Return to Transcripts main page
Clinton Interviewed By FBI Over Private Email Server; 200 Dead In ISIS Attack In Baghdad; Toxic Algae Bloom Closes Some Florida Beaches; Security Beefed Up For July 4th After Terror Attacks. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired July 4, 2016 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:30:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Hang on, hang on. Bakari, I want to give you the last question. On a scale of one to 10, how much do you wish that meeting didn't take place, Bakari?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Forty-five, 50. Is that an option? I mean, it was really bad optics and I think that both Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch both wouldn't do it again. I mean, I'm not here to make any excuses for Bill Clinton. I mean, that was a bad, poor move and it was really bad optics and put the campaign in a bad situation.
BERMAN: Bakari Sellers, Ben Ferguson, and the number 45, thank you to all three of you. Appreciate it, guys.
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Happy Fourth.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Well, no explanation from the Trump campaign about that anti-Semitic tweet, so we talk to a top adviser to the Trump campaign, next.
[07:34:40] CAMEROTA: Donald Trump taking heat this morning for tweeting an anti-Clinton, anti-Semitic graphic. Here is the tweet. It shows the Star of David, and a pile of cash, and the words "most corrupt candidate ever". The tweet has since been updated to remove the star but the backlash has not died down.
So here to discuss is Ed Brookover. He's senior adviser to the Trump campaign. He is the liaison between team Trump and the Republican National Committee. Ed, thanks so much for being here on your holiday.
EDWARD BROOKOVER, SENIOR ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Good morning, happy Fourth, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: You, as well, Ed. Who tweeted this out?
BROOKOVER: The campaign did, unfortunately, and then they took it down.
[07:35:00] CAMEROTA: And who was that, I mean, when you say the campaign because we understand that Mr. Trump usually tweets his own tweets, so who was it that did this?
BROOKOVER: Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't, and I'm not sure who tweeted this out, Alisyn. The campaign did and we corrected it. There's was never any intention of any anti-Semitism. Mr. Trump has consistently and loudly denounced the white supremacist groups and so this is one of those that's nothing to see here. Let's move on and talk about real issues like Hillary Clinton's three-hour interview with the FBI Saturday.
CAMEROTA: Well, hold on a second. Has this -- will this person be fired?
BROOKOVER: I don't believe so, but this, you know -- these means float around the Internet. Every six-sided star is a Star of David. There was no intent here at all, and so, you know, it's -- we corrected this tweet and have moved on.
CAMEROTA: Ed, here's the problem. This was on a Neo-Nazi message board. Somebody had to go and find this. This isn't just the result of the standard Internet search. This had to be found on one of these message boards, so how did somebody find it?
BROOKOVER: No, it didn't. No -- no, it didn't have to be found on a message board. Those message -- those things get tweeted and retweeted, and reposted on Facebook. It did not have to be found on any message board like that.
CAMEROTA: That is the origin of it. It came from a Twitter handle of somebody known to traffic in Neo-Nazi messages. It was also on one of these message boards. So it suggests, Ed, that somebody on the campaign is combing these message boards or combing this Twitter feed.
BROOKOVER: No, no, no, not at all, Alisyn. These images get posted, and reposted, and reposted on social media on many forums, and so that's not that anybody is looking at the -- any white supremacy group -- and kind of group like that.
CAMEROTA: But not this one, Ed.
BROOKOVER: That is just -- that is just simply not true.
CAMEROTA: Ed, not this one. This one -- the only time that people have been able -- people have gone back to try to find the origin of it and the only place, other than Mr. Trump's Twitter feed, that they can find the origin of it is one of these Neo-Nazi message boards and the Twitter feed of somebody who traffics in this. Those are the only other places they can find them.
BROOKOVER: Here's what I can tell you, Alisyn. There is no anti- Semitism in Mr. Trump's body -- not one ounce, not one cell -- and so we corrected this image and it's time for us to move on. There is nothing, nothing, nothing about Mr. Trump that suggests anti-Semitism. CAMEROTA: Are you advising Mr. Trump to apologize for this?
BROOKOVER: I think we changed the -- we changed the image and I think that speaks for itself.
CAMEROTA: Why not apologize?
BROOKOVER: We've changed the image, Alisyn. We took it down, we made a change, and so I think we'll just move on from there.
CAMEROTA: Mr. Trump's daughter converted to Judaism, Ivanka. What has she said about this?
BROOKOVER: You know, I don't for sure. I can't tell you.
CAMEROTA: This is not the first time. I mean, you said that this is sort of an anomaly. It's not the first time. In fact, Mr. Trump has previously retweeted tweets from a Neo-Nazi supporter, including one from the account of somebody who calls himself 'WhiteGenocideTM' which had lots of quotes from the Nazi propaganda Joseph Goebbels, so this is not a singular, one-time-only event. What's going on here?
