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VP Joe Biden Receives Green Light from Obama to Run; Dow Jones Industrials Close Down Nearly 600 points; Jorge Ramos Refutes Trump's Plan on Immigration; France Honors U.S. Heroes Who Stopped Gunman; Inside the Escape Tunnel. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 24, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: And late word that vice president Joe Biden has just received the biggest green light you can get for a presidential run.

CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny broke the story. He joins us now by phone.

Jeff, the president and vice president had lunch today. And the vice president left with a whole lot more than dessert.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): No question, John. I mean, President Obama has always said this will be, you know, Joe Biden's own decision on this. But I am told that he gave his blessing to a potential run. Did not try to talk the vice president out of his pursuit of the presidency. It is important to point out the vice president has still not decided. But this lunch today was far from one of the regular scheduled lunches. They talked about the 2016 campaign, but also about the messages and from what is happening out there in the country now, economic messages, economic policies. So the president did not try to walk him back at all. He, I'm told he gave his blessing to run. And of course now it is up to the vice president if he decides to do it.

BERMAN: Not an endorsement. To be clear, not an endorsement, but a blessing to run if Joe Biden decide to do it. And if you can believe it, the meeting between the president and vice president, not the only meeting today that is stirring speculation.

Jeff Zeleny, I understand there is a meeting going on at the vice president's residence, right now. Also of note, that include two of the president's most trusted advisers.

ZELENY: That's right, John. Two of the president's top advisers, really some of his longest serving political advisers, Bob Bauer, who has been his election lawyer for years. And Anita Dunn, who is the communications director in the White House to help sort of craft his presidential campaign. Those two are among a few others meeting right now with vice president Biden in the naval observatory, his official residence in Washington. They have not yet signed on to any type of Biden campaign. But they're among the people that the vice president is talking to, as he decides to, if he is going to run or not. And again, everyone we speak to throughout, so-called Biden world, is

still saying he has not yet made his decision. But John, he is on trying to get as much information as possible. Of course, he met with Elizabeth Warren over the weekend, the same type of meeting. But this meeting tonight signifies that if he would decide to run, there are people from the Obama inner circle who would no doubt be there to help him.

BERMAN: And these are Obama people meeting with Biden tonight talking about how to run, not whether to run.

Jeff Zeleny, our senior Washington reporter with big breaking news on two fronts involving Joe Biden.

But wait, there is more. Our chief national correspondent John King has the details on that. He joins us now along with CNN political commentator, Patti Solis Doyle, who ran Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign and served as chief of staff for Joe Biden's presidential efforts so she knows a couple of people who might be involved in this. Also CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein, best-selling author of "a woman in charge, the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton."

John, I want to start with you because if you are talking about meeting with Joe Biden with the president, Joe Biden meeting with Obama advisers right now, talking politics, I understand, John, you have news about meetings with fundraisers.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And John, just -- and more evidence that this is going to continue, and this is not exploded into the next level. Elizabeth Warren meeting was the first stroke. The blessing from the president which is gold to Joe Biden is the second stroke. The meeting tonight, part of what I am told is next series of meetings. The vice president meeting with people who put campaigns together whether it is the legal work, whether it is communications message.

After Labor Day, some fundraisers will come in. Some other state party leaders and other national party leaders consulted. Most of these in political meetings. But the president also has a series of social events scheduled around things like Rosh Hashanah, for example where political donors, political activists around the country will be invited in for social events in which the vice president will have some time to just put his arm around him and have a quick conversation with them, maybe a cocktail with them.

So, in a series of social events and a series of officially designed political meetings, the president throughout the early week of September will continue consultations.

John, the goal is to decide by the end of the month. Again, everyone insists as Jeff told you, no final decision has been made. But what we are hearing from people close to the vice president, those actually in the meetings with him. Not people hearing second, third, fourth hand, is that he tells that he is more and more comfortable with the idea of running. I am told he has told people he very much wants to run. But he wants to spend the next several weeks trying to get a sense of terrain. Everyone, can he beat Hillary Clinton? Can he at least make it a good race? Number two, does he want to run anyway? Is this something he wants to say? And then number three, can he put the pieces together?

BERMAN: You are seeing a blueprint right now. It is more than a trial balloon. It is more like a trial rocket ship.

