Return to Transcripts main page


New Details: How the Terrorists Infiltrated Airport; CIA Chief Warns of ISIS Threat to Our Homeland; Trump: ISIS was Formed on Clinton's Watch; Crews Race to Repair Airport After Terror Attack; U.S. Officials Weighing Expansion of Airport Security. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 29, 2016 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:00] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next. The breaking news, the face of terror. New video showing the moment a suicide bomber enters the airport in Istanbul wearing a winter coat in summer. All signs point to ISIS tonight.

Plus, an attack on American soil. CIA Director John Brennan warning ISIS threat to the homeland tonight.

And just moments ago, Donald Trump blaming Hillary Clinton for the rise of ISIS. Let's go OUTFRONT. I'm Erin Burnett.

Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, the face of terror and the death toll rising this evening. Our first look at one of the three suicide bombers who slaughtered at least 42 people and wounded 239 more at one of the world' busiest airports. These numbers have increased dramatically since we first told you about this attack. Let me show you the new video. It shows the moment one of the attackers entered the airport in Istanbul, shooting his way into the terminal.

Also tonight, we now know the exact location where all three bombers detonated their explosives. One in the departures area, one in the arrivals and one actually outside the airport in the parking lot. As you can see there on your screen. The fear that the next attack could happen on American soil was evident today. CIA Director John Brennan said, the threat is very real.


JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: It would be surprising to me that ISIL is not trying to hit us both in the region as well as in our homeland. We cannot rest at all. We have to increase our efforts.


BURNETT: And while both American and Turkish officials say ISIS is more likely to blame, the identity of the bombers is still a mystery tonight.

Ivan Watson is OUTFRONT on the ground at the airport tonight. And Ivan, how close are they to figure out who exactly these men were and how they were able to pull off such a coordinated attack? IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't know

exactly, of course, what the Turkish officials have really come down to yet. The one Turkish government official has told CNN that there is a strong suggestion that the three attackers are foreign citizens, but the investigation is still underway. And of course, challenged by the fact that all three attackers were suicide bombers and much of their bodies were damaged and destroyed in the actual blast, but the number one suspect, of course, here, ISIS.

That's what the Turkish government is saying. That's what other investigators are saying. This attack bore the hallmarks of an ISIS attack where you had three attackers moving with high-powered rifles in what appeared to be a coordinated attack. Take a look.


WATSON (voice-over): An urgent operation underway to identify the three suicide bombers who carried out the coordinated attack at Istanbul's busy Ataturk airport.


Surveillance video capturing one of the men dressed in jeans, hat and black winter coat despite temperatures near 80 degrees, and tonight officials revealing new details of the attack. The three terrorists arrived at the airport by taxi around 10:00 p.m. local time. Within minutes, one of the attackers blows himself up at the entrance of the international terminal. Amid the chaos, a second attacker enters the arrival hall and takes out his AK-47 and can be seen running through the terminal before apparently being shot by a security officer. He falls to the ground. Seconds later, the terrorist blows himself up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw a lot of people running around. They were all covered in blood.

WATSON: Security cameras captured the terror as a third attacker starts shooting. Investigators say he panics and blows himself up outside a security checkpoint.

BRENNAN: The despicable attack at Istanbul's International Airport yesterday, that killed dozens and injured many more certainly bears the hallmarks of ISIL's depravity.

WATSON: Intelligence officials are pointing the finger at ISIS despite no one claiming responsibility. Now more than 24 hours after the attack. Investigators also interviewed and released the taxi cab driver, one of the last people to see the attackers alive. President Obama promising to go after the terror network.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We will not rest until we have dismantled these networks of hate that have an impact on the entire civilized world.


WATSON: And Erin, sad development that we've learned in the last hour, the Turkey's semi-official Anadolu Agency reports that the death toll has grown to 42 now, a 22-year-old severely injured woman succumbed to her injuries in hospital, raising the death toll of this audacious and very deadly attack -- Erin.

[19:05:06] BURNETT: Ivan Watson, thank you so much.

And our senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward has been working her sources on the story throughout the day. Clarissa, obviously fingers are pointing at ISIS. Obviously, the signs are there, but as of now no claim of responsibility.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. There has been no claim of responsibility but what is interesting is that traditionally ISIS does not claim responsibility for the attacks that it has carried out in Turkey. That may well be because they thrive on the uncertainty and instability that that ambiguity creates. It may also be because they want to give themselves plausible deniability, possibly blaming it on the Kurdish separatist group but as you said before and as we've heard from Ivan and as we've heard from all U.S. officials today, this is very much a case of all of the hallmarks appear to indicate this is an ISIS attack.

