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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump University Investigation; Hillary Blasts Trump's Foreign Policy; State Department Admits Tampering With Video; Clinton Criticizes Trump's Policies; Paul Ryan Endorses Trump; Feds Split on Charges in Police Custody Death; Olympic Athletes Fearing Rio's Polluted Waters. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired June 2, 2016 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We will talk about all of this with a senior Trump adviser.
Back to school. Trump vows to reopen his controversial university when the lawsuits against it are over. And we are learning new details about how the courses were marketed and sold. What was Trump's real role?
And selective edits. The State Department now admitting that a doctored briefing video posted their Web site was deliberately edited after initially calling it a technical glitch. Was it a cover-up?
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I am Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: We are following breaking news, the blistering attack by Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump, the likely Democratic nominee calling her Republican rival, and I am quoting now, "temperamentally unfit to be president."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This isn't reality television. This is actual reality.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: And defeating global terrorist networks and protecting the homeland takes more than empty talk and a handful of slogans. It takes a real plan, real experience and real leadership. Donald Trump lacks all three.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Trump began firing right back while Clinton was even still speaking.
He tweeted, "Bad performance by crooked Hillary, reading poorly from the teleprompter" and then "Hillary no longer has credibility, too much failure in office." And the back and forth long awaited amidst all this endorsement, House speaker, Paul Ryan, announcing he will vote for Donald Trump in November. Ryan sparked an uproar when he initially said he wasn't yet ready to support the billionaire businessman.
We're covering all of the breaking news this hour with our guests, including senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller. There you see him. He is standing by live. And our correspondents and expert analysts, they are also standing by.
Let's begin with our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar. She's in San Diego, where Clinton unleashed a scathing critique of Donald Trump today.
Brianna, this was supposed to be a foreign policy speech, but she went a lot further.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This was much more of a character speech, Wolf, almost a roast at times, eliciting, you had cheers, you had boos, even guffaws coming from this audience here in San Diego, as Hillary Clinton took aim on Donald Trump on foreign policy, yes, but mostly on his temperament.
KEILAR (voice-over): Tonight, Hillary Clinton is ripping into Donald Trump on foreign policy.
CLINTON: He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe Pageant in Russia.
CLINTON: The stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels.
We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table, bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets. I'm willing to bet he's writing a few right now.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: But those tools won't do the trick. Rather than solving global crises, he would create new ones.
KEILAR: Clinton contrasting her positions with Trump's, but framing her objections to him as something bigger than a difference of opinion.
CLINTON: He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: Donald Trump's ideas aren't just different. They are dangerously incoherent.
KEILAR: Her campaign billing this as the major foreign policy speech of her candidacy, unveiling one of her main general election attacks on Trump.
CLINTON: This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes, because it's not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.
KEILAR: Clinton rebuking the presumptive Republican nominee for controversial comments he's made throughout the campaign.
CLINTON: It also matters when he makes fun of people with disabilities, calls women pigs, proposes banning an entire religion from our country, or plays coy with white supremacists. America stands up to countries that treat women like animals or people of different races, religions or ethnicities as less human.
What happens to the moral example we set for the world and for our own children if our president engages in bigotry?
KEILAR: And she accused Trump of lacking a plan to confront the threat posed by ISIS.
CLINTON: He's literally keeping it a secret.
CLINTON: The secret, of course, is he has no idea what he'd do to stop ISIS.
Just look at the few things he's actually said on the subject. He actually said -- and I quote -- "Maybe Syria should be a free zone for ISIS."
Oh, OK. Let a terrorist group have control of a major country in the Middle East.
Then he said we should send tens of thousands of American ground troops to the Middle East to fight ISIS. He also refused to rule out nuclear weapons against ISIS, which would mean mass civilian casualties.
It's clear he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.
KEILAR: The timing of Hillary Clinton's speech comes as she's fending off attacks by Donald Trump about what he calls her bad judgment, two words that he repeats over and over when he talks about her foreign policy, Wolf, both Iraq and Libya, but also when he's talking about her private e-mail server that she used when she was secretary of state.
BLITZER: Brianna Keilar, thanks very much.
Let's some get more on the Trump campaign.
Right now, our political reporter Sara Murray is joining us from San Jose, California, where Trump will be holding a rally a billion later tonight.