Patti, you know, this latest reporting on the lunch, that President Obama gave his blessing to Joe Biden to run. Now, you know, the president, I don't think it is surprising he would give his blessing to say, you know, Joe, if you want to run. Run. But what we are seeing today with the leak of this meeting, with the leak of the blessing, with Josh Earnest on the White House podium saying what a great guy the president has always thought Joe Biden is, this is more than a blessing I think?

[20:05:06] PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR HILLARY CLINTON: Well, look. The vice president is a great guy. And clearly there is a lot of affection and a lot of love between the president and vice president. And of course, the president was going to give him all the room he needs to make his decision.

BERMAN: But there are ways to say that we had lunch. And there are ways to say we had lunch. And this seems to be beyond that.

DOYLE: Right. So the next step is will he decide to actually run. And if he decide to actually run, then, the president and the White House are in a bit of a pickle, you know. Do they endorse? And if they endorse, who do they endorse? And if there is going to be an endorsement? What's the timing of that endorsement? It is happen early on, where they can make a difference, help him raise money, help her raise money, or do they let it play out a little bit. So, you know, it will be interesting to see.

BERMAN: The president will be in a pickle. So will Hillary Clinton which we will talk about in just a second. Before we bring her up specifically, Carl, you have been reporting, you have been hearing people close to Joe Biden saying that if he decide to run, he could say, look, I only want to do this for one term. I want to be a within term president because of his age. Do you think it is an advantage to make that statement going into a campaign? We have heard of that in the past, a candidate speculating they might do that. They never seem to actually go ahead with it.

CARL BERNSTEIN, JOURNALIST/AUTHOR: I think he has until if he were to win the nomination to do it. There is probably no necessity to do it now. The time to really do it would be if he had the nomination where in the mind of voters, who are little uneasy about his age. He could do it.

But then I know he is thinking about it because some of the people I talked to a couple of weeks ago, when I first reported it. But the real factor that is driving so much of this, is the distrust within the party now about the viability of Hillary Clinton's campaign. She is on very shaky ground within her own party by people who are disappointed in the Democratic Party, with how she has run this campaign, with her difficulty with being straight forward and truthful about the matters of the server. And that's what's brought on so much of this along with Donald Trump.

BERMAN: So John, if you are Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton campaign is watching this, I mean, you have known that, that Joe Biden was thinking about it a while. But over the last four days, this has just gone to a whole new level.

KING: It certainly has. It's gone to a whole new level at a key moment. Number one, in an odd way, this could in the long run, if Joe Biden doesn't run or if he runs and can't beat Hillary Clinton in an odd way help her in the sense that what we were talking about two weeks up until Joe Biden started to dominate the conversation. That was the rise of Bernie Sanders who would come within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in a couple of the key early states.

Now, he sort of on pause, while we talk will Joe Biden get in. But Hillary Clinton, Carl laid it out right, there are serious vulnerabilities and there is just a conversation about potential vulnerabilities.

Remember, and Carl and Patti have both been through this. Some of this isn't quite, probably not, fair to Hillary Clinton, but when you an investigation, and you have the justice department involved, and you have the same lawyers coming out of the woodwork that a lot of senior Democrats saw back in the Bill Clinton days, they get nervous because trust me. I covered the Clintons in those days and the White House in those days. And the investigations never turn out as you expect it. There is always been some kind of surprise.

Now, is that fair to Hillary Clinton? Probably not. But it is a fact and it is a history. And if you are an older senior Democrat, when the lawyers get involved, and you see that David Kendall profile on the front page of "The New York Times," you get a little nervous, John.

And so, what does she have to do now? Keep to keep campaigning. She has to get out there and keep talking to voters. She is probably going to have to keep talking to the media. She has a key date on October. The vice president will make decision by then. But she has a key date in October before the select committee on Benghazi to give her public testimony.

Jerry Brown the governor of California I think said it quite right this past weekend. She can't just, you know, shoot and make this email story go away. It is like a vampire. It keeps coming back. Got to put a stack in the heart.

