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Interview With Florida Congressman Ted Yoho; Distraction From Trump Controversies?; FBI Reviews New E-Mails Tied to Clinton Case; Weiner Sexting Probe Leads FBI to Review Clinton Case; Plane Catches Fire on Runway, 20 Injured; Russian, U.S. Jets in Most Dangerous Close Call Yet; Weiner Sexting Probe Leads FBI to Review Clinton Cas. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired October 28, 2016 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Will this new twist distract from Trump's many controversies?
Midair miss. A Russian warplane flies close to a U.S. jet, narrowly avoiding a disaster in a combat zone. Tonight, the risk of an actual collision that could raise global tensions even higher.
And breaking tonight, panic on the runway. An American Airlines jet aborts takeoff in an emergency that sends smokes shooting from the plane and terrifies passengers.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Breaking news tonight, Hillary Clinton's campaign hit with an October surprise by the FBI. Only 11 days before the election, the bureau alerting Congress that it's reviewing newly found e-mails related to Clinton's personal server.
Adding to the drama, sources say the e-mails were uncovered in the sexting investigation of former Congressman Anthony Weiner. He's the estranged husband of Clinton aide and confidant Huma Abedin.
Tonight, we're learning that the e-mails in question were sent or received by Abedin. Right now, we're standing by to hear from Hillary Clinton and from Donald Trump. They're both campaigning in Iowa. Tonight, Trump is pouncing on this story, saying that justice may finally be served in the e-mail scandal.
So far, Clinton hasn't talked about this on the campaign trail. Her allies say there's no reason to believe that these new e-mails will change the FBI's original decision not to seek charges against Clinton.
Also this hour, we're awaiting remarks by President Obama. He's making the case for Hillary Clinton in Florida tonight, just hours after this new curve ball in the most unpredictable presidential race in memory.
Our correspondents, analysts and guests, they are all standing by as we bring you full coverage of this breaking story.
Up first, let's go to our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, with the latest on the breaking story -- Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, a surprising development today. These e-mails were found in a device being examined as part of the Anthony Weiner sexting investigation involving a 15-year-old girl.
Now the Hillary Clinton private server case that had been deemed a done deal is being given a renewed look by the FBI less than two weeks until the election.
BROWN (voice-over): Tonight, James Comey delivering the stunning news in this letter to Congress. The FBI has discovered new e-mails related to the Hillary Clinton private e-mail server investigation and is now taking a second look at that investigation.
The e-mails that prompted the new probe were on a device being examined as part of the Anthony Weiner sexting investigation, according to law enforcement sources.
Weiner was recently separated Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. She avoided the subject at the rally, too.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a beautiful day in Cedar Rapids.
BROWN: In the letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Comey writes -- quote -- "In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of e-mails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation."
He went on to say: "The FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these e-mails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."
The e-mails are not from Hillary Clinton, but from someone else, according to a law enforcement official.
This comes just three months after Comey told Congress the investigation was complete.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Did Hillary Clinton break the law?
JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: In connection with her use of the e-mail server, my judgment is that she did not.
BROWN: Law enforcement sources say the newly discovered e-mails did not service from the FBI investigation into hacked Clinton campaign e- mails released by WikiLeaks or the Clinton Foundation.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I need to open with a very critical breaking news announcement.
BROWN: Republicans immediately pounced, Donald Trump celebrating the news in front of a cheering crowd in New Hampshire, and Paul Ryan tweeting, "Yet again Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame. She was entrusted with some of our nation's most important secrets. And she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information. I renew my call for the director of national intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved."
Comey's announcement potentially reversing course from the FBI's previous decision.
COMEY: Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.
BROWN: Now the question is, could that change?
BROWN: And Director Comey says he doesn't know when this review of the new e-mails will wrap up, but it's likely that will happen after the election.
Worth nothing, our law enforcement sources say these new e-mails were sent or received by Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton's top aides. It's unclear if any of the e-mails contained classified information. But, Wolf, we're told there are thousands of e-mails that officials now have to go through.
BLITZER: What a story. All right, Pamela, thanks very much, Pamela Brown reporting.
Hillary Clinton in the key battleground state of Iowa tonight, as her campaign scrambles right now to deal with this new e-mail controversy.
