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Battle for Mosul Begins; Donald Trump Steps Up Rigged Election Claims; Melania Trump Defends Husband. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 18, 2016 - 11:00   ET



[11:00:12] NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They push on towards the main prize much the road itself to Mosul, flanked by oil fires

lit by ISIS.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The fight for Iraq's second city is said to be ahead of schedule, the fears of a looming civilian crisis remain.

We're live in Iraq next.

And later this hour, I'll speak to the UN's high commissioner for refugees.

Also ahead a temporary halt to air strikes in Aleppo, that's ahead of humanitarian pause. But what impact will it have? The latest on the

situation on Syria coming up.

Plus, what Melania Trump told our own Anderson Cooper about sexual misconduct claims against her husband. That interview and latest on the

race for the White House is ahead.

At just after 7:00 in the UAE, a very warm welcome. I'm Becky Anderson.

The noose tightening around Mosul. Iraqi forces blasting their way towards the city faster than

anyone expected. But it's no easy exercise.

ISIS is throwing everything it has at holding on, setting trenches full of oil on fire hiding beneath the choking smoke. They are spraying mortar and

gunfire, and using suicide bombers.

Look at the highlighted truck in this video, barreling towards Iraqi troops before detonating. It is just one of the suicide attacks that the troops

have faced so far as they approach Mosul.

Well, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has been on the front lines with Kurdish fighters, braving all of those dangers. Before we show you Nick's report,

I've got to warn you it does contain a scene you may find disturbing -- the violent death of an ISIS militant.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They have been waiting for years to finally push through the lines and take on ISIS' brutality.

When the day came it was still a dusty, slow grind -- Peshmerga into the desert to plank a main road to Mosul, distinctive American vehicles with

Western occupants in their convoy.

Air strikes often hitting the places they were headed to first. Hopes ISIS might not fight for the tiny settlements around Mosul quickly dashed.

(on camera): This is the first village they moved down the road toward Mosul and they are encountering pretty heavy resistant returning fire with

what they have --

(voice over): -- which are often blunt and old.

They want this over -- fast. Suddenly, there's panic. They spot a car, a suicide car bomb racing towards them. It's ISIS. One, two rockets try to

hit it. The third is lucky.

They push on towards the main prize, the road itself to Mosul flanked by oil fires, lit by ISIS and air strikes piling in regardless, shells still

landing near the Peshmerga -- a casualty taken away.

Down on the main objective, the road itself, ISIS sent two car bombs at them and attacked from both sides.

(on camera): 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, American air power.

Shut the doors.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay in the car, now.

WALSH (voice over): ISIS still everywhere, even in the hills. They give chase to one man, an ISIS fighter. He shoots a Peshmerga.

Pesh is down.

Humvees rescue him and they hunt on. An ISIS fighter pops up from a tunnel, shoots, he blows himself up. A tenacity and desire to die that will surely

slow and bloody the fight ahead.


[11:05:36] ANDERSON: This is when reporting is a tough job.

Nick joining us now from close to Mosul.

Nick, we've talked about the sheer number of factions taking part in the show yesterday. And now Turkey says it is pitching in as well. How is

that being taken or received?

WALSH: Well, Turkey's prime minister has said some of the jets we hear above us, we never know exactly which nation is flying what as a part of

the coalition, but some of them are Turkish. And the Turkish air force has been involved in strikes as part of this assault against Mosul, or ISIS in


Now, that of course will rankle the Iraqi government in Baghdad. They made it quite clear they want Turkey to have no part of this at all. And I

think his will be an added complication for the very fiery (inaudible) that's been around this assault.

The broad issue here is that this is a predominately Sunni city, the Sunni sect of Islam here in the Middle East. And the Iraqi army are often backed

up, not under the official plan here, but often backed up by Shia Iranian- backed militia, the Hashd al-Shaabi. Now, they've said they want part of this offensive, but they're not part of the official plan. The official

plan is for the Iraqi army alone to go in and take on ISIS inside that urban sprawl.

It's that tension there of the potential idea of a Shia militia moving in to a Sunni city that many think sparked Ankara's comments that they wanted

to get involved, too, to sort of protect, if you like, regionally, of Sunnis here. Turkey often seeing itself as that.

