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THE SITUATION ROOM
A Look at Trump and His Policies; Hillary Clinton Continues to Struggle; Russia has Responsibility to Find Political Solution to Violence in Ukraine; Investigators Want Further Scrutiny of 305 Emails; U.S. Objects to Planned Sale of Russian Missiles to Iran; New CNN Poll: Trump Competitive with Clinton; The Democratic Presidential Race; Former Subway Pitchman Pleads Guilty. Aired 5-6 ET
Aired August 19, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, Trump talks. Our new poll shows Donald Trump is leaving Republican rivals behind even as he closes in on Hillary Clinton. The GOP frontrunner speaks with CNN even as he gets ready to speak directly to voters in his first Town Hall. Scaring away Latinos? Trump is scoring points with tough talk on immigration, like his call to deport all undocumented migrants. But will he hurt the GOP with Latino voters? Next up, Tehran. Over U.S. objections, Russia is ready to sell sophisticated missiles to Iran. But it could make any attack on Iran's nuclear sites extremely costly. Can the U.S. do anything about Russia's meddling in the Middle East and Europe? And the pitch man faces prison. Former Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle, agrees to a plea deal on child pornography and sex charges that will put him behind bars for years.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the Situation Room. Donald Trump speaks with CNN and with voters. The Republican frontrunner is about to hold his first-ever Town Hall as a candidate. You'll see it live from New Hampshire. And in a sit-down with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Trump is doubling down on his demand to expel millions of undocumented immigrants. That comes as our brand new CNN/ORC poll shows Trump stretching his lead over fellow republicans. And, for the first time, it also shows he could be a very serious contender to Hillary Clinton in a general election. He now trails her by just six points. That's almost within the margin of error. Clinton is still out in front among Democrats, but she is giving up some ground as she grapples with the controversy over the private email server she used during her four years as the Secretary of State. I'll ask the State Department spokesman, John Kirby, about all of that. Our correspondents, analysts and guests are standing by with full coverage of today's top stories. But first, let's go straight to the special CNN interview with Donald Trump. Donald Trump spoke with our New Day anchor, Chris Cuomo today. Chris is joining us live from New York. Chris, how did it go?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN NEW DAY ANCHOR: Wolf, we'll get to see a different Donald Trump tonight. I think that being in the lead, I think that considering this set of possibilities that have become more likely now are changing what Donald Trump wants to present to the public. That said, when it comes to immigration, he is very much still owning his hard line position and now being made aware of the risks that presents to him and to the GOP. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right.
CUOMO: You have people in the GOP worried that you are going to alienate, excuse the pun, the Hispanic population. We have 28 million --
TRUMP: I have to do the right thing. Chris, I have to do the right thing.
CUOMO: We have 28 million voters.
TRUMP: You're right.
CUOMO: Pulling the birthright exception --
TRUMP: You're right.
CUOMO: -- that may be constitutionally dubious. You shouldn't be taking such an extreme position. What do you say?
TRUMP: I have to do the right thing. It's a time, you know, this country is so politically correct. Nobody wants to take a stance on anything. I was the one that brought it up, and I took a lot of heat. You gave it to me, too. I mean, you were one of the leaders that first week and week and a half after I made the announcements. And a lot of people, including yourselves, they were not reading it the way I said it. And that is now fact. And I've -- I've been actually complimented by some of the people that -- because I brought up the whole thing of illegal immigration. Look, at some point, we have to be honest with ourselves. It's called, you know, they, now they like to use the word "undocumented" because it's more political. I don't use that word. They're illegal immigrants. They came over illegally. Some are wonderful people, and they've been here for a while. They got to go out.
CUOMO: But how do you do --
TRUMP: They got to leave.
CUOMO: -- it in a practical way? You really think you can round up 11 million people?
TRUMP: They got to leave. You know what? At some point, we're going to try getting them back, the good ones. You have a lot of good ones. Same time, you've got some seriously --
CUOMO: Send a mixed message, though, Mr. Trump, because you say you're going to get rid of whole families, but then you say you want them back?
