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THE SITUATION ROOM
Interview With Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador; West Virginia Fires; Brexit Fallout; Trump Hails Brits for "Taking Your Country Back"; Sanders Will Likely Vote for Hillary Clinton; 20 Dead in West Virginia Flooding; ISIS Plots Europe Attacks Amid British Vote Chaos. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired June 24, 2016 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We're covering all the consequences of this truly historic and surprising vote.
U.S. stocks plummet, massive new losses at the closing bell. Global markets are reeling from the seismic shift in Europe. Is this just the beginning of a financial meltdown?
Trump's links. As he promotes his new golf course in Scotland, he is making connections between anger felt by voters in Britain and in this country. Is this a bellwether of what's ahead in the presidential election?
And deadly waters -- dramatic images of flooding and fire in West Virginia as the state of emergency grows worse and the death toll rises.
We want to welcome viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Let's get to the breaking news tonight, U.S. stocks plunging as global markets reel from the bombshell vote in the United Kingdom to quit the European Union, the Dow closing down more than 600 points.
The stunning decision by British voters creating enormous uncertainty around the world that could have serious implications for America's economy, national security, and politics.
Donald Trump in Scotland to promote his new golf course is praising people of the United Kingdom, saying they're taking their country back. Trump says the anger and the worries about immigration driving British voters also are playing out right here in the United States in his presidential campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it will be a good thing. You're taking your country back. You're going to let people that you want into your country and people that you don't want or people that you don't think are going to be appropriate for your country or good for your country, you're not going to have to take.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Tonight, President Obama says the U.S. respects the decision of the British voters, even though he wanted a very different outcome. He is promising the U.S. relationships with both Britain and the European Union will remain strong and stable.
The president says he spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron about the transition ahead, but Cameron won't be in power much longer. He has announced he is stepping down after his campaign to stay in the E.U. was crushed.
I will talk with Republican Congressman Raul Labrador about the politics of this breaking story. He is a Donald Trump supporter.
And our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of all the news breaking right now.
Up first, let's go to senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward in London.
Clarissa, this is just the beginning of the fallout from this truly stunning vote.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. And, honestly, it doesn't matter who you talk to in London, people who supported to leave the European Union, people who wanted to remain. And all of them are using the same words to describe this. Stunning, momentous, astonishing, historic.
Britons essentially woke up this morning with the profound realization that this is a deeply divided country. And indeed the whole world is now asking the same question, which is, what happens next?
WARD (voice-over): It is the biggest shock in the history of modern British politics and possibly one of the greatest political miscalculations ever made.
Early on Friday morning, Britain voted to leave the E.U.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The total number of votes cast in favor of remain was 16,141,241. The total number of votes cast in favor of leave was 17,410,742. This means that the U.K. has voted to leave the European Union.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
WARD: Hours later, the prime minister announced he would resign.
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction. WARD: The people who masterminded the leave campaign were quick to
praise the prime minister, but are convinced that their approach is the correct one.
BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER MAYOR OF LONDON: There is certainly no need, in the 21st century, to be part of a federal system of government based in Brussels that is imitated nowhere else on Earth. It was a noble idea for its time. It is no longer right for this country.
WARD: Londoners did not appear to welcome Johnson's role in the campaign, yet there is much speculation that he will stand for prime minister.
While some celebrated the way the counts unfolded, the results provoked widespread concern about the state of the economy and general confusion about what the future holds.
President Obama, an early supporter of remaining in the E.U., said in a statement that the people have spoken.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: While the U.K.'s relationship with the E.U. will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our two nations. That will endure. The E.U. will remain one of our indispensable partners.
WARD: The vote divided Britain. People in Scotland, Northern Ireland and London wanted in. Everyone else wanted out. Immigration was the primary issue on the campaign.
NIGEL FARAGE, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Let June 23 go down in history as our independence day.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
WARD: How these differences are reconciled and what role Britain will now have on the world stage are issues that will likely take years to resolve.
WARD: Now in terms of what comes next, Wolf, Prime Minister David Cameron said he is not going to pull the trigger yet on implementing the article that would begin the process for the U.K. to leave the E.U. That will be left to the next government, which should be formed in the next three months.