So what are some of those hallmarks? Let's go through them. Well, first of all, as you heard in Ivan's report, a sophisticated, coordinated attack. Three attackers, not just suicide bombers, but suicide bombers, or Inhamaze as ISIS calls them, they were heavily armed, they were firing shots trying to kill as many people essentially as possible before the first bomber used one bomb to divert attention allowing a second bomber to move into the arrivals area.

So there's a real sense that it was coordinated and also an important thing to note is we're in the last ten days of Ramadan. This is the holiest period of the holiest month. We have heard calls from ISIS' spokesman Muhammad Abu al Adnani calling on all supporters of ISIS whether they're directed by the group or whether they're inspired by the group to carry out attacks on soft targets just like this one -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Clarissa Ward.

And OUTFRONT now, former CIA operative Bob Baer, and Mitch Silber, from our director of intelligence analysis at the New York City Police Department. Chris Swecker, former assistant FBI director for the criminal investigative division and Michael Weiss, co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror."

The new video tonight, I want to start with that Bob. I want to show everyone this again. This is new video of one of the attackers because in it, when he comes in and we'll freeze it. You can see how he was dressed, OK? Jeans, hat, black jacket. Now, Istanbul at this time of year that's a completely inappropriate way to be dressed, right? At that time it was about 80 degrees outside. You would have thought he would have stood out dressed like this?

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, he did stand out. They shot at the guys. I mean, they were clearly out of place but remember, when these attacks are under way they happened very, very quickly. These people are trained. They are military-style assaulters. They don't let people time to think about it so they can insert themselves in and start shooting and blow themselves up. This is very much a military- style attack, you asked the SEALs or Delta Forces or any American military, Special Forces and they'll tell you, this is the way they do it. I mean, this is what's so scary about these people is they're getting training in Syria and Iraq and taking it against civilian targets like this.

BURNETT: Now, before they got to the airport though, Chris, we know they took a taxi cab there, right? And we know that they get in they have these guns that if you look at the length, they would not be concealable underneath the black jacket and they were dressed completely, obviously in thick, heavy clothes that they should have been. You would have thought the cab driver would have noticed something?

CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: Well, this is that, if you see something, say something concept. I mean, there is no way they could have gotten in that cab with equipment they were carrying, the weapons they were carrying and the bulkiness and the clothes and not get noticed. So there is a breakdown there. Now maybe the cab driver was complicit. We don't know. Not enough facts in at this point.

BURNETT: Hmm. Which is interesting whether it was complicit, or whether it was threatened or whether just want anything to do with it.

MITCH SILBER, FORMER NYPD DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS: Maybe he didn't have enough time. You know, as soon they get out of the taxi they're moving into the airport proper. He is still driving the taxi cab so even if you wanted to do something.

BURNETT: Right. But they got through that -- there is a perimeter of the cars have to go through in security at this airport. It's not like an American airport, right? They pass through security with the taxi cab driver driving them, right? I mean, you know?

SILBER: With heavy weaponry in the cab.

BURNETT: I mean, right, which is incredible.

MICHAEL WEISS, CO-AUTHOR, "ISIS: INSIDE THE ARMY OF TERROR": And they're wearing all this padding.

BURNETT: Right. So, what about this? They're wearing, you know, this thick, heavy jacket.


BURNETT: Now, as Bob points out, somebody did noticed somebody was shooting at them but no one noticed quickly enough.

WEISS: Right.

BURNETT: And when you think about it, are you really looking that closely around you to see who's dressed inappropriately for the season or wearing a big coat.

WEISS: Well, also I mean, and the suspicion that these were foreign fighters or outside of Turkey based on the fact that, you know, they've done forensic research or investigations, you know, within hours of the attack or perhaps they were speaking a foreign language in the taxi and the taxi driver has given that to the Turkish security forces. I mean, look, I've crossed the border between Turkey and Syria. They've let people like me through but they've questioned and heavily interrogated Syrian nationals with Syrian passports. It's very easy to get your way through in that country.

BURNETT: If you want to.

WEISS: If you want to.

