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THE SITUATION ROOM
FBI Investigating Russian Cyberattack on NY Times and Others; Trump Intensifies Attacks on Hillary Clinton; Interview with Representative Sean Duffy; Clinton Fending Off Attacks on Family's Charitable Foundation; Virginia Stabbing Raises Terrorism Fears. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired August 23, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] BERMAN: Keilar in for Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news, Russian assault. The FBI is investigating cyber breaches targeting reporters at "New York Times" and other news outlets. U.S. officials blame Russian intelligence. What are the intruders looking for and how damaging are the break-ins?
The weight of the flood. President Obama visits the Louisiana disaster zone after the floodwaters recede and after a lot of criticism. Should he have gone there sooner?
Spin doctors. After Donald Trump and his allies raised dubious claims about Hillary Clinton's health, his own medical history is now under scrutiny as new questions are asked about a letter from his doctor.
Plus ISIS in Virginia? A brutal knife attack and an Arabic shout of "God is great" has the FBI investigating a possible case of lone wolf terrorism. Was the attacker inspired by ISIS?
Wolf Blitzer is off, I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: Our breaking news first on CNN, cyber attackers believed to be working for Russian intelligence carried out a series of infiltrations targeting reporters at the "New York Times" and other U.S. news organizations. U.S. officials say these attacks are being investigated by the FBI and they're thought to be part of a broader series of attacks. Officials say the targeting of journalists can yield valuable intelligence on government sources, along with unpublished works containing sensitive information.
And Donald Trump is stepping up his attacks on Hillary Clinton calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton Foundation. At the same time he's playing defense on his immigration policy, backing off his harshest rhetoric about mass deportations. And while Clinton is laughing off dubious claims by Trump supporters about her health, it's now Trump's medical history that's coming under close scrutiny including a strange letter from his doctor. And a savage knife attack in rural Virginia. The suspect shouted "God
is great" in Arabic. And one victim was left with a slashed neck. Investigators are looking into a possible case of lone wolf terrorism. Is there an ISIS connection?
I'll talk with Congressman Sean Duffy. He's a Donald Trump supporter, and our correspondents, analysts and guests have full coverage of the day's stop stories.
We begin now with our breaking news that U.S. officials say hackers thought to be working for Russian intelligence have targeted reporters at the "New York Times" and other U.S. news organizations.
CNN's justice correspondent Evan Perez was first with this story. Evan, tell us what you've been learning.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, U.S. investigators believe that this is part of a broader U.S. -- Russian intelligence operation that already has infiltrated a number of targets. Now U.S. officials believe that Russian spies are targeting "New York Times" reporters as well as reporters from several other outlets, but the FBI and private security investigators are working with the "Times" to try to figure out how the hackers got in.
A spokeswoman for the "New York Times" declined to comment on any possible breach, but said that the company works with outside investigators and law enforcement to guard against hacks.
U.S. intelligence officials believe that these intrusions are part of a series of hacks believed to be the work of Russian intelligence and that includes the hacks of the Democratic National Committee as well as other Democratic Party organizations, as well as think tanks here in Washington -- Brianna.
KEILAR: And do you have authorities who are thinking that perhaps there's a specific motive behind this, that this could be connected to past suspected security breaches?
PEREZ: Well, U.S. intelligence officials tell me that the picture emerging from all of this recent activity by Russian spies is that they're going beyond the normal hacks against U.S. government systems. They're targeting think tanks and news organizations looking for contacts in the government as well as communications and even stories that are in the works.
All of this is valuable information for intelligence agencies. And they seem to be particularly be interested in organizations with a window on the U.S. political system. Now you'll remember that after the DNC hack, WikiLeaks released a trove of e-mails from the DNC days before the Democratic convention.
But the Russian government has denied being involved in all of this. But the Clinton campaign claims that the breach is proof that Vladimir Putin wants to help Donald Trump to be elected -- Brianna.
KEILAR: It is interesting that you point that they're looking at institutions or the hackers are specifically that have some insight into the U.S. political system. What does that mean? We're still trying to figure out.
PEREZ: Right. Exactly.
KEILAR: Evan Perez, thank you so much.
Well, the intrusions targeting journalists follows cyber attacks against other organizations. Let's turn now to Shimon Prokupecz, and Shimon, tell us, how far could these Russian threat go? What are the top U.S. concerns here?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT PRODUCER: I mean, it could go anywhere. And, you know, U.S. officials really believe they could be in anything and they could be in everything. It's really hard to monitor some of this. It's really hard to stop a lot of this.
[17:05:02] So, you know, U.S. officials, they work with sort of companies and trying to find out, you know, if they've seen any suspicious activity, if there's been any breaches in their systems. You know, we know the White House was breached. We know the State Department has breached, and we have reported that it was the Russians. So this could go anywhere. And certainly, you know, Evan and I have talked to several U.S. officials in Washington and New York, you know, in other parts of the country.
