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scandal involving the republican party polling data and secret twitter accounts. we'll have the exclusive details. hello, i'm jim sciutto in for wolf blitzer. an act of pure evil. that's what president obama is calling the execution of american peter kassig at the hands of isis. kassig is a former army ranger who went to syria to do humanitarian work. but the video showing kassig's death is different from the rest. we want to bring in our own brian todd. what are the major differences and it might surprise our viewers to learn that this is even more gruesome than what we've seen in the past. >> it really is, jim. a lot of very strong differences between this video and previous
isis execution videos. we can tick through some of them now. for one, the victim, peter kassig, was not made to give a speech before his execution, at least not on this video. the victim is clearly -- not very clearly recognizable. you just see the head. there was no sign of him in an orange jump suit prior to being executed. no other hostages brought forth at the end of this video and threatened with execution. some experts say this sultggest the video was hastily made and isis is under more pressure now and we're running this aground with the intelligence officials. we'll have more on this in "the situation room" later today. in this video, this is much longer than the other execution videos. they go through the history of isis, track it back to the days of al qaeda and you can see
another strong difference. in this video, they display what they say are syrian pilots being actually killed by isis militants. and the militants themselves, aside from that man that you're looking at right there, do not have masks on. they clearly show their faces. they show them of diverse nationalities to display the fact that they credrecruit milis from all over the place. the one hooded isis militant known to many of us as, quote, jihadi john, he also speaks in the video but another difference is that he is actually seen killing someone for the first time. he's seen killing one of the syrian soldiers. so again, very strong differences between this video of peter kassig and previous videos. >> you just shake your head at the others who have already been so upsetting, this one even more so. thanks very much to brian todd in washington. sew just described some of the
clues that international investigators are looking at and they are also looking closer at the other people in the video, as brian said. joining me now is our nic robertson from washington and intelligence and security analyst bob baer in irvine, california. bob, if i can start with you, looking at the differences in the video, what do they tell you, if anything, about the state of isis now and if it's under any sort of presh snur. >> jim, i think they are definitely under pressure. they failed in the siege of kobani and until beirut. this execution looks to me, or at least the publication of it, as an act of desperation. they didn't plan the propaganda around this. so they are lashing out at this point. and what i think this means is the bombings are having an effect on them. >> nic, do you agree? do you see signs of the campaign working?
>> i think there's an element here that isis has wanted to show that it's resisting. it doesn't go in any sort of detail or add mit the casualties in the bombings and has invited the united states to send more troops into the area and they are ready for them. but this seems to be done rather than addressing the real issues facing them right now, an intensive air campaign and disrupting the activities on the ground. this is a mission statement of where they plan to go in the future. this particular video, 15 minutes long, the peter kassig part is a relatively small part, shows where they are expanding, algeria, libya, yemen. these are all places where they say that isis is getting buy-in from local jihadists. there's evidence on the ground to support some of that. and this is part of the narrative, the history but the future rather than looking at the situation that they are in right now. there's no doubt about it, they
are inviting attack on them even more, jim. >> we're familiar now with this person who has been named jihadi john, possibly speaks with a french accent but now the killings in these video are being linked to two french nationals and one of them is 22-year-old maxim hoshaw. are they solid in thinking that is who is pictured here? >> they are saying it's a strong presumption at this point but they have a file on this guy. he's 22 years old. they say he's from a small village north of france. he was radicalized online and had even gone to look for training camps as early as 2011, had come back disappointed, had gone to syria in 2013, had done an interview with a french news outlet over the past year or so. you know, trying to exort other
people to come and work for them. he's just one of over 1,000 young men that have gone from france and women to join groups in syria and iran and they have a tendency, also, not just to join isis but al nusra and perhaps fall under the khorasani group than back there and the french are very aware of people like this one, maxim. while he's attacking right now in syria, there's also a submessage here that these people will be coming back here as well and baghdadi says that in his video, too. >> that's the thing here. as you know, bob, and nic mentioned there, there's been a supreme concern of the officials, the british and the french, not just the young men
being radicalized but to carry out these horrible acts and the possibility of coming home and bringing terror home, a specific reference to that threat in this video. how serious is that? and does that indicate at all that such attacks are imminent? >> i don't know if they are imminent but they did after afghanistan and pakistan and they will attempt attacks in the west. his intelligence officials tell me it's inevitable. where and when, it's not certain. but the tendency, especially when you're starting to lose, is to strike out at the west, the western capital, including the united states. >> and, you know, of course there's also the concern of folks who were radicalized and who were already here in the u.s. or canada, et cetera. thanks very much to nic robertson and bob baer, as always, giving us context on
this latest gruesome. later today, we expect to hear from peter kassig's parents. ed and paula kassig will speak to the media from indianapolis. we'll bring that to you live. just ahead, president obama talks about the prospect of u.s. ground troops in iraq. you'll hear what the president said in response. and taking executive action on immigration reform. our political panel discusses the coming showdown between the president and congress. in retirement, will you outlive your money? uhhh. no, that can't happen. that's the thing, you don't know how long it has to last. everyone has retirement questions. so ameriprise created the exclusive.. confident retirement approach. now you and your ameripise advisor can get the real answers you need.
