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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Trump Spells Out Shift In Immigration Plan; Trump: Hillary Clinton Is A "Bigot"; Exclusive Conversation With Hillary Clinton; Clinton: Trump Is Taking A Hate Movement Mainstream; Clinton On E- mails: There Are No Excuses; Clinton On Foundation Flap: Smoke, No Fire. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired August 24, 2016 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:23] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. At the top of the hour, Hillary Clinton joins us momentarily. It's a "360" inclusive. Her first nationally televised live interview in nearly a month. Both her campaign and her husband now pushing back hard on the allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation. There is that and much more to talk about and we're very glad she could come on the program tonight.

But first, her opponent, Donald Trump, just wrapping up a rally tonight in Jackson, Mississippi. Our Jim Acosta is there.

So, Donald Trump had some strong language for Secretary Clinton tonight. What did he say?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Oh, that's right, Anderson. You recall a couple of weeks ago when Donald Trump described President Obama as the founder of ISIS, well, there was another OMG moment that Donald Trump served up at this really in Jackson, Mississippi in which he called Hillary Clinton a bigot.

Earlier this week for the last several days, he has been coming close to saying something along those lines. He's accused her bigotry, not caring about the concerns of minority voters. But this was much more right on the edge of going out and just basically calling Hillary Clinton a bigot. Here's what he had to say.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future. She's going to do nothing for African Americans. She's going to do nothing for the Hispanics. She doesn't care what her polices have done to your communities.


COOPER: And, Jim, Trump has been touching on immigration all week, did he actually though talked about what seems to be a major shift in his immigration plan, no longer talking about that all 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country have to leave?

ACOSTA: Right now, the campaign told us before this speech here in Jackson that he was going to touch on his immigration plan. But we all we heard from Donald Trump at this rally is that when he unveils his immigration policy that it's not going to affect adversely Americans when it comes to their jobs. It's not going to hurt them in the pocketbooks. But he did not go as far as he did in an interview on another network that is apparently flying tonight in which he says, basically stakes out a huge shift on immigration.

In this interview, Anderson, he says that people who are law-abiding, undocumented immigrants in this country will not have to leave. They will not be rounded up by a deportation force, as he described it during the primaries, and leave that those folks can pay back taxes and stay.

Anderson, this is a huge departure for Donald Trump when it comes to this immigration policy but he did not get into those details at this rally tonight. We should point out, though, in that line about referring to Hillary Clinton as a bigot, that was in his prepared remarks, Anderson. That was in the teleprompter. That is in the scripted remarks that the campaign put out earlier this evening. So, this wasn't an adlib tonight. That was what the campaign wanted Donald Trump to say and he delivered it. Anderson.

COOPER: Jim Acosta, thanks very much. Now, questions about why Donald Trump is campaigning, where he's campaigning? Why, for example, is he spending time in states that he almost cannot lose as well as in others he likely will not win?

John King back with some answers tonight. So, this is certainly an unusual year. We all know that. Is there any reason to think Donald Trump is in trouble in Texas? He's in trouble in Mississippi? Where he is tonight?

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: In a word, Anderson, no. Now, let's be fair to Donald Trump. He did start the day in Tampa, Florida, a big rally in a swing area of Florida. Florida's in a dead heat at the moment. One of the most competitive battleground states in American politics. It was in 2012, when it was the closest state between Obama and Romney. It's competitive this year.

But tonight, Jackson, Mississippi, 55/44. The presidential race in Mississippi in 2012 with John McCain, it was 56/43. It's safe to assume Donald Trump is not going to lose Mississippi. And if he is losing Mississippi, Anderson, we have landslide.

Now, he's in Jackson which happens to be a Democratic oasis, if you will, in the Republican area of statewide Mississippi. President Obama did carry that county with nearly 70 percent. But a lot of Republicans saying, yes, you might be there fundraising, but why you're spending time and money on a big rally? It was the same question they were asking last night after Donald Trump. And again, he was there fundraising first. Has a big rally in a Democratic bastion within the Republican state of Texas. 64/35 in Travis County in 2008, but let's come back out to Texas statewide, 56/54 in the McCain/Obama race, 57/41 in the Romney/Obama race.

A lot of Republicans scratch their head, Anderson, saying, we know we need to go here to raise money but why are you having these big rallies, they cost time, they cost money.

Now, if you talk to Trump insiders, the new team is blaming Paul Manafort. They say these rallies were on the books when Manafort was still in charge of the campaign. They're trying to scrub and get things better as they move forward.

[21:05:01] I will tell you this, though, Anderson, I talked to a Manafort loyalist tonight who said that is pure bull, you can fill in the rest of the sentence. He will not say some other things I won't even try to paraphrase or repeat, saying that Paul Manafort, this is Trump. Trump likes to have big rallies. He tells the staff to put on big rallies and to lay this on Paul Manafort, this loyalist said, is BS.

COOPER: All right, John King, thanks very much. Again, we are expecting Secretary Clinton to call in at any moment now for her first live national interview in several weeks.

First, Clinton supporter, you'll recall former Clinton Senate primary opponent Jonathan Tanisi, also Clinton supporter, Christine Quinn, CNN political reporter Eugene Scott, Trump supporters, Kayleigh McEnany and Andre Bauer, and they're in the middle of it all, conservative Trump critic, Tara Setmayer.

Kayleigh, is -- do you see this as a major shift for Donald Trump? I mean, no longer talking about 11 million undocumented immigrants, got to leave and then the good ones could come back, they'll be a deportation force. He's not using any of that language anymore apparently?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP'S SUPPORTER: No. I don't see it as a major shift in any way ...

COOPER: It's not a chance.

MCENANY: The border patrol agents have endorsed Trump. Yesterday, we saw the parents of children who lost their lives to illegal immigrants.

COOPER: But let me just stop you. If 11 million people -- I mean, Donald Trump said in the primary, 11 million undocumented immigrants, they got to leave. The good ones can come back but they got to leave. He is no longer saying that. He's saying they can pay their -- they'll pay back taxes and there's a pass.

