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Fox News Host Helped Persuade Trump Against Iran Strike; Trump Defends Roundup Plan of Undocumented Families Tomorrow; Buttigieg Back on Trail Following Deadly Police-Involved Shooting; Plane Crash Kills 9 on Skydiving Excursion in Hawaii; Re-election Campaign Faces New Security Concerns on Trail. Aired 12 -1p ET

Aired June 22, 2019 - 12:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD: Iran. The president also vowed more sanctions on Iran and to keep it from having nuclear weapons. Listen. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody was saying I'm a war monger and now they say I'm a dove. And I think I'm neither you want to know the truth. I'm a man with common sense, and that's what we need in this country is common sense. But I didn't like the idea of them knowingly shooting down an unmanned drone. This is about Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. Very simple. Because we don't need it, just so you understand. We don't need it. If Iran wants to become a wealthy nation again, become a prosperous nation, we'll call it, "let's make a Iran great again." Does that make sense? Make Iran great again. It's okay with me. But they're never going to do it if they think in five or six years they're going to have a nuclear weapon.

I know too much about nuclear, a lot about nuclear. Let me just tell you, they're not going to have a nuclear weapon. And it has very little to do with the oil because, again, China gets its oil 91 percent, Japan gets its oil 60 percent, Indonesia, so many other countries, what it has to do with very simply is the fact is we're not going to have Iran have a nuclear weapon. And when they agree to that, they are going to have a wealthy country, they're going to be so happy, and I'm going to be their best friend. I hope that happens.

If the leadership of Iran behaves badly, then it's going to be a very, very bad day for them. Hopefully they're smart and hopefully they really care for their people and not themselves and hopefully we can get Iran back on to an economic track that's fantastic where they're a really wealthy nation, which would be a wonderful thing. All those things I want to do. But if they're going to be foolish, that's never going to happen.


WHITFIELD: All right for more on today's developments, let's bring in Sarah Westwood at the White House. Sarah.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Fred, President Trump laying out what is his administration's next response to Iran's provocations, and that's punishing Iran economically, not militarily. The president saying that new sanctions will be placed on Iran. He said some of them will be coming on slowly, some of them more rapidly. Even though he had said in a tweet on Friday morning that he imposed sanctions against Iran Thursday evening, that is not true, although the administration is working on a new round of sanctions to go on top of the already existing and very strict sanctions regime that Iran is already facing.

President Trump saying he's not in a rush to respond to Iran as downing of an American drone. The president on Thursday had suggested that perhaps this was an unintentional move from someone, quote, loose and stupid on the Iranian side. I asked President Trump if he still believed that Iran acted unintentionally. He said, no, he does believe that Iran knowingly shot down this drone but nonetheless he reiterated he was not comfortable initiating a military strike that would have caused more than a hundred casualties potentially to Iranians when there was no American casualties with the Iranian provocations. And Fred, he filled in some of the details about the timeline of what happened the night that he ordered and then subsequently called off a strike against three Iranian sites. The president had said that he did so 10 minutes before that strike was set to be initiated because he learned that potentially there could be 150 dead Iranians on the other end of that military strike. The president said though that he did receive updates about estimated casualties throughout the day but he pressed his team for more accurate numbers and sort of acknowledged some reports that the ultimate 150 number may have come from an attorney not necessarily from Generals although he said the number was delivered to him verbally via a general, but nonetheless sort of muddying the waters about when in the decision making process he actually learned the number of casualties that his strike would have caused and he's still citing that as the reason, Fred, that he didn't view that planned strike as a proportionate response.

WHITFIELD: All right, Sarah Westwood, thank you so much. All right a top Iranian General warns of a quote, "heavy cost" if the U.S. launches any strikes. A senior armed forces spokesman telling Iran's news agency that any attack will draw a crushing response from Tehran. CNN Senior International Correspondent Frederick Pleitgen is live for us in Tehran. So Fred, Iran showing no signs of backing down. Is Iran also indicating it might be open to talks? Because it sounds like the president says that's what he would want to do at this point.

