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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Pounces on Obamacare News; Interview with Rep. Chris Collins; Clinton Targets Florida Trying to Help Fellow Dems; Trump's Nightly "News"; Trump Stumbles in Attacking Obamacare. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired October 25, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, "doing really well." Donald Trump says he is winning, even though polls overwhelmingly he's not. Can he turn things around in the must-win state of Florida?
[17:00:17] Rate hike. Obamacare premiums are about to soar for millions of Americans. Trump says he wants to get off the groping controversy. Can he make health care an election game-changer?
"Get away with it." More stolen e-mails reveal Hillary Clinton's closest allies were stunned that she and aides covered up use of a private e-mail server. One calls that move unbelievable. The other concludes, and I'm quoting, "They wanted to get away with it."
And broadcast views. The Trump campaign launches a nightly webcast at Trump Tower live. Is it Trump's answer to what he calls the dishonest media or a forerunner for a future Trump TV network?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Two weeks until election day and both candidates are going all out in the crucial battleground state of Florida. Donald Trump acknowledges it's a must-win state. But he also says he's winning, although polls overwhelmingly show Hillary Clinton with a lead there and nationally.
Our new poll shows more than two-thirds of voters think Clinton will win the election, but just over a third think Trump will accept the results and concede if he loses.
Trump today said he wants to get off the subject of sexual misconduct toward women; and new revelations about the cost of Obamacare are giving him a chance to do just that. Premiums will skyrocket next year. But Trump stumbled when he said his own employees have a tremendous problem with the healthcare program. He then admitted most of his own employees aren't even on Obamacare.
Hillary Clinton faces another new hurdle today. Stolen campaign e- mails show close allies were stunned at her failure to acknowledge the private e-mail server she used as secretary of state. One friend suggesting the Clinton team, quote, "wanted to get away with it."
But Clinton got a boost today from a Republican predecessor. Former secretary of state in Powell said he'll be voting for her, as he did for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. I'll speak with Donald Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.
And our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of the day's top stories.
Both candidates are campaigning today in Florida. Our political reporter, Sara Murray is on the scene for us.
Sara, this is a must-win state for Donald Trump, and he has some new ammunition to use against Hillary Clinton.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Wolf. And Donald Trump is looking to capitalize on the news of these rising healthcare premiums. But even today he struggled to explain exactly what impact Obamacare has had on his own businesses.
MURRAY (voice-over): Today, Donald Trump is taking aim at President Obama's legacy, pouncing on the news that Obamacare premiums are set to spike next year.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Obamacare is just blowing up.
MURRAY: Trump seizing on the issue as a government report reveals premiums for the benchmark silver healthcare plan under the Affordable Care Act are set to rise an average of 22 percent in 2017.
But Trump is insisting the price hike will be even larger.
TRUMP: Americans are going to experience another massive double-digit hike. Now, they said 25 percent. Forget 20 -- you'll take 25 percent. It's going to be 60, 70, 80, 90 percent.
MURRAY: Trump appeared with his employees at his Doral property today to take a swipe at Obama. The billionaire businessman ended up inviting questions about what sort of healthcare he offers his employees.
TRUMP: And I can say all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare. I mean, you look at what they're going through, what they're going through with the health care is horrible because of Obamacare. So we'll repeal it and replace it.
MURRAY: Despite Trump's suggestion that all his employees are struggling with Obamacare, the general manager of Trump National Doral clarified that more than 90 percent of employees are insured through the hotel. According to the general manager, only part-time or seasonal employees would be using the healthcare exchanges.
Trump's attempt to go on offense on policy comes as he appears eager to set aside his war of words with nearly a dozen women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, telling FOX News this morning he'd rather focus on other issues.
TRUMP (via phone): I just want to let people know I'm innocent. OK? Nothing ever happened. It didn't exist. This was all fantasyland. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also...
TRUMP: I'd like to get off that subject, because everybody -- everybody brings it up.
MURRAY: But as he spends his third day stumping across Florida...
TRUMP: In Florida the number of people at the voting booths are massive, the biggest they've ever seen. And a lot of them wearing Trump buttons and hats and shirts. So I assume they're voting for us, right?
