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THE SITUATION ROOM
Climber Scales Trump Tower; Interview With Florida Congressman Ted Yoho; More Clinton E-Mails Released; Secret Service Talks to Donald Trump; Police Grab & Arrest Trump Tower Climber; Unreleased Clinton Emails Raising New Questions. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired August 10, 2016 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now: call to arms. CNN has learned that the Secret Service has talked to Donald Trump's campaign about his controversial remarks that some interpreted as a threat against Hillary Clinton's life. But Trump says he was only urging gun rights advocates to vote. And some of his supporters say Trump was making a bad joke.
What did he really mean?
E-mail discovery. Newly early released e-mails are raising questions about the relationship between Hillary Clinton's State Department and the Clinton Foundation. What do the e-mails reveal and were they deliberately hidden?
And ISIS intel altered. A congressional investigation finds U.S. military officials exaggerated progress in the war against ISIS. Were they facing political pressure to paint a rosier picture of the fight against the terrorists?
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: All that coming up, but we're also following breaking news at Trump Tower in New York City, where a climber is scaling the building right now.
Donald Trump is not there. He's out on the campaign trail tonight, but the building is the home of his campaign headquarters. Police and emergency crews, they are on the scene. But it's not clear who the man is or why he is doing this.
Trump, his surrogates and his supporters are scrambling, meanwhile, to tamp down the latest controversy ignited by the Republican presidential candidate. CNN has learned that the Secret Service has now had multiple conversations with the Trump campaign about a comment many took as a threat against Hillary Clinton.
Trump just sent out a tweet denying any talks with the Secret Service. He maintains that his remarks saying -- quote -- "Second Amendment people" can stop Clinton was call for voter turnout.
Hillary Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, is also facing tough questions tonight following a newly released batch of e-mails from her time as secretary of state. They are raising new questions about the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during her tenure.
We're learning new details tonight about intelligence reports that painted a misleading picture in the war against ISIS. CNN has obtained a copy of a congressional investigation that found U.S. military officials altered intelligence to show more progress against ISIS.
Our correspondents and our expert analysts, they are all standing by.
But let's begin with what's happening now over at Trump Tower in New York City, where a climber is scaling the 58-story building.
CNN law enforcement producer Shimon Prokupecz is watching the situation for us. We're also joined on the phone by CNN senior law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.
Shimon, first of all, what are you learning about this individual?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN PRODUCER: Wolf, we know that the police know who he is. They have his name. He has told them his name is Steve and that he's from Virginia. They don't know why he's doing this.
They have been able to find -- they found a YouTube video that they believe Steve made yesterday, sort of explaining why he was doing this. They are now going over the video. They know he's from Virginia. They actually now know his full name. They have his last name. They are pulling records on him and really they're just trying to figure out why he's doing this and could he possibly have something more in his bag?
Is he some kind of a danger? Is he up to something else that they just don't know? They just don't know right now why he's doing this or what's in his bag or what his intentions are.
BLITZER: This is a 68-story building. I just want to correct the record. A 68-story building, Trump Tower 57th and Fifth Avenue in New York City.
That YouTube video that he posted, was he just suggesting he was doing this for the publicity? Is that what you're suggesting? Is that what you're hearing, Shimon?
PROKUPECZ: That's pretty much it. He is suggesting he was doing this for publicity. But they really don't know what he's doing. They have had some communication with him. They have talked to him. That's how they learned who he is. They have very good sort of -- the NYPD does, their own intel analysts who will go through all his social media and go through everything.
But in the video, he speaks very calmly and he sort of says people will know who he is tomorrow. He mentions Trump by name and basically says what he was planning to do.
Again, they didn't find this video until probably like an hour ago or so. Now they're sort of just going through it. I'm sure they are talking to authorities in Virginia trying to see if he has any kind of a record there and really just trying to learn something about him and sort of trying to really just sort of keep him safe there.
They do not want to grab him. They do not want to pull him in. Their plan really right now is just to let him keep going. They did break some glass earlier to talk to him, but they don't plan on breaking anymore glass. There's air bags sort of in two locations surrounding the building just in case if he falls.
Right now the streets around Trump Tower are all closed. And so really the point now is just to let him keep going and the hope is that he just sort of tires out.
BLITZER: Shimon, you have been talking to law enforcement sources. They are concerned. This not only is the corporate headquarters of the Trump company and the business. It's also the campaign headquarters. It's also where Donald Trump and his family live. They have got their apartment inside this building. It's raising specific concerns.
PROKUPECZ: It certainly is.
