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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Hair; Virginia Murder Investigation; Trump Allies Quietly Seek Cash from the Rich; Clinton Compares Republicans to Terrorists. Aired 18-19:00p ET
Aired August 27, 2015 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Rage and secrets. CNN learns Vester Flanagan was associated with gay porn, in addition to being hired and fired as a TV reporter. I will talk to one of his former bosses. He's opening up about Flanagan's temper and odd behavior.
Standing together. Grief-stricken colleagues are offering new tributes to the two murdered journalists. Alison Parker's boyfriend will join us live. He's sharing his memories and raw emotions.
Also this hour, hair-raising event. As Donald Trump enjoys another rise in the polls, he's going to new lengths to prove to voters that his infamous blond locks are real.
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: Breaking news tonight, a disguise, ammo, a chilling to- do list all found in the car of the failed TV reporter-turned-killer who gunned down two journalists on the air. A police warrant revealing more about Vester Flanagan's attempt at escape before he turned a gun on himself.
We're also learning about his connection to gay porn Web sites and his efforts to solicit male models. Tonight, officials at WDBJ-TV in Virginia are sharing a fuller timeline of Flanagan's hiring and firing and his disturbing and volatile behavior, even as they mourn the deaths of their colleagues.
It's been a day of emotional tributes and fond memories of reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward. Parker's boyfriend, WDBJ news anchor Chris Hurst, he is joining us live this hour. Our correspondents and analysts are also standing by as cover all the news that's breaking right now.
First, let's go to CNN's Brian Todd. He's outside WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, with the very latest -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we got disturbing new details just a short time ago from the station manager Jeff Marks about Vester Flanagan's very, very troubled worker who here at WDBJ. He was only here less than a year. But just a few months into his tenure here, he just exhibited signs of having problems with his work, he had problems with his news judgment, according to the station manager, with his fact-checking.
He once was confronted by -- he did confront actually an anchor who was assigned to work on his scripts. Wolf, just a short time ago, we got new information about items found in Vester Flanagan's car which indicated he may have wanted to disguise himself and escape.
TODD (voice-over): Police found a wig, sunglasses, a shawl, three license plates, and six Glock magazines inside Vester Flanagan's rental car. A search warrant revealed that Flanagan had a to-do list, along with a book bag with assorted handwritten letters and notes. It's unclear what was on that to-do list.
But tonight we're learning new details of Flanagan's career troubles. As far back as 15 years ago, there were signs that Flanagan had problems at work.
MIKE WALKER, FORMER CO-WORKER OF FLANAGAN: There was some yelling incidents. Again, this is stuff that's normal, you know? There were times when he probably misread something and became frustrated with himself.
TODD: Flanagan moved from Savannah, Georgia, to Tallahassee, Florida, for his first big anchor job for WTWC. According to his former news director, Flanagan's contract was not renewed in Tallahassee.
Flanagan sued for racial discrimination, alleging that a producer called him and another employee who was African-American monkeys. The case was settled and dismissed.
WALKER: I can't say that there was any racial discrimination.
TODD: Flanagan was hired by WDBJ in 2012, where he reported under the name Bryce Williams.
VESTER FLANAGAN, WDBJ REPORTER: Bryce Williams, WDBJ-7.
TODD: He was fired in 2013, roughly a year later. The station's general manager said the day he was let go, he became agitated and threatening. Police were called. Flanagan was escorted from the building. But Roanoke police say no arrest was made.
WDBJ's station manager says Flanagan was asked to seek mental health assistance and he complied.
JEFF MARKS, GENERAL MANAGER, WDBJ: We made it mandatory that he seek help from our employee assistance program. Many companies have them. They provide, you know, counseling and other services. And we made it mandatory that he do that.
TODD: The station's former news director says Flanagan handed him a wooden cross in 2013, saying, "You will need this."
(on camera): WDBJ is right over there. This is the apartment complex where Vester Flanagan lived just about a block away. Right now, it's under 24/7 security.
(voice-over): Ryan Fuqua worked as a photographer with Vester Flanagan. Fuqua says he was always on edge around Flanagan because of his temper and recalls one instance when a live report had technical problems.