And then it will take another two years likely at least to hash out some kind of deal. But, of course, the concern across Europe is that Pandora's box has essentially been opened and that we're going to see more countries from the European Union saying that they also want to go their own way.
Already, we have heard right-wing party leaders in the Netherlands, in France calling for their own referendum -- Wolf. BLITZER: And those global markets don't like that kind of
uncertainty. Clarissa Ward in London for us, thank you.
We have now more on the financial fallout from this British vote.
CNN's Will Ripley is joining us live from Paris right now.
Will, this was a very tough day for markets around the world. What could this mean specifically, though, for U.S. investors when it comes to the global stock market?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the short-term, Wolf, really dramatic losses for U.S. investors.
Think about this. In a single day, the Brexit has wiped out all of the U.S. stock market's gains for 2016. According to app Openfolio, which is a partner of CNN Money, the average U.S. investor lost almost 3.5 percent of their portfolio.
The Nasdaq went into correction mode, and because it is still so uncertain what will happen, especially here in the European markets, there could be more bad news in the weeks and months ahead, which means potentially even more losses for U.S. investors.
BLITZER: Will, the impact on U.S. interest rates if the U.S. markets don't recover, what do the experts anticipate?
RIPLEY: Well, remember, back in December, the Fed was saying that they would raise interest rates four times this year. And then this month, they said, well, maybe only raise it once, because there had been weaker-than-expected job growth and other factors in the U.S.
Now, as a result of Brexit, it looks as if interest rates may remain unchanged, which, of course, means that anybody putting their money in a savings accounts won't get a return on their deposit. And it's also a sing that the U.S. has not been able to fully bounce back from the great recession.
BLITZER: All right, Will Ripley in Paris, thank you.
World leaders, they are scrambling right now to adjust to this new reality as Britain prepares to part ways with the European Union. Will others members of the E.U. follows Britain's lead?
Our CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, is standing by joining us live from just outside the prime minister's residence at Number 10 Downing Street in London.
Nic, is there concern about a domino effect?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, that the contagion will somehow spread.
We heard from the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, today saying that Europe should act cautiously so as not to create bigger rifts internally. Yet, at the same time, her own justice minister said we need to act quickly to Britain's vote to leave the European Union, and draw up the new terms that Britain will negotiate in its exit strategy.
So even within one country, you have different views of how to handle this being expressed. You have right-wingers in Holland, Geert Wilders there. You have Marine Le Pen and her right-wing party in France as well, both of these people calling for their own referenda to vote to leave the European Union.
David Cameron today, after he gave that speech, impassioned speech, almost tearful speech announcing his resignation, he called around his European counterparts, he called Angela Merkel, he called the French president, Francois Hollande, he called the Italian prime minister, the Irish prime minister, the Dutch prime minister, the president of the European Commission, the president of the European Council, to explain his positions.
He will be meeting them next week. But the concern among all those leaders is precisely that. What's the domino effect? And it's very, very clear at this stage they haven't worked out yet what the implications are and, even then, how to handle them -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And, Nic, very quickly, this was a huge political blunder on his part calling for this referendum. He really didn't need to do that, did he?
ROBERTSON: Wolf, he went into the last election, the last general election here, fearing that the only way to keep his party together, the only way to win the election was to promise his right-wingers, his euro skeptics a vote and an in/out referendum. He did that.
But guess what? The polls predicted the elections all wrong. He came out with a conservative majority in the Parliament, the first time in decades that had happened. Effectively, he won relatively handily. He needn't have made that concession. It was a dead end, a blind alley, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, what a blunder that was, from his perspective.
All right, Nic Robertson reporting for us, thank you very much.
Joining us now, Congressman Raul Labrador, Republican of Idaho. He's a Donald Trump supporter.
Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.
What was your reaction to this decision by the people in the United Kingdom to leave the E.U.?
REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: Well, I think it is exciting for the people of Great Britain. They -- maybe you can say now that June 23 is going to be their independence day.
I happen to have one of my deputy chiefs of staff who is married to a British girl. And I asked him a couple weeks ago, what are people talking about, what are they saying? And this is not a surprise to me, because he was saying that her family and many people in their community thought that this is what was going to happen.
