Return to Transcripts main page


Carson Opens Up Big Lead Over Trump in Iowa; Trump Attacks Carson As Billionaire Drops in Polls; Rubio Sits Down For Exclusive Interview with CNN; Video Shows ISIS Raid Where U.S. Solider Was Killed; Video Shows ISIS Raid Where U.S. Soldier Was Killed; FBI Director Links "Viral Videos" of Cops to Rise in Crime; Study: Eating Hot Dogs, Bacon Increase Cancer Risk. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 26, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next. Ben Carson surging, the doctor with the double-digit lead over the Donald. Now Trump is attacking.

Plus, new video tonight inside that raid that killed an American commando in Iraq. You'll see exactly what went down when U.S. Special Forces attempted to rescue ISIS prisoners facing execution.

And American staples, bacons, hotdogs and sausage, a news report says that they cause cancer and we're all at risk. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Ben Carson on top. A new poll giving him a massive lead over Donald Trump, 32 percent to 18 percent in Iowa. This is the third poll in as many days putting Carson in the number one slot in that crucial state. And it has Donald Trump fighting mad.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ben Carson is a very low energy person. Actually, I think Ben Carson is lower energy than Jeb if you want to know the truth. We need strong energy.


BURNETT: Carson fighting back saying anyone who doesn't fear him doesn't know him.


DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As a teenager, I would go after people with rocks and bricks and baseball bats and hammers, and of course many people know the story when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone.


BURNETT: Carson's got the momentum. Is he now about to overtake Trump on the national polls?

Sara Murray is OUTFRONT tonight. And Sara, I mean, do you expect to see Trump to come out even harder against Carson now?

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I do think now that we've seen Carson officially knock Trump from his perch in Iowa, you can see a little bit more defensiveness from Trump, a little bit more anger. He is clearly not afraid to go on the attack against Carson, even targeting his religion.


MURRAY (voice-over): With less than 100 days until the Iowa caucuses, the jostling in the GOP ranks is taking on a sharper edge.

TRUMP: Carson is lower energy than Bush. I don't get it!

MURRAY: A new Monmouth University poll gives Dr. Ben Carson a double- digit lead in Iowa, drawing 32 percent support compared to 18 percent for Donald Trump.

TRUMP: I'm just going to have to work a little bit harder in Iowa. I was very surprised to see the numbers.

MURRAY: Carson, the newly minted Iowa front-runner, revealing his rougher edges, saying when he was a teenager --

CARSON: I would go after people with rocks and bricks and baseball bats and hammers, and of course many people know the story when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone. And you know, fortunately, you know, my life has been changed and I'm a very different person now.

MURRAY: Carson recently told Erin Burnett he still has a lot of fire inside of him.

BURNETT: You've conquered your demons, but is there anything that fires you up? I mean, that young man who could do those things, that person is still in there, right?

CARSON: Well, I may be fired up. I may just not look like I'm fired up.

MURRAY: But it's the softer Carson that's winning over evangelicals. Now Trump is taking aim at Carson's religion.

TRUMP: I'm Presbyterian. Boy, that's down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh Day Adventist, I don't know about. I just don't know about.

CARSON: Meanwhile, Jeb Bush who just cut payroll costs by 40 percent across the board --

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Blah blah blah blah blah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what they're saying out there.

BUSH: That's why it's, blah blah blah. Watch it.

MURRAY: No longer able to hide his frustration with the state of the race.

BUSH: I've got a lot of really cool things that I could do other than sit around being miserable listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that.

MURRAY: Today Bush's rallying donors at a Texas retreat as he tries to reassure them the race will soon break his way.

But Trump continues to hammer him, mocking Bush for turning to his family members for help.

TRUMP: So he's meeting now with mom and dad. No, it's true. He needs counsel.


MURRAY: Now, donors at that Houston event today tell me they still believe that Jeb Bush's moment will come, and he did in fact get a little help from his brother George W. Bush today who made the pitch to donors that they need to pick a republican nominee who can win Latino voter. He says his brother Jeb is that guy -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sara. And OUTFRONT now, our political commentator and the host of "The Ben Ferguson" show Ben Ferguson. Also political strategist Rory Cooper and Wes Moss, a former "Apprentice" contestant and Trump supporter.

Okay. Good to have all of you with us. Rory, let me start with you. This latest poll, right? It's a double digit gap now in favor of Ben Carson. There are two other polls that show Carson on top in Iowa. Are these really signs that Trump is done or not?

