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tv   Wolf  CNN  February 23, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PST

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hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 9:00 pok in erbil iraq. we begin with new developments in the fight against isis. a chilling video being released showing 21 kurdish prisoners being held in cages. cnn can't veer faye when this video was shot or the fate of the men being held inside. but it does show isis is not giving up on its aggressive propagandaprop propaganda fight despite pressure from the u.s. led coalition. we're also hearing from the president of egypt who said his country has had enough. e's calling for a new arab coalition. we're covering these developments. ben wedeman is inner beale.
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ben, what do we know about this release video showing these peshmerga fightering being held in these cages? >> reporter: this is a video that was posted on facebook yesterday. what you see is these 21 kurdish fighters, we believe most of them were captured by isis at the end of january when it attacked the city to the southeast of here. you see them clad in these bright orange jumpsuits. their hands are chained. they're led to cages where they're interviewed by a bearded man with a microphone. on that microphone is an isis logo. among other things one of the prisoners tells him that -- basically he calls upon his colleagues in the peshmerga to stop fighting isis or they will suffer a similar fate. then we see them still in their cages on the backs of pickup
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truck going through a town just south of kirkuk. and toward the end of the video you see flashes of still photographs of some of those egyptians who were killed early last week beheaded by isis in libya. now it doesn't appear from the video, of course that the kurdish prid nears have been executed. but it certainly suggested that may be their fate. >> well you're there with the kurds in erbil. a lot of pesh mer kba fighters are with you. what has been the reaction there among the kurds to the video? >> when this sort of video becoming public it'sup setting for many people. almost everybody here has a relative who is in the front lines. some of these peshmerga in fact were captured not on the front lines but while they were trying to hitch rides back home from their bases and the front lines. people are angry. but at the same time keep in
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mind that the peshmerga has been fighting isis since last summer that the peshmerga actually on the front lines are doing better than anybody else in syria or iraq when it comes to fighting isis. just over the weekend isis tried to break through the front lines to the south of here. the kurds repulsed them. killed 50 isis fighters. propaganda is one thing. reality on the front lines seems to be something completely different. >> we know the peshmerga are fierce and courageous. unfortunately they don't have the weaponry they need. let's see if that changes. thank you. let's get to another significant development we're watching right now, this time in egypt. that country's president saying it's e time for a united arab force to take on isis. ian is in cairo. what's the significance of this
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dramatic announcement from the egyptian el sisi. >> he made this announcement last night. isis was front and center. he said that the need is growing for this united arab force and it is becoming more apparent every day. he didn't give many details about what that actually meant. we reached out to the president's office. they didn't offer up much clarification. but in the speech he reiterated multiple times that the egyptian army was a defensive army but if it were needed regionally it could be possible with the cooperation of their arab brothers. this isn't the first time they've heard for an egyptian president to call for a coalition like this. the late president championed this as well. but today we have a different threat. isis for these -- it's a huge threat for many of these
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countries, touch almost every single one and they're df nately concerned about it and want to address it wolf. >> we'll stay on top of this part of the story as well. let's get a closer look to what's going on. joining us right now, our cnn global affairs analyst james reese, also skrn security and cyst bob baer and peter burg. what do you make of this plo poles for a united arab force. that would be boots on the ground, as they say, combat force to go in there and destroy isis and iraq in syria, libya, presumably elsewhere. how realistic is this idea? >> strategically it sounds great and would be a great piece for all of the arab nation to get together. the gcc, the gulf council countries, they already have a force called peninsula shield
