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Special Report

How will the matchup between Trump and Clinton play out?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 8, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESUMPTIVE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: They've made hundreds of millions of dollars selling access, selling favors, selling government contracts. And I mean hundreds of millions of dollars.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The Clinton Foundation investigation, the FBI investigation into the email, you're saying zero chance that this is a problem for you in this election?

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Absolutely that's what I'm saying. That happens to be the truth.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST ANCHOR: Hearing from both sides the two we believe remaining contenders for the general election, let's talk about with our panel: syndicated columnist George Will, Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public Radio, and editor in chief of Lifezette, Laura Ingraham. Good to see you all tonight.

All right, so that particular line of attack, this is something that Trump talked about a lot last night about this. He said "The Clintons have made personal enrichment an art form," George, he said to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Will he get traction with the now general election audience with that?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: He's already said before that she's guilty as can be and should be in jail. So the presumption of innocence is taking a little beating here.

This was the subdued Trump who said I'm running against a criminal. What you just showed was a textbook definition of quid pro quo corruption.
That's not the normal discourse of a campaign, but I suppose we shouldn't expect that now.

A lot of Republicans are hoping desperately that at age 69 he's going to have a kind of transformative, I guess temperament transplant, and that the persona that he's been demonstrating so far will go away. The problem is the persona isn't a filigree on the architecture of this campaign. It is the campaign. I don't think many people go to his rallies saying, gosh, I hope he talks at length with trade policy.

MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Or reads from a teleprompter.

BREAM: Right.

WILL: So the question is, is this a 10-minute hiatus or a new Trump?

BREAM: Many of his supporters will say, Mara, that's how he got to the nomination. That it works with people. It connects with them in some way.

LIASSON: There's no doubt about that. He himself has said he feels he has a mandate from the voters to be provocative. And actually I think he's turning 70 next week. So he -- this has worked for him. And he ran against the establishment. Why should he take their advice now?

But after last week, you had Republicans just pulling their hair out, feeling that he had spent the last five weeks not transitioning to being a general election candidate but instead getting sidetracked with these personal feuds with the judge or with the media and he wasted a lot of time.

Now, there is a case for him to make against Hillary Clinton, no doubt about it. I don't know if it's about the things he said he wants to talk about on Monday, but certainly when he explained in that speech what America first means and for the first time he laid out a kind of coherent explanation of it, what it means for taxes, jobs, trade. And then he said for foreign policy, look at ISIS, look at Libya, look at Syria. This is the mess she's made and she left Iran stronger. So there is a case for him to make. We just don't know if he is temperamentally inclined to make that kind of case.

BREAM: Laura, what do you make of the scripted Trump that we got last night?

LAURA INGRAHAM, LIFEZETTE.COM: It's a step. And, I mean, I for one am was very happy with the speech. I think the way that he wins is to stress economic populism, redoing a trade regime that has been disastrous for the American middle class, talking about sensible and pragmatic, not wishful thinking foreign policy, and pointing out that despite her great staging and her great crowd last night, Hillary Clinton could not and did not point to one accomplishment in foreign policy as secretary of state. In an interview with Bret, she kept saying, well, we're going to do this and we're going to spend money and it's going to be infrastructure. And Bret said, well, what are you going to do differently?
Wasn't that Obama's shovel ready jobs. And she said, well, then Bill is going to advise me. So there's no there there.

Again, she's a talented person, she's very smart. But Trump has the magic sauce. He has to sprinkle it on the issues, and then he has to serve it up in a pleasing, interesting and sometimes provocative and entertaining way.
People want to go to rallies and have a got time. They want to feel like there's a champion for them. He began to do that last night in a much more I think organized fashion, which is what was needed for some time. I for one think it was a very good first step.

BREAM: I want to play a little bit of Hillary's speech from last night as well, because this conversation about what does it mean to make America great again, she's got her own interpretation of that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: When he says let's make America great again, that is code for let's take America backwards --

(APPLAUSE)

Back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: George, you hear the cheers there. That resonates with a lot of folks.

WILL: It does. But her campaign is let's go backwards to the 1990s, to the halcyon days of my husband, who, by the way, is going to revitalize the economy. The very choice of language says the economy lacks vitality after seven and a half years of Democratic control.

LIASSON: She has a tough problem because she's the incumbent, she represents the status quo. And she has to come up with a future-oriented message on the economy that somehow doesn't trash what Obama did in the last seven years, kind of like chapter two. Obama was a great chapter one.
He got us out of the ditch. And I'm going to build on that and here's what I'm going to do. She hasn't quite figured out how to do that yet. But there is a way I think that she can way we've made some progress, we need to make more.

INGRAHAM: She said, Shannon, in Trump's world, the rich and the privileged are going to get all the opportunities. Well, my head started spinning around. Let me get this straight, because in the last seven and a half years middle America has gotten no raise. They're lucky to get a vacation this summer for a few days. And the rich have done well in this market.
They've done well in the stock market investments. And the rich are the people who are funding the Clinton Foundation, foreign governments, and so forth. She ticks off coal country, Appalachia, and places like Baltimore and Chicago and so forth, I'm going to help. Again, what has been happening over the last seven-and-a-half years? What are you running on?
What record can you show, and what advice did you give Obama, again, the secret sauce that Bill Clinton has to fix this economy that Obama didn't take? I think it's a very difficult argument to make beyond the typical identity politics of Trump wants to put women back in the kitchen. It's the same old stuff they always say. It's identity politics, hyphenated America contrary to what that early message of Barack Obama was in 2004 where it's not a red America or a blue America. It's the United States of America. We're far from that message today.

BREAM: Well, Bret pushed her many times on the various issues that she's been facing with regard to the email, with regard to the Clinton Foundation. She once again said there won't be any indictment. I talked numerous times about this publicly. There's plenty of information. But he pressed her on why she wouldn't talk to the inspector general for the State Department. Does anyone think -- she says she won't be indicted. She can't wait for this to go away. Does anyone think that she will be?

LIASSON: I don't think she'll be indicted. But this is a huge problem for her. Her numbers on being honest and trustworthy are terrible, and the emails was the most current, biggest reason why people feel that about her.
So I think it's very possible she won't be indicted but it still is the problem.

WILL: But the opposite of being indicted is not being indicted. And if she's not indicted she will present this with some justification as vindication.

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