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Supreme Court Deadlock Blocks Obama on Immigration; Dems End Sit-In After House GOP Avoids Gun Vote; Interview with Congressman Peter King of New York; Supreme Court Deadlock on Immigration; Trump Heads to Scotland Amid Efforts to Revive Campaign; North Korea Celebrates Success Missile Test. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 23, 2016 - 17:00   ET


[17:00:13] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now:

Breaking news: a split decision, a 4-4 tie in a nine-word (ph) order from the U.S. Supreme Court hands President Obama a stunning setback, with the court kicking the can down the road on immigration reform, leaving millions of undocumented Americans in limbo. The partisan anger on both sides is boiling over.

Sit-in, cave-in. After vowing never to give up, House Democrats end their sit-in after only 25 hours. Will Congress do anything to stop terror suspects from getting their hands on the most powerful guns they can buy?

Not guilty. The policeman who drove the van in which Freddie Gray was fatally injured is cleared of all charges. Will any of the officers involved in Gray's death be convicted?

And Un-ashamed. Hugs and emotion as Kim Jong-un congratulates his general and top scientists for defying world leaders and launching a dangerous new missile. What will he order them to do next?

Wolf Blitzer is on assignment. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: We are following breaking news. Two non-decisions that are far-reaching implications for a pair of the most divisive issues in 2016 election: guns and illegal immigration.

At the U.S. capitol, measures to prevent terror suspects from buying guns hit roadblocks. House Democrats demanded action after Speaker Paul Ryan and his Republican majority voted to go home on their Fourth of July break.

Another non-decision also invoking angry partisan reaction is Supreme Court deadlock on immigration blocks one of President Obama's most controversial attempts to deal with millions of undocumented immigrants. And we're also monitoring the breaking news as Baltimore reacts after

another policeman is found not guilty in the death of Freddie Gray. This time, it's the driver of the police van in which Gray sustained a fatal spine injury. A key member of the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees, Representative Peter King, is standing by to take our questions and our correspondents, analysts and guests have full coverage of the day's top stories.

I want to begin now with Supreme Court in deadlock, and CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown.

Pamela, tell us more about the ruling and also the reaction here.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, the 4-4 high court tie today blocked President Obama's controversial immigration program from going into effect for now and it only amplifies the focus on the Supreme Court during this election season. Reaction to the deadlock decision was swift on both sides of the aisle.


BROWN (voice-over): A crashing blow for more than 4 million undocumented immigrants and the White House.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fact that the Supreme Court wasn't able to issue a decision today doesn't just sit the system back even further. It takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.

BROWN: The high court's 4-4 stalemate today puts the contentious election year debate over immigration and the future of the Supreme Court front and center. Both presidential presumptive nominees used the outcome to appeal to their bases.

Hillary Clinton released a statement calling the deadlock decision unacceptable and saying that Donald Trump's pledge, if elected to repeal Mr. Obama's executive actions, as a, quote, "stark reminder of the harm Donald Trump would do to our families, our communities and our country."

Donald Trump hit back with a statement saying, "The split decision also makes clear what is at stake in election. The election and Supreme Court appointments that come with it will decide whether or not we have a border and, hence, a country."

The ruling united Republicans even those who don't always agree with Donald Trump, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is a win for the Constitution, it's a win for Congress, and it's a win in our fight to restore the separation of powers.

BROWN: The legal fight started almost two years ago with President Obama frustrated with Republicans, sidestepped Congress and signed the executive orders allowing low-priority undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. and to apply for work and benefits. Texas and 25 other states swiftly filed suit and the lower courts voted to block the plan.

President Obama used the high court's deadlock decision today to scold Senate Republicans once again for not holding hearings for his Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

OBAMA: I nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court more than three months ago but most Republicans so far have refused to even meet with him. They are allowing partisan politics to jeopardize something as fundamental as the impartiality and integrity of our justice system.

