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THE SITUATION ROOM

Presidential Race Heats Up; Putin's Next Move?; D.A.: Killer Unloaded Gun Into Deputy; U.S. Sends Drones to Ease Allies' Fear of Russia; Officials: Russia Boosting Military Strength in Arctic; Obama Begins Historic Trip to Alaskan Arctic. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired August 31, 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]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Execution-style murder. A black man is charged with killing a white officer. Was it an act of retaliation fueled by anti-police protests across the nation?

High-speed chase. Gripping video captures a suspect fleeing police on the road and on foot. Stand by to see the surprising moment when he surrendered.

And Russian tea room. Vladimir Putin sits and struts with his prime minister and shares the images with the world. What message is he trying to send, as U.S. allies fear they will be the next targets of Putin's aggression?

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

For the first time in weeks, Donald Trump is not the undisputed Republican presidential front-runner. Tonight, a new poll out of Iowa shows that Trump now is tied with another Washington outsider, Dr. Ben Carson. Voters in both parties, caucus-goers are making it clearer than ever that they are tired of politics as usual. A new Iowa poll in the Democratic race shows the unconventional liberal Senator Bernie Sanders now within striking distance of Hillary Clinton, this as the State Department prepares to release more of Clinton's controversial e-mails, including dozens of messages with information that was classified after they were sent.

Our correspondents and analysts are standing by to cover all of the news right now.

First, I want to go to our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash. She is covering the Republican race.

A lot of developments here, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Bri.

And the poll you were just talking about on the Republican side really reinforces the number one message voters have been sending this election cycle. If you're a senator, if you're a governor, a congressman, a regular politician, voters are saying they're just not that into you. Reality stars or physicians? Now you're talking.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH (voice-over): Donald Trump is now getting a run for his money in Iowa by another nonpolitician.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you very much.

BASH: Ben Carson. A new poll has the pediatric neurosurgeon at 23 percent, neck and neck with the billionaire, who had been uncharacteristically easy on Carson.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's a nice guy. I can't hit him. He's been so nice to me. It's true. I cannot hit him.

BASH: And even more evidence that voters are desperate for a political outsider, behind Trump and Carson in this new poll is former CEO Carly Fiorina at 10 percent. None of the three has ever been in elected office. In fourth, Ted Cruz, freshman senator who appeals as an outsider, and down to fifth place, lifelong politician Scott Walker.

TRUMP: The only thing constant is Trump.

BASH: But it's still Trump driving the discussion in the GOP field, now setting his sights on Hillary Clinton's longtime adviser Huma Abedin, questioning her judgment in being married to Anthony Weiner, who resigned come Congress in 2011 after tweeting lewd pictures of himself.

TRUMP: She's married to Anthony Weiner, the little bing, bing, bing.

I love you very much.

BASH: He even raised questions about whether Abedin shared classified information, saying on Twitter today: "Huma Abedin, the top aide to Hillary Clinton and the wife of perv sleaze bag Anthony Weiner, was a major security risk as a collector of info."

A Clinton spokesman shot back, calling Trump disgraceful, saying: "Donald Trump has spent the summer saying things about women, but there is no place for patently false personal attacks against a staff member."

Make no mistake, Trump is also staying on the offensive inside the GOP, releasing this new Instagram video against Jeb Bush.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's an act of love.

BASH: And Trump is clearly having an impact on policy, pulling may in the GOP field to the right on immigration. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker now says he's open to a wall, not just with Mexico, but Canada.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week-and-a-half ago. So, that is a legitimate issue for this to look at.

BASH: And Chris Christie signed on to an idea to stop immigrants from overstaying their visas illegally by tracking them FedEx style.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in. And then when your time is up, then we go get you and tap you on the shoulder and say, excuse me, thanks for coming, time to go.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: That's also an example of a politician, in this case Chris Christie, showing that they get innovation happens in business and not so much in government.

But, Bri, voters may not be listening to people like Christie, just tuning that kind of stuff out. In the same poll, 66 percent of Iowa caucus-goers said they'd rather have somebody from outside government, even somebody who's inside and can prove that he or she has gotten things done.

KEILAR: Yes, it's very interesting, that statistic. All right, Dana, thanks so much. Stand by for us.

Now to the Democratic race and the growing threat to Hillary Clinton's campaign, as her leading rival, Bernie Sanders, surges once again.

I want to bring in senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns -- Joe.

[18:05:04]

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, it's already prompting comparisons to what happened to Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008, though some would say it's too far early to make that jump. Still, the latest polling in Iowa is evidence of how strong Bernie Sanders is running and how excited his supporters are about his campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That is not Hillary Clinton's position.

