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THE SITUATION ROOM
Vulgar Voice-Mail; Trump Accused of Pushing Racist Values; Trump's Immigration Policy?; Kaine: Trump Embracing "Ku Klux Klan Values"; Man Strips, Steals Truck and Crashes into Plane; Tropical Weather May Threaten Flood Zone, Holiday Plans. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired August 26, 2016 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: shifting stance.
Donald Trump leaves America guessing about possible tweaks to his immigration plan, first suggesting a softer approach, and then telling CNN his position may be hardening. Which version will Trump settle on?
Battle over bigotry. Trump and Hillary Clinton unleash new video attacks against each other with racial politics front and center and growing uglier in this campaign. Tonight, Clinton's running mate is making one of the harshest accusations yet.
Profanity-laced rant. The governor of Maine responds to being called a racist by leaving a vulgar voice-mail that threatens a state lawmaker and urges him to make the tirade public. Tonight, are constituents buying his apology?
And crazed crash. A man wearing only boxer shorts manages to jump an airport fence, steal a pickup truck, and ram it into a plane preparing for takeoff. This is setting off new alarm balls about security on the tarmac.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: Breaking news tonight, Hillary Clinton's running mate is escalating a new line of attack against Donald Trump. Tim Kaine accusing the Republican nominee of embracing the values of the Ku Klux Klan, one of the oldest and most infamous hate groups in America.
Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns are out with new video attacks, as the candidates trade allegations of racial bias, Clinton accusing Trump of building his campaign on prejudice and paranoia, Trump refusing to back down from labeling Clinton a bigot.
Also more confusion tonight on where Donald Trump stands on immigration as he prepares to give major speech outlining his views. Trump telling CNN there will be no legal status for undocumented immigrants after previously suggesting there might be.
Tonight, we're also following weather systems that may be disruptive and damaging heading into the Labor Day holiday. One of them could make the flood disaster in Louisiana even worse.
I will talk about the presidential race with a co-chair of the Clinton transition team, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, and our correspondents, analysts and guests are standing by as we bring you full coverage of the day's top stories.
First, let's go to CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta. He's in Las Vegas covering the Trump campaign -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, Donald Trump has a fund-raiser here in Nevada later on tonight. The big question is whether he will continue this war of words over race with Hillary Clinton in that speech. If this past week has been any indication, the answer is definitely.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is sharping up to be a race to the bottom. And the bottom is nowhere in sight when it comes to their clash over race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FIRST LADY: They are often the kind of kids that are called super predators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Trump fired off a new attack on Instagram, reminding voters of Clinton's use of the term super predators in pushing her husband's crime bill back in the '90s.
QUESTION: You called out President Clinton for defending Secretary Clinton's use of the term super predator back in the '90s, when she supported the crime bill.
Why did you call him out?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because it was a racist term.
ACOSTA: Trump is trying to bolster his case that the former secretary of state is a bigot, an accusation he defended to CNN's Anderson Cooper.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think she has been extremely, extremely bad for African-Americans.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: But hatred is at the core of that or dislike of African-Americans?
(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: Or maybe she's lazy.
ACOSTA: The GOP nominee sees to be doing anything but clarifying his position on what to do with the nation's undocumented.
Earlier this week, Trump claimed his immigration policy is softening, now, not so much.
TRUMP: I don't think it is a softening. I have had people say it is a hardening, actually.
ACOSTA: Trump also appears to have abandoned a proposal he floated earlier this week that would have allowed law-abiding undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. if they pay back taxes.
TRUMP: There's no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.
ACOSTA: The campaign now want those immigrants to return to their country of origin.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You can return home. And then if you would like to go stand in line, like everyone else is, the thing that we learn in kindergarten, stand in line, wait your turn.
ACOSTA: Clinton's advisers argue Trump is simply stumbling over a dangerous policy that has not really changed. Her campaign's message in its latest ad, it's Trump who is the racist.
TRUMP: Your schools are no good. You have no jobs.
Look at my African-American over here.
ACOSTA: Clinton's warning the nation, Trump will always be Trump.
CLINTON: He has built his campaign on prejudice paranoia. And it's deeply disturbing that he is taking hate groups that lived in the dark regions of the Internet, making them mainstream, helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.
ACOSTA: Trump is denying those allegations.
QUESTION: Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?
TRUMP: No, I don't at all, not at all.
ACOSTA: And accusing Clinton of desperation.
