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An Immigration Flip-Flop from Trump?; Clinton: Trump Gives Racism "National Megaphone"; Clinton Promises Stricter Foundation Rules. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 28, 2016 - 08:00   ET



[08:00:13] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): He called it a softening, then flipped.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I have had people say it's a hardening.

KING: Is Donald Trump changing his immigration policy or does he not understand the details?

Plus --

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There are no excuses. I want people to know that the decision to have a single e-mail account was mine.

KING: A better answer, but will new e-mails about the Clinton Foundation bring new trust questions?

TRUMP: It's Watergate all over again.

KING: And the character attacks get sharper.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot!

CLINTON: He is taking hate groups mainstream.

KING: And weeks left and it's a mud bath.

INSIDE POLITICS, the biggest stories, sourced by the best reporters, now.


KING: Welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your Sunday morning.

Seventy-two days until we pick a new president. Three questions, after a contentious and somewhat confusing week, was Donald Trump confused about immigration policy this past week or did he shift and then quickly retreat because of conservative outrage?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: There certainly can be a softening because we are not looking to hurt people.

There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.


KING: Question two: do you believe it was just an oversight that Hillary Clinton's lawyers didn't turn over to the government e-mails detailing the cozy relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton State Department?


CLINTON: I know there is a lot of smoke, and there's no fire. My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces.


KING: And question three, and it's a Sunday morning. But if it's this nasty ten weeks out, what comes next?


TRUMP: What is being uncovered now is one of the most shocking scandals in American politic history.

CLINTON: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia.


KING: With us to share their reporting and their insights, Julie Pace of "The Associated Press", CNN's Jeff Zeleny, Ed O'Keefe of "The Washington Post", and "The Atlantic's" Molly Ball."

Now, immigration was the issue Donald Trump used to begin his charge in the Republican primaries. And on Tuesday this past week, it sure sounded like it was the issue on which he was trying to make what the political pros call a general election pivot to the middle.


TRUMP: They'll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty as such. There's no amnesty.


TRUMP: But we work with them.

I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and I have had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me and they've said, Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person that's been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and the family out, it's so tough. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Now, that made a lot of conservatives nervous. Sarah Palin among them, saying she was worried Trump was going all wishy-washy, in her words. It sure sounded like a flip-flop by the candidate who spoke of a deportation force in the primaries and who praised an Eisenhower administration program called, of all thing, Operation Wetback.

And on Tuesday, listen here, Trump retreats.


TRUMP: There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.


KING: So, you could call it a softening. Now it's a hardening. They can pay back taxes and we'll work with them and people are telling me it's too tough to throw them out of the country. Now, they have to leave.

What is Donald Trump's policy on the 11 million undocumented?

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: I don't think we know exactly, but I think that, if you look at his statements over this campaign in totality, you have to say that he is closer to where he was at the start of the campaign than where he was in that Hannity interview, just because that's been sort of his most consistent policy.

It's clear that someone got to Trump at some point this week and said, we should explore a softening, we should explore some kind of policy that, as he said, would keep families together who have been here for several years. But Trump clearly did not like the push-back that he got from conservatives when he started moving on that. It's just amazing that we are at this stage of the campaign and one of the major party candidates is still trying to figure out not just a big policy position but his signature policy position.

KING: And his running mate, Governor Mike Pence will be with Jake Tapper after this program, on "STATE OF THE UNION". He says Trump is being like a CEO and he's listening to good ideas. There is an election in ten weeks.

This was the issue on which a lot of people criticized Trump saying we don't know the details on policies. He gives sort of these headlines and declarations. At least on immigration, we had a better sense probably than on any other issue. And now, is it fair to say he confused things? Was this trial balloon? Did he go on Sean Hannity on Fox News to tell the Republican base, oh, never mind this touch back policy, we're going to let them stay?

ED O'KEEFE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Based on my conversations with about -- it was a very bad focus group because it was so small, but about a dozen voters in Florida this week. [08:05:10] I think this was a trial balloon, because I think , what they knew going in was, as long as he stays absolutist on the wall, he is allowed to waffle on everything else, because to a person, they all said, as long as he builds the wall, he can do whatever he wants on everything else.

And for more than nine months I have had his supporters and not only professional supporters but voters in the field say, he knows that you can't remove 11 million people. I get that. What he's saying is, we have to find a way to deal with these people who are here and committing crimes or committing fraud and get rid of those people. All the other stuff is talk and bluster and is designed to sort of vent our frustration.