RYAN FUQUA, WDBJ: He got so irate, threw all his stuff down, and just walked out into the woods, stayed out there for like 20 minutes.
TODD: Flanagan outlined his frustrations in a 23-page manifesto that he faxed to ABC News.
CNN has obtained a copy, where he writes -- quote -- "In the final weeks of my life, I put on a smiley face to disguise what was to come. Around town, I told some random strangers or people I interacted with at various businesses how I hated people, but I would often say it with a smile on my face."
In that manifesto, Flanagan writes about his admiration for Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho. He also cited the shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June of this year, describing it as the incident that "sent him over the top." He says he put down the deposit on his guns two days after that shooting took place.
CNN has learned Flanagan purchased those guns, two Glock .9- millimeter pistols, legally at a gun store in the Roanoke area of Virginia.
TODD: After getting fired from WDBJ, Vester Flanagan filed two cases against the station, one a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, the other a civil lawsuit. Both cases alleged discrimination and harassment. Both of those cases were dismissed -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian, you also have some new information tonight about where he worked after he got fired more than two years ago from that station, WDBJ.
TODD: That's right, Wolf. We learned that he bounced around from job to job. He worked for a while at a UnitedHealthcare call center.
We also learned that he went through a temp agency to work for a risk management company called VASCO in this area. He worked for them from December of 2014 until April of this year. That was his last known employment. And he had not worked since April of this year. And that took him up to this incident in August just yesterday. BLITZER: All right, Brian, thanks very much, Brian Todd on the
scene for us down in Southern Virginia.
Even as we cover the investigation of these horrific murders, we don't want to lose sight of the victims and all the other people touched by this horrific, horrific crime.
Joining us now is Alison Parker's boyfriend, WDBJ news anchor Chris Hurst.
Chris, thank you so much for joining us. I know this is a really, really tough period for you.
First of all, how are you doing?
CHRIS HURST, BOYFRIEND OF ALISON PARKER: I -- Wolf, I have been talking as much as I can and people have been asking me why and where it comes from.
And I just love talking about Alison. I love her so much. And it's become harder and harder for me to maintain my composure as it's become farther and farther away from when we were last together. And I am -- I am actively grieving with her family and my family right now.
BLITZER: Tell us about Alison. What would you like people to know about her, to remember about her?
HURST: This were so many things that Alison was marvelous at.
She was, growing up, a French horn player and did that magnificently, was an expert gymnast and a dancer, and was a champion swimmer. And when she was at college at James Madison University, she was an editor for the school newspaper, "The Breeze," and loved all of the people she worked with there at the newspaper. She was an Alpha Phi and her sorority sisters are broken right now mourning over her.
She was so smart. She got college credit for doing calculus. She was a calculus tutor and was able to get college credit for going to governor's school. She was on the robotics team. She was a nerd at heart, which belied her beauty. And she was the most gorgeous woman I ever met inside and out.
And when it came to what she did for her job, she loved being a journalist, a journalist, not just a reporter, but a journalist, someone who seeks the issues that are important and reports them fairly and accurately and truthfully and tries to find the emotion in stories and tries to tell the human stories.
And she was able to do that last week on Monday, when our station gave a full hour to an issue very important to this region, which is child abuse, child neglect, and child murder. And she was able to find and gain the trust of a 13-year-old child neglect survivor that we named Hope. And she was right there throughout the entire special, providing segments on Hope and her resilience and what she experienced as a survivor of child neglect and her outlook now that she is now with a new adoptive mother.
It was a story of resilience. And that is the theme that I'm sure Alison would want us to carry, which is to grieve and to mourn her loss, but to stay strong and continue to share what we all loved about her.
BLITZER: So -- she had such a huge, huge, wonderful journalistic future ahead of her. So sad when you think about all of this.
BLITZER: And I know you have been holding a photo album with your memories, you and Alison.
Is there one picture in there you would like to share with our viewers, something that really goes to the emotion of what's going on as you look at these -- as you look at what -- this tragedy that has occurred?
HURST: This photo album, she gave to me. We did not spend even a year together. But I can tell you that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We were betrothed.
