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THE SITUATION ROOM

Trump: A Boost or Baggage for Romney?; Interview with Eric Fehrnstrom

Aired May 25, 2012 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


GLORIA BORGER, CNN ANCHOR: And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, Donald Trump says he'll do anything to help Mitt Romney.

But could his new comments about Barack Obama's birth end up hurting the man he wants to help?

The frontrunner in Egypt's presidential election says he wants to turn Egypt into an Islamic state.

Should America be worried that one of its allies could become another Iran?

(SHOOTING)

A CNN exclusive -- U.S. commandos train with troops from another American ally, learning how to capture or kill terrorists. We'll take you behind the scenes in Jordan.

Welcome to our viewers from the United States and around the world.

Wolf Blitzer is off today.

I'm Gloria Borger and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Donald Trump is bringing some buzz to the Romney campaign. That may or may not be a good thing for Mitt Romney. The outspoken real estate tycoon is speaking out about the possibility of being Romney's running mate. And he's once again asking questions about Barack Obama's birth.

So would Trump be a boost or baggage for Romney?

Our Lisa Sylvester is looking into that -- Lisa, what do you think?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OK, so, Gloria, you know this, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney both very successful businessmen. But personality-wise, they are very different.

Still, the two are teaming up, Trump raising money for the GOP candidate. And could there be a Romney-Trump ticket?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER (voice-over): Donald Trump guest hosting on "The View."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST: Before we start, can I just say something?

I have something for you -- my birth certificate.

DONALD TRUMP: Oh, isn't that cute?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't believe her.

TRUMP: I'd like to see Obama's.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SYLVESTER: In the opening minutes, needling President Obama over the birther issue. Trump endorsed Mitt Romney back in February. The strait-laced Romney side by side with the colorful TV personality, Trump, a story of contrasts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. This is one of them.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight.

SYLVESTER: Asked now if he would consider being Romney's running mate, Trump said, who could turn it down?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

TRUMP: A lot of people are asking that question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well...

TRUMP: I think probably that won't happen. But I'll do anything I can to help this country get balanced again.

SYLVESTER: Trump is lining up major donors for Romney. He's holding a fundraiser in Las Vegas next week and offering Romney supporters this -- a chance to dine with "The Donald" for as little as three bucks. If that sounds familiar, George Clooney did a similar fundraiser for President Obama.

But is Trump an ally for Romney or more of an albatross? PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: There's a lot of ups but there's also a lot of down side to this relationship. You see the birther issue. Donald Trump had brought it up a lot last year and again continues to bring it up, both in his Tweets and what he says. And that is something that could be a real turnoff to voters.

So if they associate Donald Trump with Mitt Romney and the birther issue comes up, that is definitely not a plus, but a big minus for Mitt Romney.

SYLVESTER: If you thought the birther issue was put to bed when Trump took credit for getting the state of Hawaii to release President Obama's full birth certificate, not so fast. Here's one of Trump's recent Tweets.

Then there's the Trump ego. He's not a guy to run from controversy or a fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC ANCHOR: You teach leadership and so...

TRUMP: Right.

WALTERS: If somebody attacks you, should you attack back?

TRUMP: I -- I believe, yes. And I believe as an -- you know, I mean I could give you lots of examples...

WALTERS: Yes.

TRUMP: -- but if you're known as a patsy, if you're known as somebody that takes it, I think it's terrible.

SYLVESTER: In Trump's world, he's number one -- not used to playing the role of number two.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

SYLVESTER: And the reality TV star flirted with the idea of running himself for president, but ultimately said that he wouldn't because he didn't want to end his show, "The Apprentice" -- Gloria.

BORGER: Well, that's a good reason no to run for president, right, Lisa?

(LAUGHTER)

SYLVESTER: That's right, Gloria.

BORGER: Thanks very much.

And so we have to ask, will having Donald Trump in his corner help Mitt Romney at all?

And to answer that, we have senior Romney campaign adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom.

So the revival of this birther issue, let's just get it out of the way.

Is this just kind of embarrassing for Mitt Romney?

Don't you wish it would stop?

I mean Romney has said it's not an issue.

