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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Police: 8 Dead in Munich Shooting Spree; Clinton Holds Rally, VP Pick Expected Soon; Trump: I Don't Want Cruz Endorsement; President Obama Pushes Back On Trump's Pessimistic View. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired July 22, 2016 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: I think they feel that Germany has not been as involved in that anti-ISIS coalition as country like France, which is launching air strikes in Syria and Iraq.
[16:30:01] Germany is not launching airstrikes against ISIS. They're doing some surveillance missions with aircrafts over Syria. They're helping train and support the Peshmerga in northern Iraq.
Certainly, ISIS have signaled that they want to attack Germany, but it's not being quite at the top of their targeting list so far.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: We have bad breaking news right now. Police in Munich are saying the death toll has increased to eight people being killed in this terrorist attack.
General Hertling, let me bring you into the conversation. You were stationed in Germany for 12 years. You're very familiar with the city of Munich. Tell us about the local officials there, the SWAT police, because obviously they're involved in a manhunt right now with at least one shooter, if not more, on the loose.
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: A couple things about the German Polizei, first of all, Jake. It is a very distinguished, disciplined, rigorous, and very good organization across the board. When you were part of the polizei, you were part of a very professional force. They have very good SWAT members. They have very good intelligence link to not only the national intelligence service, the BND, but also the local intelligence service, the BFE, the ones that actually provided intelligence.
So, all of the things we talked about in Paris, and in France, and in Brussels, it's not the same in Germany. Again, I lived there for multiple years, over different tours, and what I have seen in Germany is a very professional force from police and intelligence. They are coordinating the scene very well.
And, in fact, many of their police forces in Bavaria, one of 16 states of Germany, which is where Munich is, is also where Wurzburg is, the town where the train ax event occurred just earlier this week. So, you're talking about two events in Bavaria, which bounders the borders of Austria and Switzerland and Italy. So, you're talking about the flow of refugees into this area.
But again, I'm going to jump on board with Michael Weiss on this. I'm not fully convinced just yet, there is a high percentage this might be ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed, but it could just as easily have been a far right-wing organization trying to split the government. Because I was in Germany last month, actually, Jake, and what I found was Germany is constantly changing in terms of the 1.2 million immigrants and refugees they have taken in over the last year.
The government is trying to accept these refugees and welcome them with open arms, but the population is split in terms of how many more they can support.
TAPPER: Cedric, Munich police are asking the public to avoid public places. The U.S. consulate is telling Americans to shelter in place. That's pretty serious, that's pretty dire?
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, I have lived in Munich for many years, I've never seen that ever happen. There's never been a situation where the police have told people to do that. Now, the Germans are pretty obedient. They will follow directions by police and you can rest assure that the streets are going to be vacant tonight in Munich.
TAPPER: The last time I remember it happening was in Boston after the Boston marathon terrorist attack when one of the brothers whose name I will not mention, was still on the loose and the citizens of Boston were told don't go to work today, stay at home today.
Paul, Brussels, you talked about how France is involved in the anti- ISIS coalition and that's the reason why they get targeted so often, unfortunately. Brussels, are they as big? Because they keep getting targeted, too. Are they as big a member of the anti-ISIS coalition, or is it more just that Brussels is a hot bed of jihadists?
CRUICKSHANK: Belgium is launching airstrikes against ISIS.
TAPPER: They are?
CRUICKSHANK: It is a small county but they're doing a quit a lot for jus a small country against ISIS in terms of airstrikes. But also, you're right, Belgium just has a large number of extremists, the most high number per capita who have travelled to Syria and Iraq. But Germany also got one of the largest totals, more than 800 Germans have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join jihadi groups.
TAPPER: We're going to a Munich conference, the Munich police press conference. Let's listen in.
REPORTER: Do you assume there are three perpetrators in Munich?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We assume that up to three perpetrators are there.
REPORTER: The police look at this, no? So the whole city is being investigated, yes? Could that be suicide?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to look at it. We have special forces at the scene, and they look at it. I'm pretty sure that later we will be able to respond to this. [16:35:04] REPORTER: What are the findings about the motive of the
perpetrators? Is that it is an Islamist background?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Currently, we just know they are violent and we will respond to this later.