TRUMP: You got to go, they're illegal. We have a country. We have to have a border. We have to build a wall. Mexico will pay for the wall. I get a kick out of these guys that never negotiated. They can't negotiate for their own house.
CUOMO: Well, saying that they're paying for a $4 billion wall --
TRUMP: They're going to do it.
CUOMO: -- when you give them like $280 million a year, why would they say yes?
TRUMP: They will. Because they make a fortune with us. Our companies are moving into Mexico more than almost any other place right now. We're losing our industry. We're losing our business to Mexico. Their leaders are smart as hell. I mean, 300,000 -- I looked at it on your show -- 300,000 births this year, illegals, in our country. That means we picked up 300,000 people that are going to get social security. You have people on the border, and in one day they walk over, have a baby and now, all of a sudden, we're supposed to pay the baby --
CUOMO: So the citizenship for those babies, you --
TRUMP: Medical, social security?
CUOMO: -- would revoke it? Now and retroactively?
TRUMP: Number one, the 14th Amendment is very questionable as to whether or not somebody can come over, have a baby and immediately that baby is a citizen, okay?
CUOMO: All right, now the court has pretty said that it reads in immigrants there.
TRUMP: Well --
CUOMO: This isn't a minority legal opinion you're talking about.
TRUMP: Chris, there are many people that totally feel that --
CUOMO: That want it that way.
TRUMP: Because amending is too big a deal. It's going to take, it'd be two terms. I'd be in my second term on my eighth year by the time, assuming everything went smoothly. Because, to amend the constitution --
CUOMO: Takes a long time.
TRUMP: Right. I believe --
CUOMO: Especially on a very divisive issue.
TRUMP: I believe you can win it legally, okay. I believe you can win it legally. And, in any event, the parents have to leave. If the parents leave, unless they're very bad people, they're going to take their baby.
CUOMO: Seventy-five percent of the country feels that you should be trying to find a way to let people stay, with conditions, as opposed to kicking everybody out.
TRUMP: These people, the really good ones, and we have some great ones, we're going to try and expedite so they can come back. But they're going to come back legally. The first thing I'm doing is getting the bad ones out, and they're gone and they're not coming back either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Now, Wolf, you saw something there. Donald Trump sidestepped the retroactivity. That would be real dynamite for the situation that he's already created. But there is a caution within Donald Trump now. He knows that he is selling something that is politically tantalizing to those who are outraged about the situation with illegal immigration in the country. But is it pragmatic? Is it practical? And he's starting to consider that as well in terms of how he defines his position.
BLITZER: And the issue of the birth right citizenship, he's doubling down on that. He's saying these kids who are born in the United States whose parents are illegal immigrants, they would be kicked out as well, even though they are now seen as U.S. citizens. What's he saying about that?
CUOMO: Well, it's an interesting twist that he's making. He's saying, look, the law is the law, Wolf, so these people are illegal. They have to go, and I'm going to revoke the birth right because you shouldn't be able to get away with this. However, what's staring him in the face, denying that position, is the law, mainly the 14th Amendment and a longtime reckoning of it to have inclusive ability, legally, for immigrants. And he is hanging his hat on what has been a minority and somewhat of an outlying legal position for many years about what's subject to the jurisdiction of means within this clause and the 14th amendment. There's not a lot of legs to it, legally, but it is something that will sound good to people who want a tougher stance.
BLITZER: All right, Chris. Chris Cuomo with an excellent interview. Thanks very, very much. An important note to our viewers, please tune in tonight for the CNN Special Report, the Donald Trump interview. The GOP frontrunner joins Chris for a very, very, hour-long, frank discussion, how he's playing the game and writing his own rules. Airs tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, only here on CNN.
Trump's rise in popularity has come as he calls for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants and the building of a wall along the Mexican border. But will Donald Trump ultimately hurt the GOP with Latino voters out there? Let's go to our Senior White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta. He's with the president out on Martha's Vineyard. What's the latest on this story, Jim?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, you know, the president has proven the importance of the Latino vote, crushing his GOP opponents twice with Hispanics. Donald Trump has all but ignored the lessons learned from that section of the Obama playbook, and it's the Republican Party that could pay the price. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Donald Trump may be on fire in the polls, but by angering Latino voters with white hot immigration rhetoric, some Republicans fear he could torch the GOP's chances in 2016.
