Return to Transcripts main page

State of the Union

Interview With Dallas Police Chief David Brown in the Aftermath of the Shooting; Interview With U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton; Interview With Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired July 10, 2016 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Thin blue line. The nation mourns five Dallas police officers murdered by a domestic terrorist.

New details on his background, his arsenal and his journal, the very latest from the Dallas police chief.

CHIEF DAVID BROWN, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: This must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.

TAPPER: Plus, can the nation come together? After a week of exceptional violence, America seems on edge. What can the White House do?

JEH JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: There are a lot of people angry and anxious right now.

TAPPER: The homeland security secretary will be here in minutes.

And convention countdown. Trump teases his V.P. pick.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If it's Newt, nobody is going to be beating him in those debates.

TAPPER: Plus, can Clinton put her e-mail scandal behind her?


TAPPER: The best political minds will be here with insights from the campaign trail.


TAPPER: Hello. I am Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is tense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow! Big firework just popped off! (END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Police arrested 100 people during sometimes violent protests in St. Paul, Minnesota, last night, where at least five police officers were injured, one hit in the head with a piece of concrete.

This happened just miles from where Philando Castile was killed by a police officer earlier this week. There were also protests last night in Baton Rouge, where another black man, Alton Sterling, was killed by police; 125 protesters were arrested there.

In San Antonio, authorities say gunfire hit police headquarters, leaving bullet marks on the building and shell casings in an nearby alley. Police there are investigating reports of a suspect seen fleeing.

All of this, of course, comes on the heels of a week of excruciating violence in the United States, culminating in the murders of five police officers in Dallas. Police there had a scare last night, locking down the building and searching a nearby parking lot after receiving what they called a credible threat.

The man leading both the investigation and a heartbroken police force in Dallas is Chief David Brown. He joins me now live for his first interview since the horrific shootings.

Chief, thank you for being here. And our deepest condolences to your department and to the city of Dallas.

BROWN: Thank you very much, Jake.

TAPPER: Chief, an investigator told our affiliate WFAA that the domestic terrorist who killed these officers was planning a much larger attack than the deadly ambush he carried out on Thursday.

What can you tell us about this larger plot?

BROWN: It appears that our search of the suspect's home in Mesquite leads us to believe, based on evidence of bomb-making materials and a journal, that the suspect had been practicing explosive detonations, and that the materials were such that it was large enough to have devastating effects throughout our city and our North Texas area.

We're convinced that this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to make law enforcement and target law enforcement, make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement's efforts to punish people of color.

TAPPER: So, he had been planning something before the rally, and maybe even before the deaths in Louisiana and Minnesota?

BROWN: We believe so.

And we believe that the deaths in Minnesota and the deaths in Louisiana just sparked his delusion to fast-track his plans and saw the protest in Dallas as an opportunity to begin wreaking havoc on our officers.

TAPPER: Is there anything more specific in terms of what he was going to target beyond police officers?

BROWN: We -- that's undetermined at this point, but we are continuing to go through his laptop and his cell phones to figure out what other interactions and who else he might have been interacting with as a result of these plans.

We still haven't ruled out, Jake, whether or not others were complicit. And it's just the way we do things. We want to make sure we follow every lead and make sure we don't want to miss any pieces of evidence that might lead to other things that we don't know yet.

TAPPER: What else can you tell us that you might have learned from the killer's journals?

BROWN: Well, I think that this killer obviously had some delusion.

There was quite a bit of rambling in the journal that's hard to decipher. I can just add, at the scene where he was killed, there was some -- he wrote some lettering in blood on the walls, which leads us to believe he was wounded on the way up the stairwell on the second floor of the El Centro building. And where we detonated the device to end the standoff, there was more lettering written in his own blood.


TAPPER: What did he write?

BROWN: And we are -- we are trying to decipher that. But he wrote the letters R.B.


BROWN: And we don't -- R.B., yes.

So, we're trying to figure out, through looking, again, at things in his home, what those initials mean. But we haven't determined that yet.

TAPPER: After the shooting, you suggested that the gunman had to have had knowledge of the parade route. You said, how would you know to post up there?

And you also said that you have yet to determine whether or not there was some sort of complicity with the planning of this. Have you learned anything more about that?