ERIC FEHRNSTROM, SENIOR ADVISER TO ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: Yes, well, that's correct. You know I can't speak for Donald Trump, Gloria. But I can tell you that Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States. He doesn't view the place of his birth as -- as an issue in -- in this campaign. We have many serious challenges facing this country dealing with jobs and the economy. That's where we should center our -- our -- the discussion.

And as I said, I -- you know, I -- Mitt -- Mitt Romney has made it clear that this is not an issue for him.

BORGER: So why is Mitt Romney sort of throwing a party with Donald Trump to raise money?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, you know, not too long ago, Jay Carney, the spokesman for the White House, made a statement which I think is correct. And that statement was that a candidate can't be responsible for everything that their supporters say.

And in this case, Mitt Romney has made it clear that the place of the president's birth is not an issue for him. He accepts the fact that he was born in Hawaii. And we have many important challenges facing our country and that's what we'd rather talk about.

BORGER: OK, let's get back to serious politics, then. And let's talk a little bit about this Bain Capital issue, which the Obama campaign has launched attacks against you on Bain Capital.

Are you getting ready to launch, in advertising, direct attacks back defending Mitt Romney and his record at Bain?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you've seen, with the advertising that we have produced so far -- there's two ads which simply answer the question, what would a Mitt Romney president be like?

And he describes...

BORGER: But they're not about Bain. Right.

FEHRNSTROM: No, they're about what Mitt Romney would do to turn around this bad economy, from repealing ObamaCare to approving the construction of the Keystone Pipeline to tackling our debt and deficit, tax reform that will create growth in the economy.

These are the issues that we're addressing in -- in our advertising. Look, I think this has been a bad week for President Obama. The reason it's been a bad week is because he's attacking the underpinnings of our economic system. When you take on risk taking and entrepreneurship with these attacks on -- on Bain Capital, I think that sends a very negative message.

And that's why his campaign strategy has been received so poorly by leading voices within his own party.

BORGER: Do you think that President Obama should return the money he's raised from Bain Capital given what he has said about Bain Capital?

FEHRNSTROM: No, I think he should stop attacking our free enterprise system. Free enterprise is not a partisan concept. It's an American concept. And what people want to know is what are your plans to get this economy moving again?

Twenty-three million people who are unemployed or can't find the job that they want. The -- that should be the subject of our -- our discussions and our -- and our plans.

Most incumbents, Gloria, by the way, most successful incumbents, they run on their record. When you don't have a successful record to run on, then you create these misleading distractions, which the president is doing with his attacks on Bain Capital.

BORGER: Well, it's clear from these Bain Capital attacks that one of the reasons they're doing it is because they want to portray Mitt Romney as kind of elite and out of touch. And if you look at the polls, that is Mitt Romney's problem. You do pretty well on handling the economy, but not so much on feels my pain and understands my problem.

How do you fix that and let the American people know that your candidate is somebody who does understand their problems?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, look, this is going to be an economy election. It's going to be a referendum on the president's handling of the economy. I think that the governor's experience 25 years in the private sector is what qualifies him to lead on -- on jobs and the economy.

I think it's -- I think it's wrong of the president to focus on simply the underperforming elements in the Bain Capital portfolio. You need to look at the entire record. And over the period of time that Mitt Romney was in leadership at Bain Capital, they had an extraordinarily successful record in turning around troubled enterprises, starting up companies, creating value, and by creating value, creating employment.

BORGER: What about when he was governor of Massachusetts?

One other line of attack against you is that when Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 states in terms of job creation. What's your response to that?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, when Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, the state was in recession. In many ways, the circumstances of the economy were similar to what the nation is facing now. We were losing thousands of jobs every month. The budget was completely unbalanced.

After four years, Mitt Romney had turned that situation completely around. We were creating jobs. The budget had been balanced four years in a row without raising taxes.

On a net basis, Gloria, we created between 30,000 and 40,000 jobs. That's more jobs created in the tiny state of Massachusetts, on a net basis, than this president has created for the entire country.

BORGER: But isn't this a problem for you, because you're saying the reason Mitt Romney had a difficult time creating jobs more quickly is because he took over when the state was in a severe recession. That's essentially the same argument President Obama is using, saying -- in explaining why unemployment hasn't gone down faster in the country.

