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Republicans Respond to FBI's No Charges Against Clinton; FBI Director to Testify on Capitol Hill; Trump Criticizes Clinton; Louisiana Governor Press Conference on Shooting Amid Protests. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired July 6, 2016 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.

AT THIS HOUR starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.


We are expecting to hear from the Louisiana governor, John Bel Edwards, addressing the fatal shooting that happened early Tuesday morning about four miles from the governor's mansion. Live pictures now. A 37-year-old man, Alton Sterling, shot multiple times by police while he was pinned down.

BOLDUAN: The encounter caught on cell phone video that went viral on social media, and it's sparked protests and outrage in Baton Rouge. We'll take you to Baton Rouge as soon as that press conference with the governor begins. What the governor has to say about the video, the investigation into it, what role the governor has to play in what is playing out in Baton Rouge.

BERMAN: Meanwhile, a lot going on this morning. Breaking news on Capitol Hill. James Comey, you have been served. The Republican-led House Oversight Committee announced the FBI director will testify tomorrow after the controversial recommendation to now criminally charge, to recommend no charges for Hillary Clinton for her use of a private e-mail server, actually, servers, while she was secretary of state, despite the fact that he called her extremely careless in the handling classified information.

House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed this just a short time ago. Listen.


REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think the DNI Clapper should deny Hillary Clinton access to classified information during this campaign, given how she so recklessly handled classified information. That's point one. Point two, Director Comey's presentation shredded the claims that Secretary Clinton made throughout the year with respect to this issue. He laid out a case, how the things she had been saying she had or had not done were false. So we've seen nothing but stonewalling and dishonesty from Secretary Clinton on this issue. And that means there are a lot more questions that need to be answered


BERMAN: That was House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Last night, Donald Trump, in North Carolina, he just unleashed on the FBI's decision, calling it proof of a rigged system. He accused Secretary Clinton of bribing Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

But one person he did offer some praise to, Saddam Hussein. New this morning, Donald Trump said he is releasing his latest fundraising figures and we would expect a, quote, "big gasp."

BOLDUAN: Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton heading to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where, as has been described, she's going to be laying out a speech that she will be hitting on Donald Trump's failed business ventures there, is how they describe it. We'll bring that live when it begins.

But let's get back to the breaking news on Capitol Hill. FBI Director James Comey, set to testify on Capitol Hill tomorrow about the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail servers as her time as secretary of state.

Manu Raju is covering all these angles from Capitol Hill.

Manu, the FBI director going to clip to answer questions about the really jaw-dropping press conference yesterday.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, Kate, and expect some tough questions. Republicans are just not satisfied with those comments, even if they were very strong criticizing Hillary Clinton. They're concerned he did not refer this case for criminal prosecution. Jason Chaffetz, the House Oversight chairman, who called this hearing, issued a statement criticizing this decision. And Paul Ryan, the House speaker also was very critical, suggesting that the FBI may have acted impartially towards Hillary Clinton.

This is really part of a larger Republican effort to keep this issue alive. They do not think just because there will not be charges against Hillary Clinton that this case is over. They're doing a number of options, not just oversight hearings. You mentioned the Oversight Committee. Also the Judiciary Committee in the House next week will hear from Loretta Lynch on this very topic, but also possible legislative options. A member of the House Intelligence Committee told just a short time ago, that they met, Republicans on that committee, met earlier today to discuss how they could deal with this legislatively to block her access to classified information. I had a chance to ask Paul Ryan about that, to. He said we're looking at all options, and that includes possibly a special prosecutor. He did not rule out naming, pushing for a special prosecutor in this case. The drum beat is intensifying. I'll add one other thing. Tomorrow, Donald Trump is coming to Capitol

Hill to meet with House Republicans. This is an issue that seems to be rallying Republicans behind not necessarily Donald Trump but behind their common enemy, Hillary Clinton.

BERMAN: A source of unity to be sure.

Manu Raju, thanks so much.

