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Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson Reacts To Trump's Attacks On Clinton; Taking A Closer Look At Donald Trump's Health; Two Of The Paris Train Attack Heroes On Their New Book; 6.2 Earthquake Hits Central Italy, 39 Dead. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired August 24, 2016 - 07:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:30:55] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump continues to attack the Clinton Foundation as he changes how own stance on immigration. Libertarian nominee, meanwhile, Gary Johnson, is waging his own battle. He wants to get on the stage for the presidential debates and that first debate is just a month away now, Chris. So, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson joins us now. Governor, thanks so much for being here.

GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Oh, thank you so much for being here. You know, i had somebody in New Mexico tell me once -- or I said, I can't believe that this pay-to-play thing exists. I said, you know, we didn't any of that as governor. And he said to me -- he said Gary, I know that, we all know that. It's never happened before and it's never going to happen again.

CAMEROTA: But you're talking about the Clinton Foundation.

JOHNSON: Yes.

CAMEROTA: What is so wrong about the Secretary of State meeting with major foreign leaders who have given to her husband's foundation?

JOHNSON: Because there is an implication that when you give those donations that you will have access, and that's pay-to-play.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Here's your advantage. So the person who is attacking Clinton most for that right now is Donald Trump, a man who has openly acknowledged that he used that system, that he would give money, that he would do it to get access.

So, fundamentally, you have a great opening for a third party candidate because you have one person who's being accused of pay-for- play, rightly or wrongly, by someone who wants to be a change agent who says they also played that game. So where do you fit in?

JOHNSON: Well, I am the third alternative here and that it never has existed, my having been in politics. I've never taken a penny from politics. I mean, this is a -- to me, this is a higher calling. This is about being in a position to do the right thing.

Before I ran for governor I wondered could you -- could you come from completely outside of politics, could you be governor for one term or two terms and just be completely aboveboard, meaning legislation comes to you. You either support it or you oppose it based on what is the best for, in this case, the citizens of New Mexico.

And I have to tell you, good government was easy. It was possible to do that and I did it the whole time in office. Now I'm not saying others don't, in fact, do that same thing. But what I've seen, never having been involved in politics before, is that there is a big pay- for-play out there.

That you give contribution and contribution gives you access. It doesn't give you -- it doesn't give you action on what it is that you propose, but it's access and it's a constant feeding of that access and that's also the other side of politics.

CAMEROTA: Right, but that's not illegal.

JOHNSON: No, it's not. No, it's not.

CAMEROTA: The access is illegal. It's --

JOHNSON: No, it's not illegal. None of this is illegal. It's just that the implication and the fact that it is being paid, and that it's unstated. Look, if you don't pay for that access you don't get the access.

CUOMO: Illegal is also a strange standard to apply to politics. It would seem that we should have a higher bar than whether or not you go to jail for what you're doing while you're in office.

JOHNSON: Well, and that's also the case here with the Clinton Foundation. And gee, we're going to disband the Clinton Foundation if Hillary's elected president but it was OK while she was Secretary of State? I mean, when you -- when you watch the connections.

Gee, these agreements were signed after Bill -- for the longest time I wondered what these half a million dollar speaking fees were that Bill was being paid for. And then starting to link up well, gee, here's the speaking fee and here's the agreement that was signed with the State Department shortly thereafter.

CUOMO: Right, but no proof has come out of quid pro quos yet --

JOHNSON: Oh, no, no, there is --

CUOMO: -- but that is the suggestion and that's the risk of when you get too close with your lines of attachment.

JOHNSON: Right, and there is a quid pro quo. Is it an illegal line that got crossed over? No, nobody is going to get prosecuted for this because that's also the nature of this.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about immigration. Donald Trump has changed his stance. He no longer thinks it's practical to deport every single one of the 11 -- [07:35:00] JOHNSON: No, but he still says that he wants to build a wall across the border. And really, he's not going to deport all 11 million, he's going to keep some. Look, we should embrace immigration. These are really hardworking people that are taking jobs that U.S. citizens don't want. So make a system -- get a system in place. Work visas that just make it easy to cross over the border.