What I find intriguing is that the elites in Washington, D.C., the elites in London, the elites in Brussels, they're the ones that are surprised. And I think this is what's happening. It is a repudiation of the elites all throughout the world.
It is happening here in America with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, when you saw that 65 percent of the Republicans were voting for outsiders in the Republican primary. It happened with Bernie Sanders, where he gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money, which nobody expected. And now it is happening in London.
I think people are surprised. And they shouldn't be surprised, because it is a sense of unrest throughout the world with immigration, with the economic condition. And I think that is something it's going to be having a huge effect on the election here at the end of the year.
BLITZER: But what do you say to people in Britain who woke up today and all of a sudden there's some estimates they lost in one day about $200 billion, looking at the markets collapsing, looking at the British pound devalued, its lowest point in 30 years? They're losing a ton of money as a result of this decision, and they weren't bracing for that, Congressman.
LABRADOR: Well, I think the markets will bounce back. I think it always happens.
When you have a decision like this, when the markets are unsure, the markets go down. And the markets will go back up. You have a lot of people who are going to make money. They know they're actually betting on this right now. They're spending money today and investing because they know that the markets are going to go back up.
But the reality is that whenever you have major changes like this, you are going to see economic consequences. But you need to think about what's going to happen for the future of Great Britain. They're going to be more sovereign, more independent. They going to be more excited about their future, and you are going to see their economic condition actually be strengthened by this, not weakened by this.
BLITZER: Congressman, stand by. We have more to discuss. I want to get your reaction. Donald Trump, he says this is a great thing, the decision by the people of the U.K.
Much more with Raul Labrador right after this.
BLITZER: We are back with Republican Congressman Raul Labrador.
Stand by, Congressman. We have more breaking news on the reaction to Britain's vote to leave the European Union right now.
Let's go to Scotland, where Donald Trump mixed business and global politics today, drawing parallels between what happened in Britain and what is happening in this country.
Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, is in Scotland for us.
Jim, Trump is calling the British vote a great thing. Update our viewers.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.
Donald Trump celebrated Britain's decision to leave European Union as if he had just won a presidential primary. For the presumptive GOP nominee, the timing couldn't have been better as he was touring part of his real estate empire in a suddenly very different United Kingdom.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Don't look now, but Trumpism just crossed the Atlantic. At least, that's how Donald Trump sees Britain's so-called Brexit from the European Union, even drawing parallels to his own race.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People want to take their country back. They want to have independence, in a sense. They want to be able to have a country again. So, I think you are going to have this happen more and more. I really believe that. And I think it is happening in the United States.
ACOSTA: At the grand reopening of his Turnberry Golf Course in Scotland, Trump hailed the vote in the U.K. as vindication of his push against what he considers to be the scourge of open borders.
And the presumptive GOP nominee shrugged off the immediate panic in global financial markets as a potential business opportunity for Britain and himself.
TRUMP: When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly.
ACOSTA: Ignoring a protester holding up golf balls featuring Nazi swastikas, Trump seemed to welcome the political fallout in London, where Prime Minister David Cameron announced he is stepping down.
The two leaders had tangled over Trump's proposal to ban Muslims entering the U.S. and chose opposing sides over Brexit.
TRUMP: He was wrong on this. He didn't get the mood of his country right.
ACOSTA: Trump had misread part of Brexit himself, tweeting that Scotland was wild over the vote. But the returns showed Scotland had actually decided to remain in the E.U.
TRUMP: The world doesn't listen to him.
ACOSTA: But this was a victory lap, as he slammed President Obama and Hillary Clinton for wading into British politics against Brexit.
TRUMP: I thought it was inappropriate. And then she doubled down, and she did the same thing. And obviously, for the 219th time, they were wrong.
ACOSTA: Clinton responded to British in a statement, saying: "This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House."
Her campaign savaged Trump's reaction as frightening.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not concerned with the American people or their retirement accounts or their security. He is concerned with himself, and that's it.
ACOSTA: Trump says it's his skills as a businessman that the country needs.
TRUMP: We have a problem.
ACOSTA (on camera): People will say the country is not a golf course.
TRUMP: No, it is not, but it's -- you would be amazed how similar it is. It is called it's a place that has to be fixed. And there's nobody that knows how to fix things like me.
