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Turkish President: Attempted Coup Failed; ISIS Claims Responsibility for France Terror Attack; Trump to Introduce Pence as VP 11AM ET; Republican Convention 2016: Security Ramps Up Ahead of Planned Protets; ISIS Calls France Attacker a "Soldier" for Its Cause. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 16, 2016 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:31] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Military coup under way in Turkey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard two bombs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands on the streets, some of them called outdoors by the president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Protesters facing down a tank. Soldiers firing their weapons in the air.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just saw one ambulance after another after another. Stretchers coming out and out and out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten children among the 84 dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the same question everybody is asking, why so much hate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the United States and the western world, are we doing enough to stop these kinds of attacks?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we're doing the right things, we just have to intensify the effort.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We are so grateful to have your company, as we always are. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you. We are live in Cleveland, Ohio, the site of the Republican National

Convention. But we are here just outside of the Quicken Arena. And we will get to that big story in just a moment. It's one of three major stories we're following right now in just a matter of hours.

We know that we're going to see for the first time together presented this Republican presidential ticket, the presumptive nominee Donald Trump set to introduce his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. This is happening as insiders tell CNN Trump had last-minute thoughts about that decision.

PAUL: And Republicans, of course, preparing to nominate their candidate hoping to be the next commander in chief. There's violence, however, and turmoil in Turkey, which is some of the big news this morning to a bloody coup overnight by a faction that's military, 161 people have died. That is the number this hour. Uncertainty is still very much present in the streets there.

What does this mean for these key U.S. and NATO ally?

BLACKWELL: And now let's go to southern France, new terror raids and arrests overnight as ISIS claims to have inspired Thursday's truck raid in Nice to have killed 84 people, including two Americans.

But first to Turkey, President Erdogan there says the coup has failed, his government is in control after part of the Turkish military tried to seize power, plunging the country into a night of chaos.




PAUL: And then in Istanbul, take a look here, gunfire raining down from helicopters. You heard it there. More than 1,400 people, we understand, have been injured in the confusion across the country. And nearly 3,000 members of the military have been detained. Now, overnight, the military stormed the parliament and the airport.

BLACKWELL: Soldiers also entered our affiliate CNN Turk in Istanbul, claiming it under marble law. The network resumed broadcasting about 45 minutes after being taken off the air. A short time ago, the Turkish prime minister praised his people for bringing an end to the uprising.


BINAL YILDIRIM, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): A coup was attempted by gun and against them. And again them you have been defending democracy. Our noble nation has been defending democracy all the night and the events to their normal lives in the morning.


BLACKWELL: All right. Joining me now from Istanbul, journalist Andrew Finkel. He's been reporting in the country for decades.

We saw what could be only be described as chaos overnight. What's the scene there now, Andrew?

ANDREW FINKEL, JOURNALIST: Well, it's of course, much quieter. This morning, I was out and about in the city of Istanbul. Here at least we have the air of a sleepy weekend morning. I think people were up all night.

I mean, the houses were shake with supersonic bypasses of jets buzzing the main areas of the city. I could hear gunfire from my window in a fairly remote part of the city.

But this morning, things to come back to normal. Of course, the capital was much tenser there. The coup plotters were reluctant to throw in the towel. But this attempt seems to be well and truly over, Victor.

[07:05:03] BLACKWELL: All right. So the coup has ended. And now we have to look forward in what will be the president's next steps. I mean, this, in many respects, was birthed out of what the president has been criticized for, even by the U.S., for cracking down on journalists and freedom of expression. Would one expect that he would return to that, as he tries now to purge his government of these -- who tried to overthrow their government?

FINKEL: Well, it's a serious irony perhaps that people have accused Mr. Erdogan himself having staged not an overnight coup, but a long- term attempt to seize pretty much all the reins of power in Turkey society. As you mentioned he's made a concerted attempt to seize the opposition press. There have been issues raised in newspapers. If you're a television situation that the government doesn't like, chances are you'll find the plug pulled out on satellite broadcasting. And he's even moved against the judiciary.

However, except for one bastion that he hasn't been able to get control of was the military itself. And of course, the coup plotters, instead of making it more difficult for him to move against the military, have now made it that much easier -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Andrew Finkel there in Istanbul. Andrew, thanks so much.

Let's bring in Kimberly Dozier, a CNN global affairs analyst and "Daily Beast" contributor.

