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Trump Addresses Race, Policing, Birtherism; Interview with Rep. Adam Schiff; CNN/ORC Poll: 62% Say Clinton Won Debate; Possible Cyberattack on Dem Staffers' Phones Concerns FBI. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired September 27, 2016 - 18:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Trump is voicing a growing number of grievances about their first showdown. How will his uneven performance impact his campaign?

Tax and defense. Donald Trump tries to deflect questions about his tax returns, but says not paying taxes is good business and would make him smart. But even some supporters say Trump doesn't have a good answer on questions about his returns. Will he yield to growing pressure and release them?

Racist behavior. Hillary Clinton accuses Donald Trump of having -- and I'm quoting now -- "a long record of engaging in racist behavior." But Trump misses a chance to change perceptions about his campaign and, instead, defends controversial police practices and abruptly shuts down a conversation about birtherism. How can he increase his weak support among minorities?

And urgent protection -- 18 states now ask the federal government for help preventing cyber-attacks on their voting systems, following a series of online assaults. While Hillary Clinton points a finger at Russia, Donald Trump says other could be to blame. Is the Kremlin trying to sway the presidential election?

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We're following a new chapter in the race for the White House opened by the historic first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Both campaigns are now back in full swing mode, but striking markedly different tones, Clinton, the debate winner according to our CNN/ORC poll, is taking a victory lap and taking new swipes at Donald Trump, who appeared thrown off by some of her debate attacks.

Tonight, Trump is voicing complaints about the debate, including what he calls hostile questions and a microphone he claims was defective. We're standing by to hear from Trump in a rally that is about get to under way in Melbourne, Florida.

We're also following new concerns about cyber-attacks disrupting the presidential election. The Department of Homeland Security says 18 states are now asking for help securing their voting systems from potential online assaults, something that has already happened in both Illinois and Arizona.

We're covering all of that, much more this hour with our guests, including the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff. And our correspondents and our expert analysts are also standing by.

Let's begin with our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. He's over at Trump headquarters in New York City.

Jim, Trump has a lot to say today about that debate.


And the Trump campaign is offering evidence that they say shows Donald Trump won last night's debate. Donald Trump tweeted earlier this afternoon that he has raised $13 million in the last 24 hours. But when it comes to last night's performance, Donald Trump is pointing fingers everywhere but at himself.


ACOSTA (voice-over): The day after his fiery debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is declaring victory with a triumphant tweet, "The number one trend on Twitter right now is #TrumpWon. Thank you."

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It was a fascinating period of time. And I think we did very well.

ACOSTA: But he is also making excuses, blaming a bad microphone and more for getting in the way of his message.

TRUMP: I don't want to believe in conspiracy theories, of course, but it was much lower than hers. And it was crackling. And she didn't have that problem. That was, to me, a bad problem, because you have a bum mic, a mic, it's not exactly good.

ACOSTA: Coming off a night of delivering her prepared one-liners, Clinton had a zinger for that too.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night.

ACOSTA: Trump, like many of his supporters the morning after, also complained about moderator Lester Holt.

TRUMP: I give him a C, C-plus. I thought he was OK. I thought he was fine. He was nothing outstanding. I thought he gave me very unfair questions at the end.

ACOSTA: Problem is, Trump...

TRUMP: I thought -- honestly, I thought he did a great job.

ACOSTA: ... and his own campaign manager praised Holt right after the debate.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I thought Lester Holt did a great job as the moderator under tough circumstances.

ACOSTA: But Trump had his share of tough moments as Clinton repeatedly baited her opponent.

H. CLINTON: Just join the debate by saying more crazy things.

ACOSTA: On his refusal to release his tax returns.

H. CLINTON: The only years that anybody has ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn't pay any federal income tax.

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

ACOSTA: Clinton returned to the issue today in North Carolina.

H. CLINTON: And I got to that point where I said, well, maybe he's paid zero. He said that makes him smart.


H. CLINTON: Now, if not paying taxes makes him smart, what does that make all the rest of us?

ACOSTA: On Iraq, Trump falsely insisted once again he opposed the war before it with began.

H. CLINTON: Donald supported the invasion of Iraq.

TRUMP: Wrong.

