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Clinton Hold Women's Event as Trump Comments on Enabling Husband Bill's Infidelity; Clinton to Meet FBI about Private E-Mail Server; Who Will Trump Pick as Running Mate; Trump to Meet House Speakers, Other GOP Leaders Thursday; North Korea's Kim Jong-Un Tightening Grip on Power. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired May 9, 2016 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:31:34] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: In one hour, Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, will be speaking in Virginia. Her event with women voters comes on the heels of Donald Trump's comments over the weekend calling Hillary Clinton an enabler of her husband's infidelity.
We're joined by CNN commentator and supporter, Bakari Sellers.
Bakari, thanks for joining us.
Do you think she should respond to Trump's enabler comments in West Virginia later today?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not at all. I think Hillary Clinton is not going to get in the mud with Donald Trump. This isn't the first time that someone has lobbed these types of grenades at Hillary Clinton. And this won't be the last time. However, what people see in Hillary Clinton is that she's been a strong woman who kept her family together while being one of the most powerful and admired women in the world. So she's going to keep talking about issues like paid family leave and equal pay for equal work, the issues women care about. And Donald Trump has a high 60 percent, close to 70 percent unfavorable rating with women, and I think this will drive it further up.
BLITZER: Listen to what her Democratic opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, said during a campaign stop in Atlantic City, New Jersey, earlier today. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I), VERMONT & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are nine more primaries and caucuses remaining. Tomorrow, one in West Virginia. We hope to win there.
SANDERS: If we can win a majority of the pledged delegates, we're going to go into Philadelphia and the Democratic convention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. To a great extent, Hillary Clinton has sort of been ignoring Bernie Sanders out there on the campaign trail. Is that wise?
SELLERS: Well, I think it is wise, because it's malpractice that not to focus on Donald Trump. He is the greatest threat we've seen to the country in a while, and one election away from the United States president. That's scary. The fact is Bernie Sanders can't win the majority of pledged delegates going into the convention. He won't win that many. This race is politically over. However, as I said from the beginning, Bernie Sanders has every right to stay in this race as long as possible. But Bernie Sanders has not been able to expand his base in the diverse areas and, therefore, not going to be the Democratic nominee. I think he can mobilize but I would hope that if Bernie Sanders and Tad Devine and Jeff Weaver are listening, they focus these attacks and some of their rhetoric on Donald Trump because that's going to be the fight for the soul of this country.
BLITZER: Those are advisors and campaign chairmen, managers to Senator Sanders. There's been a lot of reports over the weekend -- you probably saw them, Bakari -- reports that Hillary Clinton supporters are courting moderate Republicans out there who don't like Donald Trump as well as some establishment Republicans on Wall Street who don't like Donald Trump. You think that's going to work?
SELLERS: Well, I'm not sure if it's going to work but, I mean, if you have Americans out there who don't like their candidate, voters or donors out there who are just turned off by Donald Trump, you'd be foolish not to at least sit down and listen to your message. I ran for office before and I can tell you every vote counts. I hope she's going out there working for every single vote. That's going to be important going into November. But again, you know, Hillary Clinton, whether or not it's staffing up in the swing states, we have to get ready for Donald Trump. We have to take him seriously from day one and that's what we're doing.
BLITZER: What's the most important lesson you think she should learn from the way he handled, what 16 other Republicans, including elected governors and Senators, a lot of experience. He crushed virtually all of them. What's the most important lesson you think she could learn from that experience?
[13:35:14] SELLERS: Donald Trump is a man who is absent principles, who believes in absolutely nothing, but will say anything. That makes him extremely dangerous. And it's hard to put someone in a box who is literally amorphous. It's very difficult to deal with, someone like Donald Trump, so you have to handle him by remaining true to yourself and by understanding the way in which we win this race. Barack Obama has shown us not once or twice how Democrats can be successful with this electorate, with voters of color and female voters. I think she'll do well with both. Donald Trump's unfavorability ratings continue to go up and not only will we see victory in the White House but have success in the Senate races as well. BLITZER: Bakari, the FBI has now interviewed several top Clinton
aides over her use of a personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state. Hillary Clinton herself is expected to speak to investigators in the not too distant future, although she said over the weekend she has invited to that kind of interview. Will this hurt her campaign if she's seen going into some sort of session along those lines?
