Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Obama Suspends Program to Train Syrian Rebels; New Clues Biden May Run For President; Donald Trump: "I'm Never Getting Out"; Texas Expands Right to Carry Guns on Campuses; Despite Promise, Pill Price Has Not Been Dropped. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 9, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:4] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT tonight. A dismal failure, President Obama suspending his half a billion program to train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. So, why is the U.S. still giving rebels ammunition and supplies?
And Joe Biden seen meeting behind closed doors with Democratic Party leaders in the countdown to the first Democratic debate. Is he about to jump in the race?
Plus, as the two horse race according to the latest poll, Donald Trump, Ben Carson and then everyone else eating their dust. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, mission not accomplished. In a stunning announcement, the Obama administration says, it is suspending its program to train Syrian rebels. It's been the centerpiece of President Obama's fight against ISIS. The Pentagon now left struggling to explain the abject failure of its $500 million program. In this case, numbers tell -- well, 500 million words. The program was supposed to train as many as 5400 rebel fighters this year. Instead, one top general admitted that no more than four or five rebels were trained.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT at the Pentagon tonight. And Barbara, those numbers are stunning and this is a stunning admission by the administration, that the strategy has failed. What are they going to do now?
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have now a very significant change in how the U.S. will help Syrian rebels on the ground fight ISIS.
STARR (voice-over): Syrian forces backed up by Russia continuing to escalate attacks in western Syria as the U.S. announces a massive overhaul of its efforts to train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS.
ASH CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I wasn't satisfied with the early efforts in that regard.
STARR: Few were. Now, instead of recruiting fighters from the battlefield for training, the U.S. will provide air strikes and air drop ammunition and communication scare in Northern Syria to members of the so-called Syrian Arab coalition. Some 5,000 fighters from various tribes and militias that have been fighting ISIS for months. The original effort to train thousands in Turkey and Jordan and send them back into Syria fell apart. An update on the number of those trained included the shocking admission by the U.S. general running the war against ISIS.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a small number and the ones that are in the fight is we're talking four or five.
STARR: About 100 of those fighters remain in training but the program is over. One problem, many of the rebels oppose the U.S. rule that they must promise to fight ISIS, not Assad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The challenge with Syria is that the entire program has been hand strong. It's like the U.S. was trying to train Syrian rebels with one hand tied behind its back.
STARR: And they've had little support.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not allowing U.S. Special Operations Forces to accompany rebels in Syria undermine the entire program.
STARR: In the new program, rebels will still have to promise to focus on ISIS but this time the U.S. thinks it will work because fighters are already in place doing just that. And the more they fight, the more air support and weapons the U.S. will give them.
STARR: And all of this, of course, as the Russians still in Syria still beefing up their presence -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Barbara, thank you very much. Barbara mentioning the Russians beefing up their presence. Tonight, there was a major Russian missile misfire. U.S. officials telling CNN a number of missiles that were aimed at Syria actually exploded in Iran. The Russia won't admit it made a mistake but the Defense Secretary of the U.S. Ashton Carter says, not so fast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER: We did have some indications that that was the case. If so, that would indicate malfunctions of those missiles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Matthew Chance is in Moscow tonight. And Matthew, that would indicate something had gone wrong. Maybe the technology subpar. Who knows? Why is Russia denying the misfire?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, the indication that something went wrong coming from U.S. officials but from the Kremlin side, they are categorically denying that. They are saying, look, we fired 26 of these high-tech advanced cruise missiles that we never used before in battle and all of them hit their targets. And so they released a very angry statement, the Russian Defense Ministry rejecting this allegation that some of those missiles went wrong, saying that you know, no matter how unpleasant the statement now, for our colleagues at the Pentagon at Langley to accept this, these missiles were good and they hit their targets. So a very angry response to those allegations here in Moscow.
[19:05:13] BURNETT: And it sounds, Matthew, like they don't -- it's their best, their newest, hottest weapon. They don't want to admit there was a mistake even if there was a mistake, that they don't want to admit it?
CHANCE: Yes. I guess it's not just a war for Russia, it's an opportunity to showcase some of their most advanced technology. As I say these missiles leave a five to four -- they are big players in the arms market. You know, they probably do have subpar weaponry technologically when it comes to the United States but it depends on who is fighting. You know, this is never before seen fire power on the battlefield in Syria.
