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Brazilian Police: U.S. Swimmers Were Not Robbed; Donald Trump to Hold First Rally Since Campaign Shake-Up; New Questions About $400 Million U.S. Payment to Iran; Trump to Hold First Rally Since Campaign Shake-Up; Clinton Meets with Top Law Enforcement Officials; Brazilian Police Claim U.S. Swimmers Were Not Robbed. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired August 18, 2016 - 17:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. Hot water. Brazilian police now say Olympic gold-medal swimmer Ryan Lochte and three teammates were not held up at gunpoint as they initially claimed. Tonight new surveillance video shows what really happened at a Rio gas station. Lochte already back in the U.S., but the other three are still in Brazil. Will they be charged?

[17:00:30] Being Trump. We're standing by for Donald Trump's first rally since his latest campaign shake-up. His new campaign manager says Trump is comfortable in his own skin. The new plan is to let the candidate be himself. Will a more authentic Trump help boost his campaign?

Says who? Donald Trump is still behind in the polls, even though some of his closest advisors will not admit it. And now a new national survey affirms Hillary Clinton's lead. Will Donald Trump ignore traditional polling in the final days of the race?

And policing politics. Hillary Clinton fires back at Donald Trump after he accuses her of being, quote, "against the police" and responsible for violence against officers. Clinton and Trump both meeting today with law-enforcement officials, who is the real law and order candidate?

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: We are following breaking news, an Olympic scandal involving gold medal winner Ryan Lochte and his three teammates. Brazilian police say they could be facing charges for lying about being robbed. New surveillance video shows the athletes, allegedly drunk, vandalizing a Rio gas station, then in a confrontation with security guards.

We're also following the race for the White House, with questions about policing and race relations front and center today. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is in North Carolina, where he is expected to again portray himself as the law and order candidate at a rally getting underway soon. This is his first appearance since a major campaign staff shake-up. Earlier, Trump met with police and picked up an endorsement from the state law enforcement organization.

And Hillary Clinton is also focusing on policing. She met in New York with top law enforcement officials from across the U.S. Her campaign says the meeting was planned weeks ago. But it comes just days after Donald Trump accused Clinton of being against police.

We are covering all of that and more this hour with our correspondents and our expert analysts standing by. Let's begin with the breaking news.

Brazilian police this afternoon saying the claim by four U.S. Olympic swimmers that they were robbed at gunpoint is not true. CNN senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is at the Rio gas station where Sunday morning's incident took place. What else are police saying, Nick?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is extraordinary, isn't it, Brianna. We're spending so much time discussing what is alleged to have happened just down that alleyway behind me here in the early hours of Sunday morning.

You might not recognize it so much in the dark here from CCTV, but let me walk you through where the scene of the alleged non-crime, according to Brazilian testimony, because they say there wasn't a robbery here, did actually occur.

Now, this is the alleyway and the CCTV in which you see the American athletes going in and out. And then down here -- forgive the darkness -- this is where it's alleged there was a poster on the wall which was torn down, according to one police source we've spoken to and then here, according to the owner, according to Brazilian media, may be where some of the vandalization and particularly urinating did occur, all because the toilet is just a few meters down that way. You can see other media is here, as well. Give you an idea of the sort of circus that this has become, trying to work out exactly what happened during that period of time.

Now I should point out to you, do you remember during this, Brianna, that we haven't heard an updated version from Mr. Lochte or the other three swimmers, responding to these Brazilian allegations, but Brazil has put forward CCTV which then shows the men, after talking to an increasing number of attendants and staff here, then coming out.

They seem to get the wrong taxi. Remember, this is early Sunday morning, celebratory time they certainly had, and they decide, "Well, actually, maybe this is our taxi over here." They're right. They get in, and then their driver is spoken to by a man who leans down. He's dressed in black. He could well be a security guard working here at this gas station.

This may be possibly where, according to Rio police chief, a firearm was drawn. The police chief saying, well, they felt threatened. They had four angry and intoxicated Americans here, and perhaps that was where the confusion over whether armed robbery may have taken place or not. But certainly, we do know things calmed down very fast, because money

exchanged hands, we understand from the Rio police chief, and the police arrived they didn't see much of a situation to respond to.