[19:05:00] RORY COOPER, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well, there's three things, Erin. First thing is, Iowa has traditionally been favorable ground for conservatives who appeal to the social conservative wing and who are insurging candidates. Look at Rick Santorum. The second thing is, we're going to have a debate this week. And we've seen a lot of shuffling after those debates. Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina often benefit from that. So, I think at the end of those week we might see some different numbers. But the third thing is, listen, Donald Trump does not benefit when there is a -- Trump benefits from a media vacuum. He needs attention devoted to him. When there's other news, other candidates are able to make their case, then Donald Trump tends to suffer in those consequences. And that's I think what you're seeing is, when Donald Trump isn't in the news, there's really not much to talk about and he falls in the polls.

BURNETT: All right. So, there's two sides to this, Wes. First of all, this one. No one has won the White House without winning the Iowa caucus since Bill Clinton in 1992. The now famous comeback hit, right? That argues for Iowa being make or break and these polls for really mattering, doesn't it?

WES MOSS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, I think it's the opposite of that. If you really look at the numbers, if you're a non-incumbent republican, Erin, you have a better chance of winning the GOP not winning Iowa. We've got to look at the past here. You've got to look at Mitt Romney did not win Iowa. Ronald Reagan didn't win Iowa. McCain didn't win Iowa. H.W. Bush did not win Iowa. And they all got the nomination. So, I think there's this overemphasis that Iowa is this golden goose when in modern-day politics especially for non- incumbent Republicans it doesn't really mean that much. You do have to be in the top three or four in order to have a good shot.

COOPER: Erin --

BURNETT: At the same point, Rory, you're jumping in here.

COOPER: Except the difference is that Donald Trump's entire campaign is prefaced on the idea that he's leading in the polls. If he comes out losing the very first contest, that entire premise is gone. I don't know what he fills the other half of his campaign speech when he's not talking about where he's leading. That's the premise of his campaign.

BEN FERGUSON, RADIO HOST, "THE BEN FERGUSON SHOW": And that's the biggest screw-up, that's the biggest screw-up, Erin that he's had so far. If you're Donald Trump and you come out and you act as if you're going to win everything all the time, you're going to lead every poll all the time. When you do start to fall, it is a bigger deal than if you're up and down and up and down or tight race. I mean, Ben Carson has played this brilliantly. He has not said or gloated about polls.


FERGUSON: You rarely hear him talk about these poll numbers. Donald Trump you hear about it every time he walks up on stage. If he loses early, you could see a massive momentum fall from him and his supporters and others that were thinking about him. And I think the only person he can blame is himself for honestly being so cocky and so arrogant for so long in this campaign.

BURNETT: About polls.

FERGUSON: Yes. Limit yourself.

BURNETT: Rory, there's one thing that Wes pointed out that's fair. We're talking about the importance of Iowa in terms of, you know, who wins the White House. But in terms of who wins the GOP nomination, it hasn't been that important. In fact, it has been wrong. You look at the past couple of times, as Wes pointed out. And look at Trump in the next two states that vote after Iowa, 26-point lead in the state of New Hampshire and 17-point lead in the state of South Carolina. Now, we all get momentum, right? It can all shift around, it can all move around.

That's right.

BURNETT: But the point is, is he could still pull off a win without winning Iowa.

COOPER: Well, of course he could. Any candidate could. But it gets exponentially harder for a candidate like Donald Trump when he doesn't have a real case to make on why he's going to be president. You look back at, you know, Rudy Giuliani versus Hillary Clinton, the campaign everyone thought was coming. Herman Cain was leading at this time four years ago. So of course, you know, we're looking at momentum, what's going to happen in Iowa. I think that if Donald Trump comes out losing Iowa, I don't really know what the point of his candidacy at that point is. I think you start to see a deep dive as other candidates pile on to somebody who can't make a win. And what else is he going to talk about at that point?


MOSS: I think that it's so humorous that all of these pundits have been continuing to predict the demise of Donald Trump. And this is the first day in the sun for pundits to try to see Trump fall. Just because he loses in Iowa or doesn't win Iowa, it doesn't mean he's going to lose in Iowa. And it will be interesting for another candidate to have full scrutiny on him if, in fact, Carson wins. Now we're going to have to really learn what his policies are.

FERGUSON: But you have to admit, though, from a Donald Trump perspective, when winning is everything all the time, he set the bar higher than any other candidate in modern political history to wipe the floor with everyone else. When you talk about other candidates, about how they have to go talk to their mom and dad, who by the way, former president of the United States of America, not a bad person to get advice from, and you mock him, when you mock Ben Carson who may beat you in the first state, when you do those things, you set yourself up for the other headline to be, Donald Trump's campaign is unraveling.

