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Trump Ramps Up Attacks Amid Firestorm over Comments; Clinton Faces New Headaches over E-Mails; Disgraced Congressman Sits Behind Trump at Rally. Aired 6-630 ET.

Aired August 11, 2016 - 06:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Thursday, August 11th. 6 o'clock in the East. Alison is off. Brianna Keilar and I are here for you. And up first, Donald Trump is trying to insult his way back into the race. Now calling President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. Trump also digging in on these statements about the Second Amendment, saying that Hillary Clinton's Supreme Court picks could be the turning point in America's culture.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: And CNN has learned that the Secret Service has had more than one conversation with the Trump campaign about Donald Trump's remark. Donald Trump says not true. Hillary Clinton, though, facing her own headaches over newly released e-mails. And we'll have it all for you. We're covering it like no one else can. I want to begin with Sara Murray. She is live in Miami, where Trump campaigns today. Sara?

SARA MURRAY, CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Brianna. Well, after a couple days of Donald Trump working through a fire storm of his own making, today he is definitely looking to change the conversation. He actually started last night by leveling some harsh attacks against president Obama and Hillary Clinton, hammering the former secretary of state over her e-mails.


MURRAY: Donald Trump trying to shift the spotlight to Hillary Clinton's missing e-mail. After a newly uncovered batch of messages raises questions about ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It's called pay-for-play. And some of these were really, really bad and illegal. If it's true, it's illegal. You're paying and you're getting things.

MURAY: But the fire storm Trump ignited with his own words isn't going away.

TRUMP: Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick --

TRUMP: If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don't know. But -- MURRAY: Trump digging in and continuing to blame the press for

twisting his remark.

TRUMP: The biggest rigger of the system is the media. The media is rigged. It's rigged. It's crooked as hell.

MURRAY: The bombastic billionaire insisting he wasn't advocating violence. What we're talking about is political power. There's tremendous political power to save the Second Amendment. Tremendous. And you look at -- you know, you look at the power they have in terms of votes, and that's what I was referring to, obviously, that's what I was referring to.

MURRAY: A secret service official tells CNN, they had more than one conversation with Trump's campaign on the topic. But Trump disputes this, tweeting "No such meeting or conversation ever happened."

CLINTON: Words matter, my friends.

MURRAY: Oh, and Clinton fires back on the stump.

CLINTON: We witnessed the latest in a long line of casual comments from Donald Trump that cross the line.

MURRAY: Amid the uproar, Trump is ramping up his attacks.

TRUMP: ISIS is honoring President Obama.

MURRAY: Labeling the President, the founder of a terrorist group, not once, but three times.

TRUMP: He is the founder of ISIS. He's the founder of ISIS. OK? He's the founder. He founded ISIS. And i would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton. Co-founder.

MURRAY: The man who once demanded the president's birth certificate to prove his citizenship, now emphasizing Obama's full name.

TRUMP: During the administration of Barack Hussein Obama.

MURRAY: Sitting behind Trump at the rally, as it all happened, disgraced Ex-Congressman, Mark Foley, who resigned in 2006 amid allegations he sent sexual e-mails and messages to teenage boys.

TRUMP: How many of you people know me? A lot of you people know me. Yes?

TRUMP: When you get those seats, you sort of, know the campaign.

MURRAY: As Trump pounced on Clinton for having a terrorist father sitting behind her this week.

TRUMP: Wasn't it terrible when the father of the Animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton.


MURRAY: Now, as Donald Trump looks to get back on track, he'll be campaigning across Florida today beginning right here in Miami. The latest battleground state's poll show him neck and neck with Hillary Clinton here in the Sunshine State. Back to you, Brianna and Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Sara, stay with us. Let's discuss. We have CNN political analyst and Presidential Campaign Reporter for "The New York Times" Maggie Haberman. We got CNN Senior "Washington" Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny as well. It's good to have you all this morning. Maggie, you just can't make it up. Barack Hussein Obama, the founder of ISIS. The father of the Orlando, murderer in the back of Clinton's campaign. Trump points it out. We then look behind him and Mark Foley is sitting there.

KEILAR: in the same place almost. The exact same spot.

CUOMO: Trump comes up with, let's say, casual comments about what Second Amendment people could do, refuses to apologize. His campaign says "This is part of our maturation process. That we have to learn to get better and get more consistent on message." The day after they say that, he doubles down and says more inflammatory things. How do you -- you can't make it up.

