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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump: Don't Blame Me For Cruz Citizenship Doubts; North Korea Claims Successful Hydrogen Nuke Test; Trump: Cruz Should Go to Court to Verify Citizenship; Cruz Fires Back at Trump's Birther Claims. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 6, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Next, North Korea's nuclear threat. Kim Jong-un says his country has exploded a massive hydrogen bomb as the U.S. struggled to respond, is Kim's claim even true?
Plus, CNN speaks with the Republican front-runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Trump doubles down on the Cruz birther issue and Ted Cruz fires back.
And an exclusive OUTFRONT investigation. Inside an active shooter situation. Can an armed civilian stop a massacre? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, nuclear nightmare. The world is struggling with how to respond after North Korea said, it detonated a hydrogen bomb, if true, this would be a game changer for North Korea's nuclear capability and the threat it poses to the United States. North Korea's unpredictable young leader Kim Jong-un congratulating himself in a statement saying the test is forcing the world to, quote, "look up to our strong nuclear country."
CNN's Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT tonight. Jim, it sure seems like it's going to be a while before the U.S. or anyone can really say with certainty what happened here.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's true. The White House is fairly confident now as are other nuclear experts we've spoken to. That North Korea did not have a successful hydrogen bomb test. Just a yield of this explosion really a fraction of what would necessary to be a successful test. That said, it's very possible, very plausible that they made progress along the way to a hydrogen bomb or even more alarmingly towards shrinking a nuclear device to make it small enough to put on top of a missile, missile technology that North Korea already has. Those questions still unanswered.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): Within hours of North Korea claiming its first hydrogen bomb test, Republican candidates already had a scapegoat, the Obama foreign policy. Donald Trump telling Wolf Blitzer --
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: China has total control over them and we have total control over China if we had people that knew what they were doing, which we don't.
SCIUTTO: Much like his fellow candidates had earlier in the day.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is what a weak American leadership gets you. And Americans should be very, very concerned.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's an example of a withdrawn American in the world.
SCIUTTO: North Koreans cheered in the streets following the government's bold announcement of a first for the isolated nation. A successful test of a hydrogen bomb, many times more powerful than the atomic bombs Pyongyang has already developed. Pyongyang's released photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's signing the order for the test. While international monitors worked to determine the exact power of the blast.
W. RANDY BELL, THE COMPREHENSIVE NUCLEAR TEST BOMB TREATY: Signals were detected on numerous seismic stations and they were immediately made available to all of our member states.
SCIUTTO: But by this afternoon, the White House was already undermining North Korea's claim.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The initial analysis that's been conducted of the events that were reported overnight is not consistent with North Korean's claim of a successful hydrogen bomb test.
SCIUTTO: Still, the detonation at an underground facility is the fourth by North Korea since 2006, all in gross violation of the international law and prior nuclear agreements with the west. Most nuclear analysts share the administration's doubt that North Korea has developed an H-bomb. However some are concerned that Pyongyang appears to be making worries, some progress in its nuclear program. Including the possibility of advancements and building device small enough to deploy on a missile. And North Korea has developed a missile capable of reaching as far as the West Coast of the U.S.
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: If you can add a little hydrogen isotope to your basic atomic bomb, you can have less material in it, make it smaller, and this will help North Korea fit it on the warhead of a missile. That's what they're going for. It doesn't look like they got there.
SCIUTTO: This test is certainly intended to send a message to multiple audiences. To a domestic audience, the regime's credibility based in large part on its military power to the west particularly to the U.S. It's a message of defiance but also to China which is typically and traditionally been North Korea's only ally. It's a message that is not necessarily listening to China anymore. And Kate, that is truly an alarming development because it means that really that regime is not listening to anyone. BOLDUAN: Yes. Who has the leverage then, exactly. Jim Sciutto,
thank you so much.
OUTFRONT with us now, Gordon Chang, the author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World." And Republican Congressman Mike Turner. He's sits on both the intelligence and Armed Services Committees.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining me tonight. So, Congressman Turner, you've been briefed on this very issue. The White House says, as you heard from Jim Sciutto. The U.S. views that this was not a hydrogen bomb. But you still say this pose as direct threat to the United States. Why?
[19:05:10] REP. MICHAEL TURNER (R), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Absolutely. Whether this is a hydrogen test or still a nuclear test, this would be the third test that the North Korea has undertaken during President Obama's presidency. The President has stated that he had a goal entering his two terms here that we would have a world without nuclear weapons yet this is really not on the to-do list of the administration. I wrote a letter to the President asking him to address this in his State of the Union. As we reported that your CNN piece was an excellent description of that both North Korea has now nuclear capability and missile technology that places the United States at risk. That is the same whether it's a hydrogen bomb or a nuclear bomb.
