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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Donald Trump Is Fighting Women On Both Side; Hillary Clinton Campaigning Hard Today In California, Got Some Bad News Back In Washington; Fact-Checking Trump's Attacks On Clinton; Trump Surrogates Bring Up 1975 Sex Assault Case; Will Ryan Endorse Trump?; Senior Aide: Ryan And Trump To Talk On Phone Tonight; Trump's Latest Attacks On Women. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired May 25, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:06] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for joining us.
There is a lot happening tonight starting with breaking news. Police in riot gear and some on horseback arresting protesters after a Trump rally.
Also tonight, damaging state department report on Hillary Clinton's email practices and reports of a big Trump endorsement that's if it happens and senator Elizabeth Warren who is yet to endorse Secretary Clinton emerging as her staunchest defender.
We begin, though, with Donald Trump with the violence outside a Trump rally last night in Albuquerque. The clashes between protesters and police at a rally late today in Southern California and string of verbal attacks on powerful women whether Secretary Clinton, Senator Warren or the female Latina Republican governor of New Mexico.
First, Gary Tuchman outside of the venue in Anaheim where some of clashes took place.
Gary, what happened?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, what happened today in Anaheim, California, during and after the Donald Trump rally literally right across the street from Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. It is further evidence of potential of a very hot political summer in cities where Donald Trump comes particularly large metropolitan areas like Anaheim, California.
Five people detained today in a demonstration that got very tense. Fortunately, the violence was limited but the five people who were apprehended by police were considered to be the ringleaders, people that police feared they would stir things up more. Some rocks and some bottles were thrown. But police here in Anaheim say they have unprecedented response. They planned before today.
Hundreds of police officers from Anaheim, California, the Orange County sheriff's department and other municipalities in this county showed up. They are on horseback. They are on motorcycle. They are on foot. They were in car. And they are trying to push demonstrators that at least 100 many more in three different parts of the city. It all started right where I am standing now, right across from a Perris wheel and a roller coaster in the Disneyland Park. They kept pushing demonstrators back, spread them out. There were five arrests but nobody was seriously hurt although some rocks, some bottles were thrown and there was minor vandalism -Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman. Gary, thanks.
Now, the rally itself and the ongoing verbal onslaught from Donald Trump against not only his presumed opponent, Hillary Clinton, but two other women including one Republican.
Sara Murray has that.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER (voice-over): Donald Trump is campaigning across the golden state.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary, as I say crooked Hillary.
MURRAY: And seizing on a new report from the state department's inspector general saying Hillary Clinton failed to follow the rules with her private email server.
TRUMP: She had a little bad news today as you know from some reports came down that weren't so good but not so good inspector general's report, not good.
MURRAY: Trump unleashing a spade of attacks against both Clinton and Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren.
TRUMP: Pocahontas, that's Elizabeth Warren. I call her goofy. She is - no, no. Goofy. She gets less than anybody in the United States Senate. She gets nothing don.
MURRAY: As Clinton slammed Trump for rooting for the collapse of the housing market.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I want you to know that Donald Trump actually rooted for the housing crash that cost five million families their homes. I'm not making this up.
MURRAY: Trump is playing defense arguing he was simply speaking as a savvy businessman.
TRUMP: They have a clip of me from many years ago where they say if it guess down, I'm going to buy -- I'm a businessman. That's what I'm supposed to do. That's what I am supposed to do.
MURRAY: Meanwhile, Trump's efforts to unite the party hitting another rough patch Tuesday as he took a swipe at New Mexico governor, Suzanna Martinez, a fellow Republican.
TRUMP: She's not doing the job. Hey, maybe I'll run for governor of New Mexico. I'll get this place going.
MURRAY: And that prompting a sharp response from Martinez's op-ed, a statement saying the governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans adding she is disappointed that she didn't hear anything about that last night. All of this as Clintons piled on.
CLINTON: Last night he insulted the Republican Governor Martinez of New Mexico, (INAUDIBLE). I don't know. He seems to have something about women. I don't know.
COOPER: That was Sara Murray reporting.
With Donald Trump now fighting against leading women in both parties, there's certainly a lot to talk about. Joining us is senior Democratic Party official Donna Brazile, CNN's John King and Dana Bash. Also Trump supporter and former Carson 2016 senior strategist Jason Osborne, former Romney campaign strategist and current Trump critics, Stuart Stevens and Mary Katherine Ham, CNN political commentator and senior writer at the "Federalist."
I mean, Dana, it is one thing f| Donald Trump to go after Hillary Clinton. It is an obvious thing and Senator Warren., but the governor of New Mexico?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look. She made him mad. I mean, that's just the bottom line.
COOPER: That's what approximate boiled down to?
