Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Continues Election "Rigged" Rhetoric; Melania Trump Talks to AC360; Wisconsin Trump Supporters Speak Out; Clinton's New Email Fallout. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 17, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:10] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Tonight, my conversation with Melania Trump. She speaks out about the tape that surfaced of her husband boasting about being able to kiss and grope women and get away with it because he's a celebrity. She reacts to all those women coming forward, alleging he actually did one or both of those things to him.

In a moment, you'll hear how she sees it and she sees herself as first lady should her husband win three weeks from tomorrow -- which is where we begin -- with the Trump campaign making new allegations that this election is rigged and a fraud, slamming the media, even slamming his own party's leadership for not confronting what he now appears to see as the defining theme of the campaign. Donald Trump is in Green Bay, Wisconsin, tonight, after attacking Wisconsin congressman and House speaker, Paul Ryan.

CNN's Jim Acosta is there, too. He joins us now.

Trump started the day with an early morning Twitter spree alleging the system is rigged against him. Did he say more about that tonight?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he has, Anderson. Just the last few minutes, actually, Donald Trump went through these allegations again, saying that these accusations of sexual assault that have surfaced in the news media over the last week or so have really been a part of what he calls a rigged conspiracy to throw the election to Hillary Clinton.

In just the last few minutes, he said that these accusations, he called them events that never happened and he said, "I do think most people believe me." At one point, he said that the media is simply trying to put up nice, sexy headlines even though nothing ever happened.

So, Donald Trump once again denying that he ever sexually assaulted anyone at this rally here in Green Bay.

And, Anderson, this rally is pretty fired up. People here, you know, I don't want to use language we shouldn't use on TV, but the crowd here has chanted "CNN sucks" about a half a dozen times. They've also chanted "tell the truth". And before Donald Trump even came out here, Sheriff David Clarke from the Milwaukee area said "it's pitchforks and torches time." That basically describes the atmosphere and the mood here in Green Bay tonight, Anderson.

COOPER: We should point out soon, we're going to play the complete interview that we just did with Melania Trump earlier today.

But, Jim, the rally tonight in Wisconsin, Trump -- what did he say about Paul Ryan on his home turf?

ACOSTA: So far, nothing to this crowd here about Paul Ryan, but we can tell you that there was somebody here holding a sign here that, it was a Paul Ryan campaign sign with the word "traitor" written across it. We should point out that the word "traitor" was spelled T-R-A-I- D-E-R. Not T-R-A-I-T-O-R. So, sort of misuse of the word there, the English language there.

Also, the crowd at one point chanted "Paul Ryan sucks." So, even though we're in Wisconsin, we're in the speaker's home state, this crowd is so fired up and so upset with the establishment in Washington, they're willing to say that about somebody who is a native son at a Donald Trump rally -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jim Acosta -- Jim, thanks very much.

Now, Melania Trump -- up to this point, she's been very quiet about the allegations surrounding her husband. She did put out a statement right after that tape surfaced ten days ago. Until today, she's not spoken on camera about the video of him and Billy Bush on that bus 11 years ago and his remarks about grabbing women and being allowed to do that because he's famous.

Bear in mind, he was 59 years old at the timed and recently married to Melania Trump who sat down with us today at Trump Tower.


COOPER: This has obviously been a difficult time. How are you holding up? How are you doing?

MELANIA TRUMP, WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: I'm great. I'm very strong. I'm very confident. And I live my life. I take care of myself and of our son and my husband, and I'm doing great.

COOPER: When you -- when you came down that escalator more than a year ago, the day your husband announced the campaign, did you ever expect all this stuff would come out? These allegations would be made that you would have to be sitting here defending him?

TRUMP: You never thought about that but I'm not surprised in one way because a lot of people, they're against my husband and his run for president. So, nothing surprised me.

COOPER: Is it -- it's got to be hard, though. I mean, it's got to be a difficult thing.

M. TRUMP: In one way, it's hard because press -- it's very dishonest and it's a lot of lies that they've written also about me, my husband, and you need to defend yourself all the time.

As you may heard, I file a few lawsuits and I'm in the court now because they accused me of doing stuff that I never did in my life and they wrote lies. And I will not allow that. I will fight until the end, because I don't want them to damage my reputation and my name.

COOPER: It was ten days ago that "Access Hollywood" released that tape.

[20:05:02] I'm wondering when you first saw it, when you first heard it, what did you think?

M. TRUMP: I -- I said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate, it's not acceptable, and I was surprised because that is not the man that I know.

