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Trump Rallies Voters in New Hampshire; New Emails Found Related to Clinton Investigation; Newly Discovered Clinton E-mails. Aired 1- 1:30p ET
Aired October 28, 2016 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer. It's 1:00 pm here in Washington. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us.
Up first: the sprint through crucial make-or-break states on the road to the White House. We're less than 11 days and counting until the presidential election here in the United States.
And the candidates, they are in a race to the finish line. Donald Trump holds a rally soon in Manchester, New Hampshire. We're keeping our eyes on that. You're looking at live pictures. It's one of three stops on Trump's agenda today.
Besides New Hampshire he campaigns in Maine and Iowa. His running mate, Mike Pence, has stopped in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton campaigns in Iowa, while Bill Clinton is in Pennsylvania. Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, and President Obama, by the way, they are campaigning for her in the key battleground state of Florida.
Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is covering the Trump campaign for us, he's joining us from Manchester, New Hampshire.
So, Jim, what is Trump's message and strategy today, 11 days to go?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf. I just talked to a Trump campaign official, who said that the GOP nominee, when he does address this crowd here in Manchester, New Hampshire, will again be talking about the drug epidemic that they've been dealing up here in New Hampshire.
It's a subject that Donald Trump likes to talk about a lot when he visits this state. But he is also going to be keeping up his attacks on ObamaCare and on these ethical questions surrounding the Clinton campaign that have been generated by those e-mails stolen by and released by WikiLeaks.
So we'll be hearing more of that from Donald Trump. But I think the other big story line today, Wolf, no question about it, is this news that Donald Trump -- we're just hearing this in the last hour -- has gone ahead and written a $10 million check to his campaign. That is according to Trump campaign officials, confirming what Donald Trump himself told FOX News earlier this morning.
Those questions, of course, were raised because, last night, it was reported that Donald Trump had only spent some $30,000 on his campaign in the first three weeks of October and that he is about $44 million short of his stated goal of chipping in $100 million to his campaign.
So even a $10 million check, Wolf, is not going to get him very close to that $100 million total. And I think the schedule today also says a lot. He's here in New Hampshire, where he faces an uphill battle against Hillary Clinton.
Republicans are in a very tough re-election fight when it comes to holding onto that Senate seat that Kelly Ayotte holds in the Senate currently.
John Sununu, the governor of this state, the former governor of this state, I should say, but a longtime Republican voice of the state, was just up onstage behind me and was really sort of twisting elbows in this room, saying to Republicans in the state, I know some of you are reluctant to support this nominee. I know some are concerned about his rhetoric.
But we need to get you to the polls. We need you to remember who he's running again and that is Hillary Clinton. So some interesting candor coming from John Sununu, knowing it's a bit of an uphill climb here in New Hampshire.
And then, Wolf, he heads off to Maine after this. Donald Trump will be in Maine later on this afternoon. What you hear from talking to people inside the Trump campaign and GOP circles is that the Trump campaign has basically said we would like to peel away an electoral vote up in Maine to get us close to that total of 270.
Of course, if you win a congressional district in that split electoral system in Maine, you can get an electoral vote. That just shows you that inside the Trump campaign they know that it is a very narrow electoral map path to get to 270 electoral votes and that, yes, it's worth investing this time this late in the campaign to go up to Maine in the pursuit of perhaps an electoral vote.
And then, as you said, he goes on to Iowa, where he was holding a very solid lead up until a few days ago. But there, as you know, these latest polls that have been coming in, Quinnipiac poll and some others, showing that it's tightening there.
So as the days are getting shorter, the pressure is getting greater on this campaign to try to find that path to 270.
And my guess is, Wolf, we're going to be hearing the same old Donald Trump that we've been hearing over the last several days, tossing out the red meat to his crowds. Last night he joked about, well, perhaps we should just cancel the election and declare Donald Trump the winner. He is keeping his sense of humor through all of this. But expect
these attacks on Hillary Clinton, on ObamaCare, that sort of thing, to be stepped up here when he walks out. We're hearing he's going to be here shortly. So hopefully just a few moments -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll stand by to hear what Donald Trump has to say today. Jim Acosta, we'll get back to you.
Hillary Clinton has led or tied Trump at every single poll out of New Hampshire since May. But with Trump stopping there soon, will it be enough to change that?
BLITZER: Let's talk about that with our panel, Juana summers is CNN politics editor; David Gregory, CNN political analyst, the author of "How's Your Faith?"