[17:05:02] And America should not let it stand.


BROWN: So, no doubt, this puts ideological control of the court back into the spotlight.

Also, in a surprise ruling today, Justice Kennedy sided with the liberal justices in an affirmative action case and upheld the University of Texas program that allows race to be used as a factor to be taken into consideration during the college admissions process. Certainly, a very busy day at the high court -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Indeed. Thank you.

And now to the breaking news on Capitol Hill and this fight over stopping terror suspects from buying guns.

CNN Senior Washington correspondent Manu Raju is there and this fight, Manu, over gun restrictions is now switching back to the Senate.


Actually, there was an effort to build a bipartisan consensus behind the proposal from Susan Collins of Maine, the Maine moderate who tried to find a way to deny suspects on that no-fly list the right to buy firearms. What we found was that this proposal does not have enough support to pass the Senate and we also saw a lot of tension not just in the Senate but also in the House.


RAJU (voice-over): Tonight, Democrats end their 25-hour demonstration on the House floor, and promise to take their fight over gun control to the November election.

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: We must never, ever give up or give in! We must keep the faith and we must come back here on July the 5th, more determined than ever before.


RAJU: After a dramatic all night session where Democrats shouted down House Speaker Paul Ryan --

CROWD: Shame, shame, shame.

RAJU: And tried to stop all action in the chamber.

Democrats pull the plug.

(on camera): How long do you think this protest will last?

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Well, we're going to take this protest in one form or another through November 8th.

RAJU (voice-over): In a private meeting today, Democrats presented different strategies for keeping the issue alive. But concluded it was time to call it quits despite the public claims there should be no break until there's a bill on gun control.

REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER (D), NEW YORK: You know Democrats, we're all presenting a different plan right now. We'll get it done.

RAJU: Republicans accused their foes of using brazen particulars to undermine the House as an institution, simply to score political points and raise money.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This one says try giving us 25 bucks, but if you want you can send us $50, $100, $250, $500, a thousand dollars because look what we are doing on the House floor. Send us money.

RAJU: Yet, Ryan facing criticism himself after promising when he became speaker to open up the House floor, now accused of doing the bidding of the NRA.

(on camera): Aren't you essentially undermining your own promises for a more open House?

RYAN: Not in the least. We are the oldest democracy in the world. We are the ballast of the world of free people. And so, when we see our democracy descend in this way, it is not a good sign. It is not a good precedent.

RAJU (voice-over): Across the Capitol, more gridlock, a bipartisan compromise to deny gun sales to people on the no-fly list fail to demonstrate that it could pass the Senate.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Surely, on an issue of this importance we should be able to come together and work for commonsense solutions.


RAJU: Now, the reason why that proposal failed, the opposition from Republicans and the NRA, they did not like how the bill was structured in terms of due process concerns for people who are denied the right for a firearm.

And also, I should add, Brianna, Susan Collins of Maine was very frustrated that Republican leaders were putting together an alternative plan she believed that have siphoned off votes and put Republican support towards that plan and not hers -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Manu Raju on the Hill for us.

And with us in THE SITUATION ROOM is New York Republican Congressman Peter King. He is on both the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees.

Thanks so much for being with us, Congressman.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Thank you, Brianna.

KEILAR: And you're in an interesting position. You're a Republican who has supported some gun control measures for many years now. Should the speaker -- should Speaker Ryan have opened the floor up for this issue?

KING: Brianna, actually, the bill that they were talking about was my bill. I introduced this back in 2007 to say if you're on the terrorist watch list, you cannot buy a gun.

Let me just say before we get to Paul Ryan, the Democrats are totally hypocritical on this. They controlled the House for the first four years that I had that bill, the Democrats controlled the House and the second two years, they controlled the House and Senate and the presidency, and they refused to move it. It never moved at all. They didn't support it. It went nowhere.

And so, now, suddenly, they are making it a big issue. So, there is a real hypocrisy there. That, plus the fundraising.

