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FBI Chief Defends Handling of Clinton Email Probe; Growing Outrage Over Back-to-Back Police Shootings; FBI Chief Defends Handling of Clinton E-mail Probe; Trump Meets with GOP Lawmakers; Police Shooting Aftermath Streamed Live on Facebook. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired July 7, 2016 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: breaking news. Facing Congress. Grilled for hours, the FBI director defends his recommendation not to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime, saying, "We have no basis to believe she lied to the FBI." I'll speak with the Clinton campaign for the first time since the decision was made not to prosecute the presumptive nominee.

[17:00:26] Black in the wrong place. The mother of a Minnesota man fatally shot by police during a routine traffic stop says her son, was, quote, "just black in the wrong place." The shocking aftermath of the shooting streamed live on Facebook. Tonight, anger and protests are growing after the second police shooting of a black man in two days.

And meeting Trump. Donald Trump meets with congressional Republicans in an attempt to unite the party but clashes openly with some of them, even as concerns grow about a possible convention coup.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Breaking news: two fatal police shootings in the past two days, sparking protests and nationwide outrage. One deadly incident in Louisiana, the other in Minnesota. Different situations, but the same result: African-Americans shot by police officers.

President Obama says the shootings are not isolated incidents and that all Americans should be deeply troubled. We want to warn you: these images are graphic.

The first killing was caught on camera in the parking lot of a convenience store. The video shows the time Baton Rouge man shot at point-blank range as he was restrained on the ground.

And the second killing, during routine traffic stop, is not seen on video, but the very disturbing aftermath is livestreamed by the victim's fiancee as the horrific scene played out.

And here in Washington, a congressional panel drills FBI Director James Comey for hours over investigation into Hillary Clinton's e- mails, demanding to know why the FBI decided not to recommend any charges. I'll speak with the Clinton campaign press secretary, Brian Fallon. He's standing by live. And our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of the day's top stories.

Let's begin with FBI director James Comey. More than four hours of questioning by a Republican-led congressional committee over the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail setup.

Our senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns, is joining us now.

Joe, the FBI director, he stuck to his guns today.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's true, Wolf. In a hearing loaded with implications for the presidential campaign, FBI Director James Comey was on Capitol Hill today, trying to make the case that his agents did not give a hoot about politics as they picked apart Hillary Clinton's handling of her now-infamous email server. But while defending the conclusions he reached in the investigation, Comey was also fighting to defend himself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Mystified and confused.

JOHNS (voice-over): FBI Director James Comey, under fire from Republicans, vigorously defending the agency's decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her handling of classified information on her private e-mail server.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: Certainly, she should have known not to send classified information. As I said, that's the definition of negligent. I think she was extremely careless. I think she was negligent. That I could establish. What we can't establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent.

JOHNS: Republicans trying to get Comey to draw first blood.

CHAFFETZ: So if Hillary Clinton or if anybody had worked in the FBI under this fact pattern, what would you do to that person?

COMEY: There would be a security review and an adjudication of their suitability and a range of discipline can be imposed from termination to reprimand and, in between, suspensions, loss of clearance.

JOHNS: Comey was the witness, but Clinton was the focus. Comey's answers were met with stares and shaking heads from the Republican committee members, who picked apart Clinton's multiple public assertions that Comey had found to be false.

REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Secretary Clinton said, "I did not e-mail classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material." Was that true?

COMEY: There was classified material e-mailed.

GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said she used just one device. Was that true?

COMEY: She used multiple devices during the four years of term as secretary of state.

GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said all work-related e-mails were returned to the State Department. Was that true?

COMEY: No. We found work-related e-mails, thousands, that were not returned.

JOHNS: But Comey stood his ground on whether Clinton broke the law.

COMEY: We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI. The recommendation was made the way you would want it to be: by people who didn't give a hoot about politics.

JOHNS: Republicans suggested they would keep the heat on the Democratic candidate, opening the door to more investigations.

CHAFFETZ: Did the FBI investigate her statements under oath on this topic?