Sara, the speaker of the House now on the Trump bandwagon. Update our viewers.
SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.
Paul Ryan saying he is ready to throw support behind Donald Trump. This is clearly a welcome development for the Trump campaign. Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his thanks, saying: "So great to have the endorsement and support of Paul Ryan. We will both be working very hard to make America great again."
So, as Donald Trump has this show of party unity, he may be playing nice with Republicans, but he is certainly ready to go on the attack against Hillary Clinton.
MURRAY (voice-over): Tonight, Donald Trump is winning over one of his most prominent skeptics.
MURRAY: House Speaker Paul Ryan announcing in an op-ed that he will vote for Trump this fall, writing: "It's no secret that he and I have our differences," but adding, "The reality is on the issues that make up our agenda, we have more common ground than disagreement."
The step towards party unity coming as Trump trains his fire on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: Folks, folks, when are you going to get it? These are crooked people. These are crooked people.
MURRAY: As Clinton takes aim as Trump's foreign policy credentials, calling him dangerous and unfit for the presidency, he is firing back on Twitter, saying: "Bad performance by crooked Hillary Clinton, reading poorly from the teleprompter. She doesn't even look presidential," building on his attacks on Clinton's record from a day earlier.
TRUMP: She's one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of our country. Now she wants to be our president. Look, I will be honest. She has no natural talents to be president.
MURRAY: All of this as Trump ties himself in knots on yet another policy position, claiming he never suggested Japan should have access to nuclear weapons. TRUMP: Hillary Clinton, who lies, I mean, she lies, you remember
that, I started that -- she lies. She lies. She made a speech and she's making another one tomorrow and they sent me a copy of the speech, and it was such lies about my foreign policy that they said I want Japan to nuke. I want Japan to get nuclear weapons. Give me a break.
MURRAY: Even though that's exactly what he suggested earlier this year.
TRUMP: It's not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. They have a big problem with it. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea.
QUESTION: With nukes?
TRUMP: Maybe we would be better off. Including with nukes, yes, Including With nukes.
MURRAY: As Trump campaigns across heavily Latino California today, his track record of jarring comments about Hispanics isn't sitting well with some members of his own party.
The Republican National Committee's head of Hispanic media relations, uncomfortable with Trump as the nominee, is resigning. Meanwhile, Trump is lamenting another blow to his business interests. The PGA announced it's moving a key tour date from Trump's Doral resort in Miami to Mexico City after failing to find a corporate sponsor willing to back the event at Doral.
TRUMP: They moved the World Golf Championships from Miami to Mexico City. Can you believe it? Can you believe it?
MURRAY: But Trump says he may revive another business venture once he's in the White House.
TRUMP: At Trump University, we keep success.
MURRAY: Trump University, which was shuttered in 2011. The candidate is still facing lawsuits alleging Trump U. defrauded students. But in a grammatically challenged tweet, Trump said: "After the litigation is disposed of and the case won, I have instructed my execs to open Trump U."
MURRAY: Now, Trump will be campaigning here in San Jose, California, in just a couple of hours.
Of course, this is a state that he has campaigned across and where he has been met over and over again by protesters outside of his events. Right now, hours ahead of it, it is a very jovial mood outside, Trump supporters lined up. There's been a band playing right behind me for a little while.
But, of course, we will be keeping an eye on whether any protests do emerge later tonight -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Sara Murray reporting for us from San Jose, Sara, thanks very much.
Let's get some more on all of this. Joining us now, the senior adviser to Donald Trump, Stephen Miller.
Stephen, thanks very much for joining us.
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Hey, great to be here.
BLITZER: Were you surprised by the blistering attack today from Hillary Clinton as far as Donald Trump is concerned? She says he can take the U.S. down a truly dangerous path and she called him temperamentally unfit to be president of the United States.
What was your reaction?
MILLER: Well, not surprised, no, because like everything Hillary Clinton does, it was carefully choreographed and scripted and announced in advance.
But I want to say this. Hillary Clinton's decision to apparently try to make this election a referendum on foreign policy is probably the worst decision she's made since her reckless invasion of Libya. And I will tell you why.
Let's do a before and after real quick. In 2009, when Hillary Clinton came in to secretary of state, Iran was being choked by sanctions, Libya was no longer pursuing dangerous chemical weapons, and was basically in a state of cooperation compared to where they are now. You had Syria was not...