But he is no different now on this than Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or Scott Walker or any of them.

KING: Or President Obama.

O'KEEFE: Or President Obama or Hillary Clinton at different times in 2008 who waffled and clearly struggled with this in public and confused what exactly their --


KING: He does now say -- the thing about the Hannity thing was pay back taxes, work with them. People come to see and say you can't make them leave. That was a clear indication, if you know the language of the immigration debate, and I'm going to emphasize that, if you know the language of the immigration debate, that was a clear sign you're going to let them say, some path to legal status.

But then, listen to him here with Anderson Cooper after this blow- back. Rush Limbaugh came out against this, Sarah Palin came out against this. Other conservatives said what's going on here. And here was the next day.


TRUMP: I don't think it's a softening. I think it's --

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: But 11 million people are no longer going to be deported.

TRUMP: Look, I've heard people say it's a hardening actually.

COOPER: But 11 million who have not committed a crime --

TRUMP: No, no, we're then going to see --

COOPER: -- there is a path to legalization, is that right?

TRUMP: You know it's a process. You can't take 11 at one time and just say, boom, you're gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: You can't take 11 million at one time and say, boom, you're gone. But then listen to him yesterday in Iowa, a state where this issue has played for sometime, has defined especially Republican politics.


TRUMP: We are going to get rid of them day one. We start day one.

The reign of terror -- and it is that, you go to some places and you will see -- the reign of terror will be over. They know all of them. They know the good ones, the bad ones. They know all of them. We are going to get rid of the criminals, and it's going to happen within one hour after I take office we start.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: So, apparently, we're back to boom there because -- I mean, within one hour of starting.

But you can also talk to tom Republicans as I have done this week who aren't being too cynical and saying, he also may be intentionally trying to confuse this issue, because the takeaway from the week, we say he is a disaster on this policy. Not necessarily. He is definitely, you know -- every viewer, every voter is not tuning into every iteration of his hour by hour change in some respects. And he certainly ends the week not looking as harsh in some respects in some people's minds here. But at some point, he has to clarify his position for the right.

Sarah Palin has so far only given a newspaper interview to the "Wall Street Journal." When she starts speaking loudly it will be more of an issue. He has canceled his speech again. I think on Wednesday it was supposed to be in Arizona. Not doing it. At some point, he's going to have to be pinned down. If not, it will happen during a debate.

O'KEEFE: Or he doesn't have to be. And like you said, they were just continued to be confused, this is about getting his numbers with minority voters up even just a few fractions of a point

ZELENY: And suburban --

KING: Or getting his numbers among suburbanites who think he's intolerant up a bit.


MOLLY BALL, THE ATLANTIC: Well, look, I think though it's a mistake to read too much calculation into what Trump is doing. He's doing what he's always done on every issue, which is to try to take all the sides so everyone can hear what they want.

Immigration was a sort of notable exception to that. He at times said everything is negotiable, which ought to have been a red flag to people who want him to be consistent and absolutist. And now, he's demonstrating that indeed everything is negotiable. He has a meeting with Hispanic leaders and feels them out what they want to hear because he's a people pleasure. He likes to make people happy who are in the room with him. He's got different people in his ear.

I don't think it's any more complicated than that. I don't think there is a grand strategy. It's literally him feeling out in public, taking a poll of the FOX News audience and trying to tell them what they want to hear in real-time. Sometimes people want mutually irreconcilable things. That's hard to accept.

And so, we see this, it's actually sort of remarkably transparent. You always get the general election pivot, the etch-a-sketch moment. But, usually, the presidential nominee pretends that's not what they're doing. In this case, there is no pretense.

KING: Well, except for the fact that yesterday, he's trying to say, and again, if you're a Trump supporter, and you think, you know, it's the lame-stream media, here they go again. Go back and look at what he said during the week. Don't trust us. Just go back and look at everything he said during the week and try to say -- is that consistent? Donald Trump says, this is our fault.


TRUMP: In recent days, the media, as it usually does, has missed the whole point on immigration. They have missed the point. All the media wants to talk about is the 11 million people or more or less.

[08:10:04] They have no idea what the number is because we have no control over our country. They have no idea what it is -- that are here illegally.