H. CLINTON: That has absolutely been proved.

TRUMP: Wrong.


ACOSTA: The Trump campaign is offering different explanations for the GOP contender's past claim that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese government to hurt U.S. factories, with his campaign manager saying one thing.

CONWAY: He believes that climate change is naturally occurring.

ACOSTA: And his running mate saying another.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, look, there is no question that the activities that take place in this country and in countries around the world have some impact on the environment and some impact on climate.


ACOSTA: Now, getting back to those tax returns, Donald Trump did tell me last night in the spin room, Wolf, that he does pay federal income taxes, but he did not respond when I asked him, at what rate? What tax rate do you pay? He did not respond.

Now, Rudy Giuliani was telling reporters that perhaps Trump should skip the next two debates. No word whether any of that is being considered inside the campaign, but I did talk on one Trump adviser who said he needs some work -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jim Acosta over at Trump Tower in New York, thank you.

Hillary Clinton is back on the campaign trail riding her debate momentum.

CNN's senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, is joining us.

Jeff, Clinton is keeping up some of the same attacks she used against Trump in the debate.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: She is indeed, Wolf, from those tax returns we just heard about to his business acumen, even to how he treated a Miss Universe contestant two decades ago.

Hillary Clinton is trying to use his words and records against him. Now, one senior adviser told me today this is the best day of the campaign since winning the primary back in June. The smile on her face today seemed to indicate that was true.


H. CLINTON: Did anybody see that debate last night?


ZELENY (voice-over): There is a new spring in her step tonight.

H. CLINTON: Oh, yes. One down, two to go.

ZELENY: Flying to a rally in North Carolina, Hillary Clinton reveling in the strong reviews from her first face-to-face meeting with Donald Trump.

H. CLINTON: You should know by now, when I set my mind on something, I keep going. I don't quit, whatever the static, whatever the incoming is, and that's what I will do for the American people.

ZELENY: The most watched debate in history, more than 80 million viewers on television alone, came just in time for Clinton. She is locked in a tight race with Trump nationally and on critical battlegrounds.

On the campaign trail today, Clinton picked up where she left off on stage, from preparing for the debate and presidency.

H. CLINTON: He made it very clear that he didn't prepare for that debate. I did prepare. And I will tell you something else I prepared for. I prepared to be president of the United States. And I think that's good.


ZELENY: To her charge that he has built his businesses by stiffing the little guy.

H. CLINTON: Stiffing people, dishwashers, painters, plumbers, architects, glass installers, marble installers, drapery installers across America.

ZELENY: But it was this exchange about his treatment of women that is still reverberating.

H. CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He called this woman "Miss Piggy." Then he called her "Miss Housekeeping," because she was Latina.

Donald, she has a name.

TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this?

H. CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

H. CLINTON: And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet...

TRUMP: Oh, really?

H. CLINTON: ... she's going to vote this November.

TRUMP: OK, good.

ZELENY: Alicia Machado, who grew up in Venezuela, won the Miss Universe Pageant in 1996, the Clinton campaign inviting her to join a conference call to talk about Trump.

ALICIA MACHADO, FORMER MISS UNIVERSE: For me, these elections are like a bad dream, watching this guy again doing stupid things and stupid comments.

ZELENY: Two decades ago, Trump shamed her for gaining weight. Today, he made no apologies.

TRUMP: She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was -- it was a real problem.

ZELENY: Advisers to Clinton believe Trump's effort to win over independent and moderate women was set back by frequent outbursts and interruptions.


TRUMP: I do not say that.

(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: I do not say that.

ZELENY: A post-debate CNN/ORC poll shows 62 percent of viewers thought Clinton won the debate, while 27 percent said Trump did.

Democrats spanned out across the country to pile on Trump, hoping to calm a sense of unease that has been sweeping across the party.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Did she have a good debate or what?

ZELENY: From former President Bill Clinton in Ohio to running mate Tim Kaine.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What he really showed is just how rattled he was.

ZELENY: And in Pennsylvania, Vice President Joe Biden made the sharpest case of all.

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll tell you what, if this choice isn't clear, I don't know. Oh, my lord.


ZELENY: But with 42 days to go, and the second debate less than two weeks away, Clinton made clear the fight was just beginning.

