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THE SITUATION ROOM

Interview With California Congressman Adam Schiff; Former NAACP Leader Speaks Out; Manhunt; Al Qaeda Leader Killed; Search for Escaped Killers Expanding. Aired 18-19:00p ET

Aired June 16, 2015 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:00]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: critical kill. Al Qaeda scrambles to replace a top terrorist leader taken out by a U.S. strike. Is America's secret drone program getting more successful or just lucky?

Sex behind bars. The accused prison escape accomplice gets her first visitor, as we learn more about her intimate relationship with the fugitives and an alleged plot to kill the man she claims she loves.

Silence broken. Former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal insists she's not a con artist in her first public comments about her racial identity, but, tonight, her white parents say she is still lying.

And Trumped. The Donald jumps into the Republican presidential race with a rambling rant against his rivals and a billionaire's bravado.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: Breaking news tonight, an ISIS-linked plot to explode bombs in the New York City area exposed. We are digging deeper into a just-unsealed criminal complaint against a 20-year-old New York man.

He is now under arrest and charged with conspiring to help ISIS terrorists.

Also breaking, the Obama administration now confirming that a senior leader with American blood on his hands was killed in a U.S. strike. This is being called the biggest loss for al Qaeda since Osama bin Laden's death. I will ask the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, what he's learning and our correspondents, our analysts are also standing by as we cover all of the news that is breaking now.

First, we want to go to our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr -- Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Brianna.

A number of operations recently in countries like Libya, Yemen, places where the U.S. does not have a presence on the ground, how are they making it all work?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice-over): Nasser al-Wuhayshi, just the latest jihadi taken off the battlefield by a drone in a swift strike, a new success in a series of high-profile attacks against al Qaeda and ISIS. While sources tell CNN he wasn't specifically targeted, this was more than just luck.

SETH JONES, SENIOR POLITICAL SCIENTIST, RAND CORPORATION: I think there's no question that the vast majority of the explanation for the targeting of a range of individuals, including Wuhayshi, is very, very hard intelligence work.

STARR: Another top target, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the leader of al Qaeda in North Africa, targeted this week by F-15s, dropping 500-pound bombs on a compound in Eastern Libya. The U.S. had looked for him for years.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It appears that he got sloppy, that he moved in a way that he could be tracked.

STARR: Classified high-tech clear making the strikes possible. Electronic eavesdropping on cell phones and monitoring social media is at an all-time high. Drones and satellites are often called in, some now equipped with full-motion video. That's a powerful tool in making that final decision to strike.

JONES: You can watch a compound for hours and hours, days and days and weeks and weeks.

STARR: Consider the third major strike in recent weeks, the Delta Force raid into Syria that killed Abu Sayyaf, a top ISIS operative. A woman who escaped from his house provided an initial tip. Then the U.S. spied on him for months, watching and waiting for the right time to strike.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: Now, not every mission succeeds, of course. Several months ago, U.S. special operations forces tried to rescue American hostages being held by ISIS in Syria, but when they got to the site where their intelligence had indicated the hostages were, they had already been moved. Intelligence, timely intelligence is what drives all of this --

Brianna.

KEILAR: So important. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you.

And now a closer look at the man known as al Qaeda's crown prince. He was expected to eventually take charge of the global terror network built by Osama bin Laden.

Our chief security national correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is working his sources. He joins us live from the National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency in Northern Virginia -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, the NGA is the intelligence agency that analyzes, controls all that satellite imagery for the nation essential in strikes like this one against al-Wuhayshi.

We interviewed the director, Robert Cardillo. He says this is a tremendous blow to the organization because Wuhayshi had tremendous power in terms of command and control, but also charisma, the draw he had to recruits to this organization. And they are going to be watching now, the U.S. intelligence community, disruption within the organization that follows this strike.

That said, AQAP, like other al Qaeda-affiliated groups, they always, in these instances, have someone follow the other, someone to fill the shoes. And we have this deputy quickly moving in to do that, but when you look at Wuhayshi and you look at what AQAP is capable are, the underwear bombs, other plots going back to the attempted plot to put bombs in printer cartridges on airplanes coming to the U.S., as well as an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, these have -- these had his marks and you cannot underestimate the effects in the organization to lose someone of this power.

