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Evacuation Underway As Massive Wildfire Grows; Trump Denies Posing as Publicist; Official: ISIS Declares State of Emergency in Raqqa; TSA Hiring 768 More Agents to Handle Long Lines; Clintons Face Scrutiny Over Personal Wealth; Supporters: Ivanka Trump is Her Dad's "Best Asset"; Violent Volcano Eruption. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired May 14, 2016 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, because dating has been tough. It's tough. But I will say, Lena Dunham would be surprised to hear she has no mojo.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, somebody thinks that, but lots of other people do not I suppose at this point.

All right. So much news to tell you about this morning.

BLACKWELL: Let's get to it. Next hour starts now.



SUE CARSWELL: What is your position there?

MILLER: Well, I'm sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it.



BLACKWELL: Pushing for unity while trying to side step land mines that keep popping up from his past. Republican presidential front- runner Donald Trump now denying he once masqueraded as his own PR representative.

PAUL: A lot of people calling them insane lines at airports across the country this morning. New TSA changes are causing some security lines. We're talking up to three to four hours long.

BLACKWELL: Well, speaking of airport delays, a volcano eruption in Costa Rica so strong that lava and ash here covered airport runways, ash and debris everywhere, several miles away.

PAUL: Goodness.

Take a nice deep breath. You've made it to the weekend. And we're glad that you're spending some of it with us. Seven o'clock right now. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: Weekend is a great place to be. I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you.

We're starting, though, with breaking news. This is near Seattle. People in the town of Gold Bar, this is in Washington state, of course, are being ordered to leave immediately. The most urgent of alerts as a fast-moving wildfire is burning through that area.

So far, this fire has charred about 80 acres. It's expected, of course, to grow even larger. Strong winds are in area fueling this fire. Flames are inching closer and closer to the community there in gold bar. This wildfire has been burning since yesterday afternoon. We'll keep you updated on the very latest there from Washington state.

Now, let's get to something out in just a few minutes. Hillary Clinton's attack ad going after Donald Trump. It's a new ad over his tax returns. Watch part of it.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: He will not follow the example of every single Democratic and Republican presidential nominee since 1976.

REPORTER: Mitt Romney posting it is disqualifying for a modern day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters.


PAUL: This, of course, comes close on the heels of Trump's denials of allegations that he posed as his own publicist years ago. After Trump's visit to Washington, obviously is when this thing surfaced. Just as Republican leaders seem to be coming around to the idea that, you know what? Trump may be their guy.

I want to bring in CNN producer Kristen Holmes right now.

Kristen, this has only been out, this ad, couple of hours at this point. What are you hearing about it?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN PRODUCER: Well, this is exactly what some GOP sources have told me. This is what they were worried about. This is what members of the party were worried about when Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee, specifically the kind of baggage that a non- traditional candidate like Donald Trump can have.

So, this was a week where, as you mentioned, Donald Trump really could be touting his efforts to try to bring the party together. He came down to Washington. He met with Republican leaders and he even released a statement with Speaker Ryan saying they wanted to bring the party together.

Instead he is answering questions on his refusal to release his taxes. He is answering questions on, as you mentioned, a tape in which it seems to show that he -- sorry, not show, but sounds like he was impersonating a spokesperson for himself named John Miller so that he could talk to reporters about his love life and his business dealings. Now, Trump has denied those allegations, as well as a former butler of Trump's coming out and arguing that President Obama should be taken out and shot like an enemy.

Now, political analysts say that this could hurt Trump in the general election not just with voters but with donors, something he didn't have to worry about in the primaries.

PAUL: All righty. Kristen Holmes, we appreciate the update. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, Donald Trump, as we know, is trying to unify the party, bring the GOP establishment into his fold. Rally around and behind him. Now of course this bizarre tape we just told you about could create problems for him.


"JOHN MILLER": I can tell you this.


"JOHN MILLER": You understand that.

TRUMP: You understand that.

"JOHN MILLER": He's probably doing as well as anybody.

TRUMP: I know politics as well as anybody.

"JOHN MILLER": I hold up the bible as well as anybody.