BERNSTEIN: Another aspect, John, is that people in the Democratic Party, including her, you know, her really loyal supporters, believe that she has played into the hand of the Clinton's enemies and the party's enemies. And that is what has shaken so many people because, one again, it looks to these fundraisers, looks to these party leaders as if the Clintons have succumbed to their own worst instincts. And that is why there's so much talk. And Patti Doyle knows an awful lot about what happens in the situation. BERMAN: Patti, let me just, before I let you respond, let me just

show you a poll. This is Quinnipiac poll in Florida. It happened last week. It shows that Donald Trump is beating Hillary Clinton in Florida in the most recent polling there. But the Joe Biden is beating Donald Trump. In other words the Biden is doing better than Hillary Clinton is right now in Florida. So you are starting to see voters are responding to the polls say there is something going on here.

DOYLE: Look, I will relent that Hillary Clinton has not had a great summer. It has been a very rocky summer. But I just do not buy that Joe Biden is thinking about running because of Hillary's emails. I think -- look, the last sitting vice president that did not run in an open election I think was Dick Cheney. And thank goodness for that.

But Joe Biden has done a great job as vice president. He has incredible relationship with the Congress on both sides of the aisle. He is beloved in the party. It would be strange for him not to be seriously considering --

[20:10:16] BERMAN: But he is winning at 20 percent net favorable right now if Hillary Clinton did? Do you think that Joe Biden be considering --?

DOYLE: I think that the reason he has now taken a serious look has much less to do with Hillary's emails and much more to do with the health of his son.

BERMAN: It is going to be an awkward cocktail party. Next time the Obama been Clinton invite and get together.

John King, Patti Solis Doyle, Carl Bernstein, thank you all so much. Appreciate your time.

Other big news today, the market meltdown. Why it might not be over yet. And what you can do about it. Richard Quest, thank goodness, has all the answers.

Also, Donald Trump says he has a 14-point plan for dealing with illegal immigration. See what happens though when he is grilled on the specifics. Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos weighs in.

And later, the American heroes who saved a lot of lives when they took down a terrorist gunman on the speeding train, new details emerging about their act of bravery and who this would be killer might have been connected to.


[20:14:59] BERMAN: So if you have a 401(k) or a 529 plan or just about any piece of your financial future tied up in the stock market, you know the last few days have been rough. None more so than today.


BERMAN: That was the sound in a strange way of relief. The Dow Jones industrials closed down nearly 600 points. But there was relief that it was only 600. The market began the day by losing 1,000 points in about ten minutes. And for a while even seasoned market watchers were at a loss to explain what was going on.

Fortunately, CNN's unflappable Richard Quest never at a loss for word. He joins us right now.

Richard, what on earth happened?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: No, it simply was that moment when somebody called fire and everybody decided to head for the door. And in the global interwoven markets that we have got, what started in China and Shanghai raced through India, up through France, Frankfurt, London, and ended on the shores.

BERMAN: China is one of the things focused on right now as source of way.

QUEST: The thing. The thing. That and the price on the falling price of oil. But the question is, the dubious nature of Chinese economic statistics and whether China is basically going to grow even at the limited rate of five to seven percent that they might.

BERMAN: You say that dubious nature of information coming out of China. Donald Trump said something look that today. He talked about China's slowing economy. He said this could get very messy. He says all caused by China. And Asia is being allowed to dictate the agenda.

QUEST: Yes. You have to take Donald Trump's comments with a certain political pinch of salt for one simple reason. The man can't have it both ways. This is the same man who has basically made a fortune selling those expensive apartments that reminds us every five minutes to the Chinese. So which does he want? Does he want a roaring Chinese economy that enables China to buy his property? Or does he want a more realistic China economy which is what is taking place at the moment?

I mean, you know, I am not going to get into the politics. I will leave that to others better qualified. But on the economics of Mr. Trump's argument, he is on thin ice.

BERMAN: All right. Let's move from Donald Trump to me for a second here. Because there are a lot of people out there concerned about their 401(k)s. And by a lot of people, I mean, me. So what do you do?

QUEST: Nothing.

BERMAN: Nothing.

QUEST: Not now it's too late. What do you want to do? Do you want to sell into a market?

BERMAN: I want it not to have gone down four percent.

QUEST: You made your mistake. Live with it for the moment. No, John, seriously. The most foolish thing that anybody can now do, particularly an amateur, is to sell into a falling market. It is just -- I mean, it is like trying to catch a knife that is falling. You are just not going to win.

But you have to ride this one out. Safe in the knowledge that U.S. economic fundamentals are strong as we heard from Josh Earnest in the White House today. Unemployment is low. Inflation is low. Growth is moderate. The fed probably won't raise rates on most certainly won't raise rates in September. And unfortunately you will have a bout of indigestion over the next few days.

