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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump to Rally Amid New Sexual Allegations; Former Miss Teen USA Says She Was Warned Trump Is Racist; "People" Magazine Reporter: Trump Forced Himself on Me; Paul Ryan Raises Alarm on Trump's Affect on Congress; Trump Aides Say New Clinton Accusers Coming. Aired 11- 11:30a ET
Aired October 13, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:15] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman.
In just a while Donald Trump will stand on a stage in West Palm Beach, Florida. The question is, is he standing on the precipice? How does he handle the flood of new accusations of unwanted, inappropriate kissing and touching? What will he say? Can he survive?
Just a short time ago, he tweeted this, "The phony story in the failing "New York Times" is a total fabrication, written by same people as last discredited story on woman. Watch."
BOLDUAN: So two women told "The New York Times" that Trump touched them inappropriately and without their consent, one in 2005, the other more than 30 years ago. CNN has not been able to independently confirm their accounts. They spoke to the paper on the record saying they came forward after this moment in Sunday's debate. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: Just for the record, though, are you saying that what you said on that bus 11 years ago that you did not actually kiss women without consent o grope women without consent?
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.
COOPER: So for the record, you're saying you have never did that?
TRUMP: Frankly, you hear these things. They're said. And I was embarrassed by it, but I have tremendous respect for women.
COOPER: Have you ever done those things?
TRUMP: Women have respect for me. I will tell you, no, I have not.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: No, I have not. That's the key there.
And there's more. A "People" magazine writer now says Trump basically forced himself on her at his Palm Beach estate back in 2005 while she was writing a story about his one-year wedding anniversary to Melania Trump.
Trump tweeted about that one as well, saying, "Why didn't the writer of the 12-year-old article in "People" magazine mention the, quote, unquote, 'incident' in her story? Because it did not happen," Trump says.
That's all his tweets this morning are about.
The senior editor of "People" magazine, Charlotte Triggs, is here with us. We will talk to her in just one moment.
First, we want to get to more of the details on these latest allegations, all to surface overnight, with CNN national politics reporter, M.J. Lee.
M.J., bring our viewers up to speed, please.
M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: These are absolutely devastating allegations that are being made against Donald Trump, just overnight, just days after, as you mentioned, he specifically told Anderson Cooper on the debate stage that he never touched or kissed women without their consent.
I want to walk through some of the allegations in "The New York Times" story. The first woman, Jessica Leeds, she is now 74 years old. She says that more than 30 years ago she was seated next to Donald Trump on the airplane and that Trump lifted his armrest and began to touch her.
Take a listen to the disturbing way in which she describes that exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSICA LEEDS, ACCUSES TRUMP OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING: His hands were all over me. He started encroaching on my space, and I hesitate to use this expression, but I'm going to. And that is he was like an octopus. It was like he had six arms. He was all over the place. He started putting his hand up my skirt and that was it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: The second woman in "The New York Times" story, Rachel Crooks, was a receptionist at a real estate company in Trump Tower and she's alleging that in 2005 she bumped into Donald Trump outside of an elevator and here's how "The New York Times" describes that encounter, "They shook hands but Mr. Trump would not let go, she said, instead he began kissing her cheeks, then she said he kissed me directly on the mouth." Now, the bad news actually doesn't end there. We also heard from a
former Miss Teen USA winner. Her name is Kamie Crawford. Crawford is now making a different kind of allegation. She says she met Trump for the first time when she was 17 years old and here's what she wrote on Twitter last night. She says, "As the first woman of color to win the title in almost a decade, I was forewarned prior to meeting him that Mr. Trump doesn't like black people, so don't take it the wrong way if he isn't extremely welcoming towards you. If he is, then you must be the type of black that he likes."
Now, Donald Trump, of course, is rejecting these allegations in "The New York Times" story, as well as in "People" magazine. That is not going to stop the controversy from swirling around, especially now the flood gates seem to have opened. And the Trump campaign, what they should be very concerned about right now is just wondering how many more shoes are going to drop today.
BERMAN: M.J. Lee, thanks.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, M.J.
