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Turkish Prime Minister Says at Least 36 Dead, 147 Others Reported Wounded in Terror Attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport; Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Go Head to Head on Terror. Aired 10- 11p ET
Aired June 28, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: All right, Anderson. Thank you very much. This is CNN Tonight. Here is what we know right now.
Turkish Prime Minister says at least 36 people are dead, 147 others reported wounded in a terror attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. No claim of responsibility yet. The US officials suspect ISIS.
Three suicide bombers are dead. The Prime Minister says they arrive at the airport in a taxi, open fire and then blow themselves up. Panic as a terrified -- as a terrified some wounded desperately tried to flee the carnage.
And meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go head to head on terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Folks, there's something going on that's really, really bad, all right. It's bad. And we better get smart and we better get tough or we're not going to have much of a country left, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Hillary Clinton issuing a statement saying in part, "The United States cannot retreat. We must deepen our cooperation with our allies and partners in the Middle East and Europe to take on this threat."
Well, tonight, you can see that threat unfold as it happens. And I have to warn you, though, all of this is very graphic to watch but it takes you inside a terror attack as never before. So watch this.
You see a gunman running through the airport with a weapon. It appears that an officer shoots him. The gunman falls to the ground. His gun slides away. Moments later, he detonates what maybe a suicide vest or a belt.
LEMON: And there you see the explosion. I want you to watch that video again so you can see it very clearly. The gunman appears to be caught in the middle of the attack. You can see people running from him. A shot appears to take him down. He falls and then his gun slides away and then, of course, that moment of explosion. Another gunshot and then the explosion.
Graphic indeed but, again, it takes you inside a terror attack. CNN reporters covering every single angle of this breaking news for you tonight.
Joe Duran is at Istanbul at Ataturk Airport, Ivan Watson is in Paris, Elise Labott and Clarissa Ward in Washington for us this evening. We have it cover for you. Ivan Watson, I want to begin with you. I want you to walk us through what happened right now, Ivan.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is believed to have happened in the area of around 10 o'clock at night in Istanbul at the airport. Eyewitnesses describing a series of explosions, three of them, which seems to match the description coming from the Turkish government that there were three attackers.
The Turkish government says they approached in a common taxi, and they were armed not only with explosive but also with weapons, Kalashnikovs that they appeared to have fired. The Prime Minister of Turkey says, before detonating their explosives.
Now it seems from the video that we've seen that one of the explosions went off just outside the arrivals terminal, it's kind of a basement area. A second blast of some sort took place in the departures area of the airport, which is above that on a second floor, and then the government says that a third blast, an attacker, he self-detonated in the parking lot outside of the airport.
The airport has been closed since this trio of attacks took place, a wave that seems to have been carefully coordinated and has crippled the biggest airport in Turkey's largest city. Don.
LEMON: Ivan, of course the big question is responsibility. Who is responsible for this? Anyone claiming responsibility and what is the Turkish government saying tonight?
WATSON: We have not seen claims of responsibility yet, Don, but the Turkish government has pointed the finger at ISIS. And if it is in fact ISIS, get this. This would be the third attack this year alone to have taken place in Istanbul believed to have been carried out by ISIS attackers, previously in January and in March.
In both of those attacks, suicide bombers went after foreign tourists walking around some of the very popular tourist destinations in Istanbul, but this of course a much larger and more complicated attack and not targeting purely foreign tourists but hurting many, many Turkish citizens. And all of them happen to be Muslims as well, and this taking place during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, a fact that the president of the country has highlighted saying that this is an attack not just on Turks but on the rest of world as well.
[22:05:19] LEMON: All right, stand by, Ivan. I want to bring in Joe Duran. Joe, it's now morning in Istanbul, what was the scene like when you got there?
JOE DURAN, CNN PHOTOJOURNALIST: Can you boost it up from your end?
LEMON: Joe, can you hear me?
DURAN: Yes, it's very low in my phone and the volume ...
LEMON: We'll get back to Joe in just a moment. You could see it's breaking news obviously, we're having a bit of audio difficulty with Joe, but we'll get to him.