But still, it is staggering, isn't it, that we've had these days of debate about the armed robbery. And Mr. Lochte and there other swimmers, a high-profile crime against high-profile victims here in a city struggling to get itself crime free enough to host the Olympics.

[17:05:12] But now, we seem to be talking, after this international incident, people dragged off planes and search-and-seizure warrants for very high-profile Americans who can't really leave the medals table here towards the end of the games, we're now talking about what may or may not have happened in ten or 15 minutes at this gas station just ten minutes' drive away from the Olympic venues behind me, Brianna.

KEILAR: It is staggering, and I wonder if you know, Nick, what was the reason that they were at that gas station in the first place?

WALSH: Well, if you look at the beginning of the video, you might think it's because they needed a toilet. I mean, if you can imagine, they were in a taxi coming from somewhere else and stopped here, then that may explain why they were here in the first place.

It's 6 a.m. If you listen to the account of the police chief, they said they left the club at about 5:45. The judge who issued the warrant says it may have been slightly earlier, but it could well fit a pattern here. They leave the club, come past here, need to go to the toilet, and then move on after that altercation appears to have been resolved relatively peacefully.

But still, I should point out, we haven't heard again from Mr. Lochte. We do know Mr. Feigen is still in Brazil. He spoke to the police as well as Mr. Lochte a couple days ago now. It was a discrepancy between their accounts, which have made the courts suspicious enough to issue these warrants. And now today, Mr. Gunnar Bentz and also Mr. Jack Conger have been talking to police, we understand at a police station in the higher part of town -- we don't know what came of that discussion here.

But we do know that the Rio police chief is saying that these men, as high-profile as they are, should apologize to Rio for what has happened.

At the same time, though, a Brazilian Olympic official, slightly more lighthearted in how they're handling this, but bear in mind, this is not really an enormous crime. It did at the start, but if what the Brazilian authorities are saying is what really happened, it's a slightly vulgar misdemeanor at the end of a night of celebrating. The Rio official saying these are men out having a good time, celebrating. They're great athletes. They did well. Maybe we should just move on.

KEILAR: Yes, but so many people have been focused on this now and for days. So we know how this is playing out domestically in the U.S. I wonder there in Rio, Nick, how is this being received? Are people talking a lot about this?

WALSH: Well, yes, I mean, the first story of this armed robbery did leave a lot of Brazilians confused. Because Mr. Lochte's own account suggested he was still in possession of a cell phone after an armed robbery. Anybody who's been robbed here or had a friend who's been robbed knows that cell phones are often the main target in the, omnipresent at times, petty crime. They work so hard to keep it away from Olympic venues.

And, of course, it was the judges themselves who saw the CCTV of the men returning to the village, about 50 minutes or so after the CCTV was filmed here, and she thought they looked unshaken. That also aroused her suspicions for the warrant.

But I think Brazil is slightly stirred, because the original story Mr. Lochte came up with, or the original version of events, I should say, Mr. Lochte came up with, which he still stands by, was, in fact, that was he was held at gunpoint by men disguised as police. That's troubling for anyone, seeing security here, because it means you can't trust someone in uniform necessarily. Brazilian officials will want to tackle that very quickly indeed, and there of course, is that issue, as well, of how did they manage to get out of an armed robbery with still so many high-value items on them, Brianna?

KEILAR: Yes, so many questions. All right. Nick Paton Walsh for us there at the gas station where this incident involving American swimmers took place. Thank you, Nick. We're going to have much more on this story as it unfolds. We will bring that to you as we get it.

Let's turn now to Charlotte, North Carolina. This where Donald Trump will soon be holding his first campaign rally since that major staff shake-up yesterday. CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll is there for us.

And you had, Jason, Donald Trump meeting today with police, and he's expected to talk about this law and order again tonight.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, and not just that he's the law and order candidate, but also to drive home the point, Brianna, that the law enforcement community is steadfastly behind him. And when he takes the stage here just a few hours from now, expect him to repeat what we've heard him say so many times in the past, that he is the pro-cop candidate, and Hillary Clinton is the anti-cop candidate.


