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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Clinton On Election Loss, Comey Intervention; Hillary Clinton Tells All In New Book On 2016 Race; White House Slams Clinton For New Book; FEMA Teams Searching For Anyone Trapped in Keys; Residents Returning To Lower Keys Turned Away By Police. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired September 13, 2017 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Clinton later responded to Comey's comments on Fox News.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: After a long investigation, FBI Director James Comey said none of those things that you told the American public were true.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Chris, that's not what I heard Director Comey say. And I thank you for giving me the opportunity to in my view clarify. Director Comey said that my answers were truthful and what I said is consistent.
COOPER (voice-over): But the e-mail controversy wasn't over. Now Comey's motivates and timing were questioned.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: We're mistified and confused by the fact pattern that you laid out and the conclusions that you reached.
REP. JOHN MICA (R), FLORIDA: It almost looks like a choreography.
COOPER (voice-over): Then in September, former New York Representative Anthony Weiner was also the husband of Hillary Clinton's long time staffer, Huma Abedin, was caught exchanging sexually explicit online messages with an underage girl. Weiner later pled guilty to a federal obscenity charge, while Abedin filed for divorce.
A story seemingly unrelated to the election, but as the FBI look into Weiner's activities thousands of e-mails from Abedin were found, the majority backed up on Wiener's computers.
FBI Director Comey announced he was reopening his investigation, and informed Congress about it in a letter on Cctober 28th, just 11 days before Election Day.
CLINTON: Election been on October 27th, I'd be your president.
COOPER (on camera): You said about Jim comey that he shivved you, --
COOPER (on camera): -- which is a very -- I mean, that's a strong word.
CLINTON: It is a strong word.
COOPER (on camera): And it also implies that this was a personal or that he was trying to get you.
CLINTON: He's never been clear about his motivation and what bothered me the most as the time went on after the election is and we learned more about the open FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and their connections with Russia, that had been going on for quite some time. The American people didn't know about it. He was specifically asked, why didn't you tell the American people about that investigation? And he said, well, because it was too close to an election.
So ask yourself, a closed investigation that ended the prior July, an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia, one deserves to be blown out of all proportion, nothing to be found one more time, and the American people don't have the information that there's a legitimate investigation going on about Trump and Russia before they vote.
COOPER (on camera): Do you think it is personal?
CLINTON: I have no idea. I can't sit here and tell you. I know that there had to be some pressure on him because Rudy Giuliani announced two days before that letter came out that something big was coming in two days. And people speculated was he under pressure from Giuliani and others within the FBI or the broader law enforcement community. I don't speculate on it. I just talk about how really hard to understand it was and the impact that it had.
COOPER (on camera): One of the things, though, that Director Comey gave for that press conference in July was the meeting that your husband had on the Tarmac with the attorney general, Attorney General Lynch. You write about in the book, but what you don't mentioned in the book is what you said to your husband when you heard about that meeting.
CLINTON: I didn't hear about it for days because it was so inconsequential to both of them. And then when I heard about it, I didn't really think much of it. And I think this was a rationalization that was used for being able to do what he did. But, you know, what's important to me going forward is, as I say, I think it's important to focus on what happened because lessons can be learned. But the more important lessons it will affect our democracy going forward are not about him and his investigation. He, I think, forever changed history, but that's in the past. What's important is the fact that the Russians are still going at us. He himself admitted that before Congress. People I really respect like Jim Clapper and John Brennan and others who knew what the Russians were doing have been sounding the alarm.
I will tell you this, Anderson. If I had been elected president under the same circumstances so that, you know, I the lost popular vote, I squeaked through the electoral college and evidence came up that the Russians for whatever reason were trying to help me, I would have said on the first day in office we're going to launch the most thorough investigation. No nation, particularly, an adversary nation can mess with our democracy. I would have had an independent commission. I would have done everything I could to get to the bottom of it because it's not going to stop. That's what I'm worried about
COOPER (on camera): In "USA Today" when asked about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia you said, "I'm convinced of it." So I just want to be clear, you're convinced there was collusion?
[21:05:07] CLINTON: Well, let me say if I'm convinced there was communication. I'm convinced there were meetings and phone calls. I'm convinced that there were financial entanglements. Let's wait to see what it's called. I'm convinced that there was something going on. And let's put the investigation to one side because, indeed, I have a lot of confidence in the special counsel. I don't know what he's going to end up with. He's a very honorable man. If there's nothing there, there's nothing there. If there is I'll think he'll tell us. Put that to one side because that's on going. It almost doesn't matter.
