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THE SITUATION ROOM
Interview With Illinois Congressman Bob Dold; Will Joe Biden Run?; Trump Criticizes Talk Radio Host; Illinois Manhunt. Aired 18- 19:00p ET
Aired September 4, 2015 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Now Trump is firing back after this security guard was caught on camera scuffling with a protester.
No remorse. A jailed county clerk is standing by her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. But while she's behind bars, her deputies are giving gay couples the green light to wed.
And D.C. scandal. Sexually charged tweets shocked the nation's capital, but this controversy isn't about Congress. It's about football and Washington's troubled team.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Tonight, a widening mystery after the death of a veteran police officer and a massive manhunt that led nowhere. Authorities in Fox Lake, Illinois, now say several videos have surfaced in the search for three possible suspects. They're also revealing that the officer's gun was found next to his body, but they won't say if that weapon caused his death. It's one of many unanswered questions tonight and some law enforcement veterans say they're baffled by the handling of this investigation.
Also, Donald Trump is lashing out at a conservative radio host, accusing him of asking gotcha questions. Trump was unfamiliar with the leaders of terrorist groups and he stumbled on some other foreign policy matters, this as new video from New York one showing Trump's bodyguard apparently ripping a protester's sign and reportedly hitting the man in the face.
We have correspondents, analysts and newsmakers standing by to cover all of the news that is breaking now.
First, we want to go to CNN's Rosa Flores. She has more on the mystery in Fox Lake, Illinois -- Rosa.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, the hunt for three cop killers continues, and tonight new clues, new pieces of video that police hope will put a face to these cop killers. But there is a problem. They have video of before and after the killing, but not of the killing itself, which is like putting a puzzle together when you know that the critical piece is missing.
FLORES (voice-over): Investigators have been tight-lipped about many of the details involving the killing of Lieutenant Joe Gliniewicz in Northern Illinois, but, tonight, new revelations, newly discovered surveillance videos from homes, businesses, and even the Department of Transportation.
GEORGE FILENKO, COMMANDER, LAKE COUNTY MAJOR CRIME TASK FORCE: We have images of people that we believe are subjects that we'd be interested in talking to.
QUESTION: Is that from the video that you acquired yesterday?
FILENKO: No, this is some other video that we have acquired within the last 24 hours.
FLORES: Those surveillance camera images are the best lead yet.
FILENKO: They have intersection cameras. One of the things that we have historically known about those cameras is that that is usually recycled within a matter of several hours. They were astute enough to hear about this officer's slaying and they have held video from some of the intersections that are key to that exact location.
FLORES: The FBI is helping by mapping the videos geographically and chronologically, trying to piece together a clear picture of what happened before and after the slaying of the officer, whose weapon, a .40-caliber which authorities say was recovered at the scene near the officer's remains.
FILENKO: I can confirm today that it was the officer's weapon that was recovered at the scene. We received confirmation yesterday. We're following up on some forensics from that weapon as we speak.
FLORES: They are also putting boots on the ground, taking canine units back to the scene looking for clues, law enforcement presence beefed up ahead of the holiday weekend, which usually brings in tens of thousands of vacationers.
FILENKO: I hope you realize that we do make contingency plans and we plan ahead. So we have put in place plans in those situations where people suspect that somebody may have been in their home squatting, and we have taken it to the extent of addressing even the issue of some of the boats that are docked, that they may have been used as some kind of a hiding spot or somebody just accessing that.
FLORES: So, the FBI pumping extra resources, a tip line, and a Web page. A business in the area also chipping in with $50,000 in rewards for tips that would lead to an arrest.
While the police work continues, this community, Brianna, getting ready to mourn even more for this police officer, his funeral scheduled for Monday. And they're expecting thousands of people to descend onto this community to pay their respects -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Rosa Flores for us in Fox Lake, Illinois, thank you.
And joining me now on the phone is Congressman Bob Dold. He represents the Fox Lake area. And he's been getting briefings on the investigation into officer Gliniewicz's death.
Congressman, thanks again for being with us.
And give us a sense at this point, now that we are days past this initial search, what extra resources are being dedicated to the manhunt?
REP. BOB DOLD (R), ILLINOIS: Well, the resources, obviously the FBI. We have got a number of canine units that are out there. The police -- as you heard earlier from Chief Filenko, who's head of Major Crimes, there's a tremendous amount of assets from around the area that are coming in and will continue to come in ahead of the holiday weekend.
