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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Campaign Manager Speaks Out After Staff Shake-up; Trump Receives First Classified Intelligence Briefing; New Questions About Clinton Foundation Donors & State Department; Judge Questions Ryan Lochte's Robbery Story. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 17, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, street fighter. Donald Trump brings out a bare knuckles brawler, as his new campaign chief. A major staff shakeup aimed at letting Trump be Trump.
Plus, Hillary Clinton facing new questions about alleged ties between Clinton Foundation donors and the State Department.
And American gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte says he was robbed at gun point. Well, now police are questioning his story? Did he make it all up? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. A major shake-up in the Trump campaign. The new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway addressing the media just moments ago. We're going to bring you what she said to reporters in just a second. It's the second shake-up in two months. The surprising move by Trump naming Steve Bannon stepping down as head of the conservative website Breitbart News to take over from his campaign. Bannon has a reputation of being to say the least a no holds barred, win at all cost street fighter. It's a sign from Trump to get back to the style that won in the primary and brings in the crowds. Hillary Clinton taking note of the change today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think it's fair to say that Donald Trump has shown us who he is. He can hire and fire anybody he wants from his campaign. There is no new Donald Trump. This is it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: The word from team Trump. Nothing to see here in a memo to team Trump's campaign from team Trump's campaign manager -- campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He calls it an exciting day for team Trump, but you wonder how excited Manafort really is considering the changes look like he's being pushed aside. Sources tells CNN that Trump has grown frustrated with Manafort specially in the face of falling poll numbers.
And the latest Quinnipiac swing state poll reinforcing the bad polling news for Donald Trump, showing Hillary Clinton leading Trump by ten points in Colorado, 12 points in Virginia and closer in Iowa, a three- point gap there.
I am joined tonight by a panel to weigh in but we begin with Sara Murray, she is OUTFRONT tonight at Trump campaign headquarters. Sara, what did Kellyanne Conway, the new Trump campaign manager say a short time ago?
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We were just talking to her as she was coming out of Trump Tower and one of the interesting things I think she said is, this does not mean that Donald Trump is not going to be focusing on substance in this turnaround. They still want him to prosecute the case on ObamaCare. They still want him to talk about national security, but in a key point Kellyanne said it's time to remind the American public that this election is not a referendum on Donald Trump that there are going to be two candidates on the ballot and I think that gives you an inkling about just how hard they're going to start going after Hillary Clinton. The question is whether that is going to be enough to turn things around when Donald Trump's poll numbers aren't looking so great.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I am who I am. It's me. I don't want to change.
MURRAY (voice-over): Kiss the establishment and treaties good-bye. Donald Trump is unleashed.
TRUMP: Everyone talks about oh, are you going to pivot? I don't want to pivot. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting you're not being honest with people.
MURRAY: The GOP nominee shaking up his campaign yet again, setting the stage for a political knife fight with Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton doesn't have that strength or stamina, believe me. She cannot win for you.
MURRAY: Trump bringing on Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of the fiercely conservative website Breitbart News as his new campaign CEO, an elevating pollster and senior adviser Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager. The latest overhaul gives Trump the freedom to run as a political outsider, unconstrained by advisers urging him to become more palatable to the Republican establishment. Despite his dismal battleground state poll numbers, a source tells CNN Trump still believes he has a chance to win.
And if he loses, he wants to at least run his campaign on his own terms. The shake-up puts Trump at the center of the circle of advisers, Bannon, Roger Stone and newly ousted FOX News Chief Roger Ailes all known for their no-holds barred tactics. And sources say it effectively set aside Campaign Chief Paul Manafort. Hillary Clinton quickly seized on it as just another reset that won't make the candidate any more appetizing to voters.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump has shown us who he is. He can hire and fire anybody he wants from his campaign. They can make him read new words from a teleprompter but he is still the same man who insults Gold-Star families, demeans women, mocks people with disabilities and thinks he knows more about ISIS than our generals.
MURRAY: But the intrigue from Trump Tower overshadowing Trump's security roundtable today and the message he hoped to drive home this week.
TRUMP: I will be your champion. I will be your voice in the White House. We will bring it back. We will once again be a country of law and order.
[19:05:18] MURRAY: Now today Paul Manafort sent a memo around to campaign staffers essentially saying, I'm not going anywhere, I'm still here and I'm helping with the long-term vision of this campaign. And when Kellyanne Conway was just speaking to me, another reporters, she would careful to say that their meetings today were with the core four, it was her, it was Steve Bannon, it was Paul Manafort and his right hand man Rick Gates. Now, I also asked her why they feel so much more bullish about Donald Trump's odds than the polling might suggest. And she said it is only August. It is not October. That there is still time to play the Hillary Clinton's unfavorables and the percentage of voters that are looking for a changed election -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Sara Murray outside of Trump headquarters. Sara, thank you so much.