CARROLL (voice-over): Donald Trump trying to get back on target after a campaign shake-up, visiting a shooting range and getting an endorsement from a North Carolina police union in this critical state.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: So it looks like it's going very well. I guess they just got some very good numbers announced in North Carolina. North Carolina is going to be very important.

CARROLL: Trump hasn't had much good news in the polls lately, but in a new national poll out today, showing the post-convention glow may be dimming a bit for Hillary Clinton. A Pew Research Center poll has Clinton down to just a four-point lead, though Trump's numbers did not rise.

Newly-promoted campaign manager Kellyanne Conway says trailing is not necessarily a bad thing.

[17:10:06] KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think it helps us to be a little bit behind, and we are. It lights a fire under us, and it reminds us what we need to do to get this done.

CARROLL: A course correction from yesterday when Trump's special counsel tried to deny his candidate was trailing at all.

KEILAR: You say it's not a shake-up, but you guys are down, and it makes sense that...


KEILAR: Polls.

COHEN: Says who?

KEILAR: Most of them. All of them?

COHEN: Which polls?

KEILAR: All of them.

CARROLL: The campaign's new leadership seeking to project confidence, that the Republican candidate will sharpen his message but still let Trump be himself.

CONWAY: Voters know if you're comfortable in your own skin. And let him be him in this sense. He wants to deliver a speech, if he wants to go to a rally, if he wants to connect with the crowd in a way that's very spontaneous, that's wonderful. And that's how he got here.

CARROLL: Tonight, the first big rally since the major staff changes, Trump will again focus on their campaign themes, terrorism and law and order. Tomorrow the first Trump TV ad set to air in five battleground states.


CARROLL: And as for those TV spots, one of the places where they'll be airing, Brianna, is right here in the state of North Carolina. Some of those other states include Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

One recent poll shows that Clinton is leading Trump here by as many as nine points, but the Trump camp point -- Trump camp points out that it's still early and once again, those attack ads have not started airing, not yet here in the state of North Carolina -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Jason Carroll in Charlotte, thank you.

Let's bring in our guest, Republican Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida. He is supporting Donald Trump.

And I have questions about Donald Trump, Congressman, but first I want to ask you about Ryan Lochte. There's actually a connection to your district, because he's a graduate of the University of Florida there in your district. And he was actually arrested once, as it turns out, and issued three different citations during his time in college. One of the citations was actually for public urination in 2005.

I guess, as someone who has a local connection there to where you're from, do you think that this latest behavior is something that you want to see from someone who's representing the United States on an international stage like this?

REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: Well, when you say is it something I want to see? No, nobody wants to see that, but it is what it is. And it goes back to -- what did you say, 2001?

You know, things happen. People do crazy things, and they move on. That's what they're doing today that I think really is what matters and what counts. And so that's what we should focus on.

KEILAR: But what about all of the other athletes who are having their efforts, you know, really their life's work, being overshadowed by the kind of ridiculousness?

YOHO: Well, I agree. You'll see a lot of that, and I think you should focus on what they have accomplished. You know, the University of Florida is in the top ten universities in the nation. And these young athletes give everything they have to competing. And I think that's what we should look at, you know, the thrill of victory. And let's focus on those things. And, you know, let's forgive for people's bad decisions that they made at an early age.

KEILAR: And we have you here to talk about Donald Trump, so that is what I want to talk about. I did want to get that in there because of that local connection.

So -- OK, so as a -- I guess, here's my question. It's about Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's new campaign CEO. And what we're hearing about his strategy is that he wants Trump to unleash on the Clintons. But when Trump really had an opportunity to do that in a FOX News town hall, he kind of punted. He said that the Clintons should be given, quote, "the benefit of the doubt" on receiving donations to the Clinton Foundation from Saudi Arabia.

Do you want to see him be more aggressive in the vein of what maybe Steve Bannon wants him to be?

