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Maine GOP Senator Says She Will Not Vote for Trump; Lilly King Beats Russian Rival to Win Gold; Trump Unveils Retooled Economic Plan.

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Beats Russian Rival to Win Gold; Trump Unveils Retooled Economic Plan.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifty former GOP national security officials signing a letter to stop their party's nominee.

[05:58:38] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is the candidate of the past. Ours is the campaign of the future.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump's policies would throw us into a recession.

TRUMP: I want to jump start America, and it won't even be that hard.

CLINTON: Don't let a friend vote Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lilly King striking gold. Setting a new Olympic record, Ryan Murphy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Day four in Rio. The U.S. women's gymnastics team going for back-to-back gold.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Phelps back in the pool, going for his 20th gold medal.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY, with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Will Phelps win gold in the butterfly, yes or no?


CUOMO: There it is.

Good morning, welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, August 9, 6 a.m. in the east. Alisyn is off, Brianna Keilar joining me. Thanks for being here.

KEILAR: Of course.

CUOMO: Appreciate it. We have another first for you in this presidential election. In an open letter, a group of 50 former national security officials warned that Donald Trump, their party's nominee, would be the most reckless president in U.S. history. This blow comes the same day that Trump gave a big economic speech to reset his campaign.

KEILAR: And now this morning, another blow to Trump with a key Republican senator saying she cannot vote for him. All of this as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spar over their economic vision for the country.

Let's begin our coverage with CNN's Jason Carroll -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you, Brianna. As you know, Trump raised concerns when he questioned whether the United States should honor its commitment to NATO; again when he suggested that South Korea and Japan might arm themselves with nuclear weapons. His foreign policy positions and his rhetoric continues to cause more defections from his own party.


CARROLL (voice-over): Another prominent Republican coming out this morning against Donald Trump. Maine Senator Susan Collins penning an op-ed in "The Washington Post," explaining why she cannot vote for her party's nominee: "I've become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize."

This as 50 Republican national security officials warning in an open letter that Trump is unqualified to be commander in chief. The experts, who served in Republican administrations from Nixon to George W. Bush, labeling Trump as dangerous, reckless and lacks the character, values and experience to be president.

MATTHEW WAXMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Our system has produced a candidate who is fundamentally unfit for office.

CARROLL: Trump firing back at those who signed the letter, calling them part of the failed Washington elite, who made the world such a dangerous place.

TRUMP: I want to jump start America, and it can be done. And it won't even be that hard.

CARROLL: The GOP nominee unveiling a new economic plan Monday, hoping to reset his campaign after hitting a rough patch since the convention.

TRUMP: She is the candidate of the past. Ours is the campaign of the future.

CARROLL: Trump is revising his tax plan now, calling for three tax brackets, with the highest rate being 33 percent for individuals, and capping the corporate tax rate at 15 percent. And in an effort to appeal to working-class voters, he hopes to make childcare expenses deductible.

TRUMP: At the center of my plan is trade enforcement with China.

CARROLL: Trump once again called for renegotiating trade deals like the Transpacific Partnership.

TRUMP: A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for TPP.

CARROLL: Wrongly claiming that Hillary Clinton supports it.

CLINTON: He wants to basically just repackage trickle-down economics.

CARROLL: Clinton slamming Trump's plan, saying there is little in there for the middle class.

CLINTON: Economists left right, in the middle all say the same thing: that Trump's policies would throw us into a recession, the last thing we need.


CARROLL: Trump did show some restraint while delivering his economic speech. It was interrupted more than a dozen times by protesters.

As for that open letter, Trump also saying in a response that he thanked all those that signed on for coming forward so the country could see who deserves the blame for making the United States such a mess -- Brianna, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. A good attempt at spin. Does it work? What does this mean? Jason Carroll, thanks for the reporting.

Let's discuss the implication. CNN political commentator and political anchor of Time Warner Cable news, Errol Louis; CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast," Jackie Kucinich; and CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston.

