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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Graham: "I Don't Need A Lecture From Hillary Clinton"; CNN Tracks Down Subpoena Sent To Clinton; Clinton Blames GOP For Questions Over Honesty; Preview Of Donald Trump Interview. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired July 8, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
We want to get back to the politics lead.
A defiant Donald Trump. In his conversation with CNN, as you just heard, he had a lot to say about Hillary Clinton. He called her the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States of America -- his words, not mine.
Let's bring back Anderson Cooper.
Anderson, Mr. Trump also had a lot to say about immigration.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, he certainly did.
And "The Washington Post" has reporting that a hotel that Trump is building is actually employing some illegal immigrants. So, that's what I asked Trump next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "The Washington Post," as you know, say that some of the workers building this beautiful hotel that you're building down in Washington, D.C., are illegal. They talked to 15 workers. They said a number of those 15 came here legally.
Through asylum, they are now legal, but that a number of them did say they are illegal. Isn't it hypocritical for you, saying that illegal immigration is killing this country, to be employing illegal immigrants?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I read the story, and we're building a great hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue and it's being done beautifully.
And we're very, very -- I'm very cognizant of that, and, by the way, that story does not name any names. I would love for them if they could give us the names. But they said they spoke to one or two, and -- but they don't name them. They don't even know if it's true. COOPER: Well, what they say is several of the men who hail mostly
from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala have earned citizenship or legal status through immigration programs targeting Central Americans fleeing civil wars or natural disasters. Others quietly acknowledge that they remain in the country illegally.
TRUMP: They have to give us the names, because we have...
COOPER: They are not going to give you names.
TRUMP: They have to give us the names.
And I have to say this. We believe so strongly -- I hired a very big contractor, one of the most prestigious, one of the best in the world, to build the building. It's their responsibility to make sure.
COOPER: Doesn't the buck stop with you, though?
TRUMP: Yes, it does.
COOPER: You're paying their salary.
TRUMP: Oh, absolutely.
We have gone out of way to make sure that everybody in that building is legal, and we do have some that were -- that became legal. And wait a minute. We have some, many, I think, that became -- frankly, me, you, everybody, ultimately, we were all sort of in the group of immigrant, right?
TRUMP: But we have done that to the absolute letter of the law. We're very, very careful.
COOPER: But if "The Washington Post" can go there and talk to 15 people and find some illegal immigrants...
TRUMP: They haven't shown us anything. I wish they would give us some names. We would get them out immediately.
COOPER: But you have got a guy -- you must have a guy on the job site.
TRUMP: We have more than one guy.
TRUMP: And we check it probably more carefully than ever job that was ever built.
Anderson, you have either 11 -- anywhere from 11 to 34 million illegal immigrants in this country. They are all over the place. Nobody knows even where they come from. They probably come some from the Middle East. You don't know where they are coming from.
We check on that building probably more carefully than anybody that's ever built a building before. And I think, from what I heard -- and I just checked it this morning because I asked the question because I read the article also -- we are absolutely in beautiful, perfect shape. Now, I wish they would give us the names. We would get rid of them immediately.
COOPER: This isn't the first time though this has been an issue. Daily Beast, today, there's an article -- I don't know if you have seen it. The headline says -- they are talking about the building we're sitting in right now. They are saying Trump Tower was built on undocumented immigrant backs.
TRUMP: How many years ago was that?
COOPER: This was, what...
TRUMP: Thirty-five years ago.
COOPER: Thirty-five years ago.
TRUMP: Yes, they said 35 years ago.
COOPER: But this was a court case, 200 illegal immigrants, Polish workers, guys working for $5.
TRUMP: I hired a contractor. Anderson, I hire a contractor. The contractor then hires a subcontractor. They have people. I don't know -- I don't remember. That was so many years ago; 35 years ago, they said we had some...
COOPER: But this was a court case settled in 1999. You settled with them.
TRUMP: That's all right. That's fine. I remember the case, frankly. I remember it very well.
We hire contractors. The contractor, very highly prestigious, very good contractor, they go out and hire subcontractors. Sometimes, the subcontractors will have people working, but, you know, it's pretty far down the line.
