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Donald Trump Doubling Down on Iowa; Bomb Blasted in Bangkok; Indonesian Plane Crash; Joe Biden Perspectives for Running for Office; Fighting Fires in Washington State. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 17, 2015 - 20:00   ET


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Thank you for joining us tonight. Always great to join you. AC 360 starts right now.

[20:00:27] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Tonight, more signs that the Trump campaign has staying power. More trouble for the Republican establishment. National polling from FOX News showing a 2:1 Trump lead over the nearest rival, 2:1 with neurosurgeon and fellow political outsider Ben Carson. He is followed by Ted Cruz. Jeb Bush, now at number four.

And there are other signs that the Trump campaign is very serious about wining in Iowa and nationwide which we will explore tonight including this. For weeks now, Donald Trump has been saying that he can solve the illegal immigration problem and make Mexico foot a big part of the bill for it. He just hasn't said now. Well, now he has. And one of his proposals would change a pillar of the constitution that if you are born in this country you are a citizen.

Over the weekend his campaign put out a 14-point plan including eliminating birth right citizenship, which would require changing the constitution. Some other key points. Tripling the number of ICE officers to enforce immigration laws. Cutting off federal money to so-called sanctuary cities. And nationwide e-verify system for employers to check up on immigration status of would-be hires. And most notably making the Mexican government pay for the fence or wall along the northern border. If they don't, the plan calls for seizing billions in money that immigrant workers send back to Mexico every year. Campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, Mr. Trump downplayed the fact it has taken a while for him to come up with the details.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well I think the press is more eager to see it than the voters, to be honest. I think the voters like me. They understand me. They know I'm going to do the job. And you know, when you put out policy like a 14-point plan. A lot of times in the first hour of negotiation, that 14-point plan goes astray.


COOPER: That's one reality. Another has to do with sheer immensity of the border and the job of (INAUDIBLE).

More on that right now from Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Can a continuous wall be built along the entire 1954 mile-border shared by the United States and Mexico and be impenetrable like Donald Trump says he wants or even close to impenetrable? Well, it helps to know some precedent.

There are tall border walls like this one in Nogales, Arizona. And they're challenging to go over, go through, or go under, but it happens all the time. They're not impenetrable. But this is harder to pass than this. This much more commonly seen border fence along the Mexico-U.S. frontier. Railroad ties, a 7-foot fence, barbed wire which you often see. But the barbed wire is easy to cut. And if someone is motivated to go through the desert here in southeastern Arizona where we are right now. They could easily get through. And we'll give you an idea of how easy it is to cut, not only is the barbed wire gone here? There is no fence anymore, just the railroad ties.

So now, I am in Mexico. Any one that would come through here, just has to go under the railroad tie and they're in the United States.

So obviously, a big wall keeps people out much better than this does. And you can build much more big wall along the border. But can you build a continuous wall from the Pacific Ocean, California, to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas?

The answer -- is no. There are a number of reasons for them. Firstly we start with the fact that there are many ranchers who own land along the border who would all have to sell their land to the federal government. Then you have Indian reservations on the border. And then you are dealing with the issue of the topography. Steep terrain, mountains, streams make it impossible or nearly impossible to build a 15 or 20-foot concrete or steel wall. You can build a fence here like the one that is here right now. But -- once you get to this fence, you would always have a gap right here if you are on this side or in this side and immigrants going under this fence.

Donald Trump says to believe him when explains that nobody will get through the wall he will built. But the facts on the ground indicate that at the very least can be a promise that is quite challenging to keep.


COOPER: And Gary joins us now from the border.

So that 20-foot steel wall that you are standing in front of, how often do people scale that?

TUCHMAN: Well, it used to be every day, Anderson. But right now, this area, this part of downtown Nogales, Arizona has 24/7 border patrol presence. Now, just looking on camera, there are eyeballs are on this wall. And that persuade people not to go over this part of the wall anymore. So they go to the west. They go to east.

But before they have the 24/7 presence, people would come over every day and you could see the steel wall. There are no steps. The way they do it, they treat the steel poles like trees. And people are very strong. They hug it and they slither up the pole. They come down on this side. And they slide down like it is a fire pole, Anderson.

[20:05:01] COOPER: All right. Gary, thanks very much for being there.

