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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New CNN/Poll: Clinton Leads Trump by 5; Trump Campaigns in Key Swing State Florida; Former Pageant Contestant Sued by Trump; Trump: "All of these Liars be Sued"; What it's Like to be Sued by Trump; Trump Supporters in Florida; Veterans Ordered to Repay Bonuses. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired October 24, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:43] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening.
Coming up on two weeks from Election Day and the two campaigns could not be approaching it more differently. Hillary Clinton acting not only like a front-runner but like a front-runner with coattails. New CNN/ORC polling shows her leading by five points nationally. She's now campaigning to flip the House and Senate, not just win the White House. The question, though, is she risking electoral votes or even victory to do it? As for Donald Trump, who wrapped up a heavy day campaigning in Florida, he seems torn between contradictory messages namely I'm actually winning and I need your help. More on that now from our Jim Acosta.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don't believe the polls, Donald Trump says, believe him.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And watch the polls because this is part of the crooked system.
ACOSTA: As Trump explained to farmers in Florida, the latest election polls conducted by the mainstream news media are part of a bitter harvest, seeding doubts about his ability to win.
TRUMP: These are what they call dark polls. They are phony polls put out by phony media. And I'll tell you what, all of us are affected by this stuff. And what they do is they try and suppress the vote. This way people don't go out and vote.
ACOSTA: For Trump, the polls are now part of the conspiracy to deny him the White House, or as he described it roughly seven times in one minute, a rigged system.
TRUMP: We are going to fix our rigged system. It's a rigged, broken, corrupt system. It's rigged. It's broken. It's corrupt. They want me to take that back. Let me tell you, folks, it's a rigged system. We're in a rigged system. We're in a broken and corrupt system. And Bernie Sanders was in a rigged system.
ACOSTA: The latest CNN/ORC poll finds Trump trailing Clinton by five points.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We are behind.
ACOSTA: Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, conceded what aides say privately. Trump will have to come from behind to win.
CONWAY: Her husband campaigning for her, the current president and first lady, vice president, all much more popular than she can hope to be. And she's -- but she's seen as the incumbent. So our advantage going in, we were behind one, three, four points in some of these swing states that Mitt Romney lost to President Obama. Our advantage is that Donald Trump is just going to continue to take the case directly to the people.
ACOSTA: But it's a case Trump sometimes mishandles, such as when he traveled to Gettysburg to lay out his vision for his first 100 days in office, only to spend the first 10 minutes attacking the women who accused him of sexual assault.
TRUMP: All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.
ACOSTA: Just today, Trump rushed off one of his newest accusers.
JESSICA DRAKE, TRUMP ACCUSER: He grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission.
ACOSTA: Pointing out she has starred in adult films.
TRUMP: One said, "He grabbed me on the arm." And she's a porn star. Now, you know, this one that would came out recently, "He grabbed me and he grabbed me on the arm." Oh, I'm sure she's never been grabbed before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Jim Acosta joins us from Tampa. What did Trump have to say tonight?
ACOSTA: Anderson, this was pretty much his standard stump speech. He did go after Hillary Clinton and those WikiLeaks disclosures of Clinton campaign e-mails. At one point, he did introduce a new line, saying that Hillary Clinton has abused the African-American community, abused the Hispanic community. But I think what's notable about today, Anderson, is that Donald Trump is escalating his attacks on the national news media.
Earlier today, he called the reporters covering his campaign crooks and thieves and then at this rally here in Florida, he said that the media are not just against me, they're against you as in his supporters. Even at one point said that the national news media are against hard-working people, that they look down on hard-working people. And, Anderson, there seems to be a cause and effect. After his rallies are over his crowds are increasingly getting more intense and their verbal attacks are also getting very intense as I pass a live position early this evening. At one point, they were all around us, hurling all sorts of things that we can't say on the air, Anderson.
COOPER: Yeah, that was on our last hour. They're pretty much screaming at you while we are on the air. Hope you got a break tonight. Jim Acosta, thanks very much.
Now Hillary Clinton's day, which is making some Democratic strategists nervous, the aim, it appears, is to act like a candidate who's on her way to such a big victory, she can afford to spread the campaign joys. Our Phil Mattingly joins us now with more on that.
So, Clinton was on the trail with Senator Elizabeth Warren today. Warren, certainly, didn't seem to hold back when it came to Donald Trump.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, not at all. Surrogate attack dog in chief for sure.