Our senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, he is joining us from Des Moines right now.
Jeff, what are you hearing from the Clinton campaign?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Secretary Clinton is speaking behind me right now to this crowd here in Des Moines. She's not yet addressed this herself.
But her campaign is pushing back and raising questions about the FBI. Campaign chairman John Podesta issued a sharply worded statement just a short time ago. Let's take a look at that statement right now.
He said: "Director Comey's letter refers to the e-mails that have come to light in an unrelated case. But we have no idea what those e-mails are."
Podesta goes on to say: "The director himself notes they may not even be significant. It's extraordinary that we would just see something like this 11 days out from a presidential election." Podesta says: "The director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident," Podesta says, "this will not produce any conclusions different from the one that the FBI reached in July."
Of course, Wolf, that is the hope of the campaign right now. But the immediate hope of the campaign is just to simply just get beyond this. We are listening to Secretary Clinton speak here. She is in the key state of Iowa, a state where Donald Trump is coming to tonight. It is one of those battleground states that is indeed deadlocked. And this could certainly have an impact, not on those Democratic voters, but on those independent voters in the middle who may have had some questions about the Clinton campaign from the beginning here and this certainly could impact it, Wolf.
BLITZER: Jeff, how do they plan to handle this over the next several days?
ZELENY: Wolf, first and foremost, they want to see where this is going. They want to see if the FBI actually clarifies or streamlines their statement and says exactly what they're looking at.
But they are also calling on Democrats to push back against this. Senator Feinstein is one example raising questions of this letter from the FBI director. They're not worried about Democrats abandoning her, but they are concerned about some of the voters in the middle who may have been either on board with her or just about to come on board with her suddenly not sure about this.
And the Senate is another question. This gives Republicans running for Senate races one more reason to say elect me to be a check on Hillary Clinton -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Jeff Zeleny, reporting from Des Moines.
In the last hour, I spoke with Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, a former Justice Department spokesman.
Joining us now, Republican Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida.
Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. I know you're a Donald Trump supporter. Thanks for joining us.
REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: Sure, Wolf. Great to be here.
BLITZER: In the last hour, I interviewed Hillary Clinton's press secretary, Brian Fallon. He said the FBI's director, James Comey, the letter he presented to Congress today could be because of political pressure on behalf of congressional Republicans. Let me play this clip. Listen to this.
YOHO: Sure. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN FALLON, CLINTON CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: There were no e-mail messages that were properly marked as classified, none that had headers at the top that would have denoted that the material should be considered classified.
The director affirmed that, and that's why he said it wasn't even a close call when they made the decision not to go forward at all with any case back in July. Of course, Republicans didn't like that outcome. They have been second-guessing it ever since, making untoward, completely unsubstantiated allegations about conspiracy theories at the FBI and subjected the FBI, quite frankly, to a great deal of political pressure.
And so I think it would be highly inappropriate and unfortunate if the sending of this letter today was at all something that happened as a result of that extensive political pressure that's been applied not by just Donald Trump and his campaign, but by congressional Republicans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So, what's your reaction to that? He's saying this is unsubstantiated, this is largely the result of political pressure by Republicans on the FBI director. Do you think that's true?
YOHO: Absolutely not.
They're grasping. Director Comey is the one that says, we need to take a second look at this. And I think it's very disconcerting when Barbara Boxer, Feinstein says we need to put pressure on the FBI so that they don't go further in this.
Think about what she is saying. She's saying to the American people and to an agency, the chief law enforcement agency of this country, she's putting political pressure on there for a political agenda to stop an investigation that the director of the FBI decided on his own to go forward with because of the revelation and the new release of these e-mails.
And the best way to get around this is make sure Hillary Clinton is not elected to president.
BLITZER: Let me play another comment that Brian Fallon made to me just in the last hour. Listen to this.
Actually, let me read a little bit of it for you.
BLITZER: We don't have the sound.
"The point the appropriate steps both campaigns are urging him to take is to release additional information, if you have to do it with redactions."
Should the FBI director right now do what the Trump campaign wants and the Clinton campaign wants, to release more information so the American public, American voters have a better appreciation of how significant or insignificant this new development is before Election Day?
YOHO: I don't think the director of the FBI should do what either camp wants.
