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Trump in Milwaukee; Trump Campaign and Ailes; Trump to Meet With Milwaukee Police in Wake of Protests. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired August 16, 2016 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brianna Keilar in for Wolf Blitzer. It is 1:00 p.m. here in Washington and wherever you are watching around the world, thanks so much for joining us.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: We are beginning with breaking news in the race for the White House. We have just learned new information about Donald Trump now working with ousted Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, to assist with his debate preparation.
CNN Senior Media reporter Dylan Byers is joining us now live with more on this development. And what do you know, Dylan, about what the role that Ailes will play?
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Sure, Brianna. What we know is that Roger Ailes, who was ousted from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations, is now talking with Donald Trump. The two have been in discussions. The two talk frequently. And, of course, the great thing on the horizon for Donald Trump and his campaign is, of course, those three presidential debates which are going to take place in September and October.
If we -- you know Roger Ailes. Roger Ailes is someone who has advised presidential candidates in their debates going back to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, the first George H. W. Bush. And, of course, this is something in which he brings a great deal of expertise. The two of them talk frequently. They have talked frequently since even before Roger Ailes left Fox News. And so, of course, what they are discussing is the debate.
But I want to be very clear. Formal debate prep has not starred for Donald Trump. And the Trump campaign issued a very forceful denial of this report which originally appeared in the "New York Times." That denial, if I can just read it to you now. This is not accurate. He is not advising Mr. Trump or helping with debate prep. They are long- time friends but he has no formal or informal role in the campaign.
I think what we can say, confidently, is that there is a sort of gray matter there where the two are talking. They are discussing the upcoming debates. And I do think Mr. Trump, based off the sources we've spoken with, finds Mr. Ailes' advice on that front to be invaluable.
KEILAR: But how did that square -- if they're saying there's no formal or informal, how does that square with the facts that we know, that the "New York Times" was first to report?
BYERS: Right. Well, it almost seems like too much of a full throated denial, based on what both the "New York Times" are reporting and on our own reporting. There's no denial there, too, that the two of them do talk regularly and that the two of them are indeed close friends.
Again, this is Roger Ailes bread -- or sorry. This is Roger Ailes bread and butter. This is what he does. He is a master of messaging. He is credited with some of the most famous lines coming out of some of the great presidential debates for the -- for the various presidential candidates and presidents that he worked for.
If -- when the two of them get together and talk, there's no question that the debates are on the horizon. The dates are seen, especially for Mr. Trump, as the one area where he has left to truly salvage the campaign. And we've seen those poll numbers. He's sliding in those poll numbers. Those are his last, sort of, moments on the national stage by which to, sort of, advance his campaign and, once again, make his case to the nation that he's fit to be president of the United States.
KEILAR: Real quick before I let you go, Dylan. Are you getting the sense, from people who are close to Donald Trump or backing Donald Trump, that there's some discord about whether this is a good idea?
BYERS: Well, sure, discord in the Donald Trump campaign is sort of the name of the game. There's a lot of disagreement about how he should handle these things. Certainly, Donald Trump is someone who's always, sort of, flown off the cuff and done things his own way. But that doesn't mean there aren't certain people who he trusts and certain people whose advice that he takes seriously. And one of those people, certainly, is Roger Ailes. Again, no one knows this better than he does.
So -- and, look, Roger Ailes, whatever you want to say about his tenure at Fox News, his tenure, in terms of advising the media strategies of presidents and presidential candidates, you know, that's a very solid and impressive record, at least in terms of the wins and the gains that he's made.
So, look, I think on the whole, I think there is a lot of agreement that this is probably going to help Donald Trump. And certainly there are a lot of people in the campaign who believe that Donald Trump needs to, sort of, sharpen his message and get a little bit serious, start running more of a general election campaign as opposed to the, sort of, primary season campaign that he still seems to be running.
KEILAR: Dylan Byers, thank you so much.
And Donald Trump is, today, campaigning in Milwaukee on the heels of violent protests that followed a fatal shooting by police. Residence say the shooting of an armed African-American man brought simmering racial tensions to the forefront. And over the weekend, at least six businesses were burned, cars were set on fire. Rocks, bricks thrown at police. CNN Correspondent Anna Cabrera is joining us live now from Milwaukee. And you are actually standing in front of the wreckage of a burned out building, what appear to be burned out cars, Anna. And all of this happening as Donald Trump is now heading to the area.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It's the ATF investigators and some of the other local investigators that are working with the arson team on scene right now, going through the wreckage here of this BP Gas Station that was burned down in Saturday night's violence.
[13:05:09] And this is the backdrop as Trump comes to this state, a state that has not been real friendly to Trump in the primary election and he needs to try to gain some traction here.
