- Jill Stein2016 presidential nominee for the Green Party. She was the Green Party’s 2012 presidential nominee.
- Rashid KhalidiEdward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University.
- Kimberlé Crenshawprofessor of law at UCLA and Columbia University. She is a V-Day board member and the founder of the African American Policy Forum.
- Soraya Chemalywriter and journalist who’s written about mass shootings and domestic violence.
- Melina Abdullahchair of pan-African studies at California State University.
- Lee Fanginvestigative journalist at The Intercept covering the intersection of money and politics.
- Cassandra Gouldexecutive director of Missouri Faith Voices and pastor at Quinn Chapel AME in Jefferson City, Missouri.
On Sunday, Democracy Now! aired the full debate between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and got response after the debate from Jill Stein of the Green Party. Before the debate began, we hosted a one-hour roundtable. Guests included Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University; Black Lives Matter activist and professor Melina Abdullah, chair of pan-African studies at California State University; journalist Lee Fang of The Intercept; indigenous writer Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation; Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor at UCLA and Columbia University; and more.
AMY GOODMAN: From Pacifica, this is Democracy Now!
DONALD TRUMP: I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH: Whatever you want.
DONALD TRUMP: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
AMY GOODMAN: Two days after a shocking video emerges of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women, Trump will face off against Hillary Clinton in their second of three presidential debates before next month’s election.
HILLARY CLINTON: This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said—
DONALD TRUMP: I never said that.
HILLARY CLINTON: —women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men.
DONALD TRUMP: Didn’t say that.
HILLARY CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping.”
AMY GOODMAN: That was the first presidential debate. Today, in the second, we’ll expand tonight’s St. Louis debate by giving Dr. Jill Stein, presidential candidate of the Green Party, a chance to respond in real time to the same questions put to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But before that, we will host a roundtable leading up to the debate.
All that and more, coming up.
Welcome to Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. This is “War, Peace and the Presidency.” I’m Amy Goodman.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: In an hour, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will take the stage at Washington University in St. Louis for their second of three debates before next month’s election. The debate is occurring two days after The Washington Post uncovered a shocking video from 2005 of Trump talking on an open microphone about groping women. In the tape, he’s heard saying, quote, “When you’re a star … you can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, we’ll bring you the Trump-Clinton debate and expand the debate by giving Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions posed to the major-party candidates. Stein and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson were excluded from the debate under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. We invited both Stein and Johnson to join us on the program; only Stein took us up on the offer.
AMY GOODMAN: But first, Nermeen Shaikh and I will host a roundtable discussion looking at the state of the race as scores of congressmembers, senators and Republican leaders are now calling for Trump to step down. But before we introduce our guests, we’re going to play the full unedited 2005 tape of Donald Trump that’s shaken up the presidential race. This video is unaired footage from NBC’s Access Hollywood of Trump and TV host Billy Bush speaking on a bus before Trump appeared on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. It was released on Friday night. All the networks have been airing it. A warning to our audience: This video is vulgar, and it contains very disturbing language.
UNIDENTIFIED: She’s still very beautiful.
DONALD TRUMP: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down in Palm Beach. I moved on her. And I failed. I’ll admit it.
DONALD TRUMP: I did try and [bleep]. She was married.
UNIDENTIFIED: That’s huge news there!
DONALD TRUMP: No, no, Nancy. No, this was—and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture—I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her; she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.
BILLY BUSH: Sheesh, your girl’s hot as [bleep]. In the purple.
DONALD TRUMP: Whoa!
BILLY BUSH: Yes!
DONALD TRUMP: Whoa!
BILLY BUSH: Yes! The Donald has scored!
DONALD TRUMP: Whoa!
BILLY BUSH: Whoa, my man! Wait, wait, you’ve got to look at me when you get out and be like—
UNIDENTIFIED: Just remember who set this up. Just remember.
BILLY BUSH: Will you give me the thumbs up?
DONALD TRUMP: That is very funny. Look at you. You are a pussy.
BILLY BUSH: You’ve got to put the thumbs up. You’ve got to give the thumbs up.
UNIDENTIFIED: You can’t be too happy, man.
BILLY BUSH: You’ve got to give the thumbs up.
DONALD TRUMP: All right, you and I will walk in.
BILLY BUSH: Oh, my god!
DONALD TRUMP: Maybe it’s a different one.
BILLY BUSH: It better not be the publicist. No, it’s her. It’s her.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, that’s her, with the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH: Whatever you want.
DONALD TRUMP: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH: Look at those legs. All I can see is the legs.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, looks good.
BILLY BUSH: Come on, shorty.
DONALD TRUMP: Ooh, nice legs, huh?
BILLY BUSH: Oof, get out of the way, honey. Oh, that’s good legs. Go ahead.
DONALD TRUMP: It’s always good if you don’t fall out of the bus. Like Ford, Gerald Ford. Remember?
BILLY BUSH: Down below. Pull the handle.
DONALD TRUMP: Hello. How are you? Hi.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Hi, Mr. Trump. How are you? Pleasure to meet you.
DONALD TRUMP: Nice seeing you.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Pleasure to meet you.
DONALD TRUMP: Terrific. Terrific. You know Billy Bush?
ARIANNE ZUCKER: How are you?
BILLY BUSH: Hello. Nice to see you. How are you doing, Arianne?
ARIANNE ZUCKER: I’m doing very well. Thank you. Are you ready to be a soap star?
DONALD TRUMP: We’re ready. Let’s go. Make me a soap star.
BILLY BUSH: How about a little hug for the Donald? He just got off the bus.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Would you like a little hug, darling?
DONALD TRUMP: OK, absolutely. Melania said this was OK.
BILLY BUSH: How about a little hug for the Bushy? I just got off the bus.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Oh, Bushy, Bushy.
BILLY BUSH: There we go. Excellent. Well, you’ve got a nice co-star here.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Yes, absolutely.
DONALD TRUMP: Good. After you. Come on, Billy. Don’t be shy.
BILLY BUSH: As soon as a beautiful woman shows up, he just—he takes off on me. This always happens.
DONALD TRUMP: Get over here, Billy.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: I’m sorry. Come here.
BILLY BUSH: Let the little guy in here. Come on.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Yeah, let the little guy in. How you feel now? Better?
BILLY BUSH: It’s hard to walk next to a guy like this.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: I should actually be in the middle. Here, wait. Hold on.
BILLY BUSH: Yeah, you get in the middle. There we go.
DONALD TRUMP: Good. That’s better.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: This is much better. This is—
DONALD TRUMP: That’s better.
BILLY BUSH: Now, if you had to choose, honestly, between one of us—me or the Donald—who would it be?
DONALD TRUMP: I don’t know. That’s tough competition.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: That’s some pressure right there.
BILLY BUSH: Seriously, you had to take one of us as a date.
ARIANNE ZUCKER: I have to take the Fifth on that one.
BILLY BUSH: Really?
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Yup. I’ll take both.
DONALD TRUMP: Which way?
ARIANNE ZUCKER: Make a right. Here we go. Right on The Days.
BILLY BUSH: Here he goes. I’m going to leave you here.
DONALD TRUMP: OK.
BILLY BUSH: Give me my microphone.
DONALD TRUMP: OK. You’re going to—oh, you’re finished?
NERMEEN SHAIKH: That was the 2005 video of Donald Trump that has shaken up the presidential election. In his first response to the video, Trump said, quote, “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course—not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.” Trump later recorded a video apology.
DONALD TRUMP: I’ve never said I’m a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret. And the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.
I’ve traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who have lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who want a better future. I have gotten to [know the great people of our country. And I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me. I] pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down.
Let’s be honest. We’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs, we are less safe than we were eight years ago, and Washington is totally broken. Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground.
I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: That was the video that Trump released late on Friday night. Trump is now facing a number of calls to step down as the Republican Party’s nominee. Fifteen Republican senators, including former Republican presidential nominee John McCain, are now openly opposing Trump’s candidacy. The highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress condemned his comments. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state said, quote, “It is never appropriate to condone unwanted sexual advances or violence against women. Mr. Trump must realize that it has no place in public or private conversations.” Donald Trump has rejected calls to step down.
AMY GOODMAN: Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, said, quote, “As a husband and a father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night,” unquote.
More attention is also being paid to other reports of Trump’s mistreatment of women. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has written a piece titled “Donald Trump, Groper in Chief.” It details the claims of a Florida business associate of Trump who sued him for sexual harassment after he groped her at a business dinner and later attempted to sexually assault her in the empty bedroom of his daughter Ivanka in Florida.
To talk more about the Trump tape and its significance, we’re joined by a number of people. We start with Soraya Chemaly, who is joining us from Washington, D.C. She is a writer and journalist who covers the intersection of gender and politics.
Soraya, welcome back to Democracy Now! Share your response to this tape and what is happening online right now and what you feel is the significance of it.
SORAYA CHEMALY: I think that the significant aspect of this tape is the outrage that it’s generated in the Republican Party, which I think is largely being miscategorized. There’s nothing in particular revealing about this videotape. It says more about why people are responding the way they are, but a specific set of people, right? What we’re really talking about are the people who are in charge of the Republican Party. And their response at this point, it seems to me, is a fairly viscerally selfish one. They’re worried about Senate and House seats that might be lost, and I also think they’re worried about what the exposure of that private conversation says about their generally paternalistic approach to thinking and talking and legislating women’s lives.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you respond to the language that Donald Trump used, what exactly he said he was doing, the issue of, well, what people are calling—and this includes a number of Republicans—sexual assault and being a sexual predator?
SORAYA CHEMALY: So, he describes women as bits and pieces—legs, arms, tits. He talks about grabbing them without their consent. He very, very easily and casually displays the kind of extremely toxic male sexual entitlement that women have to navigate all day every day, that we start navigating when we’re children. And he does all of this, and then he walks out of this bus with Billy Bush, and they make a quiet mockery of the woman that they’re greeting. And I think that entire package, together, says a great deal about this useful division that we have in our society between what is public and what is private. It has, for a very, very long time, protected conversations like those. And we’re supposed to go along with the idea that these are unrelated, that the way a man like Trump behaves in private should be kept secret or should be thought of as not publicly relevant, when very clearly it’s critically important to understand.
The thing about what Trump did, though, is he used grossly dehumanizing language, which didn’t break the mold of any history of Republican legislators talking about women’s bodies. I mean, they may not sexualize them and use the kind of vulgar language that he did, but when debates happen about immigration or about women’s reproductive rights, we often, as we did two weeks ago in the debate about the Hyde Amendment, hear women being compared to dogs or mules or pigs or farm animals, and that, too, is a dehumanization. So it’s not that distant from what Trump did. Secondly, he is really fundamentally talking about disregarding women, their desires, their needs, their expressed preferences and their consent. And those kind of ideas drive a lot of the Republican agenda when it comes to talking about social policies and political policies that profoundly shape women’s lives without their participation.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, I’d like to bring in Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and at Columbia University. She’s the founder of the African American Policy Forum and a V-Day board member. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Kimberlé.
KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW: Thanks.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Can you talk about what you think the impact will be of these tapes on tonight’s debate and, in particular, the speculation that Trump is expected to bring up Hillary’s alleged role in discrediting women who accused her husband, Bill Clinton, of sexual abuse?
KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW: Yeah. Well, this is unprecedented in American politics. The closest thing that I can ever remember to this was the war of the sexes that happened in the ’70s, when Bobby Riggs goaded Billie Jean King into a tennis match—right?—to challenge women, whether they had the right to be considered equal. But that pales in comparison, because that was basically just for bragging rights. This is for the job of being the leader of the so-called free world.
So, at the center of this debate is the predation of one of the candidates, the long history—this is not new, as everybody has pointed out—of a presidential candidate who has shown nothing but disdain for not just women, but for the general parameters of legitimate public discourse. I mean, to be [inaudible] presidential debate and to call out another woman like Rosie O’Donnell as being a loser, to go on to talk about other candidates being unattractive, to be [inaudible]—presidential. She has to appear congenial. She has to be calm under pressure.
Now, these are not things that are unusual for any woman to deal with. We see many examples of women having to deal with sexist bossed, philandering husbands, wailing children, all while appearing to be calm under pressure. But what adds to this is [inaudible] he is likely to try to pull her into a deeply personal and obviously hurtful situation with her husband. And she’s—she’s really in a Catch-22, because, on one hand, part of the rape culture in which he is operating is meant to blame women for the philandering of their husbands. The other side side of it, of course, is, if she had left him, she would have been blamed for that. So, we know that this is a very, very difficult line that she has to walk.
It is true that the election seems largely to be over. But at the same time, this is not without risk for Hillary Clinton. She really has to be able to step into this. She has to make—make a space for Republican refugees. And that’s going to be a challenge. And she’s got to, at the same time, really motivate the base, because this is really going to be about turnout, especially in areas that are undergoing vote repression.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor—Professor Crenshaw—
KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW: So, it’s a major moment.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to a number of clips that are now coming out and, it seems, that we’re going to start hearing and watching a lot more. This is September 2004, an interview, when Donald Trump appeared on The Howard Stern Show. Stern asked Trump if he can call his daughter Ivanka a piece of ass. Trump responded by saying, “Yeah.”
DONALD TRUMP: Beautiful Ivanka, she—
HOWARD STERN: By the way, your daughter.
DONALD TRUMP: She’s beautiful.
HOWARD STERN: A piece—can I say this? A piece of ass.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah. She’s—
HOWARD STERN: Boy, I would back up the Brinks truck. Introduce me to her.
AMY GOODMAN: Two years before, in 2002, Donald Trump appeared on The Howard Stern Show and called 30 the perfect age for women. He described 35 as, quote, “checkout time.”
HOWARD STERN: How old is Melania?
DONALD TRUMP: Melania is 30.
HOWARD STERN: [inaudible].
ROBIN QUIVERS: Everybody’s 30. What is this?
DONALD TRUMP: It’s a good age. Howard, it’s a great age for you and I.
HOWARD STERN: It is. You know what? Think about it. Take your age. I don’t know how old you are now. I’m 48. You put it in half, and then you subtract seven. And that’s how old [inaudible].
UNIDENTIFIED: I wouldn’t be flying in helicopters, Howard, if I was you.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, it was always very embarrassing. Like, you know, for the last couple years, I’d go out with somebody, and she’s like 21, and she’s talking about, you know, what are you doing, and she’s studying algebra.
HOWARD STERN: So what?
DONALD TRUMP: It was always embarrassing for me to walk in. It’s too young. Thirty is like a perfect age.
HOWARD STERN: Absolutely. She’s had enough life experience.
UNIDENTIFIED: Until she’s 35.
HOWARD STERN: Yeah.
ROBIN QUIVERS: Don’t ever change. Don’t ever change.
HOWARD STERN: Too much—too much life experience.
DONALD TRUMP: What is it at 35, Howard? It’s called checkout time.
AMY GOODMAN: In April of 2005, Donald Trump appeared on The Howard Stern Show and was asked if he ever had sex with a Miss Universe or Miss U.S.A. contestant.
HOWARD STERN: When you were single—
DONALD TRUMP: Right.
HOWARD STERN: —and you own this pageant, you go over, you look—you’re meeting the girls. One of them comes up to you and says, “Mr. Trump, you’re a very sexy man.”
DONALD TRUMP: “You’re a beautiful man. You have fantastic hair.”
HOWARD STERN: “Well, you’re a powerful man, right? Right? You’re a powerful man.”
DONALD TRUMP: Right.
HOWARD STERN: “I want to sleep with you.” Now, you’re not the type that would say no.
DONALD TRUMP: I don’t want to hurt their feelings.
HOWARD STERN: Right, no.
DONALD TRUMP: Right.
HOWARD STERN: But, I mean, you see a beautiful woman, you want to have that.
DONALD TRUMP: Right. Well, you certainly think—
HOWARD STERN: You’re a guy who likes to have everything, right?
ROBIN QUIVERS: Well, couldn’t that be construed, however, as—
HOWARD STERN: Conflict?
ROBIN QUIVERS: Yes.
HOWARD STERN: I don’t—I don’t see it as a conflict.
DONALD TRUMP: It could be a conflict of interest. But, you know, it’s the kind of thing you worry about later.
ROBIN QUIVERS: Oh, I see.
HOWARD STERN: Yeah.
DONALD TRUMP: You tend to think about the conflict a little bit later on.
UNIDENTIFIED: The question is: How can it not be construed?
HOWARD STERN: No, I mean—I mean, some of these foreign girls, you know, “Mr. Trump, in my country, we say hello with the vagina. And”—
DONALD TRUMP: Well, you could also say, as the owner of the pageant, it’s your obligation to do that.
HOWARD STERN: So you have done that? Now, tell me what—
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you, the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show.
HOWARD STERN: Yes.
DONALD TRUMP: And everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else. And, you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant, and therefore I’m inspecting it. You know, I’m inspecting.
ROBIN QUIVERS: Right, right.
DONALD TRUMP: I want to make sure that everything is good.
HOWARD STERN: You’re like a doctor. You’re there—
DONALD TRUMP: So, yeah, they’re dressing. “Is everyone OK?” You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. “Is everybody OK?” And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Donald Trump in 2005. Soraya Chemaly, your response?
SORAYA CHEMALY: Well, again, I think this is well documented over years. He has an industry based on this treatment of women. And so, again, I come back to this idea of what is the source of this outrage. There really is literally nothing new. And some of it comes back to this idea of who do we trust, right? What we have now is a lot of men expressing outrage, a lot of conservative men expressing outrage. Women have been saying these things for a very long time. And even if they haven’t been saying them out loud, they’ve been experiencing them.
So, I think a lot of this has to do, in a somewhat ironic way, with what they might call identity politics, because Donald Trump is exhibiting the ugliest, crassest, most predatory version of—or flip side, rather, of benevolent sexism—right?—of the paternalism that drives the bargain that many men that are conservative leaders have made. And that bargain is, more or less, we will protect you women, and in exchange for that, we get power. But if that protection is fraudulent, if that protection is this corrupt, if that protection is this predatory, then what does that say about the legitimacy of the power? And I don’t think we can really overstate that, because I think a lot of these responses have to do with a sense of shame, based on this association now with Donald Trump, and what the risk is to that core sense of power.
Again, he has been saying these things and doing these things. He’s been saying them unabashedly. And he’s also said other horribly egregious and hateful things. He’s xenophobic. He’s racist. He cannot seem to tell the truth from one sentence to the next. And so, again, I think that this moment in time is almost a last gasp of panic. I mean, really, what are they supposed to do with this candidate? And what he’s doing now by bringing women who have accused Bill Clinton into the room, which he has done in a press conference prior to this debate, is fall back on this idea that women belong in a different realm, that they compete among themselves in a world on their own, and that he, as a man, cannot directly compete as equals with a woman. I mean, he’s not running against Bill Clinton. He’s running against Hillary Clinton. But he can’t seem to find a way, in his worldview, to do that in a palatable way.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, the release of the video of Donald Trump discussing groping women has raised new questions about Trump’s persecution of the Central Park Five, a group of black and Latino teens who were wrongfully convicted of raping a female jogger in Central Park 25 years ago. Media coverage at that time portrayed them as guilty and used racially coded terms to describe them. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in four city newspapers calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty so they could be executed. Their convictions were vacated in 2002 when the real rapist came forward and confessed, after the five had already served jail terms of up to 13 years. In 2014, a federal judge approved a $41 million settlement for the group, with each of the five receiving around $1 million for each year they were wrongfully imprisoned. So, I’d like to ask you—
AMY GOODMAN: And we have a clip. We have a clip right now of—is it Raymond Santana, who was one of the Central Park Five.
