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EARLY START

Few Minds Changed by Second Presidential Debate; Trump Defends Vulgar Comments as "Locker Room Talk"; Devastating Affects of Matthew Still Being Felt; Missile Attack Launched Against U.S. Warship Off Yemen's Coast. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired October 10, 2016 - 04:00   ET

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


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[03:58:08] HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament like Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Because you'd be in jail.

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CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. All right, this time it's personal. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton head to head in a night of nasty insults and interruptions.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm John Berman. And it is Monday, October 10. It's 4:00 a.m. in the East. We want to welcome our vieweres here in the United States and all around the world.

And the breaking news is the fury in Missouri. What happened just a few hours ago in St. Louis will be talked about for generations, talked about perhaps as a moment when political discourse reached a level never seen before -- and not a high one. Donald Trump, his campaign staggered after the release of a video where he bragged that he could grab a woman's genitals and get away with it because he is famous, he went into full, uncensored attack mode and Hillary Clinton responded.

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CLINTON: Look, it's just not true. And so please go to --

TRUMP: You didn't delete them?

ANDERSON COOPER, DEBATE MODERATOR: Allow her to respond, please.

CLINTON: Personal e-mails, not official.

TRUMP: Over 33,000? CLINTON: Well, we turned over 35,000. So --

TRUMP: Oh yes, what about the other 50,000?

COOPER: Please allow her to responde. She didn't talk while you talked.

CLINTON: Yes, that's true. I didn't.

TRUMP: Because she had nothing to say.

CLINTON: I didn't in the first debate and I'm going to try not to in this debate because I'd like to get to the questions that the people have brought here tonight to talk to us about.

TRUMP: And get off this question.

CLINTON: OK, Donald, I know you're into big diversion tonight. Anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it's exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you.

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BERMAN: All right, the news this morning, however forceful Trump's attacks were and whatever improvement in style and substance he may have displayed from the first debate, viewers thought that Hillary Clinton was the clear winner by 23 points in the CNN/ORC poll taken right after the debate.

[04:00:01] This was a slightly more Democratic audience, which could affect the poll a bit. And there are indications in the poll that whatever the fireworks, very few minds were actually changed in this debate.

Let's get the latest from the site were the smoke is still hanging over Washington University in St. Louis. Manu Raju is there, good morning Manu.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Hey John, Trump came to this debate with one major goal. To end the crisis that had been engulfing this campaign, after that released of that Access Hollywood video where Donald Trump making rather crude and vulgar comments about groping women. And the way he described it last night, was locker room talk.

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TRUMP: This was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I apologized to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I am not proud of it. But this is locker room talk. Yes, I am very embarrassed by it and I hate it. But it is locker room talk and it is one of those things. That was Locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I'm a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly I'm not proud of it. But that was something that happened.

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RAJU: Now that is not exactly the message that a lot of Republican elected officials wanted to hear about those very offensive remarks. They wanted Donald Trump to be more apologetic, show some more contrition. But Donald trump didn't do that at all, in fact he turns around and went on the offensive, attacking Hillary Clinton as of bringing, of course three women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct in the 1990's. Doubling down and trying to energize his based. So, the question today is whether or not Republicans will continue to abandon ship, or whether he did to stabilize his campaign after a very combative performance and going after Hillary Clinton on a number of issues in this very, very contentious debate.

ROMANS: Certainly a remarkable night.

BERMAN: Manu, thank you so much.

ROMANS: Manu Raju, thanks.

Let's break this down whole debate with our early rising political team here. Senior Correspondent Brian Stelter, he is of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" and CNN Politics' Eugene Scott. CNN Political Commentator, Talk Radio Host and Commentator, John Phillips, he is a Donald Trump supporter, and our Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona, a Hillary Clinton supporter.

So, Eugene, we'll start with you. Did Donald Trump successfully turn the page from Friday's disaster in his campaign? Did he successfully move on from that last night?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS: I think towards the end of the debate, there were people talking about different things than what they were talking about when the debate began which was, those leaked videotapes. But I don't think that is the end of it. And I think there have been warnings that there would be more tapes leaked this week.