TRUMP: When Democratic policies fail, they're left with only this one tired argument: You're racist, you're racist, you're racist.
ACOSTA: So far, top Republicans have not raced to the cameras to defend Trump against these latest attacks. The RNC's response to that? They're on vacation. SEAN SPICER, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Congress is on recess. It is August. There is a lot of reasons.
ACOSTA: Trump is also facing new questions about his recently hired campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, who was once charged with domestic violence 20 years ago, a case, as first reported by Politico, that involved Bannon's ex-wife and was later dropped.
A Bannon spokesperson told Politico, "The bottom line is, he has a great relationship with his children, the twins. He has a great relationship wit the ex-wife. He still supports them."
ACOSTA: Now, Trump just wrapped up a Latino roundtable at his hotel here in Las Vegas. He told reporters who were gathered in the room that he's doing far greater with Latinos than anyone actually understands.
We should also point out, Brianna, the Trump campaign is pushing back on a report that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged Trump to change his views on immigration. According to a senior Trump adviser that I talked to earlier today, his latest comments on the issue are all him -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yes, that story cited Mayor Rudy Giuliani saying that. It was very interesting. Jim Acosta in Las Vegas, thank you.
Now to the Clinton's campaign new attacks on Donald Trump, including Tim Kaine's provocative charge that Donald Trump is promoting Ku Klux Klan values.
CNN's Pamela Brown is covering the Clinton campaign -- Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, it's clear that the war of words over race relations continue to heat up between the presidential candidates and their running mates, as you just pointed out what we heard from Tim Kaine.
And today Hillary Clinton's campaign is responding to Donald Trump's claim she's a bigot by using his own words against him.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a great relationship with the blacks. I have always had a great relationship with the blacks.
BROWN: Today, Hillary Clinton's campaign is hitting the airwaves with a new ad highlighting Trump's rhetoric on race.
TRUMP: You're living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs.
BROWN: Charging that the GOP nominee has a history of demeaning African-Americans. TRUMP: What the hell do you have to lose?
BROWN: The Clinton campaign is trying to bolster its message that Trump's campaign is rooted in prejudice.
CLINTON: A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far, dark reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military.
BROWN: But, when asked, Clinton refused to directly call Trump a racist.
CLINTON: He's built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. And it's deeply disturbing that he is taking hate groups that lived in the dark regions of the Internet, making them mainstream.
BROWN: Clinton is hoping her message will resonate with Republicans who might be wary of Trump's campaign.
CLINTON: I am reaching out to everyone, Republicans, Democrats, independents, everyone who is as troubled as I am by the bigotry and divisiveness of Donald Trump's campaign.
BROWN: That as Trump tries to turn the tables on Clinton, calling her a bigot and releasing a new Web video featuring Clinton's use of the term super predators while defending her husband's crime bill in the 1990s.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: They are often the kind of kids that are called super predators, no conscience, no empathy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, also entering the fray today.
SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values.
BROWN: After knocking Trump for his shifting positions on immigration during an appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert."
KAINE: I don't buy it because (SPEAKING IN SPANISH).
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BROWN: Clinton, though, is still facing questions about the work of the Clinton Foundation and State Department access given to foundation donors. The Democratic nominee says the foundation is looking for groups to take on some of the work in the event she is elected president.
CLINTON: Well, we're going to be testing that. And that's why the foundation is looking for partners. And there are potential partners for some of the work, but not necessarily the same partner for all of the work.
BROWN: And tomorrow Hillary Clinton is expected to receive her intelligence briefing near her home in New York, a week -- a little more than a week after Donald Trump received his.
And each candidate gets one briefing before the election -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Pamela Brown, thank you so much for that report.
And joining me now is former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. She's a co-chair of Hillary Clinton's transition team.
Governor, thanks so much for taking the time to join us this evening. I really appreciate it.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM (D), FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: You bet, Brianna.
KEILAR: And I'm pretty sure that you have seen this Web video that Donald Trump's campaign released today of Hillary Clinton's comments in the '90s. You just heard it there, where she calls some young African-American gang members super predators.
I know this is something that Hillary Clinton has apologized for. She said she would not use those words if she -- she wouldn't use them today in this day and age. But I have spoken with African-Americans who say they are bothered by these words. We have seen protesters use these words, especially bring them to heel. This is still a liability for her.
GRANHOLM: She's bothered by them too. And that's why she's apologized for them.