I think he should do what is required by the rule of law and the right thing to do. And that is to release all the information that they have. And they were talking about before that there wasn't any classified information in there.
But we know before they had redacted or taken the heading off of that. And I think we should release the information. Let the people that are in charge of doing the investigation do their due diligence, do the investigation, so that the American people or those people in charge can make a decision on whether or not this person was guilty of what they were doing or if they mishandled classified documents.
And this goes back to just a repeat of history with the Clinton campaign or the Clinton administration. When you look at Sandy Berger that went in and took classified documents and was hiding them in his pants and his socks, and we don't need any more of this. The American people are tired of this.
And when you came into this section, Wolf, you were talking about the close fly-by of a military jet with ours. You see what is going on around the world, whether it's China, the Philippines realigning with China. We have got some serious issues that we need to deal with. It's time to get on there and let's elect a leader to the White House.
BLITZER: Donald Trump says the system is totally rigged. He said that when the FBI director originally recommended no charges against Hillary Clinton. Today, he said the system might not be as rigged as he originally thought.
So, here's the question. Is the system only rigged when it's not in your candidate's favor?
YOHO: I think both sides do that and I think that's political posturing.
I think when the director of the FBI, when Mr. Comey came out and he said no reasonable prosecutor would pick this case up, I think he overstepped his boundaries. That's not a decision for the FBI. They should give the facts to the attorney general and let them figure it out.
BLITZER: You know that both sides don't say the system is rigged. Only one side, the Trump, Donald Trump and his campaign, say the system is rigged. Hillary Clinton doesn't say the system is rigged. YOHO: Well, when you were talking about I think it was Senator
Feinstein, you were say thing is something that we have to put pressure on the FBI so they don't go through with this.
That can be looked at they're trying to rig it on the other side. I don't like to get into the conspiracies or the rigging. I do know Mr. Trump does say that a lot and we have heard that. But I see that as just political posturing. I don't think there's a lot of weight into that, other than, you know, it's just campaign rhetoric.
BLITZER: But with all due respect to Dianne Feinstein, she's a senator. She's not running for president of the United States.
Here's a question. Let me just throw this out to you. Has Donald Trump already eroded voter trust in our election system because of what he's been suggesting, accusing various people of doing over these past several weeks?
YOHO: No, I don't think so, because we hear this every year about this time going into the election. There's voter fraud, there's dead people voting, there's people registered as Mickey Mouse.
I think he's brought it to the surface more. We're going into one of the most critical elections in my lifetime, and I heard you saying that this was one of the most contentious and one of the most bizarre elections. And I think you're spot on, on that. We have to work through that process and then go through that and let the system work.
And I have tremendous faith in the system.
BLITZER: Congressman Yoho, stay with us. We have more to discuss.
YOHO: Yes, sir.
BLITZER: We have to take a quick break. We will be right back.
BLITZER: We're back live with Congressman Ted Yoho discussing the breaking news, the FBI now reviewing newly found e-mails related to the Hillary Clinton case.
Sources say the e-mails were discovered during a sexting investigation of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
Right now, we're getting new information how Donald Trump is trying to capitalize on today's development, only 11 days before the election.
CNN's Sunlen Serfaty is in Maine, where Trump spoke earlier.
Sunlen, what's the latest?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Donald Trump making it very clear tonight that he's going to be relentless in going after Hillary Clinton over all this.
He took the stage here tonight, only spoke for two sentences before he quickly shifted and brought up the news to the crowd. That would be the second time that he addressed this news at one of his rallies today. Tonight, 11 days out, this news is seen as very welcome within the Trump campaign.
TRUMP: I need to open with a very critical breaking news announcement.
SERFATY (voice-over): Donald Trump quickly seizing on the FBI's announcement that the bureau is investigating additional e-mails related to Hillary Clinton's personal e-mail server.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton's corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into the Oval Office.
SERFATY: The FBI's move leading Trump change his view on whether the system is rigged.
TRUMP: It might not be as rigged as I thought, right, right? The FBI, I think they're going to right the ship, folks. I think they're going to right the ship.
SERFATY: This as the GOP nominee is looking to inject some fuel into his campaign coffers for the final stretch of the campaign, wiring $10 million of his own money today to his presidential effort.
