tv Fast Money CNBC August 4, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT
seriously. our cdc experts are on the ground working shoulder to shoulder with florida health authorities. there is a very aggressive effort under way to control mosquitos there and pregnant women have been urged to stay away from the particular neighborhood that we're focused on. we'll keep working as one team, federal, state and local, to try to slow and limit the spread of the virus. i do want to be very clear though. our public health experts do not expect to see the kind of widespread outbreaks of zika here that we've seen in brazil or in puerto rico. the kind of mosquitos that are most likely to carry zika are limited to certain regions of our country but we cannot be complacent because we do expect to see more zika cases, and even though the symptoms for most people are mild, many may never even know that they have it. we've seen that the complications for pregnant women and their babies can be severe. so i, again, want to encourage every american to learn what they can do to stop zika by
going to cdc.gov. meantime, congress needs to do its job. fighting zika costs money. research into new vaccines and by the way nih just announced the first clinical trials in humans. that costs money, and that's why my administration proposed an urgent request for more funding back in february. not only did the republican-led congress not pass our request, they worked to cut it, and then they left for summer recess without passing any new funds for the fight against zika. meanwhile, our experts at the nih and cdc, the folks on the front lines, have been doing their best in making due by moving funds from other areas, but now the money that we need to fight zika is rapidly running out. the situation is getting critical. for instance, without sufficient funding nih critical trials -- clinical trials and the possibilities of a vaccine which
is well within reach could be delayed, so this is not the time for politics. more than 40 u.s. service members have now contracted zika overseas and in 50 u.s. states we know of more than 1,800 cases of zika connected to tramp to infected areas, and that includes nearly 500 pregnant women. zika is now present in almost every part of puerto rico and now we have the first local transmission in florida, and there will certainly be more. and meanwhile congress is on a summer recess. a lot of folks talk about protecting americans from threats. well, zika is a serious threat to americans, especially babies. right now. so once again i want to urge the american people to call their members of congress and tell them to do their job. deal with this threat, help protect the american people from zika. with that i'm going to take some questions. i'm going to start with someone
who just assumed the second most powerful office in the land, jeff mason, the new correspondents association president, also from reuters. >> hardly powerful and happy birthday. >> thank you. >> as the islamic state loses territory you and other officials have said it's becoming a more traditional terrorist group. are you satisfied that the united states and its allies have shifted strategies sufficiently to address that change? and secondly, given your comments this week about donald trump's volatility and lack of fitness to be president, are you concerned that he will be receiving security briefings about isis and the other sensitive national security issues? >> i'm never satisfied with our response because if you're satisfied that means the problem is solved and it's not, so we just spent a couple of hours meeting with my top national
security folks to look at what more can be done. it is absolutely necessary for us to defeat isil in iraq and syria. it is not sufficient, but it is necessary because so long as they have those bases, they can use their propaganda to suggest that somehow there's still some calaphate being born, and that can insinuate itself then in the minds of folks who may be willing to travel there or carry out terrorist attacks. it's also destabilizing for countries in the region at a time when the region is already unstable, so, you know, i am pleased with the progress that we've made on the ground in iraq and syria. we're far from freeing mosul and raqqah, and what we've hone is when it comes to conventional
fights, isil can be beaten with partners on the ground, so long as they have got the support from coalition forces that we've been providing. in the meantime though, you're seeing isil carry out external terrorist acts, and they have learned something, they have adopted from al qaeda, which at a much more centralized operation and tried to plan very elaborate attacks, and what isil has figured out is that if they can convince a handful of people or even one person to carry out an attack on a subway or at a parade or, you know, some other public venue and kill scores of people, as opposed to thousds of people, it still creates the