Our president, whoever our president is, should be defending our country and should be standing up and saying nobody messes with America. We are not going to tolerate that. We don't hear any of that coming from the White House.
COOPER (on camera): Because of Russia's role, do you think there should be an asterisk next to President Trump's name in the history books?
CLINTON: Look, I don't know. We don't know. We don't have all the facts yet. What I believe we now know, they paid for Facebook ads and those were disseminated broadly. We know that they had access to targeting and data information from somewhere, maybe internally, maybe help externally. We know that they had Russians pretending to be Americans who were online and in person trying to foment negative stories about me and positive ones about Trump. We know there was a huge amount of content being produced in places like Macedonia. We know that Wikileaks which is basically a front now for Putin was more than willing to publish stolen e-mails from the DNC, from John Podesta. And that then those e-mails were weaponized with ridiculous, absurd, untrue stories being churned out, on and on. So there's a lot we know already.
COOPER (on camera): You followed this extremely closely?
CLINTON: Well, I started following this back in the summer of 2016 because there was something going on when the DNC hack happened, you know, we had a huge political crisis when Republicans physically broke into the Democratic Party's records back in the so-called "Watergate" years. This is a different kind of theft. And its --
COOPER (on camera): Do you think this is bigger than Watergate?
CLINTON: I think it's probably bigger than Watergate because it is about the future. You know, we no longer are worried about, you know, spies and provocateurs with, you know, dress in black with gloves, breaking in to an office and stealing information. They do it sitting in the offices of the Russian, you know, military intelligence and other related venues and they get into what is the core of our life now through the computer networks.
COOPER (on camera): As you know, the Republicans will say no vote was ever changed. This did not affect the outcome of the election.
CLINTON: Well, I would say two things. This was a highly sophisticated influence operation. I believe it did affect people's votes.
COOPER (on camera): Do you think it cost you votes?
CLINTON: I think it cost me votes.
COOPER (on camera): The fact that those e-mails were --
CLINTON: Well, and that they were weaponized. So, in the book I write about how if you go look at Google searches, particularly in some of the battleground states during October and you listen to Trump's speeches where he mentioned Wikileaks I think a160 times, they clearly knew that stories that were making stuff up trying to use the e-mails were permeating Facebook and other sites. The worst of them was this "Pizzagate" story where, honest to goodness, out of whole cloth made up, they took the word pizza out of one of John Podesta's e-mails and said that he and I were running a child trafficking ring in poor little pizza parlor in Washington. It sounds absurd, millions of people were exposed to that.
The horrible hit job, total lies about the Clinton foundation, people were affected by that because we could see that the Wikileaks searches and a lot of places that were historically kind of swing counties were really rising. I think the influence did affect individual voters. What we don't know yet and we're only beginning to get evidence of is why were the Russians intruding into our voter registration roles.
COOPER (on camera): But you think this Russian interference was not enough to have cost you the election if Director Comey hadn't reopened that investigation?
CLINTON: That's what I believe. I believe, though, it became a perfect storm. Reopening it which caused people once again to be obsessed with e-mails and then Podesta's e-mails being used to drive all this negative story about me, I think it came together to really kind of make some people queasy, like oh my gosh, what if she goes to jail. I heard that so many times. I talked to reporters who were out there covering the campaign to the very end, and people would say things like, you know, I like her and I think she's done a good job, but what if she's in jail? And, you know, I knew that that was happening, but I thought we would ride it out.
[21:10:19] COOPER: Coming up, more of that interview. What went through Clinton's mind when now the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape came out just two days after her second debate with Donald Trump? We'll talk about all of it next.
COOPER: More of my interview now with Hillary Clinton. And what were some of the strangest days in American political history. We talk about the now infamous "Access Hollywood" tape and the debate that came just two days later. What she had to say about both after a quick reminder of how we got there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hello, how are you? Hi.
COOPER (voice-over): October 7th, just one month before Election Day, this video surfaced.
TRUMP: Good. That's better.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Much better.
COOPER (voice-over): Recorded by "Access Hollywood" in 2005.
TRUMP: You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH, AMERICAN RADIO HOST: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the --. You can do anything.
COOPER (voice-over): Two days after the tape is released, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton come face to face in the second presidential debate. Trump's team had gone on the offensive hours before the debate even began, holding a press conference before women. Three of them publicly accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual behavior.
[21:15:02] The accusers are also guests of honor at the debate seated with the Trump family in the audience. The two candidates do not shake hands as they enter the stage. When the debate began, the "Access Hollywood" tape was front and center. This is what Hillary Clinton said about it.
