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THE SITUATION ROOM
Interview With White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest; Monica Lewinsky Speaks Out; U.S. Men's Soccer Team Loses to Belgium 2-1; Monica Lewinsky Breaks Her Silence
Aired July 1, 2014 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN GUEST HOST: I will ask President Obama's top spokesman about fears of another destabilizing war.
Plus, severe weather danger after a drenching in the Midwest. Parts of the East Coast bracing for much worse. The first tropical storm of the season is threatening to hit on the Fourth of July.
And Monica Lewinsky's shame. The former White House intern opens up about the public reaction to her affair with Bill Clinton. Stand by for her first interview in a decade.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: Was a virgin to humiliation of that level until that day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
The Middle East is on alert right now for the possibility of more retaliatory strikes by Israel as the nation mourns the deaths of three kidnapped teenagers and promises vengeance against Hamas terrorists.
We are following dangerous new developments across the region, the explosion of war and terror and the threat to the United States.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest is standing by to talk about the unfolding crisis.
But first to our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna so much fear now of each of these situations spinning out of control.
In Israel today, the Israeli government vowing that Hamas will be eradicated and Hamas threatening to "open the gates of hell" if Israel launches an offensive in Gaza.
In Iraq, we saw the political process that U.S. has placed so much weight on appearing to fall apart.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCIUTTO (voice-over): It's a region of crises next door. The war in Syria has spilled into Iraq and now Israel, a relative oasis of calm, is on the brink of a new conflict.
In Syria, ISIS militants showed off weapons seized inside Iraq, including an old Scud missile. An attempt to form a new Iraqi government dissolved need a shouting match in parliament with dozens of Sunni and Kurdish members walking out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If there is a new prime minister, with a new policy, then we will be positive. Otherwise, the country is going from bad to worse.
SCIUTTO: The political stalemate comes just days after Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iraqi leaders on all sides to urgently build a new government. Now Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is under increasing pressure to step down.
MARIE HARF, SPOKESWOMAN, STATE DEPARTMENT: Now, I think we will know very soon whether they really understand it and whether they're willing to back up that sentiment with action.
SCIUTTO: Today, in Israel, the nation burying three Israeli teens abducted and murdered in the West Bank. As the government debates retaliation, many are bracing themselves for a new conflict, just weeks after U.S.-led peace talks broke down this spring.
AARON DAVID MILLER, PUBLIC POLICY SCHOLAR, WOODROW WILSON INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOLARS: We are stuck in a region critical to American interests. We can't leave and we can't transform it. And if you can't fix something, and you can't leave it behind, then you have to do the next best thing, which is to transact, which is to figure out what's vital and what's discretionary, what's doable from what isn't and then act accordingly.
SCIUTTO: The White House is extremely concerned about the deteriorating situation in Israel, urging restraint on all sides to, prevent as White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, one terrible act from leading to a much broader, much more destabilizing situation, and you know that phrase, much broader, much stabilizing situation could apply really to so many places in that region right now.
KEILAR: Yes, it really is -- it's a conflagration in a way.
Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.
And we have more now on rising tensions in Israel after the burial of those three slain teenagers and the possibility of a another retaliatory attack.
Our senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, has more on this from Jerusalem.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, tens of thousands of Israelis turned out for the funeral of the three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were discovered yesterday afternoon.
This was a drama that transfixed the country for 18 days following the 12th of June kidnapping in the southern West Bank. It was a somewhat different scene here in Jerusalem where I saw hundreds of mostly young Israelis chanting death to Arabs. There are reports of several Palestinians being attacked by this angry mob.
This evening the Israeli Cabinet is meeting yet again to ponder the next moves in the aftermath of the death of the three teenagers. We heard from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said Israel will take a three-pronged approach. On the one hand, it's going to try its very best to find the perpetrators of the kidnappings and killings of the three teenagers and then it's going to crack down on the infrastructure of Hamas in the West Bank. Finally, he said, Israel will operate against Hamas in Gaza, that word indicating perhaps Israeli is not pondering a massive thrust against Hamas in Gaza -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Ben Wedeman for us there.
And we are joined now by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Josh, thanks so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Sure, Brianna. How are you?
KEILAR: I'm very good. Thank you very much.
I want to ask you, because this was something that you have said where you are talking about seeking some details about who precisely is responsible for the killings of these three Israeli teens. Israel at this point says it is Hamas. These are Hamas activists. Does the U.S. share that opinion?
EARNEST: Well, Brianna, what we noticed is that we noticed that some leaders in Hamas had actually indicated that they were pleased that these kidnappings had taken place.
They celebrated the news of the kidnappings. There is obviously no place for that. And that is something that we're pretty disappointed by. There is an ongoing investigation to try to get to the bottom of what exactly happened here.
