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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Donald Trump Still Leading In Polls; Former State Department Staffer Who Set Up Hillary Clinton's Personal Computer Server Is Going To Plead The Fifth; Gotcha Questions?; Refugee Crisis in Europe. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired September 3, 2015 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:06] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us.

We begin tonight with a promise from Donald Trump. He's leading in the polls in race for president and now has signed a pledge that he will not run as a third-party candidate and he will support the GOP nominee, whoever that may end up being.

Now, Trump met privately today with the RNC chairman Reince Priebus and soon after announced he signed the loyalty pledge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The best way for Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up, and for that reason I have signed the pledge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!

(APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: So I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stand, and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, there's still a long way to go until Election Day but Donald Trump has a commanding lead in the polls, the most recent national poll from Monmouth University shows him with 30 percent support among Republican voters. Ben Carson has 18. He is moving up, by the way. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and the other candidates are in single digits.

Our chief political correspondent Dana Bash joins me now.

So this loyalty pledge, what does it do and doesn't do?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is -- it has no legal standing. It is not legally binding at all. So if he wanted to at some point in the future become an independent, not run as a Republican, not back the Republican if he's not that nominee, he doesn't have to. He said today that he doesn't have any plans to rip it up right now, but, you know, we know about Donald Trump is that he's unpredictable.

COOPER: He also said this afternoon that he didn't get anything by signing the pledge.

BASH: Yes.

COOPER: But I mean, there are things he got. I mean, it takes it off the table at the next -- at the CNN debate which is coming up.

BASH: Yes, absolutely.

That's one. And then just even more broadly, the idea that he has 30 percent in the latest poll, that's great. But just assume that other people are out and it's a one-on-one race with him and somebody else, he's going to need other supporters. He's going to need to boost that ceiling. And there are a fair number of Republican voters or even conservative grassroots voters who won't go for somebody who isn't really clearly a Republican, the party faithful, that's big and there is something even more practical, Anderson, and that's South Carolina.

First in the south primary, very important. They actually have a rule that you have to promise to be a Republican. So he would have a ballot access problem there.

COOPER: It also kind of answers Jeb Bush who has been saying, well look, he's not a real Republican. You know, he was a Democrat. He was an independent. He has been all over the political map, that he's not a legitimate member of the GOP. This sort of answers that, and Bush commented about this today.

BASH: Yes. I mean, he tries to answer that. I mean, Bush sort of had fun with it. He tweeted out a picture of a handwritten sort of scribbled note saying -- there you see it -- that he has been voting Republican since 1972 with his signature.

So, yes, I mean, it begins to answer that. I don't necessarily think that Jeb Bush has stepped up attacks on Trump this week as a conservative and this are sort of hand in hand. My understanding is that these talks with Reince Priebus, the RNC chair, met with briefly today, have been going on for weeks and weeks and they were just kind of sort of doing this dance to get to this place. And I actually think that Priebus did a pretty good job in a very tough situation of trying to keep everybody together.

The one interesting end note of this is that Trump might have promised that he is a Republican, but we just got an email saying all 17 Republican candidates, they all signed this pledge, so that means if at the end of the day Donald Trump is the nominee, they all promised to support him.

COOPER: Dana, appreciate it. Thanks.

We'll be talking to Dana throughout the next two hours. Joining me now is CNN political commentator and Trump supporter

Jeffrey Lord, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro. She supports Jeb Bush, he is good friend with Marco Rubio and adviser to other GOP candidates and Republican strategist Rick Wilson.

So Jeffrey, as Dana said, I mean, this pledge, it's non-binding, so theoretically six months from now Donald Trump decides circumstance have changed, that he's not being, you know, treated fairly which is something he constantly talks about and, you know, pretty subjective standards, what's to stop him from saying, look, I've changed my mind?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Nothing, nothing. I mean, and in truth I think the whole exercise of this pledge business is -- is fairly silly, dopey, if you will. But be that as it may, the RNC wanted to go down this road. And I think I've said before there are -- the establishment candidates in the Republican Party have an absolutely wretched history with this kind of thing at other levels, you know. They will we need party unity, they to the sort of outsider candidate. Then the outsider candidate gets nominated and they, you know, they abandon ship, or, at least in Murkowski's case, you know, run as a third-party candidate themselves.

So they have a pretty bad record on this. But the thing that amuses me here is that I don't know how these other 17 candidates were signing this thing in their office or in a closet or what, but Donald Trump, you know, gets together a press conference, hundreds of cameras show up and he produces this signed piece of paper. I mean, it is great theater.