BERMAN: Because you yelled at me and because you called me an amateur, I want you stick around for a moment and take part in the next conversation, Richard. I want to bring in senior political analyst David Gergen who as you might imagine sees a lot through a political lens today. And a really good piece on He identified the market plunge as one of signs, one of three signs that the silly season in the campaign is over or ought to be. And says time to get serious. And by serious, David, he means focusing more on just Donald Trump's antics and Hillary Clinton's emails and on serious policy. So with us tonight is David Gergen, also Donald Trump supporter, Jeffrey Lord.

David, you know, you say this market plunge should put pressure on presidential candidates to engage in a more meaningful way.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. We have had a summer frolic. And there has been lots of entertainment as well as politics. And Donald Trump has been at the center of that.

But now, as Americans face the fact that the world financial markets are in chaos. That this economy may be more fragile than we thought. That your 401(k) could been trouble. What Americans want now is leadership that is strong as well as steady and it is steadying force. That's the kind of person they look for. And they are going to start trying size up the candidates. And Donald Trump exudes personal strength but he has not yet shown himself to be quote "presidential" in a way we normally think. And that is he is not a calming forcer, steadying force for society which is what people want in a president.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is a calm, steadying force. People are really worried about will she is he strong enough for the job. The same thing does Jeb Bush have the kind of fire. This is going to be a testing time for presidents -- for the candidate that goes far beyond the summer. We can have fun in the summer. But now we have got, you know, we have got this fragility, chaos in the financial markets. We have the Pope coming here to talk about income inequality and how we have to deal with that, a central issue in the campaign. We have the Iran agreement coming up. September is going to be a critical month for the, for the campaign to turn from being a frolic to being serious.

[20:20:15] BERMAN: So Jeffrey, Dave Gergen says the time for fun is over. Let me play you a little bit of what Donald Trump today posted on Instagram having to do with China. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have been telling everybody for a long time, China is taking our jobs, they're taking our money. Be careful. They'll bring us down. You have to know what you are doing. We have nobody that has a clue.


BERMAN: You have to know what you are doing. We have nobody that has a clue. That to me right now seems like his China policy, Jeffrey. Is there more to it? Does he need to explain more how he would deal directly with China?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I am sure he will. He has been talking about China for a long time. I interviewed him over a year ago. And he said to me, in an article I wrote for "American Spectator," that it was inconceivable that American leadership didn't understand that we were headed for a fall with China and the country was going to have a problem. Well, bingo here is the day. Today turns out to be, you know, that moment. So he has been talking about this a long type.

One of the things, John, that I think you will see as this goes along. You have seen it a bit on immigration. Presidential campaigns tend to mimic the office of the presidency itself. As they take off and gain steam, the candidate acquires policy papers. They acquire serious advisers in all the many different areas that the presidency itself has. So I don't have any doubt as this campaign goes along. You will see more of this from Donald Trump and detail. That's just the way that the system works.

BERMAN: Richard, you want in on this.

QUEST: Go ahead, Jeffrey.

LORD: Go ahead, David.

Well, the one thing I would say is the numbers from the CNN poll the other week showed that 44 percent of the American people gave him the best ratings on the economy. And Jeb Bush was down here, like 30 points behind. So I think in terms of, the economy, the American people at least the respondents in the CNN poll really do see him as a strong voice on the economy.

QUEST: The only thing I am going to say on this, if the crisis that David Gergen rightly points out in the markets continues, who is going to make the phone call to chancellor Merkel in Germany? Who is going to speak to the Chinese president? Who is going to ring David Cameron in London? And if there is a G-7 or G-8 or G-20, which candidate is going to give the leadership. Not the browbeating or the bombast of that.

It is fine to say in a campaign we are going to build a wall or China is about to take us all down. But at some point that same person has to negotiate with them. BERMAN: David, you worked for a lot of presidents. I mean, how do

these other countries look at these new president? We have had a lot of different types of personalities in the White House. Ronald Reagan came in to the White House, a lot of people thought, you know, he was some cowboy. But these other countries around the world, they learned to deal with him.