H. CLINTON: This election is going to be close. They all are these days.


ZELENY: And, Wolf, we're getting word that President Obama is also going to be another Democrat adding his help as well, even more help.


He has agreed to participate and star in television commercials the Clinton campaign will be airing in the final month of this race. They know that this is not a permanent dynamic. But, for today, at least, she will take it.

BLITZER: She certainly will.

Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

Let's get some more on all of this.

The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California, is joining us.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: You bet, Wolf. Good to be with you. BLITZER: All right, so Hillary Clinton clearly had a good night last night at the debate. But she clearly also did not deliver a knockout punch. Why?

SCHIFF: Well, I think it is hard to have a knockout punch in these kind of debates.

Trump is a reality TV performer. That is his medium. I think actually the expectations for him were altogether too low, but, nonetheless, he didn't even meet those expectations. But, still, that is the environment in which he is the most comfortable. I think a knockout is hard to do.

But I think the emotion from last night will be one that will help the secretary to go forward and will continue to be damaging to Donald Trump. And that is, he did not appear presidential. He didn't meet the threshold. He displayed, even as he was bragging about his temperament, really a lack of temperament, certainly a lack of grasp of the issues.

And Secretary Clinton showed her command. And I think those impressions will stay, so not a knockout punch, but, nonetheless, I think that voter attitudes are going to start to begin to gel.

BLITZER: Did she move the needle with voters, especially those undecided voters in the key battleground states? Because before the debate, more people thought Trump was more honest and trustworthy. That CNN/ORC poll, who is more honest and trustworthy, Trump 50 percent, Hillary Clinton 35 percent.

That's a big problem for her.

SCHIFF: It is a challenge. And I think that she did move the needle last night. We will see in the days to come what the effect or what kind of a bounce she might get from these polls.

But I think that she came across very well. In fact, some of the favorite moments I had in the debate where when she was -- when she laughed, when she smiled -- at one particularly long and rather convoluted answer that Donald Trump gave, she said, boy, there's a lot packed into that and couldn't help but laugh.

And I think people at home couldn't help but laugh with her. So, she really had a great presence. I think it was one of her best debate performances that I have seen, and she just needs to keep it up.

BLITZER: He is painting himself as the change candidate. He tweeted this. "Hillary has been failing for 30 years in not getting the job done. It will never change."

He is painting her as the status quo. He could change things. He could get things better. About 70 percent of the American public, according to polls, think the country is moving in the wrong direction. How does she fix that image that she is status quo?

SCHIFF: I think it's a challenge for anyone who is running from the same party as the incumbent president, particularly a two-term president.

But I think that Trump failed to make the case last night for a couple reasons. First, he failed to show that he would have done anything different. And a lot of the key issues, where had come out in favor of the war in Iraq initially, he could not distinguish himself on that. He couldn't distinguish himself on Libya because he had adopted largely the same position.

On some of those key issues, he couldn't say that he had done something different, at least not credibly. And more than that, on the economic issues, he failed to point to anything I think that was persuasive to Americans that he would do differently going forward.

The most he could say when he was asked, how do you bring jobs back, he goes, well, I wouldn't have lost them in the first place. But, of course, we're left to wonder, well, why is that is that and how would you have prevented that?

The one thing I was surprised at, frankly, in the trade discussion was the secretary didn't bring out the fact that as much as he lambastes trade for outsourcing jobs, he's been guilty of outsourcing jobs in his own business. So, he has a lot of vulnerabilities.

It is difficult, I think, with his background to make the case, even though he is a newcomer to the political arena. But he certainly didn't make it last night.

BLITZER: Trump largely left personal attacks out last night. But he foreshadowed what could come in round two. Listen to this.


QUESTION: Anything that you wish you did differently?

TRUMP: No. I'm very happy that I was glad I was able to hold back on the indiscretions with respect to Bill Clinton, because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton, and I just didn't want to say what I was going to say.

QUESTION: Which is?

TRUMP: Which is, I will tell you maybe at the next debate. We will see.


BLITZER: So, she clearly seemed to get under his skin.

But will it be different, a different battle next time? Because you heard, he's threatened to hit her harder.

