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EARLY START

Will Trump Challenge Election Loss?; Clinton Campaign On Defensive; Clinton Speeches To Goldman Sachs Released; SNL Has Field Day With Presidential Election; Battle For Mosul Begins. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 17, 2016 - 05:00   ET

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


[05:00:04] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: When you've lost "Sunday Night Live," his poll numbers are fading, the list of female accusers growing, Trump insists that the polls is rigging the race for Hillary Clinton.

A new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows Clinton with an 11- point lead with just three weeks to go in this race. There is a "Washington Post" poll with ABC News that Donald Trump likes more. That shows Hillary Clinton with just a four-point lead. Let's get the latest from CNN's Chris Frates in Washington.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John and Christine. Donald Trump continues to push this idea that the election is somehow rigged despite not providing any evidence to support his charges.

In fact, on Sunday, he tweeted "The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media but also at many polling places. But the facts just don't bear that out.

For instance, a 2012 investigative reporting project by a group called News 21 looked at over a decade of data and found just ten cases of voter impersonation at the polls on Election Day.

Now meanwhile, politically, Democrats are really trying to use Trump's claim about a rigged election to paint him as a panicked candidate, a guy who is trying to delegitimize the results before he loses the election in November.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Especially in the last couple days, as Donald Trump has kind of started to go wilder and wilder. I think after, by all accounts, losing the first two debates, he started to make wild claims about the election being rigged, et cetera.

So we have to keep putting out a message and we need to call on everybody to speak out about the fact that we run elections and we run them well here. He shouldn't be engaging in those scare tactics. We are needing to push that message. We ask the GOP leaders also to stand up for the integrity of the American electoral process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRATES: And indeed Republican leaders have spoken out on the subject including Trump's own running mate, Mike Pence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will absolutely accept the results of the election. Look, the American people will speak in an election that will culminate on November 8th. One of the great, great traditions of America is the peaceful transfer of power.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRATES: And Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan's office also weighed in putting in a statement, saying, quote "Our democracy relies on confidence in election results." The speaker is confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.

So in a bitterly divided election year, many Democrats and Republicans, they seemed to be able to agree on at least one thing. That's despite what Trump says. The polls are not rigged. John and Christine, back to you.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Chris, thank you. Federal investigators are trying to determine who fire bombed Republican headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina over the weekend. No one was hurt, but the building was badly burned.

Police say someone tossed flammable liquid in a bottle through the front window and spray painted the words Nazi Republicans leave town or else. Along with a swastika on an adjacent building.

Hillary Clinton is condemning the act. She tweeted this, "The act on the Orange County headquarters at North Carolina GOP office is horrific and unacceptable, very grateful everyone is safe."

Donald Trump taking a different approach tweeting this, "Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just fire bombed our office in Orange County because we are winning."

BERMAN: The concern of an Arizona newspaper that endorsed Hillary Clinton is now dealing with an ugly backlash they say after "The Arizona Republic" backed the Democrat for president for the first time in the 126-year history last month. The newspaper's top executive says the disturbing threats were made against her employees. One of them warns the newspaper's reporters will be blown up.

ROMANS: New information coming to light in the latest release of hacked e-mail by WikiLeaks. The latest document dump contain transcripts from three paid speeches Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs. The same speeches Bernie Sanders wanted to see when he was still in the race. Let's get more this morning from CNN's Joe Johns.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: John and Christine, over the weekend, WikiLeaks releasing thousands more of the hacked e- mails from the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

These most recent batches of e-mails have included discussion about what types of campaign donations to accept, the inner workings of the campaign and discussion over allegations of Bill Clinton and the controversy that erupted over Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server.

A particular interest, WikiLeaks apparently releasing what appears to be transcripts of three paid speeches by Hillary Clinton to Goldman Sachs. Some of the speeches Bernie Sanders pressed her to release during the primaries.

One speech from October 2013 suggested in part that action was needed for political reasons to curb Wall Street abuses because, quote, "If you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it is all the fault of Wall Street, you can't sit idly by and do nothing."

[05:05:01]The Clinton campaign has put on the defensive in light of the hacking and has tried to deflect attention by blaming Russia. Here is what Democratic vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, said Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAINE: There does need to be a consequence. When a foreign nation tries to destabilize an American election, which is what Donald Trump encouraged in late July. He said Russia go see if you can cyber hack and find things that will help me win.