[20:05:32] COOPER: Rick, what do you think is behind this pledge for Trump? Is it that he's now just confident he's out in front and just feels, you know what, there's -- why not sign this thing?

RICK WILSON, TRUMP CRITIC: Well, he also knows that there are some ballot access rules under the RNC's committee rules and the state parties end up deciding a lot of ballot access questions, and there was certainly an opportunity for state parties to say, well, if he's not going to play ball he is not going to qualify to be on Republican ballot at all in the contest. So there were certainly a lot of things that they had to weigh in terms of some of the arcana that rests underneath these things, some of the bureaucratic functions of the state Republican parties. And I think there was also something that, you know, look, the people that comprise the Republican Party aren't necessarily the Trump voters or the tea party voters in the state levels. A lot of these people that are the volunteers, who go door- knocking, who work at the local, you know, county level RECs to come out and do all that work, those folks really take it seriously and the threat of a third-party run to them felt like blackmail. It didn't feel like strategy. Felt like blackmail.

And I think that that's something that Trump had to respond to. And I welcome him being a rank and file Republican and obeying the rules that are set forth by the national committee.

COOPER: Ana, I mean, it basically win-win for trump. But what about for the Republican Party? By bringing him more to the fold, do they, a, do they risk being tied to someone who has angered a lot of Latinos over the course of the last couple of months, who is not, you know, scoring well in polls amongst Latino voters?

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, you know, you're between a rock and a hard place, right? What choice do you have? The bottom line is the guy is in this race. He is in this race as a Republican.

COOPER: He's leading this race.

NAVARRO: And the idea of him running as a third-party candidate would be incredibly destructive to any chance that any Republican has of winning. So anything the RNC can do to deter that in any way as non- binding it is a maybe, but it may serve as, you know, one little fig leaf of deterrence, one more layer of it, then why not try to do it because we do know that him running as a third party with unlimited money, with celebrity status and tapping into what he it would be a throwing a hand grenade into the chances of the Republican Party.

So, yes, and I think we all welcome it, and I think he did the right thing. We all know it would have been a question at the debate, at the CNN debate on September 16th. And he got boos the last time. I was at that debate and he got boos when he raised his hand. So it's something he had to deal with. He had to do it for technical reasons as Rick explained, but it was also the right thing to do.

COOPER: Rick, you called Trump --

LORD: Yes. The guy who wrote "the art of the deal" got a good deal.

COOPER: You think he got a good deal.

LORD: Yes, the guy who wrote "the art of the deal," you know, illustrates how to get a good deal for himself.

COOPER: Rick, I mean, you called Donald Trump a cancer with a little delicious hint of fascism in the mix. That's a quote from you as well as some other things, I probably cannot say on television. Do you believe, you know, there were -- the numbers came out about Hispanic voters and how they view Donald Trump. And I think it was more than 80 percent have an unfavorable view of him. With numbers like that, can any candidate in any party actually win the presidency?

WILSON: Well, look, I think that Donald Trump is buying himself a lot of short-term benefits and a lot of long-term detriments with that, with a very nativist tone in that regard. And I think that it's difficult for Donald Trump to put together a national coalition unless he is going to go with base, base, base only and try to rev up, you know, exclusively white voter turnout at the end of the day which, look, it's not an impossible mathematical equation to get there. But it leads to something, I think, that is pretty ugly in the country.

And I think that other candidates are going to have to distance themselves from this at the end of the day. And the ones that have so far managed to mark out some territory of their own and to talk about the fact that this isn't just an immigration question on what's driving some of Trump's numbers, but a nationalist and state of the question versus a limited government conservative question, that's where the party has to sort of reassemble itself back into its traditional lanes and not just be a personality-driven Trump party, you know, that basically is dedicated to insult, comedy and trolling 24 hours a day.

COOPER: Jeffrey Lord, Rick Wilson, Ana Navarro, thanks so much. Stick around though.

Just ahead, we are going to dig deeper into the new poll numbers. As we said, Trump is leading, but there's been a shake-up for the battle for the second and third spots. John King crunches the numbers ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:13:52] COOPER: As we mentioned at the top of the broadcast, it was a very good day, huge day, you might say for Donald Trump. A new national job has him at 30 percent with his closest competitor Dr. Ben Carson at 18. Trump's rival and favorite punching bag Jeb Bush is in single digits tie with Ted Cruz. And he continues to find strength in what some might think are unlikely places. There's nobody better to break it down by the numbers than our John King.