He says, look, we were really in a ditch and it's -- it's taken me a while to get out of it.

So isn't he making the same argument Mitt Romney is making, in a way?

FEHRNSTROM: No. I -- I think the difference is this. Mitt Romney had a positive jobs record and this president has a negative jobs record. He's down 800,000 jobs. Mitt Romney was up 30,000 to 40,000 jobs.

When Mitt Romney took office, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts was close to 6 percent. When he left, it was 4.7 percent.

The unemployment rate under this president has gone up over the last three-and-a-half years.

So I think their -- their job creation records are -- are entirely different. And, of course, their plans for getting this economy moving again are different.

BORGER: And we'll be talking about that a lot in the future.

Eric Fehrnstrom, thanks so much for being with us today.

We really appreciate it.

FEHRNSTROM: Thank you.

BORGER: And they're counting ballots in Egypt. And so far, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate is in the lead.

Should the West be worried?

Plus, a huge fire raging just a few miles from Disneyworld. Chad Myers is tracking the flames for us.

Also, a historic moment which could change space travel forever.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BORGER: Could Egypt's landmark presidential election end up being settled in the streets?

Egyptians are proud of a history going back thousands of years and now they're finally free to choose their own leader.

But 15 months after the Arab Spring revolution toppled Hosni Mubarak, the presidential vote looks headed for a runoff, pitting a Muslim fundamentalist against a Mubarak ally. CNN's Hala Gorani is in Cairo.

So, Hala, where does the ballot-counting stand as we speak?

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So the results we have are not official. They don't come from the presidential commission. But party observers as well as a semi-official state newspaper, Al-Ahram, are all reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsy, and the last prime minister of the Mubarak regime, Ahmed Shafik, will both be in the runoff on June 16th and 17th.

This is a surprise to many. What this means, Gloria, is that the centrist candidates didn't make it in the run-off. I'm talking about Amr Moussa, who was secretary-general of the Arab League and a former foreign minister for Hosni Mubarak, that most Americans will probably be familiar with. And another candidate, Aboul Fotouh, who was considered a more moderate Islamist.

This means that the political landscape in this country has become very polarized between an Islamist and a man very closely associated with the regime of Hosni Mubarak, a regime, of course, that was overthrown more than 15 months ago after the initial uprising in January and February of last year.

This, as far as revolutionaries are concerned, Gloria, is an absolute disaster. It's the worst-case scenario for them. It means they have to pick between a man who wants to inject more Islam into politics and a man who was very closely allied with the dictator they overthrew -- Gloria.

BORGER: And, Hala, do we know who the candidate in third place is going to endorse and whether that will make any difference at all in the outcome?

GORANI: Well, that's a very good question. Because you were talking about Hamdeen Sabahi. This is a man who was viewed as more of a revolutionary, as Nasserist, espousing the principles of the Nasser era here in Egypt in the '50s. He came in third according to these non-official results. There were reports that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsy, had offered him -- had offered to talk to him in order to form a political alliance. Now those reports were denied by the campaign of Hamdeen Sabahi. So it seems that right now, talks, perhaps, or at least overtures for alliances are being made to other candidates in order to defeat the ex-Mubarak regime prime minister, Ahmed Shafik. Back to you.

BORGER: Hala, thanks so much.

And could the Islamist front-runner in Egypt's election try to turn the largest Arab nation and American ally into another Iran? Our Brian Todd takes a closer look at the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

Brian, so as Hala points out, this is causing a fair amount of concern in lots of quarters, particularly in this country.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, a lot of concern among Western observers, Gloria. This man was the backup, the spare tire candidate. But when the Muslim Brotherhood's leading man was barred from competing, Mohamed Morsy became the group's top choice for Egypt's president, and he has a good shot, as Hala mentioned, as beating that old ally of former President Hosni Mubarak's in the runoff.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): Analysts say the prospect that Mohamed Morsy could be Egypt's next president might be unsettling to the U.S. and its allies.

ERIC TRAGER, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: In person he's quite hostile toward Westerners and consistently says that he wants Egypt to be an Islamic state and has very unpleasant things about key American interests, including the treaty with Israel.

TODD: Eric Trager was in Egypt during the Arab Spring and has interviewed Mohamed Morsy. He says Morsy wouldn't rip up Egypt's treaty with Israel, but would take a harder line toward Israel than Mubarak did.