[19:10:05] BURNETT: So, Mitch, you know, the attacker -- obviously we're taking about what he's wearing. I want to show you one of these blasts again. Obviously this is, it's an important moment to show because it gives us a lot of clues about what happened. But, you know, every time you see it, you have to realize that people could have died at this moment. It is hard to watch. The bomber that you see does not -- appears clothed, but not weighed down. He's moving very quickly. It's not like what he has on is heavy enough that he can't move quickly.

SILBER: Yes, when I see that video I think back to 2008 in the Mumbai attacks. The Mumbai attacks were also the same type of military swarm or raid strategy. There were a number of individuals that were armed with long weapons and they also had explosive devices and they moved through the Mumbai train station in a very similar way that you see these three individuals moving through the terminal of Ataturk Airport.

They're shooting as many people as they can and ultimately, when they have no other choice then they're detonating themselves. So, but they're amped up. They're high energy at this moment and this is the same type of thing we saw back in Mumbai, as well and it's really just a different manifestation of that type of raid or swarm attack.

BURNETT: And what -- OK swarm attackers, you've got at least three guys and to the point here, we don't know how many more people were involved if anyone else was planning to do this and chickened out or others helped it. We don't have any information at this point. We know at least three and we know the parking lot one in arrivals and one in departures. Three very different locations. What does that tell you?

SWECKER: It shows some planning. It shows that each had an individual mission, one was to get through security. One was the, I believe, hit the population or everybody as they came out of the airport and cued up outside the airport, one was getting inside the airport.

BURNETT: So, you think the parking lot may not have been a mistake?

SWECKER: I don't think it was a mistake. Otherwise he would have gone in behind the other attacker who went inside the terminal. So, it may well be that he wanted to detonate against the first responders who were coming or just the crowd that would be gathering inevitably outside the airport, but it does show a lot of planning and those vests aren't that heavy. They can move pretty quickly. Forty, 50 pounds, there are essentially many pipe bombs strapped to their chest.

BURNETT: All right. We're going to hit pause for one moment. All of you are going to be with me.

Next, the new ISIS propaganda video showing major U.S. cities in its crosshairs. How concerned are officials right now about an attack in America?

And the bombings get political, Donald Trump tonight blaming Hillary Clinton for ISIS' rise.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: ISIS was formed during her tenure. ISIS is now worse than ever. You see what happened yesterday.


BURNETT: An airport worker is picking up debris, washing away blood and passengers still waiting to board their flight. This happening at the same time. A very bizarre moment. We'll going to go inside the blast zone and show you what it looks like tonight.


[19:16:33] BURNETT: Breaking news on the terror attack at one of the world's busiest airports at this hour. The death toll has just gone up. Forty two people now killed. A young 22-year-old woman succumbing to her injuries within the past hour. We now know that number has gone up to 42 dead, 239 wounded. Tonight, the CIA director is warning Americans that a similar attack could happen here in the United States.


BRENNAN: In the United States, as we well all know, is leading the coalition to try to destroy as much of this poison inside of Syria and Iraq as possible. So it would be surprising to me that ISIL is not trying to hit us both in the region as well as in our homeland.

If anybody here believes that, you know, the U.S. Homeland is hermetically sealed and that the -- that Daesh or ISIL would not consider that, I think I would, you know, guard against that.


BURNETT: Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT and Pamela, pretty strong words there from the director. Obviously, real concern and he's trying to make it very clear that ISIS could be in the United States.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTCE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. You heard him say CIA Chief John Brennan that these Turkey attacks should serve as a warning to the United States and it is not immune from a similar attack. And while ISIS has not claimed responsibility it is viewed as the main culprit here and Brennan said the terrorist groups is more determined than ever to kill as many people as possible in attacks on the West as it continues to lose some of its territory in Syria and Iraq. And he says while homeland security and intelligence measures have helped, ISIS continues to try to find vulnerabilities in U.S. securities such as soft targets. As one official told me Erin, attacks on the West is sadly, the new normal.

BURNETT: All right. Pamela Brown, thank you very much. It's incredibly sobering and OUTFRONT now, the Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California on the House Intelligence Committee.

Congressman Swalwell, obviously we spoke last night and you have been briefed again today. What are you learning at this hour?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: We are certainly on ISIS' terror wish list and right now looking at who is responsible in Istanbul, we have to ask why isn't this ISIS? And everything points to them. It's Ramadan, the suicide vests and the manner of the operation as well as the location of an airport just as was used in Brussels. So, that's what they're running the ground right now on, Erin.

