Return to Transcripts main page

THE SITUATION ROOM

Colin Powell Criticizes Trump & Clinton in Leaked E-mail; General: U.S. Held Nuclear Hostage by North Korea; North Korea Scoffs at U.S. Show of Force; Clinton's Lab Results, Vital Signs, Medications Made Public. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired September 14, 2016 - 17:00   ET

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


TAPPER: ... next door in THE SITUATION ROOM. Thanks for watching.

[17:00:08] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Hillary Clinton's health records. Forced off the campaign trail by a case of pneumonia that was kept under wraps, Clinton releases a detailed doctor's statement as she recovers from her illness. Will this move help her recover from a serious campaign setback?

The weirdness of Oz. The first videos released from Donald Trump's appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show," where he releases some results from his latest medical exam. But is Trump doing enough to answer calls for transparency?

Colin's scowl. Former Republican secretary of state calls Donald Trump, and I'm quoting now, "a national disgrace and an international pariah." But he also says Hillary Clinton screws up everything she touches. Stunning revelations from Colin Powell's stolen e-mails.

And nuclear hostage. As North Korea scoffs at the United States' show of force following its latest test explosion, a U.S. general warns that America is being held nuclear hostage by Kim Jong-un's regime. Can America do anything about this growing threat?

We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

The breaking news: slowed by a bout of pneumonia that was kept hidden for days and has kept her off the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has just released a detailed letter from her doctor that describes the diagnosis and treatment for her illness and sums up her latest physical exam, including vital signs, results of lab tests and current medications.

Hours earlier, Donald Trump drew on his experience as a TV showman to reveal information from a recent physical exam. It came during a taping of "The Dr. Oz Show," which reporters were not allowed to attend. The show airs tomorrow. But Trump's campaign says he gave Dr. Oz a one-page summary of his exam and discussed his physical activity and dietary habits.

Trump had pledged to release very, very specific numbers, but his campaign now says the full results of his exam will not be made public. Trump has been under growing pressure to reveal his health history, along with his tax returns and information about his charitable foundation, now under investigation by New York's attorney general.

Plus, our brand-new CNN/ORC polls are just out, and they show Trump taking the lead in two crucial battleground states. He leads Clinton by five points in Ohio and three points in Florida, which is within the sampling error. The survey showed Trump with a stronger lead among independent voters, a key sector in this race.

I'll speak with a Trump supporter, Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. He's standing by. And our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of the day's top stories.

Let's get straight to Hillary Clinton's health records. Joining us now, our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar; CNN political director David Chalian; and our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, what stands out to you in Clinton's release today? Is there anything here that paints a better picture of what her health is like right now?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have a little bit more detail about this most recent episode with the pneumonia, Wolf. We understand now that she had been having some symptoms for some time. I guess we knew that with the cough and then some of the other symptoms.

We know that she got a CAT scan on Friday, which was what revealed this pneumonia. For some time, again, we weren't told about the pneumonia until a couple of days later, but she underwent significant testing in order to make this diagnosis on Friday. That's September 9. And was started on a ten-day course of antibiotics at that point. So we have a little bit more information there.

Just now as we're talking to you, Wolf, we got this letter, as well, with a little bit more detail. We understand, for example, in January of this year, she had significant sinusitis, as well. She got antibiotics and steroids at that time and also had a tube placed into her ear to try and allow some of the fluid to be drained from around her sinuses.

But nothing more really sticks out, Wolf. She had a letter released by her doctor in July of last year. So this is about 13, 14 months later now as this new -- this new health information coming out. Her triglyceride level, something you know about, Wolf, had a significant jump during that time from, I think, it was 69 to 159.

Now, not clear why that is. It could be because of one was done while she was fasting and the blood test. One was done while she was not fasting.

But to your question, Wolf, nothing in particular really stands out other than this most recent health episode. BLITZER: Let me read the last paragraph, Sanjay, of this letter. Dr.

Lisa Bardack wrote this letter. She's the physician that's treating Hillary Clinton.

"My overall impression is that Mrs. Clinton has remained healthy and in the developed new medical conditions this year, other than the sinus and ear infection and her recently diagnosed pneumonia. She is recovering well with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and is fit to serve as president of the United States."