But, remember, this was in the 1990s, over 20 years ago, that this happened. And, truly, when you compare -- I understand Donald Trump's trying to take the focus off of what he has built his campaign around, this Steve Bannon, this alt-right. I get that that's part of the campaign strategy.
But, truly, when you compare what he's doing right now by building a campaign around a man who runs a Web site that's considered to be the voice of the alt-right, of this far-right white nationalist group, and where the white nationalists are now thrilled that they are getting such exposure as a result of Donald Trump's embrace of them, where Donald Trump appears to be sort of -- I don't know if he's an unwitting tool of the alt-right, where he is allowing them to sort of take over his campaign and then take over the halls of power, hopefully, that's what they would love, or if he's actually legitimately believing in everything that they write.
Whatever it is, it's dangerous. What she said in a statement she apologized for over 20 years ago is not even close to comparing with what he said today.
KEILAR: Yes, but I would say there are 18-year-olds, certainly, who, they were not alive when she said this.
KEILAR: So, this may be the first time as they look to vote that they are hearing these words from her and they may be very surprised by them. Should she apologize again?
GRANHOLM: I think she has. She's made it clear that those were not words that she would use today, that she is sorry that she said them.
I don't think there's any question about that. And she obviously has developed and made her whole campaign about inclusion and standing together and outreach. This issue was litigated in the primary with Bernie Sanders having raised this issue as well. I think the African- American community, young people understand that that's not what she is about today and would be -- and are willing to look at accepting an apology for it.
But what is much more dangerous to them is what is happening in the Trump campaign.
KEILAR: So, I hear you say that. I hear you say that Donald Trump is worse. And I think a lot of people are looking, not just on this issue of race, but they hear from folks who support Hillary Clinton that it seems as if they are saying, yes, but he's worse than her. Is that's the sort of...
GRANHOLM: By an order of magnitude.
KEILAR: But this is the un-sort of inspirational message that this election boils down to?
GRANHOLM: No, not at all. No.
Look at the two conventions, Brianna. When the Democrats came out of the their convention, the message was, we are patriotic Americans because this is how we define love for our country. We are exceptional because we are diverse. We are exceptional because our whole country is on a foundation of people coming from all places to create this fantastic land.
Contrast that, that mission, that message of hope and of unity and of standing together and of lifting all boats with what happened on the Republican side at their convention.
(CROSSTALK) KEILAR: But, Governor, what has happened this week eclipses what happened a few weeks ago at the convention. I'm sure that see that when you see what's happened this week.
GRANHOLM: I understand what you're saying, Brianna.
I understand when you talk about race it's a very sensitive issue and it makes everybody very uncomfortable. But I think it was really important for Hillary Clinton to expose what is happening. People before this week didn't even know what this alt-right movement was, didn't know that it was alive, and alive in the campaign of a presidential candidate.
That exposure needs to happen, because sunlight is the best disinfectant. I'm really proud that she did that, even though it wasn't pleasant. But all she did was use Donald Trump's own words or use the headlines of the campaign chairman that he has chosen to run his campaign.
What Donald Trump is doing, on the other hand, in calling her directly a bigot or in putting up ads of something she said 20 years -- I know it's politics. All of that is fair game. But it's a difference in kind compared to what she's done. And I think it's important to expose it and hopefully we can get on better footing and really talk about the policies that will help all of our citizens.
But I do think this was an important moment for the campaign.
KEILAR: But she used it as she was struggling with questions about the Clinton Foundation. Was this a way to distract from that?
GRANHOLM: No, not at all.
This was -- this was something that came up as a result of what Donald Trump had done by putting Steve Bannon in as the CEO of his campaign. This is why all of the folks on the right, I mean, the Republicans, reasonable Republicans are not standing up to defend him and they're not standing up to defend Steve Bannon.
There was a huge amount of concern on the part of the Republicans when he put that guy in there, because they knew exactly what he represented. This was not about a deflection. This was about telling it like it is, which is what Donald Trump is doing in his campaign.
KEILAR: All right, Governor, stick around with me. I'm going to get a quick break in. We have much more to talk about in the 2016 race right ahead.
KEILAR: We're back now with Governor Granholm, a supporter of Hillary Clinton. And I want to talk to you about one of the criticisms that Hillary Clinton is getting, Governor. And that has to do with the Clinton Foundation. She spoke about this today. She of course defended the work of the Clinton Foundation.