I want to go to CNN's Clarissa Ward now who is joining us from Washington. Clarissa, I understand you have been speaking to your sources. What are they telling you?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this stage, you know, it's always a very fluid situation with these types of attacks. As you heard from Ivan there, no one has yet officially claimed responsibility for the attack.
But US intelligence officials are telling CNN that they do believe it bears all the hallmarks of an ISIS-directed or at the very least ISIS inspired attack. Traditionally, in Turkey --Turkey is no stranger to terrorism, it seen a number of terrorist attacks, some of which you just showed on your screen.
And usually they have been either at the hands of ISIS or at the hands of Kurdish separatists, known as the PKK. In this case, it does look like it has many more of the hallmarks of an ISIS attacks.
Now why is that? Well, there are several reasons, I would say. Firstly, one of the first things that I noticed was this description that these suicide bombers were also armed with AK-47 that they were firing off rounds before actually detonating their explosive vests.
And this fits the profile of an ISIS what they call a Hamazio (ph), basically a suicide warrior, it's more than a suicide bomber. Because the idea is that you go in, and try to kill as many people as you possibly can with your gun and then you detonate yourself, the idea being you want to maximize the number of casualties, you want to maximize the amount of terror.
In addition to that, we did hear ISIS's spokesman, Abu Muhammad al- Adnani coming out just a few weeks ago, urging supporters, people who are part of ISIS, people who are inspired by ISIS, anyone who feels affected by the ISIS cause to go out and launch attacks, you know, during this holy month of Ramadan, as Ivan mentioned, to try to hit and lash out at targets, targets that are soft targets, targets where there are many civilians, target that are economic targets, tourist targets.
So, as I've said before, it does bear all the hallmarks of an ISIS attack. And even though ISIS hasn't yet claimed responsibility, it's worth noting that generally they have not actually claimed responsibility for the attacks that they have been believed to have carried out in Turkey unlike some of their other attacks in the West, which of course they're quick to trumpet through their online agencies.
LEMON: Clarissa Ward, I want you to stand by. Ivan Watson, Joe Duran as well, and Elise Labott, everyone, stand by.
I want to bring in now Richard Kalnins, he escaped the terror attack and he joins us now by phone. Richard, thank you so much for joining us. Just very simply, what happened?
RICHARD KALNINS, ESCAPED AIRPORT TERROR ATTACK: Well, I arrived on a flight from Riga, Latvia around 9.30 p.m. As we were heading toward the passport control area, people started running toward us, screaming, yelling that there had been a bomb, other people yelling that there was a gunman shooting.
Everyone turned around and started racing down the corridor, kind of overall panic ensued knowing what's going on. People are hiding behind post, hiding in its alcove. But of course the corridor is all the dead end, so they're kind of stuck without knowing what's going on.
This lasted for about two or three hours. Kind of panicked and not knowing what going on. There were news sort of coming in about an explosion, about a gunman but obviously no one was going to venture out if it was going on.
Shortly after midnight, airport personnel starting -- started letting everyone know that people could leave, the situation have been cleared, so we all went through passport control and then headed into the international arrivals area where the explosions had taken place.
LEMON: How long were you in there -- how long were you in the passport control area? You were hiding with, and with how many people?
KALNINS: I mean, it would maybe a few hundred people. I mean, everyone who had arrived in the -- within that time span was in those corridors.
[22:10:05] So, a good few hundred people and then everyone went through this passport control and into the arrivals area.
LEMON: What did you see?
KALNINS: We saw the extent of the damage. A lot of shattered glass, collapsed ceilings, blood on the floor, kind of those dusty smoke in the air, lots of police obviously and medical personnel leading everyone through, and leading everyone outside. And outside, lots of ambulances, lots of people who were waiting for friends and family to arrive. The people who were standing outside kind of frantic for information about people who had been trapped inside, the last three hours, and then sort of a general chaos of those people leaving the airport.
LEMON: You said general chaos. But how were people reacting? Be more specific, what was your reaction to seeing all of this? KALNINS: Well, I mean, the first reaction when everyone is running is
to just sort of, you know, people are yelling there's been a bomb and there's someone coming with a gun so everyone's sort of running away, try to keep as calm as possible.
