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France Terror Attack Kills at least 80. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired July 14, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: At least 80 people are dead including several children and at least 20 are injured according to President Francois Hollande. It is being investigated as a terrorist attack. The driver shot dead by police. Investigators find firearms, explosives and grenades in that truck.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the attack, Donald Trump postpones announcing Indiana Government Mike Pence as his running mate with just days to go until the G.O.P. convention in Cleveland.
Let's get all the details on this now. And for that, we're going to bring in CNN's Becky Anderson. She's in Paris. Jim Sciutto joins us with details from Washington.
To you first, Becky. So many dead. So many injured. What's the latest?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're at war with terrorists. That is what the interior minister said just a couple of hours ago. It is 5:00 in the morning here and there will be those in France who will be waking up to the enormity of what happened in the southern beach resort of Nice, where 80 people overnight have been killed. And as you rightly point out, 20 seriously wounded, maybe more, in what was an horrific attack.
A terror has struck France once again said Francois Hollande in an address to the nation.
Let me tell you exactly what we know to have happened. A driver of a large white truck drove that truck down a beach front road. The Promenade des Anglais. It was supposed to be cordoned off because there were thousands there to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day.
The assailant drove his truck down that promenade and fired wildly from that truck, hitting those in the crowd. He then plowed that truck down the promenade for some one mile or two kilometers, mowing people down in his wake.
We know that police found firearms, explosives and grenades in that truck. Local media here widely now reporting that the identity card found inside that truck was that of a French-Tunisian resident of Nice. It's yet to have been confirmed whether that identity card indeed matches the body in that truck. That body of the assailant who was shot and killed by police at the scene. And authorities here saying were it not for the police intervening as quickly as they did, this could have been a whole lot worse. But apocalyptic scenes on the Promenade des Anglais tonight in Nice.
LEMON: Hard to imagine it being worse, but you're right. It could have been even worse.
Becky, I want to play the French president speaking out tonight.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): France is affected by this new tragedy. It is horrified. She's horrified by what has taken place. This monstrosity of using a lorry to kill, deliberately kill dozens of people who just come to celebrate the 14th of July. France is afflicted but she is strong, and she will always be stronger, I assure you. Will always be stronger than the fanatics who want to strike her today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Becky, this is now a formal terror investigation.
Are you getting any more information about the perpetrator on this? Or the motivation, because, again, as you mentioned, a 31-year-old French-Tunisian, his identity papers found inside. But are you getting any more information?
ANDERSON: Well, authorities have asked everybody to be patient at this point. They do want to discover all they can before they release information. As I said, his identity card having been found in the truck after the assailant was shot and killed. That hasn't necessarily be matched by the body. It seems we'll get more information on that in the coming hours.
What we do know is that the state of emergency that should have been lifted on the 22nd of this month, the state of emergency that has been in place now for nearly nine months since the awful, shocking attacks in Paris of November last year will now be extended for another three months. And that means an awful lot of things, not at least the opportunity for more police and security officers to be deployed on the streets and indeed to sort stop and search powers that they might not normally have.
But as far as the investigation is concerned, authorities have been very quick to hit the television airwaves, as it were, and hit social media to sort of reinforce what they do know today, but they are saying please bear with us while we investigate and we will release information as when we get it.
Back to you.
[23:05:13] LEMON: All right, Becky Anderson, stand by.
And, Jim, I want to bring you in, because I want to talk now. Let's talk about the eyewitnesses.
What have you been hearing from eyewitnesses?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just how brutal this attack was. I spoke to an American pilot who was down there in the crowd on that what was meant to be a pedestrian avenue because traffic was blocked off. And he said that 15 feet behind him, the truck comes speeding by, mowing people down, he said, and accelerating as he hit people. This was a premeditated attack. Intentional.
And he had those weapons in the truck. But as it turn out the truck itself was the deadliest weapon that he had. I spoke to another witness whose apartment was over that promenade there. They are able to see it all out as it played out. And just described how long he was able to drive this vehicle down, more than a mile, two kilometers. It's about a mile and a half down this promenade before he was finally shot and killed in that final altercation with French police. That's pretty remarkable to be able to do that.
First of all, to get on a road that was blocked off in some way because there was no traffic, and then to proceed down that road for so long and be able to mow so many people down, intentionally, it really is, it's just horrific to imagine.
