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THE SITUATION ROOM
Obama, Biden Meet with Police Organizations; Three Dead, Two Hurt in Courthouse Shooting; Police Describe Gunman's Taunts, Message in Blood; Dallas Police Chief to Protesters: 'We're Hiring'; GOP Lawmakers Want New investigation of Clinton; Trump Declares He's the Law and Order Candidate. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 11, 2016 - 17:13 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. Courthouse shooting. Two court bailiffs are dead. Two other people are injured after gunfire erupts at a Michigan courthouse. We're learning more details about what happened.
Gunman's arsenal. New and troubling details emerging about the weapons amassed by the sniper who targeted Dallas police. Tonight, as police download body-camera video of the attack, we're learning more about the gunman's time in the U.S. military and his visits to hate- filled racially-charged web sites. And for the first time, his parents are now speaking out.
In the streets after a weekend that saw hundreds of arrests, demonstrators once against take to the streets, demanding change in how police treat African-Americans.
And law and order candidate. Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail, promising to make America safe again, while also calling himself the candidate of compassion. Is he capitalizing on the aftermath of a deadly week?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: There's breaking news coming in from Michigan, where at least three people are dead, two others are injured after gunfire at a courthouse in the western Michigan city of St. Joseph. An undersheriff tells CNN two court bailiffs and the suspect are dead.
Also tonight, dramatic new details of the standoff between Dallas police and the gunman who killed five officers. We now know that, after police cornered him, Micah Xavier Johnson sang and laughed at officers and scrawled a final cryptic message in his own blood.
Police also say that, given the weapons and bomb-making material he had amassed, the bloodshed could have been much worse.
We're also getting new information about the attacker's visits to websites run by organizations that are considered hate groups, including one that called for attacks on police because of two police shootings of African-Americans earlier in the week.
And in the wake of the Dallas attack as well as nationwide protests over two deadly shootings involving police and African-Americans, Donald Trump is taking a tough new tone out there on the campaign trail. He's calling himself the law and order candidate.
The head of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks, he's standing by live to take our questions. And our correspondents, analysts and guests, they will have full coverage of all the day's top stories.
Let's get right to the breaking news. First, though, Brian Todd is monitoring new reports coming in from that Michigan courthouse shooting.
Brian, what happened?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, just a short time ago, the sheriff of Berrien County, Michigan, Paul Bailey, told reporters that the scene is secured, the courthouse secured, and the scene is rendered safe.
Now, just a short time ago, we talked to Sheriff Bailey or his office gave us some information. They said that two bailiffs and a suspect were shot and killed at the courthouse there in Berrien County. That is located in the town of St. Joseph in the southwest corner of Michigan.
The undersheriff tells CNN one civilian and another officer were wounded in this incident. There could, however, be more civilians hurt. We'll get to that in a moment.
A short time ago I spoke with Chris Gautz, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections. They run a probation office inside that courthouse. Gautz told me one of their employees, a female probation agent, was in or near a third-floor courtroom in that building when the gunman ran right past her and some other people. Gautz is not sure if their agent actually witnessed this shooting. But it's his understanding, again, that this happened either inside or very near a courtroom on the third floor of that building.
Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey told reporters a short time ago that, quote, "brave officers" were able to interne and to take the shooter down. Bailey says a deputy sheriff is now in stable condition, and he said there are, quote, "several other people" in stable condition.
One thing we just got from the Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph: that that officer is being treated at that center, along with several civilians. That is from the Lakeland Health media specialist Jessica Hines.
But key questions right now at this hour: How did that shooter get a gun if this, indeed, did occur inside the courthouse? We know its courthouses are very secure. They check everybody for weapons. Did the shooter grab a weapon from law enforcement officers? That's a key question.
Sheriff Bailey says that his office, plus the local homicide task force, St. Joseph's Public Safety Department, Michigan State Police and the FBI will investigate just how that suspect got their hands on that weapon, Wolf. That's a key question tonight. And as we know right now, two bailiffs and the suspect shot and killed in this shootout...
BLITZER: Two other people...
TODD: ... inside the courthouse. Yes. At least two people injured, possibly several more. That's a little unclear.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thanks for that report.