So, John, this new national poll, Trump still dominating the pact. Break down the numbers for us.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, as we head into the second debate we have a new Republican race. You are right, Donald Trump still leading pact at 30 percent but this brand new national poll from Monmouth University, Dr. Ben Carson in second at 18 percent. Jeb Bush down in the single digits. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and interestingly Carly Fiorina, only at four percent and cracking the top six.

Look at the comparison to a month ago. If you're Jeb Bush you're going the wrong way. You're going down. Remember, he was front- runner back in the early spring. He's in trouble right now. If you're Ben Carson from five to 18 in a month, his challenge now, can he raise the money and build the infrastructure to turn this support at the polls into support on the ground and at the polls when people start to vote.

If you're Donald Trump, Anderson, look at that number, up from 26 to 30 in just a month. Why does Donald Trump say I'm a Republican? I don't need to think about the third-party run because if he looks as these numbers he has a reasonable path to be the Republican nominee. That's why he took the pledge today. His numbers are going that way.

[20:15:11] COOPER: And the poll asked head-to-head matchups between Republican candidates, how did that turn out?

KING: An interesting question. Monmouth essentially looked ahead a couple months. And what if we get to a point where it is Donald Trump versus one other Republican, what would happen? Here's the fascinating number. Ben Carson, the other non-politician at top of the pact actually leads Donald Trump. Donald Trump loses to Ben Carson by 19 points in a head-to-head. Will we ever get a Trump/Carson race? I think not. But that tells you something about the anti-politician mood of Republican voters, Trump versus Jeb Bush. Trump wins by 19. Trump versus Ted Cruz, by seven, versus Scott Walker by 15, by Marco Rubio by 14.

So, is it fascinating? Donald Trump and Ben Carson now the two leading figures in the race, the two guys who have never held elective office.

COOPER: And when it comes to voters' opinion on establishment candidates, what did the poll find?

KING: Again, we are reinforcing this point. You see these numbers here, Trump and Carson. Look at these numbers here. Trump not long ago had a higher than 50 percent unfavorable rating among Republicans. Look at this. His favorability rating, that is six and ten view him favorably, three in then view unfavorably. Dr. Carson off the charts favorable. Even Carly Fiorina, again, not a politician, 43 percent favorable. Lot of people still don't know her. She has a great opportunity in the second debate to raise her numbers.

If you are Jeb Bush, perfect proof right here, 41 favorable, 39 unfavorable. The daily attacks sometime the hourly attacks from Donald Trump are taking the toll on the guy who once was the front- runner.

And then look at this number. What do Republican voters want? Not somebody named senator or governor, Anderson. Sixty-seven percent, more than two-thirds of Republicans, say their number one quality when they look for the next president is not someone with government experience, somebody outside of the government. They don't want a senator. They don't want a governor. They want somebody with very little experience, especially here in Washington. This is what is benefiting Trump, Fiorina and Carson at the moment.

COOPER: Incredible numbers. John, thank you very much.

KING: Thank you.

COOPER: With me again, CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro and Republican strategist Rick Wilson.

Rick, you are very critical of Donald Trump. In the past you've referred to Trump supporters and I quote as "low information voters." Donald Trump though, I mean, six out of ten Republicans in this latest poll say they like him and have a favorable impression. Do you believe six out of ten of the electorate are low information voters?

WILSON: What you're seeing here is that Donald Trump is receiving wall-to-wall overwhelming media coverage all the time every single day. There's a strong correlation between the amount of coverage he's getting and the amount and where his numbers are going, is almost directly proportional. So what we're seeing here is more of an artifact of Donald Trump being the only thing the media is covering in this race and all these other guys to a greater or lesser degree, everybody outside of the first tier of this thing has disappeared from the public notice and knowledge and so you're seeing that the only other candidate that's punching with Trump right now is Jeb, and he's having a lot of trouble because he is -- he is as -- as of today not been able to land a blow hard enough, although he's starting to figure out that he'll have to be in this fight if he wants to stay in the race.

COOPER: Jeff, do you agree with that, that this is basically media driven, because I think some people maybe in the media would also point out.

LORD: No.

COOPER: There's a lot of viewers very interested in Donald Trump and maybe that's driving, you know, a lot of these reports about him because viewers want to watch him.

LORD: You know, what that reminds me of, the comment from Rick remind the day after -- I think it was the day after Walter Mondale lost 49 states to Ronald Reagan. He gave a press conference and he said something along the lines of, well, the reason Ronald Reagan won was because he was an entertainer and a good actor. You know, not so.

