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Will Republicans Unify?; Interview With Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton; Trump: Comments About Judge "Misconstrued"; Toned- Down Trump Trying to Reassure Anxious GOP; At Least Four Dead in Tel Aviv Terror Attack; North Korea Believed Building More Nuclear Weapons. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired June 8, 2016 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:05]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And what's now on her one-on-one battle with the White House -- for the White House with Donald Trump? Hillary Clinton just sat down a little while ago with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Secretary Clinton, congratulations on your historic achievement last night.

Today, Trump's campaign is saying they will make a concerted effort to attract Sanders supporters. I know you spoke to Senator Sanders last night.

According to a Politico article, he feels -- quote -- "rage" against you. They say he is -- quote -- "filled with resentment." That's according to people in his campaign.

How do you overcome that and overcome that in his supporters?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Anderson, I know how it feels to have waged a hard-fought campaign and to fall short.

As I said last night, my supporters were passionate. Senator Sanders' supporters were passionate. I really, totally respect their feelings. I called Senator Sanders last night to congratulate him on the really extraordinary campaign that he has run.

And I am looking forward to working with him to achieve our common goal, which is to defeat Donald Trump. And Senator Sanders has said he will work every day, every week to see that happen. So we're going to be working to make sure that we have a unified party going into our convention and coming out.

I know Senator Sanders will be meeting with President Obama tomorrow.

COOPER: Do you have specifics of how to do that?

CLINTON: Well, I do intend to reach out to his supporters. And a lot of his supporters and our supporters share the same goals. We want to raise the national minimum wage. We want to have universal health care coverage. We want to fight inequality, and create more economic opportunity for hardworking people.

We want to make college affordable, so it doesn't bankrupt kids and their families. We have a lot of the same goals. Now, we may have approached it somewhat differently, but our goals are the same.

And contrast that with Donald Trump, who set up a fake university, Trump University, that committed fraud on people, who doesn't want to raise the minimum wage, who wants to go backwards when it comes to universal health care, who has proposed a tax plan that would just be great for billionaires and terrible for everybody else.

So, as we reach out and we talk about what's at stake in this election, I really believe a lot of Senator Sanders' supporters will join us in making sure Donald Trump doesn't get anywhere near the White House.

COOPER: Trump has said he is clearly going to be focusing on the Clinton Foundation.

Last night, he said -- and I quote -- "The Russians, the Saudis, the Chinese all gave money to the foundation" and -- quote -- "got favorable treatment in return."

The foundation has obviously raised huge sums of money for worthy causes. It's always not been transparent, though. Tens of millions of dollars have come from a Canadian partnership whose donors can remain secret. There was a large donation from Algeria that was not submitted to the State Department for approval.

If you're president, will your husband divest himself of any association with the foundation?

CLINTON: Well, Anderson, we will cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

But let me just try to set the record straight. We had absolutely overwhelming disclosure. Were there one or two instances that slipped through the cracks? Yes. But was the overwhelming amount of anything that anybody gave the foundation disclosed? Absolutely.

And I'm proud of the foundation. I'm proud of the work that it has done. Nine million people have lower-cost HIV/AIDS medicine because of the work of the Clinton Foundation and my husband. We have women across the country, from Latin America and Africa -- across the world, I mean -- getting good jobs, and being able to support themselves for the first time.

Here in our country, we have better food and nutrition that is helping young kids in America be healthier and not fight obesity. We have so much that we are proud of. And I will put that up against any of the innuendo and accusation coming from Donald Trump, because the work that's been done has garnered accolades and appreciation from every corner of the world, because it has been so far-sighted, visionary, and effective.

COOPER: But some big donors clearly with the association you or your husband that being linked to the foundation gives them.

As president, obviously, it's vital that you and certainly your husband not to appear in any way compromised. So, I guess have you considered the idea of him stepping down?

CLINTON: Again, I am not going to consider anything until we see what the circumstances are.

But let me just point out that people give lots of money to presidential campaigns, don't they? They give lots of money to political parties as well.

[18:05:08]

So, you know, that's money that goes directly to support political activities of candidates. Money that has been given to the foundation goes to support humanitarian work. And if people want to influence anybody in office, I think they would choose the political route, and indeed the work of the foundation really speaks for itself.

