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Ex-Congressman: "If Trump Loses, I'm Grabbing My Musket"; Russia Has Denied Involvement In Hacking of Clinton Emails; Which Campaign is Winning the Ad Wars? Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired October 28, 2016 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] JOE WALSH (R), FORMER IL CONGRESSMAN: That phrase "grab your musket", Chris, is a phrase I've used probably 100 times in the last two or three years, and it's about that.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Words matter.
WALSH: Defend our freedoms.
CUOMO: Context matters.
WALSH: Do whatever we have to do.
CUOMO: When you tweeted about like, you know, the cops being shot, like it's not a sensitive enough situation. Like it's not something that we have to try to tamp down. And often we, in the media, get it wrong. I own that. But, you know, you say this is now war. Watch out Obama, watch out "Black Lives Matters" punks. Real America is coming after you.
CUOMO: You only take this one way. You take it provocatively. Trump is the master of this and you have to now argue whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. You tell me why it's good.
WALSH: I think it's a good thing, Chris, because people are waking up. These are serious times. You nailed it. This is an ugly, nasty election. But you know what? It should be because things in America right now are ugly and nasty. And we're pissed off, Chris, at Republicans and Democrats.
Look, when I say grab your musket, man, and let's go to war if Hillary wins, the Republican Party's going to be in our sights. Has all these people who are pissed off again at what we believe, Chris, is a corrupt political system. We're as angry at Republicans as we are at Democrats, and this anger -- even if Trump loses, fair and square, Chris, the anger's not going to go anywhere.
And as I said yesterday on the radio, I don't know about you but I'm glad the American people are angry because we've been asleep for years.
CUOMO: The best version of anger is when it's an emotion that's used to motivate a passionate response. Not a violent response, not an ugly response, not a counterproductive response, but where you use it --
CUOMO: -- to energize democracy. I'm not hearing that coming out of you or an Alex Jones, or even a Donald Trump. It seems to just end with the threat. Where is the positive instruction of what to do on November 9th? Why don't you tell people to get out and vote, and vote for their choices in a really big way. And if they don't, start a letter-writing campaign to Congress so that they don't -- if Hillary --
If Trump doesn't win, as you suggested, and Hillary Clinton does, do you really want them to back a Jason Chaffetz and other people stymying government by going after Clinton with a re-hash of what we just litigated in the election? Is that positive?
WALSH: Yes, and we're at a point, Chris, now where, yes -- I guess what I'm saying is you are right. "Grab your musket" means it's time to protest. It's time for people
on the right to engage in civil disobedience. It's time to boycott, picket, maybe even stop paying taxes.
Look, our problems are real and we've gotten into this lousy, horrible state, Chris, because Republicans and Democrats, over the years, have come together and all they've done is grow government and forget about the American people. Again, the American people are pissed off at both parties. We live in kind of revolutionary times and I don't think the media fully recognizes that. Things are going to get uglier, and they should.
CUOMO: All right. Joe Walsh, thank you for your take. Former Illinois congressman, radio personality. Good to have you on NEW DAY.
WALSH: Thank you.
CUOMO: Alisyn, people should pay their taxes. Joe should start by not paying his taxes so people can see what happens when you commit that crime -- Alisyn.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Well, people are angry and our next guests have seen it up close and personal. They have been on the trail and gone to rallies, and they have covered it. And so, we want to bring in these two reporters about what they've seen.
Washington-based reporter for "The New York Times", Ashley Parker, and senior producer at "The Wall Street Journal", Jason Bellini. Thanks to both of you for being here.
Ashley, I want to start with you because you actually made a video compilation of some of the overheated rhetoric, some of the vitriol that you've seen directed at the press while on the campaign trail. So let me play a portion of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BLEEP) Build a wall!
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our president has divided this country so badly.
TRUMP: Hey, there's a group out there (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Ashley, it's not just directed at the press. Obviously, we saw it directed it at a lot of people there. What are we seeing on that video?
ASHLEY PARKER, WASHINGTON-BASED REPORTER, "NEW YORK TIMES": I mean, in that video -- and we made that a couple of months earlier. What we really wanted to capture was that the reporters who cover Donald Trump -- in a way, we sort of realized we almost becoming, you know, inured (ph) to this language and these slurs that we would hear shouted out very casually and almost proudly at Trump rallies about women, about Hispanics, about African-Americans.
