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EARLY START

Debate Night: Trump Vs. Clinton III; Trump: Media To Blame For Rigged System; Clinton To Counter "Rigged" Election Claims; Iraqi Forces March Toward Mosul; Philippines Police Van Rams Into Protesters. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 19, 2016 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:30:35] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is debate day in America or debate before dawn almost day in America -- the debate finale between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Can Trump close the growing gap in the polls?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton staying out of the public eye to prepare for this showdown tonight but what will her strategy be? Will she go on the attack? Will she be forced to explain those damaging email leaks to millions -- tens of millions of voters who will be watching?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans here in New York.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman, live in Las Vegas. Thirty-one minutes past the hour right now. I'm at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. You can see the dancing -- the Runnin' Rebels there. The jumping Runnin' Rebels as they wait for tonight's debate -- the third and final debate at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

This could be the last best chance for Donald Trump to get back into this race. He is behind in the latest round of national polls. A new Bloomberg poll, out just moments ago, has him trailing by nine points -- nine points in a brand new poll out this morning. Trump also trailing in most of the battleground states.

Donald Trump made two stops in Colorado on the way here to Las Vegas. He urged his supporters not to believe these new polls and he delivered a warning about what he thinks a Clinton presidency would look like.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: History will record that 2017 was the year that America lost -- truly lost its independence. Truly lost its independence. And by the way, this is our final shot, folks. In four years it's over. You're never going to be able to win. You're never going to be able to win. It's tilting -- it's going to be a one-party system. This is your final shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: He had two events in Colorado, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction. Trump renewed his pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico and he described himself to voters in Colorado as a unifier.

Let's get more now from CNN's Jason Carroll.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Donald Trump had very little to say about the debate to the crowd here in Grand Junction, Colorado. He did say that the debate would be "interesting".

Certainly, a number of his supporters want him to stay on message during the debate and while he's out on the campaign trail. Having said that, a number of GOP leaders pushing back on Donald Trump's unfounded claims that the electoral process is "rigged". They certainly want him to stop talking about it when he's out on the campaign trail, but Donald Trump kept pushing the idea anyway.

TRUMP: The moment is going to be November 8th, it's very simple, and we will. We've just begun to fight. They even want to try and rig the election at the polling booths where so many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is all too common. And then they say oh, there's no voter fraud in our country. There's no voter fraud. No, no, there's no voter fraud.

Take a look at St. Louis, take a look at Philadelphia, take a look at Chicago. And then, I have even the Republicans saying oh, this is a wonderful -- look, look, if nothing else, people are going to be watching on November 8th.

CARROLL: Trump holding the media responsible for what he calls that rigged system, saying that the media has been "lying, cheating, and stealing". Again, these are Donald Trump's words. He also said that the media, at this point, is worse than his opponent, Hillary Clinton -- John, Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right, Jason Carroll, thanks so much.

Hillary Clinton -- she has been off the campaign trail for several days. She had some fundraisers at the beginning. She was doing a lot of debate prep leading into this. In this first debate, you will remember, she worked hard to bait Donald Trump. When they square off tonight -- again, that's at 9:00 p.m. Eastern -- she's expected to deploy a different kind of strategy.

Let's get the latest now from CNN's Jeff Zeleny.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Hillary Clinton is getting ready for her third and final debate with Donald Trump. She's been preparing just as much as she did for her first two but, I'm told, in a very different way.

Now, she has actually been familiarizing herself with all of those campaign emails in previous positions and statements that have been unearthed through the stolen hacked emails published by WikiLeaks. It is a new development in this campaign, something she is preparing for. Something she expects Donald Trump will go after.

[05:35:00] She also, I'm told, will go after what Donald Trump has been calling a rigged election. She'll be pushing back on that hard, perhaps as a way to get under Donald Trump's skin. She is also going to make the case for why she can be the president for all Americans.

Now, of course, that message is aimed at getting at some Republicans -- some moderate voters who may not have been open to voting for her but they simply cannot vote for Donald Trump. So, overall, that is her objective in tonight's debate, trying to make the case that a) she's presidential and, b) even if you don't love her you still may want to vote for her because Donald Trump, in the eyes of the Clinton campaign, simply is not fit to be president.

But, of course, Donald Trump will be getting his last licks in. This is the last time before such a big audience for him to make his case, raising some of those questions about her honesty and trustworthiness. Without question, tonight's debate will set the stage for the rest of the campaign, less than three weeks away from Election Day -- John and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right, Jeff Zeleny in Las Vegas, thank you so much.

