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THE SITUATION ROOM
Clinton Slams Trump at Nevada Speech; Interview with Representative Ted Yoho; Trump Fires Back at Clinton Attacks; North Koreans Celebrate What They Call Greatest Victory After Missile Launch; U.S. Navy Fired Warning Shots at Iranian Boat. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired August 25, 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] SCIUTTO: To Brianna Keilar. She's in for Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Prejudice and paranoia. Hillary Clinton ties Donald Trump to white supremacist saying he has a long history of racial discrimination and is taking hate groups mainstream. Clinton says there is no other Donald Trump. This is it.
Lies and smears. Donald Trump says Clinton is painting his supporters as racists and says African-Americans and Latinos will have the, quote, "time of their life" in a Trump presidency, as he steps up his attacks on Clinton. We're standing by for Trump's first response to her speech, only here on CNN.
Warning shots. A U.S. Navy vessel fire three warning shots in an Iranian patrol boat which U.S. officials say was harassing the Americans. That follows what the U.S. says is a high-speed intercept with a U.S. destroyer. What is Iran up to?
And un-restrained joy. Kim Jong-un laughs and hugs his officers after what he calls his greatest victory. North Korea' launch of a ballistic missile from submarine. How great is the threat to America?
Wolf Blitzer is off, I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: Breaking news, Hillary Clinton takes the gloves off in a stunning take down of Trump saying his campaign is built on prejudice and paranoia. Clinton accuses Trump of a long history of racial discrimination saying that he traffics in dark conspiracy theories. Clinton says the Republican nominee is taking hate groups mainstream and forging a far right paranoid fringe of white supremacists, anti- Semites and others. And she says Trump himself is detached from reality and unfit for office.
Donald Trump did launch a preemptive strike, speaking shortly before Clinton. He accused her of lies and smears, saying that she paints decent Americans as racists. Trump stepped up his attacks on Clinton's e-mails and the Clinton Foundation accusing her of Watergate all over again. You can watch Donald Trump tonight with Anderson Cooper at 8:00 p.m.
right here on CNN. And our correspondents, analysts and guests have full coverage of the day's top story.
We begin in Reno with CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny who is at Hillary Clinton's speech. And we really heard Hillary Clinton going after Trump with his own words in a way that she doesn't usually do -- Jeff.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: She did, Brianna. She was trying to cast Donald Trump as out of the norm of American politics. She said there has been a partisan fringe in politics in the history of this country but she said this takes it one beyond that. She said he has a national megaphone. She called it a megaphone of hate.
ZELENY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton opening a new blistering line of attack tonight against Donald Trump.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He says he wants to make America great again, but more and more it seems as though his real message seems to be make America hate again.
ZELENY: In Reno, Clinton going farther than she gone before, pinning Trump as divisive, dangerous, and radical.
CLINTON: The last thing we need in the situation room is a loose cannon who can't tell the difference or doesn't care to between fact and fiction, and who buys so easily into racially tinged rumors.
ZELENY: She said Trump and his new advisers are peddling hate by embracing an alt-right philosophy linked to the White Nationalist Movement.
CLINTON: This is not conservatism as we have known it. This is not Republicanism as we have known it.
ZELENY: Campaigning in New Hampshire today, Trump said Clinton was spreading smears and lies.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have three words. I want you to remember these three words. Shame on you.
ZELENY: More than a full-throated takedown of her rival, Clinton also all but shamed Republicans for aligning themselves with Trump's rhetoric.
CLINTON: This is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump.
ZELENY: And Clinton also took aim at Stephen Bannon, the Trump campaign's new CEO, whose Web site Breitbart News routinely publishes conspiracy theories and offers a racially tinged world view.
CLINTON: A fringe element that has effectively taken over the Republican Party.
ZELENY: As Trump seems to be trying to moderate and soften his tone --
TRUMP: And believe it or not, I regret it.
ZELENY: -- Clinton is intent on reminding voters of Trump's greatest and most controversial hits.
CLINTON: Now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. But don't be fooled, we know who Trump is.
