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Trump Facing Accusations of Anti-Semitism; FBI Interviews Hillary Clinton; Terror Overseas; Taxpayers Still Footing Sanders' Security Bill; GOP Senator in Tight Race Dumps Trump. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired July 4, 2016 - 18:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And also tonight, in the presidential race, Donald Trump is defending an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet and denying it was meant to be anti-Semitic. The Trump now says the six- pointed image on the graphic is a sheriff's star, not the Jewish Star of David. The Clinton camp says Trump is engaging extremists and peddling lies.

Meantime, the Trump camp is claiming the federal investigation of Clinton's private e-mails is rigged and corrupt. Clinton was questioned by FBI for three-and-a-half-hours Saturday. Sources tell CNN she's not expected the face charges, so long as no evidence of wrongdoing emerges from her FBI interview.

And first to terror concerns here in the U.S. on this all-American holiday.

CNN's Jean Casarez is joining us now live from New York.

And New York's mayor and police commissioner spoke today to a large response team. What did they say about potential threats during this busy holiday, Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they want to make it very clear that there are no specific credible threats at all.

But I will tell you there's definitely an enhanced police presence here. We're right here at the East River in New York City, where the Macy's fireworks show will take place in just a few hours. It's the largest one in the country. People are here to enjoy themselves, but they also have a lot of questions about this last weekend, when an explosive device actually went off in Central Park.

Three young men from out of state were visiting New York City Sunday morning and one of them stepped on a device that went off. Serious injuries to his foot and his leg. We now know he's a student at the University of Miami.

And the police department is saying they don't believe someone intentionally wanted it to harm someone, but forensic testing is going on right now to determine exactly what that explosive device was. But the NYPD, though, has been planning for the Fourth of July weekend and today for a year now. Today, for the first time, they deployed over 500 of NYPD's Critical Response Command Team.

That's an anti-terrorism unit for the streets of New York City because of the times we live in.


WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: About today, we believe this is the largest detail in modern times for this event, reflecting the changing world conditions we have been watching very closely this past week and indeed this past year.


CASAREZ: That command will also have anti-radiation devices. The NYPD presence will be by horseback and helicopter. They will be on boats. The Coast Guard has been called out. And last but not least, eight sniffing dogs that are bomb-sniffing dogs that will be on search alert constantly will go in and out of the crowds of people.

If they alert at all their handler, an NYPD official will realize there might be something there that needs to be attended to. These dogs, Brianna, can save our lives.

KEILAR: Yes. And they're their cute, to boot. All right, Jean Casarez, thank you so much.

Now to presidential politics and the backlash over an anti-Hillary Clinton tweet by Donald Trump that featured a six-pointed star. Tonight, critics aren't buying Trump's claim that the image was a sheriff's star, not the Jewish Star of David.

I want to bring in CNN political reporter Sara Murray.

He's facing another heated controversy. And this is just two weeks before the Republican Convention.


This should have been a great weekend for Donald Trump and a terrible weekend for Hillary Clinton. She spent hours being questioned by the FBI. But instead of just letting that breathe, Donald Trump tripped over his own tweets yet again.


MURRAY (voice-over): Today, Donald Trump is standing by this tweet that ignited a firestorm. On Saturday, Trump blasted out the graphic declaring Hillary Clinton the most corrupt candidate ever over a six- pointed star and dollar bills.

The imagery evoking anti-Semitic stereotypes, and it appeared 10 days earlier on a white supremacist message board. But the presumptive GOP nominee is making no move to apologize, today tweeting: "Dishonest media is trying their absolute best to depict a star and a tweet as the Star of David rather than a sheriff's star or plain star." But that doesn't explain why amid the brewing backlash the campaign deleted the tweet, replacing it with this image attempting to cover the star with a circle. Some are seizing on it as a sign of a troubling


JONATHAN GREENBLATT, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Now it is hard to call it anything other than pattern, and it's a pattern that to us is perplexing, troubling, and we think wrong.

MURRAY: And the Clinton camp's director of Jewish outreach piled on, saying: "Donald Trump's use of a blatantly anti-Semitic image from racist Web sites to promote his campaign would be disturbing enough, but the fact that it is part of a pattern should give voters major cause for concern."

Trump's allies quickly sprang to his defense.

ED BROOKOVER, SENIOR DONALD TRUMP ADVISER: Who knows how this came to our attention? And I don't know. But what I do know is that there is nothing anti-Semitic about our campaign, certainly nothing anti- Semitic about Mr. Trump.


COREY LEWANDOWSKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's the same star that sheriff's departments across the country use all over the place to represent law enforcement.

