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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  October 7, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PDT

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that's it for me. thanks very much. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room" for our international viewers. "amanpour" is coming up next. for our north america viewers "newsroom" starts now. this is cnn breaking news. hello. i'm pamela brown in for brooke baldwin. we begin with breaking news. we are just learning from the family of one of the crew members that the coast guard plans to call off its search for that cargo ship that went missing last week with 33 crew members aboard. as it sailed into hurricane joaquin. here with me now with the latest on this is alexander field. alexander, what have you learned? >> the families have been hopeful there would be some piece of good news given the massive search effort that's been under way for days now. martin savidge is on the ground with family members. they have come out in a briefing saying the coast guard has told them they will be calling off
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the search and rescue part of this operation. there will still, of course, be an extensive search for answers, but in terms of locating survivors which was certainly the hope, it seems from the fell maybes that will rescue part of the operation will be wrapped up. we know 33 people were on board this vessel that started to make its way from jacksonville on tuesday bound for puerto rico. it lost contact on thursday. so far, the search parties that have been in the water overnight working around the clock the last few days have found just one body that the coast guard has told us about. they found the remains of one body in a survival suit. they were not able to identify that person. we know they also found an empty life boat. they've been deploying all of these resource was the hopes that they would find another life boat with people in it and some survivors out there. >> clearly at this point that hasn't been found and now as you point out they're calling off the search and rescue efforts.
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must be so devastating for the crew members' families. >> we can't imagine the pain they're feeling. we know the ship ft in the sear means more effort will be taken to get answers. of the ntsb is on the ground there, they'll be looking into what caused the ship to sink. >> absolutely. thank you so much, alexandra. and now to the brand-new polls and the race for the white house. they show the front-runners are leading big-time. but they're not necessarily well liked in the states that often end up mattering the most. the battlegrounds of florida, ohio and pennsylvania. since 1960, no one has ever become president without winning at least two of these states. republican donald trump and democrat hilary clinton are trouncing their part rivals but their personal favorability ratings are low. one week before the democratic debate here on c kc cnn, hillar
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clinton is leading more than ten percentage points in all three states and of course joe biden is officially running yet. and donald trump continues to outdo his republican competitors including governor john kasich in his home state of ohio. but it was the florida poll that trump boasted about just minutes ago at a campaign event in iowa. >> i was at 21. i went up to 28. we're killing everybody. we're winning by many, many points and don't forget you have a sitting senator and an ex-governor in florida. and we're beating them by many. when you're 28, 29, that's a lot. especially when you think you have 16 people in the race. you had 17. one did sayonara. now you have 16. you have 16 people in the race. when you get almost 29%, that's pretty good. >> cnn's athena jones is with the trump campaign in waterloo. athena, this new poll must have been encouraging to trump.
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we just heard him talk about it. and clinton. until they see what people think about them. >> reporter: hi, pamela. that's right. you just heard the sound there from donald trump touting his poll numbers e. received from the top of his remarks, we're number one, we're winning. what he didn't mention was the unfavorability numbers that are not good for either of these candidates. but tlint clinten and trump are among the most well-known, probably the best well-known of the candidates xs they're polling well but aren't particularly well liked. let's look at clinton's numbers. she is under water, higher unfavorables than favorables in florida, ohio and pennsylvania. above 50% in florida, 56% in ohio, 54% unfaivlt rating in pen pe pen. not good news for her campaign. but at the same time you have the republican front-runner facing similar challenges, even higher unfavorable numbers in those three states. look at those numbers for him, florida near lly 60%, 58% in oh
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and 56% in pennsylvania. so that is a challenge that both candidates face and something that neither one can really point to as having an advantage over the other. so this is very interesting. somewhat unusual i would think, pamela. >> you make a good point there. athena jones, thank you so much. so how would the clear winners at this point match up against each other? quinnipiac university poll shows clinton and trump in a virtual tie in the three battleground states, clinton's slight lead falls within the margin of error. yet when clinton goes up against carson, carson solidly beats her in ohio as well as pennsylvania. let's talk about all of this with veteran investigative journalist and cnn political commentator karl bernstein. first question, what do you make of how close it is between clinton and trump and these latest polls? >> i think it's very early and the thing we really have to look at is what athena said, and that's the unfavorability
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numbers and how distrusted hillary clinton and donald trump are by the general electorate. hillary clinton at about 60% distrusted and thought of unfavorable, distrust factor about 60% in all of those states. the really big news now is what's going to happen with joe biden. >> of course. >> that is the real question about what's going on in the democratic primary, key primary states. if you add biden's polling numbers with sanders' polling numbers it looks like hillary clinton is not the favorite of a majority of democrats right now. one other thing. let's take a look at what's going on in syria at this moment with the russians with their firing missiles, with hezbollah and iran and the russians fighting together. let's imagine donald trump as the president of the united states at this moment. it's a big reality check, and i think come the spring those numbers are going to be very different when people think about, well, do we want donald
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trump to be president of the united states in a situation such as we're seeing there? >> a lot of people wondering what his foreign policy would look like. let's talk about biden, though. you mentioned that his numbers are actually better when it comes to favorability compared to clinton as well as trump. but do you think that that may be because he's not campaigning, he's not officially running? >> that figures, of course. what hillary clinton -- look, i wrote a biography of her, a woman in charge, kind of the standard biography. her numbers reflect that she has a big problem telling the truth. and people are aware of this. she has a huge number of enemies, and she is taking those enemies on, which is really where she wants to go because she's the great cultural warrior of the democrats right now. and it's in the midst of a cultural warfare and that's what this campaign is partly about. and they like it when she takes on her enemies, the democrats,
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and that's what she's doing. >> absolutely. but can you just tell me how this squares, carl? on one hand those polls show that trump and clinton are trouncing their rivarivals. but on the other hand their unfavorability is so high. >> trump's campaign is something new in terms of what we've seen, first of all. in terms of the bully, demagogue, doing so well early. and it tells you something about what the base of the republican party is, that he's getting this kind of support. hillary clinton is a different story. she's the most famous woman in the world, the most well-known politician in this contest so far. and her unfavorability numbers reflect this difficulty in terms of trustworthiness, in terms of having a record in which she's played fast and foot loose with the truth. again, you have to look at why and how she has done that. it's not quite as simple as, oh, she is a liar.
