Donald Trump's Fresh Campaign Trail Controversy; Trump Blames Clinton for Birther Controversy; Woman Escapes Serial Killer;



Clinton for Birther Controversy; Woman Escapes Serial Killer;

Analyzing U.S.-Russia Relations and the Election; Can Samsung Recover

After Recall? Aired 7-8a ET - Part 2>

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, good of you to be with us.

Let's start with Donald Trump trying to put the birther controversy behind him, but he may have stumbled into a new controversy.

Well, last night at a rally in Florida, he argued that his he's a staunch defender of the second amendment. And that's not what perked up some ears. He argued that Hillary Clinton wants to take away the right to wear arms and wondered aloud to his supporters about Clinton's security detail.



TRUMP: I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm, right? Right?


TRUMP: I think they should disarm immediately. What do you think? Yes? Yes.


TRUMP: Yes. Take their guns away. She doesn't want gun. Take that. Let's see what happens to her.


BLACKWELL: The U.S./Russia deal on finding a way to end the civil war in Syria, well that could be at risk. President Obama says the U.S. will not be a part of any deal until he sees, and this is a quote, "seven continues days of reduced violence and sustained humanitarian access," in Syria.

So far, trucks with humanitarian aid have been unable to reach the war-torn city of Aleppo. The White House blames the delay on Syrian President, Bashar al Assad. Here's CNN's Fred Pleitgen, he's there witnessing the devastation first hand.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: In Aleppo, this is what it looks like. Government forces moving around armor personnel carriers in a contested district, and often time this is what the ceasefire sounds like.

Syrian army personnel acknowledging they don't trust the truce. We're sticking to the ceasefire, this pro-government fighter says, but the other side is not, that's why I don't think the ceasefire will work.

For their part, rebels accuse government forces of breaching the cease-fire. Despite the transgressions, though, the U.N. says by and large, the cessation of hostilities is working. But many Aleppo residents are still suffering from the clashes that took place before it went into effect.

At the Ramsey Hospital, Ahmed Jabber and his 7 year old son, Mahmud lay side by side, both wounded by rebel shelling that killed three of Mahmud's brothers.

When the bomb shell fell, I went to the ground, the boy says, and I was bleeding. I felt the shrapnel in my body.

It happened last Friday, the day the ceasefire was announced, crushing Ahmed Jabbar's faith that the cessation of hostilities might work.

Even after the ceasefire, I was here in the hospital, he says, and I saw wounded people still being brought here. And the calm remains strained. Damascus saw heavy clashes on Friday around the rebel held district of Jobar.


BLACKWELL: Our Fred Pleitgen is joining us now on the phone from Aleppo. Fred, since the filing of that report have we seen any of this -- this aid come in? Are you continuing to hear those rounds off in the distance?

PLEITGEN: Hi, Victor. Yes, I mean we have definitely been hearing a lot more of those rounds being fired in the distance. Sometimes actually, not too far away from us. It seems to us as though most of that's still happening in the southwest of the city. There's certainly a lot of gunfire that we were hearing there last night. We were out until about I would say about half past midnight and there seemed to be a lot of what seems to be artillery, possibly some mortar fire as well.

We've also heard that there's some other areas in Syria where similar breaches have taken place. And today actually, Victor, right now, I'm in an area that was on the frontline until very recently. And we're also hearing some machine gun fire actually right now, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Ongoing as this so-called cease-fire continues. Fred Pleitgen there for us in Aleppo. Fred, thanks so much.

PAUL: And also new this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin weighing in on Russia's role in the U.S. election. He says Russia is, "Closely monitoring what's happening." And he says there's a reason his country's being brought up in the 2016 race tells Russian state news "I hope that this is due to the growing influence and importance of Russia. But, I think it's mainly due to attempts of manipulation of public opinion inside the country. We see an attempt to re-create the image of the so-called evil empire and scare the townsfolk this way."

Now, he goes on to call those actions "a rather rude and counterproductive attempt which has nothing to do with the essence of the problem in the United States."

Evil empire or not, some say the Cold War, it seems to be reheating. And now in response U.S. intelligence agencies are sending in reinforcements. Here's CNN's Jim Sciutto.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: U.S. intelligence focused on Vladimir Putin and Russia, viewed as increasingly assertive and ambitious in countering U.S. leadership and national security interests around the globe. Russia's activity now includes what appears, to be an unprecedented effort to undermine confidence in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. As Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul detailed on CNN.


