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THE SITUATION ROOM

Terror Suspect's Wife Returns to U.S.; Protests in Charlotte; Poll: Clinton, Trump Neck-and-Neck in Colorado; National Guard Troops Deployed as Violence Rocks Charlotte; Pence: 'Too Much Talk of Racism in Law Enforcement'; New Timeline in NY, NJ Bombings; Feds Announce Unprecedented Crackdown on Mail Fraud. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired September 22, 2016 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:00]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news: anger and unrest. The National Guard and state troopers, they are called into Charlotte after a second night of racially charged violence. The city is on edge right now, as outrage builds over the police shooting death of an African-American man. What will happen in Charlotte tonight?

Conflicting accounts. Police and the family of the victim are putting forward very different versions of the deadly encounter. Officials say Keith Lamont Scott he had a gun. His family says he was just reading a book. The police chief just revealed to me the existence of body camera video of the shooting. Why is he refusing to release it?

The white and the black. Donald Trump laments the state of race relations in the United States, saying the problem is a lack of spirit between communities. Hillary Clinton is also speaking out on race, calling police shootings of black men unbearable. How will the candidates address race relations in their first debate just four days from now?

And the suspect's wife. New York and New Jersey bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami's wife returns to the United States, as the FBI seeks more information from her and her husband's family. Investigators have now pieced together a detailed timeline of his movements of the day of the bombings. Why haven't the two witnesses sought by the FBI come forward?

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: The breaking news tonight, hundreds of National Guard troops and state police, they are on alert in Charlotte, North Carolina. A state of emergency is in effect, and officials are weighing whether to impose a curfew after two nights of violence.

It's been sparked by the police shooting death of Keith Scott, an African-American father of seven. Police say he threatened officers with a gun, but his family says Scott didn't own a gun and was simply holding a book. Police Chief Kerr Putney is refusing to make video of the shooting public.

Last hour, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM, he revealed that there is body camera footage of the shooting, as well as dash cam video. The Charlotte shooting followed a similar incident in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just days before. And just a little while ago, the district attorney announced that the police officer who fatally shot Terence Crutcher, who was unarmed, has now been charged with manslaughter.

We're covering all of that, much more, this hour with our guests, including president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial. And our correspondents and expert analysts, they are also standing by.

Let's get straight to Charlotte right now.

CNN's Brian Todd is on the scene for us.

Brian, there's a real fear of yet a third night of violence tonight. What's the latest?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a real fear of that, Wolf.

And right behind me is an example of just how jittery this city is. Take a look over here. These workers from a glass company are taking windows out of the Hyatt House Hotel here, windows that were not broken, and they are replacing them with plywood. We can kind of show you some of the areas over here where plywood has already been put in.

A lot of damage was sustained here last with broken windows, and two employees of this hotel were assaulted. Meanwhile, Wolf, tonight, as nightfall descends in less than two hours, reinforcements have arrived in this city.

Hundreds of law enforcement and military personnel arrived in the city getting ready to deploy on these streets, officials determined to try to avoid a repeat of what we saw last night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): A state of emergency in effect, after two nights of police struggling to keep order, but even with hundreds of reinforcements and a state of emergency in place, city officials unable to promise that they will be able to check the protests and looting in Charlotte, many workers told to stay home today, while store owners try to pick up the pieces.

But as evening approaches, the city is once again bracing for what may happen after dark.

KERR PUTNEY, CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG, NORTH CAROLINA, POLICE CHIEF: They will see us much more proactive to start locking criminal behavior up, so that we don't experience the damages that we had last night.

TODD: Last night, 44 arrests were reported, as rioters smashed windows, looted storefronts and threw objects. Even TV reporters were targeted. Police responded with tear gas and riot lines. One person was shot.

It is unclear by whom and remains on life support in critical condition. The police shooting, which triggered the unrest, occurred when Keith Lamont Scott was shot dead by an officer on Tuesday. The police chief says video shows Scott was holding a gun as he got out of his car, but...

PUTNEY: The video does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun.

TODD: But lawyers for the family dispute that narrative.

