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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
WikiLeaks Releases More of Clinton's Emails; Discussing Trump's Crude Audio; "Late Night With Seth Meyers" Comes To Washington; Meyers: Washington Fits With DNA of "Late Night"; Meyers: "Late Night" More Political Than Other Shows; Late-Night Shows Too Soft On Politicians?; Meyers: Political Jokes "Authentic" to "Late Night"; Red Sweater Guy Wins Debate Stardom. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired October 10, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There was this chance that he could change the map a bit with his appeal in the Rust Belt. We have seen a bit of that with Pennsylvania briefly getting close, with Ohio, the numbers being decent.
I have joked that he would be the disrupter who would disrupt too much, and he would lose everything but Ohio and Florida.
HAM: So, that may be where they -- where we end up here, because he has significant downsides, and, although she does, he's not deft enough to beat her at this point.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: David, WikiLeaks released another trove of hacked e-mails from Hillary Clinton's campaign staffers. In one of the e-mails, a Bill Clinton top aid, Doug Band, calls Chelsea Clinton a spoiled brat.
Another e-mail chain shows advisers debating when Clinton should come out against the Keystone pipeline, so to avoid making it an issue with the enviros.
Did anything in this latest trove strike you or any of your colleagues as newsworthy?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": My colleagues are going through it, still. I think they haven't sort of seen them all.
But there is nothing I think in there they have found so far beyond what you have mentioned. There is nothing in there that sort of shows Hillary Clinton in a whole new light or puts the race in some new position. I think these are the sort of things that people thought they already knew about Hillary Clinton. These things are being confirmed.
TAPPER: That might be one of the problems with these WikiLeaks, which is, like, for instance, with the trove that was released last time showing that Hillary Clinton was cozy with Wall Street bankers, Mary Katharine, and that maybe she had like a private position and a public position, even if you excuse it away with the Lincoln movie.
These are things people already thought about Hillary Clinton and it's kind of baked in a little bit.
HAM: Yes. But I think Trump's weaknesses are baked in, too.
I think this is a problem for some of her coalition trying to these Bernie folks back on, trying to get them not just voting for her, but volunteering and doing the footwork on the ground.
TAPPER: And the millennials, too, yes.
But the problem is Trump doesn't have a ground game. And such that he has is from the RNC, which is now very doubtful about whether it wants to work with him at all to some degree. I think, again, the American people are always weighing, who is the worst of these candidates? And it's a tough call.
TAPPER: David, I just have to ask, when you got this tape on Friday, what was your reaction when you saw it? Did you just think, holy cow, or perhaps more fitting words that would fit in with the theme of the tape? Or did you have any idea it was going to be this explosive?
FAHRENTHOLD: I knew it was going to be big. I didn't think it was going to be this big.
But certainly the language in there is so different than we have heard Trump use. And the key thing to me was the fact that it was private meant so much. We have seen Trump in public say so many outrageous things, things that would have killed off Mitt Romney or some other Republican candidate in years past.
What was different about this was that he wasn't playing a role, there was no sort of showmanship exemption that he got there. He was talking to just a few men in private seemingly truly describing what he did and had done. I think that is what made it so powerful, but, no, I didn't know it was going to be as big as it turned out to be.
HAM: Part of what made it powerful for me, because I'm not surprised he talks like this, is that it actually wasn't that private.
He was miked up in what, for him, is a professional setting, with several people, including lighting guys presumably and camera guys and audio guys, who he doesn't know very well. It wasn't like he was chatting with a buddy or in a locker room. I think that to me is where it crossed into, what the heck is going on here?
TAPPER: Yes, it was odd, and we have debated this and discussed this at length, but I don't know of any locker room where anybody talks like that. I have never heard of any man talk that way.
David, you're a man. Have you ever heard anyone talk that way?
FAHRENTHOLD: No. That's what -- people call it locker room talk, and I think the
implication is, he was just using naughty words or he was talking about women and sort of appraising their attractiveness. This is not what that is. This is somebody saying, here's what I do to women. I kiss them. I grope them. I take advantage of them and I can because I'm famous.
That's not the kind of thing I think you hear in any locker room.
HAM: Locker rooms are like, given a bad name, man.
TAPPER: Exactly. There might be some locker rooms in some prison gyms perhaps.