BERMAN: You know, look, we know there is an 11:00 a.m. conference call with Paul Ryan today. I mean House members, Republican House members are really going to talk about the Trump campaign in frank terms, and anyone to get one, the press called it locker room banter which is afraid that grates on many people that Republicans, the Democrats for the Republican to answer for. When pressed by Anderson last night about whether or not he ever acted on that locker room banter, this is what was said.

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COOPER: Just for the record, though, are you saying what you said on that bus 11 years ago that you did not actually kiss women without consent or grope women without consent?

TRUMP: I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do.

COOPER: So, for the record you are saying you never did that? TRUMP: Frankly, you hear these things, I said and I was embarrassed

by it. But I have tremendous respect for women.

COOPER: Have you ever done those things?

TRUMP: I have respect for me and I will tell you, no, I have not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So Brian Stelter, a lot of people now think that this week will turn into a fishing expedition. To find a woman to come forward and say, she had some, kind of encounter with Donald Trump.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: And there are women who exist who said that already. And that Christoff heard about one of them in Sunday's New York Times, does seems to me, Trump open himself up, kept the door open last night by saying what he said, by calling a locker room banter. He does keep the story alive. And there are a lot of other people interested in keeping the story alive, including Democratic operatives, who will help do that. It felt like to me, John and Christine like, nobody won last night. Yes, the Trump campaign says he won. Obviously the other campaign says they won. It felt to me like, nobody won last night. Viewers were watching this debate with one eye open and that is distressing, no matter who you are voting for in November.

ROMANS: I want to ask John Phillips. Let's listen to what Hillary Clinton said. How she sort of responded about the Friday, debacle for the campaign and what that tape in 2005 says about this candidate. Let's listen to Hillary Clinton.

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CLINTON: What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women. What he thinks about women. What he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn't represent who he is, but I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.

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[04:05:07] ROMANS: John Phillips, you support Donald Trump. And this must be a remarkable three or four days for Trump supporters. What do you make of his attempt to dismiss it as locker room talk? Do you think it goes away from here?

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, if you expect the full Jimmy Swaggert, you did not get that last night. You did get another apology, I think this is the third one that he has done. But it wasn't the, the waterworks and all that stuff. Now, I did think that last night debate was the complete inverse of what we saw the first time around. The first time around, he was much better the first 30 minutes, when he was talking about trade, when he was talking about the economy.

But then after that, he got caught up in all of the issues concerning him. There is, taxes, the birtherism thing. He wasn't able to pivot. Last night, I thought the first 20 minutes of the debate were probably his weakest. I wanted a little bit more from him, with that apology, but then I thought he kind of put it in high gear and whenever a subject would come up and he did not want to talk about. He wouldn't get caught up in that vortex, he would pivot, he would talk about the e-mails, he would talked about immigration, he would talk about trade he would talk about things that he is well versed in. And I thought he did a good job.

BERMAN: And Maria Cardona, we will play some more sound after the break. But first I want to hear all brawls take here, because the John's point, one thing you are hearing from some analysts today, is that Hillary Clinton didn't deliver a quote/unquote knockout blow in this debate. The Trump did win the debate stagger and Clinton decided to play it safe. Is that how you saw it?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I guess there are a couple of things here, John. I don't think she needed to deal him a knockout blow. He is doing that all by himself. And if people think that he put this nauseating tape behind him, they are sadly mistaken. There is more to come and it is not going to be pretty.

A there is couple of other things from last night, his non apology, apology? He completely doubled down on that. He did not apologize to any women. And if you look at the reactions of the undecided voters and in your poll and frankly on twitter and then social media, they continue to be disgusted by what he is trying to push aside and under the rug as simply, locker room banter. You even had players from the NFL who know locker room banter, better than anybody saying, we have never heard anybody talk this way about women. And if they did, then it would be wrong.

