Return to Transcripts main page


Clinton Releases Medical Documents; Questioning Russia's Fingerprints On Recent Acts; Hackers Steal Colin Powell E-mails; Russia's Motives Questioned In Syrian Ceasefire; Trump Yet To Release Medical Records, Tax Returns. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired September 14, 2016 - 16:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: One of the questions that she said needed to be asked, "If you were willing to work with Gadhafi, a known terrorist and dictator, is there anyone you aren't willing to make a deal with? Who?"

Do you think that this actually might have some legs?

DAVID IGNATIUS, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think Donald Trump's international business dealings are one of the areas that you are going to see a lot more reporting in the press, also a lot more focus by the Clinton campaign.

The places he has done deals, those are environments where it's very hard to operate without, you know, getting into hot water. Again, the reporting has to be done, but I think it's an area of real potential vulnerability.

TAPPER: All right, David Ignatius, Kirsten Powers, thank you so much.

And be sure to tune into CNN tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern for "Almost President: The Agony of Defeat." CNN's Gloria Borger sits down with the men who endured some of the most public losses in America.

Coming up, is the world underestimating North Korea? New evidence Kim Jong-un could be able to make 20 nuclear bombs by the end of this year. And that's not the only frightening prediction.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome back to the lead.

Our health lead. Congress waited and waited. Took a vacation. Came back. Waited some more and is still waiting to pass a bill to fund the fight against Zika.

So, according to Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Tom Frieden, what it happen now is, the U.S. is about to see -- quote -- "a bunch of kids born with microcephaly," which is, of course, a debilitating and potentially lethal condition.

A lot of those children unfortunately will likely be born in Florida.

Joining me now, the governor of the Sunshine State, Rick Scott.

Sir, thank you so much for coming in today. We appreciate it.

So, Dr. Frieden also warned on Friday that the CDC was nearly out of money to fight the virus. How is your state doing on that front? Do you have enough resources?

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Well, I have put in $26.2 million. We are paying for spraying. We're paying for education. We're paying for testing. We're testing.

We have offered every pregnant woman in our state a free assessment and test. We do have requests from the CDC, Zika prevention kits that they're giving out in Puerto Rico. We have been asking those for Florida.

We need more lab support, because we're getting now more women wanting tests, and we're asking for the CDC. We're asking for more lab support. So, we're waiting on them for that.

But, Jake, this is about pregnant women and developing babies. This is not a partisan issue. It's about taking care of developing babies. That's all this is. So it's pretty frustrating when we don't see the president and Congress get something done.

I have been up here yesterday and today. Everybody says they're supportive. I haven't had one person has said they're not supportive. But we still don't have a bill.

My senator in Florida, Senator Nelson, last week voted against a bill of $1.1 billion of funding. I can't imagine what politically would be more important than Zika funding right now.

TAPPER: Well, I guess the argument, to play devil's advocate, is they say, the Democrats say the $1.1 billion blocks money from going to clinics, health clinics, that provide contraception.

And, obviously, this is a sexually transmitted disease and contraception would be needed. I suppose that -- I know you want money and you want it as soon as possible. Would you want funding to be able to get to provide contraception to women, so that you don't have an epidemic of Zika babies?

SCOTT: So, I have had over 1,000 bills put on my desk.

I have -- I actually have a Republican House and Senate. Do you think they ask me and say, Governor, let me give you the perfect bill for you to either sign or veto? No, I don't get perfect bills. There's no perfect bills.

There's somebody -- there is something that people don't like in every bill. But this is $1.1 billion. We need the federal government to show up and do a vaccine, come up with a vaccine. We need more research dollars. We need more support of each of our states.

This isn't just a Florida issue. This is -- we're the tip of the spear. We have over 60 people now with local or non-travel-related Zika. This is going to be a national issue. The House and the Senate and the president have got to come together and get something done now.

TAPPER: A lot of people in Florida, as you know, were very alarmed, as you know, by the spraying of the Zika-carrying pesticide Naled, which is banned in Europe and banned in Puerto Rico, because of the potential -- people worry about the chemical degrades into something which could cause genetic mutations.

What's your response to those people?

SCOTT: So, here, we have had two impacted areas. The first area was Wynwood, about one square mile north of downtown Miami.