[17:05:00] MURRAY: Trump's electoral challenges are growing more pronounced. A new Monmouth University poll in Arizona, a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1996, shows Hillary Clinton nipping at Trump's heels. She's drawing 45 percent support to Trump's 46 percent.
MURRAY: Now, on the campaign trail today, Hillary Clinton steered clear of this healthcare issue, the problems with Obamacare. But she did do a radio interview where she pointed to the millions who are insured now who weren't before Obamacare but acknowledged there are problems with the law and escalating costs are one of them -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Sara, thank you. Sara Murray reporting.
Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is in Sanford, Florida, where Donald Trump just held a rally. Jim, what's Trump's main line of attack today?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, he was doing more than just going off on Obamacare. He was tossing out some red meat at this rally here in Sanford, Florida, going after some of his favorite targets: Hillary Clinton and the news media. At one point during his remarks, he said, if you vote for Hillary Clinton, quote, "You are crazy. She is the worst." He then referred to reporters covering his campaign as scum and low-lives. Here's more of what he had to say.
TRUMP: I'm telling you, I opened the door. I looked out the window. I said, "Wow. It's so different from what they report." These people up here, they are the worst. And you know what it's called.
By the way, you know what it's called, don't you? It's called voter suppression. Because people give up. People give up. And just about the biggest part of the crooked establishment are these people right back there with the phony cameras. A bunch of phony low-lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, Trump did tick off some of the states he thinks he's going to win in November, Wolf. He said he's going to win here in Florida. He mentioned Ohio, Iowa. He even said he could win in Pennsylvania. That's a tall order, Wolf. If you look at the polls and where they stand right now. Wolf, Donald Trump is predicting that this is going to be a Brexit-like election and that in two weeks the rest of the country is going to be stunned.
I think something remarkable is interesting happened today that's worth noting. For once in what seems like a very long time, perhaps a couple of weeks, Donald Trump was ahead of the narrative today with that Obamacare news, helping him with his message. Instead of feeling like he's under the narrative, he was on top of it today, Wolf.
BLITZER: A big break for him in these final two weeks. I don't think there's any doubt about that. Jim Acosta, thanks very much.
Joining us now, Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York. He was the first member of the U.S. Congress to endorse Donald Trump. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: Always good to be with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Donald Trump said today all of his employees, in his words, are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare.
But shortly thereafter, the general manager of his club, he himself had to acknowledge most of his employees, almost all of his employees, are not on the Affordable Care act, not on Obamacare. They take -- the Trump Organization provides health insurance for them.
This was a stumble on his part. It suggested to some observers he really doesn't understand what Obamacare is. You want to respond to that?
COLLINS: Yes. I don't think that's the case, but I think he's to be congratulated for providing health insurance, private health insurance, for his employees.
But we also have to remember, that health insurance is also -- has to apply the Affordable Care Act basic set of coverage, in which case drives up the cost of his own private health insurance by having to provide some things that perhaps his employees don't need.
So in fact, every insurance policy in America is impacted by the Affordable Care Act, because they set forward a new set of minimum standards that every policy, private or Obamacare, have to adhere to.
So no, I think he was spot on. I will say that what we're hearing now is not unexpected. You know, we put a repeal of Obamacare on the president's desk last year. Obviously, he vetoed it. But the -- what we call a better way, the Republican agenda, put forth by Paul Ryan, speaks to the replacement of Obamacare.
BLITZER: Let me get to that. Let me get to that, Congressman. Because Trump says and he's been saying now for a long time he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare.
COLLINS: And replace.
BLITZER: But he really hasn't given a whole lot of detail as far as his specific proposals, how to replace Obamacare. Let me play a clip from a new Trump campaign ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump didn't create this problem. But his plan makes things better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump's plan: repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered health care that promotes choice, quality and affordability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So he doesn't provide a whole lot of detail. Do you understand the specific plan he has for replacing Obamacare? For example, how would he insure -- make sure that people who have pre- existing conditions could still get health insurance?