TRUMP: Trump builds walls. I build walls.
ACOSTA: Consider Trump's latest proposal and birth right citizenship in the Constitution to crack down on the undocumented. TRUMP: I don't think they have American citizenship. We have to
start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell.
ACOSTA: Playing catch-up on the issues, some Republicans are now following Trump's lead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going forward, I believe we should change the rules, the law.
ACOSTA: It's a risky move for the GOP. Trump's heavy-handed comments on Mexicans may excite parts of the conservative base.
TRUMP: They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
ACOSTA: Polls show it's a big turn-off for Hispanics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as a wall being built, I mean, this isn't China.
ACOSTA: Republicans have seen this movie before, when Mitt Romney ran to the right on immigration in 2012 saying the undocumented should just deport themselves.
MITT ROMNEY, (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're going to self-deport where they, to a place where they can get work.
ACOSTA: Romney lost the Latino vote by a wide margin, continuing a downward trend for GOP nominees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to be in the inner cities. We need to be in the barrio. We need to be everywhere saying, hey, we want to renew this economy and grow it for youth. That's not the Trump message.
ACOSTA: Democrats have taken the opposite approach, courting Hispanics as their numbers are growing.
BARAK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America was built by people who said something different, who say, "Yes, we can." -- who said, "Si, se puede."
ACOSTA: Hillary Clinton could go one step further and pick a Latino running mate like HUD Secretary Julian Castro. She slammed Trump's citizenship ideas. HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Certainly from my
perspective, what is being said by those running on the Republican side is incredibly offensive. And it is unrealistic. It is mean- spirited.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now the White House does not even see Trump's immigration policies as worthy of a response at this point. And aides to the president say the president wants to sign immigration reform into law, but that will only happen if Republicans in Congress send him a bill. Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jim Acosta, Martha's Vineyard with the president. Thank you. Hillary Clinton continues to struggle with the controversy over her use of a personal email server during her four years as Secretary of State. Let's bring in our Senior Washington Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. He's been working this story. What are you learning?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the Clinton campaign realizes now that this issue isn't going away. It's intensifying even before the Justice Department finishes its investigation of the private email server or the Congressional hearings even begin this fall. But today aides to Clinton launched a full-court press, literally a campaign inside the campaign, to push back against this controversy. Several of her advisors went on television. Talking points have been sent out to supporters and donors, and aides convened a late afternoon conference call with reporters, ending just a short time ago, to answer questions. The Communications Director, Jennifer Palmieri, a veteran of the Clinton White House said, "We think it's really confusing and want to answer questions." But this all comes after Hillary Clinton became agitated on Tuesday during questions from reporters in Nevada. Let's take a listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: My personal emails are my personal business. Right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, but (inaudible)...
CLINTON: So that's all I could say.
UNIDENTIFIED: Did you try to wipe the whole server? You didn't have to press --
CLINTON: I'm not, you know, I don't -- I have no idea. That's why we turned it over -- we --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought you said you were in charge of it. You were the official in charge. Did you wipe the server?
CLINTON: Well, like with a cloth or something?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. You know how it works, digitally. Did you try to wipe the whole server?
CLINTON: I don't know how it works, digitally, at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So it's a combination of those flip or funny answers, depending on your perspective, that has fueled all of this. Several top Democrats believe she hasn't done enough to explain the question at the heart of it all. Why did she set up a private email server back in January 2009 in the first place? And has she expressed enough contrition for all of that? Wolf.
BLITZER: These questions not going away, at least not yet. They've got a lot of work to do. And next hour we're going to be speaking with one of her spokesmen. We'll discuss this in-depth with that individual. All right, thanks very much for that.
Hillary Clinton says the email flap has nothing to do with her, but investigators want further scrutiny of hundreds of those emails. Let's talk about this and more. Joining us, the State Department spokesman, John Kirby. John, thanks very much for joining us.
JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: You bet. Glad to be with you.
BLITZER: All right, CNN is now reporting that an April 2011 email that was forwarded to then Secretary Clinton by her advisor, Huma Abedin, on that private server provided an update on the deteriorating security situation that was then unfolding in eastern Libya in the Benghazi area and it included sensitive information about tentative plans to evacuate the special envoy, Chris Stevens, the ambassador at that time. If not criminal, as some are already suggesting it is, and we're not suggesting that, but was it negligent to put on a private server sensitive information about the movement of a U.S. ambassador who was then facing a very hostile situation?
KIRBY: Well, look, as for use of the server, I think former Secretary Clinton has spoken at length about her use of this server. And I'll let her and her staff speak to the email arrangements that she had while she was here as Secretary of State. What I can tell you we're focused on, Secretary Kerry very much is focused on, is making sure that as we go through the 30,000-plus emails that she's provided us, that we review them carefully, that we redact any sensitive information and, when they're posted to the public, that they're done in a responsible way that we -- we do this every month and we're doing it, another traunch (phonetic) again this month.
This email you're talking about, this was provided to the Benghazi Select Committee. And we're very comfortable that that email traffic was properly reviewed before being sent -- before being sent, you know, to the Committee and to being made public.
BLITZER: Being made public, but at the time it was forwarded to her. This is a sensitive email entitled, "Per Special Envoy Stevens" about his movement during a dangerous situation, sent from Huma Abedin to the Secretary of State. There's another email that's now been released that subsequently was marked, "Classified, Secret." No foreign nor foreign reasons to look at this. Another from one of her advisors forwarded to her, Jake Sullivan, who still works for her on the campaign right now. You've dealt with sensitive classified information all the time, your years at the Pentagon. You're a retired U.S. Admiral. Are there different standards for different agencies of the U.S. government? One agency could classify something secret. Another agency thinks it's not secret. What's your experience on this?
JAKE SULLIVAN, ADVISOR TO HILLARY CLINTON: Well, the classification process is not binary. It's not black and white. And sometimes information is classified inside an agency. Sometimes they're classified outside the agency, and everybody treats them accordingly. I can tell you that none of the email traffic that we've been talking about was marked in a classified way at the time that it was sent or received. So we're still working through. We still have a lot more emails to go through on this, but we've seen no evidence at all that there was, you know, negligent wrongdoing here with the transmission of information in terms of the markings on this. But it's not a binary process. And oftentimes, you know, it does take an inter- agency assessment to determine the classification on some documents. For instance, as we go through these emails and are making them public over time, we have intelligence community reviewers sitting with our reviewers as they go through this traffic so that there is, already baked into the process, an inter-agency approach to the possible upgrades for classification of some of this traffic.
BLITZER: John, I want you to stand by. We have a lot more to discuss, including these new reports that are now coming out that the International Atomic Energy Agency is about to let Iran do its own inspection of sensitive nuclear sites in Iran. We'll see what's going on. Much more with the State Department spokesman when we come back.
BLITZER: The State Department spokesman, John Kirby, is still with us. We'll get back to him in a moment. But first, there are growing indications that Russia intends to move forward quickly with the sale of its sophisticated missile system to Iran. Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, reports.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: On parade in Moscow the advanced S300 Air Defense Missile system. Its next stop may be Tehran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been making very clear our objections to any sale of this missile system to Iran, as I said, for quite some time, and we'll continue to monitor it closely.
STARR: In Iranian hands the S300 could mean U.S. and Israeli war planes likely could not sneak undetected into Iranian air space if they wanted to bomb Iran's nuclear weapons sites. Bombing the S300 radar and missiles first gives the Iranians warning an attack would be on the way. While the U.S. says the sale is legal under UN resolutions, the State Department isn't backing down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...now. We need to know more about the specifics of this proposed transfer to determine whether any domestic U.S. sanction programs may be implicated.
