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Clinton Gets Seven-Point Convention Bounce; VFW Slams Trump for Berating Parents of Fallen Soldier;. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired August 1, 2016 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Poll vault. Exclusive new poll showing Hillary Clinton gets a convention bounce, the biggest for Democrat since 2000. She regains her lead over Donald Trump, but can she keep it?

[17:00:07] Breaking away. GOP leaders join Gold Star family and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in rebuking Donald Trump for his clash with the Muslim-American parents after fallen soldier. Will Trump back down?

Nothing but the truth. Hillary Clinton says she's come clean about her e-mails, but "The Washington Post" fact checkers give her their worst possible rating. Was she honest with the American people?

And striking ISIS. The U.S. steps up airstrikes against the terror organization, this time in Libya. How great is the threat there, so far from the ISIS heartland? And will -- how deeply will the U.S. now get involved?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Breaking news: our brand-new poll just out shows Hillary Clinton getting a bounce from the Democratic National Convention. She's regained her lead, topping Donald Trump in a head-to-head match- up, 52 percent to 43 percent. The poll also shows a growing share of Americans think Clinton's policies will move the country in the right direction.

But the needle hasn't moved much when it comes to what voters think of Clinton's honesty and trustworthiness. We're standing by for a Clinton campaign rally this hour.

Donald Trump is getting an earful from top Republicans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Gold Star families for his clash with the Muslim- American parents of a fallen soldier.

But Trump is making no apologies, and in a rally of his own just now, he defended his controversial statements on Russia and stepped up his attacks on the news media. I'll speak with the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus. He's standing by, and our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of the day's top stories. But let's get right to our breaking news right now, a new CNN/ORC poll shows Hillary Clinton picked up a seven-point bounce following the Democratic convention, regaining her lead in a head-to-head match-up with Donald Trump. That's a slightly bigger boost than Trump got from the Republican convention. But the glow may not necessarily last long for either candidate.

Joining us now, CNN's political director, David Chalian; and our chief national correspondent, John King.

So David, let me go to you, and let's talk about the significance of these new numbers.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, Wolf, you put the numbers out there. Take a look at where the race was before the convention and where the race is now.

If you look preconvention, Hillary Clinton was at 45 percent. Now she's at 52 percent. That's that seven-point spread you're talking about there. And if you look there on the screen, you can see the four-way match-up with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, and you see the race is also pretty much the same. And you see the same level of bounce, approximately, for Hillary Clinton.

Here is what you need to know. Hillary Clinton got a seven-point bounce in this poll from her convention. Donald Trump got a six-point bounce in this poll from his convention. What we don't know is if Hillary Clinton's bounce will sustain; and so that's why, looking ahead in the next couple weeks, does she, because she got the last word of these conventions, does this give her an ability to sustain this bounce; or is there a real bounce of all that goes up and down? That's what we saw with Donald Trump. It went up and down.

BLITZER: In the head-to-head match-up, at least four candidates on the ballot in all 50 states. But the head-to-head, take a look at this, John. Look at these numbers. Before -- before the convention, I want to be specific on this. Hillary Clinton was at 45 percent before the Democratic convention. Trump was at 48 percent. Now she's at 52. He's down to 43. That's a pretty significant bump for her.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a significant bump. To David's point, the question is, can she sustain it? The conventions are a bit earlier this cycle. They were later in the 2012 cycle. The Democrats came out of their convention with momentum, and the election was pretty quickly -- pretty quickly to Labor Day and into the final stretch.

The interesting part here is can she sustain this? The Democrats think their bus tour has gotten them some good national press, especially press in the key battleground states. Remember, we're going to go state by state for the next 99 days. They think in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

They also think Wolf, this whole controversy, Donald Trump picking a fight with the Gold Star father, Mr. Khan, also is probably also helping Democrats sustain momentum post-convention. One key point about the four-way race, if you look at it, I think this

is something you need to keep in mind. If you look at all four candidates, 24 percent of Americans are still saying, "I'm not for Clinton or Trump." They're either for Gary Johnson, Libertarian; Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate; or they're saying none of the above, somebody else, I don't know.