Bottom-line conclusion from her doctor, Dr. Bardack. Based on what we know -- and we don't know everything, obviously. But based on what we know, Sanjay, would you agree with that conclusion?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, look, you said it right, Wolf. We're getting the information that they're giving us, and based on that information. I think anyone would draw that same conclusion.

I will tell you that there's nothing to suggest otherwise. I look for -- when I look at these types of letters, I'm looking for, you know, things that are big. And, you know, is there any kind of evidence of cognitive dysfunction? Is there anything with regard to the heart, the lungs, the brain? Is there any kind of disease or some underlying illness that you worry about? And those are the points that Dr. Bardack is talking about.

The most significant thing, really, that Secretary Clinton has seems to have experienced was back in 2012, when she had this head injury from fainting and then hitting her head and developing this blood collection. Dr. Bardack has noted in previous letters that she -- that all resolved, and she had no evidence of long-term injury to the brain. The blood clot that had formed at that time has resolved.

So, you know, cognitively, physically, I think that's the point that Dr. Bardack is making, that she is fit to serve.

BLITZER: Let me bring in Brianna Keilar, who's been covering Hillary Clinton for the entire campaign, for all practical purposes. She's had some problems with transparency. Does this ease that problem, the release of this letter from Dr. Bardack?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that's what they're going for, certainly. But she -- she had a misstep by not releasing the information that she had pneumonia. When we learned that on Sunday, we found out that she had been diagnosed two days before with it. And what we're learning from the letter is that, actually, she had a fever even a full week before that. So she had been suffering from, you know, certainly some symptoms, it seems, for at least nine days before we heard anything.

So it goes to transparency, where certainly her campaign is, I think, trying to make up some of what was a misstep for them there. I also think they're trying to assure people that she's healthy, because there have been a lot of unfounded theories out there about her health. And one thing that really stands out to me is this statement from her

doctor, where Dr. Bardack says the remainder of her complete physical exam is normal and she is in excellent mental condition.

Sanjay talked about it's important to know certain medical indicators, including cognitive indicators. And here they're assuring people that she is in excellent mental condition. You have some people who have been trafficking in unfounded theories that she hasn't recovered from her 2012 concussion that led to that blood clot between her skull and her brain and this is an effort to say, OK, no, that's not true. In fact, they had said quite a while ago her doctor had, that she was -- that was completely resolved.

BLITZER: It's more information, David Chalian, than we have about Donald Trump's health right now, though maybe get some more tomorrow. But it's certainly not what John McCain did back in 2008 when he let journalists and physicians like Sanjay Gupta go through all of the actual records and spend hours speaking to the physicians who had been treating him.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You're absolutely right. She's basically now living up to the Romney/Obama standard that we had but not quite living up to the John McCain standard of that full disclosure that you're talking about and that ability to talk with doctors, to actually inspect the medical records, even for a limited window of time, as John McCain allowed.

So yes, she's falling short of that, but you are right to note we now that -- she's now done this twice. Donald Trump hasn't done this once yet, releasing a more complete sense of the current state of her health based on an examination. We got a tiny bit of information, perhaps, out of Donald Trump talking to Dr. Oz today. But if you want to look at the score sheet, Hillary Clinton is clearly releasing more information about her health than Donald Trump.

BLITZER: Yes. Let's see what he does over the next 24 hours.

Sanjay, what other medical records would you like to see from Hillary Clinton? Is there anything in here that seems abnormal for a 68-year- old woman? She's about to turn 69 next month.

GUPTA: No. I wouldn't say that there's anything that's abnormal in here. You know, they even make mention of the fact that, at the time that she got this CAT scan of her lungs, she also got a CAT scan known as a coronary calcium score of her heart to basically assess her for heart disease. And the score came back as zero, which is obviously good and indicates that there's very little risk for having some sort of heart problem.

As you know, Wolf, that can be a concern for men and women alike.

So there is more information, as David pointed out, in this than we've seen before from her and certainly more than we've seen from the letter from Mr. Trump.