The American people in the day agreed with Ronald Reagan. And what we have here are people paying attention to what Donald Trump is saying. He is driving the message home. They get the message. They understand what he's talking about when he talks about illegal immigration, that he's not talking about immigration, he's talking about illegal immigration. They understand where he is.

And also note today, that in his statement that the pledge had no reference to conservative principles in it. It was just a simple statement of support for the party nominee. He specifically said in his statement that he would be supporting conservative principles. And I think that was the message and I think people get it out there, and they are decidedly not low information voters.

COOPER: Ana though in support -- go ahead, Rick.

WILSON: It is something new for him to have a road to Damascus conversion on conservative principles since he spent quite a long time in his career and life embracing things like abortion, gun control and higher taxes.

COOPER: He is a Democrat for eight years.

Yes, I mean, Ana, to argue, though, in favor of Rick's point, you know, is -- I mean, Donald Trump is certainly using media incredibly well, in a much more aggressive and smart way I think certainly than any of the other candidates. I mean, he's more available than any of these other candidates. He's on twitter until, you know, 3:00 a.m. in the morning sometimes, and even his tweets get covered.

[20:20:13] NAVARRO: Well, look, the bottom line is he is an entertainer and he is an actor. He is acting like a Republican when he's been anything but for most of his life. But he's also very, very engaging, and, yes, he's very media savvy. He is a TV expert. He has been in a leading show for what, 13, 14 years. He's got a symbiotic relationship with the media. He feeds off the media, and the media feeds off him because he's good for ratings.

People often ask me, why are we talking about Trump all the time? Because folks want to watch it. They find it engaging and find it entertaining and he is tapping into a very real frustration with the Washington dysfunction and politics as usual.

COOPER: Rick though, when you look at Jeb Bush's numbers going in the wrong direction, and that's after becoming more aggressive, it seems. I'm not sure how much longer, you know, how much after this poll was taken, but, I mean, does he now need to rethink his rethink?

WILSON: No. Look, if you're Jeb Bush and you're in this position where you've got $100 million in the bank and you need to start making some inroads on Donald Trump's record as a guy who has had a very liberal past, who as of just recently supported the Clintons and Barack Obama, who has all these things in his past that are so anathema to conservative principles, and you're talking not to the base of Trump supporters right now in the 25, 30 percent range, you're talking to the 75 percent who aren't Trump supporters and who are going to be driven by more traditional conservative mindset in the course and Jeb is going to start laying out, I think, and other candidates as well, including Marco, including Carly Fiorina and others, they are going to start laying out an alternative vision that is much more grounded and they are much more thoroughly -- thoroughly robust conservative credentials.

COOPER: Jeff, as a supporter of Donald Trump, do you and as a conservative, are you concerned at all that as people, you know, as kind of the excitement over Donald Trump becomes more just part of the normal race, his comments become, you know, start to repeat themselves, he's told, you know, a lot of these stories, you know, over and over again about calling up Carl Icahn and stuff like that, as people kind of hear the -- the stump speech, do you think that the idea for conservatives that he's not a real conservative or that he has a pact -- a track record as a Democrat in some cases is going to become more important?

LORD: No, I notice that in this poll when it came to ideology the most -- the people who identified themselves as most conservative were serious supporters of Donald Trump. And they understand -- one of the problems that these folks have, conservatives have at the base, is they look at people like Jeb Bush and some of these other candidates and believe, as parts of the establishment, that they are really not conservatives, that hair whole deal with them is to find accommodation with Democrats to use the language of reaching across the aisle and I know how to work with other people, et cetera. And so -- and the words of Margaret Thatcher, they are doing the socialist ratchet thing.

The country keeps moving left. The government keeps moving left and the Republican establishment is helping it. So when people say, well, well Donald Trump was a Democrat, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat until four years he was elected the Republican governor of California. This is meaningless and it has no meaning whatsoever for conservatives to think he really is going to upend these people and they want to see it upended.

COOPER: Rick Wilson and Ana Navarro, Jeffrey Lord, thank you all.

Coming up tonight, Trump accuses a conservative radio host about asking him gotcha questions about foreign policy and prominent Middle Eastern military figure. And Trump said by the time they will get to office they will all be different anyway. We'll play you some of that interview.

Also ahead, a former state department staffer who set up Hillary Clinton's personal computer server says he will not testify about her emails. He's going to take the fifth. I'll talk with someone from the Clinton camp about that new development.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:58:06] COOPER: Welcome back.

