Senators Up for Reelection Today; Presidential Candidates Prepare for Nearing Debates; Notes to Be Released from Initial

NEWSROOM-04

04

Prepare for Nearing Debates; Notes to Be Released from Initial

Hillary Clinton Interview with FBI on Private Server; House Oversight

Committee Launching Investigation into EpiPen Price Hike; Ireland

Being Told To Collect 20 Years of taXes from Apple; Maine Governor

Hints at Possible Resignation Amid Backlash. Aired 10:30-11a ET>

[10:30:42]

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, I'm Carol Costello, thank you so much for joining me. Presidential politics looming large today in primary contests involving big names. In Arizona, John McCain is seeking his party's support for a sixth term. This as he maintains an uneasy alliance with Trump and the supporters who rail against Washington insiders.

Fellow senator, Marco Rubio also trying to woo Republicans despite nasty exchanges with the GOP nominee. Rubio backing away from accusations that could alienate voters. Florida voters will also decide the fate of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the former Head of the Democratic National Committee. The party's progressives still furious despite ousting her amid claims that she unfairly favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

Our Senior Political Reporter, Manu Raju is following all of this this morning for us. Good morning.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, Carol. Now we expect all three of those incumbents to win their races today, probably by healthy margins. Even though we are seeing these primary challengers trying to tap into the unrest of their -- of the bases against the respective party leaderships.

But unlike what we saw in the presidential race, we're seeing these incumbents, these insiders, probably going to win tonight. Because they're better funded, they're better organized, and frankly have run better campaigns. Now here in Florida, Marco Rubio is facing against a wealthy businessman, Carlos Beruff, in his primary. He's expected to win big.

But then he's faced, he will likely face Patrick Murphy on the Democratic side. Assuming that that congressman can beat his own progressive challenger in his primary. I had a chance to talk to Marco Rubio yesterday about a number of thorny issues that Donald Trump has been saying on the campaign trail, including on immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: Do you hope that he reverses his position to deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants?

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, FLORIDA: Well, I've consistently said that that's not -- I don't think that's a realistic approach.

RAJU: Is it realistic to build a wall on the border of Mexico?

RUBIO: Sure. Not -- I mean you don't need to have a wall across the entire border. But key sectors of the border? Absolutely you need a wall, more airports too (ph).

RAJU: Force Mexico to pay for it?

RUBIO: Well Mexico's not going to pay for it, I've already said that. But it -- we should -- that's our national security interest.

RAJU: Should Donald Trump soften his rhetoric?

RUBIO: Again, you'll have -- been -- I'm more focused on the Democrat's rhetoric on this issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: Now clearly pulling his punches on this issue after having that really nasty primary campaign, Rubio also would not take back any of the criticisms that he launched at Donald Trump. And then I asked him, "well how do you not take -- keep stand with those criticisms you launched at the campaign and still support Donald Trump?" And he really did not want to address that, instead focusing on Hillary Clinton and trying to tie Hillary Clinton to his Democratic candidate.

So we're seeing both candidates on both sides dealing with the fact that their top of their tickets are rather unpopular, Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Manu Raju reporting live from Orlando this morning, thanks so much. We're now just 27 days out from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's very first presidential debate. And if the last two weeks (ph) are any indication, that stage could become the battle of the best one-liners.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's hard to tell where the Clinton Foundation ends, and where the State Department begins.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will leave it to the psychiatrist to explain his affection for tyrants.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings.

CLINTON: Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia.

TRUMP: She doesn't have the strength or the stamina, coupled with all of the other problems that this country has -- and we have a lot.

CLINTON: Friends don't let friends vote for Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: All right well a few moments ago, CNN did confirm that Trump's "Art of the Deal" ghostwriter turned Trump critic, Tony Schwartz, has been in conversations with team Clinton as part of the Clinton campaign's debate preparations. Schwartz tweeting just 14 hours ago, "Trump isn't preparing for debates because he can't. No attention span = deep ignorance about issues. He will be all bluster, no substance."

Is that true? With me now is Ron Brownstein, CNN Senior Political Analyst, and Senior Editor for The Atlantic. Good morning, Ron.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

COSTELLO: So what do you think of Mr. Schwartz helping Team Clinton prepare for the debates?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, it kind of fits in with the overall strategy of the Clinton campaign so far. Yes, they have criticized Donald Trump on some issues. But that hasn't been their central line of argument. They -- essentially where they have focused most of their attention is in reinforcing the doubts that many Americans have about whether he has the experience and temperament to succeed as President.