[07:35:10] And so, what you're hearing there are Trump supporters who are getting very frenzied, very wound up, and sort of shouting things that I think if they were even to see themselves on video, they might not necessarily be proud of in a different moment.
CAMEROTA: Jason, what have you seen on the campaign trail?
JASON BELLINI, SR. PRODUCER, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": What have I have seen? Well, I've been to rallies back in New Hampshire and I hear a different tone now. One of the things that people don't see when you're watching on television, of a Trump rally, it's usually the warm-up acts -- the people who come on before. And, oftentimes, these are really stirring up emotions.
For example, I was at a rally in Cincinnati recently. There was a former law enforcement officer, an ally of Donald Trump, saying things in even harsher terms than you sometimes hear from Donald Trump. Saying that the system is corrupt. That if Hillary Clinton wins, action will need to be taken.
CAMEROTA: So he works up -- they warm up. It works the crowd up to a lather and then by the time Donald Trump comes on they're sort of very agitated.
BELLINI: Yes, very much so. And when I was at one of these rallies you go around talking to people. As a journalist, sometimes people are very suspicious of you and so they'll be confrontational with you at times. One person I spoke with at a rally, he said things that were rather alarming. CAMEROTA: Like what?
BELLINI: Well, he said that if Hillary Clinton wins that he may have to take actions as a patriot. I followed up on that. I asked him, you know, what did you mean by that? And I asked him bluntly, does that mean you feel that it would be OK to assassinate a president? And he answered my question with a question of his own. What is the president is corrupt? Well, you know, the hope is --
CAMEROTA: We saw that. We played your video.
CAMEROTA: We saw that. It was a scary moment to hear that people now -- some people -- feel that taking action -- violent action -- is almost their duty. If you're a patriot then it's your duty to do something that you see -- you know, righting a wrong.
BELLINI: Let's hope that these are just words, but I think the -- and it's also hope that words like this -- this kind of language isn't inciting and isn't sort of feeding the dark fantasies of unhinged individuals.
CAMEROTA: Ashley, you know, what about the surreptitiously recorded videos that we saw that the Trump campaign has fasted upon because these were, you know, Hillary Clinton -- part of Hillary Clinton's -- or at least the DNC campaign these veritas videos where they basically said that left-wing agitators were sent in to stir up the crowd. Did you ever see anything like that?
PARKER: I have to say I personally did not see anything like that. But all along when, you know -- in covering Donald Trump, we've seen a phenomenon that we have not seen with any other candidate, which is that protesters have become a huge part of the experience of attending a Donald Trump rally, almost like the calls to build with Mexico.
So what I have seen, certainly, are protesters coming in and deliberately disrupting is events, sometimes resisting being carried out. And then I've also seen the counter side of that, which is the crowd really turning on these protesters, often with nasty language from both the protesters and the crowd, and violence. And that is just what you expect to see at a Donald Trump rally. And he holds it up as an example of isn't this so much fun to be here at a Trump rally.
CAMEROTA: Jason, very quickly, from your experience of reporting what do you think is going to happen if Donald Trump were to lose on November 8th? What happens to his movement because people do feel that they are part of a movement?
BELLINI: Well, win or lose, I think the speech to watch on election night will be Donald Trump's. Does he present it -- if he were to lose, does he present it as a failure of democracy? And if that happens, that could really fan the flames of some of his followers who, as we've seen, feel like the system is corrupt and that may lead to some type of civil disobedience. CAMEROTA: Jason, Ashley, thank you very much for sharing your reporting with us.
PARKER: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: It's important to see all of these moments. Thanks for the perspective. Let's get to Chris.
CUOMO: All right. A big point of controversy has been how did we get these emails that WikiLeaks is offering up to everybody now? Russia has been the central figure. Do we know that for real? Now, we're going to speak with a congressman who says yes, and he has concerns about hacking as, really, a cybercrime that could destabilize our government. He makes the case, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: But she's also saying WikiLeaks, it's Russia and Donald Trump. I have nothing to do with Russia. They said maybe Donald Trump is involved in projects with the Russians. The answer's no, no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Well, over the past few weeks, Donald Trump has capitalized on those hacked emails from the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta's, personal account. And, of course, there's been controversy surrounding all of this and it's been injected into the 2016 race. U.S. officials say they do believe Russia is responsible and behind those, and now there's this new report that shows other countries may be hacking back at Vladimir Putin.
