tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN October 31, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
today the president and michelle obama hosted their last halloween party on the grounds. one kid came dressed as a lame duck. that does it for us, thanks for watching. cnn tonight with don lemon starts now. october surprise, or is it? >> there is no case here. >> this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon, a defiant hillary clinton still leading in the polls in spite of e-mails that may or may not be related to her use of a private server. the fbi saying, we're unlikely to find out before the election. that's not stopping donald trump
from saying this. >> we can be sure what is in those e-mails is absolutely devastating. i think we're going to find out, by the way, for the first time. >> 20 million votes already cast. let's get right to it. >> what's the latest on this investigation. what's the fbi doing right now, and is there any chance voters are going to get more information before election day? >> there are two steps now. keep in mind you have thousands of e-mails to look like. in effect they're sorting through these e-mails to see how many are new. many of the e-mails that were found on the laptop of anthony weiner, could have been e-mais s that they went through and could be duply cats.
they can do that with technology. the judgment part, requiring human beings to get involved. whether the various intelligence agencies agree that is classified. that's a judgment call in itself, there's a possibility there might be evidence or at least they have to look to see if there's ab instruction of justice e-mails. there's no evidence that that existing, there's a judgment that would have to be made by human beings. that takes longer than sorting through these e-mails, that's why the belief is, you're not going to have a final judgment on this, certainly in the next eight days before the election. >> timing is so important with this. we're learning now that the fbi discovered these new clinton related e-mails weeks ago, why did it take so long? >>. >> in terms of the existence of these e-mails that's something
comey interpreted, he only got the briefing on thursday. he got the statement these e-mails may have some sort of connection. really like so many things in this case from the beginning, a judgment call. >> yeah. so huma abedin responded to a new e-mail review tonight. what did she say, jim? >> we have her statement here, i'm going to read part of it that's pertinent. she only learned for the first time on friday the statement says, from press reports. her estranged husband, could contain e-mails of hers many while the fbi has not contacted us about this, miss abedin will continue to be forthcoming and
cooperative the fbi hasn't gotten in touch with abedin. this speaks to the idea of how long this could drag out, there is a discussion to complete this investigation, the fbi will not only need to look at these e-mails possibly sit down and interview huma abedin again the chances for all those dominos falling if it were. just very low at this point. i want to bring in gloria bore ger and david axelrod. let's talk about the politics of all this, with eight days to go, almost seven days to go, will we even know the full impact of this e-mail news before election day? >> we might not. toward the middle of this week, we may know a little more of the impact. i think we'll know state by
state whether things have taken a turn in any particular state. so far, it seems to me that the polling is still pretty stable. this isn't good news for hillary clinton any day she is talking about herself and talking about this e-mail case, and not talking about donald trump is not a good day for her. what she's been trying to do is change the subject back to donald trump's temperament, character, ability to serve as commander in chief. but look, to say that this is helpful to her, you know, they'd have to be kidding themselves, they understand that these are not good stories for them, but with such a short time left, and 20 million people have early voted and the question is still whether this is kind of a baked election at this point, and whether people who don't like hillary clinton because of the e
ma mails have already decided remains to be seen. >> it's hard to get your message out when you're constantly having to defend yourself. before the story broke, it was looking good for hillary clinton, and it was tough for donald trump, is this story likely to change the scenario, and if so, where do you think? >> i agree with gloria, that we really won't know the answer to this until the middle of the week, when the polls begin to absorb what if any impact the story has had. what we do know is that the race had been tightening prior to this story. hillary clinton went out to some really gaudy leads in some of these states after the release of that access hollywood tape. of donald trump, and in all that ensuing controversy, she got a big lead especially among women. some of that has been eroding as
some of the partisans have come home on both sides, a lot of republicans who had drifted from trump were coming home. whether this accelerates that, i don't know. it's an important state. there's some indication that colorado is a little tighter than it had been. remember the clinton campaign stopped advertising in colorado they were so confident in that state. that seems to be tighten up a little bit. so there's some states where there is certainly tightening, and in ohio and iowa, where trump has his best chance. he may have picked up a point or two, it's still a very tough electoral map for donald trump. clearly this is a positive development for him. and negative for hillary clinton.