We were going to get married. And so, for our six-month-ersary -- we can't even have an anniversary -- she gave me this photo album and put in pictures. But it was also full of mementos too. She and I went to my best friend's wedding in Philadelphia, my hometown.
And we put mementos in here as well. One of the most magical moments that we spent together was on the Fourth of July, when we went to a baseball game, and it got rained out, and we didn't know what to do. We huddled under a tent and kissed in the rain and decided why not just go ahead and leave. And so we left the minor league baseball game here in her hometown of Martinsville, and we just drove around.
And we drove to a golf course and ran out onto the golf course and we lay down and we just kissed. And then the rain started to fall again and we got caught in a thunderstorm and ran back to the car. And, you know, it was that kind of true cinematic love that we had.
And, again, indicative of this is something that she wanted us to put into these blank pages that I haven't yet. And for my birthday, she took me up to Stanton to see "Midsummer Night's Dream." She loved the theater, she loved the arts. She was a huge supporter of arts, as her parents are.
And she wrote this for me for my birthday. This was the invitation to go. And she wrote it in perfect old English, saying: "Hear ye, hear ye. Wherefore it is requested by Lady Alison Parker that Christopher Hurst should attire yourself in resplendent clothes and present himself to her on the eve of 15 August."
Just a couple of weeks ago, we went and saw that play. And it was wonderful. And this book has six months' worth of amazing memories and I have nine months total of amazing memories with her. And she packed so much into 24 years of her life, that we need to celebrate a life well lived.
Adam Ward, her photographer, who was also brutally murdered, had a life well lived. He loved his Melissa, his fiancee, our morning show producer, with all of his heart. And he was a much better man to his woman than I could ever imagine to be to Alison, and yet Alison and I said that we were the loves of our lives.
BLITZER: Chris Hurst, our heart goes out to you, goes out to your family, your friends, certainly Alison and Adam's family and friends as well. Our deepest, deepest condolences to you. We will certainly stay in touch. Thank you so much for sharing some thoughts with us today.
HURST: Thank you.
BLITZER: We will take a quick break. We will be right back.
BLITZER: We have more breaking news about the troubled past of a man who slaughtered two journalists on live TV.
Our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, has been digging into all of this. Drew's joining us now live.
What are you learning, Drew?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there were holes in his career where we couldn't figure out where he was making his money.
And we found between two TV stints back in 2007 and 2008, the shooter had registered seven of these domain names under his name, and then began soliciting attractive and muscular men to model for live Webcams. We don't know how much money he made off of this or if he made any money at all.
The addresses all seem to be inactive at this time. This was during a period of his life when he was living out in California. And that's where all these domain names were registered. We also know he was writing on a basketball blog, again, trying to solicit male models there, specifically asking for -- quote -- "attractive and muscular guys with nice bodies."
So all this, as you might say, just adds more disturbing information to this picture that we're painting of a guy who had a real troubled career in the TV industry and apparently was also trying to break into the gay porn industry -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Drew, thanks very much, Drew Griffin reporting for us.
Another chapter in Vester Flanagan's troubled past, he was hired and fired from a TV station in Florida some 15 years ago.
Joining us now, Flanagan's news director at that station. Don Shafer is now the news -- heads up a news operation in San Diego at a station there.
Don, thanks very much for joining us.
As I said, you hired and fired Flanagan at that Florida station. Tell us about him. Why did you fire him?
DON SHAFER, FORMER NEWS DIRECTOR OF VESTER FLANAGAN: Well, we hired him because he appeared to be a pretty good -- pretty good reporter.
I was telling some other folks this morning that when he came to work for us, he had a pretty good work ethic. He had moderate talent. He was able to do some interesting stories. He was really kind of a funny guy, really did good live shots and that sort of thing.
And about eight, nine months into his tenure at WTWC, he kind of ran into a -- I would say a bit of a problem, some behavior issues and a problem with some of the folks at the station, specifically some of the studio crew that was making fun of him a little bit. It had come out that he had a different lifestyle than -- remember, this was 15 years ago.