So let's talk about inside this truck. Explosives inside the truck, Jim. What more do you know about that? Can you tell us more information?
SCIUTTO: We know what the French police have said and that is that weapons, explosives, including grenades found inside the truck. We also know that witnesses said more than one and possibly at more than one time that the driver engaged, fired from the cab of the truck, might have even left the truck and fired before he continued on his way. That speaks again to premeditation, right?
It wasn't just someone who turned their truck off the highway, drove into the crowd but had a plan in mind as they did that. When we think about this big picture, because God knows I feel like every three days, I'm talking to you about a terror attack. Think of the variety of weapons.
We don't know that this is ISIS, but France has called it a terror attack that terrorists have been able to use, even in just the last couple of weeks. You have the multi-gunmen attack like we saw in Istanbul with explosive vests, trained gunmen, these guys came from Syria.
You had kids, in effect, the middle-class kids in Bangladesh use knives to kill people there. You had explosions by themselves. You've had shootings like Omar Mateen in Orlando. And now you have someone with a truck. I mean, these are for counter-terror officials, that's an enormous variety of weapons and methods to try to counteract. And I'll tell you a concern now is always copycat attacks. Because this is a very easy attack for someone, whether it's here in the U.S. or elsewhere to copy and carry out again.
Hey, Jim, can you tell us anything about the U.S. involvement right now.
SCIUTTO: U.S. involvement right now is principally cooperation and sharing of information with their French allies. It's very close intelligence sharing relationship. It's gotten a lot closer as the counterterror threat has gotten bigger.
I can tell you the kinds of things they're sharing now. It's going to be any information they know about the identity found in this truck. It's going to be any communication, if they found, for instance, a cell phone, the U.S. has better surveillance capabilities and they would be making those available to French authorities.
The trouble is of course, you know, this is all after the fact. You just wish that there was an opportunity, and this is something they're going to be looking at. Were there missed signals? Was he on the radar? That's going to be a big question.
LEMON: All right. Thank you very, Jim Sciutto and Becky Anderson.
If they get more information, we'll get back to them. Our breaking news tonight, a truck ploughs into crowds tonight in Nice, France, killing at least 80 people.
On the phone with me right now is Zeynip Akar, an eyewitness to the attack.
Zeynip, I'm so glad that you are safe. Where were you when this all happened.
ZEYNIP AKAR, EYEWITNESS IN THE ATTACK IN NIECE (via telephone): I was in my apartment. I had just finished watching the fireworks. And then suddenly the music started because there's a stage for live music right across the apartment, right across the hotel next to me. People were gathered, dancing around that area. But otherwise everywhere was very, very crowded.
There was a big crash and people were screaming, so I jumped up on my feet and went to the balcony, and it's unfortunate that there were people on the ground, many people on the ground and people running back.
[23:10:04] I thought of a bomb in the beginning, but then it's so close, I didn't hear a bang. But then I heard gunshots. And I had to go in because I was scared. It was so close, the gunfire.
And, well, we're learning from the news slowly what has happened while the truck is still there. The bodies are still on the street. People are working on them, measuring and taking very detailed notes. And bringing them back one-by-one.
LEMON: Are you a resident of Nice, of France?
AKAR: No, I'm not.
LEMON: But you seem exasperated by this. And this has happened so many times.
AKAR: It is, because I'm from Istanbul. I lived that before. I mean, it's impossible -- wherever we go, I mean, wherever you go these days, everybody's under that kind of -- I mean, that kind of danger.
Two minutes ago, it was a paradise with all the fireworks and everything, and suddenly as the fireworks ended, there's this terrible, terrible, terrible thing.
And it's really very difficult, very different from watching it on TV and witnessing it. It's maybe some people don't realize how terrible this is, but once you see it, you will never forget and nobody can live carefree now.
LEMON: Do you think anything can be done? You said you've lived through this before when you fight, sort of --
AKAR: I mean, I'm from Istanbul. A couple of weeks ago, it was our airport. My husband flew a couple of hours before the attack. And the way these people -- I mean, you have to be -- you have to -- how can I explain this? You have to be more evil than the people who do it to imagine what they can do. I mean, nobody probably suspects that that because the road, it was blocked and every time there's a parade, we come here very often.