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a showdown with republicans in congress. the president plans to issue an order of immigration reform as early as this week. republicans are up in arms over this go it alone approach. plus, the senate votes tomorrow on the keystone pipeline. that could trigger a presidential veto. and they say they will repeal obamacare when they take control in january. joining me is paul begala and newt gingrich. great to have both of you here. paul, i wonder if i could begin with you. the president has said, in explaining this choice to act with executive privilege on immigration reform this week, that congress has had its chance and republicans in congress have had their chance to act. they didn't so now they are going to take this action. does he risk spoiling any chance there was of working together in these last two years? >> no. frankly, they have had their chance. he's got the better of the argument. i always think that it's been a myth that somehow now the
republicans have full control of the senate. now they will be reasonable. the people who were elected by this country, free and fair elections, ran on platforms of opposing president obama. not one of them ran one ad saying, if you send me to washington, i'll work in a bipartisan fashion. that's fine and fair. it's a big mission that all of a sudden they break their campaign promises and work with president obama. the house of representatives has been controlled by the republicans. they've had 508 days to pass the bipartisan immigration plan. 508 days the president has given them. he has got to act. we have a real problem in this country. we have families being torn apart. he's got an obligation to act. if the republicans don't like it, they can negotiate it themselves. >> newt gingrich, i'm going to guess that you disagree. >> well, i think part of what paul said was revealing and i agree with him. it was voted on an election.
overwhelmingly, 74% of the people who voted, democrat and republican, said they do not want the president to take executive action by himself on issues like immigration. a recent gallup poll shows that the country prefers the republican to take the lead in policy and the president himself said on october 2nd, my policies are on the ballot. guess what, the american people repudiated his policies. there's a level of arrogance and almost self-destruction in the president responding to this election by going further to the left with china, further to the left with obamacare, further to the left with what he's doing right now in terms of immigration and he's going to stay on the left, i suspect, i'll be shocked if he signs the authorization forth keystone pipeline. the question will be, how clever can speaker boehner and senate
majority leader be in coraling the president? the constitution gives them the tools to do it. i suspect he's going to find this very expensive. >> you raise the keystone pipeline. former president bill clinton injecting himself, you might say, into the debate and urging president obama to keep fighting for his agenda over the next two years. have a quick listen to what he said over the weekend. >> i really think he should minimize the chances of being a lame duck, which he can do by continuing to have an agenda and using the budget process to make deals with the republicans because now that they have both houses, they have a much greater vested interest in not just being against everything. >> so paul begala, don't be a lame duck, advice from president clinton. do you think that's fair advice? >> i was in the room when he said that.
