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Trump Doubles Down on Controversial 9/11 Remarks; Clinton Wins Debate, But Sanders Rises in CNN Poll; Trump, Carson Asks for Secret Service Protection; Texas Brothers Push $15M to Cruz's Super PAC; FBI Investigating Claims CIA Chief's Email Hacked. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 19, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, Donald Trump still attacking President Bush over 9/11 and declaring that if the election were held today, he'd win big.

Plus, Trump and Ben Carson waiting for Congress to approve secret service protection as the threats against Carson are said to be growing. Our special report on that.

And claims that the heads of CIA and Homeland Security have been hacked. Their personal email accounts broken into. Now the alleged hacker says he's about to leak their information, speaking to CNN.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with Donald Trump doubling down. The G.O.P. frontrunner again attacking George W. Bush for 9/11. An angry Jeb Bush pushing back, insisting his brother kept America safe, questioning Trump's fitness to be commander-in-chief.

And just moments ago, Trump fighting back. His brash tone is the right tone.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want a candidate that can be scared by a pollster, right? You know, they pay them a lot.

You shouldn't have said that! I mean, I've seen it.

You shouldn't have said that today in South Carolina!

You have to say this!

Well, I don't really believe in that. It doesn't matter. You have to say that. You want to get elected.

Who wants this stuff? You know what? If you can't get elected, you've got to do what's right.


BURNETT: Now this comes as a new poll shows Trump solidly in first place, 25 percent of the vote. Jeb Bush dropping to fifth place in the same poll. Ben Carson is close to within three points of the lead.

Sara Murray begins our coverage out front tonight. She's with the Donald Trump in South Carolina at that rally.

And Sara, Trump's event just wrapping up, literally, seconds ago. How are they reacting to his comments and the controversial comments about George W. Bush?

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the folks who brought it up with me -- and some of them brought it up of their own accord. They didn't have to be ask about it said they didn't really think that was a fair statement from Donald Trump.

One man even said I don't think George Bush could have prevented 9/11, and I don't think Donald Trump, if he were president, could prevent something like that. But it doesn't seem to be something that's swaying voters one way or another in terms of their feelings. The voters who were undecided, who I spoke to were still undecided after those comments, and the folks who were Trump supporters were still Trump supporters after his remark about 9/11.


BURNETT: That's interesting. So that they don't like it, but it's not changing their vote.

Now Sara, Did Trump try at all to walk back his comments given that voters don't seem to like them? His supporters don't seem to like them.

MURRAY: You know, Trump had a packed house here. More than 5,000 people here to see him. And he made no comment about 9/11 or about George Bush.

What's interesting is, you know, we tried to ask him about this. CNN caught up with him a couple days ago, tried to ask him about it on the rope line. He obviously has a big audience here. He doesn't bring it up in these settings. He seems mainly comfortable bringing it up on Twitter. Not so much talking about it in person.

BURNETT: All right, Sara, thank you very much. Interesting, two different audiences, as Sara pointing out, the Twitter audience versus the people who are attending his rallies. Jeb Bush tonight upping the ante, saying Trump's comments about his brother on 9/11 give him grave doubts about Trump's leadership of the country.

Dana Bash is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A political duel about America's catastrophe on 9/11/2001 playing out in a 2015 way, on Twitter. Donald Trump tweeting today at Jeb Bush, "I'm fighting to make sure it doesn't happen again. Jeb is too soft." That, after Bush had tweeted, "Donald Trump talks about foreign policy as though he's still on "The Apprentice."

At issue, Trump's suggestions that Jeb's brother, George W. Bush, could have done more as president to prevent the September 11th terror attacks.

TRUMP: Blame him or don't blame him but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.

BASH: It's a delayed Trump response to one of Jeb Bush's most passionate moments at CNN's debate last month.

TRUMP: It was such a disaster the last three months that Abraham Lincoln couldn't have been elected.

JEB BUSH, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: You know what, as it relates to my brother, there's one thing I know for sure, he kept us safe. I don't know if you remember --


BASH: Trump is now suggesting he could have stopped the 9/11 hijackers from getting into the U.S. in the first place.

TRUMP: I'm extremely tough on people coming into this country. I doubt that those people would have been in the country.

BASH: For the record, the 9/11 commission said only two of the 19 hijackers overstayed their visas, but others gamed the immigration system. The commission also said the attack was a shock, but should not have come as a surprise.

Still Jeb Bush's campaign thinks Trump's latest rant handed them a winning issue.

BUSH: Next week, Mr. Trump is probably going to say that FDR was around when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. It's what you do after that matters and that's the sign of leadership

Next week Mixture next month, he'll say FDR was round when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. It's what you do after that matters and that's the sign of leadership.