Donald Trump cannot finish the game. Donald Trump runs out of steam or gasoline. That is the headline. And there's no one that he can blame for that but himself. If he was smart, he would have limited himself and said, I'm shocked by this, I'm so happy this is going on. But it's a long campaign and it's going to take a lot of time and it's many months until we vote and we've got a long way to go. But Donald Trump, because of his arrogance, never went there.

[19:10:12] BURNETT: Wes, what about the point, though, that he has made. You know, we see these live events of Donald Trump giving stump speeches and it does start with the polls and him listening all the polls he's number one in. And that is part of his stock stump speech. I mean, that is a bit of a problem for him. You have to admit even as a supporter, don't you?

MOSS: Well, I agree. But part of this, Erin, is that America wants a winner. And Donald Trump is not afraid to be a winner, and he -- when he does win --

COOPER: But he's not winning.

FERGUSON: Neither is Ben Carson. Is that really something --

MOSS: And right now, and right now, you will see --

BURNETT: Let Wes finish.

MOSS: I think what will be fantastic to see for the Trump campaign, when they are back on their heels a little bit, to see the fight that Trump has in him which I see a bit of tremendous as we'll see that.

COOPER: The problem is, that's when Donald Trump becomes an average politician, when he starts rationalizing why he's going to lose here, why he has to focus here. And let's also not forget that between now and Iowa, you're going to see some candidates that's favored by the broader Republican Party starts to emerge, whether that's Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina or still even Jeb Bush. And that person will be able to --

FERGUSON: At some point, your campaign --

BURNETT: All right.

FERGUSON: At some point, your campaign has to be more than just about winning and making America great again.

COOPER: Right.

FERGUSON: It has to be about substance.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to all three of you. And OUTFRONT next, as someone just mentioned, Marco Rubio, Rory did, rising in the polls. In an OUTFRONT exclusive interview, taking on Donald Trump and his one-time friend and mentor Jeb Bush. We're going to see Marco Rubio next here OUTFRONT.

Plus, an American commando killed during this raid on ISIS in Iraq. We have the dramatic helmet camera footage of the operation as it went down. And we're going to show it to you.

And the good stuff, bacon, hot dogs, ham and sausage. You eat them if not every day, several days a week. One day a week, well, guess what, a new report says they could be giving you cancer. We'll be back.


[19:15:19] BURNETT: Tonight, Jeb Bush's campaign bashing Marco Rubio, the Florida senator of course is rising in the polls and Bush campaign advisers are using a PowerPoint presentation which tells donors, quote, "Marco is a GOP Obama." Well, just like Obama, Rubio is running for president as a first-term senator and just like Obama at this point in the race he's trailing badly in the polls but gaining momentum. So can he keep it up?

Rubio sat down with our special correspondent Jamie Gangel for an exclusive interview.


MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we start paying attention to these polls in October, I mean, you'll go crazy. I've been up, I've been down. JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: But you're the sitting

senator in Florida.

RUBIO: It's a very unusual year. And I think part of it is that people are really angry about the direction of our country.

GANGEL: So, here's the good news for Marco Rubio. Democrats say you're the triple threat, that you're the young new fresh face, that you're great in the debate, that you are Hispanic and you put Florida into play.

RUBIO: Thank you!

GANGEL: So why is it taking you so long to get traction?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, none of those things matter. That's just campaign talk. It's like -- politics today is covered almost like sports. And so, you watch these teams, they have a really good game, they're the top team in the world. The next week they have a bad game, it's disaster. That's not the way the campaigns work.

GANGEL (voice-over): The way the Rubio campaign works is not glamourous. Behind the scenes he races from event to event, trying to raise money, trying to inch up in the polls, and taking on Donald Trump.

(on camera): At the Trump event, there were protesters on immigration, and at the end Trump said, I'm going to win with Hispanics. I love the Hispanics. What do you think when you hear him say things like that?

RUBIO: I mean, that's Donald being Donald. And that's what it is.

GANGEL: He is the front-runner, though, and he hits you and Carson over and over again. He says you're weak on immigration. Is he more in tune with the Republican Party on this issue than you are?

RUBIO: No. His rhetoric is a little louder. But if you think about where he was six months ago, his position on immigration six months ago is nothing like what he's saying now. And even what he's saying now is borders on the absurd. He's going to deport all these people and then he's going to allow back in. The ones that are good. His plan makes no sense.

GANGEL: Jeb Bush says Donald Trump has dangerous views on national security. Are you comfortable with the idea of Donald Trump with his finger on the button?

RUBIO: Well, I wouldn't term it that way. I would say that ultimately the next president of the United States on their first day in office must understand the threats that face this country and must have shown good judgment about what to do about those issues.