Gloria Borger is our chief political analyst and Brianna Keilar is our CNN senior political correspondent.
Gloria, what message does Trump need to share with voters in New Hampshire right now?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think he needs to stick on his message, which he's actually been doing more than we've seen in the past these past couple of days.
He's got to talk about Hillary Clinton, WikiLeaks, draining the swamp in Washington, which is a message that's very resonant for him, that she is the status quo, that represents change and that, if you elect Hillary Clinton, it's going to be more of the same.
And I think these he's going to be -- he's going to be talking up WikiLeaks and congressional investigations and continue along that line.
If he reverts back and starts talking about how he's going to sue NBC for the "Access Hollywood" tape or how he's going to sue these women who have come out and accused him of groping him (sic), et cetera, then I think he's -- totally goes off the rails again.
BLITZER: You know, Juana, a lot people are wondering why New Hampshire, four electoral votes -- four is a number, obviously; it's a small number. But it --
DAVID GREGORY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A whole number.
BLITZER: -- yes.
It went for -- it went for President Obama, both in 2008 and 2012. And all of the polls since June or May have been showing that Donald Trump is losing in New Hampshire.
So why is he going there with only 11 days to go? JUANA SUMMERS, CNN POLITICS EDITOR: Wolf, you're absolutely right. I think there are a couple different reasons why this is a state that Donald Trump could perhaps do well and close in that margin if not win.
First of all, I think he's looking at this from a sentimentality argument. This is the state that gave him his first political victory. He won that primary pretty well and then there's also the fact that the state is a state with a lot of independent voters that he could potentially sway.
If you look back to 2012, independents were about 40 percent of the vote in New Hampshire in the general election and Barack Obama won by about 5 percentage points.
And, to me, when I look at those numbers, knowing that this is a small state and the demographics that this is a state that favors independent-minded candidates, I do see an opening in the last couple of days ahead of the election where perhaps Donald Trump could make a difference there if he does what Gloria said and sticks to the script, you know, focus on the issues that voters there care about instead going out with some of these extraneous comments that he tends to make on the road.
BLITZER: And, you know, Brianna, he holds these large rallies, 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 people show up, very impressive long lines but our reporters at the scene say they haven't seen a lot of Republican National Committee staffers there and others to help them get the vote out, encourage these people to actually not just show up at a rally but go and vote.
This is a missed opportunity, potentially?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's really a shame for them and just to give people a perspective of sort of what it's like to go to a Hillary Clinton rally, I walk in as a member of the media and I'm asked at least five times coming and five times going if I am registered to vote. And I say I'm here with the media.
And then they, you know, OK, I go on my way. But I'm asked over and over. So that's the opposite of what they're dealing with.
And it just -- it isn't enough to have enthusiasm. I know there's that saying that you can lead a horse to water. You can't make him drink. Well, he's more likely to drink if you do lead him to water. You know?
And that's sort of in a way what getting people to register to vote or to pledge to support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is something that they'll benefit from. But you know, there are reports coming out of Ohio that in Southern and Eastern Ohio where Donald Trump did well in the primaries, voter registration is lagging.
I mean, that -- that's sort of crazy that it's -- and not crazy but sort of it might, you know, put a hole in his theory that enthusiasm is enough, just to get people to do this all on their own. BORGER: You know, I remember talking to folks not too long ago when I was doing something about Mondale. And Walter Mondale, who ran for the presidency, and I was told by one of his former aides, we had the last week of the campaign 30,000 people at our rallies. And you'll recall a loss of --
GREGORY: It didn't go as well.
BLITZER: We're getting some early insight into some of the early voting in Iowa, for example. A Quinnipiac University poll shows that 61 percent of the early voters in Iowa have cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton.
So is this a sign that Hillary Clinton is just getting a lot of early votes out there?
Or is there a trend?
Something going on in Iowa that maybe could be very significant?
GREGORY: Well I do think it's significant that a lot of the early voting seems to be favoring Clinton in some of these states. You see that in North Carolina as well. Because its enthusiasm, its turnout, it's also taking attention away from the close of the campaign and showing it at the time when she was surging ahead of Trump, that she's able to capitalize that and get those voters to the polls.
So that's enthusiasm and that's simply winning. You know, earlier than Election Day. And I think that matters.
I think that Donald Trump is actually failing in this respect right now. Right, look, if he's tight and close to winning in Florida and Ohio, he's got to be focused on those. Get those Republicans to come home.