And, you know, no one really has a good handle on this. The Russians could be in everything. Some officials tell us. So they really don't know, it's a day-to-day sort of game. You know, some say it's like a chess game. And it's just basically trying to monitor as much as they can to sort of stop this and try and determine how much actually do the Russians know about what's going on in our government and in our institutions all across the country.
KEILAR: How will the U.S., do you think, respond to this? If they believe that Russian intelligence is believed to be behind the attack, you'd think there might be repercussions.
PROKUPECZ: You would think, but you know, just -- you know, I mean, look, they did the White House, they did the State Department. We believe, we've been told. U.S. government knows this. You know, what's taking so long? And, you know, Evan and I have questioned people about this and all they're saying, you know, this sort of talks going on behind the scenes with, you know, what to do with this. How do we stop this?
But there's a lot of concern that in naming Russia, you know, Russia could turn around and somehow embarrass us or really, you know, we could be at a major cyber war. And so, you know, no one wants to escalate this. So they're trying to sort of talk about this behind the scenes, maybe negotiate something, but look, right now, no one thinks this is going to stop. And at what point is enough enough? And at what point will the U.S. government finally come out and say hey, we know Russia is behind all of these attacks?
KEILAR: All right, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much for that report.
Turning now to the presidential race, Donald Trump is playing offense and defense at the same time. He is stepping up attacks on Hillary Clinton while his campaign struggles to redefine his harsh and harshly criticized rhetoric on immigration.
CNN Political reporter Sara Murray is on the campaign trail.
Sara, what's the latest with this?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, as you pointed out, Donald Trump has really spent weeks on defense at this point but now he is trying to turn that all around and focus the attention on Hillary Clinton. But despite his best effort, he just can't seem to escape these questions about what exactly is going on with his immigration plan.
MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump is looking to turn up the heat on Hillary Clinton.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: After the FBI and Department of Justice whitewashed Hillary Clinton's e-mail crimes, they certainly cannot be trusted to quickly or impartially investigate Hillary Clinton's new crimes, which happen all the time.
MURRAY: Calling for a special prosecutor to investigate ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. An unlikely outcome under the Obama administration.
TRUMP: The amounts involved, the favors done, and the significant number of times it was done, require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately.
MURRAY: The GOP nominee on the attack. Trying to put his own campaign's struggles in the rearview. It's a strategy that's still not clearing up confusion over whether Trump is poised to shift on immigration.
TRUMP: What people don't know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I'm going to do the same thing and I just said that. We want to do it in a very humane manner.
MURRAY: Trump now saying he's focusing on enforcing existing laws and deporting undocumented immigrants who've committed dangerous crimes.
TRUMP: Have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country. We're going to get them out and they're going to be out of this country so fast your head will spin.
MURRAY: Trump's moderate tone in interviews sharing little in common with his muscular take on the trail. Aside from a similar rhetorical flare. TRUMP: Don't worry, we're going to build the wall. That wall will go
up so fast your head will spin.
MURRAY: The latest inkling Trump maybe reevaluating his immigration stance coming as he tries to shore up dismal support from Latinos and African-Americans, but Trump's pitch that black communities can't get much worse --
TRUMP: What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I'll straighten it out.
MURRAY: -- is still a bit rough around the edges.
TRUMP: I'll bring jobs back. We'll bring spirit back. We'll get rid of the crime. You'll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now you walk down the street you get shot.
MURRAY: Now the latest polls still have Donald Trump trailing in battleground states. Really across the country. And in an effort to turn that around, his campaign has essentially blown up his schedule for the week which was largely driven by fundraising.
[17:10:03] Tonight he is campaigning in Texas, for instance. But tomorrow he's going to be returning to a pivotal battleground state. He'll be campaigning right here in Tampa, Florida -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Sara Murray for us in Florida. Thank you.
And joining me now is Republican Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. He is a Donald Trump supporter.
Thank you, Congressman, for being with us. We do appreciate your time. And you --
REP. SEAN DUFFY (R), TRUMP SUPPORTER: It's good to be with you, Brianna.
KEILAR: You heard that report there before Sara. Evan Perez talking about how investigators believe that Russian intelligence is behind this recent string of cyber attacks, most recently against the "New York Times" and other news agencies. Have you been briefed on any of these cyber attacks? Is there anything you can tell us?
DUFFY: So I haven't been briefed on these new revelations about what's happened at the "New York Times" but this is nothing new. We know that not just Russia, but other non-friendlies to the United States have been hacking all kinds of institutions. OPM, the Office of Personnel Management in the Congress, that too has been hacked, a lot of members of Congress and employees of the Congress. They have that information as well.
What's concerning me, though, is that we know our information is continually under siege from our enemies. It's so important for the "New York Times" and the DNC or the RNC to protect that information which brings the story back to Hillary Clinton and the fact that she had top secret information on a non-secure server. I'm sure the "New York Times" servers were far more secure than the one that she had in her basement. So I look at this and --
KEILAR: Do you know that from a fact? I mean, do you know that for a fact?
DUFFY: Well, from what we've heard from the FBI, well, listen, from the FBI it was a non-secure server, absolutely. And what you'll see is there's different levels of security which means there's different levels of layers that we protect information. And if you have top secret information, that's at a different level from Congress's information and OPM. And if you take that out of the secured setting at State, and you put it on a non-secure server, if they can access the DNC, or they can access the "New York Times," they can access a non-secure server, which is very troubling that they now have this top secret information that even members of Congress don't have access to.
KEILAR: Do you have information that we don't that there was access to her server? Because we do not have that.
KEILAR: Do you know that --
DUFFY: No, but --
KEILAR: You're making the point of her judgment on using the server. You're not saying that it was her server was that hacked?
DUFFY: My point is, I highly suspect that it was hacked because they're going after all kinds of information. If they'll go after the "New York Times" for political information, why not go after the secretary of state who has an open server where you can access all of the secure information? And also she travelled overseas to places like Russia with this non-secure device that they could easily lift this information from.
So do we have that information already that it was hacked? Not yet. But I feel pretty certain --
DUFFY: -- that these are professionals and they have that information.
KEILAR: I just wanted to make sure you weren't telling us there was something that we didn't know there.
KEILAR: OK. So I -- you said it --
DUFFY: I'm not breaking a story for you.
KEILAR: It goes to Hillary Clinton, certainly there is -- this raises questions about her, you're saying. But I wonder if it also raises questions about Donald Trump.
KEILAR: You have been -- you have said, you've out there saying look, Donald Trump needs to release his tax returns. There have been questions about Donald Trump and perhaps business interests with Russia. We do not know because he has not released his tax returns, but we've heard praise for Vladimir Putin. Does this further reinforce the need to release these tax returns so that we know exactly, very transparently, if Donald Trump has business interests or has had business interests in Russia considering it is Russian intel that investigators think is behind this?
DUFFY: So I would also make the same point, you have no information that there is any tie between --
KEILAR: No, no. I'm not -- I'm not saying that.
DUFFY: -- Trump's dealings and Russia. But -- I know you're not. So I just want to be clear on that.
KEILAR: But we do not know. We do not know, right?
DUFFY: We don't.
KEILAR: I mean, he hasn't --
DUFFY: And so --
KEILAR: Her server -- now in fairness, Congressman.
DUFFY: What I've said in your show before is --
KEILAR: Her server has been turned over to the FBI. OK.
KEILAR: So there have been folks who have looked at it. Nobody aside from Donald Trump or those very close to him have seen his income tax returns. So I'm asking this -- I'm this question if it's important for us to be able to know for sure?
DUFFY: I've said before on the show, I think transparency for both candidates is important. And I do think he should turn over his tax information. I think that is important. As well as I thought it was important in Hillary Clinton turn over all of her e-mails and she refuses to turn them over. We have to get them through FOIA requests and court orders to get these new 15,000 e-mails that have now come our way. We're able to see the connection between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton State Department --
KEILAR: The 15,000 documents, some of them e-mails, some of them duplicates probably of what we've had.
KEILAR: Your point is taken. There are some new e-mails in there. I just want to be clear. There is not 15,000 e-mails or new e-mails.
DUFFY: But my point to you, though, is I think that voters deserve all this information when they go to the ballot box in November.
[17:15:05] DUFFY: And they should see Donald Trump's tax information, they should see the connections between the Clinton Foundation and Russia, and what favors might have been given to donors to the Clinton Foundation that she gave through her role in the State Department. Those are all very important things. Transparency is good in American politics.
KEILAR: Yes. All questions that we do want answers to, very important.
All right, Congressman Duffy, you stick around with me if you will. We have much more ahead to talk about. We'll be right back.
KEILAR: We're back now with Republican Congressman Sean Duffy, of Wisconsin.
[17:20:03] He is a Donald Trump supporter. And sir, I want to ask you about something we're hearing from a number of Trump surrogates, including high-level ones, like former mayor Rudy Giuliani. They have been trafficking in conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health recently. Trump himself hasn't released very much information on his health. There's been really one four-paragraph note that was released in 2015 from his doctor, a gastroenterologist.
You've told me that you think Trump should release his tax returns. Should he also release more in the way of medical records?
DUFFY: Well, listen. I don't -- I think that's less of an issue for both of the candidates. I mean, I think what they're pointing to, though, is you see Mrs. Clinton with coughing fits on stages, kind of stumbling on and off the stage, while Mr. Trump hasn't had those kinds of issues. And I think that's what has brought this concern forward.
But I would just tell you this, Brianna. I think both of these issues for either of their health is a distraction. I mean, from the conservative side of the aisle I look at Hillary Clinton and the dishonesty with the American people, not leveling with us about the e- mails and the Clinton Foundation, and Benghazi. Those issues I think resonates more with the American people than talking about health.