PAUL: So lot of people looking at this wondering could it be that Donald Trump's worst enemy may just be Donald Trump of years past?

CNN's senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin takes a closer look here for us.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Victor, if this is not Donald Trump on these tapes, then an audio expert we talk to said someone has done a masterful job of sounding almost exactly like Donald Trump.

The fact is, the mysterious PR man in Donald Trump's past may not have been a real secret at all.

[07:05:05] (voice-over): The real amazing story of Donald Trump's old spokesman, as "The Washington Post" headline writes, may be that it's been such an open secret for so long, it's hard to believe that anyone is still questioning it.

CARSWELL: What is your name again? "JOHN MILLER": John Miller.

CARSWELL: And you work with Donald Trump?

"JOHN MILLER": Yes, that's correct.

GRIFFIN: It was back in the 1980s when the flashy New York real estate mogul needed to get a bit of news out, the newspaper reports it was common knowledge among New York reporters that Trump just assumed a different name and media calls himself. Like this call from reporter Sue Carswell at "People" magazine concerning Trump's break-up with girlfriend Marla Maples.

CARSWELL: What kind of comment is coming from, you know, your agency or from Donald?

"JOHN MILLER": Well, it just that he really decided that he wasn't -- you know, he didn't want to make -- he didn't want to make a commitment. He really thought it was too soon. He's coming out of a marriage that he's starting to do tremendously well financially.

GRIFFIN: If that "John Miller" sounds like Trump, it is because audio forensic expert Tom Owen says, in his opinion, it is.

THOMAS OWEN, FORENSIC AUDIO SPECIALIST: I can conclude with a fair degree of scientific certainty that it is Donald Trump's voice.

GRIFFIN: This afternoon, Owen compared the John Miller on that phone call with "People" magazine --

"JOHN MILLER": He didn't want to make a commitment. He really thought it was too soon.

GRIFFIN: -- to the real Donald Trump interviewed on CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE" in the 1990s.

TRUMP: I don't talk about relationships. I don't talk about the personal aspects of it.

GRIFFIN: Due to the quality of the old recordings, he couldn't use his biometric analysis that he says would be absolutely certain, but based on pitch, tone, cadence and his expertise, John Miller and Donald Trump are one and the same.

OWEN: I'm confident that it is Donald Trump based on my analysis of the critical listening, listening to the two recordings, and drawing a conclusion based on various factors, pitch, mannerisms, syllable coupling.

GRIFFIN: Trump even tacitly admitted under oath to using one of his false PR names in a 1990 court testimony when he said, "I believe on occasion I used that name."

Trump was confronted with the taped phone call and "The Washington Post" story on Friday's "Today" show. TRUMP: No, I don't think it -- I don't know anything about it.

You're telling me about it for the first time and it doesn't sound like my voice at all. I have many, many people that are trying to imitate my voice and you can imagine that. And this sounds like one of the scams, one of the many scams. Doesn't sound like me.

GRIFFIN (on camera): According to one Donald Trump biographer, Trump may have learned this "trick" from his father, Fred Trump, who was also known in the New York real estate media as a "Mr. Green."

Victor and Christi, back to you.


BLACKWELL: All right. Drew Griffin, thank you so much.

You know, Donald Trump has not done too well in recent polls when it comes to women voters but one woman could be the presumptive nominee's secret weapon going into the general election.


IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: With him, what you see is what you get, even if you don't like his viewpoint on a certain topic.


BLACKWELL: Ivanka Trump, she is a savvy, powerful business woman and she's helping her father win over female voters. We're going to talk more about this coming up later this hour.

PAUL: I want to tell you in you this morning, Los Angeles Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting. Authorities say that an officer was injured last night around 8:30 Pacific Time. The suspect in the situation is dead, the officer is in stable condition but police have not said how the officer was injured. We understand he was not shot. They also have not revealed what led up to that shooting.

BLACKWELL: An open water search in the Gulf of Mexico for a missing cruise ship passenger goes on this morning. The 33-year-old woman is believed to have fallen overboard about 200 miles south of Galveston, Texas. The carnival cruise ship left Galveston Thursday for a four- day trip to Mexico.