STARR: Secretary of State, John Kerry, raising concerns with the Russians that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander, Qasem Suleimani, recently traveled to Moscow. The U.S. doesn't know if he was there to finalize the deal that may put the entire region even more on edge.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The air space will be more tense. It will be filled up with more radar beams, if you will, invisible and yet ever present. And they will be radar signals that we can't easily stop or evade.
STARR: Russian meddling in the Middle East and Europe, infuriating to the U.S. This comes as 5,000 troops from the U.S. and NATO are conducting the largest airborne training exercise in Europe since the Cold War, making sure they can jump into a battle under fire and fight together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Along with diplomatic tools and economic tools, I think Russia certainly has the message.
STARR: But with Russian backed violence in Eastern Ukraine escalating, Putin may not be listening. He's been busy polishing up his Action Man image with a new adventure -- descending into a submersible mini-sub in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory occupied by the Russians for over a year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NATO today said that Russian has a special responsibility to find a political solution to the violence in Ukraine. No indication Moscow's listening to that piece of advice either. Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Barbara. Thank you. Let's get back to the State Department spokesman, John Kirby. Is this proposed Russian sale of this missile system to Iran, is it legal? Is there anything the U.S. can really do about it?
KIRBY: Well, it's not a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. But, that said, as I noted yesterday, Secretary Kerry is very, very concerned about this. We want to know more about the proposal to see if there's any U.S. sanctions that could be implicated here in it. But it's very deeply concerning to us and we've made our case very publicly known to Russia about this proposed sale.
BLITZER: Is -- can you confirm that the Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soliemani that, who has been subject, at least until now, to international travel sanctions, did in fact visit Moscow, spoke with the Russians, presumably, about this missile sale?
KIRBY: Well he's still under travel bans under UN Security Council Resolutions, Wolf. And, no, we can't confirm definitively one way or another whether this travel occurred. Secretary Kerry raised the issue of the reports of his travel to Foreign Minister Lavrov in a phone call just a few days ago. We're going to continue to raise those concerns. We want the UN to investigate this and to kind of get the ground truth on it.
BLITZER: What did the Russians say? What did Lavrov tell the Secretary?
KIRBY: Well, I don't want to speak on their behalf. I mean, but we've raised our concerns about the reports. And, again, we've also raised this with the UN. We want the UN to look into this.
BLITZER: Here's a disturbing development, and I want to get your reaction. There are now these reports that Iran worked out a secret agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency that would actually Iran itself to inspect various nuclear sites that have been under review by the international community including this one site, called Parchin, that the Iranians would inspect it and then report to the IAEA. Is this acceptable?
KIRBY: Well, look, this is not a secret side deal, as these have often been called. The IAEA routinely has confidential arrangements with countries in question that they are going to inspect, as they have now set up with Iran. I would tell you two things. One, we're very, very confident, and we've made this very clear in classified briefings to members of Congress. We're very confident in the IAEA's ability to address the concerns, to investigate, technically, possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program in the past. And more importantly, Wolf, the IAEA is comfortable with the arrangements that they've set. Going forward, the IAEA also has in place the most robust set of inspections, an inspection regime that has ever been peacefully negotiated with another nation. So I won't talk about the details of these leaked documents or these draft documents from the IAEA. But I'll just tell you that we are very comfortable, Secretary Kerry's very comfortable that the IAEA will have the access and the information that it needs to make a proper accounting of possible military dimensions for Iran's program.
BLITZER: But do we really expect the Iranians to tell the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international community the truth about its past nuclear activities which the U.S. government says they were involved in trying to build some sort of nuclear bomb? They've denied it. Do you think they're going to tell the truth about what was going on at Parchin? You're going to rely on them to do that?