BERMAN: I want to bring in Charlotte Triggs from "People" magazine.
It was a "People" magazine writer, Natasha Stoynoff, who wrote overnight that in 2005, Donald Trump made unwanted advances on her.
Charlotte, can you hear me right now?
CHARLOTTE TRIGGS, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Yes, I'm sorry, we're having technical issues.
If you can hear me, that's great.
Why don't you explain to me how Natasha Stoynoff came forward to you, came forward to the magazine with this story of what happened 11 years ago?
[11:05:12] TRIGGS: Right. Natasha worked for us in the 2000s. She left the magazine in 2009. Honestly, after having seen the debate in which he denied ever actually acting upon the things he said, forcibly kissing and groping women, she felt a moral obligation to come forward. And she actually wrote her essay for us detailing what did happen back in 2005, and you know, it's really a pretty damning account.
BOLDUAN: It is. She goes through it in her own words.
I do want to know, what was the conversation within "People" magazine when Natasha came forward, when she wrote this account about putting it out. How did those conversations go amongst the editors at the magazine?
TRIGGS: Well, this is not something that anybody took lightly. This is something very serious that we take extremely seriously, and you know, what can I say. I don't want to get too much into the internal conversations vetted it fully and we absolutely stand by her. BERMAN: So Donald Trump just tweeted a short while ago, why did the
writer of the 12-year-old article in "People" magazine mention the incident in her story? He says because it did not happen.
Now, this tweet is unclear to me, because in the story that just came out overnight, she goes great detail about what happened. Maybe he means in the initial story 12 years ago. Either way, you stand by this account, yes?
TRIGGS: Yes. Here's the thing, in the essay she wrote for us, she explains why she didn't talk about it at the time. Because she didn't want to be exposed to the retaliation that she knew she was going to get from him. At the time he was a hugely powerful TV star and business mogul and she knew that if she were to come forward with unflattering allegations against him that she would be in for it herself and he would retaliate against her. And that was not something she wanted to expose herself to. She wanted to just go about her professional life and continue her career and just go about her business without this affecting her life. So she only told a trusted colleague and friend. She never brought it up the chain. So this was not something that was ever discussed. She didn't want to kill the story because she didn't want to deal with the ramifications at the time.
BOLDUAN: So, Charlotte, one of the lines in here, this deeply personal account, she says, "We walked into a room alone, Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around and, within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat." She ends the piece in her words saying, "Talk is talk, but it wasn't just talk in my case. It was very much action."
When you read this, when you heard her tell you the account, what did you think?
TRIGGS: You know, it's deeply upsetting to hear that this happened to someone, especially our trusted colleague. And you know, she really was very shaken up by this. She was terrified about the potential ramifications of it and the potential fallout. You know, everything else that she went through, where she says that he waited for her at her massage appointment, and that as Melania was walking into the interview, he said to her, you know, we're going to have an affair, right, and I will take you out to get a steak. He really intimidated her just by sheer virtue of how casual he was about it and it didn't seem to affect him at all. And he did this as his wife was pregnant and was upstairs getting changed.
BERMAN: The magazine has covered Donald Trump for a long time, before, during and after this story came out, 2005. Have you heard other accounts like this in the years that you have been covering him?
TRIGGS: You know, Donald Trump's attention to women's appearances is something we have always been aware of. When I interviewed him myself, I saw that first-hand. But I don't think that anyone was aware --
BERMAN: How? How? TRIGGS: -- of any such aggressive notions. Oh, he just remarked on
my appearance when I came to interview hi butt was relatively benign and it was something we published in our story at the time.
But you know, any such aggressive details as what Natasha is describing in her story and what other women are coming forward to describe, these are things that are, you know, are new to us as I think these women are feeling a moral obligation to come forward and tell their stories.
BOLDUAN: Charlotte, you talk about how Natasha feared the ramifications of her coming out. Donald Trump is now threatening to sue over allegations like this, specifically threatening "The New York Times." Is "People" magazine concerned out legal jeopardy here?
TRIGGS: We absolutely stand by our story and we stand by Natasha.
