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THE SITUATION ROOM
Clinton Taxes, Health Info and Emails Released; Flight 370 Search; Trump's Tough Talk. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired July 31, 2015 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: off to the lab. Plane wreckage that washed ashore is packed up and it's on its way to be analyzed. Investigators are sounding confident it came from MH370. How much could they learn from a wing part that's been in the ocean for months?
Out of jail. A former campus police officer charged with murder, he's free tonight after paying only a portion of his $1 million bond. We have new information about what two other officers saw during his deadly confrontation with a driver.
Clinton's fortunes. Her tax returns just were made public, along with her medical records and more e-mails. Is there anything in the pile of paperwork that potentially could hurt her presidential bid?
And Trump's tough talk. He's now telling CNN how he would get Mexicans to pay for a wall at the border and how he'd earn the respect of Russia's Vladimir Putin. Is he offering substance or bluster?
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: The breaking news tonight, as wreckage that could help solve the mystery of MH370 is flown to France, CNN has now learned U.S. investigators are heading there as well. Officials from the NTSB and Boeing, they will help analyze the wing part that washed ashore on a remote island.
There's also growing evidence tonight that it came from a Boeing 777, and another identifying number on the debris was just discovered. Authorities say a torn suitcase also found on Reunion Island will be examined separately at a French criminal research institute.
But the primary focus right now is on that wing part, or flaperon, as it's called. Officials are expressing growing confidence it is wreckage from the Malaysian airliner that vanished more than a year ago with 239 people on board.
We have our correspondents, analysts and newsmakers. They're all standing by as we cover all the news that is breaking right now. First, let's get the very latest from our aviation correspondent, Rene
Marsh -- Rene.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, in just days, Boeing and NTSB investigators will be on the ground in France and we could begin to get answers to critical questions, like whether the debris is from Flight 370 and is there forensic evidence on the airplane part that would help unlock one of aviation's biggest mysteries?
MARSH (voice-over): Tonight, what could be the first critical piece of evidence in the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 has been carefully crated and put on a plane. The debris discovered on remote Reunion Island is now en route to France. It arrives Saturday, and by next week crash investigators will begin their intense examination.
WARREN TRUSS, AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: The accident investigators will want to have a look at the part to see whether it gives any indication as to the way it may have separated from the rest of the aircraft.
MARSH: By Tuesday, CNN is told representatives from Boeing and the NTSB will be at the lab in Toulouse, site of the analysis. CNN has also learned of a second identifying number found on the debris. Besides component number, 657BB, which corresponds to a 777 flaperon, investigators also have a second number, 11 digits long that also links the debris to a Boeing 777.
Meantime, sources tell CNN that U.S. intelligence agencies' preliminary conclusion earlier this year was that someone in the cockpit deliberately directed the aircraft's movements before it vanished. The plane flew towards specific waypoints, crossing Indonesian territory and eventually toward the South Indian Ocean, but sources note it will take finding more of the plane to further substantiate any conclusions.
MICHAEL GOLDFARB, FORMER FAA CHIEF OF STAFF: Neither the intelligence report or the theories of -- the speculative theories of kinds of failures of that aircraft are really helpful until we have more than the flaperon, we actually have significant pieces of the aircraft and, of course, the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.
MARSH: Investigators have already taken a deep dive into the pilot's background, scrubbed computer hard drives, inspected the captain's flight simulator, even studied their body language on airport security cameras, but never found any evidence to suggest anyone on board posed an obvious risk.
MARSH: Well, the search for the rest of the plane is some 2,300 miles away. But Australian officials in charge of the search operation made it clear there are no plans to divert assets from that area to Reunion Island because of this one piece of debris.
They remain confident that the area that they're searching is where the plane went down. So they're staying in that area, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Rene, thanks very much, Rene Marsh reporting.
As crash investigators converge on a French lab to study that critical wing part, what do they hope to learn if they confirm the wreckage came from Flight 370?
Tom Foreman taking a closer look at this part of the investigation.
What are you seeing, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, our own air aviation analysts have been looking at this piece a lot and they noted that the front end of this is not nearly as damaged as the trailing edge of the flaperon.
