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Is FOX News Tearing Down Trump?; Interview with George Pataki. Aired 11a-12:00p ET

Aired August 9, 2015 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:08] BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Hey, good morning. I'm Brian Stelter. It's time for RELIABLE SOURCES.

Ahead this hour, the big media questions of the week. Is Donald Trump unraveling? Is FOX News the reason why? I'm going to ask the dean of political journalists, Carl Bernstein, ahead.

Plus, since this week's debate, it almost felt like a reality TV show. Hear from two women who were contestants on Trump's "Apprentice."

And later, one of the country's most influential anchormen, Jorge Ramos, has a surprising review of FOX's debate moderators.

But I want to begin with this, exclusive reporting about Donald Trump's assault against FOX News.

On Thursday, he did not like the way he was questioned by FOX's debate moderators, especially Megyn Kelly. He called the questions vicious, ridiculous, unfair. He said Kelly really bombed. He said FOX should be ashamed.

And then on Friday night, here on CNN, whoo, he said this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. But she was, in my opinion, she was off base.


STELTER: Now, Trump says he meant her nose. But many people perceive it as a reference to Kelly's period, her time of the month.

Honestly, I can't even believe I'm talking about this on TV right now. So because of that, because of that exchange, Trump was disinvited from a GOP gathering in Atlanta on Saturday. And his rivals are hoping that his campaign is now going to self-destruct.

This morning, CNN's Jake Tapper challenged Trump. Here's what happened.


JAKE TAPPER, STATE OF THE UNION: Let me just ask you a question, sir. Do you -- I understand you're saying that you -- you did not mean to suggest that Megyn Kelly was having her period. You were saying --

TRUMP: Of course I didn't, Jake. Who would say that?

Hey, Jake, I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I was an excellent person. I'm a smart person. I built a tremendous company. I had a show called "The Apprentice" that NBC desperately wanted to do me another season.

TAPPER: Yes, I'm familiar with your work, sir.

TRUMP: OK. I do all the stuff. Do you think I would make a stupid statement like that? Who would make a statement like that? Only a sick person would even think about it.


STELTER: I guess I am a sick person.

Trump says he is not going to apologize, but his is a true clash of titans. Think about this -- he is the Republican frontrunner and FOX is the favored network of Republicans. FOX News chairman Roger Ailes is a GOP king-maker. So, how can this be a winning strategy for Trump?

Let me take you into the mind of Ailes for a minute before I bring in my guest. FOX hasn't covered this blood comment once in the 36 hours. FOX is trying to take a high road. It's not commenting and Megyn Kelly personally is not commenting on what Trump said.

But there has been so much viciousness directed towards Kelly online it's created security concerns for FOX. She'll be back on the air tomorrow night. Maybe Trump will come on her show at some point.

But for the time being, she does not want to be seen as a victim. She wants to be seen, rightly, as a tough, independent journalist. So, she is taking the high road. No commenting.

I think Ailes' strategy is to say there's no need to engage. Let nature take its course. If Trump's campaign is gong to implode, let it implode on its own.

But it very notable that FOX has not covered this controversy at all in the last day and a half.

Let's hear from another rival of Trump's now. Joining me is a presidential candidate and former New York governor, George Pataki.

Governor, thanks for being here.

I have to ask you -- should Trump, at this point, drop out of the race?

GEORGE PATAKI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going to tell Trump what to do, but I should tell other Republicans that his candidacy is an absolute travesty and it's hurting the Republican Party. And it's not just what happened at the debate. He started out by slandering an entire group of people because they look different and sound different. He slandered our POWs.

This is not being politically correct to not speak like this. We're referring to basic decency. His candidacy, in my view, shouldn't have been taken seriously from the beginning. I know the American people and Republicans are going to reject it and want somebody who can actually lead.

You know, Brian, we don't need government as reality show. We need grown-up government. That's what I hope to bring to this campaign and to the White House.

STELTER: You say we need it, but he is leading in the polls. Presumably he'll still be doing well when the polls from after the debate come out. So what does that tell you about the Republican Party and about grassroots conservatives?

PATAKI: You know, Brian, it's the summer before the election. This is theater. He has 99 percent name ID. But, ultimately, people are going to want someone who can bring the American people together.

Brian, I've never seen us more divided as a people. And that is destructive of America. And one of the things I want to do is reach across party lines, Republicans and Democrats working together to solve problems.

You know, the world is on flames -- in flames. People don't have the jobs that they want. People doubt the future of America. We're talking about this.

[11:05:00] This is nonsense. This isn't who is auditioning to be head of the next reality show. This is about who is going to be the next president of the United States. I know I'm up to that job.

