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Erdogan Demands Extradition Of Exiled Cleric; A Closer Look At Fethullah Gulen; Source: France Attacker Spoke "Supportively Of ISIS"; French Official: Suspect Radicalized "Rapidly"; Trump And Pence Embrace Personality Differences; Republican Convention 2016; Ohio Voters Weigh In; Cleveland Braces For Protesters; Troubled Rio Games. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired July 17, 2016 - 06:00   ET



[06:00:23] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Indiana Governor Mike Pence was my first choice.

GOVERNOR MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is a good man and he will make a great president.

TRUMP: We're going to do lots of wonderful things for our country.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no idea what's going to happen.

TRUMP: We're going to have an incredible convention.

CLINTON: It is going to be entertaining, I'm sure, if you're into bigotry, bluster and bullying.

TRUMP: Cleveland, it's going to be so amazing.


CHRIS FRATES, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Chris Frates in Washington. Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell, they'll be joining us later from Cleveland, the site of the 2016 Republican Convention and that is now only a day away.

After a bruising primary fight that threatened to fracture the GOP, the convention begins tomorrow. Kicking off at Quicken Loans Arena. It's a $64 million show. Put on for nearly 25,000 delegates and 50,000 attendees.

It will gather to finally formally nominate Donald Trump and Mike Pence for the 2016 presidential ticket following every step of the process.

Fifteen thousand members of the media and inside that convention hall we'll hear from GOP heavyweights like Ted Cruz, Rudy Giuliani and Scott Walker.

Meanwhile outside the arena, thousands of protesters threatened to pack those streets and send their own message. We'll be taking you there live for the inside scoop with Victor and Christie a little later this hour.

Breaking overnight, we've just learned about two more arrests in Nice connected to Thursday's terror attack. The prosecutor's office says a man and a woman were detained Sunday morning. That brings the total of people arrested to seven and that includes the suspect's ex-wife.

Also new a source close to the investigation tells us close associates who have been detained for questioning say he started praising ISIS just days before that attack. The U.S. State Department is advising against travel to Turkey.


FRATES: Now, the NATO member and key U.S. ally against ISIS is still recovering from a shocking and very bloody coup attempt on Friday night in which nearly 200 people died on the night of the coup. Some news organizations were blacked out as renegade soldiers over ran their offices.

In that aftermath, many pro-government Turks are heeding President Erdogan's appeals for public support as he reasserts his control over that country. Erdogan has wasted no time rounding up coup suspects and now includes hundreds of judges and military officers.

He blamed the coup on this man, exiled Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gulen (ph). Erdogan wants him either arrested or extradited to Turkey even though Golan condemned the coup and denied any involvement.

Pro-Erdogan demonstrators have gathered outside his home in Pennsylvania. Of immediate concern to the U.S. is the reopening of the air space at Incirlik Air Base. Without it, U.S. war planes can't launched air strikes against ISIS in targets in either Syria or Iraq.

The man Erdogan blames for the attempted coup is notoriously reclusive despite his worldwide following. In September 2014, Ivan Watson put together a profile on Cleric Fethullah Gulen.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of the world's most powerful Muslim preachers lives behind these gates in a compound located in the small leafy town of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. The reclusive Turkish cleric's name is Fethullah Gulen.

(on camera): If you believe the government of Turkey, supporters of the cleric in Pennsylvania are spearheading a coup attempt here in Turkey that's destabilizing one of America's most important allies in the Middle East.

(voice-over): Turkey's prime minister recently compared Gulen and his supporters to a virus and a medieval cult of assassins. While a top official from the prime minister's political party told me, Gulen and his supporters have infiltrated the Turkish police force and judiciary.

MAHIR UNAL, TURKEY'S JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY (through translator): We are confronted by a structure that doesn't take orders from within the chain of command of the state but rather takes orders from outside the state.

WATSON: So who is the mysterious man in Pennsylvania?

MUSTAFA AKYOL, AUTHOR, "ISLAM WITHOUT EXTREMES": Gulen leads the largest Islamic community in Turkey. His followers are estimated to be millions in number.

[06:05:05]And this is also the best organized Islamic community in terms of NGOs, the media, schools, charities, dormitories.

WATSON: Every year students from Gulen's schools operating in more than 100 countries around the world including one of the largest charter school networks in the U.S. gather in Istanbul for a lavish event called the Turkish Olympics.

