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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Interview with Congressman Steve King of Iowa; Trump Speaker Jokes About Clintons' Sex Life; U.S. Officials: Russia Waging "Information Operation"; Clinton Vs. Trump: What Do Russian People Think; Trump: Russia's Choice For U.S. President?; Russian Tabloid Calls Clinton "Evil Incarnate". Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired November 4, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Are there other people talking about running for speaker that you're interested in hearing more from?
[16:30:03] REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: You know, I'm not hearing that. And some of that dialogue was taking place nearly two years ago as we built up to that time that John Boehner was challenged on the floor. I'm not hearing names right now. But I think too that having a meeting to plan what you will do after the election is hard to do that with the contingencies.
I would say instead, we're going to know Tuesday night. If you want to have a meeting on Wednesday morning, Thursday, go ahead and do that and then plan your strategy. It's a lot easier to see the path to follow with clarity when you know the results of the election.
And I think too with Paul Ryan when he announced he wouldn't go out and campaign for Trump or wouldn't defend him any longer, that call that he made that he knew would go out to the press was the morning after debate number two when Donald Trump had a great night the night before. I don't know that he considered Trump's great debate night before he made his announcement at 9:00 the next morning.
This is one of those similar circumstances only the onus isn't on Paul Ryan. It's on others that may be making a commitment before they know the results of the election. I just don't think we processed very well on hypotheticals.
TAPPER: You after that "Access Hollywood" video came out when Donald Trump bragged about being able to get away with grabbing women by their genitals, Ryan came forward, he said he could no longer defend Trump. And you said at the time that Ryan is dividing the Republican Party. Do you still feel that way?
KING: Well, that was -- that event did divide the party. It gave members of Congress and candidates and Republicans license to walk back or away from Trump. And that was actually part of the directions that were made there.
And I believe from -- well before that day and I believe to this day that we are joined at the hip with our nominee. You can't separate yourself from the nominee. If you're the Republican Party or the Democrat Party for that matter, you're joined at the hip. So, the best thing you can do is support your candidate, lift your
candidate up and in doing so that lifts up the House races and the Senate races. And I think that was a political miscalculation and we'll see how this works on Tuesday night. But I've seen the pattern of this before, enough to be convinced that as I said, we're joined at the hip and we're going to have to ride with our nominee.
And I'd rather be riding with Donald Trump than I would Hillary Clinton right now, Jake.
TAPPER: Congressman Steve King of Ohio -- sorry, of Iowa, thank you so much. Rely appreciate it, sir.
KING: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Sorry, I'm used to covering the battleground state of Ohio.
It's one of Bill Clinton's most famous lines. Now, a Republican is bringing it back to attack Hillary Clinton. That story next.
[16:36:47] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Let's stick with our politics.
My political panel joins me now. We have with us, Donald Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, senior writer at "The Federalist", Mary Katharine Ham, and "New York Times" reporter, Michael Schmidt.
Kayleigh, let me start with you.
At a rally in New Hampshire this afternoon, Trump supporter and the state's former governor, John Sununu had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN SUNUNU (R), TRUMP SUPPORTER: Do you think Bill was referring to Hillary when he said, "I did not have sex with that woman"?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Mr. Trump has been very disciplined. His surrogates necessarily not so much.
New Hampshire, a very contested state. You guys need women votes. That can't help.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I don't think it's going to hurt or help, but I think it's important for every surrogate to stay on message too. We're talking about this right now. We could be talking about Trump gaining in the polls, but when you make a comment, it becomes newsworthy. And so I think John Sununu should be lighter on the jokes in the future. TAPPER: Michael, let me ask you, because we played the sound earlier
in the show about Rudy Giuliani two days before Comey's letter, going on FOX and talking about how they had something up their sleeves, something was about to happen.
This morning, he explained he knew about it. He'd been hearing from FBI agents about this internal rebellion and people wanting Comey to go forward. This can't please people in the FBI that this is playing out like this.
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: In case this needs another development, you can now have a leak investigation into whether Rudy Giuliani got information incorrectly from the FBI. Would Rudy Giuliani claim he's a journalist and doesn't have to give up his sources or how would that work?
There was just a call from members on Capitol Hill at DOJ to start a leak investigation. So, now, all of these stories that have come out have spurned this and Democrats are saying, this isn't fair, you know, it's unfairly tainting Hillary.
TAPPER: Let me ask you, Patti, because the polls are moving in Trump's direction. Hillary Clinton still has an edge, but CNN taking on the electoral map, putting several states in the leans Republican and also putting New Hampshire from leans Democrat into toss-up. What's going on?
PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I do think that the FBI, Comey's letter to the Hill, sort of moved some numbers in the wrong way for Hillary Clinton. But I think in the end when the books are written about this election, I think the people who are going to win this election for Hillary Clinton are Hispanics and suburban women. I mean, we see all the early vote and Hispanics are really picking up in states like Nevada and Arizona and Florida, and even North Carolina. If she wins one of those states, she wins the election.
TAPPER: What do you think? Where do you this election going? You're an undecided voter from the battleground state of Virginia?
MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Lord knows I don't have much time left.
