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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Officials: FBI Won't Complete Review of New E-mails Before Election Day; Officials: Comey Won't Update Public on E-mails Until Review is Complete; Attorney: "Ms. Abedin has Complied Fully and Voluntarily"; Trump Campaigns in Blue States; Comey's Path to Top FBI Job; Trump Change Tune on Comey; Trick or Threat?; Lame Duck Surprises President Obama. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired October 31, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:57] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening.
Breaking news here in Washington, where you can bet there is a lot of late-night pizza being consumed right about now, especially at FBI offices just down the road in Quantico, Virginia. They are scrambling right now to analyze e-mail found on a device shared by top Clinton staffer, Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner.
Now, back in headquarters, they are also scrambling to defend the bureau from allegations that Director James Comey acted improperly in revealing the existence of these e-mails on Friday.
As for the Clinton and Trump campaigns, they are both seizing on this, however, as you might imagine in very different ways. And as you also might imagine, pundits and professionals alike are trying to assess the impact of all this on voters. We'll look at all of that in the hour ahead, starting with a pretty stunning piece of news about how much we can expect to hear from the FBI or how little. CNN's Pamela Brown joins us now with that late item.
So, what are your sources saying, Pam?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT Well, Anderson, despite the backlash following his controversial letter on Friday, James Comey stands by his decision and believes he did the right thing, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
He has told FBI and DOJ officials that he doesn't plan to provide the public any additional updates until this investigation is complete. And that could take time. And after the election, Anderson, we're expecting for this come to an end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Tonight, the FBI is in a race against the clock. CNN has learned a team of agents is using special software at FBI facilities in Quantico, Virginia, to sift through thousands of newly discovered e-mails to isolate those relevant to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private server. Those e-mails will then be searched for classified information. A process that likely won't be resolved until after the election.
In July, when Director Comey initially recommended no charges, he said no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Clinton despite finding classified information on her private server.
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: We don't want to put people in jail unless we prove that they knew they were doing something they shouldn't do.
BROWN: CNN has learned some of the e-mails found in a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of longtime Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, passed through Clinton's private server. A source says Abedin has no idea how her e-mails ended up on her husband's computer.
Law enforcement sources say several weeks ago, agents stumbled upon the new e-mails while investigating Weiner's alleged sexting with a 15-year-old girl. Comey found out in mid-October, but wasn't fully briefed until last Thursday.
A day later, he went against Department of Justice policy, sending a vague letter to Congress, revealing the discovery of the e-mails over the objection of DOJ officials.
Tonight, he's taking heat from every direction, even from his former boss, Republican appointed Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.
ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I didn't understand it. I didn't understand what he was saying, what he was trying to say. I didn't understand the purpose of the letter. All of us somewhat perplexed about, you know, what the director was trying to accomplish here.
BROWN: Now, Comey is under intense pressure to publicly release more information before Election Day.
GONZALEZ: We are in a very unusual situation and it maybe that in order to protect the integrity of this election that he may need to say something else about what is in relation to this investigation.
BROWN: Tonight, the White House spokesman said he would neither defend nor criticize Comey, but acknowledged he is in a tough spot.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He's the one who will be in a position to defend his actions in the face of significant criticism from a variety of legal experts, including individuals who served in senior Department of Justice positions in administrations that were led by presidents in both parties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Pam, what about the timing here? When will we know more about the substance of the e-mails? Is it not until Comey announces? Or I mean, short of any leaks coming out? BROWN: Right, short of leaks coming out, we won't really know the substance until it's complete.
[21:05:00] And as I pointed out earlier, that is likely to happen after the election because there's multiple layers here. First, they have to catalog the e-mails, weed out the ones that are relevant. And then once they do that, which could take a couple of days, then the lengthier process of taking those e-mails to the different agencies to see if there's any classified information, and to try to determine whether there was intent of someone knowingly and willingly sending classified information over e-mail. And so this could take some time.
And we are told, as I said, that Director Comey will not provide piecemeal information to the public. He doesn't want to come out and provide specifics until it's all wrapped up, despite the growing calls, Anderson, for him to provide more information.
COOPER: All right, Pamela Brown. Pamela, thanks very much.
Donald Trump spent the day in a state, Michigan, that seems out of reach for him. More on the possible strategy behind that shortly. But first, the case he made to voters there that this e-mail story validates the worst and everything he's been saying about Hillary Clinton. CNN's Sara Murray is traveling with the Trump campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Donald Trump is betting on blue territory and cutting attacks to turn around his fortune.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we hit the mother lode, as they say. Hillary is the one who broke the law over and over and over again. We can be sure that what is in those e-mails is absolutely devastating. Thank you, Huma.
MURRAY: The GOP nominee seeking to capitalize on the latest FBI probe surrounding Hillary Clinton's e-mails.
TRUMP: And I have to give the FBI credit. That was so bad, what happened, originally. And it took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had with her trying to protect her from criminal prosecution. It took a lot of guts.
MURRAY: Insisting they'll reveal criminal activity, even though the FBI says it's too soon to tell whether the e-mails are even significant.
TRUMP: Hillary is likely to be under investigation for a very long time.
MURRAY: Trump hitting the trail today in Michigan, a state that hasn't voted Republican for president since 1988.
TRUMP: In eight days, we're going to win the great state of Michigan. MURRAY: That's as Trump's advisers acknowledge they need to flip at least one or two states that tilt blue, adding stops in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, after popping by Colorado and New Mexico this weekend.