BURNETT: All right. Matthew Chance, thank you very much.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee when the program armed and trained the Syrian rebels went into effect. Congressman, it's a pleasure to have you with me tonight.
REP. C.A. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER (D), MARYLAND: Good to be here, Erin.
BURNETT: Look, this is a tough day for people who supported this plan. You were a strong backer of it. Do you regret it now?
RUPPERSBERGER: Well, it's not about whether we regret it or not. Chairman Mike Rogers and I knew about the plan. We knew that we needed to move forward. What I feel that we needed to do today is to be flexible and move forward. You know, we are at war. We have a serious problem in Syria. It's the most dangerous place probably in the world. We have some of our key allies, our best allies, Israel, right on the border. And I think we need to be flexible when we see that something isn't working. What happened with that program, it started too late and we didn't have enough people in the program for it to be effective and I give credit to Ash Carter, secretary of defense, for evaluating that situation, taking advice from our special ops leadership to say that we need to do and change our policy because now that Russia is in Syria, it's a different ball game.
BURNETT: All right. So, look, I'll give you that, when something fails, you want somebody who is going to step up and admit it failed rather than to keep throwing money at it. That is true. But it did go on for quite a while and now you have this. I don't understand, Congressman, the training program has failed fine. But the U.S. is now still arming some groups in Syria. So, it sounds like we're now giving people weapons or ammunition at least when we weren't even able to train them. How could that possibly --
RUPPERSBERGER: Well, let me tell you my point of view.
RUPPERSBERGER: I believe very strongly the United States has to be extremely aggressive. We have to support our allies, our Syrians who were fighting for their families and their homes. I believe right now there's a plan to go in the northeast side of Syria and put together the Sunni tribes along with the Kurds and we know are great allies and are able to fight and we need to back them up. We need to say to the world that we are the strongest country in the world with our allies. We're going to give them whatever they need to take the fight to not only Assad but, more importantly now, the highest priority is ISIS.
BURNETT: To ISIS. So, what I don't understand is the U.S. doesn't seem to know who his allies are. Two weeks ago, U.S. military officials admitted again --
BURNETT: We're glad they're admitting it. But they admitted that rebels, that the U.S. had trained and equipped and gave their weapons to a group affiliate with al Qaeda. I mean, why are we arming anyone?
RUPPERSBERGER: Let me try to explain that. What I'm saying is the people in Syria, the people who were fighting and, remember, Assad has killed 300 million of his people. They care more about Assad than they do about ISIS. And so a lot of the people that are allies are trying to focus on Assad and we have to let them know that ISIS right now is even a bigger threat to them, to their lives and to their families.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman, I appreciate you taking the time coming on.
RUPPERSBERGER: The United States of America has to show strength and we have to say, we'll back our allies and we have to also look at Russia. And we have to let Putin know he's not going to go in and control what happens in Syria. It's too dangerous of a place for our country and our allies. We have to show that we are in leadership and we're going to make the decisions to take the war and helping our allies in whatever we need to do to win. Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. Congressman, thank you.
And I want to go now straight to CIA Operative -- former CIA Operative Bob Baer. Bob, you just heard the Congressman saying, look, ultimately now it's something -- this is about Russia. The United States has to show it's the strongest, best country in the world. You know, Russia cannot control what's going on. You heard about Russia trying to showcase its most advanced missiles and if they are failing, they don't want to admit it because it makes them look bad. What happens if something bad happens over Syria, U.S. plane collides with a Russian plane or something?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Erin, exactly. And what happens if the crew goes down? Can we rescue them in time? We don't have troops on the ground. You know, if we don't deconflict this right away, we could find ourselves in a shooting war with Russia. I think everybody in the military I've talked to is afraid of that very thing. We have to sit down with the Russians right now and as for arming the opposition to Bashar al Assad, that was doomed from the beginning. I mean, we don't understand the opposition, we don't know which groups were in control of which areas. You know, it was a good effort, a good try and the rest of it, I understand the logic of it but it never stood a chance of unseating Bashar al Assad and it certainly didn't understand a chance of dealing with the Islamic State.
[19:10:08] BURNETT: So you talked about a shooting war with Russia being something the military is very concerned about. You know, "The London Telegraph" had an article today that caught my attention entitled, "Here's How World War III Could Start Tomorrow," one of the ways listed was just what I refer to, a collision between a U.S. and a Russian fighter jet. Something which might be in the skim of the world seem to be a small thing. What do you think? Could you see something like that, those words, a World War III?
