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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  October 21, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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>> cubs win world series. against miami? >> miami does have a baseball team now, but perhaps even more surprising the cubs could actually make the world series this year. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. bowing out the vice president joe biden suddenly announcing he will not run for president in a speech fiercely defending the obama legacy and democratic principles and vowing he will not be silent as the white house race continues. what impact will he have on the 2016 contest? still punching, biden sends a pointed warning to democratic presidential front runner hillary clinton once again rebuking her portrayal of republicans as enemies. will biden be clinton's best ally or biggest headache of the campaign? i'll ask clinton's communication director jennifer. national security breach. wikileaks now says it's
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publishing e-mails belonging to cia director john brennan, stolen in a stunning cyber attack of his personal account. do they contain sensitive information and data about brennan? and front line stunning exclusive video of syrian rebels dodging russian bombs as the dictator bashar al assad leaves his country on his first wartime trip abroad. a surprise visit to moscow. and the russian president vladimir putin. after sudden military buildup in syria, is putin now moving into iraq? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following two major breaking news stories this hour. the sudden announcement by vice president joe biden that he will not seek the democratic biden' decision ends months of intensive speculation, but in
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his speech he sounded like a candidate and made it clear he still intends to play a role in the campaign, saying and i'm quoting him now, i will not be silent. the other breaking story we're following, the cia director john brennan's personal e-mails now allegedly in the hands of wikileaks which claims it's publishing information that was obtained by a young hacker. we're covering all of that and much more this hour with our correspondents and our guests including the chairman of the house homeland security committee republican congressman mike mccaul and the communications director for hillary for america jennifer palmieri. let's begin with jim acosta, you were there for biden's announcement. >> that's right, wolf. senior administration official says vice president joe biden made this decision last night and that there was no changing his mind back and forth that he made one call and one alone. the decision was based on his assessment that he had simply run out of time to raise the money and do the retail campaigning he needed to do to win the democratic nomination.
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on this day it was the vice president's rose garden and joe biden's announcement to make. >> thank you for lending me the rose garden for a minute. >> it's a nice place. >> surrounded by his wife jill, president obama and senior white house official who is hurried outside for the breaking news, biden revealed there will be no campaign for president. he had missed his window. >> i've concluded it has closed. i know from previous experience that there's no timetable for this process. the process doesn't much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses. >> that process is the intense grieving biden and his family have endured the previous months. it was beau's dying wish that his father run for president. >> beau is our inspiration, unfortunately i believe we're out of time, the time necessary
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to mount a winning cam for the nomination. but while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. i intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as i can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. >> but biden wasn't finished. he called on democrats and republicans to stop the partisan wars. another veiled critique at hillary clinton who described the gop as her enemy at last week's cnn debate. >> four more years of this kind of pitch battle may be more than this country can take. we have to change it. we have to change it. >> with biden out of the race, the reactions came pouring in from bernie sanders who echoed the vice president. >> i would not use the word quote, unquote, enemies to describe fellow americans. >> to hillary clinton who hasn't responded to biden's jabs but tweeted the vice president is a good friend and a great man.
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today and always inspired by his optimism and commitment to change the world for the better. donald trump said biden made the correct decision for him and his family. personally, i would rather run against hillary because her record is so bad. before he announced his decision biden had kept the guessing game going for weeks, at times poking at clinton. >> my wife didn't want me to be secretary of state because i'd be traveling too much. she really wanted because she liked the house. she knew we couldn't afford one. >> in the rose garden the vice president said he had a plan for a biden administration, one that would have battled to save other sons and daughters from beau's fate. >> i believe we need a moon shot in this country to cure cancer. it's personal. but i know we can do this. if i can be anything, i would have wanted to be the president that ended cancer. because it's possible. >> after biden's remarks in the rose garden he and hillary clinton spoke by phone.
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as for what's next the senior official said the vice president plans to devote much of his remaining time to fight cancer. we'll hear more about that in the coming days. biden could still have an important legacy, wolf, just won't be as president. >> end of the dream for the vice president on this day. jim acosta, thanks very much. let's get perspective on the vice president's dramatic announcement in the rose garden today. joining us here in "the situation room," s.e. cupp, jeff zeleny and gloria borger. peter beinart also. gloria, you've been talking to your sources. have you learned the final element that convinced the vice president it was -- >> i think it's been a couple of things over the last few months. i think as the vice president said time just kind of ran out on him. but i was talking to somebody who's close to biden today who said that first of all after his
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appearance with colbert where he poured his soul out, it was kind of hard to pivot back from that. and also earlier this week when congressm congressman clyburn told "the huffington post" that i wouldn't advise him to run. it was a clear signal to biden don't do this in my state. biden would have certainly needed to do well or win south carolina. but in the end the timing wasn't right for him. some days seemed more doable than other days. but he's a pragmatist. he knew he didn't have the money, didn't have the organization and also concerned about his legacy. didn't want to be a three-time loser. >> this is really his last chance 72 years old it's either now or not going to happen. he still though, jeff, seems to be taking a swipe or two at hillary clinton even on this day in the rose garden at the white house. >> some would call it a swipe.
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i think that's probably pretty accurate. but i think he's also offering a reminder and lesson perhaps to, you know, think of a different way forward here. that if you are -- he's been in washington a long time, more than four decades. if you're going to fix washington, it's going to take some coming together. but i think that he's still very raw and he's still very emotional. you could hear his words in the rose garden. i don't think he has fully accepted this decision himself yet. he knew the writing was on the wall there was no clear path to victory. but he had been telling people as recently as a couple days ago, last several days he was still going to give this a shot. i think we have to watch to see what he's going to do in the coming days. if he's still taking shots at hillary clinton going forward, i think the president, the man sitting there on his left is going to say, hey, cut this out. we have to win this nomination here. but maybe we'll give him a day or so of space. >> yeah, peter, i think jeff makes an excellent point because it could be potentially pretty harmful to hillary clinton if biden remains on the sidelines sort of taking some swipes at
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hillary clinton as this contest goes forward. >> absolutely. i think what he said today was harmful. i think hillary's statement in that debate the republicans were her enemy was a serious mistake. one that we will definitely be hearing about in the general election. and for joe biden to remind people of it and then basically give his opinion to the idea that this is not a good idea and that potentially she can't be the person that brings people together, i think that hurts her. and if i were the clinton campaign i'd be pretty upset about it. >> that's an excellent point as well. s.e., the reaction from republicans coming in obviously donald trump saying, you know what, he's happy because hillary clinton he says will be an easier democrat to beat in a general election than biden would have been. >> well, look, yes and no. i mean, you i think could make the argument if you've been in washington long enough that joe biden is more liked, is better liked than hillary clinton is. you've heard in this messaging that he wants to reach across the aisle, that he doesn't have political enemies. i think had that joe biden run
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and we all agree that speech could have been his announcement instead of his, you know, decision not to, if that joe biden ran i think that would have been a great contrast to hillary who is seen as crassly political, vicious when it comes to sort of, you know, slashing and dashing at our enemies. so there's a little sort of bummer, you know, over on the republican side, but also there is a little relief. hillary has a lot of skeletons. hillary has a long record to go after. so if it's a consolidated field and you can also focus on hillary as a front runner, that makes it a little cleaner. >> how does this impact senator bernie sanders who's doing very well? he's number two ahead in new hampshire against hillary clinton right now. >> right, makes him the only plan b really. if you don't like hillary clinton, then you're left with bernie sanders. >> or lincoln chafee.