As far as Paul Ryan, I have disagreement with Paul. I think we should vote on it. I think it should come up. The fact is, Paul is the speaker and there's many bills. I have a lot of bills over the years that didn't come up as every members of Congress does.

[17:10:02] The Democrats, though, what they did last night, it looked like mob rule, a banana republic -- I mean, it was really like a gang that was trying to take over the House. That served no purpose.

And I think what Susan Collins was trying to do in the Senate was really the best thing. I think what happened in the House last night did make it harder for Susan Collins to make progress in the Senate because it made it more partisan than it already was.

Listen, there's enough blame here. I think the Republicans are wrong. I don't think --

KEILAR: Wasn't one of the things that it made it more difficult for Susan Collins was this alternative Republican measure that siphoned off votes?

KING: Yes. Listen, I don't want to tell the Senate how to do their business but I agree, based on what Susan Collins said, that was the wrong thing. I think the Republican Party, as an institution, has to realize that the American people do not want terrorists to be -- people on the terrorist watch list to be able to buy guns. In fact, Donald Trump, he's right now our -- he's going to lead our

ticket. He also agrees with that. I was talking with him this afternoon, that people should not be able, if they are on the terrorist watch list, should not be able to buy guns and Republicans raised the argument of due process.

Well, the fact is, there's a difference in due process between the person losing his liberty and a person having a reasonable restriction put on a right. And to me, as long as there is reasonable belief that this person could be a terror suspect, the government has the absolute right and obligation to keep that person from getting a gun and the court make as final decision.

Under my bill, under Susan Collins' bill, under Senator Feinstein's bill, one way or the other, the person -- if you feel you should not be on the list, you can go to court and have the judge make the decision.

KEILAR: And the vast majority of Americans, Congressman, completely believe the same thing as you. The CNN/ORC poll that we have found 90 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats support these gun control measures, to prevent people on the terrorist watch list or the no fly-list from purchasing guns.

So, what is it? Explain this to us. When you're looking at other members of your party or even Democrats, some of whom may be opposed to this or other measures, what is it in the face of the overwhelming support or measures like this or for other measures, that prompts them to say, I'm not going to listen to the American people, I'm going this way?

KING: The way the lines are drawn in Congress, in the most Republican districts, the base Republican voters are the hardcore Republican voters, they are strongly pro-gun. And they look upon any legislation at all as being an infringement of their Second Amendment rights and that really controls the day. And I think it's wrong and I think we're living too much in our own world.

I think that's -- and same with the Democrats, by the way. They are trying to say this was not a terrorist issue. It's a gun issue in Orlando. It's everything.

I mean, it's a terrorist issue and guns are part of it. And so, you have the Republicans basically saying it's all terrorism and not guns, and yet Democrats saying, it's not terrorism, it's guns. The thing is, we have to -- if we're going to beat ISIS, if we're going to defeat Islamist terrorism, this has to be a full-court press, it has to be an all-out offensive and that includes going after them more strongly overseas, having more surveillance here at home and also trying to take whatever weapons we can away from prospective terrorists.

KEILAR: If something like this can't pass Congress, it really makes you wonder if anything can pass Congress when you're talking about something that has to do with all with guns. What kind of changes would need to be made, what would need to happen in order for something like this that has the overwhelming support of Americans to pass Congress?

KING: Well, ironically enough, I think Donald Trump is the game changer. He's perceived out there to be this hard right winger, and yet he is strongly supporting that someone on the watch list should not be able to buy a gun.

Now, listen, it doesn't have to be my bill. It doesn't have to be Senator Feinstein's bill. I thought Senator Collins is really going in the right direction, trying to get as much as strength as she could, but also willing to make concessions. I was really disappointed today that that the bill didn't get more than 52 votes. And again, it probably was -- probably a decision by the Republican leadership. Also, I think the antics of the Democrats in the House floor, which I found really shameful, made it such a partisan issue that it made it more difficult for Republican senators to vote for Senator Collins.

