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FBI Investigation Newly Discovered Clinton E-mails; Ryan Calls on National Intelligence to Suspend Clinton Classified Briefings; Trump Speaks Live as FBI Reopens Clinton E-mail Probe; Trump Camp Says New Clinton E-mail Investigation Means Vote Trump. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 28, 2016 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:30:00] REP. TIM RYAN, (D), OHIO: As I said, I don't think it's going to have a lot of effect on the current electorate. But I'll say this. Where have these documents? Where did they come from? How did the FBI get to them? Where are they? All this stuff going on with Russia now, all of WikiLeaks issues of stolen documents that we don't really know if they're manipulated or not manipulated. Why didn't the FBI have these documents through all of the different investigations they went through on this where the FBI said that, you know, she didn't do anything wrong? That maybe careless, but that's it, and there would have had to have been a huge conspiracy of 300 people in the State Department conspiring to, you know, release confidential information. Why didn't it come up in all of this?
Hillary Clinton has been thoroughly vetted on this issue. The FBI chose not to do anything with the information. And we have all moved on. So the question is, where did these documents come from? How did they get to the FBI? Is Russia involved in this? We don't have any clue of where this stuff is coming from, and so for this to come out --
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The only thing we know, he says, in -- Comey says it was in connection with an unrelated case. All of a sudden, they came upon these e-mails that may or may not have contained classified information.
Are you concerned about the decision that the FBI Director James Comey has now made based on the information he received yesterday to reopen this case? In other words, do you have confidence in Comey?
RYAN: Well, yes. I think -- I think Comey has throughout this upset both sides, I think you can say, which usually shows a level of fairness. Now, this is a huge surprise that this would come out just days before an election. That, to me, is a surprise. But I think he's proven himself to be thorough, as an investigator, and that's why I'm confident with his pass decision saying that Hillary Clinton didn't do anything wrong, and I'm sure after going through tens of thousands of e-mails, tens of thousands, and for a couple to be ruled classified, even when they weren't properly marked classified, like, that's all that happened here, Wolf. That was it. Out of all of these e-mails --
BLITZER: All right, Congressman --
RYAN: -- there was a little "C," many paragraphs down, Wolf, that they weren't labeled at the top as classified, and Comey said she didn't -- there -- it wasn't worth pursuing. I'm confident that this will go away.
BLITZER: That's what he said --
RYAN: Although it happened at a very inconvenient time.
BLITZER: He said that -- he concluded that last July saying he would not recommend criminal charges, although very critical of her behavior.
As you suggested, the Donald Trump campaign already reacting. Kellyanne Conway, the campaign manager for Donald Trump, she has just tweeted this, I'll read to do viewers, "A great day in our campaign just got even better. FBI reviewing new e-mails in Clinton probe." That from Kellyanne Conway.
So clearly this is an issue that the Trump campaign, the Donald Trump supporters, Republicans are going to really try to focus on over these next 11 days, trying to hit those undecided voters, especially in your home state of Ohio right now, who are -- who aren't really committed to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. You know the Ohio voters. How is this going to play with the undecideds in Ohio?
RYAN: They're worried about economics. they're worried about jobs, wages, and college education, like the costs of college, the bread- and-butter issues that they're going to hear e-mails and their eyes are going to glaze over, Wolf. In all honesty, they've been hearing this for how long now? They're going to hear e-mails and they're going hear Donald Trump tweeting about e-mails and their eyes will glaze over. They're going to make a decision based upon economics and whether or not we'll continue the progress we've made. And we get news today the economy has grown at 2.9 percent, moving in the right direction. Largest growth we've had in a long time. They're going to vote on that is issue, because Hillary Clinton's going to continue that. That's the important issue. They don't listen to the side shows. They're frustrated with the way the campaign unfolded, especially the way Donald Trump behaved. That's in the back of their minds. They're going to hear e-mails and they're eyes will glaze over and they won't pay attention, because they want issues that they care about to be talked about. And that's what Hillary will do when in Ohio in the next week and Bill in the next week, and other surrogates in the next week, and we'll bring it home and she's going to be the president.