she can't be on the attack now. we're not talking about donald trump tonight, we're talking about hillary clinton. >> this e-mail controversy, breathing new life into donald trump's campaign. >> the investigation will last for years, nothing will get done, government will grind to a halt and our country will continue to suffer. hillary's corruption is a threat to democracy, and the only way to stop it is for you to show up at the polls and vote. >> gloria, really, right there he's preaching to the choir. is he convincing any undecided voters to come his way? >> we don't know. i think that's what he's trying to do in it the state of michigan. if you're one of those few persuadable voters left and you haven't decided that this should tip the scales. i think this does serve to remind a lot of people what they
didn't like about hillary clinton in the first place. that's what donald trump is trying to do this is his clear shot at it, this has been a gift to him, he's going to try to make the best use of it if he possibly can, if he can stay on message. hillary clinton is going to try to take him off of this message, eight days is a very long time, particularly in this race overnight is a long time in this race. so we'll have to see what tomorrow brings. >> i would say two things, i'm not sure trump is hoping to sway these voters necessarily, he would be perfectly happy if they didn't vote or if they voted for one of the third party candidates. his ceiling seems to be mired in the low 40s, so he's trying to knock her down if he can't lift
her up. one thing tomorrow may bring is controversy about his own finances again. the new york times has a story tonight suggesting he used a very exotic tax device to save himself hundreds of millions of dollars in the early 90s. as complicated as it is, the bottom line isn't. he manipulated a system in a way that seems untoward. i'm sure the clinton people will have something to say about that tomorrow. >> you look at the polling on the taxes, at least initially for hillary clinton it hasn't stuck, at least with her supporters, and with donald trump, the taxing hasn't stuck either. will they even matter at this point? >> you know, the question is -- >> look, we don't know -- >> the question is, how much of
this is essentially priced into their at this point. tens of millions of people have been voted already and people have heard a lot, this does seem like a reprise of old stories, and that's why i would suggest that we need to look at where these polls are as the week ends and see if there's really an impact of these stories. it may be that people say, i've heard it all before. >> i want to play this, and get your response. >> and -- >> i promise you can respond. >> this is hillary clinton addressing the controversy today. >> there's this new e-mail story about, why in the world the fbi would decide to jump into an election without evidence of any wrongdoing with just days to go, that's a really good question, i want you to know, i've said repeatedly.
i made a mistake, i'm not making any excuses, i will tell you this, if they want to look at some more e-mails of one of my staffers, by all means, go ahead, look at them i know they will reach the same conclusion they reached when they looked at my e-mails last year, right? it wasn't even a close call. i think most people have moved on, they're looking and focused on, okay, who is going to be the next president and commander in chief. >> in your response, are you surprised to here secretary clinton going on the offensive and did she have a choice? >> no, i'm not surprised to see her going on the offensive, she was trying to take a bad story and turn it around into what she wants to talk about. she had to acknowledge.
she had to acknowledge that this story was out there. and then she had to turn it around. and what she was doing was pretty obvious to all of us, don't judge my character, look at this guy i'm running against, she wants to keep talking about donald trump. can he be trusted with national security? i don't think so. you're going to see her continue to do that, and if the tax story as david was talking about earlier, if the tax story becomes a story again watch her talk about donald trump not revealing his tax returns, why hasn't he revealed his tax returns. you'll see that coming up over and over again. >> you know what matters more than e-mails or the fbi? those 270 electoral votes. who has the better math next. an.
