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THE SITUATION ROOM

Ferguson Violence Prompts State of Emergency; Clinton: Trump's Comments 'Offensive, Outrageous'; Taliban Wave of Terror Kills U.S. Service Member. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired August 10, 2015 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:16] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news, state of emergency. St. Louis County in crisis after a night of violence and new protests today marking one year since the shooting death of Michael Brown. Can law enforcement keep the demonstrations from spiraling out of control? We're live on the ground in Ferguson.

Blood feud. Republican presidential candidates pile on Donald Trump after his latest controversial remark, this time targeting a prominent newswoman. The outspoken candidate won't back down, but has he gone too far this time?

Wave of terror. Terrorists make it inside a coalition base in Afghanistan, killing and injuring American service members. The Taliban claiming responsibility for a series of attacks. How great is the danger now facing the almost 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan?

Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: We are following breaking news. A state of emergency now in effect in Ferguson, Missouri, and all of St. Louis County. Officials there taking drastic action after peaceful protests marking one year since the police shooting of Michael Brown gave way to violence and chaos.

Also, Hillary Clinton has just weighed in on the latest controversy swirling around Donald Trump. She's calling is attack on a FOX news woman offensive and outrageous.

We're covering all of that and more this hour with our correspondents and our guests, including the attorney for the family of Michael Brown, Benjamin Crump.

I want to begin with CNN's Brian Todd. He has the more on the violence that's rocking Ferguson.

Brian, give us the latest.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, tonight Ferguson is boiling with tension. We're looking toward the evening hours, when darkness descends, for any sign of the violence we saw last night. Police there are under enormous pressure tonight to head off any

potential violence and not let it escalate if anything does happen. Last night's shootings have put everyone in that city on edge.

Now we have to warn viewers, some of the video you're about to see is graphic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): One spark and chaos ensues in Ferguson. Muzzle flashes are seen near a white pickup truck.

Two groups start battling on the street, unleashing what the St. Louis County police chief calls a remarkable amount of gunfire. It sends protesters and police scurrying for cover. One suspect then allegedly fires at undercover police.

They returned fire, and he's wounded. That eruption triggered a tense standoff between police and local crowds. Bottles and bricks thrown at police, who responded by deploying smoke. It marred what had been a peaceful protests marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death.

As protests and arrests continued Monday, the violence frustrated advocates who want to keep the focus on reducing police shootings.

WESLEY BELL, FERGUSON CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: Many of these people who have their own agendas who do wish to escalate violence, they mix in with a lot of the people protesting, so it is difficult. And particularly for law enforcement, who has no idea oftentimes who is who.

TODD: Police say the wounded suspect is 18-year-old Tyrone Harris Jr., from St. Louis, who was charged today with ten criminal counts, contacted by CNN. Harris's aunt denies he shot at police, says he wasn't even carrying a gun.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, clearly frustrated, is appealing for the community to reign in troublemakers.

JON BELMAR, ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE CHIEF: We can't sustain this. We have other individuals who are armed right now. They're part of this group.

TODD: Police advocates say all eyes will be on how the Ferguson and St. Louis County police respond during these tense days and nights surrounding the anniversary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police in Ferguson and the surrounding area are under tremendous pressure.

TODD (on camera): How measured do they have to be? Do they have to not use force during moments when they normally would?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that when you start asking police officers to alter the way they've been trained to react, alter the way that they have to act to protect themselves and protect others, you run into more problems.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Now, Ferguson city council member Wesley Bell tells us since last year, he has noticed that Ferguson police have engaged the community more, doing more community policing. They know people's names in the neighborhood. They're likely going to need every ounce of that goodwill in the tense days and nights ahead surrounding this anniversary -- Brianna.

KEILAR: And Brian, I know that you've spoken to relatives of the suspect who was shot. What did they tell you?

[17:05:01] TODD: I spoke to Tyrone Harris's aunt just a short time ago and his father very briefly. His aunt not only denies that he shot at police. She says that Tyrone Harris was there just to attend the Michael Brown memorial events. She says he was a close friend of Michael Brown.

The father was agitated, really, just trying to process everything that happened. He did not want to speak to us and hung up the phone.

KEILAR: All right, Brian Todd. Thanks so much.