BASH: Don't you think? I mean, it certainly appears that way. But all indications are that the fact that he showed up in her state. She very pointedly decided not to go to his rally. Never mind that she hasn't endorsed him or anything like that and had some pretty tough things to say to him, but she's too busy to go. I mean, that is snub. And she snubbed him. And he doesn't take very well to that. He doesn't act like a normal politician in any way and that hasn't changed since he has become the presumptive nominee.
Now, for Republicans who have been trying extremely hard to get the Suzanna Martinezes of the world to vote this way never mind be a sitting governor of large state, never mind be the head of the Republican governors association, they're going huh?
[20:05:39] DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Did you see the only female Latina.
BASH: Well, yes. I mean, that's understood. Exactly.
BRAZILE: The first. I mean, this is clearly something that when Donald Trump feels that he is snubbed or attacked, his mojo is to go back and hit them harder and harder. But she is the sitting governor of a state that is going to possibly be a battleground state. She's a Latina. That's very important for the Republicans, of course. But more importantly, it's just about respect. Common sense. She wants Donald Trump to lower his volume. That's all she said. And all of a sudden today he just said, well, you know what? I can attack her, too. I think it was a mistake.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So add it to the very long and growing and continuously growing list of things that official Washington media and professional political consultants say that's it. John McCain is not a hero, you know.
And so, at a time look. At a time it is obvious. And a time when he needs to unify the Republican Party, you go after a sitting governor who happens to be the head of a party organization. She is a woman. He is a Hispanic. You know, he has issues with all these things. I don't think that will be a battleground state. I think New Mexico is moving away from the Republicans. But if he want to try to make it one, this didn't help. So on every box you check, this is negative for Donald Trump, right. But what is Donald Trump been doing for a year now? In his view, it isn't broke, don't fix it.
COOPER: Jason, as a Trump supporter, I mean, does it make sense to you? He got annoyed?
JASON OSBORNE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yes, I think that is exactly right. I mean, Donna, you were talking about --.
COOPER: And is it good for a president to get annoyed and stay stuff?
OSBORNE: I know that Donald Trump is making everybody's brain hurt on the Democratic side. And he is going to continue to do that. And it is actually kind of entertaining.
COOPER: No. But I mean, as a supporter and someone who works with a lot of politicians, as somebody who has temperament to be president?
OSBORNE: Yes. I mean, the thing about Donald Trump is that he says what he is thinking. That's what a lot of Americans like to see, you know. Now, he is not a politician but somebody running for their president. They are kind of tired as we saw in the Republican battle of politicians that are just repeating the same lines over and over again and are robotic. He makes you laugh. Whether you agree with him or not, you just want to sit there and go wow.
And so, you know, I think what he did to Susanna Martinez, it wasn't a slight on her being Latina. It wasn't a slight on her being a woman. It wasn't a slight on her being a Republican. It's the fact that he was in her state and that the Republican Party is trying to come together and that she made no effort to try to come out and say I'm going to meet you halfway. And so, what is he going to do? He is going to sit there and gloss over her record, which he pointed out what the problems with her record were, and he spoke the truth on it. He didn't embellish it. I don't think it's a problem.
MARY KATHERINE HAM, SENIOR WRITER, THE FEDERALIST: I think the lesson is there will be no quarter given. That's why people respond to him. But it's also why people think that is not a great quality in a president all the time when you are dealing with your domestic adversaries. And I think it was not 24 hours ago that he was saying and his team was saying if you want to distance yourself, fine. Distances herself, she says a critical thing and this is what he does. And I think that will be the pattern throughout the campaign. And that is why people who are calculated can't can I endorse him or can I not and can I distance myself, it's a very delicate game because Donald Trump does what Donald Trump wants to do at any given moment.
KING: That's a hugely critical point in the sense that in official Washington and Republicans around the country, they are not sure they can trust the word in his team. And that can hurt you in a campaign. If somebody high in the campaigns stuff tells a Republican green light. He needs to distance yourself and Donald Trump do it. As Mary Katherine noted - he cuts you out, that can cause a lot of problems in a campaign if you call a campaign to say, listen, I need to do this. I said, fine. You get a pass and then he chainsaws you, that's a problem.
OSBORNE: Donald Trump speaks for Donald Trump, you know. You'll never hear me or any of his advisers come out and say I'm speaking for Donald Trump.
COOPER: But wait. But when he is president of the United States, does he still as Donald Trump?
OSBORNE: That's the difference. He is not president of the United States. So right now he can speak for himself.
COOPER: But you are comfortable that when he is president, he is going to then shift?
OSBORNE: I don't see it as a shift. I see it as he is president of the United States. And like his business, he is going to run, you know, his businesses. He is going to delegate people to do certain things.
COOPER: But when he is president you don't think he is going to just speak for himself? You think he will speak for the country?
OSBORNE: I don't want to say what he's going to do or not do. I mean, that is him.
