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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Clinton Diagnosed with Pneumonia; Trump to Address Clinton's "Basket of Deplorables" in Speech. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired September 12, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: According to its Twitter account, the fantasy app and website were partially working by 4:00 p.m. eastern when the second round of games kicked off and fully restored by 6:30 on Sunday.
Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Clinton being helped into a van as she left the 9/11 memorial.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Stumbling and unsteady.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: It appears Clinton fainted.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: She is at home in Chappaqua this morning on doctor's orders.
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (voice-over): I hope she gets well soon.
Something's going on.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.
MIKE PENCE, (R), INDIANA GOVERNOR & VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are Americans and they deserve your respect.
CLINTON: They're racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.
TRUMP: Said with such anger, such unbelievable anger. I think this is the biggest mistake of this political season.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Kate Bolduan.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman.
The candidate has pneumonia, and the campaign, maybe nausea. Hillary Clinton's health is now an issue. The former secretary of state canceled a trip to California and is recuperating at home and will phone into a campaign event tonight.
This all came to light only after video showed Clinton wobbling and stumbling or worse as she a 9/11 memorial service early.
BOLDUAN: The campaign first said Hillary Clinton was overheated. Only later, then releasing through a doctor's statement that she was diagnosed and was being treated for pneumonia. This was all diagnosed on Friday, two days earlier.
Senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, is following the Clinton campaign. He is near Clinton's home in Chappaqua, New York.
What is the latest, Jeff?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. The very latest is Hillary Clinton is resting comfortably at home in Chappaqua. I'm told she's talking to her advisers, preparing for her debate, which is two weeks from tonight, and she's largely going about her business. But she is staying in her house.
At this point, she was supposed to be on a plane flying to San Francisco. Then on to Los Angeles tomorrow for an e being touted by her advisers and then off to Nevada. But that three-day west coast swing totally canceled. She is here now resting.
The campaign really is trying to question, the roughest weekend of the entire presidential cycle. You heard the clips you just played there. They know they did not handle this very well. The advisers and Democrats close to the campaign I have talked to this morning acknowledge that pretty openly. Some of them say they did not have enough information. All of them did not realize that the secretary had been diagnosed on Friday.
But interestingly, when you piece together a timeline of this, we likely would not have even found out about the pneumonia diagnosis had it not been for that piece of video that a passerby at the 9/11 ceremony took and posted on social media. That set into a whole course of corrections of things going on. But one adviser told me that they believe they have erased all the transparency advantages that they made last week when she talked to reporters for four days in a row, really going on the offensive with Donald Trump. All that may be erased over the weekend by this episode.
Now, this is likely a bigger political problem than it is a medical problem here, but still, with Donald Trump being very unpredictable in this arena, the Clinton campaign not exactly sure how to proceed with his acts of kindness this morning.
But as for her, she's going to be staying here today and tomorrow, I'm told, and might make a trip on Wednesday, an economic speech some place closer to New York, not flying to Nevada as she had planned to -- John and Kate?
BERMAN: Jeff Zeleny, in Chappaqua, thank you so much. Want to discuss this with our panel. We're joined by CNN chief
political analyst, Gloria Borger; CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley; CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta; and CNN chief national correspondent and anchor of "Inside Politics," John King.
Sanjay, I want to start with you.
We have talked about the fact there's a political and medical side to this. First, the medical side. Purely and simply, how serious and debilitating is pneumonia and how much do we really know or not know about Hillary Clinton's pneumonia?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting because we just, of course, heard about this yesterday, even though it was diagnosed on Friday. But even at that point, we still are with limited information. We don't know specifically what kind of pneumonia this is. That's important. We know she's on antibiotics so this may be a bacterial pneumonia but we don't know for sure. We don't know what specific pathogen. There are worse players in terms of what can cause pneumonia versus others. We don't know how much of her lung is involved. Did she have a chest x-ray and when did it show? What antibiotic was she prescribed? There are a lot of unknowns.
They may sound like they are sort of inside baseball but to answer the next question, what's the recovery time going to be, how much will this impact her, you need the answer to some of those first questions. All we know is she has pneumonia, was diagnosed on Friday. We don't know much more.
[11:05:07] BOLDUAN: A lot of people have been pointing to the cough that has been plaguing her all along. Advisers and her aides have said and told us that it's seasonal allergies she's been dealing with. She has said that. Are those two linked at all?
