tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN June 11, 2016 11:00am-11:31am PDT
fresh attacks on the gop coming from mitt romney. our cnn politics reporter teddy schleiffer is there. what is mitt romney saying today. >> he's talking to about 300 of his business friends, donors, previous republican candidates. he had serious words both for republicans who failed to stop trump in the past. he lamented, ted cruz and john kasich who he said did not take on donald trump sufficiently. but the most emotional moment came when governor romney talked about the state of affairs today. he said seeing this is breaking my heart. obviously we know governor romney is not a fan of donald trump. we know he feels pretty strongly about this. at times he appeared to be beating back tears as he gave what he saw as the status of the party. it was not very hopeful.
you know, he kind of talked about other republican candidates who he might have been more willing to support, he said, had there been a president bush referring to jeb bush, president walker or president rubio, he might have been willing to serve on their administration. he then joked obviously he's not going to be serving in the trump administration. some pretty emotional moments today from mitt romney here in park city is. >> he seems to be admonishing the members of his party but he also at the same time seems to be initiating a rallying call for them, that there's a need, that there's some sort of mission to get beyond this moment. what did he say about that? >> yes, you know, governor romney said he was not going to actively campaign against donald trump. you know, his views are well known. he did not -- and obviously there are two other speakers in particular here this week who have been supporters of trump, including house speaker paul ryan who of course was mitt romney's running mate in 2012 and rnc chair reince priebus.
both of whom this week were encouraging people to get behind trump. romney declined to pass judgment on them. he said, you know, i respect what they're doing. you know, they are interested in saving the supreme court and making sure the conservatives are appointed to there. he said that was a, quote, darn good reason to get behind trump. he's preaching tolerance for other republicans who made different decisions. what he admitted was a tough call. these are -- this is a gathering of a lot of people who even four years after mitt romney ran really admire the man and are loyalists and helped him raise money, were maybe involved with the olympics a decade ago not far from here in park city. go back in business, a decade's long relationship with him. his comments today, even if he's not actively campaigning against donald trump, certainly sent a signal to people that this is where i stand and they can take it or leave it. >> teddy, i talked earlier today on this show with republicans who share romney's feeling, that
their hearts are breaking, are broken because of what is taking place right now. one of the reasons they say is because they feel that he's racist and they feel he is not adequately addressed that despite some of the things he's saying today, that he's the least racist person he knows, make america great again for everyone. these are new things trump is saying today. it's not convincing them. they don't buy it. i mean, what are people saying there? about that. >> yes, i talked with several donors here on the sidelines who are pretty uncommitted. they might not be -- donald trump was certainly not their first choice, they will readily concede that. they might not be totally closed mind to supporting him eventually. one thing that came up again and again in conversations on the sidelines was just the basic blocking and tackling of presidential fund-raising. doesn't seem to be being done by the trump campaign.
i was talking with one major donor who lives in boston and donald trump is fund raising in boston i believe on monday. this guy hasn't even been contacted about the event, kind of the base eks. there's questions about whether or not trump will be able to do rudimentary fund-raising. he's launching a big tour. has ten events in nine days. this major fund-raiser said, he should be doing ten events in two days. he'll be in a financial tough place. the question is how much will it matter? how much will kind of the deficit with hillary clinton's fund-raising campaign, how much will that affect the fall race? >> those are all good questions. teddy, there are people saying there's not much of a campaign, a structure to allow him to do the kind of fund raising to support him to do the kind of fund-raising he needs to have and run a successful general election campaign. thank you very much. excellent reporting. appreciate it. donald trump due at a campaign rally in pittsburgh in the next hour as he's going to
pivot towards the general election. already he was on the attack today in the battle ground state of florida. told a crowd of supporters that former gop candidate mitt romney choked and failed in his 2012 bid against barack obama. and he's continuing to blast hillary clinton. >> hillary clinton was saying the other day, temperament, that's her whole thing, temperament. number one, i built an unbelievable company, a great company, filed papers with federal election. you don't build companies like that unless you have the right temperament, believe me. but hillary clinton, they just came out with a book, a secret service agent was with her for a long time. said she's a total mess. a mess. she's not qualified to be president. you know who said that? bernie sanders said that hillary clinton is not qualified to be president. and he said it because she has