And with regards to the 11 million that are here, he's also talking about deporting them but bringing them back. Look, they're here because they couldn't get across legally and you or I would be doing the same thing if it were our families. And the fact that jobs exist, I can't get across the border, so the only way I can get those jobs is if I cross illegally, that's the reason for 11 million undocumented workers.

CAMEROTA: So, president Johnson legalizes those folks?

JOHNSON: Why legalize this? Just set up a system whereby you can come into the visa office and as long as you've been law-abiding you'll get a work visa and you'll be allowed to stay.

CUOMO: How different is that than what we have right now?

JOHNSON: Well, right now, they still remain undocumented. They're contributing -- they're contributing mightily to the economy by paying taxes.

CUOMO: But they don't go to the office. The question is --

JOHNSON: They don't go to the office.

CUOMO: -- there is a system set up right now where you can go in, say you want to work in America, and then you wait and get a chance for entry. People are taking it in their own hands --

JOHNSON: And that's good. That's --

CUOMO: -- and doing it illegally. Should they be rewarded for that?

JOHNSON: No, not rewarded, but just recognize the reality of why it has happened and continues to happen. You can't get across the border legally, you and your family have needs, youcan't get across legally, the jobs exist, so you cross illegally. You make it easy with a work visa program.

And don't put government in charge of quotas. That's another broken- down system. They'll either be jobs or there won't be jobs. And right now there's a reverse migration taking place because there are more jobs in Mexico than there is in the United States. And illegal crossings -- crossings of the border right now are at a decade low right now.

CAMEROTA: The presidential debate is one month away. Your poll numbers are ticking up in the right direction.

JOHNSON: They're ratcheting up, yes. CAMEROTA: Here's the latest Fox News poll. You're at 12 percent. So I think that you need to hit 15 percent, they've said.

CUOMO: Fifteen in five national polls that are picked by the committee.

JOHNSON: Picked by the committee and in those five polls when they came out and announced that, which was a couple of weeks ago, our consensus number was 10, so we're kind of optimistic that this might actually happen. We're raising money in a way that, by comparison to Trump and Clinton, it's not their numbers but it's enough money, perhaps, to launch into a name recognition campaign.

Seventy percent of Americans still don't know who I am and I think that bodes well for actually winning the race at some point --I do. We still hold to the belief -- me and Bill Weld hold to the belief that we might be the next president-vice president.

CUOMO: The last question is -- the one that dogs the third party candidate is the spoiler question.

JOHNSON: Yes, yes, yes.

CUOMO: It's always been like that since the dynamic was created in America. You have been increasingly critical of both candidates, especially Trump. You've come out as seeing him as disingenuous. That he's trying to pull something over on the American people.

Most of the tabulations show that you will draw more from Clinton than Trump. Is that something that is of any increasing concern to you or you're still where you've always been, which I'm for Johnson. Whatever else happens, happens.

JOHNSON: No, a wasted vote is voting for somebody that you don't believe in and I'm halfway believing that as this gets really close to the election, are you going to waste your vote on Trump or Clinton when Johnson's out there as a pick -- as a viable pick? That's what I'm holding to, Chris.

CAMEROTA: Governor Gary Johnson, thanks so much.

JOHNSON: Alisyn, thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: It's great to have you here. It's fun to talk to you.

JOHNSON: Always great, always fun, thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right, team Trump has been attacking Hillary Clinton with conspiracy theories about her health. What about Donald Trump's health? A letter from his doctor raises a lot of questions. We'll talk about it with our own doctor, Sanjay Gupta.

CUOMO: Didn't the letter say he's so healthy it will make your head spin?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:42:40] CUOMO: All right, so over the past few days we've heard a lot of conspiracy theories regarding Hillary Clinton's health and whether she is fit to be president. On the other hand, what do we know about Donald Trump's health, aside from a letter from his physician? Let's take a closer look with our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Doc, always a pleasure to see you.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, sir.

CUOMO: So, help us. Doctor Harold N. Bornstein. He is the doctor who suggestively wrote, certainly may have signed the letter about Donald Trump's health. What do we know about him?

GUPTA: Well, we -- he's been a doctor with Trump for 36 years, we hear, between him and his father. He says he's a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, so a G.I. doc. Interestingly, we called that particular organization. They said he was a member, but he hasn't been a member there in over 20 years, since '95, now.