JUSTIN BAMBERG, ATTORNEY FOR SCOTT FAMILY: There are witnesses who are saying that no gun was there. There are witnesses who say that a gun was put there. There are witnesses who say that a gun may have been pulled out of the car.

[18:05:08]

TODD: Scott's wife saw the shooting herself, a family lawyer says, and the family is expecting to see the video as soon as this evening, their lawyer said.

But community activists say let the public judge the videos for themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want to hear another person stand up and give an account as if it's factual until we all see those tapes.

TODD: National Guard forces mobilized to bolster security in Charlotte.

GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: We cannot tolerate violence directed towards citizens or any type of destruction of property.

TODD: Community leaders say the unrest in Charlotte goes beyond just one case.

REV. DWAYNE WALKER, LITTLE ROCK AME ZION CHURCH: My frustration is because I don't see this incident that occurred this past Tuesday as an isolated incident. I see it as a collection of hashtags, that it seems to be open season on black men and women in America.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Again, our breaking news tonight, the Charlotte police chief, Kerr Putney, telling Wolf Blitzer a short time ago that there is body camera video from police officers of the shooting of Keith Scott the other day, as well as dash cam video, but the chief saying the video, the evidence that he's seen, he's not seen definitive evidence that Scott was holding a gun.

But the chief does reiterate that in the video he's seen, he could not see Scott's hands -- Wolf.

BLITZER: The workers are trying to fix all the damage of broken windows from the rioting last night. Brian, thank you very much.

Also breaking, an attorney tells CNN that members of the Scott family have now viewed the actual video showing the shooting.

Let's get some more on all of this with the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.

Marc, thanks for joining us.

MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Great, Wolf. Good to be with you.

BLITZER: Do you think the Charlotte police should make the video that they have of this incident public?

MORIAL: It should be made public.

Only transparency -- look, I thought the police chief damaged his own case. If you're going to interpret the video and not release the video, then all you're doing is breeding more distrust that, in fact, you're covering up information.

In this instance, transparency would be best. Let the public decide, and I don't think talking about the video and saying, well, here's what I saw in the video from the law enforcement official who is leading the, if you will, investigation into the incident is really helpful.

Either you release the video, but if you're not going to release the video -- and I don't agree with not releasing the video -- you don't talk about the video. This doesn't help matters, I think. And I just watched the clip. And I think that there is a better way to handle this, and the public does have a right to know.

This is a new day, because these videos, through social media, through dash cams are available. And the public wants to know, so they can make a judgment as to what they think.

BLITZER: You speak with credibility, with authority on the subject. You were the mayor of New Orleans, which is a major city.

So, if you were mayor, how would you handle this crisis? Because everyone right now as you know, Marc, is bracing for a third night of violence.

MORIAL: I think you have to try to work to give confidence that the matter is going to be investigated, and that if there is wrongdoing, you're going to squarely be on the side of holding the police officers accountable.

Since Trayvon martin, if you will, Wolf, there's been a long narrative of high-profile cases where unarmed African-American men have been shot, in many instances killed, by the police. There have been over 200 such incidents already this year, without judging whether they were justified or not justified. This is not a Charlotte situation, a Tulsa situation. It's a national

narrative. And what I think we're seeing is that things that have gone on for quite a long time now have the light of day shone on them, through videos, through dash cams, through body cams, which is good. But it's got to spur systematic change in these departments.

BLITZER: The governor, as you know, has activated National Guard troops, about 350. They're deployed right now. They're moving into the city. Is that a good idea?

MORIAL: Well, look, I don't want to second-guess what the governor is doing. I'm not in Charlotte.

But I will say this, Wolf. When you're dealing with a crowd and you deploy tear gas and, if you will, these sound devices, those, sometimes, while the intent is to disperse the crowd, those sort of tactics in many cases backfire and create more chaos.

And I think, in Charlotte, when a militarized department shows up with these sound devices, if you will, and tear gas -- now, I'm not going to sit here and second-guess, because I'm not in Charlotte.

[18:10:02]

But I do know, I do know, in these sort of instances, trying to keep a crowd -- or settle crowd down is highly, highly difficult. Let me say this.