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it has more to do i think with where she wants to position herself, not trusting the press, not trusting the electorate. so she trims. and now it's catching up with her in a way that is really damaged her candidacy in a serious terrible way for her. >> and i think perhaps to her surprise she has a formidable candidate in bernie sanders in states like new hampshire where he is way up in the polls compared to her. how do you think he's comparing to debate her next week in the cnn debate? >> i don't know what bernie sanders is doing except that whatever he's done so far he's done very well. and he's shifted the terms of the debate in the democratic party somewhat to the left. hillary has moved toward his positions more than she might have otherwise. the big thing coming up with hillary, though, is not just this debate but the benghazi committee. the benghazi committee has been a witch hunt after hillary clinton. it has no reason to exist. we know what has happened in
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benghazi. the republicans should have called a halt to it long ago. and now they're in trouble for pursuing this investigation the way they have, and she's probably going to go up there and make monkeys out of them on the 23rd. and tess a great opportunity for her. look, the prospective house speaker kevin mccarthy has said, oh, yeah, we created this committee and look what we've done to damage hillary clinton as a result of it, indicating that's really been his purpose. >> we saw hillary get very fired up about it. >> she's using it to her advantage and will continue to and rightly so. >> carl bernstein, thank you so much. don't mean to cut you off. >> no problem. we are just one week away from the democratic debate, tuesday night, october 13th, the cnn facebook democratic debate only on cnn. coming up, what if isis were to get its hands on nuclear materials? new details in to cnn about how the fbi has helped foil a disturbing smuggling effort
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involving russian gangs and middle eastern extremist groups. plus, breaking news involving the american strike on a hospital in afghanistan. president obama now making a big move. and more breaking news at this hour. an american jet has a close encounter with a russian fighter jet in syria. this as vladimir putin escalates his war. details just ahead. many wrinkle creams come with high hopes, but hope... doesn't work on wrinkles. clinically proven neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair with the fastest retinol formula available, it works on fine lines and even deep wrinkles. you'll see younger looking skin in just one week. stop hoping for results, and start seeing them.
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cnn has learned that the fbi was involved in a series of under cover operations to stop nuclear smuggling plots. the secret investigations happened in the former soviet republic of moldova. a u.s. law enforcement source says radioactive and nuclear weapons were being sold to possibly isis. evan perez is following this story, joining me with more. we know that the last operation was in february. do we actually think, etch, that
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isis has gotten their hands on any of these materials coming from eastern hureurope? >> there's no indication that isis has gotten their hands on any material. this was a sting operation done by the mol dove area police with help of the fbi. this is a concern for the fbi. this is major concern for law enforcement of the united states and in other western countries. the idea that there are these criminal group that's have access to some of this material and may want to sell it to pretty much anyone. that's what's going on here in moldova, in this region controlled by russia. there is these groups of criminals who will essentially sell anything to anyone, planes, radioactive material, anything you want. >> because they're looking to make a quick buck. >> they want to make money and they have no qualms dealing with terrorist groups. that's a concern of the mol doven authorities and the fbi, which is why they mounted this sting operation. >> but how feasible would it be for an isis fighter to do a
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transaction in eastern europe and get radioactive materials? >> exactly. this is not an easy thing. just handling this material, you have to have the right equipment or else these people themfulselves are going to be sick from radiation. so it's not a very easy proposition. we do know that isis has access to a lot of stuff that they can make ieds and dirty bombs and so on with. we know they've used chemical weapons. >> mustard gas. >> right, exactly. so they have access to some of this stuff already in the territory they control. the question of whether to weaponize it, that's a totally different thing and it's not believed they have that capability. >> if they did, they probably would have used one by now. >> certainly these guys don't have any qualms about using this stuff. >> exactly. >> we've seen their cruelty. >> absolutely. evan perez, thank you so much. joining me now to discuss this, more from washington with more insight is global security expert joseph sir ins yoeny.
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joe, you just heard me discussing with evan the fact that isis has a lot of materials at its disposal. i spoke to one official today who said, if isis wanted to make a dirty bomb today, it could. so do they actually need these materials from eastern europe? >> they need radioactive materials from somewhere. in the territory they control right now, they don't have it. we were afraid that when one of the cities they took over had a hospital that might have had some of this material. turned out not to be the case. the trouble you have with isis is it's a fundamentally new threat. the first time we have a terrorist group that has state-like capabilities, territory, money, an international recruiting mechanism that could bring in experts that could help them build a dirty bomb or even a nuclear bomb. that's what's so concerning about the story, the possibility that the smugglers are trying to
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hook up with isis. >> because they know that isis has a lot of money. they know what isis' intent is. this february sting operation involving the fbi was a situation where one of the criminals was trying to pell pcms. talk to me about that. how dangerous is it if something like that fell into the wrong hands? >> it's very dangerous russ. a dirty bomb isn't a nuclear device. it doesn't use uranium or plutonium. it uses other more radioactive materials like cesium or amare sthee yum, cobalt, materials like that. these are actually stored in thousands of facilities in hundreds of countries. most of that material is fairly well secured. the reason you're worried about eastern europe, about russia in particular is that it's a corrupt, dysfunctional state. you see the kind of mentality the smugglers had in these stories.
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they're looking to make a buck. even more threatening is a new rising anti-americanism among some of these groups, one of these smugglers specifically wanted to try to connect it with isis, wanting to kill americans. >> that's very alarming joe sa rinse yoeny, thank you very much. up next, more breaking news. an american jet has a close encounter with a russian fighter jet in syria, this as vladimir putin escalates his war. details on that just ahead. plus, breaking news involving the american strike on a hospital in afghanistan. president obama now making a big move. for me is it keeps the food out. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. super poligrip is part of my life now.
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mr. trump, are you defending ben carson now? are you defending him? it's a different tone than
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you've taken. >> folks, i don't know what happened, but i know the place was packed. you've been waiting out here for so long. well, we have a lot of people inside and a lot of people outside. we love you all and we're going to do something really special for the country. we really appreciate that you are here. at least you have a nice day. you know, we were in tennessee and we had the same number of people outside. thousands of people. and it was pouring. so in a way maybe i needed to thank them more than you. at least we have a nice day. i just want to thank you all for being here. you heard what we were saying inside. we're going to make our country so great again and bring it back. and i've been saying lately the last week or two we're going to make it greater than ever before. we can do that. we can do that. with that being said, we have to get going quickly. this next election is going to be so important. we can't go on like this for
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another four years. we just can't do it. we'll make it greater than ever before. i love you all and i want to thank you all for being here. >> donald trump speaking in waterloo, iowa, this after a new poll shows him trouncing his competitors in some key swing states. and minutes ago, hillary clinton bashed her republican rivals for rhetoric she says deeply concerns her. take a listen. >> this is reaching a new low on the republican side, the kind of language, the insults, the attacks, and some of it is entertainment. that's what they intend it to be be, which is sad. but that's what it is. some of it is a view of america that is just out of date and out of touch. >> no doubt her words right there were targeting the leader
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of the gop pack, donald trump. and trump now is promising a new phase of his campaign, one that involves spending a reported 20 million on ads. that's what he told dan balls of "the washington post." he join\s me now with more on this. dan, this $20 million will be on what he calls non-traditional spots. tell us about that. >> let me clarify on the 20 million. he told us -- i was part of a trio of "post" reporters who interviewed him monday at trump tower, boss costa and phil rucker were also along. the $20 million figure is what he said he had budgeted originally to spend on advertising by september 15th. but he obviously hasn't had to spend a cent of that because he's on tv all the time. they are talking now about they've hired an advertising firm in florida. they would not tell us who it is. they have some ideas and concept they are beginning to develop. they are prepared to spend 20 million or more.