We had information prior to the rally that the rally would only be a static event at the Belo Gardens, and that, after the rally ended, that people would disperse and go home peacefully.

We had no indications that anyone was planning any type of violence to our people or damage to our properties. And so we really did our security planning around the things that we learned from the pre- planning meetings that the protesters had.

Spontaneously, they began to march. And there was no route determined before this spontaneous march began, and they just began walking. What we know now is that this suspect was in a vehicle, what is a black Tahoe, and was leapfrogging the intersections in that vehicle and stopped well ahead of the march.

You could easily see the march coming down the street they were walking, and saw an opportunity with some high-perched positions, a couple of buildings in the pathway of the marchers, and decided to take the high ground and start shooting right away.

And the vulnerability of our officers were, because it was such a spontaneous decision to march by the protesters, we had to leapfrog intersections to make sure they didn't get run over by vehicles, by traffic, so -- because we were not planning to block any streets because of the pre-planning meeting information that we received.

And we had to scramble to block intersections, which did expose our officers to this attack. And this suspect took advantage of that. And once he was in a high-perched position, officers did not know where the shots was coming from.

And we are learning some of the positions of our deceased officers, and it was -- they were in a funnel. And it ended up being a fatal funnel there. And then the suspect continued to move and shoot from different angles at -- from the high-perched potion down at street level and then back up to the high-perched positions at -- really diagonally, almost triangulating our officers with his rapid fire.

TAPPER: It sounds as though his military training really enabled him to be quite deadly in this horrific circumstance.

BROWN: We don't normally see this type of moving and shooting from criminal suspects.

We're convinced that the military style was a plan and that he had practiced this. And, again, I agree with you, Jake. The military training he received, you know, did influence how he planned to do it.

I am sure he had been deployed to Afghanistan, according to his military record, and likely had been trained and taught that type of tactic.

TAPPER: There is a report out this morning that the killer said he would only speak with a black police negotiator. Is that accurate?

BROWN: That is accurate.

That's not something that we would have liked our police officials to divulge at this time, until we got further into the information on the suspect's laptops, so we could fully understand the reasoning behind that. But, since that's out, I have to be honest with you, that's true. And for a long time during the negotiation, because of the

negotiator's expertise, the suspect wouldn't believe he was black, until they talked some more and -- but, during that talk, it didn't matter whether he was black, because he was shooting at us.

So, asking for a black negotiator didn't make sense to us. It didn't matter to us. And it shouldn't make sense to anyone, because that didn't lead to any type of peaceful resolution. But that is a request that did happen.

But our police sources should not reveal that. I want to make sure I'm clear on that, so that the people that leaked that information understand that you are getting in the way of us doing our job by leaking information, so stop it.

TAPPER: Three people were arrested in connection with the shooting. But the police have not immediately named them or said why they were being held.

Can you tell us anything more about those three individuals?



During the protest that was planned as a static event, several people, 20 or 30 people, showed up with AR-15 rifles slung across their shoulder. They were wearing gas masks. They were wearing bulletproof vests and camo fatigues, for effect, for whatever reason.

Doesn't make sense to us, but that's their right in Texas. And they marched. But when the shooting started, they began to run. And they began to run at street level across where shooting was occurring.

So, for our officers, they were suspects. And I support that belief. Someone is shooting at you from a perched position and people are running with AR-15s and camo gear and gas masks and bulletproof vests, they are suspects, until we eliminate that.

So, one of those persons, they turned themselves in because they ran and got away and we put their picture out. We interviewed them and released them because we didn't have any evidence that they were part of this attack.

One of the other individuals that was running, he could not legally carry the gun, so we charged that person with prohibitive weapon, and they were brought to jail.

One of the other suspects, a female, we released as well. She was running with those two who were armed. And officers believed that she might have been associated with that. But we -- once we interviewed her, we ruled her out as a suspect as well.

But, from our vantage point, with people carrying guns at protests slung across them, wearing bulletproof vests and gas masks, while people are killing us, they're suspects until we rule them out. TAPPER: So, just to clarify, all three individuals have been

released, and you don't that any of those three are complicit or involved in any way in these murders?

BROWN: Two of the three were released.

