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Candidates Declare Bids for British Prime Minister; Iraq: U.S. Airstrikes Kill Dozens of ISIS Militants; Trump Evolves Positions on Muslim Ban, Torture & Refugees. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired June 30, 2016 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:31:53] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-nine minutes until the top of the hour now.
The parade of candidates starting to declare their intentions to become Britain's next prime minister has begun. They're now throwing their hats in the ring less than a week after U.K. voters decided to pull out of the European Union, prompting the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, a widely perceived frontrunner, is expected to announce plans to run this morning.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Investigators getting new clues about what may have brought down EgyptAir Flight 804 over the Mediterranean. The flight data recorder reveals smoke in the lavatory and the avionics. Avionics officials say wreckage shows, quote, "signs of high temperature damage and soot." But it's still not clear whether the damage was caused by a bomb or mechanical failure. The data should be able to help make that determination.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You're going to he to watch it, but you're not going to like what you see. This is a roller coaster stuck with seven kids and one adult, who are then forced to find their way down after they got stuck a hundred feet in the air.
Oklahoma City is where this happened. Firefighters to the rescue using harnesses and a cat walk. This is the easy part. They're almost all the way down.
Can you imagine this trip for these kids? Look how young she is. Inspectors are still ting to figure out why the coaster suddenly stopped. This is what makes a roller coaster enticing to some and something to always avoid to others. Whose last names rhyme with Cuomo.
CAMEROTA: It's true, because you never know when this might happen. There's always the feeling it might happen.
BLACKWELL: Just two days ago, we had where the gondolas fell off the track.
CUOMO: Yes. BLACKWELL: I mean, people who are planning their summer vacations, we're not helping.
BLACKWELL: We're not helping.
CUOMO: That's a strong term -- that's a specific term.
CAMEROTA: He knows his roller coasters.
BLACKWELL: I'm a fan.
CUOMO: I like it.
CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, back to our top story. Dozens of ISIS terrorists killed in air strikes in Fallujah. Is the terror group close to cracking in Syria and Iraq? We have a live update from the anti-ISIS coalition overseas ahead for you.
[06:37:56] BLACKWELL: Breaking overnight, dozens of ISIS terrorist killed in a series of U.S. air strikes. The terrorists targeted as they apparently tried to escape Fallujah.
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr live with the very latest for us.
Barbara, what have you learned?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor.
The U.S. says they did strike this convoy of trucks leaving southern Fallujah, and it may be that dozens of ISIS fighters were killed. The Iraqis are saying they were also involved in those strikes. They believe there were hundreds of vehicles and hundreds of ISIS fighters killed as they tried to escape Fallujah, which of course fell to Iraqi forces liberating the town from ISIS over the last several days.
Why is this video so interesting? Because the question is, why would ISIS risk becoming such a target, putting hundreds of fighters in one spot where they had to have known they would be seen from the air and bombed. U.S. officials say they think this actually is a real sign of desperation by ISIS to get out of the way.
But, you know, there's another bigger picture at play here, as we've discussed this morning. The CIA says ISIS still a very long way to go. They have a very significant capability to launch terror attacks, especially in Europe, outside of Iraq and Syria, as we have just seen in Istanbul.
I have to tell you, a top U.S. Air Force intelligence official has told us this week when he looks at the targeting campaign, hitting the right targets, hitting the targets that really matter, he gives it a five out of ten. Back to you, guys.
CUOMO: All right. Barbara, thank you very much.
It also creates somewhat of a confusing picture. If you're winning on the ground, how is ISIS still so capable to attack people all over the world? It makes it seem like they must not be losing.
So let's discuss this with retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. He's a CNN military analyst and former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Colonel, you understand what I'm saying about this. You know, we'll hear, wow, look at the gains on the ground, look how ISIS lost Fallujah, is losing up to 50 percent of its cash flow. But then we see Istanbul, we see Brussels, we see what happens here in Orlando and San Bernardino.
[06:40:04] We hear the CIA give what appears to be a mixed message, that, well, whatever is going on, on the ground, that's one thing, but they're still super capable and there will be more attacks all over the world. How do you reconcile?
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Chris, this is basically what I call cornered rat syndrome. What you're dealing with here is an organization in the form of ISIS that's trying desperately to survive. The way they do that is by lashing out, by doing things like Istanbul, Brussels, or Paris, and they're trying very hard to not only focus their energies on various attacks, various spectacular attacks that they can mount, but they also want to make sure that they cannot only grab the headlines but attract more recruit.
They're finding it really difficult to do this. Their recruitment has gone down considerably over the last few months. What they're dealing with now is basically being able to regenerate their fighting force. They do that by attracting them through spectacular acts like Istanbul.
CUOMO: Where do you come down on the notion that the reason that ISIS is able to perform these attacks, the reason that they're still holding the grounds that they are is because the United States is not tough enough and has not identified what the real problem is?
LEIGHTON: Well, I think it's much more complex than that. What we're really dealing with here, Chris, is their ability -- they're an organization that can morph with the conditions they find themselves in.