GUPTA: They could be. It sounded like maybe she has a component of seasonal allergies but the persistent cough was what sounds like, from reading the doctor's letter, prompted the visit to the doctor on Friday. Then she got the diagnosis of pneumonia. Again, exactly how that diagnosis was made is not clear. I think important, but still not clear.
BERMAN: The "not clear" part of this is what I want to pick up on next.
Gloria, David Axelrod, our friend, CNN political analyst, tweeted this out a few hours ago and this set off a storm, I think, on Twitter in the political world. He said, "Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What's the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?"
So what David Axelrod is getting at there is Hillary Clinton hides things, which is the issue here.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah. I agree with David. And you know, I have been scratching my head about this because if you have all these conspiracy theories out there about Hillary Clinton's health and you have Donald Trump out there saying that she doesn't have the stamina to run for president, and she's been coughing and then you discover she has pneumonia, wouldn't, A, that take care of a lot of the problems by saying, OK, we can now explain all of this because she had pneumonia and she was walking around with it and she didn't know it, right? So couldn't you just kind of solve your problem by actually telling what occurred? And, B, she has been known as someone, as David puts it, with a penchant for secrecy. We all know the e-mail issues, for example. So wouldn't this be a way to turn that narrative around and say, hey, here I am, I'm disclosing this and, by the way, I'm calling for Donald Trump to disclose not only all of his medical records, but his tax returns. She could have taken this and turned this around for herself in so many ways. So that's kind of, you know, mind-boggling to me.
BOLDUAN: John, you have covered the Clintons since Arkansas. As Gloria points out, these are people, Hillary Clinton has a secret. It seems that on some level, the campaign knows that they messed up. Jennifer Palmieri (ph) sending out in response to David Axelrod's tweet, sending out a tweet saying, "We could have done better yesterday, going on to then hit Donald Trump to say but the fact that the public knows more about Hillary Clinton than any nominee in history."
What do you make of how they have handled this, this timeline, since Friday to today?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT & CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS: It makes no sense to a lot of people. When I get asked these questions because of my experience with the Clintons, I just say C-L-I-N-T-O-N. This is what they do. This is what they have always done.
We would not know about this, I'm certain we would not know about this had that passerby not shot that video. We still would not know she had been diagnosed if the video didn't go viral and they realized they had something spinning out of control.
To Gloria's and to David Axelrod's point, look, trying to get the Clintons to accept this transparency argument, talk to David Gergen, to political advisers who have been in the White House with them, is like trying to parallel park an aircraft carrier. They simply do not listen. They simply do not listen. They say, in a moment of crisis, then they give as much as they think they need to give. Perhaps this will change this. Perhaps this will change this.
As Jeff noted at the top, they are trying to make a case of Donald Trump's lack of transparency, which is considerable, which is considerable. They want to know about his business interests. They want to know about his taxes. If she had any high ground -- and I capitalize, capital F -- if she had any high ground in that debate, it is lost again with this one. Can she now try to spin it? Will they allow Dr. Gupta to meet with her doctors or other medical correspondents, people who speak the language? Forget guys like me and Mr. Berman and Kate, no offense. We shouldn't be in that room. Let the doctors go in and the medical correspondents go in, the ones who speak the language. Sanjay can tell you, John McCain did, show them the records. If some stuff has to be kept private for sensitivity reasons, fine. Doctors understand that stuff. Let them come out and report to the American people, we looked at the books and here's what we know.
BERMAN: All excellent points there.
I want to side-track to the Donald Trump issue to get historical perspective from you, Doug. Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters note that Donald Trump, when it comes to transparency, is actually historically non-transparent. We haven't seen his tax returns. That's something every candidate has done going way back. His letter from his doctor is almost comical in its simplicity compared to what Hillary Clinton released, which wasn't great in and of itself. These blacklisted reporters from the campaign trail. He's got no campaign press pool traveling with him, ever.
BOLDUAN: And the dramatic reading.
BERMAN: Dramatic reading of the doctor's letter.
BOLDUAN: The best line of all, "If elected, Donald Trump I can state unequivocally will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
BERMAN: Doug, again --
BOLDUAN: -- Donald Trump no bastion of transparency himself.
[11:10:07] DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Of course not. I think he will step up and try to do a halfway measure here. I think he will release his last week's physical that he took and say my cholesterol number's right, my blood count's right and try to do a kind of quasi-medical report to pacify people. If he does that before Hillary Clinton does anything, it will give him a kind of upper hand.