TRUMP: I'm spending money like crazy. I will probably have over -- maybe close to or over $100 million of my money spent on the campaign.
But there is something nice about that, unless I lose, in which case I would say, what was all that about?
SERFATY: It comes after Trump faced pressure from the RNC and his donors to boost up his personal investment and the latest reports from the Federal Elections Commission revealing that Trump has been slowing his contributions, putting in less than $31,000 the first three weeks of this month after consistently investing $2 million in previous months.
The influx of cash would bring his total contribution to $66 million, but still leaves him far short of the $100 million he's promised to spend.
TRUMP: I will have over $100 million in the campaign, and I'm prepared to go much more than that.
SERFATY: Trump is now promising to triple-match his contributions from supporters, notably not including a $2 million cap on that match that he had in previous fund-raising drives. TRUMP: We should just cancel the election and just give it to Trump,
SERFATY: But even as Trump makes moves to turn his campaign around, his schedule today speaks volumes about his very narrow path to the White House.
TRUMP: I don't have the courage to skip the speech in New Hampshire, believe me.
SERFATY: Trump hitting New Hampshire, Maine and Iowa, all key to the campaign's daunting task to piece together a path to 270 electoral votes.
SERFATY: And underscoring how narrow the Trump campaign really understands their path to 270 really is, Trump appearing just moments ago here in the Democratic-leaning state of Maine. This is only one of two states that divvy up their electoral votes by district, so Trump coming here to Lisbon, Maine, Wolf, a Republican district, on the hunt for just one electoral vote -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Sunlen Serfaty, in Maine for us. Thank you.
We're back with Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida, a Donald Trump supporter.
Congressman, Trump said this latest development, in his words, this is bigger than Watergate. Isn't that an exaggeration?
YOHO: You know, I don't think it is. We're talking Watergate of 17 minute of missed tapes, and stealing some information that Richard Nixon, when he was approached by members of his own party, knew he was defeated and he stepped down. He did what was best for our nation.
And I would hope anybody in a leadership role like this would do the same thing. Mrs. Clinton is ultimately the only one who knows what happened, what was said, what she did. And if she knows she was complicit or she knows she did these things, she should do the same things.
And if we look at really what's going on here, I think bigger issues are like the Affordable Care Act. You have states all around the union...
BLITZER: Let me interrupt for a moment, Congressman.
BLITZER: You remember Watergate. Watergate, you had the camp, the campaign, the Republican campaign of Richard Nixon breaking into the Democratic National Convention headquarters over at the Watergate complex here in Washington, lying about that to Congress.
BLITZER: And you had a president of the United States who was forced from office, had to resign. He was clearly going to be impeached.
You think that what's going on now with Hillary Clinton's e-mails is bigger than that?
YOHO: If she's lying about it, Wolf, if she has...
BLITZER: Comey said, the FBI director, that she did not lie to the FBI. He also said that no prosecutor, based on all the evidence he had collected, would have gone forward with recommending charges against her.
That was the conclusion that the FBI director, James Comey, former assistant attorney general, former U.S. attorney, that was his conclusion.
YOHO: Sure, but then he went on, if we look at the facts, he says she wasn't sworn in. There was no tape recording or paper...
BLITZER: You can't lie to the FBI. If you lie to the FBI, that's a felony.
YOHO: I agree.
BLITZER: And he said she did not lie to the FBI.
YOHO: But he wasn't there present. And he did not put her under oath.
BLITZER: Well, there are FBI agents. The FBI agents -- it doesn't matter if you're under oath or not under oath. You can't lie to the FBI. That is a crime.
YOHO: I agree. I agree.
So, that should be investigated, and I think we should go further than this, and if it does prove out true that she did and mislead...
BLITZER: But, Congressman, we're out of time. I got to let you go.
But, quickly, if the FBI and the FBI agents who did interview Hillary Clinton say she did not lie to the FBI during that questioning, shouldn't we believe them?
YOHO: My question to you is, why are we reinvestigating it then?
BLITZER: Because there's new developments now that have come forward, so there's a new review.
But based on all the evidence they had at the time when he made his conclusion in July, he said there were no charges that he would recommend to the attorney general. That was his recommendation.
YOHO: I will stand by my earlier statement.