RAYMOND SANTANA: I tried to get my life back together and put one foot in front of the other. But I didn’t—you know, I didn’t realize the social death that we were given as a sentence.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, I want to read from The Washington Post. This past week, “when confronted again with just how wrong he was about the Central Park Five,” you know, taking out these full-page ads calling for the—them to get the death penalty, “Trump not only refused to acknowledge widely reported and well-known facts or the court’s official actions in the case. He did not simply refuse to apologize: He described the men as guilty—again, I’m reading from The Washington Post—and then demonstrated, once again, that he is a master at the dark art of using long-standing racial fears, stereotypes and anxieties to advance his personal and political goals.” Professor Crenshaw, can you talk about this coming at the same time, like a day before, the video was released?
KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW: A day before, yeah. So, I think this is the crux of the matter. It is abundantly clear this is a moment in which rape culture is being explored and, for once, at the center of the conversation. But the reality is that this is not just a product of rape culture. It’s a racist rape culture. And it’s a racist rape culture, obviously, for a couple reasons. Number one, it is abundantly clear that no African-American candidate would have been viable if he had had the track record that Donald Trump had. If he had said he owned women in a beauty pageant, if he had talked about his anatomy, if he had talked about the attractiveness of his daughter or having sex with his wives, he would not have been palatable. So, number one, these are not just rantings of a sexist or a chauvinist or elitist playboy. This has whiteness at the core of an exercise of ability to do these things.
Then you add to that this story from last week, which basically hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. So, effectively, five young men of color might well have been executed for something that they did not do, if Donald Trump had had his way. Rather than seeing this as a moment to reflect, along the lines that he said in his apology—he’s grown, he’s learned, he’s seen new things—rather than walking that back, he doubles down on the idea that these young men should have actually perhaps confronted the death penalty, even after the criminal justice system, as it rarely does, acknowledges that it was an illegitimate conviction. So, it’s this tried and true idea that we’ve seen many, many times before, from the Scottsboro Boys, nine young men who themselves faced possible death by an illegitimate prosecution, all the way to today, the idea being that “Don’t look at what I do. My sexual predatory behavior is for me to do. But for men of color across history, they are the ones that carry the burden of the idea of being the rapists.” So, it’s about rape culture.
And, of course, the last thing that we cannot forget is that women and girls of color who are sexually abused never come into Donald Trump’s framework of those who he wants to defend. The very week that the Central Park jogger was raped, 28 other women were raped, most of them women of color. One was thrown down an elevator shaft. The resources and attention that he could have directed to making women safe ends up being an expression of bloodlust. That’s a part of our history that many of us thought that we had gotten away from—until Donald Trump ran for president.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very much for being with us, Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University, founder of the African American Policy Forum and a V-Day board member. I also want to thank Soraya Chemaly, who is the journalist who covered the intersection of gender and politics, speaking to us from Washington, D.C. Professor Crenshaw was in Los Angeles.
In this hour, we’ll be going around the country, talking about everything from the Donald Trump tape to WikiLeaks’ release of documents around Hillary Clinton. We’ll be speaking with Lee Fang, who is with The Intercept. But we’re also going to talk about what’s happening globally, because who’s president of this country, the most powerful person on Earth, affects what happens around the world, particularly right now, the Middle East. Nermeen?
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, I’d like to ask you, Rashid Khalidi—you’re a professor at Columbia University, Edward Said chair of Arab studies there—what are some of the concerns that you have about Donald Trump, were he to become president, when it comes to, for example, Iraq, Syria, ISIS?
RASHID KHALIDI: I mean, I have concerns about both candidates, because I think Trump, first of all, is almost not a real person. Trump is a media creation. He’s a Barnum & Bailey creation. Les Moonves, the head of CBS, called him something in a circus. And by the way, it was—it was the corporate media that created Trump, that created this. Moonves said to an investment group in California, “It may not be good for America, but it’s good for CBS. The money is rolling in, and this is fun.” This was the head of CBS, not even the network his show was on. And so, what we have is infotainment taking over, celebrity culture taking over, and someone who has never, I think, had a serious thought about policy. I don’t think he knows anything about the world. It is terrifying to think of him being president, obviously.
It’s very uncomfortable to think of someone like Hillary being president, in terms of global issues, because she’s always been interventionist, she’s always been a hawk. She was the person who pushed the hardest for intervention in Libya. And we’ve seen exactly how poorly that has turned out. And one is afraid that she or Trump would enable what I call the war party in Syria, people who would like the United States not just to intervene, but to push things to the point where we may actually end up in both a ground war and a direct military confrontation with Russia. So, I’m very, very concerned. I’m also concerned about the Iran deal being reversed by either of these two potential presidents.
AMY GOODMAN: It may have surprised many to wake up on Friday and see the lead editorial in The New York Times, “At the Boiling Point with Israel.” They write, “If the aim of the Israeli government is to prevent a peace deal with the Palestinians, now or in the future, it’s close to realizing that goal. Last week, it approved the construction of a new Jewish settlement in the West Bank, another step in the steady march under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to build on land needed to create a Palestinian state.” And they go on from there, this right about the time that President Obama had gone to Israel for the funeral of Shimon Peres.
RASHID KHALIDI: Right. It’s lovely to see The New York Times wake up decades after the fact to the reality that has been created by American money and American political support in making any kind of resolution along the two-state—along two state lines impossible. This is something that—this is a ship that’s sailed, and it sailed because we cemented in place, with billions of dollars a year, and Israeli government after government saw to it that it was well spent—a reality that will be very, very difficult, if not impossible, to change. There’s a one-state reality between the River Jordan and the sea. And we are—we, the United States, are largely responsible for that. I do not foresee either of these two presidential candidates changing that.
AMY GOODMAN: And this settlement that they are now constructing of, what, 300 homes, the significance of this in the midst of, what, the largest U.S. military deal in history, $38 billion promised to Israel over the next—next 10 years?
RASHID KHALIDI: Well, they’ve delivered yet another slap to President Obama. Let’s see if he decides to turn the other cheek for the 18th or 20th time. They’ve done this again and again and again. He has a few months left in office. There are many things that he could do, specifically to do with settlements. He could push for a Security Council resolution, which re-emphasizes the fact that they’re illegal. He could do many things. We’ll see what he does. I think that Netanyahu is not terribly afraid of our president. I think there’s a lot of evidence of that. He’s just gotten, as you said, this extraordinary, extraordinary deal, $3.8 billion plus a lot other—a lot of other goodies embodied in that. And he has no compunction in giving the United States a slap in the face.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, how do you think Israel-Palestine will be discussed in tonight’s debate?
RASHID KHALIDI: You know, it’s very hard to think of substance when you’ve had what we’ve been listening to for the last half-hour on your show and a flood of things in the rest of the media. My guess is that several dozen serious stories disappeared from the media because of this. When you have this kind of a person, when you have this kind of a celebrity politician, how can you discuss policy? I wonder—I wonder if they will be able to get to it. If they do, I’m sure both candidates will compete in outpandering to a narrow segment of what they think are supporters of Israel.
AMY GOODMAN: And your thoughts, as a father and grandfather, a teacher of female students, on these tapes that have come out?
RASHID KHALIDI: A lot of men say these kinds of things. And I’m actually happy that this has happened, because it’s not just the Donald Trumps of the world who do this. And I think it’s good to have this out there. I think it’s good to have this inflated balloon come crashing down. I’m sure it’s not going to change our culture, but this is part of—
AMY GOODMAN: Although this—
RASHID KHALIDI: Sorry.
AMY GOODMAN: The issue of this is not just saying it, but talking about how he actively assaulted women, whether they wanted it or not.
RASHID KHALIDI: That’s how a lot of men talk. And that is something repulsive and nauseating. And because he is so foolish as to have had a camera on his lapel when he said it, we now have it out in the public arena. I hope—I hope a lot of people will not just vote against him for this, but will try and do something about the whole way in which masculinity functions in our culture. It has a gender and it has a race element to it, as Professor Crenshaw said earlier.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, another arms deal that was recently approved by the Senate is a billion-dollar arms sales deal to Saudi Arabia.
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And just over the weekend, on Saturday, an air raid on a funeral in Yemen killed 140 people and injured over 500. Now, Saudi Arabia has not claimed responsibility for the attack, but it’s—
RASHID KHALIDI: It’s denied, actually.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: It’s denied responsibility, but they’ve said that they’re going to carry out an investigation into how this occurred, while at the same time saying they didn’t do it. So, what do you think—simultaneously, there have been claims that Saudi Arabia has been using white phosphorus in Yemen—
RASHID KHALIDI: Mm-hmm.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: —that’s supplied by the U.S.
RASHID KHALIDI: Mm-hmm.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So could you comment on this entire—what’s going on in Yemen, what Saudi Arabia is doing and what the U.S. role there is?
RASHID KHALIDI: Right. There have been over 4,000 civilian casualties in Yemen, 60 percent of them caused by airstrikes by Saudi Arabia and its partners. We are the ones who sell the planes to the Emirates and Saudi Arabia. And we’re the ones who have sold a billion dollars recently in munitions, so that they could replenish their stocks and keep bombing. Today, another announcement was made: The United States is going to suspend its cooperation with this air campaign. We’re not just arming them and giving them munitions. American reconnaissance, intelligence, coordination is involved, I think also in-air refueling. So, these are—these are Saudi pilots and planes, but, again, as with Israel, there are hands holding them up and pushing them in the direction that they’re going.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to continue this discussion and talk about Syria in a minute, but we want to go to Lee Fang, who’s in San Francisco, investigative journalist at The Intercept covering the intersection of money and politics. The piece he just co-authored with Glenn Greenwald is headlined “New Email Leak Reveals Clinton Campaign’s Cozy Press Relationship.” Can you talk about what has come out, what would have been major news this weekend but for this vulgar video that has just been released of Donald Trump talking about assaulting women? Lee Fang, what came out about Hillary Clinton?
LEE FANG: Amy, thank you so much for having me.
For over two years now, the Clinton campaign, directly and through her surrogates, has—they’ve claimed that the media has a bias against the Clintons, that reporters are constantly digging up dirt, that they have a chip on their shoulder, that the Clinton campaign can never get a fair shake from the press. But from these leaked or hacked documents, we see quite the contrary, that there were many off-the-record, very cozy meetings between top journalists and the Clinton campaign—you know, they were going to these off-the-record dinners for these wining and dining sessions—that the Clinton campaign had a very methodical strategy for shaping the press, planting stories, feeding stories, and having just a general strategy that was very sophisticated for controlling the type of press that they received.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Lee Fang, a lot of people, in Clinton’s defense, have said that it’s quite routine for presidential candidates to court the media. Is there something that differentiates what Clinton and her campaign did from candidates in the past?
LEE FANG: Well, this is really taking a look at how the sausage is made. Just as every candidate tries to influence the press, every lobbyist tries to influence politicians. So we need an independent and adversarial press corps. And what these emails and memos show is that many folks maybe have had—maybe sacrificed some of their independence. And it really reflects more on the press than on the Clinton campaign.
AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about the opposition research memo that was sent to the campaign. Now, you know, candidates actually have opposition research done on themselves to see what will come out. We’re talking to Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept covering the intersection of money and politics.
LEE FANG: Well, there’s an issue—
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to a minute music break, and then we’re going to come back. It looks like we just lost him on the satellite. Looks like we’re not going to get him back at this moment. So, we’re going to turn right now to—we’re going to turn right now back to the issue of Syria. We want to turn to look at what is the latest right now with Syria, what you think a Trump presidency and a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean for Syria, and what President Obama is doing today. Professor Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia?
RASHID KHALIDI: Well, there’s a dynamic underway where the United States has, I think, actually had two policies. It’s had the policy that the president and the secretary of state have been trying to carry out, which is to try and bring about a ceasefire and a deal with the Russians. And you have the policy that—you can call it the deep state, you can call it whatever you want, the people who are actually operating in Syria for the intelligence services and for the military have been following, which is basically to back some of the most extreme elements in Syria—al-Qaeda, in particular, operating in Syria as the Nusra, as Jabhat al-Nusra, and directly undermining what the president and the secretary of state have been trying to do.
Many people would argue—there were several reports that the U.S. air attack on a Syrian army position in the Deir ez-Zor area, in which dozens of Syrian soldiers were killed, for the first time in over two years of American aerial bombardments of Syria, was actually deliberate sabotage. It was described as a mistake in targeting, but that’s actually hard to believe. And there’s no question but that, I would argue, we’re in real danger, that either—either Trump or Secretary Clinton, as president, would be much more likely to move in the direction that the war party is trying to pull us, which is—
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Secretary of State John Kerry has actually said that Syria and Russia should be tried for war crimes.
RASHID KHALIDI: He has, and there’s no question but that what Syria—the Syrian government has done and what many of the opposition groups have done rise to the level of potential war crimes. But at the same time, he—I think he understands that there has to be a political resolution in Syria. He’s not been successful in achieving it. I think these people, who are trying to get us into a much—much more deeply into intervention in Syria, really do want us to go right up and perhaps over the brink of war.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to go to Melina Abdullah now, organizer with Black Lives Matter, also professor and chair of pan-African studies at California State University. She’s joining us from Los Angeles, where she recently was arrested. Melina Abdullah, can you talk about that arrest and how you see it related to, well, who may be the next president of the United States?
MELINA ABDULLAH: Sure. So, on Monday, three of us Black Lives Matter organizers were arrested for standing up for a brother named Carnell Snell, who was killed last Saturday by LAPD in a rash of police murders in Southern California. So, on Friday, Pasadena police killed J.R. Thomas, beating and tasing him to death in the presence of four of his children and his pregnant partner. And the very next day, they killed 18-year-old Carnell Snell in South Los Angeles. Witnesses say that he was shot in the back five times as he was running away from the police. And then, the very next day, Daniel Perez, a 16-year-old boy, was killed while holding a fake gun. They said that he pointed it at police and was trying to commit suicide by cop.
We’re at the point where it’s just an emergency. It’s a state of emergency in black communities and in brown and poor communities here in Los Angeles. So, on Monday, the chief of police here, Charlie Beck, who’s one of the worst police chiefs in history, killing more people than—or being responsible for the killing of more people at the hands of police than any other police force in the entire country, he tried to have a closed-door press conference, where only members of the LAPD press pool were admitted. And so, several of us who were there standing up for the people who had been killed over the weekend refused to disperse. And myself and Patrisse Cullors, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, along with one of our organizers, Niki Okuk, were all arrested for failure to disperse.
And I think it ties into who our next president will be, because we hear both of the mainstream candidates talking in terms that are untrue for black and brown folk. So they’re saying things like police want to reform themselves as much as communities want them to reform. And that’s absolutely untrue. What we’re recognizing, as communities that—we’re finding ourselves under a state of siege. And we realize that it’s beyond minimal reform that we need. We really need kind of a backing away and recognition that public safety is much more than policing. And what we need is a divestment from the police, who kill our people constantly and with impunity, and investment in the things that actually make communities safe, so livable-wage jobs, mental health resources, after-school programs, good schools, arts programs, recreational programs—all of the things that are needed to build safe communities. And we don’t hear either of the mainstream candidates talking in those terms.
AMY GOODMAN: I just want to talk about some breaking news. Billy Bush—the video was of Donald Trump and Billy Bush, Billy Bush the cousin of Jeb and George Bush, the former president of the United States. CNN is reporting Billy Bush has been suspended from the Today show, NBC News says, days after the video of his 2005 talk with Donald Trump surfaced. Also, CNN is reporting that Donald Trump has appeared with women who in the past accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual activity. They’re expected to attend the debate tonight. Melina Abdullah, your thoughts on this?
MELINA ABDULLAH: I think that when we think about what Donald Trump has proven himself to be, time and time again, someone who ascribes to rape culture, someone who is beyond patriarchal, really misogynistic towards women, I think that what we’re seeing is the intersection of both white privilege and male privilege. Remember, Donald Trump is the same one who had the audacity to take out a full-page ad against the Central Park Five and say that they should get the death penalty. And later we find out that they’re actually innocent. Do you know how hard it is to prove innocence? Yet these young men were proven innocent. And yet he wants us to believe that when he says the things that he says, that we should a boys-will-be-boys approach, that this is just the way men talk. And we can’t afford to do that. We have to recognize what it means for women, what it means for girls, but also what it means when we contrast his behavior with the behavior—or accusations hurled at black men constantly.
AMY GOODMAN: Melina Abdullah, we want to thank you very much for being with us, organizer with Black Lives Matter, professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University in Los Angeles.
You are tuned into Democracy Now!'s special, “Expanding the Debate.” In just about, oh, 12 minutes, 15 minutes, we're going to be going to St. Louis to bring you the second presidential debate. It’s between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We will expand the debate. After they’re asked questions—it’s a town hall format—by people in the audience, we will stop the tape and get response from third-party candidate Dr. Jill Stein. We also invited the Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, but he did not respond to the invite.
Now, as we were going to air today, we learned that a major court decision has come down, to the surprise of everyone in North Dakota, because it’s a Sunday night of this three-day weekend of Columbus Day, or other people celebrate as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. A three-judge appeals court decision has come down in Washington, D.C., denying an injunction being sought by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota as they attempt to stop a $3.8 billion pipeline from being built from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota through South Dakota, through Iowa and then Illinois. Thousands of indigenous people, from South America, Central America, the United States and Canada have gathered at encampments to try to stop this pipeline.
We’re joined in studio by Gyasi Ross, who’s an author, speaker, lawyer, storyteller, member of the Blackfeet Nation, author of How to Say I Love You in Indian. His recent article for Indian Country Today Media Network is “Native Americans Need Hillary to Actually Be an Ally Against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
So this is breaking news, Gyasi, that we all just learned, because the decision just came down. Talk about the significance of this and where these presidential candidates stand.
GYASI ROSS: Thank you very much, Amy, for having me.
The decision itself on a Sunday, specifically the Sunday before Indigenous Peoples’ Day-slash-Columbus Day, is kind of a surprise, but really it shouldn’t be a surprise, the antipathy with which these courts, United States courts, treat Native communities, and specifically treat Native communities as opposed to capitalistic ventures. This is big money, as you mentioned. And, you know, there’s, unfortunately—on the good side, it won’t affect the organization that’s happening out there on the front lines in Standing Rock, in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, where those Natives, those thousands of Natives that you mentioned, are out there. Whether day or night, cold, rainy, dry, it doesn’t matter. They’re committed to the cause and aren’t reliant upon a federal court for validation of this movement, that they need to save this water, not just for the benefit of our communities, even though that’s very important, but in fact for the benefit of millions and millions of people, both Native, non-Native alike. And so they’re doing that irrespective of which the federal government says.
