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Interview with Katrina Pierson; Jimmy Kimmel on Trump's Clinton Compliments; Hillary Clinton's E-mail Controversy; Interview with Trump Campaign Spokesperson Katrina Piersons. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired May 26, 2016 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] PETER NEFFENGER, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: I would recommend, there is a couple of things you can do. You can call the airline and see what they consider the peak periods to be. I would tell you we're still recommending a couple of hours in advance.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: A couple hours, even for domestic flights? That's really long.

NEFFENGER: For the big travel weekend. And again, that's at the largest airport. If you're traveling out of a small or medium sized airport, then you're just not going to see the problem. The other thing you can do is get into a trusted traveler program. And 92 percent of all people spend less than five minutes in the security line.

CAMEROTA: Peter Neffenger, thanks so much for coming in and giving us all the information.

NEFFENGER: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news this morning, so let's get right to it.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Inspector general's report, not good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time that she took office, the use of personal e-mail was not disallowed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the secretary, she is supposed to abide by the rules.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is not an issue that is going to affect the campaign.

TRUMP: Bernie would be easier to beat. If I debated him, we would have such high ratings.

BERNIE SANDERS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can win. Donald Trump is toast.

TRUMP: Crooked Hillary, crooked Hillary. She is as crooked as they come.

CLINTON: He makes a habit of insulting women.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The statements he's made display an ignorance of world affairs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You felt the disco era cracking. The new age was coming

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Icons of the '80s.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This was the first video on MTV, "Video Killed the Radio Star."

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: How ironic, right?

CUOMO: Who sang it?

CAMEROTA: The Bugles, who was it?

CUOMO: Bugles. Thank you very much.


CUOMO: Welcome to your NEW DAY. We got that right. Everything else is cake. It is Thursday, May 26, 8:00 in the east. We've got Ana Cabrera with us again this morning, lucky us.

Hillary Clinton's emails, speaking of not lucky, in the spotlight. Clinton fighting back after the State Department Inspector General issues a blistering report accusing Clinton of violating federal e- mails rules while secretary of state. Donald Trump, no surprise, pounces, saying Clinton is, quote, "as crooked as they come." What will this mean with voters?

CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, President Obama from the G-7 summit, sidestepping questions about Clinton's e-mails. The president did not mince words about Donald Trump, saying world leaders are, quote, "surprised and rattled by Trump's political surge," and the president suggested that Trump does not know world affairs.

We have this 2016 race covered the way only CNN can. Let's begin with senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns. Good morning, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. The president really left the question alone, leaving it up to the Clinton campaign to respond, and Hillary Clinton actually did respond overnight to the latest development in the e-mail controversy that has dogged her campaign since she got into the race, sticking to one of the message themes she has used before on the issue after that scathing new inspector general's report that said she broke the rules while she was secretary of state, that she should have surrendered all government related e-mails when she left office. Listen.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just like previous secretaries of states, I used a personal e-mail. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented. I have turned over all of my e-mails. No one else can say that. I have been incredibly open about doing that. I will continue to be open. And it's not an issue that is going to affect either the campaign or my presidency.


JOHNS: That I.G. audit pointed to system-wide weaknesses and electronic recordkeeping at the State Department that spanned other administrations, a report also critical of former secretary of state Colin Powell's e-mail practices. But the audit also said Mrs. Clinton did not get approval to conduct official e-mail, private server, which contradicts what her campaign has made in the past, politically yet another problem for the Clinton campaign that puts her back on defense just a couple weeks away from the California primary, Ana.

CABRERA: Joe Johns, thank you.

We might just see another debate in the primary race, but not between the two people you would expect. In fact, Donald Trump has accepted a challenge to debate Bernie Sanders, proposing that they go toe to toe for charity ahead of the California primary. And he is blasting Hillary Clinton over the e-mail controversy as well. CNN's Sara Murray is live in Los Angeles with more. Sara?

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Ana. We have had a lot of "is this really happening" moment throughout this presidential campaign, and here is another one. Donald Trump sort of making this lighthearted suggestion he would be willing to debate Bernie Sanders, but now it sounds like Bernie is on board.


MURRAY: Donald Trump is jumping at an invitation from Bernie Sanders to debate before the California's June 7th primary if the price is right.