YOHO: I think you'll see that. I think -- you know, do I want to see him more aggressive? As long as it's factual and not negative and focusing on a negative. If you bring out the facts, the American people are smart enough to where they'll figure out these things on their own. And I think if Mr. Trump does that, that's how we ran our campaign. We never went negative; we always went factual. And it's hard to dispute the facts.

And I think that Mr. Trump, along with Steve Bannon, if they go out and give out the facts and let the people out there in the news media, you in the news media, do your research, and report, you know, just on the facts, the American people will make that decision who's best qualified. And I think at the end they'll see Donald Trump as best qualified for this.

KEILAR: An important development in the Trump campaign, because they're actually putting out ads. We're going to see two new campaign ads come out tomorrow. The first general election ads that we will have seen from Donald Trump.

What do you want to hear from these ads?

YOHO: I think, No. 1, I'm glad he's coming out with these. And I think it speaks highly of Donald Trump himself and his vision that it's an atypical campaign. And he's done it through the whole process, the primary process.

And I think what I would like to see on these ads, and I think what you'll see, are clear, concise goals and visions for our country, whether it's national security, or tax reform, welfare reform, helping people out of poverty, education, national security, and the list goes on. But I think you'll see very concise, and I think we saw a pretty good indication of that today, when he was talking about defeating ISIS and identifying who ISIS is, the genesis of how they got such a foothold to become the largest, best-funded and well-equipped terrorist organization in the world. And I think he did a good job of illustrating that.

And now the second part of that is how are we going to get that under control? And then he pointed out that he will partner up with anybody that will fight radical jihadists, Islamic jihadists.

KEILAR: I want to talk to you about the changes in the Trump campaign that we have seen, also the fact that he is prepping for debates and what could be, really, a big moment for him in this general election. But if you could, Congressman Yoho, stick around. We're going to get into break, and we'll be right back.

YOHO: Be glad to. Thank you.


[17:20:42] KEILAR: Back now with Donald Trump supporter and Florida Congressman Ted Yoho. But first, we have breaking news, new details about the $400 million cash payment that the U.S. sent to Iran about the same time that the Iranians reprieved several U.S. prisoners. Before he left on vacation, President Obama insisted the payment was not ransom.

CNN White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski is traveling with the president. She is on Martha's Vineyard for us. What have you learned about the timing here, Michelle? MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, basically more

and more details have come out. And now we know that that money was paid just before the American prisoners were released. So the question that remains here is was this a ransom payment?

The White House, though, continues to insist it was not ransom, that they were working on several lines of diplomacy at once. This was money that would have gone back to Iran anyway. It was from decades ago from the arms deal with Iran in which the arms were never provided to Iran just before the revolution.

But you know, our question is but did it essentially function as a ransom payment? Why did the timing have to be that very day? Now we know that the money was, indeed, paid just before the prisoners were released.

So now we're hearing from the State Department. They're calling this leverage. Listen to this spokesperson today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, what you're saying, that you wouldn't give them the $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?

JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: That's correct. First of all, remember, it's their $400 million, and that had been awarded to them. So let's make that clear.

And because we already had concerns about the end game, in terms of getting our people out, we didn't want to take any chances. And so we believed that as much leverage as could be had, we wanted to have. We wanted to keep as much leverage as possible. We believed that holding up that delivery was -- was prudent.


KOSINSKI: The White House is saying basically the same thing tonight. They were concerned that Iran would renege on the deal. If they didn't get the money that was coming to them at the time, they might not release the prisoners.

So we're back to that question: Was this, then, essentially a ransom payment, as many are calling it? Republicans have been calling it this. They've been really hammering the White House on the language here. The timing, first of all, but also the language and how this was described.

And what the White House goes back to is, "Look, this money was going to be coming to Iran." They wanted all of these things that they were working on at the same time as the Iran nuclear deal to work out, and that's why they paid to money to make sure that Iran was going to release those prisoners, Brianna.

KEILAR: All right, Michelle Kosinski for us. Thank you so much for that report. I'm going to bring back now Congressman Yoho of Florida. And you're

also a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. So I know you've been following a lot of this stuff, Congressman.