And that could tell them something. And this is how. If we're talking about the plane being in a high-speed dive, let's say it was flying along at cruising altitude 500 miles an hour, the flaperon would be in this position relative to the wing. If it went into a high-speed dive, the wind flow over this could go from 500 miles an hour to 600, 700 miles an hour.
And if that happens, you're going to have a tremendous amount of turbulence back here that could cause damage and could ultimately violently tear this thing off in the air. Now, if they're in a different scenario, if they were trying to do a crash landing on the water, the flaperon would be deployed like this. That would slow the plane down to maybe 150 miles an hour as they attempted to land. Very difficult trick.
But, again, when it hit the water, the flow of water at that speed would hit this with incredible violence. It would wrench it, it would tear it. You would see all sorts of damage. And, again, for investigators to know what they're doing, it would be signature damage. It would tell them something about what happened. Same thing goes if you had an explosion up in the air.
You could have an explosion and it might not do anything to this because it might be in a different part of the plane. And then all the resultant chaotic falling may do damage to it. The main part to bear in mind in all of this, though, Wolf, is that this is one part. This is about seven feet long. The entire wing of this plane from one side to the other is almost 200 feet. That's a huge difference.
And when you think back to what happened when the TWA plan went down off the coast of Long Island, look at the thousands of pieces they were able to collect from that plane and analyze to figure out what happened there. And even now, people dispute whether or not they got it right. So this is a very, very important clue they have right now, but it is one very small one and just the start -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Tom Foreman, thank you. Let's bring in our CNN aviation analysts. Miles O'Brien is joining
us, along with Peter Goelz. Also joining us, our aviation correspondent Richard Quest, and our law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.
Richard Quest, we just heard Tom's report. What evidence on this flaperon, this piece of this wing, will investigators use to learn more about the plane's disappearance?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: I think there's going to be two areas, first of all, the barnacles, any form of sea life that we were talking about, that Tom was talking about, anything like that that gives an indication of the water where it has been, which part of the ocean.
We know that there are specific forms of marine life. We know that there could be traces that can actually give good indications from which part of the ocean it's come. And the second is much more basic. You just have to look and test and look microscopically at this flaperon, Wolf, and they will start to see where the strains are, the compressions, the tears.
Just look at the picture on the screen at the moment. How those rips, how these shreds were made, that will give them incredible information on how the flaperon departed from the aircraft.
BLITZER: Here's a question a lot of people are asking, Miles. If the flaperon was floating on the surface of the ocean, why wouldn't investigators have found this piece of debris in the early days when there was such a wide-scale search conducted?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, remember, Wolf, in the early days, they were searching in entirely different places, first the South China Sea. Then eventually they made their way down to an area much farther north from where they are right now.
So in the key days, when that wreckage would have been near where the impact was, they were looking elsewhere, including in a different ocean.
BLITZER: Which is a good point, Peter. Also, there have been two, what, two, we're told, two full-scale typhoons in that Indian Ocean area since that plane disappeared. And that could have had a huge impact on anything that might have been floating around.
PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, exactly.
And this is, remember, seven feet long. If you're looking for a piece that small in the ocean, it's very difficult to find. You're flying at 150 knots 300 or 400 feet over the ocean. Very tough to find.
BLITZER: What does it mean that now there's a second identifying number on this flaperon Rene was just telling us about, Tom, a second identifying number that links it clearly to a Boeing 777?
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Means it's taken a heck of a long time to get specific with this and what the numbers mean and that it's specifically identified to that plane.
We don't know if maybe they already know that it has been and they're working on the protocol, be specific when they get to France and coordinate with the Malaysian government how they're going to announce it. There may be more to that at this point. But I think it's surprising me how incremental even these numbers being released is coming out.
BLITZER: Richard, if this one piece of the wreckage -- and we assume it's a piece of the wreckage of that Malaysian Boeing 777 -- survived, I assume a lot of other pieces survived as well. Is that a fair assumption?
QUEST: No, I don't think so, Wolf, with respect, because I think those searches in those early days found nothing. And even when they did get to the proper area where they now believe the plane is, they still found nothing.
So if there was anything down there, they would have probably located something. I think what you're looking at here is by far and away an exceptional piece that survived whatever took place in the South Indian Ocean. There may be isolated other pieces. But from what I have heard and from what people have said to me, any idea that there is a large floating mass moving across westwards seems to be inaccurate.
