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Trump's Pre-Dawn Twitter Tantrum Slams Ex-Beauty Queen; Trump Holds Rally in Michigan; New Jersey Train Crash Latest. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired September 30, 2016 - 17:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: 140-character assassination. Donald Trump unleashes a predawn Twitter tirade, stepping up his attack on a former Miss Universe, linking her to what he calls a sex tape. Hillary Clinton calls it, quote, "unhinged," even for Trump.

[17:00:19] Deposed and amused. In video testimony, Trump concedes that his comments calling Mexicans rapists have hurt his own business interests, why Trump is playing more than a political price for his harsh rhetoric.

Debate bounce. New polls show Clinton on sturdier ground in key battleground states after her victory in the first presidential debate. We're standing by for the latest national poll.

And shooting video. Police in El Cajon, California, are about to release cell-phone and surveillance video of an officer-involved shooting of an unarmed black man that has set the community on edge. We're standing by.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are campaigning in crucial battleground states today, Clinton in Florida, Trump about to hold a rally in Michigan. But the battle is also being fought over the Internet. In the wee hours of the morning, Trump unleashed an extraordinary barrage of tweets.

At 3 a.m., he blasted what he called media lies. And in the 5 a.m. hour, he continued his feud with a former Miss Universe who he called disgusting and said Clinton was conned by her.

Clinton tweeted back, calling Trump unhinged, and saying -- and I'm quoting now -- "What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?"

Even Trump's key aides were taken aback by his tweet storm, underscoring their inability to keep him on message. But the Trump campaign's message of the day is to attack Clinton over her husband's infidelities, leaving Trump wide open to similar charges and threatening to cut deeply into his own support of women.

Clinton seems to have checked Trump's momentum with her victory in the first debate. Brand-new polls show her with leads now in four key battleground states. Another distraction for Trump's campaign today. Today, video has been

released of his testimony in connection with two lawsuits, acknowledging that his comments referring to Mexicans as rapists, were planned and had harmed his business interest.

And we're standing by to hear from the National Transportation Safety Board on new developments in the investigation of that deadly train wreck in New Jersey commuter terminal.

I'll speak with a former Clinton White House special counsel, Lanny Davis. And our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of the day's top stories.

Let's begin with Donald Trump, whose overnight Twitter tantrum shows how badly his campaign has been sidetracked by his feud with a former beauty queen. Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is on the campaign trail with Trump in Michigan.

So Jim, how badly is Trump hurting himself?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Donald Trump is digging in his heels with his battle with the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, while the GOP nominee and his top campaign surrogates insist they are just punching back. They are also keeping the controversy going.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, why did you go on the late-night tweet storm last night?

ACOSTA (voice-over): When it comes to his battle with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, Donald Trump is no Mr. Congeniality. In response to Machado's claim Trump called her "Miss Piggy" for gaining weight, the GOP nominee lashed out at the pageant winner in a series of bombastic tweets in the middle of the night.

"Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M. become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?"

And this: "Using Alicia M. in the debate as a paragon of virtue just shows that Crooked Hillary suffers from bad judgment! Hillary was set up by a con."

The Trump campaign, which offers no proof Machado ever even appeared in a sex tape but says it's just firing back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know Ms. Machado, but I've seen many of the interviews with her. She's not a very credible witness, you might say.

ACOSTA: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta jumped into the fray, poking at Trump on Twitter: "I'm almost Trump's age so get the urge to get up in the middle of the night. But important safety tip: Don't reach for your phone."

Machado insists her past is not relevant, admitting to CNN...

ALICIA MACHADO, FORMER MISS UNIVERSITY: Everybody has a past and I'm no -- a saint girl, but that is not the point now.

ACOSTA: In a statement, she says Trump's latest attacks are cheap lies with bad intentions, adding Trump "insists of demoralizing women, minorities and people of certain religions through his hateful campaign. This is one of his most frightful characteristics."

Trump is also ripping into the Clintons, with not-so-subtle references to their past marital problems.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The Clintons are the sordid past. We will be the very bright and clean future.

ACOSTA: Raising questions of hypocrisy for Trump, who's on his third marriage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not worried about your past history at all?