You heard that report there. The White House is insisting it's not a ransom, but there are still a lot of outstanding questions here just about the timing. What is your reaction to this?

YOHO: The timing is terrible. And I had a professor in vet school that said if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck, it is probably a duck.

But the administration gave this money out at the same time that Iran was demanding the payment. And they would not release the hostages until they got the money. The administration can say that they weren't going to give the money until the hostages got released, but then the Iranian ayatollahs and their president went around and said it was a ransom payment.

So on face value, I think most of the world believes it is a ransom payment, and the Obama administration, they've lost credibility. You know, when they drew a red line and then said they didn't draw the red line. We know that, because it's recorded. CNN has tapes of it, as every other major network does.

Or a regime change, the Assad presidency had to go. President Obama said that himself, along with John Kerry. And then they retracted that and said, "We never said that." So the credibility has been lost. That is important when you get to a situation like this where you need your credibility.

[17:25:09] And if they had the credibility, the American people, I think, would stand on the president's side. But it sure looks mighty fishy. It sure looks like a duck to me.

KEILAR: I do want to turn back now to the Trump campaign, because you are a Donald Trump supporter. Obviously, we're covering a lot of news today. But part of this shake-up in the campaign is Kellyanne Conway being promoted, does this mean the Trump campaign will be not just taking polls seriously to campaign manager. She is a pollster, a very well-known pollster.

I wonder, does this mean, you think, that the Trump campaign is going to be not just taking polls seriously but really delving into the details about different demographic groups and specifically, you know, where Donald Trump and with whom Donald Trump needs to improve his standing?

[17:25:52] YOHO: Absolutely. I think with any campaign as they mature, you're going to see the fine intricacies like you see now. Sometimes they change daily. And I think, I'm very pleased that Mr. Trump is getting his campaign more organized and doing some of the more traditional things.

And I also agree that he also should stay who Mr. Trump is. And I don't think we'll ever see him change from that. The American people have put him in this position because of his willingness to do things outside of the establishment. And we, as a country, are not used to seeing this. And I think that's lead to a lot of the success you see. And I think when it comes down to it, when you have a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who is best fitted to serve this nation.

If you look at the 7 1/2 years previously under the Obama administration with Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, you're going to get an extension of where we are.

When you have 74 percent of the American people saying our country is heading in the wrong direction, our national security is like -- our policies are like a broken compass. When I have foreign dignitaries come into our office and tell us that they don't know if they can depend or count on Americans anymore, it's a scary point in time in our history.

And with Hillary Clinton, you'll have an extension of that, and there will be more uncertainty in the world and more confusion. And I think the world and certainly the American people are ready for somebody that is very decisive and clear in their actions. And I think you're going to see that in this campaign.

KEILAR: All right. Congressman Ted Yoho, thank you so much for joining us in THE SITUATION ROOM. We do appreciate it.

YOHO: Brianna, appreciate it.

KEILAR: Thank you.

And coming up more on Donald Trump's first general election ads. How is he going to attack Hillary Clinton?


[17:32:15] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: We are awaiting for Donald Trump's first campaign rally since shaking up his campaign staff yesterday. Donald Trump is in North Carolina where he met with law enforcement officers and he visited a shooting range.

Here with me now is in THE SITUATION ROOM, we have our CNN senior political reporters Nia-Malika Henderson, as well as Manu Raju, and also with us CNN Politics executive editor Mark Preston.

OK, and Mark, how about you start with this? But I want you all to weigh in on this. This is a big day and it is surprising to so many people that Donald Trump is finally going to be coming out with ads, television ads. This is going to happen tomorrow. You'll have your first two ads, what are you expecting to see?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Well, a couple of things, it is significant because the fact of the matter is even though he is down in the polls in these battleground states, he still has done very well without running any paid advertising. So what we'll probably expect to see over the next couple of days, we'll see two ads that are running over the weekend. They haven't told us specifically but I would gather that they're going to be directed at Hillary Clinton. That's the indications we have gotten from Kellyanne Conway, the new campaign manager. Really somebody who is working on the messaging. So 30-second ads, in battleground states, really directed at Hillary Clinton.