KING: Point taken if in the media, Mr. Trump will concede on this issue, you have to include this guy. I think his name is Rush Limbaugh.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Who knew! Can you imagine what's it's like to be Jeb Bush today? Who knew that it would be Donald Trump to come out and convert the GOP base to supporting amnesty?


KING: He said -- Rush said as part of that, give me a minute to regain my composure. This one -- to your point, a lot of nominees do this. But on this one issue, the base thought this is the one issue on which we know Trump. Let him say what he wants about this and say what he wants about that. On this one -- but I mean, he was like hysterical there.

PACE: It is hilarious. Ever since the day after the 2012 election when Mitt Romney lost, Republicans have been talking about the need to get right on immigration. And they've been talking about the need to figure out a plan for the 11 million people. This isn't just a side issue in the immigration debate. This is actually very central to working on this problem.

And the idea that you had candidates in this race like Jeb Bush, like Marco Rubio at a certain point, who actually had looked for policy positions that could get Republicans right, and also might be more favorable to a lot of voters on a variety of other issues and potentially could have won this election more easily than it looks like Trump's path will be. And they get sidelined in a primary where Trump pushes everybody to the right again.

Frankly, it is hilarious. I can understand why Rush would be cracking up.

KING: But what is the impact? I mean, does he risk losing his base if they think he is waffling on this? Or to your point, does it almost not matter? Do voters think as long as he builds the wall, he is going to be tougher than any opponent and Hillary Clinton happens to be his opponent, so I'm find with that? What's the net plus? Does he gain in the middle and not lose on the right?

BALL: I think what Trump was saying in that speech was what Ed was saying, right? The focus is the wall. Everything else is aide show. Think about what Trump needs to be doing right now in the election. He needs to be growing his support.

The people who are already with Trump, yeah, a lot of them aren't going to budge. A lot of them are going to continue to hear what they want to hear and say he's building the wall, that's all I care about.

Is he growing his support? Is he convincing people who don't like him now or on the fence now, or who even want to like him but have been put off by some of his statements? Is he convincing them to come into the fold? I don't --


BALL: As Jeff said, maybe there are some who see it as a softening. But when he goes to this public back and forth and there is no clear stance, I don't think he is growing his support.

KING: There is an election in ten weeks. There happens to be a debate a month from now. You have -- at some point, you're right, what to do with the undocumented, whether it's 11 million, eight million, 12 million. What to do with them is central to this question.

You can get consensus on -- not for a wall, but you can get consensus on a tougher border. More technology, more border patrol agents. But what do you do? That's sort of -- that has been the problem. That's why they haven't been able to solve this and until he speaks with clarity, we're going to keep talking about it. We'll see.

Up next, Donald Trump calls Hillary Clinton a bigot. She says a Trump White House would be open to racists and hate mongers. Ouch.

First, though, politicians say or do the darndest things. Health has been an issue in this campaign, and there are medical records and then there pickle jars.


JIMMY KIMMEL, TV HOST/COMEDIAN: Are you in good health?

CLINTON: Well, this has become one of their themes. Here, take my pulse while I am talking to you.


CLINTON: So -- make sure I'm alive.

KIMMEL: Oh my God. There is nothing there.

CLINTON: There is nothing there.

KIMMEL: Can you open this jar of pickles? This has not been tampered with. This is --




[08:18:15] KING: You might say or many people are saying his pitch was unorthodox to say the least. But Donald Trump took time at every event this week to reach out to African-Americans.


TRUMP: I'll bring jobs back. We'll bring spirit back. We'll get rid of the crime. You'll be able to walk down the street without getting shot.


KING: Now, at first, Hillary Clinton labeled Trump's tone offensive. In a scathing speech Thursday, she said no person of color should trust anything Trump says.


CLINTON: Of course there has 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.


KING: On Friday, Clinton's running mate joined the attack.


SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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. They're not our values.


KING: In that part, Republicans say was out of bounds, because Tim Kaine went KKK values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values. Tim Kaine says there are commas in there. Republicans say that's over the top and they that, you know, back when Hillary Clinton was in the senator, one of her mentors was the late Senator Bobby Byrd, who back in his youth was a member of the KKK. He later apologized and said it was a mistake of his youth.

But where are we in this debate? It was pretty -- again, we're ten weeks from the presidential election, somebody the morning after is going to have to wake up and be the president-elect and say I have a mandate to do this. And our central campaign last week was she is a bigot, you are a racist.