MURRAY: But it's not the first time Trump fired off tweets with nefarious undertones. He's previously retweeting apparent neo-Nazi supporters. In another case, he blasted out inaccurate and racially charged crime statistics. And he faced an avalanche of criticism after failing to denounce white nationalist David Duke in this interview with Jake Tapper.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: OK, I'm just talking about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan here.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know -- honestly, I didn't know David Duke. I don't believe I have ever met him. I'm pretty sure I didn't meet him, and I just don't know anything about him.

MURRAY: Now Trump is looking to change the conversation and gin up speculation about the veepstakes, tweeting his pleasure at meeting Indiana Governor Mike Pence this weekend and saying he's meeting with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst today.


MURRAY: Now, Donald Trump eventually did disavow David Duke, but he's not disavowing this tweet today.

Instead, he's turning things around on Hillary Clinton, saying, "These false attacks by Hillary Clinton trying to link the Star of David with a basic star often used by sheriffs who deal with criminals and criminal behavior," showing an inscription that says crooked Hillary is the most corrupt candidate ever with anti-Semitism is ridiculous. Clinton through her surrogates is just trying to divert attention from the dishonest behavior of herself and her husband."

Now, Brianna, it's worth noting I asked a number of campaign officials to explain how this image ended up coming from a white supremacist message board on to Donald Trump's Twitter feed, who was responsible for it, if anyone would be punished. Those questions are not addressed in this statement, but it's clear they're trying to turn this narrative back around to Hillary Clinton.

KEILAR: It sounds like even their supporters, who generally have some information from the campaign, are not getting it either. So, that's interesting. Sara, thank you very much.

Now, tonight, the Justice Department may be just days away from revealing its findings in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's e- mails. Clinton spent hours at FBI headquarters over the holiday weekend, while her opponents raised new questions about the integrity of the probe.

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty has more on that.

Sunlen, this spotlight back on Clinton's e-mail controversy with the Democratic Convention just around the corner here.


The timing for Hillary Clinton could not be more inconvenient. Once again, this is just reminding voters of the e-mail controversy and forcing Hillary Clinton to come face-to-face with these issues of trust that have been dogging her campaign.


SERFATY (voice-over): Hillary Clinton is trying to put the e-mail controversy hanging over her campaign behind her.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am not going to comment on the process. I have no knowledge of any timeline. This is entirely up to the department.

SERFATY: The presumptive Democratic nominee giving a three-and-a- half-hour interview at FBI headquarters Saturday about her use of a private e-mail server while secretary of state, which she continues to defend.

CLINTON: I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified. And there is a process for the review of material before it is released to the public.

SERFATY: The interview signals the probe is probably coming to an end. Sources telling CNN that barring any evidence of wrongdoing coming from the interview, there will likely be an announcement of no charges against Clinton in the next two weeks. CLINTON: I will continue to, you know, be as forthcoming as I can,

and my answers I first gave more than a year ago, I stand by.

SERFATY: But Donald Trump eager to keep the controversy alive tweeting today -- quote -- "Crooked Hillary Clinton is guilty as hell, but the system is totally rigged and corrupt" and laying into Bill Clinton's impromptu meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was overseeing the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

Trump adding on Twitter: "What Bill did was stupid. Only a fool would believe that the meeting between Bill Clinton and the U.S. A.G. was not arranged or that crooked Hillary did not know."

Clinton acknowledging the meeting was a mistake.

CLINTON: Hindsight is 20/20. Both the attorney general and my husband said that they wouldn't do it again, even though it was, from all accounts that I have heard and seen, an exchange of pleasantries.

SERFATY: This comes as Clinton three weeks before the Democratic Convention seems to be narrowing down her search for a running mate.

QUESTION: Are you being vetted for v.p.? Do you want to be?

REP. XAVIER BECERRA (D), CALIFORNIA: That's a question that has to be asked of Secretary Clinton.

SERFATY: Potential contenders facing a barrage of questions and offering tightly guarded answers.

QUESTION: Have you been contacted?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: I understand. You have heard my answer. That's what you're going to get. And talk to the Secretary Clinton campaign.

SERFATY: They include New Jersey Senator Cory Booker who just two weeks ago flatly denied he was being vetted, but is now dodging the same question.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: At this point, I have answered this question and talked about this. I am just referring questions about the vice presidency to the woman that is going to have to make this decision.


SERFATY: And coming off of this weekend's FBI interview, Clinton will try to take back control of the narrative tomorrow. She will be back out on the campaign trail campaigning in next with President Obama. This will be their first event together this campaign -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Big day. Sunlen Serfaty, thank you so much.

Let's talk more about Hillary Clinton's FBI interview and what happens next here.

CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez has been working his sources.

Evan, Hillary Clinton is choosing her words very carefully, particularly about information in e-mails that was classified retroactively, I'm sure.


