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Clinton Continues To Press An Affirmative Vision For The Country

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With only 11 days to go before Election Day, both major-party candidates are making their closing arguments to the American people. Current first lady Michelle Obama joined former first lady Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail yesterday in North Carolina. In a few moments, we'll hear what Donald Trump had to say while he was campaigning in Ohio. First, though, let's hear from Brian Fallon. He's the press secretary for the Clinton campaign.

Welcome to the program.

BRIAN FALLON: Thank you for having me.

MONTAGNE: Given that Hillary Clinton is doing well in the polls at this moment in time, I think people are actually wondering - what is the biggest challenge in these next 11 days?

FALLON: I think that the No. 1 challenge that we face in these remaining days is complacency because there are a lot of reports out there speculating that Hillary Clinton has this thing, quote, unquote, "in the bag." If you go on The New York Times' website and look at their "Upshot" blog, they have an analysis right now that gives her a 93 percent chance of winning. And all of those projections are based on modeling that assumes that our core supporters actually come out and vote. And so we're confident that if we succeed in turning out our supporters that we will be successful on Election Day. But that - we can't take that for granted.

MONTAGNE: Well, in terms of what might dampen enthusiasm, a lot of attention is being paid to these thousands of hacked emails, many of which show up, you know, on an every-few-days schedule. But this sort of drip, drip, drip has certainly given ammunition to the Trump campaign. None of that would seem to be helpful. How hurtful is it?

FALLON: Well, in general, I think that the lasting takeaway that the voters will end up having at the end of this election from this drip, drip, drip that you mentioned from WikiLeaks of emails purported to come from John Podesta's inbox will be a startling recognition of the degree to which the Russian government is seeking to meddle in our election. And Donald Trump, I think, has made himself noteworthy in this respect that he has refused to even acknowledge, let alone condemn, the Russians' role in this.

And I think it raises troubling questions about the one-sided nature of WikiLeaks' disclosures here. Clearly, they are targeting our campaign unilaterally. You do not see any disclosures that are attempting to, quote, unquote, "shed light" into the Trump campaign's internal decision-making. But I think that, by now, we have judged that the impact with voters is actually very minimal.

MONTAGNE: Some of the elements that have emerged from these WikiLeaks revelations have entered the conversation. And one good example of that is, in the last debate, Clinton's remarks in a paid speech to a Brazilian bank three years ago. She was asked about that, and she said her dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders. Now, in the debate, she said she was speaking about energy. But many on the left have expressed concern that she was still really for open trade. So in a bigger picture, what are you doing to manage these relationships when they're undercut by these sorts of revelations?

FALLON: On the issue of trade, I think what's undeniable is that the issues that she lifted up and the positions that she staked out during her primary campaign against Senator Sanders are one and the same with the policies that she consistently champions now in the general election. In other words, there's been no pivot. A lot of people might have expected that post-the convention that there might have been some dash to the middle by Hillary Clinton, an attempt to appeal to voters in the center. And she has pretty consistently campaigned on the exact same set of bold, progressive proposals that she helped negotiate in terms of our party platform that was adopted in July, shoulder to shoulder with Senator Sanders.

MONTAGNE: You know, let me go back to the question of Hillary Clinton's speeches. This has been an ongoing demand - that Hillary Clinton release the speeches she gave for very high prices. Why doesn't she release the text of her speeches?

FALLON: When it comes to her speeches - who she has addressed, where she gave those speeches, even the amount that she received individually per speech - has all been disclosed. That's all out there for people to judge and take into account.

MONTAGNE: But let me just say - and that's been controversial. So the only thing left is, what was the content? And the content is interesting.

FALLON: Well, again, I think that, at this point, there is more information out about Hillary Clinton than any other nominee for president, probably in American history. In the materials that have been released from WikiLeaks, certainly they have put out documents that they've purported represent the transcripts of some of her speeches. And I don't sense that, even in the coverage of those materials, that there's been any, quote, unquote, "smoking gun" that has been uncovered or anything that finds any true contradiction between the tone that she takes on the campaign trail and what she is purported to have said in those speeches.

MONTAGNE: Brian Fallon is the press secretary for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Thank you very much for joining us.

FALLON: Thank you for having me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.