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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump Speech on Plan to Defeat ISIS; Biden Hits Campaign Trail with Clinton; Trump Campaign Chief Denied Ukraine Cash Payments; FBI to Release Notes of Clinton Testimony on E-mail Servers. Aired 11- 11:30a ET
Aired August 15, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: I'm not running against Crooked Hillary. I'm running against the crooked media.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The campaign is contrary to what the media is saying.
TRUMP: Now they're analyzing it? Did I really mean that? These people are the lowest form of life.
SEN. TIM KAINE, (D), VIRGINIA & VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This guy will make up anything.
TRUMP: I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They're the founders.
MIKE PENCE, (R), INDIANA GOVERNOR & VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he was being very serious and he was making the point that needs to be made.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump getting down to policy today, laying out his ISIS.
PENCE: He's going to talk about how you target your enemies and work with your friends.
KAINE: We are not gullible people. We're not going to let them pull the wool over our eyes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. John Berman is off today. Another week, another reset for Donald Trump. He is set to deliver a
big speech in Youngstown, Ohio, shortly, laying out his plan to defeat ISIS. That's the message de jure after waging a weekend-long war with the messenger, the media, claiming unfair treatment is the reason he's down in the polls now.
Hillary Clinton also has a big event with a big surrogate today. She's taking her message to voters. She's still trying to convince white working-class voters in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with the town's favorite son by her side, Joe Biden. The vice president making his debut on the Clinton campaign trail, as the FBI gets set to release notes of Clinton's interview with FBI agents during their investigation into her use of -- investigation into her use of private e-mail servers. We're going to get to that in just a moment.
First, to CNN's Jessica Schneider with much more on Trump's plans today.
It's clearly Monday, because I can't speak.
What are we learning about this plan?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, we're learning Trump will lay out his plan to combat ISIS this afternoon in Ohio. The details will come in the form of a three-pronged policy speech. First, a Trump campaign official says the Republican candidate will make clear that any nation that fights ISIS will be an ally. Also noting that the U.S. will no longer be in the business of nation building. Secondly, Trump is promising to raise the bar on standards for entry into the U.S., suspending visas from other countries with ties to terrorism, and potentially even questioning eligible applicants about their support of U.S. values. And, third, Donald Trump wants to make a clear statement -- you see it there. He says this is an "ideological struggle against radical Islam." It must be waged militarily and financially, likening it to the Cold War.
Donald Trump's speech slated for 2:00 this afternoon. He'll be using the speech to get back on message after last week's controversial comments and a weekend, of course, that was spent bashing the media -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: We'll see if some of the weekend's comments bleed into today's speech or what today's speech brings. We will see.
Thank you, Jessica.
SCHNEIDER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Jessica has the plan of what he'll lay out. We'll listen for that. That's coming up later today.
Also coming up, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, their event in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Our Joe Johns is there looking ahead.
Joe, what are we going to hear from Hillary Clinton today?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Expect a hometown feel for this event in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This is a town where Vice President Joe Biden was born and raised. Also a town where Hillary Clinton's father, Hugh Rodham, was born and raised. In fact, he's buried here. So we do expect to hear a little bit about the biographies of these two people.
Joe Biden, very much welcomed on the campaign trial by Hillary Clinton. Because they believe he can bring in working-class white voters. That's what Scranton, Pennsylvania, represents.
Of course, what to expect from Hillary Clinton. We do expect her, in fact, to kind of stick with the program she left off last week, talking about Donald Trump, the fact he has not released his taxes. The campaign very much feeling as though things are working well for them in the polls. If it's not broken, they don't plan to fix it.
We also expect to hear perhaps a little bit about Donald Trump's ability or lack thereof to deal with foreign policy. Just today, the campaign put out a web ad, hitting Donald Trump on that very issue, questioning whether he ought to be entrusted with the nuclear codes. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX BOOT, REPUBLICAN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR: He's saying he's going to work closely with the Muslim world at the same time he's going to bar Muslims from coming to the United States.
TRUMP: A total and complete shutdown of Muslims.
MIKE MURPHY, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He is a stunning ignoramus on foreign issues and national security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think of NATO?
TRUMP: Now, you know, it's not like it was my primary subject, in all fairness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: You may have a sense of deja vu with this appearance. It was reported earlier, several weeks ago, that Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton were going to appear together in Scranton, Pennsylvania. However, that appearance got postponed due to the shootings of several police officers in Dallas.