STELTER: It may be nonsense --

PATAKI: That's why I'm running.

STELTER: It may be nonsense, and yet Trump himself keeps talking about the blood comments. He said he meant Megyn Kelly's nose.

You have daughters, I wonder if you have discussed his comments with them.

PATAKI: We all know they are reprehensible. In my view, just one of many reasons why Donald Trump is unqualified and unfit to be president of the United States.

But, Brian, this election should be about who is going to protect us from radical Islam, who is going to get our economy growing again, who is going to end the crony capitalism in Washington where the powerful and rich get all the breaks and the average American gets the short end of the stick, and who can govern successfully.

I ran a very deep blue state for 12 years successfully, bringing people together. That's what we need as the next president. Not some theater. Not that's right. Not reality show. Not candidates setting their hair on fire so they can get on TV because that's all you guys talk about.

They want to hear about who can lead this country forward and that is me.

STELTER: He has a lot of hair to set on fire, though. And I do wonder if this is going to be with us for a long time.

Governor, thank you for setting the table with us this morning. I appreciate it.

PATAKI: Thank you, Brian. Good being on with you.

STELTER: Not everyone agrees with the governor. While there is an establishment push against Trump, there is a whole lot of grass- roots support for him.

Take a look at this morning's headline on "The Drudge Report". It says it all, "Republican leaders declare Trump dead, again." There is a lot of chatter in the TV industry this weekend that FOX News has turned on Trump, trying to take him down.

And Alex Marlow is here to talk about that. He's the editor in chief of Breitbart News.

Alex, you do feel that way, right? FOX on Thursday at the debate set out to go really tough on Trump to hurt him.

ALEX MARLOW, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, BREITBART NEWS: Oh, absolutely. I think FOX is trying to consolidate support of the GOP establishment as well as people in the center.

Look, the FOX bosses are geniuses. They've proven they can dominate cable news. They can dominate the Republican Party in terms of media. So, they're making a play, it seems like by this line of questioning, that they're now going to go after the center, they're going to go after CBS, NBC, ABC.

The media landscape is changing. You know this as well as anyone.

STELTER: You're saying FOX is being a moderate.

MARLOW: I think FOX is being moderate. I think this is a big push towards the center. They put up a centrist host. Bret Baier did a nice job. Wallace and Megyn Kelly are centrists.


STELTER: You think Kelly did a nice job as well?

MARLOW: I don't believe Megyn Kelly did a nice job. I thought her line of questioning led to a lot of gossipy answers, and trying to create this sort of negative energy around Trump. I take issue with a lot of that, but I do see FOX' strategy. They put on a show.

STELTER: You don't think Kelly was just doing her job, being as tough as possible on the candidates to see if they're ready to be president?

MARLOW: I don't think she was doing her job. I think she was actually releasing opposition research similar to what you've seen from the Democratic Party. Going through sexual harassment claims like season six of "The Apprentice" where the guest doesn't even recall what happened and wasn't offended by it at all. It was 14 seasons. Going back eight seasons, that seemed strange.

There is a war on women going on on this planet, Brian. It's not happening in Donald Trump's boardroom or his Twitter feed. Yet that was the second question of the debate, setting the tone for a very snarky night.

STELTER: But wasn't it a test and Trump failed the test showing he is not ready to be a leader?

MARLOW: I don't think he failed it. I don't think Trump gave great answers on that question. It's shocking to have to defend your family.

The Rosie O'Donnell clip, which Megyn Kelly didn't talk about, Rosie O'Donnell is mocking women in Trump's pageants, mocking Trump's family in that clip. So, it's a look, it took Trump aback, hopefully Trump will improve with his answers. I think his answer to the first question wasn't great either.

But it was his first debate as a presidential candidate. He didn't look nervous, unlike many of the others. I think he'll be around for a long time.

STELTER: Your message to FOX this morning is what?

MARLOW: My message to FOX is I think the grass roots were a little bit let down by their line of questioning, but I think, by and large, the mainstream media and I think the viewers praised on your site, CNN, there's praise at "The New York Times", a lot of the media elite appreciated what FOX News did.

I've been hearing from grassroots, people all week on our Sirius XM programs, we run something called the Breitbart primary of Breitbart News, from our commenters, from our 18 million readers, it's overwhelming that they were let down. They love FOX. I don't think this is the end of FOX as a conservative brand because they're so dominant, but you do see this is a move in a different direction.

STELTER: It's important to hear that perspective because so many journalists were applauding the tough questions from Megyn Kelly and the other moderators, yet some of the viewers at home were taken aback by it.

MARLOW: This is why I appreciate you having me on the show because our audience, though it's a vast audience, it's diverse, but it is largely conservative grassroots. That's the primary voters. People who are going to "The New York Times" opinion page might not be those voters in the Republican primary.