I don't think there's anything that stands out as unusual for someone who's 68 years old. There's a couple of things, again, with regard to back in 2012. Exactly how significant was that injury to her brain? She's on a blood thinner now. When you're on a blood thinner like Coumadin, your levels have to be checked regularly. They make mention of that in the letter. They say the levels are checked, but they don't tell us what those levels are. So there's little things in here.

But, you know, again, without looking at all the medical records, it is one of those cases where sometimes you don't know what you don't know. I'm not suggesting there's anything else there. But you know, doctors, like journalists, want as much information as we can get so we can look at it ourselves and make determinations.

BLITZER: It's very interesting Sanjay, because you speak about her cholesterol levels: 189 LDL, which is the bad cholesterol; 103 HDL, the good cholesterol; 56. But the triglycerides, 159. And that has significantly, as you point out, gone up. It was, what, in the 50s a couple of years ago or so. What does that mean? Because that doesn't sound very encouraging.

GUPTA: Well, yes. I saw that, and that is probably the most noticeable change from July of last year to now is the triglycerides have gone up almost 100 points.

What I would say, and you know, I think I've talked to colleagues of mine about this already. It is probably related to the fact that, when you get the -- when you get this blood test done, what you've just had to eat, and whether or not you've been fasting.

If you've been fasting, you could have a much lower triglyceride level. If you haven't been fasting, and you've eaten something that's high in fatty foods, it would be a higher triglyceride level.

So again, I don't know for certain, but given that the other numbers, the total cholesterol, the LDL and HDL, as you pointed out, are within the same range and just the triglycerides have gone up, my guess is that she just had eaten before that most recent blood test.

BLITZER: David, does this raise the bar for Donald Trump to, at least, release this much information?

CHALIAN: Well, it doesn't look like Donald Trump is all that responsive to bar raising. I mean, for instance, on the tax returns, the Clintons have released 39 years of tax returns; and Donald Trump still refuses to do so.

So yes. I think it gives the Clinton campaign a talking point about their transparency compared to Trump's transparency; and there's a difference there and one that they will highlight. So in that sense, I think it will put on some more public pressure. But it doesn't seem like -- Donald Trump seems to only release what he is interested in releasing. He doesn't seem all that susceptible to the public pressure.

BLITZER: All right. Everybody stand by, because under pressure to reveal his medical records, Donald Trump has now provided a brief summary of his latest physical exam to TV's Dr. Oz.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is joining us now with more on that.

What have we learned, Sunlen?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we know, according to audience members that were inside for the taping today, that Donald Trump revealed that he does not exercise and that he wants to lose between 15 and 20 pounds.

And yes, he did produce this one-page summary letter from his physical last week to Dr. Oz. But that has not made public yet. And it's still under -- the undertone here is that we still don't have a full picture of Donald Trump's overall health, as he still refuses to release his medical records.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUNLEN (voice-over): As questions about transparency swirl around his campaign, Donald Trump is revealing some new details about his health.

DR. MEHMET OZ, HOST, "THE DR. OZ SHOW": So these are all the reports...

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Those were all the tests that we've just done last week.

SERFATY: The GOP nominee taping an interview on the "Dr. Oz" syndicated TV show, presenting the television personality with a one- page summary of the physical exam he had last week. And until it airs tomorrow, leaving only the studio audience members to share the purported details of what Trump divulged.

SHELDON HOSTEN, AUDIENCE MEMBER: And according to -- according to Dr. Oz, everything seemed normal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's according to -- he's normal?

HOSTEN: Yes. Yes. There was no surprises except, again, that Donald Trump said he's on a statin, cholesterol-lowering drug.

SERFATY: The Trump campaign says it will release the results of Trump's physical to the public on Thursday but not more detailed medical records, as some previous presidential nominees have done. Despite Trump recently suggesting that he would be willing to provide a fuller picture of his medical history.

TRUMP: I would love to give specifics as far as I'm concerned.

(via phone): I took a physical, and I'll be releasing, when the numbers come in -- I feel great. But when the numbers come in, I'll be releasing very -- very, very specific numbers.