Turkey's statement today will ratchet up that sectarian tension. We haven't yet heard an explicit reaction from Baghdad. We can guess what

it's going to be. We haven't actually heard from the coalition if Turkey has been part of these airstrikes as well.

Regardless, Ankara going ahead with this statement saying we are a part of this operation like we said we would be, Becky.

ANDERSON: And you have revealed there the delicate sectarian situation on the ground. You are, of course, side by side with Kurdish Peshmerga

fighters who are committed to this fight on its way, on its advance to Mosul, but have said they won't be involved in the

fight, the urban fight there.

What is their mood like amongst those that you are with?

WALSH: The task they have is to predominately clear the plains around this area here. They're not, as you say, headed for the urban sprawl. They

have got a lot of assistant here from the Iraqi army as well, from the coalition, too. These planes don't have many civilians in them. That's

pretty much clear. It's been the case for months, if not years.

It's mostly ISIS fighters. And that makes air power quite easily used against deserted buildings that only have ISIS fighters in them. So, the

morale of the Kurds are quite high. They're bigger in number. Their task is in open areas ostensibly. They did get some losses yesterday we saw

certainly. We don't know the exact numbers.

But I think there is a relatively high moral. They certainly talk about quick progress, about nine villages secured in about 24 hours. Clearly,

there's still a lot of distance to face in this area by the Peshmerga have got the task of pushing through the plains. They said one of teh commaners

less resistance than expected, but at the end of the day I think it will still be tricky to clear these villages. Still nothing like the task the

Iraqi army faces ahead of them in Mosul -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh is on the ground. And here at Connect the World we're across the story like nobody else. In a few minutes, we'll

bring on the Iraqi ambassador to the UK to talk about if his government is prepared to handle the fallout after the fighting stops.

Then with their hometown turning into a battlefield almost overnight, I'll bring in the UN's high commissioner for refugees to ask what will it take

to help the people in Mosul?

That is right here on CNN.

Well, the latest on another conflict in the Middle East for you. A 72-hour cease-fire due to

begin Wednesday night in Yemen. The UN says the pause in infighting is designed to allow aid to be distributed throughout the country.

Now, violence raged for some two years between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and Yemen's government which is backed by Saudi Arabia and several other

Arab countries.

Well, CNN's Nic Robertson spoke to the Saudi foreign minister about the situation in Yemen. This is what he said.


[11:10:02] ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER: We have to look at the reality. And the reality has not been an encouraging one in the past. We

hope that the two will change. We hope that there will be a cessation of hostilities. We hope that we can start moving along in the political

process and we can then move Yemen from a state of death and destruction to a state of reconstruction and development and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf

countries have committed to playing a very, very large role in the reconstruction of Yemen.


ANDERSON: And to Syria, the bombs have stopped falling on Aleppo for now, at least. The Russian defense minister says that Russian and Syrian forces

have halted air strikes to pave the way for what is an eight-hour truce on Thursday.


SERGEI SHOIGU, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): This guarantees the security of civilians exit through six corridors and

prepares the evacuation of the sick and injured from eastern Aleppo.

At the moment when this cessation starts, the Syrian troops will pull back to a necessary distance to allow fighters to withdraw from eastern Aleppo

without problems and with their weapons via two special corridors.


ANDERSON; Right. Well, there have been opportunities in the past. Those who stayed have stayed.

Ian is following the situation in Aleppo for us. He's joining us now from across the border in Turkey, in Istanbul specifically.

What are we hearing from Aleppo at this point?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, what we are hearing right now from the people in Aleppo is a lot of skepticism. They just don't trust

the Russians. They don't trust the Syrian regime. And we've seen this in previous incidents where they've had these

corridors open, more specifically last August when they did this similar corridors and Syrian state media said that there was roughly 200 people

that left.

And when you consider that there are approximately 250,000 people in the besieged part of rebel-held Aleppo, that really is a drop in the bucket.

Now, we haven't heard from any of the commanders yet if they're going to evacuate Aleppo. As we heard, there's two special corridors for rebel

fighters to take their weapons and go from Aleppo to rebel-held territory in the western part of Syria, but the Russians are encouraging them to use

that corridor. They're encouraging civilians to leave really to basically de-populate that part of rebel-held Aleppo.

And once that eight hours is over, then we'll expect to see those air strikes again.