ACOSTA (voice-over): As for the Trump properties, the real estate tycoon said he would continue holding campaign events as venues bearing his name.
TRUMP: My properties, number one, I have the best properties.
ACOSTA: And said he will give up control over them if he wins the White House.
TRUMP: If I win, I would, even though I don't have to do that, I would probably put everything in trust. My children will run it, along with my executives.
ACOSTA: And Trump is now fund-raising off of the Brexit results, saying in an e-mail to supporters this evening -- quote -- "With your help, we're going to do the exact same thing on Election Day 2016 here in the United States of America."
Now, over the weekend, Trump will visit another one of his golf courses in the town of Aberdeen, where some residents have raised Mexican flags to protest his rhetoric over immigration. And even though some Republicans wish he would just come back home and start campaigning again, Trump defended this trip today, Wolf, saying he's doing it for his children who, as we know, now handle much of the family business -- Wolf.
BLITZER: They certainly do. All right, Jim Acosta, thank you.
Let's get back to Congressman Raul Labrador.
Congressman, you heard Donald Trump saying today there are parallels to what happened in the U.K., what's happening in his campaign. Do you agree? Are there parallels, and, if there are, what are they?
And like I said earlier, you have the elites in Washington, D.C., the elites in the media, the elites in the press who think that something is going to happen in November. They believe that there's no way that Donald Trump can win.
But Donald Trump, even though he doesn't say everything the way I would say it, the way other people in politics would say it, is speaking to the hearts and minds of the American people. People don't feel secure in their homes. They don't feel secure in their homeland. They don't feel secure economically and they're looking for somebody who can provide strength and that's what Donald Trump is doing.
As you know, I did support him during the primary, but our party is looking for that strength that he's going to provide, that we need to provide to the American people, because, right now, we are in a weak economic cycle. As you know, the president's economic policies haven't been able to get us out of this mess that we're in. He keeps taking credit for the economy being stronger, but the economy is not much stronger than it was when he started.
And we need to make sure that we get out of these economic doldrums. So, I think that's what people are look...
BLITZER: I was going to say, Congressman, you remember the recession when he took office, the U.S. was losing 700,000, 800,000 jobs a month. And the country has clearly rebounded from that.
Millions of jobs since then have been created, so at least, on the job front, people are working.
LABRADOR: Well, you keep saying that. You guys keep saying that, but the reality is that back here in Idaho, people are not making much more money than they were making eight years ago.
Mom-and-pops are still trying to figure out how they're going to put food on the table. They're struggling. The economy is better, and, yes, there's more employment, but most people are underemployed. There's a lot of people who have actually left the employment rolls.
That's why we have seen the employment rates go down. Yes, things are a little bit better, but people don't feel secure. In Washington, they see people are making a ton of money, because government is spending and spending and spending. But here in Boise, Idaho, here in Northern Idaho in parts of my
district, people are struggling, and they're trying to figure out, how are we going to get out of this mess? How are we going to see the 3 and 4 percent economic growth that the United States has seen in the past?
We haven't seen that for a long time. And that's what they're looking for. And I think that's when you're going to have some similarities. Now, Trump needs to make sure that he can speak to the American people, needs to avoid some of the mistakes that he made the last couple of weeks.
But once he does that, I think it is going to be pretty clear that the American people are going to reject Hillary Clinton.
BLITZER: You were once a Cruz supporter, but you're 100 percent now in Trump's corner, right?
LABRADOR: Oh, I'm going to support Donald Trump. He is the nominee of the party. I wish things would have gone a little bit differently, but they didn't.
And there's really no bright line between these two. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, it is an easy question for me.
BLITZER: Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho, Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.
LABRADOR: Hey, thank you very much.
BLITZER: And just ahead, more on Donald Trump's reaction to the vote in Britain and his unusual news conference in Scotland. Is his business causing problems for his presidential campaign?
And we will also have the very latest on the flooding disaster under way right now in West Virginia.
BLITZER: We're back with the breaking news, the Dow Jones industrials plummeting more than 600 points just hours after British voters stunned the world by deciding to break loose from the European Union.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton both say they respect the results of the British vote, even though they wanted the E.U. to stay intact, but Donald Trump says the vote is, in his words, a great thing.
