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Trump Holding Meetings With African-Americans; Trump Surrogate Under Fire For False Claims On Bio; Trump To Visit Black Church In Detroit On Saturday; "Dangerous" Storm May Intensify, Threatening Millions; Tropical Storm Hermine Batters Carolinas; GA, NC, MD, VA Governors Declares States Of Emergency; FBI Releases Clinton Email Report, Notes Of Interview; The Essential Hillary Clinton, Monday 8PM ET. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired September 2, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:09] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us tonight.

We have breaking news in the Hillary Clinton email story. The FBI reveals what she told them and all of the time she told them she could not remember. She says she's glad it's out in the open, and her supporters say it reveals no wrongdoing, and Donald Trump says her answers defy belief.

First, though, the last thing that tens of millions of people want to see this holiday weekend or any time for that matter, Hermine now a tropical storm, the damage done so far in Florida, and up to the Carolinas, and who else could be in for a rough time in the days ahead.

Martin Savidge joins us. He's in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

What's the storm looking like where you are?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, the winds have really picked up, Anderson, in just the last 20 minutes or so. The rain now is really coming down with a much greater force. Coastal flooding is the biggest concern they've had all day here in North Carolina. They've been trying to clear the storm drains, trying to make sure that that six to eight inches that's predicted will move off of the land as quickly as possible, and that's the other big development.

This storm made landfall last night. Tonight, it's going to do just the opposite. It will go from land out into the water. Water to a tropical system like this is gasoline, which means it's going to potentially intensify from here on out. For all those farther up the Eastern Seaboard, that is not good news. In South Carolina alone, over 700,000 customers without electricity.

This storm still has a lot of potential danger to it, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. We'll keep tracking. Martin Savidge, thank you.

Now, today's big document drop in the Hillary Clinton e-mail case. Just about two months after FBI Director James Comey gave Clinton detractors and supporters alike something to latch on to in the remarkable news conference when he recommended against criminal justice, the bureau today gave each side even more, a detailed report on the investigation. More evidence Clinton supporters say there is no criminal smoking gun connected to her use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state, and what she told investigators about it. More evidence say detractors that she was less than honest, less than prudent about security and they argued that she broke the law.

Beyond just that the documents give details give everyone on all sides new insight into how the FBI did its job and how Secretary Clinton did hers.

More now on all of that from our Joe Johns.



JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The FBI's formerly classified report into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server reveals there was a lot that she could not remember when being questioned by agents. The report indicates 39 different times Mrs. Clinton said there were things she did not recall or remember according to the FBI's notes on her interview.

The documents providing insight into why the FBI did not recommend charging Clinton even with classified information on her private server, including 81 e-mail chains that contained sensitive information.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

JOHNS: In her more than three-hour interview with the FBI Clinton could not recall any briefing or training by state related to the handling of classified information. She said she could not recall every briefing about how she should preserve her records when she left the State Department. The FBI noting she was recovering from a concussion and blood clot at the time.

Clinton said she relied on her aides to use their judgment when e- mailing her and could not recall anyone raising concerns about information sent to her private account. She also said she did not know that a "C" marking on a document meant it was classified and even asked interviewing agents for clarification.

Some of the classified e-mails that caused the most trouble for Clinton discussed the CIA's covert drone program which should never be discussed on any unclassified e-mail systems. The report says Clinton stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification.

CLINTON: Welcome to all of you.

JOHNS: But one of the things Mrs. Clinton seemed inconclusive about was her motivation. She told the FBI she used her personal server for convenience and not to evade freedom of information laws.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch followed the FBI's recommendation and passed on prosecuting Clinton who eventually admitted using a private e-mail server was a mistake.

CLINTON: I would certainly not do that again. That is something that at the time, as even Director Comey said, seemed like a convenience, but it was the wrong choice.

JOHNS: Donald Trump wasted no time seizing on the release saying, quote, "Hillary Clinton's answers to the FBI about her private e-mail server defied belief. I was absolutely shocked to see her answers to the FBI stood in direct contradiction to what she told the American people."


COOPER: Joe Johns joins us now.

I mean, back to what you mentioned in your piece, does the report actually ties Clinton's concussion and blood clot to some sort of memory loss?

[20:05:03] Is that right?

JOHNS: Yes, but it's about a very specific time period and it was Hillary Clinton's concussion which happened in December 2012 and the blood clot she was dealing with around New Year, and they say based on doctor's advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and couldn't recall every briefing she received.

But that appears to be something they were discussing in the period when she was transitioning out of her role as secretary of state in early 2013 and during that time Clinton said she received no instructions or direction regarding the preservation or producing records.