SCHIFF: Well, and this was classic Donald Trump, to go to the spin room after the debate and say, I was going to bring up these really kind of mudslinging things, but I didn't. But you know the mudslinging things I am talking about, so actually I am bringing them up, but I want credit for not explicitly bringing them up. [18:15:05]

That's sort of vintage Donald Trump. It's the same way that he handled the birther stuff, by saying, now, some people are saying, some people are suggesting.

He loves to campaign by negative innuendo. But I think you're right, weapon I think we will see a different Donald Trump at the next debate. I think he will be far more aggressive, and I think he will be far more ugly. He will be throwing the kitchen sink at Secretary Clinton.

But he is going to have to careful how he does it, because his biggest problem is, he doesn't know when to stop. He is guilty of terrible overreach. And he is very easily needled and put off.

I think those comments at the beginning of the debate about how he got this $14 million, what he considered a small loan from his father, really unnerved him. And I think, throughout the course of the evening, he became increasingly rattled.

BLITZER: I need to you stay with us for a moment, Congressman.

We're getting some breaking news on the FBI, getting information about yet another cyber-attack. Stay with us. We're going to update our viewers on that. We will discuss with you.

We will be right back.



BLITZER: Right now, we're back with Congressman Adam Schiff of California, the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee.

We have breaking news, Congressman, coming into THE SITUATION ROOM.

The FBI just released new pictures of two men being described as witnesses in the New York City terror bombing.

Let's quickly go to our chief security national correspondent, Jim Sciutto.

So, Jim, what does this new picture show us?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, let's take a look at this picture.

What it shows us, new pictures, a new angle of the face of one of these two men who you will remember they picked up this bag where a second bomb was placed on 27th Street that did not explode. They took that pressure cooker out of the bag and then carried the roller bag away.

We had a previous image of them, which is in this new FBI release. Now we have a new image which shows a closer look at the face of one of the men and also zeros in on that bag itself, so more detail there.

This is what you're seeing, the FBI basically reaching out to the public, saying, have you seen these men? Do you know who they are? Have you even seen this bag, in effect? Because, as we know, it has been more than a week now. They have not been able to find them.

To a crucial question here, Wolf. And we have asked this of law enforcement repeatedly. I asked this of the New York Police Department chief when I spoke to him last week. Do they consider these men suspects? Or are they witnesses?

And we have been told repeatedly that they consider them witnesses at this point, but they really do want to talk on them.

So, let's look at what they say specifically. The statement, they say: "Closed-circuit television recordings indicate that these individuals allegedly located a piece of luggage on the sidewalk, removed an improvised explosive device" -- this is the pressure cooker bomb -- "from the luggage, and then left the vicinity, leaving the device behind, but taking the luggage with them."

That's the image we're seeing here, the close-up of that piece of luggage.

"The images shown were taken on West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues," the statement continues, "at around Midtown Manhattan between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Saturday September 17," this of course the same night that an explosive device had detonated on West 23rd Street.

Again, the statement continuing: "The FBI is interested in speaking to these individuals and recovering the luggage. If you have any information concerning this face, please contact the FBI's toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI."

So, two points there. One, they want to speak to the men seen in this video. They're also particularly concerned about that suitcase, Wolf, because they say there could be evidence in there. Of course, there could be fingerprints, there could be other evidence about the explosives used or other identifying materials for the bomber that we know about, Rahami, who is now in police custody, or perhaps others who were involved.

So, you see the FBI reaching out here now for more help, in effect from the public, and sending these new images at the same time.

BLITZER: All right, Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.

I want to bring back ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff of California.

It has been more than a week now since these pictures were widely distributed, not only here, but around the world. What can you tell us? Why is it so difficult locating these two individuals?

SCHIFF: Wolf, I'm surprised, frankly, that we haven't identified them yet.

The quality of the images that were released last week is very high. And from my vantage point, I'm not able to see the image you just showed. But just from those prior images, there are people out there who know who these two are.

We need them to come forward. It may be a fear that it would get these two individuals in trouble. I think law enforcement has made clear they're not suspects. And they may nonetheless have inadvertently stumbled on some clues that could be very important to determining whether anyone else was involved in these bombings.

So, very important. There are folks that may be watching your program who recognize these people, and they need to come forward.

