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N.C. Republican Party Field Office Firebombed; Trump Today: "Phone Stories 100 Percent Made Up by Women"; ISIS under Assault as Battle for Stronghold Underway. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired October 17, 2016 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: When you have Donald Trump saying there's already large going on before and on election day, what does that mean for Senator Richard Burr, who is in a very tight re- election race in North Carolina for his Senate seat? If he wins by just a few, is that voter fraud? You know?

DALLAS WOODHOUSE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY: You know, I think we all have a responsibility on all sides of the aisle to talk about these issues seriously and soberly. And there is a danger of voter fraud, but -- and we believe in North Carolina more needs to be done. That's why Governor McCrory and Republicans passed more. Unfortunately, we were blocked by the courts. And North Carolina has been told that basically we are second class citizens because we can't have t same laws that are in Virginia and Indiana and other places.




WOODHOUSE: Of course, our intention is to win these elections and win them by a healthy margin.

BERMAN: Dallas Woodhouse, great to have you with us. We wish you the best in rebuilding that office a quickly as you can.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Dallas.

WOODHOUSE: Thank you.

BERMAN: On the attack. Donald Trump fires back at the women accusing him of sexual misconduct, calling their stories phony and 100 percent made up.

BOLDUAN: Plus, the battle to retake the last ISIS stronghold in Iraq. Heavy gunfire, explosions as Iraqi-led forces go in. CNN is live on the front lines. We will take you there, next.


[11:35:48] BOLDUAN: Already on the attack this morning, Donald Trump firing back against allegations from at least nine women now who have accused the candidate of everything from unwelcome advances to sexual assault. Trump, on Twitter this morning, said this, "Can't believe these totally phony stories 100 percent made up by women, many already proven false, and pushed big-time by the press have impact."

BERMAN: Joining us now, Republican Congresswoman from North Carolina, Renee Elmers. She supports Donald Trump.

Representative, thanks for being with us.

REP. RENEE ELMERS, (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Good to be with you.

BERMAN: Do you think these stories -- do you think these stories are 100 percent made up?

ELMERS: What I think is Donald Trump, he is not hiding from this. He's saying to the American people these stories are not true. I'm not one that would look at a woman and say, you know, don't go out there and report. As we know, over 60 percent of sexual assaults in this country are not reported because women are not taken at their word. That's a problem that we have here in this country with our culture.

But here we have a situation where now we have nine women who have come forward. Donald Trump disputes this. All of these are unsubstantiated and we are three weeks before an election. Look, if these women were going to come out, why didn't they come out 18 months ago when Donald Trump was in the primary? Why today?

I think the reason that he keeps throwing aspersions at this, he knows who he's dealing with. He's dealing with Hillary, the most corrupt politician to ever run for president. This is exactly the tactics we have seen that are now being exposed in the WikiLeaks e-mails. This is just another tactic of the Clintons to take this election.

BOLDUAN: In terms of the timing, the women themselves have been asked that, why come out now, and they say it's because Donald Trump said he has never done any of this stuff, that he was on the "Access Hollywood" tape, he's never done that. He said that to Anderson Cooper in the debate. That was the reason they offered. That is their explanation of it. Again, that's their -- that is what they are saying.

But do you think even if one of -- one allegation is true, it is worth voters considering before they cast a ballot?

ELMERS: Well, sexual assault is sexual assault. But how is Donald Trump going to get his due process? This is for the courts to decide. If these women are going to go forward with this, as they should, if this is something that happened, but that's not the point here. The point here is this is something the Clinton campaign, using these women as pawns, has thrown out there. Where is Hillary Clinton? She has a debate with Donald Trump in two days. She's been MIA for five.


BERMAN: Do you think -- ELMERS: It's easy for her to run from these situations and run from all of these things that are coming out from WikiLeaks. Right now we have --


BERMAN: Let's talk about WikiLeaks. Let's talk about WikiLeaks with Jeff Duncan, Republican Congressman from South Carolina, he tweeted this morning, "Let me be clear, thank god for WikiLeaks doing the job that mainstream media won't, #assange, #WikiLeaks." Congressman Duncan later tweeted sort of a back-track on this. "I'm not trying to praise Julian Assange here."

But thank god for WikiLeaks, do you feel that way?

ELMERS: Look, we wouldn't have this information right now, the American people would not have this information if not for this.

I certainly do not condone cybersecurity and hacking. Cybersecurity and breaches in cybersecurity are very, very serious. But this all plays into the same thing. Look at what Hillary Clinton did. She put an unsecured server --


BERMAN: That's not WikiLeaks. That's not WikiLeaks.


