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Biden Doesn't Think Trump Knows What Article V Is; Obama, Kaine And Biden Highlight Day Three At The DNC; Party Heavyweights To Address Delegates Tonight; U.S. Official States There Is Little Doubt Russia Is Behind E-Mail Hack; Trump Calls On Russia To Hack Clinton's E-Mails; Trump on Russian Hack; Interview with Sen. Chris Murphy. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired July 27, 2016 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She's a natural leader and she's the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.
GENEVA REED-VEAL: She knows that when a young black life is cut short, it's a loss that diminishes all of us.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would love to see a woman become president of the United States. But she would be so wrong.
TIM KAINE (D), PRESUMPTIVE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump is a one-man wrecking crew.
LENA DUNHAM, ACTRESS: According to Donald Trump, my body is probably like a two.
AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS: And according to Donald Trump, I'm probably a rapist.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But we're not a government where some strong man orders people around and banishes enemies.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The things he says make absolutely no sense. It worries me.
KAINE: I haven't lost a race. And I'll be honest, I specialize in nail-biters.
HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you all. I can't wait to join you in Philadelphia. Thank you.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 p.m. here in Philadelphia. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.
It's day three of the Democratic National Convention. It kicks off in a few hours with major star power for the Democrats tonight. I'm talking about the vice president, Joe Biden, the presumptive vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine. And President Barack Obama, he'll be here tonight.
First up will be the sitting vice president who passed up the chance to run for president in 2016 for personal reasons. He's expected to make the case for Hillary Clinton on the economy as well as touting the experience gap, he says, exists between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's choice to succeed Joe Biden as vice president of the United States. The Virginia senator, he walked the convention floor. He checked out the podium earlier this morning. He's expected to lay out the stakes of this election and what he would consider to be the dangers of Donald Trump becoming president. But his most important job will be introducing himself to Democrats, indeed to the American people.
Closing out the night will be President Barack Obama. He's the first outgoing president to speak at his party's convention since Bill Clinton. On his agenda will be talking about his partnership with Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state for four years, including his administration's accomplishments over the past eight years.
Our White House Correspondent Michelle Kosinski is joining us right now. She is here with us. You've got a little advanced thinking on what the president of the United States will say in this major speech tonight.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, the White House has been talking about this. They say he's been working on it for weeks. He's absolutely feeling the weight of this speech. I mean, I think it's easy to say a speech necessarily won't change the world.
But when you look back at that 2004 speech that we're all talking about now, how that put him on the national stage, some people consider that to be one of his best, if not best, speech that he's given. And it jettisoned him ultimately to the presidency.
So, this speech tonight, an America that is divided. His theme back then, there is one America. His theme again tonight is going to be unity. I mean, look at the time period now. For him to think that, you know, possibly, this speech could contribute to what would ultimately be the next four years, the eight years in America.
The White House says he's aware of the significance of that. And he wants to hit three things. He wants to highlight Hillary Clinton's capabilities. He wants to make this a continuity of his record. And he wants to counter Donald Trump. May not name him. That's --
BLITZER: He never mentions him by name.
KOSINSKI: Yes, we don't expect him -- expect him to name him which, in some aspect, it's kind of weird. I mean, we all know who everybody is talking about. But Michelle Obama didn't name him when she spoke. Now, he has to follow her and Bill Clinton so no pressure there for him or anything.
BLITZER: It's going to be a very important speech later tonight, the president of the United States.
Michelle, stay with us. Don't go too far away.
As we enter this third day of the convention, we're also learning some startling new information about the hack of the Democratic National Committee's e-mail server. A U.S. official tells CNN there is, quote, "little doubt," little doubt, Russia is behind the attack. And both President Obama and Vice President Biden are saying as much this morning, publicly alleging, it was possibly done to help Donald Trump in the November election.
[13:05:08] BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And what the motives were, in terms of leaks, all that, I can't say directly. What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Is it possible, in your mind, that the Russians would try to influence the U.S. election?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anything's possible.
