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CNN/ORC Poll Show Clinton Five Points Ahead of Trump; Trump Sticks to Claims of 'Rigged Election'; Obama Backing Senate House and State-Level Candidates. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 24, 2016 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Five-point margin. Our new poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by five points nationally. Is that enough to close out an election win? 07] Trump claims the polls are phony, and he says he's winning.

[17:00:07] Too confident? Clinton is offering her coattails to other Democrats across the country. But as she focuses in on the White House transition and reaches out to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, is s getting ahead of herself?

Gettysburg redress. Donald Trump picks a historic location to lay out his vision for the first 100 days of his presidency, but spends much of his time attacking the women who have accused him of sexual assault. Now a new controversy.

And Obama backing. The president is going all out to help Hillary Clinton and a long list of Democratic candidates all the way down to the state level. Will his newfound popularity reap benefits for his party?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Let's get to the breaking news. Our new national poll is just out, and it shows Hillary Clinton with a five-point lead over Donald Trump, 49 percent to 44 percent. Just 15 days before the election, both candidates are consolidating support among their core supporters. Other polls show an even greater spread, and Clinton's -- Trump's campaign manager now says, quote, "We are behind."

But Trump today insists he is winning, arguing what he calls the crooked media are putting out phony polls as part of a rigged system, his words. Trump is going all out today in the must-win state of Florida. But as early voting begins, polls show Hillary Clinton with a lead there.

Clinton today hit the trail in New Hampshire, another battleground state where she's trying to help defeat a Republican senator. Clinton is also looking ahead, planning for a White House transition. And sources say she's reaching out to both sides on Capitol Hill, preparing to govern after a very bitterly divisive election. President Obama is using his newly-regained popularity to back well

over 100 Democratic candidates for the Senate, the House and state legislators. Is it payback time for the president?

I'll speak with Trump senior communications advisor, Jason Miller. Our guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories.

Let's get right to our breaking news. Our chief national correspondent, John King is over at the Magic Wall. John, break it all down for us.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, let's go to the numbers. Again, if you're in the Trump campaign, yesterday you saw an ABC news poll with a 12-point national lead. So you look at our numbers, you're happy. You're happier that it's only a five-point lead, but only a five-point lead, remember, the Obama-Romney race four years ago was a 1-or-2-point race at this point. We know how that turned out.

But Secretary Clinton at 49 percent among likely voters in our poll; Donald Trump at 44 percent. Notably, Gary Johnson dropping in our new poll. That's pretty typical. Third-party candidates don't get invited to the debates. Closer to election day, their support tends to drop and move back to the major party candidates.

Again, the horse race, 49 percent for Secretary Clinton, 44 percent for Donald Trump. Let's take a little bit deeper look into the numbers. Gender, Wolf, has been an issue throughout this campaign. Republicans tend to get man voters. Donald Trump is getting them, but not by a giant gap. If you're Hillary Clinton, you think that's at least in play. Forty-eight percent among men, likely voters; 45 percent for Hillary Clinton.

She does have a bigger lead among women. She's trying to make history. It's the first woman elected president: 53 percent to 41, so a 12-point lead there for Hillary Clinton among women.

One thing we've talked about, Wolf, from the beginning of this race is this education gap. Mitt Romney won last cycle among college-educated white voters. Hillary Clinton continues to lead among college- educated white voters. That matters in some of the key battleground states. By 11 points in our new poll: 52 percent to 41.

But Donald Trump's best foundation, the bricks of his foundation, if you will, non-college-educated white voters. And wow, look at that, a 30-point advantage for Donald Trump, critical to him staying competitive in this race. A lot of Democrats think it's over. Some Republicans say it's over. But this here will help Donald Trump, that non-college-educated white voters, in some key states.

We also asked voters not just who are you going to vote for but why? And Wolf, there's a reason for Trump to be happy, to think maybe he still has a shot. It's this number here. Donald Trump still leads when we ask voters, who do you most trust to handle the economy? But when you go to other issues, very modestly for Clinton on terrorism, modestly for Clinton on immigration. But look at this. What has her campaign been about? She says on the

stump, she says in her ads Donald Trump is erratic. He's temperamentally unfit to be president, unfit to be commander in chief. For now, the voters are agreeing. By nearly 30 points, Clinton gets the edge when voters are asked who has the best temperament to be president. And Wolf, by 15 points, voters favor Secretary Clinton when we asked them who would be the best commander in chief.

So a 5-point national lead, much bigger than Obama had over Romney at this point, but still, if you're in the Trump campaign, at least it's not as big as some of those other national polls.

BLITZER: John, what's the true state of the race right now? We're talking about the race to 270 electoral votes.

KING: And that's why, heading into these last two weeks, Wolf -- we're 15 days out -- this map matters more than anything. And at the moment we have Secretary Clinton poised for a pretty convincing Electoral College victory. We have her at 307. That's the dark blue state solid Dem, light blue states lean Dem. And Donald Trump at 179. Saying the solid red are solid Republican, the lighter red leaning Republican.