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it gives bernie sanders i think some people for whatever reason are not satisfied or comfortable with a clinton presidency will look at him, but i think first and foremost we saw him talk today. he was very complimentary of the vice president. he embraced this administration more than he has before. he also said he wouldn't call republicans his enemies although he's called republicans some fairly harsh things as well. >> homophobes just the other week. >> first and foremost makes bernie sanders the alternative. we'll see him on stage at the dinner in des moines saturday evening in iowa. that's a chance for bernie sanders to see if he's going o adjust or go after these people going for biden. >> he's got to broaden his base if he's going to move up. >> right. >> what struck me about this speech is it was an announcement speech without an announcement, right? and it certainly was nothing resembling an endorsement of hillary clinton. >> no. >> and, you know, it is something that i could see that
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somebody could use in a political ad some time down the road. it was an interesting moment for him to decide to continue to take on democrats. >> to campaign. it sounds like he is campaigning. >> this was a campaign speech. >> yeah. >> in a way. and also you could hear him work it through as joe biden often does. well, okay, every day for the last 70 years whatever i've gotten up, i put on my shoes and i've gone to work in public service. now i have to figure out what i do next. so maybe i'll help find a cure for cancer. or maybe i'll help the middle class. so it was just one of the these these -- >> peter, i'm sure you agree the speech could have been delivered even if he announced he was running for the democratic nomination. >> right. that's why i thought the speech was frankly inappropriate and severely passive aggressive.
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you either run or don't run. joe biden contribute in all kinds of ways but the day he says he's not running is not the day to try to inject his own agenda into the presidential campaign. it reminds me a little bit of mario cuomo in '92. if you want to win the presidency, you have to go out and fight for it. if you don't, you have to cede the stage to some degree to people willing to do it and say what you want about the clintons they have always been willing to fight for it. that's why bill clinton won that nomination in '92 over mario cuomo who did this hemming and hawing. i think joe biden did himself a disservice frankly. this was not the moment to give that kind of speech. >> guys, standby. we're going to continue our analysis of what has happened. we're also getting more reaction coming into "the situation room." much more right after this.
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more on this hour's breaking news. the vice president joe biden's dramatic announcement today he won't run for president of the united states repeating that he doesn't consider republicans as his enemies, coming just one day before what could be one of the most significant events in the 2016 presidential campaign. cnn by the way will be providing live coverage tomorrow morning when hillary clinton goes before the house select benghazi committee. with us now here in "the
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situation room" is jennifer palmieri, she's the communications director for hillary for america, that's the hillary clinton campaign. jennifer, thanks very much for coming in. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> i understand the secretary called the vice president today. how did that conversation go? >> i think i'll let the conversation between the two of them remain private. but i think, you know, she said in her statement that i think the statement the vice president gave today was moving and a good tribute to the way he has approached public service and the work that he's going to continue to do with the administration. and, you know, they had a good conversation. >> did she ask him to endorse her? >> i don't know, but i won't -- i'll let the conversation remain private. >> i ask the question because there's been a whole bunch of commentary about some comments that the vice president has said in recent days. let me play a clip for you and then we'll discuss. listen to this. >> the other team is not the enemy. if you treat it as the enemy,
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there's no way we can ever, ever, ever resolve the problems we have to. and you end up with the dysfunction that we're experiencing here in washington. i have now traveled over a million 100 miles as vice president. my wife didn't want me to be secretary of state because i would be traveling too much. i don't believe like some do that it's naive to talk to republicans. i don't think we should look at republicans as our enemies. they are opposition. they're not our enemies. >> those comments as you know they've been seen as swipes at hillary clinton given the comment she made at the end of the last presidential democratic debate the cnn debate last week at the end when she was asked about her enemies she mentioned iranians, drug companies, also said republicans. and he seems to be responding to that. republicans are not our enemies. >> i don't see it that way. i don't think that the vice president thinks that is how she
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portrays this or how she views republicans. the moment at the debate i think was a light moment at the end of as you noticed a litany of people who mean to do america harm. but i think in raising the republicans in that way she is trying to show the stakes that we do think are -- what's at stake in this election. and it is true that when republican candidates are putting forward would undo a lot of the progress that president obama and vice president biden made. she's really concerned about that. and thinks this is, you know, that that is -- that needs to be what their view of the country would be and what they would try to pursue is a threat. and she wants to -- that she will elevate and needs to raise the stakes in the election. >> i want to be clear she didn't mean it when she said republicans were her favorite enemies? >> i said it was a light moment. you know, she's been doing a fair bit of sparring with republicans i think it's fair to say.
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but there is -- it was a light moment but there's a real point, i think in that she sees what the republicans are pursuing is a real threat to progress that the president and vice president have been able to make let alone what she would want to do as president. >> the tweet from donald trump reacting to biden's decision today, i think joe biden made the correct decision for him and his family. personally i would rather run against hillary because her record is so bad. >> here is what neither joe biden nor hillary clinton need is political analysis from donald trump. but that's one thing i can speak for both of them on. if he is the nominee, i feel confident that hillary clinton would be the victor in a general election. but we got a long way to go for us to win the democratic nomination. >> is the hillary clinton campaign already beginning to anticipate a run for the white house with the republican nominee being donald trump? >> it's hard -- no. >> clearly he's beginning to think that his opponent is going
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to be hillary clinton. >> i think he does think that. but seems things seem to be very dynamic on the republican side still. it's hard to game out who would be the -- you know, people ask us all the time who do we think would be the strongest, i think whoever ends upcoming out of the field will be the strongest sort of by virtue of having from the gauntlet of the republican primary and there are a lot of candidates there we feel confident each of them even though they have different personalities are all pursuing the same conservative policies. they would undo a lot of progress we've made. we feel comfortable about her ability, the democratic nominee's ability to wage an effective campaign against them and to win. >> we haven't seen hillary clinton the last few days. i take it she's preparing for the benghazi testimony tomorrow, the hearing that's going to go on for about eight hours. we're told she's going to be asked obviously some very tough questions of that committee, democrats will probably come to her defense throughout that hearing tomorrow. walk us through what she's been doing through the -- going through the last few days.