That 21 percent of Americans are not endeared by the major party nominees tells you there could still be some turmoil out there.

BLITZER: We asked Clinton voters, are you voting more to support Hillary Clinton or voting more to oppose Donald Trump? In our new poll, 58 percent say they're voting to support Hillary Clinton; 41 percent say they're opposing Donald Trump.

And we also asked Trump voters -- take a look at this, David. Are you voting more to support Trump, 47 percent; oppose Clinton, 50 percent. What do those numbers say to you?

[17:05:05] CHALIAN: Well, let's start with that Clinton number you said first. Because that's significant improvement for her from the spring. We asked that question in the spring, and it was about even of people saying that they were voting for her to oppose Trump and support Clinton.

So to me, I look at if you're in Brooklyn and in the headquarters of Clinton campaign, you say, "OK, one mission accomplished for the convention. We've got more people who are now energized enthused to actually go out there and support our candidate." That's a big motivational push on the Clinton side.

The Trump side, obviously, you would expect during Trump headquarters that you would like to improve your numbers and that a majority of people are actually supporting you, rather than being reliant upon people to go out to vote in opposition.

BLITZER: We also asked voters their opinions, John, of Hillary Clinton. Does she have the right experience? Registered voters, 67 percent says she has experience, the right experience. Is she in touch with ordinary Americans? Half, 50 percent. Will she unite the country? Almost half, 48 percent. But is she honest and trustworthy? Only 34 percent.

KING: That remains the flashing red light. It's just -- it's a giant character cloud over the Clinton candidacy, and as Donald Trump's opening, because his case is you don't want the status quo; you want change. She's politics as usual. She's even worse than politics as usual, personally. That's his only case here. Because if you look at the first number, 67 percent has the right experience, only 31 percent of Americans view that about Donald Trump.

She can make the case, "These are troubled times. You need a steady hand as commander in chief. I have the experience. He doesn't." That's why she's hitting him on temperament right now. Her super PAC friends are hitting Donald Trump, saying he's unfit to be a commander- in-chief. They are trying to take advantage of her good flashing light: has the right experience, in touch with people.

The negative for Clinton is still there. That's why a lot of Republicans will tell you -- I talked to a Trump adviser today who said Donald Trump is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in this fight with the Gold Star father. They're trying inside the Trump campaign, again, to back off and he won't. But their hope, and even Republicans who don't like Trump say they can still win the race because of that honest and trustworthy number.

BLITZER: On that honest and trustworthy number, we'll show you the number before the Democratic convention and after the Democratic convention. Before the Republican convention -- I should point out, that was two weeks ago -- she was at 68 percent who did not think she was honest and trustworthy. Sixty-six percent right now, not much difference at all.

KING: Yes. Look at that right there. Thirty-four percent call her honest and trustworthy beforehand. Thirty percent. She got beat up in that Republican convention for a whole week in Cleveland. And what does her convention do for her? Just returns her to that dismal number of 34 percent.

Now, John is totally right. This is -- this is Donald Trump's opening. Except his numbers are not so stellar on that topic, as well, which makes it not a clean kill.

BLITZER: His numbers have really not changed on the honest and trustworthy issue either?

KING: No. His honest -- only 35 percent of Americans think Donald Trump is honest. Thirty-four percent think Hillary Clinton is honest. This is not a love affair.

The idea -- people are out there looking at this race and to the point about voting for or against, honest and trustworthy, people are not happy with their choices. But this is what they got, which is why I still say that you've got to keep an eye on the third-party candidates. Not that they're going to win, but as they go up and down, we've got to go state by state and see who it hurts.

Because people are open to looking for new options, because they don't love these candidates, but bottom line here is these are good numbers for Hillary Clinton coming out of her convention. And the question is, can she pour some cement on it?

BLITZER: Well, what's the answer?

CHALIAN: I don't have an answer for you. We're going to have to...

KING: What's the Powerball number?