BLITZER: Let me interrupt, Stephen, for a moment.
MILLER: And you had Iraq was stabilizing.
BLITZER: Hold on, Stephen. Hold on, Stephen.
The decision to move against Libya, Moammar Gadhafi at the time, that was the president of the United States working with the allies in Europe, following a United Nations Security Council resolution. She was the secretary of state.
(CROSSTALK) MILLER: And there was an internal debate. I am so glad you brought this up.
There was an internal debate within the administration, with some people who said, no, we shouldn't invade, and some who said we should. Hillary Clinton was the driving edge for the invasion, while Robert Gates and others were very skeptical.
So, again, you look four years later, four years of Clinton's foreign policy, what do you have? You have Iran closer than ever to a nuclear weapon, Libya in total chaos and disarray, controlled by ISIS. You have Syria, a failed state. Now again you see the rise of ISIS and you see 200,000 dead and four million refugees, Iran closer than ever to a nuclear weapon, a more belligerent and hostile North Korea.
You see chaos, death, destruction everywhere you look. That's Hillary Clinton's foreign policy signature, a trail of blood and death in her wake.
BLITZER: You welcome this debate on national security.
She spoke about her experience as a first lady, a U.S. senator, a secretary of state, and she said Donald Trump's only qualification to dealing with national security, foreign policy was that he operated a Miss Universe Pageant around the world, including in Russia.
When you heard her say that, is she wrong? Does he have any other specific international national security experience?
MILLER: The most important qualifying factor when it comes to our nation's foreign policy is philosophy.
Donald Trump's philosophy is America first. That means, yes, NATO will have to pay its fair share. That means, yes, we're going to stop nation-building in the Middle East and we're going to start focusing on defeating terrorism.
Hillary Clinton represents an internationalist America last foreign policy that seeks to nation-build and spread democracy with American blood and dollars that's proven to be a catastrophic failure. Look at the Middle East today. Hillary Clinton is arguably the worst secretary of state in American history and one strains to find an example in the history of the world of a secretary of state who has done worse in a shorter period of time.
BLITZER: Well, let's get specific.
Ahead of Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech today, Donald Trump tweeted, and I am quoting now "Crooked Hillary Clinton, who I would love to call lyin' Hillary, is getting ready to totally misrepresent my foreign policy positions."
Where did she misrepresent his positions?
MILLER: Well, I mean, a great example would be misrepresenting his position on the arming of our foreign allies. So, Donald Trump has clearly said that it is his absolute preference
and goal to not have our foreign allies have to arm, but he is strengthening the negotiation position of the United States by ceasing to kowtow to a failed Washington consensus.
Understand this. If you tell your allies, no matter what you do, we are going to keep paying the lion's share, guess what, no one is ever going to chip in more. He is strengthening our negotiation position. And it is time that somebody did that. That's a great example of where Hillary Clinton got it wrong.
BLITZER: Here's what she said about Donald Trump today. I will play a little clip. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: And it's no small thing when he suggests that America should withdraw our military support for Japan, encourage them to get nuclear weapons.
And he said this about a war between Japan and North Korea -- and I quote -- "If they do, they do."
"Good luck. Enjoy yourself, folks."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And we checked to see if he actually did say that, and he did back in April in Wisconsin. I will play the clip for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know what, that will be a terrible thing, terrible. Good luck, folks. Enjoy yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What do you make of that, because it sounds like...
MILLER: I make of it that he said...
BLITZER: ... he is saying, if Japan and North Korea want to get into a fight, go ahead and fight.
MILLER: I think what he said was, it would be a terrible thing.
But, again, we have to draw back here and understand, the United States has created an immense problem worldwide of freeloaders. The problem of burden-sharing is a serious one. The whole world is less safe because everybody understands the United States will always pick up the slack.
You have to send a message to our allies that they have to begin to pay their fair share, because if Asia doesn't begin to pay its fair share and Europe doesn't, when there is a crisis, they won't be prepared to meet it.
