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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Clinton Camp Going All-In Against Trump's Character; Clinton Camp Coming Down Hard on FBI Director; Trump/Pence Stumping in Pennsylvania; NYT: Trump Dodged Taxes with "Dubious Maneuver". Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 1, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:14] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I'm Kate Bolduan.
You do not need to look at the calendar, forget about it, the campaign trail and you can clearly see time is running out. Both campaigns throwing everything but the kitchen sink at these final days.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence hitting the trail together. You're looking at live pictures of the event that they'll be hitting up in Pennsylvania. Their show of force together to take the stage any minute now. We'll bring that to you live.
But up against renewed focus on her e-mail controversy, Hillary Clinton this morning may be throwing the kitchen sink in as well.
BERMAN: We just learned that said kitchen sink is a 60-second television spot going up in battleground states. It's political advertising way of saying, you're betting on e-mails, I will raise you "Access Hollywood."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing. When I come home and dinner's not ready, I go through the roof.
Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: And because that isn't blunt enough, Clinton will be introduced in Florida today by Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe, who says Donald Trump called her Miss Piggy, among other things.
And all of this happening as the latest CNN poll of polls showing Hillary Clinton with a four-point edge now. But that is shrinking.
Let's start now with CNN political correspondent, Brianna Keilar.
Brianna, this ad is a doozy.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This may be the most scathing ad that Hillary Clinton's campaign has put together, John and Kate. It's going to run in eight states. It uses Donald Trump's words against him. And it comes as Hillary Clinton has three stops in Florida today, including in Dade City, where we're told by a campaign official, also she's going to be really targeting a demographic that can help deliver the election for her. She's going to be talking to women, women and girls. She's going to be focusing on some of the things that Donald, for instance, Alicia Machado introducing her, as you mentioned. Also these accusers who said he's forcibly kissed or groped them.
She's lost some momentum since the made clear they're looking into her top aide Huma Abedin's e-mails, and she's trying to turn this back on Donald Trump.
BERMAN: All right, Brianna Keilar. Actually, let me ask you one question. James Comey, the Clinton team going hard against the FBI director still.
KEILAR: Yes, they are. This is ever since James Comey alerted committee heads and ranking member on the Hill that there have been some e-mails found on Anthony Weiner's computer, of his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, top aide to Hillary Clinton. The response from the Clinton campaign and those backing her has been to go after Comey. They're trying to say he has a double standard for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, specifically because the FBI has been looking, since the summer, into links between the Donald Trump sphere and Russia. We saw the administration come out and say Russia is behind these hackings of the DNC and Clinton campaign, and we also have learned now from a "New York Times" report that intelligence officials had found chatter between a server or a computer device in the Trump Russian bank. Could be innocuous, maybe not.
But here's what Robby Mook, the head of Clinton's campaign, said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN MANGER: Director Comey felt it was incumbent upon him to announce FBI had some information he'd never even looked at but they won't reveal connections to Russia. We know that the Russians, based on what 17 agencies have all agreed on, that the Russians stole e-mails from the DNC. They stole e-mails from our campaign. And it was James Comey at the FBI who was trying to block that information. We just want all this information out there on both candidates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: So the Clinton campaign there, as you see, they want voters not to pay too much heed to what the FBI's doing, and they want to really paint this as a partisan witch-hunt that is unfair to Hillary Clinton. BERMAN: Look away, look away, the message from the Clinton team.
BOLDUAN: Don't look over here. Look over there.
Brianna, great to see you. Thank you.
Let's go now to CNN's Jason Carroll, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, waiting for the Republican ticket to take the stage.
Jason, why this show of force today?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for a couple reasons. First, let's talk about where we are, the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The campaign knows if they have any hope at all, they've got to win over voters in suburbs where we are right now. That's why the campaign feels it's so important for them to take their message here today.
Also, let's talk about that message. The message is in terms of two points. First of all, Obamacare. Second message, the Clinton e- mails.
