Return to Transcripts main page
THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Looking at Issues for the Candidates; Trump Speaks in Pueblo, CO; Trump Touts His Business Successes; Attempted Hacks On State Voting Systems In 20 States; Monstrous Category 4 Hurricane Hitting Caribbean; States Of Emergency In FL, NC Ahead of Hurricane; Kardashian West Held At Gunpoint In $10M Robbery. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired October 3, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MATT VISER, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": But it's crucial at the start of a week, after a very damaging week for him, that we're still sort of talking about negative things about Donald Trump.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: No question.
And you made -- you mentioned taxes. Trump has appealed to voters in part with this economic message of populism, implying the system rigged against Americans.
So, Susan, you take a billion dollar tax break and don't pay taxes for 18 years, if that bears out, that strikes me as counternarrative, you might say.
SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "USA TODAY": Well, he definitely got the rigged system to work for him, right?
PAGE: Also, in some ways, Americans might agree with the idea that they want to limit their taxes, and so did he.
But the idea that he lost nearly a billion dollars in a year, maybe that undercuts his argument that he's a really successful businessman.
SCIUTTO: You brought up something in your most recent piece today, because we have heard this narrative out there really.
You have two very unpopular candidates here in both parties. There's not a lot of excitement about either of them, although we saw some excitement rising in our latest polling for Hillary Clinton. This idea that some just won't vote at all, what have you found as you look into that? What does the data show?
PAGE: So, here's the question. Lesser of two evil elections, will people turn out when they don't really like either one?
And what we find from looking at Senate races that have very -- we have never heard presidential candidates this unpopular. But if you look at Senate races, what you find is, fear is just as good a motivator as hope.
So, if people are really afraid that the other candidate is going to damage to the republic, they will turn out to support their candidate, even if they're not that enthusiastic about them.
That is probably good news for Hillary Clinton, because there are a great number of people, including some Republican-leaning voters, who think it unacceptable to support Donald Trump who are thinking maybe about supporting Gary Johnson. But this history that academics have found indicates that, at the end of the day, they might well go to Hillary Clinton.
SCIUTTO: Susan, Matt, please stay there, because Donald Trump is speaking in Pueblo, Colorado, right now. He's speaking about taxes. Let's have a listen.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Fixing our broken tax code is one of the main reasons I'm running for president.
I have been saying from the beginning of this campaign how ridiculous, complex and, yes, unfair the tax system is. It is an unfair system, and so complex that very few people understand it.
Fortunately, I understand it.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: This is not the fault of the IRS, but the political class that is owned outright by the special interests and lobbyists, believe me.
It's these politicians who wrote the tax code and who are constantly adding, revising and changing an already overcomplicated set of laws, all at the behest of their favorite donors and special interests who want certain provisions put in. And they won't take no for an answer.
It's thousands of pages long and almost no one understands it. The average American would need an army of accountants and lawyers to wade through and wade through it. Many so-called experts, due to their sheer size and complexity of the code, don't have a clue what these pages represent.
These are experts. They don't paid, and they even know what it represents. The unfairness of the tax laws is unbelievable. It's something I have been talking about for a long time, despite, frankly, being a big beneficiary of the laws.
But I'm working for you now. I'm not working for Trump.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Believe me.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: I understand the tax laws better than almost anyone, which is why I am one who can truly fix them. I understand it. I get it.
And that is what I commit to do. We want fairness. We want money brought in. And we want money to be spent when it goes out, because they spend our tax dollars so unfairly and unwisely. Remember that.
As a businessman and real estate developer, I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit and to the benefit of my company, my investors and my employers.
I mean, honestly, I have brilliantly, I have brilliantly used those laws. I have often said, on the campaign trail, that I have a fiduciary responsibility to pay no more tax than is legally required, like anybody else, or, to put it another way, to pay as little tax as legally possible.
And I must tell you, I hate the way they spend our tax dollars.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: And, believe me, that makes a difference. As a major real estate developer in this country and throughout the world, I face enormous taxes, city taxes, state taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, employee taxes, federal taxes, VAT taxes. Different countries.
It's my job to minimize the overall tax burden to the greatest extent possible, which allows me to reinvest in neighborhoods and workers and build amazing properties, which fuel tremendous growth in their communities and always helps our great providers of jobs. And we have to help our small businesses, what it's all about, what it's all about.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: The news media is now obsessed with an alleged tax filing from the 1990s at the end of one of the most brutal economic downturns in our country's history.
