tv At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan CNN September 16, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
of presidential politics. want to show you live pictures from washington, d.c. we believe a presidential candidate is about to stage a grand event in a hotel ballroom essentially to declare the sky is blue, water is wet and the sun rises in the east. we are told that today, for the first time, donald trump will, might, admit that fact is fact and he wants credit for it. at least in one conspiracy theory that he has flirted with for five years. we think, we think that donald trump might say that he now thinks that president obama was born in the united states of america. >> but we don't know. >> we don't know. >> we don't know. we are waiting to see. last night, an aide to donald trump put out a statement saying this. quote, in 2011, mr. trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling president obama to release his birth certificate. going on to say that mr. trump did a great service to the president and the country by bringing closure to the issue that hillary clinton and her team first raised. the statement goes on to say
arguably donald trump -- inarguably, donald j. trump is a closer. let's clarify, hillary clinton herself did not start this. supporters of hers in 2008 talked about it but there is zero evidence she accepted the falsehood or perpetuated it at all. it was perpetuated and championed by donald trump. while we are going to wait for donald trump to take the stage, let's first, got a lot of people to talk about it. let's bring in chief political correspondent dana bash, who is watching this. brianna keilar is here with us as well. dana, your thoughts this morning? what we know, where we stand as we watch general michael flynn warm up the crowd. >> what we know is after the campaign released that statement last night and despite the fact the campaign is insisting still that jason miller, his spokesman, speaks for donald trump, they understand quietly and privately that this is something that is bigger than his campaign spokesman, that this is a conspiracy theory that
he has been peddling since 2011 and it predates this political campaign but obviously, got him into the political sphere, and i think helped plant the seeds for what is now his nomination as the presidential candidate. given all of that, the sources i'm talking to say that they expect him to address this issue. now, we are all this morning giving caveats because as somebody just said to me by text, we will see what happens when donald j. trump knows what donald j. trump is going to say. it's been a little different lately because he's been reading from a teleprompter but we will see what happens when and if he gives this particular statement. how far will he go, it's hard to imagine he will go as far as hillary clinton demanded this morning which is an apology to president obama and the american people. the suspicion is that it will be something along the lines of what was in his campaign
statement last night, accusing hillary clinton falsely, we should add, of starting this and taking great credit for putting an end to it by getting barack obama to produce his birth certificate. now, of course, that all happened years ago which brings us to the question of why now. you both know the reality of the political season and the polls and where things are at this -- late in the game and that is it's getting close and it's tightening. his campaign aides, many of them and the people around him believe that if he keeps getting asked about this issue, it muffles and has too much noise around the things they think can bring over persuadable voters like the big economic package that he put out last night. we will see what he actually says, if he says anything at this event, but in trump style, he has a big event at a brand new hotel and he's got all eyes on him. >> one thing is clear. the clinton campaign and hillary clinton herself is already all
over this. michael flynn, lieutenant general michael flynn, retired general, is introducing donald trump right now. let's listen in. >> thank you very much, everybody. please sit down. nice hotel. under budget and ahead of schedule. isn't that nice? no, it is a great honor. this is our brand new ballroom. you only see a small piece of it because we have it broken down, but this is the hotel is completed. we will be having our opening
ceremony in october and it's going to be something very special. it's such an honor to have our first event. this is our first event. it's such an honor to have our first event for medal of honor winners. i mean, they are the finest and to get so many endorsements from the medal of honor winners is incredible. i look forward to spending a lot of time -- come here. they have a lot more courage than i do, i will say that, all the time. but it is such an honor to have this particular ceremony be the first ceremony because i think when the hotel opens officially, it will be one of the great hotels anywhere in the world and i want to thank the gsa, general
services. they have been spectacular. these are spectacular people. these are tremendously talented people. all of the workers, all of the construction folks, all of the managers, the hotel staff, amazing, amazing how good our country can do when we want to do it. but we have put in tremendous amounts of work and energy and money and i really believe, i said this will be the best hotel in washington. i think it may be one of the great hotels anywhere in the world. that's the way it turned out. so really honored to have this as our first event. so i'm pleased to be here this morning with two medal of honor recipients and the six flags, okay, six flag and general officers. we have a tremendous amount of talent here. lot of generals. general kellogg, general flynn, we have just the room is stacked
with generals and talented people and leaders. i love leaders. the great people represent 120 flag and general officer endorsements. 120. and that number is going up very rapidly. and now 17 medal of honor recipients. in addition, that's a tremendous amount of very, very brave people. in addition, i'm honored to be joined by the many veterans that are supporting us all throughout the room. thank you very much for being here. i'm also honored to have a gold star wife, jane horton, here. jane is with us this morning. jane, where is jane? please stand. thank you, jane. thank you.
