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CNN NEWSROOM

Report: Clinton Says Trump Campaign Built on Prejudice and Paranoia. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 25, 2016 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00] HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But look at who he has put in charge of his campaign. Trump likes to say he only hires the best people. But he has had to fire so many campaign managers, it's like an episode from the "Apprentice".

And the latest shakeup was designed to "let Trump be Trump".

So to do that, he hired Steven Bannon, the head of a rightwing website called Breitbart.com as the campaign CEO. Now to give you a flavor of his work, here are a few headlines they've published. I'm not making this up -- "Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy". "Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?"

"Gabby Giffords, the gun-control movement's human shield". "Hoisted high and proud, the confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage. And that one came shortly after the Charleston massacre when Democrats and Republicans alike were doing everything they could to heal racial divides that Breitbart and Bannon tried to inflame.

Just imagine. Donald Trump reading that and thinking, be this is what I need more of in my campaign. Now Bannon has nasty things to say about pretty much everyone. This spring he railed against speaker Paul Ryan for "rubbing his social justice Catholicism in my nose every second."

No wonder he has gone to work for Trump. The only presidential candidate ever to get into a public dispute with the pope. But according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right. This is not conservatism or Republicanism as we have known it.

These are racist ideas, race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim, anti- immigrant, anti-women. All key tenants making up the alt-right. Alt- right is short for alternative right. The "Wall Street Journal" describes it as a loose, but organized movement, mostly online, that rejects mainstream conservatism, promotes nationalism and views immigration and multi-culturalism as threats to white identity.

So the de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump campaign represents a landmark achievement for this group. A fringe element that has effectively taken over the Republican Party. This is part of a broader story. The rising tide of hard line right wing nationalism around the world. Just yesterday one of Britain's most prominent right wing leaders, a

man named Nigel Farage, who stoked anti-immigrant sentiments to have Britain leave the European Union campaigned with Donald Trump in Mississippi. Farage has called for a bar on the children of legal immigrants from public schools and health services, has said women are, and I quote are, "worth less" than men. And supports scrapping laws that prevent employers from discriminating based on race.

That's who Donald Trump wants by his side when he is addressing an audience of American voters. And the grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism is Russian president Vladimir Putin. And in fact, Farage regularly appears on Russian propaganda programs. Now he's standing on the same stage as the Republican nominee. Trump himself heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies.

He talks casually of abandoning our NATO allies, recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea, giving the Kremlin a free hand in eastern Europe. American presidents from Truman to Reagan, to Bush and Clinton, to Obama, have rejected the kind of approach Trump is taking on Russia and we should, too.

Now all of this adds up to something we have never seen before. Of course there's always been a paranoid fringe in our politics. A lot of it arising from racial resentment. But it's never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone until now. On David Duke's radio show the other day, the mood was jubilant. We appear to have taken over the Republican party, one white supremacist said. Duke laughed.

No, there's still more work to do, he replied. So no one should have any illusions about what's really going on here. The names may have changed, racists now call themselves racialists. White supremacists now call themselves white nationalists. The paranoid fringe now calls itself alt-right. But the hate burns just as bright.

And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. But don't be fooled. There's an old Mexican proverb that says -- tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are. But we know who Trump is, a few words on a teleprompter won't change that.

He says he wants to make America great again but more and more it seems as though his real message is make America hate again. And this isn't just about one election, it is about who we are as a nation. It is about the kind of example we want to set for our children and our grandchildren. Next time you see Trump on TV think about all of the children listening across America. Kids hear a lot more than we think.

Parents and teachers are already worrying what about what they call the "Trump Effect". They report that bullying and harassment are on the rise in our schools especially targeting students of color, Muslims and immigrants. At a recent high school basketball game in Indiana white students held up Trump signs and taunted Latino players on the opposing team with chants of build the wall and speak English.

After a similar incident in Iowa one frustrated school principal said, they see it in presidential campaign and now it is OK for everyone to say this. We wouldn't tolerate this kind of behavior and we wouldn't tolerate it in our homes and we shouldn't stand for it from a presidential candidate.

