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Interview With Virginia Senator Mark Warner; Florida Mass Shooting Investigation; Trump's Cash Troubles; Poll: Clinton, Trump Races Close in Ohio, Pennsylvania; Trump: Would Be "Very Happy" to Self-Fund Campaign; Sources: Wife Says Orlando Killer Angry with Bag Full of Guns. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired June 21, 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 HOST: We want to welcome our views in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
Tonight, Hillary Clinton is casting Donald Trump's claim that he knows a lot about money as a sham. In a scathing speech, Clinton warned a Trump presidency would be dangerous for the U.S. economy and throw the U.S. into a recession, this as Trump faces a huge fund-raising deficit. His campaign has tens of millions of dollars less in the bank than Clinton's campaign.
Trump also is trailing in a new CNN national poll that shows the Democrat's presumptive nominee ahead by five points. But Clinton and Trump are neck and neck in new polls in some key battleground states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Also tonight, breaking news in the Orlando terror investigation. CNN has now learned that the killer went to the Pulse nightclub earlier on the night of the attack posing as a regular paying customer. He left and returned two hours later to carry out the massacre.
Our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of the day's top stories.
Up first, let's go to our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.
Jim, Trump claims he's not worried about the cash deficit right now because he can tap into his personal wealth if necessary, but the numbers are pretty stunning, right?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They are daunting, Wolf.
Donald Trump is trying to reassure Republicans he is capable of mounting a credible general election campaign, despite those awful fund-raising numbers from last month. Meanwhile, we should point out there is an anti-Trump protest heading up the street as I speak here, so I will try to get through the rest of this.
Meanwhile, his campaign is showing a new sign of life, hitting Hillary Clinton like never before.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Despite a lifetime of cutting deals that made him billions of dollars, Donald Trump is so short of campaign cash, GOP jaws are dropping. But don't worry, says Trump.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This weekend, we had a very big fund-raising weekend. It's not revealed yet, but we raised a lot of money.
ACOSTA: Still, consider the numbers. According to federal campaign filings, Hillary Clinton finished the month of May with $42 million in the bank. Trump ended up with a tiny fraction of that haul, just $1.3 million.
Other glaring findings this month, 17 percent of the campaign spending was dished out to Trump-related entities, like when the campaign rents space from a Trump property for an event and $35,000 went to somebody called Draper Sterling.
JON HAMM, ACTOR: It's right on strategy.
ACOSTA: An expenditure with a name reminiscent of the advertising agency in the hit show "Mad Men."
Trump released a statement on his fund-raising, noting his appeals to donors are just beginning, adding, "If need be, there could be unlimited cash on hand, as I would put up my own money." Earlier in the day, he blamed Republicans who haven't rallied behind his campaign.
TRUMP: They don't want to come on. They will probably eventually come on. Honestly, if they don't, it's just fine. I can win it either way.
ACOSTA: Nothing to see here, added the RNC.
SEAN SPICER, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I appreciate everyone's concern over the state of our party. We're doing just great.
ACOSTA: Still, there are other worrying numbers for Trump. He trails Hillary Clinton by five points in a new CNN/ORC poll. And a new Quinnipiac swing state poll shows Trump down eight points in Florida while running neck and neck in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
But Trump is signaling a more aggressive stage of the campaign is just ahead. His campaign is blasting out e-mails and hitting social media to counter Clinton's latest attacks, responding faster than it has before.
TRUMP: And she's been there watching. ACOSTA: Trump advisers are hopeful it's a change for the better after
the firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The candidate was also out shoring up support among evangelical leaders gathered in New York.
TRUMP: Christianity, I owe so much to it in so many ways, through life, through having incredible children, through so many other things, but I also owe it from frankly standing here, because I -- the evangelical vote was mostly gotten by me.
ACOSTA: Now, Donald Trump will continue his attacks on Hillary Clinton with a speech set for here in New York tomorrow.
And, Wolf, we should point out, in just the last several moments, as a matter of fact, as we were talking to you about a couple of minutes ago, an impromptu protest just cropped up outside of Trump Tower.
It's a gay, lesbian, and bisexual, transgender organization called ACT UP protesting against Donald Trump with sign that say "Toxic Trump" and really going after Donald Trump for meeting with those evangelical leaders earlier today.
There's one sign that shows the Christian conservative leader Ralph Reed behind that says "My Hatred Kills." And they're right now standing right in front of the entrance of Trump Tower carrying out this protest that we had no idea this was happening until just a few minutes ago -- Wolf. He's taking it from all sides.