Mary Katharine, one thing I want to ask you about. This morning, Mike Pence hit the morning shows, and he was railing against Bill Clinton's accusers, trying to tie them into Hillary Clinton. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I remember the extraordinary avalanche of scandals that came out of President Bill Clinton's despicable behavior, even with a 23-year-old intern named Monica Lewinsky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Does this win over anybody? I guess that's my question. Are there people in Northern Virginia, where you live, in the I-4 Corridor in Florida, the Philly suburbs who think, oh, yes, good point?
HAM: So, here's the thing.
There's a part of my right-winger soul that goes, yes, he should pay a price for this, it should be thrown in their faces. His behavior was despicable. And it wasn't treated with correct seriousness by many on the left because he was given a pass. He was a Democrat. Same thing with many Kennedy foibles and other things.
Does it reach out to independent voters and college-educated women? For the most part, I don't think so, because the American people, like it or not, from people like me, have decided they like Bill Clinton and that they have forgiven him for this, for the most part.
And so I don't think that you are doing anything but bringing up old stuff, from their perspective. Even though I might think, OK, this is a righteous attack, I'm not sure it's doing you any good.
TAPPER: David, Mary Katharine, thank you, as always. Appreciate it.
Evangelical Christians promote marriage, fidelity, family values, so why are some still standing by Trump after those remarks in 2005? That story next.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
Let's stick with our politics lead.
Remarkably, after the leak of that videotape of Donald Trump boasting of being able to grab the genitals of any woman he wants because as a star -- quote -- "You can do anything," some of his most stalwart defenders are leaders of the religious right.
Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a member of Trump's religious advisory board, said in a statement -- quote -- "People of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defund Planned Parenthood, defend religious liberty. I think a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a TV talk show host ranks pretty low on their hierarchy of concerns."
Other conservative Christians, such as Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Dr. James Dobson and Jerry Falwell Jr. also still on the board, but some other evangelical leaders, well, they have a different take.
Joining me is now Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Dr. Moore, thanks so much for joining me. Good to see you again.
RUSSELL MOORE, PRESIDENT, ETHICS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY COMMISSION, SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION: Good to be with you. I'm not drinking yet, Jake, but I can't say I'm not tempted.
TAPPER: Dr. Moore, help us make sense of this.
Is it enough for you that Trump says he agrees with you on policies such as opposing abortion and religious liberty despite what you hear on the tape and the life he has lived?
MOORE: What I'm concerned about is the reputation of evangelical Christianity and the credibility of the church of Jesus Christ right now, when people who previously told us character matters are now just waving away really serious and shocking character issues as though they don't matter at all.
We have had issues where for, over a year ago now, African-American and Hispanic evangelicals have been alarmed and concerned about, why are our leaders not taking these things seriously?
And now I'm hearing from women repeatedly all over the place, who are saying, can we really have leaders who are saying that these things don't really matter, to say that this is just locker room talk or macho talk or even some supposedly Christian leaders who are saying, well, this is just the way that men talk?
Well, it's astounding to me.
TAPPER: It's not the way men talk, I should note, just as a factual matter.
TAPPER: Why do you think it is? Why are Ralph Reed and Jerry Falwell Jr. et cetera, so strongly supporting Trump, despite this horrific tape and the other issues you raise?
MOORE: Well, convictional evangelicals who are pro-life and pro- family know that Hillary Clinton is not with us and we can't go in that direction and in that way.
But that doesn't mean that we have to follow another way that is also reckless and horrible. And I think what we're seeing right now is a divide in evangelical Christianity that wasn't created by 2016, but is highlighted and shown by 2016.
And a lot of the old guard going back to the same tactics of the 1990s, I think it's just leaving a wreckage of cynicism in its wake, and it's going to take us longer to recover from this year than it took us to recover from the scandals of the TV evangelists in the 1980s, I'm afraid, because the very credibility of what it means to stand up and say we believe in objective truth, for instance, many of the people who have warned us for years about situational ethics and moral relativism are now asking us to practice it.
And it's really heartbreaking to me.
TAPPER: Dr. Moore, one of the things that's so interesting, and I don't know if this has struck you as well, so many leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so many Mormon leaders are practicing what they preach.