SELLERS: I don't think it's going to hurt the campaign at all. I mean, I think, like myself and many other Democrats, we're just sick and tired of this. We're ready for this to be over. From what I'm hearing, it's nearing its conclusion. And Hillary Clinton maintained throughout the entire process, whether or not it's sitting down in the Benghazi hearings or whether it's whatever leaks come from Chuck Grassley and others, she's maintained that she did nothing wrong and they'll find nothing wrong. I'm ready for this to be over so we can focus on this battle in November. And I actually applaud her for being open and transparent in her campaign, for doing that. We're just ready for this to come to a conclusion. I know I am. I think I speak for many Democrats around the country.
BLITZER: I think you're probably right.
Thank you so much, Bakari, for that.
And an important programming note to our viewers. Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta will hold a town hall meeting about prescription drug abuse in the United States. That will air this Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.
Up next, Donald Trump asking whether the GOP needs to be unified, and why the presumptive Republican nominee believes the deep divide within his own party may not necessarily matter come November.
Plus, who will Donald Trump pick as his vice presidential running mate? The high-profile names that may be on the top of short list, coming up next.
[13:42:04] BLITZER: Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee, speculation over who his running mate will be is shifting into high gear. This weekend on CNN, we heard from the former presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, and he was asked specifically about Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), ARIZONA: I think Joni Ernst would be tremendous. She is really remarkable. I think there's a number of members in the Senate, I think there's -- Paul Ryan obviously was helpful to Romney ticket. I'm not sure he would want to do that again. I think there's a lot of people out there that he could choose from.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: We also heard from Senator McCain's former running mate, Sarah Palin. She's pointed out she's fully vetted to be on a Trump ticket but Palin conceded she probably wouldn't be the most popular choice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR & FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to help and not hurt. And I am such a realist that I realize there are a whole lot of people out there who would say anybody but Palin. I wouldn't want to be a burden on the ticket. And I recognize that in many, many eyes, I would be that burden. So I just want the guy to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: She was speaking with our Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."
Let's talk about with this our panel, CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro, and a former advisor to Senator McCain; and Kayleigh McEnany, CNN political commentator and a Donald Trump supporter.
Let's talk about Sarah Palin. She seemed to shoot down the idea her being a vice presidential pick for the Trump ticket, or did she?
Kayleigh, what did you think?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think she shot down the idea. Palin has been immensely helpful to Donald Trump. I think she was a big help when he endorsed him and kind of gave the evangelical conservative credentials but I think she shot down the idea and I commend her for admitting she thinks she might be a burden on the ticket but being supported from the beginning.
BLITZER: What did you think about what Sarah Palin had to say, Ana?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it was very realistic. I think she's gone through this. She's also right now making a lot of money. She's doing very well in the private sector. She's become a national and international brand, highly sought after speaker. I also think that, look, once she came out for Donald Trump, we remember seeing that kind of rather strange surreal endorsement event where she rambled on for a long, long time. This was not the Sarah Palin we saw at her peak in 2008. And frankly, since then, I haven't seen her much by Donald Trump's side. I think he kind of banished her because it was not a good performance by Sarah Palin at that point.
BLITZER: Kayleigh, Senator McCain threw out a few other suggestions. He spoke very favorably about the Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. Do you think she's being considered by Trump?
[13:45:07] MCENANY: Absolutely. She's fantastic. She would bring in the Midwest vote. That's something that Donald Trump could win and perhaps swing in an election. And she's a female, and I think she could go after Hillary Clinton without Clinton being able to pull out the, quote, "woman card" or, as I call it, the victim card. I think that would really be a huge asset to Donald Trump to have someone like her on the ticket.
And I really do need to just take a second to commend Senator McCain for endorsing Trump, saying he'll be behind Trump. A very bold move and shows me he's a great man and a great statesman.
BLITZER: Ana, there has been bad blood between John McCain and Donald Trump. McCain did say over the weekend that the GOP couldn't afford to ignore Trump voters. While Trump was saying he doesn't think the party necessarily needs to be completely united, can McCain's pragmatism have influence over the warring sides here?
NAVARRO: You know, I don't think so. I frankly think it's up to Donald Trump to try to influence the sides. He is now the presumptive nominee. To the winners come the spoils, but the responsibility. And it is his responsibility to reach out to make this an inclusive party, to make the Donald Trump candidacy something that other Republicans want to back, other Republicans feel included. John McCain is running for reelection in Arizona. Arizona has been a Republican state, but not by much. And when you see numbers like 85 percent of Latinos, which make up a large percent of the voters in Arizona being against Donald Trump, if you are a Senator running in one of those states where there is a large Latino population, you've got to be worried. So I think McCain is being pragmatic. I think that he is a Republican and he falls under the category of Republicans who say, I will support the Republican nominee, be it who it may. But John McCain will have to wage his own very independent campaign from Donald Trump because Donald Trump can be and will be toxic in Arizona with a large swath of the population.