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the campaign manager said on that they will spend whatever it takes. so that's the 20 million. what we tried to get him to look at was how he goes from what he has been to what it might take to become the nominee, and he offered us details about the next phase of the campaign that in many ways make it more like a traditional campaign, television advertising, the use of surrogates, his wife and daughter are expected to come out on the campaign trail at some point in the future. clearly designed to help his image with female voters. they are working very diligently right now on making sure he is on the ballot, that he qualified for the ballot, in all the states. some of these states are difficult and for first-time candidates they sometimes present big problems. they are confident they are going to be be able to do that. as for his own performance style, he said he doesn't think he has to change a lot of that. but he had some self-criticism about his performance in the
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debate in california, and he wants to try to do better than that in the next republican debate. >> what was that ycriticism? >> he said, i did very well in the first debate. he was unhappy with certain aspects of the second debate, but particularly the idea that he had faded away in some form or fashion in that final hour. his explanation was, i got a lot of questions at the beginning. i didn't get questions for most of that last hour. and he said, i chose not to butt in like some other candidates were doing. but he suggested that if that happens in the next debate he will interject himself in a more forceful way even if he hasn't been asked a direct question. >> i just want to ask you, dan, this new phase where he expects to spend the $20 million figure we just spoke about, how does that compare to how much he's spent thus far? i was talking to someone today who was saying he really hasn't spent much at all compared to the other candidates.
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>> well, we won't know until the report comes out, and it doesn't have to be out until the 15th of this month. then we'll get an actual look ott what he's spent. clearly he's spent way, way less than most of the other candidates e.'s self-funding his campaign, which means he zpt have to spend time raising money. he's dependent in part by volunteers. we got a look at the campaign headquarters which is also in trump tower, and in comparison to something like hillary clinton's campaign office, which is not that far away in brooklyn, there's nothing there. there's a dozen or so people working there. it's very quiet. it's not a beehive of activity. but they have, as they say, kind of a national intelligence network of volunteers who are feeding things. they are working to put organizations together in the states, reports we have gotten independent of the trump organization have suggested that they are working very diligently in iowa and in a pretty professional way to put an
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organization together there. again, you never know about that until the moment of the voting. so they are doing those kinds of things to try to make sure that they're ready. trump told us that he thinks after the new hampshire primary in early february the field will narrow to four or five candidates. he says most people will say, it will be two or three. he said, i think it will be four or five candidates, and then they'll battle it out from there. but he's focused on those states that come after the four early states, many of them in the south. he's been making regular trips there. he was in tennessee last weekend. he'll be in georgia later this week. >> but today he is in waterloo, iowa, as we see this video of him leaving his campaign stop there. dan balz, thank you so much. >> you're welcome. thank you. next, more breaking news. an american jet has a close encounter with a russian fighter jet in syria. details straight ahead. plus, breaking news involving the american strike on a hospital in afghanistan.
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president obama now apologizing for the attack that killed children and doctors. hear who he's apologizing to. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern. you can't breathed. through your nose. suddenly, you're a mouthbreather. a mouthbreather! how can anyone sleep like that? well, just put on a breathe right strip and pow! it instantly opens your nose up to 38% more than cold medicine alone. so you can breathe and sleep.
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that just tastes better. with more vitamins. and less saturated fat. only eggland's best. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. breaking moments ago, president obama has now apologized to the head of doctors without borders. right after the u.s. struck a hospital in afghanistan, the attack killed 12 members of the group as well as 10 patients including children. white house press secretary josh earnest spoke about this just moments ago. take a listen. >> this morning from the oval office, president obama spoke by telephone with doctors without borders international president dr. jo ann lieu to apologize and express his condolences to the
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staff and patients who were killed and injured when a u.s. military air strike mistakenly struck an hospital in kunduz over the weekend. the president assured dr. lu that the department of defense investigation currently under way would provide a transparent, thorough and objective accounting of the facts and circumstances of the incident and that if necessary the president would implement changes that would make tragedies like this one less likely to occur in the future. >> the u.s. changed the account of the event several times since the strike several days ago. an investigation is under way and more on this in just a moment. first, another big story. right now we are watching a huge escalation of russia's military intervention in syria. for the first time, the u.s. military has had to divert an aircraft over syria to avoid a russian jet. this close call in the skies as russia launches 26 long-range cruise missiles from warships positioned in the caspian sea,
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firing them into western syria, an opposition group reporting that russia and syria have carried out what appears to be the first major coordinated air assault. this video apparently showing one of the russian strikes though cnn cannot verify the authenticity. what we do know right now is that russian troops and weapons are also assisting a syrian ground offensive. attacks from air and sea combined with government-led assaults on land. but despite appearances from moscow that the targets of these attacks is isis, the areas hit are known to be held by rebel fighters, enemies of the president's regime. >> we believe russia has the wrong strategy. they continue to hit targets that are not isil. we believe this is a fundamental mistake. despite what the russians say, we have not agreed to cooperate with russia so long as they continue to pursue mistaken
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strategy. >> to discuss, i want to bring in chris dickey, world news editor for "the daily beast." thanks for coming on, chris. so these rebels that russia appears to be targeting are backed by the u.s. when and how does the u.s. intervene? >> i don't think the u.s. is going to intervene. it's already pretty clear there's not much the united states can or will do to protect those rebels on the ground. not all the rebels that the russians are attacking are backed by the united states. some of them are members of an al qaeda affiliate al news ra and others are part of other islamist organizations that are not aligned with the united states and are against assad and are also against isis. it's a mosaic of very confusing groups on the ground, and what the russians are doing is targeting anybody who is opposed to assad, whether they're on the american side or the islamist side or the al qaeda side or on the isis side.
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>> for the first time, the u.s. military has had to divert an aircraft over syria to move away from a russian fighter aircraft. the turkey prime minister says russian planes have violated turkish air space again. how might the dangers in the skies above syria might now escalate as a result? >> well, there are two dangers. one is that coalition -- western coalition aircrafts, particularly the united states or france, will get involved in some kind of showdown in the air with the russian planes. that's unlikely, but it is possible. what is more likely is that the russians will get into some kind of confrontation with the turks. the russians are flying planes right along the turkish border. they've crossed into turkish air space. the turkish president has come out and said weeshgs not going to allow that to happen. and there is on record not with russian aircraft but syrian air kprast in the past armed confrontations where planes got
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shot down over the past few years. if that happens between the russians and the turks, we really don't know where that will go. but we know one thing. turkey is a nato member and nato would be apprised of the fact and would have to decide whether it would come to turkey's defense. >> there would be major fallout if something like that happened. christopher dickey, thank you so much. >> huge. thank you. up next, hillary clinton up big in key swing states, but new hampshire she's losing to bernie sanders. is her campaign leading the primary state behind? conflicting sides. we'll hear both after this break. stay with us. subconscious. a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive?