JIMMY KIMMEL, LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST: Yes or no, he wants to know if you'll debate him?

[08:05:00] TRUMP: Yes, I am. How much is he going to pay me?

KIMMEL: You would do it for a price? What would be the price be?

TRUMP: Because if I debated him, we would have such high ratings, and I think I should give -- take that money and give it to some worthy charity. MURRAY: Sanders responding on Twitter, saying "Game on." Talking to

Jimmy Kimmel, Trump also admitting he has used aliases to scope out properties in the past.

TRUMP: Over the years, I've used aliases. I actually used the name Baron, and I used my son because I made a very good deal using that name. Many people in the real estate do that, you use aliases. And you have to. Otherwise they find out it is you and they charge you more money, and nobody wants to pay more money.

MURRAY: This admission after the presumptive GOP nominee denied reports he has posed as his own publicist under names like John Miller and John Baron. But Trump attracted more than laughs Wednesday, also drawing protesters outside of Kimmel's studio and even more outside of his rally in Anaheim, marking the second day of violent clashes between police and protesters at Trump's event.

TRUMP: Crooked Hillary, she is as crooked as they come.

MURRAY: Inside, taking aim at Hillary Clinton over a report from the State Department's inspector general that says her use of a personal e-mail server broke the rules.

TRUMP: The inspector general's report, not good.

MURRAY: And using the rally to unload on other political opponents, including one of his most vocal adversaries, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.

TRUMP: I was being hit by Pocahontas. Pocahontas, that's this Elizabeth Warren.

MURRAY: Even attacking the Native American ancestry Warren once claimed.

TRUMP: I call her goofy, she gets less done than anybody in the United States Senate. She gets nothing done. Nothing passed. She has got a big mouth. And that's about it.

MURRAY: The insults are nothing new for Trump. But his latest target, New Mexico's Latino Republican Governor Susana Martinez, has puzzled some.

TRUMP: She has got to do a better job, OK? She is not doing the job.

MURRAY: Ohio Governor John Kasich coming to the Republican governor's defense Wednesday, tweeting "She is exactly who our party and nominee should be lifting up and supporting, not tearing down."


MURRAY: The other thing the Trump campaign is coping with this morning is yet another staff shake-up, Donald Trump parting ways with his director, Rick Wiley, just six weeks after hiring him. It gives you a sense of how there are power struggles playing out within the campaign. The campaign is facing some challenges building out a robust political organization in time for the general election. Back to you, Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: OK, Sara, thanks so much for all of that background.

Joining us now is national spokeswoman for the Trump campaign Katrina Pierson. Good morning, Katrina.


CAMEROTA: Is it safe to say that Governor Susana Martinez is off the short list for a V.P. pick.


PIERSON: I think it's safe to that the governor was never on the V.P. short list.

CAMEROTA: Is that right? So Donald Trump was never considering Susan Martinez though she is a popular Republican governor, and a Latino woman?

PIERSON: Well, look, Mr. Trump doesn't work that way. I'm really shocked that people are still surprised that he is not looking at race and gender when he makes his decisions. He definitely is looking at individuals. A lot of people are being submitted. They are being vetted. And he wants the best person for the job. He doesn't want to pick somebody just because of their race or gender.

CAMEROTA: Sure, sure, fair enough. But it has been pointed out politicians have to think strategically or people who are running to be the president of the United States, and he does have a problem at the moment with Hispanics. So what is his plan for that?

PIERSON: Well, the plan is to continue to move forward with his message. I mean, a big part of that problem as you call it because of the statements he has made in the past has been pulled out of context by the media. But we are seeing that break through. There are more and more people reaching out --

CAMEROTA: Katrina, I'm sorry, I have to interrupt you there, saying that they're saying they're rapists, they're sending their criminals --

PIERSON: That's not all he said.

CAMEROTA: He said "And I assume some are good people" --

PIERSON: The department of homeland security statistics of the criminal aliens who are in this country, these are the things have occurred because we have an open border. And Hillary Clinton herself voted for the border. No one even talks about that. This is a matter of national security, and Mr. Trump was just stating the number of reasons why we need a wall.

CAMEROTA: Well, as you know, it was perceived by many Mexicans and Hispanics as being -- PIERSON: Thanks to the media.

CAMEROTA: No, it is his statement.