[17:05:12] Here's the problem for Donald Trump. Our new poll does show Republicans consolidating around him. So perhaps that helps him out here. We still have Utah and Arizona as toss-ups. That's stunning two weeks before election day, ruby-red Republican states as toss-ups.

Some indication in our poll Republicans are coming home. It might help him here. The problem, though, Wolf, he still needs to turn Florida. He has to win North Carolina. He has to win Ohio. And even if he did one, two, three, four, five, it wouldn't be enough.

So 5 points, better than 12 points. This map, though, still overwhelmingly tilted Clinton's way. 15 days to go.

BLITZER: All right, John, thank you. John King reporting for us.

Donald Trump says he's ahead of the race and he's lashing out at what he calls phony polls put out by phony media, his words. Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is out on the campaign trail with Trump right now. He's getting ready for another speech.

Trump is still claiming the election is rigged, right?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. And Donald Trump is making a big push across the state of Florida this week. It's a must-win battleground for the GOP nominee, who insists he is winning this race no matter what the polls say, or as he calls them, the dark polls.


ACOSTA (voice-over): Don't believe the polls, Donald Trump says, believe him. TRUMP: And watch the polls, because this is part of the crooked


ACOSTA: As Trump explained to farmers in Florida, the latest election polls conducted by the mainstream media are part of a bitter harvest, seeding doubts about his ability to win.

TRUMP: These are what -- they call them dark polls. They are phony polls put out by phony media. And I'll tell you what: all of us are affected by this stuff. And what they do is they try and suppress the vote. This way people don't go out and vote.

ACOSTA: For now, the polls are now part of the conspiracy to deny him the White House. Or as he described it roughly seven times in one minute, a rigged system.

TRUMP: We are going to fix our rigged system. It's a rigged, broken, corrupt system. It's rigged. It's broken. It's corrupt. They want me to take that back. Let me tell you, folks, it's a rigged system.

We're in a rigged system. We're in a broken and corrupt system. And Bernie Sanders was in a rigged system.

ACOSTA: The latest CNN/ORC poll finds Trump trailing Clinton by 5 points.


ACOSTA: Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway conceded what aides say privately: Trump will have to come from behind to win.

CONWAY: Her husband campaigning for her, the current president, first lady, vice president, all much more popular than she can hope to be, and -- but she's seen as the incumbent. So going in, we were behind one, three, four points in some of these swing states. Our advantage is that Donald Trump is just going to continue to take the case directly to the people.

ACOSTA: But it's a case Trump sometimes mishandles, such as when he traveled to Gettysburg to lay out his vision for his first 100 days in office, only to spend the first 10 minutes attacking the women who accused him of sexual assault.

TRUMP: All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.

ACOSTA: Just today, Trump brushed off one of his newest accusers.

JESSICA DRAKE, TRUMP ACCUSER: He grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission.

ACOSTA: Pointing out she has starred in adult films.

TRUMP (via phone): One said, "He grabbed me on the arm." And she's a porn star. Now, you know, this one that came out recently, "He grabbed me and he grabbed me on the arm." I'm sure she's never been grabbed before. ACOSTA: Little more than two weeks left in the campaign, Trump is

painting a dark picture at rally after rally of an election that is being stolen from him.

TRUMP: There is the issue of voter fraud. Isn't it amazing the way they say, "There's no voter fraud"?

ACOSTA: At nearly every one of his stops, angry supporters lash out at reporters. Trump says changes are coming for members of the news media, who will face more lawsuits if he's elected.

TRUMP: Our press is allowed to say whatever they want, and they can get away with it. And I think we should go to a system where, if they -- if they do something wrong -- I'm a big believer, tremendous believer in freedom of the press. I'm not just talking about me; I'm talking about anybody else. Then yes, I think they should be -- you should have the ability to sue them.


ACOSTA: But Donald Trump does not have to listen to the news media. He can listen to his fellow Republicans. Endangered Republicans in races across the country are starting to warn their supporters that they better vote for them to stop Hillary Clinton when she gets to the White House. Wolf, that's more ominous than any poll.

BLITZER: Jim Acosta in Tampa for us. We'll stand by to wait and hear what Donald Trump has to say. Thanks very much.

Joining us now, Trump campaign senior communications adviser, Jason Miller. Jason, thanks for joining us.


And before we get going, Wolf, I've got to tell you, that piece from Jim Acosta, it was one of the most heavily edited, most dishonest intro packages I've probably ever had set up. And so I'm sorry. Normally, I wouldn't start off an interview like this, but everything from Kellyanne's words to the description of what's going on in the race was just -- was just nonsense. So...

[17;10:09] BLITZER: Your colleague, Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager, she -- and she's a pollster -- she did say over the weekend, on "Meet the Press," she said that -- that Donald Trump is behind in the race. What was -- what was inaccurate about that?

