Face the Nation Transcript August 28, 2016: Conway, Brazile, Chaffetz, Carson

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: Donald Trump reverses his position on deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, or does he?

The Republican nominee dismissed questions from critics and supporters alike who were confused about whether his signature policy still includes mass deportation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All the media wants to talk about is the 11 million people, or more or less. On day one, I’m going to begin swiftly removing criminal illegal immigrants from this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DICKERSON: We will ask the woman charting a new course for the Trump campaign, Kellyanne Conway, where Trump now stands.

It was also a week where the candidates made harsh accusations about race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DICKERSON: We will talk with Trump supporter and former presidential Dr. Ben Carson.

And Hillary Clinton’s controversies pop up again. There’s a new batch of e-mails and new questions about the cozy relationship between the Clinton Foundation and State Department. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz weighs in, as does Donna Brazile, chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Seventy-two days left until the election, the presidential candidates are boiling it all down to one question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: What the hell do you have to lose?

CLINTON: The answer is everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DICKERSON: It’s all ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning, and welcome to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.

Joining us now, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.

Kellyanne, I want to start with immigration, please.

First, Donald Trump has told us over the last several months that on the question of the 11 million undocumented, that they will -- they must leave the country as a part of his plan. That seems to have been pretty stable in our conversations with him.

But now it seems to be shifting. Why is that?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Actually, he’s not, John.

He’s pretty consistent. And immigration is a very complex issue, so if I may just talk about the six or seven tenets of his plan, and I will address your question.

First, there’s still no amnesty. Secondly, he’s building that wall. That has been the centerpiece of his candidacy and his immigration vision from the beginning. And it has not changed one inch.

Third, we have to end the sanctuary cities. Next, he has said that he will enforce the law. That is a novel concept in Washington, D.C., where they just like to layer law on top of law and never enforce what we have.

And he also said that for those 11 million, if that in fact is the number, he wants to address that issue humanely and fairly. Those were his words. And he also said that he wants to not cause harm to people. So, the question is what to do.

He has said that, if you want to be here legally, you have to apply to be here legally. We all learned in kindergarten to stand in line and wait our turn. And he is not talking about a deportation force, but he is talking about being fair and humane, but also being fair to the American workers who are competing for jobs, being fair to all of us who want secure borders and want the law enforced.

DICKERSON: So, if the law is to be enforced, the 11 million or so -- let’s just use that number for the moment -- are here illegally, so enforcing the law would mean having them leave. So, how do they leave? Do they self-deport, or does -- is there a -- whether you want to call it a deportation force or something that helps them leave the country immediately, as he’s previously said he’d like to see happen?

CONWAY: Well, that’s really the question here, John. And he has to deal with those agencies and those individuals already responsible for this who aren’t doing the job.

So, nobody enforces the law the way he wants to enforce the law. So, he obviously would work with law enforcement, immigration, the immigration agencies. We have ICE. We have agencies that already exist that are meant to be doing this already. And, again, it’s a very unusual idea for a president of the United States that would be President Trump to actually enforce the law and see how we can do this in way that, to quote him, fair, humane and effective.

DICKERSON: For someone who has been -- who has run on being candid about things, the apparent muddiness of this has caused some of his supporters, Mark Krikorian is one of them -- he’s at the Center of Immigration Studies -- Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter have suggested or think or hear that he might be abandoning his position.

Here’s what Krikorian said: “Whatever remaining chance he had to win the White House is gone. The fact now that he has betrayed his base on the signature issue that he ran on seems to me the death knell of his candidacy as a practical matter.”

He said that to “The Wall Street Journal.”

So, what has he got wrong?

CONWAY: Well, he said something differently in a meeting just last week, or maybe the week before, when he was in Trump Tower for a roundtable.

But the fact is, I would say to all those people and Mr. Trump’s supporters that, when you look at his plan, and you look at the no amnesty, and the building the wall, and the enforcing the law and the making sure that there’s no legalization, he’s also said that, it’s exactly what he’s been talking about altogether.

And, by the way, there are two major choices in that ballot box. And if you look at Hillary Clinton’s immigration plan, you see a real -- you a see convergence of a plan that would actually create more illegals coming in here, porous borders, sanctuary cities continued, catch and release, so that local law enforcement’s arms, hands are tied in terms of catching a illegal immigrant who shouldn’t -- who has committed a crime. We just release them.

Donald Trump has said if you committed a crime, you’re out of here. And so this isn’t just referendum of Donald Trump’s immigration. You have to contrast to Hillary Clinton’s. She’s to the left of Barack Obama on this. She’s been very critical of President Obama because he has deported millions of illegals and because he has used executive amnesty a little bit. But she promises to use that it much more.

DICKERSON: Let me touch on couple of other issues. Mr. Trump tweeted yesterday after an NBA player’s cousin was shot. Mr. Trump tweeted: “Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will vote Trump.”

What did he mean?

CONWAY: He tweeted his condolences to the family right after that.

And I would like everybody to know about those tweets, because I think it’s incredibly important for all of us to come together, John, in a very nonpartisan fashion and express our condolences to families like the Wade family and also our outrage that things like this can happen.

This woman was pushing her baby stroller. There are four children today, including a newborn, that don’t have their mother.

DICKERSON: Absolutely.

CONWAY: And I think it’s important that Donald Trump is taking his message to communities of color. Republicans sometimes show up at different forums, but they really don’t continue with this message trying to reach all Americans.