Trager says Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood want to implement Sharia law in Egypt.

TRAGER: The Brotherhood has indicated that they won't force women to wear the veil or the hijab, but what we've seen in parliament is the Brotherhood is trying to, first of all, roll back the laws against sexual harassment, which they have said is due to women's nakedness. And secondly, they've tried to repeal the ban on female genital mutilation.

TODD: Trager says Morsy and the Brotherhood see that ban as an intervention in the family, a Muslim Brotherhood ally of Morsy's responded.

ABDUL MAWGOUD DARDERY, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD PARLIAMENTARIAN: Do you yourself believe that? Is there any democracy that will allow this to happen? We're totally against this. We've had -- women's rights in Islam has been there for 1,400 years. We're not talking about a new civilization.

TODD: Abdul Mawgoud Dardery says Morsy, who got a postgraduate engineering degree at USC and has two children with American citizenship, wants to build bridges with the U.S.

But analysts say Morsy, like other Egyptian leaders before him, has also pledged to work for the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so- called "Blind Sheikh" serving a life sentence in the U.S. for plotting terrorist attacks on New York.

DARDERY: You see, we would like to look at this as a legal case, if this man has his legal rights, it's his rights and we're going to support legal rights everywhere in the world.

TODD: I asked Trager a bottom line question for Westerners about Mohamed Morsy.

(on camera): Under his leadership, Egypt is the next Iran?

TRAGER: We might not have an Iran per se, we're more likely to have a Pakistan in which a strong military intervenes in a radical political sphere at will.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: I put that to Morsy's ally, as well, Abdul Mawgoud Dardery says, if Morsy wins, Egypt will not be like Pakistan or Iran. He says they won't move toward being a theocratic government, that Sharia law is not as scary as Westerners believe, and he says we shouldn't be listening to people he called Islamophobes who are warning about what Egypt would be like under Mohamed Morsy -- Gloria.

BORGER: So would the military try -- or could they, pull Morsy back if they felt that he was likely to be too antagonistic to the United States?

TODD: Analysts say they probably would do that if it involved foreign policy and if he tried to really get in America's face about different things, because the Egyptian military is still incredibly powerful and they drive a lot of Egypt's foreign policy.

But it's on the domestic affairs front. If he tries to impose Sharia law and repress women, as some people think he's going to do, the military wouldn't necessarily stand in the way of that. They care less about that than they do about the relationship with the United States.

BORGER: Thanks so much, Brian. That's a little unnerving, I think.

TODD: Could be.

BORGER: And training for terrorists. U.S. troops joining forces with their Middle East counterparts in a story you'll only see right here on CNN.

Plus, under arrest and over the top, why this man lost control in the backseat of a police car.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BORGER: France's new president makes his first visit to Afghanistan. Our Lisa Sylvester has some of the top stories and that in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Lisa, what's new?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Gloria. Francois Hollande is reaffirming his country's commitment to withdrawing 2,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, telling a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai France's task in Afghanistan has come to an end.

Hollande also met with troops and stressed France's ongoing commitment and partnership with the country.

A disoriented American Airlines passenger is in federal custody for allegedly rushing toward the cockpit just after the flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica, landed in Miami. Two passengers were reportedly able to restrain him before authorities arrived.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALIK CANN, HELPED RESTRAIN PASSENGER: I extended my hand to -- kind of like I was going to shake his hand. And from that point I was able to maneuver him and flip it. And as you know, if you get in this kind of position and you're locked, and one arm's up, the more it goes up, the more pain and more pressure, the more pain you're going to be in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SYLVESTER: Officials say there were no injuries or damage to the plane, and there appears to be no link to terrorism.

Graphic video as a DUI suspect goes on an alarming rant in the backseat of a police car.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the officers -- stealing my money! Stealing my money!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, stop banging your head!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SYLVESTER: Oh, hard to watch that. The anesthesiologist who bloodied his face banging it against the divider was pulled over after reportedly nearly running police off the road. Troopers reportedly found $40,000 in his pockets and another $14,000 in his car. He's now charged with DUI, resisting arrest, and property damage -- Gloria.