Regarding this particular debate, I’m thankful, as the professor mentioned, that these revelations came across, because hopefully it will teach all men, including myself, including a lot of other men, to up our level of understanding and willingness to engage and entertain distasteful comments. That’s something that is, I think, a referendum on all men, you know, and I think that’s very important. However, there is the part where I fear, as the professor mentioned, that most of the energy at this debate is going to be committed to these particular comments and the piggishness and disgustingness of these particular comments and this attitude, and not toward substantive areas.
So, for example, in regards to the Dakota Access pipeline, well, the Democratic Party, at the Democratic convention, said this would be the most progressive platform in regards to climate change that this nation has ever seen. However, there’s been no substantive follow-up to what that means in regards to how are we going to actualize this. Well, one way we can actualize it by—is by stopping this Dakota Access pipeline. The fact is that this pipeline cannot commence without any federal approval. And so, if there’s no federal action, or, alternatively, if a federal agent, you know, kills this deal, then the pipeline doesn’t continue to go forward. And so, if Hillary Clinton, candidate Hillary Clinton, truly wanted to live up to what she says, that this will indeed be the most progressive platform in regards to climate change, and we want to do something affirmatively outside of just cap-and-trade deals, this is a good starting position for that.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: What questions do you think ought to be asked tonight of the candidates—on climate change, on tribal treaties?
GYASI ROSS: Well, this—thank you very much for that question. And it’s—those are two separate questions. Donald Trump, unfortunately, showed his cards very early, like 23 years ago, of how he felt about treaty rights, when he talked about how Native communities should not be able to engage in economic development activities because he didn’t want the competition. And so, he doesn’t see—
AMY GOODMAN: In terms of building casinos.
GYASI ROSS: That’s right. And so, he doesn’t see tribal governments as legitimate governments that should be able to challenge and develop our own institutions. Hillary Clinton, as the—as the column mentioned, says she’s an ally. She has wonderful Native advisers. And those wonderful Native advisers have said that this is, likewise, going to be the most progressive platform in regards to their treatment and understanding of that government-to-government relationship, that these are in fact relationships that are sealed with treaties, that you only do with governments that you enter into as equals; however, not the lack of willingness to even enter into those conversations, whether in regards to Dakota Access pipeline, to what do treaty obligations mean. That’s kind of troubling that those waters have not been ventured into at all. So, if I were to pose a question, I would say, “Well, what does a treaty relationship and a trust relationship mean to you, Hillary Clinton, somebody who’s supposed to be an ally to Native communities?”
AMY GOODMAN: Speaking of climate change, it’s believed more than 900—and the number could well exceed a thousand—Haitians have died—
GYASI ROSS: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: —as a result of Hurricane Matthew, the horror of what climate change looks like, the toll it takes. But I wanted to turn right now to Reverend Cassandra Gould. We have just linked up with St. Louis. She’s executive director of the Missouri Faith Voices and pastor at Quinn Chapel AME in Jefferson City, Missouri. The debate is not that far from Ferguson, where Michael Brown was killed by police just a few years ago, in the summer of 2014. And though the rest of the media isn’t talking very much about this, there is a lot of organized protest that’s going on around this second presidential debate.
Reverend Cassandra Gould, talk about what’s happening tonight.
REV. CASSANDRA GOULD: Yes, there are a number of grassroots organizations, locally, from across the state and even across the country, groups like Fight for 15. There are Black Lives Matter representatives here, No on Hate. And these groups have come basically to ensure that despite what may or may not be talked about amongst the presidential candidates, that real issues, real-life issues from people on the ground, who are hurting all across America, will be noticed. And so, they want to make sure that the American people remember, beyond some of the rhetoric that we’ll hear tonight in the presidential debate, that there are some real issues that are worth fighting for, real issues that people should be talking about and that our candidates should be paying attention to.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what are some of those issues?
REV. CASSANDRA GOULD: There are many issues, such as the fight for voter rights. There are still issues with police brutality in cities all across this country, police oversight. The list of issues goes on and on. Fight for 15, they’re fighting so that hard-working families can earn a living wage and be able to take care of their families.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the issue of voting rights in Missouri right now, the fact that it may be easier to get a gun than to be able to vote soon in Missouri?
REV. CASSANDRA GOULD: Yes, I certainly can talk about that. That is something that, while it is a painful burden that I’ve been carrying, it is also near and dear to me. Voter rights in Missouri, as we know them, are actually up for grabs and at risk at this time. Our Constitution actually has a protection mechanism in it that says that there should be no additional requirements to be able to cast a vote. But right now Amendment Six says—and it’ll be on our ballot on November 8th—that if it passes, people will be required to have additional photo ID, additional requirements, more than we’ve ever had before and more than what the Constitution—the authors of our Constitution said were necessary. And so, we’re right now in a state that says it’s easier to get a gun and to walk down the shoot and shoot me than it will be for me to vote, if this passes.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what about your response to—I mean, are you hopeful about what Hillary Clinton has said on some of these issues, both the minimum wage, voting rights, all of that? Are you hopeful in what a presidency—a Clinton presidency might make possible?
REV. CASSANDRA GOULD: And, you know, I—as a church pastor and as well as a executive director of a nonpartisan group, I am very hopeful about the things that candidate Hillary has stated on both of these—on both of these issues. She has stated a little more on these issues than the other candidate has. But I really am at a point where I am tired of just talk about what can happen. I recognize that in this election season, all we really get is promises from people. But we’re really looking for candidates at every level, not just the presidential election. Reality is, it’s really difficult to talk about a presidential election when people may not even have the right to vote or may have that right actually impaired.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Reverend Gould, Missouri now the first state since the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, it’s the—Missouri is the first state to pass a so-called Stand Your Grand law since that acquittal?
REV. CASSANDRA GOULD: That is absolutely right. And I believe that the voter rights law that is pending on November 8th, as well as the Stand Your Ground law, are laws that were enacted as retaliation by our legislators, retaliation for people who dare to go to the streets of Ferguson and demand that black lives matter and demand that something had to change. And so, now we are stuck with these laws that are directly targeting people of color.
AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you for being with us, Reverend Cassandra Gould, executive director of Missouri Faith Voices, pastor at the Quinn Chapel AME Church in Jefferson City, Missouri.
The debate is going to begin in about three minutes at Wash U., at Washington University, in St. Louis. And we’re going to be going there when that debate begins. But we’re going to be stopping the tape, pausing it, after the major candidates answer questions from the audience—this is a town hall—so that we can bring you a third-party candidate in St. Louis. She is Dr. Jill Stein, who has been excluded from the debate because of stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates—she and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, she of the Green Party. Of course, the commission is run by the Democratic and Republican parties. And we wanted to bring you an idea of what democracy sounds like, what it looks like.
But before we go to that, with our two guests here in New York, with Professor Rashid Khalidi, the questions you want to hear audience members, because that’s who’s there tonight—by the way, also, the latest news, in the audience, apparently, Donald Trump has brought Paula Jones, Kathy Shelton, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, all who have accused President Clinton, in some way or another, of sexual wrongdoing. But what you want to hear tonight?
RASHID KHALIDI: I would love to hear somebody get up and say, “Can we stop these circuses? Can we end this distraction? Can we talk about serious issues?” This is a country that’s at war in three parts of the Middle East and Afghanistan, whether we admit it or not. There is war in our streets, in our cities, on black and brown communities. There is—there is a climate crisis, which is going to be fed by this pipeline, which violates treaties and violates Native Americans’ rights. I’d love to somebody say, “Could you people talk about these things?” instead of the kind of things that we’ve been treated to in this campaign.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: But what do you think accounts for that? Why are presidential debates—why is the media complicit in producing debates of this kind, where it becomes much more about a spectacle than about substantive issues?
RASHID KHALIDI: Because the media has become infotainment. Because it makes money. As Les Moonves said, “We’re making a ton of money.” So, we basically have a circus. I’m not saying that serious politicians should be taken at face value. Trump did us a service by calling some of these politicians what they are: low energy Jeb, lying Ted. He punctured the balloon of these sanctimonious hypocrites who masquerade as statespersons. But what we really need to have is not a showman and a circus barker, which is what Trump is, doing this. What we need to have is somebody bringing up real issues and talking about real solutions. And unfortunately, I doubt that we’re going to get much of that in St. Louis.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you think has to happen in Syria?
RASHID KHALIDI: There has to be an end to the fighting. The various clients that the United States and Russia have, whether Iran or Saudi Arabia, whether Turkey or Hezbollah, have to be brought to heel. And that is not going to be an easy process. And neither of them is anywhere near doing that. I think that this is not just a potential superpower clash. This could be a real regional war. And I don’t see any serious in dealing—seriousness in dealing with this. It could spill over in a way that Iraq didn’t and that the Lebanese civil war never did.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: But all these calls—I mean, there are increasing calls for the U.S. to intervene militarily—
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: —to stop what John Kerry has called—and others—war crimes by the Assad and Russian governments in Syria. And people who are calling for the intervention make the argument that only the U.S. is in a position now to stop what’s going on, and only after that can the terms of a peace deal or ceasefire be negotiated.
RASHID KHALIDI: The United States is deeply involved already. The idea that the United States should intervene is ludicrous. The United States is intervening. It’s intervening ineffectively, but it’s intervening, at a very high level. The question is: How do you stop this war? A more robust intervention could lead to a direct clash with Russia. Is that what they want? I think there are some people who would like that. They would like a justification for our military budget, our bloated, completely unnecessarily large military budget. Well, having a little war with the Russians would serve that purpose very nicely. There are people who really think that you have to throw your weight around all over the world.
I’m afraid that Secretary Clinton is one of those people, or at least is advised by some of those people. Certainly, many of those neoconservatives have supported her, people like—people who brought us the Iraq War, like Paul Wolfowitz. So, yes, the United States is intervening. And it—this war is destroying Syria. It’s causing a refugee crisis we have never seen the likes of since World War II. And the idea that pouring more kerosene on the flames is the way to bring it—bring a resolution is foolish, in my view.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to go to the debate right now in St. Louis.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Anderson and I and our team from ABC and CNN are the only ones who have seen them. Both candidates will have two minutes to answer each audience and online question. We hope to get to as many questions as we can, so we’ve asked the audience here not to slow things down with any applause—except for now. Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, and the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you very much for being here. We’re going to begin with a question from one of the members in our town hall. Each of you will have two minutes to respond to this question. Secretary Clinton, you won the coin toss, so you’ll go first. Our first question comes from Patrice Brock. Patrice?
PATRICE BROCK: Thank you, and good evening. The last presidential debate could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students’ homework, do you feel you’re modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, thank you. Are you a teacher? Yes, I think that that’s a very good question, because I’ve heard from lots of teachers and parents about some of their concerns about some of the things that are being said and done in this campaign.
And I think it is very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we’re good. And we are going to respect one another, lift each other up. We are going to be looking for ways to celebrate our diversity, and we are going to try to reach out to every boy and girl, as well as every adult, to bring them in to working on behalf of our country.
I have a very positive and optimistic view about what we can do together. That’s why the slogan of my campaign is “Stronger Together,” because I think if we work together, if we overcome the divisiveness that sometimes sets Americans against one another, and instead we make some big goals—and I’ve set forth some big goals, getting the economy to work for everyone, not just those at the top, making sure that we have the best education system, from preschool through college, and making it affordable, and so much else—if we set those goals and we go together to try to achieve them, there’s nothing, in my opinion, that America can’t do.
So that’s why I hope that we will come together in this campaign. Obviously, I’m hoping to earn your vote, I’m hoping to be elected in November. And I can promise you, I will work with every American. I want to be the president for all Americans, regardless of your political beliefs, where you come from, what you look like, your religion. I want us to heal our country and bring it together, because that’s, I think, the best way for us to get the future that our children and our grandchildren deserve.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I actually agree with that. I agree with everything she said. I began this campaign because I was so tired of seeing such foolish things happen to our country. This is a great country. This is a great land. I’ve gotten to know the people of the country over the last year and a half that I’ve been doing this as a politician. I cannot believe I’m saying that about myself, but I guess I have been a politician. And my whole concept was to make America great again.
When I watch the deals being made, when I watch what’s happening with some horrible things, like Obamacare, where your health insurance and healthcare is going up by numbers that are astronomical—68 percent, 59 percent, 71 percent—when I look at the Iran deal and how bad a deal it is for us—it’s a one-sided transaction where we’re giving back $150 billion to a terrorist state, really, the number one terror state. We’ve made them a strong country from really a very weak country just three years ago. When I look at all of the things that I see and all of the potential that our country has—we have such tremendous potential, whether it’s in business and trade, where we’re doing so badly. Last year, we had an almost $800 billion trade deficit. In other words, trading with other countries, we had an $800 billion deficit. It’s hard to believe. Inconceivable.
You say, “Who’s making these deals?” We’re going to make great trade deals. We’re going to have a strong border. We’re going to bring back law and order. Just today, policemen were shot—two, killed. And this is happening on a weekly basis. We have to bring back respect to law enforcement. At the same time, we have to take care of people on all sides. We need justice.
But I want to do things that haven’t been done, including fixing and making our inner cities better for the African-American citizens that are so great, and for the Latinos, Hispanics.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump—
DONALD TRUMP: And I look forward to doing it. It’s called make America great again.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump. The question from Patrice was about: Are you both modeling positive and appropriate behaviors for today’s youth?
AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Jill Stein—as we turn to the third-party candidate, then we’ll go back to the major-party candidate debate—your response to the audience member who said, as a teacher, she is, “Do you feel you are modeling appropriate behavior for today’s youth?”
DR. JILL STEIN: Yes. I mean, in contrast to the political establishment, youth and American society at large is very much my priority. I am the only candidate in this race that is not corrupted by corporate money, by lobbyist money, by super PACs. I am not making the backroom deals. I am not taking money from billionaires, and I’m not a member of the billionaire class myself. So, my campaign and the Green Party is actually speaking to what the American people desperately need.
And while Hillary and Donald may be occasionally saying the right things, it’s important to actually look at their track record, where we see that Donald, in fact, has mistreated his workers, has offshored his jobs, has cheated on students, and apparently done some very abusive and despicable things in his relations with women; Hillary, on the other hand, you know, has a track record for serving the banks, for—for paying women, in fact, in the Clinton Foundation 38 percent less than the men are paid working for the Clinton Foundation, and, you know, has stood in the way of a Medicare-for-all plan. Under Obamacare, one out of every three Americans is not able to afford the healthcare that we need. So—
AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Jill Stein, we’re having a little trouble with the routing of the debate, so we’re going to go back to the major-party debate right now in St. Louis.
DONALD TRUMP: And we’re going to make America wealthy again, because if you don’t do that, it just—it sounds harsh to say, but we have to build up the wealth of our nation.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
DONALD TRUMP: Right now, other nations are taking our jobs, and they’re taking our wealth.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
DONALD TRUMP: And that’s what I want to talk about.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, do you want to respond?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, like everyone else, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours about what we heard and saw. You know, with prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them on politics, policies, principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve. Donald Trump is different. I said, starting back in June, that he was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing.
What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn’t represent who he is. But I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is, because we’ve seen this throughout the campaign. We have seen him insult women. We have seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from one to 10. We’ve seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him, after the first debate, spend nearly a week denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms. So, yes, this is who Donald Trump is.
But it’s not only women, and it’s not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be our president, because he has also targeted immigrants, African Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims and so many others. So this is who Donald Trump is.
And the question for us, the question our country must answer, is that this is not who we are. That’s why, to go back to your question, I want to send a message—we all should—to every boy and girl—and, indeed, to the entire world—that America already is great, but we are great because we are good. And we will respect one another, and we will work with one another, and we will celebrate our diversity. These are very important values to me, because this is the America that I know and love. And I can pledge to you tonight that this is the America that I will serve if I’m so fortunate enough to become your president.
MARTHA RADDATZ: And we want to get to some questions from online—
DONALD TRUMP: Well, am I allowed to respond to that? I assume I am.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Yes, you can respond to that.
DONALD TRUMP: It’s just words, folks. It’s just words. Those words, I’ve been hearing them for many years. I heard them when they were running for the Senate in New York, where Hillary was going to bring back jobs to upstate New York, and she failed. I’ve heard them where Hillary is constantly talking about the inner cities of our country, which are a disaster education-wise, job-wise, safety-wise, in every way possible. I’m going to help the African Americans. I’m going to help the Latinos, Hispanics. I am going to help the inner cities. She has done a terrible job for the African Americans. She wants their vote, and she does nothing. And then she comes back four years later. We saw that firsthand when she was a United States senator. She campaigned where the primary part of her campaign—
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, I want to get to audience questions and online questions.
DONALD TRUMP: So, she’s allowed to do that, but I’m not allowed to—
MARTHA RADDATZ: You’re going to have—
DONALD TRUMP: Sounds fair.
MARTHA RADDATZ: You’re going to get to respond right now.
DONALD TRUMP: Sounds fair.
MARTHA RADDATZ: This tape is generating intense interest. In just 48 hours it’s become the single most talked-about story of the entire 2016 election on Facebook, with millions and millions of people discussing it on the social network. As we said a moment ago, we do want to bring in questions from voters around the country via social media, and our first stays on this topic. Jeff from Ohio asks on Facebook: “Trump says the campaign has changed him. When did that happen?” So, Mr. Trump, let me add to that: When you walked off that bus at age 59, were you a different man, or did that behavior continue until just recently? And you have two minutes for this.
DONALD TRUMP: It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.
If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was—what he’s done to women, there’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. So, you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously, four of them here tonight. One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped, at 12. Her client she represented got him off, and she’s seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman, is here with us tonight.
So, don’t tell me about words. I am absolutely—I apologize for those words. But it is things that people say. But what President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law. He had to pay an $850,000 fine to one of the women, Paula Jones, who’s also here tonight. And I will tell you that when Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it’s disgraceful, and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Can we please hold the applause? Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first let me start by saying that so much of what he’s just said is not right, but he gets to run his campaign any way he chooses. He gets to decide what he wants to talk about, instead of answering people’s questions, talking about our agenda, laying out the plans that we have that we think can make a better life and a better country. That’s his choice. When I hear something like that, I am reminded of what my friend Michelle Obama advised us all: When they go low, you go high.
And look, if this were just about one video, maybe what he’s saying tonight would be understandable. But everyone can draw their own conclusions at this point about whether or not the man in the video or the man on the stage respects women.
But he never apologizes for anything to anyone. He never apologized to Mr. and Mrs. Khan, the Gold Star family whose son, Captain Khan, died in the line of duty in Iraq, and Donald insulted and attacked them for weeks over their religion. He never apologized to the distinguished federal judge, who was born in Indiana, but Donald said he couldn’t be trusted to be a judge because his parents were, quote, “Mexican.” He never apologized to the reporter that he mimicked and mocked on national television, and our children were watching. And he never apologized for the racist lie that President Obama was not born in the United States of America. He owes the president an apology, he owes our country an apology, and he needs to take responsibility for his actions and his words.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, you owe the president an apology, because, as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal, he’s another real winner that you have, and he’s the one that got this started, along with your campaign manager, and they were on television just two weeks ago. She was saying exactly that. So you really owe him an apology. You’re the one that sent the pictures around. Your campaign sent the pictures around with President Obama in a certain garb. That was long before I was ever involved. So you actually owe an apology.