BLITZER: All right, we will stay in touch with you on that protest outside Trump Tower over there on Fifth Avenue in New York. Jim Acosta, thanks very much.
Now we have more on Hillary Clinton's attack on Trump's financial record and economic policies. While she's targeting his bottom line, she's also trying to boost voters' confidence in her ability to keep the economy growing.
Let's go to our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar.
Brianna, this is another area where Hillary Clinton is portraying Donald Trump as very dangerous.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is, Wolf.
And she's trying to undercut what many voters consider a strength for Donald Trump, the economy. It's also what voters say is the issue of paramount concern to them. So Hillary Clinton has a lot of work to do. Hillary Clinton hitting Donald Trump on his experience as a businessman.
KEILAR (voice-over): Hillary Clinton hitting Donald Trump on his experience as a businessman.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at chapter 11.
KEILAR: Taking aim at him for going into bankruptcy with four of his corporations and for once calling himself the king of debt.
CLINTON: The king of debt has no real for making college debt payable back or making college debt-free. This is a crisis that affects so many of our people. He has no credible plan for rebuilding our infrastructure, apart from the wall that he wants to build.
KEILAR: But Trump is embracing the moniker, tweeting, "I am the king of debt. That has been great for me as a businessman, but is bad for the country. I made a fortune off of debt, will fix U.S."
Many voters agree. In a new CNN/ORC poll, when asked who would better handle the economy, 51 percent of those polled said Trump, Clinton trailing him by eight points. Her campaign is trying to change that, putting up a new Web site in conjunction with her economic speech, theartofthesteal.biz, a play on his bestselling book "The Art of the Deal," and releasing a video about Trump's unsuccessful business ventures.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Have you ever heard of Trump steaks? Have you ever heard of...
TRUMP: You know what?
RUBIO: All of these companies that he's ruined.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whatever happened to Trump Airlines?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Trump Games, Trump Travel, Trump Ice.
JOHN OLIVER, HOST, "LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER": "Trump" magazine, which folded, "Trump World" magazine, which also folded.
ROMNEY: And Trump mortgage.
KEILAR: But as Clinton trails Trump on handling of the economy in the polls, she's crushing him on fund-raising, with $42 million in the bank to Trump's $1.3 million.
That's not her only advantage over the presumptive GOP nominee. The latest CNN poll also shows voters see Clinton as having the better temperament to serve as president by a 24-point margin. Clinton today seeking to connect those doubts with putting Trump in charge of the U.S. economy.
CLINTON: Just like he shouldn't have his finger on the button, he shouldn't have his hands on our economy.
KEILAR: And as Clinton's anti-Trump rhetoric heats up, Wolf, so is speculation about who her running mate will be.
Some of the names in final consideration, Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, as well as Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez, and also one senator from the state of Ohio, Sherrod Brown, who Hillary Clinton has a very good rapport with.
So who is it going to be? We might not find out for about a month, when the Republican National Convention happens here in the third week of July.
BLITZER: We will see what happens on that front as well. We will see who both of these presumptive nominees pick as their vice presidential running mates.
Brianna, thank you.
Joining us, Senator Mark Warner. He's a Democrat from the battleground state of Virginia. He's a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter.
Senator, thanks very much for joining us.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Thanks for having me on, Wolf.
BLITZER: As you know, Hillary Clinton, she delivered this truly scathing speech against Donald Trump today.
This was her second speech we have seen her take direct aim at him step by step on his policies, the first time on national security, now on his economic policies.
Should we expect to see more of these kinds of attack speeches by Hillary Clinton?
WARNER: Well, I hope so, because there's a lot of ammunition.
I actually have been in business longer than I have been in politics. I have built a series of businesses. And to think that Mr. Trump is trying to lay out this proposition that he's a successful business guy, he's failed miserably, bankrupt four separate businesses.
He has a constant record of slow pay to small vendors who support some of his real estate deals. The fact that he's gone out -- and I have been obsessed about our nation's balance sheet issues, and he's the only national political figure that said he would try to renegotiate our national debt, which basically means put the full faith and credit of America in jeopardy.
Nobody at a national level in politics would have that -- even think about making that kind of statement, but he's made it. So there's a lot of ammunition here to point out that this guy does not have a record in business that has been responsible and sure as heck doesn't have any understanding overall of the macrobudget picture, and, quite honestly, he has no real proposal about how you jump-start the economy in terms of innovation, in terms of infrastructure.