COLLINS: Yes. That is all part of our Republican conference, what we call a better way. People can go look at that. Our replacement plan is very detailed. Twenty-five-year-olds and under can stay on their parents' plans. We absolutely have a high-risk plan for those with preexisting conditions that would be subsidized by the federal government, something we take seriously.
But it is patient-centric, has competition. Companies will be able to choose the plan that works best for their employees without this preexisting minimum set that have driven premiums up. So yes, that plan exists. The details, you can look it up on A Better Way.
BLITZER: Let me be specific. Congressman, so you're saying that Donald Trump supports Paul Ryan's healthcare plan?
COLLINS: It is my understanding that is what we have referred to in a better way. And it's my understanding that Mr. Trump has seen that plan, and what he's talking about in that commercial in fact is a better way, the replacement plan that the Republican conference has worked very hard on the last couple of years to make sure we have affordable coverage, competition, patient-centric choice. And yes, I do believe that's the plan Donald Trump is referring to.
BLITZER: All right. Let's talk a little bit about the polls out there right now. Trump keeps saying he's winning, he's ahead. But take a look at this brand-new North Carolina poll that just came out. Donald Trump is down in North Carolina by seven points. I assume you have to admit, at least in North Carolina, you see a poll like that, he is -- he's not winning in North Carolina.
COLLINS: Well, all of us are concerned by polls, but I know I learned a long time ago that polls don't vote. And I -- I will say again, this is a turnout election. We don't know. No one knows the energy behind who's turning out, who's voting, who's not. But I can tell you, the energy is more with the Trump supporters and
the Trump voters than with Hillary voters. So yes, I do talk about a Brexit-type of surprise on November 9 when we wake up that morning. Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Only two weeks away, that will tell.
But certainly, as Obamacare's signature accomplishment, and it's not an accomplishment, is now imploding before us, and then the administration, Hillary, saying, "Well, don't worry, most of these people on Obamacare get subsidies, so these 25 percent increases will be paid for by the taxpayers of the United States with higher deficits and increases in our debt."
I find that a disgusting answer, to sell out our children and grandchildren, suggesting, "Don't worry about 25 percent premiums. These folks have subsidies by the federal government." I just think that's an awful comment.
BLITZER: Quick question. Because it's close, obviously. You believe it's very close in North Carolina and Florida and some of these other key battleground states. Which raises the question. Why is he coming to Washington tomorrow for the official opening, the launch? He was here a month ago for the soft opening of his new hotel. He's coming back tomorrow to Washington, with 13 days to go, and he's spending time in Washington, D.C., promoting his new hotel.
COLLINS: Well, it does show the success of the Trump enterprise, his private sector successes. And I think that's another good way to differentiate with Hillary.
And as we've said before, the only job she ever created was for her daughter Chelsea working for the Foundation. So to zip in and zip out, and to take an hour, I mean, obviously, Donald Trump is hitting many cities every day. It does remind America he has a successful enterprise, something Hillary has tried to suggest otherwise. And it is a big accomplishment in D.C.
So that's a scheduling issue. He decided to prioritize. I have no problem with that. And as we've said, you know, 14 days to go, there's a lot to cover across the country. Certainly Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire. Those are the seven states that this election is going to swing on. I grant you, he's got to win six of those seven states. And I believe he will, but you know, anyone who says this election is over really doesn't know what they're talking about.
BLITZER: That's why some of his advisors didn't necessarily want him to come for the opening of the hotel. Let his kids take care of that, and he could remain in North Carolina or Florida, Ohio, some of those other states.
But let's move on, Congressman. We have more to discuss. We'll take a quick break. We'll resume our special coverage right after this.
[17:18:547] BLITZER: We're back with the Republican congressman Chris Collins of New York, an early staunch supporter of Donald Trump.
Congressman, Trump has given speeches now throughout Florida over these past several days. Very interestingly, he has not mentioned the name of Senator Marco Rubio, who's in a tough reelection bid against the Democrat, Patrick Murphy. Why hasn't he publicly rallied for Marco Rubio?