Whether he is someone who is personally qualified for the most complex job in the world. Now he's bringing in (ph) ...

COSTELLO: Well, how do you do that in a debate?

BROWNSTEIN: Well that's what -- you -- as you see, what they're trying, what they're trying to do is -- what they are arguing is that their core goal in the debate is to provoke him to be kind of outrageous, or blustery, or in other ways kind of lose his cool. I think that it is much more on that front, at least in the early hints from the campaign, than it is on making a systematic case against all of his policies. Which I'm sure they will do as well. But that ...

COSTELLO: So you ask him if, you ask him ...

BROWNSTEIN: ... they see the core vulnerability as personal, rather than policy.

[10:35:55]

COSTELLO: So you ask him a very complicated question about something, is that how you do it?

BROWNSTEIN: No, I think, I think they're looking more to get under his skin, right? I mean they're looking more to raise the doubts about his temperament. That is, I think in the debate, for Donald Trump, that's the core hurdle to get over in the debate, is to try to reverse what has been a very consistent finding that somewhere around 60 percent of Americans consistently say they do not believe he is qualified. Roughly the same number are questioned whether he has the temperament to succeed as president. And roughly the same number, for that matter, say that he is racially bigoted.

So he has some very deep perceptions to overcome. On her side it's obviously the honesty and trustworthiness. But also related to that, whether she is in this for herself or in this for you. And I think she really has to try to make a case ...

COSTELLO: Yeah, because ...

BROWNSTEIN: ... to average Americans ...

COSTELLO: ... it works, it works ...

BROWNSTEIN: ... that they, that she has plans to put their ...

COSTELLO: ... the other way, too.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

COSTELLO: ... he also can get under her skin ...

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah.

COSTELLO: ... because she also has a tendency to kind of become overly emotional within debates. We saw that when she was debating Bernie Sanders.

BROWNSTEIN: Right. She also -- you know if you go back to the senate debate, the complicating factor here is women are a majority of the electorate. Donald Trump is facing significant unfavorable ratings among women. Particularly college educated, white women, and minority women. And the question of how aggressive he can be in a one-on-one debate with her I think, is still open.

We saw the Rick Lazio, a precedent from 2000 when he walked across the stage and handed her the paper to sign, or -- and there was a backlash on that. So it's a narrow bar for -- it's a narrow line for either of them. But I think that for the clearest, the clearest need for either candidate in this debate is for Donald Trump to reassure Americans who are now thinking he's not -- or reconvince Americans now thinking he's not qualified. And I think that's where Clinton is going to put most of her efforts to make sure he does not achieve that reconsideration.

COSTELLO: Does this notion about being prepared -- I think Donald Trump at some point said you know, there's a thing about, you know, you can be overly prepared. And I get what he's saying about that. Because sometimes you fill your head with memorized facts, right? And you're not able to be spontaneous any longer. Or you know, think in the moment. And that's also important, isn't it?

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, well that, right. And that's certainly his strength, right. His strength is that he is an outsider who will shake up the political system. That is, I think, one of the challenges, by the way, he's facing this week with immigration. If he backs off the core position on immigration that he used to win the nomination from voters who were drawn to that, does that make him not only kind of a flip-flopper, but more of a conventional politician? But yeah, I think Donald Trump is right that he is not going to win a debate by going toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton on detailed understanding of section 8 vouchers.

I mean, it's more a question of whether he can portray himself as someone who's an outsider who will shake up the system. But also again, kind of deal with these widespread doubts about whether he is qualified for the job. I think his inclination may be to really go after her and raise -- highlight all the doubts voters have about her. I don't think that is his central problem at this point. We have a majority of Americans saying they're unfavorable to her, a majority say they don't believe she's honest and trustworthy. That's already there.

Right now, those concerns are, in effect, being trumped by the doubts about Trump and that's more than anything else, what he has to deal with in the debate.

COSTELLO: All right, Ron Brownstein, thanks so much. I'll be right back.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:43:27]

COSTELLO: All right, breaking news just in to CNN. When the FBI initially questioned Hillary Clinton about using a private email server while she was Secretary of State, they took copious notes. Now those notes, at least some of them, will be turned over to the media. Evan Perez, our Justice Correspondent, is covering this for us. What else can you tell us, Evan?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well Carol, the FBI is getting ready to release what is known as the 302s. Which is the FBI agents' notes of that interview that was done before the FBI announced last month that they were recommending no charges be brought against Hillary Clinton in that investigation of her private email server.