[08:20:00] ZELENY: That speech in Reno where she was talking about hey, I mean, we've heard her say a lot of things about Donald Trump, a lot of speeches she's given. That was different. It was a different moment.

It wasn't about saying he is not qualified because of his business bankruptcies or he's not fit for office. This was different about what he stands for and the vessel in which his supporters are now occupying. I think that she was -- I was struck most by the Republicans she was try to go reach out to in that speech.

She, in one speech, defended Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, saying that they have all thrown out racism, they all have rejected all this argument here and what is Donald Trump doing to the Republican Party, what are his supporters -- some of his fringe supporters doing.

So, I think she is trying to, you know, really highlight this moment here. The question is, is she a good messenger for what. Is anyone going to be out there who are sort of, you know, worried about Donald Trump and say, OK, I'm finally going to vote for Hillary Clinton. I'm not sure. But by drawing attention to it, I think this was very important week on the campaign.

PACE: Yes, I think two notable things that relate to Republicans from that speech, to Jeff's point, that the Clinton campaign is making a conscious decision to not paint all Republicans in the light that they're painting Donald Trump, to essentially say to Republicans, I understand that am so of you disagree with him too. You might not like me, you might not think that I'm the best choice, but I'm certainly better than him and you don't want your party overtaken by that. The second was the silence from most Republicans in terms of defending

their nominee against these charges. I don't think I saw anyone who was not a hard-core Trump supporter come out and speak to his defense after that. And that is pretty remarkable at this stage.

O'KEEFE: Isn't this sort of overture, though, in mentioning the Republicans sort of designed to prepare her to govern if she is president? She is sort of saying to the senior Republicans, suddenly, I know you're not him, I know he doesn't represent what you are. I need and I want to work with you when I am president?

I mean, to me that is part -- to me that's -- when I hear that, that's what it sounds like, that sort of telegraphing to them, I know the difference and I know I'm going to need to work with you if I'm president.

BALL: But this is also -- I mean, the Clinton campaign sees two basic tracks of attack on Donald Trump for the next two months. Number one, he is a threat to national security. And number two, he is hateful.

So, this is part o a deliberate strategy to, as we were saying, to win over those moderates, suburban voters, to win over a lot of conservative-leaning independents and traditional Republican voters by convincing them that Trump is anomalous and beyond the pale.

You heard the Trump response to that, the scripted response that he read off the teleprompter saying, listen, Republicans, the Democrats always call us racists and we're tired of this strategy.

And I think it's also the case that a lot of those conservative leaning or traditional Republican voters do feel they always get called racists and they're tired with the sort of six degrees of separation with the KKK, that they feel is a common election-year campaign. So, you know, is this going to be effective for Hillary Clinton? We don't think we know that yet.

KING: I don't think we do know it. Obviously, one key goal I think is to keep those suburbanites you were talking about earlier from going back to Trump, but also to motivate African-Americans and Latinos who may not be as excited about her and say we're about President Obama, to make sure they show up, to make sure they turn up. You mentioned Trump's response. He took a two-prong tactic. One was to make the point you just made but first, he also said, how can you listen to Hillary Clinton talk about race when she is this?


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot! Who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future. She's going to do nothing for African-Americans. She is going to do nothing for the Hispanics. She doesn't care why her policies have done to your communities.


KING: The language Trump uses has become part of this conversation about is he reaching out in the right way. His campaign says, yes, he has been criticized for giving these speeches largely in front of white audiences or in white communities. They say he will be going next weekend with Ben Carson in Detroit. They say we're going to see more of him in the inner city.

Yesterday, he was on Twitter again. This makes you ask questions. A cousin of Dwyane Wade, the basketball player, was shot and killed in yet another senseless act of gun violence in Chicago, and Donald Trump tweeted, "Dwayne Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will vote Trump."

This is a part about Trump that people see and they say it's narcissistic. How about my thoughts and prayers are with the family, not there is a tragedy, I'm going to get votes?

ZELENY: How about it's not about you. Every single thing --

O'KEEFE: About him.


ZELENY: First, the Orlando shooting and this. This is not about people voting for Trump. I mean, he maybe firing up the African- American community and Hispanic voters better than she is, like you said before.

[08:25:06] I mean, I think, you know, just like let him keep talking. Imagine the ads that will come out from this week. I just think she's not talking policies. There are actually serious policies you can discuss about what is happening in inner-city America like Chicago, other places. But he is not talking about that.