BLITZER: Miles, you agree?
O'BRIEN: I do, Wolf. You know, we have been talking a lot about deliberate action over the past couple of days.
And if it was a deliberate action, the idea was to make this plane vanish. We have also been talking about two scenarios, either a Sully-style ditching ever so gently, or a rapid nosedive into the ocean. The separation, the apparent separation of this flaperon based on the damage pattern indicates to experts that this was a high-speed dive into the ocean.
And if that were the case, that might greatly limit the amount of material, the amount of debris on the surface.
BLITZER: All right, guys, that raises a serious question. Foul play, mechanical problems? There's new information coming in on that front as well.
Stick around. We will take a quick break. We will be right back.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news in the MH370 investigation. Wreckage suspected to be from the missing plane is now en route to France. It will land there within a matter of hours. Investigators are hoping to get new clues about what went wrong on board the Malaysian airliner.
We're back with our aviation analyst Miles O'Brien, our aviation correspondent Richard Quest. Also joining us now, CNN safety analyst David Soucie, aviation rid writer Clive Irving.
Clive, from what we know right now from the debris we have seen, what's your conclusion? Is it too early to reach a final conclusion? Obviously, there's still a lot of investigation that needs to go on. But based on what you know -- and you have studied this closely -- was this plane gone as a result of a mechanical problem or was it some deliberate act by someone?
CLIVE IRVING, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I think there's a lot of controversy spreading around all those theories.
And I think we should all remind ourselves, actually, Wolf, that the problems of searching for a lost plane over water haven't basically changed since the days of Amelia Earhart, that the problems that you just discussed very well about how difficult it is to find small pieces floating on the top of the ocean apply now to this tragedy as they did then.
And the scandal behind that, of course, is that none of this needed to be necessary. If there'd been a proper tracking system available on this plane, then you wouldn't have spent these enormous amounts of money and these enormous amounts of time searching for very tiny pieces in the very large oceans.
So, the context for the whole thing needs to be -- people need to be reminded of that there's dereliction here by the airline industry and by the aviation industry in general. They have taken very slow steps in the last few months. They have said they're going to do stuff. And, in fact, when you look closely at the small print, what they're really saying is that all planes won't be fitted with modern tracking systems until 2025.
That's 10 years from now. And I think that really is -- it's amazing how no one is mentioning this at the moment. But this is really the -- should be the overriding concern of everybody, that we don't go on doing this. We did it in the case of Air France 447 in the South Atlantic. The French were very quick to tell us that we should be doing something.
Nothing was done, and here we are again. And who knows, it may happen again.
BLITZER: You make a good point. They claim it's very expensive. But they have already spent, we're told, about $100 million in the search for MH370.
Miles, if the plane was in a gliding or ditching mode, what does that mean about the final moments before the crash?
O'BRIEN: Well, one thing it does mean, Wolf, is it could put the aircraft a significant distance from the arc which has been drawn on the ocean defined by the Inmarsat satellite for the search zone. And that's why it's important to know whether the plane was going
straight down as it lost power and made that last so-called handshake with Inmarsat or if it glided on for tens or even approaching 100 miles. That's important. The other thing is, it's very clear that, in that case, if it was headed toward a ditching, a human hand had to be involved in that.
That's not something that an autopilot would be able to accomplish. You wouldn't program that in. Put it that way.
BLITZER: So, David, what's your bottom line right now, at least based on what you know and all of us know, mechanical problem or a deliberate act by someone?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: You know, in my analysis that I have used this algorithm I have used for years for accident investigation, it really is neck and neck.
There's no real clear forerunner in either one of those two scenarios. It's really difficult to say at this time. Hopefully, these pieces that come ashore will give us some light.
BLITZER: What do you think, Richard?
QUEST: All right, so I can make an argument for either way. And the evidence or the circumstantial evidence which the U.S. intelligence agencies talk about does gravitate towards nefarious.
And, maybe perversely, maybe more out of good hope than good judgment, I still come down with mechanical. I still believe that until I have seen sufficient, real evidence that some hand -- I can agree with what everybody has said. If it was a ditching, it was nefarious. But until I have got evidence, I'm staying mechanical.
BLITZER: And where do you stand right now, Miles?
O'BRIEN: Wolf, this was a deliberate act.