GERGEN: But Ronald Reagan was wise enough to bring in some very seasoned players like George Schultz at the state department. It made an enormous difference. And he did not pretend to do it alone. He did not do it through bombast. HE was -- when times got tough, Reagan got very calm. And people want that in a leader. And Donald Trump clearly knows a lot about the economy. He clearly has an edge, over everyone else running, exempt Carly Fiorina who is also a very good today by the way.

And he now has to convert this strength into something that people say, you know, the country is going to be in safe hand, not just strong hands. And that's what, and the world has to know that. I think Richard Quest is absolutely right about the notion, somebody has to be in the oval office who can call chancellor Merkel., who can understand this is not just about China. This is not about beating up China. This is emerging markets. Countries around the world. There is fragility today. And we want someone who is steadying in that situation.

Central bankers do that. There is no one right now who is out there on the scene. Donald Trump can do that. But this is going to be his test.

BERMAN: He got to prove it.

David Gergen, Jeffrey Lord, Richard Quest, great to have you here with us. Thanks so much.

Next, Donald Trump specifics and his immigration plan. Also a take from Jorge Ramos on Donald Trump and he thinks that Trump is quote "the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred and division in the United States." Strong word, hear how he defend them when 360 continues.


[20:28:38] BERMAN: Donald Trump as you know unveiled a 14-point plan to deal with illegal immigration. He did after weeks of criticism that he talked in broad generalities. Over the weekend, though, he appeared to side step question about how to actually implement and pay for some of those 14-points including how he would locate, apprehend and then deport 11 million unauthorized immigrants.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: So if there is no idea how are you going to round them all up? Where are you going to get the money? Where are you going to get the forces? How are you going to do it? What are the specifics?

TRUMP: George, it is called management. And the first thing we have to do is secure the border, but it is called management.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You keep declaring how you are going to do it but you don't say how?

TRUMP: Excuse me, George?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You declare how you are going to do it but you don't say how?

TRUMP: George, I am telling you its called management.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: I understand that you think it is a huge problem. But I still don't hear specifics on how you are going to do this.

TRUMP: You will see my specifics, George. But my specifics are very simple. I am going to get great people who know what they're doing not a bunch of political hacks that have no idea what they're doing.


BERMAN: Let's get perspective on this now from Jorge Ramos, who is an anchor of Univision News and (INAUDIBLE) has for months, have been trying to get an interview with Donald Trump.

Jorge, you know, we just heard Donald Trump over the weekend, he was again pushed for specifics about his immigration plan. You raised a lot of doubts about that plan and what's inside it. And you say that in your opinion, it is just all wrong. How so?

JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION NEWS: Exactly. And it is only empty promises. What he is trying to sell that you talked, yes, he is trying to sell to the American public simply doesn't work.

[20:30:04] It's impossible. He cannot deport 11 million people from this country. Can you imagine? Let's take for a moment. Let's imagine how is he going to deport 11 million people, by bus, by plane? Is he going to bring the Army to do that? Can you imagine the human rights violations that that would create?

And then the expense? We are talking about, according to an ICE estimate, about $12,500 per immigrant. So is he willing to spend $137 billion to deport 11 million people from this country? That is one problem.

He can't build a 1,900 mile border between Mexico and the United States, and it is absurd. It is an expense that is completely unnecessary, because almost 40 percent of all immigrants come by plane, they overstay their visas. And of course, he cannot deny citizenship to the children born here to undocumented parents, for one very simple reason. That's the Constitution, the 14th Amendment. So, everything that Donald Trump is trying to sell is false. It's not going to work. And it is impossible with the Trump presidency that it could be done.

BERMAN: I want to ask you a little bit about his attitude and maybe the why behind what he is saying? You said he is, and I quote, no question, the loudest voice of intolerance, hatred and division in the United States. I think some supporters of his, who probably hear that and say, listen, he is not spreading hate, people -- his supporters say he is just telling it like it is. So why are they wrong?

RAMOS: Not spreading hate? When you say that immigrants from Mexico are criminals and rapists, isn't that spreading hate? When you called U.S. citizens, anchor babies, is that not spreading hate? When you called 11 million people in this country illegals, and no human being is illegal, isn't that spreading hate? That's precisely what is affecting the Hispanic community.

Look, this is not politics for us. This is personal. When he is talking about immigrants, he is talking about me. He is talking about half of the Latino population in this country who is 18 years or older, who was born in another country.