it is the tenth anniversary of the clinton presidential library. the point he was making, look at what he did, he worked with newt gingrich through the budget process. probably saved millions of lives and certainly created millions of jobs and wealth by advancing research and technology. we created the children's health program. we can do a lot and the president can do a lot by working with the republicans in the budget process. president clinton issued far more executive orders than barack obama did. a abraham lincoln freed the slaves and george bush turned americans into torturers with his executive order. >> newt gingrich, you're a student of history of congress, might i say a professor of the history of congress. >> i think the historical contents he's raising his
ludicrous but executive orders exist within the law. it's also true that presidents live in a constant balance of power with the house and the senate. this president is not going to be able to work with republicans as president clinton has suggested if he starts the dance by doing something which is guaranteed to outrage 3 out of 4 americans who voted in the last congressional election. democrat, republican and independent. there is no precedent -- in fact, obama himself used to tell his supporters he didn't have the authority to do what he has now decided to do. if he does this, i predict that the house and senate will methodically and calmly find ways to raise the pain level to the president to a point where he rescinds it. this will not stand. it's too great of an outrage to the medical system and they have lots of tools to deal with the president who doesn't want to deal with reality. >> it's true that reagan and
bush -- two republican presidents -- bush senior, legalized the the status of undocumented people who were not covered by the bill in 1986. two republican presidents did it and nobody made a peep and now a democratic president wants to do it and everybody is freaking out. >> i'd ask you to stay. right after this break, we will have questions like this and serious foreign policy questions for the president. the latest on what the president is saying about the possibility of u.s. boots on the ground. can't wait to get the next big thing? come to t-mobile and get the samsung galaxy note 4 for zero down.
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starts at $89.95 a month. comcast business. built for business. before the break, we've been talking about some of the domestic challenges ahead for president obama but he's also, of course, facing many challenges on the international front. during a news conference in australia, the president was asked about comments by joint chiefs chairman martin dempsey about keeping the option open foregrou foreground for ground troops in iraq. >> if we discover that isil has gotten possession of a nuclear weapon and we had to run an operation to get it out of their hands then, yes, you can anticipate that not only would chairman dempsey recommend me sending u.s. ground troops to get the weapon out of their
hands but i would order it. >> let's bring back cnn political commentators paul begala and newt gingrich, former house speaker. newt, was there meaning behind that? do you think the president was opened to circumstances, plural, where i might order ground troops? >> well, both as military advisers and the secretary of defense have been pressuring him and he's slowly, gradually walking his promise back from no ground troops to some ground troops but only as trainers to maybe ground troops under extraordinary circumstances. martin dempsey was not talking about a unique nuclear weapons situation. these folks of isis are tough, they are well-organized, they are gaining ground and it may well be that if we're serious about defeating them, we'll have no choice but to defeat them with american forces. that's what chairman dempsey was saying when he was in iraq. the president doesn't want to
jump to that and the president's in an awkward position. he ran to get everybody in iraq, now he's putting people back into iraq. i think he finds this very difficult. >> paul, newt has a point there. i've been covering the isis story nearly every day and i've watched not only the prohibition on ground troops, whether it be chuck hagel or martin dempsey saying they might recommend it under circumstances but also the definition of what a ground or troop definition is. we've seen them expanding the areas in iraq, well beyond baghdad and erbil where ground troops will be. do you believe that president obama is walking that statement back not to deploy ground troops? >> presidents very rarely entertain hypotheticals. he didn't even just answer one, he suggested one and responded. i have to say, i'll probably get
struck by lightning, i think newt is 100% right. i think it was a very, very limited and very particular worse-case scenario. when i've talked to the folks at the white house, what they say is try to move away from that phrase boots on the ground. we have boots on the ground. we do. and we're going to have to have them for targeting, for training, for special forces, for intel. what they won't have is combat forces, ground combat forces. we're not going to reinvade iraq. we're not going to occupy iraq like we did in the bush presidency. there has been some movement here. you can't deny it, newt has got a good point here. >> i want to ask you and give you both a chance to comment because we're just a week today away from the deadline of reaching agreement on iran's nuclear deal. i wonder if both of you could comment quickly on what you think the prospects are of
reaching an agreement with iran, one. and second, the question is, could it politically survive here in the u.s.? newt, you first. >> well, there's zero prospect of a serious agreement. there's a pretty high prospect that in desperation the state department will grab any figure leaf but i think that's being blown apart and i think you'll see enormous anger if they try to avoid the senate and the house being involved. so i think the president is in a real box here. >> paul, do you agree? do you see a potential for a meaningful agreement with iran. >> i have talked to some senior diplomats and former diplomats who say it's so difficult to get but the sanctions are working. iran is suffering. rouhani, the president of iran, needs a deal desperately. so we may get a deal. i'm not sure if we will get it in that time frame. i think it's unfair for any responsible participant in this
process to already prejudge something that hasn't even happened and i think you're getting a lot of that from people who may have a partisan agenda here. >> paul begala, newt gingrich, thanks very much. we've covered everything domestic and international. >> good to be with you. still to come, just released audio sheds more questions on the shooting death of michael brown and surveillance video shows officer darren wilson just hours after that encounter.