You know, what -- the intelligence agency report that CNN broke yesterday underscores everything we have been talking about for quite some time. It's impossible to come up with a scenario, with all those turns and all those communication losses, that fit a catastrophic event on the airplane involving a bomb or a mechanical event.
CNN reported more than a year ago, June 2014, that the flight simulator software, the computer taken from the captain's home, had routes that took the plane just on that very route all the way into the oblivion of the Indian Ocean. I don't know any pilot that practices that kind of thing on a simulator.
All of this is leading toward a very strong case for a deliberate act. But none of this will be solved until the wreckage is found.
BLITZER: Clive, go ahead. IRVING: Nothing will be solved until we find the flight data recorder
and flight voice recorder.
But the wreckage is going into the hands of the very best people in the world to look at this, because the French are very experienced as a result of 447. And, for example, they can tell by looking for things like deformity of wreckage. If we get -- if there's any sign of deformity in this particular piece -- we know the trailing edge is damaged and that suggests something.
I do disagree with Richard slightly. I think we're likely to find more pieces of wreckage, not large amounts. But it will be dispersed and it won't likely turn up somewhere in Reunion. It will turn up somewhere in that area off the East African coast.
And I can't honestly believe that just one flaperon is the only thing that survived that crash. And I think that there will be -- not large pieces, mind you, but there's still quite a lot of the parts of that plane, which is a relatively modern design with large composite parts which float more easily than metal parts do.
So, I think there's a fair chance we will get other bits of it.
BLITZER: David Soucie, do you think they are ever going to find that plane?
SOUCIE: I do. I really do.
I think that there's concentrated effort. I believe they're looking in the right area. Now, whether it will happen soon, we're putting a time on it, and I would not even think to put a timeline on it.
BLITZER: I remember -- Miles, and I want your quick thought on this. At the time there, you raised the issue, and Rene Marsh, our aviation correspondent, raised it as well.
The pilot in this case, there was a lot of examination of his background. Supposedly, he had some issues, some problems in his personal life going on. You talk about the computer simulations he was going through. I don't want to smear this pilot, because, obviously, he has disappeared now. But there have been several cases of what they call pilot suicide aboard these kinds of aircraft.
O'BRIEN: It's happened before. It's never happened quite like this, Wolf. But it's not an unknown event.
The one that's most obvious and known to Americans is Egypt Air 990 in the late '90s off of New York. But it's happened. And it's a sad, horrible possibility, and, of course, more recently, the Germanwings event. So you can't discount it. We have to keep it on the table.
And no one likes to speak like this about someone who's not around to defend themselves. But it's just one of the issues we have to contend with.
BLITZER: And I want to point out, Richard Quest, as you well know, the Malaysian authorities, they have cleared the pilot, right?
QUEST: Oh, completely. Well, yes, they have.
The factual information, which was the very long report, 200-page report, which came out earlier this year on the anniversary, it basically said they looked at the way they walked through the security on the night, and there's no history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse. There's no psychological issues.
And, crucially, it said there -- and this is something that -- you can argue about the others, whether it's accurate or not, or have they glossed off with rose-colored spectacles. But it does say in neither case had there been a substantial change in life circumstances, in other words, marriage collapsed, death of a loved one. So, they pretty much ruled out an obvious cause for pilot suicide.
BLITZER: Good point.
All right, guys, we're going to stay on top of the story. Good conversation. Thanks to all of you.
And, by the way, to our viewers, for more information on how to help those impacted by air disasters everywhere, go to CNN.com/Impact.
Just ahead, two police officers who backed up the claims of an ex-cop now charged with -- that ex-cop charged with murder, the two other cops changing their stories, will they be charged?
And how much tax did Hillary Clinton pay? Does she have any health problems? Her campaign is now just revealing new details about all of that and more.
Plus, we're combing through a new batch of her e-mails just released by the State Department.
BLITZER: Stand by for more on the breaking news of Flight 370 investigation. But right now, other news we're following, including a former University of Cincinnati police officer charged with murder. That police officer now out of jail.
[18:30:54] His father reportedly paid $100,000 in cash to free his son, 10 percent of the $1 million bond, as allowed under the law.