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that was pretty clear. I mean him saying he wants to call it "make Iran great again" I think were his words. On the one hand, Fredericka, there's been a fairly muted response to President Trump calling off that air strike. I do think that there is a certain degree of respect on the part of the Iranian leadership for the fact the president called that air strike off, or those strikes off.


The Iranians seemingly not wanting to further fan the flames. It was quite interesting because a senior leadership body here in Iran came out today and said Iran unequivocally does not want any sort of war with the United States. At the same time you're absolutely right, some senior Iranian generals coming up and saying if it does come to that, that the Iranians would be ready Except that the Iranian has to sit for a very long time, but if the U.S. launches anything against them as they say there would be a response that would blow up American's entire Middle Eastern policy. But as far as negotiations are concerned, I think the fundamental issue and the big problem why these negotiations won't happen is the fact that the Iranians are saying they're not happening because of President Trump's sanctions policy.

Remember that just a couple of days ago the prime minister of Japan was here in Iran and he had a proposal from President Trump to the supreme leader to start negotiations again and the supreme leader said absolutely not. The Iranians are saying as long as these tough sanctions are in place, the Trump Administration of course now talking about making these even tougher, the Iranians simply are not going to come to the table.

It seems as though what they're really waiting for is some sort of enticement to come to the table. For them that would obviously be the possibility of maybe exporting some of their oil once again. Of course that's a big problem under the new U.S. sanctions but then also generally some sanctions relief to jump start this country's economy, which is really in a very difficult state. The Iranians are saying even if it gets tougher for them economically, they are not going to sit down with President Trump under the current circumstances, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much in Tehran.

All right still ahead, presidential hopefuls are hitting South Carolina pretty hard right now. It's a key primary state for 2020. We'll take you there live. Plus, I.C.E. prepares for raids in cities across the country. President Trump claims targeted families have been running from the law, but some cities say they will not cooperate anymore, coming up.



WHITFIELD: Welcome back. This is the biggest weekend so far for the 2020 presidential hopefuls. Twenty-one of the 23 democratic candidates are in South Carolina making their pitches in the crucial early primary state, and we have already heard from several candidates. Here are some of the messages.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that we have in this White House a president who says he wants to make America great again. Well, what does that mean? Does that mean he wants to take us back to before schools were integrated? Does that mean he wants to take us back before the Voting Rights Act was enacted? Does that mean he wants to take us back before the Civil Rights Act was enacted? Does he mean he wants to take us back before Roe v. Wade was enacted? Because we're not going back, we're not going back. ELIZABETH WARREN, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The time for small ideas is over. So here's how I see it. It's time for big plans and, yeah, I got some big plans. Be part of this fight. This is our chance in 2020, our chance to dream big, to fight hard and to win! Thank you.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need a new generation of leadership to step up at the highest levels in our country. We are not going to win by going on the president's show. I know it's massively entertaining. I don't know what kind of show to call it. Is it a game show? Is it a reality show? It's a horror show.

JULIAN CASTRO, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for president because I believe that it's time for new energy and new leadership in this country with a new vision for our future. It's time for a leader that is a president for everyone.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: And we have a president that tries to fracture those dreams every single day. He wakes up every morning, sending out tweets going after immigrants, sending out tweets going after people of color, anyone that doesn't agree to him. And I say this -- we need to tear down the barriers of success, we need to stop those mean tweets and that divide, we need to cross the river of our divides to a higher plain in our politics and give everyone in this country a seat at the table.


WHITFIELD: All right, let's check in with CNN's Arlette Saenz to tell us more of what we're hearing about these candidates because there are similarities in messages but perhaps it's the differences in messaging, how they're doing it.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: There certainly is, Fred and the attendees here today at the South Carolina Democratic Convention are getting a pretty good sampling of what these democratic candidates have to offer in their pitch to be the next President of the United States. One of the candidates, their message that really stood out here was Senator Kamala Harris, when was drawing on her experience as a prosecutor, attorney general out in California saying that she can prosecute the case the best against President Trump, going down what she called a rap sheet of instances that she could prosecute against the president.

You heard Elizabeth Warren. She's considered the candidate who has put forth a lot of plans and policy proposals. That's something that she stressed here. Now, the convention is starting to break for lunch now. Afterwards they're going to be hearing from Bernie Sanders and Kirstjen Gillibrand and the last hour, later this evening, the final two speakers are Cory Booker and Joe Biden.