So, he had what everyone called at the time an alternative lifestyle. And they were probably mocking him a little bit. And he really, really got upset about that, to the point where he had made things very difficult for almost everyone in the newsroom. The photographers were pushing back on going out to work with him. He had words with several of our producers, one in particular, and just really became a problem, such a problem that after a number of counseling issues between myself and him and our general manager, we decided to terminate his contract.
BLITZER: And you said he had an alternative lifestyle. This was because he was gay? Is that right? It became known he was gay?
SHAFER: Yes, that is correct.
BLITZER: And so some people were making fun of him because he was a homosexual? Is that right?
SHAFER: Yes. And he -- you know, he was -- sometimes, he'd show up in rather strange dress at work. I think he wore a pair of tights, almost like ballet tights, one day on a day off and he showed up at the station. And that really fed the fodder for people to make fun of him.
And then he -- it's like he didn't understand why people were saying those things and became really quite upset about that.
BLITZER: Because in that document, that 23-page document that he faxed to ABC News, he says that he was abused, there was racial prejudice against him, sexual prejudice against him, and he specifically said because he was a black gay man.
Was there any discrimination as far as his race is concerned that you saw?
SHAFER: You know, that's something that he initially -- when we terminated him, he filed an EEOC complaint, much like he did in his other station.
And then he -- in Virginia. And then he changed that because he originally filed a discrimination against -- because he was gay, a lifestyle or a -- that kind of a complaint against us. And we had to tell him and then his own attorney told him that that was not -- your lifestyle was not a -- that lifestyle was not a protected class and didn't really have standing.
So he immediately changed it to racial discrimination. But we did, in our -- in almost all of our discovery and investigations inside the station, we found no evidence of any sort of racial discrimination. In fact, a number of people -- remember, this is Florida in the South. We had a number of people, African-Americans -- my assistant news director and our chief editor, a lot of people on my management people were African-American. So he really had very little standing in that regard.
BLITZER: He sued your news organization, as you point out.
Among other things, he said that a producer called him a monkey, a white colleague said blacks are lazy and do not take advantage of free money, an employee called a murder suspect, according to him, just another thug.
Do you believe that any of these claims that he made in that lawsuit?
SHAFER: Well, I tried to track down -- as I recall -- again, this is 15 years ago, so some of these details escape me. I don't have the document in front of me.
But we tried to track down a lot of that and talk to the people that he had intimated had said those things. And we weren't able to find out find out any -- find any evidence of that at all.
BLITZER: Did you have any indication that he could be violent and dangerous?
SHAFER: Well, we were concerned about that.
I mean, he -- you know, he was a pretty big guy. And he had no qualms about getting in people's personal space and confronting people. And it really became such that it was such a distraction, that that's why we decided to separate him from the company. We didn't want it to get to that next step.
BLITZER: Don Shafer, thanks very much for joining us. SHAFER: Always a pleasure.
BLITZER: Just ahead, more on the breaking news out of Virginia. There's still a lot of questions about how the gunman timed and pulled off these killings.
Plus, Donald Trump, he's now on the rise once again in the polls and on the defensive, having some fun today, talking about his own hair.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: We're back with the breaking news, evidence of a getaway plan found in the car of the Virginia gunman who shot and killed two journalists during a live TV interview.
Let's bring in CNN anchor Don Lemon. Also joining us, our law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes. He's a former FBI assistant director. The forensic psychiatrist Lisa Van Susteren is here with us, as well; as well as the psychologist, Jeff Gardere. Guys, thanks to all of you for joining us.
Tom, let's take a look at what they found in this vehicle. Wigs, a shawl, three license plates, six Glock magazines. You think he thought he could actually get away?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I don't know. It sounds, Wolf, like he's pretty delusional in the first place. And then you add that he's driving into the teeth of the U.S. Marshals-run Washington-area fugitive task force, since he was on his way on Interstate 66 toward Washington.
So if he thought he was going to escape, it was going to take more than license plates and wigs to avoid detection by the fugitive -- the federal agents, state and local, that would be working in the D.C. area looking for him.