So Errol, who wins? Fifty former national security experts who say this guy is reckless if he's president or Trump, who says this is the problem that just hopefully came together in a group so we can identify them.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think they both win. We've talked over the months about what could happen with a Trump candidacy. It could lead to, we've heard over and over again, sort of the dismemberment of the Republican Party. Nobody really knew what that was going to look like. We thought there might be chaos at the convention. There really wasn't. We thought it might lead to all kinds of new candidates jumping in. That didn't happen either.

What we've got is different parts of the GOP establishment kind of walking away. And I think that's what these experts represent.

I think Trump gets his talking point. He gets to say, "Well, you're a part of the problem." On the other hand, these people are giving -- these experts are giving sort of psychological permission to people to take the last few steps if they were already on the fence or thinking about walking away from this candidacy and this party; and they can sort of now say, "Well, look, there's a bunch of experts here. I was already uncertain about what I was going to do. But if all of these people who have all of this experience are also sort of walking away after a lifetime deeply invested in the Republican establishment, I think I might join them, too." And stay home, vote Libertarian, again, we don't know what it looks like when you say the Republicans are going to have a problem, but this is what it starts to look like.

KEILAR: Who are they targeting, Jackie? Because we know that Donald Trump has been losing ground with white, college-educated voters who might trend Republican. Is that really the bloc of people that is going to be receptive to this message?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think Errol is right. I think they're targeting Republicans that are wavering, that are looking at what Trump is saying and some of the things he's doing and are really uncomfortable.

We saw that in Susan Collins's op-ed. She listed a litany of things that she was watching, hoping Donald Trump would apologize for insulting the disabled journalist; hoping he would apologize for insulting Judge Curiel over and over again. And so you're seeing sort of the same thing reflected with her that you see with these national security experts. And you're also seeing these are the same Republicans that you see the Clinton campaign going after, saying, "You know what? It's OK to vote for us. You don't have to jump on board the Trump train."

CUOMO: So you have the national security experts who came back, saying he doesn't have the experience. He has no interest in educating himself, and his temperament would make him a reckless person in the White House.

Then you have Susan Collins who you were just talking about, Jackie, and she said different things. She wrote an op-ed, and some of the thoughts are -- she says, "The passage of time, I've been increasingly dismayed by the cruel comments, his inability to admit error or apologize."

She also says that she'd been holding out for a new Trump, that there had been these promises made, Maeve Reston, of a new Trump and we don't ever seem to see him.

But is that fair in the policy context, as well? There's no question that Trump is and is not who everyone thinks he is. He's showing you who he is every time he's on television. But the speech yesterday, did that help change him in the eyes of at least some critics?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it may have. I mean, clearly this was Donald Trump at his most self- controlled yesterday, reading from the teleprompter. He was delivering the kind of attack on Hillary Clinton, with policy specifics, that Republicans had long hoped to run against her in this campaign, talking about how her policies represented the past and not the future; talking about NAFTA, reaching out to all of those workers who feel like the U.S. trade deals are not working for them. So, it was kind of a reset.

But we did end up spending most of the day yesterday talking about this letter from these 50 national security experts. And I think that, you know, that really does reinforce the notion for Republicans that it's OK for them to not vote for Trump, to you know, vote their conscience, if you will.

And, you know, the louder that these voices become from everyone from Senator Collins to these national security experts, it really does speak to those independent voters out there who also have concerns about his temperament and are really uncomfortable when they -- when you ask them, you know, who he would surround himself in the White House.

KEILAR: Errol, he is walking on her territory a little bit here: closing the carried interest loophole, the cost of childcare being able to deduct that, his infrastructure plan he is proposing is much bigger than hers.

But you look at the polls, and he's got a long way, especially -- we were talking about yesterday seeing a very big spread. It's even bigger today in a Monmouth poll that we're looking at, where it shows for likely voters 50 percent are choosing Hillary Clinton; 37 percent say they would go for Donald Trump.

When you look at that difference between them right now, what can happen between now and election day?

LOUIS: Well, he's going to have to, I think, do a lot more than what we heard yesterday to try and get back some of this category we keep hearing about: college-educated whites, especially white women who seem to be walking away. And that's very much reflected in the Monmouth poll. What he is trying to do in some respects is kind of buy them back.