They're also going to release a report that the FBI prepared and sent over to the Justice Department, making that recommendation. It's about a 30-page long report. The 302, as it's called, the interview notes. It is about a dozen pages. And this really just reminds you of the problem that Clinton faces going down this stretch here before the election.

We're going to have drip, drip, drip of a reminder of this email investigation. The FBI is motivated here because they believe that, they want to make sure the public knows what they did and why they made that recommendation. The FBI Director made that promise to Capitol Hill when he testified after he made his recommendation.

And so we expect that we'll see these notes. What is not going to be released just yet are the additional interview notes from some of her aides that were interviewed by the FBI, as well as some of the other investigators' material. That is still being kept under wraps. We don't know whether the FBI ever plans to release all that additional material, Carol.

COSTELLO: So I'm just confused about one thing. Because the FBI was going to turn over notes to Congress but the Congress lawmakers were not supposed to share that information with the public. So are these notes different from those notes?

PEREZ: Well no they're the same notes. But what happened is when they turned that over to Congress, there was some minor redactions made to prevent -- to protect some classified information. The release that's being made to the public is a lot more redactions. There's going to be a lot more stuff that's going to be hidden, simply because they have to protect privacy under the FOIA law, Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, and FOIA is Freedom of Information, which ...

PEREZ: Freedom of Information Act, right.

COSTELLO: ... media outlets -- right? So it means that they can get information ...

PEREZ: ... And the public.

COSTELLO: ... And the public. All right, Evan Perez, thanks so much. I'll be right back.

[10:45:48]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Congress has some major questions about EpiPen's 400 percent price increase. The House Oversight Committee launching an investigation looking for sales data, manufacturing costs, federal subsidies and other documents relating to the surging price of this medicine.

All of this as Heather Bresch, Mylan CEO, earned nearly $19 million in total compensation last year. CNNMoney's Cristina Alesci has more on this, this morning. Good morning.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. This oversight committee is looking at all documents, including some non- public information. So they are going to look for the profit margins. How much money is this company actually making off of this drug? And it's going to be looking at lobbying records, as well. What kind of influence did the company have on Congressional leaders?

Now, unclear what impact this committee is really going to have other than draw more unwanted headlines for the company. Maybe pressuring it to do more than offer a generic -- they announced yesterday would offer a generic at a 50 percent discount. But the company has come to symbolize corporate greed. And it's partially because of the way it handled the situation. The CEO came out and blamed a failed and broken system.

Well guess what? Consumers don't want to hear about a failed and broken system when, if you look at the price increases over the last -- since 2009, they've increased the prices 15 times.

COSTELLO: Wow.

ALESCI: So you can't ignore that. Yes, middle men do take some of that profit. Yes, there are other people involved in this (ph) system. But when consumers see a chart like that, and they know that the price has gone up 400 percent since 2009, they get upset. And it's not good enough for the CEO to say, it's not our fault, it's the broken system's fault.

But we'll see, we'll see if this latest move to reduce the cost is going to have an impact. But here's the thing, Carol. Their latest price increase does look opportunistic. Because their latest price increase came in 2015, when a competitor voluntarily pulled its drug off the market. So the argument that it's non-opportunistic, that it's driven by the failed system ...

COSTELLO: So this is the only brand that's being sold besides the generic brand it's now offering, the same company?

ALESCI: Exactly.

COSTELLO: Oh, so it's cornered the market and now can charge whatever it wants. That's what it seems like, right?

ALESCI: That's exactly what the Congressional Oversight Committee is saying. It actually flatly said it has a monopoly on the market.

[10:52:11]

COSTELLO: Cristina Alesci, thanks so much, we'll see what happens. OK talk about a whopper of a tax bill for Apple. The European Union says Ireland must collect $14.6 billion -- that's billion with a "b," -- from the tech giant. After allowing it to avoid almost all corporate taxes for 20 years.

This could have a big impact in how Europe treats U.S. companies. Now the Treasury Department is weighing in calling the ruling unfair. And Ireland's Development Agency Chief said moments ago, "this agency does not do tax deals." Both Apple and Ireland are planning to appeal the decision.

Coming up in the Newsroom, more than 6,000 migrants rescued in a little more than 30 hours. Among them, a set of newborn twins.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:15]

COSTELLO: OK some pretty unusual news coming into CNN. There are reports out there that Maine's governor, Paul LePage, is actually considering resigning. Now remember last week we told you that the governor made what some call racist comments about who's committing crimes in the state of Maine.