Let's bring in Rebecca Berg, national political reporter for RealClearPolitics, our Senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, and our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.
Jeff, he held a news conference today at Turnberry, at his resort, his golf course in Scotland, but he spent most of the time in his opening statement not talking about this historic vote, but talking about his new golf course.
[18:30:06] JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: He did. You almost wonder the master of television here if he actually knew this was being broadcast live around the world. Perhaps he did. He -- I was struck initially how measured he was, he didn't come out as he may have in a rally here and sort of bragged about being on the right side of the Brexit vote.
But I think by talking about hotel suites and ocean waves and golf balls and sprinklers, went on and on and on, I think he still has not grasped the fact he is a world stage and people are looking for him to give a bit of direction here. I think it underscores, A, how careful he is being, but he -- how new this all is to him, and I am not sure he grasps the gravity of the situation here. But I think that it sounded more like the Travel Channel for a second, sounded like he was promoting his business. Once people asked questions, he talked.
But still I am not sure, we talked yesterday, maybe it was a mistake he was there. I think it was great timing once again for Donald Trump, but again, just not sure the headlights are quite on what significance this moment actually was.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That he, right, to actually take advantage of how fortuitous it was. I looked at the actual timing. He spoke for 31 seconds about Brexit, then went into the conversation about his or the press conference his golf course and did that for 12 minutes.
ZELENY: A little self-absorb, not that it matters in the end of the day.
BASH: The one thing I will say that I think it does -- it is a reminder, a very stark reminder of the fact that he is a businessman and he went there to obviously open his golf course but actually did it for his son Eric Trump who has been working on this a couple of years. He made this a family affair, talked about his mother, the fact she was from Scotland. But to your point, it was a bit shocking that he didn't kind of come right away and say, you know, this is happening and it is happening literally right where we are and not only I told you so, but this means that this is a worldwide effort that's going on by the grassroots. What he ended up doing later when reporters asked about it, unusual.
BLITZER: Because we're sort of used to presidents, when they have an event already scheduled, but if there's a major development, they come right out. They will to get a little while.
But let me update you on the reaction that's going on.
ZELENY: But he had put a statement out before that. I thought that statement was one of the most presidential like statements he's put out. He's clear he was maybe not that familiar with the words, he didn't repeat that at all.
BLITZER: Rebecca, he makes a point that there are parallels to what happened in Britain and what he anticipates will happen here in the United States. He assumes he is going to win, he is going to be the president and that same populism that erupted against the E.U. and Britain, similar kind of strain of populism will get him elected.
REBECCA BERG, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Certainly seeing that in the United States, not only talking Europe, not only in the United Kingdom but also across the mainland Europe as well.
So, this is not an isolated phenomenon to be sure. But you also have to look at the electorate in the Brexit vote relative to what we're going to see here, what we would expect to see in the U.S. election, the electorate is going to look different, Britain is much whiter, the electorate in this vote was much older, the older less educated Brits tended to support leaving the E.U., while the younger, more highly educated British voters support remaining.
Because of the makeup of U.S. vote, it's going to be much more heavily minority voters than we saw in Britain. It will be very different.
ZELENY: There are some comparisons to the sentiment there and around the world. We will see other referendums as well, but I think, you know, obviously, demographics are different, but the sentiment is there. The Clinton campaign is cognizant and are wise to be aware and worried about that. They shouldn't diminish the sentiment happening.
BLITZER: Yes, people are watching that closely. Everyone, stand by. There's more to assess, more information coming into THE SITUATION ROOM.
We'll be right back.
[18:39:14] BLITZER: We're back with our political team. We're following the breaking news on the British vote to leave the European Union, a startling development, while Donald Trump was in Scotland, though, sharing his views on the results. There were other new developments in the presidential race back here in the United States.
One of the issues on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders, he seems to be moving closer to formally endorsing Hillary Clinton but isn't there yet. Listen to what he said earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: When the day comes in November, and Sanders has to cast his vote, to whom does it go?
SANDERS: It will likely go to Hillary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: Likely go to Hillary Clinton.
ZELENY: How charitable is that, Wolf? I mean, not really is --
BLITZER: Why can't he simply say I am going to work as hard as I can to prevent Donald Trump from being president and work for Hillary Clinton?