Let's go to Ferguson now. CNN's Sara Sidner is there for us.

Sara, there's already been many arrests today. What are you seeing right now?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the arrests aren't happening here in Ferguson. They're actually happening in Clayton, where the St. Louis County courthouse is. And people have been going there. And this was purposeful. They said that they were going to have civil disobedience today. This day was set aside for that. The weekend was supposed to be peaceful, prayerful. Marches today were not supposed to be that. They were expecting to be arrested, more than 50 people arrested, including some very prominent people who have been front and center in this movement and some of the civil rights leaders that we've known for many, many years, including Doure (ph) and a few people who have been ahead of this movement.

They all are in jail, arrested for civil disobedience, but that is exactly what they had planned to do, so no surprise there, although 56 people, quite a few people getting arrested because of this.

And of course, that violence that happened overnight, the police really saying, look, we believe these were not people who were part of the protests. This was something else. There was some sort of battle between two groups in the streets that were several hundred yards from where the protesters were engaging police on the police line, that these were, as they put it, criminals who ended up firing at police and police fired back -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Sara, you I know have been covering Ferguson for a year now. There is a new chief of police, but we're still seeing so many of the practices that the Justice Department flagged, going on with arrests that target -- tend to target African-Americans more than whites.

Do people feel that nothing has changed there?

SIDNER: No, there's a very big divide here. There are some folks who are trying to work together to try to figure out how to go forward. There are some residents here who think the city has shown change, but not enough. And there are others who believe that some of the changes are superficial. There has been a change in government. You know, the population is 67 percent African-American, and now the government actually reflects that, the city government.

You have an interim city manager who is African-American. You have a new judge. He's African-American. You have a new interim city police chief. He's African-American. You have two new city council members. They re both African-American, voted in recently in April.

So you have changes, visible changes, but some folks are saying just because you have people of color in those positions doesn't necessarily mean that their policies are going to change and affect people, you know, everyday people, everyday citizens on the ground. So there is still a divide as to whether things are changing or just changing superficially -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Sara Sidner for us in Ferguson.

The Justice Department and the attorney general are closely watching these developments there in Ferguson. CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez working this part of the story.

What are they keeping an eye on, Evan?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, you know, one of the problems with Ferguson is that, you know, it takes a long time for you to cure some of these problems that took years and years and years to develop.

Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, was in Pittsburgh today, trying to highlight one of these programs the Justice Department supports that is aimed at increasing and helping improve community policing around the country. And she spoke out against the violence that happened in Ferguson. Here's how she put it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I strongly condemn the violence that was perpetrated against the community, including the police officers in Ferguson last evening.

We have all seen over recent months and years, not only does violence obscure any message of peaceful protests, it places the community as well as the officers who are seeking to protect it in harm's way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PEREZ: And Brianna, one of the important things for Loretta Lynch is to try to project to the country, really, that the Justice Department is evenhanded in this. So she's speaking out not only against the behavior of police when they do wrong, but also against people who are trying to do violence against police officers.

KEILAR: What has the Justice Department been able to really accomplish here in a year, Evan?

PEREZ: That's a great question. It's in March of 2015. So it's only about five or six months ago. The Justice Department issued this scathing report into the practices of the Ferguson Police Department. And really now what they've been doing the last few months is negotiating with the city to try to put together a court-monitored plan to improve the police, and if you remember, this terrible system in the courts -- in the municipal courts there, which were viewed as essentially taxing poor people every time they drove through Ferguson.

[17:10:13] So a few things that are still to be done is, for example, changing the use of force guidelines there, trying to make sure that the police are -- police that are brought up on misconduct charges, that the community knows what happens to them, and also to stop using arrest warrants for failing to appear.

These are simply if you didn't pay a ticket and you failed to show up in court, you got fined again, and therefore, it was essentially a tax on a lot of people there in Ferguson. That is all work that needs to be done.

We should mention that Ferguson just last week, according to the mayor there, they had rejected the first offers from the Justice Department for a -- for an agreement, and now they're still working on trying to figure out how they're going to come to a court-monitoring plan.

KEILAR: All right, Evan Perez, thank you so much for your report.

I want to talk about all of this now with the attorney who represents the family of Michael Brown. Benjamin Crump with us now.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF MICHAEL BROWN: Thank you for having me.