One was not legally able to carry a gun. They were charged with prohibitive weapon, which is a misdemeanor charge here in Texas, when you can't legally carry a gun. And so two were released, and one was arrested for unrelated gun charges.

TAPPER: Something unprecedented that happened in Dallas, the department police used a bomb robot to kill the gunman.

Take us through that process. How did you make that decision?

BROWN: I was in radio contact with the SWAT team negotiating once we had him pinned down in the second floor of the El Centro College building.

And they began conveying to me that this person was in a gunfire with them -- gunfight with them, and he was in a position such that they could not see him. He was secreted behind a brick corner. And the only way to either get a sniper shot to end his trying to kill us would be to expose officers to grave danger.

The other option was to continue to negotiate. We had negotiated with him for about two hours. And he just basically lied to us, playing games, laughing at us, singing, asking how many did he get and that he wanted to kill some more, and that there were bombs there, so that there was no progress on the negotiation.

And I began to feel that it was only at a split-second, he would charge us and take out many more before we would kill him. So, I asked right -- I was planning a press conference. Before I walked out the door, I said, I want to plan when I come back from this press conference, to end this. And I said, use your creativeness to come up with a plan to do it.

When I got back from the press conference, they presented to me what was probably a 15-minute plan they put together to improvise our robot with a device to detonate behind the corner within a few feet of where he was that would take him out.

And I approved it. And I will do it again if presented with the same circumstances.

TAPPER: Chief Brown, stay right there, if you will. I have many more questions. But we have to take a quick break.

We will be right back after this.




We're interviewing Dallas Police Chief David Brown. Chief Brown joins us live from Dallas.

And, Chief, you were telling us before the break about this horrific standoff period, where the killer was singing and saying things that were confusing to negotiators. You were worried about more of your men being killed.

Tell us more about this phone call. What -- what was he singing? What was he saying? Did he seem at all in control of himself?

BROWN: He seemed very much in control and very determined about hurting more officers.

I don't recall what he was singing or much about what he was saying. We're trying to get some of our audio transcribed from some of that conversation.

But, as soon as we do, I'm going to release that, because we just believe in transparency as much as possible of all police incidents. But I just don't have that here today.

But I can just tell you, he was clear of mind, determined to hurt more officers. And without our actions, he would have hurt more officers. So, we had no choice, in my mind, but to use all tools necessary -- and it was about a pound of C-4 -- to end the standoff.

TAPPER: I want to just ask briefly about the decision to send in this bomb robot, which you said that you would make the same decision again.

As you know, it's prompted a lot of discussion among law enforcement officials about whether or not there should be some sort of discussion nationwide about the use of this type of robot.


Just to ask a question about this, could something else have been used other than a bomb that would have killed the shooter? Obviously, in a situation like that, law enforcement has every right and ability to take out the shooter any way he can. But could, for instance, some sort of riot gas been used, instead of something that killed the gunman?

BROWN: I just don't give much quarter to critics who ask these types of questions from the comforts and safety away from the incident.

You have to be on the ground and try and determine -- I have got former SWAT experience here in Dallas. And you have to trust your people to make the calls necessary to save their lives. It's their lives that are at stake, not these critics' lives who are in the comforts of their homes or offices.

So, you know, that's not worth my time to debate at this point. We believe that we saved lives by making this decision. And, again, I appreciate critics, but they're not in on the ground, and their lives are not being put at risk by debating what tactics to take.

And I will leave that to them for a later discussion.

TAPPER: Let's talk about your story, your own personal story, because it's rather extraordinary. You have lost your partner, a former partner of yours, to gun violence, your brother to gun violence.

And just weeks after you became the leader of the Dallas Police Department in 2010, your son -- pardon me -- your son fatally shot a police officer and another man, before being killed in a confrontation with police.

How do you think these experiences have shaped the way you faced the horrific events of this week?

BROWN: First of all, I came into law enforcement in 1983 as a result of the crack cocaine epidemic in my own neighborhood.

I grew up in the poor areas of Dallas. I am an inner-city kid. And I really appreciate my experiences growing up here. And this city has embraced me as its police chief. And I have always felt a sense of urgency about delivering police service.