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new polling out today shows hillary clinton leading the democratic field in three important swing states. but it's in new hampshire where she seems to be struggling. with just months to go before the first in the nation primary. a new report in politico says there is a growing rift between the official clinton campaign and some of her informal but influential advisers. those advisers are ready for her to cut her losses and focus her attention elsewhere. but her campaign apparently isn't ready to give up on new hampshire. despite this latest cnn/wmur poll here. it shows clinton trailing her chief rival vermont senator bernie sanders by 16 percentage points there. even clinen admits victory won't come easy in sanders' neighboring state. here's what she told the "today" show at a town hall in new hampshire this week. >> i've got work to do in new hampshire. i'm very excited to be leading everywhere else and i'm going to
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keep working hard everywhere else. but i always thought this would be a great contest. it's important. we're trying to elect the next president of the united states. >> and i'm joined now by the man who wrote the article gabrielle and james pend elle. thanks for coming an. gabriel, first to you, the two clinton sides at odds according to your article. who do you think has the bigger advantage here? >> well, the campaign has the advantage, and there's no sense that she's going to drop out of new hampshire anytime soon. but the fact remain that's there are people who speak with her or who have been involved with her previous campaign that's are saying, well, maybe it's time to reev reevaluate, maybe it's time to plenty bernie have his run in new hampshire. >> they're i saying that based on her poll number there's. james, you say hold on a second, clinton still has a chance in new hampshire. based on what? >> well, based on history. i mean, this is the most ridiculous idea.
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i'm not attacking gabriel or his sources. they're anonymous. it makes sense because i wouldn't put my name on this. if you look at primary history, nearly every single winner of the new hampshire primary in recent decades has been down in many cases really down before they came back. and no one knows this story better than the clintons. when bill clinton was nosediving in 1992, he was able to come back in new hampshire. he was able to do it. the same way with, i don't know, hillary clinton in 2008 when she was down 12 points before she pulled off a surprising victory. you know, hillary has the largest campaign staff in new hampshire, the deepest experienced campaign staff in new hampshire. she's opening her tenth office. these are people who are on the sidelines as is mentioned in the politico report. this is not the campaign. and by the way, we're five months away, and this makes absolutely no sense for her to drop out in one state. it's one state. there are 49. if you want to counter bernie sanders, you know what you do?
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take the lead back in new hampshire. >> to your point, james, gabriel, there was a quote in your article that sort of speaks to that coming from one of your sources saying that the only thing worse than being second on primary day in new hampshire is being first right now, basically because new hampshire voters are known to change their minds at the last minute. is that right? >> yeah, that's right. you look at the example of every recent primary, at least in the democratic side. the person who's winning at the end of the day is not the person who was winning at this point. that's the point that was made to me over and over and over by the actual clinton team. the clinton team is full of pros in new hampshire. they really know this. the argument to pull away is a little bit tough for them to understand, especially when you consider that new hampshire might be a competitive state in the general election, too. assuming hillary clinton gets that far for them, you wouldn't want her to have pulled out already. >> gabriel, bottom line here, how important is new hampshire
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to the clinton camp, to winning? >> very important. i mean, they think that they could certainly win this without new hampshire. they have an organization beyond new hampshire. they have a great organization in iowa as well. but the reality is if you're not competing in new hampshire, it's tough to see a decent path forward for any candidate. new hampshire is an extremely important state. and they know that. >> james, i see you nodding your head. would there be, just looking at the other side, do you think any advantages if clinton focused less on new hampshire and poured more resources into other early primary states? >> well, i do think one thing that has happened which we can say is that the fire wall for hillary used to be new hampshire. clintons never had a deep relationship in iowa largely because her husband skipped the '92 caucuses there. but that firewall is no longer new hampshire. it's the southern firewall where bernie sanders doesn't have much support among african-americans and others. that is absolutely true. but again, if you want to stub the momentum a little bit, all
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you've got to do is reclaim the lead in new hampshire, which is not going to be easy. she is losing, but it is not lost. and remember, the moment joe biden decides he's not going to run, this race is within single digits in new hampshire alone. >> and as you pointed out in your article, james, it's not just about polling. it also has to do with organization and money as well. gabriel, james, thank you so much. >> thank you. and we are one week away from the first democratic debate tuesday night, october 13th. that's the cnn facebook democratic debate only on cnn. up next, a tragic story. police say an 11-year-old boy shot and killed a little girl in her own yard over puppies. you'll hear from her mother, up next. plus, in moments the coast guard expected to make an announcement about the missing ship that sailed into the eye of a hurricane. the families are already telling us they're bracing for bad news. we'll be back.
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hearts are broken in a small town in tennessee as family and friends get ready to say their final good-byes to mckayla dire. according to our affiliate wate, funeral services will be be held this evening for this 8-year-old girl. police say she was shot and killed by her 11-year-old neighbor. jane casarez is here with me now. what a disturbing story this is, jane. what can you tell us about it? >> it's really something. according to the obituary, this all happened saturday. she died on saturday. what we're hearing is that an 11-year-old boy asked to see her puppy. when she said no, he shot and killed her. now, the public defender edward miller is saying that his client, this 11-year-old who remains nameless at this point as a juvenile, is being charged with first degree murder, that
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he is being held. the next hearing is october 28th. but the big question is, did this little girl 8 years old know this 11-year-old boy? and if so, how? well, mckayla dire's mother spoke out and seemed to answer part of that question. listen to this. >> kiss your babies every night. that little boy took my baby's life. i can't get her back. i want her back. i want her back in my arms. it's just not fair. >> when we first moved to white pines, the little boy was 4 and mckayla had to go to the principal about him. and he quit for a while. then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her. >> as we said, the funeral for mckayla is going to be tonight. it is jefferson county, tennessee. and, pam, right now he's being
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charged in a juvenile facility, first degree murder. the way it happens in tennessee is that there's a transfer proceeding. if the prosecutor intends on trying him as an adult, there would be a transfer hearing from the juvenile facility to the circuit court, which is the adult court. so we'll have to see if that happens. but according to the superintendent of the juvenile facility, he said on camera that he had never seen an 11-year-old charged with first degree murder. >> the whole story is shocking. of course the question everyone is asking is, how did this 11-year-old have access to a gun? and obviously use it to kill this little girl. what more do we know about that? are the parents being held liable at all? >> the affiliates are saying it was a shotgun that was in his home. cnn has not confirmed that, that it did belong to the family. and shot the little girl. she was outside. affiliates are saying he was still inside his home.