KING: I hope I the debates we get to this, because you make a key point. Look, you can criticize Hillary Clinton on policy if you want. I covered the Clintons years ago when they were working in the Mississippi delta in Arkansas to help poor and mostly black kids and get out of poverty and get better schools. Did they do it right? Is the policy right? Let's have a debate about that.

But we don't have a policy debate. We have name-calling.

PACE: There is a sense of otherness when he talks about African- American voters that I wonder if it's coming through, as much as I think it is, where he sees them almost as a group that can be swayed back and forth and really underestimates the deep roots that African- Americans have with the Democratic Party.

They are a huge part of the Democratic base. This is not a group of people that is kind of waffling around looking for a political home right now. Black, the leader of the party is black. Many members of Congress who are black and officials in other states. This is not, again, a group that is sort of lost in the political wilderness right now.

KING: In the Clinton advertising on this, you can be certain you'll see the target the advertising in the communities, front page story in the "New York Times" again today saying when Trump was building his business, one of the ways he did it was discrimination in rental housing. So, I know this is a tough debate for him. Let's see how this one plays out.

Up next, newly discovered Hillary Clinton e-mails and a new answer from the candidate.

Please take a moment, everyone loves this every Sunday morning for the INSIDE POLITICS quiz. We're testing your presidential history knowledge here. Which presidential candidate put out the first TV campaign ad? Is it JFK, Eisenhower, Nixon or FDR? Vote at


[08:31:05] KING: Months ago, that would be months ago, Hillary Clinton said her lawyers searched her private server and turned over all e-mails that could be considered work-related. But this past week, we learned the FBI found nearly 15,000 e-mails and documents not turned over by Clinton, including a number detailing efforts by top Clinton Foundation staffers to get big foundation donors meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Or other favors from the State Department.

Donald Trump calls it pay for play.


TRUMP: Hillary Clinton ran the state department like a failed leader in a third-world country. That's what's it's run, like a third world country. She sold favors and access in exchange for cash.


KING: Now, Clinton says the foundation will adopt stricter rules if she becomes president. But she insists no unethical dealings and took issue with a news report suggesting big foundation donors were able to get on her appointment list at department.


CLINTON: I know there is a lot of smoke, and there is no fire. This "A.P." report put it in context. It excludes nearly 2,000 meetings I had with world leaders.


KING: The "A.P." happens to be represented at the table. I am an alumni of the "A.P." and a member of the pension plan.

What's the answer to the criticism?

PACE: Well, I think it's important to put it in context, as Hillary Clinton says. The medians that "A.P." looked at were the meetings that were not with government officials, the type of people who would normally get on a secretary of state schedule. They're meetings that she would have more discretion over.

She might be able to say yes or no more easily than a foreign minister rolling through town. And about half of the people that were on these calendars that we obtained were foundation donors. I think it's also important to note that the only reason we have the calendars is because the "A.P." had to sue for them. And we've learned this week also that we won't get the rest of the calendars before the election.

KING: That one was stunning. The State Department says it cannot release her schedule. One won't be able to pull them together until after the election.

She was last secretary of state how long ago? Four years?

This is -- you know, Democrat, Republican administration, I am sorry. You know, this is on a computer somewhere. You have these records. This is nuts.

ZELENY: The problem is -- it's not just -- obviously, she is opening herself up to Republican criticism but Democrats I talked to this week shaking their heads that the Clintons have not resolved the foundation issue. Yes, the foundation does good work, no doubt about it. But this, if she was running against someone other than Donald Trump, this would be a massive issue.

And it's still a big issue here and they still haven't dealt with it because of their own --

KING: It's the Clinton way. You knew on day one of her campaign, what would the issues be? Private e-mail server, Clinton Foundation, Clinton Inc., the idea that the Clintons have two sets of rules or their own set of rules. And yet here we are, how many months after she gets into the race and they still haven't dealt with these things.

But it is -- that is a trademark Clinton reaction. We will react only as necessary, we'll give as little as possible just to try to put it away and survive.

BALL: And to not provide the transparency, as Julie was saying, and then criticize the report for not having all of the information.

But, you know, this should have been a pretty bad week for Hillary Clinton, with the news breaking on the Clinton Foundation, which, as you say, they should have anticipated would be this much of an issue, and the news about the e-mails. And she was able, I think, to somewhat turn the page with the speech in Reno.