TRUMP: No, not at all. I have a very good history.

[17:05:06] ACOSTA: Trump is also attacking the media, blasting reports that he was furious at aides for spilling the beans on his debate preparations, tweeting, "Remember, don't believe 'sources said' by the very dishonest media. If they don't name the sources, the sources don't exist."

But Trump has claimed to rely on anonymous sources, too, tweeting back in 2012, "An extremely credible source has called my office and told me that Barack Obama's birth certificate is a fraud."

And Trump is attacking newspapers when endorsements don't go his way. For the first time in its history, "USA Today{" offered its opinion on a presidential race, declaring Trump unfit for presidency. And after that, the Trump campaign is slamming a report in "The Washington Post" that the Trump Foundation was never properly certified to solicit donations.

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST": By not doing this, Trump avoided a requirement that he submit to an annual audit, a real annual audit that might have looked into his foundation and found some of the violations of law that we seem to have found along the way this year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Now as for this battle with Alicia Machado, the Trump campaign is pointing to a former Miss Wisconsin, who says Trump comforted her when she was in the hospital battling an illness more than a decade ago.

But clearly, Wolf, Trump campaign advisors would like to move on past this controversy with the former Miss Universe. As one advisor told me, that would be understatement -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We're standing by, Jim, also to hear from Donald Trump. We'll hear what he has to say about all of this. That's coming up.

Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

For Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump's tweet storm may be good fortune, one more thing to sidetrack his campaign. She's launched a sharp response, even as new polls show her gaining an edge in key battleground states.

Our senior political correspondent Brianna Keilar is here with more.

So Brianna, what is Hillary Clinton saying?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, she does not right now have to address any of her own vulnerabilities. That is something that very much pleases the Clinton campaign.

They are more than happy to keep talking about Alicia Machado, a story line that they think resonates with women and with Hispanic voters. And as one senior Clinton aide said to me, they're capitalizing on this, that Donald Trump just can't seem to avoid going down a rabbit hole.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Hillary Clinton taunting Donald Trump after he went on an early morning Twitter tirade about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

CLINTON: I mean really, who gets up at 3 a.m. in the morning to engage in a Twitter attack against a former Miss Universe? Why does he do things like that?

I mean, his latest Twitter meltdown is unhinged, even for him.

KEILAR: Clinton is campaigning today in Florida, home to 29 electoral votes.

CLINTON: There are 39 days between now and November 8. Just 39 days left in the most important election in our lifetimes. We have to make every single day count.

KEILAR: The race there has been tight, but Clinton's debate performance is giving her a bump in the polls leading Trump in Florida by four points largely due to her advantage in the decisive I-4 corridor between Tampa and north Orlando. She's ahead by seven points in Michigan and New Hampshire. In Nevada, she's up six.

Clinton hopes the next debate, in a little over a week, will be a 1-2 punch, even as Donald Trump and his surrogates bring up Bill Clinton's infidelities.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: It's fair game to think about how Hillary Clinton treated those women after the fact.

KEILAR: Clinton is not responding.

CLINTON: Look, he can say whatever he wants to say, as we well know.

KEILAR And she's still focusing on this.

TRUMP: I alone can fix it.

KEILAR: One of Donald Trump's key convention themes.

CLINTON: "I alone can fix it." I alone -- well, we've learned that that's his way. One person getting supreme power and exercising it ruthlessly. That's why he admires dictators like Vladimir Putin so much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: And when you look at these states that Hillary Clinton is getting a bump in the polls that were conducted after the debate, Wolf, you see that she's also getting a little help from her friends. She has Bernie Sanders soon going to be campaigning in Michigan. He was in New Hampshire with her earlier this week. And Elizabeth Warren is set to go to Nevada next week.

BLITZER: Yes. She clearly needs their help, and they are big, big supporters. Thank you very much.

Let's bring in Lanny Davis. He was special counsel to Bill Clinton when Bill Clinton was president of the United States. He's a Hillary Clinton supporter. Lanny, thanks very much for coming in.

LANNY DAVIS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL COUNSEL: Thank you Wolf.