REP. MIKE MCCAUL, (R) TEXAS: The idea of a foreign power, particularly one like Russia, a foreign adversary attempting to mess with our elections. And, Director Comey basically told us that the motivation was to undermine the integrity of the American political electoral process. These facts, allegations, are very disturbing.

SCIUTTO: Sources tell CNN that the intelligence community is expanding resources aimed at Moscow to match Moscow's evolving threat to the U.S.

Those resources include human intelligence, electronic surveillance and cyber capability.

A ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff tells CNN "Putin has taken Russia in a much more hostile, aggressive and adversarial direction. And the U.S. is directing more resources and focus towards Russia and that's a necessity."

Russia's cyber threat is of particular concern. The deputy director of the NSA has told us that Russia today has alarming capability. Not just to hack places like the Democratic National Committee, but to harm the U.S. homeland, via cyber attacks.

Your saying that today foreign actors already have the capability of shutting down key U.S. infrastructure?


SCIUTTO: Via cyber attack?


SCIUTTO: Russia?


SCIUTTO: Some intelligence analysts say the renewed focus is late and has allowed Moscow to gain advantage. COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON, (RET), FORMER INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: To properly resource our intelligence agencies vis-a-vis the Russian problem is really coming home to roost right now. And, because of that failure on our part, we're playing catch-up in a very large way.

SCIUTTO: U.S. intelligence officials tell me that they never took their eyes off of Russia, but they grant it is very difficult to judge Russia's intentions. In particular with President Putin. They say he has a very insular decision making circle and that he can, in their view, in their description, make decisions in the foreign policy realm that they describe as impulsive.

Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.


BLACKWELL: And, next, we'll get some insight into President Putin and Russia at large. Their possible connection to the U.S. election.

CNN Digital Correspondent, Steven Collinson has more on that asking is there a new red scare?



PAUL: Well, Russia continuing to play a part in the 2016 race both behind the scenes with accusations of hacked DNC servers and in public statements like the one just out this morning. Russian President Vladimir Putin accusing some in the U.S. of trying to recreate an "evil empire."

Let's bring in Stephen Collinson to talk about this. CNN Politics Senior Reporter. Stephen, what do you make of the comments from Putin this morning first of all?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well I think it's just the latest example of the almost cy-ops operation the Russians conducting around the U.S. elections.

What's happened is that the Russian intelligence services have been accused of trying to interfere in the U.S. Political process. You have to remember that Vladimir Putin's entire political property is to restore the respect that he believes that Russia lost after the end of the Cold War, in a humiliating period. And to -- and one way of doing that is to undermine U.S. moral authority around the world.

So, these hackings of Democratic National Committee servers and other issues are one way in which Putin can point to the U.S. political system. And then say, look, the United States isn't this great moral paradigm of democracy. It's shouldn't be telling other countries what to do.

He's saying that to global audience and to a Russian audience. And, these comments today are basically a furtherance of this. He's saying look, we're not doing anything but the U.S. is accusing us. The U.S. is attacking us. We've done nothing wrong. It's going back to the evil empire rhetoric of the Reagan years. It's the U.S. that's responsible for sort of whipping up the atmosphere of almost a new Cold War.

So, this is a message that, you know, Vladimir Putin's political power base in Russia is based largely on nationalism. The economy's not doing very well. It's increasingly an authoritarian state. So one way of doing that is to increase hostility among the population in Russia to the United States.

PAUL: And do you see it working?

COLLINSON: Well, you have to say that in one sense Vladimir Putin has succeeded in increasing Russian influence. Look, he's in the middle of a conflict in Syria. John Kerry has been, you know, going through this exhaustive negotiations with the Russian foreign minister over that.

Back at the G20 summit a few weeks ago, he was in the thick of it in China. This is a leader that two years ago left the G20 summit early because he was ostracized because of his actions in Ukraine and Crimea.

So, certainly Vladimir Putin has increased Russia's punching weight if you like, on the global stage. Whether in the long run that's in Russia's interest is another thing.

As I said, the economy is crashing. It's overly reliant on energy sources, which is a very unstable way to build an economy. And he has taken the country down an authoritarian path. There's a lot of repression of opposition figures. There's heavy press censorship.

So, in this sense, I think it's possible to argue that there's one thing that's in the government in Moscow's interests and Vladimir Putin's interests. And, one thing that's in the long-term interest of the Russian people.

PAUL: All right, we appreciate it so much, Stephen Collinson, thank you. Thank you for being here. And we'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: Samsung has a big job ahead, perhaps its biggest challenge yet in the face of a massive federal recall. Well, now it must rebuild its reputation after consumer safety regulators decided that the Galaxy Note 7 Smartphone is unsafe. 1 million phones were recalled after dozens of users said that the device caught fire while charging.