PIERSON: They only talk about rapists. They only talk about the sentences. They never talk about the sentences that followed those sentences.

CAMEROTA: I don't know that that's fair. These were his words, repeating back Mr. Trump's words are not the media skewing them. This was his opener, his opening salvo did offend Mexicans and Hispanics. So your point is, what, he doesn't feel that way, that he does feel that Mexico and immigrants coming here are made up --

[08:10:02] PIERSON: No, nothing has changed at all. My point is it is skewed because the media only plays the first few sentences. They don't play the rest of the entirety of what he said, which is some are here, some are working, some are good people. But no one ever hears the second part of the message, and that is because the media doesn't want people to hear the second part of that message.

CAMEROTA: Paul Manafort, one of Mr. Trump's top advisors, does say that things are changing, and they are changing with some of Mr. Trump's positions and rhetoric. Let me read to you what he said, Paul Manafort, in a recent interview. He just said "He," meaning Donald Trump, "already starting moderating on his call to ban Muslims. He operates by starting the conversation at the outer edges, and then bringing it back towards the middle within his comfort zone. He'll soften it some more." So how is his stance on a Muslim ban changing?

PIERSON: I wouldn't use the term "moderating." Mr. Manafort used the word softened and that's because we --

CAMEROTA: And moderating. He said "Mr. Trump has already started moderating on his --

PIERSON: Right, and that's what I would say. I would say I wouldn't use the term "moderating." I would use softening simply because of the initial ban on immigration, not all Muslims, which the media has been reporting, Mr. Trump was asked if he would back of it, and he said yes if we could vet people coming into the country. But we don't have that yet. There is no moderation when it comes to national security. Mr. Trump definitely supports halting all Muslim immigration coming into the country until there's a system put in place that we can identify people.

Those who are coming that can be verified, that have papers, those are different. And that's the part that's been missing from this entire discussion. There was never, ever a ban on all Muslims.

CAMEROTA: He said a full and total. I believe he said a full and total ban on all Muslims entering the states. And that's changing.

PIERSON: That is an immigration policy. Every media outlet received the exact same statement, and the top line of that statement, it is an immigration policy, so it does not apply to every single Muslim. It does not apply to United States Muslims or those serving in the military, which a lot of media reported. It was completely false. It was simply an immigration policy.

CAMEROTA: President Obama is in Japan this morning, and he says that he has been asked, he is at the G-7 Summit, he says he has been asked by several world leaders what he makes of Donald Trump's candidacy and what they think Donald Trump will be like as a world leader. So let me play that for you.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's fair to say that they are surprised by the Republican nominee. They are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements. But they're rattled by him, and for good reason.


CAMEROTA: Katrina, what is Mr. Trump's response by world leaders being rattled by his candidacy?

PIERSON: Mr. Trump has sent a message clearly to world leaders that they need to get their own houses in order because if he becomes the president, we're going to put the United States and our families first. And that means they're going to have to take more responsibility and accountability for themselves and their own people. So, sure, they're rattled, because the gravy train ends if Mr. Trump becomes president. There are several problems we have inside our own country that needs to be addressed.

Meanwhile, we have trade deficits. We're spending hundreds of billions of dollars in defense for countries whose are using that money essentially for socialism. So those things are going to change, and Mr. Trump's most important concern are the people here and not the people who are in control of those countries taking advantage of Americans.

CAMEROTA: Katrina, what is the Trump campaign's response to the news about Hillary Clinton's e-mails come from the I.G. And does he think this is a topic that will really resonate with voters?

PIERSON: This is a topic that has been resonating with voters, considering that she has been lying this whole time about what she did or didn't send or whether she did or did not comply with the laws that she created for everyone else in her department but decided then not to follow herself, which is very typical of a career politician who wants to make the rules for everyone but themselves.

But this is more important simply because Hillary Clinton has been in public office for a very long time, whether it's being the first lady, being a United States senator, and then the secretary of state. And so to make that kind of a judgment after all of that experience in public office, in service, to put national security at risk, I think is a big factor going into November because national security is extremely important, and we're going to hear more from this hacker that claims that he hacked her e-mails. CAMEROTA: But I just wanted to be clear. The I.G. and the FBI has

not found any evidence that Guccifer, whatever his name is, this hacker actually did hack into her e-mail.