MCENANY: He's still saying quite clearly, violent criminals have to leave. 19,700 ...

COOPER: He's not saying 11 million have to leave.

MCENANY: Just last year, 19,700 criminal immigrants were released into society, 200 with murder convictions, 800 with sexual offenses. COOPER: But you agree he's no longer saying 11 million have to leave?

MCENANY: I think we have to wait to hear his immigration speech. What I'm -- what he's quite clear on is there's going to be a wall, criminal aliens will not be released but he is allegedly in this -- in Hannity town hall tonight, he says, I'm listening to voters. Voters are telling me that they think that this is position is too hard and he's listening to voters. Hillary Clinton is at top dollar fund- raisers ...

COOPER: So, why not just say, you know what, yes, it's a change of policy. I mean, it's just rationale speaking, if you said 11 million got to leave and now you're no longer saying that. In fact, the policies you have mean those who haven't broken any laws don't to have leave.

MCENANY: I'm quoting Donald Trump right now. He said I'm listening to voters. They're telling me my position is too hard that is, in fact ...

COOPER: All right.

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is the frustrating part about Donald Trump and his supporters. Just acknowledge the obvious.

MCENANY: He did.

SETMAYER: And he want -- you're not even doing it.

MCENANY: He did.

SETMAYER: This is a complete departure from what he campaigned on for the last year. You can go back to his interview on "Meet the Press" with Chuck Todd last year, where he talked about one of the first things he's going to do was rescind Barack Obama's executive order to allow the dreamers to stay here. He said that even dreamers had to go. Yeah. They've to go. You can go and watch it. It's on video.

So, we're not all crazy. Throughout the entire primary, he went after Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich who all said what you're proposing is A, not workable, B, it's inhumane. And Donald Trump propelled himself ...

MCENANY: You're ignoring the words of the candidate. Last night he said ...

SETMAYER: No. Which words?


MCENANY: This isn't a monologue on this program. Last night he said, there's room to soften this part of my proposal. Tonight, he said, I'm listening to voters. They'll -- they're telling me that this one portion of my immigration plan is too harsh and I'm listening to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, that's a shift.

MCENANY: I'm quoting his words. This is what he said.


CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER NYC CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: This may be one of the few moments, I say with all due respect, where you and I agree.


QUINN: We don't know what he's saying. We don't know how big a bait and switch this is until the speech. And then we may not know. Because clearly a rational person, as you guys had just gone through, would think what he's saying -- saying whatever is a flip. But none of his supporters, and you've tried very hard to get an answer from Kellyanne Conway last night, will answer the question.

So, that means, to me, they're trying to have it both ways. Look, could go back to the Muslim ban. They said they were going to do it. Then they said they were taking it back, then they came actually out with the plan that was worse from my perspective and progressive perspective than the original ban.

So, just because Donald Trump says something, doesn't mean it's true or even doesn't mean what he's going to do. We have no idea, but they're effectively trying to create this smoke screen of softness that's just a smoke screen and we don't have any idea. It could be worse.

COOPER: But -- OK, but well, Andre, if in fact this is his policy, I mean, am I crazy in thinking that this is a change? Because it certainly sounds like a change. I mean, I'm not saying he is not, you know, in the eyes of his supporters, tough on border security, still talking about building a wall, and all that. But he's no longer apparently talking about 11 million undocumented immigrants got to leave.

ANDRE BAUER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Anderson, there's no question. There is a softening. Probably, it's what a good woman does for the campaign. And she's ...

COOPER: Kellyanne Conway?

BAUER: Absolutely. And, you know, it's been said he's listening to voters, you know, he's got to be able to govern when he gets elected, too. And I think he's seen the reality of, it just can't happen from a realistic standpoint.


BAUER: I'm sorry, go ahead.

[21:10:00] TASINI: What Jim Acosta said just before was pretty amazing. There's supposed going to be this softening. We wouldn't hear the unhinged Donald Trump. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

TASINI: And Jim Acosta said that word, calling Hillary Clinton a bigot was in the prepared remarks on the teleprompter. Now, calling -- you can critic Hillary Clinton's positions -- calling her a bigot is beyond the pale. It's just an outrageous comment.


TASINI: There's no factual basis ...


TASINI: I'm sorry. No, I'm -- like what? Give me an example. Give me example.



TASINI: ... bigotry. Tell me what -- give me an example of ...

MCENANY: Do you know what the definition of bigotry is?

SETAMAYER: Donald Trump.

MCENANY: You know what the definition ...

SETMAYER: Donald Trump.

MCENANY: OK. You don't know the definition of bigot is not the race oriented remarks. Bigot means you're intolerant of someone else's views.

TASINI: That's right.

SETMAYER: Donald Trump.

MCENANY: And I would suggest Hillary Clinton is in fact intolerant of other views because her surrogates have been on the stair calling my candidate a racist falsely. Donald Trump's someone who've empowered black people in his company. He's not a racist. But because they're intolerant of his views, they will do everything to marginalized ...

TASINI: No, it's not intolerant. We actually take ...


COOPER: One at a time.

TASINI: When you call people rapists and murders, as he did in ...


COOPER: One at a time. No ones ...

TASINI: He called people who are coming from Mexico rapists and murders. That's a fact.

MCENANY: Fact. But you know what's a fact? Here is where nuance matters. Words matter. When Mexico sends people, they send criminals, that is what he said.

COOPER: Which, by the way, there's no evidence Mexico actually sends ...

MCENANY: Regardless of the veracity of that -- do you recall the Mariel boatlift when Cuba sent criminals and rapists ...


MCENANY: Words matter.

SETMAYER: Yes. Words matter.


EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: But he did say that there were some racists coming from Mexico and he got ...


SCOTT: My first day at CNN was the day that Donald Trump announced. And I covered that first speech. And this is a pivot on immigration. I'm going to have to disagree with you. Even to say that I'm listening to voters, it's a pivot. I think the things that's interesting is, which voters are -- is he listening to right now? I don't think he's listening to his base. I think he's listening to independents because he knows he can't win this election ...