But I never wanted this job to be about me, then or now. I am a servant. And at my core, I enjoy serving people. And I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. And I believe that service is part of my direction, and loving people, despite themselves, is something I aspire to be.

I am flawed, though, like many of us. But I can tell you right now, you know, I'm not going to have a long conversation about me on this broadcast or any others. This is going to be about the men and women in blue who sacrifice their lives every day and these families planning four funerals.

So, I want to spend a lot of time talking about what I have learned about these officers. They're brave. They're courageous. They did things that day that are just hard to describe. We're learning that officers exposed themselves to draw fire, so they could determine what floor this suspect was on, exposed themselves.

And you saw footage of officers running toward gunfire, extraordinary acts of bravery, countless officers returning fire, knowing that they're vulnerable to try to get to wounded and injured citizens and officers to get them rushed to the hospital to try to save their lives.

And just the brave men and women who have worked every day -- the day after this incident occurred, I look at the daily rolls to see who comes to work. Everyone came to work the next day. Who does that, Jake? In the face of their lives being at stake the previous day, you would think you would have some call in and say, maybe that's not for me.

Everyone came to work that next day. And I am just proud to be associated with these people. I stay humble. And so I'm not going to talk much about me. I think you said much about my story, and I think it speaks for itself.

And I hope that I have done a good enough job to represent these brave men and women. That's been the challenge for me. Am I representing them appropriately? So, I am really, really, really not wanting to -- any of this to be about me, Jake. And I hope you can appreciate that.

TAPPER: I can, sir.

What can you tell us about the officers who were wounded?

BROWN: Many of the officers have been released already.

One of the DART officers was still in treatment at the hospital on -- yesterday. But I believe he is going to be released today, if he did not get released late last night.

They're recovering, but they're -- not only those officers, but just looking in the faces of all of my officers when I see them coming in and out of headquarters and out on the street, they're -- they're in shock, Jake.


They're -- you know, one thing -- other thing that I have learned about this is that the conversation about policing in this country, it -- this is not sustainable to keep these officers encouraged. These officers risk their lives for $40,000 a year, $40,000 a year.

And this is not sustainable, not to support these people. We're not perfect. There's cops that don't need to be cops. And I have been the first to say, we need to separate employment with those types of cops, 1 or 2 percent.

But the 98 percent, 99 percent of cops come to work and do this job for 40 grand, and risk their lives, not knowing whether they come home, get this criticism. That's just not right, and it's not sustainable.

And I am just making a plea to this country to stand up as a silent majority and show your support for these people to keep them encouraged to protect you.

And I am saying this from the heart. I hope I'm not lecturing too much. But this is -- this is really important, from my perspective, that we show these folks that we applaud the heroism and that we let them know without a question that we support you in your efforts to protect us.

TAPPER: Who specifically do you think needs to show more support to our men and women in blue? Is this something that you're directing to public officials, to any specific protesters, to the media? Who do you wish were more supportive?

BROWN: Well, you took the words right out of my mouth, media, public officials, and our communities, how media tells the story, how you sensationalize the video, how you edit the video. Show the whole story. And when you don't know the whole story, say

there is more to be determined, instead of jumping quickly to conclusions without a full investigation.

We need more people in the community to come forward. There is a silent majority out there that doesn't realize that a minority voice is loud, critical of law enforcement, without all the facts.

And our public officials, local and national, need to step up. And I am encouraged by what I have heard, but we all need to make sure that there is no question in the mind of our officers that they are supported when they do the right things.

And of the few that don't, we as leaders in the profession need to separate employment with them, so that the 98 percent doesn't get painted with the broad brush of those 1 or 2 percenters that shouldn't be police officers.

So, you can have both of these discussions and be clear of the people who dedicate themselves professionally to deliver police service that you support them, without painting everyone with a broad brush or the majority of the media coverage be the negativity that happens in our profession.

TAPPER: What do you say to the people who were protesting in Louisiana last night or the people who were protesting in Minnesota last night, majority African-American protesters who feel as though their lives don't matter as much to the police? What do you say to them?

BROWN: We're sworn to protect you and your right to protest.