BLITZER: But, Senator, whether or not he had some divisions or whether that failed, some companies that failed, by all accounts, he's a billionaire, whether he's worth $10 billion or $5 billion or $2 billion. He's a billionaire, so he must be pretty successful as a businessman.
WARNER: Let's face it. We don't know that because we have never seen his tax returns.
Again, tell me a presumptive nominee that's not laid out his tax returns. We don't know how much he's really worth. What we do know, he's left an amount of wreckage of failed businesses behind him, and he's got a reputation that says this is not somebody you do business with.
And he makes these provocative statements that might work as a real estate guy, but does not work as the leader of the greatest nation in the world and the free world.
BLITZER: So when he filed that net worth statement with the Federal Election Commission stating that he was worth $10 billion, you don't buy that?
WARNER: Let's put it like this. I would buy a lot more if we actually got a chance to look at his tax returns.
BLITZER: But I want to move on, but are you questioning whether or not he's a billionaire?
WARNER: Listen , I think how much Donald Trump is actually worth or not worth, how much his actual liabilities are, we don't know.
I don't have the foggiest notion.
BLITZER: Why is Hillary Clinton behind him on the question who would be better in dealing with the economy? He gets 51 percent, according to our new polls. She gets 43 percent. He does better.
And if it's the economy, stupid, that could potentially carry him over the top.
WARNER: Well, I think there is a presumption that, as a business guy, he must have done well. There was very few of the former Republican opponents he had, many of them who I now wish they would have had that chance to point out that he had a -- frankly, a very checkered business background.
And on top of that, when you look at when he does weigh in on proposals, he's talking about a tax-and-spend plan that would add $4 trillion to the national debt. He's got no specific plan about infrastructure. He's got no plan in terms of innovation and start-up industries, where, frankly, about 70 to 80 percent of all net new jobs are coming from.
He's got a series of one-liners that may have played well for a certain segment of the Republican electorate, but I don't think is playing well as his record gets more exposed. And, quite honestly, most business folks -- I have got broad base of business support -- I know very few businesspeople, Democrat or Republican, that are actually supporting him.
BLITZER: He and his supporters point out that he's created thousands of jobs over the years and Hillary Clinton hasn't created any jobs, to which you reply?
WARNER: What I reply is, he's left four businesses in deep bankruptcy. How many of those jobs actually ever ended up being a full-time entity, as opposed to a flash in the pan?
Look at the so-called famous Trump University. He may have hired some folks for that, but the records show that most of the people who attended that university felt that it was a ripoff, and the only guy that made money was Donald Trump.
BLITZER: CNN is reporting, as you know, that Hillary has narrowed her short list for vice president. On the list, one of the names, a fellow Virginia senator, Tim Kaine. Do you think he should be Hillary Clinton's vice presidential running mate?
WARNER: If Secretary Clinton asks me, I would absolutely recommend by Tim Kaine. I have known him for 35 years. We knew each other at law school.
He was my lieutenant governor when I was governor. There's nobody that's more honest, straightforward, trusting, and somebody that actually brings I think both the experience as governor, as a chief executive, but I think would supplement her skills.
BLITZER: Is he the leading contender, based on what you're hearing?
WARNER: Listen, I'm not going to make that kind of presumption. I know all the folks who she is considering. I think she's got a great selection of choices.
But I, for one, hope that she picks Tim Kaine.
BLITZER: As you know, Senator Warner, your name has frequently been mentioned at the same time. Would you be open to being the vice president of the United States?
WARNER: Wolf, what I'm open to is being here in the United States Senate, hopefully being able to put together the kind of bipartisan coalitions to get some things done.
One of the things that is actually -- I think has helped Trump a little bit has been the fact that, let's face it, in Congress, we have not been able to forge the kind of bipartisan coalitions in terms of debt and deficit, in terms of infrastructure that we need.
I think I have got a pretty good bipartisan reputation up here. And I think that's where I can be the best value.
BLITZER: So you're not open to if she were to tap you and say let's think about it? Would you be open to that?
WARNER: Wolf, I'm not being vetted, nor do I expect to be. But I hope Tim Kaine is.
BLITZER: All right, you're a good friend of Tim Kaine. We will see what happens on that front.
We have more questions. Senator, stand by. We will continue our conversation right after this.
BLITZER: We're back with Virginia Senator Mark Warner. He's a key member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
We're following, Senator, some breaking news in the Orlando terror investigation. I know you're up to speed on that.
Our justice correspondent, Evan Perez, now reporting that the actions of the Omar Mateen, the killer, the night of the Pulse nightclub shooting are mysterious. We're learning that when he left his house, he was carrying a bag of guns. Then he visited the club earlier in the night. He left. He returned and then he carried out that mass murder.