You can sort of just know that the NYPD is prepared here for anything that could happen. I wouldn't doubt they have other snipers or people with long guns who are in a position to sort of take him out if they need to. They're keeping a very close eye on him. There's a helicopter over the scene. There's these heavily armed police officers that are all over that building.
They're at the neighboring building sort of keeping an eye on him. There's a helicopter. I think if he was to do anything, they would be probably able to take him out pretty quickly if they needed to. With Trump not there, I don't know if his family is there, but I'm sure they have been moved and I'm sure any staff that could potentially be in danger probably was moved.
But, look, if there's a bomb in that bag, if there is something else going on, or if he has other plans, they will move pretty quickly and probably take him out if they need to.
BLITZER: Shimon, good reporting.
Tom Fuentes is with us, our senior law enforcement analyst, the former assistant director of the FBI, also a former cop.
How do you deal with a situation like this, Tom?
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think, Wolf, the way they are dealing with it. Just let him go. Any attempt to pull him off the building have somebody grab him and try to take him down is going to be extremely dangerous for whoever the police or fire official would be.
BLITZER: Hold on for a second, Tom.
You see just above this climber there's a window there that's just been removed as he's beginning to go up. They're clearly anticipating that once he gets a few more flights up, he will have no choice but to go into that window, at which I'm sure he will be arrested.
But go ahead.
FUENTES: Yes. The only question here is whether he has ability to move sideways to the other side wall and maybe take a different path up to the top if he wants to keep going.
We will see what happens with that. But again I think the big concern here is that they will want to try to block him if they can, try to talk him out of it if they can, but if not, be careful not to endanger themselves in trying to end this incident. Worst-case scenario, they let him keep just climbing and theoretically he's going to either tire out or fall off.
BLITZER: You see authorities there. They now have removed a window just a few flights up. They tried to talk to him a few flights down.
They broke a window. They had a blanket over the bottom where the window was cracked. They tried to talk to him. That clearly did not succeed. But they're going to try once more as he continues to move up. But he's got three more flights to go before he reaches that open spot where the window is right now.
What do you say to a guy like this in a situation like this, Tom?
FUENTES: I don't know what you say to him, because he wants his 15 minutes of fame. He's certainly getting more than he bargained for. He is going to be famous.
He's on worldwide television now. He's accomplished that much of his goals. I think you try to tell him that, OK, you have done it. You're famous. Everybody is watching you all over the world. Time to give it up and you come on in, mission accomplished. And we will see what they do.
Are they going to take a chance and try the lasso him while he's climbing up that wall and maybe grab him and bring in him or what? It's a good question.
You can see by the corner there that whether or not he could go around the corner and go up the other, in our view now, the left face of that building and go up there. What do they do then? Do they remove every window on that floor so he has just has no further path with those suction cups to go up the side of that building?
BLITZER: Shimon is still with us, Shimon Prokupecz, our producer.
Shimon, you're getting more information now. What are you learning?
PROKUPECZ: So, basically, now, I guess, look, they have taken that window out. I think the goal is to try to keep, try to get him to come in and to sort of convince him to surrender.
The NYPD has had a lot of experience with these types of climbers. A couple years ago, there was a man who scaled "The New York Times" building. They have done this before. These are the very well- trained emergency service unit officers.
They're also trained in negotiation and talking to people to try to get them to surrender. They deal with hostages. They deal with people who are suicidal and jump off buildings all the time.
The goal now, it seems, is that he's going to keep climbing up here, perhaps. They're going to try to really convince him to come in. They would be pretty scary for them to grab him because if something happens and he somehow breaks free, he would just fall. I don't think they want that.
They know who he is now. Perhaps maybe the negotiators, these emergency service unit officers will be able to talk and say, hey, we know who you are. We know why you did this. We saw your YouTube video. Come in. We want to help you.
That's really going to be the goal now I think is just to get him to come in and sort of figure out what's going on here. Again, the longer this goes, I mean, the more dangerous it becomes.
BLITZER: Just to remind our viewers, authorities placed these huge air mattresses, these air bags, these cushions at the bottom on the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue over there at Trump Tower in case he were to fall. That potentially could save this individual's life.
They call him -- he says his name is Steve.
What can you tell us about the YouTube video, Shimon, that he posted?
PROKUPECZ: He mentions Trump in the video. And then he also talks about why he's doing this. It's really for fame. He wants attention. And basically he talks about how people will know him.
He's kind of -- look, the police are still trying to authenticate that it's actually him, but they believe it's him. He's dressed in black. It's kind of his head is sort of covered. You can see his face. He's speaking slowly.
