tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC September 4, 2016 8:00am-9:00am MST
starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. sprint to the finish. and still more e-mail questions. >> that is just one more clinton lie. >> our exclusive interviews with both sides. vice presidential nominee tim kaine. and trump's campaign manager, kellyanne conway. plus -- >> to the east, to the right is russia. >> as tensions with russia rise, martha raddatz is on the front
is the cold war on the verge of reigniting? from abc news, this is "this week." here, now, co-anchor martha raddatz. >> good morning. it's labor day weekend. game on. counting the days. 65 to the election. 22 to the first debate. just 19 to the first early voting. but for all the sound and fury of the summer, we're more or less where we were in late spring. hillary clinton cautiously nursing a small but consistent lead. persistent questions about her trustworthiness making it hard for her to pull away. and donald trump still stuck around 40%. still wavering between speaking forcefully to his base and reaching out to undecided voters. donald trump at an african-american church in detroit saturday, getting an opportunity to reshape his image. reading from notes.
>> i fully understand that the african-american community has suffered from discrimination. and that there are many wrongs that must still be made right. >> reporter: contrast that to this, last month. unscripted, before a fired up nearly all-white crowd. >> i'm asking for the vote of every single african-american citizen. you're living in poverty. your schools are no good. what the hell do you have to lose? >> reporter: earlier this week, another tale of two tones. acting presidential in mexico. speaking diplomatically. >> the bond between our two countries is deep and sincere. >> reporter: but hours later in arizona. >> i am going to create a new special deportation task force. >> reporter: so how did that message play? with our partners at ssrs, we
67% had a negative one. just 27% were positive. but hillary clinton has her own image problems. our new abc news/"washington post" poll showing 56% of americans now see her unfavorably. up six points in three weeks. she's still avoiding questions. holding just one public event this week. she hasn't held a full-blown let's bring in the democratic vice presidential nominee, senator tim kaine of virginia. senator kaine, the fbi released more documents about the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mails and a summary of her interview with the fbi. let me just highlight what is new. she didn't seem to know what some classification marks meant. she said she relied on staff to tell her what was classified.
even after a congressional committee requested them. all she's said is that it was a mistake to use a personal server. don't the american people deserve a better explanation? >> and think they've gotten one. to add to what you just said, the reason these materials are being made public is that hillary clinton said, i want the public to see them. when congress asked the fbi, give us your notes, hillary clinton said, that's great, but let the american public see it. the notes demonstrate in significant detail why the fbi chose not to go forward with any additional proceeding. she did make a mistake. she made it by deciding she wanted to use one device rather than multiple devices. she's apologized for it. said it was a mistake. and she's learned from it. but these notes, which hillary urged be made public, demonstrate why the fbi saw no need for additional proceedings.
other side, i mean, just saying, contrast the disclosure with a donald trump, who won't even allow the american public to see his tax returns. >> let's go back to hillary clinton. this is an issue that americans care about. a majority of americans do not trust her. largely because of this e-mail issue. 66% do not trust her in the latest fox news poll. our abc/"washington post" poll shows a majority, 55% disapproved of the fbi's decision not to indiagnostic indict her. so again, isn't this an issue that she needs to better explain? >> that's why she asked them to be made public. when you read the materials and the articles about them, they go into significant detail about why the fbi concluded that there was no need for any additional proceedings. i contrast that with a donald trump. >> but senator kaine, she hasn't answered questions about that.