incredible. jane lost her husband, specialist chris horton, in afghanistan on september 9th, 2011. jane, it's such an honor to have you here. i hear so many things about chris and he was a winner and thank you very much on behalf of the country. thank you. it's incredibly humbling to be in the company of these real and true heroes. i had the privilege to introduce our first medal of honor recipient, mike thornton. mike is a retired united states navy s.e.a.l., tough cookie, and a recipient of the united states
military's highest decoration, the medal of honor. for his actions in vietnam, the vietnam war. in addition, he is the recipient of a silver star, three bronze stars and a purple heart. i'm proud to have him on my team, such a great honor for me, and also fellow recipient bob patterson, who likewise has the medal of honor, who is also here. we have 17 medal of honor recipients and they have all endorsed me for president of the united states and i have been endorsed by generals and many of the generals have become very good friends of mine. we seem to have a very good chemistry together. but even the generals admit there is something very special about medal of honor recipients.
so mike, if i might ask you to couple of words and thank you - very much for being here. >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. whoa, stop. we don't need no more of that. this is all about getting the word out there. i have known mr. trump since 1986 and when it wasn't fashionable to support the military in 1986, some great people like donald trump and zach fisher and them, he supported us back in that period of time. you know, ladies and gentlemen, the medal i wear so proudly around my neck, i do not deserve the medal. never will deserve the medal. but it belongs to every man and woman who ever served our great nation of america because ladies and gentlemen, freedom is not free.
we right now today is the most trying time in my life which life is very short, but i have been around for almost 70 years, but you know, this election means so much. we do not need any more bureaucratic leadership from washington, d.c. we need true leadership from the top. mr. trump has never failed in anything because he listens to his advisers, he listens to his people. for the last eight years, our president hasn't listened to anybody and that's the reason why we have lost cia directors, we have lost secretary of defense and many, many general officers have dropped out or resigned because of his leadership. we cannot stand for four more years of leadership like that. we need somebody that's going to lead from the front like donald trump.
so thank you very much for having us here. god bless you. god bless america. god bless donald trump. i'm supposed to introduce bob patterson, my good friend for 45 years. >> just like the navy, can't admit the army's better. i'm here to tell you something right now. i spent 26 years of my life defending this country. and after that, i spent another 17 years taking care of those veterans who i served with and were still serving, because i worked for 17 years for the v.a. before i finally retired. i have watched our country take a complete turn-around from
where it was. we used to be the shining star on the hill. we are getting dimmer and dimmer and dimmer. it's all because of all the bureaucrats here in washington, d.c. and it's time we send somebody to washington that knows how to say you're fired. the gentleman i'm going to introduce is major general zapanta, president of united states-mexican chamber of commerce based here in washington, d.c. he's held service, served on many commissions under presidents nixon, ford, reagan and both bushes. the general entered the military
in 1964 and has numerous awards and decorations including silver star, five bronze stars, with v for valor and a purple heart. >> what bob just did to me, he made me older than anybody up here. mr. trump, thank god for you and your leadership. you're going to win this. you know, being a vietnam veteran and serving all the way through the iraq and afghanistan war in the department of defense as chairman of the reserve forces policy board for half of the military that we deployed to that region 15 years ago and were still there, national guard
and reservists. and when they came home, they couldn't use the v.a. because they weren't veterans because they were still part of their reserve and national guard unit. i know the next president of the united states, donald trump, will fix that. i also would like to say you know, deplorables are also deployables. ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor for me to be here and supporting the next president of the united states who will lead from the front, who has the kind of leadership that we need, is not afraid to make that decision. ladies and gentlemen, i'm really honored to be with donald trump.
i actually probably did this on purpose because this next fellow is really a personal friend. i have immense respect for him. he won his silver star in korea when the north koreans tried to take over our location there on the dmz. he's a very special warrior. he is a major general. it is my honor to introduce you to major general burt misazawa. >> thank you, al. we do go way back but i don't really go back to the korean war but that's indeed where i was awarded the silver star. after 40 years of serving this nation in uniform and four combat deployments, i have become convinced that our nation needs a multi-disciplinary inter-agency approach to defeat our enemies and to secure the long-term fruits of victory.