BERMAN: What did the Trump team tell you? There is a statement from Hope Hicks in this article. What is their response, just so we have it out there?
TRIGGS: Yeah, we went to the Trump team last night with the information, the story, and they denied it, and they questioned why it hadn't been reported at the time. But as we discussed, there were various reasons why the reporter didn't want to expose herself to this type of scrutiny and these types of -- this type of retaliation back in 2005.
[11:10:02] BOLDUAN: Charlotte Triggs, senior editor for "People" magazine, thanks so much for joining us.
TRIGGS: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Charlotte, we really appreciate it, as all this is really happening overnight and so much is happening just this morning.
So how does this shake out in just the next 20-plus days until the election?
Let's discuss. Let's bring in CNN's political director, David Chalian, joining us now.
David, not only do you have new allegations coming out overnight. You also have Donald Trump -- set to speak in the next 60 minutes for the first time since this has all come out. Yes, he's taken to the Twitter feed but he will actually be taking to a microphone. He was lighting up Twitter this morning attacking these accounts from these publications and these new accusations. I feel like we ask you the same question, but it's the question to ask, where is the campaign right now?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, the campaign is with Donald Trump, you know, flailing a bit here. And clearly, knocked back on his heels, clearly on defense and closing off paths to 270 electoral votes. That's where we are in the campaign today. That's not a projection of where we will be 26 days from now. But listen, you know, Kate and John, you look at the map as much as do
if not more, part of Donald Trump's mission to win the White House is trying to convert some Democratic-leaning territory into his corner. That's his path. Because just winning the battleground states is not enough.
So how do you do that? Well, you start appealing to suburban women in places like the counties around Philadelphia if you are serious about winning Pennsylvania. I can't imagine that these stories this week are going to help adding suburban women to Donald Trump's vote total. He's now mired in a place and is down with a strategy to just play to the base that I don't see how he's adding the voters in the places he needs to add them to get to the promised land.
Funny you should mention that. There's a new poll out from Bloomberg news that has Hillary Clinton up nine points in the state. But in the Philadelphia suburbs, she's up 28 points. That is a chasm right there. College educated whites, to a certain extent, are a big problem for the Trump campaign. It's stories like this, it just has to make it very difficult to make up any ground.
CHALIAN: There's no doubt. My god, 28 points. That's -- Democrats win the state of Pennsylvania by being competitive and driving up the vote in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. That's not being competitive. If you are trouncing in the counties, and Donald Trump has no suburban appeal there outside of Philadelphia, and I think you're right, John, specifically with college educated whites, this becomes an improbable, impossible, just a math equation to win a state like that.
And point to me the state on the map. We have a new poll out of Michigan this morning that shows him down 11 points. We saw Wisconsin yesterday, he was down seven. Where, what territory that is currently leaning Hillary's way is he making progress in? And I don't think -- as we know, we have heard that the plan is to just go after Bill Clinton harder. I don't know that that is going to be the answer here if these allegations continue to come out day after day for the next three and a half weeks.
BOLDUAN: You get exactly to kind of the most basic question. You have already been kind of touching on it. But when you look at 26, 27, well, 20-plus days out, can you win without addition?
CHALIAN: No. Not if you're sitting at 37 percent nationally, that's not enough. You need to add. And it's adding the voters in the right states that can actually alter the electorate for you. This is not to say that he does not have a fired-up, enthusiastic base.
CHALIAN: I don't believe these allegations are going to take a single die-hard Trump supporter away from him. What we have seen now, time and again, there's a pattern here in the general election context. When these controversies erupt, some of the Independent, Republican- leaning Independents and more establishment Republicans who have sort of been holding their nose to support Trump, they are the first ones to flee. His number goes down. Then let's say he has a debate performance where he really takes it to Hillary Clinton, even though he was not viewed the winner of that debate in the poll, some Republicans felt a little heartened like, OK, maybe we can make it through the final four weeks, they come back a little bit, his number goes up a little bit. That swing back and forth, losing some leaning Republicans, then getting them back, that's not adding to what you need to win the race.