MILLER: Well, Wolf, if you listen to all of her comments, she was saying that we were behind on spending. That's very clearly -- look, we're doing fantastic. We're ahead in the Rasmussen poll. The IBB poll shows that this race is dead even. And even in the -- the CNN poll that came out an hour or so ago, No. 1, it's the same margin that it was the last time that CNN/ORC had a national survey.

But second -- and here's one of the things I think is important for folks at home -- hold on, Wolf, just one second. One thing is, if you look at the gender gap between men and women with Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, it's the exact same place that it was for Obama and Mitt Romney. When you look at the men, nobody -- it's not believable, Wolf, to think that Mr. Trump is only ahead by 3 points with men. That is just -- or to think that she is ahead with terrorism...

BLITZER: Let me -- let me just point out.

MILLER: ... or immigration or Supreme Court. That's just -- that's not realistic.

BLITZER: Jim Acosta did not take her out of context; we're not taking her out of context. Even Trump today said in a local interview, he said he -- and I'm quoting him now -- he said he's somewhat behind. He says he's also winning, but he says he's somewhat behind. We're not taking that out of context either.

MILLER: So let me tell you where he's behind, Wolf. Let me tell you where he's behind. Where he's behind is in Pennsylvania, slightly. He's behind slightly in Michigan. They're these blue states that Mr. Trump is putting into play, where we get zero credit for doing so.

And let me tell you where we're leading. We're leading in places like Iowa, which has been blue the last couple of cycles. Leading in Ohio. It's probably a tied race in North Carolina. We might be slightly ahead there. In Florida, I believe we're within the margin in that state, and actually we're ahead on absentees at the moment, so we feel like we're winning this race.

And Mr. Trump said that in his very last rally that he was in. And so that's the real reflection of where we are as a campaign.

BLITZER: Based on all the scientific polls that CNN and other major news organizations used, not the other unscientific polls, this is our information and I'll it with you.

Trump is ahead in Iowa, Ohio and Georgia. Yes, he's ahead in those three states. But the last time he was ahead in the following states was a while ago, based on the polls that we accept: Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia. In the polls that we accept as scientific and legitimate, right now Hillary Clinton is either slightly ahead or significantly ahead in those states.

MILLER: Wolf, I push back on that completely. I don't believe that CNN or any other news organization can simply play voice of God on this and decide which polls are acceptable and which polls aren't.

In the primary, almost every single primary -- every single poll undercounted and discounted Mr. Trump's support going in; he won with huge margins, even bigger so than before. We're seeing a lot of support in places -- again, we think we're right on the edge in Pennsylvania. You look at Michigan.

In fact, don't just listen to me, Wolf. Look at where Secretary Clinton has been spending her time. She was on the trail with Senator Kaine this last weekend. Where they in a purple state or red state? No, they were in Pennsylvania, doing two different events, trying to gin up their base.

Look where they're going this week: Iowa, another blue state where we're actually leading. So don't just listen to me; look at where they're going, as well.

BLITZER: We -- we've acknowledged that Iowa is going for Trump, according to the most recent polls that we accept. We've acknowledged that right now.

But you remember during the primaries, Donald Trump would always start off his speeches, how well he was doing, and he was doing well against those 16 other Republican senators and governors and other Republican candidates. This is what he tweeted earlier today. I'll put it up on the screen. This is from @RealDonaldTrump. "Major story that the Dems are making up phony polls in order to suppress the Trump. We are going to win."

All right. So do you regard our CNN/ORC poll as phony?

MILLER: I'm sorry. What was that, Wolf?

BLITZER: Do you regard our CNN/ORC poll that came out today, which shows Hillary Clinton nationally with a 5-point lead over Trump, as phony?

MILLER: I think the sampling was clearly flawed. There's no way that Mr. Trump is only ahead by 3 points with male voters. There's no way that Hillary Clinton is leading with some of these other categories.

The one thing that, even despite the flawed methodology and the flawed sample, they did get right, is that Mr. Trump is leading with voters who are concerned most about the economy. They believe that Mr. Trump, with his business background, is the right candidate to do that.

In fact, we've been talking a little bit of process, Wolf. We haven't talked about the fact that Mr. Trump is the only candidate to have laid out a 100-page detailed 100-day plan of what he's going to do when he takes office and how he wants to close out this race. And so not only is Mr. Trump giving the voters somebody to vote for; he's also giving them something to vote for. And that's important, because...

BLITZER: I'll point out -- I'll point out that the Hillary Clinton campaign, they put out a whole book, about 200 pages or so, Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine, announcing what they plan to do, if they're elected president and vice president of the United States. That's 200 pages of specific details, so that's pretty substantive.

[17:15:09] MILLER: Wolf, look, clearly, you're not one of the 2,900 people nationally who have actually read that book. It got terrible ratings, and even "The New York Times" mocked it for the low sales. All it was, was essentially a bunch of press releases that were put together. It was a bunch of pabulum, and there weren't real details.