Let's get to the dramatic revelations today about the deadly standoff between Dallas police and the sniper who killed five officers. Our national correspondent Kyung Lah is on the scene for us in Dallas right now.
Kyung, police say the gunman had so many weapons, the death toll could have been much worse.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Because these are very high- powered rifles. There was a rifle that he was using that, unfortunately, has really become the norm in these mass shootings.
Investigators say they are still in the process of following every lead. They've taken some 300 statements. They're looking at the ballistics. They are in the process of examining all the video involved here.
The goal: to piece together in real-time exactly what happened.
LAH (voice-over): Tonight new details on the weapons gunman Micah Johnson carried the night he killed five Dallas officers. Law enforcement sources tell CNN investigators found a Glock pistol, another handgun and an AK-style semiautomatic rifle as they poured through the evidence.
CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE: There's over 170 hours of body- camera video to download. And that is ongoing. Detectives are also collecting all dash cam video.
LAH: Dallas Police Chief David Brown describing the delusional behavior of the cornered gunman: singing, laughing, and writing a final cryptic message, the initials "R.B." on the walls in his own blood.
Also tonight, new details of Micah Johnson's troubled past. Newly- released school records show he graduated near the bottom of his high school class, then joining the military. His parents spoke to "The Blaze," his mother saying her son wasn't the same after seven months in Afghanistan. [17:20:06] JAMES JOHNSON, MICAH JOHNSON'S FATHER: I didn't see it
coming. I love my son with all my heart. I hate what he did.
DELPHINE JOHNSON, MICAH JOHNSON'S MOTHER: The military was not what Micah thought it would be, the ideal that he thought of our government. Of what he thought the military represented. It just didn't live up to his expectations.
LAH: While in the Army, Micah Johnson was accused of sexual harassment by a female soldier in the Spring of 2014 while they were both serving in Afghanistan. He received an honorable discharge. The Army service record would include standard low-level marksmanship training but nothing extensive. Bomb-making material found in Johnson's home. Nothing he would have learned in the military.
BROWN: There's a lot of questions, and it is very complex. This person obviously has a delusion. This person also was very committed to killing officers. To be quite honest, I'm running on fumes.
LAH: Dallas's police chief unvarnished about his own and his department's fatigue. Chief David Brown acknowledging threats against his and his family's life via Facebook that candidly, openly spoke about the frustrations of local policing on the eve of the president's arrival in the city.
BROWN: We're asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. We're just asking us to do too much. Every societal failure, we put it off on cops to solve.
BROWN: We're hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. We'll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you're protesting about.
LAH: He also had a message to policy makers. The police chief here in Dallas saying, "We're putting our lives on the line. You do your jobs. Try to make these streets safer by writing better national policy."
And Wolf, in a few hours, we are anticipating a candlelight vigil here. A candlelight vigil being honored -- being placed here by the Dallas Police Association to honor the five fallen officers -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, thank you. Kyung Lah reporting for us from Dallas.
Joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM right now, the president and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks.
Cornell, once again thank you very much for coming in.
Over the weekend, we saw an outpouring of demonstrations, largely peaceful. Some got a little heated, as you well know. What's your reaction when you see these demonstrations? Do you want more of these demonstrations? These are the people who are protesting against what they see as police violence against African-Americans.
CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT/CEO, NAACP: The NAACP has an old tradition of nonviolent protest. In the city of Atlanta, the NAACP was on the forefront of a very large demonstration. It was largely peaceful. We've been on the forefront of these demonstrations around the country.
But here's what we know. You cannot bring about an end to racial violence, as in police brutality, with more violence. We exercise our rights under the Constitution by demonstrating our commitment to the ideals of this country and by posing -- pushing forward policies by reform.
We did that in Congress. We do that in the state legislatures. We do it on the streets and in the streets across the country. So when you ask, do we need to have more demonstrations? Absolutely. But we have to not only demonstrate on the streets, we have to show up at the polls in mass and in the millions. That's what we intend on doing.
