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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Clinton Ally in Hacked Email: "Apologies Are Like Her Achilles Heel"; Interview with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; More Women Accuse Trump Of Groping; Report: Trump Tax Plan Would Add $7.2 Trillion To Debt Over 10 Years; Report: Clinton Plan Would Drop Debt By $1.6 Trillion Over 10 Years; Surgeons Detach Brothers Joined At Skull. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired October 14, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Take a look at his email exchange. It took place right after an interview with NBC's Andrea Mitchell.
[16:30:00] This was Clinton's first public interview after the email scandal unfolded, Jake.
Hillary Clinton's quote said she was sorry about the e-mail confusion but she didn't apologize. The overall impression from the Clinton emails is that Hillary, quote-unquote, "rocked it", but John Podesta writes this that the press is pointing out the fact she really didn't apologize to the American people and, "I", John Podesta here, "am beginning to think Trump is on to something."
To that, policy director Neera Tanden replies, "Everyone wants her to apologize and she should apologize. Apologies are like her Achilles heel, but she didn't seem like a," sorry the word, "bitch in the interview. And she said the word sorry. She will get to a full apology in a few interviews."
As her aides predicted, Jake, Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat for not apologizing and she finally did offer a more clear apology for handling of the e-mails.
There's also discussion about e-mails between the president and secretary and how John Podesta tried to keep President Obama's e-mails private. He asked Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, "think we should hold emails to and from POTUS". POTUS, of course, president of the United States. "That's the heart of this executive privilege. We could get them to ask for that. They may not care, but it seems like they will."
And when aides were trying to come up with their initial statement for Secretary Clinton on the email server and perhaps trying to explain what she did, Jake, there was a discussion about former secretaries of state and this caution from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager about dragging them into it. "One thing in here I feel strongly about is that she not include the part about meeting with former secretaries and that they told her she should do this."
Jake, that advice apparently changed. They're not taken. Part of Hillary Clinton's defense has been to try to point out other secretaries of state handled e-mails the same way -- Jake.
TAPPER: And former Secretary of State Colin Powell objected to that very, very strongly.
Drew Griffin, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
A Clinton supporter reacting to the newest batch of WikiLeaks e-mails and, of course, the story against Donald Trump. That story coming up next.
[16:36:20] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
Sticking with our politics lead, new e-mails hacked and stolen and released by WikiLeaks, revealing the internal concerns of the Clinton campaign over her use of a private e-mail server and whether her apology went far enough.
Joining me now to discuss this and other issues, Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, a Hillary Clinton supporter.
Senator Baldwin, thanks so much for being here. Appreciate it.
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D), WISCONSIN: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: So, I want to talk to you about the WikiLeaks but I'm not going to have a female senator on the show without getting a response to these latest charges, these latest accusations against Donald Trump from women saying that he sexually assaulted them. You're response?
BALDWIN: Well, it's horrifying. And it again calls upon all our Republican elected leaders to revoke their support of Donald Trump. Like the president said last night, just what does it take? They failed in my opinion the moral test, the moral question in the Republican primary resulting in his nomination.
But how many of these heart-breaking stories before leaders stand up and you know, hear in Wisconsin where Trump was to appear a week ago, Paul Ryan famously uninvited him to a picnic and then scolded him in a press release.
These leaders need to revoke their support of Donald Trump. And, you know, nothing -- it shows that they'll failing this moral test.
TAPPER: What do you say to those who say that the Democratic Party by not condemning Bill Clinton's -- not his infidelities but the accusations against him of sexual assault, that they -- and I'm not talking about you because you weren't in the Senate in the 1990s -- but they don't have much of a leg to stand on, because they were quiet when a powerful man was accused of sexual assault in the past?
BALDWIN: Well, you had a previous guest on this hour talking about the fact that there was a trial in the House of Representatives. This is actually right before I was elected to the House of Representatives, and that the inquiry was made. It was very public. He's paid a price in terms of his reputation.
But this is an a completely different situation that we are facing today and we're talking about somebody who as we've watched Donald Trump throughout the course of this campaign, he's showed how dark his soul is, but now, he's proving himself to be a truly dangerous man and he cannot and will not be the president of the United States.
TAPPER: I want to turn to these hacked e-mails published by WikiLeaks now. In an e-mail after Hillary Clinton's interview with NBC News about the email server, John Podesta, her campaign chairman, writes, "Press takeaway was the whine of, but, quote, 'she really didn't apologize to the American people. I'm beginning to think Trump is on to something." And a Clinton confidant Neera Tanden responded, quote, "Everyone wants her to apologize and she should. Apologies are like her Achilles heel" and on and on.
That's pretty harsh criticism from her advisors. Why do you think it was so difficult for Secretary Clinton to acknowledge that this was a mistake and apologize and put this behind her?
BALDWIN: Well, first of all, I want to tell you that nobody at the Wisconsin fish fries that will happen all over our state this evening are going to be talking about these WikiLeaks issues compared to the incredibly heart-breaking stories we're hearing from women across the United States, story after story in the last few days about Donald Trump and sexual assault.
[16:40:15] You know, beyond his words of bragging about sexual assault.