BLITZER: Let me move on.
Kayleigh, talk about Donald Trump's decision to come here to Washington on Thursday. He's invited to a meeting with the House Speaker Paul Ryan. Some other Republican leaders as well. What do you think? Is there any real chance things could be smoothed over between the two of them, that they would emerge from this meeting on Thursday basically united?
MCENANY: Absolutely. I think there's a great chance. I think Donald Trump has been trying his best to extend overtures to the other side and the establishment and I think this meeting will be very productive, particularly because we've had leaders in the party like Dick Cheney and Rick Perry and McConnell saying we support the Republican nominee because we don't want Hillary Clinton. And I would have to disagree that the onus is on Donald Trump. I think it's the other way around. Because Paul Ryan called Donald Trump a few weeks ago. They had a great conversation. And then completely blindsided him saying he's not ready to support the nominee. That was the complete wrong way to handle it. Perhaps a phone call to Donald Trump first explaining what he was going to do than blindsiding the nominee that voters put there would have been the better right. I think it's on Paul Ryan, not Donald Trump.
BLITZER: You want to respond to that, Ana.
NAVARRO: Yes, Paul Ryan has his own constituency. The Congressional folks he needs to get reelected if he wants to stay speaker of the House. There are a lot of members of Congress, I can tell you, from where I live, at least two of the south Florida members of the Congress Republicans say they are not going to support Donald Trump. All politics is willful. I think Paul Ryan was doing the smart thing and I think he was voicing the opinions of many of us in the Republican Party. The bottom line is we are not one united front right now. We should be and I think we all want to be but we're not. And this issue about whether it's Paul Ryan's burden or whether it's Reince Priebus' burden, no, there is the mantle bearer, his name is Donald Trump, he is the nominee. And he is the one that needs to win 50-plus-1 percent come November. If he doesn't get us united, there is nobody that will bear a bigger cost than he will. So when he says, no, I don't need a united Republican party, I think the rest of us say, great, thanks for the permission not to have to support you, sir.
BLITZER: Very quickly, button it up. Go ahead, Kayleigh.
MCENANY: I think it's a myth that there's all this disunity in the Republican Party. I think that's among the establishment at the top, who the voters have rejected. Even in states like Wisconsin, more than 50 percent feel betrayed by the party. I think it's at the top and, quite frankly, we don't need the establishment leaders. We need the voters.
[13:50:42] BLITZER: Kayleigh and Ana, thank you very much.
Coming up, Kim Jong-Un tightening his grip on power. We're taking you inside North Korea. That's next.
BLITZER: Happening now, North Korea, the leader there, Kim Jong-Un, with a brand new title and an even tighter grip on power. A prominent Western journalist has been expelled from North Korea.
CNN's Will Ripley is in Pyongyang for us and he explains all of this coming as the Worker's Party's Congress winds down, the first one that the reclusive nation has had in decades.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's been quite a day here in the North Korean capital, beginning with a surprise press conference. We thought we would be speaking with a North Korean government official, but instead, we were told the North Korean authorities detained a BBC correspondent just as he was about to board his flight out of the country. Rupert Wingfield-Hayes and his crew were questioned by the North Koreans for eight hours.
And the BBC says they were made to sign apology letters before he was allowed to get on a flight to Beijing and leave the country, being barred from ever entering again. At the airport, he said he felt relieved. The reason North Korea says, a series of reports that Hayes filed over the last week inside the country they felt highly disrespectful against their supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un.
After the press conference, we were told to put on suits and bring your passports and get on a bus, a small group of us. We thought perhaps we were going to another conference, but instead, we had an intensive security check that lasted 90 minutes and then we were taken to the venue for the seventh Workers' Party Congress, the most significant political gathering in North Korea in 36 years.
We were walked right into the room where 5,000 party members were waiting for us. North Korean state TV was videotaping us. And then the leader, Kim Jong-Un, and his highest-level leaders walked on the stage for several minutes of thunderous applause and then they started reading off the news that we were first to learn that Kim Jong-Un, who has absolute power here in North Korea, has been given an even bigger title, a new title they created just for him, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea.
It became very clear to me, Wolf, in that room with all of North Korea's ruling elite and most powerful figure in the country that he has a clear path forward to aggressively grow his country's nuclear arsenal, which he has stated is his key priority -- Wolf?
[13:55:52] BLITZER: Will Ripley in Pyongyang, North Korea, for us. Thanks for that report.
That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "The Situation Room."
For international viewers, "Amanpour" is next.
For our viewers in North America, NEWSROOM with Brooke Baldwin starts right after a quick break.