I abhor any violence in furtherance of protest. However, the rage, the anger, the just unbearable pain that these incidents are causing, those -- that's something that I share those thoughts, and I share those feelings, while, at the same time, abhorring any use of violence in furtherance of protest, as well as violence being used against innocent people in this country by law enforcement officers.

BLITZER: As you know, one man was shot during last night's protest by another civilian. He's now in critical condition.

Do you worry if the video, for example, isn't released, the protests will grow again? And the bottom line, because I'm really anxious to hear, what is your message to the protesters right now?

MORIAL: My message to protesters has been a message that I think most of us in the civil rights community have said, that the long arc of history teaches us that protest in furtherance of the First Amendment that is peaceful is best able to effectuate the change we need in America. That's what history teaches us, and that, when violence is involved, it undercuts the focus.

So, now the focus is on the violence. It's not on, if you will, the case, the innocent man who has lost his life. We have got to make sure that systematic police reform that we need in this country, that the type of changes we need remains, if you will, the focus.

But I believe that the protests are going to continue, because, as you heard a pastor in Charlotte say, it's a longer narrative than just this incident. The rage and the anger that people feel, people have to understand that rage and anger, while at the same time saying, look, if we're going to protest, it should be peaceful.

But let's keep our focus on the changes that need to be made, and that in Charlotte, Wolf, a great American city, no doubt, you have got wide economic disparities. You have got a tale of two cities that exist in that community. And that's underlying a good deal of this in that city.

BLITZER: All right, Marc, I need you to stand by. We're getting more information coming in. We're all bracing for maybe another night of some violence in Charlotte. Let's hope that does not happen.

We are going to continue our conversation right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:16:58]

BLITZER: We're back with the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.

And we're talking about the break news this hour, growing tension as night falls in Charlotte, North Carolina. The city is bracing for a possible third night of violence, following the police shooting of an African-American man. That happened just days after a fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The district attorney there, by the way, just announcing that the police officer in that case has been charged with manslaughter.

Marc, let's talk about Donald Trump for a moment. He called what's called the stop and frisk program, he said it's been incredible. He suggested it be reinstated in Chicago. As you know, a federal court in New York ruled it unconstitutional.

Statistics do suggest that it may have worked, maybe it didn't work, but, by all accounts, if you listen to Mayor Bloomberg in New York, Mayor Giuliani, when he was mayor of New York, they think it worked, even though a federal court now says it's unconstitutional.

What do you think of Trump's suggestion about bringing it in place in Chicago?

MORIAL: So, let me give you this point of view on stop and frisk.

And we deployed stop and frisk in New Orleans in a limited way, in areas where there was significant evidence of drug and weapons use. But a comprehensive policy of stop and frisk across the board, even in New York, would show that an infinitesimal number of the people who were stopped and frisked were actually prosecuted for, if you will, a weapons offense, which was the intent of stop and frisk.

The other side of it is, is it bred distrust and lack of confidence by communities in police officers, because they saw police officers making what appear to be random stops in black and brown communities, most of which yielded no offense, no violation of the law.

So, I would say it's an ineffective policy. No one ever says that many beat police officers will tell you that the other thing that stop and frisk does is, it turns policing into a numbers game, where beat officers are held accountable for a certain number of stops or where they're measured by how many stops they make.

I think it's a bad policy to implement on a comprehensive basis, because it's ineffective and it's ineffectual. And it's tantamount, if you talk about doing it on a national basis, to say let's impose a form of, if you will, martial law, which is way beyond the constitutional powers of the presidency.

So, if we're going to debate stop and frisk, let's have the facts out on the table. It's appealing. Like a lot of things, it might sound good to people. But, overall, on a comprehensive basis, it has not been effective.

[18:20:00]

And in New York, where it was a broad policy, it was found to have been unconstitutional and it led to racial profiling. So, I think it's not the way to confront or make our communities safer. I don't think it's a way to bring police and communities together, which is essential to making communities safer.

There are better approaches. There are better ways. And I think, in the 21st century, we have got to recognize, and not go to shopworn ideas, but look at new strategies and new ways to confront the challenges we have today.

BLITZER: Trump also said this week, Marc, that the African-American communities are in the worst shape they have ever, ever, ever -- he said it three times -- ever been.