BLITZER: So today we know Hillary Clinton spoke with Alicia Machado out there on the campaign trail. Do you anticipate Alicia Machado actually going out with Hillary out there on the campaign trail? Would that be smart?

[17:10:00] DAVIS: I don't know. I think that Hillary Clinton is still going to focus on issues that Americans care about. The Machado incident is simply emblematic of Donald Trump's alienation of Latino voters and women. And I think Hillary Clinton will spend her time talking about issues and solutions that Americans care about.

BLITZER: We're showing live pictures coming in from the Donald Trump rally in Michigan. And we're standing by to hear what he has to say. I assume he's going to get into this. We'll have some live coverage of that, as well.

But in the meantime, let's talk about these polls that we just saw. She got a little bump, it looks like, following the debate with Donald Trump this week, but she's still struggling in several key areas, especially among millennials, the young people out there who were Bernie Sanders supporters. How does she get those on board?

DAVIS: The most important thing for millennials is to ask themselves whether Donald Trump's two or three Supreme Court justice appointments that will change millennial lives. Women will be declared criminals if they have abortions. Obamacare will be ended. The united -- Citizens United issue, which for millennials, money and the corruption in politics, were key to their support for Bernie Sanders. That united -- Citizens United decision will remain if Donald Trump gets his way on the Supreme Court.

At the end of the day, that's why a vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for Donald Trump, and that's why millennials can't afford to...

BLITZER: She's ahead in Florida right now, which of course is a key battleground state. Right now, you take a look at the polls, she has 46 percent; Trump has 42 percent. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, 7 percent. Jill Stein only 1 percent, the Green Party.

If it's close in Florida, you remember what happened in Florida in 2000 when Ralph Nader was the Green Party candidate, got more than 90,000 votes. Al Gore lost Florida by just a little bit more than 500 votes. She could be in trouble if some of those millennials go for, let's say, Gary Johnson.

DAVIS: Make no mistake that Gary Johnson can elect Donald Trump president, and any millennial that casts a vote for a candidate who can't win, much less doesn't know where Aleppo is, is casting a vote for Donald Trump, casting a vote for the next 20 years for a Supreme Court that overturns the very Libertarian principles that Johnson stands for, is that the government shouldn't tell woman what to do or a man in the bedroom. And that's the Supreme Court criminalizing that decision that Donald Trump wants.

BLITZER: How much trouble does she have with those Bernie Sanders supporters who may go vote for Gary Johnson, let's say, or Jill Stein because of the bitter campaign, the primary battles that she had with Bernie Sanders that a lot of us, of course, remember?

DAVIS: First of all, we're down to maybe 1 out of 10, according to the polls, Sanders voters not for Hillary Clinton. We're in the 80s or low 90s.

Secondly, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren campaigning for Hillary Clinton as the most progressive candidate and the most progressive platform in the Democratic party's history, I think at the end of the day will get Sanders voters.

BLITZER: All right. I want you to stay with us, because Lanny, we're watching this introduction of Donald Trump at a rally in Michigan. It's a key battleground state right now. I want to hear what Donald Trump has to say about all this, the Miss Universe controversy that has erupted. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Donald Trump just starting to speak right now in Novi, Michigan, outside of Detroit. I want to listen in.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Can't let them take your car industry out. Or your industry out of your state any longer. Not going to happen. I'm going to fight so hard for all of you, and I'm going to bring back the jobs that have been stripped away from you and from our country.

In 39 days, 39 days -- can you imagine? -- this started off, we're a long ways away, and some people didn't give us a good chance. They said, "Mr. Trump -- the other day one of the biggest people in that business, the very

dishonest press business, they said, "Mr. Trump, when you started off, you have to tell me the truth, did you really think you'd be here?"

I said, "what the hell do you think I'm doing this for?" Right? No, we expected to be here. And we're all here together. It's a movement. And believe me, we're all here together. We're going to take our country back. We're going to win the state of Michigan. We're going to win the White House. And it's going to be an awfully good November 8. That evening is going to be a celebration.

We're going to take on the special interests, the lobbyists and the powerful politicians that have stolen your jobs through theft and incompetence. They're stolen your wealth. They've taken your middle class.