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because it sort of reminds me of the preparation she did for that first presidential debate. >> she did -- i mean, she will be -- i don't know that i need to get into the nuts and bolts of what she's been doing, but she'll be prepared. she was certainly well prepared for the debate. this is a, you know, more narrow slice of issues that she'll be contending with. it's questions she has all answered before i presume because she has testified on benghazi before. she was secretary of state when benghazi happened. it was a very serious matter, something she takes very seriously. so this is the eighth investigation that congress has done on benghazi. she has testified before. she will go against their questions. we have some concerns about the political motivations that have been unearthed about the formation of the committee and how the committee is operated, but she will go and answer all of their questions. >> is she doing this sort of rehears rehearsal? >> she'll be prepared.
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it's probably like most things in our world it's not as interesting as it miegght seem t she'll be prepared. >> we'll have live coverage of that testimony tomorrow. i'm sure you're anticipating that as well. >> yes. >> jennifer, thanks for coming, the communications director for hillary clinton for america. today's surprise meeting between two of the biggest adversaries of the united states. how did syria's embattled leader get all the way to moscow? and more breaking news, the cia reacts after the stolen e-mails from the agency's director are leaked online. alright team, we've got an f150, needs a systems check and tires. doc, i need you on point for this one. already got the latest updates direct from ford engineering. 'cause ford dealers get that intel first. treads, what do you got? lookin' a little bald, sir. with all due respect. got the perfect fit- ready to roll. wheels up, flaps down, let's fly. ford parts. ford tools. ford techs. when your ford needs service, there's one elite team.
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and keep up with fall tv. we're following breaking news in the cyber theft of personal information from the country's cia director john brennan. the thieves made good on their promise to publish stolen e-mails. i'm joined by evan perez and chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. both have been going through the leaked information. evan, what have you found there potentially that could be embarrassing or even damaging to u.s. national security? >> well, wolf, this is all just very personal information. as expected so far nothing that is actually classified. all of the documents have been posted are from before 2009 before john brennan joined the white house and then moved over to cia. there's a government form that brennan filled out to get his
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security clearance. it has personal information about his medical, health and information about his wife and friends. and there's a few more papers he wrote including ones about intelligence policy on iran. and we just got this statement from the cia that says this attack is something that could happen to anyone and should be condemned, not promoted. there is no indication that any of the documents released thus far are classified, wolf. and it is worth underscoring the fact that this is not a very sophisticated attack. this is something that really any of us could happen to. >> are you getting any information from your sources that law enforcement getting close to an arrest? >> they're having a hard time, frankly. i mean, despite the fact that, again, this is not a very sophisticated attack, these people have used the anonymity of the internet to hide themselves. and so it's not proving very easy to find them. and we do know that the fbi's working with the secret service to try to find these guys. and we expect that that will happen. but it's not happening very
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quickly. >> jim sciutto, you've been looking through these leaked documents yourself. what stands out in your mind? >> wolf, first thing intelligence officials emphasize this took place while he was a private citizen. not official documents or cia documents. really documents that would be on the e-mail server of washington. draft recommendation papers on policy, draft recommendation to meet the challenge of 21st century. all drafts not something you'd really see from a think tank. frankly someone who is considering a position in the incoming administration you have that. so that's one aspect. not intelligence sensitive stuff, private stuff. but when you get into that sf-86 and this is why the opm hack, the hack of the office of personnel management was so severe because in an sf-86, a security document you fill out to get a security clearance, you have a lot of personal information. and things that then can be used to build profiles and collected
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with other information. but that said there's also just stuff in there that's personal. i mean, it has the social security number with brennan's wife. wikileaks i've dealt with them for a number of years they do this as a got you kind of thing. public service for putting out a security number of a government official spouse? you can't see that. there's a gratuitous factor to this as well. >> the concern just based on the information i'm hearing there's deep concern that the message it sends to government hackers let's say from russia or china or other countries that, you know, you could go get some personal information maybe that information while not classified could be embarrassing to a top u.s. official and that official could be compromised. >> no question. the thing is russia and china already know that. we know they know that because they've done this, they've certainly tried and done it successfully. the intelligence community has not called out china publicly definitively for the opm attack, but they've done everything just short of that.
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so that's already known. and what intelligence officials also emphasize is there is more than just a personal aspect to this because there is intelligence value to gathering up all this personal information from the sf-86 health care information like the anthem attack, et cetera, which helps them identify and this is something there already have been consequences. >> but the spy agencies of china and russia aren't putting this on the internet. they're collecting it for their own use. >> absolutely. >> this is a very different thing. >> yeah. all right, guys, thanks very much. still very, very disturbing story especially for the u.s. intelligence community. coming up, syrian surprise dictator bashar al assad makes an unscheduled unannounced trip to moscow to meet with the man propping up his regime, vladimir putin. plus, we have exclusive video of russian air strikes on the rebels trying to oust bashar al assad. are putin's warplanes changing the course of syria's bloody civil war? hi i'm heather cox
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it's an image that caught the world by surprise today. the syrian dictator bashar al assad side by side in moscow with the russian president vladimir putin, one of his most important allies. assad slipped out of his war-ravaged country to thank putin for the badly needed military support he's been receiving. support that putin claims is targeting isis even as russian bombs fall largely on rebels.
