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Trump Dumped from Conservative Event; American Service Member Killed in Suicide Attack; Trump Disinvited from Conservative Event; Schumer Rejects Obama's Agreement with Iran; France Extends Search Off Reunion Island. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired August 8, 2015 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump continuing to lash out after the first big GOP debate. His comments on "CNN TONIGHT" sparking conservative event to pull his invitation.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via telephone): You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her -- wherever.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Organizers of the event calling Trump hostile, saying his criticism of a debate moderator crossed a line of decency, calling his actions just plain wrong.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And Trump blames his ouster on weakness and political correctness. He's dismissing the gathering's importance, vowing to make a new campaign stop today.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: We are always so grateful for your company. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: We want to bring with that breaking news again.

After Trump made, you know, these new comments, he did it last night on CNN about debate moderator Megyn Kelly. You heard it there.

If you recall, even during the debate, Kelly pressed Trump about past controversial comments concerning women. Here is what Trump said about Kelly, again, to CNN's Don Lemon.


TRUMP (via telephone): I don't have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly. She's a lightweight. And, you know, she came out there reading her little script and trying to -- you know, be tough and be sharp. And when you meet her, you realize she's not very tough and she's not very smart. She's zippo.

Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she is very good. I think she is highly overrated.

But when I came out there, you know, what am I doing? I'm not getting paid for this. I go out there, and, you know, they start saying, lift up your arm if you're going to -- and, you know, I didn't know this would be 24 million people. But I know it was going to be a big crowd because I get big crowds. I get ratings. They call me the ratings machine.

So, I have -- you know, she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions and, you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.


BLACKWELL: A spokesperson for Trump had this to say after learning he was kicked out of the event. Quote, "This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of those people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader."

Let's talk more about these new developments. We've got with us, CNN politics executive editor, Mark Preston.

Disinvited from this event. First, let's put it into context. Red State, this tailgate as it's called, what is it?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: All right. So, it's an annual gathering of conservatives, specifically social conservative, anti-establishment Republicans. It happens every day. It happens in Atlanta today, and it just so happens that Donald Trump was going to be the keynote tonight.

Now, after we saw those comments last night, Red State, the founder Erick Erickson disinvited him within about an hour, an hour and a half after those comments were made.

I do have to say this about Erick Erickson, for our viewers who don't know him. He happens to be one of the leaders in the conservative movement. I think anybody saying that he is weak and pathetic would be wrong.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And this is the Trump crowd. I mean, these are the Trump supporters who will likely attend this event.

PRESTON: Right. So, Victor, Thursday night, I was here. I did not go to Cleveland. I came here specifically to see the reaction from these activists when a thousand of them watched the debate at a debate watch party. Now, whenever Donald Trump was on the stage, there was a lot of laughing, a lot of applause.

These are the folks that Donald Trump speaks to in many ways.


PAUL: So, these are his people essentially. Listen, there is statement from event organizer, Erick Erickson, I want to read on the decision to rescind their invited to Trump. He said, "His comment was inappropriate, it's unfortunate to have to disinvite him, but I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong."

What kind of blowback do you think Trump could be getting from women about this? This goes beyond anything we saw at the debate.

PRESTON: Right. And it certainly goes behind his criticism a few weeks ago of John McCain when he said he was not a war hero because a prisoner of war. Listen, in the next couple of hours, I think it's going to be very telling about Donald Trump and the response to Donald Trump.

What I find interesting is that to your point is, will women come together? Will we see this unholy marriage of Democrats and Republicans who have common cause against Donald Trump? And that could happen the next few hours.

BLACKWELL: And we know from the latest CNN poll is that, you know, registered Republican women, he is their choice. He is not far ahead. I think, what, 16 percent here ahead of bush at 1? I'd imagine that his unfavorable are pretty high as well with women.

PRESTON: Right. He's unfavorables with Republicans as a whole even he's leading the pack is at 59 percent. So, he is not beloved by the Republican Party but Trump is speaking -- his message right now is resonating with people because even though the economy is getting better, people are still hurting and people are frustrated with Washington, D.C., and when they hear the straight talk from Donald Trump, it makes them feel better.