KIRBY: Well, look, I'm not going to get into the details or the contents of a draft IAEA document. And, again, it's an arrangement between the IAEA and Iran. We're familiar with the arrangements. They have been discussed in classified briefings to Congress. What I will say, though, is that we are confident that the IAE is completely -- IAEA is completely confident that they have the arrangements in place to do a proper accounting of both possible military dimensions of Iran's program in the past as well as, going forward, a very robust inspection regime, the most robust that's ever been peacefully negotiated. BLITZER: We've got to leave it there, unfortunately. But we'll continue these conversations. John Kirby, thanks very much. As you know, the critics, they're already screaming that this is sort of like letting professional athletes do their own steroid tests, relying on them for their good word. That's the criticism that you're going to be hearing from the critics of this new arrangement that's just coming to light by the IAEA. We'll leave it there. We'll have much more coming up. Also, we're going live to New Hampshire where Donald Trump is trying to upstage Jeb Bush's Town Hall with a Town Hall of his own. And later, the famous pitch man, Jared Fogle. He'll plead guilty to charges of child porn, sex with minors. We have details of the plea deal. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Donald Trump is getting ready to hold a campaign Town Hall in Derry, New Hampshire. That's just miles down the road from a Town Hall being held by his Republican rival, Jeb Bush. Let's get straight to our political reporter, Sara Murray. She's on the scene for us over at the Trump Town Hall. Set the scene for us, Sara. How's it looking?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Hi, Wolf. So pretty soon here the doors are going to open. Voters are going to start coming in. And they're actually going to get an opportunity to ask Donald Trump their questions. It's the first sort of big branded Town Hall event he's holding since he announced as a presidential candidate. So we'll get a much better idea of what voters here on the ground actually want to know from the GOP frontrunner. And Donald Trump is coming here on more good news. Our latest CNN/ORC poll shows, in a head-to-head matchup against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump only tails her by 6 points. So she's at 51 percent. He's at 45 percent. That is a big change from July, when he was trailing her by 16 points. So I think we can probably expect to hear a little bit about that later on this evening. Back to you, Wolf.
BLITZER: I'm sure he will be, and he's going to have a little Q&A with the reporters as he often does first. Is that right?
MURRAY: That is correct. So he does love the media, you know. So he's going to come in a little bit earlier, and he's going to take questions from the press. You know, we tend to focus on different things these candidates say than the voters do. So it'll be interesting to see whether, you know, the voters are also focused on the political attack of the day, whether they're wondering about the dueling Town Hall that Jeb Bush is having just ten miles away or if they have totally different issues on their minds. Either way, I'm sure we're going to get a pretty good mix of questions from both the reporters and the voters tonight.
BLITZER: All right, we'll stand by for coverage of that. All right, Sara. Thanks very much. Let's discuss Trump's Town Hall and all the latest political developments with our CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro, our CNN Politics Executive Editor, Mark Preston and our Senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. Ana, all of our viewers, by now, know you're very close with Jeb Bush. What do you make of Trump specifically doing this Town Hall around exactly the same time Jeb Bush is doing his Town Hall right down the street?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, I think Donald Trump is very media savvy. And he knows that we're going to portray it as dueling Town Halls. They are in different cities. And he is -- I expect him to get a very large crowd because, remember that this is his first Town Hall. Jeb has done something like 24, 25 Town Halls since March and a dozen other events around New Hampshire where he gets asked questions and gives answers. I'm glad to see Trump doing this because I think he needs to go out there and do retail politicking if he's going to be the Republican frontrunner. Do I think it matters to Jeb? Frankly, not. You know, I mean, this is a guy who I saw handle eight hurricanes in one hurricane season, so I don't think Donald Trump, though at times he does remind me of a tropical storm, is going to rattle him whatsoever.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by, Ana. We're going to get back to you. Mark, Trump told, in this special interview he just did with our own Chris Cuomo that will air later tonight, he said his focus now is on the other sixteen Republican presidential candidates. Most of his attention, so far, has been going after Jeb Bush. Do you think he's going to start going after some of the others who are creeping up in the polls, like Dr. Ben Carson, for example, or Ted Cruz?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, I'm going to tell you what. I mean, overall, he said that Washington politicians are stupid. So he's pretty much put the blanket statement out there that, if you're stupid. But he's got to be careful in this -- Donald Trump is the leader. He's the leader by a lot right now. He's got to be careful not to punch down. By punching down what you're doing is you're giving rise to the candidates who are below you. And we've seen candidates such as Rand Paul, in the first debate, try to use that debate by going after Trump and attacking him to try to get his poll numbers up. We've seen the same thing with Rick Perry. We've seen the same thing with Lindsey Graham. At this point, if I'm Donald Trump, and certainly his advisors, you have got to think or are telling him this, be careful not to punch down. Focus on messaging now.