kinds of fear and concern that elevates their profile. so in some ways rooting out these networks for smaller, less complicated attacks is tougher because it doesn't require as many resources on their part or preparation but it does mean that we've got to do even more to generate the intelligence and to work with our partners in order to degrade those networks, and the fact is that those networks will probably sustain themselves even after isil is defeated in raqqah and mosul, but what we've learned from our efforts to defeat al qaeda is that if we stay on it, our intelligence gets better, and we adapt as well, and eventually we
will dismantle these networks also. this is part of the reason why, however, it is so important for us to keep our eye on the ball and not panic, not succumb to fear because isil can't defeat the united states of america or our nato partners. we can defeat ourselves though if we make bad decisions, and we have to understand that as painful and as tragic as these attacks are, that we are going to keep on grinding away, preventing them wherever we can using a whole government effort to knock down their propaganda, to disrupt their networks, to take their key operatives off the battlefield and that eventually we will -- we will
win, but if we -- if we start making bad decisions, indiscriminately killing civilians, for example, in some of these areas, instituting offensive religious tests on who can enter the country, you know, those kinds of strategies can end up backfiring because in order for us to ultimately win this fight we cannot frame this as a clash of civilizations between the west and islam. that plays exactly into the hands of isil and the perversions -- the perverse interpretations of islam that they are putting forward. as far as mr. trump, we are going to go by the law which is that -- both tradition and the
law that if somebody is the nominee, the republican nominee for president, they need to get security briefings so that if they were to win they are not starting from scratch in terms of being prepared for this office, and i'm not going to go into details of the nature of the security briefings that both candidates receive. what i will say is that they have been told these are classified briefings, and if they want to be president they have got to start acting like president and that means being able to receive these briefings and not -- not spread them around. >> are you worried about that? >> well, i think i've said enough on that. mary bruce. >> thank you, mr. president. >> what is your response to critics who say the $400 million in cash that you sent to iran
was a ransom payment? was it really simply a pure coincidence that -- a sum of a payment that was held up for almost four decades was suddenly sent at the exact same time that the american prisoners were released, and can you assure the american people that none of that money went to support terrorism? >> okay. it's been interesting to watch this story surface. some of you may recall we announced these payments in january. many months ago. there wasn't a secret. we announced them, to all of you. josh did a briefing on them. this wasn't some nefarious deal, and at the time we explained that iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal about them recovering money of theirs that we had frozen that
as a consequence of it working through the international tribunal it was the assessment of our lawyers that we were now at a point where there was significant litigation risk and we could end up costing ourselves billions of dollars. it was their advice and suggestion that we settle, and that's what these payments represent. and it wasn't a secret. we were completely open with everybody about it, and it's interesting to me how suddenly this became a story again. that's point number one. point number two. we do not pay ransom for hostages. we've got a number of americans being held all around the world, and i meet with their families, and it is heartbreaking, and -- and we have stood up an entire section of interagency experts who devote all their time to
working with these families to get these americans out. but those families know that we have a policy that we don't pay ransom, and the notion that we would somehow start now in thist to the world, even as we're looking into the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage and say to them that we don't pay ransom defies logic. so that's point number two. we do not pay ransom. we didn't here and we don't -- and we won't in the future, precisely because if we did, then we would start encouraging americans to be targeted, much in the same way that countries who do pay ransom end up having a lot more of their citizens being taken by various groups. point number three is that the
timing of this was in fact dictated by the fact that as a consequence of us negotiating around the nuclear deal we actually had diplomatic negotiations and conversations with iran for the first time in several decades so the issue is not that it was so much a coincidence but we were able to have a discussion. john kerry would meet with their foreign minister meaning that our ability to clear accounts on a number of issues at the same time converged, and it was important for us to take advantage of that opportunity, both to deal with this litigation risk that had been raised. it was important for us to make sure that we finished the job on the iran nuclear deal and since we were in a conversation with them it was important for us to be able to push them hard and getting these americans out.