Let's bring in "CNN Politics" reporter Eugene Scott. Eugene, we know that Donald Trump has been doing more traditional preparation leading into tonight's contest. Reince Priebus playing the role of moderator, firing questions. Chris Christie playing the role of Hillary Clinton, challenging Donald Trump. The question is, what will we see from Donald Trump tonight? Will it be a candidate on the attack or will it be a candidate primarily focused on policy?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, his advisers are certainly hoping he'll be focused on policy. That's what the voters have been asking for. We haven't gotten a lot of that in these last several days following the big controversy. But voters are still paying attention. They have questions that remain unanswered and this is one of his last chances to answer them.

ROMANS: You know, people close to him want him to talk about national security. They want to talk about ISIS, they want to talk about the economy, the economy, the economy. And these are the things every time he gets off those subjects he gets away from the things that have been working for him the most. Do you think we're going to hear him talk about national security? About the middle-class not feeling like they're getting ahead? But can he stay focused on that or is he going to attack Hillary Clinton?

SCOTT: Well, I think he's going to try to figure out a way to do kind of both because both help him, but in different areas. So his base really does appreciate the attacking of Hillary Clinton because they really believe that she should not be president. But right now he has to win Independent voters, which he hasn't been winning, and that's who he has to count on right now if he's going to make up these significant gaps.

ROMANS: You know, John, last week I moderated a debate between the economic advisers of each of these campaigns. It was two hours -- two and one-half hours of just substance. There's enough difference -- really major differences in how they view the world that we haven't really been talking about -- or they haven't really been talking about on the campaign trail.

I mean, you know, your taxes. You know, what economy you're going to live in, how much you're going to pay for college. These are things I don't feel like we've gotten to in this debate -- in this presidential election yet, have we?

BERMAN: No, but when economic advisers debate you're not going to hear much about emails or, perhaps, indiscretions with women. That's not something that's going to come up --

ROMANS: That's why I liked it.

BERMAN: -- in economic policy forums -- yes. So, Eugene, you know, it is interesting. Dan Balz, in "The Washington Post", was writing about Hillary Clinton. You know, George H.W. Bush once called it the vision thing. What's the bigger, higher calling for why you want to be president? And there's some people suggesting that Hillary Clinton needs to lay that out in this third debate. She hasn't done that in the previous two. She focused primarily on needling Donald Trump. She got what she wanted but tonight she needs to do differently.

SCOTT: I think what we're going to see from the Clinton campaign tonight is her vision as a unifier. We've seen a very divided election. We've seen, from both sides, candidates attacking the other side and their supporters. But, Hillary Clinton, this last go around, is going to try to convince more conservative voters that she is the best candidate to run this country, even if they don't completely agree with her policy ideas.

ROMANS: Moderator Chris Wallace at "FOX", he's got a hard job tonight, doesn't he?

SCOTT: Oh, I think it's a very difficult job, especially considering how many voters have argued that there hasn't been a moderator from a conservative network. So it will be interesting to see what he brings to the table that will be different from what the other moderators brought.

BERMAN: We got a sense of Chris Wallace in some of the primary debates. He does challenge the candidates on stage tonight so it will be an interesting 90 minutes, to be sure.

Eugene Scott, thanks so much for being with us. That debate tonight -- the final presidential debate -- the third and

final presidential debate is at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch it right here on CNN. We will be here all day leading up the big moment.

ROMANS: All day. Berman never sleeps, and money never sleeps. Student loan debt is the top concern for millennial voters and their parents. Brand new reports show grads are leaving college with more student loan debt than ever before. The average debt load at graduation -- wow -- $30,100. That's up from last year. That's not even counting the even bigger debt totals of students at for-profit colleges. Their -- gosh, they've got a lot of debt load there.

[05:40:00] It brings me to my Romans' Numeral today, $300 a month. These students graduated with all that debt will pay, on average, $300 a month in debt payments for a decade -- for 10 years. For someone just starting out that's a big bill. Sixty-eight percent of students will graduate with college debt -- some college debt. Those graduating, as I said, from those for-profit colleges will be paying a lot more than that.

As for private schools, those cost families an average of $26,400 a year. That's about half of median household income in the U.S. Think about that -- sending a kid to college. In-state tuition, $14,120. That's about one-quarter of median income.

All right, the two presidential candidates each bringing two guests to tonight's final debate showdown. Hillary Clinton -- she invites two billionaires -- real billionaires, her campaign says. Donald Trump is bringing a relative of President Obama's who supports Trump. Details ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:45:10] BERMAN: John Berman here at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Home of the Runnin' Rebels. Home of the final presidential debate. You can see the students out here en masse, taking a short break from their studying to be part of the excitement here.