And every time there's a parade, it's some kind of street festival. That road is always blocked to traffic. It's all pedestrians. And it's very unusual to see a truck of that size coming from that road. Plus, passing the -- it was barricaded.
LEMON: So you said you've got to be more evil than they are, more cunning than they are.
AKAR: More cunning, exactly, exactly. More cunning. I mean -- it's terrible. How can you -- I mean, what do we have to do? I don't know.
AKAR: I don't know.
LEMON: That's a question that many people are asking.
Zeynip Akar, thank you. Be safe. Thank you.
When we come right back, much more on our breaking news. A deadly truck attack on a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France tonight. At least 80 people are dead.
[23:17:05] LEMON: Breaking news. A truck driver ploughs into Bastille Day crowds in Nice, France, killing at least 80 people.
I want to bring in now Tom Fuentes, a former assistant director of the FBI, professor Mia Bloom of Georgia State University, Bob Baer, a former CIA operative and Buck Sexton, a former CIA analyst.
Tom, you know, I spoke with you last hour about why France. And, you know, when I asked Bob the question. Bob spoke, answered. And you said you wanted to talk about that. Why France? What's your reaction?
TOM FUENTES, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE FBI: Right. My last five years in the FBI, I ran international operations, all of the FBI offices around the world. I was also on the executive board of Interpol. So I traveled to France six, eight, ten times a year.
And when I was there and would meet with the heads of the police and intelligence services, they would tell me at that time, and this is the time frame 2004 through 2009, and they would tell me, you in America are not going to have a problem with home-grown terrorists, but we do.
We have third generation immigrants that came here from Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and even when their children are born in France and their children's children are born in France, they don't consider themselves French, they consider themselves Moroccan, Algerian, Libyan and Tunisian.
And so we have a problem with that. And as we've seen they were wrong about one part, we have had radicalization of home-grown people in the U.S. But that was their theory. That they don't assimilate and that those immigrant population stay in confined neighborhoods and only associate with each other and aren't accepted into the general population.
LEMON: So, Bob, talk to me, you said that there is an issue with assimilation. There's an issue, basically, you said they feel profiled by what's happening in France now.
And if you look at the state of our current population -- current politics, what's happening with the presidential election, the policies that are being proposed by both sides, is there a lesson in this for us when it comes to, you know, profiling certain people.
ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It's so difficult to profile. And we do such a better job as Tom said at assimilating. The French, I work there for many years and went to school there. And my children speak Native French.
And, you know, they didn't -- they couldn't assimilate into France. I mean, because they were Americans. And so they have a very strict class system there and you have a way, on the way up there, certain universities, certain apartments and the rest of it. So, I mean, if we have a class of people in this country which we profile and separate them, or we turn very anti-Islamic, we will have the same problem here. Let's just hope it doesn't get that way.
And I completely disagree with Trump that, you know, we bomb -- that we'd go to full-on war in Syria. But you just have to look at what's happening in Europe as a backlash because of the violence in the Middle East.
And, you know, as long as those wars go on in Syria and Iraq, there are going to be people in Europe that are going to sympathize with them. And yes they are, they're generation, but they will pick up weapons. The French have a real big, big problem and I don't see an easy solution to it.
LEMON: Mia, why are you shaking your head in agreement?
MIA BLOOM, PROFESSOR, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: I agree with Bob, 100 percent. I think the problem is some of the statements I've seen on Twitter are either being made by Mr. Gingrich, or by Trump, or some of the Republicans just feeds ISIS's propaganda that tells Muslims you will never be truly welcomed in the west, your only option is to come to Raqqa.
And I think that the point that we haven't made and I would like to be so bold as to make it with you, don, one of the first victims of this truck was a Muslim woman, a middle-aged woman, who was surrounded by her family weeping and in shock. She was covered with a blue tartan blanket. And so we cannot frame it as a Muslim perpetrator against French celebrating the Bastille Day celebrations when many, many of these victims and casualties were also Muslim. So I want to agree with Bob, and I want to also caution the way we are presenting the story.
LEMON: How so?
BLOOM: Because the problem is if we're saying that it's a Muslim perpetrator and it's Jihadism or Salafism, and it's the French, these French victims include many Muslims.