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many of them supported by the united states trying to oust assad. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is working this story for us. assad's trip, jim, to moscow certainly caught a lot of us, all of us fair to say, by surprise given by the fact he's been holed up for years. >> u.s. officials saying they were not surprised by the trip in fact it make sense in how much assad depends on russia for its survival, there's also certainly a propaganda element showing russia's influence in the region. and the key demonstration really of both of those things that assad would leave his country to meet putin on his turf right in the middle of what is by all accounts a critical time in the civil war there. it's believed to be the first time he's left syria since the civil war there began more than four years ago. syrian president bashar al assad traveling to moscow to meet face-to-face with the man propping up his embattled regime, russian president vladimir putin. >> translator: the terrorism that is now spreading today
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could have without your decisions and actions spread to even more territories and states, not just in our region but to other regions too. >> reporter: two weeks into russia's surprise military intervention in syria in the air and on the ground, mr. putin promised mr. assad continued support. >> translator: we are prepared to do whatever we cannot only in the course of military efforts to fight terrorism, but also in the course of the political process. >> reporter: that's a a process the u.s. would like to see result in assad's ouster. today u.s. officials wonder how the visit will effect upcoming meetings friday between secretary of state kerry and his russian counterpart sergei lavrov. the white house spokesman telling reporters, quote, we view the red carpet welcome for assad who has used chemical weapons against his own people at odds with the stated goal by the russians for a political transition in syria. but russia's recent military
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activities may not end in syria. president putin reportedly sending a letter to iraqi prime minister al abadi expressing his suppo support. leaving a void left by the u.s. >> these people in russia and the kremlin are going to say, okay, we have an opportunity here. we're going to drive our version of a mack truck right through this area. and we are going to control the agenda for the northern middle east. and that is exactly what they're doing. >> one other factor from this trip that u.s. officials are noting and that is assad traveled to russia and not to iran. both deploying significant resources on the ground to defend assad but also perhaps competing for superiority. but, wolf, for their part today, russia -- rather iran saying that it's a strategic partner of russia on the ground in syria. they are working together and
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both have incentive to defend the regime of bashar al assad and to be clear that's on the opposite side of the u.s. in this very complicated civil war. >> russia now also stepping up involvement in iraq as well just as the iranians have a lot of influence over there in baghdad no doubt about that. jim sciutto, thank you. let's get some more on what's going on. joining us chairman of the house homeland security committee republican congressman mike mccaul of texas. mr. chairman, thanks very much for joining us. i want to talk about russia and wla what's going on, but right now very quickly this news today that wikileaks has now released the cia director john brennan's personal e-mails that were hacked. first of all, do you know who was responsible if this hack? >> not at this point in time, wolf. but the idea that john brennan's personal e-mails could be vulnerable to a cyber hack like this is very disturbing. there's been a lot of discussion about personal e-mail servers as of late, and the idea that they
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could get his information and i know that jeh johnson, secretary of homeland security who testified before my committee, talked about some of his private information being stolen as well. this is the breach at opm, 20 million security clearances stolen by china, there are various nation states like china that engage in espionage. i wouldn't be surprised if china was behind this one. >> behind this one? because it seems like this hacker claims to be under 22, a young kid who's stoned all the time. you think that -- >> i apologize, you're correct about that. this was a young sort of anonymous type figure that did claim to be stoned at the time he did that, which is remarkable given what he accomplished. >> but you're saying that china was responsible for the hack of the personal data from the office of personnel management, the government's agency? >> that is my opinion because it was a big data theft.
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big data theft is not done for criminal purposes. it's not like a credit card breach. it's to get big data to exploit that data and then compromise individuals in the federal government. so this is a classic case of espionage. the goes back to the same source of the anthem blue cross attacks into china. the chinese of course are saying it wasn't. they had nothing to do with this. but the way it was done, the fact it was espionage all fingers, all roads point to the prc as being responsible. >> let's talk about what russia's up to right now. the fact that bashar al assad has shown up today in moscow for this meeting with vladimir putin, the russians stepping up their influence not only in syria with these air strikes but now moving into iraq as well, a country where the u.s. devoted a lot of blood and treasure to try to build up that post-saddam regime.
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how worried are you that russia is now extending its influence throughout the region? >> this is a big power play. i think, look, the president has -- hasn't had a policy, a strategy, been a failed foreign policy. and i think that russia's filling the vacuum now. it's a big geopolitical power grab. and we're seeing iran now through the shia militias in iraq, we're seeing iran in syria, we know the quds force is in there, this is changing the whole geopolitical balance in the world right now. and i believe that, you know, we're losing. he's calling checkmate on us. >> that's a disturbing development. while i have you, today in a hearing it was revealed there have been more than 300 cases of small scale cyber physical attacks against power grids here in the united states since 2011, and not one suspect from these attacks has been identified let
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alone arrested. why can't these suspects be tracked down? >> well, they can be. an attribution can take place and we can tie it back to the actors, the problem that you saw at the hearing was we have no response. there's no proportionate response to these attacks. there's no responsibility. if you don't have consequences, bad behavior will continue. i have five teenagers and if they're not consequences to bad behavior, they're going to continue. that's the same thing, i think what's happening with china, russia, iran, is carrying out cyber breaches. and there are no rules to the game here. it's not defined what cyber warfare really is at this point in time. and again the president met with the leader of china and i know they're talk iing but i haven't seen any response to the opm breach whatsoever. >> mike mccaul is chairman of the house homeland security committee. mr. chairman, thanks for joining
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us. >> thanks, wolf. up next, exclusive video we have received from the front lines of syria's civil war showing russian air strikes on rebel forces. is vladimir putin now turning the tide for the syrian regime? mcgladrey was founded to help growing businesses reach higher goals. soon our team of audit, tax and consulting advisors started taking the middle market to the global market. and now our network, spanning more than 110 countries, is unifying under one brand. mcgladrey is changing its name to rsm. experience the power of being understood. where our next arrival is... red carpet
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cnn obtained exclusive images of russian strikes of syrian rebels trying to oust president bashar al-assad and with the help of war planes and cruise missiles, forces are making critical gains now. our senior correspondent paton
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walsh is joining us live. nick, these are very dramatic images. tell us about them. >> reporter: probably some of the most substantial change of the battle field we've seen. the political side of the war but forces and air strikes are assisting the syrian regime as they march toward aleppo. tens of hundreds of people living in the skeleton of that city but these images show how intense the fighting is against rebels, some relieving help from the u.s. on the front lines today. this is what it's like on the receiving end of the russian back defensive south of aleppo. we were sent these pictures saying it was the worst assault he seen aided by drones that they also target.
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[ gunshots ] [speaking foreign language]. >> reporter: the russian strikes seem to hit civilians most, not us rebels says this fighter before listing the several villages they lost in days. these eyes in the sky seem to be speeding the regime advance. an anti tank rocket supplied by rebels often by the u.s. hitting regime army. it helped rebels take ground fast recently but many more were needed for them now. syrian state tv showing while their president briefly visited moscow, how they were advancing ramming it home where in the south is now theirs. these images helping suggest why 50,000 civilians may be on the move. one caught this volley on a body camera. such high-tech intimacy in a
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fight that can seem so brutally medieval where a new power is changing the balance but not lessoning the threat to those helpless caught in the middle. >> now if that battle for aleppo does get underway, an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. it will be to surround that rebel-held area and staff and force surrender of those inside. many looking to meetings between various meetings between them to see if there is diplomatic headway that might be able to slow this down but the chance of that being accepted pretty remote. looking to the battle field. >> nick, thanks very much. nick paton walsh reporting. >> breaking news, joe biden's long-awaited decision. he did not make a bid for the white house but vowing he will not stay silent, either. what role will he play in the presidential campaign? hi i'm heather cox
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breaking news, biden is out. >> i believe we're out of time, time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. >> after weeks of speculation, the vice president takes a pass on running for president obama's job. hillary clinton's camp breathing a sigh of relief but biden sounds determined to hold clinton's feet to the fire. >> e-mails exposed, wikileaks goes personal. we're dickigging on this danger
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security breach. syria sneaks off to moscow to meet with his brief protector growing fears putin is trying to flex his muscle in iraq and drump's sweep, a fourth poll draws on the support and rising expectations he's likely to win the nomination. standing by to hear from trump live. welcome to the viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're "the situation room".in"the situation room "the situation room". we're following two breaking stories, vice president joe biden says he won't launch a new bid for the white house. he argue that democrats should run on president obama's record. it appeared to be a vail jab as the party's front runner hillary
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clinton and tonight, new reaction from the clinton camp and other presidential campaigns about biden's decision and how it affects the presidential race. >> also breaking, hours after cyber criminals broke into the cia director's private e-mail, wikileaks posted new information online. the group says it came from john brennan's personal aol account. we're revealing whether any secrets were revealed. we have correspondents, analysts and news makers standing by covering the news breaking now. first, let's go to jeff zellany. his announcement sounded like a campaign speech. >> or sounded like he wasn't sure he wanted to step off the playing field. it was defiant and indull gent.