BLITZER: Because there presumably could be fingerprints, other evidence on that suitcase that the FBI would like to go through.

Do you have any idea where these men are from? For example, because I noticed in this FBI bulletin, it says call the local FBI office or call the 800 number. But it also says contact the nearest American embassy or consulate.

Is there any suspicion out there that these two individuals may be outside the United States or may be from outside the United States?

SCHIFF: So, I think, at this point, we simply don't know.


But one of the reasons that evidence may be so significant is, if it has fingerprints or it has DNA on it, and those fingerprints or DNA match one of the other devices, that would be cause for great concern that there may be other individuals involved.

When you have forensic evidence that may be only on one device or on a cell phone, it is much less conclusive about whether someone was involved. It could be very important evidence. We need the public's help here.

And someone is going to recognize those people. Someone may have already recognized those people. And they need to speak up.

BLITZER: Because that bag, look at that bag, that suitcase. It looks very unique.

It presumably could have potential clues, where it was purchased, all that kind of information. I know they're looking anxiously to find these two individuals.

Once again, they are unknown individuals, according to the FBI seeking information. They are seen as potential witnesses to that terror attack in New York City, the breaking news we're following.

There's other breaking news we're following as well, Congressman. CNN's Jim Sciutto also reporting the FBI has asked to image, as they say, image the cell phones of some key Democratic Party staffers as it investigates a possible hack of cell phones.

What does that tell you about this latest suspicion of a cyber-attack? It looks to be much broader in scope.

SCHIFF: Well, I can't comment on the specifics of that report, but I can say that I am certain that if there isn't some pushback here, that we can expect to see a lot more of these kinds of hacks.

We are going to see a lot more dumping of information. And the worst fear, frankly, for me is that they start dumping information that has been doctored. That could really wreak havoc on our system.

I'm very pleased that we're seeing states step forward not to work with the Department of Homeland Security to make sure they're taking advantage of whatever the department can offer to help them secure their systems, because obviously there is a concern when you see potentially foreign actors hacking into voter databases.

There isn't much foreign intelligence to be gathered there, but there is useful information if your intent is to somehow disrupt or sow discord in the conduct of an American election. So, very serious business. Unfortunately, I think we're going to see more of it.

And I think it is very important that we call out the responsible parties. It's why Senator Feinstein and I released the statement we did last week that was, I think, such a grave indictment of what Russia is up to.

BLITZER: Because, as you know, last night, Donald Trump in the debate, he suggested Russia may not necessarily be involved in the cyber-attack on the DNC.

Listen to what he said.


TRUMP: I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don't -- maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?


BLITZER: So you're the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Both of you have concluded it was in fact Russia.

So, what is your message to Donald Trump?

SCHIFF: Well, what I found so disturbing about this is, it is either just willful ignorance on Mr. Trump's part, or he has demonstrated that he is willing to dissemble and lie about this. And what is so troubling, beyond that simple fact, is that he has

essentially become an apologist for the Kremlin. This is perfect Russian propaganda. The Russians don't want be to called out on this. And if they can point to the Republican candidate for president of the United States saying we have no idea who this is, could be the Russians, could be the Chinese, could be some 400-pound person, well, my guess, Wolf, if this guy weighs 400 pounds, he is sitting somewhere in Russia right now.

So I just find this, like his statements about ISIS that played into Russian propaganda, really deplorable. But it is not just him.

Wolf, I remember when you had Mike Flynn on your program. You asked Mike Flynn about Russia's connections to these hacks, and, similarly, he was unwilling to commit, unwilling to speak what I think he has to know better.

And that he would surround himself, that Donald Trump would surround himself with other people that are willing to speak the Kremlin line is deeply disturbing.

BLITZER: Mike Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, now a top adviser to Donald Trump.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.

SCHIFF: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Just ahead: It was the most watched presidential debate in history. Did it change anything for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton?

We will be right back.


BLITZER: Hillary Clinton is the winner of the first presidential debate, according to our exclusive CNN/ORC poll. But what does it mean for her campaign going forward?

[18:34:34] Our senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, is back with us to talk about that and more, along with CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger. And a special welcome to "Washington Post" assistant editor David Swerdlick. He's our newest CNN political commentator. We're also joined by "The New York Times" national political reporter, Yamiche Alcindor. To all of you, thanks very much for joining us.