[19:05:06] BASH: Jeb Bush's aids to his brother's legacy would be a challenge, especially Jeb Bush's position on the Iraq war, which he bungled early on. But 9/11?

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I can hear you! BASH: This was not something team Bush ever dreamed would be re- litigated, but they're happy to do so, using it to broaden criticism of Trump as commander-in-chief.

BUSH: It looks as though he's not taking the possibility of being president of the United States really seriously.

BASH: The Bush campaign is even asking for donations with this e-mail saying, "Donate $5 and fight back against Donald Trump."


BASH: Not only that, Jeb Bush made a point of tweeting a reminder today to supporters to enter a contest to go and hang out.

In Texas next week with his brother, the former President George W. Bush, it certainly may seem risky, considering how controversial George W. Bush is, but Erin, among the Republicans out there in the CNN poll done over the summer, 88 percent say they approve of him. It's a huge number.

And for Jeb Bush right now, Republicans, it's the whole game now. He's in a Republican primary contest. They're all that matter.

BARNETT: All right, Dana, thank you very much. Incredible statistic. 88 percent of Republican voters and a majority of the plurality of voters in this country.

OUTFRONT now, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos and Jeffrey Lord, former Reagan White House political director and a Donald Trump supporter.

Alex, let me start with you. You just heard Sara Murray at the rally. And she asked people what they think about what Donald Trump's been saying about George W. Bush. You saw his popularity there among Republican voters in the screen. 88 percent, they said they didn't like that line of attack, but it wasn't changing their vote.

Will Donald Trump be proven right on this attack as he has in so many of his other controversial takedowns?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It won't affect his vote. He'll keep what he's got. Donald Trump has figured out that for his voters, this election is not about issues or differences on foreign policy. It's about strength.

His voters think that America's in decline. They're going to lose their country. And they want a president as big and tough as their fears. So, guess what, he provokes an attack. He says things others wouldn't to prove, what? That he's stronger, that he is someone who will fight even worse things that are out there threatening. So far, he's been proven right.

BURNETT: And what about this attack on George W. Bush for 9/11, though, Alex? Is it a fruitful line of attack? CASTELLANOS: It's not going to help him grow in this sense. He's attacking George W. Bush for the moment he was the strongest. We all remember that pile of rubble.


CASTELLANOS: From the searing memories of that day. And that's when George Bush's strength rallied the country. So I think he didn't pick a very good fight on this one. But the challenge for Jeb Bush here is the only time we've seen him stand up and fight is really to defend his family. Not so much to fight for us. So he's got to expand beyond that.


BURNETT: Interesting point.

So, Jeff, let me ask you, you heard Alex's point. He doesn't think that this attack on George W. Bush by Donald Trump is going to help him grow his support.

What do you say to that?

JEFF LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: No, no, I think he will grow his support. I mean, I'm looking at this poll from the "Wall Street Journal" tonight and NBC. He's very, very strong there.

You know, he's raised an interesting point on this. And I must say, I was appalled at Jeb Bush's answer about FDR and Pearl Harbor.

In the day, the Republican presidential nominee of 1944, I went back and look today, Thomas E. Dewey said that he thought that Franklin Roosevelt should be impeached because of his dealings with Pearl Harbor. He also called him a traitor. And I'm quoting directly here. So in other words, and then there was a congressional investigation in 1946 that said --


CASTELLANOS: Jeffrey, did, I just hear you --


LORD: Failed in his responsibility. No, no, all I'm saying here Alex --

CASTELLANOS: Jeffrey, did I just hear you say that George W. Bush is the equivalent of a traitor?

LORD: No, no, no, no, no. You heard me say that Thomas E. Dewey criticize Franklin Roosevelt --


CASTELLANOS: But you're defending what Trump did by citing that as an example?

LORD: I am saying...

CASTELLANOS: I'm horrified.

LORD:: ...the president of the United States, no matter who -- no, I didn't say that, Alex, so let's not twist my words here. I am saying that presidents of the United States are responsible for what happens when they're at the head of the ship.

And just like Franklin Roosevelt...


CASTELLANOS: Let me be sure.

LORD: ...just like Bill Clinton, just like Bill Clinton and Osama Bin Laden, just like George Bush, just like Barack Obama right now. When you're at the tiller, you are the responsible officer of the government, as John F. Kennedy said.


BURNETT: Is there anything to it there, Alex?