in essence, what we need is fresh thinking, innovative approaches and strong leadership. it's been my privilege to have spent quality time with mr. trump on and off the campaign trail over the past few months. and i have been extremely impressed with this gentleman's stamina and if any of you are privy to his schedule, you would be totally amazed at what he has been able to do. in addition, i have been very impressed with his intellectual curiosity and his raw intelligence and his energy and his enthusiasm, and yes, indeed, his temperament. he's got the right temperament that we need in the white house. but the thing i have been most
impressed with is his absolute love for the men and women in uniform and the support and i can guarantee you the men and women overseas and their family at home, will not be in vain in addition to the billions of taxpayer dollars we spend supporting them. that's why i stand by mr. trump to be our next commander in chief. now it's my pleasure to introduce admiral don lauren, naval academy graduate, class of '74. he commanded a guided missile frigate destroyer squadron. he ended a brilliant career as deputy director for strategic plans and policy and covered
russia, africa and nato. my pleasure. >> thank you, everyone. we are a group of national security professionals dedicated our lives to the security of our nation as deplorable as we are. we are not a political group. but we are a national security group that has chosen to support a political candidate. the series of discussions you have all listened to mr. trump have deal with national security. national security is not solely about the military. it's comprised of many facets. defense, diplomacy, development, economic security, energy security, border security, cybersecurity, homeland
security. the logical policy presentations that mr. trump has delivered over the last few weeks lay out a sound strategic approach to providing the security of the nation and the security of all americans. these policies comprise a holistic approach to addressing the complex facets of national security in a complex and extremely dangerous international world. moreover, mr. trump combines this multi-faceted approach to our security with a pronounced commitment to those in uniform serving our nation today. and in fact, all veterans who have worn the cloth of the nation. that commitment extends to the families of those who have served. as all of us in this room know, their sacrifice has been as
equally difficult if not more so than our own. george washington said the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and are appreciated by our nation. mr. trump has embraced those words of our first president. mr. trump has also shown an extreme dedication to those that have shouldered the wounds of battle in the service to our nation and we have several of those people with us today. he has committed himself to the words of president abraham lincoln, words em blazoned in the motto of the department of
veterans affairs. to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan. this is why all of us here are assembled to support donald trump for president. we have -- we have lived national security for a large part of our lives. we understand how a strong economy, cooperative governance, combined with skilled diplomacy, sound energy policy, sound alliances and a united american public all defended by a well-trained appropriately funded, fully committed and technologically unsurpassed military, come together to make america strong and make the world a safer place.
and finally, finally, all of us on this stage, all of you in the audience who have served, you took an oath. you pledged sealed with the honor and commitment and your own lives, an oath not solely to our country, not to our flag, not to a chain of command or not to a commander in chief, but an oath to a piece of paper, a piece of parchment upon which is written those ideals in which we believe, those values that define us as a nation, those very virtues that those who have served before us defended with their lives, an oath to defend the constitution of the united states from all enemies foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to that constitution, to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, to ensure domestic
tranquility, to provide for the common defense, to promote the general welfare and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. that oath is important to all of us here today. that oath remains the cornerstone of our lives long after we have taken off the uniform. that oath is important to donald trump and he in fact will take that very same oath on january 20th, 2017. that's why we assembled in this room along with many other veterans and their military families all support his candidacy for president of the united states. together, we will all make america great again. thank every single one of you
for your service to our nation and may god continue to bless our united states of america. it's my pleasure now to introduce lieutenant general tom mcinerney, west point graduate, commissioned as second lieutenant in the army, he then joined the air force, completed pilot training and went on to a long distinguished military career including assistant vice chief of staff, headquarters u.s. air force. his awards are numerous including the distinguished service medal, defense superior service medal, legion of merit, distinguished flying cross, bronze star, a true good american hero. >> thank you.