And number two, Michelle Obama. I’ve gotten to see the commercials that they did on you, and I’ve gotten to see some of the most vicious commercials I’ve ever seen, of Michelle Obama talking about you, Hillary. So, you talk about friend? Go back and take a look at those commercials—a race where you lost, fair and square, unlike the Bernie Sanders race, where you won, but not fair and square, in my opinion. And all you have to do is take a look at WikiLeaks and just see what they said about Bernie Sanders and see what Deborah Wasserman Schultz had in mind, because Bernie Sanders, between superdelegates and Deborah Wasserman Schultz, he never had a chance. And I was so surprised to see him sign on with the devil.
But when you talk about apology, I think the one that you should really be apologizing for and the thing that you should be apologizing for are the 33,000 emails that you deleted and that you acid-washed, and then the two boxes of emails and other things last week that were taken from an office and are now missing. And I’ll tell you what, I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it. And we’re going to have a special prosecutor. When I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious. In my opinion, the people that have been long-term workers at the FBI are furious. There has never been anything like this, where emails—and you get a subpoena. You get a subpoena, and after getting the subpoena, you delete 33,000 emails, and then you acid-wash them or bleach them, as you would say. Very expensive process. So we’re going to get a special prosecutor, and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been—their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you have done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, I want to follow up on that. I’m going to let you talk about emails.
HILLARY CLINTON: Martha, let me just quickly say, because everything he just said is absolutely false, but I’m not surprised.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, really?
HILLARY CLINTON: In the first debate—
MARTHA RADDATZ: And really, the audience needs to calm down here.
HILLARY CLINTON: In the first debate, I told people that it would be impossible to be fact-checking Donald all the time. I’d never get to talk about anything I want to do and how we’re going to really make lives better for people. So, once again, go to HillaryClinton.com. We have literally Trump. You can fact-check him—fact-check—fact-check him in real time. Last time, at the first debate, we had millions of people fact-checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact-checking, because, you know, it is—it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, because you’d be in jail.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton—
ANDERSON COOPER: We want to remind the audience to please not talk out loud. Please do not applaud. You’re just wasting time.
MARTHA RADDATZ: And, Secretary Clinton, I do want to follow up on the emails. You’ve said your handling of your emails was a mistake. You disagreed with Director—FBI Director James Comey calling your handling of classified information, quote, “extremely careless.” The FBI said that there were 110 classified emails that were exchanged, eight of which were top-secret, and that it was possible hostile actors did gain access to those emails. You don’t call that extremely careless?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Martha, first let me say, and I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it because I want everyone to hear it. That was a mistake, and I take responsibility for using a personal email account. Obviously, if I were to do it over again, I would not. I’m not making any excuses. It was a mistake. And I am very sorry about that.
But I think it’s also important to point out where there are some misleading accusations from critics and others. After a year-long investigation, there is no evidence that anyone hacked the server I was using, and there is no evidence that anyone can point to at all—anyone who says otherwise has no basis—that any classified material ended up in the wrong hands. I take classified materials very seriously and always have. When I was on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was privy to a lot of classified material. Obviously, as secretary of state, I had some of the most important secrets that we possess, such as going after bin Laden. So I am very committed to taking classified information seriously. And as I said, there is no evidence that any classified information ended up in the wrong hands.
MARTHA RADDATZ: OK, we’re going to move on.
DONALD TRUMP: And yet, she didn’t know the word—the letter C on a document. Right? She didn’t even know what that word—what that letter meant. You know, it’s amazing. I’m watching Hillary go over facts, and she’s going after fact after fact. And she’s lying again, because she said she—you know, what she did with the emails was fine. You think it was fine to delete 33,000 emails? I don’t think so. She said the 33,000 emails had to do with her daughter’s wedding, number one, and a yoga class. Well, maybe we’ll give three or three or four or five or something. Thirty-three thousand emails deleted, and now she’s saying there wasn’t anything wrong.
And more importantly, that was after getting a subpoena. That wasn’t before. That was after. She got it from the United States Congress. And I’ll be honest, I am so disappointed in congressmen, including Republicans, for allowing this to happen, our Justice Department where her husband goes onto the back of an airplane for 39 minutes, talks to the attorney general, days before a ruling is going to be made on her case. But for you to say that there was nothing wrong with you deleting 39,000 emails, again, you should be ashamed of yourself. What you did—and this is after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress—
ANDERSON COOPER: We have to move on. Secretary Clinton, you can respond, and then we’ve got to move on.
DONALD TRUMP: If you did that—wait a minute. One second.
MARTHA RADDATZ: We want to give the audience a chance here.
DONALD TRUMP: If you did that in the private sector, you’d be put in jail, let alone after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you can respond, then we have to move on to a audience question.
HILLARY CLINTON: Look, it’s just not true. And so, please, go to—
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, you didn’t delete them? You didn’t delete them?
ANDERSON COOPER: Allow her to respond, please.
HILLARY CLINTON: Those were personal emails, not official.
DONALD TRUMP: Over 33,000? Yeah, right.
HILLARY CLINTON: Not—well, we turned over 35,000, so it was—
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, yeah. What about the other 15,000?
ANDERSON COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn’t talk while you talked.
HILLARY CLINTON: Yes, that’s true, I didn’t.
DONALD TRUMP: Because you have nothing to say.
HILLARY CLINTON: And I didn’t in the first debate, and I’m going to try not to in this debate, because I’d like to get to the questions that the people have brought here tonight to talk to us about.
DONALD TRUMP: And get off this question.
HILLARY CLINTON: OK, Donald. I know you’re into big diversion tonight, anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it’s exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you. But let’s at least focus—
DONALD TRUMP: Let’s—let’s see what happens in the [inaudible]. Let’s see what happens.
ANDERSON COOPER: Allow her to respond.
HILLARY CLINTON: —on some of the issues that people care about tonight. Let’s get to their questions.
ANDERSON COOPER: We have a question here from Ken Karpowitz. He has a question about healthcare. Ken?
DONALD TRUMP: I’d like to know, Anderson: Why aren’t you bringing up the emails? I’d like to know. Why aren’t you getting to the bottom—
ANDERSON COOPER: You brought up the emails.
DONALD TRUMP: No, it hasn’t. It hasn’t. And it hasn’t been finished at all.
ANDERSON COOPER: Ken Karpowitz has a question.
DONALD TRUMP: It’s nice to—one on three.
KEN KARPOWITZ: Thank you. Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, it is not affordable. Premiums have gone up. Deductibles have gone up. Copays have gone up. Prescriptions have gone up. And the coverage has gone down. What will you do to bring the costs down and make coverage better?
ANDERSON COOPER: That first one goes to Secretary Clinton—
DONALD TRUMP: Thank you.
ANDERSON COOPER: —because you started out the last one to the audience.
HILLARY CLINTON: He wants to start. He can start.
DONALD TRUMP: No, go ahead, Hillary.
HILLARY CLINTON: No, go ahead, Donald.
DONALD TRUMP: No, I’m a gentleman, Hillary. Go ahead.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think Donald was about to say he’s going to solve it by repealing it and getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. And I’m going to fix it, because I agree with you. Premiums have gotten too high, copays, deductibles, prescription drug costs. And I’ve laid out a series of actions that we can take to try to get those costs down.
But here’s what I don’t want people to forget when we’re talking about reining in the costs, which has to be the highest priority of the next president. When the Affordable Care Act passed, it wasn’t just that 20 million people got insurance who didn’t have it before. But that, in and of itself, was a good thing. I meet these people all the time, and they tell me what a difference having that insurance meant to them and their families. But everybody else, the 170 million of us who get health insurance through our employers, got big benefits. Number one, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Number two, no lifetime limits, which is a big deal if you have serious health problems. Number three, women can’t be charged more than men for our health insurance, which is the way it used to be before the Affordable Care Act. Number four, if you’re under 26 and your parents have a policy, you can be on that policy until the age of 26—something that didn’t happen before. So, I want very much to save what works and is good about the Affordable Care Act. But we’ve got to get costs down. We’ve got to provide some additional help to small businesses, so that they can afford to provide health insurance.
But if we repeal it, as Donald has proposed, and start over again, all of those benefits I just mentioned are lost to everybody, not just people who get their health insurance on the exchange. And then we would have to start all over again. Right now we are at 90 percent health insurance coverage. That’s the highest we’ve ever been in our country.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, your time’s up.
HILLARY CLINTON: So I want to get to 100 percent but get cost down and keep quality up.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.
DONALD TRUMP: It is such a great question, and it’s maybe the question I get almost more than anything else, outside of defense. Obamacare is a disaster. You know it. We all know it. It’s going up at numbers that nobody’s ever seen worldwide. It’s—nobody has ever seen numbers like this for healthcare. It’s only getting worse. In '17, it implodes by itself. Their method of fixing it is to go back and ask Congress for more money, more and more money. And we have right now almost $20 trillion in debt. Obamacare will never work. It's very bad, very bad health insurance, far too expensive, and not only expensive for the person that has it, unbelievably expensive for our country. It’s going to be one of the biggest line items very shortly.
We have to repeal it and replace it with something absolutely much less expensive and something that works, where your plan can actually be tailored. We have to get rid of the lines around the state, artificial lines, where we stop insurance companies from coming in and competing, because they wanted, President Obama and whoever was working on it—they want to leave those lines, because that gives the insurance companies essentially monopolies. We want competition. You will have the finest healthcare plan there is. She wants to go to a single-payer plan, which would be a disaster, somewhat similar to Canada. And if you ever noticed, the Canadians, when they need a big operation, when something happens, they come into the United States in many cases, because their—their system is so slow, it’s catastrophic in certain ways. But she wants to go to single payer, which means the government basically rules everything. Hillary Clinton has been after this for years. Obamacare was the first step. Obamacare is a total disaster. And not only are your rates going up by numbers that nobody’s ever believed, but your deductibles are going up, so that unless you get hit by a truck, you’re never going to be able to use it.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, your time—
DONALD TRUMP: It is a disastrous plan, and it has to be repealed and replaced.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, let me follow up with you. Your husband called Obamacare, quote, “the craziest thing in the world,” saying that small business owners are getting killed as premiums double, coverage is cut in half. Was he mistaken, or was his mistake simply telling the truth?
HILLARY CLINTON: No, I mean, he clarified what he meant. And it’s very clear. Look, we are in a situation in our country where if we were to start all over again, we might come up with a different system. But we have an employer-based system. That’s where the vast majority of people get their healthcare.
And the Affordable Care Act was meant to try to fill the gap between people who were too poor and couldn’t put together any resources to afford healthcare—namely, people on Medicaid—obviously, Medicare, which is a single-payer system, which takes care of our elderly and does a great job doing it, by the way, and then all the people who were employed, but people who were working but didn’t have the money to afford insurance and didn’t have anybody, an employer or anybody else, to help them. That was the slot that the Obamacare approach was to take.
And like I say, 20 million people now have health insurance. So, if we just rip it up and throw it away, what Donald’s not telling you is, we just turn it back to the insurance companies, the way it used to be.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton—
HILLARY CLINTON: And that means the insurance companies get to do pretty much whatever they want, including saying, “Look, I’m sorry, you’ve got diabetes, you had cancer, your child has asthma.
ANDERSON COOPER: Your time is up.
HILLARY CLINTON: “You may not be able to have insurance, because you can’t afford it.” So, let’s fix what’s broken about it, but let’s not throw it away and give it all back to the insurance companies and the drug companies.
ANDERSON COOPER: Let me follow up with you, Mr.—
HILLARY CLINTON: That’s not going to work.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, let me follow up on this.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I just want to—just one thing.
ANDERSON COOPER: Let me—
DONALD TRUMP: First of all, Hillary, everything’s broken about it. Everything. Number two, Bernie Sanders said that Hillary Clinton has very bad judgment. This is a perfect example of it—
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump—
DONALD TRUMP: —trying to save Obamacare, which is a disaster.
ANDERSON COOPER: You’ve said you want to end Obamacare.
DONALD TRUMP: By the way—
ANDERSON COOPER: You’ve said you want to end Obamacare. You’ve also said you want to make coverage accessible for people with pre-existing conditions. How do you force insurance companies to do that, if you’re no longer mandating that every American get insurance?
DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to be able to. You’re going to have plans.
ANDERSON COOPER: What does that mean?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you what it means. You’re going to have plans that are so good, because we’re going to have so much competition in the insurance industry. Once we break out—once we break out the lines and allow the competition to come. President Obama, by—
ANDERSON COOPER: Are you going to—are you going to have a mandate that Americans have to have health insurance?
DONALD TRUMP: Anderson, excuse me. President Obama, by keeping those lines, the boundary lines around each state—and it was almost gone, until just very toward the end of the passage of Obamacare, which, by the way, was a fraud. You know that, because Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, was said—he said it was a great lie, it was a big lie. President Obama said you keep your doctor, you keep your plan. The whole thing was a fraud, and it doesn’t work.
But when we get rid of those lines, you will have competition, and we will be able to keep pre-existing. We’ll also be able to help people that can’t get—don’t have money, because we are going to have people protected.
And Republicans feel this way, believe it or not, and strongly this way. We’re going to block grant into the states. We’re going to block grant into Medicaid into the states—
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
DONALD TRUMP: —so that we will be able to take care of people without the necessary funds to take care of themselves.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
MARTHA RADDATZ: We go to Gorbah Hamed with a question for both candidates.
GORBAH HAMED: Hi. There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, and I’m one of them. You’ve mentioned working with Muslim nations. But with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, you’re first.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, you’re right about Islamophobia, and that’s a shame. But one thing we have to do is we have to make sure that—because there is a problem. I mean, whether we like it or not, and we could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem. And we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on, they have to report it. As an example, in San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people. Horribly wounded. They’ll never be the same. Muslims have to report the problems when they see them.
And, you know, there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that, it’s a very difficult situation for our country, because you look at Orlando, and you look at San Bernardino, and you look at the World Trade Center. Go outside. You look at Paris. Look at that horrible—these are radical Islamic terrorists.
And she won’t even mention the word, and nor will President Obama. He won’t use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. She won’t say the name, and President Obama won’t say the name. But the name is there. It’s radical Islamic terror. And before you solve it, you have to say the name.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, thank you for asking your question. And I’ve heard this question from a lot of Muslim Americans across our country, because, unfortunately, there’s been a lot of very divisive, dark things said about Muslims. And even someone like Captain Khan, the young man who sacrificed himself defending our country in the United States Army, has been subject to attack by Donald.
I want to say just a couple of things. First, we’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington. And we’ve had many successful Muslims. We just lost a particularly well-known one with Muhammad Ali.
My vision of America is an America where everyone has a place, if you’re willing to work hard, you do your part, you contribute to the community. That’s what America is. That’s what we want America to be for our children and our grandchildren.
It’s also very short-sighted and even dangerous to be engaging in the kind of demagogic rhetoric that Donald has about Muslims. We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines. I’ve worked with a lot of different Muslim groups around America. I’ve met with a lot of them, and I’ve heard how important it is for them to feel that they are wanted and included and part of our country, part of our homeland security, and that’s what I want to see.
It’s also important—I intend to defeat ISIS—to do so in a coalition with majority Muslim nations. Right now, a lot of those nations are hearing what Donald says and wondering, “Why should we cooperate with the Americans?” And this is a gift to ISIS and the terrorists, violent jihadist terrorists. We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake, and it plays into the hands of the terrorists, to act as though we are. So I want a country where citizens like you and your family are just as welcome as anyone else.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Mr. Trump, in December, you said this: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice. We have no choice.” Your running mate said this week that the Muslim ban is no longer your position. Is that correct? And if it is, was it a mistake to have a religious test?
DONALD TRUMP: First of all, Captain Khan is an American hero. And if I were president at that time, he would be alive today, because, unlike her, who voted for the war without knowing what she was doing, I would not have had our people in Iraq. Iraq was a disaster. So he would have been alive today. The Muslim ban is something that, in some form, has morphed into a extreme vetting from certain areas of the world. Hillary Clinton wants to allow—
MARTHA RADDATZ: And why did it morph into that.
DONALD TRUMP: —hundreds of thousands—excuse me.
MARTHA RADDATZ: No, did you—
DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me.
MARTHA RADDATZ: No, answer the question: Do you still believe—
DONALD TRUMP: Why don’t you interrupt her?
MARTHA RADDATZ: I do.
DONALD TRUMP: You interrupt me all the time. Why don’t you interrupt her?
MARTHA RADDATZ: Would you please explain whether or not the Muslim ban still stands?
DONALD TRUMP: It’s called extreme vetting. We are going to areas like Syria, where they’re coming in by the tens of thousands because of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton wants to allow a 550 percent increase over Obama. People are coming into our country like we have no idea who they are, where they are from, what their feelings about our country is. And she wants 550 percent more. This is going to be the great Trojan horse of all time. We have enough problems in this country.
I believe in building safe zones. I believe in having other people pay for them—as an example, the Gulf states, who are not carrying their weight, but they have nothing but money and take care of people. But I don’t want to have, with all the problems this country has and all of the problems that you see going on, hundreds of thousands of people coming in from Syria, when we know nothing about them. We know nothing about their values, and we know nothing about their love for our country.
MARTHA RADDATZ: And, Secretary Clinton, let me ask you about that, because you have asked for an increase from 10 to 65,000 Syrian refugees. We know you want tougher vetting. That’s not a perfect system. So why take the risk of having those refugees come into the country?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I will not let anyone into our country that I think poses a risk to us. But there are a lot of refugees, women and children. Think of that picture we all saw of that four-year-old boy with the blood on his forehead because he’d been bombed by the Russian and Syrian air forces. There are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely, I believe, because of Russian aggression. And we need to do our part. We, by no means, are carrying anywhere near the load that Europe and others are. But we will have vetting that is as tough as it needs to be from our professionals, our intelligence experts and others.
But it is important for us, as a policy, you know, not to say, as Donald has said, we’re going to ban people based on a religion. How do you that? We are a country founded on religious freedom and liberty. How do we do what he has advocated, without causing great distress within our own country? Are we going to have religious tests when people fly into our country? And how do we expect to be able to implement those? So, I thought that what he said was extremely unwise and even dangerous. And indeed, you can look at the propaganda on a lot of the terrorist sites, and what Donald Trump says about Muslims is used to recruit fighters, because they want to create a war between us.
And the final thing I say, this is the 10th or 12th time that he’s denied being for the war in Iraq. We have it on tape. The entire press corps has looked at it. It’s been debunked. But it never stops him from saying whatever he wants to say.
DONALD TRUMP: Has not been debunked.
HILLARY CLINTON: So, please—
DONALD TRUMP: Has not been debunked. And I was against—I was against—
HILLARY CLINTON: Go to HillaryClinton.com, and you can see it.
DONALD TRUMP: I was against the war in Iraq. Has not been debunked. And you voted for it, and you shouldn’t have. Well, I just want to say—
MARTHA RADDATZ: There’s been lots of fact checking on that.
DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me.
MARTHA RADDATZ: I’d like to move on to an online question.
DONALD TRUMP: Excuse me. She just went about 25 seconds over her time.
MARTHA RADDATZ: She did not.
DONALD TRUMP: Can I just respond to this, please?
MARTHA RADDATZ: Very quickly, please.
DONALD TRUMP: Hillary Clinton, in terms of having people come into our country—we have many criminal illegal aliens. When we want to send them back to their country, their country says, “We don’t want them.” In some cases, they’re murderers, drug lords, drug problems. And they don’t want them. And Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, said, “That’s OK. We can’t force it into their country.” Let me tell you, I’m going to force them right back into their country. They’re murderers and some very bad people.
And I will tell you, very strongly, when Bernie Sanders said she had bad judgment, she has really bad judgment, because we are letting people into this country that are going to cause problems and crime like you’ve never seen. We’re also letting drugs pour through our southern border at a record clip. At a record clip. And it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
ICE just endorsed me. They’ve never endorsed a presidential candidate. The Border Patrol agents, 16,500, just recently endorsed me. And they endorsed me because I understand the border. She doesn’t. She wants amnesty for everybody. “Come right in. Come right over.” It’s a horrible thing she’s doing. She’s got bad judgment, and, honestly, so bad that she should never be president of the United States. That I can tell you.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you, Mr. Trump. I want to move on. This next question comes from the public through the bipartisan Open Debate Coalition’s online forum, where Americans submitted questions that generated millions of votes. This question involves WikiLeaks’ release of purported excerpts of Secretary Clinton’s paid speeches, which she has refused to release, and one line in particular, in which you, Secretary Clinton, purportedly say, “You need both a public and private position on certain issues.” So, Tiu from Virginia asks: “Is it OK for politicians to be two-faced? Is it acceptable for a politician to have have a private stance on issues?” Secretary Clinton, your two minutes.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, right. As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called Lincoln. It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment. It was principled, and it was strategic. And I was making the point that it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want to do, and you have to keep working at it, and, yes, President Lincoln was trying to convince some people, he used some arguments; convincing other people, he used other arguments. That was a great, I thought, a great display of presidential leadership.
But, you know, let’s talk about what’s really going on here, Martha, because our intelligence community just came out and said in the last few days that the Kremlin, meaning Putin and the Russian government, are directing the attacks, the hacking on American accounts to influence our election. And WikiLeaks is part of that, as are other sites where the Russians hack information—we don’t even know if it’s accurate information—and then they put it out. We have never in the history of our country been in a situation where an adversary, a foreign power, is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election. And believe me, they’re not doing it to get me elected. They’re doing it to try to influence the election for Donald Trump. Now, maybe because he has praised Putin, maybe because he says he agrees with a lot of what Putin wants to do, maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow—I don’t know the reasons, but we deserve answers. And we should demand that Donald release all of his tax returns, so that people can see what are the entanglements and the financial relationships—
MARTHA RADDATZ: And we’re going to get to that later.
HILLARY CLINTON: —that he has with Russians and other foreign powers.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, you’re out of time. Mr. Trump?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I think I should respond, because—so ridiculous. Look, now she’s blaming—she got caught in a total lie. Her papers went out to all her friends at the banks, Goldman Sachs and everybody else. And she said things—WikiLeaks—that just came out. And she lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln. That’s one that I haven’t—OK, honest Abe. Honest Abe never lied. That’s the good thing. That’s the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you. That’s a big, big difference. We’re talking about some difference.
But as far as other elements of what you were saying, I don’t know Putin. I think it would be great if we get along with Russia, because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don’t know Putin. But I notice any time anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians, the—she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia, because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia. I know nothing about Russia. I know about Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there. I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.
I have a very, very great balance sheet, so great that when I did the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, the United States government, because of my balance sheet, which they actually know very well, chose me to do the Old Post Office between the White House and Congress, chose me to do the Old Post Office. One of the primary things—in fact, perhaps the primary thing was balance sheet. But I have no loans with Russia. You could go to the United States government, and they would probably tell you that, because they know my sheet very well. In order to get that development, I had to have.
Now, the taxes are a very simple thing. As soon as I have—first of all, I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Many of her friends took bigger deductions. Warren Buffett took a massive deduction. Soros, who’s a friend of hers, took a massive deduction. Many of the people that are giving her all this money, that she can do many more commercials than me, gave her—took massive deductions. I pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes, but—but as soon as my routine audit is finished, I’ll release my returns. I’ll be very proud to. They’re actually quite good.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you, Mr. Trump.
ANDERSON COOPER: We’ve got to—we want to turn, actually, to the topic of taxes. We have a question from Spencer Maass. Spencer?
SPENCER MAASS: Good evening. My question is: What specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes?
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, you have two minutes.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, one thing I’d do is get rid of carried interest. One of the greatest provisions, for people like me, to be honest with you—I give up a lot when I run, because I knock out the tax code.
And she could have done this years ago, by the way. She’s a United States—she was a United States senator. She complains that Donald Trump took advantage of the tax code. Well, why didn’t she change it? Why didn’t you change it when you were a senator? The reason you didn’t is that all your friends take the same advantage that I do. And I do. You have provisions in the tax code that, frankly, we could change. But you wouldn’t change it, because all of these people gave you the money so you can take negative ads on Donald Trump. But—and I say that about a lot of things. You know, I’ve heard Hillary complaining about so many different things over the years. “I wish you would have done this.” But she’s been there. For 30 years, she’s been doing this stuff. She never changed. And she never will change. She never will change.
We’re getting rid of carried interest provisions. I’m lowering taxes, actually, because I think it’s so important for corporations, because we have corporations leaving—massive corporations and little ones. Little ones can’t form. We’re getting rid of regulations, which goes hand in hand with the lowering of the taxes. But we’re bringing the tax rate down from 35 percent to 15 percent. We’re cutting taxes for the middle class. And I will tell you, we are cutting them big league for the middle class. And I will tell you, Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes, folks. You can look at me. She’s raising your taxes really high. And what that’s going to do is a disaster for the country. But she is raising your taxes, and I’m lowering your taxes. That, in itself, is a big difference.
We are going to be thriving again. We have no growth in this country. There’s no growth. If China has a GDP of 7 percent, it’s like a national catastrophe. We’re down at 1 percent. And that’s like no growth. And we’re going lower, in my opinion. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that our taxes are so high, just about the highest in the world. And I’m bringing them down to one of the lower in the world. And I think it’s so important, one of the most important things we can do. But she is raising everybody’s taxes massively.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, you have two minutes. The question was: What specific tax provisions will you change to ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, everything you’ve heard just now from Donald is not true. I’m sorry I have to keep saying this, but he lives in an alternative reality. And it is sort of amusing to hear somebody who hasn’t paid federal income taxes in maybe 20 years talking about what he’s going to do.
But I’ll tell you what he’s going to do. His plan will give the wealthy and corporations the biggest tax cuts they’ve ever had, more than the Bush tax cuts by at least a factor of two. Donald always takes care of Donald and people like Donald, and this would be a massive gift. And, indeed, the way that he talks about his tax cuts would end up raising taxes on middle-class families, millions of middle-class families.
Now, here’s what I want to do. I have said nobody who makes less than $250,000 a year—and that’s the vast majority of Americans, as you know—will have their taxes raised, because I think we’ve got to go where the money is. And the money is with people who have taken advantage of every single break in the tax code.
And, yes, when I was a senator, I did vote to close corporate loopholes. I voted to close, I think, one of the loopholes he took advantage of when he claimed a billion-dollar loss that enabled him to avoid paying taxes.
I want to have a tax on people who are making a million dollars. It’s called the Buffett rule. Yes, Warren Buffett is the one who’s gone out and said somebody like him should not be paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. I want to have a surcharge on incomes above $5 million.
We have to make up for lost times, because I want to invest in you. I want to invest in hard-working families. And I think it’s been unfortunate, but it’s happened, that since the Great Recession, the gains have all gone to the top. And we need to reverse that.
People like Donald, who have paid zero in taxes, zero for our vets, zero for our military, zero for health and education, that is wrong.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Secretary.
HILLARY CLINTON: And we’re going to make sure that nobody, no corporation and no individual, can get away without paying his—
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you.
HILLARY CLINTON: —fair share to support our country.
ANDERSON COOPER: I want to give you—Mr. Trump, I want to give you the chance to respond.
DONALD TRUMP: Sure.
ANDERSON COOPER: I just want to tell our viewers what she’s referring to. In the last month, taxes were the number one issue on Facebook for the first time in the campaign. The New York Times published three pages of your 1995 tax returns. They show you claimed a $916 million loss, which means you could have avoided paying personal federal income taxes for years. You’ve said you pay state taxes, employee taxes, real estate taxes, property taxes. You have not answered, though, a simple question: Did you use that $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes for years?
DONALD TRUMP: Of course I do. Of course I do. And so do all of her donors, or most of her donors. I know many of her donors. Her donors took massive tax write-offs.
ANDERSON COOPER: So have you not paid personal federal income taxes?
DONALD TRUMP: A lot my—excuse me, Anderson. A lot of my write-off was depreciation and other things that Hillary Clinton, as a senator, allowed. And she’ll always allow, because the people that give her all this money, they want it. That’s why. See, I understand the tax code better than anybody that’s ever run for president. Hillary Clinton—and it’s extremely complex. Hillary Clinton has friends that want all of these provisions, including they want the carried interest provision, which is very important to Wall Street people, but they really want the carried interest provision, which I believe Hillary is leaving. And it’s very interesting why she’s leaving carried interest. But I will tell you that, number one, I pay tremendous numbers of taxes. I absolutely used it, and so did Warren Buffett, and so did George Soros, and so did many of the other people that Hillary is getting money from. Now, I won’t mention their names, because they’re rich but they’re not famous. So we won’t make them famous.
ANDERSON COOPER: Can you—can you say how many years you have avoided paying personal federal income taxes?
DONALD TRUMP: No. But I pay tax, and I pay federal tax, too. But I have a write-off. A lot of it’s depreciation, which is a wonderful charge. I love depreciation. You know, she has given it to us. Hey, if she had a problem—for 30 years she’s been doing this, Anderson. I say it all the time. She talks about healthcare. Why didn’t she do something about it? She talks about taxes. Why didn’t she do something about it? She doesn’t do anything about anything other than talk. With her, it’s all talk and no action.
ANDERSON COOPER: In the past—
DONALD TRUMP: And again, Bernie Sanders, it’s really bad judgment. She has made bad judgment not only on taxes. She’s made bad judgements on Libya, on Syria, on Iraq. I mean, her and Obama, whether you like it or not, the way they got out of Iraq, the vacuum they’ve left, that’s why ISIS formed in the first place. They started from that little area, and now they’re in 32 different nations, Hillary. Congratulations. Great job.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary—I want you to be able to respond, Secretary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, here we go again. I’ve been in favor of getting rid of carried interest for years, starting when I was a senator from New York. But that’s not the point here.
DONALD TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it?
HILLARY CLINTON: You know—
DONALD TRUMP: Why didn’t you do it?
ANDERSON COOPER: Allow her to respond.
HILLARY CLINTON: Because I was a senator with a Republican president.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, really?
HILLARY CLINTON: I will be the president—
DONALD TRUMP: You could have done it. If you were an effective—
HILLARY CLINTON: —who will get it done. That’s exactly right.
DONALD TRUMP: If you were an effective senator, you could have done it. If you were an effective senator, you could have done it. But you were not an effective senator.
ANDERSON COOPER: Please allow her to respond. She didn’t interrupt you.
HILLARY CLINTON: You know, under our Constitution, presidents have something called veto power.
Look, he has now said repeatedly 30 years this and 30 years that. So let me talk about my 30 years in public service. I’m very glad to do so. Eight million kids every year have health insurance because when I was first lady I worked with Democrats and Republicans to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Hundreds of thousands of kids now have a chance to be adopted, because I worked to change our adoption and foster care system. After 9/11, I went to work with Republican mayor, governor and president to rebuild New York and to get healthcare for our first responders, who were suffering because they had run toward danger and gotten sickened by it. Hundreds of thousands of National Guard and reserve members have healthcare because of work that I did. And children have safer medicines because I was able to pass a law that required the dosing to be more carefully done.
When I was secretary of state, I went around the world advocating for our country, but also advocating for women’s rights to make sure that women had a decent chance to have a better life, and negotiated a treaty with Russia to lower nuclear weapons. Four hundred pieces of legislation have my name on it as a sponsor or co-sponsor when I was a senator for eight years. I worked very hard and was very proud to be re-elected in New York by an even bigger margin than I had been elected the first time. And as president, I will take that work, that bipartisan work, that finding common ground.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you.
HILLARY CLINTON: Because you have to be able to get along with people to get things done in Washington.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Secretary.
HILLARY CLINTON: And I’ve proven that I can. And for 30 years, I’ve produced results for people.
MARTHA RADDATZ: We’re going to move on to Syria. Both of you have mentioned that.
DONALD TRUMP: But she said a lot of things that were false. I mean, I think we should—
MARTHA RADDATZ: You’ve—you—
DONALD TRUMP: —be allowed to maybe dispute—
MARTHA RADDATZ: We can—no, Mr. Trump, we’re going to go on. This is about the audience—
DONALD TRUMP: —because she has been a disaster as a senator.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, we’re going to move on. The heartbreaking video of a five-year-old Syrian boy named Omran sitting in an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble after an airstrike in Aleppo focused the world’s attention on the horrors of the war in Syria, with 136 million views on Facebook alone. But there are much worse images coming out of Aleppo every day now, where in the past few weeks alone 400 have been killed, at least 100 of them children. Just days ago, the State Department called for a war crimes investigation of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and its ally, Russia, for their bombardment of Aleppo. So this next question comes from social media, through Facebook. Diane from Pennsylvania asks: “If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? Isn’t it a lot like the Holocaust, when the U.S. waited too long before we helped?” Secretary Clinton, we will begin with your two minutes.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, the situation in Syria is catastrophic, and every day that goes by, we see the results of the regime, by Assad, in partnership with the Iranians on the ground, the Russians in the air, bombarding places, in particular, Aleppo, where there are hundreds of thousands of people, probably about 250,000 still left. And there is a determined effort by the Russian Air Force to destroy Aleppo in order to eliminate the last of the Syrian rebels who are really holding out against the Assad regime. Russia hasn’t paid any attention to ISIS. They’re interested in keeping Assad in power. So I, when I was secretary of state, advocated, and I advocate today, a no-fly zone and safe zones. We need some leverage with the Russians, because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution unless there is some leverage over them. And we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground.
But I want to emphasize that what is at stake here is the ambitions and the aggressiveness of Russia. Russia has decided that it’s all in in Syria, and they’ve also decided who they want to see become president of the United States, too, and it’s not me. I’ve stood up to Russia. I’ve taken on Putin and others. And I would do that as president. I think wherever we can cooperate with Russia, that’s fine, and I did, as secretary of state. That’s how we got a treaty reducing nuclear weapons. It’s how we got the sanctions on Iran that put a lid on the Iranian nuclear program without firing a single shot. So I would go to the negotiating table with more leverage than we have now. But I do support the effort to investigate for crimes, war crimes, committed by the Syrians and the Russians, and try to hold them accountable.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Mr. Trump?
DONALD TRUMP: First of all, she was there, as secretary of state, with the so-called line in the sand, which—
HILLARY CLINTON: No, I wasn’t. I was gone. I hate to interrupt you, but at some point—
DONALD TRUMP: OK. But you were in contact—excuse me. You were—
HILLARY CLINTON: At some point we need to do some fact checking here.
DONALD TRUMP: You were in total contact with the White House, and perhaps, sadly, Obama probably still listened to you. I don’t think he’d be listening to you very much anymore. Obama draws the line in the sand. It was laughed at all over the world, what happened.
Now, with that being said, she talks tough against Russia. But our nuclear program has fallen way behind, and they’ve gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good. Our government shouldn’t have allowed that to happen. Russia is new in terms of nuclear. We are old. We’re tired. We’re exhausted in terms of nuclear. A very bad thing. Now, she talks tough. She talks really tough against—against Putin and against Assad. She talks in favor of the rebels. She doesn’t even know who the rebels are. You know, every time we take rebels, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else, we’re arming people. And you know what happens? They end up being worse than the people. Look at what she did in Libya with Gaddafi. Gaddafi’s out. It’s a mess. And, by the way, ISIS has a good chunk of their oil. I’m sure you probably have heard that. It was a disaster, because the fact is, almost everything she’s done in foreign policy has been a mistake, and it’s been a disaster.
But if you look at Russia, just take a look at Russia, and look at what they did this week, where, I agree, she wasn’t there, but possibly she’s consulted. We sign a peace treaty. Everyone’s all excited. Well, what Russia did with Assad, and, by the way, with Iran, who you made very powerful with the dumbest deal perhaps I’ve ever seen in the history of deal making, the Iran deal, with the $150 billion, with the $1.7 billion in cash, which is enough cash to fill up this room. But look at—look at that deal. Iran now and Russia are now against us. So she wants to fight. She wants to fight for rebels. There’s only one problem: You don’t even know who the rebels are.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump—
DONALD TRUMP: So what’s the purpose?
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, your two minutes is up.
DONALD TRUMP: And one thing I have to say.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Your two minutes is up.
DONALD TRUMP: I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS, Russia is killing ISIS, and Iran is killing ISIS. And those three have now lined up because of our weak foreign policy.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, let me repeat the question. If you were president, what would you do about Syria and the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo? And I want to remind you what your running mate said. He said provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength and that if Russia continues to be involved in airstrikes along with the Syrian government forces of Assad, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military targets of the Assad regime.
DONALD TRUMP: OK. He and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree. I disagree.
MARTHA RADDATZ: You disagree with your running mate.
DONALD TRUMP: I think we have to knock out ISIS. Right now, Syria is fighting ISIS. We have people that want to fight both at the same time. But Syria is no longer Syria. Syria is Russia, and it’s Iran, who she made strong and Kerry and Obama made into a very powerful nation and a very rich nation, very, very quickly, very, very quickly. I believe we have to get ISIS. We have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved. She had a chance to do something with Syria. They had a chance. And that was the line. And she didn’t.
MARTHA RADDATZ: What are do you think will happen if Aleppo falls?
DONALD TRUMP: I think Aleppo is a disaster, humanitarian-wise. It is a—
MARTHA RADDATZ: What do you think will happen if it falls?
DONALD TRUMP: I think that it basically has fallen. OK? It basically has fallen. Let me tell you something. You take a look at Mosul. The biggest problem I have with the stupidity of our foreign policy, we have Mosul. They think a lot of the ISIS leaders are in Mosul. So we have announcements coming out of Washington and coming out of Iraq: “We will be attacking Mosul in three weeks or four weeks.”
Well, all of these bad leaders from ISIS are leaving Mosul. Why can’t they do it quietly? Why can’t they do the attack, make it a sneak attack, and after the attack is made, inform the American public that we’ve knocked out the leaders, we’ve had a tremendous success? People leave. Why do they have to say we’re going to be attacking Mosul within the next four to six weeks, which is what they’re saying? How stupid is our country?
