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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Pres. Obama Touts Record, Blasts Trump; Witness To Gorilla Incident Speaks; 2 Dead In UCLA Shooting; Authorities: Black Box Signals Detected; State Dept. Admits Editing Iran Briefing Video; New Trump Univ. Lawsuit Revelations; Ex-Staffers Call Trump University a Scheme and Total Lie. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 1, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:07] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, thanks for joining us. We begin tonight with people who call the operation known as Trump University a fraudulent scheme and a total lie. Not the alleged victims who are suing in federal court, these are former staffers giving sworn statements in the case. They're describing giving some of the most financially vulnerable people imaginable the hardest sell possible the kind that aim they say for their very last dollar.
As you know, we've been covering this since January, as well as the impact it's having on the presidential campaign. We got late reaction tonight from the Trump campaign as well as from Hillary Clinton who is clearly sensing an opportunity here.
Here's a bit of what she said today on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud. He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And that's not all she said. We'll have more of that in a bit. But first, the developments today from senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin, who's "Keeping Them Honest."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Trump University preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money. That is the declaration of Ronald Schnackenberg, sales manager at Trump University from October 2006 through May of 2007.
Schnackenberg says that's when he quit, "because I believe that Trump University was engaging in misleading, fraudulent, and dishonest conduct." Schnackenberg even cites an example of a couple he thought couldn't afford a $35,000 elite program he was supposed to sell them because of their precarious financial condition. He writes, "The couple would have had to pay for the program using
disability income and taking out a loan based on the equity in his apartment." He refused to make the sale, he says, and was reprimanded by Trump University. Then he stood by as another salesperson talked them into buying the $35,000 seminar. "I was disgusted," he wrote.
Connie Summer, a sales event manager for six months at the school, said instructors used high pressure sales techniques no matter the financial situation of the students. "I recall that some consumers had showed up who were homeless and could not afford the seminar," she writes. "Yet I overheard Trump University representatives telling them, it's OK. Just max out your credit card."
The declarations just released are part of an ongoing class action lawsuit, one of three claiming the school was a fraud. Trump's defense so far, the declarations will be disputed in court and on the campaign trail. Trump holds up high approval ratings for his school, while individually attacking his former students who have sued him.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: So you have this guy Bob Guillo. He appeared in TV attack ads even though he rated the programs a five, meaning excellent, the top mark across the board.
GRIFFIN: This is Bob Guillo.
BOB GUILLO, FORMER TRUMP UNIVERSITY STUDENT: It was a scam from the start.
GRIFFIN: He says he was suckered into a $35,000 worthless Trump University real estate course by a motivational speaker. And yes, at that moment, he did give that instructor a five out of five.
GUILLO: And the reason we did that was that at every one of these retreats, the instructors would say your certificates of accomplishments are waiting for you in the back of the room, but you first have to fill out a questionnaire. And guys, I want Donald Trump to invite me back to New York to teach more of these retreats. So please be kind. Give me the highest rating possible.
GRIFFIN (on camera): Did you think it would get this nasty?
GUILLO: When you take a little guy like me, why not be nasty against me? What can I do to Donald Trump?
COOPER: And Drew Griffin joins us now.
This is the first time we're seeing actually from Donald Trump's own employees who were part of this alleged university.
GRIFFIN: Right. And we asked the Trump campaign and Trump Organization about it. It was the organization that got back to us today because that's what the lawsuit is targeting. And basically the response was those declarations you just heard are lies. And here's the -- here's what the spokesperson said. The declaration testimony of the former employees was recanted or completely discredited at their depositions during the court case, but we're going to have to take their word for it because the spokesperson also said we'll not be releasing those deposition transcripts from this case. So basically they're saying under oath those people recanted what they did but there's no proof of that.
COOPER: And are those people willing to come forward at this point?
GRIFFIN: We have been trying to track them down. They have moved on and we haven't been able to track those people but we're going to continue to look for them.
COOPER: All right, Drew. Thanks very much.
President Obama also had some tough words tonight about Donald Trump and we're working to bring them to you.
Right now we're joined by New York 1 political anchor Errol Louis who's covered Trump for years, the "New York Times" presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Hagerman.
[20:05:03] She's also a CNN political analyst, chief political analyst Gloria Borger. Also Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany, conservative Trump critic Tara Setmayer, liberal "New York Times" op-ed columnist Charles Blow and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeff, you heard Drew's report there. There's also word that the judge in this case whom Trump has criticized before has now resealed some of the documents that he ordered unsealed yesterday. Apparently there was some information that should have been redacted and wasn't. Is that common in a case like this? Because it certainly gives Trump more fuel for his criticism against this judge, I would think.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it certainly is a mistake by the judge. When judges unseal material like they did, like Judge Curiel did in this case, they often try to redact phone numbers, e-mail addresses, those sorts of identifying information. That apparently was what the mistake was. Not all of that identifying information was correctly redacted, and so he pulled it back to try to do that correctly.