Here's what Mr. Trump has done. He's laid out very specific plans, how we're going to get our economy back on track; how we're going to stop illegal immigration; how we're going to make sure we get our energy independence back again; and these are very detailed plans on how we're going to grow and create jobs in this country. And that's why he's leading on the economy, because people believe that we need a change, and Donald Trump is that right candidate to do so.

BLITZER: All right. Let's get to some substantive, critically important issues. We'll start with national security. Trump tweeted this today: "The attack on Mosul is turning out to be a total disaster. We gave them months of notice. The U.S. is looking so dumb. Vote Trump and win again."

All right. So this operation, the Iraqi military, the Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, are leading with U.S. support. What's -- why is it turning out to be a total disaster?

MILLER: Well, what Mr. Trump has said from the beginning, even as this has been talked about, is that you can't give that much lead time before going in for an operation or initiating an operation.

BLITZER: But it seems to be going relatively well, based on all the eyewitness reporters who are there and the others who are watching it. They always said it's going to take a few months. They're not going to liberate a city of a million people in a few days.

But they think 100,000 Iraqi troops backed by forces, they think they can get the job done. It will take some time, though. So the question is, why does he believe it's turning out to be a total disaster?

MILLER: Well, Wolf, there have been a number of reports that came out this past week, saying that there were concerns with how the operation has proceeded so far.

But again, the point that Mr. Trump has been making is you don't come out and say, "We're going to announce on this day, on this time, at this place is where we're going to go with the operation." A McArthur or Patton wouldn't go and show all of their cards and say, "Here's exactly what the plan that we're going to go and do."

BLITZER: All right.

MILLER: And so...

BLITZER: So what is Donald Trump's policy when it comes to liberating Mosul from ISIS?

MILLER: Well, I'd say, No. 1, the first thing we need to do is come up with a clear overall plan to defeat ISIS, which is something we have not seen from Secretary Clinton.

As far as what the exact plan will be and how we'll go and initiate that, I don't think that, No. 1, you're not going to announce that in the heat of the campaign two weeks before an election and go and tell the entire world and show all your cards, exactly what the plan is going to be. But Mr. Trump has said specifically that, once he gets -- once he's elected, he will put together all of his military advisers and his generals, and have them come up with a set plan, and then we'll initiate that.

BLITZER: So what you're saying -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- Jason, what you're saying is that, if he's elected president, his plan is to come up with a plan?

MILLER: No, I'm saying strategically, we know that we have to make the objective of destroying ISIS. As far as exact tactics to go and initiate and execute that, he is going to get a plan that will be delivered to him from the generals within the first 30 days of him being in office, and we'll go and proceed with that plan.

Now, that's in stark contrast with Secretary Clinton, who again, has been at the helm for this entire disaster of the Middle East. You look at the implosion of Iraq. We look at Libya. We look at Syria. These are all places where Secretary Clinton -- we look at the fact that we're now proceeding toward a nuclear Iran, which is very dangerous. These all reflect her...

BLITZER: I guess -- I guess the bottom line -- the bottom line is, Jason, it's unclear to me why he would declare this, in his words, a total disaster when this operation basically just started a week or ten days ago.

MILLER: Well, Wolf, I think there are a lot of concerns with how it's been conducted so far. The fact that we gave ISIS and the enemy so much of a lead time. And I think we'll find out exactly how it's going to go, but there have been a number of critical reports so far, and I'll leave it at that.

BLITZER: As of today, they say, the Iraqi military, the Kurdish forces, the U.S. military spokesman, they say hundreds of ISIS fighters already have been killed. But we'll see what happens over the next few weeks and months as this operation continues. Certainly not going to be an easy operation by any means.

Jason, we have much more to discuss. I'm going to hold you with us. Stay with us. We'll continue our conversation right after this.


[17:23:44] BLITZER: Early voting going on in Harris County, Texas. People are lining up, not only in Harris County, Texas, but in so many other states around the country; early voting now under way.

Let's get to our breaking news. A new CNN/ORC national poll just released shows Hillary Clinton with a five-point lead right now over Donald Trump.

We're back with Jason Miller, senior communications advisor to the Trump campaign.

Jason, as you know, there's lots of reporting out there right now that Hillary Clinton is putting together her transition team, assuming she's going to win. What is happening inside the Trump campaign as far as a transition is concerned?

MILLER: Well, as far as with the transition, I mean, look, we can talk about the transition after the election. Obviously, there's a transition effort that's going, that's been put together. A lot of work has been done on that. But from now until November 8, we're focused on the election. That's what's important, and that's why Mr. Trump is in Florida campaigning today to big crowds. That's why he gave a fantastic speech on Saturday, laying out his contract with the American voter. We had a chance to talk about draining the swamp, a whole package of ethnic reforms that we want to get across.

And I think, Wolf, go back to something I said before the commercial break. Not only -- not only is Trump giving someone a person to vote for, but he's also giving them something to vote for, and these are important. So we talk about our economy and our infrastructure. And we're not seeing this from Secretary Clinton. All we hear from Secretary Clinton is attacking Mr. Trump.