Jeb Bush is weighing in on the Trump plan, speaking late today in Charleston, South Carolina. Governor Bush said it is not realistic.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is not about the big personality in the room. This is about how do you fix problems that are broken? We need to start solving problems instead of just saying how bad things are. And so, I appreciate the fact that Mr. Trump now has a plan, if that's what it's called, but I think that the better approach is to deal with the 11 million people here illegally in a way that, that is realistic. And to have border security that is done in the right way to lessen the number of people crossing our border.


COOPER: All right, that's Jeb Bush today in Charleston.

Now joining us is Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, also tea party leader and Trump supporter Katrina Pierson, and Democratic strategist Patti Solis Doyle, a CNN political commentator and former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential run.

So Alex, this plan of Trumps, sure, you know, may be a lot of headlines here, but in terms of policy, how realistic is it?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: About as realistic as one of the big neon signs on one of Donald Trump's buildings. Not much.


CASTELLANOS: Well, this is one of the biggest expansions of federal power than anyone has ever proposed in American history. Donald Trump would need an army of arms federal agents with guns from Washington to deport 11 million people. He would need the same army to start deporting children who were born here in the United States and are now American citizens. He says he is going to stop people from sending money back to their home countries. Does that mean he will give Washington to open our fed-ex packages?

He is now interfering with American business saying, by the way, if you want to hire an hb-1 visa candidate, somebody to come over here and do technical work. Guess what. It is going to cost you more because Washington and I say so. He is not a small government conservative. Donald Trump thinks bigger

government is great as long as he is running it and not those stupid politicians. So, this is, I think a very unrealistic plan.

COOPER: Katrina, you are a Trump supporter. What do you make of this plan? I mean, to Alex's point, if-I mean, Trump says there is more than 11 million. He says 34 million. But assuming that there is 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, and a lot of them have kids who are American citizens, are you going to deport American citizens?

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, Anderson, the only thing that is unrealistic is what happening today where we have a porous border.

COOPER: OK. My question is do you support the deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants and U.S. born American citizen children?

PIERSON: Well, I fully support Trump's plan. It makes very much sense to address the issues we are having. We don't need a 6,000-page comprehensive immigration reform.

COOPER: So how are you going - but isn't that a massive federal program to take out, to throw out 11 million people?

PIERSON: It is a massive program that we have now. What are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to continue to allow millions of undocumented people to come into this country and gain their social services that they're in? Are we supposed to continue that?

COOPER: So just so I am clear, but, you are fine with the idea of arm federal agents throwing out 11 million people as well as their children.

PIERSON: I don't quite think the Trump plan says we are going to send armed federal agents. Now we are just into the scare tactics in politics. These things have been done in the past. They can continue to be done in the future. And in fact his policy states we start with the criminal aliens currently crowding our federal prison system. That's where we start.

COOPER: Patti, what do you make of Donald Trump's plan?

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, look, ironically, I agree with both Alex and Katrina here. He gets no specifics on this plan. I guess I'm glad that he finally put together some policy for us. But as they say the devil is in the details. And this detail is high on rhetoric, low on facts, and really very expensive. So he doesn't say how he is going to pay for mass deportation. It is going to be $400 billion. He doesn't have the money for it.

He says he is going to have Mexico build the wall. But you know what, Mexico is not going to pay for the wall. And this constitutional amendment that he is going to need to address the birther citizenship, it is just not going to happen in this polarized political climate that we live in in Washington, D.C. There is just no facts to support his thesis here.

COOPER: Katrina, do you believe really that -- that he can get a constitutional amendment passed to end birth, birth right citizenship?

[20:10:00] PIERSON: I don't think you need a constitutional amendment if you are just enforced the constitution. The birth right citizenship in the 14th amendment came for slaves. It wasn't for anybody to just to come here to give birth and become an American citizen. That will be debated that will go to the Supreme Court. And that's where that decision will be made.

But you are right this is not going to go very well in a bipartisan way in Washington, D.C. That's why Donald Trump is campaigning to the American voter. As we know the numbers show the majority of the American public opposes amnesty. And they fully want something strict and tough to be done on illegal immigration. Donald Trump has put out a plan that actually champions the American people. The American worker. American families are finally being prioritized by a presidential candidate so we should be happy that we are having this discussion. Because if we weren't, we would be looking at another way to kick the can down the road to bring in more people that don't belong here that is continuing to hurt American jobs.

COOPER: Alex, in a general election, how does fair? What does this do to the Republican Party if Trump is the nominee?