So, let's talk about this fight against ISIS, Kimberly, as I say good morning to you, because this is a really important threshold for the U.S. and the world not only for the air base but that pass-through, that porous border between Syria and Turkey. What does the attempt, coup, the last 36 hours, mean for fight against is?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, there's probably a lot of chaos among the guards at the border who are supposed to be looking outward watching for ISIS, al Nusra, militants trying to smuggle leaders' supplies over the border. They were probably looking inward wondering who was going to be in charge come morning.

The U.S. is trying to seal up that border so that ISIS can't resupply and rebuild its failing forces as they're circled around Raqqah. And also they're in a place called Manbij. Manbij, the U.S. is determined this small town near the border with Turkey is where ISIS has been bringing foreign fighters in and also running a sort of a call center by which they recruit new fighters, recruit followers around the world and also fundraise.

As that city gets taken over, ISIS is losing one of its major communication modes but just miles away is the border with Turkey. ISIS has been trying to smuggle out some of its top leaders out of the back side of Manbij. And if the Turkish forces were distracted, there's a possibility that they succeeded and got some of their fighters out.

BLACKWELL: So does this jeopardize the U.S.'s ant to continue to use that air base, to continue to keep the 2,200 U.S. military there as they continue this fight?

DOZIER: Well, with President Erdogan in power this morning, that relationship is probably secured. But what they have to worry about now is that Erdogan will use this coup as a reason to crack down not just on the coup plotters but any of his political opposition, stepping up some of his moves over the past several months and several years.

You have to remember the last prime minister resigned in May because he was upset that Erdogan wanted to change the Constitution to make the presidency, the top executive position. There had been acquisitions that Erdogan is making a sort of de facto dictatorship for his country. And the U.S. has been asking behind closed-doors and sometimes in public comments that he respects rights, respect democracy.

You've heard some of the comments overnight from Erdogan and his new more loyal prime minister that friends didn't understand what we were up against. That was a veiled message to the United States. See, don't ask us to comply with some of these human rights issues that you're complaining about, because we have bigger problems to deal with -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that would was brought out just a little more than a month ago, criticizing the treatment in Turkey.

Kimberly Dozier, thanks so much.


PAUL: We're, of course, also following breaking news on the deadly terror attack in France. Our senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward is live from Nice this morning.

[07:10:00] Good morning, Clarissa.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Well, as you can see behind me, the promenade behind me, which was the scene of that brutal attack is now open again to the public, people moving along here.

We're going to have all of the details of the investigation for you, that's coming up next.


PAUL: Breaking news this morning, ISIS is claiming some sort of connection to the terror attack in France that killed 84 people on Thursday. And ISIS-linked media calling the truck driver, quote, "an ISIS soldier" who targeted nationals at the coalition countries fighting ISIS. And the prosecutor's office says five people are in custody this morning. One of those people we know is the attacker's ex-wife.

Our senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward is joining us now from Nice.

So, Clarissa, first of all, tell us about this ISIS claim that he was a soldier, they're actually calling him a soldier for their cause?

WARD: Well, it appears, Christi, that what ISIS is saying here is that he was inspired by their cause. That perhaps this attack was ISIS-inspired, rather than ISIS-directed. As you mentioned, the Amaq news agency which is essentially just a mouthpiece for ISIS called him an Islamic State soldier who answered the call for attacks.

Now, you remember, obviously, ISIS has been calling repeatedly for attacks, but specifically their spokesman, Mohammed al-Adnani two years ago actually called if you don't have a gun, and you don't have a bomb, take a knife and stab someone, or take your car and run them over. So, this is a specific call that ISIS has issued in the past.

Now, we've also heard from Bayan, which is essentially an ISIS radio bulletin. They said the same thing. They said, this is the work of an ISIS soldier and they have warned the crusader states, or i.e., any western states or supporter states of the coalition against ISIS, that there will be more attacks of this nature.

[07:15:13] Now, meanwhile, authorities on the ground don't seem to have found any clear coherent connection between attacker and ISIS, or in fact any other extremist group. The man was known for being involved with some criminal activity. But no clear terrorism links yet.