BORGER: That's a lot of money to be just kind of riding around with drunk.

SYLVESTER: That's a very mysterious story and also the motive. Why was he doing it? I know that he had been drinking, allegedly, but even still, that video is kind of hard to watch actually, too.

BORGER: Very difficult. Thanks a lot, Lisa.

And President Obama, of course, wants every vote he can get. But he may have trouble luring a specific group, and that's veterans. Find out why up next.

And plus, you don't see this every day. The U.N.'s top diplomat on the cover of a fashion magazine?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAN KI-MOON, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: As you can see me, I don't have much passion for fashion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BORGER: If U.S. troops are called in to fight terrorism in the Middle East, they may have a close ally in Jordan. Americans special ops forces have been training there with their Jordanian counterparts.

And in a CNN exclusive, our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has gotten a behind the scenes look.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Gloria, now more than ever, Jordan's elite special forces are a key ally for U.S. troops here in the Middle East.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice-over): This is Jordan's crack counterterrorism battalion. Assaulting compound just one of their skills. Expert snipers -- always ready. The same skills U.S. commandos are practicing here. We are showing a mock house used for training. U.S. troops have seen this before.

This is the kind of training those Navy S.E.A.L.s got before they assaulted Osama bin Laden's compound. Coming up a dark staircase not knowing what is waiting for them at the top.

STARR: CNN was granted exclusive access as both sides share the latest secrets on how to capture or kill terrorists. We can only show you U.S. army captain Rory from behind. His 12-man special forces team uses armored vehicles like these to raid compounds in Afghanistan.

But here, the Jordanian forces show Americans how they do business. Light, open trucks for long rides across the desert.

CAPTAIN RORY, U.S. ARMY: The air's blowing in your face, us, working on this. I've never done it before. So, me getting in a vehicle and having them drive us around is a great experience.

STARR: The reality, if a new war comes to the Middle East, U.S. and Jordanian special forces will be fighting side-by-side doing these types of raids and assaults.

For Jordanian Colonel Radd Amairah who commands this tough Jordanian unit, he says the threats of countries like Syria don't worry his men.

COL. RAAD AMAIRAH, JORDANIAN ARMY: It gives us more guts and courage to work on daily basis.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: Officials here in Jordan tell us one thing they would like is drone technology. The same type of drones that are being used to attack terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen. But so far, neither the CIA nor the Pentagon is willing to sell that technology to this key ally - Gloria.

BORGER: Thanks, Barbara.

And polls show that foreign policy is an area of strength for President Obama. He scored points for aggressively combating terrorism. And now Obama's campaign is making a push to gain support from veterans.

CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian has spent some time looking into that - Dan.

DON LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And why the push? Well, because the campaign realizes that this would be a very close election and that veterans could make the difference especially in those battleground states like Virginia where you have a big military presence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LOTHIAN (voice-over): President Obama rarely misses an opportunity to talk about the help he's offering to military veterans and their families.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will care and serve our veterans the way they've served us.

LOTHIAN: It's about policy and politics, his reelection campaign is actively courting veterans who have traditionally supported Republicans. Launching a grass roots effort, veterans and military families for Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's door-to-door, person-to-person, grocery store to grocery store. Letting people know that president's record is toward veterans.

LOTHIAN: In 2008, President Obama lost the veteran vote to Senator John McCain 55 percent to 45 percent. But the demographics are shifting and Democrats sense an opportunity.

A recent reuters poll shows Mr. Obama with a 44 percent to 37 percent lead among this group over likely opponent Mitt Romney. Team Obama is looking for voters like Josh Prentice. He's a recent graduate of George Washington University law school who served with the army in Iraq. He's a proud veteran and a loyal Republican.

JOSH PRENTICE, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: My first presidential election I could vote in was 2004 and I voted for President Bush.

LOTHIAN: But for the first time, he's looking to both the right and the left. He likes former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, yet President Obama's foreign policy has gotten his attention.

PRENTICE: And he's impressed me with the way he led the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well.

LOTHIAN: The killing of Osama bin Laden has won over some former critics. That's the sales pitch Democrats are making. Republicans say this outreach is honorable. But they're skeptical of an election year appeal to veterans.