And so the police are working obviously around the clock to try and make sure that they're getting as many clues as possible. You heard about the additional $50,000 reward from a local business. So I can tell you the investigation is progressing and moving along and they're obviously excited about some of the clues that they have thus far.
KEILAR: Is the hope that that award that was just announced is going to I guess tempt someone who may know something to turn that information over?
DOLD: Well, I think that's always the case with a cash reward like this leading to the arrest. And certainly I think that they are using all means possible to try to honor additional clues that will be able to bring these three murderers into custody.
KEILAR: Is that really what officials think that it's going to come down to, though, at this point? It just doesn't seem like they're really releasing any information, and it doesn't seem that they're really able to capitalize on help from the public who might help them identify these suspects.
DOLD: Well, I know that it's frustrating. And certainly there are many that are out there that are frustrated.
But I can tell you that no one is working harder than the Fox Lake Police Department, the Major Crimes Task Force. They have got the FBI, the Marshals and others in terms of just federal assets that are all working together to try to not only bring this investigation hopefully to a close rapidly, but to make sure that we are apprehending these three murderers as quickly as possible.
KEILAR: We have heard a lot of law enforcement officials who are surprised that more information isn't out there. They say that it needs to be put out there because, when there is a void, and there are many unanswered questions at this point when it comes down to when this is going to be ruled a homicide, whether the gun that killed officer Gliniewicz was his own gun or another gun -- a lot of law enforcement experts say, you're leaving a void that will just get filled by people coming up with conclusions about things.
What do you say about that?
DOLD: Well, what I would say is for people to be patient and please know that the police force here on the ground are extremely talented. And they have got assets, federal assets as well.
So they have got some of the best minds out there in law enforcement that are working on this and they're working diligently. So I have tremendous faith in them, that they're going to do the right things, because nobody wants to capture these three more than they do.
KEILAR: At this point, Congressman, do you know what evidence there is of these three individuals, between video evidence and perhaps footprints or something like that or anyone else who spotted them?
DOLD: I don't know all of the intimate details and again have tried not to insert myself into that process.
I don't want to be a distraction. I'm here to not only provide moral support for the community, but also try to make sure that we are a voice obviously for folks that are looking for additional information. We have been briefed by some law enforcement officials on this.
But I can just tell you that there is video that's out there that proves promising. You heard from Chief Filenko about some of the additional footage that was from some of the street corners and the like. But, again, this is a puzzle that they're putting together and we have to -- they want to do it correctly, so that they're able to catch and keep these three murderers.
KEILAR: All right, Congressman Dold, really appreciate you talking to us.
I want to bring in now former FBI Assistant Director and CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.
So, Tom, you have -- the last time that the lieutenant was heard from, he was -- he reported to dispatch that these three suspects were near an old concrete plant. He did later request backup after they fled and he tried to pursue them. But why haven't officials talked more about what led the officer to even check out this site? I mean, was just on his patrol?
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, at this point, it sounds like they don't know.
The dispatches that he made to his headquarters were so cryptic that there wasn't much in them. And the very first one, when he said he'd be out with three, meaning getting out of his car to check out three people...
KEILAR: On foot, right?
FUENTES: It would mean on foot. And the dispatcher asked him, do you want a backup? He said no.
Then, a short time later, he's in foot pursuit and he's calling for a backup. But, initially, he didn't ask for a backup. We don't know why. So it's kind of confusing as to why you would be suspicious enough to get out and check out three individuals by yourself and not even ask for a backup. That's kind of not really normal procedure for anybody.
KEILAR: So if you're a police officer in that situation and anything is kind of suspicious, you say, yes, yes, send someone along?
FUENTES: Right. And it could be that 32 years in a peaceful community where he knows everybody, everybody knows him and gets along great, that he just felt that he didn't feel a threat that actually was there, as it turns out.
KEILAR: So police are telling reporters and the public that they're interested in talking to some subjects who are featured in images from these videos from the scene or near the scene. Is that a good sign for the investigation or is that...
FUENTES: Well, it would be a great sign if they put something out.
We ask a lot of our police officers. And they're tremendous and even the 40 dogs that are out there. But they're not psychic. If you want people to see something and say something, they need to know what they're looking at. Again, you have heard in Rosa's broadcast that they're going to have tens of thousands of people come for the holiday weekend, the boaters, the fishermen, the campers.
So you have an influx of people, many from the Chicago area. It's a diverse group of people coming in. How are they going to know what they're looking at when they see strangers come to town? Everybody's a stranger coming to town for the holiday weekend. Nobody knows what they're looking for. And I don't know how you can ask these police officers -- I grew up in Northern Illinois -- the mosquitoes are about that big and horrible. It's hot, humid, swampy. They're out there for four days. And for what?
If the authorities, if their leaders or commanders are holding back descriptive data, you're going to have some unhappy officers out there who are doing everything they physically can to solve this case.
KEILAR: I know you're critical that while the FBI is involved in this, that perhaps they should be more involved when it comes to the video analysis. It's not like there isn't video. There are a number of videos. We just don't know -- the public doesn't know what's on them and Homeland Security is looking at them, right?
FUENTES: We don't know what happened to that first video that supposedly went to Homeland Security three days ago and no one's heard of it since. The officers that have been doing the press conferences say they haven't seen it.
FUENTES: Their investigators haven't seen it. Who's got it? And what are they doing with it? This is not -- you want to put out descriptive data. That's why we have Amber Alerts. That's why police put out be on the lookout, that's why we have shows like "The Hunt," to put out descriptive information for the public.
And there's about four million members of the public in the greater Chicagoland area that could help, as well as the officers on the scene and patrolling all over Northern Illinois. Nobody knows what these guys look like. If these commanders have information, they need to get it out.
KEILAR: Tom Fuentes, thanks so much.
Just ahead: Donald Trump's defense after embarrassing stumbles on foreign policy. Was it a gotcha interview or was Trump simply unprepared?
And Joe Biden opens up about the gunt-wrenching -- gut-wrenching, I should say, decision that he's been struggling with. Will he challenge Hillary Clinton and run for president?
KEILAR: Tonight, Donald Trump's opponents have new ammunition for their claims that he's not prepared to be commander in chief. The GOP front-runner stumbled more than once during questions about foreign policy. Trump says it's not his fault; it's the interviewer who's to blame.
Our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, has more on Trump stumped.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
And he, of course, argues he wasn't stumped, he misheard the question, and so forth. But it really does expose or highlight the divide between those who have been in office and those who haven't. Those who have, and they're running on their record, they are really excited to argue that this reality TV star who's topping the polls is not ready for prime-time.
BASH (voice-over): Donald Trump is attacking conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt after Trump stumbled on his questions about national security, even terror leaders.
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: To know who Hassan Nasrallah is and Zawahri and al-Julani and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard yet, Donald Trump?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I'll tell you, honestly, by the time we will get to office, they will all by changed, they will be all gone.
FLORES: Trump seemed to confuse an ethnic group, the Iraqi Kurds, with the Iranian Quds Force, the elite military unit said to target the West.
HEWITT: Are you familiar with General Suleimani?
TRUMP: Yes. Go ahead. Give me a little -- go ahead. Tell me.
HEWITT: He runs the Quds Forces.
TRUMP: Yes, OK. Right.
TRUMP: I think the Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by us.
HEWITT: No, not the Kurds, the Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Forces, the bad guys.
TRUMP: Yes. Right.
BASH: Trump accused host Hugh Hewitt of gotcha questions.
TRUMP: When you're asking me about who is running this, this, this, that's not -- that's not -- I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.
BASH: Yet Carly Fiorina, another candidate from business, not politics, was on the same program the same day answering with more fluency.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, we know that the general, the Quds Force has been a powerful tool of the Iranian regime to sow conflict.
BASH: Trump, true to form, lashed out.
TRUMP: I thought he said Kurds, this third-rate radio announcer that I did the show. It was like a gotcha, gotcha, got -- every question was, do I know this one and that one? And it was like he worked hard on that.
BASH: Trump's GOP opponents were quick to pounce.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You just can't flippantly say, well, I will hire the best people and they will be done. You have got to have some sense of what's at risk here.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think if you don't know the answers to those questions, then you're not going to able to serve as commander in chief.
BASH: But Trump isn't alone in his trouble. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is polling closely behind Trump, has also struggled to answer tough foreign policy questions.