REPORTER: Can you exclude a terrorist act?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, when someone shoots with a rifle in a shopping center, now we have eight persons killed, than definitely we have to assume this is not just simply a violent act. So, our measures we take are justified that they are towards terrorism.
REPORTER: At 4:00 p.m. there was some kind of reports --
TAPPER: We're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back covering this news story. Eight dead after a terrorist attack in Munich Germany.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD.
And this disturbing and breaking news out of Munich, Germany, police now confirming that at least eight people killed in a shooting spree.
[16:40:06] Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted about the attack just moments ago. She said, quote, "monitoring the horrific situation in Munich. We stand with our friends in Germany as they work to bring those responsible to justice." Signed with H, indicating that she actually wrote the email.
Let's bring in CNN's Brianna Keilar, who's traveling with the Clinton campaign.
Brianna, I can't help but observe a week ago Donald Trump was supposed to announce his running mate and that was pushed back by a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France. And there was some indication that Hillary Clinton today might announce her running mate, and yet no word yet.
With this horrific terrorist attack in Munich, I wonder if that played some sort of role.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: That's right. We do believe that it is in flux at this point, Jake. And this really just goes to show how pronounced and persistent these terror threats have been here. As we know, we understand that the Clinton campaign is trying to figure out how to deal with this conundrum of having planned a vice presidential rollout that we thought could be happening already, perhaps with a text message.
They're trying to balance that with what everyone is watching happening in Germany, something that appears to be part of a larger picture, not just a isolated incident of what has happened today, and this is a week after Donald Trump's vice presidential rollout affected by the Nice attack. So, it was something that the campaign is really trying to figure out at this point.
I was told by one source familiar with this, thinking that they thought as Donald Trump handled it, that they -- they criticized him it was a way that he wasn't perhaps understanding how significant what was happening abroad was. And clearly, she does not want to make what they see as that mistake, but she finds herself in the middle of this situation.
I mean, you can see this event behind me, these people are dancing. I've talked to people down here, though, some people who maybe aren't paying attention to phones, they are not necessarily paying attention to what's going on in Munich. This feels like a party. There is a bar open here, there's beer, there's wine, there's snacks, and they're awaiting Hillary Clinton who is arriving from a more somber event in Orlando and we're still waiting to figure out what's happening, Jake.
TAPPER: I have to say, Brianna, last night, Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he clearly painted a dark picture of the world right now in terms of the threat of terrorism, in terms of threat of crime in the United States. When I asked the Trump campaign about that, they said, look, he was just reflecting reality.
The Clinton campaign said he was just trying to scare people and it was all doom and gloom. But with today's attack, is there concern inside the Clinton campaign that this attack and the constant drum beat of terrorist attacks in the United States and around the world, that this backs up Donald Trump's world view?
KEILAR: I think there is a concern. But I also think that what they're trying to do, and it is certainly a heavy lift, is to perhaps turn it into an opportunity for her to acknowledge that this is a very serious situation, but to try to ask voters, do they want her and her experience versus Donald Trump? Now, that's something we have seen in the polls. Voters are very divided on that. That's certainly not a fight that Hillary Clinton is winning at this point, but it's something that she's going to try, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Brianna Keilar with Hillary Clinton, thank you so much.
On the other side, after wrapping the Republican convention last night, Donald Trump has yet to tweet about the terrorist attack in Munich, as of now.
CNN's Sara Murray is in Cleveland, Ohio, where the Republican convention took place.
Sara, painted a rather dark vision of the world. Paul Manafort's campaign chairman saying it is just a reflection of reality. People out there are scared, and now, today, eight innocent people killed in Germany in what police say looks like a terrorist attack.
SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jake. And Donald Trump's message that the world is in a certain level of chaos could have just stood on its own today. But instead, Donald Trump held a press event this morning in which he decided to relitigate many of his primary battles, potentially overshadowing the message he tried to get across last night.
MURRAY (voice-over): Today, Donald Trump just couldn't resist the chance to settle old scores from his perch as the GOP nominee.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't want his endorsement. Just, Ted, stay home, relax, enjoy yourself.