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we'll have to see exactly what the facts r. but the affiliates close to the scene in tennessee are saying it's as simple as that. >> your heart just goes out to this little girl's family. i mean ishgs can't imagine all over puppies. jean casarez, thank you so much. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. top of the hour now. i'm pamela brown filling in for brooke baldwin. we are following breaking news on the cargo ship lost in the caribbean sea with 28 americans on board. any minute now, we're expecting the u.s. coast guard to hold a news conference and family members of the missing crew tell us that they will be announcing that they've called off the search for survivors. our martin savidge is in vac jacksonville standing off to the side of this live picture we're about to show you there of the podium. martin, if you're here with us, you've spoken to some of the family members. is that right? >> reporter: that's right,
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pamela. they were actually gathered earlier in the day at a maritime union hall, and it was there that officials from the u.s. coast guard notified them that this search and rescue operation, which by the way is still going on but as of 7:00 p.m. tonight will come to an end. and of course for any family member who is looking to hear about the rescue of their loved one, this is exactly the opposite, and it is the worst possible news. we are told from family members who were in the room when that announcement was made that there was not a dry eye on any of them. it is that horrible threshold of reality. what we're expecting is the coast guard to talk about that, talk about what they may have recovered or found, and this is also in joint work with the ntsb. so we expect to get an update from the national transportation safety board vice chairman as they head up their investigation. there are two investigations, one by the coast guard and one by the ntsb. but only the ntsb will come up
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with the probable cause, in other words, try to determine exactly what happened to this vessel, why it did not make it to san juan, puerto rico, which is where it was headed when it apparently ran head-on into hurricane joaquin. pamela? >> we're learning the search for survivors may be ending, but the search for answers as you point out, martin, continue. alexandra, on that note, what do we know about the status of the black box search? >> this will now become the focus. earlier, we knew that they were certainly looking for these data recorders because they could hold some really key pieces of information about what was going on on the ship. but we also know that there was not the will to divert search resources which were going toward finding survivors into actually locating the ship and discovering the black boxes. now if they're going to decide to move on from the rescue portion of this search, they can devote assets to trying to locate the ship and trying to locate the black boxes. they should be pinging by now. at the moment that they hit the
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water, they should begin to ping. these are devices that should record data for 12 hours prior to landing in the water. so it could give them a lot of information on the variety of different topics, 14 different data sets that will give the ntsb some of the answers perhaps as to why this ship lost propulsion at the time that it did. >> let's listen in. >> the coast guard is still continuing its search for the crew members of the el fira. however, we have decided we will suspend that search at sunset tonight. any decision to suspend a search is painful. in this particular case, we were searching for fellow professional mariners. we were also searching for members of the extended coast guard family. one of our coast guard petty officers chief petty officers had a brother that was on the ship. i received an e-mail yesterday from one of our civilian
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employees at the coast guard yard in baltimore, maryland, and he told me that his family friend, good family friend, that he saw one of the crew members come home as a baby, saw him grow up, saw him go off on the ship. so those type of things make it very personal as we search. but i know that the coast guard along with our brethren in the navy and the air force as well as the commercial tugs that were out there helping us search did all they could in this search effort. they did all they could. our coast guard crews, our aircraft, flew repeatedly into that storm at dangerously low altitudes to try to find the ship, find survivors. on sunday, one of our helicopters flew for 11 hours, over 11 hours, including two in-flight refuellings, because they wanted to keep that search going during the best search opportunity that we had on sunday.
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our cutter crews, as soon as they arrived on scene, it was an all-hands effort. folks who don't usually go to the bridge, engineers, cooks, did so. and they grabbed binoculars, night vision going els and would stay up there for hours on the horizon. it meant a lot to them. i know -- i say all this because i want the families to really know how committed we were to finding their loved ones, to finding our fellow professional mariners and really to find those who go down to the sea in ships. and do work upon great waters. i hope the families can take some small measure of peace from that. as most of you know, there will be an investigation now that the official search will be suspended at sunset tonight. and i would like to introduce vice chairman denzar from the national transportation safety board who will make a statement
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as well. >> good afternoon. i'm bella denzar, vice chairman of the national transportation safety board. as reported last night, investigators from the ntsb arrived on scene here in jacksonville yesterday morning, and we began our on-scene investigation of the sinking of el faro that occurred on october 1st. before i tell you about our investigative process, i want to extend our condolences on behalf of everyone at ntsb, to the family and friends of the victims of this tragic accident. and we along with all of you are very saddened to learn that no survivors have been found. our transportation disaster assistance on family asichtance group has been tirelessly working with the teams that have already been provided by the u.s. coast guard and by -- to assist and inform the families. and they will continue to do this. they will continue to support
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all the families with missing loved ones throughout our investigation, both here on the scene and as the accident investigation progresses. as i've previously mentioned, although both the ntsb and the u.s. coast guard have the authority to conduct marine casualty investigations, the ntsb is the lead agency on this accident investigation. i'd like to explain a little more in detail about the ntsb's party process which we've had in place for over 30 years. the ntsb offers party status to those companies, governments, and associations that have employees, facilities or equipment that are involved in this accident. we offer party status to these organizations because they can provide the technical expertise and the relevant information supporting the development of the best factual records that we can get. we've established parties to this investigation and the
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parties include the u.s. coast guard, the american bureau of shipping, and tote. the ntsb has put together a multidisciplinary team to investigate every aspect of this accident. the team is led by investigator in charge thomas ross roffy to my right, who has longtime experience in marine investigation. and he also has a group of highly experienced -- >> you just heard there from the u.s. coast guard as well as the ntsb with a big announcement that the coast guard is now suspending the search at sunset for the ship that sunk a few days ago, according to the u.s. coast guard. alexandra field joins me now. you've been covering this story from the families from the very beginning. obviously this is devastating for the families. >> absolutely. they've been in agony for days. when you heard the coast guard speak just a couple of days ago about reaching the debris field
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initially, we heard from the coast guard about the conditions that these people would have been thrown into as the ship sank. frankly, it was very painful. certainly you have to imagine for the families to lip to that because the coast guard was explaining that these are people that would have been abandoning ship, a cargo ship, sinking in the middle of a category 4 hurricane. so waves were crashing more than 50 feet high, wind speeds more than 140 miles per hour. these are the same conditions that made the initial days of searching so difficult. it was nearly impossible to get the search teams to the area where they believed that the ship sank. so once the weather started to clear on sunday, that's when you had the crews going in and beginning to find debris. they found one body. they certainly hoped to find survivors. we've been learning about the stories of some of these people on board, 28 americans, 5 polish nationals, a woman on board who had e-mailed her mother saying, we're heading into a category 3 storm, send my love to everyone. so we're beginning to learn more about all of the people who were on board this ship and their
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families now being forced to struggle with the reality that this search is being suspended. >> our hearts go out to them. and of course they are searching for answers as to how this happened, why this happened. alexandra field, thank you very much. billionaire donald trump known for his -- touting how little his campaign has paid out for ads. >> politicians are all talk, no action. they don't get it done. and by the way, i am funding as sam told you my own campaign. i'm putting up a fortune, i'm spending a lot of money, not as much as i thought because i'm getting so much publicity i haven't had to advertise so far. >> reportedly he's planning to spend $20 million on, quote, nontraditional ads. we'll see if his poll results with will get a bigger boost. a new poll out today says trump
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is is trouncing his front-runner along with hillary clinton. it's happening in the key states of ohio, florida and pennsylvania. since 1960, no one has ever become president without winning at least two of them. one week before the democratic debate right here on cnn, hillary clinton is leading her closest rival by more than ten percentage points in all three states. and of course joe biden isn't even officially running. donald trump continues to outdo his republican competitors, including governor john kasich in his home state of ohio, and jeb bush and marco rubio in florida. so let's talk about all of this with chief political analyst gloria borger. gloria, thanks for coming up. chump and clinton reestablishing their leads in these key states. what do you make of that? >> well, look, they're the leaders in the national polls. it would make sense to me for them to lead in these three states. and let me point one thing out about ohio. no republican ever wins the
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presidency without winning ohio. so it's key. and if mitt romney had won all of these three states, he'd be president of the united states right now. another thing that's really important about florida and ohio is that they come later in march, march 15, and they are winner-take-all primaries. it's not like early states where you gather some delegates here and it's proportional here and there. these states are really important because you can soup up a whole bunch of delegates so this is very good news for both of these candidates. >> certainly. and not good news especially for marco rubio, jeb bush, and john kasich. they're not ahead more in the states that they represent. right? >> no, it really isn't. shows you the power of being outsiders, first of all. kasich would like to be number one in the state of ohio. he's a very popular governor in that state so i think that's disappointing to him. what's interesting to me about
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the state of florida, if you look at it among republicans, you know, you have jeb bush behind marco rubio. now, just a couple of points, but within the margin of error, but still that's not good news for jeb bush at all because their strategy is to pick up will delegates, make this a long haul, and then of course win the state of florida and get an awful lot of delegates. if i were in the bush campaign and i were looking at this polling in ohio where he's 4% or in pennsylvania where he's 4% tied with huckabee, of all things, i'd be kind of scrat scratching my head and saying, what is our candidate doing wrong? because something is wrong there. >> i think it's safe to say that. gloria borger, we appreciate you coming on, giving your analysis. >> sure. up next, why is donald trump being so nice to ben carson? he's now defending his rival's remarks about what he would do in the face of a mass shooter.
