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Violence Erupts in Milwaukee After Police Shooting; Trump: "I'm Running Against the Crooked Media"; Trump to Lay Out ISIS Strategy Tomorrow; Pence to Release Tax Returns Before Election Day; More Than 1,000 Rescued Across Louisiana; Michael Phelps Wins 23rd And Final Gold Medal. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired August 14, 2016 - 07:00   ET



[07:00:25] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You know, we are always so grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good morning to you.

We're following breaking news out of Milwaukee. Police and the mayor are restoring calm there after a standoff between officers and an angry crowd their turned violent.

PAUL: And you can see that based on the fire that you see on your screen here and what was happening. It started yesterday afternoon after police shot and killed a suspect during a foot chase. Now, this is how the mayor described what happened. Actually, he said that there was a traffic stop and they got out of the car, these two male individuals. The male individuals, they started running. A 23-year- old was shot. And the mayor says later it was found that that gentleman was indeed armed. He died at the scene.

BLACKWELL: Now, in the hours that followed the shooting, tempered flared. You see there the result on your screen. At least four businesses, a car set on fire. A police officer was sent to the hospital after being hit in the head with a brick.

PAUL: CNN correspondent Ryan Young live outside the Milwaukee police department for us.

Ryan, what are you hearing?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, look, the first thing that we should stress here is according to police, this man was armed when he was running away from officers. What they have been telling us so far is that an officer tried to pull over a car they deemed suspicious. And so, men went running in different directions.

The officer followed behind one man who apparently was carrying a gun. He told that man to drop the weapon. When he didn't, he fired two shoots, hitting him in the chest and the arm. We have also been told the officer was wearing a body camera. So, we

can expect in the next few days or so, hopefully we'll get to see that video to see exactly what happened and to see if these all plays out the way that they say it did. Now, soon after on Twitter and Facebook, people started tweeting tweeted out what happened. A crowd gathered. And we can show some of the aftermath of that.

And I can tell you, residents here were talking about this all night long. They were upset to see these images. The fires burning and the business, people were very upset, tense about what was going on, trying to figure out exactly why the movement was happening. Of course, we heard from community members that they were tired of police action in the neighborhood. We heard police officers saying they've been trying to quell the violence in that neighborhood. It all came together in a very ugly way, and, of course, as you listen to residents, you can hear the frustration in residents' voices.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never thought I would see my own city in a state of unrest to potential riot, you know? I just never thought I would see it. We're standing here and speaking with you, just heard gunshots maybe two to three blocks away. I feel like the bulk of the large incidents are over for the evening, but I definitely do not feel that this is over.


YOUNG: Now, the fire turned through the night. You also talked about that officer that was injured when someone threw a brick through that glass. We had extra officers working throughout the night.

There was also an alderman who talked about some of the simmering tensions going on here in Milwaukee.


KHALIF RAINEY, ALDERMAN, MILWAUKEE: Something has to be done here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to address these issues. The black people of Milwaukee are tired. They're tired of living under this oppression. This is their existence. This is their life. This is the life of their children.

Now, what has happened tonight may have not been right. I'm not justifying that but no one can deny the fact that there's problems, racial problems here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that have to be closely not examined but rectified.


YOUNG: Victor and Christi, so you can see the combination, how the story lines blur. You have people who obviously want police help in those neighborhoods where there's been violence. And you have an officer who says he was chasing someone who had a gun and says he ordered that man to drop the gun. When he didn't, he opened fire. And then you have the tension in the community where they believe something happened there that wasn't rig and they reacted with violence last night.

So, we're actually going to be moving to a location closer to where some of these happened last night, some of the fires that have been put out now. Firefighters and police officers who worked extra shifts overnight are finally starting to come into their stations now. But everyone sort of watching and waiting to see what happens next.

PAUL: My gosh, the destruction is just something to see.

Ryan Young, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

Let's talk to CNN law enforcement analyst and author of "The New Guardians", Cedric Alexander.

Cedric, let's talk first of all about the body camera. This has been the focus for a lot of police departments to have them.