PIERSON: Yes, that's exactly why he is here in the United States, and they're going to be questioning him. I don't think it's going to be a surprise when we found out that's exactly what happened. This is a problem. Hillary Clinton did send classified information over her e- mail, which she said she did not.

[08:15:03] And all of that information is extremely important. For someone who's been in office, that shows poor judgment. And the fact that she wants to be the President of the United States and has no regard for the laws is extremely important.

CAMEROTA: Katrina Pierson from the Trump campaign, thanks for being on NEW DAY.

PIERSON: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Let's go to Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Donald Trump making even more headlines, this time with Jimmy Kimmel, the comedian asking him about compliments he gave Hillary Clinton in 2008 and 2012. And is Kimmel a potential VP? Check out late night laughs.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMME LIVE": In 2008, I want to get this right, you said you thought Hillary Clinton would make an excellent president. And as recently as 2012, you said you thought she was terrific. What did she do? What happened?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, let me just explain to you.


TRUMP: I will tell you. When I'm a businessman -- I had a beautiful story recently where they said Trump is a world class businessman. All over the world we're doing jobs. I speak well of everybody. If people ask me about politicians, I speak well. So when they asked me about Hillary, she's wonderful, the hus -- everybody is wonderful. And that's the way is, including contributions. They ask me for contributions, I give contributions.

KIMMEL: So you were full of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) when you said that?


KIMMEL: Can I make a suggestion about this vice-presidential thing?

TRUMP: Sure.

KIMMEL: Why don't you do this like "Celebrity Apprentice"? Why don't you get these guys all in a room, go over -- and then whatever you have, and then each week it would be the highest rated show in the history of television.

TRUMP: It's a good idea.

KIMMEL: You eliminate one person, and they go back to where ever the hell they came from. See, this is why I would be your best vice- president.



CABRERA: We could all take a tip or two from Jimmy Kimmel's interview.

CAMEROTA: He has a way of cutting right through, doesn't he?

CUOMO: Well, he happens to be right. I mean, the show, I think on both fronts, I think the show would be wildly rated. And he was obviously saying now that he was full of it --

CABRERA: He hits the nail on the head.

CUOMO: -- when he was talking about Clinton. That's what Trump says, is that I was full of it when I was talking about them back then because I was his friend. That's what his guys say. That's he says.

CABRERA: He was politically maneuvering.

CUOMO: But now they're coming at me, so I'm going to have to tell it like it is. That's his rationale for it. Whether or not it's accepted is up to you good people.

CABRERA: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: That's the question. What is your answer?

Hillary Clinton e-mail troubles certainly on the agenda. She cannot shake it in light of this IG report. But how damaging is it? This isn't about criminal behavior; it's about violations of policy. What does it mean in politics. Carl Bernstein is here next.


[08:21:18] CUOMO: All right, so what does this Inspector General report mean for Hillary Clinton? It's out there now in the news cycle. It's saying things that can't be helpful, that Clinton broke the rules of the Federal Recording Act, because of her e-mail practices as Secretary of State. Certainly Donald Trump is all over it.

What will it mean? Let's bring in CNN political commentator, Carl Bernstein. Now he's the author of "A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton." He also knows a hell of a lot about reporting in politics and the implications of situations. Brother Bernstein, what do you see in the latest information from the

Inspector General?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a devastating event for Hillary Clinton. It is a time bomb that has been ticking and it's starting to explode around her and there's more to come because the FBI's investigation is ongoing. She's probably almost definitely not going to be indicted, but this is much more than an illegal matter. It's about lying. It's about she hasn't been truthful about this. And it goes to perceptions of her, that I spent the week in Washington talking to Democratic leaders and they're horrified at what she's done to herself here, to her campaign, and the fact that she and Donald Trump seem to have some kind of equivalency among voters about who's the worst serial liar. That's devastating for Hillary Clinton, especially given Trump's record.

CAMEROTA: Carl, what part -- what part, Carl, do you find most devastating? Because some of this had been known before. What part do you think is really sort of the smoking gun?

BERNSTEIN: The idea that the Secretary of State of the United States would set up a home brew server for purposes of evading the Freedom of Information Act, evading subpoenas from Congress, that's its real purpose, to not have accountability, to not have transparency. It's consistent -- you see in my book that, you know, Hillary has been a great public servant in many, many regards over many years. But this problem about transparency and obfuscation, as I say at the end of the book, she has a difficult relationship with the truth going back to her Arkansas years and now here we are again.