CHALIAN: But I'll tell you this much. This weekend of controversy, they feel that gives them a better chance of trying to cement these numbers rather than the new cycle was going in a different direction.

KING: We'll have more on all these new numbers coming up. David Chalian, thank you very much. John King, thanks to you, as well.

Donald Trump's fight with the Muslim parents of a fallen American soldier is earning him rebukes from other Gold Star families, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and top Republicans. But the GOP nominee is not backing down as he campaigns in key battleground states.

Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is on the campaign trail with him in Pennsylvania right now. So for no apology from Mr. Trump. Is that right?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. No apology. And despite all of the controversy swirling around his battle with the Khan family, Donald Trump is not laying low. He'll be here in Pennsylvania, one of his targeted states, later on this evening. And he just wrapped up a rally in Ohio, where we should point out he avoided any mention of this Gold Star family.


ACOSTA (voice-over): Ninety-nine days until the election, and it's Khizr Khan, not Donald Trump, who's all over the airwaves.

KHIZR KHAN, FATHER OF FALLEN U.S. SOLDIER: He should listen to America and what world is telling about the remarks, about the lake of enmity.

ACOSTA: The father of a fallen Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq, Khan electrified the Democratic convention, accusing Trump of Islamophobia, and he hasn't let up since, demanding that the Republican Party reject its nominee.

K. KHAN: Enough is enough. Every decent Republican has said -- I apologize if I am emotional about this. Every descent Republican has rebuked his behavior. Yet, nobody stood up and said, "Enough. Stop it. You will not be our candidate."

[17:10:05] ACOSTA: Trump, who's not one to let an attack go unanswered, is causing major heartburn inside the GOP, tweeting back, "Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over TV doing the same. Nice."

But Trump is also hearing back from Khan's wife after his comments over the weekend.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say.

ACOSTA: Her silence at the convention, she told CNN, was due to her grief, not her faith.

G. KHAN: I can say that my religion, or my family, or my culture, never stopped me saying whatever I want to say.

Without saying a word, I had lots of love. I touched lots of hearts.

ACOSTA: Democrats are seizing on the controversy, from the president...

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; No one has given more for our freedom and our security than our Gold Star families.

ACOSTA: ... to Hillary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Mr. Khan, paid the ultimate sacrifice for his family, didn't he?


CLINTON: And what has he heard from Donald Trump? Nothing but insults.

ACOSTA: But top Republicans, from leaders in Congress to Trump critics John Kasich and Lindsey Graham, are also stepping forward to defend the Khan family.

Senator John McCain, a former POW who's felt Trump's fury before, released a scathing statement, saying, "I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump's statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers or candidates."

The latest uproar for the Trump campaign has rushed GOP vice- presidential candidate Mike Pence into a unique role as a running mate, from attack dog into rescue dog. The campaign released a statement from the Indiana governor, saying, "Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Khan is an American hero; and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American."


ACOSTA: Now, as for Pence's role of playing clean-up, a top Trump aide told me all of this illustrates why the mild-mannered governor from Indiana was perfectly suited to be Trump's running mate. Pence brings a kind of balance, this aide said. And that was needed long before this controversy.

And as we've mentioned at the top of this, Wolf, Donald Trump did not talk about the Khans earlier today in Ohio. We'll see if he does it tonight here in Pennsylvania -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We'll stand by for that. Jim Acosta, thank you. All right. Thanks very much, Jim Acosta.

Up next, Clinton's convention bounce and Trump's post-convention controversies. The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, he's standing by. We'll discuss that and more.

Plus, we'll also hear from Hillary Clinton this hour. She's out there on the campaign trail.

And John McCain has blasted Donald Trump's treatment of the family of a fallen soldier. We're waiting to hear what he says next.


[17:17:18] BLITZER: Our breaking news: our brand-new CNN/ORC poll just out this hour shows Hillary Clinton regaining her lead over Donald Trump, thanks to a bounce from the Democratic National Convention.

That comes as Trump is embroiled in a feud with the Muslim-American parents of a fallen U.S. soldier, earning him harsh criticism from other Gold Star families, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and leading Republicans.