In the coming weeks, you will see Mr. Trump directly in these communities of color.

(CROSSTALK)

CONWAY: Yes.

DICKERSON: Let me ask -- we will get to that in just a second. I just try and unpack the first tweet, though, because I just don’t know what that means.

CONWAY: Well, I think you have to look at both tweets, where he expresses his condolences. And he says -- and he reminds everybody he’s been trying to make the case that the increase in random crime and senseless murders, the poverty, the joblessness, the homelessness in some of our major cities is unacceptable to all of us.

And the idea that certain politicians, he’s not one of them, have looked the other way and have not done everything they can do to help all Americans, including our communities of color, is unacceptable to all of us. And it certainly is unacceptable to a President Trump.

DICKERSON: Some people pointed out that in a number of instances, whether it’s the Orlando shooting, the Paris attacks, and now this one, his first instinct to talk about himself, his policies, to see tragedy as a validation of what he’s been saying.

Is that healthy for a presidential candidate to do that?

CONWAY: Well, look, I know the media lives on Twitter, but most Americans see what he does on a weekly basis, which is he gives policy position speeches.

He’s been out there just in the last two weeks, John, talking about defeating radical Islam, middle-class tax relief, law enforcement, communities of color, the rigged, corrupt system that is the Clinton enterprise.

And -- because he’s out there actually taking his case to the people. What did Hillary Clinton give speech on this week? Not energy, infrastructure, economy and jobs, Obamacare, defeating terrorism. She talked about him. He’s talking to the voters about issues, and she is talking about him.

And that is just a remarkable contrast in the way these two individuals are running their campaign. And so I think people should look at the full measure of the man. They should look at his plans to defeat radical terrorism, to help our inner cities and also all Americans, and contrast it to Hillary Clinton, who this week I think elevated insult into an art form, and, frankly, has left the Democratic Party that I grew up with, whereas the Democratic Party, where her fear and loathing is a big, big way away from hope and change.

DICKERSON: What about -- Donald Trump called her a bigot. Do you -- is that the campaign’s position? Is that something he’s going to keep saying?

CONWAY: When you see what Donald Trump is called by nearly everybody in Clinton world, including many of her supporters in the media, before he gets out of bed in the morning, this man has been called everything in the book, insults routinely hurled at him. People think it’s funny. They put on their Twitter feeds, even though they’re supposed to be objective journalists.

And so he turns around and says basically that her policies have left people behind. And the policy that she would continue would not help many of the people who still feel like they don’t have the same opportunities, the same education, the same economic upward mobility that other people have been able to leverage, and that they deserve the same.

And so pardon me if I can’t get all exercised about name-calling, when Hillary Clinton gave an entire speech this week about name- calling, not about the issues. We have no idea what she would on Obamacare, which is failing everywhere. Tennessee just this week said that that exchange is failing as well. That would be number 17, by my count, of the 23, obviously, major insurers pulling out of the exchanges.

Obamacare looks like a failed experiment. There are millions of Americans who don’t have coverage that need it. We don’t know what she should do about economy of jobs. We have no idea why she called ISIS our -- quote -- “determined enemies,” rather than terrorists.

She calls -- speaker of name-calling, she referred to pro-life Republican as -- quote -- “terrorists,” but she doesn’t refer to terrorists as terrorists. And I think that’s very troubling. DICKERSON: All right, Kellyanne Conway, thanks so much for being with us.

CONWAY: Thank you.

DICKERSON: And with us now is Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile.

Donna, I want to start with a quote here from veteran political reporter Al Hunt.

He writes this in Bloomberg. He writes: “The Democrats had a successful convention. The Republicans didn’t. Clinton’s campaign has been smooth. Trump has careened between disasters. She has reached out to independents and Republicans. He has insulted the family of a soldier killed in Iraq, along with people with disabilities, Latinos and women. Clinton has outspent him 3-1, and she’s only ahead by 5 percentage points.”

Why do you think that is?

DONNA BRAZILE, INTERIM CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, first of all, thank you, John. It’s great to be back on this show. It’s been awhile, and it’s good to see you always.

If you don’t mind, let me just start by saying, 53 years ago today, Dr. King gave a historic speech not far from here on the National Mall, where he raised our consciousness to talk about ways in which we come together as Americans.

And so listening to Kellyanne, I just wanted to remind our friends out there that this is a country that has made so many remarkable strides toward a more perfect union. And I’m proud to be the interim chair of the Democratic Party.

We have a great election cycle this year. There’s no question that the American people are looking for a candidate who will be able to, what I call to continue to make progress, whether it’s on health care, whether it’s job creation, and, of course, keeping the country safe and secure.

I’m not worried about the polls today, because, as you know, the polls today reflect pretty much where the mood is, the mood of the country. A lot of voters are still undecided. They’re making up their minds.

But Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine over the period of last three weeks, they have been able to expand their performances, not just in the so-called battleground states, but we’re looking now at opportunities in Arizona and Georgia and elsewhere to continue to spread this Democratic message of inclusion, of stronger job creation, small businesses. I think we’re going to have a terrific year this year.

DICKERSON: But what Al Hunt is getting at is something we hear about, which is Hillary Clinton should be doing better, and the reason she isn’t is in the news in a number of different ways this week.

And the first is the e-mails that were disclosed this week of relationships between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton State Department. The Republicans call it pay to play. Why are they wrong about that?