and let me make a final point on this. it's now been well over a year since the agreement with iran to stop its nuclear program was signed. and by all accounts it has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work. you will recall that there were all these horror stories about how iran was going to cheat and this wasn't going to work and iran was going to get $150 billion to finance terrorism and all these kinds of scenarios and none of them have come to pass. and it's not just the assessment of our intelligence community. it's the assessment of the israeli military and intelligence community, the country that was most opposed to this deal that acknowledges this has been a game-changer and that
iran has abided by the deal and that they no longer have the sort of short-term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons. so what i'm interested in, if there's some news to be made, why not have some of these folks who were predicting disaster say, you know what, this thing actually worked. now, that would be a shock. that would be impressive. if some of these folks who had said the sky is falling, suddenly said, you know what, we were wrong and we are glad that iran no longer has the capacity to break out in short term and develop a nuclear weapon. but, of course, that wasn't going to happen. instead, what we have is the manufacturing of outrage on a story that we disclosed in january, and the only bit of
news that is relevant on this is the fact that we paid cash which brings me to my last point. the reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with iran that we couldn't send them a check and we could not wire the money and it is not at all clear to me why it is that cash as opposed to a check or a wire transfer has made this into a new story. maybe because it feels like a spy novel or, you know, some crime novel because cash was exchanged. the reason cash was exchanged is because we don't have a banking relationship with iran which is
precisely part. pressure that we were able to apply to them so that they would ship a whole bunch of nuclear material out and close down a bunch of facilities that as i remember two years ago, three years ago, five years ago, was people's top fear and priority, that we make sure that iran doesn't have breakout nuclear capacity, they don't. this worked. josh, josh letterman. >> thank you, mr. president. repeatedly now donald trump has said that this election will be rigged against him, challenging really that the core foundation of our democratic system. can you promise the american people that this election will be conducted in a fair way, and are you worried that comments like his could erode the public's faith in the outcome of the election, and if he does win, given that you've just declared him unfit what, will
you say to the american people? >> well, at the end of the day it's the american people's decision. i have one vote. i have the same vote you do. i have the same vote that all the voters who are eligible all across the country have. i've offered my opinion, but ultimately it's the american people's decision to make collectively, and -- and if somebody wins the election and they are president, then my constitutional responsibility is to peacefully transfer power to that individual and do everything i can to help them succeed. it is -- i don't even really know where to start on answering this question. of course the elections will not be rigged. what does that mean? the federal government doesn't run the election process.
states and cities and communities all across the country, they are the ones who set up the voting systems and the voting booths, and if mr. trump is suggesting that there is a conspiracy theory that is being propagated across the country, including in places like texas where typically it's not democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that's ridiculous. that doesn't make any sense, and i don't think anybody would take that seriously. we do take seriously, as we always do, our responsibilities to monitor and preserve the integrity of the voting process if we see signs that a voting ma shown or system is vulnerable to hacking, then we inform those local authorities who are
running the elections that they need to be careful. if we see jurisdictions that are violating federal laws in terms of equal access and aren't providing ramps for disabled voters or are discriminating in some fashion or otherwise violating civil rights laws, then the justice department will come in and take care of that, but this will be an election like every other election and, you know, i'm -- i think all of us at some points in our lives have played sports or maybe just played in a schoolyard or a sandbox and sometimes folks when they lose somehow complain they got cheated but i've never heard someone being cheated before the game was over or before the score is even at allied so my
suggestion would be go out there and try to win the election. if mr. trump is up 10 or 15 points on election day and ends up lose, then, you know, maybe he can raise some questions. that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. barbara starr. >> thank you, mr. president. on the question of isis expansion that you've been talking about, because you see them expanding around the world, because you see them trying to inspire attacks, what is your current level of concern about the homeland? you talked about the protection measures, but what is your assessment about the possibility, your own intelligence advisers, suggest it's possible, about the direct isis threat to americans, and if i may follow up somewhat along
the same lines, what is your assessment today as you stand here about whether donald trump can be trusted with america's nuclear weapons? >> you know, on your second question, and i'll sort of address this to any additional trump questions, i would ask all of you to just make your own judgment. i've made this point already, multiple times. just listen to what mr. trump has to say and make your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his ability to manage things like our nuclear triad. >> it suggests, sir, that you're not confident. >> as i recall i just answered a question about this a couple of days ago and i thought i made myself pretty clear and i don't want to keep repeating it or a variation on it.
