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THE SITUATION ROOM

Trump Rising; ISIS Recruiting; Dow Drops. Aired 18-19:00p ET

Aired August 25, 2015 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:01]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: How low will it go? The Dow Jones industrial average loses more ground in a tense trading down. It's now down more than 1,800 points in the last five sessions alone. So, what is sending Wall Street into a nosedive?

Trumped-up feud. Donald Trump launching new attacks on his adversaries and speaking out to Howard Stern. We're standing by for Trump to answer reporters' questions live. And we will talk to the former "Apprentice" contestant who is now helping lead Trump's Iowa campaign.

Terror warning. The FBI issues an unprecedented bulletin saying that ISIS is increasingly trying to recruit women in the United States, and a growing number are actually trying to join. What is drawing them to the terrorist forces?

And porn drone. Police foil a plot to deliver pornography, drugs, a gun and other contraband to prison inmates by drone. Are the high-tech toys changing the way smugglers operate?

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: We're following breaking news, hopes of a Wall Street recovery dashed in a dramatic day that saw the Dow plunge again as trading was drawing to a close, erasing a gain of more than 400 points. Instead, the Dow is now down another 205 points, more than 1,800 points down in the last five sessions alone.

We're also standing by for Donald Trump to answer reporters' questions, live in Dubuque, Iowa, where the Republican front-runner is holding a rally tonight. We're covering that and much more this hour with our correspondents and our guests, including the co-chairwoman of Trump's Iowa campaign, the former "The Apprentice" contestant Tana Goertz. She is standing by live.

We begin though with the chaos on Wall Street.

Once again, our business correspondent, Richard Quest, has been watching it all unfold.

How bad was it, Richard? RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was ugly, it was extremely

nerve-racking. And for a day, Wolf, that had started so optimistically, that 300-, 400-point rise, at its best the Dow Jones was up more than 441 points.

And then throughout the whole session, it held on to many of those gains. But 45 minutes to an hour to the end, the gains just evaporated. And the reason I'm being told by those in the market, a feeling that China, the issue about China has not gone away, has not been put to rest. If you take, for example, the Chinese deciding to lower interest rates, to change bank reserve ratios, it is not enough.

People in the market do not know how bad the Chinese economy is and nobody wants to go in overnight with actually in an open position. That's the reason why right at the end things turn turtle.

BLITZER: A lot of us think that we may be going back to the future, if you will. Take a look at what happened back in 2007, 2008. Richard, as you will remember, a lot of our viewers will remember the Dow back in October 11, 2007, reached a high of 14198. But only, what, a year-and-a-half later, it was down in March of 2009 6440.

Now jump forward. Since then, it moved up. Earlier this year, three months ago, on May 19, the Dow was at an all-time high at 18351. But since then, it has come down about 3,000 points, closing today 15,666.

And people are worried. Could we be bracing for another similar disaster as we all saw back in 2007, 2008, and early 2009?

QUEST: Excellent graph, Wolf. That beautifully shows the difficulties of the market. So the short answer, could we be looking, is it possible? Yes, it is. Is it likely? Is it probable? No, it isn't. For this reason.

So far, we don't believe that there are anything like the imbalances in the banking system in the developed world that we had back in 2008. Huge amounts of liquidity and capital restructuring, tier one capital, you name it, it has all built up the banks to a position where they could withstand losses. Is there something smelly, nasty, unforeseen lurking under the Chinese economy that could absolutely destroy all of that?

Yes, it is possible, Wolf. Is it likely? The better minds don't think it will happen that way. The imbalances in global economics are there, but they're not as real or as bad as 2008.

BLITZER: Let's hope not.

That would be awful if that were to happen again, although a lot of us are concerned. A 3,000-point drop in the last three months, that's pretty bad to begin with. Richard, thanks very, very much.

[18:05:03]

Let's move on to the presidential race in the United States. Donald Trump, he is in Iowa tonight. We're standing by for the Republican front-runner to answer reporters' questions live just ahead of a rally later tonight in Dubuque, Iowa.

That's where our political reporter Sara Murray is joining us right now.

The crowd beginning to fill that auditorium where you are. What's the latest over there, Sara?

SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, wolf, You can see they opened the doors. The crowd is starting to fill in. Maybe we will be getting a fiery Donald Trump tonight. He certainly was on the warpath earlier today on Twitter. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY (voice-over): The GOP front-runner today battling with Jeb Bush, calling him a mess over his defense of the term anchor babies.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed, where there's organized efforts and frankly it's more related to Asian people, coming into our country, having children in that organized efforts, taking advantage of a noble concept which is birthright citizenship.

MURRAY: Trump didn't hold back on Twitter, saying Bush's comment was a clumsy move to get out of his anchor babies dilemma, adding, "Asians are very offended that Jeb said that anchor babies applies to them."

On the trail today, Bush needling Trump as a candidate full of fury, but light on substance.

BUSH: There's a lot of really good talkers running for president. And there is one in particular I'm thinking of. Look, talking is good. It is important to be able to communicate. I got that. But I think it is more important to solve problems now.

