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INSIDE POLITICS

Trump: The Media Portrays Me As Uncivil; Firm Hired By Trump Campaign Asked WikiLeaks For Access To Clinton Campaign E-Mails; Long Secret JFK Files Set For Release Today. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired October 26, 2017 - 12:30   ET

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


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[12:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Little Marco, they hate him in Florida. We call him Lion Ted.

Such a nasty woman. But Elizabeth Warren is terrible. In the Senate everyone hates her. You can have Pocahontas. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks. I like to punch him in the face. I'll tell you.

I'm automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

BILLY BUSH, AMERICAN RADIO HOST: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the - you can do anything.

I didn't start it.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Sir, with all due respect, that's the argument of a five-year-old.

TRUMP: I didn't start it. No, it's not.

COOPER: The argument of a five-year old is, he started it.

TRUMP: You would say that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, INSIDE POLITICS HOST: That's him. Tape doesn't lie. Unless we are so good we created all these body doubles out there to do that. What point was the President trying to make yesterday?

MICHAEL WARREN, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I think he's trying to get the media to -- I mean, he's trying to get us to talk about this and sort of --

KING: To do that? That's what happens when he says --

WARREN: To sort of argue about this with him. I think he feeds off of the fact that the media -- you know, the media treats him unfairly and that's what his supporters believe. The truth the matter is what he complains about the media, you know, showing him as. This is what he recognizes. This is what his supporters like about him. That he sort of sticks a finger in the eye of the people that his base doesn't particularly like.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Everyone loved on the campaign trail, his base loved that he would go out and say things that they all might want to say to their friends, to their buddies. And here is the guy who's going to run the free world and he's going to save them too. And I think that made his base still very comfortable.

And at the same time the President wants to be in the inner circle. He wants to be an insider and it bothers him when he is not characterized as such. Meanwhile, he is the President of the United States.

KING: But that's -- you two just hit on the internal conflict to the paradox it is President Trump. He knows he wants -- he didn't won the popular vote. He has this base that's, you know, yes, his approval numbers are historically unpopular, but his base is rock solid and consistent and he caters to them and he wants to keep them and he talks to them. When he is talking, he is often talking to them, not the Washington establishment and yet he liked to be liked. And he wonders why doesn't the establishment like me more.

This was part of the reason Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said I'm done. I'm not going to run for the election and I'm going to harshly critical to the President. He says Republicans shouldn't hide from that. He says he waited nine months to see if as president a lot of those things you just heard from the campaign would change. Jeff flake says they won't. The question was put to the speaker of the house today about whether he thinks it's important to call out such words.

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REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't think the American people want to see us up here yelling at each other. They want to see us fighting for them. The American people want results. So if we are calling each other names or calling each other out or saying things against each other, what does that do to help a working mom get ahead? What does that do to advance tax reform which will give us faster economic growth and bigger paychecks? Nothing.

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KING: Pivot is what they call that in the political consultant playbook.

WARREN: I mean, where is the agency for the President of this? I mean, he is the one who uses the names. That's I think a blind spot for Republicans on this is they recognize that they can't cut against the President -- the leader of their party on this. But in every instance, he is the instigator for that.

KING: But Paul Ryan knows from personal experience that if you take issue with the President, you will be the next one.

FOX: And many Republicans don't view this as name calling. Many Republicans on Capitol Hill view this as sort of a battle for the soul of the nation. You know, when Jeff Flake goes out there and gives speeches about President Trump, he is not just trying to call him a name. And I think that's sort of the difference here.

FRANCO ORDONEZ, NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT, MCCLATCHY: Well whether it's Flake, Corker as you just pointed out, Paul Ryan, I think the Republicans know that you are either for Trump or you are against him. And I see when he is talking about civility he is making a connection to intelligence. And I think he is trying to say politics is tough. I'm doing a good job politically. I'm reaching my base and therefore I should be respected for it.