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>> i believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. >> with those words today, vice president joe biden closed the door to self-induced speculation about joining the 2016 presidential race. just hours earlier, he seemed to be firing warning shots over her suggest republicans are the enemy. >> i don't believe like some do it's naive to talk to republicans. >> reporter: it might be a lesson to fix a broken washington. >> we have to end the partisan po politics. >> mr. president, thank you for lending me the rose garden for a minute. >> reporter: the vice president made his announcement from the grounds of a place he's been striving to reach since arriving in sh washington. he is an elder statesman now. he made clear that's a role he
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intends to play. >> but while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. i intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as i can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. >> reporter: he offered no endorsements but urged democrats to embrace president obama. 3 >> this party, our nation will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the obama legacy. >> reporter: another unspoken message to clinton, party's front runner that tried to break with the president on key issues. >> democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record, they should run on the record. >> after the announcement, clinton praised the vice president saying in a statement, i am confident history isn't finished with joe biden as he said today there is more work to do and if i know joe, he will
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always be on the front lives always fighting for all of us. >> thank you-all very much. >> reporter: this week our cnn poll found with biden on the sideline, clinton's lead grew to 20 points over sanders. she's the biggest beneficiary of his decision. hillary clinton was one of the first people that called the vice president after he left the rose garden. she didn't ask for an endorsement and he didn't offer one, for now at least. most democrats are giving him his space. with biden out of the race, the clinton campaign is breathing a sigh of relief that one of the bigge biggest road blocks to the nomination is removed. >> thanks for that. we're learning more about how and why the vice president decided to stay out of this 2016 presidential campaign. jim accoosta is here. you were there for the
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announcement. dramatic move. >> it was incredible. this was sprung on everybody at the last minute. first he got a sense what was going to happen when ted kaufman arrived and the wife and not long before biden's announced his decision. for the timing a senior administration official says biden made this decision last night before informing advisors this morning and that there was no changing his mind back and forth, that he made one call and one alone and this decision was based on his assessment he run out of time to raise the money and do at this official said what joe biden does best. it took so long the official said biden has been grieving the loss of his son beau. it quote takes time to heal once you've lost a child. that process cannot be rushed. he plans to devote much of his time to fighting cancer. he wants to do this for beau
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biden and what about pressure on biden? the president of the united states putting pressure on the vice president? i'm told now and as one official put it quote no way they wanted to give vice president biden all the time he needed but wolf, i have to think folks across the white house are breathing a sigh of relief this is over. >> his son beau biden died of cancer a brain tumor and tragic moment, a great guy. thanks very much. joining us now is the former senior advisor to president obama, david axle rod. you're very plugged in. what are you hearing why he decided to do it and today? >> well, i think that as he said, time had run out. space had run out, too, wolf. if you look at the events of the last seven weeks they
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strengthened her lead. the debate was a positive step for her and bernie sanders and there what's necessary to run for president. i just think that the signs were not positive for a candidate to confront that reality. >> hillary clinton sent a tweet shortly after the vice president's announcement and senator bernie sanders made a statement, went before cameras, held a news conference embracing the obama administration and from your expectative from the contest right now. >> the front runner leads to start with, and the lead grows larger and has to be considered. there was a moment, wolf, six or
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eight weeks and more vulnerable and a lot of biden into the race and jumped at that moment perhaps things were a little and strong candidate and obviously she has a big test at that benghazi committee. from his announcement today. >> is it coincidental he made the announcement before her testimony before the benghazi select committee? >> no, i don't think so because i don't think he wanted to be in a position where if she did well at the committee, with drew from the race if he was hoping for a bad result from that committe. i think he was being pressed by the fact there is a big event in iowa, jefferson jackson dinner that's a must do for candidates and there would have been a lot of pressure for him to be there if he was planning to get into the race. >> the vice president said in
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the rose garden, while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent, you dealt with him on the campaign trail. how do you best use him now to get a democrat elected to the white house? >> first of all, i don't know what a silent joe biden would look like, let me make that point. look, he is a guy who over the course of 40 years has been really identified with middle class. he's a middle class guy from pennsylvania. he's often spoken to the economic interest of middle class people and the survival of the middle close. we heard it again today in the rose garden and this is the issue of the campaign. deploying him to discuss issues particularly among working class voters in states like pennsylvania and ohio would be a smart way to use the vice president. >> certainly would be. one final question, how would you advice hillary clinton and her demeanor and her message that she needs to convey tomorrow when she appears before that republican-led benghazi
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select committee? >> i actually think she's going to be comfortable and used to the setting. she's been a senator and witness on this issue before and the main thing is not to carve new ground out here or to create new issues. you know, just answer the questions and keep focused on the subject at hand with knowledge of what you've testified to before and hopefully, extinguish this story to a large degree tomorrow and not have it linger in the days after. >> we know she's been out of sight the last few days preparing, getting ready and getting through these questions that will be asked of her tomorrow. cnn will have live coverage during the 9:00 a.m. eastern hour. stand by, more news coming in. there is breaking developments, we'll take a quick break and be right back.
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experience the power of being understood. we're back with the breaking news joe biden won't challenge hillary clinton and other presidential candidates. he is staying out of the race but promises he won't stay silent. joining me is rebecca burg, our senior washington correspondent jeff zellany and our politics
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investigator mark. what are you hearing from your sources, what convinced the vice president this is not the time to run? >> wolf, this was a public month-long open flirtation and process, right? and i think what eventually happened was he just realized he went out of time. i was told that the longer this dragged out, a source close to biden said to me, the more he came to terms with the downsides of this both personally in terms of his own life having lost his son beau recently but in terms of his legacy. did he want to lose the presidency three times? probably not. you could hear in his speech that he was -- it was an announcement speech without a candidate. he was clearly so ambivalent because he really does want to run for president, he just didn't think he could succeed or do it well or this was the right time. >> tough decision. >> very tough.