MURRAY: At an event billed as a thank you for volunteer and staffers, Trump quickly veered from the task at hand, insisting he doesn't want Ted Cruz's endorsement and arguing he never insulted Cruz's wife Heidi Cruz, even after he retweeted this unflattering photo of her during the primaries.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I saw somebody tweeted a picture of Melania and a picture of Heidi, who I think, by the way, is a very nice woman and a very beautiful woman. I have to tell you, I think Heidi Cruz is a great person. I think she is the best thing he has going and his kids if you want to know the truth.
MURRAY: Trump stepping on his own triumphant moment just a day after accepting the Republican nomination where he largely stuck to the script as he vowed to fight for the American people.
TRUMP: I say these words to you tonight. I am with you. I will fight for you, and I will win for you.
MURRAY: While Trump used his Thursday night address to try and rise above --
TRUMP: Let's defeat her in November. OK?
MURRAY: By Friday morning, he was back to plumbing the depths of conspiracy theory. Reviving a tabloid tail backed by zero evidence linking Ted Cruz's father to John F. Kennedy assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
TRUMP: All I did was point out that fact that on the cover of the "National Enquirer," there is a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.
MURRAY: And while Trump said much of his convention speech offering a dark assessment of the challenges facing the country --
TRUMP: I have a message to every last person threatening the safety of our streets and the safety of our police. When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.
MURRAY: Today, President Obama says that portrayal doesn't match reality. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This vision of violence and chaos everywhere doesn't really jive with the experience of most people. I hope people the next morning walked outside and birds were chirping and the sun was out.
MURRAY: That a Trump campaign will, of course, plays at the events in Munich are a signal that Donald Trump was, of course, right in the tone he struck in his convention speech. But Jake, a challenge for Trump is whether can he be disciplined long enough to continue to hammer home that message? Back to you.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Yes. Of course, Sara, I mean, there is Donald Trump's tone, talking about what he talked about last night, and then President Obama's tone talking about birds chirping and the sun shining.
I think people when they see the Munich attacks, I think both of them might have -- I think President Obama post-attack may have a tonal issue at least for some people. Sara Murray, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
President Obama reacting to Donald Trump's speech last night, that story is next.
TAPPER: Earlier today before we learned of the terrorist attack in Munich, President Obama used a press conference with the Mexican president to push back on Donald Trump's vision as he painted last night.
The president insisted that the Republican presidential nominee is not sharing a correct assessment of crime with his supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America's 50 largest cities. That's the largest increase in 25 years.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The violent crime rate in America has been lower during my presidency than any time in the last three or four decades.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Let's bring in CNN's Michelle Kosinski, who is live at the White House. Michelle, they're both right, right?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I love this exact because this is the prime one of how statistics can be used and are always used even for something so important at the highest levels. Both of those statements are true. But if you use one without the other, how that changes your perspective from a negative one to a positive one. What Donald Trump is true, in America's 50 biggest cities, there has been a 17 percent increase of violent crime. That's a big number.
But you look at those 50 cities, more than a fifth of those have seen crime go down. Overall, it accounts for about 700 more murders in 2015 over the prior year.
But you look across America and violent crime has been on a downward slide over the last 40 years. If you're Donald Trump, you want to be careful if you're only going to focus on the places where crime has been going up because you know the White House will counter that and say let's look more closely at that.
Is that maybe because of easy access to guns in America? And if you are the president and you are going to be talking about the sun shining and bird chirping, you want to be careful because if you're somebody in one of those cities where crime is up, like the president's own home town of Chicago, it will look like you're diminishing that.
TAPPER: Absolutely. The president also saying that Donald Trump was wrong on his comments about immigration.
KOSINSKI: Yes. That is another perfect example. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it turns out that the rate of illegal migration into the United States today is lower by two thirds than it was when Ronald Reagan was president.
[16:55:03]We have far fewer undocumented workers crossing the border today than we did in the 80s or the 90s, or when George Bush was president. That's a fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: Both of those statements again true. Donald Trump is looking more narrowly at a smaller instance, a smaller time frame, the president looking over a period of decades. There has been more families, there has been an uptick. Officials say that is because of more violence in Central America.
But when you look at the numbers in total, I mean, 1970s, 80s, 90s, 2000, about a million people a year apprehended at America's borders. Last year, it was only around 300,000 -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Michelle Kosinski, thanks so much. Witnesses telling horrific stories of what happened during this Munich shooting spree. Police say eight people now dead. We are going to have more on this big breaking news story. Stay with us here at CNN. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)