COMEY: Not to my knowledge. I don't think there's been a referral from Congress.

CHAFFETZ: You'll have one. You'll have one in the next few hours.

JOHNS: A flash of anger from Comey when one Republican congressman suggested the FBI's decision was influenced by political pressure behind the scenes.

REP. JOHN MICA (R), FLORIDA: I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but there are a lot of questions on how this came down.

COMEY: I hope what you'll tell the folks in the cafe is, "Look me in the eye and listen to what I'm about to say. I did not coordinate that with anyone: the White House, the Department of Justice. Nobody outside the FBI family had any idea what I was about to say. I say that under oath. I stand by that."

JOHNS: Democrats came to Comey's defense.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: If prosecutors had gone forward, they would have been holding the secretary to a different standard from everyone else. I firmly believe that your decision was not based on convenience but on conviction.

JOHNS: Keeping up the drum beat that presidential politics was the driver of the hearing.

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D), NEW YORK: Donald Trump took these conspiracy theories to a totally new level. He said, and I quote, "It was no accident that charges were recommended [SIC] against Hillary the exact same day as President Obama campaigned with her for the first time."

So did you plan the timing of your announcement to help Secretary Clinton's campaign event on Tuesday?

COMEY: No. I mean, it was entirely my own.

JOHNS: And tonight Speaker Ryan wants Hillary Clinton's access to intelligence briefings blocked.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I sent a letter to the director of national intelligence, requesting that he refrain from providing classified briefings to Secretary Clinton during the campaign.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: In today's hearing, we also got the FBI director's response to repeated claims by Republicans that Hillary Clinton should have been charged under a statute that makes it a serious crime to use gross negligence in the handling of government information.

Comey said there's only been one other such case brought by federal prosecutors in the last century, and that no reasonable prosecutor would have done it this time, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Joe Johns, good report. Thanks very much.

Joining us now, the Clinton campaign press secretary Brian Fallon. It's the campaign's first television interview since the FBI decision not to recommend a prosecution of Hillary Clinton earlier in the week. Brian, thanks very much for joining us.

BRIAN FALLON, PRESS SECRETARY, CLINTON CAMPAIGN: Hi, Wolf. Good afternoon.

BLITZER: So I assume -- you're a former Justice Department spokesman -- you watched all 4 1/2 hours of this testimony. Do you believe the FBI director's appearance before Congress today was helpful for Secretary Clinton?

FALLON: Well, look, I think the motivations behind holding the hearing were entirely partisan. But in the end, I think we were glad this hearing occurred. We were grateful for the opportunity to have the FBI director expand on his comments from earlier in the week.

I think if you were a House Republican that was sitting on that panel today, you probably felt like this hearing back fired. A week ago we saw the House Republicans have to conclude their House Benghazi investigation of Hillary Clinton without producing any new information.

Now it seems they were disappointed with the outcome of this FBI investigation, so they decided to try to put the FBI director in a hot seat and second-guess his decision. And I think it's just a bad look for House Republicans to be second-guessing a career prosecutor who is a registered Republican, the No. 2 official in the Justice Department under George Bush and was even a deputy council in the Whitewater committee investigating the Clintons in the 1990s.

I don't think anyone could accuse Director Comey of pulling any punches against Hillary Clinton here, and yet the Republicans just refuse to accept that this case is closed and that Hillary Clinton didn't willfully commit any wrongdoing. And as a result, there's no charges in this case.

BLITZER: He strongly defended his decision against recommending any criminal charges against Hillary Clinton or any of her aides, for that matter, but he also strongly defended his assertion in that statement he made the other day that Hillary Clinton and her aides were, in his words, "extremely careless" in handling sensitive classified information.

And he also said that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton's position should have known that an unclassified e-mail system was no place for that kind of conversation. What's your reaction to that?

FALLON: Well, Wolf, we really learned about the findings at the same time that everybody else did. We watched television the other day and watched the director go through his recitation of the facts. We were surprised by some of what he said, to be frank with you.