COOPER: It is interesting that he would say -- talked about a softening on Hannity last night and, you know, apparently talked more about this idea of, you know, that they can stay if they haven't committed a crime. He didn't talk about that in Jackson, Mississippi tonight. That's not red meat for a Donald Trump crowd. He'll talk about -- he talked about building a wall last night, which is something the crowd likes. It doesn't ...


QUINN: And I would contend he wants us to think he's softening, but we don't have the substance yet to prove that. It is a con.

TASINI: It's a complete con. He is a conman.


TASINI: Well, I'm just saying. Donald Trump -- look, he was in real estate. He's a conman.


COOPER: I want Kayliegh if you have a response. Let ...


SETMAYER: Yeah. I disavow myself from ...

COOPER: Let Kayleigh respond.

MCENANY: We give undue scrutiny to Donald Trump's immigration policy when, in fact, we need to apply the equal level of scrutiny to Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton wants to release criminals like the Obama administration has done. 19,000 last year. She wants open borders, which, by the way, U.S. civil rights commissioner sat before Congress and said this disproportionately harms minority community but illegal immigration does, it displaces workers.

Hillary Clinton has to answer to those in inner cities who are being displaced from their jobs and to -- honestly, the mother of Kate Steinle, she lost her life because someone in a sanctuary city was released multiple times from jail, should have been in prison. Kate Steinle died because Clinton immigration policies.

SETMAYER: OK. So since we don't do monologues on the show, I'm going to respond to you. You know, yes, we should have a debate over the illegal immigration policy that the Democrats have put forward. Yes, it's awful. Yes, we need talk about border security. All those things are true.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump has lost credibility on this issue to people that are sane because he does things like what did he tonight, calling Hillary Clinton a bigot, that he switches his position. He switched his position seven times on immigration since last year. So how do we even know what he believes? We don't. He pandered to a crowd that was a pitchfork crowd during the primary that wanted them to -- that he kept saying, they are out of here. You got to get them out of here. Get them out of here. It was very xenophobic rhetoric. He demagogue the issue to get what he wanted and now he's tanking in the polls, he's tanking in swing states and he has to soften the message and change just exactly what he did ...

COOPER: Well, some positive numbers out a little bit in the swing states tonight. But we'll pick up on the other side of the break. We're join shortly by Secretary Hillary Clinton, David Axelrod is here as well. He is, you know, with President Obama at every step along the campaign trail. Secretary Clinton is on right now. We'll be right back.


[21:18:09] COOPER: We're expecting to hear very shortly from Hillary Clinton, it's a "360" exclusive. Tomorrow she's speaking in Reno, Nevada where she's expected to talk about the so-called 'alt-right."

Our Brian Stelter explains just what that term means.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: While Donald Trump says he's seeking minority voters ... TRUMP: And I think we're going to do great with African-Americans and with the Hispanics.

STELTER ... Hillary Clinton is trying to tie Trump to the so-called, "alt right," a movement often associated with white nationalism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Propelling the term "alt-right" into the national spotlight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Explain to us what "alt-right" is.

STELTER: The answer depends on who you ask.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just this sort of a dressed up version of the American neo-Nazi movement, to be honest.

DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The mainstream media is fond of portraying the "alt-right" as a mob of unruly racist, bigoted, sexist, uneducated white males.

STELTER:, the website chair by Steve Bannon has proudly led the charge. Last month, Bannon told Mother Jones, we are the platform for the alt-right.

Now, Bannon is the trump campaign CEO and Clinton is seizing on the connection. Calling the alt-right disturbing and extreme. So what is it exactly?

PAUL RAY RAMSEY, BLOGGER: (Inaudible) having a home, a place where we can be with people like ourselves.

STELTER: This video blogger says the movement which started online several years ago is about ethnic nationalism. Race, specifically the sense that white identity is under assault in America, fuels the alt- right. Which stands opposed to both progressive and mainstream conservative thought. Supporters say they're not racist or divisive, but that is what some critics charged.

CHARLIE SYKES, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I spent 20 years trying to say that, you know, conservatives are not racists. We are not misogynists. You know, this is not what we stand for. And now suddenly we have the Republican nominee who has become associated with some of these darkest elements of American politics.

STELTER: Trump is a favored of the mostly young, mostly white men who identify as alt-right.

[21:20:02] TRUMP: We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.

STELTER: Nativism and even racial separatism are themes of alt-right websites that embrace Trump. But some of the loudest adherents say they are just being provocative.

Milo Yiannopoulos has become a face of the movement through social media stunts, though, he's now been banned from Twitter. He is cheering on Trump.

MILO YIANNOPOULOS, BREITBART NEWS EDITOR: He represents the best hope we have of smashing political correctness apart, of breaking open, you know, all of the taboos, the stuff you're not supposed to say, allowing real debate to be had again.


COOPER: And CNN senior major correspondent Brian Stelter joins us now along with the rest of the panel. I want to start with you, Brian. I mean, how significant this whole idea of the alt-right? Is this something that the Clinton campaign is really hitting hard?

STELTER: Tomorrow it sounds like -- this is there's real opportunity for the campaign. They believe they can tie Donald Trump pretty directly to this movement, an amorphous movement that most Americans have not heard of. So they have an opportunity to really tie Trump to it.

However, they may also build this movement up. They may identify it more publicly. Give it more attention. Give it more oxygen. And until how, this has mostly have been an online phenomenon, mostly young white men, mostly white men who are frustrated, who build this franchise. You could say they're anti-women. You could say they're anti some minority groups. Some of them would just say they're trolls, looking to make jokes at the expense of others. But by giving him so much attention, Clinton risks actually elevating this movement.

COOPER: Are you concerned about that as a Clinton supporter, Christine?

QUINN: No. I mean, I think the speech tomorrow is going to be a very on point message that really shows America what this movement is and how Donald Trump is inherently part of it and promoting it over and over and over. And remember, there'll be more than you can count examples in the speech.