MURRAY: The latest exchange a signal of how the battle for the Republican nomination is quickly coming down to a war of words between two top candidates. But Bush was not Trump's only candidate. Last night, he bashed President Obama's plans to host a state dinner for the president of China, saying if he were in the White House:

TRUMP: I would not be throwing him a dinner. We have had this conversation. I would get him a McDonald's hamburger and I would give him a double -- probably a double size Big Mac.

We will give him a state dinner. And what he has done is sucked all of our jobs.

(CROSSTALK)

MURRAY: Even refusing to rule out a trade war with the world's second largest economy. TRUMP: You have to do that. And then you bring it back to

normal. You have no choice.

MURRAY: Trump rounding out his latest takedowns by reigniting his grudge against FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly, retweeting someone who called her a bimbo and saying, "I liked 'The Kelly File' much better without Megyn Kelly. Perhaps she could take another 11-day unscheduled vacation."

FOX News' CEO Roger Ailes calling on Trump to apologize today, saying, "Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY: Donald Trump is expected to arrive here shortly. He will take questions from reporters and then he will speak to this growing crowd. It will be interesting to see who he trains his fire on tonight, whether it's Megyn Kelly, Jeb Bush or another one of his GOP rivals. For now, we just have a lot of excited voters ready to check out Donald Trump up close and personal -- back to you, Wolf.

BLITZER: It looks like a big crowd getting ready to hear Donald Trump. We will have live coverage. He's going to do Q&A with the reporters before that we're told as well.

We are also going to be speaking shortly with Tana Goertz. She's the co-chair of the Iowa state campaign for Donald Trump. She's a former "Apprentice" contestant, by the way, as well.

In the meantime, let's get some analysis, what is going on.

Joining us now, the Obama senior adviser and CNN political corresponding Dan Pfeiffer, our chief political correspondent -- the chief political correspondent, I should say, for "Slate" magazine, Jamelle Bouie. He's not our chief correspondent, but he is for "Slate." And our senior political analyst, Ron Brownstein, he's the editorial director of "The National Journal." Also joining us, our national political reporter Maeve Reston.

As we get ready to hear Donald Trump out there, what is he up to right now, Maeve? Why has he decided to end that cease-fire with FOX News and go after Megyn Kelly right now?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Attention. Just like everything else. He is driving the story line once again.

I think that this is sort of a curious line of attack. I'm not exactly sure who it resonates with. But we're all certainly tuning in and waiting to see what he says next. I did think that that smackdown by FOX was really interesting. But, you know, there are some theories out there, as Kevin Madden told you earlier, that this is just part of a Trump-FOX ratings scheme.

That could absolutely be the case. We have no idea. But everybody is still talking about Trump and his feuds and that's the way he wants it.

BLITZER: Let me ask Ron Brownstein, who has covered a lot of campaigns over the years. What is he up to? What is his strategy right now, based on everything you can tell?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. We have never seen anything quite like this. I think so it is hard to kind of say exactly what the precedent is.

But, certainly, I think he feels he is getting a lot of traction by saying things that politicians normally don't say, and by behaving in ways that politicians normally don't behave. The question for Donald Trump, I still believe, is whether that also puts a ceiling. There's clearly an audience for that.

[18:10:10]

He's established that. The newest polling established that. The question is whether that kind of posture and behavior ultimately puts a ceiling that leaves you short of what you will need to win when the race ultimately narrows. But he has found a nerve among the most disaffected elements of the Republican Party and he is just poking at it day after day.

BLITZER: He certainly is. We are going to see him live pretty soon.

Jamelle, let's talk about this new Monmouth University poll in South Carolina. It has Donald Trump ahead now in South Carolina, an early primary state, at 30 percent. He's ahead of almost everyone else by double digits. He is leading in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina among Republicans. He's leading nationally. All of his other comments certainly don't seem to have hurt him. If anything, they seem at least in the polls to have helped him.

JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE: I think Ron is absolutely right.

There is a substantial chunk of Republican voters who want to hear stuff like this. They want to hear someone go after FOX News, even if they watch FOX News and they enjoy FOX News. There is something thrilling about watching someone do that.

They want to hear someone slam President Obama. They want to hear someone slam all the other Republicans who they view have betrayed them over the past six or seven years, promising them things and never actually delivering. It doesn't surprise me that Trump is doing so well in South Carolina. Remember, this is a state in 2012 voted for Newt Gingrich during the primary, giving him that surprise win that upended the race a little bit. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump stays in longer, that we see something that happen again.

BLITZER: He's at 30 percent in this poll in South Carolina. The senior senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, is at 4 percent in South Carolina and he just got reelected with a pretty impressive majority as well. Dan, you're a good Democrat. You're looking at this whole fight

among Republicans from the outside. Do you understand what's going on?

DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Who am I to question the methods of Donald Trump? Everything he does violates every rule that a political consultant would give him, and it works. Don't attack FOX News, don't say offensive things. And somehow he's made that work for himself.