MARTHA RADDATZ: There are sometimes reasons the military does that. Psychological warfare.
DONALD TRUMP: I can’t think of any. I can’t think of any. And I’m pretty good at it.
MARTHA RADDATZ: It might be to help get civilians out.
DONALD TRUMP: And we have General Flynn. And we have—look, I have 200 generals and admirals who endorsed me. I have 21 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients who endorsed me. We talk about it all the time. They understand. Why can’t they do something secretively, where they go in and they knock out the leadership? How—why would these people stay there? I’ve been reading now—
MARTHA RADDATZ: Tell me what your strategy is.
DONALD TRUMP: —for weeks. Martha, I’ve been reading now for weeks about Mosul, that it’s the harbor of where—you know, between Raqqa and Mosul, this is where they think the ISIS leaders are. Why would they be saying—they’re not staying there anymore. They’re gone, because everybody’s talking about how Iraq, which is us, with our leadership, goes in to fight Mosul.
Now, with these 200 admirals and generals, they can’t believe it. All I say is this. General George Patton, General Douglas MacArthur are spinning in their grave at the stupidity of what we’re doing in the Middle East.
MARTHA RADDATZ: I’m going to go to Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton, you want Assad to go. You advocated arming rebels, but it looks like that may be too late for Aleppo. You talk about diplomatic efforts. Those have failed. Ceasefires have failed. Would you introduce the threat of U.S. military force, beyond a no-fly zone, against the Assad regime to back up diplomacy?
HILLARY CLINTON: I would not use American ground forces in Syria. I think that would be a very serious mistake. I don’t think American troops should be holding territory, which is what they would have to do as an occupying force. I don’t think that is a smart strategy.
I do think the use of special forces, which we’re using, the use of enablers and trainers in Iraq, which has had some positive effects, are very much in our interests, and so I do support what is happening. But let me just—
MARTHA RADDATZ: So what would you do differently than President Obama is doing?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Martha, I hope that by the time I—if I’m fortunate—
DONALD TRUMP: Everything.
HILLARY CLINTON: I hope by the time I am president, that we will have pushed ISIS out of Iraq. I do think that there is a good chance that we can take Mosul. And, you know, Donald says he knows more about ISIS than the generals. No, he doesn’t.
There are a lot of very important planning going on, and some of it is to signal to the Sunnis in the area, as well as Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, that we all need to be in this. And that takes a lot of planning and preparation.
I would go after Baghdadi. I would specifically target Baghdadi, because I think our targeting of al-Qaeda leaders—and I was involved in a lot of those operations, highly classified ones—made a difference. So I think that could help.
I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq. And I know there’s a lot of concern about that in some circles, but I think they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way that we take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you very much. We’re going to move on.
DONALD TRUMP: You know that’s funny. She went over a minute over, and you don’t stop her. When I go one second over, it’s like a big deal.
MARTHA RADDATZ: You had many answers.
DONALD TRUMP: It’s really—it’s really very interesting.
ANDERSON COOPER: We’ve got a question over here from James Carter. Mr. Carter?
JAMES CARTER: My question is: Do you believe you can be a devoted president to all the people in the United States?
ANDERSON COOPER: That question begins for Mr. Trump.
DONALD TRUMP: Absolutely. I mean, she calls our people deplorable, a large group, and irredeemable. I will be a president for all of our people. And I’ll be a president that will turn our inner cities around and will give strength to people and will give economics to people and will bring jobs back, because NAFTA, signed by her husband, is perhaps the greatest disaster trade deal in the history of the world, not in this country. It stripped us of manufacturing jobs. We lost our jobs. We lost our money. We lost our plants. It is a disaster.
And now she wants to sign TPP, even though she says now she’s for it. She called it the gold standard. And by the way, at the last debate, she lied, because it turned out that she did say the gold standard, and she said she didn’t say it. They actually said that she lied. OK? And she lied. But she’s lied about a lot of things.
I would be a president for all of the people, African Americans, the inner cities. Devastating what’s happening to our inner cities. She’s been talking about it for years. As usual, she talks about it, nothing happens. She doesn’t get it done. Same with the Latino Americans, the Hispanic Americans. The same exact thing. They talk, they don’t get it done. You go into the inner cities, and you see. It’s 45 percent poverty. African Americans, now 45 percent poverty in the inner cities. The education is a disaster. Jobs are essentially nonexistent.
I mean, it’s—you know, and I’ve been saying at big speeches where I have 20,000 and 30,000 people: What do you have to lose? It can’t get any worse. And she’s been talking about the inner cities for 25 years. Nothing’s going to ever happen. Let me tell you, if she’s president of the United States, nothing’s going to happen. It’s just going to be talk. And all of her friends, the taxes we were talking about, and I would just get it by osmosis. She’s not doing any me favors. But by doing all the others favors, she’s doing me favors.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, thank you.
DONALD TRUMP: But—but I will tell you, she’s all talk. It doesn’t get done. All you have to do is take a look at her Senate run. Take a look at upstate New York.
ANDERSON COOPER: Your two minutes is up. Secretary Clinton, two minutes?
DONALD TRUMP: It turned out to be a disaster.
ANDERSON COOPER: You have two minutes, Secretary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, 67 percent of the people voted to re-elect me when I ran for my second term, and I was very proud and very humbled by that.
Mr. Carter, I have tried my entire life to do what I can to support children and families. You know, right out of law school, I went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund. And Donald talks a lot about, you know, the 30 years I’ve been in public service. I’m proud of that. You know, I started off as a young lawyer working against discrimination against African-American children in schools and in the criminal justice system. I worked to make sure that kids with disabilities could get a public education, something that I care very much about. I have worked with Latinos—one of my first jobs in politics was down in South Texas registering Latino citizens to be able to vote. So I have a deep devotion, to use your absolutely correct word, to making sure that every American feels like he or she has a place in our country.
And I think when you look at the letters that I get, a lot of people are worried that maybe they wouldn’t have a place in Donald Trump’s America. They write me, and one woman wrote me about her son, Felix. She adopted him from Ethiopia when he was a toddler. He’s 10 years old now. This is the only one country he’s ever known. And he listens to Donald on TV, and he said to his mother one day, “Will he send me back to Ethiopia if he gets elected?” You know, children listen to what is being said—to go back to the very, very first question. And there’s a lot of fear. In fact, teachers and parents are calling it the Trump effect. Bullying is up. A lot of people are feeling, you know, uneasy. A lot of kids are expressing their concerns. So, first and foremost, I will do everything I can to reach out to everybody—
ANDERSON COOPER: Your time, Secretary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: —Democrats, Republicans, independents, people across our country. If you don’t vote for me, I still want to be your president.
ANDERSON COOPER: Your two minutes is up.
HILLARY CLINTON: I want to be the best president I can be for every American.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, your two minutes is up. I want to follow up on something that Donald Trump actually said to you, a comment you made last month. You said that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are, quote, “deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.” You later said you regretted saying “half.” You didn’t express regret for using the term “deplorables.” To Mr. Carter’s question, how can you unite a country if you’ve written off tens of millions of Americans?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, within hours, I said that I was sorry about the way I talked about that, because my argument is not with his supporters. It’s with him and with the hateful and divisive campaign that he has run and the inciting of violence at his rallies and the very brutal kinds of comments about not just women, but all Americans, all kinds of Americans.
And what he has said about African Americans and Latinos, about Muslims, about POWs, about immigrants, about people with disabilities, he’s never apologized for. And so, I do think that a lot of the tone and tenor that he has said—I’m proud of the campaign that Bernie Sanders and I ran. We ran a campaign based on issues, not insults. And he is supporting me 100 percent—
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you.
HILLARY CLINTON: —because we talked about what we wanted to do. We might have had some differences, and we had a lot of debates.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Secretary.
HILLARY CLINTON: But we believed that we could make the country better. And I was proud of that.
ANDERSON COOPER: I want to give you a minute to respond.
DONALD TRUMP: We have a divided nation. We have a very divided nation. You look at Charlotte. You look at Baltimore. You look at the violence that’s taking place in the inner cities, Chicago. You take a look at Washington, D.C.
We have a increase in murder within our cities, the biggest in 45 years. We have a divided nation, because people like her. And believe me, she has tremendous hate in her heart. And when she said “deplorables,” she meant it. And when she said “irredeemable,” “they’re irredeemable”—you didn’t mention that, but when she said they’re irredeemable, to me that might have been even worse.
ANDERSON COOPER: She said some of them are irredeemable.
DONALD TRUMP: She’s got tremendous—she’s got tremendous hatred. And this country cannot take another four years of Barack Obama, and that’s what you’re getting with her.
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, let me follow up with you. In 2008, you wrote in one of your books that the most important characteristic of a good leader is discipline. You said if a leader doesn’t have it, quote, “he or she won’t be one for very long.” In the days after the first debate, you sent out a series of tweets from 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., including one that told people to check out a sex tape. Is that the discipline of a good leader?
DONALD TRUMP: No, there wasn’t “check out a sex tape.” It was just take a look at the person that she built up to be this wonderful girl scout, who was no girl scout.
ANDERSON COOPER: You mentioned “sex tape.”
DONALD TRUMP: By the way, just so you understand: When she said 3:00 in the morning, take a look at Benghazi. She said, “Who’s going to answer the call at 3:00 in the morning?” Guess what. She didn’t answer, because when Ambassador Stevens—
ANDERSON COOPER: The question is: Is that the discipline of a good leader?
DONALD TRUMP: —six hundred—wait a minute, Anderson. Six hundred times—well, she said she was awake at 3:00 in the morning. And she also sent a tweet out at 3:00 in the morning, but I won’t even mention that. But she said she’ll be awake. Who’s—the famous thing: “We’re going to answer our call at 3:00 in the morning.” Guess what happened. Ambassador Stevens—Ambassador Stevens sent 600 requests for help, and the only one she talked to was Sidney Blumenthal, who’s her friend—and not a good guy, by the way. So, you know, she shouldn’t be talking about that.
Now, tweeting happens to be a modern-day form of communication. I mean, you could like it or not like it. I have—between Facebook and Twitter, I have almost 25 million people. It’s a very effective way of communication. So you can put it down, but it is a very effective form of communication. I’m not unproud of it, to be honest with you.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, does Mr. Trump have the discipline to be a good leader?
HILLARY CLINTON: No.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, I’m shocked to hear that.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, it’s not only my opinion, it’s the opinion of many others—national security experts, Republicans, former Republican members of Congress. But it’s in part because those of us who have had the great privilege of seeing this job up close and know how difficult it is—and it’s not just because I watched my husband take a $300 billion deficit and turn it into a $200 billion surplus, and 23 million new jobs were created, and incomes went up for everybody. Everybody. African-American incomes went up 33 percent. And it’s not just because worked with George W. Bush after 9/11, and I was very proud that when I told him what the city needed, what we needed to recover, he said, “You’ve got it,” and he never wavered. He stuck with me. And I have worked, and I admire President Obama. He inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That was a terrible time for our country.
ANDERSON COOPER: We have to move along.
HILLARY CLINTON: Nine million people lost their jobs. Five million homes were lost.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton, we have to—Secretary Clinton, we’re moving on.
HILLARY CLINTON: And $13 trillion in family wealth was wiped out. We are back on the right track. He would send us back into a recession with his tax plans—
MARTHA RADDATZ: Secretary Clinton—
HILLARY CLINTON: —that would benefit the wealthiest of Americans.
MARTHA RADDATZ: —we are moving to an audience question. We’re almost out of time. We have another—
DONALD TRUMP: We have the slowest growth—
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, we’re moving to an audience question.
DONALD TRUMP: —since 1929. It is—our country has the slowest growth, and jobs are a disaster.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton, we want to get to the audience. Thank you very much, both of you. We have another audience question. Beth Miller has a question for both candidates.
BETH MILLER: Good evening. Perhaps the most important aspect of this election is the Supreme Court justice. What would you prioritize as the most important aspect of selecting a Supreme Court justice?
MARTHA RADDATZ: We begin with your two minutes, Secretary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: Thank you. Well, you’re right. This is one of the most important issues in this election. I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience, who have not just been in a big law firm and maybe clerked for a judge and then gotten on the bench, but, you know, maybe they tried some more cases, they actually understand what people are up against, because I think the current court has gone in the wrong direction. And so I would want to see the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United and get dark unaccountable money out of our politics. Donald doesn’t agree with that. I would like the Supreme Court to understand that voting rights are still a big problem in many parts of our country, that we don’t always do everything we can to make it possible for people of color and older people and young people to be able to exercise their franchise. I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose, and I want a Supreme Court that will stick with marriage equality.
Now, Donald has put forth the names of some people that he would consider. And among the ones that he has suggested are people who would reverse Roe v. Wade and reverse marriage equality. I think that would would be a terrible mistake and would take us backwards. I want a Supreme Court that doesn’t always side with corporate interests. I want a Supreme Court that understands because you’re wealthy and you can give more money to something doesn’t mean you have any more rights or should have any more rights than anybody else. So I have very clear views about what I want to see to tend to change the balance on the Supreme Court. And I regret deeply that the Senate has not done its job, and they have not permitted a vote on the person that President Obama, a highly qualified person—they have not given him a vote to be able to have the full complement of nine Supreme Court justices. I think that was a dereliction of duty. I hope that they will see their way to doing it, but if I am so fortunate enough as to be president, I will immediately move to make sure that we fill that, we have nine justices—
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON: —and they get to work on behalf of our people.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you. You’re out of time. Mr. Trump?
DONALD TRUMP: Justice Scalia, great judge, died recently, and we have a vacancy. I am looking to appoint judges very much in the mold of Justice Scalia. I’m looking for judges, and I’ve actually picked 20 of them, so that people would say highly respected, highly thought of and actually very beautifully reviewed by just about everybody, but people that will respect the Constitution of the United States. And I think that this is so important. Also, the Second Amendment which is totally under siege by people like Hillary Clinton—they’ll respect the Second Amendment and what it stands for, what it represents. So important to me.
Now, Hillary mentioned something about contributions, just so you understand. So I will have in my race more than $100 million put in, of my money, meaning I’m not taking all of this big money from all of these different corporations like she’s doing. What I ask is this. So, I’m putting in more than—by the time it’s finished, I’ll have more than $100 million invested, pretty much self-funding mine. We’re raising money for the Republican Party, and we’re doing tremendously on the small donations, $61 average or so.
I ask Hillary, why doesn’t—she made $250 million by being in office. She used the power of her office to make a lot of money. Why isn’t she funding—not for $100 million, but why don’t you put $10 million or $20 million or $25 million or $30 million into your own campaign? It’s $30 million less for special interests that will tell you exactly what to do. And it would really, I think, be a nice sign to the American public. Why aren’t you putting some money in? You have a lot of it. You’ve made a lot of it because of the fact that you’ve been in office. You made a lot of it while you were secretary of state, actually. So why aren’t you putting money into your own campaign? I’m just curious.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, the question was about—
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thank you very much. Thank you. We’re going to get on to one more question.
HILLARY CLINTON: But the question was about the Supreme Court. And I just want to quickly say—
MARTHA RADDATZ: Very quickly.
HILLARY CLINTON: I respect the Second Amendment. But I believe there should be comprehensive background checks, and we should close the gun show loophole and close the online loophole.
ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you.
MARTHA RADDATZ: We have—we have one more question.
HILLARY CLINTON: We should try to save as many lives as we possibly can.
ANDERSON COOPER: We have one more question from Ken Bone about energy policy. Ken?
KEN BONE: What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?
ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Trump, two minutes.
DONALD TRUMP: Absolutely. I think it’s such a great question, because energy is under siege by the Obama administration, under absolute siege. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is killing these energy companies. And foreign companies are now coming in buying our—buying so many of our different plants and then rejiggering the plant so that they can take care of their oil. We are killing, absolutely killing, our energy business in this country.
Now, I’m all for alternative forms of energy, including wind, including solar, etc. But we need much more than wind and solar. And you look at our miners. Hillary Clinton wants to put all the miners out of business. There is a thing called clean coal. Coal will last for a thousand years in this country. Now we have natural gas and so many other things because of technology. We have unbelievable—we have found—over the last seven years, we have found tremendous wealth right under our feet. So good, especially when you have $20 trillion in debt.
I will bring our energy companies back. They’ll be able to compete. They’ll make money. They’ll pay off our national debt. They’ll pay off our tremendous budget deficits, which are tremendous. But we are putting our energy companies out of business. We have to bring back our workers.
You take a look at what’s happening to steel and the cost of steel and China dumping vast amounts of steel all over the United States, which essentially is killing our steelworkers and our steel companies. We have to guard our energy companies. We have to make it possible.
The EPA is so restrictive that they are putting our energy companies out of business. And all you have to do is go to a great place like West Virginia or places like Ohio, which is phenomenal, or places like Pennsylvania, and you see what they’re doing to the people, the miners and others in the energy business. It’s a disgrace.
ANDERSON COOPER: Your time is up. Thank you, sir.
DONALD TRUMP: It’s an absolute disgrace.
MARTHA RADDATZ: And actually—
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton, two minutes.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, that was very interesting. First of all, China is illegally dumping steel in the United States, and Donald Trump is buying it to build his buildings, putting steelworkers and American steel plants out of business. That’s something that I fought against as a senator and that I would have a trade prosecutor to make sure that we don’t get taken advantage of by China on steel or anything else.
You know, because it sounds like you’re in the business or you’re aware of people in the business—you know that we are now for the first time ever energy-independent. We are not dependent upon the Middle East. But the Middle East still controls a lot of the prices. So the price of oil has been way down. And that has had a damaging effect on a lot of the oil companies, right? We are, however, producing a lot of natural gas, which serves as a bridge to more renewable fuels. And I think that’s an important transition.
We’ve got to remain energy-independent. It gives us much more power and freedom than to be worried about what goes on in the Middle East. We have enough worries over there without having to worry about that.
So I have a comprehensive energy policy, but it really does include fighting climate change, because I think that is a serious problem. And I support moving toward more clean, renewable energy as quickly as we can, because I think we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses.
But I also want to be sure that we don’t leave people behind. That’s why I’m the only candidate, from the very beginning of this campaign, who had a plan to help us revitalize coal country, because those coal miners and their fathers and their grandfathers, they dug that coal out. A lot of them lost their lives. They were injured. But they turned the lights on, and they powered our factories. I don’t want to walk away from them. So we’ve got to do something for them.
ANDERSON COOPER: Secretary Clinton—
HILLARY CLINTON: But the price of coal is down worldwide. So we have to look at this comprehensively.
ANDERSON COOPER: Your time is up.
HILLARY CLINTON: And that’s exactly what I have proposed. I hope you will go to HillaryClinton.com—
ANDERSON COOPER: Time is up. We have time for one more—
HILLARY CLINTON: —and look at my entire policy.
MARTHA RADDATZ: We have—we have—
ANDERSON COOPER: One more audience question.
MARTHA RADDATZ: We’ve sneaked in one more question, and it comes from Karl Becker.
KARL BECKER: Good evening. My question to both of you is: Regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump, would you like to go first?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I certainly will, because I think that’s a very fair and important question. Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald. I don’t agree with nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that. And I think that is something that, as a mother and a grandmother, is very important to me.