And we will give our lives for it. And it's sort of like being in a relationship where you love that person, but that person can't express or show you love back. I don't know if you have been in a relationship like that before, Jake, but that's a tough relationship to be in, where we show our love, because there is no greater love than to give your life for someone, and that's what we're continuing to be willing to do.

And we just need to hear from the protesters back to us, "We appreciate the work you do for us in our right to protest." That should be fairly easy.

TAPPER: The Obama administration's response to a lot of the violence we have seen in the last week has been to talk about further regulations on gun ownership or gun control.

What is your view? Do you think that it's too easy for individuals to get guns in this country?

BROWN: So, Jake, I wasn't born last night.

Let's let the policy-makers solve that problem, do their job. I am a servant. So, ask me a question about serving this country, and I will talk to you for hours. You ask me a policy question that policy- makers haven't resolved, I'm going to punt and kick it back to you.

TAPPER: So many Americans out there are mourning the five brave police officers who were killed. They want to do something. They want to be able to help. What can they do to help?


BROWN: There's two organizations here in Dallas that will take funds directly to the family members. And really why that's important particularly now is those officers that gave their lives got their last paycheck until the life insurance and funding comes in, which will be weeks later. Sometimes months later. But they have bills due next month. And short-term funding is vitally important to get the mortgages paid and the car notes paid and food on the table.

So the and are the two organizations that your funds will be well spent in keeping these families afloat whose partners, whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the citizens of Dallas. and

TAPPER: We have those graphics up underneath you as you say that. And I will repeat them before the interview ends.

One last question for you, sir. What else should we know? What else do you want the American people to know?

BROWN: That the law enforcement community is hurting. We're all grieving not just here in Dallas, all over the country. And words matter. And we need to hear that you appreciate what we do for this country. Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: Dallas Police Chief David Brown, it has been an honor talking to you this morning, sir. And again those websites are and

Chief Brown, once again thank you for your service for our country, for the people of Dallas and thanks for talking to us today.

BROWN: God bless.

TAPPER: We're going to take a quick break.

President Obama overseas has just weighed in on this controversy. He will of course be going to Dallas sometime this week and we will bring you more information. Stay with us after this quick break.




President Obama is leaving his foreign trip early today to get back after what he's called a tough week. He has plans to visit Dallas this week, but he just weighed in. So let's listen to what he had to say.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the great things about America is that individual citizens and groups of citizens can petition their government, can protest, can speak truth to power. And that is sometimes messy and controversial, but because of that ability to protest and engage in free speech, America over time has gotten better. We have all benefited from that.


TAPPER: With me now is Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us today.


TAPPER: So let's begin with the killing of five police officers in Dallas, Texas. President Obama spoke about the shooting yesterday during a press conference in Poland. And this is what he had to say about the motives of the killer. Take a listen.


OBAMA: I think it's very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter. By definition, if you shoot people who pose no threat to you, strangers, you have a troubled mind.


TAPPER: Secretary Johnson, what exactly is hard to entangle about the killer's motives? They seem fairly clear-cut to me.

JEH JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, as Chief Brown noted, the shooter apparently told the hostage negotiator that he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. I think that's a quote from Chief Brown.

The investigation, however, is still early. We are investigating every aspect of this shooter's life. I suspect we're going to know a lot more very quickly. But in any investigation like this, you want to make sure you have the facts right.

This is a terrible act. This is the murder of five brave police officers. We mourn them. We stand with their families during this tragedy. And on a broader basis, this is a time for healing. It's a time for coming together.

There is a lot of anxiety in this country right now. But at a moment like this we need to take the opportunity to come together, develop community relations across the country with police departments and the like.

This was a terrible heinous act, and we need to stand with our law enforcement officers. They're there to protect us and to serve the public, and let's not forget that.

TAPPER: Commissioner Bratton, something seemingly unprecedented happened in Dallas. The police department there used a bomb robot to kill the gunman. Going forward do you think there needs to be a nationwide discussion among police chiefs to set a standard for this before it becomes common practice?

BRATTON: Heavy use of force is evaluated. This one will certainly be the subject of great discussion and great evaluation. And it must be. And a transparent discussion about it. Based on the preliminary information available to me I support the decision by Chief Brown to use that device for that purpose.


But going forward, that it will require a great deal of evaluation and discussion as to its appropriate use. Each one of these situations is very different. For this particular situation, I believe, based on the information I have, it was an appropriate decision to save the lives of additional officers. So I have no problems with it as it was used in Dallas.

TAPPER: The head of the National Association of Police Organizations, William Johnson, gave an interview on Friday in which he seemed to blame the Obama administration, at least in part, for what happened in Dallas. Take a listen.


WILLIAM JOHNSON NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS: It's a war on cops. And the Obama administration is the Neville Chamberlain of this war. I think their continued appeasement at the federal level, with the Department of Justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like Black Lives Matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made Dallas possible.


TAPPER: Secretary Johnson, I know that you reject this argument. But is the fact that there are some police officers out there who feel this way, isn't that a problem?

JOHNSON: Well, of course we absolutely reject any such notion. The fact is that we're here today with Commissioner Bratton of the New York City Police Department to stand with our law enforcement community here in New York and across this nation.

And in fact, over the last seven and a half years and during the time I have been secretary we have enhanced our cooperation with local and state law enforcement to share information about what we see on a federal level, through our grant-making activity. Just in my department we do a lot to support the efforts of the local police in terms of surveillance, communications, first responder equipment to protect their own safety, their own lives. And we're working closely with state and local law enforcement every single day.

And at a time like this, it's our administration standing today with the police department, with the law enforcement community across this country, to say we mourn the loss of five brave heroes in Dallas, and we're going to keep working together at this. It is critical for the public to know that the police is there to protect and to serve, to serve our communities. That's what they do every single day. And the actions of a few who engage in excessive force are not reflective of the law enforcement community at large who every day is protecting the public.

TAPPER: Secretary Johnson, as I am sure you know, the Bahamas is now telling young men from the Bahamas traveling there from the United States that they should exercise extreme caution when interacting with the police here.

African-American parents, especially those who have sons, are grappling with what to tell their children these days, especially in the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile who were killed by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.

What advice do you have for those parents, Secretary Johnson?

JOHNSON: Well, I have obviously got some experience with this as a parent and as somebody who has been around.

I am 59 years old now. And I have had my share of unpleasant encounters with law enforcement when I was much younger.

TAPPER: What kind of experience did you have as a younger man, if you don't mind my asking, sir?

JOHNSON: Well, you know, the type of road encounters that others have talked about. But you know, we have to put it in perspective. And of course they're unpleasant but they do not reflect the actions of law enforcement in general.

Incidents of profiling, of excessive force, are not reflective of the larger law enforcement community that every single day is out there to serve and protect us. And I think we have to remember that, especially now when tensions are so high. We mourn the loss of five heroic police officers in Dallas who were there to protect those engaged in a peaceable demonstration.

The response there, when they're being shot at, is to want to protect the public, is to make sure that those civilians there are safe. That's the reaction of a law enforcement, that's what we expect, and that's, in fact, what happens every single day. It's important to remember that.

TAPPER: That's right. They ran right into the fire, not away from it. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, thank you both for being with us today.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

BRATTON: Thank you.

TAPPER: Added to Trump's short list for vice president, who is still in the running? We'll tell you who next.



TAPPER: Call it the apprentice, vice presidential edition. Donald Trump seems to be conducting public tryouts for his number two spot as he stokes interest ahead of his official announcement. He has trotted out Newt Gingrich who has confirmed he is being vetted. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker who has since pulled out of the running and Indiana Governor Mike Pence who will campaign with Trump Tuesday as the spotlight on him intensifies. Also supposedly on the short list Oklahoma Governor Republican Mary Fallin who joins me now from Oklahoma City.

Governor Fallin, thanks for being here.

GOV. MARY FALLIN (R), OKLAHOMA: It's good to be with you.

TAPPER: So before the horrific ambush in Dallas the nation was focused on these two fatal shootings of African-American men, one in Minnesota, one in Louisiana. The former speaker of the house, Newt Gingrich, he went on Facebook on Friday with Van Jones and they discussed the issue of race in America.


Take a listen.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: It is more dangerous to be black in America. It's both more dangerous because of crime and which is the Chicago story, but it is more dangerous in that it is substantially more likely to end up in a situation where the police don't respect you and where you could easily get killed.