Democrats are overjoyed by what's happening to see Donald Trump soaring, Jeb Bush struggling, Marco Rubio struggling. What is most important I think for November of 2016 is that Trump has pulled the entire immigration debate so much further to the right than Republicans are comfortable with? They have to do exponentially better with Latino voters than they did in 2012. And they're on path to do worse right now and that's good for Democrats.

BLITZER: Democrats should not necessarily be thrilled, overjoying right now, if that's the word to used, right? I'm old enough to remember back in, what, 1980, there was an incumbent Democratic president named Jimmy Carter and they were overjoyed when a former actor Ronald Reagan got the Republican nomination. They thought it was a lock that he was going to get reelected. You remember that, don't you, Ron?

BROWNSTEIN: I do.

But Dan's point, separate from whoever the candidate is, the entire tenor of the debate is very different. You remember right after 2012, when Mitt Romney won a higher share of the white vote than Ronald Reagan did in 1980 and lost the election by five million votes, the overwhelming impulse in the Republican Party -- the RNC had a commission that talked about expanding its reach demographically.

If you kind of follow the arc, Trump is not just something that erupted out of nowhere. There's really been two years of retreat from the idea of reaching out to Hispanics. They have rallied around this countertheory that their problem is they didn't mobilize enough conservatives to vote in 2012.

You see the party moving toward a position. When Jeb Bush is tangled and talking about anchor babies, when Jeb Bush is in that, you can see how much they have moved from where they started out and how dependent they will be in 2016, in all likelihood, on in fact an overwhelmingly white coalition in an increasingly diversifying country.

BOUIE: And what is happening is Trump is what it looks like. Trump is what it takes on get those additional white voters out to the polls. The missing white voters that may have just sat out 2012, those are Trump voters. I'm not sure the Republican Party really want to go down that road in a general election.

(CROSSTALK) BLITZER: Everyone, stand by for a moment. The Trump campaign is

holding a contest to pick its caucus leaders in Iowa and it is being modeled after Trump's reality show, "The Apprentice."

Tana Goertz is the campaign's Iowa co-chair. She was also an "Apprentice" runner-up. What this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Thousands upon thousands of applicants from all over the country have stood in long lines and endured a rigorous screening process, all for a shot at becoming "The Apprentice."

Tana is a mother of two who owns a lucrative clothing business and is one of Mary Kay's top-selling saleswomen. She rose to the top with a positive can-do attitude and sharp negotiating skills.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Tana is joining us now from Dubuque, Iowa.

You must be pretty happy with that crowd behind you, Tana. We spoke last week as well. Let's talk about this "Apprentice"-style competition. How does that actually lead to votes in the caucuses coming up in Iowa for Donald Trump?

(CROSSTALK)

TANA GOERTZ, IOWA TRUMP CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: Oh, my gosh, Wolf.

It has been so well received. It is awesome. I'm actually, as I was mentioning to you last week, that I get so many volunteers, so many people who want to be part of this movement, to get a piece of this fun and this excitement and be a part of this that I'm finding the best of the best and putting competitions together to get my caucus leaders, people that have sharp negotiating skills, people that are excellent communicators that can draw a crowd, throw a party, and actually get people out on February 1 to caucus for Mr. Trump.

[18:15:24]

And it is a riot. I'm having so much fun.

BLITZER: Does the reality type format that you're using, though, the reality TV format, does that sort of undermine the serious nature of these Iowa caucuses? That's what some of the critics are suggesting.

GOERTZ: Oh, no, oh, please. Are you kidding me? It is creating a buzz, it's create excitement. People say they have never been so excited about politics.

Why not? You don't just want have somebody to be out there. You get your opportunity to make your last pitch. And I'm not going to put somebody in there that maybe is afraid of public speaking. So, no, I'm looking at it like this is a great that opportunity for people to actually get jobs.

Mr. Trump is going to know who is doing a great job and at the end of the day, some of these people may get hired.

BLITZER: Tana, I want you to stand by. We have more to discuss, including the end of the cease-fire between Donald Trump and FOX News, goes after Megyn Kelly. Much more right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:21:12]

BLITZER: We're standing by for Donald Trump. He's getting ready to address a rally in Dubuque, Iowa. We will have live coverage.

In the meantime, Tana Goertz is still with us. She's the Donald Trump campaign's Iowa co-chair. She's at that rally right now.

Tana, let's talk about this latest little war that is going on between Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly of FOX News. You defended Trump in his past comments about Megyn Kelly. She asked some pretty tough questions of Donald Trump at that first Republican presidential debate. But now even FOX News CEO Roger Ailes is criticizing Donald Trump, saying his attack was unacceptable, disturbing. He suggested that Donald Trump should apologize to Megyn Kelly, to which you say?

GOERTZ: What I say is, don't mess with the bull, honey. You're going to get the horns.

Just like I said it before, the reality is don't attack Mr. Trump and he won't come after you. He has got nothing to defend himself. He's got no apology to make.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Go ahead.

GOERTZ: No, I was just going to say, we know that she treated him unprofessionally. And he will not stand by and just take that. And that's what I want in my next president. I want a tough guy who isn't afraid to take his stand and go I will not be treated that way and I won't go down without a fight.