And there are Democratic leaders in Washington who think that the only thing that is going to save her in this election is an implosion by Donald Trump, and the President of the United States campaigning for her and pulling her out of this mess that she's dug for herself.

CUOMO: The people that you're meeting with down there, Carl, you say that there is some indication that Sanders could still thread the needle here? How? Because we keep hearing from all the big brains that they don't see it happening.

BERNSTEIN: I think Bernie Sanders believes he can thread the needle in the following way, and there are major Democrats in Washington who have some fear that there is the slimmest, 2, 3 percent possibility of it happening, that he would win the California primary, that he would go to the convention with some wind at his back, and try to convince the super delegates that Hillary Clinton's distrust factor, without going to that directly, but we know it's underneath everything, is such that he is a better candidate and convince the super delegates that the polling that shows him as a better candidate against Donald Trump is real, and they would nominate him.

Do I think it can be done? In all likelihood not. But he does. That there is a slight chance, and there is a fear in Washington, among some of the senior Democrats, that there is a small possibility of this happening. But what's really concerned people in the White House as well as on

Capitol Hill and other former leaders of the House and Senate who were Democrats is that Hillary Clinton is now viewed by so many voters -- look at those distrust numbers.

[08:25:03] They're equal among Trump -- between her and Trump. It's astonishing given what Trump has said and his record of recklessness, serial lying. How could we have an election at this point in which there is equivalency between these two people on matters of truthfulness. It's a terrible problem for her.

CAMEROTA: But, Carl, you are extrapolating from the IG's reports some of your conclusions. I mean, you're saying it was set up to avoid subpoena. That's not what the IG is saying. And, you know, she has always maintained all along that this was sort of for convenience and that previous Secretaries of staTe also used private e-mail. So how are you reaching your conclusion?

BERNSTEIN: No, no previous Secretary of State set up a home brew server. And if you talk to people around the Clinton campaign very quietly, they will acknowledge to you, if you are a reporter who knows some of the background, that this is the purpose of it. Is so she would not be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. So that -- because the e-mails aren't there, that nobody knew about this service -- server.

It is a reckless thing that she did. It's irresponsible. She's the chief officer of the foreign service of the United States, the Secretary of State, and she's hiding her e-mails in her basement. That's not a good thing. And it's not about -- also, she has to be interviewed by the FBI. She's not going to lie to the FBI, because it's a crime to lie to the FBI. This thing is going on and it is bedevilling her and that is what has people so upset, who are for her. Her oldest friends, they're astonished.

CUOMO: And it just winds up being just another layer in the lasagna for Clinton of what she has to deal with. You look at the latest poll, Carl, in California, she's basically within the margin, you know, knotted up with Sanders once again. And this is the last big contest. How much does this mean?

BERNSTEIN: Well, it's Bernie Sanders' strategy to get into that convention without Hillary Clinton having enough delegates to win without the super delegates, and then somehow convincing the super delegates that she is such damaged goods that she can't beat Donald Trump. And so far, the numbers -- now I would think those numbers will change -- the more that Donald Trump has seen what we've seen this week of Donald Trump, though of course, we've been seeing it for months -- is a level -- is a level of reckless.

CUOMO: Carl, quickly, because we have to go, but just button this up for us with where your confidence comes, as Alisyn said, where your confidence comes on your allegations about Clinton. Where do you get this confidence that people are going to start to see Trump differently? I mean, what else could he say to further --

BERNSTEIN: I don't -- I'm --

CUOMO: -- impress people with what he's capable of in terms of temperament?

BERNSTEIN: I don't have confidence in that, because so far, we have seen that his message has real resonance with huge numbers of the American people, partly because,unlike Hillary Clinton, he understands and has voiced the notion that our institutions aren't working in this country. And it is a very resonant message that is overwhelming the bigotry, recklessless, and dishonesty of the other things he's saying.

CUOMO: Carl, appreciate it. Carl Bernstein, always value added on NEW DAY. Thanks for being with us.

CAMEROTA: Let's get to Ana.

CABRERA: Well, his latest political attacks are quintessential Trump. Could slamming prominent women be damaging in the long run hurt? We're talking live to a Trump advisor when we come back.