[18:05:32]

KEILAR: All right, Jim Sciutto for us, thank you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUICKSHANK: Wuhayshi was really the leading light of the al Qaeda network. He wasn't even 40 years old, but already he had established a really impressive jihadi track record, a kind of biography of jihadi achievement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: Now, they do have his replacement in line. In fact, he's already been announced, Qasim al-Rimi.

He's a new leader. He was already his, Wuhayshi's deputy. And he has a very formidable reputation as a strong leader, but also a brutal one, perhaps, if you can imagine it, Brianna, more brutal than his predecessor. You have this constant oneupmanship. One change that is not expected, Brianna, with this change in

leadership is AQAP's rivalry with ISIS in Yemen. They have lost some supporters, some recruits to ISIS. This is going to be a battle going forward, because ISIS is capturing a lot of the attention, soaking up a lot of the oxygen in the jihadi movement. That is going to be a continuing challenge for AQAP going forward.

KEILAR: Yes, and those two really groups are at each other's throats.

Jim Sciutto, thank you so much for your report.

I want to talk now all about of this breaking news in the fight against terror with the senior Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff of California.

Thanks so much, Congressman, for being with us.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: You bet.

KEILAR: And I want to talk to you about, of course, the death of this AQAP leader, the number two of al Qaeda, but I want to talk to you first about what we are just learning, a 20-year-old man charged with planning to detonate an explosive device in New York in the name of ISIS.

What can you tell us about this?

SCHIFF: Well, we are still getting information on this latest domestic plot.

And, unfortunately, we have seen a proliferation of these, from the plot in Boston, to this one in New York, to the one in Garland, Texas. A lot of it is fed by some very sophisticated ISIS propaganda. I don't know if that was the case with respect to the New York plot, but we're trying to gather all the facts as we can as quickly as we can.

Obviously, the imperative in these kind of investigations is to make sure we run to ground whether there are any other people involved and whether there is any continuing threat to the public. But it just highlights the continual threat and pressure that we face from this homegrown radicalism and the power of social media to communicate that violent message.

KEILAR: I know for U.S. officials, you can't really overstate the symbolic importance of getting al-Wuhayshi in Yemen. This is someone who trained in Afghanistan in the '90s with Osama bin Laden. He was in the Tora Bora caves after 9/11 before fleeing the country.

But he wasn't the target for this strike. So do you think that U.S. intel really gets credit for this?

SCHIFF: Well, I think we do. I think the community does, because, look, we have a variety of sources of intelligence even in these very harsh, impermissible spaces like Yemen. It's a combination of some human intelligence, although I think

we have had a real atrophying of human intelligence after we had to remove a lot of our people with the civil war going on there, but we have strong signals intelligence. We have strong overhead intelligence. We have put that together to identify people that we believe are in the leadership of AQAP.

And we may not know all the time precisely which leaders have gathered, but, you know, statistically, if you're going after the top leadership, ultimately, you're going to get them, as we did here. And this is quite a big and successful counterterrorism operation, because some of these figures are not easily replaceable.

It is disruptive to the organization. This was somebody viewed as the heir apparent to Zawahri, someone who led the most dangerous franchise of AQAP. So, it's a significant achievement.

KEILAR: And this isn't the only AQAP official taken out in recent months.

Since the beginning of this year, there have been a number of them, to the point where we understand there are actually rumors inside of the terrorist organization that there may be spies that have infiltrated. What do you think about that?

SCHIFF: Well, and this is part of what makes these counterterrorism operations successful, is, you not only gain insights from them in how you see the organization respond, but it also sows a lot of discord within the terrorist organization, as they all begin to look at each other and wonder, OK, who might be a source of information?

But, here, if you look at AQAP, they just lost their top leader, they lost their top propagandist in Awlaki. The one remaining, I think, very dangerous figure, in addition to the now successor, is al- Asiri, this bomb-maker who is very much on our priority list as well, so a lot of very dangerous people coming out of AQAP that are really key to the remaining vitality of core al Qaeda.

[18:10:15]

KEILAR: And if -- al-Asiri, responsible, really the mastermind behind that very-close-to-happening underwear bombing in 2000 -- or a few years ago here.

