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Trump Tries to Explain Immigration Stance; Replay of Trump Interview with Anderson Cooper. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired August 26, 2016 - 06:00   ET



[06:00:02] DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no path to legalization unless people leaves the country and let-- well, when they come back in, if they come back in, then they can start paying taxes.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump struggling to clarify his immigration stance, now telling CNN's Anderson Cooper he's ruling out a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the United States.

TRUMP: There is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.

CARROLL: This after indicating earlier this week that he was open to the idea.

TRUMP: They'll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There's no amnesty as such. There's no amnesty, but we work with them.

CARROLL: Trump sending mixed messages.

TRUMP: There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people.

Well, I don't think it's a softening. I think it's ...

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: But 11 million people are no longer going to be deported.

TRUMP: I may have people say it's a hardening, actually.

COOPER: But 11 million who have not committed crime ...

TRUMP: No, no we're then going to see ...

COOPER: ... there's going to be a path to legalization. Is that right?

TRUMP: You know it's a process. You can't take 11 at one time and just say, boom, you're gone.

CARROLL: Some Trump supporters insisting their candidate cannot flip- flop on his central campaign issue, Sarah Palin warning in The Wall Street Journal there would be, "Massive disappointment if Trump were to go down a path of wishy washy positions." His reversal also provoking criticism from former rivals.

JEB BUSH, (R) FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: All the things that Donald Trump railed against he seems to be morphing into. It's kind of disturbing.


CARROLL: This as Hillary Clinton launches a blistering takedown of Trump.

CLINTON: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.

CARROLL: Clinton, accusing the Trump campaign of merging with the "Alt-right", a movement linked to white nationalists.

CLINTON: A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far dark reaches of the internet should never run our government or command our military.

CARROLL: Trump defending his campaign, accusing Democrats of what he calls their oldest play in their playbook.

TRUMP: When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument. You're racist. You're racist. You're racist.

CARROLL: Trump also disavowing support from hate groups.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want white supremacists to vote for you?

TRUMP: No, I don't at all.


CARROLL: And Alisyn, Trump says when it comes to the "Alt-right" movement, he says there's no "Alt-right", there's no alt-left. He says what he's doing is embracing common sense. He said, "We are bringing love."

As for Trump's immigration policy going forward, the campaign will tell you that, look, he's been consistent all along. No path to citizenship, no amnesty. We're going to get specifics on his immigration plan next week when he presents that immigration policy speech in Phoenix on Wednesday. Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, specifics would be good. Jason, thanks so much for all of that reporting. So Jason just gave you a small sample of Trump's interview with Anderson Cooper, but there's much more. Trump trying to explain that he's actually hardening his position on immigration. The Republican Presidential Nominee recalibrating yet again.


TRUMP: We're going to end sanctuary cities. We're going to run a country like it's supposed to be run. We're going to have borders, very strong borders. And after that, we're going to see what happens, but we are going to find people and we're getting immediately -- and I mean first hour of my -- the first document I will sign will say get the bad ones out of this country. Bring them back where they came from.

COOPER: But I know, you know, I got to follow up, you asked on -- you said on Hannity, you used the word softening, even last night in Hannity you talked about ...

TRUMP: Well, I don't think it's a softening. I think it's ...

COOPER: But 11 million people are no longer going to be deported.

TRUMP: I may have people say it's a hardening, actually.

COOPER: But 11 million who have not committed crime ...

TRUMP: No, no we're then going to see ...

COOPER: ... there's going to be a path to legalization. Is that right?

TRUMP: You know it's a process. You can't 11 at one time and just say, boom, you're gone. We have to find where these people are. Most people don't know where they are. Nobody knows if it's 11. It could be 30 and it could be five, nobody knows what the number ...

COOPER: But if somebody hasn't committed a crime?

TRUMP: I'll tell you what we know. Let me explain.

COOPER: Will they be deported?

TRUMP: Let me tell you what. We know the bad one. We know where they are, who they are. We know the drug cartel people, we know the gangs and the heads of the gangs and the gang members. Those people are gone.

COOPER: But that's a huge number.

TRUMP: No, it's not.

COOPER: But that's Jeb Bush's policy.

TRUMP: I don't know anything about Jeb Bush. He wasn't building a wall. Jeb Bush wasn't building a wall. Jeb Bush wasn't making strong borders. And I'm not knocking Jeb Bush, but I was with him for a long time.

[06:05:05] COOPER: Right. But he was mocked for saying that, look, you can't deport 11 million people. And yet now it seems like -- I know you're not really focusing on ... TRUMP: First I want to see what's going to happen. We're going to deport many people, many, many people.