Is there any new indication you're getting that this attack was directed, that he had help, or does it still look like this was some sort of lone wolf attack?
WARNER: Well, it's an ongoing investigation, Wolf.
And we were briefed today. I'm not going to go into any of those details, But there are clearly questions. We have seen the 911 call put out into the public.
He may have been self-radicalized. But if he was self-radicalized, he was fairly confused, since he was both claiming allegiance to ISIL and al-Nusra, which is a group that hates ISIL. He made comments about Hezbollah, which is a Shia group, vs. ISIL, which is Sunni. So, I think there's still more investigation to be done to see both what was the motivation and whether there was any particular reason why this particular club got targeted.
Clearly, it was a hate crime. Whether it was a hate crime just against America writ large or against the LGBT community in particular, time will tell. But I trust the FBI to get to the bottom of this.
BLITZER: And what about the wife?
WARNER: Yes, I think there's still a lot of questions I have and that the investigation has about that wife.
BLITZER: So they're going to continue that investigation.
BLITZER: Let's talk about guns in America for a moment, a lot of conversation in the aftermath of the Orlando mass murder.
Your colleague Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, he is getting some criticism for remarks he made to "The Washington Post" about the failed gun votes in the Senate yesterday. He said -- and I'm quoting him now -- "We have got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS."
Do you agree with Senator Murphy or did he go too far?
WARNER: What I would is, after the tragedy in Orlando, which we now see these tragedies not once a year, but every few months, when we have 30,000 gun deaths a year, I think Americans -- I know I hear this from the Virginians -- they don't want to hear their elected officials say we offer thoughts and prayers to the victims.
They want us to do something. And, quite honestly, as somebody who was a -- and still remains a supporter of the Second Amendment, but I think there are reasonable things we can do. We can say that if you're on one of these terror watch lists, you shouldn't be able to purchase a firearm.
When we say that if we're going to make sure that we have -- we close the gun show loophole, so that if you buy a gun at a gun show, you go through the same background check that you go through as a gun shop, that's overwhelmingly supported.
And I do think that there are a number of folks in the Congress who say they want to do everything they can to stand up against terrorists, but when you have got every law enforcement organization in America say, let's close this terrorist loophole, I think that would be smart policy. And I was very disappointed the Senate didn't act yesterday.
BLITZER: So, did Senator Murphy, though, go too far when he said Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS? WARNER: Listen, I think that Chris Murphy, who has been a leader on
this issue, was the person who got up and said kind of he's not going just do go through this again, without bringing the Senate to a halt with the -- with think the filibuster, which I was proud to participate in.
You will have to ask Chris that. But I understand the notion that you can't continue to say that you want to fight terrorists and not be willing to then do what law enforcement has said, which is say, let's make sure that if you're on one of these terrorist watch lists, you don't purchase a firearm. I think that's a logical connection.
BLITZER: So, do you agree with his sentiment?
WARNER: Listen, what I agree with is, the Senate ought to act on this.
I'm anxious to see this bipartisan effort that wouldn't go as far as yesterday, but if we can get something moving forward, that would be a step in the right direction.
BLITZER: Senator Warner, thanks very much for joining us.
WARNER: Thank you.
BLITZER: Just ahead, can Donald Trump close the enormous fund-raising gap with Hillary Clinton, and does he need to in order to win the White House?
And can Hillary Clinton convince voters she's able to keep the economy strong? The strategy behind her newest assault on Trump and his policies. Our political team is standing by.
BLITZER: Tonight, our new CNN/ORC poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump nationwide, but neither presumptive nominee appears to be stirring up a whole lot of excitement.
Joining us right now, Rebecca Berg, national political reporter for RealClearPolitics, our political commentator Ana Navarro, our CNN political director, David Chalian, and our CNN political commentator Ryan Lizza. He's the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker" magazine.
David, break these poll numbers down for us. How bad are the numbers for Donald Trump right now?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, there is some good news in these numbers for Donald Trump actually, Wolf, in the sense that if you look underneath, yes, he's losing the national race by five points to Hillary Clinton. There's no doubt about that. He'd rather be on top. You know how he likes to be leading in the polls. He talked about it
all nomination season long, but there are a couple of silver linings here for him. One, he has got -- he bests Hillary Clinton by eight points when it comes to who do you trust will handle the economy better. You see it there, 51 percent to 45 percent.