SERFATY: And Trump is still facing scrutiny for refusing to release his tax returns, citing a purported ongoing audit.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Will Donald Trump release anything from the IRS proving that he's under audit?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I don't know. Why? In other words, why are you -- are you calling him a liar?

SERFATY: A letter from Trump's own tax counsel shows that his returns from 2002 to 2008 are no longer under audit, but he still won't even release those.

The information vacuum is creating a flurry of questions about Trump's claims of charitable giving and the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

[17:15:07] GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This is a man who's given away tens of millions of dollars to charitable causes throughout the course of his -- his business life.

SERFATY: Those claims made without any proof from the Trump campaign and coming amid a series of reports from the "Washington Post" and CNN, showing that Trump spent money from his charity on himself and used others' contributions to make them appear to have come from him. The New York attorney general announcing on CNN that he has opened an investigation into the foundation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure it's complying with the laws that govern charities in New York.

SERFATY: The Trump team eager to discredit the instigation, calling it a left-wing hit job but not releasing anything to disprove it.

There are also new questions being raised about the Trump Organization's business dealings overseas, setting up a potential conflict of interest with foreign countries if he were president.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: We can say, you know what? We're going to do less deals. We're not going to do that deal, even though it's a fine deal, it's economically reasonable, because it could create a conflict of interest. And we'll act incredibly responsibly. And my father already said that he would put the company into a blind trust, and it would be run by us.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SERFATY: The Trump campaign there trying to put out Ivanka Trump to try to defuse all these reports, but these questions have and will continue to come up for Donald Trump, because he still refuses to release those tax returns. Wolf, these issues of transparency really dogging his campaign right now.

BLITZER: Good point. All right, Sunlen Serfaty, thanks very much.

We've just really released -- we've just received the released letter. Hillary Clinton's health situation. We're going to have more on the breaking news right after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [17:21:07] BLITZER: More breaking news right now. Our brand-new CNN/ORC polls are just out, and they show Donald Trump with an edge in two critically important battleground states. And the polling reveals that Clinton may be having some serious trouble attracting independent voters.

Our political director, David Chalian, is with us. David, what do these polls tell us?

CHALIAN: These are two critical battleground states, you were right about that. Florida and Ohio. Let's look at Florida first.

Our new poll numbers among likely voters show Donald Trump at 47 percent, 3 points ahead of Hillary Clinton at 44 percent. The Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, at 6 and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, down at 1 percent.

A similar picture coming out of Ohio, perhaps even a greater Trump lead there. It's a five-point lead: 46 percent for Trump along likely voters; 41 percent for Hillary Clinton. Eight percent for Johnson and 2 percent for Stein.

BLITZER: These are very -- if you're a Hillary Clinton supporter, David, these are significantly different numbers than what she had only a few weeks ago in those key battleground states.

CHALIAN: That's right. What we're seeing in the states now is what we had seen happen nationally. National polls tend to be the leading indicator here. We saw after the convention a narrowing and a tightening of the race nationally. And now we're seeing that in these key critical battleground states.

But remember, Wolf, take a look at our current state of play in the CNN road to 270 electoral map there. You see the yellow states there. We've got five of them -- Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida -- that are real battlegrounds right now.

Donald Trump could win all of those, and he would still be short of 270. So today's polls in Florida, Ohio, Nevada came out with a poll today good for Donald Trump. All of that is great news for him and his supporters. It still doesn't get him to 270.

So the -- while the numbers look really good, his challenge still is, in order to win the White House, he's going to have to dig into some blue territory, some states that are leaning to Hillary Clinton right now, not just battleground states but like a Pennsylvania or a Michigan or a New Hampshire and bring them to his side if he's going to get to 270.

BLITZER: Yes. I just want our viewers to know, if they want more information on the CNN/ORC poll, a whole lot more, I should say, you can download the brand-new CNN Politics app from the Apple app store for all you political experts out there, and not so many experts. Good advice indeed.

David, stay with us. How were they reacting, Brianna, the Clinton campaign, to these

numbers right now, which show Donald Trump getting a significant boost?

KEILAR: Well, I think they're concerned. I think they were in a much more comfortable position here about a month ago and coming out of the convention.