Gloria, overall, viewers felt that Hillary Clinton came out on top of the debate. But did she win over any new supporters where she needs them most to move that needle?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we're going to have to see the polls in about four or five days and see how it shakes out, Wolf. Look, I have to say that Donald Trump needed to win over those

suburban women, those more undecided voters. And I don't think he did anything with them last night.

We had a person in our -- in our group of undecided voters who said something that I thought was quite striking last night, which was, he said he came there prepared to listen to Donald Trump and that he was insulted that Trump had not done more preparation to win his vote. And so, if that's any indication, I think he could have a problem.

I mean, Hillary Clinton's advisers, I spoke with one today who was kind of downplaying where she might be in the polls, saying, "Look, this isn't going to go anywhere; we're kind of at stasis right now." But I would have to say that, if she doesn't go up by a couple points or so, they will not have declared this a victory.

I think it gives them a great sense of relief that she performed so well last night.

BLITZER: Yes, Yamiche, Hillary Clinton clearly came prepared with an anecdote on Trump's treatment of a Latina beauty queen. Watch this.


CLINTON: One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman "Miss Piggy." Then he called her "Miss Housekeeping," because she is Latina.

Donald, she has a name.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: And she has become a U.S. citizen.

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: And you can bet she's going on vote this November.



BLITZER: Trump continued along those lines this morning by saying that that woman, Alicia Machado, gained a massive amount of weight. His words. And was, once again his words, "the absolute worst."

So how does this go over with the women, especially voters of color, millennials that Hillary Clinton is trying to win over right now and that Donald Trump is trying to win over, for that matter?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, this really further confirms the perception that Donald Trump is a misogynist. The Clinton campaign has really been pushing hard to really show the fact that he has not really respected women in the past. And "The Times" has a story out, just on our website now, that's talking about this idea, that she was deeply scarred by this. That this was not just something that happened to her and that was hurtful, but it really -- this was something that followed her throughout her life. She had eating disorders because of this.

So the idea that voters are going to now know that Donald Trump not only insulted this woman but really scarred her and really changed the course of her life is going to, I don't think play very well among women.

I was sitting with a group of young Republicans. I talked to an undecided woman, who said, you know, she really doesn't see a gray area with Donald Trump. Sometimes she thinks, OK, he can be presidential, but a lot of the times she thinks he's being juvenile; and last night that was confirmed in her mind by that.

BLITZER: Jeff Zeleny, this Clinton attack was clearly designed to play into a narrative she's been trying to build about Trump and women. Before the debate, she put out an ad using Trump's insulting comments about women, and her campaign put out an ad highlighting Machado after the debate. But are these attacks really going to sway voters?

ZELENY: Wolf, I think, as Gloria said earlier, it's a little too early to tell. We have to wait for the polling and the debate, really, to settle in.

One thing about debates, the instant analysis is sometimes correct, but it really becomes more true and more personal after friends and family sort of talk about what they felt about this debate.

But there is a lot of evidence, anecdotal and even more than that, that there is reason to believe that it was effective. And there are two reasons why.

One, the Clinton campaign is trying on fire up their base. They're trying to get those young women who may not be as excited about her, who may be, you know, thinking about a third-party candidate. So they're trying to fire them up.

But they're also trying to reach out to any woman -- moderate, independent -- who voted for Romney in 2012. Someone who's not necessarily thrilled with Hillary Clinton but is not open to voting for Donald Trump.

So there's reason to believe that they, I think, that they are open to this message. And you can almost expect, Wolf, almost bet on this, the Clinton campaign is going to put money this message and have the Miss Universe in paid televisions commercials soon. It hasn't happened yet, but I believe it will.

BLITZER: I suspect you're right.

David Swerdlick, Trump again attacked Hillary Clinton for not having a presidential so-called look. Listen to what he said.


TRUMP: She doesn't have the look. She doesn't have the stamina. I said she doesn't have the stamina. And I don't believe she has the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina. You have so many different things you have to be able to do. And I don't believe that Hillary has the stamina.


BLITZER: So how does that line, David, go over with female voters?