If you remember the early '90s, other than I would say 1928, there was nothing even close. The conditions facing real estate developers in that early '90 period were almost as bad as the Great Depression of 1929, and far worse than the great recession of 1998, not even close.
What had been a booming economy in the era of Ronald Reagan changed dramatically, and the business landscape changed with it, bank failures and collapse, the absolute total destruction of the savings and loan industry and the implosion of the retail market and real estate in general, something we have never seen anything like it.
Many businesspeople, including many of my competitors and some of my friends, were not able to survive. Companies, jobs and opportunities were lost, and lives were destroyed, as tens of thousands of people were put out of work.
Some of the biggest and strongest people and companies went absolutely bankrupt, which I never did, by the way. Are you proud of me?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Would have loved to have used that card, but I just didn't want to do it.
AUDIENCE: Trump! Trump! Trump!
TRUMP: Thank you.
Yet, today, my company is bigger, stronger, far greater assets than it's ever had before, more premium properties. We have never done better. It's the strongest we have been. And we employ thousands of people and over the years have employed thousands and thousands of people, which is the thing that frankly makes me most happy.
That did not happen by chance or luck. It happened by action and talent, a lot of talent. I was able to use the tax laws of this country and my business acumen to dig out of the real estate mess, you would call it a depression, when few others were able to do what I did.
And those most -- I'm a star. Thank you. You are too.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: They were amazing times.
In those most difficult times, when so many had their backs to the wall, I reached within myself and delivered for my company, my employees, my family and the communities where my properties existed. And I really delivered.
Those who spend their entire lives within the confines of government work and who know virtually nothing of business fail to understand the skill, dedication, the sheer grit it takes for a company to climb out of an economic depression of the scale we had in the early '90s.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: People like my opponent, Hillary Clinton, whose only...
AUDIENCE: Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!
TRUMP: Folks, let's win on November 8. OK.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Anyway, her only method of making money is by selling government favors and granting access to special interests, know nothing about how businesses succeed and grow.
Hillary Clinton has never created a single job in her entire life. By the way, we have somebody who has.
Where is Bernie Marcus? Where is Bernie? Bernie Marcus, founder of Home Depot.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Go to Home Depot.
SCIUTTO: You have been listening to Donald Trump there at an event in Pueblo, Colorado, making an attempt to defend what he didn't seem to challenge, Susan and Matt, that he didn't pay taxes.
What we didn't hear there was a response or a claim that "The New York Times" story is wrong.
He is backing up essentially the reporting. If this was untrue, I think he would say it. He's not doing that. He's trying to defend himself sort of the only way he can at this point and trying to say that I'm the one who can fix these things because I understand them.
SCIUTTO: Is that an effective argument, Susan?
PAGE: I think it's clear they're taking this pretty seriously, because that was a very extended, prepared response to "The New York Times" story on his taxes.
So they must be somewhat concerned about it. And they're trying to pivot to say, OK, it's all true, but I can use these skills to help you the way I have helped myself. That's probably the best of several not-so-great options.
SCIUTTO: Yes. He's said: "The unfairness of the tax laws is unbelievable. But I'm working for you now, not Donald Trump."
So, in other words, let me take this great acumen and get to work for the American people.
VISER: Yes. And we will see sort of if that -- it takes the focus a little bit off of him also talking about the terrible times that the early '90s had, and I was suffering at that period, explain to away a little bit of a billion-dollar loss in a single year, which does question his business acumen, which is the centerpiece of a lot of his campaign.
SCIUTTO: Matt Viser, Susan Page, thanks very much for breaking it down for us.
Winds up to 140 miles per hour, epic rainfall. Hurricane Matthew about to deliver a disaster to the Caribbean, and the East Coast could be next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[16:45:54] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back, and more in our "POLITICS LEAD." An alarming warning from the Department of Homeland Security that hackers went after state voter registration systems in more states than previously known. A Homeland Security official tells CNN that hackers attempted to infiltrate the systems in a total of 20 states so far. Also, more and more states are reaching out to DHS for help. 23 states seeking cyber security assistance from the Department of Homeland Security to help secure their election systems from hacking. With just about five weeks to go before what's being seen as one of the most consequential Presidential Elections in history, how vulnerable are we to relentless hackers?