So what is your message when you hear him say that?

(CROSSTALK)

MORIAL: Black America is proudly a community of tremendous successes.

Tomorrow and Saturday, we are going to open the National Smithsonian African American Museum of History and Culture. Anyone who is seriously interested, they should visit that museum and learn that black America is a community of great challenges, but a community of great successes.

You know what I say? Did anyone see the Olympics? Did they see those gymnasts? Did they see those track -- the women who won the gold medals in track? They're part of America and they're proudly part of black America. So this negative characterization by anyone, negative characterization, is wholly inaccurate, it's pejorative and it's really, Wolf, insulting.

We're a community with challenges and problems, like any American community, but a community of tremendous success, tremendous pride, tremendous accomplishment, hardworking men and women who have families who are working every day to contribute to what makes the United States of America a great nation.

BLITZER: Mike Pence, Trump's vice presidential running mate, Marc, he said this today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump and I believe that there's been far too much of this talk of institutional bias or racism within law enforcement, that police officers are human beings, and in difficult and life-threatening situations, mistakes are made and people have to be held to strict account.

But we both believe that it's important that we have a president who, as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, stands behind the men and women who serve in law enforcement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: I want you to react to that. He says mistakes happen. Go ahead.

MORIAL: Let me say this.

Police officers are public servants and public employees, and they should not only be supported when they do the right thing. They should be held accountable when they violate standards, practices, the law, and the Constitution.

Police officers should not be on a pedestal. Politicians should not be on a pedestal. No public servant, no public employee should be on a pedestal. Respect good work, but we have got to hold those that violate those standards accountable.

That's really the point. And to treat it as though you're either pro- police or anti-police is really not the choice we have in this country. The choice that we have is to support effective policing that keeps us safe by honest men and women.

And let's hold those who run afoul accountable if they run afoul of the law or the Constitution. Let's hold them accountable. We hold politicians accountable. We hold people in the community accountable. I just believe that there's a duty and a responsibility for any public employee. Police officers work for cities, by and large.

Like any city employee, it's a tough job, it's hard work, there's a tremendous amount of pressure, but you have got to hold people accountable.

BLITZER: Marc Morial is the president of the National Urban League.

Marc, thanks for joining us.

MORIAL: Thank you. BLITZER: The breaking news we're following, fear of fresh violence

tonight in Charlotte, North Carolina. We're going back to the streets there live.

Plus, race, crime, and policing out on the campaign trail -- what Donald Trump is now saying about all of that.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:29:13]

BLITZER: Breaking news: all eyes on Charlotte, North Carolina tonight, as the city braces for a possible third night of violence.

Protests over the police shooting death of Keith Scott have boiled over two mayhem two nights in a row, prompting a state of emergency and activation of National Guard troops.

The police chief just revealed to me the existence of body camera video of the shooting.

CNN's Brian Todd is in Charlotte for us tonight.

Brian, what are you seeing right now?

TODD: Wolf, nightfall is fast approaching in less than an hour from now.

Very jittery city right now. This is the Hyatt House Hotel, where two people were assaulted last night, a lot of windows broken. In anticipation of what may happen, they're replacing windows here that were not broken and replacing them with plywood.

Now, we also have to talk about the reinforcements that have come to town, 367 National Guard troops getting set to deploy right now on the streets of Charlotte, in addition to several, at least a couple of hundred state troopers who will handle the traffic.

[18:30:08] We're hold that the National Guardsmen are going to handle the protection of buildings and infrastructure. That's going to free up the Charlotte police to deal more directly with the protesters. And the Charlotte police chief, Kerr Putney, has told reporters earlier today that they will be more assertive in arresting protesters tonight.

So we're going to see how their tactics play out on the streets. Last night, they were kind of sporadically breaking ranks, the police were, going out and pulling protesters back into their ranks. Sometimes in Baltimore, we've seen actual lines of police open up, and they just pull someone back behind the lines. That's a tactic we've seen quite often. We saw a little bit of that last night in Charlotte. We're going to see how those tactics play out in the streets, Wolf.