It is actually fairly common when unsealing those takes place but it is certainly a mistake, it's not -- doesn't go to the facts of the case but it is grounds for criticism of the judge.
COOPER: Let's search our reporters first.
Gloria Borger, I mean, this is clearly an issue Hillary Clinton feels she has some traction against Donald Trump on.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure, because she's using it as an attack on Donald Trump's character. And presidential campaigns are very often about character. These votes for president are personal votes. And this is the person would send your child to war potentially and so, you know, what she is saying is this is a man who can't be trusted. The problem that Hillary Clinton has in making these charges of course is that her trust numbers are so low, so she can attack Donald Trump on temperament because his temperament numbers are really low but, you know, she does have difficulty in this because people don't trust her.
COOPER: I mean, she -- Maggie, she attacks Trump as a con. He attacks her as crooked and says, you know, what about her e-mails -- missing e-mails?
MAGGIE HAGERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He barely talks about the e- mails, I would make the point actually. You don't normally hear him do a very long diatribe. You heard him say much more about people -- plaintiffs in this case reading from the stage at a rally because he is so used to sort of pulling in his critics and targeting them at his own events. But the problem with that is that a lot of the media coverage around this for him is now negative. Even he doesn't see that.
In terms of what Hillary Clinton is saying, I think what she's going after -- I agree with Gloria, this is a character argument, but she's also trying to basically poke at the main issue that he does better than her on which is the economy. And so she's trying to say, you know, his sell is I'm a businessman and I can fix it, and she's trying to say, whatever solutions he's proposing to you are not true.
It's not dissimilar from what we saw Democrats do to Mitt Romney in 2012. And a lot of the testimony that was unsealed, a lot of these -- whatever they were, the depositions, were very similar in nature to what you heard former employees who were involved with the private equity firm that Mitt Romney ran in 2012 say in testimonial ad I am confident you're going to hear these ads, and while people who support Trump say, this is not atypical, there's a lot of businesses that run this way. Voters are not prone to hear it that way. And that's going to be a real challenge, I think, for the Trump campaign.
COOPER: Although it's interesting, Errol, I mean, unlike Mitt Romney, Donald Trump is kind of a known quantity in many voters' minds, whether they're having an accurate perception of him or not. Whereas Mitt Romney perhaps it was easier to define him because he was undefined in many voters' mind.
ERROL LOUIS, POLITICAL ANCHOR, NY1: That's true. I mean, after years of reality TV, you know, sitting in the dark room with the high back chair, and you know sort of appearing as the boss. But I think what Hillary Clinton is trying to do is sort of put something in voters' minds so that coming down the home stretch, one of those key questions that they always ask in the weeks before an election is, so and so, the candidate, does he care about somebody like me, and just sort of say well, you know, you may like him, you may respect him, you may like his stance on immigration, but does he care about someone like you, maybe not so much.
I think that's kind of the argument that she's making. And then also, she's not the first, she's not outfront with this. She's not the first person that had brought up Trump University, and these are serious charges. Not just from the people -- that the former students who felt defrauded, but in New York this is the state attorney general who is suing him personally, and -- that plus the news organizations adds I think a different kind of credibility to the charges, so it's not just a back and forth about well, you know, I've got problems and you've got problems and we're just calling each other names. There are some credible sources that suggest a real problem.
COOPER: Although, Kayleigh, as a Trump supporter, I mean, how concerned are you about this? And to Errol's point, this isn't the first time it's been brought up, it was brought up in the primary. Didn't have much impact on primary voters certainly.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I am not concerned about it because you make a good point that he is a relatively defined brand, people know Donald Trump as the person who has 300 companies, most of them successful. He's employed 250,000 over the course of his career. We're talking about one company here. And we're talking about a few students who felt that they didn't get what they had signed up for.
[20:10:02] Meanwhile, you have 19,478 pages, yes, nearly 20,000 pages of reviews that are positive saying this seminar, my only complaint is it gave me too much information, and I was overwhelmed. Maybe less information is better than more. You know, that's the kind of critiques in 19,478 pages. So he can very easily rebut all of these accusations with that. I think he will win this lawsuit and it will be (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Drew, can he easily rebut that? And what about those positive --
GRIFFIN: I think -- I mean, I've talked to -- I'd defer to Jeffrey Toobin but these kind of reviews are irrelevant in a fraud case. I don't it's going to be good versus bad reviews. These are the reviews that were filled out much like if you remember back in school when you filled out a teacher evaluation at the end of a course. These are the people coming out of a three-day, five-day motivational speaker course, they were all fired up. They thought, just like Bob Guillo, just like last night, Mr. Limon, they thought they were going to make millions. And they were really into it. They had just signed up. They paid their money. They were ready to go out and do it. That's when they filled out these forms.