BLITZER: Shimon, you see they are taking out another window on the other side over there. So, this individual, if he keeps going up, there's not going to be many floors left for him to move.
At some point, they are going to force him inside. You can see those two windows that have now been removed. He's got limited options right now. I assume you agree?
PROKUPECZ: Yes. No, he does have limited options.
Look, I think they are doing this on purpose. Right? They want to try to take out as many windows as possible so that he has nowhere to place the suction cups. And so that's what's going on. Now, earlier, he tried to go around.
I don't know if he will try to do that here. But you have to start assuming that he's getting pretty tired, and I think that's their hope. You can see the police there. These guys are some of the best. And they're calm. And they will talk to him and they're going to say, hey,we're not going to take you in. Come in if you want. If you don't want to come in, keep going.
When they were talking to him earlier down below, he basically was telling them, I want to keep going. I want to keep going. I spoke to a source who basically said that he was adamant that he wanted to climb the building. They're like, fine. If this is what you want to do, keep going. Their hope is that he gets tired.
It's pretty amazing how easily they are able to take out the windows on these buildings. Again, this is something they're trained for. They don't need to break the glass. They don't need to rip through anything. They sort of just easily, it's just amazing to me how they just easily take the glass out and can just kind of stand there now and just sort of hope that he comes in.
And they're going to just talk to him and you can see that's going on right now. There's a supervisor up there. He's wearing a white shirt and there's probably about six emergency services officers there. And they are just -- they're hanging out.
But these guys do this so often. Unfortunately, these kinds of things are not sort of abnormal. It happens. People climb buildings and people go up and they climb bridges. And in most cases, it's suicidal people. In this case, it's a guy who just wants attention and probably has some kind of statement to make.
BLITZER: This has been going on now I think for about two hours. Shortly after 4:00 p.m. Eastern, this individual began climbing, walked out on the balcony of the fifth floor and started moving up.
It looks like he is going to be apprehended fairly soon. The individual calls himself Steve posted a Facebook page saying he wanted to do this, wanted some publicity. He is clearly getting some publicity. Once he is arrested, he is going to face several charges, no doubt, about that.
Huge mattresses, by the way, air cushions, air bags on the sidewalk outside of Fifth Avenue right at the bottom of Trump Tower in case he were to fall. But you see authorities , they are getting ready to arrest him.
We will continue to monitor this situation. Let's take a quick break. Much more right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. You can see it right there. A climber has been moving up Trump Tower in New York City, scaling the building right now.
You the window open there just above him. Authorities are waiting presumably to grab and arrested him as soon as he gets up to that open window right now.
CNN's Brynn Gingras is down on Fifth Avenue at the bottom of Trump Tower watch -- I assume, Brynn, there's been a huge crowd that has developed. The police have shut off all traffic.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, there are crowds all around the Trump Towers at this point, barricades set up, the largest crowds that I have ever seen around Trump Tower, as people just are fixated on this man as he continues to get higher and higher on Trump Tower.
We know right now, when you mention those police, the window that they are peering through, that is the 22nd floor of Trump Tower. There was a hostage negotiation team talking to this man, who has been identified by sources as Steven Ragoda. He's from Virginia.
Little is known, though we do know conversations are happening between police and him. But as you can see and what we have been seeing for the last two hours while he's been climbing this tower is that he continues to move to the south as police continue to sort of move with him trying to get him to come inside.
Slowly, he's been dropping things from that backpack that he's carrying. I'm told that nothing dangerous has been dropped. It looks like sometimes bottles of water in some cases. But it looks like he's trying to lose some weight off of his back as he continues to climb. But we do know, again, the hostage negotiation team is there and they are preparing to possibly even rappel down to him.
To the left of him, if you can see, there are police in a bucket contraption trying to get to him as well as those people that are in the window, Wolf, so certainly a lot of effort being made here to try to get this man off of the tower. And he seems pretty adamant to continue climbing. He actually told police that's his goal is to climb to the top -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brynn, have you seen those huge air cushions on the sidewalk right below him that potentially could save his life?
GINGRAS: I can see them now actually that you point out to me.
We're actually a little -- a few feet away, a few hundred feet away from that, Wolf. So, I can see that now as you describe it. Certainly, there are moments when he's dropping things where the crowd around here is oohing and aahing.
Everybody is sort of in anticipation of what is going to happen next. Police actually did just push the press back off the street. I'm not quite sure if that's to get more emergency vehicles into this area or for our safety as well. But we have all been pushed on to the sidewalk.