BLITZER: They also had all these -- they found all these supplies in his car, additional supplies, Lisa, including 17 stamped letters, a to-do list that he -- plus, it's known he bought this gun, what, two months ago. We see video of him in a gun shop. How carefully do you think he planned all this out?
LISA VAN SUSTEREN, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, carefully within the context of what looks like a potentially delusional system. Obviously, if he's got a videotape and he's sending faxes and he's doing everything else, it's very inconsistent that he thinks he's going to sneak away when he's telling everybody who he is.
BLITZER: He rented this car three days ago, the getaway car, as it was. So obviously, he had a plan in mind.
VAN SUSTEREN: Right. But a very inconsistent one, which suggests the depth of his illogic and irrational framework.
BLITZER: We just heard, Don, from the guy who fired him, the station director, the news director in Tallahassee, what, 15 years ago, that there was some, I guess, anti-gay discrimination that he felt there. When some of his colleagues found out he was gay they were making fun of him, some of the outfits he was wearing, and that in years afterwards, he was actually involved in launching these gay porn websites. What's your reaction when you hear all of this?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I think the gay porn site I think, to me is I don't really see the relevance of it. Because if it's not illegal, then what's wrong with him owning gay porn sites or straight porn sites or, as a journalist, forming, you know, a media company like, you know, Dan Abrams did? I mean, I don't see anything wrong with him. He's an entrepreneur; he's an American. As long as there's two consenting adults I don't see what difference it makes that he owns gay -- it may be salacious. Maybe it helps you sort of put a timeline together, but I don't see the relevance.
As far as his co-workers criticizing him, listen, again with the sites, I don't want to gay shame him. There's nothing wrong with being gay. I'm sure he probably faced some discrimination, as we all do. And that's horrible, but it still does not condone his actions two days ago.
BLITZER: I just want to make it clear that Dan Abrams owns a media website.
BLITZER: But it's not a gay porn website, to make that clear.
LEMON: There's no difference, though. As long as it's -- if it's -- they're both legal. So, you know -- if Dan Abrams or anybody else wanted to start a gay porn website, as long as they're abiding by the law, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. You may look down upon it and judge it, but there's nothing illegal about it. I don't see anything -- I don't see why it's relevant in this particular case.
BLITZER: All right. Well, fair enough point.
Jeff, let's talk a little bit about what we know. WDBJ referred to Flanagan in that employee assistance program for employment issues. Legally, can think do more to encourage unstable employees to seek mental health?
JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, yes, especially if they want to keep their job. And that is part of the law, that you just can't fire someone if you suspect that there might be some mental illness or mental health issues, that you have to give them the opportunity to address this illness as we address any kind of illness. So they did the right thing by sending him to the employee assistance program.
BLITZER: What do you -- what's your -- Lisa, you've studied this situation. And I know you have some thoughts about what may have been going on in this man's mind. VAN SUSTEREN: OK, well, I do want to address one thing. And
that is the idea there is nothing wrong with the gay porn sites. But what we do know is that there are certain breaks in the brain that, when they're not working very well, the appetites -- that sexual, drinking, acting out, aggression, or anything else -- can be affected.
And it's not inconceivable -- again, nothing illegal -- but it's not inconceivable that some of his hypersexual -- what appears to be hypersexual compared to what the average person has maybe suggested indeed there is something in his brain that may be a factor in his acting out this way.
BLITZER: And Don, as you know, in that 23-page document that he faxed to ABC News, he said he felt especially attacked by black men and white women. You saw that part?
LEMON: I did, I did. You know, it was -- to me, we have a similar conversation yesterday with me, you and Sunny, and that did -- that stood out to me. Because he seemed to have issue with a lot of people. But most of his grievances were based on you know, whether -- the sort of victimhood, that he felt that he was a victim in some way.
[18:35:12] And some people call that injustice collecting. Because as I have said, everybody faces discrimination. It's not right. It's not fair. Women, people of certain religions, of certain backgrounds, certain ethnicities. Again, it doesn't condone that sort of behavior. You have to learn to control your emotions and deal with them in a diplomatic way and go through the right channels and the right process.
BLITZER: Well said. All right, Don. Thanks very much. Thanks to the entire panel. Lisa, Jeff, and Tom Fuentes, as well.