JOHNS (voice-over): Bernie Sanders ratcheting up his rhetoric against the longtime Democratic front-runner as a new poll shows him surging in Iowa. Clinton still leads in the early voting state 37 percent to 30 percent. But the trend is troubling for her. In May, Clinton was at 57 percent. But since then, she's lost a staggering third of her support.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is going to be competitive. It should be competitive. It's only the presidency of the United States we're talking about.

JOHNS: She's been called the inevitable nominee before and maintained she's always expected the race to heat up.

SANDERS: We need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment.

JOHNS: Sanders' popularity growing as he touts his progressive credentials and drawing a sharper contrast with the policy differences dividing the two candidates.

SANDERS: I believe we should expand Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income. That's not Hillary Clinton's position.

I believe that we have got to raise the minimum wage over a period of several years to $15 an hour -- not Hillary Clinton's position. I voted against the war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for it.

JOHNS: Meanwhile, she's now pursuing a more aggressive approach to the e-mail controversy that has long dogged her campaign.

CLINTON: I know people have raised questions about my e-mail use as secretary of state, and I understand why. I get it. I never sent any classified material, nor received any marked classified.

JOHNS: But the questions over her use of a private e-mail server are sure to continue as the State Department releases another batch of her e-mails tonight. The release will include roughly 150 e-mails that have been retroactively upgraded to classified.

Democrats polled in Iowa largely said Clinton's use of e-mail didn't bother them. But one sign of concern, those who support Sanders said they felt more strongly about him than those who said they backed Clinton.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: And what if Joe Biden gets into the race? "The Des Moines Register" also asked about that and said the vice president got 14 percent. He takes away roughly the same amount of support from each of the front-runners -- Bri.

KEILAR: Interesting stuff. Joe Johns, thanks so much. Stay with us.

Dana is here back with us. I want to bring in CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger. We have CNN political reporter Sara Murray, and the chief political correspondent for Slate, Jamelle Bouie.

Thanks so much for being with us.

I want to ask you first, Gloria, about this Carson surge. This was something that raised a lot of eyebrows. What do we attribute this to?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think he's another outsider. I think it's a time of year when people are giving everyone a look and maybe some folks said, you know what? Maybe Donald Trump isn't conservative enough and we're taking a look at somebody who's not another politician. As Dana pointed out, Carly Fiorina also benefits from that. She tried

to get elected to the Senate once, but didn't succeed, but hasn't held elective office. There are a lot of reasons here. Also, Donald Trump has not been attacking Carson.

SARA MURRAY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He said he's too nice.

BORGER: He said he's too nice.

BASH: See if that changes.

BORGER: Well, let's see. Let's see what happens now.

KEILAR: OK.

And it was interesting to me that he got a lot of support from evangelical Christian women, pulling that from Trump, and that's really key, of course.

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: Yes, absolutely.

I noticed evangelicals and women, one thing that actually surprised me is that Donald Trump was polling second among evangelicals.

KEILAR: I was surprised.

BASH: In Iowa, you're not just -- evangelical voters, particular -- or caucus-goers, I should say, they're hard-core with regard to what they expect from their candidates. And back when Donald Trump made those comments about John McCain, he also made some comments that raised a lot of eyebrows among some Christian conservatives, saying that he doesn't ask for forgiveness and so forth.

That doesn't seem to even matter with evangelicals. He really is breaking convention across the board, even with the most conventional primary voters.

KEILAR: Which shows you that it really is. The sort of trump card, no pun intended, is to go outside, because look at what we see in this poll; 66 percent of registered Republican Iowa likely caucus-goers say, you know what, we want someone from outside of government. That is -- just like Gloria was saying, that's pretty fascinating.

JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE: Right. Trump is an outsider. And he's not just any kind of outsider; he is someone, he can say, look, I know the bankers, I know they're getting over on you, and I know they know they need higher taxes.

He can say, I know that everyone, all the elites, the people who tell you that they're going to do X, Y, and Z, I know them personally and they're not going to do that.

And that's a really powerful message for voters, caucus-goers who really want an outsider, really want someone to challenge the GOP establishment. Trump has like an inside card there.

[18:10:03]

KEILAR: He's released another Instagram video that attacks Jeb Bush, saying that he's soft on immigration. I want to watch this again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, they broke the law. But it's not a felony. It's kind of -- it's a -- it's an act of love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: I mean, wow. Pretty much it seems like the consensus of people that I have talked to about this say, this is kind of a dirty ad, but it's pretty effective.

(CROSSTALK)

BOUIE: Less subtle than Willie Horton, which is saying something.