[21:05:00] And what Elizabeth Warren was doing, probably in a more sharp fashion than we've ever seen from Hillary Clinton, is use Donald Trump's own words against him, whether from the debate or from some controversial videos. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: He thinks that because he has a mouth full of Tick Tacs, that he can force himself on any woman within groping distance. Well, I got news for you, Donald Trump. Women have had it with guys like you. And on November 8th, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to pass our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY: Obviously, getting the crowd all riled up in New Hampshire. And here's why that's important, Anderson. You talk about how Hillary Clinton has started to kind of shift her focus a little bit to down-ballot races. That's how comfortable her campaign feels. Well, that extends to surrogates as well. Elizabeth Warren making the case for Maggie Hassen in a very tight Senate race up in New Hampshire. We've got surrogates all over the country in these battleground states that will now not only be helping the Hillary Clinton, but also helping boost those Senate candidates. Those Senate candidates Hillary Clinton desperately needs to win if she wants that Democratic majority come January of next year, Anderson.
COOPER: Phil, a report came out today that makes Clinton support for ObamaCare a bit more difficult to defend, right?
MATTINGLY: Yeah, that's exactly right. It's a report that I'm sure won't surprise you. Donald Trump took all of about two hours to seize on at his rally tonight in Florida. Now, this report, according to the Obama administration, basically shows that premiums will be going up on average of 25 percent in the insurance exchanges related to ObamaCare around the country. Now, obviously, that is a big problem. And it's one that the Trump campaign has been trying to highlight for months up to this point. I've been to dozens of Donald Trump rallies. Repeal or replace ObamaCare has always one of his biggest applause lines.
Now, this also goes into the fact that major insurers have started polling out of the program, a program that Hillary Clinton supports. Now, she says she wants to fix it and expand upon it. And the Obama administration makes clear, 75 percent of those who would be seeing these premium hikes would be eligible for subsidies. But you want to talk about an attack line in these last two weeks. This is certainly something the Trump campaign wants to seize on.
And, Anderson, you can even go a little bit micro with it as well. This report outlining that a 27-year-old in Arizona, a state the Clinton campaign is very interested in trying to turn blue would see their premiums double. So, it's not just the big picture, but also on the state-by-state level, Anderson.
COOPER: Phil, thanks very much. As we mentioned at the top of the hour, for millions of people around the country, Election Day is now. They've started early voting and election watchers are certainly watching their every move for clues to where the entire election may be heading. Tom Foreman always keeps his eyes open, election or not, and joins us now with the latest on early voting.
So, what are we seeing so far, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Anderson, take a look at this map. Early voting has now started in more than half the states over the past few weeks. For example in the potentially huge swing state of Florida, some people have been voting by mail, but today actual polling places there opened. Six other states will jump onboard pretty soon, joining the rush. A few more will come after that, leaving only a dozen or so that have no early voting unless you have a state-approved excuse to vote absentee.
So, at this point, more than 5 million people have cast their ballots already, or almost 4 percent of the 127 million who voted for Obama or Romney in 2012, Anderson.
COOPER: And Tom, we don't know whom these people are picking, so why do political analysts keep saying this looks good for Democrats?
FOREMAN: Because Democrats are voting early at roughly the same rate as they did in 2012, while Republicans are lagging. And you can really see that in some places, like Colorado, where all of the balance returns so far, 42 percent are for the Democrats, 32 percent for the Republicans. This is exactly flipped from where it was at this point in the race four years ago when the Republicans had the edge there. Same thing down here in Arizona. There the Democrats have a little bit of an edge. They were behind in 2012. Not anymore.
Now, there is some good news for the Republicans down here in Florida. There, if you look at the raw vote count there, you can see the Republicans, 411,000, almost 412,000, Democrats more like 396,000. So, that's good news for the Republicans. But overall, if you look at the whole country right now, in the 21 states where we know the voter affiliation of those returning ballots, look at this, the Democrats with 1,391,436, Republicans with 1,143,247. So Republicans are lagging behind Democrats by about a quarter million votes, Anderson.
COOPER: Tom Foreman. Tom, thanks very much.
Back now with our panel. Jonathan Tasini, Christine Quinn, Patrick Healy, Jeffrey Lord and Scottie Nell Hughes.
Patrick, the fact that roughly, I think, 4 percent of people have voted early and even more are going to vote by the time of election day, it certainly puts the pressure on now for these candidates to be as sharp as they can with their message.
PATRICK HEALY, NEW YORK TIMES POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, no, significantly. I mean, you heard Donald Trump today, as Jim said, down in Florida, saying that Hillary Clinton had abused the African- American community, had abuse the Hispanic community. That's in big part because Democrats are saying that Hispanics at this point are double where they were four years ago in terms of their early vote right now. And the African-Americans have requested absentee ballots by about 40 percent more than where they were about four years ago.
[21:10:21] So you're seeing in Nevada, in other sort of battleground states where the numbers just are going in the direction that the Democrats, the Clinton campaign, which has a boiler room and is watching this on a daily basis, what those trend lines are.
And, you know, the Trump campaign, according to advisers who have told me that they're going largely off of what the RNC and some of the state parties are telling them. They're still flying like a little bit blind in terms of where they're going to put their ad dollars at the very end, where they kind of need to goose the numbers to get people on election night.