Hillary Clinton represents a failed Washington-only consensus that has been proven disastrous. If you look at our position in the world today, it has never been weaker. We have never been less safe. And I will say one more thing. You mentioned the tweet, where he pointed out the crookedness of Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton as secretary of state allowed her husband, or was involved in her husband's process of him giving major speeches to foreign governments, funneling millions of dollars into the Clinton bank account that had business before the State Department. That's corruption on a scale beyond imagination. And the Chinese government funneled money into the Clintons' bank account while Hillary Clinton was in charge of our China strategy.
BLITZER: Stand by. I think what you're talking about are contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Foundation.
MILLER: No, Bill Clinton received money for speeches from the Chinese government that went into the Clintons' personal bank account.
BLITZER: Let's double-check that. We will see how much he got from the Chinese government or from Chinese individuals? What are you saying?
MILLER: He got money. If you look at the book "Clinton Cash," it documents how Chinese government entities paid Bill Clinton to deliver speeches while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
BLITZER: All right, we will double-check that.
Stand by, Stephen. We have more to talk about.
BLITZER: We will be right back.
BLITZER: We are back with Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller. He's standing by.
Stephen, stand by a moment.
I want to talk to you about the controversy, the lawsuits surrounding Trump University as well.
Let's get some background.
Our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, is working the story for us. Drew, Trump is now saying he will eventually want to reopen Trump
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Apparently so, Wolf. Trump blasted that out in a tweet this morning.
Here's what it said: "After the litigation is disposed of and the case won, I have instructed my execs to open Trump U. So much interest in it. I will be pres."
Left out in that tweet, of course, Wolf, a long legal battle yet to come, three separate cases, and new revelations now show that even while first promoting the school 10 years ago, way back in 2006, Donald Trump may have been digging himself into a legal hole.
LARRY KING, CNN: You think that you can teach people to be wealthy, Michael, or how to be wealthy?
MICHAEL SEXTON, PRESIDENT, TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Absolutely.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): That's the president of Trump University appearing with Donald Trump himself on "LARRY KING LIVE" in 2006, when their joint business was getting under way.
GRIFFIN: And newly released depositions show it was Sexton who controlled almost all aspects of the school, except one crucial area, how it was marketed, promoted and advertised, the very heart of the lawsuits against Donald Trump's now shuttered real estate seminar business, the business he promoted.
TRUMP: And these are all people that are hand-picked by me.
GRIFFIN: It is one of the allegations of the lawsuits, that statement me by Donald Trump to potential students was a lie. And now we know who approved that line. Michael Sexton stated just that in a sworn deposition made public.
"Any time we had a new ad," Sexton said about Trump, "we would discuss it.
"Why did he want to be involved in reviewing and approving the advertisements?" Sexton was asked.
"He,' Trump, "wanted to see how his brand and image were portrayed in Trump University marketing materials."
ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: Trump was a pitch man.
GRIFFIN: Eric Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, suing Trump and his university, says everything about the marketing Donald Trump approved was a scam.
SCHNEIDERMAN: He made these videos to lure people in who thought this guy is a successful real estate entrepreneur, I could benefit from his knowledge. But it was -- the pitch very much was focused around my hand-picked experts will you my personal secrets, copy what I have done, and you will get rich.
GRIFFIN: That pitch, the Trump personal involvement, is what lured George Hanus to Trump University too. He thought Trump University would involve, well, Donald Trump.
GEORGE HANUS, TRUMP UNIVERSITY STUDENT: And instead of Donald, there was a video screen, a projector screen. So, they projected a little movie that had Donald on it.
And he introduced the people that we were going to be hearing talk that afternoon.
GRIFFIN (on camera): By name?
HANUS: No, he just said, these are people that I had picked myself.
And this is the video that you see being broadcast around on the news right now.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): There's a good reason Donald Trump never named those people. It's all right here in this deposition from December, when Donald Trump admitted he could not remember a single name, not one of the instructors at Trump University.
GRIFFIN: Wolf, Trump's attorney tells me there will not be any comment on these individual depositions or disclosures now being released in these lawsuits facing Trump University. Instead, he says the legal battle will take place in court, where Donald Trump will prevail, and then apparently, according to that tweet, the school, shuttered since 2010, will back open for business. We'll see -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Drew Griffin reporting for us, thanks very much.
Stephen Miller is still with us. He's a senior adviser to Donald Trump.