MARGARET TALEV, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: He's trying to say I'm getting a bad rap and nobody is being fair. But what's happening is that Republicans -- Paul Ryan was actually pretty transparent about it. In weighing the sort of advantage/moral responsibility about calling the President out and that stuff, it makes many of them really personally uncomfortable.

In the back of their minds, they are like let's concentrate on conservative judges and if we can't repeal health care, you know, getting tax reform at least. That is -- I'm going to say that's going to be the test for the line up. Health care was supposed to be a thing. It might be the test. At some point, there's probably like a tipping point of reckoning, but we haven't seen them yet.

KING: Right. Their point of things -- what they like about the President is put blinders on and try to get things done. The problem is, to your point, they haven't gotten thing on Tom Coburn, a former conservative senator from Oklahoma. A very respective voice in the Republican Party and the conservative movement, said this to Jonathan Martin in the New York Times. "We have a leader who has a personality disorder, but he's done what he actually told the people he was going to do, and they're not going to abandon him." Tom Coburn making the point about the Trump base.

[12:35:09] You can have one conversation about the President. You go out in America, he is getting his conservative judges, they think he hasn't delivered a lot of these things. They think he is fighting on immigration. They think he is fighting on the issues they care about. They think, and again tax reform will be the details, it will be a key test of this. The opioid crisis is another test of this. They think he is fighting for the middle guy. The guy he promised I'll be your voice.

WARREN: I don't know if they think that. I think more likely is they think -- well he is standing up for what I think about the National Anthem, for instance. I think a lot of these cultural issues are actually where the Republican base feels more affinity to the President. Then, you know, I think that the policy issues are sort of a stand in to sort of say, well, we want Congress to be, you know, sort hit Congress over the head actually. KING: That's a smart point in the sense. A lot of adults don't trust Washington to do anything anyway. And so they have a president talking about other big issue. That's a very interesting point.

TALEV: These are not Ivy League talking points.

KING: But they're political smarts.

ORDONEZ: And he is messaging to hit the people that he is trying to message to. And they are receiving those messages.

TALEV: Yes, agreed. But if it was John Kerry or something championing this I believe the credentials, Donald Trump would be making fun of it. I think case, they think it suits him. It's just -- I just --

KING: I'm going to get the Wharton class. Let's see if this one last (ph) in this semester.

Up next, Trump on the campaign trail celebrating WikiLeaks over the leaked Hillary Clinton e-mails that made her look bad.

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TRUMP: WikiLeaks, some new stuff, some brutal stuff. I mean I'd read it to you but to hell with it. Just trust me, it's real bad stuff.

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KING: When we come back, it turns out a firm working for the Trump campaign actually reached out to WikiLeaks hoping to get its hands on those e-mails.

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[12:41:11] TRUMP: This just came out. WikiLeaks. I love WikiLeaks. This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart. You got to read it. The WikiLeaks e-mail shows that Hillary Clinton staff even has to give her secret notes on when she needs to smile. Smile, Hillary. Smile.

The Hillary Clinton documents released by today by WikiLeaks. This is collusion and corruption of the highest order.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You see the dates on that video. That's about a year ago. Candidate Trump had a lot to say about WikiLeaks in the final stretch of last year's campaign.

Now fast forward to today. Sources telling CNN a data analytics firm was a vital to the Trump campaign made contact with WikiLeaks. The firm, Cambridge Analytica, started working for the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016. The goal of its WikiLeaks outreach, to access and catalog the hacked Clinton campaign and Democratic e-mails that WikiLeaks that ahold of in the heat of the campaign.

I remember, U.S. Intelligence Agency say, WikiLeaks got those e-mails from the Russians. And we also can't forget this from candidate Trump.

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TRUMP: Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.