If you remember from the beginning of this controversy, they stumbled a few times in exactly what was on the server. First, they denied that there was anything classified. And then we learned from reviews by the State Department that, yes, there was information that was classified. Yes, they retroactively classified it, but the truth about classified information is that it's always classified.

Whether or not it was labeled that way or whether it's retroactively labeled that way doesn't matter. It is classified and there is a proper way to handle it. Setting up this private server is not the way to handle it.

KEILAR: What is the FBI looking for now? What is this barring the evidence of wrongdoing mean?

PEREZ: Look, they have done now almost a year of investigation. They have talked to dozens and dozens of witnesses. They have now gone over 30,000 pages of documents.

And now they have a good sense of what they believe happened here. Now what they do, what they have done this weekend, this three-and-a- half-hour interview was talk to the secretary of state, to the former secretary of state to see what her intent was.

Why did she set up this server? We know what she said publicly over time. She sort of adjusted her answer on that. But now they want her to tell the FBI what was her intent. Was it, as some have speculated, to evade the Federal Records Act? She said that is not the case. But also whether or not she was aware of the security of this server, because again this is not the proper way for you to handle classified information, which if you're a Cabinet member, you know you will be handling classified information, Brianna.

KEILAR: Evan, thank you so much.

Let's bring back our panel now, CNN political reporter Sara Murray. We also now have CNN correspondent Sunlen Serfaty with us, along with "Washington Post" assistant editor David Swerdlick, and CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. He's also a senior editor at "The Atlantic."

We want to begin with this tweet. This is really sort of filling the whole political atmosphere right now, Sara. Donald Trump insists he didn't do anything wrong. But his campaign did delete the tweet and then they replaced it with a new version, the one on the right.

The one on the left gets tweeted, the one on the right gets tweeted, and then the one on the left gets deleted, this one taking its place. Would it just be better off for Donald Trump to apologize and dispense with this?

MURRAY: Apologize, blame it on a staffer, fire someone, whatever you need to do to get rid of it. I don't think the answer is arguing about the shape of the star and what the shape of the star means, because at the end of the day, someone still pulled this image, which was from a white supremacist site, and it somehow ended up from this Web site onto Donald Trump's feed.

Whether you change it to a circle or a star, there's still questions about where these images are coming from and if this is where your campaign staffers are getting it or you're getting it, why is that the case? Why does this continue happening to Donald Trump?

KEILAR: Yes. And it was initially tweeted from that message board onto a Twitter feed of someone who tweets a lot of anti-Semitic things.

Its entry into Twitter as well has these origins. Ron, we have talked about where we think this has begun. Some people have said, you know what? This latest post fits a pattern of racially charged tweets from Donald Trump. Right now you have a lot of Republicans, mainstream Republicans, who are looking. They say they are looking for him to give them something so they can get behind him. This obviously is going to make it tougher.


It is part of a pattern that we have seen, and a pattern with a very clear impact on Donald Trump's ability to consolidate the Republican Party. If you think back at some of the key moments in this campaign, after he won in New Hampshire and South Carolina, you had people like Bob Dole saying it's time for the Republican Party to unify behind him, he's a better choice than Ted Cruz.

Then came the interview with Jake Tapper on the Sunday before the largest concentration of Southern states voted where he refused to condemn David Duke or the KKK. That movement toward him stopped suddenly.


And then again in June, after he had essentially claimed the nomination, Paul Ryan finally reluctantly endorsed him. And the entire confrontation over Judge Curiel, the Indiana-born Mexico- American judge who he said was incapable of judging his case fairly because he was -- quote -- "a Mexican," again the movement of consolidation toward Donald Trump abruptly halted.

And again this with this, this is exactly what Republican leaders I think are afraid of. They simply do not know what will come out of his mouth or his Twitter feed at any given moment.

But they do know there's been a pattern of using racially charged imagery not only in Twitter, but in these kind of public remarks that's really unprecedented in American politics since at least the George Wallace campaign in 1968.

KEILAR: Sunlen, on the Democrat side, which you have been covering, Hillary Clinton is trying to tamp down her own controversy. A three- and-a-half-hour interview with the FBI on Saturday. It seemed it's entirely possible there are not going to be charges.

But in the end, does that make everything go away for her or is it just there's already a lot of damage done so that doesn't even matter?

SERFATY: I think there's damage. I don't think you will ever see this completely wiped away for her, because it does feed into this broader narrative that's been built up over the years certainly around her and her husband that they don't play by everyone else's rules, they play by their own rules, and they're in general people that can't be trusted.

And certainly we have all heard on the campaign trail this echoed from voters and we certainly see that expressed in the polls that there's this mistrust built up around her. Whether or not the FBI comes back with charges or not, I think this is something that she very well understands she needs to address and we heard her say that last weekend in Chicago. She said, look, I understand this is a problem, this issue of mistrust and I know I need to continue working on this.