You heard the New York state attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. He says this is straight-up fraud. That's what he's accusing Donald Trump and Trump University of engaging in. He says it was never even a university.
And Trump now saying he wants to reopen Trump University. What's your advice to Donald Trump about this? Do you think it is a good idea to reopen that school?
MILLER: Well, of course it is, but the point here is this is a political attack on Donald Trump.
The university had an A rating from the Better Business Bureau. You can go online and see all the peoples' comments who were enrolled who absolutely loved their experience.
But if you want to talk about scams, the only scam in education that I am aware of is the scam of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton at a university called Laureate University, where Bill Clinton was paid millions of dollars while Secretary Clinton was funneling State Department grants to this university.
Now, I will just point out that if you want to talk about legal issues we should be focusing on, how about this? Hillary Clinton says that Barack Obama didn't go far enough with his executive amnesty. In other words, Hillary Clinton is saying she is going to take the U.S. Constitution and put it through a paper shredder.
BLITZER: Let me just get the answer about Trump University.
There's a guy by the name of Ronald Schnackenberg. He's involved in sales at Trump University. He says he resigned because he believed Trump University, in his words, and I'm reading right now, was a fraudulent scheme that had preyed on the elderly and uneducated.
This is someone who actually worked for Trump University.
MILLER: In an election year cycle, where the fate of Western civilization is in the balance, of course you're going to have some people who for political reasons bring up any manner of false charges.
That's not surprising. Trump University received exemplary ratings. It had an exemplary track record. It was an exemplary university. It will be brought back online after these wantonly political attacks are swept aside, which they will be.
And I will say one other thing. It is well known in legal circles that if you settle frivolous lawsuits, you end up encouraging even more frivolous lawsuits in the future. We need to have a president who doesn't let the country get ripped off. And Donald Trump is showing here by not letting his business get ripped off how to lead.
BLITZER: All right, Stephen Miller, thanks very much for joining us.
MILLER: Thank you.
BLITZER: Stephen Miller is a senior adviser to Donald Trump.
Coming up, there's breaking news that we are following, a blistering and damning assessment of Donald Trump. Was the speech a turning point for Hillary Clinton today?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We cannot put the security of our children and grandchildren in Donald Trump's hands. We cannot let him roll the dice with America.
(END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: All right. Let's get back to the breaking news this hour. Hillary Clinton making some of her sharpest criticism yet of Donald Trump. In what was billed as a foreign policy speech in California, she made a blistering and detailed assessment of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[18:33:23] HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he's angry but America's entire arsenal. Do we want him making those calls? Someone thin-skinned and quick to anger who lashes out at the smallest criticism. Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. Let's get some more on this. Joining us, our senior political reporter, Manu Raju; our senior political analyst, the senior editor at "The Atlantic," Ron Brownstein; our CNN political commentator, the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker" magazine, Ryan Lizza; and our CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro. Guys, thanks very much for joining us.
Some, Manu, are already suggesting this could be a turning point, this speech today by Hillary Clinton. You agree?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm not sure it's much of a turning point, but it was the broadest indictment yet that she has made on Donald Trump and probably the most aggressive assessment yet, criticizing, of course, his views, ridiculing his ideas, his character.
This -- these are things that Democrats at large have want to make a fuller assault on Donald Trump, to use kind of the attacks that have been waged piecemeal through the Republican primary and start to put together a narrative to define Donald Trump in the eyes of the general election.
I mean, this is supposed to be a major foreign policy address. She didn't have a single new proposal; it was all about Donald Trump.
But one of the things that was interesting, too, just now, Bernie Sanders just put out a press release, attacking Hillary Clinton for her support for the Iraq war and for the Libya intervention, a reminder that, as she's talking Donald Trump, she has to worry about Bernie Sanders, as well.
BLITZER: You know, Ana, Hillary Clinton attacked Donald Trump before, but this is really the first time we've seen this coherent, point-by- point-by-point rebuttal of his foreign policy philosophy. Can she keep this up?
[18:35:10] ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think she's got to. If and when she wraps up the nomination, if she's lucky enough to do it, she's going to have to keep it up for the next five months, Wolf.
And I think that what she's doing is twofold. No. 1, she's projecting to the American people and the voters that she is the one that's going to go toe to toe, mano-a-mano with Donald Trump, and trying to put the primary behind her, despite the fact that it is far from being behind her and that she is in a close race in California.