it's very simple. we, all warriors here, are supporting mr. trump because he has the only budget, the only economic plan, that can rebuild the military. if you elect hillary clinton, you are going to get 1% growth. you are going to get 3.5% to 6% growth with this administration because he knows how to take the handcuffs off america's economy. we need that. make it very clear to the american people, there is only one candidate that can rebuild the united states military and make us great again. now, it's my distinct pleasure to introduce lieutenant general keith kellogg, who is -- >> there you go. been listening to this event out
of washington, d.c. it started more than 20 minutes ago. waiting for donald trump and his big announcement. still getting introduced by members of the military. >> to be clear, we have been told this event would be an event where donald trump would address his past trafficking in the birther issue, the notion that president obama was not born in the united states. he opened the event making a plug for his hotel, he has a new hotel so in a sense, you could say he was leveraging five years of birther conspiracy to promote his hotel. now we have been listening to veterans and military officials praising donald trump. he has lined up quite a bit of support onstage. want to bring in cnn's jake tapper now. anchor of "the lead" and "state of the union." this is more of the showmanship that we have come to see from donald trump and his campaign. >> sure. and while these american heroes are, you know, people that we should all show reverence and respect, they are much greater
men than rick astley, it's hard to imagine this as anything other than a political rick roll, the idea that we were told this was going to be donald trump addressing something that his top campaign advisers, many people in the republican national committee, want him to address and clear up, and then stop talking about, which is this lie that president obama was not born in the united states, which has been discredited for more than half a decade now, but donald trump has been trafficking in it as recently as this year. we were told he was going to do that. instead, they bring out a number of medal of honor recipients and military heroes instead and it was very clever on one level, on another level it does speak to the integrity of the trump campaign. they told us something was going to happen and it's not happening. >> gloria borger, you have been watching this along with us. what do you think? >> i think jake is right.
let's see if donald trump gets up at the end of this event and says something about the birther issue. we saw last night that there was a statement issued on his behalf by his communications director but the words have not come out of donald trump's mouth and they tried to flip it in this statement, saying that he had done a great service to the people of the united states in confirming something that 80% of americans at least believe they already knew. so as we suspected, this was going to be a promo for his hotel and i think that this is also a campaign event with american heroes here and i think we have to wait to see if donald trump indeed says anything at the end of this event. >> i'm starting to question that more and more. >> donald trump this morning said he was asked flat out, does he think the president was born in the united states.
he refused to answer and said we have to keep the suspense going. want to bring in part of our panel now. marc lamont hill, let me start with you. we have to keep the suspense going which he seems to be doing on the stage right now. it feels like he's treating this like a game. >> yeah. >> is questioning the birthplace of the president of the united states, is that a game? >> it should not be a game. this is one of the most disgusting and pejorative moments of the entire trump campaign for me. that's saying something. first of all, eight years later, to still be debating whether or not the president was born in america is absurd to me. to then present it as if he has some big announcement and he's going to confirm the president's birthplace which is essentially confirming the president of america is american, eight years later to me, positions him as some sort of arbiter of citizenship. >> hang on. >> thank you, everybody.
thank you, everybody. please sit down. thank you. this is such an amazing honor. the difference is we want to all get back to work, whether it's building our military or building our country, we have to get back to work. we have a lot of work to do. we have been very much left behind. speaking with the admirals and the generals and all of the military people, we talk about the word depletion. the military has been so badly treated in terms of its equipment and the money being spent and this is a time where we need our military perhaps more than ever. when you look at the number of ships, you look at the number of military personnel, you look at the numbers, they are setting records for all-time lows. we can't have that. there's a world out there and it's not nice to say but there are a lot of very very evil people heading up some
potentially very strong countries. we have to be prepared. we have to keep our country so great and so strong. and that's why to have all of the support from so many generals, so many admirals, people i respect so much, they're smart, they're tough, they know what's happening. and i believe in them totally and that's why the fact that they believe in me is one of the great honors of my life. so i want to thank everybody. thank you. now, not to mention her in the same breath, but hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. i finished it. i finished it. you know what i mean.