DAVID SWERDLICK, THE WASHINGTON POST: It doesn't go over well at all, Wolf. And there's two things about it.

No. 1, on the issue of stamina. Right? An effective political attack is one that sort of reinforces what people already think about a candidate. There are any number of criticisms that you can make about Secretary Clinton, but one of them is not really that she lacks stamina. Right? This is someone who, just a week or two ago, fought through a bout of pneumonia to go to the 9/11 memorial and was criticized for it but plowed ahead anyway. That's not what people think about her, that she doesn't have stamina or fortitude.

In terms of having the presidential look, look, you're talking here about a former first lady of the United States, a former United States senator from Trump's own state, and the third ever woman secretary of state. The idea that she doesn't have a presidential look, I don't know if he's trying to say that, you know, you have to be a man in a navy blue suit. But if that is what he's trying to say, you know, it's really not an effective and, frankly, sexist way of approaching her, you know, especially on a debate stage.

BORGER: You know, Wolf, I think a lot of women hear the word "stamina," and they think that Donald Trump is calling Hillary Clinton weak. Period.


BORGER: And that it may have less to do with her health issues than with him trying to portray her as somebody who's unsuitable for the office, because for some reason, she is not strong enough to be president of the United States. And you know, I think it's, for some women, it's a code word.

BLITZER: Everyone, stay with us, stand by. We have a lot more coming up. We're also standing by: Donald Trump getting ready for his first rally since the debate last night. These are live pictures coming in from Melbourne, Florida. Much more on that. We'll be right back.


[18:46:34] BLITZER: All right. Take a look at this. Live pictures coming in from Melbourne, Florida. We're standing by for Trump's first campaign rally since his debate with Hillary Clinton last night. A significant part of the presidential debate, by the way, was devoted to the topic of race with the candidates, discussing issues, including policing, the birther conspiracy that Donald Trump had promoted for years.

We're back with our political experts, standing by to hear directly from Donald Trump.

David Swerdlick, the debate was clearly an opportunity for Trump to do a better job on questions about race, both to appeal to African- American voters, to assure white voters, that he's not racist, for example, on the birther issue, on the stop and frisk issue, on the recent police shootings. How did he do?

SWERDLICK: Yes, Wolf, he had an opportunity to clean some things up and frankly he failed. Look, the Trump campaign and Donald Trump have correctly identified that black voters like all others are concerned with jobs and schools and violent crime.

What they haven't figured out, though, is an effective way to message to black voters, throwing stuff around saying he is the law and order candidate, proposing a restatement or an institution of stop-and- frisk. These are nonstarters with the overwhelming majority of black voters. And we're getting close to the point in this came where he's not going to be able to walk these back or move away from them. And so, you know, it was a lost opportunity and I think it's starting to cement his difficulties with black voters in particular, but with voters of color as well.

BLITZER: Yamiche, I want to play for you some of Donald Trump's comments on recent shootings. Listen to this.


TRUMP: When I look at what's going on in Charlotte -- a city I love, a city where I have investments -- when I look at what's going throughout various parts of our country, whether it's -- I mean, I can just keep naming them all day long, we need law and order in our country. You don't have good community relations in Chicago. It's terrible. I have property there. It's terrible what's going on in Chicago.


BLITZER: All right. Yamiche, you're in Charlotte right now. You've been reporting there. Do you have Trump's answers address the grievances that you've been seeing first hand?

ALCINDOR: The activists that I've been talking to say that Donald Trump is not addressing the grievances, and that they really don't think that he understands the grievances. Apart from this -- the clip that you just showed -- Donald Trump is obviously to expand stop and frisk. He's also said that we need more police, not less police.

So, this idea that if you keep investing in the police and if you keep on kind of empowering police and giving them more ways to police the neighborhoods, that somehow going to stop racial discrimination. It's something activists say is not true. The activists I've really talked on, they really say what the want is a disinvestment from police officers and an investment on communities. So, more focus on education, more focus on after-school programs, more focus on job programs.

So, the idea is that they want -- they don't want the police to just be given more body cameras and that will make police look at every citizen the same and treat them fairly. They just don't believe that that's true.