Also, we're hearing a lot of arrests, five people now in custody, one the ex-wife who was arrested. But the other four are men. We don't know yet who exactly they are. Or what their role may have been. But now, it looks like this ISIS claim may be more opportunistic rather than a direct claim of responsibility -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: Good point to make. All right. Clarissa Ward, we appreciate it. Live for us there in Nice, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Donald Trump picks his vice presidential running mate. But there are still major differences between the two. We'll break down the area where they disagree.


BLACKWELL: We are just a few hours away from Donald Trump's news conference introducing his vice presidential pick.

[07:20:00] PAUL: Indiana governor, of course, Mike Pence. Reporting from our Dana Bash, however, shed some light on the uncertainty that surrounded this decision. A source telling CNN that Trump wasn't certain he'd made the right choice.

Now, it could be because there are distinct differences. And we're talking about policy differences between these two. Let's share them for you right now. Pence first of all supports free trade agreements, Trump does not. Pence voted to invade Iraq. Trump has said he opposed that decision and now says he supports it.

Pence initially opposed Trump's Muslim ban. Pence also condemned Trump's comments on a judge's Mexican heritage. And he endorsed Ted Cruz during the Indiana primary.

BLACKWELL: All right. So, let's talk about all of that. We have with us now, Boris Epshteyn, Republican strategist, Donald Trump supporter. Matt Stevens in Atlanta, founder of, and contributor to Politics 365.

Good to have you back, Matt. Good to have you in this morning, Boris.


BLACKWELL: Boris, let's start here with the list that Christi just went through. We heard this from a tweet of Dan Senor, a former Romney aide. Let's put that up. Pence, pro-trade, pro-Iraq war surge, pro-civility in politics, anti-religious tests for Muslims, until this morning. We'll talk about that, signs unto the Trump agenda.

Why is he the right guy?

EPHSTEYN: Because we're united in the Republican, right? A month ago, everybody was complaining that Trump wasn't uniting the party somehow. This is what they're doing. They're uniting the party. The party is coalescing around Donald Trump.

You're never going to have two people agree at everything. Paul Ryan went out and said that he didn't agree with Mitt Romney on everything when he was the V.P. nominee. So, this is what happened. It's a huge party, a big spectrum.

And what Trump did was went out there, found somebody who has been a job creator, a business leader, a congressman, a governor, somebody who's got immense experience. Very popular in the Republican Party. And will bring voters into the party. So, it will do very well for us in November. BLACKWELL: You say business leaders. The Democrats will point out

the trouble potentially that he put the economy in back in 2015 with his religious freedom law that was enacted. And, Matt, I'm going to come out to you right after we watch this, as we saw from the Clinton campaign right after the announcement was made via Twitter. Watch.


UINIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to hold up this entire budget over a defunding Planned Parenthood?

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: Well, of course, I am.

I long for the day that Roe versus Wade is sent to the ash heap of history.


BLACKWELL: And part of that ad also mentioned the potential $60 million impact of that law.

Matt, you called this pick potentially a blessing for the Clinton campaign. Why?

MATT STEVENS, FOUNDER, PRUNEJUICEMEDIA.COM: Well, I think Donald Trump so far has really no experience being in Congress like Mike Pence was, or sitting in a governor's chair like he does now. I think what it does now is adds a record that Hillary Clinton and her team can look at that they can dissect. Much like her record is dissected by the Trump team and by other teams in the primaries.

I think it gives her something to work with. It definitely gives her something to look at. And specifically around a religious freedom bill like you mentioned, I think anytime a sitting executive is willing to cost their state $60 million on their watch, I think that says a lot. I think the groups that Mike Pence offended with the religious freedom bill as well as his stance on abortion in Indiana. I think these are all going to be fair game for Hillary Clinton.

EPHSTEYN: Mike Pence is pro-life, right? That is not a surprise, the Republican Party is pro-life. So, Donald Trump chose a V.P. nominee that's pro-life.

Now, let's talk about their economy. When Pence came in, over 8 percent unemployment. Now, just three years later, under 5 percent unemployment, 150,000 jobs created in Indiana. When he came in, Indiana was the 31st in veteran employment. Now, it has the second lowest unemployment for veterans. So, second best for veteran employment.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about the reporting from Dana Bash. That the gut pick was Chris Christie. And he went with the pick that we know of from her reporting that the Trump children thought was best for their father.

Is he going to be able to keep up this continued support of Mike Pence? This is a man who we know speaks off the cuff and is used to going with his gut? We're not going to see a moment anytime the next three and a half months where he says, man, I should have picked the other guy.