It was the most mainstream speech yesterday that we've heard from him about his economic plans. He didn't go too deeply into the trade side of things. But it was a very standard kind of Republican playbook. Let's lower the top marginal rate on income taxes. And so if you're middle class and kind of doing well from 39 percent to 33 percent, well, you know, you take out an envelope. You can figure out what that's going to mean for you.

It would very much advantage people at the higher end of the scale. If that starts to turn the page for him, if that gets people back who are walking away from him, again, very unusual for Republicans to lose among college-educated white voters, but he is very much behind with women in that category. Maybe this gets them back. Maybe this gets them thinking. Maybe it's the start of a different kind of conversation.

But, you know, here again, you know, while he's dealing with that side of the traditional Reagan coalition, the economic conservatism, you've got the defense conservatives walking away. And you know, he's kind of got a House on fire here that he's got to try and pull back together.

CUOMO: So Jackie, it will sound like, you know, I'm hyping the debates a little bit, but I really do think...


CUOMO: ... that what we're seeing here is that when these -- this man and this woman get on the stage together, it really may come down to that.

[06:10:05] I mean, the Monmouth poll has Clinton at 50 percent now. That is a very important threshold when you're measuring a candidate's strength. So there's no chance -- there's no question that, at least statistically, she's taken a little bit of a lead. So she is parlaying that.

And we thought Trump would be, you know, challenging her to, like, 50 different debates, you know everywhere, every day, but actually, she is the one who's saying, "Hey, they're suggesting three debates. I say yes to all three, and I call you out, Donald Trump, to do the same." Surprised?

KUCINICH: You know, let's -- let's not forget how good Hillary Clinton is at debates. She does excel in that forum. And so right now, I mean, look at Trump's speech yesterday. Yes, it was a very standard Republican speech. That said, he kept on saying, "Oh, and we're going to release the details later." He said it over and over again.

And Hillary Clinton is hoping -- she's very policy-oriented. And I think when the devil is in the details, she's there. And I think that's what they're going to try to exploit on the debate stage is making Donald Trump sort of look like an empty suit. If that's the plan, you think he is prepping for that right now.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much. There is more to discuss. Appreciate the panel here.

In the 8 a.m. hour, we're going to talk to this new presidential challenger that we were just talking about. As Errol said, not a flood of new candidates, but this man enters the picture. Evan McMullin. Who is he and what he could mean to the race, coming up.

KEILAR: Let's turn now to the Rio games. U.S. swimmer Lilly King making a big statement against her Russian rival, setting a new Olympic record and taking home a gold medal.

This as Michael Phelps gears up for a very high-stakes rematch and the U.S. women's gymnastics team prepares to defend its Olympic title.

CNN sports anchor Coy wire live in Rio with more. It's a big, big day today, Coy. COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Absolutely, Brianna. And yesterday was a big day, too: 14 gold medals up for grabs Monday. Let's take a look at that medal count. USA is still on top, 19 in total. China is in second with 13. You have Japan and Russia tied for third with ten apiece. And a lot of question marks surrounding every medal won by Russia here in Rio after that state-sponsored doping scandal. But the biggest story on day three is the USA, who continues to rule the pool.


WIRE (voice-over): Lilly King making waves and striking gold. The 19-year-old setting an Olympic record in the 100 meter breast-stroke, beating her Russian nemesis, Yulia Efimova. King taunting her Russian rival, who served a 16-month suspension for doping with this finger wag before their showdown, mocking her earlier gesture that she was No. 1.

King showing her who's on top now, and teammate Katie Meili taking home the bronze.

Also setting a new Olympic record, first-time Olympian Ryan Murphy, capturing the gold in the men's 100-meter backstroke in just under 52 seconds. Michael Phelps breezing through the semifinals in the 200- meter butterfly. Phelps looking to redeem himself after a shocking defeat in 2012 by a fraction of a second. Tonight's rematch four years in the making with South African swimmer Chad le Clos, who snagged the gold from Phelps. The tension between the two palpable in what appears to be Phelps' death stare.