BLOOM: The Muslims may not be as well assimilated as some of the Muslims of the United States who, you know, have had a much better opportunity, that they don't live in these (INAUDIBLE), they haven't been forced to live in poverty, they're not disproportionately more than 30 percent of the jail.
But the fact remains is that we have been alienating American-Muslims for the last, I guess since the election cycle began, but especially after San Bernardino and especially after Orlando. And I think this is a huge mistake.
BLOOM: And I don't want us to become France. LEMON: I think you're right that we should cautious. Well, we have not said it's Muslim. We said it was French-Tunisian. As a matter of fact, you said that earlier quoting a newspaper there. So we haven't really framed it that way. But some of the comments and the questions of why these terror attacks have been happening in France, I can understand the sentiment of your statement.
I want to bring in now, Buck. Buck, you know, talking about the -- let's talk about the current state of politics here. Do you agree or disagree with what --
BUCK SEXTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm a little puzzled and surprised that my fellow panellist are immediately going to inability of the French to assimilate, inability of the French to assimilate Muslims properly or well-enough, and also focus it seems on rhetoric from Republicans, even the Republican front-runner presumed nominee when ISIS, which I think is the likeliest of the culprits here, although al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other groups could certainly be inspirations for this and directly involve as well are perpetrating these attacks at a shockingly regular rate now.
And we are under assault in the west. We are under assault in Europe and in America from groups that have external operations arms that are trying to attack us. And the rhetoric that's being used in the U.S. political race, I think to assume that somehow that is where our focus should be right now and not on the fact that these groups are going to continue coming after us.
Irrespective of what is said by Donald Trump or anyone else in this country, there is an underlying hatred here. And there is an ideology of Jihad that is very real. And we keep trying to get around the fact that the people that are perpetrating these acts, this may not necessarily be one of them, but I think we are all probably above 90, 95 percent certain that's what this looks like right now.
This is a situation where we need to take very seriously that these attacks are going to continue and they are accelerating. We're seeing more of this. Internationally mass casualty attacks. We're seeing an expansion of this and I'm surprised that the focus is not on counterterrorism efforts and what can be done to stop this, and more on trying to make it seem like Republican rhetoric and the French and their inability to assimilate is really the issue at hand.
I mean, those are all legitimate topics for discussion, but right now I think we should be worried about the next attack.
LEMON: Tom Fuentes, what's your response to that?
FUENTES: Well, mine is I never lived in France. I'm just reporting what they told me and they were the French. The French officials said this was their biggest problem. The fact that third generation North Africans still don't consider themselves French. And they have that as a huge problem. So that's what I'm talking about that when you ask why so many attacks in France?
Well, there's a lot of immigrants, there's a lot of people in France. And if they feel that way, you're going to have a large population --
LEMON: Stand by. Stand by. We'll continue this conversation on the other side of the break.
Our breaking news, the truck attack in Nice, France, a terrorist attack in Nice, France, killing at least 80 people. We'll be right back.
[23:28:30] LEMON: All right, our breaking news. A terror attack in Nice, France kills at least 80 people with shocking amateur video, OK. It's reporting to show the gunfire during the attack.
This is from CNN affiliate BFMTV. It says it is from the scene of the attack. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right, so back with me now, Tom Fuentes, Mia Bloom, Bob Baer and Buck Sexton.
So when you -- if you listen to that and we have to say we don't know if the gunshots, that's from the gunman who is in the truck or if that's police, you know, firing back.
That's a heck of a lot of gun fire, though, Buck Sexton.
SEXTON: Yes, and what we see here is I think a situation where something that's been talked about for many years in Jihadi communities, which is the usage of a large vehicle, or vehicle specifically fitted for this purpose.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as many have pointed out wrote about it back in 2010. It's been popping up on the sort of so-called cyber caliphate's Web pages, as recently as I think a month or two ago. And it was even mentioned by Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, this sort of official ISIS spokesman, run people over.
And this is an escalation in a sense that people usually up to this point have relied on a sort of lack of killing efficiency from lone wolf, from individuals radicalized. This might be a lone wolf. It might be somebody who has direct ties and training. We don't know yet. But if it is in fact someone who is just inspired, this is likely to inspire other similar attacks.