president barack obama was born in the united states, period. now we all want to get back to making america strong and great again. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. >> that was it. that was it. this started at 11:04. and at 11:30 he came back to the microphone and said for the first time since starting this back in 2011, he believes barack obama was born in the united states, period. there you have it. marc lamont hill, wow. >> this was absolutely repugnant. first of all, donald trump has never given a speech this short before. on any issue. he talks for hours sometimes when it's supposed to be five minutes. he gave essentially a 30 second perhaps message that president obama was born in america, period. even then he didn't take full responsibility for his contribution to the dialogue. i don't disagree with him that hillary clinton had some soft moments of birtherism sending
out the kenya picture, doing other things in 2008. but hillary clinton has unequivocally said barack obama was born here. donald trump pushed an agenda for years. >> honestly -- >> it wasn't the clinton campaign. there were supporters of hillary clinton who did send e-mails around. hillary clinton and her campaign never, ever pushed this issue. hang on. >> and, guys, no matter what, it doesn't matter. donald trump, it's false, it doesn't matter. donald trump from 2011 -- >> exactly. >> -- he made this his signature issue. no one has gone as far as donald trump on the birther issue. donald trump needs to answer for donald trump. >> hang on, hang on, hang on. what we are going to do is bring in john king right now to analyze this a little bit. in addition to that, in addition to saying the untruth that hillary clinton pushed this, started the birther controversy, donald trump bragged about finishing it. donald trump now in 2016 says he
finished the birther controversy, taking credit five years after the fact, five years after president obama produced his birth certificate. first of all, he finished the controversy. what controversy? the president was born in the united states of america. >> he was born in hawaii, yes. i actually don't know what to say here. i had the great good fortune if you want to call it that of interviewing donald trump, the interview was he previously scheduled, on the very day barack obama released his long form birth certificate. on that day, donald trump said he had done the country a great service after he had done the country a great disservice by becoming the chief cheerleader for a fraud, a birther movement trying to delegitimize the sitting united states president. so i really don't quite know what to make of that except for that we got played again by the trump campaign which is what they do. he got a live event broadcast for, what, 20 something minutes. kate, you were keeping the count. and jake is absolutely right. we should all have great respect and reverence for those military heroes who are now making a political choice just as the
military heroes who made a different political choice and support hillary clinton. no disrespect to any of those heroes who served our country and continue to serve our country in different ways. we just got played. we just got played. voters can decide what to make of that. you are right, hillary clinton's campaign never advanced it. supporters of hers did. what those supporters did was reprehensible. but it was not the campaign itself. there you got after, what, four or five years of leading a fraudulent, reckless campaign against the legitimacy of the united states president, you got about, what, six or seven words from donald trump saying he's decided it's over. i guess he gets to decide that. >> none of them, none of those words, none of those words that came out of his mouth were i'm sorry, i apologize, explaining why he ever did question the birth of the president of the united states. want to bring in jake tapper for your comments. jake? >> well, first of all, i agree with everything john said. we should point out that of the statement he said hillary clinton and her campaign started the birther movement, i ended
it, those are two factually false statements. hillary clinton's campaign did make attempts to other-ize barack obama during the 2007-2008 campaign talking about his foreign roots, talking about ways in which he might not necessarily be perceived as being rooted in this country. they never mentioned his birth certificate. that never happened by hillary clinton. that never happened by the hillary clinton campaign. i covered it at the time. john's right. people who supported hillary clinton that put out a whole bunch of garbage about barack obama, that was reprehensible, and maybe somebody will ask secretary clinton about that. but she and her campaign never, never started the birther issue. second, donald trump did not end the birther issue. he takes credit for president obama being pressured to release his birth certificate in 2011, and if you want to give him credit for that, i suppose you can. that said, there really was never any question about whether
or not barack obama was born in the united states, in hawaii, in 1961. there were contemporaneous newspaper mentions of his birth. there were never any serious questions as to whether or not he was born in hawaii. it was a crackpot conspiracy theory. donald trump fueled it and then after barack obama released his birth certificate, donald trump said that it was fraudulent or suggested it was fraudulent, and he kept up this birther nonsense long after 2011, as recently as this year, he was suggesting that he had his thoughts about what birtherism was. last year he was talking about how he didn't think the birth certificate was real. let's get into why this is important beyond the fact that it's a conspiracy theory, not unlike the conspiracy theory that ted cruz's dad had something to do with the kennedy assassination, something else that donald trump put forward this year. this is significant because many people, including many african-americans, think that the attempt to say that barack obama, the first
african-american president, was born in africa and was not eligible for the presidency, was not a real american, was not quote, unquote, one of us, that that whole campaign was racist. there are a great many people who feel that very passionately. to act as though this is over like that is a disservice to those people who were greatly personally offended by the whole birther movement and john king put it right when he said that he was, donald trump was the lead cheerleader for that movement. >> and let's be clear. donald trump didn't say when he concluded that barack obama was born in the united states. dana, was it when john king sat down with donald trump in 2011 and showed the birth certificate, or nothing has changed since then. i'm flowing it othrowing it out. i know there's no answer to it at the moment. >> there is an answer to that question and it's no. trump has done several subsequent interviews
questioning whether or not barack obama was born in the united states. i think just looking at this going forward, what was the goal of this from the trump campaign? the goal was to try to put a button on it, be able to talk about other issues and move on. not going to happen. it's just not. not with this kind of statement where first of all, it was just, you know, two sentences, raising some more questions than answers, but more importantly, not, you know, i know that traditionally, at least in the past year and a half or so, donald trump has been immune to what is the normalcy of political campaigning, what is expected, but with something like this, you got to stand there and take the questions. the questions about why did you come to this conclusion, what about the 2014 interview that you gave or the 2012 interview that you gave, why now, do iyou apologize. if he went through all that, maybe they would achieve the goal of being able to focus on jobs and immigration and veterans. instead, what they did was tease
us that he was going to say something, then as john said, played us by making sure that everybody who has an ability to show donald trump actually took 20 minutes or got 20 minutes of very important decorated veterans praising somebody who they think should be the next commander in chief, which would not have been live on cable news otherwise. so i definitely think that if the goal and we know the goal was to try to put an end to this, it's not going to happen and it will keep this discussion going at least in the near future instead of ending it. >> it's really difficult to be surprised anymore in this election. the last 40 minutes of television is still pretty surprising. >> we have congressman gregory meeks of new york, democrat, with us right now. i want your reaction to what you just saw.