We're getting new information tonight about the other police officers who arrived at the scene of that routine traffic stop that turned deadly. CNN's Jason Carroll is joining us now live from Cincinnati with the very latest -- Jason.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Wolf, Samuel DuBose's family wanted to see that those two officers who initially supported Ray Tensing's account of what happened, corroborated his story, they wanted to see him -- those two officers held accountable in a court of law. But Wolf, it looks like that is not going to happen.
RAY TENSING, FORMER UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI POLICE OFFICER: He was dragging me.
OFFICER PHILIP KIDD, UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI POLICE OFFICER: Yes, I saw that.
TENSING: I was going to get run over.
KIDD: You OK?
TENSING: I'm good.
CARROLL (voice-over): Tonight we're learning no criminal charges will be filed against the two University of Cincinnati police officers who arrived on-scene to assist Raymond Tensing after the shooting death of Samuel DuBose. The Hamilton County prosecutor announcing that a grand jury heard testimony from Officer David Lindenschmidt and Officer Philip Kidd and chose not to indict them.
TENSING: Go ahead and take your seat belt off.
SAMUEL DUBOSE, STOPPED BY POLICE: I didn't do nothing.
TENSING: Go ahead and take your seat belt off. Stop, stop!
CARROLL: Tensing's attorney says he was being dragged by DuBose's car and feared for his life.
STEWART MATTHEWS, ATTORNEY FOR RAY TENSING: No video that we have actually shows any dragging. But Officer Lindenschmidt's video clearly shows Officer Tensing laying in the street some distance from where Mr. DuBose's car was initially stopped.
CARROLL: But despite some initial comments, the prosecutor says officers Lindenschmidt and Kidd ultimately testified that they did not see Tensing being dragged.
Tensing, who is out on bond, has the police union calling for his rehiring, saying that his due process rights were violated when the department fired him this week after being charged with murdering Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop on July 19.
The city's police chief says stopping these kinds of shootings needs to be a top priority.
CHIEF JEFFREY BLACKWELL, CINCINNATI POLICE: These egregious acts seem to keep going on and on and on. But it happened. And the important thing now is how do we move forward in this community and through this nation?
CARROLL: And the Hamilton County prosecutor says that he agrees with the grand jury's decision. He says that there was some initial confusion in the way that the initial police report was written.
He said when the officers were specifically asked about what happened, he said their testimony lined up with exactly what was on Ray Tensing's body-cam video, which did not show him being dragged by DuBose's car -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jason Carroll with the latest in Cincinnati, thank you.
Joining us now is the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.
Marc, thanks very much for joining us.
MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: First of all, your reaction to what happened in Cincinnati?
MORIAL: Well, it was an awful incident, an overreaction, and the murder; and the prosecutor and the grand jury have certainly done the right thing by bringing a charge. It starts the process, and there will be a trial. And it remains to be seen. But it's a step towards holding that officer accountable for his actions.
As for the other two officers, it appears as though they testified truthfully before the grand jury. But the issue of holding them accountable as to whether or not initially they may have given -- filed a false police report and the like, while maybe, maybe it isn't criminally sanctionable, it certainly is something I hope that the disciplinary procedures of the University of Cincinnati Police Department will take a look at.
Because one of the things that has recurred, Wolf, as you know, is not only the incidents but also in some instances the cover-ups. The efforts to cover up these incidents, which many times are as egregious as the incidents themselves.
BLITZER: Next week is the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's shooting death. It seems that since then -- correct me if I'm wrong -- there's been one controversial police-involved incident after another. Is this problem getting worse? Has there always been a problem there? Is it simply because there's more video evidence nowadays? What's going on?
[18:35:16] MORIAL: You know, we're here in Ft. Lauderdale in Broward County, for our annual conference. And police shootings of unarmed African-Americans is high on the minds of many the people who are here for the conference and was addressed in one way or another by a number of the candidates who spoke today.
I would say, Wolf, it's my sense that these incidents have become more frequent. But it's also my sense that, with the advent of video cameras and dash cameras and very, very alert citizens, that some of what may have been occurring for a very long time is now being exposed, now coming to life. And now there's transparency around.
One would ask and should ask the question, but for the dash camera in the Cincinnati case, would we be here debating what, in fact, really happened? With the words of maybe three police officers against the words of a dead man, or the non-words of a dead man?