BLITZER: He also retweeted someone who called Megyn Kelly a bimbo and a waste. Is that appropriate for a presidential candidate to retweet comments like that?

GOERTZ: The reality, Wolf, is he is human. He is defending his position right now. We all make mistakes. We all do things that maybe we don't make at the moment, but he is just like everybody else. That's what the people in Iowa love about him.

He is human. He has human qualities. He makes mistakes just like the rest of us. I can't speak for him. But you know what? He does what he does and he is leading in the polls, so people don't seem to mind it. I personally don't mind it at all. I think for all those people that are worrying about it and just want to still talk about it, for goodness sakes, quit worrying about Mr. Trump's tweets and go out and do something. Try to do something to make America great yourself, would be my opinion.

BLITZER: So you know Donald Trump. When people say they're offended by those comments about Megyn Kelly and retweeting that tweet saying she is a bimbo, you say that comes with the territory? Is that what I'm hearing?

GOERTZ: You know, I'm just saying, don't be so sensitive. So many Americans are offended by anything anymore. I would say quit worrying about Mr. Trump's tweets and go make America great yourself if you think you can do a better job.

BLITZER: You have a lot of people e-mailing you, I'm told, wanting to be part of the Donald Trump caucus team. How many paid staffers are there right now in Iowa and how many people do you want to be part of your team?

GOERTZ: Right now, we have I think 10 or 11 paid staffers.

As I mentioned to you last week, I get over 400, now it's about 500 e-mails, phone calls a day. I want to be a part of this and we're taking every single of them. We have a place and a role for every single one of them. We will not turn anyone away. We really don't need to pay any more staffers, because these people are coming. They're spending their own money. I have people that came from Minnesota. I have people flying in. People want to be here. They want to spend their own money and they are.

BLITZER: Let's talk about one other sensitive issue that has come up in the last several days, Donald Trump's immigration plan.

Richard Thornton, one of Trump's Iowa co-chairs, says Trump's plans in his words to gather up families and ship them out is a big mistake. What is your take on his immigration plan?

GOERTZ: I think he is 100 percent accurate. I support him 100 percent.

And people, like I said, we're human. Mr. Thornton is human. He may have or may not have said what he said, but we all have our opinions and those are not my opinions.

BLITZER: Tana Goertz, the former "Apprentice" contestant, now one of the co-chairs of Donald Trump's campaign in Iowa, thanks very much once again for joining us.

[18:25:03]

GOERTZ: Thank you. You're welcome. Thanks for having me, Wolf. Have a great night.

BLITZER: You too. I'm sure you will. There is a big crowd behind you getting ready to hear from Donald Trump.

GOERTZ: Yes.

BLITZER: Sources now say that he has President Obama's blessing and is more likely than not to run. We're talking about the vice president, Joe Biden.

What is the White House saying about a potential presidential bid by Joe Biden?

Let's go to our White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski. She is standing by.

What is the very latest, Michael? What are you hearing about the vice president's plans?

(CROSSTALK)

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. You know the White House has been barraged with these questions over a potential Biden run.

Does this put the president in an impossible situation of having to choose between his vice president and former secretary of state? Is this going to change the operations and work within the White House? What exactly was said in that lunch yesterday between the president and vice president?

But the White House isn't wading into it. What they have offered repeatedly now is effusive praise for Biden. But they said today those conversations between the two of them will stay private. Further, the decision to run for president is intensely personal. They want to give Biden the time and space to do that for himself.

Even when you ask a question in a more general sense, couldn't the Biden run maybe good for the Democratic Party, the White House just won't go there. They're not ruling out though that the president will endorse somebody down the road. I think what we're seeing now is that everything Biden does over the next few weeks will be viewed with another level of meaning.

Today, he was in Ohio for a funeral of a former congressman. But then that is a battleground state. Polling is already showing that he could potentially do better than Hillary Clinton against a rival like Donald Trump. Tomorrow, he will be lobbying members of the Democratic National Committee on the Iran deal. Couldn't that be not so bad for a campaign?

And we know that those close to him, Wolf, are saying that that campaign is something he is now leaning toward.

BLITZER: Leaning, key word leaning. All right. Thanks very much, Michelle, for that.

Let's bring back our panel.

Dan Pfeiffer, you worked at the White House, you worked for the president a long time. When we are hearing that the president has given his blessing to the vice president to run for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Clinton and the others who are running, what does that say to you?

PFEIFFER: I can't imagine a scenario where the president would not give his blessing. The personal connection between these men is incredibly close. The loyalty that they have shown each other over the last seven years now, eight years is tremendous.

And I am confident if this is what the vice president wants to do, he thinks it is the right thing for himself and for the country, the president would certainly not stand in the way of that.

BLITZER: Do you think he will do it?

PFEIFFER: I don't know. I think it is really hard to read all these tea leaves. It wouldn't surprise me if he did. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't.

I do think if he got in the race, Hillary Clinton would have a big head-start, but he would be a very formidable candidate.

BLITZER: He has a lot of work to do to catch up.

