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Turkey's Failed Coup: Cleric Living in U.S. Accused of Plot; GOP Ready to Nominate Donald Trump and Mike Pence; 7 Detained in Connection with France Attack; Trump Ramps Up Attacks on "Crooked Hillary"; France Attacker Texted "Bring More Weapons". Aired 7-8a ET

Aired July 17, 2016 - 07:00   ET




[07:00:14] DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Indiana Governor Mike Pence is my first choice.

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), 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), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I have no idea what's going to happen in Cleveland.

TRUMP: We're going to have an r6 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.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning. We are late but we're here.


PAUL: Thank you for sticking with us here at NEW DAY. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. We are live in Cleveland, Ohio, here from the floor of the 2016 GOP convention finally ready to kick off tomorrow here at Quicken Loans Arena.

PAUL: Yes, this is a $64 million show. Think about that. It's put on for nearly 2,500 delegates and 50,000 attendees who will be sitting behind us by tomorrow, all here to formally nominate Donald Trump and Mike Pence for the 2016 presidential pick. Now, inside the conventional hall, as we are, we're going to hear from

GOP leaders Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker. Outside the arena, thousands of protesters are threatening to pack the streets to send their own message. We're going to get to more of that and the political arena in just a minute.

But we do have to talk about some breaking news right now, Victor.

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

PAUL: Also new, a source near the investigation telling us close associated who have been detained for questioning about e say the attacker started speaking supportively of ISIS just days prior to that attack.

BLACKWELL: Now, the State Department is advising Americans not to travel to Turkey for right now. The country is still reeling from that attempted coup Friday night that left nearly 200 dead and more than 1,000 wounded.

PAUL: And pro-government demonstrators have been taking to the streets to show support for President Erdogan as he asserts or I should say reasserts his control. The Turkish government has been rounding up the coup suspects including judges and military officers and promises to deal with them, quote, "harshly".

BLACKWELL: Yes. And President Erdogan blames the coup on an Islamic cleric who lives in exile in the United States. He's calling on the U.S. to either arrest Fethullah Gulen or extradite him to Turkey.

Now, Gulen lives in a gated compound in Pennsylvania. And despite his reputation as a recluse, he has millions of followers around the world.

Now, he and Erdogan used to be close allies but they had a falling out. And despite Erdogan's accusations, Gulen condemned the coup and insisted he had nothing to do with it.


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


BLACKWELL: Now, for the United States there's also the issue of Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. That's where the U.S. launches air strikes against Syria and Iraq. Now, the operations are on hold because Turkey has closed the air space in the wake of that coup attempt.

For more, let's turn to CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson.

Nic, how big of a problem is this shutdown at least temporarily for the U.S. as they try to continue this fight against ISIS across the border?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it stretches resources even further. If we go back a year ago, it was only about a year ago to the end of this month that the United States got an agreement with Turkey to use that base in Incirlik. So, there are other areas the United States can operate out of.

But this is deeply worrying and Incirlik air base is just one of five places in Turkey where the U.S. has military assets. The Izmir naval base or air base, rather, is another one. That's where the NATO command of land forces is. That's a big base. All on the highest level of alert right now. They're on delta alert level. They were on Charlie, the second highest, until recently.

But the country is beginning to return to some sort of calm. This area if you were here 12-14 hours ago, this was a huge area of protest.

[07:05:05] The crews are in right now tidying up. There are repairs are being made around here lifting out the debris. But the concern about how the controls that have been placed on the air space around Incirlik, the control allowing people on and off that base, that is a major concern going forward.

Now, the impression that the Turkish government and President Erdogan is trying to create at the moment and seems to be the reality is that they have control, is that some kind of normality is being returned. But we've also heard from the minister of justice today that the arrest of suspect coup plotters continues. It's 6,000 now. The number increasing. They arrested another 50 senior army officers at a base in the west of the country.

So, anywhere there's a military base and Incirlik is one of those, the United States shares it with the Turkish military, it's a place of concern, it appears for President Erdogan's government. So, we don't know how long these restrictions on Incirlik are going to last, and therefore, we don't know how long this is going to impact the fight against ISIS. But it is deeply troubling because anything that shows instability here and inability to back up moderate forces, moderate rebels inside Syria is going to allow ISIS to get some strength on the ground.

The latest information coming from Syria right now is that government forces are making gains about Aleppo in the north.

BLACKWELL: And, Nic, quickly, before we let you go, we know that Erdogan wants Fethullah Gulen, who's in Pennsylvania we mentioned just a moment ago, to be either arrested or extradited back to Turkey. Is there any suggestion, any indication that the Turkish government will make one contingent upon the other, suggesting that we will open Incirlik if you give us Gulen?

ROBERTSON: That hasn't been stated explicitly. Typically when you see the way that President Erdogan deals with the international community, it is like a Middle East bazaar if you will and he will try to trade one thing for another. But there's no indication that's happening.

Once Secretary of State John Kerry has called for here, all those people that have been arrested, he's called on the Turks to follow due process and international law with all those people arrested. It's going to be -- the judgment will be for Erdogan, how did he hear the U.S. respond to the coup attempt overnight on Friday night? Does he think that the U.S. came out strongly in support of him, or was there a period where he felt the U.S. was letting him down? If he feels that, yes, he will try to get the maximum price.

Back to you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nic Robertson reporting for us this morning.

Nic, thanks so much.

And we do want to remind everyone that Secretary of State John Kerry will be joining Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" this morning to discuss, of course, that Nice attack, but also the attempted coup in Turkey. That's at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Now, back here at home, the presumptive GOP ticket now official, Trump, Pence. As Donald introduced his vice presidential pick, the differences between the two were pretty clear, some calling them polar opposites. The contrast was on display.

In a preview for a "60 Minutes" interview that will air tonight, Trump said he does not expect Pence to line up perfectly with his views or style.


LESLEY STAHL, "60 MINUTES": 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?

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think this is a good man who's been talking about the issues the American people care about.

STAHL: But name calling, Lyin' Ted?

PENCE: In the essay that I wrote a long time ago --


PENCE: -- I said campaigns ought to be about something more important than just one candidate's election. And 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 --

STAHL: You're saying it hasn't been negative?

PENCE: -- they see our porous borders and a Congress that's unable to balance its budgets or deal with or and end illegal immigration.

They want a leader. They want leadership in Washington, D.C. that will solve problems and strengthen our country.

STAHL: What about the negative side? He apologized for being a negative --

TRUMP: We're different people. I understand that. I'll give you an example. Hillary Clinton is a liar. Hillary Clinton is -- that was just proven last week. Hillary Clinton --

STAHL: That's negative.

TRUMP: You better believe it. Hillary Clinton is a crook.

STAHL: That's negative.

TRUMP: I call her crooked Hillary. She's 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.


PAUL: All right. We're joined now by Kevin madden, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist. Scottie Nell Hughes is with us as well, CNN political commentator and political editor at

[07:10:03] Scottie, I want to start with you. What is your take on what you just heard from Donald Trump?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's fantastic. I think it shows the diversity of the Republican Party. Regardless of who you are, we are not a cookie cutter party anymore.

We have a variety of personalities. We have a variety of different thoughts, viewpoints. And that is shown right now with this Trump/Pence ticket. If you want something, you find it in a candidate. And if you don't want something, you will find the opposite on the other side. It's a great balance of each other.

PAUL: What if you don't find anything?

BLACKWELL: What we heard though during the primary from Donald Trump is that candidates with similar tone, similar approach were called low energy. They were called weak. They were called losers.

But in this case, it's good that we have different approaches. Does that work in this case?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: When you're trying to promote a vision for the counted and agenda, I think the chemistry really does matter. It's very apparent they come from two very different political world views. And some folks will say that maybe that helps that there's a creative tension here, but others will say that there's going to be a dissonance and it's going to be hard for them to get on the same page.

But that's one of the challenges when you have a vice presidential candidate that you or a running mate that you don't have a preexisting relationship with, that you don't have a rapport with, which is that oftentimes they have to sign on to your agenda and your vision, and sometimes, there are conflicts there.

PAUL: And there's a learning curve I assume with both of them.