You've seen some tension playing out between those two candidates over the course of the past week after Biden made some comments about working with segregationist Senators decades ago when he served in the Senate. Cory Booker said that the former vice president needed to apologize for those comments but at one point Biden said it was Booker that needed to apologize. I actually caught up with Joe Biden last night at the Clyburn Fish Fry and I asked him why does Cory Booker need to apologize and he now says that no apologies - that nobody needs to apologize on either side and there was a moment last night where you saw the two of them before they took the stage briefly interacting and seemed to give each other a slight, maybe a half hug and tonight you're going to see them here on this stage making their pitches to the South Carolina democrats and one thing both of them last night in their speeches said that no matter who the democratic nominee is they need to make sure



Other congressional black caucus members be in, you know, with these discussions within their ranks about Biden's track record, you know, on civil rights related issues and legislation, you know, versus the recent handling, you know, of past segregationist conversations and who should apologize whether it be Cory, you know, or Biden.

So how much is all of this really kind of clouding the view of Democrats?

BOYKIN: Well I think it's really early in the whole race right now, we're - like it was just said a moment ago from Alexandra that we have just nine months to go before we even start to have a - have a contest where we have people voting.

We haven't had our first debate yet, which won't happen until next week. So it's the point where candidates are going to make mistakes and candidates are going to be tested, we saw back in 2008 that Barack Obama had the whole controversy about the - the issue of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and he had to sort of overcome that.

Joe Biden has been tested with a question about James Eastland. He'll be - he'll get questions about the crime bill, he'll get questions about Anita Hill, he'll get all those questions in the debate and going forward.

And the other candidates will as well, nobody gets - nobody gets a - I don't know what the word - the expression is, I can't think of it right now, but nobody gets a - gets to go through this without having to be questioned.

And I think Joe Biden is no exception for that, just because he's the vice president - former vice president doesn't mean he can't be questioned on his records.

WHITFIELD: And is it your view that perhaps he'll get questioned even more so because he has been in politics for so long versus so many of the other candidates who are kind of new to the game in comparison to his record? Keith.

BOYKIN: I'm sorry - I'm sorry -

WHITFIELD: Yes, I just wonder if he's going to be questioned more because he has, you know, 40 years, you know, in public service whereas there, you know - many of his competition, they're either just entering it or they have less than 10 years, you know, by comparison.

BOYKIN: Well he - he and Bernie have that as an advantage and a disadvantage, the advantage being that they both have long records and they can run on those records, but the disadvantage is it means that there's more material out there for his critics to pounce on.

Biden also has the added disadvantage of being the front runner right now. Whoever the front runner is will always be the target of the most criticism. Right now that's Joe Biden.

I've seen this race play out in every - every presidential cycle basically for the past 30 or 40 years where one candidate is up then the next candidate is up and it goes back and forth. So just because somebody is leading in the polls right now doesn't mean they'll be leading in January and February when people start voting.

WHITFIELD: Yes and so Alexandra what do you - do you - what do you see is really at the core here, you know, is it about the Democratic field, you know, trying to take down, you know, who is on top, you know, Joe Biden, or is it about reshaping the Democratic Party as a whole?

ROJAS: I think it is about reshaping the Democratic Party as a whole and actually finding a candidate that is going to beat Trump, because it is a real fear for my generation and our progressive movement I think to put up another candidate that in a lot of ways is centrist, that rejects a lot of the sort of center of energy in the Democratic Party right now around big ideas like a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, refusing to accept corporate PAC and corporate lobbyist money.

And that, you know, we are going to need not just courting Republicans, we're going to need to bring in a lot of new people into the political process and inspire the same people that sat at home in 2016 to get out.

So I think that this is about who is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump, who is going to be the person that is going to transform the lives of working people in this country who are really hurting.

And I think there's two - two strategies, right, to, you know, pull out Biden and Sanders, right. Biden is going for working with the other side at a time where, you know, we're seeing women's reproductive rights being attacked every day.

We have literally the Trump administration fighting to not have to take care of kids, like sleeping on the floor. Like this is the time to fight and it's not necessarily just about, you know, bringing people together, it's also getting ready to chart a vision of the future.