KEILAR: Yes, right.

BORGER: There's nothing subtle about Donald Trump?

KEILAR: Famously below-the-belt political ad. Right?

BASH: And he's not saying -- he, Jeb Bush, was not saying, yes, they broke the law, referring to actual like people committing crimes once they're in the United States. He's referring to people coming into the United States illegally, that being an act of...

KEILAR: Who want a better life for their families.

BASH: Right, that being an act of love.

(CROSSTALK)

MURRAY: But the idea that Donald Trump is going to play by the rules, I think we just established there are the Donald Trump rules and then there are the rules for everybody else who is running for president.

KEILAR: That's right. He's thrown the manual out. There is -- we want to get this in.

(CROSSTALK)

MURRAY: Jeb Bush's campaign, as you might expect, is not very pleased with this video.

They respond saying, "Jeb Bush has a record of cracking down on violent criminals as governor of Florida, while Donald Trump has up until it was convenient supported liberal soft-on-crime policies. His immigration plan is not conservative, would violate the conservative and cost hundreds of billions of dollars." You are seeing these attacks that Donald Trump is not the conservative godsend that you think he is. Whether that benefits Jeb Bush, I think...

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: But, as Dana was pointing out, evangelicals -- you can say, oh, he's not conservative, but then evangelicals like Donald Trump.

One thing I want to point out here in this poll, this Iowa poll that we're talking about, is that only 12 percent of Republican caucus- goers say they have decided...

BASH: Right.

BORGER: ... who they're going to vote for; 42 percent say they have a preference for somebody, but they are going to consider others.

And they say three or four folks out there in the Republican field that they could support. So none of this right now is determinative of anything, because they're letting us know that they haven't made up their minds.

KEILAR: It's like the cake isn't even half-baked at this point. Right?

BOUIE: Right.

I want to go back to that ad real quick. One thing that's interesting about it, and I mentioned Willie Horton earlier, is that typically that kind of attack, that this politician is opening up America or your city or whatever to criminals, brown-skinned criminals particularly, is usually used against Democrats. And what's really interesting about that ad...

KEILAR: Weak on crime is really the message.

(CROSSTALK)

BOUIE: Right.

And this is the first time I think I have ever seen that kind of attack used against another Republican, which tells you a lot about I think the general political landscape, how much has changed, if that kind of thing is basically verboten at this point, but how much Trump is really playing on these very elemental fears of difference.

KEILAR: And the question is, how much is he leading the pack here?

He's not the only one now talking immigration. You have Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin who has chimed in and he said that it's legitimate to discuss building a wall along the Canadian border. His campaign walking that back a little bit, we will say.

But Mike Huckabee tweeting this message earlier today, where he said that "Government can build a massive seawall to keep out waves from the ocean, but we can't build a wall to keep out waves of illegals."

Is this Trump just really -- everyone's following him?

BASH: Yes. Remember, it wasn't that long ago, it's not like ancient history where the RNC, Republican National Committee, put out this autopsy begging their party members, begging their candidates...

KEILAR: Do not do this.

BASH: To not do this, to change their rhetoric, and to some extent, change policy, never mind rhetoric.

And Donald Trump says, and he is right, that he single-handedly put immigration, anti-illegal immigration on the map. He did.

MURRAY: And, by the way, this is the same guy though who was slamming Mitt Romney after 2012 for calling for self-deportation and saying Romney totally screwed up his run, he never should have said this, this is why he lost.

BASH: That's a great point.

MURRAY: And now we see him taking a totally different tactic, and pushing everyone further to the right. When you hear some of these things that Scott Walker is saying, it's so much harder to run in a general election once you have those comments on the record.

BORGER: Scott Walker, when you look at all of this polling, Scott Walker was the odds-on favorite in Iowa. You look at Scott Walker's numbers now. What is he down to?

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Down 15 points, down to 7 percent, Jeb Bush 5 percent. These are the people now who are kind of scratching their heads and figuring out, what am I going to do?

(CROSSTALK)

BASH: Scott Walker's been in elected office since he was in his 20s.

BORGER: Exactly.

KEILAR: All right, we're going to talk about the Bernie Sanders surge. It continues. We will talk a little bit. You guys stick around. We're going to talk more about that after a quick break.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:19:25]

KEILAR: We're back now with our political analysts and reporters and we're talking about the dramatic new twists in a presidential race that is breaking all of the rules. I want to focus now on Democrats, specifically Bernie Sanders, because

he has this new surge against Hillary Clinton in Iowa.

It's really interesting, Gloria. You look at this "Des Moines Register"/Bloomberg poll, 37-30 Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders, seven points' difference. And this is a 20-point percentage drop for Clinton from May. That's a big deal.

