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Trump to Supporters: The System Is Rigged; Bill Clinton: Email Flap "Biggest Load Of Bull"; Hope Solo Calls Swedish National Team "Cowards"; Clinton Pressures Trump to Release Taxes; Flooding in Louisiana; Facebook's First Blind Engineer; Protests Over Rapist's Sentence. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 13, 2016 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: And as a result of that, we have to look at his case. If that is no longer on the table from an evidentiary point of view when it cannot come in in his trial then what else do you have to convict my client?

And so although this doesn't directly do anything with this case, I think in the future we will certainly see some motions being filed to have his case looked at anew.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All righty, Joey Jackson, always appreciate your insight. Thank you, sir.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: And let's talk a little politics, shall we?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Let's do it. The next hour starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only way we could lose, in my opinion, I really mean this, Pennsylvania, is if cheating goes on.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: This is the biggest load of bull I ever heard.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He refuses to do whatever other presidential candidates in decades has done and release his tax return.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The folks out here say they did not expect it to happen this way. They thought they'd get rain and some flooding maybe up to their front porches. Terrifying scene out here in St. Helena Parish. At this point, more rain to come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Phelps making Olympics history again. Breakout star, Simone Manuel also, making history becoming the first African-American woman to ever win an individual swimming event.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Phelps making history again. The break- out star Simone Manuel also making history, becoming the first African-American woman to ever win an individual swimming event.


PAUL: Well, look who is up and at them. Happy Saturday morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning.

Now since coming down the escalator and launching his presidential bid, Donald Trump has been defined political odds. When it comes to the state of Utah, he could do it again in November, but not in a good way.


TRUMP: You've got to get your people out to vote, and especially in the states where we're represented -- I have a tremendous problem in Utah.


BLACKWELL: To put Trump's comments in perspective, Utah has not gone for Democrats since 1964. The numbers are not good in battleground states. Let's talk about Pennsylvania and bring in CNN's Chris Frates. Chris, good morning to you.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. As you know, right, when Donald Trump is ahead in the polls, he'll be the first to tell anybody, those surveys are tremendous. They are fantastic.

But when he's losing, well, he'll argue the system is rigged. Last night in Pennsylvania Trump again argued that the only way he could lose is if there's cheating.


TRUMP: The only way we can lose, in my opinion, I really mean this, Pennsylvania, is if cheating goes on. The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat. OK? So I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the eight, go around and watch other polling places and make sure that it's 100 percent fine.


FRATES: Now Trump provided no evidence of any cheating going on in Pennsylvania. In fact, the accusation comes as Trump is badly lagging Clinton in the polls there. A state that is critical if Trump is going to win the White House.

A recent Quinnipiac poll of likely voters shows Clinton beating Trump by ten points. That's 52 percent to 42 percent. If he does lose the state in November, he won't be alone in the history books.

The last time the state voted for a Republican in the presidential, 1988. And Trump's trying to buck that trend by appealing to white working class voters there. Hillary Clinton, of course, going after the suburbs.

But the billionaire's habit of suggesting that the system is rigged and not providing any evidence of it has led some commentators to worry he may be delegitimizing the entire Democratic process.

In fact, when our own Erin Burnett asked Trump supporter, Ben Carson, about this last night, she said was it hurting democracy this tactic to say that, you know, there is a rigged system here? Guys, I can tell you, Carson didn't answer the question.

BLACKWELL: All right, Chris Frates, thanks so much. We'll see if we can get an answer from one of our panelists here. We'll bring in Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic strategist and Hillary Clinton supporter, and Scottie Nell Hughes, a Donald Trump supporter.

Let's start with where Chris left off there and you, Scottie, does this hurt democracy for Donald Trump to say that the system is rigged?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, let's go ask Bernie Sanders people. Let's go ask --

BLACKWELL: I'm asking you.

HUGHES: Well, I know. But let me put this in context right now. In the previous segment they said there's no history of this, doubt providing evidence. Go ask Bernie Sanders' folks because they feel like it's a system rigged beneath them and the e-mails actually prove this.

You know, all it takes is one lie to sit there and question the other truth to follow. And so right now that is why Mr. Trump I think has this system, has this question right now. Is the system going to be rigged against him?

You look at the DNC with the Wikileaks e-mails showing the Clinton campaign forged political allies and did everything to skew it in Hillary Clinton's favor.