COLLINS: Oh, I guess I can't answer that. That's certainly a decision he's making. And again, for his campaign, he needs to stay focused on the issues. He's doing that. Talking about the problems with the Obama administration, certainly Obamacare. But also talking about putting America first, securing our borders, bringing the jobs back and the like.
So I'm just encouraged he's staying on message, talking about issues. Because that's the differentiator that will bring the American public back into his camp. Change versus status quo. We know the country is going in the wrong direction and the exclamation point today on Obamacare and the 22 percent increases, I think says a lot about where the country's been going. And Hillary Clinton, as the status quo candidate, will continue that direction. Versus Donald Trump, the change agent, and Obamacare, again, a very good example. Repeal it but replace it.
BLITZER: I raised the question because Hillary Clinton in almost every state where here's a Democratic Senate candidate who's in a tough fight, she brings that candidate up on the stage, spends a lot of time talking about that candidate.
It doesn't look like these Republican candidates in a lot of these states like Marco Rubio even want to be seen with Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee. That's sort of awkward right now, but you gave -- you gave your answer.
[17:20:36] Let me talk about former secretary of state General Colin Powell. He said today he will vote for Hillary Clinton. Do these big-name endorsements of Republicans, and General Powell is a former Republican secretary of state. Does it hurt Trump?
COLLINS: Not at all. Donald Trump is running against the establishment, the Republican and Democrat. The insiders, the inside the beltway folks. Certainly Colin Powell. I respect him professionally, but he is and as he's admitted voted for Democrats the last few elections.
He's part of the inside the Beltway establishment. That's who Donald Trump is running against.
So as these folks are showing up and endorsing Hillary Clinton, in fact, it just confirms Donald Trump's message that establishment Americans are absolutely -- Republicans and Democrats -- scared to death of the change that Donald Trump is going to bring to turn this try around, serving everyday Americans and making America great again for all Americans, totally throwing out everything to do with the establishment. So no, I am not surprised. Doesn't hurt Donald Trump at all. BLITZER: Listen to this clip. Resurfaced. A clip of Donald Trump
speaking back in 2008. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I think our history is far from being over. I'd like to answer that question in another 15 years from now. I think she's going to go down, at a minimum, as a great senator. I think she is a great wife to a president, and I think Bill Clinton was a great president.
You look at the country then. The economy was doing great. Look at what happened during the Clinton years. I mean, we had no war. The economy was doing great. Everybody was happy. A lot of people hated him, because they were jealous as hell, you know. People get jealous, and they hate you. Dominic, do you have that problem?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honestly, yes.
TRUMP: I can imagine you do. But a lot of people don't like him because they're jealous of him. But Bill Clinton was a great president.
I mean, I hope we can be so lucky in terms of the economy and in terms of other aspects. We weren't in wars with two -- I'm not blaming -- Afghanistan, by the way, is probably a place that we should be. Iraq we shouldn't be, and we should have never been.
You know, Iraq is interesting. Because in Iraq, Saddam Hussein used to kill terrorists. He used to kill terrorists. Now Iraq is the breeding ground for terrorists. That's where everyone goes. Like, some people go to Harvard, some people go to the Wharton School of Finance. If you're a terrorist, you go to Iraq.
So, you know, we just made some bad decisions. Bill Clinton was a great president. Hillary Clinton is a great woman and a good woman.
BLITZER: So that was, what, in 2008. Very complementary to Hillary Clinton, to Bill Clinton. He said she was misunderstood. Now he calls her a nasty woman. What changed here?
COLLINS: Well, what you start with is Donald Trump is a very smart and astute business person. The last thing you would do in the private sector as a smart, astute business person is to pick a fight with the Clinton cartel. Certainly he said what he said. Donated money to them as well. Because, as he has emphasized. He knew how the system worked and as a private-sector business guy, he made sure he would not be in the cross-hairs of the Clinton cartel.
So I'm not surprised, as a private-sector business guy, in the world of being a smart business guy, said what he said. And now that he's running for president, he's put forth the truth about the Clinton cartel. There's been a lot of expose with WikiLeaks and others to show how corrupt the whole family is, certainly the Foundation...
