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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Lashes Out at Critics, Says "I'm Not Changing"; Trump University Documents Show Aggressive Sales Tactics; Trump Warns Third- Party Hopefuls: You Can't Win; Clinton: Will Do Everything I Can To Unify The Party; Sanders Doesn't Rule Out Running As Clinton's VP; Report: ISIS Using Human Shields Amid Fight for Iraqi City. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired May 31, 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] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Next, Donald Trump on fire unleashing his anger on just about everyone. Is it tough talk, a temper tantrum or just the real Trump?
Plus, a Clinton Sanders ticket. New details tonight on why it may not be such a crazy idea.
And a three-year-old trapped inside a gorilla's pen. New images of the moments just before zoo keepers killed the ape. Did he have to die? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, I'm Jim Sciutto in again tonight for Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, all-out attack. Donald Trump launching an assault on anyone standing in his way or standing up to him. Republicans despite for a Trump alternative and his favorite target, the media. All of this in a fiery press conference, which he called to highlight the $5.6 million he's raised for veterans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), GOP PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I find the press to be extremely dishonest. I find the political press to unbelievably dishonest. When I raised millions of dollars, have people say like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he's a sleaze in my book. You're a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this what it's going to be like covering you as a president?
TRUMP: Yes, it is. Let me tell you something, I'm a person -- yes, it is going to be like this --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Hillary Clinton appearing on CNN just moments ago lauding the very reporters that Trump attacked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's bragged for months about raising $6 million for veterans and donating $1 million himself, but it took a reporter to shame him and to actually making his contribution and getting the money to veterans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Now, all of this is coming as one of Trump's most controversial business ventures, Trump University comes under increasing legal scrutiny. Tonight, new details on how Trump ran that business. More on that in a minute.
But first, we have Dana Bash OUTFRONT tonight. So, Dana, the message from Trump tonight seemed in part take me or leave me.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. Look, this should have been an event for Donald Trump to taut a genuine achievement that he generated a movement that raised $5.6 million for veterans but instead he went after the messenger and gave all of us an answer as to what kind of general election candidate he is and what kind of president he would be.
BASH: Of all the many revealing moments during Donald Trump's contentious press conference, this stood out.
TRUMP: Do you think I'm going to change? I'm not changing.
BASH: A Popeye like, I am what I am declaration is a giant window into the Trump general election campaign which looks a lot like his primary campaign.
TRUMP: It's Rubio!
BASH: A steady stream of sound bites that no other candidate would dare say, never mind epic lines like this today about the conservatives searching for a Trump alternative.
TRUMP: Let me tell you, these people are losers.
BASH: But over the past week, Trump made even more controversial comments like attacking the federal judge presiding over his Trump University fraud case.
TRUMP: I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. A hater. He is a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel.
BASH: And tossing out to the crowd that the judge is Mexican.
TRUMP: And so what happens is the judge who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that's fine.
BASH: But it is not accurate. Judge Curiel's parents may have been Mexican but he was born in Indiana. During the GOP primaries when Trump made remarks about Mexicans that made many in his party cringe, his popularity grew.
TRUMP: They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists and some I assume are good people.
BASH: That was the first of many Teflon moments for Trump, unconventional, even offensive statements not sticking. In fact, even helping with Republican voters looking for someone different. The question now is whether that Trump Teflon still works with the general electorate, especially when Hillary Clinton's central case against Trump already is that he's unhinged, too risky for the Oval Office.
CLINTON: Donald Trump is an unqualified loose cannon who cannot get near the most powerful job in the world.
BASH: In a poll out last week, only 31 percent said Trump has the personality and temperament to serve effectively as president compared to 61 percent for Clinton. Even though most Republican voters and leaders say they will rally around, there are still holdout like in New Mexico's GOP Governor Susana Martinez who declined to appear with Trump when he was in her state last week, which he didn't like.
TRUMP: Your Governor has got to do a better job. She's not doing the job. Hey, maybe I'll run for governor of New Mexico. I'll get this place going.
BASH: And today, an explanation that produced that revealing moment.
TRUMP: She was not nice and I was fine just a little bit of a jab but she wasn't nice and you think I'm going to change? I'm not changing, including with her.
[19:05:37] SCIUTTO: Lots of signs he's not changing. One of his targets, Republicans who are looking for a third party candidate. Tonight we know who that is?