And, in fact, the hospital where -- Lenox Hill Hospital -- says he's part of the section of gastroenterology. He's not actually a member of that section. He does have admitting privileges at the hospital, but he's not.

So there's some things in the letter with regard to his qualifications that are a little bit questionable. It really was more sort of the language of this letter that I thought was quite surprising. It just -- it wasn't written the way that many typical medical letters are written.

CUOMO: A gastroenterologist -- now, I'm no doctor but that doesn't jump out at me as the type of physician this letter usually would come from, right? When I have to get insurance stuff they go to my -- you know, the resident or the primary physician.

GUPTA: Primary doctor, yes.

CUOMO: Is this unusual to you or --

GUPTA: You know, it could be unusual. I wasn't as concerned about that. You know, gastroenterologists typically do have -- they go through internal medicine training first and then they get a fellowship. It could be something that he started seeing Mr. Trump for just more primary care sort of things. Happens to be a gastroenterologist. So I was less concerned about that particular aspect of it.

It really was more of just the language, you know. When --

CUOMO: Astonishingly excellent.

GUPTA: I only use that to describe you, Chris.

CUOMO: Yes.

GUPTA: You know, in this case -- CUOMO: And aptly so. Healthiest individual ever elected.

GUPTA: How do you know that? How would you -- that's unknowable. Certainly, one is part doctor, one is part historian, I guess, but these types of things really -- that type of hyperbole typically isn't used. Strength and stamina being astonishingly excellent. You know, when we measure strength -- you can actually measure strength. This is -- this is -- not a lot of objective data was in the letter.

[07:45:00] CUOMO: "His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary. Over the past 12 months he has lost at least 15 pounds. Mr. Trump takes 81 milligrams of aspirin daily and a low dose of a statin. His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary." That was the context for that.

So, he's in great shape. I mean, why should we question any of this, just because it doesn't sound like what you'd usually hear?

GUPTA: Yes, I think, in part, it's the language. When you start using this type of hyperbolic language -- you know, we like to back things up with data. Doctors and journalists always want to get more information, certainly. But here, you have a lot of language without a lot of substance to back it up.

CUOMO: So what do you want to know -- like HDL, LDL? Like what his cholesterol levels are?

GUPTA: He's on a statin. They say he's on a statin. What is his cholesterol? You've indicated in some way that he has these types of medical -- medicines that he's taking. For what, exactly? What sort of impact have they had? Does he have a risk of heart disease? Does someone need to be taking these medications because they're at higher risk of heart disease or higher risk of stroke?

These are the types of things that, I think, are going to be more important. Also, what is his past medical history? We don't really know anything about his past medical history. We get some glimpses of his health from the campaign trail. We know he brags about not needing to sleep much. He's OK with fast food. He says campaigning and golf is his main form of exercise. That doesn't give us a lot of insights into his health overall.

There is no particular law that says we have to know the health of the candidate. I mean, there's nothing that demands that but I think a lot of people do want to know.

CUOMO: Especially when you start -- you have candidates who are not 50. You know what I mean? You get -- both candidates will be in their 70's, you know, 70 and above.

GUPTA: And that is, I think, more of a reason. Certainly with age there are going to be greater health concerns. But it is also fair to say that there are people who are chronologically 70 and have physiology of a 50-year-old. And by the way, vice versa. You could have someone who is 50 who has the physiology of a 70-year-old. So we can actually parse this out a little bit if you get more information. CUOMO: It's good to know. So, we don't have to have any of this but if this going to become part -- like with the taxes that started with Nixon back in '70. If you're going to have information you should have full information.

GUPTA: You should have full information and someone said you should have an independent panel separate from the doctor who is actually taking care of the patient because there's often a friendly relationship there. Somebody independent or an independent panel to actually vet out these doctors -- vet out these candidates in terms of their medicine.

CUOMO: Sanjay Gupta, in extraordinary shape, yourself. Astonishing strength and stamina, Alisyn. Everybody says it.

CAMEROTA: (Laughing)

CUOMO: He is his own doctor.

GUPTA: That's right.