>> martha, i just have to disagree with you. i have sat with her while she's answered questions. answered questions about what she did and why. she said, look, by using one device, i made a mistake. i apologize for it. i've learned something. i wouldn't do it again. i want all the facts to come out. i'll talk to congressional committees. we'll provide the materials. fbi, release the materials to the public. but on the other hand, we have a candidate in donald trump who won't release his tax returns to the public after he promised to do so. talk about national security. he has openly encouraged russia to engage in cyberhacking to try to find more e-mails or materials. and we know that this cyberattack on the dnc was likely done by russia. a president was impeached and had to resign over an attack on the dnc during a presidential election in 1972. this is serious business. contrast the hillary situation, where the fbi said there's no
an attack that is being encouraged by donald trump on the dnc by russia, similar to what led to the resignation of a president 30 years ago. >> senator kaine, i want to ask you one specific question about hillary clinton's e-mails. let me go through a few specifics. from the very beginning of this, secretary clinton said she never sent or received any material marked classified. we learned earlier this summer that is not true. we did learn this week from her interview with the fbi she couldn't even identify the "c" classification in an e-mail and consistently could not identify classified information in e-mails the fbi showed her. how could she make such definitive statements if she couldn't recognize classified material? >> remember, my recollection of the jim comey testimony before congress was that many -- there
classified information that were improperly marked. when she received it, the material that is classified, which is supposed to be flagged, and identified as classified, was in many instances, improperly labeled. i'm on the armed services and foreign relations committees. we do look at classified material. we look at so much material. unless it's specifically pulled out and identified, it's difficult to know sometimes whether a statement or a paragraph is classified or not. that's what she was saying. unless it is identified in the way it should be, it's difficult to know whether particular material is classified. >> after decades in government. i do want to move on to foreign policy. you're giving a major foreign policy speech this week, emphasizing u.s. relationships with russia. i was over in that region with u.s. pilots where the tension is escalating. hillary clinton was in charge
russia. can you make an argument that it worked, given what has happened in crimea and syria? >> i don't think you can make an argument that the relationship with russia is in a good place right now. that's not the u.s.' fault. that's vladimir putin's. they violated an agreement by moving into a region of georgia they've destabilized the eastern ukraine. donald trump was not aware that putin had gone into crimea as recently as two weeks ago. he promised that pouten would not and had to be reminded that putin went in and took over crimea two years ago. this is one of a number of troubling instances where trump's coziness with putin, his cozy ps with russia. look, he's already had to let go
manafort, because of his ties -- >> i want to go back to the -- i want to talk about secretary clinton. poland's minister of foreign affairs said the reset was a kind of american weakness. suggested that nato is not as strong of an alliance as it was and that gave russia opportunity to act. they're talking about secretary clinton. >> martha, i think trying to -- look, i don't believe in a blame america first strategy. russia went into georgia when president bush was in office before president obama was elected. he went into crimea during the obama administration. but to try to say that's the u.s.' fault is ridiculous. the guy is a dictator, who represses journalists. there's another tie. donald trump is banning journalists from outlets. gnat he doesn't like from covering him on the campaign. he's taking lessons from putin and others. to say that putin's imperial ambitions are the fault of
ridiculous. >> let's talk about relationships with the press. you talk about donald trump. secretary clinton has not held a press conference in 274 days. you argue that she's talked to the press on the campaign trail. our campaign reporters and others say she doesn't answer that many questions. is this going to change? >> martha, she's had hundreds of interviews in the last year. i have to push back on the notion she hasn't done a press conference. she gave a speech to the national association of black journalists. within the last month, where there were also journalists, hispanic journalists there. she did a press conference there. members of mainstream media outlets, television networks, asked her questions. we're about to switch into a phase of the campaign where we'll be on planes and the press will be on the planes with us. which is something that donald trump does not allow. we're not banning press outlets from covering public events.
hillary's out on the trail, she's talking to the press. hundreds of interviews. i'm doing the same. the labor day to election day stretch that will ramp up more. we're not a campaign that is acting like putin and other dictators and banning press outlets from attending public events. that's un-american. that's what donald trump is doing. >> so we can expect a press conference, yes or no? >> um, there's been one in the last month, and you're going to see hillary very, very accessible to the press, as i will be between now and november 8th. >> thank you very much for joining us, senator kaine. >> you bet, martha. take care. now, let's get a response from the republican side. joining us is donald trump's campaign manager, kellyanne conway. and kellyanne, good morning. you heard tim kaine. pivoting from the e-mail questions to talking about trump's relationship to putin and the relationship with the press. your reaction? >> it's disappointing to see
because you're asking him very honest questions that the american people want answered. 17,448 e-mails were not turned over to the inspector general. that's in addition to the 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted. as you very correctly pointed out, if you see the "c" as the classification of national security information, folks know what that means. certainly a former united states senator, former first lady, and certainly the sitting secretary of state should know what the "c" means. polling data that you showed earlier really tells the tale here. hillary clinton is having a hard time being accepted as a truthful and honest candidate. vis a vis the american people. and i thought that senator kaine trying to pivot away to donald trump has really become my favorite parlor game these days. i watch secretary clinton. excuse me, senator kaine and others who defend them, when you ask them a question about them, it take them about ten words to get to donald trump's name.