So, no matter what kind of policy you put in place, they would still do things like the Istanbul attack. It's very difficult for us to really go in there unless you went in there with, you know, thousands of people on the ground and thousands of sorties in the air all at once. It will be very difficult to eradicate ISIS. That's really the difference.
The minute they're eradicated, all of this would stop. The problem is, it's very difficult to do that.
CUOMO: Well, you're starting to hear the whispers. You're starting to see that the battle fatigue that we had assumed on the part of the American people seemed to maybe be wearing off. You're hearing more people say we need boots on the ground, we have to be stronger, we have to get in there and fight.
What is your concern if you put a large number of U.S. troops on the ground and they do have immediate and amazing success and apparently vanquish ISIS? Then what happens?
LEIGHTON: Exactly. That's the question. It's the question, what happens after next?
You have a situation where you can go in and achieve a spectacular military victory. The problem, then is, what do you do with the period that happens right after you occupy territory or right after you get al Baghdadi or somebody like that? Those are the things you have to concern yourself with. Not only, you know, how do you do it right now, but what happens after you take an action like that?
It can be done, but it would require the willingness of the American people to support a major ground operation, and it would also require the willingness to be very creative in terms of what they call tactics, techniques, and procedures.
And if we're creative, if we do things like enhance our targeting capability, such as Barbara Starr talked about, those are things that are going to matter. If you combine that with veteran intelligence and much more forceful approach, you could achieve a difference. The question is, what do you do after that? You have to have a plan for what comes next.
CUOMO: Otherwise, you can just take a look at Iran -- Iraq and the graveyard of empires Afghanistan for what happens next.
CUOMO: Colonel, thank you very much, as always.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris.
We're following breaking news. Deadly suicide bombings in Afghanistan. We'll tell you the details next.
[06:47:41] CAMEROTA: We do some breaking news to tell you about right now. At least 34 people are dead after two decide bombs attacked a convoy of buses in Afghanistan. More than 60 others are injured after the attack. This was just west of Kabul. Local officials say the buses were carrying newly graduated police officers. The Taliban is already claiming responsibility for that attack. BLACKWELL: A top aide to Hillary Clinton testifying that the former
secretary of state's use of private e-mail server caused some frustration. Huma Abedin, in a newly released deposition, detailing how Clinton once missed an important call with the foreign minister because an e-mail got caught in a spam filter. Despite the trouble, Abedin insists Clinton's use of private server was about keeping personal e-mails from being read, not hiding government business.
CUOMO: The Senate approving a rescue bill, which promises to help Puerto Rico dig out from its $70 billion debt burden. Puerto Rico owes creditors roughly $2 billion by Friday. Now, supporters say the bill is not a bailout but a plan to help financial the president is expected to sign the measure as soon as it is desk.
CAMEROTA: All right. Flip-flops or evolution? Up next, we look at Donald Trump's shifting stances on some very hot-button issues.
[06:52:36] CAMEROTA: Donald Trump changing his position on several key issues from his Muslim ban to Syrian refugees, and now his call for waterboarding. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
When I'm elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: OK. So, is this shifting stance a problem for Trump and his campaign?
Let's bring back Ali Velshi. We want to bring in Kayleigh McEnany. She's our CNN political commentator and Trump supporter.
OK. Ali, let me start with you. One man's evolution is another man's flip-flop.
So, on the Muslim ban, does that hurt Trump?
ALI VELSHI, GLOBAL AFFAIRS & ECONOMIC ANALYST: Well, I spoke to him within a few days of that, making that ban. Obviously a little concerned, as a Muslim in America. He said, no, it's not about you, it's different. You know we've got a real problem.
I said, why don't we make this a little more specific then so we can identify what exactly you're thinking about? At that point, it was the debate in Houston, I think, or maybe Las Vegas. He didn't. He wasn't prepared to do that. This is an evolution. And on the issue of trade where he flips, I have to say Hillary Clinton has done exactly the same thing. She was pro-TPP, she was pro-trade. She then under pressure from Bernie Sanders, even though Donald Trump wants to take credit for it, she changed her view.
CAMEROTA: So not a problem.
VELSHI: And she changed her view on Keystone XL.
CAMEROTA: So you're saying par for the course for politicians?
VELSHI: I think they need to explain their way through it. Donald Trump sounds as though he's always been against globalization and trade when in fact as few as three years ago, he was not.
CAMEROTA: Does Donald Trump shift positions more than other politicians?
VELSHI: It's a good question. I don't know that he does. I think we haven't watched his evolution on positions for as long. So, he's developing them in a shorter time span.
I think Hillary Clinton thought things were okay when she was in the administration, which when you're running against somebody who's pulling you to the left are not okay. So I think they're changing for the same reasons, but they're both changing. I don't know whether that's okay or not. I'd rather people think things through and evolve them than take hardened positions that don't make sense.