So it's not like we don't have a history with the Clintons and the Democratic Party right now of a rigged system. So this question is very truthful question that the American people should be asking.

BLACKWELL: All right, Robert, to you.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: OK, first of all, let me give you some evidence, Scottie, since you seem to be asking for it but haven't done your homework. The reality here is certainly Sanders pointed out that regardless of the e-mails from the Democratic National Committee, it didn't in any way impact the results of the primary that he faced with Hillary Clinton.

And he acknowledged that in fact Hillary Clinton won the nomination fair and square. Let me also point out to you that Loyola University's Justin (inaudible) did a study and found in 14 years that he did the study in 2014 and found in 14 years there were 31 examples of voter fraud, only 31 in 14 years.

In fact, "Politifact," which won the Pulitzer Prize for fact checking said that it is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be found in person committing voter fraud.

What Donald Trump is doing based upon no evidence is trying to justify his own failing by delegitimizing our democracy. It sends a dangerous message to the world.

Our democracy is a symbol to the world. It is the pride of our nation and in fact, we've had difficult election. I have been on losing sides and winning sides.

But even Al Gore despite what he went through, despite the Supreme Court stopping the vote, he accepted the results and he accepted the election results.

BLACKWELL: Scottie, let me come to you with the numbers from the recent NBC News/"Wall Street Journal"/Marist poll. Looking at the internals, I mean, the big number here is that Clinton is ahead by 11 points in this poll.

But when you look into the numbers here, unfavorable versus favorable for Donald Trump, his unfavorables are higher than his favorables. And I read these last hour, in every region of the state, regardless of household income, regardless of education, amongst all races, age -- all age groups, both men and women and regardless of military service.

So in all 21 of those categories, his unfavorables are higher than his favorables. So isn't it credible to think that he can lose this based on the merits, not based on some nefarious efforts by Democrats?

HUGHES: One thing we are showing, Victor, is polls are extremely temperamental. It takes a news cycle to turn the polls for you or against you. One thing Donald Trump has going for him that Hillary Clinton does not, not in the polls, but it's the engagement.

Hillary Clinton can't fill a room full of supporters of more than 200 people, you have Donald Trump pulling in large rallies this far out of 10,000, 12,000, 15,000 people at the rallies, the Trump supporters are extremely engaged, which is something Hillary cannot claim right now.

Trump is beating Hillary Clinton on social media across the platforms double to triple Hillary Clinton. That just shows, don't tell me Democrats cannot do that because they produce amazing numbers. Barack Obama in 2008, they were engaged then.

That's why you see words like cheating and racism because Donald Trump is sitting there encouraging engagement, the reason the Republicans lost in 2012 is Mitt Romney lost the engagement of conservatives and Republicans.

BLACKWELL: Let me come to you, Robert. With the 21 categories I just read, Donald Trump is under water in all of them. Hillary Clinton is only above water in four of the 21. So is there a possibility that this will work in Pennsylvania or in other states where Donald Trump believes he has to win to get to 270?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, the reason you see Hillary Clinton winning in most of the battleground states by double digits and solidly this early stage is that she has a message, record and program that's resonating with the electorate. That's the point, Scottie, I think you are confused by hits on Twitter with votes.

That's not how we do it our country. Maybe they do it that way in Trump University. Here in our nation, we decide elections based up votes and participation of the electorate.

Not based up Twitter hits or social media. In fact, you watch Hillary Clinton resonate with the electorate and get record support from Republicans which is virtually unprecedented both from a retired four- star, one to four-star generals, Republican members of Congress, both retired and active, and Republican foreign policy leaders.

You see this coming together of a coalition because this election is not about liberal versus conservative. It is not about Democrat versus Republican at this stage. It is about stable, strong leadership versus unstable, erratic behavior.

BLACKWELL: All right, stay with us. We have to take a break. You're both staying with us. We'll start with you right after the break. We're going to be right back, come back to you. Scottie, stay with us. Robert, stay with us. Quick break, we'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: All right, back now with Robert Zimmerman, Democratic strategist and Hillary Clinton supporter, and Scottie Nell Hughes, CNN political commentator and Trump supporter.

Scottie, you wanted to say something right about before the break. I'm going to let you start this block.

HUGHES: Well, good. I think it's important we have a classy debate and a classy argument. We here I think have the opportunity to show the rest of America how we should have a respectful debate. Bringing in personal insults my research is false.