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40,000 folks. so strategically it's a great idea and it's great for us in the u.s. to get the arab forces out in front. however tactically is whether you start to run into problems and commanding and controlling. a few years ago the u.s. helped bolster the command and control by setting up a joint command headquarters to help the aspects which egypt is not part of. again what i like to see is at least we're talking about it and maybe we can help get some mo men full to make this an arab fight. >> the gcc, gulf cooperation council, including the uae in saudi arabia other countries in that area. what do you think, bob baer? is this possible to form this kind of coalition that the president is talking about? >> well, wolf, it's an uphill road. i think we've advanced since 1967 but remember that's the
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joint last arab force and they got whipped by the israelis in 60 days. in '73 you have syria and egypt fighting on the same sides. same effect. i've never seen the arabs cooperate especially in an offensive which is what it would take. the biggest army in the gulf is the saudi army. i don't have much confidence in it. they've never cooperated tact ki are the other gulf countryiescountries. so at the end of the day i think this is a long shot. what about i ooh rack? the iraqi military is a huge military. unfortunately they're missing in action. they abandoned their positions when isis came into mosul last june. but is there hope that this iraqi military now can regroup, be retrained, the u.s. will spend a lot of money, a lot of effort to try to get them up to
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par so they can go in there and destroyed isis and iraq? >> if history is a guide, that would be an optimistic view i think. a lot of money and a lot of effort did go into training the iraqi army and there were problems. it was overly -- the officer call was too sheer, not enough sunnis. and you know if you could change the kind of ethnic complexion of the iraqi army you might have a better shot. >> you know colonel reese when you see the video of the peshmerga fighters who are being held in steel cages, we know what tim pact was when isis released the video of the egyptians in line ya being beheaded. we know what happened when the jordanians saw the video of their pilot being burned alive in one of those cages. they reacted. what's the impact among the kurds when they see these kinds
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of pictures? >> if anything happens to those kurdish peshmerga, there will be hell to pay by the peshmerga on ie sas. the peshmerga does not mess around. that being said, i also believe that isis realizes that now and i've seen discussions that they may be looking at doing a swap between the two to have them to get their folks back. you don't mess with the peshmerga. >> i want all yf you to stand by. preparing for the battle against terrorists in africa. african elite forces are training to respond to the growing threat from terrorists groups. we'll in chad with an exclusive report. plus with a somalia based terror group staged an attack at
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a mall in 2013. now al shabaab is calling for similar attacks in the u.s., canada and the uk. we have details. stay with us.
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there has been a new terror threat against the west. this time it's against the very public target shopping malice. elsha al shabaab is calling for similar attacks in malls across the west. in a video that went on for more than an hour, they actually named malls that think would make suitable target. one is in canada one is in london and the third is the mall in america in minnesota.
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that's where nikoa lens ya is joining us from now. how is the mall reacts to the threats? >> reporter: they reacted very quickly. the mall put oun a statement almost immediately after the video was posted online by the somalia terrorist group saying they're going to add additional security. the broadest concern among the shoppers is there is worry systemsome for them. in fact i spoke to a couple of shoppers earlier who said they were going inside despite this potential threat was out there. the broader concern in the community, though is in that somalia community. i spoke to a community leader just a whole ago saying he was disgusted with the video, that this community in minneapolis, the largest somalia community in the nation is really traumatized by the attack in kenya in 2013 when somebody from that community went over there and participated with the attack.