But in between swipes at Clinton, Trump is still raising eyebrows with his conciliatory approach to Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
TRUMP: And Hillary, she has such a bad relationship with so many countries. Putin can't stand her, doesn't respect her. They want to get ISIS, we want to get ISIS. We've put everything together, we knock the hell out of ISIS. Wouldn't it be nice? Wouldn't it be smart?
MURRAY: As outgoing Senate Minority leader, Harry Reid, accuses the FBI of covering up ties between Trump and Russia without offering any evidence.
In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Reid says, "It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties in coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government. A foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity."
As both sides trade barbs on the trail, they're also pointing to bright spots in early voting. Democrats are running ahead of their 2012 total in Colorado, and they're cutting into the GOP's advantage in both Arizona and Florida. But so far, Republicans appear to have made gains in Iowa and Ohio compared to 2012.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Sara Murray joins us now for more in Michigan. So, a little bit more than a week left, Donald Trump focusing on several states, leaning towards Hillary Clinton, including Michigan today. Does he really think he can win the blue states? I mean, I talked to Kellyanne Conway, she says she does believe in Michigan that they can win.
MURRAY: Well, and, Anderson, it would seem crazy that you would spend your last stretch going to places like Colorado, like Michigan, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, especially when the public poll show Donald Trump with a relatively steep deficit in a number of these states. But the campaign is saying that their internal numbers are showing a much tighter race, and they believe they saw this tightening even before the latest FBI revelations come out.
But this also speaks to how narrow their path was originally. They're really looking at the math now realizing if they really want a shot at victory on November 8th, they're going to need to flip at least one of these states to red from blue, and I think that's what you're trying to see them do in the wake of the FBI's latest move. Anderson?
COOPER: All right, Sara Murray. Sara, thanks very much.
We have more breaking news tonight, a statement from Huma Abedin's attorney, Karen Dunn. It reads, "From the beginning, Ms. Abedin has complied fully and voluntarily with State Department and law enforcement requests, including sitting for hours long interviews and providing her work-related and potentially work-related documents. The statement goes on, Ms. Abedin's willing cooperation has been praised by members of Congress and law enforcement officials alike."
And this, I think, is the really important part. She says, "She only learned for the first time on Friday, from press reports of the possibility that a laptop belonging to Mr. Weiner could contain e- mails of hers."
[21:10:08] Dunn concludes by saying, "While the FBI is not contacted us about this, Ms. Abedin will be, as she always has been, forthcoming and cooperative."
Now, Hillary Clinton for her part campaigned today in a state where Donald Trump has enjoyed an edge lately, we're talking about Ohio. Our Jeff Zeleny is there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, CCN WASHINGTON CORESSPONDENT: Tonight, Hillary Clinton is pushing back on the FBI.
HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... a lot of you may be asking what this new e-mail story is about and why in the world the FBI would decide to jump into an election with no evidence of any wrongdoing with just days to go. That's a good question.
ZELENY: Her closing argument against Donald Trump now includes another apology about her e-mail, and the controversy that's dogged her.
CLINTON: First of all, for those of you who are concerned about my using personal e-mail, I understand. And as I've said, I'm not making excuses. I've said it was a mistake and I regret it.
ZELENY: It's a concession she rarely makes on the campaign trail. But she said it's high time to move on. And she's confident the case of her top aide, Huma Abedin, off the campaign trail for a third straight day, will end like hers did.
CLINTON: They should look at them. And I am sure they will reach the same conclusion they did when they looked at my e-mails for the last year. There is no case here.
ZELENY: Clinton is trying to regain her footing and turn questions about her into questions about Trump's fitness for office.
CLINTON: Imagine him plunging us into a war because somebody got under his very thin skin. Now, thankfully, he's never been in a position where he had to help make life and death decisions for our country.
ZELENY: Changing the subject may be a tall order. For 18 months, Clinton's been trying to move beyond the e-mail controversy. Now it's front and center again, a cloud of uncertainty still in the air. With eight days to go, the race is tightening in key battlegrounds like here in Ohio.
At a cafe in Cleveland, she kept her eye on the campaign, not the controversy. But inside her Brooklyn headquarters, aides remained on a war time footing. And Democrats like Senate Minority leader, Harry Reid, took the lead in striking back. He fired off a letter to FBI Director James Comey, saying, "Through partisan actions, you may have broken the law. In tarring Secretary Clinton with thin innuendo, you overruled long standing tradition and the explicit guidance of your own department."
Advisers to Clinton tell CNN, they are still assessing the potential fallout, but acknowledge at least some souring from independents and Republicans who were leaning their way.
Nationally, Clinton retains an edge. She's up five points over Trump in the latest CNN Poll of Polls.
As Trump questions her judgment on e-mails, she's raising doubts about his fitness to serve in the Oval Office, calling him a threat to national security.
CLINTON: As I've said many times, a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Jeff Zeleny joins us now from Cleveland. So Clinton expressed regret today about her e-mail server saying, I made a mistake. What's the thinking behind that? Is that just sort of trying to get it out of the way as quickly as possible?
ZELENY: It is, Anderson. She also said, I'm not making any excuses here. And it's one of the few times we've heard her at a campaign rally on stage acknowledge this. She's done it a few times in interviews and other places, but never at one of her campaign rallies, acknowledging that she has, indeed, made mistakes. And that is what some of those independent voters, perhaps, want to hear here to her, you know, say she is not perfect by any means, but she's trying to change the subject so much to Donald Trump here.