And I think a lot of what we've seen from Biden is doubling down on, you know, what is genuine hurt I think from the black community or the women's rights - reproductive rights community on stances that he's taken in the past.

And like I - like I said before, I think that this is about - leadership is more than just about being right, it is about charting a vision for the future and right now he is not doing that and we're seeing candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders offer a vision of what could be possible if we, you know, invested in our greatest resource which is the 330 million amazing people that make up this country.

WHITFIELD: And they are stating - and they are stating their cases today at South Carolina, one of the first primary states. All right thank you so much Alexandria Rojas and Keith Boykin.

Appreciate it, both of you. All right still ahead, President Trump says he's not looking for war as we learn new details about what might have led to his 11th hour call to pull back a missile strike.



FREDRIKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. While the president consulted top national security advisors on a military response to Iran, it was one of the president's favorite TV hosts who ultimately helped convince him to back off, according to "New York Times" reporting.

It claims Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson helped persuade the president that responding to Iran with force was crazy. The "Times" says Carlson told the president that, I'm quoting now from the paper, "The hawks did not have the president's best interest at heart. And if Mr. Trump got into a war with Iran he could kiss his chances of re- election good-bye."

CNN's Oliver Darcy joining us right now. So, Oliver, good to see you. Every military expert that we've had on our air has said the president would have been fully briefed on potential consequences, like casualties, really off the top. So, the notion that the president was more greatly persuaded by Fox host Tucker Carlson says what to you about the president's potential decision making process?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Well, thank you Fred. It's basically the "Fox News" cabinet playing out in real time. We know that the president, he watches "Fox News" quite a bit, from morning till night. Hosts like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, the cast of "Fox and Friends" and he listens to these people. He talks to them privately as well and he takes their advice when it comes to politics.

Now, it's one thing, I think, for people to see him take advice when it comes to domestic politics and just political issues.

[12:30:00] It's an entirely different thing when it comes to war or potentially launching military strikes on another country. And so I think it's alarmed some people that it appears that the president is actually watching Fox News and taking their advice in addition to the military advice.

Now, all that said, what I think is interesting is I think a lot of people on the left who perhaps don't enjoy the president taking the advice of Fox News hosts might be a little happy today that he did listen to Tucker Carlson and his advice against going to potential war with Iran instead of some of the more hawkish members of his administration who were pushing for the strikes. And so it's a bit of a twist right there. Most people don't enjoy watching the president take these Fox hosts seriously, but in this case, I think some people are happy that he did at the end of the day listen to Tucker Carlson and restrain himself from launching these military strikes.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: It still is difficult to know what really happened because the president just moments ago, you know, earlier today before heading off to, you know, Camp David, you know, said some people call him as a hawk, some people call him a dove. He says he's neither, he says, you know, he's a man -- I'm quoting him now, I'm a man with common sense.

And then he laid out that he pressed for information about casualties and then was told it could be 150 Iranians who, you know, would die and thereby he decided, well, you know, this is not proportionate, I'm going to call it off. What are his national security advisers to think about all of this out in public view, about what influenced him, what the sequence of events, you know, he's recalling? I mean, what are they to think about all this?

DARCY: Well, the New York Times says that there's some perplexion inside the Trump administration as to what happened with regard to these strikes and why they were called off. And they've concluded that after talking to a lot of people for their story that we're citing in the segment. So, you know, I would imagine if you're a national security adviser or a general and you're watching the president giving him advice and briefings, you're probably a little baffled as to, a, why the strikes were called off at the last minute, b, why he's citing the casualty numbers when they should have been given up front and see -- yes, and see why, you know, he's possibly listening to someone like Tucker Carlson or a Fox News host and that's the deciding factor.

But that's this president. He does talk to a lot of people. You know, he did talk to some of the more hawkish members but at the end of the day, it seems like he sided with the doves, so to speak or people like Carlson who are more isolationist and don't want to see the U.S. involved in a foreign conflict.

WHITFIELD: All right, Oliver Darcy, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.

DARCY: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.