And among who would be better at handling terrorism, he bests Hillary Clinton by three points. So, there is some silver lining. But there are also clear warning signs, Wolf. She -- Hillary Clinton has a 12- point advantage over him about commander in chief, who is best equipped to be commander in chief, and a 13-point advantage over who has the judgment to handle a crisis.
Those are sort of core presidential values, presidential characteristics, if you will.
[18:30:03] And she's got a big advantage there in addition to her five-point national lead.
BLITZER: Ryan, there's a new Quinnipiac poll that shows Trump down in Florida to Hillary Clinton -- she gets 47 percent, look at this. He gets 39 percent. That's in Florida.
But also take a look at Ohio. He's tied with her in Ohio, virtually tied in Pennsylvania. They each have about 40 percent. She has 42 percent and he's got 41 percent.
Can Trump win this race without carrying Florida if he were to take, let's say, Ohio and Pennsylvania?
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, his path would be very difficult, Wolf.
If you just used -- let's just go back to the Romney/Obama map of 2012. Obama won 332 to 206. So, if Trump wins Pennsylvania and Ohio, but loses Florida, and Hillary Clinton gets all the other Obama states just the way they were in 2012, Trump would lose by 50 electoral votes. So, to win under that scenario, he would have to sweep all three of those states and then he would win by eight electoral votes.
And that assumes that Hillary Clinton doesn't break through in a state like Arizona or even, I know it sounds a little crazy, but Utah where the polls have been close, or North Carolina which Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2016.
So, for that scenario, Donald Trump has got to win Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, all things being equal.
BLITZER: Rebecca, she's trouncing him in the fundraising department, as to the most recent filing with the Federal Election. He's only got $1.3 million in the bank, his campaign right now. She's got about $40 million in the bank right now as of the end of May.
Why is he having trouble raising money?
REBECCA BERG, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Well, he has certainly having trouble raising money, Wolf. He has about as much money as maybe a congressional campaign and one Republican I spoke with called it a shockingly awful haul that he's had so far.
And he has a few problems. I mean, first of all, he's spent the entire primary bashing Republican donors who were donating money to his rivals. And so, these donors are now weighing whether they want to donate money to Donald Trump are thinking, why should I donate money to this guy who has been bashing me? So, that's one of the problems.
The other is that he hasn't pivoted to a more presidential tone. He still sounds like he's in the Republican primary, and every few days says something controversial that panics Republicans all over again. So, there's that.
And then, third, he isn't donating money to his own campaign. He's loaned himself some money during the primary process but he says he has billions of dollars and he's worth $10 billion. Frankly, donors want to see him spending some of his own money and investing his own money in this campaign. Some Republicans I spoke with put that number at $100 million to $200 million that they would expect to see from him, they haven't seen any of that yet.
BLITZER: That's what Michael Bloomberg did when he run for mayor of New York. He put about $100 million of his own money each time into the campaign. Can he turn this around, Trump, the fundraising part?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's wholly dependent on him. Can he turn his campaign around and then turn the fundraising around? People don't want to throw money away. I don't care how rich you are. If you are going to throw a million bucks away, you might as well do it on a boat, a yacht or good trip.
You know, I also think that there are a lot of donors, good people who did line up with Donald Trump, people like Woody Johnson, who he did bash during the primary, the owner of the Jets, people like Lou Eisenberg. These are friends of mine who are very capable, but they've got to be having a very tough time because Donald Trump keeps putting his foot in his mouth, keeps saying stupid things.
You and I were just at the Romney retreat. There were lot of donors who told me they wanted to put their money in congressional races and the Senate races, protect those down-ballot candidates, maybe in the party structure, and the state party structures, but not give it to Donald Trump himself.
BLITZER: You know, David, money talks in politics as all of us have known over the years, but Donald Trump won the Republican primary contest, probably spent less than any of the 16 other Republican candidates. He showed that maybe money doesn't talk as loudly as it used to talk when you have the name recognition, identity, the brand he has.
CHALIAN: That's very true. It's just one more sort of rules of politics that he upended this cycle. He certainly spent less to win the Republican nomination than the past several Republican nominees did and we shouldn't ignore that, Wolf. You're right.
However, this is still such a huge gap and he has said he's going to rely on the RNC for all the infrastructure, for the state by state battleground plan, for all that staffing on the ground and clearly also, if there's going to be television advertising, having 1.3 million in the bank is not going to be enough to do that.
Now, the RNC said today even, Sean Spicer today, listen, he can change this and even it up with Hillary Clinton with just, you know, the signature -- his signature on a check and that's true, but we haven't seen it yet.