But, you know, there was a lot of people falling down on the ground, not knowing what's going on, sort of a -- no one was really clear of what was happening. But it was certainly a mood of heightened panic within those corridors, and especially the fact that there was no way to get out. The corridors were all through ended up at a dead end and then essentially everyone was trapped inside there, with the prospect throughout these three hours of potentially someone coming in with a gun with kind of loomed large the entire time.
So when the airport personnel let us know that the situation is clear, it was certainly a sense of relief. But at the same time, you know, walking through there you realized that the event took place only a few hundred meters from where we are.
LEMON: I'm glad you're safe. Richard Kalnins was in the airport and witnessed all of this. Richard, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
KALNINS: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: Thank you. We have much, much more to come on our breaking news. At least 36 killed in the terror attack tonight from one of the world's busiest airports.
[22:16:01] LEMON: Live pictures now at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. You can see it is morning. And our braking news tonight, though, here. Suicide bombers attack one of the world's busiest airports in Istanbul, Turkey, killing at least 36 people and wounding 147 others.
Back with me now, CNN's Joe Duran at Istanbul Airport, and Elise Labott joining us from Washington. So, Joe, I'm going to start with you. It's now morning in Istanbul. You're at the scene. What did you see when you got there?
DURAN: Well, Don, it's been quite a few hours, over seven hours since this happened. And when we first arrived, this road leading up to the entrance at the airport, the blue sign that you see behind me is the entrance to the airport where you have security. This road was full of passengers trying to leave the airport, obviously in shock. Some of them crying, some of them injured. It was seen quite chaotic and ambulances going in and out.
We must have seen close to a hundred ambulances going in and out in both directions.
I spoke to one of the ambulances that was standing by. He had already done two trips in. His shirt was full of blood and he said he was waiting to go in again. LEMON: Yeah. We're understanding that there were bystanders and taxi
cab drivers also taking people to the hospital. Everyone was trying to help out.
DURAN: Yes, everybody was trying to help out and that's quite common here in Turkey when something like this happens. Many people jump in and help and taxi drivers jump in and help. And that was happening at the airport as well today.
LEMON: So, Joe, have you had a chance to speak to any of the eyewitnesses and, if so, what are they telling you?
DURAN: We've spoken to people as they were leaving the airport. And obviously they, you know, they said it was a scene of horror. We didn't see anyone who was actually -- we didn't speak to anyone who was actually there where the bombs went off, but we did manage to talk to one gentleman who had some injuries and bandages on his head.
And he didn't want to talk much but he said he was well enough to walk and he was leading the ambulances to those of us who need it -- those who needed the ambulance more than him.
The airport has been closed, as you know. We did hear an airplane take off about 30 minutes ago. We don't know if it's a commercial flight or an official flight, but the main road to the airport continues to be closed. The police have blocked off this main road.
And we are approximately 200 meters from the entrance and beyond that blue sign that you see the entrance is the airport terminal, another 300 meters. They've kept us this far back. We're not allowed any closer at the moment.
LEMON: OK. Joe, I want you to stand by. And I want to get to CNN's Elise Labott. Elise, I know you've been talking to your sources and officials, US officials. What are they saying tonight?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, as we've been saying it's very early. And certainly there hasn't been any claim of responsibility yet. But as the Turks has been leaning into ISIS. So, too where the US officials -- the feeling is that this bears all the hallmarks as we've been talking about of an ISIS attacks.
The sophistication, the coordination of these three suicide bombers, these were meant to inflict maximum casualties, not just with the automatic weapons but also with the explosives. And this not only bears the hallmark of an ISIS attack, it also doesn't seem to be the MO of these Kurdish Separatists, the PKK, which generally target Turkish military installations, security targets. And also the PKK, these separatists are more going after the Turks. It doesn't -- they don't seem to be wanting to target areas where there could be a lot of international intelligences.
[22:20:14] And then incur the wrath of the international communities. There are some Kurdish groups that are working with the US and other countries on the conflict in Syria. So, certainly this does not bear the hallmarks of a PKK attack as it does with ISIS.