And as you can see from the tape, the cameras were on. It was only a mike. And I wonder if they even knew that the mike was on because they were kind of boy talk and he was lead on, like, egg on from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.

COOPER: You feel the host, Billy Bush, was sort of egging him on?

M. TRUMP: Yes. Yes.

COOPER: Is that language you had heard him use before?

M. TRUMP: No. No. That's why I was surprised because I said, like, I don't know that person that would talk that way and that he would say that kind of stuff, in private. I heard many different stuff, boys talk. I -- the boys, the way they talk when they grow up and they want to sometimes show each other, oh, this and that, and talking about the girls and -- but, yes, I was -- I was surprised, of course.

But I was not surprised that the tape came out. I was not surprised about that.


M. TRUMP: Because as I said, many people from the opposite side, that they want to damage the campaign, and why now? Why after so many years? Why three weeks before the election?

COOPER: Your husband has said maybe that he felt the Clintons had something to do with it or the media. What do you think?

M. TRUMP: Well, it was the media. It was NBC. It was "Access Hollywood." It was left wing and -- left-wing media. And you could see that and the way it comes out is everything was organized. Every Friday, every Friday, something comes out. So, they play, they play, they play.

And it was hour after hour. I watched TV, was hour after hour bashing him because they want to influence the American people how to vote. And they're influencing in the wrong way. COOPER: The information about your husband's 1995 taxes were released

right before the debate, first debate. And this came out days before the second debate. You're saying that's not a coincidence.

M. TRUMP: No, that was all organized. Yes. But they planned that way, because they don't want to talk -- the opposition doesn't want to talk about WikiLeaks and the e-mails and Benghazi and all the rest of the stuff. They don't want to -- they don't want to talk about it.

So, they said let's do something so we can hurt his campaign.

COOPER: "The Washington Post" was -- leaked the tape, and they released the tape. NBC had it for, they said they had it for several days and they were reviewing it. But you believe that it was -- that NBC could have released it, you think they knew about it long ago?

M. TRUMP: Yes. They knew long time ago and I'm sure they did. And "Washington Post," when did we hear or read any great stories from -- about my husband or about me? The true stuff, the facts, the real stuff. Or "New York Times"? We never read -- they're bashing, bashing, bashing.

COOPER: You feel they've been very unfair?

M. TRUMP: Yes.

COOPER: Your husband said that, he said he apologized to you after the tape and that you accepted the apology. What was that conversation like? Can you talk about it?

M. TRUMP: Well, when we talk in private, I'll keep it private, and he apologized. I accept his apology. I hope the American people will accept it well. And it was many, many years ago. He's not the man that I know.

And as I many times said, and he's said it as well, it's very hard, especially for him, when he decided to run for presidency because he did so many stuff in his life. He was on so many tapes, so many shows.

And we knew that. That, you know, tapes will come out.

[20:10:01] People will want to go against him.

But my husband is real. He's raw. He tells it as it is. He's kind. He's a gentleman.

He supports everybody. He supports women. He encourages them to go to the highest level, to achieve their dreams, to -- employs many, many women. And as you can see, it's also -- I see now, it's a lot of backlash on the media the way he treated him.

COOPER: He described it as locker room talk.

M. TRUMP: Uh-huh.

COOPER: To you, I mean, you sort of alluded to that as well. Is that what it is to you, just locker room talk?

M. TRUMP: Yes, it's kind of two teenage boys. Actually, they should behave better, right?

COOPER: He was 59.

M. TRUMP: Correct. And sometimes I said I have two boys at home. I have my young son and I have my husband. So -- but, I know how some men talk and that's how I saw it, yes.

COOPER: Michelle Obama, who you I know have spoken positively of in the past, she said last week about what your husband said on that tape. She said, "This was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn't just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior and actually bragging about kissing and groping women."

In terms of what he actually said on the tape, I'm no saying he did it, but what he said, the behavior described, to you -- is that sexual assault?

M. TRUMP: No. That's not sexual assault. He didn't say he did it, and I see many, many women coming to him and giving phone numbers and, you know, want to work for him or inappropriate stuff from women. And they know he's married, so --

COOPER: You've seen that?

M. TRUMP: Oh, yes, of course. It was in front of me.

COOPER: In front of you?

M. TRUMP: In front of me. And I said, like, why you need to give your number to my husband?

I'm very strong. People, they don't really know me. People think and talk about me, the -- like, "Oh, Melania, oh, poor Melania." Don't feel sorry for me. Don't feel sorry for me. I can handle everything.