BLITZER: Congressman, I want to read to you a statement that has just been released by the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, on this breaking news, quote, "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. This decision long overdue is the result of her reckless use of a private e-mail server and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators. I renew my call for the director of the National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved."
As you know, Congressman, the National Intelligence director and his staff, they provide classified national security briefings to both presidential candidates. That's part of the -- the law, if you will, leading up to an election. This is pretty extraordinary for Speaker Ryan to now tell the intelligence community to end any classified briefings for Hillary Clinton because, presumably, he says, she can't be trusted. Your reaction to what the speaker has just said?
[13:35:51] RYAN: I'm glad the speaker didn't just act like judge and jury and ultimately make a huge decision on information that he knows absolutely nothing about. He should be more concerned about whether or not he's going to be speaker in the next couple of months, as opposed to be throwing these flames at Hillary Clinton. He made a judgment there on information that he doesn't have before him, that he doesn't know about. He's renewing a call that he already made months before that was already disproven by Director Comey with the ruling that he made to not further pursue this stuff. You're going to have a bunch of Republicans go out there and try to make political hay. Because they have nothing else to talk about, Wolf. In some sense, this is a gift to them, because they still got to look in the mirror and defend Donald Trump. And people and voters are going to make a judgment.
These are e-mails we're talking about here. These are e-mails. And she's been proven and Comey already said he's not going to pursue this. Correct? So that's already been said on the initial investigation.
The judgment voters still have to make is, do you want Donald Trump to have his finger on the nuclear weapon? Yes or no? And regardless of what's goings on with some e-mail that just has been pulled out of midair, 10 days before the election, the question before the voters is, is Donald Trump stable enough to be the president of the United States?
BLITZER: All right.
RYAN: And the answer is, no. He is not stable enough. That's the ultimate question. That's the ultimate question.
BLITZER: Congressman Tim Ryan, of Ohio, we're going to leave it on that note, but thanks for joining us with the breaking news. We'll continue our conversation down the road.
A lot more here on CNN on the breaking news. The FBI now looking into newly discovered Clinton e-mails.
We're standing by. We'll be hearing from Donald Trump at a rally in New Hampshire. Guess what? You can be sure Donald Trump will be reacting by the new decision, by the FBI director, to reopen the Clinton investigation into her use, as -- her use of a private e-mail server. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: Donald Trump taking the stage. Let's get his reaction.
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We love New Hampshire, I can tell you that.
TRUMP: I need to open with a very critical breaking news announcement.
[13:40:15] TRUMP: The FBI --
TRUMP: -- has just sent a letter to Congress informing them they have discovered new e-mails --
TRUMP: -- pertaining to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's investigation.
TRUMP: And renewing the investigation into her criminal and illegal conduct --
TRUMP: -- that threatens the security of the United States of America.
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.
TRUMP: I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made.
(CHEERING) TRUMP: This was a grave miscarriage of justice that the American people fully understood. And it is everybody's hope that it is to be corrected.
TRUMP: So that is a big announcement that I heard 10 minutes ago.
TRUMP: And I guess obviously most of you folks have heard about. And in all fairness for all of the people that have suffered for doing so much less including, just recently, four-star General James Cartwright, General Petraeus, and many others. Perhaps finally, justice will be done.
TRUMP: With that being said, the rest of my speech is going to be so boring.
Should I even make the speech?
TRUMP: We will talk about borders. Right?
TRUMP: We will talk about trade.
TRUMP: We'll bring back our jobs. We'll strengthen our military. And let's get going. OK?
TRUMP: I want to thank General Flynn.
TRUMP: He's a great General.
I want to thank you for being here, General. Thank you very much.
Just before the General Flynn was going up, we heard this news. I said, General, get up there and keep them busy. We want to -- we want to digest what just happened here.
Thank you, General.