bad judgment. she does have bad judgment. look at the mess she's got us into with syria. everything she touches. you're going to have four more years of that? we won't have a country left, folks, believe me. >> all right. cnn's kristen holmes, joining us from pittsburgh. that is where we're going to see donald trump. first of all, tell us about the venue itself. how many people are expected? are we seeing the kinds of crowds we would normally expect, very large crowds at a trump rally? >> well, we're not sure exactly how many people we are going to see here today. it is supposed to rain. we are getting a little bit of hedging from the campaign here telling us it might not be as big of a crowd as normal but, you know, suzanne, we can still expect some more of that fiery rhetoric, donald trump is not known for mincing words. we're going to be watching for those same reactions today as well as reactions on those allegations of racism. now, gop source inside of the
campaign tells me that as donald trump continues to defend himself against these accusations of racism, there is a general worry that this is taking away from the precious time he needs to unite the republican party. former gop nominee mitt romney added fuel to the fire this week when he told cnn's wolf blitzer that a trump presidency could change the character of america through what he called, quote, trickle-down racism. now, as i mentioned, trump is not one to mince words and likes to hit back. here's what he said about mitt romney just now in florida. >> i watched this poor, sad mitt romney this morning. he suffers from misogynist. i don't think he knows what misogynist is. he's sitting like a real stiff. don't forget, this guy let us down, folks. he choked and he let us down. >> now, trump went on to say he
was facing more opposition from the gop than he was from the democrats themselves. this will be -- his trip here to pennsylvania will be his third battleground state in the last 24 hours. we'll keep you posted. >> the critical state of pennsylvania. kristen holmes, thank you so much. hillary clinton's campaign responding to why a donor got a top spot on a state department intelligence board after he donated $1 million to her foundation. test through ancestr and my results ended up being african, european and asian. it was great because it confirmed what i knew in my gut with a little surprise. ancestry helped give me a sense of identity.
hillary clinton under fire now for appointing a major clinton foundation donor to a sensitive intelligence board while she was secretary of state. it's an issue that donald trump is now hammering on the campaign trail. today clinton's campaign is dismissing claims of wrongdoing. our cnn's drew griffin has the inside story. >> i'm rog fernando, founder and ceo of chopper trading. >> reporter: raj fernando is a chicago-based stock trader. for a very short period of time he was an appointee to the international security advisory board. what qualifications did he have? apparently none. but he has donated $1 million to $5 million to the clinton foundation. he donated to mrs. clinton's
2008 primary campaign and served as a bundler of large campaign donations for democrats. on the campaign trail today, donald trump called his appointment just another example of his crooked hillary campaign theme. >> she even appointed to the national security board someone with no national security experience, instead, he was a donor, a recent donor, to hillary clinton's campaign. >> reporter: it is clear raj fernando are no diplomatic experience or background in international security affairs which could explain why just one month after taking this photo during his very first meeting with the board, raj fernando was writing a letter to secretary clinton resigning. and e-mails just released show behind the scenes political panic was setting in as a state department official struggled to explain what this big donor to the clinton foundation was doing with top security clearance
inside the state department. on august 15th, 2011, an e-mail from an abc news producer asks for fernando's qualifications. the follow-up e-mail shows state department officials scrambling to come up with an explanation. they discussed how the appointment came directly from hillary clinton's long-time aide and state department chief of staff, cheryl mills. the true answer is simply that cheryl mills added him, the state department official writes in an e-mail. he was added at their insistence. someone else writes can we dig up a short paragraph about his distinguished career and a sentence about selection and approval process in the next day, a senior adviser e-mails we must protect the secretary's name as well as the integrity of the board. through a colleague, cheryl mills chimes into the e-mail chain asking the state department to stall in its response to abc news for 24 hours. no real qualifications for
fernando were ever sent. instead, the next day, august 17th, raj fernando suddenly resigns. >> happy friday. >> at the state department today, answers on why were hard to come by. >> if he was at all qualified, why did he resign so suddenly after abc news started asking questions? >> you'd have to ask him. >> reporter: drew griffin, cnn, atlanta. the clinton campaign is now responding to the donor controversy. our own chris frates joining us live from washington with what her camp has to say about this. chris, what are you learning today? >> i can tell you clinton press secretary put out a statement saying this was an unpaid volunteer advisory board and one of several foreign policy focused organizations that he was involved with. as the state department itself has said, the isab or international security advisory board charter calls for a diverse set of experiences for its members. that's all there is to it.