I want to bring in Assistant Attorney General John Carlin. He's also the chief of the National Security Division at the Justice Department. John, thanks very much for taking the time today.
[16:46:43] JOHN CARLIN, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: As we approach Election Days, an enormous level of concern about hacking of parties involved, candidates, but also the U.S. election system. Are you closer to making a hard identification of who's behind these hacks?
CARLIN: Well, I'll say this, for a long time, people thought if you did something through cyber-enabled means, you'd be anonymous, that if you did it through the internet, you'd get away scot-free. And we've shown time and again now, that although investigation and attribution is hard, we can and find - can find you and we will. And we've done it whether you are operating under the flag of China, Iran or North Korea.
SCIUTTO: You're confident you're going to be able to find and charge those responsible for these election hacks?
CARLIN: I wouldn't say that it will necessarily say in every case, use the criminal justice system, it needs to be one of the tools that bring to bear charges. But I will say this, to those outside our borders who are thinking that they can mess with fundamental American institutions, our values, that we can and will find you, I'm confident of that. And when we do, there'll be consequences.
SCIUTTO: There will be consequences. What kind of consequences are we talking about?
CARLIN: You've seen the range and there may be things that we -- you see as the public and maybe things that you don't see, and we'll respond to the time and place of our choosing, but they range from the bringing of criminal charges with real bite. You've seen individual that we arrested over in Canada, he's serving over four years. A terrorist who hacked into a company here to provide information to the Islamic State of Levant, was just sentenced to 20 years two weeks ago. You've seen the imposition of sanctions against the group. You've seen the commerce department designate certain companies as ones you can't do business without an export license. So, depending on the conduct, the consequences that we impose change, but the bottom line is you do not get a free pass for this behavior.
SCIUTTO: With a case, for instance, China. You were able to release charging documents, put names and faces, photographs, to people in a military building on mainland China behind those hacks. To the hackers who are still active out there right now attacking parties and election systems, is your message to them, "We can find you, name you, shame you?"
CARLIN: "You need to look over your shoulder." I think for a period of time out there, you had those who would do cyber hacks, and because they didn't need to worry about consequences, they spent all the time in the world trying to overwhelm our defenses. And what you've seen over the last several years, whether you're the Syrian Electronic Army, whether you're a terrorist with the Islamic State in Levant, whether you're under the flag of China, North Korea, or Iran, you do need to look over your shoulder. We are coming, there will be consequences, we can find you when you travel. We aren't afraid to do the investigation, attribution, and make it public and impose consequences.
SCIUTTO: Multiple officials have said, Russia, early signs point to Russia. Can you say anything about Russia?
CARLIN: Well, I'm not going to talk at this time about this investigation, but you've heard the director of national intelligence and others say that the four major actors out there are Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. And there were those who said we'd never be able to do anything about China, Iran and North Korea, and you've seen us show time and again that we can. Whether it's because of their (INAUDIBLE) economic secrets with China, their attack on a movie with North Korea, their attack on our financial system or are (INAUDIBLE) with Iranian-affiliated actors. So, for those who say, "You'll never be able to take action against Russia." I would as the Homeland advisor, "Stay tuned."
SCIUTTO: John Carlin, thanks very much for taking the time. We appreciate it.
CARLIN: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: Turning now, Kim Kardashian allegedly robbed at gunpoint by several masked men in her luxury Paris apartment. What she posted on social media just hours before that may have left her vulnerable.
[16:54:37] SCIUTTO: We're back with BREAKING NEWS. The Caribbean bracing for Hurricane Matthew's catastrophic conditions as the east coast is also watching closely. The Category 4 storm is creeping closer to the islands. Outer bands flooded parts of Jamaica in less than an hour ago yesterday, so just imagine what this storm can do with another two days of sustained rain and wind. In the U.S., Florida, North Carolina have declared States of Emergency already, warning people to stock up now, but computer models can't say for sure if any part of the U.S. will actually take a direct hit, they don't know yet. The most dangerous conditions in the Caribbean will hit Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica this over the next few hours. As disastrous timing overnight in an area not equipped to handle these kinds of conditions. Let's go to CNN's Michael Holmes. He is live in Kingston, Jamaica. So, Michael, people there really in a race against time to protect themselves now.