[07:05:01] We know in this case he did have one. It was working. In the effort of transparency, I would assume that they would make this public at some point.

How long do you think that might take?

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, hopefully, soon. I think the community there certainly wants to know what happened, as much as they can. But a lot is going to be incumbent on the initial investigation. That's going to become a real critical piece in this investigation from the beginning, the middle and the end, to determine what that body camera was able to capture during this incident.

PAUL: Let me ask you, as we heard from the frustrations of that community, not just the people who live there and are frustrated with the violence, but from the cleric there, or the pastor who was saying we have some real racial problems here. Even if they hear that this man -- or even if the body camera shows that a gun was drawn and he was shot and it was justified, how do you bring these people together?

ALEXANDER: Well, I mean, clearly, from -- if we just go based on the information we know now --

PAUL: Right.

ALEXANDER: Where you have a subject with a gun, he was ordered to stop, he was shot and killed by police.

PAUL: I don't know if that would matter to the people that are upset.

ALEXANDER: But yet the community continues to protest and do what we saw last night, that's an indication to me there were certainly some issues there between police and government that are not squared away very well.

PAUL: We talk all the time about communities needing to be better acquainted with their police departments. And in fact, the mayor said I know this area really well. There are a lot of really good people who live in this area who can't stand this violence. How do you do that? Look at what happened last night -- four

buildings on fire, a car on fire and a police officer in the hospital.

ALEXANDER: But here's what you have, we have to look at a little bit deeper than what's on the surface. My guess is that community, like many communities across this country that are challenged, they're going to be challenged by poor economics, they're going to be challenged with bad education, they're going to be challenged with lack of jobs.

And all of this plays into that part. So, when you have an altercation with the police and no matter who's right or wrong in this particular incident, the police end up merely becoming the target by merely being the first responders of a bigger social problem on which they did not create. So, I applaud the mayor for getting out to talk to the media right away. That is essentially important.

But what's going to be really important going forward is to share as much information as they can with that community to keep them abreast of what's going on.

PAUL: So, as they look into this investigation, what happens from this point on, particularly with that police officer who fired the shot that killed the suspect?

ALEXANDER: Well, typically what happens, they're placed on administrative leave pending this investigation. And they will have an internal investigation which would be administrative in nature that will look to make sure that their procedures and policies were followed. And that will be followed then by a criminal investigation, which they work parallel to each other but separate from each other.

So, we're going to see over the next number of hours in the next number of days what information they feel comfortable to release to the public. But I think it's going to be important to get out as much of that video -- as long as it does not jeopardize the integrity of that investigation, it will be important to get out as much as they can.

PAUL: What would jeopardize it? What would keep them from releasing it?

ALEXANDER: Well, we don't know because we don't know --

PAUL: But I mean, do you have a structure of you know that if you have this element, you can't release it?

ALEXANDER: Well, here again, it all depends. Each and every shooting is very different.


ALEXANDER: And the witness statements, the time it occurred, the incident, how it occurred, how it's being reported, who's reporting what occurred, it's just a variety of information that has to go into making a decision as to when it's appropriate. And that is something that the police don't make by themselves. That's something they oftentimes do with the help of their local district attorney.


ALEXANDER: Because if a case that requires prosecution or if it's a case that supports the police officer's account of what happened, we want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly in this case.


ALEXANDER: So that information, that video, I'm quite sure will probably come out shortly. But that is for that community to determine. And in the meantime, the leadership in that community, the mayor and the police chief have to communicate as much information and stay as connected to that community as much as possible.

PAUL: We see the aftermath here of that burned out gas station there.

ALEXANDER: Absolutely.

PAUL: Cedric Alexander, always good to have you here. Thank you.

ALEXANDER: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Absolutely.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's take you to Queens, New York.

Police there are stepping up patrols at mosques after the execution- style slayings of an imam and his assistant.

[07:10:02] Now, shooting happens Saturday afternoon. Investigators say both men were shot in the head at point-blank range while walking down the street. Police have released this image of the suspect. There it is. No motive has been announced.