In the end, that's no excuse. We get paid to do the job and our job is to protect the American people.

KEILAR: Does it come down to the NRA, that there are members of Congress in your party even though they are looking at the poll numbers ultimately when it comes to election day, they think the NRA is going to carry the day and get voters to oust them?

KING: The NRA obviously does have power and I would say it's not even so much with contributions, because it's really not that big an amount compared to all the money that's out there. It's that the hard core voters, in many of the districts, are NRA supporters and they are NRA members and believe in it strongly.

But again, I'm hoping that maybe someone like Donald Trump -- and I spoke with him today, someone like him.

[17:15:04] He's going to be meeting with the NRA next week, to tell them, you know, you can't get up in a debate with Hillary Clinton and say, listen, I believe the terrorists or people on the terrorist watch list should be able to buy a gun because I believe that some of the probable cause measures are not sufficient. People are not going to buy that. They are going to say, hey, we don't want people being killed and the probable cause language in my bill and Senator Collins' bill to be very, very adequate, and I think it's disingenuous for Republicans to say they're not.

KEILAR: All right. Congressman, huge day at the Supreme Court. We're going to talk about that after a quick break.


KEILAR: And we are back now with New York Republican Congressman Peter King.

[17:20:02] He's a key member of the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees.

And as we do follow some breaking news, we're talking about one of the most important cases faced by the U.S. Supreme Court this election year and it ends in a deadlock today. The 4-4 tie kicks this can down the road, as the president said, blocking his orders that affected undocumented immigrants who have no incentive to come out of the shadows.

This is the argument certainly of the White House, congressman king, but I wonder, from your vantage point in Congress, when you're looking at what happened today, doesn't this just highlight Congress' inability to deal with this issue when, if Congress wanted to, if there were some consensus, this would be an issue that could be dealt with?

KING: Well, I think it primarily shows that the president did overreach -- not just overreached. To me, he went far beyond his executive powers. This was an unconstitutional act by the president and I am one of those who favor immigration reform and you find members of Congress who do on Republican side, who clearly felt the president was wrong and he was just abrogating power to himself that he had no right to do.

But, no, listen, Congress has to find a way to get together on these issues. And I can be critical of Republicans but I'll tell you, I look at the Democrats, there's very little room for compromise. Maybe when this election is over, people will realize that -- you know, when Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill -- Ronald Reagan is the most conservative president we ever had in the 20th century and yet he was constantly compromising with Tip O'Neill. If he got 70 percent of what he was looking for, that was considered a victory.

Today, if you get less than 999 percent, it's considered defeat and you get attacked on talk radio and over the Internet and we have to find a way to stand to that. And convince the American people getting a job done is important, that when you make a legitimate compromise based on principle, that's not selling out. That's what democracy is all about.

New York is very different from the states in the South and the West and they are very different than us. We have to realize those differences and try to find a way to find to show unity as a country.

KEILAR: And the next president will certainly affect this debate very much. Donald Trump, of course, has said many controversial things about immigrants and about his immigration plan. We've seen recent poll numbers coming out of Florida that show he's not doing too well against Hillary Clinton and compared to other states that have less Hispanic populations.

Are you worried that this is going to hurt him, not just in Florida but in places like Colorado and Nevada that he will need to get in order to get to the White House?

KING: Well, my own district is about 23 percent, 24 percent Hispanic. So, I certainly see that. I sense that the reaction is there. But he has from now until November to explain why he believes that on balance, his policies are going to be helpful to the average Hispanic family. KEILAR: How do you go from building a wall and making Mexico to

making Mexico pay for it to really pivoting from that in a way that can change the hearts and minds of people currently against him when you're talking about just a few months?