Don, by the way, will be back later tonight. Much more coming up on "CNN TONIGHT," 10 p.m. Eastern. You'll want to see that.
We're going to have much more on the investigation under way in Virginia right now. And a moving tribute to the victims.
Also ahead this hour, we're going to find out who Donald Trump is lashing at now. The best and the worst of Trump's day on the campaign trail. Much more coming up.
[18:40:55] BLITZER: Tonight, a new national poll shows Donald Trump's lead over his Republican rivals has widened. But the GOP presidential front-runner still apparently believes he has something to prove, at least when it comes to his hair.
Take a look at some of the highlights, some of the low blows from Trump's day on the campaign trail in South Carolina.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm always on the front page of the "New York Times" now. "El hombre del peluquin." In other words, "the man of the toupee." This on the front page of the "New York Times." I don't wear a toupee. It's my hair. Is it mine? Look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is.
TRUMP: It is? Say it, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I believe it is.
TRUMP: Thank you. Somebody's got a very nice wife. I don't know who she is, but she's [SIC] got a very nice.
By the way, I love Mexican people. I have such a great relationship to Mexican -- I hire thousands. People, the rich Mexicans, they're great people. Friends of mine. They buy my apartments. Just like I love the Chinese people. And by the way, I think I'm going to win the Mexican vote.
"Trump, who has dismissed some Mexican immigrants" -- listen to this -- "as rapists and criminals, or simply put, as Hitler." Do you believe? Now, the Hitler one I've never heard until this morning when I woke up. I'm not a fan of Hitler. So the news media, you can have it, anybody want it?
Jeb Bush -- and I keep using him, because I used to think he was, like, the guy that you had to beat. But he's, like, mired down. He's going down fast. I don't even know who's second. You know, a poll came out today. Actually, Dr. Carson's second. He's a nice guy. I can't hit him. He's been so nice to me. I may have to if he starts getting, like, really close. I may have to.
Japan is sending millions of cars to our shores. Millions. We send them beef.
The doctor said, I don't know, 110 blood pressure, like 110. The doctor said, "You have the blood pressure of a grade athlete." I have great temperament. And you need great temperament. We need unpredictability. We're so predictable. We're like bad checker players, and we're playing against Putin, who I would get along with great.
There was an article that Jeb's funding is drying up. His -- you know, his -- no, it's drying up. You know why? Because he's losing so badly. To me.
When I look at Jeb raising hundreds of millions of dollars, which is honestly the only thing he has. Without that he's got nothing, zero. We're tired of the nice. We don't need the nice. We need the competent. And we're going to have such a competent, brilliant presidency if I win.
A few of the people that I'm running against really, really hit me hard. One was Governor Perry. And he went from 5 percent to nothing. Went to nothing. And he would make speeches about me, what a bad guy. I mean, he used horrible terms. He used the term "cancer." He used horrible terms. I said, I'm not a bad person. But he was trying. You know, he was down pretty low, and he wanted to get up. And I understand. But he went down.
Another one was Senator Lindsey Graham. Has anyone ever heard of Lindsey Graham? This guy? I mean, he is -- he's out of control. I mean, he's really -- So a poll came out the other day. He was at zero. Zero. Even Pataki was higher. Pataki was at zero with an arrow up.
If you look at Jeb Bush, where he said he wouldn't fund women's healthcare issues, OK, and women's health issues, I thought that was a terrible thing for him to say. And nobody will take care of women. I cherish women, and I say it all the time. I cherish women. I will take care of women. And I won't be going around saying, "I'm not going to fund a certain program." Women under my administration will be taken care of. Not like Jeb Bush. What he said was a disgrace.
And he said bad on Asian. All of a sudden he's talking about anchor babies, and he steered it over to the Asians. And now the Asians are upset with Jeb Bush.
I will take care of women's health and women's health issues better than anybody, and far better than Hillary Clinton, who doesn't have a clue. And I don't think, maybe she won't even be in the race.