COOPER: And Christine, I mean, we've talked a lot over the last couple of months about the Democrats' ground game, how much they've invested in it. Is there where we start to see some of the impact of that just in terms of getting people to go out early to vote?
CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER NYC CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: Absolutely. And, you know, Patrick said that they're looking at these numbers every day. They're looking at them every hour, every half hour. I mean, Robby Mook, who's doing such a great job running the Secretary's campaign. He is a numbers guy. And he's watching these trends, literally, like every couple of hours. And the ground game isn't just set up in a kind of "X" number of people here, X, Y, there. It's really a very scientific plan and campaign we've built out since the beginning. And you can have a bazillion supporters, but if they don't vote ...
COOPER: Right. QUINN: ... you have no supporters. So, this is where really the rubber hits the road and where clearly our campaign has a huge advantage.
COOPER: It's also, Jonathan, where you see the benefit of having such a deep bench of surrogates, President Obama, Michelle Obama, Bide, you know, Elizabeth Warren, who we just saw.
JONATHAN TASINI, CLINTON SUPPORTER: And at the middle of it, you see units who strongly support Secretary Clinton, all the affinity groups, the support groups, and by contrast, part of the reason that Donald Trump does not have the same organization is because his alienation for many weeks with the Republican establishment. So, Democrats have put that in play for a long time, unions who support Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly and want to get the union vote out in support of Hillary Clinton because they see the option of having a Donald Trump as president as an anathema are going to work very hard particularly in the industrial states.
QUINN: And they have their own operations. So, it's operations on top of operations that are going to throw people out.
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, TRUMP SUPPORTER: But I hate to burst this Clinton celebration election, celebration that we're having. I'm just saying -- I hate to burst your bubble here, remember, the unions did not get on board with Hillary Clinton from the very beginning. They actually were very hesitant ...
TASINI: That's not true.
HUGHES: No, they were not. It was actually the union bosses that kind of pushed it along ...
TASINI: No, no.
COOPER: Let her finish.
HUGHES: And if you talk to folks that are hurting, those folks that have lost their jobs and had seen their jobs go to other country, yes, the union as a whole might endorse them, but the actual workers themselves who have seen their funds reduced, who have now seen their health care costs go up, there's no better advertisement for Donald Trump than a paycheck. And a paycheck ...
COOPER: She raises a good point, though, because that's the argument the Trump folks have been making for a long time, which is union bosses may be endorsing Hillary Clinton, but rank and file, they're going to go for Donald Trump.
TASINI: First of all, Scottie -- first of all, let's talk about facts. The labor movement was overwhelmingly supportive of Hillary Clinton.
HUGHES: No. TASINI: Some union supporter, my own Bernie Sanders, but overwhelmingly, I think three quarters of the union supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries. And when the primaries ended, all the unions got behind Hillary Clinton. That's just a fact.
QUINN: And let me just say, it's not just the bosses. If you look at the American Federation of Teachers, there are teachers all across this country who since before the primaries have been spending their Saturdays and Sundays campaigning for Hillary Clinton. These are rank and file teachers, because they care about ...
HUGHES: No, they are not.
TASINI: Here's the other ...
COOPER: Let Jeffrey ...
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: SCIU in some of these trade unions ...
QUINN: Let me tell you, SCIU is fully supporting the Secretary.
LORD: You know, this has happened before. I mean, the union bosses, if you will, were all for Walter Mondale, they were all for Jimmy Carter. The rank and file voted for Ronald Reagan.
QUINN: Well, it's good we're going back a couple of decades ...
LORD: Because we've got the same set of arguments ...
QUINN: But you know what -- but beyond ...
HEALY: There is concern in the Clinton campaign about numbers of young African-Americans and young Hispanics. The Clinton campaign sent Jay-Z to Cleveland to do a concert. JLo is going to be down in Miami. There is a concern -- I don't think anybody's popping the cork quite yet.
HEALY: In terms of those actual numbers getting out. And what Robby Mook doesn't know, entirely, is whether the people who are voting go beyond in terms of like who these people are, if they're new voters, especially if those younger voters are coming out. These tend to be older voters.
QUINN: Look, I want to be clear. There's, you know, 15 or 16 -- 15 days left. You've got to work 24 hours of those days. I think we're in a good spot, but look, I'm Irish. The famine could start tomorrow. You know, I'm not assuming good things are going to happen. Assume bad things are going to happen and prevent them. And that's what we're going to do in this campaign. We're going to work until the polls close ...
[21:15:12] HUGHES: But in Georgia, Politico has reported that the majority of the early voting is coming from the rural areas. There is a problem right now. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have of getting these urban areas mobilized.
QUINN: You're talking about Georgia.
HUGHES: You said Georgia was competitive.
TASINI: I hope you're focusing in Georgia.
HUGHES: No, but what I'm pointing out is the rural areas are voting, the urban areas are not. I stood for an hour this week in a rural area of Tennessee, long lines, inner city Nashville, no lines.