KEILAR: Can you give us a sense of where Michael Brown's family is on this, where his parents -- how he parents have reacted to what they saw last night?

CRUMP: Well, as you know, Brianna, they went through a whole weekend of commemorative activities, very peaceful, trying to honor the legacy of their son, Michael Brown Jr., on the eve of his one-year anniversary of his tragic killing. And everything was peaceful, everything was fine, and they have always asked people to exercise their First Amendment constitutional rights to free speech in a positive, productive manner.

With that being said, they are keenly aware, as many in Ferguson, that the city rejected the violent settlement offer with the Justice Department with a consent decree right before this anniversary.

So really, it's one of those situations where the community is saying, what has changed?

KEILAR: So maybe they don't understand -- or maybe they don't support the violence, but they're understanding some of the sentiment that is making people upset?

CRUMP: Well, I think they are still frustrated with nothing than -- no one being held accountable for the death of Michael Brown, Jillian (ph). But also, when you look at all these findings for the city to say we did not have these practices -- these pattern and practices that we believe led to the tragic killing of an unarmed African- American in broad daylight, and namely their son.

Then you say, well, what has changed when you just take away from what people see as superficial things? And they appreciate and respect everybody trying to progress. And they know it's going to take time. We have now an African-American interim manager, city manager, interim police chief. They are interim, and so the question is, is this going to be just something for the cameras, and when everybody leaves, it's back to business as usual?

These people have seen this before, so they want to know if there really is going to be positive change. And so this one-year anniversary is a time to see what we have learned and how far we have come.

KEILAR: Ben, hang with me just a second. I have more questions for you. I need to get a quick break in.

For instance, Missouri has declared -- or the police officers' association declared in Missouri yesterday Darren Wilson Day. We'll get Ben Crump, the lawyer for Michael Brown's family, we'll get his reaction after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: We're following breaking news. A state of emergency declared in St. Louis County following a night of violence in Ferguson. Peaceful protests gave way to chaos and gunfire.

Police shot one man they say fired repeatedly at officers. Eighteen- year-old Tyrone Harris is in critical condition. He's been charged with ten counts.

And we're back now with the attorney representing the family of Michael Brown, Benjamin Crump.

Ben, I wonder what you think, really what the family thinking, and if they'd even heard of this police officers association in Columbia, Missouri, declaring yesterday Darren Wilson Day. Your reaction to that?

CRUMP: Well, certainly, everybody has a right to express their First Amendment rights, but it was very painful for his family. I know his mother expressed a painful reaction to the killer of her son, her unarmed son being celebrated. It was very troubling and very painful for them, especially when you consider they're going on an emotional roller coaster now.

[17:20:04] Even getting through Sunday was very difficult, because that was the one-year anniversary in those time frames really get in your heart, when you think about last year at this time, my son had all the hope and promise and now he's gone forever.

KEILAR: Darren Wilson, you know recently spoke out in an extensive profile, saying that he didn't really think about Michael Brown -- who Michael Brown was as a person because, quote, "it doesn't matter at this point."

What did Brown's mother and father think about those comments in that profile?

CRUMP: Well, I know they would want, as they did in their events commemorating Michael Brown this weekend, with other parents who lost children to senseless gun violence. We're hoping that the people who are supposed to protect and serve us all would consider their son like he considers any other citizen.

And so it just goes to the crux of the matter, what we're dealing with here. We have to have better community policing. And we all have to accept responsibility to saying we can't keep things occurring the way they are occurring, whether it's in Arlington, Texas, or Baltimore.

You know, in the year after Michael Brown's death, we've seen so many killings of unarmed people of color, and you do have to ask, are we moving forward? Are we getting better? Or are we saying the same thing, what Peter said, with nobody being held accountable?

And so I think that's where you see a lot of the expression that's coming out in this one-year anniversary is based specifically on that, Brianna, that people are saying it's happening more and more. It's not happening less. It's going to almost epic proportions that we're seeing every week another unarmed African-American being killed, whether it's in Cincinnati; Arlington; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and I mean, it's all around America.

KEILAR: Has anything changed? That's a question we will be talking about in this hour.

Ben Crump, attorney for Michael Brown's family, thanks so much for joining us.