BLITZER: And, Jeff, let's get back to these numbers in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Back in June she crushed him, 59 to 35 percent. Last month she was ahead 56 to 40 percent. Now it's down to only 6 points, 51/45. That's almost within the margin of error. Is this the result of Trump doing really well or Hillary Clinton's favorability going down?
ZELENY: Yes, it's a mix of both. There's no question about this. I mean, the reason that Donald Trump is doing better is because he is appealing more to Republicans, those Republican-leaning independents and white men. And at the same time, Hillary Clinton has had a few issues that have drawn her approval rating down. Some on the left don't believe that she's addressing some of the issues of income inequality. And, of course, Republicans are not satisfied with her at all. So the question here is that -- I think that this finding shows, says more that Republicans would elect almost anyone but Hillary Clinton. She's a polarizing figure at this point. She's been in this campaign for five months or so. It, you know, if you didn't like her at the beginning, she's now a politician. So her numbers have fallen. But it's early. Any of these head-to-head matchups are theoretical because they haven't had a campaign yet. They haven't run against one another yet. She hasn't reminded everyone of some of his positions. He hasn't reminded everyone of some of her things. So these theoretical things don't always hold up. But fascinating, he's basically brought the Republicans home behind him.
BLITZER: Yeah, and it's amazing how he's doing better and better --
BLITZER: -- and better despite all the controversial statements and all of that. Guys, stand by. We have a lot more to discuss, much more with our political panel right after this.
BLITZER: We're back with our political experts. We're talking about the race for the White House. Ana, Dr. Ben Carson, he's now in third place in our latest CNN/ORC poll. He was asked today if he would support using drone strikes along the U.S. border with Mexico to take out drug cartels. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ...being that you can use everything. You know, you look at some of these caves and things that are out there, one drone's like, they're gone. And they're easy to find.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, what do you think about that kind of language?
NAVARRO: You know, I think it's a little bit too simplistic and I think, you know, the border has a lot of things. And that's environmental concerns, people, ranches, animals, businesses. So I think it's a little bit more complicated than he is seeing it. I think, certainly, you could have technology be used, and drones, not to take out people but certainly to be a virtual wall, so to speak, and serve as, you know, something to look at what's happening, the activity, drug activity and immigration activity going on on the border. But this idea of using drones on the border, which means that it may affect the United States, I'm not into that at all.
BLITZER: Jeff, Martin O'Malley, the former mayor of Maryland -- governor of Maryland, mayor of Baltimore -- he's in distant, with distant third or fourth place, whatever he is --
BLITZER: -- among the Democrats, I think in third place. But he's way, way down and he's trying to get some publicity, though. Today he shows up in Vegas at the Trump International Hotel. Behind him were employees of the hotel fighting with Trump over unionizing. Is this the only way someone like Martin O'Malley could get on TV nowadays, to bring up the whole Trump issue?
ZELENY: It's certainly one of the easiest ways he can get on television because -- and he's not alone. Other candidates, some Republicans are running away from him. Democrats like to run toward him, actually, because they are more than happy to point out that they are not supportive of his policies. But Martin O'Malley has a challenge in that he has been hurt by Donald Trump because the oxygen is taken out of the race for Republicans and Democrats alike. But I can tell you, after spending a few days in Iowa, Martin O'Malley has more supporters on the ground there -- maybe not in New Hampshire, but he's more organized than you think. So he has another, he has perhaps a few tricks up sleeve. But at this point, nationally, in the polls he's at, what, one or two percent --
ZELENY: -- which is so low.
BLITZER: He went from one percent to two percent. Very quickly, Joe Biden. The majority of Democrats, they want him to run.