But a lot of reinforcements tonight, here on the streets of Charlotte. Three hundred and sixty-seven National Guardsmen getting set to deploy. Hundreds of state troopers have arrived in town. The Charlotte police force is about 1,800 strong. You can bet probably all of them will be on the streets in the coming hours.

BLITZER: We'll be there with you every step of the way, Brian. Thank you very much.

All of this comes just four days before the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. CNN political reporter Sara Murray is joining us now.

Sara, Donald Trump is weighing in on the issues of crime, race, and policing. What's the latest?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Wolf. And Donald Trump and his campaign want to make inroads with minority voters, but his history of supporting controversial proposals could make that more difficult. Remember, he's proposed a ban on Muslims coming to the U.S. He complimented Israel's profiling, which includes racial and ethnic profiling. And today he's throwing his support behind Stop-and-Frisk, at least in Chicago. That's a practice that, when put into place in New York, disproportionately targeted minority constituents.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We need a national anti-crime agenda to make our cities safe again.

MURRAY: amid turmoil in North Carolina, Donald Trump is declaring crime in America's cities a national crisis.

TRUMP: Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world's leader. How can we lead when we can't even control our own cities?

MURRAY: Today, the GOP nominee is vowing to bring together law enforcement officials to dismantle gangs and international cartels. And blaming the violence in places like Charlotte on drugs flowing across the southern border.

TRUMP: If you're not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you're watching on television at night.

MURRAY: Trump lamenting the relationship between white and black communities.

TRUMP (via phone): It just seems that there's a lack of spirit between the white and the black.

MURRAY: Even as he argues it's time to bring back the controversial Stop-and-Frisk strategy, which a federal judge ruled was unconstitutional in 2013.

TRUMP (on camera): I see what's going on here. I see what's going on in Chicago. I think Stop-and-Frisk, in New York City, it was so incredible the way it worked.

MURRAY: Today, Trump and his campaign are clarifying the program would be specifically targeted at Chicago.

TRUMP (via phone): I was really referring to Chicago with Stop-and- Frisk.

MURRAY: But while Trump touts the program's success in New York, statistics tell a different story. It predominantly targeted minorities. And a report from the New York attorney general shows just 3 percent of Stop-and-Frisk stops resulted in convictions from 2009 to 2012. And in more than 5 million Stop-and-Frisk stops, police recovered guns 0.2 percent of the time.

Trump's call for reviving the controversial practice coming just days after he spoke favorably about profiling, all as he tried to make inroads with minority voters.

TRUMP (on camera): What do you have to lose? It can't get any worse.

MURRAY: But a WSJ/NBC News poll shows an overwhelming 81 percent of African-American voters prefer Hillary Clinton, compared to 7 percent who back Trump.

And Trump's pitch has come with stumbles. Like insisting African- American communities have never been worse off.

TRUMP: Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they've ever been in before, ever, ever, ever.

MURRAY: As well as lingering questions about the years he spent questioning President Obama's birthplace.

TRUMP: I wanted to get on with the campaign. A lot of people were asking me questions.

MURRAY: And today, a Trump campaign official in Ohio, Kathy Miller, is resigning, after sparking outrage with comments like this.

KATHY MILLER, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIR, MAHONING COUNTY: I don't think there was any racism until Obama got elected.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURRAY: Now, the Clinton campaign is betting that Donald Trump's history of birtherism is going to make it harder to appeal to minority voters. They put out a statement, saying that Trump spent five years championing a conspiracy here, to undermine our first African-American president. And they believe Donald Trump Cap'n crunch: -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Thank you very much, Sara Murray reporting.

Let's get some more on this with our political experts. Gloria Borger, earlier today, Governor Mike Spence, he responded to these shootings and said -- and I'm quoting him now -- "Donald Trump and I believe there has been far too much talk of this institutional bias or racism within law enforcement."

How is that going to play politically, Gloria?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think it plays fine with the base of the Republican Party. Blue lives matter has -- was a big part of the Republican convention.

And I think what you see coming out of Donald Trump and Mike Pence is what we very often see coming out of a presidential candidate and a vice-presidential candidate. When the presidential candidate goes a little softer, as Trump was trying to do earlier this week, saying things like, you know, "You have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. We have to fix our wounded country," you have Mike Pence taking a harder line, which is what he did in that quote you were just saying.