BLITZER: Let me interrupt for one second, Congressman. So what he said back in 2008, you're suggesting he did just did that for business reasons? He really didn't believe what he was saying? Is that what I'm hearing?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SNOT: That's exactly what I am saying. He has said from day one, he understands how the system works. That was smart business. And he was in the private sector.
I don't think anyone can say that wasn't smart business. And so now that he's running for president, he's exposing the underbelly of the establishment, including the Clintons, and he's taking the fight to them.
And I think that's the right tack to take. And I've got no problem as a private-sector guy, with him, quote, "playing the game" to an extent to make sure that they didn't come after him and that, as he has said, he donated to both parties. And that's a private-sector solution. You see it today across the country with the private sector.
[17:25:19] BLITZER: So what you're saying is he really didn't believe all those nice things he was saying about Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, but he thought that they could help him with his real-estate business? Is that what he thought? Is that what I'm hearing you say?
COLLINS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, what goes around comes around.
BLITZER: How could they help him with his business? How could they help him with his real-estate business? He's building hotels. He's building country clubs, building office buildings. How would Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton be able in 2008 to help him?
COLLINS: Well, there's fights you pick and there's fights you don't pick. And why pick a fight with a former president? Why pick a fight with the secretary of state?
BLITZER: He doesn't have to pick a fight, but he doesn't have to go out of his way to say all those complimentary things. He could just be quiet too, right?
COLLINS: Well, he felt it was in his best interest. That's why he donated money to them as well. Never knowing what goes around comes around. Why pick a fight when you are in the private-sector. Most private-sector business people don't pick those kinds of fights.
And so he went out of his way. As I understand it, you know, he -- you know, they visited each other at weddings and so forth, socially. There's no problem with that.
But, today the public does know the truth, in many cases because of WikiLeaks, how corrupt the Clinton family is, the foundation, pay to play. So, again, to pull that out from eight years ago, he said what he said, but that was a private-sector business guy, knowing how the establishment works. Not wanting to pick a fight.
BLITZER: Chris Collins, the congressman from western New York. Thanks so much for joining us.
COLLINS: Always good to be with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you.
Coming up, soaring premiums give Donald Trump a big chance to score some points on Obamacare. But did he already sort of drop the ball? Our political experts are standing by. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:31:23] BLITZER: Despite the latest polls, Donald Trump is predicting he will win the election in two weeks as he campaigns across Florida today. He's railing against what he calls the crooked establishment and -- his words again -- the "crazy rate increases" just announced for some Obamacare insurance policies.
Let's bring in our political experts. Brianna Keilar, let me start with you.
He seemed to be confused today when he was talking about Obamacare. He said his employees are hurt by Obamacare when, in fact, almost all of his employees are not on Obamacare. There's private health insurance through the company, Trump company that they use. He also says -- he said he doesn't use much Obamacare, suggesting he's really not familiar with the Affordable Care Act, what it does and what it doesn't do.
KEILAR: Yes. He seemed to not know what he's talking about. This is a rudimentary knowledge about a policy that many Republicans are against based on its merits and many Democrats are for based on its merits. And he just doesn't possess it.
What's sort of astounding here and I think astounding to Republicans is that there are many criticisms he could make that would be fair or factual of Obamacare. For instance, as we saw with the premium increase, he could make the case that the cost is a lot. Or he can make the case that we saw with this news coming out of the government that insurance companies are bailing from the exchanges. Last year you had only one state where, when people went on the exchange to buy insurance, there was only one insurance company they could choose from. This coming year you're going to have five states. I mean, that would have been a much better argument, but he seemed to not really have any handle of the facts.
BLITZER: Is -- Mark, is this going to be an issue, though, that could effectively change the course of this election with only two weeks to go?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: No way. I mean, the bottom line is that it's a very short runway right now into the election. And the fact is, there are so many other issues right now that are dominating the campaign, specifically issues that Donald Trump has brought up himself and has really clouded his own message. We only have to go back a few days to Gettysburg, where he laid out
his closing argument but he preambled it by talking about sexual allegations made against him.