World record holder Katie Ledecky aims for her second gold medal, competing in the 200-meter freestyle tonight. Team USA racking up silver from men's synchronized diving, while three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and partner April Ross remain undefeated in beach volleyball.

The men's basketball dominating the Olympic court once again, absolutely rolling over Venezuela.


WIRE: All right. It was at that basketball game. That was incredible to see.

But the big disappointment of the night, men's gymnastics, Brianna. We were there for that team USA event. They came up a little empty- handed. They finished fifth. We're sitting in the Japan section of the crowd. They took the gold.

But America's sweethearts, the U.S. women's gymnastics team, is going for gold tonight, led by phenom Simone Biles, who will compete in all four disciplines tonight. She is a sight to see. That will be awesome to watch.

KEILAR: Cannot wait to see that. It's going to be amazing. Coy Wire, thank you.

And also in our 8 a.m. hour, we're actually going to talk with the most decorated Olympic gymnast in U.S. history, Shannon Miller. She'll be giving us a sense of what they're up against tonight, a lot of pressure.

CUOMO: A true champion. She knows the pressure, and she knows what it takes to deliver, as well.

All right. We also have details of this Donald Trump economic plan, such as they were presented. Hillary Clinton has them, as well, and she is firing back. What is her vision for the economy? And which one is going to work better for you? Next.


[06:19:05] TRUMP: The one common feature of every Hillary Clinton idea is that it punishes you for working and doing business in the United States.

CLINTON: We are not interested in economic plans that only help the top 1 percent. It's time we helped everybody else in America get ahead and stay ahead.


KEILAR: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are battling it out over their economic plans. Whose plan is going to resonate more with voters? That is the big question.

I want to bring back our panel to talk about this: Errol Louis, Jackie Kucinich and Maeve Reston. And let's start by telling you what is in the plan. For instance, you have three tax brackets instead of the several we currently have. He's saying that he would lower rates to 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent and that there would be a zero percent tax rate for poorest Americans.

And then you look at what he would do on corporate taxes, a 15 percent cap on taxes for businesses. A moratorium on new business regulations. And he said he would completely renegotiate NAFTA.

Obviously, when it comes to NAFTA, Errol, that is something that Bill Clinton signed into law, Hillary Clinton supported back in the day. Obviously, she has sort of flip-flopped on trade a little bit, but where is he targeting and who's going to be receptive to this message?

LOUIS: Well, it will be receptive in the so-called Rust Belt, in the places that have been hurt by manufacturing jobs going overseas. So he has pounded this over and over again in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, in Ohio. He thinks he's going to get some traction there.

The problem with that or the difficulty he faces is that there's no straight-line correlation, where he can't point to "We're going to get this specific bunch of jobs back here under my plan."

What he's trying to do, and he says, "Believe me, believe me," he's telling people, you know, a different kind of economics will sort of play itself out. Corporate decision making will go entirely differently. And we will not just have companies not leave, but we'll reverse the flow of jobs overseas.

There are a lot of economists who disagree with that. It's going to be a real point of contention, you know, in an election where people say, oh, the candidates are alike; they're both unlikable and so forth. They're very clearly different on this one.

CUOMO: So Maeve, where do you see this space? We haven't heard Clinton lay out her plan the way Trump did yesterday. We believe it may come later this week. So what do you think were his biggest, strongest points yesterday?

RESTON: Well, clearly he's trying for the first time to really reach out to women in a way that his daughter, Ivanka Trump, did at the convention by talking about this proposal that he has for a bigger childcare deduction so that people could take in their taxes. And I think that that's really important, because clearly, the campaign understands that that's one of their biggest issues, is with college- educated white women and women in general.

And so that really stuck out at me. It's as though, you know, the message finally got through to Donald Trump that he needed to -- to offer something to those voters.

But there was very little in the way of details yesterday, which Democrats were quick to attack. And also, they were pointing out that this plan would potentially cost trillions of dollars. Donald Trump has not really spoken about how he would pay for it. So it will be interesting to see more of those details emerge.