OUTFRONT with me now, Mark Preston, executive editor for CNN politics. Lanhee Chen, former policy director from Mitt Romney's campaign. Corey Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager. Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump supporter. Basil Smikle, a Clinton supporter and CNN's Phil Mattingly. Also with us tonight, Monica Langley from the Wall Street Journal. She first broke the story of the campaign shake-up last night.
Monica, first to you. You not only broke the story. You spoke to Donald Trump about this shake-up. Did he -- when he said that he wants -- that he's doing this because he wants to win, did he acknowledge he didn't think he could win with the existing team he had in place?
MONICA LANGLEY, SENIOR SPECIAL WRITER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think that was implicit in his answer. But here's what happened, I was getting signals that something big was happening. I finally got from a couple of people and family that he was bringing on new people, he had to do something to remake the campaign in his image. He was feeling flatfooted, he was feeling out of sorts because the structure was trying to put him in a mold. He wanted the structure to let him be the person he wants to be the candidate.
So I could not go with the story until I got him on the phone to confirm it. So he was about to go on the stage last night. I got him on the phone and I said, why are you doing another shake-up in 60 days, his answer plain and simple, I want to win. So, when he says that, I think it was pretty clear he was afraid he was going to lose but he would never say such a thing.
BOLDUAN: And Monica, he'd acknowledge that was a shake-up because you hear from Trump supporters today and they sure don't describe it that way.
LANGLEY: Well, he doesn't say it was a shake-up, I said it was a shake-up. I called it a reset, whatever. I mean, what's clear is a shake-up. I mean, what it is, it's a clear revision of Paul Manafort. If you don't say it's a refusal to do what Paul Manafort has tried to do which is to put him in a political package, it clearly is a revision because we know the person he's bringing on as the CEO is a no holds barred kind of person and so this is clearly a revision of what it is but it's more in keeping with the kind of candidate that Donald Trump wants to be and that's to be himself.
BOLDUAN: What's old is new again when it comes to this campaign. Monica, thank you very, very much. With me now, Corey Lewandowski. Hmm. Someone said let Trump be Trump quite a long time ago. That would be you. Do you feel vindicated?
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I don't feel vindicated. What I think is --
BOLDUAN: Don't always be humble.
LEWANDOWSKI: I don't. What's important here is that Donald Trump has brought in people he's very comfortable with and the direction they're going to take the campaign which allows Donald Trump to stay true to himself which is to tell the American people what he thinks and not be on a teleprompter all of the time. Look, the speech he gave last night had Kellyanne Conway's fingerprints all over it. It was much more concise. It was direct. It was explicit. It was outreaching to an audience which he had not traditionally done so.
The African-American community specifically and I think what you will find is under the leadership of Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, you'll see more of that coming. And I also think what you'll find is, in the places where he's traveling to. His travel will now be very much limited to the five major states where he's starting to run his television ads this week because that's the primary focus of the campaign. That's my guess.
BOLDUAN: No trips to Connecticut?
LEWANDOWSKI: Maybe next week.
BOLDUAN: Exactly. But Kayleigh, no more teleprompter, no more teleprompter Trump. Without teleprompter, what we had sometimes with Donald Trump was that's what led to a fight with the Gold-Star family. That's what led to the fight with the federal judge with Mexican heritage. Is that the kind of Trump that's going to win?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I don't know that it's a way with the teleprompter forever. What I think this is is saying that Trump is not going to be tried to be made into something that he's not. He's going to be himself. They're not going to try to make him into a mannequin candidate like what you have with Hillary Clinton where every word is poll tested, every word is gone through focus group before it comes on to the teleprompter and now it's come out.
He is just going -- there is going to be less pressure to be someone else. And Kellyanne Conway, the reason this is such a good decision, two reasons. Number one, she is someone who knows conservatism, she worked for Ronald Reagan's pollster. She works for Jack Kemp, she works for Mike Pence, she knows how to shore up the space. Not only that, she has staked her career in the Republican Party around bringing female voters into the fold. In terms of consolidating the base and bringing in new voters and the terms of females, this is the pick that can win this election.
[19:10:11] BOLDUAN: Bringing in new voters, adding is the key here, Lanhee. When you look at adding she's talking about Kellyanne Conway, but Steve Bannon, his website, Breitbart News. People who are supporters of Breitbart News, readers of Breitbart News, consumers of Breitbart News -- Donald Trump already has. How does that add?