BERMAN: Again, there is a problem that now exists because of the debate, because of what Donald Trump told Anderson Cooper when asked if he touched or kissed anyone unwontedly, he said no, I never did that. Now you have story after story after story which, if true, people say disproves that. That will follow him in the days ahead.
David Chalian, thanks for being with us.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, David.
CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.
BERMAN: New this morning, the Trump campaign says it will reportedly go nuclear on Bill Clinton in response to these allegations, and try to turn Bill Clinton into Bill Cosby. Hear what happened behind doors at Trump headquarters.
[11:15:09] BOLDUAN: If you thought it was nasty, guys, just wait.
Plus, as Trump continues his all-out war against Clinton and his own party, what does it mean for control of Congress? Paul Ryan, sounding the alarm. He'll be speaking live very soon.
And a reminder, a short time from now, Donald Trump, looking at live pictures from West Palm Beach, Florida. Donald Trump will be taking the stage for the first time since the new wave of allegations of him groping women unwantedly have come to light. We will dip in live when Trump takes the stage.
BOLDUAN: Donald Trump is now clearly and very much openly fighting on two fronts in his battle for the White House. One is the obvious, against Democrats and Hillary Clinton.
BERMAN: We should say that Donald Trump will speak for the first time since this latest round of allegations, these new accusations from women saying that he advanced on them with unwanted kisses or touching. He will speak in a few minutes. We will take that event live.
This is all happening at House Speaker Paul Ryan is raising new questions about the effects of the Trump candidacy.
CNN's Manu Raju joins us from Washington.
Manu, we understand there was some kind of fundraising call last night, Paul Ryan, the speaker, raised new alarms. What was he saying? [11:20:08] MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right.
He actually has this monthly call with top donors and supporters. I was told by a donor that was on that call that Ryan was worried about the House majority. He noted full well that during the Democratic wave in 2008, John McCain lost by seven points and Democrats picked up even more seats in the House.
Now you look at what's happening now. Nationally, Donald Trump is losing anywhere between nine and 11 points. And the fear is that this could be a significant Democratic wave in the House, leading to a net pickup of the 30 seats the Democrats need to take back the House majority. An uphill climb for Democrats but one that Ryan is nervous about.
And, John, one other thing, Ryan also told the donors last night he had no intention of getting in a war with Donald Trump by saying he was not going to defend Donald Trump. He was concerned flatly about the House and Senate majority but, as we know, Donald Trump viewed that a bit differently.
BOLDUAN: I would say so. Look no further than every interview he's done since and every time he's seen a microphone or his phone to tweet.
So since the video came out, since all of this, you now have Republicans and this strange thing happening. Republicans, after the "Access Hollywood" video they found Donald Trump, then facing backlash amongst their base voters, now kind of inching, walking back towards Donald Trump. What are you hearing here? What are they doing? Hiding in place? What's happening?
RAJU: Yeah. This is just the bind that Republicans have been in all year long. They needed those Donald Trump supporters to come to the polls in November but, at the same time, they didn't want to embrace what Donald Trump is saying, and especially in light of that "Access Hollywood" and the controversies, they didn't want to be anywhere near it. You have some Republicans running for re-election, like Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Marco Rubio of Florida, they are still supporting Donald Trump, even though they have their Senate re-election races. Others are in tough races, like Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Joe Heck of Nevada, they are running away from Donald Trump, rescinding endorsements. You have someone like Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, he won't say if he will vote for Trump, but repeatedly criticized him. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska and John Thune, who are not up for re-election, but called on Trump to step aside, then saying they would vote for Trump anyway.
It's very dizzying, Kate and John, but this is basically what Donald Trump has done to the rest of the party.
BOLDUAN: John Thune, a member of the Senate leadership, the one that really kind of made the break after the video came out. It's really confounding and interesting.
BERMAN: By the way, the back and forth, all before the new range of accusations that came out overnight, which only puts them in a weirder situation in Congress rig now. One worth watching.
Manu Raju, thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you, Manu.