CASTELLANOS: Well, first Anderson, let me say wow, even Republicans wouldn't say Barack Obama has been arrogant enough to rewrite the constitution that way. But in a general election, look, right now this hurts the Republican Party. If you think the Republican Party hasn't alienated enough Hispanics, enough women, enough young voters, why Donald Trump's immigration plan is going to be wait for you, you are going to love that.

In a general election though. Trump is not going to be the nominee. When he leaves he will be defeated by an anti-Trump. So, there will be a cleansing that will go on, in, once he is -- knocked out of primaries. And I think you will see a new and better and more optimistic solution oriented Republican Party going into the general election.

COOPER: Katrina, I mean, again I come back to the 11 million. How do you see that happening? How do you see -- I mean there is people, lots of people would support that, but just on a logistical basis, how do you get rid of that many people including their, some of their children who are, you know, in the currently in the school system, have been here for many years, are U.S. citizens.

PIERSON: Well I think you would have to, you know, debate that process. And that's what this is all about. The idea is out there for people to discuss. It's not going to be one person deciding who goes and who stays. There is going to be a process put in place. The criteria that need to be met. Just like he talked about with refugee status. Whereas all you have to do is check five boxes and you are automatically given asylum.


CASTELLANOS: This sound like the Democratic Party we have now. We are from Washington. We have a plan for you. Donald Trump is, is not -- an anti-Washington guy. He just thinks the wrong people are running it. He is all about more people from Washington telling us how to live our lives. He is a big corporate status.

PIERSON: If that's true all the Washington pundits wouldn't be out there trying to get hip right now.

CASTELLANOS: Well, the conservative ones are.

COOPER: Katrina Pierson, I appreciate you being on. Alex Castellanos, Patti Solis Doyle, as well.

Up next, a potentially bruising new development for Hillary Clinton. Hundred more emails are now facing scrutiny. Former attorney general's take on that.

Also, the latest from Bangkok where a bombing has taken at least 20 lives. The explosion caught there on security camera footage.


[20:16:54] COOPER: New and growing email headaches for Hillary Clinton. She recently opened a snapchat account and said she loves it because the messages as she put it disappear all by themselves. The former secretary of state got laughs for that line not by Republicans, however, when it comes to the email she stored on private server at home when she was the top diplomat. There are may be a lot less to smile about.

Today, the state department said it will put more of those messages, hundreds more under review because they might contain classified information. Now late today, I asked former George W. Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales about that.


COOPER: How big a problem do you think this is for her whether politically or legally?

ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think potentially it could be a very serious legal problem. Obviously, a lot remains to be seen. There is a possibly that classified information may have existed on her serve. May have been compromised to some degree. And obviously, to the extent it is a legal problem or even if it is not a legal problem. I think it does creates some political challenges for Hillary Clinton. I mean, she was a secretary of state. It is a position of great responsibility. And I think one would have to question the judgment exercised or the lack of judgment exercised in this particular case.

But again, there is a lot of facts that remain to be uncovered. And so, I think it is just a question of allowing the FBI, allowing intelligence agencies to do their job and let's get a better understanding for what actually happened here.


COOPER: I spoke with Judge Gonzales about Donald Trump's immigration plan. That is in our next hour tonight. He has a lot of question he's raises about it.

As for the Clinton emails, CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown joins us now with more. So what are you learning?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we have learned that 305 documents from Clinton's private server have been flagged by state department review before their consultation from various intelligence agency to determine whether they do contain any classified information.

Now, this is coming from a state department court filing that says out of a sample of approximately 20 percent of Clinton emails reviewed so far, approximately, 5.1 percent were recommended for referral. And this comes as a time, Anderson, when the FBI is investigating Clinton's private server, the bureau was determining how it was configured and whether classification information was willfully mishandled.

One official I spoke with today said that anyone connected to the server could be part of the investigation depending on where it goes. But still very preliminary at this point, Anderson.

COOPER: Do we know why these particular documents were flagged? What stood out about them?

BROWN: Yes. I have been asking officials because, of course, the core filing doesn't say specifics about them. But I am essentially told they were flagged because they may contain information that could be cause for concern to intelligence agencies if their release is part of the freedom of information act.

So, that is basically why they're being handed over to these intelligence agencies so that classification experts can take a look at them and determine whether or not they can be released to the public. But I think it is important to note here for context, Anderson. It is not always clear cut what is classified and what's not. As one official said it is more of an art than a science at times, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Pamela. Appreciate the reporting. Pamela Brown.