I think -- you know, I think what they're probably hoping is that it doesn't move much beyond this, right, and that she can kind of buoy herself a little more in some of these battleground states.

But it's part of the reason why you see so much emphasis, for instance, in Pennsylvania, not just with Hillary Clinton, the convention being there, her post-convention travel. But also surrogates and some of the ones that are closest to her, Tim Kaine and Joe Biden, some of the very big names, that they're trying to create this what they see as a fire wall, that Donald Trump cannot win Pennsylvania, where she's doing better than he is and by a comfortable margin.

You know, they feel Donald Trump cannot win there. If he wins there, that is really a sign that they're in trouble. But that, to them, might be more of a -- I don't know if I want to say bellwether or sort of an indicator than maybe some of these other states. Although she certainly doesn't want to lose Ohio, for sure. That says a lot.

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: This also make the debates so much more important for Hillary Clinton. They were already going to be important for Hillary Clinton.

But now, because she's down, they're really going to be counting on them. In a place where she actually excels quite a bit, they're going to be counting on this to really boost her numbers. So you have to imagine there's going to be a lot of preparation going into that debate, which is, you know, only a week away, two weeks away.

BLITZER: You know, Julia, you're an expert on Russia. And there are a lot of suspicions out there, a lot of allegations that the Russians are hacking these various institutions, whether the DNC or the DCCC, Democratic National Committee, or Colin Powell's e-mails, for example, because their intention is to help Donald Trump, the suspicion is, become president. You're an expert on Russia. Is -- what evidence is there to that?

JULIA IOFFE, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, "POLITICO": Well, so far, a lot of cyber security experts, including those affiliated with the U.S. government, have been signaling that they're pretty sure that it's the Russians but so far nobody will say it definitively in the White House, even though it's pretty convinced that the Russians were behind this are -- they're reluctant to get out in front of this, as well.

That said, on one hand it does sound a lot like them, especially the connection with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has always been very close with the Russians. On the other hand, it does show a kind of sophisticated knowledge of

the American political system that the Russians did not have before. Before it was kind of head-to-head. It was Putin to whoever was in the White House without any kind of understanding of how Congress worked, of how various lobbies worked and how various interest groups worked.

So now it seems like they're kind of -- they've figured it out. And they're playing, if it was in fact them, which it seems like it is, it looks like they're playing the kind of sophisticated game that they've played against France and Britain in the lead up to Brexit. In Greece, in Hungary and in various other eastern European countries in trying to splinter -- and in Italy, trying to splinter the E.U. so it doesn't vote with the U.S. to sanction Russia; or just to splinter it so that the west is not a monolith pressing on Russia.

BLITZER: You know, it's interesting, Mark Preston, these leaks of the Colin Powell e-mails, how is that playing out right now in terms of this presidential campaign?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, in two ways. If you are a Donald Trump supporter, you're looking at Colin Powell, and you're thinking he was never on your side anyway. This is a Republican who supported the Democratic presidential nominee the last two election cycles. That being Barack Obama, of course.

But, you know, certainly terribly embarrassing. And let's not -- there's been a lot of focus on what Colin Powell has said about Donald Trump, but he also expressed a little frustration or a lot of frustration with Hillary Clinton, as well, using the word "humorous." So not a ringing endorsement from Colin Powell.

And it's probably notable to say that Colin Powell has not endorsed any candidate in this election. So while the Clinton campaign would probably love to have his endorsement, I don't think we're going to see Colin Powell play publicly at all.

BLITZER: He did endorse Barack Obama, as we all remember, eight years ago.

Brianna, in these hacked e-mails, he calls Donald Trump a national disgrace and an international pariah. He's got a lot of support out there, Colin Powell. I assume that's going to undermine at least some of the support for Trump.

KEILAR: I think some people who are maybe in the middle and are trying to figure out where they're going to go, and they don't like either candidate look at Colin Powell as someone who they feel like has been a bit of a straight shooter.

And also, if they look at these e-mails, while he sort of reserves his most scathing criticism for Trump, he really does not do Hillary Clinton any favors. He talks about her, you know, character -- like land mines that she's stepping on. Hubris. He goes on to say other things, as well. The one thing he does do her a little bit of a favor on is Benghazi.