HEWITT: Should we have that sort of commitment that if Putin makes a move on the Baltic states, we would go to war?
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, if we have them involved in NATO, we need to we need to convince them to get involved in NATO and strengthen NATO.
HEWITT: Well, the Baltics, they are in NATO.
BASH: No one can argue Ben Carson, who is a surgeon who performed groundbreaking surgeries on Siamese twins, is not bright. Donald Trump is a smart man.
And, Brianna, they are what polls show Republican voters really want, outsiders who bring a new perspective to Washington. They argue that they are smart enough to bone up at the last minute. Obviously, their opponents, who already have that experience, are saying they're not ready.
KEILAR: We will see if they can cram. All right, Dana Bash, thanks so much.
Joining me now on the phone, the Iowa co-chairman, chairwoman, I should say, of the Trump campaign, Tana Goertz. She's also a former contestant on Trump's TV show "The Apprentice."
Tana, thanks for being with us.
And just give us your take on this interview. I'm sure that it was not the performance that Donald Trump wished that he would have given. But here it is. This is what it is now. What do you say?
TANA GOERTZ, IOWA TRUMP CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: You know what? First off, Mr. Trump is the most brilliant man I have ever, ever met. And he is never unprepared.
So the fact that this came out and appeared that he was unprepared just goes to show that this is a gentleman that he is unscripted, he's unstaged, he takes interviews without having pre- screened the calls. He doesn't use a teleprompter. This is a man who he's honest and he's real, and a lot of other
people aren't. And I appreciate his honesty, and maybe I was not as prepared as I maybe could have been, but he didn't know where these questions were coming from. And half the time when you do a radio interview, you can't even hear the people that are asking the question.
KEILAR: Do you think he will prepare more ahead of the debate that's coming up here in less than two weeks?
GOERTZ: Oh, absolutely. I mean, he's preparing as we're speaking right now.
He -- like I said, he is never unprepared. He never doesn't deliver. He is brilliant. He's going to do fantastic. I mean, I know the man very, very well. He is impressing people. His followers, his supporters love his honesty, love his transparency. And the fact that he is showing himself to the world, flaws and all, is very endearing. People love him.
KEILAR: I want your reaction to this interview. We saw GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and she hit him. She said it is critically important that we have a leader in the White House who understands the world and who's in it and how it works.
GOERTZ: Oh, of course she...
KEILAR: What do you say to that?
GOERTZ: Of course she did, because Mr. Trump is killing all the polls. He's the front-runner.
They're doing anything -- anybody in the running is doing anything in their power to try to find a flaw in this man. Good luck. I mean, it's very, very hard to find a flaw in this man. As you know, Brianna, we have been through everything in the campaign, from -- I'm not going to even name any of the adjectives people and the media and other candidates try to name him and accuse him of.
I mean, and he just keeps rising to the top, because he is authentic. He's real. And he operates clean and honestly. So there is -- of course, she's going to say that. What else is she supposed to say? She's way, way, way behind him.
KEILAR: I do -- I know being there, knowing what voters and supporters of Donald Trump's in Iowa think, do they even care about this kind of thing?
GOERTZ: You know, I mean, of course they care about the president of the United States having knowledge.
But, no, as of right now, Mr. Trump -- Mr. Trump has been doing more interviews than all the candidates put together. He has spent more time hitting the streets, doing interviews, like I'm talking 45 -- hour -- minute-long interviews, that the other candidates are locked in a office just cramming and studying. And that's not what America wants.
What America wants is exactly what Donald Trump is, a man who's going to bring jobs to this country, a man who's going to protect our veterans, and a man that gets out there and gets the job done.
So, I mean, I'm out here on the streets, as you say. I am working this campaign. I'm meeting the voters. And people could not be more excited about Donald Trump. And they know with time will come all of his knowledge, will come all of his policy. We will see Mr. Trump here in a week or so at the debates just shining like he always does.
KEILAR: Tana, thank you so much -- Tana Goertz joining us there.
Just ahead: the Democrats. Hillary Clinton talks about her e- mail troubles. She uses the word sorry. And Joe Biden goes public with one of the toughest political decisions of his life.
And the lawyers for a jailed clerk say she's not sorry about her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses, but, tonight, her deputies are listening to the courts and not their boss.