Well, the search is happening right now for the suspect who shot and killed a Georgia police officer. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Officer Tim Smith was killed last night in the city of Eastman, which is about 130 miles southeast of Atlanta. He was responding to a call about a suspicious person. Investigators say the officer got out of his car to approach the person and that's when he was fatally shot.

PAUL: Listen, whatever you're doing, take a look at your screen right now, because this is a dramatic rescue out of Louisiana. That's a car submerged in that water. Take a look a here, just in a moment, this gentleman was able to pull her up and out of that water through the sunroof. There is a fight, many like these, to save others stranded in the water there. That's coming up.

BLACKWELL: Also, Donald Trump says he's got bigger fish to fry than Hillary Clinton. Watch.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not running against Crooked Hillary Clinton. I'm running against the crooked media. That's what I'm running against.



PAUL: When Donald Trump campaigns in the deep blue state of Connecticut, it seems the media is in his target zone, firing back at the newest reports that paint a dark picture of his campaign.


TRUMP: These people are so dishonest, the media. And it's a constant hit on Trump. People are saying, what is it, no matter what you do, no matter how good it is, they make it a hit.


PAUL: Now, Trump's top staffers are trying to get their candidate back on message, we're told, with plans to unveil the details of his strategy to take on ISIS.

[07:15:02] Here's our Jeremy Diamond.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Good morning, Victor and Christi.

Donald Trump on Saturday stumping where few Republican nominees have ever gone, right here in the state of Connecticut, a deep blue state, of course ,where Donald saying he's going to be making a big move. Of course, this all comes as Donald Trump is lagging in a series of recent polls in key battleground states. But instead of spending his time in those states, on Saturday Donald Trump was right here in Connecticut.

And he wasn't exactly focusing on his campaign message. Much of his time he spent focused railing against the media.

TRUMP: I'm not running against crooked Hillary Clinton. I'm running against the crooked media. That's what I'm running against.

But these are the most dishonest people. The good news is, I love -- you know, I put down failing at "New York Times", the newspaper's going to hell. Crooked CNN, CNN is so disgusting. CNN.

Oh, look, their camera just shut off. Their camera just went off. That's funny. I got to know all the cameras, all those red lights on.

DIAMOND: Donald Trump also suggested that he might even revoke the credentials of the "New York Times" which on Saturday reported that his campaign is struggling to get Donald Trump back on track.

And all of this came on Saturday just after Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, Donald Trump's Republican running mate, of course, said that he was planning on releasing his tax returns before Election Day. Trump, of course, has said that he will not release his tax returns as long as he is under audit. His tax returns are under audit since 2009, making it highly unlikely that he'll release those before Election Day.

Victor and Christi, back to you.


BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about now, the latest on both sides of the presidential race. We have with us, Angela Rye, CNN political commentator and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus. Scottie Nell Hughes is back with us, CNN political commentator and Donald Trump supporter.

Good morning to you, Angela. And good morning again, Scottie.


BLACKWELL: I want to get to Donald Trump and his speech on ISIS in a moment that's happening on Monday. But, Scottie, I want to stay with this rally in Connecticut first. Donald Trump has this new approach and we're seeing a pattern here talking about the sadness of losing again. Let's watch that and then we'll talk.


TRUMP: Can you imagine how badly I'll feel if I spent all of that money, all of this energy, all of this time and lost? I will never, ever forgive the people of Connecticut. I will never forgive the people of Florida and Pennsylvania and Ohio.

But I love them anyway. We'll see. I think we're going to do very well.


BLACKWELL: Now, we get that some of that is a joke. He doesn't -- it's not that he'll never forgive the people there, but he is repeatedly now talking about losing. He talked about on CNBC, he'll take a long vacation if he loses. He talked about the only way he could lose is if they, whoever they are, cheated when he was in Pennsylvania. And now, this.

Why this repeated refrain?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's about conversation. Donald Trump is the guy you'd invite into your house and have him at your dinner table. That's like the general conversation.

