eight points here among independent voters.
This is part of why he is leading in these critical battleground states. Take a look at the non-white vs. the white voter split. Just a whole story that we have been seeing throughout the whole election cycle. In Florida, you see Donald Trump has a 29-point lead among whites and you see that Hillary Clinton is beating him among non- whites 69 percent to 26 percent.
It's even more dramatic in Ohio. Take a look at the non-white vote split in Ohio. Hillary Clinton is beating Donald Trump 80 -- you don't see it yet. But here you go -- 80 percent to 10 percent, a 70- point lead among non-whites in Ohio. He, of course, doing quite well among white voters in Ohio.
TAPPER: And the polls also show, David, that some of the Obama coalition, they're really not there for Hillary Clinton right now. Tell us where the problem is mainly.
Obviously, non-white voters are with her.
CHALIAN: Jake, we take a look at one key component of the Obama coalition that you are speaking of, young voters. Take a look.
Under the age of 45, Hillary Clinton has a six-point lead in Florida. But take a look at the 2012 exit polls from Florida. Look at Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney under 45 in Florida. He had an 18-point lead. So she has got a third of that, six-point lead. Same story in Ohio. Take a look in our new poll. Under 45, Hillary Clinton only has a two-point lead among younger voters under the age of 45 in our new poll.
Compare that to 2012. Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney in the exit polls. He had a 15-point lead in Ohio in that group. You can see that Hillary Clinton is underperforming in one key part of the Obama coalition. Not only did Barack Obama have bigger leads over Mitt Romney, but when we screened for likely voters, younger voters are some of the first to drop out. They're not as enthusiastic about voting in this election.
TAPPER: She has got seven weeks and six days to get the younger voters on her side.
David, there is another battleground state being discussed today. Monmouth University has a poll of Nevada, where Donald Trump is up two points. How does this change, if at all, the electoral map and Donald Trump's path to the presidency?
CHALIAN: It's a critical question, because we're now seeing a lot of state polls in these battleground states with Donald Trump with slight leads. And yet he still has a really tough path to 270.
We just talked about Florida and Ohio. You just mentioned Nevada, Jake, all with Trump leads right now or basic ties, but numerical leads. He could win all the remaining battleground states here and everything else that's leaning Democratic or leaning Republican, he still wouldn't get to 270.
So this is his critical problem here. As much as it's good news for him that he sees poll numbers in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Nevada going his way, he has got to start digging into some Democratic- leaning territory like Pennsylvania or Michigan or Wisconsin, states that are slightly leaning blue. He has got to start digging in and winning some of those if he is going to get over 270.
TAPPER: And yet, David, one of the old maxims about polling is that it's not really about where the numbers are, it's where are the numbers going, what's the trajectory?
And we have a brand-new Quinnipiac poll out of likely voters nationally and it basically shows the race a dead heat. Hillary Clinton had something like a 10-point lead a few weeks ago and now it's gone.
CHALIAN: Yes. We have now been seeing this for a week. Remember, our poll came out right after Labor Day showing a two-point Donald Trump lead. This has a two-point Hillary Clinton lead among likely voters, 41 percent to 39 percent nationally.
This is part of that narrowing of this race, the tightening of the race to what is basically now a coin toss of a national race.
TAPPER: Big news. David Chalian, thank you so much.
And a note. The new CNN Politics app is out at the App Store. It's a great app for all the data driving the race to the White House. Donald Trump, of course, today had a very showy display. He went to
Dr. Oz to talk about his health. He said he wants to lose 15 pounds and he's effectively used medication to control his cholesterol. That's some of the medical information Trump revealed to television host Dr. Oz today.
The campaign has not yet released any sort of documentation from Trump's recent physical exam. And while it's been lost recently amidst questions about the health of the Democratic nominee, given her recent near collapse and her bout with pneumonia, there right now remain questions about the general health of the Republican nominee, a man who loves fast food. He doesn't engage in regular exercise and he would be the oldest person ever elected president.
CNN politics reporter Sara Murray is live outside Trump Tower right now.
Sara, Trump has really been all over the place on how much medical information he is planning to disclose. What did we get today?
SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, I guess we shouldn't be surprised to see a reality television star show up on daytime TV with his test results in hand and sort of surprise everyone by saying he was prepared to release the results of his physical.
As you pointed out, those have not been made public, except for the audience that was there at the Dr. Oz taping. And it does fall short of some of the longer medical histories we have seen past nominees make available.
But all of this is just raising new questions about what is really about a lack of transparency on the part of Donald Trump's campaign, Jake.
MURRAY (voice-over): Less than two months until Election Day, there are still glaring gaps in the information Donald Trump has revealed to voters, Trump unveiling the results of his recent physical today, not to the public, but rather to a TV personality, Dr. Oz.
DR. MEHMET OZ, "THE DR. OZ SHOW": This is the report from?
D. TRUMP: These were all the tests. They were just done.
MURRAY: Leaving audience members to offer their best summaries of Trump's health.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to Dr. Oz, everything seemed normal. There were no surprises, except, again, that Donald Trump says he's on a statin, cholesterol-lowering drug.