BIDEN: Now, you know, everybody is making a big thing and saying he's a friend of Putin's. I don't buy that. But here's what he's doing. He's playing directly into the hands of a guy who says, your father would tell you, his overarching goal of Putin is to break up NATO and to fracture Europe. It makes him stronger.
BLITZER: I want to bring in CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr. She's joining us live from the Pentagon right now for the latest on what's really a worrying, potentially very significant development. Barbara, what more can you tell us about this?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, there are just breathtaking national security implications here. Now, what U.S. officials are saying, very little reason to doubt, strong evidence that the Russian intelligence services were behind the hacking. As they began to trace this, it had that trail back to Russian intelligence services, officials say.
Why did they say this? Because they were already tracking some intrusions, cyber intrusions, into government systems, the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon. Right here, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had their e-mail hacked into for three weeks several months ago. That trail had the cyber signature of the Russia -- of the hackers working for Russian intelligence services.
What was the motivation? It may well have been, perhaps, just so- called routine Russian hacking. It may well have been the Russians making a play within the DNC computer system to try and upset the system to influence the presidential election.
Now, all of this front and center. The second question, however, is once they got their hands on these e-mails from the DNC, how was it leaked out into the public? WikiLeaks, the organization that put them out there, still not saying where it got them. Not admitting, not acknowledging that, oh, that they got them from the Russians.
And the Trump organization saying it had nothing to do with any of this. So, the mystery continues. But the implications only seem to grow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And I know for fact that U.S. officials, especially Democrats here, are bracing for a lot more leaks in the coming days and weeks. We'll see what that -- if, in fact, that happens.
Barbara, thank you.
Donald Trump is responding to the accusations that Russia is behind the hacking and is releasing the e-mails to help the Republicans. Here is what Trump said just a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Why do I have to get involved with Putin for? I have nothing to do with Putin. I have never spoken to him. I don't know anything about him other than he will respect me. He doesn't respect our president.
And if it is Russia, which it's probably not -- nobody knows who it is. But if it is Russia, it's there for a different reason because it shows how little respect they have for our country when they would hack into a major party and get everything.
But it would be interesting to see -- I will tell you this, Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarding mightily by our press.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Our Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta was at that Trump news conference in Doral, Florida. What else did he say, Jim, about Russia, the alleged economic ties between Russia and the Trump organization? He answered a lot of questions.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. I think Donald Trump wanted the spotlight back on him during this week of the Democratic National Convention. And he certainly got that.
And I think what he said during this news conference here at his golf resort in Doral, Florida certainly is going to raise the question whether he's trying to make Russia great again. Because during this news conference here at this resort, he suggested, on a number of occasions, that it's going to be a new day if he's elected president of the United States when it comes to U.S. policy, when it comes to Russia.
Not only did he say in that sound that you just played that he, essentially, is inviting Russia to go ahead and hack into whatever e- mail system they have to hack into to get Hillary Clinton's missing e- mails, as he likes to call them -- the 33,000 missing e-mails as he likes to call them.
I asked him point blank, will you call on Vladimir Putin to stay out of this election? He declined to do so. I asked him, at another point during this press conference, Wolf, whether or not he would come to the aid of the Baltic states per the NATO alliance, an attack on one is an attack on all. He declined to commit to that as well.
[13:10:01] So, I think this is Donald Trump signaling a new day with the Russians. And, at the same time, you have Democrats suggesting, well, perhaps Donald Trump is taking the softer approach because he has these business interests in Russia or he's had them in the past.
Donald Trump, at one point said during this news conference, I have nothing to do with Russia. And then, I reminded him that he did hold a Miss Universe pageant back in Russia several years ago and has had business conversations with Russians in that country over the years. And here's what he had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We wanted to -- we were doing Miss Universe four or five years ago in Russia. It was a tremendous success. Very, very successful. And there were developers in Russia that wanted to put a lot of money into developments in Russia and they wanted us to do it. But it never worked out.