[12:36:42] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Atlanta's mayor is warning undocumented immigrant families to be prepared as ICE gets ready to conduct roundups in several cities across the country tomorrow.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: You tuck your children into bed at night and then you are anticipating that someone is going to come and literally break down your door in the middle of the night. This is traumatic. It will be traumatic. It is unnecessary and I think it's irresponsible, and I think it is a shame that the president is playing political theater with the lives of families.


WHITFIELD: President Trump is defending the plan tweeting, "The people that ICE will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported. This means that they have run from the law and run from the courts. These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country and now by staying." And he reiterated that today on the White House lawn.

CNN's Polo Sandoval joining me right now. So what do we know about this operation or planning of carrying out this?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that there are plenty of questions, and still a lot of ifs surrounding this, Fred. It's only been about five days since President Trump took to Twitter to make the announcement of this ICE-led operation across the country. Well, we know not just based on what the president is saying but also what we're hearing from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the plan is to essentially execute these outstanding orders of removal for family members who essentially did not show up to court and do have these ongoing orders of deportation.

Meanwhile, the president, as you say, is standing by this directive to basically have ICE pursue this particular operation here, not just online but also on White House grounds this morning.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have to be removed from the country. They will be removed from the country. It's having a very big effect on the border the fact that we're taking them out. The people that came into the country illegally are going to be removed from the country, everybody knows that.


SANDOVAL: Still a big question is not just how this will work but if it will actually work here, Fred. I've had the opportunity to accompany ICE officers on similar operations here, and typically they work with the element of surprise here. They do not make any source of the announcement that they are going be executing this but as we learned on Monday, the commander-in-chief himself announced it to the whole country and his 61 million followers on Twitter that this would be happening.

WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

All right, coming up, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg comes face-to-face with protesters in his hometown demanding answers after an officer-involved shooting.


[12:43:26] WHITFIELD: Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg back on the trail in South Carolina today after spending several days at home in South Bend, Indiana, dealing with the fallout from a deadly police- involved shooting. Tempers flared on Friday as Buttigieg addressed some protesters' outrage over the city's reaction to the death of a black man who was shot by police last Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you say it to us today in front of all these cameras that black lives matter?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Did you just ask me if black lives matter?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we want to hear you say it.

BUTTIGIEG: Of course black lives matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then fire your cops.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a racist?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What matters about a black life to you, Mayor Pete? What matters about a black life to you? Answer that (INAUDIBLE).

BUTTIGIEG: The same thing that matters to me about my own.



WHITFIELD: CNN Politics Reporter Dan Merica is following Buttigieg on the trail. So, what has been the recent response to how he handled that?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. So he actually opened his speech here in South Carolina behind me at the South Carolina Democratic Party's convention by acknowledging that it's been a very tough week for him. And this is a place that we haven't seen Buttigieg in a place before frankly. He had a meteoric rise months ago where he took off and hasn't faced this kind of test to date.

Yesterday was a stark difference than what you see on the campaign trail. Mayor Buttigieg went back to South Bend and marched with these protesters and faced a small but very vocal and direct group who wanted him to account for what happened a week ago when you mentioned the officer-involved shooting killed one man.

[12:45:05] Take a listen to what Pete Buttigieg said here when he greeted the crowd in South Carolina.


BUTTIGIEG: I'm thankful to be with you. I'm with you after a challenging week back home. I've been off the campaign trail helping my community move through a tragic shooting of a resident of our community by a police officer. It is as if one member of our family died at the hands of another. And even as an outside process works to determine what happened, we already know why such deep wounds are surfacing, why our whole community hurts.


MERICA: What's unique about this is that yesterday during the fish fry where all these candidates were mingling and socializing and talking, it was a very jovial atmosphere. That almost that same time Buttigieg was in South Bend being shouted out by protesters. It made it a very stark contrast between the two events.

And it was very apparent yesterday that Buttigieg hasn't invested much in South Carolina. He didn't have much infrastructure on the ground at the Clyburn fish fry and that was very apparent. It's something he's going to have to do going forward if he's able to make this campaign more than just a momentum boost in a moment if he's going to actually compete here in South Carolina.


WHITFIELD: All right, Dan Merica, thank you so much in Columbia, South Carolina.