IHSAN YILMAZ, GULEN SUPPORTER: Gulen Movement is a civil society movement with a civic approach. It is not Islamist. It doesn't have any kind of strict political ideology. It is against fusing religion and politics.

WATSON: Throughout most of the last decade the Gulen Movement was also a strong supporter of Turkey's religious conservative Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And in recent years, it became increasingly dangerous to criticize the Gulen Movement. Police arrested and imprisoned writer, Ahmed Sik (ph), for more than a year and a court banned his book criticizing the movement before it was even published.

Now out of prison, but still facing charges, Sik (ph) argues that the forced political marriage between the government and the Gulen Movement has turned into a nasty divorce.

AHMET SIK, JOURNALIST (through translator): On the one side there's the Gulen community, a dark opaque power that can damage the most powerful government in Turkish history. On the other side, you have a government that under the guise of fighting this community can and has suspended all democratic principles.

WATSON: On December 17th, police launched a series of raids detaining dozens of people close to the Turkish government on charges of corruption. The government immediately claimed the corruption probe was politically motivated and began demoting thousands of police officers and prosecutors believed to be linked to the Gulen Movement.

Gulen has since denounced the government in a fiery online sermon while also denying he gives orders to anyone in the Turkish judiciary. With his supporters embroiled in a power struggle with the Turkish government, it is highly unlikely this enigmatic man in Pennsylvania will return to Turkey any time soon. Ivan Watson, CNN, Istanbul.


FRATES: Now this weekend, Cleric Fethullah Gulen did break his silence denouncing the attempted overthrow of the government.


FETHULLAH GULEN, MUSLIM CLERIC: Twenty years ago, I clearly stated my support for democracy. I said that there's no return from democracy in Turkey. My position is that democracy is very clear. Any attempts to the contrary is a betrayal of our unity and it is treason.


FRATES: Now Turkey's strategic role in the world cannot be overstated to any instability there causes deep concerns around the world. Not only is a member of NATO and a key player in the military campaign against ISIS, it's also the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East.

It's also one of the first places refugees flee to from Syria, Iraq and other places. CNN international correspondent, Arwa Damon, joins us from Istanbul. Arwa, how are ordinary Turks starting to deal with what happened on Friday night? Hey, Arwa, can you hear me?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Chris, these are such unspeakably difficult times for this country, the likes of which it has not seen for quite some time now, Chris.

We are right now at the funeral for just a handful of those who were killed in the violence that unfolded during that attempted coup. One of them is a man named Inhan Varak (ph). His brother is actually one of President Erdogan's chief advisors.

He himself was a father of two and he was shot dead in front of Istanbul's municipality. There have been quite a few people here overcome with emotion. Some of them have been led away from where the coffins are just on the other side of this large gathering of people.

As I was saying, Chris, Turks are really trying to understand what happened. Many of them, the first thing that they will say to you is talk about how confused they are. No one was expecting this.

People in this country, yes, have been bracing themselves for the type of violence brought around by ISIS bombings, brought about by the attacks we have been seeing from separatist Kurdish group, the PKK, but no one was expecting this.

No one was expecting this kind of violence. You're really seeing quite a divergence of emotions because this is a population that was already polarized well before this attempted coup when it comes to those who support Erdogan versus those who are against him.

But even those who do not necessarily support what they call to be President Erdogan's increasing autocratic form of rule did not necessarily support a coup.

[06:10:07]Do not support this kind of assault on Turkey's democracy and stability. But many of them are confused by the president's reaction to this, by his calls to have his followers continuously go out into the streets and create what can only be described as something of a festive atmosphere like we saw last night in Taksim Square.

Whereas at the end of the day, this is a country that is also trying to come to terms that the fact that around 200 of its citizens were just killed.

FRATES: All right, Arwa Damon in Istanbul, thank you very much.

And this just into CNN, an elderly female patient and female hospital employee are dead after a shooting at a hospital. It happened in Titusville, Florida, on the state's east coast near Cape Canaveral. Police say they have a suspect in custody and that the scene is now secure. We'll bring you the latest as we learn new details there.

We're also learning more about the man who plowed a 20-ton truck through a crowd of people in Nice, France.


JASMINE CORMAN, NEIGHBOR OF ATTACKER (through translator): He never spoke. He didn't speak to anyone. He was always alone with his bike and he drink alcohol during Ramadan. I live under a murderer.


FRATES: What authorities are saying about that attacker who was never on their radar?


FRATES: And new this morning, a source close to the investigation tells CNN that the Nice, France attacker recently started speaking supportively of ISIS.

[06:15:06]And police made two more arrests today in connection with Thursday's deadly attacks. A man and a woman are now in custody. That's in addition to the five others who were already detained over the weekend, including the attacker's ex-wife.

Local authorities are telling interrogators that the attacker began praising ISIS just days before he struck. Our Isa Soares has more from Nice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ISA SOARES, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the face of the man who brought terror to the streets of Nice, Mohamed Bouhlel, a young small time criminal, who French authorities say was not known to have any links to terrorism.

BERNARD CAZENEUVE, FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER: It seems that he became radicalized very quickly.

SOARES: ISIS has claimed the 31-year-old was one of their soldiers who heeded their call. The question still remains as to whether he received a direct order by the terror group or was simply inspired by their ideology.

Investigators are looking to answer that. They are digging deep into his life. Some neighbors in his apartment building describe him as a loner, quiet and even odd.

CORMAN (through translator): He never spoke. He didn't speak to anyone. He was always alone with his bike and he drink alcohol during Ramadan. I live under a murderer.

SOARES (on camera): This is his apartment. As you can see here, the door has been completely blown out. If you look through the key hole, you can see the place has been thoroughly searched, covered doors opened, drawers strewn all at the floor.

(voice-over): From the outside, his life looked almost ordinary, a delivery driver with three children, who according to one neighbor was never mean. French media describe him as a man who loved body building and salsa dancing. But those closest to him paint a picture of a disturbed individual.

MOHAMED MONDHER LAHOUAIEJ-BOUHLEL, SUSPECT'S FATHER (through translator): He was of a nervous disposition. He would become angry and shout and break everything in front of him.

SOARES: His unstable character didn't go unnoticed or unpunished with authorities coming face to face with him obviously two months ago.

JEAN-JACQUES URVOAS, FRENCH JUSTICE MINISTER (through translator): He was charged with armed assault. There was an altercation in a public road among two drivers and himself which involved a wooden pallet which was thrown by him.

SOARES: Slowly a picture is emerging of Mohamed Bouhlel. It's up to authorities to determine now whether his actions were driven by rage or radicalization. Isa Soares, CNN, Nice, France.


FRATES: Now the French prosecutor's office says authorities have arrested two more people connected to Thursday's terror attack in Nice. The total people detained is now seven. The French interior minister says the man behind that attack became radicalized very quickly.

CNN's Max Foster spoke earlier today with France 24's international affairs editor, Melissa Bell.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Still very little information coming out, but it does seem as though this momentum is building towards some sort of radicalization. But can we assume there's network if these arrests are taking place, Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR, FRANCE 24: That will be a big question about these latest two arrests. The five people that you mentioned a moment ago, Max, were already in police custody. Among them Mohamed Bouhlel's estranged wife, the one from whom he was seeking divorce and one whom he was separated.

Those five people -- there's been an extension in their detention by the police because of course they're providing crucial clues as to specifically as you mentioned that question of when and the extent to which Mohamed Bouhlel started talking or showing signs of this emerging radicalization.

It was from those people in police custody over the course of the weekend, there was five, one woman, the ex-wife and four men that were beginning to paint a picture of a man who did apparently become radicalized in a very short space of time in the weeks leading up to his act.

The other two we know very little about. We know it's a man and a woman. The question I think over the coming hours will be to find out whether they are simply people who are close to Mohamed Bouhlel as the other five were or perhaps people that have been found as a result of searches through phone and computer.

And whether they could constitute or be part of some wider network with closer links perhaps to a group like the Islamic State organization. For now, the sources close to the investigation are allowing these very small details to emerge.

Among them, for instance, beyond that recent radicalization of Mohamed Bouhlel. The fact that in the week before his act, before his terror attack, he had emptied his bank account, he had sold his car and he had been a number of times to the promenade angle to seek out the area that was to be the scene of Thursday night's attack.

FOSTER: And we are getting a conflicting sort of images of it. On the one hand, this is very unstable character that we are hearing about from French sources.

[06:20:02]And then you got ISIS, the media wing, describing him as a soldier. They don't come together, do they? So why is ISIS claiming this when it could potentially look weak?