BLITZER: The former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, he had some controversial words about Black Lives Matter. The organizer of a lot of these protests. Let me play this for you and get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: When you say Black Lives Matter, that's inherently racist. Black lives matter. White lives matter. Asian lives matter. Hispanic lives matter. That's anti-American, and it's racist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Your reaction?
BROOKS: Every once in a while we all have to have a major dose of reality. Here's the reality.
In many places across the country, black lives are not valued. They're devalued. Dehumanized. When an unarmed African-American man is seven times more likely to lose his life than his white counterpart, there's a devaluation of life.
When we say black lives matter, that is the premise to the ethical conclusion that all lives matter. Unless the first is true, the second can never be true.
Mr. Giuliani needs to think about this. We are at a moment in this country where we have many people losing lives at the hands of the police under questionable circumstances. We see these horrific videos.
I had a chance to speak to Mr. Castile's mother a day or so ago. Look into a mother's face. Look into a mother's eyes. She lost her son, her dreams, her aspirations in her son, and he's -- he's detained or I should say stopped 52 times in his community. This is the story of a generation.
So Mr. Giuliani, I beg to differ. I simply say to you that your record in New York City with respect to the disastrous policy of stop and frisk, which is another way of saying detain and demean was wrong. It was wrong in that city. It was wrong across the country. It was bad policy. And we have to move beyond that to good policy.
BLITZER: You came back here to Washington from a visit to Minnesota. And earlier, you were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You met with the family, relatives, friends, others. What was it like to actually go to those two places and see the anger, the frustration?
BROOKS: Heartbreaking. Heartbreaking. I simply ask everyone to think about your mother. Think about your father. Think about the people who love you. And think about how their hearts would break when your life taken from you and simply as a consequence of your skin color. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Being black and in the wrong place at the wrong time.
That is something no imagine -- no American should have to imagine. But that is what is happening all across this country.
So meeting with Mr. Castile's family. Meeting with Mr. Sterling's family. Being in these communities, broken communities, it is tough. But this experience gives the NAACP all the more resolve, all the more determination to push more policies. And I want to emphasize, laws that will change the situation. We do that by showing up on the streets and showing up at the polls in mass and in the millions.
So when we have our convention, and part of this week, and we have presidential candidates, Secretary Clinton coming before us, we are going to demand of them real answers for the problem in the streets. This is a problem that can only be solved if we as a country come together.
BLITZER: And Hillary Clinton has accepted your invitation. Has Donald Trump accepted the NAACP invitation to appear, as well?
BROOKS: We are hoping that he will do so. We have not yet heard from him. But I believe that the road to the White House takes you through the NAACP and Cincinnati.
BLITZER: I want you to stand by. We have more to discuss. Much more on all the new developments right now.
Cornell Williams Brooks of the NAACP is with us. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: We're back with the president and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks. We're discussing the demonstrations, the arrests and the aftermath of those recent shootings of African-Americans by police and the snipers' attack on police officers in Dallas.
[17:32:04] The police chief, David Brown, in Dallas had some powerful words to say to the protesters who are out there. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID BROWN, CHIEF OF DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Become a part of the solution. Serve your community. Don't be a part of the problem. We're hiring. We're hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. We'll put you in your neighborhood, and we will help you resolve some of the problems you're protesting about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What do you think?
BROOKS: The police chief is genuine. He's in the middle of a heart- wrenching situation. And I think he is right about this. To the extent that we diversify police departments in this country and have police officers who come from all those communities, it builds a bridge of trust between the community and police department. That's a good thing.
But this problem cannot be solved by the individual career choices of protesters. And so to the extent that there are literally thousands, hundreds of thousands of people across the country protesting and yes, even the world against policemen's conduct, that some of them will join the ranks of the police force is fine.
But that's a great career choice. That does not speak to the fact that we need to push for and pass and...
BLITZER: They need more law enforcement officers in Dallas. He came from the community. He wants more to come from the community. I think the community, he says, will be a lot better if there are more people from Dallas, from those communities, working as law enforcement officers.
BROOKS: You need more people from the community and you need policies that reflect the community. Legislation that reflects the community. When we do that, when we have that, we are able to bring down levels of police misconduct.