BASH: That's right. Sources who have been working on this independent movement tell me that it is a man by the name of David French. Not exactly a household name, most people have not heard of him but he is somebody who writes for the "National Review" a conservative publication, he's an Iraq war veteran and a constitutional lawyer. He is somebody who they insist will have a lot of financial backing, a lot of resources, but again, not exactly a barn burner when it comes to a brand name, somebody who can genuinely compete against a Donald Trump and a Hillary Clinton -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Yes. No question to say the least, Dana Bash. Thanks very much.
Also, developing tonight, new insight into Donald Trump's controversial university a judge in a lawsuit alleging fraud by the business just released nearly 400 pages from the Trump University playbooks filled by step by step pinches on how to convinced people to sign up for the quite pricey program. Trump fought hard to keep sealed.
Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT tonight. Drew, what are you learning delving into this playbook documents? DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENINOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Jim, the
playbooks just released after being unsealed by this judge in Friday basically instructed Trump University employees, sales people on everything from how to set up a room for a class and how to pitch perspective clients and the sales material that is most interesting here. It shows what the lawsuit haves been alleging all along that this school, this real estate school was less in the business of education, more about the business of making money. Let me show you a few examples.
Sales people were told to go after potential clients with a net worth of $200,000. They went through questions to make sure that these people had that kind of money. Make customers feel special. Selecting only that qualified would be able to take a Trump University course. And find out about the people's financial lives, how much credit they had on each card even what their needs were at home and encourage them to use the credit cards to pay for tuition. They also said never give customers details about what they will be learning in advanced of the training all while and this is a quote, being mindful of the ethical and moral impact of our actions.
You know, these playbooks were release in just one of the three class- action lawsuits against Trump University. They're all basically the same as these lawsuits, Jim. The Trump University was a scam. The Trump promised the instructors were experts handpicked by him when in fact our own investigation show that many of them didn't even have real else state experience and Trump loudly denies all this and says the school will reopen when the lawsuits are over but that will likely be sometime from now. The first one of these court cases heads to court at the end of November so all through this election, Jim, we're also going to be facing increasing releases, documents, testimony, all involving these fraud lawsuits against the Republican presidential nominee.
SCIUTTO: Three active lawsuits, Drew Griffin, thanks very much.
OUTFRONT to discuss this more, political commentators Kayleigh McEnany, she's a Donald Trump supporter. Bakari Sellers, he is a Hillary-Clinton supporter, Kevin Madden, former Romney campaign advisor and press secretary. And of course, David Gergen, he is our senior political analyst, he's been around a few administrations.
Kayleigh, if I can begin with you, so Donald Trump asked about the money he raised for veterans. He attacked reporters. Asked about this lawsuit that Drew was reporting on against Trump University, he attacked the judge calling him bias and noting his Mexican heritage. Are hard questions off limits for Donald Trump?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, because prior to attacking reporters, he gave reporters what they were asking for. They wanted a dollar for dollar accounting of where the veteran money went, he laid out meticulously 41 different veteran organizations that received a total of $5.6 million. Even laid out the dollar denominations, and really I think he's one of the only candidates in political history that can do exactly what you ask for give an exact accounting, donate himself personally $1 million to veteran funds but he will still maintain a slew of criticism thereafter. There is a lot of media bias going on and he was very right to call it out the way he did.
SCIUTTO: Kevin, as you and I know attacking the press rarely hurts a politician of either party. Is Trump's style going to work in the general as well as it worked apparently in the primary?
[19:10:04] KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think there is a bit of a riskier -- I think media bias is a fact but I don't think it's a very compelling message. However, many Trump supporters do believe that the media is part of what they would describe as an establishment access and they're part of the problem with Washington. So many of them will look favorably upon Donald Trump taking the fight to the media.
But I think the problem for him is that ultimately, it's still becomes -- it still looks very reflex and it still looks very defensive. He's going to spend two or three days complaining about the media, that's two or three days where he's not on offense attacking about Hillary Clinton or talking about some of the big, you know, issues that he believes are most important for those voters out there yet to make up their minds. So while it may work in that sense, there is still some long-term risks.