BROOKOVER: There's nothing going on here, Alisyn, and I can't believe that we keep coming back to this. Mr. Trump is a fair human being. He's a human being who is not bigoted in any sense of the word. And so, we keep coming back to this and we're avoiding the real issues of the campaign.
CAMEROTA: Look, the reason that part of why this is sticking is because we haven't had an explanation for how this happened, where they found it, who did it. Mr. Trump has not apologized. It's not the first time and so people are trying to figure out if this is a pattern.
And furthermore, Ed, even if you're saying that Mr. Trump doesn't have a single sort of anti-Semitic bone in his body, and we have no reason to believe that he does, it didn't -- there are Neo-Nazis out there who have begun to say he's our guy. We like him.
BROOKOVER: Well, and we -- and Mr. Trump has denounced them and he will continue to denounce them, and that's not part of our campaign. We don't -- we denounce their support, we denounce their views.
CAMEROTA: So, he has been clear that he does not want any support? You know, there was the whole David Duke dust-up where he was slow to denounce David Duke.
BROOKOVER: Slow -- you know, slow by your standards. He denounced David Duke. He's denounced the support of these groups.
CAMEROTA: So --
BROOKOVER: It's that simple, it's that -- it's -- you know, and I can't believe we're spending this much time on this topic this morning, Alisyn. CAMEROTA: But again, Ed, it's because we haven't had the answers. You're not able to answer where it came from, who did it, what the repercussions will be for this person.
BROOKOVER: We took it down, Alisyn. We corrected it and in that correction,I think it says enough from the campaign.
[07:40:00] CAMEROTA: I guess that one of the questions is, is this what can be expected from a Donald Trump presidency, in that there won't be sort of a thoughtfulness or an investigation into where some ideas come from? That, you know, you just sort of send it out and deal with the repercussions afterwards, and figure out where it came from afterwards. There doesn't seem to be a thoughtfulness and an investigation beforehand.
BROOKOVER: Well, I don't think this is any indication of what would happen in a Trump White House. I think that as our campaign continues to grow and to develop that we will continue -- that we will get better at this. But, it's -- you know, right now we took corrective action and I think that was appropriate.
CAMEROTA: Ed Brookover, we appreciate you coming on and explaining all of this. Thank you, have a good Fourth.
BROOKOVER: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Let's get over to John.
BERMAN: All right, Alisyn. ISIS connected to three major attacks in just the last week. Is this a strategy shift as the terror group deals with losses on the battlefield? That's next.
[07:44:30] BERMAN: For the third time in a week a major attack shakes a nation. More than 200 people now dead following a suicide bombing in Baghdad. This comes after attacks in Bangladesh and Turkey in just the last week.
I want to discuss this now with retired Major General James "Spider" Marks. He's a CNN military analyst, was with the U.S. Army. He's currently executive dean at the University of Phoenix. General, thanks so much for being with us.
MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST, EXECUTIVE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: You know, we see what happened in Baghdad over the weekend in the Karrada district. This busy shopping district. I'm sure you were there when you were in Iraq.
[07:45:00] BERMAN: It's somewhere where we used to go frequently when we were there. More than 200 people now dead, including women, including children. The target, Shia Muslims, but certainly, Sunnis among the dead also. What does this tell you about the capabilities, now, of this enemy -- of ISIS?
MARKS: Well, ISIS has demonstrated its capabilities over the course of the last couple of years pretty dramatically, I would tell you. In military terms, what we see is what we call freedom of action, freedom of movement. ISIS has been able to establish itself almost where it wants in small pockets. These are not lone-wolf attacks. These are very coordinated attacks which makes it that much more troubling.
But they can work and they can hide in plain sight. We've seen this for years. And it's very -- I would say it's not unusual that we would see this level of attack during Ramadan. You know, the holy month ends here in the next couple of days. This is not unusual because the real intent of the holy month is to be as holy as you can and there's no more dramatic way to be holy than to attack non- believers --
BERMAN: For -- for -- for --
MARKS: -- whether these are believers or non-believers, or not.
BERMAN: For people who believe in a perverted form of religion.
MARKS: Absolutely. Totally perverted, totally hijacked religion. That's the -- that's the truth of what we're seeing right now.
BERMAN: Spider, I want to --
MARKS: And what it --
BERMAN: Go ahead.
MARKS: No, I was going to say, John, you know, in what we see the sad thing is that the level of readiness of the Iraqi security forces, both their Ministry of Defense and their Ministry of Interior, have increased over the course of years. There's intelligence sharing. It's still Balkanized, in that it's not working as effectively as it should, and the sad answer is it's going to take time for Iraq to really get its feet underneath itself in order to get ahead of these kinds of events.
We could do forensics on these events all day long, and we do. We -- nations work together to try to share intelligence after a brutality like this. Clearly, we've got to get left of boom. We've got to get ahead of these events before they occur.