Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Donald Trump's Gold Star Family Problem; Russian Athletes Still in Limbo Ahead of Rio. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired August 2, 2016 - 11:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] LYNDA KINKADE: Hillary Clinton surges in the polls while a defiant Donald Trump is set to address a campaign rally this hour. He is
in Virginia, home state of the Muslim family he has been having a very public row with. We'll take you there in just a moment.
Also ahead, the reality of Rio amid a Zika epidemic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The weather starting to cool here even as it warms up in the United States. And as a result, the threat
of infection is pretty low.
KINKADE: We will look at the health fears hanging over the games.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels great to be strong. It feels great to go and do what I want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: A weighty responsibility. We'll meet the Arab weightlifter who is raising the bar
for sports women in her region.
Hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome to Connect the World. I'm sitting in for Becky Anderson.
Well, Donald Trump is holding a rally right now in Ashburn, Virginia, that's the home state of the Khans. You can see there the podium ready for
Trump to arrive. He has been having a feud with the parents of an American soldier killed in Iraq.
The Republican presidential candidate has been having that public spat for many days now. But in typical Trump fashion, he hasn't backed down.
Instead, he has largely escalated that feud.
Well, it's not entirely clear what the impact if any this latest controversy will be among his
supporters. One of those supporters, CNN political commentators Jeffrey Lord, joins me from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Also joining me from New York is Tara Setmayer, she is a political commentator, Republican commentator, for CNN who does not support Trump's
Great to have you both with us.
TARA SETMAYOR, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you.
JEFFREY LORD, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hello, Tara.
SETMAYOR: Hi, Jeff.
KINKADE: Good to see you are friends.
Jeffrey, we'll start with you this feud started six days ago when the Khan's addressed the Democratic National Convention. Six days on, Trump
hasn't been able to let it go. Why not?
LORD: Well, look, the Khans I mean first of all their son is an American hero. There's no question about that. But it is very clear -- I mean you
cannot -- anyone -- you cannot appear in this case at the Democratic National Convention, address 20 million people and accuse a presidential
candidate with all sorts of misinformation and untruths of various things, and then think that you yourself are not going to be involved in
The Khans chose to do this. I mean, this is America. God bless them. But in doing so, you are going to get opposition. And I might add that we
don't get anywhere near the press coverage for Pat Smith, who was the mother of one of these folks killed in Benghazi who said that Hillary
Clinton was directly responsible for this and accuses Hillary Clinton of lying to her, as have other members of --
family members of others who were killed in Benghazi. And the insistent media drum just simply isn't there. It's only there with this.
KINKADE: Sure, but Jeffrey, you don't see Clinton get on Twitter and attack the families of
Benghazi people that died in Benghazi.
LORD: Well, but whether she is on Twitter or not she is making the accusation that they are lying.
And I can tell you I was with Donald Trump last night right here about five miles from my home at a local high school, which was filled, thousands of
people. It was filled. And there were thousands outside who couldn't get in. He never mentioned the Khans. And I can tell you in talking to the
people -- I am recognized, of course, because I'm on CNN, not a single person mentioned the Khans to me.
What they mentioned was trade issues, or their jobs or Obamacare, no one talked about the Khans. And I think, you know, what we've got here is the
media is essentially driving this.
KINKADE: But shouldn't you say that to Trump? Shouldn't Donald Trump being focusing on those issues as opposed to responding on Twitter every
time the Khans speak. Every time the Khans speak, Donald Trump has responded.
LORD: He did not mentioned them at all last night, zero. Zero mention. And yet when I came home this was still being discussed.
I mean, you know, the Khans have been -- number one, they say that they are private people and they don't want to do this. And yet they show up on
every single network. They have been on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, et cetera, et cetera. I'm told by a friend in British television they have been on
over there. I mean, they keep doing this all the time and yet they say they don't want to -- they want to just get out of the whole thing. Well,
then stop going on television.
KINKADE: Tara, I want to go to you. Many are questioning Trump's support for the military. There was a New York Times piece that highlights that
Donald Trump avoided being drafted to Vietnam five times, one of those was for medical reasons. What should we make of that?
SETMAYER: Well, I've been very vocal about Donald Trump's audacity to compare his alleged sacrifice as a business man building buildings, to the
sacrifice of our military men and women, particularly during the Vietnam War. I called him a silver spoon draft dodger, which is true.