In 11 days, we are going to win New Hampshire --
TRUMP: -- the state of my first victory.
TRUMP: And we are going to win back the White House.
TRUMP: 75 percent of the American people think our country is on the wrong track, and we are going to fix it. We are going to get our country back on the right track, and very, very quickly.
TRUMP: Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing Obamacare --
TRUMP: -- and that is big news. That is big news.
TRUMP: We can't forget how --
[13:44:51] BLITZER: We're continuing to monitor Donald Trump. He's getting into his campaign speech right now talking about the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.
But there's breaking news, important breaking news we're following. The FBI Director James Comey just sent a letter to the eight chairmen of the Senate and the House committees who have been investigating the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal in which he says there will be a new investigation. Among other things, he says this, "In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of existence of e-mails that appear pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform 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 contain classified information as well as to assess their importance to the investigation."
Gloria Borger, for the FBI director to make this announcement 11 or 12 days before the election based on information he has, I assume the information must be very, very significant. If he's going to reopen his FBI investigation based on the new information he received, it can't just be some tangential issue. It's got to be somebody significant.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know, Wolf. He said the FBI cannot assess if it's significant. But I'll tell you one thing, reopening an investigation that was closed into Hillary Clinton's e-mail server, not necessarily her personal e-mails, but her server, is something that is pertinent to this election. And I think that Comey, as you know, has been criticized by both sides over this matter. And I think that it may be incumbent upon him to provide more information about what this involves because, otherwise, he's going to be charged with leading a partisan investigation 11 days before the election. So he is inserting himself.
I understand why he was probably trying to do it. Because I think the feeling, probably was -- and I don't know this -- that these things leak out as you were saying before, Wolf, and that rather than have that occur, he is kind of a straight shooter who wanted to put it out there. But having done that and leaving this thing dangling, without knowing how significant it is, without knowing what the investigation was, without knowing any kind of sense of whether this is Hillary Clinton's e-mails or e-mails that were on her server, just leaves it dangling out there and making it even more of a partisan football than it already was before with all of these unanswered questions.
BLITZER: Juana Summers, this is clearly something that the Clinton -- that the Hillary Clinton opponents, the Donald Trump campaign -- you just heard from Donald Trump himself -- they're welcoming this big time, as they say. Kellyanne Conway tweeting, "A great day -- she's the campaign manager for Trump -- "A great day in our campaign got better. FBI renewing new e-mails in Clinton probe."
They're going to use this going in these final 11 days, and you saw how pleased and happy Donald Trump is.
JUANA SUMMERS, CNN POLITICS EDITOR: That became immediately clear as the scorer was developing. As I was scrolling through my inbox listening to Donald Trump. Statement after statement from Republicans on Capitol Hill, including Speaker Ryan, Congressman Bob Goodlett, chair of the Judiciary Committee, saying, "This is unacceptable, she shouldn't get classified briefings, this is a huge problem for her and shows her recklessness."
If I'm a Republican advising a candidate in any political race, up and down the ballot, I am telling to begin their speeches talking about this issue, pointing out the fact we have a candidate in Hillary Clinton who is compromised that voters can't trust. That's a way to get back in the game, tighten margins in some tight Senate and House races across the country. Again, a little bit of a political gift and will be smart to run with it.
BLITZER: Michelle Kosinski is out White House correspondent.
Michelle, the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a statement, among other things, calling on the director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved, suggesting she can't be trusted with classified information.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. He and others called for that before, as well. We haven't yet heard from the White House on this breaking news. They may not respond until one of the press officials speaks to the press as scheduled later in the afternoon, as President Obama is on his way to stump for Hillary Clinton in Florida. This reminds me of the first time they were on the trail together, their first appearance in North Carolina on the very day Comey announced his findings the first time. Now he's going down to Florida, which is it a tight race. He wants that make this case and this comes up. Neither mentioned it in their sort of big presentation of the first time on the trail. Interesting to see how he addresses it. What we've seen is a much more comfortable President Obama. He's looser. He speaks his mind more. And he said, look, you know, and he just -- he speaks much more comfortably about some of the issues out there. So I'm curious to see whether he finds a way to address this head on in that same vein of, look, here's what's being said, here's what I know, here's what I feel about it, or does he not address it all --
[13:50:17] BLITZER: -- stay out of this one. He's not going to get between the FBI director and Hillary Clinton --
KOSINSKI: To make the case himself in his own words, without address the investigation.