BROWNSTEIN: He does. He doesn't have a clear line of argument, except for one. He doesn't have a big generational contrast. He doesn't have a big ideological contrast. He's pretty much from the same wing of the party.

If you think about some of the difficulties she's had with African-American activists, for example, Joe Biden was the principal Senate architect of the crime bill that Bill Clinton signed and that he has largely announced. What he has really is her vulnerability. I think that is the clearest argument.

To some extent, I think this choice will depend at least as much on what happens to her as what happens to him. If Hillary Clinton continues to seem as though she's going to further weakened, I think this becomes obviously more attractive to Joe Biden. If she can right the ship, it's harder to see the lane that is open for him.

BLITZER: He will have a lot of work to do, Jamelle, because take a look at this new Suffolk University poll showing Hillary Clinton way ahead of the pack in the Iowa right now. She's at 54 percent. Bernie Sanders is at 20 percent. Biden, who hasn't even officially announced anything, he is only at 11 percent. It will be hard for him to catch up, although certainly not impossible.

BOUIE: Not impossible, but, yes, very hard.

If you step back for a second and sort of ignore the e-mail stuff for a second, it is very clear that Hillary Clinton is popular with the vast majority of Democrats. Even the polls showing her behind in New Hampshire, those are -- that's an isolated case. In every other state where there has been early polling, in national polling, Hillary Clinton is ahead. I would say if I were a Democrat, if I were a Hillary supporter,

I would very much want Biden to jump in. I think even if she is strong with Democrats, it's good to get into fighting shape. The 2008 primary really energized Democrats across the country. The fact that that was a hard fight really encouraged people to go to the polls. I think the party should want a repeat of that.

BLITZER: Let's not forget, Maeve, we still have five months to go, a little bit more than five months before the February 1 Iowa caucuses.

At this point, as you well remember eight years ago, in all the polls leading up to Iowa, Hillary Clinton was way ahead as well. Barack Obama, who eventually obviously won the Iowa caucuses, he was not necessarily doing all that well.

RESTON: Right. I know we love polls at CNN, but honestly I would not pay that much attention to Biden's numbers right at this point.

If he gets into the race, if he starts making a clear argument for his candidacy, then there are a lot of hurdles that he can get through that other people who are unknown at this point in the Democratic field would have much more trouble with.

The thing about Biden is that he really resonates with that blue- collar worker who is upset with the way things are going in the country. That is why Obama brought him on to the ticket originally. And he really could be someone who could answer Donald Trump.

And I think there's a lot of Democrats out there who are feeling not that excited about Hillary Clinton. I've talked to a lot of them in Iowa and New Hampshire. You have, as well, and other members of our team.

And so I think that there potentially is a lane here for Biden. It's a question of whether or not the money will follow; whether Hillary has got all the donors in New York locked up. And whether people will be willing to write a check to both of them and let them fight it out.

BLITZER: And as you know, Dan, there are a lot of Democrats who may not talk about it publicly, but they're still pretty worried. Maybe there's more to this e-mail controversy than her campaign has indicated so far.

PFEIFFER: Well, I think that, if the vice president will get in this race, he should do it for -- because he wants to get in. Hillary Clinton is incredibly popular with Democrats. Over 80 percent. And so he's going to have get in and make a case for himself. Not as much a case against Hillary Clinton. I don't think that's going to work as well for him. It's a narrow path but he can walk it, he can do it, he can make his way to the White House.

BLITZER: We're just learned, getting back to Donald Trump. And I want you to weigh in, Ron, because you've covered Iowa for a long time. Sam Clovis, who's a major fundraiser in Iowa -- he was a Rick Perry supporter -- we're now being told he's going to introduce Donald Trump at this rally in Dubuque that's about to begin. That's potentially significant development.

BROWNSTEIN: We haven't seen his kind of break into the center of the party establishment, though we're moving from no one taking it seriously to more figures in the party saying, maybe this is something that's real.

Look, historically, the Republican primary has functioned as two brackets. There will be a center-right candidate, probably from the pool of Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio. Historically, there will be a right candidate. And you know, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, it seems like the front-runner in that lane.

Donald Trump is now clearly dominating those voters and also showing some strength on the other side. It is now, I think, you know, possible that Donald Trump could emerge as the candidate from that bracket, still having to face someone kind of more centrist than him; and Iowa is usually the place where that bracket, conservative bracket, is decided. So the fact that this movement is happening in Iowa is indicative of that, as well.

BLITZER: We hear the Q&A between Donald Trump, he's going to answer reporters' questions and address his rally in Dubuque. We'll have coverage of that.

The Republican presidential candidates now only a couple weeks away from their second presidential debate. It will air only here on CNN on September 16, live from the Reagan Library in California. CNN will also host the first Democratic presidential debate. That's on October 13 in Nevada. Will Biden be on that stage?

We're standing by to hear from Donald Trump. He's about to take reporters' questions. There, you see live pictures coming in from Dubuque, Iowa. Big rally getting underway shortly.

Also, an unprecedented FBI warning about ISIS recruiting women in the United States.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:37:43] BLITZER: We're standing by to hear from Donald Trump. He's getting ready to answer reporters' question, just before he holds a big rally in Dubuque, Iowa. We'll have coverage here on CNN.