CLINTON: I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is, because we've seen this throughout the campaign. We have seen him insult women. We've seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from 1 to 10. We've seen him embarrass women on T.V. and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate. It's been nearly a week, denigrating a former miss universe in the harshest, most personal terms. So, yes this is who Donald Trump is.
COOPER (voice-over): I want to ask you about the second debate --
COOPER (voice-over): -- which took place two days after. CLINTON: And you were there. I want to thank you. I want to thank you Anderson. I'm hard on the press, as you know from reading the book, in many ways. But couple people came in for, you know, good descriptions and praise and I thought the way you started that debate, what you said in the beginning, needed to be said, and I really appreciated that.
COOPER (voice-over): What you're referencing is my first question to President Trump which was, you know, describing what he talked about. He described as locker room talk and I said that is sexual assault, do you understand that? We wrestled as a co-moderator. We wrestled with how to handle the "Access Hollywood" tape. I'm wondering when the "Access Hollywood" tape came out two days before this debate, did you wrestle with what to say about it?
CLINTON: Well, first of all we were shocked, and we were, you know, totally surprised at something like that existed and had come out. And we did wrestle with it because we wanted to let people see it, we didn't want to get in the way of people being able to draw their own conclusions, but we also, you know, wanted to, you know, reference it because I found it very troubling both personally and politically.
COOPER (voice-over): Do you understand women who voted for Donald Trump as president even though they heard what he said on the "Access"? Do you respect women who voted for Donald Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tape?
CLINTON: Here's what I would say about that, I think what happened after that tape, which was wall to wall coverage, certainly affected a lot of people. And I think a lot of women were very concerned about that, and I knew that it would be tough to -- I won women, I won all women, but I lost white women, and I knew that would be tough. But I ended up actually getting more white women's votes than President Obama had in 2012. So this is not just a problem for me. This was a longer-term Democratic nominee problem. So I knew I was going to have to work on it.
And when that happened and the way -- really, it was a horrific two to three day story and then it sort of dropped, because, remember, within an hour of that tape going public.
COOPER (voice-over): Wikileaks.
CLINTON: Wikileaks dropped John Podesta's e-mails. I struggled with that. I thought, why would somebody find what largely I think could be described as boring anodyne (ph) e-mails more significant than words coming out of Trump's mouth.
COOPER (voice-over): Also at that debate, there was -- it was the most tense room I've ever been in for the first 30 minutes certainly to the debate. You didn't shake hands with each other. And there was the physicality of Donald Trump walking around the stage. I'm just wondering what was going through your mind at that point.
CLINTON: Well, as I write, you know, I prepared for him to try to use his size and his presence to intimidate me. As I was walking out to get on the debate --
COOPER (voice-over): -- you would actually --
CLINTON: Yes, I practiced. And, you know, one of the members of my team said, remember, he's trying to get inside your head. I said, yes, you think, because I knew that the best way he could respond given what that tape showed was to try to assert, you know, the alpha male, it's just locker room talk stuff. So we practiced that. And I concluded after practicing it that I needed to just remain calm and composed because if I said anything that acknowledged it, I was afraid that it would look like I couldn't take it, that I wasn't, you know, really tough enough, that this guy was looming over me, I should just be able to proceed. That's what I did.
In retrospect in writing the book, I thought, you know, because my head was -- like running all through the debate. Like, this is really discomforting. This is weird. I've debated other people. What he's doing is deliberately meant to throw me off. Maybe I should say something, you know, like turn around, you're not going to intimidate me, back off, you creep. But I concluded no. I wanted to remain composed, you know, it was just --
[21:20:09] COOPER (voice-over): Was it distracting for you?
CLINTON: It wasn't --
COOPER (voice-over): -- obviously you weren't looking at him.
COOPER (voice-over): Did you see him out of the corner of your eye?
CLINTON: Yes, you could. I mean, you could feel the presence. And, you know, maybe it's a skill that women particularly develop because, you know, we have to be aware of our surroundings. I certainly was aware of him.
And, you know, I won the debate according to the analysts and all the rest of that, but as I say in the book, I think that what he did and what he tried to, and his insulting me, calling me a nasty woman in a third debate, all of that played to his base. So both the men and women who were in his base in the Republican base, they were rationalizing their support for him all the time. It was like, well, yes, it probably as locker room. Oh my gosh, you know, look, the director of the FBI said she may go to jail. OK, well, locker room isn't as bad as that.
