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David Sweat Reveals New Details in Prison Break; Sweat: It Was Prison Worker's Idea to Kill Husband; U.S. Rep: Most Intense Level of Concern Since 9/11; Trump Slams Macy's: "They Folded Like Dogs." Aired 7-8:00p ET

Aired July 1, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, escaped convict David Sweat today saying, he abandoned Richard Matt because he was out of shape and drunk. Also today, he says it was prison worker Joyce Mitchell's idea to kill her husband. Is he lying?

Plus, warnings of a possible terror attack this holiday weekend. One government official telling CNN it's the most intense level of concern since 9/11. New York City with a massive new counterterror effort tonight. We have a special report.

And a vicious shark attack off a North Carolina beach, the seventh attack in the past month. We will going to talk to the mother of one of the victims. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, convicted killer David Sweat today revealing shocking new details about his escape and why he split up with Richard Matt. He is also making a stunning new claim about the woman charged with helping them get away. Here is what we know. Sweat telling investigators that he ditched Richard Matt because Matt was drinking and out of shape and simply couldn't keep up with them. Sweat also turning the tables on prison worker Joyce Mitchell. Now, she's in prison herself of course charged with helping the killers escape.

Sweat says, it was her idea to kill her husband Lyle Mitchell that you see there. Sweat says, Mitchell had a sexual relationship with Richard Matt but not with him. Now, Sweat tonight saying he began planning the escape all the way back in January. So, January all the way into June. And he says he was the mastermind of it. According to Sweat, the night before the two men made their break, they actually did the fall dry run. Here's how he described it today. They left their cells. They went all the way to the street. They actually pushed through a manhole cover. They totally could have escaped that night. When they got out, they saw there were too many homes. So, they decided that they would escape through a different manhole the following night. Sweat also said the two used nothing more than hacksaws. No power tools at all to cut their way out.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT tonight. And she's at the hospital in Albany where David Sweat is being treated. And Kyung, these are some stunning new details if, of course, I have to emphasize that, Sweat is telling the truth. KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, if, you have to

underscore that. Because we're talking about a convicted cop killer, a guy who escaped from prison. He doesn't exactly have a lot to lose. But he is talking from his hospital bed. And what he is saying is that it was certainly much easier to break out of this correctional facility than you might think.


LAH (voice-over): After two days of questioning David Sweat in a lockdown section of Albany Medical Center, investigators say they have heard enough for now. Sweat telling investigators escaping with Richard Matt wasn't as complex as you might think. Using only hacksaws to cut through their cell walls and a steam pipe, they slipped out of their cells night after night finally finding an underground passage way. There they came across a sledgehammer likely left by a construction worker breaking down a brick wall to make their way out. Sweat tells investigators the escapees first tried one manhole in a dry run but it was too close to a neighborhood.

ANDREW WYLIE, CLINTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: He felt that due to there being a number of houses in that area that it might not be a good spot to exit from.

LAH: The next night, they tried again, finding a more isolated manhole where the escapees were to meet prison tailor Joyce Mitchell. Sweat says while he was the mastermind, it was Mitchell's idea for the men to kill her husband before fleeing to Mexico. Mitchell's attorney says she denies that allegation. When Mitchell didn't show up, Matt and Sweat headed towards Canada. As the intense manhunt through the woods dragged on, Sweat says he grew frustrated with Matt because he was out of shape and couldn't keep up. Sweat says the two went their separate ways after Matt broke into a cabin and started getting drunk. It was after the two split up that Sweat had his closest call with being caught. The district attorney tells ABC News Sweat was hiding in a hunting tree stand as an officer walked past him. Sweat says, while on the run he learned officers had killed Richard Matt and pressed on to the Canadian border until a state police officer shot and wounded him. He is now in Albany Medical Center, in a lockdown section only for prisoners.

DR. DENNIS P. MCKENNA, ALBANY MEDICAL CENTER, MEDICAL DIRECTOR: How confident do we feel that this patient is not going to escape from the hospital? I feel very confident.

LAH: The hospital's medical director says, in this lockdown, section of the hospital, two guards watch each patient, inmates are often shackled, a jail within a hospital.

MCKENNA: There's a door that opens and closes. There's the sound of the rattling of the cage. There's the turning over of the wallet and your keys. So, you know, you can't help but feel this is a different unit. Once you get into the patient room, it's about taking care of the patient.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LAH: The hospital tells us that David Sweat will not be released

today. They expect that he will be here for a few more days. The Department of Corrections being very vague saying that they will not release exactly where he will be going. The law enforcement experts who are watching this don't expect that he will be returning to the Clinton Correctional Facility. At the facility, the prison announced some new security measures. And take a look, here they are. They number begin with -- cells will be inspected once a week. Daily contraband searches have tripled. New overnight bed checks. And new rules for construction toolboxes. They are hoping that these new measures, Erin, will help prevent another embarrassing and dangerous escape -- Erin.