You have a silent majority in this country that feels abused, that feels forgotten, that feels mistreated. And it's a term that hasn't been brought up in years, as you know. People haven't heard that term in many years. And it's sort of interesting as to why. There are all different reasons. But I think it's a very descriptive term.
We have a silent majority that wants this country to have victories again and we're going to do it.
Thank you all very much. Thank you.
BLITZER: All right. Let's bring in our political reporter Sara Murray. She's joining us. She's down in South Carolina right now.
Also, our national political reporter Maeve Reston is joining us. Our political commentator Ryan Lizza, he's the Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker" magazine, and Jamelle Bouie, he's the chief political correspondent for "Slate" magazine.
Ryan, he does these out of the box things like inviting a woman to come up and check his hair, to make sure it's his real hair. But that's part of his appeal, right?
RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I guess so. I mean, it's hard to know where to start with those clips. I mean, there's a lot of entertainment factor going on here, right? He goes up there and he riffs about his place in the race and talks about process and polls. And I just don't know what to make it anymore.
Wolf, I do -- I will say this. If you judge the Republican Party by the standards they laid out after they lost the election in 2012 and the things that they said their next candidate had to do, he's doing everything the opposite. He is, according to the Republican establishment and what they said they need to do, he is destroying that strategy. He's making it more difficult for Republicans to appeal to Latino voters, to women, to nonwhite voters.
And I think there's going to -- the Republican Party at some point is going to have to coalesce and confront him a lot more frontally. They're going to have to do that or they're going to somehow embrace him. I don't see the case for embracing him.
BLITZER: Sara, you've been doing some strong reporting on Donald Trump's fund-raising efforts. What are you finding out?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the interesting thing is Donald Trump goes to these campaign events and he knocks Jeb Bush for his fund-raising and he says he's a totally different guy, he's a billionaire, he's going to self-fund his campaign. And his campaign staff says he's still doing that.
But it turns out there's not only a super PAC, but there's also another outside spending group that can collect unlimited donations in support of Donald Trump and is doing that, and doesn't ever have to disclose its donors.
And when I was asking his staff, they did not disavow this group. They just said, Trump's not soliciting donations for it. So, he's starting to look more and more like your average politician as the campaign drags on.
BLITZER: All right. Jamelle, let's talk a little bit about something else he said today. He said, if you were elected president, he would do amazing, wonderful things for African-Americans. Listen to this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I mean, they're great people. They want jobs so badly. You look at African-American youth. There's 50 percent, 70 percent unemployment. We'll get it fixed. We'll take them back from China, we'll take them back from Japan, we'll take them back from Mexico, we'll take jobs back and we're going to have jobs in this country. OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So, what do you think about that? Because you've been doing a lot of reporting on this part of the story as well.
JAMELLE BOUIE, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, SLATE: It's absolutely fascinating. I don't think I've heard a Republican ever talk specifically about African-American youth unemployment, which is a legitimate problem and a legitimate issue.
I think Trump is going for something very interesting and that you're seeing some I think conservative intellectuals sort of point at this and nod towards this, which is -- A, the easiest path for Republicans back to the White House in terms of demographics. It's just winning back some of the African-Americans they've lost since Bush ran in 2004.
And part of doing that, part of approaching that, might just be harnessing anxiety about immigration, about the fact that immigrants are typically filling low wage jobs, and are in some cases are competing with African-American workers. Plenty of economists will tell you that this is overstated. But Trump I think might be banking on that fact. And it's not a bad play as far as strategy goes.
BLITZER: Let me get your thoughts, Maeve, on what we just heard from Sara, this new fund-raising effort that's going on, these super PACs or whatever, on behalf of Donald Trump.
What do you make of that?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think so much of this appeal when you're out actually talking to voters is the fact that he says over and over again, I don't need anyone else's help, I don't need to solicit money from anyone. Well, if there is -- if there are groups that are doing that on his behalf, you know, in many ways in this new universe of campaign finance, what's the difference?
So, I think it will be interesting to just see how voters process that kind of reporting that Sara has been doing. And also, the extent to which we see down the line, you know, Donald Trump actually taking some money from -- he said he will take some at this point small dollar donations.
[18:50:05] But there's going to be a point at which he does have to hire more staff. We will see how much of his own money he really wants to put into that.