Joining us now is Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. Reince, thanks very much for joining us.


BLITZER; You've seen our new poll numbers. Secretary Clinton saw this convention bounce. After both conventions, the CNN/ORC poll shows that the number of voters who believe Secretary Clinton's policies will move the country in the right direction, that actually jumped from 43 percent before to 48 percent now.

The number of voters who said the same about Trump's policies actually went down from 40 percent before the conventions to 38 percent now.

Did the Republican convention achieve what was needed?

PRIEBUS: Well, you may recall, Wolf, a week earlier you were describing Donald Trump's bounce, which was the biggest bounce in 16 years after a convention. Hillary Clinton apparently, in your same poll, got a bounce. I think both parties got about the same bounce out of their convention, which is actually a pretty big bounce for both of them.

I suspect that we're going to be back to normal numbers here pretty soon. And I think both parties got what they wanted out of the convention. And now we're turning into August, which is a -- tends to be a little bit slower leading into Labor Day. So it's up to both campaigns to keep the momentum going.

And obviously, the polling that you've shown, really, for us, the biggest number is that Hillary Clinton's trustworthiness is in the same exact spot as it was before their convention. So they didn't do anything to improve that number, which is giving the Republicans an enormous opportunity.

"The Washington Post" gave her four Pinocchios today after claiming that she didn't send any classified information through her e-mails. So she's just got problems. She's in a ditch and can't get out. And we have to make the case on our side that we're a better option than she is.

BLITZER: But still, in that two-person race, she's right now at 52 percent. Donald Trump's at 43 percent. But that's -- it reflects the bounce she got out of the convention. PRIEBUS: Right.

BLITZER: Instead of coming -- instead of coming out of the convention, though, unified and talking about Donald Trump's vision for the future, vision for the country, we've heard prominent members of the Republican Party condemn his remarks on the Khan family. Senator McCain, as you know; Senator -- Representative Thornberry, the chairman of the Armed Service Committee in the House; Jeb Bush; Senator Lindsey Graham, among others, they thought his remarks about the family were disrespectful. Do you agree with that?

PRIEBUS: Well, look, here's what I think. I mean, I think our Gold Star families are precious. And I think that they're to be honored and loved and cherished. And I think it's something that we believe in as a party.

And so yes, I think his family should be off-limits. And we love them, and I can't imagine, being a father of a little girl and boy, going through the unbelievable grief of them not coming home one day in battle. And there is just nothing more sacrificial than that. And we believe that, and we know that. And I believe that Donald Trump and Mike Pence also know and understand that.

And so, look, there's nothing but honor and respect for this family and all families that go through these types of horrific things in their life. And it's an unbelievable place to come from. And that why I think that we just -- we don't go there, and I don't go there.

BLITZER: Trump went there. He said he went there, because he was supposedly, in his words, viciously attacked by the Khan family. Do you agree that that family viciously attacked him?

PRIEBUS: Well, look, I mean, Donald Trump is going to speak for Donald Trump. I mean, he wants to defend himself, and it's understandable.

But look, like I said before, this is a family that is grieving, and they have a right to and then we have a -- and we have an obligation to honor them and to love them and to cherish them. And that's where I'm -- that's where I come from. That's where our party is coming from.

BLITZER: Wouldn't it have been better if Donald Trump would have simply not said anything about this grieving family?

PRIEBUS: Look, I mean, hindsight is 20/20. But I mean, that's -- obviously, I am who I am, and I'm talking for the party. And I believe that these families, these Gold Star families are off-limits, and they're to be loved and cherished and honored.

BLITZER: Should he apologize to this family?

PRIEBUS: You know, look, it's up to -- it's up to Donald Trump, you know. I love these families. Our party loves these families. And like I said before, they're heroes. They're cherished. And I mean, everything you can imagine. I mean, it's just an unbelievable burden to carry.

And you know, whatever sacrifices that I think I've made or whatever sacrifices you think you've made, Wolf, I mean, they're crumbs on the floor compared to these -- compared to these families.