CAMEROTA: When he needs a doctor, which he doesn't, he is his own doctor. Thank you very much, Sanjay. All right, you'll remember these three Americans. This story gripped us. They stopped a terror attack on a train in France. They are now sharing their full story for the first time and they'll join us live on NEW DAY, next.

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[07:51:35] CAMEROTA: Last summer, a trip across Europe for three childhood friends took a frightening turn when their train, headed for Paris, was attacked by a terrorist. Thanks to their quick action no one on board that train was killed. The French government honored the men, as did President Obama. And now, they've written a book recounting what happened on that fateful day.

And two of the co-authors, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone, join us now. Their book is "The 15:17 To Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes". Guys, it's great to have you here.

SPENCER STONE, CO-AUTHOR, "THE 15:17 TO PARIS", PARIS TRAIN ATTACK HERO, STAFF SGT., U.S. AIR FORCE: Thanks for having us.

ANTHONY SADLER, CO-AUTHOR, "THE 15:17 TO PARIS", PARIS TRAIN ATTACK HERO: It's good to be here. Thanks for having us.

CAMEROTA: We should mention that your third friend couldn't be here because he's in the military and he's in sniper school right now.

STONE: Yes, he's continuing to serve us so our thoughts are with him and wish he could be here.

CAMEROTA: Ours, too. Spencer, tell us moment on that train that you realized something very bad was going down. STONE: Well me and Anthony were actually both asleep at the time and my friend Alec was looking towards the back. A train employee had ran by the -- in between us through the hallway. That commotion kind of woke us up. I realized something was going on so I took my headphones off. I heard glass breaking, people screaming, and I turned around and the first thing I see is a guy coming through the doorway, shirtless, with a backpack strapped to the front him, picking up --

CAMEROTA: And that image of a backpack strapped to the front of him is what's so jarring to you and something's terribly wrong.

STONE: Exactly, it just looks totally off in that situation. (Video playing) And then immediately he grabs his AK-47 that had fallen on the ground, loads a round into the chamber. I rushed at him and he actually tried to shoot at me but there was a bad primer in the bullet. I mean, that's just one example of how many miracles or weird coincidences that are listed in our book.

CAMEROTA: And why you guys were able to survive and do such a heroic act. That video we were just seeing, Anthony, is your cell phone video --

SADLER: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- I believe. So walk us through that. What are those images there that we were seeing?

SADLER: Basically, that was kind of for my peace of mind. After we had tied the gunman up and Spencer had his fingers in the other passenger's neck -- Mark's neck -- to save his life, it was kind of like a calm moment.

CAMEROTA: Why did he have the fingers in Mark's neck to save his life?

SADLER: He had previously been shot. We didn't witness that because we were asleep and I guess that was the commotion that the train employee was running from. So by the time we had noticed him, after we tied the gunman up, we had noticed he had a gunshot wound coming out of his neck and he was bleeding everywhere. We tried to save his life but we didn't know -- we didn't really know what to do until Spencer crawled over and plugged the artery up.

CAMEROTA: Yet another heroic act of yours -- both of yours, Spencer. That video is graphic but we obviously felt that it's important to show just the aftermath.

Let me read a passage from the book that talks about the moment before you know that you're going to be able to stop the terrorist, Spencer. It says here that you think "Someone has to get this guy. A sliver of frustration sparks off something in his brain. I'm going to die here. Then an electrical charge surges through his entire body and one more final thought tumbles home with a flood of energy. I am not going to die sitting down. The realization verges on euphoria."

What was that moment like for you when you got up? STONE: Well, I mean, I think I say that just because we only had two options in our situation. It was just sit there and die or die on our feet and we were ready to kind of always have each other's backs and kind of stand up to the right thing, and that's what we felt was right doing. And I would have been happy if my family could find out that I went out like that instead of sitting down lettingjust kind of things pass by.

[07:55:00] CAMEROTA: Anthony, what was happening for you during all the commotion?

SADLER: The initial thought I had was is this really happening? It kind of shocked me at first. The first image I see is him loading a round into the AK so that was just shocking for me because we had just woken up out of our sleep and within seconds Spencer charged him. So at that point it just became more instinctual just to follow Spencer into battle at that point.