Mitt Romney, the governor of Utah, Congresswoman Mia Love, "The Deseret News" strongly condemning what Donald Trump stands for, saying this is not what we represent, obviously still also very strongly opposed to Hillary Clinton.
When did Mormons, Mormon leaders become stronger in terms of faith or the teachings of Jesus Christ than Christian leaders?
MOORE: I think there are a couple reasons for that.
The first is that Mormons have never had the illusion that they're some sort of majority culture in the United States. So when Latter- Day Saints see minority religions being targeted in terms of their religious freedom in the way that has happened this year, they're alarmed and they're awakened by that.
I also think that you have cohesive communities in Utah and places like that that, frankly, I completely reject Mormon theology, but we ought to learn something about what it means to train up our children in what we believe.
And when we look at the sort of fraying and decaying that's going on in the Bible Belt and around this country when it comes to keeping communities solid, I think that's part of the problem.
TAPPER: Dr. Russell Moore, always a pleasure to have you. Thank you for your time, sir.
MOORE: Thanks. Good to be with you.
TAPPER: He won the debate audience, and he's not even on the ballot. Who is Ken Bone? and why his sweater is now an Internet sensation.
And then he's been called the heir to Jon Stewart for a political fix after dark. How does Seth Meyers see his role in this election cycle? Seth Meyers will visit THE LEAD next.
[16:48:40] JAKE TAPPER, CNN THE LEAD ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Just five years ago, the idea of Donald Trump running for president seemed far-fetched. Here's what comedian Seth Meyers, who at the time was the Head Writer for "Saturday Night Live" and host the "Weekend Update," said at the White House Correspondence Dinner back in 2011.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MEYERS, NBC LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS HOST: Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican, which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: No joke. Fast forward now to 2016, Meyers is back in the nation's capital this week hosting "Late Night WITH Seth Meyers," just in time for the Presidential Election season. We spoke on Friday before the infamous Trump tape was leaked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Let me bring in my friend Seth Meyers. He's the host of "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on the National Broadcasting Corporation. Thanks for joining us, great to have you here.
[16:49:28] MYERS: It's great to be on THE LEAD.
TAPPER: So, you are doing a whole week of shows in D.C. Why?
MYERS: We had always wanted to take our show on the road. I'd always liked when other late night shows have gone on the road and --
TAPPER: Letterman did that a lot.
MYERS: Letterman, Conan, sort of famously would go to places like Chicago and San Francisco, and we've just wanted to try to pick a place that we thought would fit with the DNA of our show, and DC made a lot of sense, especially right now.
TAPPER: Vanity Fair calls you the heir to John Stuart?
TAPPER: Yes. Quote, "With a lengthy examination of the recent congressional circus around defunding Planned Parenthood. Meyers took a step towards being one of the more political hosts in late night if you're looking for a daily replacement for your Jon Stewart fix. Seth Myers might be your man." Do you see yourself as a political late night host?
MEYERS: I do consider our show probably a little bit more political than the ones that have been in that timeslot before it, yeah.
TAPPER: You have a segment on your show called "A Closer Look," it's basically a 10-minute -
TAPPER: -- takedown of something often Donald Trump.
MEYERS: Well, yeah. When we started, we kind of saw it as an explainer with jokes. I think that was what was the jumping off point of "A Closer Look," but It has turned into the Donald Trump segment of the show. Probably more than we expected, but -- and we tried to do other stuff, but in the 24-hour period between each one, he does so much that we end up doing it more than we thought we would.
TAPPER: Is it just like a - you know, what Willie Sutton was once asked, famous bank robber, why do you rob banks? He said that's where the money is. Is that just where the jokes are, or do you also see it as a - as a calling to take him down, in a way?
MEYERS: That's definitely where the jokes are. With that said, this is important right now. The election is what we would be talking about any way, but - so we do think it's important, but I don't think we would do it as much if there weren't this many jokes.
TAPPER: There is a big debate going on in the world of comedy right now. It puts you in something of an awkward position because you are a former head writer for SNL.
TAPPER: And also you follow Jimmy Fallon.
TAPPER: And he's been criticized for being too soft on Donald Trump. But Samantha Bee obviously, she did the - she does a show called "Full Frontal" on TBS. And here's an excerpt of what she had to say recently.