The Clinton campaign is watching extremely carefully what is going on here in the final couple of days. They do not believe that they've lost much support. And one of the reasons is they've already identified all of their supporters. All of the Democrats they need. What they need to do is turn people out. So that's one of the reasons that her campaign is going hard after the FBI, to rally those Democrats. But the question is what happens moving forward here? It's an uncertainty that they can't plan for. That's what worries her Brooklyn headquarters. Anderson?
COOPER: All right, Jeff Zeleny. Jeff, thanks very much.
The panel is back this hour. John King, Tom Fuentes, Jeffrey Toobin, Gloria Borger, Kayleigh McEnany, Paul Begala, Bakari Sellers, and Jack Kingston. And yes, you will be quizzed coming up.
Gloria, I mean, I guess the million-dollar question and we don't know the answer but I'm going to ask it anyway is, does this have any impact on voters? Do voters care? And we won't know, I guess, until a couple of days later some polls.
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think you have to say voters care.
BORGER: But I think we're not sure of the impact. I mean, as John was saying earlier, you have to take this state by state. I think that Clinton voters are probably could be more enthused to go out and support her, because they think that Comey did her a bad deed.
[21:15:07] COOPER: Right and the Democrats are certainly trying to hit that idea to kind of mobilize that one.
BORGER: They're trying to hit that. And, you know, on the other hand, any story that's about Hillary Clinton and e-mails is bad for Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: Right. John, anytime it's not about Donald Trump's character, it's probably bad for Hillary Clinton.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That didn't happen by accident.
KING: She did not walk into that rally today and decide to say, I'm sorry, I did this -- she didn't use the word sorry, I regret this. I won't do it again, you know, but there's no case. Paul knows her better than I do.
COOPER: I'm shocked this was thought out.
KING: But there has to be something in the data, something they saw that made them decide she needed to go out and talk about this. They can't just beat up the FBI. They beat up the FBI, they question the motivation there, but she also had to address the her part of it and that's significant. They see something that we haven't seen yet.
COOPER: Paul, do you know what -- I mean ...
PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't know what they know.
BEGALA: I know what I think.
COOPER: What do you think?
BEGALA: I think two things. Gloria is right. This can motivate your base. If you feel like you're being unjustly attacked by law enforcement, a lot of Democrats in America feel the same way on a local level. And I think she can use that to rally her base. But the problem is, if there's damage, it will not be with her base, it will be with this college educated white people who go back and forth.
With each Trump crisis, she gets inflated, I told you every time, we had her at 10 or 12, that was nonsense, and it slides back down. The criticisms from politicians don't -- I think, move them. But the elite criticism of Comey, I think, has been very powerful.
COOPER: What do you mean the elite criticism?
BEGALA: Larry Thompson and Jamie Gorelick, the two top deputies in the Justice Department, one under a Democrat, one under a Republican, wrote in the "Washington Post" a column entitled, "Jim Comey is Damaging Our Democracy." When these -- when law professors of ethics say that this is unethical, when those kinds of elites, former Justice Department officials, legal scholars of legal ethics, when they do that, I think that speaks to those college-educated white folks and tells them...
COOPER: Congressman, do you think these matters?
JACK KINGSTON, (R) FORMER GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN: You'd have to ask, where were they when Bill Clinton was meeting with Loretta Lynch on the tarmac? If they were so worried about it, where were they when she was -- you know, this investigation took place, they did not have subpoena power. They had to give immunity to five different people. They did not get to empower a grand jury. The investigation was going sideways from day one. And that's what law enforcement community has been saying. And I think that Comey actually had an internal mutiny on his hands.
COOPER: Before we get to too much on the partisan side, I do just want to just legally, Jeff Toobin, where is the attorney general in all of this, Loretta Lynch? I mean, is she damaged politically because of going on, you know, having the (inaudible) with Bill Clinton and therefore hanging back from this?
JEFFRY TOOBIN, FORMER FEDERALPROSECUTOR: Well, I think she is paralyzed because of it. You know, this tarmac meeting, I think, has become very significant in that respect because she's not formally recused from any involvement in this investigation.
COOPER: Right. But if she looks like she was trying to stop it, then understandably a lot of people would ...
TOOBIN: It will be politically problematic. She has a deputy who has not been involved. I mean what is -- one of the many extraordinary things about this moment is that we have Jim Comey acting as investigator, prosecutor, public spokesman, and the rest of the Justice Department is completely silent.
BORGER: But she ...
COOPER: Tom, if somebody were ...
TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Nobody in the FBI wanted that to be Jim Comey's role or the role of the FBI in this case.
FUENTES: But they had hoped happened was, that when Bill Clinton climbed aboard her plane, she would have done like Harrison Ford in Air Force One, get off my plane. Because instead of a 15-second hello, goodbye, I thank you, Mr. President, it turned into 30-plus minutes that are now the mystery of what was the nature of that discussion, just days before the Hillary Clinton, FBI interview takes place, just days before Comey does the July 5th press conference and announces no charges. And then she doesn't say, I'm recusing myself, my deputy attorney general will now take oversight of the e-mail investigation, or career prosecutors will take over, who have been involved in the case from the very beginning with the investigative agents. She says, we're going to let the FBI decide.
BAKARI SELLERS, LAWYER: No, no, no. That's not -- you know, what she ...