COOPER: Out on the campaign trail, one of the things you said several weeks ago is that your husband might be put in charge of revitalizing the economy.

Is that something you're seriously looking at, a position for him in that regard?

CLINTON: Well, I'm looking for his good advice and his extraordinary understanding of what we have got to do to help distressed communities in America, those that are feeling left out and left behind.

We have got to have a real focus on helping communities from Appalachia and coal country to Indian country to inner-city neighborhoods. And that's what I think he would bring to any discussion that we were having about what are the best ways to do that, because he has a terrific track record, both as president, as governor before that.

And, indeed, he actually wrote a book about putting America back to work, and through the Clinton Foundation and its many activities has helped to create jobs, has helped to train people for jobs. So he has a wealth of experience. And I'm looking forward to tapping into that and finding out what we can do.

I want all hands on deck when it comes to revitalizing the economy. I feel a very personal responsibility. And, honestly, Anderson, some of these places that I am going be paying attention to, I don't think they're going to vote for me.

I said that when I was in coal country. But I am going to support them, and my husband is going to be working with my team to try to figure out what we can do to restore hope and opportunity in a lot of those places. COOPER: Yesterday, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said it would

be fabulous for two women to be on the ticket. Do you think the country is ready for that, an all-female ticket? And, obviously, you can't give out any names or anything, but can you tell me a timetable for picking a V.P.?

CLINTON: Well, look, I am looking at the most qualified people, and that includes women, of course, because I want to be sure that whoever I pick could be president immediately if something were to happen. That's the most important qualification.

There are a lot of people in the Democratic Party who bring so many great assets to the table. I'm going to really begin to pay attention to that now that we have wrapped up the primary process.

But it doesn't matter to me who the person is, as long as that person can really do the job that is required.

COOPER: And just in terms of a timetable, do you want somebody in place much before the convention, at the convention, obviously?

CLINTON: Anderson, I don't know, because I am not sure how long it is going to take to try to sort all this out.

We will have it done by the convention. I'm not going to speculate how much before the convention it might be completed.

COOPER: Secretary Clinton, again, congratulations.

CLINTON: Thank you. Take care.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Anderson, by the way, will be back with more on his interview with Hillary Clinton on "A.C. 360 Later" tonight. That starts at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Let's get to more on what we just heard from Secretary Clinton.

Our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, is with us, our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, our CNN political commentator Hilary Rosen, and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Gloria, what did you make of her tone as far as Senator Sanders is concerned?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think she's all open arms, as are all Democrats. Look, there's a very delicate dance going on right now, Wolf.

And she has to make sure that both Senator Sanders and his supporters feel like they have had an impact and that they're being listened to. And they have to see some deliverables here. And I think what's going on now is sort of a kind of diplomacy, where Senator Sanders will meet with the president, where then I presume he and Hillary Clinton will have a tete-a-tete and will have to iron a bunch of things out. And I think nobody wants to rush Senator Sanders into doing something

he's not ready to do. It's got to be his own timetable, but Hillary Clinton needs his supporters and needs Senator Sanders to help her out here in this general election fight. And so she's going to do everything she can to embrace him and his people.

[18:10:00]

BLITZER: Dana, did she shed any light on her vice presidential thoughts? Because this is obviously a very critical, critical decision.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, not much.

And, look, she's, if nothing, disciplined. She understands, just even from her just being around politics, even from her husband's process, you know, decades ago, that you just have to be very, very careful not to go pretty far, especially when you are in the position that she's in, right?

To Gloria's point, a lot of people who support Bernie Sanders are going to be looking for a lot of things, but in particular who she picks as her running mate to see if that's a signal that she really gets it, that she needs to address a lot of the issues that Bernie Sanders has been pushing, not saying that they expect him to be the nominee, but somebody who they think speaks to their issues.

BLITZER: What did you think, Jeffrey Toobin, about her demeanor on this critically important day, the day after she for all practical purposes became the presumptive Democratic nominee?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: She looked pretty happy to me.