And let's not forget, Donald Trump is a candidate who wouldn't disavow David Duke and his support. At first questioned about that, he didn't even know who he was, which is staggering to me. That any American who reads the papers and ...


SETMAYER: ... about that Christine. He knew who he was.

QUINN: Well, because they're later on ...

SETMAYER: In 1990, he gave an interview about it and he said he disavowed David Duke back then so he was quite aware of who he was.

QUINN: Without a doubt. But so I think what's going to happen tomorrow isn't going to be elevating the movement, it's going to be in a very important way pulling the curtain apart as it relates to Donald Trump.

COOPER: I mean, does it matter?

MCENANY: No. It doesn't matter. And look, the Clinton campaign is very worried right now because Donald Trump is reaching out to the African-American community which is why she's giving a speech trying on falsely tie him to this alt-right group. He has no affiliation with the white supremacies that we just saw on that video. He has continually disavowed racism. He's continually disavowed David Duke.

And Donald Trump understands that his company has benefited from brining black folks up to the top levels of his company. I benefited from going to law school that had -- people that didn't look like me. That is the world -- that is the vision of Donald Trump, is having a company that is people of all races are a part of. That's what his company looks like. I've seen it. And he knows society benefits from having people of all colors and all races in this country. He has no affiliation with these groups and she's going to try to falsely tie him to the alt-right.

COOPER: Andre, is there a right -- I mean, Steven Bannon who ...

QUINN: Exactly.

COOPER: ... you know, from Breitbart is now so high up in the campaign?

BAUER: Again, you hire -- it's been like a coach -- you hire the person to get the job done. You don't hire them for their beliefs. You hire whoever you think can help you win. He would hire whoever it was because the ultimate game is to win the races, not to worry about what somebody else feels.

STELTER: But alt-right groups feed on racial resentment.


STELTER: And Donald Trump's campaign is some ways ...


STELTER: ... has fed on that same kind of racial and economic anxiety throughout the country. You can't unwind or untie economic and racial anxiety.

SETMAYER: The receiving end of this disgusting miss screens and what they say is the things -- and death threats that I've gotten from them and what, you know, social media -- I mean, just things that you would be -- I'm like, who -- what is this alt-right? I didn't even know what this was and I've been doing this 20 years. And I've never been on the receiving end of the kinds of things, even from progressives on the left. Sorry Jonathan, but I've gotten some vile things from there too, but not at this level.

TASINI: Who are they? I want to know they are.

SETMAYER: Not at this level. It's a real thing. And absolutely a test to Donald Trump. Maybe he's not employing them. Some would argue that he is with Steve Bannon but Fortune did a story on the fact that Donald Trump has retweeted 75 times people who are associated with this white nationalist movement including a #white genocide people, retweeted these things and never disavowed those things. So, I'm sorry, but there is a connection there where they feel emboldened and that should concern people, why do they feeling -- why does this group feel emboldened?

MCENANY: Donald Trump isn't having ...

COOPER: Let Kayleigh respond.

MCENANY: Donald Trump doesn't have an affiliation with any of the trolls on your Twitter feed. I can assure you. By the way, we all have trolls on our Twitter feeds. But the point is ...

SETMAYER: Semantics.

MCENANY: ... Donald Trump when he open Mar-A-Lago, he was the first person in West Palm Beach to open a club to black and Jews. He was the first person. This is back in the 1980s. He brought a lawsuit. And part of that lawsuit alleged other country clubs were not opening their doors to these people.

[21:25:02] We can compare that to Bill Clinton who was golfing in an all white golf club and had to apologize for that.


COOPER: No, Tara -- for two nights, Tara has ...

SETMAYER: It was a business decision.

MCENANY: She's spinning that.

SETMAYER: I'm not spinning that. You are ...


COOPER: One at a time. Nobody listen ...


SETMAYER: Yet another talking point, please.

QUINN: I think, you know, the issue cannot deny, although I understand why the Trump campaign doesn't want to talk about it. But that Donald Trump throughout the entire campaign has spoken in dog whistles and odd phrasing and in words that are clearly designed to tap into this far right racist anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-immigrant segment out there that has now organized itself on the internet. And he has had numerous times to disavow himself. I do not believe he has disavowed himself from David Duke to say ...

MCENANY: Yes, he has. Yes, he has, many times.

QUINN: ... say that the tweets of hateful racist that he retweeted were a mistake. He has done none of that. And in fact, he doubles down, oh, as many times as he can, even with his (inaudible) to say things that are divisive, and then hires Mr. Bannon who has clearly said he wants his news organization to be the platform of all trade. And I understand you hire people who can make you win, but you don't -- you are as our parents told us, you are who you associate with.

COOPER: Brian, do you agree with the Trump supporters who are saying that this is a response to concern that the Clinton campaign has Donald Trump reaching out to African-Americans?

SETMAYER: No, and we're not nervous about it.

STELTER: I think it is fair to say that Clinton does not want to talk about Clinton. Does not want to talk about her own controversies. Would much rather tall about Donald Trump and about Steve Bannon and Brietbart.

What I think we're seeing tomorrow is ...

COOPER: Keep business referendum ...

STELTER: ... Trump, Breitbart and Bannon. Connects the dots between -- I mean Bannon has not given any interviews in the week since he was hired. He hasn't spoken publicly. No one really knows who he is except for the news conference about him. So it's an opportunity for Clinton to try and tie it altogether.

We should say, though, when we talk about the alt-right, Breitbar, although, it isn't maybe the center of this movement, it is not the most forensic extreme version of it. There are much more fringe, even white supremacies websites that promote more vile kind of content we've seen in these people as opposed to Breitbart, which, you know, Breitbart is Breitbart, is a far right website, talks about black crime and things like that. But it is relatively moderate compared to the white supremacist sites that are out there, they are talking about the alt-right.

QUINN: But he did say he wants to be the platform for the movement.

STELTER: He did.


