Return to Transcripts main page


Clinton Tries to Hold the Line in Blue States; FBI Drops New Clinton-Related Documents; Trump Spotlights Hacked Clinton Campaign E- mail; Clinton Surrogates Hit Battleground States With Anti-Trump Ads. Aired 3:30-4a ET

Aired November 2, 2016 - 03:30   ET



[03:32:32] HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior of people who support Donald Trump.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton fired up last night, lashing out at a protester. You'll see in a moment what set her off.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the biggest scandal since Watergate.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump on the trail, visiting blue state. Can he stay on message the final days of this race?

ROMANS: A new FBI move draws questions. A sudden release of files from a 15-year-old Clinton investigation with less than a week to go before Election Day.

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

BERMAN: I'm John Berman. We're looking at 33 minutes past the hour right now. We have six days to go in the race for president. And if you slept it all, how dare you? This is what you missed.

Hillary Clinton overnight, she angrily went after a protester during a rally in Florida. Donald Trump's campaign just hours ago denounced a show of support from the KKK's official newspaper. And the FBI released a statement defending itself after tweeting out documents from a long-closed investigation into the Clintons, and this came from a Twitter account that really seems barely used at all. Raised a lot of questions.

ROMANS: With less than a week to go, both candidates were on the trail deep into the night. We saw something at the Hillary Clinton event that we have not seen before. At a rally in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, she went right after a protester who called her husband a rapist. Watch this.


CLINTON: I love this country. I think we already are great. Now I think we can be greater. And, you know, I am sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior of people who support Donald Trump. It is time for us to say no, we are not going backwards. We're going forward into a brighter future.


BERMAN: That is a type of fired you do not see often from Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. She is calling out the cavalry this week, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, Bernie Sanders and more all crisscrossing the country from Carson City to Kalamazoo.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny with the candidate. He has the latest from Ft. Lauderdale.

[03:35:01] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Hillary Clinton is heading out west today. She'll be campaigning in Las Vegas and Arizona. Part of the plan to expand the battleground map, particularly Arizona, that red state. But I can tell you she is focused on blue states more than ever she had planned to be. She was in Florida all day yesterday campaigning across the state at three rallies. Seldom does she had three campaign rallies in one day. Of course, Donald Trump often does, but now she knows this race is tighter than she had ever expected.

At a rally in Sanford, Florida, she allowed just for a moment the possibility this could not turn out her way.


CLINTON: I want to build on the progress that President Obama has made. So think how you'll feel if there was something you could have done but didn't on November 9th, if this -- if this doesn't work. Personally I can't imagine.


ZELENY: Secretary Clinton is using that as a rallying cry, trying to get her voters to the polls through early voting or at the polls next Tuesday on Election Day.

The Clinton campaign now is trying to fortify that blue wall. They're advertising now in states they had not planned to. Blue states like Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, trying to fortify that as Donald Trump tries to puncture that.

Now the next six days of this campaign will be so interesting. The Clinton campaign still trying to assess the fallout from the e-mail controversy. She is trying to turn Arizona blue, but then she'll be heading back to the East Coast, hitting some of those blue states again like Pennsylvania and Michigan and Detroit there on Friday. John and Christine, the finish of this election much more interesting

that we ever thought it might be.

ROMANS: The everything of this election is much more interesting than we ever thought it might be. Thanks so much, Jeff Zeleny.

You know, this morning, the FBI is facing brand new questions about the timing of some of its actions. The bureau released a new set of files related to the Clinton's past, a release that critics are calling inexplicable.

Joining us now CNN Politics reporter Eugene Scott in Washington for us this morning. Nice to see you this morning up bright and early. Walk us through this. What is in these documents, Eugene, and why were they released now?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, these documents, there are about 130 pages of the investigation into Marc Rich, who was a former hedge fund trader, who was pardoned on former President Bill Clinton's last day in office. It was one of the more controversial moves. And they were tweeted by an FBI account yesterday, from an account that had been dormant since about October 2015. After receiving quite a bit of criticism the FBI has said this is an automated account. We make these things public after they've been requested repeatedly. This account hadn't tweeted before because something was broken but the account was fixed on Sunday.

It is worth noting that Sunday is also the day that the Clinton campaign really doubled down on some of its criticism of FBI Director Jim Comey following his release of a new investigation on Friday into Clinton.