I -- she won. All this talk about Bernie Sanders and how nice you have to be, there's a word for what happened to Bernie Sanders. He lost. And the idea that she has to spend the next several weeks coddling him and being nice to him, someone is going to say to him, maybe the president of the United States on Thursday, maybe Harry Reid when he sees him, cut the you know what.

You want Donald Trump to be president? Then, fine, go be off in a petulant snit. But I don't Bernie Sanders wants Donald Trump to be president. And I think this incredible sort of coddling and worrying about Bernie Sanders is just outrageous. And he ought to just get in line just, and just like Hillary Clinton did eight years ago.

BLITZER: We will see if he does that any time soon.

Hilary Rosen, you have known Hillary Clinton for a long time. You go back, way back with her. When you see this moment and you anticipate that, on Monday, perhaps as early as Monday, Donald Trump is going to deliver a major speech, he says, really going after her and her husband, we can only imagine what he is going to raise. How does she respond?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It is interesting, Wolf.

And I was just talking to Dianne Feinstein about this. And we are all close friends together. And you know that the next four months are going to be the most battering, most intense, ugliest four months in politics I think any of us have seen in our lifetime, and Hillary Clinton is going to be the recipient of 99.99 percent of it, because she's too classy to do that too much to Donald Trump and make it so personal.

But -- so I think we are going to see some prebutting of some of the things he is going to talk about, some of the things you heard her talk to Anderson about, the real facts around the foundation and the Clinton Foundation and what it does. And then we're just going to have to be extremely vigilant, that the media starts to do with Donald Trump what it has been doing well, I think, over the last couple of weeks, holding his feet more to the fire about his -- the facts that he is putting out there.

He doesn't get a free ride anymore for things that he says. He is now the Republican nominee for president of the United States. He can't just say anything and expect reporters and the public not to question him.

BLITZER: All right, guys, everybody, stand by. We are going to have a lot more coming up.

Let's take a quick break. Much more. We're getting more reaction to what we just heard from Hillary Clinton.

Plus, there are new developments on the Republican side as well. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:17:59]

BLITZER: Once again, the breaking news: Hillary Clinton talking to CNN about becoming the first woman to secure a major American party's presidential nomination.

She told Anderson Cooper she respects the feelings of Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters. She intends to reach out to them. She believes the party will be unified going into the convention.

Gloria, Secretary Clinton also said she wants her husband, the former president, to play a very important role in helping to revitalize the economy. How much of an asset will he be in her general election campaign?

BORGER: Look, I think Bill Clinton is a huge campaign asset when he's on message, and when he's off message, he can get himself into some trouble.

And I think they have done a good job during this campaign of using the former president in the right way. And I think they will continue to do that during the general election. You will recall that, when President Obama was running for reelection, it was Bill Clinton who seemed to be able to explain the Obama agenda better than anybody else at the last convention.

I don't know whether he will be able to do that for his wife as well as he did it for President Obama. But I think he is a huge asset. And, by the way, when she gets into office, you know, Bill Clinton used her, unsuccessfully, as it turns out, to manage health care. I think the notion that he could do something about the underserved in the economy would be a pretty good way to use the former president.

So I would assume she'd use him in some way, shape or form.

BLITZER: Dana, the current president, President Obama, has invited Bernie Sanders to come to the White House tomorrow. What do you anticipate will emerge from that meeting?

BASH: Well, look, the kind of message that Jeffrey Toobin suggested that people should give to Bernie Sanders, basically get over it, you lost, move on, get in line, that's not something that Hillary Clinton can do without the entire world coming down on her, understandably so.

[18:20:06]

But it is something that the president can do privately, either that bluntly, or, maybe less likely, more diplomatically. And then, of course, he is going to -- he, Bernie Sanders, is going to go to Capitol Hill and have a conversation with Harry Reid, who might actually have more success with him, because Bernie Sanders and Harry Reid have sort of have -- like, they, get each other, just in observing them and also in talking to aides to Harry Reid.

And he perhaps might have -- like, a better chance, a better shot.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: They have a good relationship. They're contemporaries.

BASH: But I just was -- here's the but.

Just, again, having covered Capitol Hill for a long time, remember, Bernie Sanders is an independent or has been independent for a reason. He hasn't wanted to be part of the Democratic Caucus. He has caucused with them, but he wants to be his own person.