Let's talk about Hillary Clinton right now. You want to talk about -- we can't ask Hillary Clinton about any of the questions regarding her server, regarding the Clinton Global Initiative.

We had two economic speeches, Hillary Clinton released her tax forms last night and we have not been able to chat about that. In it we don't talk about two-thirds of her paid speeches, $10.6 million. They were from large corporate donors or that 96 percent of her own private donations went to the Clinton Foundation, so back in her own pocket.

So these are the topics we need to be focusing on. People don't necessarily agree this could be a potentially rigged system because we are not able to ask Hillary Clinton the questions. She does not make herself open to the press to be asked.

BLACKWELL: OK, one thing about the donations of 96 percent of the charitable donations, the Clinton Family Foundation, which is different than the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation, which has been at the center of the controversy. The Clinton FAMILY FOUNDATION is the clearinghouse that goes to other groups. Just for this point of factual reporting, I want to get that in --

HUGHES: It's 96 percent.

BLACKWELL: OK. I want to play something for you, Robert, talking about the e-mails that Bill Clinton said last night. He got a question from a voter who asked why should Americans trust the Democratic nominee when she lied about her e-mails, he first said, that's not true and then he said this.


FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: First of all, the FBI director said when he testified before Congress, he had to amend his previous day's statement that she had never received any e-mails that were classified.

They saw two little notes with a "c" on it. This is the biggest load of bull I've ever heard that were about telephone calls that she needed to make.

And the State Department typically puts a little "c" on it to discourage people from discussing it in public in the event the secretary of state, whoever it is, doesn't make a telephone call. Does that sound threatening to the national security here?


BLACKWELL: So first the characterization from the former president that that's not true, this voter asked about lying about e-mails. Do you believe, not to the FBI, I think that has been clear from Director Comey, but in her conversations with the American people that she ever misled the American people or lied about her e-mails over the last year and a half?

ZIMMERMAN: You know, Victor, I'm a proud Hillary Clinton supporter as you know, but I also respect integrity and also respect the truth and respect -- I believe I've committed to share that with you when I'm on with you.

I can say with confidence that in no way did she lie to the American people. She gave the facts as she saw them. In fact, she spoke, not only candidly to the American people about it, but I think the important point here is that the FBI director testified in front of Congress.

That the e-mails in question could be easily interpreted as in fact not classified and were improperly marked. I think that's a very important point to bring up. BLACKWELL: Understood. Let me play the exchange between Hillary Clinton and Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC back in September of last year and then Director Comey on the hill being questioned by Congressman Trey Gowdy. Watch this.


CLINTON: And it took weeks, but they went through every single e- mail-- yes, every single e-mail. And they were overly inclusive. If the thought anything was inclusive, so inclusive, the State Department said we're going to return 1,200 e-mails because they were totally personal.

REPRESENTATIVE TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Secretary Clinton said her lawyers read every one of the e-mails and they were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the e-mails individually?



BLACKWELL: You heard Clinton's answer there and Comey's answer there. You said that she never misled the American people or never lied to the American people. It seems like some inconsistency there at the very least.

ZIMMERMAN: You know something in there are obviously different interpretations there. She used her staff and she herself obviously did the best to go through all the e-mails. In fact, Director Comey, I go back to the congressional testimony that is so important to put this all in the proper context.

So it also disproves Scottie's point that no one is asking about Hillary Clinton's mails, my goodness, that's the entire theme of the Republicans in Congress and the Trump campaign.

And the point is simply he testified in front of Congress that, in fact, the e-mails could have been misinterpreted and Hillary Clinton never knowingly sent or received classified e-mails. That was his testimony.

So I think it's important to put the facts out there. The American people can make their evaluation on this. Right now, based upon the polling and the response Hillary Clinton is receiving, they do not see the e-mails as being the defining issue.

More to the point, every leading Republican in foreign policy and national security has stepped up to support Hillary Clinton, almost every leading Republican has stepped up to support Hillary Clinton and most have taken on Donald Trump as making America less safe.

Mike McCall, the Republican chairman of Homeland Security said the Trump strategy of banning Muslims would become a recruiting a tool for ISIS. So let's look at it as a matter of policy.

BLACKWELL: We will be having that conversation throughout the morning. As you said, put the facts before the American people. We played what Hillary Clinton said in September of 2015 and what Director Comey said a few months ago. Robert Zimmerman and Scottie Nell Hughes, thank you both.