KING: Well, he has to show that illegal immigration as opposed to legal and show why legal immigration benefits everyone and once the illegal immigration issue can be resolved by having stronger borders, that is the way that we can find a way to have real comprehensive immigration reform. So, he has to show that it's not helping anyone to be allowing illegal people to have any incentive to come to this country to get any type of amnesty or have a president like President Obama who actually is violating the law and going beyond his constitutional powers by issuing these executive orders.

We are a democracy, we are a republic and the Congress passes the laws and the president signs them. Now, obviously, Congress should be doing more.

But what Donald Trump needs to show is that his policies, maybe tough love, if you want to call it that -- again, it's up to him to articulate that. He hasn't been able to fully do it until now, obviously. He has to find a way to do it and show that Hillary Clinton's views actually are not going to help anybody and that if we are going to resolve this issue, we have to take tough action and they go forward in an honest way.

KEILAR: All right. Congressman Peter King, thank you so much. We do always appreciate your candor when you're on the show.

KING: Thank you, Brianna. Appreciate it.

KEILAR: And coming up, Donald Trump heading for Scotland. This is supposed to be a business trip. But will he spark political controversy on both sides of the Atlantic with this visit?

And North Korea supreme leader celebrates a successful missile test despite scorn and condemnation from around the globe. What will Kim Jong-un order his military to do next?


[17:29:01] KEILAR: We are following breaking news. A controversial split decision at the Supreme Court has dealt a devastating blow to President Obama's immigration policy. Also breaking, Democrats pushing for stricter gun control legislation have abruptly ended their day-long sit-in on the House floor.

We want to dig deeper now with our political experts and we are joined by our senior political commentator and former adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod, our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston, and our chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

So, Jeffrey, let's talk about this order today, because listening to President Obama, it sounded like he was saying don't worry too much, this doesn't eviscerate the things that I have done. But also, he was trying to get people not -- I don't want to say to worry, but sort of inspired to see how this will matter for the next president.

So, walk us through his order and tell us what it will mean for the next president.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: OK, what happened was the Supreme Court split 4-4, which meant the lower court decision was affirmed, even though it's not now a precedent for the whole country.

[17:30:08] What President Obama tried to do was he said this four million people whose children are American citizens but they are themselves illegally in the country said we are not going to try to deport you and we are going to set up a procedure whereby you can get working papers and start to integrate yourself into American society.

What the court said today by splitting this way is that the deportation process doesn't change. They are not going to be deported. But this process of letting them get work papers, that was outside the president's power. He is not allowed to do that unilaterally. So that process ends and these people are now in -- in limbo in terms of their right to get jobs and join American society.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And this will be a big issue obviously for the next president, whoever it is, could either keep or repeal some of his executive orders. They could obviously nominate Supreme Court justices and effect this situation even further.

But, David, when we heard President Obama trying to mobilize Americans, trying to mobilize voters and certainly Hispanic voters that are such a key part of his coalition and the one Hillary Clinton is courting, how much is this going to mobilize those folks?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, as if we needed any stake raising in this election. This is what this did. It's certainly shone a light on the states, as it relates to this issue but also the Supreme Court. I think in states like Colorado and Nevada, Florida, Nevada, where there are -- where Hispanic voters can be divisive in this election, these are swing states. Certainly the Hillary Clinton forces will be using this to some effect.

But also generally it underscores what having a split Supreme Court means because the court essentially punted today. They didn't have a ninth to break the tie and whomever is president is likely -- if the Senate holds firm, it's like to have to appoint that or will have a chance to appoint that Supreme Court justice who will make a huge difference on this and many other issues. So this is going to play in the election. There's no doubt about it.

KEILAR: Mark, the Supreme Court punted on this today but of course the lower court ruling stands and that means the Republicans are saying, look, this is proof that the president has overused these executive actions, that he's -- gone beyond where he should.