FUENTES: Well, it is ...
SELLERS: What Loretta Lynch said was we are going to accept the recommendation of the FBI, that's what she said. And she also said -- what she said, I'm going to accept the recommendation. But what that does mean it -- what it doesn't give leeway to Director Comey then stepping out there and making this statement. It does not excuse.
I know we want to point to this meeting and that's fine because what you have then is when the attorney general does something like this, she steps back, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but that means that your deputy, which is Sally Yates, if I'm not mistaken, steps up and assume that role.
FUENTES: That's not what she said.
SELLERS: But she said, we will accept the recommendation. And whatever she said or did not say does not ...
COOPER: OK. Let Tom respond.
FUENTES: Yeah, and he made that recommendation. We recommend no charges. And the next day she says, OK, all of the cases against -- all of the principles in this investigation are now closed. And I've heard other people talking, recently, oh, it wasn't really closed, yes it was closed.
[21:20:02] In my carrier in the FBI, I opened then closed hundreds, maybe thousands of cases, and in many cases, reopened if new information cases ....
COOPER: So is this a reopening?
FUENTES: This was closed.
COOPER: So is this a reopening in this?
COOPER: It is.
FUENTES: And the reason it is, is when they obtain subpoenas and obtain legal documents like search warrants, it requires that the investigation be an open investigation ...
TOOBIN: I think Tom is absolutely right. I think, you know, there have been semantic games about whether ...
COOPER: So when the Republicans just saying, reopening the investigation, this is a reopening of the investigation?
COOPER: All right. It's a good point.
TOOBIN: We can argue about whether it's appropriate or not but I think ...
COOPER: Hold on. OK. We've got to take a break. We'll have more on this subject with our panel.
When we come back, some of the travel choices the Trump campaign has been making also in these crucial final days and why is he spending any time in all states he doesn't appear to have a chance of winning? Do they know something that we don't? What's the strategy behind that? Stay with us.
COOPER: Well, if you ask Republican pundits Donald Trump could have spent all day talking about two things, Hillary Clinton and e e-mail. Could have -- may should have they believe instead and this is key and he's done it before, he wandered off-message. Here's what he said at a stop yesterday in Albuquerque about what he claims would happen to immigration in a single week if Hillary Clinton were elected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You could have 650 million people pour in and we do nothing about it. Think of it. That's what going to happen.
You triple the size of our country in one week. Once you lose control of your borders, you have no country folks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And we're back with the panel. I mean, Kayleigh, is this an example of Donald Trump not staying on message or ...
[21:25:04] KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No, I think there's a story that's really been ignored and that's there's a flood of immigrants coming across our border. ICE agents have pointed it out. There are new stories out there about this. Do I think somebody will come in and one day ...
COOPER: 650 million?
MACENNANY: I think he's trying to illustrate a point here. I have an ICE officer who sends me pictures of the drugs he picks up on our border on a daily basis. There will be a big problem, a big influx of drugs. You think we have a problem in New Hampshire now? It's going to be doubled, tripled if Hillary Clinton is president and has the open borders that she told a Brazilian bank she hopes comes about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just tells us a lot.
BEGALA: It is. By the way, what she told that Brazilian bank was the exact thing to most word for word that President Reagan used to say. It's a sort of a dream that a lot of people have had of a trade zone from, I think, president used to -- President Reagan used to say from the tip of Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic and people like that say that and they never -- we don't have a free trade zone ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But policy -- but if ...
BEGALA: But when Donald Trump speaks, we're now so inured to it that nobody even inspection (ph) to tell the truth. I mean, the fact checkers all have post-traumatic stress disorder. I mean, they just blow a fuse because he goes -- by some studies, no more than a few minute, no more than ...
COOPER: Let him finish and then response.
BEGALA: But people -- no, but who do this for a living have quantified. They -- he goes two three minutes per lie, it's just -- in his public statements.
BEGALA: OK, PolitiFact says, of the 18 people who ran for president, Hillary is found to be the most truthful ...
KINGSTON: (Inaudible) bragging and said Huma Abedin cooperated with the FBI, voluntarily. Oh, wow, what a great American. She did not have an option.
SELLERS: Yes, she do.
KINGSON: Well, get her an attorney. But the reality is when Hillary Clinton starts election, somebody about ...
KINGSTON: We've got to be saying, this is a woman who said, I had one server. Turns out it was 13. She said, I turned over all my e-mail.
SELLERS: She had one server.
KINGSTON: She had 13 devices.
BEGALA: Those aren't servers.
KINGSTON: OK. 13 devices, she said she had one. She said she turned over all her e-mails. 17,000 are still out there somewhere. She used BleachBit after it was subpoenaed, do not destroy the evidence. And 30 days later, they used BleachBit to destroy it and using hammers everything else.
And for her to talk about her lecture, anybody about lying, and she was the one who said open borders.
SELLERS: I'm going to bring it back to your point here and the fact that Hillary Clinton must be a wizard if all of a sudden we're going to have 650 million new people come to the United States of America in one week. And Donald Trump has been laying out -- in one week. And Donald Trump has been laying out all of these large bits of hyperbole lies for the entire campaign.
But one of the things that -- and Jeff Zeleny pointed this out a little bit earlier, that I wanted to talk about is that Donald Trump still has to win voters. Hillary Clinton is at the point in the campaign where she's actually getting her voters that she's already targeted out to the polls. Those type of comments that Donald Trump makes, this hyperbole, these lies that he's been saying that PolitiFact says he lies over three quarters of the time, those are going to turn off the people that he needs to bring in.