So, I believe that this election has become, in part, so—so conflict-oriented, so intense, because there’s a lot at stake. This is not an ordinary time, and this is not an ordinary election. We are going to be choosing a president who will set policy for not just four or eight years, but because of some of the important decisions we have to make here at home and around the world, from the Supreme Court to energy and so much else, and so there is a lot at stake. It’s one of the most consequential elections that we’ve had.
And that’s why I’ve tried to put forth specific policies and plans, trying to get it off of the personal and put it on to what it is I want to do as president. And that’s why I hope people will check on that for themselves, so that they can see that, yes, I’ve spent 30 years, actually maybe a little more, working to help kids and families. And I want to take all that experience to the White House and do that every single day.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Mr. Trump?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I consider her statement about my children to be a very nice compliment. I don’t know if it was meant to be a compliment, but it is a great—I’m very proud of my children. And they’ve done a wonderful job, and they’ve been wonderful, wonderful kids. So, I consider that a compliment.
I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter. I disagree with much of what she’s fighting for. I do disagree with her judgment in many cases. But she does fight hard, and she doesn’t quit, and she doesn’t give up. And I consider that to be a very good trait.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Thanks to both of you.
ANDERSON COOPER: We want to thank both the candidates. We want to thank the university here. This concludes the town hall meeting. Our thanks to the candidates, the commission, Washington University, and to everybody who watched.
MARTHA RADDATZ: Please tune in on October 19th for the final presidential debate, that will take place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Good night, everyone.
AMY GOODMAN: And that does it for the second Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton presidential debate. It took place at Washington University in St. Louis. The debate moderators were Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC. Trump and Clinton will debate again, as they said, on October 19th in Las Vegas.
This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. Yes, our special on “War, Peace and the Presidency.” This is our “Expanding the Debate” special. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: In a moment, we’ll be joined by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein for her response to the debate. But first we continue our roundtable discussion with Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, author of several books. His most recent is titled Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.
So, Rashid Khalidi, your response to the debate, the comments that were made, in particular about Syria, Hillary Clinton saying that the U.S. should target Baghdadi as they did Osama bin Laden, the comments that Trump made about Syrian refugees coming into the U.S., claiming that hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees had come in, a number that was a gross exaggeration, and also the conspicuous absence of any mention of Afghanistan?
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: October 7th marks—
RASHID KHALIDI: Or Palestine.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Or Palestine, yeah, or Palestine. So, if you could—and just to say about Afghanistan, 15 years since the U.S. invasion, October 7th, two days ago.
RASHID KHALIDI: Afghanistan is our longest-running war, and neither of them saw fit to mention it. And the country’s in, probably, perhaps, a worse state than it was when the United States invaded back in 2001. No mention of that in the debate. What we had was a performance, something that had nothing to do with policy for most of its duration. It seemed like a playground mud fight for much of it. So a lot of things were just not talked about. And when they did talk about things, a serious fact checker would have had to be interrupting every—every seven seconds. The number of things that were said that are completely false are almost—it’s impossible to count them, particularly Trump, but also Secretary Clinton.
What they said about Syria specifically, starting with refugees—the United States is a party to this war, which has produced millions of refugees. And we’ve taken a few tens of thousands. Trump is using Syrian refugees as a flag to scare people into voting for him, the idea that terrorists are entering the country. More people are killed by falling out of bed than have been killed by jihadi terrorists. Yes. I have a little poster on my door. More people have been killed by toddlers with guns than jihadi terrorists in the United States annually. The actual death toll from terrorist incidents of any sort in the United States is a tiny fraction of the number of people who are accidentally killed by guns. So, he is using this as a—as a red flag to terrify certain voters. And it’s working. He has a hard base of support, people who have all kinds of motivations for feeling the way they do.
I think that the—I think that the whole issue of Syria is a scandal we have helped to contribute—we’ve contributed—the United States has contributed to creating this mess. And it’s an obligation of a lot of countries to do more than they’re doing, among them the United States. There are a million refugees in Lebanon. There are more than a million in Jordan. There are several million in Turkey. These are the countries that are bearing the brunt. And we’re talking about 5,000 or 6,000 or 10,000 refugees coming to this country. It’s actually quite disgraceful. A country of 300 million people can’t take 10,000 refugees, from a war that six of our clients and allies are deeply engaged in and have been for five years.
AMY GOODMAN: And then, also, the whole issue of the Muslim ban that was put to Donald Trump—
RASHID KHALIDI: Precisely.
AMY GOODMAN: —from the total Muslim ban to, as he put it, extreme vetting.
RASHID KHALIDI: I would love to see somebody talk about the Constitution every time he opens his mouth. I mean, again and again, he’s saying things that are a complete violation of constitutional principles. It’s not like they’re not violated all the time—in the inner city, vis-à-vis treaties with Native Americans. But this is the kind of thing where he should be clobbered over the head with it. It was—it was a very depressing evening in that regard.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what about when he was asked by the Muslim woman, who raised the question, saying that there are 3.3 million Muslims in the U.S.—
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: —and asking him about his Islamophobic stance on Muslims coming in? He said that Muslims ought to—like he kind of said, “Well, obviously, what else can we say? It’s true that there are Muslims here, and Muslims need to take on the responsibility of reporting suspicious activity.” And he cited the San Bernardino killing in—
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: —in December. So, your response to that, and the fact that it doesn’t seem to elicit that much condemnation—
RASHID KHALIDI: None whatever. In fact—
NERMEEN SHAIKH: —from the audience, yeah?
RASHID KHALIDI: In fact, Secretary Clinton then, more or less, said the same thing: Muslims should basically be the eyes and the ears of law enforcement in making sure these dangerous terrorists are hunted down. It was actually a despicable performance by both of them on this, on this count. I mean, somebody should be saying X number of thousands of Muslims have served in the armed forces, X number of thousands of Muslims have done all kinds of wonderful things in this country. This suspicion of all Muslims, which is being cultivated by an extreme right-wing, xenophobic, anti-Muslim lobby, is heinous and hateful. I mean, that’s what—that’s what should be said.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And The Washington Post, in fact, which was fact-checking as the debate was going on, they said, when Trump made that claim, that the FBI itself says that there have been reports that Muslims routinely report so-called suspicious activities within their communities.
RASHID KHALIDI: But, of course, how can people be expected to cooperate with law enforcement, when they see law enforcement spying on them, when they see law enforcement engaged in entrapment in their communities and when they see the kind of rhetoric from many politicians—not just Trump, dozens, scores, hundreds of politicians—which is hateful and anti-Muslim? I mean, how are—how are people to cooperate and be encouraged to do these things that they’re asking in those circumstances?
AMY GOODMAN: When Hillary Clinton made a list of people he has not apologized to, among them was Khizr Khan, who famously—
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: —held up the Constitution at the Democratic convention—
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: —standing next to his wife as they talked about their son, who was killed in Iraq. He didn’t mention Khizr Khan, but he said that Army Captain Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq—
RASHID KHALIDI: Their son.
AMY GOODMAN: Their son—was an American hero and wouldn’t be dead if he had been president, because he wouldn’t have sent him into Iraq.
RASHID KHALIDI: Trump supported the war. He lied on this, as he lied on several dozen other things. I was not able to fact-check everything. Almost everything he said, that I knew anything about, wasn’t true. And that’s one of the many things he said that wasn’t true. He was in favor of the war. He told Howard Stern, an obscene talk show host. I mean, why would we—why should we be talking about these things? He talked to another clown entertainer—
AMY GOODMAN: Well—
RASHID KHALIDI: —very openly about his support for the war.
AMY GOODMAN: Secretary Clinton, in saying what she thought should happen—arm the Kurds, go after Baghdadi—what were your thoughts?
RASHID KHALIDI: The United States has been arming the Kurds for a very, very long time. So, to say we should arm the Kurds is to basically insult the audience and say, “You are all morons. You don’t know, but this administration has been doing that for many, many years. Go after Baghdadi? They’re trying to kill Baghdadi. He’s not in Mosul, by the way. He’s probably in Syria.
AMY GOODMAN: And overall, what to do in Syria, what she said should be done?
RASHID KHALIDI: She had nothing to say about Syria, partly because of this Russia thing. She is caught between the two horns of our policy, one of which is confrontation with Russia and dragging the United States into a war, and one of which is to try and do a deal with the Russians. Ironically, on this issue, Trump actually makes more sense than she does.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: In what sense?
RASHID KHALIDI: Well, he says we have to do a deal with the Russians in Syria. He says the Russians are after ISIS. Actually, the Russians are not after ISIS. All the Russians care about is keeping that regime in place and keeping their position in Syria. But to say—to say we should do a deal with the Russians is, in fact, what the Obama administration was trying to do. Now, it didn’t work out. It might not work out. But the idea of confronting the Russians in Syria, probably not a good idea. And she—
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And what about her—
RASHID KHALIDI: She, in fact, said that.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, she said that she wants to create—I don’t even—I mean, if this is possible, to create a no-fly zone and safe zones in Syria, but without sending in any U.S. troops.
RASHID KHALIDI: A no-fly zone means American planes going up against Russian planes, because the Russians are bombing right up—I mean, this is a tiny country. And the area between Aleppo, say, and the border is seven seconds, 10 seconds in the air. A no-fly zone in that border area means a confrontation with the Russian Air Force. Is that what she wants? Well, I think there are some people who do want that. I’m not sure that’s a very good idea.
AMY GOODMAN: How do you believe the U.S. should be dealing with Russia and dealing with Syria? Is that the answer, the route, the avenue to take?
RASHID KHALIDI: I think—I think we have to take two steps back and look at our whole relationship with Russia since the end of the Cold War. Why did we build NATO right up into their nostrils? Why was that necessary? Why was—after the fall of communism, after the end of this ideology that was a global ideology, after the collapse of Russia as a state for many, many years, was it absolutely necessary to build a military alliance system in a half-dozen countries, in violation of a pledge that the Russians understood President George H.W. Bush and Secretary Baker had made not to do that? That’s where you start turning the Russians suspicious, aggressive and dangerous.
I think you have to go back and rewind that whole tape and think about why is all of this necessary. There are clearly people who could not let go of the Cold War. There are clearly major corporations that really would be severely harmed if we weren’t spending the gazillions of dollars that we are on weaponry that we’ll never use. And I’m afraid that that’s where you have to start. And then you talk about the Ukraine, and then you talk about Syria. The details are important, but I think that larger framework has to be discussed. And nobody’s discussing it. I mean, that’s the kind of thing that somebody should have been talking about: What should be our relationship with Russia? In what ways could we deal with them and what ways can we not deal with them? Nobody’s talking about that kind of serious larger question.
AMY GOODMAN: So the moderators asked Donald Trump about his running mate, Mike Pence, declaring his support for immediately establishing a safe zone for civilians fleeing violence. This is one of the issues that The Intercept raised.
RASHID KHALIDI: And Pence also said, “And if we need to, we should go up against the Russian Air Force.” The moderator actually quoted Pence as saying that, in addition to what you just said.
AMY GOODMAN: And Donald Trump declared his opposition to such a move, saying that the focus should be on ISIS, not on Assad. When asked about the discrepancy by Raddatz, Trump simply replied, “He and I haven’t spoken. And I disagree.”
RASHID KHALIDI: I mean, twice a day, a stopped clock is right. On this, by chance, Trump was right, and Pence is wrong. I don’t think we want a war with Russia. Some people do. I don’t think we should want a war with Russia.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, do you think—you mentioned earlier, in addition to Afghanistan, let’s talk about what wasn’t. You know, what are the issues that the U.S. is confronting globally that were not raised in this debate. Afghanistan is one, and Israel-Palestine. Are there others? And what do you think? Why do you think Israel-Palestine was not mentioned in this debate?
RASHID KHALIDI: Let’s start with that. It wasn’t mentioned in this debate because I don’t think the two candidates differ that much. They’re both committed to absolute support for whatever Israeli governments want. We’ve just given this enormous new aid commitment over multiple years of $3.8 billion a year, jacking our—the numbers up from $3.1 billion by $700 million annually. And I think the two candidates are completely—are completely committed to essentially a Israel-first policy.
The interesting thing is that Secretary Clinton has a party in which the base is moving in a very different direction. The people who make up the base of the Democratic Party were much better represented on this issue, I think, by Bernie—Senator Sanders. The positions that Senator Sanders took on Palestine were remarkably refreshing and caused very little backlash. Why? Because the party base is—resonates with many of those ideas, many of those ideas you never hear in mainstream political discourse and you never hear in the mainstream media.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, Bernie Sanders is going around the country for Hillary Clinton, whether he agrees with her or not.
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: Has he raised this issue, that you know of, so far?
RASHID KHALIDI: Not that I have heard. Not that I’ve heard, no.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: But why would the Democratic Party be resistant to altering its position on Israel if so many people are—
RASHID KHALIDI: Well, why should we be surprised that these politicians pay more attention to the people who fund the party than the people whom they fool every four years into voting for the party? I’m not surprised. I’m sure you’re not. We have people like Haim Saban making humongous donations to Hillary. We have other billionaires making humongous donations to Trump and to other Republican and Democratic politicians. The base of the Republican Party is very hard-right and very pro-Israel. So, there’s no difference between base and donors. In the Democratic case, it’s quite different. Younger people, younger people in the Jewish community and younger people in Latino and African-American and college communities, have very, very, very critical ideas about many issues on which there’s lockstep unanimity on Capitol Hill. And those are the people who are going to be the future of the Democratic Party. And Bernie Sanders, on that issue and on several others, actually represented them. And I don’t think Secretary Clinton does. Certainly, Donald Trump doesn’t.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And other issues that you think should have been raised?
RASHID KHALIDI: China. I mean, we had Secretary Clinton saying nasty things about China, and we had Donald Trump saying nasty things about China. I think more can be said about China than they’re dumping steel and they’re trying to shaft us economically. It’s an important and growing power. India. I mean, lots of important changes are taking place in the world, and it’s time for people to be saying something other than “I’m going to make America great” or “I’m going to do exactly what we’ve been doing for the last I don’t know how many years.” The United States has had all kinds of opportunities in the wake of the Cold War, and we’ve basically blown them. We have not created a world in which there’s less conflict. In fact, we’ve gone to war all over the Middle East since the end of the Cold War, starting in 1991, the year in which the Soviet Union disappeared. So, I think enormous opportunities were missed. And I think both of these candidates are going to miss opportunities, whichever one is elected, as far as all of these global issues are concerned.
AMY GOODMAN: But there may be a major difference between when President Obama was elected and if, for example, Hillary Clinton were elected. And that is, people backed off when President Obama was elected.
RASHID KHALIDI: Yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: All these movements coming together, he made many promises. And maybe they didn’t want to contribute to the right-wing backlash—
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: —racist backlash against him, like the birther movement—
RASHID KHALIDI: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: —that Donald Trump led. But no one has any illusions about Hillary Clinton, and so people won’t back off, even if she were elected.
RASHID KHALIDI: Let’s see how willing people are to hold her feet to the fire if she’s elected. I mean, I think you put your finger on something that might be very important. A Democrat—especially if there’s a landslide. I mean, I actually think Trump made up the collapse that he was facing this past week by his performance in this debate. So we’ll see. It may not be a landslide. But assuming she wins, let’s see if people are willing to and able to hold her feet to the fire on some of these issues that she’s really no better than Trump on, or, in some cases, even worse.
AMY GOODMAN: Rashid Khalidi, thanks so much for being with us, Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, author of a number of books, his most recent, Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East, as we turn now to Los Angeles to Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia. Your response to the debate?
KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW: Well, you know, as I thought earlier, there’s really no script for this, so I think we saw unfolding much of what we thought might happen. We saw, I think, a wounded candidate coming out in every way that we thought he might, attacking, both verbally and—in some ways, it just—his movement was actually quite troubling throughout the debate. Most importantly, we saw deflection, from the very first moment, when the question was asked: Are you modeling the kind of behavior that you should emulate? He could not answer that question without deflecting. How we get from the tape and locker room banter to ISIS is exactly the formula for deflection.
I thought that Hillary Clinton did exactly what we thought she might do, try to moderate between direct engagement with him and, at the same time, trying to rise above. And so, as far as her ability to get out the main points of her agenda, she was able to do that. But I have to say I was a little surprised. I think that she missed a few opportunities, especially on the question of the tape, especially on the question of the deflection and the blaming, especially because this week we had evidence of the fact that Trump was not at all prepared to acknowledge the missteps of the criminal justice system, continued to blame the Central Park jogger five individuals who were falsely accused. It would have been a great opportunity for her to pivot and actually say something concrete, especially to African Americans, in this season where criminal injustice, where police accountability is everything that people are talking about. Trump makes the claim that police officers are killed every week. That’s just patently not true. Civilians are killed every week.
So, there were these opportunities where you really wanted her to press, not just to say he says bad things about people, but this is what those bad things actually engenders in terms of public policy. And for that, I felt that she shied away from it. That might be, in fact, what we’re looking at with the new party, now that it’s a party that has to open up and make itself far more home—of a home for some of the refugees from the Republican Party. So that’s, I think, going to be the new battle, even if she does win.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Kimberlé Crenshaw, you talked about missed opportunities, that Clinton could have said things that she failed to say. What did you want her to say on the question of police violence, the numbers killed in the last couple of years, of African-American men killed by the police? What kinds of comments do you think she should have made, substantively?
KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW: Well, I think she should have acknowledged, first of all, that it’s simply not true that this is a war on police. And I think the idea that was left in many minds when Trump made the argument that police officers are killed, you know, every week, there were just two, well, there were a number of people who were killed within the last couple weeks, several just out here in Los Angeles. So she should have at least said, “Well, let’s be clear about the situation.” I think also it would have been helpful, especially since she is talking about women’s issues, to include women in the conversation about police killings. There have been number—a number of black women who have also been killed. Say Her Name has been lifting up this issue. The Clinton campaign has yet to pick that up.
So, I think she needed to actually create some depth in the conversation about criminal injustice, including police to wrongful convictions. It could have been amazing for her to say, “We live in a country with a flawed criminal justice system. We live in a country in which we cannot rely on the typical protections that we believe. I want to acknowledge the fact that this happens. I want to roll up my sleeves and really take seriously what kind of federal oversight is important and necessary to create streets that are safe for police officers as well as civilians. And importantly, I want to appoint Supreme Court justices that recognize the civil and constitutional rights of individuals.”
That might have actually been an opportunity for her to turn on this idea that Trump has somehow transformed himself. He’s saying the same things that he said 20 years ago, and that, in turn, is the same thing that has been said for generations to justify many of the unfair practices against African Americans.
AMY GOODMAN: Professor Crenshaw, let’s go to a clip from tonight’s debate. This is Donald Trump’s response after being asked about this shocking, vulgar 2005 video of him bragging about sexually assaulting women.
DONALD TRUMP: That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.
If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was—what he’s done to women, there’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women.
AMY GOODMAN: Your response, Kimberlé Crenshaw?