But I think in general, overall, what the director did was tell a story in very rich detail about why setting up her personal e-mail arrangement in the way that she did was a mistake. And I think Hillary Clinton would be the first to agree with him on that. She has acknowledged that, if she had the chance, she would do it over again. It was not the wisest choice. He went into great detail about why that was the case.

But fundamentally, we're in agreement that this was a mistake, and she would not do it over again. I do think that some people latched onto individual statements that the director made at that appearance a couple days ago and suggested that it has contradicted statements that Hillary Clinton has made all along.

[17:10:04] But today at the hearing, I think we actually got added context. And in many ways, there was a squaring of some of the statements that the director made a couple of days ago and that Hillary Clinton has made all these months.

For instance, a couple of days ago, folks latched onto the fact that the director seemed to suggest that there were at least a small number of emails that had actual markings on them. And, of course, we have long said that there no emails, to our knowledge, that had any classified markings on them. And what it's turned out to be the case, we learned yesterday from the State Department that a couple of the known e-mails actually had errant markings. It's a matter of human error that they were there.

And today at the hearing, the director himself acknowledged that those documents were improperly marked and that even an expert, somebody that was well-versed in the laws of classification might look at that document and not consider it classified.

So I think that was one example of something that got cleared up and, as a result, affirmed a lot of what Hillary Clinton has said through these months. That's why I think this hearing backfired on House Republicans. BLITZER: But he also did say, Brian, that there were 110 e-mails that

weren't marked. As you point out, they weren't marked classified, but there was classified information, including sensitive...

FALLON: I can't hear you.

BLITZER: Can you hear me now?

FALLON: I can't hear anything.

BLITZER: Unfortunately, stand by for a moment, Brian. Stand by for a moment. We'll fix the audio and we'll resume this interview right on the other side. We'll take a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:15:48] BLITZER: The FBI director today, James Comey, he went to Capitol Hill to defend his recommendation not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her e-mail set up as secretary of state.

Back with the campaign press secretary, Brian Fallon.

Brian, I want to give you a chance to respond to some of the discrepancies that still exist out there. Hillary Clinton said -- what Hillary Clinton said, what Comey had said. Let's go through a few of them right now.

For one thing, she said she wanted to use one device, because that was convenient. He said she used multiple devices. What was it?

FALLON: It was a single device, Wolf. What she's always been describing is what went into her decision in early 2009 to use the single personal account for both work and personal use. And at the time, she was used to, while she was in the Senate, having a single Blackberry that had email account on it, and she wanted to be consistent there and have that same experience of just carrying around the one Blackberry.

It's true that she replaced that Blackberry in the course of normal wear and tear. She replaced it as it got outdated and needed to be replaced. So she did have multiple phones, but it was only because she was replacing the one when it got old.

She did in 2010 also get an iPad. That was previously reported. But the point is that in 2009, when she was first making the decision she wanted -- the decision at that time was she wanted to remain true to what she had done in the Senate, which was carry the one device.

The other thing that the director had said was there were multiple servers. I think that a lot of people have been confused about that point. The reality is during her entire four years at the State Department, she only ever had one server at the residents in Chappaqua, New York. It's true that after she left the State Department, she replaced the server with -- a private company took over the maintenance of her e-mail account. And at that point they migrated all of the information to their

warehouse, I think, in New Jersey, but that was after she left the State Department. During her State Department years, all she ever had were the servers.

BLITZER: She also said that all of her work-related e-mails were eventually returned to the State Department. The FBI director said they found thousands of work-related e-mails that were not returned to the State Department. What about that?

FALLON: Well, this is another point that people have been confused about. So appreciate the opportunity to go through these.

The reality is that the best that she could do in 2014 was turn over every work-related e-mail that she had in her possession at the time. We have long acknowledged that there were certain gaps, for instance as a result of the fact that she didn't actually get hooked up to her server until March of 2009. That meant for the first two months of her tenure as secretary of state, those e-mails were not available in 2014 when she got the request from the State Department. So those two months have always been unaccounted for, because they weren't there on the server when went to make her production to the State Department.