CASTELLANOS: I wanted to be sure I understood this. (INAUDIBLE)


LORD: I most -- I most assuredly did, I most assuredly did not say that George W. Bush is a traitor. I think he did a great job --


CASTELLANOS: Seriously, excuse me, Jeffrey --

BURNETT: OK, go ahead, Alex and reply.

CASTELLANOS: Jeffrey, excuse me a moment. You defended what Donald Trump said by saying that's the way FDR was attacked. You justified what Trump did by citing that he was a traitor? I'm horrified.

[19:10:11] LORD: What I'm saying, Alex, is that unbelievably to me, Jeb Bush doesn't know basic American history. I mean, he said something that just simply isn't true. He tried to imply that FDR was not attacked for Pearl Harbor. That is flatly not so.

That's a basic fact of American history. If you're running for president of the United, you don't know American history --


CASTELLANOS: I don't think most Americans were told -- Jeffrey, but you don't think that George Bush when he stood on that pile of rubble and said we can all hear you now, and rallied the nation in one of its darkest moments. You said, he wouldn't -- (CROSSTALK)

LORD: I thought he did a great job, Alex. I keep saying this. You want to make me say something else.


CASTELLANOS: You wouldn't justify the issue of being called a traitor.

LORD: I am saying -- I am saying he did a great job. I thought he was a great president for doing that. Absolutely. You're not -- you don't want to listen to me, Alex. I'm saying Jeb Bush is the one who raised this subject.

CASTELLANOS: And I was afraid I did listen to you.

LORD: He's the one who brought Franklin Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor into this and he's wrong. He's flat, dead wrong.


LORD: I mean, historically inaccurate. Big time.


BURNETT: Alex, is there a point to be made, though, that people will see it as the point that's being made here?

If you're the captain of the ship, even if it's not your fault, there are some who will say you're the captain of the ship when it went down. Is there something to that? That's what Donald Trump is trying to hone on to and I think that's the point Jeff is making.

LORD: Hillary Clinton was the captain at the State Department.

BURNETT: Go on, Alex.

CASTELLANOS: Well, if -- when there's a surprise attack upon the country and you see someone stand up, rally the nation and keep it safe for the next seven years of his administration, and fight like hell to do that, and is -- you know, has the respect of the country for doing so, I think it's a little unfair to...



CASTELLANOS: I think it's a little unfair to equate him with justifying assault on him like the Dewey assault and compare that, that's OK, because that's what Donald Trump in effect did. I am stunned.


LORD: Jeb brought it up on me. BURNETT: All right, we're going to hit, we're going to hit pause on that. Of course, all this goes back to how much of surprise this was.

George W. Bush knew the risks of al Qaeda. Bill Clinton knew the risks of al Qaeda. This is a much longer conversation to litigate than we could do here. But I appreciate both of you taking the time, honing right in on the heart of it.

Donald Trump, by the way, will be a live guest on "New Day" tomorrow morning. Be sure to watch it at 6:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

And OUTFRONT next, the latest CNN poll on the Democratic side of the race. Well, it's good news, bad news for Hillary Clinton. Something really unexpected for her in there. That's next.

Plus, Donald Trump wanting secret service protection. But Ben Carson has been told he needs to have it. And needs to have it now. How serious is the threat? Our report.

And the drug company CEO who jack the price of a drug by 5000 percent is accusing Bernie Sanders of price gouging.


[19:16:09] BURNETT: This is Vice President Joe Biden, live. Sorry, it's a little grainy. It's from inside a place, little hard to get a signal. But anyway, the vice president speaking live at this moment to a group of armed service members.

Everyone watching to see whether he will talk about running for president tonight. That's why everyone is watching this feed. We are watching it. Even as we continue here to talk about him.

Also, tonight, Biden is expected to meet with his top political advisers. Another sign he may be ready to run. A source says his team is even interviewing potential campaign staff members.

Now, a new poll shows the vice president has major competition in the Democratic field.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is so great to be here with all of you.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton still in the lead in the first national poll since the debate. Her strong performance, though, not reflected in the polling. An up tick of only three points to Sanders' five, this as Sanders is riding high in a pop culture spotlight.

Babies are dressing like him, and now he's getting the equivalent of campaign gold, the "Saturday Night Live" treatment.


SERFATY: Larry David nailing his impersonation.

DAVID: I own one pair of underwear! That's it! Some of these billionaires, they've got three, four pairs. And I don't have a drier. I have to put my clothes on the radiator.

SERFATY: Which the real Bernie Sanders has not only been embracing, but playing it up in event after event on the campaign trail.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, last week, I bought my second pair of underwear. That's a joke. I have an ample supply of underwear.

DAVID: My name is Larry David and Bernie asked me to do this.