BLITZER: Laura Coates is our legal affairs advisor, our analyst, right now, I should say.
Laura, how extraordinary is this for the FBI Director James Comey to say in July he's suspending this investigation, he found no reason to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, although she acted, he said, extremely careless in her use of his private e-mail server. And now, only a few months later, with 11 days to go before the election, to announce that he's reopening the investigation?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (voice-over): It's extraordinary. One reason it's extraordinary is because you would never have, in the first place, in July, an FBI director trying to kind of usurp the role of the attorney general and Justice Department, who are the ones to decide whether to bring charges. It was extraordinary back then because what he did was enter into the court of public opinion various acts that never would have come out unless they were leaked. So his choice initially to say the words "careless," et cetera, shows you there was an act on his part, in an effort to be transparent that has come to haunt Hillary Clinton and the like. What really extraordinary at this point is that, you must remember, he is not reopening the investigation into the e-mail server. His statement says he's trying to whether new e-mails coming to light are pertinent to the enquiry whether she intended to somehow thwart the law is and tried to use the e-mail server, et cetera, or use her e-mails in a way that allowed classified data to be exposed.
Right now -- Gloria is correct -- we don't have information about what that looks like. Although, legally speaking, it's not so shocking we don't have conclusions, optically, in politics, this is a very extraordinary measure and can be blamed on Comey's initial decision to provide information to the court public opinion where nobody else would.
BLITZER: Our justice correspondent, Evan Perez, quoting law enforcement sources saying these newly discovered e-mails that the FBI now has possession of are not related to the WikiLeaks matter or the Clinton Foundation, although these sources would not describe in further detail the content of the e-mails.
I want to bring in Jason Miller right now, the senior communications advisor to the Trump campaign, joining us from New York.
Jason, thank very much for joining us.
JASON MILLER, SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Wolf, thank you for having me on.
BLITZER: You heard your boss, Donald Trump. He's obviously gleeful. He's very pleased for this development. But what, if anything else do you know about this that is being made public by the FBI director himself.
MILLER: Wolf, we're learning about this the same time the American public is, but this is truly, truly remarkable development. This close to the election, to be reopening the investigation means whatever it is they found to be very significant. We don't know what that is. We'll find out. We assume that the FBI will make that available before the election. That will be something that comes forward so the American people can make a decision. But this has been something that we've talked about a lot with the absolute violation of trust of the American people, of not only exposing this confidential and classified information but then also to cover-up and trying to keep it quiet. So that these are things we think voters need to know about before Election Day.
BLITZER: The FBI director says he "cannot predict" -- in his words -- how long it will take to complete this additional work. My own suspicion is he won't release more information between now and the election that is only 11 days away, but there probably will be serious leaking going on. In Washington, people talk and get this kind of information. But you presumably see this as a bombshell helping convince undecided voters to not vote for Hillary Clinton but to vote for Donald Trump. I assume that's the way you see this.
MILLER: This goes to what Mr. Trump has been saying all along, that there are real problems here, this is someone who put confidential information out there in a completely unsecure server. This is a violation of the trust. That this was set up specifically to get around laws and the systems in place.
Wolf, think about it. Five different people took the Fifth into the investigation into all this. That doesn't happen if no crimes were committed or if laws hadn't been broken. Something stinks here, and I'm glad the FBI is going to get to the bottom of it.
BLITZER: Jason Miller, thanks for joining us.
Phil Mattingly is traveling with the Clinton campaign for us right now. Hillary Clinton just landed in Iowa for an event. Phil is joining us on the phone.