[11:05:] Starting first with Obamacare. We have a lot of GOP positions here in this room. Mike Pence is going to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. He's going to be talking about some of the things that need to be repealed and replaced dealing with Obamacare.
Also another message he's going to be talking about are those premiums. 25 percent or more in the state of Pennsylvania and other states such Arizona as according to the campaign.
He's also going to be talking about bringing home the GOP, bringing home GOP leaders in this last stretch of the race. And Donald Trump himself will be here. He's going to be talking about those Clinton e- mails. He spoke about this last night, talking about Clinton's bad judgment. He said not only had an effect on the country, but the country's children. Talked about his son, Baron, saying he was offended for his son. That's interesting because if you think about the attack ad that Hillary Clinton has been putting out, the one where she has Donald Trump speaking with all of his rhetoric, children listening to some of the things he said. Now, Donald Trump flipping the script and bringing in the affected children as well. So an important message being delivered here today.
The place where we are, it being the suburbs is important, the message is Important to the GOP as well.
BERMAN: All right, Jason Carroll for us, in King of Prussia.
That's Senator John Barrasso speaking behind him now.
BOLDUAN: Speaking forcefully.
BERMAN: Speaking forcefully.
BERMAN: I heard a lot of the Senator right there, not quite as much as Jason.
But the point is you have Republican leadership, Republican members up there on stage with Donald Trump, which is an interesting picture. A little bit different.
BOLDUAN: Wonder what Mike Pence's message is today.
Let's bring in our panel. Joining us, CNN political analyst, and national political reporter for "The New York Times," Alex Burns; the mayor of Miami Beach and host of Sirius XM's "The Mayor," Phillip Levine, a Hillary Clinton surrogate; also CNN political commentator, also a veteran of two presidential campaigns, Margaret Hoover; and John Jay LaValle, regional vice chairman of the New York Republican State Committee and a Donald Trump supporter.
Margaret, rewind a little bit, that Hillary Clinton ad, a 60-second spot. It talks about the "Access Hollywood" tape where Donald Trump brags about being able to grab women and get away with it because he's famous. This is the Trump card, no pun intended, that the Clinton campaign can pull, maybe the last one.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, they're betting on it, it's ironic it happens in the Philadelphia suburbs now because new polling out this morning after that "Access Hollywood" tape came out, demonstrating that Donald Trump has plummeted there specifically because of that tape. 83 percent of respondent also say they were deeply affected by that tape. So you see them talking about Michigan. You see them talking about New Mexico. These other states that they to win to get to the White House are out of reach now.
BOLDUAN: It's interesting though this kind of this "throwing the kitchen sink at it" ad.
Alex, you've been doing reporting on the Clinton campaign's kind of posture now in these last seven days. From what your reporting is and his ad that they put out today on the heels of the national security ad they yesterday, is this a campaign that is confident or is this a campaign that is nervous?
ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think Margaret really hit the nail on the head there in terms of just how Democrats and how folks who are opposed to Donald Trump see the electoral map at this point. You hear Clinton not introducing new arguments against Donald Trump, not going into states any kind of Democratic presence before. You see her and her ally also trying to shore up the strength they already have, trying to make sure that women stay where they are and turn out to vote in this campaign. Most of what you hear Democrats doing is aimed at turnout in places like Pennsylvania, North Carolina. We'll see Clinton in Arizona and Ohio, after this week. Because the way they see the map, Kate, is basically everything stays
as it was, a week ago, and you subtract a couple points to factor in any kind of impact from that James Comey letter, she still gets close to or clears 300 electoral votes which puts her well over the winning number.
Now, Donald Trump, because he is kind of backed into a corner just geographically, is trying this in a couple places where we haven't seen hotly contested so far and frankly we probably won't know whether we'll get any results from that until election day because it's really too late to see an impact in public polling.
BERMAN: Just seven days from now.
John Jay, the ad we say, Donald Trump's words, so is there anything wrong with it?