Frankly, I didn't want to do it for a couple of different reasons. But we had a major developer, in particular. But numerous developers that wanted to develop property in Moscow and other places but we decided not to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, a couple of other important things to note, Mike Pence, Donald Trump's vice presidential running mate, put out a statement almost immediately after Donald Trump wrapped up this news conference saying that if the Russians are discovered to be behind this hack of the DNC e-mails, that there would be, quote, "serious consequences." Donald Trump did not come close to any of that kind of language during this news conference.
And it's important to note, Wolf, in just the last several minutes, Newt Gingrich put out a tweet suggesting that Donald Trump was joking when he invited the Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton's e-mails and release them. And -- but we should point out, in just the last hour or so, Wolf, Donald Trump put out another tweet, essentially doubling down on this request. He says if Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted e-mails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI.
So, Donald Trump is certainly doubling down on this. He's not backing off of this. And I suspect we're going to be hearing more of this throughout the course of this week. You know, Donald Trump held this press conference today, Wolf, to sort of poke at Hillary Clinton and point out that she has not had a news conference for a very long time.
But as often is the case with Donald Trump in these news conferences, he can create a new cycle that is all his own that sometimes is not to the liking of his own staff -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What did he say about his own tax returns and when he might release them?
ACOSTA: I asked him about that because, as you know, Paul Manafort said in one of the morning shows this morning, his campaign chairman, that we should not expect to see that before election day. And Donald Trump seemed to say that while he's still under this routine audit, as he likes to call it over at the IRS, and until he does get out from under that audit, he's not going to release these taxes.
And so, he seemed to be backing up what Paul Manafort said earlier this morning. But there was no iron clad refusal from Donald Trump when it comes to releasing these taxes. He did not rule that out. He did not close the door on that during this news conference. But it did not sound promising for anyone who wants to have a look at Donald Trump's taxes -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jim Acosta in Doral, Florida at that news conference, thank you.
Joining us now, David Gregory, our CNN Political Analyst and the host of "The David Gregory Podcast." Also with us, our Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny and the executive editor for CNN Politics Mark Preston.
It certainly didn't sound like he was joking in that tweet he just put out, David, when he said if Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted e-mails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI. It's a pretty serious situation.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, it's astonishing. And I think we're running out of words to express this shock. This is so beyond politics. This is so irresponsible. There is so -- clearly an indication that Donald Trump has not taken any steps to really -- to really know what he's talking about with regard to foreign affairs.
And he's playing with something that's quite dangerous because the potential -- to encourage a foreign power like Russia, to attack, via cyberspace, the United States government, a stop party or top senior officials today or in the past, in the case of Secretary Clinton, only invites further attack. The consequences could be much bigger than just the d-mail -- the DNC e-mail system. This is really quite dangerous.
And I'd be surprised, Wolf, if you don't see top former government officials, a Colin Powell, a Condoleezza Rice, a Bob Gates, former presidents like former President Bush, Republicans who make sure that this is not seen as a political issue but talk about how dangerous it is to play around with world affairs like this from somebody who is a potential commander in chief.
And also say this, the fact that Mike Pence, his running mate, put out a more serious, sober-minded statement. Is this an indication of the role that a potential V.P. would play, that the president of the United States, a commander in chief, would just shoot off from the hip like this without the consequences of the fact that words matter when you're president?
BLITZER: He's about to start getting CIA classified intelligence briefings on a daily basis. Hillary Clinton will start getting those as well. That's the tradition immediately following the convention.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: And that makes a presidential campaign real. These are presidents in waiting here, either one of them. Their nominations are completed. That's why David is absolutely right. This is not just rhetoric they're saying here.
[13:15:01] I mean, so many Republicans are speaking with, you know, much sharper language. The speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, called Vladimir Putin a devious thug. And now you have Mr. Trump, you know, if he was joking or not, he did not denounce Russia for doing this, if they did it, whatever. So I think his language here -- I would -- I'd be surprised if he doesn't walk this back even more. He may blame it on the press for not taking the joke, but I think he will walk this back. Some --
GREGORY: Who would joke about this?