i obviously have a very strong opinion about the two candidates who are running here. one is very positive and one is not so much and i think you will just hear any further questions that are directed to this subject i think you'll hear pretty much variations on the same theme. what i can say this is serious business, and the person who is in the oval office and who our secretary of defense and our joint chiefs of staff and our outstanding men and women in uniform report to, they are counting on somebody who has the temperament and good judgment to be able to make decisions to keep america safe, and that
should be very much on the minds of voters when they go into the voting booth into november. in terms of the threat that isil poses to the homeland, i think it is serious. we take it seriously. and as i said earlier precisely because they are less concerned about big spectacular 9/11-style attacks, because they have seen the degree of attention they can get with smaller scale attacks using small arms or assault rifles or in the case of nice, france, a truck, the possibility of either a lone actor or a small cell carrying out an attack that kills people is real, and that's why our
intelligence and law enforcement. and military officials are working around the clock to try to anticipate potential attacks, to obtain the threads of people who might be vulnerable to brainwashing by isil. we are constrained here in the united states to carry out this work in a way that's consistent with our laws and presumptions of innocence, and the fact that we prevent a lot of these attacks as effectively as we do without a lot of fanfare and abiding by our law is a testament to the incredible work that these folks are doing. they work really hard at it, but it is always a risk, and i --
some of you may have read the article in the "new york times" today, i guess it came out last night online, about this individual in germany who had confessed and given himself up and then explained his -- his knowledge of how isil's networks worked. there was a paragraph in there that some may have caught which we don't know, you know, for a fact that this is true, but according to this reporting the individual indicated that isil recognizes that it's harder to get its operatives into the united states, but the fact that we have what he refers to at open gun laws meant that anybody as long has they didn't have a criminal record that barred them from purchase could go in and
buy weapons. that made sort of a home grown strategy more attractive to them, and those are the hardest to stop because by definition if somebody doesn't have a record, if it's not triggering something, it means that anticipating their actions becomes that much more difficult, and this is why the military strategy that we have in syria and iraq is necessary, but it is not sufficient. we have to do a better job of disru disrupting networks and those networks are more active in europe than they are here but don't know what we don't know and so it's conceivable that there are some networks here that could be activated, but we also have to get to the messaging that can reach a troubled individual over the internet and do a better job of
disrupting that, and what i've told my team is that although we've been working on this now for five, six, seven years, we've got to put more resourced into it. this can't be an after thought. it's something that we have to really focus on. this is also why how we work with the muslim-american community, the values that we affirm about their patriotism and their sacrifice and -- and our fellow feeling with them is so important. one of the reasons that we don't have networks and cells that are as active here as they are in certain parts of europe is because the muslim-american community in this country is extraordinarily patriotic and
largely successful and fights in our military and serves as our doctors and nurses, and -- and, you know, there are communities in which they are raising their kids with love of country and a rejection of violence, and that has to be affirmed consistently, and if we -- if we screw that up, then we're going to have bigger problems. gregory from "usa today." >> yesterday you commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates. it was the largest single day grant of commutations in the history of the american presidency so i wanted to ask you a couple of questions about your clemency thought process. one is you've talked about this as low level drug offenders who got mandatory minimum sentences but a quarter of the commutations also had firearms offenses. given your overall philosophy on firearms can you reconcile that for us. >> sure.
>> and given that previously in your presidency you sent an memo to the office of pardon attorney saying there was a predisposition to firearms on clemency and why did you change your mind on that? and the other side of the ledger is pardons. granted more commutations than any president since calvin coolidge and fewer pardons than any two-term president since john adams. is the focus on commutations taking energy away from pardons especially since you talked about second chance, a full pardon would give people a better chance and one other thing on pardons. many of your predecessors in the final day of their presidency have reserved that for their more politically sensitive pardons. shall we expect you to do that? >> no, i appreciate the question, gregory, because i haven't had a chance to talk about this much and this is an effort i'm really proud of. it is my view shared by
democrats and republicans alike in many quarters that as successful as we've been in reducing crime in this country, the extraordinary rate of incarceration of nonviolent offenders has created its own set of problems that are devastating. you know, entire communities have been ravaged where largely men but some women are taken out of those communities, kids are now growing up without parents. it perpetuates a cycle of poverty and disorder in their lives. it is disproportionately young men of color that are being arrested at higher rates, charged and convicted at higher