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plus, breaking news involving the american strike on a hospital in afghanistan. president obama now apologizing for the attack. and an american jet has a close encounter with a russian fighter jet in syria, this as vladimir putin escalates his war. details on all of that just ahead. all i was doing. so when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas
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new polls put pediatric neurosurgeon ben carson in a solid second place on the republican side. but will his latest remarks impact that standing? carson is being criticized for saying he would have confronted the gunman who killed nine people last week at umpqua community college in oregon. here is carson explaining himself on cbs news this
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morning. >> from the indications that i got, they did not rush the shooter. the shooter can only shoot one person at a time. he cannot shoot a whole group of people. so the ideal is overwhelm him so that not everybody gets killed. >> well, his prime rival, donald trump is actually coming to carson's defense. he tweeted this today. quote, ben carson was speaking in general terms as to what he would do if confronted with a gunman and was not criticizing the victims. not fair! so let's discuss all of this now with conservative commentator and columnist and cnn political commenta commentator. kurt, first to you. do you think that ben carson could turn off voters with those remarks, you could purr sieve them as blaming the victims. >> oh, absolutely not, pamela. that's just crazy talk. look, the fact is when something bad happens, it's up to us as
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adults to attack. the first strike in the war against terror wasn't done by or air force. it was done by innocent civilian americans on united flight 93. when they faced the enemy and took action. in this case, it's important that all of us as adults look out for our brothers and sisters and take action. sometimes you've got to fight. it's not fair. it's not right. but that's the way it is. and as americans we need to stand up to criminals, terrorists and other people who would hurt our fellow americans. dr. carson was absolutely correct. >> mark, is that crazy talk? >> yes. >> to say those comments could be perceived as blaming the victims? >> no, that's not what crazy talk. what he just said is crazy talk. ben carson wasn't blaming the victim. let's be honest here. that's unfair to ben carson. he was not blaming the victims. but what he was suggesting is that the best way to address this issue is not by having sensible gun control but rather by somebody bum-rushing a guy with a gun.
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>> marc, pick up your mike. we can't hear you. while he's talking, i'm going to go back to you, kurt. marc's got it. to be fair to him, we'll let him continue. these things happen in live television. go ahead. >> basically, ben carson is dmot blaming victims. what he is doing is saying we should attack somebody with a gun as the primary resolution to what is clearly a gun control problem. that's my fundamental problem. what's wrong with the comparison you just gave is, when a plane about to be crashed by terrorists attacking the terrorists saved everyone. in this case, someone would be volunteering to die. he can't shoot everybody, but if i rush the guy, he's probably shooting me. ben carson should focus more on helping lead the nation than to a sensible conversation about gun control, not getting rid of everyone's guns. let's talk about sensible gun control so things like this don't happen. >> kurt? >> oh, mark, no no no. look, when we are faced with a crisis, when all hell breaks
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loose and there's an emergency, as adult americans we need to act. and sometimes you have to take personal risk to defend other people's lives. look, i'm a soldier. i swore to defend the american people and the constitution and even when i retired my oath didn't expire. but i'm obligated not just because i took an oath but because i'm an american and i look out for my brothers and sisters and fellow americans. i have to act. maybe i have to take a risk. maybe i get killed. so what? >> kurt, look -- >> we've got to defend ourselves and our brothers and consists. >> kurt, if you're in the room with me and the guy pulls out a gun, you have every right to rush. i hope you get the short straw and do it. i'm not saying you shouldn't do it. i'm not saying it's wrong to do it. i'm saying it's not your obligation to do it. you're telling me if there's a roomful of people, everybody has to go on a kamikaze mission and
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rush the shooter? is that the right conversation to have after a mass shooting? why not talk about gun control and getting guns out of people's hands so we're not stuck in the paradox deciding whether or not to die on the ground or bum-rushing a shooter? >> it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees, marc. i have no doubt that -- >> better to die at 100 years old at an elderly center. >> no, no, no. sometimes it's not fair. sometimes it's not right, marc. sometimes you have to act. and sometimes you're going to draw the short straw. and i think as americans we've forgotten that the world is a very tough and savage place. i've seen what happens when armed people take on unarmed people and kill them. and i'm not going to let that happen here. and if i have to give up my life, then i'm going to give up my life. >> kurt, ki ask you a question. >> i don't want to die. i have a lot to live for.
