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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump Lays Out Plan to Defeat ISIS; Biden Campaigns with Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania; Interview with Representative Mike Pompeo; 20,000 Rescued from Louisiana Floods; Aired 5-6p ET
Aired August 15, 2016 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Filling in for Wolf Blitzer, and she's right next door in "THE SITUATION ROOM." Thanks for watching.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Jake.
Happening now. Breaking news. Extreme vetting. Donald Trump talks terror in a closely watched scripted speech and he calls for extreme vetting of foreigners who want to come to the U.S. while saying Hillary Clinton lacks the mental and physical stamina to fight ISIS. Did Trump re-state a false claim about the San Bernardino terror attack?
Biden strikes back. The vice president unleashes as searing attack on Donald Trump while campaigning with Hillary Clinton. Biden calling Trump totally unqualified and his campaign dangerous. Can he help Clinton win over white blue-collar voters?
Clinton FBI notes. CNN has learned the FBI will give Congress new details of Hillary Clinton's interview with investigators about her private e-mail server. And the State Department will be handing over more e-mails to a conservative watchdog group. Is the controversy dogging Clinton's campaign about to heat up again?
And historic flooding, rescues by the thousands as record-high water sweeps across parts of Louisiana, threatening people and pets. The deadly deluge has claimed at least five lives and thousands of homes are inundated. Will it get worse this week?
Wolf Blitzer is off. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KEILAR: The breaking news this hour, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is saying that Democratic rival Hillary Clinton lacks what he calls the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS. Trump gave a speech on his plan for fighting radical Islamic terror a short time ago and it included a call for what he described as, quote, "extreme vetting of foreigners entering the U.S."
Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden gave a pre-rebuttal to Trump earlier in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where both have family roots. Biden said Trump is not qualified to know the U.S. nuclear codes. Biden is helping Clinton court white working and middle class voters, one of Trump's strongest demographics.
Members of Congress are expected to be getting new details of Hillary Clinton's FBI interview at any time now and CNN has learned that the agency is handing over notes from her meeting with investigators looking into her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state. At the same time the State Department has agreed to give a conservative watchdog group Clinton's official e-mails recovered by the FBI from that private server.
We are covering all of that and more this hour with guests including Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo. Our correspondents and our expert analysts are also standing by for us. And we want to begin with the Trump campaign. We have CNN's Jessica Schneider live for us at Trump Tower in New York.
And Jessica, you heard this. Trump gave a closely-watched speech on terror and he stuck to the script for at least most of it.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, Donald Trump went on the attack in this speech. And in it he focused on what he called extreme measures to secure the border and also to stamp out ISIS. And he also repeatedly slammed the Obama administration for what he says President Obama allowed ISIS to take shape.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism just as we have defeated every threat we faced at every age and before.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Donald Trump staying on teleprompter and on message outlining a three-pronged plan to destroy ISIS.
TRUMP: If I become president the era of nation building will be brought to a very swift and divisive end.
SCHNEIDER: Trump promising to work with any country to fight terrorism and backing down from his previous plan to back away from NATO.
TRUMP: Since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats. Very good. Very, very good. I also believe that we could find common ground with Russia in the fight against ISIS. Wouldn't that be a good thing?
SCHNEIDER: The second prong taking immigration screening to the extreme.
TRUMP: In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. I call it extreme vetting. Any who have hostile attitude toward our country or its principles, or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law. Those who do not believe in our Constitution or who support bigotry and hatred will not be admitted.
[17:05:02] SCHNEIDER: And third, Trump plans to fight ISIS ideologically.
TRUMP: Anyone who cannot condemn the hatred, oppression and violence of radical Islam lacks the moral clarity to serve as our president.
SCHNEIDER: Trump used his speech to attack the policies of the Obama administration and the fitness of his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
TRUMP: She also lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS and all of the many adversaries we face.
SCHNEIDER: The focused national security speech coming on the heels of weeks of largely self-inflicted damage. Trump's controversial comments including President Obama and Hillary Clinton being the founders of ISIS, that Second Amendment supporters could do something if Clinton wins, and that he could only lose the election if someone cheated, all leading the conservative "Wall Street Journal" editorial board to call for Trump to shape up or ship out, writing, "If they can't get Mr. Trump to change his act by Labor Day the GOP will have no choice but to write off the nominee as hopeless. As for Mr. Trump, he needs to stop blaming everyone else and decide if he wants to behave like someone who want to be president or turn the nomination over to Mike Pence."