We're going to take on the arrogant corrupt corporate media that have enabled the global theft of American prosperity. A theft that is had left behind crumbling roads, schools, bridges and a totally depleted military. We have the greatest people in the world in our military; we're going to rebuild our military. This is when we need it.

[17:20:06] It's time, by the way, to rebuild Detroit. We're going to rebuild Detroit. It's time to rebuild Michigan and we're not letting them take your jobs out of Michigan any longer.

And it's time to rebuild the United States of America. We're going to do it. Our be country is going to be greater than ever before. We're going to be the smart country again.

Hillary Clinton has made a living raking in donations from special interests that have raided our factories and ripped the jobs right out of Michigan and every other state. That's how she gets rich, by taking your jobs and your money away from you and away from your state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lock her up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lock her up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lock her up.

TRUMP: That's why Hillary Clinton, if she ever got the chance, would 100 percent approve the Transpacific Partnership. The deal she lied about the other night when I said she called it the gold standard. She said no. Guess what? She called it the gold standard, and Lester Holt didn't correct her. I wonder why.

The Transpacific Partnership will economically devastate Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and so many other states all across this country. It will be devastating also for Ohio. Hillary Clinton's donors want the TPP, and their wish will be her

command. That's what it is. These special interests pay her for speeches. And she's not a good speaker. Not a good speaker. They pay her a lot of money.

You know, we have thousands of people here today. There are thousands and thousands of people outside trying to get in. Thousands. And they're coming. And in fact, I was going to ask you: should we hold it up for a couple of hours, let everyone pour in? You know, they're all checked. The answer is no. Right? Thank you. No, they'll get in.

They pay her foundation. They pay her husband. In return they get your jobs. Like I've been saying all week, when it comes to Hillary Clinton all you have to dos remember these words: follow the money. That's become very popular. I will say.

Hillary Clinton praised or pushed TPP on 45 separate occasions. Her close associate and confidante, Governor Terry McAuliffe, said she'd pass it, don't worry. Her husband talks it up. Everyone knows she's for it, because she doesn't believe in protecting American jobs or American sovereignty. She doesn't believe it. Hillary Clinton only believes in protecting her special interests and her donors.

Of the 262 companies that lobbied for the passage of TPP, 82, or nearly 1 in 3, donated between 21 and $67 million to the Clinton Foundation. Think about it. Nine companies have lobbied for the passage of TPP paid Hillary Clinton $2.7 million for paid speeches. Who would want to hear Hillary Clinton speak and pay her 200, 300, 400, $500,000? Who? You think so?

You know, so we're going to have 20,000 people here, easy, including outside, much more than that. In she came here tomorrow, if she got 500 people, seriously, I think it would be a shock, right? It would be a shock.

[17:25:16] Three TPP member countries gave between 6 and $15 million -- think of that. At least four lobbyists who are actively lobbying for TPP passage have raised more than $800,000 for her campaign.

On November 8, we are going to end Clinton corruption. We've had enough. And we're going to do something that has been a long, long time in coming. We are going to put America first. We are going to put America first!

Hillary Clinton is an insider fighting only for herself and for her donors. I'm an outsider fighting for you. We have a movement like they've never seen in this country before. The corrupt media, which is totally corrupt, these people back there, totally corrupt, working along with the political establishment and the establishment, is panicking, because they know this is awfully tough to stop, what's happening right now, folks. Awfully tough.

The news anchors, and the donors and lobbyists who are used to getting their way are trying to do everything they can to help Crooked Hillary Clinton and to cling to their power and their prestige and their money. The arrogant political class doesn't believe in protecting jobs and wages for Americans.

You know, we have many people in the audience and all over the country that made more money in real wages 18 and 20 years ago than they're making now. And now, because of Obamacare and other reasons, they're being forced to work two jobs, sometimes three jobs. So they're getting older; they're working harder; and they're being paid less. Not good. The only thing I can say is that I'm getting older and I'm working harder also, OK? So I'm putting myself in your category.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA! USA! USA!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA! USA! USA!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA! USA! USA!

TRUMP: It's true.

BLITZER: All right, we're going to continue to monitor Donald Trump at this event in Novi, Michigan, outside of Detroit.

