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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump's Son: American Can't Handle Seeing Trump Taxes; Ivanka Trump Cuts Off Interview After Tough Question; Trump Speech on Economic Plan. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired September 15, 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] JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think he's backed him in a corner. I have been saying this for awhile. When I was thinking about your question here, while nobody had asked me, I began to think this, when Mitt Romney was having his problems, and here's a pretty upstanding guy and there's Harry Reid saying he didn't do this, didn't do that and trying to use it as an issue.
I got a counter proposal here. Everybody who has a power position in America, television anchors, all sorts of folks, release your taxes and we will --
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You are creating a position for yourself.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm happy to do it. It's boring. I have a salary.
BERMAN: Jeffrey Lord, this is the first time you ever felt a candidate shouldn't release his taxes. That's the thing, people are supporting Donald Trump, I guarantee for them, it's the first time they thought a candidate shouldn't release his taxes. He's playing by a different set of rules.
LORD: I think this isn't the only situation but I think he's changing a lot about American politics that probably needs to be changed.
BOLDUAN: Let's talk about Flint, Michigan.
BERMAN: Let's talk about Flint, Michigan.
BOLDUAN: Have you been to Flint, Michigan recently? Know who has? Donald Trump.
BOLDUAN: Donald Trump goes to Flint, Michigan. He goes to talk about the horrible situation in Michigan, shine the light on it. That's a good thing. He goes to a church, African-American church, to speak to the church, invited to speak by the pastor and goes into his political speech, hitting Hillary Clinton, which he does in a political format, he does it in a church. The pastor stops him, interrupts him. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Hillary failed on the economy, just like she's failed on foreign policy. Everything she touched didn't work out. Nothing. Now Hillary Clinton --
UNIDENTIFIED PASTOR: Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for the work we did in Flint, not to give a political speech.
TRUMP: Oh, oh, oh, OK, OK. That's good. OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: That was what happened yesterday. Then this is what Donald Trump had to say about it this morning when asked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP (voice-over): She was so nervous, she was shaking, and I said, wow, this is sort of strange. And then she came up. So she had that in mind, there's no question about it.
UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: Bother you? Does it bother you?
TRUMP: No, it doesn't bother me. No. I mean, everyone plays their games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Plays their games. He's taking on the pastor who interrupted him. Do you like that? Happened?
LORD: Look, if you are going to invite a presidential candidate, any presidential candidate, to speak, you more or less know what they're going to say. They are talking about they are running for office and are going to talk about their opponent.
BERMAN: -- not so sure you know that's not true.
LORD: Well, you know, there's always a political implication to the speech. Now -- I'm going to pick on Hillary Clinton here, news flash. Donald Trump did not show up in this church and change his tone in no ways tired and condescend to people in the church. He showed up and was giving a total predictable presidential candidate style speech. She went up and stopped him. I have this feeling strangely that she probably knew she was going to do this before --
BOLDUAN: Why did you -- Did you talk to her?
BOLDUAN: How do you know that?
LORD: Why do you know that? Why would do you that?
BOLDUAN: Because she thought it was inappropriate to be making political speech in her church.
LORD: Then don't have him there.
BERMAN: Look, she seems to imply she talked to him beforehand and said invited you here to talk about Flint.
BERMAN: You know, once she asked, he stopped. If you watch the tape, he stopped making the comments about Hillary and moved on. But this morning --
LORD: I'm sorry. Go ahead.
BERMAN: Go ahead.
This morning, to go after, it was very unusual, Paul. I don't know, look, you can say Hillary Clinton, you don't usually go after voters by calling them deplorable. For Donald Trump, you don't usually go after a pastor.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, you don't, although he did go after the Holy Father as well. Trump has a history of attacking people of God. But this is really illuminating about Donald Trump's character. He went there and made a political speech, attacks his opponent in a house of God. That's a mistake. But it is a fairly common mistake, if you ask me. Then the pastor, right, the reverend stops him. She is poised and strong but calm, she's not calling him names or criticizing him, saying no, no, we came here for a different reason. He backs off right away. He's like a frightened little boy because he's a bully. Inside every bully is a coward.
BOLDUAN: Come on. He handled that quite well.
BEGALA: No, no, no. He mewed like a kitten.