ZELENY: I mean, it's not a laughing matter.
ZELENY: And we're also conflating so many things here. The DNC e-mails were hacked. Her private e-mail server, as far as we know, was not hacked.
ZELENY: Now, Democrats are eager to jump on this as well because it's easy to sort of cloud the whole issue of her private server --
ZELENY: But who would have thought that in a presidential campaign we'd be talking all about technology and e-mails here. But it's not a laughing matter. And I think it's going to end up in one of the speeches tonight, I doubt by the president, but someone is going to talk about the consequences of this. The Clinton campaign wants people to pay attention to this and say, he could be your president.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right.
You know, look, I -- right after his news conference, I called around to several Republicans who are in the foreign affairs world, as well as the political world, two different reactions. The first reaction is utterly dismayed, frustrated, can't believe that he would do it, goes beyond the pale of politics, goes to the idea of national security. And, quite frankly, as Republicans, they're concerned that it's hurting their brand down ticket. They're concern about the House and the Senate, but yet more concerned about that Donald Trump would be so recklessly talking this way.
The second reaction, brilliant, masterful, mindful. And the reason being is, he's now disrupting the Democratic Convention. This is from one specific Republican who doesn't even like Donald Trump, but he said now that he has taken us away from the Democratic Convention here in Philadelphia, Wolf, and we're talking about him again.
BLITZER: Listen to what the former CIA director, the former secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, just told our Christiane Amanpour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I find those kinds of statements to be totally outrageous, because you've got now a presidential candidate who is, in fact, asking the Russians to engage in American politics. And I -- I just think that that's beyond the pale. There are a lot of concerns I have with his qualities of leadership, or lack thereof, and I think that kind of statement only reflects the fact that he truly is not qualified to be president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And I assume, David, we're going to be hearing a lot more of that from other Democrats?
GREGORY: Well, there's no question. And that's why I'm really looking for other Republicans who work in the national security space to talk about this in a way that can't so easily become politicized. Let's remember our short history with Russia since 2001. The Bush administration thought they had a better relationship. And that's what Donald Trump is saying, he'll have a better relationship with Russia. That's what President Bush thought. And then Vladimir Putin had a free hand to act in Chechnya and then he invaded former Soviet Republics toward the end of the Bush presidency. So, you know, Putin is expert at trying to expose weaknesses in especially U.S. leaders where he thinks he can get some -- some advantage.
BLITZER: Very quickly, has it been, as Donald Trump said at the opening statement, 235 days since Hillary Clinton has done what he just did, have a full scale open news conference?
ZELENY: It's been a very long time. It was at the -- actually the end of last year where it was a full blown news conference. I cover her a lot, travel with her a lot. Almost never takes our questions. So he is right about that. Her campaign will say, oh, look, we do interviews all the time with other outlets. But in terms of the formal sit-down news conference, it has been a very long time, several seasons, actually. It was winter the last time that she did it. And it's certainly not winter here in Philadelphia.
BLITZER: All right, it's certainly very hot out there, in many respects.
All right, guys, stand by.
Coming up, party heavyweights including the president of the United States, President Obama, set to address the Democrats tonight. We're going to talk to one of tonight's major speakers, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy. That's coming up next as well.
[13:23:45] BLITZER: Welcome back to CNN's special coverage of the Democratic National Convention. We're here in Philadelphia, where right now the focus, not necessarily on the convention, but on Russia. That's because a U.S. official tells CNN there is, quote, "little doubt" Russian hackers are behind the attack against the Democratic National Committee's e-mail server. President Obama says it may have been carried out to actually help Donald Trump become the next president of the United States. And Trump responded just a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history. He has been a disaster as a president. He will go down as one of the worst presidents in the history of our country. It is a mess. And I believe that Hillary Clinton will be even worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's bring in Senator Chris Murphy. He's a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from Connecticut.
Your immediate -- you heard what he just said about the president of the United States and the former secretary of state?