My friends this is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump. It's a moment of reckoning for all of us who love our country. And believe that America is better than this. Twenty years ago when Bob Dole accepted the Republican nomination he pointed to the exits in the convention hall and told any racists in the party to get out.

The week after 9/11, George W. Bush went to a mosque and declared for everyone to hear that Muslims love America just as much as I do. In 2008, John McCain told his own supporters that they were wrong about the man he was trying to defeat. Senator McCain made sure they knew Barack Obama, he said, is an American citizen and a decent person.

We need that kind of leadership again. We can have our disagreements and believe me, I understand that. I think that's healthy. We need good debates. But we need to do it in a respectful way. Not finger pointing and blaming and stirring up this bigotry and prejudice.

Every day more Americans are standing up and saying, enough is enough. Including a lot of Republicans. And I am honored to have their support in this campaign. And I promise you this, with your help, I will be a president for Democrats, Republicans, and independents, for those who vote for me, and for those who vote against me. I will be a president for all Americans.

[15:35:00] Because I truly believe we are stronger together. And this is a vision for the future rooted in our values and reflected in a rising generation of young people. The young people in American today are the most open, diverse and connected generation we have ever seen.

How many of you say any of the Olympics? I was so proud I always get carried away every time the Olympics are on. And you look at the diversity of our athletes. Look at our fabulous Olympic team representing the United States of America. An African-American Muslim from New Jersey won the bronze medal in fencing with grace and skill. Would she even have a place in Donald Trump's America?

I tell you, when I was growing up, in so many parts of our country, Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky would not have been allowed to swim in the same public pool. And now together on our swimming team, they're winning Olympic medals as teammates.

I don't know but, but I don't think we have a person to waste. We want to build an America where everyone has a place where if you work hard and you do your part, you can get ahead and stay ahead. That's the basic bargain of America. And we cannot get to where we need to be unless we move forward together and stand up against prejudice and paranoia again, that America is great because America is good. Thank you all so very much! Let's go out and win the election! God bless you and god bless the United States of America! Thank you! BALDWIN: Hillary Clinton there. Interesting using two words to

bookend her speech -- prejudice and paranoia on the one line. That sums it up. She's arguing that Trump wants to make America great again but his real message remains make America hate again. Let me bring in my voices beginning with our CNN political director, David Chalian. What did you think?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You heard her repeat the words that she used at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia when she accepted the party's nomination. That this is a "moment of reckoning." I think that was her goal throughout this whole speech is to sort of raise the stakes 75 days out as to where she sees the country and where she sees this choice.

She gives this complete and I would say sort of sober -- it wasn't so much sort of rally and rah rah until the end there, this sort of sober quiet rejection of everything that she sees wrong with Donald Trump's rhetoric and those that he's embraced. But then she did pivot to this more positive hopeful message at the end, not just the negative picture but contrasting it as she used the Olympics as an example, whatever, to sort of lift up and try to inspire people to raise their sights to what she sees as the correct path.

So I do think that the goal here was not only to reject Trump and paint him in a negative frame -- which was clear, but also to raise the stakes of the game here with only 75 days left.

BALDWIN: Guy?

GUY CECIL, C-CHAIRMAN, PRO-CLINTON PRIORITIES USA SUPER PAC: One of the things that Hillary has been saying for quite some sometime that the big challenge in this election is that somehow we could normalize the extreme, that we would get used to the types of things that Donald Trump has said. I thought it was really critical that she started the speech not just by the words that he has mouthed over the course of the last year said, but by pointing out two of the most well-known things about Donald Trump in his career.,

[15:40:00] First, that while Hillary was in the south exposing racism in southern schools, Donald Trump and his company were marking the applications of African-Americans and preventing them from renting apartments in his buildings. And second, that a casino that he owns was fined $200,000 because they would remove the African-American employees from that floor simply because a gambler didn't like the looks of them.

This is not just about guilt by association. Although he's hired some pretty crazy people. It is also about who he is as a person. And no amount of teleprompters, no amount of new campaign managers is going to change the fundamental fact that Donald Trump is simply unfit to the president of the United States and that his views are out of the mainstream of our country.