MILLER: And I think that's a sad state of the process right now.

BLITZER: I just want to be precise. Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, a big Donald Trump supporter, is he still leading the transition team? Because we haven't heard from him lately. We haven't seen much of him lately as far as the Trump campaign is concerned.

MILLER: Governor Christie is still leading the charge on the transition team, but again, the transition team can worry about that after November 8. Right now we're focused on winning the election, and that's what's important.

And Wolf, you're smart enough not to fall for this from the Clinton camp. The reason why they throw out the transition team and talk like this in the specific hopes that you go and talk about that and not about the fact that she has troubles with her own base. They're not turning out African-Americans and millennials at the same levels that President Obama was able to in 2004 and 2008. And the fact that we're seeing record numbers, in some places, of new voters who are showing up who want to be supportive of Mr. Trump, and this is going to be a dogfight until the end.

BLITZER: But look, the transition is critically important. And all presidential candidates at this stage, they really are planning for it even if they lose. Obviously, they've got to make those preparations.

Let me move onto another sensitive issue that came up today. Donald Trump addressed -- addressed the latest accusation of inappropriate sexual contact made against him, saying the accuser, an adult film star, if you will, made these accusations. Listen to what Trump said today.


TRUMP (via phone): I don't grab them on the -- you know, as they say, on the arm. And one said, "He grabbed me on the arm." And she's a porn star. Now, you know, this one that came out recently, "He grabbed me and he grabbed me on the arm." Oh, I'm sure she's never been grabbed before. And they make it so -- it is -- it's all lies.


BLITZER: So I want you to explain what he meant when he said, "I'm sure she's never been grabbed before." Explain what his point was.

MILLER: Wolf, Mr. Trump has said very clearly with all these false accusations and these false allegations, that they are completely 100 percent false, all of them. And think about it for a moment. Where were these accusers when Mr. Trump had the No. 1 show on TV? Where were they when he kicked off his campaign? Where were they when he won the Republican nomination? Where were they when he went to the Republican convention?

Now here we are, two weeks, two weeks and one day before the general election, and now we're starting hear from folks? This is -- Wolf, this is nonsense. There is zero basis and truth to any of this. And I think, heck, even look at the -- your poll from today, even despite the flawed methodology, still showed that Mr. Trump had a lead on trustworthiness among voters.

And that is because voters want a real change.

BLITZER: What these women, by the way -- I want to move on. What these women have all said is they decided to speak out after that "Access Hollywood" video came out, and we all remember what Mr. Trump said in that video. Then later at the debate, when he denied ever actually having done anything he spoke about doing in that "Access Hollywood" video...

MILLER: Wolf, you know that...

BLITZER: ... these women, now 11 of them, they say they came forward to rebut what he said publicly.

MILLER: Wolf, that makes zero sense. If any of this was true, people would have come out long before this. This is very clearly a coordinated attack. And unfortunately, too many in the media have been too gullible to go along with it and give these folks way more time than they deserve, despite there being zero evidence and zero witnesses. This is just -- it's completely false.

And it's all an attempt to try to take away from the important issues that people are going to the ballot box and they're actually going to be voting on.

BLITZER: So why is he waiting, Jason. Why is he waiting to sue?

MILLER: Well, again, this is putting these false accusers on notice that, if they do step forward and make these ridiculous, completely false, baseless claims, that they will be sued.

As far as an exact timeline for when exactly that happens, I'll let Mr. Trump speak to that. But again, what's important for people to know is that there is zero basis in truth in any of this. It's a complete distraction to try to knock away from the issues of what people are going to be vote for.

And here's the one thing that Hillary Clinton cannot run from, the fact that this is a change election, and upwards of three-quarters of the voters out there think that this country is going in the wrong direction.

BLITZER: All right. So...

MILLER: But Wolf, this is important. The country is going in the wrong direction. Hillary is doubling and tripling down on the status quo, and by doing that, she's putting herself in a very dangerous spot. Think about it, with the exception of the CNN/ORC poll...

BLITZER: Let me interrupt. So I just want to be -- in the next 15 days before the election, he isn't suing anyone? He's not suing "The New York Times"? He's not suing the women? He's waiting to see if he's elected president or not, and then he will decide whether to go forward and sue? Is that what I'm hearing?

MILLER: What you're hearing is I'll leave that to Mr. Trump, and he will make that determination. I'm not his lawyer; I'm one of his campaign spokespeople. So that's what I'm saying.

BLITZER: There's a lot of concern, especially those of us in the news media, journalists, that he's trying to undermine the First Amendment freedom of speech by going after the news media, raising all sorts of sordid questions about the news media.

You've dealt with the news media in your career for a long time. Do you feel comfortable with the way he treats the news media right now, suggesting he wants to have easier availability for government, for presidents, if you will, to go ahead and sue journalists and sue news organizations?

[17:30:18] MILLER: Wolf, with all due respect, I think that's a rather one-sided interpretation of what Mr. Trump is saying.