KEILAR: You're right. It was so extraordinary how she addressed that at a length we hadn't heard her address it before.

Hillary Clinton admitted this weekend that this was not ideal that her husband met with Loretta Lynch in Phoenix on the tarmac. They say it was an impromptu meeting, but this was something that went on for about a half-hour. I think what is more extraordinary is it's entirely -- at the time that happened, when everyone was amazed it had even happened, we didn't necessarily -- or we didn't know that Hillary Clinton would then be interviewing with the FBI on Saturday.

It's possible he did that knowing this was ahead of his wife. Should he, do you think, David, have tried to smooth this over is it just too far gone?

DAVID SWERDLICK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think he should have not done it in first place.


KEILAR: Clearly.

SWERDLICK: Inexplicable and inexcusable. Something not ideal would be if they had met in the airport in a terminal, in a hallway and spoken for five minutes.

To have arranged the meeting, it just can't be explained, especially, as you said, when you know this meeting was going to be coming up. Or Perhaps President Clinton knew this meeting would be coming up within days.

KEILAR: He hasn't said anything. All we have is an aide to him saying he wouldn't do it again in short. But that's it. He's going to be asked about this at some point.

SWERDLICK: If he is asked about it, I assume they should be prepared for that question. But I don't think a statement, at this point, will help them.

In a weird way in these last couple of days, you have had both candidates sort of reinforce the narrative that kind of goes with them. With Trump, it's been the tweet. With Clinton, it's been the idea that the Clintons want to play by their own rules. At this point, what's probably most important for the Clinton campaign is whether or not she's indicted, not whether they can sort of spin this.

KEILAR: Sure. Yes.

MURRAY: It's amazing to see them both reinforce the worse stereotypes of their candidacies through these unforced in the same week. I'm sure there are Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the aisle who are just shaking their heads and saying how did we get to this point?

KEILAR: Exactly.

You guys are going to stick around with me, which I certainly appreciate, because we have much more to talk about ahead. Huge day tomorrow. Hillary Clinton and President Obama campaigning together for the first time. We have new information on this very big day.



KEILAR: We're back now with our wonderful political panel.

And we actually have a little bit of breaking news.

Sunlen, big day tomorrow, Tuesday, President Obama, Hillary Clinton campaigning for the first time. And how's Hillary Clinton getting to Charlotte, North Carolina?

SERFATY: Well, that's a good question.

And we asked the White House that. And they have confirmed that Hillary Clinton will be riding on Air Force One with President Obama down to Charlotte, North Carolina, tomorrow when they campaign together. This will be the first time that they will be out together. So, certainly, they will steel away some private time on Air Force One together.

And keep in mind this face-off between President Obama and Donald Trump years in the making, going back to before Donald Trump was even a candidate. Of course, he was one of the leading chargers then of the birther claims, questioning President Obama's birth certificate.

So, it will be certainly interesting what tone President Obama brings with him on the campaign trail. It certainly seems like he's champing at the bit to go after Donald Trump. KEILAR: He's been rather strident before, poking fun at him even at

the White House Correspondents Dinner years ago.

And it's just so interesting that he's lending this very presidential imagery to Hillary Clinton. She will enjoy that, I'm sure.

I want to talk about the running mate search of both of these candidates. Sara, you have Donald Trump. The question is, does he pick someone who maybe balances him out, maybe helps with a weakness, or does he pick someone who he feels may be some -- is a kindred spirit, like a Chris Christie, who is also a little bit bombastic?

MURRAY: I think he can do a little bit of both.

But I think the closest we have ever seen Donald Trump come to admitting he has a fault or any kind of shortcoming was when he said I want someone who has governing experience in Washington because I want someone who can execute my agenda if I do win, if I do become elected president.

It's pretty clear that that is an important thing to them. Whether that manifests itself through someone like Chris Christie, who does have governing experience, and, of course, he has ties to many in Washington and to many other governors across the country, or if you go with someone like Mike Pence, who was in leadership here in Congress, and then went and governed a state.


I do think they have made it clear they want someone who understands how government works, how you actually get something done through the constraints of government.

KEILAR: Sunlen, something that is striking. I know as reporters we sort of enjoy this because Donald Trump is like tweeting out who he is meeting with.

And normally -- I interviewed Cory Booker this weekend and said, are you being vetted, and he said -- he referred questions to the Clinton campaign, which was telling, but also kind of cagey. Donald Trump is playing an entire different game. It's not even really a secret about how he's doing this.

SERFATY: That's right.

Usually, we typically hear absolutely nothing from the candidates themselves where they are in this process, who they're talking to. It's quite the opposite with Donald Trump. He's tweeting out meetings today with Joni Ernst, tweeting out over the weekend that he was going to meet with Mike Pence.