MAGGIE HABERMAN: No. And as you said, we go from -- you just described exactly the life cycle here of one day of a teleprompter speech and praise that he stayed on a teleprompter, which on its own Is sort of a strange level of praise.

CUOMO: And talked policy.

HABERMAN: And talked policy.

CUOMO: And drew real points of contrast with Hillary Clinton.

HABERMAN: Yes. And he can (CROSSTALK) absolutely. And it was a very focused message. He criticizes Clinton in his speeches, including the one last night, for using a teleprompter. And yet, you know, this is the thing his aides want him to do. And then the next day, you know, he has this outburst. An errant line about second amendment people. And there was yesterday. This is what is frustrating to his supporters, to his allies, to some of his aides. There is a complete self-immolating factor in this. He -- there are issues that he could be seizing on to attack the Democrats, to attack Hillary Clinton and he is letting them go because, yes, it is true. He will say -- he talks about this, about how unfair it is. He'll say 45 minutes of whatever, and then it's the 30 seconds that he says that becomes a story. That's not, you know, new to him or new to this Presidential cycle. That is politics. That has been going on forever. And he just can't stop doing it because he loves these rallies.

KEILAR: Sara, I wonder what you think because certainly there is a criticism that I think a lot of Republicans will make of President Obama about his leadership when it comes to ISIS, and certainly Hillary Clinton's, which we've heard Donald Trump talk about. But when Donald Trump refers to President Obama as Barack Hussein Obama, while that is of course, his name, it's something that even back, you know, when there were the birthers who were questioning whether the President was actually born in the U.S., that was --

CUOMO: And Trump was among them.

KEILAR: That's right. Leading the charge. That was something they would say to sort of, evoke that sense of he's not really American. He's -- I mean, he's obviously undercutting himself.

MURRAY: Well, and it was interesting to see the way he put these two things together in his speech because he was talking about President Obama essentially being a leader of ISIS. And then right after that, it was talking about Barack Hussein Obama. And as Chris was just pointing out, Donald Trump was one of these original birthers. Remember back four years ago, this was something he talked about regularly. Was President Obama's birth certificate proving that he was born in America. And I think this is something that we've seen time and time again from Donald Trump or these, sort of, dog whistles. Whether we're talking about President Obama, whether we're talking about, sort of, ethnicities. Whether we're talking about Muslims. And this is one of the things that has been very frustrating, as some independents and even some Republicans have looked to whether or not they can support him is the notion that he just can't leave some of these some of these, sort of, more conspiracy theory views behind tha t were -- it was one thing to sort of espouse them when he was a reality TV star, but it's another thing to be out there talking like this when you're the, you know, Republican nominee.

CUOMO: The birther thing was so wrong, so embarrassing, that even Trump won't talk about it anymore. If you notice, Jeff Zeleny, every time somebody ask him about the birther allegations, he says we don't talk about that anymore. You know, that's a really high bar for Donald Trump to not want to do it. But what do you make in terms of this disconnect? We have Sam Clovis on yesterday. He's a senior adviser form. He says we have to learn to keep him on message. Don't put it all on him. And then we see yesterday, is there really any ability to control Donald Trump even by his own staff?

JEFF ZELENY, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I think there's absolutely no ability to control Donald Trump. I mean, of course it's on him. He's the candidate who's running for president. It begins with him, it ends with him. He's the only one who can control this. Sam Clovis lives in Sioux City, Iowa. He's close to the Trump Operation, but He doesn't have any say over what Donald Trump is going to be saying everyday at a rally. I think you have to wonder if Donald Trump -- again, as Maggie was saying, we've seen this so long in this campaign, I think he knows exactly what he's doing. He loves to get this attention here that you know, that you can only get by going off script, off message, things like that. O mean, the Mark Foley thing last night at the rally in Florida may have been the only unscripted matter of the whole thing there. I don't know. I doubt that Donald Trump knew Mark Foley, the former Congressman, was sitting behind him. But interestingly, I happen to be looking on Mark Foley's Faceb ook page this morning. He posted yesterday afternoon , around 1:30 or so, the story of the Orlando shooter's father and Hillary Clinton. So he knew exactly what he was doing when he was sitting there. Just one of those bizarre things. But as for Donald Trump, look, he can control himself if he wants to and we're not sure he wants to, actually.