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he says that al shabaab certainly does not speak for the majority of muslims in minneapolis or beyond. >> are they beefing up security in is it visible, what you've seen? >> reporter: well, i'll tell you, we've been out here since the very early morning and so far from the location where we're at, we've only seen one police car. that's not to say there aren't additional measuring being taken. but it's really business as usual here. >> be careful. it's obviously very cold where you are as well. nick thank you very much. again the fbi and the department of homeland security say they're aware of the call by al shabaab but they also say at this time in their words, there's no credible threat. let's bring back bob baier and peter bergman. making a warning like this a videotape saying we're going
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after the malls. >> al shabaab is not doing well at all in the somalia. when they attacked the mall in kenya kenya, it's a sign of weakness. they went of an undefended mall. they're taking up all of the oxygen. this is a group that's not doing well. it's guaranteed to true attention to them and it has. >> as you know in minneapolis, st. paul that's got the largest somalia american population in the united states. i assume that that's what they're driving at. yes, wolf, as peter said. this is a shot in the drk pap they need publicity. they're not doing well. they've been driven back lost a lot of land. you know what they're doing is appealing to the young somalia s there who are not assimilated well in minnesota. let's don't forget that
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minnesota is not the gateway to immigration like new york city and los angeles. what they're hoping for is some lone wolf will find a weapon, attack a mall and they hope to get a lot of mileage out of this. but the fbi said this is not a credible threat. on the other hand that can't account for lone wolves has that haven't popped up on the internet. >> yesterday, jay johnson told gloria gloria borger that it would be wise to be a little extra vigilant. >> that's his job. he is the head of homeland security in the count friday. as bob indicated, while al shabaab has no network really to speak of able to carry out an attack in the giants they certainly could inspire perhaps a lone wolf who might take this call for a jihad against the mall of america seriously. >> you know bob, it dawned on me -- i'm angst to get your thoughts on this. nowadays you do 0 to the airport
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you've got to go through metal detectors detectors. you go to the verizon center for a game you go through the metal detectors. is it only a matter of time you go to a mall here in the united states that we're going to have to go through metal detectors here in the united states when we want to visit a local mall? >> you know one successful attack and that's what we're going to face. the israelis stopped this. you go to tel-aviv to a mall, they check your bags. one successful attack and it will change the game. we've been talking about this for months the lone wolf getting through you're right. we could face that one day. >> what do you think, peter? >> we reinforced cockpit doors after 9/11 not before 9/11.
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it takes an event for things to change. >> do you think it would be wise preemptively before there's been an attack on a mall to go ahead and take a step like that? >> i don't think it would be wise. terrorism don't work unless you're terrified. as soon as you start doing that people get anxious. we should only do that if it's absolutely nes. >> peter bergen bob baier, we'll stay on stop of the story. still ahead -- it's more of a risk society in a sense where what happens far away is e generalvanentually our concern. >> fighting extremism in africa. 20 nations come together to do their part to stop it from spreading. and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis from the inside out...
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special forces for the united states and other countries, they're training african to fight militants. it's an international response to terror groups in the region including boko haram and isis. we've got an inside look. >> off a remote land strip in chad some of the world's most elite soldiers have come together together. we're with the ground wolves no identification no on camera interviews and no combat technique specifics.
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here at the krildrill on how to respond to an ambush their commander tells us if you have this kind of training you can defend yourself from death. this is exercise. 28 nations in all, american and europeans training with african elite units to respond to a growing threat from terrorists groups. nigerian navy special forces who have lost men to the fight against boko haram instructed by the brits on how to extract a wounded soldier while under fire. the countries that make up the lake chad basin have been heavily criticized for the threat posed by boko haram. as one put it boko haram was allowed to firstester. it's equally if not more significant is that this
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exercise will strengthen the newly formed coalition. a coalition at war with boko haram to the west surrounded by more threats. from here al qaeda operates in the northwest. isis to the east. dangers europe already faces. among the training partners belgium, a country currently on high alert due to extremists threats. >> everyone is trying to do their part because there's no -- there's not really a sense of national security anymore. it's more of a risk society in a sense where we're -- what happens far away is eventually our concern. >> it is all of europe and america's concern. a u.s. special forces operator telling us quote, we need to build relationships in africa and you can't do that if you aren't on the ground. >> and joining us live from chad how long will all of this
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training last? >> reporter: well wolf, it lasts about a month in all. and at this stage we're halfway through it. so there's two week to go. now this training exercise has actually been happening on a yearly basis for the last decade or so. but arguably at this specific juncture in global history it carries for significance simply because of the threats being faced. if the threats are not contained, you've got al qaeda, isis trying to constantly make inroads into africa. and a numb for of operators were tell was something echoed by the europeans as well if this threat is not contained in africa it could eventually pose a threat to security in europe and the united states. what's happening right now, this exercise is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to the
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overall broader war against terror. >> arwa damon in chad right now. thank you very much. coming up they ran away from home six days ago and authorities now fear these teenage girls are headed to syria to join isis. so what's drawing this young women, these girls to this kind of terror group? we'll speak with an expert.