BOLDUAN: So you see down at the bottom of the screen we are waiting to hear Donald Trump. He will be speaking live for the first time since the new allegations have come out. We will take you there when he does take the stage. Looks like he has some warm-up acts that always happen before the candidates speak happening right now.
But Trump is already taking out his fury on Twitter. And soon, it appears he's going to be taking out much more and focusing his fire much more on Bill Clinton. Bloomberg is reporting that the Trump campaign is about to go nuclear and roll out more of former -- more accusers of the former president. They call them new accusers.
BERMAN: The campaign chief is reportedly saying, Steve Bannon, who is running the campaign, is reportedly saying, "We are going to turn him into Bill Cosby."
Joshua Green is the national correspondent of "Bloomberg Business Week." He broke this story. He joins us now.
Josh, explain to us this new strategy. The piece ends with a really fun line here. An adviser telling you, "We are going to go buck wild." What is buck wild?
JOSHUA GREEN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK: I don't have any idea. It sounds like spring break. But the strategy here, this story broke last night. Yesterday, throughout the day, I was talking to Trump people who said we have a whole raft of new women who have come forward since Trump has started making these attacks against Bill and Hillary Clinton for enabling sexual violence. The campaign strategist told me we are going to be rolling them out shortly.
Just as we were publishing our story last night on "Bloomberg Politics," "The New York Times" released its story with new accusations against Trump. We now have -- I think we are up into the double digits of new women coming forward accusing Trump of sexual improprieties. I think what you're looking at is the Trump campaign's effort to fight back, to be on the offensive, to be the aggressors, rather than just get nibbled to death by these stories like we're seeing in the "Times" and elsewhere.
BOLDUAN: So on the new accusers from Bill Clinton's past, this would be a very big deal. Did they give you any sense of who, how many, when, why they have been waiting until now?
[11:25:00] GREEN: No, they didn't. I think that's an important distinction. We have had, by my count anyway, 10 women come forward publicly to accuse Trump. Since I published that story last night, we have had zero women come forward to accuse Hillary or Bill Clinton of anything. So right now, these are threats from the Trump campaign in the same way that Trump is threatening to sue "The New York Times" and other people. They have produced nothing.
I talked to a Trump adviser this morning who said, well, we were thinking about rolling these women out next week in conjunction with the next debate. Maybe we'll move up that timeline. Again, as of now, they have produced nothing.
BERMAN: Joshua, do you get the sense there's unity within Trump world on this? There's a lot of people referring to statements that Steve Bannon made in your piece overnight. Is this being driven by Bannon, of "Breitbart" fame, or is Kellyanne Conway, Rudy Giuliani, is everyone on board with this?
GREEN: Well, if you read my story, there are two unnamed advisers describing Bannon's interactions or describing his instructions in private meetings. You can take that as you would like to. Certainly if you look at Trump's inner circle of Bannon, Dave Bossi, Kellyanne Conway and Reince Priebus, they all seem to be pretty much on board with this. I would say that Chris Christie seems to have drifted out of the inner orbit a little bit. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of conflict within Trump's inner circle or within his bunker, may be a better term for it, that this is the way to close out the campaign.
This is the way to go after Hillary Clinton. They think this will depress enthusiasm among Millennial women who Clinton is counting on to win. So this apparently is Trump's counter strategy to all these new accusations.
BERMAN: Joshua Green, great story last night. I encourage everyone to read it. Thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Yeah. It lays out that things could be changing.
BERMAN: Yeah, stay tuned.
Again, Donald Trump getting ready to speak in a few minutes. We'll see if he starts doing it right now.
One of the country's most famous evangelicals defending Donald Trump, despite the tape from "Access Hollywood," and despite the new accusations against Donald Trump overnight, but students at his university, Liberty University, revolting against Jerry Falwell Jr. He joins us live to respond.
BOLDUAN: Plus, the Trump campaign is pulling out of Virginia. What does that mean? Why are they pulling resources from there? Where does that leave his electoral path to victory? We speak live with the Virginia state director that the Trump campaign just pushed out.
We'll be right back.