COOPER: This was 200 Polish workers working without hardhats, pretty noticeable on a union job.
TRUMP: When you have to go back 35 years to tell me about something, I think that's pretty pathetic, to be honest with you.
COOPER: Do you think -- can you guarantee that you don't have illegal or undocumented workers working for you in hotel projects or various projects?
TRUMP: I can't guarantee it. How can I? How can anyone? We have 34 million in the country.
I used to hear 11. Now I hear 34 million. I can't guarantee anything. But I can say this. We work very hard to make sure that everybody is legal, as opposed to illegal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And, Jake, it will certainly be interesting to see, when the debates start, if this is something Trump's challengers use against him, the other GOP candidates try to use against him, the idea that illegal immigrants, undocumented workers may be working, according to "The Washington Post," at least a few on this job site, and perhaps elsewhere, if that actually comes out.
TAPPER: Indeed. Anderson Cooper, thanks so much.
And a reminder. You can see the rust of the Donald Trump interview on "A.C. 360" tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
I want to bring in right now CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny, and also with us is Republican strategist and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro.
Jeff, you heard Mr. Trump in all his glory. First of all, I have to say, it's infectious the way he talks. Everything is the biggest, the best, the most beautiful. I feel like I should say...
ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: When it comes to him. When it comes to his opponents, it's pathetic, it's loser.
TAPPER: We have an amazing, wonderful, superduper panel right now with us.
TAPPER: But he called Anderson -- to your point, he called the question about illegal immigrants at his property 35 years ago pathetic.
It pathetic or is this just fair game? If you take on illegal immigration, people are going to look for whether or not Mitt Romney has gardening workers that are illegal.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: And that's exactly what it is. Running for president is different than talking about running for president. And Donald Trump is running squarely into that.
Now that he is running for president, people are asking him these questions. He's the one who brought it up. He's the one who opened the door to this subject.
So, of course, it's a legitimate thing. But the point is, this is not what the party wants to be talking about or voters necessarily want to be talking about. But he's opened a can of worms inside your party that a lot of people would have preferred sort of remain closed, at least for now, I assume.
TAPPER: But, Ana, the Republicans...
NAVARRO: Jeff, Jeff...
TAPPER: Go ahead.
NAVARRO: Yes, I'm so glad they pay you the big bucks to tell me things that I don't know, that we don't want to be talking about this.
TAPPER: Well, let me ask you, Ana, because it is true you had not heard a lot about immigration on the campaign trail.
And, clearly, Trump, whether or not you like him, whether or not you like his words, his language, et cetera, he is tapping into something. He is second in the national polls of Republicans. He is second in Iowa, Iowa, he's second in New Hampshire.
People like what he's saying. Significant numbers of Republican voters like it.
NAVARRO: Jake, I think that you have heard a lot about immigration on the trail, because, you know, I know there's been a lot of talk from Scott Walker. He's had several different positions.
Certainly, everywhere that Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio go, they get asked about it, and answer it. So I think there has been conversation. What there hasn't been are outrageous, racist, broad-stroke comments that just garner the national attention and that have been in the media now for over three weeks.
TAPPER: And yet whether you call it racist or not, there are people who think he's telling it like it is, that the borders are broken, we need to do something about it, it's an outrage.
Clearly, his language has been offensive at times to many people, but not to others.
ZELENY: Sure, not to others, but this is a Republican Party primary discussion that's going on here.
Of course most people agree that the border is actually broken. That's one thing that they can actually agree to. My question is, the first debate is a month from yesterday. Will that be a moment for a civil discussion and a constructive discussion on immigration policy inside the policy?
Or is it going to be sort of more of this? I'm not sure we have had much of a productive discussion, but, of course, there are a lot of people, a lot of conservatives inside the party that do like to sort of hear what he's saying. They're fed up on immigration. It's a raw subject, but it's a loser for the party, and the party leaders know that.
TAPPER: But let me ask you this. Because Donald Trump talked about that horrific incident last week, last Tuesday in San Francisco, where the young woman, Kate Steinle, was killed by an undocumented worker in this country, who had been deported several times and was in the still in the U.S. because he was in a sanctuary city, San Francisco, where even though he was arrested for drugs, he was not handed over to the federal authorities and deported again, Donald Trump, whatever you think of him, he's brought that issue to the forefront of the political issue.