KEILAR: And what do you -- I mean, obviously, Nia, he's going to try to tear her down. What is it going to be? Is it going to be the honest and trustworthy?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I bet it is honest and trustworthy. I bet it's building on the idea of corrupt Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation stuff that's been out there, the e-mails. He seems to like that. I mean, he talks in his speeches about the State Department, and Hillary Clinton running the State Department as her own personal slush fund and there's obviously been some stories about that recently. So you wonder if that's part of some of these ads.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And probably calling for change. That's been the one thing that Republicans have been clamoring for. Be the change agent. Hammer her as the Washington insider. That's a message that works.


RAJU: That's a message that he has strayed away from. I'm sure you'll probably see some of that in his ads.

KEILAR: And so a lot of Republicans feel like why is he not saying this, right? Why is he not ticking to that because the Hillary Clinton alternative is the thing, right, that will convince some people?

RAJU: And it's interesting also where he's advertising in states that presumably Republicans have done pretty well, including in North Carolina. That's one state where folks have been very, very nervous about. He's slipping there and it's hurting Richard Berg, the Senate Republican incumbent because of how bad Trump is doing, how effective he's not on the air right now.

KEILAR: Mark, did you see this Brexit tweet that Donald Trump did? He said -- yes, he put it out this morning and it says, "They will soon be calling me Mr. Brexit." To which I and I think everyone else is wondering what does he mean by that.

PRESTON: You know, it's interesting, Look, Donald Trump is really skillful at putting out a statement and then letting it lie, and letting people try to interpret what it is.

[17:35:02] Of course a lot of those things have been very controversial. Right? And then he says, if the interpretation is not the way that he likes the way it's going, then he'll say I didn't mean to do that. What I think that means is, though, is that a lot of people didn't

think Brexit was going to happen, and it did. Donald Trump was one of the first people certainly here in the United States of prominence to come out and say that he hopes it happens and it is going to happen. What that means is I think he is saying, I am going to win in November. Brexit is the equivalence of what's going to happen here in the November elections.

KEILAR: And part of the Brexit thing was a bit of the isolationism in Britain.


KEILAR: But do you think it's that deep or is it just saying hey, I'm going to surprise you?

HENDERSON: Yes. I mean I think it's a little is both because he definitely wrapped himself in the Brexit decision even though leading up to it he wasn't quite sure, he didn't have all the details about it. But this idea of them breaking free from the EU and having Britons for Britain. So I think it's partly that as well.

RAJU: Yes. That's right. I mean, it also goes to the message that he has been pushing in a lot of these battleground, his rustbelt states, hitting on the issues of trade as what critics would say isolationism when he would say putting America first. It hits on his main campaign themes for sure.

KEILAR: Sort of the same -- that same feeling that maybe people in Britain had, right? Which is to what benefit for me? I'm helping other people and it is hurting me, right?

RAJU: Yes. That's exactly right. And --

HENDERSON: The sort of anti-immigration strain, too, that drove a lot of those voters to want to break away from the EU.

RAJU: And interesting, too, that he'll be giving more policy speeches presumably on immigration. That's one of the things that Kellyanne Conway has signaled as she's come on as his new campaign manager.

KEILAR: It's so -- it'll be so interesting to hear what he says.

Manu, thank you so much. Nia, Mark, thanks to all of you.

And coming up, Hillary Clinton also met with police chiefs and top law enforcement officials today, but her message is much different from the one that Donald Trump is sending.

Plus, more on today's breaking news in the investigation of four U.S. Olympic swimmers' claims that they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. Police now say the swimmers' story is not true.


[17:41:47] KEILAR: While Donald Trump was meeting with police officers and visiting a shooting range in North Carolina today, Hillary Clinton was sitting down with police chiefs and other top law enforcement officers from across the nation and sending a very different message.

Let's bring in CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. What is she saying?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Brianna. First of all she is giving legitimacy to the real concerns, the experiences, and the complaints that are coming from the African-American community about the abuse at the hands of police officers. She acknowledges that that exists. At the same time she is recognizing that police officers desperately needs support to do a better jobs. So her mantra now is everyone is safer when there is respect for the law and everyone is respected by the law.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a lot of work to do together and we don't have a minute to lose.