So there was a constant weighing back and forth. And at the end he got 90 percent of the Republican vote, I got 90 percent of the Democratic vote and it was in part because I think a lot of people who voted for him said, well, he won't really be like that as president and besides we want our tax cuts and we want to make sure that we get a supreme court justice. So I think there was heavy rationalization going on in that last month.
COOPER (voice-over): You spent a lot of time in the book talking about how much comfort your husband gave you throughout the campaign --
COOPER (voice-over): -- and obviously in the last couple months. You wrote, "I know some people wonder why we're still together that we must have an arrangement. We do, it's called the marriage. But I helped him become president and then stayed so he could help me become president, no, that we live completely separate lives and it's just a marriage on paper. Now he's reading over my shoulder in our kitchen with our dogs underfoot." I'm wondering why you felt the need to include that in the book?
CLINTON: You know, I talked about Bill, I talked about Chelsea, and I talked about my mother, and I talked about my friends, because in the book I have a chapter called on being a woman in politics where I really do try to take on sexism and misogyny. But I also wand to make it clear, first of all, that putting yourself out there in politics, in public life, can be immensely rewarding. But that's not all that's important in life by any means. And so I wanted to really, again, kind of pull the curtain back and say, you know, I lost a presidential campaign that I thought I was going to win, it was devastating, but I have so many blessings in my life, starting with my husband and the life we built together.
COOPER (voice-over): You also wrote that during the -- what you described as the dark days of your marriage, the two questions you asked yourself was, do I still love him and can I stay in this marriage without being unrecognizable to myself? Were those easy questions to answer?
CLINTON: No, they were really hard questions. You know, anybody alive in America at that time knows how difficult that period was. And, you know, I really had to struggle, and I had a lot of angst, you know. I had to fall back on my face, and my family and my friends. But I wasn't going to be making a decision that other people wanted me to make, or that public pressure was, you know, coming in on me. I was going to make my decision, and it was based on those two questions and, you know, the life we had built together. And I'm very glad that's the way I chose to continue my life.
COOPER (voice-over): Chelsea Clinton was a surrogate for you during the campaign. Ivanka Trump was a surrogate for President Trump. If you had won, would Chelsea Clinton have an office in the West Wing? Would she be able to drop in on meetings with Congressional leaders?
CLINTON: No. It wouldn't even cross her mind. And she got a very active life. She's written couple great books and --
COOPER (voice-over): Is it appropriate?
CLINTON: You know, it's up to a president to decide who is or is not welcomed in any meeting. That's up to a president. And I, you know, can only speak for myself. And the White Houses I've been in and the work that I've done. And I think there's not enough expertise and experience yet in the White House right now. I think -- COOPER (voice-over): Does it concern you that Jared Kushner, I mean,
somebody as you work to Secretary of State who work obviously on Middle East peace, does it concern that Jared Kushner is -- seems to be the point person?
CLINTON: Well, it concerns me that the deep well of experience and expertise that our country has to offer, our foreign service has to offer, that outside experts have to offer is largely being disregarded. And, you know, if you look at what's happening in North Korea, we need to have an intensive diplomatic effort. That requires people who know the culture, know the history, know the languages that are involved. I don't see that happening. And then you can pick anywhere else in the world and draw the same conclusion.
So we are not engaging in state craft the way we need to. It's not that individuals can't be part of team who may have different expertise or perspectives. That's fine. But teams need to be led by people who understand the history and how we got to where we are in order to make progress.
[21:25:13] COOPER (voice-over): In the book you make no attempt to hide your displeasure about the Electoral College. You say in page 386, you say the God forsaken Electoral College. You mentioned winning the popular vote obviously multiple times in the book.
COOPER (voice-over): Do you think the Electoral College should be abolished?
CLINTON: I said that in 2000 after what happened to 2000 election with Al Gore. I was elected to the Senate that same year, and if you look at our recent history, we've had several candidates, nominees, who have won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College? What does that say? And it says that an anachronism that was designed for another time no longer works if we've moved toward one person, one vote, that's how we select winners. I was amused after the French election when I was listening to an interview with a French electoral expert. He said, well, unlike your country the person who wins the most votes wins. So I think it needs to be eliminated. I'd like to see us move beyond it, yes.
COOPER (voice-over): You also mention in the book that after you realized you lost, you thought about all the lock her up chants.
CLINTON: Yes, right.
COOPER (voice-over): And that Donald Trump had said -- actually was at the second debate, Donald Trump said if he was president, you would be in jail. Is that something you seriously worried about?
CLINTON: Well, I knew I had no reason to worry about it. But I --
COOPER (voice-over): But worry that he might make that effort.