MCENANY: Well, first of all, academic institutions have actually studied PolitiFacts and they find out Republicans lie three to one ratio over Democrats, so it is a partisan fact checker, that's number one and ...
SELLERS: Well, Donald Trump is an exemption to Republicans.
MCENANY: ... there's one candidate in this race that is under Federal Bureau of Investigation, criminal investigation ...
MCENANY: ... not on one point, not on just the e-mail servers, but this is a really important story that we haven't mentioned once tonight. "The Wall Street Journal", the bottom half of the story that broke last night said that four FBI field offices wanted to look into the Clinton Foundation. They were slapped down by the Justice Department multiple times. They were not given the investigatory power to go after the foundation as they wanted.
MCENANY: There are two FBI investigations, not one.
SELLERS: You just said two different things. So first that, it wasn't that they didn't get to go as far as they wanted per say. They had a preliminary investigation that turned up nothing. That's first ...
MCENANY: According to the Justice Department.
SELLERS: But second, I mean, this is what you're going to see Hillary Clinton begin to do more of this week. She's now pivoting and she's now turning the light back on Donald Trump. Because you will begin to see that -- you will begin to see ...
KINGSTON: Because she has nothing to talk about.
SELLERS: ... you will begin to see more the articles come out about the FBI investigation into Paul Manafort and his Russian ties.
KINGSTON: He is not with them.
SELLERS: You'll begin to see more articles come out about Donald Trump and his taxes.
KINGSTON: His taxes?
SELLERS: You'll begin to see more articles come out about the relationship ...
COOPER: Let's not just get into a partisan like ...
SELLERS: We have eight days.
COOPER: We've got eight days. John, you know, to have ...
BEGALA: My head hurts.
COOPER: ... to have Donald Trump making -- in terms of the states that Donald Trump is going to, I mean, explain where he sees and where the campaign sees their path to 270?
KING: Look, sometimes, it makes no sense when you say, I'm sorry, when you see the Republican in New Mexico at this point of the election, you have to scratch your head.
But, you know, maybe they have data we don't have, but here's the point and I think we're going to go through this state by state in a few minutes, so I want to do it all now. But if you look at it, even if -- if you look at our six toss-up states on the board right now, even if Donald Trump won them all, even if he was perfect and won Florida, won North Carolina, won Ohio, won Utah, won Arizona, and won Nevada, he'd still be short.
And so he's got to turn something that's blue. If you look at that map on the screen right there, if he wins all the golds, he's still short. And so, he's got to turn something blue.
[21:30:02]: So, of course, if you're Donald Trump, you want to go into these blue states and at least test. Now, doing that eight days out, you want to do that 20 days out. You're going 20 or 30 days out and you do a poll and you see which one you might be moving and then you say, OK, put some add money in, send a surrogate in, send the candidate back. To do that in the last week is pretty hard.
As I've said before, he's trying to parallel park about six or eight aircraft carriers at the same time. It's very difficult to do. Not impossible but very difficult.
BORGER: And then he has to go to states like Florida, which she really needs to win if he's going to win this election. I was just talking to a Republican in this stage who's looking at early voting everyday, and says that African-Americans are down, but Hispanic voting is way up. And I don't know what Donald Trump can do about that in the State of Florida right now.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break. We're going to continue the discussion in a moment. We'll also take a look at the question John King foreshadowed. Why is Trump campaigning in states that are deeply Democratic? We'll take a look at the map, break it down state by state.
COOPER: Welcome back. So we've been reporting, Donald Trump is campaigning in Michigan today, a state that hasn't gone Republican in a presidential election in 28 years. The question is why. And when you have a political question about voting history, you go to John King. He joins us now to break it down by the numbers.
So, New Mexico Sunday, Michigan today, Wisconsin tomorrow, pretty reliably Democratic territory in presidential races, what does Trump see that the public polls don't?
KING: Well, you talked to Kellyanne Conway earlier in the evening, and she said they see data in all these states. They won't share that data with us, so we don't see it. The public polls certainly don't show it, Anderson. We're waiting to see if any new polls come out after the FBI revelation.
But let's go back through the history. So I'll go back to the Obama- Romney map. New Mexico is what had a lot of Republicans scratching their head, just because this has turned into such. It used to be a swing state back in 2000/2004, but it turned into such a Democratic state.
[21:35:04] You see a 10 points here in 2012. If you go back in McCain race, this is more of a Democratic year, but you see it's a blowout there. That's the one that had a lot of people scratching their head.
Mike Pence was there a week ago. Donald Trump was there this week. But Donald Trump's in Michigan, that's a less of a surprise in the sense that his trade message should sell there, his economic message should sell there, although every poll has shown recently, he's been down anywhere from 7 to 10 points. So, a big question heading into final week. Again, did the FBI revelation change it? We've seen no public data to suggest that yet.
A poll just last week, after a lot of Republicans did come home to Donald Trump, still had Hillary Clinton up seven. But in the final week, you're going see him, Anderson, not just in Florida, which is a swing state, but it went blue last time. North Carolina, this is 2008. I'm going to switch it so you see the 2012 map here to be a little more honest about the dynamic last time. Michigan today, Pennsylvania steady (ph) as always said. You look at these states in no -- none of them, none of them, was he close before the FBI revelation. We'll see if something changes after.