PAUL: In an extraordinary move, drug giant Pfizer is making it more difficult to carry out lethal injections. The second-largest pharmaceutical company in the world is blocking its drugs from being used in executions. They say that it wants its drugs used to enhance and save lives instead of being used for capital punishment. Lethal injection is the primary means of execution in all 31 death penalty states.

BLACKWELL: Look at this. It's amazing video coming to us from Costa Rica this morning. A volcano erupted. This is from the University of Costa Rica in a thermal imaging camera. It's on top of that volcano. The Turrialba Volcano began erupting Thursday, continues to spew rocks

and ash and lava. The debris here from this eruption temporarily closed the international airport while crews were trying to clear the runways. Experts say this is the biggest eruption in Costa Rica in the last couple of years.

[07:10:06] Taking the fight to the terrorists. The ISIS stronghold in Syria now thought to be under a state of emergency and readying its defenses for a siege.

PAUL: In Florida, fascinating evidence of early civilization. How humans settled 1,500 years earlier than originally thought.

BLACKWELL: Long, long, very long lines from Atlanta to Phoenix, Chicago, New York. Huge delays at airport security checkpoints caused people and luggage to miss those flights.



PAUL: New this morning -- could ISIS be in a state of emergency? The Pentagon says they have seen new evidence that the terror group is scrambling fighters inside itself declared capital of Raqqa, Syria, possibly preparing for a siege.

BLACKWELL: Now, this comes after U.S.-backed forces started to surround the ISIS stronghold, helping to cut off supply lines in recent months.

Our CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: U.S. military officials have been closely monitoring so many and other reports that ISIS has declared a state of emergency in Raqqa, itself declared capital inside Syria. That's a city that ISIS holds very dear. They've been in control of it for some time.

So, what does this state of emergency really mean? U.S. officials saying they have some evidence showing ISIS fighters are moving around in the city, some of them trying to leave the city, that they're putting up covers, shades, trying to cover sidewalks, areas where they may be, all to try and stay hidden from potential air strikes or ground action.

ISIS may, in fact, be getting nervous in Raqqa. They have seen militia movements move closer and closer.

[07:15:04] Some of the areas surrounding Raqqa now not necessarily under ISIS control. All of this making the group maybe for the first time very nervous about being able to hold on to the city that they consider their capital.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon. (END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Somebody who's been watching this closely, CNN military analyst, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.

All right. General, thank you so much for making the time to be with us today.

So, when the U.S. says ISIS is declaring a state of emergency inside this self-declared capital, what exactly does that mean when you hear that?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It means that the intelligence officials in central command and in the state that's fighting both ISIS in Iraq and Syria are getting something called atmospherics, Christi. That's all sorts of intelligence chatter.

It is not only things from the enemy, the ISIS forces in these two major towns, but it's also from people fighting them, Twitter feeds, Facebook, about a little bit of bravado from the Syrian democratic forces, the Syrian-Arab coalition, the Peshmerga, all of the forces that were choking these towns, both Raqqa and Mosul, to prepare for an eventual attack in the city.

But the attack is still a long way off. They are attempting to literally secure the areas around so there is freedom of maneuver against ISIS forces once they get there.

PAUL: So how would a breakdown in Raqqa for ISIS affect some of these other attacks that we've seen in other countries?

HERTLING: Yes. This is really important, because what you're seeing with not only the bravado from the forces that are fighting ISIS, but you're seeing atmospherics from ISIS itself saying, hey, we're moving forces around which allows for more targeting. They're covering areas with covers, marketplaces, the places that allow them to move between places with overhead covers so they don't get bombed.

But I think any kind of movement from a former commander's perspective, any kind of movement of the enemy in a desert environment allows for more aerial bombardment and more understanding of what they're doing. But once you really hold them in these two major cities -- Raqqa and Mosul -- it influences their ability to affect operations in other cities.