So there's various instances like that that we have acknowledged over the previous months, but the reality is in 2014 when she got the request, she handed over everything that was work-related that she had in her possession.

BLITZER: Well, were her lawyers actively deleting documents, deleting e-mails during that period? Some of those e-mails probably work- related, according to the FBI director?

FALLON: No. and it's well-known at this point that, as she decided not to keep her personal e-mails, the e-mails that, after the sorting process was finished, that they determined were personal in nature, they decided not to keep those ones. So it's known for a while now that those e-mails had already been deleted.

But the work-related ones were turned over to the State Department when the request was made in 2014. And as the director affirmed in the hearing today, he actually corroborated the fact that Hillary Clinton was not giving special instructions to the lawyers doing that sorting. She left that work to them. She let them do a very deep dive in terms of making sure what was work-related, what was personal in nature. And they did it to the best of their ability. To the extent that some e-mails may have been missed, the director himself said they were no intent to conceal anything, that the search, from the best he could tell, was conducted in completely good faith.

BLITZER: Did those lawyers, her lawyers have security clearances?

FALLON: They did. All of them did. And David Kendall, all of the lawyers involved in the search process did have clearances. I'm not sure what the director meant there. I think it might have been maybe some information didn't get relayed. I will leave it to FBI to clarify that. [17:20:06] But the reality is that the lawyers who did the sorting

process had clearances. David Kendall, of course, had represented other individuals involved in cases regarding top-secret information. He has a clearance at the highest levels, the SSEI (ph).

BLITZER: The committee chairman, Jason Chaffetz, he asked the FBI director today if Secretary Clinton lied during her sworn testimony before the Benghazi committee in Congress when she said, in her words, "There was nothing marked classified on my e-mails either sent or received."

And you heard Comey say he needed a referral from Congress to go ahead and investigate; heard Chaffetz say he'll get that referral. Did she lie to Congress?

FALLON: Of course not. And the statements that she made to the FBI, you did hear the director characterize his view of her statements that she made in her interview and said they had no basis to believe that she misled or lied to the FBI in any way.

And the statements that she made to the FBI were perfectly consistent with what she said in public all along. And obviously, in that committee appearance that was referenced by Chairman Chaffetz, she said what she said all along about the lack of markings.

And as we discussed a moment ago, I think that issue was explained and debunked by the director today in terms of explaining that those documents were improperly marked and that underlying material was not actually classified.

So look, we know that Jason Chaffetz, other House Republicans, Speaker Ryan are going to try to find different threads to pull on and different ways to try to manufacture and drip, drip, drip and keep this email issue alive for the next four months to try to help Donald Trump's candidacy for president. But the reality is that the fundamental decision that the director reached and announced two days ago, I think, completely takes the wind out of the sails of the Republicans. And I think if they keep it up, it will backfire like today's hearing.

BLITZER: The director also said it was possible. He said they didn't have any direct evidence that Hillary Clinton's e-mail system was hacked by foreign powers, unfriendly powers to the United States, and that she did use that private e-mail server, that system that she had overseas in areas where there would be hostile actors.

Did she use that private e-mail server while she was, for example, in China or Russia?

FALLON: Well, look, this is another area that I think there's been a lot of undue speculation. Every piece of evidence that has surfaced in this yearlong review of this has corroborated the idea that there's no confirmed successful breaches of her server.

And it widely reported many months ago that the server logs that were turned over by the I.T. professionals that maintained the server revealed no signs of any successful intrusions.

The director himself today affirmed that there was no direct evidence of any successful breach of the server. And yet this continues to be a Republican talking point that there was a successful breach of the server. There's no evidence of that.

I think that, yes, there's many photos, in fact, of the secretary using her Blackberry device while on travel. That's no different than what a lot of members of Congress do. In fact, I thought that one of the more eye-opening portions of the hearing today was the discussion amongst the members themselves, acknowledging that they, too, use personal e-mail for work purposes. In fact, the chairman of the committee, Jason Chaffetz, if you receive his business card in the halls of Congress, it actually suggests you e-mail him at his Gmail account.