LANHEE CHEN, FORMER ADVISER, MARCO RUBIO CAMPAIGN: Yes. It's strange. His attention here, right, between the desire to go out and get more independent voters, get more people into the Republican's hat for the general election and a move that seems to double down on the very base that Donald Trump already has. And so there's a little bit of tension here, it's not clear to me exactly what the goal is because if the goal is to go out and reach Independent voters, then the message are sending, should actually be similar to the message that Trump gave in his speech last night which is that progressive policies have actually failed minorities.
But instead of that, you give that message which is actually a message a lot of conservatives can get onboard with. And then well, but I think there are reasons why, it may not have made sense for him to go certain places in Milwaukee given what's happened. But you give that message and then you come out the next day and you hire the chief of Breitbart to run your campaign. There's a dissidence there and I think they need to address that.
BASIL SMIKLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: That's absolutely right. I agree with that. There is a dissidence there, because this is someone who via Breitbart has been anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and has dismissed gender issues and when asked about the, you know, how he would handle the Donald Trump's approach to the Khan family said that he would be relentless in going after the Khan family. So, to me, I don't see this as growth to me. This is Donald Trump saying, you know what?
I think we're 16, 17 Republicans in the primary, why can I -- why I am not winning now? And this is an opportunity to try to, I guess gain more comfort in his own circle, but the reality is there's no growth there. I don't see him growing beyond what his own basis has said and I think Republicans, conservatives and not are upset about this because he's gone after Republicans, as well. BOLDUAN: Real quick, Mark. Give me a quick answer. Does this make
it more or less likely that the Republican Party leaders are going to want to break away from Trump and focused -- does this make them happy?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: I think that they'll probably happy that Kellyanne is going to be on the airplane. I think that they'll probably be very unhappy that Steve Bannon is going to be calling the shots day to day. But at this point is, if you were in a establishment Republican, you're really not that happy right now with Donald Trump given that there's been so much discussion about resetting and Donald Trump going in a different direction that he hasn't gone in that they would prefer.
BOLDUAN: All right. Stand by. OUTFRONT next, why this video we're going to show you, tells you everything you might need to know about the Trump campaign's new CEO. We will explain. We did not roll the incorrect video. We will explain.
Plus, did Hillary Clinton use her role as secretary of state to help a big donor to the Clinton Foundation. New details tonight.
And breaking news, Donald Trump getting his first intelligence briefing today, so why did he say this earlier today?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you trust intelligence?
TRUMP: Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country. I mean, it's been catastrophic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:16:21] BOLDUAN: Tonight, the most dangerous political operative in America. That's what one media outlet called Steve Bannon. The news CEO of Donald Trump's campaign.
Brian Stelter is OUTFRONT with more on just who Steve Bannon is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were like boys on a playground and he became a very scary situation and he actually stood up for Sarah Palin.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES" (voice-over): This violent scene sums up what Steve Bannon thinks about politics. The filmmaker and conservative media giant is not shy about his bare knuckles appoint.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I come with a very strong point of view.
STELTER: And make no mistake. He's hungry for a battle.
STEPHEN BANNON, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN CEO: We need to have a fight in the Republican Party for the soul of the conservative movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with you.
STELTER: In announcing the hire. The campaign made clear what Trump sees in Steve Bannon touting that the new campaign CEO has been dubbed the most dangerous political operative in America. Bannon, former navy officer and Goldman Sachs banker may lack campaign experience, but he makes up for it with his media prowess. He's the chairman of the far right website Breitbart and has made political films intended to sway the minds of on the fence voters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of all of the 50 governors in the United States, sitting at the desk as one of the most powerful and she wasn't afraid to use those powers.
STELTER: One of those films boosted Sarah Palin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The mean that's out there is that Governor Palin is caribou Barbie. She's a complete and total bimbo and she is an ideologue. Okay? The empirical evidence in Alaska as governor is exactly the opposite.
STELTER: Another tried to take down President Obama before the 2012 election.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're angry because you were basically lied to.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We're not even half way there yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think disappointed because we thought there was going to be a change. Everyone that voted for him thought there was going to be a change.
STELTER: At the time, Bannon told CNN the film was just a way for disgruntled Obama supporters to vent their frustrations.
BANNON: When you talk to them, they feel the country is more divided than ever and in their lives they feel the economy is not going back. I mean, this is a film of the working class and middle class in this country.
STELTER: The same kind of popular rhetoric is a staple of Breitbart. Hillary Clinton has been the main target of the pro-Trump's site. Close behind, Republican establishment Paul Ryan, immigrants and the news media.
BANNON: These guys come to Washington a lot of time as country lawyers and what they do is they stay. Their wives become lobbyists, their children, their in-laws. They turn the business of government into a family business.
STELTER: It's no coincidence Breitbart's site promotes the book and film "Clinton Cash." Bannon helps write the film and co-founded the group that funded it, nor is it a coincidence Trump has used Clinton Cash material on the campaign trail. Now the two men's anti-Clinton alliance is official.