BOLDUAN: And Gordon, even if this isn't a hydrogen bomb and you don't think it was, we talked about that earlier today, North Korea sure wants the world to think that it was. Why is Kim Jong-un doing this now, do you think?
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": I think this is internal regime politics. You know, Kim Jong-un has been at the top of the North Korean political system for more than four years but he hasn't really consolidated control. And, you know, a detonation says a couple of things. First of all, that he's strong and that he can sort of move North Korea in ways that is popular inside the regime. So, that consolidates his political position. It's also what his father did and his grandfather did in terms of this nuclear program so it shows consistency and therefore legitimacy. And the other thing is that, the regime itself needs sort of a bolstering of its legitimacy with regard to the North Korean people --
CHANG: -- and you know, this was a big propaganda exercise, as we saw, and therefore, it is bolstering the regime at a critical time.
BOLDUAN: Internal as much as sending a signal external to the United States and beyond. And Gordon, there's a big question, really, you've mentioned this, whether the United States will ever really know what caused this seismic activity which leads you to wonder, does the United States have good enough or any intelligence in North Korea? And why is it so poor? CHANG: Yes. In 2013, which was the last test, we sent our sniffer
planes up and down the coast of North Korea for weeks. We were not able to determine what we wanted to find out, which is whether it was a plutonium core bomb that they exploded or a uranium one. We still don't know. Now, this detonation today was ten kilometers underground which means that probably a lot of -- none of the radio activity will escape. And so, therefore, we may suspect a lot and I don't think it's a hydrogen weapon but nonetheless we may not know because it's so far under the surface.
BOLDUAN: And the United States is so blind in what's going on in that country. Congressman, I know that you know that very, very well sitting on the Intelligence Committee. The White House Congressman has responded today saying it will not accept a nuclear North Korea. But are we kind of past the point of being able to decide that? What more can the United States do about it?
TURNER: Well, that's really the irony. I mean, the administration does not have it on its to-do list eliminating North Korea as a nuclear threat. And we know that they have nuclear weapons capability. Regardless of what this test might or might not have been, as you stated, and they certainly have been pursuing and have missile technology that places the United States within reach. There are a number of things the administration could be doing. We see this with North Korea being a threat, also and that they're proliferated. They work with Iran, they work with others. So there's a danger of not just North Korea but other nations that can benefit from North Korea's work. So, one obviously galvanized the international community to bolster our missile defense so that they were not as vulnerable to an attack from North Korea. And, three, work on a coordinated basis with China to make certain that this issue is addressed with North Korea.
BOLDUAN: And maybe even more sanctions, as un-dynamic as that might sound. It could put the squeeze more on North Korea. Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it as always.
TURNER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT with us now. So, Tom, you've been looking at this issue very closely. Why is it so important for Kim Jong-un to prove he can pull this off? How much of a game changer would it be? What are you finding out?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If, Kate, they actually have a hydrogen bomb, this would vault North Korea immediately into the upper echelon of nuclear powers in the word. The United States, Russia, France, China, Great Britain. When they are talking about their nuclear arsenal, they are talking about hydrogen bombs. Not merely atomic bombs but hydrogen bombs. What's the difference between the two? We got it here. The atomic bomb relies on at fission which is basically the splitting apart of atoms which releases a tremendous amount of energy.
Hydrogen bombs count on fusion which is the crushing together of atoms which also releases a lot of energy, also a lot of heat. That's why these are called thermal nuclear bombs. The atom bomb is a single explosion, hard to make happen, but it's not as hard as the hydrogen bomb which is a two-stage explosion. This shows a higher level of technical expertise. And the atom bomb, oddly enough, even though it's physically a big device normally, it presents a smaller blast in nuclear terms than the hydrogen bomb which can be made smaller and produce a bigger blast. So Kate, this is be the kind of thing that would be easier fitted onto a rocket that North Korea has right now and launched at somebody else.
[19:10:15] BOLDUAN: Hence why it is so dangerous and why it's such a concern in the United States and beyond. So how big would the blast -- you say it's bigger. How big would the blast be from a hydrogen bomb?
FOREMAN: Well, we're going to compare in here, Kate, if we went back to the 1940s and we looked at the two bombs that were dropped on Japan at the end of World War II, this would be the rough blast size of those bombs. Look at the advancement since then. Here's another nuclear blast. Another atomic blast. But these, the last three here, these are hydrogen test blasters. Hydrogen bombs. Look at the comparable size. It is absolutely massive out there. The signature of this explosion only looked to the seismographs out there about the size of these things here. That's why people are saying, we don't think it was that big, we don't think it as a hydrogen blast. But if they picked up some information that gets them closer to that, again, Kate, you can see why the whole world is watching and concerned about this.
BOLDUAN: That is a startling comparison when you line them up like that, Tom. Thank you so much. Wow!
OUTFRONT for us next, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the two GOP front- runners both speaking to CNN tonight as Trump raises new questions about Ted Cruz's citizenship.
Plus, repeatedly ducking responsibility for his most outrageous claims, how long can he pass the buck?
And Melania Trump in her first major solo interview on why she's not out on the campaign trail.
[19:15:02] BOLDUAN: Donald Trump playing the birther card again, only this time it's against his surging competitor Ted Cruz. And tonight, the two front-runners are speaking only to CNN about the heated debate over Cruz's citizenship.
Our Wolf Blitzer just wrapping up an interview with Donald Trump. And Dana Bash is speaking to Ted Cruz this evening. Now, Trump has been raising concerns about Cruz's citizenship, even suggesting Cruz may have a Canadian passport. Questions he, again, raised with Wolf Blitzer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you believe Senator Ted Cruz is a natural-born citizen?
TRUMP: I don't know, to be honest. And I like him a lot. And I don't like the issue. I don't like even bringing it up. And you know, it wasn't me that brought it up. It was "The Washington Post" doing an interview.
BLITZER: They asked you a question.
TRUMP: And one of the questions they asked me was this question and, you know, they went with it and I wasn't very aggressive with the answer except one thing. You can't have somebody running if the Democrats are going to at some point and one of them threatened to bring a suit a long time ago. But how can you have a nominee running, you know, against a Democrat, whoever it maybe, probably Hillary Clinton because you'll probably escaped the e-mail problem which is disgusting that she's able to because other people have doing far less have had very, very major consequences. It's been terrible. But it's probably going to be Hillary. So, how are you going to run against the Democrat, wherever it maybe and you have this hanging over your head if they bring a lawsuit. A lawsuit will take two-three years --
BLITZER: He said he's a natural-born citizen because his mother was U.S. born -- a U.S. citizen and as a result he's a natural-born citizen.
TRUMP: Well, I hope he's right. You know, I don't want to win on this point. What the Democrats are saying, though, is he had a passport.
BLITZER: He says he didn't have a passport.
TRUMP: He has a Canadian passport.
BLITZER: His aide say he didn't have a passport.
TRUMP: Well, I have heard that --
BLITZER: He made eligible --
TRUMP: I think that's wonderful if he didn't and I never understood how he did but everybody tells me he had a joint passport.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: And Wolf Blitzer is OUTFRONT now. So, Wolf, you asked the simple question, the question that he has seemed to avoid answering, simply, does he believe Ted Cruz? And he still says, I don't know.
BLITZER: He says, he doesn't know even though earlier he seemed to suggest this was not really an issue. Now apparently it is an issue and he does say and he told me in the interview that Cruz can resolve this very partly, go to a federal judge and ask for a ruling and make sure you are eligible according to the U.S. constitutionally, natural born citizens are eligible to serve as President of the United States get a ruling from a federal judge and then everyone can move on. So, he's putting the onus, the burden now on Ted Cruz to go to a judge. We're going to see what Ted Cruz does. This is a specific recommendation that Donald Trump has made.
BOLDUAN: Specific recommendation that I highly doubt as Ted Cruz is going to walk in to ask for a judge to weigh in on this. But who knows. It's been a wild race. We'll see what Ted Cruz says. But you also made the point -- and we've heard this already -- that Donald Trump critics, Democrats, can use this to their advantage. And you asked them about that. Do you get any sense that this could all backfire on him?
BLITZER: Donald Trump keeps saying that there are Democratic lawmakers, some congressmen who will go to court to see a Ted Cruz -- the Supreme Court has never formally ruled on whether or not the definition of a natural-born citizen. And so Trump says, you know what, this is going to be around for years. If you don't resolve this quickly. So, he's raising questions out there just as he raised questions a few years ago about President Obama, where he was born, his birth certificate.
BOLDUAN: What did he say about that tonight? Is he still talking about that?
BLITZER: He still says he has a lot to say, he doesn't want to get into it and he'll let us know at some point down the road. He has a whole book he wants to write about. That's what he told me. He doesn't want to get into the whole President Obama birther issue at this point.
BOLDUAN: He has another birther issue to focus on now. Thank you so much, Wolf. A lot in that interview. Wolf Blitzer got it all. Thanks Wolf, great to see you.
BLITZER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: And Ted Cruz, we're talking about Ted Cruz, he is defending himself against Trump's comments tonight. Here's what he told Dana Bash today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, the legal issue is straightforward. The son of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural-born citizen.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: But it's never been tested. You know it full well because you've done it on other issues.
CRUZ: Listen, the constitutions on laws in the United States are straightforward. The very first Congress defined the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad as a natural born citizen. And by the way, many of those members of the first Congress were framers at the constitutional convention. At the end of the day, this is a nonissue. But, you know, my response as you and I were talking about just a minute ago, I tweeted a link to a video of Fonzie jumping a shark. You know, I'm not going to engage in this and the reason is simple. There are far too many serious issues facing this country. Last night, North Korea claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb. What the American people are looking for is who is prepared to be commander-in- chief? Who has the seriousness, who has the judgment, who has the knowledge, who has the clarity of vision, the strength and resolve?
BASH: Let's button this up, though, just on the issue of the passport.
CRUZ: What passport?
BASH: Donald Trump is suggesting, saying that you had a Canadian passport.
CRUZ: It's not true.
BASH: False? Never had a Canadian passport?
CRUZ: No, of course not.
BASH: In your entire life?
CRUZ: Of course not.
BASH: And you're sure, you asked your mother, you asked your dad, you never had one?
CRUZ: Yes, I'm sure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:20:10] BOLDUAN: Dana Bash is OUTFRONT now from Iowa. So, Dana, Cruz's initial response was to make it a joke, to make a joke about this, saying that Trump had jumped a shark. You talked about that. But it sure seems today that he's taking this much more seriously.
BASH: Well, look, I mean, obviously he's got to walk this fine line between taking it seriously and make sure that what Donald trump is saying doesn't become so much a part of the narrative in this campaign right now that people who he's on the ground here trying to reach to convince to go out to caucus for him don't get second thoughts which, of course, is the whole reason Donald Trump is throwing this out there saying to Wolf, I don't know. I don't know. He might be. I'm just saying. We might have to take a look at it. And that's vintage Donald Trump. It's why he's a genius marketer and he's obviously been translating that into politics for the last six months.
On the other side, Ted Cruz, his strategy about Donald Trump, has really worked so far, which is to hug him as much as he can and when Trump goes after him, to try to make a joke about it. You're right that he feels like he needs to explain the law. He needs to explain the legal basis of his belief that he doesn't have a problem. But, you know, he's trying to do that without giving too much credence and taking the bait too much of what Donald Trump is trying to pull him into -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Yes. That seems a very difficult thing to do and he's trying very hard at it, Dana. Great to see you. Thank you so much.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT with us now, Jeff Kaufmann, he is the Iowa Republican Party chair. Jeff, thank you so much for coming in. You've been hearing this back and forth. You heard Ted Cruz just saying to him, this is a non-issue. Do you agree or do you think this is a legitimate question?
JEFF KAUFMANN, IOWA REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIR: Look, the Iowa caucuses are close to the people. There's going to be a lot of questions asked. Let's face it, anybody who follows politics knows that this is a full contact sport right now. I think there's going to be a lot of issues come up. Ultimately it's going to be Iowa instead they're going to decide which are those issues are important and which of those issues are going to have staying power through February 1st.
BOLDUAN: So, are voters really talking about this? That's what Donald Trump says, raising questions about Cruz's eligibility to president.
KAUFMANN: I'll be honest, I'm out there in every corner of the state. I've had but a handful talk to me about this particular issue. So, to my perspective, I have not heard a lot of talk, haven't heard a lot of questions about the citizenship and Senator Cruz.
BOLDUAN: So does this bid into the not a legitimate issue to bring up on the trail?
KAUFMANN: Well, I don't know if there are legitimate or non- legitimate issues on the trail. Look, the reason that Iowa is a caucus state and the first in the nation is because our people show up on that trail. Our people are going to every community center. They are going to people's homes, they're going to events and they are going to ask the questions that they are going to ask. I think the legitimacy of the questions are going to be determined by the answers that these individuals are going to give and ultimately, I think Iowans are going to be more concerned about bringing a re-trend from the '90s that is going to continue to be a failed policies from the Obama administration.
BOLDUAN: I do wonder though, Jeff, if you think maybe Donald Trump is right in bringing this issue up, I mean, that this puts your party in a precarious position. Because you publicly spoke out against Donald Trump or were seen as criticizing Donald Trump for crossing a line with his Muslim ban proposal. Do you think this crosses a line, then?
KAUFMANN: Well, look, I'm a professor of history and I can tell you that in studying, all of the presidents, I have yet to find one that I agree with 100 percent of the time. I think to critique our candidates, I think to question the candidates, I think that's very healthy. The reason why Iowa is a caucus state, is because we're going to have these discussions, we're going to have these dialogues. Ultimately, February 1st is going to determine who crossed the line and who didn't and ultimately on February 1st, there's going to be a determination of which of these gentlemen and Carly Fiorina, each of those particular candidates are going to be best to supplant and start to undue the harm that's been done by Barack Obama for the last eight years.
BOLDUAN: We'll see if this very drastically just change the direction of that conversation that you say will be happening at the caucuses.
Jeff Kaufmann, thank you so much.
KAUFMANN: Thank you for having me.
BOLDUAN: Of course.
OUTFRONT for us next, Melania Trump in a revealing new interview, why she hasn't been by her husband's side. Could she be America's next first lady?
And Donald Trump's m.o.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There's this doubt. People have doubt. Again, this was not my suggestion. I didn't bring this up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:28:20] BOLDUAN: Tonight, the war of words between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is heating up over Cruz's Canadian birth. Trump says, don't blame him since others are raising the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know, it wasn't me that brought it up. It was "The Washington Post" doing an interview.
BLITZER: They asked you a question?
TRUMP: And one of the questions they asked me was this question and, you know, they went with it and I wasn't very aggressive with the answer except one thing. You can't have somebody running if the Democrats are going to at some point -- and one of them threatened to bring a suit a long time ago.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: But is this just the latest case of Donald Trump saying, don't shoot the messenger? Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
TRUMP: I like him a lot. And I don't like the issue. I don't like even bringing it up.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's become a fundamental play in Donald Trump's playbook, casting himself as just the bearer of bad news.
TRUMP: There's this doubt. People have doubt. Again, this was not my suggestion. I didn't bring this up.
SERFATY: Dredging up things he's heard, pushing them out into the political ether. And when pressed to substantiate the claims he's repeated, his defense, don't shoot the messenger. It's a crutch Trump has leaned on repeatedly and politically opportune times.
TRUMP: We had to respond to Hillary --
SERFATY: Bringing up old charges about Bill Clinton tweeting, "The former president was once called a racist but the proof of that claim he didn't have."
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Are you yourself calling him a racist?
TRUMP: No. He was called that by the Obama campaign. He was called it loud and clear. He was extremely insulted.
GUTHRIE: Why did you put it in your tweet if you don't believe it?
TRUMP: They said it. I didn't say it.
SERFATY: Another claim made off and on the campaign trail that he heard President Obama wants to take away American's guns.
[19:30:03] TRUMP: You know, the President is thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take your guns away. You hear this one.
SERFATY: But when pressed --
TRUMP: I've heard that he wants to. And I heard it, I think on your network. Somebody said that that's what he's thinking about. I didn't say he's signing it, I said, I think it will be a tough one to sign, actually.
SERFATY: But on his chief issue, immigration, Trump repeated what he had heard bout the number of people who were in the U.S. illegally.
TRUMP: I'm now hearing it's 30 million and could even be 34 million, which is a much bigger problem.
SERFATY: A number three times larger than current estimates.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: Where are you hearing that from?
TRUMP: Well, I'm hearing it from other people and I've seen it written in various newspapers.
SERFATY: And making big claims like this is nothing completely new for political candidates but certainly it's become a key part of Donald Trump's strategy where he's able to capitalize off the payoff of the rhetoric but also at the same time, Kate, really distancing himself from the core parts of the facts in the original claim -- Kate.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Sunlen Serfaty, OUTFRONT, thanks so much, Sunlen.
OUTFRONT with us now, the campaign spokesperson for Donald Trump, Katrina Pierson, and CNN political commentator, Amanda Carpenter. She's a former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz.
Guys, it's great to see you.
So, Katrina, you just heard Donald Trump say over and over again it is not him bringing this up. It is other people. But why not take Ted Cruz at his word?
KATRINA PIERSON, DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN: Well, I think the only reason we're talking about this right now, Kate, is because Senator Cruz responded to a report that Donald Trump brought this up to begin with in which he did not and Donald Trump is not the only one that has those concerns now that the question has been asked. It's been Republicans. And Amanda knows this. This has been something at contention for quite some time.
Donald Trump does take Senator Cruz on his word, as you just heard on Wolf today. He hopes it's not going to be an issue. However, there are Democrats out there talking about this issue.
BOLDUAN: But he didn't say -- his specific answer to Wolf, when Wolf asked him if he believed that Ted Cruz was a natural-born citizen, he said, I don't know.
PIERSON: Well, exactly. He's not a Supreme Court justice. And there hasn't been a ruling on this. And people have asked for there to be a ruling on this. So, Donald Trump doesn't know.
He says he wants to believe him and take him on his word. He hopes this does not come up. So, I'm not quite sure how this is translating that Donald Trump doesn't believe Ted Cruz.
BOLDUAN: Amanda, is that enough for you? Ted Cruz is, what Katrina is saying is that Donald Trump is trying to help Ted Cruz?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What I'm saying is Donald Trump --
BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Amanda.
CARPENTER: He's a master of media. He knows controversy. When Ted Cruz and Trump appeared at a rally last September, Donald Trump was also asked by the media about Ted Cruz's citizenship and said the lawyers have looked at it and he understands that Ted is in fine shape.
The only thing that has changed since last September is that Ted Cruz has gone up in the polls and that Donald Trump has said many times, he'll find a way to attack Ted Cruz once somebody starts gaining on him. I don't think Donald Trump actually knows how to attack Ted Cruz. I think that's how he's kind of playing footsy with his question. We saw before the last Republican debate, Trump was criticizing him on the ethanol subject, saying he should have made more friends in Washington. In the last couple of weeks, he's questioning Cruz's evangelical faith.
And so, Donald Trump is really all over the place. And given the fact that Cruz has tried to smother him with kindness, and I think Trump is flummoxed and doesn't know what to do. And so, he's trying a tried and tested way to get media attention with the birther theory which he used to a great effect in the 2008 election against Barack Obama.
BOLDUAN: Katrina, do you personally think Ted Cruz is natural born citizen?
PIERSON: I have always said I have no question. I have no reason to believe he's not. But it's not my responsibility to go out there and improve that issue.
But to Amanda's point, Mr. Trump doesn't need a reason to bring something up. If he wants to go after Senator Cruz, he can. He doesn't have to hide behind a reporter or make something up. And that's really what is at hand here is because we have this media line essentially saying that Donald Trump is attacking Ted Cruz when that is in fact not what happened.
He is saying he believes Ted Cruz and he hopes it's not going to be a problem but because this is coming up and it is coming up on the campaign trail among the people in Iowa and elsewhere, why not just put it to bed?
BOLDUAN: Katrina, I do want to ask you one thing, "Politico" and "The Daily Beast", they're reporting this afternoon that -- and you say you have no reason not to believe him but you have previously said -- you have previously told people to stop talking about it. So, not even to bring up this issue specifically.
This is a Facebook post, "Politico" and "Daily Beast" are reporting from you, saying, "Ted Cruz is a natural citizen by birth, is eligible to be president. For those constantly citing otherwise is plain whining and the most unintelligent way to prop up your choice."
So, do you tell them now --
PIERSON: Which is exactly right.
BOLDUAN: -- to stop talking about it?
PIERSON: Which is exactly right. Which is exactly right. If you're born of a parent, if your parent -- if your mother is a citizen, then you are a citizen. That's what the scholars are saying and that's why everyone is saying, if that's the case, just go get a legal statement.
[19:35:04] It has not been tested in the courts. That's the only concern here, is whether or not Hillary Clinton, who will stop at nothing to win this presidency, if she would or wouldn't challenge that in the courts. And I don't think anybody can say that right now.
Amanda, are you willing to say that Hillary Clinton is not going to challenge Senator Cruz's status?
BOLDUAN: You can be sure it's going to come up.
But, Amanda, let me ask you this, because to Katrina's point, Trump is saying today and said to Wolf, Ted Cruz should go to a judge or court and have this adjudicated and decided. Do you think Ted Cruz will take that advice?
CARPENTER: No, I don't think Ted Cruz needs to take legal advice from Donald Trump. There are plenty of lawyers already on the side. If people have questions about this, the best resource to go to is a legal article written in the Harvard Law Review by a former solicitor general for President Bush and President Obama, a bipartisan article about Ted Cruz's citizenship and they agree that there's no question he's a U.S. citizen.
So, that's readily available online. Maybe Donald Trump should read it. It seems like he did read it in the past four months ago when Cruz wasn't gaining in the polls, and that's available for anyone to go look at.
BOLDUAN: Bottom line, Ted Cruz says this is a distraction. Katrina, do you think people should stop talking about this?
PIERSON: Well, like I said, the only reason we're talking about this today is because Senator Cruz responded to the media saying Donald Trump brought this up when in fact he didn't.
BOLDUAN: So I guess what we've got is, we don't know. We're going to keep talking about it.
Guys, we'll see where this goes next. Thanks very much, Katrina. Amanda, as always. Thanks, guys.
PIERSON: Thanks, Kate.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT next, Melania Trump speaks out on family politics, former first ladies and why she's not campaigning with her husband.
And an OUTFRONT investigation, do more guns make America safer? We'll be right back.
[19:40:34] BOLDUAN: Tonight, Melania Trump speaking about the campaign for the first time without her husband at her side to "Harper's Bazaar" and addressing the question that everyone has been asking, where has she been?
Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to being in the spotlight, Melania Trump is a woman at ease. But the 45-year- old former model tells "Harper's Bazaar" magazine, when it comes to her husband, Republican front-runner Donald Trump, she is more than happy to stay behind the scenes.
"They say I'm shy. I am not shy. I'm choosing not to go political and public because that is my husband's job. I'm very political in private life, and between me and my husband, I know everything that is going on. I follow from A to Z."
She made a rare campaign stop with him in South Carolina last October.
MELANIA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S WIFE: He will be the best president ever!
CASAREZ: And told the magazine she was in on the decision to run for president. "We decided as a family it was something that we would do. I explained it to my son a lot. I said, daddy will run for president."
Melania says she doesn't have a nanny for her 9-year-old son Barron which is part of the reasons she stays away from the campaign trail. CNN captured Melania and Barron visiting Trump at his New York office in 2010 in this video. They have stood by him during some of his biggest moments.
But their time in the spotlight has led some to make fun of their lavish lifestyle.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because the White House, it's the smallest place Donald and I have ever lived.
CASAREZ: Melania tells the magazine, the family often laughs about it.
D. TRUMP: Wouldn't she be a great first lady?
ANNOUNCER: This message paid for by the Melania for First Lady Foundation.
CASAREZ: It's kind of an honor to have somebody play you like that in a fun way. It was modeling that brought Melania from Slovenia to the United States, telling "Bazaar" she applied for a green card in 2001. Citizenship took time. "It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. You follow the rules, you follow the law."
Part of the American evolved into forming her own skincare selection and a jewelry line called Melania.
M. TRUMP: I'm designing for women across the country.
CASAREZ: Accomplishments Donald Trump tells Wolf Blitzer he is incredibly proud of.
D. TRUMP: She's very smart and, you know, she made a tremendous amount of money. She was a very, very successful person as a model and I think she's going to be a fantastic first lady if it ever comes to that.
CASAREZ: As for Melania's former first lady, she won't comment but that Jackie Onassis had a very beautiful, elegant, simple but feminine style.
CASAREZ: Melania's friends describe her as having calmness, serenity, boldness and gracefulness.
And, Kate, she said she's taught her little boy to speak Slovenian and she speaks that fluently also, as well as Italian and French.
BOLDUAN: And if I'm correct, Donald Trump does not. He only speaks English.
CASAREZ: He speaks English.
Thanks so much, Jean. Appreciate it. Fascinating look.
OUTFRONT for us now, CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen, who served as an adviser to Republican and Democratic presidents alike dating back to Nixon.
David, it's great to see you.
So, spouses, they are --
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Kate. Good to see you.
BOLDUAN: Great to see you.
Spouses are an important asset on the campaign trail. Why do you think the Trump campaign is not using Melania more?
GERGEN: Well, some people think that he's hiding her, that he's uncomfortable to have her out there. I don't think that's the case at all.
I sense that he's very shrewdly waiting for a moment when he's going to -- she'll become much more visible than she is now. And it will be something fresh in the campaign.
I think he feels he's going to get the nomination on his own but he's going to need her in the general election.
Don't you think, Kate, there's already the possibility that he's trying to set Melania versus Bill Clinton? Which one would you rather be comfortable with in the White House? And a lot of people will say, I'd much rather have Bill Clinton. But a lot of people say, you know, Melania is interesting. She's sort of gorgeous. And think about this. Without any real interviews, she's being
compared to Nancy Reagan, to Carla Bruni Sarkozy, of course, was a model, a stunning model in France, married to the president and indeed to Jacqueline Kennedy, Jackie Onassis.
[19:45:02] She's already come a long way. I think she's going to be an asset. If you put her together with Ivanka, the daughter by his earlier marriage, one of his earlier marriages, what you have is perhaps the beginning of his rebuttal to the whole idea I'm a sexist. Look the women around me. They are smart, intelligent, they're well- educated.
BOLDUAN: Fascinating. David, do you think she could keep this up staying in the background as first lady?
GERGEN: No. I think she'll have to come out a great deal more in the campaign. She'll have to come and do a CNN interview, a real sit-down and she'll have to do the Barbara Walter's show again and if you can just go all through the shows that she'll be doing eventually.
But as first lady, I wouldn't be surprised if she could in fact be a bit more in the background. There are different models for being first lady and as much as people admire, for example, Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton when she was first lady, she -- Melania would be a very different model and I think a lot of people would relate to her.
BOLDUAN: We will see. We're definitely not there yet.
GERGEN: We will see. Yes. Absolutely.
BOLDUAN: David, good to see you. Thank you so much.
GERGEN: OK, take care, Kate.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, as the gun debate rages on, the questions Americans are asking, would more guns make the country safer? We're going to take you inside an active shooting situation. How hard is it to take down a gunman?
And Jeanne Moos with Marco Rubio putting some high-heeled boots on the ground.
[19:50:20] BOLDUAN: Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan is blasting President Obama's executive actions on guns, saying they are a distraction from more important issues. As the gun debate rages on, more Americans are asking, would the country be safer if more people were armed?
Miguel Marquez has tonight's "I.D.E.A."
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's an AR-15 like the gun used in San Bernardino, the Aurora movie massacre, and Sandy Hook Elementary to name a few.
That's a nine millimeters, a popular handgun used in San Bernardino and many other shootings.
Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training at Texas Tech University trains law enforcement agencies nationwide in handling active shooter incidents. ALERRT runs the largest training program in the country. It is the go-to organization for law enforcement agencies nationwide in preparing for mass casualty and specialized emergencies.
TERRY NICHOLS, DIRECTOR, ALERRT: That's body armor. That's standard body armor my patrol officers wear.
MARQUEZ: They run a scenario, the guns firing rounds.
I was the good guy legally carrying a concealed weapon when a shooting breaks out.
I hear shooting down a long dimly lit hallway. I take a peak and shoot my own producer Brian Vitaliano (ph) hitting him once in the chest.
As I move down the hallway, another student pops out. I don't shoot him and am able to stop the gunman.
NICHOLS: We hear the shots. We know the problem is down here. I pushed you, let's go, let's go because again, if we come to stop the active shooter, we got to get to the active shooter.
MARQUEZ: From 2000 to 2013, there were 160 active shooter incidents in 40 of the 50 states, both rural and urban areas. In the first seven years of the study, there were about six incidents each year and the frequency increased sharply, more than doubling to roughly 16 incidents every year.
Pete Blair who runs ALERRT authored that report. He says active shooter situations are so chaotic in only a tiny number of incidents did someone with a gun stop a shooter.
DR. PETE BLAIR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALERRT: Out of all of the events we looked at, there are about 3 percent somebody with a firearm who stopped the shooter.
MARQUEZ: In 2014, a Darby, Pennsylvania doctor, shot and killed a gunman that killed one person, and in 2008, a man with a concealed weapon stopped a gunman in Nevada after the gunman had killed two people and injured two others.
BLAIR: I'm not anti gun at all. I have a concealed handgun license myself.
MARQUEZ (on camera): But in an active shooter situation, you wouldn't want just anyone pulling out a gun to save the day.
BLAIR: Yes, what we say is there is a lot that goes into it. And looking at the situation and saying, what's happening right now?
MARQUEZ (voice-over): ALERRT emphasizes a good guy with a gun could kill innocent people. They could be shot by police or other civilians mistaking them for the attacker. Or --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pause for sake. Now we have a malfunction.
MARQUEZ: Three times the .9 millimeter jammed while I was firing it and that was just practice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to strip the magazine out, work it like this, reinsert the magazine and then you can shoot again.
MARQUEZ: Without hundreds or thousands of hours of training, a rookie mistake like a jammed weapon, just a few seconds to clear it could mean a good guy with a gun becomes another victim.
Miguel Marquez, CNN, San Marcos, Texas.
BOLDUAN: Miguel, thanks.
Tomorrow night at 8:00, Anderson Cooper hosts a town hall with President Obama on guns. I'll be anchoring OUTFRONT from there, as well.
OUTFRONT for us next, Jeanne Moos on Marco Rubio's boots.
[19:58:03] BOLDUAN: Marco Rubio's high heeled boots fashioned forward or fashioned faux pas? Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Marco Rubio may say --
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the most important election.
MOOS: But it's what he elected to wear on his feet that has fellow Republicans and the press poking fun. "A vote for Marco Rubio is a vote for men's high heeled booties", tweeted Ted Cruz' communications director, linking to a "New York Magazine" article with that headline, "man heels," one reporter called them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There they are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no, he didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is beyond -- this is Austin Powers, baby.
(MUSIC) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are shagalicious.
MOOS: If it wasn't Austin Power, it was Harry Stiles from One Direction inspiring Rubio co comparisons. When Harry wears his, girls squeal.
Will they squeal, "I love you, Marco"?
The heels ad may be two inches to the 5'10" Rubio. Reporters tried to figure out which designer booties he was wearing until the Rubio campaign told "Politico" they were from Florsheim, perhaps the Duke.
This Duke dress boot will unleash the kingly appearance for 135 bucks.
Fellow candidate Carly Fiorina flaunted her higher heeled boots tweeting, "Yes, at Marco Rubio, but can you rock these?"
And Rand Paul rubbed it in.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Whoopi Goldberg's office trying to choose some new shoes. We've Rubio has those cute new boots and we're wondering whether we need some new shoes.
MOOS: Chris Christie might or at least some new socks, since these two seem mismatched.
But Senator Rubio's boots are made for walking and to those -- who dare snicker.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BOLDUAN: Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts right now.