BORGER: Yes, it's a huge deal, but a couple of things to keep in mind.

I wouldn't say this is good news for Hillary Clinton. OK. A couple of things to keep in mind, though. She still has a 77 percent favorability. Bernie Sanders has over 70 percent favorability. People there, 60 or so percent don't believe the e-mail issue is important. And two-thirds of those voters think she could win the general election.

[18:20:15]

In the end, that may be the important difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, is that Democrats want to win and they may go with the candidate they think can win the election.

KEILAR: So they think that she is more electable and that will be key is the idea, right?

BOUIE: Right.

I think right now we're at a point where a Democrat -- well, all voters basically are just kind of -- they want to see people interact, they want to see people talk. Democrats in Iowa want to see a bit of a competitive race. And so I think they're kind of voicing their assent for Bernie Sanders not necessarily because they want him to be the nominee, because they don't want Hillary just to coast to some sort of victory.

BASH: And in fairness to Bernie Sanders, he has that message that we were talking about on the Republican side that has just as much appeal on the Democratic side when you talk about the populists, the anti- Washington, we're sick -- it is sort of party-neutral to be sick of Washington because nothing gets done here, right?

He's the same kind of guy who goes out and says, I'm going to tell you what people aren't telling you, that these people are in the pocket of Wall Street, that they're not going to do what they're saying they're going to do because they have lobbyists in their office.

Ironically, on the Democratic side, he can actually say that from a place of knowledge and information because he has the offices where the lobbyists come and sit.

KEILAR: It's interesting to see, Sara. I interviewed Bernie Sanders when he was launching his campaign. It's gotten a lot harder to get an interview with Bernie Sanders, I will say. And I asked him basically, are you going to really take on Hillary Clinton? Are you going to throw an elbow?

And he would not -- he just said, you know, this is about the issues. You all want me to kind of go in there with sharp elbows. I want to discuss the actual things that Americans care about. That's what he said.

OK, well, fast forward to now, he's taking Hillary Clinton on sort of by name, drawing a lot of contrasts. And I wonder what you sort of make of this. Seems like an elbow to me.

MURRAY: I think this is what happens when you get a little taste of victory, when you think that you might actually be able to win a state and that Hillary is just seven points ahead of you. I don't think even Bernie Sanders thought he would be able to get this close to her this fast.

All of a sudden, he's made his policy points. He's like, great, now let's play politics.

BORGER: But how does Bernie Sanders compete in the Southern primaries? You can see Bernie Sanders, OK, he does well in New Hampshire, he's from Vermont. But when Hillary Clinton has to take him on -- we're not even talking about Joe Biden getting in. Right?

But when Hillary Clinton has to take him on in the South, how does Bernie Sanders do? And he could get labor.

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: Does he have a chance, Jamelle?

BOUIE: A good chunk of those voters are African-Americans. I know Sanders has been working much harder than he has in the past to appeal to those voters.

But the Clinton campaign also -- Clinton, since 2008, she very much has a memory of that -- is courting those voters and trying to speak to their concerns. She gave that speech a couple of months ago at a historically black college I think in Texas, where she was really kind of forthright on voting rights and voting access.

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: Then criminal justice reform. Right?

BOUIE: Exactly.

And Sanders, although he has a good platform on all these issues, he can't talk about it as well as Clinton can. And that I think is going to be a crucial difference for him and disadvantage for him once we get to those Southern primaries.

KEILAR: All right, thank you, guys, so much, Jamelle, Gloria, Dana, Sara. Thanks, guys, great panel.

The Republican presidential candidates, they're about two weeks away from their second debate. And it's going to air right here on CNN. That's September 16. We will have that live for you from the Reagan Library in California. And then CNN will also host the first Democratic presidential debate. That is on October 13. And we will be bringing that to you from Nevada.

Just ahead, the suspect in the cold-blooded murder of a sheriff's deputy appears in court as prosecutors release new details of the killing. Was the officer targeted because he wore a uniform?

And we have a bird's-eye view of a high-speed car chase. I'm serious when I say you really want to see the dramatic and surprising surrender here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:28:48]

KEILAR: Tonight, a Texas man is facing capital murder charges in the brutal execution-style killing of a sheriff's deputy. As the suspect appeared in court, we learned more about the fatal confrontation and the claim that the officer was targeted simply because he wore a uniform.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is covering the story. He's joining us live from Houston.

Have we learned anything, Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're really waiting to find out more details as to exactly what the motivation was here.