EPHSTEYN: Listen, this dissecting of how Donald Trump came to it, everybody from the Trump campaign said that Dana Bash was wrong in that reporting. That is not how it actually happened. Donald Trump is excited about Mike Pence being the V.P. nominee. He's full- throated support of Mike Pence, and it's going to be a great partnership going forward and winning on November 8.

BLACKWELL: OK. Now, I also understand, Matt, that there's one element that makes you nervous if as Boris suggests, Mike Pence is able to bring in the establishment. Although we've seen from Dan Senor these questions, but the confidence we've seen from many in the establishment in this pick, that makes you a little worried?

STEVENS: It does. And when I say worried, I mean kind of almost in a jokingly way. I really mean what Mike Pence needs to do if he is potentially going to help Donald Trump win the presidency is women are really an issue with Donald Trump, as well as young voters, as well as educated voters.

[07:25:12] Mike Pence has a big job ahead of him if he's going to help Donald Trump win. Donald Trump has so many negatives associated with his campaign. I mean, he's that off-the-cuff, kind of outspoken individual. And I think that Mike Pence as an establishment guy, he's fighting an uphill battle, not just on his own record, his record being Mike Pence, but also looking at everything Donald Trump has said and done over the past 15 months of the campaign.

BLACKWELL: Boris, let me come to you, Christi talked be about it in the first segment, but I can't let you go without talking about it, too, what we heard from Mike Pence back in December, when the total shutdown of Muslims coming into the U.S. was proposed by Donald Trump, that he called it unconstitutional and offensive. We wake up this morning and he supports the ban? How did he get there?

EPHSTEYN: The whole country is coming around to it. We're seeing what's happening all over the world.

BLACKWELL: I don't think the whole country is coming around to it.

EPHSTEYN: Look what's happening in Europe. France had an open-door policy now they're shutting it down. They're getting rid of dual passport, dual citizenship between France and Middle Eastern countries. The whole world is seeing what's happening.

We in this country need to address what's happening at our borders because we are right now exposed.

Now, you can count on one thing, count on one thing.

BLACKWELL: Go ahead.

EPHSTEYN: Hillary Clinton is very ready to pounce on the V.P. announcement of Mike Pence. I just wish she was that ready when Benghazi happened to save those people's lives, because she was not. She reacted within seconds of the V.P. pick of Mike Pence. She did not in Benghazi.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I don't think the polls show that people are ready to come around, the entire as you say, or the whole is ready to come around to Donald Trump's proposal, as it's been even changed over the last couple of months.

EPHSTEYN: Listen, the support for it is expanding. And unfortunately, with every attack that we see internationally and sadly in this country, San Bernardino, Orlando, we know now that we need to address immigration, we need to address influx into this country. So, we have to figure out how to be safe.

BLACKWELL: And Mike Pence will have to explain that for himself.

Matt Stevens, Boris Epshteyn, thanks.

EPHSTEYN: Thanks for having me.

STEVENS: Thank you for having me.


PAUL: Top Republicans are skipping the convention, remember. But there are thousands of people who are going to pack the Quicken Loans arena and the area around it. Security is a major factor here. Cleveland needs some outside help. And some of that outside help may be showing up now. We'll have that and others.

But also. Mortgage rates ticked up this week. Take a look.



[07:30:57] PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKEY (through translator): I want to encourage my people to the streets and invite them to the airports. Together, as people gather, show them by letting them come with their tanks to see what they are going to do. Do it right there to the people. Power above the people I have never seen.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. So grateful to have your company. You just saw there, the Turkish president making really an extraordinary plea over Facetime in the middle of a coup attempt.


PAUL: It was a violent, chaotic night of fighting, 161 people are dead this morning, and more than 1,000 are injured as the Turkish military took down this attempted coup.

Erdogan denounced the rebellion as treason, said his government is indeed in control. Nearly 3,000 officers and troops, though, suspected of leading this uprising are now detained this morning.

BLACKWELL: As we watched that night in Turkey, we're also closely monitoring the grim aftermath there on the French Riviera, where a truck driver just mowed down, plowed through Bastille Day celebrators and revelers there on Thursday night. ISIS issued a statement calling the driver a soldier for its cause. Eighty-four people, some of them children, died there on that stretch.

The attacker's ex-wife is among five people who are in custody in connection with that massacre.