I think what we have heard from experts, though, is that knowledge that is so I -- a marker of AQAP, they expect that, even with al-Asiri, even if he is to be taken out, that that is going to remain. So, how close is the U.S. to taking him out and would it even matter?

SCHIFF: Well, it really does matter, because like al-Awlaki, who was really good at what he did with that propaganda, he is not easily replaceable.

There are other people that will step in and have stepped into his shoe, but they're not necessarily as effective. And, similarly, you take out the chief bomb-maker, and he may have apprentices, but those apprentices may not have be as good as the master bomb-maker himself.

So, it does have a disruptive impact. But, Brianna, I think you point out a very important issue. And that is, this has to be only one piece of a counterterrorism strategy. You can't rely simply on operations that take out leadership. It has to be accompanied by an attack on the ideology, on the recruitment, on the financing, really all across the spectrum.

KEILAR: All right.

We have much more to go in this conversation, but I have got to get in a quick break, Congressman.

We will be back for more with the top Democrat on the House Intel Committee. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:16:27]

KEILAR: We're back now the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff.

And we are talking about a huge new setback for al Qaeda. This is the death of a senior leader in a U.S. strike, the number two in al Qaeda, the leader of AQAP, perhaps the most active branch of al Qaeda.

So, Congressman, we have seen that this -- this string of successful strikes in recent weeks in Yemen against al-Wuhayshi. And then, as well, we have seen this strike in Libya recently.

These are very important, and it makes people wonder if the intel community, are they doing something different? Is there some sort of, like, code they have cracked in a way on some of this?

SCHIFF: Well, I think the intelligence community is continuing to improve its capabilities in some of these very difficult spaces like Yemen, like Libya.

And while I can't comment on the precise nature of the counterterrorism operations that may have been undertaken in Yemen, I can say that, you know, I think, over time, intelligence ends up building on itself.

So you get information from particular sources that lead you to new sources. You learn information from signals intelligence of a particular communications. That helps you build on other communications, and I think the fact is, we're getting better at this. So, we obviously had good information about where Abu Sayyaf in Syria that enabled that operation to try to capture him.

We also had pretty good information in terms of Libya with respect to somebody who had American blood on his hands, as well as the blood of many dozens of hostages. And with respect to some of the top leadership in AQAP, we have been successfully able to go after them as well.

So, we're good at it. We're getting better at it. But, again, this has to be just one piece of a broader counterterrorism strategy.

KEILAR: Yes. And there is the big guy, right, the leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri. The U.S. has not gotten him yet.

What do you think the prospect of that is, especially now that I imagine a lot of terror leaders are worrisome, or sort of wary of being caught? They may be being careful.

SCHIFF: Well, his time will come.

We haven't forgotten about Zawahri. He was the number two to bin Laden and was a very direct actor in the deaths of scores of Americans. So we will take as long as is necessary, and we will turn over every rock and go to every expense and every effort to track him down. So I'm confident his time is coming. And I'm not able to really say more than that.

KEILAR: OK.

Before I let you go, I do want to talk about Russia, because now Vladimir Putin is saying that he's switching out some nuclear weapons for 40 new nuclear warheads that are advanced and could stop anti -- anti-missile defense, which is obviously a big warning to the U.S. He's talking about putting some weapons near the border there with Russia.

Is this a fight between the U.S. and Russia, or is this a fight between the U.S. and Putin?

SCHIFF: Well, I think this is really a fight between the international community and Russia and Putin.

This is an authoritarian ruler who has invaded his neighbor, who has annexed territory of his neighbor, and now who has resorted to throwing nuclear threats on the table in a way that is...

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: But -- I'm sorry to interrupt you, Congressman.

SCHIFF: Yes.

KEILAR: I just -- I kind of want to clarify my question. I guess my question is, do you see this being very personality-driven by Putin? Do you think that Russians en masse are backing him on this, or do you think this is just -- this is just Putin?

[18:20:11]

SCHIFF: Well, I -- honestly, I think it's a combination of both.

It's certainly driven by Putin, by his personality, by his paranoia, many would say. But it enjoys a very high degree of popularity among the Russian people. The arguments that Putin makes that Russia has been belittled, it's been stabbed in the back, that Russia has to go protect other ethnic Russians in other parts of the world, that Russia is encircled by its enemies, all of these arguments appeal to Russian sentiments.