NAVARRO: The timing was a little different. Donald Trump made his outrageous comments way before that.
TAPPER: Right, but he brought the case of Kate Steinle.
And it's a legitimate case to discuss.
NAVARRO: It's a very legitimate case.
And I think it's a gross negligence by the city of San Francisco. It's a failure by the city of San Francisco to maintain the welfare of the people of San Francisco. But I think it's also exploiting that case to try to make political points out of it.
Let's have a serious discussion, a serious policy discussion of what went wrong and where the system failed that woman and the citizens of San Francisco.
TAPPER: Let me ask you, what is the response by the other campaigns to Donald Trump? I know I have gotten angry calls. Why are you even covering this guy from campaigns?
For me, he's doing well in polls. He's out there. The truth of the matter is -- and this is something a lot of people don't like to hear -- he's granting interviews, and the front-runners of the Democratic and Republican parties are not really giving interviews all that often.
ZELENY: I think that's true.
The point is, what is his endgame here? Despite the fact he's second place in the polls -- and we talk a lot about polls -- the reality is the polls don't mean much, if anything right now at this point. He's out there talking and things, but other candidates have more to lose by sort of giving interviews and things.
I wish every candidate would come on CNN and give interviews, but the reality is some of them are spending time talking to voters. But I think this is not a constructive discussion inside the Republican Party right now on immigration. That is, I think what the issue is. But others are reacting to him.
We have seen Jeb Bush, of course, come out and push back at him and Marco Rubio as well.
TAPPER: Jeff Zeleny, Ana Navarro, thank you both so much.
Coming up, another Republican presidential candidate taking shots at the competition, Senator Lindsey Graham telling me just hours ago that he does not need a lecture from Hillary Clinton or from Donald Trump. What is he so angry about? That is coming up next.
TAPPER: -- for undocumented immigrants. Earlier today, I sat down with the presidential hopeful after his foreign policy speech at the Atlantic Council. I asked him about Hillary Clinton's criticism of the Republican Party on illegal immigration and immigration reform, and on the impact of Donald Trump's controversial remarks and the impact on the Republican Party.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't need a lecture from Hillary Clinton about immigration reform. I've been in every gang you could be in in the Senate. If we had tattoos, I would have an armful. I don't remember seeing her once.
I don't remember seeing her at the table. She never came to any meetings I was at. She was a public voice in 2009. I never remember her saying, wait a minute, President Obama, you promised to do immigration reform. Honor your promise. She didn't say a word.
My party is in a hole with Hispanics. The first rule of politics when you're in a hole is stop digging. Somebody needs to take a shovel out of the Donald Trump's hands.
Here's the problem. We passed a comprehensive bill after comprehensive bill in the Senate, and it goes to the Republican- controlled House, and it dies. That's got to stop.
How do you go from 44 percent of the Hispanic vote down to 27 percent, you have to work at it. We have two borders. We have the Canadian border and got the Mexican border.
I've never met an illegal Canadian. Maybe they're some out there. They come to Myrtle Beach, go swimming in March, and go back home. Nobody else wants to swim in Myrtle Beach in March except the Canadians, and we're glad to have them there.
So we have got 11 million plus people who live in foreign corrupt countries. They are coming here for a better way of life, but we got a right to control chaos.
[16:50:04] So as to Donald Trump, here's the mistake. You're right to point out a broken immigration system, but you're wrong to say the following -- that of 11-plus million illegal immigrants, most of them are rapists and drug dealers.
Most of them are good hard-working people, cleaning the toilets, picking the crops that we all enjoy, changing the beds and working three or four jobs in the shadow to try to keep their family afloat.
As to the 11 million, I'm telling you as publicly as I know how to tell you, the overwhelming majority of you here are because you left a bad place to find a better place.
You've broken our laws, and you need to get right, but I see value you in you as a human being and we'll try to find a way to fix this without destroying your family.