KEILAR: Tonight, a new apology of sorts from Hillary Clinton about the e-mail controversy that is dogging her presidential campaign. It comes as Clinton launches a new appeal to Hispanic voters and Joe Biden is revealing more about his personal struggle to decide whether or not to challenge Clinton.
[18:31:08] Our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is covering Clinton's trip to Puerto Rico.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do like to listen and to learn more about the challenges that Puerto Rico is facing.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Ahead of her visit to Puerto Rico, Hillary Clinton sat down for a rare interview, defending her decision to use a private e-mail server as secretary of state.
CLINTON: At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions. But there are answers to all these questions. And I will continue to provide those answers.
ZELENY: Clinton expressed regret to NBC's Andrea Mitchell but stopped short of saying she was sorry for setting up an e-mail server outside the channels of government.
CLINTON: I certainly wish that I had made a different choice, and I know why the American people have questions about it. ZELENY: For the second straight day another one of her top
advisers testified on Capitol Hill. The investigation into the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that first uncovered Clinton's private e-mail server continues. She's scheduled to appear before the congressional committee in October.
CLINTON: Eventually I'll get to testify in public, and I'm sure it will be a long and grueling time there; but all the -- all the questions will be answered.
ZELENY: Clinton still faces the possibility of Joe Biden jumping into the presidential race.
CLINTON: He has to make a really difficult decision. You can see him struggling with it. And I just wish the best for him and his family.
ZELENY: Thursday night, Biden said he hadn't made up his mind just yet.
JOE BIDEN (D), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.
ZELENY: A reality check to a summer of speculation but far from closing the door.
BIDEN: If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it, in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it.
ZELENY: Today in Puerto Rico the email controversy drew laughter at Clinton's expense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what Secretary Clinton's plan for Puerto Rico is. I think it was on her server and was wiped clean.
ZELENY: We caught up with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who said the email controversy would remain a campaign issue.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe it's disqualifying. There are people that have been fired for less than this.
ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
KEILAR: I want to bring in CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger; CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash; and CNN political director David Chalian.
OK. So we hear this Hillary Clinton interview today which, you know, we're just glued to, because it doesn't happen all the time. And she is sounding more contrite, Gloria, when it comes to the e- mails.
She also said, though, that she's sorry that this has been confusing to people. Some read that as sort of a passive apology, not an outright apology, for using the server. Does this help, though, put this issue to rest?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No. You know, I don't think it does. I think Hillary Clinton is a political professional. And I think she realizes that, if she apologizes directly, she has to admit wrongdoing. She's not going to do that.
But what she did say, which I'm trying to figure out is -- and this is a direct quote -- "I disagree with the choice that I made." I don't really understand that, right?
I mean, what occurs is that people like Hillary Clinton, who've been in politics for decades, have staff around them that try and protect them. So she was clearly saying to us, "OK, I disagree with the choice." She didn't make it. Somebody else was making it for her to protect her. But she has to assume responsibility. So if anything is confusing, it's her explanation.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Brianna, when she talked to you about this, the first interview that she did, she didn't even come close to this. At all.
KEILAR: There was really no contrition.
BASH: There was no contrition at all. And -- and it just seems that either she or her advisers or both realize that a lot of what her supporters are looking for and people on the fence are looking for is humanity. You know, is this person a real person? Or she is a political robot? And she clearly tried to take a step towards being a human being.
And it's funny, because she -- which obviously, we all know she is. But to come across that way. And that is really the key difference.
KEILAR: I think...
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Also -- sorry, I also thought that in the interview, what was so different, she clearly wasn't as defensive as she was when you interviewed her on this topic.
She also started giving the American people a little more credit, that they have questions that deserve answers. So instead of it just being a vast right-wing conspiracy or the media piling up on her in some way, she actually said, "I get it, there are questions and I'll continue to answer them."
She can't put it behind her, though. Because the drip, drip, drip, every month of the e-mails, the testimony upcoming, and she knows that. So I actually think what you saw today is what now she is going to have to do over and over and over again. And not revert back to a defensive posture on it. BORGER: You know, something is happening with Hillary Clinton
here. Her favorability is at 41 percent. That is the lowest rating for her of her entire political career, including 2007 and 2008. They're really aware of that. So in trying to humanize her, to your point, or to admit that she feels people's questions, she understands why they're confused. I mean, she's trying to open up a little bit without saying she did something wrong.