I want to get more now with CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander, and St. Louis city alderman Antonio French.

You were there, Antonio, last night as this gunfire erupted. Describe it.

ANTONIO FRENCH, ST. LOUIS CITY ALDERMAN: Yes. It was very chaotic. You know, there was some looting and some breaking in some businesses beforehand. I made my way down to where one of the businesses had been broken in, and sit in front of the broken glass and made sure no more looters got in. I wasn't there more than a few minutes before gunshots rang out about 75 or so feet away from me. It was just a few at first and then more proceeded, and then it just seemed like we were surrounded by gunfire. People just went running.

And when the dust cleared, we learned that someone had been shot across the street, and later we found out it was officer-involved.

KEILAR: Cedric, I want you to look at the video of the arrest today in St. Louis. You had demonstrators who were demanding the dissolution of the Ferguson Police Department. Do you think these arrests were appropriate?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I can't tell you whether they were appropriate or not. People were exercising their First Amendment rights. And whatever they may have done there, I'm going to make some assumption that they went outside of the law.

But here is the bigger issue here, as it relates to Ferguson in and of itself. It is a community that is still healing, a community that was hurt for a period of time. And just a year ago there was a horrible death of Michael Brown, a community that went into a rage.

And since that time, yes, some changes have been made. You have a new interim chief in there, who is making an attempt and starting to build some bridges with community folks there, but he's only been there for two or three weeks. So those people who are in place are very new, but the pain that exists there in Ferguson is very long-standing. So it's going to take some time in order to continue to build that trust and build that relationship.

But we can never give up to the fact that we can't do anything. It's a lot still left to be done.

KEILAR: All right. Antonio French, Cedric Alexander, thank so much to both of you for joining us.

Coming up, not backing down. Donald Trump says debate moderator Megyn Kelly should apologize to him. This afternoon, Hillary Clinton fired back, lumping together what Trump and some of his fellow Republicans were saying about women.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: This afternoon, Hillary Clinton joined the chorus of politicians denouncing Donald Trump. She dismissed Trump's entire presidential campaign as entertainment.

[17:29:32] Clinton went on to blast what Trump and some of his fellow presidential candidates are saying about women, calling all of it outrageous.

CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny joining us now from New Hampshire.

She hit Trump, but then she went on to hit all Republicans, Jeff. JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: She did, Brianna. I mean, Hillary Clinton came here to New Hampshire to unveil her plan to make college more affordable, but like so many things on this campaign, she was overtaken by Trump.

Now of course, she knows him better than almost all of his Republican rivals do, but today she tried to link them all together.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What Donald Trump said about Megyn Kelly is outrageous.

ZELENY (voice-over): Donald Trump now spilling over into the Democratic primary.

CLINTON: Megyn Kelly is a strong woman and more than capable of defending herself against Donald Trump. I'm more worried about what the Republican policies would do to the rest of America's women, and I will continue to speak out and speak up about that.

ZELENY: Today in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton weighed in for the first time on Trump's controversial remarks.

CLINTON: If you just focus on maybe the biggest showman on the stage, you lose the thread here. The thread is that the Republicans are putting forth some very radical and offensive positions when it comes to women's lives.

ZELENY: She blasted the full Republican field, saying all women should be on alert over the candidates' fierce opposition to abortion rights, even in the case of rape and incest.

CLINTON: I said it was offensive. I said it was outrageous. I stand by that. I think more people should say the same. They should be going after him. The Republican Party will have to deal with him. I don't want that forgotten.

So yes, I know it makes great TV. I think the guy went way overboard, offensive, outrageous, pick your adjective. But what Marco Rubio said has as much of an impact in terms of where the Republican Party is today.

ZELENY: Bill and Hillary Clinton have known Trump for years. He contributed to her Senate campaigns, and their family foundation. They attended his wedding.

She tried to distance himself from Trump today.

CLINTON: I didn't know him that well. I mean, I knew him. I knew him, and I happened to be planning to be in Florida. And I thought it would be fun to go to his wedding, because it's always entertaining. Now that he's running for president, it's a little more troubling.

ZELENY: She came to New Hampshire to unveil a plan to reign in student loans and make college affordable. CLINTON: We need to make a quality education affordable and available

to everyone willing to work for it, without saddling them with decades of debt.