CAMEROTA: Kayleigh, let's talk about Mr. Trump's positions on waterboarding and torture. That also seems to have shifted. Let's play first what he said over various months and then what he's saying now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
[06:55:03] TRUMP: I would bring back waterboarding and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.
We're like a bunch of babies, but we're going to stay within the laws. But you know what we're going to do? We're going to have those laws broadened.
They say, what do you think about waterboarding? I said, I like it a lot and I don't think it's tough enough. You have to fight fire with fire.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
CAMEROTA: OK. Now, in between all of those -- so first he said, I like waterboarding. Then he said I'm going to stay between the laws. Then he said I'm going to broaden the laws. Then, he said, I'd like waterboarding because you fight fire with fire.
He put this statement that said, "I will not order a military officer to disobey the law, which waterboarding would be. It is clear as president I would be bound by laws, just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities."
So hard to know, Kayleigh. How do you parse what he's said?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think all of those things are consistent. He talks about expanding the law. Many would argue that's what the Bush administration did with the Bybee memos where you had the Department of Justice defined enhanced interrogation methods in a way that wasn't within the bounds of the law.
So I think the idea of wanting to bring back some enhanced interrogation methods, which by the way were used in a limited fashion on only three detainees and both Michael Hayden and Leon Panetta have praised the efficacy of these policies. I think that's all consistent. He's talking about using this only in limited circumstances to get information from detainees.
CAMEROTA: Is that how you interpreted it, Ali?
VELSHI: No, and I wish Kayleigh could be around for every time Donald Trump says that, because that's the kind of specificity we need. Still don't think it's right, it's still against the law. Donald Trump said in a speech two days ago, very specifically, they behead people, we don't. Now he talks about fighting fire with fire. I hope we don't get to the point where we think beheading is okay because it's effective.
We have decided waterboarding is bad. It's against the law. We've had testimony from guys like Ali Soufan who have successfully retrieved information as an FBI agent that led to prosecution.
CAMEROTA: But not through waterboarding.
VELSHI: Not through waterboarding.
CAMEROTA: That's the point. What the FBI director has said, Robert Mueller, is that it actually has not been effective. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded and gave false information.
MCENANY: But here's the thing, a lot of people would dispute that take on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, because here's the thing, he only started speaking at all after he was waterboarded that many times. And many people would say that he pointed to the importance that led us to Osama bin Laden. He didn't give the name, no, but he did highlight the important of this name.
CAMEROTA: I think the point is that what Donald Trump is talking about is punitive. He's talking about it as punishment. They behead us, we should waterboard them, but not talking about whether it's effective for actual intelligence.
MCENANY: But I'm not sure that it's punitive so much as saying we need to be strong. The fact that in this country we're not willing to, you know, put someone in some form of discomfort, be it sleep deprivation, which many argued is what broke KSM, to not use that mechanism or not even talk about it, not have it as a tool on the table. We're trying to thwart terrorist attacks. We don't want 49 to die in
Orlando. We don't want 14 to die in San Bernardino. If it means putting someone in a bit of discomfort to extract information, I think most of the nations would say that's OK within the bounds of the law.
CAMEROTA: And we do that.
VELSHI: I think the people who gather information, Phil would have told you this, the FBI agents will tell you this, that it does come across as a little condescending when Donald Trump talks about us not being tough and us not being babies. Tell to the soldiers who have been recently killed in Fallujah. The ones that are helping American troops take Fallujah.
I mean, the American people didn't want this war, and President Obama was forced by popular and military opinion to put people back on the ground there. It is something that Americans are very, very uncomfortable with, but it is tough.
You just reported on how many ISIL killers were killed by air strikes in the last couple days.
So, I'm not sure the argument is that we're not being tough enough. We are making a good deal of progress against ISIS in those territories.
CAMEROTA: I guess the very quick question is, do you think that these shifting positions will hurt him with voters?
MCENANY: I don't think so because I see these as shifts on the margins. The first thing Ali said is r really important. He mentioned Donald Trump said, look, this isn't about keeping Muslims out of the country. That's not what it's about. It's about securing the border in whatever means we need to do that in and have control immigration. That's what needs to happen. He can shift on the margins of policies, but you're not going to see wholesale change where he all of a sudden doesn't think immigration and terrorism have a connection.
CAMEROTA: Kayleigh, Ali, thank you very much.
We're following a lot of news this morning, including those terror raids under way in Turkey after the airport attacks. So, let's get right to it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ISIS suffers setbacks.
BLACKWELL: Security is being ramped up at U.S. airports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will it happen here? Nobody can guarantee that it won't.
CUOMO: New information about Tuesday's deadly bombings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a very scary moment. People were trying to break the glass, trying to get out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard people yelling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop, stop.
TRUMP: Bernie Sanders cannot stand Hillary Clinton.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We know that the economy would be badly damaged if Donald Trump had his way.
TRUMP: There is one thing that Bernie Sanders and I are in complete accord with. That's trade.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's not a measure of populism. That's nativism, or xenophobia, or worse.