BAER: Yes. Why not? I mean, I spent a couple of years with the Russian army. It is not exactly, you know, let me say -- it's not precise in its targeting. It would be very easy when it hit Iran, and I'm sure it did to hit some of our airplanes or hit Jordan or any other number of places, it's possible. But the problem right now is Putin is determined to take control of Syria to reinforce this regime in Damascus and let it survive and we want to get rid of it so we are posing goals. And I think I've never seen us this close to a general war or third-world war, if you'd like, you know, in -- since 19 maybe 62, the Cuban missile crisis.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Bob Baer.
And OUTFRONT next, we are learning Joe Biden's decision could be imminent as his potential rivals gather for their first debate. We're live on the ground.
Plus, Ben Carson running neck and neck with Donald Trump, in a new poll tonight. And Donald Trump himself getting a ringing endorsement from at least one Hispanic voter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MYRIAM WITCHER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I vote for Mr. Trump! We vote for Mr. Trump!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:14:58] BURNETT: Tonight, we are learning Joe Biden could announce that he's running for president as early as next week. Biden's team meeting with the Democratic National Committee to discuss the deadlines for state ballots. And the Vice President is going to sit down with his family to talk it over this weekend. Of course, this happens as the first Democratic presidential debate looms.
Maeve Reston begins our coverage OUTFRONT at the debate in Las Vegas. And Maeve, you know, this is a big moment for them. What are they doing to get ready?
MAEVE RESTON, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I mean, the most important thing obviously for Hillary Clinton is to get into her comfort zone. We've seen her doing that over the next couple of days tackling (ph) out policy arguments showing where she has distance from President Obama and of course this is a state with a really bitter history for her where she did end up winning the popular vote but Obama took the delegate vote here and she's leaving no stone unturned. It's so interesting I've been out with Marco Rubio this week and Donald Trump. And all of the Republicans this time are really freaked out about Hillary Clinton's ground game here. They see a strong presence from her in the state and we'll going to see that next week as she rallies voters after the debate and she's just clearly doing it a little differently this time.
BURNETT: A little bit differently and helping to get her momentum going. All right. Thank you very much, Maeve. Now, while the Vice President is making up his mind, I mean, that's the person sort of in her mind, right? Is he going to jump in? Hillary Clinton is trying to win over a major group of voters in advance of his announcements.
Jeff Zeleny has that part of the story.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton in Washington today as she prepares for Tuesday's presidential debate. Meeting with leaders at the Black Lives Matter Movement at the National Council of Negro Women. These days she is taking no constituency for granted. She wouldn't discuss the close door session with the group suddenly playing a prominent role in the Democratic primary fight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton, how was the meeting?
ZELENY: But inside, a quick view of Clinton captured by participants on social media.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much for the meeting. Can you just say hi to everybody?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi. Hi, everybody.
You're the social media emperor.
ZELENY: The Democratic presidential race could be on the cusp of becoming even more competitive. Vice President Joe Biden's team reached out to the Democratic National Committee, officials told CNN. They asked about ballot deadlines and other details only a 2016 candidate would need. Time is running short to qualify for the ballot. The first deadline is October 29th in Georgia. Followed by November 9th in Arkansas and November 10th in Texas. Several people close to Biden tells CNN they expect him to make his decision known as soon as next week. VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: Six weeks after my election,
my whole world was altered forever.
ZELENY: The Vice President was said to be furious at this emotional ad from the Draft Biden Movement telling friends, it threads on sacred ground. The group agreed to pull it saying nobody has more respect for the Vice President and his family than we do. Obviously we will honor his wishes. All eyes in the Democratic Party are also on Bernie Sanders who is gearing up for Tuesday's debate with more giant rallies. Tonight in Arizona, tomorrow in Colorado. Those soaring crowds have been greeting Sanders since this summer when we caught up with him in Phoenix.
(on camera): Are they underestimating Bernie Sanders?
BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People often have underestimated me. I'm in this race and I'm running to win.
ZELENY (voice-over): Now, he's a candidate to reckon with this fall.
ZELENY: Now, it is Bernie Sanders who's going to be on that stage right next to Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. It's one of the first times they've come face-to-face since this rival, since this surge began. The Vice President of course will be watching all of these from the sidelines. And even if he makes a decision this weekend, Erin, his allies say he's unlikely to make any announcements until after that debate but the clock is ticking, particularly with that Georgia deadline of October 29th -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you, Jeff.
Now, let's go straight to Michael Smerconish, the host of "SMERCONISH." You can see that at 9 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN this weekend. Michael, Biden meeting with his family, right? His staff checking all these ballots due dates. I mean, this decision is clearly down to the wire. So, does it make sense for him to announce before or after the debate?
[19:19:20] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST, "SMERCONISH": I was thinking, Erin, that the way he could win the debate is to announce Tuesday afternoon because he wouldn't have to participate and he would be the story. And no matter what would transpire that night in Las Vegas --
SMERCONISH: -- we would all be talking about Joe Biden, the man who wasn't there.
BURNETT: And CNN I'm sure would have to ask everyone at that form about it. He would be the center of the debate without being there.
SMERCONISH: Actually, it would be happen by the way but it did occur to me.
BURNETT: All right. Actually when you say that, I think it's kind of a genius move. And he does those kind of strange things you don't expect.
BURNETT: So, that might be the very smart move.
BURNETT: Okay. But the real question is for everybody, can he beat Hillary Clinton at this point?
SMERCONISH: What he must be evaluating right now is the strength of her ground game that he clearly doesn't have and all of the fundraising that she's been able to do, that he has not yet engaged in and decide, can he overcome that deficit from where he begins? I'm sure if he were to announce, there would be an instant pop that he would receive, favorable in the polls, but you know how it was for Secretary Clinton.
SMERCONISH: And then after it sets in that she's really a candidate or he's really a candidate that tide starts to turn. I think he could give her a competitive raise. I'm sure he's waiting to see Tuesday whether there's any hint of further vulnerability on her part.
BURNETT: So, all of this discussion about him, would he run if he didn't think he could win? Right? Run to make a point, run for his legacy, run for whatever the reason might be. Would he run if he didn't think he could win?
SMERCONISH: He's run unsuccessfully and yet he's now at a high point in his career having served as Vice President for two full terms. So his legacy is intact. And I guess the issue that they are wrestling with in Wilmington this weekend is whether it's worth jeopardizing that. What happens if he loses?
BURNETT: Do you think that would hurt his legacy, though? Isn't that the kind of thing people would forget? I mean, in the history books he's going to go down as a two term Vice President?
SMERCONISH: Yes. I personally do not.
SMERCONISH: I think if he were to fight and if he were to run a respectable campaign, but nevertheless to lose to Secretary Clinton, no, I for one don't think that the legacy suffers. I still think he's a long-serving United States senator who served for two terms as Vice President. And couldn't win the ultimate prize.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Michael Smerconish again, his show tomorrow morning. And the first Democratic debate is this coming Tuesday and it is of course right here on CNN. I wouldn't promote it if it weren't. OUTFRONT next, Ben Carson facing intense scrutiny for his remarks about Muslims and Nazis. Can he take the heat?
And Trump's rivals warning that the front-runner endorses a pro- abortion extremist for the Supreme Court. It's somebody that Donald Trump loves. You won't believe who it is.
[19:25:50] BURNETT: Tonight, Donald trump telling his critics, quote, "I am never getting out." But now a new national poll shows Ben Carson running neck-and-neck with Mr. Trump. Every other candidate trailing by double digits. But as Carson surges, the scrutiny on him is ramping up.
Athena Jones is OUTFRONT.
DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am not politically correct. I will not be politically correct.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ben Carson facing questions today about a series of controversial statements. The former brain surgeon again tried to explain his concerns about whether a Muslim's beliefs would fit with serving as president.
CARSON: We don't even want to take the slight chance that we would put someone in that position who had different loyalties.
JONES: Carson is also under fire for his assertion that Nazi Germany's gun laws helped make the holocaust possible.
CARSON: Just clarify. If there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would six million Jews have been slaughtered?
I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.
JONES: Critics like the anti-defamation league say such statements are historically inaccurate and offensive.
CARSON: The holocaust issue, that's just the left-wing press again trying to stir up a controversy.
JONES: Carson raised eyebrows this week for his remarks about the Oregon school shooting.
CARSON: I would not just stand there and let him shoot me.
JONES: He told Wolf he wasn't criticizing the victims, just urging people to fight back.