ZELENY: It was her first and only public campaign event of the week. After scooping up an eye-popping $19 million during a three-day fundraising swing in California, she set her sights on Nevada, where she's locked in a tight fight with Trump.
[17:05:03] The Reno speech is the latest in a series of addresses trying to undercut Trump's perceived strengths. From national security --
CLINTON: He is temperamentally unfit.
ZELENY: To his business acumen.
CLINTON: He's written a lot of books about business. They all seemed to end at Chapter 11.
ZELENY: Tonight she's also extending a hand to skeptical Republicans as she tries to lure them away from Trump.
CLINTON: 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.
ZELENY: Now Republicans were a central part of her audience here, trying to reach out to them. She referenced Bob Dole, John McCain, George W. Bush, and contrasted their views on race and their tone with Donald Trump.
The question, Brianna, is does she have any credibility among these Republicans? Can she really reach out to some of them who may simply not like what they're hearing from Donald Trump? That is the challenge here in the next 75 days or so before election day -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yes. That is the real question. Jeff Zeleny in Reno, thank you.
Let's bring in our experts. We have CNN political analyst Rebecca Berg or RealClearPolitics, CNN political director David Chalian, CNN political commentator Ryan Lizza, a Washington correspondent for the "New Yorker," and CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
First to you, David, what was she trying to do today and did she accomplish it?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I think she was trying to do two things today. I think she was trying to continue an argument, this day a different slice of the argument of disqualifying Donald Trump. We know that she spent much of August doing the temperament argument and that he shouldn't have his finger on the button. And today the argument was all about him being so fringe, he's outside the mainstream of American politics, shouldn't be part of this conversation. Far too dangerous.
So continuing that is one thing she was trying to do, continue that, prosecuting that argument to disqualify. The other thing she was trying to do is talk to some moderate Republicans in the middle saying hey, guys, this does not represent your party. And listen, I've got some Republicans on board, and this is why you should think about coming on board also. So there was some of that in the speech there as well.
KEILAR: Dana, to David's point there, targeting Republicans here, she went after Donald Trump, but she also so defended a number of Republicans. Bob Dole, John McCain, George W. Bush, even.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
KEILAR: She said, she highlighted that he's gone to a mosque after 9/11 trying to show that many Republicans have been inclusive. Is she trying to tell Republicans hey, come to my side, or is she just trying to say, maybe don't go to his, maybe stay home?
BASH: And the question is, is there a difference at this point from her perspective? Obviously there are other options, independent candidates, but you're exactly right. By bringing up Bob Dole and John McCain and George W. Bush in instances where all of them explicitly said that there is no room for hate or intolerance in the Republican Party, it helped her illustrate the main point of her speech, which is that Donald Trump has taken over the Republican Party and that means the fringe has taken over the Republican Party.
I was just looking down at my phone and forgive me for that because we just got a statement from Kellyanne Conway, who is Trump's spokesman who just went off on this, basically saying that Hillary Clinton has no hope, no vision and no ideas for the future of our country, trying to turn it back on Clinton, obviously where the Trump campaign wanted because Hillary Clinton has not had the greatest week when it comes to her e-mails and things of that nature.
KEILAR: Yes. So she's trying to say, look, Hillary Clinton is just trying to change the subject, is there any truth to that?
KEILAR: That's what Kellyanne Conway from the Trump campaign is saying, Rebecca.
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what are we talking about? So I guess she has changed the subject, right? At least for today. And it's true that this hasn't been Hillary Clinton's best week in terms of this campaign. Not only because Donald Trump started to try to soften his tone, soften some of his more controversial policy position, but also because we had these new revelations about the Clinton Foundation, a very harsh spotlight on an issue that Hillary Clinton does not all together do very well on.
And so this is beneficial to her to try to direct the conversation back to Donald Trump being unfit for the presidency. What's so interesting in this election is that we really aren't talking a lot about policy at this stage. Both sides are trying to make the case that the other candidate is fundamentally, personally, ethically unfit to take the office of the presidency. I see that's pretty unprecedented.