And in the meantime, we are going to urge, you know, all sides to use as much restraint as possible in reacting to this situation.
KEILAR: Yes, certainly. And we have heard Hamas talking about the kidnappings.
Obviously, there's a difference between kidnappings, where there was some hope that these teens would be found alive, and now these deaths where Hamas leaders are saying that they perhaps don't know as much about it. Or they don't have all the information about it.
You had said that it is understandable, the Israeli reaction to Hamas leaders really heralding these kidnappings. But is the military response of Israel to the killings, 34 targets, Hamas targets, is that understandable?
EARNEST: Well, Brianna, some of that is in response to some rocket attacks that we have seen in recent days that originated in Gaza.
And certainly the nation of Israel has not just the right, but the responsibility to protect their borders and to protect their country. And that's not a right that anybody should question.
What we are most focused on though is making sure, as I mentioned earlier today, that we don't allow this terrible event to devolve into a much more destabilizing, broader situation. That would have bad impacts down the line.
So, you know, while the anger and emotion that we're seeing on the Israeli side is entirely understandable, we are urging both sides to exercise some restraint, so it doesn't devolve into a much broader, a much more dangerous, destabilizing situation.
KEILAR: So far, have you seen that restraint?
EARNEST: Well, you know, we're watching both sides.
What is interesting about this is that there actually is a useful security cooperation relationship that exists between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government. That is an indication that both sides recognize that there is an interest in both sides in protecting the security of both sides by cooperating.
And so we hope that that cooperation will continue on security relationships. There is already some cooperation that exists between the two governments. That cooperation is critical to making sure that we don't see this situation devolve into a more violent, more destabilizing, much broader situation.
KEILAR: And I want to turn now to immigration, Josh, such a big topic right now, the chances of this moving forward in this Congress now dead. President Obama saying that he wants to go it alone here.
I wonder, does the president in his calculus here as he is talking about moving ahead with executive actions, does he worry looking to 2015 where some say, hey, there may be a chance to push immigration reform through Congress then, does he worry that going it alone right now could damage his prospects for moving comprehensive immigration reform in the next Congress?
EARNEST: Well, Brianna, it's important for context, for your viewers to understand, that the reason that the president has decided to move forward with the unilateral executive effort to try to address some of the problems that are created by our broken immigration system is simply because House Republican leaders have refused for a year now to allow a piece of legislation that passed with bipartisan support in the Senate to come to the floor and come up for a vote in the House of Representatives.
We are confident and most analysts are confident that if that legislation were to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, it would actually pass with bipartisan support and the president would sign it. So the president is not pleased about the fact that he has to resort to administrative action to try to address some of the problems that were created by our broken immigration system.
He is doing this because House Republicans have left him with no other choice. They are refusing to address this problem and the president is now prepared it use all of the authority at his disposal,all of the authority that's invested in the presidency to try to figure out what we can do to mitigate some of the worst problems of our broken immigration system.
Now, the president also stipulated yesterday when he talked about this that if Congress changes course and House Republicans do allow this bill to come up for a vote and it's passed in the House of Representatives, the president is happy to allow the legislation to supersede what he is able to do administratively to solve these problems.
EARNEST: So, we're going to continue to press with Congress, but we are not going to sit around and wait for them any longer.
KEILAR: I want to ask you about his thinking about when he goes to Congress, when he doesn't, when he moves ahead without Congress' help.
We saw him when it came to Syria. He went to Congress. He didn't get support. He ultimately decided not to proceed with some sort of military strike, some sort of airstrike against Syria. Many people on both sides of the aisle would say, there were some consequences from that. I wonder, though, in this case, he is going it alone. What's the difference here? What's his thinking on when he goes it alone and when he doesn't?
Well, one of the consequences of the president choosing not to launch that military strike against Syria is that Syria voluntarily disclosed their chemical weapons stockpile. They acknowledged for the first time in history that they had them. They signed the Chemical Weapons Convention and they worked with the international commune it to rid their country of all of that declared chemical weapons stockpile, which means that we ultimately made...
KEILAR: But some people also argue that it has, for instance, emboldened Vladimir Putin, that ISIS having fought in Syria and now marching across Iraq, that it has also emboldened that group.
EARNEST: I think it is a remarkably oversimplistic analysis.
What the goal of a military strike would have been would have been to make clear to Bashar al-Assad that he should no longer use the chemicals weapons that he wouldn't even admit that had at the time.
Because of the efforts of this president to work with the international community and put pressure on the Assad regime, Bashar al-Assad won't be able (AUDIO GAP) international community and with the Russians, ironically enough, to actually remove all those chemical weapons.