GREGORY: He's got to sound as much like a conventional Republican as possible. This -- his hard-core radical change supporters are behind him. We know this. They're enthusiastic. He's got to get others to say, look, I cannot stand Hillary Clinton. He's -- he is a Republican, after all, and I'm going to show up and vote for him.
I think that becomes critical, if he's got a chance because I think that there's so much happening now that we can't see. And I think the early voting piece, that we may look back and say that's when Hillary Clinton really crushed him.
BORGER: You know, people who have made up their minds easily tend to vote early. And so you see that among Democrats in a lot of states, which is they're not going to vote for Donald Trump no matter what.
I think the question is, as we continue those little bit of persuadables, and I'm not quite sure how many are left, they're not voting early.
They're still thinking about --
GREGORY: And you would rather vote after these debates than in the current --
BORGER: Of course.
GREGORY: -- what she's in the middle of right now, between WikiLeaks, and the Foundation questions about her husband and so forth.
BLITZER: The assumption has been that the Clinton campaign has a better ground game all over the country in these battleground states. Also a lot more money right now, which will be translated potentially into votes.
SUMMERS: Absolutely. The Trump campaign has relied heavily on the RNC for their on-the-ground operation. They haven't mounted the kind of traditional infrastructure we see from a candidate on either side of the aisle. But the money race here is huge.
Hillary Clinton out-raised Donald Trump in the first three weeks of October. She doubled what he raised. The cash on hand, she has a tremendous advantage. Now we've seen these reports, as Jim Acosta mentioned, that Donald Trump has now fueled another $10 million of his own money into his own campaign, which I think gets him into the $60 million range out of that $100 million he pledged to spend.
But that is really late money. Most of the airwave time which you'd want to guy, that's already gone between the campaigns and super PACs.
BLITZER: All right.
SUMMERS: Just not a lot there to do yet.
BLITZER: We've got some breaking news I want to bring to our viewers right now.
A new possible investigation by the FBI into Hillary Clinton's e- mails. Our Justice correspondent, even Perez, is joining us now with details.
What are you learning, even?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the FBI director, Jim Comey, has sent a letter to members of Congress, telling them that the FBI is taking a look at another set of e-mails that it hadn't previously taken a look at while it was doing its investigation.
As you remember, back in July, the director of the FBI announced that they were not -- they were recommending no charges be brought against Hillary Clinton in that investigation, her use of a private server while she was secretary of state during her tenure as secretary of state. This letter that she was -- that Comey has now sent to members of
Congress says that new e-mails have now come to the attention of the investigative team. This is a team of investigators in the counterintelligence division at the headquarters of the FBI and they are now going to take a look at these e-mails.
Now we're told that the investigators are now going to look at, to see whether or not these additional e-mails that have been uncovered contained classified information as well as whether to assess their importance to this investigation, Wolf.
This means that the investigation, which we thought was over with, is now back open and the FBI is taking another look to see whether or not there is something here for them to pursue.
Obviously, this is what Republicans have been calling for because they believe that the investigation was not done exactly according to the procedures that the FBI usually uses in these types of investigations. So now this is another worry for the Clinton campaign as we come to the closing days before the election -- Wolf.
BLITZER: So basically what I hear you saying, even, is that this is a letter from Comey, the FBI director, to members of Congress.
Has Hillary Clinton and her attorneys, have they been separately notified about this potential new investigation?
PEREZ: We haven't heard yet from the Clinton campaign whether or not they've been notified. That's something we're trying to check right now, Wolf. We do know that the fact that the director of the FBI is telling this to members of Congress, he's simply trying to inform them because he has testified a number of times already in Congress that this investigation was done properly.
He believes that the FBI did everything it could to see whether or not there were charges that were appropriate in this case and they decided that it was not. These new e-mails that they've uncovered, however, seems to indicate that there's more here for the FBI to take a look at.
Exactly what members of Congress have been calling for and, again, that's why he sent this letter. We have not yet heard from the Clinton campaign whether or not this means anything to them. Obviously this is an important development just days before this election.
BLITZER: We have a part of that statement from the FBI director, James Comey.
I want to put it up on the screen if we can.
Among other things, he writes this, "In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of e-mails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review those e-mails to determine whether they contain classified information as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."