donald trump says that hillary clinton started the birther issue, not true, said he finished it, not true.
now he says that president obama was born in the united states of america. your reaction? >> i think it's a sad day for america, not just for african-americans, that donald trump spent more time promoting his hotel than talking about this issue that's important to all of us. i think it's time for honesty. it's time for donald trump, i mean, i have been saying it, i know others have said it, especially senator rubio, it's like a con. he conned the media today to talk about an issue that's important to all of us that he has clearly led before and lied, and before our very eyes, promote his hotel, then bring his heroes, they are indeed american heroes, he had a gold star family member there, those are heroes and they are what makes our country great. they can choose who they want. but let's not play this game of conning the american people. it is insulting what he just did. and he's done it time and time
and time again. which tries to divide us as a nation. we are stronger together as a people. this african-american museum opens up next week and that's what its emphasis is. bringing us all together. donald trump, what he just did, it's like he thinks that it's a game. you are playing a tv show and he can play with people and may with their emotions. i'm a member of the united states congress. this is a tough job and i know that we have got to accept
the media and take hits and do what we have to do but it's a serious job for our country. not to play a game with it. >> a lot of the criticism of even talking about it, you almost heard a little bit of it from president obama today, i can't believe that's a question i'm going to get, the criticism is people don't care about this. why is this important to you? >> well, look, barack obama is the 44th president of the united states and he was elected twice. he's the first african-american president. it seems to me that donald trump
was trying to divide this country even when he started his birther comments to say that an african-american could not be president of this country. that is actually one of the greatest accomplishments, i think, of this country, showing that we were getting beyond some of what our past history was and that we could move forward and be greater together, stronger together. that from many, one. and donald trump is implying, i think this is what when we talk about deplorables, none of those individuals that were american heroes that talked are deplorable but some of the things that donald trump himself does is, in fact, deplorable and i believe what he did today is deplorable. >> congressman meeks, thank you so much for joining us. really appreciate it. >> jake tapper, want to bring you back into the conversation. you just heard the congressman saying we got conned and we heard from the congressman himself about why he, an african-american member of congress, thinks this issue is
important and thinks it resonates with african-american voters. >> yeah. not just african-american voters but certainly african-americans might feel more passionately about it just because barack obama is the first african-american president. look, long before donald trump entered the birther debate and i was a white house correspondent, there were these crackpots out there saying that barack obama wasn't born in this country. there was no evidence for it. there was plenty of contemporaneous evidence suggesting otherwise, that barack obama was born in the united states and no matter what you threw at these people, look at these contemporaneous birth announcements in the honolulu advertiser at the time, they would have some ridiculous explanation as to why that happened and to act as though there isn't a racial component to this is think is a little naive. i'm not saying all conspiracies are race-based. i don't think that when -- that every conspiracy theory is necessarily racist. but to act as though the idea
that accusations based on nothing, that the first african-american president was born in africa and thus was ineligible for the presidency, to act as though in this era where we still see so much racial tension and so much racial division, i think is naive. i think the reason this issue has re-emerged is because two or three weeks ago, donald trump started trying to do outreach to the black community. now, whether that was aimed at actually reaching out and getting black voters or it was also aimed at convincing white voters that donald trump is not a bigot, which is something that plagues this campaign with so many people in his campaign, in his inner circle, worried about voters perceiving him to be prejudiced, that's up to debate and that's a political question. but the idea that somebody who did this and so many african-american voters are still so offended by it, the idea of him making this outreach, naturally brought up
the questions of well, can you understand why so man african-americans are still so troubled by this, and do you owe them an apology. we had dr. ben carson on my show a week or two ago and he said he did think that donald trump should apologize and acknowledge that it was a mistake. that's not what we heard. again, what we heard is donald trump said that barack obama's born in the united states, which has been a fact since 1961, but congratulations for realizing it, and then he said hillary clinton started birtherism, not true, and i ended it, also not true. i guess i'm curious as to what the reasoning is there because while we all got rick-rolled and played in terms of rolling ten doorsme the endorsements of those who came out to talk about trump and why they support him, medal of honor recipients and the like, what's largely going to be covered is these two sentences, one of which is completely untrue. the idea that clinton started