So, after we started having the cases, we did aerial spraying there. This was what the CDC recommended. The state doesn't control...

TAPPER: Right. Were you worried, though, at all?

SCOTT: Well, the CDC, you know, has done studies. This is being used. So -- but this is still decided locally. The local government gets to decide. Either we have the county health departments or a mosquito board, and they make the decision what to do.

So, it worked. We haven't had a case now in almost 45 days. Now, in the Miami Beach area, we have got a 1.5-square-mile area, right. They have just now done two aerial sprays, one for adult mosquitoes and one for larvicide. And so we're hoping to drive down the number of mosquitos, so we have less cases.

TAPPER: Lastly, sir, I do want to ask one quick political question.

You chair a super PAC supporting Donald Trump called Rebuilding America Now. You have a new ad out today which promises the Trump administration will bring back steel jobs. Can you really make that promise?

SCOTT: Well, what the ad talks about is, it's called America soaring.

We did a test in Youngstown, Ohio. And this is purely a positive ad about the future of this country, how you build jobs in this country. Trump went from two points up to 18 points up. So, we're now running it in key markets in Pennsylvania.

TAPPER: All right. Thank you so much, Governor Rick Scott. Good luck with the fight against Zika.

And keep -- stay in touch. We want to make sure we can keep the federal government accountable for the good people of Florida and around the country.

SCOTT: Come visit Florida. (LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: I will.

Hacked e-mails from a former secretary of state, stolen Olympic medical records, cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee, what do all these things have in common?


That story next.


TAPPER: Welcome back, the national lead now.

The man who police say plowed down three officers on purpose outside a convenience store in Phoenix will remain behind bars. A surveillance camera captured the dramatic and alarming encounter from early yesterday morning. The officers standing in the parking lot when police say Marc Payne drove up and ran into them and then into the building.

In court today, a judge formally charged Payne with several counts, including attempted first-degree murder. That's him leaned over a podium, despite the judge asking him repeatedly to stand up. Payne told prosecutors he watched the officers for four minutes before driving into them. A judge denied him bond.

Thankfully, all three officers are expected to recover.

We have some breaking news now.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

TAPPER: The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton just this minute released more medical information about the health of the Democratic presidential nominee.

The Clinton campaign did this largely because Secretary Clinton, we have to say, was caught on video Sunday, seeming to collapse. It happened after Clinton kept the press in the dark about leaving a 9/11 memorial service. We have since learned that Clinton had been diagnosed with pneumonia, two days before the health scare, and she chose not to disclose her illness. I'm joined by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny, and CNN Senior Political Correspondent Brianna Keilar. And Brianna, let me ask you. What do these new medical document show about Clinton? What do we know now that we didn't know before?

[16:45:43] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, there's not a tremendous difference, to be honest. We know about a medication that it says she's on for a total of 10 days, Levaquin. But...

TAPPER: For the pneumonia.

KEILAR: Correct. I believe -- I believe so. We know specifically what kind of antihistamine she's on. Not just -- she's on antihistamines, but we knew that before, so that doesn't really round out any of our knowledge. Looking at her cholesterol, something I would ask Sanjay about, is that her triglycerides appear to have jumped her cholesterols, actually. Her bad cholesterol is actually down, as well as her good cholesterol from the last information that we've got from her doctor, but her triglycerides have gone from 69 to 159. I'm not a doctor, so I want Sanjay certainly to weigh in on that.

TAPPER: Well, let's -- yeah.


TAPPER: Let's bring him in right now. Sanjay, tell us what this means and what more data you see in the documents that you find interesting and important?

[16:46:33] DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you know, I agree with what -- how Brianna just assessed that. We are looking at something that's pretty similar to what her doctor, Dr. Bardack released in July of last year. The triglycerides jumped. It was 69 before, it's 159. I don't want to speculate on what that means. Sometimes it could be as simple as if it was a fasting blood taken versus non-fasting blood taken. It's a question I certainly would ask them. And then there's a -- some -- a little bit more of a description of what happened with regard to this pneumonia and this diagnosis. She ended up having a CT scan, we know, on Friday to try and make this diagnosis. That CT scan of her chest is what revealed this pneumonia, and she's on an antibiotic. The antibiotic is Levaquin, typically taken for about 10 days. And it sounds like, again, according to Dr. Bardack's note that she's responding well to that, and doing well. But again, there's not -- this is not a -- this is certainly not a release of medical records by any means. This is very similar in some ways to what we got July of last year. There may be more coming. It's a little bit unclear, but those are sort of the highlights, Jake.