[19:05:37] BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. Of course, the shock to many will be that it took them three weeks to institute those policies.

OUTFRONT now, former U.S. Marshal Arthur Roderick. Retired NYPD Detective Sergeant Joe Giacalone. And our legal analyst Paul Callan.

Art, let me start with you. David Sweat saying tonight, he is the mastermind. Richard Matt was slowing him down because he was out of shape, he was drunk. He said he planned this since January. Lots of things in here. Saying, they didn't have any power tools. Do you believe him?

ARTHUR RODERICK, FORMER U.S. MARSHAL: Well, I think Erin, you know you have to take a lot of what he is saying with a grain of salt. I think the key information that the investigators are looking for is information regarding the criminal activity. The other stuff that he is coming out with, I'm the mastermind, I was the leader, I mean, that's just peripheral information that boosts the way he looks in the eyes of prisoners. And it just seems kind of odd to me that generally, I mean, they were headed -- the plan was that Joyce Mitchell was going to pick them up. They were supposed to go to West Virginia and head to Mexico. Now, the Mexico portion of it is exactly where Matt went when he escaped several years ago. And the second point being that usually the person that has the weapon is in charge.


RODERICK: And in this case, Matt had the weapon.

BURNETT: He had the weapon and the destination was one he knew.


BURNETT: So, obviously, a fair point there. Joe, you also have David Sweat saying, it was Joyce Mitchell's idea to kill her husband. Now, in a sense it doesn't matter for him if it was his idea, he is already going to be finishing a life sentence. Right? It's not going to really matter. Are you surprised though that there's this blame game going on on this issue? Who was going to kill Joyce Mitchell's husband?

JOSEPH GIACALONE, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE SERGEANT: Yes. You know, this happens all the time when you have two people that had been arrested for a similar crime. They want to blame each other. Because they just want to distance themselves from it.


GIACALONE: I mean, this is a major incident on top of it.

BURNETT: Yes. Well, Paul, what I don't understand is, I don't understand why it mattered to David Sweat or Richard Matt about killing Joyce Mitchell's husband. I mean, he was purfled to them.


BURNETT: So, I mean, I have no idea, I'm just saying, from a purely looking at this from a distance, she's the one who would have any kind of interest in that happening or not happening. But, and it does matter whose idea it was. Doesn't it?

CALLAN: I don't think it does. And I will tell you why.

BURNETT: So, it doesn't matter if it was her idea.

CALLAN: No. Because we're looking at a possible conspiracy to commit murder.


CALLAN: And that's -- when two or more people agree to commit a crime and they take an overt step in furtherance of the crime. Nothing in the law says, it has to be your idea. If you've join with the other person in the idea --

BURNETT: So, she wouldn't serve more time if it was her idea or not.


BURNETT: The fact that it was anyone's idea which they have all admitted it is someone's --

CALLAN: Yes. Here is the question. And I think it's a very hard charge to make out.


CALLAN: You have to show an overt step was taken in furtherance of the conspiracy. And this looks like, they were lying to her, just to get her cooperation, they never intended to kill the husband.


CALLAN: And what overt step did she take? She helped them escape. But there's no evidence that she gave them a murder weapon or -- enough to be at the manhole cover when they --

(CROSSTALK) BURNETT: No. No evidence of that at all.

CALLAN: So, I think it's a very hard case to prove. And by the way, who is your big witness? Sweat, are you going to put him on the stand?

BURNETT: Yes. It's her versus his word.

CALLAN: I don't think they can prove this charge.

BURNETT: Now, Joe, one thing that Sweat is saying that's very interesting, if it's true, is that the getaway was not that complex. Right? At the beginning, you know, you remember how everyone said, the cuts were so precise, you would have to use specific wielding equipment, you'd have to be trained. Now, it's they had hacksaws to get to the cell walls. They didn't have any power tools at all. I mean, this was pretty basic in terms of what they did. You still think though that there were others involved. That this is the tip of the iceberg. Maybe some of what he is saying now could be covering for someone even.

GIACALONE: Sure. I mean, I definitely think it's tip of the iceberg. I mean, he is in a no win situation. If he tells all, the guards will get in trouble wherever he goes again, the guards will be against him. The prisoners are against him. They lost all their privilege. Right? No more barbecues, not more boom batches (ph), no more hamburgers. I mean, this is a problem.


GIACALONE: So, he has to pick a side who he wants to have protect him, the guards or the prisoners. And he is in a catch 22 here.

BURNETT: Art, do you think he is covering for someone? I mean, do you think that he really did this as simply as he is now saying, no power tools, just a hacksaw to get through this metal?