So, let's get to what's going to be happening here tomorrow at this time 24 hours from now. This place is going to be filled. There's going to be all kinds of energy, no doubt here. But a lot of people might be wondering, beyond the make America great theme, what is the overall theme going to be here? Any insight?

HUGHES: I think the theme is obviously, we joked haphazard that it's like winning. But it's truly, once again, it's going to sit there and celebrate. But if you look at the speakers and the line up, people that have accomplished things in their lines, people that have literally taken the American dream and grown it and actually accomplished it within themselves.

Today is an exciting day. All these state delegations are come into Cleveland and they're filling up all the hotels, lots of excitement within this community, once they get past the security gate. And they're going to come in here -- we saw a great thing with the platform. We saw everything with rules committee.

We saw everybody right now is actually unified despite what people say. Everybody is very excited about it. I don't think you're going to see any disruptions and you're really going to be focusing on going forward as a unified party, which is what you saw yesterday in their conversation of the ticket.

MADDEN: I think the theme here is going to be Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a personality driven -- I think it's going to be a personality driven-event. I think it's going to be likely to be less about the Republican Party and it's going to be more about Donald Trump.

Look, he tends to thrive at events like this. These are pageants. These are performances. And Donald Trump with his background as a reality TV star could potentially thrive in this environment.

BLACKWELL: You said there's going to be unity here. Paul Manafort said this is going to end with a stronger party. But we started this weekend with Jeb Bush writing this op-ed saying he rejects Donald Trump as a leader of the party. We saw from the delegates unbound leader group, although they didn't win that never Trump fight on the rules committee, that they say there will be something happening on Monday. How does Donald Trump get this convention to a position of unity,

considering the governor's not here, you don't have a living Republican president and you don't have the last two nominees?

HUGHES: Well, he was able to get to the top of the ticket and get more people out to vote for him without their support, because this is an election about the people, not the politician. And they have to remember this.

And you're looking at that vote. It was not only loss, it was an abysmal loss, 87-12. When they were sitting -- I think this has been (INAUDIBLE) that this never Trump or unbound group is larger than what it is. And when it comes down to push comes to shove, they're not showing up. I don't think -- they know if they make any sort of appearance here on Monday night, they only embarrass themselves and do harm to the Republican Party.

PAUL: Kevin, last word?

MADDEN: They have to be very cognizant of the fact that there is still resistance to Donald Trump. Every day in some way all the way to November, they're going to have to address that. One of their key goals coming out of this, is to put on a display of unity that is really rather than just cosmetic.

BLACKWELL: There's one more thing, you talk about the cosmetic. I've got a question here that we know that Donald Trump has to work hard to get Latino voters, Latino support. Mitt Romney got a smaller percentage than John McCain, who got a smaller percentage than George W. Bush. But when you look at the list of speakers, more than 60 speakers, where are the Latino voices?

HUGHES: Once again that's just the proposed list that we have. We always know with Donald Trump, there's always surprises.

BLACKWELL: But there's 63 voices. You've got Ted Cruz who's half Cuban.

HUGHES: He's Hispanic.

BLACKWELL: Is that it?

HUGHES: Like I said, you never know what's going to happen. Talk to me on Thursday when it's closed and we can sit there and talk about diversity after that.

BLACKWELL: All right, Scottie.

PAUL: We'll see what happens.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Kevin.

MADDEN: You bet.

PAUL: Thank you both actually.

Do stay with us here.

Donald Trump, of course, heading to Cleveland for this nomination. But one of the most anticipated political events of all time is here on CNN. You're going to get access that you can't get anywhere else. So, we will be showing you that coverage starting tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Do stay close.

BLACKWELL: Up next, we're going to have Sean Spicer joining us, chief strategist and communications director for the RNC. He will join us in just a moment. Stay with us.


[07:18:21] PAUL: All righty. So, in about 24 hours, what is empty at the moment behind me is going to be full. And the energy in this place will most likely be palpable. You'll be hearing a lot about it. You'll be seeing about it here on CNN.

And we want to talk about it too as we talk about this vice presidential rollout with Sean Spicer here, who's with us, chief strategist and communications director for the RNC.

Thank you so much for being with us.


PAUL: It is going to be exciting, no doubt about it.