And we heard from the UN special envoy to Syria say that between now and December that if there is not some sort of deal, if there is not a

humanitarian effort that Aleppo just won't be there, Becky.

ANDERSON: Frightening.

Well, a rare word from Bashar al-Assad's wife earlier, Ian. Who was she speaking to and what

did she say?

LEE: Well, Asma al-Assad was speaking to Russian television.

And just to give a bit of context before we hear what she had to say, you will remember, Becky, that in 2011, when revolution was gripping the Arab

world, leaders had really two options if there was a revolution in their country. They could either leave or they could stick it out. And as we

saw in Libya, Gadhafi was killed when he stuck it out, and in Egypt, Mubarak was thrown in prison.

Well, in Syria, the Assads stayed. And this is what she had to say about that.


ASMA AL-ASSAD, BASHAR AL-ASSAD'S WIFE: First of all, I've been here since the beginning. And I never thought of being anywhere else at all.

Secondly, yes, I was offered the opportunity to leave Syria, or rather to run from Syria. These offers included guarantees of safety and protection

for my children, and even financial security. It doesn't take a genius to know what these people were really after.


LEE: And, Becky, what these people were really after, according to Asma Assad, was, she says to shatter the confidence in president Bashar al-Assad

if she were to leave and really undermine the regime.

Well, right now, as we know, they are in a position of strength. They have help from the Russians, as well as other allies, including Iran. For the

most part in a lot of areas they're on the offensive. It looks like the Assads will be staying in Syria.

ANDERSON: Ian Lee is in Istanbul in Turkey for you. Thank you, Ian.

Well, it's one of the last best chances to sell their message to voters and deal a blow to their

opponent in front of the eyes of the world. Yes, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton getting ready for their final scheduled television debate now just

a day away.

Expect Trump to come out swinging, not only at Clinton, but also at his adversaries not on the stage. As Manu Raju reports, the closer the

election gets, the more Trump is insisting that there is a conspiracy to keep him out of the White House.


[11:15:41] DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They even want to try to rig the election at the polling booths. People that have died 10 years

ago are still voting. Illegal immigrants are voting.

MANU RAJU, CNN CORREPSONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump ramping up his unfounded claim that the election is rigged.

TRUMP: You look at what's going on in St. Louis and many other cities. There's tremendous voter fraud.

RAJU (voice-over): His willingness to accept the election result if he loses now in question.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, DONALD TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Mr. Trump would if there is absent overwhelming evidence of any kind of fraud irregularities.

RAJU (voice-over): Trump frustrating many Republican leaders who have rejected his allegations of rigging. The Republican nominee also

intensifying his feud with House Speaker Paul Ryan after he said he wouldn't defend Trump.

TRUMP: Maybe he wants to run in four years or maybe he doesn't know how to win. Maybe he just doesn't know how to win. I mean, who can really know?

RAJU (voice-over): Trump taking his race against the establishment and Hillary Clinton a step further in Wisconsin.

TRUMP: It is time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.

RAJU (voice-over): Trump proposing a package of ethics reforms aiming to tackle corruption in Washington, including tighter restrictions on members

of Congress and White House officials taking on jobs as lobbyists.

TRUMP: This will go a long way to ending our government corruption.

RAJU (voice-over): A proposal sparked by his accusations that the FBI and State Department engaged in a criminal conspiracy.

TRUMP: This is felony corruption.

RAJU (voice-over): After newly released documents suggest a top State Department official pressured the FBI to declassify an e-mail about

Benghazi that was on the private server Clinton used while Secretary of State, possibly in exchange for offering to help station FBI agents


MARK TONER, STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON: The allegations of any kind of quid pro quo is inaccurate. There was no quid pro quo.

RAJU (voice-over): Clinton is not commenting. She's been off the campaign trail for days preparing for tomorrow's final debate. Clinton's campaign

now setting its sights on historically conservative states as she widens her lead in the polls, deploying her daughter Chelsea, Michelle Obama and

Bernie Sanders to Arizona in hopes to turn that red state blue.


ANDERSON: All right.

Manu Ranju reporting there.

Recent polls have shown a gender gap in the race with Clinton earning more support from women in the U.S. than Trump. A 2005 tape that shows Trump

bragging about being able to get away with sexual assault didn't help.