And they have made his policies very popular. I think that, you know, that popularity is thin, in the sense that it will only take him so far, and if the economy continues to degrade, I think his popularity will degrade with it, but, right now, Putin and Russia are pretty much inseparable.

KEILAR: All right, Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you so much for talking with us today.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

KEILAR: Just ahead: breaking her silence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "THE TODAY SHOW": Are you an African- American woman?

RACHEL DOLEZAL, FORMER PRESIDENT, SPOKANE NAACP: I identify as black.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: A former NAACP official speaks out about the uproar over shocking revelations about her race.

Plus, the woman accused of helping two murderers escape prison gets a jailhouse visit from her husband. Now a now twist. Sources say the breakout plot included plans to kill him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:26:07]

KEILAR: The former local NAACP leader who resigned amid the uproar over her race is speaking out for the first time. Rachel Dolezal has been at the center of a racially charged controversy since it was revealed her parents are white, although she portrays herself as black. Just listen to what she told Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUER: Are you an African-American woman?

DOLEZAL: I identify as black.

LAUER: You identify as black. Let me put a picture up of you in your early 20s, though. And when you see this picture, is that an African-American woman or is that a Caucasian woman?

DOLEZAL: That's not in my early 20s, but...

LAUER: That's a little younger, I guess, yes?

(CROSSTALK)

DOLEZAL: ... 16 in that picture.

LAUER: Is she a Caucasian woman or an African-American woman?

DOLEZAL: I would say that, visibly, she would be identified as white by people who see her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is following this controversy.

So, Suzanne, give us the reaction to these comments that she made today.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's kind of all over the place, right, because people are outraged, they're fascinated. This is a story that is not going to go away.

She has a lot of detail that she gives us. She's rather calm, she's cool and she's unapologetic in her interview with Matt Lauer. You saw it there, embracing her identity as black. It is really a far cry from what we saw before, that deer-in-the-headlights look that the 37-year-old civil rights activist actually displayed last week in that gotcha moment with the local reporter.

So, she said she began identifying as black as early as 5 years old, drawing herself, she says, with a brown crayon, instead of a peach crayon, with black, curly hair. And she goes on to say that she tans and specializes in black hairstyling. But she categorically rejects this accusation that is made by one of her adopted black siblings, as critics as well, that she is in blackface.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOLEZAL: I have a huge issue with blackface. This is not some freak "Birth of a Nation' mockery blackface performance. This is on a very real, connected level, how I have actually go there with the experience.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And her estranged white parents, Lawrence and Ruthanne, they were on CNN today. They are rather frustrated with her. They say that they hope that she is going to comes to truth with the truth, the reality, apologize to everybody who she's lied to and that there is an identity issue, but there is also this credibility issue as well.

So, they dismissed many of her claims as untrue, including living in a teepee, going to Africa with them and hunting with bows and arrows, things that she has allegedly said in the past.

Well, Dolezal says that her parents, they're trying to discredit the good civil rights work that she's done and she says that she failed to correct articles that referred to her either as transracial, biracial or black because her situation is more complex.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOLEZAL: There are probably a couple of interviews that I would do a little differently if circumstances, in retrospect, I knew what I know now.

But, overall, you know, my life has been one of survival. And the decisions that I have made along the way, including my identification, have been to survive, and to, you know, carry forward in my journey and life continuum.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And her journey includes marrying and divorcing an African-American man with whom she had a son, and taking custody of one of her adopted black brothers, Isaiah, whom she now considers her own.

She has also, of course, Brianna, as we know, sparked this national conversation about racial identity. That is a part of her journey. It's certainly a part of her history now.

KEILAR: Suzanne, great report. Thank you. Fascinating.

And I want to dig deeper now with psychologist Jeff Gardere. We also have community activist John Gaskin. And we have CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin.

Jeff, I want to get your perspective on this. And -- and you heard Rachel Dolezal say that her life has been one of survival. You're a psychologist. You heard what she said today. It certainly gave us a little more information to work on. What was your take on this?

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! About survival? Well, that really went off for me as a psychologist, because it tells me, well, look, maybe this identification with being African-American, which, by the way, I don't think is abnormal in any way. It's not so atypical, believe it or not, but it does tell me is this a healthy transition, which it can be, or is there something else going on when you're talking about survival? Is this a coping or defense mechanism?