Hillary Clinton now seemingly taunting Donald Trump after leasing her 2015 tax returns, how she is using one of Trump's favorite lines to put pressure on a Republican rival. That's coming up.

PAUL: Also, living swimming legend Michael Phelps set to make his final Olympic splash tonight as the U.S. women's soccer team crashes out of these games. Coy Wire, what a view you have from Rio.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: It's a beautiful day, Christie. Hope Solo, U.S. soccer star never shy to speak her mind. She was booed here in Brazil. Wait until you hear what she called her opponents after their shocking loss last night. All things Olympics coming up after the break.



PAUL: Well, the U.S. is piling up a lead in the medal count so far ahead of rival China by more than a dozen medals. Tonight Michael Phelps brings his Olympic career to a close in Rio as Katie Ledecky shows us what the next generation of U.S. swimming dominance could look like.

Coy Wire watching all the action and is joining us live from Copacabana Beach. Hey, Coy.

WIRE: Hi, Christi. Michael Phelps, he got the best of him last night. He didn't win. He said, he gave it everything he had. He had a big night's rest of sleep and he just didn't get it done. He was in the final individual race of illustrious Olympic career losing.

Finishing in a three way for a silver behind Joseph Schooling earning -- earns Singapore their first ever gold medal, but Phelps individual career maybe ending on a silver note, but he still has the 4x100 medley ending it in gold. Phelps said, I have two laps left in my career. Here he is.


MICHAEL PHELPS, U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMER: Obviously, I always want to be faster and be on the top of the medal podium. That's what I could do today. So, it's OK. I have another race tomorrow and we'll get ready for that.


WIRE: Now Phelps may be the most decorated swimmer, but Ledecky, Katie Ledecky is no doubt the most dominant. She takes her fourth gold medal of the games here in Rio. This time the 800-meter freestyle finishing over 11 seconds ahead of the silver medal swimmer, guys. She could have started to take her post-race nap before the other swimmers finished. We're talking about the best Olympians and the best swimmers in the world and she's crushing them.

She has six Olympic medals in total now. She smashed 13 world records in her young career. And we're getting to watch it all. Outstanding.

[08:25:07]Now a huge upset here in Rio, the U.S. women's soccer team going down to Sweden in penalty kicks, but everyone is talking about American goaltender, Hope Solo. She allowed Sweden's final score and then she talked trash after the loss.

She said later, quote, "We lost to a bunch of cowards. The better team did not win," unquote. Not a good look for Solo or our country. The U.S. women's soccer team had won three consecutive golds in Olympic competition.

All right, guys, what do we have to watch here today? Let's go, mens 4x100 relay, we'll see Michael Phelps in that Olympic pool one last time.

Tahaj Mohommad is the first American athlete to ever wear a hijab in Olympic competition returning to fencing today. And we'll see who is the fastest woman on the planet? We shall find out in the women's 100-meter final. Take your mark, let's go.

PAUL: We were talking about it. We still don't think Michael Phelps should be upset about a silver. He still medaled. Come on, it's not a loss. Yes, you take it.

WIRE: I'll take it. He has a stack of medals bigger than my head and that's a big head, that's saying a lot.

PAUL: I love it. Coy Wire, thank you so much. You're having far too much fun out there.

BLACKWELL: Did you catch that where he said bigger than my head, Victor knows.

PAUL: I missed that.

BLACKWELL: OK, got you.

Let's move on to politics. And Hillary Clinton putting new pressure on Donald Trump to release his tax returns. The taunting trouble with one of his favorite lines. We'll tell you more on that this morning.

Plus, emergency officials in Louisiana say it is the worst flooding they have seen in decades. The race to save residents from a deadly downpour.


[08:30:19] PAUL: Thirty minutes past the hour right now, I'm Christi Paul. Thank you so much for being with us. Democrats reeling from another hack, this time releasing a trove of personal information affecting Democratic house members and staffers. They've seen their cell phone numbers, private e-mail addresses, even online account log-ins released. Claiming credit? A hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0. That's apparently the same hacker who uploaded 20,000 DNC e-mails to WikiLeaks.

Now, Hillary Clinton released her 2015 tax returns yesterday. This is a move meant to pressure Donald Trump into releasing his. Clinton's return showed an annual income of $10.6 million with an effective tax rate of 31 percent.