[18:35:03] And so, he until he actually does put a big chunk of money in and $55 million if that's what he spent on the primary season, Wolf, that's not going to cut it for the general. So, we've got to see if he's willing to put in his own money the way he says he has the ability do so.
BLITZER: Ryan, he was on morning shows today and he was really irritated with Republicans. He even said at one point he's being treated better by some Democrats than by Republicans out there. He's pretty frustrated about the lack of support he's getting from some of those Republican fat cats.
LIZZA: Well, I think a lot of Republicans are frustrated that Donald Trump is their nominee and the donors frankly -- I mean, what are the donors like? Everyone knows what donors are like. They want to be made part of the campaign, they want phone calls from the candidates. They want access.
And frankly, one of the hallmarks of Trump's primary campaign was that he wasn't going do that. Remember, he said he was going to self fund. So, even the fact that he's talking about sucking up to donors and doing fundraisers is a switch from his promise in the primaries that he can't be bought and that the whole -- one of the main premises of his campaign was he can't be bought, he's a wealthy person and he'll self fund.
So, this whole conversation is cutting against one of his strengths in the primary. It's going to be an odd situation to see Donald Trump all of a sudden going to high-dollar fundraisers and sucking up to the Sheldon Adelsons of the world. Look, Trump's not -- I don't think Trump wants to do that. For all those years, he was on the other end of that, he had politicians coming to him with their hands out and I don't think he likes being on the other side of that power dynamic.
BLITZER: He has at a fundraiser, a big fundraiser in New York City, as we speak right now.
Everyone, stand by.
An important note to our viewers, tomorrow, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM, an exclusive interview with the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Five p.m. Eastern in THE SITUATION ROOM, my interview with Paul Ryan tomorrow.
Much more political news coming up right after this.
BLITZER: We're back with our political team.
We're getting new information.
David Chalian, I want to play a little clip. He just spoke to ABC News, Donald Trump, about self funding his campaign. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'll be honest, you know, I've never raised money before for this because I've never done it before. I think I'd be very good at it. As far as I'm concerned, I'd be very happy to continue to self fund. You know, I have --
ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Are you going to continue to self fund?
TRUMP: I may, I may, because to me, I think --
ABC NEWS ANCHOR: How much?
TRUMP: I don't know. I can do whatever I want. She's going to spend $1.2 billion on an election. And I'm trying to say, where do you spend that money?
Remember this, I spent $50 million and I won.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. So, David, what do you think -- what do you think about those words?
CHALIAN: Listen, I think he's holding out the option that he can write a very big check, I think that's going to give -- he's trying to give Republicans some comfort with all these headlines about his fundraising deficit against her that he will open up his wallet if need be.
But when he says I don't know what you spent that money on, again, we talk about how he broke the sort of conventional rules of politics, Wolf. But we know one thing that Hillary Clinton and her allies and her super PAC are spending that money on, and that's in a lot of television advertising in these key battleground states where Donald Trump is spending no money right now. And so, right now, she has the air waves to herself.
So, if he is going to get in there right now on the airwaves, in front of -- in these living rooms where these battleground persuadable voters are watching TV, Clinton and her allies are defining Donald Trump and he's letting it go on the air waves undefined right now in terms of pushing back on her.
BLITZER: What do you think, Ryan? Because today he sent out his first fundraising e-mail, if you will.
LIZZA: Well, he said there that he'd be the best fundraiser ever. Well, it's almost July. The general election is in full swing and he hasn't raised any money.
I think there's a real question as to whether he is liquid enough, in other words if he has enough cash on hand to actually sell fund. Remember, he didn't actually self fund in the primaries. I know we used that word to describe what he did. He loaned his campaign money and he can pay himself back that money. So, that's not technically self funding.
He also raised $6 million or $7 million or maybe more million dollars from the sell of merchandise. So, that's not so funny.
The second thing is, he promised to give those veterans $1 million earlier in the year and he didn't actually write the check until the media made it into a national story.
So, from the evidence so far in this campaign, I think there's a real question about how much cash on hand Donald Trump personally has. And, oh, by the way, he won't let us see his tax returns. To me, those all raise questions about whether he's actually in financial -- well enough shape to self fund.
BLITZER: What do you think, Ana?
NAVARRO: He definitely has assets. He definitely has access to credit. I think he can put in some money, enough money to show some donors that he's got confidence in his own abilities and that he's willing to invest in himself.