And then he left this expletive-laden message on the phone of a state lawmaker. And now -- was it -- MJ Lee is here to explain this because it's just taken me aback because you don't often hear about a governor saying he might possibly resign his office in the middle of his term.

MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Yeah, that's right. Some interesting political news coming out of Maine this morning. The state's Republican governor, Paul LePage suggesting in an interview today that he may not actually finish out his term. He told the radio, a local radio station, "If I've lost my ability to help the people of Maine, maybe it's time to move on."

Now all of this, Carol, coming after LePage left a threatening voicemail to a local state representative, filled with, let's say, a lot of curse words. And I think we have a snippet of that, that we can listen to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL LEPAGE (R), GOVERNOR OF MAINE: I want you to prove that I'm a racist. I've spent my life helping black people and you little son of a (BEEP) socialistic (BEEP) suckers, you -- I need you to -- just frickin' -- I want you to record this and make it public. Because I'm after you. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEE: Now this local representative who was on the receiving end of this very interesting voicemail, he was very critical of comments that the governor made about African American -- the African American community, rather -- in the state of Maine. LePage saying in this new radio interview that, "when I was called a racist I just lost it and there is no excuse."

Now of course, Carol, this is potentially interesting in the 2016 elections here, as well. LePage is supportive of Donald Trump. He has in fact campaigned with Trump in his state. Trump has gone after that one electoral vote. So it'll be interesting to see if this ends up bubbling over and actually affecting the 2016 election in any meaningful way.

COSTELLO: Well this surprises me because Maine's governor hasn't exactly had a great relationship with the state legislature. This is a governor who named his dog Veto because he vetoed so many bills coming out of the state legislature.

LEE: And has kind of a reputation for speaking off the cuff and for this kind of ...

COSTELLO: Making controversial comments, right?

LEE: That's right. And actually comparisons have been drawn actually, between Donald Trump and the governor, as well. So that's an interesting element there, as well.

COSTELLO: So do you think it will really happen? And would that be history making? LEE: Well I think it depends on how much backlash he continues to face for making these kinds of comments. If he feels like the pressure is too much, and as he said himself, he feels like he's not in a productive role here, then maybe he decides to leave early.

COSTELLO: MJ Lee, thanks so much. Unusual news coming out of Maine this morning. Thanks for joining me today, I'm Carol Costello. "AT THIS HOUR" with Berman and Bolduan starts now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(Byline: Carol Costello, Manu Raju, Ron Brownstein, Evan Perez, Cristina Alesci, MJ Lee)

(High: Several states holding polls tonight to reelect or replace state senators. Trump and Clinton are preparing for upcoming debates in various ways. What topics and tactics should they have in their pockets to shoot for success against opponent? FBI and Congress to release original interview notes regarding Hillary Clinton's questioning surrounding her use of a private email server for State Department business. The House Oversight Committee is investigating the makers of EpiPen, looking at possibly monopoly, potentially opportunistic price hikes, ties to legislators. Ireland has been told by the European Union that it must collect 20 years of taxes from Apple, having allowed it to dodge most corporate taxes through those years. Both Ireland and Apple are appealing the decision. Paul LePage, governor of Maine facing serious backlash amid accusations of racist speech. In response to accusations, he leaves threatening voicemail for a state lawmaker, hints at possible resignation during an interview.)

(Spec: abuse; Africa; Congress; consumers; crime; discrimination; economy; elections; Europe; government; health and medicine; justice; legislation; media; minorities; pharmaceuticals; policies; politics; polls; products; race relations; taxes; technology; television and radio; trials; world affairs)

(Copy: Content and programming copyright 2016 Cable News Network LP, LLLP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Prepared by CQ-Roll Call, Inc. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Cable News Network LP, LLLP's copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material; provided, however, that members of the news media may redistribute limited portions (less than 250 words) of this material without a specific license from CNN so long as they provide conspicuous attribution to CNN as the originator and copyright holder of such material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.) (End-Story: Senators Up for Reelection Today; Presidential Candidates Prepare for Nearing Debates; Notes to Be Released from Initial Hillary Clinton Interview with FBI on Private Server; House Oversight Committee Launching Investigation into EpiPen Price Hike; Ireland Being Told To Collect 20 Years of taXes from Apple; Maine Governor Hints at Possible Resignation Amid Backlash. Aired 10:30-11a ET)

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