Joining us now to talk about all of this is New York Congressman Steve Israel. He recently wrote a piece for CNN warning, in the media, of what he calls the weaponization of the hacked emails. Congressman, thanks so much for being here.
REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK, CHAIR, HOUSE DEM. POLICY & COMM. COMMITTEE: Good morning, thanks for having me on.
CAMEROTA: What do you mean that he emails have been weaponized?
ISRAEL: Well look, you know, people should reach whatever judgment they want on this -- the spate of emails. But I believe -- good, better, indifferent -- but I believe those judgments should be informed by certain facts.
We now know, through the Department of Homeland Security, our own intelligence experts, and private cybersecurity firms, that Russia has hacked into our systems. That Russia has dumped these emails. And not only that, but Russia has a tendency of dumping these emails and then doctoring them -- falsifying them. And so this is a foreign intelligence effort to sow discord into our systems, to discredit candidates before an election, and to influence that election.
CAMEROTA: So, are you saying, Congressman, that everything that we've seen on these emails, you do -- you don't trust the veracity of? You don't think that we're getting the real story about the Clinton Foundation or Doug Band or the complications between fundraising -- all of that stuff? Because that stuff is substantial and it is worth talking about.
ISRAEL: Well, I'm not sure that some of that is worth talking about. I mean, intempered emails, gossipy stuff, salacious stuff -- I'm not sure that has a bearing on who the next president should be, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
[07:45:05] But even if you believe that I think it's important for voters to have that judgment informed by the fact that this is a foreign intelligence operation being run against the United States of America. So all of those emails, whether you agree with them or not, whether they affect your vote or not -- all of them should come with a cautionary asterisk.
Russia has done this in Georgia, they've done it in Estonia, they've done it in the Ukraine, they've done it in Netherlands. They not only release these documents, but they doctor these documents. This is part of the Russian playbook and I think the voters should be advised of that.
CAMEROTA: So today -- this morning -- you are 100 percent certain that Russia is behind this?
ISRAEL: Not only am I 100 percent certain, but the President of the United States has said that Russia is behind this. If you don't believe him, the Department of Homeland Security has said it. If you don't believe the Department of Homeland Security, we have about 15 bipartisan national security officials, including officials from the Bush administration who agree that Russia is behind this. And, virtually, every major cybersecurity firm says the same.
CAMEROTA: So why doesn't Donald Trump believe that?
ISRAEL: Well, because Donald Trump is the beneficiary of this foreign intelligence operation. Let's be clear. Putin is behind this. He's doing this in order to influence this election. Donald Trump is the beneficiary of this foreign intelligence operation. Why would he condemn it or criticize it? In fact, he's been aiding and abetting it.
CAMEROTA: Russia has denied, by the way, being a part of this hack. They say that they are amused that we're elevating them to this level that they could possibly sow chaos in our presidential election. But if you're right and if all those intelligence and investigative agencies are right and Russia did do this, why do they want Donald Trump to win? ISRAEL: Well, because they believe he will be pliable. I mean, Donald Trump has, effectively, endorsed Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin has talked about admiration for Donald Trump. And, by the way, Putin's denials of this hold no water. This is a guy who bombed a U.N. convoy in Syria -- said he didn't. Who is bombing hospitals in Aleppo -- said he didn't. Who invaded Crimea -- said he didn't. So his denials don't really have much credibility. They're about as credible as many of these hacked emails that he's doctoring.
CAMEROTA: Congressman Steve Israel. People can go to cnn.com to read your Op-Ed on why you think this is such an important issue in this campaign. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
ISRAEL: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Let's get over to Chris.
CUOMO: All right. So another aspect of this dynamic in the election is that both the Clinton and Trump campaigns have been spending millions on advertising in the final days of the race. What are the message? Which is working better? Why? All answered, next.