[11:10:03] And some of these comments about Megyn Kelly are just going to solidify Trump support.

STELTER: And as Ron Fournier said on "Inside Politics" today, he said the anger that is out there, that's real. Whether Trump is the right guy for it or not, has to be taken seriously. The grass roots anchor.

Alex, thanks for being here.

MARLOW: Thanks for having me.

STELTER: You know, for the record, it's important to say, FOX News chairman Roger Ailes says he is not pulling strings and not trying to turn his network against Trump.

I want to show what "The L.A. Times" had this morning, an interview with Ailes. He said he had no hand in coming up with challenging questions in the debate, even though there has been speculation in the industry that Ailes was behind it, perhaps trying to toughen up the candidates.

For some much needed context about this, let me bring in Carl Bernstein, the famed investigative journalist and author. Carl, we heard Jon Stewart sign off from "The Daily Show" this week. He said it's important to listen, to smell for bull out there. He said bull is everywhere and we have to be vigilant against it.

Did you hear bull from Trump on Thursday? What was your reaction to the debate?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I know Donald Trump for 25 years, and I've heard a lot of bull over those 25 years. But the important thing is that he is getting what he wants, and Republican Party has got a huge Trump problem that is liable to persist into election day.

I think Joe Biden is probably recalculating whether he is going to enter the race. I think Carly Fiorina may have to be on the Republican ticket because of what Trump has done here. And that Hillary Clinton is the real beneficiary, assuming Biden doesn't come in, of all of this. This is an unheard of problem for a major party, and they've got it.

STELTER: When we're covering something like this, in this case the Republican primary, it's important to think about what we're not covering, the Democratic primary, what you're talking about, which is Biden and Clinton. You know the single most retweeted message on Twitter from any candidate on Thursday night? The tweet that resonated the most of all wasn't from a

Republican. It was from Bernie Sanders. Let's put it up on the screen. This was his critique of the debate.

He said, "Not one word about economic inequality, climate change, Citizens United or student debt. That's why the Republicans are so out of touch."

Do you agree with that perception that the Democrats benefited from the Republicans' performance on Thursday?

BERNSTEIN: Totally. Because nobody took Donald Trump on, including the head of the party, after trump said he might run as an independent, which I suspect he's going to do. Because he is the most, you know, notable person in the world now, and that's what he's always wanted. When the head of the party is afraid of Donald Trump and won't condemn him, as he did the other night, this is huge. And --


BERNSTEIN: Sanders is absolutely right.

STELTER: You mentioned the head of the party -- head of the Republican Party backed out of an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation." He was booked and Saturday he canceled, I wonder if he doesn't want to talk about the Trump issue right now.

But you just heard what Alex said about the grassroots. I think there's a lot of truth to that. The idea that some -- many maybe FOX viewers were actually turned off by the tough questioning on Thursday of Trump and maybe they'll actually solidify their support for Trump because of that.

BERNSTEIN: I think that's true. He has a constituency that is so disaffected, that if he says, "stay home, don't vote for the Republicans, I think an awful lot of those people" are going to do that.

He has produced not just theater -- don't say that this is just a reality show. This is the United States of America, and he has tapped into the reality of the United States of America, and that includes our penchant for crazy theater. And he is right on stage in the middle of the stage of crazy theater in America right now.

STELTER: Do you buy into the idea that FOX News is tilting the scales by being tougher on Trump and now this weekend by just ignoring him altogether? Is that significant?

BERNSTEIN: I think FOX News did a terrific job with the debate and that they ought to perform as a real news organization more often. And it was good to see.

STELTER: And what would your advice be going forward as reporters cover Trump? I always like to hear your advice for journalists because you have been at it, you know better than anybody what it's like. When you're covering Trump, when you're interviewing Trump, sometimes it's hard to even get an answer out of him.

What's your message to journalists who have to do it?

BERNSTEIN: I think there is a similar problem with covering Trump and Hillary Clinton, because both of them are huge celebrities, and they don't want you to be deep down and personal and looking at who they really are. So I would say, in the case of both, and having written a book about Hillary Clinton, a biography, we need to go deep down and see who these people are, see what their real records are, as we learned some of during the debate.

And meanwhile, unfortunately, we have to cover the theater. And that is a very difficult thing to put context to, because we now have two huge theatrical performers, Trump, Clinton.

Let's also see what Joe Biden is going to do in the next few days, because this might really push him in.

[11:15:05] I talked to his people earlier in the week. I think he was undecided. But I don't know what this might do, because he knows enough that the Republicans are really vulnerable now in a way they haven't been. And also that Hillary is vulnerable.