The reason why people love Mr. Trump is because he's willing to fight back. He's willing to stand up against this rigged system. He's willing to make his voice heard, and he's not going to be a wallflower that's not going to get pushed around.

And so when we see the incredible -- I mean, even your very own respected Jake Tapper, who I think is one of the best in the business, is someone who has called out media bias. Talking about the fact that there have been an incredible amount more time spent on the attacks against Mr. Trump than against Secretary Clinton. And the reality is, is that it is biased, Wolf. There is no way objectively...

BLITZER: There's no doubt that there is a bias out there. There's -- conservatives are biased, liberals are biased. No doubt about that.

The whole point, though, is you don't go after the First Amendment and freedom of the press. That is sacred, as you know, as I know, our viewers know. You don't try to undermine that and say, "We're going to change the rules of the game," because free press is so critical to our country. I assume you agree with me on that.

MILLER: As does Mr. Trump. The First Amendment is very important...

BLITZER: Well, he attacks the press in almost every rally. He points to the journalists that are trying to do their jobs, and he says to the crowd, "Look at them."

MILLER: But Wolf...

BLITZER: And then he uses some really awful words to describe reporters who are working very hard, Jason, just to get the news out there. They're doing their job. You know them, I know them, and for him to attack the news media like that is not acceptable.

MILLER: Wolf, with all due respect, I think that you're completely missing the point here. The point is that Mr. Trump is going to push back. Look, Wolf, there are entire networks on TV that, every time you turn them on, it's one big attack against Mr. Trump. Of course he has -- he has to have the ability to push back. He has to have the ability to set the record straight and to tell the American people the truth, that he is going to stand up; he is going to be their voice in Washington. He's going to drain the swamp. He's going to defeat Hillary Clinton.

BLITZER: There's no doubt he has every right to say that and do that, and I'm sure he will continue to do that, but when you go further and you say, "We're going to change the rules and undermine the First Amendment, make it more difficult for journalists to do their jobs," that's different. We'll continue this down the road, Jason. I'm sure we'll have many opportunities. But it was nice of you to join us today. Jason Miller, thanks so much.

MILLER: Thanks, Wolf, appreciate it.

BLITZER: Coming up, our new poll is the latest to show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump nationally. Trump says he's winning; calls the election phony. Our political experts are standing by. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


[17:37:08] BLITZER: Breaking news. With just two weeks left in the presidential campaign, a brand new CNN/ORC national poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by five points.

Let's bring in our political experts to assess. Dana Bash, this poll: Hillary Clinton now 49 percent, Donald Trump 44 percent. Can Trump make -- make a dent in that lead over the next 15 days?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's possible. Not probable, but it is possible.

I think what's most interesting about our new poll that's out today is that the margin between the two candidates isn't that much different. In fact, it's effectively the same as the last poll that we had, and what is different is that the independent candidate, Gary Johnson, he has lost support.

So what that means is that both of these -- the candidates, the party candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, they're somewhat frozen in time, which could be good news if you're looking for a glass half full in the Trump campaign for them, in that it doesn't look like Hillary Clinton's lead has climbed very much. If you're looking for the glass half empty, Hillary Clinton still has a five-point lead, which Donald Trump has not been able to make up.

So there is still, you know, time left. If you look at the individual battleground states, it's a little bit of a different picture, but somewhat similar, which, you know, we'll see how that goes.

BLITZER: As you know, Mark Preston, Donald Trump trying to reset over the weekend. Went to Gettysburg to announce what he would do his first 100 days as president. But he stepped and distracted on his own when he began that speech by threatening to sue the women who have come forward and made these sexual assault allegations against him. Why does he do that, and I'm sure his advisors don't want him to do that?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, Wolf, Donald Trump himself has acknowledged that his advisers would prefer that he doesn't bring this up. And again, this happens time and time again to Donald Trump, where he talks -- he's ready to talk about a major policy issue or talk about his plans for the future, and then he brings up these sexual allegations.

What he has said in the past, Wolf, is that if he doesn't address these issues, then people are going to believe them, and if they believe them, then they're not going to vote for him. He describes these allegations as one of the great political smear campaigns of the -- ever in our country.

And he also puts the blame at the doorstep of the media elite -- I assume that is us -- as well as the establishment and big interests, big business.

So it is interesting how Donald Trump, when he's going to go out and give a very big speech at a historical site such as Gettysburg, can't seem to shake the idea that he has to keep on addressing these sexual allegations, which quite frankly, takes away from his message of the day.

BLITZER: But it might deter other women, for example, from coming forward, if he hear him say, "I'm going to sue you if you do this"? Is that part of the strategy, as well, Mark?

[17:40:04] PRESTON: You know, I don't know. I mean, quite frankly, if that's the strategy, it doesn't seem to be working, because we have seen woman after woman seem to have come out since he's been saying these things over the past couple of weeks. And of course, we have lawyers now that are coming out and saying that

they're going to crowd source any kind of defense that, if a woman wants to come out and make these allegations -- look, if he was going to sue, you would have to wonder why he doesn't do it now, instead of issuing these threats to say, "Right after the election I'm going to sue everyone."