she, they want this election to be about donald trump. the american people want this election to be about honesty and trustworthiness. and her being more accessible and forthcoming in her responses. i thought the fbi revelations on friday were nothing short of astonishing. >> in that train of thought. let's go to donald trump. because that's who you're here to talk about. i want to tie up loose ends after mr. trump's speech on immigration. he said the priority will be criminals and those who have overstayed their visas. that amounts to between 5 and 6.5 million people that he says will be quickly removed. the cost estimate for that is between $51 and $67 billion. how will he manage such a massive operation? and who will pay for it? >> he'll manage it the way it should have been managed all along. by enforcing the law and relying on the law enforcement officers and the i.c.e. officers to do their job. they've been completely
he says he'll triple the amount of i.c.e. agents. to try to help. if you look at everything he said in that ten-point immigration plan, it goes beyond that. it talk about the e-verify program. stopping the job and benefit magnet. securing the the southern border. building that wall. having mexico pay for it. at least you have a presidential candidate putting fourth a i thought it was astonishing to hear senator kaine tell you that the trump campaign is banning the media when they haven't had a press conference in 274 days. and americans know that the media cover the events. they turn on the tv every day and see donald trump taking the case to the voters, including the ten-point immigration plan. >> back to immigration. he said there will be no amnesty. all immigrants here illegally will be subject to deportation. will they be subject to deportation and removal or will they have to go?
going immediately. we don't know what that number is. we hear anything from 1 million to 2 million. of course, he has also said this being the most generous country to immigrants in the world, that if you want to come to america, and immigrate here legally, you should do that. >> and if they're not criminals. that has been very clear. he's talked about the criminals. if they aren't criminals, do they have to go? >> he has said that you should stand in line and immigrate legally. an also h do things that have never been done. >> so you're saying they have to go? >> what i'm saying is people can read the ten-point plan. at least we have one out there. the other side doesn't. >> that doesn't clear it up. do the people here that aren't criminals have to go? >> correct. but, no, he also said, once you enforce the law, once you get rid of the criminals, once you triple the number of i.c.e. agents, secure the southern border. once you turn off the jobs and
we don't know where we'll be. we don't know who will be left. we don't know where they live, who they are. that's the whole point here. we have actually never tried this. he'll rescind those amnesties and try to work with the congress. he's trying to solve a problem. he's said he wants to work with law enforcement and immigration officials to actually see what we have left after everything else is done. >> one more thing to clear up. mr. trump said in his meeting with mexico's president, they did not discuss payment for the wall. mexico's president says he told trump mexico will not pay for the wall. is the president of mexico lying? >> they disagree on that conversation. i think mr. trump clarified in arizona later that day that he'll build that wall. he's been consistent on that since day one. and he'll have mexico pay for it. his position has never changed on this side of the border or on that side of the border.
a very productive conversation. we were very happy to accept the invitation to have mr. trump there to talk about not just illegal immigration, a vexing issue for both sides, but drugs, human trafficking, and the sovereignty of each nation that is protected once you have a border in place. a prosperous and safe mexico benefits us. a prosperous and safe united states benefits mexico. we look forward to continuing that conversation with the mexican president. we were happy that mr. trump showed the leadership that a would-be president shows. >> let's move to the ground game and the path to 2016. you have said pennsylvania is part of your campaign's path to the white house. you're still down there by an average of seven points. on my recent visit there, lots of people were turned off by trump's aggressive, angry tone. can you win this race without pennsylvania? >> we can. but we're taking pennsylvania very seriously.