[13:15:06] So this statement from the FBI director, Evan, says that they were working on another unrelated case and all of a sudden they came upon some Hillary Clinton-related e-mails that may have contained classified information and now that's why they're reopening the investigation into the Hillary Clinton e-mail issue?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. That's right. They're going to take a look at these e-mails. And one of the questions that we obviously have is, what exactly - what investigation that is. We do not know what that investigation is. That unrelated investigation. We're told by sources that we've talked to that it does not relate to the ongoing WikiLeaks investigation. As you know, there are those WikiLeaks e-mails, those e-mails that were hacked by the Russian intelligence services according to U.S. intelligence, and have now been released by WikiLeaks, have raised some new questions about Clinton and her conduct there in - during the - during the - during her tenure as secretary of state, as well as during her campaign here.
And so the question has been whether or not this is something the FBI should take a look at. We're told that this is not related to the WikiLeaks investigation. It's also not related to the Clinton foundation, which, as you know, Wolf, the FBI has taken a look at in the past. That investigation is still something that is in the background of all of this.
BLITZER: Well, we know FBI investigations take a while. Very quickly, Evan, I suspect nothing is going to emerge unless there are leaks and presumably there could be over the next 11 days or so before the U.S. election, right?
PEREZ: Right. The FBI director says that he doesn't know how long this is going to take. I anticipate, Wolf, that we're not going to know the answer to this until after the election.
BLITZER: Evan - Evan Perez, our justice correspondent, thanks very much.
Let's get back to the panel.
Gloria, potentially another worrisome development for the Hillary Clinton campaign. The timing, rather awkward.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I'd say so. And we were just talking earlier about what Donald Trump should be talking about today. I think this. I think while this letter does say, Wolf, from Comey that we can - we cannot yet assess whether this material may be significant, and I also can't say how long it's going to take to complete. It's very clear that it is significant politically. That - that Donald Trump can say more of the same. They have reopened an investigation that they closed, or so they thought, in July last summer, and he can go to the - to the corruption angle with Hillary Clinton.
I mean we - you know, as Evan was just saying, there's more we don't know about this than we know. They've come across something that may potentially be significant, but they have absolutely no idea. Puts Hillary Clinton in a very difficult spot. With the WikiLeaks hack, they can just not answer questions and say, oh, that's the result of the Russian, and they're not answering any questions about that. On this, I think they do have to answer some questions and can't just push it aside. And if I were the Trump campaign, this is what I would be talking about almost exclusively.
BLITZER: Brianna, you and I, all of us, we know how Washington works. If there's something there, it's going to leak, it's going to come out rather quickly, and that's going to be a problem potentially for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is. But just even the idea that this is being looked at again is something that is damaging. You'll remember Hillary Clinton said that - basically what she said was, FBI Director Comey said I didn't do anything wrong. I'm paraphrasing. That's not what he said. What he said was that she and her aides were reckless in the handling of their e-mails and on this server. But even now she certainly feels like she didn't do anything wrong. But she - it's not really an argument. She can't even go as far as she did before. You know now it's sort of - it's up in the air. It's - it's - one of the things you hear them say is sort of like, that's over and done with. We've moved on, right? That's been put to bed. You can't say that.
BLITZER: Yes, now he's investigating again. He also says at the end of his letter, David, he says, "although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony." That sort of sounds a bit ominous.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we'll see what it is. I mean, what I think is striking is, there's no question that there's political fallout from this because it's still a political football. What is also striking is the extent to which the FBI director of the United States is allowing himself to be interjected into this political campaign. Unprecedented that he would have released the information he released after a decision not to recommend indictment. You just don't see that done ever. And now he is very publicly exchanging information with committees that are bent on keeping these investigations alive.
And also striking is the silence of the attorney general of the United States, who has rendered a judgment not to pursue anything criminally here, to allow this to remain such a political issue. I think this story of the politicization of these two roles is something that's going to extend far past (INAUDIBLE).
[13:20:12] BLITZER: He's come under enormous criticism from Republicans.
GREGORY: He has for - who felt that the Clinton were essentially a criminal enterprise and he has FBI agents who do leak this information to look incriminating, who want Hillary Clinton to be charged with a crime. He has said that nobody would have brought such a case. It's not even a close call. And in by - he was trying to release that information to quiet down critics within the FBI, and then he gets the right saying, oh, the fix was in. You're in - you're in the tank for Hillary Clinton. So he's not looking good anyway you strike it, but he continues to put more information out close to the election.
BORGER: Well, and at the same time that he cleared her this past summer, he also said that her handling of e-mails was reckless.