CLINTON: You can't predict what he might do. That's one of the lessons I think we've seen so far in this presidency. But, you know, like so much else, I just kind of moved beyond that. I got interested in cleaning my closets and, you know, taking long walks in the woods, things that helped me recover from that loss.
COOPER: Coming up, Hillary Clinton on the senator, Bernie Sanders, the future of the Democratic Party and whether she thinks that President Trump will run again in 2020.
[21:30: 54] COOPER: More now from my one-on-one interview with Hillary Clinton today. We talked about the two men she faced in 2016, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, and what she think about the future of our democracy.
COOPER (voice-over): DO you think Donald Trump has moved beyond the election? I mean, he does talk about you still a lot.
CLINTON: It does. Yes, he does talk about me quite a bit. I don't think. I would think he had a lot more important things to spend his time on. He's got, you know, crises all around the world to deal with, he's got divisiveness in our country, he's got the terrible events of Charlottesville and so much else going on that I think he should be focus on rather than constantly trying to take pot shots at me or at President Obama. He does that quite often too.
COOPER (voice-over): Just a quick other questions. Senator Sanders, obviously, he has a strong voice now in the Democratic Party, comes under a lot of criticism from you in the book. What political sin did he commit other than choosing to go run against you?
CLINTON: Well, it's not the political sin he committed. It was the failure to move quickly to unify the party and his supporters. And I know a little bit about this.
COOPER (voice-over): After it was clear that he was --
CLINTON: It was clear I was going to be the nominee like in March or April. It was beyond any doubt in June. And in '08 we ran a much closer, tougher primary contest between President Obama and myself. It was really close. And I immediately endorsed him, and I went to work for him. I spent countless hours, Anderson, convincing my supporters who felt equally grieved that they had to support Barack Obama. I was still arguing with big rooms of supporters at the Denver Convention. I didn't get that same, you know, respect and reciprocity from Senator Sanders or from his supporters. They're still, you know, incredibly divisive. And I'm interested in what he can do to help elect Democrats. He's not a Democrat, he makes that clear. But we need to do everything possible to win governorships in New Jersey and Virginia this year, and we need to do everything possible to flip the Congress in 2018. He could be helpful if he so chose, and that's what I'm calling on him to do. COOPER (voice-over): Do you think Donald Trump will be a candidate in 20.
CLINTON: Well, he's already got a committee open. He's raising a lot of money. So I think he thinks he will be. And we'll have to wait and see what happens.
COOPER (voice-over): To those who hear your interviews you've done, see the book coming out and think is this what the Democratic Party really needs, that they need fresh leadership, they need new voices, new people entering the arena, and that by you being on the stage in such a public way, it hampers that.
CLINTON: I don't buy that at all. I think, you know, from my perspective, I have a lot of experience and expertise and insight that I'm sharing with the world, and particularly with Democrats. I've got a new organization called onward together. I'm supporting young grassroots groups that have sprung up to recruit candidates, train them, run them, fund them. I'm going to supporting candidates. So I'm may be out of politics as a candidate but I'm still deeply committed to doing anything I can to make sure that we don't lose ground to this divisive bigotry and bias and prejudice and, you know, favoring the wealthy and the well-connected over everybody else that I see as the agenda of this White House.
COOPER (voice-over): You know, General Michael Hayden, I have him on my show a lot, and, you know, his lifetime in intelligence work, one of the things he talks about is the thin veneer of civilization and that he's very concerned that it is a thin veneer, that we think our institutions are so solid that our democracy is so secure that nothing can offset (ph) and nothing can wipe away that thin veneer of civilization. Do you worry about that?
CLINTON: I worry about it all the time. I've heard Mike Hayden talked to you about that. And I know he's written about it. And it's a very serious, sober warning.
[21:34:57] You know, civilization, in part, is the institutionalization of the rule of law, of minority rights, of a free press, of the kinds of incredible guarantees that we made as a nation from our very founding. Civilization also requires leadership so that when people start engaging in white supremacy talk and they parade as neo-Nazis and they are in the Ku Klux Klan, and they are unbridled in the internet with their racist and sexist and other kinds of insulting comments. We need leadership at the highest levels of our government. To say that's not acceptable.
Part of what makes us this dynamic extraordinary country which I'm very optimistic about long term is our diversity, is the fact that we brought people together from all over to be part of the American dream and the American experiment.