KEILAR: And to remind people of who Mark Foley is, I mean, this is someone who was actually at another Trump event here during the cycle, but Mark Foley was the source of the page scandal in 2006 that was very much the down fall of house Republicans, including the Speaker, Dennis Hastert, who we later learned had huge problems of his own, legally in doing Inappropriate things. But this is gigantic.

This is what led to democrats taking over the house in the idea that he would have him sitting almost in the same place, Maggie, I mean, there's no -- there seems to be no sense of Irony here.

HABERMAN: This is the problem. Look, when Democrats were very upset when Hillary Clinton was criticized the other day for having the father of Omar Mateen sitting at -- Mateen sitting at her rally, it's still not exactly clear how it happened. It took her campaign a day, full day to come out with a, sort of, a clear statement about it. It was clearly not great advance work and it was clearly a slow response. And --

CUOMO: I don't believe they invited him.

HABERMAN: I have no idea. I find it very unlikely. I don't know how he got there. I don't know if it was somebody who just showed up and to be clear, people have a right to just go to a political rally. But you are going to as a presidential candidate, you are going to get criticized for the people who back you. This is not new. Trump has been seizing on this and he makes it a big thing and then he has Mark Foley, who isn't, look, a friend of his, by the way, to be clear. This is not, like, this is somebody who just showed up at a rally. Sitting right behind him as Trump is making the exact same -- literally, in real time saying, can you believe she did this? And pointing to the crowd behind him. And this is what happens with this campaign over and over again has been. And particularly, with the candidate, he will make an attack, and then he will get caught in something similar and try to explain why it doesn't apply to him. And then In his description, it's like he's being treated unfairly.

CUOMO: Sara, what do you hear from the campaign in terms of this latest round of this stuff? In terms of how they rationalize progress in this? I mean, I got a lot of buzz after Katie Tur from NBC. The story came out that, I guess Trump openly criticized her, condemning her in front of a crowd to crowd, went after her verbally or enough to scare her. And the secret service had to escort her to her car. The campaign -- first it was, "Oh, that didn't happen." And that, "You know what, this is about the crowd." It's not about him. How do they rationalize what's going on right now in terms of the environment that Trump's creating? Did they say, "Hey, look. People are just pumped up or are they giving any ownership of these moments to Trump?

MURRAY: No, Chris, I don't think there is any ownership of these movements. I'm good friends with Katy Tur. I've been at these political events with her when she's been called out, when I've been called out, when other reporters we know have been called out. And it is, sort of, this surreal moment when you see a crowd of thousands of people turn on you and begin to cheer at you. And there's no doubt that Donald Trump gens this up. Even last night he was talking about how horrible the press is. And it wasn't just Donald Trump. There was an RNC official who spoke before him who said very similar things about how horrible and unfair the press is, how disgusting the press is. This is sort of the atmosphere that they've created at this Trump event. Now, they certainly don't take any ownership over the notion that some negative consequence could come of that. Obviously we hope that nothing like that would ever happen, but they sort of believe that Donald Trump is just slamming the media. And if that so meone did something crazy of their own accord, that's not on Donald Trump.

KEILAR: All right. Sara, Jeff, Maggie, stick around. We're going to talk more ahead here. We do want to talk about the Olympic games though. That is big news. Katie Ledecky, she is just crushing her competition. She's winning another gold for the women's swim team. All eyes now on Michael Phelps and gymnast Simone Biles as they each battle for the top prize tonight. And we have CNN Sports anchor Coy Wire live in Rio with more -- I feel like I say this every day. I'm, like, "This is a big day." But this is, again , a very big day as we watch these huge names, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: No, doubt about it Brianna. Simone, spectacular going to be fun to watch. But I'm really Interested in seeing if Phelps can claim the 200 IM gold for a fourth straight Olympics. Because he has a heavy workload before that today as the 100-meter butterfly, prelims and semis before that final. So they're great to watch. Let's get you caught up here on NEW DAY with the medal count. The U.S. added another six medals yesterday, bringing their total to 32, leading the way. China has second with 23 in Japan in the third spot with 18. But guys, it's the Americans who continue to be like a plethora Of Poseidon's, ruling the waters here in Rio. And as their youngest member, 19 year old Katie Ledecky, making a splash.

