Return to Transcripts main page

WOLF

Many Children, Foreigners Also Killed in Nice Attack; Trump Formally Announces Pence as V.P.; Clinton Secretly Meeting with Aides on VP Pick. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired July 15, 2016 - 13:30   ET

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


[13:30:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And this video will show you the crowd celebrating Bastille Day, enjoying the traditional fireworks. But moments later, a truck plowed through the crowd killing at least 84 people. And more than 50 right now remain in critical condition, among the dead, many children.

President Hollande spoke about the loss shortly after visiting victims at a hospital in Nice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRENCH PRESIDENT (voice over): Among the victims, the French people, and also many foreigners, children, young children, who had come to see a firework display as a family to share happiness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. Atika Shubert is right outside of that hospital in Nice.

And what can you tell us about the victims, Atika?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, we are near the hospital that is the one closest to the scene of the attack, and this is the road where the truck began the attack, and that is the Longvale (ph) Hospital over there, the blue glass building. What we have been learning from the doctors is that they have rushed in expecting dozens of injured to be brought in, but they were shocked at how many of the injured were children. There are still 28 children being treated inside of that hospital. And we now know that five, and we earlier heard three from one doctor, but we have confirmed that five are in very serous condition, critical care. One of them has still been unidentified a 10-year-old boy, and they can't find his parents, which is another problem from the doctors. That, in addition to the massive blunt trauma injuries, they have been trying to simply identify the kids, because they became separated from their parents in the chaos. Most of the families have been reunited, but there is still that one child they are looking for his parents and desperately find out who he is.

BLITZER: Atika, the crime is, what, more than a mile long, and almost two kilometers. I think that it took a very long time for those paramedics to the injured, and that is a serious problem, and I know that you have been briefed on that. What can you tell us? SHUBERT: Yeah. You can see just how long the crime scene is. This

is where the truck actually began the attack as it rounded the curve. They have just allowed in more police there, and there are white tents way in the distanced and that is two kilometers or 1.8 miles away there, and that is how long the crime scene is. It is a huge logistical challenge for the forensics investigators and the first responders who were here, and the first videos that we saw, bodies were literally just lying all across the street here. So it was an enormous challenge for both the emergency workers and for the investigators.

BLITZER: Atika Shubert in Nice for us outside of that hospital.

Thank you, Atika.

Still to come, we will have more on the terror tragedy and attack in Nice.

And we will have more on the top political story here in the United States with Donald Trump announcing his vice presidential choice by Twitter. What Mike Pence brings to the Trump ticket. That, and a lot more right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:37:34] BLITZER: We will get back to the coverage of the horrible attack in Nice, France, where 84 people were killed and 10 of them children after a man plowed a refrigeration truck through a holiday crowd.

Now, let's turn our attention to politics, as Donald Trump has picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. He was supposed to make the announcement this morning, but postponed it because of the attack in France, and he instead released the information on Twitter, and then moments ago released this video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERING)

MIKE PENCE, (R), INDIANA GOVERNOR & VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The boundless potential of the American people awaits, and we can make America great again. We are ready for Donald Trump to be our next president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Our senior White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, joining us.

And up to last night, even Trump was insisting that he had not made the final, final decision, and they did the best to keep the drama going, but it sort of dissipated.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It certainly did, Wolf. We are hearing from the top advisers throughout it that no, no, no, and Mike Pence is still the vice presidential pick when we saw him arrive at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, and the jig was up, and it is all set in stone at that point. And although Donald Trump was saying last night, yes, I have not made the final-final decision, but I'm told that Mike Pence was at that hotel here in midtown Manhattan, and during all of this surrounded by the top advisers expecting it to pan out the way it is panning out.

And we know that Donald Trump is going to be making the announcement once again tomorrow morning here at Midtown Manhattan. It was unprecedented, Wolf to, see a vice presidential announcement moved like this, but Donald Trump, as we heard from Paul Manafort, the campaign manager, saying that Donald Trump want ted change the timing of this announcement because of what happened in Nice, France. And so the Trump campaign is having to deal with two very important things right now, how to just respond to what is happening in Nice, France, and unveiling the vice presidential pick at the same time.

We are put up the tweet of Donald Trump's selection of Mike Pence, and he did it earlier. And Mike Pence tweeted back saying he's honored to be picked.

And, Wolf, we rehearing from the corners that they are pleased with the selection of the Indiana governor. Marco Rubio, who was a fierce rival sent out a tweet saying that "Mike Pence is rock solid." Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, saying that he believes this is the best possible pick for the Trump campaign. And so this is definitely earning some rave reviews at this point.

[13:40:22] But the campaign put out a logo, a new logo for the Trump- Pence ticket, and this came out in a fundraising email. The logo, American flag, an "R" and "T", and the words "Trump-Pence" below it. So they are getting acquainted here as running mates. And they are working on the graphics and the logos and you will have what not.