STELTER: That's a great tease about Biden there.

Carl, thank you for being here this morning.

Coming up on the program, FOX News pulled off one of the most viewed cable shows in history. I'll tell you how it was even higher rated than you think.

Plus, with all the accusations of misogyny hitting Donald Trump, what it's like to deal with him one-on-one. Well, two Apprentice alums are here with an insider's take.

We'll be right back.


STELTER: Hey, welcome back.

Here is something you won't see anywhere else today. By now, you've probably heard Thursday's debate was the most watched primary debate ever. And that's true.

But let me show that it was even bigger than you think. Now, Donald Trump, of course, took credit for the ratings. He tweeted this, "Almost universal support that Trump won the debate. Only FOX News is consistently fighting. And I got them the ratings."

Let me underscore that, "I got them the ratings." So, what were the ratings?

Well, let me let out my inner nerd here for a minute. The official number is 24 million -- 24 million people watched the prime- time debate. How big is that? It's almost bigger than everything else that's aired on TV this

year. It's bigger than the World Series.

[11:20:00] It's bigger than the NBA finals. It's bigger than the finales or "The Walking Dead" or "NCIS" or "Modern Family".

But 24 million actually underestimates the audience, here's why -- 24 million is the average number of people who are watching every minute between 9:00 and 11:00 p.m. It's an average. The more interesting way to look at the ratings is to look at the overall reach. The number of people who watched at some point between 9:00 and 11:00, even if they didn't watch the whole thing, that number is 36 million.

Now, that is extraordinary! The average viewer actually watched for 87 minutes. They watched almost the whole thing. So, once you tuned in, you were hooked.

I actually woke my wife up out of bed because she had to watch the debate. It was that good, right?

Now, Trump does have to get a lot of credit for the viewer turnout. But it wasn't just Trump. Even the happy hour debate at 5:00 p.m. had 6 million viewers on average, but a total reach of 10 million people.

And Trump wasn't even there. Great exposure for the candidates.

Now, compare that to the first prime-time debate in 2011, an average of 3.2 million people watched that one.

So, there is a huge amount of interest, of course. And the media consensus was that Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and John Kasich were the big winners.

But Trump keeps saying he was the winner. It got me thinking. Maybe Trump means something else. Maybe his definition of winning is not becoming president. Maybe his definition of winning is being on TV, being the center of attention, getting the biggest crowd. And he won, if that's the case.

What the ratings tell us is the Trump show is now the biggest show on the fall schedule. FOX has earned high praise for the season premiere.

So, let's analyze it as a TV show with two experts. Abby Huntsman, the host of "Inside" on SiriusXM Radio, and from Washington, David Zurawik, the media critique for "The Baltimore Sun".

Thank you both for being here.



STELTER: Abby, you're used to being on a different channel, MSNBC.

HUNTSMAN: Is that not MSNBC?

STELTER: No, we're no CNN set.

HUNTSMAN: It's good to be here.

STELTER: A new change for you.

I want to know your reaction to the blood comments that are dominating MSNBC and CNN this weekend. If you're Megyn Kelly, are you doing the right thing by not commenting, by trying to hope this blows over?

HUNTSMAN: It is so weird to hear people talking about periods and blood on national television. Jake Tapper's interview this morning with Donald Trump, I mean, it's a question that has to be asked. We're talking about running for president here.

Look, you had Megyn Kelly positioned perfectly to ask the question to him about how he talks about women, calling them pigs, calling them disgusting.

STELTER: You think it was a fair question. Not too hard.

HUNTSMAN: It was a fair -- it was not too hard because had she not asked it, I think we would be talking about why weren't the questions asked?

He is running for president of the United States. How you talk about people, things you say, that matters. So, when you are calling women "pigs", that matters. So, if anyone else on that stage, if any of the other candidates had said those things before -- first of all, they probably would not be up on the stage. But if they were, they would be asked the same question. I think that does matter, people should care.

STELTER: FOX was actually able I think to ask tougher, sharper questions than the other channels. What I mean is, if the CNN person or NBC person had asked some of those questions, they would be accused of bias, they'd be accused of being unfair. On FOX, it's a little bit different.

David, let me go to you -- you predicted sort of what would happen in a July 26 column. You called for a TV journalist to take on Trump. And here's what you wrote, "Maybe Megyn Kelly, who will be one of the three FOX moderators, is the one to bring the Donald to heel on August 6th."


STELTER: So, you called it. You saw this coming. What was your take on how Kelly handled Mr. Trump?

ZURAWIK: Well, that actually was the last column of that paragraph. Brian, the point was -- thanks for mentioning it, by the way.