PAUL: They see a straight talk.

Listen, Governor George Pataki sent this out on Twitter. He said, "Sad but predictable meltdown from Trump. With all due respect to Megyn Kelly, the outrage of Trump's divisive language is long overdue."

[07:05:05] And that was just one thing on Twitter. You were talking earlier about how it just really blew up after this comment. And that may be part of what prompted Erick Erickson to disinvite him based on the chatter you've seen on Twitter. We have grown men on twitter calling each other names.

BLACKWELL: In the middle of the night.

PAUL: Yes. How has this changed the atmosphere of a campaign?

PRESTON: Well, it certainly has changed politics. Just in the last year, just the last couple of years because it is a media. Everything is a media right now. Had this happened last night, as it did and no social media, we were not engaged in social media, we would be waking up this morning and people would start to see it appear. We'd be talking about it on television and then start to ruminate.

However, once he made the comment, that's when it took off.

Now, to the point about Erick Erickson he probably could have disinvited him but the fact he disinvited him so quickly and you have to put that to social media.

BLACKWELL: And there was an invitation in place of Donald Trump to Megyn Kelly. Any response?

PRESTON: We haven't heard anything on that yet. I see that Erick said while he invited her, he acknowledged she is busy and she has a family and he would understand if she couldn't make it.

PAUL: And she is out of state.

All right. Mark Preston --

BLACKWELL: Mark Preston, thank you so much.

PAUL: Thank you.

OK. Let's talk about this a little more with CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson. Also with us, CNN political commentator and former White House political director under the Reagan administration, Jeffrey Lord.

Gentlemen, thank you both for being with us.


PAUL: So, during this interview last night on CNN, Trump had a lot more to say about Kelly and whether FOX News had an agenda here. Let's listen real quickly.


TRUMP: Well, probably. I don't know. Probably. Who cares? I don't really care.

I mean, I do my thing and whatever it is. I'm leading in all of the polls, so they probably have an agenda.

I'm very disappointed in FOX News. I think -- you know, I think they probably had an agenda.

But certainly I don't have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly. She is a lightweight and came out there reading her little script and trying to, you know, be tough and be sharp. And when you meet her, you realize she is not very tough and she not very sharp. She is zippo.


PAUL: Ben, Megyn Kelly has an awful lot of people behind her. She is a star in many aspects. What is your reaction to what he had to say?

FERGUSON: Look. I've worked with Megyn Kelly and she is very tough on everyone that she goes at when it comes to TV. That is her job.

And I think -- it's not so much that it's an attack on Megyn Kelly. This is what Donald Trump does to anyone that -- even remotely presses him on any issue. He immediately says that they are dumb, they're not very bright, they're stupid, they're overrated, they're incompetent.

And I think the bigger issue here people need to look at is, do you want someone to be president of the United States of America where if anyone challenges them, this is their reaction? Can you imagine the train wreck of Donald Trump having to work with people on Capitol Hill? He talks he is a great man that can get deals done. If somebody says to him, "I disagree with you", I don't think he could get any deal done when it comes to politics.

And I'm not surprised this happened. I think it's going to happen more often. I think when you're dealing with a narcissist like Donald Trump, this is exactly what you should expect from him. And he will attack anyone that even asks him a question that he doesn't like.

PAUL: OK. Listen, I want to get to you, Jeffrey, because GOP rival Carly Fiorina had this to say. She is tweeting about it. She said, "I stand with Megyn Kelly. And, Mr. Trump, there is no excuse."

Do you think Fiorina is at the next debate, you know, GOP debate, is Trump going to have to change his tone with her at the debate?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Before I say what I'm going to say, let me just say, number one, I like Megyn Kelly a lot. I also respect Erick Erickson.

But, you know, what Erick has done here is to be perfectly candid, unbelievably sexist. You know, defending the little lady's honor, Megyn Kelly is a serious professional journalist. I was disappointed in her performance the other night. I mean, Donald Trump, as Ben has just said, says this about people of both sexists.

So, why suddenly is this urge to defend women here? What about defending men?


PAUL: With all due respect, he took on a woman claiming --

LORD: He took on --

PAUL: -- that it was hormonal. Would is that not sexist?