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KING: What does this mean? A data firm, Jared Kushner was involved in this, the Mercer family was involved in this, Steve Bannon was involved in this, this data firm came in, and without a doubt they were very important to the Trump campaign in the end. They reached out to WikiLeaks saying, hey, can we see these? Can we help you catalog these so that we can access them for, you know, research on Hillary Clinton. WikiLeaks Julian Assange, he said no. What does that mean? Everybody does opposition research. Is it beyond the line to reach out to a known bad actor like WikiLeaks to do opposition research or is it just kind of one of the great need a shower campaigning?

WARREN: I think it's a problem. And if it's a problem, what's going on with the question of the Trump dossier and what the Hillary Clinton campaign, what the DNC was doing to get that information. It's a problem -- and I think the Trump campaign recognizes it's a problem. Because they issued a statement yesterday distancing themselves from Cambridge Analytica.

It wasn't convincing distancing but they recognized that this is bigger than just simply that gray area that Julian Assange is working with, you know, GRU in Russia. This is a foreign intelligence agency that Assange is working with.

KING: To that point when the story first broke I believe was on the Daily Beast yesterday, the campaign came out with a statement that answers none of the big questions raised. The questions is, why did the data Analytica reach out? Who authorized them to do so? Was it discussed within the campaign? Do you -- you know, and I'm sure that people who are asking from the documents, Special Counsel, or Congress, et cetera, either have them or are asking for new documents today.

"We as a campaign made a choice to rely on the voter data of the Republican National Committee to help elect President Donald J. Trump. Any claims that voter data from any other source played a key role in the victory are false." Number one, this isn't about voter data. This is about contact with WikiLeaks. The part I love about this, that's Michael Glassner, he is the executive director of the Trump campaign, "Any claims that voter data from any other source played a key role in the victory are false." Doesn't say they didn't play a role from other source in the WikiLeaks. So the statement actually raises more questions to me than it answers. FOX: Well, and I think one of the toughest parts about this for the Trump campaign is that we have President Trump and his own words in the clips that you played at the start of the segment saying how obsessed he was with WikiLeaks. And I think that's going to be tough to overcome in the next couple of weeks.

KING: And so now that we ask, we know these investigations are under way. Here's one view. This is Adam Schiff, Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who has long raised suspicions about the campaign.

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REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It's part of a pattern. We have the President urging the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's e-mails. You then have the Russians reaching out through intermediaries to offer Bill and Hillary Clinton. It's part of filling out the picture of this relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

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[12:45:16] KING: Now that's Adam Schiff. Let's move over to the Senate. Angus King was an independent but works with the Democrats. He is Democratic leaning involved in these investigations as well. Not so harsh.

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SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: We now are reasonably certain that those leaked -- whatever WikiLeaks had in the way of leaked e-mails came courtesy of the Russians and courtesy of their hacking here in Washington. But, again, that was an attempt to do kind of opposition research which unfortunately happens in every political campaign these days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So is it different than what Clinton's campaign did with fusion?

KING: No, I think it was an attempt to get some dirt on the other side.

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KING: Angus King see -- I mean, Adam Schiff sees smoke. Angus King says this is one of those pay close attention to campaigns these days and you need a shower.

TALEV: Yes. Well, and fundamentally this underscores why the Muller investigation is more important than the congressional investigations. Because if you are -- if you have been -- as special counsel you've been looking at -- a lot of information that Congress even may now have access they're may not be able to process. And if the FBI concurrently has been holding multiple investigations into false information that was read, things we know were happening, they had nothing to do with the Trump folks that were the Russians. And you have the ability to synthesize this and put it all together if you have the ability to have investigators speak to people, you are able to at least attempt to answer some factual questions rather than political questions.

ORDONEZ: And Muller investigation is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Every week we are getting new material that is going to be researched, that's going to be investigated. Conservatives have been using so much oxygen. It's just to say that all of this investigation is about the Clinton dossier, about Comey leaking e- mails. This shows that there's a lot more to be mind. And I, you know, would say that, you know, Muller is going to get to the bottom of all of those connections with the various foreign entities.

