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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump Demands Special Prosecutor Investigate Clinton Foundation; Interview with Jack Kingston; Is Trump Changing His Plans on Immigration; Focus on Health Conditions of Candidates. Aired 11- 11:30a ET
Aired August 23, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks for joining me. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with BERMAN: and Bolduan starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump demanding the Clinton Foundation be shut down.
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: The favors done require an expedited investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to shut it down and people are going to die.
TRUMP: I've become increasingly shocked by the vast scope of Hillary Clinton's criminality.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: He makes up stuff.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton doesn't have that strength or stamina.
CLINTON: I don't go around questioning Donald Trump's health.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: Can you open this jar of pickles. (LAUGHTER)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm John Berman. Kate Bolduan is off this morning.
It's like a giant going-back-to-school sale for the election system. Time for a new set of everything, new special prosecutor, new batch of e-mails, perhaps a new immigration plan. Donald Trump, a Clinton Foundation donor, is now calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton Foundation. He says the Clintons turned the State Department into a Pay-to-Play operation and the FBI and Department of Justice whitewashed the case. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The amounts involved, the favors done, and the significant number of times it was done, require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: This, as a federal judge has ordered the State Department to release an additional 14,000-plus documents uncovered by the FBI during its investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail servers while he was secretary of state.
With more on this, let's get to CNN correspondent, Jessica Schneider, here with me now -- Jessica?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, Donald Trump is demanding an independent and expedited investigation into all of these e-mails. He's doing it in the form of a special prosecutor. He wants an impartial review of Clinton's e-mail practices, saying the FBI's investigation was tainted.
Meanwhile, a federal judge is ordering the release of this new batch of e-mails and documents as soon as possible. All of it part of that slow trickle that keeps dogging Hillary Clinton, but she just laughed it off on "Late Night."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: The State Department saying they have to release 15,000 e- mails by the deadline, a couple days before the debate. Are you concerned about that?
KIMMEL: I would be terrified if my e-mails were released.
CLINTON: No, no. But, Jimmy, my e-mails are so boring.
KIMMEL: Yeah. Mine aren't.
CLINTON: I'm embarrassed about that. They're so boring. We've already released, I don't know, 30,000-plus. So what's a few more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: About 15,000 more will be coming. The State Department looking for an October 14th deadline to release those e-mails and documents. A federal judge yesterday saying the disclosures must be made even sooner -- John?
BERMAN: Jessica Schneider, thanks so much.
Let's bring in former Republican Congressman from Georgia and a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, Jack Kingston.
Thanks for joining us.
JACK KINGSTON, (R), SENIOR ADVISOR, DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & FORMER GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN: Thank you, John.
BERMAN: Donald Trump wants a special prosecutor to investigate, talking about the Clinton Foundation. He keeps throwing out the phrase "Pay-to-Play." Where is the proof here?
KINGSTON: There's no question there was all kinds of shenanigans going on. Only a special prosecutor can get to the bottom of it. Hillary Clinton said she had a private server because Colin Powell told her to. That's been proven to be a lie. Now the Justice Department and FBI found another 15,000. The overlap between Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills as State Department and Clinton Foundation employees arranging for meetings, the overlap between the donors. The donors to the Clinton campaign and the donors to the foundation, 50 percent of the large donors have given to both entities. And while people were petitioning the -- or giving to the foundation, they were spending %26 million in front of Congress lobbying for State Department-related issues. The web is incredible. The call for a prosecutor I think is very real and very important at this point.
BERMAN: When it comes specifically to the Clinton Foundation -- first of all, on the e-mails, those will be released. James Comey on July 5th said they uncovered these batches of e-mails, this is what the State Department is going through to release. When it comes to the Clinton Foundation, I wonder if you can tell me where you see evidence of "Pay-to-Play."
KINGSTON: I think the e-mails will show us more and more that Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin were arranging meetings for foundation members with State Department business. Remember, you have three Department of Justice field offices who have recommended an investigation, and the FBI has, but the Department of Justice under Loretta Lynch, who, just to remind you, meets privately on her airplane with Bill Clinton before the FBI releases their findings, which is in its own self unbelievable, but the Obama DOJ, Department of Justice, is not going to get to the bottom of this. There are all kinds of questions. I think, frankly, we'll have Democrats --
[11:05:27] BERMAN: But the legal issue, though, is you need to have evidence of a quid pro quo, that someone donated to the Clinton Foundation and got something from the State Department because of that donation.