So, yes, there is a reference to a concussion of a blood clot affecting a recall, but it was pegged to a very specific time period, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Joe. Thanks very much.

I want to bring in our panel. Clinton supporter, talk radio host, Bill Press, Clinton supporter and national spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, "New York Times" national political reporter Alex Burns. Also, Trump supporters Andre Bauer and Jeffrey Lord. Andre is the former Republican lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Jeff is a former top Reagan White House political honcho.

Alex, let's start over to you -- just in terms of the reporting on this, what really stands out to you? ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: I think just

the visibility into how the FBI conducted this conversation with Hillary Clinton and what she sort of offered as her answers --

COOPER: And did not offer.

BURNS: And did not offer answers under that kind of pressure. We haven't seen the investigation up close like that before, and we haven't seen and we certainly have seen Hillary Clinton in a couple of appearances which is a long time ago now, you know, sort of bobbing and weaving a bit on the specifics to set up an e-mail server and we have not seen this intimate blow by blow account of what she sent and why and what her thinking supposedly was.

COOPER: And, Karine, 39 times she said she can't remember? I mean, I know that's what lawyers advise people to say on a witness stand, but it doesn't come off all that great, does it?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Look, Anderson, you know, she has been very clear. She said she made a mistake and she apologized. She said she would do it differently.

COOPER: But she's not very clear to the FBI. I mean, she seems fuzzy on just about everything that happened.

JEAN-PIERRE: No, I hear you, but look, FBI Director Comey said she didn't do anything illegal. What we learned -- I believe what we learned from this report is that the FBI did a thorough investigation and there was nothing there.

COOPER: Well, it seems, Bill, to me the reading from the FBI is she didn't have the intent to do anything wrong, but clearly, you know, was careless. The idea that she, a policy wonk, a self-described policy wonk who knows the details in and out of health care policy and just, you know, just about everything else doesn't know what a "C" is on some of these documents. I mean, if you have a security clearance, you know a "C" is for classified.

BILL PRESS, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: I would be careful of that. I mean, I'm a policy wonk, too. I got to tell you, I'm lucky if I can get around --

COOPER: Right, have you ever had --


PRESS: My computer without screwing something up.

COOPER: Right. She's had a security clearance for years and she doesn't know what a "C" is. And she never stopped to think I wonder what this "C" is?

PRESS: I don't necessarily buy that. I want to make two points. One is, I want to point out, it's Friday of Labor Day weekend, right? I want to congratulate the Clinton camp on their exquisite timing for getting this out. COOPER: Right. It's a legendary late night dump of documents.

PRESS: At the beach this weekend, they're not going to be talking about this.

But the other thing is, am I going to defend Hillary Clinton on the use of her e-mails? Absolutely not, because she doesn't defend it.

It was wrong to set it up. It was absolutely monumentally careless and stupid the way the Clinton campaign has handled this whole thing. She admits such. In her interview with you, she took responsibility for it.

But once you get that aside, what new did we learn here today? Nothing. What have you got after that? Nothing.

COOPER: Well, Jeffrey Lord, I think there are some folks who would say that the way she interacted with the FBI does not reflect well on her and maybe that's what's new to some people.

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, listening to my friend Bill, it reminds me of the old deal about other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

This is really bad. I mean, just in a political sense, you know, you wonder if she's not on some sort of secret Donald Trump payroll. I have to believe there are a lot of Democrats tonight silently cursing that Joe Biden is not on this ticket as the head of the ticket.

PRESS: Dream on.

LORD: And this is beyond belief and here is someone advertising herself for candidate and the best prepared candidate in history and she doesn't know what the "C" stands for on classified documents. She's putting this stuff on a private server, and then she acts like some mafioso capo in front of Congress saying, I don't recall, I don't recall, I don't recall.

I mean, this is a gift to Donald Trump. It's going to go all of the way to November.

PRESS: Can I just point out on that, Jeffrey? I think it's time for a little reality check among you Trumpsters, OK?

There are two stories in "Politico" this week. One is that the RNC came to New York and they sat down with the Trump people and they went state by state by state, and they said right now we do not see a path to 270 for you."

[20:10:04] They've told them that.

There's another story just yesterday -- no, it was this morning, that "Politico" reported that Clinton people see five different paths to 270 for Hillary Clinton, and some of them go all of the way up to 370, and you guys have been beating this e-mail drum now for a year and a half. COOPER: I'll let Andre --

JEAN-PIERRE: It's a distraction.

PRESS: It ain't working!

COOPER: But whether it's working or not, that's a political question, but --

PRESS: An important one.

COOPER: And the actual facts of what today and it is important to look at.

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is, and she has made a career out of forgetting. This is a woman that is highly intellectual and has signed off that she had top secret clearance studying. I mean, they bring her in and she signed off that she received this information.

And so, drone strikes aren't classified? Was anything not classified? Evidently, she thought nothing was classified because she -- we're talking about 13 phones, five iPads?

COOPER: That's the other thing. All along she has said this was done for having one device, plus she had 13 devices and all of which have disappeared and the FBI --

BAUER: They were smashed with hammers.

JEAN-PIERRE: Two of them were.


BAUER: Lying to the American public and it's ironic that when she was interviewed by the FBI, I don't know when they ever interviewed anybody on the Saturday morning of July 4th weekend and then Tuesday morning, the first business day, they immediately in the morning announced there are no charges and here we are again on Labor Day weekend, the timing is impeccable.

PRESS: Whoa, whoa, whoa!

BAUER: But 228 people in that department have donated to her.


PRESS: Here we are on Labor Day weekend and there are still no charges.

BAUER: Of course, there aren't going to be.

PRESS: You ought to talk to Comey.

COOPER: ill, there have been so many people prosecuted by the Obama for doing so much less you could make an argument than this. I mean, just because of intent, there are people who have mishandled documents or who have been prosecuted very severely. You don't think this raises some questions?

PRESS: Anderson, as you know I wrote a book called "buyer's remorse" about the Obama administration after too many journalists and abusing that. I'm not going to defend that.

I'm just saying, look, what Hillary Clinton did in setting up the system was wrong and the way she handled it was wrong and destroying the 30,000 e-mails and getting rid of them was wrong. The whole thing was wrong, but again, first of all, it's not resonating.


PRESS: Second, was there nothing illegal, bottom line. Nothing illegal.

BAUER: That's not really true.

COOPER: Go ahead.

JEAN-PIERRE: That's what the FBI and Comey said.

BURNS: In the context of the presidential election, though, the standard that candidates typically clear is not it didn't result in criminal charges, right? So, there's a lot to examine --

COOPER: You would hope.

BURNS: -- in terms of the judgment, in terms of the handling of sensitive information that I think is fair game for the media and I think for a conventional Republican candidate, if you had a Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio on the other side of this they would have ample opportunity to make a case of who is responsible and who has made good decisions and who's committed.


BURNS: It's a tough case for Donald Trump.

COOPER: Jeffrey, it's not just also that she said, look, I have made a mistake and I wouldn't do it again and it's the comments she made to describe it that the, well, you know, the mails that were turned over, those are all of the -mails and it turns out actually that there were thousands of work-related e-mails.

LORD: Right. Right.

Anderson, this reminds me of back when Richard Nixon was under fire during Watergate, Democrats used to say one of two things. He's either lying or he's incompetent and, of course, the American people eventually found out, sadly, that he was not telling the truth.

The choice here is similar. Either she lied or she's incompetent. Either way, this is not a win-win. COOPER: All right. We've been talking about what is or isn't legal.

We're going to continue the discussion after the break. We're going to be joined by two top experts on the law, Jonathan Turley and our own Jeffrey Toobin.

Also throughout the hour, we'll keep you up-to-date on tropical storm Hermine as it moves north and possibly strengthens again.


[20:17:59] COOPER: Back to tonight's breaking news, the FBI releasing a report this afternoon detailing the interviews they conducted with Hillary Clinton during their investigation into her use of her private e-mail server and Secretary Clinton says she's glad the FBI released the documents and those who believe she acted improperly sure seemed happy with what came out as well.

Apart from that, as you've been saying, there is precious little the two sides agree on. We'll bring back the panel in a moment.

But I want to bring in George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Professor Turley, first of all, on the whole issue on the "C" that Secretary Clinton didn't know what a "C" was. A did security clearance years ago and you get briefed on the whole classification system. Does this make any sense to you that the secretary of state would not know what a "C" was?

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW PROFESSOR: No. It's perfectly absurd. I've had a clearance since Reagan, including TSSCI, which is a high-level clearance, and it is unimaginable -- it's like a baseball pitcher saying he has no idea what ERA means.

These are ubiquitous symbols that are applied to paragraphs to show sometimes as an "S" and sometimes with a "TS" and sometimes a "C" to show the level of classification.

And it's bizarre to read her account saying that she had no idea what that was. I would put it as virtually impossible that anyone who had a clearance would not know what that type of letter in a parenthetical means.

You know, it's trying to portray yourself as something of a village idiot which no one believes Clinton to be. So, it's perhaps the most absurd aspect of this record.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, do you agree with the professor on this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Jonathan could not be more wrong about this. I mean, the "C" does not stand for classified. The "C" stands for confidential. There are three levels of classification. There is top secret, there is secret, and there is confidential. "C" --

TURLEY: I just said that. TOOBIN: But in a paragraph that is unconnected to other things, could

mean all sorts of things.

[20:20:07] Remember, we're talking about thousands of documents. There is exactly one document that has one "C" on it or one -- and that is what, you know, people are proposing that this is so outrageous.

This is the lowest level of classification. It is often wildly overused. So, the idea that one document out of 1,000 or many thousands is proof that she didn't know what classified information is is ridiculous. It is the lowest level of classification that --


COOPER: Let the professor respond.

TURLEY: Yes, I have to say that, you know, much of that is irrelevant. I said it was the lowest level of classification and it could be a "C," or an "S" or "TS". But the point is, it's a marking of classification. And anybody who has had a clearance is familiar with those markings.

Now, to suggest that it's the lowest marking that was abused doesn't take away from the fact that these are classification markings and they found 110 e-mails that were classified and truly classified.

And so, I think that Clinton can certainly say she doesn't recall seeing it. She said that a great deal, but to say that she has really no idea what that type of marking would be is incredibly implausible and borders on insulting.

COOPER: Jeff -- go ahead.

TOOBIN: Jonathan, 110 e-mails and it's 110 e-mails that include information that was subsequently declared classified. Not 110 e- mails that were classified at the time, you know as someone who apparently had access to classified information when these administrations go back and look again, of course, they're going to find things classified. They overclassify wildly.

But it's not 110 documents that were marked classified. It's one document.

COOPER: Jeff, is there anything in this report that came out today that raises eyebrows for you? Her saying 39 times I can't recall. I don't remember. Anything?

TOOBIN: The whole thing was such a colossal botch. She sounds like a clueless baby boomer who is calling tech support constantly. I mean, the fact that she had 13 BlackBerrys suggest that she didn't know how to use this very well.

The idea that this -- all you can see from reading this document is why the FBI decided not to prosecute? I mean, the fact that they didn't prosecute doesn't make her behavior good. The fact shah she's not criminally prosecuted is not exactly an endorsement to be president of the United States. But the idea that this proves criminal conduct, it proves precisely the opposite.

COOPER: Professor Turley, does it prove that the FBI was right in not recommending charges?

TURLEY: I have great respect for my friend Jeff, but we disagree on this. You know, the Justice Department seems to have a rather disturbing record of applying an animal farm standard to these cases, where all people are equal, and some are more equal than others. And those others tend to be people that are not quite as important as General Petraeus or Hillary Clinton or Sandy Berger.

We've seen people prosecuted with very little evidence. We just saw the Navy personnel who was convicted because he took a few pictures in a compartment that was considered sensitive so that he could save as a memory of his service. Was that good? No, but he claimed the same thing that he wasn't intending to release it. He understood that compartments are classified.

That type of sharp conflict is what really undermines our system today.

But there is also what I think to be clear violations of the Federal Records Act. I don't know many people who really believe that the private server was not designed to circumvent the Federal Records Act, and the FBI handed that issue to the State Department and it went nowhere.

COOPER: Jeff, what about that? I mean --

TOOBIN: Well, violating the Federal Records Act is not a criminal offense. So, we can just put that aside. And every other prosecution that has been brought by the Justice Department involves documents that the defendant knew was classified or was marked classified. That's the difference between these cases and other cases.

TURLEY: No, because Hillary Clinton signed a standard document that we all signed, that it does not matter that something is marked as classified. To say that it would create an absurd standard, no one is standing there and stamping statement that the president made in the air. You have to assume that stuff coming out of certain areas are classified, and it's not -- it's simply not a defense to say it was not stamped classified.

She signed an agreement that said she understood that's not the standard.

COOPER: She also -- I mean, as it was revealed in this investigation sent out an e-mail or an e-mail was sent out under her auspices or her name telling all State Department employees not to use personal e- mail.

[20:25:13] TOOBIN: I mean, that was a disastrous, disastrous decision on her part and it bears on her judgment. But the fact that she used a private server is not conceivably a criminal offense. I mean, it bears on her judgment, but I think we need to draw distinctions here between what is appropriate for the criminal justice system and what bears on someone's judgment. This is not a closed case when it comes to criminal conduct. That's why the FBI decided what it decided.


TURLEY: You know, Jeff, I'm not saying that Comey didn't have grounds for the decision that he made, but you don't need a confession for these types of prosecutions and they certainly have not required it in other cases. Saying "I don't recall" 39 times is certainly a good tactic, but it doesn't usually get you out of a grand jury proceeding.

So, you're not supposed personally to admit, yes, I knew I created the private server I was going to release classified information. She was told -- her staff was told that this was not approved and something that contradicts her statement. It was never submitted to State, and people raised this very issue of putting national security interests at stake.

COOPER: We have to leave the conversation there. An excellent debate there.

Thank you both. Appreciate it.

TURLEY: Thanks.

COOPER: Coming up next, Donald Trump's outreach to African-American voters today and this weekend, whether he can over come single-digit poll numbers, controversy over the scripted meeting he had planned with one black pastor and serious questions about the truthfulness of another. The CNN investigation -- well, you'll see it in just a moment.

Later, why even though Hermine is now a tropical storm, forecasters consider it a deadly, serious threat to a large part of the country. More reporting on that ahead.


[20:30:49] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN AC360 ANCHOR: Donald Trump is trying to reach out to African-American voters for the few meetings today and tomorrow. Polling shows he's running at about 2 percent support among black voters. So it's a big hill to climb.

Tomorrow, Trump is scheduled to visit an African-American church in Detroit. And today he held a round table with African-American business leaders in Philadelphia.

The outreach is coming as there some are new questions involving one of Trump's most vocal African-American surrogates, Pastor Mark Burns, who spoke at the Republican Convention. CNN's Victor Blackwell investigate a number of claims that Pastor Burns made his bio which are now on to question., that he was in the army reserves and a fraternity, graduated from college.

Here's some of what the pastor had to say.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did you attend North Greenville University?

MARK BURNS, PASTOR, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I did attend North Greenville University?

BLACKWELL: Did you graduate from North Greenville University?

BURNS: Well I did complete a degree in North Greenville University.

BLACKWELL: OK, that again the bio that's on your website claims that you earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Did you make that claim?

BURNS: Actually just moment ago as we were just open up this -- and first of all I'll say that we were off the record.

BLACKWELL: I didn't agree with that.

BURNS: Yeah, but I did, I did, and ...

BLACKWELL: We're still rolling, I'm still asking you questions on the record. Did you ...

BURNS: I'm off the record.

BLACKWELL: Did you make the claim that you graduated from North Greenville University?


BURNS: Because I think this is not fair that you -- this is not fair at all. This is not I -- I thought we were doing a profile and all of a sudden you are here to try to destroy my character.

BLACKWELL: I'm sorry, I'm not coming here to destroy your character. These are claims that were made on your website that was live while you were speaking at the Republican National Convention. My question is, are those claims accurate?


COOPER: And earlier I spoke with Victor Blackwell.


COOPER: Victor, this is kind of unbelievable? I mean -- it was -- was he embedded by the Trump campaign at all?

BLACKWELL: Well according to Pastor Burns, no. No vetting at all and we should say that Pastor Burns says he's website was at a hack to manipulate it. But we contacted the host company and they said there's no evident of a hack. But Burn says a friend of Donald Trump, long time friend, fellow televangelist, Paula White asked that Burns would meet with Trump and that led to the November meeting with 100 black pastors.

And after that he said he received the call from the campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski at that time. Asking him to stand in for Donald Trump at the faith and freedom forum in South Carolina and he's been a member of the campaign ever since. Burns says that, he thinks the campaign just like to his message and his character.

COOPER: But -- I mean as you pointed out, he's not, you know, some random preacher. This man spoke out and support Donald Trump in the Republican National Convention. I mean you -- it's a -- you couldn't get a bigger stage.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, I mean a really controversial contradiction delivered by the pastor. I mean he has flown on the Trump jet. He's a crowd favorite at the rallies. In a when the meeting with pastors in Detroit tomorrow, a great faith ministries would announced that came from Pastor Burns. I mean, this is someone who is very closely tied to the campaign. He is a regular on cable news, defending Donald Trump.

COOPER: Has the campaign responded at all?

BLACKWELL: No. Not yet, and we've put questions to the campaign asking about its vetting process of its top-level surrogates, particularly Pastor Burns. And what they do, how they look into these people that they ask to speak on Donald Trump's behalf, so far, no response.

COOPER: All right. Victor Blackwell, incredible. Thank you.



COOPER: Well as you heard, the Trump campaign hasn't responded. Pastor Burns has a short time ago. He put out a statement that reads in part, "As a young man starting my church in Greenville, South Carolina I overstated several details in my biography because I was worried I wouldn't be taken seriously as a new pastor. This was wrong. I wasn't truthful then and I have to take full responsibility for my actions."

He continues, "I do also want to set the record about why this is, this attack is happening because I am a black man supporting Donald Trump for President. For too long," he says, "African-American votes have been taken for granted by Democratic politicians, and enough is enough. It's a shame that the political insiders and the media choose to attack me because I'm not going to stay silent about Hillary Clinton's pandering to our community."

You can see Victor Blackwell's full report tomorrow morning on CNN's "New Day." So giving all that with Donald Trump, will Donald Trump's outreach resonate with African-American voters? This question had been asking a lot this week. Joining us is Boyce Watkins founder of the and Republican political commentator and Trump supporter, Paris Dennard.

[20:35:02] Both of you thanks for being with us. Paris let's start with you.


COOPER: What do you make this visit to the African-Americans church in Detroit tomorrow? As you know "New York Times" got a hold, I guess suggested answers that the campaign had written for Donald Trump. To answer to the pastor, who have submitted against questions in advance? Is that appropriate or do you think that sense the wrong message

DENNARD: First of all, Anderson, thank you for having me on the show tonight. But I want to address the issue with Victor and his reporting of Pastor Burns. I think it's horrible that in 2016 we're still engaged in the politics of personal destruction. Things like this I believed are deterrence to millennials who want to involved in the process, essentially young black millennials who may not have a squeaky creak -- clean past. But still want to be involved, still want to help make this country great again.

COOPER: OK, will let me ...


COOPER: ... stop you right there, because what he was doing actually wasn't just kind of making up or not a squeaky clean pastor, in fact we're not saying about his past other than his bios just not accurate and that just actually ...


COOPER: ... and that's what we look -- if somebody is presenting themselves in one way at for whatever reason, you think it's not fair to check the record?

DENNARD: I don't see you checking the record for every Democrat served that that's sticking on behalf of Hillary Clinton. But what I do see people is going that for.

COOPER: I guarantee you if there was a Democratic surrogate that we found was lying about graduating from college and what other things.

DENNARD: But you had no reason to ...


DENNARD: It's deplorable and it's shameful, but to your point, Anderson, I think it's a wonderful thing for Mr. Trump to be going into Detroit touring with Dr. Ben Carson, and his continued engagement with the black community. This is the positive thing for the GOP nominee to be doing and I think he's going to be well received. Because look, the latest poll that I saw from the economist you got had, Mr. Trump at 8 percent.

So he's making inroads and I believe Hillary Clinton is running scared because she knows that he is going to continue this engagement and is going to have a real significant impact on the community. It's a positive thing and we should celebrate it, not try to tear it down.

COOPER: Boyce Watkins, what do you make of it?

BOYCE WATKINS, FACULTY AFFILIATE INSTITUTE FOR INTERROGATION WEALTH: You know, I have to tell you that first of all, I think Trump has the right to talk to whoever he wants to. That doesn't offend me. I think that what we have to really understand those. He's not really engaging the entire black community. He's engaging a few chosen black people that, you know, I don't know if they've been rewarded or incentivized in some way to lend their support. But you notice when he goes to Detroit, he's not trying to talk to everybody, he's talking to small groups of people. In closed settings with this sort of pre- planned remarks. Which really sort of reeks of almost a type of corruption or just some sort of lack of comfort with the black community.

Now, what the Trump campaign probably doesn't understand is that there a lot of black people in the church who are very disappointed in the Democratic Party. You know, the Republicans are sort of appealing to the black community, it's almost like a guy getting upset because you're talking to his girlfriend. But he hasn't talked to his girlfriend in three weeks. The Democratic Party is not exactly the favorite child in the black community.

A lot of people are very upset, and I think that if Trump or the Republicans want to make a more genuine effort they actually might be able to gain some traction. But I think just sort of going through one bishop and going -- just through Dr. Ben Carson, what it kind of says is, look I'm not just comfortable with these people. But I need to be here because somebody told me to be here and I just don't think that's going to work.

COOPER: Well let me just kind of argue on that Boyce. Is that -- I mean a lot of politicians get talking points, you know ...

DENNARD: Encapsulated (ph).

COOPER: .... before an interview, you couldn't make the argument and I assume Paris, maybe that that's the part of what the argument you would make is that ...


COOPER: ... that these are talking points for a candidate, you know, to hit in an interview.

WATKINS: Yeah, I mean, maybe they are, but I don't get the sense that that's what's going on. I feel like he was reported on because a lot of this is sort of contrived and preconceived and he doesn't have a willingness to truly engage with black people. I think that ...

DENNARD: That's not true.

WATKINS: If he really wanted to engage, I think he should talk to a crowd of people, let them ask the questions they want to ask, and be genuine and authentic. I think that there's an opportunity there but honestly what's unfortunate for Trump and his crew, is Donald Trump comes off as one of the most condescending people that you ever meet in your life.

He comes to black community and says, this is what you people need and people are hearing that.

COOPER: Let me get -- I want Paris to be able to get in here. Paris, what are the things that's not in those talking points or the suggestive answers. Is Trump's refrain of, you know, what the hell do you have to lose? Is that, do you think intentional, is that a line you think would actually work in a setting like this?

DENNARD: Well just -- to go back, I work to the White House Black -- Director of Black Outreach for President Bush for four years and work to the RNC for Chairman Michael Steele in each time. They engage with the Black Community, did major speeches as there were talking points, there were speeches that were crafted, that were written for them to talk about because that's what you do. Secretary Clinton does it. President Barack Obama when he gave his black -- he was this is speech on Black America that was very temper (ph) one. He used the teleprompter.

So this is not anything abnormal. But to your point, Anderson, Mr. Trump has never, and the campaign has never said that what we saw reported in this "New York Times" hit piece was actually what's going to happen. I'm confident that Mr. Trump is going to engage and have a specific dialogue with the community at the church tomorrow and that is a good thing.

[20:40:15] COOPER: All right, we'll leave it there, Paris Dennard, I appreciate you being on and Boyce Watkins as well, always.

Just ahead, the latest on Tropical Storm Hermine and now moving up the east coast running millions as the long holiday weekend gets under way.


COOPER: We are keeping a close eye on the storm charging up the east coast. Tonight, Hermine is no longer a Hurricane where is a very real danger. The tropical storm threatening to disrupt Labor Day plans for millions in it's path in this long holiday weekend.

Storms watch as warnings is in placed all of the way up to Connecticut. 13 million people under flash flood watches, tornadoes, also possible of the Carolinas in the cross hairs at this hour.

Let's get the latest from Martin Savidge in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. What's the greatest danger people they're facing at? MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRSONDENT: Well it's going to be water Anderson, even thought that the winds had now peaked up dramatically and we are getting buffeted more than we were even at the top of the show. It's water that they're worried about here. Six to eight inches, coastal flooding definitely going to be a concern in some areas they have said as much as 15 inches, Those will be the isolated areas.

[20:45:08] And then on top of that the other concern for water, rip tides. And that's going to be a concern all the way up to eastern seaboard. Earlier today they had to close the beach here, because that was definitely life-threatening. So that's going to be a problem of going forward.

The storm is also knocking out power. South Carolina, over 700,000 customers without electricity tonight. That problem is going to intensify as it moves into North Carolina. We're under a tornado watch so forget the fact that this isn't a hurricane. There is still great destructive power in this storm. And that's amazing given the fact that it's crossed all of the way across Florida and Georgia.

So it's been on land for much of the day and from here it's going to head out into the Atlantic. And right out there is the Gulf Stream and the Gulf Stream's going to act like gasoline. And so it could intensify the storm. Doubtful that it's going to remain a tropical system but you've got 30 million people off the eastern seaboard that are going to feel the impact and the real worry is that if the storm slows down and stalls, stay off of New Jersey or up there by New York, a heavy rainmaker. So it's truly going to create a problem for potential flash flooding and the rip tides. So all along the coast here tonight no one's going to be sleeping easy tonight, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, Martin Savidge, be careful out there, thanks.

Not to whether many were hoping for the beginning this long Labor Day weekend. Our meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us now. So it's the land right now the storm what do we expect once it gets out to open water?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is racing across North Carolina. It's moving quickly as you heard Martin just say. We want it to move fast and it is doing just that and there is that tornado watch which goes until midnight tonight, but a powerful amount of water is going to occur along some of these coastal areas as we heard between six inches and about a foot of rainfall. There could be some locally heavier amounts. Well once it moves out over the open waters, it is going to travel, but it's going to slow down. It's not going to be moving very much and because of that it has an opportunity to gain intensity.

NASA Hurricane Center just issued us a latest advisory, 50 mile an hour winds and gust higher around 65 miles per hour. Look at these spaghetti models, we talk about this all of the time. Well this tropical system becomes post-tropical and then as we go into the next several days take a look at these spaghetti models. They are over the -- all over the place, spinning around in circles. Anderson, it's going to be crazy to watch this in the next couple of days.

COOPER: And who's most at risk as it moves up the coast?

MAGINNIS: Well that's going to be an interesting factor. Just -- there are the obvious comparisons that we make to what happened with super storm Sandy and I'll show you that just this second as we take a look at the floor. Tropical storm winds and this was huge with Sandy back in October of 2012.

Now Hermine is much smaller, much more compact. But it's going to go down in history on its own because this is going to impact the mid Atlantic region, area of low pressure just hovers off the New Jersey coast. Heavy surf, heavy downpours not a beach weekend at all. Anderson?

COOPER: I was afraid you're about to fall into that storm, that was so cool. Karen Maginnis, thanks very much, appreciate that.


COOPER: Still to come tonight, be the most resilient golden retriever in Italy. We'll tell you his story's going to put a smile on your face, coming up.


[20:52:23] COOPER: Our breaking news tonight, the FBI has released report on Hillary Clinton's interview with investigator during which repeatedly told the FBI she could not remember some parts of the classified information process. Now as, you know, Clinton wasn't charged with anything related to the way she handled the e-mails when she was secretary of state. But it's the issue that refuses to go away. Now it's just about two months from Election Day.

On Monday, we're going to air special reports on each of the presidential candidates. With the Clinton Special, CNN's Pamela Brown sat down with the candidate herself, her daughter Chelsea and others who know her best. And from way back when.

Here's a preview Pamela speaks with one of the Clintons' classmates from Yale.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he saw in her a great partner, somebody who was smart, who was driven, who was utterly disciplined and persistent. I think she saw in him someone who's exciting and emotional. And since they both cared about public policy. It was a -- it was terrific combination.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: A combination so special that soon Bill would ask Hillary for her hand in marriage. For the first time.

What was holding you back initially when Bill Clinton was asking you to marry him? HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I just hadn't thought about getting married. I was clearly in love, but I just wasn't quite ready to commit to marriage. And I also didn't know what I wanted to do. It was very clear what Bill wanted to do. He wanted to go into politics. And I thought, well, before I get married, I should know what I want to do.

So I said no that the first time. And then he came back and asked me again, I said no I'm still not ready.


COOPER: And Pamela Brown joins us now. What surprised your talking to her?

BROWN: Well I think generally what's surprising most Anderson is just how open, engaging and accessible she was about some tough topics. And it also surprised me, if you kind of heard her allude to this, in the interview that she was initially hesitant to marry Bill Clinton because it was so clear he wanted to be in politics. She told me that she wasn't sure if that was a life she wanted to lead.

So it's really incredible to think of that and now fast forward all these years, now she's running for president. And I asked her about tough times at the White House, about her husband's impeachment proceedings, about Monica Lewinsky. And she did talk about that time and said that it was very painful for her, very difficult to be going through some things so personal and private under the glare of the spotlight as first lady.

COOPER: It is interesting, because I mean, you, know a lot of people in interviews say that she comes off as scripted or she comes off as very guarded. But she seems -- I mean as you said, sort of comfortable talking to you.

BROWN: She was, and comfortable and going into those very personal private topics even, which ...

COOPER: Right.

BROWN: ... it's another side of Hillary Clinton that a lot of people don't get to see. This was something that was focused on policy or campaign trail. This was really focused on her life going all the way back to meeting Bill Clinton as you saw there.

[20:55:07] And at one point, she sort of made fun of this notion that her critiques think she's scripted or robotic as you often hear. I had made reference to the 2008 diner when she got emotional.

COOPER: Right.

BROWN: If you'll recall during the presidential race.


COOPER: People sort of saw as turning point for her. BROWN: A turning point.


BROWN: Really a turning point, I asked her and she says she thinks about that moment often and that really surprised her. And I said, well, you know, you're human and humans have emotions and she kind of said -- kind of laughed and said, you think, you know, it's the best kept secret.

So she sort of knows that that is the image of her of some and she really takes personal responsibility. She told me, with those poll numbers showing that people don't trust her and she needs to do something to communicate more effectively.

COOPER: All right, Pamela Brown, look forward to it. Thanks.

Be sure to tune in Labor Day, Monday night for both CNN Special Reports, "The Essential Hillary Clinton" at 8:00 eastern and "The Essential Donald Trump" at 10:00 eastern.

Coming up, the dog tale you will not soon forget, a story of survival. Coming up next.


COOPER: Before we go, we want to tell you a remarkable story of survival. Nine days after that earthquake leveled entire towns in Central Italy there has been a rescue. Firefighters pulled a golden retriever named Romeo from rubble. There he is. His owners had not given up hope that he was alive. They went to try to get things from their damaged home, they called his name and sure enough he barked and they were able to hear him under all that rubble.

After the rescue and has reveal nine days prepped under the rubble, Romeo actually wagged his tail. Something to make you smile before this long weekend.

[21:00:14] Thanks very much, thanks for watching. The CNN Original Series, "The Seventies" starts now.