and that's something that we understand. we know that mr. trump's message has been resonant among a lot of the working -- a lot of the works who feel like they've been left behind in this economy. >> can you win without pennsylvania? >> yes, we can. absolutely. we have several paths to victory. i would point out the growing number of stories just this week about the clinton campaign, how she's being told just prepare for a landslide. run out the clock. don't go talk to the voters. she's doing this whiplash-like tour between hollywood, the raising money, ignoring the voters, thinking, hey, i've got this one. i can win this through virus paths through the electoral map. we're taking every state seriously. we're making investments this week with absentee ballot outreach. ads in 11, 12 states. pennsylvania is one of them. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. coming up, the two major
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given that just 1% of african-american voters support trump. how does he compare on to other republican nominees? ronald reagan won 14% of african-american voters in 1980. it's been downhill since then. george
w. bush got 8% in 2000. john mccain got just 1% in 2008. and in 2012, mitt romney just 4%. so where does trump stand after all this outreach? you'll hear directly from
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but is it working? trump needs to do better with black and latino voters, especially in pennsylvania, the key to a trump victory. we have been tracking the vote in that state all along, from blue collar supporters in the west to suburban swing voters in the east. and now the minority voters in the state's largest city. north philadelphia, in all its rich diversity. this is clinton country. at least it should be. do you trustil >> trust. define trust. >> reporter: it's not that s has to worry about lots of voters here supporting her rival. and how about donald trump? >> oh, that bad boy. >> reporter: with the candidate in single digits among black and latino voters, it takes guts to wear this. >> our country is getting lost. in so many ways. >> reporter: daphne goggins is a proud republican.
affects us in the job area. they act like black people don't want to work. it's like let any old body and everybody including terrorists or whoever is coming, we don't know who is coming through. >> reporter: but goggins is the exception. donald trump reached out and said to the african-american community, what are you got to lose? >> we're not buying it. we're not buying it. >> i don't know. i guess i'm voting for her because i'm not going to vote for trump. i -- um -- i don't really like her. >> reporter: it's that lack of enthusiasm for clinton that keeps her strategists up at night. why? because the philadelphia area provides pretty much the only reliable vote democrats have in this state. with a deep urban-rural divide. a couple of months ago, i went to western pennsylvania to see whether trump could turn out his base there. probably yes. >> he's no holds barred. he's straight to the point. >> reporter: trump needs pennsylvania.
dreams of the presidency here. but they need that fire wall of urban minority turnout. that got clinton through the primaries. who are you supporting in the presidential race? >> uh, hillary clinton. i think she's going to be better than donald trump. >> reporter: and you'll definitely vote? >> yes, i'm definitely voting. >> reporter: one down. many more votes to get out. so let's take deeper dive into the numbers behind those interviews and a bigger picture joining us now, abc news contributor republican pollster kristen soltis anderson and democratic pollster, margie omero. together, they host the podcast "the pollsters." welcome. >> thank you. >> so kristen, let's start with you. despite trump's overtures to the african-american community this week, polls don't appear to show that minorities are really
his national poll numbers are stuck in the low 40s. the campaign talked about the hidden trump vote not represented in the polls. is it credible? >> i think it's pretty overblown. if you look at reports of campaigns over decades, people point to things like large turnouts at rallies and say, we've got a lot more going on here than the polls suggest. there are more supporters and more momentum. there's no way to have evidence that the missing trump voter does exist. we can't really know. i think given that trump is down by four or five points in national polls, it's hard to see there being that big of a swing from a hid. trump vote. >> do you think it could be a huge difference for him? >> there may be a difference between polls from live calls versus online. perhaps social bias where people don't want to say to a live person that they're voting for trump. that's not a secret weapon. that's a sign of real weakness. the same effect that is causing republicans to endorse hillary
that's causing donald trump to be more unpopular with republicans than clinton is among democrats. this is a weakness, not a strength. >> let's talk about the high unfavorability of hillary clinton. a month ago, when you were on the show, you told me that it's yet to be determined whether clinton had improved favorability numbers or whether it was just a post-convention bump. our poll this week showed her favorability numbers are worse than they have ever been and voters i spoke to said they'll vote for her, as you heard, but don't necessarily trust her. does it matter at this point? or can trump keep pounding on that and do her more harm? >> well, somebody -- one of them is going to win with likely with some unfavorables. no disrespect to gary johnson. he doesn't seem to be taking off. you see now even in a regular election, which this is clearly not. candidates become more unfavorable as they get closer to election day. because ads are going on. you have debates. you have a lot more heated coverage as we head to election