BOLDUAN: What do you mean?
BEGALA: When confronted by a strong woman, he backs down. What does he do? When she's not there, he attacks her later. Same thing with the Mexican president. He totally wussed out in the meeting with the Mexican president, did not raise the question of his central issue, who's going to pay for the wall. When he leaves, he starts a Twitter war. He's a coward, a wimp. He's been called out on that.
BOLDUAN: How does this outreach the African-American community when he takes on the pastor that invited him?
LORD: Because he treats the pastor as a regular American. He doesn't condescend to her because she's an African-American.
BERMAN: She's a minister of God.
LORD: That's called equality in the world of politics. He gets attacked, we all get attacked, all of the time.
BOLDUAN: Aren't people running for president supposed to kind of elevate the conversation?
LORD: Well, that's what he was trying to do here. He was trying to make his point here about Hillary Clinton in a political speech. I don't see anything out of the ordinary about this.
[11:35:13:] BERMAN: Jeffrey Lord, Paul Begala, thanks so much.
One correction on something I asked earlier in the previous segment. I was asking Joel Beneson about the Tom Joiner interview. Hillary Clinton said she was going to release more medical information. That interview was taped yesterday. Apparently, she was referring to the information that they already released, so I was under the understanding she might release more still. But, no, I'm told she's done. That's it. That's what we will get. That appears to be the case with both candidates at this point.
BOLDUAN: There we have it.
Gentlemen, thank you very much.
LORD: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Any minute now, Donald Trump will give an economic speech. We are expecting new details perhaps about his tax plan. We will bring you that speech as soon as it begins.
BERMAN: Plus, Ivanka Trump cuts an interviewer off after things got a little tense, a little heated. The question that made her -- that made the interview turn.
We'll be right back.
[11:40:30] BOLDUAN: Minutes from now, any minute now, Donald Trump is set to talk about his plan for tax reform. We will bring that speech to you live from the Economic Club of New York as soon as he takes the stage. Also, Hillary Clinton getting ready to leave her home outside New York
City in Chappaqua, New York, and return to the campaign trail for the first time since her health setback four days ago took her from the campaign trail to recover. She will speak this afternoon at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina.
BERMAN: We would like to bring in our esteemed panel, CNN political commentator, Mary Katherine Ham; editor-in-chief of "The Hill," Bob Cusack; executive editor of "CNN Politics," Mark Preston; and CNN chief business correspondent, Christine Romans.
I want to talk about an interview Ivanka Trump did with "Cosmo." This is a person we now know to be one of his key advisers on policy, including child care policy. The "Cosmo" interviewer, the writer, asked Ivanka Trump, "In 2004, Donald Trump said pregnancy is an inconvenient thing for a business. It's surprising to see this policy from him today. Can you talk a little about those comments and perhaps what has changed." Then Ivanka response was, "So I think you have a lot of negativity in these questions." And she also said, "You said he made those comments, I don't know that he said those comments."
BERMAN: It happened in a televised interview.
Mary Katharine, if she's going to advise her father on policy, doesn't she have to answer questions?
MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is the fine line his kids have been walking for a long time. Especially Ivanka has this really great public image but if she's getting into the policy, which she seems to want to do, you can't say I'm just the kid. That's not the out here. I think this is the first time she's run into that.
BOLDUAN: Bob, what's your take? What does this mean -- Ivanka will probably want to try to answer that differently when questions come at her. Why do you think she got so flustered with that?
BOB CUSACK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE HILL: Well, listen, I think she's a very good surrogate and she was great at the convention, but there are going to be tougher questions. She obviously played a big role in Donald Trump's child care proposal that they unveiled which I thought went very well. I also think leaving an interview as you guys know, you will get more attention if you leave t interview than just handle it and maybe fire back at the interviewer. No doubt about it, I think that going forward, she's going to get tougher questions. We are 50 plus days out. It's a tough season.
BERMAN: Christine Romans, Ivanka was also asked about Trump corporation's maternity policy. She did that in an interview with "Good Morning, America." Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED ANCHOR, GOOD MORNING, AMERICA: You're an executive vice president at the Trump organization. You said last night the Trump organization headed by your father does offer paid maternity leave for its employees. Is that for all of the thousands of employees of your father?