SANDERS: Scary, isn't it? He sounds more like me than I sound like me.


SERFATY: His chief opponent is no stranger to the "SNL" treatment.


SERFATY: And while Sanders says he wants voters to connect with him on his ideas, not his style.

(on-camera): That certainly, though, does help as people are paying more attention.

SANDERS: I supposed it does.

SERFATY: You're OK with that?

SANDERS: I'm OK -- I don't have a choice with that.

SERFATY (voice-over): The campaign seems eager to ride the pop culture wave they've thought, joking they could see a Larry David bump in the polls.

Dancing on "Ellen" and keeping up the self-deprecating quips about his hair.

SANDERS: Well, I think it's my hair. It attracts the American people. Well-groomed. Your typical politician.

SERFATY: A not so subtle sign that they're trying to turn this moment into momentum.

SANDERS: I freely concede, you know. We started off this campaign, I was at 3 percent in the polls. And the kind of people thought I was a fringe candidate. I think we made a lot of progress in the last five months. And I think we've got a real shot to win this.

SERFATY (on-camera): And that's where the real benefit of this moment could be for Bernie Sanders, to go from being seen as just a fringe candidate to more of a mainstream candidate, especially as he starts to be introduced to a wider group of voters.

But the real challenge here for the campaign, Erin, is really being able to translate this moment of attention into actual support.


BURNETT: Sunlen, thank you very much.

As you saw there, getting a chance to talk to Bernie Sanders today.

OUTFRONT now, Dan Pfeiffer, the former senior adviser for President Obama and Jonathan Allen, co-author of HRC: State Secrets and the rebirth of Hillary Clinton.

Jon, let me start with you. The new CNN poll. You know, you see Bernie Sanders there in that piece. We're going to see a little bit more of him, right?

It's that endearing authentic man that voters are reacting to. When you look at the debate, though, it was pretty clear. Voters thought Hillary Clinton was the clear winner of the debate. And that's what they think in our poll. But she's not getting any bump in the polls. They're not actually saying they're going to vote for her as a result of that. Is that a problem?

JONATHAN ALLEN, CO-AUTHOR, "HRC: STATE SECRETS AND THE REBIRTH OF HILLARY CLINTON": I don't think it's a problem because she's got such a big lead right now. If you look at where things stand, Bernie Sanders needs to make a big dent in her lead. He didn't make a big dent.

So if he's got 45 percent and he's sitting around that 30 percent mark, that's a victory for her. The longer she goes with that gap, the better off she is.

He didn't shake up the race. And I think people who watch the debate, who were for her to begin with, they are still for her. And people who were for Sanders beforehand are still with him.

[19:20:10] BURNETT: All right, it's a fair point. I want to note just for the record, for those out there who are tracking this, though, she has a 16-point over Bernie Sanders.

At the same time in 2008, it was a 30-point lead over then Senator Barack Obama. So just to keep it in context here. It's close, but certainly not insurmountable.

Dan, "Saturday Night Live" depicted Clinton's debate performance this way. Let me play it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you're really going to like the Hillary Clinton that my team and I have created for this debate. She's warm, but strong. Flawed, yet perfect. Relaxed but racing full speed toward the White House like the T-1000 from Terminator.


BURNETT: You know, I know you and I talked about this last week. You were one of the people who wrote the memo about her for Barack Obama at the time. She was driven by politics, not conviction.

You know, clearly, that has become such the line that it can be spoofed on "Saturday Night Live."

Has she changed at all?

DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think she had -- like this still remains to her greatest weakness, which is to be portrayed as traditional old style politics, being driven by calculation, not conviction. That's a weakness.

I think she is better prepared for that line of attack in the sort of campaign that's coming because of what she went through in 2008. And I think by doing things like going out on "Saturday Night Live" a few weeks ago, and sort of spoofing herself in that way, I think she helped soften the edges there and it puts her in a better position. But, look, she will remain vulnerable forever. And it's not just because of her, it's the long history of her last name and the political attacks she's weathered over the years.

BURNETT: So, Jon, let me play a little bit more of Bernie Sanders on the trail, where he's just so naturally able to respond to this Larry David impersonation, which was one of the best I've ever seen.

Here's a little bit more of Larry David.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have more than one pair of underwear?


SANDERS: No, no, no. This is a serious question. Yes, last week, I bought my second pair of underwear. That's a joke. Please don't write it down. That was a joke. I have an ample supply of underwear.


BURNETT: All right, Jon, I mean, he's just -- he's so self- deprecating and he makes underwear jokes funny, right? I don't think that Hillary Clinton will ever make a joke about her underwear. And if she did, it would not go over well, right? There is something about Bernie Sanders that is just so likable in this.