So I think that this is an issue that's widespread in the government. You've seen it more than 300 individuals who have sent or received some of the e-mails that have been involved in this review of Hillary Clinton's e-mails. So this was something that is widespread in the government, including the members of Congress. I think they are the last people that can be accusing Hillary Clinton of something.

Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, has sent an official letter today to the director of national intelligence, asking that Hillary Clinton's access to classified information be denied for the rest of this election season, that she should not be getting briefings after the convention from the intelligence community, which is the normal tradition. What's your reaction to that?

FALLON: I think this I just another laughable partisan attempt to keep this issue alive after the career professionals at the FBI have determined that there is no case to bring here.

Obviously, the Republicans did not like that outcome. They were hoping that this would be an issue that they could keep attacking Hillary Clinton on from now until November.

The FBI director's decision has deprived them of that opportunity, so they're coming up with more and more partisan ploys in the attempt to keep this issue in the news.

I think it's quite laughable and ironic to suggest that Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, former first lady, former member, when she was in the Senate, of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and she should be deprived of the normal routine briefings that are provided to the nominees after the conventions.

I think it's particularly perplexing and strange when top Republicans, including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, just yesterday refused to even say that his own party's nominee, Donald Trump, is fit to receive those briefings. So this is not anything that I think the administration will take seriously, and we recognize it for what it is. It's just a cheap partisan stunt intended to keep this issue in the news.

[17:25:05] BLITZER: Brian Fallon is the press secretary for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Brian, thanks very much for joining us.

FALLON: Thank you for having me, Wolf.

BLITZER: Coming up, as the saga over Hillary Clinton's e-mails plays out again, this time before a congressional panel, how damaging is it to her presidential campaign? Is it damaging at all? Our political experts are standing by.

And back-to-back police shootings. The shocking aftermath of one incident streamed live on Facebook has outraged -- outrage grows. President Obama says all Americans should be deeply troubled.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:00:01] BLITZER: The FBI director, James Comey, testified today before a congressional panel, defending his decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton or her aides, despite characterizing her e-mail practices as "extremely careless."

Let's discuss with our political experts. We're joined by CNN political analyst, the national political reporter for Real Clear Politics, Rebecca Berg, CNN political commentator and Washington correspondent for the "New Yorker" magazine, Ryan Lizza, and CNN political director David Chalian.

So, David, you just heard Brian Fallon after the 4 1/2 hours of testimony. He was pretty happy I think with what he heard today.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And I think he has some good reason to be. I mean, I don't think he was happy that this hearing had to happen all together. I think they would prefer to run this campaign without this e-mail issue dogging them for a year. But if you compare Tuesday to today I think it's clear that Hillary Clinton had a better day today.

Tuesday Jim Comey comes out solo, excoriates Hillary Clinton's behavior as extremely careless and basically what the RNC's Sean Spicer called was a moral indictment, not a criminal one, in that Tuesday press conference. Here, James Comey was on defense of his decision not to recommend prosecution. So he was vigorously defending why there was no evidence to proceed with the case which helps Hillary Clinton's, you know, public persuasion effort.

BLITZER: Do you agree?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree with that. I think at times he was essentially cast as her defense attorney in the process. And most of the outrage from the right has been with statute says this, James Comey said she did this. Why didn't the FBI go ahead with the prosecution? And so he came and pushed back very, very hard about -- against that principal argument, pushed back very, very hard against the idea that there was any collusion between the White House, the top political appointees at the Justice Department. And I think defended his decision fairly well. And I think he pushed

back a few points that some Clinton's critics have been making. So I agree with David, this is not an issue that the Clinton campaign wants to talk about so the fact that it was on TV for five hours, that it's going to be, you know, a two-day story, not great for her but better than Tuesday.

REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And there were some good moments for Republicans still. I mean he was able to sharpen some of his points from his remarks the other day saying that she wasn't -- possibly wasn't sophisticated enough to understand classified markings on these e-mails.

LIZZA: Yes.