BURNETT: And now, you talk about attacks on the homeland, Congressman. ISIS has posted a video threatening targets in the United States. It's a video that at first might appear to be a tourism video, it all sorts of, you know, tourists places in San Francisco but his words threaten attacks, it's specifically against the San Francisco and Las Vegas, Golden Gate Bridge, financial district. All of those in the video. This is obviously your state, California, San Francisco. What more can you tell us?

SWALWELL: People are concerned, and right now ISIS has successfully been able to inspire individuals from their success to take actions in San Bernardino and it looks like in Orlando, and now the other question is, can they move individuals into the United States? That has been much harder for them. That's to the credit of our airport security, the FBI and our national security efforts, but we are not sealed off from ISIS and we're not immune.

BURNETT: And of course you just heard John Brennan say anyone who thinks the U.S. is hermetically sealed, they should think again because the U.S. is not and the U.S. is certainly in the crosshairs. And a pretty sobering warning coming from the CIA director. I mean, often you expect them to say, yes, we're worried, but we have it under control. That's not the message we're getting right now.

SWALWELL: That's right. And that's because so many have gone over to the battlefields in Iraq and Syria, and frankly, Erin, they've gone through Turkey. Turkey has been a major problem because it is so easy to transit through Turkey on to those battlefields and then if they can come back with the lessons they've learned on the battlefield and increased hate for the west and Americans and then we're really at risk.

BURNETT: And Congressman, before we go, the CIA director also said preventing attacks like this in the United States is complicated. The quote that he said was, it's not that difficult to actually construct and fabricate a suicide vest. In your intelligence briefings Congressman, is there concern about suicide bombers like that here?

SWALWELL: Well, al Qaeda and other groups have publicly put out how you can get homemade, readily available devices and I will also just say that right now in America it's too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons and use firearms and explosives as was used in Turkey.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman Swalwell. Good to have you on again, sir.

SWALWELL: Thank you.

[19:21:13] BURNETT: Chris. Obviously sobering words here from the CIA director. I mean, pretty clear. What do you think that says about the intelligence that they have?

SWECKER: Very sobering. Well, we know that we have at least a thousand ISIS-related investigations just in the FBI and that was about eight or ten months ago and Director Comey mentioned that. And then we have that whole dynamic of inspired, casting the seeds across this mass marketing thing called the internet.


SWECKER: And you only have to hit one or two out there. We saw what happened in Orlando, almost 300 casualties and 250 casualties, one person.

BURNETT: That's just terrifying. And Bob Baer, I mean, John Brennan, with this warning, what do you think the purpose is of that that he's coming out and saying you can't seal the borders. You know, we're not able to do that?

BAER: Well, I mean, John Brennan doesn't go out in public and try to scare people. I know the man and I know the Central Intelligence Agency so they're genuinely worried. This isn't a political statement and it's what we don't know that scares us and about making these devices, it's extremely easy. I mean, I can teach you in the morning and we could have a device by, you know, tomorrow morning that could take out JFK. It's very easy. It's on the internet.

All of the stuff is available, and all, you know, the directions and it's not to keep the stuff from blowing up prematurely and that's what he's talking about and he's absolutely right to warn us. And, you know, the CIA is doing its best to infiltrate these groups, but frankly, they're true believers and psychopaths and almost virtually impossible and they've learned to stay off the air and not make phone calls.

BURNETT: Michael?

WEISS: Yes. I mean, look, I actually went through a bunch of the cases the FBI has managed to disrupt and ISIS inspired. A lot of these guys are, they're really hard to track. Some of them are white guys who converted to Islam, you know, would not be on the radar, but for the Facebook postings and their sort of jihadist rhetoric. A lot of them are looking to build pressure cooker bombs similar to the ones that the Boston marathon bombers built.

Many of them are just out to buy guns and to shoot out a school or a college cafeteria or a military base. Some of them came from the military and have combat experience and formal training. I mean, you just -- you showed an image of these guys in the airport. I would be very surprised if they were on some battlefield in somewhere in the Middle East given their, you know, facility with which they were able to maneuver and knowing these sort of vulnerabilities and soft areas of that, the heavily invigilated airport to get in there and to blow up three suicide bombs. This was a successful operation by ISIS standards, no question.

BURNETT: All right. And Mitch of course the (INAUDIBLE) is that he says so many of these have been disrupted and yet the CIA director wants everyone to realize that he expects that something else will happen.