KING: A presidential campaign is pretty complicated. You are trying to run - you are not running a 50 states, but you are trying to run in 25 or 30 states. And if Stuart Steven says Governor Romney is cool with this, the person on the other end of the phone has to know, OK, Governor Romney is really cool with this. And if that is not true, that can cause trouble.
[20:10:11] STUART STEVENS, FORMER ROMNEY 2012 STRATEGIST: What is find is most striking about this is what Donald Trump did was not in Donald Trump's best interest. The two groups he needs most are Hispanic and females and throw in elected officials who need to back him. It was absolutely nothing that Donald Trump got out of this. We can say he speaks his mind but when kids do that in class, they learn manners. The ability to just speak whatever is in your head is not generally considered an asset in any kind of leadership role.
The reality is if you look at the pattern here, there seems to be two ways that Donald Trump deals with people, either submission or he dominates. And it is absolutely -- he respects you if you are defiant and if you submit to him, which is to endorse him, he seems to lose respect for you. And you know, this submission or defiance is not a good pattern when you need to work with a lot of people, when you need to lead a lot of people and when people need to invest in you. And it is a dangerous quality.
BASH: `I'm not sure that's entirely as black and white as that. Because the other quality that he has or character straight he has is he is fiercely loyal but more importantly he expects loyalty of him, right?
STEVENS: But no one can be his equal. There are no peers. Who is with Donald Trump who would speak to him as a peer? You know, he treats staffers with loyalty. Maybe more loyalty than they deserve. But that's just dealing with the help. It's not a quality of leadership.
And look. Suzanna Martinez is a terrific governor. She is head of the Republican governors association. She's a wonderful person. She is a phenomenal story. This is someone you should embrace. It's not you will like me if I like you. We do that in high school, not when you're running for president.
COOPER: We are going to continue this discussion. A lot more to talk about in the next two hours.
When we come back, the other story with potential huge political ramifications. What a new inspector general's report says about Secretary Clinton's emails use at the state department, especially what he says about her explanation after the fact, remember she said she cooperated fully? Not so much.
And later a 360 investigate a Trump supporter allegations about one of Clinton's earliest legal cases for defense of a man accused of rape as a court appointed defense attorney.
All that ahead.
[20:16:14] COOPER: Hillary Clinton campaigning hard today in California, got some bad news back in Washington. A state department inspector general report sharply critical of her use of a private email server as secretary of state casting doubt on her ongoing defense of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: My personal email use was fully above board. It was allowed by the state department as they have confirmed.
The truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the state department didn't capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The report, which went to Congress today, suggests otherwise.
Joining us now with more is CNN's Evan Perez.
So this report -- give us the big takeaways.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the report contradicts the major part of Mrs. Clinton's defense which you just heard right there. The inspector general says that her method of preserving these records violated rules who were put in place when she took office. And they found no evidence that any of that Clinton or her staff ever requested or received approval from the state department's lawyers to conduct all of her government business on a private server.
COOPER: So they never actually got permission to do this?
PEREZ: Right. Exactly. They never sought or received permission from the lawyers or from the security staff.
COOPER: And this report says that she explicitly did not want her personal emails on the state department server. Is that correct? Is that - I mean, is that why she did all this?
PEREZ: Actually, that's one of the more interesting parts of this report. There is a section there that deals with an episode from November 2010. At one point, one of Clinton's aides suggest that she set up a state department email address simply so that, you know, her emails didn't end up in the spam filter and Clinton responds quote "I don't want any of the personal being assessable." Now, that seems to shed new light on why she set up this personal server. As you know, she has said that she did this simply for convenience.
COOPER: And Clinton, I mean, she wasn't the only secretary of state mentioned in this report. Colin Powell was also mentioned, right?
PEREZ: That's right. Colin Powell also used private email but the report says that was before the state department changed its email rules. Essentially what he was doing was permitted at the time that he was in office, Anderson.
COOPER: It also says that she - I mean, she is repeatedly said she has cooperated, you know, as much as possible. But in this report it actually says - I mean, she declined to be interviewed for this report, correct?
PEREZ: I got to tell you, that's one of the most surprising parts of this report. Look. I'm sure her personal lawyers told her that it's best for her to wait for the FBI to interview her. That you only want to do this once. That you don't have to cooperate with the inspector general. But the optics are simply not very good. She is the former leader of
the state department. She ran this department and for her and her aids to refuse to cooperate with the inspector general really just doesn't look good. After all she is running for president. So, you know, that is going to be something that is going to be dogging her I think for some time to come.
COOPER: Evan, thanks for the reporting.
As you saw a bit of the top, Donald Trump is certainly talking about this on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary. She is as crooked as they come. She had a little bad news today as you know from some reports came down that weren't so good. But -- not so good. The inspector general's report, not good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: His implication about being crooked remains to be proven in court or otherwise. An FBI investigation is ongoing. So in addition to political questions, the legal questions remain unanswered.