When I was 21 my mom died. When I was 22, my dad died. My sister was 13. If it wasn't for family and friends, I would not be sitting here. I'm not going to engage in rhetoric or policies to destroy a family.
That's done nothing more than try to get a better life for my political gain. So Hillary Clinton, you had a chance to push President Obama in 2009 and you were completely AWOL.
I don't need a lecture from you about illegal immigration. I don't need a statement from Donald Trump that the border is broken. I know it. I hope every Republican candidate would say the following.
We disagree with Donald Trump in this regard, that most of the people here illegally are good, hard-working people, and if we're not willing to say that as a party, we're going to lose in 2016.
TAPPER: Some passionate words from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham speaking earlier today at the Atlantic Council. Remember, for all the latest political news, go to cnnpolitics.com.
Coming up, we fact check some of what Hillary Clinton said in her first national TV interview including her reference to a subpoena she did or didn't get? We'll clear that up, next.
[16:56:14] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. We have one other politics story for you today. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is taking some blowback after her first national television interview right here on CNN.
The Democratic front-runner claimed that all Republican hopefuls are in a, quote, "Spectrum of hostility towards undocumented immigrants, hostility towards acceptance -- reluctant acceptance," I think she said, and she also asserted she never received a subpoena for her e- mails.
Jeff Zeleny is here, senior Washington correspondent for CNN. Jeff, five words -- I've had never had a subpoena. Is that true?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That on the face of it, Jake, is not true. That's one of the things that stood out at us. Overall, some things were true, some weren't entirely. She tried to pivot quickly to Republicans, trying to lump them in with Donald Trump.
They pushed back against those assertions, but the one that stood out was whether or not she received a subpoena. We went to Capitol Hill today to check it out.
ZELENY (voice-over): The fight over Hillary Clinton's e-mails just won't go away.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everything I did was permitted.
ZELENY: On Tuesday, Clinton defended using a private e-mail server as secretary of state. She told CNN's Brianna Keilar she followed the law.
CLINTON: I've never had a subpoena. Let's take a deep breath here.
ZELENY: But Congressman Trey Gowdy, leading the investigation into the Benghazi attacks, says that's not true. He showed us a copy of a subpoena he sent Clinton on March 4th.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: To state you've never received a subpoena, you did get one in March, couldn't be more plain, the honorable Hillary R. Clinton.
ZELENY: She turned her focus to Republicans, starting with their messy immigration debate.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best.
ZELENY: Donald Trump's comments have triggered outrage, which Clinton seized upon.
CLINTON: You know, they don't want to provide a path to citizenship. They range across a spectrum of being either grudgingly welcome or hostile towards immigrants.
ZELENY: Immigration is dividing the GOP, but the Republicans cried foul at lumping them together with Trump. Senator Lindsey Graham supports a path to citizenship and several other Republicans back immigration reform.
Aged to Jeb Bush said Hillary Clinton will say anything to get her elected and her numerous flip-flops on immigration prove it. Bush says he's in favor of legal status, but no longer supports a path to citizenship.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because people disagree with me in my own party, not everybody, trust me, but a lot of people that have a different view.
ZELENY: In Iowa today, Marco Rubio said it was wrong to portray all Republicans as hostile on immigration.
MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She'll continue to say actually things like that, I imagine, because she feels the heat from the left.
ZELENY: As Clinton works to rebuild her image, she said Republicans are to blame for any voters who question her trust and honesty.
CLINTON: Constant barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the right.
ZELENY: It was reminiscent of this classic moment.
CLINTON: This vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.
ZELENY: It's a sign the past hasn't fully gone away.
CLINTON: This has been a theme that has been used against me and my husband for many, many years.
ZELENY: Voters certainly will sort this out in months to come, but a clear sign, Jake, this e-mail controversy will still linger with her.
TAPPER: I'm trying to figure out what they're arguing. She wasn't subpoenaed when the server was wiped clean? But she said I've never had a subpoena, which is a lot more --
ZELENY: She may have answered slightly and imprecisely one aide finally told us today after eight hours of trying.
TAPPER: Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper, turning you over to Brianna Keilar. She is right next door filling in for one Mr. Wolf Blitzer in a place that we like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM."