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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 18, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm PST

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agreements that they make with the democratic party in order to use and access this data. no campaign. and i'm speaking as neutral as i possibly can. i don't have an allegiance to anyone but the democratic national committee, but. i hope we are able to get this done, that we're able to e review all of our safeguards to ensure that no data breach was done. nothing was removed. and campaigns can do back to reaching out to the american people, telling the country what we're going to do to keep the country safe. i do believe the next president of the united states will be a democrat. but this is a family fight and we're going to get through it. >> it could be a family fight, but remember tomorrow night is another democratic presidential debate. three democratic presidential candidates. i assume, and i'm anxious to get your thoughts, that we know bernie sanders. he's going to be very, very angry. he might not be as nice.
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in this next debate as far as hillary clinton is concerned. >> maybe not. there has always been this sort of grumbling on everyone not named hillary clinton's campaign that the dnc was favoring hillary clinton, so i assume you'll see sort of an angrier bernie sanders. i was talking to donna earlier and i said finally it's you guys and not us. we're always talking about the fights between our candidates and the rnc, and donna wouldn't mind if i said this is like trump taking on the rnc. couldn't have said it better myself. >> we're giving a little popcorn to the republicans. this is a serious matter. that's why the dnc is taking the steps they are taking. i know that the dnc staff and officials are in touch with both campaigns. for that reason, i hope they are in touch with o'mal lee's
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campaign. everyone should feel their data is secure. >> let me get jake tapper to weigh in. it's pretty ugly the feud between the dnc and the bernie sanders campaign. >> two things, the sanders campaign is the one at fault. their staffer is the one who by their own admission breached this data and improperly looked at it. now that said, does the sanders campaign have legitimate rights when it comes to the dnc, absolutely. i don't know anybody in washington that doesn't disagree. the number of debates has been limited and scheduled on sashd nights when viewership is the smallest. there's going to be one again this saturday night. these are on networks and yet the ones during the week have been much higher. it's nothing -- it is what it is. they are trying to have a small
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audience. >> the accusation against the dnc is they are trying at least indirectly to promote hillary clinton's campaign. >> there's no other reason to do it. i happen to think that actually isn't smart for any number of reasons. one, it it gives sanders and. o'mally a reason to complain that everybody in washington can say it makes sense. and two, i actually think hillary clinton is a pretty good debater. she bested barack obama in most of the debates in 2007 and 2008. . i think she e quits herself fine against sanders and martin o'malley. i don't understand it. it's an opportunity for her to it get her message out unfiltered. that said, it seems pretty clear that that's why it was done. however, all that said, sanders campaign is the one that messed up. they violated the rules. and i don't understand really why they think this is an opportunity for them to put on
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their martyr shawl and act as if they have been aggrieved. >> it was the vender's fault and the dnc's fault for having a bad vender which allowed young staffers to go. in there and check out -- >> that's like saying that the burglar alarm you set up in the house was faulty and did not go off so the person who went into your house and stole your money is really not at fault. these are adults on a campaign. somebody said something about kids. these are not kids. these are adults on a campaign and expected to abide by laws and rules. >> but. the sanders campaign is also saying in its own defense, sort of, that two months ago there was this firewall breach and they were worry ied about their own information and they told the dnc about it and the dnc assured them that everything was
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going to be fine. and that, obviously, it wasn't. now obviously, their over staffers, and we don't know it. it was during the same breach or not that their own staffers irresponsibly accessed hillary clinton's campaign data, but they are saying this is something we had had warned the dnc about and nothing was done about it. so i'm just saying. >> you're saying what they said. it's ludicrous. >> the president is about to walk out and open with a statement. i assume that will go on at least for one hour and then the president might be asked about this feud between the bernie sanders campaign and the dnc. although most of the questions should focus on the war on terror. this is a huge issue right now. if if you believe the public opinion polls, the number one concern of the american public right now is fear of another terrorist attack on the u.s.
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homeland. jim sciutto, as we await the president, we'll also be anxious to hear if he says in public now what he said during private meeting with columnists at the white house earlier in the week. >> he has a tendency to do that, to justify his position. he's sticking to his strategy. there's been a lot of criticism, but in each public forum recently whether it's at the pentagon, we see the president stick to his guns on saying a large ground operation won't be. worthwhile and there would be tremendous loss of blood in pursuing that kind of strategy. that's been a familiar argument from him. that's one thing. but again, he has an enormous need here to come out and acknowledge there's fear and give people confidence. the polls don't e show a tremendous amount of confidence. 77% of people think the authorities cannot prevent a lone wolf attack. that's kind of recognizing reality. >> here comes the president. let's listen in. >> good afternoon, everybody.
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clearly, this is not the most important thing that's taking place in the white house today. there's a screening of "star wars" for gold star families and children coming up. so i'll try to be relatively brief. let me say a few words about the year behind us and the year ahead and then i'll take a few questions. as i look back on this year, the one thing i see is that so much of our steady persistent work is paying off for the american people in big tangible ways. our early actions to rescue the economy set the stage for the longest streak of private sector job growth on record with 13.7 million new jobs in that time. the unemployment rate has been cut in half down to 5%. and most importantly, wages grew faster than at any time since the recovery began. so over the course of this year,
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a lot of the decisions that we made early on have paid off. the steady implementation of the affordable care act helped drive the rate of the uninsured below 10 prs f 10% for the first time since records were kept. health care prices are at they lowest prices. 17 million more americans have gained coverage and we now know that 6 million people have signed up through healthcare.gov. 600,000 on tuesday alone. new customers are up one-third over last year and the more who sign up, the stronger the system becomes. that's good news for every american who no longer has to worry about being an illness away from financial hardship. on climate, our early invest ment in clean energy ignited a clean energy industry boom. our actions to reduce carbon emissions brought china to the
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table and last week in paris nearly 200 nations forged an historic agreement that was only possible because of american leadership. around the world from reaching the deal to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon to reestablishing diplomatic relations with cuba to concluding a a landmark trade agreement that will make sure that american workers and american businesses are operating on a level playing field and that we rather than china or other countries are setting the rules for global trade, we have shone what is possible when america leads. and after decades of dedicated advocacy, marriage quality became a reality. i just want to point out i said at the beginning of this it year that interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter and we are only half way through. i do want to thank congress for ending the year on a high note. i got to sign an education bill
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that is going to fix some of the challenges that we had with no child left behind and promises to invest more in high quality early childhood education. we signed a transportation bill that although not as robust as i think we need still allows states and local governments to plan and actually get moving putting people back to work e rebuilding roads and bridges. we got xm bank back to work and they passed a bipartisan budget deal. ooip not wild about everything in. it. but it is a budget that as i insisted invests in our military and our middle class without provisions that would have weakened wall street reform or rules on big polluters. it's part of an agreement that will permanently extend tax credits to 24 million working
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families. it includes some wins like strengthening america's leadership at the imf and because it eliminates the possibility of a shutdown for the first nine months of next year congress and i have a long way to get important things done on be. half of the american people. there's still a lot of work to do. for example, there's still a lot more that congress can do to promote job growth and increase wages in this country. i still want to work with congress, both democrats and republicans, to reform our criminal justice system. and earlier today i commuted the sentences of 95 men and women who had served their debt to society and another step forward in upholding our ideals of justice and fairness. and of course, our most important job is to keep americans safe. i have had a lot to say about that this week, but let me reiterate. the united states continues to
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lead a global coalition in our mission to e destroy isil. isil lost 40% of the populated areas of once controlled in iraq and it's losing territory in syria. . as we keep up the pressure, our air campaign will continue to hit isil harder than ever taking out their leaders, their commanders and their forces. we're stepping up our support for partners on the ground as they push isil back. our men and women in uniform are carrying out their mission with a trademark professionalism and courage and this holiday season all of us are united in our gratitude for their service and we are thankful to their families as well because they serve alongside those who are actually deployed. squeezing isil's heart at its core in syria and iraq will make it harder for them to pump their terror and propaganda to the rest of the world. at the same time, as we know from san bernardino, where i'll visit with families later today, we have to remain vigilant here
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at home. our counterterrorism, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement communities are working 24/7 to protect our homeland and all of us can do our part by staying vigilant by saying something if we see something that is suspicious, by refusing to be terrorized and staying united as one american family. in short for all the real progress many america made over the past seven years rksz we have unfinished business and i plan on doing everything i can with every minute of every day that i have left as president to deliver on behalf of the american people. since taking this office, i have never been more optimistic about a year ahead than i am right now. and in 2016 i'm going to leave it all on the field. so with that, let me take some questions. i'll start with reuters. >> mr. president, you're going to california today. as you said earlier this week,
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you told the nation there's no specific or credible threat of a similar attack, but how is it really possible to know? aren't similar plots going to be just as hard to detect beforehand? and some lawmakers are saying your government should review the social media of all people applying for visas. what do you think of that idea? should that be mandatory? >> you're absolute ly right tha it is very difficult for us to detect lone wolf plots or plots involving a husband and wife, in this case, because despite the incredible vigilance of our law enforcement and homeland security, it's not that different from us trying to detect the next mass shooter. you don't always see it. they are not communicating
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publicly, and if you're not catching that, then it becomes a challenge. we are continuing to work at every level to make sure that there's no slip between information sharing among agencies. we're continuing to strengthen our information sharing with foreign countries and because in part of the strategy in paris, i think you're seeing much greater cooperation from our european partners on these issues. but this is a different kind of challenge than the sort that we had with organization like al qaeda that involves highly trained operatives who are working as cells or as a network. isil is trying to encourage or
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induce somebody who may be prey to this kind of propaganda. it becomes more difficult to see. it does mean that they are less likely to be able to carry out large complex attacks, but as we saw in san bernardino, obviously, you can still do enormous damage. the issue of reviewing social media for those who are obtain ing visas, i think may have gotten garble d a little bit because there may be -- it's important to distinguish between posts that are public on a facebook page versus private communications through various social media or apps. and our law enforcement and intelligence professionals are
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constantly monitoring public posts and that is part of the visa review process that people are investigating what individuals have said publicly and questioned about any statements that may be made. but if you have a private communications between two individuals, that's harder to discern by definition. and one of the things we'll be doing is engaging with the high-tech community to find out how u we can in an appropriate way do a better job if if we have a lead to be able to track a suspected terrorist. but we're going to have to recognize that no government. is going to have a capacity to
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read every single person's texts or e-mails or social media. if it's not posted publically, then they are going to be feasibility issues that are probably insurmountable at some level. and raises questions about our values. it was only a couple years ago where we were having a major debate about whether the government was becoming too much like big brother. overall, i think we have struck the right balance in protecting civil liberties and making sure that u.s. citizens privacies are preserved. that we are making sure that there's oversight to what our intelligence agencies do. but we're going to have to continue to balance or needs for security with people's legitimate concerns about privacy. and because the internet is global and communications
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systems are global, the values that we apply here often times are ones that folks who are trying to come into the country are also benefitting from. because they are using the same technologies. but this is precisely why we're working hard to bring law enforcement, intelligence and high-tech companies together because we're going to have to really review what we can do both technically as well as consistent with our laws and values in order to try to discern more rapidly some of the potential threats that may be out there. david jackson. >> mr. president, congress made it clear they are not going to let you transfer prisoners to the united states for trial. but some people think you already have the executive authority to transfer those prisoners and close gitmo.
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do you believe you have that authority and are you willing to exercise it to close that? >> first of all, we have been working systemically in reducing the population. we have a review process for those e eligible for transfer. we locate in countries that have accepted some of these detainees. they monitor them and it's been determined that they can be transferred. and my expectation is by early next year we should have reduced that population below 100. we will continue to steadily chip away at the numbers in guantanamo. there's going to come to a point where we have an you are reducible population. people who pose a significant threat, but for various reasons, it's difficult for us to try them in an article iii court.
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there's going to be a challenge there. but at that stage, i'm presenting a plan to congress about how we can close guantanamo. i'm not going to automatically assume that congress says no. i'm not being coy. i think it's fair to say that there's going to be significant resistance from some quarters to that. but i think we can make a very strong argument that if it doesn't make sense for us to be spending an extra $500 billion to have a secure setting for 70 people. we will wait until congress has
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said no to a olympian with numbers attached to it before we say anything definitive about my exec futive authority here. i think it's far preferable, if i can get stuff done with congress. you have seen me on immigration, i'm not going to be forward leaning on what i can do without congress before i have tested what i can do with congress. every once in awhile they will surprise you. and this may be one of those places because we can make a strong argument. guantanamo continues to be one of the key magnets for jihadi recruitment. to the question earlier about how do they convince somebody
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here in the united states who may not have a criminal record or history of criminal activity to start shooting, this is part of what they feed. this notion of a gross injustice that america is not living up to its professed ideals. we know that. we see the internet traffic. we see how guantanamo has been used to create this mythology that america is at war with islam. and for us to close it as part of our counterterrorism strategy that is supported by our military, our diplomatic and intelligence teams. so when you combine that with the fact that it's really expensive that we are essentially at this point detaining a handful of people and each person is cost iing several million dollars to
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detain when there are more efficient ways of doing it, i think we can make a strong argument. but i'll take your point that it will be an uphill battle. sometimes that may prove necessary, but we try not to get ahead of ourselves on that. julie pace. >> thank you, mr. president. wanted to ask you about the broader challenges in the middle east. some of the republicans running for president have argued that the middle east would be safer if. you had regime places in iraq, libya, and having gone through the arab spring, i wonder what you now see the u.s. role in the middle east in terms of trying to push dictators out of power. would you advise future presidents to call for leaders to step down. and specifically on syria, at
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this point, is it your expectation that bashar al assad's presidency will outlast yours? >> you know, there's been a lot of revisionist history sometimes by the same people making different arguments. maybe it's use fful to go over some of these issues. we did not depose mubarak. millions of egyptians did because of their dissatisfaction with the corruption of the regime. we had a work relationship with mubarak. we didn't trigger the arab spring. . the notion that somehow the u.s. was in a position to pull the strings on a country that is the largest in the arab world i think is mistaken. what is true is that at the point at which the choice
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becomes mowing down millions of people, or trying to find some transition, we believed and i would still argue that it was more sensible for us to find a peaceful transition to the egyptian situation. with respect to libya, libya is an alternative version of syria in some ways because by the time the international coalition interseeded eed in syria, chao already broken out. you already had had the makings of a civil war. you had a dictator who was threatening and was in a position to carry out the wholesale slaughter of large numbers of people. and we worked under u.n. mandate with a coalition of folks in
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order to try to avert a big humanitarian catastrophe that would not have good for us. in retrospect, we should have left gadhafi in there, those seem to forget he had lost legitimate si and control of his country and we could have had another syria in libya now. the problem with libya was the fact that there was a failure on the part of the entire international community and i think that the united states has some accountability for not moving swiftly enough and underestimating the need to rebuild government there quickly. and as a consequence, you now have a very bad situation.
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as far as syria goes, it's right and proper for. the united states to speak out on behalf of the values. and when you have an authoritarian leader that is killing hundreds of thousands of his own people the notion that we would just standby and say nothing is contrary to who we are. us being in that would make us more of a target for terrorist activity. the reason that assad has been a problem in syria is because that is a majority sunni country and
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he had lost the space that he had early on to execute an inclusive transition. he chose instead to slaughter people and once that happened, the idea that a minority population there could somehow crush tens of millions of people who oppose him is not feasible. it's not plausible. even if you were being cold eyed, it wouldn't happen. as a consequence, our view has been that you cannot bring peace to syria. you cannot get an end to the civil war unless you have a government that it is recognized
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as legitimate by a majority of that country. it will not happen. and this is the argument that i have had repeatedly with mr. putin. dating five years ago, at which time his suggestion, as i gather some republicans are now suggesting, assad is not so bad. we'll let him be as brutal and repressive as he can, but at least he'll keep order. the problem is that the history of trying to keep order when a large majority of the country has turned against you is not good. and five years later, i was right. so we now have an opportunity and john kerry is meeting with syria and turkey and iran and the gulf countries and other party who is are interested, we now have an opportunity not to turn back the clock, it's going to be difficult to completely
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overcome the devastation that's happened in syria already, but to find a political transition that maintains the syrian state, that recognizes a bunch of stake holders inside of syria and hopefully to initiate a cease-fire that won't be perfect, but allows all the parties to turn on what should be our number one focus and that is destroying daesh and its allies in the region. and that is going to be a duflt process. it's going to be a pain staking process, but there's no shortcut to that. and that's not based on some idealism on my part. that's our hard headed calculation about what's going to be required to get the job done. >> do you think assad could remain in power a year from now? >> i think that assad is going
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to have to leave in order for the country to stop the blood or all the parties involved to be able to move forward in a nonsectarian way. he has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the country. is there a way of us constructing a bridge creating a political transition that allows those aligned with assad right now, the russians, ensure that they are respected and minorities are not hushed or retribution is not the order of the day, that's going to be very important as well. that's what make this is so difficult.
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that kind of political transition would've been much easier. it's a lot harder now. john kerry has been doing excellent work in moving that process forward. i do think that you have seen from the russians a recognition that after a couple months they are not really moving the needle that much. that's what i suggested would happen because there's only so much bombing you can do when an entire country is outraged and represent them. >> thank you, mr. president. i'd like to ask about this in congress. specifically what are your top
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legislative priorities. for next year? how has the new speaker paul ryan changed the dynamic with you and capital hill? and can you be more ambitious doing things like completing the transatlantic trade partnership or getting tax reform? >> first of all, it's important to give. credit where credit is due. john boehner did a favor to all of us, including now speaker ryan, by working with us to agree on a top line budget framework. that was the basis for subsequent negotiations. he was able to do that because he was going out the door. and it was then given a little more room to maneuver than he previously had. having said that, i also want to give speaker ryan credit.
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i called both him and mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi and harry reid for the orderly way to negotiate a budget the way congress is historically supposed to wrk. we have gotten used to last-minute crises and shutdown threats and so forth. this is a messy process that doesn't satisfy everybody completely, but it's more typical of american democracy. speaker ryan deserves a role in that. in his interactions with me, he has been professional and reach ed out to tell me what he can do and what he cannot do. i think it's a good working relationship. we recognize that we disagree on a whole bunch of other stuff. and have fundamentally different visions for where we want to
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move the country, but perhaps because even before he was elected he had worked on capitol hill, i think he is respectful of the process and respectful of how legislation works. so kudos to him as well as all the other leaders and appropriators who were involved in this process. just want to e repeat because sometimes we take for granted what's happened, i said early on in this process that i wasn't going to sign a budget that did not relieve sequester. this artificial austerity making it difficult to invest in education and our military and i said i would not accept a lot of writers that were attached to a big budget deal. and we met our goals.
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and because of some terrific negotiations by the democrats up on capitol hill and some pretty good work by our legislate i ha have staffs here we're going to fund environmental protection, make sure that we're investing in things like early childhood education and making college more affordable. we're going to be able to implement the clean power plant rule. we're going to be able to continue to invest in clean energy that spurs on innovation. we're going to be able to make sure that our military gets the equipment and the training that it needs to be effective in fighting isil and other threats around the world. so it was a good win. there are some things in there that i don't like, but that's the nature of legislation and
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compromise. i think the system worked. that gives me some optimism that next year on a narrow set of issues we can get some more. as david said, it's an election year. obviously, a lot of the legislative process is going to be skewed by people looking over their shoulders worrying a bt primary trying to position themselves relative to the presidential candidates. so that makes it harder. but i think there are going to be a handful of areas we can make real progress. one of them you already mentioned. transpacific partnership, which now has been out. congress has had a chance to review. and it meets the bar that i set. it is consistent with what i promised, which is the most pro labor, pro environment trade
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deal in history that eliminates just about every tariff on american manufacturing goods in countries that up until this point have charged a tax on anything that american workers and american business. s sell in these areas. it brings those taxes down to zero on basically all of american manufactured products. a huge win for agricultural. because now the people of japan will be in a better position to enjoy american beef and american pork, which up until this point even though we're much more efficient producers as have been tagged with a tax that makes our products uncompetitive in japanese markets. this is a big deal and speaker ryan would like to try to get it done. and there are proponents and opponents in. both democratic and republican
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parties, and so it's going to be an interesting situation where we're going to have to stitch together the same kind of bipartisan effort in order for us to get it done. a second area that i think is possible is criminal justice reform. there has been sincere serious negotiations and efforts by democrats and republicans to create a criminal justice system that more fair, more even handed, more proportionate and is smarter about how we reduce crime. and i have really been impressed by the dedication of a core group of democrats and republicans. some of them the most liberal democrats and the most conservative republicans coming together saying this is the right thing to do. we have a bill in the senate
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that passed out of committee. my hope is that get. s to the floor. and that we can pair it up with a good bill out of the house. this is an area where you can potentially see save money, make sure people who make a mistake on nonviolent crimes have to pay the price, serve time, but are released in a reasonable fashion that they have more support so they are less likely to go back into the criminal justice system subsequently and that's an area where we may be able to make a big difference. those are two examples. we'll keep on looking for a number of examples like that. and wherever there's an opportunity, i'm going to take it. >> you mentioned climate change.
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at the time, you said it was potentially a turning point for the the world. this is not a legally binding document. you bipartisaned congress completely. are you worried that a republican president who might take over for you in the white house could stop the deal in its tracks entirely and considering that possibility, are are you more interested in campaign iin for a democrat cannic nominee considering that danger? >> it's fair i was going to be campaign iing for a democratic nominee even. without that danger, and i am very confident that we're going to have a terrific democratic nominee and -- whose phone is that now? come on, guys. you recognize your ring. don't be. embarrassed. just turn it off. there you go. i think it's off now. i think we will have a strong
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democratic nominee. i think that nominee will win. i think i will have a democratic successor and campaign very hard to make that happy for a variety of reasons. they are more likely to share my vision of where america should go. but having said that, what i think people should also feel good about is that the agreement struck in paris although not legally binding when it comes to the targets that have been set does create this architecture in which all around the world countries are saying this is where we're going. we're going to be chasing after this clean energy future. this is how we're going to meet our goals. we're going to double down on solar power. we're going to double down on wind power. we're going to invest more
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heavily in biofuels. we're going to figure out battery technologies. what you saw in this budget, which i think was really significant, was an extension of the solar tax credits and wind tax credits that we had helped boost. early on in this this money strags and resulted in wind power increasing threefold solar power by 20 fold. and as a consequence, that combination means that the private sector is going to start investing. it's not just coming here. it's coming around the world. you now have a a global marketplace for clean energy that is stable and accelerating
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over the course of the next decade. that then creates a different dynamic that is independent of what congress does, but also helps to shape what congress does. because the more people that are now getting jobs in solar installation and production, the more that you have companies who are seeing how american innovation can sell products in clean energy all across the asia pacific and in europe and in africa. it's a monetary incentive to get. ing this right. that's been the history of environmental progress in this country. every time we have mad a decision, we're going to have clean air. predictions were everything would fall apart. and low and behold, turns out
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that american innovation makes getting clean air a lot less, pensive and happens a lot faster than expected. when we made a decision that we were going to double fuel efficiency standards on car, everybody said i'm going to ruin the auto industry. it's been boom over the last couple years. acid rain, when george h.w. bush instituted a system to charge for the me i guesses causing acid rain, people said that's going to ruin business and. it turned out it was smoother, faster, quicker, better and acid rain, folks who were born -- some may not remember it anymore because it got. involved. and there's no reason why the same won't happen here. now do i think there's going to be a lot of noise and
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campaigning next year about how we're going to stop paris in its tracks, there will be a lot of noise about that. two years from now, three years from now even republican members of congress are going to say that's a smart thing to do, i don't think they will. keep in mind, right now the american republican party is the only major party that i can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change. it's an outliar. many of the key items to this deal, the architects o of this deal come from center right governments. even the far right parties in had these countries may not like immigrants, but they admit the
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science tells us we have to do something about climate change. so my sense is that this is something that may be an advantage in terms of short-term politics in the republican primary. it's not something that is going to be a winner for republicans long-term. >> you mentioned american leadership. is it embarrass iing to you tha the other party denies climate change? >> no, because first of all, i'm not a member of that party. second of all, it didn't stop us from being the key leader in getting this done. this is something i have been working on now for five, six years. when u went to copenhagen, i essentially engaged in 24 hours of diplomacy to salvage from a pretty chaotic process the basic
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principle that all countries had to participate. we had a ridge of division between developing countries when it came to solving this problem. that was the initial foundation for us then working with other countries, culminating in the joint announcement with china, bringing in india, bringing in brazil and other big emerging countries, working with the europeans and getting this done. this would not have happened without american leadership. and by the way, the same is true for the iran nuclear deal. the same is true for the transpacific partnership. the same is true for stamping out out ebola, which was the potential end of the world. at each juncture that we have said is that american strength and american exceptionalism is
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not just a matter of us bombing somebody. more often, it's a matter of us convening, setting the agenda, pointing other nations in a direction that's good for everybody and good for u.s. interests, engaging in pain staking diplomacy, leading by example and sometimes the results don't come overnight, they don't come the following day, but they come. and this year what you really saw was that steady, persistent leadership on many initiatives that i began when i first came into office. >> mr. president, i want to ask you something about criminal
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justice. your administration contends the united states is 5% of the world population but 25% of the global population. supporting that cuts mass incarceration in this country? and going back to assad, does assad have to go to defeat isis? >> well, we're going to defeat isis. and we're going to do so by systemically squeezing them, cutting off their fly lines, their financing, taking out leadership, taking o out their forces, taking out their infrastructure. we're going to do so in partnership with forces on the ground that sometimes are spotty, sometimes need capacity building, need our assistance, need our training, but we're e seeing steady progress in many of these areas. they are going to be on the run. they are going to continue to be
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dangerous. so e let me just be very clear because whenever i say that we have made progress in squeezing the territory that they control or made end roads against them, people say, if something happens around the world then ob obviously obviously that must not be true. in any bat. l, in any fight, even as you make progress, there's still dangers involved. and isil's capacity both to infiltrate western countries with people who have traveled to syria or traveled to iraq and the savviness of their social media, their ability to recruit disaffected individuals who may be french or british or u.s.
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citizens, will continue to make them dangerous for some time. but we will systemically go after them. now, in order for us to stamp them out thoroughly, we have to eliminate lawless areas in which they cannot still roam. so we can disable them, we can dismantle much of their infrastructure, greatly reduce the threat that they pose to the united states, our allies and our neighbors, but in the same way that al qaeda is pinned down and has much more difficulty carrying out any significant attacks because of how we have systemically dismantled them, they still pose a threat. there are still operatives interested in carrying out terrorist attacks because they still operate in areas between pakistan and afghanistan or more
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prominently right now in yemen that are hard to reach. our long-term goal has to be able to stabilize these areas so they have no safe haven. in order for us to do that in syria, there has to be an end to the civil war. there has to be a government that has a a police capacity and a structure in these areas currently aren't governed. and it is my firm belief and the belief of the exparts in this administration that so long as assad is there, we cannot achieve that kind of stability inside of syria. and the history over the last several years indicates as much. so that's going to continue to be a top priority for us moving
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aggressively on the military track and not letting isil take a breath and pounding away at them with our special forces and our airstrikes and training and advising of partners that can go. after them. but we also have to keep very aggressive on this diplomatic track in order for us to bring countries together. criminal justice reform, i answered the question. i'm hopeful. april, what i said was that i strongly support the senate legislation that's already been put forward. i'm hopeful the house will come up with legislation that follows the same principles, which is to make sure that we're doing sentencing reform, but we're also doing a better job in terms of reducing resieve vim and
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providing support for exoffenders. if we can get those bills together, i'm somewhat optimistic we'll be. able to make a difference. when you use the term mass incarceration, statistically the overwhelming majority of people incarcerated are in state prisons and state facilities for state crimes. we can only focus on federal law and federal crimes. so there's still going to be a large population of individuals who are incarcerated even for nonviolent drug crimes because this is a trend that started in the late '80s and '90s and accelerated at the state levels. but if we can show at the federal level that we can be smart on crime, more cost
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effective, more just, more proportionate, then we can set a trend for other states to follow as well. and that's our hope. this is not going to be something that's reversed overnight. just to go back to my general principle, it took 20 years for us to get to the point we are now. and only 20 years probably before we reverse some of these major trends. everybody, i have to get to "star wars." thank you. thank you, guys. appreciate you. thank you. merry christmas, everybody. >> there he is, the president of the united states. . he's off to a "star wars" presentation for some young kids over at the white house. let's just listen and see if he says anything. >> merry christmas. have fun with your families. >> he said merry christmas.
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we heard nearly an hour, the president touting some of his major achievements at least in his mind that occurred over the past year on climate change, the iran nuclear deal opening the door to coup bha, diplomatic relations between the united states and cuba. . he also suggested the u.s. is making progress on the war on isis, although isis remains still dangerous. he said detecting lone wolf terrorists in the united states is as difficult as detecting mass shooters here in the united states. and he went on. jake tapper, the president does an annual end of year news conference before he heads off to his vacation in hawaii. this is what he did today. >> just before we assess that, the "star wars" screening he's going to is a screening with gold star families and their kids. i happen to know one of the children who lost his father before he could even meet his father fighting in afghanistan. and i know he and his mom are just over the moon attending this. so just a special moment.
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>> very cool watching "star wars" at the white house. >> a nice moment for the white house to be doing that for these families. that said, i have to say, first of all, the most interesting thing that the president saud that we know about this week was in an off the record conference with a numb of columnists in which he talked about concerns about why he does not want there to be a major military effort in iraq and syria. he said he has been advised it could cost hundreds of lives -- >> he said 100 deaths a month and 500 injured and could cost $10 billion a month. >> remarkably, he was not asked about that at this press conference, but that's something our viewers should e know about. it was in a meeting with columnists. it's very interesting. the president was trying to tout things he thinks are important. some achievements being done by
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congress. he gave kudos to the new house speaker for working with him. he talked about the trade partnership until the pacific. he talked about the nuclear deal with iran. cuba and other things that he achieved. but he couldn't get past the issues of isis and he did say he wanted to underline that even though he pointed out that 40% of the land u.s.i iis seized ha been driven away from, they are going to continue to be very dangerous. he noted that the reason he was saying that is because he's gotten in some hot water with the public before saying that there's an achievement and then isis went on to do other unspeakable acts of horror whether in france or sbrd. as you note, he did point out and argue that, and it's a sad reality, that lone wolf attacks are going to be very difficult to prevent and he compared them
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to mass shootings. just like mass shootings are not able to be prevented every time. it's an interesting comparison, both of them are horrific. i'm not sure that putting them in the same bucket is fair given that one is an intelligence area, but at the same -- the bottom line is it's horrible death and destruction. >> what struck you, gloria? >> his move into politics, which was scarce, was that had he said that the republican party in in this country is the only major party that denies climate change. he called it an outliar. then he was asked if he was embarrassed by that and he said no, because we were still a key leader in this this fight. but i want to agree with jake here because this press conference was distinguished by
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the questions that remained on the table about this off the record session. one other thing i want to point out is according to "the new york times" he told the clumists that the only way he would envision sending significant amounts o of ground forces to the middle east would be in the case of a catastrophic terror attack that disrupted normal life here in the united states. i think that's going to become a topic of conversation on the campaign trail among republicans. i wouldn't be surprised if hillary clinton were asked about some of the things the president said in this off the record session at her debate tomorrow night. but again, there wasn't much news out of this press conference. the president took a little bow. the question about closing guantanamo, he still clearly wants to close it. >> he praised the house speaker paul ryan. >> kiss of death of paul ryan in the republican part.
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>> he said he's developing a good relationship with the new house speaker. >> and he didn't say how he would close gitmo, what would happen to those prisoners. >> he did suggest, jim sciutto, that there's a a difference between posts that potential terrorists are putting online, public posts, opposed to private communications. in the case of the san bernardino, maybe some of these posts that were private communications were more difficult for law enforcement to detect. >> it goes to the question of whether there was an intel failure in e preventing the san bernardino attack. there was incorrect reporting that they had posted publicly on social media about jihad. but it was in private messages. . before getting a visa that the wife got, if the state department was checking postings. so that gets to answering that question is whether it was an intel failure there. there was a nod in this to the
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administration acknowledging that there's great fear in this country. the president said in so many words, my most important job is keep more thanes safe. he acknowledges that fear. he went on to defend the strategy and affect there's no new strategy. isis lost 40% of the populated areas it used to control in iraq. it's losing ground in syria as well. the air campaign is hitting isis harder than ever. he's doubling down saying there's going to be no change. i would make one more point about connecting san bernardino to mass shootings. i could be wrong, but that connection seems to be fit with a broader narrative that not just the white house but other u.s. officials are trying to get out there to tamp down some fears to say, listen, yes, this was a terror attack, but the fact is there aren't that many of them. the fact is we have these other shootings, trying to put it in the same category as other shootings. >> like sandy hook. >> which may be a fair
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comparison, but the fact is americans view it differently. there's something about an isis attack inspired from abroad that frightens americans more. that's a fact. and that connection, i thought, was an interesting one. >> also the connection about guns. which the president says people on the watch list should not be able to get guns. . that wasn't specifically raised but it's something the president wants to change. >> the president did acknowledge that he and the administration are speeding up the process of transferring detainees from guantanamo bay. and that's interesting. >> he said there would be fewer than 100 next year. >> it's true. he also acknowledged that many of them, 70 i think he said, would be in this strange category of they can't transfer them and they can't try them. so what do you do with them? he was going to turn to congress and hope for help with that. it's the big dilemma. if you bring them to the united states, they are
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constitutionally protected to a fair trial. that's one of the reasons they are a at guantanamo outside of the united states. what's interesting is the connection a lot of republicans and opponents of the president are going to make between letting these prisoners out, and there's a recidivism rate, people who are going to return to the battlefield, resuming or starting a a life of terrorism against the united states. and the disconnect between that act and the fear that the people of the united states are feeling right now when it comes to the terrorist threats. . >> hold on for a second. david ignatius is joining us, "washington post" congress. he was at the off the record meeting with the president at the white house. david is a good friend. thank you for joining us. i want to pick your brain. you wrote a column. you didn't quote the president, but you took us inside the mind
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of the president in your column yesterday. that was the headline of of your article in the "washington post." as a result of that article, "the new york times," peter baker and company went ahead and did a full report on what the president said. i don't know what your restrictions are as far as ground rules or whatever, but if you can give us the context of what the president said when there would be if the u.s. went in on mass with ground troupes in seyria 100 would come home i body bags every month, 500 would be wounded. it would cost $10 billion a month. are those accurate numbers? >> first of all, i don't feel comfortable talking about sessions that were on the record or off the record. i do feel comfortable talking about what i wrote in my column yesterday and giving your viewers some background on it.
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what i said in the column was that president obama's advisers have been telling him that the cost of an all in ground combat involvement in syria is on the order that you mentioned. 100 kill ed a month, 500 seriously wounded a month, $10 billion in costs a month. so as the president weighs this, getting advice from military advisers, he continues to view the all-in response with a strategy that admittedly is going slowly. i thought it was important in the news conference just now when he said progress is spotty. in other words, this isn't going as quickly as we'd like or as the american people would like. so he's saying the alternative to that spotty, uneven, uncertain progress would be a much greater commitment of u.s. forces with very high costs. as i said in my column, i don't think the president at this
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point feels that those costs are justified by the benefit to the country. >> under what circumstances, david, would the president think those costs would be justified? >> obviously, we don't know that. even the columnists drawing on sources can't read the president's mind. i think based on the reporting that i have done that it's fair to say the president at this it point does not view the crisis in syria and iraq as a crisis to the united states. the ability of isis to project its power into the united states to cause the kind of mass casualties that would truly disrupt our society, we haven't seen yet. if we got to that point, if there were attacks on the united states at that level, then i think the president's calculous and everyone else's would change. but as to what precisely would be the trigger for his decisions or his adviser's recommendations, i can't say.
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>> you would think, david, that the president would have volunteered that kind of public statement at this news conference because it does -- it is a a powerful justification for his reluctance to do what some of his critics want. no-fly zone or send in 20,000 u.s. troops into syria and iraq to fight isis. if he were to spell out his view based presumably on what the u.s. military u tells hum of the e enormous cost in blood and treasure, that would be a powerful statement. >> i share the view that at this time when the public is anxious, concerned, wants to know how the white house is looking at these issues, it's important that they have a better sense of how the commander-in-chief is viewing them. that's why i wrote the column that i did yesterday drawing on my sources, which i don't want to talk about, to give people as clear a sense as i could of how this is seen. i think it would be better
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speaking to the whole country directly on camera to say more because this is a public that's hungry for leadership and clarity about where we're going. but i think the president the basics that i report in my column yesterday i did hear in the news conference. the way we're going, we have spotty progress, but we will defeat isis in the end. he's effectively saying to have patience. it's difficult to it deal with lone wolf and other attacks that the u.s. is working and struggling to know more. it was interesting that this week he visibly went to the pentagon, went to the counterterrorism center. he could be briefed in the situation room and get the same briefing and chose to go there publicly is a symbolic statement to the country. i'm working the progress problem. >> i want you to standby for a moment. mark hertling is joining us.
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the numbers that the president is suggesting of casualties and costs if the u.s. were o to deploy ground troops. i want your analysis. are they basically what you have been hearing as well? 100 american troops killed every month, 500 seriously injured and would cost taxpayers $10 billion a month. is that what you've heard? >> it has been what i've heard, wolf. it's also part of what's called a force deletion study. but it's also what i have experienced. when you've been in combat and see soldiers under your command sacrifice their lives, how much money you're spending, the kinds of things that accompany this, i have to comment, too, this is what soldiers are sometimes asked to do. it is part of our job description. but the real question is, should we provide deployments under these kind of situations? is it a smart move to insert ourselves in the middle of what is a fight for the heart and
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soul of islam? we've been there before. we know how long this is going to take. even when not deploying soldiers on the ground in this fight as we have been talking so many times before. we have often said this is going to be a very long, slow slot. and the american people still -- the american people, 99% who don't serve in the cloth of their country but want other people to do it, have been told repeatedly this is going to be a long fight yet we still want it right away. it's inconceivable to understand the dichotomy in this kind of suggestion. but i believe the president has been given these figures by advisers and i would suggest they are close to being accurate. >> s.e. cupp, the debate the other night, you heard republican candidates suging the u.s. should go in ground forces. lindsey graham wants 10,000 u.s. troops in syria right now and another 10,000 in iraq.