And they are currently being destroyed aboard a U.S. vessel out at sea. So, this actually is evidence of some of the president's successful implementation of a multilateral foreign policy that has made sure that the world is a safer place, because not only will Bashar al-Assad never be able to use those weapons that are now being destroyed.
Neither will (AUDIO GAP) terrorist group or somewhere else, who would take them to some other region of the world and use them against United States citizens or U.S. interests. That won't happen because those weapons are being destroyed.
KEILAR: I want it to ask you while I have you here -- and there's so much to talk about -- I want to ask you about Iraq.
We're now hearing a limited, but still several hundred troops being sent in. And it reminds us of something that President Obama said back in 2011. Let's talk on the other side of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: He said the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year. Is he concerned that he is going back on that promise?
EARNEST: Well, Brianna, what changed is the security situation on the ground in Iraq.
There's no doubt about that. We are certainly disappointed to have seen that security situation deteriorate so rapidly. So, what the president has done is he has made two specific decisions. The first decision that he has made is that he is going to put some additional American troops into Iraq for one specific purpose, which is our main goal, which is to protect the safety and security of American personnel who are currently in Iraq. So, they are there to protect the embassy. They are there to secure
the airports, so that those Americans who are there need to leave Baghdad in a hurry, they can do so and know that the airport will be secure.
KEILAR: But is some something, Josh, that really -- he, when he ran in 2008, the crux of his campaign was leaving Iraq and now you have troops going back in.
I mean, that must be something in his thinking. Does he worry about this, that what he said, what he campaigned on, what he said in 2011, now he is going back on?
EARNEST: Well, Brianna, when the president took office, there were more than 100,000 American troops in Iraq.
And what you and I are talking about are a couple hundred American troops going back to Iraq, with the principal goal of protecting American personnel in Baghdad. That is a core priority of the president's -- of the president, is making sure that Americans who are serving this country abroad in whatever country they are serving in, that they can represent our interests safely.
And so that's why the president sent additional troops there. Now, there is another contingent of up to 300 troops who are going to work closely with Iraq's security forces to assess the situation on the ground, to assess the abilities of those Iraq security forces, and to offer them a little advice and assistance.
That is very different. That couple hundred troops that are advising Iraq's security force is very different than 100,000 or more American troops who were on the ground in Iraq when this president took office and were on the front lines fighting people, fighting people who were shooting at them.
In this situation, we have American troops, a small number of them, a couple hundred, who are working closely with security forces. But they're not -- they don't have a combat role there. They have an advise-and-assist role. And that's very different.
And that is -- that reflects a policy decision that this president has made. It also reflects president's belief that, despite the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, that ultimately it is a political solution that is required. And that's why we are encouraging all of Iraq's political leaders to come together, form a government and move forward with an inclusive governing agenda for that country.
KEILAR: Yes. And we are watching them struggle with that as well and we will be watching for some time, I'm afraid.
Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
EARNEST: Thank you, Brianna.
KEILAR: And still ahead, ISIS terrorists seizing territory and moving toward Baghdad, now going after holy shrines and enraging many Muslims along the way. CNN will take you to the battleground.
And Monica Lewinsky's first interview in a decade. She is blunt about the humiliation that she endured when the world learned of her affair with Bill Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEWINSKY: It was just violation after violation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: We turn now to the deepening crisis in Iraq, another hot point in the troubled Middle East, where ISIS militants continue their deadly sweep over large parts of the country.
It isn't just the militant threat to the capital, Baghdad, that has Iraqis deeply worried here.
Our senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, has more from Baghdad -- Arwa.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, because these militants are threatening all of Shia Islam's sacred sites and there are many of them here in Iraq.
The point in trying to destroy these sites is to further deepen the sectarian divide. We just took a trip to the city of Karbala that right now is under very tight security.
DAMON (voice-over): In the early 1800s, an army of Wahhabis, Sunni extremists, tried to destroy the holy Shia shrine in Karbala, the final resting place of one of Shia Islam's most revered imams, Imam Hussein and his half-brother, Abbas. They failed.
Now, more than two centuries later, ISIS, a terrorist group more extreme and merciless than al Qaeda, is vowing to level the holy sites in Karbala.
(on camera): A spokesman for the terrorist organization released an audio message urging the group's followers to keep marching as he said the battle was not yet raging, saying that it would rage in Baghdad and here in the holy city of Karbala with the aim to destroy these sacred Shia shrines.
(voice-over): Security has always been tight around the city, now bolstered by volunteers. Karbala's governor, Akeel al-Turaihi, says a force of 35,000 have come forward. "We have two camps in Karbala that can train 3,000 to 4,000 at a time
and their training is in unconventional urban warfare," he says. We arrive at one of those camps in the desert, the volunteers on a midday break from the searing sun.