BRAZILE: Well, first of all, the Republicans call -- when Republicans meet with their donors, with their supporters, their -- they call it a meeting. When Democrats do that, they call it a conflict.

It’s not pay to play, unless somebody actually gave someone 50 cents to say I need a meeting. No. In this great country, when you meet with constituents, when you meet with heads of states, when you meet like Bono, who I love, you meet with them because they have a -- they want to bring a matter to your attention. That’s not pay to play.

It’s called that when Democrats do it. It’s not called that when Republicans do it.

DICKERSON: But what we do see in these e-mails is a kind of easy relationship between the foundation and the State Department.

Somebody from the foundation calls and says, we have got somebody who they say is a friend of ours. And they’re not saying that because they gave them a gift basket at Christmas. They are saying it because they’re a big donor. They’re a friend of ours. Can you have this meeting?

Sometimes, the meeting happens. Sometimes, it didn’t. But there’s a very easy relationship. Is that just the way Washington works?

(CROSSTALK)

BRAZILE: I don’t want to say that is how Washington works. I didn’t work for the foundation.

But let me just say that I’m very, very strong supporter of the Clinton Foundation. I remember, back in 2001 and 2002, when Bill Clinton set up shop in Harlem in New York to begin to build a foundation that would help not just poor communities that are struggling, but developing countries with HIV/AIDS, with malaria, and other disgusting diseases.

So, this is a foundation that has done remarkable work. Even Kellyanne Conway has said that. Republicans have supported the Clinton Foundation.

So, whether or not I think they had a bright purple, green or blue line between the foundation and State Department, there’s no question that when someone knows someone, they say, look, I have friend, do you want to set this up meeting?

If you look at all of the so-called chain -- I’m almost at the point where I’m exhausted reading internal e-mails that have been leaked or somehow or another received through the transom -- when you look at it, even in the case of Bono, who I mentioned who I love, he had a request in, for his music to be streamed through -- and they rejected it.

So, there is no “there” there. Of course, we are going to read these e-mails. We have a lot of interest in the gossip. Sometimes, we don’t have lot of interest in the crime.

And in the case of the Democratic Party, I have to mention this because I’m a little bit familiar, the Democratic Party was the victim of a cyber, a cyber-attack by a foreign country. And once we were attacked, the media became obsessed with what was in the e-mails, and not the crime itself.

In fact, the person who is peddling personal information of individuals involved in this spurious act, he is able to come on television -- I’m talking about Julian Assange -- and say, I got more stuff to leak. I have more material to give out to the media.

The media is focused is on what I call the internal gossip, and not the crime itself. And I am worried about cyber-security and the threat that it poses to our democracy and our country itself.

DICKERSON: But there’s concern about the e-mails because the e- mails were in a private server. They weren’t -- you couldn’t get through them -- in the normal way, so this isn’t just some kind of random...

BRAZILE: And, again, going back, because I like -- there are so many lines that you cross when you talk about e-mails. There’s no question that, whether they’re State Department e-mails that were released, the State Department e-mails that were leaked, the State Department e-mails that will come out, however you draw the conclusion, there’s no “there” there.

If by -- if because you were able to get in and see someone, by making a request, be it a -- we saw Nobel Prize winners wanting to meet with the secretary of state. We saw heads of state. And there was a lot of people who wanted to meet.

The secretary of state, the former secretary of state met with literally thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of individuals.

DICKERSON: All right, well, we’re going to have to leave it there, Donna. Thanks so much for being with us.

BRAZILE: Thank you.

DICKERSON: And we will be back in one minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DICKERSON: Joining us now from Salt Lake City is House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz. So, Mr. Chairman, nothing, nothing to see, there’s no “there” there, said DNC Chair Donna Brazile. What’s your reaction?

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Well, they also said there’s smoke and no fire, but,as my colleague Trey Gowdy said, yes, there’s a fire, in fact, it was arson.

I think the public has the right to know. We certainly have been asking for these documents since 2012. And if Hillary Clinton wants to come clean, and she hasn’t yet, every -- most everything she said about this has turned out to be a lie.

She should provide her calendar. The Associated Press has been fighting for years in the courts just to get her calendar. And she has more than calendar. But get her calendars out there. She said at her press conference about this -- and I think FBI should provide the Congress, and consequently the public, an unclassified version that can be released of the report that they had.

DICKERSON: One of the things we’re trying to do here is figure out whether there was something truly wrong that was done here in the relationship between the State Department and Clinton Foundation, or whether this is just kind of the way things are done in Washington.

People who give lot of money get their phone calls returned a little faster, get e-mails returned.

So you have said that it smells like pay to play in this relationship between the Clinton Foundation donors and the State Department. What evidence do you have of that?

CHAFFETZ: Well, look at the Associated Press report that came out for nearly a majority of the people who have made these major -- made these major donations actually ended up getting a meeting.

And if you look at the interaction between the foundation and those that worked at the State Department, at one point, they said, our boss. There’s supposed to be a bright clear line. I think one of the questions the media needs to ask Hillary Clinton, was her interaction and her senior staff, was their interaction with the foundation, was that official business?

Because they say that sometimes it was. Or was that just a private something? And then where are all those e-mails, where are all those communications? Because right now it’s still years after the fact that we have sent subpoenas, we have sent letters of preservation, requests for information, and still the State Department and Hillary Clinton, we get these new revelations almost weekly that there are thousands new things that we haven’t yet seen.