Joining the panel, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and CNN political commentator Angela Rye. She is the former executive director of the congressional black caucus.
All right, Jeff, you are a lawyer.
[20:20:05] JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Sir?
COOPER: Political fallout, legal fallout, anything?
TOOBIN: Well, it's bad political news. There is no question about it. I mean, to read the report is to see really a keystone cop's operation. They really didn't know what they were doing or why they were doing it. And the fact that they didn't get formal approval for this setup is really embarrassing and contradictory to what he said.
COOPER: Legally this is different than the justice department?
TOOBIN: Right. And that's, if you can say anything is good news, that's the good news in this report. It is not a crime to fail to follow state department policies. A crime is to violate the rules on classified information. This report does not deal with classified information. It doesn't deal with that whole subject. I don't think it affects one way or another how the FBI is ultimately going to resolve this investigation but just as an indictment of her leadership, it's bad.
COOPER: And John, I mean, the Clinton campaign is obviously trying to spin this as well it's not a big deal but - I mean, to Jeff's point earlier about political implications, it is and based on what she said previously about cooperating fully, it is a big deal. KING: Right. Cooperating fully just to put it politely. The optics
there are not good if you're running for president and you don't cooperate with an investigation. Your decision in a department you led. That's not good. Jeff is exactly right in having covered the Clintons over the years when there have been investigations. Trust me, I know David Kendall, her lawyer, is you interviewed once, thank you very much. He will be interviewed once, thank you very much. You are not going to do this twice. And that's why she's waiting for the FBI. It makes any lawyer will tell her that. It makes a perfect legal sense
But she is running for president. I want to just hold something up. This is from NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll that just came out. And I want to thank (INAUDIBLE) put this word cloud together. Voters were asked response to the poll, what -- I say President Hillary Clinton, what phrase comes to mind? What phrase comes to mind? Look how big liar and not trustworthy is on this document. This is before the story came out. Already she has a problem. These are voters who are going to decide in what will be a competitive presidential election. And this is a problem for her.
And so, legally we will see where the FBI investigation goes. We will see what the rebuttal is to the state department. Her campaign says this IG has a bias against her. They can argue that in the public domain. Politically she has a problem. And this is only going to reinforce it.
COOPER: Angela, you're a Clinton supporter? OK, you are Democrat.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: You are trying to make announcements. Breaking news.
COOPER: But I mean, as a Democrat --
COOPER: How do you --?
RYE: Well, there are couple of things. One is I think this has been a distraction for far too long. And now it's more frustrating because to me I don't see how you wiggle your way out of this. I think it creates a huge issue for her. John just showed you why in this world cloud. There are number of people think that Hillary Clinton is not trustworthy. And I have often argued that it's because she presents herself as very guarded. This once again shows that. The quote that Evan read. I don't want any risk of the personal being assessable, right. And I think if we try to humanize this for a second, we can understand someone who has been targeted as the first lady in the Clinton White House and then as senator. You can understand why she would want to be guarded.
But at the same time, you have a certain level of openness that's expected about you as a presidential candidate. And so, this is really frustrating. I think the one thing I would ask as a lawyer is what are the consequences if she did not comply with this federal records keeping act? She didn't provide all of the emails in a timely manner. She decided which emails she was going to disclose. And so, the question I want to ask now is, what are the consequences? And if there is really no consequence, how much longer is this going to be fodder? But it's frustrating. It is a true distraction.
BRAZILE: She followed the practice of predecessors. She made a huge mistake --
KING: Colin Powell, l did not have a private server off campus.
RYE: But a private email.
KING: He did not have a private server off campus.
BRAZILE: Look, I'm not here to litigate 79 pages. I haven't read them all, OK. And I'm sure with my legal -- sharp legal mind that I'm going to borrow from Mr. Toobin later when I go through all 79 pages with a glass of (INAUDIBLE), I'm going to find something that would just make me so outraged. But you know what? It was a mistake, a huge mistake. She said that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long after it did she say it? It took her weeks.
BRAZILE: You know, sugar. You know, I'm a cat on a hot tin roof when I'm sitting next to John King. I got some (INAUDIBLE). My point is that this was a mistake. Now, I'm not going to litigate all 79 pages. But I did get to 42. And the conclusion was that this is a long standing systemic weakness related to electronic records and communications that existed in the state department.
John Kerry became the first secretary of state to actually have a state.gov email. Problems. No question. Political problems, I don't think so. This, the stuff that John is talking about, that's what we have been talking about all year, you know. Can she be trusted? Can she, you know, can she -- is she honest? She's going to be able to answer this and she will have to answer it.
[20:25:15] COOPER: She has come forward and said look, I cooperated a much as anybody can. I have, you know, given everything over. In this report, it says she refuses to be interviewed and her aides refuse to be interviewed.