"We are trying to create a special force," Falah Ohn (ph), a computer engineer and volunteer himself, says, "an offensive force." Among those advising them are former members of the Badr Brigades, Iraqis trained in Iraq to fight Saddam's regime.
We are also told of units numbering in the thousands deployed in hidden locations throughout this harsh terrain with now borders land ISIS declares as its own.
(on camera): Just on the other side of the lake is al Anbar province, Iraq's Sunni heartland. ISIS has just renamed itself the Islamic State and claimed Anbar as part of its caliphate.
(voice-over): It is a declaration that enraged many Muslims, sowing fear among many Iraqis. For the last decade, 28-year-old Abud Ahmed Majid (ph) has had his money exchange stand just outside the Karbala shrines.
"This place, even though we have security, we have good people, we don't feel safe," he tells us. "Everyone is on edge. People can't relax. Iraq doesn't deserve this."
If ISIS succeeds in destroying these sacred shrines, it could unleash a sectarian war, bloodier than anything Iraq or the region has seen in recent history.
DAMON: And, Brianna, that is largely why so many have been urging Iraqi politicians to quickly form a national unit government. Today, parliament meeting for the first time but failing to even get that political process started, not even at this stage naming a speaker of parliament or his two deputies.
KEILAR: That right, and that's really of so much concern.
Arwa Damon for us.
Iraq under siege by Islamic extremist. Israel is trading fresh fighting words with Hamas. We can't forget Syria steeped in the three-plus years after civil war.
Joining me now to talk about the Mideast meltdown are former CIA military analyst Tara Maller now with the New America Foundation and CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd, also formerly with the CIA's counterterrorism arm.
Tara, I want to ask you about this. And it was something that Arwa mentioned at the end of her piece there. Everyone says, when you look at Iraq, it's a political solution -- really moving forward politically, inclusively, that is the solution to the problem in the region. But just today, parliament couldn't even get a quorum. The hope seems so low for this being able to move forward.
TARA MALLER, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Absolutely.
The parliament not only couldn't only get a quorum. After the break, the Kurds walked out. Groups are walking out of parliament session. Until they are able to make some political progress, the security situation, I don't see it getting any better.
You have security situation deteriorating outside of Baghdad. Do I think it's going to take over Baghdad, ISIS will be able to take over Baghdad? No. But I think it could cause problems for certain areas in Baghdad. That's why you saw more troops go in by the administration today to make sure that U.S. troops and the diplomatic situation at the embassy are both OK.
KEILAR: Phil, let's a little bit talk as well about the political moves we are seeing in Iraq. Right now there's a question of who might replace the current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. He is seen as ineffectual.
One of the names we are hearing is Ahmed Chalabi. This is someone who you have heard before. You might have to dig back a few years, but he is the man actually accused of defrauding the U.S. as the Bush administration considered whether to go to war in Iraq. How concerned should we be about this and is this someone the U.S. can really trust?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think the concerns are bigger than whether Chalabi replaces al-Maliki.
Remember, Chalabi is another Shia. Step quickly into the scenario in Iraq. You are looking at the potential for disintegration. The Kurds in the north have already said we're out of here. Now we have the Sunni extremist saying this isn't just a fight between extremists and the government. It is a fight between the Sunni minority and the Shia majority that doesn't respect us.
That's why the Sunni extremists are going against Shia shrines. Believe it or not, they are the minority. They want to expand the fight to make it into a civil war so they can separate off just as Kurds are separating off in the north.
I think just in the past week we are beginning to see the signs that Iraq may divide into three basic segments, the Shia in the bottom, Sunnis off to the west, and Kurds up to the north.
KEILAR: You think, Phil -- Tara just said that she thinks Baghdad will hold. Do you think so?
I think what the Sunni extremists are trying to do is to cement their hold in the areas that they handle already. They want to make sure that Sunni tribesmen don't go back to the government. It is important for the Sunni tribesmen from the extremist perspective to be seen as fighting the Shia. You will recollect that Baghdad has a huge Shia population. If the
extremists move down there, I think they will get whacked. What they're trying to do is ensure those battle lines remain stable.
MALLER: But just adding one thing, I do Baghdad will hold. It does not mean they can't cause some problems, either attacks within Baghdad which they have been doing. The embassy could still see some security problem.
And one of the worst-case scenarios I think would be that if there were any sort of security situation at the embassy and we had to either shut down or temporarily close or relocate or evacuate staff, those are sort of worst-case scenarios we really need to watch for, because that may not be a takeover of Baghdad, but that would be something that would dramatically alter both the U.S. policy strategically in terms of how they are dealing Iraq and the security situation in general.