[23:30:00] And what you see here is somebody who didn't necessarily need weapons in the car, the weapon that he have on the car, to conduct the mass casualty attack. All he needed was a vehicle and a will to murder and this is likely to be replicated.
LEMON: Yeah. But there were -- I mean there were explosives ... SEXTON: And he has them too. Yes.
LEMON: There were explosives and there were weapons found.
Bob, I understand, you know, the conversation that we were having before, a very important one, and there is disagreement on it when it comes -- when we were talking about, you know, people assimilating into French culture and also being profiled.
ROBERT BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It is. And it's -- you know, in France, it's North African. I mean, Lebanese for instance, who come to France where there are Christian-Muslim assimilate very well. It's a matter of education, jobs, the color of the skin and the rest of it. And that is very different for the French and they've had a very difficult time with Moroccans and Tunisians and Algerians especially, and a lot of these people just do not have jobs.
And we don't even know how many -- what percentage of Muslims are there in France because they don't keep that record. It's pretty much guesswork.
And, you know, they feel excluded and when they look at the conflicts in the Middle East, the Shia-Sunni divide, they identify with people in the Middle East. And I agree with Buck, I think there's of this to come. And I hate to make predictions, big predictions like this but it's going to drive the Europeans very much to the right as these attacks continue.
LEMON: Do you think it will drive the U.S. to the right?
BAER: You know, a truck down at 5th Avenue, a couple of attacks here, mistakes by this administration r not even mistakes but they're getting accused of being soft in terrorism. And I think we get Donald Trump as president.
LEMON: Interesting. What do you think of that -- I'm sorry, Tom Fuentes.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT: Well, you know, I don't know specifically of that but I want to go back to the assimilation why that's so important is because when ISIS puts out their propaganda worldwide that you, young men, are not going to be accepted in your society. The westerners will never accept you.
When that arrives in America, many of our youth are going to say "That's just not true, I'm doing just fine." But in Europe when it goes into a community like that in France, it rings through and that helps them with their, you know, getting people to join them. Because when they hear that rhetoric from ISIS, they tell themselves, "That's exactly right. I'm never going to be accepted here, I might as well go and take the trip to Raqqa and join up."
LEMON: Mia, you mentioned that earlier?
MIA BLOOM, PROFESSOR, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: Yeah. I think that, you know, a lot of it is that as ISIS has become weaker within Mosul and Raqqa and they've lost 40 percent of their territory, and they're actually shooting people who have joined the Islamic state, we're trying to leave.
One of the ways that they try to project power is to have these attacks in the west. And so, it's a way of giving the impression that they're still relevant, that they're still powerful when at a time they're actually decreasing their ability to control the territory and even on Tuesday when they released their Arabic language, al-Nabat, which is more detailed version of what (inaudible) is once a month.
They said, "We might actually lose the caliphate but we still have the affiliates. So they themselves are recognizing that they are on the run but this is a way in which they can continue to recruit because as they loose recruits, having an attack like this puts them on the front page, increases, you know, the degree of right-wing politics, Islamophobia. And I do disagree with Mr. Sexton because the fact is, and I'll say this to you, Buck, directly, the vast majority of ISIS' victims are Muslims, not us.
SEXTON: I'm fully aware of that. I mean no one dispute them.
BLOOM: Well, I mean, they are coming after us. They are not coming after us more than they coming after each other.
SEXTON: No, I was referring to the Islamic state which very clearly to his external operations arm which has been at worked by the way for a number of years now, along with al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula which until recently was considered the most violent and deadly of the Jihadist terrorist organizations or this kind of external plotting. They are continuing to do this. Of course, they're killing Muslims. They're killing Muslims in Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Iraq. I've actually seen some of the handy work of what they've done in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
LEMON: But the people who are doing this -- so this is -- Hang on, Buck, Buck, the people who are doing it, they could consider themselves Muslims as well and even though the victims are Muslim.
SEXTON: I'm not getting into a theological discussion. I'm trying to just focus on the counter-terrorism.
LEMON: But, she's saying -- she's saying that the people who are -- it's premature and against the Muslim but the attackers can be Muslim as well.
SEXTON: Right. By I have to say, I don't understand why that's being directed to me by no means that I say that wasn't the case or it wasn't true so I don't understand why it's being directed to me. I'm nearly saying ...