(CROSSTALK) BERMAN: Is there evidence of that? I've looked through the e-mails that Judicial Watch released. There's a lot of politically inexpediency there, a lot of appearances of things that are not politically advantageous. But what I'm wondering is, is there something that you see there that is illegal?
KINGSTON: Yes, access. Selling access enough. Just to get an audience with the State Department or the key people, that is "Pay-to- Play," absolutely. You see that theme over and over again in these e- mails.
The second thing, you've got to ask yourself is, well, if there was nothing wrong with it, why is Hillary Clinton saying we're not going to take donations anymore from foreign countries if I'm elected president. If it was OK before, why is she making up that statement now?
The idea of foreign countries giving massive and millions amounts of dollars to the Clinton Foundation while she's the ruling secretary of state, while Bill Clinton -- and I believe the number is something, from 2007 to 2014, made $1241 million on outside speeches.
KINGSTON: Nobody else in the world can get away with this, but the Clintons.
BERMAN: You're adding up a whole bunch of issues, some of which have been investigated, and I guess are part of the political campaign. We're talking about the legality of what a special prosecutor would look into.
Again, Congressman, I've seen the e-mails between Huma Abedin and Doug Band calling for a meeting with this crowned prince. Once Huma Abedin wrote the e-mail, the crowned prince got the meeting. Although, it's unclear whether it was only because of the Clinton Foundation or because he was the crowned prince of Bahrain. It's not clear if he got anything else, even if he had the meeting or if he got anything else besides the meeting because of his donation.
BERMAN: I don't know if there's proof there.
I want to move to a separate subject.
KINGSTON: Can I just tag that to say a special independent prosecutor can fairly and objectively look at all these questions, because a slightly of biased Department of Justice and slightly biased Republican members of Congress may go into that with a view of their own that's predetermined. An independent prosecutor would be able to say, listen, blank slate, I'm going in there objectively. Then he can get to questions like the Uranium One situation where a Russian company now has something like 20 percent of our uranium stockpiles and they were big Clinton Foundation donors, and it had to be approved by the Obama/Clinton administration.
BERMAN: And not necessarily proof of it. But, again --
KINGSTON: But that's why you have a prosecutor.
BERMAN: I want to ask about Donald Trump's immigration plan. He used language that he hasn't used before last night. Up until last night, I think people had a general sense of what some of the parts of the plan were. He wanted 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country to leave. Get rid of them, use a deportation force, now that sounds cloudy. Listen to what he's saying now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: What people don't know is Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country, Bush, the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. I'm going to do the same thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So after 14 months of saying the immigration system is broken, running against it, he's now saying he's going to do what Obama did.
KINGSTON: John, he's been consistent in saying we need to enforce existing laws. Enforcing existing laws has been inconsistent, frankly, under Obama and Bush. Obama, by the way, has deported 500,000 people. Deportation isn't something that is suddenly new. I think what he was saying that's very important. We want to weed those out --
BERMAN: Felons, not families, which is something that the president has supported. Is Donald Trump saying the president's policy the one to follow?
KINGSTON: No, absolutely not. The president has not consistently followed existing law. Donald Trump is saying we need to enforce existing law. We need to be fair and humane. We need to have border security and we need to get rid of sanctuary cities. All of those things are very important. And some of it is just the tone. It's the leadership. And I believe Donald Trump will be a lot more thorough than Barack Obama has been.
BERMAN: That's what you're saying. That's not what Donald Trump is saying. Again, I'm reading what he said here: "Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush did the same thing. Well, I'm going to do the same thing."
Up until this weekend, it didn't sound like he was running on the same thing. Now he's running on the same thing? [11:10:21] KINGSTON: No. I think he's been very consistent. We are
going to enforce existing laws which has not been done consistently under Obama and really under George Bush either. We're going to get rid of sanctuary cities which Obama has not been willing to do. We're going to get rid of the bat guys at an accelerated pace which Obama has not been willing to do. And we're going to have border security.