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>> some friends and advisors when convinced he was going to run and probably disappointed now that he's not. >> yeah. >> mark, how do you explain that he seems to be taking still even on this day in the rose garden some not so subtle swipes at hillary clinton? >> look, he did it in his own fashion and way, didn't he? after today's speech in the rose garden, you have to say to yourself, joe biden is not going behind hillary clinton. the talk is joe biden is upset hillary clinton seems to be forcing him out of the race and her advisers trying to push him and there was comments joe biden had to make a decision soon but joe biden wet out on his own. what is interesting about him at this point as we talk about who is the big winner, we say hillary clinton is the big winner but congressional democrats that need somebody on the campaign trail like joe biden to try to win back the senate, to try to take backseats in the house, i think
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congressional democrats are happy. >> rebeccrebecca, it shows with biden in the race hillary clinton's numbers go up more significantly than bernie sanders but if biden is speaking as he does and suggesting there are problems with hillary clinton, that would be a problem for her. >> i would be surprised to see joe biden go out there on the campaign trail and attack hillary clinton directly. he's basically been trying to nudge her in a certain direction. joe biden has worked his entire career as someone who loves finding consensus and loves working with republicans. he really made a name for himself in the administration striking deals with the republican senate. i think we'll see a lot of that from joe biden urging democrats to find consensus with republicans and take a less aggressive approach towards the other party whether democrats especially in the primary take that is up to debate but along the lines of what we'll see from joe. >> senator bernie sanders doing well and national polls behind
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hillary clinton maybe 10 points or 15 points or whatever, but in new hampshire, he's beating her right now in the polls. how does the biden decision impact him? >> well, he's essentially the last credible candidate standing. yes, there are a couple others in the race. martin o'malley the former governor is actively campaigning, but i think that for bernie sanders this is a moment he has a window here. if he would be able to try and win over those dell democrats, he has an opportunity there but a lot of true party regulators wonder if he can win a general election. they think he's too liberal. let's watch what happens tomorrow. there are questions out there, e-mail things and others. bernie sanders could capitalize. boy, such a small bench for this democratic party compared to the republican one. >> i may be reading too much in this. i want to play a clip from biden's speech in the rose garden, gloria, in which i
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thought it was at least a subtle indirect criticism of the past seven years of the obama administration. he's been vice president all these years. >> obama was there. >> while the vice president was standing next to the president in the rose garden, let me play this clip and tell me what you think. >> four more years of this kind of pitch battle may be more than this country can take. we have to change it. >> it said to me that the president who came into office saying we have to work together, we're going to end all the bickering in washington has failed on that front because the bickering is as intense if not more than it was when he took office. >> yeah, i think that's exactly what biden said, even though the president was right there, and i think, you know, it's interest when you look at biden because there are two joe bide. one is the one who talks about bipartisanship. the other one is the one that called republicans homophobes
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and say republicans keep you in chains. he can be as partisan as any democrat on the campaign trail. the difference between joe biden and barack obama, and that may be what he was saying is that he will then pick up the phone and call you and say come over and done but he couldn't get it t it done. he tried on guns. he was in charge of the gun issue. it did not get done because they couldn't work it out, whether was that biden or obama or republicans and conservative democrats, we don't know. >> can i stick my foot in the door of him closing the door on his run for the presidency because he positioned himself if hillary clinton were to stumble, he is the credible candidate clinton people and supporters and donors will turn to. had he challenged her, there would have been bad blood but did it gracefully and had harsh words today but if she were to stumble, he could be in.
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>> we have more to assess, more reaction and just ahead, donald trump's 100 days of political dominance. a new poll is driving home the republican front runner staying power and syria's battle bashar al-assad goes a long way to say thank you for vladimir putin. more on the surprise meeting and what the russian president may be planning next.
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we're back with our poll lit 'til team. trump is likely to mention a poll that shows his status growing even stronger. our reporter sarah murray is covering trump for us that joins us from burlington iowa where the crowd is getting ready for trump. trump is marking a milestone, right. >> reporter: donald trump must be getting comfortable at the top of the polls. today marks his 100th day a top of the polls. today is different. a lot of republicans believe he can win. a milestone some critics can't deny. 100 days of donald at the top of the gop field. >> first of all, a very nice way to get up in the morning and see and i will say that i will fight for it.
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>> reporter: tonight, yet another poll showing trump's lead is as out sized as his personality. in a new washington post poll, republicans increasingly believe trump has staying power, more than four in ten saying he will win the nomination, a stunning reversal from when he entered the race. trump is pulling 32% from supporters. a ten-point lead over dr. ben carson. in the meantime, jeb bush once the front runner stands at 7% nationwide among republicans, something bush tried to explain away today. >> four years ago, herman cane was the front runner and two weeks prior to that was rick perry. both were great and didn't win the nomination. >> look, jeb had a hard time. he's way down in the polls. he's doing very poorly. he's embarrassed and has to attack me to get numbers up. >> reporter: trump's team looking to prove they have what it takes to go to the finish line.
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paid staffers in 11 states including of 40 employees in states holding the first four nominating contests and the operation is still growing. >> our ground game is all over iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. >> reporter: iowa offers a unique challenge, turning trump super fans into a caucus goers. to make it happen, the campaign is teaching supporters how to caucus and organizing precinct captains to deliver a victory. the question remains, can trump turn his poll numbers into votes. >> we attract people from all over and go to the population centers and do things necessary to get people out. we sign him up. we get the cards filled out. we put them into our database and then we get ready to crank up the ground game. >> reporter: now iowa is a tricky state to organize. supporters have to show up at the right time and give a speech in support of their candidate. trump volunteers are out here tonight in full force trying to sign on supporters.