Today Hillary Clinton's former chief of staff at the state department told a house panel that no work-related emails were withheld or destroyed when Clinton's personal server was wiped clean. That's according to a source familiar with the testimony.

The panel is investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack, but emails sent by Clinton while she was secretary of state have become a focus of its investigation. Another former top aide to Clinton is set to testify tomorrow, but a third former staffer who actually set up the personal email server will not be testifying. Instead he's decided to plead the fifth. Clinton has insisted she never sent or received information that was classified at the time though many of those emails have been classified retroactively. The fact that the man who installed the server is taking the fifth is raising eyebrows among some, particularly opponents of Hillary Clinton and on the campaign trail Clinton's opponents are using all of this as ammunition.

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon joins us now. Thanks very much for being with us.

BRIAN FALLON, HILLARY CLINTON'S SPOKESMAN: Thanks for having me.

COOPER: What conversations did either the campaign or anybody have with this guy who set up the server about trying to get him to testify?

FALLON: Sure. So my understanding is about a couple weeks ago, his lawyer indicated to Secretary Clinton's personal attorney that they were considering taking this step and the time since then until now, until Monday when he sent a letter to the committee indicating he wasn't going to plan to testify. We had been urging him to do so. That is the advice and encouragement that we've given to all of the aides, current and former, from the time at the state department, and as you a mentioned both Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan testifying tomorrow. I expect there will be more aides from the state department tenure that will be testifying in the coming weeks. That's been our consistent advice and our advice to Brian, too.

COOPER: Trey Gowdy, the congressman running this house Benghazi committee, obviously a Republican, said essentially people should read into this whatever they want to read into it. From a campaign perspective, how concerned are you that just sort of the optics of somebody pleading the fifth, a guy who set up the server, doesn't look good?

FALLON: Well, obviously, we wish he would have testified because we think that he has nothing to be ashamed of

[20:30:00] nothing to hide, didn't do anything wrong. But you know--

COOPER: Is it clear to you why he did?

FALLON: I can only speculate. I can't speak for him. He's not part of the campaign any longer, he is a private citizen, if you will. The only thing I can speculate to the effect of is that his lawyer was giving him some very cautious advice based on the fact that there's now three committees looking into this. The three committees have invited him to come speak, and I think he was just worried about the prospect of becoming somebody that was in the middle of what's increasingly becoming a partisan back and forth. Notwithstanding the fact that it's become a partisan exercise, we still want to cooperate to the fullest extent possible, because we want the public to know that we want to be transparent in every way.

COOPER: Just for fairness, it is everybody's right to plead the Fifth.

FALLON: That's right.

COOPER: That is part of our process. People will obviously read in what they are going to read in based on what side of the aisle they are on, but it is a constitutionally protected right.

FALLON: Right.

COOPER: The -- Bloomberg is reporting that the FBI is looking into whether foreign intelligence services or a foreign intelligence service or hackers could have hacked into this private server. Have you heard from them directly? Because previously, Secretary Clinton has said that none of her e-mails were hacked. How could she be so sure of that?

FALLON: So, there was maintenance going on on the server for the entire time that she had. It was based in Chappaqua. It's important to note, just in the interests of getting some information out there, this was a server that had been purchased by President Clinton's office to service the e-mail accounts for his personal staff, so when she opted to use personal e-mail, she decided to have it hosted on the same server.

COOPER: It was watched over by the Secret Service then.

FALLON: That's right. So it was located in the Chappaqua residence the whole time she used it as secretary of state. There was routine maintenance performed on it from time to time. So we have no reason to believe it was hacked. I read the Bloomberg report, can't confirm it, and I'm not sure what the FBI might be doing with the server now that they have it.

COOPER: So they haven't reached out as far as you know.

FALLON: The only thing that we know is how they have characterized it publicly, which is to say that they are performing a security review to make sure that any materials, now that certain ones are being declared classified after the fact, to make sure that everything is properly secured.

COOPER: Is it premature of Hillary Clinton to have said there wasn't any hacking, given the fact that obviously this was set up in the same way that other e-mail accounts have been set up for President Clinton and watched over by the Secret Service, but as we know huge numbers of government accounts have been hacked, and often it's not known for quite some time?

FALLON: Sure, and -- I think what she was representing is we have no reason to believe that it was. But as you know, the State Department -- we know for a fact that the State Department system was hacked. That's actually one of the ironies here. We know that if --

COOPER: Had been hacked for a long time.

FALLON: We know if she had been using a state.gov e-mail address, we would know for a fact that her e-mails may have been compromised. That's one of the ironies here.