But that was a deliberate thing. There was a deliberate timing to that, it was to chase some of these headlines off the front page and some of the -- some of the debates that we're having about, well, was there a quid pro quo or only the appearance of impropriety? I mean, it's not something she wants to be explaining, I don't think.

KING: If you need to change the foundation rules if she is president, then why didn't she need to change the foundation rules when she was secretary of state? I know, it's a lesser job, but you're in public service. You're pretty sure you're going to run for office.

O'KEEFE: Why not when she started her campaign? Say from the moment we begin the campaign, it stops.

[08:35:05] And she said Friday -- I thought this was news, maybe she has already announced this -- that they're trying to find ways to peter out parts of the foundations or other organizations to continue the work once she becomes president. There too also raises questions about, well, who exactly are they talking to.

KING: "The Wall Street Journal" reported one of them is one of Chelsea's friends to manage the endowment.

PACE: And Chelsea Clinton will remain on the board. If she wins, Bill Clinton will stop down from the board, Chelsea Clinton will remain, and I think if they're people donating to the foundation or one of the spinoff programs that think a member of the Clinton family can help them get access, Chelsea is not a bad person to be dealing with.

KING: One interesting thing, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, and she did this interview, there's been a lot of criticism, Hillary is not that accessible to the news media, I suspect you will see a little bit more of her between now and the debates, because these foundation questions and these e-mail questions, the more she can deal with them before the debates. I assume she thinks it will help her. That's what they say inside the campaign.

But listen to her when asked about e-mails in the past, she has given lawyerly answers or say listen to what Jim Comey said or Powell told me to open up the server in talking to Anderson Cooper, finally --


CLINTON: What I learn is, when I try to explain what happens, it can sound like I'm trying to excuse what I did. And there are no excuses. I want people to know that the decisions to have a single e-mail account was mine. I take responsibility for it. I have apologized for it. I would certainly do differently if I could.


ZELENY: She was clear on that, except it's not a single email account. That's not the issue.

KING: It's a private server, right.

ZELENY: She set up a private server, which is unlike anyone else, any secretary of state, anyone else here.

That was a clean answer in terms of what she has given. But she gave a similar one about a year ago and then always says it's a conspiracy, it's someone else, and then laughs it off. So, still, if that is what she sticks with going forward, many people inside her campaign will be relieved. We'll see if she does or not.

But still, it's not a private e-mail account or one e-mail account. It was a server she set up.

O'KEEFE: Also, it's 2016, couldn't she at least do that on Facetime? I am sick of this phone call interviews. I mean, this is not C-Span Washington Journal. It's ridiculous.

BALL: She answers questions. That's progress.

O'KEEFE: Yes, but again, it's television. Come on.

PACE: It's amazing that it takes her a year to get to an answer that everyone feels is finally probably where she needs to be. It is something about the Clintons that is just mind-boggling why it takes so long to get to a point where you can say plainly, no excuses, it was all me.

KING: That's the answer you get, though, when you ask very people -- smart people involved in the campaign who have known the Clintons for years. Why, why, why? They just look at you like why are you asking me these questions? This is the Clintons. This is the way it's going to be. It's frustrating, but that's the way it's going to be.

BALL: Right, it's not because the staff couldn't prepare the right talking points. The candidate won't say it.

KING: I was going to say she has pretty good lawyers. But why would I say that?

Ahead, how a methodical TV campaign can move the numbers in places that matter.


[08:42:11] KING: When we count the votes in ten weeks, and as they study this race for the next, oh, 100 years, this bold Donald Trump declaration is worth remembering.


TRUMP: You know, I go around, I make speeches, I talk to reporters, I don't even need commercials if you want to know the truth. Why do I need commercials?


KING: If you really want to know the truth, he could not be more wrong about that. Let's use Pennsylvania as a case study. In early May, look here, it was a dead heat. Three months later, it was Hillary Clinton up ten.

Ads like this had something to do with that.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Who do you talk to for military advice right now?

TRUMP: Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great -- you know, when you watch your show and all of the other shows --


KING: And ads like this one.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I saw Donald Trump mock a disabled person, I was just shocked.

TRUMP: You got to see this guy, oh, I dot know what I said, ah, I don't remember.


