Presidential Campaign Enters Final Stretch; Apple to Unveil New iPhone; Russia`s Possible Involvement in U.S. Election - Part 1



iPhone; Russia`s Possible Involvement in U.S. Election - Part 1>

Thompson, Geoffrey Fowler, Dana Priest >

until the election. A new CNN poll has Trump leading Clinton among likely

voters, 45-43. That`s a national poll. Clinton still holds a comfortable

lead in many swing state polls such as Pennsylvania and Florida. They will

faceoff on the first presidential debate on September 26, that`s 3 weeks.

Apple is set to announce a variety of new products at its annual media

event tomorrow in San Francisco. The unveiling of the new iPhone 7 has

been highly anticipated, despite Apple efforts to keep new features secret,

many are speculating about possible changes to that world`s bestselling

smart phone. U.S. Intelligence officials are reportedly investigating what

may be an extensive covert Russian campaign to disrupt the upcoming

presidential election. Officials are concerned about possible Russian

attempts to break into electronic voting systems. Russian hackers were

allegedly responsible for hacking the DNC and other political organizations

this summer although the Obama administration has yet to blame Russia

publicly for these intrusions. >

Entertainment; Policies; Government; Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump; Polls;

Russia; Security; Internet>


CHARLIE ROSE, PBS HOST: Welcome to the program. We begin this evening with a political snapshot of the presidential race. We talked to John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.


MARK HALPERIN, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: The pressure will be on Democrats. I don`t think Trump and his team will ever feel very much pressure as compared to what she will feel as the news tighten, if this race is close come the fall. Because let`s face it, while Trump has been an uneven candidate to say the least, he is a great performer. She`s not. And presidential politics, it frustrates the Clinton people to no end, performance matters.


CHARLIE ROSE: We continue with a look at the technology world as Apple introduces new products. We talk to Henry Blodget, Steve Levy, Nicholos Thompson and Geoffrey Fowler.


HENRY BLODGET, BUSINESS INSIDER: The main issue is that this product, again, the iPhone, is running its course. It`s now maturing. Sure we`ll get a new one tomorrow. Maybe we`ll get a much bigger one next year, and you`ll have a lot of upgrades. But the product cycle is maturing. And it`s just -- it`s the most profitable product in the world. So, you`re looking and try to replace that with some new thing is very difficult. The watch has done OK, but hasn`t lit the world on fire. So, it`s really just growth. This is a huge company, it is got a very good business, it`s still generating a ton of cash, but where is the growth it`s going to come from.


CHARLIE ROSE: And we conclude with a look at Russia and its possible involvement in U.S. politics and U.S. political institutions. We talked to Dana Priest of the Washington Post.


DANA PRIEST, THE WASHINGTON POST: So, we`ve got 10,000 comments about this story, and I would say the majority of them, the vast majority of them are political comments rather than focusing on the fact that Russia and anti- Democratic state is actually now here trying to do something that it has not done since the cold war. But it`s so much more sensitive because of the elections and because people want to paint it as propaganda by one party or the other.


CHARLIE ROSE: Politics, Apple and Russia when we continue.


CHARLIE ROSE: We begin this evening with politic. The presidential campaign enters its final stretch with just 62 days until the election. A new CNN poll has Trump leading Clinton among likely voters, 45-43. That`s a national poll. Clinton still holds a comfortable lead in many swing state polls such as Pennsylvania and Florida. They will faceoff on the first presidential debate on September 26, that`s 3 weeks. Joining me now is Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, they`re the managing editors of Bloomberg Politics, a co-host of Bloomberg Television, With All Due Respect, and the stars of Show Time political docu series, The Circus, so many jobs for so many talented people. I`m pleased to have them back at my little table right here. Welcome.

JOHN HEILEMANN, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: Most important table in America.

CHARLIE ROSE: Thank you, sir. Therefore I`ll begin with you.

JOHN HEILEMANN: OK, fair enough.

CHARLIE ROSE: Let`s -- give me a snapshot of the moment. I mean, how do we say there is a national poll in which Trump among likely voters and with the small party candidates included is leading 45-42.

JOHN HEILEMANN: Well, we can say it by -- by saying that first of all, the race is close.


JOHN HEILEMANN: And given all of the thing that happened over the month of August, for many people thought that Donald Trump had done himself so much damage that he was unrecoverable, and then Clinton was on her way to a land slide victory. This poll and others at this time suggest that in fact the race is very tight. And that Hillary Clinton has substantial structural advantage in the battle ground states. That she is certainly going to be the favorite to win the next election, but the Donald Trump is going to make a race out of it, and given the month that he had, that he is as close as he is. This is all margin of error at this point, suggests there should be no breathing easy in Brooklyn right now.