COOPER: The most recent Quinnipiac poll said -- asked people the first word to come to mind when they thought of Hillary Clinton, and liar was the first word a lot of people came up with. How concerned from a campaign perspective, how concerning is that?

FALLON: All we can look at, is surveying all the -- if you are taking a look at the cumulative average of all the polls that come out, her standing is the best of any candidate either on the Democratic side or the Republican side. Every election is a choice, and we believe she has got the best positioning of any candidate in the field, Republican or Democrat.

The measure that we think will move voters in, when people go to the polls, starting in January and February, will be, who do you trust to fight for you on the issues you care about? Who best understands you and what your family cares about? And on that we think the measures consistently show she's in the best standing on that issue, and we're going to continue to accentuate that.

Yesterday we rolled out a policy, a five-point plan on opiate addiction in terms of heroin addiction that's ravaging rural communities in places like New Hampshire and Iowa, that is not an issue you hear other candidates talking about. It sort of went below the radar screen. It's not going to be on nightly news nationally, but it is a hugely resonant issue in states like New Hampshire and Iowa, and we think that will continue to show that she's plugged in, she is caring about the issues that voters day to day in their lives are affected by.

COOPER: Brian Fallon, appreciate you being on tonight.

FALLON: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks very much. Just ahead, did a conservative radio show host ask Donald Trump gotcha questions or just questions someone running for president should maybe know the answers to? We'll let you decide.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last question, so the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas does not matter to you yet, but it will?

TRUMP: It will when it's appropriate. I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won't take me long.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:38:30]

COOPER: The next Republican presidential debate airs in less than two weeks here on CNN, with Jake Tapper moderating and additional questions from conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is already accusing Hewitt of asking him unfair gotcha type questions, questions about foreign leaders and the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, for instance. Trump was a guest on the Hugh Hewitt show, and the host said he wanted to focus on questions relating to the president's role as commander in chief. He asked Trump about the leader of Iran's Quds Force and other Middle East military figures, and the conversation went from there. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUGH HEWITT, TALK SHOW HOST: On the front of Islamist terrorism, I'm looking for the next commander in chief to know who Hasan Nasrallah is and Zawahiri and Al Julani and Al Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard yet, Donald Trump?

TRUMP: You know what, I'll tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to office, they will all be changed, they will be all gone. I knew you were going to ask me things like this, and there's no reason, because No. 1, I will hopefully find General Douglas MacArthur in the pack. I will find whoever it is that I will find, but they are all changing. Those are like history questions. Do you know this one, do you know that one?

HEWITT: I don't believe in gotcha questions. I'm not trying to quiz you on who the worst guy in the world is.

TRUMP: That is a gotcha question, you know, when you're asking me about who, you know, who is running this, this, this. That is not -- I will be so good at the military, your head will spin, but obviously I'm not meeting these people. I'm not seeing these people. Now, it probably will be a lot of changes, Hugh, as you go along. There will be -- by the time we get there, which is still a pretty long period of time, you saw -- let's say you figure out nominations and who -- who is going to represent the Republicans, in let's say February, March, April, you'll start to get pretty good ideas, maybe sooner than that, actually.

[20:40:00]

But that will be a whole new group of people. I think what is really important is to pick out, and this is something I'm so good at, to pick out who is going to be the best person to represent us militarily, because we have some great people militarily. I don't know that we're using them.

HEWITT: Let me expand it, because it's not got charges I'm trying not to do that. But I want to see it here.

TRUMP: Well, it sounds like gotcha.

HEWITT: OK.

TRUMP: You're asking me names that -- that, you know, I think it's somewhat ridiculous but that's okay. Go ahead.

HEWITT: Last question, I want to go back to the beginning because I really do disagree with you on the gotcha question thing, Donald Trump. At the debate I may bring up Nasrallah being with Hezbollah and Al Gilani being with al-Nusra, and al-Masri being with Hamas. Do you think if I ask people to talk about those three things and the differences that that's a gotcha question?

TRUMP: Yes, I do, I totally do.

HEWITT: That's interesting. I just disagree with that. I kind of think ...

TRUMP: I think it's ridiculous. I'll have - I'm a delegator, I find great people. I find absolutely great people and I'll find them in our armed services, and I find absolutely great people. And now in the bigger picture, like the fact that our Kurds are being - the Kurds are being treated so poorly and would -- really is the one group that really would be out there fighting for us, I think and fighting for themselves maybe more importantly to them, I understand that, but when you start throwing around names of people and where they live and give me their address I think it's ridiculous and I think it's ...