SCHNEIDER: And Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed he is not being treated fairly by the media. In fact he's made that claim a centerpiece of his campaign over the past few days. Today's speech, though, a way for him to get back on message -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right, Jessica for us there in New York. Thank you for that report.
Now we want to talk about the Clinton campaign. CNN's Pamela Brown has the latest on this.
Pamela, Hillary Clinton is campaigning with Joe Biden, the vice president. He had some pretty biting words about Donald Trump.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he certainly did, Brianna. This was his first appearance on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton and he slammed Donald Trump, saying that his shame has no limits and that he would be harmful to America's national security because he cannot be trusted.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This man is totally thoroughly unqualified to be president of the United States of America.
BROWN (voice-over): Vice President Joe Biden hitting the trail with Hillary Clinton for the first time today and hitting her opponent Donald Trump.
BIDEN: There's a guy that follows me right back here has the nuclear codes. So god forbid anything happened to the president and I had to make a decision, the codes are with the -- he is not qualified to know the code.
BROWN: Biden also hammering Trump's praise for Saddam Hussein.
BIDEN: One of the violent dictators of 20th century, a man who repeatedly backed terror attacks against Israel because he was supposedly the reason he admires him, he was a killer of terrorists. That's why he likes Saddam. He would he have loved Stalin.
BROWN: The vice president even argued Trump's labeling of President Obama and Hillary Clinton as the founders of ISIS put American lives in danger.
BIDEN: Ladies and gentlemen, does he have any idea the adverse consequences these outlandish comments have on our allies, our friends and the physical safety of our troops? Trump is already making our country less safe.
BROWN: It's no coincidence the vice president and Hillary Clinton joined forces in Scranton, Pennsylvania, today.
BIDEN: It's good to be home.
BROWN: Biden's hometown and the birthplace of Clinton's father.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We both had a lot of memories of Scranton and --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lake Winola.
CLINTON: Lake Winola, that's right.
BROWN: Pennsylvania has swung Democrats for president since 1988 with Obama winning here in 2008 and 2012. But that hasn't stopped Trump from promising he would win this state unless the Democrats cheated.
TRUMP: The only we can lose, in my opinion, I really mean this, Pennsylvania, is if cheating goes on.
BROWN: But Clinton holds a significant lead in recent Pennsylvania polls. Trump needs white working class voters on his side in big numbers if he is going to defeat Clinton. It's a group she has been struggling with throughout this campaign. In an effort to win them over she hammered Trump today on his tax plan.
CLINTON: I know some of you may have friends up here in northeastern Pennsylvania who are thinking about voting for Trump. You know --
CLINTON: I know. I know. Friends should not let friends vote for Trump.
BROWN: This as the e-mail investigation in the Clinton's private e- mail server continues to cast a shadow over her campaign. CNN has learned the FBI is expected to release notes from her interview with the bureau to Congress very soon. A move that will no doubt bring the controversy surrounding her e-mail use center stage once again.
BROWN: And it's unusual for the FBI to release notes in the case of a voluntary interview and no charges filed such as this and there was certainly a sensitivity about handing over politically charged material during an election year but FBI director James Comey has said he wants to be as transparent as possible with the case and handing over these notes is one way of achieving that -- Brianna.
[17:10:03] KEILAR: Pam Brown, thank you so much for that.
We want to get more now on all of this with Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas. He is a member of the Intelligence Committee. He is also a supporter of Donald Trump.
Congressman, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. And I do want to ask you --
REP. MIKE POMPEO (R), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Brianna, it's great to be with you.
KEILAR: It's great to have you. We heard Donald Trump, you heard him, he was talking about this ideological screening for immigrant that he called extreme vetting. Is this something that -- I guess explain this to us and tell us how this is fitting with American values.
POMPEO: Well, I thought Mr. Trump let out a case today that along with the Republican Congress will for the first time push back against the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. We watched eight years where ISIS has grown, al Qaeda is not on the run and our borders have allowed folks to come into our country that we don't have a good handle on whether or not they are going to cause trouble when they get here. They're going to become terrorists.