CAMEROTA: You exchanged text messages with your dad before the attack and then right after the attack, and I think it's really powerful. So let me just read these text messages between you and your dad.

You say on Thursday, August 20th at 11:07 p.m. -- you say, "Hi dad so it's 8am on Friday here right now. We head out of Amsterdam to Paris today at 3pm and will get around 6pm. I'll text you hotel info when I receive it."

You dad says, "Okay son.

The next text he gets is at 4:43 p.m. "Call me dad."

SADLER: Yes.

CAMEROTA: What happened in that conversation?

SADLER: I couldn't get ahold of him and I was calling him off a foreign number and I knew that's why he wasn't answering so I had to text him. That's basically how we talk to each other seriously, just that simple "call me" and that's how you know it's serious. So I needed to basically brace him for what I was going to tell him. I didn't know quite how to tell him we stopped a terrorist attack.

So when I finally did get him on the phone I just flat-out told him and he was like OK. And I was like I've got to go, call me back, and then was like call me when you can. And I know he was kind of floored at first and then he kind of took a while to digest this.

CAMEROTA: To process --

SADLER: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- that message. That one doesn't happen every day. I know you guys don't like the term hero but, of course, you are heroes and that's how France saw you, that's how America saw you and you got do all sorts of things as a result. You were honored by the president of France, you met President Obama, you've met Clint Eastwood. You were in the locker room with just all sorts of cool people -- with Kobe Bryant. What's the best thing that has happened in the past year?

STONE: You want to take this, Anthony?

SADLER: Yes. I think being with Kobe Bryant. You mentioned being in the locker room with Kobe Bryant. He was like a hero of mine and Spencer's a big fan of him, as well. And he just took us in like friends and talked to us for a few hours, and he didn't have to take the time so we're indebted to Kobe for that.

CAMEROTA: Spencer, what was your coolest moment?

STONE: I think we've obviously done so many cool things and there's just a giant list. But I would say it probably has to be bringing my family along for most of the stuff because I think when this all first happened they were headed on a plane here to New York. And I kind of took a moment and I realized that this is the first time me and my family had all been on a plane together. So I think it was just a really cool moment, being able to bring them along for the ride.

CAMEROTA: Well, the book is really great. Everybody should read it. It's a chilling and, obviously, ultimately inspiring account of everything that happened. Thanks so much for being here, guys.

SADLER: Thanks for having us.

STONE: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Best of luck to both of you --

STONE: Thank YOU.

CAMEROTA: -- moving forward. All right, we're following a lot of breaking news, including this earthquake that's rattling Italy, so let's get right to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: This horrible earthquake striking central Italy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of these piles of rubble used to be homes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The town, it's half gone. People are trapped beneath the rubble.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is corruption. I have called for a special prosecutor to look into this mess.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You've got to be prepared for wacky stuff that comes at you.

TRUMP: We have only seen the tip of the iceberg.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-in), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The world is spinning out of control. TRUMP: Hillary Clinton wants to fling open the floodgates to our borders.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We need to find a mechanism that works. He's not flip-flopping on immigration.

TRUMP: No one owns me. What do you have to lose in trying Trump?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone, welcome to your new day. It is Wednesday, August 24th, 8:00 in the East. And we do begin with breaking news for you because a powerful 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocks central Italy. At least 39 people are now dead. That number will likely go up. The quake leaving mountain towns in ruins. The mayor of Amatrice saying simply that his town is "no more".

CUOMO: The tremors were felt as far away as Rome. That's 100 miles from the epicenter of the quake zone. Officials expect the death toll to rise because they haven't been able to assess anything, really, yet.

These are old, old buildings. Our correspondent put it best, that what makes this place so beautiful is also what's making this situation so deadly. She is Barbie Nadeau. She is our CNN contributor and Rome bureau chief for "The Daily Beast". She is in Saletta, a small town about a mile and one-half away from the epicenter of the quake.

And obviously, I'm quoting you there because that's the challenge. Beautiful, old, rustic villages on these mountainside communities easy to be destroyed and very difficult to access -- Barbie.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, that's absolutely right, Chris. You know, people come here to get away from it all. Now is when they actually don't need to be away from it all. But they haven't been able to get heavy equipment into some of these outlying areas. They just don't even know who's there.