SCIUTTO: David, set the media aside. Most folks don't care about it too much. A recent FOX News poll found that a majority of voters believe one, Trump does not have strong morals and he will say anything to get elected, that he's not a reliable leader, that he doesn't care about people like me. The only thing a majority of voters said is that Trump is a strong leader. So, here he is the presumptive nominee. Have voters indicated in effect that they like this style. That even if they have those big picture disagreements with him or doubts about him, they are still willing to back him?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, many voters like his style, but his challenge now is to expand beyond his base as I think everyone on this panel would agree. He can't win with just the kinds of people that voted in the Republican primaries. He needs to reach out there to Independents, he needs to get some Democrats. And the fact is, I think if he remains as abrasive and sometimes he seems unhinged and he resorts to these kinds of attacks, I don't think that builds a base.
I think it drives them the other way around. What we know -- America has changed. I know people are more willing to accept the kind of vulgarity and discourse than they were at one time. But I do think what we know from history is that the kind of leadership that works with the American people in the press conference is that shown by John Kennedy or Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Both of them had humor, they turned things aside with humor. They did it with respect to the press and they walked away. A conservative need not be judged harshly in the press. If you play it right, Ronald Reagan proved that.
MCENANY: But the media said consistently that Donald Trump would going to fail. He would never win the primary. There is no chance that he would get more Republican voters than ever in political history. There is no chance he would lead in a general election poll, meanwhile, the latest eight polls on Real Clear Politics showed that Hillary Clinton has not breached in any of those polls and in fact Donald Trump is leading in three. So, everyone telling Donald Trump, telling him, he needs to change, he's doing what he's done so far to get him to this place people said he would never get to.
SCIUTTO: Bakari, I got to ask your thoughts how is Hillary Clinton going to respond to that?
BAKARI SELLERS, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, I think, first and foremost, I think David hit the nail on the head. What Kayleigh keeps referring to is a Republican primary. And we're not there anymore.
MCENANY: Those were general election polls, Bakari.
SELLERS: But he has to expand his base. If Donald Trump thinks he's going to win this election, with the typical Republican voters, then he's simply out of touch. But one thing that Hillary Clinton in the Clinton campaign has done and I believe Marco Rubio started doing it late in the primary, I believe many of the Republican candidates started doing too late. Is simply defining Donald Trump. The fact is when you look at Trump airlines, it failed. When you look at Trump Vacca (ph), it failed, Trump stakes, it failed, Trump University, it failed.
I mean, all of these business ventures, everything that Donald Trump has built himself on have been royal failures. Trump casinos, failed. And so, this Trump University, the fact that we were having trouble identifying when he actually got the money, who he was giving it to and he had to be shamed in actually giving it to veterans, all of this builds into this fact that Donald Trump is a fraud. Donald Trump is a liar. And the fact of the matter is, that Hillary Clinton thanks to some of the Republicans who show it the way early, started doing this at the beginning whereas the Republican Party waited until it was too late.
SCIUTTO: Folks, I want you to hold thoughts and you as well Kayleigh because we are going to have you back. A lot more to delve into.
OUTFRONT next, a life-long Republican and former Reagan staffer on why he's voting for Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What has been the reaction among all of your Republican friends?
DOUG ELMETS, FORMER REAGAN STAFFER: They think I've lost my mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Plus, after months of going after each other on the campaign trail, could we be looking at a Clinton Sanders ticket? New details on that front tonight and we have new images of the moments just before this gorilla was shot and killed to save a child. The woman who captured those terrifying moments will be my guest. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[19:17:58] SCIUTTO: Tonight a warning from Donald Trump, the likely GOP nominee telling any possible third party candidates not to run and if they do, it will cost Republicans much more than just the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The fact is that you can't win as an Independent. What happens is, you will not have and very importantly, you will not have Supreme Court justice. If you're going to lose, you could have as many as four or five.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: But for some Republicans, that's just not good enough.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
LAH: What happens to the Republican Party if Donald Trump becomes president?
ELMETS: That is a scary prospect.
LAH (voice-over): So, scary to lifelong Republican Doug Elmets that he's left with only one choice.
ELMETS: It's going to be an easy vote. Four years of Hillary Clinton is better than one day of Donald Trump as president.
LAH: Have you ever been voted for a Democrat?
ELMETS: Never. I've never voted for a Democrat in my entire life.
LAH: This is more than the Never Trump or Stop Trump movement. Elmets part of Republicans for Hillary. Not just a Twitter hashtag, Elmets is actively urging prominent Republicans to vote for the Democrat. Back when you had a dark hair.
ELMETS: Yes. Back when I had dark hair.
LAH: A once unthinkable move for a man who worked for President Ronald Reagan through two terms as a White House spokesman and then for the Department of Energy. A Republican operative through four presidential campaigns. A decade's long consultant to California's Republican Party.
ELMETS: I think Ronald Reagan would be astonished by what has happened. He's managed to hoodwink America into believing that he will lead this country through the fire. I think he will thrust us into the fire.
LAH: What has been the reaction among all of your Republican friends? ELMETS: They think I've lost my mind.
LAH: But he's not alone. William Overdorf, one of the GOP's biggest money contributors tells CNN if it is Trump versus and Clinton and there is no viable third-party candidate, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton. Those who disagree are letting Elmets have it from voice mails.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a disgusting pig.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe you're calling yourself a decent Republican.
LAH: To e-mails calling him a disgrace and a socialist to simply shame on you. Other Republicans choosing a decidedly different path.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Lindsey Graham fying (ph) on Trump and Marco Rubio burying his hatchet with the man he once called a con- artist.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to be helpful. I don't want to be harmful, because I don't want Hillary Clinton to be president.
LAH: The Trump harm argues Elmets is already unfolding before the electorates.
ELMETS: These rallies are not a moment in time. If Donald Trump is elected president, you'll see these things continue on four years beyond.
LAH: You believe you're in good company?
ELMETS: I believe I'm in great company. They are just afraid to say that they support Hillary Clinton but I do think that either they would do it publicly at some point, or they will privately do it in the polling booth in November.
LAH: So how many of these crossover Republicans are there? Well, four recent national polls show that about six to eight percent are Republican. Self-described Republicans who will support Hillary Clinton. Six to eight percent. That's not a huge number. But here is the important part, in November, if this is a close race, six to eight percent, Jim, is nothing to (INAUDIBLE) that and Elements is predicting the Republicans for Hillary is going to gain more traction by November.
SCIUTTO: That's right. There's a five to 10 percent, decides every election. Kyung Lah, thanks very much in LA.
Back with my panel now. David, you know Doug, you served in Reagan's White House with him a long time. He said there at the end of Kyung's interview, that he's in good company. Do you believe him? GERGEN: I think he's in larger company than we know. Listen, I have
worked with Doug Elmets, he was a colleague and worked for me and he's a fine man. He has a -- he's voted Republican all his life and he's simply disagrees. And I must tell you, Jim, every election that I can remember in which there is a controversial candidate, people from the bad party go to the other party because they don't like the person who is up. So, we're going to have Republican for Trump. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a group of Democrats and Republicans for Hillary.
[19:22:22] We're going to have some Democrats for Trump before this is over but I just want to say, he should -- Doug Elmets should be respected for making a choice, not everybody agrees with it. But good grief, you know, when somebody this controversial comes along, people have, you know, honestly care about the country, they should be allowed to make a choice and say I'm not for this. I'm going to work for the other side because they care for the country. He's not doing it for publicity, he's doing it because out of patriotism, out of his sense of what patriotism requires.
SCIUTTO: Kayleigh, do you think that that's fundamental disloyalty to the Republican Party?
MCENANY: I do. I think if you care at all about the Supreme Court and replacing Justice Scalia with someone that thinks like Justice Scalia, you vote Trump. You don't vote for a Democrat whose views are antithetical to everything you stand for. And this myth that it's somehow a ground swell movement, these Republicans for Hillary movement is just not true. I checked out that hashtag you mentioned, it's had 13 tweets in seven days, hardly a rallying ground flow of popular support for this movement.
And in fact, you know, you decided that poll that six percent of Republicans anywhere from six to eight would vote for Hillary. Well, polls show that anywhere from 20 to 37 percent of Bernie Sanders supporters would in fact vote for Donald Trump. So, we talk about this Never Trump movement but I think it's more realistic to talk about the Never Hillary movement.
MADDEN: Well, Kayleigh, under that logic if you were to say that someone like that would be disloyal, wouldn't somebody who supported and donated to Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi be equally disloyal like Donald Trump?
SELLERS: Good question.
MCENANY: I have no -- I have no, no, it's a great question. But I have no problem, if someone has an honest change of viewpoint, you're allowed to your change your views in this country. Donald Trump had a shift much like Ronald Reagan had a shift. I assume you like Ronald Reagan. He was pro-choice before his pro-life. He had the largest tax increase in California history before he came down to trickle out economics. So, you're allowed to have a change of view point. That's permitted.