But, again, you mentioned the crowds, Wolf. There are buildings that are surrounding Trump Tower. A lot of them have atriums. There are crowds inside buildings, outside the buildings, on the sidewalks, in the streets. Everyone is taking a look at this guy and figuring out what his move is next.
BLITZER: Yes. We see he's now surrounded by police. They're trying to talk some sense into this individual named Steve. We will stay on top of this. Brynn, don't go too far away.
Donald Trump is not at Trump Tower right now. He's about to hold a rally in Florida after making a stop in Virginia.
Our Sara Murray reports.
MURRAY (voice-over): Donald Trump is still trying to set the record straight.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to protect our Second Amendment, which is under siege.
MURRAY: Blaming the media for the uproar over this comment.
TRUMP: By the way, and if she gets to pick -- if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks, although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don't know.
MURRAY: While some, including the Clinton campaign, saw it as a call to violence, Trump insists it was about encouraging Second Amendment voters to rally behind him.
TRUMP: There can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me, give me a break.
MURRAY: The GOP nominee also airing his frustrations on Twitter.
"Media desperate to distract from Clinton's anti-2A stance. I said pro-2A citizens must organize and get out vote to save our Constitution. But even as Trump's backers rush to his defense...
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: What he meant by that was you have the power to vote against her. I saw it, I heard it, I know what it meant. I heard how the crowd reacted to it.
MURRAY: Other Republicans billed it as another misstep for a candidate with an affinity for making off-color comments. REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It sounds like just a
joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that.
MURRAY: Senator Susan Collins, who is not supporting the GOP nominee, says she believes Trump was talking about political clout, but isn't surprised others came away with a darker impression.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Donald Trump has made so many disparaging and reckless comments, that it is not surprising that this one has been misinterpreted.
MURRAY: For her part, Hillary Clinton sought to use the outrage to her advantage.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Words matter, my friends.
MURRAY: Rebuking Trump today during an event in Iowa.
CLINTON: Yesterday, we witnessed the latest in a long line of casual comments from Donald Trump that crossed the line, his casual cruelty to a Gold Star family, his casual suggestion that more countries should have nuclear weapons, and now his casual inciting of violence.
BLITZER: Donald Trump once again tweeting no such meeting or conversation ever happened between his campaign and the Secret Service.
Sara Murray, thanks for that report.
Joining us now, Republican Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida. He's a Donald Trump supporter.
Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.
REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: Hey, Wolf. Thanks for having me back on.
BLITZER: Do you believe Mr. Trump was joking when he spoke about the Second Amendment people, what they should do to stop Hillary Clinton?
YOHO: You know, it seems like another controversy of the week. We have got 90 day until the election, and I think we are going to see a lot of this.
What I have seen -- and I have only been in politics for three years, but you have been around this a long time -- is the P.C. police are out there. And you can't please them.
When I listen to what he said, I think it's very clear that he said, if Hillary Clinton gets in there, she is going to appoint justices that will go after the Second Amendment and put our Second Amendment in jeopardy.
And what he said, I took it as a call to action that we can stop this as Americans and we can do that at the voting booth. And that's the way I took it. And I think really the American people are tired of this. And it was comforting -- not comforting, but refreshing to see Steve climbing up the Trump Towers, because it gets us off of politics.
We really need to focus on the major things that the American people are concerned with. It's national security, jobs and the economy. It's getting tax reform and getting our debt under control. We're at $20 trillion in debt. The American people are looking for somebody to lead us out of that.
And they see Donald Trump as that person. He's the atypical candidate. Yes, he has said some things that we're not used to in the political arena, but yet the American people have put him there resoundingly at the top of the ticket.
BLITZER: We're just showing our viewers, Congressman, this individual called Steve.
He's been climbing Trump Tower now for a couple of hours. He's approaching the 22nd floor. That's where the police are waiting for him. Presumably, they're going to arrest him.
It's a worrisome situation, because the Secret Service, as you know, they have to protect the Republican presidential nominee. They have to protect the Democratic presidential nominee.
BLITZER: They have to president of the United States and their families. And this is where the Trump family not only works. Trump business is headquartered here. The Trump campaign is headquartered in Trump Tower.
But this is where the apartment is as well. So, this is potentially a worrisome development, because you don't know what this guy has in his backpack.
And, again, as I have heard in the narrative that this guy is doing this for attention, personally, I would have taken the elevator up and not climbed up the wall. But, like you said, we have to take this very serious, because he could have something in there that would do somebody harm. He could have a parachute in there. And let's -- hopefully, this gets resolved as quickly as it can and peacefully.