TAPPER: And can that medicine you mentioned -- I'm going to botch the name, Levanqui...

GUPTA: Levaquin.

TAPPER: -- can it cause dizziness?

GUPTA: It -- not typically cause dizziness. There are some side effects of this medication. One of the ones that it can cause is it can actually cause you to have pain in certain joints and in tendons, but not typically dizziness. Again, as -- Jake, you and I talked about the pneumonia itself could potentially cause dizziness, could cause someone to be dehydrated. One of the other medications for the hypothyroidism can make someone, what is known as heat intolerant, meaning they just don't tolerate the heat as well. And the -- and the medications, the antihistamines again that Brianna was mentioning, those can cause someone to be more dehydrated as well. So, the combination of things, perhaps. But the Levaquin as well has some side effects, not that one so much.

TAPPER: And Jeff Zeleny, why is the campaign releasing these documents now?

[16:48:35] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, there's one simple reason, the campaign has been knocked off course this week with the diagnosis of this. The medical issues aside, from a political transparency point of view, Clinton advisors will tell you that they've lost some ground here. They are trying to put all of this behind them as she flies to North Carolina tomorrow to return to the campaign trail after spending the last three days at home. They want everything to be finished in the words of one aide. So, they're putting this out now to try and be more transparent and to try and get beyond this. But the question here is, as always, will this be enough? The age of these candidates, 68 for Secretary Clinton, she turns 69 next month, and 70 for her rival, Donald Trump, are quite old in terms of other recent presidential candidates, you know? Will they release more going forward? We don't know. But this, this afternoon, politically speaking, is an effort to get beyond this and start getting back to the race. And Jake, the race is suddenly a tighter one when she returns to the campaign trail tomorrow.

TAPPER: And the Clinton campaign very eager to point out that they have released much more information when it comes to her health than Donald Trump has. Brianna, what do we know about her recovery from pneumonia from this new information?

KEILAR: And actually, we're getting a statement in. So, I'll tell you about the pneumonia because she - Dr. Bardack says, "Hillary Clinton is recovering well with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as Presidents - President of the United States. This is also what she adds here, though, overall for her health picture, "The remainder of her complete physical exam was normal, and she is in excellent mental condition." So, that's a really interesting, you know - you've heard Sanjay talk about how important - there's a - there's a number of certainly of things that are important to look at. He said cognitive function is one, so you see that her doctor there is speaking to that as well. In terms of the pneumonia and how she's recovering, here she's saying that she's doing well. She's been on antibiotics. We presume since Friday which is when she was first given that diagnosis. Jeff Zeleny had actually reported that there was this consideration of Hillary Clinton just taking two days of rest. In the end, she ended up taking three, and we're expecting that she's going to be back on the trail tomorrow.

TAPPER: All right. Thanks, everyone. Sanjay, Jeff, Brianna, I appreciate it. A terrifying new warning about North Korea's nuclear capabilities like we've never heard before. That story next.




[16:55:01] TAPPER: We're back with THE WORLD LEAD now. Today, the Kremlin accused President Obama of Russia phobia, just after the president said, "Vladimir Putin was Trump's role model and reminded voters that Putin quote, "Invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press, and drives his economy into a long recession." The president and the Clinton campaign have also suggested that hacks of the Democratic Party e-mails were done by Russia, possibly to influence the election in Trump's favor. Now, in the last 24 hours, hackers exposed personal e-mails written by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and released more emails from the Democratic National Committee. The DNC blames Russia, though it has not provided any evidence to back up that charge. Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry has been working with Russia on a ceasefire in Syria now into its third day.

I want to bring in Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. He served in the Air Force in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He's not supporting Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton this November. Let me ask you, congressman, do you suspect the Russia might be behind these most recent hacks as well?