SETMAYER: ... you hire people that, you know, you don't necessary believe what they believe in then you try to disassociate. The conservatives went after Barack Obama with, you know, vigor over his associations with Bill Ayers, Reverend Jeremy Wright, and a bunch of -- and Franklin Davis Marshall, a communist being one of his mentors. We went after Barack Obama hard for the people that he associated himself with, but yet -- we don't apply that same standard to Donald Trump and what he does. Hypocrisy is as astounding here.

MCENANY: Well, first of all, Steven Bannon was hired because he is one of the most effective oppositional researchers on Hillary Clinton. And, you know what? It really saddens me to hear these racist arguments against Donald Trump. Because Bakari Sellers, someone who I have deep, deep respect for, one of my good friend, who's a Clinton supporter, has, to his credit said, look, I don't think Donald Trump is a racist. And he's going after him on many other levels. But I think it's sad to defame someone, who I've seen to be a very inclusive person, who's employed Lynn Patton, one of the highest levels in dispersing his charitable funds ...


MCENANY: He is not that. And it's unfair ...

COOPER: OK. We're going to take a break. We expect to hear from Hillary Clinton, next.


[21:32:34] COOPER: As we await for Hillary Clinton to join us, I'm told she'll be calling in just a matter of minutes, I want to get some perspective now from a few people around who actually have been where she is now. Former Obama senior adviser and very long time political wizard, David Axelrod.

First of all, David, it was interesting because for the last several days, we've seen a much more kind of on prompter Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway has been very front, out and center talking about not, you know, using insults and the like. Donald Trump tonight calling Hillary Clinton flat out a bigot. Are you surprised by that?

DAVID AXELROD, FORMER OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Well, and Jim Acosta said it was a planned -- it wasn't an adlib on his part. It was part of his speech.

Well, you know, he has had a habit throughout his campaign of saying, you know, of pushing back and calling someone what they are calling him. You know, we've seen this before. You know, she's on stable. She's, you know, not -- each time he comes back like that. But I think this may be something else. You know, there was a line that became popularized in the 2000s about the soft bigotry of low expectations. And it was basically a critique of how liberals approach poverty.

And you know, so perhaps whoever inserted that line in the speech was saying that. I think he's going to have a very hard sell to make that case. You know, you had the piece earlier in your show about the housing discrimination suit against Donald Trump in 1973. In 1972, Hillary Clinton went undercover in Alabama to expose school discrimination there. She's got a long history on these issues. It's been very hard to persuade the African-American community that somehow she's a bigot and he is their friend.

COOPER: The idea that Donald Trump is reversing himself or at least moving away from a position he very vocally held during the primary season on illegal immigration saying that 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country that they all had to leave, there be a deportation force that the good ones could come back in, there'd be a door in the wall, the good ones could come back in but they all got to leave first.

Now, he seems to be saying on Hannity last night, talked about softening. Now he seems to be indicating -- comments made tonight again on the same show, that those who have not broken laws can stay.

[21:35:03] It doesn't seem like he's talking about a deportation force. And Christine Quinn says, well, look, the devil is in the details. We don't really know what the policy is. But what do you make of what clearly seems to be a change in direction?

AXELROD: Well, I think it's an acknowledgement of what many of us been saying for a long time, which is the base that he had cultivated is not large enough to win an election for president of the United States. And that's been clear in polling. You can't wall yourself off from minority communities and antagonize and frighten college educated white voters who after all-- Mitt Romney carried college educated white voters by 14 percent and losing four years ago. Donald Trump is trailing fairly significantly among those voters right now. And part of the reason is they view him as intolerant. So he is trying to address those problems by changing them.

Now, Chris Quinn, it was interesting to listen to what she had to say because I think the Clinton campaign is desperately interested in not letting Donald Trump out of that box.

You know, Hillary Clinton had a fantastic convention and she profited from it. But the fact is that what really propelled her vote over the last six weeks has been Donald Trump's own behavior. And this image that has cemented in a lot of people's minds of him as temperamentally ill suited for the presidency. The Clinton campaign is very, very interested in making sure that he doesn't get out of that box. Because if he does, then some of her own vulnerabilities become more significant.

COOPER: Donald Trump has been focusing consistently on the Clinton Foundation essentially saying it's a pay-to-play. And then there was this A.P. report which the Clinton campaign has gone against hard essentially saying that of the civilians, of the nongovernmental, or non-foreign dignitaries that Hillary Clinton met in a two-year period, many of them had also given money to the Clinton Foundation. That certainly seems something that we're going to be hearing a lot more about from Donald Trump in the days ahead.

AXELROD: Yeah, no, I would -- I'm sure we will. You know, but in every campaign, there are these kerfluffles about issues like this. And when you're inside the campaign, one of the things that you have to determine is whether this is a real hit to the main engine or whether it's a glancing blow.

If there were evidence that the -- that the State Department performed ...

COOPER: Right.

AXELROD: ... some favor for one of these people, then I think it would become a story of a different magnitude. Right now, I think it's a minor irritation ...

COOPER: David.

AXELROD: ... for her and it will pass.

COOPER: Hold that thought. Joining us now by phone is Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Thanks very much, Secretary Clinton for being with us.


COOPER: First of all, just a few minutes ago at a campaign rally in Mississippi, Secretary Clinton, Donald Trump called you a bigot. He's been calling your policies bigoted. Tonight, he actually called you a bigot. How do you respond to that?

CLINTON: Oh, Anderson, it reminds me of that great saying that Maya Angelou had that when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. And Donald Trump has shown us who he is. And we ought to believe him. He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He's brought it into his campaign. He is bringing it to our communities and our country.

And, you know, someone has questioned the citizenship of the first African-American president who has courted white supremacists, who's been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color, who has attacked a judge for his Mexican heritage and promised a mass deportation force, is someone who is, you know, very much peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia. I will have more to say about this tomorrow when I gave a speech in Reno.

COOPER: Well, let me ask you about something else Donald Trump has said that you've been peddling. He also said today "that you sold favors and access in exchange for cash" from people who donate to the Clinton Foundation. Now, I know you point to the life saving work for the foundation that the foundation's done over the years, getting low cost HIV drugs and other things. I know you denied the charges that Mr. Trump is making there. But at the very least, there is an appearance of a conflict of interest for the foundation. You've agreed to make if you're elected. Why not just make those changes now? Have your husband step away from the foundation now?