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they want to prove to their competitors they are in this for the long haul, wolf? >> stand by. we'll get back to you and get ready to hear from donald trump, as well. gloria and our panel are still with us. gloria, i guess with the polls, not just "the washington post" abc news poll but in the past two days, a poll, not one, not two, not three, but four national polls among republicans in the last two days, they all basically have the same thing, trump is way ahead. dr. ben carson is second. everybody else not so good. >> the old saying nothing succeeds like success, i can that's donald trump. he's building on it. 42% of republicans believe he is going to be the eventual nominee. if you look closely, he isn't gaining new momentum. he -- it's as if you push the pause button on this. he is where he is. carson is coming up a little
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bit. others are all sort of in the back of the pact but not like he's gotten new. he's doing really, really well, i don't want to take that away from him at all but i've been through so many campaigns where you do well early on, rudy ghoulighouoal comes to mind and it shifts. >> jeb bush can say hermann cane was ahead four years ago, rick perry was ahead four years ago. they may have been ahead for a week or two or three but not 100 days as consistent as donald trump? >> a couple things. let's look at jeb bush. if you talk to people on the ground, they will tell you jeb bush has a ground game instituted. that's important. right now donald trump is trying to teach people how to be their precinct captain. so while he's doing very well nationally in iowa, he might do
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well in the polls but on a very cold february night, will you get those people to go out for you? it's a lot of pressure in what have you a successful campaign in iowa doesn't begin in august and quiet frankly, you have to live in iowa to be successful there. >> he's doing great in the polls so far and iowa polls he's ahead in new hampshire, south carolina, nevada. not just nationally he's ahead. are republicans beginning to sense increasingly, rebecca, he's going to be the nominee? >> absolutely. i was shown an e-mail this week that republican strategist sent around to friends where he said grudgingly i should add that he was among the establishment guys that never thought trump could or would be the nominee but now he has changed his mind and thinks that he could be. he said also in the e-mail he thinks trump could win iowa. right now he would predict ben carson or donald trump and when you win those two states
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historically, you have the nomination locked up. >> is it just a matter the right guy at the right time or been a brilliant politician? >> a mix of both, no question. he's tapping into the resentment of washington, he's a different brand, flavor of politician. people like his brag, you know, his just his ora, sense of himself. he's a bragging guy. people like that at this moment. we still do not know, though, if there will be a consolidated al te -- alternative. if you add up everyone else, we'll have to see how he does. he'll need more than 40 paid organizers. he has the money so he should go and organize in a real way in these 99 counties. so if he takes the next step, he's a very, very, very serious potential nominee. >> all of you stand by and let's stand by for donald trump, as well and see what he has to say. there is othering news we're following including the surprise
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meeting between the leaders of russia and syria. does he have his sights set on iraq now? i'll ask a top congressman what he is learning. >> how worried should the cia director be now that wikileaks say they released his private e-mails. we'll have the latest on this really embarrassing security breach. the keys to this home belong to mark and alissa anderson. they bought the place four months ago on what was arguably the scariest day of their lives.
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neither has any idea what the future holds for them. but they bought into a 30-year mortgage anyway. that was bold. they must really believe in themselves. buy in. quickenloans/home buy. refi. power. small job? no, doing the whole living room. hey you guys should come over later. the exclusive one-coat color collection from behr® marquee interior. every color covers in one coat, guaranteed. turning a two-coat job into an easy marquee® afternoon. sfx: phone chime they're still at it. ♪ behr® marquee. behr's most advanced interior paint and primer. exclusively at the home depot.
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vladimir putin's expanding power play in the middle east is on display. a personal thank you from bashar al-assad during a surprise visit to moscow. as putin flexes his military muscles, he's also making new attempts to widen his grip and defy the united states by reaching out directly to iraq. let's go to barbara starr. she has the very latest, barbara? >> wolf, secretary of state john kerry will meet with foreign minist minist minister and want to know what russia and syria may be up to next. bashar al-assad to meet russian president vladimir putin. >> not surprising that bashar l al-assad would travel to moscow
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given the relationship syria has with russia and given the recent military activity by russia in syria. >> reporter: those activities include russian war planes hitting their homes. russia in a multi-war front area north of homes between idlib and regain key areas for assad. >> translator: i thank you for standing up for syria's independence. >> reporter: republicans very unu uninpressed. >> among the headlines today is bashar al-assad to go to moscow for thanking mr. putin to save his regime. >> reporter: putin stood fast in his resort. >> syria is a friendly country to us and we are prepared to do whatever we can. >> reporter: u.s. officials watching for putin's next step.
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the worry, russia starts bombing iraq, the heart of the u.s. effort. >> the russians have been indiscrime nant, reckless in syria and seem to have no difficulty dropping cluster munitions around where civilians may be. >> reporter: in iraq, general joseph chairman of the joint chiefs met with iraqi officials. dunford telling reporters after the iraqis told him, the russians haven't asked them to come in and conduct operations. another complication, in coming prime minister says he told president obama his new government will live up to its campaign promise to pull its half dozen fighter jets out of combat. >> he understands the commitments i've made around ending the combat mission. >> reporter: but there is one signal from moscow, the government and baghdad reporting it has received a letter from
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the russian leader asking for more cooperation between moscow and baghdad on weapons and on fighting isis, wolf? >> the iraqis i take it responded positively to that letter, right? >> right now the iraqi's official position is they are working with the u.s. but i don't think they have shut the door, i don't think anybody thinks they have shut the door to some kind of cooperation with moscow. >> cooperating in the intelligence area, we know that. barbara, thanks very much. let's get to other breaking news we're following. personal e-mails posted online after cyber criminals say they broke into his aol account. evan perez is looking at the documents posted on wikileaks. so far i take it, evan, none of the information appears to be classified, is that right? >> that's right. this is very personal information but so far, nothing classified. all of the documents posted are from before 2009, before john
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brennan joined the white house and moved over to the cia. there is a government form brennan signed to get security clearance and has personal information about his medical health, information about his wife and friends and a few papers he wrote about intelligence and iran, the cia just provided this statement to us that says quote, this attack is something that could happen to anyone and should be condemned, not promoted. there's no indication that any of these documents released thus far are classified, wolf. that's a very important part of this because wikileaks and these hackers said they had this were advertising this as very sensitive information, perhaps classified, so far none of that seems to be the case. >> is the fbi or other law enforcement agencies, any closer to making an arrest? >> they have clues as to who they believe is behind this, wolf, but they are having a hard time. this goes to show you how tough
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it is to find people hiding behind the internet. these hackers use very unsophisticated methods to do this. they trick customer service people to give them access to the accounts but so far, they are outrunning the fbi, wolf. >> evan perez, disturbing story, indeed. joining us now, adam kinsinger of illinois and still in the air force reserve where he's major. congressman, thanks for joining us. i want to get to the hack in a moment but let's talk about what russia is doing in syria and iraq trying to expand influence, getting ready to launch air strikes in iraq against isis targets there. i think the regime there of the prime minister getting ready to accept that. how much of -- how upset should the u.s. be after the blood and treasure the u.s. invested in iraq if russia is going to emerge as a serious player there? >> we should be angry if you
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think about it, russians haven't had a role in the middle east in decades and vladimir putin has seen this as his opportunity to re-engage russia and middle east earn politics. there is fatigue and some people like to default and say let's get out of the middle east. the middle east is a very important part of the world with a lot of resources and people and america writing the rules in congestion with partners is way better with russians doing it. you see the russians propping up a guy like bashar al-assad and an unholy alliance between russia, iran and syria and if russia moves into iraq, which it seems like they probably will, this will also be to property up the iranians and iraq. >> did you ever think when you were serving in iraq and you saw your fellow military personnel dying, injured, a few years later russia would be moving in and iran neighboring to iraq has
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a lot of influence on baghdad and seems to be growing. >> when i left in '09, may of '09 and the situation was relatively stable. we defeated the opposition. it was just maintaining things at this point. when i left, i thought to myself if we leave this, if we pull all the troops out, it will fall imagined, you know, where i was laying my head eventually would be occupied by assad. >> where was that? >> balad base. this is where strong -- i mean, the russian economy is basically the size of italy and said they are going to re-engage as a great power in the world. this should have huge implications for us because the russians are not doing this for humanitarian reasons but to rewrite the global rules. >> i'm sure you never thought iran or russia would have significant influence and isis would be in control and big city of mosul, second largest --
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>> i did a lot of time in mosul, by the way. >> i was there in 2005 and things were looking positive, obviously things changed very quickly. let's talk a little bit about russia's influence. did russia's military moves embolden president putin to do these steps in syria and now iraq? >> i think so. let's go to georgia. a good part of georgia is occupied by russia. russia took moves to annex and then they move into ukraine. they annex crimea. there is still a war in eastern ukraine we don't hear much about. you do a great job of covering it. not a ton of people talk about it. at each step, he's met by the u.s. paining anger about it and then ending up joining alliances to figure out how to keep planes from crashing into each other. here is how, you tell putin to quit flying because he's not welcome there but unfortunately, that's not what's coming.