[18:40:04] BASH: Right now, Hillary Clinton is sitting in Chappaqua watching you going, exactly!
ZELENY: His ego. That's the reason. The reality is Bernie Sanders had an amazingly impressive presidential campaign. He won 23 states, millions and millions of votes. No one ever expected that to happen, he didn't expect it to happen. But somehow he cannot find it within himself for a couple of reasons.
I asked one of his advisers about this early this week and said, look, he is trying to bring the movement along slowly. He comes out and endorses her, he will agitate some of them. I think that's self centered, here. The practicality of this is he is losing his moment.
ZELENY: He's losing his moment.
BASH: And leverage.
ZELENY: He was leader of the populist -- liberal wing of the party. Not sure that's the case any more.
BLITZER: He hasn't gone out campaigning with her by any means. You don't see them together on the campaign trail.
BASH: No, I mean, not at all. And, you know, at some point that will happen, but, you know, when this is a contentious primary, we were discussing whether there would be a Unity, New Hampshire moment that Clinton and Obama had in 2008, never mind that not happening, but he can't even say he will vote for her, only saying he is clearly saying he's not going to vote for Donald Trump.
And I do think missing his moment, but also relinquishing leverage that he had, important leverage that he had that he still could use, I feel like it's --
BLITZER: In terms of the party platform?
BASH: In terms of party platform, in terms of the narrative, in terms the agenda. Let's say he is out campaigning with Hillary Clinton, you know, he could have events with her, maybe he still can, events with her, and he can still make the argument he made before, but do it in a way.
ZELENY: And Elizabeth Warren is doing it Monday in Cincinnati, so that is the interesting thing.
BLITZER: That will be a big event with Elizabeth Warren, together with Hillary Clinton, they go out there and they rally that base.
BERG: It will be a huge event, it is stealing Bernie's thunder among the progressive left and giving Elizabeth Warren an opportunity to find a place in this campaign as a powerful figure, either potentially as Hillary Clinton's running mate. Many people are discussing that option at this moment or as just a very powerful surrogate who is out there taking a lead.
So, it's good for Elizabeth Warren, good for Hillary Clinton and Bernie is in the background. It is a political risk for Bernie to be in the background. But then you risk people saying you're helping Donald Trump by not helping Clinton.
BLITZER: Interesting development. Increasingly, one by one, we're seeing former Bush administration officials coming out, saying they're going to work to support Hillary Clinton.
ZELENY: Wolf, I was reading an op-ed in "The Washington Post" this evening by Hank Paulson. He's former treasury secretary in the second term of the Bush administration. He says he can't vote for Trump, he's lifelong Republican, he says he is not sitting it out. He urges people to vote for the Democrat in this case. He said a Trump presidency is unthinkable and goes into the reasons why.
He is not the only one. Just this week alone, we got Brent Scowcroft.
BLITZER: Who was the national security adviser for the first President Bush.
ZELENY: Now, does he have a ton of sway inside the Republican Party? Probably not, but elites and others, it's significant I think.
BASH: It isn't, but it's also one of the subplots is that Donald Trump has never had a great relationship even though he is a New Yorker with Wall Street and Hank Paulson is, you know, quintessential Wall Street. So, that and other reasons Paulson lays out in the op-ed is a reason why --
ZELENY: He says it's time to put country before party, say it together, never Trump. See if it matters or not.
BLITZER: What do you think, Rebecca, at some point Bernie Sanders either before, during or after the convention is going to go out there, start to work aggressively to help Hillary Clinton?
BERG: At some point, absolutely. Especially because Bernie Sanders said publicly the thought of Donald Trump presidency to him is unaccepted. So, then by default he has to be out there helping Hillary Clinton.
So, I would think the reason he is taking so long, some of the reasons you mention, Jeff, I think are absolutely correct, but also to maintain some influence, shape the party platform. But maybe the longer he waits, less effective he's going to be.
BLITZER: Sanders, Clinton, DNC platform, people are meeting in St. Louis, trying to figure out what to do. They have some significant differences, I am told.
All right, guys. Stand by.
There's breaking news we are following in West Virginia now where at least 20 people are dead in flooding. Heavy rains last night and this morning caused flash floods that caught a lot of people by surprise. The water poured on roads and streets, pushing over trees and power lines, leaving hundreds of people stranded.