CHARLIE ROSE: So you call it a dead even with that.

JOHN HEILEMANN: You can`t statistically, you know, all these polls that have her up by two or three nationally, have him up in this case by two nationally, those are all within the margin of errors. So, statistically those are all ties.

CHARLIE ROSE: Would you add to that, sir.

MARK HALPERIN: Any Democrat would come into this race with structural advantages because they`re dominant in the popular vote and the Electoral College. And she`s going to experience cautious careful hard working candidate. It`s kind of extraordinary given how horrible Trump`s August was, that he`s in the position he`s in. But this is an electorate that`s looking for change.

CHARLIE ROSE: That`s a key word for him is it?


MARK HALPERIN: I think change and job.


MARK HALPERIN: I think it`s under comment about how much he`s been emphasizing jobs in the economy of late, something a lot of the Republicans wanted him to talk about for months rather than lawsuits and Trump University, rather than attacking the Gold Star family. And the danger I think for Democrats is if Trump does well in the first debate and the expectations for him will be so much lower than for her. The pressure will be on Democrats. I don`t think Trump and his team will ever feel very much pressure as compared to what she will feel as the news tighten, if this race is close come the fall. Because let`s face it, while Trump has been an uneven candidate to say the least, he is a great performer. She`s not. And presidential politics, it frustrates the Clinton people to no end, performance matters.

CHARLIE ROSE: Do you still have the judgment that he`s the best political campaigner you`ve seen since Bill Clinton.

MARK HALPERIN: Well, he was in winning the nomination. You know, I`ve taken some ribbing for saying that. But, I think, if you look at the achievement of winning the nomination with virtually no staff, spending virtually no money, a guy who never run for anything before. I think that was an extraordinary achievement by a guy who showed the best political skills I have seen since Bill Clinton, just in achieving that. Since then, I`m open to seeing the new data. He`s been a horrendous general election candidate. Many things I thought -- I thought he would instantly switch to talking about jobs, the economy and change, and switches demeanor to something a little bit.

CHARLIE ROSE: Well, did they get him to do that.

MARK HALPERIN: Yeah. But I thought he would execute it because we`ve seen flashes of it. And so, no, he`s -- I no longer would say he`s that great because I`ve looked at the totality of his career in politics about a year and-a-half, and the first part of it was stunning. A stunning achievement. And he is lucky that she`s got so many problems with so many Americans who don`t trust her and don`t see her as the kind of president they want, that he`s in this. He`s behind. CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah.

MARK HALPERIN: . but he`s in it because there are some structural things on the other side that works to his advantage.

CHARLIE ROSE: And when they have a chance to look at their answers to some of these FBI questions. It feeds the questions of absence of transparency, caution and perhaps bordering on full disclosure.

MARK HALPERIN: I think that if there was a most valuable player in the Clinton campaign in the last month, it would be James Comey, FBI director, for putting that report out on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend. There`s so many things in that report that are damning on their face and so many questions raised by them. But the nature of a summer holiday weekend and the fact that, you know, we`re in the midst of other things.

CHARLIE ROSE: But is that our responsibility.


MARK HALPERIN: I hope we would, but there are certain, you know, geo- political physics to have campaigns get covered. We should be digging into it. But there are questions in there that will never get the attention they shouldn`t have gotten. And I find it stunning that the FBI director who brags about his -- to transparency, we choose to put it out.

CHARLIE ROSE: But you have three political programs.

MARK HALPERIN: Well, I talked about it -- will talk about it everywhere.


MARK HALPERIN: Everywhere, but it`s difficult when you`ve got 72 hours of sunshine to bury it under.

CHARLIE ROSE: Right. When you look at her.


CHARLIE ROSE: . and you look at the emerging constituencies, the Obama constituencies.


CHARLIE ROSE: . I mean, they`re all coming her way.

JOHN HEILEMANN: They are, not all of them. Not, maybe, without the global enthusiasm that she would like. I just want to say about a couple of things that Mark just said. One of which is that I take some exception to the view that Trump was an amazing performer. He`s a very charismatic guy. He also was helped enormously in the Republican nomination by the weakness in the field. I think, actually, we disagree with that. That he had enormous luck in terms of not being faced by one single opponent who was willing to take him on in a sustained way. He made a lot of mistakes. No one in the Republican field was able to make him pay a price for those mistakes. We agree he`s been horrible as a general election candidate in a lot of ways, not only doing things that we all think are kind of objectionable, saying things that are on their face racist, attacking a Gold Star family, doing thing that would kill another candidate. But it does.