BORGER: So he made an editorial judgment.
BORGER: Even though he didn't prosecute. So he was - he was kind of stuck.
GREGORY: Which he's never done.
BORGER: Right. Right.
BLITZER: He said it was extremely reckless.
JUANA SUMMERS, CNN POLITICS EDITOR: He did. This was kind of an unprecedented statement from him when he decided not to make these charge. I think the biggest thing that sticks out to me here is that you have a candidate who you can't maybe draw a direct line to the e- mails from this, but we see in poll after poll after poll, people have deep concerns across America and across demographics about Hillary Clinton's honesty and trustworthiness. In some polls people even say that Donald Trump is more honest and trustworthy. So from that standpoint, this kind of reversal and the fact that this may now be an open question ahead of election day, this is just simply not good for her campaign. There's no way to turn this as a good thing for her.
GREGORY: The legal issues here are complex about what was classified, when it was classified, what she knew about the classification, all the questions of intent. These are legal matters that will be sorted out. We know as a matter of judgment, a decision to get - to delete 30,000 e-mails is damage that has been done to her and her judgment, that that will continue and will perhaps be the subject of an investigation as to what may be in those e-mails.
BLITZER: All right, guys -
BORGER: And the question is whether people have already decided on that issue.
GREGORY: Right, as a political matter.
BORGER: Most voters have already decided, as a political matter, or whether there are still some of those voters who were undecided for whom this will - this will matter. And that's why it's important how Hillary Clinton decides to handle this. BLITZER: And, Brianna, very quickly, talk about an October surprise -
BLITZER: But, potentially, this could be a little October surprise.
KEILAR: We've had multiple. I mean this is a very eventful October. But, yes, as we wait to see, of course, what - what this bears out, but, yes.
BLITZER: All right, we're going to stay on top of the breaking news. The FBI looking in - once again looking into the Hillary Clinton e- mail issue. We're going to have more on that.
Also coming up, Donald Trump set to take the stage any moment now in New Hampshire. Will he say anything about this new development in the Clinton e-mail scandal? We're going to bring that to you live. Stand by. Lots of news happening. We'll be right back.
[13:26:37] BLITZER: We're following breaking news just coming into CNN. The director of the FBI, James Comey, now informing congressional lawmakers the FBI will reveal new Hillary Clinton e-mails to see if they do contain classified information. These are e-mails that were not reviewed in the previous investigation according to the FBI director.
Let me read part of the letter he sent to members of Congress. Quote, "in connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of e-mails that appear pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these e- mails to determine whether they contained classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation"
He also added this. He said, "although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony."
I want to bring in Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio. He supports Hillary Clinton.
Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.
REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: Great to be with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: This is sort of a bombshell right now, coming at the end of October, only 11 days before the election, that the FBI director has decided to reopen the investigation into the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. What's your reaction? RYAN: Well, I can't imagine there's any there there or anything that's
really going to have an effect on the election. I think the Donald Trump supporters that are currently with him, this is going to be something that he's going to throw out to his crowd and they're going to say, see, see, see? The Clinton people and the Clinton voters are going to continue to be with Hillary. And I think for the undecided voters, however many there are at this point, are going to be more concerned with the fact that the economy is growing, the fact that Hillary Clinton wants to invest into them, and that she's more on their side than Donald Trump is, in the light of how Donald Trump has behaved in the last few months. So I think while this will make news for sure, I don't think it's going to have much of an effect on the election.
BLITZER: Here's what probably will happen, just based on my years of experience here in Washington, and you know this as well. The FBI is going to try to keep this information relatively quiet. They're not going to leak any of this information presumably, although you never know where these leaks come from. But I suspect over the next 11 days, we're going to get a lot more information. What are the documents, where these documents came from, did they contain classified information, was it simply confidential or was it secret, was it top secret, should she have known, was it marked classified? All of these kinds of issues. Once again, we've reviewed them for months and months and months leading to the decision not to file any -- recommend any criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. But all of a sudden, in the next 11 days, this is going to be a dominant issue and I assume it worries you as a Hillary Clinton supporters.
[13:29:54] RYAN: Well, as I said, I don't think it's going to have a whole lot of effect on the current electorate. But I will say this, where have these documents - where did they come from? How did the FBI get to them? How - where are they? We have all this stuff going on with Russia right now. All of the WikiLeaks issues of stolen documents that we don't really even know if some have been manipulated or not manipulated.