KING: Now, remember, from dead heat to 10-point Clinton in those three months, just in Pennsylvania. Look at the spending here. $6.4 million in TV ad spending by the Clinton campaign and the super PAC. Just shy of $180,000 by pro-Trump forces. Zero by the Trump campaign itself. It's more than 8 to 1 spending.

Now, there are a lot of other factors. There are the conventions, hers was managed better than his most people would say. But Donald Trump keeps giving them fodder for these ads. When you talk to people who study consumer and voter behavior, they look at this especially in the swing states and view it as political malpractice that Trump was essentially unarmed when the Clinton campaign was running these ads that have done, what, convinced people, watched focus groups that he is unfit to be president, you can't trust as commander in chief, and he is kind mean-spirited.

ZELENY: Right, and the challenge here, I mean, is there is so much -- if you talk to Republicans, they're frustrated because there is so much he could be using to prosecute. He could be advertising on e- mails. He could be advertising on things that don't -- people don't like about the Clinton campaign. There is much fodder to work with on that side as well. He is not.

So, it gives Republicans some heartburn. He has upped his rent at Trump Tower. He's spending his money on a lot of other things, not ads. Ads do work.

Will they always work? In 2020, 2024, who knows? Probably not. But now, people watch TV, they work.

KING: But in this campaign, there has been a debate saying they don't work. People thought in the Republican primaries the attacks on Trump were not effective with the crowded field. But if you study this and go state by state, it's unmistakable, how much of a degree, how much of the 10 points he's responsible at the end.

If you let them spend months -- it didn't work at first. Clinton and Priorities were spending this money at first, the numbers didn't move. But then you have the conventions and people are like, oh, yeah, I saw that, I saw that.

PACE: Well, that's point that one ad in isolation in one week isn't going to move a lot of voters. It's about reinforcing a message.

[08:45:01] And it's about finding a lot of ways to do that. You do that through paid media. You do that for free media. You do that from candidate's speeches and he essentially is not using one of the tools that's in a candidate's arsenal.

KING: Very late to the game. He is on the air in four states right now. I believe Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida. Now, if he wins those four states, he can be the next president of the United States. It's still in play even though the map is tilted heavily in her favor.

Let's show a little bit about this. Donald Trump has one ad that's been up for a little more than a week. Here it is.


AD ANNOUNCER: In Hillary Clinton's America, the system stays rigged against Americans. Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay. Donald Trump's America is secure, terrorists and dangerous criminals kept out. The border secured, our families, safe.


KING: There is a tough tone to that in large part because in many of the swing states he is still only getting 75 percent or 82 percent of the Republican vote. He needs to gin up the Republican numbers. Even now, he is still being outspent.

Now, he's in the game in these states that are important to him, but he's still being outspent. If you look at this story, I believe it's in "The Times" today, Sheldon Adelson who said at the convention, "I want to help you, Mr. Trump", hasn't followed in with money, the casino magnate, because he's worried about the tone of the campaign. There was a report the other day, look at the lawsuit, all the language about he didn't want his kids to go to school Jewish people. Sheldon Adelson is going to love that story.

Can Donald Trump level the playing field? Is there time in the states that matter to him?

BALL: Well, the other thing that Donald Trump did this week tht was significant is, for the first time, in late August, hired a national field director, in late August, he hired a national field director. And this is another area of the campaign where Clinton has had the field completely to herself. She has built an actual ground organization, she's built pillar organizations in all of these states. Now, I don't and field an actual organization in all these states.

Now, I don't think we shouldn't pretend it's so cut and dried about the effects of the ads. Political scientists will argue with you that the ads have a small effect, especially this far out from the vote. And it's actually kind of a fascinating, controlled experiment that we're seeing, what happens when one candidate runs a traditional campaign and the other just doesn't, right? We've never seen this kind of lop -- part of the reason they don't

think ads work is because usually they're basically equal and they sort of cancel each other out. I think what the ads are doing for Hillary in the swing states and the reason she's polling better in a lot of swing states than she is in the national vote is they're giving her a floor. They're reinforcing her message and convincing the people who may have once leaned toward her to stay in the fold while he is not giving them reason to sway back.

KING: She doesn't have a terribly compelling record and voters don't trust her but she has moved independence and college-educated whites with the sustained assault of advertising.

Our reporters sharing notebooks next, including a 2020 story that has Trump allies crumbling.

Here are the results of our INSIDE POLITICS quiz question. We asked, which presidential candidate, Ed wants to want to know the answer, put the first TV ad up? Was it JFK, Eisenhower, Nixon or FDR?