PRESTON: They do because they want a race between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. You know, at this point, I think it got checked for Joe Biden, whether he does it or not. I think that the betting money, Wolf, is that he doesn't do it. But, obviously, you know, we'll know in the next month or so.
BLITZER: Yeah, we certainly will. All right, guys. Thanks very, very much. By the way, join us later tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, for a CNN special report, the Donald Trump interview. Donald Trump sits down with our own Chris Cuomo for a very frank discussion on his campaign. The one-hour interview tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Coming up, Donald Trump is about to hold his first Town Hall of the campaign. We're going there live to New Hampshire where we're waiting to hear from the controversial Republican candidate. Plus, the former Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle, is facing at least five years in prison for charges of child pornography and sex with minors. We'll have details of the plea deal he struck with prosecutors.
BLITZER: The former Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle, has notified a federal court that he will plead guilty on charges of child pornography and sex with minors. Fogle was best known for his story of dramatic weight loss which he attributed to eating Subway sandwiches. But he made headlines again this summer when his home was raided by FBI agents who carted away computers and other electronics during their investigation. Our national correspondent, Ryan Young, is joining us know from Indianapolis where Fogle appeared in court today. How did it go, Ryan?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, we've been covering this story for, since last month. When Jared walked in you could tell he was quite nervous as he sat in the chair. He held his hands together for quite some time. Of course, we learned more details about what investigators found inside his home.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot think of anything more repugnant than sexually victimizing a child.
YOUNG: The detailed charges are horrifying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about using wealth, status and secrecy to illegally exploit children.
YOUNG: And the guilty pleas are too. Jared Fogle was hustled out of an Indiana court today, refusing to answer questions.
JARED FOGLE, FORMER SUBWAY SPOKESPERSON: You know, I speak to children all over the country and, actually, all over the world now.
YOUNG: For the longtime Subway spokesman and kids' charity founder, the weight of child pornography charges will remain for a lifetime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jared Fogle expects to go to prison. Jared also knows that he has a medical problem.
YOUNG: The father of two pleaded guilty to receipt and distribution of child pornography as well as traveling to engage and pay for sex with minors. Court documents show there are at least 14 victims, and Fogle didn't act alone. Russell Taylor, the former head of the Jared foundation, Fogle's charity to combat childhood obesity, allegedly was in on it too. Investigators retrieved electronics and DVDs from both men's homes in raids earlier this year. Documents show explicit images of children as young as six were uncovered. The documents also alleged Taylor used hidden cameras in clock radios to capture images of unknowing minors changing clothes, showering and bathing in his home. Investigators say he then distributed the images to Fogle and others. But perhaps the most shocking is what happened here at the Plaza Hotel in New York in 2012. Documents state Fogle engaged in sex with a prostitute, aged 17, paid for it and later asked her to introduce him to more girls. Documents say Fogle told her he would accept a 16-year-old. The younger the girl, the better. Fogle will serve at least five years in federal prison. The 37-year-old former Subway star also faces additional consequences as part of the plea agreement including mandatory monitoring of his electronic devices, mandatory treatment for sexual disorders, a fee of $1.4 million. That's $100,000 for each of the 14 victims. And he must register as a sex offender. Subway says, we no longer have a relationship with Jared. And today Fogle's wife says she's seeking to end hers as well.
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Jared, mentioning that he is admitting to 14 victims. It's quite interesting to see what was going on here, especially outside the courtroom. Some people showing up, using their cameras to film him as he walked towards his car. He didn't look up once, but I can tell you there were people who were screaming, who were upset. Somebody said, "Jared, what about the children?" Wolf. BLITZER: Ryan Young, with that report, thanks, Ryan, very much. Very disturbing report indeed. Coming up, cyber thieves make public the private information that millions of people have registered with an adultery website. Among them, U.S. military and government workers here in Washington. Plus Donald Trump speaks to CNN about gaining ground on Hillary Clinton in our brand new poll and about Hillary Clinton's struggles with her email controversy.
BLITZER: Happening now, Trump's new test. We're standing by for his first official question and answer session with voters since he launched his presidential campaign. How will his brash style play with supporters when they're with him face-to-face?