But Trump's wife is now speaking out about that tape and more. Sharing a softer, more personal

side of the candidate. Melania Trump talked with CNN's Anderson Cooper. Have a listen.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It was ten days ago that "Access Hollywood" released that tape.

I'm wondering when you first saw it, when you first heard it, what did you think?

MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: I -- I said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate, it's not acceptable, and I was

surprised because that is not the man that I know.

And as you can see from the tape, the cameras were on. It was only a mike. And I wonder if they even knew that the mike was on because they were kind

of boy talk and he was lead on, like, egg on from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.

COOPER: You feel the host, Billy Bush, was sort of egging him on?

M. TRUMP: Yes. Yes.

COOPER: Your husband said that, he said he apologized to you after the tape and that you accepted the apology. What was that conversation like? Can you

talk about it?

M. TRUMP: Well, when we talk in private, I'll keep it private, and he apologized. I accept his apology. I hope the American people will accept it

well. And it was many, many years ago. He's not the man that I know.

People think and talk about me, the -- like, "Oh, Melania, oh, poor Melania." Don't feel sorry for me. Don't feel sorry for me. I can handle



[11:20:26] ANDERSON: And you can watch more of Melania Trump's interview on CNN


Still to come tonight: fears of an exodus from Mosul. I'll speak to the UN's refugee chief who is on the ground in Iraq about what's being done to

protect civilians. That's coming up.


ANDERSON: Let's get you back back to our top story.

A diverse coalition of fighters pushing ahead with their offensive to liberate Iraq's second largest city from Sunni extremists.

So far the advance towards Mosul, which started in the early hours on Monday is going faster than expected.

The forces recaptured a series of villages from ISIS, they say, and also took control of a major stretch of the road between Irbil and Mosul.

Right now the battle is on the outskirts of the city of Mosul, but the major challenge lies ahead

in the urban heart of the city. ISIS fighters lying in wait with a reported arsenal of bombs and booby-traps.

Well, let's get some perspective on what does lie ahead. I'm joined now from London by Salih Hussein Ali al-Tamimi. He's the Iraqi ambassador to

the UK.

Sir, thank you for joining us. How optimistic is your government? 36 hours into this offensive, by all reports things are going faster than had

anticipated, correct?


Thank you.

I just talk about in the first 48 hours, we achieved very fast advance with high confidence of our fighters, and the support we are getting from the

global coalition. But this could change. That depends upon (inaudible). We are getting closer to the Mosul City. This is the first (inaudible),

which is inhabited by 1 million civilians. And this will affect the speed of liberation and the safety of Iraqi civilians in Mosul City is a priority

to the Iraqi government.

On the second, this is the unconventional (inaudible) where we are fighting mobile gangs who could change (inaudible) city in relation with the nature

of the battle.

[11:25:20] ANDERSON: All right, OK. Very quickly, sir. There is much optimism about the

speed of this offensive so far, also much fear and anxiety about what happens next.

Should this be successful and ISIS is gotten rid of, there is much fear about acts of revenge. How does the Iraqi government ensure that civilians

will be safe?


As for us, I know the Iraqi government has post-liberation plan. There are four committees. First committee to restore the services and basic

stabilization. The second committee for the demanding and removing the IEDs. A third committee to return the internally displaced and

reconciliation between the Mosul communities. The fourth committee to reconciliation of the liberated areas.

All these committees are led by the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

ANDERSON: All right. OK.

And with that, sir, we thank you very much indeed for joining us. That's the Iraqi ambassador to the UK, talking about what is this offensive that

has now been going on for about 36 hours, and the Iraqis reporting it is going faster than expected.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, more than 1 million civilians are caught up in what will be this bloody battle for Mosul. We

look at difficult task of getting relief to those who most need it. The UN's refugee chief is next on this show.



[11:31:17] ANDERSON: Let's get you back to our top story this being the push to recapture Mosul. International relief agencies are gearing up for

what they say is a massive aid effort to support civilians displaced by the fighting in and around the Iraqi city.

The United Nations says up to 1.5 million people, that's the number, 1.5 million people, could

be affected in the ISIS stronghold and hundreds of thousands may leave their homes to escape the fighting.