You've got to believe in yourself, you've got to invest in yourself, particularly if you've got that much money, as he claims, and is such a part of his persona and of what he's trying to sell himself as to the American people. If you've got that much money, if you claim that much money, well, put some up because people don't like cheap candidates.
[18:45:04] BLITZER: I assume you agree.
BERG: Yes, that's what I've been hearing from Republicans I have been speaking with today who are -- have their finger on the pulse of the donor community. They say that donors want to see a sign that Donald Trump is committed to this campaign. And they haven't seen that yet. I mean, even Mitt Romney, he didn't self fund his campaign by any measure, but he loaned his campaign money, he made a personal investment in his campaign, and that's what the donors want to see --
NAVARRO: The other thing that donors want to see is they want to invest in a winner. If the poll numbers keep being low for Donald Trump, if folks start losing hope that he can win ultimately in November, the numbers will dry up. The fundraising numbers will dry up.
BLITZER: But, Ana, the poll numbers, the CNN poll, five points nationally, the margin of error is three points. It's not necessarily he's losing so drastically right now. It's still very early.
NAVARRO: But he's not stepped up his game. You know, over a month had gone by. Five, six weeks have gone by since he is the presumptive nominee, and I think a lot of people were hoping and praying that he would become a presidential candidate, grow into the position. They are not seeing that.
And so, it's hard to convince folks to put money into a campaign that is not stepping up.
BERG: And there were actually some donors who were ready to donate to Donald Trump's campaign when he locked up the nomination, wanted to see what he did in these past few weeks and have been put off by how he has performed and the tone he's taken. So, it hasn't been a productive period for him.
LIZZA: And one thing we haven't talked about is, look at Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. He built this small dollar machine that was funding his campaign to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a month. Now, Donald Trump won 45 percent of vote in the Republican primaries, same percentage as Bernie Sanders overall, I think a lot more votes, right?
Why did his campaign not build a similar grassroots small dollar donation machine? I don't know the answer to that.
BLITZER: I want to get David Chalian's thoughts because he studies these polls very, very closely. There are a lot of vulnerable points in our latest poll, the Quinnipiac poll, as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned as well.
CHALIAN: Well, there's no doubt about that. Listen, she is still battling a trust deficit on honest and trustworthiness and we discussed on the issue of the economy she's going to have to work because I think if you take her deficit on the economy and you look at those Quinnipiac polls, Wolf, in Ohio and Pennsylvania, it is that white working class that of course Hillary Clinton would not be expected to win by any stretch of the imagination, but in trying to keep the margin narrow enough to try to keep Donald Trump out of the game. So the economy feeds into those voters in a really palpable way.
So, there are some signs here of work that Hillary Clinton needs to do, never mind her favorable ratings are still not that great. We know both candidates are largely not liked.
BLITZER: Good point.
All right, guys. Everybody, stand by. More news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM, including an angry killer, a bag of guns and a visit to the crime scene shortly before he opened fire.
Stand by, all the developments in the Orlando terror attack investigation right after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:52:34] BLITZER: We're following breaking news in the Orlando terror investigation about the killer's final preparations for the attack and his state of mind.
Let's go to our justice correspondent Pamela Brown.
Pamela, what are you learning?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, law enforcement officials are telling us, Wolf, that the wife of this gunman watched as he left his home the night of the shooting angry and armed with a bag full of guns and sources say his wife told investigators she was very concerned and begged him not to go, but she didn't call police.
BROWNS (voice-over): Sources tell CNN that the wife of Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen watched her husband storm out of the house angry, carrying a bag full of the weapons he ultimately used to kill 49 people and injure 53 others. Noor Salman allegedly told investigators her husband was angry when he left their home two hours away from the Pulse nightclub, and sources say Salman told investigators she pleaded with him not to leave, even grabbing him by the arm and that she maintains she didn't know his specific plans.
Salman allegedly told investigators she tried to reach him by phone and texts, but they say she did not call police.
Today, the attorney general refused to discuss what Mateen's wife is now saying.
LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We're not going to speak about anyone else's role in this right now while we're investigating the matter.
BROWN: CNN is also learning more about what Mateen did after he left his home. Sources say he went to Pulse nightclub in the hours before the shooting, possibly to case club security. Sources say he posed as a regular customer paying the cover charge and getting a wrist band that allowed him to come and go.
Law enforcement officials say he then left. Two hours later, he returned and began shooting. Investigators still want to know what the gunman did in between the time he left the club and returned.
Tonight, sources say one piece of the puzzle doesn't seem to match Mateen's motive. The day before the attack, he apparently bought three plane tickets for a July trip to California for himself, his wife and his child.
Investigators are now interviewing his associates to see what they may have known in advance of the attack, and whether Mateen had other plots in the works. Tonight, the Department of Justice also appears to be changing its stance on what details about the attacks it will release, after taking heat for redacting parts of the 911 transcript released to the public. Attorney General Loretta Lynch now says she is considering releasing
audio of 911 calls during the attack.
LYNCH: We are looking to be as transparent as possible and to provide as much information as possible.
[18:55:01] Over the course of time, we certainly are open to that.
BROWN: And we have learned that the wife of this gunman has hired a lawyer after initially answering questions from the FBI, but we haven't been able to locate her attorney.
Wolf, any possible charges are still some time away we're told.
BLITZER: All right. Pamela, thanks very much.
Joining us now is CNN's Chris Cuomo who was in Orlando covering the attack.
Chris, there has been some controversy about the timeline of police actually moving into the nightclub three hours past before they intervened, got the issue resolved.
You were in Orlando and have been doing a lot of reporting on this. What have you learned?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Well, look, you know, Wolf, I think what we're seeing right now are the original questions that were raised in Orlando coming to fruition. Not so much about the 911 transcripts and redacting, that's more of a political type question.
But in terms of the tactics, why didn't they go in right away? What did happen? How did the shooter enter the nightclub in Orlando and what were the phases of dealing with this active shooting situation?
Those were real questions from the beginning because of what seemed to be gaps in the timeline and that is what the review is right now, because obviously, the concern in these situations is twofold. One, how to you mitigate the loss of life? How do you take these shooters out right away? Second, is how do you do that while not exposing your officers, your first responders to unequal firepower, which was the concern, and the reality in Orlando?
BLITZER: Chris, as you know, the Orlando shooter, he threatened that he had the same type of suicide vest as the French attackers had, the Paris attack. You got a new documentary airing later tonight about those attacks in November in Paris. What did you learn about the differences in how police responded?
CUOMO: You know, that's a fundamental question driving this. We started this when we were in Paris, Wolf, and added on what we learned from what happened in Belgium, and then now, we have Orlando.
The key difference is that obviously you were dealing with a cell in Paris. There were multiple attackers. There were multiple attacks. It happened in waves. It was timed. It was orchestrated. It was even field led by somebody on the ground.
So, that was unique. However, there was this dynamic at the theater there, the concert hall in Paris, the Bataclan, what led to at the time what was seen as some revelations about what works and what does not work and the United States was seen as an opportunity for improvement. Why?
Because the police in France at the time were trained to wait for special operatives, for SWAT types to go in to the Bataclan. They are also dealing with superior firepower there. The men that went in Paris only had revolvers.
So, we thought at that time that God forbid something like this happen in the United States, we'd be better off because all of the officers have SWAT-type training and are trained to go in and take on. However, that wasn't a reality in Orlando.
So, what we do with this documentary is take you through what happened there and lessons learned. Here is a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUICKSHANK: Twenty minutes after they first arrived at the Bataclan concert hall, there are two local police who got a call that something was going on, that there was violence inside, that they needed to go there as quickly as possible.
CUOMO (voice-over): Armed only with handguns, the two police officers enter the venue.
CRUICKSHANK: And when these two police first come in, they engaged in a firefight with one of the hostage takers, Sami Amimul (ph). They managed to kill him. As he falls to the ground and rolls on the floor, he blows himself up with his suicide vest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember the terrorist blowing himself up, the sound of the explosion, you know? It's a ringing in your ears.
CUOMO (on camera): You heard the guy explode his belt?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes, yes.
CUOMO (voice-over): The officers are forced to retreat and wait for help. The attackers move to a more secure position, deep inside the building.
CRUICKSHANK: At that point, the attackers, the two surviving hostage takers, take a dozen or so hostages into a corridor, an L-shaped corridor, as described by eyewitnesses, where they barricade themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: And what we'll do there, obviously, that's Paul Cruickshank. We all know him here, as one of our top terror analysts, is how you what happened here in the timeline, the decisions that were made and the lessons that were learned, Wolf.
BLITZER: We're really looking forward to the CNN special report later tonight. Chris, thanks so much for doing it. It's called "Terror in Paris". It airs tonight 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
One additional note, Chris is a busy guy. He's also hosting a CNN town hall with the libertarian presidential nominees. That's tomorrow night. I know our viewers are going to want to tune in for that as well, Wednesday night 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
CUOMO: Appreciate it, Wolf.
BLITZER: "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.