this and that he ended it. >> let me jump in for one second. i want to take us all and our viewers to capitol hill. the top democrat in the senate, senator harry reid. >> reporter: senator reid, thank you so much for talking with us. donald trump actually just said that he believes that barack obama was born here in the united states. he said that he actually brought the matter to a successful conclusion after he said it was brought up initially by the hillary clinton campaign. what is your response to donald trump now saying that obama's born in the u.s.? >> hillary brought it up? what a liar. he never questioned citizenship of anyone else running for president, no one else. he is just such a phony. here's a man you can't believe anything he says. nothing. certainly you don't believe the fact he's not going to give us his income tax returns because there's an audit on every person
of consequence, says it doesn't matter if he's in an audit or not. now he's so weak on the subject he doesn't even talk about it. he sends his kids out to talk about his tax returns. he is one of the most unbelievably immoral people i have ever heard deal with politics. here's a man who attacks people of color, women, people's sexual identity, people who are handicapped. what kind of a man would do this? frankly, everybody thinks this is directed toward somebody else. but it's directed toward us. for example, he now makes fun of the fact that i'm blind in one eye. i'm blind in one eye, okay? i got that. but i can still see with my good eye what an absolute fraud this man is, who wants to be
president of the united states. >> he was responding to actually a lot of your criticisms and you criticized his physique this week. you also called him a human leetch. in response he said i think harry reid should quote, start working out again and use his rubber workout band, so respond more fully. >> understand this. altercations with a lot of people but all big shots, presidents, senators, governors, i don't attack the little people and that's what he loves to do. whether it's because of someone's color, sexual identity, because they're a woman, because they're handic handicapp handicapped, because they're smarter than she. he goes after people who can't defend themselves and i always, always try to go after people who can defend themselves. >> do you think his criticism of obama's citizenship, questioning
whether or not the president was a united states citizen is that racially motivated in any way? >> of course it is, but forget about that. why has he let his drag on for years, and then the man has the audacity, the ability to lie like no one i've ever seen. well, hillary's the one that brought it up. there couldn't be anything further that the truth. he's a liar, and i don't know if we should give any credence to anything the man says. >> do you -- you said that he goes after people of color. do you think he's actually racist? >> i don't know. all you guys have a job to do. you make that decision. i'm not going to. i'm just telling you what he's done and we've seen it. he's a man of no morality. >> increasingly you've used strong word but is it a sign democrats are nervous that donald trump is doing better in the polls? >> donald trump will never be le elected president of the united
states. we're going to retake the senate. all of these talks about joke. a joke. we you know he can't be elected president. republicans don't like him. i saw an tv they're going to the most republican count any ohio that's always gone republican. it might not even go republican. >> winning in ohio, florida -- they're tightening. >> tightening because people like the ones you work for get these cheap polls that they can keep making news on. donald trump will never be elected president of the united states. i have an obligation to tell everyone that will listen to me to make sure they understand that he is not a person of quality. he's a -- he's a bully. he's a -- egomaniac. he was born into wealth. he was born into wealth. he's -- he's lived in those mansions his whole life. he does not have any concept of what it is to have to work for a living. >> i mean, you've been going after him on the senate floor where there's supposed to be
business done in the united states senate. you did the same thing against -- >> i think -- >> the same against mitt romney in 2012. is it okay for the senate minority leader to use the senator floor to overtly campaign against a presidential candidate? >> well, listen, i have an obligation as the democratic leader to point out things that are wrong, and i have an obligation to go after people that i think are wrong. now, i didn't criticize romney on everything. there are a couple issues that he and i disagreed on. number one, he obviously now agrees with me. now he's saying more than anyone else, because republicans are kind of shrinking from this, especially mcconnell and ryan, now mitt romney is saying, why doesn't he show us his tax returns? >> i mean, we're about to get the hook here. i want to ask you about your concerns about hillary clinton's numbers right now. she is struggling. why do you think -- what does she need to do -- >> no. you listen to me. you keep going back to your numbers. your numbers are not fair.