And so I thought it was Hillary Clinton, like she did last night I think it was on Jimmy Kimmel, you know, take my pulse, I'm alive, I mean, you can laugh that off, but these other issues are far more series. They go to our national security and the integrity and honesty that someone has who could serve in the most powerful position in the world.
KEILAR: I said this earlier and I -- someone wrote to me and I had offended them where I said that they are comparatively old, these candidates, and I just meant compared to past candidates.
DUFFY: Right. Yes.
KEILAR: So I'm not -- you know, 70 is the new 60. OK. Let's say that. But, you know, I think maybe people should be concerned.
KEILAR: And you have, for instance, Donald Trump's doctor writing, if elected Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. That sounds so not like a doctor to give us -- is that really supposed to give us confidence?
DUFFY: Well, listen, I think this goes to when you see both of these candidates on the stump, you don't see any issue with Donald Trump. I mean, he is vigorous and he's boisterous. And he's got a spring and a step. And there's been a little less of that with regard to Hillary Clinton. And I think that's what these folks are pointing to. But listen, our country faces --
KEILAR: She -- but, OK, but why are saying that, though? Can I ask? Only because I cover her and I see her.
KEILAR: So I mean, I see her a lot. And you and other Trump surrogates, even, you know, the ones who aren't saying Google this, Google that, like Rudy Giuliani, are just sort of saying, it's the sort of -- I'm hearing it repeatedly, not just from you, which makes me think it's something else going on here, the sort of, she's not quite as boisterous, or she doesn't have a spring in her step. I mean, she is doing fundraiser after fundraiser after fundraiser. Her schedule has been, you know, over the course of this, has been nuts. And arguably for the first several months of Iowa and onward, she was campaigning a heck of a lot more than Donald Trump.
DUFFY: But, Brianna, I mean, come on, you brought this issue up, I didn't bring this to your attention, hitting her -- you know, her health. You brought that to me, and if you want to go there, I mean, you can Google and watch all kinds of video where she is having coughing attacks.
DUFFY: Donald Trump doesn't have that.
DUFFY: There's been a few video where she stumbles off of the stage and she has to be grabbed and put back up.
KEILAR: You said --
DUFFY: So those are issues that we've seen on YouTube, but again I don't think those are relevant to the American voters.
KEILAR: You said there have been -- you said there have been a few instances of this?
DUFFY: Yes. Have you see the coughing attacks? You haven't seen those?
KEILAR: I have been there for those.
DUFFY: I mean,. I've seen those video where she stumbled -- OK. Have you seen those with Donald Trump?
KEILAR: Who doesn't occasionally cough?
DUFFY: Well, a cough is one thing. But a coughing fit is something else where it's a cough on end. You have nothing on the Trump side that will lead you to believe that he is nothing but healthy. There's been things with --
KEILAR: Well, there's nothing that would lead you to believe he is healthy, Congressman. His letter from his doctor is borderline ridiculous when you talk to other doctors who looked at it.
DUFFY: Brianna, we use common sense and we look at both of them on the stump. And listen, if Donald Trump has health issues on the stump, I'm sure it would be played over and over again. That doesn't exist.
KEILAR: So it sounds like -- it sounds like you're trafficking in these conspiracy theories as well.
DUFFY: No, I'm not.
KEILAR: You're saying because -- no, you're saying because she was coughing she's not as healthy as Donald Trump.
DUFFY: A coughing fit, Brianna, is different than a cough. Stumbling off a stage is different than a guy that can stand there and deliver an engaged speech. But to be clear, you brought it up. I think the issues in this campaign go to the economy, go to opportunity, go to a good education, go to a secure border, go to addressing ISIS.
[17:25:06] All issues that my constituents care about.
KEILAR: But I have a question --
DUFFY: They care less about that health of --
KEILAR: So you're looking at your diagnosis --
DUFFY: I'm not peddling -- no. No.
KEILAR: Yes, you are.
(LAUGHTER) DUFFY: I'm not peddling the theory of health.
KEILAR: Yes, you are.
DUFFY: But, Brianna, you brought it up.
KEILAR: I'm allowed to ask about it.
DUFFY: I didn't want to talk about this.
KEILAR: I am allowed to ask you about it.
DUFFY: You did. You're driving this.
KEILAR: I'm asking about it. You're peddling it.
DUFFY: You're driving the topic. Not me.
KEILAR: You're right, I did bring it up, and you're peddling it.
DUFFY: That's right.
KEILAR: So -- but here's what I'm --
DUFFY: No --
KEILAR: That is right, OK, so let me ask you this. You're looking at certain things where she had a stumble, or she's had a coughing fit, but you've also -- I hope if you read her medical note from her doctor, that was far more detailed than Donald Trump's where it described the past issues that she's had and her current fitness to do this. I mean, isn't that more --
DUFFY: Brianna, hold on a second.
KEILAR: Isn't that more important than something like a coughing fit --
DUFFY: As you know --
KEILAR: -- once or twice?