Let's take a quick break. Full analysis, much more reaction when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:30:02]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Or a second engineer on that train could have prevented the crash as well.

DEBORAH: Potentially, yes.

BLITZER: You know there are hundreds of passengers on these trains Peter, I don't understand why they can't have two engineers because the lives of these people are at risk.

PETER GOELZ, CNN ANALYST: Well, I think there's two reasons. The first is money.

BLITZER: Money. I mean it's ...

GOELZ: That's the cost ...

BLITZER: ... how much do you pay an engineer a year? $100,000 a year. $200,000 a year. When you're considering the lives of so many people they should be able to afford that.

GOELZ: And I think as Deborah said, the other element is we're looking at positive train control as the backup to the engineer. Now, in this case it probably wouldn't have affected it because positive train control is not something that's used in terminal areas because the speeds are so slow. But leading up -- into the terminal, it would have been in effect and it just wasn't there. But it's an issue that's going to be debated very heavily in the coming months. BLITZER: Do you think that until they get the positive train control

or this automatic braking system in place for all of these trains they might want to reconsider and at least have two engineers in case one of them gets sick, passes out, dozes off, is negligent.

DEBORAH: They could. The feds are actually considering a rule right now that would require minimum standards for these trains. But in the meantime trains are supposed to get in compliance by the end of 2018. Now incidents like this could certainly step up pressure in some railroads to come into compliance much earlier.

BLITZER: All right, stand by for a moment. We're getting ready for this NTSB News Conference. It will be live right here on CNN. Let's take a quick break, we'll be right back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[17:36:00]

BELLA DINN-ZARR, VICE CHAIR, NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD: ... every civil aviation accident and significant accidents in other areas such as rail, marine, highways, pipeline and hazardous materials. We also issue safety recommendations in order to prevent tragedies from happening again. Before I go on I would first like to express my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this accident today. And, let everyone know that our thoughts s go out to you and our hearts go out to you.

I would also like to thank all of the first responders who have assisted us today. Here is what we know right now. We are working with New Jersey Transit to assess the safety of the scene. The canopy of the building is on top of the controlling car, and water has been leaking all day. So there may be some structural damage and weakness.

Additionally, because of the age of the building, there is the possibility of asbestos. So there are concerns about that as well. A contractor will be coming in to remove parts of the canopy. And that's with the goal of making the area safe for our investigation activities to continue. Once that is done, then we will be able to access the cars. And we will continue our investigative process in that -- that aspect.

We can currently access the locomotive, which is at the end of this train and will be pulling the event recorder this evening. From the event recorder we hope to get information such as speed and braking. We know that there were three passenger cars and a locomotive in a push/pull configuration. The engineer was operating the train from the cab car, also called the controlling car.

We also know the train had outward-facing video recorders on both ends of the train, and we also will be recovering both of those. The NTSB will analyze the facts, determine the probable cause of the accident, and issue a report of those determinations. The investigator in charge I have with me here today, and his name is Mr. Jim Southworth. He has 19 years' worth of experience with the NTSB and over 35 years' worth of experience with railway operations. He is leading a multi- disciplinary group of experts, and they will be examining the following areas; operations, mechanical issues human performance, signals, survival factors and track issues.

In addition to our investigators, we also have our specialists from our Office of Transportation Disaster Assistance to assist those who have been affected by this accident. Tomorrow morning we'll be holding an organizational meeting, and we'll be establishing the parties to our investigation. The parties will provide the technical expertise we need for this investigation.

Tomorrow will also be our first full day on the scene, since we arrived today. But I want to emphasize that we will only proceed when -- to inspect the cars when it's safe to do so. It may be tomorrow afternoon before we can safely do that. But we'll be proceeding with other aspects of the investigation in the meantime.

Our investigation will continue here on scene for seven to ten days, and our mission is to not just understand what happened but to understand why it happened so that we can prevent it from happening again. We will not be determining the probable cause while on and we will not speculate what may have caused the accident.

