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Drug Kingpin Escapes; Trump Hammers Immigration Policy; Will Greece Get a Third Bailout?; Pope Visits the Poor. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired July 12, 2015 - 08:00   ET


[08:00:00] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: It's always so good to have your company. Thank you for being here. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to start a Sunday morning with you.

PAUL: Developing this hour: one of the world's most powerful drug lords has done what Mexican authorities promised would not happen again.

BLACKWELL: Yes, he escaped prison and is on the run a second time. There's this massive manhunt under way for Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo. He was last seen Saturday night near the prison showers and guards later discovered he was missing from his cell.

El Chapo, you may remember, escaped prison back in 2001 and then was captured just last year. Authorities found him at a Mexican beach resort.

CNN global affairs analyst, Lieutenant Colonel James Reese, joins me now.

But, first, let's take a look at El Chapo's background with CNN's Gary Tuchman. He filed this report after the escape.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is one of the most dangerous spots in Mexico, a place where few outsiders go.

(on camera): We're driving through the heart of the Mexican state of Sinaloa, which is home of the multi-national business known as the Sinaloa cartel. One of the most powerful, wealthy, brutal, ruthless drug cartels that ever was. Its leader is a man by the name of Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo, and this is his home.

(voice-over): This is El Chapo back in 1993, after he'd been captured. But in 2001, he escaped from prison in a laundry cart. Marijuana, cocaine, meth, heroin, and murder are all part of his business. Violent scenes like these, bodies stuck in garbage bags, police executed and journalists assassinated are directly connected to the wrath of the Sinaloa cartel.

Much of the -- (END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: All right. So, that was part of Gary Tuchman's report after the first escape, and before he was captured last year at that resort.

We've got Colonel Reese with us now. Took them 12 years plus to find him. I wonder how they track him now.


That's one of the problems. Down there in Mexico, as we all know, the corruption within the whole state, within the system, is off the charts. And the problem is what I see it now is a tracker, the first thing I'm looking to do right now is look immediately internally to the prison system to see who helped him out.

El Chapo, or Shorty, you know, as aka, he didn't do this on his own. He had help from the inside, especially in a man who has literally spent 23 hours a day in a cell, and only was allowed to have exposure from the outside every nine days. So, there was help from the inside. And that's where I'd be focusing immediately to figure out if I could get some pressure on him.

Unfortunately, you know, with the cartels down there, and especially his cartel that has surpassed the notorious aspects of the Cali Cartel in Colombia, the pressure they can put on is greater than the state.

BLACKWELL: Now, considering his concentration of resources and influence and Mexico, do you give any credence to the concerns that he will leave Mexico and cross the border into the U.S.

REESE: Well, I don't think he's coming to the U.S. You know, right now, the DEA, the federal marshals, I guarantee you, are very much involved in this manhunt, especially since they're the ones that help the Mexican federales and the military to help with the capture last time.

But I do have a concern, and if you saw in the report, where they closed the international airport, which is about 45 minutes south of the prison, because that would be one of my first concerns is that he arranged some type of transportation to get him out of Mexico to some other safe haven and hideaway to keep him out of the way of the Mexican military.

BLACKWELL: I just find it to be so brazen that after the last escape he was found at a beach resort. I mean not underground, hiding somewhere in a safe house, but you know enjoying a vacation.

REESE: Yes, you know, these guys, like you said, they're very brazen. Their egos are off the charts. But they also pay for, trained and are very ruthless with what I'll call their inner circle.

This guy in his heyday had about a 300 person inner circle that their job was literally to protect him. Pretty much just like the president of the United States, their secret service, to move them he had a series of underground tunnels set up between safe houses, and the other problem is he has this notoriety in Mexico, kind of a Robin Hood aspect in some of the -- at the lower levels.

So, people are so concerned between the cartel, what they can bring. With the Mexican government has and the fright between them. A lot of folks at the local area protect him because they pay him. They pay him well.

BLACKWELL: All right. Lieutenant Colonel James Reese, always good to have your insight on this. We'll continue to follow this manhunt, and have more throughout the morning. Thanks so much.

REESE: You're welcome, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, now let's turn to Donald Trump.

[08:05:00] A defiant Donald Trump.

PAUL: Mm-hmm. Yes, the 2016 now presidential candidate addressed thousands of people, look at this speech, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

And during the event, he cast himself as more than a real estate mogul, more than a reality TV star. Speaking about rallying a new silent majority, people he says who are frustrated with the direction of the country. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you see the kind of power that the silent majority has.

And the silent majority is a problem. They want to go out. They want to lead a good life. They want to work hard. They want to have their family. They don't want to be involved in coming here and waiting on a line for hours and hours and coming in and listening to Trump.


But the silent majority is back. And we're going to take the country back.


PAUL: Sunlen Serfaty is with us now.