Do they really -- how true is that or is that just a narrative that they are trying to push? MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Well, I hate to answer

it two ways but let me answer it two ways here because, A, it can be interpreted both ways. And I'm sure David, you know, would preach to this. As the president, you do have the power to enact executive actions and executive orders as president where you see fit and, in this case, Barack Obama looked at Congress and said, you don't seem to be, you know, moving forward on my policy agenda, let alone giving it votes, so I'm going to take action and it's a political play.

Now if you are Republicans, you are saying there are three equal branches of government and what we've seen from Barack Obama is an overplay of his hand without any respect towards the House of Representatives or the Senate, and we're going to stand our ground.

Now, Paul Ryan, I think, handled a very difficult situation last night over gun legislation in allowing House Democrats to essentially take over the House floor on this issue on immigration, you know, who knows what's going to happen, if House Democrats will try to seize on this as a political issue.

This plays very well for the Republican base as well as it will play very well for the Democratic race.

KEILAR: Does it play, Dana -- real quick, because I want to ask you about guns. Does it play better for Democrats or Republicans or is this a draw?



BASH: Well, I think that the Republicans have already been energized on this issue. We saw it. I mean, you can't go to a Donald Trump rally without having, you know, this interactive experience about the wall. That's already a part of their -- of their kind of mobilization.

And to David's point, on the Democratic side, it's been there but this is just right now front and center proof that if they really do want to make a difference on this issue and by the "they," it's, you know, Hispanic voters, particularly in those swing states, they need to mobilize and focus their energy, presumably, on the Democratic candidate.

KEILAR: And real quickly on guns. I have to ask you this, there was this sit-in and they were going -- Democrats were going to be there until hell froze over but actually that wasn't the case. It seemed like --

BASH: It did. It did like 12:45 today.

KEILAR: Hell freezes over or until vacation break calls. What happened here?

BASH: But they're going to go right back on the floor on July 5th.

KEILAR: OK. Come on.


KEILAR: I mean, but what happened here that they decided, OK, look, we're going to cave.

BASH: You know what -- look, I think that we know what they did and although that they say it wasn't a political stunt, it was political theater, and you know what, they got -- we're talking about it.

[17:35:08] So they were successful in that way. I don't think that they ever had any kind of illusion that they were going to actually force Paul Ryan to hold a vote. They wanted to shine a light on this issue, get a lot of attention, and they did.

KEILAR: All right. Guys, stand by for me. Donald Trump heading to Scotland. We'll be talking about this trip. A potentially controversial trip, next.


[17:40:16] KEILAR: Donald Trump is trying to revive his troubled campaign after weeks of bad news and worrisome poll numbers. But a detour to one of Trump's golf resorts in Scotland has some Republicans anxious about their candidate's priorities.

Our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny has more on this. Give us the latest -- Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brianna. It's not unusual for presumptive nominees like Donald Trump to take foreign trips, to be seen on a global stage in a presidential way. But there are no sit-down meetings with any world leaders on Trump's agenda. This unconventional campaign is worrying some Republicans who believe he should be spending more time getting his campaign in order, not checking in on one of his new golf courses.


ZELENY (voice-over): Tonight, Donald Trump is heading to Scotland. He's not visiting world leaders, but promoting a Trump golf course.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It's already a masterpiece and we're going to further enhance it.

ZELENY: After winning their presidential primary, candidates often take a victory lap to showcase their foreign policy credentials. Like Mitt Romney in 2012 and Barack Obama in 2008. Not Trump. He is showcasing his brand abroad as Republicans at home worry about his chances in November. He's trying to reset his campaign. Turning the focus to his rival.

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States.

ZELENY: But he's seizing back the spotlight with his trip to Scotland. Some homeowners who say Trump tried pushing them out for another gold development planting a Mexican flag to show their opposition.

Trump's visit is one way to play up his business savvy. But a new CNN-ORC poll finds nearly 70 percent of voters say he should step down as president of the Trump Organization while seeking the presidency.

TRUMP: It's been an amazing campaign.