JOHN JAY LAVALLE, REGIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE: The Democrats are desperate. The Clinton campaign's desperate. They're falling apart. The early voting, which always favors the Democrats, they're behind where try were in 2012 in early voting --
HOOVER: But, John --
LAVALLE: Yes, they are.
LAVALLE: They're behind where Obama was. And Trump is ahead of where Romney was. That's a fact --
[11:10:09] BERMAN: State by state, some of the states are different, everything's relative --
LAVALLE: No, no, percentagewise, Trump is doing better than Romney did --
BERMAN: -- the Democrats feel very confident.
BERMAN: Florida is somewhere where the Democrats aren't doing as well, but it's a state by state thing.
LAVALLE: She's buried. Comey had to say this to even the tables. She ran around the country telling everyone, "I was cleared." They found thousands upon thousands of e-mails they didn't turn over --
BERMAN: She found 650,000 e-mails that belonged to Anthony Weiner --
LAVALLE: I will tell you as the chairman --
BOLDUAN: John, are you not listening to the words coming out of our mouths?
BOLDUAN: Stop, stop.
LAVALLE: No, these are facts --
BOLDUAN: Yes, there are 650,000 e-mails related to Anthony Weiner's investigation --
BOLDUAN: John, you know I love you, but stop right now.
There are 650,000 e-mails related to the Anthony Weiner investigation. We don't know if they're related to Hillary Clinton. What percentage is related at all to Hillary Clinton, went through Hillary Clinton's server? We don't know anything. Just stick with the facts. You guys have a good argument without taking a leap --
LAVALLE: -- James Comey is going to make that announcement when some of those 650,000 e-mails pertain to Hillary Clinton. And I'm going to bet right now there are secure e-mails on those --
BERMAN: Look, but you don't know. And, again, you don't know how many.
Mr. Levine, Mayor, go ahead.
PHILLIP LEVINE, MIAMI BEACH MAYOR & HOST, SIRIUS XM'S THE MAYOR: It's incredible. Jonathan chairs the Republican party of New York. Hear what he just said? It was John -- the FBI director had to come in turn the tables. That's what the head of the Republican party of New York just said on TV on CNN. And the people of south Florida, who come from countries like Venezuela, where they've actually seen law enforcement turn the table for elections, should be highly concerned based on what we just heard --
BERMAN: Hang on now --
LAVALLE: -- I don't believe the FBI director --
BERMAN: -- acting like he's in South America?
LEVINE: I don't believe the FBI director did this on purpose. I think he's a good guy that made a very poor decision. Over 100 attorneys general came forward and said this was a bad decision by the FBI.
Listen, we know what's going on with the Russian hacking. Why didn't they release the Russian hacking information? Totally connected to Donald Trump's campaign --
LAVALLE: Not true.
LEVINE: How would we feel if the IRS commissioner came out right now and said I feel obligated to release Trump's tax returns? Do you think that would tilt the scale?
LAVALLE: Comey should not have come out and said Clinton was cleared --
BOLDUAN: Hold on.
Go ahead, John.
LAVALLE: He was wrong in the end --
LEVINE: It was a bad decision for America --
BOLDUAN: Hold on.
BERMAN: One at a time.
BOLDUAN: Hold on. Stop.
LEVINE: So is everything you're saying.
HOOVER: But look, it's a huge conjecture from both sides. What I hope, Republicans are wondering what the heck has happened to
our party and what's going on in this election.
But here are some of these arguments, right. I feel like I'm living in this (INAUDIBLE). In 2012 the Republican Party was telling us we were going to win. Mitt Romney was going to win in Michigan. Mitt Romney is making serious inroad in Pennsylvania.
HOOVER: Well, we don't have enough Republican voters to win an election. We have to win Independents. We have to win women. We have to win Hispanics. We have to win minorities. We need to really rethink what this party stands for and really start selling it on national elections.
Trying to get the FBI director to be on your side, on either side, this is not what American --
LAVALLE: That is not what I said --
HOOVER: This is what you're saying.
HOOVER: You're saying he's in it to turn the tables --
LAVALLE: Not at all.