But first, the FBI is now putting out an unprecedented warning, alerting -- alerting law enforcement nationwide to a disturbing terror trend: a growing number of women right here in the United States trying to join ISIS.

Our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, is working the story for us. What are you finding out, Pamela?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this new warning from the FBI and DHS says that American women are increasingly becoming a key part of ISIS's fighting force overseas and in the homeland.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jaelyn Del'Shaun Young.

BROWN (voice-over): Jaelyn Young, daughter of a police officer and a Mississippi State University chemistry student, who graduated high school with honors. Young is the latest accused female ISIS recruit here in the U.S. She was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly trying to join the terrorist group in Syria. She represents a growing phenomenon, according to the FBI.

In a new warning to law enforcement nationwide, the FBI says, quote, "Some female violent extremists have recently demonstrated an interest in engaging in operational roles to include preparing to carry out attacks in the homeland or traveling to Syria to fight."

JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER ASSISTANT HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Before they wanted women to come and be their wives and the mothers of their children. And now what we're seeing is they are luring women and attracting women to come fight. It had the element of surprise. We simply don't expect women to do this.

BROWN: Out of the more than 50 alleged ISIS supporters charged in the U.S. so far this year, at least seven have been women. Keonna Thomas from Pennsylvania, who allegedly wanted to become a suicide bomber; and two women in New York arrested for allegedly acquiring bomb-making materials to kill Americans.

More than 500 western women have made it into Syria and Iraq to join terrorist groups, according to one top Australian official. These three British high schoolers ran away from home last May, recruited by ISIS.

JULIE BISHOP, AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Of the thousands and thousands of volunteer fighters who have traveled to DAISH-controlled areas, as many as 550 are women from western Europe, from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

[18:40:00] BROWN: The FBI says ISIS has tailored some of its slickly-produced propaganda videos, like this one, to target women, showing young families living a privileged life.

KAYYEM: They're creating these videos that are a little bit like "The Real Housewives of Syria." Right? I mean, that you're -- you get these cars and you go to parks, and you have these beautiful children. The reality is that it's brutal and violent, and these women will be the victims of rape and assault. It is a horrible existence, and chances are, you are going to die.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And officials that I've spoken with say social media sites like Ask FM are playing a big role in influencing women, particularly girls between the ages of 13 and 22 -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Pretty shocking stuff. Pamela, thanks very much.

Let's dig deeper with our terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank; and the former CIA official, the CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd.

How significant, and you've read this FBI warning. How significant, Phil, is it?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think it's significant. Not in terms of timing. This is what I would call a trend bulletin. An advice to state and local police, for example, on how to understand trends in the war on terror.

Significant because, if you're looking at a cell in a city like Washington or New York, 15 years ago after 9/11, you wouldn't have even considered a woman or a 14-, 15-, 16-year-old girl participating in an operational cell. Even more bluntly, Wolf, I don't remember a single woman ever being spoken of by the al Qaeda guys. They never mentioned women.

You fast forward today and you have this bulletin from Homeland Security and the FBI, telling state and local police not only are women being recruited for support roles, but they are being recruited as operators, potentially suicide bombers. It's a remarkable indicator, sort of a bookmark of the evolution of the war on terror.

BLITZER: Yes, it's a major new development. Paul, you studied this. Not only are they being recruited to become so-called ISIS wives; they're being recruited to become fighters.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, only to a point, Wolf. I mean, mainly ISIS see these women as wives for their fighters and mothers for a new generation for the caliphate. There's really not that much evidence in Syria and Iraq that they're being used as suicide bombers or in any kind of combat role.

Sure, they're going out on patrols and they're upholding religious virtue. And that's different from what ISIS was doing in the latter days of the Iraqi insurgency, when it was known as al Qaeda in Iraq. Then it was using women to a significant degree as suicide bombers, because they were running out of men at that time.

But at the moment they've got plenty of men. The main role in Syria and Iraq for these females coming from the west and elsewhere is as wives and as mothers.

But I think the concern now is that women in the west, in the United States, because they have a different conception of gender roles, they are more likely to become operational on their own. ISIS- inspired attacks. We saw that plot in Queens, New York, in April, to bomb New York by two women.

BLITZER: All right, Paul Cruickshank, Phil Mudd. Very disturbing, as I say. Thank you.

Just ahead, Donald Trump about to take questions from reporters in Iowa. We'll go there live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:46:32] BLITZER: All right. Donald Trump's news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, started.

That's Sam Clovis. He was a supporter of Rick Perry, the Republican presidential candidate, but now he just announced he switched. He is a Donald Trump supporter. He is answering questions on why he decided to make that decision.

Donald Trump is about to answer a reporters' questions as well.

Let's listen in.

SAM CLOVIS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I felt it was the honorable thing to do for Governor Perry. I think the world of him, to step aside, so I wouldn't have to be part of the calculus of figuring out to get me back on board, and those kind of things. And as such, I had the opportunity to look at other situations and this is a situation that presented itself. And I'm very happy and very proud to be here.