ALLEN: Erin, you're trying to get me to say something that would get me in trouble here.


Look, I do -- I think Bernie Sanders' ability to be self-deprecating is a warm attribute, especially for a guy who is so serious all the time on the campaign trail. It's nice to see that.

Hillary Clinton's humor tends to be a little more sarcastic, a little bit more biting. That's less warm. I think the contrast is a big one between the two of them. But if we're voting for president based on who's funny or not, maybe we should elect Larry David.

BURNETT: Elect Larry David, and then, you know, who's funny, Joe Biden might hit all of these buttons. Meeting with top political operatives, tonight, obviously, in polls, he trails Clinton. However, against Donald Trump, he beats Trump. He does better than Hillary Clinton does in the polls. And also would beat Ben Carson.

So is Biden still the magic wand the Democrats need?

I'm pretty skeptical of general election polls this far out. And particularly when one of the people polled in this case, the vice president, is somebody who's not even in the race yet.

PFEIFFER: But if the vice president decides to get in, a big part of the case he's going to have to make is that he is the most electable Democrat. And he has strengths where Clinton has weaknesses. And so polls like this, would be sort of proof points for him along the way. But you want to see those numbers again once he's in the race and taking, you know, sort of facing some of the scrutiny that a candidate gets, that someone not in the race yet doesn't get. So it's early to say here with every part of this case.

BURNETT: I bet you he could make underwear jokes, though.

All right, thanks to both of you.

PFEIFFER: I have no doubt. I have no doubt.




BURNETT: All right, OUTFRONT next, the secret service telling Ben Carson he needs their protection. We'll tell you exactly why they're saying that at this point of the race already.

And our special report tonight on "Secret Money." Tonight, two billionaires who you have never heard of, I'm almost certain of it. And who they are bankrolling into the race into the White House.


[19:28:16] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald Trump and Ben Carson both requesting secret service protection. It's up to the Department of Homeland Security and a congressional panel to decide whether the requests are granted. Now Carson says it's the secret service that is telling him that he needs the protection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't feel the need for it, quite frankly, but the secret service thinks that I need it. So, you know, it is what it is. I recognize that someone like me who is very truthful and who really doesn't subscribe to all the traditional power structures is probably going to be a target.


BURNETT: Pretty incredible statement there. Trump maintains it's political, claiming he would have already had the protection if he was a Democrat.

I want to go to our White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski, who's been looking onto this today.

Michelle, then Senator Barack Obama received protection in May 2007. Five months earlier than where we are right now at this point in the cycle.

In terms of Ben Carson, he's being told, he says, by secret service that he needs the protection. What are they concerned about?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's not so clear, because his people did request the protection from the Department of Homeland Security. And the request for both Carson and Trump are now under consideration.

But what kind of threats exactly they're facing. You heard a little bit of that there from Carson. As for Trump's people, he's talking about the size of the crowds that he's really faced with, but that's true.

I mean, President Obama got secret service protection before he was the nominee. This was about nine months out of the Democratic primary. And that was because of a very specific threat that he was getting. So that was assessed. And he was the person who got that kind of protection earliest in history before the campaign started.

So we're just going to have to wait and see how this plays out. Whether this congressional panel, which consists of the leadership in both houses, working with the department of Homeland Security, whether they agree that whatever the threats are out there, and if they do conform with certain criteria that you have to meet, whether those requests are going to be met, Erin.

BURNETT: Pretty incredible. And interesting, as we heard, how Carson just phrased it. But he's not surprised he would be a target.

All right. Thanks very much to you, Michelle.

And one area where Trump and Carson don't agree, because they agree on a whole lot, they agree on debate rules. They've agreed on some controversial comments on 9/11. They do not agree on money. Trump is self-funding his campaign. That's what he says.

Meanwhile, Carson collected nearly $21 million in the last quarter. That is more than any other Republican candidate. And most of that money came from small donors.

The big money, the big money that everybody hates and says is so influential hasn't been able to buy an election yet, and this time, it's going to someone else.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dotting the road leading to the tiny town of Cisco, Texas, sits giant billboards blaring the beliefs of its billionaire residents Farris and Dan Wilks, brothers, and the newest and biggest single family donor to the race for the presidency, pumping $15 million to Republican Ted Cruz's super PAC.

JAMES KING, MAYOR OF CISCO, TEXAS AND WILKS FRIEND: Whenever he sees biblical examples of how to do things, that's the way he wants to do things.