In a way, putting some blame on her for expeditionary diplomacy, the idea that Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack, was in Libya, where it really was not safe. And Colin Powell clearly thought that that should have been obvious to the ambassador himself, which he says, and to Hillary Clinton and some of Steven's bosses.

But he also says that it's a witch hunt in terms of that. I think what he's referring to, probably, is that criticism from a number of Republicans that she didn't react correctly on the evening and that there was something the -- the evening of the attack, and there was something the State Department could have done to save his life.

BLITZER: Julia, you wanted to add something?

IOFFE: I did. You see a lot of these people from, for example, the first two Bush -- George W. Bush administrations, who have been abandoning the Republican Party, at least in this election cycle, and lining up behind Hillary Clinton. And the Clinton camp kind of trying to hold them at arm's length because these are, after all, the people who gave us the Iraq War.

I mean, this is her own vote. Hillary Clinton has been trying to distance herself from it or apologize for it for so long. Having the guy who shook, you know, the little vial of white powder and said that it was a slam dunk, I don't know that that endorsement does her any favors either.

BLITZER: Yes. That was then then-secretary of state, Colin Powell.

All right. Everyone, stand by. We've got the breaking news. More information coming in on Hillary Clinton's health right now. We'll take a break and be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. Hillary Clinton just released a doctor's statement containing new details about her medical records.

[17:34:32] This comes only hours after Donald Trump shared some more information about his health during a taping of "The Dr. Oz Show."

We're back with our political experts.

You know, Jackie -- Jackie Kucinich is with us -- how did she, Hillary Clinton -- we'll get to the medical stuff in a little while. But how did she lose, Hillary Clinton, the momentum? Because these latest CNN/ORC polls in Florida and Ohio show Donald Trump with a slight lead now. She was ahead earlier.

KUCINICH: Right. I mean, the e-mail controversy continues to dog her. Because it's the drip, drip, drip. And it has dogged her this entire race. And every time there's a new release Hillary Clinton goes down. Also, this health issue. These new polls were, most of them were

conducted when this started happening. And so the fact that they didn't tell us what was happening until she was almost passing out leaving a 9/11 ceremony, and then told us it was allergies and then told us she was feeling dehydrated; and then you find out it's pneumonia, people are looking at this and saying how can we trust this person? They're not even being straight with us about her health.

BLITZER: Mark Preston, she's going to be back on the campaign trail tomorrow, heading to North Carolina, another battleground state. She's been out -- she's been resting at home the past, what, three or four days because of the pneumonia. How much of an impact does that have if she has to stay at home, as opposed to being out there campaigning?

PRESTON: Well, look, I think, Wolf, we have to go back and just say that the Clinton campaign, certainly through the month of August, really misjudged how powerful it was to have Hillary Clinton actually appear before a camera. Now, she did a lot of fund-raisers during that amount of time. I think that they would be better served, had they done spade work earlier. It wasn't until recently we've actually seen Hillary Clinton come out and actually speak to reporters.

Now, this past week is a perfect example of a bungling. A public relations bungling by the campaign. As Jackie said, not really shooting straight. Had they said on Friday, Wolf, that they were going to take a couple of days down, that she's got a bad cold, not even say that it's pneumonia; say that it's something that was going to keep her down, that would have been OK.

I think what was really important, though, for Hillary Clinton is what we saw yesterday, and that's Barack Obama on the campaign trail. Specifically, when you look at the poll numbers and you dig a little deeper from these poll numbers from Florida and Ohio, Hillary Clinton is not doing as well as she should with voters under the age of 45.

In fact, in Ohio it's basically a wash. She's only up six points with these voters down in Florida. This is part of the coalition that got Barack Obama elected. So not only does Hillary Clinton need to be on the campaign trail, Barack Obama needs to be on the campaign trail. Joe Biden needs to be on the campaign trail. Elizabeth Warren and the whole list of them all.