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hillary clinton and donald trump fighting for every last vote. let's talk a little bit more about the road to 270 trump was in new mexico today. michigan tomorrow. do you think he would be better off sticking to battleground states like florida, north carolina? >> i think he's got to do it all, i don't think he has much
choice you talk to people in his campaign, they will tell you they believe there's some opportunity in some of these blue states. he's got to flip some blue states if he wants to win this election. they believe they have a shot in a state like michigan, they believe this have a shot in a state like colorado for example. most polls show hillary clinton pretty much up. they believe it's more of a tie there. i any he has to go everywhere he can, where he believes he can flip and turn a blue state red the republicans do not have the get out the vote operation that hillary clinton has. donald trump is a one man get out the vote machine what he's doing in these states, they are using their candidate as a way to get voters enthusiastic and to get them to vote whether it's
early or on election day. >> we have hillary clinton planning to campaign in arizona this week. do you think that she could still turn the state blue, despite the e-mail controversy? >> it's really hard for me to know, these state polls are very difficult to look at now, again, we have to look toward the middle of the week, they had planned this trip to arizona, before last friday, e-mail controversy came out. it's not as if they're going to change their travel plans and send a signal, we're going to stick with the states we think we have a better shot at winning. they're going to go there, but i think that the clinton campaign is going to have to reassess in their state polls and maybe she'll wind up in a state like florida which is very tight right now. donald trump has to cover a lot more terrain than hillary clinton does. she has a clearer pageant.
donald trump has to walk and chew gum at the same time. trying to flip states and turn blue states red as well as keep all the states that romney wants. he has a little more difficult a job going-forward. a lot more difficult job. >> he's throwing a wrench into trump's foothold there in utah. what's your take on utah being in play? >> i think it is in play. because evan macmullan has close ties to the state. donald trump is not popular. he's been very cold to donald trump, mitt romney the most prominent political legal from that community has been very
hard on donald trump. and evan mcmummen is a good safety valve for republicans who are looking for a way out of supporting donald trump and aren't comfortable with hillary clinton. this could become a significant story if this race continues to titan. donald trump could win florida, ohio and iowa, and close in on the nomination. if he loses any of the states that romney won, he's taking a step backwards. and utah is the least of those that you would expect a republican to lose. >> a democrat hasn't won utah since '64. it would be pretty historic if hillary clinton won. >> of course, we'll be watching that. 20 million americans already voted in this election. do you think that may cushion the blow from this october
surprise? >> certainly those people who aren't privy to what happened. we don't know how influential this story is going to be this was not part of the discussion when these people voted. and we look -- you look at this early vote it's a little bit mixed. democrats see good news in the early vote. republicans suggest that democrats are doing less well, than they did when president obama was running. one thing i want to say is that there has been an influx of new hispanic voters in several states several critical states. many of them have registered in a nonaffiliated way they're not listed as republican or democrat. therefore when estimates are made of how republicans or
democrats are doing, it's not quite clear, you can assume these voters did not register to affirm their support for donald trump. highly unloikly. there may be a hidden vote in this for hillary clinton in this early vote. >> david, thank you. gloria, much appreciated as always. did you want to get a point in, gloria, go ahead. >> i was going to say on the hispanic voter front, i was talking to a republican in the state of florida earlier today, and he is looking at all the early votes, he said african-american vote is down, but hispanic vote is up tremendously in the state of florida, and he as a republican believes that's going to to benefit democrats. >> i have to say come grat u laces to the cubbies. >> we need two more, but thank you. >> i know, let's see if the curse of the billy goat is gone for sure. when we come back, this may be the nastiest campaign in years, has it poisoned our politics? i'm going to talk to a man who
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hillary clinton campaigning today in ohio. she's blasting the fbi's e-mail review, telling supporters, there's no case here. meanwhile, trump supporters chant "lock her up." hello, gentlemen, thank you so much fareed i'm going do start with you. we're living in such a hyperpartisan environment, do you think with the time we have left until the election, the fbi director should have dropped this grenade at this time? >> i don't the fbi has placed itself in the middle of something very deeply political. the former deputy attorney general for george bush sr. put it well, the key rule for a