BANNON: You have to understand how the Clintons who -- who proclaim that they support all your values essentially have sold you out for money.
STELTER: If this is the political spectrum, Breitbart is so far to the right it's almost off the screen. In fact, many conservative writers and commentators say, don't call it conservative. It does not represent the GOP. In many cases Breitbart is an off-right site. Some critics even call it white nationalist. No matter what you call it, no matter what you think, if you thought Trump would seek out a more moderate voice to help run his campaign, think again -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Ryan, thank you. My panel is back with me.
Also joining us this time, senior political commentator and Hillary Clinton supporter, Sally Kohn. Sally, straight to you. You're the newest to the panel. One campaign source described it this way saying, Bannon will be digging up every coffin as it relates to Hillary Clinton. Bannon, as Brian Stelter laid out very well, he has made Hillary Clinton enemy number one for his entire career. But what works in campaigns is negative.
SALLY KOHN, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Yes. Although, to be honest, look, Hillary Clinton's numbers, you know, her negatives have reached a ceiling, we saw that ceiling actually in the 2008 campaign. She hasn't gone much above that. The difference here --
BOLDUAN: How do you know they reached this deal?
KOHN: -- is that Donald Trump, well, I mean, because she's been -- look she had a long campaign then, she's had an even longer campaign now and her negatives have not gotten any higher. Meanwhile, Trump have not hit a ceiling. He is newer to the public. He's newer to the political media, there's still digging to be done and he keeps opening his mouth and sticking his foot in and every single time. So, I'll be honest, they can keep digging the dirt, you know, the Congressional investigations by Republicans have been done by Benghazi. They didn't find anything.
They can keep bringing it up until the cows come home. The difference is that I'm happy today. We let Trump be Trump. His negatives keep going higher and higher, the American people keep hearing what he's saying, they don't like it. It's only going to get worse for him. Good luck with that.
BOLDUAN: I think a lot of people were saying, Corey. Like I don't think we saw a kind of toned down, demure Donald Trump in the last couple of weeks post-convention. So what's really going to be different now?
[19:21:17] LEWANDOWSKI: Look, the first mistake I made is I didn't trademark let Trump be Trump. Clearly I should have done that a long time ago, I would be wealthy today. OK? The second mistake that people don't understand is that Donald Trump is running as the outsider, the fundamental change to Washington, D.C. Congressional approval is at 11 percent. The people who believe Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy, that same number is at 11 percent. That includes Democrats. This election and we've seen it both in the primary process and now, as you move to the general election processes, people aren't better off than they were four or eight years ago.
People want fundamental change. The only person, the only candidate in this race who has the ability to fundamentally change Washington, D.C., to stop the continuation of lobbyists and special interests and all of the money that goes into these campaigns is Donald Trump. He self-funded his campaign primarily through the primary, he is continuing to fund his own campaign now. And that is a message that the Bernie Sanders supporters fully embrace which is campaign finance reform so the millionaires and billionaires who giving money to the George Soros' of the world no longer have under influence when those elected officials get in office.
BOLDUAN: I do think that he was at a Woody Johnson fund-raiser though this weekend in the Hamptons when all of this came out.
LEWANDOWSKI: You have to remember, Donald Trump has put $60 million of his own money into this race.
BOLDUAN: Wait, on the donor question, on the donor question. This is important though. You speak to a lot of donors. Donors care about who is running campaigns, maybe more than an average voter because they're putting money, big dollars into it. What do you think the response is? What are your sources saying? Do they like this more than Trump campaign?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To some degree, there's actually -- right? Because Robert Mercer who is the biggest of big-money GOP donors, $18 million to outside groups, already this cycle is very close to Steve Bannon. He is already kind of transferred on to the Trump bandwagon, on to the Trump ship from Ted Cruz earlier on the campaign, he's helping fund a Super PAC. So that's a positive if you're looking at people to donate, but if you're looking at establishment donors and what mark was saying last segment is, just like what Republican officials feel like.
They're terrified of Breitbart. I was talking to one seven-figure donor, this cycle already about an hour ago, who sent me an e-mail and said, this is like all of the writers of "House of Cards" got into a room and wrote the most absurd script they could possibly come up with distance that they would never see the light of day except this is real life. And so I think, look, it helps, it's a small segment of donors. That's not necessarily his target. If you're looking at big establishment donors, big money that Donald Trump really does need, this is not helpful at all.
BOLDUAN: I mean, but to Corey's point, when you're talking about money and you're talking about how much money Donald Trump's put into it. He's running as an outsider. That is when what, when you look at the polls, voters like that. Voters are looking for them. They have been looking for them, and that's helped him.