But the point was -- the point -- now everybody will know that I called it. But the point is that I was saying that every -- for over a month at that point we were talking about Trump every day. All the coverage, everywhere, instead of talking about who was going to be the next leader of this country, what we wanted in a leader.

And it was a conversation -- it was a conversation filled with put-downs, with really, you know, crude things, nasty things said about Mexicans, about POWs, all the things Governor Pataki mentioned earlier.

And then -- so we're not talking. We're not -- the conversation of democracy is literally debased. I know that sounds like high- sounding bull talk.

STELTER: But it's true.

ZURAWIK: But it's true! Thank you! That's exactly what he does.

So, I said, look, this isn't -- this isn't a moment of Joe McCarthy and Edward R. Murrow, but it might be Katie Couric and Sarah Palin. You know, none of the other journalists were able to step up and take him on that way and take him on full force, you saw in that debate, which says something about their political courage or lack of it, I think.

So, I said, look, I think a journalist or a television personality, a strong one, needs to take him on.

[11:25:02] And you are right. Someone from FOX has kind of an authority that others don't, because if someone from another channel, say CNN did it, conservatives would say, oh, it's all political bias. That's why they're doing it.

But if say Bill O'Reilly or Megyn Kelly did it, they couldn't make that charge as easily. That's why it had more power. O'Reilly had a shot right after the John McCain comments by Trump, and he didn't take it. That's why I didn't think he was going to do it. I don't think he wanted to do it. But Kelly went for it.

And I tell you, part of the reason I think, for the ratings, Brian, is for the last two weeks at least, journalists like you and me and others have been building to this because we wanted to see what happened when somebody came at him.


ZURAWIK: And I just want to say this about what Kelly said. I think she did really good research. I don't think it's oppositional research. I think it's journalistic research.

I think the TV element that you were talking about that she brought to it is she asked these questions about an edge. When she said, for example, when she questioned him on some of his more liberal views and said, so when was it that you became a Republican, essentially? That kind of edge is good television in a way. They were pointed, kind of aggressive questions. I just --

STELTER: Even the staging.



STELTER: Looking on camera right now, Megyn in the middle between the two men. It was produced very well.


HUNTSMAN: They thought -- they thought a long time before the event how it was going to look, how this was going to play out. You give them a lot of credit because being a moderator of the debate with that many candidates, that is not easy to do.

And I think FOX News lived up to its brand. It was newsy, it was provocative, it was still conservative. Even from the starting moment of the first question, raise your hand if you cannot commit to the party, promise you won't run as an independent -- they knew that Donald Trump would be put in a corner.

From the moment it started, you didn't want to leave your seat. People stayed through the debate, 24 million viewers. For the most part people watched it for the entire two hours.


HUNTSMAN: The most telling point to me was the awkward two minutes or so before it actually officially started.

STELTER: Right, right.

HUNTSMAN: It was like, what is happening here? In a way, it was brilliant. Even though they didn't plan the moment, it was brilliant because you wanted to see what was coming next.

STELTER: On that note, I've got to leave it there, unfortunately.

Abby, great to see you.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you.

STELTER: David, thanks so much for being here, I appreciate it.

ZURAWIK: Thank you, Brian.

STELTER: America's premier Spanish language news anchor is also here. Jorge Ramos is right after the break. Stay with us.



STELTER: It was one of the most dramatic moments of Thursday's debate, FOX's Chris Wallace challenging Donald Trump to defend his comments about Mexico sending illegal immigrants to America with actual facts.

Here is how Trump responded.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, if it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration, Chris. You wouldn't even be talking about it.



STELTER: I don't have a clip to show you of Trump giving evidence, because he didn't give evidence.

How was the debate covered by the Hispanic media? And how did the moderators do from the perspective of a moderator himself?

Our next guest is the perfect person to ask. Not only is an anchor on Fusion and Univision. He is also one of the best interviewers on American television, Jorge Ramos.


STELTER: Jorge, thanks for being here.


STELTER: I'm eager to hear your analysis of how the moderators performed and how the candidates performed. How do you think the typical Jorge Ramos viewer came away from the debate on Thursday night?

Who were they more impressed by? Who were they less impressed by?

RAMOS: Everybody was interested in listening to Donald Trump, whatever he had to say on immigration.

And also for us, remember, it's the first time in history in which we have two presidential candidates who are Latinos, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. So that was also part of the community was interested in finding out exactly what they were going to say on immigration specifically.

STELTER: Did Trump worsen his position with the Hispanic community through his comments about immigration?

RAMOS: I think so. I think Donald Trump is the loudest voice of intolerance,

division and hatred right now in America. What he is saying about immigrants and women is not only disgraceful, but dangerous. Just imagine a presidential candidate talking like that. It's a terrible example.