This is the last showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Perhaps, the last chance for Donald Trump to get back in the race. He is trailing by a fairly wide margin in some of the recent polls.

Both candidates will bring guests to tonight's debate. The Clinton campaign invited a couple of billionaires to sit in the audience. Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Cuban was a guest at the first debate, as well.

Donald Trump invited President Obama's Kenyan-born half-brother Malik to the debate. I think the "New York Post" has him on the cover today. Malik Obama apparently supporting Donald Trump for president. Donald Trump also inviting Patricia Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith. She has been very critical of Hillary Clinton. She holds Hillary Clinton, she says, responsible for the death of her son in Benghazi. Now, we do not know if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will shake hands tonight at the beginning of the debate. They did before the first debate, they did not before the second debate. As of this time we do not believe there will be any staged handshakes between the candidate's family members. This is because, reportedly, the Clinton campaign requested a different set-up leading into this debate.

They had to shake hands -- or they were shaking hands before the final two, but this time around "The New York Times" is reporting that the Clinton campaign asked not to. So they're going to enter the hall from a different area closer to their seating apparently because the Clinton team wanted to avoid any awkward moments.

This, after the Trump campaign invited, as guests to the second debate, women who have accused Bill Clinton of past indiscretions.

Christine Romans, to you, in New York.

ROMANS: All right, thank you, John. Let's get a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY". Chris Cuomo joins me for that right now. Hey, Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "NEW DAY": Did you see the John Berman fan club out there in Vegas?

ROMANS: I did, all two of them. We sent them over special for it.

CUOMO: His two crazy cousins. I think there's one more now. He's probably paying them to come and see him, Christine. You know the truth about that silly man.

ROMANS: I do.

CUOMO: Well, look, he is in the right place, OK, because this is it. This is the last chance that we're going to get to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face-to-face on stage together, hopefully -- hopefully hammering out a difference of ideas that will make a difference in your life.

Now, the problem is, right -- we all know what it is. The campaign has descended into a character contest, and that's to put it in the best light. So, we're going to have a political analyst and what we're going to do a little bit differently for this last one, Christine, is we're going to have them kind of role -- not role play, but do the point and counterpoint that we're expecting to hear tonight. And that way we'll be able to see, really, who's making stronger cases and who is not.

Donald Trump is also now talking about term limits for members of Congress. It gets big cheers from the crowds in front of him but what do lawmakers think about that? You don't have term limits for a reason. He's asking for a constitutional amendment. We can't even get a piece of legislation done. We can't even get regular appropriations bills done. Donald Trump is saying well, I'll get a constitutional amendment done. Very, very high bar.

ROMANS: It certainly is. All right, Chris, thank you for that.

If you have ever wanted to own a historical piece of Trump real estatetonight may be your best chance, but you'll have to outbid the competition. We're going to take a look at Queens, New York, folks, and check out CNN Money Stream, next.

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[05:52:55] BERMAN: We are live at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas in advance of the third and final presidential debate. You can see the crowds starting to swell here in advance of the big moment tonight, 9:00 Eastern Time, right here on CNN.

We understand that Donald Trump has been doing more preparation in advance of the showdown tonight. Sources tell CNN RNC chair Reince Priebus has been playing the role of a moderator, asking questions in practice sessions, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie playing the role of Hillary Clinton.

Now, Hillary Clinton -- she has been off the campaign trail for several days right now doing some fundraising and preparing for the debate tonight. Jeff Zeleny reported to us she might do a little bit of a new strategy tonight. She's been studying a lot of the leaked WikiLeaks emails -- the hacked WikiLeaks emails. She says she's anticipating attacks from Donald Trump along those lines. And she plans to go after Donald Trump for repeatedly claiming that the election is rigged.

All right, Clinton v. Trump part three. This time it's personal. The candidates face off for the final time tonight, 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN. And we will be here on campus at UNLV all day long -- Christine Romans.

ROMANS: All right, John Berman, thank you so much for that.

The operation to liberate Mosul could take two months. That's the assessment from a Kurdish military commander during day two of the offensive. Nearly 100,000 troops are marching on Iraq, the second- largest city, and overnight, Iraqi forces find themselves surrounded by extremists.