BLITZER: Of course, I totally agree.

As you know Veterans of Foreign Wars, the country's largest major veterans organization, said in statement today, and I'll read it to you. He said, "These are certain -- there are certain sacrosanct subjects that no amount of wordsmithing can repair once crossed."

Do you expect these veterans, these military families, do you think they should accept an apology from Donald Trump, if he were, in fact, to apologize? He hasn't -- he hasn't done so yet.

PRIEBUS: Well, sure. I mean, look, everyone -- everyone can choose words more wisely in their life, and I think everyone understands that. So, you know, we'll wait and see what happens.

But clearly, the folks at the VFWs across this country ought to be honored, and our hat goes off to them. The families -- you know, I'm a -- my dad was in the 101st Airborne. My sister was an officer in the Navy. My dad taught at Great Lakes Naval Base in north Chicago. I mean, I grew up with this. And certainly, I'm no hero, and I've never served. And quite frankly, can't remotely compare to these families. And so I don't try to. I don't go there. And I'm not doing it here.

BLITZER: As you know, Donald Trump, he doesn't apologize. He didn't apologize to Judge Curial; when he said some negative things about the pope; certainly negative things about John McCain, suggesting he wasn't really a hero because he was a POW. That didn't stop him from capturing the Republican nomination, beating 16 other Republicans, governors, senators, with a lot of money.

Do you believe he is capable of overcoming this particular controversy? Is this one different, now that he's in a general election?

PRIEBUS: No, look, I mean, I've spoken about those other things. But Donald Trump is a far better option than Hillary Clinton. I mean, the fact of the matter is you look at where this country is at over the last eight years, Hillary Clinton forgot that she and Barack Obama were in charge of the country for the past eight years.

So she didn't talk about where we were as a party. She didn't talk about ISIS, what happened under her watch. She didn't talk about Libya. She didn't talk about Benghazi.

So look, this is an issue that she's going to have to deal with every day. And I would tell you, the electorate out there is a change electorate. They were a change electorate in our party. They're a change electorate in the Democrat Party, but they didn't choose the change candidate. We did. And so I think that Donald Trump is going to be in a great position to

win the race, and he's going to govern effectively. And that's why you saw, when he delivered that speech in Cleveland, that he had the biggest bounce in 16 years out of a convention. And it's because people saw a person that was ready to lead. They saw a person that they could see in the White House.

And he delivered an effective message which was, No. 1, things are on the wrong track. And No. 2, Hillary Clinton can't be trusted to actually change the things that need to be changed in this country.

BLITZER: As you know, Donald Trump has been tweeting about these three presidential debates that are scheduled, suggesting they're rigged. The second presidential debate, by the way, conflicts with your home team's game, the Green Bay Packers. They'll be playing the New York Giants. The debate schedule, as you know, was released last September. The NFL schedule was released seven months later.

Why are we hearing about these concerns now? And I know you have concerns about this debate schedule.

PRIEBUS: I do have concerns about it. No. 1, you know, I don't consider this debate schedule finalized until the candidates sign on the dotted line. These debate schedules and how the debates are conducted, the moderators that are chosen, that's a product of both candidates sitting down and agreeing to it.

No person from this commission ever contacted me. They're not in contact with Donald Trump. And I don't think they were in contact with the DNC either before Debbie Wasserman Schultz had left. So the fact is, is that they're operating in a vacuum. And if you read the Annenberg report of all of the problems that the commission needs to address, I think this is part of it.

Which is we've got a commission that operates in a vacuum and doesn't remember that there's two major parties and two major candidates that need to be in agreement.

I don't want to have debates on Sunday night, Wolf. I don't think anyone out there wants to have debates on Sunday night. They should be on Tuesday or Wednesday, maybe Thursday. But this will be the subject of conversation in the weeks to come.

BLITZER: There are NFL games Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night, as you know. I know you're a big Green Bay Packers fan. So if -- from your Republican...

PRIEBUS: That's why it started with Tuesday and Wednesday, by the way.