RODERICK: Well, I think they probably already know whether power tools were used. I mean, they can tell from an evidence perspective --


RODERICK: -- you know, what exactly cut through the wall, what cut through the pipe. And I do agree with you that it does look -- that looks like a pretty clean cut into that steam pipe.


RODERICK: I mean, to do that with a hacksaw blade is pretty difficult. I'm not saying it can't be done. But, again, this is where they will going to have to corroborate whatever Sweat is saying as to how they got out and what happened. And all of it has to go back to the criminal activity. [19:10:15] BURNETT: Paul, I spoke to David Sweat's mother last

night. You know, everyone has a mother. She loves her son. She blamed Joyce Mitchell for his escape. And here is how she put it.


PAMELA SWEAT, MOTHER OF DAVID SWEAT: I feel safe to this day if this woman and whoever else was involved didn't give them the stuff, those guys wouldn't have broke out of jail. They wouldn't have had nothing to do it with. You know, I will blame them as well as the two guys.


CALLAN: Her son is a psychopath and narcissist and I think his problems started a long time before he met the tailor in the prison Joyce Mitchell.

BURNETT: Does she have a point though, like if Joyce Mitchell hadn't helped -- at least from what we know now. I mean, from Joe's point, we don't know everything. From what we know now, they couldn't have done it without her.

CALLAN: Hey, he is in prison for being involved in shooting a cop 22 times and running him over.


CALLAN: So, I would say this is a guy who deserved to be in prison anyway. And, you know, it didn't get that much worse because of this incident. He is somebody society has to be protected against.

BURNETT: All right. Art, Paul, Joe, thank you all.

And OUTFRONT next, a threat of a major terror attack on the U.S. this holiday weekend. The head, the counterterror and intelligence subcommittee says, this is the most intense level of concern since 9/11.

Plus, Macy's cutting ties with Donald Trump over his comments about Mexicans. Trump though firing back tonight. Here is what he is saying only to CNN.

And -- Dukes of Hazzard reruns dropped from the TV Network TV Land amid the furor over the confederate flag. So, here is the question, is that car offensive to you?


[19:15:36] BURNETT: At this hour, New York City massively boosting security. The reason is, fear of its terror attack in the next few days. The New York Police Department deploying counterterrorism officers, radiation detectors, as well as assets in sea and air.


TERRORISM, NYPD: This may be potentially the most complex counterterrorism overlay for this event ever.


BURNETT: Law enforcement officials across the nation, it's not just in New York, are ramping up security bracing for a possible terror attack. And today, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, told CNN, and I want to quote him, this is the most intense level of concern he seen since 9/11.

Joining me OUTFRONT, CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend. She served as a Homeland Security Advisor, President George W. Bush. And former CIA operative Bob Baer.

Fran, you know, our Deborah Feyerick is also been reporting, that they when -- they are talking as a terror attack against the United States in general, not just on July 4th, they are looking at complex plans, essentially planned plans from ISIS. You say that something is wrong here.

FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. This has a qualitatively different feel. You know, often around holidays or, you know, anniversaries --

BURNETT: They ramp up security.

TOWNSEND: And there's lots of chatter. You know that mad name phrase. This is more than that. When you talk to intelligence and law enforcement officials, it's clear that it's more than just chatter. Right? You have seen the series of attacks by ISIS overseas, bombings. Egypt, Yemen, around the world. Then you overlay that with the intelligence. Clearly that there has been some signals intelligence suggesting to them the July 4th date and weekend. That, right, there's a lot of --

BURNETT: They have confidence. This isn't just this is the holiday, there's parades, we will put a warning out.

TOWNSEND: That's right. No, this is qualitatively different than that. And they are going to great expense and great extent to coordinate --


TOWNSEND: -- both the international people peace and the domestic law enforcement.

BURNETT: And Bob, I believe you agree with Fran. Something is wrong here. This is something very serious.

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Yes. The government, law enforcement is on full alert. And look at the context, the attacks in Tunisia, tourists killed, the beheading in France, the bombing in Kuwait, the calls for attacks during Ramadan, the coincidence of Fourth of July. You have got chatter and I think these people very much would like to hit us very soon, at least this month, the Ramadan. And I haven't seen law enforcement at this high alert in a long time.

TOWNSEND: You know, Erin --


TOWNSEND: A law enforcement official said to me, remember, they have said very clearly what they would like to do. You know, Bob mentions the French beheading. They would like to behead an American here in the United States. And so, what they worry is large public gatherings, people walking around, all you have to do is grab somebody. It would be a huge coup, you don't need a 9/11 attack, you know, that's thousands of Americans dead to get the psychological affect if you were able to grab a single American.