[07:47:45] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[07:51:20] CUOMO: His goal is to get guns off the streets of Detroit's toughest neighborhood. Instead, it cost police sergeant Kenneth Steil his life. Now, his wife and two young boys left forever heartbroken.
CNN's Miguel Marquez has more in this week's "BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY". Here it is.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN HOST: Three-year-old Alexander Steil salutes his father, Detroit police sergeant Kenneth Steil, who died in the line of duty.
JOANN STEIL, OFFICER STEIL'S WIDOW: My children lost their hero.
MARQUEZ: Their hero, a 21-year veteran of the police force here. In all those years, not a single complaint made against him.
STEIL: My biggest fear was that phone call or the car driving to your house. So, yeah, it was a fear of mine and the fear came true.
MARQUEZ: Steil had a fearful job getting guns off the street in the tough 9th precinct. Shot while chasing a suspect, he was on the road to full recovery. The day he was going home he suffered a complication and died.
STEIL: A lot of people ask how I'm not angry. My response to that is God gave me that week with him that most people don't get when they're shot in the chest.
MARQUEZ: An expert diver and crazy about sharks, Steil's nickname, "Shark".
JAMES CRAIG, DETROIT POLICE CHIEF: Let me tell you the magic of Shark.
MARQUEZ: Detroit's police chief says Steil's death, a blow to the entire department.
CRAIG: He mentored his team of young officers. He cared about the team and they responded.
MARQUEZ: Their response helped cut violent crime in the 9th an astonishing 50 percent in a year. Community leaders trusted him.
BISHOP DARYL HARRIS, TOTAL LIFE CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES: So when you lose a good officer, its impactful to the entirety of the community.
MARQUEZ: His children lost their role model. His wife lost her rock.
STEIL: It's like every day I have a hard time. I just -- I talk to him and I say just help me through this because he always believed in me more than I believed in myself.
MARQUEZ: A dedicate cop, husband, and father. A shining example for police everywhere. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Detroit.
CUOMO: A terrible price to pay for change. Kenneth Steil is a hero and we hope you take something from his story.
CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, what a beautiful family there.
CUOMO: Right. So, you go from one situation where a woman realizes that anger will never be what can sustain her. That she has to move on and take care of her kids and recognize what was good about her husband.
Now we move to politics where anger seems to be the highest value that we can muster. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton now putting it into their ads, certainly on the Trump side. So you're going to see these T.V. ads in the last 11 days of this race more than you're see anything else on your T.V. screen. Who's saying what, and what works, and why.
Let's discuss. CNN political analyst and editor-in-chief of "The Daily Beast, John Avlon, and CNN political commentator and Republican consultant Margaret Hoover. Let's show an ad and then discuss what the state of play is, what works, and why. Here is the Trump ad called "Predators".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators -- no conscience, no empathy.
You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK, John, the effectiveness of that ad?
[07:55:00] JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, it's a fascinating ad because both with the -- she's going after millennial Bernie supporters -- he's going after millennial Bernie supporters in the African-American community, trying to say that Hillary Clinton is not your ally. That her history in politics has been divisive.
And it's basically about trying to reduce turnout among millennials in the African-American vote. So it's strategic, but it's fascinating because it's not like Donald Trump's trying to win those folks over, necessarily. He's trying to make sure they don't turn out to vote.
CUOMO: Suppression -- does it matter that -- and she doesn't make this case, herself, so maybe she shouldn't get the benefit of it -- but when she was talking about superpredators, she was talking about gangbangers and how they kill in a wanton fashion that the rest of society does not.
CAMEROTA: She's also apologized.
CUOMO: Although I still -- I don't quite understand that. With deplorables, she did then go back and apologize and said I was just talking about a little bit. Does that help or not in politics? You say it and somebody else owns it.
MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: She said it, as long as it's true. And the FEC does make sure that political advertising is true. You have to cite your facts. You can't just go up and say anything. But you can -- if you say it -- you put it in an effective ad -- look, that ad, ISIS-backed, is very effective. But what they did with that ad -- it's not so much just what you say, it's who you target it to and how much money you put behind it. How widespread is it?
A big political ad buy -- if that were to saturate an entire market of millennial, and Latino, and African-American voters and play three, four, five, six times in the last week before the election, it would have high, high impact. That's a digital ad buy targeted specifically to millennials, African-Americans and Hispanics.