CARSON: I would much rather go down fighting. JONES: Carson's chief rival, front-runner Donald Trump, had a strong
message for doubters today after earlier suggesting he would drop out of the race if his poll numbers plummet.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To give you more of a political answer, I'm never getting out.
JONES: And the real estate mogul whose polls show ranks poorly with Latino voters won this unexpected endorsement in Nevada.
WITCHER: I'm Hispanic and I vote for Mr. Trump! We vote for Mr. Trump! Yes! Mr. Trump, we love you!
JONES: Now, when it comes to Carson and Trump for that matter, as far as your supporters are concerned, it seems like they can say no wrong. Both of these candidates pride themselves on not being politically correct and so farther being rewarded in the polls. As you saw in the latest national poll out today, Trump is still on top and Carson is still right behind him -- Erin.
BURNETT: Absolutely. Athena, thank you.
And OUTFRONT now, the former political director for President Ronald Reagan, Jeffrey Lord, a Donald Trump's supporter now and conservative radio host Ben Ferguson.
Ben, let me start with you. Ben Carson nipping at Trump's heels in this new poll. I mean, it is pretty stunning. It's them and everybody else. But when your poll numbers go up, all of a sudden people really start to look at you very closely. Ben Carson has made some incredibly controversial comments. Do his supporters care? Or are they like Trump's supporters, the more controversial the better?
BEN FERGUSON, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: I don't think they find him controversial because they are listening to the entire conversation. I mean, his point about gun control, most people that are supporters of him are going to have no problem at all. His point was, it's easier to take over people and it's easier to do terrible things to people if you disarm them and part of what Hitler did was disarm the people that he then targeted and most people have no problem with that explanation of what he said there. And I think the same thing with his comments he made about --
BURNETT: So most people aren't offended by, frankly, a way overly simplistic, to say the least, evaluation of the holocaust? I mean --
FERGUSON: I don't think he was trying to break down the holocaust into something that was just an issue of gun control. I think his point was, part of the plan that Hitler put out, was to make sure that it was easy as possible to overtake those that he was going to victimize and taking away their guns was part of that plan. And that's the reason why he's saying, we don't need to disarm innocent law-abiding citizens. I think that's a very fair point to make and if anything I think is actually going to see his poll numbers go up because some people believe that he's not getting a fair shake by the many of the media who are covering him this way because they don't think there's anything wrong to what he said.
BURNETT: So, one person who said he's not being treated fairly is Donald Trump, Jeff. And despite Carson's surge, Trump is still defending him and spending his time going after other candidates who are faring frankly pretty poorly in this latest poll and a lot of others. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Remember the response on live television to the president's State of the Union speech? He's talking and he's sweating, sweating. And I'm watching and saying, is he going to be OK? And he's sweating.
And he keeps sweating and the water is pouring down all over and finally he goes -- and I said, was that live television?
I see these polls where I'm at 29 and she's at 6 in this thing and here's the headline -- Carly is surging. I'm at 29 -- surging.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. First of all, I think maybe he wants a late- night gig. He's talking about Marco Rubio and the famous water incident, and, of course, Carly Fiorina. Joking aside, though, is he making a mistake? He's picking on people that are way far behind him. Ben Carson is not way behind him.
He is he guy he needs to fight right now. Why isn't he fighting with Ben Carson?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think he likes Ben Carson and number one what he said was being said about Ben Carson was unfair and I think he's right just as a side note, Warsaw, the uprising in 1943 where a number of the Catholic Jews produced guns and went after the Nazis was recorded by the Holocaust museum as an uprising and to the extent that they have the weapons.
So, Dr. Carson is right. I'm sure that Donald Trump thinks that it's totally unfair. As to the other people further down, they represent in some, the establishment. And we keep thinking here that one of them is going to be the target here. It's good to keep going after these folks and as the latest poll comes out, they are down there in the 8 and 7 percent range. I mean, he's really way ahead of them. The race is really beginning to be the outsider versus the outsider.
BURNETT: Certainly, in this other poll, the Fairleigh poll that I just quoted, that is exactly how it looks. Donald Trump --
LORD: And one other thing, Erin. It could be -- you know, sometimes these kinds of races where you get one and two that are very close, that emerges as a ticket.
BURNETT: Well, that is -- that could happen and why they are not picking on each other.
OK, Ben, go ahead, quickly.
FERGUSON: No, I think Donald Trump is being smart about this and the fact that he realizes the reason why Ben Carson and Donald Trump are doing well is because people are tired of the establishment.