GANGEL: Are you comfortable --

RUBIO: Well, I'm not -- the truth is, as I said in the debates the last time on CNN, I don't believe that up to this point in the campaign he has clearly outlined a deep understanding of the issues before this country in a serious way. And obviously he has time to change that. We have more debates coming up.

GANGEL: So right now he's not ready to be commander-in-chief.

RUBIO: At this point in the campaign he has not proven an understanding of these issues or the preparation necessary to be the commander-in-chief in the most powerful military force in the world.

GANGEL: If he's the nominee, would you enthusiastically support him?

RUBIO: Well, I'm going to support the republican nominee. And I'm comfortable that's not going to be Donald Trump and I am increasingly confident that it's going to be me.


RUBIO: And so I feel good answering that question.

GANGEL: Let's talk about Jeb. The two of you both say you're friends. We went back and looked at your victory night November 2, 2010, when he introduced you. He said that you were the man for our time.

BUSH: Bushes get emotional so I'm going to try my hardest. My wife has told me, don't cry. Don't cry. But Marco Rubio makes me cry for joy.

GANGEL: I'm not sure anyone quite believes the friendship is still warm anymore. What is the state of your relationship?

RUBIO: Not on our part it isn't. I mean, I'm running for president. I'm not running against Jeb or anybody else in this race.

GANGEL: So if some might said, look, Jeb was your friend, he was your mentor, he helped you get elected, he helped you raise money. Some might say this is a betrayal. Couldn't you have waited for another election?

RUBIO: Well, I don't see the presidency that way. I don't think there's a line where we all wait and just hand the presidency off to each other because you've paid your dues. I'm running for president because I don't see anyone else on either side who's campaigning on the agenda and the views that I have. I don't view the presidency as some sort of honorostic (ph) office that you just step aside and let someone else move forward. This is not that kind of thing. We have got to move forward in this country and turn the page.

GANGEL: Let's turn the corner. You want people to get to know you better. Favorite book?

RUBIO: Ever. Well, obviously, look, I think the Bible is the most extraordinary document ever written.

GANGEL: Second favorite book. RUBIO: That's a great question. One of the ones I have really enjoy

is the one about Churchill, I think it's called "The Last Lion."

GANGEL: Light side, favorite movies.

RUBIO: Well, some of them are not for kids to watch. Right? I love "The Godfather" one and two and number three. And I could do without three. I thought it was fine.

GANGEL: I liked three.

RUBIO: I like Andy Garcia. One and two were fantastic. I loved "Pulp Fiction." A lot of people don't like it but I enjoy that a lot. "Wedding Crashers," I thought that's one of the funniest movies I've ever saw.


[19:20:30] BURNETT: See that a lot on a personal side, I was just watching the sort of the stern set on his jaw when you asked him about possible betrayal of Jeb Bush. I thought that was very telling. Clearly it's personally emotional for him. What else did you learn about him on the personal side?

GANGEL: So, he was not a great student in high school, to put it nicely. I would say he was a late bloomer, which meant that his teacher -- he was so disruptive in school. He had a teacher that bribed him not to come to class. She said, if you don't come, I'll give you a C-minus. If you come, I'll give you an F. But you know what? He turned it around in college. And I give him a lot of credit for that. He said when he had to start paying for school, all of a sudden he woke up and paid attention.

BURNETT: That's an interesting thing. On the other issue of paying for school, all in, a broader policy. But Jamie is going to stay with me.

I want to bring in our executive editor for politics, Mark Preston. And Mark, you're watching Jamie's interview with Marco Rubio. As we said, slow and steady rise in the polls, a long way to go. Could he win this nomination? When you watch him and how he handled those questions in that interview, do you think he really has what it takes to get to the top?

MARK PRESTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: Yes. Look, no question about it. Marco Rubio when he first ran for the Senate was the outsider. He was not the republican establishment's pick. He went against the grain. And in fact, I remember the first time I met him, Erin. And I said, why don't you just run for attorney general, wait your turn, a very similar question that he got about challenging Jeb Bush. And he said, listen, I'm not going to wait my turn. This what I want to do and this is what I'm going to do. Well, he ended up winning, he ended up taking out a very popular governor who had a lead to Republican Party. If you look at the polls right now, Ben Carson and Donald Trump are leading. If you are to go down and see the next set of candidates, it's Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. BURNETT: Right.

PRESTON: And I think that's the set that you really need to look at heading into February and March.