The answer: Dwight David Eisenhower. Most of you got it right. Ed too!


[08:52:03] KING: Let's head around the INSIDE POLITICS table and ask our reporters to get you out ahead of the political news around the corner.

Julie Pace?

PACE: So, the Clinton campaign is starting to engage in a time- honored presidential election tradition, some debate expectation setting. The Clinton campaign feels like she is going to go into the debates with the kind of heightened expectations to normally saddle an incumbent president while Trump will have a pretty low bar to clear.

So, you're going to start to see officials reminding reporters and voters that Trump was actually pretty good in his Republican debates and obviously has a lot of experience being on television. Some campaign officials I have talked to say they're specifically looking at the 2000 campaign for lessons learned. Democrats tried to cast George Bush as a lightweight and one campaign official told me, they set the expectations for him so low that if he didn't drool on himself on stage, he was going to win the debate. So, they like the Trump expectations to be slightly higher than that.

KING: Never seen Trump in a one on one debate. Looking forward to this -- Jeff.

ZELENY: So, President Obama is on the verge of returning back to the campaign trail in September 13th in Philadelphia for Hillary Clinton. But that is not at all. Democrats familiar with his schedule tell me he's going to devote nearly all of October to campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He's going to be, of course, trying to fire up black voters in North Carolin and other states, but also setting his sights on Iowa and Nevada. These are two states with more white populations, particularly Iowa, where he won and she is struggling mightily.

So, look for him to be all in in October, as well as Joe Biden and Michelle Obama. But in October, the president will be the third candidate on the field.

KING: All hands on deck.


O'KEEFE: When he visits Florida, he may find a little bit of a different landscape when it comes to registered voters. I was talking to Susan McManus, a professor of political science, University of South Florida-Tampa, who has looked at the registrations numbers as they're changing in the Sunshine State.

Now, for example, under 30-year-old voters are increasingly unaffiliated, 34 percent of them unaffiliated, compared to 38 percent for Democrats and 26 percent for Republicans. They've slid considerably.

While they have caught up to Democrats overall across the state, it's a sign of the continuing trouble that both parties are going to have but especially Republicans this year as they see more young voters, more minority voters go no party affiliation as they call it in Florida. Could scramble things not only in this year, but in 2018 when they have a gubernatorial and possibly a Senate race as well.

KING: Makes it hard to track those voters.


BALL: I was speaking of Florida some of the last big Senate primaries are coming up this week on Tuesday in Florida. Marco Rubio, the once and future Senate candidate, has a challenger, a wealthy businessman who has made him spend money in that primary. On the other side, there is the fire-brand liberal Congressman Alan Grayson against his fellow Congressman Patrick Murphy, who is the establishment choice, who is favored to win the primary but who has also been put through the paces.

Out in Arizona, Senator John McCain has a challenger who has accused him of not being conservative enough but also made attacks on his age and his health.

[08:55:04] All these primaries, we think the favorite will make it through, but they have put the incumbent or favorite candidate through their paces, made them spend some money. And where the vote totals end up could tell us where the base is.

KING: We'll see the Republican -- if there's restlessness on the Republican base. Donald Trump in that, we'll watch.

I'll close with this: John Kasich is campaigning in New Hampshire today and it's grumbling from Donald Trump supporters in the state. You may recall the Ohio governor was one of Trump's primary rivals and you may know John Kasich has refused to endorse Donald Trump. It's also no secret. Governor Kasich is keeping another presidential

run in 2020 on the table. That's why a visit to New Hampshire in the stretch of the 2016 campaign is a tad curious. Put this one in the all politics is local file. Kasich is in New Hampshire to endorse Chris Sununu, who's in a top primary for the Republican nomination for governor.

Chris Sununu --all your Sununus here -- Chris Sununu is the son of the former governor John Sununu and the brother of the former New Hampshire senator, John Sununu. Both John Sununus were in Team Kasich back in the primaries.

Sources involved in today's event say the younger John Sununu, the former senator, made a direct appeal to Governor Kasich and that Kasich wants his New Hampshire supporters to see how much he values their loyalty and their support and, yes, he hopes they return the favor if there is a Kasich 2020 campaign.

Always fun. It never ends.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. Again, thanks for sharing your Sunday morning. We'll see you soon.

Up next, Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump's vice presidential pick on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper.