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Nine Aid Workers Killed In Suspected U.S. Airstrike; Officials: Shooter Was Student At Umpqua; Possible Record Rainfall On Eastern Seaboard; Russia's Bombing Syria Draws U.S. Criticism; Sheriff John Hanlin's Previous Statements on Gun Control Draw Attention; Bill Clinton Coming to Back Hillary on Campaign Trail. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 3, 2015 - 06:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan killing nine workers for Doctors Without Borders, dozens still missing, and reports this morning that the U.S. was warned prior to those strikes.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: New developments in Oregon on the gunman's connection to the college, he owned more than a dozen weapons. We are learning now some new details about those victims.

BLACKWELL: Plus historic flooding, the Carolinas get set for flooding not seen in 500 years. The latest on Hurricane Joaquin's path.

PAUL: We are always so grateful you take the time to wake up with us. Good morning, everybody. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

PAUL: We want to begin with this breaking news out of Afghanistan this morning where we have nine staff workers of Doctors Without Borders that were killed, 37 people were injure, this after U.S. airstrikes rocked the trauma center in the northern city of Kunduz.

These pictures we are just getting in. We want you to take a look here. Those are flames and smoke inside the walls of that hospital and the walls are also collapsing.

Fragments of glass is littering that area we are told. Doctors are now scrambling to treat the people who were injured and they are doing so at a make-shift operating theatre.

BLACKWELL: First video in from the scene right after dawn, you can see the burned out shell here smoke still billowing from some of these windows. Again nine aid workers with Doctors Without Borders killed, many still missing.

We have this statement from the organization. "We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll that has been inflicted on health care in Kunduz."

Let's go now to CNN international correspondent, Nic Robertson in Paris, the city where Doctors Without Borders was founded. Nic, the U.S. military says that airstrikes may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility that's part of their statement.

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan released this statement. Talk more about the bombing campaign that's been going on in this area.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the Taliban took over the town of Kunduz where this medical military was in the center of it. Monday, five days ago, MSF Doctors Without Borders that as recently as five days ago they told not only Washington but Kabul of the GPS coordinates of this medical facility. It's a large sprawling medical facility.

We know that when the Taliban went into the city, they targeted the hospitals, looking for government troops, any injured government troops. We know that at the time of these strikes that there was fighting in the vicinity of this hospital complex.

We know from NATO officials that there were strikes close to there. They say the hospital could have been collateral damage. But what we are learning from Doctors Without Borders is that they say when the first strike at the hospital.

They say partially destroyed the hospital, that were on the hospital, Doctors Without Borders say when they first made them aware. They said the airstrike on that facility continue for another 30 minutes before they stop.

We are told there are 105 patients in there along with family members as well and 80 Doctors Without Borders international, a local staff, working in that hospital at the time.

So far this week, they had already treated over 400 casualties of the fighting that's rocked that city between the Taliban and government forces -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nic, we will have the folks up in the control room put up the statement that we received from the U.S. Embassy there in Afghanistan.

It says, "The U.S. Embassy mourns for the individuals and families affected by the tragic incident at the Doctors Without Borders hospital and for all those suffering from the violence if Kunduz there from the U.S. embassy there in Afghanistan.

Nic, back to you. How many medical resources are there? I'd imagine that there are very few and now after this bombing and what we've seen of this new video, we can play that as well, guys, back in the control room that, there aren't many resources available.

[06:05:02] ROBERTSON: There won't be. This medical facility was set up four years ago by Doctors Without Borders. They have been working in Afghanistan for decades. They probably saved thousands or tens of thousands of lives of people that have been caught up in the fighting over those years, mine blast victims regularly come into these facilities. But they are important because in that region it's the only facility that Doctors Without Borders has in the north of Afghanistan there, and as such will be a place that a lot of people will try to get to because they know they can get to first class international doctors with good facilities.

So it's hugely important in the general run of things and utterly vital at a week like this whether to see intense fighting in the city itself. In the previous months, the fighting has just been outside the city.

So it's going to absolutely diminish the medical facilities that are available there. What we do know are that some staff, MSF staff, are being relocated out of there.