Take a look at this. One house caught fire before it was washed off its foundation.
[18:45:03] It kept burning as it floated downriver, passing under a bridge, threatening other structures. At last report, 44 counties declared states of emergency. This is really, really awful.
I am joined in the phone by West Virginia Republican U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito. Senator, thanks very much for joining us. What's the scope of the damage in West Virginia, because the video we're showing our viewers, the pictures, it looks devastating?
SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R), WEST VIRGINIA (via telephone): It is devastating, Wolf. We still don't know, I don't think the totals in terms of loss of life and property. The power of water is just an incredible thing to see. It came so fast. Some people were driving their cars, had to get on the roof of their cars to be rescues or hope of getting rescued. There are still some people are caught in their homes, an unsafe environment.
So, we're just praying for those people. And thank goodness rescuers tried all means to be able to get safety for so many West Virginians.
BLITZER: Senator, CNN is reporting the latest death toll is now up to 20. Is that the latest you heard?
CAPITO: That's the latest I heard, but I will say that I have heard there are still people who have not been accounted for.
BLITZER: Is there any relief in sight?
CAPITO: Well, you know, it is incredible to me in times of tragedy. It stopped raining and the sun has been out. I was in White Sulphur Springs, some of the pavement is even dry, but you could see the debris. But, you know, we have the National Guard, we have West Virginia department of highways, FEMA, we have the resources and just local people helping churches, opening their doors for foot and shelter. One of those things, it just happens so fast. I mean, at 11:00 yesterday is when the guards was first notified there might be a problem.
BLITZER: How long will it take to recover?
CAPITO: These things take a long time. FEMA is great and helps in emergencies, you can get individual help, housing help, but you have to go through applications and all of those kinds of things. I think we're assessing the damage. Unfortunately, West Virginia, we had some flash flooding, it is not a
rarity where we live, because we live in a mountainous area, but the magnitude of this one is just something I've never seen.
BLITZER: Have you heard from the White House? From FEMA, from Federal Emergency Management Agency, have they declared a disaster area? Are they coming in with major federal assistance?
CAPITO: We're really pushing for the federal declaration, I can't imagine that we won't get it. We had a call today with FEMA at 3:45. They're moving some of their assets in over the weekend and those determinations will be made early in the week.
BLITZER: I know you need that. What's the final message to the people of West Virginia?
CAPITO: Well, we're strong, stay strong, help your neighbor. And be safe. The water is still roaring and don't take any chances.
BLITZER: Shelley Moore Capito is the senator from West Virginia -- Senator, thanks very much. Good luck to you and good luck to all the people in West Virginia.
CAPITO: Thank you.
BLITZER: We'll watch this story. Unfortunately, it's not good.
Just ahead, what the British vote on leaving European Union could mean for the war against is and America's security.
[18:53:00] BLITZER: We have breaking news tonight. ISIS is calling for a new attack to paralyze Europe, seizing on the fear and uncertainty after Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is joining us.
Has the vote heightened concerns on global, national security issues, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, at the end of the day, Wolf, at least so far, there is a lot of nice diplomacy between Washington and London, reassurance that the security relationship will continue. But the bottom line is, the reality is, no one knows what the next government in Whitehall might do.
STARR (voice-over): Popular online jihadi forums are applauding the U.K. vote to leave the European Union, hoping to see more chaos in Europe. From the war on ISIS, to European terror threats and Russian aggression, the security implications are still uncertain.
The Pentagon clearly had not wanted it to happen. Days before the vote, Defense Secretary Ash Carter stood at NATO headquarters and called for the U.K. to stay put.
ASH CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We know the strategic value that unity and cohesion brings to our alliance.
STARR: But after the vote, the Pentagon struck a conciliatory note.
PETER COOK, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We feel confident that this special relationship including the special defense relationship we have will certainly continue.
STARR: The optimism is not shared by all.
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: What we're seeing a potential for a major reorganization within NATO and a potential weakening of the security environment in Europe.
STARR: Despite exiting the European Union, the U.K. remains a member of NATO, though its financial contribution to the military alliance could be at risk if its economy falters.