BELL: And ISIS as it's done in the past with someone that's carried out an atrocity that is in line with what ISIS has been calling for but not directly coordinated with it or through it. It could have simply chosen to salute what Mohamed Bouhlel had done. Those who know a little bit about ISIS communication will tell

you that suggests that there was some kind of active link between him and the group. Of course, again, that is yet to be confirmed.

But that is what the investigators would be wanting to look into. Equally, we are talking about a man (inaudible) unstable (inaudible), a man who is not terribly religious been emerging from those surrounding him, those who knew him, those who lived in the vicinity of his flat.

And yet what he did is precisely in line with what ISIS has been calling for. There was this call that we've been talking about a great deal over the last few days in September of 2014 by a spokesman by the Islamic State group, calling on people inside France to use any weapon they had to take on the French including mowing them down with vehicles.

And then in May, this new call telling would-be jihadists not to bother coming to Syria or Iraq but rather to take on the enemy in their own country and specifically in France.

Now what Mohamed Bouhlel has done is exactly that. He's used a vehicle to cause maximum carnage on a national holiday, which is also part of the ISIS group's calls over the last few months.

So yes, an unstable man who doesn't particularly fit the image, but a disenfranchised young man who has listened to ISIS propaganda possibly and certainly carried out an attack exactly in line with what the group had been calling for.


FRATES: Now Donald Trump picks Mike Pence to join him in his run for the White House. But as the two join together to take on Hillary Clinton, their differences are on full display.



FRATES: The presumptive GOP ticket is now officially Trump/Pence 2016 and it seems opposite attract as Donald Trump stepped up to introduce his vice presidential pick, the differences between the two were stark.

Some calling the two polar opposites and the contrast seemed clear. In a preview for a "60 Minutes" interview that will air tonight, Trump said he didn't expect Pence to line up perfectly with him.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said negative campaigning is wrong and a campaign ought to demonstrate the basic decency of the candidate. With that in mind, what do you think about your running mate's campaign and the tone and the negativity of it? GOVERNOR MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think this is a good man who has been talking about the issues the American people care about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But name calling?

PENCE: In the essay that I wrote a long time ago, I said campaigns ought to be about something more important than just one candidate's election. This campaign and Donald Trump's candidacy has been about the issues the American people care about. They see America in decline at home and abroad. They see --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're saying it hasn't been negative?

PENCE: -- they see porous borders and a Congress that's unable to balance its budgets or deal with and end illegal immigration. They want leadership in Washington, D.C. that will solve problems and strengthen our country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But what about the negative side? He apologized for being a negative --

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're different people. I understand that. I'll give you an example. Hillary Clinton is a liar. Hillary Clinton -- that was just proven last week. Hillary Clinton is a crook.


TRUMP: I call her Crooked Hillary. I didn't ask him to do it. But I don't think he should do it because it's different for him.


FRATES: Now Donald Trump heads to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention and the nomination, one of the most anticipated political events of all time and it's here. It's on CNN. You'll get access you can't get anywhere else. Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. Coverage started tomorrow at 4:00 Eastern on CNN.

We're just a day away from the Republican National Convention. Donald Trump has found a running mate in Indiana Governor Mike Pence, but Governor Pence's agenda is alarming to some voters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pence has said in the past he'd like to see Rove versus Wade overturned. Does that move the needle for you one way or the other, Holly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it definitely makes me rethink positions of what I want to do.


FRATES: Now could Governor Pence make things worse for Trump when it comes to women?

Plus, with thousands descending on Cleveland over the next few days, we'll look at what local authorities are doing to ensure crowd control outside the convention center.

Mortgage rates ticked up this week. Have a look.



FRATES: Hey, good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Chris Frates in Washington.

Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell will be joining us later from Cleveland, the site of the 2016 Republican Convention. And it all kicks off tomorrow at Quicken Loans Arena. It's a $64 million show, put on for nearly 2,500 delegates and 50,000 attendees, all here to formally, finally nominate Donald Trump and Mike Pence for their 2016 presidential ticket.

Inside the convention hall we'll hear from GOP leaders, people like Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and Scott Walker. Meanwhile, outside that arena, thousands of protesters threaten to pack the streets to send their own message. The newly-formed GOP ticket is already adding to Trump's problems with support from women. Trump lags behind Hillary Clinton with women in the latest polls. 70 percent saying she would be better at handling women's problems. And a pro-Clinton super PAC is taking full advantage of that fact, hitting him with ads like this one.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: Nobody respects women more than Donald Trump.