LORD: Look, he took on a journalist. She asked a question --

PAUL: But he did it in a sexist way, did he not?

FERGUSON: He -- wait. Wait! Real quick!


LORD: -- in nature.

FERGUSON: But let's be clear. He wouldn't have said hormones were involved if a man pressed him. He just sort of ripped on the man being dumb and stupid.

[07:10:00] It is absolutely sexist to say that it had to do with hormones of a woman!

LORD: We have serious problems in this country. And this is what we are talking about?

FERGUSON: Right. So, don't bring up hormones when someone ask you a tough question.


PAUL: Ben, let's -- finish here and we will go on.

LORD: This is what political correctness is all about and it's terribly wrong! As I say, I'll say it again -- what Erick Erickson has just done, let's remember he got into a tangle with Megyn Kelly over a women's issue so-called. She sharply took him to task. This is months ago.

Maybe this is his attempt to make it up to her, I don't know. But this is unbelievably sexist on his part and he ought to retract it immediately!

PAUL: All right. Ben, go head. You have the last word.

FERGUSON: Your definition of sexist and mine are drastically difference. You attack somebody you say you don't like their question, that's one thing. When you bring up the fact that it could be based on hormones, that is a sexist comment by a sexist man who is also a narcissist. You can't overlook the fact that he attacked her specifically as a woman claiming that she is hormonal and dumb. That is what he did! Let's be honest about it.

PAUL: OK, listen, Ben Ferguson and Jeffrey Lord, you're sticking around. We're going to have more on this in just a couple of minutes here. We are not going to stop talking about it. But, obviously, I think a big part of it is you have to look at what is political correctness and perhaps what is a personal attack and we will talk about that as well.

Gentlemen, so good to have you here. Thank you for sticking around. We'll talk to you in just a bit.


LORD: Thanks.

BLACKWELL: We talked a lot about the person who is being uninvited from this conservative gathering. But what about what the event is? The issues that are being discussed? How candidates are using this forum to convey their ideas and are they landing any punches here? Are they resonating with the group?

Plus, nasty on the Democratic side as well. Why one candidate is claiming the Democratic Party is now rigging the debate in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Also, we are following a developing story. This is in California. Six people stabbed -- this is in Long Beach. We have an update to this one coming up.


[07:15:11] BLACKWELL: All right. We've got back with us now, both CNN political commentators Ben Ferguson, host of "Ben Ferguson Show", also Jeffrey Lord, a political commentator and former political director for the Reagan White House.

And we were supposed to end the segment talking about the meat and potatoes of the Red State convention, this tailgate, but we've got to get back to where we left off.

Jeffrey, you're saying that rescinding the invitation to Donald Trump is what is sexist, instead of saying that the reason that Megyn Kelly was tough with Donald Trump, whether that is accurate characterization or not, his characterization that she did it because she was menstruating, that's not sexist?

LORD: Look, it's politically correct. She is a professional. He calls men weak. You know, I mean, is that --

BLACKWELL: But he doesn't say it's because you are a man.

LORD: Look. Look. This is what modern political correctness is all about and it's wrong. It is wrong.

Focus on the issues here. Let's focus on Iran. Let's focus on the economy. Let's focus on what is a conservative and what we are doing is talking about this --

FERGUSON: I agree with you.

LORD: I might add this -- it's a culture problem.


BLACKWELL: Hold on, Ben! Let him finish the sentence! And, Ben, you come in.

LORD: This isn't just about right now. This kind of thing goes in the culture all of the time and that's the problem.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ben?

FERGUSON: I would agree with you we should be talking about Iran, but you can't talk about Iran when you're saying that a woman that asks you a blunt question is literally, quite possibly could be on her cycle and it's because she is a woman and in the White House? Explain to me --


FERGUSON: Let me finish! Let me finish! In the White House, can you imagine what a colossal disaster it would be?

If somebody in the press corps, a woman asked him a question? What is he going to do? Kick her out because she is a woman or kick out a cabinet member if she is a woman because they say they disagree with him? If he has an adviser that's a woman, and he says, oh, you're having a bad day because you're hormonal, get out of the Oval Office?