So, the things that he considers just blunt talk, it is clearly offensive and is having an immediate political impact. 75 percent of Latinos, 75 percent of Latinos, have a negative image of Mr. Donald Trump. So is he going to win the White House? It is impossible for him to win the White House without the Hispanic vote. And right now, nationwide he doesn't have it.

BERMAN: Trump says we wouldn't be talking about this at all. We wouldn't be talking about immigration at this stage of the election if not for him. Do you think there is any truth to that? He certainly has put this discussion right at the forefront?

RAMOS: I agree with you completely. The only positive thing about what Mr. Donald Trump has been saying is that he brought immigration to the forefront of the 2016 campaign. This is something that many Latino leaders wanted to see, and it is happening.

In the next election, about 60 million Latinos will go to the polls. The majority of them support immigration reform with a path to citizenship. 60 million Latinos could define the next election. The past election, President Barack Obama won by less 5 million votes. In other words, 60 million Latino votes could define the next election. And clearly, the majority of them do not agree with Mr. Donald Trump.

We'll talk in a year from now. Next summer. And believe me, by then, both parties will be pleading for Latino votes. And clearly those, those who have felt offended by Mr. Donald Trump, will remember what he has said. And also, let's remember that Donald Trump is a creation of the Republican Party. The same ideas that other Republicans have espoused in the past, but only that he expresses them with more violence and in an extreme way.

BERMAN: Jorge, really great to have you here with us. Really appreciate your time.

RAMOS: Thank you, John.

BERMAN: As for Jeb bush, who was both groping for a clear message on immigration while grappling publicly with Donald Trump, he spoke out again today against Mr. Trump's 14 point plan.


BUSH: Mr. Trump's plans are not -- not grounded in conservative principles. It would cost hundred of billions. It is not realistic. It won't be implemented. And we need border security to be able to deal with getting this country back on track. So I am not going to get into the issues of what he said and I said. The simple fact is that his proposal is unrealistic, it will cost hundred of billions of dollars, it will violate people's civil liberties, it will create friction with our third largest trading partner that's not necessary. And I think he is wrong about this.


BERMAN: Former Governor Bush made those remarks in McAllen, Texas, where CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us.


Polo, the former governor was in south Texas today, but he didn't actually visit the border, correct?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, that was one of the main questions here. The former governor actually speaking at the Mexican restaurant you see over my shoulder as opposed to actually making that 6-mile drive to the U.S.-Mexico border. Some of his aides and some of his campaign officials here saying that the reason for that is that the former governor has already seen the border, and in their words, is very well aware of what happens there.

But I have to tell you, John, we did notice a very different Jeb Bush. He was full of somewhat new energy. He was even feisty at times. He was using that new tone to take direct, direct jabs at his main opponent, Donald Trump. Criticizing his immigration plan as to build a massive wall and to also deport the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the country as really not affordable, not realistic, and simply not conservative enough, John.

BERMAN: It's interesting. His entire team has been more aggressive over the last several days when it comes to Donald Trump. Polo, I understand that the governor did address the use of his controversial term, anchor baby. What did he say?

SANDOVAL: Yes, right. He brought that controversy with him earlier today. And perhaps some of his feistier moment, it was when reporters asked him about that. He did offer some clarity, which was the first time he broke this down. He said that he was mainly referring to the practice of bringing pregnant women from other countries into the United States with the sole intention of having their baby in the U.S. to become U.S. citizens. He went on to call that practice fraudulent. I pressed him, asking him if he was going to continue to use that highly controversial term, anchor baby. He did not actually answer specifically. He simply referred to that process once again as fraudulent.

BERMAN: Interesting. Polo Sandoval down at McAllen, Texas, thank you so much.

Just ahead for us, what it took for five brave passengers to stop the terror attack on a French train. How it all unfolded minute by minute as the train sped toward Paris.

Plus, something we have never shown you before. Inside the tunnel two killers used to break out of a maximum security prison. How they inched their way underground to freedom.



BERMAN: New information tonight about the suspect in the French train attack. U.S. law enforcement sources tell CNN that the gunman could have easily flown to the United States from Europe because he wasn't on American authorities' radar, even though European authorities knew about his possible links to terrorist networks and his possible travel to Syria. They did not share that information with U.S. officials. A sobering reminder of the security cracks that bad guys can slip through.