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. here are some of the headlines we're watching right now. the terror group al shabaab is calling for attacks on some of the largest shopping malls including the mall of america in minnesota and oxford street in london. they wer responsible for the brutal attack in kenya in 2013. egypt is calling for other nation to join the fight against isis. they've launched air strikes against isis troops. egypt's president is pushing for a united arab force to fight the terror group. turkish security and intelligence officials say they're aiding the search for three missing brit irch teenage girls. alerts were sent out last week. it's believe that that teenager are trying to make it to syria possibly to join isis.
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atika shubert is joining us live from london. what's the latest on the investigation? >> reporter: the latest is that british police believe or hope they're in turkey and haven't slipped across the border yet. it's been several days since the british police first put out the appeal. this is why over the weekend we've heard directly from the family members of the school girls urging them to come back home before it's too late. take a listen to what one of the sisters had to say. >> we just hope that obviously a friend previously traveled oubt. we're hoping that maybe she's gone to see her friend talk some sense into her. because she wowas upset about her friend leaving. a conversation that she had that she knew it was a silly thing to do. i asked her, you wouldn't do anything stupid. it wasn't a reason to ask.
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she said she was upset that her friend had left and she didn't know why she had done it. >> you could hear there the family is heart broken. completely shocked that these girls would think about going into syria. this follows the case from a classmate who left for syria, is believed to be in syria now. so the families believe these girls may have followed in the footsteps of the girl. worst case is they've been lured and radicalized online. >> any indication on where the girls are getting money to fly for example from london to istanbul? >> you can get there on budget fares. the bigger question is who would have given them the information and the no-how to meet up with anybody from an isis follower for example to bring them across
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the border. there are several indications that this may have been done online. they were in touch with a young woman from glasgow who went to syria last year and she has a blog on what to bring and what to expect when you arrive in isis. it looks like she may have been communicating with them through other social media means to possibly bring them over. we don't know for sure but it's one of the lines of investigation that police are looking at. >> it's pretty shocking. thank you very much. the british prime minister says it's now up to every school in every community to help come bath the poisoning of the young minds by isis. let's talk about way to combat the propaganda. sasha, thanks for joining us. what's drawing the young girls to potentially lyly to leave their
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families homes, and join isis? what make as young girl do this. >> thank you very much. in the first place, these girls are part of a growing and worrying trend. we're seeing young women from across western countries, both expressing their support for and migrating to syria. now in totally unprecedented numbers. and i would say this is the result really of an extremely sophisticated pop gan that recruitment machinery that's targeting young women very specifically. we're seeing peer to peer social media recruitment drives that would be the envy of many social media marketing companies. a report that we put out three weeks ago signals that girls like her are extremely dangerous, they're prolific recruiters and we need to be doing much more the counter that in there's very little competing
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with these girls' messaging out there. >> i know you attended the white house conference the summit meeting last week combatting violent extremism and all of the talk of social media was critically important. are these girls being told they're going to become isis brides 15 16-year-old girls, go to syria and you're going to get married to one of the isis command dos if you will? >> i think that is the expectation. brand caliphate has been incredibly powerful in drawing women. it's about building the new state. these girls are being told they're part of a historic heroic project, a state building project that they will be rearing the next generation of jihadis but there are more activist roles of part of the all-female brigades. many girls go out there feeling this is empowering. the reality on the ground is very different. >> what can the international community, whether in the uk
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mere in the united states or elsewhere, do to combat this in. >> we need credible voices and in this case young women, often, of course we're starting to see disaffected young women. the girls who went from vienna to syria were dubbed the poster girls for jihadi brides. they expressed reget and want to come back. but we need to be marrying those voices up with a really powerful social media high-tech marketing set of tools. we need partnerships with the private sector to do that so we can amplify these voices and get them to the constituencies that matter here. >> these 15 16 17-year-old girls, based on all of your research, sasha, i assume they're muslim girls, not necessarily christian girls. what can you tell us about their