CHARLIE ROSE: All over the place on immigration.

JOHN HEILEMANN: All over the place. And so, he`s made a huge number of mistakes. The one place where I think that the Clinton campaign -- I think we agree about this too, the Clinton campaign has a point which is that Donald Trump has been judged by a much too loose and certainly much looser standard, a lot of these stories that Hillary Clinton has. You know, he, right now, is involved in a scandal or questions are being raised about a paper play accusation related to the attorney general in Florida, Pam Bondi, where he gave a campaign contribution to her around the time that she was deliberating about whether to go after Trump on a lawsuit.

CHARLIE ROSE: But she knew about him when she`s.

JOHN HEILEMANN: She says that. But my point, Charlie, is that that story which the prima facie evidence is more -- points more towards play-to-play than anything that`s happened with the Clinton Foundation. And yet, the Clinton Foundation has consumed a lot -- I think the Clinton Foundation is a subject worthy of a lot of scrutiny and she`s worthy of criticism, but I think they are right when they say that Trump on a variety of fronts -- there`s so many things that he`s done that are potentially areas of scandal or controversies that the press has kind of skated over all of them. And so, part of what is keeping him aloft right now is that -- although people off and on television criticize Trump for various indiscretion and various thing he says that are controversial or inappropriate, it is a case that no one has like really been -- really focused with the degree of intensity and the degree of intensity or pervasiveness on many of the thing that are problematic in his career. His connections to Russia, his tax release -- tax returns, etcetera, etcetera. As they have on the issues that are problematic for her. He has benefited from that there`s no doubt in my mind.

CHARLIE ROSE: What about the campaign changes? Do you notice any discernible difference in his campaign because of the change when Manafort left and the two, Kellyanne came in and Steve came in?

JOHN HEILEMANN: I think we`ve seen certainly the -- if you look at his outreach that he`s done.

CHARLIE ROSE: That`s Kellyanne.

JOHN HEILEMANN: . to minority voters. That two weeks of talking to African-Americans, to at least talking to African-Americans, not necessarily always in their presence, but talking about wanting African- Americans votes, doing some of those things which I think were as much about trying to assuage as concerns of college-educated white women in the suburbs, the battleground states, that they are actually trying to get black votes. But, nonetheless, that is a Kellyanne Conway production. That is -- she`s very focused on understanding that Trump needs to do better with a certain subset of normally Republican voters.


MARK HALPERIN: I don`t think that anything Trump has done during this relatively good run he`s had, are things that Paul Manafort would object to. Quite the contrary, I think they`re all consistent with the kind of campaign strategy and tactics he wanted.

CHARLIE ROSE: Paul Manafort wanted him to stay on message, and the message was essentially economic and change.

MARK HALPERIN: And to appeal to -- simultaneously find a way to appeal to the base of the Republican Party and the center of the electorate, selectively and to his advantage. I think Bannon who has obviously working much more behind the scenes. And Kellyanne Conway have for whatever reason more of an ability to get Trump to execute.


MARK HALPERIN: So, it`s not the question of difference of strategy or tactics, it`s just implementation.

CHARLIE ROSE: And have more influence.


MARK HALPERIN: She`s a pollster. She`s someone who understands the use of language. I think that the election -- I`ve been wrong about a lot, but this is one thing I think I`m still right about. I think, Trump will -- I`ve always said Trump would win if Americans see him as an acceptable president. And so the whole contest has been, are you an acceptable president? And that`s why so much of the Clinton effort in advertising and out of Hillary Clinton own mouth already this week is to say here are the 50 reasons this guy is not acceptable president.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK. But do you believe he would win if he was seen as an acceptable president simply because you believe that people are looking for an option to her.

MARK HALPERIN: An option to her, but also change and a new direction in Washington and the economy. And it`s just hard to see given what Hillary Clinton is proposing as compared to the last 50 years of Democratic orthodox, the current president, that she`s someone who would fundamentally change how we`re trying to help American`s great jobs. I think he`s created so many new problems for himself in being acceptable. He brings with him decades of history that the Clintons and the Democrats effectively put out there to say this is why it`s not acceptable. That`s why, I think, the main reason the first debate so important because he will cut it -- if he comes across there as acceptable, not best president ever, not far and away my first choice that everyone in America voters would say, but just he`s acceptable, we want change.

CHARLIE ROSE: We can trust him in an office.


JOHN HEILEMANN: I think that, in fact -- that sort of suggests that the trajectory of the race is more in Trump`s hands than her hands. And I -- in the end, I think, you know, if you think about the structural advantages she has, the battleground state advantages, the demographic advantages, the financial advantages, the operational advantages, all of those advantages, and all the ammunition that Trump has given her, all of the things he`s said that would be disqualifying for almost anybody else with the Republican nominee. If she executes and runs a good campaign is a good candidate, executes, she should win this race.