LAH: And what Wilks wants, the family's conservative Christian values defended on the national stage, says James King. He's Cisco's mayor and an associate pastor at Assembly of Yahweh's Seventh Day, where Farris Wilks is the head pastor.

KING: Farris doesn't want to do interviews.

LAH: And they didn't allow our cameras into their service, but did invite me in. In its program this week, urging parishioners pray for public officials

opposing gay marriage, even naming Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. In a rare interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network last year, Farris Wilks said this.

FARRIS WILKS, SUPER PAC DONOR: They're being taught the other ideas, the gay agenda every day out in the world. So we have to stand up and explain to them that that's not real.

LAH: His brother Dan.

DAN WILKS, SUPER PAC DONOR: I just think we have to make people aware and bring the bible back into the school.

LAH: In this town of 4,000, the Wilks are Cisco pride and folklore, local sons of a modest bricklayer made their way into the new oil, fracking. Their expansive home tells their story of a billionaire fortune.

(on camera): These remote compounds are some of the few outward signs of wealth here in Cisco, small reminders that these brothers are worth $2.7 billion, according to "Forbes." So, a $15 million political contribution? That's less than 1 percent of the brothers' net worth.

(voice-over): The Wilks joined an elite group of super PAC bankrollers to super PAC Conservative Solutions. Motor car mogul Norman Braman donated $5 million, backing Marco Rubio. Right to Rise USA, health care equities investor Miguel Fernandez gave $3 million to Jeb Bush's super PAC. Priorities USA Action, Univision owner Haim Saban donated $2 million to Hillary Clinton's super PAC.

This is presidential politics 2016, where a limitless donations to super PACs means recently rich sons hold sway.

(on camera): Their rise on the national stage, is that good or bad news for this country?

KING: I think it's good news. Personally, we've got all kinds of influences that you can get from all different sides. And any time you've got somebody that's willing to provide and is able to provide an influence for good, I think it's a fantastic thing.


LAH: This is the first election we've actually seen the Wilks spread their financial wings. In 2008, they did donate a few thousand to the RNC. This time around, Erin, thanks to some looser laws, they're willing to put millions in to get their beliefs into policy -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. That's a fascinating report.

I want to go straight to our political commentator and host of "The Ben Ferguson Show," Ben Ferguson.

I mean, Ben, this is amazing, right? These guys worth more than $2.5 billion.


BURNETT: A lot of money, right? And I love it, she's standing there on a dirt road in Texas, right? Town of Cisco. Not a lot of wealth. They are the wealthy sons, now giving up $15 million, and they're giving a lot of the money to back Senator Ted Cruz.

Will this move the needle for someone like Ted Cruz? Because so far, he's still in single digits.

FERGUSON: Look, you've got to have money, but ultimately, look at Scott Walker. He had a great super PAC, and it did nothing for him as a candidate. So, you still have to have charisma. You still have to be a viable candidate. You still have to have ideas.

[19:35:01] And most importantly, you still have to connect with voters. I mean, if you're Ted Cruz, this is -- yes, it's a good amount of money. But is it going to be able to buy you this collection or the nomination? Absolutely not.

I mean, remember, Donald Trump is a multi-billionaire who can beat every one at this game with his own checkbook and his own pen. So, I think if there's any time that this money doesn't buy influence, it's probably when you have a billionaire that you're running against.

BURNETT: Which is an interesting point. I mean, what's amazing, though, when you look at this in the polls, let's say Donald Trump were to get out of the race, right? So, he's own money goes away. Or Ben Carson were to get out. The two frontrunners. If you take them out, there's really no movement for any of the other candidates, the lower candidates, right? They don't actually pick up a lot of support.

So, it would seem to me -- and those lower candidates are the ones who are the big donors. Donald Trump saw funding. Ben Carson has the little guy funding him. So, it's the big rich guys that are putting all the money in to losing candidates. Is that surprising?

FERGUSON: Well, look at Jeb Bush. The great example is look at how much money not only his super PAC, but also his campaign has been able to raise and it has not influenced the polls really in any way at all. It certainly can help you with the ground game in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and moving forward. But you still have to have momentum in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. If you're not winning there, it doesn't matter.

Remember Rick Santorum last time. When Rick Santorum did not have money, he went up against Mitt Romney and every mega donor out there was able to all of a sudden make a campaign out of pennies. So, that is still ultimately the x-factor.

The reason why, though, I think that you see that if Ben Carson or Donald Trump drops out, it doesn't help these other guys because it's still -- they're still in that category of the non-politician, the "I'm not Washington. I've never run for office. I've never won before."

So, it's not surprising that their supporters early on are going to say I'm not supporting any of these other guys, they're what's wrong with Washington, and that's why I'm with Ben Carson or Donald Trump.