It's so interesting, on the left, when he's attacked on wanting to build a wall, that's been voted on by members of Congress over and over again for years. A wall can be a cyber wall. A wall can be better foot patrols.
BERMAN: Not for Donald Trump. Not for Donald Trump. For Donald Trump a wall is a wall, a big, physical wall, a very high wall that keeps getting higher depending on who says things. We're seeing under the Obama administration.
KINGSTON: But John, that's a departure from what we're seeing under the Obama administration. The Obama administration has been weak and inconsistent in enforcing immigration laws.
The thing about Donald Trump, he is a different candidate. He's not afraid to talk about these issues. That's why you see him sitting down with his Hispanic advisory committee this last week and it was very important. He says, you know what, I want you to be involved in this process. I want your input. We're going to enforce the laws, but we're going to do it in a humane, fair way. He goes back to the point, which Obama and Hillary Clinton always overlook, is jobs. Americans need to be working these jobs. Americans underemployed or unemployed and a President Trump will put them back to work.
BERMAN: We shall see. 77 days to go until Election Day.
Congressman Jack Kingston, always great to have you with us. Thanks so much.
KINGSTON: Thank you, John.
BERMAN: Here to discuss, CNN political commentator, Kayleigh McEnany; CNN political commentator, Maria Cardona, CNN's newest political analyst, making her debut, Kirsten Powers; and CNN political commentator, Doug Heye, former RNC communications director.
We have a lot to talk about this morning.
BERMAN: I want to start with the Clinton Foundation and the Judicial Watch e-mails that came out. We've seen them. The timeline here is Bahrain crown prince wants a meeting with the State Department, can't get it. Clinton Foundation asks Huma Abedin for a meeting with Hillary Clinton. All of a sudden, the crowned prince gets it.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What Huma said, it has started going through official channels.
BERMAN: Huma said initially, when she responded to Doug Band's initial e-mail, yeah, the crowned prince asked the State Department for this but Hillary Clinton didn't want to schedule it. Then after the Clinton Foundation writes, the meeting gets scheduled for 10:00 a.m.
CARDONA: Those kinds of meetings always go through official schedules, regardless of who puts the bug in who's ear. Bahrain is one of our closest allies in the Middle East, an important ally. So much of what we're going over there to fight terrorism and the rest of it. I think it would be weird if the secretary of state didn't sit down with the crowned prince of Bahrain.
John, the bottom line is, first of all, these e-mails that have come out, the 15,000 are because of Judicial Watch. We know Judicial Watch is a right wing --
BERMAN: 15,000, because of the FBI investigation. The ones that deal with the Clinton Foundation yesterday, are Judicial Watch.
CARDONA: The Judicial Watch e-mails are part of a 30-year obsession with bringing down the Clintons. Be that as it may, the bottom line for the Clinton campaign is to get all of these out there because, from the very beginning, that's what Hillary Clinton has wanted.
On the Clinton Foundation, I think one really important thing that gets lost in all this, is the incredible lifesaving work that the Clinton Foundation does. They have provided HIV/AIDS drugs to millions and millions of people in the developing world. They have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, children's lives in Africa. I can understand maybe that Republicans believe that African children are expendable.
BERMAN: Oh, come on.
BERMAN: That's not what they're saying.
CARDONA: I'm sorry.
CARDONA: You're not saying that. You're not saying that.
But the fact of the matter is when Donald Trump is calling for a special prosecutor and others are calling for the shutting down of the Clinton Foundation, they're not looking at the kind of lifesaving work that the foundation does.
BERMAN: Fair enough. James Carvel made that point last night, they do charitable work around the country.
Kirsten, part of the problem is Huma Abedin was also working for the Clinton Foundation, also working for Tenio, a separate foundation that Doug Band also worked for. When you read these e-mails, there's no proof that the crowned prince got something because he gave to the Clinton Foundation. In some of these e-mail exchanges Huma Abedin is saying, "no," but it's the idea there are these questions, these fuzzy lines.
[11:15:24] KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: When you were interviewing the congressman, you were hitting on that point with him, where is the smoking gun, where is the proof. You don't get an independent prosecutor because you're throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks.
