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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Hillary Vs. Trump; Zika Virus Still Major Concern; Violence in Syria Continues; Apple Launches New iPhone 7. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired September 7, 2016 - 16:30   ET

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


[16:30:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITCH STEWART, FORMER BATTLEGROUND STATES DIRECTOR, OBAMA 2012: At one point, he said that he won't release them because of an IRS -- IRS won't allow him. The IRS contradicted him on that.

He then said he will only release them after the audit is done, until he's asked another question in the same conversation, where he then says he will release them immediately if one other statute has been hit.

And so there is no consistency with them with his tax returns. In fact, his son said earlier this week that he should never release them. And so there is just no consistency within the Trump Organization or with the candidate on what he's going to do with his tax returns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: What do you make of all this?

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": Hillary Clinton's aides are destroying all of her BlackBerrys. Donald Trump is hiding his tax returns. It's really a wonderful presidential race we have here.

They both have a lot to hide, is what I make of it.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: So you think that -- well, obviously, we have talked about the Hillary Clinton thing before, but you also think he is hiding something in his tax returns?

KRISTOL: Yes, probably, he is not as generous as he might be of someone of his wealth. God knows how much tax he has actually paid.

There's so many other things, in my view, that disqualify Donald Trump, that this is probably the least of it, as is the case with Hillary Clinton.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: What do you think she is hiding in her e-mails? KRISTOL: Well, it is pretty astounding. She said I just deleted the

personal e-mails. Really? Maybe you just could not have given them over and let other people judge what is personal or not?

And then it turns out some of the personal e-mails are not personal, right? And that's very clear now, that she was just not telling the truth about that.

STEWART: But the FBI did review those e-mails, correct?

TAPPER: Which ones?

STEWART: The e-mails that are in question right now, and found that there was nothing...

TAPPER: The 15,000.

STEWART: Right, that it was not...

TAPPER: Right, but there were 30,000 that were deleted also.

Kayleigh, I guess here's question for you. If Mr. Trump released his tax returns, then he would be Mr. Transparency, as opposed to Hillary Clinton. But now it's just muddied water. Why not just release the returns?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, from a political standpoint, Democrats tend to goad Republican nominees into releasing their tax returns, as Mitt Romney did, and upon releasing his tax returns, we found out that Harry Reid was wrong, that Mitt Romney did everything right, he abided by the laws.

But then Democrats proceeded to demonize Mitt Romney for having a bank account offshore that he was allowed to have that was within the bounds of the law. And they used the tax returns to berate him for using the law to his advantage in a way that was, in a way that is fair.

MCENANY: I agree with Trump's son. I don't think he should release his tax returns. Why give fodder to Democrats?

Even if he is doing everything legally, which he is, Democrats will use them against him.

TAPPER: But it is not that Democrats goad Republicans into doing this. This is a bipartisan tradition since 1980.

Reagan, Bush, every nominee, every mayor party nominee since Gerald Ford in 1976 decided not to do it, has released their returns. This is not like some demonic Democratic plot. It's the idea that the people, the public have a right to know how you made your money, where your investments are, to make sure that you don't have any conflicts of interests.

You don't think the American people have a right? MCENANY: They have a right to know that Donald Trump is paying his

taxes legally. And we know that since he survived nearly a dozen audits.

But I would argue that, yes, Democrats have goaded Republicans into doing this. Mitt Romney was a successful businessman. Harry Reid lied. Did not know that Mitt Romney was not paying taxes. He essentially lied, goaded him to release his tax returns. We found out Harry Reid was not right.

Mitt Romney was doing everything correctly. And they're trying to do the same to Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a successful businessman. That means that sometimes you use risks and you take risks. And because of that, you get certain tax breaks. That is fair. That's the way our law works. It incentivizes businessmen to invest.

And Democrats will take all of that out of context, as they did with Mitt Romney.

STEWART: Well, you should let the American people make that judgment. You should make that same exact argument and let the American people take a look at it.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: But it is worth pointing out that one of the reasons why there are some negative stories about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation is because they have released this information and people have started diving in and looked at, oh, you got this money from this speech.

It is true that reporters tend to use stuff like this against them, but that worked against Hillary Clinton in this election, Bill.

KRISTOL: Yes. I think he should release his tax returns. But I actually think he's getting away with it pretty well right now. And the Democrats aren't doing a very good job, and the media probably isn't, of making too much of an issue of it.

And I think this retort is not effective, I have got to say, just watching the back and forth. The e-mail thing is her behavior as secretary of state, and it is genuinely -- she now admits in fact she did something very foolish when she became secretary of state, a totally unforced error in her most recent high position in the government.

Trump is a businessman. He has been involved in a million deals. We can all argue about the bankruptcies and all this. I think people will make their own judgments about his ethics as a businessman.

In a certain way, I think that tax returns thing probably don't additionally hurt him. I am struck how much -- while I'm not pro- Trump, but he has been on the offensive the last couple of weeks, and she's been on the defensive, and I think he is gaining somewhat in the polls. That CNN poll might have been a little bit exaggerated. But it is striking that he is the one who is -- even in his speech today, incoherent defense policy speech, but still, driving over here, you hear it on the radio, Trump, build up our military. We need to be stronger. We also shouldn't have foolish interventions.