BURNETT: All right. Ben Ferguson, thank you very much. Pretty stunning, though.


BURNETT: Who knows what will happen? At this point you can say, all this hate for all this big money. It's all coming in and it's not buying them anything.

FERGUSON: It's not buying much at all.

BURNETT: No, it's not.

All right. OUTFRONT next, the head to the CIA and Homeland Security, email accounts hacked. And you're not going to believe who's claiming responsibility for this and what they say they have.

And the bizarre battle between Bernie Sanders and the drug company CEO dubbed the most hated man in America.


[19:41:29] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: a hacker vowing to leak stolen information from the head of the CIA. The alleged hacker says he broke into the CIA director and the homeland security secretary's private e-mail accounts. And get this -- the hacker says he's a high school student.

Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.

And, Evan, what information does the hacker say he has?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, we're talking about sensitive information, particularly from John Brennan's AOL account. Take a look at a couple tweets from this alleged hacker. He claims he's part of a group that got into Brennan's contact list and got access to Jeh Johnson's Comcast account.

One document he posted earlier today is a list of purported members of the intelligence community with security clearance. Another document he stole -- he claims he stole is a government form that Brennan would have filled out in order to get his top secret security clearance. Brennan would have provided this information while he was still a private citizen before he took a job in the Obama administration.

BURNETT: I mean, first of all, AOL account. I don't know why the CIA director would be using an AOL account, right? I mean, look, I guess you could hack into Yahoo or Gmail or anything.

PEREZ: Right.

BURNETT: But still -- still, how hard is it, though, to do what the hacker says he did?

PEREZ: You know, it's actually very common. This is people who essentially -- it's more trickery than hacking. It's not -- it's not scale, it's more a way of hoaxing people into providing information and allowing you to gather enough information that can get control of accounts.

This is very common for people to get access to your Twitter account or your Apple iCloud account. This is why a lot of companies now are requiring extra steps before they allow you to reset your password. And, you know, we probably all lose our password so easily.

BURNETT: So this is basically like he would have received an e-mail and clicked on something, and in so doing entered a password or something like that? Is that what you're describing?

PEREZ: That is one way they do it. It's a very common way. Also you call up a company and say that you've been locked out of your account and you ask them for help in getting into it. And that's another way.

They take a couple of steps before they get to your real account they're trying to take control of.

BURNETT: Wow. All right. Evan, thank you very much. Pretty shocking on a lot of levels here.

I want to go straight to the former CIA operative, Bob Baer. And, Bob, if this is to be believed, he has the director of the CIA,

John Brennan's e-mail address, phone number, Social Security number, a lot of other things, how serious is it?

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: It's serious. I mean, John Brennan I doubt kept any classified information on his AOL account. It's very unlikely. And he wouldn't use his AOL account with his CIA computers. So, he's not going to hack into CIA documents.

But on the other hand, it puts him at a certain risk. I mean, it's a vulnerability. He could get into his credit accounts, his Visa cards, you know, find out where he takes his vacation, who his family members are, get his contact list, which is very important. And for a hostile or intelligence service, this sort of information is invaluable.

BURNETT: So, but then you would imagine hostile intelligence services have this information. If a teenager could do it, right, they would already have it or --

BAER: Well, you know, shame on the Russians or the Chinese if they haven't tried, and I wouldn't be surprised if they got in. Just keep in mind that e-mail accounts are all hackable, whatever service. And anything you put on e-mail, you might as well make it public.

BURNETT: So, there's no difference in your mind when you hear AOL, other than the fact that it might be a surprise the CIA director is using AOL. But no difference between an AOL or Yahoo or Gmail or anything like that?

[19:40:01] BAER: They're equally easy to get into. AOL is a bit older. I keep an AOL account. But I just -- as a former operative, I don't put anything in e-mail that I wouldn't want to put on this TV program. That's how vulnerable we are.

BURNETT: And so in the context here of what damage could be done, obviously this hacker saying there's other information about other CIA employees. Do you think that that's possible? Because obviously that would imply if it's true in any way that there was CIA information on the CIA director's personal e-mail.

BAER: Well, the problem is we all take shortcuts with e-mail. And we don't want it on government e-mail. No one wants to get a CIA e-mail. So, they'll use their private e-mail to contact even other government officials possibly ones undercover.

The problem with the CIA right now is when you apply for the CIA, you do it on the Internet, which I think is inherently unsafe. I mean, you get into the list. You hack into that particular site. And you've got everybody who has applied to the CIA, or for that matter, most of the secret military services.