CHALIAN: In fact, today is the day in election history, right, this election was about a criminal versus as a racist as the other side wanted to label their opponent. That's basically what today in politics was sort of that labeling, criminal versus racist.
KEILAR: It's character assassination, right? It's just mutual character assassination.
RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: Well, it is. But the power in the two speeches today is when each candidate sticks to the facts. Donald Trump has a lot of facts on his side when he talks about the Clinton Foundation. He goes off into, well, I don't really believe you any more when he says the State Department was a vast criminal enterprise.
[17:10:02] Hillary Clinton, when she makes the same case, she has a lot of facts on her side. When she delivered the -- of history with Trump and his racial instance that is very powerful. And so, you know, I think --
KEILAR: She is repeating his words, right?
LIZZA: She's repeating his words when she talks about the failure to condemn David Duke and his history with housing discrimination in New York. And the fact that she brought on someone from Breitbart, a Web site that has this sort of darker history, that's -- those are facts and the Trump campaign has to deal with that.
I do think that she did something very interesting today in that she separated the Republican Party from some of this ideology that has sort of entered the party through the Trump campaign. She didn't have to do that. The DDDC, the House Democrats, the Senate Democrats, they're all out there trying to tie Donald Trump's worth things to their down ballot candidates. Hillary Clinton said, you know what, I know the Republicans out there who don't believe this.
BASH: Yes -- no, but it's tactical obviously.
BASH: She's trying to separate them by specifically reaching out to Republicans who are not comfortable, necessarily, with voting for somebody like Donald Trump to say, you know, well, for me, I think the open question is whether or not it is enough to hear from somebody like Hillary Clinton who is a very divisive character even and especially among those very Republicans she was reaching out to. They're looking at their choices going, we don't know which way we're going to go.
KEILAR: Let's -- some multi-front attack, too, in a way that you're seeing. Let's look at this video that the Clinton campaign released ahead of her speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED TAYLOR, AMERICAN RENAISSANCE: Sending out all of the illegals, building a wall, and a moratorium on Islamic immigration. That's very appealing to a lot of ordinary white people.
DAVID DUKE, FORMER KKK GRAND WIZARD: Voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacist?
TRUMP: I don't know anything about white supremacists, so I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: I guess my question is, when you have people in the middle of the political spectrum, maybe they're moderate Republicans, maybe they're independents, maybe they have real misgivings about Hillary Clinton. Does telling them, if you are considering Donald Trump, then you're basically considering a racist maybe backfire a little bit? Could it offend to them so that they say, oh come on, I mean, I have real questions about you and the fact that I don't trust you and here you are basically saying if I consider an alternative, to you I'm a racist?
LIZZA: I think the factual predicate for the statement is everything. If she sticks to the facts and sticks to things that Trump said, or endorsers, or people that are coming to his campaign and their backgrounds, I think that that's powerful. If those facts are not there, then it's not. And then it's just a smear. That's why I thought the powerful parts of the speech today for when she just laid out the headlines from Breitbart or his own history.
CHALIAN: I take your point, Brianna. That there, you know, could be a potential for that --
KEILAR: And maybe there isn't. I mean, you tell me if you think --
CHALIAN: No, no, I think it's a smart question. I just think that these two people are uniquely disliked in American politics, as the nominees, and so the game has become about making the other so -- the most disliked person that I think you -- whatever you may risk from losing from doing so, you may pick up some people if you are successful at making the opponent the most disliked.
KEILAR: All right. Rebecca, David, Ryan, Dana, thank you to all of you.
And joining me now is Republican Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida. He is a Donald Trump supporter.
I do, sir, have to get in a quick break but we have much more to talk about with Hillary Clinton's speech today, Donald Trump as well, talking to voters. We'll be right back to discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[17:18:12] CLINTON: Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party. His disregard for the values that make our country greats is profoundly dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Our breaking news, Hillary Clinton delivers a blistering speech tying Donald Trump to white supremacist and the extreme right. That follows a Trump speech slamming Clinton's e-mails and the influence of the Clinton Foundation, along with a prebuttal accusing Clinton of trying to smear him and his supporters.