COOPER: Right. I mean, is the path to 270 any easier for him now?
KING: That's the big question. And again, we're waiting for more poll data, but let's switch to the map that matters which is the one that gets to the 270. And as of today, I think Bakari was talking about this last night and Jeff Zeleny talked it about earlier in the program, we have Hillary Clinton across the finish line, unless she loses something. Unless she loses one of these states that we have shaded either dark or light blue, Hillary Clinton will be the next president of United States.
So if you're Donald Trump, you're looking at the toss-up states. I'm not saying he will win these, I'm saying if he wins these. Clinton thinks she'll win Nevada, but let's say Trump wins it. Evan McMullin, the conservative could win Utah. Let's say Trump wins it for the sake of argument. Hillary Clinton was leading in the last public poll in Arizona. Let's say Trump wins it.
Florida's close. North Carolina is close, although she's ahead. Ohio is very close. Even if Donald Trump wins them all, it only gets him to 264, Anderson. That is why he's going to these blue states. Because if he pulls that off, which is like pulling off an inside straight flush in Vegas, but if he pulls that off, he still has to find something.
So you're going to look at Michigan. As I said, that's probably more of a stretch. But if you're going to look at Michigan, you go look at Pennsylvania, and you go look at Wisconsin, why? Well, because Virginia and New Hampshire have proven a little tougher. He was in Colorado, that one's been tougher. But if you're Donald Trump, and if you're perfect in the toss-ups, you've got to find something. That's why he's looking.
COOPER: You do know, John, that my knowledge of poker analogies is as bad as my knowledge of baseball analogies, don't you?
KING: Like winning the power ball?
COOPER: OK, I got it. And I'll get fine. Thanks. All right. All right, thanks.
We're -- Paul Begala -- I mean, in terms of Trump's road to 270, does -- to you, does it seem any different this week than it did three weeks ago?
BEGALA: No. And this e-mail story didn't break today. It has been four days. Now, that's not long in human life, but in the half-lives of this election, it's been assessed. And I think King is right. We got to wait a few more days and see. But the early polls, by the way, when asked, does this matter to you, some poll is 63, others 70 percent say, no, right? Did it fires up? Some of my partisans have fires up, some of Kayleigh's partisans, but no.
Trump has an exceedingly difficult path to 270. And that's because he's a first-time candidate. He doesn't know this. I give him a lot of slack. But it turns out, when you call women "fat pigs," you do badly in the women's vote. When you say that Latinos are rapists and murders, you do bad with Latinos. When you question the president's birth in America, you do bad with African-Americans. I mean, he has brought this on himself. The reason he has almost no path to victory is because he's alienated all the voters he needs to win.
KINGSTON: John, let me say this, you know, Paul's running a super PAC. One big difference and immediate difference is that Sheldon Adelson has now come in $25 million, which he has said is the minimum that he is going to contribute. But the other thing is, that has an effect on other big donors who have kept their money on the sidelines.
So I think that effectively spending this new money that's going to come in, in the next seven days is going to be a big factor that we'll see in the polls. But it may take three or four days to germinate.
COOPER: Kayleigh, I know you wanted to get a point in.
MCENANY: Yeah, I just wanted to say, you know, as bad as Donald Trump is, that the Hillary Clinton campaign has done a fantastic job of trying to caricature him to be the worst person on planet Earth. And despite all of that -- the hundreds of -- the millions and millions of dollars spent on advertising when Donald Trump was spending zero. Donald Trump is still two points behind in Pennsylvania, 3.5 in Pennsylvania. Those are the two most recent polls. He still in striking distance in Michigan, that's because this culture of ...
BEGALA: Where's he in striking distance in Michigan?
MCENANY: This whole shoal, when we've talked about this corruption and the FBI, this is what created Donald Trump. This is what created Bernie Sanders. It's people who feel like Washington (inaudible) behind and cheating ...
COOPER: Well, Bakari, to Kayleigh's point, why wouldn't Hillary Clinton be farther ahead?
SELLERS: I mean, that's a very interesting question. I had never really thought about, why isn't she farther ahead? I'm just trying to -- because she doesn't have to win by, you know, 200 electoral votes. She doesn't have to get to 300. She just has to get to 270, that's it, and she's president of the United States.
But one of the things that I want to talk to that the Congressman was saying is that, Hillary Clinton has $8 million a day to spend, plus a little bit more. And that's not even including some of the super PAC money and some of the other things and other resources that she's had.
[21:40:01] But she's also cultivated a ground game. I mean, people forget the data, the ground game. I mean, if you look at the field offices, the people that are making phone calls. And I know Donald Trump is a novice. But this is when you have to take a step back and say, look, we need to get people around us who know how ...
COOPER: John, do we have a sense of numbers? I mean, in terms of like people -- everybody talks about ground game, do we have any idea of like what kind of field operation versus Donald Trump?
KING: If she -- well, the Republicans say they have this operation, I'll believe it when I see it, in the sense that when you talk to people, you talk to state parties. The government of Ohio voted for John McCain today.
His state party -- is his state party doing everything it can do to help Donald Trump? No. And that those matter. And to the Congressman's point, if Donald Trump writes himself a check, if Donald Trump brings in more money, I suspect he's raising more money online after this FBI e-mail story. I bet Trump supporters are giving him money right now. It's only so much you can do in terms of buying more T.V. ads.