Clinton is keeping Trump's feet to the fire, essentially, in a new attack ad turning his own words against him. Look at this.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: So, you know, if you're running at a minimum, probably you're going to have show your returns. But if you didn't see the tax returns, you'd think, there's almost, like, something wrong. What's wrong?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald can answer all of these questions.


PAUL: The Clintons' move, likely, will not yield any action from Donald Trump. He's been steadfast in his months' long refusal to release his taxes as long as they're under audit. Here's Brian Todd.


TRUMP: Unbelievable.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump promised he'd release his tax returns to the public, but that was a year and half ago. Then, at the start of 2016, Trump said he was working on it, saying the information was approved and "very beautiful." He went from that to downplaying their impact.

TRUMP: You can't tell anything from tax returns.

Oh, maybe there's something in his tax return. There's nothing.

TODD: Then what's become a familiar deflection. Trump says a long- running IRS audit of his taxes prevents him from revealing his returns.

TRUMP: I can't do it until the audit is finished.

It would be crazy to give papers before the audit is completed.

TODD: He got defensive about it when speaking to ABC.


TRUMP: It's none of your business. You'll see it when I release.

TODD: And his quoted theories denied by the IRS on why he's being audited.

TRUMP: Maybe because of religion, maybe because of something else, maybe because I'm doing this, although this is just recently.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you mean religion?

TRUMP: Well, maybe because of the fact that I'm a strong Christian and I feel strongly about it, and maybe there's a bias.

DAVID NAKAMURA, "THE WASHINGTON POST" STAFF WRITER: I think he's demagoguing that issue. I mean, I think he's trying distract from what's really going on. When he's defensive, sometimes he reacts, you know, irrationally.

TODD: To all the deflections and excuses, still no release of tax returns from Donald Trump. Is he legally prevented from releasing them during an audit?

ROBERT KOVACEV, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TAX DIVISION ATTORNEY: There's no legal reason why Mr. Trump couldn't release his tax returns now. It's perfectly allowable for him to do so.

TODD: Is Trump really being audited by the IRS?

TRUMP: You know, I get audited every single year.

TODD: Trump has offered a letter from his tax lawyer sent to him in March saying, "Examinations for returns for the 2009 year and forward are ongoing." But is there a letter from the IRS to Trump specifically saying he's being audited? The IRS says it's not allowed to tell us. Trump's campaign and his lawyers aren't telling us either. And the political pressure on the GOP nominee is building.

NAKAMURA: I think you're going to keep seeing the Democrats continue to hit this because they do sense there's a vulnerability here.

TODD: Trump's tax returns might confirm whether he is as rich as he says he is, gives as much to charity as he says he does, and might reveal who he does business with, where his interest lie. Still, one prominent tax attorney says he advised Trump not to release taxes while he's being audited.

KOVACEV: Thousands, millions of people would be looking at it and probably see transactions that are complicated and perfectly legitimate. But, that look strange to someone who's not trained in the tax field. And that could raise a public outcry.

TODD: Trump could get around that. He could provide other basic figures without releasing his returns, figures on his adjusted income, his charitable contributions. He could come out and say what his tax rate is.

We asked Trump's campaign and his tax attorneys if they could provide us that information. They declined saying, again, that the nominee is undergoing a "routine audit and he'll release his returns when that's done."

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: All right, Brian, thank you.

We are joined by our panel, Robert Zimmerman, Democratic strategist and Hillary Clinton supporter and Scottie Nell Hughes, a Donald Trump supporter. Thank you both for being here.

Scottie, I want to start with you. And why don't we talk about that. OK, it seems evident that he is not going to release these -- the entire tax return. But what about those parts? What about the adjusted income, the charitable contributions, just releasing his tax rate, would it not help him get rid of some of this criticism?

HUGHES: It might, but, then again, we don't know what his tax return or tax account is, that package just showed. A very good tax accountant and tax lawyer said don't release it. He was advised. We don't know what he's being advised. It's probably, if he could release it, he would. There would be no reason to hide it. You know, it's the same ...

[08:35:09] PAUL: So he could release those little bits of it. That much we know.

HUGHES: We know but that doesn't mean just because you could is it necessarily in his best interest or the best interest of his companies that employs thousands of employees. I think he's doing what's best for his company as well. It's not just Donald Trump he has to think about it's that whole conglomerate. But at the same question, he had kind of look, right? Well, you know, we talked about it in the previous segment about the Clintons giving to the Clinton Foundation or they're separate of family foundation, which the Clintons still control, the in and out of the money in fact.