And that has obviously carried him through this campaign, but it is a factor in whether or not he is going to fall in line, if you will, or whether he's going to listen to the people saying what Jeff said, which is, it is all about stopping Donald Trump from being president.

BLITZER: Hilary, when do you anticipate the president will go out there, start endorsing her, campaigning for her, and the role that he will play, the first lady will play, Vice President Biden will play?

ROSEN: Well, he is doing a series of DNC events. He is going to be on TV tonight. I think people were thinking that he might go ahead and that today, but he is not doing it today, because he doesn't want to do that to Bernie Sanders.

BLITZER: He is going to be on Jimmy Fallon's show later tonight.

ROSEN: Jimmy Fallon's show. He is going to meet with Bernie Sanders tomorrow.

And he wasn't going to do that, I think, to Bernie Sanders and go out in advance of their meeting and endorse Hillary. But it is going to be soon. He is anxious to get out there. Vice President Biden, the same way. The vice president is going to get let the president lead here with the first endorsement. We know that.

And I think what we saw of the first lady last week was, the way that Donald Trump has treated her husband in this campaign has clearly gotten under her skin. You can see it. And I expect her to be a real advocate for Hillary Clinton in the campaign as well.

BLITZER: They can help recreate that Obama coalition that won two presidential elections. That would be an amazing asset for Hillary Clinton.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSEN: That's the leverage that the president has over Bernie Sanders, which is, our people, the people we brought into this party and to this country to exercise their enthusiasm, they don't want him to be a spoiler either.

BLITZER: Jeffrey, you heard, when you were watching Bernie Sanders speak last night, when he mentioned Hillary Clinton's name at his big rally out in California, there were boos out there. A lot of his supporters are pretty angry at her.

They're also pretty angry at the news media, the entire primary process, if you will. Is this a sign of what is to come maybe at the convention in Philadelphia?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, I think people are -- there are some people who are upset now.

But I think it is worth pointing out that presidential elections aren't not just about personalities and they're not just about whose feelings are hurt. They're about whether gay people have rights that are guaranteed at the Supreme Court. They're about whether abortion rights are further restricted in this country.

They're about whether there's immigration reform. That's what these elections are about. They're not about people's personalities. And to the extent all the politicians can focus on that, rather than focus on their terribly hurt feelings about people who were mean to them on television, I think that's what matters here.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSEN: Jeffrey, they're also about democracy. And that's the biggest issue, I think, that Bernie Sanders has to address, is that he cannot let this notion that it is not a legitimate win on Hillary's part stand, and because elections and governing is about a sense of democracy.

And that's the piece I think that he is most obligated to correct.

TOOBIN: But, also, what possible theory is it that this was an undemocratic win by Hillary Clinton?

She got the most votes. She won the most states. She got more delegates.

BORGER: Right.

TOOBIN: If someone thinks that's not a democratic process, the rationality is not going to work with them either.

BORGER: Right.

But I think -- look, Hillary Clinton would agree with you completely, Jeffrey.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: But I think the point is that this isn't about making nice to Bernie Sanders himself.

This is about not alienating millions of voters who she needs to mobilize to get out to vote to defeat Donald Trump. So it is about mobilization more than it's about persuasion right now. And you can't mobilize angry people.

BLITZER: All right.

BORGER: If you look at the polling, 25 percent of Sanders voters say right now there's no way they could vote for Hillary Clinton. She has got to change that. And she needs Bernie Sanders to help her do it.

BLITZER: Everybody, stand by. There's more to assess, more to discuss, including Donald Trump.

[18:25:00]

Has he turned a page in that controversy over his earlier comments on that federal judge? Much more right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Anxious Republicans are hoping a tone-downed Donald Trump can move his presidential campaign forward from the uproar he sparked with his racial criticism of a federal judge.

But some top Republicans are still keeping Trump at arm's length, while others are repudiating him.

CNN's Phil Mattingly is joining us now. Phil, Donald Trump is trying to reassure his party. What's the latest? [18:30:09] PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, and

it's a party that really needs reassurance, Wolf. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke for just about everybody yesterday when he told reporters it's time for Trump to, quote, "get on message."