LEVINE: That's what I heard.
LAVALLE: He came out and said she was cleared. He was mistaken. He needed to correct that wrong. Now the tables are even.
BERMAN: Let's do this, let's move to a different subject to see if we can do one at a time on this one.
Alex Burns --
BOLDUAN: Good luck.
BERMAN: -- you're in a save undisclosed location.
BOLDUAN: You're in a coat closet with a handy cam.
BERMAN: Let's talk about Russia right now. The Clinton campaign clearly wants to talk about Russia. Robbie Mook yesterday all but called the conference call to say, why aren't you talking about Russia and what the FBI is doing on this situation. Do you think the Clinton campaign is successfully muddying the waters here?
BURNS: I think the -- frankly, the panel you just heard that I listened to from a safe distance shows the degree to which the waters have just been muddied kind of across the board. I think reintroducing the e-mail issue as Comey did on Friday was certainly not helpful for Hillary Clinton. What you've seen is Democrats essentially throw the kitchen sink and really multiple kitchen sinks, every kitchen sink they can find back at Donald Trump.
The Russia issue is one Democrats like to talk about. There's a sense certainly among political strategists that probably moves fewer votes than some of the issues related to women and race and, you know, Trump's character.
But if you're talking about, you know, who can be trusted with national security, that's sort of the safe place for Clinton folks to go right now at a tricky moment when they really do want to stop talking about the e-mails.
BOLDUAN: I mean, but both sides just really throwing bombs left and right, at each other and just kind of these hyperbolic points, case in point, hello, everyone, listening in front of me.
Phil, you went hard at John Jay on the last topic. On any connection between the Trump campaign and Russia? "The New York Times," the Trump campaign points me to "The New York Times," and it says -- funny they're citing "The New York Times" considering how much they hate the "The New York Times" -- but I digress -- said, "Law enforcement officials say that none of investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government."
Is this just a distraction --
[11:15:28] LEVINE: No, Kate, listen, we know what's going on. We understand Putin is behind, you know, Donald. We understand the rhetoric that is going on -- --
BOLDUAN: How do we know? Again, we don't know what is in the e-mails --
LEVINE: -- we clearly have seen the connection between the former campaign manager. They're already investigating the former campaign manager. I mean, come on, we know it's there. Why can't we see it? Why can't we understand what's going on?
HOOVER: We know the DNC was hacked by people from the Russian government. Donald Trump has expressed it would be great if we had a different sort of diplomatic relationship with Russia. He's tried to normalize this longtime belligerent relationship that -- I mean, who -- I grew up in the '80s. Who's friends with Russia?
BERMAN: John --
LAVALLE: Ronald Reagan was, as a matter of fact.
BERMAN: You know who's friends with Russia? Donald Trump. Donald Trump in an interview in 2013 that's, going around today, says that he knows and has a relationship with Vladimir Putin. Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, a conversational relationship or anything that you feel you have sway or influence over his government?
TRUMP: I do have a relationship. And I can tell you he's very interested in what we're doing here today. He's probably interested in what you and I are saying. I'm sure he's going to be seeing it in some form.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Said had a relationship, now he says he doesn't.
LAVALLE: It is imperative that the president of this country forms alliance with countries like Russia to fight ISIS.
BOLDUAN: John, this was 2013 and this is directly --
LAVALLE: Oh, that was al Qaeda, sorry --
BOLDUAN: No, no, no.
BOLDUAN: This gets to what Donald Trump said in rallies, in the last debate, he said he has no relationship with Russia, no relationship with Vladimir Putin. He never met him. The only thing he has is Vladimir Putin saying nice things about him.
LAVALLE: That's not establishing a formal relationship with Russia --
BOLDUAN: You're telling me once again --
BOLDUAN: No, no, no, no.
Do you have a relationship with Vladimir Putin, is the question.
LAVALLE: He's an international businessman --
BOLDUAN: The answer is I do have a relationship. Then said to the country in the last debate he has no relationship with Vladimir Putin. Are you telling me with should stop believing what Donald Trump says?