DICKERSON: Of course, the Clinton campaign said that the AP report didn’t take into account all the meetings she had.

But let’s focus on the ones she did have with people who did give money to the foundation. There’s no doubt they took place. I guess the question, though, is, to do pay to play, don’t you have to show that the State Department did something, that some action was taken as a result of requests by somebody who gave a lot of money?

And, in this case, what in your mind is the action that was taken, what policy was changed or what action should people focus on when they’re looking at this linkage?

CHAFFETZ: That’s why we want to see her calendars. That’s why we want to see the rest of the e-mails.

Remember, there’s 14,900 e-mails we have not yet seen that are new, evidently new e-mails that are out there. And we also want to know about the destruction of these documents. These are federal records. These are not her e-mails. And she’s the one that set this up.

The inspector general tried to interview Hillary Clinton. She says she wants to be open and transparent, but she refused to meet with the inspector general. And then you have the FBI director said that they never, ever looked at her testimony before Congress and her interaction with Congress.

And when we’re requesting documents, federal records, and those are destroyed, we have some equities and things that we want answer to.

DICKERSON: So, there’s two baskets. There are the Clinton Foundation e-mails and then there are the e-mails you’re talking which were on her private server that was at her home in her system she set up.

You have said that she committed perjury in testimony in front of your committee. What are you asking the FBI to do? They have already said that they didn’t see a willful deletion on her part. They said that in terms of classified material that she didn’t know because it wasn’t marked classified. So, haven’t they answered some of the questions you’re raising?

CHAFFETZ: No, to the contrary. The FBI director said that they -- known or should have known that the information was classified.

Remember, at the State Department, there are two different systems. One system is the classified system. And one of the key concerns we have is, how did the information on those classified servers get over on to the ones that were not classified?

From our vantage point, it’s one of the largest breaches of security in the history of the State Department. We got to make sure that people aren’t just walking out the door with literally hundreds, if not thousands of classified bits of information that then make their way into a nonsecure setting.

And when Hillary Clinton herself allows people without the proper security clearance to have access to that information, again, that is a self -inflicted breach that she put upon the country that put people’s lives in jeopardy.

DICKERSON: On that question, which is the lawyer she hired to delete e-mails from her private server, are you saying the FBI dropped the ball? Because surely they were aware that these lawyers were looking at this information. They dropped the ball in their investigation?

CHAFFETZ: No, the FBI director said he was deeply concerned about this. He also later offered a bit of a clarification to say, some of the attorneys had some of the clearances.

But it’s not just her attorneys. There are I.T. professionals that she engaged in Platte River Networks and some others who had no security clearance. And yet when the FBI provides us those documents in a secure -- in this SCIF, so-called SCIF, in a secure place, they redact those names.

We want to know who those people are. They don’t have the proper security clearance. And she gave them access to classified information.

DICKERSON: All right, Chairman Jason Chaffetz, thanks so much for being with us.

CHAFFETZ: Thank you.

DICKERSON: And we will be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is with us now from West Palm Beach, Florida.

Dr. Carson, I want to go back to this question of immigration and Donald Trump’s position on it, because politicians who have changed their position on immigration are responsible for a lot of the unhappiness in the base of the Republican Party.

What do you make of where Donald Trump is on immigration and this question of the 11 million undocumented workers?

DR. BEN CARSON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think basically what he is saying is, there’s no path to citizenship. There’s no voting, unless you go through the same processes that anybody else goes through.

He’s saying that he clearly wants to secure the border, put E- Verify in place, tend to the visa situation, do all those things. But he’s saying, let’s apply the law. The Constitution, these things have not been tried by Democrats or Republicans.

And then let’s see what’s left over. And what’s left over after that is something that should be dealt with in a reasonable, compassionate and fair way. I don’t think that’s a big departure.

DICKERSON: All right, Dr. Carson, we will hold off just a moment.

We’re going to be back with more from you. We have got to take a commercial break here.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.

We’re back with more this former presidential candidate and current Donald Trump supporter Dr. Ben Carson.

Dr. Carson, I want to pick up where we left off on the question of immigration. You said Donald Trump wants to enforce the laws. So that logically leads to the conclusion that 11 million people who are in a -- in the country illegally, enforcing the laws would mean getting them out. But when you press the campaign on that, then they say, well, that’s what has to be worked out, which a lot of people who have been in this -- paid attention to this issue for a while here as code. They think that’s building a back door to ultimately not deport the 11 million who are in America and are undocumented.

CARSON: Well, it’s not really code. It’s using our heads, using common sense. You know, we have laws and regulations for a reason. We don’t really know how they work because we simply haven’t been applying them, and that’s both Democrats and Republicans. You know, it’s -- it’s very much like your home. Because somebody wants to come to your home, do you let them in? No, you want to know who they are. You want to know who they’re -- you know, if -- if they’re your son or your daughter’s friend, you know, you say, make sure that you understand who this person is.

It’s the same thing that we want to do now. We want to protect the American people, particularly at a time when we know that there are people out there who want to do harm to us. This is just common sense.

DICKERSON: And so I guess this is the last question. Do you have any doubt that Donald Trump will begin, once he becomes president, deporting the 11 million who are in America and are undocumented?