SMIKLE: Well, it's helped him among the support that he has already, but where has it grown to? If you look at Hillary Clinton, she had more votes than anyone else running in this race. Number one. Number two, if you look at the type of support you had, the diversity of support, I don't see that with Donald Trump. She's expanding her base. I don't see that with Donald Trump whatsoever. So, to me, what good is the money going to do for him?
He's not interested in opening up offices. He's not interested in being constrained. He is interested in talking out of his own head as he has always been doing and as is proven by the two hires that he's got and we're not going to see anything different except, what I think is you'll see a doubling down of all of the negativity that we've already seen and to me there's no leadership there.
MCENANY: They've been wrong about everything and it's worth mentioning that. Just two months ago, we were saying how the Trump campaign was in dire straits, he didn't have money, there was no way he could catch up, there's no way he could raise money. And then last month, we see he raised more than $80 million off of small donations and something Republican candidates have never been able to do.
The punditry was off again during the primary where they said, he can't win unless he runs a $100 million like Ted Cruz, like Marco Rubio did and Jeb Bush. He defied the odds. He can defy the odds again. And this is why I think Kellyanne Conway such an important higher, because if he stays on message and can deliver the message of economic security and terrorism security, security from terrorism, I should say --
BOLDUAN: Isn't that what Paul Manafort tried to do? Get him to stay on message.
MCENANY: But look, there is a fine balance. And we have one he mentioned in the last segment that the Bannon hire was an odd one. But here is Donald Trump's challenge, is staying somewhere between Bannon and between Kellyanne Conway. Staying on message but still being true to himself and not being a rehearsed candidate. In the middle of those two polls, between Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon, let Trump be Trump but also stay on message is exactly the Trump that can win this election.
SMIKLE: But what's the message, though? The message is more torture. Why aren't we using nuclear weapons? That's the message. Half- hearted outreach to African-American communities. That's the message.
MCENANY: That's the leftist -- the message is 33,000 people died because of ISIS and that can't happen. The message is --
SMIKLE: Hold on! Hold on!
KOHN: President Obama as the founder of ISIS. Look, both candidates want to get rid of ISIS. One candidate is listening to generals, the other candidates said, I know more than the generals, about ISIS and I don't think the intelligence -- But that's your message.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
MCENANY: Donald Trump has a message. America first, make America great again. Hillary Clinton's message is Donald Trump doesn't have the right temperament.
KOHN: You know, Kayleigh, he clearly can make Atlantic City great again. He's not going to be able to make America great again and let me just be clear on this, this is a man who you're saying is running as an outsider. He's a billionaire. I agree with Corey, one thing we actually agree is getting billionaires out of politics.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
KOHN: He's the guy who says --
MCENANY: What is Hillary Clinton's message?
KOHN: Wages are too high.
MCENANY: What is Hillary Clinton's message?
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
KOHN: Wages are too high.
BOLDUAN: We will continue after the break.
OUTFRONT next, Hillary Clinton facing questions about alleged ties between Clinton Foundation donors and the State Department.
Also breaking news, Donald Trump just completing his first national security briefing, the details ahead.
[19:30:53] BOLDUAN: Breaking news, Donald Trump wrapping up his first classified intelligence briefing. Lieutenant General Michael Flynn who just attended that briefing spoke to reporters moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Excuse me, General, can you let us know how the briefing was today?
REPORTER: How was the briefing today?
LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET): The briefings were very professional.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: There you have it. Trump has never had access to classified national security information before and it's likely just the first of several briefings, but access to the meetings has become a lightning rod in and of itself for both Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the Trump Tower version of a potential White House cabinet meeting. The key optic, Donald Trump in the same position as a president, surrounded by national security heavyweights, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and next to Trump, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, a key adviser.
One attendee, Congressman Peter King, answering the criticism that Trump has no foreign policy experience.
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: He has as much as Barack Obama had in 2008.
STARR: Soon after, another chance to appear presidential. Trump headed to the FBI's New York office for his long-planned classified intelligence briefing from the Obama administration.
Flynn, a decades-long intelligence officer now adamantly anti-Obama, was also there.
Even before hearing the classified information, Trump was asked if he trusts U.S. intelligence.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country. I mean, look what's happened over the last ten years. Look what's happened over the years. It's been catastrophic.
STARR: The plan to brief presidential candidates isn't new, but this year, it is different says former CIA officer and briefer David Priess.
DAVID PRIESS, FORMER CIA OFFICER: On the one hand, you have a candidate who seems to say what he thinks without a filter and the FBI director has called out publicly for being careless with classified information. We've never had a situation like this before.
STARR: The briefings include classified information on threats like ISIS, but don't include covert action details, the so-called crown jewels of intelligence.