And so he laid out a case for a strong foreign policy that will for the first time in eight years reverse the terror growth that has taken place all around the world. And with respect to the vetting process he described we've had for a long time, as constant U.S. law a requirement that folks commit to upholding our Constitution. It's a pretty cool and simple principle. And to ask for that, and to demand that that be enforced seems like a pretty straightforward proposition, one that I think makes an enormous amount of sense given the threat from radical Islamic terrorism that we find all around the world today.
KEILAR: But this is different. This is a test as someone immigrates into the country. You agree with this test?
POMPEO: I don't think what he said today is any different than what we've done throughout history in the United States of America. Presidents of both political parties have understood that --
KEILAR: Wait. But can I -- can I stop you real quick, Congressman?
POMPEO: They'll come to America --
KEILAR: I want to stop you on that because --
POMPEO: Well, let me answer the question.
KEILAR: But his whole point is that this is doing something different. That he's doing something more. So doesn't that sort of -- I mean, isn't that the whole point, that he is trying to do something more?
POMPEO: Right. What a Republican Congress is going to do along our president that is not Hillary Clinton is we're going to enforce the existing laws. We're going to make sure that we know who's coming in and out of our country consistent with the requirements that are already in place today. This president has chosen not to do that. And he's put our country at risk as a result of that.
KEILAR: OK. And so today he said those who do not believe in our constitution or who support bigotry and hatred will not be admitted for immigration into the country. How does he -- how does he do -- he is proposing something new here. How does he do that? And is that something that you sign on to?
POMPEO: I think what he's proposing is something that's old. Something that our country has done as a matter of tradition and when my family came to our country they made a commitment. They were going to come here and they were going to understand that this a unique exceptional nation and he's going to ensure the folks who come here have that same view and they're coming here to work and be part of the American dream. I think Mr. Trump has been very clear along with the Republican Congress, I think that's what we'll do.
KEILAR: OK. I do want to ask you about something that he said about the Iraq war. He repeated this claim where he said he was opposed to the Iraq war. But when we go back and look at this, he didn't come out as against the Iraq war until August of 2004. Prior to that in 2003, he was for the Iraq war and it was August 2004. I mean, that was right before the election where George W. Bush was re-elected but where the Iraq war was extremely unpopular. How can he argue that he is stronger on foreign policy by basing this argument on this false claim?
POMPEO: I don't think there is any doubt about what Mr. Trump said today. He is going to create a robust foreign policy where America once again leads. Secretary Clinton did a Russian reset and they took a fifth of the Ukraine. The Obama administration has now allowed Central Command to fake intelligence about radical Islamic terrorism and the threat from ISIS. And those are the kinds of things that I heard Mr. Trump talk about today and the things that along with a Republican Congress we're going to fix.
We're going to keep America safe. This administration has refused to acknowledge this threat from ISIS, and from al Qaeda, and has pretended that we're being successful when we're not. A Trump administration and a Republican Congress will reverse that.
KEILAR: But I want to -- you were reluctant, it seemed, to become a Trump supporter. You endorsed him back in May. And I'm sensing from you, as I ask you these questions, and I'm not quite getting a straight answer, as, you know, we fact check some of the things that Donald has said that you seem to have a discomfort with some of the things he said.
When I asked you about that, when I said, look, he said this, you know, it's not true, can you speak to that?
POMPEO: Brianna, you keep want to debate these things from history. What we're going to do is we're going to fix eight years of --
KEILAR: Well, he's presenting them as --
POMPEO: I'm not a reluctant --
KEILAR: He is presenting things as facts.
POMPEO: Brianna -- Brianna, if you'll let me, if you'll let me finish.
[17:15:01] POMPEO: I'm not a reluctant supporter. I've sat on the Benghazi Committee. I watched Secretary Clinton lie to the American people about the deaths of four Americans and how that transpired. And I watched this administration not send an aircraft to rescue these men who are in harm's way. I am not someone who has any qualms about ensuring that Secretary Clinton never sets foot inside the White House. It would be a disaster for American national security and I hope that the American people in November will agree with me and they will not allow her to come back.
She allowed national security information to be on her private server. The Iranians and the Russians and the Chinese almost certainly have that. This is unacceptable behavior from someone who is seeking to be the commander-in-chief. This is not a close call for me.
KEILAR: The "Wall Street Journal" today published a very scathing opinion piece. Sorry, this was yesterday. And it reads in part, "If they can't get Mr. Trump to change his act by Labor Day," referring to the Republican Party, "The GOP will have no choice but to write off the nominee as hopeless and focus on salvaging the Senate and House and other down-ballot races. As for Mr. Trump he needs to stop blaming everyone else and decide if he wants to behave like someone who wants to be president or turn the nomination over to Mike Pence."