COOPER: The vast majority of those 11 million are not criminals.

TRUMP: But we don't know that. We're going to find out who they are. We have crime all over this country.

COOPER: So if they haven't committed a crime, is there going to be a path to legalization?

TRUMP: First thing we're going to do ...

COOPER: I'm talking about citizenship ...

TRUMP: No, there's not a pass -- there is no path to legalization.

COOPER: You talked about on that passes in Hannity.

TRUMP: Unless people leaves the country -- well, when they come back in, if they come back in then they can start paying taxes.

COOPER: So they still have to leave this country.

TRUMP: But there is no path to legalization unless they leave the country and come back.

COOPER: So that means of the 11 million who are here, even if they haven't committed a crime.

TRUMP: You don't know. Again, you keep saying 11 million. You don't know what the number is. You know, millions of people ...

COOPER: Well, however many. That's the estimate.

TRUMP: And using the existing laws of our country, using the existing laws, millions of people are deported every year.

COOPER: Right.

TRUMP: You know that, right? You know, people don't talk about that. It's Obama, they don't talk about that.

COOPER: Right ...

TRUMP: But you have a lot of people being deported. We're going to do that vigorously. We're going to go with the laws that are existing, but we're going to have a very strong border and we're not going to have people pouring back in and when these people, the drug lords and all of these guys that are thrown out. They're not coming back into the country.

COOPER: So if you haven't committed a crime and you've been here for 15 years and you have a family here, you have a job here, will you be deported? TRUMP: We're going to see what happens once we strengthen up our border. We're going to have a strong border, as strong as any border there is anywhere in the world. We're going to have a real wall. We're going to have tremendous protection, both technological protection and everything else. And then we're going to see what happens. But there's a very good chance the answer could be yes, but there's no legalization. There's no amnesty. If somebody wants to go the legalization route, what they'll do is they'll go leave the country, hopefully come back in and then we can talk.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's bring in our panel. CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, CNN Political Director David Chalian, and "New York Times" Political Correspondent Patrick Healy. All right, so Dana, researching, researching. That's what's going on in the Trump campaign ...


CUOMO: That's what I'm saying. By we, it's the royal we.

BASH: Exactly.

CUOMO: He is trying to find a way to approach this group that we hear about more and more, the demographic described as college educated whites, who were put off by his harsh rhetoric, but he doesn't seem to have found it.

BASH: No, not at all. And, you know, what he did by the end of the interview with Anderson was go back to the plan that he had at the beginning of the primaries. I mean, his rhetoric is very different, which I think which matters when he's trying to go after that demographic, but when it comes to the policy, which were never really specific on, but as much as we could get through the primary season, it was get everybody out and let the good ones back in.

That's what he said to Anderson last night. It just depends on how that happens and how that works. And we still don't really know that yet. And I think to your point, he doesn't really know that yet.

CAMEROTA: Right. That's the issue, Patrick, is that he keeps saying, well, after we strengthen the border, then we'll figure it out. We don't know who's here, so we'll figure it out later. Is that good enough for someone running for president?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, I mean, I think that it plays into a lot of what his supporters have seen for a while, which is we don't know who these people are. We don't know where they're coming from. We don't know what their papers are saying. We don't know if they're, you know, committing crimes in this country.

I think the government has a very good sense of this, but what Donald Trump has been doing for a long time is trying to sort of delegitimize what the Obama Administration has said about undocumented people in this country, sort of create the sense that Obama and Hillary Clinton, it's all chaos with their immigration policy. People swarming around, coming over the borders, we don't know what they're up to.

And this plays very much to his base. The bigger question is, does he have really any capacity to grow with this message, with the sort of college educated, undecided, white voters who, you know, he's just presenting so many different facets of a possible policy and hasn't settled on one.

CUOMO: So David, the risk of alienating the base. Now, you know, I think the safest suggestion is it's almost impossible for Trump to do that. His supporters are so all in with him. But to the extent that they could be shaken, this is the issue that could do it because he shooed away the rest of the field by any suggestion other than complete hardline dismissal of anybody who's in this country under any illegal premise. And that's how he distinguished himself. Jeb Bush obviously, not too happy to hear about this shift. Let's play his sound that he just finally responded. First his campaign came out with a response. Now he did. Here it is.