DUFFY: I love your show, and I love coming on this show, but I was asked at one point about David Duke's endorsement of Donald Trump. I've never been asked about the Orlando shooter's endorsement of Hillary Clinton. We've talked about Manafort on this show and ties to Russia. We've talked about Roger Ailes and potential sex scandals at FOX.
KEILAR: Sir, we have covered those issues extensively.
DUFFY: But I haven't -- no, no, hold on a second. Let me make my point.
KEILAR: Well, I'm just correcting what's incorrect. DUFFY: But why aren't we talking out Huma Abedin and her ties to the
Muslim -- and the Muslim Brotherhood? Why aren't we talking about the fact that she was an editor for a pro-Sharia newspaper?
KEILAR: She doesn't have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. It is not the newspaper --
DUFFY: But now you're covering -- no.
KEILAR: You brought it up.
DUFFY: But then you're peddling in these dishonesties. You're peddling information I would say is not true because the information is out there that she does have these ties.
KEILAR: No. And when you look at these newsletter -- I don't know what else to tell you, I'm just telling you how it is. And when you look at this newsletter, the way it's been characterized in the right- wing press, it is not accurate. So I just want to put -- I just have to put that out there because that's certainly what the fact is, Congressman.
DUFFY: And I would agree with you, Brianna, that I think there are more important issues to talk about. You and I can agree on that point, but if you want to drive it, I do think there's videos out there that raise concern.
KEILAR: You brought those ones up.
DUFFY: But I -- I did. But you brought up the topic. But I do think that we should stay on this show and other shows and surrogates should stick on the issues that are going to grow the economy and keep Americans safe, and I think we'd be all better debating those things that we know about, where there policy prescriptions are, as opposed to things that we don't know about and frankly we will never know about.
If Hillary Clinton is ill or Donald Trump is ill, they're not going to tell us and their -- they'll pick doctors that won't share that with us. So we will never ever know and that's why I think we should leave it alone and talk about who has the best vision for America, who's going to rise -- raise the people up, who's going to keep us safe. That's the debate the American voter and the Wisconsin voter cares about in this election.
KEILAR: OK, let me ask you this, though, because I've been hearing some of this stuff that we've talked about coming and that you, Congressman, are lending credence to. And I wonder if it has something to do with the state of Donald Trump currently in this race. It's -- it is sort of perplexing to many people when they look at Donald Trump tonight in Austin, Texas, a solidly red state, and Jackson, Mississippi, tomorrow? What is he doing?
And no offense to the great states of Texas and Mississippi, but these are not decisive in November. Why is there?
DUFFY: I think he's reaching out to everyone in America. I would just note that Hillary Clinton is in a decisively blue state of California. These folks, they go and they raise money in areas in which they can find donors who buy into their campaigns, and that's why Hillary is in California and why Trump is in Texas. But if you look at the places that he's going, he's got a pretty rigorous schedule. He's been in Wisconsin, he's been in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Virginia. Those are all contested states that he's playing in and playing hard and frankly he's doing a lot of rallies, far more than Hillary Clinton.
And I think that's what's key here. And by the way, I think it's important as we engage in this debate that you're able to take tough questions from the media. What I love about Donald Trump is he'll take your questions, and MSNBC's questions, and FOX's questions. He does it on a pretty frequent basis. Now you're going to tell me that it hasn't been so much recently and I'll cede that point.
But Hillary Clinton for 262 days doesn't take tough questions from the media because she has one lie after another lie, can't keep them straight, and can't take the pressure from the press, if you think that's going to change when she's the president, that she's all of a sudden going to be opening flower to take your questions and be open --
KEILAR: I don't think, look, I mean, I don't think it's going to --
KEILAR: I don't think it's going to be a great improvement with either candidate.
DUFFY: I think it's good for these candidates to take your hard questions.
KEILAR: We've been waiting to have him on CNN.
DUFFY: That you push them hard.
KEILAR: It's been June, I think, since we had him. So there's an open invite there, for sure, but you say he is talking to everyone. OK.
DUFFY: That's good thing.
KEILAR: But wouldn't you rather have him in some place like Iowa, where he's only down a couple of points but obviously that's so important or, I mean, even -- well, he's down in quite a few places, Colorado or Virginia?
[17:30:04] DUFFY: Where has Hillary been? I mean, we haven't seen Hillary doing --
KEILAR: Overall she has been in --
DUFFY: We haven't seen her down in --
KEILAR: Overall I would say -- and when you look at the last month or so --
DUFFY: She hasn't been out there. Trump is doing more --
KEILAR: She's been doing a lot more in the way of states that are --
DUFFY: Brianna, why is -- I mean, you've got to be fair in the analysis and say, if Donald Trump is in Texas and Hillary is in California, who cares? She's in a blue state, he's in a red state, right?
KEILAR: OK. But that's fair. Look, she's fundraising in California but he's in Texas? Events in Mississippi? He's been in Connecticut.
DUFFY: Fundraising in Texas. Yes. So here's what I think is happening. A little insight. If he is fundraising in some of these communities, I'm sure he probably does an event there after the fundraiser.