BERG: Not necessarily something that is going to be advantageous for Hillary Clinton in her presidential campaign and certainly Republicans will try to use that against her and other moments today. And then this served as sort of a launching pad for the next step for Republicans which is Jason Chaffetz going after her prior testimony to Congress looking for potentially moments when she did not tell the truth under oath.

CHALIAN: You're right. And he clearly said -- the FBI director clearly said that the fact pattern he put into the public domain this week was at odds with some of her public statements. And so he said that in a way that could be clipped for that. I do think like on Tuesday either side can sort of pull what they want. This was just more instead of a one-way sort of attack on Clinton's behavior a partisan brawl back and forth throughout the day.

BLITZER: All right. Guys, stand by because only a few blocks away from the congressional hearing Donald Trump was meeting with Republicans from the Senate House of Representatives. We'll update you on that a lot more right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:38:03] BLITZER: Donald Trump met with congressional Republicans today as he attempts to unite his party before the convention.

Our national correspondent Jason Carroll is joining us now with details.

Jason, what's the latest?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Donald Trump did make up some of that ground with one of his former rivals, Senator Ted Cruz. The two had a, quote, "good meeting," according to the Cruz camp. Trump asked Cruz to speak at the upcoming GOP convention and to advise him on judicial nominations. Cruz agreed to both. But Trump still not able to patch up some of his disagreements with other members of his own party.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CARROLL (voice-over): Donald Trump huddling with House and Senate Republicans today seeking to ease concerns from some in the party over how he is running his campaign.

(On camera): After this meeting were there any converts, any people who were sort of on the fence but after this meeting now feel as though they can support him?

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I don't think there was any question. But there were a massive number of converts.

CARROLL (voice-over): But sources tell CNN that Trump's meeting with Senate Republicans also included tense exchanges. Trump reportedly told Jeff Flake, who's been critical of Trump, that he would work to defeat the Arizona senator if he didn't change his tune. Flake responding that he isn't up for reelection until 2018.

Senator Flake lashed out at Trump to CNN's Manu Raju.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It sounded pretty tense.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: It was a bit tense. He started out saying that I had been critical of him, and I have been, frankly, on the comments that he made about those crossing the border or rapists. You know, just in Arizona doesn't play well and it shouldn't. And as a party, you know, public officials I think have a responsibility to stand up and say that's not our party.

CARROLL: Trump also telling never Trump Republican Ben Sasse of Nebraska that he, quote, "must want Hillary." Sasse' spokesman characterizing the exchange between the two as gracious but saying the senator, "continues to believe that our country is in a bad place and with these two candidates this election remains a dumpster fire."

[17:40:05] Trump also met with more than 200 House Republicans with Speaker Paul Ryan giving the presumptive nominee favorable reviews.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We had a very good exchange on just lots of ideas and lots of policy issues. So I thought it was a very good meeting. And it's very clear that he is working on putting together a strong general election campaign.

CARROLL: Trump tweeting afterward, "Just leaving D.C., had great meetings with Republicans in the House and Senate. Very interesting day. These are people who love our country."

Trump's outreach to Republican lawmakers comes as some in the party seek to introduce new rules to deny him the nomination at the Cleveland convention in less than two weeks. At his Ohio rally Wednesday night Trump dismissed the never Trump efforts.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Never Trump is disappearing rapidly.

CARROLL: Trump also doubling down on his comments praising former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

TRUMP: And I don't love Saddam Hussein. I hate Saddam Hussein but he was damn good at killing terrorist.

CARROLL: Trump lashing out at the press for its coverage of his tweet calling Hillary Clinton corrupt that featured piles of money and a six-pointed star that resembled the Star of David, a graphic that appeared 10 days earlier on an Internet message board filled with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

TRUMP: Have you all seen this? It's a star. And it actually looks like a sheriff's star. But I don't know. And behind it they had money, but there is money behind it. So actually they are racially profiling. They are profiling, not us. Because why are they bringing this up?

CARROLL: Trump also telling his critics to let it go, tweeting a photo of a star on a sticker book for the Disney movie "Frozen." Writing, "Where is the outrage for this Disney book? Is this the Star of David also?"