So I think what they're trying to do as a campaign is not lose their base of support while appealing to a broader constituency, which by the way, is not only African-Americans, but it would be also better educated white voters, particularly women, who have a hard time voting for someone who they believe is either racist or intolerant in any way, shape or form. So I think you seem them trying to play both sides of this coin at the same time.

BLITZER: Don Lemon, as you heard Trump now proposing Stop-and-Frisk be used, he says now, in Chicago. He says this is a solution to the crime that is there. The policy, as you know, was ruled unconstitutional for disproportionately targeting African-Americans and Hispanics in New York where it was used.

So what message does he send to voters when he says that Stop-and- Frisk worked incredibly well?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I think it sends a message that he's not telling the truth when he says that. He says it worked incredibly well. It worked incredibly not well. And I know Sara Murray used this in her story, but I think it's important. Let's just put it up for a while, because the truth is the truth.

A November 2013 report from the New York attorney general revealed that just 3 percent of Stop-and-Frisk stops led to convictions between 2009 and 2012. And more than 5 million stops between 2002 and 2013, police recovered guns less than 0.2 percent of the time. And that's according to the police department data compiled by the New York Civil Liberties Union in a 2014 report.

So it says he's not telling the truth. And I think African-Americans know that it disproportionately targeted blacks and Hispanics. And as we have been saying all along, a federal judge deemed it unconstitutional, ruled it unconstitutional in 2013. If it did not work in New York City why would it work in Chicago or any other city around the United States?

BLITZER: Jeffrey -- Jeffrey Toobin is with us. As you know, the Republican controlled legislative in North Carolina has passed laws that a lot of African-Americans see as racist, including a law that mounted to what they called voter suppression that was recently struck down, that law.

There have been these so-called Moral Monday protestsin North Carolina to protest these measures. So how has that overall environment played into the protests, the street protests that we've seen in Charlotte over the past couple of nights?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It's a deeply polarized state along racial as well as political lines. And I'd just like to question the premise of how we're analyzing Trump's last couple of -- last couple of statements.

I don't think he's trying to appeal to African-Americans at all. The whole idea of law and order is a code word for cracking down on African-Americans. I mean, it has been since 1968. If you look at how he's talked about African-Americans, of course, starting with President -- President Obama, and embracing the kind of voter suppression laws that have been passed in North Carolina, now somewhat overturned in the courts. But I think all -- everything he's saying is designed to appeal to the base that is sick and tired of African- Americans trying to get political power in this country.

BORGER: I think he's trying to do both. I honestly believe that he is trying to, you know -- to broaden his base and to appeal to white voters.

TOOBIN: OK, but think about saying that the situation of African- Americans is the worst it has ever, ever been, which Trump said.

BORGER: Right.

TOOBIN: This is a country that had slavery...

BORGER: I'm not saying he's adept at it.

TOOBIN: This is the country that had slavery, that had Jim Crow segregation. I mean, you know, how can you take something like that seriously?

LEMON: And you have to remember, Donald Trump, you know, he's not a stupid man, and he also has very smart people around him. He has people who know politics. So you know, Gloria is saying he's trying to appeal to -- you know, to a larger -- he's trying to say one thing and then Pence says another. To me it's talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Because you cannot appeal to African-Americans, especially with something that targets African-Americans, and that is illegal and unconstitutional, and then say things have never been worse, when things have actually never been better. It does not make sense.

[18:40:10] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Statistically that doesn't make sense, but I can just say that I went to the campaign, asking this very question: how do you square outreach to African-American voters with saying that there should be Stop-and- Frisk and those, as you said, Jeffrey, more law and order things on the book, which has been historically code for going after African- Americans.

And the answer was, it all squares because what he's trying to -- the point he's trying to get across is that African-Americans should be open to this, because he's trying to make their communities safer. I'm not -- I'm not defending it. I'm not, you know, saying that he's right. I'm just saying that this is the argument that he's laying out as to how these two things, which seem contradictory...