Now, Trump's -- we've learned about his visit. He'll be visiting Milwaukee here sometime in the next couple of hours. His campaign saying that he will be at an event that includes veterans and law enforcement but aren't saying specifically where that's happening or what he's planning to address.
He will go on to have an event this evening, a town hall and a fund raiser. This town hall will be at Fox News in downtown Milwaukee before he ends his night still in this state at a rally in a suburb of West Bend.
Again, the backdrop is so important here because we know the issues of policing, of racial tensions across the country are very big in this presidential election. And this is an opportunity for Donald Trump to show leadership on that front -- Brianna.
KEILAR: And, Ana, you mentioned Donald Trump is going to be meeting with veterans. He's going to be meeting with police officers. You also, though, have a number of members in his party who say, look, you need to be reaching out to African-American voters. You need to be in front of African-American communities.
I don't think anyone is expecting that Donald Trump is going to carry the African-American vote, but they say it's important that he gets in front of black voters and makes his case so that he can at least get some support. Are you getting any sense if he has any plans to talk with community leaders, with activists there?
CABRERA: We just don't know, at this point. There is no word that he is planning to do that. But we've been talking with the community leaders and with residents in this neighborhood where the unrest has taken place in the past couple of days. A neighborhood, again, where we're hearing from residents who have felt treated poorly by the system and have felt oppressed and have wanted to see others in leadership positions help to create some job opportunities and an avenue for a better future.
And the residents who we've spoken to here talked about Donald Trump visiting. And they really don't feel that he could make a difference. In fact, I want to play a sound bite or a clip of part of an interview I did just this morning with a woman named Lashonda Foster. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LASHONDA FOSTER: Why is he coming? What is he doing for our community? For that matter, anybody's community? He's already rich. What can he do for our community that's hurting right now?
Our kids can't even go to the park where the Boys and Girls Club at. They're scared -- they -- the little kids are scared to be out here. I have a 12 year old. He can't even come to the park.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So, there's a sense of apathy that we're hearing from residents regarding this visit from Donald Trump. I spoke with another man who considers himself an activist and he's a community minister, he said. And he said, you know, a lot of the folks here really aren't focused on the broader presidential election and politics on a national level. They are hyper-focused on what's happening in their lives right now. And they welcome anybody who might be able to make a positive difference -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Ana Cabrera for us in Milwaukee. Thank you.
Let's talk more now about Donald Trump's visit to Milwaukee, but also the fact that you have Roger Ailes now apparently advising Trump when it comes to the debate. We're going to talk to Jack Kingston. He is a senior advisor to the Trump campaign. He's also a former Congressman from Georgia. And thank you so much for being here.
JACK KINGSTON, SENIOR ADVISOR, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: We have been talking a lot lately and I'm glad that we are.
KINGSTON: That's a good thing.
KEILAR: OK, I want to ask you first about this Roger Ailes news. Obviously, we are mentioning that the campaign is saying this isn't happening. There's no informal. There's no formal. But there is reporting, and this is not -- this is according to three people who have been briefed on what's going on, that Donald Trump who is, of course, the ousted Fox News chairman. Left amid charges of sexual harass -- or pardon me, that he -- there were allegations of sexual harassment. That he's going to be advising Donald Trump. Is that a good idea? I know a lot of Republicans think it is not.
KINGSTON: You know, Brianna, I don't think any campaign is going to tell everything to everybody. And they're under no obligation to say who's going to be speech coach, who's going to be in the back room.
We do know this, that Roger Ailes has tremendous experience, in terms of coaching candidates. He could be a resource for debate purposes. But I think, at this point, the campaign is going to look at a lot of options, in terms of who might be in the room to coach him and who won't.
As your reporter pointed out, the debates are a big thing. We know the stakes are high. And so, I think right now, we're not ready to say anything. We're just going to start getting prepared, not formally, but in terms of getting a mindset about it.
KEILAR: But he resigned, Roger Ailes did, amid a lawsuit, alleging --
[13:10:04] KEILAR: -- that he had sexually harassed one of the anchors at Fox. And then, you had a string of other women who came out and said this. And I point this out because that is something that certainly is not going to draw women to Donald Trump. And he's already struggling with them. So, I see that you're saying, look, this is a guy with a lot of experience. He's done this before. He is an asset. How is he also not a liability?
KINGSTON: Well, I think, again, the campaign is under no obligation to say who's going to be coaching him --
KEILAR: But they're saying he's not.
KINGSTON: -- and who isn't.