I spoke with one of the attorneys representing Shannon Miles. He says, one of the first things they will do is work up a psychological exam on their client. That hasn't been done yet. And many people got a good, close look at him today, trying to figure out, if he is indeed the killer, what motivated him to do so.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA (voice-over): It was so quiet when Shannon Miles walked into the Houston courtroom, you could only hear the sound of the shackles around his ankles and waist, a show of force looking on, as several dozen sheriff's deputies stared down the man accused of killing their fellow officer.

DEVON ANDERSON, HARRIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: He unloaded the entire weapon into Deputy Goforth.

LAVANDERA: Prosecutors gave the most detailed account yet of how Shannon Miles allegedly ambushed Deputy Darren Goforth as he was walking back to his patrol car at pump number eight.

[18:30:11] ANDERSON: He runs up behind Deputy Goforth and puts a gun to the back of his head and shoots. Deputy Goforth hits the ground, and then he continues to unload his gun, shooting repeatedly into the back of Deputy Goforth. LAVANDERA: The prosecutor says Miles emptied all the rounds from his

.40-caliber handgun, 15 shots in all, before walking to his truck and driving away from the scene. Deputy Goforth left dead in a pool of his own blood, shell casings on the ground around him.

On this spot now, a memorial of teddy bears and flowers has blossomed in Deputy Goforth's honor.

The deputy often patrolled Brian McCullar's neighborhood. That's why he and a team of volunteers have stood vigil around pump No. 8, organizing a collection for Goforth's wife and two children. So far, they've raised more than $80,000 plus, another $110,000 online.

BRIAN MCCULLAR, VOLUNTEER: This is what we would want is us looking after his family. I know that he was going off-duty when all of this happened. And he was a man that was a family man. And the only thing on his mind was getting home and being with his family.

LAVANDERA: Investigators say ballistics tests linked the shell casing to the crime scene to a handgun found in Shannon Miles' home garage, but not much is known about the murder suspect. Miles' family has not spoken out, and other family and friends have stayed quiet. The motive in this shooting, which investigators describe as cowardly and cold-blooded, is still unclear. But the sheriff says Deputy Goforth was targeted because he wore a uniform.

SHERIFF RON HICKMAN, HARRIS COUNTY: This rhetoric has gotten out of control. We've heard black lives matter. All lives matter. Well, cops' lives matter, too. So why don't we just drop the qualifier and just say, "Lives matter" and take that to the bank?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: We asked the prosecutor today, Brianna, if they had gotten -- if they could reveal any details as to whether or not those statements that were made on Saturday just hours after Shannon Miles was taken into custody, if there had been statements made by the suspect in this case that led them to say that.

We asked the prosecutor about revealing any more of those details in those conversations with the suspect. And the prosecutor refused to answer those questions today.

KEILAR: All right. Ed Lavandera for us in Houston, thanks.

I want to bring in CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin. We have CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes. And we have Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson.

DeRay, you heard the Harris County sheriff there, Ron Hickman. And he said that he blames the rhetoric for fueling, really, this shooting. We don't know at this point what the motive was. But when you hear him say that, what do you think?

DERAY MCKESSON, BLACK LIVES MATTER ACTIVIST: Yes, I'm just reminded of the statement by Sheriff Hickman. These prejudicial statements about motive that he has -- that are baseless remind me that it's not clear that his off office will actually be able to lead a thorough and fact-driven, impartial investigation. So it's disappointing that he's come out without any facts and no investigation completed about what the motive is so early.

KEILAR: Sunny, what do you think about that? If at least we're not learning anything from officials about what the motive may be, but he seems to be drawing this connection. What are your thoughts on that?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, I think it is too soon to draw that connection. We all know, Brianna, when these types of horrific crimes happen, the investigation is just in its very early stages. And so was this person, this defendant, motivated by hate? I mean, was he, you know, racially biased against this officer? Was he motivated by hatred of police officers? Is he mentally unstable? Does he have mental health issues?

I think all of those are answers that need -- that we need before jumping to the conclusion that somehow this has any connection with the Black Lives Matter movement.

And I think what's unfortunate is that the two are not mutually exclusive. Everyone that I've spoken to that are part of this movement, either leaders or just people that are out protesting, they are not saying that, you know, officers' lives don't matter. What they are saying is that it is time now to talk about police brutality. It's time to talk about the lives of young black men.

But I think at this point to say, you know, this is a direct result of the Black Lives Matter movement, I really think that that's unfair, and it's premature.

KEILAR: What do you think, Tom?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, we don't know everything that the sheriff knows. And they've been talking to friends of the defendant. They've been talking to other witnesses that were at the scene. And especially talking to friends and family. They may have heard a lot about what may have triggered this or been the main emotion behind the killing.