BASH: It's hard. Because there's a legal issue there.
BASH: But, you know -- we don't know exactly why her popularity has plummeted, but it can't be a coincidence that it has gone down since this e-mail issue has been out there. But it's not just the issue; it's her reaction to it.
KEILAR: Her reaction to it.
I do want to talk about this Hugh Hewitt interview that Donald Trump did, where he really stumbled repeatedly on issues of foreign policy, knowing the players. Not necessarily the names but really just sort of the players when it comes to Mideast terrorism.
I wonder, though, if it doesn't matter to some Trump supporters, David? Does it matter as he makes a broader play for Republicans? I mean, it seems like with the pledge he might have been trying to go beyond this piece of the pie that he's carved.
CHALIAN: I think the pledge, he was sort of checking a very specific box. I don't know that that was a play to win over a larger swath of Republican voters, though clearly any candidate wants to increase their vote share. But I don't think Donald Trump is making some broader play right now.
I think he's got a very secure base inside the party and he is -- whatever he can build on that, he can. I don't think if you are a Trump supporter today, Brianna, that anything in that interview sends you running away to some other candidate. I don't see it.
KEILAR: Well, I want to see how some Republicans are capitalizing on this. Let's listen to what Marco Rubio said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: I think if you don't know the answer to those questions, you're not going to be able to serve as commander in chief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: He's trying to say it's disqualifying. Is it?
BORGER: Right. Sure. BASH: Is it? Who knows. That will be up to the voters to
decide. But it certainly gives somebody like Marco Rubio, who has been trying to make foreign policy one of his calling cards, the fact that he sits now in the Senate and that he steeps himself in foreign policy issues, the fact that he has taken the time to become an expert on it, that has not benefited him.
So they see this as an opening, those who really do have this experience and expertise. Lindsey Graham, for example, he's sending out tweets saying that he's the only one with an actual plan to fight ISIS.
BORGER: Right, and Lindsey Graham, who has the most foreign policy experience of any one of the Republican field, is in single digits.
You know, the question is, for Donald Trump, he does very well on the economy. Not as well on foreign policy. You know, the question is which people care about the most at this point in this post-9/11 world, right? And we don't know the answer to that.
CHALIAN: The comments were also made at a different point in the race than, obviously, the previous controversies over John McCain or other things.
CHALIAN: We're now in a place where we're seeing some folks, prominent folks -- Jeb Bush among them -- in the field more ready, willing, eager to take him on and draw contrast with him.
And so now I am also wondering, as he makes other controversial comments like this one and we enter this new phase of the campaign, do indeed people start putting money behind these contrasts? Getting on television screens and actually try drawing this in a very significant way for voters?
KEILAR: I do want to tell our viewers, we are currently -- we have a live camera up in Puerto Rico. We're waiting for Hillary Clinton to do a press availability. She's going to answer some questions. So I just want to let you know we're monitoring that. We'll bring it to you as it happens.
But you know what it is? It's "Flashback Friday." So let us take you on back to November 1999. All right, this is George W. Bush. And he was being asked -- it was kind of a foreign policy pop quiz. See how he did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[18:40:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you name the president of Chechnya?
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, can you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you name the president of Taiwan?
BUSH: Yes, Lee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you name the general who's in charge...
BUSH: Wait a minute, is this a -- is this a -- is this a 50 questions?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's four questions of four leaders in four hot spots.
BUSH: The new Pakistani general, just been elected -- he's not elected, this guy that took over office. It appears he's going bring stability to the country, and I think that's good news.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can name him?
BUSH: The general. I can name the general.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: I mean, that does matter. Pervez Musharraf, who ironically ended up being a huge player when it came to foreign policy.
BASH: I covered his White House, and he was -- I mean, a partner, maybe he didn't mean for him to be a partner, but he had to be a partner after 9/11.
BASH: It is ironic. And it just goes to show, you know, to your point, you don't necessarily think that foreign policy may or may not be part of your administration, but you have to be ready.
CHALIAN: That didn't stop George W. Bush from becoming president.
BORGER: It's a different time. You know, it's a different time. I mean, people weren't watching ISIS beheadings. The Iranian nuclear deal, which Donald Trump is very much against, is front and center right now. And by the way, if he becomes a nominee, he could run against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who one would argue is the most experienced in foreign policy of anyone on the stage right now.