MALVEAUX (voice-over): Hillary Clinton in New York City today. Huddling with the top brass from law enforcement from around the country.

CLINTON: Recent events from Dallas and Baton Rouge, Milwaukee, and across the country underscore how difficult and important the work is ahead of us to repair the bonds of trust and respect between our police officers and our communities.

MALVEAUX: The meeting aimed at striking a careful balance between supporting the police while still addressing the concerns from communities of color who experienced abuse.

CLINTON: We have to be clear eyed about the challenges we face. We can't ignore them and certainly we must not inflame them.

MALVEAUX: A photo op, a who is who of those in blue including police chiefs from New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Dallas. And the outgoing New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton. No fan of Donald Trump.

WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Mr. Trump scares me. Scares the hell out of me.

MALVEAUX: Campaign aides say the meeting was scheduled weeks ago, but it comes just two days after Donald Trump made this claim.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is against the police, believe me.

MALVEAUX: Clinton is trying to counter that narrative from the very beginning, giving her first campaign policy speech on racial profiling and policing last April.

CLINTON: We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America.

MALVEAUX: Recent polls show Clinton benefiting from over 90 percent voter support from African-Americans, but turnout remains the key.

CLINTON: Yes, they do, and I'm going to talk a lot about that.

MALVEAUX: But both she and her husband Bill Clinton have faced criticism for his 1994 crime bill as president that disproportionately put blacks and Latinos behind bars.

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now look at this other one. Look at this. That's not true.

MALVEAUX: Trump, desperate for support from minorities, is trying to capitalize off the controversy.

TRUMP: Clinton-backed policies are responsible for the problems in the inner cities today, and a vote for her is a vote for another generation of poverty, high crime, and lost opportunities.

MALVEAUX: Today the Clinton campaign launched a new TV ad hitting Trump on his lack of transparency for not releasing his tax returns.

TRUMP: If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns. Absolutely.

MALVEAUX: And an activist called Donald Ducks showed up at Trump Tower to emphasize the point.

[17:45:06] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop ducking, Donald.


MALVEAUX: OK. So the duck figure and his handler, they promised, Brianna, that they're going to be out there following, shadowing Donald Trump everywhere he goes. So we'll see how that works out. It's been a bizarre campaign so that can happen. But Clinton aides are also telling me, too, on a serious note that she is going to continue to prove that she, too, is a law and order candidate, but at the same time recognizing the pain of police misconduct and abuse.

KEILAR: And that's the Democratic National Committee that is behind that duck, which is interesting because I remember when Hillary Clinton was on her book tour, a Republican PAC sent a squirrel talking about how it was nuts or something to all of her book events.

MALVEAUX: This can go to a whole new level, Brianna. I'm telling you.

KEILAR: It could. We'll have to see.

MALVEAUX: It's bizarre.

KEILAR: I mean, how many mascots will we have?

Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much for that. Coming up, we will have more on this afternoon breaking news. The

startling announcement by Brazilian police denying the claim by four U.S. Olympic swimmers that they were robbed at gunpoint. Instead police say the U.S. swimmers were acting like vandals.


[17:50:35] KEILAR: We get more now on this afternoon's startling announcement by Brazilian police. Not only are the police saying that four U.S. Olympic swimmers were not robbed at gunpoint Sunday morning in Rio de Janeiro, police say the swimmers vandalized a gas station.

One of those swimmers, six-time gold medalist, Ryan Lochte, already facing backlash in Brazil and back at home as well. A short time ago this went up. The "New York Post" releasing its picture of tomorrow's front page. It says "The Ugly American," and "Liar, Liar, Speedo on Fire."

With me here in THE SITUATION ROOM is CNN legal analyst, Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor. And I want to bring back our senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh. He is in Rio de Janeiro. He's at the gas station where this incident with the American swimmers happened.