But team Clinton played the Elsa card right back at him, tweeting, "Do you want to build a strawman?"

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: So still some work to do to get some members of the GOP on board with the Trump campaign. But Trump has said in the past that endorsements are good but he says he can do this with them or without them -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jason Carroll, reporting.

Let's get back to our political experts. David Chalian, you think he is making serious progress uniting House Republicans and Senate Republicans?

CHALIAN: I think he is making some progress. I think that he is in a better place than he was a few weeks ago. And I think that nothing unifies the party more than the opportunity to take on Hillary Clinton. And so this week with Comey out in the headlines like this, this was a real opportunity for Republicans to rally around something even if it's not the Trump candidacy, it is the effort to defeat Hillary Clinton and that is a rallying cry.

So I think it was a good week for Trump to be in town and to meet with all these Republicans because of what is going on with the Clinton e- mail scandal. He clearly has some work to do with some factions of the establishment but quite frankly they may never come around. And what he needs more than establishment office holders are, you know, grassroots supporters.

BLITZER: The fact that Ted Cruz is not going to appear and speak at the convention, what does that say to you?

BERG: Well, it's probably a positive sign for Donald Trump. I mean, his campaign obviously wants Ted Cruz to speak on his behalf because the never Trump movement was driven in large part by Ted Cruz supporters and his wing of the party as a very conservative wing of the Republican Party who -- many of whom still don't accept Donald Trump and don't think that he's a Republican.

I would be very surprised if Ted Cruz necessarily gets up there on stage in Cleveland and gives his full-throated support for Donald Trump. But at the same time just the image of him up there on stage at the convention will really settle down a lot of this angst about Trump's candidacy.

BLITZER: I think at least their convention speakers list, they're supposed to do it yesterday, today what are you hearing about that?

LIZZA: They said that it would come out today. We haven't seen it yet but piece by piece we are getting some of these names. I think it's very curious that Cruz is speaking at the convention but has not officially endorsed Donald Trump. Is that the situation we have right now? That is very unusual.

(CROSSTALK)

LIZZA: Which Donald Trump said that if they want to speak at the convention they're going to have to endorse him, right? I mean --

CHALIAN: They have to endorse. So this -- I mean --

BERG: So this is a detente of sorts.

LIZZA: Yes. Well, but I think politically it's a big mistake by Donald Trump. If you were the nominee of the party you don't let someone speak at your convention unless they have endorsed you. Now Cruz is in a position where he can do whatever he wants. He can say whatever he wants --

BLITZER: And the notion of a coup at the convention, is that going away?

CHALIAN: Listen, they -- to get a minority report out of the rules committee on to the floor, they need 28 votes inside that rules committee. They are within reach. But they've got more work to do. So the Trump folks think they have it locked up. We'll see. It might get a little messy.

BLITZER: All right. Guys, stand by. More news coming up.

Also there is breaking news, the governor of Minnesota now says he's appalled by the shooting of an African-American man by a police officer. We're going to bring you the latest details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[17:45:03] GOV. MARK DAYTON (D), UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would this have happened if those passengers were white? I don't think it would have. So I'm forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront that this kind of racism exists. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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BLITZER: We're following breaking news. Outrage growing right now over back-to-back fatal police shootings of African-American men. Take a look at these live pictures of a Black Lives Matter protest taking place at Union Square in New York City.

President Obama says all Americans should be deeply troubled by the shootings. The most recent, a routine traffic stop gone horribly wrong. The immediate aftermath live-streamed by the victim's fiancee.

[17:50:08] CNN's Brian Todd is here. He's been looking into all of this for us. What are you learning, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, just a short time ago state officials in Minnesota said the officer involved in the shooting of Philando Castile is being interviewed as we speak. They plan to release his name as soon as the interviews are finished.

This case has sparked outrage across the United States since the moment the victim's fiancee live-streamed the video of the aftermath just seconds after he was shot.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DIAMOND REYNOLDS, GIRLFRIEND OF PHIL CASTILE: Stay with me. We got pulled over for a busted taillight in the back. And the police (EXPLETIVE DELETED), he is covered. He killed my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) boyfriend.