BLITZER: Nia, let's talk a little bit about our new poll. It shows Hillary Clinton expanded her lead with younger voters and non-whites. Trump did the same with whites without college degrees.

Here the question. How does that translate into the all-important Electoral College?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think for the Electoral College, it looks pretty good for Hillary Clinton; and it's looked good for quite some time. And it looks good, because she's not only doing well among those Obama coalition folks -- the younger voters and non-whites -- she's also expanding into traditionally Republican voting blocks.

You look deeply into those voters, she's winning voters over 65 by 5 points. Romney won those voters by 12 points. She's winning college- educated white voters by 11 votes, and Romney won those voters. And remember, Romney lost by 5 million votes. He won that segment of voters by 14 voice [SIC] -- 14 points.

What you see with Donald Trump is no real expansion. He's basically doubling down on this same group of voters, non-college whites. And it doesn't appear that he's doing much better even among that group than Romney did. You've got Hillary Clinton winning about 30 percent of those voters. That's about what Obama was able to do, too. So that's why you see this real mismatch in terms of the Electoral College.

I think the question right now is how much does he over-perform Romney in the Electoral College? Romney got 206 electoral votes. Is he able to get more than that, or is he going in the John McCain territory. He got about 173 electoral votes in 2008.

BLITZER: You need 270 to be elected president...

HENDERSON: Exactly. Yes.

BLITZER: ... of the United States.

Rebecca Berg, before our new poll numbers were released a little while ago, Trumped repeated he doesn't believe in any of these polls any longer. Listen to what he said.


TRUMP: They call them dark polls. They are phony polls put out by phony media. And I'll tell you what. All of us are affected by this stuff. And what they do is they try and suppress the vote. This way people don't go out and vote. But we're winning this race. I really believe we're winning.


BLITZER: How realistic is that attitude 15 days before the election?

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's not very realistic, and frankly, most polls that we are talking about in this race, certainly all of the polls that we discuss on air here, are very rigorous polls, conducted with the highest standards of polling. So none of the polls we're talking about really apply.

And Donald Trump actually, interestingly, in an interview with a Charlotte radio station today, conceded for the first time that I have heard that actually, he is behind in the polling, that he is not leading this race, not winning. And so we're getting kind of an inconsistent message from Donald Trump, as it appears, at least, he's starting to grapple with this idea, first of all, that he isn't currently winning, which most polling we're seeing right now confirms across the country and in most of these key battleground states. But he's also appearing to grapple with this idea that he will lose this election.

And as Nia said, the electoral map right now is very good for Hillary Clinton, not very good if you're Donald Trump, and no candidate in modern political history has overcome a margin this big this late in the election. So Donald Trump has a lot of work to do.

BLITZER: All right. I need everybody to stay with us. There's more information coming up. Also, coming up, he isn't on the ballot, but more and more, President Obama is out there on the campaign trail. How much will he help his fellow Democrats?


[17:46:55] BLITZER: This hour in breaking news, our new nationwide CNN/ORC poll shows Hillary Clinton five points ahead of Donald Trump. Despite her lead, Hillary Clinton isn't letting up and now is targeting vulnerable Republicans in hopes of helping Democrats take over the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Let's bring in CNN's Phil Mattingly. Phil, Clinton had some help today up in New Hampshire.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Wolf. If there is one area that even Trump advisers will acknowledge, Hillary Clinton has a clear advantage. It's in surrogates, both in quality and in quantity. Today, in New Hampshire, she was side by side with somebody that her campaign believes is one of her most effective.


MATTINGLY (voice-over): A Democratic tag team made up exclusively of women targeting Donald Trump.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: He thinks that because he has a mouthful of Tic Tacs that he can force himself on any woman within groping distance. Well, I got news for you, Donald Trump. Women have had it with guys like you.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): And any GOP candidate tied to him.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike her opponent, she has never been afraid to stand up to Donald Trump. I hope in these next 14 days, you do everything you can to support her.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren together on the campaign trail in New Hampshire seeking to boost Democratic Senate candidate Maggie Hassan and hoping to turn Trump's sagging poll numbers into opportunity in battleground Senate races across the country.

CLINTON: This is someone who roots for failure and takes glee in mocking our country no matter who our President is. Now, that may be who Donald Trump is, but this election is about who we are.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The down-ballot focus a shift for Clinton who is now making a strong play to help move the U.S. Senate into Democratic hands.

CLINTON: What I love about Maggie is that she is independent, she knows how to find common ground and how to stand her ground.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Relying heavily on pushing Trump's negatives to energize granite state voters against Trump and help pass it in other down-ballot Democrats to get to Washington.

WARREN: Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart, and nasty women vote.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): New Hampshire just the latest stop in a series of strategic events designed by Clinton and her team to provide a boost in early voting states.