KING: Right. The white collar attorneys were dealing with this in town. I know for a fact in the terms of these data files, in the data targeting, that is an issue Muller is looking at. Why did you do? What you did on Facebook and elsewhere with the data? And he is also looking at what the Russians did and looking for overlap there.

A lot of things will be said between now and the end. And eventually anybody know when. We'll get to the end. Nobody knows.

All right, up next, the President teases the release of the secret files on the John F. Kennedy assassination. What might be in those files? What does it mean for the conspiracy theories and those that date back 50 years and one repeated just last year by the President himself.

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[12:52:00] KING: To follow up, President Trump closely you know time and time again he has shown us, he loves the good conspiracy theory. But now today he has a chance to maybe help resolve a big one, starting the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And whether there are other forces at work besides the shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Today, the President will authorize the release of more than 3,000 pages of documents about the November 1963 assassination and the investigations that followed the records of an under government wraps for decades. The President teasing the files on Twitter as, quote, so interesting. So why release the documents today? Congress actually set this deadline back in 1992 after a new wave of conspiracy theories set off at least in part by the Oliver Stone film, JFK.

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KEVIN COSTNER, AMERICAN ACTOR WHO PLAYED DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN THE MOVIE JFK: There are hundreds of documents that can help prove this conspiracy. Why are they being withheld or burnt by the government? All these documents are yours. The peoples property. You pay for it. But because the government considers you children who might be too disturbed or distressed to face this reality, or because you might possibly lynch those involved. You cannot see these documents for another 75 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: It is a fascinating day. Joining me now is CNN presidential historian, Tim Naftali. Tim, let's start with the headline. What do you believe is in these documents and maybe more importantly what do you believe is not in these documents?

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, we don't know yet how many pages could be released from the national archives website. You get the impression that we could be talking about a couple hundred thousand pages. That's exciting for historians, but isn't going to be helpful for people who are excited in a conspiracy theory involving Lee Harvey Oswald. That's where I think people will be disappoint are or likely to be disappointed.

The way that the review board did its business -- this is the group to a set off as a result of the JFK act that George Herbert Walker Bush signed 25 years ago. A very sober, smart, nonpartisan group of people looked at these materials in the 90s and then forced out materials that they felt were relevant to letting the people make up -- letting us make up our minds about Lee Harvey Oswald. And that stuff came out in 1998.

What didn't come out were materials that were only tangentially related, that the intelligence said we don't think they should be released because of the harm -- that releasing them might pose to national security and the review board said, you know what, you're right. They're not necessary to understand the Lee Harvey Oswald story.

What's so interesting today and it's the irony. You have someone like Donald Trump who doesn't think much of the intelligence community. At least he gave us that impression in the campaign, who hatched (ph) and is conspiratorially minded and has a base that is skeptical about government who has a chance to reveal materials color that the intelligence community I think never expected a president to reveal.

In 1992, Congress left it to whoever happened to be President in 2017 to make the call. I don't think in 1992 anyone in Congress expected Donald J. Trump to be President, but that's what it was. They left it up to him.

[12:55:12] He might very well wave this magic wand and release this material. Now, what would it be about covered action the 60s? What you have to keep in mind is that the assassination records were defined by the conspiracy theories of the 90s. There were people who thought the JFK was killed because he wanted to change our policy towards Vietnam. The documents about policy towards Vietnam. Work included in the basket.

People thought that maybe Castro had killed Kennedy because he knew that Kennedy was trying to kill him. So material is relevant to understanding U.S. policy against Castro is in the basket. Some of those details are still closed and we might learn about them today. But that won't tell you about Lee Harvey Oswald.

KING: I have you back here tomorrow, Tim, after a long night of breathing. Once these documents come out, appreciate the insights. Thanks for joining us on INSIDE POLITICS today. Hope to see you back here this time tomorrow. Wolf Blitzer is up after a quick break. Have a great day.

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