KEILAR: Real quick, it's a possibility, you think?
MALLER: It's a possibility between a mortar attack. We saw Green Zone attacks. We have seen those things happen before.
We see Baghdad attacks now. You know, it just takes one person, suicide bomber, mortar attack to cause a significant security situation at the embassy. But I think the move today by the administration is to guard against that, both in terms of showing that they are taking steps to secure the embassy and so that they can show they have more troops stationed there and at the airport if something were to occur.
KEILAR: And, Phil, before I let you guys go, we talked today to the Pentagon spokesman. I have to say, some of the answers we are hearing from the Pentagon don't really satisfy concerns about mission creep. What do you think about that?
MUDD: I don't see mission creep.
Let me take inside baseball for a second, because executing the president's orders are harder than you think. Think of all the geography the militants hold. And think of the U.S. military guys going in, manning multiple operation centers.
Those operation centers include imagery from drones. That's a specialized analyst. They include technical things like radio intercepts. They include absorbing debriefing reports from all the ISIS militants that are being captured.
You have to collate this into operation centers. You have got to provide the kind of security that will ensure that we don't see another Benghazi. I hear all of the commentary in the media and elsewhere about mission creep and as a former practitioner, I look at the 300 figure and say, there's no way can you absorb all of that intelligence in multiple facilities, following militants across that geographic spread with 300 or 400 people. You need more. So, I don't see mission creep. KEILAR: All right, we will be watching.
Phil Mudd, Tara Maller, thanks to both of you?
And just ahead, Monica Lewinsky gives her first interview in a decade. Stand by to hear he talk about the public shaming she endured.
And bracing for Tropical Storm Arthur. We will show you who is facing a Fourth of July washout.
KEILAR: And just ahead, Monica Lewinsky gives her first interview in a decade. Stand by to hear her talk openly about the public shaming that she endured.
And bracing for Tropical Storm Arthur. We will show you who's facing a Fourth of July washout.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: And we have some breaking World Cup soccer news to bring you. Let's bring in Rachel Nichols to give us the latest on this. Break it down for us, Rachel. Maybe break our hearts a little bit.
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Tough going for the United States.
I mean, look, from the beginning of this match, it was lopsided. They have an expression in soccer that sometimes the field seems like it's tipped in one direction, because all the players are at only one end. That's certainly what it felt like through this match. Belgium getting chance after chance, and really for the entire game, Tim Howard, the U.S. goalie, a phenomenal performance.
But in extra time, Belgium comes through with two quick goals, and even though the U.S. put on a great front, attacking toward the end of the game, it wasn't enough.
So good U.S. effort, certainly, and something that the Americans can hold their heads high.
And Tim Howard, who has been a mainstay of the U.S. soccer program for so long now -- he's 35 years old -- likely his last World Cup, but man did he good out with a bang. Such a great performance from him, even in defeat.
KEILAR: And Rachel, we thought perhaps that, you know, Belgium was suffering some injuries. We thought, in the end, that that might work in the favor of the U.S. But did we see that play out at all, even just throughout the game?
NICHOLS: You know, some of the Belgium defense was weakened by injuries, and there was points toward the end of the game where it looked like some of their players who had been doubtful throughout the week but were playing anyway might be getting tired. And that's why the U.S. was getting some traction.
But look, this was a better team. The Belgians are made up of some of the world's best players. They are a young and up-and-coming team. They were the outside favorites to win the entire World Cup. The Americans knew that going in. But they were on such a confident roll, they thought, oh, maybe we can take them.
And look, at the end there, it looked for a minute like maybe they could at least equalize things and go to penalties kicks. Wasn't to be. But this was a hugely successful run. You got to put this in perspective. Even in these crushing moments, right after a loss, Brianna.
This is a great run for them. They did better than anyone expected. They made it out of the group of death. And they really just, you know, further kindled the flame of soccer love in this country. The crowds today, you know, when you look around and you see all the people gathered at Soldier Field and down in Dallas and down in Kansas City and New York City and all around the country, you've got to think this game has such a bright future on the back of this World Cup.
KEILAR: Yes, and we were watching those pictures at Soldier Field in Chicago. People screaming out, I will say, quite dejected looking. Rachel Nichols, stand by for us as we follow this breaking news, the U.S. losing out on that chance to go to quarterfinals in the World Cup.
I want to bring in Brian Todd. He is now on Freedom Plaza at a watch party in Washington, D.C.
What was the reaction there, Brian, as this finished up?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're all very deflated now, Brianna. This crowd really just thinned out moments ago. It was jam-packed here until just a couple of minutes ago: 4,500 to 5,000 people just packed into Freedom Plaza here in Washington, braving 93-degree heat to come and watch the U.S. team. Everybody is just kind of filing out now.