With more on the implications now, joining us Republican strategist and CNN political commentator Kevin Madden, CNN political commentator Paul Begala, who currently runs a pro-Clinton super Pac and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeff, is it possible she could face criminal charges?

[20:20:12] JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think that is really remote. I this is a serious political problem for her because these investigations aren't going on for weeks. They're going on for months. And you know, she made a dumb decision for, you know, conducting her official business on this private server. And it is certainly going to be the case that there is classified information found there.

The definition of classified information is extremely flexible. Bureaucracies over-classify all the time. So we know, we know, that they're going to find classified information. That's going to be embarrassing. But I don't see any scenario where that turns into a criminal case against her.

COOPER: Kevin, do you agree with that? Because I mean, Donald Trump keep saying, well, look what happened to General Petraeus, this, you know, potentially could be far worse.

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think they are going through a very careful review of that as Pamela alluded to during her piece. They are looking at all intelligence agencies are looking at this. They're scrubbing it. If they find this information that shows there was, you know, a mishandled classified information and that there should be some prosecution for that, the FBI and others at the department of justice will have to take a look at that.

But, I think Jeffrey is right. This is much, all of that legal questioning and the drip, drip, drip, of the investigation, that creates a huge political challenge for Hillary Clinton. So many more, so many more voters will call her trustworthiness into question. And as a result, she is going to have a harder time convincing the American public, and even probably within her own party, that she is the best person for the job of being president.

COOPER: I want to show what she has been saying about this now that has kind of changed.

And Paul, I know you don't thing the email issue will make or break the election. But I do want to play what Clinton said about this back in March and what she said about it this weekend. Let's listen.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.

I did not send nor did I receive material marked classified.


COOPER: So she has changed the language there. And as we know, you know, language does matter. Well, with the Clintons, I mean, you know.


COOPER: I mean, with any politician.

BEGALA: Nonsense. She said, nonsense. Baloney sandwich. I'm cleaning up my language because this is a family show.

No, come on, she said she didn't send anything or receive anything that was classified. And then she said marked classified. That's how you know that it is classified. If we want to make a thing about that we can. Do a Special Report.

TOOBIN: But Paul, that's not really true, though. I mean, classified information is, is the information itself. And if you have the diagram to a nuclear bomb, that's classified whether you -- whether you have it marked classified or not. And public officials are supposed to know the difference. Now the problem is, it is very hard in many areas to know what's classified or not. But just the mark is not what makes something classified.

BEGALA: I understand. But as you know, Jeffrey, I worked, I didn't do national security, but I worked in the White House. And I know that the government classified stuff, that I think as a citizen, the pub lack ought to know.

Beyond that it is very elastic. Sound from Pamela's report is what is happening now is post-facto, intelligence agencies are looking at this material and deciding whether they want it to be released to the public. That's not the same as getting information, seeing this is classified. And then, and then sharing it. But --.

COOPER: Let's turn to the politics, Paul, how concerned are you about what Kevin referenced the drip, drip, drip of this.

BEGALA: Yes. We are 448 days away from the election. OK. If 440 days from now we are talking about it, probably not so good. But we are not going to be. At some point, not now. Not in the year before the election. And not in an odd numbered year. Not in August. At some point, voters are going to say, who is going to be better for me? Who is going to help me get a better job, make a little bit more money, protect me in my Social Security when I retire, things like that. That's what this election is about.

MADDEN: Yes. But Paul, I would argue that it is much harder to get to that conversation. When you can't get past the trust factor. And that's one of the biggest problems that we have seen now. I think that if you go back in that press conference, that first press conference, that Hillary Clinton did a couple of months ago, there are a number of statements that were made emphatically that have turned out not to be true. And I think because of that, there may be very lasting almost permanent damage to that relationship between her and the voters on the issue of trust. And she will never get to the conversation that she is hoping to have about whether or not she is going to help people on the issues.

BEGALA: Here's my prediction, Kevin. Your party is going to ride to the rescue. You always did, not you personally. The Republicans always do. Here's what's going on.

There is this permanent endless committee on, on Benghazi, right, that chairman Gowdy is funding. Buy the way, yesterday, the chairman of the committee, Republican congressman Troy Gowdy of South Carolina admitted that the email stuff has nothing to do with Benghazi. But so what, we are going to plow through it. They have already spent more time investigating this than Congress did investigating Pearl Harbor or Iran-contra or the Warren commission assassination of President Kennedy.