And as we see the struggle with the parents, with family members, it tells me that there were some things that has happened that may have happened in her childhood that may have pushed her towards this identification. It's very interesting. She says, "I identify as a black woman."

She says that to Matt Lauer. That's healthy, but when you're checking off boxes that say biologically you're black or part black and you're not, then now you go from a reality of your mind to now a lie; and that's where the slippery slope begins.

KEILAR: OK. Sunny, we heard Rachel Dolezal explain why she considers herself to be black. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL DOLEZAL, FORMER LEADER OF NAACP IN SPOKANE: I have really gone there with the experience in terms of being a mother of two black sons and really owning what it -- what it means to experience and live black -- blackness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: What's your reaction to that? She's gone there?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I find it shocking, especially because she connotes being the mother of black boys to being a black woman. I mean, my mother is Puerto Rican and white. She certainly isn't a black woman. She doesn't identify as a black woman, but she raised me, someone that is a black woman.

Heidi Klum has several black children. Heidi Klum is not saying that she is now black, because she has black children. And so I'm surprised that she is claiming that at this point.

And I think what we're also talking about is, you know, a lack of authenticity, because we know that she sued Howard University for discrimination; because she felt that she was being discriminated against as a white woman. This wasn't too long ago.

And so now the suggestion somehow that she has always identified as being a black person just rings disingenuously to me, because it seems to me that it's more opportunistic. She, you know, got the scholarship to Howard University, but then she also got a position as the president of the NAACP. She's also a professor of Africana studies.

So that tells me that she is black when it is a good opportunity for her but white when it isn't. And so I think what we're seeing is a lack of authenticity and quite frankly, just someone that is lying.

KEILAR: John Gaskin, if she had been honest -- and I know that's a large chunk of this -- but let's just put that to the side. She's obviously told a lot of lies, and as you can even see in these interviews continues to. Is there a constructive conversation to have about racial identity, to have about the idea of being transracial?

JOHN GASKIN, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: Absolutely. And I want to make it clear: just because Rachel happens to be Caucasian doesn't mean that she can't be an effective leader in the civil rights community. You look at somebody like Walter White in history of the NAACP, who happened to be -- he was not African-American but was a very influential civil rights leader, especially in the NAACP.

You know, her track record in terms of civil rights advocacy is quite commendable, but you are looking at an issue of someone who was not honest and you're looking at an issue of someone who was essentially unethical.

But Brianna, this does open up the question of racial identity. But it also does open the question, when you identify with a particular race, you have to identify that and take on the good and the bad and the pros and the cons.

As Sunny mentioned, you cannot be a part of a race and only participate in that race when it is convenient for you, whether that means scholarship dollars, whether that means taking a position in a corporation or taking a position in the private or public sector. You have to be willing to be honest and take on the good and the bad, whichever racial identity you are identifying with, of course.

KEILAR: Really quick, Sunny. Should she have said she was sorry?

HOSTIN: I think so. I think it would have gone a long way, at least for many people, including myself, had she said, "You know, I have lied about my race, my ethnicity. I am a Caucasian woman, but I identify at this point in time as black. And I am sorry if, you know, my lies have somehow impacted negatively the people that have genuinely struggled with being black in America."

Had I heard something like that, I think that would have been very different for me. But having heard what amounted to me to just more lies and more clever sort of skirting around the real issues, I -- I'm disappointed in what I've heard from her.

KEILAR: All right, Sunny, John, Jeff, thanks so much to all of you. I suspect we may even continue to talk about this in the coming days. I really appreciate you being with us.

And just ahead, a live update on the search for the two escaped murderers and new details on the prison employee accused of helping them break out. Was killing her husband part of the plot?

Plus, a campaign kickoff unlike, really, anything that we've seen so far. Donald Trump jumps into the 2016 race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE I don't need anybody's money. It's nice. I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm really rich.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:55] KEILAR: Breaking news. We've just learned that the search for two murderers who escaped from a New York prison 11 days ago is expanding, because officials say at this point they're redeploying some of the more than 800 law enforcement officers hunting for Richard Matt and David Sweat. And we're learning new details about the female prison employee accused of helping them break out.