This time though the bad guy is in custody because five passengers on that train stepped up to stop him. Four Americans and a British citizen. In Paris today, four of them received France's highest recognition, the Legion of Honor. The fifth hero will also receive the medal after he recovers. Today we heard about the quick thinking that saved lives.


SPENCER STONE: Saw that he was squirting blood out of the left or right side of his neck, and I was going to use my shirt at first. But I realized that wouldn't have worked. So I just stuck two of my fingers in the hole, found what I thought to be the artery, pushed down and the bleeding stopped. I just said thank God. And held that position until the paramedics got there.


BERMAN: At the press conference today, we also heard how the hero stopped the attack before more people were hurt. Here's Martin Savidge with how it all unfolded.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The high-speed French train leaves Amsterdam around 3:15 in the afternoon for what should be a three-hour trip to Paris. On board, three American friends, enjoying a European vacation together. Two hours later, the train makes a stop in Brussels, where alleged gunman, 25-year-old Ayoub Khazzani, a Moroccan native, gets on board. Minutes later, a shirtless Khazzani emerges from the bathroom located between cars 11 and 12 in first class. He makes his way back to car 12, where he is confronted by Mark Moogalian, also an American from North Carolina, who teaches English in France. Moogalian manages to wrestle the assault rifle from the gunman, but Khazzani shoots Moogalian in the neck with a pistol, and grabs the rifle back.

It's that gunshot that alerts the three American friends. It's 5:50 p.m.


ALEK SKARLATOS: The gunshot was the first noise I heard. And then it was followed by some breaking glass. So the gunshot was one of the -- pretty much the first thing that came to our attention. I didn't know it was a gunshot at the time, but that was the first thing I heard. It was behind me, so I had no idea where he was aiming at or what he intended to do.

SAVIDGE: 22-year-old Oregon National Guardsman, Alek Skarlatos, fresh from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, is the first to react. Shouting, "get him." His buddy, 23-year-old, Spencer Stone, a martial arts enthusiast and in the Air Force, leads the charge towards the suspect.

SPENCER: Ran down, tackled him. We hit the ground. Alek came up. Grabbed the gun out of his hand. While I put him in a chokehold. Seemed like he just kept pulling more weapons left and right. Pulled out a handgun. Alek took that. Took out a box cutter. Started jabbing at me with that. We let go. All three of us, started punching him while he was in the middle of us. And then I was able to grab him again. And choke him unconscious while Alek was hitting him in the head with the pistol or rifle. I can't really remember.

SAVIDGE: Stone is severely slashed by a box cutter, nearly losing his thumb and suffering injuries to his neck and head.

SKARLATOS: The guy had a lot of ammo. His intentions were pretty clear.

SAVIDGE: That's when the third American, Anthony Sadler, helped tie the suspect up, aided by a British man, Chris Norman. Despite his injuries, Stone begins rendering first aid to Moogalian, who was bleeding badly from his neck. Meanwhile, Sadler uses his phone to capture the first chaotic moments after the violent struggle. Then Sadler goes car to car, spreading the news to terrified passengers the danger is over.


SAVIDGE: Ten minutes after the first shot, the train is diverted off the main line and rerouted to the town of Arras, about 115 miles north of Paris. The gunman is taken into police custody. These pictures show what appear to be additional magazines suggesting that the attacker planned to reload numerous times. The injured and wounded are taken to area hospitals. All indications are the quick thinking Americans, aided by others, for them what could have been a massacre on a train moving at close to 200 miles per hour.


BERMAN: An amazing story of heroism. Martin Savidge joins me now from Paris. Martin, what are we learning about the gunman and whatever ties to terrorism he may or may not have had?

SAVIDGE: Khazzani is the man in question here, and according to his attorney, which he now has, he claims that he has no affiliation to any terrorist organization or does not even have any religious affiliation. However, CNN's Paul Cruickshank has found very different information, this coming from European investigators, and they say they're very concerned about a trip that Khazzani allegedly took in May, in which he traveled to Turkey, and the concern is whether or not he may have had meetings with either ISIS sympathizers or maybe even ISIS planners. That somehow as a result of that meeting, the attack on Friday took place.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, Khazzani is expected to be formally charged. He is currently being held at French intelligence headquarters tonight.

BERMAN: Martin, these American heroes who helped stop this attack, they were in Europe as part of a long vacation. What's next for them?