So you not only do you lose the facility, but you lose some of those important medical staff as well and the fighting there, of course, is far from over. The government and the Taliban are still contesting it -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and ramping up. Nic Robertson there for us in Paris. Nic, thanks so much.

PAUL: Let's bring in Sune Engel Rasmussen, a reporter for the "Guardian" in Kabul. You are there in Afghanistan and there are reports that the U.S. was warned prior to these airstrikes where this hospital was located. What can you tell us about what you know today?

SUNE ENGEL RASMUSSEN, REPORTER FOR "THE GUARDIAN" IN KABUL: Also the Afghan of Defense and the NATO and U.S. military here, sometimes these airstrikes are called in by the Afghan military asking for assistance from the American military.

So and not only will they share it this week, but they would have been known prior to this normally, that's obviously a lot of people here can't understand how this could happen. There is a lot of anger towards U.S. and Kunduz people are assuming this wasn't an American airstrike.

There is no doubt. But there has been this narrative the Afghan forces can't fight the Taliban without the assistance from the U.S. military. An incident like this makes people question what's the use of the military if they want to penetrate the most damage about this.

PAUL: We are seeing these pictures. We can point out we are just getting in, should have gotten them in the last 15 minutes, of the scene there and of the flames inside that building, when it was happening.

We understand just in the last hour that the death toll jumped from three to nine. Also hearing that there are 30 people unaccounted for what do you know of what's happening there at the scene right now?

RASMUSSEN: Well, the 30 people unaccounted for I think was a previous statement issued. Now they say nine killed, 37 wounded. They still say a lot of people unaccounted for. They don't put numbers on it. That number both accounts for staff and for patients, the nine killed are only MSF staff. The critically injured has been moved to another medical facility, a place which is like two hours' drive from Kunduz City.

So this death toll and casualty toll is likely to rise today and tomorrow when MSF gets a chance to really survey the damage done. But this apparently the building that was hit in the hospital was the main building where more than 100 patients with relatives were present.

At the same time you have medical staff waiting outside the building to operate on patients coming in from all over the city. So this is a very busy time and completely packed facilities when this attack happened.

PAUL: Yes. It's remarkable. Sune Engel Rasmussen, we so appreciate your insight into this. Thank you very much.

BLACKWELL: Now the U.S. military has opened an investigation into this incident. We are joined now by CNN military analyst, Retired Lt. General Mark Hertling.

Doctors Without Borders says that the precise location were communicated as recently as September 29th and that the bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after American Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were first informed.

Generally, your reaction to that, and the typical degree of communication between the military and these types of aid organizations?

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RETIRED), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's a great point, Victor, and I'll say a couple of things about this. First of all, it is under investigation. It proves how critically important precision weaponry is.

[06:10:03] And why some people who just claim we should go bomb things are uninformed about how the tragic occurrence like this might happen. First of all, my condolences to all those Doctors Without Borders. This is a terrific organization.

It's been all over the world and in Afghanistan for at least the early 1980s. But the criticality of this when you say it's under investigation, it could have been just the fluid nature of combat.

There have been -- in fact, Doctors Without Borders on their web page earlier this week said they were right in the middle of the conflict between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces. They claim they were right there. So that leaves a little space to this, the fact that it's just up to fight in these kind of areas and people get hurt.

Secondly, precision weapons aren't always precise. When you think of this being equivalent to a videogame, it is not. Sometimes these weapon systems miss their targets and that could have been the cause for this. There is always also the reason of did we know exactly where they were? I kind of chuckled when we heard Nic Robertson say they notified the U.S. and Kabul government 30 minutes prior to the attack they were there. The bombings still continue.

You just don't turn these things on and off when accidents happen. It's tough to get that message to the embassy, the military, to the ground spotter. There are a lot of people in the chain of communication on this.

These things happen in combat. It's very unfortunate. It's tragic. Condolences go out to them. This is what happens when the Taliban attacks in a city being secured by the Afghan security forces.

BLACKWELL: Again, the U.S. military has opened an investigation into this. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thank you. We'll talk to you next hour about what that investigation looks like.



PAUL: Also we have new details for you this morning on a man behind the shooting at that Oregon community college. His connection to the school and the shocking number of weapons he had.

Also, you might be looking out your window right now seeing rain. It's all over the Carolinas and there is so much more of it on the way, historic flooding is expected. That's coming up.

And Bill Clinton, he was a major factor in helping President Obama get re-elected. Not so much in the case 2008 for his wife's first run at the White House. Which Bill Clinton is going to show up this time?




TONJA JOHNSON ENGEL, MOTHER OF JASON JOHNSON: I found out there had been a shooting and it was in the writing class. My son was in the writing class. When I found that out, I just prayed that he's all right.

I saw some headlights coming up my road and they weren't coming very fast and they kind of stopped and hesitated. When they drove in my driveway, I could see that they had shirt, ties and clipboard, I knew what they were coming to tell me.


PAUL: Our hearts and prayers going out to all of these people who are dealing with this shooting and this aftermath this morning. The voice you just heard there, the woman you just saw is the mother of this man, Jason Johnson, a 34-year-old who was killed in Thursday's shooting, late in life student so to speak, turning his life around.

We are learning this morning, Johnson and those eight other students were killed by a fellow classmate. School officials now confirming that the gunman had been registered for that writing class, where he initially opened fire.

Dan Simon is live in Roseburg, Oregon with more for us. Dan, what else are you learning this morning?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christi, I was at that very somber news conference yesterday afternoon when the sheriff read the names of the victims one by one. We are talking about five men, four women, ages ranging from 18 to 67.

We are also learning more information about the shooter. This is somebody who had amassed an incredible amount of fire power. Six guns were found at the school, seven more found at his home, all the guns were purchased legally.


UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: We need as many ambulances as possible. We have upwards of 20 victims.

SIMON (voice-over): Chilling new details this morning in the Oregon college massacre. The gunman came heavily armed, prepared to kill as many as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: He has shots. He's in a classroom.

SIMON: Investigators say the gunman brought a steel plated flat jacket, multiple pistols and a rifle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six were recovered at the school. Seven were recovered at the shooter's residence along with five magazines.

SIMON: Nine people were killed and nine others wounded when the 26- year-old who attended the college walked into its own English classroom and opened fire. In the middle of the rampage, the gunman handed his writings to a survivor to give to police, according to sources.

In those pages the shooter rambled about his hatred towards black men and how he was frustrated about being a virgin, unable find a girlfriend.

Why the shooter targeted Umpqua Community College is still unclear. He lived nearby in this apartment complex with his mother, who was reportedly fiercely protective of him.

His family has been interviewed by investigators and CNN has learned the shooter suffered mental health issues and had sought relief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shock, shock is all I can say.

SIMON: Meanwhile, we are learning more about the victims of the shooting, who range in age from 18 to 67, among the dead, Lawrence Lavine, an assistant professor of English, Quinn Glenn Cooper, who loved dancing and voice acting, and Lucera Alcarez, she apparently wanted to become a pediatric nurse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One person's deranged act may have indeed broken all of our hearts, but he cannot prevent our hearts from growing back bigger and stronger.


SIMON: Well, this is a community still very much in shock. Only 22,000 people live here. If people don't know the victims personally, they certainly know someone who does. Originally it was thought the school might reopen as early as Monday. Apparently the school thought better of it. We now know that classes will be closed all of next week -- Christi.

[06:20:08] PAUL: All right. Dan Simon, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Well, the sheriff in this Oregon county where this shooting happened is known for talking tough when it comes to guns. He is not changing his tune. Now, his stance has him in the middle on the fight over gun control. You're going to hear from him in a moment.

Also, this is more than a rainy weekend. We are talking major flooding for much of the country, the kind seen maybe once every 500 years. We will talk about what Hurricane Joaquin's role is in all this. Tracking the big storm next.


BLACKWELL: Look at these pictures overnight. Police, fire crews had to rescue a driver after this driver was stuck in the middle of a flooded road. Please don't drive across flooded roads. You never know what's under the water. What you expect will be there may have been washed away or there might be something under that water you can't see.

The governor is warning people to stay indoors because the state of South Carolina could get drenched with the heaviest rain it's seen in almost 500 years. It appears Hurricane Joaquin will not directly hit the U.S., the effects certainly could be catastrophic.

In one county in North Carolina, emergency crews went door-to-door evacuating people from their flooded homes. This is just the beginning because the rain will continue all weekend.

[06:25:00] CNN meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, has been watching this mess. And the first time I read this number, Allison, I thought it was a typo, so I checked somewhere else, 12 inches of rain possibly in some areas.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Actually, Victor, that's on the low end. We will see some careers that will see 15 inches of rain. That's that statistic a one in 500-year flood. They don't see this very often.

In fact, it's been almost 40 years since they've had that much rain in the area of Charleston. This is so far away, already fallen on the ground. A lot of spots four-to-six inches, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, including the outer banks, here's a look.

We have the flood watch for all of the areas of North and South Carolina, you see here in green. Flash flood warnings for cities like Charlotte and Charleston. The heaviest rain is yet to come.

You have got Joaquin down here finally starting to move off from the Bahamas. It has this plume of moisture. Part of that is because of this upper level low. It's sucking all of the moisture out from that funneling that plume into the same spot over and over and over.

You can see here on the radar, it's going to continue to do that as we go through the day today. So here's one thing that we do have to keep in mind.

It's not just the heavy rain that's coming in. It's also the high tides because we have already hit low tide. As we go through the rest of the day. High tide peaks at 1:00 in the afternoon so that will be a concern for folks in Charleston as more of that water gets pushed into the downtown area.

A lot of spots picking up ten inches, but there will be some areas that can pick up as much as 15 inches of rain. Again we are talking inundated. All after that will fall in three days. That's too quick and too much.

BLACKWELL: This comes after a week of continued rain for many of those states. Allison Chinchar, thanks so much.

PAUL: Well, President Obama not only criticizing Russia's airstrikes in Syria, he's warning Vladmir Putin the air campaign will lead to more bloodshed. We'll talk about that.

And did the sheriff in Roseburg once believe the shooting at Sandy Hook was staged? Our Sara Sidner confronts what some are calling a controversial lawman.


PAUL: Bringing you some new details on the breaking news that we have been following this morning from Afghanistan. Nine staff workers of Doctors Without Borders were killed, 37 people injured, this after U.S. airstrikes rocked the trauma center in the northern city of Kunduz, and that is the trauma center you're seeing on your screen right now. The U.S. military is saying the strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility, and that they are investigating the incident. But this is the damage as you see there once the sun came up, of course.

Smoke was still billowing, actually through the roof. And you can see the stains of smoke on the windows there. As we said, nine staff workers killed and many people still unaccounted for this morning as there is a makeshift area where they are treating the people who were injured even before this blast. But even though you can see flames are still burning inside the building. CNN is working to get more. We'll have a live report for you at the top of the hour as well.

BLACKWELL: All right, these airstrikes come a day after President Obama warned Vladimir Putin about his campaign in Syria and he says it will only lead to further bloodshed. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won't work. And they will be there for a while.


BLACKWELL: Just got some new numbers into CNN that Russia reportedly launched 20 attacks inside Syria in the past 24 hours. And despite international concern, Russia seems to be ignoring ISIS. Some say, and propping up President Bashar al-Assad's regime by targeting his enemies, those rebels. The CNN international correspondent Phil Black is live in Moscow with the latest for us. Phil, good morning.

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor, yes, every few hours, really, here in Moscow, Russian officials are releasing long lists of the targets. They say their aircraft have struck in Syria. A range of targets from ammunition depos to bunkers, to command centers, communication facilities and attaching the word ISIS or ISIL to all of it, claiming that each one of these was the property of ISIS, those particular, that particular militant group. Some of them and some of those targets, if Russia says, are close to the city of Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold, but the vast majority are taking place in the west of the country, in regions that the United States and its coalition allies say where ISIS has very little presence.

Indeed what they say and the continued and really very strong criticism of Russia is that they are only striking at groups that Russia believes are a threat to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And as a result they are only striking those moderate groups, some of which were allied with the United States and its coalition partner. And striking civilians in the course of that as well. Now Russia denies all of that and insists it is only going after terrorist groups. And insists that it is supporting the Syrian regime. Because it believes that it remains the best possible obstacle to stand in the way of terrorist groups like ISIS sweeping over the rest of Syria. Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Phil Black for us there in Syria. We'll expand the conversation now. Phil, thank you so much.

PAUL: Naveed Jamali is joining us now. He is a naval intelligence officer and the author of "How to Catch a Russian Spy." Thank you for being with us. First of all, what do you think at the end of the day is the payoff here for Russia? Is it about getting the U.S. out of the Middle East? Is it about expanding its territory into Syria? What does your gut tell you?

NAVEED JAMALI, NAVAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Hey, Christy, look, I think that in a brilliant master stroke, Russia has done something that they haven't done in 14 years. They've inserted themselves into the dialogue of what's going to happen next in Syria. And they've done it with what - 30 jets and 20 airstrikes.


I mean, that's I think this whole thing has as much to do with Assad as it has to do with the United States. Russia is clearly inserting themselves into the sort of world calculus here, and it's been successful so far.

PAUL: If Russia is successful in decimating these rebel groups that support al-Assad, what do you think that means for the future of Syria?

JAMALI: You know, as President Obama said, he used the word quagmire. Look, frankly it's already a quagmire. I'm not sure how much worse it can get. The FSA, the Pentagon has come out and said we're not quite sure that we can guarantee that the FSA is actually fighting its ISIL. They've taken their weapons and chosen to fight primarily against Assad. So, I'm not quite sure exactly what the Russians are going to gain. I'm not sure this really changes that much on the ground. Again, let's not forget, they only have 30 jets. It's not - we have twice as many. And we have the ability to turn the tide against ISIL with twice as many assets.

PAUL: Right, but people would argue that they're not targeting ISIL, they're targeting, obviously, as we just - the rebel-backed forces that are fighting Assad.

JAMALI: Of course.

PAUL: Listen, Arizona Senator John McCain says the Russians have struck U.S.-backed forces. Listen to this.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R) ARIZONA: I can absolutely confirm to you that they were strikes against our Free Syrian Army or groups that have been armed and trained by the CIA, because we have communications with people there.


PAUL: The Russians, of course, assert that they are targeting ISIS as well as other groups in Syria. But I just want to get you're a gage of what do you think is really going on there and how strong is the U.S. intel on everything there?

JAMALI: Look, I think the Senators are absolutely right. I mean it's the Russian and the Iraqis and the Iranians announce they are sharing intelligence. It's clear the Russians showed up to Syria, and probably got their intelligence, the targeting packages from the Syrians. I mean the Syrians invited them there. I am sure a part of the condition was we can help the Syrians. And they made that very clear. The Russians have said over and over, ISIL and terrorist organization. Well, they consider the FSA a terrorist organization, frankly. So clearly they're there to prop up Assad. Clearly the areas they were targeting yesterday, not Thursday, excuse me, was not anywhere close to the ISIL. So it's of no surprise that they're pushing for targets to support Assad.

PAUL: All right, Naveed Jamali, we so appreciate your insight. Thank you for being with us, sir.

JAMALI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, there are many who are lauding the standing down we should say of the sheriff in Oregon, of naming that Roseburg shooter. But now the sheriff is under fire for posting a stance on gun safety laws and for posting a conspiracy theory, some say about Sandy Hook. Our Sara Sidner gets answers there. Also, Hillary Clinton is calling again who many believe is her most valuable campaign surrogate, her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Coming up here, his first official speech, supportive his wife's presidential bid.




OBAMA: The majority of people who have mental illnesses are not shooters. So we can't sort through and identify ahead of time who might take actions like this. The only thing we can do is make sure that they can't have an entire arsenal when something snaps in them and if we're going to do something about that, the politics has to change.


PAUL: The president there talking to the American people after this mass shooting in Oregon. Once again asking Washington to put the politics aside, to put into place some stricter gun safety laws. New legislation now is something that the Roseburg sheriff has said he stood fastly again. In this week's college massacre, it doesn't appear to have changed his mind. But we want to know more about what he's thinking. Sara Sidner finds out.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thrust onto the national stage after the massacre at Umpqua Community College, Douglas County sheriff John Hanlin talks tough and isn't afraid to share his opinion.