prosecutor is put up or shut up. and i think comey disregarded that rule in july. he sid there's no case. you don't provide color commentary. he's not the ethics czar of the united states. i believe the public had a right to know -- the public demanded to know much but james comey is not a politician, an elected politician to determine what the right level of transparency is. he's a prosecutor in the fbi. once he went down that path, i think he unnecessarily implicated himself in a situation where every action of his was now going to be treated as partisan, is he investigating the russia and it's ties to
trump, we don't know. is he investigating the clinton foundation? we don't know. is he investigating the trump foundation? we don't know. and that's how it should be. either he has a case or he doesn't think about -- if the fbi were to announce tomorrow that it were investigating a company, that company's stock would crater. that's why career prosecutors are meant to be very careful about what they say. >> people aren't left with enough information on this to make a sound judgment on who's in it and who's not. >> director comey has said he won't make any clarifications or give any updates, you think he should? >> yes, i do think he should give clarifications and updates before the election. it's urgent he do that. i have respectful differences with fareed on where we started on this. the fbi director stays out, i think there are exceptions to
traditions, and this case, i think had the justice department simply said, we're not going to prosecute, especially after the attorney general had just met privately with bill clinton, that there have been widespread suspicion and skepticism on whether it was a fair and impartial conclusion, just as a supreme court doesn't hand down decisions to say yes or no, it adds an opinion to it, so you understand the context and why the decision was made the way it was, i thought director comey did the right thing in july, when he explained why he did not, and why the fbi did not recommend prosecution. i thought he was cornered with this particular situation, with huma abedin's laptop. had he not said anything, and it came out after the election, there would have been widespread view we were hoodwinked. i think he had to come forward,
having come -- i don't think he should have come forward or he should have only come forward with the notion that his letter was so vague and so open to exploitation by republicans that of course he had to collar phi it. this is entirely unfair to mrs. clinton, it's especially unfair to voters that we're now left dangling through the election, allegations or suspicions that may be totally meaningless. there may be no wrongdoing here at all. it's unfair to the parties to leave the country and the vote irs in the situation. >> do you want to rebe spod? >> david is right it's a hard case, and hard cases as they say, make bad law. i think part of what's going on here we have criminalized public policy, ever since watergate what we have done, every time your opponent does something you
disagree with, there's a hunt to prove that the person broke the law the person should not be voted out, but should be imprisoned. that's what banana republics do. it happened with bill clinton. the whitewater prosecutor never found anything wrong in whitewater, they ended up impeaching president clinton. if you say go find some crime, if a cop tales you for 500 miles, he will find you guilty of something. you will have broken the law by the end of that tail. you were talking about the fact that politicians try to make every mistake or error in judgment a crime.
what's the impact on the electora electorate. >> i think the one impact is, it's just poisoned, this 20 years of this kind of stuff, has poisoned the atmosphere, people wonder why the public looks at politics and politicians with such disdain, why there's a sense of bitterness, in every situation, it's now become a question of can we put this person in jail. imagine what's going to happen if hillary clinton gets elected, there's going to be hearings and subpoenas and grand juries this is not what we should be talking about, how to bring jobs back to this country, how to fix health care, those are the urgent tasks at hand. >> david gergen? >> i agree with what fareed just said it goes back to the
watergate era, and there was a time in the clinton years, when you felt every other cabinet officer had a special prosecutor on his or her tail. it was awful, i sort of felt that in the obama years, which are remarkably scandal free, we got away from this trend toward special prosecutors and criminalizing everything, now we're getting back into it. and nothing has been more objectionable than these cries by donald trump if he's president, he's going to lock up hillary clinton, all these cries about lock her up. i think we're leading down a bad path. it's going to make it much more difficult for her to govern. at the end of the day, we need a president who can govern effectively. >> when we come back, why do some democrats call the fbi's james comey, public enemy number one.