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backgrounds? >> i mean there is a disproportionately high number of converts to this movement. and that shouldn't be ignored. we've seen that among young men as well as young women. of course muslim girls are being targeted specifically online as are boys. they tend not to be the profile that you might imagine. these are often well-educated. we've seen with these three girls, they're particularly bright student. they're politically very conscious. these are girls that could have gone another route. you can imagine these being very successful having chosen other paths. there is a lot of work to be done in a one on one sort of context as well as online with counter messaging to provide an alternative to young people like this. >> sasha, thanks very much for
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joining us. >> thank you very much. the road to peace is far from clear, especially when tanks line the road. the ukrainian military says it will not withdraw its heavy weapons. we're going live to ukraine when we come back. with my android from tracfone, i can... order safety goggles. play music for seedlings. post science fair projects. schedule guinea pig feedings. video chemical reactions. take pics of mr. bones. time the next launch. calm down principal jones. i can do all that with my android from tracfone. 90-day plans start as low as $20. for a limited time get the samsung galaxy centura with the spongebob movie kid's watch and exclusive case cover. look for specially marked packages at walmart. tracfone. do everything for less. you total your brand new car. nobody's hurt,but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do, drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had a liberty mutual new car replacement, you'd get your whole car back. i guess
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works. the so-call cease-fire in ukraine is in shambles once again today. heavy fighting continues in eastern ukraine under the terms of the cease-fire. both sides are supposed to be with drawing their heavy weapons. wu the military says that won't happen. for all practical purposes is there anything really left of this cease-fire? >> reporter: hi, wolf. well i don't know if you can hear the sound of shelling behind you just as you were talking to me is what seemed
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like a launch coming from that direction, targeting the other side of donetsk and the shelling started off about 10, 15 minutes ago. it's been pretty quiet here all day since this morning. but this evening there does seem to be renewed shelling. so from where i'm standing the cease-fire really doesn't seem to be anything of a cease-fire. i don't know if you could hear that. it's unclear who is fighting clearly. but step two of the minsk agreement was once weapons were down, heavy weaponry should start to be withdrawn. and i spoke to the osce who have their monitors in ukraine and they say there's continued fighting not justaround donetsk but also around where we had the heavy fighting last week. and neither side has done what they're supposed to have done pr viegd an inventory of the
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weapons and the route in which they would withdraw. we know there is a meeting in paris tomorrow to try to keep the shattered truce alive in some form. perhaps they can do what wasn't clearly done in minsk. wolf? >> we can definitely hear the shelling behind you. i hope i's not that close to you. be careful over there. the shelling continues that cease-fire for all practical purposes right now nonexistent. anti-american sentiment meanwhile is on the rise in russia. we're going to tell you why so many russians blame the united states blame america for a lot of their own problems.
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you can forget the u.s.-russiau.s. russia reset button. many russians are blaming the united states for their economic troubles and for the war in ukraine. aaron reports the propaganda campaign seems to be paying off. >> in a small village people gather to celebrate the end of winter. with an economic crisis and war here in ukraine, many worry russia will stay in the cold. they blame the united states for their troubles. the americans should shut up she says. they shouldn't interfere in our
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life. we keep helping and helping. my attitude toward america is bad, she says. the way i watch the news, i realize americans want to get a hold of half of russia. state news is full of that kind of story warning the u.s. is behind ukraine warning russia could be next. this journalist declares that russia is the only country in the world turning u.s. into nuclear ash. the propaganda has taken a toll. the latest poles show 88% of russians have a negative attitude towards the united states. highest number since the soviet
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union. they gather for a protest in the square that forced ukraine's prorussia president from power. they claim the west was behind the popular uprising. it's full here. people are concerned about the united states where the russian allies are trying to put -- >> they're wanting to germinate on russian fields and i think the president is the last person who can save our country. >> here they agree. they're worried about what could happen if the relationship between the united states and russia continues to slide. erin mcglaukin.