BLITZER: Donald Trump says he wants to be the law and order candidate. He also says he will be the candidate of compassion. That's his response today to what happened in Dallas earlier in Louisiana and Minnesota. Your reaction?
BROOKS: Those are interesting terms. In terms of being a law and order candidate and a compassion candidate. I'd like to see those adjectives applied to legislation. Tell us what you stand for. Tell us what you would back as president. Tell us what you would push forward and stand behind in Congress as part of your policies, as president. Do that but do it before the NAACP meeting in Cincinnati.
We are long past the point of rhetoric. We have people who are dying in the streets. We have officers and police departments that are grieving. We need serious leadership. And that means speaking very specifically about the policies you're willing to get behind. The people deserve no less.
And these protesters in the streets, let's be very clear, they're also voters at the polls. And they deserve a serious, thoughtful platform to both ensure that our communities are safe and that they are not preyed upon by minority police officers.
[17:35:05] BLITZER: Let us know if he accepts your invitation.
BROOKS: Will do.
BLITZER: Cornell William Brooks of the NAACP, thanks very much for joining us.
BROOKS: Thank you.
BLITZER: Coming up, we'll have much more on the Dallas investigation. Our experts are standing by to discuss what can be done right to bridge the divide between police and African-Americans.
BLITZER: We're learning new details right now about the sniper who gunned down five police officers at a peaceful protest in Dallas. Police say the gunman, Micah Johnson, stockpiled weapons and bomb- making materials; frequently visited racially-charged websites.
[17:40:02] Let's dig deeper with our experts. We're joined by CNN legal analyst, the former federal prosecutor, Laura Coates; our senior legal -- our senior law enforcement analyst, former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes is with us; and CNN anchor Don Lemon is with us, as well.
Laura, getting a much better picture of the shooter right now. Lots of weapons, bomb-making materials. His friend saying he was withdrawn. Did something slip through the cracks here? Should he have been on some sort of law enforcement radar based on what was going on? What's your assessment?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's a very difficult thing to actually put this man, who had no previous, I think, criminal history. He was a veteran. He's someone who, by all accounts, he pledged allegiance to the United States.
And so to catch a kind of domestic terrorist has always been a challenge for the FBI and a greater security interest. You had a smoking gun.
And his parents were on earlier to talk about, look, they didn't see any signs. And that's the scariest part about this for a law- enforcement officer or for a prosecutor: to find any trail in order to stop this from happening.
BLITZER: Tom, he served in the U.S. military, the U.S. Army reserves for years. And he actually was deployed on active duty for about seven months in Afghanistan. But they say he received basic training as far as using the gun, for
example. He was concerned. But he was very sophisticated in that massacre. So where does he learn that kind of stuff?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, he had to have learned it either online or somebody from some group gave him instruction, and he was able to learn from that and create his own manual.
But yes, he was a carpenter and a brick layer or something in the military.
BLITZER: Well, he served in Afghanistan.
FUENTES: He wasn't getting, you know, Delta Force level training to do the kind of tactics that he showed in Dallas.
BLITZER: He clearly showed those skills in Dallas and wound up killing all those police officers.
Don, you heard the police chief in Dallas, David Brown, today. You just heard him encourage the protesters: you know, instead of protesting so much, do something. Join the Dallas police force. Go work in your own communities and really make a difference. He's a very impressive guy, that police chief. What did you think of his recommendation?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I don't know if he said don't protest so much, but I have to say, Wolf, quite honestly, that was one of those moments where we call a "Mm-hm, preach brother" moments. A lot of people won't admit that. And I think it may have stung a lot of the Black Lives Matter movement people. But I think he's absolutely right.
I think, listen, there are ways to make changes on the outside. Protesting is definitely a legitimate way. Just because you criticize the Black Lives Matter movement doesn't mean that you disagree with all of what they're doing or any of what they're doing. You can be critical of someone and support them at the same time.
I think he's absolutely right. I think that police officers, as the police chief said, they have -- sometimes being asked to wear too many hats. And I think community policing has shown to have worked in police departments around the country.