But when a foreign government tries to do this, there has to be a consequence. There will be a time for figuring what that consequence is, but you cannot let it go unchallenged. Because if you do, you just could encourage more of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Russia has not officially been blamed for this hack, but has been fingered by the U.S. for other WikiLeaks releases. For their part, Republicans are trying to put more attention on the hacked e- mail. For example, once again bringing attention to the cozy relationship some Clinton Foundation donors had with the State Department.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: What Donald Trump is talking about is frankly what appears to be the monolithic support of the national media for Hillary Clinton's campaign. Their willful ignorance about the avalanche of hard evidence. Not allegations, John, but hard evidence coming out in these e-mails of collusion and pay for play politics. The American people are just tired of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: The State Department and the campaign have denied any pay for play allegations. CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the e-mails and the Clinton campaign has neither confirmed nor denied. John and Christine, back to you.

BERMAN: I want to bring in "Newsday" columnist best-selling author and nationally syndicated talk radio host, Ellis Henican, who is also working hard to rig this election.

Ellis, I want to play you what Donald Trump said not once, not twice, at least three times over the weekend. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And remember this, it is a rigged election because you have phony people coming up with phony allegations with no witnesses whatsoever ending up from 20 years ago, 30 years ago.

The process is rigged. This whole election is being rigged. These lies spread by the media without witnesses, without back up or anything else.

The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect Hillary Clinton president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Unless you think that what Mike Pence said that all Donald Trump is talking about the media here, let me just read you a tweet to put a little point on this right now. The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary. Donald Trump says, but also at many polling places. Sad.

ELLIS HENICAN, "NEWSDAY" COLUMNIST: That's right. Where Donald separated from Pence and Rudy and the other surrogates. But listen, I wasn't invited to the rigging meeting. You must have been talking about this stuff.

BERMAN: But this is important because the way that America works, as in our entire country, as in the entire democracy is that we accept the results of elections. The whole peaceful transition of power thing. It's not insignificant.

HENICAN: You can look back at every election in any of our lifetimes and remember the concession speeches and the entire apparatus of the government going from one party to another after some tremendously bitter elections. But I have to tell you, I'm not sure we are going to get that this year.

ROMANS: All the papers this morning are talking this is the storyline of the weekend, this undermining of democratic principles and America's democracy by saying the whole thing is rigged on so many different levels. You're talking about the accusers are rigging it. The media is rigging it. "Saturday Night Live" and let's listen to a little bit of "Saturday Night Live" because this unnerved Donald Trump this weekend. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I strive to be a positive role model for all children. Children like my daughter, Chelsea, and granddaughter, Chelsea Jr.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trump, same question. Do you feel you are modelling appropriate and positive behavior for today's youth?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: There's a lot more where that came from and they were making fun honestly of Hillary Clinton talking as the heir apparent and gloating about it. Donald Trump tweeted, he did not like this. He said "I watched "Saturday Night Live" hit job on me, time to retire the boring and unfunny show Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election."

HENICAN: Last year, he hosted the show and sent out tweets praising the brilliance of it. I don't think anyone really thinks this stuff is legit. That he actually even believes it. This is a guy who is inching toward an election with a poll showing he's way down. The pollsters cannot agree. It sounds like an excuse, doesn't it?

BERMAN: Let's talk about Wednesday night. This is the third debate. This time it's personal like "Jaws 3." This is the last best chance that Donald Trump has to change the course of this election. Yes?

[05:10:04]HENICAN: Yes, although do keep an eye on WikiLeaks. We don't know exactly what is coming there. There's some risk there as well.

ROMANS: What do you think about the throve of the reported Goldman Sachs speech emails this weekend? It showed boring speeches, but in the Q & A, this is access to a really important person.

HENICAN: Yes, but anyone who has covered this stuff, recognizes this is routine things that political leaders do. I don't see anything hugely shocking. Again, I don't know what is coming next and it maybe that what arrives tomorrow or the next day actually does have some major impact. I don't think we're there yet.

BERMAN: Three weeks, two days. Ellis Henican, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: Come back in a few minutes.

All right, is the election hurting Donald Trump's businesses? One Trump biographer says he has seen business data that shows a recent drop.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, NEVER ENOUGH DONALD TRUMP AND THE PURSUIT OF SUCCESS": I'm hearing in the last two weeks that his brand equity is plummeting. He is seen as boring, not by elites, but middle class and actually when you poll Republican households without a college education, they turning off to his brand. Now they may still vote for him, but this is really doing long-term damage to his businesses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: There is no hard evidence of a drop in that business. That biographer would not elaborate where he got that brand equity data. You know, Trump properties are not a public company so it's not as if there are quarterly filing where we can look at the business metrics of this company.