BURNETT: And who could rise if anything changes at the top. I mean, Jaime, to the point about this relationship with Jeb Bush, it is so crucial because it doesn't just go to a relationship between two human beings that everyone is interested in. It goes to what kind of person is Marco Rubio, is he loyal? Is he a betrayer? Does he have sharp elbows? Did he do the right thing? Those are the big questions. Now Jeb Bush coming out against Marco Rubio with the PowerPoint presentation, Marco Rubio a GOP Obama. How nasty will this get?

GANGEL: Right. Well, the gloves are coming off. They've been doing a very gentle dance where they don't mention each other by name but they sort of say things about each other. And I think that is going to change because Jeb has said now -- I spoke to sources very close to the campaign -- that there is a new strategy. The gloves are coming off. They're tearing up the play sheet. They're going to start again. And you're going to see a much more outspoken Jeb Bush, which we'll see what happens in the debate on Wednesday night.


GANGEL: But Marco Rubio is in his lane. If Jeb wants to get in front of him.

BURNETT: And they're running. I mean, Mark, to your point, they're running neck and neck. But what's also amazing about it, is if you were to see some sort of fight between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, that could take some of the air out of everyone always watching Donald Trump. Right? The American people want to see some fighting.

PRESTON: Oh, certainly. And I think you have to start to wonder, will Americans start to tire of Donald Trump? Erin, if you're looking ahead and if you are to see the first four nominating states to go to different people, someone wins Iowa, someone different wins New Hampshire, someone different in South Carolina, someone different wins Nevada, well, where does the focus then shift? Well, it focuses to a state such as Texas on March 1st. But arguably a more important state is Florida, which is holding its primary on the 15th of March. That's a winner-take-all. Whoever wins that state gets 99 delegates, a huge treasure trove if you're trying to win the nomination.

BURNETT: And a treasure trove where you see two men fighting it out in the ditches, literally. All right. Thanks so much to both of you, Mark and Jamie. Thank you for that exclusive interview.

And OUTFRONT next, new video of a U.S. raid on an ISIS prison that killed an American commando. We'll going to go inside the prison and show you exactly what happened during that deadly operation. It's pretty incredible footage.

And the head of the FBI saying violent crime is on the rise in American in part because cops are afraid of doing their jobs, it will cause backlash. An OUTFRONT investigation is ahead.


[19:28:43] BURNETT: Breaking news at this moment. A major budget deal in Washington. Republican and democratic leaders have agreed to raise the debt ceiling. This deal would avoid a potential debt default on November 3rd. So, that's the crucial bottom-line. The debt ceiling is going up and the agreement could be voted on as early as Wednesday, which is the same day House Republicans are expected to nominate Congressman Paul Ryan to be the speaker of the house. Final details on the deal being ironed out but we wanted to get that straight to you. No last-minute countdown there.

Tonight, we also have dramatic new video of U.S. commandos in the middle of an ISIS prison raid. You can hear gun fire as troops lead ISIS hostages to safety. Now officials say that the commandos saved the prisoners from mass execution. But an American soldier was killed in the raid, and Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT with the new details tonight.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): ISIS-held prisoners running for their lives, freed from the terror group in a daring U.S. Kurdish joint raid. New helmet cam video shows the raid in northern Iraq Thursday that led to America's first combat death since 2011. Delta Force special operators alongside Kurdish cobra commandos seen here checking hostages for weapons or suicide vests. Inside an ISIS flag hangs on the wall. Then the pop, pop, pop of gunfire as prisoners, some bloodied, flee the burning compound.

[19:30:05] Later, after the soldiers and hostages are clear, a U.S. warplane bombs the compound into rubble. ISIS released video it says shows the resulting damage.

The deadly battle was the first time U.S. forces have directly engaged ISIS fighters on the ground in Iraq. The hostages thought to be in imminent danger of execution after U.S. surveillance showed mass graves had been dug. The freed prisoners now claiming they were said to be executed after morning prayers Thursday says the Pentagon.

Five helicopters brought in nearly 30 U.S. forces and Kurdish droops. The U.S. forces were not mean supposed to directly join the fire fight. But when Kurdish forces were overwhelmed, Delta Force operators entered the walled compound, where Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler was mortally wounded. Master Sergeant Wheeler remains returned home Saturday, greeted at Dover Air Force Base by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley.

Asked by CNN Friday if U.S. forces were now in combat in Iraq, Secretary Carter said to expect more raids.

ASH CARTER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We have this capability. It is a great American strength.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SCIUTTO: A great American strength. There is a reason why Defense Secretary Carter said those words. He made clear he is committed to missions like this. They're called advise-and-assist missions but that assistance sometimes includes combat. We saw that in this raid.