Well, emergency camps are being set up to provide shelter and there are plans to provide food, water and medical care. But the real concern is

there are not enough resources in place for what could be so many people.

Filippo Grandi is the high UN high commissioner for refugees. He's in Iraq as this huge aid operation grinds into gear. And he joins me now from


And sir, you have been on the ground visiting camps. Are the UN and other organizations in any way ready for what is potentially an enormous civilian


FILIPPO GRANDI, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: We have equipment, supplies, especially shelter supplies for hundreds of thousands of people.

The big challenge now is to find an adequate number of sites where to place -- where to establish people that may be displaced from Mosul. I have had

very constructive discussions, both in Baghdad with the government and here in Irbil with the Kurdish regional government on the importance to step up

this preparedness.

I think that a lot of it is linked to the uncertainty of the military situation. But as we approach it, this will progress. But the key issue

here, the key issue is really that civilians will have to be protected. This is a military operation. This has security implication, very big

security objectives, but security cannot be at the expense of protection.

Bad protection will generates bad security. So, we need to look at both elements.

ANDERSON: This has been months in the planning. Are you telling me that you don't believe that civilians will be or are adequately prepared for as

this advance on Mosul continues at what the Iraqi government is saying is a faster pace than they had thought so? You are running out of hours at this

point, aren't you, for things like safe routes out of the city. Do they exist?

GRANDI: I think that the government, what I heard from the government at the highest level is

very encouraging in terms of protection of civilians.

And I did ask fundamental question. I said, for example, if people feel that it's safer for them to

leave, they should be allowed to leave. No one should be returned forcibly.

Security screenings should be conducted in a manner that does not open the door for retribution and retaliation.

A lot has been learned in this country in previous military offenses.

And I think what I heard is very encouraging. You know, however, you know how it is, war

is a dirty affair. What goes from the top to the ground level is not always clean cut. So we need to remain very vigilant on this issue of

protection of civilians.

Like I said, this is for us a fundamental issue together with the material preparedness to provide assistance to those who may be displaced.

NDERSON: Filippo, at the UNHCR, you have been asking fundamental questions of the

Iraqi government, you'er saying, not least about concerns of acts of revenge and about ensuring that people, should they want to leave during

this urban warfare that is expected, that they will be allowed to return. And you're telling me this hour that you are confident about the answers

you are getting, correct?

GRANDI: I heard that very positive answers, very much who are very humanitarian answers given to me in Baghdad and here in Irbil. Today I met

the president and the prime minister of the Kurdish regional government.

I am really -- I want to comment bod both for the decisions they have made. It's important now that they go down the command chain to the ground level

where things are always more complicated.

But, for example, take security screening. We were told that we will be able to be present, to witness. I think this is extremely important. This

is quite extraordinary.

I don't hear this in many other conflict situations in the world. So, encouragement to the Iraqi

government, encouragement to the Kurdish authorities to do this in the right manner. This will be a phenomenal investment in the future of this

country, one has to understand this.

ANDERSON: Aid agencies, not mincing their words when it comes to stressing the potential

disastrous impact of this push on Mosul should it not be organized adequately. Save the children says, and I quote, without immediate action

to ensure people can flee safely, we are likely to see bloodshed of civilians on a massive scale.

You share those concerns, don't you?

GRANDI: I think that the important message that I passed -- that all of us in the UN, this is not just a UN share operations, this is a United Nations

operation with a lot of NGO partners involved. The consistent message that we pass is that people know. People know what to choose. People know what

is safe for them. So, those wishes have to be respected.

Some people may opt for staying where they are. They also will need support. Others may opt to get out of the city. It will also depend a lot

on the intensity of the operation, of the intensity of the fighting. It will depend a lot, as I said, on the manner in which it is conducted.

And all these factors are -- can vary. And we are in a situation of great uncertainty. We need to be very flexible in our responses. And this is

what we're gearing up for.

ANDERSON: I just want to, for everybody's benefit, put this looming crisis in context for our viewers. There are already more than 3 million Iraqis

who are internally displaced around the country. And Mosul is far from the only ISIS-held town still to be recaptured, of course.

In fact, this video that we're showing you now shows refugees from the Iraqi town of Halwijah (ph) still held by the terror group. This is just

one of the camps that will be used to shelter people leaving Mosul.