Just wondering out of the gate since we're talking about this time that we're going to see Trump with Pence, is Pence the guy that you were hoping for?

SPICER: That's a great question. I think Donald Trump had a great line-up of individuals to choose from. Each one of them would have done a great job, but you look at the excitement that Mike Pence has generated, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, grassroots activists, everybody is excited about Mike Pence.

So, I don't know how the others would have gone over, but I can tell you that Mike Pence is a home run of a choice.

PAUL: Well, he is a home run with Senator Warren, it seems. With Elizabeth Warren, she has an awful lot to say about him. I think we've got some of her tweets that she put out here.

She said, "Trump and Pence are a perfect match, two small, insecure weak men who use hate and fear to divide our country and our people."

There was another tweet that she zeroed in on Pence for signing one of the strictest abortion laws, of course, in the country. She said, "Of course real Donald Trump and a guy who calls women fat pigs and bimbos picked a V.P. who's famous for trying to control women's bodies."

Does Pence play into that anti-woman vote? And the vote that really at the end of the day Trump needs. SPICER: I think it's demeaning to say that women don't care about

life. Republican Party is a pro-life party, proudly so.

[07:20:02] We'll stand up for individuals, you know, in the womb. And I think that's no shocker.

I think Elizabeth Warren is Hillary Clinton's attack dog. She's trying out for a V.P. She's got a tainted record when it comes to her own credibility. She's lied about her past and her heritage. So, I don't give too much credence to what Elizabeth Warren has to say.

PAUL: But there are a lot of people who do.

SPICER: I'm sure there are and they're all voting for Hillary Clinton, and they're on the far, far extreme left.

So, she's trying to pacify her base. I understand, they went through a very, very fractured primary. There's a lot of people who with Bernie Sanders on the far left extreme wing of the Democratic Party that are not unified around Hillary Clinton. And I think Elizabeth Warren is doing everything she can to try out for the V.P. slot with her by showing how she can pacify the left.

PAUL: All right. Well, I want to get something that was in the "New York Times" that says Mike Pence's introduction was a reminder that the Trump campaign is all about Trump. And Kevin Madden actually just spoke to this.

They wrote, "He called Pence his partner but before the governor took the stage, Mr. Trump stood there alone and talked for 28 minutes delivering a long and improvised riff that emulated his rallies instead of a traditional vice presidential debut."

Now, look, we all know Donald Trump is not traditional, so it's not completely off, you know, radar or off the scale that he would do something differently. However, waiting almost 30 minutes to introduce the man that you are supposed to be having this rally for did seem a little odd.

SPICER: Except everyone carried it live for the entire time. So, it was actually brilliant if you think about it. He had 28 minutes to talk about himself, talk about his agenda and bash Hillary Clinton and every network carried it live.

So, I understand it's not traditional, but every network carried his message live, learned more about Donald Trump, learned about the contrast between Hillary Clinton.

PAUL: So, you're saying that wasn't about ego? That wasn't about -- because a lot of people look at that and think how is this guy who says, I listen to my own gut, I don't -- he doesn't necessarily take orders from anybody else. Do you have concerns about his ability to share the spotlight?

SPICER: He's running for president of the United States, not co- president of the United States. Mike Pence is going to be an amazing vice president. Donald Trump talks about how he's going to listen to Mike Pence, what he brings to the table, how Mike Pence is going to be able to help get things done in Washington.

But at the end of the day, it's Trump that's running for president.

PAUL: Well, yes, this is true. He's famous, as we know, for doing things off the cuff.

SPICER: That's right.

PAUL: And for not going on script, let's say.

SPICER: That's part of his appeal.

PAUL: But when you think about how he may have introduced Chris or somebody that he is very familiar with, this introduction seemed a little bit disconnected to people.

SPICER: I don't -- I disagree with that. I mean, I think, look, part of what people are tired of is scripted, traditional status quo. They've had enough of Hillary Clinton, enough to have scripts, enough of the lies, enough of the status quo, enough of the corruption.

Donald Trump isn't a traditional candidate. He's not a politician. And I think that's why you have the intensity and enthusiasm and crossover support that you're seeing for him.

PAUL: And polarization at the end of the day. I mean, he's a very polarizing personality.