But, Wolf, we expect tomorrow, Donald Trump and Mike Pence to take some questions, and this is billed as a press conference tomorrow. And we may hear more from Donald Trump of what happened in Nice, France. He made some stark comments last night saying that he wants to declare war on ISIS, and I imagine that we will hear about that from the presumptive GOP nominee -- Wolf?

And we will have live coverage of that, and that is scheduled for 11:00 a.m., and we will begin 10: 30 a.m. with the joint event of Mike Pence and Donald Trump.

Our, Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

I want the bring in the political panel with us in Washington right now, CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger; and CNN political analyst, host of "The David Gregory Show" podcast, David Gregory; and CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash. Also joining us, our law enforcement analyst and the author of the new book "The Guardian," Cedric Alexander; and joining us from Cleveland, CNN Politics executive editor, Mark Preston.

Gloria, I don't expect this is the way that he wanted to make this announcement, but he didn't want to the make it in the aftermath of the horrific attack in France.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And maybe it is a good thing that he has time to catch his breath, and this is a development that unfolded in a very unorthodox way.

I'm going to give the floor over to my colleague Dana Bash who has done the amazing reporting on just how this unfolded. Then we can all talk about it, because I think that Dana has just great behind-the- scenes news for us.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Gloria.

I want to give you the headline that I just heard, which is, around midnight last night, and so this morning, Donald Trump was on the phone with senior advisers trying to see if he could get out of this, if it is possible to not actually pick Mike Pence. And this is after he offered the job to Mike Pence and they flew him to New York, and they had him sitting in a hotel room, and in Manhattan thinking that he is going to be the vice presidential pick. And he just basically dumped his own plans for re-election in Indiana as governor. So --

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Is that all?

(LAUGHTER)

BASH: And so what this tells us is that this was so out of Donald Trump's comfort zone. He does not operate like this. He operates with the gut. And by all accounts, if you were following the gut, everybody around him in the campaign apparatus had been making these moves to make it so that Mike Pence would be his running mate, flying him to New York, making and leaking it to the press that he was going to be making the call, and telling people in and around the Cleveland convention, where conservatives especially are gathered, and don't worry, wink, wink, nod, nod, it is Mike Pence. And the fact that he is so uncomfortable with it, and he is saying I am not sure around midnight last night, tells you how unusual and incredibly dramatic it is. And by the way, Mike Pence was sitting in his hotel room watching Donald Trump on FOX News saying --

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Can I tell you something? That it is not surprising, given the differences that they have had on key issues, important issues, between Mike Pence and Donald Trump. And we heard that the White House press secretary make fun of it a little while ago. He said, he supports someone who supports TPP and expand Medicare.

Let me bring David in on this.

A former top aid to Mitt Romney, he tweeted, "It is disorienting to have commiserated with someone regarding Trump about how he was unacceptable, and then to see that someone become Trump's V.P."

[13:44:50] DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST & CNN HOST, THE DAVID GREGORY SHOW PODCAST: You know, you can have disagreements between the political figures and then somebody gets on the ticket, because of political ambition, and this is politic, and people overcome them. Mike Pence as the governor of $ Indiana talked about how the Muslim ban stand was unconstitutional and completely offensive, and how do you bridge that gap? And another thing, Wolf, the reporting is so stark by dana, because this is the first presidential decision an aspirant makes to the White House, and so you have a process that there is a process out of control, and leaks in the media and trying to pull it back, and now something more private that is revealed through the reporting that shows that you have a candidate that is not comfortable with the decision, and much more of the gut player, and trying to unite the party in a way that is uncomfortable for him, and this is not going to add to the kind of the personal rapport they have to have on the trail.

BORGER: And they don't have -- you know, I mean, Trump was trying to get to Pence, and we have kind of watched that. He has the rapport with Christie, and we saw the children who by the way are more involved in this campaign than any other family I have ever seen. They are the top advisers, and find many ways, they are running the campaign, and we saw them take a plane to Indianapolis, and we joked that it was an intervention, and that they went to Trump, and they had to meet Pence, and I was told that they wanted to get comfortable with Pence themselves. But it is also a way to kind of talk to their father about all of this, and all of this is so unconventional. And the question is, if Trump and Pence don't work out, then can Trump say, aha, I should have gone with my gut.

BASH: Yeah.

BLITZER: Hold on for one moment.

Mark Preston, I know that we are getting some word also that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presumptive nominee is in her home here in Washington meeting with various aides and presumably others about her vice presidential selection at least four candidates out there, and maybe five or six. What are you picking up?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Well, she can't be any happier where we have smoke and white noise that is clouding her selection pick in a good way, because she is doing nit private. And what we have seen in Donald Trump, he has done this very much in the public. And we have probably never seen anything like this in any of our lifetimes about how this played out. But now, Hillary Clinton has to make that decision about who she is going to be choosing, and of course, she'll make it over the next couple of days. Tim Kaine, the Senator from Virginia, is very high on everyone's list, and very much a safe pick, and a Catholic, and he knows how to speak Spanish very well. And he could become a surrogate in that way, and he understands Washington, and he is well liked and comes from a battleground state. And somebody like Tim Kaine is high on Hillary Clinton's list, Wolf.