Now, some of that influence may be increased attacks in places like Europe or even in Libya and other areas where ISIS is seated. But it also indicates that they are undergoing quite a bit of problems from the attacks and the financial network being attacked and the lack of flow of fighters.

PAUL: OK, that's part of what I wanted to know, because we're coming to summer, a lot of looking at trips to Europe and they're wondering, are they safer, are they not safer based upon what's been happening there?


PAUL: Go ahead.

HERTLING: No, I don't think you're going to see any significant upticks in Europe because I think the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels has caused an increased intelligence sharing. Now that doesn't mean there's not going to be any attacks or any kind of attempts at attacks. It just means that the intelligence and security forces in Europe are more prone to be watching very closely.

PAUL: The U.S. involvement in the war on ISIS was predicated on the Iraqi government kind of getting its act together, we should point out. Were you surprised when you heard that there were bombs and things going off in Baghdad? Because that's what everybody was watching for, whether ISIS would be able to infiltrate Baghdad and what does that tell you about their strength.

HERTLING: Yes. It's not only in Baghdad, but it's also in Ramadi. There were several suicide bombs in both those places.

But again, when I was in Iraq, Christi, you could never judge the status of security by the number of car bombs that were being set off because there is always going to be some. The more important thing is the Abadi government in Baghdad is still under a lot of pressure, especially from al Sadr. If he can hold that government together, continue with his anti-corruption campaigns, start pleasing the people, all of those are important things to be watching.

The car bombs in Sadr city and in eastern parts of Baghdad, what's going on in Ramadi as ISIS attempts to continue their attacks even though they're being pushed back and put on the defensive, those are all things to watch, all of those atmospherics give indicators of what's happening there.

PAUL: All right. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling -- again, thank you so much for taking for us.

HERTLING: Always a pleasure, Christi.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. If you're headed to the airport this morning for may be a graduation, or vacation, prepare for very long lines. People's bags are being lost.

PAUL: That looks -- look at that picture.

BLACKWELL: It is miserable to stand there for hours. A lot of people are fed up.

Rachel Crane is live in LaGuardia.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly people are fed up. The TSA getting a lot of criticism this week for lines that are over an hour. More on that, coming up.


[07:23:36] BLACKWELL: Longer security wait times are normal, of course, during summer peak travel, but lately --

PAUL: Woo!

BLACKWELL: -- this is ridiculous.


BLACKWELL: Some passengers report waiting up to two hours to clear security in some airports. Some are dealing with even longer waits. To deal with the perennial logjam, the TSA says it is speeding up the hiring of 750 additional screeners.

PAUL: Rachel Crane is covering this for us this morning at New York's LaGuardia, which has been one of the worst places apparently for these wait times.

What are you seeing there this morning, Rachel?

CRANE: Well, this morning we have seen a steady stream of passengers, but the line behind me, nothing like the hour-long lines we've seen across the country in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix.

Now, the TSA has dedicated $8 million to bringing onboard out 750 new agents. But they don't com, on board until mid-June. Now, the secretary for homeland security urged the American public to manage their expectations when they're heading to the airport this summer. Take a listen.


JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: My other message to the American public is that there will be wait times. There will be wait times this summer as they move through aviation security checkpoints. We encourage people to have the appropriate expectations when they arrive at airports.


[07:25:00] CRANE: You know, with fuel costs dropping, ticket prices dropping, summer right around the corner, we can probably expect this problem to get a little bit worse before it gets any better.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I know that's right. Rachel Crane there at LaGuardia for us -- thank you so much.

CRANE: Thank you.

PAUL: From humble beginnings to vast political wealth. Hillary Clinton has amassed millions of dollars since she and her husband ended public service. But where is all that money -- really where did it originate?

BLACKWELL: Plus, public bathrooms. To some people, they seem simple, but some states say -- this is their characterization -- the right to go in private and in peace is being taken away. Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, as well others, pushing back against guidelines over restrooms and transgender rights in schools.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.



BLACKWELL: School districts across the country face a choice, allow transgender students to choose which restroom to use, or face the consequences. The White House issued a letter to public schools with specific guidelines that will allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choosing. If the schools do not abide by the guidelines, they could lose federal funding.

PAUL: The gun used to fatally shoot Trayvon Martin will stay on auction block for the next few days. This is according to the website where George Zimmerman has put his .9 millimeter handgun up for sale. Crank bidders have been dogging that site ever since. In fact, at one point, a fake bid of $65 million was offered.


[07:30:09] BLACKWELL: Bottom of the hour now. The fractured GOP is struggling, let's say, to unite behind its presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.

PAUL: A slate of the story lines isn't necessarily making it any easier. Trump's long-time personal butler is being investigated for threats against the president. Trump denies speaking on an old tape where a voice similar to his talks about his busy love life in early '90s.

BLACKWELL: And then Donald Trump says his tax returns are none of your business. Hillary Clinton saw an opening there and hit Trump with a new ad out just this morning, asked, what is he hiding?


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: He will not follow the example of every single Democratic and Republican presidential nominee since 1976.

REPORTER: Mitt Romney posting, it is disqualifying for a modern day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters.


BLACKWELL: Hillary Clinton released several years of her tax returns early in the campaign. That's in addition to her returns released for the 2008 campaign.

PAUL: Because of that, she's already had to face questions over her financial success.

Here's CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton highlights her humble beginnings.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't make much money but I could afford to do it because I was paying back a low percentage on interest.

SERFATY: But she avoids drawing attention to the vast wealth she and her husband have accumulated since entering the public eye.


HILLARY CLINTON: Yes. Yes. Indeed.

SERFATY: Millions, indeed. The Clintons earned nearly $141 million over an eight-year span from 2007 to 2014, according to tax returns released by the campaign. They own two posh properties, a five- bedroom four-bathroom home in Chappaqua, New York, purchased for $1.7 million, and a four-bedroom house in a ritzy D.C. neighborhood that came with a price tag of $2.8 million.

The Clintons' financial comfort affords them luxurious vacations from Martha's Vineyard to the Caribbean. Last summer, the couple rented out a home in the Hamptons. Bill for one week, 50 grand.

Clinton's comments about her economic status has tripped her up before.

HILLARY CLINTON: We came out of the White House in debt. We had no money when we got there and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy.

SERFATY: That dead-broke remark prompting a quick clean-up.

HILLARY CLINTON: I regret it. It was inartful. It was accurate.

SERFATY: The Clintons did have debt when they left the White House estimated between $2 million and $10 million.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: It is factually true we were several million dollars in debt.

SERFATY: Coming off eight years in the White House, the couple also stood ready to cash in on their political fame.

Hillary Clinton's books raked in multi-million dollar deals, last two getting at least $8 million a piece. Even more lucrative for the Clintons, the speaking circuit. According to CNN's analysis of the family's financial records, the Clintons earned more than $153 million from paid speeches over a 14-year period, with the average speech bringing in more than $210,000 a pop.

Clinton's Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders has seized on her speeches to Wall Street in particular.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now what I have said is if you're going to get paid $225,000 for a speech, must be a pretty good speech.

SERFATY: Clinton though says she does not regret taking the fees for those speeches.

CLINTON: Look, I made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: But did you have to be paid $675,000?

CLINTON: Well, I don't know. That's what they offered. So --


SERFATY: Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: All right. So, I like to dig deeper on this.

Patti Solis Doyle, CNN political commentator and former Hillary Clinton presidential -- commentator is joining us now. And also, Nomiki Konst, a Democratic strategist and Bernie Sanders supporter.

Ladies, thank you so much, both of you for being with us.

I want to start with you, Nomiki, because I want to get back to this ad. It's only been out for about two and a half hours this morning. She is really starting to hit Trump over releasing his taxes.

Is that a dangerous game to some degree when she's being asked to release her paid speeches and that has not been done?

NOMIKI KONST, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, I think it's a little bit dangerous. I mean, let's not forget, she released the ad at 5:00 on a Saturday morning and maybe it is something that she had to do to please her support and to raise money. But it is dangerous territory.