You cannot act as if this is not sexism at its worst form by Donald Trump.

BLACKWELL: Jeffrey, let me phrase it this way.

LORD: Wait, wait --

BLACKWELL: Go ahead.

LORD: The number two person in the Trump organizations that runs the entire organization is Ivanka Trump, a woman.

FERGUSON: And they're related.


BLACKWELL: Put this into a characterization. If a President Trump gets a question he does not like, not from a head of state, but from the head of state, from the leader of Australia or another female leader in the world, the -- Angela Merkel, and would it be appropriate in that way, this is just politics, to say that, you know, what she is saying is based on sex?

LORD: I don't accept the premise of the question. I mean, here's the guy who's the head of a major company, who's been running all over the globe creating this, does he treat foreign leaders? He has met plenty of foreign leaders. Does he do that?

I mean, let's ask the question. Is there any evidence that have right now? I haven't seen any.

FERGUSON: How many foreign leaders he is really working deals with? Not many. Let's be honest about that. He is not working deals with presidents of other countries!


FERGUSON: He has met them and he may give them money, but he is not trying to deal with a nuclear arms program or trying to make sure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon. That's a whole other level, which is honestly way above his pay grade. BLACKWELL: Ben, Jeffrey, thank you both. We have until 11:00 this

morning. We will get to the meat and potatoes of Red State. I just couldn't come back from break and leave it there with not flushing out the accusation that Red State is sexist here.

All right. Jeffrey Lord and Ben Ferguson, thank you both.

We also want you to know that you have to check out "STATE OF THE UNION" Sunday morning. Jake Tapper will be sitting down with Carly Fiorina and John Kasich. That starts at 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: Also want to let you know we're working to gather some new information about a developing story in California this morning. Police shoot and kill a man suspected of stabbing six people in Long Beach. We will tell you what we have learned. Also, we have been talking about it all morning. Donald Trump

stealing the GOP spotlight with outrageous comments, but what other candidates need to do to, say, out-trump Trump?


[07:23:00] PAUL: All right. Police, I want to let you know, have shot and killed a man who they say went on a stabbing rampage. This was in Long Beach, California.

BLACKWELL: Six people were stabbed and taken to a local on hospital here. Their wounds range from superficial to quite critical. Police are investigating the motive in the stabbing.

The Aurora, Colorado, movie theater killer's life has been spared. James Holmes was sentenced to life in prison without parole, because the jury could not reach a unanimous sentencing verdict. Now, Holmes admitted to killing 12 people and injuring 70 during his rampage, but he pleaded not guilty based on a recent of insanity.

PAUL: You know, dozens of people held a vigil for a father and daughter who were killed when a circus tent collapsed on top of them during a storm on Monday. Police say they died from blunt force trauma. There were about a 100 people were under the tent when wind gusts estimated at 75 miles an hour buckled that tent's steel infrastructure. Two dozen people were injured.

BLACKWELL: A typhoon brought fierce winds and heavy rain to Taiwan, claiming lives of at least four people. Look at this. Among those four, a mother and daughter who were swept away to sea. The girl's twin sister is also missing and dozens of others have been injured. This storm is heading toward China.

PAUL: Breaking news this morning. The Donald dumped by a big conservative event. Coming up, how Trump's latest comments about a female debate moderator are fueling fires of controversy this morning.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a new aggressive approach from the White House on the Iran nuclear deal. The ways President Obama is trying to drum up more support in his own party for the measure.

PAUL: Also, a drug kingpin escaped a Mexican jail a month ago and the manhunt is still on for El Chapo. Why at least one expert believes he obviously had some help breaking out.


[07:27:01] PAUL: Mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest numbers in a month. Here's your look.


PAUL: This is CNN breaking news.

Twenty-eight minutes past the hour.

I want to show you some breaking news with you we are learning. A defense official telling CNN right now, one American service member was killed in yesterday's attack on Camp Integrity in Afghanistan. A suspected suicide bomber killed nine in that attack. A U.S. official said the bomb was followed by insurgents with small arms.

Two insurgents were killed as well. Now, the house bases -- the base houses U.S. and coalition troops that help train Afghan forces.