Now, that's exactly what Trump did last night. Wolf, I've been talking to top GOP officials, some lawmakers and donors today. One real question remains. How long will this last?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will make you proud of your party and our movement.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Donald Trump is trying to turn the corner in the wake of widespread inter-party condemnation of his attacks on the ethnicity of a federal judge.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I would like to be able to endorse Donald Trump, but he really has to change the approach that he has taken.

MATTINGLY: Trump seeking to calm GOP jitters, offering this pledge Tuesday night.

TRUMP: You've given me the honor to lead the Republican Party to victory this fall. I understand the responsibility of carrying the mantel, and I will never, ever let you down.

MATTINGLY: This speech marks Trump's effort to end, or at least pause, two days of internal GOP heartburn and very public backlash over his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing a lawsuit against the billionaire involving his now-defunct Trump University.

Trump accusing the judge of bias because of his Mexican heritage.

TRUMP: He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico.

MATTINGLY: Trump's remarks, crafted by a close group of family and advisors, come after a day of back-channel phone calls, warnings and pleas from top GOP officials, sources say.

Trump backer and defender New Jersey Governor Chris Christie among those who worked on Trump's remarks, which today earned high marks from some Senate Republicans.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think he's done a good job in the last 24 hours of realizing the impact of those comments. I think it shows leadership when he takes responsibility and walks those comments back.

MATTINGLY: The more telegraphed approach comes hours after Trump released a statement saying his comments about the judge, quote, "have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage." But for some, it's too late. Republican Senator Mark Kirk, facing a

tough reelection fight in his home state of Illinois, says Trump, quote, "has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world."

Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt adding that the party should renew its search for a Trump alternative.

HUGH HEWITT, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO HOST: It's like ignoring stage four cancer. You can't do it. You've got to go attack it. And right now, the Republican Party is facing -- the plane is headed towards the mountain after the last 72 hours.

MATTINGLY: Others in the party are encouraging Trump to pivot to the general election and fast.

SEN. DAN COATS (R), INDIANA: Biggest thing for Donald Trump, to shift from the thought of the moment, spontaneously uttered, to a more disciplined way of running a campaign for president of the United States.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY: And Wolf, it's important to note that this goes beyond just messaging. I spoke with one senior Republican donor this afternoon who made it very clear: not only are donors reluctant to associate themselves right now with Trump because of his tone; they're also wary of the complete lack of finance infrastructure his campaign holds.

Now, this donor said Trump is facing a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars compared to Hillary Clinton. That is a major problem. One Trump will take the first steps towards really addressing tomorrow, sources say, when he will personally meet with 60 donors here in New York City, Wolf.

BLITZER: We'll stand by to hear from that, as well.

All right. Thanks very much. Phil Mattingly reporting.

Gloria, what does it say about the state of the party right now that the House speaker, Paul Ryan, calls Donald Trump's comments racist, then the next day confirms his support for Trump's candidacy?

BORGER: I think it's a mess, Wolf. I think what we're seeing is stunning, astonishing. I don't know any other -- any other way to put it.

You had all of these people in Republican leadership, people running for re-election in the Senate, who twisted themselves in a pretzel, having endorsed other people or being on the fence to finally come around in the last month or so, to kind of coalesce around Donald Trump as the party's nominee. And, because they felt it was for the good of the party, party unity, and it was pretty good for down-ballot races, as well. And now what they're finding they have to do is distance themselves to

a degree and say, "Look, I'm for the Republican nominee, but I think what he said is completely inappropriate" or, as Paul Ryan said, racist. And it -- it's a very difficult position for them to be in.

You know, for Paul Ryan to say, "Look, I believe what he said is racist. On the other hand, I continue to endorse him" is -- is really twisting yourself into a knot that's kind of hard to get out of. And I think a lot of Republicans feel that same way.

[18:35:09] We saw Senator Kirk actually un-endorse, or renounce him, because he's got a tough re-election race in the state of Illinois.

So at some point, as Mitch McConnell said yesterday, this -- this campaign has to get -- as he put it, "I need to see some more professionalism" and need to start acting like they're in a general election context and no longer in a primary context. And I think people are just kind of scratching their heads about this.