ZELENY: The Clinton campaign may be smiling about Trump and his dominance over the Republican campaign, but they have a Democratic race of their own on their hands, with Bernie Sanders.

BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: Yes, we have the guts to take you on.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZELENY: Now, while Bernie Sanders may by a Democratic distraction, her aides insist it's only a temporary one. She believes the best way to bring any Democrats around who aren't yet sold on her candidacy is to present the strongest general election message.

And Brianna, that's what she was trying to do today, by painting all Republicans with that Trump brush.

KEILAR: We've seen her do this with other topics, as well. We expect she'll continue to.

Jeff Zeleny for us in New Hampshire with Hillary Clinton, thanks.

Joining us now in THE SITUATION ROOM, we have political commentator and Sirius/XM host Abby Huntsman. We have CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp and CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. He's the editorial director of "The National Journal."

S.E., to you first. How do Republicans, aside from speaking out, as we've heard them do now on a few of these topics, how do they handle Trump?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I've been encouraged that every Republican in the field has denounced Trump's language. In past cycles, for example, on Todd Akin, you know, Republicans have been defending him for quite some time. So that's encouraging.

But I am very disappointed in the lack of political courage among the candidates for not really coming out strongly and saying, "Guys, voters, I know you're frustrated. I get it. I know politicians have let you down. Donald Trump is not the answer. He's not conservative. He's not electable. He doesn't care about you; he only cares about himself. Stop the nonsense. As long as we're talking about Donald Trump, we're not talking about Hillary Clinton's failed policies or Barack Obama's failed policies. Cut it out."

No one's really done that. They get out. They politely say, "I disagree with what he says." Well, this is...

KEILAR: And I understand why people are following his lead.

CUPP: Yes, exactly. KEILAR: So we heard Kasich say that.

Ron, put this in context for us, this latest brush-up between Donald Trump and FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly. This has to do with women. How important are women in this election?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, women have cast a majority of the votes in every presidential election since 1984; 53 percent of all votes in 2012. And Democrats have run better among women and men, the so-called gender gap, in every presidential election since 1980.

The important point, though, is there is room to grow within that. Although Democrats have benefited from the gender gap, they have not carried a majority of white women since '96.

In fact in 2012, President Obama had the weakest performance among white women for any Democrat since Walter Mondale in 1984. And what that really suggests here, Brianna, is that, particularly with a white -- potentially a white woman nominee who is emphasizing issues of gender much more overtly than she did in 2008, there is a risk to Republicans the Democrats could improve on that performance, and lest we forget, even that relatively weak performance in 2012 was enough to support a 5 million vote victory.

So there's a lot at stake here for Republicans, getting both the tone and the policy right.

KEILAR: I wonder, Abby, if you could explain something that you've said, which is basically that Donald Trump is this -- he's sort of a window into something bigger here, right? A civil war in the GOP?

ABBY HUNTSMAN, SIRIUS/XM RADIO: Yes, I think this is potentially the launching of a civil war that we are going to see happen within the Republican Party.

Anyone that has followed the GOP over the past few years, I mean, I was in the cycle a lot four years ago. And I will tell you, there was a deep divide then.

And here you're seeing potentially a launch of a civil war with Donald Trump out there saying the things he's saying, as disgusting as they are. No matter what he says, he still has this 15 to 20 percent support group.

I think there's something going on in this country, by the way. It's not just Donald Trump. It's also Bernie Sanders, where voters are -- there's something refreshing about someone that is not a politician, that is willing to speak their mind, not willing to apologize, willing to speak to the media. They're not afraid of anything. So I think that's going on.

At the same time you're seeing the Republican Party, the establishment, but also this angry right that has been built up over a period of time. And Donald Trump represents that better than any candidate did last month's go-around. KEILAR: What do you think, S.E.?

CUPP: I think civil war is going a bit far. I don't -- I don't think the people who support Donald Trump are supportive of his policies. I know that because he hasn't enumerated any of them.

I think Abby is right that they support a person who sounds like a real person, not a politician. They like that. But they also want the pilot not to crash the plane into the mountains. And I think more voters who might have been open to a conservative candidate who was a little unorthodox are seeing that Donald Trump is not the answer. They like his candor; they like his straight talk. But they also want some substance. And he's just not delivering it.