so a pretty terse response there, suzanne. >> you've been covering hillary clinton, the controversy coming after this week, a very good week, becoming her party's presumptive nominee. she's hitting the campaign trail with president obama next week. how do you think they'll handle this? how important do you think it is to get beyond this? >> there's not a lot of evidence she's losing momentum because of this story so far. as you pointed out she's had an excellent week. she's certainly hoping that the president helps continue uniting the party. next week, president obama and clinton are campaigning together for the first time. they're going to stump in green bay, wisconsin. but the white house is saying, aside from that, for the most part, the president will campaign solo. he's going to hit battleground states on clinton's behalf. her campaign is hoping that popularity moth democrats and the president's popularity rating will be a boone to clinton. the president wasn't the only big named democrat to get behind clinton this week.
she also saw endorsements from vice president biden and massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. remember, warren is carving out a role as one of donald trump's antagonist, calling him a thin-skinned racist bully earlier this week. an endorsement she hasn't got yet, hillary clinton has not got an endorsement from one bernie sanders. sanders tomorrow is set to meet with his top advisers and senior supporters at his home in vermont to try to figure out a way forward. we'll have to see what comes out of that meeting. he's campaigning through tuesday's primary here in washington. he's already dropped his attacks on clinton and he's really kind of upped his jabs at donald trump. despite this long, tough primary season coming to a close, the party really does seem to be uniting behind clinton. nothing seems to bring democrats together quite like bashing donald trump, suzanne. >> you have a lot to cover
there, chris. a lot to work with this week. >> a lot to work with. >> all the different events and moving pieces. good to see you as always. police revealing new information. this is about the shooting of christina grimmie. what they're saying about the gunman who opened fire on the singer, cutting her life tragically short.
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police are revealing new information in the shooting death of pop singer christina grimmie. grimmie, would rose to fame on the show "the voice" was killed in front of fans last night while signing autographs after her concert. police held a news conference earlier today detailing what they know so far about the shooter. >> the suspect in this case is not from orlando. the suspect traveled to orlando, apparently, to commit this crime and then had plans to travel back to where he came from. what our detectives are doing right now, they're going through the suspect's cell phone and computer to see if they could find a motive for this crime. the suspect had two handguns on
his person. he had two additional loaded magazines for those handguns and a large hunting knife. >> our cnn's boris sanchez joining us live from orlando. boris, a tragic story. what do we know about this guy, the shooter, and whether or not he was targeting her? >> suzanne, this certainly is a tragedy. unfortunately right now what you heard from police is the extent of the information we have about this 21-year-old gunman. he's from somewhere in florida. he's not local to orlando. the belief is he came here to the plaza live specifically to target christina grimmie, the youtube sensation. apparently he had two small caliber handgun on him as well as a hunting knife as you heard. after the concert, this gunman came up to her and simply opened fire. that's when police tell us her brother marcus bravely jumped in and tackled the suspect to the
ground. they say her brother marcus likely prevented other people from getting hurt. it appears that the 21-year-old male opened fire on himself, killing himself before police could get to him. there's still no indication as to a mote nif thive in this cas. that's what police are looking for now as they scan his computer and phone. there are online reports he may have been familiar to her and her family. as we heard from the chief of police of orlando today, it doesn't appear they knew each other personally. there's still a lot of questions to be answered here and the story of christina grimmie, a young performer in the prime of her career. she was a youtube sensation, had more than 3 million followers online. as you mentioned she was a finalist on "the villanovaoice" career seemed to be ticking upward. >> boris, we were learning from the police earlier today, we don't believe there's a video of this shooting. can you give us a sense of this
security of the venue? what was that like? >> to give you an idea, this is a really relatively small venue. there are only 120 people or so at this meet and greet where christina grimmie was shot. what we've heard so far is that there are unarmed security personnel here at the time. there were also no metal detectors. no one was really getting padded down as people were coming into the event. when we heard from orlando police, that is not unusual for an event of this kind, specifically because of the kind of crowd they have here. these kind of events draw young children, young teens. there was no expectation that there would be any kind of incident of this sort here. obviously now that may change the kind of security at events like this moving forward. >> just a tragic story all around. our thoughts and prayers for her family. boris sanchez, thank you so much. and thank you so much for joining us. i'm suzanne malveaux.
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