SPICER: And again, you -- and I don't mean to keep bringing this back to Hillary Clinton --

PAUL: She is too.

SPICER: But she is probably the most polarizing person going. So --

PAUL: You're right, which has discouraged a lot of people in the electorate look at these two candidates and say, I don't know what I'm going to do because I don't like either one of them.

This is what's interesting. "The Washington Post" had an article yesterday and quoted Reince Priebus saying, Donald Trump is actually likable and him becoming likable will make him unstoppable.

Do you make Donald Trump likable to the people who don't like him? That who needs their vote?

SPICER: OK, that's a great question, because I think for so long, people know who Donald Trump is. They see him on "The Apprentice". They see him on television.

What you're going to see this week is his family, his friends, people who have worked for him for 20 years talking about the Donald Trump that nobody's seen before, getting to know the man behind the image that you see on TV, and they're going to be shocked. There's a reason people have worked for him for 20 and 30 years because he's very gracious, he's very caring and you're going to see that this week.

PAUL: OK. Listen, I have to get, which is one more question. I only have about 30 seconds. But you're a dad. If you're sitting there with your son and daughter, and you -- do you feel like you could point to Donald Trump and say, that's what you should strive to be?

SPICER: They should absolutely look up to him.

PAUL: That's the kind of person you want them to be? I mean, with the abrasiveness and --

SPICER: But you look at just one piece of Donald Trump and say, oh, look at this week. Look at the man that he is. Look at the children he's raised. Look at the business that he's built.

So, if you want to just talk about the tweet, but you've got the most amazing family that's going to be on stage this week talk about how much they love their dad, an amazing wife, people that have been with him for 20 or 30 years, talking about a successful businessman that hasn't just built a great business, but also got great employees who are dedicated because of the kind of guy he is.

So, yes, in that sense, absolutely.

PAUL: And no doubt you can tell. I mean, his children -- there is such a bond between him and his children.

SPICER: That's right, absolutely.

PAUL: Sean Spicer, we appreciate you being here.

SPICER: Thank you for coming. It's going to be great.

PAUL: Thank you.

Yes, you're going to see more of Sean Spicer certainly this week, but we appreciate your time.

[07:25:01] Thanks for talking to us.

We're going to come back in a moment with more politics. But we do want to let you know too investigators are detaining and questioning some local associates of that attacker who plowed through crowds in France. And we're learning more this morning about a possible connection to ISIS.

Our Will Ripley is live from Nice with more.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christi, lots to tell you about this morning from here where this anti-terror investigation has netted new arrests, and we are learning when the attacker started talking positively about ISIS.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back. We'll have more from the Republican National Convention in just a

minute. But first we're following new details on the terror attack in Nice. A source close to the investigation tells CNN that the attacker recently started speaking supportively of ISIS. That's the characterization.

Police also made two more arrests today in connection with Thursday's deadly attack, that's in addition to the five others already detained over the weekend.

Our Will Ripley is live from Nice.

So, Will, what do we know about the people in custody and what they are saying?

RIPLEY: So, the ex-wife who was first detained on Friday, Victor, has now been released. The four men who were detained in the overnight hours into Saturday are still in custody. We don't know if they're friends, associates, family members.

And this morning Nice more arrests, two men and a woman. But again, as we've been point out, when somebody is arrested in a terror investigation in France, it essentially means they're being taken in for questioning, voluntarily or involuntarily, but it doesn't necessarily mean that charges will be filed.

[07:30:05] So, now, we have six people, five men, one woman. But whether there -- what their role if any in all of this, that's still yet to be determined by authorities, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Will Ripley for us there in Nice with an update on those arrests -- Will, thank you so much.

Back to politics. Hillary Clinton prepares for four straight days of attacks once the Republican convention kicks off tomorrow. Donald Trump already warning he plans to turn up the heat on the Democratic presumptive nominee.

Cristina Alesci is following that story.


Well, we're going to hear from Donald Trump, more on how Hillary is a liar, she's crooked and he's using specific examples to claim that she's just outright corrupt, next.


BLACKWELL: Welcome back to CNN's special live coverage from the site of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. You're looking at the floor here and the final touches are being put on the stage, and where all those delegates will flood in tomorrow. The presumptive GOP ticket now Trump/Pence.