We're back now with Republican Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida. He does support Donald Trump.
Congressman, thank you so much for being with us. And I know you heard this today and you heard Hillary Clinton essentially say that Donald Trump is rebranding the Republican Party. She used that word, rebranding. Rebranding it into a radical fringe group. What do you say to that?
REP. TED YOHO (R), TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think it's ridiculous. I think she is like an injured animal, she is hurt, and she's just trying to gain some credibility. You can't condemn somebody and call them a racist and a hater, and all this other stuff, and yet put out all the negative stuff about him. You know, it's very hypocritical. And it's sophistry at its best.
And you know, at this point in time, Brianna, we've got a crisis in the Middle East, in the Straits of Hormuz, in the Persian Gulf. We've got that going on. We've got the events in Indiana with the storms, what happened in Louisiana. We've got all these things going on and to sit there and have political candidates attack stuff on a high school level, I think our country deserves a lot better than that. And we need to focus on the main problems. You know, the American people are tired of that and for her to say
that Donald Trump has taken over the Republican Party, I get blamed for being a right-wing radical and, you know, the things I ran on were limited government, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and preserving our Constitution.
[17:20:13] KEILAR: OK. But Donald Trump last night called her a bigot. So this is where we have seen the debate go. You said Hillary Clinton is a wounded animal. What do you mean by that?
YOHO: Well, you know, she -- her poll numbers aren't coming up. And I think what she feels is she feels like she's slipping on support. And we're going to see more of this unfortunately for the next 75 days until we get to the election.
The American people are tired of this. When I talk to people they said, what are you doing about the debt? What are you doing to shore up Social Security and Medicare? What are you doing about our immigration policy?
I was in the Florida Keys this last week for a couple of days and I saw the Coast Guard interdict 20 Cuban migrants that are came over to this country and they're coming over because of Barack Obama's policies. And Hillary Clinton is going to be an extension of that. They're putting our Coast Guard in harm's way, they're putting our military in harm's way. We're spending millions and millions of dollars because we're not solving problems in Washington.
This is what the American people are tired off and they want to see a leader that doesn't condemn and they want to see a leader that doesn't try to tear somebody down.
KEILAR: But Congressman --
YOHO: They didn't want to --
KEILAR: There are many moderate Republicans who have come out they said essentially they are worried about what she is getting at here. They are worried she is going to be able to either sway moderate Republicans, if not in her direction away from Donald Trump. That's a very real concern. Not coming from Clinton campaign. That's coming from people in your party.
YOHO: Sure, sure, I mean, I have seen that. And I've heard it, but I hear it on the Democratic side, too. People aren't over thrilled with him. In fact we heard from a DEC chairman today that's going to support Donald Trump. So, you know, there's turmoil on both sides. What we have to do --
KEILAR: So what do you think about, when you heard this speech and you heard her saying -- you said saying all the negative things about Donald Trump. I mean, she just quoted him a lot of times. She characterized some things that he said in the past. Do you think that she misrepresented his words?
YOHO: Well, you know, you can take some parsed words but coming off she had last week --
KEILAR: What did she parsed -- so what part did she parse?
YOHO: Well, with the e-mail scandals that has come out --
KEILAR: No, when she described his -- no. You said that you can parse, how did she parse his words? I mean, I would love to --
YOHO: Saying the same -- sure, saying he is taking over the Republican Party and turned it in --
KEILAR: No --
YOHO: What's that new word? The alt-right --
KEILAR: No. You said she parsed his words. So which of his words did she parse?
YOHO: Well, taking and saying that he is taken over the Republican Party and made it a right-wing radical.
KEILAR: No, those are her words. She -- that's her characterization of something.
KEILAR: She repeatedly said you talked about things that he has said, and you're saying that she is parsing his words. How is she parsing his words?