KEILAR: Is there a point, Abby, where you think some of the damage or sentiment that Donald Trump puts out there becomes permanent damage for the Republican Party?

HUNTSMAN: I think that the party is very concerned about that. I mean, whether or not you think he meant to say what he said about Megyn Kelly, it was a disgusting comment. You do not want to get into the business of talking about blood coming out of any part of a woman's body. And usually when you run for president, you're wanting to lift up the political discourse. And it seems like he is still on the set of a reality show.

So me personally, I'm passionate about that. I care about the future of the party, and I'm concerned about the comments that he has made and the fact there are folks out there that it doesn't bother them. They are still standing by their man.

I mean, you wonder what younger kids that are watching this play out, are thinking about this, and what is OK to say? When you're running as president, it matters what you say. It matters how you treat people, not just women but all people. It matters if you're a bully or not, and that is something that he's proven to be.

KEILAR: Ron, take a look at this ad. It's a Trump ad out today targeting Jeb Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Read my lips. No new taxes.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Would you have authorized the invasion?

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would have. Did he do this wrong, my dad did this wrong.

GRAPHIC: The third time won't be a charm.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KEILAR: Wow, I mean, maybe he's not a politician, but I think you could argue that's a politically astute ad.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, right. It does go to, I think, the central anxiety that many Republicans have about him, which I think the ideological resistance on the right. But from the more kind of pragmatic side of the party, the question is whether you have to re-litigate the Bush positions of the past, particularly George W. Bush.

And look, I wouldn't go so far as civil war, either, but there is clearly a dividing line in the Republican Party. I mean, and you do have kind of this more white collar, more centrist, more establishment universe that is really choosing among Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, to some extent Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker.

I mean, you have Donald Trump mobilizing the other half of the party, which is the overlapping circles of two party evangelical Christians, blue collar voters, who are much more alienated, not only from the direction of the country but from the direction of the party.

And even if Trump ultimately deflates, as most Republicans still expect with this kind of language, the party will still have the challenge of managing the expectations and really, the animosity of those voters as they move towards the general election.

KEILAR: Ron, S.E., Abby, thanks so much to all of you. A great conversation.

HUNTSMAN: Thanks.

KEILAR: Be sure to catch Donald Trump's response to all of this criticism. He'll be on CNN's "NEW DAY" tomorrow morning. It begins at 6 a.m. Eastern.

And coming up: wave of terror. A surge in Taliban attacks claims dozens of lives. With them, a U.S. service member.

And we're also following the breaking news in Ferguson, Missouri. New demonstrations, new arrests in the wake of a new police shooting controversy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:44:53] KEILAR: We are following a deadly new wave of attacks by Afghanistan Taliban. This includes today's suicide bombing outside of Kabul's main airport. The new attacks have claimed dozens of lives including a U.S. service member.

I want to bring in now CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto for details -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, we're learning new details just in the last few moments and that is that those Taliban attackers, when they attacked that U.S. Special Operations base on Friday, breached the base's defenses. They got inside the line of that base, they blew up an SUV at the gate and then attackers went inside. Four of them were killed, but still a major breach of security there. And as it turns out those attacks on Friday would unleash a wave of attacks that will last days.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO (voice-over): A wave of terror across the Afghan capital. Today's suicide car bombers struck a checkpoint outside Kabul's airport, close to a U.S. base, killing at least five people, wounding 16. The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility, saying it targeted, quote, "occupying foreign forces."

The bloody attack followed a series of suicide blasts on Friday on a market. A police academy, and a coalition military base, killing more than 50 people, including a U.S. soldier, and injuring 10 other U.S. service members. The Afghan president barely containing his anger, blamed Pakistan, ending months of diplomatic outreach to Afghanistan's neighbor.

PRES. ASHRAF GHANI, AFGHANISTAN (Through Translator): We want the Pakistani government to take practical action against those circles who are committing rebellious acts against Afghanistan.

SCIUTTO: But the violent reflects turmoil within the Taliban as well. The announcement of the death of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar last month sparked an internal power struggle between factions that favor peace talks with the Afghan government and a new Taliban leader who rejects them.

JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: These attacks underscore two things, Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and that the Taliban has not renounced the use of violence as a tactic and a terror device.

SCIUTTO: The renewed violence comes as the U.S. continues to draw down its military presence in Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good seeing, thank you.

SCIUTTO: Leading to renewed fears among many U.S. lawmakers that Afghan Security Forces are not yet ready to protect the country.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Taliban and other terrorist groups are testing the new Afghan army, so President Obama's withdrawal plan is too far too fast and you'll have Iraq all over again if you withdraw from Afghanistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: There are nearly 10,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, their role largely to train Afghan forces, but also force protection that is sometimes taking them outside the lines of U.S. bases.

It will be interesting to watch, Brianna, whether this violence leads them to take on the Taliban, and further operation outside as well. Those operations, of course, very risky.

KEILAR: Sure. Our Jim Sciutto, thanks so much. With us now in THE SITUATION ROOM to discuss this, CNN national

security analyst Peter Bergen, and CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA official Phil Mudd.

Phil, what is driving the surge in violence?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Pretty straightforward here. Look, you have a new president emerged in Afghanistan last year, in 2014, made some tentative steps toward peace, then you have the demise of the Taliban leader and Taliban factions as Jim was just talking about, deciding that they don't want to go down the road to peace.

It's a tragic situation. It looked like we were taking steps in the right direction, and now it looks like we've got to reverse.

BROWN: We're going to take a quick break, we'll be right back with more from our terror panel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:52:51] KEILAR: We're following a surge in Taliban terror attacks. A suicide bomber targeted a Kabul airport checkpoint today. An attack on a military base Friday claimed the life of a U.S. service member.

We're back now with our terror panel Peter Bergen and Phil Mudd.

Peter, when you see this surge in violence how much of it has to do with the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it's a great deal for the -- you know, the announcement of his death, I mean, he was the one thing holding the Taliban together. He had purportedly backed the peace process. In fact, you know, he was dead at the time, but people speaking in his name backed the peace process. Mullah Mansur who now has taken over the Taliban has said he's going to try to start the jihad, he said that last week. These attacks speak for themselves.

Interesting that President Ghani criticized the Pakistani government because there has been a rapprochement. The new number two leader of the Taliban in this new kind of confection of the Taliban is the leader of Haqqani Network which, you know, regarded as being close to the Pakistani government. So this unfortunately, as Phil said, it is a huge step backwards.

KEILAR: What does it mean for ISIS when you look at what we're seeing happening in Afghanistan?

MUDD: Look, Brianna, on the surface it looks like it would be an opportunity for ISIS. The Afghan military is not good at projecting power. We saw with attacks in Kabul for the past couple of days. Factualism within the Taliban suggests that would give an opening to ISIS.

I think that conclusion would be too simplistic. There's one problem with ISIS emerging in Afghanistan and that is the Taliban. These guys are intent on protecting their turf. As soon as ISIS moves in especially if it's foreign ISIS, not Afghan ISIS, and foreigners are coming in saying we want to claim some turf, I think they're going to have a big problem stealing it from the Taliban. They'll get killed.

KEILAR: In New Jersey you've had a young than, Nader Sada, he's 20 years old, he's been arrested in associate with ISIS, trying to provide material support. We see so many of this.

Why is the U.S. struggling, Peter, to curb this recruitment?

BERGEN: Well, I think the FBI is actually doing a pretty good job of arresting these folks.

KEILAR: Of finding them.

BERGEN: I mean, we've had 50 of these cases since the beginning of this year. That's the most jihadi terrorism cases we've seen in any year since 9/11, and we're only in August. So, you know, the tempo of these kinds of cases has gone up very dramatically. You know, and there's a whole set of reasons for that, that we probably have time to get into because we need to go to break.

KEILAR: You guessed right.

(LAUGHTER)

KEILAR: This is some good news, though. Peter Bergen, Phil Mudd -- you can see it on my face, I think.

Coming up, Donald Trump, defiant amid the latest controversy to rock his campaign. Why is he saying that he's the one owed an apology?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Now Ferguson under fire. After violence erupts exactly one year after Michael Brown's death. Protesters return to the streets facing arrest and a new stage of emergency.

We are live in Missouri following the breaking news.