CNN national correspondent Polo Sandoval is in West Plattsburg, New York, for us. Polo, what is the latest that you're picking up there?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, well, this really shifted tactics now in this redeployment coming, because there really is not a whole lot of physical evidence in the search area here not far from prison in Dannemora, New York. So that's one headline.

The other now, new information surfacing on the one person who's behind bars right now. That's Joyce Mitchell. She got an unexpected visit to her jail cell today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Joyce Mitchell's first jailhouse visitor today, her husband, Lyle. The two spent an hour speaking over a phone, separated by a glass wall. The Clinton County sheriff describing Mitchell as being, quote, "comforted by her husband's support."

STEPHEN JOHNSTON, JOYCE MITCHELL'S ATTORNEY: As of late yesterday she was pretty distraught. All I know is that he says that he's standing by her. So that's what he told me when I spoke to him.

SANDOVAL: The visit comes as authorities investigate Joyce Mitchell's husband, as well. They still can't say for sure if he played a role in the plot to help inmate Richard Matt and David Sweat escape last week. Sources tell CNN the two convicted killers planned to kill Lyle Mitchell after last week's escape, a claim the New York State Police and prosecutors have yet to confirm.

Sources also tell us Joyce Mitchell had relationships with Matt and Sweat, and that the relationship with at least one of them was sexual.

Meanwhile, the trail for the escaped killers is getting colder by the day.

SHERIFF DAVID FAVRO, CLINTON COUNTY, NEW YORK: As of right now there's not an awful lot of new information. There hasn't been an awful lot of physical information indicating whether they're here or whether they're outside the area.

SANDOVAL: Despite the efforts of more than 800 officers and hundreds of potential leads, no solid break in the case.

An extended family member of Richard Matt spoke for the first time to CNN over the phone but wanted to remain anonymous, telling us the family had contact with Matt before the prison break. Quote, "He was doing good in honor block, but please, turn himself in and do the right thing. We don't want anyone to get hurt."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL: And at this hour we know that Joyce Mitchell has now been relocated to a jail near Albany. The local sheriffs are saying that really keeping her in custody here is even more of a distraction, given the sheer attention of this case, Brianna. We are told that she'll be transferred to and from Clinton County for any of her future court appearances.

KEILAR: All right. Polo Sandoval reporting for us from Plattsburg, New York. Thank you.

I want to get more now on this breaking news. Former ATF special agent in charge and security expert Matt Horace. We also have former FBI assistant director and CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes; and retired chief deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Fogg.

So Matthew, you have Mitchell. She's got a new attorney, who says that she is, quote, "distraught" and, quote, "probably shocked to be in the limelight." I mean, this is a woman who as we know now might have been plotting to kill her husband with the prison escapees. Do you buy what her attorney says?

MATTHEW FOGG, RETIRED CHIEF DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL: No, I don't understand why she would be shocked in the limelight, other than the fact that she tried to help two guys get out of prison. So if anything, she's shocked about the fact that she's being charged.

But when it comes down to what they're saying about trying to kill her husband and all of that, he's there to visit her today. So what do we get out of that?

KEILAR: What do we get out of that, Tom? He visits today. He now has a lawyer. Initially the D.A. Thought that he might have been involved and now it turns out that there was a plot to kill him. So where does that leave him in this?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: We don't know if any of that stuff's true. Just because she said there was -- everything that has gone on in this case, all of the source information...

KEILAR: She could be lying.

FUENTES: ... is from her. So for all we know, the husband was bringing her a hacksaw for her to break out.

No, but you know, the idea that he was going to be murdered by her, we don't know that. Or by them, I should say. We don't know that for sure. We don't know any of the things that she said so far are true, other than she admitted to bringing a hacksaw and drill bits and some of that.

We know that wasn't enough to actually do the sawing and cutting they needed done to get through the thick walls inside. So they had other helpers. They've had other people they were in contact with, other people they were calling by phone.

So, even if she's being completely honest, we still don't know that that's actually what was true, or whether they were lying to her in the first place.

KEILAR: Day 11, Matt, in this man hunt. At what point do you start pulling resources? It sounds like they were going to start moving some of these 800 officers who were there. But this is costing a million bucks a day.

HORACE: Well, I think what you're seeing is a redeployment of resources because we're at day 11. So, think back 11 days ago. The first 24 to 48 hours are the most critical time in an investigation like this and we were behind by 12 hours.