BALDWIN: Alice, also a Trump supporter, I want you to respond to that. ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is what we expected

all along. Hillary Clinton has had a terrible week in terms of being on the ropes with regard to the Clinton Foundation. This was her way of fighting back. Instead of addressing the issues and coming clean on that, she did exactly what Donald Trump had predicted and what we expected she dusted off the Democrat playbook and started throwing racial attacks against Donald Trump.

It is a tried and true Democrat policy and it is not going to work. Look, they've gone to the well on this and this well has gone dry, as Donald Trump said. As I was hearing her speak I kept having shades of 2012 pass through my mind as Barack Obama used Mitt Romney's binders full of women.

Here we have Hillary Clinton's using Trumps Breitbart full of white people. That is clearly going to be the message moving forward. And it's not going to work. Look, this is clearly a distraction from the issues she has been dogged with all week long. For her to continue to use this type of language against Donald Trump is insulting to a lot of the voters.

Look, he had a record number of voters come out for him during this cycle. 14 million Republicans came out and he rallied them unlike any other Republicans had done in years past. I believe what we've seen over the past two weeks is he getting back on message, back on track.

Certainly much more disciplined to where he is focusing on the issues and he is focusing his attack on his number one target which is Hillary Clinton. That's exactly what we need to be doing. I will take exception to one thing that David mentioned. I think all she did throughout her entire speech was attack Donald Trump and throw out these baseless allegations.

She didn't provide any positive hope for viewers -- for independents who are still trying to make up their mind. I think that's what people want. At least Donald Trump followed up with voters want to focus and vote for freedom and opportunity and justice and that's the message that we need to be relaying to voters.

BALDWIN: Picking up on that point in a second. But I understand we have our politics reporter Jeff Zeleny standing by now in the room. As folks are starting to leave. We knew this speech was coming. We knew that Hillary Clinton would take on Donald Trump in this alt-right movement that she says he embraces. What did you hear as far as how the crowd responded to certain key points?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, I think the thing that's different about this, we've heard Hillary Clinton in many speeches talk about how Donald Trump is unfit to serve and not ready for the office. This was a different speech to my ear. This was a different moment I think in this campaign. Really reaching out to as much to Republicans and across the aisle to ask them, ask Americans, if this is the kind of divisive rhetoric and language that they want in a presidential campaign but also in a president.

I was struck by that. Just the specific lines about how Bob Dole back in 1996 told racists at the convention hall to go to the exits. How she referenced speaker Paul Ryan and how Breitbart and Steve Bannon have actually been a thorn in his side. This wasn't necessarily a bipartisan speech by any measure, of course. But I was struck by the fact that she was trying to extend her hand in some respect to that and really call out what she says -- she quoted the "Wall Street Journal" in their definition of alternative right.

[15:45:00] This was very much designed to be a mainstream speech if you will to describe what she views as happening here. Not as many applauses at a normal campaign speech because the substance and weight of this speech are really heavy.

BALDWIN: You mentioned Republicans. She took a minute to thank Republicans who have come forward and supported her. Simone Sanders, spring boarding off Alice's note at the end how she felt like this entire speech was slamming Donald Trump. Would you agree?

SIMONE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: This -- well, one, I want folks not to believe the spin that the Trump surrogates are going to come out on this network and other networks and put out today and next couple days. Make no mistake, this speech Hillary Clinton just gave was damaging to Donald Trump. She's used his own words and turned them against him.

During the primary season Bernie Sanders used to like to say that campaigns are not just about what you say today, they're also about what you said yesterday. Donald Trump and his campaign team has said a lot of things yesterday that don't line up with the things he'd like to say today. I'd like also to push back on the point this is just straight out of the Democratic playbook.

This is unprecedented. It is unprecedented that we have a Republican presidential candidate that is openly stoking hate, that is inviting white supremacists into his campaign and saying here is a space for you. Make your place. This is what we are going to do.

What secretary Clinton went out and did is she called it what it was. She put it right there on the table but also let the American people know that we are better than this. We are stronger together. And I do think she is also reaching out to some moderate Republicans jumping ship left and right on the Republican party. They don't want to vote for someone that is a racist or a bigot.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Donald Trump repeatedly disavowed David Duke. How many times does he have to say it again? What we saw today was --

BALDWIN: We've talked ad nauseam about that, he's made mistakes.