BLOOM: But you said they're coming after us.
SEXTON: Yes. They are in fact coming after us. Do I need to seat here and talk but ...
BLOOM: But they're mostly going after each other. They're going after the Shia. They're going after Turkey.
SEXTON: I'm referring to America and Europe and the west ...
SEXTON: ... and all peaceful Muslims and everyone ...
[23:35:02] SEXTON: ... around the world, who doesn't believe its trapping the suicide vest on because we're disaffected, because you have some belief that somehow this will take you to a place of paradise and burdens. Whatever the case may be, everybody who isn't on that team is on my team.
This notion you have in your head when I say us, I'm referring to, what, Republican Americans?
BLOOM: No, you were saying us as Americans.
SEXTON: I was in the (inaudible) of the CIA. I was working with foreign allies all over the world to try and stop these kinds of attacks. So you're making an implication as preposterous. And I have to be honest with you, after this sort of an attack happens, there is this knee-jerk reaction that we see from people who are -- it's a leftist center constantly trying to sort of wrap all this around the bad rhetoric of people who want to speak openly and honestly about terrorism.
We're just trying to empower the moderates from Muslim (ph) societies. We're trying to empower our allies in counties that we do work with the Muslim world and outside the Muslim world to stop people from getting mowed down at a celebration of a national holiday. That's it.
BLOOM: Which include other Muslims.
SEXTON: I've said that four or five times already.
LEMON: OK, we are getting off track here.
SEXTON: We are getting off track.
LEMON: Thank you.
SEXTON: Spurious accusation but thank you.
LEMON: Thank you very much. Everybody we need to step back. When we come right back, in the wake of the terror attack in France, Donald Trump postpones announcing his running mate with just four days to go until the Republican convention.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [23:40:00] LEMON: You're looking at now, this is the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas, lit up in the colors of the French flag. And of course it's just one week since the terror attack on Dallas police. Again, lit up in the French flag, the colors of the French flag, that's the Omni hotel in Dallas.
In the wake of what happened in Nice, France tonight, Donald Trump has postponed announcing Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.
I want to discuss this now with Republican Strategist Charmaine Yoest who is the former Advisor to Mike Huckabee, Kevin Madden, a CNN Political Commentator and Republican Strategist, and Hilary Rosen, CNN Political Commentator and Hillary Clinton supporter. She in New York with me tonight and she is -- keep me reigned in.
So, Kevin, I'm going to start with you. Donald Trump quickly responded to the attack in Nice. Here's what he's tweeting, "In light of the horrible attacks in Nice, France, I would -- I have postponed tomorrow's news conference concerning my vice presidential announcement."
What's the strategy behind postponing such a big announcement, Kevin?
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I expect that the campaign deliberated whether or not they wanted to have a very political event at a time of tragedy. And this is something that often times comes up during -- in presidential campaigns.
The optics of what you do matters much more, particularly at a time right now where so much of the public discussion whether it's here or internationally is driven around a tragic event like this.
So I expect that's one of the reasons that drove their decision not to have the event. But, you know, one of the problems is that that's complicated a little bit by the fact that Donald Trump then went in and called in to a cable news show and talked about politics. So he sent a little bit of a mixed message there that creates a little bit of confusion for a lot of people that are watching.
LEMON: Hilary, do you think that was a smart move to postpone?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think Kevin's right. Normally it would be. You try and find the right moment and get as big a bounce out of an announcement like this as possible.
But then, you know, he seemed to like the attention and suspense and kind of started playing games again even after everybody thought that he had made his decision. He started dancing around it again. And so, it makes me think, "You know what, maybe this is not a done deal, maybe he's toying with poor Mike Pence, that maybe Chris Christie got really, really mad at him." Again, there are all sorts of things that made me suspicious tonight about why Trump did this.
Plus, the other thing is they played around with the announcement for so long that, you know, Mike Pence might not have a speech, Trump might not have a speech. They may not have messages around what they're going to do. So delaying it had, you know, sort of personal benefit, not political benefit.
LEMON: We are told, Charmaine, that Trump was offered the V.P. spot to Mike Pence and he -- as Hilary said, he's sort of dancing around it now. He's saying well maybe not. I think he's probably just trying to keep the anticipation up in the media. We were told that Pence had accepted it. But here's Trump with what he said moments ago to Fox.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But I haven't made my final, final decision. I mean I've got three people that are fantastic. I think Newt is a fantastic person. I think Chris Christie is a fantastic person, have been a friend of mine for 15 years, just a fantastic person.
And there's Mike, and Mike has done a great job as Governor of Indiana. You look at the numbers and it's been a great. You know, he's done really a fantastic job. So, you know, but I haven't made a final, final decision.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Charmaine, our sources say that Trump has picked Pence as his running mate. You know Pence very well, why do you say he's a good balance to Trump? First of all do you think it's going to be pence?
CHARMAINE YOEST, FORMER HUCKABEE ADVISER: Well, you know, there's an old saying in sales that you better wait until you get the ink on the pink before you spend the money.
So I, you know, Trump is a consummate showman. And I think he's run into a situation here where he does need to extend. I think it was a good decision to postpone. It's such a sober night, so much sorrow. And I think part of what is factoring into this is, is this attack is coming on the heels of just last week being such a horrible week here of grief for Americans as well.
So it's not just this one event. It's a cumulative sense of sorrow. So I think it's the right tone to postpone and wait, because frankly there are a lot of us who want to this as a celebration.
Mike Pence is a really good choice assuming that's where Donald Trump ends up going. He brings so much to the table in terms of having served as a governor, having served up on the hill.
We've already heard from Senator McConnell and from Speaker Ryan saying how happy and excited they would be about this choice. I had dinner tonight with some friends, conservative friends who are saying, they would be willing to get excited about this ticket.
[23:45:00] And that's exactly what Donald Trump needed to do with his vice presidential pick, is to kind of reassure some people on the right who are feeling a little skittish about the ticket and Mike Pence really brings that. LEMON: OK. Kevin, I want to ask you this because, you know, we were talking about talking about Mike Pence here but I want to read this because Gingrich certainly appears to be speaking Trump's language somewhat because here is what he told Fox tonight and this Newt Gingrich.
He said, "Western civilization is in a war." And he went on to say, "We should frankly test every person here who is a Muslim background, of a Muslim background and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported."
MADDEN: Yeah. I don't even know where to start with that. I mean there is a thing called the Bill of Rights where -- I think that would be unconstitutional.
Look, Speaker Gingrich, is very strong feelings. He have said very controversial things before. It's more in keeping with some of the rhetoric that that we have heard from Donald Trump.
And, you know, I don't think that's going to change Newt Gangrich, you know, the fact that maybe he's not the V.P. I still think he is going to be using language like that. That is very much in line with what Donald Trump is -- has argued -- should be a response to some of the concerns that people have about national security and terrorism.
LEMON: Yeah. So, Hillary, he goes on to say that Americans should be perfectly happy to welcome Muslims, who have given up Sharia but said, we need to be fairly relentless about defining who are enemies are.
ROSEN: You know, that why wouldn't Donald Trump pick him. And he is right up the valley. They were saying the same things ...
LEMON: That's a good thing. Why wouldn't he -- I mean that's a good point. Why wouldn't he, if he is speaking the language as I say. Kevin, I'll get back to you. Why wouldn't -- Kevin, that's a good -- as a conservative why wouldn't he?
MADDEN: Why wouldn't he what?
LEMON: Why wouldn't you pick Newt Gangrich if Newt Gangrich is speaking his language?
MADDEN: Look. I think Charmaine makes a good point. I think that Donald Trump may be looking for more balance, if there is going to be somebody saying really controversial, really bold rhetoric on the campaign promoting really bold rhetoric on the campaign, Donald Trump is going to be the one that does that. And what Mike Pence does is bring a bit more of a -- sort of like that -- the saucer that cools the hot teacup, somebody who has a stronger relationships with some evangelical conservatives that, you know, the relationship that Donald Trump doesn't have.
So I think that's going to be -- Those have been the concerns and those have been the discussions that are going on at a pretty animated level, I expect, inside the campaign. And I can guarantee you this and everybody on this panel has work on the campaigns, there are factions inside each camp and somebody is arguing for Newt, somebody is arguing for Mike Pence exactly because of the reasons that were talking about tonight.
