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Trump Pledges to Spend $100 Million on Election; Trump Versus Khan; Hillary Teaming Up with Michelle Obama; Central Italy Rattled By Pair of Quakes. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 27, 2016 - 04:30   ET



[04:30:20] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump claims he'll dig deeper, reaching into his own pocket for campaign cash. Can he buy a big comeback with just 12 days to go?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Donald Trump's new feud with the Gold Star father who lost his son in the Iraq war.

ROMANS: Hillary Clinton teams up with her not so secret weapon. First Lady Michelle Obama campaigns with Clinton in person for the first time today.

BERMAN: Michelle Obama is the first lady of the United States? Was that secret? It was a secret. Oh, my gosh.

ROMANS: Very funny.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Thirty minutes after the hour right now.

This morning, is Donald Trump open his wallet in the final weeks of this campaign? He claims, yes. But he'll need to shell out about 40 bucks in 12 days to meet his pledge. We're going to have more on that in a moment, because this morning, Donald Trump is in a new back and forth with the father of the slain Muslim-American Army Captain Humayun Khan who died in Iraq War in 2004.

Overnight, Trump repeated his claim that Khan would still be alive if Trump had been president at the time. But Khan's father is lashing back. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Had I been president, Captain Khan would be alive today. We would not be in this horrible, horrible mistake.

KHZIR KHAN, FATHER OF SLAIN MUSLIM-AMERICAN SOLDIER: This is the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents, that if I was there, this would not have happened. There is no sincerity in those remarks. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: It does bear repeating that Donald Trump is on tape saying that he supported the invasion of Iraq. He was on tape back in 2002. The invasion was in 2003.

Clinton's lead over Donald Trump is tightening slightly to six points in the latest CNN poll of polls, just 12 days to go until the election.

CNN's Jason Carroll has the latest from the Trump campaign in North Carolina.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, at Trump's rally here in Kingston, he went over familiar points that we've heard before. First, about those polls, he says those national polls and battleground polls showing him running behind Hillary Clinton are wrong. But he did say that a recent poll out of the state of Florida showing him up by two points, he says that one is right, saying that those long lines of early voters, he says many of those people standing in lines are in fact Donald Trump supporters. Also going after Hillary Clinton on the issue of Obamacare and those rising insurance premiums.

He also took a moment to defend going trail for a brief time to promote his new hotel in Washington, D.C.

TRUMP: So, I thought I would take an hour or two and run in and cut the ribbon with them at the building. To show you how low she is, she comes out and says, Donald Trump took time off from campaign to open a hotel. OK.

Now, she'll do one stop -- I'm telling you, she wants to sleep all the time. This is not what we need. This is not what we need as a president.

CARROLL: At an earlier rally in Charlotte, Trump once again made an effort to reach out to African-Americans, offering what he calls his version of a new lead, laying out a plan to improve jobs, safety and education in that community, once making an effort to broaden his base and reach African-Americans. He also took aim at Hillary Clinton, saying that she has low energy.

Trump for his part will be making three stops in Ohio later today -- John and Christine.


ROMANS: Thanks, Jason Carroll.

As we mentioned, Trump is claiming he will open his wallet and put a lot more of his own money into his presidential campaign in the next few weeks.

Dana Bash caught up with him outside his new hotel in Washington, D.C.


TRUMP: I'll have over $100 million in the campaign. Hillary Clinton has nothing in the campaign. She has all special interest and donors and they give her the money and she will do whatever they tell her to do. But I will have over $100 million in the campaign. And I'm prepared to go much more than that.


ROMANS: Trump still has a lot of spending to do if he wants to reach that $100 million mark. The latest campaign finance numbers show Trump has loaned his campaign $47.5 million through the end of September. He says he won't take paybacks from the campaign on that money. Trump has also contributed $8.5 million over the course of the election. In total, that's $56 million. His campaign started October with nearly $35 million in cash. He has spent $189 million so far this election cycle.

Trump's timing on these comments is also interesting. His contributions from October 1st to 19th will be released later today. But donations after that date will not become public until December. We won't know how big a check Trump has written to his campaign until after the election.

[04:35:04] BERMAN: All right. Donald Trump, that's his campaign. As for Hillary Clinton, her campaign is asking his biggest donors to put their money behind Senate candidates now. She has no more big fund- raisers scheduled in the final 12 days of the campaign.

Instead, she is asking supporters to send cash to Senator Harry Reid's super PAC. For the Clinton victory, Democrats would need to pick up four Senate seats to take back control of the chamber.

All right. A big moment on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton today. She is bringing out the biggest of big guns when it comes to this campaign. First Lady Michelle Obama will join her in North Carolina. Secretary Clinton just wrapped up two days in battleground Florida.