And for this -- for people talking like that, I see in the press a lot almost, like, celebrities or people, they think they're celebrities, I would suggest to them to look themselves in the mirror and to look at their actions and to take care of their own families.

COOPER: In truth to what Michelle Obama was saying, she was saying that essentially any unwanted advance toward a woman, kissing a woman, touching a woman, without consent, that is sexual assault. That's the definition.

M. TRUMP: Yes, I agree with that, but every assault should be taken care of in a court of law. And to accuse -- no matter who it is, a man or woman, without evidence, it's damaging and it's unfair.

COOPER: She went on to say, Michelle Obama, she talked about that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them or forced themselves on them and they said no, but he didn't listen.

M. TRUMP: Who didn't listen? My husband didn't do anything.

COOPER: No, no, I think she was talking general about --

M. TRUMP: Oh, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised.

I mean, she should also look maybe the people who supported her, what they're doing. So, I'm not surprised she said that.

COOPER: I know you want your voice to be heard on this. So, a number of women have come forward. They made allegations against your husband. Some of them go back more than 30 years.

He's said they're lying. Do you believe him?

M. TRUMP: I believe my husband. I believe my husband. This was all organized from the opposition and with the details that they go -- did they ever -- did they ever check the background of these women? They don't have any facts.

And even the story that came out in "People" magazine, the writer that she said that my husband took her to the room and start kissing her. She wrote in the same story about me that she saw me on 5th Avenue, and I said to her, "Natasha, how come we don't see you anymore?"

[20:15:00] I was never friend with her. I would not recognize her.

COOPER: That never happened?

M. TRUMP: Never happened.

That's why I send them the letter because it discredited the story.

COOPER: Right. Your lawyer has sent a letter to "People" magazine saying they have to retract.

M. TRUMP: Of course, yes, because it was not true.

So, how we could believe her. That never happened. I was never friend with her. I saw her -- she interviewed us twice. She came to the wedding and for that story. That's it. I would not recognize her on the street or ask her why we don't see her anymore.

So, that was another thing, like, you know, people come out saying lies and not true stuff.

COOPER: Has this whole campaign been harder than you've expected? I mean, I know you said you came into this with your eyes open, but has it -- yes, has it been tougher than you expected?


COOPER: Melania will answer that question when we come back, and whether this campaign has made her marriage to Donald Trump stronger. All that ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: I talked to Melania Trump earlier today at Trump Tower. She says her husband's remarks about groping women were boy talk egged on by Billy Bush. Again, at the time, egged on or not, Donald Trump was 59 years old.

[20:20:00] She blames the left wing media for the tape coming out and blames the media overall for what she says is unfair coverage of her and her husband.

It's a theme she picks up on in part two of our interview.


COOPER: Has this whole campaign been harder than you've expected? I mean, I know you said you came into this with your eyes open but has it -- yes, has it been tougher that you expected?

M. TRUMP: I didn't expect media would be so dishonest and so mean. I didn't expect that.

Also for me, from the beginning, I never had one correct story, one honest story. From "New York Post" two days in a row, they put me on the cover with the pictures that I did many, many years ago as a model.

I'm very proud I did those pictures. I'm not ashamed of my body. I feel very comfortable with myself and with my body. And they were taken for a European French magazine. And in Europe, we are proud of our bodies, no matter what size you are.

And it was done as art, as a celebration of female body. So, they put it twice in a row in that story, they put the date when pictures were taken wrong. They never called me when the pictures were taking.

COOPER: Right, there were allegations that --

M. TRUMP: That I was here.

COOPER: It was much earlier than you're actually --

M. TRUMP: Correct. And suddenly becomes, I'm here illegally, I was married before. I said, like, yes, find me the husband that I was married before my husband.

So, there were a lot of, you know, a lot of dishonest stuff, and that surprised me that they would not check the facts and that reporters will just write. And surprised me also because every story, it's a female, it's a female reporter.

And that's why when they went too far in -- on the website, one of the websites and newspapers, and the blogger as well, I said, this is it, I will fight for myself, I will fight for my name. They cannot damage my name and my reputation because it's not true.

And the names that they're calling me, they're calling my husband, they're calling my family, it's unacceptable.

COOPER: In depending himself, and your husband has, again, categorically said these allegations are all false --

M. TRUMP: Yes.

COOPER: -- he's made some comments about the way some of the women who are accusing him look. What do you think about that?

M. TRUMP: Well, that's him. He's raw. He will say it as he feels it. So, you know, I know he respects women, but he's defending himself because they're lies.

COOPER: You have a -- you have a young son.