CARSON: Well -- well certainly the -- the individuals who have committed crimes, who keep coming back, and who ICE demands be let loose into our communities, those people will no longer be bothering Americans. We will not have sanctuary cities. And we will begin to do things that make sense. This should be something that appeals to all Americans. As far as I’m concerned, it should not be a partisan issue. We’re talking about our safety and our security for ourselves and for our progeny.

DICKERSON: Let me switch topics now. Donald Trump had some harsh words for Hillary Clinton this week. He called her a “bigot.” You suggest he not use that word. Why?

CARSON: Well -- and one of the left wing publications I was asked about that I said, you know, the -- the use of -- of terminology, the racist, the bigots, all these kind of things, are detracting from the real things that we need to be talking about. Of course they just say, Carson says, you know, Trump shouldn’t use this word. But, you know, I -- I think people are getting sophisticated enough to read through the lines now and understand that the issues that face America are -- are gigantic. And they’re going to have a big impact. And this election is so vitally important because it’s two completely different philosophies. One says, let’s take the pie and re-divide it and equitably redistribute it, and one says, let’s make lots of pies and let’s grow this thing tremendously.

You know, these are very different philosophies. And there are those who don’t want to talk about the issues. They want to pick on these little words that people say so we can divert attention away. Let’s talk about the issues. This is vitally important. And everybody should be proud of their positions. Don’t try to hide your positions and deceive people into thinking something else.

DICKERSON: Fair enough. But -- but the word “bigot” means something very specific to people and it goes to what the candidate -- the head of the Democratic Party has in her heart. And, therefore, if she is a bigot at heart, then anything she says about those issues is discounted. So this isn’t just a -- kind of side word. This goes to the heart of her motivations about a whole set of policies that he’s saying. So is it wise to just pass it by when this is the -- being -- the charge being made against her?

CARSON: Well -- well -- well, it’s not wise to engage in a name calling at all. You know, Hillary Clinton is calling him a racist, trying to associate him with the Klu Klux Klan. But where did the Ku Klux Klan come from? It came from the Democratic Party. Who was the party of slavery? Who was the party of Jim Crow and discrimination? Who was the party that pushed through the Civil Rights legislation and voting rights? That was the Republicans. Who -- they were established as an abolitionist party.

And the Democrats come along saying, yes, yes, I know, but it all switched and the Democrats became the Republicans and the Republican became the Democrat. What a total lie. There’s no -- no evidence of that whatsoever. A small group of people. It’s still going on, still manipulating, still using, still lying.

You know, do -- do we want to talk about that? Yes, we do want to talk about it to some degree. But we really need to talk about the issues that affect the quality of life of our children. That is so important. $20 trillion dollars in debt. What is that going to do to them? You know, why don’t we talk about these things?

DICKERSON: Let me ask about the pitch that Donald Trump made to the African-American community in his speech. He said -- and this is Donald Trump saying, what do you have to lose by trying something new like Donald Trump? You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to use?” What do you make of -- what do you think of that pitch and how it will be received?

CARSON: Well, again, you want to listen to what is being said. He’s talking about progressive movement and they’re ruling in the major cities of our nation. What has that led to in the last 30, 40, 50 years? More poverty, more incarceration, broken homes, out of wedlock births, you know, high school dropouts. I mean how -- how is that a success? And why do we want to continue that? We need to look at something else. And you’re going to hear, coming from the Republicans, which I admit, they have been late to the game. We should have been into this a long time ago because the -- the policies that have been espoused are good policies, but they’ve not been expressed in a way that -- that people are going to -- to understand them or even listen to them.

And Donald Trump is staring that. And, of course, that’s why he’s being attacked because, you know, you’re not supposed to attack the sacred cow. This is our -- these are our people. These are our voting bloc. Don’t you dare come in here and start talking to them. But I got news for them. A lot of people in the black community are very, very intelligent and they’re going to be listening very carefully to what’s being said by both sides and they’re going to be making diligent decisions.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you a last question based on your medical expertise. Yu mentioned that both candidates should release their medical records. As a doctor, what do you make of some people and other doctors diagnosing candidates, kind of on television and from the sidelines? Is that something that should be done?

CARSON: Well, of course not. You know, we -- we like to use real data. But I think one of the ways to eliminate that kind of speculation is for both candidates to release their medical records. You know, as people get older, a lot of things begin to go wrong with their bodies. And I think the American people have a right to know, because we’re dealing with two older candidates, what their health status is because it’s a very intense job. It’s not, you know, eight hours a day. It’s 24/7 with constant stress. We need to know that we have a leader who can withstand that.

DICKERSON: Have you made that case privately to Mr. Trump, who you’re in communication with?

CARSON: I have talked to him about the health records and the health concerns this week. I think he’s perfectly willing to release that information as long as she releases hers as well.

DICKERSON: All right, Dr. Ben Carson, thanks so much for being with us.

And we’ll be right back.

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DICKERSON: Now for some analysis from our politics panel. Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for “The Atlantic,” Ed O’Keefe covers politics for “The Washington Post,” Leslie Sanchez is a Republican consultant and contributor to our digital network, CBSN, and Mark Leibovich is a chief national correspondent for “The New York Times Magazine.”

All right, Jeffrey, what do you make of Donald Trump and where he is on immigration? Nothing’s changed, Ben Carson says, and Kellyanne Conway says.