ZELENY: He's touching down in Britain the day after its referendum on whether to leave the European Union. A consequential vote for which Trump has expressed support.

Hillary Clinton has been highly critical of how Trump's comments would influence the global economy.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It matters when a presidential candidate talks like this because the world hangs on every word our president says. The markets rise and fall on those statements.

ZELENY: Republicans are pressing Trump to get his campaign back on track. Starting with his massive fundraising shortfall to Clinton. He said today he would no longer make his campaign repay a $50 million loan.

TRUMP: I've got a lot of money and I might put up my own money, too. I probably will at some point.

ZELENY: He also told Hugh Hewitt he's leaning toward announcing some members of his cabinet before Election Day. A practice he thought was common until Hewitt told him otherwise.


TRUMP: I think I might be inclined to do that. I don't think it's that unusual, though. That's been done before, hasn't it, Hugh?

HEWITT: No, I don't think ever -- we've had a cabinet member named. There was a hint that Colin Powell was going to be W's Secretary of State but it was just a hint. I mean, if you appear with these guys --

TRUMP: Well, did they wait until after the election and then the cabinet --


TRUMP: Really?



ZELENY: Now that conversation with Hugh Hewitt just an interesting window into just how new all of this is for Trump. He insists he's getting his campaign operation in order, he hired a veteran campaign manager in Ohio, for example. This trip to Scotland is raising eyebrows for many Republicans who remain frustrated at how he's running his race -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much.

Let's get back to our expert panel now. Mark and Dana -- Dana, first, the wisdom of Donald Trump going to Scotland for personal business at this point in the campaign?

BASH: You know what, you definitely, as Jeff said, have a lot of Republicans saying, are you kidding me? Like, really? Does this really make sense? But when has Donald Trump done anything that we expect a Republican or any candidate for president, especially the presumptive nominee to do?

KEILAR: So maybe -- so maybe it doesn't matter, Mark?

PRESTON: Well, it certainly doesn't matter at this point but let me just dive a little bit deeper into the numbers that Jeff showed. Jeff showed that nearly seven in 10 Americans believe that he should separate himself from his business. If you dig a little bit deeper in there seven in 10 of those are independents. These are voters he's really going to need if he wants to win the general election. And 56 percent of those are actually Republicans who thinks he needs to separate himself.

The problem for Donald Trump, perhaps not now but in another month or so, are people going to think that he is potentially going to be distracted by working on his businesses if he is elected president of the United States?

KEILAR: Yes. We'll have to see how seriously and how fiercely those who are polled really feel about this. I do wonder, David, about something else that Donald Trump said where he told Hugh Hewitt, he's thinking of announcing his cabinet members at the end of the convention.

[17:45:03] OK. Unconventional, of course. But I wonder, as well, he is able to say, look, this is who might -- who would be in my cabinet and it's a serious lineup, if that could actually help him or does this make him seen like he doesn't know what he's talking about?

AXELROD: Well, that would be the goal, Brianna, to reassure people that he can govern. The danger is that once you -- it's hard to find cabinet members, the right people for the right jobs. Once you lay them out there, they are targets. And if he makes a mistake, it only exacerbates his problem of people doubting whether he can govern. I think the risks outweigh the rewards.

TOOBIN: In fairness he has laid out about 10 judges he's considering for the United States Supreme Court and they are a very serious list that I think established his conservative bona fides with the members of the Republican Party who really care about those things. So at least as far as the justices go, I think it was probably a smart move. As for the cabinet, I think David is right. The risks are much bigger than the reward.

KEILAR: But the establishment, Dana, looks at this and they say, he doesn't -- he necessarily know the order of how you do these things. Right? How concerned are they?

BASH: Yes. I think probably that's not high on their concern list.


BASH: They have other things to be more concerned with like raise money, hire staff, you know, make speeches along the lines of the one he did yesterday and don't scare off swing voters.

KEILAR: Mark, what do you think?