And No. 2, I think she's starting to try out strategy against Donald Trump. Not only is she going at him on policy point by point, but in the clip that we just heard, we saw Hillary Clinton, we heard her go after him on temperament.
The polls show the majority of Americans have grave doubts about his temperament as president. Does he have the temperament necessary to be president? She is honing in on that point, and she is going to go after it. She's going to be gnawing on that bone for the next five months.
BLITZER: You know, Ryan, this wasn't the first time we heard a speech like this, going after Donald Trump, whether he's worthy of being president of the United States. Mitt Romney...
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
BLITZER: ... the Republican nominee four years ago, he recently made similar points that Hillary Clinton made; Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio.
BLITZER: I guess the bottom-line question is will her attack work any better than those previous attacks, which didn't seem to really resonate all that much?
LIZZA: Yes, that's a great question. I mean, look, the Republican presidential primary electorate is only about 10 percent of the general electorate, and Donald Trump only won half that. So he's only won the votes of about 5 percent of the American electorate so far, or at least the folks that vote in the general.
I think, privately, a lot of Republican foreign-policy intellectuals agree with the case that Hillary Clinton -- privately and not so privately. Look, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, two previous presidents, have said they were not going to vote for Donald Trump. Part of that is surely the things said about Jeb Bush in the primary, but part of it because they don't believe he would be responsible on foreign policy.
People like John McCain and Lindsey Graham and the sort of foreign policy elite of the Republican Party have grave reservations about Donald Trump that are being echoed by Hillary Clinton. I think a lot of that is now muted, because the Republican Party is starting to rally around him. But I think one of the tests of the Clinton campaign is can they win at, at least at the elite level, some of those conservatives who agree with her more than Trump on foreign policy. BLITZER: Ron, so Donald Trump responds to Hillary Clinton's
blistering speech with a tweet: "A bad performance by Crooked Hillary, reading poorly from the teleprompter. She doesn't even look presidential."
That's -- I assume that's just the beginning. He's going to have to get into a lot more detail now personally, right?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. No, that can't be the response. I mean, that's just trying to discredit the messenger in a very cursory way.
I think this was as forceful and effective and focused a speech as I have seen Hillary Clinton give, maybe ever, certainly as a candidate. And I would agree with Mike Rogers, the former Republican member of Congress, who said on CNN earlier today that Donald Trump is going to have to respond to this.
I think if you look at the polling, Donald Trump has two big obstacles, two big head winds in this race. I think the first is that there's a large portion of the country that views him, in essence, as a candidate of white racial backlash, trying to turn back the clock demographically and culturally.
But even more important, as Ana was getting to, is that there is a significant majority of Americans who question whether he has either the temperament or the preparation to function as president.
And Hillary Clinton today, I thought, was very effective in kind of crystallizing that into very specific moments.
I thought there were about 13 or 15 45-second bites of this -- of this speech today that you could imagine either as an ad or, even more pointedly, as an answer in the first presidential debate next year, kind of putting these images in the mind of the country: is this someone that you trust to make life-and-death decisions in the situation room -- I should call it, other than Wolf Blitzer, I suppose.
BLITZER: All right, Manu, let's talk a little bit about the other development today. Paul Ryan, the House speaker, a man you cover up on Capitol Hill, finally after all these weeks, writing an article in his hometown newspaper, "The Gazette," saying, "I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people's lives. That's why I'll be voting for him in the fall." Sort of a low-key decision to go ahead and announce he's going to be voting for Donald Trump.
RAJU: Especially after all the attention about "will he or won't he, or why is he not endorsing?"
Look, this has become a pretty big distraction for the speaker. He has been trying to focus the attention of both the House Republican Conference and voters in general on this House Republican agenda, which is supposed to be what they want to run their re-election campaigns on, independent almost of the presidential campaign, if that's possible.
But as he's been trying to focus on that, questions have just been growing about why is he not endorsing Donald Trump, what's happening with this endorsement? People -- the press conferences, people like me asking questions about this. And he knows that he is sort of almost on an island on Capitol Hill. While there are some folks holding out, a large majority are getting behind Donald Trump, particularly in the Republican leadership. He knew he pretty much had no choice and had to get behind him.