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constitutional and criminal defense attorney, served as cheap white house ethics lawyer under george w. bush, i'm excited about this conversation, thank you all for joining me. you wrote this article in the new york times this sunday on the clinton e-mails, did fbi director abuse his power? you say you yes. why do you think he broke the law? >> well, it's a law that's been around since the 1930s, that prohibits executive branch officials from using their official position for the purpose of promoting a political candidate or influencing an election. and that is not allowed for
executive branch officials other than the president and vice president mr. comey when he sent that letter over to congress knew that that was going to be used for political purposes. within 10 days of an election. there was just no reason for him to be telling members of congress about investigations underway by the fbi. that is a violation of the justice department policy. there's no reason for it other than partisan politics. >> i disagree. we have fareed zakaria. the hatch act requires knowledge
or intent, what comey did is he thought he had to protect his own integrity. i don't know who he's supporting for republican. he had a perfect right to make the announcement. under the fourth amendment i'm not allowed so look into the continue the of these e-mails and i haven't. we have no idea any more than you do, what's in them, but we're going to look to see what's in them, nobody should infer any guilt or anything negative from the fact that we're looking into them, that's what he should have said, that's what he should say now, and if he doesn't say it now, he will have his thumb on the scale, though that was not his intent. >> isn't that the problem with most of the critics on the left and right, they don't know what's in there, they don't know if it's -- if there's anything that will cause hillary clinton any harm, if she's directly connected. and by coming out and doing this now, there is the assumption of
guilt. do you disagree with that? >> no, i don't disagree that people have made a lot of assumptions here, but i don't blame james comey for those assumptions, there's no violation of the hatch act here, the language in the hatch act that's critical, is that you do something for the push of influencing an election. and i don't think there's any evidence that james comey intended to influence this election. >> is there an abuse of power here, anywhere? >> i don't think so. i understand the criticism relating to internal justice department policy, that maybe he shouldn't have sid anything at all. but i think most americans are a lot more concerned about transparency and truth than internal justice department guidelines and tradition, i think that's what james comey is going as. >> we all like james comey, we think he's a decent guy. remember who the building is named after, j. edgar hoover. no matter what comey does, the
next director could do also. he's establishing a dangerous precedent for future directors of the fbi. they could want to influence the election. what about the opposite, which he didn't consider. what if he turns it around, december 1st he announces, oh, by the way, all of these e-mails were duplicates of what we've seen before, sorry folks for changing the outcome of the election, but i was just doing my job. >> i don't think he has any choice about that. i think now that the e-mails have come to light, he has to look into them. he could have words the letter differently. >> there's not anything else he can do now that's going to advance this debate, anything other than effecting the election more than he has. >> if he got up and said, look, when i made that statement, i had no idea what was in those e-mails, because if anybody had
told me what was in those e-mails, they would be violating the fourth amendment, there's no search warrant to look at any of those e-mails, i don't know what's in them, i don't know any more than you do. don't let your vote be influenced by my statement to congress, which was a technical obligation i had, simply to tell -- >> it was not an obligation. >> who said this is an obligation. if he's looking into donald trump's computer, he ought to be looking at donald trump's campaign and the relationship with the russians. plenty they ought to be investigating, they shouldn't be updating the democrats on the hill about what they're looking into with respect to the trump campaign. >> the new york times has a story is that donald trump may have committed criminal tax fraud back in the '90s, when he took major tax deductions for other people's losses based on a letter from lawyers that said you are probably not going to get this accepted by the irs. so look, if he thinks he has to
look into ongoing problems, he should look into trump university, he should look into trump's tax problems, the relationship with russia, he shouldn't be singling this one out for getting involved in the campaign. >> who says he isn't, and -- >> who says he is? >> he shouldn't be talking to congress. >> hold your thought, i'll let you be the first one right out of this break. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have. i'm not contagious. see me to know that... ...i won't stop until i find what works. discover cosentyx, a different kind of medicine for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. proven to help the majority of people find clear or almost clear skin. 8 out of 10 people saw 75% skin clearance at 3 months.