STELTER: How is it dangerous? Tell us.

RAMOS: I think it's dangerous when other people might not only repeat what he is saying, but act upon it. That's very dangerous.


STELTER: You're saying that Donald Trump's comments could incite violence?

RAMOS: When you are saying falsely that Mexican immigrants are criminals or rapists -- and that's absolutely false, because all the studies suggest that immigrants are less likely to be -- to commit crimes than those who were born in this country, according to most studies.

Of course it is dangerous when a candidate talks like that, because just imagine what other people just might do with it. Absolutely.

STELTER: Well, what's your relationship like with Trump? Back in June, he published your personal cell phone number.

RAMOS: He did.

STELTER: And, of course, he says he is suing your parent network, Univision, for $500 million because of that Miss USA situation. Tell me what your relationship is with him.

RAMOS: I think, to publish my cell phone was childish and immature. It shows you that to have a lot of money doesn't mean that you can have good manners.

And I have been getting -- it's been like a birthday, because I have been getting tons and tons of phone calls and texts of people congratulating what -- our coverage, instead of just getting people criticizing our coverage of Donald Trump.


STELTER: Wait. You haven't changed your number?

RAMOS: I changed my number, but I kept many of the calls that I got.



RAMOS: And hundreds of texts. So it was quite an interesting experience.


STELTER: Donald Trump basically made you change your cell phone number. That's a pain.

RAMOS: He did. But, on the other hand, he has my number.

And I don't understand, is he afraid of talking to me, is he afraid of talking to Univision? Why doesn't he want to talk to us? Obviously, this bravado that he has is not communicating well with the Latino community.

STELTER: Aside from immigration, what are the other priorities you think Univision viewers, Hispanic audiences in the country were really paying close attention to in this debate and will be in future debates?

RAMOS: I wanted to know about what they were going to do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Nobody challenged Donald Trump on that one. And, also, I want to know if the Republican candidates are going to take us to war. All of them are against the Iran deal. I understand that. However, what's going to happen with that? Does that mean that if Iran decides to continue the nuclear program, that they will bomb Iran? Or are we going to get into war if they try to defeat ISIS? I mean, those were questions that I didn't find answers in the debate.

STELTER: Take me inside the mind of a moderator.

I want to hear your evaluation of the three moderators from FOX's debate, because what I saw online as the debate was happening were journalists who rarely say nice things about FOX actually praising the moderators. Did you feel the same way?

RAMOS: Exactly the same way. I thought that FOX News, that they were going to do exactly the same thing that they have been doing for many years, which is being sympathetic to Republicans, protecting them, defending them.

And what I found were three real journalists asking tough questions, not open-ended questions, no softballs. And I was pleasantly surprised. I thought they did a fantastic job. And, as a matter of fact, if we can choose winners for this debate, it would be the three moderators from FOX News.

STELTER: The three moderators.

RAMOS: I would never expect myself to say something like that, but they did a fantastic job. That's what we want as journalists. You want to ask tough questions. And, sometimes, you have to take a stand as a journalist. And they did take a stand.

When it comes to corruption, discrimination, racism, lies, dictatorships, or human rights, you have to take a stand. STELTER: You have been impressed by how they handled the debate.

Why do you think they were tough on these Republican candidates? One cynical view would be that they're trying to toughen up the nominee to put them in a better position against Hillary Clinton in the general election.

RAMOS: Our job depends on being credible. If people don't trust what you say and what you do, then that's it as a journalist.

It was a huge challenge with a huge audience, and I think they did fantastic.

STELTER: And Univision has been seeking to have a debate as well, coming up in the winter, right?

RAMOS: We will it either in February or March with the Democrats. We're trying to get the same one with Republicans, but for some reason they don't want to do it with us, yet.



STELTER: I hear you saying they will eventually come on board.


RAMOS: Well, we're negotiating. We can call it a debate.

And we're interested in having Republicans also talking directly to us and to our audience.

STELTER: On that note, Jorge, thanks for being here.

RAMOS: Thank you so much, Brian.

STELTER: Great talking with you.

RAMOS: Thank you.


STELTER: And speaking of upcoming debates, the next Republican one is here on CNN in September. And we found out this week the Democratic debate schedule. The first Democratic debate will begin in October, October 13, to be exact, also here on CNN.

Up next, did Megyn Kelly give Donald Trump a fair shake? We are going to ask two women who actually have worked with Donald Trump one on one. I think you will be surprised what they have to say, right after this.


[11:42:48] STELTER: Welcome back.

This morning, Donald Trump said here on CNN that he cherishes women. But it was pretty clear on Thursday's debate and in subsequent interviews that he does not like answering questions about the comments he makes about them.