MURRAY: But even Trump's full physical results, which the campaign plans to release Thursday, fall short of the detailed medical histories past nominees have provided to demonstrate their physical capacity to serve as president.
Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, says she doesn't see the point of such broad disclosures.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I don't know why we need such extensive medical reporting when we all have a right to privacy.
MURRAY: But this is hardly the only area where Trump is less than transparent. The billionaire businessman is still refusing to release his tax returns, because, he says, they're under audit.
D. TRUMP: It's a routine audit. And I will release them after the audit, no problem.
MURRAY: The dearth of information means voters know little about Trump's business deals abroad and whether they will create conflicts of interest if he wins the presidency.
Today, Trump's daughter Ivanka insists the family would self- police their investments to avoid conflicts.
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: As a private business, we can make decisions that are not in our best interests. We're not beholden to anyone, to shareholders. We can say, you know what? We're going to do less deals. We're not going to do that deal, even though it's a fine deal, it's economically reasonable, because it could create a conflict of interests, and we will act incredibly responsibly.
MURRAY: But keeping the tax returns under wraps also makes it difficult to prove Trump's claim that he's given millions to charity.
D. TRUMP: I'm a good person. I give money to charity, a lot of money to charity.
MURRAY: And now the New York attorney general is investigating Trump's charitable foundation to ensure it's complying with the law.
ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: I didn't make a big deal out of it or hold a press conference, but we have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure it's complying with the laws that govern charities in New York.
MURRAY: An investigation the Trump campaign quickly slammed as politically motivated, releasing a statement saying: "Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is a partisan hack who has turned a blind eye to the Clinton Foundation for years."
MURRAY: Now, so far, the Trump campaign has given no indication they will pony up any of his tax returns, even the ones that are no longer under audit.
But, Jake, it's worth remembering that it's both the Trump and Clinton campaigns that have been under fire for being much less transparent than previous nominees, particularly on the issue of health -- back to you.
TAPPER: All right, Sara Murray, thank you so much.
While her family fills in for her on the road, Hillary Clinton is at home today still recovering from pneumonia. Starting tomorrow, we're told, she will be back on the campaign trail rallying voters in Greensboro, North Carolina.
CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is live in New York for us.
Jeff, what's the latest on Clinton's health?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, we're told she is resting comfortably again and she is in good enough health to go to campaign again tomorrow in North Carolina.
We're also still promised more information about her own medical details as well. We don't know if that is coming today. Her aides initially said it would be. She in fact said on CNN earlier that it would be as well.
So we're looking for that, Jake. But it is -- the Clinton campaign is trying to go after Donald Trump. They're trying to go on the offensive here, raising questions today about his business dealings, raising questions about, you know, all of the transparent issues that he has had in his campaign as well here, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
ZELENY: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Astonishing, shocking, blunt, the jaw-dropping e-mails from Colin Powell about both presidential candidates, but one in particular -- that story next.
[16:17:47] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
If you don't know it by now, nothing is secure. Nothing anymore is private. The latest victim of a cyber crime to learn that difficult lesson is Colin Powell. Stolen e-mails from his private account surfaced on the website DC Leaks. In these personal and previously private e-mails, Powell obliterated Donald Trump, outright dismissing the Republican nominee as a, quote, "national disgrace".
Powell also complained quite a bit about Hillary Clinton, his, quote, "friend". He complained about Clinton potentially turning him into a scapegoat for her e-mail fiasco. Powell also speculated about Clinton's health.
In an email sent last year to a Democratic megadonor, he said, quote, "On HDTV, she doesn't look good." In the next sentence adding, "She is working herself to death."
It's an unfortunate episode, the latest in a series of hacks that put 2016 politicians in a tough spot.
TAPPER (voice-over): Private e-mails, hacked stolen and released today reveal an undiplomatic side of the nation's former top diplomat, Secretary of State Colin Powell -- with tough words for Hillary Clinton and damning ones for Donald Trump.
Quote, "I would rather not have to vote for her," he writes, "although she is a friend I respect." Describing her as, quote, "greedy, not transformational", and adding an off-color insult about the state of her marriage.
The Powell purge was first made public by DC Leaks.
An aide to the secretary confirmed to CNN that the e-mails are real.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I know Colin Powell pretty well, and I can tell you he is deeply troubled by the course the nation is on. So, all of this must come as sort of like disgusting that he has been violated like this.
TAPPER: The retired four-star general and former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff called the Benghazi investigations, quote, "a stupid witch hunt". He laid fault at the feet of the "courageous ambassador" killed in the attack "who thought Libyans now love me and I'm OK in this very vulnerable place."
Powell added "blame also rests on his leaders and supports back here", including Undersecretary of State Pat Kennedy, the intelligence community, diplomatic security and, yes, Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Powell had tough words for Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, but he reserved his harshest criticism for Donald Trump, calling him "a national disgrace and an international pariah".
[16:20:01] JAMES WOOLSEY, SENIOR ADVISOR TO TRUMP CAMPAIGN: The difference between a diamond and an e-mail, an e-mail is forever. Once you write an e-mail, you're likely to have it turn up.