BURNETT: All right, Bob Baer, thank you.

And next, Bernie Sanders rejecting a big donation from a CEO, the CEO who jacked up prices on a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent. And that CEO is fighting back hard. That's next OUTFRONT. And Jeanne Moos with Cecil the Lion's revenge, coming this Halloween.


[19:50:32] BURNETT: Tonight, the battle heating up between Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and the CEO who hiked the price of a life-saving drug by 500 percent. Bernie Sanders rejects the CEO's political donation, and that has that man who broke his promise to lower the price of the drug hitting back hard.

Joe Johns is OUTFRONT.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bernie Sanders today railing against what he called extremely greedy drug company CEOs and vowing to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of five Americans cannot fill prescriptions their doctors are writing for them. That's crazy. That's totally crazy.

JOHNS: Equally crazy, the bizarre battle between Sanders and Martin Shkreli, the drug company CEO, called the most hated man in America after he jacked up the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug by 5,000 percent to $750 a pill, an issue where even Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton found common ground.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's price gouging, pure and simple.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hooks like a spoiled brat to me.

JOHNS: Shkreli's latest battle began soon after he donated $2,700 by law the maximum individual donation to Sanders campaign, a donation soon rejected by Sanders.

In an e-mail to supporters, Sanders called Shkreli a prescription drug price gouger and redirected his donation.

SANDERS: Well, I think we gave that money to a clinic that helps people with AIDS.

JOHNS: Shkreli fired back, even accusing the presidential candidate of price gouging after noticing the Sanders campaigned initially asked donors for $3 and now $26. Shkreli tweeting, "Bernie Sanders raised the donation question 750 percent, price gouging." And Shkreli wasn't done, tweeting, "So angry at Bernie Sanders, I could punch a wall", and posting an x-ray of a broken wrist.

When someone accused Shkreli of posting an x-ray taken from the Internet, the embattled CEO at first responded, "That's what the doc sent me, I don't know." But later appeared to admit it was all a joke and his wrist wasn't broken, "Bored, playing the guitar. Who wants to hear a song?" (END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: Shkreli has said the price of the AIDS drug will be reduced but it hasn't happened yet. The money from Sanders campaign was donated to an AIDS clinic in Washington, D.C., known as Whitman-Walker Health, and it's at least the second time Shkreli has prompted promises of charity to that clinic. Last month, he tweeted pictures of himself wearing a t-shirt with a name of a punk rock band on it and responds, "The band put copies of the t-shirt up for sale with proceeds over 48 hours intended to go to Whitman-Walker".

BURNETT: Well, all right. Joe Johns, thank you.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos with the Halloween costumes everyone wants. Top of the list is pizza rat.


[19:57:45] BURNETT: Halloween is just 12 days away and it's going to be huge. Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here at Halloween adventure --you can pick up props ranging from snakes to wings to hearts .

But if your heart belongs to topical costumes --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at it. Isn't it great?

MOOS: It is great. So, how many did you order?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got about 48. Trump is outselling Hillary. I've had Hillary for awhile. Hillary is old news.

MOOS: And this is what the media have been calling sexy Donald Trump for the ladies. sells lingerie but branched out to Halloween costumes and when this happened.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN/TV HOST: The Internet blew up over this video of a rat carrying a whole size of pizza.

MOOS: They introduced the pizza rat costume with rate ears, tail and pepperoni pizza pockets. Yandy's number one best selling costume is the blue black versus white gold dress called what is the color.

Even the animal rights group PETA is selling costumes.

DAN CARRON, OUTREACH COORDINATOR, PETA: This is Cecil the Lion. As you can see, he's getting revenge on Dr. Palmer.

MOOS: PETA says it's a tongue and cheek way to provoke discussion of trophy hunting.

CARRON: Be the talk of the party.

MOOS: The price 140 bucks, the lion's share goes to fund PETA's causes.

But who needs a new costume when you've already dressed your baby up as the pope and gotten his blessing?

Other do it yourself ideas for babies, movie popcorn or spaghetti and meat balls. And if you happen to be pregnant, turn your baby bump into the perfect parole or magic eight ball.

But Halloween mainstays tend to be mundane.

TONY BIANCHI, MANAGER, HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE: The bread and butter are vampires. Everybody wants to be a vampire and everybody wants to be a zombie.

MOOS: What does a kid want to be? Disney's barfing gnome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a straw and you blow on it and it unravels. You can't any better than rainbow barf.

MOOS: Though there are those who would probably argue people dress up for Halloween.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're losers.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: I'm going as a spider.

Thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR so you can record the show, watch us anytime.

"AC360" starts right now.