PRIESS: Donald Trump will present a challenge to a briefer, but a challenge that most briefers that I worked with back in the day that have relished. Here's a chance to get a message through to somebody who appears to take information differently than many other people.
STARR: Now, lots of controversy this year about both Trump and Clinton and a lot of talk about can anybody keep a secret, can keep classified information classified these days. But Clinton is also getting the same, exact briefing.
The intelligence community, you know, has been doing these briefings for candidates for many years. The idea is to start getting them up- to-date when they are candidates, so after Election Day, a president- elect is further down the road in being ready to govern -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Barbara, great to see you. Thank you so much.
The panel is back here with me.
Let me ask you this, Mark Preston. Put it in a little context right now, when you look at polls over the course of time recently, on the question who can best handle terrorism and who is best to take on ISIS and who do you trust have most to have the nuclear codes? It goes up and down. Hillary is up and Trump's up, who's got the upper hand now?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: And it goes up and down depending on what specific issue and how you ask this specific question, it's whether it's terrorism or even economic security. I mean, we talk about terrorism as a whole, or protecting the homeland, it really does go beyond going after ISIS and going into Syria or what have you.
Here is the problem for Donald Trump at this point in the campaign which can be rectified, but you know, days are falling short now, is that you are having Republicans come out and sign letters who are national security experts, whether you agree with them or not, who are being critical of Donald Trump at a time when he needs to continue to try to unite the party. That is problematic.
We don't see that on the Democratic side as much.
[19:35:02] So, you know, who has prepared the most? I mean, if you were to look at a resume, of course, you would say Hillary Clinton just based upon what the resume is, that doesn't mean she would make the right decisions. But on a resume-wise, that's that. But Donald Trump does need to do more to unify the party.
BOLDUAN: And the Clinton campaign thinks this is his biggest area of weakness and look no further than what she said on the stump every day and the ads that they're putting on the air, but if you look at today the optics were pretty good. I mean, he has his first intelligence briefing and he held what looked like a pretty presidential roundtable with national security experts.
MATTINGLY: With, as Barbara pointed out, seated quite perfectly in the center as all of these top advisers and this was an important day for Donald Trump.
This is at the core of the Clinton campaign's argument, delegitimize Donald Trump. They are very cognizant of the fact that when it comes to ISIS, there is a lot of fear, there is a lot of uneasiness in the country. And if you looked at the polls for a large portion of the last couple of months, Donald Trump has held an advantage when it comes to how to deal with ISIS. Therefore, the Clinton has decided we will attack that head-on and try and paint him as somebody who you could never trust to be in the Oval Office, and that is their way to hit him on that.
What Donald Trump is doing is fighting back on that right now, and trying to go on offense and trying to show that he is not only presidential, not only has the ability to handle these ideas, but also is as forceful with what he says on the stump as he would be in the Oval Office. I think that's an important message for the campaign.
BOLDUAN: But also, what also might not make people feel better, is what he said this morning. Asked by Ainsley on Fox News, do you trust intelligence, and he says not so much.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what you have to look at who is briefing Mr. Trump right now. You've got General Flynn, you've got General Kellogg, you've got the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee -- people who have a deep and thorough understanding of the situation now which is what the country faces right now, those are the people that he's brought in to listen to, including Senator Jeff Sessions, including Admiral Kubic, people who are on the front lines who understands firsthand not just what the intelligence community is reporting to him in those classified briefings, but also they need to make sure he's getting the declassified, which they can have the conversations to make sure he understands what is taking place. It's a very important thing.
SMIKLE: But can I say this though? First of all, getting an intelligence briefing doesn't mean that the man knows what to do with the information once he gets it, and regardless of the number of people that are sitting next to him, he has been very clear that he only listens to himself.
So what difference does it make who is sitting around him? The fact is he is going to double down on all of the messaging that he's shown us thus far, and that's where I think it's scary and I say this to people all of the time. It is so important who you vote in any election because he is the leader of a national party and getting these kinds of intelligence briefings and as was mentioned earlier, you have Republican after Republican, most of them foreign policy or security experts, saying they actually don't trust this man to be getting this kind --
BOLDUAN: Hold on.
LEWANDOWSKI: You have to remember there's only been one candidate in this race who has breached national security issues and that's Hillary Clinton.
LEWANDOWSKI: The FBI found -- absolutely. The FBI found that there were e-mails that were marked classified, whether she saw or not, and maybe her eyesight wasn't working at the time --
(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: We are going to dive into the conspiracy theories in the commercial break.
In the meantime, you don't want to miss this. CNN's live town hall tonight with the Green Party candidates. That is coming up at 9:00 Eastern.