STEVENS: She's not telling the truth.
You know, what strikes me here is why hasn't any of this blown back on the president? Ultimately, it was his choice for her to be secretary of state. The people she was communicating with are in his circle. She was there as his instrument of foreign policy. Why is it this seems to have happened in a separate world and that no one is holding the administration at large accountable for this?
RYE: Because she actually didn't comply with standards that he put in place that actually --.
STEVENS: Why didn't they know that? I mean, they are receiving emails from her that aren't at an official address?
COOPER: I got the same question which is why didn't anyone ever notice?
STEVENS: Yes. I mean, just the purpose of email is communications. She was communicating mainly with people in the administration so it would seem someone would raise a flag here and say why is it the secretary of state is writing me on a personal email?
COOPER: Because the only other official who is doing this at the time was the ambassador to Nairobi who actually was disciplined because of this and eventually stepped down because of this and some other unnamed things.
OSBORNE: But it wasn't also Obama's policy, it was her own policy to her own staff. She had been issued a directive telling her stuff that they had to use state.gov. So, she didn't follow that.
I mean, for me personally, I don't care about the emails she got exchanging gumbo recipes with Donna Brazile. I care about the fact that she thought that she was above the law in saying I'm better than the cyber security experts at state department. And I'm going to have my own server in my closet with manned by people that not vetted by the state department and that's OK. And then to blame it on predecessor's had the same thing. No, Colin Powell had probably g- mail address or a Yahoo! Or knowing him, probably on that escape in the AOL. But that's not the same thing.
RYE: But can't we call that above the law? Like I'm concerned about that because I do think we have to acknowledge the state department was hacked. OMB was hacked. I got the letter in the mail saying all of your information has been compromised. So there is something to the fact that they were at risk for cybersecurity acts. Maybe she did think. Maybe she was advised as she said that this would be safe.
COOPER: Do you think she was (INAUDIBLE), she knew that the state department email is going to be hacked? So that is why she was --?
RYE: The state department had already been hacked by the time they set this up, already hacked. OMB already hacked. White House hacked. So are we really going to stay that? It was because she was above the law?
OSBORNE: So then the opportunity is instead of trying to fix the problems that taxpayers pay for is to set up your own.
COOPER: We are going to have more when we come back.
Donald Trump has been on was path against Hillary Clinton over her husband's alleged behavior and how she handled it. One of his surrogate to this program brought up a case that Hillary Clinton worked on as a lawyer in the 1970s as some kind of proof that she won't be good for women. We will take a look at the facts of that case next.
[20:32:15] COOPER: Donald Trump's line of attack on Hillary Clinton goes right to the heart of what her supporters think is one of her strengths that as a woman she could somehow better understand the issues that women face so they could -- they should vote for her. But Trump had spent the better part of a week attacking that premise trying to paint her as something else.
Listen to one example from earlier this month in Oregon when Trump talked about the women at the center of Bill Clinton's rumored aside from Monica Lewinsky's infidelities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, we should point out there's no evidence that she did any of that, though he was very unspecific. Now some Trump supporters, at least one has been on this program, take the argument a step further and point to the time that Secretary Clinton than Hillary Rodham was a public defender in Arkansas and appointed by a judge to defend a man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year old girl.
It actually brought up a couple of weeks ago in "360", I said CNN have never reported on it turns out we had back in 2014. I was wrong, because it being brought up again today, we wanted to find out what really happened back in that case. A lot of accusations flying around the campaign. So we're going to try to take as many opportunities as we can in the coming months to take a step back and examine the facts against the claims whenever we can starting with this one and our Randi Kaye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It happened on this stretch of highway in Fayetteville, Arkansas back in 1975. A 12-year old girl brutally attacked by a 41-year old man. They were reportedly in his pickup truck after midnight and parked in a ravine. That's where she says he beat and raped her. The sixth grader ended up in the emergency room.
The young lawyer called on to defend the suspect in the case was none other than Hillary Rodham. Just 27 she had moved to Oregon to be with her then boyfriend, Bill Clinton.
Hillary Rodham was running the legal clinic at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, the defendant Thomas Alfred Taylor who deny the charge have requested a woman lawyer so the judge appointed the future Mrs. Clinton. It would be her first criminal defense case. Mahlon Gibson was the prosecutor at the time. MAHLON GIBSON, FORMER PROSECUTIR 1975 RAPE CASE: The day after she was appointed, in fact she called me and wanted to know if I could get her unappointed. She didn't want to represent the rapist.
KAYE: Despite her objection, Clinton immersed herself in Taylor's defense as she was legally obligated to do. In this affidavit seeking a psychiatric evaluation of the victim and signed Hillary Rodham, the rookie lawyer painted the victim as emotionally unstable suggesting she brought false accusations like this before, that she fantasized about older men and that experts say children like the victim tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences.