BERMAN: Democrats not happy at all with the timing of this release, Eugene.

SCOTT: Not at all. We saw Brian Fallon from the Clinton campaign just call it odd, which is a repeated attack towards the FBI in this last several days in terms of its treatment towards Hillary Clinton because the campaign and other Democratic lawmakers argue that the FBI has not been as forthcoming regarding investigations into Donald Trump including some of his activity with Russia.

ROMANS: How, Eugene, is the FBI defending itself I guess at this point?

SCOTT: Yes. Well, we've got part of its statement here. The FBI is saying, in part, "By law FOIA materials that have been requested three or more times are posted electronically to the FBI's public reading room shortly after they are processed." So they're saying this is a mere coincidence, it's timing. It has nothing to do with political motivations that the Clinton campaign may think could be the case.

BERMAN: This will not ease the tensions.

ROMANS: No. BERMAN: Between the Clinton campaign and the FBI and this will only

make Hillary Clinton wins a relationship between president-elect and the FBI director a little more tense I would think in the coming days and weeks.

Eugene Scott, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

SCOTT: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right. Donald Trump heads to Florida today. He's got events in Miami, Orlando, Pensacola. His running mate Mike Pence goes to Arizona and Mexico and Colorado. So at a rally in Wisconsin overnight, Donald Trump jumped all over Hillary Clinton's e-mails. He raised a newly released hack from WikiLeaks, in which Clinton campaign chair John Podesta wrote to an aide that they were, quote, "going to have to dump all those e-mails." Now Trump seemed to suggest Podesta meant erase them, which appears to be false. The context in general Washington speak, when you say dump he meant release the e-mails.

CNN's Jim Acosta has the latest.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, Donald Trump is showing off a side that we rarely see out on the campaign trail, message discipline.

[03:40:03] At a rally here in Wisconsin, Trump stayed on the attack on Hillary Clinton's e-mail saga saying she only has herself to blame. He also went after her campaign manager John Podesta whose e-mails were hacked and released by WikiLeaks.

Here's what he had to say at this rally in Wisconsin.


TRUMP: In a newly released e-mail John Podesta has been caught saying we have to dump all of those e-mails. Can you believe this? That's WikiLeaks. And he also said -- to me this made a big statement. John Podesta -- I tell you what, if he worked for me I would fire him so fast. He is such a nasty guy. He would -- I would fire him. Like "The Apprentice," John, you're fired.


ACOSTA: And Trump is reminding people here in Wisconsin and a handful of other states that they can actually change their vote if they cast an earlier absentee ballot, but it's an option that's rarely ever used by voters -- John and Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Jim Acosta in Wisconsin for us. Thanks, Jim.

This morning the Trump campaign is denouncing a show of support from the official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan. Take a look at the front page of this paper called "The Crusader." The KKK publication borrows the Trump campaign's slogan, "Make America Great Again." And it says the way to achieve that greatness is to become a white Christian Republic. The Trump campaign quick to distance itself from this newspaper. It

released a statement saying, "This publication is repulsive and their views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign."

BERMAN: All right. President Obama heads to North Carolina today to campaign for Hillary Clinton. The president is now hitting on a new theme on the campaign trail. In Ohio he challenged men to think about what he considers the double standard that Hillary Clinton faces as a candidate.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want every man out there who is voting to kind of look inside yourself and ask yourself, well, if you're having problems with this stuff, how much of it is, you know, that we're just not used to it. So that, you know, like -- you know, when a guy's ambitious and out in the public arena and working hard, well, that's OK. But when a woman suddenly does it, suddenly you're all like, well, why is she doing that? I'm just being honest. I want you to think about it because she is so much better qualified than the other guy.


BERMAN: That was interesting. Jay Stevens (PH) on Twitter just noted that when we highlighted at the top of this hour Hillary Clinton really going after a protester at one of her events, maybe we talked about it in a way that we wouldn't have if it was a male candidate, something to think about here as the president is highlighting that. And the issues the candidates face on the trail.

Tomorrow the president heads to Jacksonville, in Miami in Florida. On Friday he's going to go somewhere, but they're not saying where just yet. It's going to be determined based on the polls and where he is needed most.

ROMANS: I would say just on that point, usually she distracts or deflects and moves on and ignores people in the crowd. I mean, this was -- she went specifically after this guy.