So, Donald Trump, I should say, I know one of the other guests was talking about this idea that he's coming close to not being able to walk back his statements. But for the activists that I've talked, Donald Trump has gone way too far and there's really no going back. For the people I talked to, they just don't -- there's just no way that they're going to vote for Donald Trump. Some undecided voters that I've talked to, they say, listen, Donald Trump might speak and might want to acknowledge African-Americans in a way that's passionate and compassionate sometimes.

[18:50:05] But they understand it for them that the vast majority of the time that he's not speaking in a way that could really have African-Americans trust him to have their best interest in mind.

BLITZER: Gloria, North Carolina, a critically important swing state. Which candidate is doing a better job right now proving that they're the right person to handle some of these issues we've been seeing, for example, in Charlotte?

BORGER: Well, at this point, I think would you have to say Hillary Clinton. I look at the language that was used in the debate last night, Wolf. Hillary Clinton talked about systemic racism in this country. She talked about the birther issue as a, you know, racist lie.

When asked about race relations Donald Trump talked about law and order and talked about stop and frisk which is not -- has been deemed unconstitutional but it's also unpopular with African American voters. I think you have to give Donald Trump credit for trying to appeal to African American voters and also trying to appeal to those white voters who don't want to vote for somebody they believe is intolerant. But when you measure the language and you look at them side by side as we did last night, I would have to say that Hillary Clinton's appeal was much stronger.

BLITZER: Everyone, stick around. An important note to our viewers right now, tomorrow night, President Obama sits down with Jake Tapper to discus challenges facing U.S. military veterans and his legacy as commander in chief. Don't miss a CNN town hall special tomorrow night 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, only here on CNN.

Breaking news coming up next, a possible cyberattack on cell phones belonging to Democratic Party staffers.

Plus, Donald Trump expresses doubt about whether Russia is really behind recent online assaults.


TRUMP: You say Russia, Russia, Russia. But I don't -- maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?



[18:57:02] BLITZER: There's breaking news: a possibly cyberattack on cell phones belonging to Democratic Party staffers.

Our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is working his story for us.

Jim, you're learning new information. What have you learned?

SCIUTTO: The FBI concerned that hackers may have in addition to getting in to all the e-mails from the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee, also got into the personal electronic devices, the mobile phones of more than one Democratic staffer. The investigation is just beginning.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): Tonight, the FBI asking to examine the cell phones of a small number of Democratic Party staffers to determine if their phones have been hacked, what could be the latest in a string of cyberattacks on the Democratic Party. The FBI would image or essentially copy their phones in order to search for hacking evidence such as malware.

Investigators still probing whether this attempted hack is part of the original breach of DNC e-mails, which is widely thought to be the work of the Russian government, or a new hacking attempt.

This as state election authorities across the country are asking Washington for urgent protection from cyber attacks from abroad.

JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We've been working with state election officials, local election officials.

SCIUTTO: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson telling lawmakers today that ahead of the November election, no fewer than 18 states have forward for him. The call comes after hackers successfully penetrated voting systems in Illinois and Arizona.

JOHNSON: What we are seeing are efforts to get into voter registration rolls, the identity of registered voters.

SCIUTTO: Asked where the cyber attacks are coming from, Secretary Johnson demerged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this coming from one particular country?

JOHNSON: I don't believe that we have reached a determination.

SCIUTTO: That same question along with questions about other election related hacks sparked a sharp difference of opinion on the debate stage Monday night. Hillary Clinton pointing at Russia.

CLINTON: There is no doubt that Russia has used cyberattacks against all kinds of organizations in our country and I am deeply concerned about this. I know Donald is very praise-worthy of the Putin, but Putin is playing a really tough, long game here.

SCIUTTO: Donald Trump offering entirely different theories.

TRUMP: She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. But I don't know -- maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It could also be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?

SCIUTTO: The fact is, multiple intelligence officials and lawmakers briefed on the investigation tell CNN that Russia or hackers working for Russia are the most likely culprits.


SCIUTTO: Well, Wolf, the FBI still investigating now, and the Democratic Party bracing itself for a release from these hacks, whether it'd be e-mails or documents. And, Wolf, a concern that they could be authentic or even faked with enormous implications for the election campaign.

BLITZER: Enormous indeed.

All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much.

That's it for me. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.