[16:56:02] ADAM KINZINGER, REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN OF ILLINOIS: Yeah. I'm not saying that from any, you know, special proof I have, so I want to make that clear, but I think it's pretty obvious they have an interest in this. They've tried to, you know, whether through the DNC or through maybe with Colin Powell now, tried to have an impact on the election. We know they have very good offensive cyber capability. We also have very good offensive cyber capability, but it's definitely worrisome. And, you know, I understand from a media's perspective having to report it. But I kind of wish we could get to a point where if somebody's e-mail is hacked, that it's just not considered news, because these - you know, we want people to be able to have private conversations.

TAPPER: No, I agree. And it's something we wrestle with, but once things are being out there and -

KINZINGER: Once it's out, it's out.

TAPPER: Yeah. No, it's tough. What is the motive, do you think, of Russia trying to interfere in the election if you buy that that's what they're doing?

KINZINGER: Well, you know, if they're trying to interfere, I think, you know, Donald Trump has said some things that are nice about Vladimir Putin before. And I think, you know, he likes that. I think he likes to be - I think he likes to have - to have his - to be flattered, and you've seen that. You've seen Donald Trump saying we have to work with the Russians in some of the toughest places in the world where frankly, Russia, like in Syria, has responsibility for killing almost half a million people. They're tearing apart Ukraine and Georgia. And this is what we've seen by Vladimir Putin in other countries. He tries to intervene in their elections. So, whether or not he's doing it, it's a - it's a big accusation to level, but there's a lot of reason to suspect it.

TAPPER: And let's talk about Syria, because right now, Secretary of State John Kerry is - we're in - we're into the third day of a ceasefire.


TAPPER: And Kerry has been trying to work with the Russians. And it is a plan that has met with much opposition in the Pentagon. The generals there don't trust Russia.

KINZINGER: That's right.

TAPPER: Kerry's answer is, "I don't trust them either, but 450,000 people have been slaughtered. I'm trying to do something." What do you think?

KINZINGER: Well, look, I don't trust Russia. I mean, every time they come to the table to negotiate, it's not because they have a humanitarian sense. I mean, for goodness' sake, the Russians have been bombing medical facilities with the Assad regime, with the Iranians in Syria. So, you know, to assume that somehow they're interested in this humanitarian fix of just a tragic situation isn't true. You know, now that the ceasefire is in place, let's hope we can get some medical aid, some humanitarian aid in. Let's hope that maybe this'll lasts, but, you know, if you actually get into the nuance of what's happening, this stops at a time when western-backed rebels were on the offensive and sort of freezes their momentum. You begin to see now, of course, the regime is going to rearm, the Russians are going to reposition. And I won't be surprised if whether it's a week, two weeks, a month, you're all of the sudden going to see the ceasefire broken in a way that benefits the regime and Russia.

TAPPER: I hope you're wrong as I'm -

KINZINGER: I do, too.

TAPPER: You do, too. One last question, I know you're not supporting either major party nominee for president, but Donald Trump does represent your party.


TAPPER: Are you surprised at how untransparent he is being, both when it comes to his medical records, and the fact that he is breaking with decades of tradition, and not releasing any tax returns?

KINZINGER: Not a lot of things with Mr. Trump surprise me anymore. I think, as a lot of his surrogates have said, he should release his medical records in full, and he should release his taxes in full. The American people deserve to know that. You know, at the same time, we have questions about Hillary Clinton's health. She should release that information, too. And so, I think, you know - look, when you're - when you're electing the most powerful position in the world, I think the American people have a right to that transparency, and to see what you're made of. TAPPER: Congressman Adam Kinzinger, thank you so much.

KINZINGER: Thank you.

TAPPER: Is North Korea on the fast track to a nuclear weapons cache? A shocking report from groups watching North Korea's every move says, "Kim Jong-un is well on his way to exactly that." Weapons experts believe that by the end of this year, North Korea will have enough material on hand to build 20 nuclear bombs. The stunning claim comes after North Korea conducted what is believed to be its fifth, and likely, most powerful nuclear test last week. It felt like a 5.3 earthquake. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I turn you over to Wolf Blitzer who's right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks for watching.

WOLF BLITZER: Happening now, "BREAKING NEWS", Hillary Clinton's health records forced off the campaign trail by a case of pneumonia.