She came to my wedding. She ate like a pig. And seriously, the wedding cake it was like missing in action.


TRUMP: Did she have a good body? No.

STERN: Of (ph) course (ph).

TRUMP: No. Did she have a fat ass? Absolutely.

Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she's very good. I think she's highly overrated. But when I came out and -- you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.


FRATES: So will Trump's selection of Governor Mike Pence help him with women? Our colleague Poppy Harlow sat down with six women in Ohio with the state's history says a Republican must win to win the White House. These women are group of Trump supporters, Clinton supporters and women who have yet to make up their mind. Here's a bit of that conversation.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are in Ohio, the state that you pretty much got to take if you want to be president of this country. No one has been elected to the White House since the 1960s without taking this great state.

Let's begin with the news. Donald Trump choosing Mike Pence as his vice president. What does that say to you?

KATHLEEN MAHALL, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: t says a lot of good things. He's a very good conservative. And we believe -- we have very high Christian values and I think that that's exactly what America needs.

HARLOW: So do you think Trump needed this social conservative lift in Pence?


MAHALL: I think he -- I think he needed an equalizer, sure. And he wasn't looking at it politically as much as he was looking at the things he needs balance in.

HARLOW: Donna, what does the Pence pick say to you?

DONNA BROWN, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, it says to me that he wanted someone different. He wasn't looking at the everyday person as far as a politician. He wanted someone to have more conservative values. And I just think -- I'm just happy that it's over.

HARLOW: You're an undecided voter, Kira. Does Trump choosing Mike Pence as a vice presidential running mate changed the equation for you at all?

KIRA FOSTER, UNDECIDED VOTER: A little bit because of the controversial things Mike Pence has done in the past, like his -- the bill he made for the --




FOSTER: That was a little weird for me. Like I didn't agree with that. He did it. I didn't like the way he responded to it.

HARLOW: You're referring to the religious -- the so-called religious liberty bill in Indiana that Pence...

FOSTER: Right.

HARLOW: ... supported?

FOSTER: I mean, he was in big favor of it and then kind of backtracked when it happened.

HARLOW: Many people saw it as very discriminatory against...

FOSTER: Right and I...

HARLOW: ... the LGBT community.

FOSTER: ... feel the same exact way. So I'm not really very familiar with him to be quite frank. I just know of his controversial moments and that's one of them.

So I think when Trump picks him he's going more towards the Christian base. But I think the Christian base is already following Trump. So I'm not -- I'm not really sure of what the angle was there.

HARLOW: Holly, to you does Trump tapping Pence as his running mate moved the needle for you either way?

HOLLY JACKSON, UNDECIDED VOTER: One of the big things for me is I want to see where women stand and the kind of decisions that are going to affect women.

I mean, everyone is important. Everyone matters. But women, I think, and minorities also are just so separate from what is going on.

HARLOW: So, what are those issues? What are those -- quote -- unquote "women's issues" for you?

JACKSON: Well, abortion is definitely a big one.

HARLOW: So Pence has said in the past he'd like to see Roe versus Wade over turned. Does that move the needle for you one way or the other, Holly?

JACKSON: I think it definitely makes me rethink positions of what I want to do also with the other bill, the LGBT thing.

HARLOW: Which way, to the pro side or the con side for you?

JACKSON: I think his decision is definitely -- that is more a con for me. I'm very supportive of that, because I think love is love.

HARLOW: Juliana, what do you think as a Hillary Clinton supporter what do you think the Mike Pence pick does? And how do you think that the Clinton camp can best attack that?

JULIANA KOSIK, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: Not a lot of people would know Governor Pence, you know, just off the bat. But now it's going to bring a lot of attention to him. It's going to make people really think and really look at the decisions he's made in the past. And I think it's going to push voters to see exactly where Pence stands on everything and on whether -- on separate issues like for the LGBT community or women's rights.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would be a huge bonus for Clinton that Trump selected his V.P. They share the same core values.

HARLOW: Kathleen, we know that your guy, Donald Trump, has to do better with women. All the polling shows it. What does this Pence pick when it comes to certain issues like abortion, what does that do to the Trump ticket chances with women?

MAHALL: Well, I'm old enough to have voted for Richard Nixon and I'm a staunch Republican. And we never looked at an issue for voting whether a person was a female or a male or if women had to have abortions or didn't have an abortion. So there's a lot of women out there that do not assess the president as leadership that wants to -- and I do not believe in abortion at any instance, none, not for any reason. I don't even know why it's a female issue. I don't even know why it's a political issue.