So I would urge Hillary Clinton and her campaign to just be as transparent. We should have answers to these questions right now because with these few days left, she's basically being diminished this week. So much so that I think Tim Kaine now has to really step up for her and let people see what would a Tim Kaine as commander-in- chief be like.
This is a great setback and the only way out of it for her is total honesty, total transparency. We like comebacks in America. She could take a few days off and maybe show up Wednesday in Las Vegas and give a great economic speech and seem to have vim and vigor and she could turn this around. But if they keep trying to hide and obfuscate her real condition, it's going to be a big albatross all the way until Election Day.
(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: Sanjay, we don't know about every cold that every candidate has. Do we need to know about seasonal allergies every candidate has? Do we need to know, the American public, American voter, maybe to know she has pneumonia? Where's the line for you?
GUPTA: The line is anything that can impair her function, her judgment overall, impair her ability to do her job. You are hiring someone for a job. In this case, the job is president. I don't think we need to know about everything and people are entitled to a certain amount of privacy, no question.
But things that affect big things, the heart, the lungs, the brain. Remember in 2012, even, the information about her concussion, her brain injury, that came out slowly as well. First, it was the viral illness, all the other things. Slowly, maybe as John King was sort of describing it, it was because of the pressure or whatnot, it was released. That was important. That was a brain injury. She also had double vision for a period of time requiring prism glasses. She's recovered from that, according to her doctor's report. She's been tested, she's recovered from that, but it took a long time for us to get that information. That would have been important if she were president.
BERMAN: Quickly, Sanjay, one more medical question. Donald Trump says he got a checkup and is getting the numbers worked out right now. He's going on Dr. Oz's show Thursday and releasing some of them. How much do we know about what we are really going to learn? What would you like to learn?
GUPTA: A great question. What you are going to get is r6 probably a snapshot in time. From what I have heard, they will release lab results, primarily. I'm not even sure we will get all the findings of the physical exam. But a true detailed thing would not only be a snapshot in time, which was some importance, but also looking back over time, really figuring out what sort of diseases the person's at risk for, are there any particular concerns that are going to come up if the person is elected really over the next four years.
BOLDUAN: You know, Gloria, jump in on this, but also on the fact Jeff Zeleny brought up at the top of the show that she's not even going -- likely not even -- she's off the trail for a couple days but also not even likely going to make it to Nevada for campaign events. What does that mean for a candidate?
BORGER: Look, it's difficult. She's phoning in to fundraisers. It's hard. It means she's sick.
Let me also say, people get sick on the campaign trail all the time. Right? We all have been out on campaigns and have all gotten sick on campaigns, which is, again, why it's so confounding that they didn't just say she's sick, she got pneumonia, other people on her plane are sick and she caught a bug, and that would settle some of the issues that she has right now. You know, not doing it only plays into a bad pre-existing narrative for her which is a terrible thing to do during a campaign, which is that the Clintons, as John was saying earlier, sort of prize secrecy else.
By the way, I don't think Donald Trump should get away with just his physical report here. It's sort of like saying I gave you my financial disclosure form and that's like giving you my tax returns. The two are not the same.
BERMAN: Not at all.
BORGER: And medical records are medical records, right?
BERMAN: John King, two days after the trail in September. That's huge amount of real estate to cede. That's just this week. We don't know when she gets back to the trail how vigorously she will be able to campaign. This type of thing you would think would matter going forward.
KING: Well, better now than a month from now. Think about all the people watching us, and even people in part of this conversation, I bet half of us have a cold. A lot of people at home, some of them probably home from work because they couldn't go to work.
To Gloria's point, candidates are human, too. If she would just be human and be transparent and explain this, a lot of people would say, oh, I just went through that, oh, my kids are going through that, my partner, my spouse, my brother, my sister. Some of this is staff but, in this case, it's the Clintons. They just refuse to be human, if you will, and talk to people.
But to your point, there's a debate two weeks from tonight, John and Kate. It's kind of an important debate. This race right now is very tight in the national polls. Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Georgia, Arizona, all states within two or three points. It is a wide-open race. You would have to say slight advantage Clinton when you look at the Electoral College map, but slight advantage Clinton. In a debate two weeks from tonight, do you want that debate to be about, tell me more about your health records, tell me more about your taxes, for both candidates? That's why she started to come out last week and talk to reporters. She didn't want the debate to be about, you haven't had a press conference in nearly a year. So you try to clean up your problems heading into the first debate so that it can be about things other than your problems. Well, she has a problem. She has two weeks.