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so do you. but dammit, we can't give up in the face of terror. we never will. we never can. >> right. >> dr. carson is absolutely right. >> the way to not give up in the way of terror is to take guns out of the hands of terrorists. in this case, this was a domestic terrorist we could have disarmed perhaps through sensible legislation. i'm not speaking just about this situation. this is not a question about when we should attack the shooter. i'm talking about getting rid of the guns so we don't have a shooter. >> kurt, what do you think about that? >> americans have the right -- >> do you think we should have more dialogue about what marc points out, the fact that these guns are falling into the wrong hands? >> look, americans have the right to keep and bear arms. this idiot bought his guns legally. this idiot had a right to have guns until he decided to commit a crime. >> you're proving the point. >> the point is americans are not going to be disarmed, give up their rights to protect themselves and their families because some creep decides to go
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on a shooting spree. i don't understand why my right to protect my family, my community and my constitution has to be infringed upon because some other idiot wants to kill me because i happen to be a christian. that doesn't play. i only wish somebody in that school had carried a concealed weapon and knew how to use it and put a round through this degeneral rat's forehead and stopped this massacre before it happened. >> we've seen hundreds of mass shootings, and they don't get stopped by some rambo figure with a gun who happens to moonlight as a -- >> that not true, marc. >> we have to move on. kurt slikter, mark lamont hill, thank you. >> thanks. >> pleasure. up next, president obama now apologizing to doctors without borders after a u.s. air strike killed 22 patients and medical staff at a hospital in afghanistan. was it more than just an accident? was it a war crime?
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we just got word that president obama has just apologized to the chief of doctors without borders. the hospital in afghanistan was decimated by u.s. air strikes, a deadly raid that the u.s. now says was accidental. the clinic which lost 12 staff members in the attack that killed at least 22 renewing calls for a war crimes investigation against the united states military. joining me now to discuss this glenn greenwald author of "no place to hide: edward snowden the nsa and the u.s. surveillance state." glenn, thank you for coming on. as we know and as you point out in your article, the story has changed several times now. what is your reaction to the president's apology today? >> well, doctors without
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borders, the organization that has run this hospital for five years, has made very clear that they're not most interested in hearing apologies or claims of mistake or collateral damage. they want only one thing, and that is an independent, impartial investigation to find out what really happened here, who made the decision to bomb this hospital and what it is that they knew. and unfortunately the u.s. government, even through today as president obama is apologizing, has made clear that they will refuse to cooperate with that kind of investigation because they say they're investigating themselves. and i think whatever side of this debate you're on, you should want a real investigation into what happened here. >> so you clearly feel like the president's apology is not enough at all. i want to play some sound from the white house, from the spokesperson there who touched on what you just raised about the investigation. let's take a listen. >> there still is more that needs to be learned, however, about how exactly this happened. the president has called for the
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kind of investigations that will yield a full accounting of what transpired. there is already under way an investigation that's being conducted by the justice department. there are also investigations ongoing being led by nato and a separate third investigation that is a joint investigation that's being carried out both by the united states and afghan officials. >> we just heard from josh earnest. a lot of investigations there. glenn, how independent can an investigation be if it is coordinated by the u.s.? what are the other options here? >> it is just shocking that the u.s. government is standing before the world and saying, we have been accused of committing war crimes by this organization that won the nobel peace prize in 1999 doctors without borders, and we will refuse to allow anybody other than ourselves to investigate ourselves. that is completely lacking in all credibility, and if people really think that the united
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states committed an innocent error that we had really good intentions in our heart as always and we would never do such a thing, why won't they allow what doctors without borders called for this morning, which is an independent body constituted under the geneva convention that exists exactly for this purpose where there's evidence a war crime has been committed, there's a body that exists under the geneva convention that is supposed to investigate the impartial and independent and transparent in their findings. the idea that you're going to block that kind of investigation when you're the u.s. government and say that only we will investigate ourselves is the behavior of a guilty party. >> so speaking of war crimes, you point that out, we know that armed forces are forbidden from indiscriminate attacks but laws do recognize that mistakes are made in the, quote, fog of war. in your view, glenn, should the u.s. be prosecuted for a war crime? and how exactly would that happen? >> well, what i know is this. i don't know what happened here, nor does anybody else. but what i know is there's a lot
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of evidence to suggest that this was not a mistake. the u.s. government was repeatedly notified of the exact gps coordinates of this hospital. they called them in the middle of the attack and said, frantically, begging, please stop bombing. you're bombing our hospital. the afghan special forces three months ago invaded this hospital because they were angry because they thought there were taliban fighters there. there has been all kinds of hostility directed by the afghan army toward this exact hospital and afghan officials have come out and said, not that this was an accident, but that what we did was target this hospital and we were right to do it because there were taliban there. so there's so much evidence that this wasn't a mistake, and unfortunately the united states has actually been infused and lots of people have found it guilty over the past 20 to 30 years of committing war crimes but because it's the most powerful country in the world we're very good at telling other countries to hold their war criminals accountable but very good at exempting ourselves. the question is whether that's
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something we want to continue to tolerate that our own government is exempt and permitted to commit war crimes. >> glenn greenwald, we have to leave it there. thank you very much for coming on and sharing your perspective. >> thank you. up next, an american jet has a close encounter with a russian fighter jet in syria, this as vladimir putin escalates his war. what is the russian game plan in syria? julia joins me next. rheumatoid arthritis like me... and you're talking to a rheumatologist about a biologic, this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira helping me reach for more. doctors have been prescribing humira for more than 10 years. humira works for many adults.
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right now we are watching a huge escalation of russia's military intervention in syria. for the first time, the u.s. military has had to divert an aircraft over syria to avoid a russian jet. this close call in the skies as russia launches 26 long-range cruise missiles from warships
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positioned in the caspian sea, firing them into western syria. ash carter called moscow's air strike campaign a quote fundamental mistake. he said the u.s. is not ready to cooperate with russia on operations in syria but russian officials say they're prepared to work together against isis. let's bring in julia yosy, a clom nist at foreign policy and contributing writer at the "new york times" magazine. julia, you say that russia's motives here are easy to see. does it have everything to gain by working with assad compared to the u.s., in your view? >> well, it is -- you know, they're kind of mimicking what the u.s. is doing, right? have very little skin in the game. bomb targets your ally wants you to bomb from the air. don't send in troops. you don't have casualties. and you can pass this off as a quick and easy victorious war at home. >> so do you buy at all what
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moscow is saying, that actually these strikes are meant to target isis? that's who we're going after? >> well, it looks like the evidence on the ground isn't really supporting the russian claims, even russian claims that they're targeting al nusra. the british open source journalism project just did an analysis of russian videos, military videos, where they said they were bombing isis targets and yesterday belling cat said that actually those were filmed i believe hundreds of kilometers away. they were not bombing isis positions. they were bombing rebels that were fighting assad. >> and turkey has weighed in saying just a fraction of the strikes have actually targeted isis and they've suggested that russia is encroaching on their air space. in your view, could this escalate quickly if russia steps over the line? what could happen there? >> well, i think russia is pushing the line, pushing the
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nfl. y envelope. after the war in ukraine, people in the u.s. was concerned that russia was going to push the envelope on nato in the baltics, that it was going to try to provoke a response from nato that would render it on absolute essentially. so if russia attacked latvia or estonia but nato didn't respond, it would render nato obsolete. instead, we're seeing something similar happening not north in the baltics buff south on the turkish border with russia constantly pushing the boundaries, even locking nato planes in its sights for several minutes, just trying to see what nato does, trying to see how much you can get away with. and i think that they're seeing that nato is trying to avoid confrontation because a confrontation between nato and russia would be disastrous. so we're just seeing this kind of game of chicken right now.