COOPER: Jeff, what about that? I mean, do you think in these those declarations, which Donald Trump repeatedly refers to -- will they matter?
TOOBIN: Well, yes, they will. Remember, well, the thing that Donald Trump is so angry about is that the judge in this case denied summary judgment and ordered the case to go to trial. What that means is that he said, the judge that is, there are disputed issues in this case. Some people felt deceived, some people felt like they got a straight story. That's why we have trials. There is certainly in the information released today and the information to come, there's contradictory evidence about whether this university was a scam or not but it does seem to me to underline that the judge was correct to say, let's have a trial and let a jury decide.
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. We're going to have more from Kayleigh, also get Tara and Charles Blow in here. We also have more on breaking news. President Obama taking a swipe at Donald Trump. He's also weighing in on his own legacy and the impact he's hoping to have in the current campaign.
Later, a mother talks about what she saw and tried to do as a little boy got into that gorilla habitat and into the clutches of a 450-pound male silverback.
[20:15:45] COOPER: We've been talking about the political impact of the Trump University lawsuit on the presidential race which ultimately remains to be seen at least for another 159 days until voters make their choice. What is apparent, however, is that Hillary Clinton clearly believes it does carry weight with the voters so today she's been hitting it hard, first on Twitter then on the campaign trail. Here's more of what she said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: It's important that we recognize what he has done because that's usually a pretty good indicator of what he will do. And on issue after issue we see someone who is unqualified and unfit to be president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And back with our panel. Tara, we haven't heard from you. Do you think Trump is vulnerable on this? Because again Trump will say, well, look, Hillary Clinton has e-mail issues and is just deflecting.
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, that's the problem, that Hillary Clinton as the messenger on this issue makes it problematic because she has a litany of her own problems in credibility and not being trustworthy and the Clinton Foundation and -- and all of the shadiness there. But that doesn't take away from the fact -- the facts about Donald Trump.
I think Trump University is something that can have an impact because there's a human cost. I've said this many times. I've said it for months. That the only way to get people to relate to it is that you show real people who've been affected by it. I mean, this is more than just a few people, 2,000 asked for refunds before the classes were over when they were taking this. On top of the multitude of lawsuits that were against Trump University after 2010, which is partially why it shut down.
You have the attorney general in New York, you have the case out in California. The testimonials, many people, and Drew alluded to this, and he got one of the guys on camera, but many came out and said they were pressured to do it. They've been threatened to not graduate, Trump wouldn't come back. So those testimonials were done under duress if you want to say that, and the fact that, you know, he said that in the advertisements where -- it was the advertising for Trump University was that Donald Trump would handpick the instructors. He signed off on all of those advertising, marketing tools that were
deceptive, which is part of the fraud. That matters.
COOPER: Kayleigh, I mean -- Kayleigh, Donald Trump did say he handpicked --
SETMAYER: Which he never did.
COOPER: He handpicked the professors and the associate professors, or adjunct professors, pressers and the people who actually worked at the university and testified that's just not the case.
MCENANY: Sure. And that's one thing that he is vulnerable on. If he said he had picked the instructors, he should have had a big role in that, a bigger role than what it seems that he had. That being said, everything else that you said, Tara, negative reviews, going into debt, all of these things, every college student in America could have a viable claim against the college for not being satisfied with a college.
SETMAYER: This wasn't college.
MCENANY: And by the way, I want to point out --
SETMAYER: This wasn't college.
MCENANY: In the documents -- well, first of all you get a lot more real world experience learning about real estate than you do learning about philosophy at some colleges. But in actual documents it says that Trump University does not guarantee earnings and no, every instructor is barred from guaranteeing that you make a certain level of earnings, that you'd have success coming out of this. Where does self-responsibility come in?
COOPER: Did --
SETMAYER: Have you ever been in a multi-marketing scheme seminar? Have you ever been to one of those things where people sell you, and they prey on vulnerable people who want to be millionaires? I mean, if you've ever sat -- most of us have probably been to one of these at some point in our lives, someone has dragged us to one of these. It is a way to prey on vulnerable people who look at the credibility of someone like Donald Trump and think, yes, me, too.
And the people -- depositions under oath, the people who worked for Trump said that it was a scam, that it was a lie, and that they felt horrible about scamming people out of money.
MCENANY: Have you looked at --
SETMAYER: When they didn't have it. MCENANY: All the hours and hours of course work, if you bought the
top tier, you actually had a Trump representatives fly to your location and walk you through a real estate --
SETMAYER: Which Trump representative was this? Was this the jewelry store salesman?