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm jim sciutto. wolf blitzer is off today. a town and a nation nervously awaiting a grand jury decision on whether to indict ferguson, missouri, officer darren wilson in the shooting of unarmed teen michael brown. as the jury continues to deliberate, it has dramatic new evidence to consider. here's our stephanie elam. >> reporter: jim, sunday marked 100 days since michael brown was killed on that ferguson street and now for the first time we're hearing officer darren wilson's voice. these are the first images of officer darren wilson in the white t-shirt captured just hours after michael brown was killed on august 9th. it's unclear in the video if wilson was suffering from any injuries but police have said that wilson sustained bruises and had a swoel enface after his
alleged struggle with brown. >> from the beginning, dorian johnson said that he wasn't injured, as far as he saw. >> reporter: this video shows wilson leaving the scene of the shooting for the hospital. later, it shows him returning. there is audio that publishes the timeline of the events that day beginning with a theft. >> there's a stealing in progress. >> reporter: 19 seconds later, a description of a suspect. >> he's with another male. he's got a red cardinals' hat, white t-shirt and yellow socks. >> reporter: minutes later, officer wilson officers assistance. the paper says shortly after, officer wilson stopped brown and his friend dorian johnson for walking in the middle of the street. officer wilson calls for backup. >> 21.
put me on canfield. send me a car. >> reporter: brown's fatal encounter with wilson took less than two minutes. at 12:07, this call came in with someone apparently screaming in the background. >> get us several more units over here. there's going to be a problem. >> reporter: they are preparing best they can for the impending decision coming from the grand jury on whether or not they will indict officer wilson. some are boarding up businesses. other people are buying up groceries and are planning to stay in their homes until any potential unrest is over. jim? >> a tense week there. coming up next, was twitter used to stretch some campaign finance laws during the recent midterm elections? a cnn exclusive report between republicans and outside groups that may not have been on the up and up. at panera bread, our hearty all-natural turkey chili is back in season. slow-cooked with turkey raised without antibiotics,
twitter has become a fairly basic campaign tool for candidates and parties to use during elections. we saw that during the midterm elections. but new cnn analyst shows that some republican groups may have used twitter to push the limits of election laws and that's posing questions about how social media is being used during political campaigns. cnn's chris moody explains. >> reporter: in 2010, the supreme court ruled that unions can spend as much as they want on political speech as long as they didn't coordinate with the campaigns but the campaign committees. that is to get someone elected, outside groups, including american crossroads
collaborating with the national republican congressional committee in order to share polling data. so because campaigns cannot coordinate with outside groups, what these groups did was set up public twitter accounts in order to post polling data and numbers and a secret code that you could only read if you have the formula. they would post these on the accounts named after a fictional character on the show "west wing." the ad tried to influence the outcome of the election so you can't use soft money, period. >> reporter: here's an example tweet. it says, "ca n/a-48/28/14/21. what does that mean? we can guess that california is the state and the number of the n 21 is the district and then
the polling in the middle is the top line numbers. after i got wind of this i e-mailed a spokesperson for the nrcc and other groups and literally minutes after i sent the e-mail, all of the accounts were deleted. we've exposed a couple of these twitter accounts but there's nothing stopping other campaigns or outside groups from doing this in the future so long as these groups continue to hide their information in plain sight. >> fascinating stuff. great to have chris moody joining us live from washington. so just help explain to our viewers here as to how sharing that polling data might be. i know it's not clear but might be a violation of the election laws as they stand. >> well, because the election law says that outside groups and political campaigns cannot coordinate, they can post these things in pub electrlic areas, want outside groups to see and vice versa. but here they were doing it on anonymous twitter accounts. they were basically masking
their identity and posting in code that you could only read if you knew how to read it and where to find it. now, the issue of legality comes in here when you say, well, how did the groups know where to find it? how did the groups know how to read the information? and that's where the question comes in but whether this was legal. how they shared basically the decoder rings with one another. >> right. so it's punitively public but you have to know something to go to the sites where the information was. i wonder, federal election commission, they watch this kind of stuff. have they commented at all on your report? >> i've spoke to a lot of federal election attorneys and experts on this issue. and they said that they are not optimistic, that the fcc will do anything at all. now, today a vice chair woman said they may be investigating into it and issuing a ruling but also said campaign finance laws are murky and it's really hard to make a declaration on the legality of these things, especially because no one has issued a ruling on this because
it's all new. a lot of this stuff has not been fleshed out in law, especially when it comes to social media and tech and politics. >> god knows there's billions of dollars involved, virtually every time we talk about this. chris moody, great reporting. great to have you on. you can see more of our coverage of this developing story on cnn.com. it's at the top of the site there. some dramatic amateur video showing the moments right after malaysia airlines flight mh-17 plummeted to the ground. and tensions are rising. mmmmmmm. look out. now there's even more of the amazing cinnamon taste you love on cinnamon toast crunch.
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and start gathering the information you need to help you go long™. ♪ new details now on last summer's crash of malaysia airlines crash in the ukraine. this purportedly is the moments after the airliner hit the ground. you can see people confused about what they are seeing and finally as well after four months, dutch investigators are hauling away wreckage from the crash area. phil black is in donetsk right in the middle of it. phil, remind our viewers why it has taken this long, four months after this horrific event for the wreckage to finally be removed in any sort of substance. >> reporter: well, jim, at the time of that terrible accident or disaster, this area was, of
course, a war zone between ukrainian government forces and separatists. the fighting was very intense. investigators from australia, the netherlands and malaysia went to the site a few times but it was simply too dangerous to continue doing that. back in september, a cease-fire between the warring parties was signed. it has continued until the most part been of lower intensity. it's at least given the dutch authorities which are now running this investigation a chance to plan this operation to get out there and try to recover some of that wreckage. jim? >> it's so late and certainly torture for the families. i wonder, as we look at this new video, is there value in there to investigators, for instance, to determine definitively what brought down this plane? is anyone analyzing it for that evidence? >> reporter: what that video shows is what you suspect when you stand in that area of the wreckage and that was that there was an enormous inferno at the
impact. what came down there is the largest part of the structure. what struck the air in that location was the midsection of the fuselage, the wings, the engines, the rear undercarriage as well. and the bulk of the economy class section of that aircraft. we know that this is of great interest to the investigators because that's where they've been focusing a lot of their efforts, recovering material. it is indeed important and better now than in a few weeks' time because it will be winter soon. this will be blanketed in snow and this provides another opportunity to find the outstanding remains of the remains of the victims that have yet to be identified. nine people aboard that aircraft have not been accounted for. they have found further human remains as they've been moving that wreckage out there in these more recent days. >> that's horrible to imagine that so many families have had to wait for that moment when
they can see the remains returned. thanks very much to phil black on the ground in eastern ukraine. this warning from ukraine's president petro poroshenko. he says russian rebels are to a point of no return and could lead to full-scale war. joining me now is julia ioffe from "the new yorker." there's never been a cease-fire in ukraine and in effect calls out western leaders for being fooled or fooling themselves, that there was anything but a war taking place on the ground already. >> yeah. well, you know, i think all parties were interested except for maybe kiev. all parties were interested in maintaining the pretense of some kind of cease-fire. it allowed the western governments to focus on threats of isis, on ebola, things like
that. and russia and for the separatists in donetsk, it gave them a chance to regroup, to rearm and to freshen themselves up for, you know, what looks like it's going to be a full-scale war. but since the agreement -- cease-fire agreement was signed on september 5g-20 summit early lot of cold shoulder from western leaders, strong words from president obama and others. he said he needed sleep. it was a long flight home. what was the symbolism of him leaving early >> i think, the symbolism was, you know, he ran up against a wall. there's really not that much that he can do, you know, he can say any more to these leaders because they don't really believe him, at least the western leaders. i think nonwestern leaders in the g-20 are using him as an