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>> but it's still a huge risk for russia because turkey could say, look, you're violating our air space, your aircraft wasn't marked ostensibly turkey could should it down, right? >> could. i doubt it would want to do that because turkey is still a very important ally of moscow's. they are a big client of russian energy. so turkey shooting down a russian jet would probably have massive repercussions for their energy sector. i doubt they'd want to do that. >> that would make sense. julia ioffe, thank you so much. >> thank you. and new details now about what happened in the final moments before the oregon community college shooter took his own life. plus, reaction to the news that the shooter made regular trips to the gun range with his mother. i'll speak live with a woman who has struggled raising a mentally ill son about the tendency to blame parents in these tragedies. we'll be back.
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we are getting new details about how police responded when they arrived at last week's deadly shooting rampage in oregon. today the local prosecutor revealed that detectives shot the gunman before he headed into a classroom and killed himself. >> i want everyone to know of the selfless acts of these officers that they made in responding to this scene. they had little regard for their own personal safety, and they saved many, many lives that day with their heroic acts. >> we also know that the gunman and his mother shared a
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fascination with guns. they both also had a developmental disorder asperger's syndrome which we know has not been linked to violence in various studies. joining me via skype from boise, idaho, eliza long, author of a blog after the sandy hook shooting about how she identified with the mother of the shooter in that case. also with me is professor of psychology at cornell university peggy drexler. thank you both for coming on. a lot to discuss here. e eliza, i'm going to start with you. i'm sure every time something like this happens it feels personal. you have a son with bipolar disorder. what is your reaction about what we have learned about the oregon shooter's mother, about how she advised others online about asperger's and autism and how she posted about guns in her home? >> well, first and foremost, my heart just goes out to all of the victims. but that does include chris
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mercer and his mother must be just terribly overwhelmed right now, both with the tragedy of losing her own child but also with the larger tragedy. yes, i do see these mass shootings through a different lens, through the lens of a mother. and my biggest concern is that it seems like so many other parents, laurel harper was trying to get help for her son, and she was even a medical professional. she was a nurse. so parents across the united states are struggling to find treatment and options for their children, and the only time we ever really seem to ever talk about mental health is in the context of these horrific mass shootings. and as we know, people with mental illness are not more likely to be more violent than the general population. they're more likely to be the victim than the general population. >> and you have been a part of that fight, liza, for your son trying to get his treatment. peggy, i'm going to bring you in on this because there have been people who point the finger at
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the mother, at the gunman's mother, for allowing him to keep guns in the home, for going to the shooting range with him while knowing he had mental health issues. we don't know what, but we've learned from "new york times" he went to a psychiatric hospital. what do you say about that? do you think that's fair? >> i don't think it's fair necessarily to blame the mother that she raised this monster, or that she raised a killer. i do think she used bad judgment. i think that it was very difficult for her to see what his problems were. as you read about it you see that she's an advice giver online rather than an advice taker. so there were signs that hopefully she could have picked up. but with asperger's, although it's not a mental health problem, they are people with this disord ver a very difficult time picking up social cues. >> and we know the mother has said online that she had it as
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well as her son. >> right. right. and i think that she very much wanted things to be fine. and put herself in the position of someone who had it made, that the sun won was going to go ont finances, that he was going to go onto film, that she had really desperately to the point of denial hoped that she had cured his problem. >> and by the way, he was 26 years old. he was an adult. liza, i want to bring you back in if we still have a connection with you. what kind of advice would you have for the mother? you know, as you point out she lost her son and also in the midst of all this, in the wake of it, there are these accusations. and i'm sure she's asking herself a lot of questions through all of this. >> right. pamela, you make a very good point that he was in fact 26 years old. this is something i think people don't really understand. when parents are care givers for
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their adult children, which is often the case n many cases we really can't get our children the help that they need. not only because that help doesn't exist, but also because as an adult chris would have had the right to refuse treatment just like adam lanza could have. imminent threat of harm to self or others. this way we handle mental illness means far too many people actually go to prison or homeless on the streets when we know people can succeed, they can have happy productive lives. my own son once he had the correct diagnosis and treatment he's now back in a mainstream school, no threats of harm or violence or any behaviors like that since he got the correct diagnosis and treatment. that's what i would want for every family. and i also think that as a mother it's touching in a way that laurel harper did want to see the best in her son. and that she was always focusing
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on the positives. because it can be very challenging. i know some of the things i read she admitted to having some significant challenges especially when chris was not taking his medication. >> and also there's so much talk about the mother, but what about the father here, peggy? because we know that the father he was divorced from the mother, that he didn't live in the same state, hadn't seen his son in a while. what kind of a role do you think he plays in all of this, if any? >> he has a huge responsibility. he said he didn't know about the guns and hasn't seen them for two years. but this is his son. and he had a responsibility to this boy as well. and i think that it's very easy to blame the mother for everything that goes wrong, but often in families where the father is absent it's very difficult for a single mother to bring up a boy who is troubled, who most likely might have threatened her. she might have been afraid of him as well. these kids that are violent
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often threaten their parents. it's almost like the stockholm syndrome that the mothers sort of go along with it because they're fearful. and they have no other options really. >> someone i spoke to yesterday brought the point perhaps the mother is trying to fill a void with the absence of his father there and perhaps that's why they went shooting together. i mean, this is one theory. but a lot of, you know, a lot of questions here. and i don't think any -- >> one thing that's important is it was something they bonded over together, which is very, very important. unfortunately it was this. but i've seen mothers and -- single mothers and sons bond over music, over sports. this happened to be a destructive one. >> all right. liza long, peggy drexler, thank you so much. really interesting conversation with both of you. >> thank you. and coming up, how close was isis to getting its hands on nuclear materials? new details on that straight ahead.
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less than five months after the biker shootout that left nine people dead in waco, texas, the local paper reports none of the 177 people arrested are still in jail. the incident brought new scrutiny to biker clubs in the u.s. and tonight's "this is life" with lisa ling, she goes inside a biker club in california. >> how are you? i'm lisa. >> tommy. tommy gun. >> nice to meet you. >> pleasure. how often do you all get together? your chapter? >> as much as possible. yeah. as much as possible. >> is there like an obligatory weekly meeting or anything like that? >> yeah, i mean, every now and then, yeah. >> getting these guys to answer my questions isn't easy.
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>> and that does it for me. i'm pamela brown. "the lead" with my friend and colleague jake tapper, starts right now. like the sum of all fears, just how close was isis to getting the ingredients for a nuke? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead, the fbi reportedly stopping smugglers from buying nuclear material intended for terrorists. buying it from gangs with ties to russia. the politics lead with the first democratic debate just six days away, right here on cnn, bernie sanders drawing tens of thousands of fans. but why aren't those huge crowds translating into a definitive lead nationwide? the new poll numbers showing that hillary clinton is still the candidate to beat. and the national lead, could everyone in this