MCENANY: So there are lots of people --
SETMAYER: That's supposed to be a real estate --
MCENANY: There are lots of videos on YouTube of people who said that they had glowing experiences. They had encountered --
SETMAYER: The people who are friends with Donald Trump? The people who --
MCENANY: No, not the --
COOPER: Let's bring in -- Charles?
SETMAYER: Professional testimonials. Come on.
COOPER: Charles, do you see this -- I mean, obviously Clinton is going to continue this. Does it -- because to the point we made before, during the primaries, didn't have an impact. Marco Rubio tried to use this, others tried, too.
CHARLES BLOW, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: I think it actually does have a big impact. And I don't think that Clinton is as vulnerable as some other people on the panel think that she is. The thing about Clinton's misjudgments are that they don't necessarily affect you, your kids, people like you. The problem with this particular kind of story is the same thing that happened with Mitt Romney, same thing with what happened with the swift boats in John Kerry.
[20:20:09] When you have other people, individual people who say they felt hurt, aggrieved by someone who is powerful, we are kind of societally kind of predisposed to side with the powerless over the powerful, to give them the benefit of the doubt. I think that that is the part of this that makes -- that creates a motif of David and Goliath that is a problem for any candidate if this is the sort of thing that comes -- that they have to face.
Now if you're facing off, you know, kind of some clash of the titans between power interests, Trump and the media, or candidates, we kind of look at that and say, this is just powerful people playing out on a powerful field. When you look at someone who is poor, who is elderly, who doesn't have -- who someone is selling them to go downstairs and max -- and call into the credit card and tell them to raise their limit, and then to max that out in order to pay for a program that they didn't feel like that they got the short end of the stick, I think we as society look at those people and we have sympathy for them.
COSTELLO: Kayleigh, do you worry about it? And when you read those documents what did they say? Talking about, you know, maxing out credit cards and -- you know, hard sales pitches, does that raise any concerns for you?
MCENANY: No, because there are billions of dollars in this country where college students go to universities and are shook down by liberal colleges essentially for money and they leave in debt without jobs. That's probably one of the worst things happening in this country right now, not Trump University. This is one portion of a 300-company enterprise that Donald Trump runs.
If we want to talk about personal victims, I agree with Charles, that that's something that's very powerful. We're going to --
MCENANY: What about the families of people killed in Benghazi?
BLOW: But the analogy is flawed.
COOPER: Wait. Charles, go on.
BLOW: If I go -- you were knocking philosophy which I don't know why you would do that because that doesn't completely legitimate in nature. But that aside, if I go into a college course, I don't expect the instructor in the court to then try to sell me a better major, and pay more money for it, and say go downstairs in the student union, and max out your credit card, and come back to me in double major.
MCENANY: College certified.
BLOW: The entire -- you know, you try to flip this, say like, liberal colleges and universities., people leave in there with debt.
MCENANY: College tuition --
BLOW: That's -- I don't understand where you're going with that. Is that suppose to make --
COOPER: One at a time. One at time.
SETMAYER: It's a deflection.
MCENANY: College tuitions have gone up hundreds of percent over time and it's under the tutelage of liberal presidents and liberal professors --
COOPER: Wait, Kayleigh --
COOPER: Kayleigh, if you were in a college class and your professor is saying, you know what, there's a lot more information I could give you, but you've got to -- you've got to bump up your -- you've got to pay us more to get to the elite level where there's going to be a special class where a really good -- another professor comes in and tells you even more secret information, you're telling me as a college student you wouldn't sit there and feel like --
MCENANY: But it wasn't that. It wasn't that. People purchased a three-day course. They said if you're satisfied with this, we have other courses. We have courses where we'll have 24-hour memberships, we'll have people you can talk to, to consult you on real estate deals. We'll have people who will fly to where you are. There were additional perks with each level. And we can look to the unsatisfied people. But I can tell you this, American people want to talk about issues. And a few people complaining about Trump University --
COOPER: Hold on. One at a time. One at time. Drew, is that how it felt?
GRIFFIN: The way it's described to me by these people -- and let just me speak to what you guys are talking about, the personal. These are people who believed in Donald Trump.
SETMAYER: That's right.
GRIFFIN: And were Trump supporters way before he was president. They were Trump supporters in this wealth establishment that Trump was going to deliver to them. So these are not your average Trump haters out there. They got to this place because they so believed in Donald Trump and they feel duped. And they got into these seminars, and they were upsold from the very start. Some were telling me, you know, you got to the first day of the three-day seminar, and you're already being told, you know, you can't learn everything in three days. You're going to need more than three days.
And when you get to the five-day seminar, you know, you're really going to need to have a mentor when you get out there. You don't want to spend all this and not have a mentor, so let's take you to the next step. You need to buy more.
They felt under pressure -- pressure might be a different word. They felt that they were drawn in, right, upsold to buy more and more and more.