Back to you.
[11:05:28] BOLDUAN: Joe Johns, thank you.
Joe, they do like what they're looking at in the polls in Pennsylvania. The average is with Clinton up nine points. We'll see what they say and how much Donald Trump is the target.
Let's talk much more about Donald Trump and his big policy rollout today, his plan to take -- his plan to take on ISIS and radical Islam.
Joining me to discuss, CNN senior international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, who has reported from the battleground, especially in Syria. And CNN security and intelligence analyst, Bob Baer, a former CIA operative.
Guys, great to see you.
Clarissa, I think important context to set -- before we get to the speech is where is the U.S., where is the U.S. and its allies right now in the fight against ISIS?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, thing it's kind of ironic actually the timing of this speech because I will say, for the first time in two years, the U.S. is really starting to see some momentum building in this battle for ISIS -- against ISIS, rather. So what exactly am I talking about? If you look last week, there were major victories from pro-government Libyan forces fighting under the cover of U.S. air power to try to route out ISIS militants from the key strategic city of Sirte. That battle is still ongoing, Kate, but it appears those U.S.-backed fighters are poised for victory. Then, of course, over the weekend, you had a significant victory for the so-called SDF, or Syrian Democratic Force, U.S.-backed forces, who enjoyed a major victory in the strategic ISIS city of Manbij, up near the Turkish border inside Syria. That was one of ISIS's main hubs inside Syria. This battle really considered to be almost a dress rehearsal for taking the key city of Raqqa, for example. And then, of course, look at the victories from some Iraqi forces, for example, in Fallujah, earlier on in Ramadi. So there's still a lot of work to be done. But I certainly think it's fair to say, for the first time in a couple of years, Kate, we have definitely seen the momentum picking up in this battle against ISIS.
BOLDUAN: That is important context as we head into hearing what Donald Trump has to say about this.
One big aspect of what we were expecting or what aides have laid out, Bob, is part of this plan is banning people from countries with heavy terrorist activity. You had to implement that aspect of his plan what other countries do you put on that list?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Kate, I would put Saudi Arabia. We don't get full cooperation. Those attacks in Germany, on the train, coordinated out of Saudi Arabia. We still don't have a lot of the answers on 9/11, about the Saudi support, financial. And I happen to agree with Trump on few points, frankly, but this one, countries like Saudi Arabia, you have to be able to get traces on their people visiting the United States when they apply for visas. We have to be in a position where we can go to the Saudi police and say, should we give this guy a visa or not, whether there are radical connections. And a lot of countries in the gulf are not cooperating on this. He's right on this. On the rest of it, you know, that's something else.
BOLDUAN: We'll get into that in just one second. Clarissa, his original ban when we heard -- the original ban on
Muslims, he described, first described back in December, that was roundly criticized by leaders outside the United States. How was this laid out, when you hear him say -- Bob seems to agree with it in part -- going to ban people from countries with heavy terrorist activities. The problem is he doesn't lay out an extensive list of what those countries are. How is that likely to be received outside the U.S.?
WARD: Kate, the only thing I would say is I just gave you a list of momentum in the fight against ISIS. I mentioned in the context of that Syria and Libya. The people who are fighting on the ground, yes, the U.S. is providing the air cover. Yes, I'm sure the U.S. is providing technology, expertise and funding. But on the ground are Syrians and Libyans. So how do they feel when they hear this kind of Islamophobic rhetoric coming from the White House being told they can't even apply for a visa to visit the U.S., while meanwhile, they're the ones out there the on the battlefield shedding blood dying to fight against ISIS? I think you're going to see definitely people will be vexed by this in Muslim countries. Whether or not the ban applies to their country or not, it's still the same idea that it feeds into this divisive anti-Islamic rhetoric. And, of course, it is Muslims that the U.S. is relying upon to fight these important battles -- Kate?
[11:10:07] BOLDUAN: Bob, does it pose a bit of a mixed message? Jessica Schneider laying out another bit of the plan they've laid out is, any country, any nation that will fight ISIS is an ally of the United States. It seems, as Clarissa lays out, the realities are the battlefield are a bit of a mixed message here.