KEILAR: So, aren't they --
KINGSTON: You know, but if he's -- if he's not. But, you know, if we're going to count all the sins of supporters, let's start with the most recent Clinton scandal with Kathleen Kaine, the disgraced, guilty of perjury attorney general of Pennsylvania who was a Clinton campaign operative and a big endorser. And we could go down the list of other people who have been involved in the Clinton orbit.
KEILAR: But is Hillary Clinton picking her out of the bunch to help prepare her for a debate? I guess that's different. This is -- this is moving forward. This is a place where he needs to make progress and he is saying, I --
KINGSTON: I think, number one --
KEILAR: -- this is someone who is being picked to help.
KINGSTON: -- number one, the candidate has said he's not involved. And I think should he become --
KEILAR: Should he not be then, is that your point?
KINGSTON: -- should he become --
KEILAR: If he's saying he's not involved, should he not be?
KINGSTON: I think that the candidate's going to have to make those decisions. But certainly, certainly, Donald Trump would not take advice on employee relations from Donald -- from Roger Ailes. And remember, Donald Trump is an employer who has had thousands of women who have worked for him. And his track record is very good, in terms of treatment, equal pay, advancement, giving titles, letting women run his companies. In fact, he would put that record up against the Clinton Foundation or whatever sort of job creation Hillary Clinton could scratch her -- and claw her way to. So, if he had a pattern of mistreating any type of employees, believe me, in this atmosphere, we would all know about it at -- by this time.
KEILAR: Today, Donald Trump is going to Milwaukee. So, you have this unrest that we have seen after the shooting and killing of police officers of an armed African-American 23-year-old man. This is the backdrop as he heads to Milwaukee. There is a lot of racial tension there. He's meeting with veterans. He's meeting with police officers. You have a lot of Republicans who are saying, look, you need to meet with black voters, too. Should he be meeting with community activists?
KINGSTON: He should be. He will be. And he is --
KEILAR: He will be today? Is he meeting with them today?
KINGSTON: I don't know about today. I'm saying in general.
KEILAR: In the future he will.
KINGSTON: Let's talk about this. We've had Ferguson. We've had Baltimore. Now, we have Milwaukee. We had Dallas. And the president has not shown much leadership. We need to have a national dialogue. Somewhere between black lives matter and blue lives matter, there needs to be some love. There needs to be some engagement.
But what is one of the big problems in Milwaukee? Forty-three million people nationally are on food stamps, 94 million people are unemployed or underemployed. The African-American unemployment rate for youth is 58 percent.
KINGSTON: The system -- and, by the way, they have a Democratic mayor. The system has failed them.
KEILAR: And you look at the --
KINGSTON: And so --
KEILAR: -- and I will say that you look at the statistics and those are statistics that they're definitely representative of a problem. But I want to ask you about this because you say that the president needs to show leadership. You have Republicans who are urging Donald Trump, talk to black voters. You're not going to win over black voters.
KEILAR: That's a solid Democratic constituency. But they're saying, talk to them. And, for instance, you look at this NBC News-"Wall Street Journal"-Marist poll last week. It has them receiving only one percent of the black vote. How is that leadership for him? KINGSTON: You know, everybody has a lot of back seat drivers within whatever party they belong to. But Bruce LeVell who's an African- American in charge of the National Diversity Committee of Donald Trump, tells me every day how they are engaged. Not just with African- American but with all kinds of racial groups, all kinds of religious groups.
And there is a proactive campaign going on there. Unfortunately, he's not getting much credit for that. That actually -- he started this committee during the primary. So, to me, you know, I would bring Bruce Lavelle on and say, look, let's talk about the National Diversity Committee which Donald Trump has had in effect. I don't know if it's been a year but it's certainly been several months. And it wasn't anything that happened just after the primary. So, he's reaching out.
But I also want to get back to what we were talking about earlier, Brianna. If Donald Trump, as an employer, had a background of racial discrimination or racial tension, we would well know about it. And we don't. The reality is, the people of Milwaukee have been let down by the liberal state. And what we need is somebody like Donald Trump who's going to create jobs and opportunity and get them out of that gridlock.
KEILAR: Congressman Kingston, thank you so much.
[13:15:00] And I want to bring in now CNN Commentator Bakari Sellers who's also a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. He's also a Hillary Clinton supporter.
And you're hearing some of these frustrations certainly. You're seeing something - I don't think, Bakari, anyone looks at what happens this weekend, and if the facts are as the police describe, that a body camera shows a man who would not drop a weapon, I think people look at that and they say - they might see how this unfolded. But what it has revealed I think are symptoms of certainly the racial tension in this area. This is an issue where you're seeing over and over in communities. What is Hillary Clinton going to do to try to solve something that has become a huge issue here in the last year or so?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, I just have to say, Brianna, that first it's not just become a huge issue in the last year or so. This has been an issue -
KEILAR: I guess erupted is my point. I think people - it's obviously been a huge issue, but I think this is something that a lot of people who - there are many Americans out there who didn't quite know this was happening and now they're - now this is something that has erupted into the public consciousness.