CNN's Phil Mattingly is there.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John and Christine, there's no question over the course of the last couple of weeks, the Clinton campaign has gotten a lot more comfortable with where they stand. It's not just where they look at the polling where even the CNN poll of polls shows she's got a six, seven-point lead consistently. But it's also state by state, including right here in Florida, where the Clinton campaign has consistently pointed to two and three and four- point leads.

Maybe not anymore. The latest Bloomberg politics poll coming out showing Donald Trump has a two-point lead. Now, the Clinton campaign has a lot of questions about that poll itself. But it does under score this point that the Clinton campaign has been trying to make to their supporters. Now is not the time to pull off.

Take a listen to what Hillary Clinton had to say.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are 13 days left in this important election and I have to tell you -- it is so clear how high the stakes are and I am going to work as hard as I can over these next 13 days reaching out to as many people as possible. We can't take our foot off the gas even for a short time. Every vote counts.

MATTINGLY: And, guys, the reality here is this -- Trump has very real support in the northern part of the state, particularly in the panhandle and north central Florida. That support if he can get out the vote certainly will make this race close no matter what.

But Democrats in the state are pointing to those early vote numbers, those incredibly important early vote numbers where they feel like they are doing much better than they did in 2012. And that's before in-person early voting starts this weekend. That's where Democrats make up ground.

Still, there's no question about it. Florida is crucial for both campaigns. Think about it like this -- this state has 29 electoral votes. Without this state, Trump has no chance of winning the White House barring some other type of crazy thing happening.

The Clinton campaign knows that. That's why Hillary Clinton has spent the last few days in Florida and will be back again this weekend. They know Florida is where they shut the door on the Trump campaign -- John and Christine.


ROMANS: All right. Thanks so much for that.

A newly released e-mail from the WikiLeaks hack says lays out what some see as a connection between the Clinton Foundation doing god with doing well for Bill Clinton. The memo written by one time close Clinton aide Doug Band outlines the dual role he and an associate played, raising funds for the foundation and turning relationships of corporate donors into big speaking fees for the former president.

BERMAN: The 2011 memo notes that one Clinton Foundation donor, banking giant UBS, hired Bill Clinton to give several paid speeches for which it paid him $1.5 million for speeches. Many of those speeches actually were side by side with George W. Bush.

The Democratic National Committee is accusing the Trump campaign of illegal voter suppression in a new lawsuit filed against the Republican Party. The DNC claims Trump says Trump's claim the election is rigged, rests on what it calls fabricated claims of voter fraud in minority communities. Democrats say the Republican National Committee is giving direct and tacit support to Trump's claims in violation of a longstanding legal settlement aimed at banning voter suppression activity.

This goes way back to the early 1980s in New Jersey. The RNC is calling the suit completely meritless.

ROMANS: Overnight, a flip-flop from the important member of Congress on Donald Trump. Or a flip-flop-flip or flip-flip-flop I guess in this case.

After the primaries, Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz said he would support Donald Trump. Then, earlier this month, after the notorious "Access Hollywood" video came out, Chaffetz said he would not endorse his party's nominee because he said at the time he would not be able to look his 15-year-old daughter in the eye.

Overnight, this tweet, "I will not defend or endorse Donald Trump, but I am voting for him. Hillary Rodham Clinton is that bad. Hillary Rodham Clinton is bad for the USA."

BERMAN: It's really interesting to see Mike Crapo, the senator from Idaho in a very similar path. There are other members of Congress who've been in the same place and done the same thing. It's interesting to see the chart where they go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth 12 days to go.

All right. Is Donald Trump gaining ground in the closing days of the campaign? We'll give you the lowdown on the new polling inside the numbers, next.


[04:44:08] ROMANS: All right. Welcome back to EARLY START this morning.

Hillary Clinton sits on a six-point lead nationwide in the CNN poll of polls. But if you dig down here, the number suggests some the key battleground races could be tightening.

CNN's John King takes us inside the numbers.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A brand new FOX News national poll puts Hillary Clinton's lead at three points. And when you average that out with all the other recent national polls, our CNN poll of polls shows a shrinking but still significant Clinton lead, 47 to 41 nationally over Donald Trump as we head into the final 12 days of campaigning.

When you go the states, though, it gets more interesting when you start thinking about, can Donald Trump poll up an epic comeback?

Let's start in Florida. You look at the numbers here in the state of Florida, a new Bloomberg Politics poll out today shows Donald Trump actually leading in Florida, 45 percent to 43 percent. That's a statistical tie. Over polls have shown Secretary Clinton with a narrow lead. But clear Trump momentum in Florida. That's good for Donald Trump

because he needs to win Florida.

[04:45:01] The reasons why are quite interesting. If you look at why candidates get their support, if this election is about creating jobs and about changing Washington, Donald Trump wins by a big margin. If it's about who has the right temperament to be president, who will be a role model for our children, Hillary Clinton wins on that.