[11:15:51] BOLDUAN: Final thought, Doug?
BRINKLEY: My final thought is remember that Donald Trump went after Jeb Bush about being low energy and it just devastated Jeb Bush. I think Hillary Clinton kept hearing that she didn't have stamina and, my gosh, she was going to prove Donald Trump wrong. But she overcrowded her schedule, got fatigued, exhausted, and now pneumonia. In a way, she let Donald Trump get into her head. She's got the take a few days off and find ways to regain the momentum. The best way to do that is to prepare for that big debate and seem to beat him at that. She could overnight reclaim the momentum she's been losing.
BOLDUAN: Seems overnight this race can swing one way and another as we have seen.
Guys, great to see you. Thank you.
BERMAN: On top of pneumonia, as if there is on top of pneumonia, Hillary Clinton is also dealing with a case of "basket" after she called half of Trump's supporters a "basket of deplorables." Donald Trump says it's the worst moment of the election so far. Not sure he's completely objective here. We will discuss.
BOLDUAN: Also, just minutes from now, the former CIA director under Bill Clinton reveals why he's decided now to advise Donald Trump. An exclusive interview ahead.
[11:20:55] BOLDUAN: Donald Trump seems to be putting all his eggs in one basket, a basket Hillary Clinton seems to think is already full of "deplorables." This, of course, is all about the comment Hillary Clinton herself called a gross generalization about Trump's supporters.
BERMAN: Now Donald Trump is set to address these remarks. He gives a speech in just a little bit. At the top of the speech to National Guard members in Baltimore today, we are told he will bring this up.
BOLDUAN: Now, Hillary Clinton has expressed regret for the comment, at least the fraction she used. Nevertheless, the Trump campaign jumped all over it, including in a new ad that will air in four battleground states.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Deplorable. You know what's deplorable? Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hard-working people like you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. Want to bring in Guy Cecil, co-chair and chief strategist, Priorities USA, the pro-Clinton super PAC; and John Jay LaVale, a Donald Trump supporter and chair of the Suffolk County Republican Committee.
Guy, I want to start with you.
"Basket of deplorables," 50 percent of Donald Trump's supporters, would you have used that language?
GUY CECIL, CO-CHAIR & CHIEF STRATEGIST, PRIORITIES USA SUPER PAC: Well, as you already pointed out, Hillary said she regretted saying it was half but it doesn't take away from the fact Trump has spent months, over a year now, using coded racist and bigoted language and in fact, just this weekend, his top political adviser and his own son were treating out white nationalist images that included the mascot of the Alt-Right and an image of a guy who traffics in conspiracy theories about whether or not there was really a murder at Sandy Hook. I do think that pointing out his racism, pointing out bigotry, does not make you racist or bigoted. It makes you a truth teller. I think what Hillary said is right. It will continue to be right throughout the course of is election as it has been since the day Donald Trump got into the race.
BOLDUAN: If what she said is right, why does she regret it? "Last night I was grossly generalistic and that's never a good idea. I regret saying half. That was wrong."
If you think she's right and she percentage, what percentage is correct?
CECIL: Well, I think if you continued reading the statement that she put out, she would have continued by saying she doesn't back away from continually pointing out Donald Trump's behavior. This is a man that said Mexico was sending rapists and murders to the United States, that questioned --
BOLDUAN: But is it about Donald Trump or it sounded like when she was making those comments she was talking about Donald Trump's supporters.
CECIL: I think if you go to a Donald Trump rally, oftentimes as this network and others have pointed out, you will continually hear people using the "N" word. You will see an Alt-Right press conference last week that said the Alt-Right was supporting Donald Trump and you will see the fact that their CEO of the campaign has led a website that traffics in racism and bigotry. So, no, not all Donald Trump supporters are racist, as Hillary Clinton herself pointed out. But that doesn't take away from the fact that he has spent months trafficking in racism and bigotry. To pretend like he hasn't for some reason because Hillary Clinton said "half" really defies common sense and logic in this particular case.
BERMAN: Let me take that to John Jay LaVale right here.