I mean, if a strategist is sitting there saying he is going to respond, he'll probably respond over the weekend and talk about the transcripts to sort of get that conversation topic out of the way.

But the transcript situation is very serious. It's not just that she gets $225,000 per speech, she made $11 million in 2014. She and Bill Clinton made $150 million off of these paid speeches since early 2000. And more importantly, "The Associated Press" -- they did a report about a month ago basically saying that 82 of the firm's corporations and trade associations that they've given speeches to have direct interests with the U.S. government. They have tried to lobby for government contracts. So, this is a very tricky situation for Hillary Clinton. Not to

mention that she continued to give these speeches up until two weeks before she announced she was running for president and now she's giving $500,000 to her own campaign from personal interests. So, you have to --

PAUL: Patti, what do you have to say to that? And give me your assessment of how effective you think the ad that was just released against Donald Trump could be.

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, let me just say that I think that comparing the tax returns and the transcripts of the speeches is like comparing apples and oranges. Every president since -- or every presidential candidate since 1976 has released their tax returns, and the idea that Donald Trump won't release his really raises a lot of questions. And the prominent question is what exactly is he hiding by not releasing these returns? And I think the ad was extremely effective.

As to the transcripts, I think Hillary got it right. When other presidential candidates start releasing transcripts of their private speeches to private audiences, then she'll release hers. But I don't foresee that happening with Donald Trump since he won't even release the basic tax return.

PAUL: Patti, how does she overcome this though? On one hand, you think, who am I to judge what somebody makes? You could hear it in the laughter of that when Anderson Cooper said, $600,000-some for a speech? She says that's what she offered. Really, if you're honest with yourself, how many people would turn it down?

At the same time, it does hurt her relatability to the general electorate. How does she balance this?

DOYLE: Well, look. Certainly if someone offered me $225,000 to give a speech I would give it. But this is what former secretaries of state, former presidents of the United States do. They go on the speaking circuit and they talk about their experiences, their time. And in her case, she talked about everything from --

PAUL: She did.

DOYLE: -- killing Osama bin Laden --

PAUL: But how does she balance it with people say you don't anything about my life and how I'm living, because I'm not living anywhere near what you're living?

DOYLE: Hillary Clinton wasn't born a millionaire like Donald Trump was. Hillary Clinton came from a middle class family in the suburbs of Chicago. She worked as a student. She had student debt. She got loans to go to college, like I did, like many people have.

So she's very relatable. She knows exactly what people are feeling.

(CROSSTALK) KONST: I think we're missing the real argent here. It is not just about the relatability. That's obviously a campaign optic situation.

The question is what do you get in return? This is a woman ha was secretary of state whose husband was giving $350,000 speeches while running the Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation. And now we know 82 companies had interest in lobbying the government for contracts.

So, it's about quid pro quo, which is a legal issue. It's not just about relatability. It's about what the government defines as corruption, what the law defines as corruption.

Anybody in their right mind who was secretary of state whose husband is a former president who plans to run for president should not be giving these speeches, especially when her presidential committee was set up in January and she's giving those speeches five months into her presidential campaign.

PAUL: I'm sorry, we've run out of time. I've got to go. I have to leave it there. Patti and Nomiki, thank you both for being with us. Take care.

KONST: Thank you so much. Have a great morning.

PAUL: Thank you.

You know, Ivanka Trump seems to be proving to be a secret weapon of sorts for Donald despite everything that we've seen happening in the last 24 hours. She's quite a voice for him it seems.

BLACKWELL: And it's clear why. I mean, she is a successful business woman in her own right. Poised, well-spoken, connects well with women voters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's an asset. Somebody when she walked away said, oh, my God, she should be running for president.



[07:42:56] PAUL: So, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are likely to set for an epic face-off this fall in the general election thus far as we can tell, Hillary Clinton vying to be the first female president of the United States. The big question in that match-up is, can Donald Trump pull up his lagging support from women.

If recent polling is any indication, he does have a long way to go here. This CNN poll shows 73 percent of registered women voters have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump.