But to get to the substance of your question -- you know, I can only hazard a guess on what sort of e-mails are flying right now back and forth in the Trump campaign about why didn't he take a different approach in all of this. I mean, you can just imagine. But we are talking about -- we're talking about hacked e-mails.
We believe, at least the federal government has said that they believe that these were hacked by the Russian authorities. I can tell you individually since I understand they've leaked thousands of documents, I haven't had the time to study them, to draw any opinion about them.
But, you know, I have to question, if this were a campaign playbook or correspondence that were physically stolen from a campaign headquarters, we have to treat it like that. These are things that were hacked out of, you know, whether it was the campaign headquarters or people's private e-mail accounts. And I think we have to look at the source and question it.
TAPPER: Well, certainly, it's the biggest threat of campaign documents since Watergate, much bigger than Watergate.
Senator Tammy Baldwin, thank you so much. We always appreciate your time.
BALDWIN: Thank you. TAPPER: Donald Trump has said that his advisers want him to talk
about policy instead of talking about the accusations that he's denying of sexual assault. Will he?
Then, an exclusive look inside the successful separation of twins who were conjoined at the head. One of the boys just got out of surgery 27 hours later. That's next.
[16:45:00] JAKE TAPPER, CNN THE LEAD ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. We're going to stick with politics right now, and I'm in Los Angeles, so thankfully I'm here in person with CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein and the CNN Political Reporter Maeve Reston. So, let's start with these accusers, The Washington Post publishing an account from a woman named Kristin Anderson who claims, you know, by the way, you know, parental advisory, you might want to mute the T.V for a second, who claims that Donald Trump slid her hand up and under her skirt and touched her private parts before Anderson pushed his hand away, not to put - to find a point on it, he grabbed her vagina, which is exactly what is on that tape he does.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: What he said - what he said -- she said he did exactly what he said he did. Look, I mean, it's -- I think it's very hard for average Americans to adjudicate each one of these individual cases, I think the clear question for Trump is we have so many accusations from so many sources, a varying kinds of inappropriate behavior that ranges from sexual harassment to sexual assault, and he is a candidate who even before all of this was happening, was facing historic deficits among one voting bloc, in a particular, college educated white women, the most any republican has ever lost, among them is eight points. Three polls out this with Hillary Clinton 30 points ahead among college educated white women, four times the biggest, you know, deficit we've ever seen for republican, and that is what makes Virginia so difficult, if not impossible, it's what makes Colorado, it's what makes the suburbs of Philadelphia, it makes Pennsylvania, that - I mean, that has been a kind of a head win for him from the beginning, and I've -- you got to think that even all of these, it's only going to get bigger.
MAEVE RESTON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That -- I mean, what's so startling about all of these, Jake, is the way that Donald Trump isn't responding to it. I mean, watching his rallies over the last couple of days and even today, you know, coming out and talking about these women and saying things like, I don't think so or look at her.
VAUSE: He's saying - he's saying for the second day in a row, he basically suggested that these women are not attractive enough for him to sexually assault.
RESTON: Right. So, I just don't - I don't understand - again, it goes back to the - to Donald Trump's core problem, which is that he never tries to expand beyond his base, but if he really was really serious about addressing these issues, I don't think he would be going out there insulting all these women because, you know, even the women who are voters were out there parsing through these different allegations, find and understand if they're true or not, for him to have that kind of behavior is just a total -- you know?
BROWNSTEIN: And it's not only the way he's dealing with the women, but think about placing this in a context of a kind of worldwide conspiracy to advance a globalist agenda, really -
RESTON: Right, he's sounding more and more concern -
BROWNSTEIN: Right. And really just made his point. You know, Donald Trump as we talked about before, is at risk of being the first republican nominee ever to lose among college educated white voters, a group that usually votes republican even Lyndon Johnson, did not win most college educated -
VAUSE: Landslide Lyndon?
BROWNSTEIN: Isn't that right? And so, now - I mean, when you listen to these rhetoric, it's pretty clear that Donald Trump does not have - that their campaign is not putting a lot of emphasis on trying to convert, what we consider, the existing electorate, those kind of swing voters, suburban swing voters. So much of what he is doing seems to be betting that there is in fact, this hidden army of culturally conservative blue collar alienated voters who are going to come out if he goes as far - you know turns it up to 11 on basically his attacks on the Clintons, his attacks on the media, his attacks on the political system that kind of this - kind of conspiracy theory. Everything he is doing -
RESTON: Good point. Full Breitbart.
BROWNSTEIN: Right, full Breitbart. Puts a further risk the already weak position he has in places like the suburbs of Charlotte, and the suburbs of Philadelphia, and the suburbs of Denver.
VAUSE: Who's around him, Maeve? Who is - who has the ability to tell him, stop suggesting that like you would never sexually assault this woman because she's not attractive enough for you, stop even bringing this up, talk about trade, talk about issues? [16:49:54] RESTON: I mean, I think, you know, clearly Donald Trump
does have some skilled people around him, Kellyanne Conway is very well-respected pollster, and has talked to him about, you know, adjusting his tone. I just don't think he's demonstrated the entire time, that he wants to listen to what anyone have to tell him. You know, we had all the stories earlier that (INAUDIBLE) interventions by his children, Ivanka Trump is now back out on a trail, you have to imagine that people are having these conversations with him, and he's saying, "I'm going to do what I want," and he goes out there and throws the red meat.