BLITZER: Dana, are other Republicans in tight races going to follow Senator Kirk -- Kirk's lead?

BASH: They might, but they're in a difficult position. Because the further they push Donald Trump away, the more they risk alienating some core Republicans in their states, depending where they are, and you know, kind of the backbone of their vote. They're not going to get people who are tried and true Democrats, so they need to certainly get their base out. And it's going to be difficult.

In Mark Kirk's case, Illinois is a blue state, but he -- you know, look, he could lose some votes in southern Illinois, for example, where Donald Trump is likely much more -- much more popular.

I just want to also add to what Phil Mattingly was reporting and underscore how much of a big deal this could be, in that Donald Trump seems to be having some trouble with fundraising. I'm told that there is a lot of concern about that, about the fact that he is obviously coming from a place where he has no infrastructure, as he was a self- funder during the primaries, and it is, like other parts of this campaign, pretty slow going.

But this is -- this is the engine that funds the campaign: money. And so if he can't get that, if they can't get these fundraisers on the books, it's going to be a big problem.

BLITZER: He said in that interview with Bloomberg today he doesn't need all that much money...

BASH: Well...

BLITZER: ... because he can go on television and save a lot of money...

BASH: ... could be a test.

BLITZER: ... save commercials, just go out and do a whole lot of television interviews.

Jeffrey, what do you think of Donald Trump's potential running mate list?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, it's so different than other candidates, because, you know, he doesn't have these prior relationships. He has said publicly that he wants an elected official. He wants someone not like himself who comes from the political system.

You know, I thought for -- up until yesterday Senator Corker was the most likely candidate: a distinguished senator, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, very established citizen. He also ripped Donald Trump about the Judge Curiel remarks.

I -- unfortunately, the number of people who have not criticized him for those remarks is so small that he may have to swallow his pride and pick someone who has criticized him. But Senator Corker, Governor Christie, who has his own problems, seems like an unlikely choice at this point. But my money is still on Senator Corker.

BLITZER: There are some who think he should pick a woman, especially since the Democrats now have a presumptive nominee who is a woman. Hilary, what do you think?

ROSEN: Well, if he could find a woman who would run with him. You know, maybe Arizona, former Arizona Governor Brewer might be the only one. She's been out there. Although Oklahoma Governor -- Oklahoma governor Beth Brewer...

BLITZER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

ROSEN: ... he publicly embarrassed Brewer with this whole circuit issue with the judge.

And I think it will be tough when you have governors like Susana Martinez really insulted by Trump.

BLITZER: New Mexico.

ROSEN: Nikki Haley of South Carolina defending Susana Martinez.

Look, this is not a message problem with Donald Trump, and that's bugging me, that these Republicans keep calling this a message problem. This is actually a problem with how he feels. And until he gets that more honest, more under control, I don't think any of these Republicans are safe going next to him.

BLITZER: All right, guys, stand by. We're going to have much more on Donald Trump's criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Is he wading into very dangerous legal waters?

Plus, breaking news, a terror attack: a mass shooting at a popular outdoor market.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:43:47] BLITZER: Donald Trump now says his criticism of the Hispanic judge in the lawsuit against Trump University was, quote, "misconstrued," but his controversial remarks put his lawyers in a troubling position.

CNN's Brian Todd is working this story for us. Brian, Trump alleged that Judge Gonzalo Curiel is biased.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. He alleged that Judge Curiel is biased because of Curiel's Mexican heritage. Trump questions whether he can get a fair trial in that lawsuit, based on that and based on Curiel's membership in Hispanic legal organizations.

But tonight, legal experts are warning Trump and his lawyers that trying to get this judge recused from the lawsuit is a huge gamble.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): Donald Trump says Republicans need to get over his comments about federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall.

TODD: While Trump is calling for Curiel to step down from a lawsuit involving Trump University, his own legal team has actually praised the judge recently. Legal experts warn trying to get a judge tossed just because of his or her race is almost impossible.

PROF. SUSAN LOW BLOCH, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: The court doesn't take it lightly. Lawyers are advised to be very careful with hurling those accusations.