LEMON: Dana, what he doesn't realize is that not all African-American -- he's talking about certain urban areas in certain cities. The bulk of African-Americans don't live there. Many people live in the suburbs. They live in areas that are not crime ridden.

I don't know -- there are people who live in those areas, but that is not all the entirety of the African-American community. There are very wealthy African-Americans or African-Americans who live in Beverly Hills. There are African-Americans who live in Bel-Air.

BASH: Right.

LEMON: There are African-American who live on the Upper East Side of New York. They don't all live in urban crime-ridden areas. And that's the problem.

BLITZER: Everybody, stand by. There's a lot more to this conversation. We're also getting some new polls from some critical battleground states. Where do Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand right now in the most important of these battlegrounds?

(COMMERICAL BREAK)

[18:46:22] BLITZER: Four days until the first presidential debate, just over six weeks until the election. And tonight, we have some new polls in some of the critical states.

Dana, let's take a look at some of these polls, Quinnipiac University polls.

Colorado, a key battleground state, Hillary Clinton up by two. In Virginia, she's up by six. In Georgia, Trump is up by seven. In Iowa, he's also up by seven.

This looks like it's shaping up pretty close.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is absolutely does, especially the Colorado poll. If I'm in Brooklyn right now and I'm looking at that, I'm getting a little bit nervous, because that is one of the sort of Clinton firewall states, Colorado -- a state they need to win looking at the map in order to stop Donald Trump from any version of an electoral path to victory.

CNN on its website has a new expectation for where the electoral map is right now. And Hillary Clinton still is ahead, but only slightly at 272. You need 270, of course, to become president.

So, to say it is close is an understatement. The map is still more beneficial, more optimal for Hillary Clinton as it is in the past quarter century or more for any Democrat. But this is 2016.

BLITZER: Yes, Gloria, that 90-minute first presidential debate Monday night could be critically decisive. Both sides are playing the expectations game in advance of that debate. What are you hearing? What are you seeing?

BORGER: Well, I think what we see from the Trump campaign is trying to lower the bar below the floor for Donald Trump, because Sean Spicer, the head of communications for the RNC, sent out a memo earlier today, which said, and I'm going to quote, "Clinton is a career politician who has spent years sharpening her debate reflexes and beefing up on public policy," meaning you should expect her to win this debate, and if Donald Trump shows up and does just OK, then you're going to have to declare him the winner. So, what they're doing is lowering expectations there.

One more thing about the map Dana was just talking about is that a month ago, Hillary Clinton was up ten points in Colorado, just to show you that. So, to Dana's point, that everything is tightening -- yes, everything is tightening. The Clinton folks believe they have a structural advantage, which they do. But if these polls continue to tighten, they're going to get a little more nervous, which is why they're going to try to raise expectations at some point for Donald Trump heading into this debate.

TOOBIN: You know, the Clinton campaign hasn't been advertising in Colorado, and it will be interesting to see if they start advertising, because that will be a sign that they really are worried.

BLITZER: And, Don, we're told that Trump tomorrow is going to start really practicing, rehearsing, getting off the campaign trail, just like Hillary Clinton has been preparing for that Monday night debate.

LEMON: Well, as we know, and Gloria knows probably better than any of us, because she's researched it, and I saw her amazing documentary just last week, these things can be decided in one debate, and with a couple of zingers, you know. I will not exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience, that won Ronald debate, or any other one-liner.

And Donald Trump is very good at live television. He knows television. He knows how to woo an audience. And I think that he -- if he has a good couple of one-liners, he could win the debate, even if he doesn't win on substance.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Gloria, hold on --

[18:50:01] BORGER: Roger Ailes gave that line to Ronald Reagan and guess who's he's helping Trump. Roger Ailes.

LEMON: Roger Ailes, yes.

BLITZER: All right. Guys, stand by.

By the way, Don is going to be back with much more later tonight, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon.

Just ahead, we're getting some new developments in the New Jersey and New York bombings probe. Investigators have a new timeline. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: There are new developments tonight in investigation into the bombings in New York and New Jersey.

Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown is working the story for us.