Imagine if that was Donald Trump. If Donald Trump had given 96 percent in that and he revealed to his own family foundation, he would come under such fire, such scrutiny. Just like Mitt Romney did in 2012 when it was revealed that he gave the majority of his charitable contributions ...

PAUL: OK, OK, but then let's turn it around.

HUGHES: ... to the Mormon Church.

PAUL: Let's turn it around. What if it was Hillary Clinton who is not releasing her tax reference? I mean, Donald Trump, we saw there on record, has said himself, if you're not releasing your tax records that could give the impression that there is something there you want to hide.

HUGHES: If she had a legitimate reason that she was still honoring what's being advised, if she was under an audit, I don't see how we could criticize. She still has not released her Wall Street, all of these ...

ZIMMERMAN: Christi ...

HUGHES: ... issue (ph) that she gave to Wall Street. We still don't have 30 thousands e-mail. I mean, she's the last ...



HUGHES: ... here throwing things about this.

PAUL: OK, Robert, I want to go -- I know you want to respond to that Robert. Go ahead.

ZIMMERMAN: OK, you know, Christi, in New York we have a political expression for Donald Trump's strategy of hiding his taxes. It's called hudsva (ph).

And the reality here, Christi, is that Donald Trump could easily make his taxes available before the 2009 audit began. He could make his taxes available this year that are not under audit. He could disclose his rate of tax, his tax rate. He could disclose his charitable donations.

Understand as former Mayor Mike Bloomberg said being from New York you know a con when you see one. This is his arguments about his illegitimate of his claims that he's a self-funder. There is illegitimate as all the other are lies that he's been caught in telling. For example, saying that he knows ...


ZIMMERMAN: ... Vladimir -- was in fact, did now says he doesn't know Vladimir Putin. You go write down the list.

The point simply here is, it just demonstrates, and I think the nation is responding to it, why he's so ill-equipped to be president. Why his candidacy is built upon a fraud. And I -- ultimately, I think that's what the election is going to ultimately determine. And that's why I think he's losing such important ground here because he's not a legitimate candidate for president.

HUGHES: First of all, Robert Zimmerman, let me tell you, any of those questions that you really need to know, Mr. Trump has done everything legally required by law, OK? He's not been a fraud.


PAUL: OK. Wait a minute. OK. I want to get to something that is grabbing some headlines today as well. And this is a tweet that Hillary Clinton put out saying many people are saying Trump won't release his tax returns because he's hiding something. What do you think it is? She actually made this into a poll and has options. He doesn't pay any taxes. He parks money overseas. He inflates his wealth. He's not very charitable. The thing is there are more than 107,000 votes, people that have had actually contributed to that already.

So Scottie, is it doing Donald Trump more harm, though, than good to have the speculation out there when he could just tap it down by releasing one thing?

HUGHES: No. Because and well, maybe one little thing possibly might, but at this point the supporters are behind him, really just like Democrats has said they don't really care about Hillary Clinton e- mails. Those who are supporting Mr. Trump don't care about necessarily about his tax returns at this point, at this side.

Now, talking about an online poll, we don't -- and CNN doesn't even put much credibility on the online polls, if Trump put out a poll right now about Hillary Clinton. But, I think, it's -- here is the real question about why she put that tweet out. She's accusing Donald Trump of just throwing things out there without any facts or anything to back it up. Just -- she just did that exact same thing once again. Let's just start throwing things out there, ideas and concepts, and without any facts or sitting there and creating these types of conspiracy theory.


HUGHES: That doesn't help ...

PAUL: Scottie, OK, wait, I've got 20 seconds. Robert, go ahead, I want you to be able to respond.

ZIMMERMAN: OK, Scottie, simply, the Clinton campaign asked the question. And very frankly, if Donald Trump was ...

HUGHES: And Trump asked a question, too, what's in the e-mail.

ZIMMERMAN: Don't interrupt, Scottie.

HUGHES: Right.

ZIMMERMAN: If Donald Trump wants to answer the question, all he's going to do is put his taxes out there and be straight with the American people. He built his whole campaign about being straightforward and being a straight talker while we're seeing just what a fraud that is.

PAUL: All right, Robert Zimmerman and Scottie Nell Hughes, we appreciate you both being here.

ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.

HUGHES: Thank you.