This is all news to reporters. So, of course, we really lap it up, of course. But it really speaks to Donald Trump's overall strategy, how he really does like to keep his name out there, control the narrative and really increase the hype going into the convention. KEILAR: If we sort of know who you're looking at, and can talk about

who you're looking at, I guess, it's just sort of a new approach that we haven't seen before.

Ron, Hillary Clinton, obviously, she's doing a search of her own at this point. She's relying -- I have heard some supporters of Hillary Clinton say this should be a representative ticket. You shouldn't just have two white people on this ticket. She's relying so heavily on African-Americans and Hispanic Americans to propel her to success, not only in the primary, but they will have been crucial if she does get to the White House.

And some of these supporters have said, look, on her bench of prospects, she has some very highly qualified public officials who are African-American or Hispanic American and she should pick one of them. What do you think about whether that's playing?

BROWNSTEIN: It's a fascinating question.

By the way, real quick, the precedent for Donald Trump is Walter Mondale of all people in 1984, who held very public kind of auditions of having people come by for interviews that everybody saw. It's also a way of kind of, by the way, expressing support for the different factions of the party and showing that their champions are all being considered.

But your question I think is a great one, because the diverse voters of the Democratic Party are the reason that Hillary Clinton is the nominee. Bernie Sanders in the cumulative exit polls split white voters with her evenly. He won white voters in most states outside the South.

She's the nominee because she won about three-fifths of Hispanics and about four-fifths of African-Americans. And again in the general election, the likelihood is that voters of color will provide over 40 percent of the total votes that Hillary Clinton wins in this race.

So, there is an argument there. I kind of look at this as under the umbrella of a bigger question, which is, does she pick a nominee whose primary goal is to excite, mobilize and turn out the Democratic base, which would give you -- you could look at someone then like Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker, or Julian Castro, maybe Tom Perez?

Or is your belief that there's so much room in the center, that Donald Trump has alienated so much of what would normally be kind of the more moderate end of the Republican coalition? There's a lot of pieces out there that you could try to reassure. And that would lead you more to someone like Tim Kaine, the senator and former governor from Virginia.

So, I think that is the fundamental choice she faces. But within that, the question of whether you recognize the role of the diversity of the Democratic Party in her nomination in the general election I think is a really important one.

KEILAR: David, some have said Tim Kaine is the safe bet because she's arguing Donald Trump is dangerous. But I wonder in this context of this if that is true.


I think Senator Kaine and Congressman Becerra are safe, solid choices that give her gender balance. I personally think her strongest pick would be Senator Warren, because I think, to Ron's point, this is about turnout. This is about exciting Democrats to come out to the polls in November.

KEILAR: And you think Elizabeth Warren is going to do that heads and tails above any of the others?

SWERDLICK: She's already out there campaigning in a way that the other candidates...


KEILAR: And you can feel that energy in her campaign events that you don't normally feel.

It's actually -- it's quite noticeable even watching on TV, which can sometimes mute some of the excitement.

David, thank you so much. Really appreciate it, Ron as well. Sunlen and Sara, thank you, guys.

And just ahead, the deadliest terror attack in Iraq in more than a decade. Are ISIS fighters seeking revenge for losses on the battlefield?

And the ISIS wave of terror, from Baghdad to Bangladesh, Istanbul to Orlando, will these attacks ease or intensify as the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end?


KEILAR: We're following breaking news tonight: Islam's holiest month growing even more deadly, with a string of new terror attacks. ISIS appears to be behind most, if not all, of the bloodshed. Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, is here. And Saudi Arabia is the latest nation to get hit, Barbara.

[18:33:40] BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It is indeed, Brianna. In the space of 24 hours, three attacks in Saudi Arabia, including the holy city of Medina, where the Prophet Mohammed is buried. A very bloody, deadly last few days of the holy month of Ramadan, especially in Baghdad.


STARR (voice-over): The fires, massive and horrifying. At least 215 people killed in a suicide bombing that ripped through a nighttime crowded Baghdad shopping area. ISIS claimed responsibility for the worst attack in Iraq since 2003. Drone footage shows the devastation.

Two days later the search for victims goes on. MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: The government in

Baghdad for the entire country of Iraq has failed the citizens of Baghdad. That's very troubling.

STARR: Furious Iraqis, desperate for security, surround Prime Minister Abadi when he visits the site; then throw objects at his convoy.

The coalition says this and other recent attacks suggest ISIS is lashing out, because it's losing ground in Iraq and Syria.

COL. CHRIS GARVER, SPOKESMAN, ANTI-ISIS COALITION: As they attract crazies and sickos from across the globe, they're trying to show that "Hey, we're still a viable threat. We're still a viable force."