So again, I think that he did himself no favors with what he desperately needed to do, John. And that was "add" to his appeal? Try to bring more voters in to his tent? This was a primary debate for him. He was playing patty-cake while Hillary Clinton was playing chess.

BERMAN: All right guys, a lot more to discuss including Donald Trump saying he will put Hillary Clinton in jail, including Donald Trump splitting with his running mate on (inaudible) policy, including Hillary Clinton with maybe not so sharp answers on e-mails again.

ROMANS: Yes, stick with us everybody, will be right back. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, also trading jabs on taxes last night. Both say their opponent planned was raising taxes on middle class. Are either of them are telling the truth? That is next.

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[04:12:31] BERMAN: All right back now with the panel to talk about last night's debate. So we heard coming in, we heard Donald Trump basically threaten to throw Hillary Clinton in jail or say where he president, he would put Hillary Clinton in jail. The context is he said he would employ a special prosecutor if he wins, to investigate Hillary Clinton. Let's listen.

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TRUMP: If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it. And we are going to have a special prosecutor. When, I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious.

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BERMAN: And Eugene Scott, again to put this in perspective, he also said that he would throw Hillary Clinton in jail. And I know in this campaign now, nothing is shocking or surprising, but, you know it is very unusual about a president of the United States, from one politician to say I am going to throw another politician in jail. That is not something that happens in the United States of America. It happens in, you know, dictatorships.

SCOTT: Yeah, I think the timing of the statement, the jab, element of it, and the tone of it, were what were uncomfortable for many viewers. But if you think about what a lot of - the supporters and even Republican law makers had been saying throughout this election, they repeatedly said that she should be indicted. And so whether or not that is a big difference from what other people, more mainstream have said, I'm not quite sure yet.

BERMAN: Lock her up, lock her up, of course for the chance to get (inaudible).

SCOTT: It reminded me of the "SNL" joke on Saturday night. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of "Hamilton", said until there was election close to them dueling and we hawk in, the way Hamilton did. That's was this almost felt like a certain moments last night.

ROMANS: Cardona, let me ask you about a Hillary Clinton whether she was able to, I guess soften the deplorables controversy. You know, she said earlier on that about half of the Donald Trump supporters were in the basket of deplorables. Then she tried to, said maybe it is not half of them. But she did not really walk away from the deplorable labels. And something in his supporters have really, really lashed on to it. Listen to how she tried to soften it last night.

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CLINTON: Within hours, I said that I was sorry about the way talked about that, because my argument is not with his supporters. It's with him, and with the hateful and divisive campaign that he has run and the inciting of violence at his rallies, and the very brutal kinds of comments about not just women, but all Americans, all kinds Americans.

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[04:15:04] ROMANS: You know that deplorables comment originally and even her attempts to soften it, was really for a gift for her opponent. I mean they, that is something -- they really have been able to run with.

CARDONA: Sure, but again, Christine, his supporters loved it. But what he needs to do in these very last few days of the campaign is to try to grow his tent. I'm glad you played that clip. Because I actually thought it was a brilliant answer to something that, you know, his supporters have been trying to use against her.

And so, what everybody else heard, including independents, including women, college educated women who we all have been talking about are, sort of the group that he needs to get, because, you know, Mitt Romney won them by 11 points and lost the election. And Hillary Clinton is winning them by more than 20. So what she did there, I think was flipping on him.

And she also, I think she opened up what she was talking about her strategy and continued to underscore his manifest unfitness and his temperament, that he doesn't have to be commander in chief. Because what she focused on was his divisive personal attacks on women, on Latinos, on Muslims, on the disabled, you know, you name it. We know it by heart, right, all of the demographics that he had insulted from day one.

So I thought it was a very good answer on her part. It was part of the strategy to continue to focus on how unfit he is for the highest office in the land.

BERMAN: John Phillips...

PHILLIPS: Can I disagree with her there?

BERMAN: Sure. Go ahead.