[16:55:31] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATION CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely. That's been going on for a few days now. Of course, it's a slow-moving storm, but that just makes it even stronger. There's been a lot of apprehension that this place, Kingston, would get a direct hit. Now, there's a little bit of relief and knowledge that the latest forecast is pointing it a little bit away from Jamaica, a little bit further to the east, and so they could escape the worst of it, although it's going to give this island a real walloping as well. There's going to be torrential rain, there's going to be a lot of heavy winds, just a matter - a couple of hours from here. And you mentioned yesterday, a 40-minute rainstorm caused flooding downtown. The drainage not good in Kingston, so a lot of fears about that. We were talking to the prime minister today. He's worried about some of the more remote towns and villages being cut off. Some of agricultures, a lot of coffee plantations here that could be damaged. They're going around cleaning up loose debris all over the place, shelters are now open. Hundreds of people are taking advantage of those at the moment. One thing that's a great concern, though, is when it leaves here, it's probably going to do a lot more damage to Haiti, and it could well clip the western side of Haiti. Jim, you know, only too well, Haiti is a place that has been deforested over the years. There's nothing holding the ground together on those mountainsides. You've got people still living in tents from the 2010 earthquake. They are especially vulnerable there, and there's a lot of fears about what this storm will do there. And then, of course, onto Cuba, which could take a direct hit. And then, of course, on to the U.S. perhaps, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Yeah, a lot of the places just without the resources to protect themselves. Michael Holmes, thanks for bearing the brunt of it for us. Turning now to our "POP LEAD," Kim Kardashian-West is back in the news, not breaking the internet with any explicit photos or Twitter war. Instead the reality TV star was held at gunpoint by robbers who made away with $10 million worth of jewelry. It was widely publicized that Kardashian-West was in Paris this week since every day has been chronicled not only in tabloids but also on her own social media accounts. Is she a victim of criminals targeting celebrities or did she possibly make herself somewhat vulnerable to an attack like this? I want to bring in CNN international correspondent Melissa Bell. So, Melissa, there really are questions here still as to whether this was an inside job. How hard or easy was it for criminals of any kind to find out where she was staying and what she had with her?
[16:57:59] MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, that, Jim, of course, is almost part of who she is, that her life is lived so publicly, that we've all seen the ring that went missing that was given to her by her husband that was worth millions of dollars. We knew that she was in Paris for Paris Fashion Week. Anyone who follows Kim Kardashian, any one of her 50 million Twitter followers, of course, is kept up to date with every detail of her life, it seems. So, it would be easy enough to decide to target her. It would be easy enough to decide that that was the ring you were after. What should protect her and keep that in a sort of bubble is the security detail as you would expect someone like Kim Kardashian to have, and that was so spectacularly lacking overnight. And of course, as you state, so many questions this evening still in authorities here in Paris are remaining very tight-lipped about the details of their investigation so far. What we know for sure is that five men dressed as policemen managed to push their way past that door, hold her at gunpoint and steal that ring from her.
And the reason this story has become as big as it is, I think, as you've said, it is specifically that, that she lives in this sort of very public bubble. Last night, half past two in the morning, that bubble was burst. How? We don't quite know, but Kim Kardashian, a mother of two, found herself in that bathroom, locked away, wondering whether she was going to live or die as armed robbers went through her jewelry. It's a terrifying prospect, but it lends her sort of vulnerability that I don't think we'd ever seen Kim Kardashian have. And I think that's what's made this story as gripping to the public as it has proven.
SCIUTOO: Just quickly, any update on the manhunt for our suspects?
BELL: As I say, French authorities remaining very tight-lipped. They are extremely embarrassed, Jim, by what has happened here. It is an extraordinary failing on this - on their part, in this, one of the most secure -- highly secured, most luxurious neighborhoods of Paris, a stone's throw from the Elysee Palace. How this very well-organized, very targeted robbery could have happened under their noses when France is in the state of emergency is a matter of huge embarrassment. They're very keen to get to the bottom of this, and most of all, to get hold of the five men who held Kim Kardashian here last night. Melissa Bell, thanks very much. That is it for THE LEAD. I'm Jim Sciutto in for Jake Tapper. I turn you over now to Brianna Keilar. She is in for Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."