SHERIFF JOHN HANLIN, DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON: I will not name the shooter. I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act.

SIDNER: His stance on the shooter, cheered by many. But some of his other believes are putting him smack dab in the middle of the fight over gun control. A letter he sent to Vice President Joe Biden. One month after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, one of the deadliest in American history gives everyone a good look at his unwavering stance on gun control. It says, in part, "Gun control is not the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings." But now a mass shooting has hit him at home. So we asked him about his thoughts as the entire country asked, why is this happening in America yet again and what will stop it?

(on camera): Can you talk to me about your stance on the fact that you feel like gun control is not a potential answer to these matters?

HANLIN: Okay. I understand your interest in that. And I can appreciate that you have an interest in my position. But like I've said a number of times this morning, we are focusing on getting this investigation completed.

SIDNER (voice over): But he did talk to us a bit about a controversial post on his Facebook page that is also getting attention now. Long before the Umpqua College shooting, he reposted a viral video. That video delves into conspiracy theories involving the Sandy Hook shooting. It goes as far as to question whether some of the grieving parents were crisis actors. He writes, "This makes me wonder who we can trust anymore." And goes on to say, watch, listen and keep an open mind.

(on camera): Did you post it?


SIDNER: You didn't post it?

HANLIN: No. No. I know what you are referring to.

SIDNER: Yeah. We are just kind of clearing that.

HANLIN: That's not a conspiracy theory belief that I have.

SIDNER: An outspoken sheriff now measuring his words as the gun debate here is replaced with grief. Sara Sidner, Roseburg, Oregon.


BLACKWELL: Our thanks to Sara there.

Is former president Bill Clinton coming to his wife's rescue on the campaign trail or is this rollout a part of the plan all along? In just a moment, listen to his first official speech for his wife's 2016 bid.


BLACKWELL: Plus, we are learning that Pope Francis met with a same sex couple while he was in the U.S. What did they talk about? We have exclusive details next hour.


BLACKWELL: Hillary Clinton is in Washington this morning, set to speak in front of the largest LGBT advocacy group in the country. And all of this is happening as Clinton's campaign starts to roll out their not so secret weapon, her husband, Bill Clinton. The former president made his first official speech for Hillary's 2016 bid during a stop in West Virginia. And during that visit, he spoke about returning to the campaign trail and he took a few shots to the GOP field, including the front runner Donald Trump.


BILL CLINTON: I told somebody the other day, I'm not sure I'm very good at this anymore. I'm kind of like an old horse that they keep in the stable. You know, and then election comes along, and they come in, give you a few extra oats and brush you down ...


BILL CLINTON: Take you out on the track and slap you on the rump and see if you can get around just one more time. In the first debate, it looked like they were taking a theology test and see who could get the most politically correct answer to show the most intense hatred of government. And they said, well, and Trump, who is a master brander just blew by them because you need to vote for me, I don't know anything about it.

You shouldn't be able to insult or resent your way all the way to the White House.


BILL CLINTON: The American people deserve ...


BILL CLINTON: The American people deserve somebody who will just stand up and talk to them and listen to them.



BLACKWELL: All right. Joining us now to discuss this is professor of political science, Jason Johnson. Jason, the former president there said he's not sure he's any good at this anymore. His supporters and opponents will say he is probably the best at this on the campaign trail, but we saw in 2008, there are some pitfalls. How do they avoid hem?

JASON JOHNSON, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE: Well, they avoid them. Because this is actually a slightly new attitude of his. And I heard Clinton say this at the Clinton Global Initiative in Atlanta, I think like January of this year. He was sort of Roger Mur talk, I'm getting a little too old for this stuff. He's like, I'm not out to fight anymore. I'm out to talk for particular issues, and I think the more that Clinton presents himself as the statesman, the guy who has seen all the wars that politics can come and has come to some conclusions about how America moves forward. I think that actually helps Hillary Clinton a lot. Because a lot of people will look at him that way.

BLACKWELL: What is your take on this? I mean there are some opponents who will say that Bill Clinton is coming out now, because the polls are a little shaky. Bernie Sanders is surging. Her supporters will say, that this was part of the rollout that he come out in the fall from the very beginning. What's your take?