LEMON: Yeah. So we're going to get in our discussions so guys will get a chance to jump in as well, when we come right back. Everyone, a new poll I should say finds Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton neck and neck, just days before the Republican convention gets under way.
[23:51:48] LEMON: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump neck and neck in a new poll. Back now with me is Charmaine Yoest, Kevin Madden, and also Hilary Rosen. Hilary, here's a Hillary Clinton's new attack ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they in the place like this? It be carried out in a stretcher, folks, and you can tell them to go (inaudible) themselves.
I can stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What's your reaction to that?
ROSEN: I love this ad because I think that it forces people to sort of think about, you know, when we were growing up and the picture of the president was on the wall of our elementary school class and it's like you want to admire that person. You want your kids to believe in that person and I think that Hillary is raising the right issues about him. Is this somebody that we're going to admire and be proud of?
LEMON: Charmaine, what's your reaction to the ad?
YOEST: To think that I find so fascinating, Don, is I think Hillary Clinton needs to be really, really concerned about the fact that she's been putting out these ads and she -- her team is spending so much money, you know, 4 to 1 against Donald Trump isn't putting any ads up in some places spending zero dollars.
I mean, zero is not even a number in political terms. And so those of us who's been around this business for awhile I'm looking at this and saying how in some ways how is it even possible that they're still neck and neck when she is spending so much money on ads.
The fact that he is still in the game when he is not putting up ads yet, what happens when he does start to respond with ads? I mean, I think she is really in trouble and a large part of it of course is having gone through this last week with the FBI director coming out and saying that she has completely lied to the American public and misused top secret government information which, you know, has really under mined her credibility as a presidential candidate.
LEMON: Yeah. YOEST: And is going to be a continuing problem and frankly, speaking of ads, those ads just write themselves for the GOP.
LEMON: And in all fairness. He didn't say that, he said that she was extremely, extremely careless with her e-mails. He didn't say that she completely lied to the American people.
YOEST: My interpretation and frankly.
LEMON: That's your interpretation.
YOEST: That's what --
LEMON: And that may be the perception of Americans. And, Kevin, I'm wondering if that is why that she is having on such problems and to Charmaine's point. You know, we've seen ads like that. I remember when they had the people using in his own words saying, you know, she had blood coming out of whatever that everyday.
LEMON: People using. Yet, they're still neck and neck after she has released so many of these ads.
MADDEN: It is. It's a potentially effective ad. I think it's directed right to those suburban moms in key battleground states that are still very hesitant and that supporting Donald Trump. But Charmaine is right, we're talk about tens of millions of dollars in these ads that have been spent right now where Donald Trump hasn't even defended himself once, with even one ad. And they're still tied neck a neck.
I think the big problem that Hillary Clinton is going to continue to have are those honesty and trustworthy numbers that she has. People do not find her honest or trustworthy.
[23:55:01] And, until she starts convincing people that something different on that front, she's going to continue to be in a battle in a, you know, neck and neck throughout this campaign.
LEMON: Here's the interesting thing, when we look at demographics because we went through this back in 2012. Remember all of polls were showing, you know, at least that they thought that Mitt Romney was in a better position than he was in. Mitt Romney got a certain percentage of the Hispanic vote. He got a very small percentage of the African-American vote. Most polls are showing that Donald Trump will get even less than that. Are there enough voters of not of color in order for Donald Trump to win this election? That's a very interesting dichotomy to these sort of.
ROSEN: Well, you know, that's why the national polls really talking about sort of a divided national country at around 40 percent each, really don't mean very much if you look at the battle ground states, if you look at where the electoral college votes are going to will come from, the winner has to get a significant portion of votes from people of color. It just is impossible to win without it. And, you know, it goes back to this V.P. pick of Donald Trump's which is, you know, what he is doing with this pick is trying to solidify a base he already should have. What I think we're going to see Hillary Clinton do with her pick is try to go a little broader and say, "All right, where do we need to branch out and where are more votes coming from.
LEMON: Thank you, Charmaine, thank you very much, Hilary and Kevin. We're out of time here. We appreciate you joining us. That is it for us tonight. Our live coverage of the terror attack in Nice, France, continues in just a moment with John Voss and Isha Sesay in Los Angeles.