[18:35:03] STARR: Turkish authorities are still unravelling ISIS links to the attack at Istanbul airport that killed 45.

In Bangladesh the government is working to determine what links the attackers at the cafe in Dhaka have to ISIS, where more than two dozen died.

Israel now believes a June 8 attack at a Tel Aviv market also inspired by ISIS.

MARKS: ISIS has been able to take advantage of time. They've increased their message; they've increased their training. They've been able to bring folks to -- in to the Levant (ph) to join ISIS; and they've been able to train them up and export them out.

STARR: Even as ISIS is squeezed for territory on the battlefield, military officials say they have been making the case ISIS and its ideology cannot be killed off with bombs and bullets.

LT. GEN. ROBERT OTTO, U.S. AIR FORCE: We can kill the people. We can kill the leaders. We can kill the person who is in charge of sending out the messages to the various subgroups of the ISIL crooks and criminals, and they will move somebody up in the ranks to take their place.


STARR: How do you even begin to contemplate the human toll of what has happened in Baghdad? One couple showed up after the attacks. They are looking for their teenage son. They said he'd gone out the night before to celebrate his birthday with friends -- Brianna.

KEILAR: We're hearing heartbreaking story after heartbreaking story like that. Barbara, thank you so much.

And now more on the terror in Iraq. Let's go live to Baghdad, where CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman is.

Tell us about this suicide blast that killed more than 200 this weekend. And also, Ben, I know you're hearing something about a new rocket attack just today near the Baghdad airport. BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, to go to

that rocket attack, what we heard was a series of very loud thuds coming from the west. Turned out that Iraqi security forces found a truck on which was mounted rocket launcher. And the target of this rocket attack seems to have been Camp Liberty, where among others, an Iranian opposition group is located.

So it's not all together clear. Nobody's claimed responsibility for this rocket barrage. Nearby Iraqi villagers also hit by missiles, as well. But it just goes to underscore how much people are on edge. When you hear a bunch of loud explosions coming from the distance, you don't know what it is here in Baghdad -- Brianna.

KEILAR: And so many heartbreaking stories I know that you're hearing about that attack in Karrada, Ben.

WEDEMAN: Yes. That attack, as we've been reporting, the worst in Iraq since 2003. And that's saying something.

What happened was we believe a truck, perhaps a refrigerator truck packed with explosives, went off around midnight at a time when hundreds and hundreds of people were out on this street. People are shopping in the days before the end of the holy month of Ramadan followed by a very large holiday.

And what was particularly different about this blast was not only the blast itself but the wall of flame that went out of it, igniting all the buildings around it and, of course, the buildings themselves full of shops, full of people.

I spoke to one person who was involved in the effort to clear the bodies out. He talked about melted bodies on the floor in some of these shops where the heat was so intense. Other people simply unable to escape, burned alive. According to the Iraqi police, of the bodies they've recovered, 81 are simply burned beyond all recognition -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Families waiting for answers. Ben Wedeman in Iraq, thank you.

I want to bring in now chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto. We also have CNN military analyst, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling; and Rukmini Callimachi, terror correspondent for "The New York Times."

This attack in the Karrada neighborhood, Jim, is this a retaliation because Iraqi forces were able to retake Fallujah from ISIS?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not clear, because the fact is, ISIS has carried out suicide attacks in Baghdad, dozens of them, over the last several years.

But if you connect the dots here with the attack that we saw in Baghdad, plus Istanbul, plus Dhaka in Bangladesh, Lebanon, Jordan just in the last week, you see ISIS with what appears to be a bigger focus on attacks outside of Iraq and Syria as they're getting squeezed on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria.

It seems to have raised the intention to and the priority for carrying out terror attacks on soft targets in as many countries in the world as possible, transitioning, possibly, as it loses the military battle, to more of a traditional state-less terror organization but sadly, when you look at their capability, the number of countries they've been able to strike, with really unprecedented capability.

[18:40:12] KEILAR: General Hertling, when you see this attack on a pretty affluent neighborhood, deep in the heart of Baghdad, what do you think ISIS's aim is with -- with something of this magnitude, in targeting this specific area?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's been their aim all along, Brianna. And the Karrada district, I've been there many times in my first tour in Iraq in 2003, it is the most economically vibrant district within Baghdad. It's a loop of the -- it has a lot of Shia; the majority of population is Shia, some Christians. It's right along the river, so a lot of very nice properties. It's wealthy.

And the fact that it is Shia is a primary target for ISIS. Their priority target is to kill Shia, and then their second priority target is to bring down governments that support anything other than their ideology. So it makes, certainly, a lot of sense that they would attack this -- this neighborhood.