Donald Trump is heading to Capitol Hill tomorrow. He is already jumping on the e-mail controversy.

Let's get to Chris Frates live in Washington for what Donald Trump has been saying -- Chris?

[11:05:08] CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton might be off the hook legally but politically Donald Trump's been hitting her where she is most vulnerable with voters. In a classic Trump tweet storm this morning, we got this from the billionaire. He said, "Crooked Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI and the people of our country. She is sooo guilty. But watch. Her time will come."

At the campaign rally last night, Trump repeatedly used the FBI's decision to argue Clinton is part of that same dishonest political establishment he intends to up-end and take on if he's elected.


TRUMP: We now know she lied to the country when she said she did not send classified information on her server. She lied.

Today is the best evidence ever that we've seen that our system is absolutely totally rigged.


FRATES: Now, Trump also accused Hillary Clinton of bribing Attorney General Loretta Lynch with a suggestion that she could stay on when she becomes president. That was based on some "New York Times" reporting. Democrats saying she may let Loretta Lynch stay on. But Hillary Clinton has said nothing publicly. Donald Trump really had no facts to back it up -- John and Kate?

BERMAN: Chris Frates, in Washington, thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Chris.

Let's discuss this, all political developments this morning. David Gergen is here, a CNN senior political analyst, former adviser to presidents Clinton, Reagan, Ford and Nixon; CNN political commentator, Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump supporter; and Angela Rye, a former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus. And with us as well, Emily Tisch Sussman, the campaign director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund and a Hillary Clinton supporter.

Thank you all so much for being here. Kayleigh, big news that FBI Director James Comey is heading to Capitol

Hill, Loretta Lynch heading to Capitol Hill next week. What are Republicans going to learn in these hearings?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: One thing I think Jason Chaffetz pointed out, how could the FBI director lay out the legal definition for extremely careless, when he said this was extremely careless, he laid out the legal definition for gross negligence and then said nothing to see here, no case here, despite saying just before that there is evidence that have met the statutory definition of the statute.

So Chaffetz wants him to explain, what is your definition. It's clearly not the legal definition. Why did you contradict Hillary Clinton's public statements that there were no classified e-mails but then nothing to see here once again. It was extremely odd to lay out seamlessly where Clinton was wrong, how she met the legal definition for the Espionage Act, but then nothing to see her, nothing, go away, you know, no case. So a lot of contradictions he needs to explain.

BERMAN: Certainly raised a lot of questions, David Gergen. But one thing you do hear from some Democrats is, with the Clintons, you often see legitimate questions raised about their behavior, but then Republican overreach. They go too far pushing back. You've seen that for decades. In this case, what people are suggesting is that, why make James Comey the enemy here? Calling him up to Capitol Hill tomorrow and setting him down at a hearing, does that try to make him the bad guy here when she should be focusing on Hillary Clinton?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm surprised they're going down this path. It seems there are lots of arguments you can make about Hillary Clinton's performance, and that gives Republicans, you know, a lot of material to work with. But to go after the FBI, to go after the investigators, there's no evidence that the FBI has done anything but an honorable job.

Comey is, you know, commands widespread respect on both sides of the aisle as a straight shooter. He's a Republican. He was in the Justice Department as a deputy attorney general and stopped people in the Bush administration from talking a sick attorney general, John Ashcraft, from signing some wiretapping authorities, and he is the one that stopped it. He was appointed by President Obama to the FBI. This is a guy who has impeccable credentials. Why would you attack him as opposed to what is central to all Americans and that is whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump ought to be president. That's the central issue. It seems to be on that ground, I think there are things that Comey ought to answer to. I think the idea of calling him up to testify, perfectly sound. That's what you do if you're in the House or Senate. But whether you go after the investigators, that seems to be a bridge too far.

BOLDUAN: You talk to a lot of Democrats, Angela. How concerned are Democrats?