Also, OUTFRONT next, did Hillary Clinton use her influence as secretary of state to benefit a big donor of the Clinton Foundation, and officials tonight questioning American swimmer Ryan Lochte's story about being robbed at gun point. I'm still confused by this. Did he make it up? We'll figure it out.
[19:42:38] BOLDUAN: Hillary Clinton on the attack tonight, criticizing Trump about his economic plan, but Clinton is also facing new questions about whether she misused her influence as secretary of state to benefit a big donor with the Clinton Foundation.
Suzanne Malveaux is OUTFRONT.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton in the critical battleground state of Ohio today touting her economic plan and pressuring Donald Trump again to release his tax returns.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Unlike everybody else who has run for president in the last four or five decades, he refuses to release his tax returns.
MALVEAUX: But now, new questions about the Clinton's Foundation, whether Hillary Clinton used her influence as secretary of state, along with her husband Bill Clinton to help a big donor who supported both their political campaigns as well as their foundation get a coveted land deal with the State Department.
It was in 2011 when the State Department began searching for a new location for its consulate in Lagos, Nigeria. Two years later, a State Department e-mail reveals they're interested in purchasing property at Eko Atlantic owned by the Chagoury Group, Lebanese born businessmen brothers Ronald and Gilbert Chagoury.
It is one of a number of sites the department was looking at. Federal records show Gilbert Chagoury had donated up to $9 million to the Clinton Foundation. It was in the mid-'90s when President Bill Clinton rewarded Chagoury, a big Democratic donor, with a White House dinner and a meetings with high-ranking officials.
Later, Bill Clinton visited the Eko Atlantic site twice, including just one month after Hillary Clinton stepped down as secretary of state.
Weeks later, the State Department sent this letter to the Chagoury firm, saying, "This letter acknowledges that the United States of America is potentially interested in acquiring an interest in such real property pending further study."
The conservative advocacy group Citizens United suspecting undue influence sued, stating a month after Bill Clinton visits a Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury-run land project in Nigeria, the U.S. State Department wants to buy the same land. "Who could be so lucky? A major donor to the Clinton foundation, that's who."
The State Department denies that there was any special consideration of the land deal.
ELIZABETH TRUDEAU STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: The Eko Atlantic site was identified by an independent international real estate firm in 2012.
[19:45:01] MALVEAUX: The land deal never went through, but an editorial in the "Boston Globe" Tuesday calls on Hillary Clinton to shut down the foundation if she becomes president.
BOLDUAN: Suzanne Malveaux is joining me now.
Suzanne, is the Clinton campaign responding to this?
MALVEAUX: Hey, Kate.
Well, they are. Hillary Clinton's campaign spokesman Brian Fallon responded today, a very sharply-worded statement. I'm going to read it in part. He says that "Citizens United is a right-wing group that's been attacking the Clintons since the '90s and once again is trying to make something out of nothing." And, Kate, what he notes is that Hillary Clinton had already left the administration before the State Department expressed interest and that the deal had not been through.
But you should know that this is not the first time that the Chagoury Group has been investigated regarding their ties and influence with the Clintons -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: These questions aren't going to go away any time soon.
Suzanne, thank you.
OUTFRONT next, did swimmer Ryan Lochte make up that story about being robbed at gun point in Rio and this surveillance video is raising new questions tonight.
And an Arab-American killed by a neighbor who is under a restraining order. Did the system fail him?
BOLDUAN: Breaking news in a stunning twist tonight involving gold medalist Ryan Lochte and his claim that he was robbed at gun point in Rio. A Brazilian judge is now ordering Lochte's passport be seized after seeing this new surveillance video. The judge says it shows Lochte and a fellow swimmer were joking around, behavior inconsistent with someone who had a gun pointed at his head.
[19:50:04] Lochte described the harrowing experience to NBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN LOCHTE, U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMER: They told the other swimmers to get down on the ground. They got down on the ground. I refused, I was like, "We didn't do anything wrong. So I'm not getting down on the ground," and then the guy pulled out his gun. He cocked it and put it to my forehead and he said, "Get down" and I put my hands up and I was, like, "Whatever".
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Rio police said they found little evidence to support Lochte's account.
OUTFRONT now, CNN sports analyst Christine Brennan. She's been following the story and she's in Rio tonight.
Christine, it's pretty amazing and kind of confusing. Bottom line do authorities think that Lochte and the other swimmers made this up?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Well, that's what the judge is asking. She is saying that she wants both Ryan Lochte to stay in the country. Of course, he's already gone. But Jimmy Feigen, the other U.S. swimmer, wants them to stay in the country until she gets the answers about whether or not what they said is true.
And I think all of us journalists, Kate, are asking that same question. What happened that night? It is such a big deal obviously in Brazil if Ryan Lochte had a gun to his head, that is an amazing story. It's now over three days, close to four days old and these questions remain, and I think that's the key question. Did Ryan Lochte make this up?