They're going to hold hearings. I hope they do. And I hope she testifies. Because what people will see is that, not with the FBI, not with the legitimate inquiry that is going on. Be careful. But when the partisans get involved. The Republican Congress will not be able to help themselves. And they're going to jump in here. And they're going to make this look partisan. And say, Hillary is baking. You hide and watch. That's what is going to happen.

TOOBIN: That may well be the case. But the problem for Hillary Clinton here is there is no easy way to simply just be done with it. You know, sometimes when you have a document controversy, you just say, OK, put them all out there. But she can't do that because the question is are they classified or not. Now, it may be that this turns out to be no big deal. And you know, Paul is probably right. We won't be talking about this in October in 2016. But it doesn't have a clear ending point. And that's always a problem.

BEGALA: True. True.

COOPER: Paul, you said there was 448 days?

BEGALA: That was the count. Even I don't keep that in my head.

COOPER: That's stunning. We are that far away.

BEGALA: Precious few days.

COOPER: You knew that, intellectually.

BEGALA: It is almost tomorrow. We have got to. I have got to get to work. I have to go back and raise money for the super PAC.

COOPER: Paul, thank you. Kevin and Jeff, as well. We will talk to you maybe once or twice more in the next 448 days.

When we come back, more signs that Donald Trump is very serious about winning it all. We will look at his ground game in Iowa. And later, we will take you to California and show you what fire fighters are up against right now as well as the all the people now living within the range of flames.



COOPER: We are talking tonight about what it takes to win the Iowa caucuses. Because simply being out ahead in the polls as Donald Trump is now, is certainly no guarantee. The battle for Iowa, from here until the first caucuses in February, is one long ground game. It demands a strong organization. And by early appearances Mr. Trump is building or aiming to build one. Details from our Randi Kaye that was in the Hawkeye state.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is doubling down on Iowa. And the gamble seems to be paying off. He spent about an hour on the ground at the Iowa state fair over the weekend. Enough time to shake a few hands and grab a pork chop on a stick.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

KAYE: Only adding to the belief that Trump is serious about winning Iowa.

(on camera): Can Donald Trump win Iowa?


KAYE (voice over): Craig Robinson is founder of the Iowa Republican blog.

ROBINSON: It's been kind of a whirlwind. I mean very Donald Trump- esque where he kind of just takes the whole state by storm whenever he descends on Iowa.

KAYE: The Trump campaign machine in the Hawkeye state is in overdrive. His team just opened the first Iowa campaign headquarters in west Des Moines. And the Trump bus is on the move across the state. The campaign advertises the bus's schedule, invites Iowans in for freebies, then aides get their information adding to the rapidly growing list of supporters and volunteers.

(on camera): What do you think it is about Trump that Iowans are attracted to?

KRISTI ROSSI, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think it is a new view. I think it's broken, it needs to be fixed.

KAYE (voice over): The latest CNN/ORC poll shows Trump leading the Republican pack with 22 percent support in Iowa. No wonder he is digging in. He now has ten full time staffers here. GOP hopeful Scott Walker has just half of that.

Even though the Iowa caucus isn't until February and the election is more than a year away, Trump's campaign says it has too many volunteers to count. They're pouring in so fast. The campaign can hardly keep track of them all. A good problem to have in a key state.

It helps that Trump isn't a stranger here. He was in Iowa the day he announced he was running for president.

TRUMP: I am a fan. I love John Wayne.

KAYE: He has been back to visit the John Wayne birth place museum, attend a rally in Oskaloosa. And the family leader summit in Ames. ROBINSON: They're actually bringing people into the process where

they will go to beer festivals. Wherever there is people gathered. They'll park their Trump supporter bus. And people will come out and kind of self-identify as people who are interested. And I think that's smart.

KAYE: And Trump is doing his part to make sure Iowans feel the love. Fresh off his trip to the state fair, a posting on his Facebook page, read "just got back from the Iowa state fair. Record crowds. Phenomenal people. Thank you Iowa. I will never let you down."


COOPER: And Randi joins us from Des Moines. So, are they are any closer to picking caucus leaders in Iowa?