And this week, Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence will officially be nominated. PAUL: Trump stepped up to introduce his vice presidential pick. And

the differences between the two, a lot of people say, were stark. Some calling the two polar opposites, in fact. Now, the contrast seemed clear in a preview for a "60 Minutes" interview airing tonight.

Donald Trump said he didn't expect anyone to line up perfectly with him.


[07:35:04] LESLEY STAHL, "60 MINUTES": What do you think about your running mate's campaign and the tone and the negativity of it?

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think this is a good man who's been talking about the issues the American people care about.

STAHL: But name calling, Lyin' Ted?

PENCE: In the essay that I wrote a long time ago --


PENCE: -- I said campaigns ought to be about something more important --


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

STAHL: That's negative, by the way.

TRUMP: You better believe it. Hillary Clinton is a crook.

STAHL: That's negative.

TRUMP: I call her crooked Hillary. She's crooked Hillary.


BLACKWELL: All right. You heard one of those favorite lines of attack there, crooked Hillary. We've seen that all over Twitter, of course. Trump blasting Hillary Clinton, saying she used the State Department as her personal hedge fund.

PAUL: Sources telling CNN Trump plans to really turn up the criticism using the Clinton family's charity as an example of how he says the Clintons bend the rules. This is an attack Trump has repeated throughout this election cycle.


TRUMP: The Clintons with the foundation, it's a disgusting situation. I gave money to the foundation. I figured maybe they'll use it properly. I didn't know they were going to use it to fly around on private jets.

The Clintons have turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves. She ran the state department like her own personal hedge fund, doing favors for oppressive regimes and many others, and really, many, many others in exchange for cash.


PAUL: Our Cristina Alesci joins me now.

Alesci, you know, for years, the Clinton Foundation has been a target for conservatives. It's all over the foundation accepting foreign donations as well. Clinton was the country's chief diplomat. And, you know, a lot of people say it's a powerful statement.

How effective do you think it's going to be as the target moving forward?

ALESCI: Well, Christi, it's already been successful. According to a June poll, Trump leads Hillary in trustworthiness. It was the other way around just a few months before that.

So, now, I'm told Trump is going to ratchet up these allegations which are essentially pay-for-play. One thing to keep in mind, just because the message is effective doesn't mean his claims are true. So, not only is Trump saying that Clinton abused her position as secretary, but here's the key -- he's saying that the corruption that he's alleging hurt the American people.

Let me give you a few examples. First, she approved a sale of a company with significant uranium assets, U.S. uranium assets, to a Russian -- to Russia because her friends invested in that company and would profit. Another thing that Trump has said, that she negotiated bad trade deals with China because China was paying her husband Bill for speeches. These are very serious allegations.

PAUL: OK. So, they're serious allegations but what evidence -- is there evidence to support what he's saying?

ALESCI: That's an excellent question, Christi. He doesn't cite specifically what his sources are, but he seems to be basing it on a book called "Clinton Cash." Now, the author has financial backers who are conservative.

And like other reporters who cover this topic, I've talked to the author. I've interviewed him. He says himself there's no smoking gun. There's no e-mail showing quid pro quo.

But there are some facts I should point out that run counter to his insinuations in the book. For example, on that uranium deal, the State Department wasn't the only department to sign off. A committee that represents nine other agencies had to approve it.

But it doesn't matter for Trump. He's going for perception here. And the larger question, should the secretary of state's personal family charity be in a position to accept any foreign donations at all?

Now, ethics experts that I've spoken to on both sides of the aisle, they raise their eyebrows at this sort of thing. And what helps Trump in these attacks is that the foundation itself has slipped up before. It was supposed to disclose all foreign donations and let state know about them. And on at least one occasion, that didn't happen, Christi.

PAUL: Yes, good thing to point out.

Cristina Alesci, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

ALESCI: Of course.

BLACKWELL: As you heard there, there will be four straight days of Clinton attacks once the Republican convention kicks off tomorrow.

Let's bring in Amy Kremer, cofounder of Women Vote Trump, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. He's the surrogate of Hillary Clinton campaign.