And we know the foundation is going to make moves if she's elected so that Bill Clinton will no longer be on the board, so that foreign and corporate donations will not be going to the Clinton Foundation. But she said something that I found sort of surprising.
She said it takes time to wind these things down, because she's coming under criticism for why didn't she do this sooner? Why doesn't she just turn the switch now?
She's had time. I have been covering her for 2.5 years and well before that it was clear this was going to be an issue in a presidential ran. Why did it take so long?
GRANHOLM: Well, I don't know that they imagined that things would be blown up in the way they have been.
Everybody assumed that because the Clinton Foundation does really good work and because it has been praised and gotten an A through Charity Watch and all the philanthropic review groups that look at how they spend their money, because Hillary Clinton didn't get one dime from the foundation, neither did Bill Clinton, neither does Chelsea Clinton, that it's purely charitable, and does all of this good work, my guess is people assumed that this would be a good thing and not turn out to be the controversy that it has.
But what she did say today and what she has said is that they're going to going to remove any question about any conflict.
KEILAR: Sure, but they were aware. They were aware. I guess I take issue with that, because I know there was an awareness along time ago that this was going to be an issue.
GRANHOLM: Well, I don't know. I didn't have those conversations with them. But I do know she wasn't president at that point.
But when she was secretary of state, as Bill Clinton said this week, when you're secretary of state, there's an appeal to somebody higher, which of course is the president. But when you're president, there's not. And so that's why they're taking these additional steps to make sure that there's not even the appearance of any conflict.
And, by the way, Brianna, it is interesting to me and to those on this side of things that when they are talking about potential conflicts into the future, why isn't anybody talking about Donald Trump's enterprise and the fact he's got $160 million in loans to the Bank of China and how that would be wound down?
KEILAR: We do talk about that.
KEILAR: We do talk about that, but I want to talk about the Clinton Foundation.
GRANHOLM: I get that. I get that. But it's just -- it's an interesting thing, because they're making a profit, and the Clintons are not making any profit. They're not making any money off of this.
KEILAR: But there is this appearance of people making donations, with perhaps the expectation, perhaps not, but it's the possibility of trying to curry favor.
That's the issue. I think people are pretty well aware of that at this point, that that is the issue.
GRANHOLM: But there's been no -- the Department of State, nobody has said that anybody got something as a result of that.
What did Melinda Gates get? She got the ability to help resolve more global health issues.
KEILAR: That they could have gotten access, I think, was the concern.
GRANHOLM: She would have been meeting with Melinda Gates. I'm sure Melinda Gates has met with other secretaries of state, because she is doing is in partnership with the State Department to make sure that global health issues are addressed.
KEILAR: And the Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation, I mean, that's not surprising. They have done work together even since she left the State Department.
Same thing with Elie Wiesel's foundation. Same thing with -- even the MAC AIDS Foundation, MAC Cosmetics, which is a subsidiary of Estee Lauder. And the CEO there, Nancy McMahon, came in -- Nancy Mahon -- came in and wanted to do work with the State Department to make sure that they reduced AIDS.
It's the AIDS Foundation. And they worked with PEPFAR. And they worked with President Bush. They're all working in public, private or in foundation, private or public partnerships, to solve the world's biggest problems.
To just reduce them to the notion that they were a donor, and that's why they got access, is really quite insulting to them, not to mention to that the causes they are trying to bring cures to.
KEILAR: I have been hearing some Hillary Clinton supporters, and people on the campaign even, who are saying that when people are raising questions, real questions, or even criticism of the Clinton Foundation, that they are sort of equating that with wanting to shut down their work.
And they do, do good work when it comes to, for instance, providing AIDS/HIV medications to millions of people around the world at a reduced cost who wouldn't receive it.
But this idea of equating that, that if you raise a question or you criticize the foundation, that that's someone wanting to take away the AIDS medication for someone, is that really appropriate?
GRANHOLM: No. I don't think -- this is a political campaign. And, of course, everything is fair game.
But to suggest that they shouldn't be doing this work or that somehow the work was not good work, of course they're going to push back on that, because they're proud of the work they have done, I mean, 50,000 kids every year whose lives are saved in Kenya and Malawi. Why wouldn't they be proud of that and want the opportunity to explain what the foundation does?
KEILAR: Bill Clinton even said there's legitimate concerns.
I guess I'm just getting at the point, though, it seems to me that there are many questions about this that are appropriate.