KIMBERLÉ CRENSHAW: Classic deflection, number one. But secondly, a failure to acknowledge that this so-called locker room banter that he engaged in was actually banter that suggested that he was a serial predator. The things that he’s talking about are actually offenses. They’re sexual assaults, unwanted touching, which he claimed to have done repeatedly. That’s not just bragging about being a playboy. That’s basically saying, “I am a serial abuser of women.” He was never made to account for the fact that what he was actually saying was actually illegal behavior. So, as long as he’s able to frame this as it’s just talking, and generally that’s OK, it denies the extent that the talk itself is abusive, and the idea that we can have a conversation in private that doesn’t reflect who we are is precisely the thing that constitutes rape culture. And as I’ve been consistently saying, let’s be clear: This isn’t just rape culture, this is racist rape culture. If he was an African American or a Latino presidential candidate who said, “Hey, that’s just locker room banter,” it would be over for them. It should be over for Trump.
AMY GOODMAN: Kimberlé Crenshaw, we want to thank you for being with us, professor of law at ACLU and Columbia University, founder of the African American Policy Forum and a V-Day board member. Thanks so much for joining us from L.A.
In a moment, we’re going to hear from third-party candidate, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who will be joining us from St. Louis. But before we go to her, we wanted to go back to Gyasi Ross, author, speaker, lawyer, storyteller, member of the Blackfeet Nation, author of How to Say I Love You in Indian. His recent article for The Huffington Post, “Native Americans Need Hillary to Actually Be an Ally Against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
Now, Gyasi, right before we went on air, a appeals court decision came down, a federal appeals court decision, three-to-zero vote, against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota getting an injunction against the building of this $3.8 billion pipeline. The presidential debates so far, the both presidential and vice-presidential debates, did not raise the issue of climate change. Here, at the end of the debate, an audience member asked about the fossil fuel industry and fossil fuel workers. What is your response to that and what you feel needs to be done and what you—whether you heard what you wanted to hear from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?
GYASI ROSS: In regards to the whole debate, I didn’t hear really anything. I thought, as Professor Crenshaw, who I actually had in school—and she was a tough grader—you know, as she mentioned, Hillary Clinton had the opportunity to really put pressure on Donald Trump, and she failed in those opportunities, from criminal justice reform, which, as the professor said, there was this news that Donald Trump was completely unpenitent regarding the Central Park Five, and she had the chance to put pressure on him, and she didn’t do it. She missed that opportunity.
In regard specifically to energy policy and climate change policy, I was glad that question came up. And she mentioned some keywords, some kind of buzzwords, regarding energy independence. She said we need to continue our energy independence. Of course, what she didn’t mention—and I think this debate and this whole cycle, in fact, is going to be more known for what they didn’t say, for what they didn’t talk about, than what they did talk about. So, what she didn’t say with energy independence, and specifically in regards Dakota Access pipeline, but slightly more broad, is that, you know, well, when we’re talking about energy independence from the Middle East, we’re talking about fracking. We’re talking about horizontal drilling. We’re talking about violating treaties, tar sands oil, poisoning Native bodies, poisoning Native babies, at the expense of—you know, it’s to make sure that we have energy that’s domestic. And so, she didn’t mention any of that. She didn’t mention the ongoing controversy, the case that was pending before the Circuit Court of Appeals, and now, unfortunately, the injunction has been lifted, and those folks in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, are still out there protecting our water sources. They didn’t mention any of that, the human stories behind that.
And I think that touches on a larger theme that’s unfortunately been true of many, many presidential elections and campaigns, is that these candidates, rightly or wrongly or, you know, all judgment aside, other than Barack Obama, never made Native people a part of that discourse. They’ve never normalized conversation about Native people. And that can be, obviously, very discouraging from somebody specifically who is supposed to be our ally. We know what Donald Trump thinks about many, many brown-skinned people within this nation. But to see our allies, our supposed allies, get into these platforms and have the opportunity with a very specific question about energy policy—how do we reconcile sustainable energy policy and while maintaining the economic development that comes as a result of that? And they gave it to her as a softball, and she chose not to include any of the human lives and the stories and the controversies that are currently pending before her.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we want to thank you so much, Gyasi Ross, for being here with us, member of the Blackfeet Nation, a storyteller, lawyer, author of How to Say I Love You in Indian. And we’ll link to his piece at The Huffington Post, “Native Americans Need Hillary to Actually Be an Ally Against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
This is Democracy Now!'s “War, Peace and the Presidency” special report, “Expanding the Debate.” I'm Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh, as we bring in Jill Stein, who’s in St. Louis, where the debate took place, but she wasn’t included. She’s the 2016 presidential nominee for the Green Party. She was also its 2012 presidential nominee. In 2012, in that first debate at Hofstra University, she and her vice-presidential candidate at the time, Cheri Honkala, were arrested as they walked on the grounds of Hofstra University. The decision not to include her is made by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run by the Democratic and Republican parties. Also Gary Johnson was not included, of the Libertarian Party, the presidential candidate. We invited him to join us today; he didn’t accept that invitation. But Jill Stein did.
Tomorrow on Democracy Now!, we encourage everyone to tune in. Dr. Stein will be back with us, responding to each and every question that the candidates were asked tonight in St. Louis. But right now, overall, Dr. Jill Stein, can you talk about your response to this debate?
DR. JILL STEIN: It—you know, it was pretty much as expected, where Donald and Hillary spent a lot of time nitpicking each other, slinging mud, over Donald’s taxes, Hillary’s emails, Donald’s abuse of women, the latest revelations that Hillary believes in a public policy for the purpose of, you know, public discussion, but has then a private policy for the purpose of the behind-the-scenes discussion with donors and insiders and so on. You know, so the American people, you know, consider these two candidates the most—most untrusted and most disliked in our history. And after the revelations of the last week and after these last two debates, which have been pretty devoid of meaningful content, I think their assessment by the American people as not likable and not trustworthy has been absolutely vindicated. You know, this was not a good use of viewers’ time and certainly makes a mockery of what should the discussion really be and what a debate ought to look like in this election.
AMY GOODMAN: Donald Trump said, if he became president, he would put Hillary Clinton in jail, have her investigated and jail her. Your thoughts?
DR. JILL STEIN: Well, you know, I think Donald Trump, he would do that, you know? He would put her in jail as his first move, you know, and then investigate her. That’s—that’s the scary thing, you know, that that’s his respect for the democratic process.
I do think that there are reasons that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should both be investigated. Donald Trump’s business dealings, his failure to pay his income taxes, he—you know, his record with Trump University, abusing students and workers—he has something like, you know, I don’t know, 3,000 legal cases that are still outstanding. So, Donald Trump lives in the court of law. He’s either suing people or being sued most of the time. That seems to be his mode of operating.
I think there are—you know, Hillary—Hillary’s emails, her distribution of favors to big donors on the company watch while serving as secretary of state and then disappearing those emails, under which she was conducting her own private business, and on the email server, where she also made public highly confidential, top-secret information, you know, the FBI said that she was too big to jail. That’s why they said that she wouldn’t be investigated, because no district attorney would dare to take her on. You know, that’s not really a great reason. I think I agree with Donald Trump in principle, but she ought to be investigated, not just thrown into jail.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Jill Stein, what about—you mentioned one of the things that the WikiLeaks release revealed about Clinton’s speeches, namely this public-private position that she articulated. But what else did we learn from those revelations, the speeches that she gave, excerpts of the speeches she gave to Wall Street?
DR. JILL STEIN: You know, I haven’t seen the whole—the whole release, but another comment of great interest was what she said a couple years back to a housing industry trade group, where she said that—oh, actually, no, I think this was for Goldman Sachs. I take it back. I think she said this to Goldman Sachs, that she didn’t have a lot of contact with everyday people, because of the extraordinary fortunes—and I paraphrase her there, but to that effect—because of the incredible economic fortunes that she and Bill have experienced, you know, due to their connections in the world of the economic elite, serving them as the political elite. And indeed, Hillary Clinton really represents that merger of economic and political elite that I think people find so painful and objectionable about where our political system has gone in this economy that is throwing people under the bus.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Yeah, just to quote exactly what WikiLeaks revealed about that, the speech that you mentioned, she was saying—talking about middle-class concerns about money, Clinton said, quote, they’re “kind of far-removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.” So those were Clinton’s remarks as revealed by WikiLeaks last week, her speeches to Goldman Sachs. And what about, Dr. Stein, the exchange between Clinton and Trump this evening on the question of Syrian refugees?
DR. JILL STEIN: Yes. So, again, I was—I was intermittently broadcasting, so I may not have caught all of that. But, you know, what we heard was more of what we’ve heard from them before, where, you know, Donald basically fearmongers Syrian refugees, and Hillary, rightly, called for increasing the number of refugees allowed to come to our country.
And, you know, I just want to make the point that, yes, indeed, we’ve had such a hand in generating this crisis, not only through our intervention, our bombing, our support for rebels that are part of the terrorist network, although we call them good terrorists—you know, we’ve had a hand in the chaos in Syria, you know, in a big way. But not only there, we also fed that fire through the catastrophe of Libya, which was Hillary Clinton’s, you know, pride and joy. That was her undertaking. She led the charge for that morass that developed in Syria. She also supported Iraq.
You know, so these are part of the ongoing catastrophe that both she and Donald would like to have more of. We don’t know exactly what Donald wants to do, but he’s certainly beating the military drum. Hillary, you know, is calling for a no-fly zone, which is absolutely terrifying. And Mikhail Gorbachev, the former premier of the Soviet Union, who—you know, who was very instrumental in ending the Cold War, he made a statement this week that he has never seen us so close to the verge of nuclear war. And Hillary wants to start an air war with Russia, when, between the two of us, we’ve got 2,000 nuclear warheads on hair-trigger alert. This is absolutely terrifying. And neither Hillary nor Donald are reality-checking at all about what this means, what an incredibly dangerous moment this is. This is not a time to be plunging headlong into war.
Yes, we need to do our part on the Syrian refugees, but let’s stop creating those refugees in the first place, and let’s stop this catastrophic policy on war. We heard no discussion in this debate about where we’ve gotten with these wars on terror, so-called, which have only created more terror, failed states and mass refugee migrations. We need to get down to the bottom of this.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you about the issue of climate change, which was not directly asked, though this was a town hall, where members of the audience could ask questions. They were vetted and chosen by Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz of ABC and CNN. After this debate, 350 Action Executive Director May Boeve issued the following statement. She said, “We finally got a question about energy policy in the 89th minute of the debate, although it left out any mention of climate change. The answers we got revealed the fault lines in this election: Trump doubled down on fossil fuels, while Hillary talked about a clean energy future that doesn’t leave anyone behind. Her one big mistake was naming natural gas as a bridge fuel—in reality, it’s just a fast lane to more climate destruction.”
Jill Stein, you were arrested out in North Dakota with your vice-presidential running mate, Ajamu Baraka, protesting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. I don’t know if you heard, but right before we went to air with the debate, a federal court issued its decision, a surprise even to the tribe that it came out today on this eve of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Columbus Day, ruling against their request for an injunction for the pipeline company to keep building. So that is the trigger for allowing it to continue. So your thoughts on what the candidates said and what you feel is the answer?
DR. JILL STEIN: Well, the candidates continue this very destructive and dangerous mythology that there is an energy future other than 100 percent clean, renewable energy. There is no other energy future, and there is no other future. That is the way forward.
And having been at the Standing Rock Sioux encampment, it was a real inspiration to see the courage of indigenous leaders who were standing up to defend not only their human rights and all of our human rights, their water supply and all of our water supply, their climate and our climate. And the arrest warrants that were put out for yourself, for myself, for the indigenous leaders, above all, you know, those were the wrong arrest warrants. Those arrest warrants should have been issued for the Dakota Access pipeline. Those are the real vandals, who are vandalizing our human rights, our water, our climate and Mother Earth.
And I think we just have to be very clear about setting the record straight. This is why we need to have a real debate. This is why a debate between Donald and Hillary is a scam. It is a phony, sham debate being used to keep the American people in the dark. We are facing an all-out crisis here on the climate, and we don’t have another four years to sit around and wait on this.
And I really encourage people to stand up, like our indigenous leaders in Standing Rock, and not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked into a lesser-evil campaign that thinks that fracking is the answer to our energy future. The Democrats would not even adopt it as a voluntary plank in their platform to oppose fracking. Hillary’s transition director, Ken Salazar, is a big booster of fracking and of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. So, yeah, there may be differences between these two candidates, but the differences, unfortunately, are not enough to save your life, to save your job or to save the planet. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, and it’s important for us not to be talked into powerlessness that they would like us to believe that we are.
In fact, 43 million young people in debt alone is enough that could win this election, if they were actually able to just get word that there is a candidate that they can come out and vote for. That’s a winning plurality of the vote. We could take over this election in the remaining time.
As Donald Trump continues to unravel and serious questions continue to be raised about Hillary Clinton, it’s really important for us, we, the people, to be the ones that are informed and empowered to choose a future that we want, not just to decide who’s the scariest candidate out there and vote against them. That politics of fear has delivered everything we were afraid of. It’s time to stand up with the politics of courage, like the courageous leaders at Standing Rock Sioux Nation. We need to stand up, reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it, because they do.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: But, Dr. Jill Stein, you said that this was not a real debate. So could you tell us: What do you think a real debate would look like? How many candidates would be involved? What kinds of questions would be asked? And how would the format be any different from the debates that we’ve seen in the last weeks?
DR. JILL STEIN: So, you know, there are a lot of things that should be changed about the debate. But the most critical and urgent one is to include the four candidates who are on the ballot in enough states that they could actually win this election. This is exactly what the American people have been clamoring for. Seventy-six percent in polls are demanding an open debate, because these are the most disliked and untrusted candidates in our history. Even their own supporters don’t support them, but are rather, you know, intensely opposed to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. So, you know, this is not what democracy looks like. It’s not a question of who do we hate and fear the most. It’s what we—you know, it’s an affirmative agenda. It needs—democracy needs a moral compass. It needs a vision of where we are going. We did not hear that in this debate.
The Commission on Presidential Debates is a fake commission. It is none other than the Democratic and Republican parties. The League of Women Voters quit when this commission took over. And what the league said was that this is a fraud being perpetrated on the American voter. And it is a fraud, where the questions are very narrowly contained within a very tame spectrum, where, in many regards, the candidates agree with each other. They agree that we should have a financialized economy. They agree that, you know, that we should not really tackle climate change or bail out students or truly take on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They agree that we should have endless catastrophic war that continues to expand in the Middle East. So, they are not having the real—they agree on a healthcare system run for profit, not for people. This is why you need opposition parties in this. And, you know, in this race, it’s a realignment race, because Republicans are falling apart, and their leadership has moved into the Democratic Party supporting Hillary Clinton. So, you have this big happy family of corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans.
We need a second independent party which is of, by and for the people. Basically, it’s the merger of the Bernie Sanders continuing movement and our campaign. A poll recently showed that there are almost as many Bernie delegates now that have come over into our campaign as there are supporting Hillary. So, you know, between Hillary and Donald, we’re not going to hear about what really ails us, the true crises we’re facing, and what it is that we need to do in order to fight our way out of this.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you and also one last guest we have joining us from Los Angeles, Melina Abdullah, who began with us today, organizer with Black Lives Matter, also professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University in Los Angeles, about how this debate, how Trump and Clinton, dealt with this horrifying video that Washington Post got a hold of, of Donald Trump actually explaining how he sexually assaults women. Your response, Melina Abdullah, to what he explained in this debate?
MELINA ABDULLAH: I mean, I think it was just absolutely despicable what he said, but also his response and his refusal to own up. This idea that it was a locker room talk and then trying to deflect it and blame ISIS, I thought, was absolutely ridiculous and also an indicator, as Kimberlé Crenshaw said earlier, of not just patriarchy, but white male patriarchy, because no one other than a privileged, resourced white male would get away with saying something like that. So I think it was appalling.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Were there other issues—were there ways in which you thought that either Trump or Clinton failed to mention relevant issues or respond adequately to the questions that were posed to them?
MELINA ABDULLAH: Absolutely. I think that what we have missed is that this debate was in St. Louis—St. Louis, the home of Mike Brown, the home of VonDerrit Myers, the home of Kajieme Powell. And just this week, a 13-year-old boy was shot by police. Thankfully, he survived. But we missed—they missed really getting into race and policing and the way in which black people continue to find ourselves under assault and under attack. And they missed that completely.
In fact, both candidates, especially Trump, but Hillary Clinton, as well, seemed very uncomfortable in talking about race. You heard Donald Trump constantly putting “the” in front of racial categories, so “the African Americans,” “the Latinos, I mean Hispanics,” right? So this discomfort in talking about race in a really clear way.
And then there’s also a huge natural disaster happening right now, right? So, no one mentioned Haiti. And, you know, almost 900 people lost their lives over the last couple of days. We’re talking tens of thousands of people without homes. We’re talking about anticipating a cholera outbreak in Haiti. And no one even made mention of it, which is another indicator of the rampant racism that we see kind of playing out in mainstream politics.
I think one of the things that’s coming out when we’re talking with third-party candidates like Jill Stein is that it’s really important to have other voices in the room, because although there might be this argument that, you know, Jill Stein isn’t polling well enough to include her, her presence is really important in pushing the issues. Her presence and the presence of other voices is really important in drilling down into these issues, rather than allow us to waste our time with virtually an hour and a half of whining and pushing back and forth. Charlotta Bass said in 1952—she was the first black woman to run for vice president; she was the Progressive Party candidate for vice president—she said, “Win or lose, we win by raising the issues.” And the issues weren’t raised and pushed in the way that they needed to be, when we’re talking about something as important as the presidency of the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, let’s put the question to Jill Stein, this issue of the videotape around violence against women, which is what some Republicans also raised. We have less than a minute for your response. Was—this tape is evidence of crimes being committed?
DR. JILL STEIN: Yes. You know, I haven’t actually seen that tape yet myself. I’ve been kind of in the air a lot the last couple days. But this is a horrific statement on the part of Donald Trump. It describes horrific abuse. This is not a trivial matter. I think it’s one our of four women in this country is subject to sexual violence. This is a real crisis. And for someone who is aspiring to be president of this country to be modeling this despicable and abusive behavior is absolutely inexcusable.
But I’ll say Hillary Clinton should not be given a pass here, you know, on treatment of women, nor on treatment of African Americans. And while she was—you know, she was quick to call out Donald Trump for his racism, she has a history herself here, having passed and supported Bill Clinton’s bill of—you know, the crime bill of the 1990s that opened the floodgates to mass incarceration, as well as supporting the dismantling of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, which has thrown, you know, over a million children and families into poverty, particularly, you know, families of color. So, Hillary needs to be held accountable for her track record, not just for what she says—
AMY GOODMAN: Jill, we have—
DR. JILL STEIN: —but for what she does.
AMY GOODMAN: We have to leave it there, but we won’t leave it there with you for long. Green Party presidential nominee and Melina Abdullah of California State University, thanks so much for joining us. Tune in tomorrow to Democracy Now! for a special two-hour “Expanding the Debate” special beginning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time. We’ll reair tonight’s Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate and give Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein a chance to respond to the same questions. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. Thanks for joining us.