SCIUTTO: Bakari, I have to ask you, is the Hillary Clinton campaign counting on or expecting a significant number of Republicans supporting her in the general?
SELLERS: Well, I think that common knowledge and what's happened in elections previously means that all of these Republicans for someone else, they usually go home. Republicans usually vote for Republicans and Democrats usually vote for Democrats. But this election has been unlike any other election we've never seen before. So, I don't know if that's going to bare out. I think what Hillary Clinton and her campaign in Brooklyn are doing is focusing on the way that Barack Obama got to 270 electoral votes in not only 2008 but 2012, which is this coalition. These voters of color. This broad swath of African- Americans, Hispanics and female voters and Asian-American voters as well. And that is a base that Donald Trump is going to have a hard time tapping into. I don't think it's going to be disaffected Republicans that put Hillary Clinton over the top.
SCIUTTO: Folks, Kayleigh, Bakari, Kevin, David, great to have you on tonight.
OUTFRONT next, Bernie Sanders not saying no to the possibility of a Clinton Sanders ticket. Is it the only way for Clinton to get Sanders' voters on board.
SCIUTTO: And innocent civilians, children under siege used by ISIS as human shields. Our special report tonight on the battle to retake the terrorist stronghold.
[19:29:20] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. Tonight, Hillary Clinton says she will do everything she can to unify the party. Does that include adding Bernie Sanders to the ticket? Sanders is not ruling it out and some say it, may be the only way to beat Donald Trump.
Suzanne Malveaux is OUTFRONT.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hillary Clinton fundraising in New York, but cutting short her East Coast swing to return to California on Thursday to fight for the 72 delegates needed to put her over the top.
CLINTON: Thank you, San Francisco.
MALVEAUX: In just seven days, California's 475 pledged delegates are up for grabs. Clinton telling CNN's Jake Tapper today.
[19:30:00] CLINTON (via telephone): California is a big state, and I am going to do everything I can to meet as many voters as possible.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Clinton emboldened by a big endorsement today from California Governor Jerry Brown, who once famous recalled her husband Bill Clinton "the prince of sleaze" during their own primary battle in '92.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: But you ought to be ashamed of yourself for jumping on my wife. You're not worth being on the same platform with my wife.
JERRY BROWN (D), THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I tell you something, Mr. Clinton --
MALVEAUX: Brown says in an open letter, Hillary Clinton, quote, "is the only path forward to win the presidency and stopped the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump."
As Clinton gets closer to grabbing the nomination, she must figure out how to win over Sanders' loyal supporters. One way to do that, putting him on the ticket. So far, both Clinton and Sanders aren't openly entertaining that idea.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Is he even on the list?
HILLARY CLINTON: I'm not going to answer that question. Good try, though, Chris.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What happens afterwards, we'll see. But, right now, my focus is on winning the nomination.
MALVEAUX: Whether Clinton chooses him or not, Sanders is making clear what type of running he thinks Clinton should pick.
SANDERS: I hope if I'm not the nominee, the vice presidential candidate will not be from Wall Street, will be somebody who has a history of standing up and fighting for working families.
MALVEAUX: While Clinton aggressively reaches for the finish line. She's trying to make light of her predicament.
HILLARY CLINTON: I offered it to you. You didn't sound -- you turned me down.
ELLEN DEGENERES, TV HOST: It's not me.
MALVEAUX: Sanders who attended a game seven of the NBA playoffs in Oakland Monday is getting some inspiration from the Golden State Warriors dramatic victory.
SANDERS: They're down three games to one. They turned it around. I think that is what our campaign is going to do, as well. A very good omen for our campaign.
MALVEAUX: Well, Sanders has pledged to continue his campaign all the way to the Democratic Convention. Clinton says her aides have been in talks with Sanders aide about how to unify the party as the primary season comes closer to an end, and that those talks will intensify after next Tuesday's contest. She says that both have to do everything to, quote, "prevent Donald Trump from getting anywhere near the White House" -- Jim. JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne Malveaux in Washington.
OUTFRONT tonight, national spokesman for MoveOn.org, that is Karine Jean-Pierre. Bakari Sellers is back as well.
So, Karine, should Hillary Clinton add Bernie Sanders to her ticket?
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, NATIONAL SPOKESWOMAN, MOVEON.ORG: Look, absolutely. When she is the nominee, she should totally consider Bernie Sanders to be a V.P. pick on her ticket and here is why, right? He has a message that's been resonating. He's enthused the base, especially that progressive part of the base. And not just that, but brought in new voters, young voters.
So, most definitely, absolutely. But regardless if it's Bernie Sanders or not, I think it would be smart for the Clinton campaign and serve the Democratic Party well if they choose a progressive, someone whose a progressive from -- to be on that ticket for V.P.
SCIUTTO: So, Bakari, I know you say this is a bad idea, but let's look at the polls. A new poll shows that independents evenly split between Trump and Clinton. In a Sanders/Trump race, they overwhelmingly support Sanders. He gets 50 percent to Trump's 34 percent.
Does Clinton need Sanders to win over those independents?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, let me not say that it's not a bad idea, but I think practically speaking, it's not something that would happen. I also don't disagree with much that she said on the other side. In fact, I agree with the fact that Bernie Sanders message has been riveting had driven out tens of thousands if not millions of voters to the polls and it's something we need to harness. I mean, it's something that our party is build upon.
But the simple fact that remains Bernie Sanders has an opportunity to be chairman of the Budget Committee in the United States Senate, which many would argue is more powerful than a position of being vice president of the United States. I think there is amazing progressive options and I open the vice president of the United States of America is a progressive. I think you have people like Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. I think you have United States Congressman Becerra. I think that you also have Elijah Cummings and the list goes on and on and on.
But I think Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are going to come together and this party is going to be stronger than ever.
SCIUTTO: Karine, I have to ask you because there is a danger for Democrats, a new poll shows 20 percent of Sanders supporters, one in five, they are backing Trump over Clinton and there is an overlap of concerns with some of those Sanders and Trump supporters, frustration with Washington, opposition to free trade deals.
How does Clinton get over that hurdle? That's a real danger for Democrats in a general. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, Jim, we've seen this already. I mean, in 2008,
Bakari was a strong supporter of Barack Obama. I was a staffer on the Obama team and at that time, we had the pumas, right, that super PAC where they were Hillary or bust, right? And you had 40 percent of Hillary supporters saying they would not back Barack Obama.
[19:30:02] And that was a much more contentious race. So, I think we're --
SCIUTTO: I'm not sure that was a much more contentious race --
SCIUTTO: I mean, it was certainly contentious.
JEAN-PIERRE: It was, it was, Jim.
SCIUTTO: You've heard some of the words going back and forth between Sanders and Clinton and when we speak to Sanders' supporters and whether you look at the polling, they are far from in love with Hillary Clinton.
SELLERS: But, Jim, let me just point out own fact people overlook. It's somebody she worked for. Somebody that I adore, as well. We still have the unifier in chief, the president of the United States, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We still have Michelle Obama and I look forward to a stage with Jane and Bernie Sanders, with Hillary and Bill Clinton with Jill and Joe Biden, with Elizabeth Warren.
And so, you know, this is going to be an amazing moment but I believe that the unifier in chief, the most popular person we have in the party with all due respect to both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is Barack Obama, and I think that Donald Trump and the Republican Party are terrified about the fact he got over 270 not once but twice.
JEAN-PIERRE: Jim, I just wanted to add. I mean, Bernie Sanders has been very clear. He has said that Donald Trump is dangerous. And he will do whatever it takes to make sure he is not president of the United States, and I think we have to believe him when he says that. So, I think he'll be part of this unifying coalition when it's time.
SCIUTTO: We'll see how quickly that happens. Thanks very much.
OUTFRONT next, innocent men, women and children caught in the cross fire. Our special report on the battle for a major ISIS stronghold.
Plus, Cincinnati police tonight investigating the parents of this boy who got stuck inside a gorilla's pen. The woman that shot this video is OUTFRONT tonight. I'm going to ask her who is to blame?
[19:40:42] SCIUTTO: Tonight, an intense battle underway for control of a key Iraqi city. At this hour, Iraqi forces are fighting to retake Falluja from ISIS. But the battle is also putting tens of thousands of civilians' lives at risk. It comes as CNN confirms two U.S. service members are now recovering after being wounded over the weekend in both Iraq and Syria. A total of 14 have been wounded since the U.S. began fighting ISIS in 2014. Three have been killed.
Our Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Syria's youngest caught in the line of fire in Idlib. Rescue crews worked desperately.
A small body pulled from the wreckage. At least 23 people were killed in air strikes, one hitting near a hospital. The Russians deny they conducted the strikes.
Across Syria and Iraq, civilians caught in the middle as ISIS tries to defend its turf. In Falluja, the last major ISIS stronghold in Anbar province was to Baghdad, Iraqi forces pushing are pushing from the south and east, Iranian-backed militias from the north.
The U.N. says there are heavy civilian casualties as ISIS callously uses them for protection.
WILLIAM SPINDLER, UNHCR SPOKESMAN: There are also reports of several hundred families being used as human shields by ISIL in the center of Falluja.
STARR: Iraqi and militia forces not yet in the city center, there are thousands of booby traps and mines laid by ISIS.
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: If they are being used as human shields, as the U.N. reported, that means that they have absolutely no way out and they're going to be pawns in the struggle between ISIS and the Iraqi government, as well as the Shia militias, and it was going to be one of the worst scenes that we can possibly imagine.
STARR: It's significant the Iraqis are staying to fight in Falluja, not running away as the battle intensifies.
COL. STEVE WARREN, ANTI-ISIS COALITION SPOKESMAN: We think that the state of play is much improved from a year ago. You know, a year ago here in Iraq, the barbarians were at the gate. Baghdad was actually threatened, and in theory, was in direct danger of being invaded by these animals we call ISIL. Now, we have driven them back.
STARR: But from top U.S. commander, continuing caution.
GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: I'm being pragmatic in this. I think we will continue to work on more obstacles. We'll continue to see some setbacks. But I think we'll also see some continued progress.
STARR: There is another complication. Iranian-backed Shia militias are also on the ground fighting in the Falluja area. Falluja, of course, mainly a Sunni area, raising a lot of concerns that a new round of sectarian violence could break out at some point -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Barbara Starr tonight at the Pentagon.
And OUTFRONT next, we have new images from the woman who shot this incredible video. I'll ask her what just happened before the gorilla was shot.
And Jeanne Moos on one endorsement that Donald Trump probably didn't want.
[19:47:45] SCIUTTO: Tonight, police are now investigating the parents of the 3-year-old boy who is dragged violently by a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. Zoo officials shot the 450-pound gorilla dead to save the young boy's life after he managed to climb into the animal's pen. In a moment, I'm going to speak with the woman who filmed this terrifying video.
But first, Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT with the new developments today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God!
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Growing outrage and blame over the killing of an endangered silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. Zookeepers said they were forced to shoot 17-year-old Harambe after a 3-year-old boy slipped into its enclosure.
Nearly 400,000 people signed a petition demanding authorities investigate the mother for not watching her child. Cincinnati police say they have opened an investigation to see if anyone from the family should be held accountable.
Zoo officials say the boy was able to slip underneath a rail, climb through protective wiring and bushes and then drop more than ten feet into a moat below.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Engine 32, the gorilla has the child.
SCHNEIDER: For ten tense minutes, the boy was at the mercy of the 450-pound gorilla, at times being dragged and violently yanked around while at gorilla appeared to be protecting him.
THANE MAYNARD, DIRECTOR, CINCINNATI ZOO: This child was being dragged around. His head was banging on concrete. This was not a gentle thing.
SCHNEIDER: Zoo officials insist killing Harambe was the only option.
MAYNARD: We did not take the shooting lightly. But that child's life was in danger. SCHNEIDER: Even Donald Trump weighing in, saying the zoo made the
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It just takes one little flick of his finger and I will tell you, they probably had no choice.
SCHNEIDER: But after a 3-year-old was able to get into the gorilla's habitat, some are blaming the zoo. Thane Maynard, the zoo's director, says the enclosure is secure.
MAYNARD: Barriers exceed any required protocols. The trouble with barriers is that whatever the barrier is, some people can get past it.
SCHNEIDER: The zoo passed an inspection by the USDA in April and has earned consistent accreditations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
[19:50:04] SCHNEIDER: The USDA did issue a citation to the zoo back in March when a door was left open and a polar bear got into that employee area, but citations have ever been issued to the issue for that gorilla inclusion -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Jessica Schneider there in Cincinnati.
OUTFRONT tonight, we have Kim O'Connor. She's the woman who shot this video of that young boy in the gorilla's pen. She saw the whole incident play out.
Kim, thank you for joining us tonight.