That said, you have to wonder why the crowned prince of Bahrain, one of the worst Human rights abusers in the world, why Humanitarian issues? I think they might get access to Hillary Clinton? That is a fair question. Some of these donors, people who are typically in the humanitarian world. I think that's a fair question.
But the problem is, you have to have some sort of smoking gun showing that the meeting happened because they gave the money. And I don't see that in those e-mails.
BERMAN: Not with the crowned prince, necessarily. The crowned prince is someone who could have a meeting with the secretary of state.
POWERS: That's right. Why did he initially not get the meeting? Then he goes to the foundation. Those are fair questions.
BERMAN: Doug Heye, I want to go to the immigration question. You were a veteran of the immigration battles on Capitol Hill. You've been through this before. We played the sound before with Donald Trump saying he was going to do the same thing as President Obama. To me that sounds like a different line. He had been running against the Democrat's immigration plan. Now he says he's going to do what the president is doing. Did that seem odd to you?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think he was against it before he was for it. Having barely survived some of the congressional battles on immigration, we saw in House Republican leadership, if you pushed anything short of sending 11 or 12 million people out of the United States tomorrow, you were accused of being for am necessity. A lot of people saying that are the same people backing Donald Trump. So if you're going to be clear and consistent on this, if this is Donald Trump's new position, Donald Trump is for amnesty. I would hope those people who supported him, given his earlier statements for a big, beautiful wall, will call this as it is. He is for amnesty.
I should say very quickly, John, I know the work the Clinton Foundation has done. I know it's done fantastic work here in the country and throughout the world. I've had conversations with Clinton staffers about that. That doesn't mean what we've seen from these e- mails doesn't raise questions. There's nothing unreasonable about asking these questions. We need to hear answers and see more of those e-mails. This is the openness and transparency that Hillary Clinton has promised us.
BERMAN: Asking the types of questions that will come up in a press conference, which Hillary Clinton hasn't had in a long time.
Kayleigh, I want to stand on the immigration thing. I'm not trying to be cute here. I currently don't think I know what Donald Trump's policy is regarding the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. I'm not sure I know what the policy is. Eight days ago, I would have said he wants a deportation force. He said they have to go. He has said that clearly. Now he doesn't seem to be saying they have to go. Can you explain to me -- not talking about the felons, I'm talking about the families -- what he intends to do with those millions of families who are undocumented immigrants in this country?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We know Kellyanne Conway has put an emphasis on deporting only those with violent criminal records. Donald Trump will give a town hall.
BERMAN: He canceled the immigration speech.
MCENANY: I think he's having an immigration town hall. I suspect he does want to deport violent felons.
I'm someone, I sit back -- my priority is border security. I don't want someone getting into this country, getting released, and Kate Steinle loses her life. If Trump budges on this issue because he met with Hispanic leaders and said let's focus on violent felons. Barack Obama allowed thousands back on our streets. Let's make that our priority, I would be fine with that.
BERMAN: You would agree, as we sit here on Tuesday morning, it's not clear what he wants to do with the non-felons who are here.
MCENANY: Given what Kellyanne Conway says, it seems there's an adjustment on this policy. I don't mind that. The wall is not changing. The border is secure. Criminals will not be on the streets as they currently are on. I do suggest maybe there was a minor adjustment. It doesn't bother me if there was.
BERMAN: Thanks for being here. Always a pleasure.
[11:19:44] BERMAN: New warnings. Donald Trump telling supporters to go out and watch on Election Day. Watch what exactly and why? Maybe the better question is whom.
Feats of strength. Hillary Clinton opens a pickle jar to try to quash the latest campaign conspiracy theories.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: In a 2016 campaign first, a jar of pickles is now at the center of this presidential race. Hillary Clinton trying to make light of the latest Trump fueled conspiracy theory about her health. Here she is with Jimmy Kimmel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Are you in good health?
CLINTON: This has become one of their themes. Take my pulse while I'm talking to you.
CLINTON: So -- make sure I'm alive.
KIMMEL: Oh, my god. There's nothing there.
CLINTON: There's nothing there.
Back in October, the "National Enquirer" said I would be dead in six months.
KIMMEL: Oh, wow. Oh, boy.