BLITZER: What's your earlier statement?
YOHO: They didn't swear her in, and he wasn't present, and they have no recordings of that. So, whatever was said, we don't have a record of that. It's all circumstantial evidence.
BLITZER: All right. We will leave it on that note.
YOHO: Thank you.
BLITZER: Congressman, Congressman Yoho, thanks very much for joining us.
YOHO: You betcha.
BLITZER: Just ahead, we will have more on the breaking news.
So, what kind of political fallout will Hillary Clinton now face with her e-mail controversy under FBI scrutiny again so close to this election?
And runway emergency -- a blown tire, an aborted takeoff, and passengers are in a panic over at Chicago O'Hare Airport.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. The FBI revealing that it's reviewing newly-discovered new e-mails that appear to be related to Hillary Clinton's case. In a surprising twist, we've learned the e-mails were found during the sexting investigation of former Congressman Anthony Wiener, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
[18:31:00] Let's bring in our justice correspondent, Evan Perez. Evan, you've been working your sources. What new information are you learning?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we're talking about thousands of e-mails that were found on at least one device that the FBI is now examining as part of this sexting investigation of Anthony Weiner. And as you mentioned, he's the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton's closest aides.
So how did the FBI just now discover these e-mail? We're told by law enforcement officials that these e-mails weren't among the tens of thousands of e-mails that the FBI examined as part of the investigation into Clinton's use of a private e-mail server. And we know from Huma Abedin's testimony to the FBI, Wolf, that often she had problems printing e-mails at her office at the State Department, so she routinely forwarded e-mails to private e-mail accounts. So that could be the explanation.
And that includes, by the way, an account that she used, she said, when she was trying to help Weiner run for an election.
There's a lot we don't know at this point. The FBI director, Jim Comey, left a lot of questions for us here in the three-paragraph letter that he sent to members of Congress today. He said the FBI is now reviewing the e-mails to, quote, "whether they contain classified information as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."
And he also said that the FBI "cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant."
But this is exactly what Comey was trying to avoid when he wrapped up this investigation back in July, Wolf. He announced that he was recommending no charges be brought against Clinton or anyone else. But here we are, 11 days before the election, over 10 million people have already voted, and this investigation into Clinton's e-mail server will still be going on, on election day.
BLITZER: Very, very significant moment right now. Evan, thank you very much. Evan Perez reporting.
Let's talk a little bit about this with our political and legal analysts, starting with Gloria Borger. How damaging, potentially, could this be?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Politically, I think very damaging for Hillary Clinton, particularly at this late stage in the election for undecided voters, who may be leaning Republican, but they're not so sure.
But let's take a step back and try and understand what just happened here today. The FBI director set the house on fire and then walked out the front door without saying much of anything. And what he left in his trail were a lot of unanswered questions.
If he had said in his original document, for example, that these e- mails came from Huma Abedin and did not come from Hillary Clinton, I wonder whether the explosion would have been as loud as it is right now.
So what we're getting through Evan and through Pam are leaks saying yes, these weren't Hillary Clinton's e-mails. These were Huma Abedin's e-mails, clarifying a little bit. But I think what this begs is some kind of official notice from the
FBI director about just what they know and what they don't know, because the rest is kind of just mush right now, and it's very damaging, and unsettling 10 or 11 days before the election.
BLITZER: He did say in his letter to Congress, the chairmen of these -- Republican chairmen of the committees, the relevant committees and the Democratic ranking members, he says, "In connection with an unrelated case" -- that would be the Anthony Weiner case -- "the FBI has learned of the existence of e-mails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation." That would be the Hillary Clinton investigation. He's saying there's something pertinent to the Hillary Clinton investigation. That's why he now wants to review it.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And we don't know. And it's not clear whether the principal target would be Hillary Clinton or Huma Abedin. That's something that seems very unclear from the letter.
But I agree with Gloria. I mean, this is a race; this is a presidential race. It's been extraordinary in the limited ability of either candidate to generate a lot of positive momentum for their candidacy. Each of them have done best when the vulnerabilities of the other is in the foreground. And it has been a very clear pattern. I think, you know, strategists on both sides kind of acknowledge that when each one of them is in the headlines, the other one benefits. And I think we're going see that cycle again. I think this is going to take a bite out of Hillary Clinton.