KEILAR: Sure. That's standard.
DUFFY: And he's talking to the people which is a good thing. And so instead of just, you know, taking the money and running, he's actually, I'm going to engage the people in this community, and you know what, when -- no matter where you are at, your news coverage covers, you know, all 50 states. And if you cover his speech no matter where he is at, he's hitting millions of people through your broadcast. And that's a really good thing.
KEILAR: So then let me ask you that.
DUFFY: Because he has to get his message out.
KEILAR: Because I've heard that from other --
KEILAR: So do you think -- is that really the calculus here then? That it doesn't matter if he doesn't go in Gladhand and do these events in Pennsylvania, in Ohio? And that if he is Texas talking and is on television, that that gets him as much mileage as those other kinds of trips take? Because it goes counter to what a lot of people think about campaigning.
DUFFY: So in a sense that if Hillary Clinton is in California, would it hurt her to do a rally in California? I don't think it hurts her. Just the same if Donald Trump is in Texas and if he raises money there, he does a rally there as well. What he's -- listen, he's a little down in the polls. We've all seen the point. So I think it's important for him to get out there and continue to talk about the issues that he wants to bring forward as the next president of the United States. If he wants to drive the issues about what's wrong with Hillary
Clinton's honesty and integrity with regard to these e-mails and Benghazi, and snuffing out ISIS and securing the border, and an economic plan, that looks to more government, more programs, more government spending as opposed to the free enterprise system, that debate is a good debate for Donald Trump, especially where he's at in the polls, to have right now and he should do it every day.
And I think he should be in Ohio, and he should be in Iowa, in Pennsylvania. And he has been. And he was just in Virginia. You can't say he has not been to the swing states, he's been there, and hitting them hard. So just to be steps away and go somewhere else, that shouldn't be a point of attack.
We should look at Hillary Clinton and go, do as many rallies as Donald Trump. Do as many interviews as Donald Trump, do as many the press conferences as Donald Trump, and be transparent with the American people. Be like Donald Trump in that regard. And I think what you'll see is the facade of the Clinton will crack.
KEILAR: All right. We will see. Sean Duffy, Congressman, thank you so much.
DUFFY: Thanks, Brianna.
KEILAR: We certainly appreciate you being with us.
DUFFY: Good to see you.
KEILAR: And we'll be back in a moment.
[17:37:30] KEILAR: Donald Trump is ramping up his attacks on Hillary Clinton even as he is put on the defensive over his immigration policy.
Let's bring in our experts. We have "Daily Beast" political reporter Olivia Nuzzi, CNN political analyst, Rebecca Berg, national political reporter at RealClearPolitics, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash and CNN political director David Chalian.
So, first, Dana, I want to talk about immigration then we'll talk about this interview that we saw with Congressman Sean Duffy. So this was a speech that Donald Trump was supposed to be giving in two days, and now he is not, and there are some -- there's been this sort of confusion about why he is not doing it. It seems like they want more time. We heard this from Kellyanne Conway, his new campaign manager. What's really -- what's really behind this, though? What are the considerations that he's thinking maybe addressing?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think actually they do need more time and I think it is because they are trying to figure out how to address -- maybe probably the more accurate way to say is his new campaign team, Kellyanne Conway, probably taking the lead on this, trying to push him to, you know, think more about the broader electorate. Not just in general, but even within the Republican Party, to say, you know what, we've got to go beyond the base that you had during the primaries, and bring in others. And so that's why they're trying to figure out the language, and you know, you heard, I interviewed her on Sunday and I was talking specifically about that deportation force and she said to be determined. I think that gives you a good sense of how there's some pretty intense deliberations inside this new campaign strategy.
KEILAR: Yes. So they clearly need some time to figure this out. But -- so we just heard that interview with Congressman Sean Duffy, who is a Donald Trump supporter, and I asked him about these conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health. And one, he said, why did you ask those questions, and I asked him because I wanted to know what he thought. He said Donald Trump should release his tax returns. I thought maybe he would say look, this is kind of ridiculous. He didn't. He sort of raised questions about well, we've seen her trip, we've seen her have this coughing fit. I'm not a doctor, but I covered Hillary Clinton --
BASH: But played one on TV.
KEILAR: I played one on television. I have seen the coughing fits, but I mean, sometimes people have coughing fits. I've seen the doctor's letter and I haven't seen really anything to back up what we're seeing on these blogs.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Brianna, don't even give it credence and say that you've seen the coughing fits and you're going to -- it was totally confounding to me --
KEILAR: I'm just saying, it's happened. I've had a coughing fit.
[17:40:01] CHALIAN: So, like, what are we talking about here?
CHALIAN: This was completely confounding. Every Trump surrogate and supporters who come on --
KEILAR: They're saying the same thing.
CHALIAN: By the way, they have stuff to talk about. They should say nothing except e-mails and foundation.