I'll tell you, Erin, there are others in the Pentagon who are pushing for a more forward fighting role for U.S. forces on the ground, forward ground control, calling air strikes, forward deployed military advisers. That decision, though, remains with the president.

BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you.

And now, I want to go straight to former CIA operative Bob Baer, and former CIA counterterrorism official Phil Mudd.

Good to have both of you with me.

Bob, let's look at this video again. I want to show a couple of scenes to people. So, here we are inside a room. A raid on this ISIS prison from the helmet cam. What stands out the most to you?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: What I see there is American tactics. These are Kurdish forces, undoubtedly they were trained by Delta. The Kurds don't have a hostage rescue force. They didn't have one before Delta showed up in the north.

The tactics are very good. They're very disciplined. They probably use flash bang grenades rather than fragmentation grenades. It was a successful raid in that they got the 70 people out. Whether they hit the right target or not, that's something else.

BURNETT: And, Phil, let me show you another point in the video when the soldiers are trying to basically get everyone out of a room. You can see them all leading some of the prisoners out here. It appears very chaotic.

PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Sure, it is. If you look at executing a target like this, let me give you two steps in executing this target that help you understand why we lost an American citizen.

Number one -- people are asking about whether U.S. forces should be engaged in this -- number one, the special operations guys from Delta Force are sitting around with Kurds at the operating base before they execute the raid. And the Kurds are saying, we're going to go try to protect 70 people and to prevent them from being killed tomorrow morning. Are you with us or not? What do you say in that situation, Erin? If you're partnered with the Kurds, you say no?

Secondly, you get to the raid, and the mission for the Delta Force guys is not to get involved in the operation. They're supposed to be on aid and assist. And all of a sudden, the operation starts to go south. What do you say afterwards if the Kurds start to die, we weren't with you? Or we decided to engage in the raid?

I know this looks simple from the outside. BURNETT: Right.

MUDD: It was U.S. forces engaged. But this is a difficult mission.

BURNETT: Right. Certainly a difficult mission, Bob, but again to the point of the secretary of defense saying American service members aren't serving in a combat role in Iraq, this certainly appears to be combat and at that point very chaotic combat, right? Going into a rescue mission for 70 people, you don't know who they are, what nationality they are. They didn't know anything.

BAER: Oh, exactly. I think they hit the wrong target. They meant to rescue Kurds. But the fact is they came in on American helicopters. They were taken in the same helicopters, took them out. We are back at war.

Now, whether it's advisable or not depends on who you ask. I think we should also have -- you know, we should be sending soldiers in with some sort of political plan. And if there's a plan to deal with Iraq, I certainly haven't heard it. I have no doubt about the capabilities of Delta Force. Best fighting force in the world as I've said. But without a political plan out there, we're going to be in trouble.

BURNETT: Phil, how does someone make the argument that this is not mission creep? Because we've been told American forces aren't going to be in combat. Look, you lay out a very compelling case, right? You're on the ground with your partners. They ask you for help. What are you going to say?

Even if the right answer is yes, if you're going to make that argument, how do you not say it's mission creep?

MUDD: To me, it's pretty straightforward. When we were full force in Iraq, we had 150,000-plus forces engaged in trying to take territory from the insurgents. Now, we have the Iraqis in the lead and we're saying, when you need assistance, when you need training, when you need on the ground aid and assist like we saw in this operation, we will support you.

[19:35:09] We went from a situation where American forces were running the point for operations in Iraq to where American forces are providing the assistance. I think there's a fundamentally different approach that the Americans have taken, and that is we're not going to run point anymore. You are. But if you need assistance periodically, we'll provide it.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you. And, of course, now the American public has to come to terms again directly with the fact that it could mean American deaths on the ground in Iraq.

Tonight, a look at CNN, Americas involvement in Iraq and the chaos left behind, "The Long Road to Hell", hosted by Fareed Zakaria. Tonight at 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

And OUTFRONT next, crime up, the number of police recruits down. The FBI director says this is partly because people don't like cops in this country. They film everything they do. We have a very special report tonight, an OUTFRONT investigation on cop recruiting.

And tonight, a new warning. Too much bacon leads to cancer. Our special report coming up.


[19:40:10] BURNETT: New video of a violent confrontation happening just hours ago. What you're going to see is a confrontation between a white high school security officer and a black female student caught on a cell phone camera. This happened today in South Carolina. Officials saying the student refused an order to leave the classroom for allegedly disrupting class. We'll show it to you now so you can see it in full.