CLINTON: Well, first, what Trump has said is ridiculous. My work as secretary of state was not influenced by the outside forces. I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right that keep Americans safe and to protect U.S. interests abroad. No wild political attacks by Donald Trump is going to change that.

And in fact the State Department has said itself that there is no evidence of any kind of impropriety at all.

[21:40:10] Now, I think it's important to recognize that the foundation which does do life-saving work, and is so well-respected here in our country and around the world has been doing this work for a number of years. And in 2009, they took steps that went above and beyond all legal requirements and, indeed, all standard requirements followed by every other charitable organization, voluntarily disclosing donors, significantly reducing sources of funding, even to the point of, you know, of those funding being involved in providing medication to treat HIV/AIDS.

And I think that the announcements that the foundation has made really reflect its desire to continue as much of its important work as possible, but to do it in a way that provide great disclosure. And although, none of this is legally required, the steps go further than the policies that were in place when I was secretary of state.

And it's important to remember, Anderson, the foundation is a charity. Neither my husband nor I have ever drawn a salary from it. You know more about the foundation than you know about anything concerning Donald Trump's wealth, his business, his tax returns. I think it's quite remarkable. His refusal to release his tax returns is even more ...

COOPER: Well, let me ask.

CLINTON: ... concerning. Even the recent news that his business are hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to big banks, including the state-owned Bank of China and business groups who are tied to the Kremlin.

So, yes, we did provide a lot of life-saving work. I'm proud of the work that my husband started. And we did, we provided a massive amount of information.

COOPER: But why was it OK ...

HILLARY: And Donald Trump doesn't release his tax returns and is indebted to foreign banks and foreign lenders.

COOPER: Why was it OK for the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations when you were secretary of state but it wouldn't be OK if you were president?

CLINTON: Well, what we did when I was secretary of state, as I said, went above and beyond anything that was required, anything that any charitable organization has to do. Now, obviously, if I am president, there will be some unique circumstances and that's why the foundation has laid out additional ...

COOPER: But didn't those unique circumstances exist when you were secretary of state?

CLINTON: ... if I am elected.

COOPER: Didn't those unique circumstances exist ...

CLINTON: No, no. And, you know, look, Anderson, I know there's a lot of smoke and there's no fire. This A.P. report, put in it context, this excludes nearly 2,000 meetings I had with world leaders, with countless other meetings with U.S. government officials when I was secretary of state. It looked at a small portion of my time. And it draws a conclusion and made a suggestion that my meetings with people like the late great Elie Wiesel or Melinda Gates or the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were somehow due to connections with the foundation instead of their status as highly respected global leaders. That is absurd. These are people I was proud to meet with, to any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work and their insights.

COOPER: Let me ask you, according to "The New York Times" report, you told FBI investigators that former Secretary of State Colin Powell advised you to use a personal e-mail account. His response to that this past weekend was reportedly, "Her people are trying to pin it on me." "The truth is, she was using," he's talking about the private e- mail server, "for a year, before I sent her a memo telling her what did I," he's talking about the private e-mail account. Did you say that to FBI investigators? And is Secretary Powell right, were you using this private e-mail server prior to your conversation with him?

CLINTON: Well, look, I have the utmost respect for Secretary Powell. And he was incredibly gracious and helpful after I was nominated and before I took the job. I appreciated the time he took when I was preparing to become secretary. And I valued his advice. I'm not going to relitigate in public my private conversations with him.

I've been asked many, many questions in the past year about e-mails. And what I've learned is that when I try to explain what happened it can sound like I'm trying to excuse what I did. And there are no excuses. I want people to know that the decision to have a single e- mail account was mine. I take responsibility for it. I've apologized for it. I would certainly do differently if I could.

[21:45:12] But obviously, I'm grateful the justice department concluded there was no basis to pursue this matter further. And, I believe, the public will be and is considering my full record and experience as they consider their choice for president.

COOPER: Donald Trump is now indicating he would allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the country. Early on, during the primaries, you well know he talked about 11 million undocumented immigrants, they all have to get out, the good ones can come back in, in his words. He's now told Fox News he would work with people if they paid back taxes. He says that's not amnesty. They wouldn't get a path to citizenship. What do you make what appears to be quite a big shift by him on this if this, in fact, is his policy moving forward?

CLINTON: Well, you know, my understanding is that the comment you just referred to was the third different position he took yesterday on immigration. Somebody has told him, I guess, the latest people that he is consulting, how damaging his statements have been, how terrible his deportation plan is, how offensive his views on immigrants have been from the very first day of his campaign. So, he's trying to do, you know, kind of a shuffle here.

But I think, we need to look at the entire context. We need to believe him when he bullies and threatens to throw out every immigrant in the country. And, certainly, when he changes his position three times in one day, it sends a message that it's just a desperate effort to try to land somewhere that isn't as, you know, devastating to his campaign as his comments and his positions have been up until now.

COOPER: Finally, Secretary Clinton, you haven't done a press conference in more than 260 days in terms of your public appearances, your media strategy, this report in POLITICO that indicates your allies believe by keeping a low profile, a relativity low profile. You can essentially run out the clock on Trump, keep the focus on Trump. How do you respond to that? Will you give a press conference?

CLINTON: Well, Anderson, I'm talking to you right now. And I've given, I think, way in excess of 300 interviews this year. So I'm going to continue talking with the press and answering questions and many different ...

COOPER: Why not give a press conference though with a lot of different reporters?

CLINTON: Well, you know, I mean, I've got a lot that I have been sharing with the press, talking to the press as I'm doing with you right now. So, you know, stay tuned, there'll be a lot of different opportunities for me to talk to the press as well as continuing to talk to the American public.

COOPER: We appreciate you talking to us tonight. But I know a lot of other reporters who would love a chance to talk to address you during a press conference so I'm throwing that out there. Secretary Clinton, thank you very much.