YOHO: Well, saying that he's running on bigotry, hatred, fear- mongering. I see that on both sides and that's politics, unfortunately, our country and the people of America deserves better than that. And let's focus on the issues. We've got Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf that we have the Iranian Navy that is circling threatening our people in the military strictly because of this president's foreign policies that have shown a weakness and a lack of leadership. And that's why we the problem we have now.
The world is on fire and the American people are ready to move on to the next chapter and let's start solving the problems for this country.
KEILAR: All right, Congressman Yoho, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us here on THE SITUATION ROOM. We do appreciate it.
YOHO: Yes, ma'am.
KEILAR: And I also want to say, next hour I will speak with Respective Gregory Meeks. He is a Hillary Clinton supporter.
And we are getting breaking news into THE SITUATION ROOM. Donald Trump just sat down with Anderson Cooper for an exclusive reaction to Hillary Clinton's speech. We are getting that sound in now. We're going to take a quick break. We'll have exclusive reaction from Donald Trump coming up.
[17:28:27] KEILAR: We're getting breaking news now. Donald Trump just sat down with Anderson Cooper for an exclusive reaction to Hillary Clinton's speech and he's doubling down on some pretty harsh language. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You called last night Hillary Clinton a bigot. Previously you called her policies bigoted. You directly called her a bigot --
TRUMP: Well, she is a bigot because when you look at what's happening to the inner cities, you look at what's happening to African-Americans and Hispanics in this country where she talks all the time, she's talking look at the vets, where she said the vets are being treated essentially just fine. That it's over exaggerated what's happening to the vets, not so long ago.
COOPER: How is she a bigot? Bigot is having hatred toward --
TRUMP: Well, because she's selling them down the tubes, because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game but she doesn't do --
COOPER: So you think she has hatred or dislike of black people?
TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted. Her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work.
COOPER: But you're saying she is personally bigoted?
TRUMP: She is, of course, she is. Her policies. They're her policies, she's comes up with the policies and others that believe like she does also, but she came out with policies over the years. This is over the years. A long time. She's totally bigoted, there's no question about it.
COOPER: But it doesn't imply that she doesn't -- she has antipathy, she has hated toward or, in this case, I guess you're coming after her but --
TRUMP: I think she has been extremely, extremely bad for African- Americans. I think she's been extremely bad for Hispanics. You look at what's happened with her policies and the policies of President Obama and others. Look at the poverty. Look at the rise in poverty. Look at the rise in violence.
COOPER: So hatred is at the core of that or dislike of African- Americans?
TRUMP: No -- or maybe she's lazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP) [17:25:01] KEILAR: Watch the whole interview with Donald Trump on "ANDERSON COOPER" tonight on CNN. You really do not want to miss this. Donald Trump on "AC 360" at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
Let's go live now to CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll. He was with Donald Trump today on the campaign trail at a rally, right before Trump spoke with Anderson Cooper.
Jason, what's his message been on the trail?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I will tell you one part of the message that's getting through to some of those who came out here today, Brianna. They were shouting in this rally in terms of referring to Hillary Clinton as a bigot. You could hear that during the rally today.
Donald Trump for his part flat out told the crowd that look, he said, I am not running a racist campaign. He said, what Hillary Clinton is doing by attacking me, he said is a, quote, "brazen attempt at distraction."
CARROLL (voice-over): Donald Trump fighting back against claims by Hillary Clinton he is running a racist campaign.
TRUMP: Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument. You're racist, you're racist, you're racist.
CARROLL: Trump also continuing to talk tough on immigration.
TRUMP: If you want to have strong borders so that people come into our country, but they come in legally through a legal process, that doesn't make you a racist. It makes you smart.
CARROLL: But Trump now signaling he might be reconsidering his pledge to deport all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.
TRUMP: No citizenship.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Everyone agree with that? All right.
TRUMP: And we go a step further. They'll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty as such.
CARROLL: It's an approach that aligns Trump with some of his former Republican primary rivals.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're not going to throw them out. I'm not in favor of getting rid of them.
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There ought to be a path to earn legal status.