BLITZER: And as you know, he comes from the state where there is a Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, who would name a successor. And one of the concerns is if somebody like Sherrod Brown like from Ohio and a Republican governor there and the Democrats are hoping to have a majority in the Senate, and what are you hearing about Hillary Clinton narrowing in, and what are you hearing about her making up her mind?

BORGER: Well, the two processes, and one is very secretive, which is traditional, and the other is that they had to mount a semi public campaign to convince the candidate to go with the person that a lot of the people inside of the campaign thought would be better for Donald Trump. Although the candidate didn't agree. So obviously, the obvious choice on the part of Hillary Clinton would be Tim Kaine.

BLITZER: He looks like he is the frontrunner, but we shall see.

Cedric, there is a lot of concern, especially in the aftermath of Nice yesterday about security at the upcoming conventions in Cleveland next week, and in Philadelphia the week after, and you have been looking at this, and you are our law enforcement analyst, and all of us are heading out to Cleveland here, and this is a big problem potentially. And Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, went to Cleveland to reinforce the notion that security is going to be tight.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST & AUTHOR: And security will be tight. And I had the opportunity to speak with Chief Williams of the Cleveland Police Department, and one thing that he is confident of and assured me of is that he has hundreds of support, and hundreds of support at the local, federal and state level there across the country coming into Cleveland to provide support. Thousands of law enforcement in the Cleveland community. But the important piece to keep in mind is this. They have been planning this for over a year and a half now. So they are going to be taking a lot of experience that they'd had of course from the other venues like this, and they are going to bring it all into Cleveland. And you will see the same thing again during the Democratic convention. It's alarming after what occurred in Nice. It is a lot of security and a lot of planning.

[13:50:02] BLITZER: Everyone, stand by. There's more information coming in.

I also want to go back to France and the latest on the terror attack there. We're going to take a closer look at the strategy behind this kind of an attack, possible reasons the truck was loaded with fake weapons.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, now the vice presidential selection by Donald Trump, arriving at Trump Tower. Hopefully, we'll see him get out of that vehicle and walk in. Hopefully -- there he is. There's Mike Pence and his wife. They're walking in to Trump Tower. They'll be meeting obviously with Donald Trump.

Sara Murray, you're on the scene for us there. What's it like?

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a media scrum right now with governor Pence talking to reporters. We're trying to get in there. (CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Governor Pence, you think Trump ever changed his mind on you?

[13:55:09] MURRAY: You see, he did not stop long to take questions from reporters. He's going inside Trump Tower.

He was joined by a number of senior Trump aides. Kellyann Conway was brought on as a senior advisor and pollster to Donald Trump but she's been a part of Pence's circle for a long time. You see some of the people that's in Donald Trump's ear as he's been weighing in with who to finally go with in what's been a relatively dramatic V.P. pick even for the likes of Donald Trump.

BLITZER: You heard the reporting from our Dana Bash that even around midnight last night -- this is pretty amazing -- Donald Trump was supposedly having conversations with his top aides, could he back out of it, move away from Mike Pence, and perhaps select someone else. Pretty extraordinary, given all these dramatic developments. What are you hearing on the ground? You covered Trump for us.

MURRAY: Well, it's absolutely extraordinary. I think that what I've been hearing from my sources is that we saw this sort of push and pull between Donald Trump's head and his heart, continue to play out in this V.P. process even until late last night. He was irritated, angry that he had been boxed in to this Pence pick, that was leaked before he had even made the phone call. And his aides had Mike Pence fly here to New York, which is extraordinary. Mike Pence was in the middle of a re-election race in Indiana, flew here to New York to be on stand-by before he even got a phone call from Donald Trump officially offering the job. It is clear they're going to have to work through this, that they'll now be on the ticket together, formally appearing together tomorrow in New York City. But as others are telling me, this is clearly not the best way to kick off a relationship like

BLITZER: I've covered a lot of these elections. We know that very often the presidential nominee and the vice presidential nominee, they come from different backgrounds. They may not completely agree on all of issues. There are differences. The vice presidential nominee will defer to the presidential nominee. In this particular case, there are some serious differences between Pence and Trump on issues that are so important to Donald Trump. For example, a temporary ban of Muslims coming to the United States. Pence made it clear, repeatedly, in recent months, that would be unacceptable and unconstitutional. On a sensitive issue like trade, the TPP, which Donald Trump hates, Pence has said it is a good idea, it creates jobs here in the United States. How are they going to overcome these kinds of sensitive disagreements?

MURRAY: Well, Wolf, it is an excellent point you make because it is not like they have disagreed on fringe issues. They have disagreed on issues between the Muslim ban and between trade that are really the cornerstone of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. So that it is something they're going to have to work through -- Wolf?

BLITZER: They certainly will.

Sara, we'll stay in close touch with you.

That's it for me. I'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "The Situation Room."

The news continues right after a quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)