BLITZER: You can see authorities now, they're trying to grab him, grab him. And maybe they are going to try to bring him through that open window. He's trying to avoid them.
But I think this looks like it's coming to a pretty quick conclusion right now. It's been going on, as I say, for about two hours or so. He's trying to avoid them, but they are determined to grab this guy and to bring him into that window. He's clearly going to face some charges once he is inside there.
And they're trying to make sure that he doesn't fall. They have got cushions, huge cushions, Congressman, at the bottom on the sidewalk at Fifth Avenue, air mattresses, if you will, that potentially could save his life.
But if he falls, he's, what, almost 20 stories, 21, 22 stories up right now. That's a dangerous fall right now.
YOHO: Boy, that's a tough one, yes.
BLITZER: And you know what? What worries these local law enforcement, NYPD, firefighters, police and Secret Service, is that an individual like this, as you know, Congressman, he gives others ideas, copycats, if you will.
This is a very, very worrisome situation.
YOHO: It sure is. And it's never a dull day in America. And this guy is showing that. And this is something -- I appreciate you guys staying on top of this.
BLITZER: But it sort of underscores the -- his comments yesterday were clearly awkward, at a minimum. And the Secret Service took it seriously. They had some conversations with the Trump campaign.
It underscore, you have got to be really precise. You have got to be really careful what you're saying when you're running for president of the United States. I assume you agree?
YOHO: Well, I have learned that when you have a national title or you're elected to a higher office that your megaphone is a lot bigger and it's a lot louder.
And, yes, you do have to parse your words a little more carefully. But when, again, if we go back to what he said, it was a call to action to show up at the voting booth to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not there to appoint the next Supreme Court justices.
And then, also, the other thing is, 74 percent of the American people agree that the country is in the wrong direction.
[18:30:03] Donald Trump is the one to lead us back on the right course. Hillary Clinton will be an extension of the Obama administration. So, I agree with you. We have to be careful in what we say and how we say it because we know what we say but a lot of times we don't know what the American people or anybody hears after we say it.
BLITZER: Right. There are fringe elements out there who could do crazy, crazy, very dangerous things, thinking this is what a presidential candidate might want them to do.
Congressman, stand by for a moment. Our producer Shimon Prokupecz is getting new information.
Look likes this might be coming to an end, Shimon. What are you hearing?
PROKUPECZ: Well, they're hoping, the NYPD is. You're seeing is they have decided they're negotiating with him. That's what's going on there.
They have basically given him a hook. There's like a sort of a thing with a hock on there that they are trying to get him to latch onto so they can grab him and pull him in. But I don't think he wants to surrender. If you look, he's trying to go around the building now sort of to avoid them. The emergency service officers are just there sort of they're negotiating with him. They're talking to him. And they're sort of probably now trying to figure out what they're going to do next.
But the hope is right now is that he will grab onto that sort of hook that they're about, that they want to lower to him so that he would surrender.
But I don't know that he's going to surrender here. It looks like he's trying to move around them. You know, what's really amazing here also in way, Wolf, is just how calm these officers are.
They're just talking to him. They're just having a casual conversation with him. And really just telling him, like hey, buddy, you know, let's go. Enough is enough already. And just basically having a very calm conversation with him, probably trying to convince him to come in before someone gets hurt.
But, you know, they're not going to go out there and grab him. That's sort of not the plan right now.
BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, why wouldn't they go out and grab him and wheel him in with that hook?
Tom, we lost him.
But, Shimon, why wouldn't they just grab him? They're pretty close. They can get that hook around him and wheel him in.
PROKUPECZ: It seems that way. But I'll tell you, Wolf, it's pretty dangerous, right? I mean, if something goes wrong, they don't want to be responsible for him. They don't want that on them. If he decides to sort of let go and jump and do whatever, that's on him.
But the point here is to end this safely and to just keep talking to him and to try and convince him to come in. But they're not going to force themselves on him. They're not going to sort of go out there and kind of push him in, Wolf. That's just not how they operate.
BLITZER: You see how close they are. They're almost within ---
PROKUPECZ: They can grab him. BLITZER: They can clearly grab him and try to get him in there. You can see the hook. Looks like they're trying to grab him with the hook and he's resisting. Maybe not. He's still moving but he's got limited options right now, this individual named Steve.
Brynn Gingras is on the sidewalk below Trump Tower, Fifth Avenue, near 57 Street in New York.
Brynn, what are you seeing from your vantage point? What are you hearing?
GINGRAS: Well, we're a little bit further back now. We're now seeing him get a little bit closer to that 21st floor, Wolf, where police hostage negotiation teams continue to talk to him. Again, identified as a man named Steve from Virginia. We also know on the first ledge of Trump Tower there are one of those inflatable devices as well as on the ground here on 56th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenue here in New York.