CHARLIE ROSE: If she executes it will trump his ability to transform himself into acceptability.

MARK HALPERIN: It will. Look, in 2004, James Carville said if George Bush got reelected it would be the most incredible political achievement he ever seen. And he did because he made John Kerry unacceptable. Did not clear John Kerry, did not clear the bar for enough Americans.

CHARLIE ROSE: Rather than getting out his vote.

MARK HALPERIN: Yes. I mean, he did that too, but he did that in part by energizing people to say we can`t let John Kerry in the White House, he`s un-fit able. Barack Obama did the exact same thing against Mitt Romney. You look at the economic conditions the country, what happens in the country, he made Mitt Romney unacceptable. We`re seeing the exact same thing now. Hillary Clinton will lose if she doesn`t make Donald Trump unacceptable. But she and her team had -- with Trump`s aid and assistance has done a fantastic job up until now, making the discussion more days than not about all the reasons why you can`t trust Donald Trump to be president. He`s got time to make himself acceptable.

CHARLIE ROSE: And the debate is the most important event.

MARK HALPERIN: The most important. But what gives the people and the Clinton camp the most comfort I would say, far -- second to none, is the number of Americans who already have decided he`s unacceptable, and are so unlikely to change their minds about that.

CHARLIE ROSE: Thank you, sir. Great to see you.

MARK HALPERIN: Good to see you, Charlie.

JOHN HEILEMANN: Always a pleasure.

CHARLIE ROSE: Back in a moment. Stay with us.


CHARLIE ROSE: Apple is set to announce a variety of new products at its annual media event tomorrow in San Francisco. The unveiling of the new iPhone 7 has been highly anticipated, despite Apple efforts to keep new features secret, many are speculating about possible changes to that world`s bestselling smart phone. Update to the Apple watch and IOS software are also expected. We want to talk about Apple and its future, including its products with Henry Blodget, he is the editor-in-chief of Business Insider. Steven Levy is editor-in-chief of Backchannels. Nicholas Thompson is the editor of From San Francisco, Geoffrey Fowler, the personal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal. I`m pleased to have all of them here on this program. Sounds very impressive doesn`t it.


CHARLIE ROSE: Henry, tell me what we`re going to see tomorrow.

HENRY BLODGET: Well, we are going to see the new iPhone. We`ll see a lot of software around it. Probably for those who watch Apple release a new product over the years, it`s going to be pretty boring, I think, all in. This is not the big one. I`m sure some of our tech experts will disagree with me. But, not much there, maybe a better camera, a couple of other nice features.

STEVEN LEVY, BACKCHANNELS: Lately, in the last couple years, Apple wanted secrecy has fallen apart. You know, what the rumor mill has been able to come up with, turns out what you get there. I`m always hoping is wrong, and they`ll come up with something that totally astounds us and surprises us. But what they`re saying is going to be in this new phone which is pretty eagerly anticipated because it`s been a long time since there has been a big upgrade are incremental things, you know, more power, a better camera and something that alarms a lot of people which is the removal of the headphone jack which is going to cause some disruption to people.

CHARLIE ROSE: Why are they doing that?

STEVEN LEVY: Well, the reasons people give is because it`s a little thinner to use, you know, the regular connection there, and there`s this intriguing idea that they might want to switch us to wireless ear buds and headphones there. And.

CHARLIE ROSE: So that they can sell wireless.


HENRY BLODGET: They don`t like wires, we don`t like wires. That is potentially.

STEVEN LEVY: Well, potentially, that`s really exciting there. So, Apple had a history of removing things, the people gets really outrage when they hear about it. What, no CD Drive on my computer? I can`t take this. I mean, the world is coming to an end, but it turns out you don`t need that. So, the headphone jack, removing that and switching us to wireless actually increases what it can do. If you think about a phone talking to you, you really can`t have your phone talk to you when it`s in your pocket, but when you`re using these wireless ear buds then your phone can carry on a conversation with you. So, maybe down the road that`s what they`re going towards.

NICHOLAS THOMPSON, NEWYORKER.COM: It`s a totally interesting fact. There are a couple good things about it too. It makes it more waterproof which is marginally useful, and if you think about the tiny amount of space in an iPhone, getting rid of the jack actually gives you more space. You can do all kinds of things. But, it does genuinely seeing like a bad -- or Apple might be wrong, right? It might be too annoying with so many things they plug in. So, this is.