And it looks like the foundation has heard and has taken steps to cure what might be future perceived conflicts by not taking any foreign donations, corporate donations, et cetera, and only working with U.S. philanthropies and donors. So, that seems to take away the big issue that a lot of people had with it.
KEILAR: Well, but you have the Clinton Health Access Initiative that has a separate board.
KEILAR: They do dealings with a lot of foreign donors.
KEILAR: They haven't decided what to do at this point.
GRANHOLM: Right. But what they said was, they are looking at all of that. And it is a totally separate board. It's been spun off.
The question is, are they being responsive to the concerns that they are hearing? Yes, they are. Does the Clinton Foundation do great work? Yes, it does. How can that work continue with her as president and Bill Clinton as the first gentleman? That's exactly what they're trying to figure out.
And they say they will deal with it. They do not want to take office with perceived conflicts or anything like that over their head. But they also don't want to stop the work that's being done to save lives across the worlds.
KEILAR: Over 200 days since she's had a press conference. You think she should give one soon?
GRANHOLM: All right, now, she's been on all of you all all this time.
She's going to decide whether to do that. They're evaluating it all the time. I'm sure some time soon a press conference will happen. But it's not like she's unreachable. It's like not she's not been available.
I do think that this is more of a press issue, rather than the public. I mean, the public hears her and sees her all the time.
KEILAR: Part of it is an accountability issue, right?
GRANHOLM: She called into "Morning Joe" this morning. She was on "Anderson" the other night. She's on, on your network a lot. She's on TV a lot.
KEILAR: But taking questions from reporters who follow her every single word, who know -- who even -- especially even know where she is on policies, so that they can really do more of a deep dive on this, it's something that I think a lot of American voters could benefit from.
GRANHOLM: But I'm sure, when she comes to talk to Anderson, Anderson knows her policies. He knows what to ask her. It's giving your team a little bit of short shrift.
KEILAR: No, I'm not giving my team short shrift.
GRANHOLM: I'm not saying I would do that. I'm not putting words in your mouth.
KEILAR: I am saying that when there are more opportunities for questions -- and there have not been a ton. Then you have more -- you get to more. You get to more subjects.
GRANHOLM: I get it. I get it.
KEILAR: These 300-plus interviews they're talking about, a fifth of them, according to NPR, aren't even with journalists. And most of these are quick little interviews between three and eight minutes where you can really accomplish getting to very little.
GRANHOLM: Well, I do know this, that the public has seen a lot of her, and they will continue to see a lot of her.
Obviously, it's the campaign's call about whether they are going to do press conference vs. individual interviews. People will see, I think, a debate that will have a lengthy time where you will be able to compare and contrast with a really sharp moderator what these two candidates stand for.
So, it's not the last -- it's not like she's in a bubble. She's exposed. You guys will continue to have access to her. And the question is, do you do it as a group or individually? That's going to be the campaign's call.
KEILAR: I will say, it feels a little bubbly to me, as a reporter who covers Hillary Clinton. But I'm definitely noting what you're saying there.
Governor Granholm, a Hillary Clinton supporter, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us.
GRANHOLM: You bet. Thanks, Brianna. Yes, have a good weekend.
KEILAR: You too as well.
Ahead: How did an almost naked man get over a eight-foot barbed wire airport fence and then crash into a Southwest plane with passengers on board? We're standing by for these stunning details.
And then the governor of Maine is apologizing tonight for a profanity- laced voice-mail that he dared a state lawmaker to make public.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END AUDIO CLIP)
[18:34:38] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the Clinton and Trump campaigns are trading new acquisitions of bigotry, with Democratic vice presidential nomine Tim Kaine linking Trump to the KKK.
Let's bring in CNN correspondent Sunlen Serfaty, CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston, "Washington Post" political reporter Abby Phillip, and CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. He is also senior editor at "The Atlantic".
[18:35:01] OK. So, Sunlen, you have Donald Trump, who is doubling down on his attacks against Hillary Clinton. He's continuing to call her a bigot. Clinton says that his campaign is built on prejudice and paranoia. That is -- those are the two words she really wants to stick for people. And you have Tim Kaine really in one of the harshest criticisms yet of Donald Trump on this. He says he's talking about KKK values and the next breath, he says Donald Trump values.