PAUL: And we'll obviously continue to have this conversation throughout the day. But I want to show you some of the latest pictures that we're getting in here from Louisiana.

Three people have died already as the devastating floods are taking over in that state, the fight to save residents from the deadly downpours that are still coming.

Also, the sentence for a former University of Colorado student convicted of sexually assaulting a drunk college mate now under fire. Why critics say this punishment doesn't begin to fit the crime.


[08:43:29] BLACKWELL: Breaking news this morning, active rescue operations happening right now across parts of Southeast Louisiana because the dangerous floodwaters there are continuing to rise. Get this in the last 24 hours. There have been dozens of people pulled from their homes, their cars, even people holding on to trees. Fortunately, they were taken to safety.

And look at this, the force of the water was so strong here it swept this semi off the road. Now, the driver, good news, was able to escape.

Already, the flooding has claimed at least three lives. One man who was swept away is still missing and Louisiana's Governor has declared a state of emergency.

CNN's Boris Sanchez is following the latest for us this morning. And again, these rescues are happening literally while we're talking right now.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, exactly, Victor. We got confirmation just a little over an hour ago that there was a rescue in North Baton Rouge. It's been ongoing since yesterday. We were stopped at a highway where officials told us they had conducted five rescues of people that were trying to flee these floodwaters and got into flooded roads and got stuck. They did five rescues in just one hour.

You can see behind me, just from when we saw you an about hour ago, the water has moved on from this area, it receded quite a bit. And a couple of these businesses around here, there's a home down there that is certainly flooded. This business here is definitely flooded. And an appliance store behind us also flooded.

I want to show you where the high water mark is on that sign just so you can get an idea of how high this water went. And this is fewer than 24 hours ago, this entire neighborhood was swept under, partly because there's a river behind us. Just behind me there's a bridge.

[08:45:07] And so, several days of rain, this storm not particularly a strong one, but certainly a persistent one. Since Monday, this whole region has been getting pounded all the way from the Florida's Panhandle to Alabama, Mississippi and the brunt of it here in Louisiana.

To give you some perspective though, the water starts moving south, those neighborhoods in the south are going to start having to moving on. As you said, three people have been killed, one person is still missing, more than 12,000 without power and many homeless right now. Hopefully this will clear up soon and we can get this recovery underway, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, well, our Meteorologist Derek Van Dam says, at least another 36 hours of rain for parts of Southeast Louisiana.

Boris Sanchez there for us, thanks so much. Christi?

PAUL: A convicted rapist avoids prison time. The question now is, was the judge, who sentenced him, too lenient? We'll having that discussion in a minute.

BLACKWELL: But first, a billion people watch viral videos and read messages on Facebook. But, what about Facebookers who cannot see? How does the social network work for them? That's Matt King's job. He's Facebook's first blind engineer.

CNNMoney's Laura Segall -- Laurie Segall, rather, sat down with him. Watch.


MATT KING, FACEBOOK'S FIRST BLIND ENGINEER: When I first signed up for Facebook, trying to get in my account, trying to find my list of friends, it felt like work.

LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY SENIOR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: King is Facebook's first blind engineer. His job is to make the site easier to use for the visually impaired

You're helping bring this experience to so many folks who don't have that ability. So what exactly are you doing here that's helping that?

KING: I've been working a lot on our Messenger product. Another thing that I've been helping with is the system for describing photos to people who are behind.

SEGALL: With over a billion users, Facebook now has a team focused on building accessibility tools. That team created an empathy lab to showcase different ways people use the product. The tech might be in its early stages but the implications for someone like Matt are far- reaching.

KING: The steps that we're taking today in the direction of being able to describe photos to people who are blind by using artificial intelligence, this baby step is moving in the direction of a world where nobody's left out. It's like you are telling people who are blind, look, we care about you, we want you to be a part of the global community. We want you to -- excuse me. Sorry. We want you to be -- you matter. Your life matters. And being connected with other people matters. And we're going to do everything we can to make that possible.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [08:51:28] PAUL: Prosecutors in Colorado are upset with a judge in a college sex assault case saying that the sentence he handed down to a convicted rapist is not harsh enough. Twenty two-year-old Austin Wilkerson was convicted of raping a drunk University of Colorado classmate. And he could have been sentenced to 4 to 12 years to life in prison, rather, he'll be spending the next two years in work release. Meaning, he can leave jail during the day for school or work and return at night. Was the judge too lenient?