Donald Trump does not put this big barrier between he the politician and the people he's talking to. I think that's why you're seeing crowds like you saw in Connecticut. Max out room, people actually passing out, it was so hot, they were waiting for him. There are people so excited to see him because he has a conversation with each one of them in the room. I think they leave there feeling like they just interacted one on one with Mr. Trump.

So, his conversations are very casual. They're not like your typical politician. And as we've seen this election season, people don't want that canned political speech of these promises tht never get fulfilled. He just talks to them like he would be talking to you and I as if we were right here together. That's good thing, it's new. It's refreshing in politics.

BLACKWELL: All right. Angela?

RYE: So, a couple of things, one is, I don't think that this is what people want, at least right now. The polling is demonstrating that's not what folks want. I think that Donald Trump is -- you said he may be joking. I don't know his intentions. As he said on his Twitter account this week, the media can't figure him out.

Ratings challenged CNN can't figure him out.

BLACKWELL: Can't figure it out.

RYE: So here we are on CNN try to I think the reason we can't figure him out is he can't figure himself out. He changes his tune not day by day but minute by minute. And as Hillary Clinton said at the DNC, this man can be baited with a tweet. It is what it is.

BLACKWELL: Let's see if we can figure this out. Scottie, let's talk about is. Donald Trump will be speaking tomorrow, making an address on his approach to fighting ISIS.

[07:20:01] But there have been in the past during this campaign, going back to October and coming to August now, there have been some inconsistencies in Trump's approach, at least rhetorically toward ISIS. Watch.


TRUMP: Everybody that's touched the Middle East, they've gotten bogged down. I don't want to see the United States. We've spent now -- we've spent $2 trillion in Iraq, probably a trillion in Afghanistan. We're destroying our country.

We really have no choice. We have to knock out ISIS. We have to knock the hell out of them. We have to get rid of it and then we have to come back here and rebuild our country which is falling apart.

I would listen to the generals but I'm hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000.


BLACKWELL: OK. So, many think here, Scottie, I'd like you to touch on. In discussion of staying out of the fight in the Middle East against ISIS and taking 20,000 to 30,000 in. He said he'd listen to the generals but he also said quite famously that he knows more than the generals in his approach to ISIS. So, what are we going to see from Trump as he introduces this plan tomorrow? What's your expectation?

HUGHES: Well, that's the great thing about campaign season, you get to learn about the candidate. And obviously, when he started talking about ISIS last fall, we were coming out of attacks out of San Bernardino. And as we continue to have seen terrorist attacks here domestically at home, he's had to address those. And I think that's what you're seeing.

And tomorrow, you're going to see further clarification of one of we've seen. Originally back in the fall, he laid out things for the economy, he laid out things for ISIS, he laid out things for trade. And now, you're seeing him go even more in depth, unlike Hillary Clinton who continues to have these generic "I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that", and she has yet to lay out his --.


RYE: Policy priorities.

HUGHES: Angela, my turn.

RYE: Go for it. Say something.

HUGHES: I am talking.

And you have yet to actually see Hillary go into specifics. We have yet to see her answer, do you agree with the withdrawal and how we've handled ISIS and terrorism worldwide, how Barack Obama, his administration and U.S. secretary of state, would you change anything about what you did in Benghazi or who actually handled the stand down or did not handle the stand down?

There's a lot of questions right now that Hillary Clinton has yet to answer and has yet to clarify within her own policy points of whether she's going to be more of the same, which is what we predict. So, if you've liked how ISIS and terrorism has been handled the last eight years, then Hillary Clinton is your candidate. If you want change and want to take care of them, instead of sitting there and pandering to them in a certain extent, Donald Trump's your choice.

BLACKWELL: Thank you so much. We're going to let you answer that and respond in just a moment. We'll continue the conversation after the break.


[07:26:08] BLACKWELL: Welcome back.

Continuing our conversation with CNN political commentators, Angela Rye and Scottie Nell Hughes. We left off discussing Donald Trump delivering an address on ISIS tomorrow.

And, Angela, let me come to you. I'll preface this question with this, that Donald Trump throughout the last several months at least of the general election, after, even before the conventions, has consistently shown in polls to have a strength when it comes to handling terrorism and the economy. So, what's your response to what we heard from Scottie, that there are no policy proposal specifics coming from Clinton and the nation trusts him when it came to ISIS?

RYE: So, a couple of things, on there are no specifics coming from Hillary Clinton, that's laughable. So, I won't respond to that. But what I will say because your initial question was about Donald Trump and how he plans to take on ISIS, one way we know is not effective is to say that the commander in chief currently in office and his former secretary of state are the founders of ISIS. From the chronological standpoint, we know that's not true --

BLACKWELL: He now says it's sarcastic.

RYE: What does sarcasm really mean, right? I think we have to go to the fact that when you are the presidential candidate, you are a nominee for a party, you can no longer afford that level of sarcasm. It's actually dangerous. That's why you saw 50 not just national security professionals, but a former trade representative, a former very senior officials in Congress saying this man is actually very dangerous. You have to be accountable for the words you speak, and it's time for that.

So, I would love to see him pivot to an ISIS strategy that's rooted in fact, that's not based on making accusations that aren't true. And he were in the receiving end of it, would probably file a defamation lawsuit, it's time for him to dial that back.

BLACKWELL: In a country where the economy, jobs and national security are at the top of the list of concerns, does Hillary Clinton, I know we're looking ahead to Donald Trump on Monday, but does Hillary Clinton need to articulate a plan that is dramatically different than what we're hearing from the president, or something that is obviously that can be identified differently than what we've seen over the last several years?

RYE: I don't think it's smart for Hillary Clinton to pivot from a Barack Obama strategy at this point, why? Because Barack Obama's approval ratings are very high right now. He has demonstrated very clearly that he knows how to handle foreign affairs and national security issues. This is the president who took out bin Laden.

So, he knows how to do this, I don't think that means that she shouldn't have some amendments in their strategy, but I think she should definitely said, I'm following up on and building upon what she's done, Barack Obama's legacy.

BLACKWELL: Scottie, I let you respond to that.

HUGHES: Well, once again, Angela failed to answer the question. What are Hillary Clinton's --

RYE: Oh, I didn't.

HUGHES: What are her specific points on how to fight ISIS? I can tell you, Donald Trump laid out originally and he's going to clarify even more that that he would go in and cut off their funding. He would seize their oil. He would seize their bank accounts. He would also make sure that you cut off the funding that is continuing to pour in.

And he would also make sure that he goes and gets all of the U.S. equipment that somehow magically has landed and that they're using. I think they said 94 percent of their equipment, that ISIS is using is the equipment from the United States.

There is a lot of solutions that Mr. Trump has put out there specifically. He's going to continue to clarify it. And surrogates from Hillary Clinton have yet to really name how she's going to go in there and handle ISIS today and how she's going to continue to secure the American people. Hence why you see that the strength and the leadership -- you might not like his tone or the things that he says, he might actually offend you, Mr. Trump, but what Hillary Clinton's action has actually caused people to be hurt and is actually very dangerous.

That's why Mr. Trump polls better in that and when it comes to dealing with ISIS and issues of national security.

BLACKWELL: I've got to wrap it there. Scottie Nell Hughes, Angela Rye, thank you both.

RYE: Thank you.

HUGHES: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Christi?

PAUL: All righty. We're going to talk too coming up about Mike Pence. He is, he'll be taking different stance from Donald Trump. We'll talk about it in a moment.

Also, the great Michael Phelps cements his legacy as the greatest Olympian in history.

[07:30:04] He and his teams won the final race of the night and quite possibly the last of his career.


PAUL: It wouldn't be Sunday morning without you. Thanks for being with us. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

Let's get to these two developing stories this morning. The city of Milwaukee first, returning to calm after a standoff between officers and a crowd there turned violent. Protesters were furious after police shot and killed a suspect during a foot chase. Now, the investigation into the shooting is happening right now.

Now, let's go to New York where police have released this sketch of a man they believe shot and killed an imam and his assistant on Saturday afternoon. Police say they do not believe that they're targeted because of their faith. But they have stepped foot patrols around mosques.