TRUMP (via telephone): You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.


PAUL: Breaking news this morning. Those controversial comments from Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner, making remarks those on CNN last night, concerning debate moderator Megyn Kelly. As a result, Trump has been booted from a Republican gathering today. Event organizers call his comments about Kelly wrong and over the line.

BLACKWELL: The issues of terrorism and foreign policy, it's center stage there at the Red State gathering in Atlanta. But although Trump is not there, can the Republican presidential candidates, the other 16, steer him out of the spotlight?

[07:30:00] BLACKWELL: Also, is it more beneficial to saddle up next to him to potentially get his voters, if he drops out? Or to gain some points by hitting him hard now?

Joining me now is political analyst Jason Johnson, political science professor at Hiram College. Also with us, CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson sticking around with us.

And I want to start with you, Ben. Answer that question. Is it more beneficial, doesn't matter (ph)who the candidate, to saddle up next to him in case he drops out, you're the second choice, or be critical of him now? BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENATOR: You can't control Donald

Trump. The idea he is playing well as a teammate in the GOP, if he decides to drop out, is unrealistic. We saw that from the first question during the debate, which one of you -- you know, might run as an independent. He raised his hands. He can easily in three or four or five months be an independent.

So, sitting there next to him, trying to buddy-buddy with him is going only going to come back probably haunt you, because the more he says thing about Megyn Kelly last night, the more you want to distance yourself.

I think you have to take big shots at him and go after him consistently and make it very clear that Donald Trump is not anywhere close what I am or what I believe in and sort of hoping he might put his arm around you and he has done national past. Let's not forget, and a lot of people he put his arm around in the past did not win their campaigns, their elections. So, I don't think it's worth the risk.

BLACKWELL: Jason, we know that Red State rescinded its invitation.


BLACKWELL: But you question red state in all of this and its organizer Erick Erickson.

JOHNSON: Exactly. Look, nothing personal about Erick Erickson. But it wasn't just two years ago that he referred to the Democratic convention as the vagina monologues? Wasn't just about a year ago that he was on with Megyn Kelly saying how women should be staying at home and men should be going out and making the bacon?

So, let's be honest. This has nothing to do with Republicans being concerned sexism. This is all about moving out Donald Trump because he is not the establishment candidate, and that's why I think he is probably going to survive some of this because this is disingenuous. This disinvite right now is only going to strengthen them and make the Republican Party look worse.

BLACKWELL: So, is this party-wide?

FERGUSON: What is this is a victim card. I will say this. I would not have uninvited Donald Trump because these are the things he is very smart at capitalizing on. He will be able to go out and say to his supporters and others, look at how much they fear me because they can't control me and I'm not the established candidate.

I honestly think this was not the best move to uninvite him. I think you bring him in there and challenge him and let him rip on you afterwards instead of saying, sorry, you can't come here. I want a great grand debate, and I think Donald will be able to use this to his advantage.

BLACKWELL: Is this, though, one of the points that Jason is making here that this isn't just Donald Trump versus Erick Erickson, that there is a problem party-wide? We know the questions during the debate about the narrative against women, but is there a problem that some in the party are recognizing?

FERGUSON: I don't think there is. I think there's a problem with Donald Trump. I think that if you look at the other candidates, no one would come remotely close to saying anything like this. It's running for the White House and most of them are incredibly complimentary about women and had a lot of women around them working with them.

BLACKWELL: Jason nearly jumped out of his chair, Ben!

JOHNSON: No, no.

BLACKWELL: Give me another candidate that said anything close to this in the GOP primary. None of them have.

JOHNSON: We are talking about Republicans in general, there is a history. You've got Santorum saying things about black people. You've got Carly Fiorina complaining about the Lilly Ledbetter Act and how it doesn't help women. You have plenty of candidates who have said things that aren't beneficial to women, that aren't beneficial to Latinos, aren't beneficial to African-Americans.

So, you can't pretend that Trump is some kind of outlier here. He represents a lot of Republican beliefs.

FERGUSON: Again, give me a specific comments.


JOHNSON: You've got Rick Santorum right now who said that black people are parasites.

FERGUSON: We are not talking about him!