BURNETT: And as you talk about, Bob, this is -- there's July 4th, but there's also the month of Ramadan. So, in other words you're looking at a few week timeframe potentially at least in terms of the motivator. You know, you mention the beach attack. Right? That beach attack video is horrific. You had a guy walking down the beach with a machine gun. People were sitting on their lounge chairs. I mean, we have the video of this. It's incredible. Thirty eight westerners get just massacred, shot and killed while they're sitting on the beach on vacation. Bob, could something like this happen in United States?

BAER: Absolutely, Fran. You look at even a group coming in from overseas can go in a place like Los Angeles, here in New York and go to an inner city gang, trade an eight ball of heroin or whatever for collection of cab with enough ammunition. All they have to do as Fran as saying -- Fran is saying is, people kill a lot of people kill, or even just behead one person and this would be having a devastating effect on this country. And that's what everybody is scared. And you also have these groups are getting better at alluding the National Security Agency and FBI. They are not using people that are up on websites and the rest of it looking at beheadings. So, the threat is changing. And it is dire at this time.

BURNETT: Fran, you think that word dire is right? I mean, that beach attack, in many ways it did change things. We have not seen something like that. And I know we keep saying, you know, what happened at "Charlie Hebdo" changed things. It did. But this beach attack was, seems to be a significant of a turning point.

TOWNSEND: It is. And what it reminds us Erin, is that you don't need -- it doesn't have to be a high tech attack. Right? We have seen the pressure cooker bomb in the Boston marathon. We have seen the gunning down on the beach. And guns are easily accessible. You know, you could take a car and ram it into a crowd and kill dozens of people. And so, it doesn't require anything other than really -- it requires no brains, little planning. It requires somebody willing to die and willing to be caught to make the point.

[19:20:24] BURNETT: So, Bob, I guess the question is, is then, is it stoppable? I mean, they're putting all this effort out. Right? But they're saying, they will going to use people who aren't known to them. They're not going to be talking about it on social media. So, it seems unstoppable.

BAER: Erin, you want the bad news? Law enforcement says, one of these guys are going to get through. They can't stop them all. They can get the low hanging fruit that people expose themselves in one way or another. But a determined person like the guy in Tunisia eventually will get through as long as this conflict in the Middle East continues and the sectarian divisions and we are one of the participants in this conflict --


BAER: -- something is going to happen here.

BURNETT: And I guess, Fran, the question is, you know, Deborah Feyerick is reporting. They are saying the attacks could be complex and centrally planned from ISIS. That's not something we have seen from ISIS before, right? That would be something different. You were in the White House when the United States went to war after 9/11. People think about centrally planned and they think about complex and they think about 9/11.

TOWNSEND: That's right.

BURNETT: I mean, something like that certainly must be the goal.

TOWNSEND: Sure. Although, I think we shouldn't sort of hold our breath thinking, well, if they have to do something that complicated --

BURNETT: That it has to be --

TOWNSEND: That it has to be that big. Right? I don't think you're going to -- I think you are unlikely to see a mass casualty event like 9/11 with thousands of people dead. Frankly, they have the advantage. They have these guys inside the United States. They can communicate with them, in an encrypted channels on social media. They can get them inspired. If you have two or three smaller cells that you can get to operate within hours of one another like you saw, the attacks in Egypt and Tunisia, that's a win for them. And it does have the terrorizing affect. And, you know, I used to say when I was in the White House, we have to be right every day. They only have to be right once. And so, the odds are against you. It doesn't mean you don't try to identify these cells if you're communicating with one another, to disrupt these events. But it's very, very hard.

BURNETT: So, Bob, when you say it's inevitable, I mean, someone is going to get through and law enforcement knows that, how many people are here? I mean, how many ISIS operatives are in the United States right now? Do they even know?

BAER: They don't know. People tell me that there are some that have come across the Mexican border that they can't really identify. They suspect but they haven't got up on social media. They of course know the people that are attracted to the Islamic State. And there's hundreds if not thousands of those. But that doesn't mean they are ready to turn to violence. It's the ones they don't know about that they are frantically scrambling around to identify. And, you know, like I said, law enforcement as we speak is going on 24-hour alert. Every lead they have they are following up. But they still can't get as Fran said, all the leads.

BURNETT: And you know --

TOWNSEND: And the FBI director told us there are investigations in every one of the 50 states. And so, you know that this is a massive undertaking.

BURNETT: Massive undertaking. And I have never heard, you know, both of you obviously very serious on many things. But I have never heard both of you still so seriously about something as you do about this. Thanks so much, Fran and Bob.

And next, Macy's dumping Donald Trump after he called Mexican immigrants rapists. Saying, they have no tolerance for discrimination. Tonight, Trump fires back right here on CNN.

And "Dukes of Hazzard" pulled off cable TV. The confederate flag making regular appearances on the roof of this car called the General Lee. Flag sales though are going strong. Our special report.