When Megyn Kelly challenged him about calling specific women in the past fat pigs and other kind of nasty words and languages, well, it left Trump fuming, and fuming at Megyn Kelly and at Fox News.

It's left many people wondering if Donald Trump, to be frank, has a woman problem, if he is sexist in some way and what his attitude around women. People are even asking if it will be his campaign's downfall.

Let's hear from two women who I think support Trump. I want to know what they have experienced with him, because they used to be stars on "The Apprentice."

Joining me from Miami, first season "Apprentice" contestant and Trump International Realty employee Katrina Campins, and, from Los Angeles, three-time "Apprentice" contestant Omarosa Manigault- Stallworth.

Thank you both for being here.



STELTER: I think you all were roommates in season one. Is that right?

CAMPINS: We were.


CAMPINS: We go way back.


STELTER: And, Omarosa, I heard you on cable news here this weekend saying you think Trump did a great job at the debate. Just speaking bluntly here, does he have a woman problem?

MANIGAULT-STALLWORTH: Brian, first of all, Donald Trump does not have a woman problem.

I think this is equivalent to going through somebody's trash and cherry-picking the things that you think will bring down his campaign. Going through comments that Donald Trump has made in the last 30 years is just the lowest form of journalism. Yes, he said things off the cuff. But to take them and use them

and try to apply them to all women -- just because he doesn't like Rosie O'Donnell doesn't mean that he hates all women. I think it's ridiculous to paint with such a broad brush. He does not have a woman problem.

STELTER: Was Megyn Kelly's question fair on Thursday, then?

MANIGAULT-STALLWORTH: Look, it's so clear to me that Megyn Kelly has a bone to pick with Donald Trump. Everybody saw it. They're calling it hard-core journalism. I call it very, very personal.

And Donald Trump is really good about reading people's intentions. And her intentions was not to give him a fair chance of showing where he stands on women's issues. If he wanted to know where Donald Trump stood on women's issues, he would ask about reproductive health, he would ask about how to make the minimum wage work for women who are in the workplace.


But asking about his comments about Rosie O'Donnell didn't give him an opportunity to show on where the stands on the real issues that affect women.

STELTER: Katrina, you work for one of Trump's companies now.


STELTER: Have you ever heard Trump talk in a way about women that's made you uncomfortable?

CAMPINS: Well, I have to say that I have a great working relationship with Trump until this day, for over a decade, with Trump and with his children.

And I say, first and foremost, it's important to note that I think that he has great potential to really reform the political corruption that we have in our system now because he is independent from lobbyists and special interest groups.

So, because of that, I think he struck a chord with so many Americans. As far as his comments about Rosie O'Donnell, I mean, that feud goes so far back. And when he commented on Rosie O'Donnell, let's not forget that he was an entertainer. He was on reality television.

But, as a woman who still works with him today, I don't think Donald Trump has a problem with women, as Omarosa stated. And I think that it's petty. And I think that focusing on this is really losing sight of so many of the other important issues that we should be discussing, like health care and immigration and other things that are more important to the American people.

STELTER: That's fair. But I do wonder if Trump sets himself up for this sort of thing by making comments like he made to Don Lemon on Friday night.

I know he didn't refer to Megyn Kelly's period directly, but by saying "wherever," it sure set him up, I think.

Omarosa, don't you think he puts his foot in his mouth sort of and damages his own campaign at moments like that?

MANIGAULT-STALLWORTH: Brian, let's reflect over what's really happened this week.

He was uninvited to an event that I thought -- basically, I thought Erick made a big mistake. Donald Trump pulled 24 million viewers to a debate, and you uninvite him to an event? It's ridiculous. And he is dominating the headlines.

Regardless of what he said and how he said it, you all are talking about him this morning. And, in my book, that's a win.

STELTER: That's a win, says Omarosa.

Katrina, do you agree?


CAMPINS: You know what? To that point, I think something else that's interesting is he is getting a lot of grief in the media for raising his hand. And, as a Republican, of course you don't want to hear that...

STELTER: Saying he might run as an independent.

CAMPINS: ... because an independent run would absolutely be detrimental.

Correct. And absolutely -- that would absolutely be detrimental to the Republican Party.

But then I found out after the fact that allegedly three of the Republican candidates threatened to boycott the debate if Trump were involved. Now, what would your reaction be? You know, so it makes sense in content -- now looking back to why he had that stance, if that is indeed true.

STELTER: Katrina, Omarosa, thank you both for sharing your point of view with us this morning.



STELTER: I mentioned on the program last week Trump really is the story of the summer.