PAUL: Well, Donald Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, says he will release his tax returns before Election Day, even though Donald Trump will not. Governor Pence confirmed the news yesterday during a radio interview and teased that there's not going to be much to see.

CNN politics reporter Tom LoBianco joining us live from Washington.

Tom, good to see you today.

So, Pence says he's going to release his tax returns prior to the election, that they're going to be a quick read, as he said. But the first thing I think came to a lot of minds was, did Trump green-light this, because it does put Trump in a precarious position now as the only candidate who's not releasing his returns?

TOM LOBIANCO, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Sure. Well, I think we've got that audio, right, from WABC. Let's go ahead and give that a listen with Mike Pence.


[07:35:04] GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I believe we're completing those forms right now as is appropriate under federal law. And we'll be filing that. But I promise you, when my forms are filed and my tax returns are released, it's going to be a quick read, Rita.


LOBIANCO: You know, that was very interesting right there. Obviously diverging from what Trump has been saying on this. He left himself a little bit of an exit. But, you know, his spokesman Mark Lotter, Governor Pence's spokesman, told us that these will be coming out before the election. So, this really puts Trump in a bind, right?

Here you have three people out of the four who are running, Clinton, Tim Kaine, Pence and Trump now releasing their tax returns. This leaves Trump as the odd man out. And it keeps the focus on him. This is not what you want to be doing on a unified ticket.

PAUL: So, but I mean, did Trump give him the green light or was he just, did he say you can do whatever you want to do?

LOBIANCO: Well, what we do know from advisors is that Pence does have a lot of free rein in this. This does seem like the type of thing where they probably wanted to talk it out beforehand what they were going to do with this. I haven't gotten any indication that this was green lighted. It's another problem that they have to deal with now.

PAUL: Well, we know, too, Pence has spoken to Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, played phone tag with Kasich, but we know that he's expected to talk to Governor Kasich as well. He's had meetings with John McCain, or will have, with Jeff Flakes, Steve King, maybe even Kelly Ayotte. The thing Pence has it seems that Trump does not is the rapport with these people.

What does Pence say to these folks in these meetings? Do we have any indication?

LOBIANCO: Sure. You know, what he has is a long, deep relationship with a lot of these folks, members of House, his colleagues, other governors, folks who Trump ran against. There have been a lot of hurt feelings, obviously. These are key meetings that are happening. At this point the argument he's been making, according to Pence's advisors is you have a binary choice, Hillary Clinton or not. And when you lay it out that way, they seem to have some success.

Now, whether that holds afterwards remains to be seen. The campaign has held out Steve King of Iowa as a success story here, coming around on Trump. You know, again, we'll have to see on that.

But this is really one of the reasons Pence was brought onto this ticket. He has those relationships. Trump was very clear he wanted someone who could reach out to Capitol Hill, reach out to the establishment in Washington. And that's really -- Pence has kind of taken on that role and has been begin a lot of free rein to do that.

Now, that's the good side of what Pence is doing here. You know, again, back to the tax returns, that puts them two steps backwards. I mean, that's the kind of thing that harms the ticket. So, you have a real balancing act going on here.

PAUL: No doubt about it.

All right. Tom Lobianco, appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Rescues happening this morning Louisiana. Dangerous flood levels are rising there. Look at this video. I mean, we've shown it several times this morning. This car is going down. It's a convertible. A man rips open the roof, pulls a woman out, risks his own life to save hers. And all of this amid the threat of another downpour.

We'll take you to Louisiana.


[07:41:53] BLACKWELL: Welcome back.

New reports that Donald Trump's campaign is in serious trouble. After promising to stay on message, once again Trump went off script with a slew of controversial comments during a Saturday campaign rally.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm not running against crooked Hillary Clinton. I'm running against the crooked media. That's what I'm running against. Oh, you better elect me folks. I'll never speak to you again.

Can you imagine -- can you imagine how badly I'll feel if I spent all of that money, all of this energy, all of this time and lost? I will never, ever forgive the people of Connecticut. I will never --


BLACKWELL: CNN "STATE OF THE UNION" host Jake Tapper is joining us now. His show comes up at 9:00 Eastern.