TASINI: But I get this, we are looking at an electoral beat down and just to your point about Donald Trump ...
HUGHES: See, that said ...
TASINI: Just to the point of Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton appealing to regular people. The argument that Donald Trump was ripped off thousands of people who has been a cheat and pathological liar and has been sued 1,000 of times by regular people, that is part of the message that is going to actually move a lot of voters towards the Democrats and to Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. We'll have more with the panel after the break.
Later, what it's like to be one of the many people Donald Trump has sued over the years. We're going to hear from a former Miss USA contestant who knows (inaudible), just ahead.
COOPER: Donald Trump says he's winning and new polling shows it. However, neither poll he points to meets our standards for transparency or the way they're conducted. Which more, the vast bulk of industry standard polling, including this new CNN/ORC survey show different picture. Clinton up five points here and ahead by similar amounts in several polling averages.
[21:20:06] Back now with the panel. Jeffrey, I mean, do you -- how do you see the polls? I mean, where do you see hope?
LORD: I'm a little weary -- I'm just sort of naturally weary of polls.
LORD: One thing I should say for the audience that doesn't listen to Rush Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh has for years ...
QUINN: Or the panel.
LORD: Or the panel, exactly. Rush Limbaugh has maintained for years that these polls are used for political purposes to, in essence, build momentum for candidates. And so, you know, I suspect he's probably been saying this in the last few days as well.
COOPER: But aren't these the same polling organizations which during the primary, you know, Donald Trump doing very well ...
LORD: Yes, yes, yes, they are, they are. But what I don't know understand ...
TASINI: And the Fox poll shows him behind.
LORD: And I genuinely don't understand it, are they getting to people who never before have participated in the system? I genuinely don't know. I mentioned the signs all over the place. What I'm seeing is not jiving with what I'm reading in the polls.
COOPER: Patrick, do -- I mean, what do you think? Do they get to people who's-- who haven't been traditionally part of the press?
HEALY: Right. Right now -- I mean, right now, a lot of people are living in their bubbles, right, and they're seeing such sort of exuberant, high-energy support for their candidate. And it's very hard to tell getting outside of that in places like Utah right now. Is it really possible that Hillary Clinton, you know, could win Utah? Because it's looking like it's going to be a three-way race right there.
What we do know is that historically no nominee in modern times has come back from the kinds of deficits that Donald Trump has in so many battleground states, and so many -- and has been able to find a path forward like he would need to achieve.
LORD: One other thing here, these rallies that we've talked about, people don't just show up and get in. They wait hours and hours and hours to get in there. I would suggest that people who are willing to do that are definitely going to go out and vote.
HEALY: Those are dedicated ...
HUGHES: Yeah, but let me talk about the frustration of the polls, what Jim Acosta is seeing out these rallies, why, I think, people are upset with media. Even our own CNN poll, granted it's based off of a certain algorithm, has 37 percent Democrat, 33 percent of independent, 30 percent GOP. That is absolutely higher Democrats that are being polled than even Pew Research has done over the last 12 years of what the average should be. So when people hear that, they go, wait a minute, these polls are being skewed towards Hillary Clinton, towards the Democrats. And they get that frustration ...
COOPER: You think that's why they're screaming at Jim Acosta? You don't think it's because your candidate ... HUGHES: No, they're screaming because the media is ...
COOPER: Right. But no, you don't think they're screaming because your candidate is calling the reporters who are covering ...
HUGHES: Well, when you have 96 percent of the media contributing to the Democratic Party ...
COOPER: Those aren't any political reporter.
HUGHES: But there is an honest frustration ...
COOPER: I get the whole bias argument. I totally get that.
HUGHES: For a reason, we have to understand ...
COOPER: Your candidate is riling them up.
HEALY: Polls have been waited for decades ....
HUGHES: Right. But this is more, this is more than traditional.
HEALY: And if Kellyanne Conway wasn't working for a candidate, she would say that because of the antagonism by Donald Trump and his campaign of African-Americans, of Hispanics, of women, that the waiting, you know, probably could be even greater ...
QUINN: I mean, I think the thing about the polls, if you take a little bit of a step back, is that no one is disputing that the people in those auditoriums, they're for Donald Trump. And no matter what happens over the next 15 days, they're for Donald Trump. And what was said, which was true during the primaries and is really proving true now, he cannot crack 40. He is in the 30s. I have no doubt we'll see that kind of support for him on Election Day. But that's not going to carry him over.
So the people yelling at Jim Acosta, which I just think is honestly horrible and inappropriate and wrong, they are fueled on by Donald Trump. But they are the people who are voting for him. And a general election, unlike a primary, is about having the ability as a candidate and a campaign to reach beyond. And I think everything we're talking about -- everything we're talking about tonight from the stepping on his own message to bringing the women who have accused him up at Gettysburg, that all goes back to Mr. Trump's biggest weakness. His temperament and that he's temperamentally unqualified to be president. And he is making that case.