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>> or if he would listen at this point. >> it might be too late. >> stand by. more more on the breaking news right after this.
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we're back with congressman adam kinsinger. we're getting an update on the race for house speaker. the former vice presidential nominee has been meeting with an influential group of conservative republicans. dana bash is standing outside the door where they're caucusing. you've spoken to republicans.
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what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, what happens behind these doors, there is a meeting going on as we speak among members of the so-called house freedom caucus. these are members that are quite conservative, they're the people who effectively pushed john boehner out. they met earlier this evening with paul ryan now they're meeting to discuss whether they will endorse him and that will determine whether or not paul ryan will be speaker. here is the most important thing to remember about paul ryan's bid for house speaker. >> this is not a job i ever wanted. >> reporter: and he still doesn't. which is why he can make demands. >> that and he normally not what you tell voters. >> reporter: the most controversial, changes a house rule that allows speaker to be taken down by a simple majority vote since the threat of that kind of coup helped force out john boehner. some don't want to change that
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rule and give up leverage. >> every elected institution has an opportunity to remove the leader. i don't think we should change the rules for one man. if it was good enough for thomas jefferson, it's good enough for us. >> i want to ensure that we treat each other with respect. >> reporter: but gop house members rooting for ryan say bringing stability to the job will help restore order and sanity in congress. >> if paul is the speaker, and i certainly hope he is i think he understands that we have to push our conservative principles forward in a governing way. >> more transparency. >> reporter: another ryan condition? time with his young family on the weekends instead of traveling the country raising campaign cash for colleagues which is tradition for modern day house speakers. >> i cannot and i will not give up my family time. i may not be on the road as often as previous speakers. but i pledge to try to make up for it with more time communicating our vision, our message. >> reporter: to that, some gop colleagues effectively say give
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me a break. >> i really appreciate his desire to spend time with his family. frankly, that's why i wouldn't take the job for speaker. but i think it's sort of an unreasonable demand to say you won't work on weekends. >> reporter: ryan not only has the backing of the out going house speaker, but rare praise from democrats. >> i'm a paul ryan fan generally speaking. i think that he's been -- we've been able to work with him. >> reporter: the bipartisan appeal is some reason why some don't want him in the job calling him weak on immigration and one headline even needling him for kting li a cting lining. sfle stpt wa >> he doesn't want to job the so we should tack ta into account his personal circumstances as we made a decision. >> reporter: again, he does not want the job. which is why he put the
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conditions and glands so high. but this will meeting will determine whether or not paul ryan will be the next speaker. because he's said he wants to have the endorsement of the key factions of the republican caucus. their internal rules are that they will take a vote and if 80% of their caucus determines that they will endorse paul ryan or anybody, then they will do so. so they're likely to -- we do expect them to take that vote. maybe they're even doing it as we speak and once we find out the results, we'll know whether or not paul ryan is going to agree to go ahead and formally put in his bid to be speaker of the house. >> dan ina dana, let us know wh decide. congressman, what if they decide they won't support paul ryan, what happens next? >> i hope that's not the decision. they have an 80% threshold. but sometimes they say that somebody has to agree 100%, not 80%. if they don't, then it will be
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interesting. if paul can still peel off some of those, great. if not, it's unchartered territory. boehner has said he will stay until that is done, until we have a new speaker, so he may be in past the end of october or there will be other names floated and the potential of a company a lualition speaker. but i hope they go with paul ryan. he'd be a fantastic speaker not just our party, but for the country. >> if they decide to not go ahead and support paul ryan, he might still be able to get 218 republicans, but i take at the doesn't want do that unless he gets almost all republicans to vote in favor of his speakership. >> paul ryan is a reluctant warrior, but he's a good warrior. he's in a job he loves. he likes writing tax policy. but he recognizes that this is a moment where he's called possibly to do bigger things. but he doesn't want to come with a proverbial gun pointed to his thread, constant threat of do
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100% what 30 people want or else you'll be gone. he wants to be liberated to lead our conservative principles to the measure peopamerican people. and there are -- republican last night at that conference were unified behind him. >> not necessarily all the members of the freedom caucus were unified. >> right, but there are 247 republicans in the house. and i sure hope that those 30 or 40 do the right thing and say let's move together with a bold conservative ideas and take them to the american people. >> have you spoken to these representatives from the freedom caucus? >> i've spoken to some. they're keeping their cards pretty close to dhar chantheir . sdl obviously a very sensitive moment right now in the u.s. house of representatives. second in line it to the president. >> that's right. >> congressman, thanks very much for coming in. remember, you can always follow us on twitter, please tweet me
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@wolf blitzer. @cnn sit room. join us tomorrow in the situation room. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett out front oig starts right now. out yont oig next, biden is out and the vice president deciding against a run for president. what does it mean for clinton, sanders and donald trump. plus trump live this hour as the latest poll gives him one of his biggest leads yet, a lead he has held for 100 days. and we're live on the ground as heavily armed mexican marines search for one of the world east most wanted criminals, incredibly dangerous assignment for our reporter on the ground. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, joe a no. joe biden makes his surprise

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