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Trump Accuser Speaks Out on AC360; The First Lady's Trump Takedown; Clinton Submits Answers In Email Lawsuit. 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 14, 2016 - 05:30   ET


[05:30:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Donald Trump digs in. He flat out denies the sexual assault allegations against him, but his accusers -- they are not backing down. One of them speaks exclusively to CNN.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Is that what we want for our children?


BERMAN: First lady Michelle Obama in New Hampshire with a speech that everyone is talking about this morning, unprecedented for this first lady. We'll talk about that coming up.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone, I'm John Berman. Thirty minutes after the hour this morning. Christine Romans stuck in Washington with plane trouble.

This morning, Donald Trump -- he says there is a conspiracy to defeat him. He launched a defiant, defensive, scathing assault against the media and the list of women who accuse him of kissing, groping, or sexual assault.

Overnight, one of Trump's accusers spoke out in her first television interview. She added some new detail to her claims. This was an exclusive interview with Anderson Cooper.


JESSICA LEEDS, ACCUSES TRUMP OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: When you specifically asked Trump had he ever groped a woman -- or I forget how you phrased it -- and he said no, and I literally wanted to throw something at the T.V. or punch my hand in the T.V. And that was Sunday night and Monday morning I found myself writing an email letter to the editor to the "Times".

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: We're going to have much more from that interview coming up in a little bit. First, though, Donald Trump's remarkable defense against these claims and what he considers the conspiracy to defeat him. In Florida -- in Ohio, he blasted the accusers and the accusations that he groped and kissed women. He called them pure fiction. He promised to produce evidence that the accusations are false but he didn't really do so yesterday.

CNN's Sara Murray has the latest.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: With less than four weeks to Election Day, Donald Trump spent most of yesterday denying allegations from multiple women from different parts of the country who say they were sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. Trump, clearly agitated and angry by these accusations, insisted they were outright lies.

TRUMP: These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false and the Clintons know it, and they know it very well. These claims are all fabricated. They're pure fiction and they're outright lies. These events never, ever happened.

MURRAY: But, Donald Trump didn't just take aim at the veracity of those claims, he took aim at the women who were making them, questioning why they had taken so long to report these. And in one instance, even seeming to suggest that the woman was not attractive enough to warrant Donald Trump's attention.

Now, all this comes at an interesting point for the Trump campaign. Not only is he sliding in the polls, but they've really pinned their strategy on taking both Hillary and Bill Clinton to task for women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct in the 1990s. And the Trump campaign has insisted repeatedly that all those women deserved to be believed.

Now, he will be back on the campaign trail today in North Carolina and if last night is any preview he's trying to transition away from these accusations and back to the issues, we'll see if he's successful. Back to you.


BERMAN: All right. This morning, President Obama campaigns for Hillary Clinton at an early voting event in Ohio. But if was his wife, the first lady, Michelle Obama, who really sent shock waves through this campaign. This was an arresting speech in New Hampshire. Really, she hasn't given one like this before. It was an all-out takedown of Donald Trump even though she didn't once mention him by name. This is a little bit of it.


M. OBAMA: Too many are treating this as just another day's headlines. As if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted. As if this is normal, just politics as usual. But, New Hampshire, yes, be clear, this is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful, it is intolerable, and it doesn't matter what party you belong to.


BERMAN: All right, new this morning, we're getting our first look at Hillary Clinton's sit-down interview with Ellen DeGeneres, and this was really her first chance to speak about the new accusations about Donald Trump. You also saw something right there. Ellen DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton talking about the now-famous shimmy that the Secretary of State gave in the first debate.

[05:35:00] The Secretary of State -- Ellen was asking her -- Ellen DeGeneres was asking her if she thought that she had this campaign essentially in the bag because of the latest accusations against Donald Trump. Secretary Clinton says no -- listen.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a lot that is coming out which is distressing on many levels, but I don't want anybody to think this election's over because it's been so unpredictable up until now that I'm not taking anything for granted. We've got to work really hard for the next three and one-half weeks because who knows -- who knows what can happen.


BERMAN: Who knows? All right, there are new revelations this morning about Hillary Clinton's email practices. She had to submit written answers to the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch. She said she relied on advisers to manage her email server.