COOPER: OK, Jonathan and we got to move.
TASINI: Trump is not capable of making the argument, and that's the frustration that you're seeing that's maybe reflecting itself in the polls, where people are being polled because they're absorbing what they see about Donald Trump. The fact that he's a sexual predator, the fact that he's a liar, the fact that he's ...
HUGHES: That's slander.
TASINI: No, it's not.
HUGHES: It's all slander.
TASINI: So, all these things get reflected in the polls. The second thing I'd say about enthusiasm, and I'll give you a Democratic example. I remember 1984, now I'm getting myself, when the last few days of the campaign, people were turning out for Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. And people said the actual pip are going to come put to vote just before they were crushed by Ronald Reagan.
[21:25:04] So all this kind of lovely thing about excited rallies and speaking as a Bernie Sanders supporter, I saw many of those excited people at big rallies. At the end of the day, I think those polls have been pretty consistent, reflecting what's going to happen on Election Day.
COOPER: I mean Sanders got big crowds as well.
LORD: My point is, number one, they've got to show up. And if there's anything that I've seen consistently from Hillary Clinton supporters, other than Christine, it's a lack of enthusiasm. They just -- I mean, literally, people have said to me, yeah, I'll do this. That is not going to drive a lot of people to the polls.
QUINN: You may not be hanging out with that many.
HEALY: What hurts at least some Republicans who I talk to is that Hillary Clinton has run so closely to Barack Obama and this news today about the ObamaCare premiums, a different kind of Republican candidate could hang that around Hillary Clinton's neck for 15 days and prosecute, and prosecute. Would it be enough to overcome deficits of, you know, four or five points in battlegrounds? I don't know. But it could reinforce a larger message that she is just more of the same in a moment when people want change.
COOPER: Let Scottie and then we've got to go.
HUGHES: The only place that we're hearing that Donald Trump honestly is losing is in the media or these polls that certain ones are putting out. You're not seeing it with the crowd rallies, you're not seeing on social media where Donald Trump is two to three times more than Hillary Clinton on any every social media platform. You're seeing -- the only place you're hearing that Donald Trump is losing ...
TASINI: But we talked about before the ground game of turning up people is much more ...
COOPER: Yeah, by the way, I also heard on Twitter that 9/11 was an inside job, which is simply not true.
HUGHES: I'm not saying -- but saying the only ...
COOPER: I mean there's a lot of stuff on Twitter ...
HUGHES: Just remember the enthusiasm ...
HEALY: There are UFOs in Area 51.
COOPER: All right. Well, that we know is true. Time now for quick break. Please don't tweet me now about this.
When we come back, we're going to hear from a former Miss USA contestant. Donald Trump sued her for $10 million after she said the pageant was rigged. Donald Trump won that suit. We'll have more on that, ahead.
[21:31:00] COOPER: As we reported, Donald Trump used a portion of his Gettysburg speech over the weekend to attack the multiple of women who have come forward to say that he touched them inappropriately. He threatened to sue them all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.
It was probably the DNC and the Clinton campaign that put forward these liars with their fabricated stories. But we'll find out about their involvement at a later date through litigation. And I look so forward to doing that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Whether that's an idle threat or not remains to be seen. One woman who knows what it's like to be sued by Donald Trump, former Miss USA contestant, Sheena Monnin, she was Miss Pennsylvania, but resigned in protest after she found out, to what she said, that the pageant was allegedly rigged, after she posted on Facebook that she thought the pageant was fraudulent, Trump sued her for $10 million. She joins me tonight.
Sheena, back in 2012, how do you find out that Donald Trump planned to take a legal action against you?
SHEENA MONNIN, FORMER MISS PENNSYLVANIA SUED BY TRUMP: Yes, I actually found out through the media. Once he decided that he was going to sue me for $10 million, he didn't approach me professionally behind closed doors and say, I hear that you want to resign your title, what's going on, he actually went to the media first. And I woke up and I saw my image everyone online and on T.V. and I wondered, what in the world is going on? This has completely blown up compared to what I did, which was simply resigning my title.
COOPER: And -- I mean, what did you think when you saw that? Were you scared?
MONIN: I wasn't scared of Donald Trump. I've never been scared of him, because I know and understand he uses bullying tactics against everyone. And I have a degree in psychology and I understand that underneath the bullying tactics is usually a lot of emptiness and a strong need to feed the ego.
So I wasn't scared of him, but there was a lot of unknown with me, with the court proceedings. I'd never been sued before. I didn't know what to think as far as what my rights were, what the next step would be. And I was very surprised, honestly, that it was -- there is so much reactivity involved with the lawsuit and the way that he handled it.
COOPER: About a year ago, Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, told a reporter for the "Daily Beast" that it would be his privilege to destroy the reporter's life and serve it to them on a silver platter like he did "that idiot from Pennsylvania and Miss USA, referring to you. How did he do that exactly?