So, watch the candidates in these final 13, 12 days to try to frame to voters what this election is most about. Some other polling out at the state level, battleground New Hampshire. It's a smaller state, a mixed verdict here.

If you look at this poll from Monmouth University, it shows a closer race, a four-point Clinton lead in that state, where she has had a big lead. But NBC/"Wall Street Journal" also out with some new numbers that still show a nine-point Clinton lead. So, we'll keep an eye on New Hampshire, clearly a volatile electorate, some changes as we head into the final weeks. But we leave that one advantage Clinton at the moment.

And now, let's head out west. This one here is more encouraging news for the Trump campaign, Nevada, key to both of Barack Obama's big victories. Well, NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll tonight has it 43-43, a dead heat in the state of Nevada, a critical state for Trump as he tries to get to 270 and critical for Hillary Clinton as she hopes to block him.

So, let's go to the map that matters most, the race to 270. We at the moment still have Secretary Clinton winning overwhelmingly so. But what this new data do? It makes us think about Nevada. Maybe Donald Trump can take Nevada. If he does that, he changes the map.

What about Florida? If he can hold that momentum, Donald Trump needs to win Florida. If he can do that, she is still above 270, but now, Trump is back in play. Back in play, but still a very steep hill for the final dozen days.

Donald Trump must win North Carolina, must win Ohio. And Mike Pence out in Utah today. Mike Pence campaigning in the west. These are ruby red Republican west states, Donald Trump doesn't have them yet. He must get them back heading into the final week.

If he gets them back, then he is in play. But even, he needs to change another one of those blue states to get there.

So, is Donald Trump in play? Are these new poll more encouraging? But is the hill still very, very steep? Absolutely.


BERMAN: John King, thanks so much.

All right. Fireworks in the Maryland Senate debate. Green Party candidate Margaret Flowers crashed the stage as Democratic nominee Chris Van Hollen and Republican Kathy Szeliga were scoring off on live television. Watch this.


MARGARET FLOWERS, GREEN PARTY SENATE CANDIDATE: I think it is important for voters to understand the differences between myself and Congressman Van Hollen and Delegate Szeliga. Otherwise they don't really know. I mean, you say you are a public university and you want to educate the public, but without having full name public discussion, that doesn't happen. So, how does this serve the public if I am on the ballot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She will have to leave now.

FLOWERS: It's Dr. Flowers. I'm a candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland. And this is how you are treating a candidate?


BERMAN: Flowers has been battling for months to be included on the debate stage. But she's about 5 percent in the polls. So, she did not reach the required 15 percent threshold to be there.

ROMANS: All right. Two new controversies this morning over Trump- owned properties. The question now, is the Trump name hurting or helping the brand? We'll get an early start on your money, next.


[04:52:10] BERMAN: New this morning, officials are assessing damage from two powerful earthquakes that hit central Italy. Just 50 miles north of the epicenter of August major quake that killed nearly 300 people. The U.S. Geological Survey says the first magnitude 5.5 was followed by even larger 6.1 quake.

CNN's Barbie Nadeau is at the town of Campi where the pair of quakes destroyed an historic church.

What are you hearing, Barbie?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if look behind me, this amazing church, 15th Century church, you can really see what happens when you have two strong earthquakes back to back like that. The first earthquake at 7:00 night, the 5.5 one just opened a couple of fissures in the facade of this church. But the one two hours later, the 6.1 completely destroyed this church, exposing original frescos. Really, you know, we're watching as each aftershock, more little bits and pieces fall off, dust blows up. I doubt this church is going to last much longer if these aftershocks continue as we had for the last several hours.

It is really a problem, though, for the people. A lot of these people have been already displaced. They are sleeping in tents. They're sleeping in prefabricated housing already. These earthquakes, these aftershocks send them into incredible panic. Dozens of people are asking for medical help not necessarily for injuries but because they are so upset by all of this. It's a really difficult situation for the people and obviously for the structures, John.

BERMAN: What a beautiful location. Our heart goes out to the people there. Barbie Nadeau, thanks so much.

ROMANS: All right. To Venezuela now, one police officer was killed, 120 injured in violent clashes across the country. Anti-government demonstrators are pushing for a vote to recall the president, Nicolas Maduro. Hundreds of thousands of people, look at that, taking to the streets just days after government officials halted the opposition's recall drive.


ROMANS: I know. It's remarkable. They're citing multiple cases of voter fraud. Each side accuses the other of staging a coup. And again, the people suffering an economy that is really going south.

BERMAN: All right. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered Pentagon officials to stand down on efforts to claw back enlistment bonuses that were wrongly given to thousands of California National Guards soldiers. Carter is responding to public outcry and pressure from Congress over attempt to collect bonus money ten years after it was disbursed.


ASHTON CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: There will be no collections. They are suspended now. We will put in place and there won't be more collections until we put in place a process that can expeditiously and fairly deal with these issues.