BAER: Clarissa is right. It's the Muslims fighting this. They are the ones who will take Raqqa, not us, not our troops. They're the ones who deal with Damascus and Libya. Yes, we need them as allies. We need to bring them into the United States for training, for visits, and the rest. A complete ban on Muslims is never going to happen. Plus, you have 15 million Muslims in Europe that are European citizens. Who can say if you're Muslim or not when they put it on their application. Say you're Christian. It's impossible to tell with the names. They can be changed. So it's --
BOLDUAN: And, Bob, then gets to another part of this plan, that they've also laid out, they're going to put in place some sort of ideological test, is what a Trump administration would do, to keep anyone with anti-Semitic, anti-gay and other views that don't mesh with U.S. values out of the country. What do you think of a test like that? Is that enforceable?
BAER: No, it's not enforceable. It's unconstitutional. It's not going to work, ever, at any point.
Again, with Trump what he's missing is a political solution to these countries that are breaking apart, whether it's Libya, Syria or Iraq. Already, there are negotiations to divide these countries, partition them. We have to get ahead of this. We have to be a part of it. Because military force alone is not going to win the battle against terrorism.
BOLDUAN: We'll hear more details, if they do come out, from Donald Trump today.
Great to get perspective from you guys. Clarissa, Bob, thank you.
BAER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, Trump's campaign manager is responding today to a new report that links him to off-the-books cash payments involving politicians in Ukraine. I'll speak with the reporter who broke the story, coming up.
Plus, Hillary Clinton spoke to the FBI for three hours about her e- mails. An investigation that led the FBI director to strongly criticize her but not recommend charges surrounding it. Well now, we could soon hear what she said in that interview. Details on that.
And the terrifying moments of a life-or-death rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're coming. We're coming. I'm going to break this window. We're breaking the window.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:16:29] BOLDUAN: After Donald Trump's weekend tirade against the media, and specifically hitting "The New York Times" particularly hard, this morning's front page in "The New York Times" probably didn't sit too well with Donald Trump during his breakfast. The headline is this: "Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump's Campaign Chief." The report says that a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine designated millions of dollars for Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. This, during a period of time Manafort was a consultant to that political party in Ukraine. Manafort denies the report.
The Clinton campaign, not surprisingly, immediately jumped on the news, demanding that Trump disclose any campaign ties to Russia.
With me now, one of the lead reporters on this piece, on this investigation, Andrew Kramer, a Moscow correspondent for "The New York Times."
Andrew, thanks for joining me.
CNN just confirmed actually that Paul Manafort is now under investigation in Ukraine for receiving illegal payments. This goes directly to what you were investigating. What led you to this investigation? What led you to this handwritten ledger?
ANDREW KRAMER, MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, thank you very much for having me on the show.
Before Paul Manafort was manager of the Republican Party campaign in the United States, he had another job. That job was adviser to the pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
Now, I covered the revolution in Ukraine two years ago, and a curious document surfaced, one of hundreds thousands of documents that came out of the government and released and stored in various locations in Kiev. The thinking was if there was mention of Manafort in some of these documents that had been released, there was likely to be more. So we set about investigating Manafort's business activities, activities in Ukraine, based upon this evidence which had come to light during the revolution.
BOLDUAN: Paul Manafort, he says he has never received any money, that millions of dollars described in your piece, especially.
Let me read for our viewers part of the statement. It was pretty rough. This is what he also said. "I've never received a single off- the-books cash payment, as falsely," in his words, "reported by "The New York Times. Nor I have ever done work for the governments of Ukraine or Russia. Further, all of the political payments directed to me were for my entire political team, campaign staff, local and international, polling and research, election integrity and television advertising. The suggestion," Manafort says, "that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical."
Clearly, he is flat-out denying this, Andrew. What do you say to this?
KRAMER: Not really. He says that payments were directed to him and, at the same time, he says he didn't receive payments as described. In the story, he denies working for the Ukrainian and Russian governments, which we never asserted.
What we reported is a Ukrainian investigative agency, the Investigative Anti-Corruption Bureau, had discovered 22 instances in a ledger of off-the-books accounting that mentioned Manafort's name. They say they can't be certain he received the money received on the line items in the accounting document, but they're investigating. And that he received money, and it went to other purposes other than his salaries is not really the issue.
BOLDUAN: That actually is an important -- it is an important point. Millions of dollars on a handwritten ledger designated for Paul Manafort, which you uncovered. And Manafort saying that he never received the money. Both of those things can be accurate.
[11:20:08] KRAMER: They can. He doesn't say he never received the money, according to the statement. He says he didn't receive it in this manner. And that the money went to pay expenses. So, as I said, the Ukrainian agency is continuing to investigate --
KRAMER: -- where exactly this money went and what it means that this ledger includes his name.