All right, up next, nine people preparing for a skydive killed after their plane went down in a fiery crash in Hawaii.


[12:50:21] WHITFIELD: Developing today, a deadly plane crash in Hawaii kills nine people. Officials say the plane was on a sky diving excursion when it went down, bursting into flames on impact.

CNN's Natasha Chen joining me now. So, What do we know about how this happened?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I was talking to one of the NTSB investigative team members before he got on the plane today in D.C., so they're in flight right now headed to Hawaii where they will take the lead on investigating how this happened because we don't know the cause of this crash yet. All we know is that it happened around 6:30 Local Time in Hawaii on Friday at the Dillingham Airfield, this is in Oahu on the north shore. It is about a 35-mile drive northwest from Honolulu.

And firefighters say that as soon as they got there, it was already engulfed in flames. Here's what the fire chief had to say.


CHIEF MANUEL NEVES, HONOLULU FIRE DEPARTMENT: In my 40 years as a firefighter here in Hawaii, this is the most tragic aircraft incident that we had.


CHEN: And that quote was tweeted out and Congress member and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard also quote that. She says, "My aloha and prayers are with the loved ones of those whose lives were lost in this terrible tragedy."

And Fred, because this is so significant in the last several years, they haven't had a crash this fatal. So definitely people are taking it hard.

WHITFIELD: And then since they were students on that sky diving, you know, plane, there were families down below who saw all of this happened.

CHEN: The fire chief did say that some family members didn't go on the trip with their relatives but they were on the airfield as the plane went down. So you can only imagine how heartbreaking that is.

WHITFIELD: Horrible. All right, give us details when you get them. Thank you so much, Natasha Chen.

All right, coming up, President Trump back on the campaign himself but this time around, he's facing more unique security challenges that he didn't see back in 2016. More on that right after this.

But first, a sneak peek of CNN's new film Apollo 11.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We chose to go to the moon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is mission control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We choose to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Houston. We're loud and clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a good one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The enormity of this event is something that only history will be able to judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good luck and God speed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apollo 11 has been given the mission of carrying men to the moon, landing them there and bringing them safely back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beautiful, just beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apollo 11, tomorrow night at 9 on CNN.




[12:57:10] TRUMP: I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as president of the United States.


WHITFIELD: So President Trump officially kicking off his re-election campaign in Orlando this week. But compared to when he announced in 2015, Trump's campaign is expected to face a drastically different environment, with an increase in the presence of supporters and protesters outside. Those events including from far-right extremist groups.

Let's bring in Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent under President Obama. So, good to see you, Jonathan.

In Orlando Tuesday we did see that there were demonstrators outside the rally, both for and against the president, creating the potential for clashes between the groups. Did it happen that way and, if so, or even not, what are security bracing for?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, actually, what they're bracing for in the change in the threat environment from this campaign from the last campaign is the rise in homegrown violent extremism. And that is both on the left and in the right. And what we're seeing in Orlando is a perfect example where a far-right group came with the intent to, you know, cause harm to members of the left.

So the members of the Lost Boys -- or Proud Boys, I apologize, came with the intent to, you know, violently engage with anti-Trump protesters. This is a major challenge that the Secret Service and law enforcement partners across the country are going to have to face time and time again as this campaign moves forward.

In the past, we've seen this episodically. Now we're seeing this as a constant at every single campaign event.

WHITFIELD: And so, what's the method of preparation for security? I mean, the president is always going to travel with Secret Service. But does that mean a different kind of detail would be engaged here? WACKROW: Now listen, the Secret Service operates off of threat-based methodology. They identify these threats in advance and they put forth the proper mitigation to protect the president and presidency. The challenge here is working with our law enforcement partners so de- conflict these opposing groups that are now going be clashing time and time again at every single presidential campaign site. And that's going to be the challenge moving forward until Election Day.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jonathan Wackrow, thank you so much.

WACKROW: Thank you. I appreciate it.

WHITFIELD: All right, we've got so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM and it all starts right now.

All right, hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right, we begin this hour with the latest on the growing tension between the U.S. and Iran. Right now, the president is at Camp David meeting with his top diplomatic and military leaders about the next potential steps.