and, i think there's more openness for clinton's favorabilities to move. given how they were after the convention. given that she's been net favorable up until this past year while at the same "washington post"/abc poll, trump has always been net unfavorable. >> should trump keep highlighting this mistrust of hillary clinton? >> i think absolutely. i think because right now, she has a lead that is commanding, but in some ways fragile. because there are so many voters or trump and who really don't like either of them, it's a fragile place to be if you're supposed to be ahead by four or five points. even after that great convention where they got this bounce that's already evaporated and she's hitting record-high unfavorables, that's not the place you want to be. and suggests that trump is on to something by continuing to pound that message. >> let's do what we did last time again. who would win the election if it were held today? kristin? >> i believe hillary clinton would win the election if it was
i go back to the same map we had obama versus mitt romney in 2012. i don't make many changes. the biggest is flipping ohio back into clinton's camp. >> margie? >> you would have to do gymnastics to suggest that trump would win. based on the data currently. she's clearly ahead in battleground states. even if you give him states where they're tied up by one or two, nevada, ohio, a north carolina, she still wins. >> great. so great to see both of you. we'll have you both back soon for regular checkups. >> okay, thanks. up next, our powerhouse "roundtable" is standing by with insights and analysis of where the race stands. two months before election day. and later, we have seen russia buzzing u.s. warships. intimidating nato allies and inching us closer to conflict. i travelled to the front lines
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so much to talk about this morning. i want to start with clinton's fbi interview that was released this week. you heard tim kaine basically say, you know, nothing to see. she's made a mistake. let's move on. is it damaging? is this week any more damaging than it has been in the past? >> a shoutout to st. mother teresa. great day. an example of humble servant leadership that we would like to see t campaign. i think it's really damaging. it feeds two problems she has. as you noted in the earlier segments, the majority of the country doesn't trust her. this only adds to the problem in this. the second problem is it looks like it's just typical washington, d.c., status quo, corruption. they only do it for themselves. in it for themselves. they're not transparent. and both of those things are not helpful in a race that, though,
going to be very close until the very end. >> steve, i want to ask you, this document dump was the old typical washington friday afternoon before a holiday. will it resonate with voters? >> it has resonated over time. the clinton campaign is frustrated that we in the media talk about it so much. but it's a thing that people can grab on to. in your interview with kellyanne conway, the trump campaign manager, she made a very perceptive point. she said clinton's people want everyone to be thinking about trump. and then change to try to talk about clinton. this is an election where each campaign seems to prefer that voters go into the voting booth thinking about the other guy. that's a strange place. >> julie, one more thing on the e-mails. the state department is going to release secretary clinton's schedule. that will put a focus on the clinton foundation. if anything was going on between the clinton foundation and the state department getting special access. what do you expect from that? do you know what that will show? >> it's important to know that the state department is doing this under pressure.
other news organizations. this is not something they've been willingly putting out into the public. right now, we have about half of her detailed schedules. this will be another fairly substantial period if you look at the information we do have, it shows some overlap between the meetings she had that she had most discretion over and clinton foundation donors. you're likely to see something similar to some extent in these other schedules. >> lz, let's move to the unfavorability. they're both have such high ratings. our polls shore is at an all-time low. among registered voters. now on par with donald trump at 59% and 60% respectively. you heard tim kaine. is the campaign doing enough to try to solve that problem? >> they think what they're doing now is not adding to the problem. i speak with people inside her circle. one of the reasons they don't like her in large groups is because she doesn't play well