Laura, I want to start with you. What -- the issue here isn't so much the ripping a poster off, it's the fact that these swimmers appeared to have been dishonest with authorities. What repercussions could they face?

LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: If it had only been this vandalism, they probably wouldn't have that big of a problem on their hands. But you have the issue of lying to police officers. It's kind of like perjury that we do here in the United States. And so you've got this backlash that's coming about how Rio is already upset about their reputation as being maybe unsafe.

Now you have this very visible person saying that that actually is a true scenario when in fact it's not perhaps. And so they're going to face the issue -- it's not really a big serious crime in Brazil but it's a very big diplomacy nightmare.

KEILAR: Exactly. And the big concern was security. We heard that. There were the issues about the water.

COATES: Right.

KEILAR: There was the issue of the Zika. And then what we learned going with the games. But security was the big issue. And I think Rio was really trying to go out of their way and now they feel, you know, that they've been -- a disservice has been done to say the least, right?

COATES: Right. I mean, you've got the impersonation of an officer being that easy. They're going to have a badge. They have a fake badge. They have a gun pointed.

KEILAR: It's a scary idea. Yes.

COATES: That's scary indictment of Brazilian security measures. And so you've got a whole host of issues. I think they're getting a lot of push back is if it's not true, this is robbery, then they have just slander an entire nation and their attempt to be a visible and competent force to the Olympics.

KEILAR: It sure is. And Nick, you are there where this has been developing really. A lot of folks, I think a lot of media descending on this gas station that you are now at. What is the latest that you've been hearing?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have just spoken to sources close to both Ryan Lochte but also the three other swimmers who say they've actually spoken to all four men. And essentially their take on this is that the security camera video basically corroborates Mr. Lochte's initial story. That they were the victims of an armed robbery by people who they thought were police. Now they explained this and if you look at the time code at the top of that particular video to one corner, there is, it appears, a gap of about three minutes.

Now the sources say that during that period of time the man who you see leaning into the car, who these swimmers saw in what they called was police uniforms, who these sources say was carrying a badge, they say that they felt he was policeman. He used a weapon to get them to get out of the car and then said by doing this symbol, that they should hand over all their money, which Mr. Lochte, these sources say, in his first report offered was $400.

Essentially, they're saying the police story has many holes in it. Particularly the hole in the CCTV footage which they say is moment when the robbery actually occurred. They're not clear if it was just the security guard who was behind the armed robbery or another man or even if the military police when they arrived, armed, were somehow involved in that, too. That's all unclear.

Essentially they are saying these four men who they admit had been drinking felt they were being robbed by people who were armed police officers. That's their story. The alleyway behind me, which the media is crawling all over right now where they do accept that the four men came here go to the toilet and they did pee behind that building. But that's not in dispute. They may also have damaged that poster. That's unclear. But at the end of the day these sources are saying quite clearly put aside the fact that maybe people weren't behaving perfectly about time of night, on a Sunday morning, essentially they are still talking about armed robbery and saying that the Brazilian police have not been honest and have left things out of their account.

KEILAR: Laura, that's a problem if there's a missing section of this closed circuit television.

COATES: I mean, apparently it's not just the U.S. that has a problem with cameras failing when it comes to police activity.


COATES: But you know, this wouldn't be such a hard issue for people to accept or believe, this Ryan Lochte story, but the fact there are some holes in the police story but there's inconsistencies between the swimmers themselves.

[17:55:008] KEILAR: At first he says the gun was cocked and pointed at his head.

COATES: Pointed at his forehead.

KEILAR: And that which -- I mean, that is a dramatic, scary thing.

COATES: It is. It's a big thing.

KEILAR: He basically said later.

COATES: It's a big fish. Right? And in saying to everyone that I had this dramatic armed robbery that was attempted on me, I was pulled first he said by a cop in my taxi cab.


COATES: That didn't happen either. Then it was we were at a gas station. They rushed us there. That didn't happen either. It is the series of inconsistencies that hurt them.


COATES: That hurts Ryan Lochte and the other swimmers.

KEILAR: Laura Coates, Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much.

And this breaking news continues next as new details emerge from Rio about this Olympic scandal.