So, as he's getting closer --
BLITZER: Brynn, hold on for a moment. Brynn, Shimon is getting more information.
What else are you learning, Shimon?
PROKUPECZ: So, I just wanted to share some of a source just telling me about, how they are doing now basically, they're continuing to talk to him and they're continuing to sort of negotiate with him. Asking what he wants. Asking do you want to come in? What is your plan?
And he's really not telling them much except that he wants to go to the top of the building. So, as you can see, he's really, really close to that. They're not grabbing him right now.
The other thing I want to share is they have -- they took a photo of him. They have a pretty excellent photo. Here we go, now it seems like the police were trying to grab him. They are asking him to sort of move to the right.
This is how they operate. This is what they do in these kinds of situations.
BLITZER: Looks like they are grabbing him. Let's just watch.
PROKUPECZ: Wow. There you go.
BLITZER: All right. He's inside.
[18:35:00] All right. It's over. This guy is inside. You heard the crowd cheer. There is a big gasp as the police grabbed him and they brought him in inside.
This is the 21st floor of Trump Tower. It's been going on for about two hours. This individual from Virginia named Steve. He announced on a YouTube video yesterday he was going to do this. He did it seeking publicity. We have no idea if he had any political motives or anything like that.
Brynn, you're there on the scene, Brynn Gingras. She's just below Trump Tower. What's the move down there? What are you hearing? What are you seeing?
GINGRAS: Well, as you said, Wolf, the crowd cheered when they hold him in, sort of gasped even a little bit, making sure that he actually got inside of that window. And now, there's a number of police officers pushing the crowds away from this area. Obviously now, this has become a clear situation as far as the crowds are concerned, their attention no longer on that window.
We're hearing from police here on the scene that they will likely have some sort of news conversation and tell us about this man's motives, exactly what he was doing, what was being said during those hostage negotiators -- I guess during those negotiations with police, rather.
So, that's what we're waiting for is getting word on when that will start. Just to learn a little more information about what this man was doing.
BLITZER: Shimon, these are NYPD special operatives? Is that right?
PROKUPECZ: Well, they're called the emergency service unit. I mean, the training that they go through is just incredible, and this is what they do, right? This is sort of their job. Their job is to sort of deal with these kind of what they call high angle rescues and they're also trained negotiators. This is sort of what they do. This happens a lot in New York City.
And so, yes, they're there with the emergency service unit. They climb bridge, they climb buildings. They're also, on many cases, the first officers that you see sometimes in active shooting situations with big guns and helmets and those large vests. So, they do everything.
I mean, this is the elite of the NYPD. This is what they do quite often in New York City.
BLITZER: Well, you got to give them an enormous amount of credit. They ended this situation which could have ended very, very differently. Successfully, they grabbed this individual after two hours and they brought him inside.
You know what? Let's show our viewers the conclusion of this climb.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
BLITZER: There it is. You saw the conclusion, successful conclusion. He's now -- I assume he's going to be arrested and charged. I have no idea what had the crime is going to be. But I assume there will be multiple charges against this individual. Shimon, you've got more information about how they've identified him as well, right?
PROKUPECZ: So, you'll see the photo. So, a source just shared that with me. That's what a police officer took from inside the building. That's him.
So, what they're doing now is they're using facial recognition software, the sort of NYPD intelligence division has the software and they are doing a full work up on him. This is one of the ways in which they are identifying him is through the facial recognition software.
And in terms of the charges, Wolf, he's going to face some reckless endangerment charges, trespassing charges. But I also think, one of the things they're going to do is probably take him to the hospital for some kind of a psych evaluation.
It just -- something's a little off here. They're going to treat him well. They'll take him to the hospital. Eventually, we'll figure out what he will be charged with.
BLITZER: I'm sure he will be charged with some serious, serious charges given the concern that this is a presidential nominee, the Trump Tower. This is where Donald Trump lives. His family is there. So, caused an enormous amount of concern.
Let's go back to Brynn Gingras, she's down on Fifth Avenue, right below Trump Tower.
What else are you seeing right now, Brynn?
GINGRAS: There's about 50 or so cops just on the corner where I am, 56 and Madison, just trying to disperse these crowds and actually let this afternoon rush hour traffic get through this area.
We're also seeing as far as from where the press is concerned, we're seeing everyone set up for the news conference. We're expecting to hear from the NYPD. Right now, emergency vehicles are continuing to just sort of leave the area and presumably that man is still upstairs with police. We haven't seen anyone walk out of Trump Tower at this point.
But right now, it's more about getting everyone away from this area, so police can continue their business here on the scene.
BLITZER: You're going to have to give the NYPD lots of kudos for successful, peaceful conclusion to what could have been a different conclusion.
Shimon, they're going to still have to answer some questions about how this individual got on to the fifth floor, got outside and started climbing this building.
PROKUPECZ: Oh, yes. That's already under way.
[18:40:00] I mean -- so the NYPD had made a point of securing this building. They know it's target. They certainly know it's a terrorist target.
This is going to change how they protect that building, and with the ease in which he did it. And, you know, Wolf, you were saying about copy cats, yes, others are now going to potentially try to do this.
So, the NYPD, no doubt, is going to go back and look at the security in the building. You'll probably start seeing police officers patrol sort of the fifth floor of that building or something will be done to make sure that this doesn't happen.
Look, it's pretty inventive here, I think creative of this guy to use suction cups and really how do you protect against that.
So, I think what they will do is set police officers on that fifth floor and probably just keep an eye on more people that come into that building.
But the building is very secure. So, the NYPD is in charge of sort of the exterior security and protect the outside and Secret Service does its thing. You know, you walk by that building, there are police officers with long guns, helmets and those heavy ballistics vests every day. There are several of them that patrol that building.
And, you know, that building is heavily, heavily protected. So, no doubt there's going to be a lot of questions. I think the NYPD is going to be quick to come up with some answers.
BLITZER: Yes, it's heavily protected, the Trump Tower is. You're absolutely right. It's about to get even more heavily protected.
CNN's Ryan Nobles is also on the scene.
You saw this unfold from your vantage point, Ryan. What did you see? What did you hear?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, Wolf, I was in the corner of 56 and Madison, basically right behind Trump Tower, where the climber was scaling side of the wall. And he was hanging right on the corner there, and it was just a huge crash of people on the street, trying to get as close as they can to see the building, to see what was happening. And then, he was hanging there and all of a sudden, you could see the first responders reach out and grab him and pull him.
And what seemed like a standoff for a while, and it's pretty quickly and then you heard cheers from people here on the streets of New York. It's pretty wild scene right now. There are so many people walking around, looking up in the sky, hoping to catch a glimpse of it, obviously a huge crush of media and law enforcement.
The law enforcement was making a big effort to keep people as far away from the tower as they could, and at the same time still allow the flow of traffic. It's obviously a busy time of the day in New York City. But the moment he was swept up in the building, you heard a big cheer from the folks here on the ground here in New York City, Wolf.
BLITZER: This was clearly a dangerous operation for those NYPD special operators who grabbed him. This could have turned out very differently for the climber as well as for the police that could have been thrown out the window as well. I know they had all sorts of protective device, ropes around them. But this could have ended very differently. Once again, we've got to give a lot of credit to the NYPD for successfully ending this situation.
Let me show it to viewers who may just be tuning in right now. This is how it all ended.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
[18:47:57] BLITZER: The breaking news: just moments ago, police grabbed and arrested the man who was climbing the outside of Trump Tower. You see it right there. That's how it ended after more than two and a half hours, almost three hours this individual was climbing slowly up Trump Towers.
It's the headquarters of the Trump corporate world, the business operation. It's the headquarters of the Trump campaign. It's also where the Trump family lives. Their apartment is there as well. Kudos to the NYPD for successfully ending it.
Our law enforcement producer, Shimon Prokupecz has been watching the situation with all of us, doing some excellent reporting for us.
Shimon, you're getting more information right now. Fortunately, it's over with. They've arrested this individual.
PROCUPEZ: Yes. He's under arrest, Wolf. We don't know what the charges are, you know? And so, now, the process will be whether or not they take him to the hospital, whether or not he has some kind of psych issues, and they sort of need to get him checked out, or whether take just, you know, sort of take him to the precinct and file charges, and he'll be in court sometime tomorrow.
I think a good thing is it really showcases, you know, how the NYPD sort of prepared for these sorts of situations and sort of the patience they have shown here. I was talking to a source, you know, who is saying that basically there's this balance. We were talking about the security of the building and the safety issues and how do you sort of secure a building like this, which is a target?
You know, the thing is there are stores in that building. It's just a balance for them versus freedom and security. Now, they're going to have to look at that and sort of figure out what they need to do to sort of secure the building, to make sure this doesn't happen again.