[07:40:09]

DINN-ZARR: Since we're just beginning our investigation we don't have a great deal of information to report yet, but we'll keep you informed with regular updates as we discover more information. We're here to find the most accurate information about this accident. And if the public has relevant information about this investigation, I encourage you to contact us. The e-mail is witness@ntsb.gov.

And, for the latest information on media briefings, I encourage you also to follow us on twitter and our website, which is ntsb.gov. And our twitter handle is @ntsb_newsroom.

So, now I'd be happy to take a few questions. But to ask your question, please raise your hand. I'll recognize you, and then please identify yourself. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [ inaudible question ]

DINN-ZARR: The question is about positive train control and how it would have affected this accident. And that is absolutely one area that we always look into for every rail accident. As you know, the NTSB has been recommending positive train control, or PTC, for 40 years. So we will look at that. We will look at whether there was positive train control installed and all of the aspects related to that before we come to any conclusions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Earlier the Governors of New York and New Jersey mentioned that the train was moving at a high rate of speed. I know it's early in the investigation, you haven't even accessed the cars yet. Is there anything you can say to that (inaudible)?

DINN-ZARR: We -- we cannot know what other people have found. What we're here to do is to find the most accurate information. That's what the NTSB does. We are going to be pulling that event recorder from the locomotive, which it is safe to do that at this point. So, once we pull that we'll have more information about the speed and braking and other issues. There is also an event recorder in the cab car, the controlling car, and we'll be getting that as soon as we can access that.

Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- the engineer, and if so what has he told you?

DINN-ZARR: So, the engineer as you may know was injured. He has been released from the hospital and we will be interviewing him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [inaudible question]

DINN-ZARR: We always -- the question is, is there any problem with the delay, with the investigation, because of the safety. Our first priority is the safety of our investigators and the first responders. So we will get the information we can currently, and there is information we can get from the locomotive, which is accessible, but we're going to make sure that our investigators and any first responders are safe before we access any of the other information. And that information is in the train. It's not going anywhere. We have plenty of people back there watching it. We'll be able to access it and get the information we need. Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [ inaudible question ]

DINN-ZARR: The question is did I say something about --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... I thought maybe you said something early on about the position of an arm or something.

DINN-ZARR: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [ inaudible question ]

DINN-ZARR: The question is about the speed limit going into the station. The speed limit is ten miles per hour going into the station.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... do you have an early sense of how fast it was going?

DINN-ZARR: We're going to wait and get the exact information on the speed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the trains are equipped with an alarm where, if something happens to the engineer, the train will stop itself if they don't respond. Do you know if that system was in effect and if what (inaudible)?

DINN-ZARR: The question is about the alerter and whether that was in effect. And, we are in the initial phases. We do not know. We will find out and report that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... recorder in the cab verse the locomotive do they record different things or will they have basically the same information?

[17:45:06]

DINN-ZARR: The question is about the data recorder in the cab car, the controlling car versus the data recorder in the locomotive. And they're both outward facing cameras so they'll have different information. We don't know exactly what that information is. But, as soon as we get it we have our top experts in recorders here who will be telling us that. Yes.

UNIDENTFIED MALE: Have you seen any video ...

DINN-ZARR: ... oh sorry, the gentleman in back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: The monitor of the NTSB news conference. Bella Dinn-Zarr, the Vice Chair of the NTSB offering some new information. Peter Goelz is with us, Melanie Zanona is with us as well.

Peter Goelz what do you take away from that, what she told us?

GOELZ: Well, I think that what she said is correct. They're just getting started. We'll know more tomorrow. When they get the recorder off the rear end of the train tonight, they'll download it. And, I think by 5:00 o'clock we'll know what the speed was.

BLITZER: By 5:00 p.m. Tomorrow?

GOELZ: Yes.

BLITZER: 24 hours or so from now?

GOELZ: I think so. There is no reason to hold that information back, and the NTSB is pretty good about releasing it quickly.

BLITZER: Melanie, what was your take away.

MELANIE ZANONA, TRANSPORTATION REPORTER, THE HILL: Well, we still don't know what caused the crash. We don't know if this technology would have prevented it. But what we do know is that Congress has asked these railroads to implement this technology and the Fed just came out with a report that showed they're really slow to adopt it. You know, 9% of freight railroads have this in operation. 22% of passenger rails. So there's still a long way to go.