CLINTON: Thank you. Good to talk to you, Anderson. Bye-bye.

COOPER: Bye-bye.

I'm going to back to David Axelrod who's been listening in. I mean, essentially that was Secretary Clinton's first television interview, at least, on a national level that I know about, in almost a month. What did you make of it?

AXELROD: Well, she played some offense and she played some defense. She came and she delivered the message that she wanted to deliver accusing Donald Trump of taking a hate movement mainstream. And I think, as she said, we'll hear a lot about that tomorrow. That's what she wanted to talk about.

She also obviously knew she was going to have to talk about some things that she didn't want to talk about including the Clinton Foundation flap. She said there was smoke but no fire. And as I told you before she joined us, I tend to agree with her on that. The problem for her is that there's often smoke and that has followed her around like a cloud. And that has created some of the problems that she's created.

On the other hand, when she was asked -- when you asked her about the e-mails, I thought she gave, maybe, the best answer I've heard her give which is to say, "Every time I talk about this and try to explain what happened, it sounds like I'm making excuses and there are no excuses." And she took responsibility. That was the cleanest handling of that question that I've heard her give.

So, again, you know, she scored some points on offense. She parried gamely on defense. And she didn't commit holding a press conference between now and the election. So she probably considers it a time well spent.

COOPER: David Axelrod, appreciate you being with us. I want the panel to join us again.

It's interesting, Brian, because as you all know in interviews like this ...


COOPER: ... you only have a certain amount of time ...


COOPER: ... clearly she does not want to talk about what she -- what Colin Powell said to her or did not say to her. Condoleezza Rice, her office was reached out too and their spokesperson, Condoleezza Rice. Condoleezza Rice has no memory of being -- of there being a conversation between Colin Powell and Secretary Clinton at a dinner in Madeleine Albright's house where Powell recommended about a, you know, using private e-mail.

[21:50:10] STELTER: Both Clinton and Trump this month have been avoiding television interviews like, and you know, interview with like you. I'm struck by the fact that she chose to call in tonight. I had a moment where Donald Trump has been all over the news, making news every single day.

I thought it was striking that she did not answer your question about press conferences. She is acting in some ways like she has already president by not acknowledging the importance of a press conference and the uniqueness of a press conference.

It makes me wonder how accessible she would be in the White House as president. Her only answer was to stay tuned. Not going to be a satisfying answer to the Clinton beat reporters who wait every single day hoping to talk to her.

COOPER: Kayleigh?

MCENANY: Yeah. And with regards to the Clinton Foundation, I mean, she acts like it's nothing to see here approach, but, you know, why then did the FBI ask the Justice Department to look into the Clinton Foundation? Why when the Associated Press was trying to get records of her meetings where they stone walled by the State Department? And it took the Associated Press suing in order to find out 50 percent of her non-government meetings were with people who had donated.

And, you know, I would just refer to Bernie Sanders quote, "You're not going to have a government that represents all of us, so long as you have a candidate like Secretary Clinton being dependent on big money interests." She has a problem with this. BAUER: And when Justice Department -- when you talk about investigating Hillary Clinton, (inaudible) no matter what they find nothing's going to be done. 228 people in the Justice Department donated to Hillary Clinton.

It doesn't matter. Whatever they come up with, nothing's going to get investigated.

SETMAYER: That's why the special prosecutor argument is a strong one actually because it's ...

MCENANY: Yes. The facts about ...


MCENANY: So, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, no, go ahead.

QUINN: No, no, no. Go, go, go.


COOPER: Bernie is saying -- Bernie Sanders was referencing this to us, but ...

TASINI: Yes. But Bernie Sanders also said enough of the damn e- mails.

QUINN: Right.

TASINI: That was another classic. And I think that's true that people are tired of e-mails, there's nothing there and we should move on. I agree with David Axelrod.

COOPER: Well, there are suddenly 15,000 e-mails which previously hadn't been produced.

TASINI: But you know what nothing's going to be found in them that's going to be a big issue -- Hillary Clinton, you know, I thought that this whole thing going back actually this September, the main issue actually for even progressives was there is too much classification, too much over classification in this country.

And I did not think of that time that what Hillary Clinton did in sending e-mails even from a private server put the national security at risk or was a big deal. And Bernie had it absolutely right, there is nothing there, we should move on. And I think he was right about that.


COOPER: One at a time, one at a time, one at a time.

SETMAYER: The FBI director thought it was a big deal saying that it was reckless, I mean, extremely reckless and I mean, it's a pretty big deal.

QUINN: And look, and ...

STELTER: No, no, maybe that's why it was wise for her to say there's no excuse ...

TASINI: I said it was over classification. But what David Axelrod said, which I think he is absolutely right today, she said there was no excuse. I think it's because she thought, God, if I can do it over again, I would not have done it.

QUINN: And I think ...

MCENANY: She's laughter about it on late-night television. She was laughing about it two days ago on late-night television. So how can you laugh about it and then say, today, there's no excuse when she was marginalizing all issues?

QUINN: I think she's very clearly took responsibility. She has before it, but right in this interview, you're right, very clearly took responsibility and said it shouldn't have happened.

And I said before, I think admitting a mistake or admitting you've changed is part of leadership and we don't hear those kinds of statements about anything in his career, political or pre-political from Donald Trump when we all know he's made mistakes.

So one thing he said is I regret generally but made no specifics. Secretary Clinton is taking responsibility that this shouldn't have happened. That's it. I just want to go again go back to the AP's reporting which has been criticized by many national news outlets and others as showing a cherry-picked 50 percent.

And again, if you looked at who would give to something like the Clinton Foundation, it's international humanitarian, people who have internationally interest. Who should meet with the secretary of state, clearly, there was going to be overlap that doesn't surprise ...

COOPER: But (inaudible) and like the Crown Prince of Bahrain has to go through the Clinton Foundation in order to try to get a meeting with Secretary ...

QUINN: But Huma said ...

SETMAYER: Right. Gave $32 million by the way?

BAUER: But if you're the prince of cash, you can get a meeting.