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marie callender's back now with my panel, you had the floor, you were saying we really don't know if the director is investigating any of the other things, he's not commenting on those other things. >> there would be no reason for them to comment on those other things. in a normal investigation where he's not already said this investigation is complete, there's nothing to see here. there's no reason for anyone to talk about the dwee tails or even the fact of an investigation. >> what if congress had subpoenaed him and asked him if he's investigating these things. he would say, look, justice department policy is not to disclose the fact that we're doing an investigation. the worst thing that happened here is for comey to have made an announcement when he stopped the investigation of hillary clinton. that's the job of the attorney general. the director of the fbi is not
supposed to make policy, not supposed to make prosecutorial recommendations. he became the effective attorney general. >> that's the problem. that's the problem. >> exactly, that's the problem. he was left holding the bag here, the last person to make the decision about moving forward or not. that's highly unusual as you must admit. there's a prosecutor overseeing that decision. they left it up to him, now they're criticizing the way he's handling it. >> no obligation to tell congress. >> where does he have this obligation. >> to tell congress. >> i think it was a reasonable decision he made. >> he knew how it was going to be used. all the members care about is politically attacking hillary clinton. and i'm a republican, i would like to see a good republican president and a good republican congress, this kind of behavior
reflects badly on the congress, and the fbi got sucked into politics on the eve of an election. that's not what the fbi is there for, they're not there to provide updates to members of congress on investigations of their political enemies. the same for the president, the president has no right to updates from the fbi on the fbi's investigation of political opponents. i don't want to hear any more about unusual circumstances, they were created by this congressional committee continuing to put pressure on the fbi for over a year, with respect to this e-mail server. >> now hillary clinton is putting pressure on the fbi, and i think her campaign is making a terrible tactical mistake. they are goading comey into finding something. what they're saying is, hey, there's nothing. you're going to end up making me lose the election, and there's nothing here. you're going to be the villain.
if i'm comey, i'm saying to myself, i darn well better find something to justify the statement i previously made. >> he's going to dig himself even deeper. >> i don't think comey is worried about his future or the political consequences. i think comey's worried about what's right. and that's why his decision is reason will. >> i heard you say that earlier, and fareed zakaria made, why poke the bear? if you send a police officer to follow someone for 500 miles, you're going to find them doing something wrong. >> you've been accused of effecting the election with no basis. somebody will find something to justify his doing this if he's provoked. i think the president got it exactly right. comey is a decent man, he's a
man of integrity, but he has to defend himself now, because he's being criticized by republicans and democrats alike, by scholars and academics. he has to defend himself. he's not doing a good job of it. his silence is unacceptable. >> richard, i want to ask you -- on what allen just said, would you like to see the director come out and make a clarification? if so, what would you like him to say? how can he rectify this? >> i think he ought to do his job, which is to investigate or not to be stalking to the public or members of congress about his investigations, that's the job of the fbi and they should not be taking donald trump's fbi file and giving it to the democrats or making further statements about hillary clinton, that's just going to make it worse, he's going to dig himself in deeper and deeper, and we have already destroyed the correct of the fbi over the past few days. now there are leaks coming out
of the fbi about what they're investigating with respect to donald trump, this is a travesty. >> i respectfully disagree. having once made the announcement, i think he has an obligation to say, on the day i made the announcement, i know no more than any of you did. to know what's in those e-mails would be to violate the fourth amendment. don't infer from anything i previously said, any presumption of guilt or even relevance, now i'm not going to say anything else, because i'm not going to say anything else, i want to leave you with a message of i didn't know anything about the con tent of these e-mails when i made my statement. that's -- >> there's nothing wrong with that. >> had that been said in the initial letter. i think it was reasonable to send the letter, the investigation is no longer complete, he needs to let congress know. i agree with allen, the letter could have been worded differently, it's not, we don't
go back and edit it now, the letter, allen wants him to send would have been five, six, seven pages, i'm sure both sides would have red more into that. >> i can do it in two paragraphs, i drafted a letter, it's two paragraphs long, he should send it right now. >> and you say he should not have certainty the initial letter? >> he should say that. there's no obligation to tell congress when you open an investigation. they would make sure members of congress hold hearings and get a promise from the director to notify them, as soon as there's an investigation. that's not the way the fbi does business. >> you're right. >> this is a dangerous -- >> fascinating conversation from three brilliant men. "whatcha doin?"
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the fbi under fire, this is it cnn tonight, i'm don lemon. hillary clinton fighting back on the campaign trail raising questions about why the fbi is looking at this new batch of e-mails now, so close to election day. >> why in the world the fbi would decide to jump into an election without evidence of any wrongdoing with just days to go that's a really good question many. >> sources tell