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you think the american public is ready right now for these kinds of casualties and costs if the u.s. were to deploy troops in that manner? >> you're never ready for casualties in the cost of war, but for the first time, a majority of americans want ground troops in iraq and seyri. and that's for a a number of reasons. one, it feels like the current strategy that the obama administration has been defending for months isn't working. and that's been sort of reassured by some of the members of his own cabinet who have contradicted this idea that isis is contained. when president obama said just now that doesn't mean that isis won't still be dangerous. they will still be dangerous. that doesn't jive with past explanations that isis is contained,i isis is not an extet shl threat. it's difficult to compel the american voters that taking back 40% of isis east's territory ovs
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is the case. american people are very, very concerned, and i think maybe for the first time, there is more of an appetite to go in to iraq and syria with our troops and fight isis more definitively so that the threat and the fear at home can be somewhat assuaged. >>brazil, on most of the issues the president and the leading presidential candidates seem to be on the same page. but on syria, she supports a no-fly zone over syria. there's some concern that kind of no-fly zone could return in an exchange between the u.s. and russia. russian planes are flying all over the place over syria right now. how much of a difference is there between the president and hillary clinton? >> look, i think secretary clinton has outlined her own
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views and strategy in terms of how she will approach this crisis if she becomes the president of the united states. i think she has every right to do that allow with senator sanders and martin o'malley. that's what the debate is in the democratic party. but i want to be careful. i think we're so gung who to go to war and try to occupy other countries. iraq, for example. we're not a real strategy of what we're going to do once we get there and how we're going to get out. we have a government in iraq that has to play a leading role in helping to defeat isis. and we have a fractured government. in syria. so i think we have to be very careful. yes, the american people are worried. they are fearful. they are concerned. but bombing -- just having a
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bomb strategy may not be workable in this situation. i think we have to put all these various tools that the president, the united states and the coalition and allies are using together to ensure that it's effective and working including the internet and the access that terrorists now have with all of this stuff, i don't even know because i'm not that great with all this technology, but we have to make sure that we're doing the right thing and have a strategy. listen to those who know exactly how we're going to get in, expedite whatever we're going to do and get the hell out. what we're doing now is causing more conflict. what i believe long-term is going to be a bad strategy for the united states. it's going o to make the situation even worse. i hope we have a smart strategy and not want to simply march us back into the middle east believing that we're going to conquer the day when this is more difficult. e we need to get more of our arab al lice, more of the sunnis
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involved in this campaign as well. >> donna, thank you very much. very important discussion right now. that's it for me. i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." brooke baldwin is standing by live. you've got a lot more coming up. >> i do indeed, thank you. we'll see you later today on "the situation room." i'll take it from here. breaking news, we're learning about the other terror attacks in the works including plots involving rush hour and a college. also ahead today, the homework that sent everyone home. a a school district shutting down today over a geography lesson. hear why parents say the teacher wanted to convert their kids to islam. and does an old video contradict ted cruz's claims on immigration? his ongoing feud with marco rubio escalating today. the e question we're asking is who is telling the truth. you're watching cnn. ♪
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we're back here watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. you just saw president obama holding his final news conference here. the nation is on edge. now comes breaking knew on an act that may have exposed the united states in another way online. a major breach has officials worried that hackers have been able to spy on government information for possibly the last three years.
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let me get. right to our evan perez. so just how did this happen? who do u.s. officials think is to blame here? >> let me explain what happened here. jooun per networks makes routers and network equipment. a lot of their equipment is used by the u.s. government. everybody from the fbi, treasury department, department of defense. yesterday they disclosed there was a major breach of their systems. somebody three years ago it appears changed the source code. what this allowed was some sort of back-door for hammers to come in and out without u leaving a trace and being able to spy on encrypted communications. so what we're talking about is government communications that are supposed to be secure. even private companies that are using vpn networks, the things that you and i use to log into our computers.
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all of that these hackers would have been able to spy on for the last three years. the flaw was only recently discovered. and now we have the fbi investigating. homeland security is very concerned. now they are trying to do an assessment to see how many government agencies including more sensitive secrets in the u.s. government have these networks and whether or not there was some breach for their top security information has been exposed by hackers. >> evan perez, thank you in new york. let's get straight to the race for 2016. the bernie sanders campaign is threatening to take the dnc to federal court. so the dnc suspended the campaign from the national database. this started when a database firewall went down and the sanders staff member accessed voter information collected by hillary clinton's team. the sanders campaign has since faired that staffer. the campaign manager is putting
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this entirely on the dnc saying the dnc's vender failed to keep it confidentable. >> if the dnc continues to hold our data hostage and attack the heart and soul of our grass roots campaign, we will be in federal court this afternoon seeking immediate release. what is required here is a full and independent audit of the dnc's mishandling of this data and security from the beginning of this campaign to the present, including the incident in october that we alerted them to when we were fairly confident that large amounts of our data were sent to another campaign. >> joining me now is jeff zeleny. we'll get to the dnc in a a second. now that we have kind of a better grasp of how this happened, i want to get to the why. from what i understand, one of the words they have used z z is
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sabotage. can you explain? >> this is just an extraordinary episode. all of the fighting is on the republican side so far, but this is an unusual and a very important thing going on here. we have to back up a little bit. you may wonder why they would have had had access to the clinton campaign. the democratic party has a unified list. think of it like a phonebook. all the volunteers out there, the campaign staffers when they are knocking on doors, they are inputting new information into this phonebook. all the campaigns pay for access to this so they can all use it. it's supposed to be walled off campaign to campaign to campaign. there was a broken firewall for a few minutes on wednesday just for about 25 minutes or so. and during that time the dnc is saying the sanders campaign went in and started looking at a bunch of stuff they shouldn't have been looking at including how many iowa voters were more likely to support hillary clinton and how many new hampshire voters were skeptical
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of hillary clinton. so by using all this information, they can sort of build a sense of what the lay of the land is. and the dnc saw this was happening and they said this is a a huge violation of the agreement here. so that's one of the reasons that the chairwoman of the democratic national committee is being so strong on this. she responded just shortly after jeff weaver had his press conference. this is what she had had to say. >> i guess the sanders campaign unfortunately doesn't have anything other than bluster at the moment that they can put out there, because what they have done is it's like if you found the front door of your house unlocked. and someone decided to go into the house and take things that didn't belong to them. and then when they were caught, they still insisted on having
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access to the house. the only way for us at the moment to make sure that we analyze what amount of information was taken, and that we can prevent and make sure that the sanders campaign no longer has access to it is to suspend their ability to manipulate it. >> so that right there is the comment from the chairwoman of the democratic national committee. they are going to do a full audit before they decide if they are going to restore full access. reason this matters we are six weeks before the iowa caucuses. the sanders campaign uses this information to see who is supporting them and who is not and not having access to this, they believe s a problem. but but i can tell you that the sanders campaign by acknowledging wrong doing and firing one person, they are initially in the wrong here no question. so we're beginning to have to see how this plays out. tomorrow night is the final
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democratic debate saturday night in new hampshire. so i can tell you this is going to be a topic of discussion at that debate. >> that's what i was going to say. debate tomorrow night. jeff zeleny, a lot happening now. thank you for that. chilling new details out today about the terror attacks that did not happen. the friend of the san bernardino killer admit thas plotted a rush hour attack and a massacre inside of a college. how much more does this man really know? and a homework assignment has parents accusing this virginia teacher of trying to convert their kids to islam. now the entire county has shut down its schools for security concerns. we'll explain what has everyone so totally outraged ahead. at planters we know how to throw a remarkable holiday party. just serve classy snacks and be a gracious host, no matter who shows up. do you like nuts?
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immigrants. rubio accused cruz of using crafty language to cover up his own immigration voting record. but cruz is on the campaign trail u today with a a new ad hitting back. >> securing our borders and stopping illegal immigration is a mart of national security. that's why i fought so hard to defeat president obama and the republican establishment's plan, which would have given obama the authority to admit syrian refugees. that's just wrong. when it comes to radical islamic terrorism, we need to rediscover ronald reagan's strategy. we win, they lose. >> let's get to the heart of this. let me bring in the chair for senator cruz's oklahoma campaign. congressman, thank you for joining me. >> thank you, it's good to be here. . >> let's clear this up in terms of right now here 2015.