ANTHONY PRINCIPI, FORMER VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY: They deserve, you know, support every day of the year, but not just when it's convenient.

LOTHIAN: Taking nothing for granted, former veterans affairs secretary in the Bush administration, Anthony Principi, is pitching Mitt Romney to veterans and their families.

PRINCIPI: We'll be doing our work as aggressively as we possibly can to make sure that the veterans understand who governor Romney is and we'll cast their vote for him.

LOTHIAN: Republicans are using proposed defense budget cuts and concerns about America's military strength to raise doubts about the president's policies. On the military time's Web site, one veteran posted "I simply can't vote for a president who advocates deep military cuts for those who gave so much to our nation." Another one wrote, "this is one president I could never endorse."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LOTHIAN: Now one other issue, the unemployment rate among veterans is at 9.2 percent well above the national average. That could be a factor on Election Day. And Republicans believe it could hurt the president - Gloria.

BORGER: Thanks a lot, Dan.

And this quick programming note, Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION," Candy Crowley is giving us a report card on veterans' issues. So, you won't want to miss it. Its right here 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

And the happiest place on earth is also now among the smokiest. We have new information on a huge fire just miles from Disney World.

Plus, the historic moment that could change space travel forever.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BORGER: A brush fire near in Florida's Disney world sent flames shooting 60 feet high, and forced authorities to close down part of interstate four when it because shrouded in smoke.

Let's turn to Chad Myers in CNN's weather center. Chad, this sounds quite dangerous.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It sure looked it, for a while. Thirteen acres burned just to the east of i-4. There's the brush fire right there, and ep-cop center only two miles away.

Now, magic kingdom quite a ways, maybe more six miles away here. But the smoke was all blowing to the southwest, not toward the theme parks, but it was blowing right toward many of these hotels. So if you're driving to Orlando thinking, hey, we've got a great hotel, it may not be a nonsmoking hotel tonight. It could be a little bit on the smoky side for sure.

A couple things we're going to talk about here too is the potential for some weather coming in to the southeast that could help Florida and the wildfires -- Gloria.

BORGER: So, well, is that the rain, the hurricane that's threatening the southeast?

MYERS: It's not a hurricane yet, but you're right on top of it.

BORGER: See.

MYERS: It could be a tropical storm. Right now, it is just an area of low pressure off the east coast that's really gathering some moisture, gathering some strength. And the forecast is for this thing to gather enough strength that it could become a tropical storm. If it does, it'll become tropical storm Beryl, b-e-r-y-l. Not barrel like a barrel of monkeys, Beryl.

So, and the forecast and it is for to stop going north and meander right through Florida. That would be fantastic because the entire southern half of Georgia and almost all of Florida under a significant drought, a severe drought, well, because you can see where the wildfires, what they were doing there across parts of Florida. It would be great to get a couple three inches of rainfall in any one of these areas as that continues to move to the southwest.

Now, it will ruin some beach vacations, I'm afraid. Because Saturday and Sunday look very wet all across the east coast and all the way as far west as panama city beach, Florida.

BORGER: How about the hurricane that may be threatening Mexico though?

MYERS: Hey, you know, that is hurricane -- let me find that. See where I have that there. It is hurricane -- right here. It is hurricane bud. Doesn't sound to menacing, bud.

BORGER: Another "b."

MYERS: Another "b." Right. Exactly. Where did this go? The storm here -- what's that? There we go. Thanks for taking care of it for me there. We do have it moving north at seven miles per hour. It has lost a lot of strength. Last night it briefly got to 115 miles per hour because it was a category three for about 12 hours, now down to a category one. Manzanillo, Mexico, you are really under the gun there for an awful lot of rain. This will not be a major wind maker, maybe 50, 60 miles per hour. But the issue will be the rainfall in the mountains, Gloria, could equal 15 inches. It could add up to enough to cause a lot of mud slide and a lot of flooding across the area. That's the biggest threat when a tropical storm or hurricane hits the west coast of Mexico that rain goes into the mountains, that rain has to go back down and as it comes down, it comes down as a mud slide and big time flash flood.

BORGER: OK. Thanks a lot, Chad. We will keep an eye on that as I'm sure you will.