BLITZER: I know that. If it -- if it were up to you, the leader of the Republican Party right now -- you're the chairman -- how would you overcome this? What would you propose?

PRIEBUS: I would propose the commission finding Tuesday and Wednesday nights to hold these debates. If it had to go to Thursday, fine. But they would come up with some plans.

And the other thing I would suggest is pick up the phone and call the people that are most responsible for these nominees to pick the right times for these debates.

BLITZER: Reince Priebus is the chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Reince, thank you very much.

PRIEBUS: You bet. Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Coming up, our brand-new CNN/ORC poll showing Hillary Clinton got a big bounce from the convention. She hit the campaign trail. We're standing by for a rally. Stand by with us for that, as well.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Breaking news. We're standing by for a Hillary Clinton rally. She's in Nebraska right now. She'll be introduced by the billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

[17:32:44] This comes as our just-released CNN/ORC shows a seven-point bounce for Hillary Clinton as a result of the Democratic National Convention. She now leads Donald Trump -- look at this -- 52 percent to 43 percent in a head-to-head match-up.

I want to bring in our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar. Our political director is back with us, David Chalian. And CNN Politics senior digital correspondent Chris Moody. Guys, thanks very much for joining us.

He's still facing, David, a lot of criticism for the way he's responded to the Khan family, who has -- who have lost -- who lost a son in the war.

CHALIAN: He is indeed. He's facing that criticism from his own party.

This is now a cycle, Wolf, that we have seen several times now, where he says something that seems beyond the pale to even many of his own party, and then they're put in a bind, as you just experienced with Reince Priebus, to be able to continue to express their support for Trump and his candidacy while also repudiating his words and what he said. And that -- that is becoming, you know, an increasingly uncomfortable position for many Republicans, especially in this scenario, because you're dealing with the most sacred of Americans, these Gold Star families.

BLITZER: Is it different now that we're in a general election, as opposed to primaries?

CHALIAN: Well, there's no doubt. We are in a different context right now. The way I tend to look at this is that I look to see what is Donald Trump doing on a daily basis to add voters to his coalition?

Because we know how loyal his supporters are, and a controversy like this has not proven to strip away a single vote of his. And yet, now that he's in a general election context, we also know that his loyal base of supporters is not enough to get to 270 electoral votes, most likely. So what's he doing to add? And a story like this, it's very hard to see how that adds votes to his...

BLITZER: He's gotten a lot of criticism from Republicans. But some of them still haven't pulled their endorsements or their support, even though they clearly were upset -- Senator McCain, for example -- about what he said.

CHRIS MOODY, CNN SENIOR DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Many of them haven't pulled endorsements, which is the question that Democrats are asking. They're saying, how far can he possibly go for you to continue to support him? Not only McConnell but also Paul Ryan, as well.

I should note, in the statements that Paul Ryan and McConnell put out after he made the comments about the Khans, they condemned the travel ban on certain religions.

But Democrats will continue to ask this question: How far will you go here? And we're already seeing Republicans dropping out of a party. Jeb Bush advisors, Sally Bradshaw today. I think if Donald Trump continues to go down this path, you're going to see more and more of that.

BLITZER: And what about the Clinton campaign? How are they going to respond? Clearly, they think this is going to help them.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, and the way they see the beauty of this is that they don't really have do much, right? She could just not do much. Tim Kaine could not do much. It's really an unforced error.

The concern for Hillary Clinton right now is with white working-class voters. And specifically, she was on this bus tour this weekend. They're worried about Pennsylvania; they're worried about Ohio.

And what they are really worried about is having enough time to convince some of these people in the middle.

They feel like, once someone goes over to Donald Trump, they're gone. They're not getting them back. Something like this buys them a little bit of time to try to make an argument.

Certainly, they tried that with the convention. She tried that with the bus tour. She's going to try to continue to make this case.

But you know, we heard Patricia Smith, who was the woman who lost her son in Benghazi. She spoke at the RNC, and she was on CNN earlier today. And she loathes Hillary Clinton. And yet, she was asked about this insulting a Gold Star family; and she was squarely on the side of the Khans and clearly connected with their loss in that regard.