KAYE: They are, Anderson. In fact, we had a couple of them today. It is really important that they get these caucus leaders on the ground here, long before February. And it's one thing that those who are watching the Trump campaign say the Trump campaign is doing right. They're starting this process early. Not waiting until December or January. They find these people - if these people - pulled these people out in the middle of February, or in the middle of January, and February first when the caucus takes place. It's freezing here. And they need them on the ground. They need their passion. They need them to get those people out to vote on caucus day.

COOPER: I also hear there is an unofficial pole under way at a state fair as well. What is it?

KAYE: There is an unofficial poll, because after all this is corn country, right? So, they have the cast your kernel vote here at the state fair. And how it works is this. They have a jar. And then they have each jar has the candidate's name on it. At one of the booths here, and their picture. So, this is the trump jar. And anybody who comes to that booth is given one kernel. And they get to put their kernel into the jar that belongs to the candidate of their choice. I can tell you where the poll stands right now. Then they count them up. The vote right now, Trump has 23 percent, and Hillary Clinton is right behind him, it's 18 percent. We just checked. But there are seven jars already full for Donald Trump. And they each hold the 1,000 kernels. So, that's 7,000 votes already for Donald Trump here at the state fair, Anderson. So it is not very official. They won't even - quite so, I will point it out, every other time, it's not official.

But every other time they have picked the president of the United States.


KAYE: Believe it or not.

COOPER: All right. We'll keep an eye on it.

KAYE: Except twice. COOPER: Randi, thanks very much.

Earlier, I had a chance to speak with the Iowa state co-chairwoman for the Trump campaign, Tana Goertz. You might also recognize her from "The Apprentice."


COOPER: So, Tana, Jeb Bush on Friday denied what made kind of a swipe at your boss saying you have got to be here. You can't helicopter in and leave. I'm wondering if, you know, obviously, and traditionally in Iowa, it's all about retail politics, it's spending time on the ground. It's meeting people. Shaking hands. Talking with people at small events. And that's what helps win the Iowa caucuses, gets people to show up. Are you hearing that criticism of Trump from people you talk to?

TANA GOERTZ, IOWA STATE CO-CHAIR, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Oh, my gosh. Absolutely not, Anderson. People love the fact that he landed in his private helicopter. They gave helicopter rides to kids. Of course, Mr. Trump doesn't do anything the usual, boring way. He does everything, puts flare on everything, and he brings in the Trump factor. So people loved the way he arrived at the Iowa state fair.

COOPER: Let me ask you. We have seen huge turnout in, basically wherever he goes as he is quick to point out. A lot of people interested in his ideas, a lot of people supporting him. But there is also some people we talk to at these rallies who just kind of want to be part of the experience. They're not sure what they think of him, but they just kind of want to be there. How do you get people to go from -- coming to an event because they want to see his celebrity, because they want to kind of be part of the, the Trump experience, to actually then taking the next step of supporting him as a candidate?

KAYE: That is a great question, Anderson. And the answer is so simple. If they come because they want to see a celebrity or they come because they kind of want to see, what is this Donald Trump buzz all about? All they have to do is sit in their seat. Relax. And like I say. Buckle up. Sit back. Enjoy the ride. Because Mr. Trump does all the selling himself. The minute he opens his mouth. The minute he tells people what he's going to do for this country. He is so authentic. He's so real. People see it. They believe it. And they're buying it. And they're going to come and vote for him.

COOPER: I want to ask you about something that you said recently about him. You said, if you go after him, talking about Donald Trump, he is sending in the missiles. When he becomes the president, of course, he's going to change his tune. Right now he doesn't need to. America loves him. Do you think as president he would have a different tone?

KAYE: Absolutely. I mean right now he has got to show his strength. That's what people love about him, he is strong. He will not back down. He is a tough negotiator. He will not apologize, as he hasn't done anything wrong. This is kind of like when you're starting to date someone. You know, you have got to kind of let them know who you are. Like you aren't going to take away my fishing trip every year. You know, guys establish their position. That's kind of like what he's doing, in a sense? I am going to let you know that I'm going to fight for you. I am going to win. I am going to do what I said I am going to do. And he's just putting it out there. But when he becomes the president, of course, he is going to take a more, relaxed approach. Because he won't be on the defense. Right now he has to be on the defense.

COOPER: You don't know if he's going - you don't think he's going to be on defense, when he's president. I mean isn't it going to be attacked left, right and center?

GOERTZ: Well, he'll be on - Oh, of course, but I'm talking about beyond defense for - is he real. Is this just a stunt? You know, all those things that are taking away from really what his purpose is. He wants to make America great again. If everybody would just let him talk. He will tell you how he's going to do that. But when all the focus is on other things. You know, we are missing the opportunity to hear how he is going to do that.