BERMAN: No -- you do not often see a candidate, male or female, on the stump directly address the protester other than to say, you know, let him speak or, you know, they should go to a different place.

ROMANS: First Amendment.

BERMAN: But -- yes.

ROMANS: This is what is so great about this country, we have the First Amendment, and then the person is ushered out. But she very clearly was fired by that particular remark. Male or female, that was a departure for the candidate.

The financial power of both presidential campaigns playing out on the nation's airwaves. A total of $44 million will be flooding local stations and cable channels. That's according to Kantar Media and CMAG. The Clinton campaign and her super PACs are spending $25.5 million on ads in this final week before the election. Donald Trump's campaign and outside groups are unloading $18.6 million.

Those numbers will likely grow. Both campaigns say they are dumping millions more into battleground states. So far Clinton is also focusing on national cable networks, spending nearly $5 million there. She has purchased $2.4 million worth of ad space in Florida. More than $1.5 million in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Trump is nearly doubling Clinton's spending on ads in Florida. His campaign bought almost $3 million worth of time on cable channels. He's also spending big, no surprise, in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

BERMAN: You know, if you live in Texas or New York or California, you have a different TV experience than if you live in a battleground state. We don't see any of these ads here at all. But man, if you live in a battleground, that's all you get.

All right. We are in the home stretch right now. What are both campaigns doing and what is the Clinton campaign going to do differently? Different states where she is spending money on ads. Different states, she is going to visit than we had thought. That's next.


[03:48:49] ROMANS: Six days. Voters head to the polls in six days. Hillary Clinton goes west today, she is trying to flip Arizona from red to blue, and also Nevada. Donald Trump is all about Florida.

Want to bring in senior media correspondent and host of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter. We're looking at these ad numbers. By the time it's all said and done, it would be almost, you know, $500 million. But we know that the Clinton campaign is launching some big buys in Colorado, Virginia, in Michigan and New Mexico this week.

The strategy here, they're spending money at the final, final moments here. What's the strategy?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: And notable, for example, in Colorado the campaign had not spent money since July. This is a last-minute ad buy in Colorado by the Clinton campaign. They're also investing new money in Michigan, which seems to be opening up as more of a battleground state than it had looked like months ago.

One thing notable about this is the Clinton campaign says they are simply trying to help down-ballot candidates. They got a lot of money to spend, only a few more days to spend it. The Trump campaign dismisses that. Trump aide Jason Miller said to me yesterday, look, we are trying to expand the map, we're investing money in new states. And that's what the Clinton campaign having to react.

Obviously the Trump campaign has to say that, though. They need to expand the map. They need to surprise us in terms of some of these either battleground states or leaning blue states. They have to win them in order to get to 270.

[03:50:03] BERMAN: Look, both sides may be right here, and both sides might be playing it smart.


BERMAN: I mean, the Trump campaign is absolutely right, it has to flip a blue state in order to win this election, so it makes sense that he goes to Wisconsin and Michigan, and Pennsylvania later. As for Hillary Clinton, the ad spending in Michigan, in New Mexico -- New Mexico is place they haven't spent at all.

STELTER: New Mexico, yes.

BERMAN: That's notable, a little bit eyebrow raising. And the fact that Hillary Clinton is going to Michigan on Friday, the most precious commodity in an election is a candidate's time, particularly in the last week. And you don't invest it unless you need to invest. So does this mean she's in trouble in Michigan? Does this mean they're just playing it safe?

STELTER: Is she simply trying to shore up her support? You're saying no. You're saying --

BERMAN: I'm saying --

STELTER: Never about something that simple.

BERMAN: I'm saying unless they thought they needed to be there, they wouldn't be there. Now that said, it may be a smart move and you want to be -- you know, you want to be safe about this. So you'll have to watch and see if she adds trips anywhere else.

STELTER: Well, this expand the map idea, in some ways on both sides they're describing this attempt. You know, what's interesting and exciting about this election is that more states are in more kinds of play. You know, even Alaska overnight, FOX News taking Alaska from definitely red to lean red.


STELTER: All of this kind of shakeup that we've seen, and Utah is another example of that.

BERMAN: By the way, we won't know who won Alaska into seriously like deep into the morning on Wednesday.


ROMANS: Right. Right.

BERMAN: So if it comes down to Alaska, we are all -- pose.