BORGER: You know, and to the politics of this, Donald Trump's candidacy has been about selling success. I think. And that's what Trump University was about also, selling success. And if it's proven in a court of law that it wasn't success that was being sold, it was something else, however you would define it, Drew, I'm not sure how you would, and that people felt that they were, you know, conned or on this then that's a problem. COOPER: Do we know how much money Donald Trump made from this?
GRIFFIN: It's estimated he personally made $5 million.
COOPER: The thing that I don't understand. For a guy who's allegedly worth $10 billion.
COOPER: Do you really need $5 million so badly that you're willing to gamble your reputation, everything, on -- at the very least a, I don't know how to describe it fairly, I mean, it's a gamble.
[20:25:12] GRIFFIN: Well, it was a business that started online. This was never supposed to be a live event seminar type approach. Started online when Donald Trump was approached with this idea and then they expanded it because they thought they were going to make a killing. And for a while they did make a killing. The problem was the real estate market tanked.
MCENANY: And he is at the top. You have to mention, he's at the top. He is getting 20,000 pages of glowing reviews of his university that he's essentially delegated. It was a success. Many say it was a success. And in fact, it's worth mentioning that the lead plaintiff in the case in California had to be partially decertified because first of all she claimed she was broke, meanwhile leaving Trump University she was making $300,000, hardly broke. Not only that, she's on video giving glowing reviews of the course. The lead plaintiff in the case. There's a viable argument on both sides --
COOPER: OK. Tara, then we got to go.
SETMAYER: The problem, that lead plaintiff also had health problems and claimed that because Trump is so aggressive in his vexatious litigant that he is that that basically bankrupted her.
COOPER: All right. We got to take a quick break. More with the panel.
Ahead, breaking news, President Obama speaking out about Donald Trump. What he said. Plus we'll take a look at the legacy the president has built, and how it might affect Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail next.
COOPER: Breaking news tonight, President Obama is speaking out about Donald Trump. We're just now getting the tape. In an interview with Gwen Ifill on PBS, the president took issue with Trump's make America great again message and the implication that the country is somehow in decline. Without referring to Trump by name, Mr. Obama said when voters have gone through tough times, it's easy for someone to say things like deport all the immigrants or cut off trade with China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GWEN IFILL, PBS NEWSHOUR ANCHOR: Why don't you mention Donald Trump by name?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, he seems to do a good job mentioning his own name. So I think, you know, I'll let him do as advertising for him.
IFILL: Do you consider at all that any of the support for him is back lash against you personally?
OBAMA: Well, here's one thing I would say, and I just spoke about this at the local high school. I think Trump is a more colorful character than some of the other Republican elected officials. But a lot of the story that he's telling is entirely consistent with what folks have been saying about me or the general story they've been telling about the economy for the last seven and a half, the last 10, the last 20, the last 30 years. And you can -- you can actually describe the story fairly concisely, right?
The -- the basic story they tell is that the problems that the middle class working families are experiencing has to do with a big bloated government that taxes the heck out of people and then gives that money to undeserving folks, welfare cheats or, you know, the 47 percent who are takers or, you know, whatever phrase they use, that businesses are being strangled by over-regulation, that, you know, ObamaCare has killed jobs.
And the fact of the matter is when you look at it, the government, as a proportion of our overall economy, is actually smaller now under my presidency than it was under Ronald Reagan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: President Obama also signaled earlier in the day that he's going to be speaking out more once the Democratic nominee is set. Sunlen Serfaty tonight reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With an I am protecting his legacy, President Obama is ready to get more involved in the 2016 fray. He did it today taking a not so subtle jab at Donald Trump.
OBAMA: If we get cynical and just vote our fears, or if we don't vote at all, we won't build on the progress that we start.
SERFATY: The president today making a symbolic return to Elkhart, Indiana.
OBAMA: What's your name?
SERFATY: The site of his very first trip after taking in office. OBAMA: Folks across here in Elkhart and all across America need help right now. They can't afford to keep waiting for folks in Washington to get this done.
SERFATY: Nearly five months from Election Day, a White House source tells CNN, the president is chomping at the bit to hit the campaign trail, ready to explode on the scene once Democrats have a nominee. He'll do so with approval ratings above 50 percent and economic record to tout.
Over two terms in office, the unemployment dropped to 5 percent while the economy has added private sector jobs for 74 consecutive months. The biggest beneficiary of all this may very well be Hillary Clinton who has made preserving the president's legacy a key part of her pitch to Democratic voters.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm really proud to stand with President Obama and I am proud to stand with the progress he's made.
SERFATY: While President Obama is already bringing the heat already against Donald Trump.
OBAMA: A lot of the proposals that he's made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude.
SERFATY: He's held often endorsing, but he hasn't been shy in praise of his former secretary of state.
OBAMA: She's extraordinarily experienced and wicked smart and knows every policy inside and out.