[06:10:00] BUSH: I don't know what to believe about a guy who doesn't believe in things. I mean, he doesn't -- this is all a game. He doesn't -- his views will change based on the feedback he gets from a crowd, or, you know, what he thinks he has to do. Life is too complex. For me I couldn't do that. I have to believe what I believe, and if it's popular, great, if it's not, I try to get better at presenting my views. But shifting my views because, it's political to do it? That's what politicians do in this country that's what Trump is trying to do right now, I find it abhorrent."


CUOMO: So changing policy is OK. Changing principle could be a problem. Could it even be a problem with Trump supporters?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I don't know the answer to that. And I don't think any of us do. But, you are right to note his supporters are some of the most loyal, dedicated supporters I've ever seen in politics -- in covering politics. So, I think it's going to take a lot to strip some of those supporters away. You are correct, though, Chris. This was the entire underpinning of his candidacy.

This was his actual entree into the position he was able to find in the primary season. Obviously much of what he was able to do throughout the primary season was through a call to personality and, you know, you could go to Trump rallies and you heard people say, yeah, I don't mind that policy or that's not important, that's just watching them speak. He is going to tell it like it is. So there's something beyond his policy positions. But you are right. This was the way he was able to differentiate himself from the rest of the field in a really important way to get an opening and then through all of his support and his call to personality was able to drive through that opening.

Now, the question is, does that opening all of a sudden close in some way? And those -- I don't know. I think it is tough and again, remember we're in this binary choice now. And so, that is also going to be reason for some of the supporters to stay with him, even if indeed he's trying to move a bit on this issue.

BASH: But the point that Jeb Bush made there, which was clearly very intentional, he's just acting like a politician. Beyond the policies, beyond to the fervent support for him because of the issue of immigration, the fervent support was, and we saw it at every rally he went to, obviously we see it in the numbers and we see in fact that he's the nominee, he's not like them. He's going to go and disrupt. He's going to go and break up the rigged system.

CUOMO: No compromise.

BASH: No compromise. And by pushing the fact that he's not that guy, he is just acting like a politician, which let's face it, he is. This is what you do. This is the traditional trajectory when you even move to the center, when you go to the general election.

HEALY: You're moving into a general election. And from his point of view, as long as he keeps saying I'm against amnesty, as long as he keeps sort of using these buzz words that will kind of mollify placate, you know, his far right supporters he feels like, okay, maybe there's some, you know, area to move.

CAMEROTA: But if you're, letting 11 million undocumented immigrants stay here and work, isn't that amnesty? I mean, he keeps saying he's against amnesty, but ...

CUOMO: What he'll say he's not doing it.

HEALY: That the thing. I mean, right now it sounds like from the latest we've heard from what he told Anderson is that somehow all of these people, whether it's, you know, Mitt Romney's self-deportation view or, you know, some kind of enforcement, all these people are going to leave and then get this chance in it to move back.

I mean he -- it's the softening is getting away from the deportation force, but somehow all of these people are going to go away and then get lured back to Donald Trump's America by being offered a chance to pay back taxes.

CHALIAN: Or the status quo is going to remain. Either/or it sounds like if they don't want legalization, it sounded to me like in the interview, then the status quo remains. And the status quo on both sides, both parties have been saying what we have now is untenable and there's a problem that needs to be addressed and yet, he seems to be saying that somehow if you're undocumented here and you don't want to seek legalization, you stay here if you're a good one, but you're still undocumented. That doesn't seem like a tenable position either.

BASH: And just quickly, remember for those who do really care about this issue and they are single-issue voters, and there are actually a lot of them in his base, and among his supporters, they get what amnesty is. And you already saw on social media people saying, I don't care if he says it's not amnesty, its amnesty.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, yeah.

CUOMO: Certainly what he was calling amnesty when ...

BASH: Exactly.

CUOMO: ... he's attacking other candidate. But for that red meat group, he's given them something else. He's calling Hillary Clinton a bigot, which is something else we'll discuss this morning.

CAMEROTA: So panel stick around. We do want to talk a bout that, because up next, more of our interview with Donald Trump.

[06:14:42] He's digging in on claims that Hillary Clinton is a bigot. These racially charged accusations are flying from both campaigns. We'll look at them next.


CUOMO: All right. I know the last day or so is a little confusing. So let's just simplify it. Donald Trump is trying to appeal to a demographic that's often referred to as "college educated whites".

And the belief is that this demographic was disproportionately troubled by Trump's harsh words about immigration and others. So, he changes his immigration stance but then arguably erases the chance of progress with that group by calling Clinton a bigot.