MONNIN: Oh, he didn't destroy my life. I think that was one of his goals once he realized I wasn't going to give into it. And some of the threats that he made through his attorney to me were that if I didn't recant what I saw and what I said, and if I didn't take my title back, he was going to try to hinder my professional growth. He was going to try to sabotage any career opportunities that I may have in the future. So I understand that was his personal goal based on what he communicated to me with his attorney, but my life wasn't destroyed in the manner that he wanted to destroy it. And they only won legally because there was a default judgment, because I wasn't there during arbitration.
COOPER: And Trump is now saying that he's going to sue, he's going to go after the election, he'll sue the women accusing him of sexual assault. I'm wondering when you heard that, what did you think? And what would your -- I mean, as someone who's actually been through being sued by him, what would you tell people?
MONNIN: Yes, absolutely. You know, when I first heard that, I thought, why are people so surprised? He has been an over reactive person who behaves in a narcissistic manner for many, many years, and it's really not surprising that when someone steps up and says something that he doesn't care for, of course, he's going to overreact and make a threat of some kind. And my words to those women are, stand your ground. If you know, as I did, that you're standing on truth and you have a firm foundation, make sure you surround yourself with people who will support you and don't quit because it's going to get very difficult. And it's not going to be pretty. Some of the attacks that he made me and against my personhood, they did hurt. And it's not nice to behave in that manner. But that's what we should expect from someone who has a long history of acting out in that way.
[21:35:20] And I would say to them, just really don't give up. If you know you're standing on truth, then fight to the very end and know there are people out there who will believe in you, even if he attacks you or your character.
COOPER: Sheena, thanks very much. Appreciate your time.
MONNI: Yeah, thank you.
COOPER: With me again tonight, Clinton supporter, Christine Quinn and Trump supporter, Scottie Nell Hughes.
Just in terms of Donald Trump talking about suing these women who have accused him, he's talked about suing "The New York Times". I mean, as a Clinton supporter, anytime Donald Trump is not talking about issues and is talking about stuff like this, is that a good day for the Clinton campaign?
QUINN: I mean, I think, of course it is. And it's another day he's not staying on his message, which obviously is good for us, but also shows, again, as I said before, he's not fit to be president if he can't even stay on point on his campaign message, how is he going to negotiate international issues?
But beyond politics, the fact that Donald Trump given the elevated position he now has as the Republican nominee would threaten to sue these 12 or 14 women who have come out, alleging very specific sexual assault, to me, is just the biggest, most offensive example of his bullying.
COOPER: Well, I do get, though, if you believe -- if you're arguing that -- if you're saying that you've been wrongly accused that you want to defend yourself and want to sort of, you know, make a point of saying, look, I didn't do this and I'm going to sue these people.
QUINN: When you have 14 -- 12 or 14, I'm sorry, I can't remember what it is, cases all brought against you with very specific details with women who have nothing to do with each other. I mean, there is clearly something here. And he, I believe, is only threatening to sue them, because as we said before, he will never go through discovery. Never, ever, ever. He's doing this to try to control these to try to engender fear and control these women, which is ultimately what's at the core of rape and sexual assault is control.
COOPER: Yeah, and I'm certainly not making a judgment on their cases. I think it's 11.
QUINN: I'm sorry. Thank you.
COOPER: Scottie, I mean, to you, is it off-message for Donald Trump to be doing this? Should he be just focusing on talking about ObamaCare and the rising premiums that we just, you know, learned about today instead of going down this path?
HUGHES: Absolutely, I agree. There's a lot of great platforms that I agree. If he was on message, he would be a lot higher in these polls. Unfortunately, we continue to give attention to these women, to these allegations, with just words, not necessarily hard-core evidence that he actually did these things or that he actually assaulted these women. And yes, these women all do have some form of connection. Many of them are represented by Gloria Allred, who was a delegate for Hillary Clinton to the DNC, has strong Democrat ties.
There has no hard-core evidence to prove any of these allegations ...
COOPER: I think maybe two that I know of ...
HUGHES: Yeah, two. But what I'm saying, one of these have hard-core evidence besides just words. There's no actual tangible proof that says, yes, for sure, he did this or did not do this. You're going to allege to the tape because he said but that tape does not refer to any of these 11 women. And these continue -- these women continue to be given attention for one reason, one reason only.
COOPER: By the way, we haven't covered these women in days and Donald Trump brought it up this weekend at a major policy address, addressing what he was going to do in the first 100 days ...
QUINN: You guys blame the media, it's him. He can't get away from wanting to ...
COOPER: He talks about it again today.
HUGHES: Once again, the falsehood of this that everybody can throw mud at the wall and you're going to cover it and you're going to show it instead of actually showing when he talks about the majority of that ...
COOPER: I guess my question is, why is he still talking about it?
QUINN: Why doesn't he stop?