KATIE LEDECKY strikes gold again. Her teammates cheering her on as she overpowers the Australians in the last leg of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. The 19-year-old superstar claiming her fourth medal, third gold, at these Rio games. Ledecky is a favorite to dominate the 800-meter free style which gets under way today. But the win overshadowed by the modern day cold war playing out in the pool, American gold medalist Lilly King makes waves after openly criticizing Russian rival Yulia Efimova for being allowed to compete despite two suspensions for doping.King telling CNN, quote, I'm glad to be a poster child for clean sport. But King fails to qualify to compete in tonight's 200-meter breast stroke final, while her Russian rival earns a spot. But the two are expected to face off once more in the medley relay later this week.

Michael Phelps aiming for his 26th Olympic medal tonight going head to head with teammate and World Record holder Ryan Lochte in the 200- meter individual medley. Lochte, a 12-time Olympic Medalist, is the second most decorated male swimmer after Phelps.

RYAN LOCHTE: I think for me, he brings the best out of me. We're racers. So, you know, it's -- meets like these that I love the most where him and I get to go and, kind of, duke it out.

MICHAEL PHELPS: And any time I get up and race him, it's the best.

WIRE: Guys, Phelps and Lochte are roommates here in the Olympic village in Rio. So, that's going to be exciting to see. And also, 21 gold medals on the line today. We're going to see Simone Biles as we had mentioned earlier, Brianna. And Chris, Aly Raisman as well, competing to gymnastics all around competition. And hey, will the pools turn green again here in Rio? That's to find out as well.

KEILAR: Oh, the pool.

CUOMO: They're swimming so fast. They're stripping the chlorine out of the pool.

KEILAR: That's right.

CUOMO: My man Coy Wire has the line of the day, and it's not even 6:20 yet.

KEILAR: Plethora of Poseidon's. My man. Well done. Well done. All right. We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, the Hillary Clinton side of the game has its own problems. New e-mails that raise questions about overlapping about wrongful connections between the Clinton foundation and the State Department. What is the response from the campaign? A closer look ahead.


KEILAR: Newly released emails from Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State are raising questions about the Clinton Foundation's influence on the State Department. The Clinton campaign denying that there was any conflict of interest, but Donald Trump is calling it pay-for-play. I want to bring back our panel now. Maggie Haberman, Sara Murray and Jeff Zeleny. OK. So, an example in one of these e-mails, Maggie, that you have is coming from Doug Band, top adviser at the time to Bill Clinton, helped found the Clinton Global Initiative. And he says in an e-mail to Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, two top aides to Hillary Clinton. "We need Gilbert Chougary," that is a big money donor to the Clinton Foundation "to speak to the substance person re Lebanon. As you know, he's a key guy there and to us, and is loved in Lebanon very important."

Huma responds, "It's Jeff Feltman. I'm sure he knows him, I'll talk to Jeff." That was at the time, the sitting US Ambassador to Lebanon. And I think, you know, we expect sometimes -- I think we know that some of this goes on. This very, sort of, transactional behavior. But this is -- it's pulling the curtain back in a way that just confirms what people already suspect goes on in Washington and what people already suspect goes on with the Clintons.

HABERMAN: Right. Look, there is an existing narrative out there about the Clintons that has been there for many, many years about the overlap between the foundation and the state department. There has been a lot of criticism about this kind of interaction before. To see it there in writing is, of course, going to elicit criticism. Donald Trump is making the criticism that the Clintons would make about him if this kind of thing showed up. And none of the explanations for it have really done much to sort of, say exactly what -- essentially what they're saying is you're not seeing what you think you're seeing. Take our word for it. They would not take that again, from Republicans or Donald Trump if that was the case. And this is the kind of thing that they had said, you know, they would not do essentially, in this agreement when she was made Secretary of State, governing what would happen between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. There were sort of clear discussion of it. Her allies sa y this doesn't violate any of that. I got lots of unsolicited messages from Clinton allies in the last 12 hours saying "This is all nothing. This doesn't mean anything." But A, the campaign seemed extremely unprepared for it and B, it is clearly a story.

CUOMO: How would it not be a violation of what she said in 2009 which is "I'm not going to have the Foundation overlap with the State Department anymore?"

HABERMAN: Right. There's no way that somebody can look at this and not see it as there was a special point of access for people who were involved in the foundation. And the fact that she's not Involved in it and the fact that her name is not on the e-mails, again, is not an explanation that democrats would ever accept from a political opponent. And it doesn't answer anything. If you want to be president, you're the boss and you're running an organization. That's the problem.