I talked to CNN Legal Analyst and Criminal Defense Attorney Joey Jackson about that a little bit ago.


PAUL: Good morning to you, Joey. So, in a sentencing memorandum they noted that this is equivalent to third-degree felony sexual assault for which he was convicted. It's in the same class of crimes as second-degree murder and vehicular homicide. Do you think it was the appropriate sentence?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Christi, I do not at all for many reasons. Now, when you look at the reasons why sentencing of any type would be appropriate, you look at the penance of the system, punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation. I think the sentence fails in all of those regards.

In terms of punishment, what is it? You know, you look at in terms of the offense that he committed, there's a victim here that he promised, we should remind viewers, to get her home safely. He broke that commitment. And as much as he raped her, jury found him guilty. So the punishment isn't adequate.

Then you look to the deterrent value. What is the deterrence? What are others going to think out there? Can you just rape someone, violate someone and get away with it? So, does it deter?

And with regard to rehabilitation, it's very difficult to argue it's rehabilitating in terms of a sentence if there's not really, at the outset of recognition, that this is serious. And so, I think in all those regards, it fails.

And then finally, Christi, with respect to the victim, the victim impact statement here just chilling in terms of what it did to her psychologically, what it did to her emotionally ...

PAUL: Yeah.

JACKSON: ... the financial toll it took on her. And so, I think that judges really need to be a little bit more considerate, a lot more considerate, I'm understating it, when they're meting out a sentence for something like this.

PAUL: This is something that stuck with me. Again, in the sentencing memorandum, they argue that actions speak louder than words. I think we have the spokesman we call up (ph). "The defendant raped a helpless young woman after duping the people around her into believing he was going to care for her, tried to cover up his crime, then repeatedly lied about what he did including under oath at trial."

The state probation department, as we heard there, recommended no prison because of his, "Impressive acceptance of responsibility and empathy to the woman." Does delayed empathy absolve someone of a serious offense? Because it seems in this case that's what happened.

JACKSON: It's a great question, Christi. And when you talk about delayed empathy, I didn't do it, I didn't do it, she consented. During trial, you fight it. But now that you're caught red-handed, and of course you're convicted, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it, I'll never do it again.

Now, obviously, the system wants you to accept responsibility ultimately. But many defendants who apologize, do they get this treatment? And so I think to the extent that the judge relies upon a pre-sentence report where probation says, well, he's accepting now, I think the judge is hiding behind that.

I can tell you many times, I have pre-sentencing reports that a judge disregards. And the judge does what they believe is appropriate for all parties concerned. I think that was lost here. No, delayed empathy should not, in fact, absolve someone of a conviction like this.

PAUL: You know, again, in the memorandum, it urged the court to consider the ramifications here and the message that this sends to the university community as we saw in that piece. This has been an issue for a lot of university communities. How much responsibility does the court have to think about that, about the message that it sends?

[08:55:11] JACKSON: I think it's huge, Christi. It goes back to, again, the penance of the system, punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation.

In a judge, although giving wide discretion as we see here and we saw what the judge did with that discretion, 20 years probation, OK, and of course this two years work release. But the fact is that, you want to send a message to deter so that this doesn't happen.

You, sir, you're convicted, you're not going to do it again, and anybody who would attempt to do this to a woman, they won't do it at all either. And so, you need to send that deterrent effect, and you need to punish adequately, and I'm all for rehabilitation, I argue it all the time.

PAUL: But you can have rehabilitation with prison sentences as well.

JACKSON: Exactly. That's right, they're not usually exclusive. It's a great point. And I think that's what the judge did here ...

PAUL: All right, Joey Jackson.

JACKSON: ... unfortunately.

PAUL: Unfortunately, yes. Thank you so much. We appreciate it.


PAUL: Another major case making waves today. If you were one of the 20 million people who watched the hugely popular Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" we've got some news for you.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, a federal judge in Wisconsin has overturned Brendan Dassey's conviction. Dassey was sent to prison along with his uncle for the 2005 murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. And Dassey was 16 at the time and had a learning disability.

PAUL: The judge ruled that investigators violated his constitutional rights and the judge gave prosecutors 90 days to decide if they'll retry Dassey. If they don't, they will release him.

BLACKWELL: All right, that's it for us. We'll see you back here at 10:00 eastern for an hour of "NEWSROOM."

PAUL: Yeah, don't go anywhere though. "SMERCONISH" is with you next.