First question I have partly as a father just watching this video which is gripping is, how hard was it from what you saw for a child to get inside that gorilla's pen?
KIM O'CONNOR, SHOT VIDEO OF BOY IN GORILLA ENCLOSURE: I think there was some level of difficulty. If he was adventurous enough and motivated he could have gotten in with fairly ease at that point but I think with the amount of people that were around, you would think that he could have been caught or somebody would have seen him, somebody would have pulled him back, but with some relative ease he could have gotten in there if he really wanted to.
SCIUTTO: Now, as you know, you heard this report. Police are now reviewing the actions of the young boy's parents. You know, I'm not putting you in the position of the police but do you think the parents shared some responsibility for this? Should they be to blame for allowing their son to get in there?
O'CONNOR: The only thing that I know is that I did not see the father. I saw the mother with other children and another female adult who I believe had a child as well and they were enjoying the zoo.
The little boy was a typical little boy like at a candy store, can I get this, can I get that and he want jokingly and bantering to go in and see the monkeys and the mother was, no, you're not, no, you're not, and I think that as they get ready to leave, that to tend to the other children, gather them up, put them in the stroller and move everyone along. I think in 60 seconds he got away.
SCIUTTO: Yes. I mean, I've got young kids and I've seen them move quickly.
Now, you look at this photo and videos and you have photos we're seeing for the first time here of the gorilla coming out of his pen and approaching the child. I just want to ask you, it's one thing for us to look at these photos now or watch the video from afar, but being there in the moment as you saw it happen, was there any doubt to you that the zookeepers had to act and kill the gorilla to save the boy?
O'CONNOR: No. In fact, that is the only reason that I shared the video that I had. I was hoping that people would see that contrary to early reports that led the world to believe that he had not engaged with the gorilla, I needed them to understand there was an engagement.
The horrific part, worse than what my video captures, happened on the cement part of that exhibit and I didn't capture that video. I would have never captured that video. But just taking that into consideration and not the moat and the water, they had no other choice. I don't believe Harambe was going to give that boy up.
SCIUTTO: Well, Kim, I'm sorry you had to see that. Thanks very much for sharing your story and sharing these images.
O'CONNOR: You're very welcome.
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, on a much lighter note, the endorsement that Donald Trump probably didn't want.
[19:57:41] SCIUTTO: Donald Trump has now picked up an unusual endorsement, one that he probably doesn't want to boast about.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You've got to hand it to Donald Trump, what other American candidate gets a vote of confidence from North Korea, a country that releases a video showing its missiles striking Washington and now publishes an editorial at a state media outlet, calling the Donald a "wise politician", a "far sighted presidential candidate", advising Americans not to vote for "that dull Hillary".
Trump at least has said he'd talk to North Korea as Korea expert John Feffer put it.
JOHN FEFFER, DIRECTOR, FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS: I would have to say that Donald Trump is the Dennis Rodman of American politics.
MOOS: Prone to shake things up and make outlandish statements. Well, maybe not as outlandish as when Rodman praised Kim Jong-un.
DENNIS RODMAN, FORMER NBA PLAYER: He's a great guy. He's a great guy.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: A great guy who puts 200,000 people in prison camps?
RODMAN: Well, you know, and guess what? It's amazing how we do the same thing here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: North Korean high five.
MOOS: Donald's not high fiving Kim Jong-un any time soon.
TRUMP: He's a maniac, OK? And you've got to give him credit. How many young guys take over these tough generals? It's incredible. He wiped out the uncle.
MOOS: And speaking of wiping out.
TRUMP: I would get China to make that guy disappear in one form or another very quickly. Let me tell you, people say --
INTERVIEWER: How do you make him disappear? Assassinate him?
TRUMP: Well, I've heard of worst things, frankly. I mean, this guy was a bad dude.
MOOS: But one thing Trump and North Korea's leader do share -- flamboyant hair.
JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: A meeting of the two adult male hairdos will not take place. Kim Jong-un doesn't have time to meet with Donald Trump. He's too busy making North Korea great again.
MOOS: Kim Jong-un has been photoshopped with Trump's hair. At least we're not talking about little hands. We're talking about shaking not so little hair hands.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
SCIUTTO: Well, thank you so much for joining us tonight. I'm Jim Sciutto. Erin Burnett will be back tomorrow night.
"AC360" with Anderson Cooper starts right now.