BASH: Right. And special prosecutor. Yes.
BASH: Yes. And -- there is enough out of there. When you present something like this, and you asked him -- he should have batted that away easily and he didn't. So when they do engage on this kind of conspiracy theory, they completely step on their own ability to stay on offense because they're going to get knocked on defense pretty quickly if they stay with this kind of a message.
OLIVIA NUZZI, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: The fact is, Trump is surrounded by conspiracy theorists. His entire campaign is populated by conspiracy theorists. He has people like Roger Stone, it's his orbit. This is nothing new. He's been pushing conspiracy theories for the last 14 months. I think what is knocking is seeing those conspiracies now picked up by legitimate people.
KEILAR: Rudy Giuliani. I mean, these are not -- these are household names who are saying this. What are they -- by doing this, is there any -- because there has to be a point, right? Or you would hope so. Sometimes I do wonder. But the point should be to pick up more voters, to appeal more. Who are they appealing to by saying these kinds of things? Are they winning anymore people who are not won over?
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's not clear that they are winning over more people with this argument. And aside from detracting from what should be their core message is, attacking the Clintons on e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, pay-to-play corruption, some of the themes that Donald Trump has hit on, they're distracting from that but they're also hurting his long-term credibility. Right? Because there's no evidence to back up these claims. And they are pressing this issue very hard. And so when voters take a look at the facts and decide well, there's really nothing there, maybe in the future they're not going to trust Donald Trump as much when he's attacking Hillary Clinton. And so the long-term value of this is really questionable.
KEILAR: How is this any different in concept than the birther movement? The health-er movement? The health-er? Health-ers?
BASH: You mean, just throwing something out there and making it --
KEILAR: Is it similar to that?
BASH: It is. it is.
KEILAR: The idea that -- and even when, you know, you had Obama releasing his birth certificate, and people still didn't believe it.
KEILAR: I mean, it delegitimizes. There's no basis in fact. Is it kind of the same thing?
BASH: It is. Actually I think that's a really astute point. It's -- you know, like we talked about a couple of weeks ago, Donald Trump likes to say, many people are saying, people are saying, and who are these people, it's the same concept, and just kind of putting things out into the ether, hoping that it sticks. You know, this, they're hoping, obviously goes to the -- is she really ready? Do we really want this person in the White House? Is this the person we want to be, you know, looking at and listening to for four years? Is she even going to make it four years?
All these things, but, as David was saying, you know, I have here an Associated Press story that I would think that they would be pushing.
BASH: About how she met with -- I think about half of the people who she met with while she was secretary of state from outside the government had donated to the Clinton Foundation.
KEILAR: Sure. Yes. You think they would go after that. It's sort of baffling.
CHALIAN: Well, Mike Pence is talking about it today.
KEILAR: Mike Pence is. Not -- and people aren't paying attention to him as much as Donald Trump as well, though.
KEILAR: But he's trying, right. He's trying.
All right, David Chalian, Dana Bash, Rebecca Berg, Olivia Nuzzi, thanks to all of you.
Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans are hammering Hillary Clinton on all fronts, including calls for a special prosecutor to investigate claims of insider access at the family's charitable foundation.
CNN correspondent Phil Mattingly has been following the Clinton campaign. What's the latest you hear, Phil?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, Donald Trump's attacks on Hillary Clinton aren't necessarily new. What is new is Donald Trump isn't stepping on those attacks with his own controversial statements and what we've seen, whether it comes to e- mails or whether it comes to the Clinton Foundation, is a very concerted effort, a very streamlined effort from Mike Pence, from Donald Trump to really focus in on Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton has totally forgotten the first rule of public service. The job of an elected official is to serve the citizens of the United States. That's what the job is.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Tonight, Hillary Clinton facing a series of sustained attacks, taking to late-night to brush off the salvo. On conspiracy theories about her health.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Can you open this jar of pickles? This has not been tampered with.
MATTINGLY: And on the e-mail controversy that has dogged her campaign.
HILARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Jimmy, my e-mails are so boring.
KIMMEL: Yes, mine aren't.
CLINTON: And I mean, I'm embarrassed about that. They're so boring. And -- so we've already released, I don't know, 30,000 plus, so what's a few more?
MATTINGLY: Donald Trump is treating Clinton's e-mails and allegations of insider access at the Clinton Foundation as no laughing matter. The GOP nominee going so far as to call for a special prosecutor to investigate the former secretary of state.
TRUMP: After the FBI and Department of Justice whitewashed Hillary Clinton's e-mail crimes, they certainly cannot be trusted to quickly or impartially investigate Hillary Clinton's new crimes which happen all of the time.
[17:45:13] MATTINGLY: Clinton allies are firing back, defending the foundation's charitable work as far more important than the political fires it has been engulfed in. None more strongly than the former top adviser to Clinton's husband, James Carville.
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Somebody is going to hell over this. Because somebody, you understand, here or somewhere is making -- this is saving people's lives.