So while this is a very important issue and, had this come up early in the summer, had he made it a centerpiece of his argument, as well as congressional Republicans making this a piece of the argument against Democrats, it perhaps could have been effective. But right now, no.
BLITZER: Sunlen Serfaty, Mike Pence, his vice-presidential running mate, he said Republicans, it's time for them, in his words, to come together.
But today Trump sort of went out of his way to go after some of his Republican primary challengers who haven't endorsed him, like John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham. Trump said, "I don't know how they live with themselves." Which raises the question, why is he going after these fellow Republicans with only 14 days left to go? Doesn't he have other things he should be pointing towards?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He does. We know that Donald Trump likes to hold a grudge, first and foremost.
But what we have seen consistently from Trump, especially in these last few weeks, is for him to really consistently go after and try to chase his tried and true supporters, really fire up his base, even though that's not pulling any new supporters in for him. So this is kind of throwing out red meat to those supporters, railing against the establishment, talking about the past grudges.
I also think it hints a little bit that he's laying some groundwork for his post-election, postmortem casting of blame. We heard him also say in an interview with Reuters today, "We would win 100 percent if we had support from the leadership at the top of the party." Part and parcel to that.
BLITZER: Yes, he clearly does not have all the leadership he needs from the top of the Republican Party.
Jeffrey Toobin, in his speeches going across Florida, he never mentions the Republican incumbent senator, Marco Rubio, at all. Rubio is in a tough re-election fight right now against Patrick Murphy, the Democrat. Should he be helping more of these down-ballot Republicans when he goes out and speaks?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, in part it depends how popular you think Donald Trump is, how much value that kind of endorsement would have.
[17:35:08] But also, I mean, look, there's history here. Remember how ugly the debate got between Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. How Trump called him "little Marco," how they had a really edifying debate about the size of Donald Trump's genitals. I mean, this was their primary campaign. So the fact that there is bad blood between them and no mention -- I don't think it's very surprising. BLITZER: Brianna, Trump keeps saying he wants to be elected so he
can, in his words, "drain the swamp in Washington." Does that actually, though, hurt some Republican candidates, incumbents who have been in Washington for a long time?
KEILAR: I don't know. I think there are bigger issues of Donald Trump's that are hurting Republicans, from when we saw the "Access Hollywood" tape released, we saw the number of accusers against him saying that he either forcibly kissed or groped them balloon. His reaction to those accusers. His debate performances. I think those are bigger issues.
BLITZER: What about Colin Powell? The word today from the former Republican secretary of state, General Colin Powell, saying he will vote for Hillary Clinton. How big of a deal is that?
PRESTON: You know, look, it's a good endorsement. The fact of the matter is people still respect Colin Powell. But let's just go back to some leaked e-mails where Colin Powell had this to say about Donald Trump. He called him a national disgrace and an international pariah. He described Trump's pursuit of birtherism against President Barack Obama as racist. He said it was a schizo fantasy when Donald Trump, if you remember a few months ago, said, "Within four years I'm going to get 95 percent or 96 percent of the black vote."
Look, good for Hillary Clinton. There was a little bit of tension between the two of them over the whole e-mail controversy. But this comes on the same day that the Clinton campaign puts out a new ad by retired four-star General John Allen, who criticizes Donald Trump for saying that he would know more than the generals. I mean, that's a pretty powerful ad.
BLITZER: Everybody, stay with us, stand by. We're going to have a lot more coming up.
Hillary Clinton faces another new hurdle because of her campaign's stolen e-mails. Close allies were stunned at her failure to acknowledge the private e-mail server she used as secretary of state. One friend even suggesting that the Clinton team, quote, "wanted to get away with it."
[18:42:02] BLITZER: With the latest polls showing Hillary Clinton pulling ahead of Donald Trump, she's trying to help other Democrats on the ballot right now. Let's go back to our own Brianna Keilar. Brianna, just like Trump, Clinton is campaigning in Florida today.