CLINTON: So with every breath I take, I feel like it's --
KIMMEL: A new lease on life.
CLINTON: A new lease on life.
CLINTON: I don't know why they are saying this. I think, on the one hand, it's part of the wacky strategy. Just say all these crazy things and maybe you can get some people to believe you.
KIMMEL: His doctor said he had the best health examination he's ever seen in a human being.
CLINTON: Yeah, I saw that.
KIMMEL: Can you open this jar of pickles?
KIMMEL: This has not been tampered with.
[11:25:11] BERMAN: 2016 election.
Want to bring in our panel. I'm joined by "CNN Politics" executive editor, Mark Preston; and most importantly -- no offense Mark -- CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, I want to start with you.
When it comes to the medical records of these candidates, what we have is letters from doctors, from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. What's in these letters and what struck you?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, I would -- reporters, would like to get as much information as you possibly can. Here we have these -- what are relatively short summaries of the candidates' health. By definition, it's going to be a bit inadequate. I will say, I just heard from the Clinton campaign. They sent me this note that basically said the Clinton letter from the doctor meets the standard of expectation for presidential candidates. It goes on to say Donald Trump's was letter written by a credible doctor that details his health as well. That's what we just heard.
I will tell you, with regard to Secretary Clinton's health, the letter that we got, it states she thinks she'll be fit to be president, talks about a problem with a blood clot she has had in the past, back in '98, 2009, and most recently in 2012. He's on medications for that, a blood thinner for that. Sounds like she's been on a blood thinner for that for some time, but says any of the ramifications from the head injury back in 2012 have been resolved and she is fit to be president.
With regard to Mr. Trump's letter, it was quite interesting, John, I'm just looking at it again. It concludes with, I can state -- this is from the doctor -- "I can state unequivocally that Mr. Trump will be the healthiest ever elected to the presidency." There's not a lot of data in there with regard to how he was examined, how specifically he arrived at that conclusion, or any of the background on his health at this time.
These, again, are summaries. They're by definition going to be incomplete. That's all we really have to work with right now.
BERMAN: Sanjay, where does this rank in terms of historical records? I remember John McCain released more than a thousand pages.
GUPTA: What was interesting with Senator McCain, at the time, what he decided to do -- he had a few reporters -- I was one of them -- that he called to Arizona and said we're going to give you four hours to look at these records, make copies of the records for a few different reporters, and we had four hours to look at them and draw our conclusions. It was tough because it was a lot of records over time. He's been -- had a lot of different hospitalizations for his injuries. There is no set standard. Maybe Mark can correct me on this, most candidates do release some summary of their health records, there's no set standard that this is how much you have to release.
BERMAN: Mark Preston, the cynic in me wonders if maybe this isn't all about the medicine.
MARK PRESTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: It's nothing to do with the medicine in many ways. What they're trying to do, what Donald Trump is trying to do, what his surrogates are trying to dorks what his supporters are trying to do is to try to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy in the eyes of the voters by saying she is not fit to serve medically. If you say it enough times, you create an echo chamber, whether it's true or not, and it's going to reverberate.
The problem with doing this over and over again, eventually, you're either going to be right or you're going to be wrong. Let's go back to a moment when somebody was absolutely wrong back in 2005 when you had then Senate majority leader, Bill Frisk, go to the Senate floor and made a medical evaluation on Terri Schiavo, who is a woman in a vegetative state down in Florida. We all remember, a huge case. Three months later, he had to acknowledge he was wrong.
The idea that you're actually going to watch somebody on video tape and try and diagnose them is ludicrous. But politically, if you do it correctly, you can.
BERMAN: Again, to be clear here, we want everything. We like every medical record we can get. We want every tax record we can get. Donald Trump hasn't released his tax returns. We are here for transparency.
But the question you have to ask, Mark Preston, is the why. Why is this being constantly called for, and who and what? That's the issue here.
Mark Preston, great to have you with us.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.
BERMAN: War zones, that's what Donald Trump is now calling some inner cities. Trump says, when he is president, you will be able to walk down the street without getting shot.
And right now, President Obama is in Louisiana to tour the flood zone there. More than 60,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Some critics say this visit is coming too late.