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Well, listen, I think these comments this morning are absolutely over the top. Frankly, I think what Donald Trump is suggesting is treasonous. I mean the president -- the candidate for the Republican president of the United States has openly called on a foreign government to try to influence a domestic election knowing that the evidence points to them already being involved in the leaking of these e-mails. [13:25:09] I mean, I don't know what the legal definition of treason
is, but this is really extraordinary that he is inviting a foreign government, and adversary of the United States, to try to play a role in his election. And I think we should take this seriously because it points to the kind of administration he's going to lead. He seems to be inviting an open relationship, a level of coordination with Vladimir Putin, that would be extraordinary, would be groundbreaking and incredibly damaging to the world order.
BLITZER: We just got this statement from the spokesman for the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. The spokesman saying, on behalf of the speaker, "Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election." I assume you agree with the speaker of the House?
MURPHY: Yes, so I agree with him. But what's missing from that statement is a condemnation of Donald Trump, who just came out this morning and invited Vladimir Putin to play a greater role in his election as president. I think it's pretty clear at this point that Donald Trump is going to form an alliance with Vladimir Putin. And it's pretty ironic that Paul Ryan, who's supposedly the conscience of the Republican Party, is coming out and calling Vladimir Putin a thug, but at the same time going around and saying that Donald Trump must be the next president of the United States. There's an inconsistency there that everybody can see.
BLITZER: Do you agree with Trump on NATO, that NATO, in his words, is out of date and that the NATO allies, there are 28 NATO allies, like the United States, they have to pay their fair share in order for this alliance to continue and be robust?
MURPHY: You talk to the Poles, talk to the Lithuanians and the Latvians about whether NATO is out of date. They have watched the Russians invade a foreign country, Ukraine, in a frankly pretty conventional way, and they feel threatened themselves. Talk to the American servicemen in NATO who had -- in Afghanistan who were part of a NATO coalition that fought on behalf of the United States against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
NATO is still relevant to eastern Europe. It was relevant to the United States when it was called to our defense in the wake of 9/11. And while, yes, European countries should pay their fair share, it is still a vital international institution. And it is incredibly damaging to have a president talking about walking away from it and it will just invite more Russian aggression in eastern Europe.
BLITZER: You're going to be speaking tonight at this convention. But your subject, and there's a whole segment on it, involves guns in America. The major point you want to make tonight?
MURPHY: The point I want to make tonight is that this is an issue that we can tackle as a country, right? There's no inevitability to the cascading mass murders that are enveloping this nation. Background checks, bans on assault weapons, stopping a potential terrorists from getting weapons. These are things that will make a difference. And I think it's extraordinary that this issue, which was the third rail of American politics, just four or five years ago, is now being featured in prime time on the second to the last night of the Democratic Convention. That's because swing voters in places like Virginia and Ohio and Florida, they are coming to the polls wanting candidates who are going to take on the gun lobby and do something about this issue.
BLITZER: And when Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton wants to effectively end the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which gives American the right to own a gun?
MURPHY: I think people know that that's false. But Donald Trump also says that the first thing he would do as president, in his first day, would be to mandate that guns are allowed in schools. He would ban gun-free school zones. He would roll back the president's executive orders expanding background checks. He's more extreme than the NRA is and the gun lobby is on this issue and I think that this is going to be a relevant issue in the general election. That's why we're talking about it tonight.
BLITZER: Chris Murphy, the senator from Connecticut, thanks very much.
MURPHY: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Coming up, the convention theme today, working together. That's what the Democrats are suggesting. Is the party's message of unity getting lost all -- amid all the controversial leaks of those Democratic National Committee e-mails? We'll as the interim chair, the incoming interim chair of the DNC, Donna Brazile. She's here with me.
Plus, the bombshell announcement out of Baltimore today. All -- repeat, all charges are being dropped against the police officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray. The mayor of Baltimore standing by to join us live. We'll talk about that. Her message to the city. There she is. She's here at the CNN Grill. We'll discuss with her right after this.