CHALIAN: Wolf, the other thing that I want to point out here that we're seeing, because now that we're after Labor Day and we're screening for likely voters. And one of the things that goes into that is looking at voter enthusiasm. So part of -- it's not necessarily that Hillary Clinton has had a disastrous month or something.

But if you start looking at the voters that are most enthusiastic, telling us that they are most likely to show up, talking about their voting history and all those things that go into that, it is a more favorable electorate right now in today's snapshot about who's telling us they're going to show up on election day is a more favorable electorate to Donald Trump. That's part of what's going on here. BLITZER: Julia, for whatever reason, it certainly appears that right now Trump has the momentum, not Hillary Clinton.

IOFFE: Well, she has -- she has stumbled a little bit, and we've seen that with this, now, third change of leadership in the Trump campaign, that he has been a lot more disciplined. He's sticking to the script more. It's been a while since he really insulted anybody.

And whereas, you know, she's -- she's been the one insulting. She is kind of playing his role. She -- the e-mail -- you know, the FBI released their summary of her interview with them where she comes off sounding blase. I think that's the word they used. She just keeps stepping on this rake. Her instincts are towards secrecy, towards kind of brushing this stuff off, to show a kind of haughtiness. It doesn't play well.

BLITZER: All right, guys. Everyone stand by. There's more information coming up. We're getting more information about former Secretary of State Colin Powell's eye-opening criticism of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Is Russia behind the cyber-attack that leaked Powell's e-mails?

And later, a general's very disturbing warning. He says the United States is increasingly being held nuclear hostage by Kim Jong-un's North Korea.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:43:21] BLITZER: Newly-leaked e-mail from Colin Powell shows the former secretary of state and joint chiefs chairman critical of both presidential candidates, but his harshest criticism is aimed at Donald Trump.

CNN's Brian Todd has been looking into the cyber-attack and the leak. How did Powell's e-mails all of a sudden become public?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, they were stolen and posted online. And tonight we have a good idea who might have done it.

We've consulted with cyber security experts who believe they have traced the theft of Colin Powell's e-mails to hackers with Russian connections.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): The politically savvy former secretary of state tears into Donald Trump, Colin Powell saying of his fellow Republican, quote, "Trump is a national disgrace and an international pariah." Powell calls the birther movement racist, which Trump once helped lead, racist.

But Powell doesn't spare Hillary Clinton either, in e-mails slamming Clinton for her handling of her personal e-mails while she was secretary of state.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone.

TODD: Powell wrote, quote, "Everything HRC touches, she kind of screws up with hubris. And saying in 2014, quote, "I would rather not have to vote for her. Unbridled ambition. Greedy. Not transformational."

But he also calls the Benghazi controversy, quote, "a stupid witch hunt."

An aide to Powell confirms the e-mails are accurate but won't comment further. Powell's e-mails were stolen, posted to a site called D.C. Leaks, which is affiliated with recent hacks of high-profile figures.

Was Powell targeted by the same hackers who hit the Democratic National Committee, who U.S. officials believe to be Russian? According to evidence assembled by the cyber-security firm Threat Connect, there's a strong connection between D.C. leaks, and a well- known hacker called Guccifer.

RICH BARGER, CHIEF INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, THREATCONNECT: We've established Guccifer 2.0 as a likely outlet for Russian influence. And so in this example, we have Guccifer 2.0 engaging with another journalist and trying to bait them into writing a story about some leaked content. We have Guccifer 2.0 sharing credentials to private content on the DC Leaks website.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That means Guccifer, who analysts believe is tied to the Russians, wouldn't be able to provide a password to DC Leaks without a connection to them. The Powell e- mails, first reported by BuzzFeed and "The Intercept" are notable because Powell has not yet publicly endorsed either candidate, his opinion generating buzz in the campaign's final weeks.

This is the latest in the steady drum beat of hacks of American politicians that are believed to have been carried out on behalf of Vladimir Putin. If true, what's his motive?

FIONA HILL, DIRECTOR, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: This is basically pushing out there for the American public, for the world and also for a Russian, very important domestic political audience, to look what's happening in the United States. Do you really think this, this picture that we're seeing here, is any better than any of the other systems around the world, and what gives these people who are engaged in this kind of dirty politics the right to make pronouncements on our political systems?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: So is dcleaks.com, that site that posted the Colin Powell e- mails, really connected to Russian intelligence?