Depending on how much oomph they put behind it, and that really translates directly to dollars, will measure its impact.
AVLON: How do we measure oomph?
CAMEROTA: I have a new meter.
CUOMO: In the oomph meter, he sent me an email -- the campaign -- saying give now, I'll triple it. CAMEROTA: Yes.
CUOMO: The Trump campaign.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I got that yesterday, too.
CUOMO: Does he not believe enough in his chances of winning that he's not putting in as much money as he says he could? Why isn't he doing what Margaret said?
AVLON: I mean, signs point to yes. Look, in the ad buys they are stepping up their ad buys dramatically. They're doing it in a number of states which can both be expressed as a Hail Mary, you know. Trying to see if they could flip a New Hampshire polling contrary to that. And so -- but, they're getting in that game late.
Donald Trump has totally blown up the consultant -- you know, model for campaigns in a way that I think is actually pretty liberating. But this late game of catch-up isn't --
CUOMO: But he said I'm putting in $100 million. He said I'll triple donations.
CUOMO: He's at like one-fifth of donations this month instead of tripling them --
CUOMO: -- and he says he has all this cash -- hasn't put it in. I don't get it.
HOOVER: Right. Well, you know -- look --
AVLON: Something's missing.
HOOVER: It's a fair point. You know, a lot of Republicans deserve to be pretty angry about it because they went with this guy saying -- he has said he'd write the check, he'd make up the difference, and he hasn't done it. Let me just tell. Political advertising, as we know, on television -- if you spend the amount of money you need to spend to really saturate the market it does work. Donald Trump thought he didn't need to do it, right? So he's relied on media, relied people covering him.
And in many states -- two political scientists from UCLA went and discovered that in states where he didn't buy any advertising but relied on earned media, and where Hillary Clinton bought advertising, her favorabilities and her -- the people voting for her went up almost three percent.
CUOMO: We've got an example of that.
CAMEROTA: OK, so let's look. What Hillary Clinton has done in some of her ads is use these sort of first-person testimonials -- AVLON: Yes.
CAMEROTA: -- about how they feel about Donald Trump. So here is, of course, Mr. Kahn, the dad of Capt. Kahn -- listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KHIZR KAHN, FATHER OF HUMAYUN, KILLED IN IRAQ: She saw a suicide bomber approaching his camp. He saved everyone in his unit. Only one American soldier died. My son was Capt. Humayun Kahn. He was 27- years-old and he was a Muslim-American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK, so that's a tearjerker --
CUOMO: Khizr Kahn.
CAMEROTA: -- of an ad. But at some point -- I guess we didn't play it -- where it connects to Donald Trump or to Hillary Clinton. You have to sort of bring that home to the campaign.
AVLON: Yes. Look, I think Hillary Clinton's ads have been largely focused on emotional appeals. And what's interesting is that late in the cycle it shifts to more positive ads or ones that really tug at the heartstrings. In her case, sort of a stronger together message. But that was really a pivotal moment -- the Kahn family's speech in the campaign. As we look back, that was a pivotal moment in this campaign and hammering it home in the late innings.
CAMEROTA: I mean, if you live in one of these battleground states these are relentless.
HOOVER: Well, these -- and these -- correct, right? Like, we live here in New York. I see no political advertising but New York isn't up for grabs. You live in Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, that's all you're getting.
CUOMO: I see them six in a row. Lots of six in a row.
AVLON: Yes, but look, this is -- this is the crunch time and if you want to find the truth in politics you follow the money. So don't listen to what the candidates say, look at what they spend and where they spend it.
CAMEROTA: There you go. John, Margaret, thank you. Have a great weekend.
CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news this morning. Let's get right to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says stop, stop. We have an emergency in the airport.
TRUMP: The plane skidded off the runway.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The pilots were braking very aggressively but we're fine. We're back on the campaign trail today.
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: We want a president who takes this job seriously.
CLINTON: Is there anyone more inspiring than Michelle Obama?
PENCE: There's only two names on that ballot that have a chance to be president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got to tear ourselves away from this idea that it has to be the Republicans or the Democrats.
TRUMP: We should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump, right?
CLINTON: No, we demand the right to vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)