It's the same thing we saw in Washington, D.C., with the speaker's race this week. People are sick and tired of the establishment putting their guys in there. That's the reason why people say, well, Washington is in chaos amid the GOP. No, it's not. You have new young members that were elected by the same people that are supporting Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and others.
BURNETT: So in order to win they have to do more than just their base now. But of them do, right? You can't just go outsider. You've got to get other people in. You've got to get, for example, some Hispanics in. You've got to do that to win.
Donald Trump is trying that. Here's what happened in the rally in Vegas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from Colombia! I'm Hispanic.
TRUMP: And is this a setup? Did I ever meet you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Hispanic and I vote for Mr. Trump! We vote for Mr. Trump! Yes, Mr. Trump! We love you. We love you!
TRUMP: I swear to you, I think she's totally beautiful and great. I've never met her before, I swear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jeff, some are saying the trump campaign must have done something to get her to do this. OK, it's almost a farcical instance. But the point is, can he really get Hispanic votes after what he said?
LORD: Sure he can. And one thing you should note, this does not look like a member of the Republican Country club set. This looks to me like the working class American, economics. Hispanics are concerned about economics and obviously he struck home with her.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both for your time tonight. Have a great weekend. >
And next, Donald Trump's family, a sister who's a pro-choice judge, an older brother who died of alcoholism. Our special report is next.
And a new law allows guns, concealed guns on campuses. It has some administrators up in arms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like guns but not having them on campus is just not the right place.
[19:38:34] BURNETT: Tonight, Ivanka Trump is promoting her dad, telling a group of women, quote, "I have never met a better negotiator." Ivanka will be taking on a bigger role in Trump's campaign. But it is his siblings who have influenced the Donald most deeply.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maybe the last person Donald Trump would expect him to lead him into a mine field is his own sister, a federal judge. And yet, here it comes, listen to Trump on Bloomberg TV.
D. TRUMP: I have a sister on the court of appeals and she's fantastic.
REPORTER: Would she be a good Supreme Court justice?
D. TRUMP: I think she would be phenomenal. I think she's one of the best. Frankly, I think she is -- we'll have to rule that out, but I do have a sister who is very smart and a very good person.
FOREMAN: The problem, that sister, Maryanne Trump, has argued for abortion rights and trump has indicated he listens to her advice. So, the conservative "National Review" pounced on trump's comments and Jeb Bush's team did, too. "Paging all pro-lifers, Donald Trump endorses a pro-abortion extremist for SCOTUS."
Never mind that Trump didn't exactly say that, or that his sister on the rare occasion she speaks publicly can sound very conservative.
MARYANNE TRUMP BARRY, COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE: There is no substitute for good old-fashion hard work.
FOREMAN: Trump was the next to youngest of five children. The oldest, Fred Jr., had little interest in the family business.
[19:40:00] Trump says he died young from alcoholism and that taught the candidate a lesson.
D. TRUMP: My brother was absolutely -- you know, to a certain extent, in an important way, a mentor, because he has -- it really hit me hard when I was so much younger. Don't drink and don't smoke.
FOREMAN: The lesson has lingered.
IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: He doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink, never did. So he claims his vices tend to be food. So, I think it's -- you know, I think it's an important lesson.
FOREMAN: The candidate's younger brother Robert is with the Trump organization and his other sister Elizabeth is in banking. None of the siblings court the spotlight like their famous brother.
D. TRUMP: These are my people. These are my people.
FOREMAN: And maybe it's just as well as that sister, the judge, told "New York Magazine", "I knew better even as a child to even attempt to compete with Donald. I wouldn't have been able to win."
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: Interesting side as we learn more and more about these front-runners.
OUTFRONT next, outrage over a new Texas law that will allow students and teachers to carry guns on campus. I'm going to talk to one teacher who is so scared, he just quit.
And remember the drug company that jacked the price of an AIDS drug up by 5,000 percent? Well, we went and did an investigation. Did they cut prices? No. The opposite.
We'll be back.
[19:45:32] BURNETT: President Obama in Oregon today meeting with victims from last week's campus massacre.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, I've got some very strong feelings about this because when you talk to these families, you're reminded that this could be happening to your child or your mom or your dad or your relative or your friend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: There were supporters there, but the president was also greeted by protesters angry at the president's comments that he plans to politicize such shootings and fight for stricter gun control.