Mr. Mayor, good to have you. Amy, good to have you as well, as always.

And I want to start with you. You've heard much of Cristina segment there, this onslaught that goes on for four days, what will be the response? How will we hear the Clinton campaign fight back?

MAYOR PHILIP LEVINE (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: Oh, you're asking me. I'm sorry, I didn't hear, Victor.


LEVINE: OK, the fact of the matter is that we know Donald Trump has a history of business failures. He's a fraud.

[07:40:01] He's not a billionaire. He will not disclose his tax returns.

Victor, the fact of the matter is, forget about the fact that we have a former president who's done such great things for the world with this Clinton Foundation. Let's talk about Donald Trump's previous business practices. Where are his business partners? Why don't you have on the air?

No one will do business with Donald Trump because we know he's a fraud and has a history of doing terrible things to people especially in business, OK? I think that listen --

BLACKWELL: In addition to going on the offense, what will be the response to the questions, to the attacks that are placed at the feet of the Clinton campaign?

LEVINE: Well, Victor, I think the most important thing is, and I think your previous correspondent said it. Where are the facts? Where are the facts? Look at the e-mail scandal situation that we're talking about. The

fact of the matter is, director of the FBI said there's no crime. There's no crime. There's nothing here.

Look what happened with Benghazi. Nothing. Donald Trump has a history of throwing out insults, accusations that have absolutely no basis, no credibility and no backup. That's who Donald Trump is.


AMY KREMER, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: That's what you're doing.

LEVINE: Really? He's not a billionaire. We know he's not a billionaire. No one wants to stick up for him.

BLACKWELL: Let me get Amy here.

I feel like we had this same conversation in a different style about different topics but much the same during the primary when we heard a lot from the Bernie Sanders campaign talking about money coming into the Clinton Foundation. And they made accusations and the question was where is the proof, where is the evidence. That is now the burden --

KREMER: I will say though the FBI Director Comey when asked that question he would not say if they were investigating that or not. And I imagine there's going to be more to come out about that.

BLACKWELL: The absence of an answer isn't the presence of an investigation.

KREMER: No, but it needs to be answered. I mean, it absolutely needs to be answered. It's concerning to the American people that they are taking money from foreign governments when she's secretary of state. I think that's a conflict of interest.

I mean, she's there to represent the American people on behalf of the administration, not her own personal foundation. And still claim that, you know, one of the best presidents ever, I mean, you don't elect somebody president because of who their spouse is and because their spouse is a former president. You elect somebody on their qualifications for office.

LEVINE: That has nothing to do with it.


LEVINE: President Clinton started incredible foundation. He's done amazing things. You're talking about Secretary Clinton. They're not the same. So putting them together and trying to say what he did, what she did is totally wrong. That's the Donald Trump style and it won't work.

KREMER: She should be elected on her campaign.

LEVINE: You should disclose Donald Trump' tax returns. BLACKWELL: Hold on for a second, Mr. Mayor.

There will be speakers at the convention who are not coming to endorse Donald Trump, namely the second place finisher Ted Cruz. We don't expect after the insults made against his wife and his father at the end of the primary campaign that Cruz will endorse.

Is an anti-Hillary speech enough? Many will come here and deliver that. That's not unusual for a campaign or a convention, but is it enough in this case?

KREMER: At the end of the day, I mean, yes, we're going to have all this hoopla here with the convention and Donald Trump is going to be officially nominated. But at the end of the day, what really matters in November is, when the people will decide.

You know, I don't need to know who somebody's voting for. I'm going to go into that ballot box and vote for somebody, just like you are and other people. And they will decide in November.

We're going to hear a lot of things between now and November. That's what happen in elections.

BLACKWELL: So, Mr. Mayor, what will we see? Will see a Clinton campaign that is ceding that week, the next four days, or will we see surrogates here in Cleveland? Will see an ad campaign? Give us an idea of what we're going to see to balance.

LEVINE: Well, I think most importantly you're going to see people like myself out there refuting these ridiculous claims by Donald Trump who we know is a fraud. You're going to see a Democratic convention that's fully unified.

KREMER: He's not a fraud.