TAPPER: Powell's e-mails are just the latest private documents to be released in the recent days. Tuesday, the hacker Guccifer 2.0 unloaded a cache of information from the Democratic National Committee, including a long list of big donors to the DNC and the Obama campaign, many who landed plum jobs as ambassadors or in other positions.
Interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile responded, saying, quote, "The DNC is the victim of a crime, an illegal cyber attack by Russian state sponsored agents", calling it an effort to influence the presidential election.
Cyber security experts say they suspect both DC Leaks and Guccifer 2.0 have ties to Russia, though, those connections have not been definitively confirmed.
TAPPER: I'm joined now by our political panel. With us, "USA Today" columnist Kirsten Powers, and "Washington Post" columnist and associated editor David Ignatius.
Did Colin Powell give voice to how the Washington establishment feels about the major party presidential nominees? Don't answer yet.
We're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back.
[16:25:33] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
We're staying with our politics.
With all this talk about transparency on the campaign trail, let's take a look at what we know and what we don't about the two top candidates to become president of the United States.
These Donald Trump would be the oldest president. Hillary Clinton would almost be the oldest president. So far, she has released a two- page doctor's letter. Donald Trump's doctor wrote four paragraphs on one page. Neither candidate has provided access to their full and complete medical records as did, say, John McCain in 2008 or Bob Dole in '96.
On tax returns, Clinton has released 39 years worth of tax returns, Donald Trump has released zero years' worth of tax returns.
Let's bring back our political panel.
And, David Ignatius, let me start with you.
We are seven weeks, six days out, but who is counting? And are you surprised that Donald Trump has still not really paid any sort of price for not releasing any of his tax returns?
DAVID IGNATIUS, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Well, I think he is paying some price. The thing that struck me today thinking about the hacking of Colin Powell's e-mails, the mornings news about hacking of Olympic drug records, is these records should be released both health and tax because it's the right thing to do, but they should also be released because in this era, they will be hacked. And they'll be released in ways that the candidates can't control at a timing they can't control.
Just imagine, if you are Hillary Clinton, you have some health information you have been holding back, you have to assume now that it will be hacked and it will come out the time that's really worst for your campaign.
TAPPER: Interesting. Hillary Clinton, of course, has released a more detailed doctor's letter but is not as much as previous candidates like John McCain. She says that she is facing a double standard.
What do you think, Kirsten?
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, she does seem to be facing a double standard and it's hard to figure out why it is exactly. If you look at the letter she has released, it's much more detailed than what Donald Trump has released. And I think we've talked about the absurdity of the letter released by Donald Trump's doctor. And he continues to do it.
Now, he's turning it into a sort of a circus, going on Dr. Oz's show. And we still don't have that much more information.
Yes, they should both release their information. But the fact remains: she still has released a lot more information than he has.
In terms of the taxes, he's claiming he is under audit so he can't them. He is not under audit for the last 39 years.
POWERS: So, he certainly could at least release as much as she has released. And then for the last two years, if he really is under audit, not release those. But show us the rest of them.
TAPPER: There is no good reason to not release the returns of 2008, because his campaign has said, or his lawyers have said the audit is from 2009 and '12 recently.
TAPPER: David, this campaign is so crazy that, even big stories like basket of deplorables vanish in the ethers because they're replaced with 15 other outrages. But I was thinking today about basket of deplorables, because I was thinking -- we went to Middletown, Ohio. We sent a camera for a producer there not long ago, and there was a woman we spoke with who was kind of wavering on Trump versus Clinton.
And I'm wondering, if I'm that woman and I hear Hillary Clinton referring to half of Trump supporters as in a basket of deplorables, racist, sexist, et cetera, et cetera, I think that really might have an effect.
IGNATIUS: I think it was a real mistake. She said as much afterwards, which I think was wise. You already see columnists making a point that will be made in Trump ads, asking to voters, are you one of the deplorables? And wounded people will think, is she talking about me?
So, I think it was very unfortunate language. There is a way to recover from it and she'll struggle to do that. We'll see in the debates, that she'll make a lot of that ground perhaps in the debates.
TAPPER: Although some people think that it's bad terrain for Trump because then you get into arguing, well, is it half of your supporters are deplorable -- POWERS: Is at 10 percent?
TAPPER: Is it 10 percent, is it 15 percent? And David Duke is back in the news, et cetera.
POWERS: Yes. And I think the Clinton campaign feels like she shouldn't have said the 50 percent, but they're happy to have the debate with him over the fact that he's dredged up these people, sort of whatever percentage you want to put on it of the alt-right of the people who they say are racist, that he has done racist things and this is the debate they want to have.
And if you look at the CNN poll today, you know, she is having little trouble with millennials. And this is one of the issues that does really activate them, the issue of equality. And they really don't like people who behave the way Donald Trump does towards women or minorities.
TAPPER: David, I want to ask you, Hillary Clinton on a tear in a tweet storm this morning talking about a "Newsweek" story that called into question Donald Trump's business ties internationally. One of the questions that she said needed to be asked, "If you were willing to work with Qaddafi -- a known terrorist and dictator -- is there anyone you aren't willing to make a deal with? Who...