If you come from a certain community, if you have certain ideas about police departments, and you think that they should have some sort of reform or they should be reformed, then the best way to do it is to become a police officer and work from the inside out. You could end up being, you know, a police chief one day, possibly in a city like Dallas, Texas.
I don't think everyone on the picket line should become a police officer, but certainly, some members of the group might want to consider becoming police officers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And I think he -- I think that was a very smart move of him.
BLITZER: Yes. He told his own compelling story. While he was in college he saw some of his friend who didn't go to college start using crack cocaine and getting into deep trouble. That's why he wanted to go back into the community and do something about it. It was a very compelling story. He's an impressive guy.
He also said, Tom, that -- the police chief -- that, as Don just said, police are being asked to do way too much right now. They don't have the resources to resolve all these various kinds of issues.
FUENTES: Well, not just the resources as a group but individually. We're asking individual officers to be like a robot, to be Harvard debaters, Olympic wrestlers, track stars when people run away from them. Deescalate, use Ph.D. level psychology and, oh, by the way, we're going to give you $44,000 a year to have that skill set.
BLITZER: What's your analysis of the current situation? Because police are really burdened.
COATES: Police are being asked to do a lot of things. But that's really not the issue.
The issue is to talk about what can be done about it. What people are asking officers to do. It's not simply wear many hats. It's to wear the hat they do wear with honor and integrity.
And I'm all for having officers join the force. What I'm much more for is having officers who are in the current positions, adhere to the standards they're supposed to adhere to, which is be law-abiding themselves.
And so when people talk about protesting, that's one method. But the greater method and the better method is to ensure that police officers who are rogue police officers -- there are some of them who are -- allow those officers to be judged according to a common-sense standard. Not simply the lion judging another lion.
BLITZER: Don, what's the most important thing you want to hear President Obama say tomorrow at this memorial service in Dallas?
[17:45:02] LEMON,: Well, I want to hear the president speak more like the doctor did today. I think it was Brian H. Williams, was his name. Remember we were watching that press conference, Wolf, earlier today from the hospital.
BLITZER: He was very impressive.
LEMON: He was very impressive. And I don't think that -- you know, as Laura just said, there are a number of solutions. Protesting is a solution. Becoming a police officer is a solution. And there is nothing wrong with either of those. I think we have been -- we have been drawn to our perspective corners way too much. We have to start listening to each other and talking to each other and stop yelling at each other because nothing will get accomplished. Now I want to hear the president talk more about that. And it's also
interesting the president said that we're not as divided as we think we are. I think he is right. And those doctors in that press conference said as much today. There was a white doctor there who happened to be a police officer as well and a surgeon. With the black doctor said, we care about each other. We're friends. We have dinner together. Our families hang out together.
I have very similar experiences at my place of business where people from all different ethnicities and we all get together. We don't hear those messages and those stories enough. And I want to hear the president talk about that. How the people who are together -- there are people who are together, people who live together and work together like you and I, Wolf, we hang out outside of CNN. Our families are friends.
So I want to hear more about that and how we can do that rather than just yelling at each other from our own corners.
BLITZER: Good point. All right, guys. Stand by. An important note to our viewers. Don will be back with much more on all of this later tonight and special two-hour "CNN TONIGHT," 10:00 p.m. Eastern. And this, this Wednesday night Don will be moderating a CNN town hall event, "BLACK, WHITE AND BLUE AMERICA 2016." That will air 10:00 p.m. Eastern Wednesday night only here on CNN.
Coming up, Donald Trump is responding to recent violence with a new pitch to voters. We're going to bring you details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I am the law and order candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Breaking news coming into THE SITUATION ROOM. It appears the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails may not necessarily be over. CNN has learned two powerful Republican lawmakers wanted the Department of Justice to start a new investigation into whether Hillary Clinton made false statements under oath while testifying before Congress.
Let's get right to our senior political reporter Manu Raju up on Capitol Hill.
[17:50:01] So, Manu, what are you hearing?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, remember last week at that hearing where James Comey testified before the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of that committee, was concerned. He said that he was concerned that James Comey and the FBI did not investigate Hillary Clinton's statements to the House Benghazi Committee last year when she said that she did not send any classified material through her private e-mail server.