Despite this, many of his supporters say they aren't worried for one important reason -- his daughter, Ivanka. She's a top executive at the Trump organization and entrepreneur with a jewelry line, a clothing line, a lifestyle website that celebrates women who work. She's a mom.

Could Ivanka Trump be the secret weapon to win the female vote?

CNN's Jessica Schneider has more.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: Has anybody ever heard of Ivanka? Huh? People love Ivanka.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ivanka Trump is the model of calm, standing stoically by her father's side at rally after rally across the country. She is well-versed in battling away criticism about his tough talk.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: With him, what you see is what you get even if you don't like his viewpoint on a certain topic.

SCHNEIDER: Taking the stage at the Forbes Women's Summit in New York City, she spoke about her own brand and her brash father.

IVANKA TRUMP: I think people respect the fact that he's bold enough to say what he's actually thinking.

SCHNEIDER: Donald Trump has made disparaging comments about women.

DONALD TRUMP: You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.

SCHNEIDER: But the 34-year-old mother of three fervently stands by her dad.

IVANKA TRUMP: I have witnessed these incredible female role models that he's employed in the highest executive positions at the Trump Organization my entire life.

SCHNEIDER: She's the executive vice president of acquisitions and development at the Trump Organization. And her brothers tell Erin Burnett, she is a deal-maker like her father.

DONALD TRUMP, JR., EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Ivanka is very much like him in many ways, in sort of the meticulous nature of things.

SCHNEIDER: She also runs her own fashion company, the Ivanka Trump Collection.

[07:45:01] And her website prominently features the hashtag #womenwhowork.

IVANKA TRUMP: I don't think I've ever heard the expression, a man who works or a working man, yet when it's applied to women, there's a connotation. I believe that that will change by the time -- I'm hopeful that will change by the time my daughter's an adult. SCHNEIDER: She's been in the spotlight her entire life.

IVANKA TRUMP: Today, we are covering the Washington Monument in gold mirrored glass.


SCHNEIDER: And has even taken part in her own spoofs on "Saturday Night Live". Now with Donald Trump's presumptive nominee status, his oldest daughter's poise and polish is making some take a second look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw someone who really loves her father.

SCHNEIDER: Even so, the women we spoke to who listened to Ivanka were mixed on how she could shape the race.

DAYLE HADDON, NEW YORK CITY VOTER: She helps it. There's no question. She's an asset. Somebody said oh my God, she should be running for president.

FRAN HOUSER, NEW YORK CITY VOTER: She definitely got me thinking a little bit more. But at the end of the day, I think he's done and said too much.

IVANKA TRUMP: I should be so lucky.

SCHNEIDER: Jessica Schneider, CNN, New York.


BLACKWELL: Well, it is the largest volcanic eruption in Costa Rica.

And he is 96 years old proving you are never too old to get your college degree.


[07:50:03] PAUL: Look at this. Spectacular video out of Costa Rica this morning. This is thermal imaging from the national park near the capital, and that's one of the most explosive volcanic eruptions there that you are seeing. The brighter the color, the hotter it is. Just to give you some perspective there.

BLACKWELL: Now, the international airport was briefly closed to clear ash from those runways.

Allison Chinchar has more on the science of this volcano. It's amazing to see.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And, Christi, you were talking about those bright colors. Just to give you some perspective, the brightest colors that you saw in that video were in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So, again, we're talking incredible heat.

Now, the volcano itself is located in the central portion of the country. Give or take, about 30 miles out of the capital, San Jose and again, this particular volcano has erupted back in 2014, but this certainly a big explosion. You can tell from the video, again, just incredible sights.

Also, keep in mind too that this particular volcano, not only did it have magma and ash, but it also had igneous rocks. There' s some in excess of six feet wide.

So, again, Victor, Christi, we're talking huge rocks coming out of this. No wonder the airport had to close for some cleanup process and likely they'll have to do that over the next couple of days.

BLACKWELL: All right. Allison Chinchar, we'll continue to watch that. Thanks so much.

PAUL: All right. A 96-year-old World War II veteran goes back to college to finish what he started -- get this -- more than 60 years ago. We'll tell you what's going on here.