[18:35:01] What they do know that is that he stood over this officer and pumped 15 bullets into him to finish it off, without saying a word. And that's not a common occurrence. It wasn't in connection with arresting an armed robbery suspect or a traffic stop. It was just, you know, minding his own business, and suddenly a shot in the back of the head, and then finished off with 14 more shots.

And I think that, for the sheriff to be emotional and for the sheriff -- and I'm hearing from sheriffs and police leaders all around the country, they are concerned about the rhetoric. They do think that just the narrative that's out there is causing a lot of people to be disrespectful of the police, of not complying, of arguing, fighting with the police. And it's dangerous when that happens.

KEILAR: DeRay, I want you to respond to that.

MCKESSON: Yes, I mean, let's not forget that the police have killed over 700 people this year. There are only nine days this year the police have only killed somebody, and only three states where the police have not killed someone.

The only charged rhetoric that I've heard has been about accountability for the police, accountability for a profession that has refused any attempts to be accountable for the things that happen to them.

So it is premature for this officer to come out -- he's clearly politicizing this tragedy. Goforth should be alive today, and that is real and I grieve for his family. But it is unfortunate that Hickman is using this situation to politicize his grievance against a movement centered on ending violence and holding police accountable for their actions.

KEILAR: DeRay McKesson, Sunny Hostin, Tom Fuentes, thanks to all of you.

Tonight, another dramatic confrontation with police. CNN affiliate KPRC captured sky cam video outside of Sugarland, Texas, and it shows that driver there in the red car racing to escape from officers after he refused to pull over. So this was after an extended chase.

The suspect drove off the highway -- there you can see -- onto the dirt road, ditched his car here, flee -- he was fleeing on foot very quickly across the highway into this residential area that he's about to go into. And eventually he appeared to get tired. He laid down there on the ground outside what is an assisted living facility with his arms and legs spread. And the people nearby just appeared to ignore him until police finally arrived there. They handcuffed him, and they took him into custody.

Now, just ahead, deadly new violence flares in Ukraine and tension with Russia ratchets higher. Now U.S. drones are arriving in Eastern Europe. Plus Vladimir Putin's show of force? Oh, yes, the weight room. It isn't the only place that he's flexing, though.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:42:00] KEILAR: With eastern Europe already on edge about Russian President Vladimir Putin's next move, new violence is raging in Ukraine's capital.

After a parliamentary bid to give pro-Russian separatists more autonomy, the Obama administration is trying to reassure nervous allies by sending to eastern Europe the same drones it uses to hunt and kill terrorists. CNN's chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, has been looking into all of this -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This intended to be a show of force. The Pentagon announcing today that it deployed two MQ-1 Predator drones and 70 military personnel to Latvia. This is a NATO ally. It borders Russia. It fears that after Ukraine, it could be Vladimir Putin's next target.

This is happening while inside Ukraine -- these are the pictures you're watching now -- new street battles that are pitting Ukrainians against Ukrainians. Ukrainian nationalists against the Ukrainian parliament which has approved giving greater autonomy to the eastern part of Ukraine that is now controlled by Russian troops and pro- Russian separatists.

Russia strengthening its hold in the east and war still raging there. Six thousand people killed, more than 6,000 people killed since last April. Two cease-fire agreements in tatters.

So to reassure nervous allies in the region, the U.S. military bolstering its forces there, sending those drones to Latvia, F-22 predators to Germany late last week, all part of an initiative to reassure European allies that the U.S. Will further deter Russian aggression, aggression by the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Listen to what Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said just last week about how seriously the U.S. is taking the Russian threat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASH CARTER, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: But it seems that that's the direction he wants to take them, towards one of more confrontation. And we're simply going to have to check that. Both on our own -- in our own security interests, and because we have important allies and friends in that part of the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: The outgoing army chief of staff, Ray Odierno, he called Russia the biggest threat to the U.S. going forward.

Just to keep in mind, this Predator deployment to Latvia is temporary. A lot of these deployments that the U.S. and NATO have been doing, they're rotational. So they'll send them in a couple of weeks, then move them out. And this is part of that balance we've been talking about, where you want to show reassurance to U.S. NATO allies, but you don't want to further antagonize Russia. It's a tough thing to do. And listen, there are lots of folks who think that it hasn't been forceful enough.

KEILAR: Like Pete King, who we just had on. He certainly is one Republican critic.

SCIUTTO: Republicans and some Democrats, as well, have been critical.

KEILAR: Jim Sciutto, thanks so much.