MCENANY: I don't think we can get into -- a mischaracterization of Trump's record, and I saw Donald Trump could have stood up their today and said, hey, Hillary Clinton hugged Robert Byrd someone who ran a KKK group, someone who she called

a friend and a mentor. He could have stood there and said, Bill Clinton golfed in all white golf course until the NAACP pushed him not too. I can go on and on. Super-predators, he avoided that, he said Hillary Clinton has said things in the past that are racially intense. I'm not even going to get into them. And instead what he did is he spoke about he's lift energy regulations, he's going to not raise taxes 50% on black business owners. He proffered policies.

Hillary Clinton, I can't name one policy that happened in that speech that she put forward to better serve the African-American community. Maybe Simone can name one but I highly doubt that. Because there wasn't one in there.

[15:50:00] BALDWIN: Let me let Simone respond.

SANDERS: Hillary Clinton has given multiple speeches where she has laid out actual policies and remedies for the ills affecting not only the African American community but the Latino community, Muslims, women, millennials. Donald Trump doesn't have anything laid out. I'm not going to let Kayleigh sit here on this network and say we're not going to talk about the little things that Trump did. That is exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party right now. We have to call out racism, bigotry --

MCENANY: He is not a racist.

SANDERS: Pardon me, I don't know him personally, but the words coming out of his mouth, and the way he is running his campaign reeks of bigotry. The picture, she laid it out that this is who Donald Trump is. He said he wanted to go back to being himself. Being the real Donald Trump, and he hired Bannon as his CEO. He is now going out on the campaign trail and saying the things he wants to say even though he is using the teleprompter.

BALDWIN: Listen Breitbart.com calls itself the platform for the alt- right and then at the same time he is -- he sat around the round table this morning, African-Americans, mostly white crowds where he has been speaking with this African-American outreach. Can you have both?

MCENANY: Yes, Steve Bannon was hired because he is one of the most effective Clinton opposition researchers out there but he sat as you mentioned at a round table with black leaders in our party who have fully endorsed him. Ben Carson, Alan West said yesterday I want to stand on a stage next to Donald Trump and tell my African-American peers why they should support him. David Webb today put forward very positive words about Donald Trump. Mark Burns, we can go on, Lynn Patton a top executive at Trump's company saying he is one of the best bosses ever. I think it is really insulting to label him a racist. That is a very harsh word.

BALDWIN: Let's not name call, but you do know that Democrats are pointing out there are 74 days to go and you can't just start now having roundtables with black voters.

MCENANY: But he has done this repeatedly, he did this back during the primary, two of his first supporters who are African-Americans who you listen to, who he empowered. We can ignore that but he has been trying hard to be inclusive. What we saw today was divisive.

It does nothing to bring us together, like Martin Luther King said we have to learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. Hillary Clinton did nothing to help us live as one united country.

BALDWIN: Guy Cecil?

CECIL: I always enjoy when a Trump supporter wants to ignore his record and then quote Martin Luther King. He would not have kicked African-Americans off of a casino floor because a gambler wanted him to.

[15:55:00] Martin Luther King would not have put a C on the top of rental applications and prevented African-Americans from renting from them. He would not have sat on a stage ridiculed and demeaned Muslims. He would not have insulted a Hispanic judge who was born in America who just happened to be of Mexican heritage.

So the idea the Donald Trump should get a pats on the back because he sat at a table with six African Americans, this is 2016.

MCENANY: That is so unproductive because Martin Luther King, this is so unproductive and that is what is wrong with this election, Guy.

CECIL: And that is why the poll today said 60% of Americans believe that he traffics in bigotry, and a majority said --

BALDWIN: Let's stop. I don't know what Dr. King would think, he is not here. I'm out of time, I wish I had more time, I'm up against a wall. I want to thank all of you. Tonight, Donald Trump with Anderson Cooper, 8:00, do not miss their interview. Quick break, back after this.

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