So, where does Samsung begin to repair this damage? Here now, is Pete Pachal, a tech editor for Pete, good morning to you.

PETE PACHAL, TECH EDITOR, MASHABLE.COM: Good morning. BLACKWELL: So, this is a huge company, the world's largest smart phone maker. First, just in a couple of seconds for people who hear I guess peripherally what's happening. We're talking about essentially 1,000 phones, but nobody knows of the million sold which thousand have the problem, right?

PACHAL: Yes, exactly. They've shipped, you know, roughly 1 to 2 million of these already. And, they know that all of the phones that are affected were shipped before September 15th. But, there's really no way to tell which ones have the actual defect.

You know, the defect was obviously in the manufacturing process. A few were affected, most weren't. But, all they know is sort of the time frame of when these phones were shipped. So, they're recalling all of them which is, as you said, roughly a million.

BLACKWELL: And, this was supposed to be a prime opportunity for Samsung because there was some questions and some backlash toward Apple after the release of the iPhone 7. This could have been their moment, but they blew it.

PACHAL: Totally. The Note 7 in its initial reviews, it got stellar reviews. Many sites, including Mashable, gave it a huge rating, some called it the best smartphone ever made. And, it was poised to be released right around the same time as the iPhone 7 which controversially has taken away the headphone jack. Which, a lot of people are still very unsure about. So, it seemed like if you were unsure about that, well there's this great phone over here from Samsung for you to buy. Now, not so much. It is they -- clearly it has not been good for them and I personally know at least one person who basically was an Android Samsung user and has jumped ship to Apple for this.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that is a difficult switch over to make when you have everything. I'm an Apple person so, everything I have is on the Apple side. To make one change to the other is difficult. Let's talk about how the federal regulators got involved after there was this back and forth confusion between the service provider and Samsung and who was going to take the phone back. Where do things stand now after that debacle?


PACHAL: Yes, things were a little confusing when the reporters first started. Samsung is a massive company, and so sort of took a while for them to get their ducks in a row on sort of when the replacement Note 7's were going to be available.

And so, there was this issue like anecdotally people were going to their carriers, the carriers were telling them to talk to Samsung. Samsung was telling them to talk to their carriers. They were issuing refunds, it was just very unclear when the new Note 7s were coming.

Now they've finally got the full recall going with the CSBC and they know that they are going to have replacement Note 7s that will not have exploding batteries -- BLACKWELL: -- that's good.

PACHAL: -- by September 21st at the latest they're saying now.

But, if you still want to get rid of your phone, I mean you should power down and get rid of your phone in the meantime. But, you can get -- exchange it for either a Galaxy S7 or a full refund, or just wait for the -- as I said the Note 7, which should be in by September 21st. And they're throwing in a $25 store credit if that -- for what's that worth.

BLACKWELL: All right. Well, I mean it's something. Maybe not enough for some people, but it's something. Pete Pachal, thanks so much for being with us.

PACHAL: My pleasure.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: And do stick around. There's an awful lot to talk to you about today including Donald Trump wondering aloud on the campaign trail what would happen to Hillary Clinton if her secret service detail was disarmed.

BLACKWELL: Yes, so stay with us. Next hour of your NEW DAY starts after a short break.


(Byline: Christi Paul, Victor Blackwell, Barbara Starr, Chris Frates, Scottie Nell Hughes, Rachel Crane, Frederik Pleitgen, Jim Sciutto, Stephen Collinson )

(Guest: A. Scott Bolden, Pete Pachal )

(High: Donald Trump taking waking up to fresh controversy on the campaign trail. The republican nominee off script last night at a rally in Miami, telling the crowd that Hillary Clinton wants to take away the second amendment. And he wondered aloud what would happen to her if her secret service detail was disarmed. Trump reignities birther controversy, blaming Hillary Clinton. A woman escapes from a suspected serial killer. This 911 call is so chilling. The U.S./Russia deal on finding a way to end the civil war in Syria, well that could be at risk. President Obama says the U.S. will not be a part of any deal until he sees, and this is a quote, "seven continues days of reduced violence and sustained humanitarian access," in Syria. Can Samsung recover after such a devastating recall on its phones? )

(Spec: Donald Trump; Elections; Politics; Polls; Hillary Clinton; Violence; Security; Safety; Barack Obama; Birtherism; Race Relations; Crime; Russia; Internet; Computers; Syria; War; Violence; Technology; Business)