they're not reliable. >> what does she need to do differently heading into the fall? >> she's doing a good job. she's doing an excellent job. i -- i admire her very, very much. she's a person who will be as -- as -- most everyone says, including president obama yesterday. the most qualified person to ever run for president. that's pretty good backdrop for her, and people are beginning to learn that more and more every day. and i don't buy here silli inin with $500 polls you buy overnight. they're not right. i don't believe them. they're incorrect. you do them to generate news. donald trump is a fraud. >> spend a little more money on polls than $a -- $500. thank you for talking to us. >> thanks so much. senate minority leader harry reid, a bully, a person of no morality. >> not one to hold back. >> saying he does not buy his
statement that president obama was now born in the united states of america that that cleans up the mess. more than anything, gloria borger, donald trump will not be elected president of the united states. i was struck by something glen thrush said of politico. a majority of americans are aware of his xenophobic comments and back him anyway? >> right. i think glen thrush is right. i think harry reid said what i expect him to say which is the poms don't matter right now and that donald trump is not going to be leected president. i would like to say something about what transpired we all just watched today, because donald trump has billed himself as not a politician. and what i saw today was a breathtaking act of political expediency. in saying that, barack obama was born in the united states, period, and not doing anything else about it.
this is a candidate who catapulted himself in the national stage on the very premise that barack obama was not born in the united states. and he was afraid that that premise was now going to derail his candidacy. because african-american voters are offended by it. lots of white voters are offended by it. lots of voters that he needs who are persuadable are offended by it. so what we saw today, without explanation of any reason why suddenly had a thing that of heart was a candidate. a political candidate, willing to put a period on an issue that he knew could derail his candidacy, in a very sort of simple way, using his own words, without explaining his change of heart, and i've covered politics for a while. you guys have covered politics for a while, and it was kind of
stunning to me, because there was donald trump, the anti-politician, i'm not like the rest of them, in performing what i consider to be a very blatant political move. >> so if politics are at play now, john king, what happens next? >> well, just a factual footnote. in 2011 raising this issue repeatedly over and over again, remember to gloria's point of political expediency, donald trump said nice things about barack obama a bright young man good for the country. then when he decided, thought he would run for fled 2012 is when he took over as chief cheerleader for the birther movement. connect the dots whether politics was involved in that. for the record he also said in 2011, not this campaign, if the president released his birth certificate he would release his taxes. hmm. he said that back then t. >> exactly what he said. >> offered $5 million for him to
release transcripts and passports. >> are you a rock 'n' roll fan? >> the romck 'n' roll. >> "won't get fooled again." play it. >> donald trump and his campaign wants to put this to bed or else he wouldn't have done this today. wouldn't most journalists now who had a shot at interviewing donald trump, isn't now one of the obvious questions that i think anyone should ask to donald trump. why? what led you to reach this conclusion? hasn't he opened himself up to now more questions, or guaranteed more questions going forward? >> absolutely. plus the first nationally televised debate a week from monday. no question hillary clinton will bring this up. also no question, look, hillary clinton is in a ditch in this campaign. donald trump has momentum now. having this conversation three weeks ago we'd say the state-by-state map heavily favors hillary clinton. as we have it today we say the state-by-state slightly favors
hillary clinton and donald trump is moving in a way he would potentially, continuing momentum of the week to last ten days could be in the lead by the time we get to the first debate. the clinton campaign will take advantage of this because she has an enthusiasm frob with latino americans and african-americans a critical piece. obama coalition and enthusiasm problem with millennial, young voters, who maybe they didn't vote for barack obama, maybe weren't old enough. those who were, most did vote for barack obama. this is a potential motivational issue for democrats in the way he gave that answer. there's no question he's going to be asked more about it, but number one, as jake said, he didn't begin it and he didn't end it. i would put this down, this is the biggest flip-flop of this campaign. donald trump flip-flopping on birther. >> uh-huh. when he reached his new conclusion, we will have to find out. and we'll continue to talk about it. john king, thank you. everybody, thank you so much. special coverage continues right now with ashleigh banfield.
hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view." 53 days before the election. 2,796 days after president obama first took his oath of office. and that's when donald trump decided to add nate mr. obama is, in fact, an american citizen. just minutes ago. in what he billed as a "major announcement" the gop presidential nominee sought to put to arrest controversy that he personally energetically fueled with gasoline for five full years, and you heard it all happen here. check out the power and the length of this statement. >> hillary clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy.