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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Official: Convicted Killers Rehearsed Escape; Mother of Prison Escapee David Sweat Speaks Out; Twelve Prison Workers Suspended in Connection to Escape; Drew Peterson Accused of Putting Hit on Prosecutor. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired June 30, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:09] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, stunning new details about how authorities tracked down the two killers who escaped from a maximum-security prison.
How an Eminem rapper may have led to Sweat's capture?
Ahead, I'll speak exclusively with his mother Pamela Sweat.
Plus, breaking news. U.S. official saying, quote, "They've very concerned about a terror attack on the 4th of July and there are new signs of a centrally plan directed ISIS attack.
And more breaking news, Donald Trump suing Univision perhaps a billion dollars for dropping his beauty pageant and he's on the campaign trail fighting tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. We begin tonight with the breaking news. New details at this hour about what led to Richard Matt and David Sweat's capture. And in the final moments of Richard Matt's life. Sources telling CNN tonight that just hours before Matt was killed, he was drinking a grape flavored liquor in a cabin before going inside this nearby trailer. There he fired off several shots, one of which struck a recreational vehicle that was passing by. It's that driver that called police. And that's what led directly to Matt's death.
CNN also obtaining a startling picture of Matt's mortally wounded body just moments after he was killed by a federal agent. I'll warn you this image is graphic. This is, though, Richard Matt slumped forward on the ground, he was shot three times in the head after refusing an order to put down a 20 gauge shotgun. We're also learning that Matt and Sweat staged a dry run that they left their cells the night before the escaped freely rehearsing their entire plot. And this comes tonight as a dozen employees at prison, you heard me right, a dozen including three top executives are off the job tonight while authorities investigate the escape.
And tonight, as David Sweat continues to recover from two bullet wounds, I'll speak exclusively with his mother, Pamela Sweat. That exclusive interview coming up in just a moment.
I want to begin though with Jason Carroll, OUTFRONT at the Clinton Correctional Facility. And Dana Moore in New York with more on Richard Matt's final moment. And Jason, what more can you tell us about what happened?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very clear that Richard Matt had gotten himself a little drunk just before those final moments firing that shot inside that trailer. That's what triggered everything. That is just part of what investigators are telling us. But we're also, Erin, learning more from David Sweat himself. This is someone whose been speaking to investigators, filling in some of the gaps, providing more insight into how these two made their escape.
CARROLL (voice-over): He lived a life filled with violence and Richard Matt's life ended the same way. CNN obtained a graphic image, which some viewers might find disturbing showing the escape killer's final moments right after he was shot on Friday. Matt caught in a wooded area about 30 miles west of the prison where he made his escape with fellow inmate David Sweat. The Franklin County coroner says, he was dressed for the woods wearing dark brown pants, a heavy green jacket and dark boots, all gear authorities believe was stolen from hunting cabins while on the run for three weeks. A law enforcement source telling CNN, his body smelled of alcohol and there was evidence he had been ill, possibly from contaminated food or water.
Sweat who was captured alive on Sunday told investigators he left his accomplice behind because Matt was slowing them down. At the time of his capture, Sweat had maps, tools bag repellant and pop tarts. Authorities now learning more about the duo's escape which also included a dry run the night before they broke out. The state inspector general's officer trying to determine if that dry run happened because prison guards were sleeping on the job. The inmates' original plan included heading to Mexico and Joyce Mitchell, the prison employee who was under arrest for her alleged role in helping the men escape was to be their getaway driver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They would kill Mitchell's husband and get in the car and drive to Mexico on the theory that Mitchell was in love with one or both of them, and then they would go live happily ever after, which is a fairy tale that I wasn't read as a child, but we'll believe what we want to believe.
CARROLL: Mitchell told investigators she loved her husband and got cold feet and could not go through with the plan. His attorney telling CNN today Lyle Mitchell is amazed his wife was the primary plan for the getaway car and he is glad the inmates have been caught. Joyce Mitchell's attorney telling CNN she is ecstatic the hunt is over.
CARROLL: And Gene, one more new detail about Gene Palmer, you remember him, he was the prison guard who worked here. He was the one who was arrested for passing on that frozen piece of hamburger meat that contains those hacksaw blades. Well, apparently, David Sweat has told investigators that Palmer knew nothing at all about the escape plan -- Erin.
[19:05:10] BURNETT: All right. That's what they are saying. We'll see of course if that holds up. Thanks so much to you, Jason.
And tonight, we're also learning details about where David Sweat is recovering. He's a flight risk. So they are taking extra precautions.
Kyung Lah is in Albany, New York, outside the hospital. And Kyung, what are they saying about his recovery? Obviously, he was originally in critical condition.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He is certainly getting better, according to the hospital. Today they upgraded his condition to fair. The hospital here concerned with his medical care, trying to separate who he is, this notorious killer, this fugitive from what he needs to get in order to get better. Investigators, though, say that he is talking, filling in some of those details that you heard in Jason Carroll's report but as far as Albany medical is concerned, they just have to treat him like any other patient.
BURNETT: And in terms of, you know, where he is being treated, this whole issue of flight risk, what are you learning?
LAH: Certainly. He's absolutely a flight risk. What this hospital is having to do, is they have a special section. It is secured by special doors. It is only for prisoners. This is a section that David Sweat is being treated is where he is being treated. There are armed personnel with him. The hospital has special security in place. What the hospital says is that he is not allowed to have any visitors. So, if you can imagine how difficult it is as a doctor or nurse to try to treat someone like this, this is something that they are used to. The reason why is that this hospital does have a contract with the Department of Corrections, some 25 counties, prisons within 25 counties surrounding this area they send all their prisoners here for medical treatment -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Kyung Lah.
And OUTFRONT now, David Sweat's mother Pam Sweat. And Pam, I appreciate your being with us tonight. How did you feel when you heard that your son was found alive?
PAMELA SWEAT, MOTHER OF INMATE DAVID SWEAT: I was happy. A lot of stress was off me.
BURNETT: And I know now we are reporting he's recovering. He's getting better. His condition is been upgraded. He's talking a lot. He's telling authorities all about his escape plan. Does it surprise you that he's telling so much?
SWEAT: No, he always told on himself all the time when he was a kid.
BURNETT: And Pam, you know, you know him well. You're his mother and that makes this hard for you in a lot of ways.
SWEAT: Yes. BURNETT: This escape was meticulously planned, Pam, right? I
mean, they spent a lot on time. They rehearsed it. Are you surprised that your son took the risk that he did this?
SWEAT: Yes. I was really surprised that he did it. I still say to this day if that woman didn't and whoever else was involved didn't give them that stuff, those guys wouldn't have never broke out of jail. They wouldn't have had nothing to do it with. So, I blame them as well as the two guys, David and the other guy. They knew better.
BURNETT: You're talking about Joyce Mitchell?
SWEAT: Well, not just her but other people that are in the prison system.
BURNETT: And what do you hope happens to them? I mean, what do you think is a fair punishment for them?
SWEAT: I don't know. I'm not the law. But I know they shouldn't get away with it because otherwise my son could have been killed just like the other guy because they more or less let them loose. They knew what was going on and they didn't stop it.
BURNETT: And I know that you haven't been able to visit him for a few years because of health reasons, you haven't been able to get to the prison. I know, though, he writes you letters and you write him, you've been talking that way.
BURNETT: What does he say in the letters?
SWEAT: Oh, about how he cooks and how when it's his turn things that each one does for each other, and that he was making pockets on jeans and working in the library.
BURNETT: Did he ever talk about Richard Matt or even Joyce Mitchell or any other people?
SWEAT: No, just one girlfriend that he had. She used to come and see him.
BURNETT: And I know when David went to prison for the first time, it was for burglary and at that time reportedly, Pam, he had a list, crimes he intended to commit in the future. And I know this is a hard question to ask a mother, but was he always like this, the kind of person who would think ahead, would think of committing horrible crimes?
SWEAT: Not that I know of. I never heard anything from it. I used to take him to Dr. Frost, which is a psychiatrist, and he gave him pills because he has a brain -- I can't remember what they called it now, that's something in his brain that's not right.
[19:10:15] BURNETT: He is expected to be in the hospital for a few more days, Pam, and then he's going to be charged, of course, and he could spend many years in solitary confinement because of this escape. This is your son. What is your hope for his future?
SWEAT: Well, I just hope he learned his lesson and stays in where he's at, and I get to go see him.
BURNETT: So you do still want to visit him?
SWEAT: Yes. But if he's up in Dannemora, I can't because he's too far away.
BURNETT: And as his mother, you still love him?
SWEAT: Yes, I do, very much. I love all my children.
BURNETT: And Pam, I know you haven't been able to speak to him yet.
BURNETT: What would be your message to him if he saw you right now?
SWEAT: I hope that he gets better and I love him and I miss him.
BURNETT: All right. Pam, appreciate your taking the time to talk to us.
SWEAT: You're welcome.
BURNETT: And that was David Sweat's mother of course as he's recovering right now in the hospital.
OUTFRONT next, a major scandal at Clinton Correctional that goes all the way to the top. Former sergeant, the prisoner knows the executives that were put on leave today.
Plus, Donald Trump and Chris Christie, dueling campaign events at this hour. Who packs the biggest punch and more fallout from Trump's comments, calling Mexican immigrants rapist. He's fighting back with a massive lawsuit against Univision for dropping his beauty contests.
[19:15:36] BURNETT: Tonight, a major scandal, 12 employees, 12 including the three top executives at Clinton Correctional, the prison where Richard Matt and David Sweat were serving time are under investigation. And that is in addition to Joyce Mitchell and Gene Palmer both of whom are charged with helping the killers escaped. The executives under the microscope tonight include the superintendent, you see him there, he is with the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. This is during the hunt for the killers. So, the governor was side by side with the leader of the prison.
Deb Feyerick is OUTFRONT. And Deb, I mean, that picture is sort of just a visual way of emphasizing that the investigation now goes all the way to the top. DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Absolutely. And the
investigation has to go all the way to the top, the reason is because the superintendent and the people below him are responsible for what happens in those facilities and when something goes wrong, they have got to be the ones held accountable. We do know that the superintendent who you see there, he is then put on administrative leave as has the deputy superintendent for security and the first deputy superintendent. And that part of the investigation is really going to focus on, were cell searches done, were security inspections handled properly? These cells are supposed to be searched at least once a week, that's according to the prison's rule book. That you're supposed to bang on the walls. You're supposed to touch the bars.
You're supposed to make sure that there is no breach inside the inmates' cell especially because they spend so much time inside. Also, the people on the overnight shifts, they are supposed to be looking and making sure that the inmates are doing basic things like breathing as they sleep. So, there were things that could have been done, that should have been done and these men are now on administrative leave for that very reason. You know, even correctional officers working double shifts, what they called mutuals so that they could then get a month off. All of that is under investigation. The superintendent, what we used to call the warden, they are directly responsible for all of that and that's why they are on leave pending the investigation.
BURNETT: Yes. And as you point out with double shifts, of course, as you've reported, they are also looking into whether guards were even sleeping on the job at night. I mean, I know, there were so many issues here and you're also learning, Deb, more about the drug ring, possibly a heroin ring that could have involved Matt and Sweat in the prison.
FEYERICK: Yes. And it's interesting because I've spoken to a number of inmates and also prison officials, former correction officers as well. You know, and they're telling me, look, there are drugs in prison. There is no doubt about it. There's pot, there's cocaine, there is even heroin and what the FBI is coming in to do is they investigate public corruption. And so, they have got to make sure that none of the correction officers were involve in bringing those drugs into the facility. Usually, drugs get in in two ways, they are smuggled by visitors, it happens a lot and also it smuggled in packages that are sent to the inmates. For example, one man told me that, you know, he seen sort of a bag full of small milky ways or candy bars and in at least two of those candy bars are drugs. You know, you have a lot of chances to get two sort of drug packets inside a whole bag of little candy bars, and so those are some of that ways that they get it. But the question is, were the guards involved and that's the big issue right now.
BURNETT: All right. Deborah Feyerick, thank you very much with that reporting.
And now Jeff Dumas, a former sergeant at the Clinton Correctional Facility. He was there for 22 years. Erik Jensen, former Clinton inmate who knew both prison escapees. And our legal analyst Paul Callan, former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney. And -- representative, former Clinton inmate who was wrongly convicted.
All right. All of you know of this facility. Jeff, let me start with you because you actually know the superintendent, the other top two executives who were just suspended. They're being investigative whether this went all the way to the top. Do you think they could be responsible?
JEFF DUMAS, FORMER SERGEANT CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY: Hi, Erin. I don't believe that Mr. Rosette and the people there are directly responsible. Yes, he is the superintendent of the facility but he takes direction from Albany. He takes direction from the political appointees that the governor puts in place to run the Department of Corrections. Mr. Rosette, we had -- at the facility, we had a 30 to 50-man fight just prior to their escape. Mr. Rosette did what he could. And he asked Albany, hey, I would like to lock the facility down and do a complete facility frisk. Albany said no. If that facility frisk had been done, every single cell would have been searched. Every common area would have been searched and chances are, those two large holes in those cells would have been found by any officer frisking that cell but he is not the man that makes the call. He has to request it and Albany is the one that is responsible for the facility.
[19:20:12] BURNETT: All right. Interesting point. I mean, Erik, you're on the other side. Right? I mean, Jeff was a sergeant, you were an inmate. What is your view as to where this goes on top? You heard his arguments, not the super's fault, Albany.
ERIK JENSEN, FORMER CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY INMATE: Right. Well, I believe it's everybody's fault in general. It goes up because if the superintendent would have done random cell searches, which they can do or would have investigated into all these claims of COOs not searching cells when they should be --
BURNETT: Correction officers. Right.
JENSEN: Correction officers, excuse me, they come around and they are supposed to search your cell. If you leave a can of chewing tobacco, a pack of cigarettes on your bead, they ruffle it up and make it look like they searched your cell but they never did. So, you know, in that nature, it's like -- it's an unwritten rule, it's unspoken but you know what to do when you want to get away with something.
BURNETT: Paul, you say corruption, drug trafficking, all these things in prison, this is just the norm.
PAUL CALLAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, it is the norm but this facility seems to have more problems that a lot of other places. I was looking at a report that was issued by the correction association of New York not for profit organization that studies prisons. Ninety percent of the convicts at this facility are in for violent crime. It's 63 percent in other places.
BURNETT: Right. CALLAN: And they described it as an institution haunted by gang
wars, by inmate on inmate violence and by narcotics. So, I think there are a lot of problems in this huge institution that maybe don't exist elsewhere.
BURNETT: So, Jeff, when you were a sergeant there, were you aware of these gang wars, inmate on inmate violence? I mean, all of these things we've been hearing. I mean, when you heard all this and you hear these details coming out, are you shocked or sort of like, yes.
DUMAS: Oh, no, that's the way it is. It's a maximum security facility. We house the worst of the worst and we deal with it. We make it work. The officers, as much as Albany wants to cut staff and do away with jobs, we make the facility run. And the officer --
BURNETT: And are you surprised that Gene Palmer would have been and he says he didn't do it on purpose to help them.
BURNETT: But not putting meat through a scanner, tools were getting to these guys, I mean, things that were happening that are shocking to a lot of people in this country.
DUMAS: Yes. Absolutely. And I'm shocked, too. What Mr. Palmer did by bringing in the paint, the paint brushes, by bringing in screwdriver and the needle nose pliers, that is absolutely wrong and he's going to pay a price for it. And nobody is going to feel sorry for him. He crossed the line. However, he passed a lie detector test with the district attorney, with Mr. Wylie saying that he had no knowledge of any escape and he did not intentionally help them escape. So, and he passed that. And that was not from the Department of Corrections. That was from the district attorney Mr. Wylie.
BURNETT: And Erik, I know you said it may be possible that Gene didn't know the implications of what he was doing. But when we hearing about the possible heroin ring, or drug ring as Deb was reporting. You say, prison employees are involved in this kind of stuff.
JENSEN: It's common practice for the officers to bring in contraband and to bring you in things that you're not supposed to have. It's like, you know, the snitch game, you tell him information, he'll give you things that you're not supposed to have. And also, there is officers that take money to let somebody get a package that they are not supposed to have. They also take money to let somebody go on a family reunion program trailer visit for three days with their family and not search their family for contraband. There is also officers that will accept money that you send home to your family and then have your family wire it to them so there is no trace of how they get it. This goes on not just in Clinton but in many other facilities that I've been in.
BURNETT: So, this will happen again, Paul. CALLAN: Well, it will. You know, as a lawyer, one of the things
that always surprises me, I think only the lawyers are getting searched going into these facilities. You know, when I visit, you know, sometimes --
BURNETT: Well, they have to show you --
CALLAN: It's an hour to get in but a lot of smuggling is going on by people who are not searched.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much to all three. I appreciate it.
Well, the disappearance of Drew Peterson's wife Stacy Peterson nearly eight years ago dominated the headlines around the nation. Stacy was his fourth wife. She's still missing tonight. Now, Drew Peterson is about to stand trial for allegedly putting a hit on the prosecutor who put him behind bars. He's serving a 38-year sentence for the murder of his third wife but the mystery remains, where is Stacy Peterson and what happened to her.
Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): October 28, 2007. The day Candace Aiken's niece Stacy Peterson vanished without a trace.
CANDACE AIKEN, AUNT OF STACY PETERSON: I thought that she had been murdered most likely by Drew.
CASAREZ: Aiken was not alone. All eyes were on Stacy's husband Illinois police officer Drew Peterson, a man whose third wife Kathleen Savio had been found dead in the bathtub about three years earlier.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I walk into everywhere I go and there is this little hum that goes through the establishment, there is Drew Peterson, there is Drew Peterson, there is Drew Peterson.
[19:25:11] CASAREZ: Joe Hosie (ph) stalked out Peterson's suburban's home when news broke of Stacy's disappearance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning Drew Peterson spoke to reporters through his front door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first few days, he was speaking out on his front door but then he was letting people come in to talk to him.
CASAREZ: Hosie was the first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was eerie. I had a view of the living room and I was watching the kids, watching the TV and it was kind of strange.
CASAREZ: Strange because they were watching the news coverage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last heard from on Sunday morning.
CASAREZ: About their missing mother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigation remains missing --
BURNETT: Make sure to catch the CNN special report, "Married to a Murderer: The Drew Peterson Story" tonight, that is at 9:00 Eastern.
Well, OUTFRONT next, Donald Trump and Chris Christie, they're both in New Hampshire at this hour with major events. Trump surging in the polls. Does Christie have a chance? We're on the trail live.
And it's war, Trump is suing Univision for half a billion dollars tonight for dropping his beauty contest. Univision saying, the lawsuit is a ridiculous lie. Well, we'll have a live report.
[19:30:19] BURNETT: Breaking news, Donald Trump versus Chris Christie, both talking in this hour. The two most confrontational and aggressive Republican presidential candidates are both in New Hampshire tonight, hoping their brash style will win over voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our country is honestly -- it's going to hell.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America is in a state of anxiety.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: Earlier today, Christie became the 14th major GOP candidate to announce he was running for president. Dana Bash was there.
Now, Dana, these two are fierce competitors. There are similarities in their brashness, they like to brawl and they also are friends.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are. In fact, that's something I learned when I was in Livingston, New Jersey, for Christie's presidential announcement today. One of his aides told me that Christie was actually guest at Trump's wedding, which promised a little bit. But maybe when you think about the similarities, may be not so much.
But when it comes to Chris Christie, he doesn't have the economic prowess that Trump has, but what he doesn't have he tries to make up for in swagger and personality.
BASH (voice-over): Looking for lofty rhetoric, not at this presidential announcement.
CHRISTIE: After seven years of a weak and foreign policy run by Barack Obama, we better not turn it over to his second mate, Hillary Clinton.
BASH: Speaking at his Livingston, New Jersey, high school gym where his three-decade old baseball picture still hangs in the hallway, Chris Christie tried to show where he came from to explain who he is.
CHRISTIE: I am not running for president of the United States as a surrogate of being elected prom king of America.
BASH: Christie's notoriety as a successful Republican governor in a blue state has dimmed dramatically, thanks to the bridgegate scandal and New Jersey's economic problems. His comeback plan is his candor.
CHRISTIE: A campaign without spin or without pandering or focus group tested answers, you're going to get what I think, whether you like it or not, or whether it makes you cringe every once in awhile or not.
BASH: To be sure, cringe-worthy moments made Christie a national star.
CHRISTIE: You maximized your tan, get off the beach.
Sit down and shut up.
This Sharia law business, this is crap.
BASH: Unfortunately for Christie, there is another unfiltered character already in the GOP field.
TRUMP: Politicians are all talk and no action, it's true. It's all talk, it's all (EXPLETIVE DELETED). It's all talk --
TRUMP: I'm not using donors. I don't care. I'm really rich.
We have stupid people. We have people that don't know what they are doing.
BASH: And though Christie raced to the first primary state of New Hampshire to effectively set up camp or free wheeling town halls, Donald Trump was there, too.
TRUMP: Our country is honestly -- it's going to hell.
BASH: His free association stump speech to what he call add bigger than expected crowd included several attempts at clarifying comments that Mexican illegal immigrants were rapists and criminals.
TRUMP: I love the Mexican people, and I love Mexico. I've always had a great relationship with Mexico.
BASH: No apologies Trump style.
TRUMP: People started saying oh, he didn't say nice things about Mexico. It has nothing to do about nice. Great respect for their leaders.
BURNETT: I mean, Dana, it's pretty amazing. At this point, does it look like Christie can win his home state, New Jersey? It's a crucial question.
BASH: It is a crucial question. You wouldn't ask any Republican outside of New Jersey if they could win that state at this point. It is so blue historically. And that was his calling card that he won reelection himself just two and a half years ago by 61 percent. I mean, that's a huge margin for Republican in the blue state.
But now, given everything that has happened, his approval rating is under water, meaning more people disapprove than approve. So, it would be very hard and historically, looking back, can't remember the last time somebody won the nomination, never mind the White House, without winning their home state.
BURNETT: Yes, it could be, obviously seems like a simple thing but so crucial.
All right. Dana, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, John King, Republican Margaret Hoover, and Democrat Paul Begala, senior adviser to a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC.
All right. So, Paul, let me start with you. I know you have to love this entire situation that's going on in the GOP right now. But has Donald Trump met his match in Chris Christie?
PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't know. You know, I'll defer to Margaret, it's her party. I would bet on Trump in a contest between the two of them. Seriously.
Christie has the burden of being a politician. He's a governor. Very successful elections in a very blue state, as Dana points out. And yet, he's still a politician.
[19:35:02] And frankly, Donald Trump will say, you watch, if I run my businesses like he runs his state, I'd be bankrupt, right? New Jersey had nine credit downgrades, nine. I mean, they are floating somewhere around the Greek debt.
Trump is going to just -- I think he's going to torment poor Governor Christie and I think he's going to kick his butt. But I could be wrong. I'll defer to Margaret. It's her party.
BURNETT: All right. Let me start with this. There is a similarity between the two of them in how they present themselves, in a way Christie seems to probably not be thrilled about at this point.
But, John, let me just play -- let me just play the similarity. Here we go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: We are going to tell it like it is.
TRUMP: Somebody has to come out and tell it like it is.
CHRISTIE: The truth will set us free, everybody.
TRUMP: We have to be strong, and you know you take beatings, you really take beatings when you tell the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: First of all, it sounds like the same guy but secondly, this appeals to a lot of people.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS: Especially in this environment. If you look at some of the polls, you get Jeb Bush with a small lead and you get Donald Trump and Ben Carson, Mr. Trump and Dr. Carson. As Paul said, they're not politicians.
Governor Christie's problem in this that he is called governor. That is different. People are disgusted with politics. They don't trust politicians.
Similar to I think Bernie Sanders, he's having appeal in the Democratic Party as well. He's different, and people are looking for people they view as authentic -- and look, there are some voters, Ross Perot wishes he was 20 years younger. This would be a great year for that. This would be a great year for that kind of a candidate.
But you can say I'm not a politician and I'm willing to be the bull that breaks the china shop that is Washington, that has appeals. The question is, I can't wait for the debate moment because, you know, Christie and Trump are going to go at it, if Christie is in that debate.
MARGARET HOOVER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I shockingly disagree with most of the analysis. Here is why. The hit against Chris Christie, has been too rash, he's too much of a bull in a china shop, he isn't presidential enough.
The best thing we can be doing is comparing him to Donald Trump. Donald Trump called Mexicans rapist and drug runners. Chris Christie won Latinos by 51 percent in his reelection, up 19 percent from 2009. The guy actually has been the governor, actually has won the demographics that Republicans desperately need to win in this race.
I mean, look -- first, you can say well Trump has 13 percent and Christie has 5 percent. Christie just started running today. Yes, he's dallied a little bit in New Hampshire. But he hasn't put his heart in it. And his heart is there. This guy is battle-tested and he's back.
BURNETT: Well, he has been to New Hampshire 12 times. I mean, he's put a lot of time into New Hampshire. But he should be known there in the polls.
But, Paul, let me play for you Christie's greatest hits, this is just something your candidate Hillary Clinton I'm sure loves this, but this is what the concern you're talking about.
Here's Chris Christie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
CHRISTIE: You want to have a conversation later, I'm happy to have it, buddy. But until that time, sit down and shut up.
Your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, idiot.
Are you stupid? On topic. On topic. Next question.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BURNETT: Margaret, that's the problem.
HOOVER: That is the problem. My guess is he knows that and he's softened his tone a bit. Want to know why he knows that? Because he put out a two-minute video explaining his Sicilian mother and an Irish father made him be a straight talker. That is valued in New Hampshire. He knows he needs to tone it down.
BURNETT: He's blaming his parents for those outburst.
HOOVER: Sort of explaining, he comes by it honestly, which is fair. It's a well-done, professionally done video. The truth is, like, honesty is going to play but Trump may not get the first 120 days of this campaign, because of the financial disclosures, frankly, they're going to be relevant.
BURNETT: So, who is Hillary Clinton most worried about? I mean, I just made the point Christie has gone to New Hampshire a dozen times. He's still only a 5 percent in the vote there. So, even though he wasn't running when he took the poll, they said if they were running, right? I mean, they all know who he is. His son joked it's his home state.
BEGALA: Between those two to quote a former president, bring it on.
As somebody trying to help the super PAC to elect Hillary, I would love to see other of those distinguished gentlemen match off against Hillary and she wouldn't get more than 45 or 46 states against either one of them. So, I would be very tough. But bring it on.
By the way, she would win New Jersey against Governor Christie even though he's been successful. His job approval now, I just checked it, 30, 30 percent in his home state. To put into perspective, one of his predecessor Jim McGreevy, resigned under pressure in a scandal, he was at 38 on the day he resigned.
So, Christie eight points less than the guy that resigned in the scandal. He is toast in New Jersey.
BURNETT: Final word, John, how much not being able to win his own matter? It is a Democratic state. Does it matter in his case?
KING: Well, in his case right now, he has to worry about the state of New Hampshire and worry about the state of New Jersey later. If he can get an early win in the primary, don't count him out. Yes, he's at 5 percent right now, but he's getting very good reaction. When you talk to people in New Hampshire, they appreciate the town halls. He has a staff that really knows New Hampshire and he's looking to draw the contrast. Most people think Trump will flame out or drop out.
And I will say this, you know, these guys Paul and Margaret run campaigns, but we often talk about people looking for the non- politicians and looking for something different, 99 times out of 100, the best politician wins the race.
[19:40:09] BURNETT: All right. That, of course, he is a politician.
Thanks so much to all three. Appreciate it, as always. Thank you, Paul.
And next, more trouble for Donald Trump. Univision is dropping his beauty pageant. He is fighting back with a massive lawsuit tonight, speaking about it. We have a live report from the trail after this.
And breaking news, U.S. officials warning they are concerned about terror attacks around the 4th of July. Security beefed up around the nation. We have a live report on that, and an ISIS attack threat coming up.
BURNETT: Breaking news: Donald Trump filing a half a billion dollars lawsuit against the Spanish language broadcaster Univision. Now, Univision airs Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. It ended its contract with him after he referred to some Mexicans as rapist. Trump told he stands by his comments in an interview and he's firing at Univision tonight on the campaign trail.
Our Brian Stelter is live from Bedford, New Hampshire.
And, Brian, firing back is what he's doing. What is he saying?
[19:45:00] BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It's what he does best in many ways, right, Erin? He announced this $500 million lawsuit right before he arrived here at this house party in Bedford, New Hampshire.
Some of the biggest applause lines is when he went after the media. He's going after both NBC and Univision for deciding not to air Miss USA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They abandoned these 51 girls and I said, these young women are going to have their back and I'm going to do it and I'm going there. As you know, I'm going there in a week from Sunday. What they did, what NBC and Univision did to these young women was disgraceful.
Bottom line is, I have a contract, you can't terminate. And they terminated it with a press release. That's because I spoke harshly of the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: He said it's about freedom of speech and the networks agree. The networks simply say they don't have to agree with the freedom of speech and they don't have to let him on their network.
Of course, Trump owns half of Miss USA and half of Miss Universe. He says he's going to go to the pageant next week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he's going to be there with those 51 women.
Meanwhile, Univision and NBC are out and the pageant will be streamed on the Internet instead of TV.
BURNETT: It's war. Univision is slamming Trump's lawsuit already and using the words I would expect to hear out of Donald Trump.
STELTER: You're absolutely right. While on stage here, he was wondering what is Univision going to say? The response came out while he was on stage, I'm not sure he's read it but I'll read part of it.
Univision says, "It's factually false and legally ridiculous." They're describing Trump's complaint that way. They say we will not only vigorously defend the case but we will continue to fight against Mr. Trump's efforts to run away from the derogatory comments he made.
And tonight, he has somewhat mellowed out when he described Mexican immigrants. He talks about how he loves Mexicans and loves Mexico and wants to learn from them and have better negotiators like Mexico has. That's the new line that he's using. Of course, two weeks ago, he described some immigrants as rapist and drug dealers.
BURNETT: All right. Brian Stelter, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT next, breaking news, security tightened in tourist spots and federal buildings around the country. They are extremely concerned about a terror attack this holiday weekend in the United States.
BURNETT: And terrifying video of Paris Hilton as she thinks this plane is about to crash. Jeanne Moos has the story.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:50:56] BURNETT: Breaking news: terror alert. Fear that
terrorists including some suspected ISIS supporters could attack inside the United States over the July 4th weekend. A law enforcement source also telling CNN they've been warned in the past month of ISIS directed terror plots that are, quote/unquote, "complex and centrally planned".
Officials increasing local and federal security across the country, and Evan Perez is breaking the story for us.
Evan, what specifically are officials worried about over July 4th?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Erin, you know, they're worried about plots that they're not seeing. That's the issue, is that one top kind of counter terrorism official on the West Coast that I spoke to today said, of the hundreds of ISIS supporters they're watching, there are some that are, quote, "looking for an excuse to go operational." You know, ISIS recruiters are using, you know, peer to peer communications, things that the FBI doesn't have an eye on.
Since the start of the year, we have seen that there have been 49 people that have been charged with supporting ISIS and the issue is that they believe there are many more out there, that they're just not aware of.
BURNETT: Now, we just saw that horrible attack in Tunisia. I mean, you know, the gunfire, these people on vacation, they're sitting on the beach, 38 people murdered, massacred. We saw video of the gunmen running along the beach.
I mean, this is terrifying. Westerners on vacation, targeted on the beach on beach chairs. The gunmen, a normal college student. That's how they described him. No one thought he would have been radicalized.
I mean, what are they doing to prevent something like that happening in the U.S.?
PEREZ: Well, you know, that's Erin, that's exactly what they're worried about. There are people like this who, you know, frankly, there have been warnings in Tunisia about the fact that Westerners would be targeted. So, intelligence officials are now like, saying, look. These are things that we have been warned about and we have to take them seriously.
So, one of the things they're doing, increasing security measures ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. We're having police being deployed to prominent locations. I know in Manhattan, for instance, at the headquarters where the FBI and homeland security are based, they're definitely having more security there.
I was at the CIA today. We saw, there was, it was almost like, you know, a bunch of different ways you have to go in before you can make it to the front door there. So, what the issue now is, that the police department in New York
says they're deploying dogs, they're deploying radiation equipment. These are the things they're worried about simply because they don't know what they're not seeing. And so, that's the issue now.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Evan Perez.
And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos.
[19:57:27] BURNETT: Paris Hilton is on the receiving end of a prank going way too far. Now, she may be laughing all the way to the bank.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fasten your seatbelt, airplane prankster. TMZ reports Paris Hilton is going to sue.
While promoting a hotel in Dubai, Paris took a ride on a sight- seeing plane at the invitation of this Egyptian TV host and prankster.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's happening?
MOOS: What's happening is a stunt pilot cuts the engine. The plane dives, Paris surrounded by actors, apparently thinks they're going down.
She later tweeted, "Scariest moment of my life."
They even opened the back door and threw someone out. Though he was wearing a parachute, they braced for a crash, then landed.
To her credit, Paris asked about the man who was thrown out.
PARIS HILTON: Is that guy OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes.
MOOS: The host then comes clean about the prank.
This video has succeeded at something rarely achieved. It has made people sympathetic to Paris Hilton. People like Nancy Grace.
NANCY GRACE, TV HOST: I'll tell you what, if I were Paris Hilton, I would take these people to the cleaners.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's horrifying and she could suffer severe mental illness because of it.
MOOS: There are doubters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that she could have been part of this. Look how she is constantly moving her hair.
MOOS: But a lawsuit would show she wasn't in on it.
TMZ quotes sources as saying she is furious over this stunt and totally freaked out about flying.
CNN couldn't contact Paris or the prankster. NBC, the network that carries the show, told CNN, "We are only the broadcasters. So, we are not liable for the content."
We have two words: Not funny. To make someone think they're going to die so you can die laughing.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: I have to say you really do have sympathy for her -- something weird about that whole thing, disturbing. Your sense of what goes on in those situations.
All right. Thanks so much you for joining us. Be sure to that set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch us anytime. We'll be back here same time same place tomorrow night. Thanks so much as always for watching.
"AC360" with Anderson Cooper begins right now.