SELLERS: I agree. I oftentimes tell people that UFOs didn't all of a sudden disappear and police brutality all of a sudden begin with the invention of a camera phone. So now you do have these instances which are captured and caught on camera, body cameras, and now you have these communities that as you used, to utilized your words, erupting. What you have, Brianna, what you have and why Hillary Clinton is
actually the person to tackle this, is you have broken systems in these - in this country. You have a system - an educational system, you have an economic system, you have all of these injustices, the criminal justice system, that are just simply leaving African- Americans behind. And I was listening to Jack Kingston earlier and there was so much that I really wanted to fact check, but I won't spend my time doing that.
But what I will say is that, especially in the African-American community, the grip of impoverishment is placed it's brass on both our newborn and elderly alike. And escaping that trap of impoverishment is synonymous with the proverbial dog that chances his tail. So we've made progress, but we still have yet a ways to go.
And just one more point I have to make. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which many of my Republican colleagues love to quote him, he said that rioting is the voice of the unheard. And if Donald Trump is going to dare walk into Milwaukee, Wisconsin, today, then he needs to listen to the voice of African-American, not just there but throughout the country. I mean I would urge him, not as a supporter or anybody else, but as an American running for president of the United States to sit down and listen to the voices that are screaming for your help.
KEILAR: I want to ask you because Hillary Clinton has a long record. As the first lady in the '90s, she supported her husband on the 1994 crime bill. And this was a bill that even Bill Clinton admits had serious flaws in it. For instance, in something she touted repeatedly that there would be more prisons, that there would be more police officers on the streets and a lot of people, non-partisan people, point to that policy and they say, this was a big creator of this era of mass incarceration that Hillary Clinton now speaks out against. This is something that explains why communities like Milwaukee are so frustrated. What has she learned from the mistakes of the '90s that she can now apply to what we're seeing?
SELLERS: Well, I can't blame Milwaukee on Hillary Clinton. But I'm partisan and I'm a Hillary Clinton supporter. And I'll tell you that the '94 crime bill was a mess. I'll tell you that the members of the Congressional Black Caucus that voted for it, that Bernie Sanders, that Hillary Clinton, that Bill Clinton, they all have to be held accountable. The Republicans that pushed it, everyone has to be held accountable because that bill took a lot of African-American males, a lot of fathers out of those households, mandatory minimum and things of the sort.
So, yes, we have to have someone who's focused on it. Hillary Clinton's first speech on the campaign trail was not about the economy, was not about anything else, but she actually went to the Jenkins (ph) Institute in New York and spoke about mass incarceration, spoke about untangling this web that makes sure that more African- American men end up in the criminal justice system than they do in college.
And so when you're talking about body cameras, when you're talking about independent solicitors, or independent attorney generals to actually review the instances of police brutality, all of these things tie into reforming our criminal justice system. But I can also tell you this. Jack Kingston earlier said that he didn't know of any instances of racial discrimination on the part of Donald Trump. Well, Donald Trump's been sued not once but twice for failure to rent to African-Americans. And we all remember the Central Park Five. So if you want to look at the records, yes, in 1994 -
SELLERS: We should have never had the crime bill. But the answer is, now who's best prepared to lead us forward, I think that answer is very simple. It's the person who's at least listening to the African- American community.
KEILAR: All right, Bakari Sellers, thank you so much, to you as well, as to former Congressman Kingston. We certainly appreciate your time.
And we have a programming note for you. The Green Party ticket will join CNN's Chris Cuomo live. That is tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern. It will be a discussion, a town hall with voters. So mark your calendars for Wednesday night right here on CNN. Could be very impactful in the election.
[13:20:11] Coming up, we have live pictures as we await Hillary Clinton taking the stage in Philadelphia. She should be there any moment. That's what we're hearing. And we're wondering, is she going to address the FBI report about her e-mails. She may not, but it's certainly something that is hovering over her as she heads out on the campaign trail. Maybe she'll talk about Donald Trump's new alliance with ousted Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. We will take this live for you.
Plus, nearly 20,000 people - that's right, 20,000, if you can imagine that, have been rescued after catastrophic flooding in Louisiana. You can see we have our crews there embedded there with rescuers. They are monitoring the situation. Rescuers there desperately searching for people in need. We'll take you there live.