LEVINE: Look what's going on in the Republican convention. You have a bunch of Trumpets out there. It's kind of like, remember that TV show "The Walking Dead"? They all kind of got bitten and now they're these zombies walking towards Donald. They stand for nothing.

Look at Pence. Look at this guy's background. I mean, he was against Trump. He was against the Muslim ban. And now, all of a sudden, he's a zombie. He's walking towards Donald because he wasn't going to get reelected in Indiana, he's so unpopular.

BLACKWELL: All right. Mr. Mayor, thank you so much. Amy Kremer, I would love to have you respond to that. But we've got breaking news coming out of France, thank you both.


PAUL: Yes, Secretary of State John Kerry, we understand and Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee, joining Jake Tapper on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" a little more than an hour from now. We're going to get you a preview after the break.

But we are live in The Q, site of the Republican National Convention.

And on the other side of this brake break, breaking news coming to us out of France this morning.


[07:48:12] PAUL: All right. Coming up at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" with the one and only Jake Tapper coming to you today from the site of the Republican national convention here in Cleveland. Jake is with us.

He's got Reince Priebus today. He made some interesting comments in "The Washington Post" I want to read to you.

He said Donald Trump is actually likable and, quote, "him becoming likable will make him unstoppable."

How do you make Donald Trump likable specifically to the people who do not like him, to maybe some of the women and the minorities that he needs those votes from?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, STATE OF THE UNION: Well, it is a lifetime from now until November and you have to keep in mind he's not running against Santa Claus. He's running against Hillary Clinton who also has some issues not unlikability so much, but more on trust and credibility.

So, he just needs to be, as President Obama once said, likable enough. He just needs to pass a sort of threshold with voters. And the question is, can he get past the comments he's made so far that have alienated some voters? Can he get past them by behaving in a more presidential way?

He hasn't really said anything all that controversial in the last few weeks. So, he is capable of that kind of discipline, theoretically. But the question is when he gets out there on the campaign trail, what will he do?

BLACKWELL: All right. Jake, thank you so much. Looking forward to the show.

TAPPER: Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: And do not miss "STATE OF THE UNION" today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Jake will have Reince Priebus, as we said, chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Just hours from right now, one of the most anticipated, I should say, political events of the year, starting tomorrow, the Republican National Convention. Of course, the coverage right here on CNN.

When we come back, that breaking news out of France, details on communications from the attacker there in Nice.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:53:40] BLACKWELL: We've got breaking news now about the terror investigation in France. Authorities have discovered a communications between the suspect and someone else just before the attack. Will Ripley is live in Nice.

Will, give us the details of this new discovery.

RIPLEY: Victor, this information that we just confirmed within the past few minutes with the Paris prosecutor's office is significant because it elevates this investigation from a lone wolf scenario to the likelihood that the attacker Mohamed Bouhlel had an accomplice or perhaps multiple accomplices. We have been told that just moments before the attack, on Thursday night, Bouhlel sent a text message saying, quote, "Bring more weapons, bring five to C." C being an unknown person or place.

Sending a text message to somebody just before the attack saying to bring weapons perhaps also indicates that there was more that was planned. And we know that there were two new arrests here this morning, a man and a woman bringing the total the number of people currently in custody to six after the suspect's ex-wife was released and another new piece of information just confirmed.

We know the attacker was staking out the location of the attack two days before and the day before possibly with that truck to see where he could drive, what he could do. And at this moment, 84 people still dead, but we've also learned 18 people in the hospital including one child are in a life or death situation right now as a result of their injuries sustained.

[07:55:09] Victor, back to you.

BLACKWELL: Will, what do we know about the person on the other end of that communication?

RIPLEY: That information has yet to be released and we don't know if the people who are being questioned right now if one of them perhaps was the recipient of that text message. We only know the content of it, the order to bring more weapons. So, this is really all unfolding and we are kind of learning new formation throughout the day as we keep checking in with investigators and they learn more.

BLACKWELL: All right. Will Ripley in Nice for us. Thank you so much.

And thank you so much for starting your day with us.

PAUL: Absolutely. Live coverage of the Republican National Convention continues from now until it's all over.


PAUL: And then we go straight to Philly.

But we want to send you to "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King. He will start after a short break. Make good memories today.