Any reaction yet from the Clinton campaign, Phil?
[13:55:17] PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wolf, it's kind of an incredible thing. The plane did not have Wi-Fi during the entire fight so you have senior advisors as well as Hillary Clinton on the plane, and as the plane landed, they were finding out about this as we were landing. I had one advisor tell me, "We're learning about that at the same time you guys are." They didn't have advance notice of this. They seem similarly stunned. And we saw them huddling.
We've been waiting for Hillary Clinton to deplane to go to that first event in Cedar Rapids. As of now, she has not. It appears all of the advisors were on conference calls as we were getting off the plane.
Wolf, just important to note, they clearly were not aware of this in advance, as this news was breaking. And Hillary Clinton and the top advisors were on their way to Iowa. They didn't appear to know until we touched down in Cedar Rapids, Wolf.
BLITZER: So, Phil, we -- what time is she expected to speak, can you tell us?
MATTINGLY: She's expected to speak in about 20 minutes. She hasn't gotten off the plane yet. The reporters are waiting outside her plane right now to ask -- yell and see if she'll come over and say anything. Usually, the deplaning process happens rather quickly. But it's worth noting her top advisors are on the plane. Her campaign manager, her communications director, Huma Abedin, her closest advisor, is also on the plane right now. They have not deplaned yet. We've been on the ground about 10 or 15 minutes. We're still waiting for that to happen, waiting to see if they will have reaction.
Again, I think the takeaway is they had no idea in advance this was coming so they're trying to formulate a response right now -- Wolf?
BLITZER: I'm wondering if the FBI Director James Comey also gave a heads-up to Hillary Clinton and her attorneys that he was reopening this investigation. It's a bombshell development, no doubt about that.
We'll get back to you. We'll wait to hear from Hillary Clinton herself to see what she and her campaign staff have to say.
Gloria, what can I say? This is something that is so extraordinary coming 11 days. and James Comey, former U.S. attorney, a former deputy attorney general of the United States, he's highly respected, even though he's been bitterly criticized by a lot of Republicans for concluding she didn't commit any crimes, even though she was, in his words, "extremely reckless," in the way she handled the e-mail on her private server. For him to come forward like this now it suggests to me -- he's not a political guy -- that something is going on.
BORGER: Well, it suggests, at least, that they saw something that they thought could be potentially significant in an investigation that they closed and that he felt that he needed to notify the appropriate congressional committees. I think a little bit more transparency is actually required here. I think he's trying to be transparent in publicizing what he was doing, but you are 11 days before an election, so it's kind of an extraordinary circumstance.
We have Donald Trump talking -- who just a few days ago was talking about the FBI being rigged, today saying he has great respect for Mr. Comey, the head of the FBI. And I think that if there were certain things that he believed were pertinent to the investigation -- his words, not mine -- that may potentially be significant. I think there needs to be a little bit more meat on those bones because, otherwise, he puts himself directly in the middle of a political campaign 11 days before the election.
BLITZER: It's possible, Juana, too, that he got word that FBI officials, others in the Justice Department, learned of these newly discovered e-mails from an unrelated case and he feared they could leak this information. That's when he made the decision to go ahead and inform members of Congress he was reopening it.
SUMMERS: That's right, Wolf. That's one of my biggest questions upon hearing this news is what unrelated investigation? We don't have information. We heard from Evan Perez that this isn't related to WikiLeaks or the Clinton Foundation. What is related, and how do we get to this point which is stunning after the stark terms Mr. Comey used in describing Clinton's role and the decision not to make charges and the condemnation he made for the way in which she handed the e- mails. That's the biggest thing I'm curious about.
BLITZER: The FBI Director James Comey informs Congress and the American people in a formal statement that he's reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of the private e-mail server after discovering some new e-mails in an unrelated case. This is a major development only days before, 11 days before the election.
Our special coverage will continue with Brooke Baldwin right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.