[18:35:07] The north star of the race has been that, still, close to 60 percent of the country says Donald Trump is not qualified. This may not overcome that. But I think -- you know, Hillary Clinton announced right before this happened she's going to Arizona. That's the kind of place where you have Republican-leaning voters who might have bitten their lip and voted for her, that this is now going to probably give some hesitation to.
BLITZER: Jeffrey Toobin, from a legal perspective, do we know enough at this point to even assume any of this new review could lead to criminal charges?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, certainly not. We -- the only thing I think we can reasonably conclude is that this will not be settled before election day.
This is an investigation about classified information. The FBI has to go to the relevant agencies -- the State Department, the CIA -- and show them material and say, "Is this classified?"
Here, according to Evan's reporting, we have thousands of e-mails. It is certainly going to take well more than a week to determine if any of these e-mails are, in fact, classified. There is apparently enough -- enough suggestive material in the e-mails to merit an investigation. It says it's -- according to Comey's letter, it's pertaining to the investigation. But it doesn't say that -- the letter doesn't say that the material
is, in fact, classified. It doesn't say who wrote it. And based on how the FBI generally operates, I don't think we're going to hear anything more from Comey, notwithstanding the request from both the Clinton campaign and the Trump campaign.
BLITZER: Pamela Brown, the timing of this, 11 days before an election, you've been speaking to your sources; why now?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, essentially, James Comey found out about these e-mails, these thousands of e-mails yesterday, and he felt like, because he had already given sworn testimony about the Hillary Clinton private e-mail server investigation to the Judicial Committee, that it was incumbent upon him to provide this letter saying, "Look, we found some more e-mails."
But as Gloria rightly points out, he didn't include some pertinent information that would have answered a lot of important questions, such as who are these e-mails from? We're now learning through our sources, not through James Comey in this letter, that it was from Huma Abedin, of course, a top aide to Hillary Clinton.
So I think what's interesting here, clearly he was in a no-win situation. Eleven days before the election, he was thinking, "Well, if I don't provide this information, I could be seen as withholding important information before an election." But I think that it's fair to question why he didn't provide more information in this letter.
But all along, James Comey has inserted himself...
BROWN: ... in a way that we have not seen from past FBI directors. Even just coming out publicly and saying he doesn't recommend any charges but also saying she was reckless.
BORGER: And, you know, maybe the original sin -- maybe the original sin was back in July when Comey -- and I shouldn't call it a sin -- but, you know, when he gave the press conference and said, "OK, I'm not going to prosecute. But she was extremely reckless." Normally, I think what you're saying is you don't get the kind of editorial additions that Comey put in.
So he put himself in that situation. We understand the no-win situation he's in now, because if this had come out after the election, he'd be accused of covering up for Hillary Clinton. But that's why I would argue...
BLITZER: Jeffrey -- Jeffrey, just remind our viewers why the FBI is even investigating Anthony Weiner and his sexting?
TOOBIN: Well, just this -- over the course of this summer, very recently, long after Anthony Wiener was forced out of Congress, there -- additional reports came out that he was sexting -- you know, exchanging sexually suggestive texts and e-mails -- with a 15-year- old. That's potentially a crime. BLITZER: Is that a federal -- that's a federal crime?
TOOBIN: That's a federal crime. And those crimes are investigated very zealously by U.S. attorney's offices. Any sort of sexual misbehavior involving children. An investigation was opened by the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. That's here in Manhattan. And in the course of that investigation, apparently, they obtained his e-mails and his texts. Some of those appear to have been intermixed with e-mails and texts from his wife, Huma Abedin, who is, of course, a very close aide to Hillary Clinton.
What those e-mails say, whether they were, in fact, classified, whether anyone did anything improper, we don't know. All we know is the investigation is now ongoing.
BLITZER: All right. Everybody stay with us. Stand by. We have more on the breaking news on this Clinton e-mail case and the potential impact on the election. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
[18:44:25] BLITZER: We're back with our political team and the breaking news. The FBI's review of newly-found e-mails apparently related to Hillary Clinton's case.