BLACKWELL: All right. Two days out not, and the eyes of the world are preparing now to turn now to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention.

PAUL: There are so many officers who are needed to secure this event, they set up a two-mile perimeter outside of it. The police department here is having to depend on outside help but as Martin Savidge reports now some of that outside help is backing out.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cleveland would be boggled. More than 50,000 people are expected for the Republican National Convention, a tempting target for terror. At the bat, Trump is polarizing campaign with violence at his rallies, angry demonstrations against police shootings, the ambush of officers in Dallas and you get the picture.

Even so, city officials say they are ready.

CHIEF CALVIN D. WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE: We have planned, we have what-if, we have table-topped this from day one to yesterday.

SAVIDGE (on camera): The convention is less than a week away, how are you feeling?


SAVIDGE (voice-over): The head of Cleveland's police union has reason to be worried. Security rules ban people from bringing more than 70 different items into the event area during the RNC from axes to tennis balls, but not guns. Ohio's an open carry state, meaning you can holster your handgun or sling your rifle over your shoulder and it's perfectly legal.

One group, the New Black Panthers, no friends to police, say they plan to do just that.

LOOMIS: Although it's legal for them to do, it's absolutely irresponsible for them to do or anybody.

SAVIDGE: That's just problem one. Cleveland has said it needs about 3,000 police officers. It doesn't have them.

So, to secure the RNC, it's temporarily hiring 2,100 cops from around the country. Recruiting is harder than expected and some departments are backing out.

Greensboro, North Carolina, was sending 50 officers but then changed its mind. In an internal memo obtained by, Greensboro's deputy chief noted a lack of confidence in the city of Cleveland and their preparedness for the RNC.

To try to reassure residents and visitors, Cleveland's police chief has taken to social media, saying, "Our officers have undergone hours of training, relative to many subjects." He didn't give details. The post revealed one new weapon in the city's security arsenal, hardly sounding like a curtain of steel, 300 bicycles.

[07:35:06] And documents obtained by CNN show Cleveland's been on a $20 million security shopping spree. Motorcycles, horse trailers, flexible handcuffs, water taxis. Rain ponchos and refrigerators, and 2,000 sets of riot gear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ordered without measuring anybody, which caused problems once it got here.

SAVIDGE (on camera): This is the main element.

(voice-over): Problems such as the riot gear wouldn't fit over the officers' vests. A local company has been busy as cops come in seeking last-minute alterations.

(on camera): How many of these have you done?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably around 50 or 60.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Making sure their riot gear and body armor fits sounds like a good idea.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Cleveland.


PAUL: And we're finally learning who is going to take the stage at the Republican National Convention. The names range from that of the familiar and not so familiar faces such as Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.

Now, CNN politics reporter Eugene Scott joining us from Washington. He's been looking into this.

Eugene, good to see you.

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Good to see you. PAUL: There are big names, before we get to who will be here, getting to a lot of people that some might be looking for but will be noticeably absent. What have you learned this morning?

SCOTT: Yes, there have been about 20 Republican senators who have been very vocal about being able -- being willing at least to attend the convention. Some of names we're seeing Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire, of course, Lindsey Graham, a South Carolinian who has been vocal of Donald Trump, and even Richard Burr in North Carolina who is running for reelection.

But it's not just senators, we've seen high profile people expected to be there such as both Bush presidents. Also, Jeb Bush, of course, who's been critical of Trump won't be attending either. But it's not looking as if some of the names that people would expect to be at such a high-profile event will actually be there.

PAUL: So, if you're talking about no one from the Bush family, the last known standing senators and Mitt Romney bowing out here, it might make a lot of people wonder if their absence will dilute it in any way?

SCOTT: Well, there are certainly be quite a few high profile Republicans there that will go to support. I mean, we saw Ted Cruz accept his speaking spot, as is Newt Gingrich, Tom Cotton from Arkansas, and, of course, Paul Ryan. But the purpose of some of these leaders presence is questioned by some. It's not clear if all of them are supporting Donald Trump or if they are primarily there to promote conservatives and encourage voters not to allow Hillary Clinton to win the White House.

PAUL: There was a moment this week I want to talk to you about, Sarah Palin. There's a report initially that she had been invited, and then it was decided and it did not say by whom that she would not attend because she was in Alaska and it was too far away. I don't know that geography has ever kept Sarah Palin from an event.