I want to go live to Erbil, Iraq and bring in CNN's Michael Holmes. What's happening? What are you hearing from the front lines, Michael?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kurdish and Iraqi forces are pushing in from the east and also the south, heading towards Mosul. Some units, we're told, are as close as maybe 10 miles, but it's hard going. They're going through all these towns and villages clearing them, but they're getting resistance along the way. They say it's not as heavy as they expected but they are having to take it seriously.

[05:55:00] And clearing those villages is not an exact science because we did get, as you alluded to there, a disturbing report that some Iraqi soldiers have, in fact, been surrounded by ISIS fighters. This is near a village about 15 miles south of Mosul. They had gone through a couple of villages. They thought they had cleared it and it seems that some ISIS fighters have been hiding, perhaps, in tunnels or in houses, and have surrounded them. We're still not sure of their fate at the moment.

But, the Iraqi forces say they're going to continue on their way to Mosul. The commander of one division telling CNN its forces have destroyed dozens of suicide vehicles, cleared a large number of IED's --and that's taking a lot of time -- and killed at least 50 ISIS fighters.

It could be two weeks before they get to assault Mosul and, as you pointed out, maybe that battle to liberate the city will take two months -- Christine.

ROMANS: Meanwhile, a least one million people live there in the interim. Thank you so much for that, Michael Holmes. I know you'll continue to watch it for us.

Breaking overnight, a Philippine police van caught on video rammed into protesters leaving several injured. This happened during an anti-U.S. rally at the American embassy in Manila. This footage shows demonstrators hitting this police van with wooden batons they had taken from police. At least 1,000 protesters gathered to demand an end to the presence of U.S. troops in the Philippines and to support their president. A call by President Rodrigo Duterte for a foreign policy not dependent on the U.S.

All right, let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Dow futures slightly lower right now. Investors waiting for earnings from Morgan Stanley, American Express, eBay. Stock markets in Europe and Asia are mixed. Oil is rising. Goldman Sachs, speaking of earnings, crushed estimates yesterday. Higher trading revenue -- that led to a rally in the stock market yesterday.

A new report shows the cost of living is creeping higher. The Consumer Price Index ticked up last month. Prices are now 1.5 percent higher than they were the same time last year. It's a problem for the Federal Reserve. It wants to see that number closer to 2 percent. If you take out food and energy, prices rose about 2.2 percent.

The silver lining -- paychecks are growing faster than grocery bills, except if you're on Social Security. The government says the typical retiree's monthly check will grow by $3.92 next year. Benefits did not increase at all this year. The typical retiree's monthly benefit now a little more than $1,300 a month.

All right, this piece of historic Trump real estate could be yours. Yes, that's a -- that's a Trump real estate right there. Donald Trump's childhood home goes up for auction tonight. The Tudor-style house is in Queens -- in the New York City borough of Queens. Twenty- five hundred square feet, five bedrooms, 4.5 baths. Suggested opening bid $849,000. That would be a relative bargain for a house in this location.

You won't find the high-end finishes, the gold ceilings. You won't find a big escalator here. It's not like his current penthouse. This house needs a little work, depending on your taste. You can check out the new CNN Money Stream app. It's business news personalized. Stories, videos, tweets, and topics you all want, all in one feed. Download it now on the App Store or Google Play.

Fifteen hours before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tangle in the final -- final debate. "NEW DAY" picks up that story now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: When it comes to Washington, D.C., it is time to drain the damn swamp.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He started whining before the game's even over?

TRUMP: We've just begun to fight. They even want to try and rig the election.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Despite all of the terrible things he has said and done, he is still trying to win this election.

TRUMP: She's home sleeping and I'm working. That's the way it's going to be in the White House, too.

OBAMA: Whenever things are going badly for you, you start blaming somebody else? Then you don't have what it takes to be in this job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, October 19th, 6:00 in the East.

It is a big day. The final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Las Vegas is tonight. Can Trump turn around his poll numbers and how much time will be spent on the claim of a rigged election versus the accusations of sex assaults against him?

CUOMO: Now, there's no question that Trump floods the zone with outrageous comments and actions, but Clinton can't just stay out of the way tonight. She has her own challenges. How does she explain what's in that latest batch of stolen staffer emails? And, new undercover video suggesting a Democratic operative may have been inciting violence at Trump rallies.

Zero days until the next debate. Twenty days, now, until Election Day. We have it all covered.

Let's begin with CNN's Manu Raju live in Vegas -- Manu.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, Chris. Now, Donald Trump has sustained one of the worst months of any presidential candidate in recent memory. Not only these allegations of sexual misconduct but, also, those two rocky debate performances and those ugly spats with his own party. The question today is whether or not Donald Trump can reverse this downward trajectory.