CHALIAN: And we have to say, this is by design, this error on the Trump campaign.

The Clinton campaign put Captain Khan's parent in their convention program on their final night of the convention. This -- not only did they want the message out there from them, but there is no doubt that there is a strategic decision made that perhaps that might engage Donald Trump back in a back and forth; and it has proven to be just that.

KEILAR: I don't think they could have actually had it play out any better. In fact, I think they don't -- they're sort of counting their lucky stars that it's played out.

BLITZER: They didn't expect to see this unfold the way it did. Is that what you're saying?

KEILAR: I don't think that they perhaps expected it. If -- if he is taking the bait on this, he really couldn't have taken the bait any more.

CHALIAN: Those are her own words, right? About -- talking about Donald Trump taking the bait.

KEILAR: Right.

BLITZER: Our new CNN/ORC poll, Chris, we showed the numbers earlier. I'll put them up on the screen.

Once again, she got a seven-point bounce. She was before the Democratic convention at 45 percent. Now, she's at 52 percent. Trump was at 48 before the Democratic convention. Now he's gone down to 43 percent. What does she need to do to maintain this momentum?

MOODY: Obviously, the bounce theory has held for -- it also held for Trump in the beginning and now holding for her and the Democrats.

You look at one of the numbers in our poll, 35 percent think that she is dishonest. Thirty-five percent -- or about 35 percent think Trump is dishonest. About 34 think that she is dishonest. So that's something that they really have to overcome.

I spoke to a number of delegates on the Democratic convention floor, asking them about this. They think that she should stay the course, focus on substance, but also, of course, it helps to have the other candidate doing what he's doing.

BLITZER: Thirty-four percent think she's honest and trustworthy in this new poll. That's a very disturbing number from Hillary Clinton's perspective.

CHALIAN: And it's a consistent number. I mean, that is -- that's the problem, is that four nights of primetime convention coverage, aimed at talking about -- trying to address trust in different ways -- you can trust her to fight these fights for you on these policy grounds. That trust number hasn't budged. It took a dip in the Republican convention, because they were hammering her. But even four nights of their positively-designed convention coverage can't get her above that mark. This is a very ingrained deficiency.

BLITZER: How are they going to handle this?

KEILAR: I don't actually -- I think the way they're going to handle it is they're talking about not trying to increase her trustworthy numbers. I mean, they were talking about doing that in the convention. But I think they understand that it is what it is. You can't rewrite history.

When you're talking about the Clintons, you're talking about decades where the line has been about legality and not necessarily propriety. And that's something that has stuck, and it's not going away. So instead of trying, maybe to increase her trustworthy numbers, she's trying to decrease Donald Trump's and get that spread a little better in her favor. She maybe can't bring herself up, but she'll try to bring him down.

BLITZER: Everybody stand by. We have more to discuss. Much more indeed.

Hillary Clinton, she's out on the campaign trail, getting ready to address a crowd in Omaha, Nebraska. We'll have that and more when we come back.


[17:43:48] BLITZER: We're following breaking news. Our just-released CNN/ORC poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 52-43 percent in a head-to-head match-up. That's a seven-point bounce for Hillary Clinton as a result of the Democratic National Convention.

We're standing by for a Clinton rally in Nebraska. We're looking at live pictures. She'll be introduced by the billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

Let's bring back our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar. Brianna, that Democratic convention clearly worked for Hillary Clinton.

KEILAR: Yes, it sure did, Wolf. She was hoping that she would see a post-convention bump like Donald Trump did. The question is, can she make it last?


KEILAR (voice-over): Hillary Clinton is racing towards election day. Her poll numbers getting a boost after the Democratic convention.


KEILAR: Clinton is leading Donald Trump nationally by nine points, 52-43, a turnaround from a week ago, when Trump was ahead by three points after the Republican convention.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Would you rather have a "you're fired" president, or a "you're hired" president? KEILAR: With a little help from her running mate, Virginia Senator

Tim Kaine, Clinton is hoping to widen that lead, looking for support from white blue-collar voters on the fence about which candidate to support.