So, if anything and everything that she is saying is untrue, we were still behind. I think you're going to see the investigation expand. You're going to see the leads followed. You're going to see an increased emphasis in other areas and hopefully, law enforcement will come up with some answers.

KEILAR: All right. Matt, Tom, Matthew, always great to have a conversation with you and the story continues. We'll be talking more. Thanks, guys.

Just ahead, Donald Trump joins the race for the White House, comes out swinging with a speech that really only he could make.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How stupid are our leaders? How stupid are they? Our president doesn't have a clue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:50:52] KEILAR: Tonight, Donald Trump is heading to Iowa after one of the most unusual, most rambling and politically incorrect presidential campaign launches in memory. And now that he's officially in the Republican race, well, there is no telling what the billionaire mogul and reality TV star will do or say next.

Our senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns is here with more on Trump's announcement -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, this was just about as raw and unfiltered as it gets for the modern American presidential candidate. Donald Trump says what is on his mind and did not let the scrip for his kickoff speech get in the way today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created, I tell you that. JOHNS (voice-over): The billionaire businessman Donald Trump

made it official, never shy or modest about why he is running.

TRUMP: I don't need anybody's money. I'm using my own money. I'm not using lobbyist or donors, I don't care. I'm really rich, I'll show you that in a second.

JOHNS: By any standard, an unusual kickoff speech.

TRUMP: When did we beat Japan at anything?

JOHNS: Omitting the critical words "except for World War II".

Trump was clear on who he sees as bad and good, starting with the current occupant of the White House.

TRUMP: Our president doesn't have a clue. He's a bad negotiator.

JOHNS: Trump strayed wildly from his prepared remarks, riffing from topic to topic.

TRUMP: Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people, but we have people that are stupid.

I would build a great wall and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.

JOHNS: He minced no words about fellow Republicans.

TRUMP: You look at bush. It took him five days to answer the question on Iraq. He couldn't answer the question. He didn't know. I said, is he intelligent?

I looked at Rubio. He was unable to answer the question. Is Iraq a good thing or a bad thing? He didn't know. He couldn't answer the question.

How are these people going to lead us?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: Classic Donald Trump embarking on perhaps the biggest selling job ever, heading to the early voting states. He goes to Iowa tonight where 57 percent of Republican respondents to a poll said they would never vote for him. And then on to New Hampshire, where he's been polling more in the middle of the pack -- Brianna.

KEILAR: That's a lot of people saying they won't vote for him there.

All right. Joe Johns, thanks for the report.

Donald Trump, I should add, will be Jake Tapper's guest on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION". That is this Sunday at 9:00 and noon Eastern. Right now, I want to bring in CNN chief political analyst Gloria

Borger, CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash, and CNN national political reporter Maeve Reston.

I've been dying to talk to you guys about this. It's so fascinating.

OK, first, let's listen to a little more of what Trump said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I know the best negotiators in the world and I would put one for each country. Believe me, folks, we will do very, very well. Very, very well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: OK. That's foreign policy, right, this was like a jump ball. React, OK?

What do you think?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: I mean, that was just --

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You have the floor, Ms. Reston.

KEILAR: I mean --

RESTON: I don't know where to start with that but it's so interesting because it showed a lot of what voters like about Donald Trump, the one whose actually like Donald Trump, that he is blunt and plain spoken and you have no idea which direction he's going to go in.

But, I mean, obviously, has huge hurdles in New Hampshire and Iowa, even if he is in the middle of the pact right now, there are so many people that dislike him and think he's only doing this for attention.

BASH: On that note, I've been texting with a lot of sources and a lot of the Republican presidential campaigns, and the overwhelming feeling is number one, that this was not an accident. That he did this today to try to blunt what they say in the business as earn media for Jeb Bush and what that means is, you know, basically the bump any candidate gets after they give a big announcement. He did to this try to distract from that. Clearly, Jeb Bush was his main target in this and probably will be in the future.

And the other question is going to be, is he going to be on the debate stage?

[18:55:02] And the answer, according to Republican strategist I talked to is, why not, probably, because the criteria are what they are. As somebody said, there's no asterisk that says everybody can be on unless you're a reality TV star.