So my sense, Wolf, is that this is a racial justice issue that has to be addressed by this nation. It is an issue that is corroding and building -- if you will, exacerbating tension in urban communities. And it's an issue that has to be addressed at every single level of government: the federal, the state, and the local level. Because we've seen state police departments, city police departments, sheriff's departments, now a university police department involved. Something is amiss with the culture of law enforcement in many cases.
BLITZER: Very quickly, because you have presidential candidates addressing your conference, the National Urban League conference in Florida, today, you had Hillary Clinton, you had Jeb Bush. Bottom line, what was your impression? How did they do?
MORIAL: I thought they all did well, Wolf. Because what they all did is they addressed the issues at hand. Income inequality, joblessness, the challenge to save American cities, criminal justice reform, police accountability, all education. All of the candidates gave what I would consider to be a serious presentation and recognized that these issues are so important to this nation.
So we had a great day in Cincinnati. Excuse me -- a great day here in Ft. Lauderdale and in Broward County with the five presidential candidates. And I'm looking forward this evening to getting a little bit more reaction as to what people thought about the substance of each of the candidates' presentations. But the good news was, is that the five that came, came, and that the five that came gave a serious talk today about important issues.
BLITZER: Good work. All right, Marc Morial, thanks very much. We'll stay on top of all of these issues together with you. Appreciate it.
MORIAL: Thank you.
BLITZER: Just ahead, how wealthy are Bill and Hillary Clinton? We're poring over eight years of tax returns that they have just released. We're going to tell you what we're learning.
And Donald Trump tells CNN he's uniquely qualified to get tough with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Putin has no respect for President Obama. He will respect me, that I tell you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:43:10] BLITZER: Breaking news tonight. Hillary Clinton is going public with her tax returns. We're getting new information this hour on a day when a pile of Clinton-related documents are being released. Let's bring in our senior political correspondent, Brianna Keilar,
who's been going through, together with the whole team, all of these documents. What are you learning?
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We've learned how much Hillary and Bill Clinton made over the last eight years from the releases of these tax documents. Almost $141 million over the last eight years.
We also have learned that they gave in that time $15 million to charity. Though it's unclear how much went to the Clinton Foundation, we do know that for the one year that has been released, most of the charitable giving was to their family foundation.
She is, Hillary Clinton, the first candidate to release this financial information. And by doing so she's trying to make a point.
KEILAR (voice-over): In addition to revealing eight years' worth of earnings on her tax returns, tonight Hillary Clinton is using her taxes to make a policy statement, explaining that the more than $57 million she and her husband paid in taxes and the $15 million they gave to charity means they may have made a lot of money, but no, they don't need a tax break.
The Clinton campaign also released a letter from her long-time doctor, certifying that she is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as president of the United States.
In 2012, Clinton, then at the State Department, had a fall that resulted in a blood clot between her skull and brain, forcing her to wear corrective lenses for double vision. Last year, Republican operative Karl Rove raised questions at a private event about Clinton's health, and Bill Clinton hit back.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First they said she faked her concussion. And now they say she's auditioning for a part on "The Walking Dead." As far as I can tell, she's in better shape than I am.
KEILAR: Clinton's doctor seems to back that up, noting a complete resolution of the effects of the concussion and a total dissolution of the thrombosis, or blood clot. [18:45:05] Perhaps no coincidence, all this information comes on the same day the State Department released more than 1,300 e-mails from Clinton's time as secretary. Hillary Clinton spent the day on the campaign trail going after Jeb Bush in his home state of Florida, not by name but with a reference to Bush's Right to Rise slogan.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think you can credibly say that everyone has a right to rise and then say you're for phasing out Medicare or for repealing Obamacare. People can't rise if they can't afford health care, and you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and support laws that deny the right to vote.
KEILAR: She leveled that critique at the National Urban League Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale.
Bush addressed the crowd an hour later but did not take on Clinton directly.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you all.
I believe in the right to rise in this country and a child is not rising if he's not reading.
KEILAR: But Jeb Bush's communications director did hit back in this tweet saying, "Clintonesque move to pass over chance to unite in favor of a false cheap shot, when you have no record of accomplishment to point to, dot, dot, dot." That's what he said.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Dot, dot, dot.
All right, stand by, Brianna.
We have a lot to discuss. I also want to bring in our CNN political director David Chalian and our CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny.