SERFATY: Even joking at this year's White House Correspondents Dinner, at the Clinton victory in November is inevitable.
OBAMA: Next year, someone else will be standing here in this very spot and it's anyone's guess who she or he will be.
SERFATY: In campaign is not chine away from its embrace of the Obama factor.
ROBBY MOOK, CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think the president is going to back the nominee quickly, the president is one of the most important surrogates.
SERFATY: Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And we're back with the panel. Joining the conversation, CNN political commentator Dan Pfeiffer who is a former senior adviser to President Obama.
Dan how -- I mean what role do you see President Obama taking on the campaign trail? I mean -- and do you see him focusing primarily on what he sees as Hillary Clinton's strengths or Donald Trump's weaknesses?
DAN PFEIFFER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think of a combination of both, I think he is two primary roles, and then I think in the initial phase here, he will play an important role to convincing some of the Sanders supporters to understand why it's important for Hillary Clinton.
And then the fall is going to be largely about turning out the Obama coalition, the voters that turned out for him, in 2008, 2012, but didn't turn out in 2010 and 2014, is come out for Hillary. I think he'll certainly enjoy as you saw today explaining why Donald Trump is not the right choice for America, but I hope -- I know who also be very proud to make a case for Hillary Clinton for sure.
[20:35:12] COOPER: Gloria, it's interesting, Secretary Clinton has been campaigning hard on the record of the Obama administration but in a general election where she needs to get independents, it is not clear how effected that might be.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, and it was very important to her in the Democratic primaries to sort of hug Obama as close as she could and she did, and it helped her. But if you look at the president's popularity ratings, the more this campaign has gone on, he is over 50 percent now.
And so, he's pretty popular in this country. So won't be as much of a problem for her with independents as it might have been a year or so ago. And you look at the economic numbers, people are feeling better. And don't forget independents are going to say Hillary Clinton compared to what. And it's going to depend how they view Donald Trump. And right now that's kind of up to Donald Trump.
COOPER: Well it's interesting Maggi, and we heard from Donald Trump, that we talked about this at that sort of press con -- at the press conference where he was interacting with reporters and others. He was asked is this how it's going to be if your president, if this the tone, is this and he is like yeah, this is it. This is what you're going to get, which runs counter to what he had been saying sort of in the primaries so I can change, you know, my tone its going to be perhaps more presidential. I can be different things to different people.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, NY TIMES PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN CORRESPONDENT: I think after he lost the Wisconsin primary and it was in real jeopardy whether he was going to capture the nomination which he had seemed on a pretty clear course for after winning New Hampshire and South Carolina, which were two traditional states that usually predict the nominee, I think he had a -- he had a real near death experience in his mind politically, he took different advice, he did make course corrections, but then New York primary was a blowout, and Indiana was a blowout, and suddenly Ted Cruz dropped out despite having, you know, this sort of belief that he was going to keep marching on for awhile.
And I think Trump took that -- and I've heard this from people close to him as an affirmation that his approaches right all along and he should keep doing this. And this is the approach that feels better to him, and more natural to him.
The challenge for Hillary Clinton I think, and I agree with Gloria, President Obama has gotten more popular, I think probably in part just because this campaign has been so toxic, that I think that it does gives voters a certain amount of nostalgia.
Hillary Clinton has so far not been great about making a negative case against Donald Trump. You did start to see her do much more about today with the Trump University case where she used the word fraud on the stump. But she also has not been great making a case for herself. And you have to give voters a reason to vote for you. Her hope is that Trump will make himself so offensive potentially to undecided voters. Remember, we keep talking about what worked in the primaries and will that continue working. The primaries were 20 million peoplish on both sides. There's going to be decided by another 100 million people who are just getting to know Trump in a different way. And so I do think that it is very hard to take what we saw in the primaries and extrapolate that.
BORGER: But he is capable of changing too, like if he sees it's not working, he'll change that.
HABERMAN: But there's unfortunately at a certain point, I think there's only so many course corrections you can make.
COOPER: Well also Kayleigh, I mean, you know, we talked about this in the past of, you know, is he going to be making more policy speeches, is he going to be become more quote, unquote "presidential". What do you make of him saying, yes this is who I am, this is what it is, this is what's going to be like.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I thought it was an very effective way to take the press conference, because the press outside the Congress is probably the second and most disliked institution in this country, in fact help did a whole article last year about how the press is at historic lows.
So I think attacking the press is always a good move. But I think in a general election, it's going to need to be a combination of this organic, off the cuff Donald Trump, who people believe, because he's just honest and says what he thinks, and also the policy speeches like what we saw a PAC, like what we saw in the foreign policy speech. I do think he needs to bring a little of the latter in.
COOPER: Charles, I mean have we seen a president who -- I mean if that's how he is going to conduct press conferences as president, have we seen a president like that for quite some time?