You talked about what plans are in place, and those that are still being put in place. Do the figures add up? Should this be a mass exodus? And

we've been talking now for some weeks, if not months, about how underfunded the agencies are.

How important is it that you get your funding at this point?

GRANDI: It's crucial. It's crucial to complete the preparations now, so it's very urgent. And it's crucial because we have learned the hard way

that in Iraq and many other places that displacement tends to be protracted.

I'm glad you mentioned that this country already has 3.3 million displaced people from previous situations. It has 230,000 Syrian refugees. Now,

what I'm a bit worried -- more than a bit worried is that we have resources perhaps to begin the response. We have another hundreds of thousands of

displaced adding themselves to the existing 3.3 million and that all of this get forgotten when it goes out of the limelight.

So, we need resources for the immediate response. We need about $120 million, UNHCR alone, plus the other organizations. But we need taht

response to be sustained.

In six months time, if people haven't gone back, we will need to continue to work to support them, to support the host communities, to support the

Iraqi government, the Kurdish reginal government, much more than we have done in the past.

This is crucial for the longer term and also to move towards solutions. Once we get out of

this Mosul crisis, we have to think about how to solve the massive problem of Iraqi displacement.

[11:40:05] ANDERSON: You really cannot underestimate the challenge. Felippo, always good having you on. Thank you very much indeed for joining


Well, Donald Trump says the fix is in. With just three weeks until election day, the Republican

candidate ramping up accusations that the media are conspiring with the Clintons to keep him out of the White House.

That's not all, Trump also warning of large-scale voter fraud before and on election day. His claims of a rigged election have outraged some fellow

Republicans, but they are resonating with some of his supporters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They got all the computers rigged. They know everything we're all doing. They're watching this right now, you know?

All they need is a couple satellites out there.

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: It's probably already worked out who is going to win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like Hillary needs to be taken out. If she gets in the government, I'll do everything in my power to take her out of power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that a physical threat?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know, is it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there will be a civil war. And I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think it will come to that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. You don't understand the passion in this country. I'm just one voice. There's a lot of people like me.


ANDERSON: Well, if the accusations of fraud sound familiar, that is because Trump made similar statements about the 2012 race right after

Barack Obama was declared the winner. Trump tweeted, quote, "we can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty."

And later, "we should have a revolution in this country."

Well, after a firestorm of other tweets, Trump grudgingly accepted the outcome.

We are expected to hear more of Trump's claims of a rigged election during Wednesday night's debate, It is also a good bet that he will bring up a

new controversy involving Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was secretary of state. Documents seem to show that a top State Department

official tried to persuade the FBI to declassify an email possibly offering a favor in exchange.

The State Department insists there was insists there was no wrongdoing. Well, let's check in with Mark Preston, CNN's executive political editor,

or editor for politics at least. He's live in Las Vegas, the site of tomorrow night's debate.

We've heard a lot from Trump over the past couple of days -- rigged elections, blaming the media, conspiracies. We are hearing a lot less from

the Clinton campaign. But that campaign also dealing with a significant amount of controversy at present. Is it sticking?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS: Well, there's certainly a lot to unpack here. And as you heard those voices at the beginning, and as viewers around the

world heard, there's clearly a divide here in America, in the United States about the election right now.

Donald Trump using terribly dangerous language right now, Becky, when he talks about a rigged election. Certainly, three weeks out there has been

no evidence whatsoever that the elections have ever been rigged here, national elections, on any scale.

And as you said, it is causing Republicans within his own party to be concerned about that.

Now, as we said this, Hillary Clinton is battling back some issues that she's having with these private emails that have been released through

WikiLeaks and then of course that we've seen from the FBI as well, having a discussion with the State Department or at least a State Department

official trying to -- at least as an allegation of a quid pro quo, meaning to change the classification from secret -- to downgrade it on one of the


That hasn't been proven, yet it is something that is going to cause Hillary Clinton problems on the campaign trail. And we are certainly expected to

hear Donald Trump talk about that tomorrow night on the stage behind me.

So, this would be the last debate, Becky, of this campaign season. And this really is closing arguments for both candidates.

ANDERSON: They've been prepping for this for some time, Mark.

Stand by, I want to get to the White House and to President Obama who I believe is with the Italian leader. And let's just have a listen in to

what the two of them have to say.