So our civilization which has the attributes of the kind of institutional supports and democracy and citizenship and voting being absolutely core to that, has to be defended internally and externally. And I'm just hoping more people, and particularly more Republicans will speak up because if we begin to see the erosion of the rule of law and the erosion of our voting system and so much else, that's not going to stop by hurting Democrats for heaven sakes. That hurts our entire country. It undermines who we are as Americans. So I think that people like Mike Hayden as many other as possible need to be speaking out and standing up and saying just that.
COOPER (voice-over): Secretary Clinton thanks very much.
COOPER: Joining me now is CNN Chief Political Analyst, Gloria Borger, CNN Political Analyst and author of the, "A WOMAN IN CHARGE: The life of Hillary Rodham Clinton", Carl Bernstein, and CNN Political Director, David Chalian.
Gloria, does it seem to you that Hillary Clinton is more candid than she was as a candidate and throughout much of her public life?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: She seemed to be so much more conversational with you, and she seemed to be unburdened to a degree. I mean, she's clearly gone through so much. But one thing about losers, people who lose elections, and I've spent a lot of time interviewing those people, is I think they actually -- unlike politicians who are still looking for the next race, they actually sit back and they think about what happened because they have the time to do it. And it's clear, not only because she was writing this book, but there are lots of walks in the woods as she talks about, and that she has given this an awful lot of thought. And so I did see somebody different there who wasn't on the high wire as she put it, you know.
COOPER: Carl, how about you? You wrote the book about her. Do you see any difference?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, it's an admirable book and it's very revealing in many ways and she's introspective which is something she has never --
COOPER: She's funny at times.
BERNSTEIN: -- never demonstrated before. And, like your interview, she comes across with the most admirable aspects of her intelligence, her conversational manner as well as her ability to synthesize ideas and analyze politics.
What never comes through, though, in the book and in the interview is that she made it possible for Donald Trump to be president. The short comings were hers. That she should never have been in a position where Comey couldn't have taken advantage of the server.
COOPER: -- been that close.
BERNSTEIN: Well, the server -- she put it out there for Comey to investigate. It was her conduct that did that in the first place. So some of the things that she goes to others for, had they not been in place by her actions, including even with the Russians. She's going to turn out, I think we're going to -- about to find out that the Russians were a lot more effective than is commonly believed in this election, and she knows some things too. That's evident, and I think I know from people that she knows some things that the intelligence community knows about what was done and about where some of these investigations are heading.
But nonetheless, she allowed Donald Trump to become president of the United States through her own weaknesses, call it character, call it an inability to campaign effectively, her actions --
COOPER: David, I mean, do you think she takes responsibility enough?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: She certainly does in the book. I mean, she goes through a whole list of the mistakes that she believes wholeheartedly are hers and that she identifies though. I don't think she's quite as passionate about those mistakes as the external factors that she talks about quite a bit, Russia, Comey, sexism, the press' handling of the e-mail story. Those grievances get her more passionate writing in book I think than her own faults. But this notion -- where you started the interview with her, this notion of 25 years on the public stage and we are now -- I can't imagine that Hillary Clinton ever in the campaign would give you a demonstration of alternative nostril breathing ever, ever. I mean, you look at that moment --
[21:40:09] COOPER: I got to say I was -- we were discussing, my producer and I were discussing whether or not to ask that question because it is in the book. It's kind of a funny part in the book. And I was like, she's not going to demonstrate it.
BERNSTEIN: If you know her, that aspect of her, that playful aspect of her has always been there. She's never been able to bring it to the table in terms of her politics.
COOPER: That's the thing --
BERNSTEIN: -- but everyone who knows her had seen those moments.
COOPER: -- one-one or in group --
BORGER: Right, and I --
BERNSTEIN: She's funny, she's really funny.
BORGER: And I think you saw that tonight when she was doing her demonstration. I also think it has something to do with being a woman. Because the ability to be introspective and not to just say, well, I'm moving on to the next thing and we're going to do this when I got my organization and I've got -- she actually made it very clear how much this hurt her and how she was trying to get over it. And yes, I think she did in the book and in your interview talk about things like the e-mails and that was -- I mean, you know. Clearly she can't get away from that, but it's very clear how much time she has spent thinking about what she did wrong and what happened to her. And she's quite open about it. And I think part of that has to do with gender quite --
BERNSTEIN: She knows she bears some responsibility beyond what she says in the book. I've talked to enough people that she's talked to. She has a pretty good idea of how she made herself vulnerable. That's the real point. And yet, we see her here, the brilliance of her analysis of what happened including the racism, including the misogyny, it's all really there. I mean, it's demonstrable the more we learn, the more we analyze the election. It's there. It's not made up.