BOLDUAN: And as you mentioned, Lochte is back in the United States. What are you hearing? What can they do about it now?
BRENNAN: There's not a lot that they can do, Kate, in terms of any kind of legal action against Ryan Lochte. He is back in the U.S. and there's no way he could be coming back here.
But I think the potential damage to him is in his earning power, his reputation. If he did, in fact, make this up and do I think we're going to get to the bottom of this. Like any other story, you know as well as anyone, these things do have a way of coming out. We'll find out what's true and what's not.
And if Ryan Lochte made this story up in this turbulent time with so many people on edge about the crime situation in Brazil -- oh, my goodness, that would be just a terrible thing for him to have done, first of all. And secondly, I think as far as earning potential and sponsors, they won't want to be anywhere near him if it turns out that he did make this up.
BOLDUAN: And this whole episode, what's the impact then on athletes there? Everyone's talking about it.
BRENNAN: Yes, I think there's two parts to this. First of all, when the news hit, I wrote a column right away saying, now, we have the games on edge. I mean, all of the good things that had been happening and the water turned green in a couple of the pools, but other than that, Rio had pretty much gone through the first week unscathed and then this happened over the weekend.
And so, I think it had everyone saying, my goodness, is all of the bad stuff coming true now? Are we going to see our worst nightmares in Rio realized if a gun had been put to a swimmer's head?
Now, I think everyone is stepping back and saying, whoa, is this true or not? If not, how terrible for the Brazilians if it's not true and I think athletes are probably going back to acting the way they were before.
BOLDUAN: Yes, pretty amazing, no matter what.
Christine Brennan, great to see you, Christine.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT next, a man allegedly shoots and kills his next- door neighbor, a man he called a dirty Arab for years. Why are officials still not calling this then a hate crime?
[19:57:01] BOLDUAN: Tonight, was it a hate crime? The family of an Arab-American man allegedly shot and killed by his neighbor is demanding answers tonight. They say the man harassed them constantly, even calling the victim horrible things like "dirty Arab". Tonight, the Tulsa D.A. told CNN the system failed the family.
Brynn Gingras is OUTFRONT.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A Tulsa family is asking what more could they have done after their loved one Khaled Jabara was gunned down on the family's doorstep by their neighbor.
JENNA JABARA, KHALID JABARA'S SISTER-IN-LAW: I feel like in our situation, you know, the system it just broke down.
GINGRAS: That neighbor, Vernon Majors, had a history of harassing the Jabara family, calling them filthy Lebanese and dirty Arabs. They're Lebanese of Christian descent.
To protect themselves, the family obtained two restraining orders.
RAMI JABARA, KHALID JABARA'S BROTHER: The hostility kind of increased. You would hear racial slurs.
GINGRAS: Last September, Majors allegedly ran over Khaled's mother with his car seriously injuring her. He was arrested and spent eight months in jail after two judges denied him bail. But in May, a third judge, Bill Lafferton (ph), allowed him to be released, a decision district attorney Steven Kunzweiler says his office fought.
STEVEN KUNZWEILER, TULSA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: You've got allegation that somebody that ran down someone intentionally, that's pretty severe conduct. I don't want need a prior felony to explain this action represents violent conduct towards another human being.
R. JABARA: We did constantly communicate with the D.A. We even told them, after he was released, I told them, I was like, this is not going to be good. I fear that something is going to happen.
GINGRAS: Majors has a history of making threats. In 2012, he was convicted of criminal threats and assault with a deadly weapon after an incident in California. On Friday, the Jabaras say Khaled received a warning that Majors had a gun and he called 911. Police have not released that call, but tell CNN, Khaled did not tell dispatchers Majors was armed.
The responding officers left when no one answered the door. A short time later, the family said Khaled was on the phone with his mother warning her about Majors when he was shot multiple times.
R. JABARA: We lost our brother. My only brother, and, like, that's -- I don't know. It's unspeakable.
GINGRAS: The family says they did everything they could legally do to protect themselves and that still wasn't enough.
KUNZWEILER: We're going to reevaluate everything top to bottom and say, is there a better way to do this? I'm not here to say that it would have changed anything.
GINGRAS: And the family says that they did everything. The D.A. admits they did everything, as well.
So when I sat down with the family, Kate, I asked them what would you tell a family who was in a similar situation and they quickly answered, move. Unfortunately, in this particular case the family says they couldn't move because Khaled's father is very ill and it just wasn't possible, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Just horrible. Brynn, thank you very much.
Thank you all so much for joining us tonight. You can watch Erin Burnett any time anywhere on CNN Go.
"AC360" starts right now.