What do you say to this? Because we hear Donald Trump often rail against the, quote-unquote, "liberal media" as he puts it. But this is a conservative editorial
board, of the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper. Does Trump need to listen to this warning? POMPEO: Well, look, I would often use different language than Mr.
Trump has used. But when I look at the policies that he's going to set in place, it's not -- this is not a difficult position. We have watched eight years of American foreign policy, which has allowed the Chinese to expand in China -- in the South China Sea. We've watched Iran now demand $400 million in cash to release our hostages.
This is a clear case of one person being a far better commander-in- chief and who, along with a Republican Congress, will help make America safe. I read the "Wall Street Journal" piece. I am convinced that Donald Trump is going to be our nominee and in November the choice is very clear as between these two candidates. If national security matters to voters, this is an easy call.
KEILAR: OK. Congressman, I have many more questions ahead for you. I do want to get in a quick break. We'll be right back with Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo after a break.
[17:21:47] KEILAR: Now we are following some breaking news. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking in Ohio a short time ago and he detailed his plan to fight radical Islamic terrorism. Trump also slammed Hillary Clinton as lacking the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS.
We are back now with Republican congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas who is a supporter of Donald Trump's.
And I want to play something for you what Donald Trump said on Friday. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat. OK? So I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the 8th. Go around and look and watch other polling places and make sure that it's a hundred percent fine because without voter identification, which is shocking, shocking, that you don't have it, many states it gets approve, in some states they don't get approved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: So this is in Pennsylvania where he said this. Of course a battle ground state where Hillary Clinton is doing a little better than he is right now. And when you look online he is also soliciting on his campaign Web site Trump election observers he calls them. You can volunteer to be one.
Do you agree with Donald Trump that there could very well be widespread voter fraud in November?
POMPEO: Well, we always have to watch that. Democrats and Republicans alike. I've run an election in November, we'll have observers from our party in polling offices all across Kansas to make sure that things happen properly. It seems pretty reasonable to me there is a debate in the country about voter I.D. I happen to think it's a pretty reasonable proposition and he spoke to that as well. But I think it's important that American elections are viewed as free and fair and thorough and transparent.
I think he was speaking to that. I also think he was speaking to the notion that I agree with which is it's hard for me to imagine the good people of Pennsylvania voting for Secretary Clinton given the damage that she's done to their economy, the destruction of the coal industry in Pennsylvania. And so I think, too, it's is very likely that Mr. Trump and our senator in that state ought to be able to win that election as well. I think that's what he was speaking to.
KEILAR: So you're doing the same thing, this voter observer program?
POMPEO: Brianna, I think every candidate from both political parties, I think state parties sometimes do it, It think sometimes candidates run them. They put folks in there observing. It's quite natural. It's proper. The other party will be there, too. This is not unusual. You say it as if you're surprised a bit. This is a pretty ordinary course.
KEILAR: Well, because he is alleging -- he's alleging voter fraud and when he's talking about people showing up, I think some people are making a cognitive leap where they say, couldn't that be construed as voter intimidation which of course you and I both know as illegal.
POMPEO: Right. No, it's illegal. It's improper. It shouldn't happen. I hope it never happens. I hope neither party ever intimidates any voter from going to a polling place and executing their constitutional right to vote. But that's far different from having someone in a polling place, conducting an observation to make sure polling is fair. We observe elections around the world. And others come here to watch ours.
[17:25:03] This is -- this is not something new or unusual. Somehow the media has grabbed on to this and made it sound like having observers in the polling places is unnatural or different or unusual. This is -- this is ordinary course.
KEILAR: Well, just because he is saying that he believes that there could very well be voter fraud in Pennsylvania. Is there evidence of that?
POMPEO: Well, I'm from Kansas. I am not particular familiar with how the voter fraud history in Pennsylvania. But I think every American wants their vote counted and that means making sure that their vote gets counted. But the votes that should be cast don't get counted. Each way that vote is one man, one vote in the deepest traditions of America. I think that's what Mr. Trump was speaking to and I can't imagine there's anybody watching your show today that would disagree with that.