QUINN: If you look at the e-mails Huma said the meeting was being set up through regular channels so that Doug Band said to something (ph) saying, hey, watch this, it was happening.

His e-mail was irrelevant. It was happening. And why was it getting scheduled? Because Bahrain is our -- is a major non-NATO ally. We run the fifth fleet out of Bahrain, which protects the Middle East. So, my question would be why wouldn't the secretary of state want to meet with that person? She got it scheduled as was said by her top aide. It was scheduled with the Crown Prince ...

BAUER: When she was notified he was a donor.


QUINN: It had already, if you look at the crowns of the e-mail has been set up. But let's go back to the point here, the Secretary has taken responsibility and we still see the same kind of right-wing organization said -- have attacked her and her husband for 30 years trying to do it again.

[21:55:01] BAUER: So, the AP's right wing?

QUINN: The A.P. many news outlets ...

BAUER: They were just mistaken.

QUINN: ... have taken how the A.P. recorded.

SETMAYER: And they were trying?

BAUER: And it took us three years to get the information. They had to sue to get it.

QUINN: That is not unusual with people's schedules in government, right or wrong. But the AP's reporting on this cherry picking half of them has been criticized by people all over the spectrum.

BAUER: It hadn't been. It's not true.


COOPER: One at a time. One at time. Kayliegh?

MCENANY: No, and there's a reason Democratic Governor Ed Rendell says shut the foundation down. There's a reason he came out today and said I wouldn't have handled it the way that she did. And if she's taking responsibility, why then go on late night television and laugh about your e-mails.

If Donald Trump -- after he apologized went on Stephen Colbert the next night and laughed about the fact that he had apologized, we'd be all sitting here criticizing him. When you take responsibility, you don't peg it on Colin Powell and you certainly don't go on late night television and laugh about it.

QUINN: And I think she clearly did not peg it on Colin Powell in the conversation right now. Not at all. And if we were to close down the Clinton Foundation kind of -- immediately without planning, without thought, without transition work, you would see -- you know who would care about that? The millions and tens of millions of people who have gotten free HIV drug, the people who have gotten malaria drug, the people who are being helped ... BAUER: That's the easy fail to throw the fire ...


STELTER: They have failed to point this out.

QUINN: It is relevant. Because, you know what, it's easy for us to say ...

COOPER: You're saying Andre, you're saying someone else can take over?

BAUER: The Clintons don't have to be involved with it. They're just the source of raising the money. I mean, let's get down to it.

COOPER: But there were apparently, from my understanding, though, they were intricately involved in the foundation was or the Global Initiative was about negotiating to get these lower drug prices ...

SETMAYER: Personally President Clinton was.

COOPER: ... which other organizations hadn't done.

SETMAYER: And you don't think that wouldn't continue. If the Clinton Foundation close down today, they have plenty of partners in this ...

BAUER: With $2 billion.

SETMAYER: ... that would continue the work. Absolutely. If there is no ...

BAUER: There are $2 billion business. They can afford to get ...

SETMAYER: It doesn't take away, but, look, all of that could work. It doesn't take away though from the fact there were shady things going on like. A lot of their ...


SETMAYER: Shady businessman from Miami who is sitting in jail now for fraud that got a $10 million contract in Haiti thanks to his connection to the Clinton Foundation. Or like Raj Fernando who was a Chicago trader who knew nothing about nuclear proliferation or anything like that was a donor and got put on a nuclear intelligence committee because he was a donor to the Clinton Foundation. There is a lot of these examples that I'm sorry that's great they did great work but that doesn't mean that the other things didn't happen also.

QUINN: You know, what we're doing here is scrutinizing a foundation that everyone, we even heard Kellyanne Conway say it last night, believed has done not just good work but life saving work.

BAUER: We all do.

(CROSSTALK) QUINN: And we're glossing over serious facts about the record, the history of Donald Trump. We saw that in the story about the Department of Justice lawsuits. We saw that in the secondary follow up by the Department of Justice that was covered tonight. We've seen that in him defaulting on small business people all across the country. We've seen that in him attacking a judge who was on the kill list.

COOPER: I don't think we've had any positive of reporting on Donald Trump but we've been talking about it an awful lot tonight. I mean, I think it's totally fair to look at Donald Trump's record and also to look at the record of the Clinton Foundation.

QUINN: So we have to then appreciate and recognize and not kind of write it off as nothing when it save millions of lives.

BAUER: She said we need to believe Donald Trump and he said he's going to make America great again.

STELTER: He also said I think the headline tomorrow morning -- the headline she wants tomorrow morning but also out of the most newsworthy, "He is taking a hate movement mainstream."

SETMAYER: Yeas, and that's true.

STELTER: That's the message she's going to be sending tomorrow. But I think for Clinton supporters who do not want to hear about this foundation anymore, that line that very dramatic line is going to be ...


COOPER: So is that what this is speech tomorrow is about? It's not just perhaps, you know, reaching out to African-Americans for the Clinton campaign, but also changing the discussion from the Clinton Foundation?

STELTER: First thing she said to you was about birtherism. Tying Trump to the Birther Movement, pointing out the first African-American president was delegitimize by Trump.

TASINI: And I just want to say. We spend all this time on e-mails and foundation and we never get to debating the differences between the two parties and two candidates on $15 hour minimum wage, and college tuition, all of things that really are going to matter to how actually working Americans who are watching this show survive day to day. This -- I feel like this has like descended into this obsession about the e-mails and foundation that has really nothing to do with the average person ...


MCENANY: It has a lot of relevance.

TASINI: No, it's nonsense.


MCENANY: It was really offensive to hear her say that he's taking a hate movement mainstream, because more Republican voters turn out for Trump than ever in Republican presidential history. We are not a hate group. He is about giving people a voice in their government again, which is exactly what the Clinton Foundation took away.

SETMAYER: It is true. It is.

COOPER: We are out of time.

[22:00:00] I don't know if that's good news or bad news. We are out of time.

That does if for us. Thanks very much for watching.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.