Return to Transcripts main page
AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump, Kids Have Breakfast with Potential VP Pence; Arrest in Police Shooting Plot as Sterling's Son Pleads Protest the Right Way; Funeral Services Begin for Slain Dallas Officers; Feud Intensifies Between Trump, Ginsburg. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired July 13, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:00:05] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Any day now, Donald Trump will make his vice presidential pick.
DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE & CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: You'll be calling up Mike Pence. I don't know whether he's going to be your governor or your vice president, who the hell knows.
NEWT GINGRICH, (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's a little bit like "The Apprentice."
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Trump intensifying his battle with Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tweeting, "Her mind is shot, resign." Justice Ginsburg blasted Trump as a faker who really has an ego.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Authorities in Louisiana have failed a credible plot to kill police officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They planned to, quote, "look for bullets to kill police."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't take anything for granted anymore.
DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE CHIEF: These five men gave their lives for all of us.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These slain officers were the best among us.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These men shared a commitment to something larger than themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Berman.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Kate Bolduan.
We are watching some breaking news right now. All eyes on the great state of Indiana, as we speak, and the breakfast meeting seen round the world. Donald Trump making an unscheduled stop this morning at the home of Indiana Governor, right there, Mike Pence. It was a Trump family affair. Trump's adult children joined them, Don Jr, Eric, Ivanka and her husband, Jerry Kushner, as well.
BERMAN: If he brought the kids, it sure seems like a big deal, right? We know they're his closest advisers, right? So it must be Pence, right?
But wait, we have reporting that says not so fast, there is another.
CNN politics reporter, Sara Murray, is in Indianapolis in front of the governor's mansion where everything could be being decided right now or not.
Sara, who do you have?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: John, there's always more when it comes to Donald Trump and it's never what you expect it to be. Trump was expected to be leaving as of early yesterday evening. Well, he did not do that. He decided to stay in Indiana. He had dinner with Mike and Karen Pence. Then he showed up here this morning with his adult children to have breakfast with Mike and Karen Pence. This was a way for them to spend a little time together, to get a little more comfortable together. But as he was going into that meeting, a Trump adviser tells also me his mind was not made up. This was a meeting for the Pences to make their final pitch for Trump to so if he could feel comfortable governing alongside Mike Pence for the next eight years.
But as you said, there is more. He is expected, Donald Trump, to speak with Governor Chris Christie on the phone later today. Now, that's an indication that many are saying he has not made up his mind. It also gives Chris Christie an opportunity to make his final pitch, to say, look, here's why you should choose me, or to say, hey, this decision is up to you, I would be happy to serve in any way in a Donald Trump administration. So we're waiting to see how that phone call goes.
It is certainly telling that Donald Trump came here to the Indiana governor's mansion, that he brought his children, and he wanted everyone to get a sense of familiarity with the Pences. And I think it shows you the push and pull going on now. There are a number of the Trump family who really want to see Trump choose Pence. But others saying, in his gut, Trump feels more comfortable with Chris Christie and would feel better governing alongside of him. As we know, he does not have much more time to make the decision. We're expecting to hear his final pick on Friday.
BOLDUAN: Sara, stick around. We have lots more to discuss. Want you to be involved in it.
Want to also add some other fun people to the panel, Gloria Borger, CNN's chief political analyst; Pete Seat, former communications director for the Indiana Republican Party; Barry Bennett, Trump supporter and former campaign manager for Ben Carson; and Mary Katharine Ham, CNN political commentator and senior writer for "The Federalist"; and Angela Rye, CNN political commentator and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Great to see all of you.
Gloria, it's a big deal, it's not a big deal, maybe they just went to say hello, maybe he went there to say "it's not you."
BERMAN: One day Trump family vacation in Indiana.
BOLDUAN: I would do it. I do it all the time. Indiana is the vacation spot of the year.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: So you have dinner with Pence, Governor Pence. You have a rally with Governor Pence, which was clearly an audition so he could show that he was an attack dog, which is what Trump wants, and Pence is not naturally an attack dog but you saw him last night attack. And then you go back and have breakfast? I think this is clearly very serious.
BOLDUAN: Maybe Karen's a great cook.
BORGER: It's clearly very serious.
But, but, I do believe there's a heart/head issue going on here, and Trump understands how important and difficult this decision is. He's going to be speaking with Chris Christie later in the day. And, you know, part of this whole act is really that you want to help the people who are on your short list, because you buoy them up politically. So if Pence is not chosen, it does help them in a race for governor, which is very tight, which he could lose. It doesn't hurt Chris Christie. It didn't hurt Newt Gingrich, although he seems to be fading fast, right.