JEFFREY GOLDBERG, “THE ATLANTIC”: Well, you know, I -- I was just thinking about Ed’s job. Ed has one of the harder jobs in journalism right now because he has to cover moment to moment Donald Trump’s rhetorical and possible policy shifts on immigration. It’s very hard to keep up. I mean it -- it really is. Obviously he was trying to pivot away from a very, very hard position. He understands that he has a floor and he understands that he has a ceiling. The floor -- his -- his core supporters want to hear that tough, tough rhetoric, but he knows that he’s not punching through a ceiling unless he softens. And this whole week has been this vertigo inducing kind of rhetorical spinning, trying to please all camps. And what he’s doing is he’s risking alienating the base without actually punching through the ceiling, convincing people that he’s softening, as -- as the word goes.

DICKERSON: Leslie, the ceiling that Jeffrey’s talking about is this notion that there are Republican women voters, Republican college educated voters who are looking for some proof, and they’re -- they don’t like Hillary Clinton, so they’re really going to grab anything they can, but some proof that Donald Trump is softening, that he’s listening to advice. Is this a gambit towards that group?

LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Definitely. And the person who would know that very well is Kellyanne Conway. She’s certainly somebody who’s helped close that women’s gap for Republicans for 20 years. And what’s interesting, when you close the Hispanic gap, when you start to sound more inclusive and talk -- instead of this white hot rhetoric that we’ve heard for the last -- better part of the last year in exclusiveness, but more inclusive, you actually close the women’s gap as well. And that’s where they’re really aiming. It’s not so much communities of color, I think as white independents.

DICKERSON: It’s a bank shock. So, Ed, is it working based on your reporting?

ED O’KEEFE, “WASHINGTON POST”: Well, you know, speaking to some white women this week actually at a -- at a rally in Florida, it was working, because the argument -- they’re Trump supporters to begin with and they made clear, as long as the wall is untouched, as long as it’s still built basically, we have no problem with him modulating here on everything else. And so if he made no news on the wall, like he’s still insisted Mexico would somehow pay for it, so to them they were fine with that.

But, yes, he’s got an 82 percent disapproval rating with Hispanics. He’s not going anywhere there. Jeffrey says it was a -- it’s a hard job. It reminded me this week of covering Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio a year ago. While their immigration policy was pretty clear, they would suddenly modulate every once in a while and say something slightly different and you’d have to be attuned to that. And I think the folks covering Trump closely got a taste of that this week. But, at the end of the week, he’s back to where he was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

O’KEEFE: Nothing changed. I think Leslie’s right, it -- it may have confused things enough for some voters who were skeptical of him to say, well, at least he was talking about it, when in reality it sounds like nothing will change.

DICKERSON: But we expect the shilly-shally (ph) from regular politicians that you named.

O’KEEFE: Right. Well --

DICKERSON: But Donald Trump has built his brand on, I say it, it’s true and he’s built his brand on immigration, his central signature issue.

MARK LEIBOVICH, “NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE”: Correct. No, I would say that this week has been a very muddled week for whatever that immigration message is. I mean he -- his -- like you said, his brand has been one of decisiveness. It will be one of -- I mean a deportation police. He explicitly talked about a deportation force several months ago. And when you ask Kellyanne or any of the surrogates or him himself, he sort of says, we’ll have to wait and see now. You do sort of wonder, is this modulated, softened tone going to win him, you know, any new supporters, but will it alienate the base. You know, the people who sort of brought him here.

SANCHEZ: Well, there’s a point to be made to that. You can ask Marco Rubio, dial them, or John McCain what happens when you shift on immigration, because among the hardliners, there’s no going back. There’s two key words, right? There’s amnesty and the wall. And on those areas, hardliners never move, but it’s a losing issue for Republicans. It is not possible to build a contiguous wall across the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s not going to happen. You have the Rio Grande River. You have a river -- a flood plain. It’s just not feasible. And I think the reality is somewhere in the middle they have to find an approach that works.

DICKERSON: Ed where do -- where are we in -- last week Donald Trump expressed regret. Leslie talked about Kellyanne Conway’s talent is for helping candidates pitch to different constituencies. Where are we in the Donald Trump evolution? Is this a new version of Donald Trump when he called Hillary Clinton a bigot? That -- that got some people concerned that he was going back to the old Trump. Where do things stand now?

O’KEEFE: I -- I don’t see any real discernible movement towards a warmer, fuzzier Trump when he -- he says things like that, when he fires off these tweets about Dwyane Wade’s cousin and says, vote for me before -- a few hours later expressing condolences. When he continues to talk about a deportation -- or his -- or his surrogates talk about a deportation force or illegals or the Hispanics, none of that works. None of it will work. And the voters I talk to, the experts that look at this I talk to say, like this is -- you know, if he’s going to be transactional like that, it may just make it worse for him in any attempt to try to be a unifying figure. If it -- if it gives some comfort to skeptical Republicans, fine. But, you know, they -- they should have been expressing that concern a year ago. This has been baked for a while.

LEIBOVICH: Yes, it is a little late to be sort of -- to try the unifying figure thing I would say. I mean -- I mean people talk --

GOLDBERG: It’s not his nature.

LEIBOVICH: It -- it is not his nature.

O’KEEFE: No. Exactly.

SANCHEZ: Right. Right.