TODD: Experts say lawyers have to show a strong pattern of a judge making decisions based on someone's race to get the judge recused due to his or her ethnicity.

[18:45:06] So far, Trump's campaign and his lawyers haven't disclosed any pattern like that on the part of Judge Curiel, and judges get downright angry when it's just thrown out there.

In a 1986 lawsuit, one lawyer complained a Baltimore magistrate, quote, "reflected Jewish bias in favor of the Kaplan firm." The judge called the accusation false, banned the lawyer from practicing in that court, and recommended that he'd be disbarred.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a huge insult if you say the mere fact that you have an ethnic background or religious background or were appointed by a Democrat or Republican is insulting.

TODD: In 1996, Larry Klayman of the group Judicial Watch wrote a brief questioning impartiality of Circuit Judge Denny Chin. That was after Chin ruled against Klayman's client in a lawsuit. Klayman said because Chin was Asian and Klayman had a previous case against high profile Asian-Americans, the court quote, "might be unable to be fair and impartial."

Judge Chin brought the hammer down, ruling Klayman couldn't appear in his court any more.

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says Judge Curiel shouldn't step aside, but says Trump's lawyers have a right to ask questions about the judge's impartiality.

ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: If there are questions relating to that impartiality, even appearance of impropriety is enough to cause a judge to recuse himself, then there should be a recusal, because this is not about the judge.

TODD: One issue Trump has raised, Curiel's membership in a Hispanic legal organization that called for a boycott against Trump's businesses. CNN has not found any evidence that Curiel supported the boycott and a friend of the judge's defends him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge Curiel has tremendous integrity and courage. And by courage, I mean, he will follow the law wherever it takes him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Now, Trump's team seems to be standing almost alone in the campaign against Judge Curiel. But even Trump is backing off in a statement saying he doesn't want to talk about this any more. We tried to contact the lawyers to see if they're going to file a motion for the judge to recuse himself. They didn't return our calls and e- mail.

One of Trump's lawyer did say recently that Judge Curiel is, quote, "doing his job" -- Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And, Brian, Trump is getting brush back from the man who replaced him on "Celebrity Apprentice", right?

TODD: Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has tweeted his support of Judge Curiel, saying that the judge is an American hero who stood up to the Mexican drug cartels. That's important to note here that while he was governor, Schwarzenegger did appoint Judge Curiel to the bench and this year, Schwarzenegger campaigned for John Kasich. So, no love lost between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump.

BLITZER: All right. Brian, thanks very much.

Let's bring back our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, how can Trump make the case the judge is biased when his own legal team praised this judge?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he can't. You know, his lawyer in this case at the moment, he's had quite a few, is Dan Petrocelli. And a lot of people may remember him. He was the lawyer for the Goldman family in the civil case against O.J. Simpson. He is a very serious, very good lawyer. So, quite appropriately, he had no part of the crazy Donald Trump crusade against the lawyer. Petrocelli said only good things about the judge and that's the only thing you can say. In this country, you cannot seek to recuse a judge because of his ethnicity. Because he's Mexican. I'm having a hard time with that word.

BLITZER: Ethnicity.

TOOBIN: Yes, thank you, Wolf.

But -- so he just can't do it. This lawyer who is a smart person will not.

BLITZER: Could there be legal repercussions for Trump due to the personal nature of the attacks?

TOOBIN: You know, I don't think so because Judge Curiel has a lot of integrity. A point we haven't made often enough is that in this case, he has mostly ruled in favor of Donald Trump, he has declined to dismiss the case all together, which is what Trump wanted, but he has also narrowed the case, reduced possibility for damages for plaintiffs.

So, the idea that there's some pattern of bias here is not only absurd on the ground that like Mexicans can't be good judges. But it's also absurd based on the facts of this case which have mostly -- the rulings have mostly gone in Trump's favor.

BLITZER: Fascinating. Very interesting.

All right. Thanks very much, Jeffrey Toobin, for that.

We are following some breaking news now. New details of a deadly terror attack, a mass shooting at a popular outdoor market. We will update you when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:54:24] BLITZER: We're following breaking news in Israel. A terror attack that's left at least four people dead. The shooting happening at a very popular outdoor market in Tel Aviv.