CNN contributor Josh Rogin interviewed the victim, now in her 50s, back in 2014, nearly four decades after the crime.
[20:35:14] The victim said the allegations in the affidavit are untrue that she'd never romanticized sexual experiences or made any false accusations before.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There's never been any evidence presented by anyone to substantiate the allegations that Hillary Clinton made in that affidavit to the victim, this was an attempt by Hillary Clinton to smear her in order to exonerate her attacker. The victim believes that Hillary Clinton lied in order to win.
KAYE: Clinton also insisted on getting her own expert opinion on the accused rapist's underwear after the crime lab cut out the key part of the sample to test then lost it.
In a bold move for her first-time defender, Clinton brought what was left of the accused rapist's underwear from Arkansas all the way here to Brooklyn, New York, more than 1,200 miles just so a renowned forensic expert she'd hunted down could look it over. A move considered aggressive even by the prosecutor's standards. Maybe so, but it worked.
Clinton's expert cast doubt on what was left of the evidence saying it hardly showed the defendant's blood or semen. The prosecution's case quickly started to unravel.
GIBSON: We began to scrambled and consider possibilities of lesser offenses.
KAYE: The story was mostly forgotten until in 2014, audio emerged of Clinton talking about the case with an Arkansas journalist back in the 1980s. Listen to her laugh describing the moment she delivered her forensic expert's findings to the prosecutor.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I handed it to Mahlon Gibson and I said, well, this guy's ready to come from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice.
KAYE: Those recordings were played for the victim by Josh Rogin during the interview. Her reaction was anger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I heard that tape I was pretty upset. You lied on me, and you're supposed to be it for women? You call that for women what you've done to me and I heard you on tape laughing.
KAYE: There is another piece of audio that Clinton's critics have pointed to for some time. Clinton on the same tape laughing about her client passing a polygraph.
CLINTON: He took a lie detector test! I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which destroy my faith in polygraphs.
CLINTON: But, you know, what was sad about it was that the prosecutors had evidence.
KAYE: But whatever evidence the prosecutor had was trumped by Clinton's defense. In fact, even the prosecutor told us Clinton was doing what any good defense attorney would do.
GIBSON: She was just doing her job. She was going to present the best defense she could and she was certainly going to require us to prove his guilt.
KAYE: In plea deal, she got her client's charges reduced from rape to unlawful fondling of a child. For rape Thomas Taylor could have gone to prison for life. Instead he was sentenced to one year in the county jail. Even that was reduced two months for time served. Clinton was asked about the case weeks after her audio tapes emerged during this interview with an online parenting network in Britain.
CLINTON: When you're a lawyer, you often don't have the choice as to who you will represent and by the very nature of criminal law, there will be those who you represent that you don't approve of but at least in our system you have an obligation and once I was appointed, I fulfilled that obligation.
KAYE: No matter her explanation, the victim sees it very differently.
ROGIN: She said that the sentence was a miscarriage of justice. In the victim's view, you cannot once smear a rape victim and then turn around and claim to be a defender or role model for women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Randi joins us now. Did the Clinton campaign have anything to say about this?
KAYE: Anderson, I reached out to the get their reaction earlier today and a spokesman for the campaign did sent me a statement which covers the couple of the main points on our story.
First on the affidavit, the spokesman told me this. Clinton was simply citing information from experts and investigators involved in the case as a reason to seek further expert opinion. So in other words Anderson, the affidavit didn't express her opinions about the victim the campaign says she was just sharing the opinions of these experts. Now on the issue of her laughing on tape, the same campaign spokesman told me this. "The reaction were very clearly expressions of disbelief at breakdowns in the handling of the case and absurdities she encountered within the system's bureaucracy." Adding this, "in the interview he says that she call this a terrible case and it's clear she is pained to recall it." And I should also point out Anderson that Mrs. Clinton has written in her book "Living History" that this case actually inspired her to start the first rape hotline in Arkansas. Anderson?
COOPER: All right Randi Kaye, Randi thanks very much.
[20:40:00] So is that story -- fornicative (ph) in anyway of Secretary Clinton's views on women, we'll talk to the panel about that including CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany who brought up the case on the program. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back. We're talking about whether Hillary Clinton's past even going back to when she was a 27-year old lawyer in Arkansas affects her ability to connect with women voters. There have been strong allegations from Donald Trump and his supporters including some of this program that she will not be good for women or is there just as many people say Trump's record with women even the way he talks about women is problematic.
Back with the panel, joining the conversation CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany who's been bringing of this 1975 case here on the program. Kayleigh you saw Randi's report there. The fact that the prosecutor in the case is sticking up for Clinton, what do you make of that. Does that change your opinion in any way?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It doesn't. But, you know, I will say this, you know, Hillary Clinton took this case when she was 27-years old. It happened 40 years ago. Do I think it's a linchpin case that frames the way she views women? I don't. But I think if we're going to dig decades into Donald Trump's past we have to apply that same standard to Secretary Clinton which means looking into this case.