But the US not making any conclusion just yet, and the US saying today that it stands with Turkey in any for -- it is a fight in any forms of terrorism.
LEMON: Can you talk to us a little bit more about the differences -- the difference between ISIS and PKK?
LABOTT: Well, they're totally different. I mean, the PKK are Kurds. And they live in Turkey and there are various Turkish groups and the PKK is considered a terrorist but there are also are other Kurdish groups. And they want a Kurdish separatist region along the border with Turkey.
There are areas of Syria, there are areas of Iraq that they want a separate region. Then you have a group like ISIS which is considers itself an Islamic caliphate, and they basically are working on a very extreme form of Islamic law and they want an Islamic state.
And their -- ISIS is more, you know, looking at the international community, looking at international targets, want to inflict maximum damage on any countries that not only are fighting them but do not adhere to their strict form of Islam.
LEMON: All right. Elise Labott, thank you very much, as well as Joe Duran, who is at the airport. We'll get back to you if necessary this evening.
Joining me now on the phone is Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Good evening, Representative. Thank you so much for joining. You were in Ankara, Turkey just last summer meeting with Turkish officials.
Were they more concerned about ISIS or and you heard our Elise Labott talking about the differences between ISIS and PKK, were they more concerned about ISIS or PKK?
ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Hi, good evening, Don. And I was in Ankara and Istanbul this time last year. And when I asked officials who was the greatest threat to Turkey because I was curious how they view the threat and they said, PKK.
And that was concerning from a US perspective because so many ISIS fighters come from Western Europe, down through Istanbul and then in through the battlefields of Iraq and Syria.
And well, we're not sure, you know, who carried out this attack, it sure at this point looks like ISIS. We're in the middle of Ramadan, it's another airport just as we saw in Brussels and it has all the signatures of an ISIS attacks.
LEMON: Do you expect, Representative, a team of US law enforcement officials to travel to Istanbul? And do you think that the Turks will cooperate?
SWALWELL: You know, our FBI bomb squad and analysis team is the best in the world. I hope they do. You know, I've expressed concern that Turkey right now because they do not require passports to come in to their country, they want to protect their tourism economy that we're going to continue to see it be a transit zone into these regions of terror.
And I hope this is a wake-up call that all nations, whether they're allies of ours or not, this has to be our priority, taking on extreme terrorists.
LEMON: Elise Labott, stand by, Representative. Elise Labott, as you hear the representative say, you know, he was meeting with Turkish official and they were saying PKK was the bigger threat, than and it came as a surprise to him, that would come as a surprise probably to many Americans who haven't heard as much about PKK.
LABOTT: That's -- well, that's right, Don. And obviously, the US does consider the PKK has designated a terrorist group. And certainly Turkey has faced a lot of terrorism from the PKK over the years.
But US officials have been a bit frustrated when they talk about Turkey and what they call a double game here. Because what they do is they always have a tendency to blame the PKK for terrorism and what the US was saying that Turkey was not really -- was kind of slow to realize the threat posed by ISIS.
And a lot of times their initial inclination was to blame the PKK when a lot of the signs were pointing towards ISIS. So, I think it's very significant tonight that the prime minister leaned in the direction of this was possibly an ISIS attack, because a lot of times the Turks say that the bigger threat that they are facing is from the PKK.
The US is saying that it is a real wake-up call for Turkey, they've faced a lot of terrorist attacks in recent months from ISIS and they say that they do believe that Turkey is now kind of realizing that this is really a growing and perhaps even more imminent and existential threat than it is the PKK, which is more of a separatist organization.
[22:25:03] LEMON: Elise Labott, thank you. Representative Eric Swalwell, thank you as well. I really appreciate it.
Much more ahead on our breaking news tonight's deadly terror attack at Istanbul's airport, one of the world's busiest.
LEMON: This is our breaking news tonight. No claim of responsibility yet for the suicide bombings at Istanbul's airport. At least 38 people are dead, 147 wounded.