BLITZER: Ana, Paul Ryan might be on board with Donald Trump, but he still worries some other party leadership. I want you to listen carefully to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He gave an interview to our Jake Tapper today. And listen to this exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you worry at all that your nominee now, Donald Trump, will do to Latino voters what Barry Goldwater did to African-American voters?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I do, I do. And I think the attacks that he's routinely engaged in, for example, going after Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, I thought it was a big mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, Ana, I assume you agree?
NAVARRO: I do, and I appreciate Mitch McConnell being that blunt and being that honest and answering that question directly and frontally.
Look, we saw, for example, the effect that Pete Wilson had on the Latino vote and Republicans in California. I worry tremendously about the effect that Donald Trump is going to have, long-term, on the Republican brand. I -- you know, I don't want to sound like a telenovela drama queen. But he has put Hispanic Republicans in a very, very tough spot. He makes it harder and harder to support him, constantly. He's not making it easier; he's not being more inclusive; he's not sounding more presidential.
This week alone we've seen him, in the last seven days, attack Susana Martinez, one of the most popular governors, the Hispanic governor from New Mexico. We've seen him go after two Hispanic journalists for doing their jobs: Jim Acosta from our own network and Tom Llamas from ABC. We've seen him go after the judge, because he's Mexican, on the Trump University case.
What is he doing? He's already burnt those bridges. At this point, there's not even going to be ashes left.
BLITZER: All right, guys, everybody stand by. We have more assessments coming up. Also, there's another story we 'e following, a shocking admission now
by the U.S. State Department, saying it deliberately edited video of a briefing. Was there some sort of cover-up?
And more breaking news: the police custody death of Eric Garner. We're now learning about some sharp internal disagreements over charges in this controversial case.
[18:47:21] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: There are new developments. The State Department now admitting that it did, in fact, doctor video of an official news media briefing after first blaming a technical glitch for the missing portion.
Our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is working the story for us.
Elise, this had to do with secret discussions, talks between the U.S. and Iran.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.
Well, talks the U.S. denied took place, and when the secret negotiations were revealed, the State Department admitted it lied, but video of the admission was edited out, raising questions about who did it and why?
LABOTT (voice-over): A startling admission from the State Department. A critical exchange from a press briefing about secret talks with Iran cut from the video version of the briefing posted online.
JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: This was a deliberate request to excise video.
LABOTT: It began in February, 2013. U.S. officials were secretly meeting with Iranians about possible nuclear talks. The State Department spokeswoman at the time, Victoria Nuland denied direct talks were taking place.
VICTORIA NULAND, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: With regard to the kind of thing that you're talking about, on a government to government level -- no.
LABOTT: When the covert talks were revealed months later, Nuland successor Jen Psaki faced tough questions about whether the State Department was lying.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: There are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.
LABOTT: But when a reporter tried to refer back to the exchange from the video archived online, he discovered a critical section of the type had been edited out. The State Department's initial excuse.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Genuinely, we think it was a glitch.
LABOTT: But now, a different explanation from the current spokesman, after learning the nine-minute exchange was deliberately removed at the request of an unknown official who called one of the department's video technicians.
KIRBY: The individual who took the call doesn't remember anything more than it was passed on from somebody else in the public affairs bureau.
LABOTT: Psaki, who is now the White House communications director, denied involvement on Twitter, saying, "I had no knowledge of nor would I have approved of any form of editing or cutting my briefing transcript."
But, tonight, still no word from the State Department as to who gave the order, or whether something like this happened before.
KIRBY: You know, we don't have time and resources to go back and look at every briefing from the past.
LABOTT: Critics of the Iran nuclear deal said the incident proves their claims the Obama administration misled the American people.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton insisting the State Department, quote, "identify the official who ordered manipulation of the Iran video, and impose appropriate discipline."
The episode comes on the heels of a top aide to President Obama, Ben Rhodes, telling "The New York Times" magazine, the administration created a, quote, "echo chamber" to manipulate the media in favor of the deal.
[18:50:14] LABOTT: And the State Department says there were no rules banning such edits at the time, but they are changing the State Department guidance to make sure this never happens again. Now, the full vide of the briefing has since been posted. The transcript was never edited out.
But after three lies, the talks themselves, the editing of the video, and the reason behind it, many feel those answers are lacking from an administration, Wolf, that came to office promising to be most transparent with the media.