[19:27:45] BURNETT: Breaking news. Donald Trump slamming Macy's. Trump's telling our Don Lemon that Macy's, quote, "folded under pressure" when the Department Store dumped Trump's menswear line. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Macy's was unable to handle pressure, they folded like dogs.


BURNETT: Folded like dogs. Okay. Only Donald Trump could put it that way. The reason Macy's dumping Trump's ties and shirts and Trump's comments about Mexicans which Trump has defended on this very program.


TRUMP: They are bringing drugs, they are bringing crime. They are rapists.

They are sending people like that have a lot of problems. Some are rapists. And some are killers.

There's no apology because what I said is right.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: All right. Brian Stelter is OUTFRONT. And Brian, now,

this is the third loss for Trump over these comments. Right? You had NBC, you had Univision over the beauty pageant and now you have Macy's cutting his clothing line.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely and smaller losses as well actually. Smaller sponsors pulling out from the Miss USA pageants. Today, almost all the judges of the Miss USA pageant said, they're not going to show up, either. We see drip, drip, drip. Corporate America turning away from Trump. Frankly, they're having it two sides. Between Trump or Hispanic consumers and they're choosing the Hispanic consumers.

BURNETT: And the bottom-line is, there is damage being done here. Not financial. I mean, he says, it's a small business --

STELTER: Yes. Maybe a little bit of financial damage. But it's about reputational damage. He likes being in Macy's. He has been in Macy's for over a decade.


STELTER: He likes being on NBC. That doesn't seem like that he continue. If the dream or the idea was run for president for a while then go back to his reality show, that's not going to happen anymore. Now, maybe he will have a new reality show. Or maybe we're all in the middle of one right now.

BURNETT: We might be in the middle of one right now.

STELTER: But, you know, we have to go to Macy's today, buy souvenirs because soon they will be off the shelves. Our reliable sources team might shop. You think this would look good, Erin?

BURNETT: I actually do it because --

STELTER: It's actually not a bad tie.

BURNETT: It's a nice tie.

STELTER: Not a bad tie at all. But this is the sort of reputational damage that Trump is coming under.


STELTER: Obviously, he never backs down from anything. He's not backing down in this case. Tonight, he even went on Instagram, posted a private e-mail from the head of NBC. Apparently not so long ago. The head of NBC e-mailed him to praise one of his hotels. They had a stay in Los Angeles. And this executive went over the top praising the hotel.


STELTER: Sounds like it was calm. Some think it was very nice weekend. The point being, no other presidential candidate would ever consider doing something like that.


STELTER: That's why this is getting so much attention.

BURNETT: And he is calling out some hypocrisy in that case.

STELTER: That's a good point.

BURNETT: Something to be said for that and he has a point there. All right. Thanks very much to Brian.

STELTER: Thank you.

BURNETT: I want to go straight now, Don Lemon's interview with Donald Trump. You can see the full interview, talks about Macy's and a whole lot more. That's CNN tonight at 10:00 Eastern with Don Lemon.

And OUTFRONT now, Gloria Borger, democrat Paul Begala and republican Ben Ferguson.

OK. So, Ben, Trump taking hits for his comments, OK? Yes, sure, business hits, maybe reputational, but not hits from voters because we have a new poll out today, number two nationally among Republicans, a poll that was conducted, I want to emphasize, in the midst of this controversy.

So, he is taking a stand actually could be helping him, right?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think all of this is helping him from his perspective. He looks like he's a victim. He's going to play this victim card of I'm being picked on because I'm the one saying -- being the truth teller here. And so, you know, back me. Support me. I'm the one because they are coming after me.

And it may work with some voters. But ultimately, he is filling a void. He's being bold and blunt. And no one else in the GOP primary right now has come close to being as blunt as he is. Some of it, obviously, I think is crossing a line. But ultimately, people want a bold and blunt candidate going into this primary season.

BURNETT: And, Paul, something certainly is helping Trump. I don't know what you want to say it is, but something is. It's not just the poll. This one is actually more incredible. This is in Iowa, a state where everyone said Donald Trump has no chance because it's socially conservative. This is a guy who's been married a bunch of times. He is number two.

Does that surprise you?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It does. Erin, for the very reasons you state. I mean, usually, Iowa, the winner of Iowa, guys like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, the last two winners in Iowa. Very conservative. Really running their campaigns based on their Christian values.

And Donald Trump has great appeal but he's not -- he's not a preacher like Mike Huckabee.

BURNETT: He is not running on Christian values nor is he pretending to.

BEGALA: I don't want to disparage religion. I have no idea what Mr. Trump's religion is. But he is running on a secular but an anti- immigration message which has had some real traction in Iowa.

I think, Ben, I think, originally, it was the blunt talk and anger. There is a lot of anger on the right. Ben is on to something here, though. There is also the sense of grievance. It's lost on me. But to older white men -- I am all three. I don't know if you have color TV, but I am real white.