BLACKWELL: Hold on, one at a time.

JOHNSON: You have Carly Fiorina who talked about the Lily Ledbetter Act is condescending to women and doesn't necessarily them although it's a bill to help people.

No matter how much you talk, Ben, you can't deny the fact that Trump represents your party.

BLACKWELL: Ben, the floor is yours.

FERGUSON: Donald Trump does not represent my party. It's pretty obvious I cannot stand Donald Trump because I think he is a fraud and narcissist candidate and I've said that many times here. He has given insane amount of money to Democratic candidates.

JOHNSON: And Republicans.

FERGUSON: And supported Hillary Clinton and supported Harry Reid. But let me go back to the core of this. This is one of the classic attacks and I will ask you this question -- name one other candidate, GOP primary, that has said anything disparaging specifically towards women? You cannot give me one.

JOHNSON: Fiorina said the Lily Ledbetter Act is condescending towards women.

FERGUSON: She's a woman.

JOHNSON: What difference does it make? What difference does that make? If Ben Carson said the N-word, would that make it racist?


FERGUSON: Answer my question. Stereotyping the Republicans --

JOHNSON: This guy is running for a position and he should be allowed to represent himself, not be silenced because he says things that seem unpopular. That's not democratic.

[07:35:04] BLACKWELL: All right. Let's wrap it. We will, of course, continue this conversation throughout the morning. Ben Ferguson and Jason Johnson, appreciate your both.

Also the Republican presidential contenders will debate right here on CNN next month, Wednesday, September 16th. The Democrats will hold their first debate here on CNN. That's Tuesday, October 13th.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You know, this morning, President Obama is in Martha's Vineyard and apparently enjoying vacation time after what has been a pretty grueling week, pitching the Iran deal to Congress. The Republican-controlled Congress said they will say no to the pact, which the president, of course, has pledged to veto.

There are some Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer, who are saying no to the deal as well.

I want to bring in CNN national correspondent Sunlen Serfaty.

So, the president's word squishy to the deal to sustain his veto. Will Schumer's opposition, though, make a difference to those laboring this point?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he could. Schumer is the highest ranking Jewish member on Capitol Hill and his voice goes a long way, especially for the Democrats who are still undecided on this deal. It was also the way that he so strongly voiced his opposition, releasing a lengthy statement and ticking through his rationale for not supporting this deal that could pave the way for other Democrats to do the same.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SERFATY (voice-over): A more aggressive push by the White House this week to build support -- interviews with the president, speeches by administration officials and meetings with members of Congress.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reason that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the folks in his caucus who oppose this, jumped out and opposed it before they even read it, before it was even posted, is reflective of a ideological commitment not to get a deal done. In that sense, they do have a lot in common with hard liners who are much more satisfied with the status quo.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: My view of this issue is, rather than this kind of crass political rhetoric, we ought to treat this issue with the dignity that it deserves.

SERFATY: Much of the administration's lobbying campaign is directed at undecided congressional Democrats sustain a veto if Congress passes a resolution of disapproval.

But some confidence now coming from Democrats indicating they think they will end up having the needed votes. For the White House, welcome news this week with a series of leading Senate Democrats coming out in favor of the agreement.

But a setback when influential Jewish Senator Chuck Schumer revealed his opposition writing, quote, "I believe Iran will not change and under this agreement, it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non- nuclear power."

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The announcement that was not -- was not particularly surprising to anybody here at the White House, even if it was disappointing.

SERFATY: With Congress out of town, both parties expect pointed questions at town halls during the congressional recess, which could go far in influencing the debates.


SERFATY: Congress will be back from recess in early September and debating this deal will be their first order of business. Now, the president is on vacation for the next two weeks. During that time, the White House says he will not likely be directly engaged but they say their line is always open to lawmakers -- Christie.

PAUL: All right. Sunlen Serfaty, appreciate it very much. Thank you.

By the way, President Obama sat down with CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week for an exclusive interview. To watch the full interview, be sure to watch "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS". It's tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Investigators are searching for more debris this morning off Reunion Island. We will have the latest on the efforts to find more clues to solve the mystery of missing Flight MH370.