An analysis of early voting data from catalogs by CNN shows more than 5.1 million votes have been cast, including nearly 3.4 million in battleground states. Democrats have reversed 2012 early vote leads in Colorado with 42 percent of votes cast by registered Democrats compared to 32 percent by Republicans. It's a similar story in Arizona where a large 2012 GOP advantage has turned the Democrats' way as well with 38 percent of votes cast by Democrats compared to 36 percent by Republicans.

[17:50:04] But Republicans have shown gains in crucial states like Iowa and Ohio. Still, Clinton advisers are making clear to CNN that they believe they are firmly in control of the race and are starting to plan for what comes next. That includes finalizing would-be White House senior advisers, working through potential Cabinet prospects, and quiet outreach to Capitol Hill allies, including Republicans, aides say.

Still, for Clinton herself, even as she clearly looks past Trump, trying to keep her eye on the ball.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you thought at all about who you might put in your Cabinet if you win?

CLINTON: No, I really haven't. You know, I'm a little superstitious about that. We've got a transition operation going, and I haven't really paid much attention to it yet because I want to focus on what our first task is, and that is convincing as many Americans as possible to give us the chance to serve.



MATTINGLY: And, Wolf, when you talk to Clinton advisers, they make very clear, in state after state, they do believe they're seeing advantages in their own polling. And that's exactly why you have seen this strategy shift of sorts from Hillary Clinton, one you're going to see continue later on this week, not just targeting battlegrounds with key Senate races, but also bringing key surrogates along.

Hillary Clinton will appear with first lady Michelle Obama later this week in North Carolina. Wolf.

BLITZER: Phil Mattingly, thanks very much for that report. President Obama, also, is going all-out to help Hillary Clinton get out the vote for a long list of other Democrats. Let's go live to our White House Correspondent Michelle Kosinski. Michelle, the President is putting his popularity at work right now.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, it can be hard to remember there are all this other tight races out there, but the President has not forgotten. With his approval rating rising, he is now endorsing close to 200 candidates down to a state level, and you hear this from the mouth on the trail too.

I mean, he's trying to step up the sharp rhetoric not only against Donald Trump but against opponents of Democrats all over the ballot, all over the country. It is unprecedented.


KOSINSKI (voice-over): President Obama on the campaign trail in force.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Come on, people. This ain't a show. Because now, suddenly, you're okay with your nominee having a bromance with Putin.


KOSINSKI (voice-over): The White House now using Donald Trump's unpopularity against Republicans running for office nationwide, ridiculing Congressman Joe Heck running for Senate in Nevada for only recently turning against Trump.

OBAMA: So how does that work? You're for him but you're not for him, but you're kind of for him. What the heck?


KOSINSKI (voice-over): At a fund-raiser, he tore into Congressman Darrell Issa saying his primary contribution has been obstruction with his many high profile Congressional investigations of the Obama administration, but he is now sending out mailers touting his cooperation with President Obama, who called this "shameless" and "the definition of chutzpah."

In Florida, the President railed against Senator Marco Rubio in that razor close race.

OBAMA: I agree with the U.S. Senator, a Republican, who, a while back, said that we can't afford to give the nuclear codes of the United States to an erratic individual.


OBAMA: By the way, you know who said that? Marco Rubio.


OBAMA: He also called Donald Trump a dangerous con artist who has spent a career sticking it to working people.

KOSINSKI (voice-over): The event was for Hillary Clinton but seemed equally designed to support Rubio's challenger, Patrick Murphy. The White House is working with Democratic operatives at the state level hoping to run up the score board for Dems in the year of Trump.

All told, President Obama will endorse some 150 state legislature candidates. One in Florida posted a photo of herself and staff with a cardboard cutout of Obama. He's also endorsing at least 30 contenders for the U.S. House, the President clearly hoping Donald Trump drags down Republicans across the board.

OBAMA: They've been riding this tiger for a long time. They've been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years.

KOSINSKI (voice-over): Looking well beyond his own presidency to the races that will shape policy in Congress and in local communities for years to come.


KOSINSKI: So you see him pushing for Democrats running for Congress and also saying out there, you can't elect Hillary Clinton and then, quote, saddle her with a do-nothing Congress.

Now, does this mean that the White House is now assuming that she will win? They don't want to treat it like that. Remember, it was only weeks ago that we heard President Obama say that, in this race, you have to treat it like you're running scared. So he's trying to do both, be extremely vocal against Donald Trump but support those down- ballot Democrats. He's going to be recording robo-calls and ads, and the White House feels that right now, late in the race, is when that's going to be most effective. Wolf.

[17:55:04] BLITZER: All right. Michelle, thank you. Michelle Kosinski at the White House.

Coming up, our breaking news. Our new poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by five points nationally, but Trump says he is winning and claims the polls are phony.


BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. Polling ahead. Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by five points in our new survey of likely voters nationwide. Could the momentum still shift in these closing days of an unpredictable campaign?

We're winning. Trump dismisses the polls as phony, claiming he is poised to beat Hillary Clinton and defeat a system he keeps describing as rigged.