I want to bring in now Raphael Ron, he's a Former Director of Security at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport, Juliette Kayyem, is CNN Security Analyst and Author of "Security Mom," Michael Weiss, a Co-Author of "ISIS Inside the Army of Terror," and Buck Sexton, a Former CIA Agent.
Good evening to all of you. Michael, you first. You say this has all the hallmarks of ISIS. Why is that?
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, look at the style of the attack. It's three suicide bombers armed with Kalashnikov, a dead man has trigger as Bob Baer has been saying, meaning that, you know, if -- when you're taken out and you've stop shooting the automatic rifle, the semiautomatics rifle, that's when you detonate.
[22:29:57] Also, look, the only other real credible suspect in this attack would have been the PKK. The Kurdish and Workers Party which is insurgency blacklisted by the United States, the European Union in Turkey for its 40-year on and off again and insurgency against the Turkish state.
The problem with the PKK being responsible is they tend to go after Turkish military or security targets. For them to hit an international airport where they could have killed hundreds of people including Americans and Brits and French, people who belong to countries or are citizens of countries as part of this coalition fighting ISIS.
The PKK's affiliate in Syria on the ground in northern -- in Aleppo right now are about to take a major pocket of territory away from ISIS. They're known as the Democratic Union Party of Syria where the YPG militias which they run.
US Special Forces are embedded with these guys.
WEISS: They would be insane to do this attack.
LEMON: So, as you say, all the hallmarks of ISIS, but then PKK involved. We're hearing a lot of them. Let's take a look -- as we take a look at this video of what happened inside the airport.
And there you see the gunman there running away in the middle of this chaos. And then he appears to be brought down and the gun slides away by police officer.
And then they -- I think he was shot twice.
LEMON: And then the suicide, what is believed to be a suicide vest or bomb. Tell us about PKK. Because we're also hearing about this, what more can you tell us about this group, Buck Sexton?
BUCK SEXTON, THE BLAZE NATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I agree with Michael that it would be incredibly unlikely just because of how contrary to the objectives of the group right now. It would be to engage to this kind of attack. This is an international choke when it's obviously going to get headlines all over the world. And it's going to get headlines in countries that right now the Kurds in general, like the PKK more specifically want to be on their side.
And we actually are actively assisting Kurdish militias in northern Syria and also relying on a Kurdish out substantially in Iraq to try and beat back the Islamic state. And the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party is a more Marxist, sort of traditional separatist group in the Marxist move.
They have attack targets but they tend to be targets that are state focused and military and police, whereas by leaving this open ended, what it means is that the Islamic state, they don't take credit for attacks that happened in Turkey.
It's thought that there have been other attacks in the past that ISIS has been labeled as the perpetrator of. It leaves so that ISIS is able to destabilize the Turkish state. It hurts Turkey.
The Turkish government may come out and say that this is ISIS but as long as ISIS doesn't actually come out themselves, you allow for some of this sort of crosstalk. There will be some people in Turkey who won't believe the Turkish state necessarily. They'll say, oh, they lied about things like this. They also may have a crackdown -- you're going to expect that they'll be crackdowns that what happened from Erdogan's side of things as a result.
So, there is a lot of political tension that results from this that ISIS likes to see on all sides.
LEMON: Juliette Kayyem, I want to go to you because I found it interesting that you said you were at this very same airport. A lot of our -- a lot of our CNN personnel travel to this airport in order to their work internationally. But, Juliette, you said that you were at this airport last summer with your family. Tell me about the security.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, it feels like a safe airport and it has to be, right. I mean, if you just look at the numbers coming out of Istanbul airport, 284 flight destinations servicing 113 countries, that's a huge airport.
I mean, compare it to Logan where I live, we're only servicing 30 international countries. It's -- it was previously not very strong. There's a couple reasons why it got tougher in terms of security. One is the recognition that the Turks were at risk from these fighters coming from Syria.
The second is obviously tourism and businesses are key parts of Istanbul's economy. And so, people need to feel safe. My family did a trip there, right. So, that was why we were there.