CARROLL: Back then, these candidate were frequent targets of Trump's relentless attacks on their immigration views.
TRUMP: Bush is weak on immigration.
CARROLL: In an interview today, Jeb Bush criticized Trump on his new tack.
BUSH: All of the things that Donald Trump railed against he seems to be morphing into. It's kind of disturbing.
CARROLL: As Trump drew a hard line when it came to those in the country illegally, saying he will deport them. His campaign today insisted there was no shift in his position.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I assure you nothing has changed in terms of the policies. This man is not for amnesty.
CARROLL: Trump's new approach on immigration comes as he held a round table today with Hispanic and African-American fellows from the Republican Leadership Institute, part of his continued outreach to minority voters.
TRUMP: A very important part of the message for me is the African- American community because they have really been let down by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.
CARROLL: The meeting comes on the heels of Trump's attacks on Clinton for her commitment to minority voters.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a big who sees people of color -- only as votes, not as human beings.
CARROLL: So, Brianna, what we're hearing on both sides is a lot of name calling but when you talk to voters like the ones I spoke to, they say, look, enough of the name calling. We know that's where we are at this point in the campaign. What we want to hear is more debate over policy. As you know, Trump expected to give his policy speech on immigration next week -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yes, he is. Jason Carroll, thank you so much for that report.
And we're going to talk about his stance on immigration. First, though, I want to bring back our political expert and ask them about what we just heard from Donald Trump's interview with Anderson Cooper, just a snippet of that.
You heard that, David, and the question I have is, what is Donald Trump's point when he says that Hillary Clinton is a bigot? Because it seems like -- and you were point this out -- he was struggling to pinpoint a policy which would have been a very effective way to make his point. CHALIAN: Right. He just says, in sort of broad based, her policies
in general for decades. He was saying -- what's interesting to me is that he didn't use the word bigot in his remarks today in New Hampshire. That seemed like a deliberate choice to me after using it last night and then obviously when he was questioned about it, you know, he did indeed double down on it, and stick with it, and not walk away from it at all.
His argument is, and this is an argument that we heard from Newt Gingrich, from other conservatives over the years, Rand Paul was trying to make this argument early on in his run that many of the policies of Democrats have not made for a better life for African- Americans or for inner cities or what have you. But I just think, as you're saying, without the specifics, without pointing to this Hillary Clinton policy is why she's a bigot, I think it just does not help his argument because it's just so broad and vague.
[17:35:11] KEILAR: Yes. And what did you think as you heard that?
LIZZA: It's just a schoolyard taunt. Hey, you called me a racist, I'm calling you a big.
KEILAR: I -- yes.
LIZZA: I mean, look, this is not a new debate, right? I mean, George W. Bush had a famous line, the soft bigotry of low expectations. It's sort of undergird his education policy which he thought would help minority communities more than what Democrats were offering. A lot of Republicans who are more tough on crime say that that will help underserved neighborhoods that have higher crime rates, right?
You can make a policy case that has racial implications of why conservative ideas are better than liberal ones. He's not doing that. He's just calling her a bigot and at one point just referred to the VA and veterans which does not have any big racial implications or has nothing to do with bigotry. So, again with Trump, he would be a lot better candidate if he got specific and talked about detailed policies.
KEILAR: We're still, Rebecca, seeing him struggle to stick to something. If he didn't say bigot before, as David said, and then he doubles down on it when he's asked about it, it seems like he's kind of taking himself off message a little bit.
BERG: A little bit. And we've seen this from Donald Trump --
KEILAR: All the time. He does this frequently, a big way.
BERG: Many times before. I feel like trying to understand Donald Trump from a messaging perspective, a policy perspective, any sort of political perspective really is kind of like playing whack-a-mole. You hit one on the head and you think you've got it down and then another one pops up in a totally different place, and you're constantly on the run and chasing things down. And so with Donald Trump, there is no clarity in terms of messaging or in terms of policy. And maybe in some senses that has been to his advantage because no one
can say with any sort of definitiveness what he believes. And so people can make of him whatever they want. But on the other side, that is very negative because he is trying to prove to people that he is qualified to be president, that he has the experience, and that his policy prescriptions are best for the country. Well, if people don't know what his policy prescriptions are, that's a problem.