KEILAR: Yes, and they're trying to create frustration, certainly, with the citizenry and their government and why they couldn't prevent this.

Rukmini, we've seen smaller attacks than this. We saw multiple explosions across Saudi Arabia. You had two suicide bombings in Khatif, one in the very important holy city of Medina. And we know that -- you know, we don't know at this point if it was ISIS- affiliated. But do you think that this bears the hallmarks of an ISIS attack?

RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, TERROR CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I don't yet know about Saudi Arabia. As you pointed out, they haven't yet claimed it.

But what is clear is that this is a group that has repeatedly called for attacks during the holy month of Ramadan. That month began about three weeks ago. And we are now in the final week of Ramadan, which is considered one of the holiest times for practicing Muslims around the world.

Sadly for ISIS, that holiness is a time for jihad, and so we are now seeing an increase in attacks, in keeping with their call for more attacks during this period.

KEILAR: And so in Tel Aviv, we've also learned that the attack last month in a market in Tel Aviv was inspired by ISIS. So it's ISIS- inspired, not ISIS-directed, Rukmini. But when you hear these distinctions between something that is ISIS-directed and ISIS- inspired, in the end, I think people look at these attacks and they say the death toll is tremendous either way. So why does it matter to make that distinction?

CALLIMACHI: I think that that distinction is becoming less and less relevant. ISIS and, before it, al Qaeda inspired -- came up with this idea of inspiring lone actors in distant parts of the world to carry out attacks simply after having ingested their propaganda.

Al Qaeda launched the magazine "Inspire" specifically for that purpose. They didn't have nearly as much success as ISIS did, perhaps because they're not as good on social media.

ISIS does this by design. By design it is attempting to reach out to mentally unwell, marginalized people like Omar Mateen and -- and convincing them to adopt their ideology and go out and commit mass murder.

If you look at the Florida attack, if you look at the death toll of the Florida attack, how many people one human being was able to kill, he was able to kill, per capita, more people than the ISIS attackers that were sent on November 13 to Paris, who were trained four months inside Syria. So as far as the death toll is concerned, I think that the distinction is becoming less and less relevant.

KEILAR: Jim, you look at Tel Aviv, and this is the first time that we have seen an attack by ISIS radicals in Israel. That's significant. What does it tell us?

SCIUTTO: Well, it is. I mean, listen: there's are two ways that ISIS can carry out attacks. Either they can, as Rukmini was saying, they can train and infiltrate countries, as they did, for instance, with the Istanbul attack. Fighters, Chechen fighters -- rather, southern Russian fighters, Uzbek fighters, trained on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. Then they go carry out a directed attack in Istanbul.

Or someone can just decide to carry out an attack in their name. You saw that with Omar Mateen.

And in Israel, you have -- you have groups there that it's not clear. In fact, it doesn't look like they were infiltrated into the country. But two attackers there who voluntarily attached themselves to the group. And each one is powerful in its own way.

KEILAR: Jim, Rukmini, General, thank you so much to all of you for being a part of our panel today.

Now just ahead, why are taxpayers footing the bill for Bernie Sanders' secret protection, when Hillary Clinton has already locked up the Democratic nomination?

Plus, a Republican senator speaks out about why he unendorsed Donald Trump.


[18:48:43] KEILAR: While Hillary Clinton has the Democratic nomination locked up, Bernie Sanders still has not locked out the race and the public is footing the bill for his Secret Service protection. CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny has been looking into



JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They carved a path for Bernie Sanders.


ZELENY: In some of the biggest crowds in the presidential campaign, his secret service detail always close. Those rallies are over now. Sanders is back in the Senate.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a parliamentary inquiry.

ZELENY: His agents, still right by his side and American taxpayers are paying for it.

Sanders won't be the nominee. He's finally even said so himself.

SANDERS: It doesn't appear that I'm going to be the nominee. So --

ZELENY: Yet, his protection is costing at least $40,000 a day, a federal official told CNN. That's more than a half million dollars since the last primary on June 14th. If he doesn't formally drop out until the convention, the total price tag will be nearly $2 million.

A spokesman for Sanders declined to discuss his security or his cost. The senator did too.

SANDERS: I think security isn't something we should be talking about too much.

ZELENY: But many of his fellow senators are talking about it.

[18:50:00] Several told CNN privately, they are stunned to see Sanders at the capital with such an entourage.

(on camera): Is that a wise use of taxpayer money?

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: That's going to be up for Senator Sanders to determine when he's no longer candidate.

ZELENY (voice-over): Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee says active presidential candidates should be protected.

JOHNSON: At some point in time, hopefully, Senator Sanders realize he's not going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party and he'll agree with that and Secret Service protection can be removed.

ZELENY (on camera): But he's active candidate only in his mind. I mean --

JOHNSON: That's currently true.