CLINTON: He goes around saying he wants to put America first and America workers first. And then just today we learn once again he's asked for visas to employ foreign workers at his country clubs because he says he can't find any American workers.

Shame on you, Donald Trump. Shame on you.

KEILAR: Fresh off a bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio, Clinton will campaign in Nebraska and will be introduced by billionaire Warren Buffett who endorsed her in December.

WARREN BUFFETT, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY CEO: I am going to be so delighted when Secretary Clinton takes the Oval Office.

KEILAR: While Kaine heads home to Richmond, Virginia, to fire up campaign staff in his critical state.

SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We got 99 days until a very, very momentous election.

KEILAR: But Clinton State Department e-mails are front and center again after she said this.

CLINTON: Director Comey said that my answers were truthful and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people. That there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the e-mails.

KEILAR: The "Washington Post" fact checker gives her four Pinocchios, the worst rating possible. In part because of this statement from FBI director James Comey.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the top secret special access program at the time they were sent and received. Those chains involve Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails about those same matters.

KEILAR: A direct contradiction of what Clinton told the American public.

CLINTON: I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone my e- mail. There is no classified materials. I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received.


KEILAR: Now the Clinton campaign still stressing that what Clinton told the FBI is completely consistent with what she said in all of the public settings where she has been asked about her e-mails. But it's clear, Wolf, that what she told the public was not accurate nor was this characterization that she has just made about FBI director James Comey's comments about her e-mail practices while she was at the State Department.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Brianna Keilar, thank you.

Quick programming note, Wednesday night the Libertarian Party's nominees for president vice president Gary Johnson and William Weld, they take the stage for a live CNN town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper. Please be sure to watch. Wednesday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Coming up, new developments on the war on ISIS. The United States is now carrying out air strikes on ISIS targets in Libya. Will it make a difference, though?

We're also standing by for Hillary Clinton's campaign rally where she's going to be introduced by the billionaire, Warren Buffett.


[17:47:47] BLITZER: The billionaire investor Warren Buffett introducing Hillary Clinton but now railing against Donald Trump and his refusal to release his income tax returns.

BUFFETT: Donald Trump at one point he says various things at different times, but at one point, I think he said this several times, says he can't do it, can't release it because he's under audit.

Now I've got news for him, I'm under audit, too.


BUFFETT: And I would be delighted to meet him any place, any time, between now and election. I'll bring my tax return. He could bring his tax return. Nobody is going to arrest us. It is not -- there are no rules against showing your tax returns and just let people ask these questions about the items that are on there.


BUFFETT: How many of you would be afraid to have your tax return made public? Yes. It is not -- no, no. You're only afraid if you got something to be afraid about.


BUFFETT: And he's not afraid because of what -- of the IRS. He's afraid because of you.


BUFFETT: So I will meet him in Omaha or Mar-a-Lago or he can pick the place. Anytime between now and election. I'll bring my returns, he'll bring his returns. We're both under audit. And believe me, nobody is going to stop us from talking about what's on those returns. And send the word to him, if you will.



BUFFETT: Now the other thing he said is he says America isn't great anymore. You know, you need him but -- because America just isn't great anymore.

[17:55:03] Now everybody's entitled to their opinion. I disagree with him violently on that subject, which I'll say a little bit about more later. But it's how he explains what he would do about that because I'm going to quote his exact words. I'm going to read this because I want to be sure ---

BLITZER: All right. We're going to continue to watch Warren Buffett. We'll get back to Warren Buffett. Hillary Clinton. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news. Bouncing back. An exclusive just released CNN-ORC poll shows Hillary Clinton regaining her lead over Donald Trump following the Democratic convention. Can she stay on top?

Rebuked. Donald Trump facing sharp criticism from fellow Republicans shocked by his war of words with the family of a fallen Muslim American soldier. How will Trump weather this latest --