rates and imprisoned for longer sentences. and -- and so ultimately the fix on this is criminal justice reform, and i still hold that hope that the bipartisan effort that's taking place in congress can finish the job, and we can have a criminal justice system, at least at the federal level, that is both smart on crime, effective on crime but recognizes the need for proportion aproporg proportionality in sentencing and the need to rehabilitate those who commit crimes, but even as that slow process of criminal justice reform goes forward what i wanted to see is if we could reinvigorate the pardon process and commutation process that had become stalled over the course of several years, partly because it's
politically risky. you know, you commute somebody and they commit a crime and, you know, the politics of it are tough and everybody remembers the willie horton ad, and so the bias i think of my predecessors and frankly a number of my advisers early in my presidency is be careful about that, but i thought it was very important for us to send a clear message that we believe in the principles behind criminal justice reform even if ultimately we need legislation so we have focused more on commutations than we have on pardons. i would argue, gregory, that by the time i leave office the number of pardons that we grant will be roughly in line with what other presidents have done, but standing up this commutations process has required a lot of effort, a lot
of energy, and it's not like we've got a new slug of money to do it. we've got limited resources, the primary job of this justice department is to prevent crime and committed to keeping crimes and keeping people safe and that means you've had this extraordinary and herculean effort by a lot of people inside this justice department to go above and beyond what they are doing also to review these petitions that have been taken place and we've been able to get -- get bar organizations around the country to participa participate, to kind of screen and help people apply, and what we've -- the main criteria that i've tried to set is if under today's laws, because there have been changes in how we charge
nonviolent drug offenses, if under today's charges their sentences would be substantially lower than the charges that they received, if they got a life sentence but a u.s. attorney or the justice department indicates that today they would be likely to get 20 years and they have already served 25, then what we try to do is to screen through and find those individuals who have paid their debt to society, that have behaved themselves and tried to reform themselves while incarcerated and we think have a good chance of being able to use that second chance well. on the firearms issue, what i've done is to try to screen out folks who seem to have a propensity for violence and so -- and these are just hypotheticals, but there may be
a situation where a kid at 18 was a member of a gang and had a firearm, did not use it in the offense that he was charged in. there's no evidence that he used it in any violent offense. it's still a firearms. charge and enhancement, but he didn't use it. he's now 48 or 38, 20 years later and has a unblemished prison record, has gone back to school, gotten his ged and gone through drug treatment, has the support of the original judge that presided, the support of the u.s. attorney that charged him, support of the warden, has a family that loves him and -- and in that situation the fact that he had 20 years earlier an enhancement because he had a firearm is different than a situation where somebody is
engaged in armed robbery and shot somebody. in those cases that is still something that -- that i'm concerned about. our focus really has been on people who we think were overcharged and people who we do not believe have a propensity towards violence, and in terms of your last question about sort of the last-minute pardons that are granted, the process that i put in place is not going to vary depending on how close i get to the election, so it's going to be reviewed by the pardon attorney. it will be reviewed by my white house counsel, and, you know, i'm going to as best as i can make these decisions based on
the merits as opposed to political considerations. okay? and finally, jim mick chefs can i -- miklaszewski and this may be my last press conference and i want to thank him for the extraordinary career he's had and the job he's done and he gets the last question. >> thank you very much, mr. president. >> thank you. >> first back to isis and iraq and syria. your very own national counterterrorism operation has found that despite the decisive defeats that the u.s. and coalition have dealt to isis on the battlefield has expanded their threat worldwide including
18 additional operation basis. in the six years that you've been dealing do you feel any personal disappointment that there hasn't been more progress and in any discussions that you've had with the u.s. military and your intelligence agencies, have you come up with any new ideas on how to deal or defeat isis? >> every time there's a terrorist attack, i feel disappointment because i would like to prevent all of them and that's true not just when the attacks are in europe or in the united states. when you read stories about attacks in lebanon or iraq or afghanistan or -- or distant parts of the world that don't get as much attention, they get my attention because that's somebody's kid and that's somebody's mom and that's somebody who was just going
about his business and mindlessly, senselessly, this person was murdered. so -- so i haven't gotten numb to it. it -- it bugs me whenever it happens and wherever it happens. and we are constantly pushing ourselves to see are there additional ideas that we can deploy to defeat this threat? now, it is important that we recognize terrorism as a tactic has been around for a long time, and if you look at the '70s or the '80s or the '90s there was some terrorist activity somewhere in the world that was brutal, and, you know, as much as i would like to say that