it will make her look more staged, more strategic and less authentic. it's a purposeful strategy. why she's not doing press conferences, because that would only add to unfavorabilities. the e-mail thing, is just terrible, in my opinion. you start looking at the rationale. matthew and i were joking. she thought the "c" was to help her put things in alphabetical order. but there's no "a," no "b," and no "d." so it only makes you look silly. >> and she's been at it for decades and decades. as a senator on the armed serves things. >> she is judged, i have to say, all of the controversy surrounding donald trump and her, she's judged on a ginger rogers standard. the bar is so low for him. ginger rogers, she did everything that fred astaire did but backwards in heels. the bar is so low for donald trump that we let it pass that his foundation mistakenly or did whatever a contradiction to the attorney general of florida that in the end, she dropped a suit
in the end, both of them have problems. i want to make one point in this. do they each need to solve their likability and trust problems? yes. more importantly, i think they need to solve them. if hillary clinton gets elected with the majority of the country not liking her, it will be very difficult to govern. >> either one of them. >> either one. >> when you look forward four year, that's our next story. we'll wait until after the election day for more on that. let's talk about trump's trip to mexico, steve. his visit to mexico. was there. down in mexico, so soft and came back here and just ripped right back into that immigration plan. i want to say here, though, i've watched diplomats over the years. sometimes they stay something very different overseas than when they're back home. >> sure. that is not too surprising. there's a little bit of insight we got about donald trump when he talked to laura ingraham the conservative host the next day. he was explaining the difference in tone. he said if i spoke like i did to
crowd in phoenix, it would be really boring. they would fall asleep. it's a funny line. he's said it before. but it raises the question, are you being pulled along by the crowd? who are you playing to there? it raises a question that every candidate has to face. >> does he look like a washington politician, julie? >> i think that is the biggest risk for donald trump. if you look at his immigration speech, yes, he did clarify he will stick with the wall, have mexico pay for it. various other pieces about deportations. he left open in way that most politicians often do, the toughest part of his issue, what you do with the people that would be left here who are not legal, do not commit crimes. that is why the problem is so difficult. donald trump casts himself as someone who will tackle the hard problems. tell people the solutions even if they're not what they want to hear. and yet, in this opportunity to do so, he passed. >> and hard as we try, we e
lz, what are your thoughts on his trip down there. different here, down there. too tough on immigrants. how does he attract the minority vote? >> i don't think he will. i don't think he's trying to. i think he's trying to make white people feel better about voting for him. white voters don't want to vote for a racist. if he doesn't look like a racist, then you feel better about voting for him. nothing that he's done or said in the last three weeks, seems appealing largely speaking. >> do you think he was reaching out to white voters yesterday? >> absolutely. absolutely. he's in a black church. there clapping and swaying. they go, look, he's not a racist. he's there with black people. >> donald trump could get the lowest level of nonwhite support. the other interesting thing is hillary clinton could win this election with the lowest level of white support of anybody since george mcgovern lost in a
certain segment of the country in a certain way to get 43 or 44% of the vote and another, as another part of this thing, that is not going to go well as we go through this and in the aftermath of this election. >> that's also part of just the party situation as well. democrats have been hemorrhaging white voters for decades. we know, basically since nixon, minorities have been fleeing the republican party. >> i have to give credit, george w. bush in 2000 and 2004 set new and actually tried. unlike what the trump people are saying, it's the first time a republican has appeared in a black church is totally wrong. not true. the first time republicans have appealed to black voters, wrong in the course of this. whites is are problems for democrats. nonwhites are problems for republicans. >> steve, moderators chosen this week. i will say, yes, i was chosen as a moderator. >> awesome. >> just to get that out there.
>> first and last round of applause i'll get on that one. that's for sure. steve, can the debates reset this race? >> no. i mean, they don't. they don't. >> wait a minute. >> over time, you look over time, polls don't necessarily change that much. there will be drama. it will be a spectacle to watch. i'll be watching you and listening to your questions. >> hope it's not a spectacle. >> it will be maybe a spectacle not in a bad way. it will be ek troerd interesting. it's extraordinarily important to our democracy that everybody or a lot of people sit down and watch these people and think about them. but these are two individuals who have been in the public eye for decades. so one night is not necessarily going to make a difference unless one of them -- something horrible happens. >> there's probably not been a debate quite like this one. and i think people are eagerly anticipating -- >> singular debates have effects. debates overall don't. singular debates have an effect. i think this debate has a huge upside for donald trump, potential.