KEILAR: We'll see if it matters. A lot of Democrats say it's all about the economy. You know, they might want to relish this...
BORGER: It may well be.
CHALIAN: I also think we'll see a more educated Donald Trump as the campaign continues.
KEILAR: Oh, he is -- he is cramming as we speak, I think.
Dana, Gloria, David, thank you guys so much. Have a great weekend.
The Republican presidential candidates will return to the debate stage. That's less than two weeks from today. The rematch will air right here on CNN. That's September 16. We'll bring it to you live from the Reagan Library in California. And then CNN's also hosting the first Democratic presidential debate. That's October 13 in Nevada.
Just ahead, a jailed clerk refuses to resign or agree to issue same-sex marriage licenses, but gay couples in her county are set to get married anyway as this showdown becomes part of the presidential race.
And as the NFL season is about to begin, Peyton Manning talks to CNN about rival quarterback Tom Brady. Are they feuding after some trash talking by Brady that was made public?
KEILAR: We're in THE SITUATION ROOM. And I want to take you live now to Puerto Rico, where Hillary Clinton is taking reporters' questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
CLINTON: Well, I respect the process that the pardon and parole department are going through. Obviously, as you point out, there would have to be a recommendation, an action taken by the president.
[18:45:05] And I have no information about whether that's being considered or not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Amanda?
REPORTER: I was wondering, Labor Day is coming up. (INAUDIBLE) organized labor that are very vocal about their support for Sanders.
Do you think there's a push going on between national union leaders (INAUDIBLE) and kind of rank and file who are wanting (INAUDIBLE)
CLINTON: I can only speak to what I'm doing and what I'm hearing. And I'm very encouraged by the strong support that I have. As you know, I was accorded the endorsement from the AFT and I am looking for additional endorsements as we go forward. You're right that Labor Day is kind of a pivot for all kinds of political actions during a campaign year. And I think there will be a number of other unions that will be endorsing but they have to make those decisions, whatever timetable they pursue.
With respect to local and national support, I feel very energized by the local support I have. I think a lot of people are talking to those unions and members I represented when I was a senator for eight years in New York. And know that I am a strong advocate for organized labor, for union membership, and for doing what we need to do to fight back against the concerted effort by the Republicans and their allies to undermine and shut down union organization and bargaining.
And I think that's a real mistake, because there's a direct correlation between the union activity for workers that can bargain for higher wages and better working conditions and the growth and stability of the middle class.
So, I think I have a very strong record. I'm not taking anything for granted. I'm going to work hard to win as much support as I possibly can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's take one more and then -- CNN in the back?
REPORTER: You mentioned (INAUDIBLE). One thing you mentioned is the importance of coming together, unionize. (INAUDIBLE) divided by the political status. There's one thing that we have been fighting for in the Congress is to be included in Chapter 9. There's a bill --
REPORTER: Another one that was actually presented in the Senate but hasn't actually been given public hearing. I would like to know your position in regard to both of those bills and what would you try to do and would do (INAUDIBLE)? If we were included in 1984, that eliminate would be eliminated and removed from that Chapter 9.
CLINTON: Right. I strongly support the inclusion of Puerto Rico entities like the electric utility, municipalities, within Chapter 9 protection. I don't think you can really resolve a lot of the difficult economic questions you're facing without reorganizing your debt. And there is no more efficient or fairway to do that than providing that Chapter 9 approach.
I'm aware that there's no Republican support for that. There are several Democratic senators, I know, who have joined with your representative either in that bill or another bill to try to move this issue forward.
And that's why I emphasized the unity. I think it's really important -- when it comes to trying to get the Congress to do this, and from my understanding the administration supports taking action like that, there has to be a unified front from Puerto Rico regardless of political affiliation or party or final status preference. And the more you can present a united front, the better it will be for people like me and others who want to support moving in that direction to be able to make the case.
[18:50:00] And I would underscore, I think there's some educating that needs to be done with Congress and with the American and even with states where there might not be an understanding that as American citizens, if Puerto Ricans are either forced or choose to leave, and they go anywhere in the United States, they are entitled to the same rights and benefits as anybody else.
So there's a strong incentive for states to join with their congressional representatives in trying to figure out how to handle the healthcare challenge and the economic challenge and the Chapter 9 issue as part of that.