TAPPER: The clock is ticking.
HAM: I think there's a bit of momentum on Trump's side. I think the issue for him has always been the map is challenging for Republicans and so very many things have to go right, and he has been more disciplined over the past little bit than he has in the past, but it would take a very disciplined candidate with a near perfect game for the remainder of the election and, you know, before now to have pulled off everything that needs to go right, plus a couple of other sort of lucky happenings.
[16:40:01] And I'm just not sure that the map is going to make that happen. TAPPER: What do you think, Kayleigh?
MCENANY: You know, I mentioned to you earlier in the week that I think the path is Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Iowa and any one of six or seven states. And now, we have New Hampshire in the battleground column and Maine's second congressional district. That's a path, a very viable one.
Also, Michigan, the polls are tightening. He's only four behind in one poll, three in another. So I think it can be done. I agree with Mary Katherine, he has to be perfect, but I think it's a lot easier today and I think we would agree than it was last Thursday.
TAPPER: And, Michael, as someone who covers law enforcement issues, you broke the story about Hillary Clinton's private e-mail issue. Is it on for you that the FBI has become such an issue in this campaign? I mean, her server obviously became an issue as soon as you broke that story March 2nd, 2015.
But now, it's almost as if the competing leaks -- if almost as if the factions in the FBI, the bureau itself becoming weaponized in the political arena.
SCHMIDT: Well, it's been politicized in a way that it really has never been before. They find themselves in mess in this. And it's very awkward for them. They don't like this. They like to just follow the facts and be as far away from this as possible.
These stories make it look like there's all this fighting, it's civil war going on. I don't think it's that bad but they don't like to be in the headlines like this. And, you know, they're certainly not going to say anything between now and Election Day. I think they realize the less they do, the better.
And I think there is some window of thought they could do something today but they're certainly not going to say anything on Monday and, you know, Tuesday.
TAPPER: There was news today, two of Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, two of his former aides convicted in that Bridgegate trial, there's questions right now about whether Donald Trump, who his closing argument the is "drain the swamp," whether it's off message for him to campaign with Chris Christie. Chris Christie, we should point, denies having any role on this or knowing about it at all.
If you were advising Donald Trump, would you say don't do it, don't appear with Chris Christie?
HAM: Well, Hillary Clinton certainly made hay out of it. I'm not sure how much Christie is bringing to the table with 20 percent-ish approval ratings in New Jersey.
TAPPER: In a blue state, that's not --
HAM: Yes. So I'm not sure that he's doing a bunch of this, so I might cut him loose. He's certainly done it before, to tell him to go home.
MCENANY: One of the things I love about Trump, though, is so loyal, though. He's not going to do what Hillary did and put Huma in the hiding. You know, he's going to stay loyal to Christie. Christie was the first of the presidential contenders to come and endorse him and I appreciate the loyalty.
DOYLE: Yes, but I bet he's breathing a sigh of relief he didn't pick him as VP.
MCENANY: Perhaps. We'd have a lot more to talk about there.
TAPPER: Bill Clinton weighed in on the Melania Trump speech about cyber bullying from yesterday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: Yesterday, I never felt so bad for anybody in my life as I did for his wife going out giving a speech saying, oh, cyber bullying was a terrible thing. I thought, yeah, especially if it's done at 3:00 in the morning against former Miss Universe by a guy running for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCENANY: Look, I think attacking Melania Trump probably not the wisest move.
TAPPER: It wasn't really attacking her.
MCENANY: It was a little jab.
TAPPER: It was through her to Donald, I think, right?
MCENANY: Perhaps, yeah.
TAPPER: But what did you make of it?
HAM: I'm not even sure that Melania and the Trump campaign aren't just messing with us. Like --
TAPPER: You think they're just trolling us?
HAM: I do think like one of Trump's great gifts is to get a lot of attention for doing things that aren't necessarily that noteworthy. This is a potential first lady coming out and saying that I'm going to take on this anodyne cause and it's a cause that we all agree with. But it's getting a ton of attention for this reason. I don't think they really mind what kind of attention it is.
SCHMIDT: Is this conscious, Trump has not made any big headlines in the past week. Was this a conscious thing that he did or he's just becoming a better campaigner?
TAPPER: You tell us.
MCENANY: Look, I think that Melania Trump cares deeply about this cause. And if she wants to make this her cause, she should. I think there's a big difference between Donald Trump punching back at an opponent and, you know, young women being attacked on social media and it ruining their lives in some cases.
TAPPER: The counterargument, though, would be that a president is an example for children and his behavior online certainly fits all classic definitions of cyber bullying.
MCENANY: Well, Melania has said at times she hasn't agreed with some of the things he's said or done, but this is her cause, and like Van Jones said, I think we should applaud her for wanting to do good.
TAPPER: All right. Thanks one and all for being here. I appreciate it -- Kayleigh, Patti, Mary Katharine, Michael.
Guys, we sure to tune this Sunday at 9:00 Eastern for a special edition of "STATE OF THE UNION." We're going to have limited commercial breaks.
Coming up, the Trump-Putin bromance, according to President Obama, taken to a whole new level. Why does Russian media fawn over Donald Trump? An anchor on Russian state TV will answer that question, next.