KEILAR: And when you're talking about the aide who's the right -- I mean, the right-hand person of Clinton is --

CUOMO: And you did a good job yesterday. Yes, he works for President Clinton, Doug Band in a personal capacity. And he had worked for the CGI. So he's wearing two hats. And the argument was, "Well, he was doing that as President Clinton's assistant. Not as a CGI." That's too cute to be true.

HABERMAN: Right. It's also -- it's -- you are who you are. And so you don't -- you are unfortunately often -- wearing both hats at the same time.

CUOMO: Jeff Zeleny, did the campaign (INAUDIBLE) acknowledge they're kind of pulling a Trump here? You know, where somebody shows them something and they say this is not what you're showing me right now, even though it clearly is?

ZELENY: No, they don't acknowledge that, Chris. As Maggie just said, they do seem unprepared for this. This whole e-mail thing, the whole link between the foundation and the State Department was actually very predictable. The Obama administration back in 2009 -- I remember this very well when I was covering the early days of his White House and the transition. They were very worried about this. They were worried about the fact that there was this potential conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton State Department where we are now eight years after that fact, and these answers are still sort of troublesome here. Maggie is right. Of course, they wouldn't accept a similar answer from the Trump campaign.

Now the reality here is, the question is, "Do people care about it? Do voters care about it?" And the sense that I'm getting is, "You know, no, they don't. More people are with Bernie Sanders, who famously said "Enough of these damn e-mails." But it does feed into the narrative that people don't trust the Clintons. They always wonder if something is up with the Clintons. But in terms of the actual substance of these e-mails here, I've been a little stunned at how, again, the Clinton campaign says, "Oh, there's nothing to see here. There's nothing to see here. Well, we'll see about that." But again, three months before election day, do voters care? I'm not sure that her supporters do.

CUOMO: Talk about the poll, Brianna.

KEILAR: Sara, -- yes, that's right. I mean, you look -- maybe specifically, it's a lot to grasp but I suppose if you're not going to spend a lot of time looking into it. But Sara, when you look at what voters who are asked, do you believe that Hillary Clinton has been honest about her personal e-mail account, 27 percent say yes. 64 percent say no. She has been dishonest. I mean, this certainly is in line with where they feel about whether she is trustworthy or not.

MURRAY: Yes. I think that's right, Brianna. And this is kind of thing that may not resonate with her own supporters, but it's certainly the kind of thing that could give Independents who are thinking about voting for her or Republicans who have concerns about Donald Trump. It's the kind of thing that could make them think twice about whether they can show up and cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton or whether they might just stay home on election day. Because it does add another layer to this narrative that Hillary Clinton has something to hide. We're talking about e-mails that she deleted, that she wiped from her server. And, you know, in this case, a number of e-mails that weren't actually turned over among this investigation that, you know, she said had to do with personal things and now we're seeing that these were e-mails that actually had to so with the Clinton Foundation, with business with the State Department.

And so I do think it's going to feed into this narrative that you can't trust the Clintons, that they play by their own rules and Donald Trump is certainly going to continue to hammer her on that. We heard it from him last night talking about the pay-to-play.

CUOMO: I mean, Clinton is just lucky that she's running against Trump. Because every time there's a position to play advantage, he seems to blow it. Now, is there another chapter? You know, newspapers reporting that it was as many as 100 party officials, democratic party officials, had hacks. The FBI believes it was Russia. Not just their professional account, their personal accounts.

HABERMAN: Yes. Yes. It's not clear exactly what was breached, it's not clear exactly what was taken. What is clear is, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks who has put out a lot of this information on the DNC has alluded repeatedly to having more. And again, look, it's in his interest to stoke interest in it. We don't know exactly what they have but certainly you assume that if you have adversaries of the Clintons, they're going to wait as long as they can with maximum impact. And with a hundred different accounts potentially breached. That is a lot of stuff. And any story about e-mails, and this was the criticism of the Clintons when they were talking about Russia and Trump during their own convention. A lot of the Democrats supporters said to me privately, at the end of the day, we're still talking about e-mails and that's not a good subject for her. And in that poll you just saw why. So --

KEILAR: From April or was it last year? It has been so long. All right. Maggie, Sara, Jeff, thank you so much to all of you.

CUOMO: All right. Another big story we're going to be talking to you about this morning, a powerful explosion that leveled an apartment complex in the suburbs of Washington. Dozens are injured. Many of them had to jump out of windows. Why did this happen? We have new details, next.