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, we haven't seen anything like that, and in fact, you know, one of our kind of killers pillars of democracy in this country, you know, and you can search the founders and the speeches they gave even before the constitution was even drafted, giving really impassioned pleas about how important it was to not to drift into a tyranny because we would have a free press, it was that important to them. And one year after the ratification of the constitution you came back in the abduction of bill rights basically which was our 10 amendments, and it was really important and the court, the highest court has consistently come back and back and back and said it is really important to protect this, because this is one of the things that makes America, America.
And I think James Baldwin probably put it best when he said, I love America more than any country on this earth, but that's why I demand the right to criticize it perpetually. And the idea that anybody would have chill wind over the idea that you should be interrogated and that you should be able to be criticize it perpetually, and it's a problem for ...
[20:40:10] COOPER: Because Dan, I mean to Kayleigh's point this does play well certainly to the base of, you know, Trump supporters and to Kayleigh's point the press is, you know, scores low in public approval service.
PFEIFFER: Well I think there's a difference between attacking the press, which I think safely for Republican politician always good to rile up the base. And standing on national television, and calling someone a sleaze, or a scum bag, whatever he called the ABC reporter, and that is not when -- it's hard to -- Trump needs incision run enough voters in enough states imagine him as someone who can sit behind the desk like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and make real decisions. And when he looks childish, and more likes a character on "The Apprentice" than a president, I think that's problematic to get above he's very strong core support that he currently has, he has to expand his support to win.
COOPER: We got to take a break. When we com back, the latest in a horrifying video of a little boy being dragged by 450 pound gorilla in the zoo enclosure. We'll hear the mom frantic 911 call and hear from a witness who saw it all happen.
COOPER: Well the family of the three-year-old boy who got into the enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo was dragged by a 450 pound silverback gorilla says the boy has having checkup, is doing well, and they appreciate the support they received.
[20:45:02] And now in a moment, we're going to hear an exclusive account from a witness first the 911 call. Though we want to play that for you first released this afternoon of the little boy's terrified mom.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cincinnati 911. What is the ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, my son fell in the zoo at the gorilla. The Cincinnati Zoo, my son fell in with the gorilla. There's a male gorilla standing over him. I need someone to contact the zoo please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, we do already have that started -- we do already have help stated there, OK? How old ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK (inaudible), be calm, be calm. Be calm, be calm, he's dragging my son. I can't watch this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old is he? How old is he?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need to call my dad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Oh, less than 10 minutes after boy got into the enclosure, zoo officials shot killed that gorilla. Deidre Lykins was there, saw a lot it heard, a lot it playing, she joins me on the phone.
Deidre, take us through what happened. What did you see?
DEIDRE LYKINS, EYEWITNESS TO GORILLA INCIDENT: When I looked down, the child was just on the other side of the railing, that then my husband jumped, just the railing whether it's like a three foot landing of ground I guess, before you go -- before there's a moat, and he didn't make it in time.
COOPER: So just so I'm clear, the boy was not in the enclosure when you first saw him, you saw him actually kind of on his way there?
LYKINS: Yes. My son yield what is he doing, I look down as a child, I look up there's a woman next to me, she screams, she yells whose kid is this. And that's when my husband just jumped over railing, and he was crawling, like I couldn't even tell you what his face looked like, because I saw his little green shorts.
I actually never seen him land, but my husband, when he jumped over and looked down, he did see him, and he said he hopped up immediately and ran to the corner. The next thing that happened, I looked back to my right, and the mother is walking up and she says I hear her calling in the background like where is my son. And she was saying and like his hand and I was taking a picture, have you seen my son.
She looked at my husband and said -- she said can you tell me if that little boy has green shorts, and my husband looked over the side, and he had to turn around and tell her yes. Yes, he does. And at that moment the mother melted, like she actually grab her -- covered her face, and started screaming, that's my baby, that's my baby. And my husband was talking to the child, and he like just said stay right there, buddy, it's OK, help is coming. She looked back at my husband, and she said you have to be my eyes, I can't watch this. So my husband like it's I'm watching him, he's OK. And at that time the gorilla comes down the moat and like slams into the side of wall, because the child is small and I think whenever the child went in, the gorilla was just standing at attention like in his little cave.
And it took him awhile to figure out like, what is this, what is this thing here, the (inaudible) figured out, and he is going to check it out. And he stands there, and then when he takes off with the child, that's when I -- like check on my boys, and turn around, you can see the moat. You can see him dragging to the moat, but what through the moat. But what you don't get to see is the part where he comes up where on the far left side of this exhibit, and he brings him up on the right, and he has this little boy by the foot, and he is dragging him, and this little boy is being drag, seriously drag.