PRESTON: No, Dana is right. I mean, listen, I think the number one thing right now for Republicans is that they don't want to become the target of Donald Trump. Focus on Hillary Clinton, focus on Hillary Clinton, oh and by the way, focus on Hillary Clinton, not on us.


KEILAR: All right. Thank you, guys, so much for the nice chat. Mark, David, Dana, Jeffrey, appreciate it.

And coming up, North Korea's top officials are jubilant tonight after testing a new missile. What is Kim Jong-un's next move?

Plus, the Baltimore police officer accused of giving Freddie Gray a so-called rough ride is found not guilty for his death. We'll bring you the latest details.


[17:51:40] KEILAR: New tonight, North Korea is talking tough after successfully testing a medium range missile. South Korea's military says Kim Jong-un's regime appears to have significantly improved its missile technology.

Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is following the story. Barbara, what are you learning?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Brianna. Well, North Korea making significant progress in its long range missiles, in its warheads and indeed now in its mobile missiles, the ones that are the hardest for the U.S. to keep track off.


STARR (voice-over): Astonishing images on North Korean state TV of Kim Jong-un at the mobile launch site of two ballistic missiles that could someday hit Alaska. The photos show Kim apparently monitoring the launch from a control room. They also showed the launch moment by moment as the missile leaves the mobile launch pad and soars into the air.

Back in the control room, jubilation. Kim and his entourage cheer. One emotional man even gets a hug from the North Korean leader.

BALBINA HWANG, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: This is absolutely crucial domestically for Kim Jong-un's regime. It is absolutely crucial for his legitimacy and his future policies.

STARR: The U.S. has not confirmed the photos' authenticity or when they were taken but one official tells CNN it does appear to be a launch from a coastal area. U.S. intelligence monitored a launch just along North Korea's eastern coastline. One of the missiles flew 249 miles and reached space before dropping into the Sea of Japan. A major technological step forward. Nations in the region maintaining a high alert.

PRES. PARK GEUN-HYE, SOUTH KOREA (Through Translator): If North Korea carries out provocations, our military should punish them sternly at the very beginning as we have been trained and clearly show how much they have to pay.

STARR: At a summit in Beijing, a North Korean diplomat hailed the news.

CHOE SON HUI, NORTH KOREAN DEPARTMENT OF U.S. AFFAIRS (Through Translator): This means our transportation method has clearly succeeded now so we are very happy. We are very happy because this mean we can now confidently deal with whatever nuclear war U.S. forces.


STARR: And if you think everybody is going back to the negotiating table, think again. The North Koreans saying as far as they're concerned, the six-party denuclearization talks are dead for now -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Barbara, is there any indication that the U.S. could move additional weaponry into the region maybe to send a message to North Korea?

STARR: There is one very significant indication. There are on-going talks with South Korea about moving in a system called THAAD. What this is are U.S. missiles that could shoot down a North Korean launched missile, but, and it is a huge but, China objects very strongly. China still very much the big player in that region when it comes to North Korea -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Thank you.

And coming up, a jury in Baltimore has acquitted one of the six office charged in Freddie Gray's death. We will go live to Baltimore for reaction on that.

Plus, we're learning stunning new details about a sex scandal swirling around the governor of Alabama.



KEILAR: Happening now, breaking news. Deadlock. The divided Supreme Court blocks President Obama's executive actions on immigration and forced more fuel on some of the hottest political debate of 2016. Will voters make the final judgment on election day?

Gun gridlock. After a day-long sit-in, House Democrats at home without forcing any new action on gun control. Did the protesters help their case or raise false hopes?

No conviction. The Baltimore police officer who faced the most serious charges in the death of Freddie Gray is acquitted. He was the driver of the van who gave Gray a, quote, "rough ride." What does this mean for other officers awaiting trial?

And lurid new details in a sex scandal that could leave to the impeachment of Alabama's governor. Tonight, the text --