And then finally, for Turkey to direct flights to the United States, we have a program here in the United States called the last point of destination, so they're direct flights from certain countries. Turkey is one of them. They had to satisfy security protocols that we instituted on them.
Now, those are protocols related to the plane, cargo passengers, security areas. Look, though, you're never going to have an airport that is going to have hard targets throughout. With flows like this, numbers of people like this, that they're always going to be soft vulnerabilities which people staking out this airport clearly took advantage of.
LEMON: Yeah. Rafi, as the Former Director of Security for Ben Gurion Airport, what is your assessment of the safety and security of this airport?
RAFI RON, NEW AGE SECURITY SOLUTIONS CEO: Well, I think Istanbul airport was known to invest a lot in security including implementing the checkpoints of the entrance to terminal. Something that after the attack in Brussels people, some people suggested there's a solution to this type of attacks.
I think that what we witnessed tonight indicates that this is not a good solution to the problem.
[22:34:57] And despite the fact that this airport is considered a security minded airport, much more than most European airports I would even say, but I think at the end of the day it takes much more to secure an airport than to have a checkpoint at the entrance to the terminal.
LEMON: I want to talk about this video because Michael Weiss says it has all the hallmarks of ISIS. But I want you to take a look at this, Rafi. And I put this video, the surveillance video, again, it is graphic. And you can see the suicide bomber get shot before he blows himself up. When see that, what stands out to you? What does this video say, if anything, to you?
RON: Well, I would like to make two points. One is the fact the terrorist was able to still walk, use his weapon. It's something that the airport security, the organization should be paying attention to and install and implement the solutions that would help it to intervene at the very early stage in the manner that would neutralize any terrorist from carrying on an ongoing attack, like the one that was done tonight.
The other, the positive side, if one can say that, is that by the time the terrorist blew himself up, at least this one didn't have too many people around him. So, I would assume that the damage that he was able to cause as far as human life was minimal and he mostly killed himself.
It was probably the other terrorists that caused the larger number of casualties. And the other point is that you can see a person who is probably a security person, who is approaching the terrorist while he is on the ground. The -- possibly maybe he's the one who shot him, I don't know.
But he immediately realizes that the terrorist is going to blow himself up and that's why I assume he immediately ran away. Another way he could have reacted was to, again, neutralize the person if he was armed, if the security person was armed, neutralize him and even prevent that suicidal act.
But the bottom line is I'm not judging him. I think that running away is also a good solution in this case because there were no other people around. LEMON: Yeah. OK. Stand by, everyone. We're going to continue on
with our breaking news. Lots to report tonight. There is breaking news too on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both reacting to the terror attack but their statements could not be more different.
[22:41:46] LEMON: That is Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. And you can see the sun now coming up there. It is morning, 5:41, as a matter of fact in the morning. And there has been a terror attack on this airport, 36 people dead, 147 at least injured. One of the world's biggest airports, 36 people dead.
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton also reacting tonight on the campaign trail about what happened at that airport.
Here to discuss now, CNN National Correspondent Jason Carroll, and Senior White House Correspondent, Jeff Zeleny. Good evening, gentlemen. Jason, you first. The candidates again talking about terror in the wake of another deadly attack. You covered the big Trump rally tonight. What did he say to supporters there?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's one of the first that he mentioned when he began his rally here in Ohio, when certainly, Don, he had to be mindful of all of the criticism that he received based on his response to the attack in Orlando. Many critics were saying that he was just off the mark. He was not presidential.
Here tonight, basically what he said is that the country has to get smarter, that it has to be tougher. And then what he did, Don, He brought up something he's brought up many times in the past. He says, there come -- there's going to come a time in this country to bring back the interrogation technique of waterboarding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You remember when I got in some trouble where I talked about waterboarding. They asked me a question. They started off and asked Ted Cruz a question. And he rightfully didn't want to get into it. And he was a little bit like, you know, don't ask me -- don't ask me about waterboarding.
Well, they asked me the question. I said I'll ask that question. They said, "What do you think about waterboarding?" I said, "I like it a lot and I don't think it's tough enough." You know, you have to fight fire with fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: And, Don, once he said that, you have to fight fire with fire, that was met by huge applause from those here who came to this rally. I spoke to one woman who said that after hearing about all of these terror attacks, you really felt as though, Donald Trump hit the right tone tonight.