I'm with Collin Graybow (ph), a U.S. fan. Collin, your thoughts now as the U.S. just lost this heart-breaking game to Belgium.
COLLIN GRAYBOW (ph), U.S. FAN: It's bittersweet. I mean, you have to admire the U.S. fight back. We were behind against Portugal; we fought back. Behind against Belgium, fought back. You have to ask yourself, where was the fight back? You know, where was the fight for the other 90 minutes?
TODD: What are your thoughts on this run by the U.S. team? Pretty impressive?
GRAYBOW (ph): It's impressive. But you have to wonder what might have been. And we got this many people out for, you know, a 4 p.m. game on a Tuesday. And you think, if we had gone to a Saturday in quarterfinals, how much attention there would have been.
TODD: So yes, your thoughts: on one hand, you admire them. On the other hand, you have to think what could have been? Collin (ph), thanks very much for joining us. Hope you enjoyed yourself today.
Brianna, typical feeling of U.S. fans here, very deflated but very proud of the U.S. run this World Cup. They barely lost to two top European teams in this World Cup. Germany by one goal. Now Belgium by one goal in the round of 16. This crowd very, very deflated but very proud of the American soccer team.
KEILAR: And that amazing game with Portugal. I am disappointed as well, Brian Todd. And we're going to keep scooting along here.
We're going to go to Chicago. George Howell is at Soldier Field with some fans who I'm sure were wishing for a different outcome behind you, George. What's the scene there?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I mean, you saw those pictures from here in Soldier Field. And if we were to take that wider shot to show you the scope of this place, thousands of people who came to watch this game, the word deflated really fits. Because, you know, there was a lot of excitement when we got that one goal, and then just disappointed. You know, obviously didn't win this game. People streaming out now.
But the one thing that is very notable here. You look at the excitement that came around soccer here. You look at the tailgating that happened just outside Soldier Field. A lot of people, people who may not have paid attention to soccer before, certainly a lot of new soccer fans here in the United States. A lot of people who are rooting for the red, white and blue. It just didn't happen this time.
KEILAR: Yes, we'll be counting the time until the next shot.
All right. George Howell thanks so much there in Chicago.
And we're going to go now to Salvador, Brazil, where the game was played. And that is where we find our Shasta Darlington.
Tell us about the scene there, Shasta.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, obviously, this is disappointment here. I think it's also got to be said this has been a terrific run. Not only for Team USA but for the tens of thousands of fans that flew into Brazil. Actually, Americans had the most tickets to see these games in person. They've been flying all over the country. Now they're happy and really making a lot of Brazilian friends. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) A great atmosphere.
KEILAR: All right, Shasta Darlington. And so many -- so many proud American fans there behind you.
Chris Cuomo was actually at the match. He's joining us now on the phone from Salvador, Brazil. You know, Chris, that's really the thing, right? What a great
tournament that this team had, although certainly a disappointment today.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR (via phone): Absolutely. I think that, you know, the bitterness at losing the match is actually very telling about the promise of the team.
They gave Belgium everything they could handle in regular time. And Tim Howard was just the standout goalie of the tournament thus far. The Belgium fans that we were sitting among were blown away by the ability of the defense to hold.
And then they just had so many opportunities at the end and didn't convert. And that's the difference in this match.
But again, you know, for Belgium, this was a must-win. This is a team with a ton of promise, a ton of superstars. They're called the golden generation. And they got all they could handle from an unsung American squad. And when you look at the value both here in the tournament and the cup, and back at home, the crowds that you're going to, with correspondents around the country, this has never happened in my lifetime for U.S. men's soccer. So this a huge victory at the cup and an even bigger one at home, Brianna.
KEILAR: Sure. And we saw that even in the loss against Germany. It was such a great game that the U.S. played. And I wondered, Chris, if you could sort of share with those of us who are jealous of the fact that you were in the stadium and you got to go to the World Cup, what was it like? What was it like to be there and to be a part of it?
CUOMO: Well, here's the headline. You should be jealous. It was amazing to be inside. Tens of thousands of fans. Such a dynamic match. So much action there.
And here was something that was nice and unique for me. I've been to a lot of sporting events all over the world. The love of the game and the respect for one another here are amazing. I can't tell you how many Belgians were celebrating plays by the U.S. in addition to their own.
So to be there in such an international crowd, to see how embraced the U.S. crowd was by the Brazilians. There were just mobs of Brazilians. They were the most dominant color in the crowd, for sure, was yellow, and that's the Brazilian color, obviously. And they were chanting, "USA." And I believe as much as any Americans were.