This is just, it's getting very nasty.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is. You know, Tim Kaine taking that extra leap today, almost going one step further than Hillary Clinton did yesterday. It really shows n essence how much this has devolved. A lot of name-calling going on, and these are big, weighty words that the candidates, on both sides, are throwing out that have some real resonance and real meaning here.
I also think this also highlights how both candidates really think their best strategy right now is taking on the other. Not necessarily talking themselves up -- their policies up. And it shows that this could be lasting spat.
KEILAR: You see this vulnerability for Donald Trump, though, Mark. And that is because, you know, when he's asked about David Duke, supporting him and he says he doesn't know. I mean, he either has a terribly short memory or he's not being honest about it, because for years, he -- I think he said he wasn't going to take the reform party nomination because he didn't want David Duke support. I mean, he knew years ago who this guy was and it took him forever to kind of disavow. So, he's leaving this giant vulnerability for himself on this.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Leaving a huge opening for Tim Kaine to come out and say something like that which is in some ways, over the top. You know, I think we all thought this campaign was going to get -- go into the gutter. I don't think we thought it was going to go into the gutter in August. I think maybe the second week of September when the kids go back to school.
But things really have gone downhill. If we're at this point in the campaign right now where they are both calling each other racists and bigots, where are we going to be by mid-September? Where are we going to be by the first of October? And quite frankly, what does it say to the real stage that we have our two presidential candidates, really the beacon of hope of the United States, going after each other this way.
KEILAR: Where do you think we go from here?
ABBY PHILLIP, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, I think what's interesting, to you point, is just how much material the Clinton campaign has to draw from to produce these ads, to sort of like this make this case against Trump, which speaks to the fact that over the last several months, Trump has not done a great job of sort of cutting this off.
But I also think there's a risk for the campaign. There are a lot of Americans who don't want to be called racist. They don't want to be told that because they support a political candidate, that means they are bigoted by association with Donald Trump. There's a fine line here. I'm not sure that we've totally crossed it but we're certainly getting quite close.
KEILAR: And, Ron, check this out. Check out what Sean Spicer of the RNC just tweeted, because he clearly feels that Tim Kaine went overboard here. He said, "KKK comments are reprehensible and over the top. Democrats who don't denounce are complicit."
So, they feel, Ron, that Tim has overreached here and now, they are trying to put the ball in the court of Democrats. How does this play out?
RON BROWNSTEIN, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: I haven't seen the whole Tim Kaine statement. But, yes, linking him to the KKK in that way is over the top. As Abby said, Donald Trump has given them a lot of ammunition here.
I mean, you know, if you say, to me the two North Stars in this race are the consistently in polling, again in the Quinnipiac poll again this week, 60 percent of the country consistently says they don't consider him qualified and 60 percent in one way or another say they consider his racially biased or bigoted, 58 percent I think in the new Quinnipiac poll said he uses language that appeals to bigots.
And that number rises to over 70 percent among both millennials and minority voters. I mean, Donald Trump has created a significant problem for himself by the way he ran. He was not Teflon in the primaries. It turned out that everyone in the country was listening to the arguments he made to mobilize the most culturally conservative and alienated parts of the Republican coalition.
Democrats now probably don't need to go over board in returning to that. I think Donald Trump has already engraved that image pretty indelibly for many voters already.
KEILAR: And I think we have the sound of Tim Kaine and what he said. I'm going to sort of let them cue that up in the control room while we're ready for it.
But he did sort of really say in one breath, Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave a speech calling out Donald Trump on a lot of things on this equality idea, calling him out on the fact he has supporters like David Duke connected with the Ku Klux Klan who are going around and saying Donald Trump is their candidate because Donald Trump is pushing their values. Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:40:00] KEILAR: Mark Preston?
PRESTON: Pretty clear where he was going with that, right?
PRESTON: Just a comma in between, you know, each one of those.
This is what I think -- Donald Trump went, and we said this at this table earlier this week went way over the line when he called Hillary Clinton a bigot. It was a ridiculous statement that Donald Trump had made earlier this week about Hillary Clinton. In many ways, I think we've seen the same thing with Tim Kaine.
Now, as his job as the vice president, he's the one that's supposed to go out and do that. A vice presidential nominee. That's not supposed to come from the lips of Hillary Clinton. But I do think that we're devolving into this politics that's really gone so far into the gutter, that it's really gotten dirty.
KEILAR: Yes, but Republicans, and look, I'm waiting to see because these Tim Kaine comments are pretty -- they're a little newer, right? You have the tweet from Sean Spicer at the RNC, but what about Republicans by and large? You don't hear a loud chorus of people backing Donald Trump up on this.