BOLDUAN: That's I think the important thing everyone is wondering, what is this handwritten ledger? What does it mean? Paul Manafort's name on it. Did you have an opportunity to find that others that were named on this handwritten ledger, that they had received cash payments, what it all meant?
KRAMER: Right. Well, I did speak with somebody who had received cash payments through the system. It was a former senior leader of the Party of Regents, number-three official in that party. He, for example, received money for travel expenses in cash from party headquarters and signed documents resembling this ledger. The expenditures, some were released to the Ukrainian media. They went for legitimate expenses like advertising and consulting, but also there were recipients in the Electoral Committee of Ukraine, suggesting the slush fund here had bribed electoral officials to rig elections. Out of the same source of money, you have payments for Paul Manafort, according to Ukrainian investigators.
BOLDUAN: Andrew, quickly, on Paul Manafort's statement, do you think he's being artful with his language? You don't see this as a denial. You just think he's trying to explain it away?
KRAMER: I think that the Ukrainian investigators, to me and others, confirmed they're investigating these payments and they have said that the signature beside the line items may not be Paul Manafort's. They might be an aid who picked up the money and hen deposited and in some other way transferred it to the Davis Manafort International Company operating in Ukraine. So in Ukraine, at least, they're continuing to investigate.
It's important to remember Ukraine's a very poor country. People there struggle to get by. Average salaries might be around $100 a month. And that this money was either extorted from businesses or it was undocumented donations to a political party that was highly corrupt, and is widely regarded as highly corrupt now. That this money was taken out of the country, possibly by a fellow American, is upsetting, and this is on a level that is disgusted in Ukraine. They're eager to get to the bottom of this and find out why this large payment was made.
BOLDUAN: Andrew Kramer, thanks so much for joining me.
KRAMER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up next, according to the "Wall Street Journal," Donald Trump, you are on the clock. A scathing editorial telling Trump to shape up or be cut off.
Plus, more violence erupting in a major American city after the police shooting of an African-American man. Will body camera video show the same story that the officers are giving?
[11:27:30] BOLDUAN: Notes from Hillary Clinton's three and a half hour-long interview with the FBI could soon be handed over to Congress. The notes were requested by Republican lawmakers after last month's recommendation by FBI Director James Comey that Clinton not face criminal charges, despite testimony calling her extremely careless with classified information as secretary of state.
CNN's justice correspondent, Evan Perez, is joining me from Washington with more on this.
Notes from the interview, what are they going to get, Evan?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, these are what is known as 302s, notes that the FBI agents took during the three and a half- hour interview with Hillary Clinton. Because this was a voluntary interview, it wasn't recorded as the FBI tends to do with a lot of national security investigations. Instead, they're going to rely on the notes these FBI agents took to all the answers she provided, and also the answers some of her aid aides provided during their interviews with the FBI.
BOLDUAN: Any indications from your sources what could be in the notes?
EVANS: I think Congress wants to double-check to see what answers, especially Hillary Clinton gave, why she set up this server in her home in Chappaqua, New York. Why is it she decided this is a secure way to handle what became tons of classified information? Did she know some of this information was classified when she sent it? Now the FBI says she was truthful in her interview with the FBI. The Republicans in Congress say some of her answers, though, have been contradicted by the facts that the FBI found. Some of her public answers that is.
BOLDUAN: They can, I guess, square that with notes from an interview, if and when they get them. Is there any circumstances that there's going to be redactions or they're not going to get the complete notes?
EVANS: That's a great question. Yes, there will be redactions. That's one of the things still happening now. We don't know when these notes are going to be provided to the members of Congress. You can bet the CIA, these other intelligence agencies that had raised questions about the materials that were on this public server, on this private server, they're going to raise some questions about releasing some of this. So we expect a lot of redactions to happen before this is handed over.
BOLDUAN: All right, we'll see. I promise you will have the information when it is handed over.
Evan, great to talk to you. Thanks.
PEREZ: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a Labor Day deadline. Oh, this, right now, a labor day deadline, that's what the "Wall Street Journal" editorial says Donald Trump has to turn things around before, it says, the Republican should, in the editorial, "write off their nominee and focus on down-ballot races." The newspaper also adding this: "As for Mr. Trump, he needs to stop blaming everyone else --