SAMANTHA BEE, TBS FULL FRONTAL HOST: NBC did sever ties with Trump after he called Mexicans rapists. If by severing ties, you mean inviting him on their flagship comedy programs to show millions of Americans what a fun guy he is.
TRUMP: Why are you hosting Saturday Night Live, why?
BEE: I don't know. I guess because ratings matter more than brown people?
TAPPER: All right. I know, and this is not a nice thing because we're kind of friends, and this is not a nice thing for me to do because I'm putting you in a very awkward position.
MEYERS: I'll be fine.
TAPPER: NBC is where you work and SNL is where you come from, and -
TAPPER: -- Jimmy Fallon is the show before yours, but you obviously -- if one had to delineate, you're obviously more on the Samantha Bee side of things in what you do. Not in your state of views on SNL normalizing Donald Trump.
MEYERS: Well, I think - you know, I've got a lot of respect with how Samantha does comedy about politics and we also do comedy about politics, so I would - yeah, I would say we're similar in that way.
TAPPER: Do you think that there is an obligation that comedians have to not normalize a monster in her view, or do you think there's room for everyone to do whatever they do, and like Fallon does a very different show than you do.
MEYERS: I think that is the best possible outcome for comedy is there are lot of people do it in a lot of different ways. And I do think you want to have as many different shows as possible because I understand -- it doesn't make me super happy, but I understand that with what I do every night, I'm alienating part of the audience. I don't necessarily blame them for that, but I also like the fact that for people who come home after a hard day's work who want to watch a late night television show, that a lot of them don't want to hear about politics, and I'm glad there are other places for them to go.
TAPPER: That's interesting, you're potentially alienating some of the audience. How much of it is about, look, I just got to be true to myself, I got to be able to look Ash, your new son, in the eye when he - when he's - when he's old. I know you know who he is. I'm saying they might not know he is -
MEYERS: OK. Good, good, good.
TAPPER: But I need to be able to look Ash in the eye, versus, you know, I can't - you know, this is a game of addition not subtraction kind of thing?
MEYERS: I just think we all have to do the show that's truest to us. And I feel like audiences have a real sense of what is authentic and what is inauthentic. I am very much looking forward to however this election breaks. I think we will talk about politics less come December, come January, come February. I think that will be fun for my writing staff to have that period of reinvention. But I do think this election is really important, and I care about politics a great deal, so it just made sense and it has been authentic to what we want to do to do what we've been doing.
TAPPER: Thanks for being here. We really appreciate it.
TAPPER: Thanks. Seth Meyers, thank you so much. And you can watch Seth Meyers tonight at 12:30 a.m. You might recognize one of the guests coming up. He's the mustachioed fellow with a disposal camera who stole the debate and stole our hearts. Believe me, you're not the first one to think about being him for Halloween. How Ken Bone won the second Presidential Debate, coming up.
[16:58:46] TAPPER: All day long, my staff and I, we've been pondering this important question, "What makes Ken Bone so awesome?" Ken Bone, as you may recall, was the undecided voter in the red sweater who asked the energy question at last night's debate, why do we all find him so charming? Is it the red sweater? That was actually his backup outfit after he says he split his pants to his olive-cover colored suit. Maybe it's the mustache? Perhaps it's the disposable camera he used to snap pics after the debate. Ken Bone's name started trending online during the debate. Now, Mr. Bone is making the TV interview rounds. He told CNN earlier today about his new following on Twitter.
KEN BONE, DEBATE AUDIENCE MEMBER: I went from last night having 7 Twitter followers, 2 of which were my grandmother because she had to remake her account when she forgot her password, to now I have several hundred. Now, I don't know why they care what I have to say, but I'm glad they're engage in the political process.
TAPPER: He's even more awesome than ever, just watching that clip. That number is more than 30,000 now, and the Ken Bone means are everywhere. There's Ken Bone with the 90s rap group, Bone Thugs-n- Harmony. How about the Ken Bone Halloween costume kit complete with glasses and microphone? All jokes aside, Ken Bone says he's more undecided than ever after last night's debate what was impressed by Clinton, he like the rest of us are looking forward to the final debate, Wednesday. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I'm turning you over to Wolf Blitzer -