Because Guy just brought up the tweet this weekend, which did use Alt- Right symbolism. That was re-tweeted by the kids. Donald Trump himself did an interview a few minutes ago on CNBC where he called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas once again, which many people think --
BERMAN: -- is racist or a Native American slur right there. So is Donald Trump at least flirting with this type of language?
JOHN JAY LAVALE, CHAIR, SUFFOLK COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE & TRUMP SUPPORTER: No. First of all, calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas is not racist. She claimed she was an American Indian in order to get a job. That wasn't true. He's teasing her about lying about her heritage to get a job. That's what that is. Commenting on illegal immigration and calling someone a racist because they are against illegal immigration is ridiculous. Donald Trump is not a racist.
The comment Hillary Clinton made --
BOLDUAN: He said a lot of -- the Mexican-American judge. We don't need --
LAVALE: To question someone when he is going --
BOLDUAN: We don't need to go down the list of issues in this campaign, John.
BERMAN: You know Paul Ryan called that the textbook definition of racism.
[11:25:11] LAVALE: Whatever Paul Ryan says, that's Paul Ryan's opinion and I understand that and accept that. But the reality is Donald Trump is not a racist and nothing he's ever said makes him a racist. He may have said controversial things. He's clearly against illegal immigration. What Hillary Clinton did is attack Americans, not illegal immigrants, participating in the political process. What she did was irresponsible, it was horrible. Maybe she wasn't feeling well, maybe she's not making good decisions, maybe she's not able to make good decisions right now based on her health. But I will tell you what she did is she attacked Americans. Donald Trump is attacking illegal --
BERMAN: We will get to that, because it does bring up a good point talking about voters, the sinners, not the sin in this case. You don't think Donald Trump with his language over the last 16 months has courted fringe elements that may be considered racist? Again, I will use the Paul Ryan textbook definition of racism. You have that right there. The David Duke thing, refusing to condemn him or disavow him right away. Re-tweeting what a lot of people saw as anti-Semitic. After a while, there seems to be a pattern here.
LAVALE: Even David Duke, he's repeatedly denounced David Duke.
BOLDUAN: He didn't --
BOLDUAN: Only after -- he didn't know who David Duke was, had to be pushed by Jake Tapper to even acknowledge David Duke and his organization. Come on.
LAVALE: So the media accuses him of being friends with David Duke. It ends up he doesn't know David Duke. Then he's attributed to because David Duke says something positive about Donald Trump's positions. You know what, there are all facets of Americans, from the liberal to the conservative end, that like Donald Trump's message in some way, some portion of his message. He's speaking the truth to the American people. One of his problems early on in this race was that the Republican right was concerned about Donald Trump because he want the textbook candidate.
Donald Trump is going to be the president for all Americans. He doesn't necessarily just tow the party line. He's trying to fix America and we need it badly.
BERMAN: Guy, respond to this, specifically, the point John was bringing up that the reason a on to what Hillary Clinton said, half of Donald Trump's supporters go into the "basket of deplorables," she was talking about voters there. That's something you don't typically hear from candidates when they attack voters.
CECIL: Well, I think it is appropriate to attack the Alt-Right movement who are voters. I think it is OK to point out the support of a man who traffics in sandy hook conspiracy theories. He is a voter. By the way, it's not just Paul Ryan among the Republicans that have called Donald Trump a racist. A sitting United States Republican Senator withdrew his endorsement of Donald Trump because he said he was too racist.
By the way, even if you ignored every single thing that Donald Trump has said since being a candidate for president of the United States, he began his career by openly discriminating against African- Americans, preventing them from leasing rental space in their buildings.
Now, I don't know if that meets the other panelist's definition of American, but the fact of the matter is that he's built his career and his presidential campaign on racism, blatant, bigoted racism and it's OK to call it out. In fact, it's required of all of us to call it out when we see it.
BOLDUAN: Sounds like Hillary Clinton regrets what she said, but they are ready to have this fight from here until Election Day.
Guy, John, thank you so much.
LAVALE: Thanks for having me.
BERMAN: Next up, something really interesting, a CNN exclusive here. The former CIA director during the Clinton administration is now saying he's advising Donald Trump. Why? We'll explain live coming up.
BOLDUAN: Plus, breaking news. A ceasefire set to begin in Syria moments from now but it comes as Syria's dictator issues a very big warning. We take you there. We'll be right back.