ZELENY (voice-over): Sanders started receiving Secret Service coverage back in February as his candidacy soared and his crowd swelled. He had several close calls with protesters.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Secret Service declined to comment on Sanders protection or its cost. Department guidelines say candidate loses coverage when they formally drop out. Short of that, his armed detail will likely surround him until Hillary Clinton is formally nominated at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia at the end of July.

On Capitol Hill, Sanders motorcade has been turning heads, particularly when many senators like Patty Murray of Washington drive themselves or hop into the front seat of aide's car after votes are finished for the night.

SANDERS: Did you vote yet?

ZELENY: Secret Service protection aside, Democratic senators like Bill Nelson of Florida say it's time for Sanders to endorse Clinton and step aside.

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: I love Bernie. He's a good senator. He is certainly contributing in this presidential campaign, but it is now time for him to stand down.

ZELENY: Now, several senators we spoke to did not want to appear on camera but one called this an ego trip for Bernie Sanders. Another said he's simply oblivious to what's going on around him.

Now, security precautions are so sensitive here. So, many senators did not want to place blame on him but they said it's incumbent upon him to get out of this race soon to support Hillary Clinton and send the Secret Service back to their other assignments.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Washington.


KEILAR: And just ahead, some Republican candidates who will share the ballot with Donald Trump in November are worried and taking steps to distance themselves from the presumptive nominee. We'll look at one senator who has already dumped Trump.


[18:56:23] KEILAR: Donald Trump's march to the Republican nomination has left the GOP badly divided. And some candidates who will share the ballot with him are trying to separate themselves from the presumptive standard bearer.

CNN's Rosa Flores is in Chicago with a look at a key Senate race.

Rosa, tell us about this.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, good afternoon.

You know, Illinois is a reliably blue state during a presidential election year. And here you have Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican with a very controversial figure at the top of his ticket, a man by the name of Donald Trump.

Now, let's not forget that the anti-Trump protests here in Chicago is first that sent shockwaves around the nation. Well, since then, Senator Kirk has dumped Trump and he said dumping him is paying off.


FLORES (voice-over): As he struggles in his re-election bid for the Senate, Illinois Republican Mark Kirk is distancing himself from Donald Trump.

SEN. MARK KIRK (R), ILLINOIS: I think he's too bigoted and racist.

FLORES: Senator Kirk made waves last month when he revoked his endorsement of Trump, citing the billionaire's past attacks on Hispanics and women. It's a move, he says, has boosted his candidacy.

(on camera): Has that hurt or helped your campaign?

KIRK: It's helped.

FLORES (voice-over): Another factor the senator says led to his decision to dump Trump, the presumptive nominee's apparent mockery of a disabled reporter last November.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know what I said. I don't remember.

FLORES: Senator Kirk suffered a stroke in 2012 and is often wheelchair bound. The Kirk campaign is trying to make a virtue of the candidate's opposition to Trump, releasing a TV ad highlighting his decision to drop his endorsement.

AD ANNOUNCER: And Mark Kirk bucked his party to say Donald Trump is not fit to be commander in chief.

FLORES: Kirk is one of the Senate's most endangered incumbents, with Illinois being a reliably blue state in recent presidential election years. Trump's place atop the GOP ticket presents an additional obstacle.

(on camera): How do you think dumping Trump has helped your campaign?

KIRK: It showed that an I'm an independence voice. Unlike my opponent, I will put Illinois ahead of party and politics.

FLORES (voice-over): But Senator Kirk hasn't been able to easily escape his initial endorsement.

REPORTER: Would you support Donald Trump if he is the nominee?

KIRK: If he was the nominee, I certainly would.

FLORES: His opponent, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, a combat veteran who lost both her legs has been hitting back hard. Her campaign, released this web video.

KIRK: I cannot support him because of what he said about the judge. That was too racist.

FLORES: Duckworth insists Senator Kirk's effort to separate himself from Trump isn't going to work.

(on camera): Does Kirk still equal Trump?

REP. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS SENATE CANDIDATE: Mark Kirk has the exact kind of rhetoric as Donald Trump. He just needs to own it and stop lying about it.

FLORES (voice-over): Kirk is eager to move the campaign away from the topic of Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we're doing any questions --

FLORES: But those questions are unlikely to fade in the coming months as the general election approaches. Still, Kirk believes he'll be victorious in November with or without Trump.

(on camera): Do you think that you can win without supporting the top of your ticket?

KIRK: I have always run way ahead of my ticket.


FLORES: Now, the Kirk campaign tells me that there's been uptick in interest from donors to volunteers since Kirk separated himself from Trump -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Rosa Flores in Chicago, thank you so much.

I am Brianna Keilar and we want to wish our viewers a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday. Thank you so much for watching.