KEILAR: Are you worried that there's voter fraud in Kansas? POMPEO: I worry about voter fraud everywhere across America. We've
got to make sure --
KEILAR: But do you -- do you have evidence of it? I mean, are you -- are you seeing that? You have a reason to expect that's going to happen?
POMPEO: We have certainly had problems in parts of Kansas before. Some of them have been small, some of them have presented greater risk, but no risk is tolerable when you go into an election. Every individual vote counts. We had an election a week ago Tuesday where we had races decided by 10 or 12 or 50 votes. It is important that the votes get counted properly and accurately and hopefully timely as well. So that we get outcomes that people can trust and validate, or consistent with what voters intended.
KEILAR: All right. Congressman Mike Pompeo from Kansas, we certainly appreciate you taking the time today with us.
POMPEO: Brianna, thank you very much for the time, Brianna.
KEILAR: And coming up, a closer look at the politics of Donald Trump's anti-ISIS plan. Will it help him get past the stumbles of the past few weeks and raise new doubts about Hillary Clinton?
[17:31:16] KEILAR: You're following breaking news. Donald Trump revealed new specifics about his plans to fight ISIS and terrorism, and this includes new ideology tests for immigrants. What he calls extreme vetting. Just before that speech, you had Vice President Joe Biden campaigning for Hillary Clinton accusing Donald Trump of putting the lives of U.S. troops in danger by claiming President Obama founded ISIS.
Here to discuss the political fallout we have CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger, and CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod. He is a former senior adviser to President Obama.
So, David, I want to get your reaction to this speech. Today Donald Trump calling for extreme vetting. That is the quote that he used. A lot of emphasis that he put on that. Extreme vetting of foreigners who want to come into the U.S. He said would he only allow entry to, quote, "those who support our values."
What do you make of all this?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it is extremely hard to say what extreme vetting is because there were extremely few details about it in the speech. And I think that was true about the entire speech. It was a speech that was heavy on attacks on President Obama and Hillary Clinton and had some very tough language but not many details about what he would actually do.
And you get the sense that the real purpose of this speech was not to keep terrorists from harming Americans but to keep Donald Trump from harming himself politically as he has been doing for the last two weeks. I think most Republicans are probably relieved that he got through it, stuck to the script however thin the script was.
KEILAR: We also heard Donald Trump, Nia, go after Hillary Clinton. This was something that stuck out to a lot of people when he said that she lacks the, quote, "mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS." What's he getting at there?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think it's pretty clear what he's getting in. It's something he said before. He said for instance that she's not all there. And if you look in the conservative blogosphere there are these conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health. And they are trickling down to his supporters. I was in a focus group last week where a woman there who was a Trump supporter talked about Hillary Clinton's health saying that she was unfit mentally --
KEILAR: And just -- just to sort of rewind 2012 it was, right?
KEILAR: She suffers a concussion, she suffers a blood clot in her skull.
HENDERSON: Yes. Right.
KEILAR: She has the glasses on adjusting for her eyesight problems with the concussion. So they are hearkening back to that?
HENDERSON: They are hearkening back to that. Her doctor of course released a statement in July 2015 giving her a clean bill of health but again this is part of Donald Trump. He seems to traffic in conspiracy theories. That's what he was getting at there, essentially saying that she is medically unfit to be a president. Again there's no proof of that. That's just him saying that.
KEILAR: Is that a winning argument? Do Republicans think that is a winning argument or the argument that Donald Trump should be making, Gloria?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No. No. I don't think they think that's the winning argument. I think they believe that the winning argument to make against an unpopular candidate, which Hillary Clinton is, is the argument on policy, is the argument Republicans believe that she would be a third term of President Obama. And to just tick off the issues upon which they disagree with her. I think attacking her on her stamina, attacking her on her health is -- as Nia points out the kind of, you know.
KEILAR: Like a tangent?
BORGER: Conspiracy theories.
KEILAR: Do they feel like it's kind of a tangent that he goes off? BORGER: And you know, the same tangent, Brianna, is this sort of
question about -- saying that Hillary Clinton could only win if she's cheating, for example.
BORGER: In the state of Pennsylvania.
BORGER: That's another kind of tangent. You know, Republicans like the "Wall Street Journal" editorial page want to go after her on policy.
[17:35:04] They don't want to go after her on all this -- on all this other stuff. They want Trump to do more of what he did today, which is to stick on -- even if they disagree with him on certain policy areas, a lot of Republicans find stuff to agree with in the speech and want to continue to go after her on that.