Now he says he's just returning fire from Clinton. Here he is trying to justify the attack in an interview with Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: You call last night Hillary Clinton a bigot. Previously you called her policies bigoted. You directly called her a bigot.

TRUMP: And she is a bigot. Because you look at what's happening to the inner cities. You look at what's happening to African-Americans and Hispanics in this country where she talks all the time, she's talking. Look at the vets, where she said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, that it's over exaggerated what's happening to the vets, not so long ago.

COOPER: How is she bigoted? Bigoted is having hatred toward a particular group.

TRUMP: Because she is selling them down the tubes, because she's not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game. But she doesn't do anything.

COOPER: So you're saying she has hatred or dislike of black people?

[06:20:01] TRUMP: Her policies are bigoted because she knows they're not going to work.

COOPER: But you're saying she's personally bigoted? TRUMP: Oh she is. Of course, she is. Her policies, that her policies, she's comes out with her policies and others that believe like she does also, but she came out with policies over the years. This is over the years, long time. She's totally bigoted. There's no question about it.

COOPER: But it does imply that she has antipathy, she has hatred toward, I guess in this case you're talking about African-Americans.

TRUMP: I think she has been extremely, extremely bad for African Americans. I think she has been extremely bad for Hispanics. You look at what's happened with her policies and the policies of President Obama and others, look at the poverty, look at the rise in poverty, look at the rise in violence.

COOPER: But hatred is at the core of that or dislike of African- Americans?

TRUMP: Or maybe she's lazy. I don't know what it is. All I can tell you is I've been hearing the same stuff from her and others for years. And the inner cities today are worse than they ever have been.

COOPER: Have you always thought she was bigoted though, I mean you where supporting ...

TRUMP: Honestly, I never thought of it. As a business person, I never thought of it. I got along with all politicians.

COOPER: But she has a history of working with African-Americans.

TRUMP: Working, but not doing the job. And I'm now bringing it out for the first time. She hasn't done the job.

COOPER: What Hillary Clinton is now coming at you with, I talked to her last night, she called in my show, she said you are bringing hate mainstream by embracing the so-called "Alt-right" movement, that you're peddling bigotry, prejudice, and paranoia.

TRUMP: Well, first of all, we're bringing love. You see these rooms. They're packed with people that have been just left behind. I call it the forgotten man and woman. They've been left behind Anderson by people like her who are third-rate politicians who talk and they don't produce.

You look at our inner cities, our inner cities are at disaster and the African-American people are realizing that the Democrats who have run these inner cities for 75 years and a hundred years, they've just left them, they forgot, they get ...

COOPER: Are you embracing the "Alt-right" movement?

TRUMP: And nobody even knows what it is. And she didn't know what it was. This is a term that was just given. That frankly, there's no alt-right or alt-left. All I'm embracing is common sense.

COOPER: But Steve Bannon did say, Breitbart is sort of the voice of the alt-right movement.

TRUMP: I don't know what Steve said. All I can tell you I can only speak for myself, you see the crowds we have, you see the enthusiasm and know these are great people. These are people that have not been heard for many years. And now they've been heard, first time in many, many decades. In fact, people say the first time, period.


CAMEROTA: All right. Let's bring back our panel to discuss all of this. We have Patrick Healy, Dana Bash, and David Chalian with us still. So Dana, this shows what a wild card Donald Trump is.

BASH: Because we needed proof.

CAMEROTA: Finally, we have the evidence of him being a wild card. Because none of her previous opponents ever thought to attack her on race relations, on something that Hillary Clinton did wrong for the poor, the underserved, because, you know, she's starting from the beginning of her career worked with the children's defense fundi mean this was one of her calling cards that he's now going after.

BASH: Well, it's clear the only reason why he's doing this is because it dove tails with the broader theme that he's been trying to push on the campaign trail for the past week and a half or so, which is he's actually going to be the one who's going to be best for minorities and that it's his policies that will be better and that Democrats have been taking the minorities for granted and so on and so forth.

And so the way Donald Trump operates, we've seen this for over a year, is he takes that policy and then he takes it a step further and goes personally after his opponent and tries to poke holes in his opponent's not just record but sort of now it's character traits on that issue. I'm not sure that that is going to fly.

CUOMO: Well, now the campaign will say, you see, he says one little thing and you guys take it out of context and you ignore all he says about policy. That's their pack comeback when you point out what he says.

Calling her a bigot has to be counterproductive for him. He has a case to make that life in the big cities is wholly unacceptable and there have been Democrats in leadership for decades. It's true. It's a real argument to make. They'll push back. They have different rationales. But then saying bigot should dominate the discussion. And it makes sense that it hurts him.