example, see we're developing countries but not as bad as him. i think for putin, though, it was a way to get out while still saving face and trying to show that he, you know, he was not is going to stick around while being slighted continually by western leaders. >> here's an essential question because president putin, russia, effectively annexed crimea already at the southern tip of ukraine and while you hear western leaders this will not stand, we won't recognize it, it has become a factor on the ground. i won if you expect the same to be the same for large portions of western ukraine >> i've been saying this from the beginning. russia meets eastern ukraine and southern ukraine. rebel forces continue to move south towards the ports. they need that section of land to connect crimea to mainland russia because right now there's nothing connecting crimea to
russia except for a ferry that's constantly backed up. people trying to get to crimea from mainland russia are waiting for days to get across. so they need this to supply the peninsula with water, with food, with electricity, et cetera. so, you know, i think in many ways events of the last month, last month or two have shown that effectively this region has broken away from kiev. kiev no longer controls it. they have their own elections. it's only a matter of time. >> a sad reality on the ground. i wonder do we see these difference, these divisions between washington and europe in terms of raising the cost for rush again. angela merkel saying no new sanctions now. does this mean the western response of this is now frozen, in effect? >> so that was last week. then we saw the new invasion, you know, the umpteenth invasion
by yuk, russian military vehicles. again you're seeing russian soldiers in russian uniforms without any identifying insignia. angela merkel said at the g-20 they are thinking about ramping up those sanctions. the sanctions are having a bite. the russian economy is slowly but surely going belly up because of what opec is doing, lowering oil prices on which the russian economy is so heavily dependent and sanctions are not helping. >> understood. always good to have your opinion. very strong on this situation right now in eastern ukraine. great to have you on. >> thanks. >> coming up next the case of the 43 missing students sparking violent protests. why it's divided one mexican town. i have a cold
in mexico the former mayor of the town is being linked to the disappearance of 43 students in december. they went missing after a gunfight. this is just the latest incident in southern mexico where crime has been an ongoing and severe problem. as rosa flores reports its spread widespread and violent protests by those who are fed up. >> reporter: the chaos starts as people roll into town.
mass protesters blocking the highway. and siphoning gas, enough to scare drivers and people who call this village home. especially business owners who depend on open roads to get merchandise and make a living. like this woman who doesn't want to be identified for fear of retaliation, but who says at least four distributors have stopped deliveries to her store. she says she feels a sense of hopelessness because there's not much that citizens, business owners can do. protesters have commandeered vehicles by day and night and turned them into fiery messages. there's this commercial vehicle that delivers milk. it's all an effort to pressure the government into finding 43 students who went missing just under two months ago.
officials say they are dead. families don't believe it. while most support their cause, others are fed up. she has talked to other business owners who say they feel like taking arms and defending their stores and defending their property from protesters. this is a perfect example of how protests are impacting the economy. right now it's the middle of the day but take a look, there's an empty parking lot, and a closed grocery store. at the nearby airport protesters beat a police officer last week. their protests blocked air travel for several hours at one of the nation's top tourist destinations, all signs of the escalating dysfunction. in hand of god she says. a test of faith that many in this community find increasingly difficult. rosa flores, cnn in mexico.
such a heartbreaking story for so many families involved. that's it for me. for our international viewers christiane amanpour is next. for our viewers in north america, newsroom with pamela brown starts right now. hello i'm pamela brown in for brooke baldwin. thanks for here with us on this monday. live during this show we're expecting to hear from the heartbroken parties of peter kassig the third american beladied by isis in syria. the gritty and chilling clip is takd on the latest propaganda video. his decapitation is not seen. his head is at the feet of a man. president obama is condemning the murder as an act