What do you make about the tax returns, Hillary and Bill Clinton's tax returns? What's your big takeaway, David?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I think the takeaway is two-fold, right? There's the takeaway of the total top line number, they're making a lot of money and Republicans are eager to jump on that. America Rising, the Republican opposition research group, already out reminding people just last year, she said that --
BLITZER: Hold on one second, we've got to fix your microphone. Apparently, it's not working.
BLITZER: We're going to get back to you.
Jeff, what's your takeaway so far from what we've been able to assess, given the $150 million over the past several years? Significant income.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Just to pick it off from David, I mean, significant income. And just a little over a year ago, she told ABC's Diane Sawyer that she is dead broke, they were dead broke, that they had to make money coming out of their years in public service.
This is not dead broke by anyone's standards, except maybe Donald Trump's. So, a significant amount of income here.
They've also paid a significant amount of taxes. No question that they've also been giving a lot of money away to charities and other things. But, interestingly, in her release today, she pointed out -- this is a long ways from making $16,000 a year when I was in Arkansas going door to door sort of doing legal work for charity. So, interesting that she said this is a country where you can make a lot of money, and they certainly have.
BLITZER: And, Brianna, you pointed out in your report, she's releasing information about her health. Obviously, everyone was worried back in 2012, she did have a blood clot in her brain. She is on medication right now to deal with that, to thin her blood.
KEILAR: That's right. She's one of the brands for, that's basically Warfarin, an anti-coagulant, a blood thinner. But there are a couple of points in releasing this health information. One is to say, you know, a year ago you had Karl Rove and others who were raising concerns about any long-term effects of this health issue.
And this is their way of saying, look, there is no issue. She is completely healthy. This is what her doctor, who has known her for years and years, is saying. But there's also another issue here and I think it's pointed out in this health statement, her mom and dad respectively lived until they were in their 90s and their 80s.
So, it's a way -- some people have said, if she -- depending on who she runs against in a general election, if she is to become the Democratic nominee, there could be an ageist sort of Republican message. And this is her way of saying, you know what? I might be 67 now, but look how healthy I am.
ZELENY: Right. And it also says that she exercises every day. But it's important to know this is a statement from her doctor. So, of course, we haven't seen her whole medical records yet. If she would become the nominee, she may have to release something more.
Brianna is absolutely right. I mean, it goes to the age question. We find out she exercises and she eats healthily, drinks alcohol occasionally. So, a few interesting tidbits here. She also goes swimming and she does walking and weight training.
KEILAR: And yoga. And yoga.
BLITZER: All right. Her doctor says she's healthy, which we're all happy to hear about that.
David, I think your microphone is working now. You were telling us your takeaway from the income, the significant sum that the two Clintons have made over these past several years.
CHALIAN: Right. And as Jeff picked up on my talk, this notion of being out of touch is something that Republicans have wanted to sow as part of the foundation of their frame against Hillary Clinton. So, that's why they are -- in light of this news, with how much they earn, reminding everyone that she claimed to be dead broke. He said, you've got to pay the bills.
And those quotes are going to haunt them again as it is matched up against this $140 million earnings over eight years. [18:50:04] BLITZER: Jeff, you have been doing some new reporting --
you posted it on CNNPolitics.com -- about Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States. We were expecting him to give us a firm decision whether or not he would run for the Democratic presidential nomination this summer. That's what he told us earlier this year.
But now, you are learning he is once again delaying that definitive answer?
ZELENY: He is, Wolf. He is pushing it back. He simply sees no reason to make up his mind right now. He is watching what's happening in the Democratic race.
There's a division in Biden world as we call it, from Delaware to Washington. There are many of his old advisors who want him to keep an open mind and possibly consider jumping into this race for the presidency. Others do not want him to do so.
But Joe Biden, I'm told, has not made up his mind at all. He is not leaning one way or the other. And the reason this is significant, he is considering it. He would not be considering this -- his advisers would not push him toward this if the atmosphere was not such that, is there a vulnerability out there? Is Hillary flawed or wounded candidate? We don't know that yet, but he is keeping his powder dry.
BLITZER: All right. Good reporting. I recommend your piece.
I want everybody to stand by. Our own Max Foster is in Scotland. Guess who interviewed today for CNN? Donald Trump.