KEILAR: That's right. She's on a two-day swing today and tomorrow. Today with a big emphasis on Patrick Murphy, the Democrat who is challenging Republican incumbent Senator Marco Rubio. Now, polls show that Clinton is up in Florida. And by Clinton campaign math, if she beats Donald Trump there, they think she has likely shut him out of the entire election.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There are just 14 days, two weeks from today.
KEILAR: Hillary Clinton eyeing the sunshine state and its 29 electoral votes today.
CLINTON: So please join me. This is bigger than me; it's bigger than any of us. It's even bigger than Donald Trump, if you can believe it.
KEILAR: Expectations for Clinton are high. A new CNN/ORC poll shows nearly seven in ten voters believe she will win the election, and her campaign is spending their last two weeks racing through battleground states, trying to convince voters not to become complacent.
CLINTON: I feel good, but boy, I'm not taking anything for granted. I'm going to work as hard as I can between now and the close of the election.
KEILAR: Vice President Joe Biden in battleground Pennsylvania.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This man is thoroughly unqualified, based on his conduct, his abuse of power and his lack of substantive knowledge. Just the minimus amount of knowledge needed to be president of the United States of America. I'm finished with Donald Trump.
KEILAR: President Obama on late-night TV.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: "President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States" exclamation point. @realDonaldTrump.
Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president.
KEILAR: And former President Bill Clinton kicking off a bus tour in North Carolina as he defends Obamacare.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hillary says, fix the problem; don't repeal the solution. That's a terrible idea. More than 20 million people would lose their health insurance.
KEILAR: His plea coming as the government says premiums for those purchasing insurance on state exchanges will increase an average of 22 percent next year. Now, Clinton's comments earlier this month seem prophetic.
B. CLINTON: So you've got this crazy system where, all of a sudden, 25 million more people have health care, and then the people that are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world.
KEILAR: That statement put him in the dog house with Democrats and put his wife on defense with Donald Trump.
H. CLINTON: So if he repeals it our Medicare problem gets worse. What we need to do is go after...
TRUMP: Your husband disagrees with you.
H. CLINTON: ... the long-term healthcare drivers. We've got to get costs down, increase value, emphasize wellness. I have a plan for doing that.
KEILAR: The Clinton campaign releasing a statement today on the premium hikes, saying, "Hillary Clinton wants to build on the progress we've made and fix what's broken, while Donald Trump would rip up the ACA, reverse the progress we have made, and start this fight all over again."
[17:45:07] That as it tries to shift its focus to something voters see as a strength for Clinton, foreign policy, out today with a new ad featuring retired General John Allen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN ALLEN (RET.), FORMER SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR THE GLOBAL COALITION TO COUNTER ISIL: When someone makes the comment that they know more about the Islamic State or ISIS than do the generals, it implies a complete ignorance of the reality.
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KEILAR: Polls have shown that while voters think Clinton is better with foreign policy than Trump, she only, in recent months, started faring better on terrorism. That's looking at our CNN/ORC numbers. And that's why her campaign has Allen out as well as others trying to vouch for her on this topic. And also, Khizr Khan, who is the father of Army Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq, he made quite a splash at the Democratic Convention. He is going to be campaigning for Hillary Clinton tomorrow with military families and trying to win over some of those voters in Virginia.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And there's a big military community, as we all know, in Virginia.
KEILAR: Right. Right.
BLITZER: A key battleground state as well. Thanks very much, Brianna, for that report. Stay with us. In just a few minutes, I'll speak live with Donald Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. She's here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We've got lots to discuss.
Also, Trump always complains about how the mainstream news media covers his campaign, so now, his campaign is covering itself. Could it be a preview of a future Trump T.V. network?
[17:50:57] BLITZER: Donald Trump's team has put together a new nightly webcast. Is it a trial run for a new Trump T.V. network? Brian Todd has been looking into all of these for us. Brian, what are you learning? BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Donald Trump's campaign just
debuted this webcast. It is called "Trump Tower Live." They say it is their answer to what they believe is biased mainstream media coverage of their campaign. It is certainly targeted toward Donald Trump's true believers. But as Wolf mentioned, the key question tonight, is this webcast a precursor to a post-election all Trump T.V. network?