M. TRUMP: Yes.

COOPER: Is he aware of all this? How do you -- is that a conversation you have to have with your son?

M. TRUMP: I -- I let him have a normal childhood as possible. We talk a lot, a lot about the campaign. We talk about the language because I don't allow that he uses bad language.

He's in that age, and older boys are in that age, that, yes, they say some bad words and it's very normal. They're growing up. But I tell him that, you know, there are consequences as well, and he -- he needs to be careful language he uses.

I teach him. I tell him. That's why it was my decision not to be on the campaign trail. I don't listen anybody about what to do, what to say, when to say it, when to do interviews.

If it would be, for example, for my husband or the campaign, they will have me on the trail all the time. They wish to have me there, but I made the decision. I will be a parent to our boy, to our child.

COOPER: Your husband said last week that you two are stronger today than you ever were before. Do you feel that way?

M. TRUMP: We always have a great marriage and strong relationship and he said many times, you know, he's -- that I'm a rock for the whole family and, yes, we are very strong. We are -- we are two independent people, thinking on their own, and have a very open conversation. And I think that's very healthy for the relationship.

COOPER: The other thing that's been talked a lot about on the campaign trail, your husband is saying he believes the election is rigged, that there's a lot of forces trying to rig it.

[20:25:02] Do you feel that as well?

M. TRUMP: Well, I see it how the media is portraying. I see how they're reporting and what they want to say and what they don't want to say. They're going, just for example, he makes a speech 45 minutes long,

they take a sentence out and they're going on and on and on about that sentence. Nothing else.

And he talks about the issues and that's what American people want to hear. It's about issues, about jobs, about the future of our country.

And that's what he wants to do. He wants to secure the borders. He wants to secure America. He wants to bring jobs back. He wants to bring economy back.

And he's very passionate about American people because he knows he can do that. He's a worker. He's a fighter. He is -- he's very passionate about it and he will not give up. He will fight until the end. And he will fight for American people as he's fighting now for himself.

COOPER: You have one more debate coming up.

M. TRUMP: Yes.

COOPER: Do you get nervous?


COOPER: You don't?

M. TRUMP: No. No. I always say to him, be you. Be yourself. Be calm. Be focused. Stay on the issues because American people, they -- they want to hear what you will do for them. Because we discuss many times at home and I know what is in his mind and the way he can lead the country.

COOPER: We're three weeks to the election. If you could let the American people know one thing about your husband, what would it be? Because right now, the latest polls show I think 60 -- more than 60 percent of people believe your husband made some sort of unwanted advances. What do you want those people to know? What would you say to them?


COOPER: We'll have her answer to that question coming up and the panel reaction as well.


[20:31:04] COOPER: Now for part three of my interview with Melania Trump, before the break. You heard her say repeatedly, she believes her husband, not the women who have come forward and accused him of touching them inappropriately. She like her husband says they are lying.

A majority of the American public does not agree. And I asked her about that.


COOPER: We're three weeks to the election. If you could let the American people know one thing about your husband, what would it be? Because right now the latest polls show I think 60 -- 60 percent of people believe your husband made some sort of unwanted advances. What do you want those people to know? What would you say to them?

M. TRUMP: That my husband is kind and he's a gentleman and he would never do that. That everything was organized and put together to hurt him, to hurt his candidacy.

COOPER: Organized by the opposition ...

M. TRUMP: The opposition, yes.

COOPER: The media, Clinton.

M. TRUMP: Media, Clintons, yes.

COOPER: You think they're working together?

M. TRUMP: Yes. Of course.

COOPER: Last time you and I spoke, you talked about what you would hope to do in the White House. Have you given more thought to that? What -- where is your thinking right now?

M. TRUMP: Well my passion is the same, helping children, and helping women. And also I see now in 21st century, the social media, it's very damaging for the children. We need to guide them and teach them about social media because I see a lot of negativity on it and we need to help them. It has some positive effect as well because this is the life that we live in now, but has a lot of negativity as well. And I see more and more children being hurt by it.

COOPER: There's a lot of bullying that goes online.

M. TRUMP: A lot of bullying. I stopped social media year and a half.

COOPER: You did.

M. TRUMP: I did.

COOPER: For yourself.

M. TRUMP: For myself. I post some of this, but I'm not posting. I'm an attention seeker. My life is not a photo app. And I decided not to be on social media anymore because I see the negativity and it's not healthy. It's not healthy.

COOPER: Do you tell Mr. Trump to not tweet so much?