CHALIAN: I thought the sexism stuff and misogyny stuff was actually some of the most interesting stuff from the interview, Anderson, because she even said, you know, I wasn't sure that I wanted to write about this because people would say you're making an excuse, and yet she dedicate -- at chapter two, did delve into it with you. And I thought, this is -- this is the way -- I'm sure Hillary Clinton has these thoughts all the time throughout her career, but she never really publicly shared them, the deep thinking about those kinds of societal things. And we got that from here -- listening to her in a way --
COOPER: You know, it's interesting -- former President Obama will he discuss race in a different way now that he is no longer president when he is writing a book and looking back. You know, as president he was very, you know, measured and careful in what he was saying. That'll be interesting to see if time --
BORGER: I'm sure he will, because you're not looking for the next vote. You're not looking for the next campaign. You're not -- it's not a career move anymore, you know. The book she's written in the past have been career moves. They've been about what's going to happen next and resume building and everything --
BERNSTEIN: They're not very good books.
CHALIAN: She'll be looking to solidify a legacy.
CHALIAN: And here she was working through something much more --
COOPER: I will say I was dreading reading this book. I read it over the weekend --
COOPER: -- and I actually enjoyed it.
BERNSTEIN: No, it's a good read. There are times when there's sanctimony. But she's entitled to a little sanctimony.
COOPER: We'll take a quick break. More with the panel ahead. As you expect, the Trump White House is slamming Hillary Clinton's new book. How they're firing back, next.
[21:47:24] COOPER: The White House is firing back at Hillary Clinton over her new memoir in the 2016 election as you saw tonight in my interview with Ms. Clinton. She isn't shy about going after the Trump administration and folks on the West Wing they certainly noticed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that type of misunderstanding of who this president is and, frankly, a misunderstanding of what he's been doing is exactly one of the reasons that Hillary Clinton is not the president and is instead pushing a book with a lot of false narratives and a lot of, I think, false accusations and placing blame on a lot of other people instead of accepting it herself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back now with the panel. Just before the break when I said, you know, I was dreading reading this book but I actually enjoyed it. I just dread reading any sort of political look back, because usually to your point earlier it's about I'm running -- I'm about to run for president so I write a book that hardly anybody reads, and -- but us reporters are the ones that have to read it.
BORGER: Right. And this was -- first of all, this book it's interesting because everyone does want to know what she was thinking and she delivers on that. Because she does let you to know how painful it was and what she was thinking and how she really feels about Comey.
COOPER: The fact that she's sitting there during the inauguration on the platform --
COOPER: -- thinking about other failed candidates going back all the way to John Adams. You know, sort of --
BORGER: And how all these people mistreated her and how she didn't let them get away with it.
COOPER: Right. And she spent a good deal of time trying not to make eye contact with people who had been cruel to her.
BERNSTEIN: Let's look at with Sarah Huckabee Sanders just said there. Because she's wrong, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, because Hillary Clinton's analysis and what she asserts about Donald Trump in this book is on the money. She's got him. She's got the information. She's got the analysis. She talks about the racism that he appeals to and what happened during his presidency and about Russia. She knows what she's talking about and it's really on point. But what she doesn't do is recognize that she may have been the wrong person all along to carry the message against Donald Trump. She's not effective at it as a campaigner. She wasn't. And I'm not sure that she would be today. She has been, look, she has been the most famous woman in the world for 25-30 years. She is as much or more of a celebrity going into this election than Donald Trump was. And she's evaluated partly for having been in this bubble for 30 years, the charges against her of being entitled, acting entitled. There's something to it. There's something about some arrogance there. That she's vulnerable on counts that she really may not be able to help herself as a candidate, but she is right about what she says about Donald Trump.
[21:50:10] COOPER: You know, when she says things in this book, I mean, she's certainly talking about Bernie Sanders in a way that she wasn't talking about him during the campaign. And you can take issue with the facts of what she's saying or whether she should be saying it but she gets criticized if she holds back and doesn't say stuff but then when she does write stuff of, you know, thinking Jason Chaffetz and Reince Priebus and what she says about Bernie Sanders, people think, oh, she's gone too far. She shouldn't have said that.
CHALIAN: Right, well, it is interesting hearing just how irks the Bernie Sanders primary challenge was to her and still is to this day. I mean, she clearly --
COOPER: And that he didn't support her like, once it was clear he wasn't going to win --
CHALIAN: Right, that he did not -- as she said to you, didn't offer the same level of respect by quickly moving to support her and consolidate his supporters to support her in a way that she thinks you know, (INAUDIBLE) that she did with Barack Obama. She clearly -- and still making the point that he's not a Democrat, challenging him of what he needs to do for the Democratic Party. This is somebody who still to this day -- her talking to you is under her skin.