James Comey said he needed a criminal referral from Congress to actually go forward with that investigation. That's what he's getting today. Jason Chaffetz, Bob Goodlatte of the House Judiciary Committee, both sent a letter today to U.S. attorney asking for this investigation to begin asking for a referral into whether or not Hillary Clinton committed perjury before Congress.
So, clearly, Wolf, Republicans trying to keep this issue alive -- Wolf.
BLITZER: The attorney general will be testifying before the judiciary committee, I take it, tomorrow. And I'm sure this will all come up during the CNN town hall tomorrow night with the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Jake Tapper will be moderating that town hall. Lots of stuff coming up.
All right, Manu, thank you very much.
Donald Trump says he is the law and order candidate. That's his new pitch to voters who are very anxious about violence and crime.
Let's go to our national correspondent Jason Carroll. He's following all of this for us.
Jason, what are you learning?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And Wolf, he's saying that he's not just the law and order candidate but also that he's the candidate of compassion. Trump saying that every child should be able to walk down the streets without harm or prejudice. Trump also continuing to step up his attacks on Hillary Clinton.
CARROLL (voice-over): Donald Trump tonight showing solidarity with law enforcement in the wake of last week's attack on police officers in Dallas.
TRUMP: It's time for the hostility against our police and against all members of law enforcement to end, and end immediately. Right now.
CARROLL: Trump's event today was billed as a speech focused on reforming care for veterans. The presumptive GOP nominee outlined a 10-point plan to improve the V.A. including allowing vets to seek private care and establishing a private White House hotline that will be staffed 24 hours a day. But Trump also took the opportunity to hammer away at Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: I am the law and order candidate. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is weak, ineffective, pandering, and as proven by her recent e-mail scandal, she's either a liar or grossly incompetent.
CARROLL: Repeatedly blasting his Democratic rival.
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary Clinton is the secretary of the status quo and wherever Hillary Clinton goes corruption and scandal follow.
CARROLL: The Clinton campaign launching a preemptive strike today releasing a Web video highlighting Trump's apparent praise for dictators.
TRUMP: Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right. You know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good.
CARROLL: Trump getting some help in his attacks on Clinton from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The Democratic nominee for president lied to the American people. That's not a person who will stand for the rule of law. That's a person who will stand for the rule of her.
CARROLL: Sources familiar with Trump's search for a running mate tell CNN Christie has now been fully vetted. Others on the short list include Indiana Governor Mike Pence who will be joining Trump on the trail tomorrow.
GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: This country is facing challenges at home and abroad. I think we need a strong leadership supporting our troops, strong leadership to get this economy moving again and we need clear-minded leadership to make common sense and conservative appointments to the Supreme Court of the United States.
CARROLL: While former House speaker, Newt Gingrich is reportedly lobbying for the slot, another name being floated retired General Michael Flynn who might have hurt his chances in recent days by seeming to change his position on abortion rights in the course of just two days.
LT. GEN MICHAEL FLYNN, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: Abortion I think it's a -- I think for women, but I think women have to be able to choose what they -- you know, sort of the right of choice.
CARROLL: Then today telling FOX News that he is a pro-life Democrat adding, "If people want to change the law, they should vote so that we can appoint pro-life judges. I believe the law should be changed."
CARROLL: And Wolf, Trump could announce his running mate as early as this week. As per Clinton, she is gearing up for her appearance with Bernie Sanders tomorrow. At that time Sanders finally expected to endorse Clinton -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll see. All right, thanks very much, Jason Carroll reporting for us.
Coming up, we'll have the very latest on the deadly shooting in Dallas. The gunman's parents are now speaking out, and investigators are releasing new information about his collection of weapons and bomb-making materials.
BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news. Officers down. Gunfire sparks chaos and terror at a Michigan courthouse, two bailiffs shot and killed before the suspected shooter is taken out. Officials are expected to give new details at any moment.
Who was the gunman and what was his motive?
New evidence. Investigators probing the Dallas police ambush uncovered chilling new information including the shooter's apparent plan to devastate the city with bombs.