M. TRUMP: Yes, but that's his decision. He's an adult. He knows the consequences. I give him many advices, but, you know, sometimes he listens, sometimes he doesn't. And he will do what he wants to do on the end as I will do what I want to do. COOPER: Thank you very much.

M. TRUMP: Thank you.


COOPER: A lot to talk about with our panel tonight. Joining me, Clinton supporter, and national spokes person, Karine Jean- Pierre. Democratic strategist and pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC advisor Paul Begala. "New York Times" presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Haberman. Trump supporter Alice Stewart. And former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

First of all, Maggie, I give a lot of credit to Melania Trump for deciding to come out and do an interview, not an easy thing to do given all the allegations. And I think she's a very effective spokesperson for a side of Donald Trump we may not see. Were you surprised that she came forward? Because she really has not been out on the campaign trail?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, NYT PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN CORRESPONDENT: I was surprised especial1y because there was an effort when this tape first emerged to do some kind of a joint interview and she really wasn't interested. She's very, very private. She had a rough outing at the Republican National Convention, but she's also -- and she was pretty clear on that I think particularly at the end of the interview, she's very focused on their son and that is her main concern. She is not into the campaign. And that's always been the case.

So, I was surprised she did it. And I thought she was effective. I don't know how hardened the views are out there in terms of her husband, and I think that will end up ultimately mattering, but I do think that she is able to reveal a side of him or talk about a side of him that most people don't see and that line she had about how she sometimes says that she has two sons at home.

[20:35:03] I think for people who are just making up their mind for those undecides who are especially, you know, suburban moderate women, they might find that appealing.

COOPER: Alice, I mean based on what you saw today, do you wish she had been out there earlier? Because again, I think she's a very effective spokesperson.

ALICE STEWART, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think she's a very credible spokesperson. She softens him up quite a bit. She's looking at that tape, you can see, she's very strong, yet she brings on a softer side to Donald Trump. She's able to put a face on this story that he's not able to do.

I think one thing -- I think I would have cautioned her when she talks about it's boy talk and he says it's locker room talk. Well, this was a grown man in a professional situation. I think the best thing that she said was saying that he has apologize to me, I accept his apology, I hope the American people will. This is not the man he is. And I think 10 days ago, they both should have come out and said that and pivoted onto other issues that helped him win the nomination, but I think this was a tremendous interview and I think it will help as Maggie said to sway some people that are still on the fence.

COOPER: Corey, do you think it will make a difference for Donald Trump is.

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Look, I think so. I think Melania Trump has been an absolute rock for her family this entire campaign cycle for 18 month or more, that Mr. Trump has been this entire family. Melania Trump has been that rock that has held this family together and has coalesced everybody. She has been in very major campaign event. She'll be at the campaign debate on Wednesday.

What you see with Melania Trump is a strong, smart, articulate woman who came here, has -- knows four languages, but here's what happened to her. And this is unfortunate. She didn't put herself in the media but we saw a negative stories that were factually inaccurate about her in the "New York Post," the "Associated Press," the "Daily Mail" saying she came here illegally. Never fact checked. And the only way to get a retraction, she had to file a lawsuit against these people. That's not what was signed up for, not what the American people deserve. She deserves better.

COOPER: Do you wish she'd come forward, you know, last week? Because, I mean, again, I think anybody seeing this would say she's ...

LEWANDOWSKI: I think Melania Trump was very clear, her number one priority in this race has been and continues to be to be the rock for her family and to raise her 11-year-old child. That's the most important job she has. I think everyone on this panel understand that that is the most important job she has is being a mother for her child, and that is what she felt was the most parent thing to do.

COOPER: Paul, what do you make of what you heard?

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think she's a very effective advocate for her husband. And Corey is right, it's pretty impressive, thjat she came to this country, a certain 10th grader who shall go unnamed who should be doing his homework, e-mailed me during the interview and said, gee, dad, her English is much better than Donald Trump's. And so I think she did a fine job. The problem is ...

COOPER: Does your son work for your Super PAC? Sounds like you're grooming him for this sort of ...

BEGALA: Oh, god, no.

COOPER: Does he give you one liners?

BEGALA: Much better thing.

LEWANDOWSKI: How is he not good with e-mails, either? Some e-mails we can talk about ... BEGALA: The problem is though, I do think she tried to scapegoat a little on to Billy Bush. Now, Billy Bush just before we went on the air, NBC announced they're separating from Mr. Bush. So he's no longer seen fit to host the third hour of the "Today" show and do cooking segments with Rachel Ray and yet we're supposed to believe that the guy who said even worse things, and is accused of doing them, belongs in the Oval Office. It's a fine interview, but as you pointed out, 68 percent of the American people, not only believe her husband said these horrible things, because he did, they believe he committed assault against women. And I don't think it change -- I think she's terrific.