Also, an NFL star released after his fifth arrest in the last five years, just the latest athlete to fall. How many chances should professional athletes get?


[07:42:41] PAUL: Forty-two minutes past the hour.

In case you missed it, we've got some breaking news this morning about Donald Trump this morning. He has been dumped from a conservative event because of comments that he made on CNN last night about Megyn Kelly.

Well, just a couple of moments ago, the RNC director of communications commented about that while he was on "The Today Show". Take a listen.


FEMALE TV ANCHOR: Do you agree with Erick Erickson's comment that Donald Trump was implying Megyn Kelly was asking tough questions and was tough on Trump because she was hormonal?

SEAN SPICER, RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I think Megyn Kelly asks tough questions because she is Megyn Kelly. If you watch Megyn Kelly show at any night, she is a tough questioner. People go on her show understand that.

But I think the comments that were made, as the package eluded to or made late last night, I think Mr. Trump, part of the reason that he gets the popularity that he has is because he is not by his words politically correct, but in what goes with that he has to be more careful with his words. I think there's no question he needs to immediately clarify that comment.

FEMALE TV ANCHOR: And do you renounce those comments then?

SPICER: Look. I know -- my job is not to renounce comments or not. I think he needs to clarify that. If he stands by them, that is highly inappropriate.


PAUL: We will continue to follow the story. You have had so much to say about it and we are all reading it on Twitter. We appreciate the insight you're sending to us as well. Please continue to do so in that genre.

At the top of the hour, we are talking to a spokesperson for the Red State gathering about this disinvitation as well.

BLACKWELL: The latest on the search for MH370 includes there, crews on Reunion Island are ramping up search efforts for that missing Malaysian flight and extending their search by area, land, sea as well today. This is coming as officials are sending mixed messages about debris

that has been found already. A source tells CNN that Paris officials have not received any other relevant objects related to MH370 besides the wing part you see here and a suitcase. Now, Malaysian investigators stuck to their guns yesterday, insisting they found more debris, including a seat cushion.

Let's try to sort all of this out. Erin McLaughlin is on Reunion Island following the latest in the search efforts.

Erin, what's the latest here, Erin?


Well, as you just mentioned there, the search effort really is intensifying around Reunion Island. France has sent in a helicopter, surveillance plane, as well as people to search the shores.

Now, when this was all first announced, Reunion Island really didn't have the resources to be able to conduct a thorough search. I was actually out on a search and rescue boat and the people on that boat were volunteers and they were mostly relying on word-of-mouth. But now that we know that that flaperon, according to the French, is most likely from MH370, they have sent in additional resources.

Now, Malaysia has sent in, as you mentioned, their own team, prior to that they conducted their own searches of the shore line and transportation ministry saying they have found a number of items, including window materials, aluminum and they say is from a plane, although they are not directly linking that to MH370 at this time.

Now, we know, according to the Malaysians, they handed over all of those items to the French and the French are saying that they have received items from experts and they are also saying they have received items from regular people who have been volunteering their time and searching for debris on the coastline.

Now, they have said they have collected all of those and keeping them in plastic cases, but nothing so far they say has warranted sending on to Paris for further analysis. They are saying that the items that have been collected so far are complex and need to be looked at further.

BLACKWELL: All right. Erin McLaughlin there on Reunion Island there for us, thank you so much.

PAUL: Well, new information is the hunt for El Chapo who escaped from prison about a month ago, remember. Now, there are so many people in Mexico who believe the government helped the feared drug lord escape from a maximum security prison. We are talking to a former DEA agent. This guy went undercover in Mexico to infiltrate the cartels. What he reveals.

Stay close.


[07:50:32] PAUL: Well, the U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for this man, Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo. He's been on the run ever since escaping from a maximum security Mexican prison back on July 11th.

Now, the authorities there say he slipped through a hole in a shower in his cell, then made his way out through a secret tunnel. This was video, obviously, in his cell, just before that happened. Some people say that cannot be the whole story.

Michael Vigil is joining me now. He's the former chief of international operations for the DEA, now senior vice president of Stability Operations Group at SOS International.

Michael, we're so grateful to have you with us. Thank you.