And I don't know how to say this, the gorilla had bad intentions or had any intent to harm, it doesn't matter. It's a 400 pound gorilla and 40 pound kid, you know, and my 11-year-old son sees this, and he starts to scream, and so I started to scream and at that moment I knew I couldn't handle it any more, so I took our -- I actually took my two little boys eyes and covered them, and put them in my armpits and just ran out because we weren't helping, you know, was -- as the crowd builds and people started to scream, it was making the gorilla more agitated.
COOPER: You know, I read something about there might have been a door down there. Did you see that at all?
LYKINS: My husband said there's a door, he just made the comment like there's a door he is trying to get in, he thought the little boy was trying to get through this door.
COOPER: Do you know -- did the -- was the boy crying or screaming out at all? I mean at again, you know, there's -- what we see is only what's on the video. I am just trying to get a sense of what you could see and actually or actually hear.
LYKINS: He did go into intermittent spells of crying and then not crying. So what people don't see before the gorilla shot, and he is between his legs and people say he was just calm and he didn't seem to be hurt.
[20:50:13] But, if you would have seen that gorilla dragging this baby, this little precious face, like literally just bouncing off the rocks and he looks lifeless. I mean we need just looked lifeless. We did not leave the zoo until we knew the little boy was OK, but it was -- I'll never forget it. It was absolutely horrific and no mother should ever have to watch that, regardless if he had intent to hurt or not.
That child was not a baby gorilla, it was a child. You cannot endure this gorilla running across the rocks, and dragging him by one foot while his little face is bouncing off the ground. So when you see this child at the end, and he is sitting between the legs and they say he is calm, he is concussed, my heart -- I was thankful when i heard the gunshot because I didn't want him to die.
COOPER: Deidre, I'm so sorry what for you and everybody witness and obviously the family of course but, you really at strong traumatic for everybody who was there and for your kids as well and I appreciate you taking time to talk to us.
LYKINS: No problem, I appreciate you talking with me.
COOPER: Oh, just ahead, tonight SWAT teams sworn the UCLA campus after reports there have been active shooter for two terrifying hours, hundreds of students were forced to hide in buildings. Two people are dead. New details tonight.
[20:55:02] COOPER: New details tonight about two fatal shootings today at UCLA Los Angeles, a campus wide lock down forced hundreds of students to hide in buildings this morning. The scare started with reports an active shooter, local and federal law enforcement swarmed the campus searching, clearing buildings, two people were found dead in the engineering building. Authorities are calling it a murder suicide. There's no word whether the dead were students.
A potential major development for key pieces of EgyptAir flight 804. A French ship has picked up a signal that officials believe came from one of the crucial data recorders that could help solve the mystery of what brought down the airliner down. As you know 66 people are on board the flight down for Cairo.
CNN's Rene Marsh has the latest tonight.
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Distinct sounds coming from the floor of the Mediterranean Sea could lead investigators to the first substantial clues to what happened to EgyptAir flight 804. So far searchers have only retrieved scattered aircraft debris and human remains. Not the main body of the plane.
But a French naval ship with three underwater listening devices detected sounds, investigators say belonged to the cockpit voice recorder or the flight data recorder of the airbus 320. That is the sample of what signals from black boxes sounds like. Inside those boxes investigators hope to find answers to what brought down the plane.
So these are the four different channels from a cockpit voice recorder. First officers mic and then from a potential if there's a third crew member. And then we also have the cockpit area microphone.
Sarah McComb runs the recorder lab at the NTSB. The agency is not part of the investigation but is world renowned from its expertise in analyzing black boxes. This is the room where investigators listen to cockpit voice recorder audio.
SARAH MCCOMB, NTSB LABORATORY DIVISION CHIEF: We certainly try to identify anybody who is speaking within the cockpit and whether or not that's another crew member from the back of the airplane who possibly comes in. And we all try to document any other sounds that the group can identify as part of normal cockpit operations.
MARSH: Other sounds like a potential explosion.
MCCOMB: And listen to the recordings and then with the group around the table be able to start typing as the group agrees on what they're hearing and factually type the transcript of the recording.
MARSH: That's one piece of the puzzle, the other is the data recorder which will detail the planes altitude, speed, and how its systems were working together the information is a huge part of the puzzle. EgyptAir flight 804 from Paris to Cairo was at 37,000 feet when it lost contact above the Mediterranean early May 19th.
Shortly before the aircraft was scheduled to exit Greek air space and enter Egyptian air space. It is still unknown whether a bomb or catastrophic mechanical failure caused the plane to crash, killing all 66 people on board. To date, no terror group has claimed responsibility for bringing the plane down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's Rene Marsh reporting. We'll have more on the EgyptAir in our next hour.
Just ahead, breaking news, an admission that someone edited part of a video tape State Department briefing on secret talks between the U.S. and Iran.
Plus, more on revelations on the Trump University class (ph) actual lawsuit and how Hillary Clinton is trying to use that as ammunition to attack her rival.