One last thing, they should have had Trump there with her. Would have been much better to have Donald Trump sitting next to her.

COOPER: Why do you think?

BEGALA: Because I think, as Alice and that you're saying, that she softens him. I just -- I like to see I think it would be good for Trump just as -- does not mean ...


COOPER: The town hall that Trump did ...

BEGALA: That was great.

COOPER: ... is probably one of the -- right, is probably one of the best.

BEGALA: Best thing they did ...

COOPER: Right.

BEGALA: ... this campaign and never did it again. I don't know why.

COOPER: Karine, what did you think?

KARINE JEANE-PIERRE, CLINTON SUPPORTER: So my issue that I have is the "Boy Talk", right? It's not boy talk and it's not locker room talk. It's sexual assault, period. And the tape clearly says that and states that. We hear him, you know, about groping women, kissing women without any consent, right?

COOPER: Which the Department of Justice says is sexual assault.

PIERRE: Right, and so -- and so I guess my thing would be, is I would ask any parent out there, would you want your boy or girl talking in that whey? And if the answer is no, then I don't think Donald Trump should be president of these United States.

LEWANDOWSKI: You know, Anderson, it's amazing it wasn't that long ago that we had a president in the office who was accused in the same thing. It wasn't that long ago we had a candidate the Democratic Party who ran against incumbent president who was accused of the same thing. Don't forget when Ted Kennedy was a U.S. senator, this is not that long ago. He was accused of and with Senator Dodd of Connecticut of attacking a woman inside a Washington restaurant, picking her up, throwing her on the table, making unwanted advances to her. And you know what the Obama campaign did? They sought his endorsement when he was a president -- when he was seeking the presidency of the United States.

This was a well-documented case. There was no outrage back then. This is hypocrisy. Melania Trump is not on trial here. She came out, she stood behind her husband which is the right thing, to do. She was articulate. She's smart. She's a fighter for this country.

[20:40:04] What she said, remember what's her priority if she becomes the first lady? Cyber bullying. That is something that no one is talking about. She has seen it firsthand. I think we should be giving her credit and praise for being forward thinking about the use of Twitter and other mediums where kids every day are being cyber bullied. And she is saying this will be my priority as a first lady to make sure this doesn't continue. I think we should be praising her tonight.

STEWART: Look I ...

HABERMAN: One of the things though that I think is problematic, is that I mean, Trump himself, has been accused of cyber bullying people. And so I think that the problem is that and asked her about that, I mean, she paints a picture that I think for people who are low- information voters who are not really paying attention to this who may not have listened to the tape, I think it will be very compelling. I think that for people who have been watching the campaign and may have made up their own minds, that becomes a different issue. But I do I think in terms of issue she talked about in terms of talking about her family, she is a compelling spokeswoman for her husband.

BEGALA: That tape in the "Wall Street Journal" poll was ranked as the fourth most followed news story in the history of the "Wall Street Journal" poll. Everybody knows about that tape it? Now, does this new gate (ph) it know, does it help Trump? Sure, but I don't think it gets him out of the box of he said particular -- he said he committed particular acts in that tape. Not realizing he was being recorded. And now women have corroborated those precise acts. I don't think -- I think Mrs. Trump is terrific, ought to put her on TV every night but I don't think it negates that connection in the eyes of most voters.

COOPER: Alice, do you think it change people's minds?

STEWART: I think the people that wanted to hear how are they dealing with this and how is she able to get pass this and move on. I think the most compelling part of that interview was as I said, he apologized to her, she accepted his apology and hopes the American people would do as well. And this is not the person that he is. He is not that person.

So I think in my view this should be have been done, you know, nine days ago and we'd be talking about something else at this point. But I do think as I said she's a great, compelling, convincing argument for conveying to American people that this is not the kind of person that he is and get people back to what he did to win the nomination. How he came about to win over the Republicans in the primary process. And that's what they need to do as a campaign is get to focusing on those and also pivoting onto the vulnerabilities of Hillary Clinton and key issues that she's not answering right now obviously WikiLeaks, the e-mails and other issues. And that's what they need to be doing, not talking about what he said 10 years ago but what is facing Hillary Clinton today.

COOPER: Corey, Paul brought up the idea of doing a joint interview, something which Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton did what in '92, I guess on "60 Minutes"? Is that something would be wise given the fact the town hall went well, when he's with others, it's gone well in the fast.