SILBER: Yes. I think there are a few reasons behind that. Number one, we're approaching a holiday weekend and a holiday weekend with some significance, July 4th obviously.


SILBER: And that is a higher level of threat. And there are also, I mean, there have been attacks or plots against U.S. airports in the past. Al Qaeda in their 1999 plot against the LAX Airport that was thwarted.


SILBER: In 2002, a lone gunman opens fire at the El Al counter in LAX kills a couple of people. In 2007 an al Qaeda-inspired attack against JFK and the fuel line here. So, airports have been the target before in the U.S. Fortunately, they haven't been successful attacks and ISIS has two ways to do this. ISIS inspired. Have they crowd sourced people to go out and do something or actually sending operatives, not necessarily from the Middle East. It could be Europeans with travel and training in Syria and Iraq and -- they come to the U.S., visa and waiver-free.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. And next, Donald Trump on fighting terror. The presumptive nominee changing his tone on the Muslim ban, but not budging on this.


TRUMP: So we can't do waterboarding, but they can do chopping off heads. You have to fight fire with fire.


BURNETT: Plus, the terrorists calling Carr the attack terribly familiar to the destruction that we saw in Brussels just three months ago. Our report.


[19:29:12] BURNETT: Breaking news, the death toll rising in the airport terror attack. We now know at least 42 people were killed in Istanbul and here at home both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has wasted no time in responding.

Just moments ago, Donald Trump speaking and blaming Hillary Clinton for the rise of ISIS.


TRUMP: ISIS was formed during her tenure. ISIS is now worse than ever. You see what happened yesterday. You see what's going on generally. ISIS is looking strong.




DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The way the two presumptive presidential nominees are responding to Turkey's terror attacks shows one of the starkest differences between them.

TRUMP: ISIS is signing up people over the internet. They know how to use the internet better than we do and we do nothing about anything.

BASH: Donald Trump is talking tough.

TRUMP: We have to give them a big, fat, ugly defeat.


BASH: While Hillary Clinton is so measured that she didn't even deliver public remarks. In an unusual move, she only responded via paper statement saying, "The United States cannot retreat. Cooperation is essential to protecting the homeland and keeping our country safe."

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: -- better than we do and we do nothing about anything. [19:30:04] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):

Donald Trump is talking tough.

TRUMP: We have to give them a big, fat, ugly defeat.


BASH: While Hillary Clinton is so measured that she didn't even deliver public remarks. In an unusual move, she only responded via paper statement saying, "The United States cannot retreat. Cooperation is essential to protecting the homeland and keeping our country safe."

But the most explosive difference is their policies on torture. Donald Trump wants to reinstate waterboarding.

TRUMP: Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they're eating their dinner talking about the Americans don't do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads? They probably think we're weak. We're stupid. We don't know what we're doing. We have no leadership.

You know, you have to fight fire with fire.

BASH: An approach Clinton rejects.


BASH: As does former GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If you're not into academics and history, is it doesn't work.

BASH: A Vietnam prisoner of war who knows firsthand about torture.

MCCAIN: It's not what we are all about. It's not what we are. It's not about them. It's about us.

BASH: Still, Trump's renewed call for waterboarding comes as he is softening another controversial policy from the primaries.

TRUMP: A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.

BASH: Now, he's limiting that to countries with known terror links.

TRUMP: I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies.

BASH: A new, Pew poll of people in ten European countries shows only 9 percent say they have confidence that Trump would do the right thing regarding world affairs. But more important for Trump is, of course, what American voters think. And a new "Washington Post" poll shows people trust Clinton to handle terrorism more than Trump 50 percent to 39 percent, a bigger lead for Clinton on the issue than last month when it was 47 percent to 44 percent.

CLINTON: This approach isn't just wrong. It is dangerous.

BASH: Remarkable in that fighting terror is usually a Republican advantage in presidential elections which Trump is trying to reclaim, tweeting today, "ISIS exploded on Hillary Clinton's watch. She's done nothing about it and never will. Not capable."


BASH: Trump and Clinton's huge differences about how to confront terrorism fit into the overall larger, very stark choice for voters. Do they want a president who bring a shoot from the hip approach, who will definitely shake things up, or do they want someone more cautious, running on her experience, and that is obviously what voters have to choose from -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Dana, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT now, Donald Trump supporter Jason Osborne, Hillary Clinton supporter, Basil Smikle, the executive chairman of the New York state Democratic Party, and David Gergen, former adviser to four presidents, of course, Reagan and Clinton among them.