HUGHES: Look at all the false that continues -- narratives that continue that nobody holds them accountable, those women that actually say whether or not, but they're going to hold me accountable without any evidence. If they're going to be the judge, jury, trial and prosecutor ...
COOPER: So you want him to continue talking about it?
HUGHES: No, I definitely don't want him to. There is no doubt about that. But unfortunately, these questions continue to come up and unlike Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump has his actual transparency about him and he's not going to wait until you get the FBI investigate him or WikiLeaks leaking out his e-mails to find out the truth of what happened years later.
QUINN: He's transparent until there's a hot mike, right? And then when you get a hot mike, you get the real Donald Trump, not what he's been putting out there. And as it relates to these women, a number of these women sat here with Anderson Cooper and on national T.V told ...
HUGHES: On words. Once again, words. We can allege everything.
QUINN: Scottie, these women, and very powerfully, explained why, never reported their case. And the woman who was on the airplane, she was so afraid to report her case, because she believed she would be fired.
HUGHES: But it was a false case. We have now seen evidence that backs up ...
QUINN: No, no.
[21:40:00] COOPER: Wait a minute. Wait, wait. And nothing has been proven false or true.
HUGHES: There's no evidence on across the board.
QUINN: You don't -- look, we don't ...
COOPER: All right. We got to go.
QUINN: There's not been a police investigation, so you can't say that.
HUGHES: She never filed a report.
QUINN: Because she was terrified.
HUGHES: Because she was making it up.
QUINN: Because she was terrified.
COOPER: Christine, thank you. Scottie, as well.
Just ahead, Trump supporters speaking out in Florida and in some cases lashing out at our Randi Kaye. What a surprised. One Trump crowd had -- what the crowd had to say in the media -- about the media, next.
COOPER: Donald Trump today complained on the Twitter about he calls made-up phony polls. And at a Florida rally, he said some great polls have come out and said he thinks he's winning. As we have been reporting, Trump is losing to Clinton by five points in a new CNN/ORC poll and he's behind in the vast majority of national polls. Randi Kaye is in Florida where she asked Trump supporters what they think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No shortage of enthusiasm for Donald Trump at his rally in Tampa, despite the fact that he's now behind in most polls.
A lot of the polls are showing that Trump is trailing. Do you believe the polls?
BECKY SIMS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: No. I really don't.
KAYE: Donald Trump has said that the polls are inaccurate. He doesn't believe them. What do you think?
[21:40:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe them either.
KAYE: Many here suggest the polls are wrong, because people are afraid to say who they're voting for. But our questions about the polls were quickly interrupted by this man.
RENE RODRIGUEZ, TRUMP SUPPORTER: You guys are hypocritical.
KAYE: I've never seen you before. You don't know me.
RODRIGUEZ: No, no, but I know your news station and to me it's biased.
KAYE: Shortly after that, he agreed to on interview.
What do you think about the polls that all seem to show right now Donald Trump trailing?
RODRIGUEZ: And I think the polls are trash. It's bologna.
KAYE: Do you believe that these are fake polls?
RODRIGUEZ: Oh, yes, definitely, because I see the bias in the whole media. It's because he's not the usual candidate that you would select. You see, he decides himself, right, to be who he is.
KAYE: We moved on, asking supporters how Trump can turn things around, given that his own campaign manager acknowledges they are behind in the polls.
TRISH SCHULTZ, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Right now he needs to stay point on. He does need to put a structured points out there of what he plans on doing. He has to share with everybody what his agendas are. And ...
KAYE: Will that help win him more support, do you think?
SCHULTZ: It will.
KAYE: With so many polls, regardless of what you believe, showing Donald Trump trailing, what do you think he needs to say at this point to win the support of more American people? SIMS: Donald Trump needs to go exactly and say what he did Saturday, as far as his vision and his 100-day, what he will do in the first 100 days.
KAYE: You want more specifics?
SIMS: That was excellent.
KAYE: Supporters here were telling me how Trump needs to stay on message, when, again, things turned ugly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything you say, they're going to twist it. CNN sucks.
KAYE: Nice to see you, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CNN sucks.
KAYE: Nice to see you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know who you are. You're a liar.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a liar.
KAYE: Nice to see you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're liar.
KAYE: You said your piece ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You chop everything up and edit it to your -- you suck.
KAYE: Finally, even fellow supporters had enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have the right to answer the questions that they ask.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I have the right to say what I want to say.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. You're making a fool of yourself in front of all the Trump's fan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: CNN sucks.
KAYE: It got so hostile. We did just want more interview far away from the crowds.
At this point, what do you think he has to say or do to turn the polls around if they are accurate?
PETE BILLING, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, he has to appeal to the undecided people. He has to settle down and act a little bit more like a politician for while. I think his policy, you know, his philosophies are spot-on. I think his approach has been a bit ragged. I think he needs to try to tone it down just maybe a bit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Randi joins me now from Tampa. Pretty rowdy crowd today. Seems like a lot of anger there.