PHILLIP: This is the kind of thing they want to stay out of. I mean, from the very beginning, even before we got to this point, Republicans, their position, the folks on the hill and else where will is we don't want to get down into this gutter with Trump and Clinton, period. We have to stay out of it in order to protect themselves.
PRESTON: This might give them an opening, though, Brianna.
PRESTON: This might give them an opening to some Republicans to come out and say, that that went too far.
KEILAR: OK. Ron, Abby, Mark and Sunlen are going to stick around. We have so much more to talk about with our lovely political team.
That includes (AUDIO GAP) against a state lawmaker who called him a racist. We'll show you the voice mail and the fall out in its entirety, ahead.
But here is a little bit.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: I've spent my life helping black people and you little son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) socialist (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
[18:46:25] KEILAR: We're back with our political team as a new Trump video attack is reminding voters of a past remark by Hillary Clinton that's generated a great deal of controversy. She, of course, taking heat for having said super predator to describe some African- Americans, when she -- when it was the '90s and she was first lady. But she's got her own ad out against Donald Trump, and this race thing has boiled over.
You can't help but notice, Mark, that she needed to change the subject this week and boy, did she.
PRESTON: She certainly did. And to Abby's point earlier, Donald Trump allowed her to change the subject because he had given so much material to go out and give the speech against the alt-right in connecting Donald Trump to the fringes of the Republican Party, let alone the fringes of American society, which is the white nationalist movement.
So, Donald Trump in many ways was quiet during the first couple of days and the media focused on the foundation, what have you, but at some point, this was going to come up and this is where we have arrived.
KEILAR: Do you think, Ron, that it could have been that calculated, that they were feeling there were deluge of bad headlines for them and it went longer than a day and the Clinton campaign thought, OK, we've had this in our pocket. We want to throw it out there.
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think they saw a target of opportunity with the elevation of Steve Bannon, probably, more than anything else. But this really does get to the heart of this election and to our modern politics, right?
I mean, the fundamental fault line between the parties is no longer economic. It is cultural. It is attitudes fundamentally toward the changing demographic and cultural realities of American life, the Democrats mobilize a coalition that is primarily millennials, minorities and college educated whites, especially women, who are the most comfortable with these changes and Republicans rely on the voters who are least comfortable with these changes. And if you look at polls, like the Quinnipiac poll, yesterday, Donald Trump is facing the biggest difficulties, precisely with those groups at the core of the Democratic coalition.
Each of which that I mentioned needs to be a bigger share of the vote in 2016 than they were in 2012. He's looking at unfavorable ratings in the 60s and 70s among them.
So, if he can not recover to win, it's going to leave Republicans with a real question of how they can address these growing groups in the electorate, particularly millennials where as I said, 73 percent say he's using a language that appeals to bigots and over 70 percent say he's not qualified. They're going to equal baby boomers and share the electorate this year. They're going to -- there are 20 million more millennials registered to vote than there were in 2012. And these are challenges that extend not only to November but beyond.
KEILAR: Abby, I want you to look at this other political story today. I will say, there's some fresh language in this. So, you know, if you have kids nearby, maybe you want to cup your hands over their ears. This is the Maine governor, Paul LePage, coming under fire. This is a voice mail that he left this on Democratic lawmakers phone.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Mr. Gattine, this is Governor Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker. And I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I'm racist. I've spent my life helping black people and you little son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) socialist (EXPLETIVE DELETED) sucker.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PHILIP: What is there to say? That's incredible but also sadly not surprising coming from this governor. He's just has a really long history of going down this type of road. And also seems strangely obsessed with the idea of proving that he's not a racist by talking Americans in the context of drugs and so on and so forth. So, it's here we go again.
KEILAR: And he has apologized. I will say that he apologized which seems to be his M.O. He apologizes. He said, though, he's not going to apologize for taking drug dealers off the streets.
[18:50:01] But, yes, maybe this is sort of normal for him. But this is pretty -- and it's become sort of normal almost in this -- let's broadened it out, in this election cycle, where things are just -- four years ago this is not how it would have been this kind of climate.
SERFATY: Not at all. I think voters are getting a barrage of negativity from both side, all side, all races, governors, offices, voice mails. This is just unchartered territory, unchartered water. And I think it just, you know, called into question, what sort of leadership people are electing and that's something voters will have to take to the ballot box.