But there were 10 Republicans on that main stage on Thursday, seven more at what some have called the kiddie table. Was it a fair split? One pollster is actually avoiding doing polls because of this problem with the criteria. He will tell us why in just a couple of minutes.



STELTER: All over the tube today, people have been looking back at Thursday's debate. And I'm as guilty as anybody.

But let's look forward now to the next GOP debate, the one here on CNN in September, because the race is already on now to be in the top tier. The question is, are television networks being fair by using national polls to decide who gets valuable airtime?

Lee Miringoff is here with me. He's the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Lee, you decided to stop conducting national horse race polls because you don't want to be helping figure out who is in the top tier, who is the lower tier. Why?

LEE MIRINGOFF, DIRECTOR, MARIST INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC OPINION: Well, first of all, from a statistical standpoint, all polls are estimates, so there is a range.

So, 5.2 isn't necessarily more than 5.1. Yet, politically, it has a huge impact. So there's -- what we are seeing here in the use of these polls, the public polls, there's a big distinction in terms of whether you make the debate, but, statistically, there's no difference.

STELTER: Let's look at the cutoff from Thursday, the cutoff between Ohio Governor John Kasich. He, according to FOX, had a 3.2 percent approval rating -- or support, rather, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry had 1.8 percent.

How big a difference would that actually be? It sounds like it is not very much.

MIRINGOFF: Well, it could have been flipped.

And in our national poll that we did do with McClatchy, we the asked electability question, who runs better against Hillary Clinton? Well, Perry ran better than Kasich. Who has a better favorability rating just in terms of Republicans? Perry was actually higher.

STELTER: And yet Perry had to go to the 5:00 p.m. debate instead of the 9:00 p.m. debate.

MIRINGOFF: That's correct.

STELTER: Now, CNN is going to have everybody in prime time.


STELTER: You say that's a better way than doing it, rather than having an afternoon and an everything debate. MIRINGOFF: Well, you don't have the six million viewers and then

the 24 million viewers.


MIRINGOFF: And then you don't get the sense here there's 1 percent for everybody, a floor, low standards.

STELTER: So, FOX had no floor. You think it is better that CNN will have a 1 percent floor?

MIRINGOFF: Yes, because what if there was a 5 percent floor?

Well, on the FOX, if you have 5 percent support, you might have made the cut, you might have not made the cut, depending on a ranking. We don't want to have a ranking because of the error margin and the range.

So you have taken away the rounding. That's good. Both you and FOX are using good, scientific polls. The democracy will not suffer if there's no McClatchy/Marist poll for your debate, as there wasn't for the FOX debates. I just think that, from a public poll standpoint, do we really want the polls playing such a big role? And do we want the media relying not only on their own news judgment as to who should be included, but on what the polls are saying, which, statistically, may not be all that important, and might be rather meaningless at this...


STELTER: Ultimately, it's the party's issue. They're the ones that have 17 candidates who decided to enter the race. The networks have to do something about it. And I don't know if you have a better solution, instead of using polls?

MIRINGOFF: Well, polls have been used in a lot of contexts in a lot of campaigns before.

So, your 1 percent may actually have the effect of equally treating everybody and eliminating a few. That could happen. Then, if you get down to maybe 12 or 14, how about six and six or seven and seven mixed up in prime time, which you are doing?


You don't have this, you know, "not ready for prime-time" polls -- "not ready for prime-time" candidates and the prime-time candidates. So you mix it up. You don't get into this Carly Fiorina problem. We don't know what she would have done in the prime time. She is getting a bounce, presumably because she was doing very well in a slow pack.

STELTER: And now of course everyone predicting that she might be in the debate...

(CROSSTALK) MIRINGOFF: And then it's musical chairs. So, who gets left out

as a result of her bounce? And then we see.

So it's a real convoluted way of doing this or picking a president. There's a better way. We are going to get into horse race polls. We are not out of the business, but down the road, particularly not during these first debates, when there's such a huge audience, and it's an opportunity for the candidates to strut their stuff.


MIRINGOFF: And this is sort of limiting in the way the polls are being used in that way. It's a bad use of public polls, but, as I say...

STELTER: You're stepping out for now, yes.

MIRINGOFF: We're taking a pause. And we did other things. And we will do, you know, Iowa, New Hampshire tossup questions, because they're not being used...


STELTER: But no national for now, yes.

MIRINGOFF: That's correct.

STELTER: Lee, thanks for being here.

MIRINGOFF: I appreciate it.

STELTER: Good talking with you.


STELTER: It's good to hear the scientific perspective, so to speak.

And we will be right back with more RELIABLE SOURCES in just a moment.


STELTER: I'm out of time, but "STATE OF THE UNION" starts right now.