The school's resource officer was called, at one point putting his arm around the girl's neck and knocking her down. You can see that in the back corner of the room. There you go. You can see it there, lifting her up and then dragging her actually across the floor. As you can see, literally throwing her body there at the front of the classroom.

Now, the officer eventually actually handcuffed that teenager. We have attempted to reach out to the officer multiple times. School officials and the sheriff's office are investigating tonight.

Tonight, police afraid to do their jobs. The head of the FBI says violent crime is on the rise, thanks in part to countless videos of police allegedly using excessive force.


JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I spoke to officers privately in one big city precinct who describe being surrounded by young people with mobile phones held high taunting them when they get out of their cars. They said to me, we feel under siege and we don't feel much like getting out of our cars.



And, Evan, that's a pretty damning statement.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, it really is, Erin. You know, one of the things that the FBI director said he wanted to do was to start a conversation. I can tell you here at this police conference, police chiefs conference, in Chicago, it was the talk of the conference, simply because a lot of officers have been saying some of these same things privately, but they have not been wanting to say it in public. And here you have the FBI director saying it to the whole world.

BURNETT: Saying it to the whole world and really giving credibility to what they're saying. And as you said, maybe being afraid to say it in public. He didn't have that fear. The White House is not happy with the director's comments. There's no question about that.

I mean, here's spokesman Josh Earnest today.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I haven't spoken to the president about it, and I don't know if Director Comey has communicated those views to the president directly. I will say that the available evidence at this point does not support the notion that law enforcement officers around the country are shying away from fulfilling their responsibilities.


BURNETT: Is Director Comey reacting to those comments tonight?

PEREZ: No, he's not yet, Erin. But one of the things that he's saying here is simply that we want to have a conversation about whether or not all of these viral videos and all this pressure on police is causing, at least in some places, to some officers to not do the things they normally do, get out of their cars and initiate some of these stops. So, that's the question he's asking.

He says, look, the jury is out. We'll see what the numbers are. We'll see whether or not the crime numbers hold up later on. But he certainly says he doesn't want to wait to find out.

BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. Evan Perez reporting live from Chicago.

And this really isn't a problem just for cops already on the street. Police departments across the United States now are struggling to find new recruits.

Kyung Lah with an OUTFRONT investigation.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Los Angeles Police Academy where the next generation of cops learn how and when to fire. High-speed pursuit tactics. And takedown moves on armed suspects.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suspect, put your hands up!

LAH: A tough job, yet recruit officer Asia Hardy longs to wear the badge, even if others around her don't support her career choice.

ASIA HARDY, LAPD RECRUIT OFFICER: I think it's not as easy for the people -- for family members or friends to actually accept the profession we're going into just because of the perception that African-Americans have towards law enforcement.

LAH: A perception affected by high-profile officer-involved shootings from Ferguson, Missouri, two North Charleston, South Carolina, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Outrage leading to high-profile targeted killings of police officers. The fallout seen across the country as police departments struggle to attract new officers. In Philadelphia, the number of police recruits has dropped 47 percent in 2014 compared to 2008. Since 2013, New York, the country's biggest police force, applications are down 18 percent. In Los Angeles, 16 percent.

Lieutenant Aaron McCraney joined the LAPD at a tough time for cops, the Rodney King era. He's now in charge of trying to convince future cops to join.

(on camera): When you go out and talk to recruits, potential recruits, are you hearing them mention news events?

LT. AARON MCCRANEY, LAPD RECRUITMENT SECTION: Sure. That's one of the first questions. They want to know, OK, why should I be a police officer when all of these bad things are going on?

[19:45:03] Why should I put myself at risk?

LAH (voice-over): Coupled with relatively low pay and tough entrance standards, and that chance that they could be hurt or killed. This is a hard sell, especially for women and minorities. But not for Asia Hardy. She wants to improve not just her community but how others view her and her brothers in blue.

HARDY: Despite all of the backlash law enforcement is getting, this is a personal choice of mine. This is my passion. So, I'm just forward with it, despite this happening right now.


LAH: A number of the police departments we've spoken with say it's not just public perception that's affecting applications. It's also the job market as well as the economy. They also say that these things are cyclical and they hope this is the bottom -- Erin.

BURNETT: Pretty interesting tonight that the FBI director weighing in aggressively and against the White House on this.

OUTFRONT next, some of America's favorite foods, bacon, hot dogs and steak, a report linking them with cancer, putting them in the same category as smoking.

And Jimmy Fallon's ongoing streak of painful bad luck.