[11:09:52] ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It has been a distraction that won't go away it the gift that keeps on giving. The curse that keeps on cursing if you're a Democrat, even not a Hillary Clinton supporter, just if you're neutral. Of course, we know Bernie Sanders, there's a wing of supporters at least that are very frustrated about the results of this. I think for once in my life I will say I agree with Donald Trump on something. The system is rigged. I think the system is rigged against poor people. We see that every day. This is not an example of the system being rigged. This is just an example of justice being laid out.

BERMAN: Emily, you just heard from Paul Ryan saying the speech by Comey poked holes in what Hillary Clinton has been saying for a year now about the scandal. She said she never sent classified e-mail or received classified e-mail. Comey says that's not the case. She says she never received any e-mail. Comey says that's not the case. She said she never sent or received any e-mail marked classified. Comey says that's not the case. She said she turned over all her e-mails. Comey says that's not the case. Doesn't Clinton herself have to answer for this now, answer for the contradictions between what she said and what he said?

EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN, CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS ACTION FUND & HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: They actually really weren't flat-out contradictions as they what framed by Ryan. In fact, Comey explained all of that during the press conference yesterday, explaining the reason there were some e-mails not available is because they didn't know they were going to have to produce them and the server wasn't being backed up at the time.

Things that were clear from Comey's press conference yesterday is he was independent, it was a fair investigation, the attorney general was not involved in any way. And he did lay out the definition of what would be criminal charges and said Clinton did not meet them. So all of those --


BERMAN: Emily, I'm sorry, he did contradict her. She said she did not send or receive classified e-mails. He said she did. She said she did not send or receive e-mails that were classified. He said she did. These are just things that she said that were not true. Now, whether it's a lie or a matter of interpretation, but they were not true.

TISCH SUSSMAN: But he was clear during the press conference, the fact they were not marked classified at the time --


BERMAN: No, no, no.

BOLDUAN: No, he said they were classified --


BOLDUAN: That actually -- even if they weren't marked, someone in her position should know better. TISCH SUSSMAN: Right, that is what he said. Someone in her position

should know better. It's not clear whether or not those were the ones that were actually marked as classified. So whether there was a bit of an oversight there, but it did not meet gross negligence. It was sloppy. She's acknowledged it was. She's apologized for it. What this really is, you know, for Ryan to continue to bring Lynch to the Hill, Comey to the Hill, it's just, it's like Republicans thrashing for some way to keep this issue alive. It is the best attack they have on her. It really is. So they keep on going. The thing that was clear by Comey's press conference yesterday is this should be over, this issue as a criminal matter, try to get to the bottom of whatever they think they're trying to get to the bottom of, that is actually over. The key Congressional hearings, they're hoping it gets into people's heads. It's still going, maybe it' rigged. So they keep the issue alive --


BOLDUAN: That point, David Gergen, does Hillary Clinton have a role here in answering questions to put this to rest if she thinks it should be put to rest?

GERGEN: Absolutely. If that's the defense the Hillary Clinton people are going to use, they're going to deepen distrust in her. It's imperative she sit down with journalists or she'll have to go to the Hill. One of the other, she has to address these contradictions. Every major journalistic outlet has concluded there are contradictions between what James Comey said and the story we've been told for months. Now, she handled herself very well. Look at what she did in the Benghazi hearings. She won the Benghazi hearings for her. She shouldn't be afraid of this. Step up and deal with it and move on.

MCENANY: It's also time for James Comey to step up and answer for what he said. He said no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. Then you have Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mukasey out on television saying we're reasonable prosecutors --


BOLDUAN: It looks like you do think James Comey is the bad guy here.

MCENANY: I do. In some ways he laid out the definition and then said there's no case. And it's highly unusual for an FBI director to make prosecutorial decision or recommendations in the public fashion he did. He injected himself into this. He should have given the facts he did, allowed Lynch and the Justice Department to decide what to do. Why. There was a whole fallout from the meeting on the tarmac.

RYE: And we know exactly why James Comey had to be the guy. Loretta Lynch made it clear why that had to be the case. It may be abnormal but it certainly is squarely within his purview, given the situation that fell out with the former president --


MCENANY: To say no reasonable prosecutor would have brought this -- (CROSSTALK)

RYE: Based on his past job experience --


BERMAN: We have to go to break. Very interesting that David Gergen said the way supporters are handling this are both wrong in this case, perhaps we're seeing, you know, both sides --


BOLDUAN: I think this means it's not going away.



BERMAN: David, Kayleigh, Angela, Emily Tisch Sussman, thank you so much.

We do have a programming note. There is one person it will be interesting to hear from, Bernie Sanders, who, by the way, is still running for president.

[11:15:23] BOLDUAN: Sorry, I'm not laughing. Just how John says it.

BERMAN: It's true. He'll speak to CNN this afternoon. He's going to join Wolf Blitzer live at 1:00. What does he think about what the FBI director has said?

BOLDUAN: Also, ahead for us, keeping an eye on Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Protests heating up in Louisiana after an officer shoots and kills a man after he had been pinned down. This video went viral. It was all caught on camera. Louisiana's governor set to speak any moment. We'll bring that to you live as soon as it happens to hear what he has to say.

BERMAN: President Obama, moments ago, making a very important announcement about the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. A big change in the plans of the number of American troops that will be staying there. That's ahead.


BERMAN: The Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards now addressing the police shooting yesterday morning, let's listen.


JOHN BEL EDWARDS, (R), LOUISIANA GOVERNOR: -- superintendant of state police, and numerous other law enforcement officials to make sure I was aware of the developments as the situation unfolded.

I want to, on behalf of my wife, Donna, and I, express our condolences to Mr. Sterling's family. I did speak to Sandra Sterling a little earlier this morning to express condolences in person.

Also want you to know this morning I met with Colonel Edmundson as well as District Attorney (INAUDIBLE), to discuss this situation. I've also spoken with officials on the White House, as well as Walt Green, who is the middle district of Louisiana attorney, as well as the special agent in charge in New Orleans, to make sure we move forward in a deliberate methodical way.

In terms of developments, I want to announce that the lead agency conducting the investigation in this matter will be the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. There will be assisted by the middle district of Louisiana U.S. attorney's office and the FBI.

I've also tasked Colonel Edmundson and the state police to assist as necessary, and as they call upon the state police to help them throughout this investigation. I have full confidence this matter will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and professionally it and I will demand that that's the way it's conducted. And I know that the people of Louisiana will join me in doing so.

[11:20:13] And I will say that based on the information that I have obtained from law enforcement but certainly the footage that I observed of the video that was made available, I have very serious concerns. The video is disturbing to say the least.

And at this time, I'm asking for leaders in the faith-based community, other community leaders here in Baton Rouge to work with me, to work with all of us, to ensure we remain calm and peaceful as details continue to unfold. I know that that may be tough to some but it's essential we do that. I know there are protests going on. I'm urging everyone to remain peaceful.

One thing is for sure, another violent act or destruction of property is not the answer. We already have one family torn apart. In Louisiana, we're known for our ability to come together in stances. And certainly this is one of those times. While the investigations get under way, I'm asking everyone to walk through this difficult time together and safely.

With that in mind this afternoon, I will be meeting with numerous community leaders in the church and in the community in Baton Rouge in order to make sure that we remain peaceful and calm. We sill certainly get through this tragedy.

With that, I would open it up for questions.


BEL EDWARDS: Well, after my meeting this morning with the district attorney, he told me he had already been in conversations with the Department of Justice. I then called Walt Green who is the middle district attorney, and also spoke with FBI special agent in charge out of New Orleans to confirm they would be coming in to be the principal agency investigating this matter and, in fact, that is the case.


BEL EDWARDS: No, I have seen -- as I understand it, there's one video that's on the public domain and that's what I've seen.


BEL EDWARDS: I do not. I think the video speaks for itself on the race of the matter, of the two officers I should say. As for their names, I do not have that information.


BEL EDWARDS: Well, I don't want to get further out there than the situation calls for. You say more violent. I'm not aware of any violence happening as it relates to the demonstrations and protests. That's not an answer to anything. There should be no doubt in anybody's mind that this incident is going to be investigated impartially and thoroughly by the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. And hopefully when the community understands that, the tensions will ease and we will continue to press for calm and for patience and that's what I'm asking for right now.


BEL EDWARDS: OK, I didn't meet with Mrs. Sandra Sterling. I talked to her on the phone. She was very distraught. But she was very gracious. She appreciated the phone call. She assured me the family directly and through their attorney, Edmund Jordan, would be also requesting calm and that gatherings be peaceful and violence and destruction of property is not an answer to anything we're facing today it so I appreciated the opportunity to talk to her, and the role she's going to play going forward in this matter.


BEL EDWARDS: I'm sorry?


BEL EDWARDS: No, his aunt.


BEL EDWARDS: I'm sorry, his mother is deceased. His aunt is who raised Mr. Sterling.


BEL EDWARDS: Well, they will do what they're called on to do by the lead agency investigating the matter and it's premature. I can't answer that question now. But to the extent that the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division needs attention, they know they can call on Mike Edmondson and the state troopers in order to provide that assistance. I've told our colonel to be prepared to assist in any way that they're called upon to do so.

Yes, sir.


BEL EDWARDS: Yes, I spoke to Mayor Holden this morning. I know he is going to speak to the press shortly. So I don't want to preempt him. But I made sure we were communicating. It is also his intention that this matter be investigated by an outside agency and the U.S. Department of Justice. So we're all on one accord in that respect.

Any other questions?


BEL EDWARDS: I have not. I'm aware through social media there's some calls going out from different individuals for him to resign. I have not talked to the chief and I don't want to speak for him.

I want to thank ya'll very much for coming out and apologize for putting you in the sun this morning.

BOLDUAN: Wow. Very strong statement coming from the Louisiana governor right there. The headline being that it already, right away, you've handed over the investigation, the lead agency will be the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, being assisted by local authorities and the FBI. Very big statement coming from the governor right there.

And we did hear from the governor. He said based on what he's seen in the video that was released, this cell phone video that made its way on to social media, he said, I have very concerns and it's disturbing.

BERMAN: He called for calm and for any protests to remain peaceful. None have been violent so far.

This all concerns the shooting death of Alton Sterling by police early yesterday morning.

CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now to lay out the time line of exactly what happened here -- Polo?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We could just work backwards. The feds now joining the investigation, taking the lead along with Louisiana state police. They will now be ultimately responsible for reviewing what should be a large amount of evidence, including that video that while important to this case is also quite graphic. Now would be the time to turn away.

Because it is very important to actually see these images we're about to show you. Were played out late Monday night, early Tuesday morning as police officers went up to Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man who was shot and killed. We'll let this video play out to actually paint a better picture of what was a very tense scene.











SANDOVAL: So there you see the video for yourself. You hear the word "gun" being yelled out, presumably by one of those police officers, and hear the fateful shots.

It's important to bring things into perspective of the initial call that led officers to the scene that day because they could have very likely been arriving in what was a potentially volatile scene. Hear the dispatch call that lit up the officer's radio, an anonymous call about a person with a gun.


DISPATCHER (voice-over): Suspicious call, He's on the corner. Gun in his pocket. Pulled his gun on the compliant and told them he's around there.


SANDOVAL: So you hear that initial warning for law enforcement who were arriving at the scene there of an individual with a gun. Ultimately not only the video, that amateur video, but also some of the pictures recorded by a surveillance system set up in the store and also the body cameras on those officers before they allegedly were unclipped from their uniform, also going to be key to try to provide some answers not just for the community but mainly for the family of Sterling.

I want you to hear for yourself what their family had to say earlier today, obviously going through tremendous pain but at the same time trying to get to the bottom of what happened.