BERMAN: Carter says not all soldiers given the bonuses knew that they were ineligible to receive them.

ROMANS: A SkyWest airline pilot charged with trying to fly a plane while intoxicated.

[04:55:04] Thirty-eight-year-old Russell Duszak was arrested Wednesday at the airport in Rapid City, South Dakota, just before his scheduled flight to Salt Lake City. The flight was delayed for more than two hours until a replacement pilot could be found. If convicted, Duszak could face a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

BERMAN: Yikes!

All right. Baseball now. World Series all even. It was all Cubs last night. They tied up the series at 1-1. It was a lot like game one in the sense that Cubs went out early and they never looked back.

Jake Arrieta, the Cubs ace, he was really good. He went six innings with no hitter until the 6th. At one point, he ended giving just a couple of hits. It was kind of wild around the plate. It was a tough night, drizzling and kind of raining most of the night. Game three shifts back to Wrigley Field Friday night. This is first World Series game played at Wrigley Field in 71 years.

ROMANS: And, you know, Cubs fans are superstitious. If they keep winning, I'll wear my Harry Caray glasses.

BERMAN: You did not wear them game one. You wore them last night.

ROMANS: Yes, yes, yes. That's my point.

BERMAN: So, now, it's all on you. The whole thing is on you, 108 years rests on the bridge of your nose in this case.

ROMANS: That's too much pressure. But everyone, keep doing whatever you are doing.

All right. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream --

BERMAN: You took them off.


ROMANS: Maybe the stocks are going to go down. I don't know.

Dow futures pointing higher right now. Stocks in Europe are gaining after surprising results from two big there. Shares in Asia closing lower. Oil is flat.

Donald Trump is frequently promoted his brand on the campaign trail, but he did it yesterday, his brand new hotel in Washington. But his presidential campaign helping or hurting his businesses? It is a question people are asking.

I can tell you, it's nearly impossible to measure since none of his companies are public. Now, there have been reports of slower foot traffic and a drop in bookings at this hotels and a few companies moved events from Trump properties. One hospitality expert tells CNN Money the brand will not be hurt because it caters to wealthy clients.

But now other companies are coming under pressure because of their associations with Trump businesses. Three Democratic senators sent a letter this week to the U.S. Golf Association, urging them to move the 2017 U.S. Women's Open from the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. They say Trump has a pattern of degrading and dehumanizing women that has occurred over decades. So far, the USGA is staying on course.

A spokesperson declined to comment on this matter, saying the organization doesn't discuss politics. The USGA did say publicly in July that some of Trump's comments don't reflect its values of inclusion.

Now, the Susan G. Komen Foundation also facing backlash from some women's group. The foundation is holding an annual fundraiser at Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago club in Florida. A spokeswoman for Komen declined to comment to CNN Money. She referred to a report saying Komen has no position on Trump, but wants to keep events separate from controversies unrelated to our mission. The Komen Foundation is likely the most well-known breast cancer charity in the country, said it has invested $2.6 billion in research, outreach and advocacy.

BERMAN: This will continue not just, you know, during the campaign. This will linger for sometime.

EARLY START continues right now.


ROMANS: Donald Trump claims he will dig deeper reaching his pocket for more campaign cash. Can he buy a big comeback with just 12 days to go?

BERMAN: All right. A new back and forth between Donald Trump and Gold Star father who lost his son in the Iraq war.

ROMANS: Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, they are teaming up together on the first time side by side on the campaign trail today. Powerful advocate for the secretary of state.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. Nice to see you. It is Thursday, October 27th, 5:00 a.m. in the east.

And this morning, is Donald Trump going to open his wallet in the final 12 days of this campaign? He claims yes. He will need to shell out about 40 million bucks in less than two weeks to meet that pledge. We're going to have more on this in just a moment.

Because this morning, Trump finds himself in the new back and forth with the father of the slain Army captain who died in the Iraq war, Humayun Khan. Overnight, Trump repeated his claim that Khan would still be alive if he would have been president in 2004. Khan's father is lashing back.

Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Had I been president, Captain Khan would be alive today. We would not be in this horrible, horrible mistake.

KHZIR KHAN, FATHER OF SLAIN MUSLIM-AMERICAN SOLDIER: This is the most cruel thing you can say to grieving parents, that if I was there, this would not have happened. There is no sincerity in those remarks.


BERMAN: Also, t is worth repeating that Trump is on the record as having supported the Iraq war before the invasion.

Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump has tightened slightly to 6 points in the latest CNN poll of polls.

CNN's Jason Carroll with the very latest from the trail in North Carolina.


CARROLL: John and Christine, at Trump's rally here in Kingston, he went over familiar points that we've heard before. First, about those polls, he says those national polls and battleground polls showing him running behind Hillary Clinton are wrong.