Everyone really wants to know. The Trump campaign has said in the past his businesses are still doing well. A hotel expert tells CNN Money Trump properties are likely are not suffering.

And here's why, they are part of the luxury market. The luxury market is strong. People with money are spending money, which ironically is one of the things that is driving so much interest from those Trump supporters to him.

BERMAN: Turns out rich people are rich. That's the headline there.

All right, breaking news, Iraqi forces have begun their ground offensive to recapture Mosul from ISIS. U.S. air support as well as thousands of U.S. advisers on the ground. We will bring you to Iraq for a live update. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:16:47]

ROMANS: All right, breaking news this morning. Newly launched ground assault against ISIS. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter calling this a decisive moment. The Iraqi government finally initiating an operation to recapture Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq after more than two years now under ISIS control.

Carter says the hope is to deliver the terrorists a, quote, "Lasting defeat with U.S.-led coalition forces providing cover from the air." I want to go live to CNN's senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, is there. She is near Mosul this morning. What is happening, Arwa?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are just to the southeast of the city and behind me all of these villages have black and white smoke rising from them. That is where the battle has been concentrated ever since it was announced by Iraq's prime minister at about 2:00 in the morning local time. So around ten hours ago.

Up until a short while ago, there was some very heavy and intense gunfire that we heard from this particular location where at there are rockets being fired and artillery being fired.

There's heavy machine guns up here as well and then, of course, down below you have the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. They are the ones that have been advancing into these particular villages that are in the plains behind us on this strategic road leading towards Mosul.

We have seen some resistance being put into place from ISIS fighters. We have been seeing explosions. Unclear if they are suicide bombers, car bombs, suicide car bombs.

We have also seen some much larger explosions which based on the size and the large plume of smoke that has been set off from them are presumably airstrikes. We've been hearing fighter jets overhead ever since we have been here again for more than 12 to 14 hours now.

Of course, the great concern is going to be as they push towards Mosul, how much more resistance are they going to meet and then once they reached the city itself. That is where the real battle is going to be unfolding. And of course, hanging in the balance, Christine, the lives of some 1.5 million civilians.

ROMANS: That's right. All right, such an important point. Thank you so much for that, Arwa Damon. We'll check with you when there are new details. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, so much for Clayton Kershaw's dubious record in the playoffs. The Dodgers shutdown the Chicago cubs to help the Dodgers draw even in the National League Championship series. Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report" that's next.

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[05:23:41]

BERMAN: Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw, pitched a masterpiece to even up the series with the Cubs.

ROMANS: Andy Scholes has more of this morning's "Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Good morning, guys. Now Clayton Kershaw has the reputation of being masterful in the regular season and not so good in the post season. That certainly was not the case last night in Chicago. He took the mound for the fourth time in ten days and threw one of the best post season games of his career.

Kershaw shutout the Cubs for seven innings knocking six strikeouts. Adrian Gonzalez got the Dodgers the only run they needed with the solo home run in the second inning. This is the first time the Cubs have lost a 1-0 game since Babe Ruth and the Red Sox in the 1918 World Series.

And the national league championship series tied at 1-1. The American league tonight with the Indians and Blue Jays on TBS at 8:00.

Most people turned off Sunday night football late in the fourth quarter with Colts beating Texas by two touchdowns. All of those people plus the fans that left the game in Houston missed one great comeback by the Texans. Brock Osweiler threw two touchdown in the final three minutes. The last coming with 49 seconds left forced overtime and the Texans kick a game-winning field goal to win this one, 26-23 in a stunning comeback.

Seahawks and Falcons squaring off yesterday. Richard Sherman not very happy with his teammates following a Julio Jones touchdown.

[05:25:09]Most of his teammates tried to calm him down. The one-on- one approach wasn't working so they all rally around him and that seemed to do the trick. Sherman playing some great defense on Julio Jones on the game's deciding play. Could have been pass interference wasn't called. Seahawks sweep by with 26-24 win.

Finally, Giants wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., breaking out of his slump in a big way against the Ravens. He had a career high 226 yards receiving 66 of them coming on this touchdown that would prove to be the game winner for the Giants.

After scoring, Beckham ran over to the kicking net and proposed to it. After the game, he told reporters the net did in fact say yes. The Giants won 27-23. Beckham has had an on and off relationship with the kicking net. He attacked it earlier when things were not going so hot. Now they are fine.

BERMAN: Now they are engaged. We'll find out where they are registered.

ROMANS: Berman proposes to the teleprompter at least once a week. Thank you.

Donald Trump declaring the election is rigged. Will his campaign accept the outcome if he loses? That is straight ahead on EARLY START.

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