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cnn. >> very disturbing report, indeed. after doubling down the former new york city mayor is stepping down a little bit. now clarifying the bitter criticism of the president of the united states. we're going to tell you what he's now saying about president obama's patriotism. now? can i at least put my shoes on? if your bladder is calling the shots ... you may have a medical condition called overactive bladder ... ...or oab you've got to be kidding me. i've had enough! it's time to talk to the doctor.
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might call it the kick off for your campaign season. i think there's still a lot we can get done together. >> the president is a little optimistic as he speaks at the white house today. meanwhile, one of his harshest critics dials back a little bit questions obama's love for america. the former new york city mayor giuliani writes this. my blunt language didn't intend to question president obama's motives or the content of his heart. my intended focus was the effect his words and actions have on the morale of the country. dana is here and national political reporter peter hambey as well. he's dialing back a little bit
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in today's wall street journal. >> dialing back a little bit. i think there were 760 words and none of them were i'm sorry. he's trying to say he's too blunt and what he was really intending was for a conversation about presidential leadership that the president needs to be out there more defending america, talking about american exceptionalism exceptionalism. i can tell you he's probably hearing a lot of the same thing. republicans forced to answer questions about giuliani's comments because it's another news cycle of conversations about what he said and he said that the president doesn't love america. >> i assume a lot of republicans, especially those that want to be president of the united states are happy they're being asked questions reacting to what giuliani said. >> this is day four, five in the cycle now. what we're learning from this is how they're choosing to respond to it. they can be as frustrated as
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they want and private. this is the world we live in fair or unfair. candidates get asked in their own parties. it's what you do with that and looking at others answers to the question rick perry, jeb bush all said that rudy said and it's not questioning his motives, it's questioning what he's done his actions. the governor played this cautiously, as first he didn't want to condemn rudy's comments and then the washington post asked him do you think the president is a christian and walker said i don't know. >> let me put up on the screen. he asked walker whose a leading prun republican, governor of wisconsin. he said i've never talked about it or read about that. i've never asked him that. he has an awkward response since
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all of us know he is a christian. >> someone like dan walls is a political reporter for the washington post. he's not a got cha reporter. we know that. it's his way of testing whether scott walker was ready to answer that question and he punted. he punted here after he punted in london about the question of. he and his people will say and have said loudly on twitter and elsewhere this has just got to politics and he doesn't want to play that game and that is his intention. it's the big leagues, the presidential arena and it's a different kind of thing and subtleties are critical in answering or not answering especially a question like this which has been so toxic in record to the republican base and president obama. >> these guys are going to face
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dumb questions over the next year or two years. they still have to have a smart answer for it. now, as paul did when faced with the measles question the other day, walker is blaming the media and today sent out a fundraising e-mail. he said the media's out to get me. >> the other thing i'm certainly getting in my inbox from lots of my republican sources and people i know this is so unfair. why are the republicans getting these questions and democrats are getting a pass. the answer is because there's pretty much one democrat whose going to run and she's not saying anything yet. it's a huge republican field and that's where the activity is right now. >> if you want to be president of the united states get ready for a lot of questions. it's not just the media. you know you're in trouble if you start blaming the media for inappropriate answers you should have bluntly said.
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it's a simple question and simple answer and the answer is yes. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in the situation room. for our viewers in north america news room with brook baldwin starts right now. wolf thank you so much. it's great to be with you at the beginning of this work week. i'm brook baldwin. for months united states has been pushing for nations to leave the fight with isis. egypt's president calling for united air force. its mission, a mass joint military force, crush isis and stop the threat that's festering across the region. president in egypt says he has commitments from jordan to