LEIBOVICH: I mean I think one thing -- again, I mean what was one of his biggest assets was the decisiveness. I mean this is a sort of confused version where, OK, where does he stand after all? And, you know, we make -- people talk about the bigot, saying, OK, he called Hillary Clinton a bigot. I mean this is not in a vacuum. I mean this came after a -- a pretty blistering speech that Hillary Clinton gave, I guess it was Wednesday on the alt right movement, which to me was striking, one, in that it was not actually a name calling speech. It was using his own words, his own policies, his own history pretty, I think, cohesively against him. And what was striking about the reaction was, other than, you know, Donald Trump staying she’s a bigot, there -- there was really -- unless I -- I missed it, there were not a lot of Republican leaders, a lot of, you know, traditional Republicans who were rising to his defense, which I think spoke, you know, volumes, maybe more so than whatever, you know, came out of his mouth (INAUDIBLE) --

GOLDBERG: And, by the way, the purpose of that -- one of the purpose of that speech was to force him to revert back to his usual self, which is, he has said, I’m attacked, I will attack. So it -- they -- they predicted, the Clinton campaign pretty much knew that he would say something, bigot in this case, and that, again, is trying to bring him back to what they think of as his true nature, where he’s moving, I think, again, on immigration and other -- other issues. The confrontational, the harsh language, you know, no matter how much they try to muddy it up this week, it’s -- we’re back to -- to where we were I think.

DICKERSON: And it was probably also Hillary Clinton trying to change the topic from her own bad news, which we’ll switch to in a moment. But, Leslie, let me ask you this question about what Hillary Clinton tried to do in that speech, which is hive off or cut off Republicans from Trump, saying, he has this relationship to this nationalist racist group. But that’s not Republicans. Do you think that will be successful? She’s defending the party against Donald Trump. Does Hillary Clinton have any standing to do that?

SANCHEZ: I think there are a lot of Republicans who tried to do the same thing earlier in the primary. And the -- what finally came out, if we go back to earlier this year, is Donald Trump disavowed, denounced any of these organizations, these extremists who supported his campaign and distanced himself, to -- to the best of his ability. Did he do it quickly? No. He waited too long. It was in the media cycle, especially in Iowa, when there were these -- these accusations of robo calls by some of these white extremists that were impacting the caucuses.

I -- I -- I don’t think it’s new. I don’t think it’s particularly effective because on that particular issue, people have made up their mind. Now they’re trying to decide which -- it’s the lesser of two evils, so to speak. It’s really not tone at this point.

LEIBOVICH: Right. Well, I -- I would say -- well, I’m sorry, Ed, to you.

O’KEEFE: Well, I would just -- to me, when she talks like that, that is less about winning over Republican voters. It’s -- it’s about sort of reminding Republican lawmakers that when you get back to town, should I be president, I still want to work with you.

DICKERSON: Right.

O’KEEFE: I understand the difference between you, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, than you, Donald Trump. And that if I’m going to be successful president, I’m go to need to find a way to work with you on something, That, to me, is just code that’s sort of saying to them, I -- I see the difference.

LEIBOVICH: Yes. Yes, although I do think that it is targeted directly at Republican voters, particularly in the suburbs of, you know, Cleaved, Denver and so forth. And -- and, look, if you look at the numbers since the conventions, I mean her numbers that have -- I mean she’s probably gained about eight or nine points I mean from -- if -- if you believe the deficit she was coming in. I mean these are Republican voters. I mean the Democratic Convention was geared very, very explicitly and very, very clearly, I think, at Republicans, at mainstream Republicans, at Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio Republicans, what have you. And I think it’s been very effective and I think it’s going to continue.

DICKERSON: And this -- have also -- they see him trying to pivot and they’re trying to say, you can’t pivot away from this.

LEIBOVICH: You can’t.

GOLDBERG: No. I also don’t think that it’s only directed at -- at Republicans. I mean this is -- this is a get out to vote attempt by Hillary Clinton to remind Hispanics, blacks, Asians, everyone, that -- that these are the people he’s associated with. It’s very important to add to immobilize those numbers, and that’s how you do it, I think. I don’t think it’s ineffective at all. I think it’s very effective to remind people that -- that David Duke likes Donald Trump. I think that works.

SANCHEZ: There’s -- there’s extremists (ph). The same kind of argument was made in 2008 when people were talking about the alignments and the associations that Barack Obama had through the history of his grass roots campaigning. I -- really, it’s going -- people have such a baked in idea, especially Republicans, when it comes to Hillary Clinton, right? So for many Republicans who never thought they would see themselves in a position of voting for Hillary Clinton, they’re starting -- it’s not going to be moved on this identity politics as much as -- as much as who is going to be changing the direction of the country.

DICKERSON: All right, we’re going to be back and talk about Hillary Clinton’s news this week. Stay with us. We’ll be back in a moment.

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DICKERSON: With more from our politics panel.

Mark, I’ll start with you.

Hillary Clinton, this week, there were two disclosures or two developments. One, a set of e-mails that showed a kind of cozy relationship between staffers at the Clinton Foundation and staffers at the State Department. And 15,000 or so new e-mails are found that weren’t turned over from the home brew server. Take either one of those you want and whether this is -- I mean this is coming up periodically, and one expects it will until Election Day.

LEIBOVICH: It is. It’s a dull ache for them. I mean what’s interesting about this week is it links the two kind of big lurking issues, e-mail and the foundation. It really sort of brought them together into the same conversation. You know, frankly, this was a bad week for -- for -- it should have been a bad week for -- for the Clinton campaign. I think, again, the Trump campaign kind of muddled its own, you know, advantage by talking about, you know, Hillary Clinton’s health and what have you.