COOPER: Well, Tana Goertz, I appreciate you being on. Thank you so much.

GOERTZ: Thank you. Have a great day.


COOPER: Just let him talk. Coming up. At least 20 people are dead right now. After a bomb ripped through a popular tourist area in Bangkok and Thailand, a live update on the investigation as well as the aftermath. Also ahead. Searching for debris and for answers, after a plane loses contact with air traffic control. Crashes. 54 people on board.


COOPER: At least 20 people dead. More than 100 injured after a bomb went off in Bangkok, in Thailand. Police have not said officially whether they believe the attack was on a specific target. But it exploded near a Hindu shrine in the middle of a popular tourist area.

Our Andrew Stevens is in Bangkok. He joins us now live. What's the latest, Andrew?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson, the forensic teams are now searching the area. You can see behind me. There has been forensic teams slowly sweeping out towards us. They have been in here for two or three hours. A couple of new developments actually, I can tell you, that we have become aware of in the last hour or so. The government has been telling the state-run news agency, that they received a warning, Anderson, of an attack. Now, they didn't say that they had any specific data. They didn't say where that could take place or even when that could take place. And the other piece of news coming out is the device -- was a pipe bomb wrapped in white cotton. Remember, this attack happened at the pick time. The time calculated to do most damage. 7:00 p.m. in the evening. When people were coming out of the offices and going home. When the tourists were converging on that shrine. The death toll we are hearing is 20 at the moment. Three Chinese nationals confirmed dead. One Thai, and one Filipino, Anderson.

COOPER: Do investigators have any idea who could be behind it?

STEVENS: At this stage, officially, no. What they are saying, what they have said, that they think this may have been a target, deliberate target because it is a tourist hot spot. This is one of the busiest places in Bangkok, actually. You get a mixture of people shopping, there is big shopping centers all around here. There is also -- there is also that shrine where you get a lot of Chinese tourists particularly coming here. The implication here, of course, is if you hit tourism, you hurt the economy. But nothing official at the moment, Anderson. There is a lot of other theories. Is from insurgency in the South? There is a long running insurgency. Is it the political divisions? We have seen that so many years on the streets of, of Bangkok now being played out in a different much more deadly way. Even some suggestions that Chinese Muslims, the so called Viga (ph), could be making a revenge attack.


STEVENS: Because some of the Viga were, were, kicked out of Bangkok just a few days ago and sent back to China. But nothing official at the moment.

COOPER: Are there heightened security precautions being taken elsewhere in the city?

STEVENS: Well they say there are.

COOPER: Just lost Andrew Stevens there. A live report there from Bangkok, Thailand.

Searchers are planning to resume their work in Indonesia. Looking for debris from an apparent plane crash. An air service flight that went down with 54 people on board. Happened in a remote mountainous area. In the eastern part of the country. There was no distress call. The plane lost contract with air traffic control on Sunday.

Our aviation correspondent, Rene Marsh joins me now with the latest. So, what do authorities - Have they said exactly what happened? Why the plane went down?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know Anderson, that search teams are 95 percent sure that the debris and a plume of smoke that they spotted coming from the mountainside is indeed debris from this Indonesian passenger plane. But they're really having a tough time navigating that mountain to get to the crash site. Bad weather today stopped the process. And so they will try again tomorrow. But we won't start learning more about the cause until they get to the debris, get to the plane's recorders. What we do know is that this was a 27-year-old plane, which is an older plane. But if it is properly maintained, it can fly perfectly fine. The question is, was it properly maintained? COOPER: And I understand the airline. What kind of a safety record

do they have? Because I heard it is not great, right?

MARSH: Yeah, I mean this is a small airline. It has a spotty safety record. It has been involved in some, 19 serious safety incidents since 1992. And that's according to one aviation data base. And in 2007 it was banned from flying in the European Union. In fact, all Indonesian carriers are restricted from operating in the United States. And that's because the FAA says the country's safety and oversight, it does not meet international standards. And often times that's an issue of aircraft inspections, as well as pilot training. Keeping in mind, Anderson. This weekend's crash. It was the third major plane crash to happen in Indonesia in just eight months.