GEOFFREY FOWLER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: There has been a big improvement in the last year in the wireless technology in headphones. Now, you can get ones that are actually completely independent. You`re not tethered like two dogs on a leash anymore. And if you try of these it can really improve the experienced and make you feel connected to the cloud, to the internet, kind of like in that movie, Her, where he had that relationship with his OS. Maybe we`ll have that with Siri in the very near future.


CHARLIE ROSE: Behind all of this, and I was there last year for the unveiling of the product that they unveiled last year. And I think it was, in fact, on September 7, as I remember. But there is this question does Apple still have the same capacity to generate hot new products, Geoffrey.

GEOFFREY FOWLER: Well, I mean, the big question here really is the pace, right? So, Apple has trained all of us to expect that every two years we`re going to get a new iPhone that is going to make people really just, ah, just salivate. Want to wait in line for it. And what we`re seeing from what we`ve heard so far about this product tomorrow is that Apple either can`t keep up with that pace anymore, or it`s trying to change our expectations for how often we`re going to get really new technology in a maturing form like this.

CHARLIE ROSE: Are they doing that because, A, they can`t keep up. They can`t keep delivering those kinds of products which would be an admission that whatever was is no longer there or circumstances have changed, or they`re looking at a new business model.

HENRY BLODGET: Look, what really happening is this was a once in a lifetime product that they invented. Out of whole cloth the most profitable product in the world, it is changed people`s lives. We are now connected to it 18 hours a day. We run our whole lives with that. It is hard to one up that. If you look what`s really going on, we`ve talk about incrementalism, it`s just -- this is just getting a little bit better every year. But we got so spoiled by Apple coming up with amazing new thing every year or two, and that`s what people are still hoping that will come up with.

CHARLIE ROSE: Fundament question is are they shifting. I mean, can we detect any sense that Apple is looking at the future and saying there`s a better market out there for some of the things other than the products we have?

STEVEN LEVY: Well, it really is about the ecosystem. I think, maybe, we`re moving away from the time where we`re just like rabidly waiting for that next piece of hardware because what`s more interesting now than the actual device is what the device can do. The artificial intelligence inside it. A few weeks ago, Apple called me to Cupertino, I had an audience with there, you know, Illuminati, and they told me, you know, about how they were building A.I. into their products there. A lot of people have thought that Apple might have been lagging behind Google, and Facebook and some of the other places, and building intelligence into their products there. And, you know, Apple really wanted to prove that they were actually building it in there. So there`s things -- there`s actually a brain inside your iPhone that does neural nets and other, you know, deep learnings and other kinds of thing in a way that they told me -- ensures your privacy, that it matches them they thought with the other companies.

CHARLIE ROSE: And Google has DeepMind.

STEVEN LEVY: Yeah. But there`s a product with Google now which anticipates what you do. And now, maybe you notice it if you have an iPhone, someone calls and the person`s number is not in your contact list, but they`ll look at your e-mail and know that you have e-mailed that person, and it will say this might be so and so.

NICHOLAS THOMPSON: That`s makes one of there -- a couple of really interesting big question about Apple. One of which is this trade off, right? If you want to be really good at artificial intelligence and you really want to be able to provide information to people that they don`t know how you`re going to provide it. You need to share stuff like that e- mail across your different services. Once you start doing that, then you start giving up privacy. And Apple, of course, in the last year has made a huge stand for privacy and for encryption. Google cares about it much less. They care about giving you all the information you need and all of their products as seamlessly as possible.

CHARLIE ROSE: They want to know much about you as they possibly can.

NICHOLAS THOMPSON: Right. And so, Apple which could know everything about you and share it across all their products has this kind of core problem if they`re going to bet on privacy and inscription.

CHARLIE ROSE: Go ahead Geoffrey, and I`ll come back.

GEOFFREY FOWLER: But beyond the artificial intelligence challenges that Apple faces with its privacy stance, it`s also starting to lag its chief competitor, Samsung, in some serious way. I`ve used an iPhone for years, but something funny happened in the last year. When I take a trip where I`m going someplace interesting, I take two phones with me. I also take a Samsung phone because it can now do some things in its own ecosystem that Apple just can`t do. I can have virtual reality experiences on a Samsung phone. I can pay at cash registers that just have a magnetic stripe. So Samsung has taken all of these years of development and is really finally catching up with an ecosystem with products of its own that had their own cache, and that is the most dangerous thing of all for Apple to lose. If Beyonce doesn`t want to use the new iPhone then they`re in trouble.

CHARLIE ROSE: So, I mean, with respect to Samsung, they were also at some point going after different price points. Has that changed, are they going after the same consumer today?