during my eight-year presidency we could have eliminated terrorism completely, you know, it's not surprising that that hasn't happened, and i don't expect that will happen under the watch of my successors. i do think that because of our extraordinary efforts the homeland is significantly safer than it otherwise. in some ways this is arguing the counterfactuals but the attacks we prevent i take great satisfaction in, and i am grateful for the extraordinary work that our teams do. i don't think there's any doubt that had we not destroyed al qaeda in the fatwa more
americans would have been killed and we would have seen more attacks like on 9/11, and we've maintained vigilance recognizing that those threats still remain, those aspirations in the minds of those folks still remain, but it is much harder for them to carry out large-scale attacks for them than it used to be. what we have seen is that these lower level attacks carried out by fewer operatives or an individual with less sophisticated and less expensive weapons can do real damage and that i think points to the need for us to not just have a military strategy, not just have a traditional counterterrorism strategy that's designed to bust up networks and catch folks before they carry out their attacks, although those still are necessary and we have to be
more and more sophisticated about how we carry those out, it still requires us to have much greater cooperation with our partners around the world, but it points to the fact that we're going to have to do a better job in draining the ideology that is behind these attacks that right now is emanating largely out of the middle east and a very small fraction of the muslim world, a perversion of islam that has taken root and has been turbocharged over the internet and that is afeeling even folks who don't necessarily know anything about islam and aren't even practicing islam in any serious way but have all kinds
of psychosis and latch on to this as some way of being important and magnifying themselves. and that's tougher. because that involves both changes in geopolitics in places like syria. it requires cultural changes in regions like the middle east and north africa that are going through generational changes and shifts as the old order collapses. it requires psychology and thinking about how -- how do these messages of hate reach individuals and are there ways in which we can intervene ahead of time and -- and all that work is being done, and we've got the very best people at it, and each day they are making a difference in saving lives, not just here by around the world, but it's a
challenge precisely because if you're successful 99% of the time, that 1% can still mean heartbreak for families and it's difficult because in a country let's say of 300 million people here in the united states if 99.9% of people are immune from this hateful ideology but .1 of 1% -- i just want to expand on a point i made earlier.
how we react to this is how we destroy isil, prevent these networks from penetrating. you can't separate those two things out. the reason it's called terrorism as opposed to just a standard war is that these are weak enemies that can't match us until conventional power, but what they can do is make us scared, and -- and when societies get scared they can react in ways that undermine the fabric of our society. it makes us weaker and makes us more vulnerable and creates politics that divide us and -- in ways that hurt us over the long term and so if we remain steady and steadfast and
vigilant but also take the long view and maintain perspective and remind ourselves of who we are and what we care about most deeply hand what we cherish and what's good about this country and what's good about the -- the international order and civilization that was built in part because of the sacrifices of our men and women after a 20th century full of world war, if we remember that, then we're going to be okay, but we're still going to see episodically these kind of tragedies, and we're going to have to keep working on it until we make things better, all right? >> may i, mr. president. >> only because of your retirement, and i hope it's not too long because i'm going to be late for my birthday dinner.
>> happy birthday, by the way. >> thank you. >> you alluded to the russia and military to military cooperation in syria presumably in exchange for whatever russian influence could be imposed on the assad regime for a variety of reasons. i'm sure you're not surprise that had some in the military are not supportive that deal. some european allies think it's a -- it would be a deal with the devil. what makes you so confident that you can trust the russians and vladimir putin? >> i'm not confident that we can trust the russians and vladimir putin which is why we have to test whether or not we can get an actual cessation of hostilities that includes an end to the kinds of aerial bombing and civilian death and destruction that we've seen carried out by the assad regime, and russia may not be able to get there either because they don't want to or because they
don't have sufficient influence over assad, and that's what we're going to test. so we go into this without any blinders on. we're very clear that russia has been willing to support a murderous regime and an individual in assad who has destroyed his country just to cling on to power. what started with peaceful protests has led to a shattering of an entire pretty advanced society and so whenever you're trying to broker any kind of deal with an individual like that or a country like that, you -- you've got to go in there with some skepticism. on the other hand if we are able to get a genuine cessation of
hostilities that prevents indiscriminate bombing, that protects civilians, that allows humanitarian access and creates some sort of pathway to begin the hard work of political negotiations inside of syria, then we have to try because the alternative is a perpetuation of civil war. i mean, i've been wrestling with this thing now for a lot of years. i'm pretty confident that a big chunk of my gray hair comes out of my syria meetings, and there is not a meeting that i don't end by saying is there something else we could be doing that we haven't thought of? is there a plan "f," "g," or "h"