TAPPER: In our "WORLD LEAD" today, from Russia with love, love for Donald Trump, that is. As we've reported earlier, during the final stretch of the Presidential Election, U.S. officials say they are worried about potential threats from the Russian government, not just trying to infiltrate election systems, but sowing the seeds of doubt rhetorically about legitimacy of American democracy, this in an election, where President Obama has accused Trump of having a bromance with Vladimir Putin, and an election where it seems clear that the Kremlin has in many ways picked a side, whether through the activities of Russian hackers or rhetoric from Russian leaders.
Let's bring in CNN Senior International Correspondent, Clarissa Ward, who joins us from Moscow. And Clarissa, given that the Russian government controls the Russian media, what are the people in that country being told about this election?
[16:50:02] CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, this is extraordinary. You know, I've lived in Russia twice before, and I've never seen a U.S. election being followed with quite the same fervor. Simply put, Russians are really dining out on this election. And what they're being told essentially, Jake, is that the election is rigged. Some media channels are even saying that they believe that Donald Trump could be assassinated by U.S. Special Services operatives who do not believe that he belongs in power. Take a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American Dream is dead.
WARD (voiceover): Russia's media is relishing every minute of this U.S. election, presenting it as an epic failure of American democracy. And it's not hard to see who the favorite is here. The republican candidate is presented as a maverick underdog, a political outsider who speaks truth to power.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is cast as a dangerous Russia hater, whose election could lead to World War III. Russian media frequently labels her a witch, with one tabloid even calling her, "evil incarnate." State TV anchor, Sergey Brilev says it's a response to Clinton's aggressive attitude.
SERGEY BRILEV, RUSSIA TV ANCHOR: The (INAUDIBLE) on the streets, of course, is Clinton is someone hostile to Russia, because - well, she's being hostile. She's done all those anti-Russian statements whether it's about hacking or (INAUDIBLE) Putin or Russia, just rhetoric statements.
WARD (voiceover): President Putin has dismissed allegations that Russia is playing favorites in this race, but as the polls have tightened, Russian media is now suggesting that the election is rigged, and that the establishment won't let Trump win.
One channel has predicted bloody social unrest if Clinton becomes president, followed by the overthrow of the corrupt regime.
KONSTANTIN VON EGGER, RAIN TV ANCHOR: It is a very effective message for the Russian audience, because Russian audience is very suspicious of America, is very suspicious of western democracy and American democracy. And someone who rebels against the system, definitely is very good in the eyes Russia.
WARD (voiceover): Which is why media here is happily milking this election for all the propaganda value it can get. Clarissa Ward, CNN, Moscow.
WARD: So, why is this election providing so much propaganda value? Well, Jake, essentially there's really two reasons here. On the one hand for Russians, this makes America look bad in their eyes. They are presenting America as a divided, dysfunctional and dangerous country, but perhaps even more importantly, Jake, focusing on the U.S. election, allows the leaders in this country to avert attention away from their own problems here at home in Russia, which are significant, Jake.
TAPPER: And Clarissa, how were the Russian people reacting to the accusation that the Russian government is trying to hack into U.S. Election Systems? WARD: Well, this is an interesting one, Jake, because people on the surface claim to be flabbergasted and outraged, they say there's absolutely no proof, that it's a completely baseless allegation, and they in fact even turn it on its head, and say, "Actually, this is evidence not of any Russian wrongdoing, this is evidence of what they see as pervasive American Russaphobia. Essentially they believe that American authorities and particularly Hillary Clinton, they are very much focused on Hillary Clinton in terms of her desperation in their eyes to prove that Russia is somehow culpable, that Russia has somehow trying to interfere with the American political system as it plays out. But they have said it once, they have said twice, President Putin has also said it, there is no interference according to the Russians from any Russian authorities with the U.S. election, Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Clarissa Ward in Moscow, thank you so much. We're getting that last look at the health of the U.S. economy before November 8th in today's installment of "AMERICA'S DEBT & THE ECONOMY." The October jobs report is out. It shows a solid gain last month, adding 161,000 jobs, dropping unemployment to 4.9 percent. A highlight from today's report is that average hourly wages for American workers went up nearly three percent. That is the fastest pace since the recession. All of these numbers may suggest the U.S. economy is on the right track, but the overall economic growth this year still stands at 1.7 percent. That is slow compared to historical standards, which is why Donald Trump is calling today's jobs numbers an absolute disaster, noting accurately that the U.S economy under President Obama has not seen a year with three percent growth.
[16:54:58] Of course, democrats would note when President Obama took office after the great recession that started under his predecessors, nearly 600,000 people lost their jobs in January 2009 with the unemployment rate of 7.6 percent. Trump surrogate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says he was given an early heads-up about the new FBI probe into possible Clinton e-mails, and he will be live on CNN, next.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN THE SITUATION ROOM HOST: Happening now, "BREAKING NEWS." The final push, locked in a very tight race, the candidates are going all out to roundup votes on the last weekend before Election Day with help from family and some high-powered friends. And CNN has learned Donald Trump is going all out -