KEILAR: I want to ask you, David, about the "Wall Street Journal." Obviously a conservative editorial board. And they called yesterday on the Republican Party, telling them look, give up on Donald Trump if he doesn't, quote, "change his act by Labor Day." And the "Journal" said that Trump needs to, quote, "stop blaming everyone else," and decide if he wants to behave like someone who wants to be president or turn the nomination over to Mike Pence.
I mean, you have Donald Trump. He likes to go after the media. It's not like the "Wall Street Journal" hasn't taken a few shots at him for sure. But this is a conservative board.
AXELROD: No. There's no doubt about it. And look, I think there is a lot of concern among Republicans I know and Republicans who you guys all speak to about what's happened to Donald Trump. He has not been able to make the transition from the primary campaign to general election campaign. He thinks that he is still talking to that same cohort of voters who nominated him. And that cohort is just not large enough to make him president of the United States. He keeps getting in his own way. Creating stories that are not helpful. Keeping him and others from getting on to stories that they think might be helpful in the race against Hillary Clinton.
And right now they see this as downward spiral. If he doesn't show some really marked improvement, they know that they are headed for a potential calamity in the fall.
BORGER: You know, and the Republicans I talk to are already finding lots of different ways to distance themselves from Donald Trump without distancing themselves from the Republican Party. I mean, they are -- they are parsing how they can run as Republicans without running as Donald Trump Republicans.
BORGER: And this is already going on. The "Wall Street Journal" editorial page is saying, well, let's give him until Labor Day. I think a lot of candidates are saying, you know what, we're not.
KEILAR: Yes. They're really -- they're sort of getting to that point.
BORGER: We're not.
HENDERSON: And in the meantime he's not been able to consolidate Republican Party support in the way that Hillary Clinton has consolidated on Democratic support. And that's one of the reasons why he is trailing in these polls because voters, not only people like Susan Collins and those 50 national law security folks who wrote that letter saying they wouldn't support Donald Trump, actual voters, too, are having real second thoughts. Republican voters about the top ticket.
AXELROD: And, Brianna, some of those -- some of those voters, a lot of those voters are suburban Republicans, college-educated Republicans, women.
AXELROD: And you look at these suburban districts where Republicans have congressional candidates running, DCCC just released a bunch of polls there that had Trump with huge deficits that are going to be hard for their candidates to make up. So this is the reason that Republicans are so anxious about Donald Trump right now.
KEILAR: All right. David Axelrod, thank you so much. Nia, Gloria, thank you so much to both of you.
And in just a minute, our military national security and counterterrorism experts will weigh in on Trump's anti-ISIS proposals. Could they work?
[17:42:54] KEILAR: We are following breaking news now. Donald Trump getting more specific about how he would fight ISIS. He called for an international conference on combating terrorism. He said the U.S. would not support regime change or nation building. And he called for, in his words, extreme vetting of immigrants.
With us now are CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen. Former CIA official and CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd, and CNN military analyst, retired general Mark Hertling.
OK. I want to ask you first about this, Phil. And you know, so often we talk about the politics of this.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Yes. Yes.
KEILAR: We're going to talk about the policy, which is a very welcomed discussion I think. When Donald Trump is talking about his plan and you listen to it today, how is his plan different than what the Obama administration is already doing? MUDD: I think there is one substantial difference. Whether you like
Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump, one of the things we should say is he put out some things that are very clear today. One on Syria. That is, talking about working with Russia. What are the Russians going to say? They have a client in the middle. That client is Bashar al- Assad. If we work closely with Russia, I think the Russian position will be let's let our client stay in power so that we can have the advantage of concentrating power and firepower on ISIS.
The alternative would be, let's try to oust Bashar al-Assad, support the opposition and allow instability continue which ISIS benefits from. Neither of those are a great solution but I think Trump said clearly I'm with the Russians on this and that's Assad.
KEILAR: And there have been some question, Peter, recently the Obama administration had somehow made an overture somewhat privately to Russia about dealing with Syria. Does that give -- I guess does that sort of hue with perhaps what Donald Trump is suggesting? And how would this work? What would this look like?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I mean, I think -- I mean, I agree with Phil. But I mean, the point -- Russia's interest in Syria is the maintenance of their longtime ally Assad. They haven't actually shown much interest in going after ISIS. So I think it was a policy proposal that doesn't have a lot of meat to it. We also had this immigration test.