so that the syrian people can put their lives back together so we can relieve the refugee crisis that's taken place, and the options are limited when you have a civil war like this, when you have a ruler who doesn't care about his people and when you've got terrorist organizations that are brutal and would impose their own kind of dictatorship on people, and you have a moderate opposition and ordinary civilians who are often outgunned and outmanned,
and, you know, that's a very difficult situation to deal with, but we've got to give it a chance. there are going to be some bottom lines that we expect for us to cooperate with russia beyond the sort of deconfliction that we're currently doing. and that means restraint on the part of the regime that so forth has not been coming. early on in this version of the cessation of hostilities we probably saw some lives saved and some lessening of violence, the violations of this cessation have grown to the point where it just barely exists, particularly up in the northwestern part of the country, so we're going to test and see if we can get something that sticks, and if not, then russia will have shown itself very clearly to be an irresponsible actor on the world
stage that is supporting a murderous regime and will have to be -- we'll have to answer to that on the international stage. all right? thank you very much, everybody. >> and we have been listening to president obama holding a press conference on the progress being made against isis. let's bring in cnbc's chief washington correspondent john harwood for more. john? >> reporter: melissa, the president delivered a progress report, made the case that we've heard before, that the united states is making progress on rolling back territorial gains by the islamic state, but that we're still vulnerable to reason dom attacks, lone wolf attacks, things that are not capable of threatening us in an extension way but capable of frightening the country. he also dipped into the presidential race and alluded again to his belief that donald
trump is not fit to be commander in chief although he said that he would continue until proven otherwise that donald trump would get the national security briefings that traditionally presidential candidates in our country have gotten once they have secured our nomination. i also just want to shift gears for one second. we have a newly released just now nbc/"wall street journal" poll on the presidential race which shows hillary clinton opening up a nine percentage point lead over donald trump since the democratic convention, so post both conventions hillary clinton's lead has gone from five points in our pre-convention poll to nine points, 47% to 38% now and if you add the third-party candidates or the additional party candidates, gary johnson and jill stein the green party candidate she continues to hold that nine-point edge so more good news for hillary clinton in the new poll. >> what's your sense, most
recently, of course, nbc news has reported there's going to be some sort of an intervention denied by the trump campaign. is that sort of catching up the divide that's seen within the gop? snow know, the divide continues to get worse. in fact today mike pence, the vice presidential nominee, declined to endorse john mccain and kelly ayotte, two republican senators. republicans, of course, are trying to hold on to their senate majority, declined to endorse them and said we need new leadership and this was taken very badly by republicans here in washington and it shows that donald trump continues to be running a campaign that is less about the party broadly and more about him and his agenda, and i would expect given that we've seen significant republican figures rejecting him in the last few days, meg whitman among others that we're going to see some more that have. >> john, thank you. john harwood from d.c. for us. let's discuss this, and also the
new poll numbers. grasso, to you for this just quickly in terms of hillary having the lead, yes, it's still early days and we are within 100 days. is this the outcome the market wants? >> i'm not sure what the market wants to be quite frank and i'm not sure if i believe the polls. the polls also had brexit not happening and that happened. i'm not going to believe that. i think it all hinges on the debate. >> yeah. >> you watch the debate, i think that's your winner right there, from the first one. >> okay. up next, we've got the final trade. yeah, that time. stay tuned. hey gary, what are you doing? oh hey john, i'm connecting our brains so we can share our amazing trading knowledge. that's a great idea, but why don't you just go to thinkorswim's chat rooms where you can share strategies, ideas, even actual trades with market professionals and thousands of other traders? i know. your brain told my brain before you told my face. mmm, blueberry? tap into the knowledge of other traders on thinkorswim. only at td ameritrade.
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potentially a very big day tomorrow with the jobs report out so what should we pecks. grasso? >> i think that you can start thinking about rates are never going anywhere. boe today, the fed in no way is raising rates. watch the dividend payers tomorrow. >> here's what's interesting. if everybody else is easing, that means the fed it tightening. watch the dollar. >> i actually agree with bk. we'll see. get another big jobs number. i think they might have the ammunition to do it. >> guy? >> one of our best shows. best efforts. >> you really brought it, guy. >> listen, the gold miner has
been on it, bds on it. gold up. despite dollar up and down, gold is the play. >> and despite the jobs number? >> despite the jobs number. >> i'm melissa lee. thanks fortuning into our my mission is simple, to make you money. i'm here to level the playing field for all investors. there's always a bull market somewhere, and i promise to help you find it. "mad money" starts now! hey, i'm cramer. welcome to "mad money." welcome to cray america. other people want to make friends, i just want to help you make some money. so call me, at 1-800-743-cnbc or tweet me