>> i think it's the opposite. i think if she gets him one on one -- >> i'm not saying he's going to win. >> if she can make him look incompetent, because of his lack of knowledge of policies, particular foreign policy, that will sway people. >> if you were donald trump, what would you do approaching the debates? is it the donald trump that attracts the voters that h now or does he change slightly? or is there something in between? >> i think his biggest weakness in a general election is that a lot of voters don't see him as presidential. his base will stay with him. his base is loyal to him through and through. he needs to go up there and look like someone that people can imagine for four years sitting in the oval office. going around the world and meeting with world leaders. >> read a briefing book before the debate. that would be my advice. read a briefing book. >> just read, period. >> all right, all right, all right. enough, enough, enough. okay, thanks to all of you.
the world's top leaders at the g-20 summit in china, where he's expected to go one on one with russian president vladimir putin. the meeting comes as america's allies in eastern europe face an increasingly aggressive russia. and fear further incursion like putin's annexation of crimea. it's a threat our next commander in chief will face. and we took to the skies over estonia for a first-hand look at what the u.s. military is doing to counter it.
>> reporter: taking off in an f-15 vertically. a backseat ride with the u.s. air force. >> here we go. in the gs. >> reporter: we're flying along the newest front line in a reignited cold war, where tensions with russia have steadily escalated. russia not afraid to flex its muscles. buzzing u.s. warships. >> we have two russian planes. currently conducting multiple passes. >> to conflict. to counter? war games. the u.s. training with its european partners. >> our main goal is to try to keep the enemy as far away from what we're trying to protect as we can. >> reporter: lieutenant colonel jason zumwalt explains today's mission. ten f-15 fighter jets split into two groups. i'm one of the bad guys. >> we're going to i.d. you, target you, make you go away before you can get to what we're trying to protect. >> you say make me go away?
success. >> reporter: not a real missile. but they are trying to replicate real threats. my pilot, major ben leestma, call sign trap has been flying for 14 years. you're training that some real-life thing could happen at any minute. >> we're prepared to handle that. lucky to this point, we have skated clean. we're going to go inverted in a minute here. roll in left. >> reporter: back in the sky, a 360-degree turn. the dog fight is on. >> fight's on. >> we'll try to target them. they will more than likely target us first and kill us out. >> group bull's eye. 2-0. >> reaper 6 is dead. >> reporter: we're dead? >> yes, we got shot. >> reporter: okay, we got shot. at times, pulling more than 6 gs. the f-15s practicing precision air-to-air combat.
just over to the east, to the right is russia. moments later, we hear from the russians. real russian pilots. over the radio. a warning, territory, territory. the russian pilots cautioning the americans about crossing their border. the americans denied that, calling this just another provocative tactic. the mission ending without incident. this american show of force a critical deterrent. as estonia's american-educated president was quick to tell me -- >> when the world sees aggression, you have to have real exercises. >> what do you think the intent is? >> there's no rhyme or reason or logic to it, other than perhaps to keep everyone off balance. i'm more afraid of a stupid accident. this is why being in nato is very different than not being in
then they don't know what to expect should they do something. that's a big difference. >> reporter: one big reason that exercises like these are going to continue. for more, let's bring in retired colonel steve ganyard. former deputy assistant secretary of state. and a former marine corps fighter pilot. must have brought back some memories, steve. >> you're making me jealous. >> let's talk about what is happening. nato aircraft are conducting up to five intercepts every day of these russian aircraft in the baltic sea. back in april, they came dangerously close to u.s. warships there. the russians are about to start their own massive exercises. along the borders of eastern europe. what are they up to? >> a couple of things. putin knows that the baltics are weak. it allows him to flex his military muscles in ways that appeal to russian nationalists. it covers for a weak economy. the real goal here may the ukraine. by tying down nato in the north, they provide a smoke screen for a potential invasion of the
tying up troops. everybody's focused up there. lieutenant general ben hodges, the commander of the u.s. army in europe said russia could conquer the baltic states quicker than we could get there to defend them. with all the military power of nato, why are the countries vulnerable? >> i'm sure when you were out flying, you looked at the terrain. you saw how flat it was. that's optimum tank terrain. it would take too long to reinforce the baltic. the russians could be through and retake the balkans in three days or less. this is why what you saw was so important. because air power is the deterrent, the only deterrent, really, that nato has to deter a russian incursion into the baltics. i think putin will make sure that people won't want to call his bluff. the russian people will buy it. a direct confrontation with nato at this point is a bigger bet
to take. >> and no one can read putin's mind. is this connected to the presidential race at all? >> think the hacks are, the wikileaks are. i think what we see in the baltics are more appealing to what is going on in china. we need to keep our eye on the ukraine in the months and weeks to come. >> thank you very much.
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