Jake, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So, you've got the Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort coming up this morning.

What's the view in and around the campaign? Is this salvageable?

TAPPER: I certainly think it is salvageable, although certainly the campaign has been traveling on the wrong trajectory in terms of poll numbers. You can really see the issue by playing those clips. Those are clips of Donald Trump having a great time in front of a rally with tens of thousands of his supporters. And that is a wonderful moment for Mr. Trump and his supporters, I'm sure.

The issue is, how is he going to be able to expand his appeal beyond his supporters? And that I think has been the rub. That, I think, has been the issue.

People around Donald Trump, people on the campaign trying to convince him that he needs to go beyond his supporters and say things to bring people in. And right now, and for the last few weeks since his convention, he has been doing the opposite. He has been saying things that cause independent and swing voters to have concerns about him.

Now, if you look at the polls, Hillary Clinton is below 50 percent in most of the national polls and all the state by state polls. The problem is that Donald Trump is about eight or nine points behind her. So, this is not an indication of Clinton's strength so much as it is Donald Trump's weakness.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about Mike Pence and the reporting we just got from Tom Lobianco, and the conversation with Christi about releasing his tax returns. Something that's not clear here and hopefully you can clear this up or give us your perspective. Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton released returns on Fridays. So the tax return news cycle began on Friday.

Why would Governor Pence wait another week, another two weeks and bring it back into another news cycle instead of release it on the same day and get it all at once?

TAPPER: It's interesting. It does seem to suggest that Governor Pence and Donald Trump often -- as Tom said in his piece, Governor Pence has some degree of free rein to doing what he wants.

[07:45:04] And you're right, it does put Donald Trump to a degree in a tough spot, because as Tom said, now you have three of the four releasing their tax returns. We'll see what Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman for Mr. Trump, has to say about that. I'll have him on "STATE OF THE UNION" in just a few minutes.

BLACKWELL: All right. Jake Tapper, we're looking forward to it. Thank you.

TAPPER: Thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: All right. "STATE OF THE UNION" starts at 9:00 a.m. And again, Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as you heard there, joins Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" later this morning. The time, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

PAUL: Meanwhile, frightening situations in Louisiana. More than a thousand people, think about that, a thousand being rescued as flood waters are rising there. And the state's governor warns there are more problems on the way.

CNN's Boris Sanchez is live with a look at the damage.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christi. The rain just starting to come down once again. We're getting a clearer look at the damage here. We'll give you some impressive video of rescues as soon as we come back.


PAUL: The video that we are getting in from Louisiana, it's riveting. Rescue crews are rushing to save people from rising floodwaters. Take a look at this. That's a car that's submerging in the water. You see that hand there? That gentleman was able to open a sunroof and pull that woman out!

[07:50:05] Look at that. And then you see the little white dot that popped up as well? That's her dog. This was in Baton Rouge. The state's governor plans to hold a press conference later this morning to tour some of those hardest hit areas. So, grateful that she is OK. This as at least 18 parishes are declaring states of emergency.

CNN's Boris Sanchez joining us from the town of Robert, about an hour outside Baton Rouge.

And I know it was just raining where you are. Talk to us about the streets and whether they're passable, even, at this point and what's to come.

SANCHEZ: Well, Christi, many of them are simply impassable. More than 100 highways and streets in Louisiana are shut down right now and you can see why behind me. This road is actually somewhat passable. We've seen larger vehicles like SUVs and semi trucks have gotten across this bridge. I am not sure if you can make it out from how far it is. But a short while after they passed, we've seen many of them come

right back, because as you go further down the road on Highway 22 here, a lot of the roads that are further west are worse, in worse shape and are impassable down there.

We know that more than a thousand rescues have taken place across the state, many of them on highways like this one. We actually found ourselves in a precarious situation this morning as it was dark and we were driving through here. We suddenly had to stop because we hadn't seen the water on the street. And immediately we got in reverse. And several dozen cars are behind us right now waiting to see if they can eventually pass.

I have talked to a couple people who were traveling through the state and unfortunately haven't been able to figure out a way through simply because so many of the roads are shut down.