She claimed she does not recall being contacted by the State Department about preserving her emails. And she also said the hacking concerns were never raised and that she chose to use a personal email server for convenience. She has since said that is a mistake and that she apologizes.

Let us discuss the current situation this morning. Joining us, CNN political reporter Tal Kopan, live for us from Washington.

Let's start with Donald Trump if we can because that speech that he gave yesterday in Florida, it had a power and a vehemence that he has not had, to date, in this campaign. He went after the media hard. He went after what he called sort of a conspiracy -- a global conspiracy to defeat him -- between Hillary Clinton, big business, and the media. What did you make of it?

TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTERS: Well, I mean, first of all, John, you and I know -- I mean, the idea of a "media" -- it's made of up thousands of reporters working very hard, most of them driven by a notion of pursuit of the truth. And so, when Donald Trump gets up there and slams the media, what he's really doing is trying to issue a call to his supporters to say everyone's against us, come to my side. And keep in mind this is a game that sort of all politicians play when the headlines aren't favorable towards them. When they don't like how things are going they try to blame the media for their own ills and, of course, it's just not the case. Their own words and actions and moves along the campaign trail are sort of coming back to fight them.

You know, the problem is if this begins to out of hand. And, of course, some of the actions we've seen towards the media at Donald Trump's rallies -- you've heard from their own mouths -- are a little intense. And so, on the one hand, you see him doing what sort of politicians always do, which is looking for someone else to blame when the going gets tough. But on the other hand, you see him sort of describing this conspiracy that would have to be so vast to be true, it's really a bit farfetched.

BERMAN: I want to get a quick comment on part of Donald Trump's speech yesterday, which is getting a great deal of attention. He was talking about the "PEOPLE" magazine reporter who says that Donald Trump made unwanted sexual advances on her back in 2005 when she was running a profile on the Trump's at Mar-a-Lago. He said something which many people took as an insult to her appearance, so let's listen.


TRUMP: Take a look. You take a look. Look at her, look at her works. You tell me what you think. I don't think so, I don't think so.


BERMAN: A quick comment on that, Tal. Do you think he was saying, basically, take a look at her. That's not someone who I would make moves on?

KOPAN: It's hard not to hear that when you listen back a few times. I almost didn't notice it when I was listening to his speech live, but listening to the sound bite over and over, there is a sense to that in his tone. And it's not surprising that he's lashing out at these women are accusing him. He sees himself as being attacked and so he's attacking back. He has, very much from his own mouth, said that he is a counterpuncher. It is not surprising to see him go on attack when he feels like that is what is happening to him.

BERMAN: And he has denied the claims of "The New York Times". He also denied the claims in the "PEOPLE" magazine report, as well.

We talked about Michelle Obama. We've played some of her sound from that remarkable moment yesterday which was really a takedown of Donald Trump without mentioning by name. And that's what she's done a lot in this campaign -- or some Democrats have, too -- which is to otherize Donald Trump and say he is not normal. This is not something that we see in politics. He is not like other Republicans.

But then, President Obama gave a speech last night in Ohio -- to Democrats in Ohio -- where he sort of did the opposite. He tried to put Donald Trump smackdab in the middle of the Republican Party. Listen to the president last night.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They know better, a lot of these folks who ran, and they didn't say anything. And so, they don't get credit for at the very last minute when finally the guy that they nominated, and they endorsed, and they supported is caught on tape saying things that no decent person would even think, much less say, much less brag about, much less laugh about or joke about, much less act on.

[05:40:10] You can't wait until that finally happens and then say oh, that's too much, that's enough, and think that somehow you are showing any kind of leadership and deserve to be elected to the United States Senate.


BERMAN: Now, maybe I'm overreading into this, but I do think it's an important distinction. On the one hand, you get the sense that Hillary Clinton and some Democrats are trying to give Republicans permission to vote for her. Who say we understand you're different than Donald Trump. But on the other hand, you have President Obama out there last night saying no, no, no, no, no, he's yours.

KOPAN: Yes. I mean, they've been having the -- they've been trying to have it both ways for a while now and they're really struggling with this. On the one hand, they want Republicans to come over to their side and vote for Hillary Clinton because Donald Trump is sort of, in their eyes, singularly unacceptable. And then, they want to hit Senate candidates and all the way down-ballot, saying you are the same party as this top of the ticket so you have -- so people down- ballot should vote for Democrats.