SAVIDGE: Well, you have to really imagine. You can actually sort of tell when you look at their clothing that these were clearly men who did not in any way anticipate becoming heroes, and that standing there at the presidential palace next to the French president. But that set aside, what's next is that the two servicemen are actually headed to Germany, because of Stone's, the injuries he suffered as a result of that box cutter, will need additional medical care. So he's going to a U.S. medical facility there for further treatment.

BERMAN: And not a vacation I think they expected or one they will never forget, to say the least. Martin Savidge. Thank you so much.

Just ahead, we're going to take you inside the tunnel that two convicts used to escape from a maximum security prison in upstate New York. An up close and personal look at their elaborate escape. That's next.



BERMAN: For the first time, we're getting a close look inside the tunnel two convicted killers used in their elaborate escape from an upstate New York prison earlier this summer. David Sweat is back behind bars. His breakout partner, Richard Matt, was shot and killed. They escaped from the maximum security Clinton correctional facility in June. Now we are seeing how they did it. Up close. Randi Kaye reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two state investigators armed with supplies and two Go-Pro cameras showing us just how inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt shimmied and snaked their way to freedom. The video, given to us by an official source, is about 20 minutes long. As long as it takes for the investigators to wind their way through the belly of Clinton correctional facility. Just like the escapees did back in June. We're not showing the investigators' faces, but their point of view is

eye-opening. They begin at the very spot where Matt and Sweat cut holes in their cells. Then follow the same six-story high catwalk before jumping down to take on an elaborate maze of pipes in the prison tunnel system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Approaching the first significantly tight squeeze, the end of B block, leading into the C block area.

KAYE: About halfway through the tape --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine, almost 10 minutes in.

KAYE: Our first glimpse of the hole that takes them from one prison building to the next. Investigators squeeze themselves through it to reach the other side. They push forward, retracing the prisoners' steps, and just like them, dealing with unbearable heat. At 14 minutes, they're underneath the asphalt yard between buildings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now just exited the block area and entered into the pipe chase tunnels adjacent to B block and C block.

KAYE: It is a maze that even these investigators have trouble mastering. There is piping hot steam. At times, it's hard to breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're basically southbound from that tunnel.

KAYE: About 17 minutes in, they reach the now legendary steam pipe used by the escapees. This is where it gets tricky. Sweat had told investigators he spent nearly a month cutting holes in the steam pipe. All part of his secret nightly trips, spent mapping out their elaborate escape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get in this pipe so now we can exit. (inaudible). The steam pipe. It is not easy.

KAYE: Then the homestretch. Passing one chained up manhole cover and making their way to the next one. The very same manhole Richard Matt and David Sweat emerged from. Kicking off a three-week manhunt.


BERMAN: Oh, my goodness. All right. Randi Kaye joins me now. Randi, you lived this story. You were up there for weeks and weeks and weeks. Now that we have seen this video, this remarkable video of the path they took, I am wondering what strikes you?

KAYE: Well, I think how intricate it was down there. For so long we were there, and they were telling us how they managed to make their way through. Now I understand why David Sweat went down there for months. Practicing. Doing these practice runs, trying to figure out the best way out when the lights went out at night. John, he would go down into the bowels of the prison and map it out. There really was no -- there is no signage down there.


There is no way they would possibly know how to go. So it's a good thing that he practiced.

BERMAN: What a mess it is down there.

KAYE: Oh, absolutely.

BERMAN: But 20 minutes it took the investigators?

KAYE: 20 minutes from the time they left that cell to the time they got to the manhole. Few extra minutes to cut through the chain to get out.

BERMAN: Randi Kaye, thank you so much. Amazing.

Up next, sweeping changes to the justice system in Ferguson, Missouri. Stay with us.


BERMAN: Let's get the latest on another story we're following. Amara Walker has a 360 bulletin.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: John, sweeping changes coming to the city court system in Ferguson, Missouri, months after the Justice Department found the police and the courts discriminate against African Americans. One item, all arrest warrants issued before December 31st, 2014, will be withdrawn.

Elsewhere, reports that ISIS has destroyed more antiquities in Syria, this time it's a nearly 2,000-year-old temple in the ruins of Palmira. And a horrifying crash during an air show in southeastern England. Authorities say at least 11 people likely died.