What are you hearing about the validity of that excuse?

SCOTT: Well, it certainly hasn't kept her from Trump events. She has certainly spoken at Trump events that are farther from Alaska than Cleveland. So the questions that people have seem to be valid.

Of course, we haven't been given anything official from the Trump campaign. But the reason for her absence, it's not quite clear. Especially since she was one of $e early political supporters to come out and back Trump.

PAUL: OK. Do we know, yet, because you made mention that Paul Ryan is going to be here. Ted Cruz we know is going to be here. We don't know if they're going to really be here specifically to support Trump, as you said. Will we hear an endorsement from Cruz? We don't know that yet.

But just wondering if we have an idea of the tone, are they going to be talking about unity, about the economy, about terrorism and security as based on what we've seen in the last couple of days. The last 48 hours? What are you hearing?

SCOTT: I think what we have heard so far, what we can expect from people like Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz and Scott Walker is that Republicans cannot allow Hillary Clinton to take the White House. That will be much of their focus and if you look at a lot of their interviews even on CNN, much of the time spent talking about why they are present is mainly an attack on Hillary Clinton, and a lack of trust and confidence in her ability to promote conservative values if she takes over the White House. So, I think that will be the main focus of much of their speeches.

PAUL: That will be the theme. All right. Eugene Scott, always good to see you. Thank you, sir.

SCOTT: You, too.

BLACKWELL: ISIS is claiming that the Nice attacker is one of its soldiers.

[07:40:01] But French authorities thus far cannot find ties to terror. So was this killer radicalized? And if so, how?


BLACKWELL: ISIS has issued a statement on the horrifying terror attack in Nice. A man, you'll remember, killed 84 people, including ten children when he plowed a truck into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day.

PAUL: A terror group says the person behind that attack is, quote, "ISIS soldier" who targeted countries fighting ISIS. I want to bring in senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward, she's anchoring the coverage from that site of that attack in Nice.

Good morning, Clarissa.


That's right. French authorities have not indicated if this attack was part of a larger ISIS plot nor have they confirmed in the driver took direct orders. Here's what we know about the assailant, his name, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. He's a 31-year-old French-Tunisian man leaving in Nice. Authorities were able to match an ID card found in the truck to his body.

Investigators say he was already on police radar for petty crimes, but he was not suspected of possible terrorism, or terrorism contacts. Investigators have found no real ties to extremists.


[07:45:00] This horrifying amateur video -- this horrifying amateur video shows the moment, the truck plowing into innocent people who are simply out celebrating Bastille Day. The terrorist fired a gun while crisscrossing through a crowded street. He barreled down a mile down the promenade not stopping until the police shot him dead.


PAUL DELANE, WITNESS: All of a sudden, you heard screaming, you saw hordes, thousands -- seemed like thousands of people running towards us, if you didn't run with them you would have been trampled yourself. We just ran along, not knowing anything. Not knowing what was even going on, but just trying to escape.

At the same time I was thinking, well, maybe I shouldn't be running. Maybe I should be looking for a place to hide, because we couldn't hear any bullet shots. The music was so loud. It was literally just screaming and running that we saw. So, it was just mass confusion.


WARD: Horrifying, at the end of mayhem, 84 people were killed. Another 52 have critical injuries. And many of the victims are actually children. Investigators have since taken five people into custody, in connection with the attack. One of those people is the attacker's ex-wife. They're questioning her to figure out a possible motive.

He reportedly dipped into a deep depression after their divorce. And regarding those four other arrests, three of men were taken into custody this morning. The fourth man was arrested last night. But we don't have any more details yet on who those men were.

We'll be back after this break with more of the latest information on the Nice attacks.


[07:50:20] BLACKWELL: Two days now, two days until the start of the Republican National Convention. I'm surprised we don't have a countdown clock, obviously.

PAUL: I didn't think about it.

BLACKWELL: We would typically have a countdown clock.

PAUL: See, now, we're going to have a countdown clock. Victor called for it.

BLACKWELL: Let's work on it.

Of course, the eyes of the world will be glued on Freedom Plaza here. But also The Q, Quicken Loans Arena, where Republicans gather to nominate Donald Trump to officially be the next president of the United States.

PAUL: And, you know, you're not going to miss a minute of it. There's so much that goes into this that you're not going to see. You're going to see it now, though. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SAM FEIST, CNN WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: In many ways the essential r part of the convention that you never get to see but here it is.