They're trying to have it both ways. I'm not sure they're able to have it both ways but by dividing up their surrogates maybe they're sort of trying take that tact to it. But, you know, it's clear that there are split-ticket voters out there this election cycle if you look at the polls, and there are a lot them.

BERMAN: Tal Kopan, great to have you with us. Thanks so much. See you again real soon.

KOPAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: The Donald Trump campaign -- they have a question this morning. Why now? Why are Trump's accusers waiting until the final weeks of the race to come forward? You're going to hear from one in an exclusive interview of CNN in her own words, next.


[05:45:50] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": You say his hands were everywhere. Can you be specific? LEEDS: Well, he was grabbing my breasts and trying to turn me towards him and kissing. Then, after a bit, that's when his hands started going -- I was wearing a skirt and his hands started going towards my knee and up my skirt.


BERMAN: That was Donald Trump accuser, Jessica Leeds, speaking to CNN, telling Anderson Cooper that Trump groped her "wherever he could find a landing spot." Her story was first reported in "The New York Times". Trump has vehemently denied the accusations. This alleged incident took place in the 1970s and the question a lot of people are asking this morning is why is she only coming forward now, right before the election? This is what she told Anderson.


LEEDS: I didn't start telling my story until about a year and one- half ago when it became apparent that he was making a serious run for the presidency. And I would have an occasion to say to a group of friends, let me tell you my Trump story. Now, most of these friends were women. It was my book club, it was this club, it was neighbors and friends, and everything, but a couple of men. My son-in-law, my son, friends, my nephew, the whole thing.

And over the year and one-half that I've been telling this it's like it doesn't change it all. It still infuriates me when I -- when I think about it but I'm -- you know, that was a long time ago. It wasn't until Sunday night -- and all of them -- all of my friends would say oh, you've got to -- you've got to write this story up. You've got to publish it. You've got to contact somebody and make it known. And I was like, it's too long ago.

COOPER: Meaning you didn't want to do that?

LEEDS: No, not particularly. I mean, it was too long ago. So -- but when you, at the debate -- well, the Friday night tapes -- that whole bus scene was really annoying. And then the debate when you specifically asked Trump had he ever groped a woman -- or I forget how you phrased it -- and he said no.

COOPER: Yes, I asked him if he'd ever -- if he was just bragging about sexual assault or if he'd actually done what he said.

LEEDS: Right.

COOPER: Had he ever kissed a woman without consent.

LEEDS: Right.

COOPER: Had he ever groped a woman without consent.

LEEDS: Right, and he said no. And I literally wanted to throw something at the T.V. or punch my hand in the T.V. And that was Sunday night and Monday morning I found myself writing an email letter to the editor to the "Times". COOPER: Something about him actually denying this on that stage.

LEEDS: Yes, yes. As far as -- yes, yes, that's it exactly.

COOPER: What do you think it was about that moment that made you want to go public?

LEEDS: Because I really would like for the fact that he's lying, and he lies about so many things, really brought out. And yes, you did. You asked a very good question. But he's very good at -- all of a sudden he was talking about ISIS, and he was talking about defense, and he was talking about this, that, and the other. So he manages to change the conversation. And I -- sometimes I think I don't think he's even really aware of -- that he's lying. He's built up his defenses in his head to the extent that he doesn't know.


BERMAN: That was Jessica Leeds to Anderson, overnight.

Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Alisyn Camerota joins me now -- Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: John, great to see you. We have a lot to talk about on "NEW DAY" this morning, including looking at the juxta position of these two stunning speeches. One by first lady Michelle Obama, one by Donald Trump, both about the sexual assault allegations against Trump. Why, after this year and one-half of a crazy campaign, has this become the inflection point -- the treatment of women?

[05:50:15] So we have all sorts of people -- great guests on to help us analyze this. We have -- I see that a lot's happening in the background here of people getting ready for the show. We have Carl Bernstein, we have David Gregory, we have Kirsten Powers, we have Margaret Hoover, plus a whole assemblage of wonderful reporters to walk us through their latest reporting when Chris and I, and the crew, see you at the top of the hour.

BERMAN: I had no idea there was so much walking in television. That so much walking went into the preparation to get a show on the air.

CAMEROTA: Yes, there's a lot of walking around here.

BERMAN: Alisyn Camerota, great to see you. At least you didn't abandon me this morning. Appreciate it.