LEMON: Jason, that, you know, the Muslim ban tonight, which Trump has often touted as a way to fight terror, why no talk about that?
CARROLL: Well, that's an interesting question. It could be perhaps because perhaps that's a policy that the Trump campaign is still working on that, still evolving. As you know back in December, that's when he said that there should be an outright ban on Muslims entering the US.
CNN has since learned that perhaps what the Trump campaign has working on is some way of softening that stand, softening that policy. Perhaps then what we'd looking at from the Trump camp is immigrants who come from countries linked to terrorists would then be restricted to come in to United States. So, perhaps no mention of that here tonight because perhaps that's a policy that's still evolving. Don?
LEMON: All right. Jeff, you know, you've been covering the Hillary Clinton campaign today. She hasn't said anything but she released a statement, correct?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: She did indeed, Don. And she said this. Let's take a look at these words. She said, "Today's attack in Istanbul only strengthens our resolve to defeat the forces of terrorism and radical Jihadism around the world. And it reminds us that the United States cannot retreat. We must deepen our cooperation with our allies and partners in the Middle Eastern Europe to take on this threat. Such cooperation is essential to protecting the homeland and keeping our country safer."
[22:44:57] So, a pretty standard message but interesting how she did say radical Jihadism.
LEMON: OK. Of course this terror attack really change the narrative when it comes to the news headlines today because before the terror attack, Jeff, Trump was lashing out at Bill and Hillary Clinton on NAFTA and TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. How important is trade and jobs to people in this battleground states?
ZELENY: Don, it is one of the most important issues. It all ties into the economy of course. But this issue of globalization, the -- how much we're all connected, of course it involves immigration and other things, it's so central to this.
And Hillary Clinton did address this tonight in Los Angeles. Actually just a short time ago, she said she's actually somewhat sympathetic to some of Donald Trump's supporters but that sympathy has a limit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am sympathetic to a lot of the people attracted by Trump's message, who are feeling really left out and left behind. They have lost faith in their government, in the economy, certainly in politics and most other institutions.
I am not sympathetic to the xenophobia, the misogyny, the homophobia, the Islamophobia and all of the other, you know, sort of dog whistles that Trump uses to create that fervor among a lot of his supporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So, Don, you can almost see a familiar collision coming here once again between these two candidates.
LEMON: Jason and Jeff Zeleny -- Jason Carroll and Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Coming up, terror attacks like the one today at the airport in Istanbul a harsh reality, but which candidate do Americans think will keep us safe? We'll discuss.
[22:50:35] LEMON: Breaking news we're following tonight on CNN. At least 36 people dead in the terror attack in one of the world's busiest airports.
Both presidential candidates reacting tonight.
Here to discuss now, Jennifer Granholm is a Former Governor of Michigan who is supporting Hillary Clinton, and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, she supports Donald Trump.
It's good to have both of you on. I wish it was a better circumstances of course. Governor Granholm, Hillary Clinton issued a statement on the attack today, calling for even stronger ties with allies in the Middle East and in Europe. Is that enough? I mean, what can we do to stop these attacks?
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Well, she has put forth a very comprehensive plan to be able to do just that, which includes beefing up those ties with our allies, stopping the flow of money that supports and funds these terrorist organizations, making sure we are aware from a cybersecurity perspective, partnering with Silicon Valley, having an intelligence surge, supporting our law enforcement at homes so that they're trained to make sure we're not seeing recruitment here at home.
Bottom line, she has very full plan. And I think, Don, this is why today there was a national poll out which showed that Americans overall by 11 points believe she would be better in the fight against terror than Donald Trump. By 18 points they believed that she handled Orlando, the response to the Orlando attack better than Donald Trump. And by 24 points citizens believe that she has a better temperament to deal with issue of terrorism.
LEMON: You're talking about a -- this is an ABC News, Washington Post poll, it shows that Clinton lead Trump 50 percent to 39 of who would be best to handle terrorism. Those survey believed that she has responded better than Trump did during the Orlando shooting, 46 to 28 percent respectively.