A lot them are really angry. They feel like aggrieve. They feel like they put upon. And I think Trump could speak to this.

This is not the peak for Donald Trump. I don't think he's going to win. He's not going to be the nominee. But I think he's got --


BEGALA: -- he's got farther to go up before he goes down.

BURNETT: Wow, that's incredible. By the way, I believe his religion is Presbyterian. I think that's what it is.

But, Gloria, it's not just that he is number two, OK? It's that he surged to get to two. He was actually in last place among the top ten candidates nationally in May before he announced, in last place. He got in the race. He got in with a bang. He is doing what a lot of people perceive as truth telling. And he surged to number two.

Do you agree with Paul that he could keep it going?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I think I do agree with Paul. I do think that his unfavorable numbers are so high in polls that I think he has a ceiling that he gets to. But there's certain points, those angry full of grievance Republican-base voters who by the way were supporting Walker to a degree and Rubio, you see their number shrinking.

At a certain point, those voters turn to the question of, do I like this guy? How well does he wear? And most of all, can he beat a Democrat? Can he beat Hillary Clinton?

I think when you put those together, people are going to take a second look. I tell you what, the Republican Party has a problem right now, because this is exactly what they didn't want, Erin. They didn't want all the kids in the sand box. Donald Trump is throwing the sand at everybody. Now, they're all responding. We saw George Pataki him on today, trying to get some traction.

This is not where they wanted to be right now. They wanted to have a sedate, serious debate. BURNETT: All right. What he has done, Ben, is make the

Republican race interesting. He has gotten the American people to watch. By the way, the rest of them have failed to do that so far.

FERGUSON: Well, that's one of the main things here. I talked to different campaigns in the last 24 hours, and they all basically said, the strategy early on was to not engage him in any way. Do not talk about him. That has not worked.

So, I think now what you are going to see is you will see over the next couple weeks, a lot of these campaigns work together to go after Donald Trump for all of the issues that he has. Whether it'd be marriage, whether I'd be his finances, whether it'd be bankruptcies, whether he's firing people -- I mean, he has a lot of dirty laundry that can be brought out. I think you will see him come back to reality.

The other thing is, this is early on. Other candidates know you don't want to peak too early in this campaign process. Donald Trump has peaked very early. Can he keep it up? There's no shot he will do that.

BORGER: You know, if I were out there on the debate stage, I would use Donald Trump as a foil.

[19:35:00] And I would take him on. I would take on immigration because they need Hispanic voters. They won 27 percent last night. So, I think Pataki is on to something here.

BEGALA: Yes. But, but, Gloria, you could call Donald Trump a lot of things. You can't call him stupid. He is going to be prepared.

Look what he did to the executive from NBC. Pop!: He saved that e-mail that that person sent him and wham! I guarantee you, almost everybody on that stage has sent an e-mail or phone call to Donald Trump --

BURNETT: I can only imagine. Remember last time when they all went by his office? Do you remember that?

BORGER: Oh, yes.

BURNETT: The meeting, the kissing the ring?

BORGER: Absolutely.

BURNETT: I can't wait to see those e-mails.

BEGALA: So, he's going to be loaded for bear in those debates. So, I think you're right. Somebody should confront him. I'm all for that. But, boy, they got to make sure they're right.

FERGUSON: You know what -- I think the big X factor is going to be Chris Christie getting in this.

BURNETT: I do, too.

FERGUSON: I think Chris Christie is going to take so much wind out of the sail of Donald Trump because Chris Christie is going to know how to take on Donald Trump. I think he is the guy that probably is going to love and relish --

BURNETT: All right. Hold on. If he acts like this Chris Christie, hold on, let me just play it. This is the Chris Christie that some voters love, some hate.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: You want to have the conversation later? I'm happy to have it. Until that time, sit down and shut up!

Your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, idiot.

Are you stupid? On topic. On topic. Next question.


BORGER: I can see it. I would pay for that.

You know, the question is whether Christie will be high up enough in the polls to get on the stage with Donald Trump. But, you know, Trump is taking up that sort of in your face stream of consciousness, I'm the truth teller part of the stage. Christie needs to sort of get back in there. I think he will do that with Trump, and I think he'll be doing it with everyone else.

BURNETT: I think a lot of people would pay to see Trump versus Christie.

BEGALA: I would definitely pay --

BORGER: We may get it for free on CNN.

BURNETT: Final word, Paul.

BEGALA: Christie will wimp out. He will.


BEGALA: Donald Trump is an equal opportunity offender. OK, yes, he attacks immigrants in a really nasty way. But now, he is attacking a top executive at NBC.

I have never seen any tape of Chris Christie whacking a powerful person like that. My goodness, when Barack Obama came to his state a few weeks before the election, he hugged Barack Obama. He didn't call him stupid and tell him to sit down and shut up.