At the same time, tonight in Texas, a new law in expanding gun owners' rights moving ahead. It allows students to legally carry guns on college campuses. Now, some are fearing for their safety.
Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this basement office on the University of Texas campus, you'll find Xavier Rotnofsky, an editor of the university's satirical magazine and student body president.
XAVIER ROTNOFSKY, UT STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT: We're talking about allowing guns in classrooms. Guerillas are just dangerous as guns. Would we allow guerrillas in our classrooms?
LAVANDERA: Rotnofsky thinks the highly controversial campus carry law, which allows students 21 and older with a concealed license, to carry a hand gun into campus building is ridiculous. So, he attacks the best way he knows how, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.
ROTNOFSKY: I and a lot of students still feel that the only guns that should be allowed on campus are our biceps, all the protection that we need.
LAVANDERA: The campus carry bill was approved a few months ago by the Texas legislature and was strongly opposed by none other than Bill McRaven, the UT system chancellor. But you probably know him best as the commander of the Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden.
BILL MCRAVEN, UT SYSTEM CHANCELLOR: I like guns but I just don't think having them on campus is the right place.
LAVANDERA: He can't change the law now. McRaven says he's working on how to best implement the law. He says some parts of campus will remain gun-free, but even that won't keep teachers from being on edge.
MCRAVEN: And now are the faculty going to be concerned about raising controversial issues for fear of somehow alienating or making someone mad who has a weapon.
LAVANDERA: Nearly 14 professors have joined a protest group called Gun-Free UT. One teacher has refrained from teaching on campus.
The University of Texas has seen firsthand the terror of a campus massacre. In 1966, Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the UT tower and fired on fellow students, 14 people were killed. So, the campus carry law brings intense debate across this campus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we have a nut job problem, not a gun problem.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More guns on campus will not make us safer.
LAVANDERA: Allison Peregory organized a group called Texas Students for Concealed Carry. On her 21st birthday, she plans on getting the concealed handgun license and carrying her firearm on campus.
ALLISON PEREGORY, TEXAS STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY: Knowing that you're empowered to make that decision, and you can make that for your own personal liberty and your own personal rights to self-defense is an empowering decision, in my opinion.
LAVANDERA: But Bill McRaven is not convinced that that's the best solution.
MCRAVEN: We're going to have to find a way to maintain the appropriate campus climate, to keep our faculty and our students and our visitors as safe as possible and we're going to do that.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Public colleges across Texas will have until next year to figure out how to implement the Texas carry law. It starts on August 1st, 2016, which is exactly the 50-year anniversary of the UT tower sniper shooting.
BURNETT: All right. Eddy, thank you very much. Ed Lavandera there.
And OUTFRONT now, Daniel Hamermesh, a former professor of University of Texas. I say "former" because he just quit because of this new law, the new open campus carry law.
All right. Thank you very much for being with me, Daniel.
Let me just ask you. Why are you scared for your safety or why were you scared for your safety when it became clear that this law was going to become the law of Texas?
DANIEL HAMERMESH, PROFESSOR WHO QUIT OVER TEXAS OPEN CARRY LAW: I have 500 students, a large class, and most of them are wonderful people. Almost all are. Occasionally, a student comes into my office, disgruntled about a grade or something. The worst they are going to do is throw a waste basket around. With a concealed weapon in their pocket, they could have a break and pull out and shoot at me and I don't want to take that risk.
BURNETT: You know, so the argument people on the other side, they say, look, other people can be armed. So, if someone starts to shoot in a classroom, obviously different -- if it's in an office, but in an office theoretically you could also have a concealed gun.
[19:50:06] The point is, you could shoot back. They say that makes it safer. What do you say to that?
HAMERMESH: First of all, I don't want to turn my classroom into the economics corral. That's for sure.
Secondly, some kid comes and pulls a gun suddenly, I'm not going to react, I don't expect most students to behave that way and I know I would be the victim. I think it really chills my dealing with students. It will lead to a much higher grade for students because who wants to give a student a bad grade if you're afraid they might shoot at you.
BURNETT: Do you think it will affect grades, there is a fear someone could kill a professor over something like that, over a grade on a paper?