United Airlines suffering widespread delays last night, so bad they ensnared the star of EARLY START. Christine Romans stuck in Washington. When will she get home? We'll get an early start on your Money Stream -- that's next.


[05:55:20] BERMAN: All right, let's get an early start on your Money Stream now. Dow futures are rising, following a dip yesterday. Stock markets in Europe and Asia a little bit higher. Helping to fuel some of the optimism, oil prices back near $51 a barrel.

United Airlines suffered a systemwide flight delay -- you know, snafu -- last night. A spokesperson for the airlines says the issue is now resolved. The airline's weight reporting system was the cause. United apologized for the delays but wouldn't say how many flights or passengers were affected.

One of them was Christine Romans, the star of EARLY START, stuck in Washington, D.C. apparently completely unaware that things such as trains and cars and buses also exist. Only flights from Washington to New York, apparently.

She was down there to host a policy debate -- an economic debate between the Trump campaign and the Clinton campaign. She was joined by Greg Ip from "The Wall Street Journal". Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore -- he was there for the Trump campaign. Gene Sperling, a Clinton economic adviser there on behalf of the Secretary of State. The debate was hosted by National Association of Business Economics.

The sides, obviously, have different visions and different promises for the U.S. economy. Romans asked how a Trump administration would achieve its goal of four percent economic growth.


STEPHEN MOORE, TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISER: First of all, if Trump wins he's going to have a Republican Congress and we will be able to pass, at least, our business tax cut, I think, within the first 100-150 days. We will have a stack of executive orders that he can sign that can undo a lot of the executive orders that Barack Obama's put in place.


But, Gene Sperling says that he thinks Hillary Clinton knows how to get the economy moving, pointing to her experience during her husband's presidency.


GENE SPERLING, CLINTON ECONOMIC ADVISER: Hillary Clinton was part of the administration that I was part of that had the four-year -- the only four years of surplus and had a strategy very much like hers, which was raising taxes on those who could afford it the most and having a strong public investment strategy. And that led to the -- that was part of the last time we had four percent of growth.


BERMAN: You can see more of that economic debate at

All right, baseball. Chicago, here they come. The Los Angeles Dodgers -- they will play the Cubs for the National League pennant. They had a dramatic victory over those Washington Nationals last night, so D.C. fans, no Orioles, no Nationals, no nothing for you. This was the deciding game of the NLDS. The Dodgers -- you know, really, it was dramatic. They brought in

starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw in relief to get the final two outs. They won 4-3. They face the Cubs Saturday night at Wrigley Field. A daunting task.

All right, Donald Trump -- he's not backing down, neither are his accusers. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's so abhorrent.

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A textbook definition of sexual assault.

M. OBAMA: It is cruel and the truth is, it hurts.

TRUMP: These vicious claims are totally and absolutely false and the Clintons know it.

LEEDS: His hands were everywhere. His hands started going up my skirt.

TRUMP: These events never, ever happened.

M. OBAMA: This isn't about politics, it's about basic human decency.

TRUMP: This is a conspiracy against you, the American people.

CLINTON: We've already learned who Donald Trump is. We have to prove who we are.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Good morning, welcome to your new day. It is Friday, October 14th, 6:00 in the East.

And friends, we are at a moment of reckoning. Democrats and Republicans agree on that. We had back-to-back speeches by Michelle Obama and Donald Trump that provided the most stark contrast we have seen in this election. For Trump's part, he was angry, denying allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances on several women, saying it is all lies and part of a Clinton and media conspiracy to take him down.

CAMEROTA: And first lady Michelle Obama also gave a stunning speech yesterday. It was an emotional condemnation of Trump for bragging about sexually assaulting women. We seem to be at a defining moment in this race. We're only 25 days from Election Day and five days until the final presidential debate. We have it all covered for you.

Let's begin with Brianna Keilar. She is live in Washington. Good morning, Brianna. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDEN: Alisyn, good morning to you. This presidential race seems to be getting nastier and more contentious. First lady Michelle Obama, in battleground New Hampshire, sharply denouncing the GOP nominee. And Donald Trump is defending himself from the latest allegations, lashing out against people in his own party and warning his supporters about rigged elections as his poll numbers keep dropping.


TRUMP: This is a struggle for the survival of our nation.