[16:35:00]

She won't even talk about foreign policy, because she is so worried about offending President Obama, or defending indefensible policies of Obama, while explaining she differed from Obama on certain things.

I really am struck. And also even on domestic policy, he has some simple-minded things. What is she for? It's a change election. What change is she for? She is playing defense. In my opinion, as an outsider, I think she is really playing defense as this point.

STEWART: As an outsider?

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: As someone who doesn't like either candidate.

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: Mitch, Bill and Kayleigh, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

In our health lead, controversy over Florida's response to the Zika outbreak. Could one of the solution cause even more problems? That story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Let's turn now to our health lead.

[16:40:00]

The Zika virus is spreading further here in the U.S. There are now seven additional people in Florida who contracted Zika here at home through mosquito bites. Congress went on its seven-week recess without passing a build to fund the fight against Zika. Lawmakers returned yesterday and yet again failed to pass a bill that would have provided much needed funding to combat the debilitating virus.

And now new fears that the insecticide being used to kill Zika- carrying mosquitos might be doing more harm than good.

THE LEAD is covering this story from all angles. We have CNN's Boris Sanchez in Miami, the continental United States Zika hot zone, and also Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

But let's first begin with CNN senior political reporter Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.

Manu, is a compromise at all possible here? MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Jake.

In fact, Senate Republican leaders are having discussions right now with Democratic leaders and the White House about possibly moving a Zika funding package, tying it to a larger bill that would keep the government open until December 9.

To get there, they have to work through a number of very thorny issues that both sides disagree on, including whether or not to restrict any of that Zika funding to Planned Parenthood facilities. House Republicans insist on those Planned Parenthood restrictions.

But Democrats have blocked that bill three times in the Senate because it has those Planned Parenthood restrictions. Earlier today, I had a chance to talk to House Speaker Paul Ryan and ask him, specifically, whether or not he would agree to move a bill that did not have those restrictions. Here is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: Why not just accept a clean bill that does not have the restrictions on Planned Parenthood?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Restrictions on Planned -- look, give me a break on this thing.

We passed the $1.1 billion bill for Zika, which was the level agreed to in the Senate. We did the responsible thing. We did it before the July 4 recess. I think they're just being wholly partisan with these endless filibusters. This is obviously an issue we're going to have to resolve this month.

But just so you know, the House did its job, and the Senate has been blatantly political with Zika funding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: Now, Ryan and House Republican leaders are meeting on Friday to discuss a way forward. We will see if they're able to get a deal.

But clearly they know they have to deal with it this month, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, thank you so much.

Boris, the situation getting worse in Florida. The number of locally transmitted Zika cases climbing, yet some people in the Miami area are now saying they want the insecticide spraying to stop. Why?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And they were actually somewhat successful, Jake, at for least one day.

There was schedule aerial spraying of that insecticide for tomorrow at about 5:00. It got pushed back just a few hours ago to Friday partly because of the outrage. There was a protest outside a meeting of the Miami Beach city commissioners today where it was just an informational session, but several hundred people showed up yelling and angry about the use of this insecticide called Naled.

It has been banned in Europe. It has been banned in Puerto Rico, but it's approved by the FDA and it is already used widely across the United States, including here in Florida. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez tried to make the case to people, saying that this is what the CDC prescribed to fight Zika.

Jake, I want you to listen to the crowd's reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLOS GIMENEZ, MAYOR OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: I can assure you that I would not allow spraying of a chemical that would have a toxic impact on residents and visitors.

(CROSSTALK)

(SHOUTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Yes.

The other big problem here is apparently communication. And the mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine, saying he found out about the way the state was going to approach the problem through press releases, not hearing directly from Governor Rick Scott himself.

Clearly, a lot of outrage and anger and communication problems here, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Boris, thank you.

Sanjay, time, of course, may be running out as the U.S. is running out of money to fight Zika, the proposed $1.1 billion. Where is that money supposed to go and how will it assist the fight against Zika?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of it is going to go towards actually trying to curb the mosquitos. You just heard Boris talking about some of those strategies. Some of that requires money.

Also making sure that there is testing available, so, you know, right now, if you want to be tested, sometimes you may not have a clinic or a testing facility in your area. A big chunk of it, Jake, towards vaccines.

It's interesting. We talk about this a lot in the context of various infectious diseases. But the idea that a vaccine is in testing right now, but may have to be halted in terms of that testing by the beginning of the year is a real possibility now because of the concern that possibly the money will run out.

These things take money. I want to give you a quick -- just remember this, Jake, from H1N1, swine flu, several years ago. Big concern, you reported on it, I reported on it, a lot of people reported on it. We don't talk about that all anymore, H1N1. Why? Because it's

actually part of the flu vaccine that people now have access to. So, that just gives you an idea of just how much it can have an impact if you have the funding to produce one of those vaccines. Right now, there's a real concern that funding won't be there.