I mean, Donald Trump went around bragging about how his own personal Vietnam was him not getting STDs, running around bragging about bedding
women while our men and women -- men, were dying in Vietnam.
I mean, so, it's these kinds of comments and this kind of attitude that makes people shudder at the prospect of Donald Trump being our commander-
in-chief. Just because you decide to have a politically expedient fundraiser for veterans because you threw a tech per tantrum about Megyn
Kelly hosting a Fox News debate doesn't mean that you are, you know, Mr. Pro United States Military. But that's what he does.
So, a couple of things to what Jeffrey said, first of all the Khans have every right as Americans to speak whatever they want on theirs minds.
LORD: I agree.
SETMAYER: They have earned that right. They are gold star families. And they can absolutely question Donald Trump's understanding of the
constitution given the comments that he has made in the past, particularly about Muslim bans and other things that have been very questionable
constitutional issues that Donald Trump has raised, even down to the whole torture issue and saying that the military is going to do what he says
regardless of whether it's illegal or not.
I mean, the Khans had every -- the things that the Khans brought up were valid constitutional questions, and just because they did it on the stage
of the DNC we are going to politicize them and cast aspersion on their integrity? Donald Trump did the same thing and exploited the grief of Pat
Smith during the Republican convention, that's the mother of one of the Benghazi victims. They did the
same thing. And Donald Trump was so narcissistic that he didn't even listen to her speech. He called in to Fox News and did an interview while
Pat Smith spoke.
So, I mean, to throw these kind of accusations back and forth by a presidential candidate because he didn't like the criticism he received is
beneath the office of the presidency. Donald Trump should have handled this with class the way that George Bush did when she was attacked by Cindy
Sheehan. She camped out at his ranch, for goodness sakes, because she protested the Iraq war and she lost a son there.
How did George Bush handle it? He said, look, you know what, this is America. She has ever right to disagree with me. And I'm sorry for our
son's loss and moved on. That's how Donald Trump should have handled it, with class. But instead he acted like a child and lashed out at a gold
star family. This -- and not only that, he other-ized them. He has made hidden implications about the Muslim faith, he attacked the mother saying
she couldn't -- maybe she didn't speak, you like there's something nefarious about her being silent in her grief.
I mean, this is outrageous the way Donald Trump is handling this. And Jeffrey, you know, you worked for Ronald Reagan, that this is a blunder to
the Nth degree as far as communication is concerned. They wasted days on this instead of going after Hillary Clinton's record, her dishonesty, and
the absymal economic record.
LORD: Let me address something, if I may, about the draft. You know, this question was decided in 1992 when we elected Bill Clinton, a thorough-
going draft dodger president of the United States over a certified war hero George H.W. Bush and then reelected him four years later over another
certified war hero, Bob Dole.
Now, you can like it or not like it, but the fact that Donald Trump didn't serve. Hillary Clinton, let's not be sexist about this, she had the chance
to volunteer for Vietnam. She didn't go either. So, we are once again left with two nominees who didn't serve in Vietnam.
SETMAYER: I'm not going to defend the Clintons on that because I agree with you on Bill Clinton and that whole issue. But the difference is that
Bill Clinton nor Hillary are running around disparaging gold star families and claiming that they sacrificed as somehow they are -- that that's a
comparable sacrifice to military service.
Donald Trump was a business man and made money. That's not a sacrifice. That's the difference here. Donald Trump is the one who actually in an
interview in 1997 said that he considered himself a brave soldier bragging about his sexual exploits. That is offensive and that's the reason why we
are bringing up Donald Trump's deferments, which he received because he was wealthy, because he was in an ivy league school and miraculously got a
medical deferment that he couldn't even remember which foot he had bone spurs in.
Come on, Jeffrey, you know that that was a common practice in the 70s to get out of the draft.
LORD: We decided this issue in 1992. For better or worse, that's it. It's over.
SETMAYER: Then Donald Trump needs to stop making comparisons, though. He is the one that's bringing this back.
KINKADE: Just to focus on today's polls. The latest polls show that Hillary Clinton is well in front now, nine points ahead. Firstly to you,
Tara, what do you make of that?