Pamela, what are you learning?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, tonight, investigators are still trying to figure out where the suspect allegedly built the bottoms he used and they're gleaning new information in the investigation from his family, including his wife.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[18:55:08] BROWN (voice-over): Tonight, Asia Bibi Rahami seen in this photo, the wife of suspected bomber Ahmad Rahami is back on U.S. soil after talking with investigators in Dubai. Law enforcement sources say she left the U.S. early this summer to go overseas, around the same time her husband allegedly began buying bomb-making materials on eBay.

Sources say she had told investigators she had no knowledge of her husband's activities. This as investigators are still trying to piece together, what if anything Rahami's family knew about his intentions, and how his overseas travels to Pakistan and Afghanistan may have influenced him.

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We're still engaged in actively viewing everything we can find out about this individual, his connections here, his connections overseas. That would include travel, that would include any contacts he may have made during travel to see how they would also factor into the events that he stands charged with.

BROWN: Law enforcement interviews with his relatives revealed Rahami went to his family's home in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Sunday, the day after the bombings. According to law enforcement sources, his family told investigators he was behaving normally.

Meanwhile, the FBI is still searching for these two men seen on surveillance video taking the undetonated pressure cooker out of luggage on West 27th Street and walking off with a bag.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These individuals are witnesses.

BROWN: Investigators continue to analyze these bloody pages seared with a bullet hole from a notebook Rahami was carrying when he was captured. On one page, he allegedly wrote, quote, "attack the Kuffar in their backyard", a small reference to late ISIS spokesman Mohammed Adnani's call to hurt nonbelievers, however and wherever they could.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It shows that he was tuning into these audio statements from Adnani that he was influenced by them, as well as being influenced by similar calls by a Yemeni- American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

BROWN: Rahami also seemed worried he would be cut before he could carry out attacks, allegedly writing, quote, "The FBI and homeland security looking for me" and "I beg for martyrdom."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Rahami remains in the hospital tonight and investigators say he is currently incapacitated and not in sufficient physical health for a bedside arraignment as of now -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Pamela Brown, thanks very, very much.

The attorney general of the United States, Loretta Lynch has unannounced an unprecedented crackdown on global mail fraud. Among the targets, a Canadian payment processor named PacNet.

The CNN Money investigation by Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken broke the news of this action.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROB COLLINS, FATHER HAS GIVEN THOUSANDS TO MAIL SCAMS: The people who do this to people, they don't have enough prisons for you guys.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rob Collins says mail fraud scams drained his dad's life savings.

COLLINS: He was spending all of his check each month on these sweepstakes and the psychics.

Hey dad.

Every time he called me, "I'm winning $10 million, $15 million. I'm winning a new Mercedes."

ROMANS: He would send checks to claim his prize.

COLLINS: Have you ever gotten any money back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

ROMANS: Jennifer Bell saw the same thing happen to her relative.

JENNIFER BELL, RELATIVE GAVE LIFE SAVINGS TO MAIL SCAMS: She actually took out a reverse mortgage on her home so she could continue to give more money to scams. She had given away the entire value of her home, approximately a hundred thousand dollars.

ROMANS: The scams varied, but many had one thing in common.

BELL: When we went through her bank accounted, I kept noticing these little $25 checks. But I noticed they were all processed by one company called PacNet.

She was sending money to a different person. But the processer was always the same.

COLLINS: I saw that PacNet on lots of lots of checks.

ROMANS: PacNet is a payment processer. It says it does everything in its power to prevent fraud, but our investigation finds that while it does work with legitimate businesses, it has processed payments for an alarming number of scams that have faced serious government actions.

Here's how it works. Global fraudsters need a way to stay under the radar and bring in money from victims in all sorts of currencies. That is where companies like PacNet come in.

PacNet cashes checks for clients under its name and takes its cut of course. PacNet says it is a victim too and cuts ties when it is alerted to anything illegal.

But that's little consolation to some families.

BELL: Literally to have all of her money suck away from her systematically by scammers. It's just devastating. There is no house. There is no nothing. You know, she didn't have a proper funeral. She didn't have any o of that. All she had was junk mail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Christine Romans reporting. That's it for me. Thanks for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.