HEALY: Right, but here's the thing, Chris. This is a very deliberate choice. Now that Kellyanne Conway and this new team is in place, you know all of Donald Trump's remarks at these rallies are scripted. They are choosing the words. They chose to move on from she's making bigoted policies to she is a bigot.

CUOMO: I asked her, I said, wasn't that in the prompter when he said bigoted as opposed to him just being off the cuff? And she said, he says what he's going to say. But I went back and looked. He's looking at the TelePrompTer.


HEALY: And it was in his prepared remarks. I mean a bigot is now -- using that word bigot is not for the college educated undecided whites. It is for the base to, you know, to energize and kind of electrify the base by calling Hillary Clinton a word that a lot of conservatives have felt applies to Democrats who just want black votes.

[06:25:03] They're not willing to make any real policies that empower or uplift African-Americans from their point of view this is just about votes. It's giving the base that word in order for him to create space with all of these other sort of maybe more voters in the center on immigration.

CAMEROTA: And David, also, it's because she is calling him that. I mean, not in so many words, but Hillary Clinton in Reno has started talking about his history of racism, and he's trying to sort of pre- empt that term and use it on her. But here's what Hillary Clinton said about Trump in Reno.


CLINTON: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories, drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far dark reaches of the internet should never run our government or command our military.


CAMEROTA: David, we're struck that even her tone was so different there. It was very measured. It was a somber tone. She wasn't rallying the crowd. What did you think of that speech?

CHALIAN: I agree with your assessment of her tone. I think she was clearly trying to raise the stakes in this election and continue to prosecute this argument that he's disqualified from being president. So first she spent a lot of time in August, Alisyn, talking about his temperament and not the right temperament to have the nuclear codes at arm's reach.

Now, she's making the argument that he embraces something so far outside of the mainstream of American politics that he should not be in this position of authority and power.

So, she will continue to prosecute the argument from now to November that he is not qualified for the office, and we'll see different slices of it. But I think you're right to note her tone because she clearly was also inviting some moderate Republicans. I don't think this was just a base speech. I think this was trying to also talk to the middle, some folks that may tend to vote Republican, saying this is not your typical Republican and here's why you should reject it. You know, that is an argument we'll probably see from Hillary Clinton time and again from now through November. CUOMO: But it's not just a speech note. I mean it's now focused of their ads as well. Here's her latest copy on it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in. Donald Trump will be best for the job for president.

Yeah. I am a farmer and white nationalist. Support Donald Trump.



CUOMO: Now, he said in a quick interview yesterday with somebody, the reporter said to him, do you want white supremacists or nationalists to vote for you? He said absolutely not.

BASH: Right.

CUOMO: But what's the net effect on an ad like that?

BASH: Well, I think to David's point, I think one of the most interesting and resonating lines that she said yesterday, Hillary Clinton, was the fringe has taken over the Republican Party. And that's it. I mean that's it.

If you are a Republican out there who just kind of votes Republican but is more moderate in some of your views and you see Donald Trump and you hear things like this and you're thinking, I'm not really sure about him and you do have the seed planted in your head he's really not one of me, he is taking over the Republican Party, maybe I have a protest vote and I vote for either Hillary Clinton or somebody else to kind of, you know, get past this election and reset. I mean, that's what this is about.

I'm just not convinced at all that Hillary Clinton is the right messenger for this. I mean, he did what she needed to do, which is give the speech as a candidate. You elevate the conversation we're talking about it because she gave the speech. But again, if I'm not Republican, if I'm unclear about this, it's because I probably can't stand Hillary Clinton and I'm not going to listen to her.

HEALY: She doesn't need all these Republicans to come over and vote for her. She just needs them to not vote, to say when they go on the ballot box and see Donald Trump's name and her name, they just feel that he is ultimately unacceptable. I've been talking to voters in recent reporting trips to, you know, Allentown, Pennsylvania, Doylestown, the sort of suburbs of Philadelphia, then the suburbs in Virginia, I was that -- there are people who have said they just feel he's just a little either a little bit racist, a little too offensive. If she can just keep sort of undermining that, she doesn't need to win them over into her column. Just get them uncomfortable.

CAMEROTA: Great point panel, Thank you very much. All right. We want to give you a Ryan Lochte update now. Because Ryan Lochte thought that an apology might be enough, but apparently it was not. There's new fallout for the American Olympian who admits, "Over-exaggerating, the story about being robbed at Gunpoint in Rio.

[06:30:04] We have all the latest details next.