So again, there's a bigger goal, no pun intended. It was an amazing experience. But the unity that comes out of these situations even in competition, is really impressive. I'm so happy to have been here, although it is bittersweet.
To be honest, the U.S. very well could have won this game. That is not something we've been able to say against competition like Belgium in the past. KEILAR: It is such a great time of people coming together. It's
amazing. Stand by with us, Chris, since you are our guy who is there on the ground. We're going to bring in Rachel Nichols to talk to you, as well as to give us a little look into the game -- Rachel.
NICHOLS: Yes, you know. And it's interesting when you look at the barrage that Belgium has at the beginning of the game. A lot of dejected faces at those watch parties around the U.S.
But Tim Howard holding the line the way he did, I'm thinking of all of the kid around the country who watched that game after school today and now are going out into the yard as we speak, while their parents made dinner and they're kicking the ball around. And one of those kids in every group is pretending to be Tim Howard.
And that's really what you want if you're U.S. soccer, is to ignite the passion. Chris is talking about the expectations of the American fans, as well. And the fact that American fans are bit are right now as he put it is a great sign. Because it basically says that, hey, we want to do better. We think we can do better.
You guys remember at the beginning of this World Cup that Coach Jurgen Klinsmann made headlines by saying, quote, "It is not realistic to think that us, the U.S., this team could actually win the World Cup." I absolutely guarantee you guys, that that sentence will never be uttered in U.S. soccer again. And that is a huge step.
KEILAR: Oh, no. Americans definitely have such a taste, I think, now for soccer. It was really energizing to watch the team throughout all of this.
And you know, I wonder having, you know, looking at this game today, it seems that that score sort of belies, really, just how many saves Tim Howard had, right?
NICHOLS: Amazing. Thirty-nine shots to him, and it was just incredible. And of the saves he had off of those shots, every single one he was just in perfect position. The goals that he got beat on, still impressive positioning by him. He didn't make a single mistake. At some point it just became too much. But you've really got to tip your hat.
They have an expression in soccer and in hockey. The goalie stood on his head. And it's great, because that pretty much describes what he did. Right? I mean, forwards, backwards, sideways, upside-down, anything you could think of, Tim Howard was there. What a great, great exit for him if this was, in fact, as it probably is, his final World Cup appearance.
This is a guy who was playing professional soccer before he graduated from high school. Such a rarity in the United States. Now at 35 years old, really the backbone of that team. And to be able, if he had to go out, to go out on that kind of note. Very well-deserved for a very much loved play.
KEILAR: And Rachel, we're rolling some footage now of the game. Tell us about this. Tell us about this.
NICHOLS: Yes, well, you're looking here at some of the saves that Tim Howard made. And you know, really, as you can tell, about standing on his head. You just saw him on the side, on the top. All of these chances by Belgium.
And here is the first goal. This is really just, you know, the heart- breaker, because you felt as if they were holding it down, holding the line. Chris can tell us where it felt like in the stadium in that moment.
The second goal by Belgium you just saw there. I think a lot of Americans felt at that point, oh, no, it's over.
And then this goal here, you can see Jurgen Klinsmann just lighting up. All of a sudden, the American team energized. Attacking, attacking. Having a very close chance on that set piece (ph) that you're seeing right now. But just wasn't enough time. It sounds strange in a game where they played two extra periods that they ran out of time, but that's what it felt like for the U.S. team, that they were on such an upswing toward the end of that game and they just couldn't punch it through before the clock ran out.
KEILAR: Rachel, thank you so much. We'll be monitoring, obviously, the aftermath of all of this.
And coming up, we have a lot more of that World Cup excitement. Also, Monica Lewinsky speaking out for the first time in some ten years. We have that just ahead.
KEILAR: Rachel, thank you so much.
We'll be monitoring, obviously, the aftermath of all of this.
And coming up, we have a lot more of that World Cup excitement. Also, Monica Lewinsky speaking out for the first time in some 10 years. We have that just ahead.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: We have some breaking news. I might even call it heartbreaking news. A do-or-die match for the U.S. ended just moments ago at World Cup. The Americans lost to Belgium, 2-1. Both teams scored during extra time. And this means that U.S. is now out of the competition, a huge disappointment, as you know.
So many people in this country have been embracing the World Cup in a way that they never have before. And we have correspondents across the United States and also in Brazil covering the result and reaction. And there is plenty of that.
We'll be taking you inside, actually, in just a moment with our Chris Cuomo, who is on the ground there.