So, I'm wondering if you've heard any reaction from the GOP not just on what he was saying, but on the crowd that he attracted.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There was that big crowd last night Christi. And from Donald Trump there's no hint that he's going to tone any of his rhetoric down. And last night, as you saw, he really seemed to be capitalizing over the dustup over his controversial immigration rhetoric. And he was relishing in that big crowd, over 5,000 people. But it does seem that his approach, and this message, does seem to be resonating with tapping into some frustration among voters who view illegal immigration as a serious problem. But outside the event in Phoenix last night, there were some protesters who clashed with some of the Trump supporters. Even inside that rally a group of protesters unfurled a banner at one point disrupting his speech. It was quite a moment.

Here's Trump's response.


TRUMP: I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here. I think so.


Because I'm telling you, I tell about the bad deals at this country's making. Mexico, I respect the country, they're taking our jobs. They're taking our manufacturing. They're taking our money. They're taking everything and they're killing us on the border. And Mexico does not like it.

So, remember this -- don't worry, we'll take our country back. Very soon. Very soon.



SERFATY: And Trump went on to promise to fine Mexico $1,000 for every person crossing into the U.S. illegally. And this continued tough talk, it does come after a barrage of criticism and condemnation from other Republicans, including a state Republican establishment that largely snubbed this event last night, both Arizona Senator John McCain and Senator Flake calling his comments offensive. Senator Flake saying they hoped they could move on from this sort of course rhetoric -- Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk more about Trump and the 2016 race. We've got political anchor for New York 1 News, Errol Louis. also with us, conservative blogger Crystal Wright runs the blog

Good to have both of you this morning to talk about Trump and -- you know, I don't even like saying it this way -- Trump and the field.

Let's start with Trump because he's making the most noise here.

Crystal, I'm going to start with you. I wonder there have been a lot of people on the right who've said that this is going to filter out. He's going to fizzle out and it's going go away.

But he's not going to run out of money. He's got huge crowds. I mean, is there any part of the Republican leadership, the GOP framework that's saying this is going to last? We need to prepare for it?

CRYSTAL WRIGHT, CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER: Trump isn't going anywhere and he's not running out of steam. What we saw last night, look, Victor, he was able to pull 5,000 people and I think he gave a good speech.

Do I think he can become elected president? No. There's no chance. I feel like we're watching Trump's newest reality show, featuring himself, the ultimate apprentice, right? The ultimate apprentice for the White House.

However, I think you -- I think many people could agree that America has kind of gotten afraid of straight talk, I think we're so trapped in political correctness that the issue of illegal immigration, Trump is raising, is going to be a part of the debate.

I think he's making a lot of good points about it. I mean let's -- I'm not talking about the rhetoric he started out with. But, during that rally yesterday, at his speech, he had the father of the young black man who was killed by an illegal immigrant in 2008.

So, look, this is something that we've got to talk about. We have no immigration enforcement in this country.

BLACKWELL: You know, Errol, I wonder when we step back from the individual statements that are being made, who would have expected when Donald Trump jumped into the race that his single issue would have been the illegal immigration problem and not the economy? Successful businessman, a billionaire, that he's not going the economic route?

[08:10:00] ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it's a little surprising. And it's a little dismaying, frankly, because what he could actually bring to the conversation we'll probably never know because this is the issue that is getting him all the attention. This is the issue he's clearly chosen to run on. However long this lasts, this is going to be his issue.

I mean, the good news for Donald Trump is that he's polling at 15 percent of Republicans, which in this very, very crowded field is enough to put him in first or second place in a lot of states. The bad news, of course, is that something like 30-plus percent of Republicans view him, quote, "very unfavorably", according to the polls.

So, as Crystal suggests, he's not going anywhere as far as actual election.

And, you know, let's be clear: when he says this is a silent majority, that's literally not true. I mean, the polling -- Gallup has been polling this for years and years and years. When they ask and they say do you think the main problem with immigration is we need to help people get a path to citizenship? Forty-nine percent say that.

If you ask, is the main issue that we need deportation, 49 percent say that. The nation is divided. And we need some intelligent talk to get a resolution. Unfortunately, we're not necessarily getting it from Donald Trump.

BLACKWELL: All right, Hillary Clinton getting this major endorsement from a teacher's union. Is this dog bites man? Who expected that they would endorse anyone other than Hillary Clinton? Anything major coming out of that, Errol?

LOUIS: Well, I think of it as the -- as difficult as the path to the White House is, I think the teachers unions might be in a more difficult political position these days.

So, yes, they're going to run with open arms to Hillary Clinton. Is that going to protect them from the very difficult time they have state by state, region by region? I'm not so sure about that.

What Hillary Clinton promises to them, we should really all try to find out. But, of course, that's the big guessing game with Hillary Clinton. What is she promising? And what kind of accountability will she have if and when she gets elected?

BLACKWELL: And education, once we get to the general, even right now, Crystal, in the primaries, still as we talk about Common Core, a major thread that Republicans will have to sort out.

WRIGHT: Well, yes, and I think that with respect to education, Republicans need to talk about school choice, because we're really the party that empowers minorities. I mean, that's really an issue that -- that Republicans can connect, especially with black voters, that, hey, we're for school choice. We're for getting your kids out of failing schools.