[16:45:00]

JAKE TAPPER: And obviously the most vulnerable are pregnant women, who then if babies contract the Zika virus can have microcephaly, that's that horrible, horrible disfiguration. The World Health Organization is now broadening its guideline for those who may be planning a family. Tell us about that.

GUPTA: What they're saying is this: There's two things to keep in mind. First of all, the vast majority of people who get a Zika infection won't have symptoms. That's good news, right? I mean 80 percent of people will have either no symptoms or very mild symptoms. That's good news. The problem with that, though, is you could be harboring the virus in your body and not know it. And what they have found is that they have found evidence of even virus particles up to 180 days after someone was exposed to the virus. It doesn't mean that it's the actual virus itself, but the virus particles were there up to 180 days.

So what the WHO, the World Health Organization, is now saying, if you're planning to start a family, you've been to an area where Zika is circulating, you should wait six months. You should wait six months before actually planning a pregnancy, so it's a conservative estimate. They don't think that you could actually transmit the virus for that long, but six months for men and women alike now, if you've traveled to that place in Florida that we were talking about, if you've traveled to many countries around the world where Zika is circulating, that's now the guidance from the WHO.

TAPPER: And that need for contraception is of course why this Planned Parenthood issue has come up. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Boris Sanchez, Manu Raju, thank you all so much. Appreciate it. Coming up: Children struggling to breathe, wearing oxygen masks; others have to be hosed down: Were they poisoned and by whom? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:50:00]

TAPPER: Welcome back. THE WORLD LEAD. Horror unfolding in a Syrian city already ravaged by war. A warning first: You might consider some images in this following report graphic. They're from Aleppo where there are new reports of a chemical attack. Rescuers with the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, they released this video. The aftermath of suspected chlorine gas attacks, dropped by barrel bombs, killing one person, more than 100 others injured. Within 24 hours of that attack, reports of air strikes hitting the same part of Aleppo, killing at least 10 people. CNN's Arwa Damon is following it all across the border in Istanbul. Arwa, do we know who's responsible for these attacks? CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, ARWA DAMON: Well, according to those various medical organizations on the ground, as well as activists networks, they say it was the Syrian regime and how do they know that that one attack was in fact, as they were saying, chlorine gas? Well, Jake, it's because they've been through this before. They know what it smells like. They know what the symptoms are. And here's the other grave, grave difficulty that people in Syria face when trying to deal with these kinds of attacks. They don't have proper medical facilities to take the wounded to.

These are underground clinics by and large; underground, because when they were above ground they were bombed, according to activists on the ground, deliberately by the Russians and the Syrian regime, and so they're forced into these underground clinics. They don't have electricity, they have to rely on generators, which of course are powered by diesel fuel which is in very, very short supply because this part of Aleppo is under siege. And you don't get to breathe a sigh of relief if you survive one attack in Syria, Jake, because the next day brings with it even more violence. And as you were saying, 24 hours after this alleged chlorine gas attack, the same exact neighborhood was hit with multiple air strikes as well, and this is the everyday reality in Syria as it has been for the last nearly five and a half years.

TAPPER: Just as these attacks happened today, Syria's opposition leaders were holding peace talks in London. Did anything come of that meeting?

DAMON: You know these peace talks were being held to try to put together what is being pushed forward and touted as a blueprint, but it is meant to be a very flexible document. It outlines something that was very similar to what we heard being outlined well over six months ago. Of course, none of it has yet to be implemented, and when you talk about the opposition holding peace talks in London, they're holding it with their allies. They don't have the Syrian regime at the table. They don't have the Russians. And unless you can actually get all of these key players, regional and global together in a room, you can't even really begin to try to put forward a plan for peace, because this can't be done unilaterally, Jake.

TAPPER: Arwa Damon, thank you so much. Apple's big announcement today: The new iPhone 7. What's different? Should you upgrade?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:55:00]

TAPPER: We're back with THE MONEY LEAD. One of the worst kept secrets on the planet is no longer just speculation. Apple rolled out its new iPhones just a few hours ago. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Could the new iPhone features transform technology or will they be just a huge flop for the iconic tech company? Let's bring in CNN Tech Correspondent, Samuel Burke. Samuel, I have the iPhone 6s. Why should I upgrade?

CNN MONEY TECH CORRESPONDENT, SAMUEL BURKE: Oh, Jake, those days of Steve Jobs walking on stage and announcing something that nobody else had and that everybody wanted to have are truly a part of Apple's past, though you did have some nice incremental updates here. The phone is now water resistant. The larger one, the iPhone 7 Plus, has a dual-lens camera so two lenses to take a picture at once that's really high quality, also two stereo speakers now.

But to me the real news isn't what the iPhone 7 has, it's what it doesn't have. This is the first major device that we've seen without an audio port. That's something that dates back really to the Walkman and before, so now with the new headphones, you'll plug it in through the charging port, or you can have a little adapter that they'll give you if you need to stick to your old pair, and they have some wireless headphones. Those are not included in the price. Those are $159. Either which way you cut it, it's all going to cost you a lot of money.

TAPPER: All right, Samuel Burke. Thanks so much. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter at Jake Tapper or tweet the show at THE LEAD CNN. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."