And you've never seen this before, why NASA says this scene is at the top of the list of most historic moments in space travel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BORGER: A huge milestone and a whole new space era. The unmanned commercial space x "Dragon," love that name. Successfully linking up with the international space station.

CNN aviation and regulation correspondent, Lizzie O'Leary, joining us with the amazing details.

Well, it can't get much better than that name.

LIZZIE O'LEARY, CNN AVIATION & REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: The "Dragon," yes. And I think they knew. Elon Musk who is the CEO of the company is not exactly a shy guy. But this is an historic moment. The first private space flight to reach the international space station and it's one that's paving the way for much more private commercial space flights.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Capture is confirmed.

O'LEARY (voice-over): Grabbing the "Dragon" capsule with the space station's giant robotic arm, astronaut Don Petit had a line for the history books.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's the station, looks like we got us a dragon by the tail. O'LEARY: Two hours later the unmanned capsule was connected to the international space station ready to deliver the half ton cargo.

MIKE SUFFREDINI, INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION PROGRAM MANAGER: Many times this program manager in this program must stood in front of you talking about historical -- historical moments, things we've done that's never been done before. And this rates right at the top.

O'LEARY: NASA retired its storied shuttle program last year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 30 meters away from the international space station.

O'LEARY: Now, several commercial companies are competing to ferry cargo and eventually astronauts to the station. SpaceX is the first to succeed.

ELON MUSK, SPACEX CEO: I'd like to thank the whole SpaceX team. You guys are all awesome.

O'LEARY: Despite all the good will, this mission was not exactly glitch-free. Its initial launch was delayed and today space x had to fine tune a laser. Still, the company's billionaire founder was thrilled.

MUSK: This was a crucial step and having achieved the step, it makes the things in the future and it help the path toward humanity becoming a lot more species, much more likely.

O'LEARY: It was perhaps a fitting date for another first in space. Fifty one years to the day after president Kennedy made this challenge.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'LEARY: Now, we're in a new part of the space challenge moving firmly from the public sector to the private.

One footnote, Elon Musk is 40, the average age of his workforce, 30, all too young, Gloria, to have witnessed the first space race. So, they are kind of working on this second coming.

BORGER: Boy, to remember walking on the moon or any of that kind of thing, right?

Ok. Thanks a lot, Lizzie.

Amounting losses on Wall Street, one week since Facebook's troubled Initial Public Offering. The social media psych stock price slipped again today closing below $32. This amid a new report that banking giant Citigroup has already lost about $20 million in trading. Joining us now CNN chief business correspondent Ali Velshi is hosting "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" tonight.

And Ali, the major banks are not alone here. Lots of every day investors who thought they'd get in on a good thing early, they are losing money, too, right?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I know. I'm not all that bothered by professional traders losing money. This is their business. They make it up somewhere else.

The issue, of course, is two-fold. We have talked about this trading mess, the IPO not working properly and the glitches, and that's where a lot of these folks lost their money.

The bigger issue, as you just said, that Facebook closed at $31.30, that's about 15 percent below where it priced at $38 a week ago. That is inauspicious at best for the most anticipated IPO that most people can ever remember. And so that's a separate discussion. The trading glitches are one thing. The issue is why is Facebook doing this poorly?

You know, one of this things we have to remember, Gloria is that, Facebook the company and Facebook the IPO need to be separated in people's minds. There is absolutely no question. This was a botched IPO. Morgan Stanley botched it. Facebook may have had a role in that. That's separate and apart what you think about Facebook doing as a company.

BORGER: So, do you think that it was overpriced a week ago and people who paid that price were kind of suckered or misled? Or misled, I guess.

VELSHI: Well, that's the beauty of the market. The market will take the price down to exactly what they think it is. So, if it's 15 percent lower than it was a week ago, that would suggest it was overpriced.

You will remember when Facebook fist made the announcement of going public, the range of the stock was $28 to $35. That's where they said they were going to go public. They then changed it a few days before, and that's common when a lot of people seem to want the stock, from $35 to $38 and decided it was opening up at the high end of that range at $38.

Spent the last few days trading between $31 and $32 which means they could have kept it the way they wanted in the beginning, price at 30 or $31. That's what you always want to do. Price it low and let the market take it up. That feels like success in an IPO. They do seem to have done that incorrectly.