But, first, let's go to Dan Simon. He is actually in San Francisco and he is at a Belgian bar, where, Dan, I will say, the loss of the U.S. is a win for Belgium. What's it -- what's it like there?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, as you can imagine, Brianna, it has been quite an experience.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SIMON: It has been quite an experience. I don't know if you can hear me, but as you can tell, they are celebrating a huge win here in downtown San Francisco.
This is Andres (ph).
What did you think of the game?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it was really a good game. It's very open game. The U.S. was pretty much in attacking mode which was surprising. And it was a really good game. It was fun. You guys had a really good run.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SIMON: Team USA fans are here. We're now dealing with fans here in downtown San Francisco.
KEILAR: All right. We are having a hard time hearing Dan Simon. I will say this is -- he is, I would say, the most disappointed person in a Belgian bar probably in the whole U.S., and also, of course, forced to wear the Belgian colors as well.
Let's go to Chris Cuomo. He was on the ground there, as -- watching this game, this heartbreaking game happened. Chris, tell us as well about the only goal here came from maybe someone you weren't even necessarily expecting it from, from the U.S.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY (via telephone): Well, that's true. That's true. Green scored the goal, number 16. And he hadn't been a name that we've been talking a lot about here.
But, you know, the game -- the team beside is young, and there are a couple names popping out consistently. The biggest one is obviously Tim Howard, and that's really the only name that you need to mention on the U.S. side tonight because he's the only one who took care of every opportunity.
You know, one of the Americans -- I want to paint the picture of what I'm seeing. This American walks by. He's, like, how upset can you get about losing to Belgium? They're supposed to be a great side. It's not like a geopolitical rival or something like that.
And the person next to him patted him on the back has a Belgium jersey on. And you're seeing Brazilians with Germans, with Americans, with Portuguese. You know, and if you think about it, how rare that is today. There's
something about massive events like the World Cup that is so much bigger than sport. And it sounds a little kumbaya and to distract from the fact that we lost the match -- not at all.
The word is bittersweet. The U.S. lost. They very well should have won. They should be upset. They missed opportunities in this match. They held tough with an amazing side.
But that's just one facet of the game. And there is a bigger game afoot. And to see what I'm seeing now, all of these different colors, forget about the people. Just the jerseys.
CUOMO: Who you are in this kind of crowd. And they're all as one, and they're leaving, they're patting Americans on the back. And I don't think you can ask for better than that.
KEILAR: Oh, no doubt.
Chris Cuomo, thank you so much. You really saw that in that Belgian bar, I think. A lot of folks there saying the U.S. gave such a great effort.
We'll be right back with more news.
KEILAR: Two decades ago, she became the central figure in a White House sex scandal that nearly scuttled Bill Clinton's presidency. And now, for the first time in 10 years, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky is talking, and she is articulating deep, never-before-shared feelings about being in such a glaring, unforgiving spotlight.
Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are details from a new National Geographic interview with Lewinsky that will air this weekend, and it is an eye-opener.
MONICA LEWINSKY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN: I was the most humiliated woman in the world.
FOREMAN (voice-over): That is how Monica Lewinsky is emerging from 10 years of silence. Her relationship with President Bill Clinton was uncovered in a far-reaching investigation by special counsel Kenneth Starr. And when he released the details --
LEWINSKY: That was one of the worst days of my life. I was a virgin to humiliation of that level until that day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not even going to get into what, I don't know.
FOREMAN: White House supporters like Dee Dee Myers went on defense while Lewinsky went through public ridicule.
LEWINSKY: To have my narrative ripped from me and turned into the Starr Report and things that were turned over or things they dealt out of my computer that I thought were deleted -- I mean, it was just -- it was just a violation after violation.
FOREMAN: The coverage stunned many even at the time.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, NBC NEWS: There were nights, because I had young children, and I was a parent first, where I called home and just said, maybe this is a good night to mute the first part of the broadcast or keep the television off.
FOREMAN: Still, for a woman who says she wants her past left behind, Lewinsky is talking about it a lot, telling "Vanity Fair" two months ago, "I was too young to understand the real-life consequences and too young to see that I would be sacrificed for political expediency."
She has not, however, condemned the Clintons, and Hillary Clinton promoting her book on ABC returned the favor.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I would wish her well. I hope that she is able to, you know, think about her future and construct a life that she finds meaning and satisfaction in.
FOREMAN: But Lewinsky reveals pointed dissatisfaction with how she was treated by many people way back then.
FOREMAN: What is interesting here is the passion behind Lewinsky's words, how much she's finally showing her feelings about all that happened. You can see it all for yourself on "The '90s: The Last Great Decade." It begins July 6th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on the National Geographic Channel.
It should be good viewing, Brianna.
KEILAR: It should be. Tom Foreman, thank you so much.
And thank you so much for watching. I'm Brianna Keilar in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.