So, I think that's an opportunity for us to really appeal to minorities, which we all know we need to get to the White House, our candidate.

So -- and I don't think it's any surprise that Hillary got a little pat on her head from the teachers union.

BLACKWELL: Oh, pat on the head. Al right, thank you both.

LOUIS: Thank you, Victor.

WRIGHT: Thanks.

PAUL: Well, saying good-bye to South America. Not before, though, the pope visits the poor and has a very special final meal there. Also, we have a live report for you from Paraguay about that.

And Greece's financial future. It seems to be hanging by a thread this morning. There's a new shift in the talk that has people wondering if there's going to be a bailout at all. We'll take you there live, next.


[08:16:51] PAUL: Sixteen minutes past the hour.

And developing out of Brussels this morning, there's been a shift, a sudden one, in the high stakes talks to help bail out Greece. Intense negotiations are going on as we speak here.

CNN's business correspondent Richard Quest following the story for us. I know, Richard, that you spoke with some of the Eurozone ministers earlier today. What are they telling you?

QUEST: Christi, they say the difficulties continue. It remains a question of trust. They simply can't see a way to do a deal today. The only question is, what can they manage to cobble together before the end of the negotiations? And as the Italian finance minister said, frankly, it's all getting very difficult.


QUEST: How would you expect today to go?

PIER CARLO PADOAN, ITALIAN FINANCE MINISTER: We continue to work to establish the conditions to start negotiations, which is the real target. It's not about closing a deal. It's about starting negotiations. We think that there are conditions to do that, but let's face it, the main obstacles to moving forward is lack of trust.


QUEST: And that remains the core issue. Lack of trust that the Greeks will do what they say they were going to do.

And Christi, let me just read you a tweet which has just come from the very well-known economist, New York economist Jeffrey Sachs. He describes the Eurozone, "The Eurozone is a crazy house, incoherent, incompetent, and cruel." And to that we might also add long-winded.

The talks are going to go all day.

PAUL: Ouch. All right. Hey, thank you so much, Richard Quest. We appreciate the update.

BLACKWELL: The pope is now winding down his south American visit today. Visiting a very poor neighborhood, then delivering his final mass before he heads out.

Live pictures here as he visits that community. They have decorated that neighborhood with the colors of the Vatican. You can see them screaming for the pontiff there. We'll take you there live. A live report from Rosa Flores, next.


[08:22:42] BLACKWELL: Well, today is Pope Francis' last day of this South American tour. He is visiting a poor neighborhood in Paraguay's capital Asuncion right now. This is what you're seeing.

PAUL: Yes, they're heading to a sports field to celebrate mass. Thousands of people expected to attend that.

CNN's Rosa Flores joins us live from Asuncion.

So, Rosa, give us a sense of what's happening there right now.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi, the crowds grow by the minute.

Take a look behind me. You can see that there are people here from every corner of Paraguay, and the surrounding countries.

Now, one of the things that really stands out about Paraguay here is how unique the stage is. We've never seen anything like it. It's very much in line with the pope's encyclical. It's all organic. It's coconuts, corn, and squash. So, it really stands out, makes this country stand out for sure.

Now, about the message of the pope to these three particular countries in this tour, it's been one of family, tradition, values, culture, inclusion, and also visiting with the poor, visiting with the sick. He has taken time out of his schedule to make sure that he does that. As a matter of fact, right now, he's in one neighborhood, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Asuncion, talking to people, listening to their needs, and making sure that others know how important this particular population is for Pope Francis.

I'm sorry about the screaming, guys. I really can't hear myself speak here. But, again, a warm welcome for the pontiff. And people here hoping to celebrate mass with him in the next few hours.

PAUL: All right. Rosa, we understand it. We're so grateful that you had a chance to experience that yourself. That's pretty special. Thank you, Rosa Flores.

We'll be right back.


[08:28:43] BLACKWELL: All right, listen up. This is an update to the developing story we've been following all morning. Guys, put up what we have this live signal coming out of Mexico, just ended, actually.

This is a news conference that we've been watching as relate to the escape of Joaquin Guzman, El Chapo. He escaped from his maximum security prison last night.

PAUL: He, of course, is major drug lord, 300 people that we understand that he has in his, in his group there, who are protecting him. But we understand that the airport has been shut down so he can't get on a plane. He escaped through a tunnel shower that apparently led -- in the shower, that apparently led to a house they're at the house there authorities are. He is not any longer.

And they did find construction tools in that passage. The prison is on lockdown as well. So, very interesting to note, construction tools in that passage. Where have we heard that before recently? BLACKWELL: Yes, with the escape of Sweat and Matt several weeks ago

in New York. So, of course, we'll continue to follow this. This is not the first time that El Chapo has escaped. He escaped back in 2001, was captured last year at a Mexican beach resort.

We'll follow this throughout the day here on air and online. But thanks so much for spending your morning with us.

PAUL: Always good to have you here. Make great memories.