We've learned that the e-mails were sent or received by Clinton aide Huma Abedin, and they were discovered during the so-called sexting investigation of her estranged husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Pam, you know, it's very interesting. Throughout this campaign, Donald Trump has accused Hillary Clinton and her staff of deliberately destroying emails that were under subpoena from the U.S. Congress. Walk us through a little bit of a reality check right now. Is that statement true or false?
[18:45:01] BROWN: That's right. So before today's developments, this idea that Clinton deliberately deleted subpoenaed e-mails was the key point Trump used to argue that Clinton should face criminal prosecution.
But let's look at the facts here. Here's what we know: Congress requested that the State Department turn over Clinton e-mails in the course of the Benghazi investigation. That was a request, not a subpoena.
Clinton staff then combed through her e-mails, turning over e-mails deemed work related and deleting those deemed personal. After that process was complete, the House select committee on Benghazi issued a subpoena for any emails related to the Benghazi attack. The FBI, as we know now, was later able to recover a substantial number of the deleted emails and found many were duplicates of emails that had already been handed over.
So, on Trump's claim that Clinton or her staffers destroyed subpoenaed e-mails, CNN's reality check team finds that false.
BLITZER: Interesting. All right. Thanks, Pamela.
You know, it's very interesting, Gloria. If Hillary Clinton didn't send any of those e-mails to Huma Abedin, which are now under investigation, her close aide, why did Comey, the FBI director, feel a need right now to go forward and make this statement?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's a very good question, which I think Comey needs to answer. We don't know if -- if Huma Abedin sent these e-mails, we don't know who they were to, we don't know whether it was her work product that maybe she took from work and brought home and she shouldn't have done that. I mean, we don't -- we don't know, Wolf.
And I think what he was trying to do, and, Pam, you would know is better than I, is err on the side of caution. That he had testified to Congress one thing, and now there was the possibility that that would be wrong, that he might have to continue his investigation and it was indeed not closed. He said in his letter, "We cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant." What we don't know is what he knows, we don't even know the --
BLITZER: But, Jeffrey, you used to be an assistant U.S. attorney. Can we assume that there were Hillary Clinton related e-mails that they are now reviewing right now? Otherwise, he would not have issued this statement?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you say Hillary Clinton related e-mails --
BLITZER: E-mails sent from Hillary Clinton to Huma Abedin.
TOOBIN: You know, I clerked for a judge, J. Edward Lumbard, who was famous for saying, never assume a GD thing.
Yes, it seems likely that this investigation relates to e-mails that she -- that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin exchanged. It is hard to imagine anything else it could be, if Huma Abedin is involved. But whether any of those e-mails are classified, whether any of those should have been turned over earlier, whether -- that is, I think, something we should definitely not assume. And this is why the investigation is ongoing, is to determine whether any of those things are true.
BLITZER: You want to add a point?
BROWN: Just on the heels of what Jeffrey said, I mean, this all raises the question, why weren't these e-mails discovered during the year-long investigation that the FBI did. And we know that Huma Abedin during her interview with FBI agent said she would forward e- mails from her State Department account to her personal account because she had issues printing stuff at the State Department.
And so, why wouldn't the FBI then say, OK, well, what about -- are there any other devices we should look at?
TOOBIN: If I could just add to what Pam is saying, is every time we have heard or many times we have heard that there are new e-mails in this investigation. It's turned out that they've been duplicates of things already turned over. I'm sure these FBI agents don't have committed to memory all the thousands of e-mails that they have seen. They see emails from Hillary Clinton. They want to check them out. They may well have been produced.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The thing we know, Wolf, is we're talking about e-mails 11 days before the election.
BLITZER: Which is bad news for Hillary Clinton.
BROWNSTEIN: When the last few points of her advantage are people that have doubts about her but bigger doubts about Trump, this has got to be a weight on the scale for many of those voters.
BLITZER: This is bad news for her just talking about this.
BORGER: Oh, yes.
BLITZER: All right, guys. Stand by.
There's more breaking news coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM. A plane on fire in one of the country's busiest airports. We're getting dramatic new video and new information about injuries.
[18:54:05] BLITZER: More breaking news we're following. Look at these pictures, an airliner fire. Look at the inside, look at this, at Chicago's O'Hare Airport that injured 20 people. This was a scene inside the plane shot by one of the passengers, as people lined up for the emergency slides. Pretty awful situation there.