So, I'm hoping that there can be a good education effort as well as a very strong unified position taken in Puerto Rico on behalf of getting these changes through, because otherwise, it's going to be very painful for a lot of people. I don't want to see that happen.
So, thanks, everybody. Thank you all.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: All right. That was Hillary Clinton live in Puerto Rico. Is this perhaps the beginning of more questions for Hillary Clinton?
We will be right back with our panel of political reporters after a quick break.
KEILAR: We are back now with chief political analyst Gloria Borger and CNN chief -- actually not Dana Bash. She has left us for a just a moment. But we are also here with CNN political director David Chalian.
OK. So, we are looking ahead to a big week. One of the big events, really dueling events between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Exactly. In fact, Hillary Clinton said today in her interview, when you turn the corner after Labor Day, it's a whole new phase of the campaign. And that is very true. People are starting to tune in.
Next week, we're going to see the issue of Iran split down the middle here. Hillary will be giving a speech here in Washington next Wednesday, supporting President Obama's work on this Iran negotiation and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, perhaps a ticket, there, will be together in strong opposition to this Iran deal appearing at a rally that Ted Cruz has organized. So, that will be a day where contrasts will be really clear next week.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALSYT: And Ted Cruz knows if he has organized a rally, the guy to invite get some coverage is Donald Trump.
KEILAR: And it's also the week of late night. That's pretty fascinating, right?
CHALIAN: I do think -- that's part of the new phase. Opportunity to introduce yourself to Americans in a new way as people are focusing on the campaign.
BORGER: Right. It's a way to appear spontaneous and full of humor without actually being spontaneous. Because the truth about these shows is that the staff goes in and plans exactly what their candidate wants to talk about and wants to say. I'm sure they all will be very clever.
KEILAR: And we're talking about Joe Biden and Jeb Bush who will be separately -- I wish they were together. Wouldn't that be amazing? Trump on Fallon. There's another one.
CHALIAN: Hillary Clinton will be doing the "Ellen DeGeneres Show."
KEILAR: That's right. Hillary Clinton on Ellen.
BORGER: Will she dance?
KEILAR: Let's not forget, George W. Bush fund-raising for his brother September 10th in New York City, a big thing.
I want to talk before we go about Monday, Labor Day. We will -- I will be with Joe Biden when he is in Pittsburgh and he will be with labor leaders. This is a key moment as he tries to make a decision here.
BORGER: Yes. I think we have been seeing this play out publically all week. I mean, Joe Biden is an open book. He's been telling people exactly what is going on, which is that this is a personal, emotional decision for him and his family. And we can see in Hillary Clinton's answer today when she was asked about it, she said --
CHALIAN: She said he was struggling with this very publically. To use that word "struggling" from Hillary Clinton who is waiting for his decision, I thought that was an intriguing way for her to frame what Joe Biden is going through right now.
BORGER: Carefully planned out, wouldn't you say? Because I'm assuming that Hillary Clinton is not thrilled that this drama has been played on for weeks and weeks.
KEILAR: Does she want -- does she need a competitor? That's the thing. She may not want one. I don't think she wants to get into back and forth with Joe Biden of all people, right?
KEILAR: But does she need that to give her an edge?
CHALIAN: I don't know. I'm not sure she does. I think she and Obama and a long campaign made each other better. But I'm not sure, I have not met a presidential can't who wants some more serious competition.
BORGER: They say they do. (CROSSTALK)
KEILAR: Like you need it. It might make things better.
BORGER: They say, I welcome the competition, right, bring it on. She doesn't want Joe Biden to get into this race. Right now she's got her hands full with Bernie Sanders who she said gives speeches, right? Great speeches which is what she said about Barack Obama.
KEILAR: Nice reminder there. Gloria Borger, David Chalian, thank you guys so much. Have a great weekend.
BORGER: You too.
The Republican presidential candidates return to the debate stage less than two weeks from now. The rematch will air right here on CNN, September 16th. We will bring it to you live from the Reagan library in California. We're also hosting the first Democratic presidential debate. That's on October 13th in Nevada.
Remember, follow us on Twitter. You can tweet the show @CNNSitroom. We check your tweets. Pleasure be sure to Join us Monday in THE SITUATION ROOM as well.
Thanks so much for watching. I'm Brianna Keilar.
And "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" with Pamela Brown starts right now.