But he's going to be charge. I mean, I know it's kind of probably a little shocking but the charges aren't going to be as severe as one might think. These may just wind up being misdemeanor charges, because there's maybe they'll be a felony or some kind of reckless endangerment. But, you know, this happens in New York a lot, and unfortunately, not everyone is given the most sort of serious punishment.
[18:50:04] But it will be interesting to see what the district attorney does with this guy. BLITZER: Because he clearly a danger to those NYPD police officers
who are hovering outside that window there who are going to grab him. God forbid, one of the -- both of them could have gone over the other side.
PROKUPECZ: Well, yes, that was the concern. The big concern was if we grab him and he fights with us and somehow he manages to pull one of the officers over.
Now, I mean, they have their own harnesses and they're sort of tied into the building so they can't come out, but still, you know, they did face some danger.
And also, like, Wolf, I think what you've been saying earlier, we still don't know what's in his bag, you know? So, who knows? Who knows what they were thinking?
But, you know, the officers were pretty calm and they were not aggressive and they sort of worked with him until finally, you know, they sort of felt it was the right time to pull him in. He was so close to them, so close, and it took them a while to grab him and finally they said enough is enough.
They gave him the opportunity to surrender, but he wouldn't. So, I guess, it was time and they felt that it was safe enough to grab him and so they did. But you can see there, I mean, they work like such a team, it's pretty incredible, and then they all kind of rushed over and pulled him in. Even there -- he's still resisting there.
PROKUPECZ: You could see that in the video, even though his body is all sorts of --
BLITZER: And you reported, Shimon, he was advertising what he intended to do. He posted a video on YouTube.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, they believe it was him. It was a video that was posted yesterday of a man they believe is as him, goes by the name of Steven. You know, he's from Virginia, they know that. They're pretty certain of that and they really know who he is now with his picture and sort of the software recognition. But yes, that video was posted yesterday, he talked about doing this and he also talked about Trump and sort of, you know, the attention that he was seeking.
BLITZER: You see the police officers rushing there as they grabbed him and pulled him inside that window. Fortunately, it's over and everyone is OK. We'll continue to monitor the story.
There's going to be a news conference coming up from the NYPD and we'll, of course, have coverage of that.
We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [18:56:50] BLITZER: We're getting a first look at dozens of newly released e-mails from Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state and they're raising new questions about ties between the State Department when she was in charge and the Clinton Foundation.
CNN senior Washington correspondent Joe Johns has more.
Joe, these e-mails were obtained and released by a conservative watchdog group.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf, and there appear to be at least two issues right now between the Department of State and the foundation, issues of attempts to get a job for former staffer for the Clintons who did advance for them and also attempts to put a billionaire donor in touch with a United States ambassador to a foreign country.
On both counts, the Clinton campaign saying tonight there was nothing inappropriate. No quid pro quo as the Trump campaign has claimed.
JOHNS (voice-over): Tonight, Hillary Clinton facing more controversy as newly released e-mails from her tenure as secretary of state raised questions about the Clinton Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by the former president seeking favors from the State Department.
The e-mails obtained by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch include Clinton Foundation officials lobbying Hillary Clinton's State Department aides and advisers to hire their associates. The Clinton campaign responding that the e-mails are irrelevant, saying, "Neither of these emails involve the secretary or relate to the foundation's work."
The emails once again raising questions about Clinton's decision making and trustworthiness while Clinton continues to stumble over the issue on the campaign trail.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I may have short- circuited, and for that I will try to clarify.
JOHNS: The new e-mails are serving as ammunition for Donald Trump, citing them as evidence that Clinton is corrupt.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This was big stuff -- pay for play. It's illegal. I mean, it's illegal. And we'll see what happens with it, folks. We'll see what happens with it, but it's very serious stuff.
JOHNS: The controversy comes amid encouraging poll numbers for Clinton. A new Bloomberg poll showing Clinton beating Trump nationally, 50 percent to 44 percent, and Clinton ahead of Trump in key battleground states, besting him in Iowa and Pennsylvania. The two locked in a virtual tie in Florida. Clinton is also on top in blue collar Wisconsin, 46 percent to 36 percent. Vying for another battleground state, Clinton today campaigning in
Iowa where she is ahead.
CLINTON: And you can build it in America and I am determined that we're going to build more and we're going to be able to create more businesses and more jobs by doing so.
JOHNS: Clinton continues to add bipartisan support to her campaign, adding to the growing list of Republican endorsements, long time ambassador and former director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, the latest to throw their support behind Clinton.
JOHNS: The Clinton campaign also accusing Judicial Watch of mischaracterizing the documents.
Back to you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Joe Johns reporting for us. Thanks very much.
That's it for me.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.