HEWITT: I wouldn't do that, that's crazy. I agree.

TRUMP: Well ...

HEWITT: But - It's an interview and debate.

TRUMP: By the way, the names you just mentioned, they probably won't even be there in six months or a year.

HEWITT: I don't know, Nasrallah's got such staying power.

TRUMP: Let's see what happens. And you know what, in that case, first day in office or before then, right - at the day after the election, I'll know more about it than you will ever know, that I can tell you.

HEWITT: I hope so. Last question, so the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas does not matter to you yet, but it will?

TRUMP: It will when it's appropriate. I will know more about it than you know, and believe me it won't take me long.

HEWITT: All right. That I believe.

TRUMP: Right now I think it's just something that -- and you know what, if you ask these candidates, nobody is going to be able to give you an answer. I mean there may be one that studied it because they are expecting, you know, a fresh question from you, but believe me it won't matter. I will know far more than you know within 24 hours after I get the job.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Joining me now, CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen. David, should a candidate at this stage know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN ANALYST: I think you should know basically a lot about the Middle East and the dynamics of the Middle East, Hezbollah being in Lebanon and Hamas being in Gaza, for example. You do need to know that, but I must say traditionally, Anderson, when reporters have asked candidates, you know, who is the head of this African government or that African government, what's the difference between Tajikistan and Pakistan, you know, those are regarded as gotcha questions. That's an old trick and those are gotcha questions. I think far more relevant at this point for a man who is leading the pack in the Republican Party who's never spent a day in public office is to come forward with thoughtful views and well thought out views on national security and where he would go, what is his strategy post the Iran agreement? What strategy would he propose for the Middle East and secondly, Anderson, we need to know who is coming with him, it's not just who goes to the White House, who is coming with you, and we need to begin to see people around him as a Republican looking for the Jim Baker, looking for the Brent Scowcroft. Are people like that going to be at his side? That's really critical for him.

COOPER: It's interesting though. I mean, you know, the most specific policy he's talked about probably, and -- and I think it categorizes it's the most specific he's gone into, is dealing with ISIS. He's talked about bombing the hell out of them, surrounding the oil fields, taking the oil, using American troops to protect those oil fields while American companies go in and take the oil. If -- if, you know, the critics of that policy, a lot of military experts that we've had on the program, you know, General Hertling who commanded the U.S. troops, I think it was 2007 to 2009 in northern Iraq has said, you know, that's just -- that's just not realistic, it's just not -- I mean, that's the kind of argument somebody would make, you know, just say bomb the hell out of them. If that is your policy the fact that you don't seem to know a lot of the details, specific as they may be about who the players are in the region, it does sort of bolster the argument of his critics who say, well, look, he's not really, you know, it's a very complex situation in the Middle East and to -- to not -- I mean, I don't care necessarily about names of people, but to not kind of know the dynamics.

[20:45:00]

COOPER: He says there are no Iraqis. There is no Iraq.

GERGEN: Well, listen. It's absolutely true that it's a roll of the dice for the country to elect somebody to the presidency who has never held public office a day in his or her life. And we three - we have, you know, Ben Carson and Donald Trump now leading the Republican field, and neither one of them has spent time in public life and they should be held up to scrutiny. We should expect certain standards, but don't think - when you have a roll call as you've had of terrorist leaders in the Middle East, I -- I doubt many foreign policy experts don't know all those names. I don't think -- I don't think that's the standard.

COOPER: Right.

GERGEN: I do think that's a gotcha. It's trying to reveal gaps in his knowledge, but what we want to know is are you going to be surrounded by people who don't have these off-the-wall ideas who can bring you in and help you sort of see what reality is -- what realistically is possible, what you can do, what your options are. That's when you want somebody who is going to have his finger very close to the button, and who's going to be answering that phone call at 3:00 in the morning. You want somebody who is surrounded by good people and becomes more thoughtful than he's been so far.

COOPER: And that's certainly the point that Donald Trump has made repeatedly, which is look, I may not know this stuff. I don't have the experience of having done this, but I'm going to hire really good people and I'm good at identifying people who -- who do know all this stuff.

GERGEN: Yeah. A turning point in George W. Bush's campaign, for better or for worse, was when he assembled a whole group of foreign policy experts around him, brought them out and said these are going to be my people. Presidential candidates traditionally do this with economists and economic leaders, people out of Wall Street. You need to know the quality of people who are going to be with them. So far this Trump thing has been a one-man show.

COOPER: Right.