Now, that's basic, et cetera at some point. Where the money is important now, and if Hillary Clinton wins a close election, it may be because she disappeared in August and let Donald Trump get closer and raised all that money. Because each campaign has a list of voters. Big data has changed. This is not ...
COOPER: You made this point Friday. And if you could just repeat it, because I find it -- it taught me something to know.
KING: Politics is not the way it used to be when I started doing these 30 years ago, when Paul started doing it 310 years ago. No, these campaigns now have a list of voters. This is public record. They know how many they need to win. And they get in touch with them. And they know if you voted early and they can come back at you if they didn't vote ...
COOPER: But you were also pointing out, they target those who maybe on the scene (ph).
KING: They score you. They give you a number. And if you were a Trump supporter, and let's -- Kayleigh, I'm sorry, but if Kayleigh McEnany was a Trump voter and the "Access Hollywood" tape made her say, I can't do it, and she said she was going to vote for Clinton, the Clinton people identified you, then you're in the database but you're listed as a soft supporter because you were once for the other person. So on the first day of early voting they try to get you. And if you didn't vote, they come back at you at the second day.
COOPER: That's a priority for that ...
KING: And then they go after the Bernie Sanders supporters and they go after those college-educated white people who might go back and ...
COOPER: Let John finish.
KING: ... but they have that database and they will look at it every single night. You were talking about the FBI people having pizza. Guess what, Democrats and Republicans in campaign offices all over America are going through their list, who voted today? And then they go back out tomorrow.
Now, if the Republicans can do what they promised to do after 2008 and 2012 and get it right this time, we'll see. But we know the Democrats are really good at this.
BORGER: And that's what early voting -- this is why early voting matters. And this is why organization matters. If you go to a Hillary Clinton rally, and I'm sure you've been and we've all, they take people from the rallies to the -- to vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.
BORGER: They are organizing on the spot. It's not as obvious at Trump rallies, and it's just a different level ...
COOPER: But the Trump people will say, look, our people are waiting for 12 hours out in the rain, and even in the cold.
MCENANY: One thing that President Obama did exceedingly well, and Republicans were behind in the times on this, is not only did he microtarget, he used social media to do so.
I remember seeing a story about how he would actually reach to voters in certain counties in Ohio, and say, hey, I know you care about manufacturing, go tell your neighbor, go told your unions to go out and vote. It was microtargeting that infiltrated social media. And the RNC has tried to up the game, up the game, and I hope that they have because that is important.
COOPER: But John ...
BORGER: They know, but if you drive a certain kind of car, they know who you're more likely to vote for.
COOPER: But they also get -- it's not just them directly calling you, like after a while, they won't bug you, they'll get your pastor to do it or ...
KING: A smart campaign. And some Republican campaigns do this, too. I don't want to give all the credit to the Democrats, but at the presidential level, the Democrats have kicked the Republicans in the you know what the last two cycles. We'll see if they can recover.
But if -- yes, the campaign will call you, but then they realize you're not responding. So, they will have the small businessman up the street where you go for coffee in the morning, they'll have your pastor come to your house, and they'll -- they will get local people who you might listen to more than a political ...
COOPER: We've got to take a break. We're really over time. I thank everyone in the panel.
Just ahead, the man at the center of all the drama, oh, hello. I've (inaudible) a quick zoom there. James Comey is back to the top job of the FBI in the moments that forged his reputation for fairness. We'll be right back.
[21:47:33] COOPER: Over the past 72 hours, Donald Trump has been commending FBI Director James Comey for announcing that his agency would be reviewing e-mails, potentially related to Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made, in light of the kind of opposition that he had with it trying to protect her from criminal prosecution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's a major change in tune for Donald Trump, who has spent weeks, as you know, slamming Comey for not recommending criminal charges against Clinton. Here's what he said earlier this month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: One of the worst things I've ever witnessed, as a citizen of the United States was last week, when the FBI Director was trying so hard to explain how she got away with what she got away with, because she should be in prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, this is not the first time that James Comey has been in the spotlight. He was making headlines even before getting the top job at the FBI. Gary Tuchman tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I, state your name.
COMEY: I, James B. Comey ...
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: James Comey became the seventh director of the FBI in 2013, in the beginning of President Obama's second term.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.
COMEY: So help me God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations, sir. TUCHMAN: But years before that, he became the number two at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush and was a registered Republican. Although now he says he's, "Not registered any longer."
But in the past, he donated to both the Mitt Romney campaign in 2012 and the John McCain campaign in 2008. He also served as a counsel on the Whitewater Committee back in 1966. But his reputation for bipartisan fairness has long been well known.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob Mueller and Mr. Jim Comey.
TUCHMAN: When Comey took over the FBI director spot from Bob Mueller, this is what Mueller had to say.
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I have had the opportunity to work with Jim for a number of years in the Department of Justice and I have found him to be a man of honesty, dedication, and integrity.
TUCHMAN: Comey gained a degree of fame for his role in one of the most dramatic incidents during George W. Bush's tenure in the White House. Comey's boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft, was gravely ill in the hospital. Two of President Bush's top aides rushed there to try to get Ashcroft to endorse a warrantless eavesdropping program.
Comey was acting attorney general while Ashcroft was in the hospital. And when he found out about the plan, he rushed to the hospital and stopped it.
[21:50:05] COMEY: I was very upset. I was angry. I thought I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man.