So I believe there's a lot of women in America that live in the farmland, live in the middle of the country that would never want to have anybody support Planned Parenthood or things like that. So I think you're going have -- you're going to see a different alignment for people that haven't spoken up yet, especially women that are going to go for Trump.

HARLOW: Donna, Kathleen brings up Planned Parenthood. Mike Pence moved to defund Planned Parenthood as governor of Indiana. Is that something that you think will help or hurt the Trump ticket with female voters?

BROWN: Being a Republican, you know, we're never for Planned Parenthood. We've never funded -- we've always been against funding it.


So, I think, right now as Republicans we have to get back to our core principles and we have to start standing behind them. And sometime we can't -- what we want to say, be popular. We have to go and stand with God. And I believe that Mike Pence -- I believe that he's a good choice, it's a good pick. And who is ever going to vote for Trump, they're going to vote for him and Mike is just something extra kind of like a cherry?


FRATES: Now Cleveland police are bracing for lots of protesters during the Republican National Convention. We'll take a closer look at how that city plans to balance safety and security with freedom of speech.

Plus, some bikers -- and we're talking motorcyclists (INAUDIBLE) are offering their help. They're planning to back up the Cleveland police force. Is that a recipe for war in the streets?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) FRATES: Thousands of protesters are expected to show up in Cleveland over the next few days to participate in demonstrations. Martin Savidge gives us a unique look at what the city is doing to control the crowds and their access to the convention site, the Quicken Loans Arena, otherwise known as the Q.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Establishing a protest zone in Cleveland hasn't been easy. You run up against two different thoughts, security versus freedom of speech.

Eventually there was a compromise and this is it, at least where it begins. West 20th and Lorain, Cleveland, near West Side. Close to transportation and wide open.


But unless you're up at altitude, you can't see the arena. It's a good mile away with a river in between, which is why demonstrators will be allowed to march or parade about a mile and three quarters toward downtown over a predetermined route that took months of negotiation. That is one of the guardians of transportation. It's a unique architectural feature of this beautiful Art Deco 1932 bridge.

And the protesters will come right over of (ph) course (ph) and they get a great view of the Q but they can't get there (ph). And from a security point of view it works out. They're hemmed in. Now if there's going to be trouble, it's on the other side.

There is no law specifically stating how close demonstrators must be able to approach. Court rulings have said it should be close enough for them to be seen and heard. This is the closest that the demonstrators will be able to get to the Quicken Loans Arena. We're right at the end of the bridge we have just crossed over. From here they're supposed to turn and veer off into the opposite direction, something they're intentionally not likely to do because they want to be seen and heard. And this is also where the police presence is likely to be very heavy. And that's why there's a good chance if there is conflict, it's going to happen right here, because the demonstrators will be pushing in and of course law enforcement will be pushing back.

The police say as long as everyone remains peaceful there won't be a problem. But if that changes, they also say they'll be ready. Martin Savidge, CNN, Cleveland.

FRATES: Now thousands of bikers say they plan to offer backup to the Cleveland police and keep the protesters in check. But could that lead to a massive street fight? The group is called Bikers for Trump and their leader Chris Cox claims a membership of 70,000 strong.


CHRIS COX, FOUNDER, BIKERS FOR TRUMP: We started this group for the sole purpose of seeing Donald Trump elected for president. There are seven to 10 million bikers. There are citizen crusaders from all walks of life. Bikers are either having a rally to support the American flag or they're raising money to put a roof or a car for a veteran. They're this very patriotic. And they're not only blue collar but they're white collar.


COX: Trump because he's telling it like it is.

As I moved forward in an exploratory, some political science if you will during the beginning I traveled the southeast talking to different biker venues. And the bikers were overwhelming behind Trump for three reasons in this order.

First is ISIS. Who's going to call it what it is? We need a commander in chief that's going to call it radical Islam. OK? Because it's not only the biggest problem facing America but the biggest problem facing the world and we're seeing that almost on a daily basis.

Second, is illegal immigration. Because veterans want to see and bikers want to see a wall built and because they want to see Syrian refugees vetted, it doesn't make us racist. It makes us patriots.