KEILAR: That's right. You have to get in the top ten. So, what does that look like, Gloria?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, first of all, this isn't good for the Republican party and everybody in every campaign knows whether they like it or not, if he gets on that stage, he's going to affect the top tier candidates and how they are regarded. This is, you know, you're judged by the company you keep. They wanted to get rid of the clown car last time and now they got Donald Trump here who, because of name recognition, not favorability ratings as Joe pointed out, but because of name recognition could wind up on that stage.

He's his own reality TV show. This is show business. It's not serious politics, they all know that. But they have to figure how to deal with him because in the end, Donald Trump could affect how they are regarded and that's important to them.

KEILAR: Are Republicans really worried about him? Those things Gloria mentioned, are they afraid of that coming to be?

RESTON: I think that they are afraid of exactly what Gloria was talking about which is the clown car effect. He's going to drive Rubio, Jeb, others to talk about things they don't want to talk about, and he's going to distract from what they were hoping was going to be a more ordinarily process this time, that would leave their, you know, their nominee less damaged than Romney was in the first (INAUDIBLE).

BASH: Exactly. It's not just that, it's not just the clown car aspect. It is some of the substance of what he's saying. The Republican Party in general is trying to get away from the birther argument, is trying to get away from, you know, Barack Obama wasn't born here. He's the guy who stoked that for so long --

KEILAR: Sure.

BASH: -- in pretty stark terms. That's another problem talking to Republicans.

RESTON: A huge headache in 2012.

KEILAR: Gloria, to that point, the birth certificate where he was demanding that, all those things, he's going to be asked about that. What --

BORGER: Sure.

KEILAR: What is he going to say other than maybe what we would expect is to come off as dismissive?

BORGER: He'll be a trump and dismissive. And what he can't dismiss other Republicans start attacking him on his experience and on his bravado and all the rest. But I think Jeb Bush knows better than candidates out there that third party sort of unaffiliated out there candidates can affect mainstream. Ross Perot affected his father, for example. You don't have to tell Al Gore about Ralph Nader.

And I'm not putting him in that category but he'll have an impact on the feeling and texture of the race because don't forget, he can sell fund. If he's worth $9 billion, and we don't that he is, he can certainly chip in and fund his own campaign for awhile.

KEILAR: OK. I want to talk about a Suffolk poll. This was conducted between June 11th and June 15th that shows that Hillary Clinton is leading Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire by just 10 points, that's 41-31.

Is that surprising to you guys? And should we take it to the bank? I mean, some of these polls miss the mark. Do we take --

BASH: Of course, the polls miss the mark often. The reason I think this might be a little bit of a rut-row moment for the Hillary Clinton campaign, a little bit, is because he seems to be rather successfully getting the, anybody but Hillary voters on the left, the Elizabeth Warren voters.

RESTON: Hearing him for the first time is a very different situation than Donald Trump, because Bernie kind of has a lot of room to grow, whereas everyone already knows Donald.

KEILAR: When people in New Hampshire hear him speak, are they liking? Is he impressing?

RESTON: Absolutely.

KEILAR: He's impressing them for than Hillary Clinton?

(CROSSTALK)

RESTON: You talk to them in the states, I mean, in New Hampshire. It's like, OK, this is what we're getting but great.

BASH: It's the "anybody but Hillary" Democratic voter.

BORGER: You know, the problem for Hillary Clinton regarding Bernie Sanders is he's the most relatable guy you ever want to meet. Once you're in a room with him, you kind of know him and he embraces you, and he's fun, and he also knows how to get under people's skin.

And, you know, in a debate with Hillary Clinton, I talked to a Democrat whose close to him, he said, you know, watch Bernie Sanders get under Hillary Clinton's skin. He relates to her room and he'll be able to figure out what to do to get her going.

KEILAR: All right. We will -- you think he's going to get under her skin?

BASH: I mean, sure if he keeps going up on the numbers, absolutely.

BORGER: He's already there.

(LAUGHTER)

RESTON: Bernie-mentum, right? That's what they are calling him in Iowa.

KEILAR: Bernie-mentum, I love that.

All right. Thank you so much, Dana, Maeve, and Gloria. Really appreciate it.

Thank you for watching. I'm Brianna Keilar.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.