In his latest show of strength, Russia's President Putin has been working out for the camera. Has he already worked out a plan to outmuscle America, not in Europe but in the fight for crucial resources in the Arctic? CNN's Brian Todd has been looking into that.

What did you find, Brian? BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, Vladimir Putin's

aggression in the Arctic region is a major concern for U.S. officials. The Russians have not only claimed about 460,000 square highs of the Arctic Ocean for themselves, that's in about this region here, that claim still being adjudicated at the U.N., by the way. But they've engaged in a massive military buildup along the Arctic rim in their country.

[18:45:01] Putin has established and expanded a northern command in this region. U.S. officials tell us he's built up air defense systems there, created so-called Arctic brigades of the Russian military.

Now, here is a comparison for you. The United States has two icebreaker ships to deploy in the Arctic region. Russia has 41 of them.

To many, it may seem like the Arctic is just kind of a barren wilderness with not much to contest. But analysts say in this region, especially here in the center, you've got vast reserves of gas, mineral deposits, other resources that will be coveted in the future. And right now, Vladimir Putin is in a better position to exploit those resources.

Tonight, an administration official tells us the White House sees the arctic as, quote, "A global commons where the U.S. and Russia would share resources, share kind of research and exploration, search and rescue operations. But this official says Vladimir Putin and his government simply don't see it that way.

Brianna, they want to capitalize strategically in that region.

KEILAR: We want to show our viewers, Brian, this video that the Kremlin has put out, Putin and his Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev turning iron together.

I think as funny as it may seem to people in the West, there is obviously a political calculation here, right?

TODD: There certainly is, Brianna. In this video, Putin seen lifting weights with his prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev. They're showing grilling meat and then sitting down to have tea with their breakfast. This on the heels of a dramatic visual of Putin getting in a submersible earlier this month and venturing down into the Black Sea.

Analysts say the Russian people love it when the Kremlin puts out these images of Putin. They like it when he projects himself as a strong and virile leader. Now, given that, though, and the fact that his approval ratings have been down lately, the timing of the weightlifting video is very calculated, they want to put it out there that he's still strong, virile that he is the tough guy ready to lead.

Putin in Ukraine -- excuse me, Russia in Ukraine, the arctic, and anywhere else that he deems appropriate.

KEILAR: All right. Brian Todd, thanks for that report.

What is Putin's next move besides maybe abs or legs?

Joining me is CNN chief national correspondent Jim Sciutto. And Julia Ioffe, she's a Russia expert who writes for the "New York Times" magazine and foreign policy.

So what is -- do we have a sense of what Putin's next move may be? And certainly of what his long game is?

JULIA IOFFE, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: You know, I don't know that Putin has a long game, other than to stay in power, which is why he's showing us videos of himself pumping iron. And actually I think doing his reps a little too fast. But --

(LAUGHTER)

KEILAR: I think it's slowing down.

IOFFE: Add a little more weight is what my trainer would tell me.

Anyway, I think he's doing it to show he's healthy, he's going to be around for a while. That's his long game. That as well as securing Russian influence in the region.

As for the proximate steps, I don't think that he even knows. Putin is known for taking -- making moves without much consideration, just very impulsively. So --

KEILAR: So, it's not even tactical instead of strategic? It's just sort of impulsive?

IOFFE: I think that the line between tactical and impulsive can be kind of blurred for him. But I don't know, he's been -- on one hand, he's been escalating all summer. But towards the end of the summer, now that oil's dipped to below $40 a barrel, he seems to be pulling back a little bit in Ukraine.

He looks to have all options open to him. He doesn't like to close any doors. He likes to have the ability to be able to move in any direction at any point.

KEILAR: What are you hearing about how the U.S. wants to approach this? You talked about the shows of strength. But maybe they're temporary.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Here's the thing -- when I talk to military officials, intelligence officials, is one unknowable they agree on is what's in Putin's minds, what are his plans, what is his end game, what are his intentions? That kind of thing.

And going back to when he first went into Ukraine, you know, the intelligence community was caught off-guard. They didn't make that judgment. Lo and behold, he moves in. And since then, you hear that same thing, they don't know.

Now, you will hear this knowledge, that the costs are rising. The essential strategy has raised the costs for Russia economically. And that's been working, right? I mean, couple with the fall of the price of oil, you know, the sanctions are squeezing Russia economically, but what that hasn't done is changed actions on the ground. You know, so you can raise the costs without changing his decision, his decision- making.

Now, you know, you talk to some administration officials and they say, he hasn't moved that much further forward since sanctions have been imposed but he hasn't moved back. I mean, no one even talks about Crimea anymore.