KEILAR: We're hoping, Dana, to find out what his policy prescriptions are when it comes to immigration because he is expected to unveil what was supposed to be a speech today. Today, yes, well, it's supposed to be today. And it seems a little unclear on exactly where he is other than it seems like he's going to soften on some things, it seems like he is actually going to perhaps describe something that actually many conservatives may consider amnesty, but he is going to try to characterize -- what does he say? It's not amnesty as such.
BASH: Right, and this really goes to the heart of the debate within the Republican Party for a decade now. What is amnesty. Amnesty has obviously become such a dirty word, even though Ronald Reagan did it. True amnesty. He just let people stay, and that was the end of it. But with regard to this debate, last night, there's no question, that Donald Trump left a very strong impression that he was changing the part of his primary immigration policy which it was to take everybody and deport them, but let the good ones in, in his words, and to say well, now maybe he would not force the good ones, the people that who hadn't committed crimes to leave.
And so the question is going to be, what are the details of that. Is it so-called touchback which is something that -- had been debated as bipartisan members of Congress were trying to get this legislation through Capitol Hill, which was basically would be to tell somebody who's undocumented, you know, go basically touch the border and come back? People who are hard lined on immigration say, that's amnesty. So he's definitely in a box here. And he obviously understands that. His campaign understands that and they're trying to figure out the best way to sort of walk the line policy wise, never mind when it comes to his rhetoric.
KEILAR: But short of doing that, Ryan, how does he -- short of delivering on what he promised, which is impossible, 11 million undocumented immigrants?
LIZZA: This is the problem.
KEILAR: Which is a logistical impossibility, and building a wall which is also a logistical impossibility when you hear people describe what's the undertaking of that will be.
KEILAR: How --
LIZZA: I mean, watching him sort of back into this amnesty position over the last few days as he sort of talked about it, sort of talked out loud in public, he's basically realizing what everyone realizes when they look at this incredibly difficult problem, there are 11 million undocumented citizens here. You only have two options, you have Trump's original plan. Everyone leaves, 11 million people, and as you just pointed out, anyone who's looked at that says it's impossible. Or you have some mix of the good ones stay, but as soon as you were saying that anyone who got here illegally stays, you are in the world of amnesty because by definition, if you came here illegally, you committed a crime.
KEILAR: Ryan Lizza, Dana Bash, David Chalian, Rebecca Berg, thank you all so much.
[17:40:04] And don't forget that Donald Trump joins Anderson Cooper tonight on CNN. You do not want to miss this interview. Donald Trump on "AC 360" at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
And coming up, Kim Jong-un is calling a successful submarine based missile launch his greatest victory. We'll have a behind-the-scenes look at the North Korean dictator as he watched the operation.
Plus more tensions in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy says it fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel that was harassing American ships. We'll have the latest details.
[17:45:09] KEILAR: Tonight we're getting a behind-the-scenes look at North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as a submarine successfully launch a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.
Let's turn now to CNN's Will Ripley for details. What can you tell us about this launch, Will?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the launch North Korea believes is its most effective tool yet, a weapon that could deliver a nuclear warhead to the United States. And these new propaganda images of the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, show just how confident, perhaps cocky, he is.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Tonight, Kim Jong-un's face says it all. Mission accomplished. New propaganda photos show the North Korean leader as he rarely allows the world to see. Smiling, laughing, hugging his officers. After Wednesday's successful test firing of a submarine launched ballistic missile. A weapon, Kim says, puts the U.S. and its allies within striking range of a nuclear attack.
Kim called Wednesdays before-dawn launch his greatest success and victory. In the new images, the young leader appears full of bluster, confident he's finally perfected missile technology that he says puts North Korea at the front rank of the military powers. Fully equipped with nuclear attack capability.