STELTER: I thought it was notable --

ROMANS: I wondered what verb you were going to use there. I wanted to talk a little about how Hillary Clinton is trying to change -- her team is trying to change the narrative from the e-mails and the FBI thing back to Donald Trump because they want to be talking about Donald Trump. His temperament, the things he said, and what he believes. And that's the subject of a new Clinton ad that just dropped. I think it dropped yesterday.


ROMANS: Let's listen to just a little piece of that.


TRUMP: Putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing. When I come home and dinner is not ready, I'll go through the roof. Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you treat women with respect?

TRUMP: I can't say that either.



ROMANS: Trying to change the narrative back to something that has worked for her and against him with specifically suburban women.

STELTER: Right, because one of the reasons why Trump now seems to have momentum, people say the polls are tightening, it's because the gap was so wide in the wake of the "Access Hollywood" tape. It's because the gap was so wide after days of scrutiny over his treatment of women and about the women who have come forward accusing him of assault. Now we see what is clearly a tightening in some of the polls.

It was interesting to see Clinton overnight using that to her advantage. Text messaging her supporters, her millions of supporters saying look at this ABC tracking poll, I'm down by one point. I need you to help. Chip in money today. Even in the final days of the campaign, they're trying to raise even more money to run more of those ads against Trump.

BERMAN: Nothing animates like fear. Brian Stelter, thanks so much for here being with us this morning.

ROMANS: Really nice to see you bright and early, Brian.

All right. Wages are finally picking up speed. Yes, they are. And one profession is calling in bigger raises than the rest.

BERMAN: I like that. I see what you did there.

ROMANS: Uh-huh. We'll tell you what it is when we go trucking with CNN.

BERMAN: "Grateful Dead." If you quote the "Grateful Dead" I'll tune back in.


[03:57:25] BERMAN: All right. Tonight the decades-long World Series drought ends, either for the Chicago Cubs or the Cleveland Indians. Someone is going to win the World Series tonight. The Cubs, they fought off elimination for a second straight game. They beat the Indians 9-3 to force a winner-take-all game seven tonight. After tomorrow there is no tomorrow.

The Cubs scored three first inning runs, never looked back. Chris Bryant had four hits including a homerun. Addison Russell hit a grand slam, drove in six.


BERMAN: Now the Cubs have been waiting 108 years for a World Series title. For Cleveland it's a 68-year dry spell. Nothing like a game seven.

ROMANS: That's awesome.

BERMAN: That is tonight.

ROMANS: I will not be wearing my Hairy Carrie glasses today because I wore them and then they lost two games. And so Bob Tobin in Shamburg, Illinois, told me I had to burn them. I did and then they won.

BERMAN: Wow. Christine Romans decisively weighing in on the World Series.

ROMANS: I am really with the superstition of my suburban Chicago Cubs fans.

All right. Let's get a check on CNN Money Stream this morning. Tight polling in the presidential race has investors on edge. Dow futures pointing lower, the S&P 500 suffering its sixth straight drop yesterday. Shares in Asia are closing with losses, stock markets in Europe opening at the top of the hour, futures there slipping as well.

And then there's the Fed. Yes, the Fed. It wraps up a two-day policy meeting today. Very little chance of a rate hike from Janet Yellen and company. Wall Street will be reading its statement very carefully for any suggestion about when that increase might happen. Most people think it's going to happen at the next meeting in mid-December.

All right. Drivers on the East Coast get ready for sticker shock at the gas pump over the next few days. An explosion here along the Colonial Pipeline in Alabama this week killed one worker. It will likely cause significant supply disruptions in the southeast and the Mid-Atlantic. AAA now predicting prices in those areas could jump.

This is the same pipeline that was shut down in September after workers discovered a leak. That set prices in the southeast, up as much as $0.28 a gallon. We're already seeing slight increases in some states. Prices in

Georgia up $0.03 overnight, $0.02 rise in North Carolina. Prices in these states -- there you go. Georgia and South Carolina, up $0.03 and $0.02.

All right. Workers across the country are finally bringing home bigger paychecks, but workers driving across the country are earning the fattest raises. Wages for truck drivers up 7.8 percent in October. That's according to a survey from Glass Door. That's the biggest increase of the 60 professional areas it follows. The median salary is now 54 grand. Pay varies depending on distance and employer but that's well above other blue-collar jobs like machine operators and construction workers.

Overall, pay increased 2.8 percent from the year before.