And when you look at eastern Ukraine, the fact is military commanders are concerned about them moving further to make a land bridge to Crimea from the east. So --

IOFFE: Although so far, they really have lost momentum, and they're still kind of dithering on the edges of the front that they've created in part I think because the economy is stalling, because oil is so low, their economy is stagnating.

SCIUTTO: True.

[18:50:00] KEILAR: Unfortunately, I have to leave it there. I could talk for hours about this with you. Julia, Jim, we will be talking about this in the days ahead I'm sure. Thank you so much.

Just ahead, President Obama begins a historic trip to Alaska, of course, fuel on the debate over global warming.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:55:00] KEILAR: Tonight, President Obama is in Alaska. He is the first sitting commander in chief to visit the Alaskan Arctic. And on his agenda, he is officially renaming the tallest mountain in the U.S. He is changing it from Mount McKinley to Denali as it is known locally. And the president also is focusing on climate change and its impact on the Arctic region.

Our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is with the president in Anchorage.

Jim, tell us about this trip.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, President Obama has arrived here in Alaska to deliver what he believes to be an urgent message on climate change. The president will be sounding the alarm on global warming all week long, calling attention to what Alaskans are already experiencing, melting glaciers, record high temperatures and one of their worst wildfire seasons in years.

The president will deliver a speech to a conference of Arctic nations, including Russia later on this evening.

Ahead of that conference, we sat down with Secretary of State John Kerry and asked him about the fact that his White House agenda, the White House agenda on climate change has almost zero support among most Republicans in Congress who just don't support the president on the issue.

Here's what Secretary Kerry has to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Donald Trump has said global warming is B.S. Ted Cruz has said the data and facts don't support it. How do you -- how do you take on an issue when the other side doesn't agree?

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, that's one of the reasons, that's one of the reasons that we're in Alaska, because it's pretty hard -- ask any Alaskan. I think people in Alaska will tell Donald Trump and tell Ted Cruz, it's happening. And all they have to do is come here and open their minds and their eyes and their ears. Listen, look and they will see the impacts of what is happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Now, tomorrow, the president will be seeing some of the affects of climate change firsthand. He plans to tour one of the state's melting glaciers. He will do that with reality TV star Bear Grylls who will test the president's survival skills as they talk about global warming. Later he will travel to northern Alaska where he will become the first president to visit the Arctic to hear from fishermen seeing their livelihoods threatened by climate change.

Brianna, no word whether or not the Secret Service has their grizzly bear spray. But they might need it. The president will be spending a lot of time out in the wilderness over this next couple of days -- Brianna.

KEILAR: I suspect they do, Jim Acosta.

Jim Acosta reporting for us from Alaska.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is unleashing a new attack on President Obama's leadership. He sat down with CNN's Jamie Gangel for her first interview as the new special correspondent for this network. They discussed Cheney's book which he wrote with his daughter Liz. It's called "Exceptional: Why the World Needs a More Powerful America".

And Gangel pressed Cheney about his criticism of the president, the rise of ISIS and finger-pointing over who is to blame.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: You in the book blame the spread of ISIS on President Obama. He says it's your fault that Bush/Cheney left the region unstable.

RICHARD CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think he's wrong. Look at the record. We had a situation in which by the time we got through the surge in '07 and '08, President Bush made a courageous decision that Iraq was in good shape when we left office. And Barack Obama said as much. What happened basically was they failed to follow through. They withdrew as quickly as possible and left no stay behind force there. They created a vacuum. And the vacuum was filled by ISIS.

GANGEL: How dangerous do you really think ISIS is now to homeland security, American soil?

CHENEY: I think extraordinarily dangerous, partly because of their ability to recruit from the United States. People become members of ISIS to go to Syria, Iraq and so forth.

I think the danger of having those people return, having trained, for example, over there or their ability to motivate people in the United States and elsewhere in other parts of the world to become hardened followers, if you will, of that ideology and sacrifice themselves in the name of killing, I think that possibility is increasing. And I think ISIS is very dangerous, indeed, especially if you think about the prospects of nuclear weapons being developed in the Middle East.

GANGEL: Do you think we could see another 9/11-style attack on American style?

CHENEY: I think we could see another 9/11-style attack with deadlier weapons. I worry if they use chemicals or biological agents or nuclear weapons. Remember, the weapon they used on 9/11, airline tickets and box cutters. That's -- it was a difficult, terrible day for us, 3,000 casualties. It will be worst if they find deadlier weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: You can see more of Jamie Gangel's interview with Dick Cheney on "AC360" tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern, only on CNN.

And that is it for me. Thank you so much for watching.

I am Brianna Keilar.

And "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.