HAMERMESH: Yes, I've gotten a couple of people e-mailing me that just today. Most people are not going to quit their jobs at the end of this term because of the law because very few people have the freedom of being old and having a lot of options to do so. But it will chill people and more important, square people away who might come and join our faculty. That's what really bothers me. BURNETT: All right. Well, I really appreciate you taking the time
and sharing your point of view with us tonight. Daniel Hamermesh, thank you.
HAMERMESH: Thank you.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, a life-saving drug costs even more that just weeks ago, and the CEO in charge promised to slash prices. Our investigation is next.
[19:55:52] BURNETT: Tonight, new outrage over the still sky-high price of a life-saving drug. Last month, the drug company hiked up the price of a key AIDS drug by 5,000 percent and then, under intense pressure, the company CEO promised he'd cut prices. So, we check in to see if he's keeping that promise.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT with our special investigation.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Google his name and you'll find headlines such as, "The most hated man in America" or "Price gouging pharma bro." Even mocked recently on "SNL".
CARROLL: He's Martin Shkreli, Turing Pharmaceutical CEO and founder, who after initially hiking the price of Daraprim, a drug used to threat cancer and AIDS patients 5,000 percent, bowed to the public's outcry and did an about-face.
MARTIN SHKRELI, CEO & FOUNDER, TURING PHARMACEUTICAL: We agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a price that is more affordable and allow the company to make a profit but a very small profit, and we think these changes will be welcomed.
CARROLL: That was two and a half weeks ago. The question now: why hasn't the price dropped?
SARA PARKER LUE, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, RUTGERS BUSINESS SCHOOL: We wouldn't expect them to lower a price until a competitor comes to threaten the market share.
CARROLL: Here in New York City, the price of Daraprim at CVS Pharmacy is $885.99 per pill, and it's $907 at Duane Reade. Meaning, a 30-day supply still costs approximately a whopping $27,000.
Shkreli declining CNN's request for an interview on camera. When reached by phone, he told CNN, "We will lower the price when we see fit, not when others in the media or Hillary Clinton says we should."
Shkreli referring to Clinton who has repeatedly blasted the price hike. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's price gouging,
pure and simple.
CARROLL: Shkreli continues to use Twitter to defend himself, tweeting, "Greed? I don't own a car. I don't have a driver's license. Our company is not profitable. My salary is zero. I give millions to charity."
Eve Peyser, a writer, she exchanged messages with Shkreli after the two connected on the online dating site Tinder.
EVE PEYSER, WRITER: I did end up getting him to talk to me and explain himself and defend himself, which I thought was interesting to defend himself to a random 22-year-old on Tinder.
CARROLL: Peyser says Shkreli told her the price hike, it would provide more money and research and development for those who need the drug. A defense he's used before and one that's been challenged by many in the medical industry.
BURNETT: I mean, Jason, this is incredible. He promised to do it and he says, "I'll do it when I feel like it, not when Hillary Clinton tells me to"?
CARROLL: I think comments like that is part of the reason why so many people seem to have such a visceral response to him. His company spokesperson was a little bit more -- well, let me just read the statement. They came out with a statement that said as previously stated, we're committed to lowering the price of Daraprim. To that end, we're working with various stakeholders to ensure we find that right solution which takes time."
In terms of what that means specifically, timing and also specifically how much are they going to drop this price to, still no word yet.
BURNETT: Why not just back to where it was before the 5,000 percent increase? Why is this so complicated?
CARROLL: Yes, well, you know, here's the deal. I mean, it's not going to go back down to that price point. Most people agree in the medical community say that's not going to happen, that there will be a price drop but in terms of what specifically timing, and also specifically how much they're going to drop this price to, still no word yet.
BURNETT: Why not just back to where it was before he 20 percent increase? Why is that complicated?
CARROLL: Well, you know, here's the deal. I mean, it's not going to back down to that type of price point. I mean, I think most people agree in the medical community, economics folks that we've been talking to say that that's not going to happen. There will be some sort of a price drop, but in terms of what specifically it's going to be, it's still an unknown. BURNETT: All right. Jason Carroll, thank you very much. We'll continue to follow that story.
And to Iran and a grim milestone. It's been 444 days since "Washington Post" reporter Jason Rezaian, an American, was taken prisoner accused of spying. As the paper points out, that's the same number of days 52 Americans were held captive during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. This comes nearly three months after the nuclear deal with Iran signed by the United States, a deal in which the U.S. did not demand the release of Rezaian or any of the other three Americans who are imprisoned or still missing tonight in Iran.
Thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.