BLITZER: Elise Labott, thanks very much for that report.
There's other breaking news we're following. We're now learning new information about a controversial police custody death, and why no charges have been filed yet in the Eric Garner case.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:55:15] BLITZER: We're getting new information in the possibility of federal charges against the police involved in the Eric Garner case. He's the man who died after New York police officers arrested him for selling loose cigarettes.
Our justice correspondent, Evan Perez, has got new information.
Evan, what are you learning?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this is an investigation focusing on whether the NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo used excessive force and broke federal law in trying to arrest Eric Garner for selling those untaxed cigarettes. One state grand jury in Staten Island already declined to bring charges in Garner's death, and now, there is a dispute among Justice Department prosecutors and FBI agents over whether there is sufficient evidence to bring federal civil rights charges in this case, while officials here at headquarters in Washington favor bringing charges, prosecutors and the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn and FBI agents doing the case do not.
Pantaleo shown on this video using what witnesses described as a chokehold during the Garner takedown. An NYPD official policy bans the use of such chokeholds.
Garner could be heard saying, "I can't breathe" in part of the video. But if you slow down the video, some officials say it's not so clear whether there was a chokehold, and if so, for how long and if it killed Eric Garner. Some officials think that the video evidence isn't conclusive enough.
Officials tell me that this one reason, Wolf, why these cases are so difficult to bring. Federal law has a much more narrow jurisdiction in these types of cases, and I should add, that the Justice Department says this is still an ongoing investigation. No final decision has been made.
We also heard from Pantaleo's attorney, and he says that he had no -- his client had no intention to violate Eric Garner's civil rights.
BLITZER: Evan Perez, good reporting, thanks very much.
Meanwhile, there are serious concerns about pollution at the upcoming Rio Olympic Games. Our Ivan Watson reports.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Athletes training for peak performance. Members of the German Olympic sailing team preparing for what will be the first Olympic competition in this class of sailboat.
On the surface, the view of the coast of the Olympic host city, Rio de Janeiro, pretty spectacular, but the sailors are trying hard to stay out of the water.
VICTORIA JURCZOK, GERMAN OLYMPIC SAILOR: We don't want to swim in it.
WATSON: They say the bay here is terribly polluted.
(on camera): You hit garbage out here?
WATSON: What kind of garbage?
ANIKA LORENZ, GERMAN OLYMPIC SAILOR: A lot of plastic bags, but I've also hit a chair or some wood.
WATSON (voice-over): This is the kind of stuff they're talking about.
(on camera): Look at this trail of garbage. Flip flops, tennis shoes, blocks of wood on the surface of Guanabara Bay, very close to where the sailors and athletes are training.
(voice-over): Rio has been struggling with its notoriously polluted waters for decades. We caught up with the city's mayor at the opening of a brand new sewage treatment plant. It's aimed at providing modern services to hundreds of thousands of residents of Rio for the very first time.
(on camera): Do you think the water is going to be safe for the Olympic athletes?
EDUARDO PAES, MAYOR OF RIO DE JANEIRO: Yes, I mean, we had -- first thing because where in the Guanabara Bay, the sailing is going to happen, it's the cleanest area of Guanabara Bay. It's the entrance of Guanabara Bay.
WATSON (voice-over): But people who make a living in Rio's waters disagree with the mayor. We don't get far and fisherman Felipe Fernandez's boat before his motor stalls. The propeller tangled in a plastic bag.
Travel a little further and we find this.
(on camera): It smells awful and not just like mud at low tide, but something far more toxic and the fisherman we're with says this is basically raw sewage that has washed down out of the city.
(voice-over): The untreated waste of millions of Rio's residents who do not have modern sanitation. It all drains into canals like this where local fishermen moor their boats.
(on camera): How's the fishing?
(voice-over): "We don't fish here," he says.
"Look at Rio now," he tells me. "We will host the Olympics, but we don't even have a basic sewage system."
The pollution here, one of the sad realities facing residents and now athletes at these upcoming Olympics. But these German sailors say they're willing to risk these dirty waters for their shots at Olympic glory.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Rio de Janeiro.
BLITZER: Thanks, Ivan, for that report. That's it for me.
I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Thanks for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.