Jason, let me start with you on the shift on the Muslim ban. Just -- Donald Trump originally said ban Muslims. OK, now, he's trying to say countries with known links to terror. Fine, he's walking that back. The problem is that would not have prevented these bombers with Belgian and French passports from getting on airplanes and coming to the United States. That's the whole reason he originally started with the Muslim ban.

Is he going to really stick with the specific countries or not? Because he seems a little bit inconsistent here in this change.

JASON OSBORNE, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: You would have to ask him personally what he's going to stick to, but all I can assume is what he's talking about is the visa program, that a lot of people don't quite understand that we have currently quotas on different visas coming from various countries. So if you're coming from a country that is traditionally not a threat to the United States, you're going to have more visas available to that country.

So, when Donald Trump is talking about this, I'm assuming that that's the program he's talking about in saying, you know what? We need to take a look at how the visas are given out from these countries and we have to make sure we're doing our due diligence and that there's a program in place so that when we reinstitute that program, that these folks are not a threat to the United States.

BURNETT: David Gergen, do you think he's going to be able to keep walking this back, though? Because, look, there is a huge inconsistency, right? Because those individuals would not be stopped and those are visa waiver countries, Belgium and France. DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he's likely to

walk it back some more and more importantly, become more precise, because what's been missing so often in his statements and his response to Turkey is that he doesn't really come to grips, he treats them more rhetorically.

I think these kind of attacks on Turkey do play into his hands and they gave him the opportunity.

[19:35:03] And voters are looking for a tougher, more muscular response, but this is a moment to be -- a moment to be when you really can step up to be presidential, when you can have a five-minute written out statement that really goes to the heart of the matter and how well are we doing against ISIS in Syria and Iraq?

And there is strong case to be made that within the president's own State Department, there are at least 50 major diplomats that we learned recently think we're not tough enough. And there are signals that John Kerry agrees with him. So, it seems to me, this is the time when Donald Trump could make a more persuasive argument for why his policy choices would get us further and instead he's going back to being the old Trump.

BURNETT: And, you know, but what's interesting Basil is to David's point, this -- the way he's handled this has certainly, by the polls, played to his ways, right? After Orlando, he tweeted, "I called it" when he talked about his Muslim ban and how he thought that would have affected, even though that young man was not an immigrant. He accused President Obama of being weak in Brussels and Orlando in very scathing terms, said Hillary Clinton wasn't capable, allowed ISIS to explode. That was just today.

That stuff is not hurting him. The most recent poll, one of them that we have here, he beats Hillary Clinton by 13 points on handling terrorism.

BASIL SMIKLE, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: And there are other polls that say she would beat him handily. Look, just because Donald Trump opens his mouth doesn't mean there's anything constructive that's actually coming out of it, number one. Number two --

BURNETT: But are you concerned that he's resonating with people?

SMIKLE: You know, I'm concerned that he's speaking to people's fear. Hillary Clinton over a year ago had been talking about this very issue. She said you have a choice between fear and resolve, and she's chosen resolve. She's talked about ways that we can go after ISIS.

And I think ultimately what Americans want is yes, they want a response that addresses their concern and not necessarily their fear, but their concern about security and safety and then has a plan to move forward.

I don't hear that coming from Donald Trump. I just hear more of the same. When he's talking about waterboarding and intimating that he's going to decapitate the heads of our enemies, that's not what I want to hear.

BURNETT: Yes, Jason, are you concerned that he's gone back to waterboarding and that's the old Trump? What David said, I'm sorry, that's the old Trump? I mean, to say he wants to waterboard?

OSBORNE: No. I think what Donald Trump is actually speaking to Basil's point. He didn't say chopping off heads. He said that's what ISIS is talking about.

I'm not concerned about that at all. I think what we have to look at and what my hope is that, with the next president, that we are able to sit down with the military leaders and not broadcast what we can't do, but actually within the laws that we have here in the United States and within the international laws do some things that actually put the fear into these folks that they won't come after us.

BURNETT: So, David, Hillary Clinton, what's interesting here and the difference in their response is it's not just the tone and how they talk differently. I mean, she didn't physically say something about Turkey, right? She put out a statement as Dana said, very unusual, and then she held a town hall.