[11:05:24] BERMAN: So, Barry Bennett, inside Trump world, what do they like about Mike Pence? Make the case for Mike Pence.
BARRY BENNETT, TRUMP SUPPORTER & FORMER BEN CARSON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: You know, Mike Pence is the grandson of a bus driver, the son of a gas station operator. He is a middle class, Midwestern conservative churchgoer. He's perfect. He's really perfect.
BOLDUAN: Pete, you're there. You've been saying for a couple days everyone in Indiana is acting as if it's a done deal: what do you make of this?
PETE SEAT, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, INDIANA REPUBLICAN PARTY: Well, I'm going to blow your minds with this analysis. Donald Trump likes media attention. And I think --
BOLDUAN: Stop it, right now.
SEAT: Right. I hear it first, here on CNN, he likes media attention. I think he's going to drag this out until the absolute last possible moment, which for Mike Pence, happens to be at noon on Friday. So there's not a lot of time to go here. I think that's what you're seeing is Donald Trump dragging this out. It has been, quite honestly, the best two weeks of his campaign. With all this attention, it's all been positive attention. And if he had the option to keep this going until Election Day, I think he would.
BERMAN: The reason he asked to file by, decide by noon on Friday, for people that don't know, Mike Pence right now is running for re- election for governor of Indiana. He cannot be on the ballot twice the same year. He can't run for vice president and governor in Indiana by state law, so he has to pick one or the other. That's why Trump has to decide by noon on Friday.
Mary Katharine Ham, I get the sense that social conservatives like the idea of Mike Pence, social conservatives who, up until this point, haven't warmed to Donald Trump, the type of people who might be perhaps of the Never-Trump movement.
MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there's part of that but there's two sides to this coin, and many activists are upset with Pence because he caved in defending religious freedom, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, in Indiana, back when that happened. So there's some people who are upset.
When it comes to the veep-stakes, I think Donald Trump is a showman. Had he gone to the governor's mansion this morning and it leaked out, that would have been a whimper, not a bang. He's interested in a bang. When it comes to who he'll pick, I think you've got three clear avenues here. With Newt, you get pushback and you get policy knowledge. With Pence, you get sort of a traditional conventional safe pick, who might buoy you in various ways. And with Christie you get loyalty. We'll find out which of these things are more important to Trump. The ones important to me are policy knowledge and pushback, so I'm guessing that ain't going to be the choice.
BOLDUAN: Angela, give us a preview. If it is a Mike Pence pick, give us a preview of what Democrats and Hillary Clinton will say about it.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: A few things. One is I first want to acknowledge we're clearly standing in solidarity with Trump. We all have on orange.
I also think it's interesting that Mary Katharine Ham brought up the religious freedom issue. I think part of this is he didn't go far enough for people on my side of the aisle who would say this bill is still discriminatory regardless of amendments that he signed into law later. This is still a huge problem. I think the other issue he presents for Donald Trump, who was -- who says he was opposed to the Iraq war from the beginning. Of course, we know Mike Pence when he was in Congress voted in favor of the Iraq resolution. There are a number of challenges. I think, on our side, it creates a lot of fodder because he has a lot of political baggage that Donald Trump doesn't necessarily have because he's not the normal politician. Of course, we know he's had an opinion on everything sin beginning of time so we, of course, will also have that.
BERMAN: Gloria, it's interesting, I want to talk about Chris Christie now because Sara Murray's reporting is that Donald Trump is going to talk to Chris Christie today and Chris Christie still very much under consideration, which is a little surprising to me. Over the last ten days, I'm heard rumbling from people inside Trump world, Chris is just a courtesy, we're just doing it to be nice to Chris Christie.
BORGER: Yes, and I heard from someone who attended the Trump fundraiser over the weekend that Trump was talking about Christie in terms of everything else he's done for the campaign and not so much in terms of him as a potential vice presidential candidate. Although, it's clear that Trump wants somebody to do attacking alongside him, that he doesn't want to carry that all by himself. However, Pence is the safe bet. You know, Pence is the safe candidate. Not that Donald Trump necessarily does what's safe.
BOLDUAN: He never does what's safe.
[11:10:00] BORGER: Right, but, you know, Trump is the six-term congressman -- I mean Pence is the six-term Congressman. He was a Ted Cruz supporter. So he kind of deflates all the anti-Trumpers in a way because of his relationship with Cruz. He has a bit of a personality from Trump, which might appeal to a lot of people who work with Trump. And so he is the safe guy. He is the safe guy. Christie is not the safe guy. Christie is the bull in the China shop.
Maybe that's what Trump is looking for, who knows. But, you know, the betting is -- you heard, by the way, Paul Ryan, in our town hall last night, said, when Jake Tapper asked him what do you want, he said, I want a conservative. That would not be Chris Christie to his mind. That would be Mike Pence.
BORGER: He all but said it, right.
So, Barry, if you think Mike Pence is perfect, is just absolutely perfect, then what is Chris Christie?
BENNETT: I think Chris Christie is a fabulous attorney, fabulous politician. I just don't think he would be a fabulous choice. I don't think it adds anything regionally, adds anything in personality, or adds much in policy. Certainly there's quality concerns with conservatives like myself. So I think, you know, Pence answers a lot of those questions. People are excited about Mike Pence. It's a relatively new phase to a lot of people. You know, he's just a stellar guy.
BERMAN: Pete, is he an attack dog though? Donald Trump told "the Wall Street Journal" he wants an attack dog. Is he an attacker?
BENNETT: He was last night.
SEAT: I think he's the most well-rounded candidate for this job. We've kind of beat around the bush in saying that, pointing out some of his best qualities, but he's the most well-rounded. He brings international relations experience. He brings executive experience. He brings relationships on the Hill. He brings a record of results. I think that's why Donald Trump is looking at him. He may go a different direction after all is said and done. But Mike Pence is the most well-rounded candidate.
And as far as an attack dog, do you think he's going say nice things about Hillary Clinton? I mean, give me a break. He's going to go out there and he's going to make the case if he's the pick.
BOLDUAN: Mary Katharine, does he in the short term do one thing that maybe is facing Donald Trump the most? Does he stop the Stop-Trump movement heading into the convention?
HAM: I'm not sure how much actual momentum that movement has going into the convention. But here's the thing. What I do think he does is he would say to lot of reluctant Trump voters who are conservatives, who did not vote for him in the primary, hey, maybe there is a guy who will lend some conservative to this ticket. Now, I'm not sure that Pence is a guy who pushes back on Trump and gets any results. There aren't a lot of people who can do that. We have seen that. Frankly, I think it's an open question whether he is interested in somebody who actually adds to the ticket or somebody who just, like, amplifies what he already does. He says he wants an attack dog. He is an attack dog. So I'm not sure it's a traditional search when you're trying to outweigh your weaknesses. This is a full bull in the China shop ticket maybe.
BERMAN: All right, guys, stick around. Why? Because a lot of unexpected things have happened already today. We do not know what will happen next. We need you hear just in case.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump took to Twitter overnight to take on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump says her mind is shot and she should resign. Remember, though, she kind of started this, and she's not backing down, now calling Trump a faker. Their very remarkable war of words ahead.
BOLDUAN: Also, stolen guns and a credible threat to police officers. Baton Rouge police arrested three people, but there's an urgent search for a fourth suspect at large in an alleged plot to take on police officers. Details on that ahead.
[11:17:42] BERMAN: Leadership from the 15-year-old son of Alton Sterling, just a week after his father was shot and killed by police in Baton Rouge. Just after the shooting, Cameron Sterling broke down, sobbing, as his mother was speaking to the media.
BOLDUAN: Just a short time ago, he spoke out, this time, thanking people for their support during this very sad time for his family, and he also had this message for protesters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAMERON STERLING, SON OF ALTON STERLING: People in general, no matter what the race is, should come together as one united family. Yes, you can protest. But I want everyone to protest the right way. Protest in peace, not guns, not drugs, not alcohol, not violence. Everyone needs to protest in the right way with peace, no violence, none whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: My goodness, he is 15 years old and with that composure, that is amazing.
He sends his poignant message at a time when police in Baton Rouge had just made arrests in an alleged plot to murder police officers. You're looking at pictures of Alton Sterling, his father, right there.
Let's get to Polo Sandoval live in Baton Rouge.
Polo, what are police telling you there?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, we do know that Cameron Sterling's call for peace is important here because it comes as we learn more about this plot to target police officers or at least law enforcement in and around the Baton Rouge area.
What we know is it goes all the way back to this weekend, when there was a reported break-in of a pawnshop, where about eight handguns were stolen. In the course of the investigation, we're told there were at least four individuals who were arrested, three of which are suspected of actually breaking into that business, and another one believed to have actually purchased some of these stolen guns.
What is alarming here and quite disturbing is one of these suspects, 17-year-old Antonio Thomas, told detectives they plan to, quote, "Plan to look for bullets to kill police."
Unsure right now but we're trying to speak to police if they believe they actually planned to carry out this attack that was -- that they were talking about. Nonetheless, given what happened in Dallas a week ago, this is something they consider extremely serious. And one of the reasons why we have large police presence and the demonstrations here and in and around the Baton Rouge area, which, for the most part, have remained relatively peaceful. Yes, arrests that took place last week. Just yesterday, we witnessed the protests on the street corner, and these individuals standing shoulder to shoulder with signs in hand, calling for peace, calling for justice. Again, things were relatively peaceful. Authorities saying that much of that is due to these demonstrators, these protesters policing themselves. We've seen marshals out and about, essentially keeping people on the sidewalk so as to try to keep any more trouble from happen.
So that's really what we're seeing here in Baton Rouge, as we hear from Cameron Sterling, renewing that call for peace and for that conversation about this disconnect between some communities and the police departments that are sworn to protect it.
[11:20:43] BOLDUAN: Absolutely.
Polo Sandoval, watching it all for us.
Polo, thank you.
We do want to go to Dallas right now as well where people are paying their final respects to three of the five officers that were murdered in that ambush during protests last week. We're going to show you live pictures of the funeral services for Brent Thompson, an officer with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. A mass is also being held this hour for Michael Smith, an officer with the Dallas P.D., who was killed in the ambush.
Thousands of people expected to attend the services today. Many of them fellow officers from all around the country. That, as the memorial with expressions of grief and condolences grows.
CNN's Sara Sidner is in Dallas with more.
Good morning, Sara.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. It's an incredible show of support for the Dallas police. I want to take you through a little bit of what we've been seeing. Every day, it changes because, every day, it grows. You can barely see the police cars underneath. This is a message that someone left just yesterday: "When times get hard, keep praying for love. Just remember to take a look above because God is love." There are so many people from so many different places. You'll start noticing that. We saw someone from eastern Michigan police that were here. Look at this, very, very touching. Look at, you'll see all of these bears, and each of the bears has a name of one of the officers who was killed. Three of these officers will be buried today.
Now, I want to give you a look from above at just how big this has gotten. It started with just two police cars. Amazing sight here. You can see it from far away because of all of the balloons and all of the notes. We're talking about people from all different communities. We've seen African-Americans here, Mexican-Americans here, Muslim- Americans here, who have all left messages and notes for police.
I want to let you read a couple of them. One says, "Back the blue because someone I call 'dad' is on the force."
And just above that, you'll see that little note, a handwritten letter to police. And we point this out because the woman who wrote it showed up here in front of us and fell to her knees weeping. Her name is Jawana Franklin. She says police saved her life. She's a homeless woman. She was raped and police helped her get to safety.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAWANA FRANKLIN, LIFE SAVED BY POLICE: I trust the Dallas Police Department. I thank them. God was ready for them, ya'll. We have to come together as a nation and come together right now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. You know, we got to do it right now. (END VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNER: You heard her, and that was her message to everyone.
I do want to show you this as well. These guys are shown up. They show up to many different tragedies. And they always bring the best therapy there is, the best immediate therapy. These are Comfort Dogs. And there are about, what, a half dozen of them that are out here. Children, officers, everyone is petting them.
As you can see, there are more and more people showing up and leaving their thoughts for these officers. Again, the city's in mourning. Three officers being buried today -- John and Kate?
BERMAN: Sara, those thoughts and the gratitude so needed today but beyond today as well.
Sara Sidner, in Dallas, thanks so much.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Sara.
BERMAN: 24 minutes after the hour. Just minutes ago, Donald Trump left the governor's mansion in Indianapolis, after having a breakfast meeting with Governor Mike Pence, now on the shortest of short lists as a possible running mate. Donald Trump even brought the kids. We'll have details on that meeting ahead.
BOLDUAN: And a moment for a photo op right there. Two unlikely rivals also in this election cycle, Donald Trump versus a sitting member of the Supreme Court. She says he's a faker. He says her mind is shot. And he is now calling for her to resign. Where is this going? That's ahead.
[11:24:52] BERMAN: All right, the moving vans have arrived quite literally. British Prime Minister David Cameron gets ready to leave office. Just amazing what's happening here. Any minute, Cameron will leave 10 Downing Street for the final time, to hand in his resignation to the queen.
BOLDUAN: A feud between Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is intensifying by the day. It's amazing it even started. He is now calling on the justice to resign after she called him a faker during a CNN interview. Here's a tweet overnight from Donald Trump. He said this, "Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot," he says, "resign."
BERMAN: This is the latest salvo from Ginsburg. She said, "He is a faker. He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. How has he got away with not turning over his tax returns?"