CLIFF SIMS, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: Welcome into Trump Tower Live --
TODD (voice-over): An evening webcast with a Trump style edge, posturing almost as a news program or talk show.
SIMS: Tonight, we got the first big story --
BORIS EPSHTEYN, DONALD TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: I'd say.
SIMS: -- that we want to talk about is this Terry McAuliffe thing in Virginia.
TODD (voice-over): This is "Trump Tower Live," a webcast on Facebook produced by Donald Trump's campaign as a lead in to the candidate's rallies, transmitting from what they call their war room. Trump's team calls it nightly campaign coverage, but it really seems to be Trump's answer to a grievance he's been airing for months.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The dishonest mainstream media. They're very dishonest. They're disgraceful. They're a bunch of phony lowlives.
TODD (voice-over): "Trump Tower Live," according to the campaign is the news without the filter.
SIMS: This is just an effort by us to reach out to you, guys, give you the message straight from the campaign. You don't have to take it to media filter and all the spin that they put on it. You can hear it from us directly.
TODD (voice-over): The webcast's first big interview score, Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Hillary Clinton never intended to go high when others went low.
CONWAY: She's waging this entire campaign as the politics of personal destruction in the gutter.
TODD (voice-over): Analysts say the webcast highlights Trump's dexterous use of social media, adding to the legacy his edgy tweets have left on this campaign, but it may not help him politically.
DR. LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: It's too little too late for this election, but maybe it's a prototype of what Trump plans to do after the election if he is not President.
TODD (voice-over): Several media experts believe this is a soft launch of a post-election Trump T.V. network if Trump loses. Trump's campaign CEO Steve Bannon, on leave from his position running the right-wing website, Breitbart, won't say if a Trump network is in development. But tonight, the candidate and his campaign are denying it.
TRUMP (through phone): No, I have no interest in Trump T.V. I hear it all over the place. You know, I have tremendous fan base. They have one interest, and that's on November 8th.
TODD (voice-over): But there could be another motive for the man still basking in his success with the NBC show, "The Apprentice."
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Trump is reportedly been frustrated that websites like Breitbart and cable news channels have been profiting from his election, profiting from his campaign, while he himself has not. You can understand from a businessman's point of view why Trump might want to cash in.
TODD: Now, Trump's campaign would not comment when we asked them about that and they didn't give us any detail when we pressed them on what role Trump's children would play in the new webcast. The hosts did promise that we'll hear from the Trump children in later episodes. Wolf.
BLITZER: I'm sure we will, Brian. So was this webcast a big draw in its debut?
TODD: Well, it averaged about 40,000 to 60,000 viewers in the first half-hour. Experts say that's pretty good for a Facebook live webcast, but it is low by T.V. rating standards. Still, Trump is going to be able to build on this. He's got 12.7 million Twitter followers as of this evening, 11.7 million fans on Facebook. And since that debut last night, 1.5 million people have viewed that webcast. He's got a lot to build on on social media, Wolf.
BLITZER: He certainly does. Those are very, very impressive numbers. Brian Todd, thanks very much for that report. Coming up, huge rate hikes could give Donald Trump a chance to score points on Obamacare. Did he just fumble the ball? I'll speak with Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway. She's here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We'll discuss that and a lot more live. That's coming up.
[17:59:15] BLITZER: Happening now. We're going to win. Donald Trump insists he is ahead in the all-important state of Florida right now rejecting polls that suggests otherwise. Tonight, our new survey reveals most Americans have concerns about what Donald Trump will do after Election Day. We're standing by to hear from Trump later this hour, and I'll speak live this hour with his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.
Sticker shock. Republicans have new ammunition against the Democrats with Obamacare premiums set to skyrocket. Will this be a liability for Hillary Clinton and a mark on the president's legacy?
E-mail surprise. A stolen e-mail published by WikiLeaks reveals even Clinton's campaign chairman was stunned to find out she had a private server while she was Secretary of State. Clinton trying to ignore distractions tonight as she works to seal the deal with voters.