LEWANDOWSKI: Well I think Melania Trump can stand on her own, she's strong, independent, tough. She's a fighter, she's a rock, right. I don't think she needs to sit next to Donald Trump to do anything. I think she can stand on her own ...

COOPER: No, I think he's saying ...


BEGALA: Trump is the one who can't stand on his own.


LEWANDOWSKI: But I don't think that Melania Trump needs anybody to sit next to her to be there and I don't think Donald Trump wants to sit next to her. I think what he wanted and what she clearly articulated tonight was he apologized. She accepted that apology. She has moved on from this. She said she thought it was wrong. If that's what she said. And now it's time to go forward. And that's what the American people are doing. And what we've seen in the public polls which have been released today from CNN is Donald Trump is still winning in the state of Ohio. It is a one-point race in North Carolina, a two-point race in Nevada.

If you start breaking out those election numbers in Nevada, Hillary Clinton is receiving 54 percent of the Hispanic vote in Nevada when Barack Obama got 71 percent of the Hispanic vote four years ago. There are real problems in the Clinton campaign. They don't want to talk about those problems, they want to talk about this ...

COOPER: With Paul, I mean -- it's a good point when you see those numbers, shouldn't given all that has come out about Donald Trump in the last several weeks, I mean starting with the taxes in '95 to these allegations in the tape, shouldn't those poll numbers not be so close?

BEGALA: Well there are polls -- the national polls have her leading 9, 11, 12. She's not going to win this election by nine points. It's crazy, right, then no Democrats going to win that kind of a landslide.

So, in fact in sort of artificially high for her in the national polls, it's much closer in the battleground states. Guess what, it's why we call them battlegrounds. That said yeah, I've said from the beginning this going to be a close race, it will be.

Trump is strongest in Iowa and Ohio of the battleground states, they have the highest percentage of non-college whites, that his base. He's weakest in North Carolina, Virginia, especially, and Colorado where in a higher college education rate. Hillary is doing better.

By the way, Corey, this is astonishing today. Poll came out from a Republican firm in Arizona, shows Hillary leading by two in Arizona, a state that is going once for Democrat since the Second World War. She is only down one in Alaska which has only gone once for a Democrat since it became a state. She's only down four in Texas which is, you know, the most conservative big state in America. And she's only down less than half a point in Georgia. So the battlegrounds are shifting around in this state, in this country in a very interesting way.

[20:45:08] COOPER: In terms of where the campaign goes, Maggie, I mean, you know, there's been a lot of talk about what the strategies of the Trump campaign, they want to depress Democratic turnout while bolstering their base. I mean, is that the way you see the next three weeks playing out? Is that -- I mean, is there an attempt to reach out to new voters, to independent voters, to minority groups?

HABERMAN: I don't see an attempt to add to his win column or to his vote column with what Trump is talking about. I mean he's talking about we've never really seen this in modern presidential history of a candidate talking about sort of a vast conspiracy that's opposing him and trying to take him down. And so I think that he has an enormously ardent fan base for whom that will be an appeal and who will be drawn by that.

I don't know that you can actively depress the other side's turnout. I think that there are people who will be motivated by Trump. There are people who will not be motivated by Trump.

To Corey's point, some of Paul's point, there are a lot of Republicans who are looking for a reason to vote with their party this cycle. And you're seeing that a lot of this polls, your also saying that Clinton is not at 50. There -- this is a four-way race in a lot of states.

So I think that you're going to see it sort of stay static. In terms of what happens I think that we are going to have potentially explosive third debate this week and then after that, I think that Trump has made pretty clear he wants to run this race on his own terms. He's running very much a primary race in the general election.

COOPER: Unshackled as he says. We're going to take a break. I want thank everybody on the panel and also, of course, Melania Trump for the interview.

With his poll numbers falling, Donald Trump is ramping up his attacks. Do his supporters still believe he can win? Gary Tuchman talked to some of the loyal Trump voters in Wisconsin before tonight's rally began. We'll hear from them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:51:16] COOPER: Well, as we've said, Donald Trump's campaigning in Wisconsin tonight, just wrapping up a rally in Green Bay. He hit the themes we've been seeing a lot of lately, including his allegation that this election is rigged against him.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths. Now believe me, this is a lot going on. You ever hear these people? They say, there's nothing going on. People that have died 10 years ago are still voting. Illegal immigrants are voting.

I mean, where are the street smarts of some of these politicians? They don't have any, is right. So many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is very, very common. The following information comes straight from Pew Research. "Approximately 24 million people, one of every 8, voter registrations in the United States, are no longer valid or significantly inaccurate. One in eight.