BLACKWELL: It's a great story.

PAUL: First though, here's a look at the current mortgage rates for you.


[07:55:18] BLACKWELL: Five minutes now from the top of the hour.

Hillary Clinton is slamming Donald Trump in a new ad for refusing to release his tax returns. Now, this comes after a few days now of Trump's denying that he posed as his own publicist years ago.

PAUL: In the meantime, Mr. Trump met Paul Ryan hoping to win his support. They released this joint statement. Quote, "While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize there are also many important areas of common ground," unquote.

BLACKWELL: New York City police are asking if anyone has seen this Columbia University student who's been missing since last Thursday. She's 19 years old. Her name is Kidd. She was last seen on the campus just before finals started. Friends and family, they've not heard from her since. Anyone with information is asked to call NYPD.

PAUL: And thank you for taking a good look there so you might be able to help.

Also, take a look at this -- thousands of people lining the streets of Coronado, California, to mourn a Navy SEAL who was killed in Iraq. A handful of advisors were attacked by ISIS fighters. His death is the third American combat loss since the U.S. redeployed forces to Iraq. A couple years ago back in the summer of 2014.

BLACKWELL: Well, as fans continue to mourn the death of musical icon Prince, his family is planning to pay tribute to him this summer. Prince's sister announced on Facebook a plan for a public memorial and tribute. That's scheduled for August. This news comes as his church prepares a memorial for him tomorrow.

The singer was found dead, you'll remember, in an elevator at his Paisley Park Estate last month. Prince was 57 years old.

PAUL: So USC is celebrating the school's oldest graduate ever, Alfonso Gonzales is 96 years old.

BLACKWELL: This is so good. This is a good one.

PAUL: Yes.

BLACKWELL: He was supposed to graduate back in 1953, but as CNN affiliate KTLA shows us, better late than never.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a terrific role model for the power of life long learning. Congratulations, Alfonso, for this long awaited --


REPORTER: At USC's Leonard David College of Gerontology graduation, people on their feet, history was made at SC's 133rd commencement.

ALFONSO "PONCHIE" GONZALES, USC GRADUATE: It took me 65 years to complete my studies, but I did.

REPORTER: It's got to be a great feeling.

GONZALES: Always a great feeling.

REPORTER: Born in Lompoc Central Coast, Alfonso Gonzales graduated from Union High School in 1939 and then came the war. He served in both the Navy and as a marine. In Okinawa, he worked as a medic. Then in 1947, off to USC studying zoology set to graduate in '53.

His successful business would take off selling soil for gardens and such. All these years later, family pushed the long time resident to take the leap and finish things up.

MARIA GONZALES, NEPHEW: This has been a journey for him all over again to come back to SC and earn his degree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he has been beaming. He has had a smile from ear to ear.

REPORTER: So first for the University of Southern California, there in the cap and gown and a fight on in the mix, what a day for this with fellow grads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was actually in my new technologies class. Incredible.

REPORTER: And chatting with Alfonso, who friends called "Ponchie", we both agreed it's a kick to go back to school, sharing the experience from those of very different generations. A. GONZALES: Yes, it is. They ask me a lot of questions and I asked

them a lot of questions.

REPORTER: Dave Mecham, KTLA 5 News.


PAUL: We are cheering you on there, Alfonso. Congratulations. You and your family there.

Boy, do we have a lot of news to talk to you about this morning.

BLACKWELL: Let's get to it.



SUE CARSWELL: What is your position there?

MILLER: Well, I'm sort of handling PR because he gets so much of it.



BLACKWELL: He's pushing for unity while trying to side step land mines that have cropped up from the past. Donald Trump says a newly resurfacing recording of someone posing as his spokesman is not him.

PAUL: Stolen pay, sexual harassment, months without a paycheck, outrageous expenses that eat away at earnings. No one to turn to for help. A special CNN Money investigation into runway injustices.

BLACKWELL: This is fascinating out. Signs of early civilization, a major discovery in Florida that has archaeologists really intrigued, I should say, possibly rewriting history. We've got that coming up for you.