MATTINGLY: And Clinton, herself, preparing to go back on offense. Aides saying later this week she will attack Trump's new campaign team, specifically CEO Stephen Bannon, as part of the, quote, "alt- right," an ideology described by a Clinton aide as, "a divisive and dystopian view of America which should concern all Americans."
Clinton throwing her own jabs during her late-night appearance, referencing her preparations to debate Trump next month.
CLINTON: I am drawing on my experience in elementary school.
CLINTON: The guy who pulled your ponytail.
MATTINGLY: All as the super PAC supporting her campaign continues to blanket the air waves with new attack ads questioning Trump's fitness for office.
TRUMP: You got to see this guy. I don't know what I said, I don't remember.
MATTINGLY: Clinton herself staying out of the spotlight Tuesday for one primary reason. Cash. The Democratic nominee using the final days of August to wrap up a fundraising swing through California. One that included a stop at Justin Timberlake's house. It's a trip, aides say, that's netted millions for the campaign.
MATTINGLY: And, Brianna, as the Trump campaign really ramps up their attacks, that money becomes all the more important. The Trump campaign has criticized Clinton for being off the campaign trail the last couple of days. But those efforts have paid dividends. More than $6 million raised for the campaign and a joint fundraising committee last night. The Justin Timberlake event, $3.3 million according to an aide -- Brianna.
KEILAR: That's right. Campaigning with Justin Timberlake.
All right, Phil Mattingly, thank you very much.
Now more on the breaking news. We're talking about a cyber attack. This is possibly at the direction of Russian intelligence services. That's what U.S. sources are telling us. And it appears to have targeted reporters at the "New York Times" and other news organizations. We're going to bring you the latest on that investigation.
Plus, a stabbing in Virginia is raising fears of lone wolf terrorism. Why authorities are concerned about possible connections to ISIS.
[17:52:11] KEILAR: Authorities in Virginia are investigating a disturbing knife attack as a possible incident of terrorism.
Our Brian Todd has been digging on this story. Brian, what can you tell us?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, tonight the FBI is working this case along with the local police trying to learn more about this violent suspect with a troubled past. We're told the attacker had been known to the FBI before this incident because of concerns that he was radicalized.
TODD (voice-over): A vicious and apparently random stabbing attack at this apartment complex has investigators looking tonight into a possible case of lone wolf terrorism. Police in Roanoke County, Virginia, nearly 250 miles south of Washington, say a man and a woman were attacked as they entered the Pines Apartment Complex on Saturday night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going to be a traumatic injury, two patients, one with a neck laceration, the other with a leg laceration, and PD is applying a tourniquet to that patient.
CHUCK MASON, ASSISTANT POLICE CHIEF, ROANOKE COUNTY, VIRGINIA: The male was eventually able to fight off the attacker who fled. But in the meantime, both the man and the woman had been severely wounded.
TODD: Police say while they were at a local hospital with the victims, a man now identified as the suspect came into the ER with injuries of his own. He is 20-year-old Wasil Farooqui. Tonight a U.S. law enforcement official tells CNN witnesses said Farooqui shouted "Allahu Akbar," meaning god is great, as he carried out the attack. Police say they don't believe Farooqui knew either of the victims.
DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: There's certainly a real possibility here that he could have been inspired by ISIS. We don't know for sure given that we only have surface level facts. But the fact that he screamed out "Allahu Akbar," the fact that he chose apparently random victims, the fact that he was known by authorities in advance certainly raises that question.
TODD: A law enforcement official tells CNN Farooqui was previously known to the FBI because of concerns over his possible radicalization and because of possible mental health issues. While officials would not give further details, experts say ISIS, even while losing ground on the battlefield, could still capitalize on this random attack in rural Virginia.
GARTENSTEIN-ROSS: If it is linked to ISIS, then one of the things that it shows is that they're able to carry out attacks in the most random of places. Places that you never even think of as being hit by an attack. It's certainly something that they can profit and use to establish their mythos as this militant force that can strike anywhere.
TODD: In Roanoke, a local resident who didn't want to be identified says she and others in the neighborhood are terrified.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're a tight knit community over there. Our building in particular, I know all of my neighbors. So it's scary knowing that something could happen so close to home.
TODD: Now what's not clear tonight is whether this suspect, Wasil Farooqui, was actually communicating with anyone overseas with any operatives from ISIS or another terror group. If he was not, and if he was radicalized or inspired on his own, he would symbolize what's become a massive challenge for U.S. law enforcement.
[17:55:10] FBI Director James Comey has said the bureau has almost 1,000 investigations ongoing into homegrown extremists. The majority of them are ISIS related -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Brian Todd, thank you so much.
Coming up, our breaking news. The FBI investigates cyber attacks targeting reporters at "The New York Times" and other outlets. U.S. officials blame Russian intelligence.
And his harsh comments on immigration have come in for harsh criticism. Now Donald Trump is trying to redefine his policy.
KEILAR: Happening now, breaking news. Russian infiltration.