But you did see Hillary Clinton come back with this very sharp attack yesterday as she was campaigning, saying that these are not policies that help the working person, those people who feel that they're being left behind by the economy. And this is a plan that would really help sort of the super-rich, as she -- as she talked about, you know, the wealthy individuals like Donald Trump.

And so, we'll continue to see her lay out those attacks as this week goes on.

KEILAR: And let's listen to that, because we have her responding to this. Here's what she said.


CLINTON: He wants to basically just repackage trickle-down economics. Now, you know that old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"? Trickle-down economics does not help our economy grow. It does not help the vast majority of Americans.


KEILAR: Jackie, you have critics of Donald Trump's plan who will say, "Look, this costs a lot," but that didn't stop a lot of people flocking towards Bernie Sanders for proposing a plan that was going to cost a lot. A lot of voters that's not what they hear. They hear the promises; they hear the messaging about what the priorities are.

But for many Democrats, this -- this phrase, "trickle-down economics" that she's using is a bit of a dirty word. So where does this -- you know, where does this all kind of end up in terms of the appeal between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and these voters in the middle that they're trying to both get?

KUCINICH: You know, the economy is always top of mind for people during an election year. And we'll see Hillary Clinton's details fleshed out soon.

But this Donald Trump plan is interesting for lots of reasons. In addition between the Republican kind of orthodoxy on taxes, we saw this basically lifted out of the House Republican Caucus, you also -- but he also is anti-trade. But he also has this childcare deduction, which it's not clear how it would help people without -- who don't have to pay income tax.

So it really is sort of this hybrid structure that he's putting in place. We'll see how Hillary responds in terms of policy coming up this week.

KEILAR: A smorgasbord, sort of, for everybody.

CUOMO: The advantage he has right now is that he's talking ideas, and she's just attacking him. Right? Which is a little bit of a role reversal here, Errol.

This group that we keep talking about in terms of demographics -- white, college-educated Republicans who may not vote for him. He didn't talk about paying for college in this speech yesterday, really at all, let alone in any detail. Do you think that was tactical? "I'm going to do childcare with this undefined expenses thing," you know, as with three kids I'd love to know...

KEILAR: It sounds great, though. That's the point.

CUOMO: Depends on what counts. Is it school? Is it food? Is it clothing? You know, what is it? Is it daycare? What is it?

But do you think that was a tactical move, not talking about college when it was so big for Bernie, which is something I thought he wanted to co-op?

LOUIS: In all honesty, I think he just took the House Republican plan, you know, pretty much wholesale...


LOUIS: ... stripped out anything related to free trade, because he's got kind of a brand issue related to that. But I don't know if he's thought through much of this stuff.

In fact, he put down a marker yesterday. He said, look, details to follow. Right? Because you've got to figure out how to pay for all of this stuff. There would be massive deficits. You know, just looking at it, you see all of this tax cutting. It's unclear how it's going to get paid for, even if you assume the economy explodes and you get all kinds of different sort of productivity and increase in income.

So I'm not sure he's looking at students or women or anything like that. He hasn't been that kind of strategic political thinker on his economic plan from day one, other than, you know, his signature issue of trade. Other than his signature issue of "Put me and my friends in charge, and we'll be tough and we'll stand up to China," you know, that sort of thing.

KEILAR: But borrowing the House Republican plan interesting, as well, as he aligns himself there with the party.

Errol, Maeve, Jackie, thanks so much to all of you.

We do have some new details emerging this morning about that tragedy at a Kansas water park. How did a young boy die on this world-famous water slide? We'll tell you what we're learning ahead on NEW DAY.


(Byline: Chris Cuomo; Brianna Keilar; Jason Carroll; Errol Louis; Maeve Reston; Jackie Kucinich; Coy Wire)

(High: Maine Senator Susan Collins has stated she will not be voting for her party's nominee, Donald Trump. Lilly King beats her Russia rival to claim gold at the Olympics. Donald Trump unveils his retooled economic plan to American voters.)

(Spec: Donald Trump; Republican Party; Politics; Olympic Games; Sports; Lilly King; Economy)