More than 1.8 million deceased individuals right now are listed as voters. Oh that's wonderful.


COOPER: Wisconsin, is of course, House Speaker Paul Ryan's home state. He was not at the rally with Trump. He's fund-raising in Texas. This is Donald Trump's first visit to Wisconsin since Speaker Ryan called off their joint appearance after the release of the 2005 video of Trump bragging about forcing himself on women.

Speaker Ryan said he would no longer the defend Trump or campaign with him, as the backdrop for tonight's rally.

Gary Tuchman talked to Trump supporters, who stood on line, hours before tonight's event began.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vote baby, vote.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The presidential campaign season is winding down. But the enthusiasm level of people attending this Donald Trump rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is definitely not.

What do you got there?


TUCHMAN: So you're a big Trump fan?


TUCHMAN: Is the back of your shirt? Back of your jersey, Trump. Trump mask. You like the guy?

VETTER: I love the guy.

TUCMAN: Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, Wisconsin Congressman, doesn't like him so much anymore. What do you think about that?

VETTER: I don't like him either. So ...

TUCHMAN: Paul Ryan?

VETTER: Paul Ryan, yep.


TUCHMAN: There is much home state pride for Speaker Paul Ryan here in Wisconsin, but it's hard to find it in the line to get into this Trump rally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a traitor to the GOP.

RANCIAL THOM, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Paul Ryan's a traitor not only to the Republican part but a traitor to the United States American citizen.

TUCHMAN: Danniel Vincenti said she purposefully misspelled the word "traitor" on the sign to express sarcasm regarding people against Trump.

You said Paul Ryan is a traitor.


TUCHMAN: Why did you spell it like that?

VINCENTI: Because I'm an uneducated white American catholic deplorable hillbilly from Wisconsin. That's why.

TUCHMAN: So you did it to make a point?


TUCHMAN: The people here for the most part say they still believe Donald Trump will win. And very few seem to have a problem with his anger they see on TV and online.

The other day, Donald Trump blasted "Saturday Night Live." Dso you think that's productive to do that?


TUCHMAN: I mean, it's a comedy show. They make fun of people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the media and the Clintons have been slamming him and telling lies about him. Is that acceptable?

TUCHMAN: But do you think he should be blasting a comedy show?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, that's the same thing. You're turning it around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh "Saturday Nigh Live" is a big issue to you?

TUCHMAN: Well Donald Trump, it is he's very angry at them for making fun of him. So does that bother you that ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me a break, no.

NICK HALLMARK, TRUMP SUPPORTER: If Trump's anger that you guys going say, oh he such angry and a dark person, it's what they turn. If you guys have been pushing, yes he is, because it is dark right now. It is dark for the American people. And everyone is angry. And that's why? And that's why you're going to see him in November and he's going to be president for eight years.


COOPER: Gary joins us now from Green Bay. You said for the most part, people at this rally still feel Donald Trump will win. What about the others? What are they saying to you?

[20:54:59] TUCHMAN: You know, there are quite a few people I've talked to, Anderson, who think it's unlikely Donald Trump will win. And for the most part, the reason they say that is because they hear Donald Trump talk about a rigged election. And the people here I talk to who think he might not win say, he might not win, because it will be a rigged election.

He talked about that as you mentioned before during his hour speech, people erupted when he talked about the possible rigging of the election. And I can tell you, these supporters who are here today in this very packed ballroom, they're very loyal, and they're also, like Donald Trump, very angry. Anderson?

COOPER: All right, Gary, thanks very much.

Much more ahead on "360". When we continue in the next hour, Hillary Clinton entering the final stretch with an edge in momentum and money. She's also facing new fallout of the FBI investigation into her e-mail server.

All details in that.


COOPER: Good evening. Thanks for joining us for the second hour of "AC360." Tonight, Melania Trump speaking out about the sexual abuse allegations against her husband, trying to explain his hot mike boasting, about having -- being able to get away with groping women and talking about how the media is reporting on it.

Some of her answers may surprise you, others may either confirm everything you always suspect about Donald Trump or everything you've always admired in him. There is a lot to the conversation, we'll bring you the best of it shortly.

First, Donald Trump on the campaign trail, and his claims that somehow the fix is in. More from CNN's Sara Murray.


D. TRUMP: The election is being rigged by corrupt media, pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president.

[21:00:06] SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump trailing in the polls and plagues by allegations of sexual misconduct. Is falling back on it's favorite safety net.