Again, that is an ABC News/Washington Post poll that's out just today. So, you are correct about that poll. But my question is, Representative Blackburn, let's talk about Donald Trump. Because he said ISIS is spreading like wildfire, and you heard him say something very, very bad is happening here.
He said the US has to get tough. But he didn't give any more details than that on what would stop them. What is his plan to fight terror?
MARSHA BLACKBURN, TENNESSEE REPRESENTATIVE: What you're going to see come from a president Donald Trump will be an approach that will involve the military leaders in the region. And one of the lessons from the Obama administration and certainly Secretary Clinton at Department of State, was coming out of Iraq the wrong way, not listening to commanders in the field, not following through with some of the work that needed to be done in that region.
Now have seen what has happened from this and we see the mess that is existing right now. You look at what is happening in Syria, you look at how the Peshmerga with the Kurds that they're saying help us out with this because of the refugees.
You look at how ISIS and Al-Qaeda groups have metastasized and into the horn of Africa. And you see that spread and you know they saw a void ...
LEMON: So, Representative?
BLACKBURN: ... and they have decided to grow. Yes?
LEMON: My question was what are his plans to fight terror?
BLACKBURN: What you're going to see is listening to the commanders and saying how do we stop this? And then involving a team to get this stopped.
It's not going to be -- yes, it's nice to say cybersecurity, of course. Listening to local law enforcement, we've been asking that that be done. And Mr. Trump is going to put a little bit more of a specific approach to that with tell me specifically what we need to do.
BLACKBURN: Halting the Syrian refugee program ...
BLACKBURN: ... is one thing we could do and should do.
BLACKBURN: Senator Sessions and I have that legislation and that is what you're hearing out of the Trump campaign right now.
LEMON: All right.
BLACKBURN: We know ISIS is going to infiltrate that program.
LEMON: Thank you for that, Representative. Go ahead, Governor. GRANHOLM: Don, yeah, can I just respond very, very quickly. I know
it's difficult because he has not put a plan on paper yet too. You can imagine what he might do, you're guessing about that but what we do know is what he has said.
And what he has said today is that he would go back to torture, to waterboarding. Doing things like that, putting up, you know, doubling down on making sure in that Muslims can't come to this country, dividing people against people is exactly what we do not need.
[22:54:58] We do not want to give our enemies ammunition for recruitment. We do not want Donald Trump to be a tool in ISIS's quiver to be able to enact further damage. And so, that's exactly what that would do.
BLACKBURN: Well, Jennifer, look at how Hillary's Libya approach worked. Look at what happened in Benghazi, that report came out today. We know that the approach that she took did not work, not putting in uniform, didn't want to have certain artillery going into Benghazi, even though it was being asked for and requested.
Now, that is a weak-kneed response. She has been wronged on Libya, she is been wronged on Syria, they have been wronged in this approach and this is why we are seeing the spread of ISIS. You have someone who exercises leadership who knows how to bring people together and make decisions. And you have Hillary Clinton, who has not been able to make a decision to actually fight these terrorist groups.
LEMON: Governor, I have just a few moments, if you can quickly give us a response to that.
GRANHOLM: Yes, just quickly. I mean, we all know, everybody saw the headlines out of this Benghazi report today, was that it was nothing new, this is the ninth report that bipartisan congressional ...
BLACKBURN: No, there was a lot in that report.
LEMON: One at a time. Let her finish first.
GRANHOLM: ... bipartisan, you know, bipartisan committees over two years have spent $7 million. They did not come out with any finding ...
BLACKBURN: Yes, they came out with findings.
GRANHOLM: ... that Hillary Clinton did anything wrong.
GRANHOLM: No. Not that Hillary Clinton did anything wrong and the people and the committee admitted that.
LEMON: I have to go. I have to go to the top of the hour. Thank you both. I appreciate that.
When we come right back, much, much more on our breaking new tonight. At least 36 people killed in tonight's terror attack on one of the world's busiest airports. We'll be right back.