And in that town hall, she talked about Donald Trump, the economy, Bernie Sanders, cyber bullying and revenge porn, OK? Those are things she talked about. She did not talk about a terror attack in which more than 40 people lost their lives. Was that a mistake?

GERGEN: Yes. Listen, I understand why she wanted to put emphasis in Silicon Valley and bring technology into homes and really revolutionize the way the country is run. That's all very appropriate.

But she could have prefaced those remarks by saying something about Turkey. I mean, after all, her major -- one of her major calling card perhaps -- his important calling card for most Americans is her time as secretary of state. So, they're looking to her for, what would you do? Instead, she not only responded in muted terms, but she really didn't take it on.

In some ways, you know, I do feel, Erin, that this Turkey attack is being treated by the U.S. government as they just keep coming and coming and coming, and we've got other things we're worried about like Brexit and it's not at the top of their agenda and the urgency about this is not at the top of the agenda.

SMIKLE: But my fear and concern is that a lot of what Hillary Clinton has discussed even in her foreign policy speech a couple of weeks ago is also being overlooked, the fact that she has talked about working with our allies. Donald Trump talked about taking NATO apart and Turkey happens to allies. So, if we're not working with countries like Turkey and others and we've pulled apart NATO, how are we going to fight terror on a global scale when we have no cooperation with other countries? That's sort of isolationist approach is what Hillary Clinton has been saying does not work.

BURNETT: All right. Of course, big picture, but nothing specifically about Turkey. Thanks to all three of you.

And next, amid the death and destruction, Istanbul's airport is up and running. You see there the glass from an explosion. They're fixing it as people are walking by to board their flights.

Plus, the United States is stepping up security at airports across the country tonight as ISIS is promising more attacks. Are our airports safe?


[19:43:50] BURNETT: Breaking news: new video showing the moment one of the suicide bombers entered the airport in Istanbul. You can see the terrorists running through the terminal. He's firing his gun from the shoulder and then from the hip. Already today, though, it is business as usual in that airport. Taxis lining up, passengers arriving.

Nima Elbagir is OUTFRONT at the airport.

And, Nima, you've been in the areas that were most damaged and closed off. You were in there and what did you see?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was as we arrived this morning and to be honest with you, it felt more like a construction site than the site of a recent terror attack. There were men trying to put panes of glass back into place, and there were attempts to put ceiling tiles back into place. It was really almost a papering over of what this place had seen, what the people here had seen.

But even through that hastily erected first sign of normality, you could glimpse what it must have felt like to be here as this was all unfolding. At the primary destination site where the first attacker exploded his bomb, I managed to see through where the barricades were being put up.

[19:45:01] And the tarmac was rippled with the force of that explosion. That gives you a sense of the explosives and they were still hosing down the blood from the night before, and even as that blood was being washed away, you started to see passengers. The airport was open and they were making their way through those doors behind me here to try and catch their flight. It was absolutely the ultimate human triumph over what the perpetrators had tried to achieve.

The reality is that Turkey is all too familiar with putting the pieces back together in the aftermath of terror attacks. This is only the latest in a string of them. These cracks are there and you don't have to look very hard to see them.

BURNETT: All right. Nima, thank you very much. Absolutely just shocking and I know you say the triumph, but also in some level so disturbing that the blood is being washed away while people are boarding their flight, it's hard to comprehend this juxtaposition.

The similarities though between this attack and the deadly attack at the Brussels airport just three months ago are terrifying.

Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The plan of attack on Istanbul's airport seems ripped from the pages of the attack on Brussels.


MARQUEZ: In both attacks, three bomb-toting terrorists all arriving by taxi and all targeting the main international terminal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just heard these screams. I turned around the corner and there was this wall of people running towards me, tripping over themselves, police with guns out.

MARQUEZ: But there are critical differences. The Istanbul attackers were armed with Kalashnikov automatic weapons, shooting their way into the airport before setting off suicide vest bombs.

The Brussels attackers had large suitcase bombs, no guns. The attackers set off two bombs packed with nails inside Brussels' departure lounge and in the city's metro, killing 32 in all.

A third attacker who became known as the man in the hat fled without setting off his bomb at the airport. He was caught weeks later. As ISIS suffers setbacks losing ground in both Iraq and Syria, high profile attacks hit other parts of the world.

In November last year, 130 people killed across Paris in coordinated suicide attacks. Two weeks later, December 2nd, a husband and wife pledged allegiance to ISIS before killing 14 people in San Bernardino, California.