But you -- you do sort of wonder why, you know, with the foundation at least, I mean a lot of people have suggest, why not turn over the -- the operations of the foundation going forward to say the Gates Foundation or someone who knows how to do this, who can incorporate all of the resources. I realize it’s complicated, but it could -- it could foreclose a lot of these suspicions. It could be a sort of decisive answer. And -- and I think they’re unwillingness to do this and to try to sort of litigate this, you know, maybe more than they need to, get -- gets to a kind of -- it’s something between entitlement and -- and maybe, you know, false confidence in this election.

DICKERSON: Here’s what I wonder, Jeffrey. Hillary Clinton, about 30 percent of the people trust her. So the response from the Clinton camp to this -- these questions of this, these e-mails clearly show that when somebody from the Clinton Foundation sends an e-mail, there’s some fussing around to try to help them out.

GOLDBERG: Right.

DICKERSON: Now, maybe there’s not a pay to play, but there’s a lot of activity --

GOLDBERG: Right.

DICKERSON: Based on the fact that people have given a lot of money.

GOLDBERG: Right.

DICKERSON: And the Clinton campaign says, nobody got any meeting or anything because they gave donations. Does that pass the smell test?

GOLDBERG: Look, there -- there’s a presumption of nefariousness on the part of -- of the foundation and the -- and the Clintons. In this particular case, look, I -- I agree, that -- that the foundation probably should have been, to borrow a phrase, walled off a while ago, right? That -- that -- that there should have been a way to put that in trust. That said, you know, this -- this story there, I think -- I think there’s less than -- than meets the eye. I mean most of the people who we’re talking about, there’s a Nobel Prize winner, for instance, from Bangladesh who got a meeting, who would get a meeting with any secretary of state. There are heads of state who have given money to the foundation who would get meeting with the secretary of state. And -- and -- the problem here is that no one can prove that -- that these people got anything out of these meetings. All that said, there’s an appearance of -- of coziness, I guess is the word that you’re using.

DICKERSON: Right. And if you won’t even admit a little coziness, I mean, you know --

GOLDBERG: Right.

DICKERSON: Leslie, Donna Brazile said basically, you know, Republicans see it as nefariousness, Democrats call it a meeting. But the Clinton campaign’s barely even saying it’s a meeting. They’re saying there was no relationship here at all. Don’t they have to admit a little bit that, yes, OK, you know, you get -- some e-mails got returned, but, you know, some people got a meeting, some people didn’t and it’s not as bad as you think. But they’re not even saying that.

SANCHEZ: No, it’s what your definition of meeting is. You know, this is clearly pay to play scheme. And -- and as much as Republicans like to use it in their talking points, there’s so much smoke there that the bigger question is, isn’t this part of the pall that always surrounds the Clintons, that brings you back to selling access to the Lincoln bedroom, all the different things that come part of this package deal of Bill and Hillary Clinton. So I would even say that the independence who are looking at possibly supporting Hillary Clinton are looking at this again and saying, here we are on these corruption --

GOLDBERG: I’m sorry, but show me one -- one thing that someone got from Hillary Clinton’s State Department because they happen to give money to the Clinton Foundation.

SANCHEZ: There -- there --

LEIBOVICH: Well, they scheduled (ph) meetings. I mean there is this e-mail exchange between --

GOLDBERG: It does -- I -- I’m waiting for actual evidence of something.

SANCHEZ: Well, they’ve -- they’ve asked for investigation. (INAUDIBLE) look at that.

GOLDBERG: I’m waiting here.

DICKERSON: But that’s because your bar -- but your bar is meeting doesn’t mean anything --

GOLDBERG: Right.

DICKERSON: Because you know there are a lot of meetings that happened --

GOLDBERG: Because she has a hundred meetings a week, yes.

DICKERSON: But meetings --

LEIBOVICH: But there are these e-mails between Doug Band and Huma Abedin that came out this week that said, look, this is a friend of ours. Maybe you can do this. And then they get a -- a short but a meeting nonetheless. I mean, yes, maybe the crowned prince of Saudi Arabia would get the meeting anyway --

GOLDBERG: I would think so, yes.

LEIBOVICH: But this is clearly -- you would think, but these are skids being greased and there is actually e-mails that --

GOLDBERG: You know, part of this is very interesting because part of this why Donald Trump is succeeding to the degree that he’s succeeding. This is Washington.

SANCHEZ: Right.

GOLDBERG: You know, people who know each other and who are influential meet with other influential people they happen to know and who know people. That’s human nature and that’s politics. And this is what people outside of Washington do find is that this is not a Clinton specific issue. It’s -- it’s -- it’s -- this is an example of it.

DICKERSON: We’re going to have to go. But, right, people who write big checks get things that they want, even if it’s not the big casino, they get what they want and that’s what makes people sick about Washington.

LEIBOVICH: That’s how we get (INAUDIBLE). Right.

O’KEEFE: Yes. GOLDBERG: Yes.

DICKERSON: That’s going to be it for us today. Thanks to all of you for watching. And we’ll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DICKERSON: Today by congratulating CBS “Sunday Morning” anchor Charles Osgood, who announced this morning he will retire from the broadcast next month after 22 years at the helm. “The Osgood File” will go on, however. So, as he says, we’ll keep seeing him on the radio for years to come.

That’s it for us today. Thanks for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I’m John Dickerson.

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