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Today, as we face more instability and more uncertainty, NATO is more important than ever as a platform for cooperation.
STARR: European Union and NATO members are going to meet to discuss closer cooperation in issues like cyber and terrorism, on ISIS and fighting terror threats, Britain and the U.S. still will share the most highly classified intelligence.
[18:55:12] MIKE ROGERS, FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: That agreement is not going to be impacted by this in any way, shape or form.
STARR: But the CIA director points out with 28 countries now in the E.U., there are already significant problems.
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Within each of those countries, they have sometimes several intelligent security services. They do not have the interconnectivity, either from a mission and legal perspective or from an I.T. perspective.
STARR: So what about the war on ISIS? Well, look, there's been progress on the battlefields in Iraq and Syria, but ISIS has already demonstrated several times it can inspire people, inspire its adherence to go to Europe and launch attacks, and that is something that U.K. and the rest of Europe still after the U.K. leaving the European Union, they are still going to have to deal with all of that -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Certainly will. Barbara Starr, thanks very much.
Let's bring in Peter Bergen.
You thought that from the security counterterrorism point of view, Britain should have stayed in the E.U. Why?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I mean, certainly, you know -- I think the bigger issue is not necessarily the kinds of standard security argument. It is the fact that this vote has empowered early immigrant proto-fascist parties not only in Britain but Europe. And saying we should vote to get out.
And so, it kind of the rising tone of anti-immigrant kind of flavor here, I think, is really, you know, we already have a lot of alienated Muslims in Europe. I think that we will see more, because of this vote, sort of allows us this anti-immigrant wave to gather steam.
BLITZER: So you think there is going to be a domino effect that other European countries want to leave the E.U. and that could continue and maybe even spill over into the NATO alliance?
BERGEN: Well, Scotland may say, hey, we want to evolve from Britain. That would be a huge political catastrophe for the United Kingdom. Secondarily, people on the right in France say we need our own vote, a Frexit vote to leave Europe. Europe is not popular in France, the European Union right now.
And so this is an alliance that served us well. You know, it was designed to keep Europe at peace, it did. It was designed to keep European prosperity, it has. And we're entering terror incognito here.
BLITZER: What a lot of folks in Britain were worried about, if you're a member of the European Union, if people come in refugees come into Italy or Spain or France for that matter, any place, they can easily without any problem, go into the United Kingdom as well. They want to shut down that border because they are afraid of these kinds of potential terrorists slipping in.
BERGEN: Yes, that was the argument of the people in the leave campaign. And they're also concerned about immigrants from Eastern Europe taking their jobs. But the fact is that any economists you talk to say that Britain is going to have some pretty serious economic repercussions.
We have already seen the pound at its lowest point in 30 years. But I think the bigger issue is the political issue where you have the potential of Scotland going its own and Northern Ireland trying to go its own way and the United Kingdom beginning to break up.
BLITZER: You make the point that some of the rhetoric we're hearing, forget about the U.K. for a moment, elsewhere in Europe, could in effect create more sort of sympathizers to ISIS within their nations respectively?
BERGEN: Yes, I think so. Because think you've -- two very big phenomenon. The massive wave of immigration from the Middle East, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. But at the same time, you have the rise of proto-fascist countries, in country after country around Europe, including not only just France and Britain, but also Hungary and Poland and Finland and Greece and other places. And that combination is a very toxic one, because the Muslims who are
drawn to this ideology are because they're drawn because of alienation. If there are more alienated Muslims, you'll have more people drawn to ISIS.
BLITZER: And your biggest concern is the inspiration, the so-called lone wolves out there as opposed to a direct attack organized by ISIS headquarters in Raqqah, Syria.
BERGEN: Well, I think in Europe, you can have both. In the United States, it's more the home-grown what we saw in Orlando. But in Europe, we have seen ISIS directed attacks in both Paris and Brussels that are were very deadly. Both either it's home-grown or whether it's organized, they're obviously very, very deadly in both counts.
This is a significant development that we have seen unfolding in Europe right now. Peter, thanks very much for joining us. Peter Bergen is our national security analyst.
Remember, you can always follow us on Twitter. Please tweet me @wolfblitzer. You can always tweet the show @CNNsitroom.
Please be sure to join us once again Monday, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Until then, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer.
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