TODD (voice-over): An incredibly composed but horrified passenger live-streams and narrates her fiance's death on Facebook.

REYNOLDS: He's licensed. He's -- he's licensed to carry. He was trying to get out his I.D. in his wallet out of his pocket and he let the officer know that he was -- he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm. We're waiting for -- I will, sir, no worries. I will. He just shot his arm off. We got pulled over on Larpenter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand up.

REYNOLDS: He -- you told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver's license. Oh, my god, please don't tell me he is dead. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) please don't tell me my boyfriend just went like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands where they are.

REYNOLDS: Yes, sir, I will keep my hands where they are.

TODD: Diamond Reynolds keeps narrating even as the police officer still has his gun trained on her. This is just seconds after her fiancee, Philando Castile, was shot by the officer in his car at an intersection in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Castile later died.

REYNOLDS: Please don't tell me this, Lord. Please, Jesus, don't tell me that he's gone. Please don't tell me that he's gone. Please, Officer, don't tell me that you just did this to him. You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir.

TODD: Reynolds keeps filming as police get her out of the vehicle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the female passenger out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car right now with your hands up. Let me see your hands. Exit now. Keep them up. Keep them up.

REYNOLDS: Where is my daughter? You got my daughter?

TODD: She briefly loses her composure while the camera is on the ground pointed at the sky.

REYNOLDS: Please don't tell me he's gone. Please, Jesus, no.

TODD: A few minutes later Reynolds is in police vehicle narrating again. When she shows distress near the end of the video, her 4-year- old daughter who had been with them the whole time comforts her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK. I'm right here with you.

TODD: Today Reynolds said her fiance had done nothing wrong during the traffic stop. She recounted the moment of escalation.

REYNOLDS: Philando began to have difficulties reaching for his identification because of his concealed firearm on his person. He told the man very calmly and very respectfully that he was carrying. He began to yell, don't move. Don't move. As he was already moving to get his identification.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Murderer.

TODD: A top Minnesota law enforcement agency is investigating the shooting. The FBI and the Justice Department may get involved. Philando Castile's mother believes he was racially profiled.

VALERIE CASTILE, PHILANDO CASTILE'S MOTHER: I think he was just black in the wrong place.

TODD: It's the second case in two days of an African-American man shot by police documented on video. In Baton Rouge newly released video shows a different angle of Tuesday morning's police shooting of Alton Sterling. And new information on the moments leading up to the deadly encounter. A source familiar with the investigation telling CNN a homeless man made the 911 call claiming Sterling had waved his gun at him.

Officer Robert Underwood of the D.C. Police Union says it's too early in both investigations to criticize or defend the officers. He says in the Minnesota shooting, castile may have reached into an area the officer couldn't see.

ROBERT UNDERWOOD, D.C. POLICE UNION: There's definitely areas in the car when you walk up to them that are blind spots.

TODD (on camera): Where are they?

UNDERWOOD: The blind spots would be towards the right leg and console of the vehicle, OK, down by this area here. You know you have under the seat, between your legs and behind your back. There's lots of blind spots.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Now Officer Underwood says with these incidents and so many others like them, these days police officers have to assume that with every traffic stop they make, every incident they encounter it's going to be on videotape. He says a lot of the time that's a good thing. Body cameras on police officers he says make them more responsible. But this afternoon, this evening, we're told the officers in that jurisdiction in Minnesota do not carry body cameras -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Brian Todd reporting for us, thank you.

[17:55:01] Coming up, much more on the breaking news we're following. The FBI director grilled relentlessly by lawmakers over his decision not to recommend that Hillary Clinton be prosecuted for her private e- mail set up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I agreed to come because I think the American people care deeply about this. There's all kinds of folks watching this at home are being told, well, lots of other cases were prosecuted and she wasn't. I want them to know, that's not true. So I want to have this conversation. And I actually welcome the opportunity. Look, it's a pain. I've got to go to the bathroom for about an hour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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