Our aviation correspondent Rene Marsh is working the story for us.
Rene, there are some dramatic images of this emergency.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Dramatic indeed.
Tonight, federal investigators are on the scene at Chicago's O'Hare Airport after an America Airlines flight bound for Miami went up in flames. The plane was rolling down the runway when it was forced to abort takeoff. We saw intense smoke and flames on the right side of the plane.
I want you to take a look at this dramatic moment inside of the aircraft as passengers scrambled to get off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[18:55:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God! Oh my God!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God! Oh my God! My God! My God!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARSH: Some chilling video as those people frantically tried to get off of that aircraft. Of the 170 on board, 20 people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Now, I want you to take a listen to the controllers inside of the tower as all of this was happening.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
AMERICAN 383: American 383 heavy, stopping on the runway.
TOWER CONTROLLER: Roger, roger. Fire.
AMERICAN 383: Do you see any smoke or fire?
TOWER CONTROLLER: Yeah, fire on the right wing.
AMERICAN 383: OK, send out the trucks.
TOWER CONTROLLER: Sending them.
AMERICAN 383: Chicago, American 383, we're evacuating.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MARSH: Well, the airline blames this all on an engine-related issue. The FAA says it was a blown tire. It is way early in this investigation. It could be both. It could be that this blown tire may have triggered that engine fire because of debris striking a gas line.
But, Wolf, at this hour we're also learning about a separate incident involving another aircraft also on fire. This happening at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The airport was closed this afternoon as a result of a fire on a FedEx cargo plane. The plane's landing gear apparently collapsed on landing. You're looking at that video there, a fiery situation. All that according to the FAA -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Very scary indeed. Renee, thank you.
Also tonight, we're learning about an ISIS blood bath. The United Nations says more than 200 people have been executed by terrorists as coalition forces advance on the Iraqi city of Mosul. And tens of thousands of men, women and children are now be being used as human shields, this after a near disaster in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
Let's bring in our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
Barbara, U.S. and Russian jets, they apparently had a very dangerous close call.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, Wolf.
You know, talk about what a new commander in chief, a new president may have to deal with tonight, startling revelations about how close the U.S. Air Force came to disaster with the Russians.
STARR (voice-over): Near catastrophe in the skies over Syria, when a U.S. and Russian aircraft flew dangerously close to each other in a previously undisclosed incident. The closest call yet in this conflict.
The head of U.S. Air Forces in the region called it a "near miss" collision in the middle of the night.
But mixed messages from the U.S. military.
COL. JOHN DORRIAN, SPOKESMAN, OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE: I don't think that it was perceived to be a danger.
STARR: The U.S. believes it wasn't a deliberate provocation by Moscow, but even if it's just bad navigation --
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: The risk of a disaster is certainly a very high one in a combat environment like this.
STARR: Both planes were flying on October 17th at hundreds of miles an hour. The Russian fighter crossed less than half a mile in front of a U.S. surveillance aircraft. The two sides spoke about the incident. The U.S. says the Russian pilot didn't even know the U.S. plane was there.
The U.S. and Russia previously agreed they would keep a distance of three miles between aircraft, and an altitude separation of 3,000 feet. That bubble is now violated about every ten days by the Russians according to U.S. military officials.
LEIGHTON: Because tensions are so high between United States and Russia, even an accident, a true accident could very well spin out of control.
STARR: In Iraq, new concerns that around Mosul, ISIS is taking civilians and using them as human shields.
DORRIAN: What's happening is as they fall back into the city, apparently, they are taking some of the local residents as human shields. So, this is something that we try to stop, when we can, or put a stop to it. STARR: The U.S. recently struck 50 vehicles outside Mosul that ISIS
was going to use to move captive civilians.
STARR: Another mixed message from the military today. The Pentagon said the Iraqi fighters have taken a brief pause on their march to Mosul. The Iraqi government came back very quickly and said that wasn't true -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thanks very much.
And we're standing by momentarily, you're looking at live pictures. We expect Hillary Clinton to go to that microphone there, make a statement on the FBI director's decision to go forward and launch a new review of her e-mail server and her e-mails. We'll have both coverage of that, coming up. Stay with us for that late-breaking development.
That's it for me. Thanks for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.