So, this is CNN's portable control room, if you will.

In this truck are technicians, engineers, production staff editorial staff, graphics team, everything that we need to put together a production. We'll show you up front. Up here our directors and producers will have access to dozens and dozens of cameras from around the convention floor.

Every single screen will be lit up. We are just setting it up now, but as you can start to see we have individual cameras in our anchor booth, on the floor, we'll have access to cameras all around the hall, and everything that you need to pull together the convention.

Even cameras outside the hall. A convention is nothing unless you can hear what the candidates and the speakers are saying. That's where our CNN audio team comes in.

PAUL: So, is it safe to say that you hear things that you could probably write about that people never hear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But professionalism prevents me.


PAUL: This is an inside look at things you will not see during the convention.

Listen, I want to get you back to nice with Clarissa Ward with more coming to us there regarding the terror attacks this week -- Clarissa.

WARD: Thank you. That's right, Christi.

This was the scene of the attack now open for business. Tourists are walking up and down the promenade once again.

But I want to bring in Melissa Bell in Burgundy, France. She's a reporter for France 24, and she joins us now on the phone.

Melissa, French authorities essentially saying they didn't find any direct links to is. But now we're seeing ISIS take credit for this or at least take credit for having inspired it. What is your assessment of the situation? Do we know of any concrete connections between the attacker and any extremist group?

MELISSA BELL, CORRESPONDNET, FRANCE 24 (via telephone): No, no concrete connection. I think it is important to bear in mind we have had to wait a long time for this claim of responsibility. More than 36 hours. It came a long time after the event.

What is interesting when you look at the precise statements as well they put out on their Amaq news wire as to which they so often put out their information, they speak, they boasted a new method of killing, this new method of operation, a new way they're functioning. This is something we have been talking about a lot the last few days. This truck used as a weapon is something very new.

And the fact they boast it. The fact that they had called and this is something we discussed over the last couple of days together, this call back in September of 2014 when Abu Mohammad al Adnani had called for people in France, Muslims in France to take on the French at home using any weapons they had, and specifically mowing them down with a car.

And I think it's something that the Islamic state group is now boasting whether or not they had actually reached out to the driver of the truck. At any point, for the time being completely unclear, what seems far more likely is they have seen a good opportunity for propaganda on the back of something they had nothing to do with, even if he was inspired by their call that I just mentioned. We are going to know more about it. This is something we'll get to the bottom of.

In the hands of the authorities are his computer, are his phone. We're going to know whether there was any direct contact between himself and members of the Islamic State group abroad.

WARD: And, Melissa, I wanted to ask you because yesterday we saw the motorcade passing by here of Francois Hollande passing by, there was a lot of anger. Some people were shooting out murderer.

Do you think there's a sense that people in France feel disappointed the government hasn't been able to stabilize the security situation?

BELL: I think naturally you get a sense of panic. First of all, there's an extraordinary amount of solidarity among the French people.

[07:55:03] Just like we saw after the November 13th attacks. France almost is unrecognizable at times like this. None of the typical cynicism which they're famous. There is also increasingly this sense of complete vulnerability.

We felt it back on the 13th of November. But the fact that the attack has taken place and in a completely new kind of way, this new method the Islamic State boasts of on its website, on its -- in its communication, it's specifically warning people a great deal. If you think back to the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre, yes, they had gotten some training with al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula, but they were through the route to let intelligence authorities know who they were. Same with November 13th.

We are looking at a profile of youth who have been to and from Syria being actively watched by security services, but there was a failing within security services clearly in both occasions.

Here, this man was not known to any of the security services. You're talking about a suspect who in the words of the French administration in the last few minutes became radicalized very quickly. But Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was especially known for being a pity criminal. Intelligence services had no way of knowing that he might be a target.

So, there were no failings at all and yet this adds to the sense of instability even more because it could happen any time, any where. And there's no way to keep an eye on men like this.

WARD: Absolutely. Melissa Bell, thank you so much. We'll be monitoring new information coming out of this terror attack and whether or not it was truly ISIS-inspired or ISIS directed.

For now, Victor and Christi, I send it back to you.

PAUL: All right. Clarissa, thank you so much. Great information this morning.

And we have much more news to tell you about.

BLACKWELL: Yes. The next hour of NEW DAY starts right after this break.