MARQUEZ: And then, the massacre at an Orlando gay club inspired at least in part by ISIS that left 49 people dead.

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Being able to fabricate a plot to carry it out among a small group of individuals, one, two or more, it is, unfortunately, a feature of our times that ISIL in particular has been determined to carry out these attacks.

MARQUEZ: In June 2015, nine countries suffered is-directed or linked attacks across the Middle East and Africa says the Institute for the Study of War. Compare that to this June, 14 countries were hit by ISIS in directed or linked attacks. The terror group now expanding its reach into Southeast Asia.

The ISIS threat felt like never before in the immediate aftermath of the attack in Istanbul. Security at New York City airports raised.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MARQUEZ: Tonight, security at New York City airports remains at a higher level as well as the Turkish embassy here in Manhattan. And as John Brennan, the director of the CIA, said today, our ability to travel across borders and communicate like never before, the opportunity for attacks only goes up -- Erin.

MARQUEZ: Miguel, thank you.

And next, protecting the soft target areas at American airports. Can it actually be done?


[19:52:26] BURNETT: The breaking news: investigators scrambling tonight to learn how three terrorists were able to pass security, killing 42 people at one of the most secure airports in the world. The attack bringing new urgency, the discussions in the U.S., and how to increase security at American airports.

And Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT in Washington.

Rene, in Istanbul, two layers of security at the airport, and, obviously, they were able to bypass certainly that external perimeter to the airport. In the United States, we only have one. When you're inside, you go through security. They've been talking about changing that and adding more layers, but they haven't done it yet.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, I can tell you tonight, CNN has learned that security officials here in the United States, they have, indeed, been discussing for quite some time this idea of extending the security perimeter at airports beyond that TSA checkpoint as a way to better protect the soft targets at airports.

Now, a U.S. official has told me that these discussions were happening months before this second major airport bombing. Right now, the way airport security works is that the perimeter is the responsibility of airports, local and sometimes state law enforcement. Airports are oftentimes owned by -- in many cases by the state or even local municipalities. So, for DHS to extend its reach beyond the TSA lines, it would likely take a tremendous amount of coordination, not to mention manpower, money and time.

You know, extending those security lines could mean missed flights, passengers would also have to possibly have to be at the airport much earlier.

But what we do want to say is that although they've had those discussions at this point, the agency has not come up with a way to effectively extend that security line.

BURNETT: All right. Rene Marsh, thank you very much.

Chris Swecker is back with me. The former assistant FBI director for the criminal investigative division.

So, now, they're talking about extending the perimeter. Does it make sense? Is it worthwhile?

CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: Well, you think about why we have screening at the airports, is to keep bad people off airplanes. You can push the perimeter all the way out to the interstate. The softest path is always going to be where everybody is cued up to get through security. That's where the most target-rich environment is.

So, it's not going to help to push the perimeter out, I don't think. I think what will help is if TSA gets better at their job and more efficient at what they do, and they don't have a lot of people gaggled up in one place waiting to go through security.

BURNETT: How do they do that? How do they make it more efficient with these lines? And we're now dealing at a time in this country where TSA is even short staffed and the lines have been longer than ever.

[19:55:00] SWECKER: I think it has to do with efficiency. I mean, this is -- they have to create a business model that's more efficient and they don't appear to be that good at what they're doing right now.

And secondly, I think we have -- we have to accept the fact that we should have an armed presence at the security line. TSA is not armed. They have no way of preventing. Security theater, really is what it is. They have no way of preventing bad people of getting through.

BURNETT: So, they should have guns. Somebody there should have guns.

SWECKER: Somebody should be armed right there, and somebody should be roving through the airport in plain clothes, spotting. In some ways profiling --

BURNETT: Which they might have had in Turkey, by the way, because they shot these guys pretty quickly. This could have been a lot worse, right? If they have been able to get even further. They were shot. That would not have happened here.

SWECKER: It's hard to imagine being worse than 300 casualties in such a short period of time. There was a confrontation, obviously, but they had a plan and they got past security and they got into the populated areas. And I still think that they were trying to detonate in an area where everybody was coming out because that's where the biggest crowd was going to be.

BURNETT: It was right after the first one and it was planned.

All right. Well, Chris, thank you very much.

And more of our breaking news coverage after this break.


BURNETT: Thanks so much for joining us. Don't forget you can watch OUTFRONT any time, anywhere on CNN Go.

"AC360" starts right now.