North Korean news boasted of what they claimed was a technically perfect launch. The missile named Pukkuksong, meaning Polaris, the North star, analysts believe Wednesday's missile travelled more than 300 miles, further than any previous attempt. Meaning it can strike anywhere in South Korea, home to 50 million people, and some 25,000 American troops.
The latest launch as the U.S. and South Korean forces engage in annual military exercises, similar to these in the spring. Pyongyang used the drills as a direct provocation.
DANIEL PINKSTON, TROY UNIVERSITY: Looking at North Korea's capabilities, their development programs for weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. The sheer rhetoric that comes out of Pyongyang, their objectives are very clear.
RIPLEY: North Korean weapon's development continues at a breakneck pace. Despite nearly universal condemnation and unprecedented international sanctions.
PINKSTON: They will allocate resources from other areas and devote it to the missile and nuclear programs.
RIPLEY: Under intense pressure after a series of failures, including a botched launch just last month, North Korean officers are seen sobbing, even falling to their knees, tears of joy or perhaps relief after finally giving their supreme leader the missile he wants to threaten the country he sees as his number one enemy, the United States.
RIPLEY: When I was in North Korea back in May, for the Workers Party Congress, government officials told me they would rather go hungry than slow the development of their nuclear weapons and their missile program.
Brianna, it just goes to show how intent they are at this rapid development. And it gives a sense of urgency to the U.S. mission to deploy the THAAD missile defense system to protect the people and the U.S. military assets here in South Korea.
KEILAR: All right, Will Ripley, reporting for us from Seoul. Thank you so much.
Coming up, trading barbs on the campaign trail. Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump is taking hate groups mainstream. Trump says Clinton is taking minority voters for granted. We'll bring you the latest.
And yet another confrontation between American and Iranian naval vessels. Are tensions in the Persian Gulf reaching a dangerous breaking point?
[17:53:06] KEILAR: Breaking news, officials say the U.S. Navy fired three warning shots in an Iranian patrol boat after it harassed American warships in the Persian Gulf. This is the latest incident during a week filled with confrontation and close calls in the region including this incredible video of what was described as a high-speed maneuver conducted by Iranian vessels on Tuesday.
Well, let's get an update now from our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.
Barbara, what are you learning?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, that video on Tuesday and then just yesterday, three separate risky encounters with the Iranian Navy at the northern end of the Persian Gulf. In one of them, the Iranians harassed continuously two small Navy patrol crafts, you know, circling around them, coming close to them, at one point coming within 200 yards of them, at the northern end of the Gulf.
The Navy ships tried to call the Iranians. They use flares. They sounded alarms. They had a brief bridge to bridge call. But no backing off by the Iranians and finally one of the ships fired three warning shots to get the Iranians' attention and make them back off.
KEILAR: And we're seeing this happening at the same time that you have close encounters between the U.S. and Iran near the Strait of Hormuz. What could these escalated tensions lead to? Because that's the real concern.
STARR: It really is. Go back to that original video from Tuesday. These kinds of high speed encounters where you literally see the Iranians look like they on a collision course with the U.S. Navy.
This is the big concern. This is actually a very narrow waters and when you're operating that close and at that speed, the concern is that on one side or the other, there will be a miscalculation and some incident will occur.
This is what the U.S. by sounding alarms, putting flares into the water, sounding -- putting that warning shot is trying to avoid. They don't want to see a miscalculation -- Brianna.
[17:55:03] KEILAR: Yes. There's just very little room for error. Barbara Starr, thank you so much for that report.
Coming up, we have breaking news. Hillary Clinton ties Donald Trump to white supremacist saying that he has a long history is racial discrimination and is taking hate groups mainstream. She says his campaign is built on prejudice and paranoia.
Trump accuses Clinton of lies and smears, saying she's painting his supporters as racist and he tells CNN that Clinton is a bigot.
KEILAR: Happening now. Breaking news, bluster and bigotry. Hillary Clinton accuses Donald Trump of embracing the racist and extremist fringe, urging voters to reject what she called this prejudice and paranoia. Can Clinton change the conversation after days of being on the defensive?