As for your question about misled, it is a market. As I like to say, this isn't a public vaccination. Nobody told anybody to buy Facebook stock. I think the media did a remarkable job of inundating everybody with every last bit of information you ever needed including lots of lots of warnings, as they say, if this isn't your game, you don't do this for a living, be careful.

BORGER: Right. Well, maybe that's the lesson for all of us, Right?

VELSHI: Right.

BORGER: Thanks, Ali.

VELSHI: Good to see you.

BORGER: You too.

And, he's not exactly the face of fashion, not Ali Velshi, but U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on the cover of "Men's Vogue" magazine. Really?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAN KI-MOON, UNITED NATION SECRETARY: You see, I'm not accustomed to this kind of a flourish.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BORGER: And here is a look at this hour's "hot shots." In Istanbul, an overhead shot as the waiter uses his umbrella to protect food from the rain.

And in China, a badminton player smashes a shot during the world championships.

In Kathmandu, Nepal, a holy man rests in a Hindu temple.

And in Rome, a man sits near a fountain with his cat on a leash. "Hot shots," pictures coming in from around the world.

That was nice in Rome.

And he main be the first person that comes to mind when you think fashion icon, but that hasn't stopped U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki- moon from landing the cover of "Vogue" magazine, and that's not easy.

Here's CNN's Alina Cho.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ban Ki-Moon, fashion? Two words generally not uttered in the same sentence, Gloria, when you think of Ban Ki-moon. You think world's top diplomat.

As you U.N. Secretary-general, he travels the world, meets with presidents and prime ministers, and his mission is to keep the peace. So, when he recently posed for the pages of "Vogue," I had to wonder, why?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHO (voice-over): Lady Gaga. Uma Thurman. Nicole Kidman. Ban Ki-moon? Wait a minute. Is that the U.N. secretary-general? On the cover of Italian "men's vogue"? It is.

BAN: As you can see me, I don't have much passion for fashion. But I have passion for Africa.

CHO: Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has made Africa his number one priority with the goal of saving 16 million lives by 2015.

Italian men's "Vogue" devoted its entire May-June issue to rebranding Africa, which is how the UNSG landed on the cover. Inside, a lengthy interview and a full spread of photos, including ones with his wife and granddaughter. Many of them taken at his home. The photo shoot was quite intense.

BAN: That's right.

CHO: Tell me what that was like.

BAN: You see, I'm not accustomed to this kind of a flourish. A little bit Oprah.

CHO: But in his words, important.

BAN: Magazines like "Vogue," they have great reaching power, overreaching power.

CHO: Were you happy with the photos?

BAN: Yes, I'm happy. I'm very much honored.

CHO: Secretary-general Ban is not the first dignitary to Grace the cover of Italian men's "Vogue." Nelson Mandela and Al Gore have also posed for the front pages.

Franca Sozzani is "Vogue Italia's" editor in chief.

FRANCA SOZZANI, EDITOR IN-CHIEF, VOGUE ITALIA: Who cares about fashions for men?

CHO: Sozzani says the magazine is about much more than just fashion. She interviewed the secretary-general and admits she was nervous.

SOZZANI: I really prepare myself. I couldn't come and just say, hello, here's "Vogue," good quality, fantastic image and you'll be on the cover, so fantastic. It's a different approach.

CHO: Secretary-general Ban says he'd do it again. That cast on his left hand, a soccer injury. Yes, he plays soccer, too. He's on the road more than a week a month and is serving out his second and final five-year term. And then what?

BAN: Retirement.

CHO: Who knows? He could have a future in fashion.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHO: So are we seeing a softer side of Ban Ki-moon? Maybe.

His spokesman says a big reason why he decided to do this now is because there's a pretty big conference in Rio next month on global advancement, and the secretary-general thought this would be a great way to highlight what he hopes to accomplish in Africa.

Now, as for that minor fracture in his left handle, I ask him when he'd be back on the soccer field again, and when I said in a month, Gloria he said, well, maybe two - Gloria.

BORGER: Thanks a lot, Alina. Maybe we should have asked, who was he wearing?

And thanks to all of you for joining us. I'm Gloria Borger in for Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. The news continues next right here on CNN.