COOPER: Wow, Rene, I appreciate it, thanks. Coming up, the IRS admit that criminals got ahold of a whole lot more people's tax forms, and they first announced just a few months ago. We'll tell you about that. Also ahead, more than 25,000 firefighters battling fires in ten states tonight. The latest on live update from California next.



COOPER: Well, firefighters dealing with dozens of wildfires throughout much of the western United States tonight. And the heat and dry conditions are making the job incredibly difficult. California suffered through four years of drought. Fanning the flames of at least 19 fires burning in that state alone. Nine other states are fighting their own fiery battles.

Paul Vercammen reports.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the West, triple digit temperatures, wind, the ravages of drought, creating the perfect firestorm. More than 25,000 firefighters now battling blazes in ten states. The national fire preparedness level at five. That's the highest. Almost two dozen fires scorching Washington State alone. Near Chelan, a relieved resident praised crews for sparing his home in the face of roaring flames.

DAVID D'ARMOND, CHELEN, WASHINGTON RESIDENT: They came quick, it came hot and heavy. And then the winds kicked up. And it just was unstoppable.

VERCAMMEN: Other residents not as fortunate, dozens of structures and more than 50,000 acres burned. 1,000 residents evacuated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought it was this little fire. And then it started spreading and spreading. And the wind got faster and faster.

VERCAMMEN: In California, over 13,000 firefighters are trying to extinguish almost two dozen stubborn blazes. A Southern California heat wave, fueling this fire in Custer (ph), where firefighters tried to save a fully engulfed lodge. In Montebello, it was a suspected arson fire caused major traffic jams, walls of flames exploded over the road. Aerial support on this the Lincoln fire came from Canada. Two super scoopers from Quebec now helping out in southern California.

This plane dipping into the water to reload. While residents continued on their quest to cool off in dangerously hot fire weather.


COOPER: Paul Vercammen joins us now from Montebello, California. So, Anderson, that active duty soldiers are actually being called out to help with some of these fires?

VERCAMMEN: That's exactly right, Anderson. They will focus their attention on the northwest. They are coming from Port Louis. They are artillery and infantry soldiers. Now, the National Information Fire Center telling me today there are so many fires and they are so spread out. That this is how the soldiers can help them. They will be trained briefly this week. They don't expect them to go into the most hazardous conditions. But what they do want from them is the ability to mop up, dig fire lines. Watch for spot fires and put them out. And then they will free up way more experienced crews to go into the very complex dangerous and hazardous conditions, Anderson.

PAUL: Wow. Paul Vercammen. I appreciate it. There is a lot more happening tonight. Amara Walker has "360" bulletin. Amara.

AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the cyberattack against the IRS announced earlier this year was much worse than first reported. The agency now says thieves accessed 330,000 taxpayer accounts. More than triple the number released in May. Oscar Pistorius is expected to be released from prison on Friday. After serving just ten months of a five-year sentence for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The former Paralympic runner is eligible for parole under a law that allows offenders to get house arrest after serving one sixth of their sentence. Pistorius will spend his house arrest in luxury, at his uncle's mansion. Milwaukee Brewers' minor league first baseman, has become the first openly gay player for an affiliated MLB team. David Denson plays for the single A, Helena Brewers.

And the man who dressed as Batman to bring smiles to sick children in hospitals has died. Lenny Robinson was fatally struck by a car Sunday night when his Batmobile, a custom made Lamborghini, broke down near Hagerstown, Maryland and he got out to check the engine. Anderson.

COOPER: Bad news. Amara, thank you very much.

Coming up in our next hour, President Obama's dilemma. If Vice President Joe Biden decides to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016.



COOPER: Little before 9:00 p.m. here on the East Coast. There is a lot happening tonight including additional e-mail trouble for Hillary Clinton. And a close look at Donald Trump's new 14-point immigration plan, which is drawing both praise and sharp criticism tonight.

But first, new reporting on the implications of Joe Biden's big decision which could come any day now. Namely whether or not to run possibly for the last time for president of the United States. Which could be awkward, of course, for his boss and Hillary Clinton's old boss, President Obama. He and the vice president are close. At the same time, a lot of his political operation has already gotten behind Secretary Clinton, which presents logistical difficulties for Joe Biden. On top of all that, this has all been deeply personal, deeply sentimental for Mr. Biden, whose late son Beau reportedly wanted him to make one more run.

Jim Acosta, has new reporting tonight on how all of this is going down inside the Obama administration. He joins us from Martha's Vineyard where the first family is vacationing.