We're going to share some of that with you and a whole lot more when we come back.
[18:55:46] BLITZER: We're back with our political team.
More tough talk tonight from Donald Trump in a new CNN interview with him in Scotland. He spoke with our own Max Foster who is covering his visit there. They spoke about the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Putin has no respect for President Obama. He will respect me, that I tell you. And he will respect our country.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIOCORRESPONDENT: But on that basis, what do you with Crimea, for example? Do you accept that Crimea is under Russian control?
TRUMP: Let me explain. First of all, this is Europe's problem more so than ours, OK? Europe isn't complaining as much as we are. But this is more of a Europe problem.
And when Europe comes to us and says, we want your help, we want your -- but they're are not really doing that. They're dealing with Russia. They are taking in the gas. They're taking in the oil. They're not really doing that.
You know, we're making a big deal out of it. But why isn't Germany leading this one? You know, Germany is a very rich, very powerful nation. Why aren't they dealing on it more so?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: David Chalian, do you think this is a big deal what he just said?
CHALIAN: Well, I think that it shows again where he's not entirely aligned with the Republican establishment.
Now, Donald Trump will say that's a good thing, not being aligned with the Republican establishment is what's fuelling his rise. The Republican establishment believes that Crimea and the Putin aggression into Ukraine is very much an American problem to worry about as well, not just a European problem or a problem for Germany.
BLITZER: He's basically saying, you know what, the United States can't be the policemen all over the world. The Europeans have a bigger stake in this. Let them get the job done, especially a rich country like Germany.
ZELENY: Right, that is something that, as David point out, that will be controversial among some of the --
BLITZER: But it will resonate with a lot of people out there.
ZELENY: It absolutely will. There's this isolation strain going through the Republican Party. Perhaps Rand Paul will support that.
But others will not. So, I think on that debate stage in Cleveland next Thursday, that could be a central issue among many of the other things, you know, from immigration forward.
BLITZER: There's another point I want to bring out when he told Max about building a wall between the United States and Mexico. Brianna, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Who will build the wall and how will it --
TRUMP: I will build the wall and Mexico is going to pay for it, and they'll be happy to pay for it, because Mexico is making so much money from the United States that that's going to be peanuts. And all these other characters say, "Oh, they won't pay, they won't pay", because they don't know about how to negotiate. Trust me, Mexico will pay for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You know, he is pretty firm on this. It has been a winning issue at least so far for him among Republicans.
KEILAR: It is a winning issue for him with his constituency for sure. And you can't argue with the fact that there's an appeal Donald Trump has for a number of voters. He does have a lot of support. But I think you are going to see certainly a divide between Donald Trump and a lot of Republicans when we see this debate next week, because that kind of language to them is inflammatory towards a group of voters that they feel is so key. You can look at how you see Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates fighting with Republicans to try to gain the support of Latino voters. Republicans believe that they need to do so much better than Mitt Romney did or they just have to chance at the White House.
CHALIAN: And on this issue of the wall, he's already changed his position as well. Now, he says, well, we might have to build sections of wall, because when he went down to Laredo, Texas, he heard from officials that say they didn't want a wall everywhere.
ZELENY: Through the power of his persuasion, he's going to get Mexico to pay for the wall. I think that that is something that how does a president force another country to pay for a wall? That seems sort of interesting.
KEILAR: But this is his theme, though, that we see over and over again. I'm a better negotiator than -- fill in the blank, whether it's President Obama or by extension, Hillary Clinton, he wants people to believe that he will be able to twist arms better than other candidates.
BLITZER: And at least Donald Trump, I think all of us as journalist agrees, he's not afraid to go out and speak to reporters. He does interviews. He makes himself available.
Criticize him as much as you want, but at least he is willing to do that.
ZELENY: He's different in different settings, though, sometimes. Sometimes he is very calm and relaxed. We will see how he is Thursday.
BLITZER: All right. Guys, thanks very, very much.
Before we go, we want to say good-bye to a member of our family, our video producer. Hunter Burgarella is heading home to the West Coast after six years with us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Hunter, we wish you the best of luck. We're going to miss you. Good luck out in California.
Remember, you can always follow us on Twitter. Please go ahead and tweet me @wolfblitzer. You can tweet the show @CNNSitroom.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.