LAVALLE: What he says,| can believe --
LAVALLE: He has a financial disclosure which discloses all of his business relationships --
LEVINE: Oh, come on, one that he created himself?
LAVALLE: I guess you didn't read it.
BERMAN: Everyone, John Jay, Margaret Hoover, Mayor Levine, Alex Burns -- I envy your safety -- thank you all for joining us this morning.
BOLDUAN: That was fun. Let's do it again.
Donald Trump's taxes are back in the spotlight. He's not going to release his tax returns, but a new report offers new insight into how he may have avoided paying millions in taxes using a maneuver that is now illegal. That is next.
BERMAN: Plus, some candid new comments from President Obama about what he thinks Hillary Clinton would face if she wins. Why he says she'll be attacked for being moody and emotional.
And just a vicious phone attack against a presidential candidate from a man who claims to be a pro-Trump white nationalist. Hear how the Trump campaign is reacting. That's coming up.
[11:22:42] BERMAN: A brand-new report tries to shed some light on how far Donald Trump went to avoid paying taxes. According to "The New York Times," quote, "Trump avoided reporting hundreds in taxable income by using a tax avoidance maneuver, so legally dubious, his own lawyers advised him that the IRS would most likely declare it improper if he were audited."
BOLDUAN: The move was legal at the time but has since been outlawed.
Here to kind of explain it and give us what we know, CNN's chief business correspondent, Christine Romans.
What are we learning?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: "The Times" have seen some more documents and are trying to put this whole scenario together, and they are painting a scenario where Donald Trump benefits from losing other people's money. This is the 1990s, a time was Trump was scrambling to save his Atlantic City casino businesses. They were in free fall. Eventually, they went bankrupt. He had financed the casinos with debts. "The New York Times" says he used these tactics to avoid paying taxes when he lost the money. "The Times" says they have documents suggesting Trump used losses taxes on other income for years and years to come. The key is, when his casinos failed, his creditors were forced to forgive much of the debt. Normally, that forgiven debt is counted as income and gets taxed. "The Times" says Trump converted that debt into equity into his own real estate partnerships. The stock, the equity wasn't worth, but that wasn't the point, it made the taxes disappear. That was the strategy. It's a move, a maneuver that "The Times" described as stretching the tax law beyond any recognition.
This tactic was outlawed in 2004. It's unclear if Trump used it properly. If he used it improperly, if he was ever investigated by the IRS for this.
A top former government tax official tells "The Times," since the bond holders were likely declaring losses for tax purposes, Trump shouldn't be able to as well. Quote, "He deducted somebody else's losses, he is double-dipping big time," end quote.
To be clear, it is impossible to confirm if Trump used this tactic. He refuses to release his tax returns. He is the first candidate of either party in 40 years not to make them available. He says it's from advice from his layers because he's being audited by the IRS. Trump's spokesperson tells the "The Times" the story is speculation. They misunderstood or misread tax laws, no news here. That's what they say.
It refreshes what's been happening for four weeks when there's been this huge discussion about how he could lose $916 million, not pay any taxes going forward. That's what I think this refreshes. We don't have his tax returns.
BERMAN: Any, all of this would be clear if he would release his tax returns.
ROMANS: That's right.
BOLDUAN: Christine Romans, thank you.
[11:25:13] BOLDUAN: Puts his tax returns back in the spotlight seven days from the election now.
Christine, thank you.
ROMANS: You're welcome. Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Explosive new audio surfacing. A Republican Senator talking to volunteers about putting a bull's-eye on Hillary Clinton. What the Senator is now saying.
BERMAN: Plus, a white supremacist, who says he's supporting Donald Trump, cuts a brutal robo-call, a new low in campaign slander.
BOLDUAN: CNN has obtained audio of Republican Senator Richard Burr, who's locked in a tough re-election battle, joking about putting a bull's-eye on Hillary Clinton. Listen to this.