KAYE: Certainly a lot of anger, Anderson. But I should point out, that first guy who sort of came at me and then I calmed him down and we ended up doing that interview, he actually apologized to me after that was done for making such generalizations about journalists. That other woman who was sort of in my face, pointing her finger, she continued to chase us around that line there and throughout the rally, in fact.
But I did get a chance to speak to some of those supporters about early voting, which as you know, began today in Florida. And one woman told me that she did get out and vote early this morning. She wanted to be an inspiration to others that no matter what the polls say, that they should get out and vote, that their vote can make a difference.
And then I talked to another guy, Anderson, who is so convinced that the polls and this election are rigged, that he hand-delivered his ballot to the Board of Elections today to make sure that it gets counted. Anderson?
COOPER: All right, Randi Kaye, I appreciate your reporting. Thanks, Randi.
The Pentagon is facing growing pressure tonight over its demand that thousands of veterans repay bonuses they were given a decade ago. They've even tacked on interest. Our Drew Griffin tonight keeping them honest.
[21:52:11] COOPER: Keeping them honest tonight, growing outrage on Capitol Hill and beyond over demand that frankly boggles the mind. U.S. veterans being ordered to pay back bonuses they were promised in return for reenlisting. Money they earned with their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, all told that adds up to million of dollars. Law makers including senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are speaking out urging action. Senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin has been digging.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: In 2006 the military desperately needed soldiers to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was missing its recruitment goals for new enlistees. The Defense Department started paying incentive bonuses to keep the soldiers it already had. Reenlist and you get not just money but loan forgiveness, other benefits. It was a good deal. Thousands reenlisted. But now the Pentagon is saying to the soldiers, give us our money back.
SUSAN HALEY, U.S. ARMY MASTER SERGEANT (RET): They're asking for 25 -- over $25,000, and that's because they've been charging me interest since 2013.
GRIFFIN: That's right. Not just her bonus, but interest charges to. Master Sergeant Susan Haley got that bonus after signing up for an additional six years. Now the military says it wants the money back. Both Haley's husband and son served in the military, her son lost a leg in Afghanistan. The government, she says, is forcing her now to pay a quarter of her income every month.
HALEY: It's very devastating. It's sad. It breaks my heart. I feel little betrayed that I gave them my time, and now they want my money back. And I -- my family has sacrificed so much, and now we're struggling to pay even our house payments.
GRIFFIN: It all started when a federal investigation found enlistment officers committing fraud. In California, the FBI went after Master Sergeant Toni Jaffe who pleaded guilty to submitting false fictitious claims on behalf of her fellow National Guard members. Her efforts alone added up to $15.2 million in illegal payouts and loan repayments to California guardsman. Jaffe has gone to prison but now inexplicably the Department of Defense is going further, much further. They're going after the soldiers to pay back their bonuses they were promised and earned.
Chris Van Meter served his country an extra six years and was forced to pay back $46,000.
CHRISTOPHER VAN METER, NATIONAL GUARD RESERVIST (RET): You think it's a joke. And obviously it was not a joke. And -- and it's gut wrenching because you have to figure out what you're going to do and how you're going to survive. I had a young family at the time ...
GRIFFIN: The California National Guard shares the frustration, but says it does not have authority to wave the debts. California Congressman Adam Schiff today told CNN he's already written to the head of the California National Guard asking any attempts to reclaim soldiers bonus money be stopped. Until he and Congress can work out a solution.
[21:55:09] REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: I think it's outrageous that the National Guard soldiers are being asked to repay bonuses that they had every right to expect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, Drew, what's the Pentagon saying about this? I mean, why is this happening?
GRIFFIN: You know, Anderson, this has been an ongoing issue for several years. There's even a bureaucratic process at the Pentagon, all set up to handle these issues one by one, it's call the bonus audit and recoupment process, but it' case by case, individual soldiers have to plead their case, perhaps even hire a lawyer. Today the Pentagon says it's going to work for a better solution, but it may have to come from Congress.
COOPER: And you say it's been a problem for years. I'm surprised this hasn't been resolved already.
GRIFFIN: And that is the bigger question. Members of Congress, particularly in California, have known about this for years. There have been news stories dating back to 2010, and all along, no one has stepped up to help these service members, it wasn't these soldiers' fault, they served their country. So far, little to no help in Congress.
I'll give you just a quick example. Today Senator Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein put out a letter to the Department of Defense saying, fix this. You know, Barbara Boxer did that in 2010. Nothing has happened.
GRIFFIN: And I think these soldiers need to ask why.
COOPER: Yeah. We'll continue to follow it. Drew Griffin. Drew, thanks.
GRIFFIN: Thank you.
COOPER: We'll be right back.
[22:00:06] COOPER: And that's it for us. Thanks for watching.
"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts now.