This has implications for rescue and recovery efforts, consider that so many places like Greensburg, yesterday, are cut off completely from access on the street, simply because the roads are inundated on the way there. We've seen a lot of rescues specifically in Baton Rouge. It's about an hour west of us as you mentioned, Christi.

The storm that has been pounding this region from Florida's panhandle to Alabama, Mississippi and the brunt in Louisiana is continuing to move west. So, those areas about 50 miles west of us are now getting a lot of rain.

But some of the bands are still hitting us here. As far as what's to come, we were expecting rain up until at least tomorrow midday to the afternoon. But, in areas that are already flooded and in areas where the water is currently going, currently moving, there still may be more rescues ahead, and certainly an expanded recovery effort to try to pick up from the devastating flooding, Christi.

PAUL: Yes, Boris, the pictures we are looking at right now, you just feel for these families. Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.

And just think about that for a minute. Even Boris said they thought they could get through and they had to turn around, Victor. So, that really gives you an idea of why there have been 1,000 rescues. People aren't necessarily doing the wrong thing. It's just hard to approximate what they're getting themselves into.

BLACKWELL: And unfortunately, some people end up in the predicament that we saw with the woman who was in the convertible there and who was fortunately rescued. The man ripped open the roof of the car and pulled her out, along with her dog.

Let's move on now. Michael Phelps ending his Olympic career with gold.

Christina Macfarlane joins us live from Rio with that and more.

Big night and big day ahead, Christina. CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Victor. It's a

golden sunrise here in Rio and a golden good-bye from Michael Phelps who says he is bowing out of swimming after gold medal number 23. But is it for good? We'll have all the latest here in Rio.


[07:57:15] BLACKWELL: Michael Phelps says his swimming career this time is over, and he means it. How did he end it? How else but with another gold medal.

Christina Macfarlane is watching all of the action and looking ahead to what's happening today from Rio.

Good morning.

MACFARLANE: Good morning, Victor.

Yes. Michael Phelps has been the face of swimming for some two decades now. He is already the most decorated Olympian ever, and last night he added to his legend.

Phelps picked up his fifth gold medal of the Rio games by swimming the butterfly leg of the U.S. 4x100 meter medley relay. That victory gives him an amazing 23 career gold medals. No other Olympian has more than nine gold medals.

Now, after the race, Phelps made it pretty clear that he was going to be his last lap in the Olympic pool. But let's not forget, London 2012, folks, where he retired and then he came back.

Now, not to be outdone, the ladies also made history in the pool Saturday night by sealing the U.S.'s 1,000th gold medal in the summer games. The women's 4x100 meter medley relay putting America on top as the only country to achieve the feat. They beat Australia to the wall by almost two seconds.

So, with the USA starting the competition back today, they'll have almost twice as many golds as the nearest competition and that is China.

The world's fastest man is set to defend his gold medals and records in Rio here as he goes for the triple-triple starting later today. Jamaica's Usain Bolt will run in the semifinals with 100 meters tonight. Bolt and American Justin Gatlin are expected to finish in one, two for tonight's final. But the big question, in what order? Can't wait for that.

Now, before that, the gymnast Simone Biles is expected to add to the American gold rush today. She is looking for her third gold medal of the games as the finals in the individual events kick off. Biles is the favorite to win today's vault final but she didn't qualify for the uneven bars which is the other event happening today. American Madison Kocian has the best marks in that which makes her the favorite.

So much action, Victor. I don't know where to look today. It's going to be so exciting.

BLACKWELL: And the U.S. hit an important milestone, 1,000!

MACFARLANE: Absolutely. We thought they were going to do it. You know, they were some 30 medals off coming into these Olympic games. It was just a matter of when, not whether it would happen. It was great to see the ladies do it last night. This USA team had the greatest number of ladies competing. So, it was good to see them get it done.

BLACKWELL: All right. First country to hit 1,000 medals. Christina Macfarlane in Rio, thanks so much.

PAUL: And I want to wish you a great Sunday morning. Make great memories today. Thanks for being with us.