KEILAR: Ron, very quickly, Ron.
BROWNSTEIN: Very quickly. This is true. We're just having enormous turmoil every day. There's enormous stability in this race both in the assessments of the candidates, how the key voting blocks are dividing. A lot is set despite all of the daily turmoil.
KEILAR: That's a good point and maybe something you don't see as you look at that.
All right. Mark Preston, Abby Phillip, Sunlen Serfaty, Ron Brownstein, thanks to all of you. And just ahead, will flood damaged Baton Rouge get hit with another
storm? We are tracking weather systems that could cause trouble heading into the Labor Day holiday. And how is the disturbed man able to get into an airport and damage a plane with a pickup truck, a plane that had passengers on board.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, somebody jumped into a truck on the runway; you have any visual on that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He ran into a Southwest Flight 737.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
[18:55:51] KEILAR: So, tonight, authorities are investigating a bizarre airport security breach in Nebraska. A man there stripped down to his boxer shorts, he jumped a fence, stole a pickup truck, and crashed it into a passenger plane.
CNN aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh has more details on this.
It's amazing -- one, it's just a crazy story. And then, two, it's concerning that he was able to do this.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He was able to gain access to what is one of the most secure areas of the airport, the tarmac. Not only did he get over a barbed wire fencing, but he made it all the way to a passenger plane.
The security scare not only sent police scrambling, but when all was said and done, members of the flight crew and at least one passenger were injured.
MARSH (voice-over): Tonight, authorities have identified the man being taken away screaming on this stretcher as 35-year-old Delaro Koontz, after he scaled an eight-foot airport security fence, made it on to the tarmac at the international airport in Omaha, Nebraska, then crashed a stolen airline truck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, somebody jumped into a truck on the runway; you have any visual on that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He ran into a Southwest Flight 737.
MARSH: Omaha police say he was acting erratic, screaming, and flailing his arms. When officers approached, he took off running and removing his clothes.
The Boeing 737 bound for Denver was parked at the gate. Crew members were on the plane, and passengers were boarding. The airline says some of the flight crew and at least one customer suffered minor injuries. From 2009 to 2015 there were around 2,500 security breaches every year involving the airport perimeter and airport access points.
In 2014, a 15-year-old boy climbed a perimeter fence at San Jose's Mineta International Airport and successfully stowed away in the wheel well of a plane flying to Hawaii. In 2013, 49-year-old Robert Bump climbed over an eight-foot fence and on to the runway at the international airport in Phoenix.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You're right. All they have to do is get it right one time. But we also have to be mindful of the fact that nothing is a 100 percent anything.
MARSH: Well, in this case, airport officials say they are still evaluating this incident to determine what security changes may be necessary. As for the suspect, Brianna, we know that he is still in the hospital. Omaha police telling us that he was high on meth. They will be charging him.
KEILAR: OK. Rene Marsh, thank you so much for that report.
Tonight, your forecaster's watching two weather systems that could be disruptive, even dangerous heading into the Labor Day holiday. One of them could cause even more misery and n flood-stricken Louisiana.
I want to bring in CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis.
That is not what we want to hear for folks in southern Louisiana.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is not, Brianna. In some instances they saw as much as 30 inches of rainfall from the last storm system which wasn't even a named system. This particular one, National Hurricane Center gives it a 10 percent likelihood in the north central Gulf of Mexico that this will be a named system.
So, very little likelihood that that's going to happen, but the rainfall could be significant, right along the coastal areas, a couple of inches in some cases. Not necessarily for Baton Rouge, but over the next several days, we're looking at about a 50/50 chance for showers and storms.
The other bigger system that we'll be focusing on is this. It's moving through the Turks and Caicos. Expect it to move through the Florida straits. If it moves through the Florida straits and towards the Gulf of Mexico in the next 72 hours or so, the water temperatures here are fabulous. That's what fuels these systems.
We could see our next named system in the Gulf of Mexico by the beginning of the week, and by the middle of the week, we'll be watching closely and see where it heads.
Back to you, Brianna.
KEILAR: All right. Karen Maginnis, thank you very much for that. We'll be thinking of folks certainly in southern Louisiana.
I am Briana Keilar. That is it for me. Wolf Blitzer is going to be right back here on Monday after his couple weeks of granddad duty. Thanks so much for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" with Jim Sciutto starts right now.