CNN correspondent Phil Black is joining us with the latest.

Phil, you're learning -- you're getting new information. What are you learning?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Israeli police are now describing the two attackers involved in this incident as Palestinian terrorists. Now, that's significant because it shows -- or gives an indication of where they come from. They're not Israeli citizens.

They're not what are known as Israeli Arabs in the Palestinian territories, almost certainly the West Bank. Which means it is very likely in the coming 24 hours, we will see significant security operations on the West Bank as the authorities here trying to determine who else was involved, how it (AUDIO GAP) to this crowded nighttime food market at 9:30 local time, began shooting, randomly with semi-automatic rifles.

[18:55:18] Now we know they have killed at least four people. A hospital in Tel Aviv has confirmed that the last victim past away on the operating table. As doctors were trying to save this person's life.

Tonight, the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has flown back to Israel from Moscow, going straight to meeting at the defense ministry to discuss what to do about this. Only a short time ago, made a statement in which he described this as a murderous terrorist attack by people who do not value human life and he has promised a swift response, Wolf.

BLITZER: And these indications that these terrorists may have been dressed up as Hasidic orthodox Jews? What do you know about that?

BLACK: That hasn't been confirmed or commented on by Israeli officials just yet. It's an interesting idea. It is certainly possible that these two attackers have changed their appearance in some way so as not to raise suspicion. But the idea of dressing up as Hasidic Jews is an unclear course of action, because Tel Aviv is such a secular city and that is such a secular location, that would not necessarily be a low-profile way of entering that location without creating any sort of attention to themselves, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Phil Black, reporting from Jerusalem. We'll stay on top of the story. Thank you.

Meanwhile, there is growing evidence North Korea is actively working to build more nuclear weapons.

Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, is working this story for us.

Barbara, Kim Jong-un continuing to expand his military arsenal. What are you learning?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Wolf.

New signs tonight that Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, sending a signal to the world and to the U.S., he is not giving up on nuclear weapons.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice-over): Disturbing new signs Kim Jong-un has ordered plutonium reprocessing to begin again at the Yongbyon nuclear complex. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s watchdog group, warning of new signs of activity at the site.

YUKIYA AMANO, IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL: We have indications of certain activities through the satellite imagery.

STARR: The U.S. director of national intelligence has already said, "We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the plutonium production reactor."

The latest worrisome development from a reclusive regime, determined to have multiple paths to making a nuclear bomb. There have been no inspectors inside North Korea since 2009, so detailed information is hard to determine.

BRUCE KLINGNER, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: We think they probably have 10 to 16 nuclear weapons. Up until now, the plutonium program had been largely capped. We don't know how expansive their uranium base or parallel program has been, but now, they look like they'll be adding to their plutonium base.

STARR: All of this as the top commander worries increasingly about the stability of Kim Jong-un's decision-making.

GEN. CURTIS SCAPORRATTI, SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE: My top concern remains the potential for a North Korean provocation to start a cycle of action and counteraction which could quickly escalate.

STARR: Parades like this, just one sign North Korea is also upgrading its conventional weapons. A Pentagon report notes North Korea fields a large conventional forward deployed military that retains the capability to inflict serious damage.

KLINGNER: We have seen in the past few months, Kim Jong-un observe the largest artillery exercise that North Korea ever did, perhaps 100 artillery pieces.

STARR: So, why would North Korea be spending its very precious hard currency on upgrading its artillery guns? Well, analysts tell us, this long-range artillery, it can stay inside North Korea, shoot across the DMZ and potentially hit U.S. military positions in South Korea without ever having to cross the border -- Wolf.

BLITZER: South Koreans must be pretty nervous right now, right?

STARR: Well, I think it's fair to say South Korea remains on a very high state of readiness, always watching the DMZ, always watching what the North Koreans may be up to next.

BLITZER: Barbara Starr will stay on top of this story for us as well. Barbara, thank you very much.

To our viewers, remember, you can always follow us on twitter. Please tweet me, tweet @wolfblitzer. You can always tweet the show @CNNsitroom, as well. Please be sure to join us right here, tomorrow, in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Until then, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

"ERIN BURNET OUTFRONT" starts right now.