DC Leaks describes itself as being the work of American hacktivists. Vladimir Putin himself, well, he has denied being behind recent hacks of the Democratic Party. And today, Putin's spokesman even came out and said the accusations of the Russians interfering in the U.S. election is an example of, quote, blatant Russophobia. Wolf. WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And a part of this could be Putin and the Russians seemingly wanting to retaliate for what they believe, what they charge has been American interference in their elections, right?

TODD: That's right. Analyst Fiona Hill points out that when Vladimir Putin was last elected, there were accusations, Wolf, that the vote was corrupted. The Russians believe the Americans tried to subvert his election. There is no evidence of that but analysts say these hacks could be Putin's way of kind of retaliating for that and saying, look, back off the next Russian elections. This is really kind of gamesmanship by him on a very high level.

BLITZER: Brian Todd, thank you very much. Coming up, a top general says the U.S. is being held nuclear hostage by Kim Jong-un's regime. Can anything be done to stop a North Korean nuclear buildup?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:51:56] BLITZER: North Korea's scoffing at the U.S. response to its latest nuclear test and as Kim Jong-un's regime steps up development of its nuclear weapon. A U.S. general is now sounding the alarm. Our Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr's been looking into all of this for us. What are you learning, Barbara?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: A dire warning from a top U.S. commander following the B-1B bomber's symbolic show of force against North Korea's nuclear testing. General Raymond Thomas, head of Special Operations Command said the U.S. is increasingly being held nuclear hostage every day by the North Korean regime.

General Thomas also openly acknowledging U.S. special operations forces could be called into action saying, in the event of an implosion of the North Korea regime or some other trigger event, we would have the loose nuke dilemma on an industrial scale.

The immediate worry, how soon North Korea might conduct another nuclear test. The U.S. has watched activity at an underground test site for weeks. North Korea reacting to the B-1 flights with characteristic bluster saying the U.S. is bluffing that the B-1Bs are enough for fighting an all-out nuclear war. Also saying, the U.S. imperialist are going reckless and are taken aback by the successful nuclear test.

Kim Jong-un appears completely undeterred.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: NORTH KOREA TAKES ON THE WORLD": He already has two launchers that can hit the lower 48 states, the Taepodong-2 and the KN-08. In two or three years, he will be able to put a nuclear war head on those missiles and that will give him a credible capability of attacking a U.S. city.

STARR (voice-over): Analysts at the website 38 North now calculate North Korea could have a stockpile of sufficient fissile material for approximately 20 bombs by the end of this year and make up to seven more annually. Right now, the U.S. calculates the regime could have 12 devices on hand. Future production would depend on the size of future bombs.

The rapid escalation of missile and nuclear tests suggest this is about more than North Korea's usual attempts to show off on the world stage.

JAMIE METZL, SENIOR FELLOW, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: What North Korea is doing with this constant tests, both the nuclear tests and missile tests is actually trying to develop a workable, deliverable deterrent, and that's much more significant and much more dangerous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: And that is the time line that's being watched right now. How soon can North Korea put it all together and have a viable nuclear attack capability? Wolf.

BLITZER: That's a concern right now. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you very much. Coming up, the breaking news. Forced off the campaign trail by a case of pneumonia, Hillary Clinton releases a detailed doctor's statement and is announced fit to serve as president.

[17:55:00] Meantime, Donald Trump hands TV's Dr. Oz some information from his recent physical. Is that enough? Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. Getting physical, Hillary Clinton releases new medical information as she recovers from pneumonia and Donald Trump surprises TV's Dr. Oz with a summary of his recent physical exam. What does the new information reveal about both candidates' health?

Charitable misgiving. New questions about Donald Trump's charity. How much has it given away to whom? The candidate is withholding tax returns containing details about his personal donations. What will a new investigation of Trump's foundation reveal?

BLITZER: Russians -- Russia to interfere. Hacked e-mails reveal a damning assessment of Donald Trump by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Russia is suspected again, and now the Kremlins are accusing President Obama of --