JOHNSON: It's both. First off, remember, we are heading into the first CNN debate. Right? This is Hillary Clinton's chance to sort of stop some of the bleeding. And she is generally still in the lead. But this is a chance for her to sort of create some distance between herself and Bernie Sanders again and also Bill Clinton is there. There's the public Bill Clinton, there's the private Bill Clinton. Private Bill Clinton is also meeting with her fund raisers right now and saying, look, you have been with us for 25 years. You are not about to back out now. So, I think this was probably already planned. But the fact that Hillary Clinton has faced some struggles over the last two or three months, that's a part of it as well.

BLACKWELL: You mentioned those struggles, the email scandal, and some people put scandal in quotes. And then you've got Benghazi as well. Some would put that in quotes, I'd imagine as well. But the latest Pew research poll shows that she has got the pretty big lead. I wonder what your thought is on the timing, should they have possibly save the former president's roll out for maybe a more difficult period in the month to come?

JOHNSON: Well, no, because here's the thing. Whenever Bill Clinton is going to start speaking on behalf of Hillary, there is going to be some question about aha, here's her secret weapon, she must be in trouble. So, if you are going to bring him out, why not this month, why not the month where Hillary has got her first debate and where she's got the Benghazi hearings? This is the perfect time for Bill to start reminding the public of the role that he plays. Because remember, we are only a couple of months away from Iowa. So, I think there was going to be some speculation and conspiracy theories whenever he started speaking. But now it seems as good a time as many. This is a really important month for Hillary Clinton.

BLACKWELL: The next couple of days or weeks or so, are pretty important. What do you expect we'll see as we roll up to not only the continuing of the rollout of the former president, but this Benghazi hearing?

JOHNSON: That's going to be really tough for both sides. You know, first off, Hillary Clinton is going to be tough. Because she has got to go on this Benghazi hearings, answer questions that she really actually answered already and not sound too irritable and not sound too glib. On the flipside, every Democrat on that committee, every Democrat supporter and every Democratic person working with Hillary Clinton is going to mention what Kevin McCarthy said. The new possible speaker of the House who admitted this week that the whole purpose of the hearings was to try to hurt her in poll numbers. So she's got to sort of, you know, tow that line between answering questions legitimately and pointing out that the Republican have done this as a witch hunt to hurt her, not because four Americans lost their lives.

BLACKWELL: And we will see if she mentions that, herself in those opening statements there. Jason Johnson, thanks so much.

JOHNSON: Thanks, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, and just a reminder, Jason mentioned it, but I'm going to mention it again. The first Democratic presidential debate is set to take place one week from Tuesday, October 13th 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: But do stay with us. We have new details about that deadly airstrike that killed nine Doctors without Borders staff in Afghanistan. These are some of the latest pictures we are getting in, more on that in a moment.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Erica Moore, Juliet and Eugene (INAUDIBLE), Chip (INAUDIBLE) And Robert Ladan (ph). Six participants came together in January to start their journey. They weren't new to the sport. And over the course of eight long months, they learned to swim, bike, and run, all in preparation for the Nautica, a triathlon.

With their new found skills and the voice of their coach April Jelotle (ph) cheering them on, they headed back home to train. In May, they came together again in southern California for a week of hard core training.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Overall, the experience has been amazing, you know, eating habits. And trying to help each other out with that, meal planning, to be able get it at a time, we really supported each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I tried running today, it's an ongoing setback. I will finish the race. I will finish the race

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really got in the zone. And I really feel like I awaken the triathlete.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to do it. I put my mind to do it. And anything I put my mind to do I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe I'm doing this. Fit Nation, CNN, go!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now it's game time. A half mile swim in the Pacific. 18 miles of biking on the Pacific Coast highway. A four- mile run.

And then the finish line and triumph.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did it. I did it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't wait to sign up for my next one, man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so proud of my life. Thanks CNN and Sanjay Gupta, you made it happen for us.




BLACKWELL: We are following breaking news this morning. The U.S. apologizing for airstrikes overnight that caused collateral damage in Afghanistan.