BOLDUAN: These are e-mails that were hacked of her associates, her aides. That is how this came out.

ELMERS: What she did --


ELMERS: She was secretary of state. She was one of the closest advisers to the president of the United States. She had an unsecured server that would leave her open to hacking.


BOLDUAN: These aren't the e-mails that were hacked.

ELMERS: How do we know --


BOLDUAN: There's no evidence right now, Congresswoman, that these are the e-mails that were hacked.

ELMERS: But John Podesta --


ELMERS: But John Podesta's were. We are seeing connections between the Clinton foundation and Russia with uranium deals. We are seeing Podesta has had dealings with Russia.

[11:40:09] BOLDUAN: Are you saying --


ELMERS: When we are talking about this, where is Hillary Clinton right now? I'm having this conversation with you. Donald Trump is out on the stump every day and Hillary Clinton is hiding because she cannot answer to this.

BOLDUAN: Do you think it is dangerous, though, to praise the hacking of private e-mails? At some point, hackers might be done hacking Democrat e-mails and be looking for Republicans.

ELMERS: No. That's something we in Congress have been trying to address for quite some time.

But let's talk about that. Let's talk about the issues that matter when we are talking about this presidential election. You know, there's a "Washington Post" story that came out today about how devastating Obamacare is for North Carolina. 250,000 residents are going to lose their plans under the affordable Care Act because two of the three insurers are leaving. Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which is the remaining insurer, is saying they are going to stay but they have lost over $400 million.


BOLDUAN: Those --


ELMERS: Those are the issues Donald Trump can run on this, especially in North Carolina, from here to the election, and he will win. It was Hillarycare before it was Obamacare.


ELMERS: It will be Hillarycare Part 2 when she gets into office if she's elected.

BOLDUAN: Congressman Renee Elmers, thanks for joining us. We appreciate it. ELMERS: Thank you. Good to be with you.

BERMAN: Our breaking news, the fight is on at this moment to retake a key Iraqi city from ISIS. CNN -- you can see Nick Paton Walsh in the field, caught right in the middle of a battle. We'll take you there live, next.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But this has been an absolutely much international --



[11:45:46] PATON WALSH: -- Still remain volatile and that is the question, what kind of resistance will they continue to face. The Iraqi military, too, at some point will have to push down here towards Mosul. But this has been an effort with much international support, a lot of coalition planning --



BERMAN: You can see Nick Paton Walsh, CNN senior international correspondent, caught in a firefight as Iraqi forces with U.S. backing finally launch as assault to retake Mosul from ISIS militants who have occupied that city for more than two years.

CNN teams are reporting. They have seen the first air strikes of the campaign now east of Mosul. Some of these attacks are being launched from a French carrier in the Mediterranean off the Syrian coast.

BOLDUAN: Mosul is the last ISIS stronghold left in Iraq. Iraq's prime minister says his forces are working to free -- the estimates are about a million residents stuck in that city through brutality and terrorism of ISIS.

Let's get to the very latest. CNN senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, is near Mosul.

Arwa, what have you seen since this offensive began?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the forces have steadily been pushing through trying to clear this territory in the Nineveh plains outside of Mosul of remaining elements of is. The villages are fairly small. And as they have been going through, as you saw in Nick's reporting there, they have been coming face to face with some fairly intense but sporadic gun fights. There are small pockets of fighters that ISIS seems to have left behind in these villages. They have also been several incidents that we have heard reported, that we have seen from our vantage point of ISIS trying to use suicide car bombs to stop the troops from moving forward. And there's also been a fair amount of air strikes that we have been seeing, as well as artillery and rockets being fired.

But it's important to note the terrain out here. It's very vast, very spread out. And in these villages, there's little to no civilian presence. These dynamics could not be more different than those that these forces are going to encounter once they reach the city of Mosul, where ISIS most certainly is expected to put up a significant fight, as big of a fight as we have arguably seen Iraq. plus, you have the added grave, grave concern of the one to 1.5 million civilians still believed to be caught inside that city that ISIS could also potentially be using as human shields.

BERMAN: Arwa Damon near Mosul where the assault is on.

Arwa Damon, stay safe. Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, break out your TI-82 calculator. John has his in his breast pocket. We will be heading back to the map to look at the fun stuff, the math to win the White House, the road map to 270. And why is team Clinton now looking at red country just weeks out from Election Day?