[17:45:01] I was waiting to hear, are we talking about Syrians, Libyans? Are we talking about French citizens? After all France has a big terrorism problem. And there was no meat to that either. And finally he proposed sending foreign terrorists to military tribunals in the future, which I think has sort of unworkable. It's proven not to be very successful. U.S. civilian courts have a hundred percent conviction rate for foreign terrorists. And these guys go away for life in prison. So, you know, I think when it came to the substance, there wasn't much there-there.
KEILAR: So you wanted to hear if he's talking about a vetting process, who was he identifying?
KEILAR: What countries is he saying, OK, look, this is where we are concerned about your country?
KEILAR: We're concerned about influence of Islam radicalism there.
BERGEN: Right. Belgium has a substantial terrorist problem. Are we talking about doing this to Belgium? I mean, he didn't say. So I was waiting to hear something more specific about what is after all one of his signature policy ideals.
KEILAR: General, this idea of an ideological screening. He talked about this being something that happened during the Cold War. Have you heard a suggestion like this before?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Never. And I didn't understand it when he said it in his speech either, Brianna. It's interesting, I don't know what an ideological screening is. Does that mean everyone agrees with his thoughts? And I think the diversity of our country is what is so critical to making us great. I mean, there are different ideas that combine to form the best ideas.
So when you talk about an ideological screening it seems to me what he's talking about is everyone must believe exactly the way I believe, and that's counter to who we are as a nation. The Old Union, out of many comes one. And it just didn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
KEILAR: All right, General, thank you so much. We really appreciate you being with us to talk about this. Peter, Phil, thank you guys so much.
And coming up, thousands of homes are under water as Louisiana copes with historic deadly flooding.
[17:51:27] KEILAR: We're following breaking news. We have some new video of the flooding in parts of Louisiana that are just drenched by almost two feet of rain. These floods are being blamed for at least five deaths so far, but over the weekend, the Coast Guard and other first responders rescued at least 20,000 people. This included a woman and her dog from a car that had just sunk into the flood waters.
CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is in Baton Rouge covering this story.
Do you think, Jennifer, that the flood waters could go down tonight?
JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the flood waters are slowly starting to recede, but I'm talking slowly. You can look behind me and you can see some water marks on places, on people's houses, on the fences. It's only gone down about three to six inches during the afternoon. And if you can imagine, some of these areas behind these homes, the water is 10 to 12 feet deep. And so it's going to take quite a while. A lot of the rivers have crested in this area, but the bad news is it could stay at that level for several days. And so it could be the end of the week before people are able to get back in their homes, and so folks are going to be forced to stay in shelters longer than they actually would like to, Brianna, unfortunately.
We do have a drone that is flying high above this area and it will give you a better idea of just how inundated it is with water. The water started to recede incredibly quickly by yesterday afternoon. And residents here say it rose about two feet in less than 24 hours, and so residents were just taking what they could carry to get out and save their lives, and they have no idea what they'll be returning to.
It's incredibly sad. This is an area that was completely inundated with a historic flood, about six months ago, if you remember back in March, we had record flooding. And now just barely six months later, we have another record flood and some historic rescues took place over the weekend. Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have something?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out. Give me a knife, give me a knife. Watch out. Oh, my god.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out. We're breaking the window.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my god, I'm drowning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're coming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're coming. I'm going to break this window.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need help.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're breaking the window.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have a knife?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do that. Tell me if you have a knife.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need help. Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Get my dog. Get my dog. Get my dog. I'll go down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here. Here. I can't get --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. She better not be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got your dog.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:55:02] GRAY: Images like that will just make your heart stop. And we saw images like that all over the city. More than 20,000 rescues. And it doesn't even count just the residents and good Samaritans that were helping out their neighbors. And you can see from the drone water is everywhere, Brianna. And so it is going to take quite a while for this to recede and a lot of cleanup ahead for folks in south Louisiana.
KEILAR: And big kudos to those rescuers. Just there -- how calm they were in such a scary situation. Very commendable.
Thank you, Jennifer. Really appreciate it.
We do have some more breaking news that we'll be following next. Donald Trump warns of a grave terror threat facing the U.S. He lays out his controversial plan to fight it.
KEILAR: Happening now, breaking news. Getting extreme. Donald Trump promises tougher tests for immigrants to enter the country. The outline --