(INAUDIBLE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK. Who is next? Yes, please. Sit down. You weren't called. Sit down. Sit down. Go ahead.

REPORTER: I have the right --

TRUMP: No, you don't. You haven't been called.

REPORTER: I have the right to ask a question.

TRUMP: No, you haven't been called. Go back to Univision.

Go ahead. Go ahead.

(INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Go ahead.

Sit down please. You weren't called.

Go.

REPORTER: I have the right to ask questions.

TRUMP: Yes, go ahead.

BLITZER: That's Jorge Ramos. He is being escorted out of the room. He was asking a question. Donald Trump didn't call on him. That is why he is being removed.

Jose Ramos refused to back down. Let's listen in. TRUMP: Because I thought her questioning and her attitude was

totally inappropriate. So it just -- well, if you look, all you have to do is look on the Internet and you will see who people favor in that one. But I wouldn't -- it is a very small element in my life, Megyn Kelly. I don't care about Megyn Kelly. No, I would not apologize.

She should probably apologize to me but I just don't care.

Yes, Katy. Go ahead.

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) a pledge to have the nominee on balance. (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Right. We just heard about it today. And we're looking at it. We certainly have plenty of time. That doesn't come due for a long period of time. We certainly have -- September 30th. Yes, we certainly have a long period of time to think about it. So, we're thinking about it.

And, look, and I say to everybody, we're leading every poll, we're leading every state from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina to North Carolina, polls have come in from virtually every place and we're leading every place. We're doing incredibly nationally.

The one poll came out today at 40 percent, over 40 percent. So my whole desire is just fairness. I want to run as the Republican nominee. I want to win. I think we will win. We have tremendous spirit in this party.

I've been contacted by so many people that haven't voted for years. They haven't voted for year. They love the Republican Party, but they haven't wanted to vote. They're going to be out there and they're energized.

We're going on win. So, I don't think it's going to matter because I think I'm going to get the nomination. And I think we're going to go on to win and we'll make America great again. so, that's all that matters to me.

Well, I didn't say that.

[18:50:00] I will certainly consider it. And we have a lot of time to worry about it.

Yes?

REPORTER: You're running for president and one of our country's top journalists, an anchor of Univision, was just escorted out of the news conference. Do you think you handle the situation --

TRUMP: I don't know. I mean, I don't know really much about him. I don't believe I ever met him, except he started screaming and I didn't escort him out. You'll have to talk to security. Whoever security escorted him out. But, certainly, he wasn't chosen. I chose you and you're asking

me questions. He stands up and starts screaming. So, you know, maybe he's at fault, also.

But I don't consider that. I mean, somebody walked him out. I don't know where he is. I don't mind if he doesn't come back, frankly.

Yes? Yes?

(INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: No, I'm not. I've done meet and greets, but I don't care if anybody, you know, we have a small group where people, I guess, it's over here where people can send in, one woman sent in $7 and 30 some odd cents and wrote a beautiful letter, and people are sending in $10 and $20. And I like that kind it's not a lot of money ultimately, but I'm not doing anything about raising money. I don't care about raising money.

I mean, part of my thing is frankly, I'm not controlled by anybody. These other people are raising hundreds of millions of dollars. I could do that easily. I don't want to do that. It's not necessary for me to do that.

The one up in New Hampshire is just a small ticket item. And, by the way, they can come in free, they can do whatever they want. And for me, it's just a meet and greet. It's going to take place in New Hampshire and I think in Massachusetts, and it's just a very small situation and I don't consider it a fundraiser.

In fact, people don't have to pay. They're just people that have been supporting me from the beginning. They're terrific people. They want to see good things happen for our country.

So, I could do fundraisers and raise millions and millions of dollars and as you know, I haven't done that, nor do I want to, OK?

But I do meet and greet. I have to meet people and that's part of what I'm doing and I'll be in New Hampshire, I'll be in Massachusetts, I'll be in South Carolina, I'll be in Dallas in a couple of weeks. We're going to be all over. OK?

Yes?

REPORTER: President Obama has taken some tough questions from Jorge Ramos. Is there a reason why you won't?

TRUMP: Because he was out of order. I would take questions in two seconds but he stood up and started screaming.

REPORTER: Would you let him back in now?

TRUMP: I told you already, if he wants to come back in -- you can't stand up and scream. I was saying to somebody else to, is that correct? I was saying yes, and this guy stands up and starts screaming.

He's obviously a very emotional person. OK? So I have no problem with it. I don't know him. I have no idea, but I would certainly love to have questions from him.

Yes? Yes, sir? Go ahead.

REPORTER: I wanted to ask you, Secretary Clinton was here two weeks ago (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Her college what?

REPORTER: Her college affordability plan --

TRUMP: Yes.

We're coming out with a plan in about four weeks and I think it's going to make people very, very happy. We have so many people going all over the country. I've been asked so many times by students, what are we going to do?

You know, the ultimate question is create jobs, because the biggest problem is they have college debt. They have debt all over the place, right up to their neck and they come out and can't get a job in this country. Whether it's China or Japan or Mexico, they are all taking our jobs. We need jobs in our country. Enough with what we're doing with foreign trade.