[20:45:05] I understand her defense of herself, you know, I graduated from Harvard Law tomorrow. I've taken professional responsibility, too. I understand her claim that everyone deserves an attorney, in fact if someone in a criminal defense has a constitutional right to an attorney. I understand all of that and she's absolutely correct about that.
My two qualms as an attorney are this. One, you know, I think it exceeds the bounds of zealous advocacy when you paint a 12-year old, a sixth grader as fantasizing in engaging with older men. I know that she was citing a forensic report, you know, we reported that in this piece. But I would not go down that road if I were defending this man. Moreover, you know, I also think that I wouldn't laugh about the case. If you're defending someone you think is guilty, I wouldn't laugh about him passing a lie detector test, I think that would take that case with a heavy heart, not one that marginalizes in any the case or the victim's pain.
But again, this was in the past, I would like to leave it in the pass, I would like to turn to issues. I don't think this affects the voters today. But in order to leave this in the past, we likewise need to leave Donald Trump's past in the past.
COOPER: Jeff, legally or ethically is there anything in this?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: No as far as I can tell, this was all good legal work. First of all, consulting the expert in Brooklyn, I mean, I can't imagine anyone criticizing her about that. I mean that was just looking at the evidence. On the point about the affidavit and her history, it's worth remembering the date of this case 1975 rape shield laws which protect victim's past from being gone into, have not gone into effect yet.
So, unfortunately, that was how rape cases were defended in the '70s and earlier. So I think she was doing exactly what people did to defend their clients in those days. It sounds like she did an effective job. I just don't think there's anything to complain about here.
COOPER: Mary Katharine?
MARY KATHARINE HAM, SENIOR WRITER THE FEDERALIST: I mean, I think Kayleigh makes the points really well, this is an older issue but it is an actual thing that Hillary Clinton did. There's audio of it. There's an issue of tone here and sensitivity and if she's going to make the overt argument, which she does, that believing the victim is paramount, then this is part of the story. And she'll have to answer a bit to this insensitive recording that we have from the past.
COOPER: To me what was interesting is that she tried to get out of doing this case. The fact -- I mean whole notion of believing the victim is that, I mean at odds with the responsibility of an attorney to represent a client?
HAM: So and that's the other side of this, and I think it's a perfectly fine argument to say this was my duty and I was doing it. And many people will buy that. I do think the laughing and the tone is more the issue than the legal issue. And that's just something that hits people on a gut level or if they listen to it or it doesn't. But it's bothersome.
TOOBIN: I had a professor in law school who used to say, some people think some crimes are so terrible that not even innocence is a defense. You know, I mean this was a rape case. She was assigned to defend it. She had to defend her client whether he was guilty or not. So I just think that she -- what she did was clearly within the bounds of ethics, within the rules of the game, within that period. As for the laughing, you know, I didn't make out exactly what she was laughing about. It did it sounded like lawyers talking about war stories, which they do all the time. I did certainly didn't think anything on that tape suggested and she was insensitive to women.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: So a couple things, one Kayleigh brought us professional responsibility, now I remember sitting in my professional responsibility classes, and saying what if I think they're guilty? Like there got to be a way out. So I actually empathize with this moment where she says she tried to get out of the case. She has this prosecutor saying that he remembers her trying to get out of the case. And she tried to talk to the judge.
The issue is I think context is so important, they say in Washington County at that time, this defendant requested a female attorney and the judge could only think of three or four. And she was one of those three or four, the likelihood that you're going to get chosen to represent this defendant is highly likely. I think the other part I want to say is there are things that are said on Anderson's show on other shows that I'm on all the time and my they're incredulous, and my response, why are too serious?
And so I think that one and the same, like I don't want to put myself in Hillary Clinton's shoes, but it's not unfathomable to me for her to be laughing in that, I didn't hear going, can you believe this was dumb, I think this dumb little girl, that's not what she's doing to me.
And so I don't buy that that's what she was doing that she's making fun of rape victims. In fact I think the one other piece that we should remember is in this case she took this and felt like she really needed to do a good job because she was standing up a legal clinic for indigent defendants, for poor people that can't afford good counsel, and that to me is actually the admirable piece of this story.
HAM: Well, it's also another piece -- it's a larger piece which is that, and we will see this throughout the campaign, is Trump will bring up stuff like this that other nominees might not have been willing to bring up and we will end up talking about it.
HAM: Like this, and it -- this is a real part of her past and people -- some people will react negatively and others will not. But this is a for ...
[20:49:59] TOOBIN: I think that's a good point, and also explanations rarely catch up with accusations ...