KEILAR: Back to breaking news in the race for the White House. Sources say that Donald Trump's campaign is getting some help from ousted Fox News President Roger Ailes. Ailes, of course, resigned from Fox following sexual harassment allegations, including a lawsuit.
Let's bring in our panel. We have CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for "USA Today," and CNN political analyst Rebecca Berg. She is a national political reporter for Real Clear Politics.
[13:25:09] OK, so, we have to mention that the Trump campaign is saying on the record, nope, Ailes is not advising Donald Trump formally or informally, and yet "The New York Times" has its report very well sourced from three people briefed on this development. What's going on here? What are the pitfalls for Donald Trump?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think that the Trump campaign doesn't want to make this a major story. This is somebody who had to resign effectively in disgrace from Fox News after he was charged with sexual harassment and after a study was done by a law firm and basically caused him to leave quite rapidly. So I think that any formal relationship with the Trump campaign could potentially hurt with women voters, where Trump is all right weak.
However, informally, Roger Ailes is a smart guy and knows a lot about debates and knows a lot about how to debate. And informally, if he were to pick up the phone and talk to Donald Trump or talk to Paul Manafort and say, this is where I think Hillary's weaknesses are, this is what I think you could do, I can certainly imagine them doing that. But to make it a formal relationship would be a step too far for them.
KEILAR: But if people have been briefed on this, it seems to be that there - this isn't something that's informal and being kept very hush- hush and private between Donald Trump and Paul Manafort. I see how Roger Ailes, he's been an asset to a number of Republican candidates -
KEILAR: Susan, but I - what I don't get is how his liability now, as Donald Trump struggles with women, does not outweigh his being an asset?
SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "USA TODAY": You know, in some ways you can look at this and say, Donald Trump has bigger problems than Roger Ailes. And that the controversy surrounding Donald Trump are about his own behavior and his own language, his rhetoric and his own positions. So it's hard - I think it's easy to overstate the impact of Roger Ailes being on - and if you look at - I mean and it's - although I agree a formal role, that would probably provoke some controversy, but as you look at the debates, perhaps the last big moment that Donald Trump will have to turn around polls where he's beginning to fail, that might be a reason to listen to Roger Ailes, who, whatever else you think about him, has a lot of expertise on debates.
KEILAR: Rebecca, how - how is Donald Trump - just to sort of give us context - how's he doing with women? Where are his struggles there?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's obviously been a huge, monumental struggle for Donald Trump, and not only because of his rhetoric that has turned off many women, but, of course, because Hillary Clinton is a historic candidate, the first woman president if she is elected. And so Donald Trump has really struggled mightily with women and especially with college educated women. And we see this also with college educated men to a lesser extent.
And Roger Ailes being an advisor, informal/formal, to the Trump campaign or to Donald Trump personally, I agree with you, Susan, probably won't make a big difference in terms of voters and their perception of Donald Trump, which for many voters, at this stage in the election cycle, it's important to remember, their perception is already baked in with Donald Trump and with Hillary Clinton. We have a very small share of voters who these candidates are trying to speak to, an even smaller share of women who these candidates are trying to speak to in a few states. But every sort of impression that they make with those women is going to matter.
BORGER: And, you know, if I were Hillary Clinton and I knew for a fact that Roger Ailes were advising Donald Trump during these debates, I'd raise it in the debate, and I'd rise it as an issue. And I'd say, by the way, who's been helping you out here, you know, and then I would say, well, somebody who has been accused of some pretty bad things. And so it could suddenly become an issue that Hillary would raise. I mean it would be - it would be fair game for her.
KEILAR: Donald Trump, Susan, is in Milwaukee today. Just - just in the aftermath, the very recent aftermath of riots, really, following the police killing of an armed black man. And you have him struggling with black voters more so than any Republican candidate we've seen. I think we saw Mitt Romney get 6 percent, John McCain get 4 percent. And he is struggling with women. He is struggling with Mormons. We are seeing that. And he's struggling with millennials. How does he - these are a lot of fires to put out.
PAGE: We have the new "USA today" Rock the Vote poll out this week that shows that Donald Trump's standing with voters under 35 is 20 percent. That is lower than any presidential candidate in modern American history. And what's significant especially, not only for Trump but also for Republicans in general is, if these trends continue, it will be the third election in a row where the Democratic candidate has won younger voters by double digits. That starts to set preferences perhaps for a lifetime, for decades to come, among the biggest generation in American history.
[13:30:00] KEILAR: And, Rebecca, you know, when you talk about hiring, for instance, companies and how they relate to millennials, I remember talking to one person, an expert on the matter, who said, look, for millennials, there's a litmus test when it comes to any sort of perceived