And third we would like to see a commander in chief get behind on military. We believe it's incumbent upon all who understand the value and the support, and the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, not only the veterans but the whole community. We've got to get behind those guys. We've got to give them more support. We've got a lot of work to do in the V.A. We've got veterans dying waiting in line to get healthcare. We've got over 20 veterans a day committing suicide as a result of PTSD.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know that there will be large protests here leading up to the convention and throughout the week. You told CNN that you've got a concern that it could turn into the OK Corral. Explain that (INAUDIBLE).

COX: Well, because of the policies here in Ohio as far as open carry. So we've got so many different groups come together that really don't care for one another. So if tempers get flared, it very well could. We hope it doesn't.

Bikers for Trump we hope to serve as a calming factor here in the RNC in Cleveland.


COX: Well, because we are going to be peaceful. I myself won't be carrying a gun. I'll be carrying a first aid kit and a couple of fire extinguishers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will there be members of the group carrying?

COX: Well, I can't speak for all of the members of the group. I'm sure that a lot of our members do have concealed carry permits. And it will be up to each individual but I myself will be leading by example.

We're not here for an NRA rally or to support the second amendment, although I do, but we're here to come together collectively, the men and women who have worked very hard to fortify this endorsement at this convention to get this nomination. So we're here for a victory dance.


FRATES: So we're less than three weeks away from the summer Olympics and we're talking about yet another scandal. Coy Wire has the details.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris. Officials from the USA, Canada and more calling for a complete ban on Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics.


We'll have more on the bombshell report coming up on NEW DAY.


FRATES: In the wake of the Nice attack and with the Olympics set to start in less than three weeks, Rio officials are reviewing their security plans.

Yesterday troops and police carried out the biggest anti-terrorism drill to date at the train stop near the Olympic park. Meantime several anti-doping groups want the entire Russian team banned. Coy Wire is here with more on what could be an Olympic bombshell. Coy, what do you know?

WIRE: Good to see you, Chris.

Well, we have a leaked letter and this is coming from the United States, Canada -- 10 nations in total, 20 different athlete groups reportedly set to demand a ban for the entire nation of Russia from the 2016 Olympic Games for an alleged doping scandal.

Now apparently an email has surfaced from one of the chairs at the world Anti-Doping Association to a number of athletes and anti-doping organizations urging them to sign a letter, a petition of sorts, asking that the president of the International Olympic Committee implement a ban for the entire nation of Russia from those Olympic Games in Rio. Not just the track and field team. That's already in effect. We're talking about a ban for all of Russia's athletes in all sports, Chris, even their Paralympics athletes from competing in the summer Olympics.

Now, this letter reported accuses Russia of running a state sanctioned doping program at the 2014 winter Olympic in Sochi which was set up intended to beat the system, if you will, allowing Russia's athletes to pass performance enhancing drug tests undetected.

[06:55:08] In those Olympics Russia won the medal count that year, 13 golds, 33 medals in total. Now the World Anti-Doping Association suspended Russia's labs back in November after an investigation revealed what it called -- quote-- "a deeply rooted culture of cheating" -- unquote. Now, according to a report from the "New York Times" the groups could make a formal request, Chris, as soon as tomorrow.

FRATES: So Coy, more bad news here with this doping controversy. But we've also had Zika. We've had reports that the water might not be good to compete out there in Rio. I mean, are the athletes starting to worry that all this bad news is going to overshadow the actual games, Coy?

WIRE: Well, of course we have some athletes who have come out and said, Zika is a major concern. I'm looking to start a family in the next couple of years. The world's top four golfers not going to Rio to compete in the Olympics. That makes sense. It's an outdoor sport. They're basically in a mosquito infested area if you will. There are woods around. There are standing water around. That makes sense.

You have some of the swimmers though and the track athletes, they are going. They haven't said they're going to skip because of these concerns. This is something that they do for their living.

You have the pro-basketball players, the pro-golfers not going. They don't really need the money, do they? We have these other athletes they're willing to take any risk that they see may be there.

I talked to several athletes who are going. And they said, I'm aware of it. I know that it's there but, you know what? I've trained for this for four years and I'm not going to allow that to keep me from earning that gold that I've always dreamed of, Chris.

FRATES: Right. All right. There's Coy Wire breaking it down for us. Thank you so much, Coy. Appreciate it.

WIRE: Welcome.

FRATES: Well, thank you for starting your morning with us. We've got much more ahead on the next hour of your NEW DAY which starts right after this short break.