GERGEN: And it's a dazzling show, but at some point the showman's got to stand back and say where's the beef?

COOPER: Right.

GERGEN: And who are the people that are going to produce the beef?

COOPER: David Gergen, appreciate it. Thank you.

Up next, the little boy on the beach, this heartbreaking photo captures the crisis which is swamping Europe right now, a little boy from Syria who was found dead and washed ashore. His family trying to make it to Europe. Arwa Damon is on an overcrowded train carrying families just like that family of the boy on the beach, families fleeing from. Her reporting ahead.

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COOPER: The images of one boy, just 2 years old, found dead on a Turkish beach this week have shocked and haunted the word. You may want to turn away for just a moment and not see the video. However, if you keep watching, you'll see the often deadly reality of the Syrian refugee crisis. Here are the images. A little boy named Aylan, his lifeless body on the beach after he, his 4-year-old brother and his mother, all drowned when their crowded boat hit rough seas. They were hoping to make it to Greece from Turkey after fleeing war- torn Syria. They obviously never made it. A Turkish police officer, you see, carrying away Aylan's body.

Tonight, we have a new picture of Aylan standing with his big brother. This is how their family wants you to remember them. Aylan's smile. Only their father survived. He plans to return to Syria to bury his family. He says everything he dreamed of is now gone.

They tried to start over like millions of Syrians and Iraqis who have fled, often in overcrowded boats, and once they arrive, the tough journey on land begins. Tonight Arwa Damon shows us what it's like. She is in Hungary on a train with many desperate refugees.

Arwa, you've been on the train for 15 hours. What's the latest?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, just take a look around us. It is well past midnight. People are sprawled out into every single corner they can possibly find to try to sleep in. They are up on the overhead luggage compartment areas. They are all over the floors and the aisles, and the reason why people don't want to leave this train is because when they do leave, they will get taken by the police who are waiting outside to the camps. They do not want to report to these camps in Hungary because they have already been through a camp when they crossed along the Serbian border into Hungary. They say their treatment there was inhumane. They were meant to feel as if they were animals. They also don't want to go into these camps in Hungary because they believe that it will slow down or even hinder their process of applying for asylum, either in Germany or in other Western European nations.

But this, Anderson, is what happens when governments fail to provide for those who are most in need and ends up leaving them in circumstances like this.

COOPER: And so what are European governments talking about doing at this point?

DAMON: Well, here's the problem. Everyone keeps falling back to the Dublin agreement, which basically was drafted back in 1990, and effectively says that in applying for asylum within the European Union, you have to apply at your first point of entry, which may have made sense when it was brought to -- to existence back then, but it cannot be applied for the current influx of refugees that Europe has been seeing. These numbers have not taken place here since World War II. And in trying to implement the Dublin agreement, governments are actually violating the Geneva Convention and violating a refugee's basic right to safety, sanctuary, and effectively a dignified and respectable life.

The problem is every single government keeps blaming the other, and so people are at a loss, taking matters into their own hands and absolutely terrified of making a decision like one that is as simple as getting off a train, because it could land them in a situation that is even worse than this one.

COOPER: So I just want to be clear. The train you're on, it's not going anywhere, it's just sitting there, right?

DAMON: It is. It left Budapest about 11:00 a.m. local, so 5:00 a.m. Eastern. People hoped that maybe it was going to Germany and had a little bit of a chance that that could be what was happening. Most of them thought that it was going along the Austrian-Hungarian border, and they just wanted to get out of Budapest, but we're about 19 miles outside of the capital, and it stopped about an hour into this trip. It stopped and it's just been sitting here. The police are outside. They have it completely blocked off.

[20:55:00]

They are actually stopping other trains that are coming into the station and searching them for refugees and bringing those refugees off the train, trying to get them to the camps, causing quite a bit of commotion on this side of the tracks, and in some instances we've seen those refugees brought off the other trains sitting down, refusing to move, and then eventually actually being brought onto this train. But, yes, this train has not moved in a very, very long time. Obviously food and water are very problematic.

COOPER: We've never seen numbers like this in quite some time. Arwa Damon, thank you.

It's a shocking situation.

Up next, another live hour of 360, we're on all the way until the 10:00 hour tonight. Donald Trump signing a Republican pledge not to run as a third-party candidate. The question we put to our panel, what if he does it anyway? A quick note for those of you looking for the debut of the CNN film "Fresh Dressed," it airs an hour from now, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. "Fresh Dressed" gives an up-close look at how hip-hop grew to have a major impact on the fashion industry. That's in one hour here on CNN. We'll be right back.

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