So, I think that's one of the reasons we're leading by so much in the polls because know that I'm going to make good trade deals. It's not going to be this horrible situation where we get nothing.

You know, if you think about China, they took our jobs. They took our money. They took our base. They took our manufacturing and we owe them $1.4 trillion. How do you figure that? It's like a magic act.

We owe them $1.4 trillion right now. We owe Japan $1.4 trillion, same amount. Two countries and they sell cars to us by the millions. And we owe them money. How do you figure that?

So, we're going to turn that around. Yes?

REPORTER: The campaign, after all is said and done, cost about $1 billion for every candidate. You have a lot of money but ultimately, just $300 million in liquid assets, it's not --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Well, you saw my income is almost $500 million a year. If I want to, I can do that.

At some point, the Republican Party once you get the nomination will kick in and a lot of money will come into the campaign, I would say.

REPORTER: Will you beholden into those interests?

TRUMP: I don't think so. I can tell you right now. In fact, I've told people I turned down and I sort of made that, I think I told you this last week, the week before last, a lobbyist a person, very good person came to me, offered $5 million, please, I want to give you $5 million for the campaign. I said I have no interest in taking that.

In fact, it's the first time I think he's ever been told down.

[18:55:00] He told me. I think it's the first time he's been turned down because I know this person, good person, smart, tough, he'll coming to me and saying in two years, in one year, in four years, he'll be representing a country, maybe a company or maybe a person, I'm not doing anything for him.

So, I said I don't want to embarrass you by taking your money and then saying, I'm not going to see you. I'm working for one thing, for the people, and we're going to make the country strong and rich and great, and I hate to say rich, but we're a poor nation. We owe now $19 trillion. It's actually much more than that but it's $19 trillion.

We're going to get things back in shape. This country is going to be so strong and so great and you're going to be so proud of it. So when he offered $5 million, I know he's going to be coming and it will be adverse to the people of this country. So, I didn't take his money.

Yes, sir?

REPORTER: Governor Bush and immigration. Yesterday he was down by the border in Texas, he said your immigration is unrealistic and it would cost too much money and is not conservative, and he suggested (INAUDIBLE) an immigration policy --

TRUMP: I watched him, by the way, and he had a very small crowd and very little enthusiasm. He is a low energy person. You need a lot of energy to get this country turned around, including immigration.

And the word immigration and illegal immigration you wouldn't be asking this question if it weren't for me, because when I came out and when I announced, I'm the one that started this whole thing, and I took a lot of flak the first two weeks and now everyone is apologizing to me.

I mean, people in this room are apologizing to me because I brought something up that's very, very serious. I brought up the crime. I brought up all of the things that happened since, including Kate who this wonderful person from San Francisco with an incredible family who I got to know a little bit, and Jamiel who was gunned down by an illegal immigrant and so many others.

The other day, in California, 66-year-old veteran, OK? 66-year- old veteran was raped, sodomized, beaten and killed by an illegal immigrant. That's few of many. That's a big problem.

So, you ask the question Jeb Bush doesn't have a clue. He doesn't even have a clue. And if I weren't in this campaign, Jeb Bush would not talk about illegal immigration.

If you remember, he said he come as an act of love. OK? Tell that to the families and there are many, many, many families who lost a loved one, act of love, OK?

No act of love. It's tough stuff, mean stuff and it's going to be taken care of. You know, a lot of the gangs that you see in Baltimore and St. Louis and Ferguson and Chicago, you know they are illegal immigrants. They are here illegally and they're rough dudes, rough people. They are going to be gone so fast if I win that your head will spin. They're going to be gone so fast. OK?

Yes, ma'am? Go ahead.

REPORTER: To your question --

TRUMP: Right.,

REPORTER: -- where do you stand on funding for Alzheimer's right now --

TRUMP: Right, sure. I'm very strong toward funding for Alzheimer's and helping -- it's a terrible situation and they haven't made much progress, unfortunately. But I'm very, very strong in trying to find an answer for Alzheimer's, big problem.

Yes, sir?

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: No, no, no, I didn't say -- I said TV, I said newspapers, I read "The Wall Street Journal", I read "New York Times", I read many, many newspapers and I read many magazines, I even read especially "Time Magazine" this particularly week, you know why? Because I'm on the cover. That's why I read.

But I read a lot about that. I read -- and I have people that I like and people that I respect and it's a great place. You get a cross section of everybody because you see people you never have the opportunity to see or meet and from there go and decide what you want to do.

But go ahead.

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: I do. I do they will be announced over the next two or three weeks.

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: That would be possible but to be honest, this country is in trouble. Infrastructure is crumbling, our roads, our bridges, our airports, we're in such trouble that I'm going to spend a lot of time here. We're going to fix our country.

Our bridges, 59 percent of our bridges are in trouble. Think -- whoever heard of that? I mean, in trouble. Serious trouble. We're going to fix our country. I'm going to spend a lot of time here in the United States.

Yes, sir?

REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Well, I like Scott Walker. I've always liked him. And I supported him.