So, first of all, what's your theory about how he escaped?

MICHAEL VIGIL, FORMER DEA CHIEF OF INTL. OPERATIONS: Well, quite frankly, there was collusion by prison authorities in terms of facilitating his escape. He did escape through a mile-long tunnel. But quite frankly, I was very shocked that the prison officials did not react to the hammering when they were breaking into El Chapo Guzman's cell, because they punched the 20-inch by 20-inch hole through heavy, heavy concrete that was probably about 4 to 6 inches in thickness.

PAUL: So, what do you think authorities need to do to catch him?

VIGIL: Well, I think that, you know, the U.S. drug enforcement administration, the FBI and other federal agencies have to work daily with the Mexican military and the federal police in terms of identifying vulnerabilities of his organization, the Sinaloa cartel, and basically, go after his entire infrastructure.

They have to collapse the infrastructure so that Chapo Guzman will be, you know, easier captured. Because right now, you know, he's got his entire infrastructure completely intact.

PAUL: Well, not only that, but if they were intact in some regard while he was in prison, what kind of resources does he have to elude police outside of prison? I mean, how -- it was, what, a decade before he was caught last time he escaped?

VIGIL: Well, what happened is, he's got a tremendous stronghold in his home state of Sinaloa. He's protected there by the people because they look at him as a Robin Hood. And I think --

PAUL: So, do you believe that's where he is, or do you believe he's in the U.S.?

VIGIL: Oh, he's not in the U.S., you know. He's certainly probably in the state of Sinaloa where he's protected. And I've been into those mountains. It's rugged terrain, so it's very difficult to generate an operation, either helicopter assault, or if you move in there but through land vehicles, he's going to know within minutes.

PAUL: So, and real quickly, there's this theory. We were showing the video of the tunnel. But there is a theory out there that the tunnel was just an elaborate ruse, that he walked out of prison because of the cohorts that he had there. Do you think there is any plausible truth to that?

VIGIL: No. You have to understand that Mexico is the land of conspiracy. There is no truth to that. Had he been able to walk away as they indicate through the prison, he would have done that much sooner.

You know, the tunnel was constructed specifically to facilitate his escape. But again, you know, people talk about blueprints through the prison. He was given access to a cell phone. And through that, they were able to pinpoint the exact coordinates to his prison cell, and that's how they were able to get into the shower area, which was not covered by the security cameras.

PAUL: Hmm, all right. Michael Vigil, so appreciate your insight on this. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.

VIGIL: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: All right, a conservative event dumps Donald Trump for comments he made on CNN about debate moderator Megyn Kelly. We'll speak with a spokesperson for that group that disinvited him.

Also, new next hour, another controversial, fatal police shooting. But this time, the victim is an unarmed white teenager. And some people are asking, where's the outrage now?


[07:58:47] PAUL: The San Francisco 49ers apparently had enough with outside linebacker Aldon Smith. The team cut the star footballer after he was arrested Thursday night for hit-and-run, DUI and vandalism. Now, this is just the latest in really a string of off- the-field problems for him.

BLACKWELL: Yes, CNN Sports' Cory Wire has been following Aldon's rise and now these new troubles.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: A superstar difference-maker on the field, he's been a trouble-maker off of it. There have been five run-ins with the law since being drafted by the team in 2011. They finally cut ties. A lot of people on social media are thinking that these players are given too many opportunities. Their celebrity status is trumping morals, ethics and good old common sense.

We wanted to know, how many opportunities should a star athlete get? You had a lot to say on #NewDayCNN and our Facebook page.

Bill said, "Owners should only give one chance to these overpaid, pompous athletes. After all, lots of them are thugs! Why treat them differently?"

April said, "I believe in second chances and Aldon Smith has had plenty. He's incredibly talented, but needs help."

Librarydlemm, "Kids learn they can only get a slap on the wrist instead of consequences when NFL keeps letting players get many do- overs."

Brook said, "He should probably just get one chance, especially when it comes to the danger that follows him around."

Now, John, Mike, Andy and Darren on the Facebook page. We see you, Michelle, Bob and Judith also on Twitter, we'll get to you. We're going to have more of you comments in the next hour.