FERGUSON: But there's no downside --

BEGALA: Chris Christie beats up on little people. That's all he does.

FERGUSON: -- to attacking Donald Trump. There's no downside on ripping on Donald Trump.

BORGER: You can take him on policy, by the way. You know, stop calling each other names. Ask him what he would specifically do on issue A, B and C. That's where you take him on.

BURNETT: Right. Thanks to all. Appreciate it.

And OUTFRONT next, TV Land pulling the "Dukes of Hazzard" off the air in the midst of the Confederate flag uproar. Is this an overreaction?

And a shark attack on a crowded North Carolina beach today. The seventh one on just the past couple of weeks. The mother of a shark attack victim OUTFRONT with her story, next.


[19:41:54] BURNETT: Tonight, the "Dukes of Hazzard" yanked off the television network TV Land. The show becoming a flash point in the battle of the confederate flag. So, it's this. It's this Dukes of Hazzard's" iconic car, this 1969 Dodge Charger. The car is called General Lee, as you see on the top, and, of course, that's the confederate flag emblazoned on its roof.

Protesters around the nation have called for the removal of the flag from merchandise, public grounds, all in the wake of the racially driven shooting at a historic black church in Charleston. The shooter posed with the flag for numerous photos.

But there's a lot of people who want to keep the flag.

And Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT.

And, Ed, I know you have been traveling around the country. You found some of these people.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, as the calls to bring down confederate imagery have ground louder and louder throughout the week, there are some people digging in their heels, eager to show their defiance. We found that here in Georgia.

On your business card here, it says power honky wild man. Is power honky your nickname?

(voice-over): This is my introduction to 84-year-old Dent Myers?

DENT MYERS, WILDMAN'S CIVIL WAR SURPLUS: They don't call me by my full name. They call me honky, redneck, bigot and racist.

LAVANDERA: Myers laughs at all the names he's been called in the 44 years he's run Wildman's Civil War Surplus in Kennesaw, Georgia. He's a bit of a folk hero to those flocking to buy up confederate merchandise. They see wild man's as a protector of Southern culture and heritage.

Frank Suddeth said he bought these flags for his grandchildren before they disappear for good.

FRANK SUDDETH, CUSTOMER: That's who we are. I have lived here all my life. Alabama and Georgia, we were raised up with values that our parents gave us.

LAVANDERA: He feels the values are under attack after 21-year- old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine in African-Americans in Charleston. Now public opinion against Confederate imagery has shifted intensely.

Dent Myers is unfazed.

MYERS: It's Christian flag.

LAVANDERA: For many here, the uproar over Confederate imagery is misplaced.

(on camera): Do you relate more to the Confederate flag or the American flag?

MYERS: You mean the Yankee flag?

LAVANDERA: Some people call it the American flag.

(voice-over): It's not just the flag. As he shows me around, he can't understand why this is offensive.

(on camera): I got to be honest, though, when people see your store and they see something like this --

MYERS: Good.

LAVANDERA: That's probably hard for a lot of people to look at.

MYERS: They don't need to be in the store. This is my black memorabilia.

LAVANDERA: This is the kind of stuff I'm talking about.

MYERS: What about it? It's history.

LAVANDERA: It's off the charts offensive.

MYERS: If it's offensive to you, look out your eye.

LAVANDERA: Look out my eye?


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Myers insists nothing you see here is hateful or racist. MYERS: It's another part of history. That's why people don't


LAVANDERA: While many retailers have stopped selling Confederate merchandise, there are still shops like Wildman's all over the South thriving.

(on camera): What's business been like?

MYERS: We sell a lot of flags.

[19:45:00] I've got orders from all over the world. People calling and coming and congratulating me.

LAVANDERA: And as those major retailers like Amazon, Sears and Walmart now say they refuse to sell Confederate merchandise, we have found here at stores like this one that they can barely keep up with the orders. Some flags have been sold out of and they are waiting to get more supplies from their suppliers -- Erin.


BURNETT: Ed, thank you. That was an incredible report. We'll make sure we put that out there so you can watch that again. Incredible.

All right next, a shark attack off a North Carolina beach. The seventh attach there in the past month. The mother of a victim this weekend next.

And on a much lighter note, Jeanne Moos with the president and the first lady locking down the Girl Scout vote.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do it really nicely.


BURNETT: A shark attack off the coast of North Carolina, a man pulled under the water by a 7-foot shark today. He has multiple injuries, bites to his rib cage, his hips, his legs and his hands. This is the seventh shark attack in North Carolina in the past month, an alarming number.

Stephen Lee is OUTFRONT. He witnessed to day's shark attack.

Stephen, what happened?

STEPHEN LEE, WITNESSED TODAY'S SHARK ATTACK (via telephone): Well, honestly I didn't see the attack itself. I was on the beach and had my daughter and niece in the water. I heard some one yelling to get out of the water. With everything that is going on I thought maybe that was, you know, something strange. I wasn't sure if it was for real.