[19:50:21] BURNETT: Tonight, meat and cancer. The World Health Organization saying eating processed meats, which include bacon, sausage and deli meat, can cause cancer. In fact, the WHO puts processed meat in the same danger category, get ready for this as smoking and asbestos. And even more shocking, the WHO says unprocessed red meats like steak are probably carcinogenic. Almost every American eats these foods. According to the USDA, in

2013, the average American eats 71 pounds of red meat. Last year, the U.S. produced 41 billion pounds of the stuff. And that is tonight's money and power.

Joining me now, Dr. Robin Mendelsohn, a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

You know, people hear this -- this is pretty terrifying for a lot of people. I mean, people have been told some red meat is good for you. Don't eat a lot of it. But pretty much everyone eats these foods, everybody.

DR. ROBIN MENDELSOHN, GASTROENTEROLOGIST, MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER: I mean, any time you throw the word "cancer" in there, it's very scary. This didn't come as a shock and I don't think most people thought bacon or processed meat would actually be good for them and, you know, we've known for a long time that obesity is associated with a risk of increase of cancer. So, eating foods that lead to obesity will lead to an increase risk of cancer. That being said, I'm going to tell everyone that you can have some but everything in moderation.

BURNETT: Everything -- I mean, still terrifying, though, because then it's like as you point out, you know, bacon, processed meats, people know, you know, processed meats have sodium and other things are bad. They might not lead to cancer. But unprocessed red meat, you're having lamb, or you're having steak, or you're having a burger, probably carcinogenic?

MENDELSOHN: Yes. You know, we don't really know that mechanism, you know, why there is an association. And the study show that there is an association, but we don't know why. And we know that meat is good for you. It's a good source of iron. It's a good source of B12, certain vitamins.

So, it's important to get some meat in your diet. But we're saying that if you eat it every single day, it's probably not healthy for you.

BURNETT: And also, do they -- is there any sense of what sorts of meats or things to avoid? Because there is one thing, I mean, you're told a class of things, right? People say I want to buy organic bacon, right, and they think they are doing something better.


BURNETT: Is that not any different in?

MENDELSOHN: No, that's not any different. Bacon is bacon, organic bacon is bacon, red meat is read meat. And people eat it because it tastes good.

BURNETT: So, it doesn't matter grass-fed, corn-fed, all these things that we all probably obsess over to try to eat healthier. MENDELSOHN: Well, I think that -- you know, I don't think anyone

knows the answer to that. I don't think it's been around long enough for us to know the long term effects of these changes. I think any time that you're going to try to eat healthier is better. I think a well-balanced diet is the most important. You want to make sure you're eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. But you also got to enjoy. I like myself a good steak and hot dog, especially when you watch baseball.

BURNETT: And you're a gastroenterologist.


BURNETT: So, all right. I mean, that was somewhat calming.

All right. Well, thank you so much, Doctor. I appreciate your time tonight.

MENDELSOHN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos on Jimmy Fallon, the king of late night, who seems prone to falls.


[19:57:51] BURNETT: Jimmy Fallon has been laughing off so many falls. You have to wonder.

Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jimmy Fallon is running out of hands. He was sporting a bandage on his previous hand injury, when he hurt his other hand.

Fallon falls again.

RYAN SCHUSTER, FILMED JIMMY FALLON'S FALL: He tripped over a purse and kneeled down.

MOOS: Ryan Schuster caught the fall on his cell phone. Fallon was being honored by the Harvard Lampoon.



MOOS: He reached into the crowd for a bottle of Jagermeister, a prop perhaps, and turned around.

Broken bottle cut his hand, sending him to the emergency room.

SCHUSTER: Yes, he's like I need another bottle of Jager. I'm fine. I'm all right, everybody. I just need more Jager.

MOOS: Ryan saved the bottle as a souvenir.

It was about four months ago that Fallon first fell in his kitchen.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": My ring got caught on the countertop when I was going down and stuck there and pulled my finger off.

MOOS: Doctors performed micro surgery, the finger was saved but then Fallon used his teeth to open a tube of scar gel for his injured hand.

FALLON: I bite and my tooth chips and chips in half.

MOOS: His injured finger came in handy for comedy bits and provided replacement arms for diapering, shaving.

FALLON: This is going to work out, I think.

MOOS: And toothbrushing.

FALLON: No, not doing any of that stuff.

MOOS: Though his latest fall didn't cause serious injury, Jimmy's dignity is suffering. He was declared the new President Ford. Jokesters quipped, "I'm Fallon and I can't get up."

Online commenters are suggesting that Jimmy Fallon permanently wrap himself in bubble wrap.

Ellen dressed him in a protective suit. But that didn't save him from his latest mishap, crown him the king of klutzes.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch the show anytime.

"AC360" with Anderson starts right now.