BLITZER: She said the NTSB has been asking these train -- these railroads for 40 years to get the positive train control, this automatic braking system. What's the problem?

GOELZ: Well, at the beginning nobody wanted to do it. In recent years they found that it's much more expensive. The rail -- the rail lines claim $6 to $8 billion they've spent of their own money and it's more complex.

BLITZER: All right.

GOELZ: But the answer is it should have been in place.

BLITZER: It should have been in place for sure.

Guys stay with us. We're going to continue to stay on top of the breaking news. We'll take a quick break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[17:51:35]

BLITZER: We continue monitoring breaking news as rush hour commuters are trying to get home after today's deadly train cash in New Jersey. We're standing by for updates from investigators.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: We're also following breaking news in the presidential race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BTLIZER: CNN has learned some of Donald Trump's advisers want to overhaul his debate preparations and possibly ask Governor Chris Christie to take a leading role.

CNN's Jim Acosta is joining us from Detroit. Jim, Trump still claims he still won that first debate, doesn't he?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. And, earlier today in New Hampshire, he was saying that the debate was rigged, so they have been all over the place on this. But the battle now for Trump is proving he is not insensitive to women.

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[ANNOUNCER]: You are the new Miss Universe.

ACOSTA: Still no apologies from Donald Trump in response to allegations he called former Miss Universe Alicia Machado Miss Piggy after she gained weight back in the '90s.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Clintons are the sordid past. We will be the very bright and clean future.

ACOSTA: Instead of expressing regret for the saga, marked on the cover of this week's New Yorker, the Trump campaign is going on the offensive, zeroing in on Hillary and Bill Clinton's marital troubles when he was in the White House.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: It's fair game to think about how Hillary Clinton treated those women after the fact.

ACOSTA: In Trump campaign talking points, obtained by CNN, surrogates for the GOP nominee are urged to drudge up Bill Clinton's past affairs. Why are we not hearing from Monica Lewinsky who started an anti-bullying foundation because of how she was treated by the Clinton machine reads one of the talking points. A line of attack echoed by Trump's son, Eric on Sean Hannity's radio show.

VOICE OF ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: It's amazing when you hear her about sexism and these various claims, which are ridiculous aside from obviously Bill, her husband, being maybe the worst that's ever lived.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: I'm not sitting here some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette.

ACOSTA: In a sign the election is getting nastier than ever the Trump campaign accuses Hillary Clinton of enabling her husband's behavior, pointing to how she handled the scandals.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for President.

ACOSTA: But even Trump's own supporters in congress think that's a bad move.

REP, BRUCE BABIN, (R) TEXAS: We need to stay on the issues that are important to the American people. You know, that's ancient history.

ACOSTA: Sources tell CNN Trump is still fuming over criticism from inside his camp over his debate performance. Even as top advisors are looking for ways to shake up his preparations for his next face off with Clinton and perhaps put New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie in charge.

But Trump is facing more distractions, namely new questions of his treatment of women. The Los Angeles Times unearthed court documents that show some of Trump's former employers claim he hired and fired female employees based on their looks.

A director of catering is quoted saying "I had witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that restaurant hostesses were not pretty enough and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women." Not true, says the Trump organization, adding in a statement "The allegations in the lawsuit were meritless. We do not engage in discrimination of any kind."

The Trump campaign insists the GOP nominee has been a champion of women who is only trying to help the Miss Universe at the center of this latest Trump controversy. But top Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich continued to pile on the attacks.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: You're not supposed to gain 60 pounds when you've won Miss Universe.

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[17:55:

ACOSTA: Now, as for those Trump campaign talking points instructing surrogates to go after Bill Clinton's personal life, a Clinton campaign spokesperson released a statement saying that is a mistake that is going to backfire. Wolf?

BLITZER: Jim Acosta, thank you very much. Coming up, our breaking news.

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BLITZER: A commuter train plows through a terminal, slams into a barrier at the end of the track, and goes airborne. Witnesses say it was going full speed. Investigators are trying to figure out why.

And why wasn't that train equipped with automatic braking technology? Could it have made a difference?

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