TAPPER: Do you agree with Former Speaker Gingrich?

FALLIN: Well, I think we certainly have great concern in America with the black community, about crime, about certainly our police forces, and of course we had a horrendous, terrible tragedy in Dallas this past week. But we should have justice for all and if there is any question that there is any injustice for black people, African- American or anyone that it should always be fully investigated.

I will give you an example. Over the past year in the State of Oklahoma, we had a police officer in our city who had been accused of raping women as a police officer. They had a hearing. They prosecute him. And they sent him to prison. We had another reserve officer out of Tulsa, Oklahoma who shot a gentleman. He was prosecuted. He's in prison right now. So I think it is important that we look at any particular claim of injustice, that we listen to the concerns of the black community, but we must also respect and honor our men and women who are serving the police forces across our nation, law enforcement who protect us and keep us safe.

TAPPER: Donald Trump released a video on Friday talking about racial healing. Take a listen.


TRUMP: The deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, also make clear how much more work we have to do to make every American feel that their safety is protected. Racial divisions have gotten worse not better


TAPPER: Obviously you are supporting Donald Trump, I think there are probably some skeptical Americans hearing that message from Mr. Trump about healing the racial divides.

Specifically I have heard from a number of Latino-Americans, Muslim- Americans, Native-Americans, Jewish-Americans, African-Americans, all expressing concerns about some of the things Donald Trump has said. Talk to them. How do you think he will be able to be a racial healer?

FALLIN: Well, I think the whole nation needs to work together and certainly as anyone who's a nominee, whether it's Donald Trump, whether it's Secretary Clinton, we all need to work towards unity as a nation, and understand that people are scared. They want safe homes. They want safe streets. They want safe communities. They don't want to be profiled. They don't want to be discriminated against. Everyone wants to be treated equal with equal justice for all.

TAPPER: Respectfully, governor, you didn't answer my question. Do you think Donald Trump has campaigned as a racial healer?

FALLIN: I think he is trying to campaign as a racial healer. I think that has been part of his message, if you watch what he said this week, he talked about how devastating it was for Dallas, how we need to respect our law enforcement, how we need to pray for those who are killed and those who are injured.

I think that is his intent, I trust him with his words and I think we all need to move towards beings the compassionate, loving, heal, and (INAUDIBLE) also respecting our law enforcement.

TAPPER: Let's talk about Donald Trump's search for a running mate on this program back in April. The former lieutenant governor of South Carolina floated your name for vice president. And afterwards Donald Trump tweeted this, great job and advice on CNN. Thank you.

You have met with Donald Trump four times. You say you have different personalities but a common passion. Have you provided any documents to the Trump campaign for possible vetting?

FALLIN: I have not been asked for a specific documentation. And I have not had a specific conversation within his staff for vice president. It's certainly a great honor to be mentioned with numerous other people across our nation but I have not been asked to provide any information.

TAPPER: Back in May Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort spoke with "The Huffington Post" about Trump's vice presidential pick. And this is what "The Huffington Post" reported -- quote --"The campaign probably won't choose a woman or a member of a minority group." Paul Manafort said -- quote -- "In fact that would be viewed as pandering, I think."

So governor, if Donald Trump ultimately picks a white man as his running mate given the idea -- let's just assume that all things being equal in terms of all the different qualified possibilities including yourself. Do you think if he picks a white man would that be missing an opportunity to diversify the ticket and show the country what the Republican party is truly about?

FALLIN: Well, the Republican Party is a very diverse party. And, you know, I hope first and foremost, that whoever they're looking for in vice president, that they would look at the qualifications, the skill sets, the knowledge, the history, conservative principles and values, that they would not judge a vice presidential candidate based upon their sex, man or woman.


TAPPER: Governor Mary Fallin, thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Always good to see you.

FALLIN: Always good to see you too. Thank you.

TAPPER: And don't forget this Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan will join me for a town hall with voters ahead of the Republican National Convention. What will he do to make sure that his party takes the White House and keeps control of the House and Senate? He'll be here live on CNN Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m.

Thanks for spending your Sunday with us. You can catch me here every Sunday and weekdays on "THE LEAD" at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. And go to for extras from the show. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.