LEE: And they, I get up go down toward my daughter and my niece and they're coming out of the water. And I'm looking down the beach. I can see a group of people huddled around someone.

And then, you know, the word spread that there was an attack. And my daughter and niece ran down the beach to spread the word to get out of the water. And it wasn't too much longer I would say, five minutes or so before emergency services showed up to tend to him.

There were lifeguards there, and evidently a doctor as well, fortunately on the beach.

BURNETT: All right. Thank God for the doctor and they were able to show up so quickly.

I know you took some of the photos of the shark attack victim being carried away on a stretcher. You mention your daughter and niece. They were in the water at the time. Right, actually, this happened in shallow water. They were about the distance this man was, right?

LEE: That's correct. They were in -- in water that was probably knee deep, mid thigh deep, just swimming around. They were about 70 yards away from where this happened.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time, Stephen, I know you are very relieved your daughter and niece are safe. That man obviously recovering tonight.

Joining me now is the mother of another victim of a shark attack. Alene Weakly joins me on the phone. Her 12-year-old child, son Kysen attacked off the coast of South Carolina.

Alene, we have pictures you shared of your son's leg. I mean, traumatic, horrible what he went through. You can actually see the bite marks.

How is he doing?

ALENE WEAKLEY, MOTHER OF SHARK ATTACK VICTIM (via telephone): He is actually doing really well. You know? He -- I think it is very surreal to him. Even today he is like, mom, I can't believe I have been bitten by a shark. So I think we're both of kind of in a little bit of shock, and talked to so many people. And it's just kind of been a little overwhelming.

BURNETT: My goodness, he sound like a brave boy. I know he was in the water with a cousin when this happened. I mean, what exactly did happen?

WEAKLEY: So, he and his cousin, his cousin is 7 years old. They were out in the water. They were only about 10, 15 feet. But the -- the tide was coming in. They were just kind of riding the waves as the tide came in.

And Kysen was laying on his stomach with his feet out towards the ocean. And the -- you know, the next thing I knew, he just yelled to his cousin, get out of water, I just got bit. And I was like -- what? He is like I just got bit.

And so, he came out of the water. And I'm like where? He lifted up his swimming suit and there were teeth marks in his legs.

BURNETT: I mean, Alene, we are looking at the picture you took at the time. The bite when the blood was coming down his leg. What want through your mind? You are looking at your 12-year-old son and all this blood. You must have been terrified?

WEAKLEY: I think it was just very surreal to me. I was grateful. He was very calm during the whole thing. And you know he did shed tears in the beginning. I looked at him. I said, "Kysen, you are OK." Then he was like, "Mom, this is going to be an awesome story."

BURNETT: Well, that's what he said? He is a tough cookie then. I am glad that he is OK.

WEAKLEY: Yes, I think he is like, "Mom, it's just a shark bite. Why does everybody care?"

BURNETT: My gosh, incredible to seat pictures. Thank goodness to you that he is OK. Thank you so much, Alene.

Shark experts telling us an alarming situation what they're seeing in the Carolinas with all these attacks. They believe local authorities need to get more involved.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos, and a story of Girl Scouts camping out on the White House lawn.


[19:57:59] BURNETT: The first White House camp out apparently ever and the president showed up at the tents.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tents for 50 campers were pitched when a tall man with graying hair walked out on to his lawn and said.

OBAMA: What are you guys doing in my lawn?

MOOS: What does it look like these girl scouts are doing?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We're camping on your lawn.

MOOS: Forget, Mr. President. UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Hi Obama.

MOOS: It was part of the Let's Move Outside Campaign to get kids outdoors and did a little rock climbing they sang campfire songs.


MOOS: The president scouted out the first lady's dance moves. And then he said good night with a final admonition.

OBAMA: You guys aren't going to be making a racket, are you?


MOOS: They didn't make a racket, the lightning, rained and wind forced the girl scouts evacuate the South Lawn ending up what looked like a pajama party on the fourth floor of the executive office building, next door to the White House.

Tweeted one critic, "A knife wielding maniac can make it into the stateroom of the White House, Girl Scouts have to settle for a conference room floor a building away."

When the president woke up, he didn't just find the Girl Scouts on his lawn, he found them on morning TV, talking about their favorite part of the adventure.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Sleeping at the White House?


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: And seeing Barack Obama.

MOOS: They didn't just see him.

OBAMA: We could have a group hug.

MOOS: Scouts rushed him like a swarm of mosquitoes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do it really nicely.

MOOS: One smart little cookie even went back for seconds.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: He almost got injured there. Pretty adorable. Sound like fun for him and the first lady.

Thanks so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch the show at any time.

"AC360" starts right now.