TUCHMAN: The eavesdropping program was not endorsed. As a federal prosecutor, Comey dealt with the Khobar Towers terrorist bombing case. Following the attack 20 years ago, on a U.S. military facility in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 service members, he prosecuted members of the Mafia.
COMEY: We are here this afternoon to announce the unsealing of three separate indictments against 14 alleged members and associates of the Gambino crime family.
TUCHMAN: And he prosecuted America's domestic diva.
COMEY: Martha Stewart is being prosecuted not because of who she is but because of what she did.
TUCHMAN: Back in July, Donald Trump tweeted, the system is rigged after Comey's statement regarding about Hillary Clinton.
COMEY: We are expressing to justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.
TUCHMAN: But Friday, as the story was just breaking, Trump said this.
TRUMP: It might not be as rigged as I thought, right? Right? The FBI -- I think they're going to right the ship, folks. I think they're going to right the ship.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right, a lot to discuss. Joining me now is Constitutional Criminal Defense Attorney, Page Pate, also James Cole, former Deputy -- excuse me, Deputy Attorney General of the United States.
Jim, you as well as former Attorney General Eric Holder, other former DOJ officials signed an open letter, and it read in part, many of us have worked with Director Comey, all of us respect him but he's unprecedented decision of publicly comment on evidence in what may be an ongoing inquiry just 11 days before a presidential election leaves us both astonished and perplexed. Explain why astonished and perplexed.
JAMES COLE, FORMER DEPUTY U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, he has a number of very longstanding Justice Department policies that he violated. The long term and longstanding view in the Justice Department is that you don't talk about investigations. And an even stronger policy is that when you were in an election season, you do not say anything that has the potential to impact an election, and he did that. He violated both of those policies, and that was what the source of our astonishment was.
There's wild allegations going on, there's unfounded allegations going on about what he said and what he meant. And these are just the kinds of things that those policies were designed to stop. We now see the need for those policies. Go ahead.
COOPER: But hadn't he said to Congress that, you know, if there was something new to let them know about, that -- I mean, that he certainly felt he needed to, having told Congress he would update them?
COLE: Well, he did say that, and whether or not he should have said that, we can talk about it at another time. But the question I have is, did he really know that there was something new to say. He doesn't know very much about these e-mails at this point. He doesn't know whether they're particularly relevant to this case. He doesn't know whether the FBI has already seen them. He doesn't know if it has anything to do with classified information. He should have been more careful in determining what it is he had, before he went out and talked about it.
COOPER: Page -- I mean, former Bush Administration Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told CNN today that the Comey's actions were an error in judgment, is he right?
PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't think so. I mean, I think it's very easy for these former Justice Department lawyers to kind of step back and play arm chair quarterback at this point. I mean, they were not in the hot seat. He had a very difficult decision to make. And I think given the fact he had been so public about his initial decision not to pursue criminal charges, it was his obligation to let Congress know that that had changed. And what is happening now is inconsistent with his earlier statement.
So, Jim Cole is right -- I mean, we can think, you know, was it appropriate to do that? Should he have even talked to Congress? Should he have gone public about the initial decision?
But once he did that, I do think he had the obligation to come forward and let people know that he's going to look into it again. He shouldn't go into any details and I don't think he is, but I don't think he can't just sweep this under the rug or not mention it. He wasn't looking for this. I mean, he's not trying to investigate Hillary Clinton. I think the last thing he wanted to see were these e-mails dropped on his desk this close to the election.
COOPER: Jim, was it a mistake for Comey back in July to go as far as he did?
COLE: I think it is. His role was as the investigator and as the head of the investigative agency. He's supposed to make his recommendations to the Justice Department in a confidential way, so that they're not influenced by politics, they're not influenced by pandering to the press, and then the prosecutors are supposed to make that decision, which is what they did. But he started to short circuit that process by going public back in July. Then when he talked to Congress, there's been a longstanding resistance by the department to talk about investigations to anybody, including Congress, because you don't want politics enter into those investigations.
[21:5503] And then when he did this, I think the biggest problem that we have is that he created his own problem by making these pledges to talk. And I think at that point, he really has to take a hard look at what he has done.
And I think going to the comments that were just made, once he says something about this, which I think there's a serious question whether he should have been in the first place, he now owes it to the American people to give them the context, to give them the limitations of what it is that he knows, and he doesn't know. And by not saying anything at this point, he's creating much more of a problem.
PATE: Anderson, I don't know how he possibly ...
COOPER: Page -- I mean, do you think he -- go ahead.
PATE: I don't know how he could possibly say anything more without first actually reviewing the e-mails. I mean, we know now that they have a search warrant. They're indexing those e-mails, they will eventually be reviewed, but I think it would be irresponsible for some of the same reasons Jim Cole is talking about, for him to come out and try to describe any more details about the investigation. He's done what he could do.
PATE: He's done what I think he had to do in letting people know he's going to look into this again.
COOPER: Yeah. And he certainly seems like he's not going to be saying anything more. Jim Cole, I appreciate for being on, Page Pate as well, thank you.
Just ahead, President Obama hosted his last Halloween party at the White House, got a surprise, his reaction just ahead.
COOPER: Well today, President and Michelle Obama hosted their last Halloween party on the South Lawn of the White House. Local school kids, children and military families were invited. One attendee came dressed as a lame duck, clever, but no word on whether the costume back in many expert candy there.
[22:00:10] That does it for us. Thanks for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.