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: It is. And also adoption leave, so it's a great thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: It's interesting, "Huffington Post" has an article out today, they spoke to a Trump employee who said that's not the case at properties in New York City and also Miami. No paid leave there, they say. Is this something that maybe Ivanka Trump didn't know? Is it misleading?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The criticism here is the whole child care plan, while it looks great on paper, is geared to people like Ivanka Trump, people who might be executives of the company, maybe not people who are contract workers or work for Trump-labeled properties elsewhere. But outside of executive office that might not be the case. That kind of undermines what she's trying to do out there. The criticism came through the "Cosmo" interview that caught her off-guard a little bit also, that interviewer was saying how's your dad going to pay for all this, pay for an expanded military, tax cuts for everybody, all the immigration proposals, big wall, et cetera, how is that going to work. That's when she backed out of it, when it was a real, nitty-gritty, how do you pay for it if you --
HAM: I would just say, of course, we don't do leave. We need the government to force us, which is why I'm going to have the president do it.
BOLDUAN: Maybe they are listening right now and will take it into advisement as they like to say.
Mark, can I ask about a different topic? We talked about this a little yesterday. It's not going away. Donald Trump was asked this again about what he will do with his company if he wins the White House. Previously, he said he will put it in a blind trust, his kids will run it. This morning he said he will sever connections and I will let my children and my executives |'t discs it with them. Is that going to fly? It seems the Clinton campaign is jumping all over that.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I think we are at this point in the campaign where Donald Trump has given a lot of answers with very little detail and quite frankly we need specifics. Regarding the company right now, he's on the cusp of becoming the commander in chief, leader of the free world. He can no longer talk in these very generalistic, just-trust-me kind of tones. We have seen it with his tax returns. We have seen it now with his company. We have seen it with all his policy proposals. In fact, we will see what he says on this economic speech but that health care or rather, maternity leave policy that was unveiled the other day was the most detailed policy we have seen from Donald Trump on anything and it was crafted by his daughter. I do think Donald Trump right now needs to give us real details and stop giving us superfluous answers.
[11:45:48] Mary Katharine Ham, we are looking at Mike Pence, who will introduce Donald Trump in New York City, where Donald Trump any minute will give a speech about the economy. When Donald Trump talks about details, does he help himself? Do you think he cares?
HAM: I think he helps himself with the media. Frankly, I'm not sure that in this election voters are that super-concerned with the details of a policy. He wouldn't have made it this far if they were. I will say I think he needs to be specific about what he's going to do with his business and other policies but on the business part. But I do want to be careful. I think the American people are not interested in this, about saying somebody who has been in business his whole life has too many conflicts of interest to be the president. They want an outsider. That's what we're seeing this year. I don't want to get to the point that only people who worked in government their whole lives are clean enough to do this job.
BOLDUAN: Are you happy with the answers he's given so far?
HAM: No, no, he needs to be more specific. I worry about the tendency saying you are disqualified --
BOLDUAN: To that point, when Donald Trump, Bob, says he will sever ties and he won't -- he also said he doesn't care anymore. He said he doesn't really care about it anymore because this is bigger. Mark Preston was the one to remind us of this. The man who in a press conference following a primary race touted all of his products. I think we have a sound bite.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Trump Steaks, where are the steaks? Do we have steaks? We have Trump Steaks. He said the steak company and we have Trump Steaks. By the way, you want to take one, we will charge you about, what, 50 bucks a steak.
No. It goes to all of my clubs. I have had it for many years. The magazine is great. Anybody want it? Here, take one.
We make the finest wine, as good a wine as you can get anywhere in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: So a man who cares about the reputation of his company, a man who puts his name on everything that he owns, is he going to be able to sever ties? Is he going to be able to not care? Do you believe it?
CUSACK: I think it will be difficult for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to sever their ties, whether that's the Clinton Foundation, which is a problem for her, or Donald Trump. He clearly cares a lot about his business. That's his whole thing is that businessman. He likes to brag about his wealth.
BERMAN: Bob, right now, we are watching Donald Trump walk up to the lectern where he will speak to the Economic Club of New York. Let's listen in.
TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. It's a great honor to be with you.
(TRUMP SPEECH FROM 11:48:20: TO END)