TOOBIN: ... and even if people believe that she did nothing inappropriate here. Hearing that she mocked the rape victim is something ... JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: A, he brands people and has been relatively successful at it, Lying Ted, Little Marco, Low energy Jeb. He has a history of succeeding of branding people, now he wants to make it Crooked Hillary.
As to going to the Clinton's past and bringing it to the present, will it work in the general election? I don't know the answer to that question. Republicans have tried this in the past and the Clintons have always come out on top. But that was then this is now, we will see what happens.
The conservative base, he has some problems unifying the conservative base they like it, when you go after Clintons aggressively, number one, I will say this though, on the question of is he hurting her standing among women in that NBC/Wall Street Journal poll I put you earlier, she has a 47-point advantage at the moment over Donald Trump, 47 points over who is best to deal with issues of concern to women.
RYE: Say there's a chance.
KING: Listen, this is her -- she's on the high ground with that piece of electorate at the moment.
COOPER: We got to take a break. Thanks to all of the panelists. And Kayleigh, congratulations on graduating Harvard Law School first of all tomorrow. That is incredible ...
MCENANY: Thank you Anderson.
COOPER: ... that's awesome, an amazing, amazing.
Coming up next, is House Speaker Paul Ryan about to endorse Donald Trump? Like noise around that today, is it true? Well, we'll find out, we'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back, we have more breaking news, a senior aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan tell CNN that his boss is scheduled to talk in the phone with Donald Trump tonight. He says, they will continue the conversation about unifying their party, that's how the day's ending, it began though with talk that Ryan who was finally ready to endorse his party's presumptive nominee.
[20:55:16] Ryan publicly shot down these rumors saying that he doesn't have a timetable for his decision. The two men appeared to make peace earlier this month but they remain deeply divided over obviously some major policy issues as House Speaker and party leader who will run the Republican convention, Ryan's support is obviously very important and don't forget Trump lost the primary in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.
Joining me now Wisconsin radio host and Trump critic, he point out, Charlie Sykes. Charlie good to have you in this program. And Speaker Ryan isn't ready to endorse Trump right now. How does he get there, I mean especially if Trump isn't changing his positions or his tone but right now is clearly not. CHARLIE SYKES, RADIO HOST: No, he's in a very, very tough spot, because what Paul Ryan has to do is thread the needle. Find some way to support Donald Trump without debasing himself Allah, Chris Christie. And Donald Trump has not made that any easier over the last 24-48 hours and think about this, the way that he lashed out at New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez, he lashed out with Nikki Haley, you know, he was indulging in some of this conspiracy theories about Vince Foster being murdered, he's making fun, you know, engaging in juvenile taunts about Mitt Romney and all of that raises questions, OK.
You know, is he going to be a reliable partner, is he going to run as an adult and as a conservative. And I'm guessing that Paul Ryan is going to be raising those questions, I mean just a week ago Donald Trump was assuring Republican establishment types in Washington that he gets it and he's going to tone down, he's going to pivot he's going to change the way he behaves. And you're certainly not seeing that over the last 24, 48 hours.
COOPER: If Ryan does end up endorsing, what does you think that look like for him? I mean could he end up doing damage to his standing?
SYKES: Well, it could. And that's why this is an exquisitely difficult dilemma for Paul Ryan. I think what he has to find a way to -- as the Speaker of the House of Representatives to support the nominee but give himself the space and his members the space to distance himself when Donald Trump says something that is outrageous.
And I think that what your going to see is the Paul Ryan well reserve the right to say, all right no he does not speak for me when he says this or that when he attacks somebody. Because, you know, I do think that, you know, at some point the establishment, which is engaging in this group hug right now, you know, believes somehow that they can do business with Donald Trump, but will he be a reliable partner for them? Do they honestly think they can control Donald Trump? Do they think that he's going to be more humble, more responsible when he actually has the powers of the presidency?
And by the way, I think one of the most disturbing things that we've seen in the last 24 hours is not just that he attacks Susanna Martinez, you know, the first Latina female governor of a state. But you notice how few other Republicans have come forward to defend her? How many other governors? She's the chairwoman of the Republican Governor's Association. How many other governors had stood up for her?
And I think what Republican need to ask themselves is, OK, if you're not willing to stand up and defend somebody who being attacked by Donald Trump now when he's just a candidate, what will it be like if he's the president of the United States? And if you ever disagree with him, if you ever disagree with him and he attacks you, will anybody stand up for you? Because with Donald Trump it appears to be there's only two choices. Either capitulation -- capitulation or defiance. There's no room for civil disagreement.
And I think this is something that Republicans, you know, including Paul Ryan are going to have keep in mind over the next few weeks. COOPER: Charlie Sykes, Charlie thanks for being with us.
A lot more ahead in the next hour, including more as you just heard on Trump's latest attacks on some powerful women.
Plus, who is hitting back right now and how.