PHILLIPS: OK. Because I think this hits her where she is vulnerable. Where she goes to private audiences and says one thing. And then goes in front of the public and says another. We saw that with immigration before, a group of Brazilian bankers, we have seen it in front of other large financial institutions which she is giving those speeches and getting paid a lot of money, saying one thing there, saying another thing, when she is on the road with her rallies.

In light of the whole WikiLeaks situation, I think that, that was a good moment for Donald Trump and bad moment for her. It also shows the difference in strategy between her and her husband who was there last night. Bill Clinton ran as new Democrat. He ran in the center, he was trying to get those moderate voters, the swing voters. She is running to the left. And she is trying to create an excitement among members of the Obama Coalition so they go out and they turned out in large numbers and screw everyone else. And the fact that he brings that up, the fact that he pivoted to that subject last night, I thought was good for him.

BERMAN: All right, guys, don't go anywhere a lot more to discuss, including what some people think is one of the biggest moments of the night, when he publicly split with his running mate in a key form policy issue. That will be the next half hour.

ROMANS: Also, making claims last night that their opponent would raise taxes on the middle class. Listen.

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CLINTON: And indeed the way he talks about his tax cuts would end up raising taxes on middle class families. Millions of middle class families.

TRUMP: We're cutting taxes for the middle class. And I will tell you, we are cutting them big league for the middle class. And I will tell you, Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes, folks. Look at me. She is your raising taxes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, who is telling the truth here? Let's start with Clinton's plan. The non partisan tax policy says, "Nearly all of the tax increases would fall in the top 1 percent. The bottom 95 percent of tax payers would see little or no change in their taxes." As for Trump's plan, Trump would increase the center deduction, add new child care deduction. He would also raise the lowest tax bracket from 12 percent to 10 percent. Eliminate the head of household status and repeal some personal tax exemptions. That could leave many single parents with a higher tax bill. Those numbers have been crunched by, both by the Democratic tax expert and the Conservative Tax Foundation.

BERMAN: All right, Hurricane Matthew in the news. Yes, no longer hurricane strength, but the danger remains with serious flooding risks, the latest next.

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BERMAN: All right. Matthew no longer a hurricane, but the devastating effects still being felt in the southeast of United States, flooding is still a major concern in North Carolina. Roads and bridges washed away stranding nearly a thousands of people in their homes. More than half a million people in the state are still without power. The storm is blame for at least seventeen deaths in four states.

Let's get more now from CNN Stephanie Elam.

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STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, take a look at this behind me. This was the dam here in this neighborhood of Fayetteville, North Carolina. But it was not just the dam. There is also a road that connected this neighborhood of about 200 homes to the rest of the city. As you can see, they cannot pass that now. Very scary times as they only have one other road that connects them to the city. And that is also a dam and it looks precarious, because what washed out here is now pushing on that other dam.

They are already without power, they are already without water. So they are trying to figure out what are they going to do so that they are not isolated. Overall, when you take a look at the effects of Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina, they are huge. They are saying there are already some 400 buildings have been flooded in Lumberton, and another 300 that are jeopardize in Greenville.

So overall, when you take a look at what this has done, and you look at what has already happened, you may think it is over. But the governor, Governor Pat McCrory coming out and saying that this is going to be a long-term event and that they are going to see flooding on the eastern part of the state throughout the rest of the week, John and Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Stephanie Elam for that, thank you for that.

[04:25:00] Breaking overnight, a missile attack, launch against the U.S. warship off the coast of Yemen. The Pentagon confirms the USS Mason was not hit or damaged. But two missiles were fired, 60 minutes apart with both hitting the water. The attack took place in the southern end of the Red Sea. U.S officials say the ship was, a more than 12 nautical miles offshore in international waters. They will not say why it was there, the missiles were fired from territory in Yemen that is controlled by Houthis rebels.

BERMAN: All right, last night, the day no one was spared. This was one for the history books. We will tell you all about it next.

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CLINTON: It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you would be in jail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: A moment in history. A debate that I think will never be forgotten, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, what a night it was.

Welcome back to EARLY START, I'm John Berman.