VAUSE: Ron, you're a numbers guy, you study this data better than anybody I know. And I guess here's the question, is there a chance he's right? Is there a chance that alienating minority voters, alienating college-educated white women and some college-educated men -- white men, that ultimately there will be that you see in these - in the size of his crowds that actually he will win just by winning Northern Wisconsin, winning out, you know, the Middle Pennsylvania?
BROWNSTEIN: Right, that is the question. There are millions of people who don't vote, right? Lots of people, in every demographic category, who're eligible to vote don't vote. And so, there are tens of millions of non-college white voters who buy the polls, who suggest -- are sympathetic to this message who don't vote. If he can disproportionately turn those out relative to everyone else, then maybe that theory works. The problem is he doesn't have a secret ear piece, right. He can't just talk to the people he wants to talk to. Everybody hears it and the fact is that the kind of the polarizing -- the racially-barbed polarizing message, the question about the role of women, everybody else hears that as well. So, it's hard to imagine that what he is doing can turn out - can simply turn out his forces without turning out everyone else. It's more likely that given the dissatisfaction of both of these candidates that turn out might even be down from 2012.
RESTON: Right, exactly, I mean, that's the one thing I think that that Clinton campaign is so worried about is if it starts to look like the race is really not close at all, that they can't get their people excited and can't get their people out there. But I think that's why, you know, you have Michelle Obama and President Obama on the trail this week, really making these argument that - you know, a vote for a third party candidate is throwing away your vote, et cetera. I mean, they are really trying to activate those younger voters to get them out to the polls. Clearly, they're not excited about Hillary Clinton, and we'll see if that works.
BROWNSTEIN: That's where her problem is, really concentrating with the younger voters.
VAUSE: Ron Brownstein, Maeve Reston, thank you both so much. Really appreciate it. Coming up, 13 month-old twins conjoined at the head, now separated after a marathon of surgery, but one of the boys just got out of the operating room, again, that story next.
[16:55:00] DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will bring our energy companies back, they'll be able to compete, they'll make money, they'll pay off our national debt, they'll pay off our tremendous budget deficits, which are tremendous.
TAPPER: Welcome back, turning to our "NATIONAL LEAD" now, that was Donald Trump at Sunday night's debate but the republican nominee did not exactly explain how those energy companies would be able to pay off the nearly $20 trillion national debt. Both candidates' tax plans are the focus of our latest installment of our ongoing series, "America's Debt & The Economy." According to an analysis by the non- partisan Tax Policy Center, Trump's plan could increase economic investment in the United States but would add $7.2 trillion to the national debt over a decade. Clinton's plan on the other hand, according to the report, will drop the debt by $1.6 trillion over 10 years by increasing taxes among other things, that decrease would likely be eaten up however by her spending proposals. Now, we turn to "THE HEALTH LEAD." 24 hours ago, Jadon and Anias McDonald looked like this, their 13-month old bodies joined at the skull. Surgery started at 7:30 yesterday morning, only CNN cameras were allowed in the operating room. And 9:45 a.m., the first cut then more than 16 hours later, at 2:11 a.m., the conjoined twins were finally separated. One of the boys had to undergo additional surgery, 27 hours later, he is now out of the operating room and recovering. Let's go to CNN's Doctor Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, a very risky operation.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN'S CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, I can tell you I was there for the entire operation. They started yesterday morning, as you mentioned, going well into the day today, so one of the longest operations ever performed for conjoined twins like this by Dr. Goodrich, and he is really one of the leaders in this particular type of operation. I would tell you, it's risky - as you say risky surgery. In fact, Dr. Goodrich told me that he sort of considered stopping the operation at one point. He wasn't sure at one point whether he'd be able to complete this. He's done seven previous sets of twins like this, he's consulted on 20 others around the world, and this was one of the toughest operations he says he had to do. Now, one thing I should point out, it's difficult to say in terms what the long-term impact is going to be. They're worried about motor strength, for example, because these children have been lying on their back, and they haven't really used motor strength, they haven't met the milestones that kids up until age one typically meet, so that's going to be of concern.
The next 72 hours, most important, Jake, just in terms of overall survival, and then it's going to be the weeks and months after that are going to give you an idea of the long-term impact. I got to say though, Jake, watching these boys come out of the operating room, back up into the ICU and seeing the parents' reaction, it's a -- was really, really powerful. Christian, father, when Jadon came up, he looked at Jadon, and he said, "My boy, my boy," and that's significant because he always said "My boys" before that, Jake. So obviously, we're wishing them luck, we're going to keep tabs on them, and we'll bring that information to you as we get it.
TAPPER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you. Our thoughts and prayers, of course, with that family. Don't miss State of the Union on my exclusive interview this Sunday with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, that's Sunday at 9 a.m. Eastern and noon. That's it for THE LEAD. Here's Wolf -