BORGER: I think she decided, if I don't do it now, I'm never going to do it. And this is, you know, you either all in or you're not. And in the books she also criticizes, for example, Joe Biden who she says criticized her.
BERNSTEIN: She settles some stories. Let's get clear about that.
BORGER: She does settles some scores, but I think she probably made the decision, now or never and it's going to be now and I'm going to tell the truth about how I really felt and people are going to get angry at me and there it is. So what?
BERNSTEIN: And part of thing that happened with Bernie Sanders and during that primary campaign was a lot of focus on her speeches to the Goldman Sachs groups. And again, she put herself in that position.
BORGER: Yes. BERNSTEIN: Bernie Sanders didn't put herself -- put her there. She didn't need that money. She's the one that said to Diane Sawyer out of the gate, well, we left the White House dead broke, you know. She made these errors and that set her up for a lot of things that occurred. She's never been a good candidate in terms of anything like her or her husband and she was, in many ways, the worst possible candidate to run against Donald Trump.
COOPER: We got to go. Thanks, everybody.
Coming up, we're going to go back to Florida. Bill Weir got on the boat this week and he just made it to the end of key all the way, the Key West. He's finally off of that boat, has captured incredible images along the way. I'll talk to him about what he saw next.
[21:56:30] COOPER: In the battered Florida Keys, anxious residents are returning to their homes or what's left to them and others must have to wait. Irma has devastated much of the island chain. It's hard to get to some places by car. Bill Weir did the next best thing. He got on a boat this week to travel the entire length of the Keys. He's finally arrived at the end in Key West. He joins us now. So Bill, what have you seen?
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, you know, when we left Key Largo, it was truly a trip into the heart of darkness. We had heard rumors that there were dozens of bodies floating, the destruction was unfathomable but the result is so much happier than that. It could have been so much worse. Everyone we talked to, not one person knows that someone who perished in Irma. I talked to the pilot, the guy who leads the big ships into Key West Harbor. He says the channels are clear to bring big ships in with humanitarian aid.
We had a supply, some of my colleagues -- supply delivery come all the way down, they drove U.S. 1 and reported that the roads are in pretty good -- really good shape and when they are not they are being fixed immediately. The high-tension lines held. The southern mile bridge held. We had water for two hours today. So the luxury of actually washing our faces for the first time since Irma was over Cuba.
But it's still a big job ahead and I finally got a chance to look at some of my photos I've been taking along the way as we followed that sort of line of tragic flats them up, blown on to U.S. 1. We met Billy, the fireman, picking up his toilet paper holder off of the ground and sort of a stunned gaze and that box with the baby book from the 1950s. We found a neighbor who promised to return it to the owner. And then there was dub at the sea point condominium there in Marathon, Florida, who rode it out as it was sandblasted into the elevator, the height of your chest. And the first thing he did once Irma left is hang old glory. There's also an American flag in this shot here. This is Key West. Just so many destroyed yachts, so many shipwrecks here. But this was the scene right outside our boat today, people swimming, having a good time as they do in Key West.
And I do have to say, if you feel for the folks in the Florida Keys, you want to help out, of course there are humanitarian organizations or you can hire a guy like Captain Bam-Bam and his girlfriend Tiffany who looked as up when we met. The Sea Spirit, This guy risked his livelihood, Anderson, to bring us down here, no idea what would happen to his boat and these guys rely on the health of these waters and the health of this economy. So everybody on that, all the locals want the rest of the country to know they are OK and they're going to be opened for business as soon as they can clean up this very big mess.
COOPER: Bill, dare I ask why they call him Captain Bam-Bam?
WEIR: Because he played middle linebacker at Key Largo high school football and hit like Fred Flinstone's kid, Bam-Bam, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COOPER: Bill, I love the fact that you just knew that, that you didn't even have to ask because clearly you had already asked him that because that's the kind of reporter you are. Bill Weir, yes.
WEIR: We've been roommates for the past four days, man.
COOPER: All right, well, please thank Captain Bam-Bam and his girlfriend. Bill Weir, thank you as well. Our coverage continues tonight with Don Lemon. "CNN Tonight" starts right now, Bam-Bam.
DON LEON, CNN HOST: Here's a breaking news and it's a horrific one. Eight nursing home patients die in Florida in the sweltering heat. The home temporarily shut down. Now a criminal investigation is underway.
This is "CNN Tonight". I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for joining us.