BLITZER: Let's move on and talk a little bit about Hillary Clinton right now and her campaign. She was very passionate today in going after her critics on the Republican side, in the conservative side. And she made this comparison, Ryan. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Extreme views about women? We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don't want to live in the modern world. But it's a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Pretty strong comparison. The Republicans are angry she in effect making comparison between terrorists and those who oppose abortion rights for women.
LIZZA: I think they should be angry. I mean, that's outrageous. I mean, there's -- look, I know she's a Democrat. I know she has very strong views, she's pro-choice, obviously. She believes there should be federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
But there is a legitimate political debate in this country going on for many decades about abortion and obviously, now, about funding for Planned Parenthood. The idea that you are so out of the mainstream to be on the other side of that issue from Hillary Clinton to be compared to a terrorist -- you know, I know it's not a thing anymore for politicians to apologize for remarks like that, but it sure seems like something that she should apologize for.
BOUIE: I think Ryan's right that it's a bit beyond the pale to compare people in the sort of very legitimate debate to terrorists. I will say that I sort of understand the -- where the sort of emotion or anger on -- for Clinton is coming from. If you look at the Republican field for the past six months, you can sort of count on more than one hand the number of times someone has compared Obama to -- not Obama but Democrats to ISIS or Obama marched Israelis to the gas chambers or so on and so forth.
I think this might be a reaction to that kind of rhetoric. I don't think it's appropriate on either side. I think Hillary should stay away from that rhetoric. But it's certainly the kind of thing that you are seeing kind of across the spectrum.
BLITZER: Maeve, in this new Quinnipiac University poll, they ask the folks out there to use one word to describe some of the candidates. As far as Jeb Bush, the word that came up was Bush. Trump, arrogant. Hillary Clinton, liar.
That's not necessarily very encouraging for the Democratic presidential front runner.
RESTON: It's not really encouraging for any of them. Those are not good words to have assigned to you in a word association game.
I think that this gets at the root of what Hillary Clinton's struggle is, though, right now, which is that clearly there are a lot of issues that voters have in terms of her trustworthiness and whether or not they can believe her. Clearly, that's being fuelled by this e- mail investigation that continues to go on day by day that we're talking about. And it's giving a window for other candidates like Bernie Sanders and potentially Joe Biden to come out and challenge her.
And I think the faster that the Clinton campaign gets a handle on that issue, the better it will be for her campaign in the long-run. But right now, she's giving Republicans a lot to talk about.
BLITZER: And we'll have a lot to talk about in the coming days as well. Guys, thanks very, very much.
Just ahead, we're going to turn back to the murder of the TV news crew in Virginia. Our correspondents are in the field. They're working to get the newest information.
Stay with us.
[18:58:09] BLITZER: Stand by for more of the breaking news tonight -- the gun, the ammunition, the wig, other evidence found in the car of the gunman who killed two TV journalists in Virginia. As you'd expect, this has been a very difficult day for the staffers at WDBJ. But they still have a job to do reporting the news, including the story that shattered their work family.
The morning show anchor Kimberly McBroom led an emotional moment of silence for their slain colleagues around the same time they saw them killed on live television the day before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMBERLY MCBROOM, WDBJ: Approaching a moment that none of us will forget. It was yesterday around this time that we went live to Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward. They were out in the field. The story was like so many others they did all the time, reporting on our hometown.
They were at Bridgewater Plaza, near Smith Mountain Lake to report on a happy event, the 50th anniversary of the lake, just a feature. It was during a conversation with Vicki Gardner about another reason why we love living here when the peacefulness of our community was shattered.
As we approach that moment, we want to pause and reflect and we want to share with you what made these two so special not just to us but to our hometowns that WDBJ serves. Please join us now in a moment of silence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And once again, we want to express our deepest, deepest condolences. Our hearts go out to the family and the friends of these two young journalists who were killed, Alison Parker and Adam Ward. We wish their families only, only the best. Our hearts obviously go out to all of them.
And we hope Vicki Gardner, the woman who was seriously injuries, she makes a complete recovery.
Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.