[11:10:02] SETMAYER: Well, I mean it is a natural convention bump. That's what happens. We'll see if she can sustain that. But the problem here is
that Donald Trump has completely squandered the opportunity to continue to hammer her on the areas where she is very, very weak, which is on the
economy, which is on trustworthiness, which is on the third term of Obama. He spent the last week, you know, espousing things about Russian, you know,
Russian hackers, and misrepresenting his relationship with Putin. He is complaining about the debate schedule. He is insulting firefighters and
fire marshals because of the capacity at his rallies and then this whole issue with the gold far family which has gone on now for six days and
This is a nightmare. Like I said, Jeffrey worked for Ronald Reagan, who was a master at communications. And he knows deep down inside that Donald
Trump is blowing it. It makes me question whether Donald Trump really wants to win, because this is not the strategy of a serious presidential
candidate by any means.
KINKADE: You're not the only Republican that thinks that. A lot of Republicans have come out and criticized Donald Trump.
New York Republican Congressman Richard Hannah has said OK I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton. He called Trump endlessly flawed.
Jeffrey do you fear that more Republicans will cross the party line?
LORD: no. I think these are republicans who long ago abandoned the Republican Party except in name. Unfortunately for the last 20 years or so
we have had a Republican Party that is increasingly about crony capitalism, identity politics, some of the things Democrats are for. These people have
no serious attachment to the Republican Party other than the fact that they put themselves out there as representatives of it.
But in fact they long ago left the fold. So, you know, good-bye.
SETMAYER: What has Donald Trump done that's been representative of the Republican Party for the majority of his life? He has donated to
Democrats. He supported Hillary Clinton and praised her.
LORD: So did Harry Truman and so did Ronald Reagan, Tara.
SETMAYER: No. Not, you are comparing Ronald Reagan -- so you are comparing Ronald
Reagan who took about a 20 year transition to go from the Democrats to Republicans to conservativism in a very thoughtful, intellectual way to
Donald Trump just deciding in the last couple years that it was political expedient for him to become a Republican?
And the Democrats back in those days are not like the progressive left wingers of today. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and all these folks that
Donald Trump has supported and given money to and you are going to question the Republicanism of other members who have served? It's ridiculous to
make that comparison. Donald Trump is the hypocrite here.
LORD: The point, Tara, is that you've been making, you and those who agree with you have
had months and months and months to make this argument, a year. You have made them and you lost. The base of the Republican Party overwhelmingly
chose Donald Trump.
SETMAYER: No, they didn't.
LORD: When I saw people last night -- when I saw people last night, including I might add, firemen in uniform who were there to support Donald
SETMAYER: Only 40 percent of the Republican base voted for Donald Trump. Let's be clear. It's a very small percentage. This is a general election
KINKADE: Jeffrey Lord, we appreciate your time today. Plenty more to discuss. We will have you back again soon. Thanks so much.
Well, now for some other stories on our radar. Refugees dying at sea at a faster rate in 2016 than in previous years. That's according to the
international organization for migration. It says more than 3,000 have died in the Mediterranean Sea, a total of just over 4,000 have died
worldwide this year.
Typhoon Nida lashed Hong Kong bringing fierce winds and rain, but ultimately no major damage. Winds of up to 145 kilometers were recorded in
some parts. The typhoon was dowgraded to a tropical storm as it made its way onto mainland China.
Thousands of mourners gathered in France for the funeral of a priest brutally murdered in his church last week. 86-year-old Father Jacques
Hamel was killed as he said morning mass in Normandy by two men who claimed the attack in the name of ISIS.
Well, in just three days all eyes will be on Rio as the city hosts the Olympics Games. Security has been beefed up. Rio state will deploy a
third more security officers than previously planned. And meanwhile some Russian athletes still don't know whether they will be allowed to compete
in the games amid a doping controversy.
Well, joining us for more details on all of that is Amanda Davies live from Rio. Amanda, this cloud of Russia's doping scandal still hanging heavy.
The Court of Arbitration for Sports set to make a decision soon.
Yeah, absolutely, Lynda, the Court of Arbitration for Sport are looking at the individual appeals from groups of Russian athletes who have up to this
point been banned from competing over the next three-and-a-half weeks by their international sporting federations because of the criteria set out
after that explosive McLaren report which talked about state-sponsored doping in Russian sports since 2010.
We are very much still waiting, expecting some rulings on rowers...
KINKADE: Let me interrupt there, Amanda. President Obama is speaking right now at the White House. Let's listen in.
(U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA PRESS CONFERENCE)