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what is senator cruz's position on pathway to citizenship? >> senator cruz has never supported a pathway to citizenship. he's never supported a pathway to legalization. this is a ploy by the marco rubio campaign going back to 2013. marco rubio was a part of the gang of eight amnesty plan ta did not provide border security. that's a recommend that's going to be propmatic for him. >> we're not talking about marco rubio. what about cruz and how he feels about pathway to citizenship? >> he does not support a pathway to citizenship. >> what about 2013? cruz indicated he was open to legal status. it was the path to legalization trying to get that in. this is we pulled this clip from 2013. here he was at the time. >> i don't want immigration reform to fail. i want immigration reform to pass. and so i would urge people of good faith on both sides of the
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aisle if the objective is to pass common sense immigration reform that secures the borders, that improves legal immigration and allows those who are here illegally to come in out of the shadow shadows, then we should look for areas of bipartisan agreement and compromise to come together. >> so that was senator cruz in 2013. my question to you is in that time since, did he just change his mind? >> not at all. you heard him say, and what we were told over and over again, that the goal here was to take 11 million people living in the shadows, take them out of the shadows. that's what they were telling us. we have to provide a path to citizenship to take thunderstorm out of the shadows. what senator cruz can was exposing is this was not just about taking them out of the shadows. if it was the path to looelization would have been sufficient. so what ted cruz did was provide an amendment that said there's a a permanent prohibition.
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if you break our laws coming in, you can't get a path to citizenship. now ultimately he exposed what was really going on. they did not just want to bring them out of the shadows. they wanted a a path to citizenship. you have been around washington, d.c. you know that this is what you do when you have a really bad bill and you're trying to make it a little better. that's what ted cruz was trying to do. ultimately, if you were there back in 2013, there's nobody in their right mind could possibly suggest that ted cruz was in favor of this bill in any way, shape or form. he was e leading the effort against it from the beginning and e he led the effort against it until the very end. to suggest that somehow ted cruz and marco rubio have a similar record on this amnesty bill is categorically false and nobody there, not a single person there could suggest otherwise. >> congressman, let me ask you this. which republican candidate of the whole crowd right now, which republican candidate do you
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think is the greatest threat to a ted cruz nomination? >> the greatest threat to a ted cruz nomination? i don't think anybody is a great threat. >> donald trump. >> i think ted cruz is going to win. i think the republican electorate across this country needs to back my guy ted cruz for the presidency of the united states. >> okay, not going to get a name out of you i hear. let me ask you this. you're a ted cruz guy. but what does it say to you that donald trump now says it is an honor to be praised by vladimir putin? >> i think that's problematic. vladimir putin has invaded krooi mee ya. he still is destabilizing broad earn eastern ukraine. he occupies georgia. he's cut off energy in the
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baltic states. he's threatened nuclear war in poland and now he's partnered with the assad regime. >> so problematic. >> anybody who is looking for praise from vladimir putin probably should not be commander-in-chief of the united states. >> what would ted cruz say if vladimir putin was calling him talented and outstanding? what would his response be. ? >> i would imagine ted cruz would not get that kind of praise pr vladimir putin. he's been clear about what's going on in russia and this russian aggression throughout the entire world needs to stop. >> congressman, thank you, sir. >> thank you. right now, let's take a peek at the big board here. a lot of red on the board. it's down 300 points 20 minutes before the end of the trading day. plus the friend of the san bernardino killer admits they plotted a rush hour attack and a mass shooting inside a college. what else could he tell investigators now that he's been
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arrested?
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you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. the first criminal charges have been filed in the deadliest terror attack since 9/11 on u.s. soil when 14 people were murdered earlier this month in san bernardino, california. >> the i'm sore now. >> enrique marquez, this was totally unrelated local news story. this is the guy accused of supplying two of the rifles use the in that mass murder. he's now charged with federal weapons violations as well as conspireing to commit terror in 2011 and 2012 and immigration fraud for an alleged sham marriage. the 24-year-old used to live next door to one of the san bernardino shooters, the husband of the duo. a federal criminal affidavit reveals how they were planning to use the guns and details are
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extraordinary chilling. one plot involved setting off a pipe bomb on state route 91 as cars were stopped. the male husband involved in the killings would travel the lane shooting trapped drivers while marquez would fire from a a hillside ready to attack first responders and police arriving on the scene. the friends chose a specific spot along this state route because, quote, according to marquez the lack of exits would increase the number of targets in the eastbound lanes during afternoon rush hour traffic. officials say that plan and a a second plot were dropped after the two men were spooked by terrorists in 2012. in virginia this simple homework assignment for some high school students did not at all go over very well for some parents. the backlash over this assignment was so great that officials decided to close the
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entire school system today. what was the assignment? to copy this arabic u image. it is the basic islamic statement of faith. the assignment was for this world geography class and came from a standard workbook on world religions, but some parents here in this virginia area were not having it. they fired off angry phone calls and e-mails. some view as an attempt to convert students to islam. >> why couldn't we just learn to write hello, good-bye, normal words, not that. >> i will not have my children set under a woman who indom try nats them with the islamic religion. i'm going to stand behind christ. >> there has been no specific threat of harm to students. so why shut down the school system? let's go to jason carroll, who is following this. if it wasn't hello or good-bye, what was the assignment? what did it translate to and why
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shut the entire school district down? >> this was a decision that was reached by the school district superintendent and the sheriff. i spoke to the sheriff this morning. he told me the school had received so much hate mail from non-muslims upset about the assignment they felt they had no choice. this is an assignment that came from a standard workbook and handed out before with no backlash. even so they decided this was the best course of action to shut down classes for all of the district's 10,000 students. more about that assignment. according to the school district, the assignment read here is the islamic statement of faith written in arabic in the space below try copying it by hand. this should give you an idea of the artistic ability of calligraphy. parents not happy about that. you heard their voices there. very upset. their thought is this assignment
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was trying to convert these children to islam. the school district released a statement saying as we emphasize no lesson was designed to promote a religious viewpoint or change any religious belief. although students will continue to learn about world religions as required by the state board of education, a different non-religious sample of calligraphy will be used in the future. we should also point out that we did reach out to the teacher that made this assignment. we were unable to reach her. when you look at the facebook postings, a number of her students are supporting her saying they were not offended and they are standing by their teacher. >> thank you. next to the chicago police officer charged. we'll be right back. came out today thousands of people to run the race for retirement. so we asked them...
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all right. breaking news. taking a look at the big board here. nine minutes until the end of trading day, and you can see the dow down triple digits down 304 points. right now let's go straight to paul lamonica in new york. what's going on? >> it's a pretty ugly day, but i think one thing to keep in mind to try and reassure some investors here, we had the market rally pretty strongly
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earlier in the week. so even with the losses we're seeing today and yesterday we're relatively flat for the week. i think investors are just starting to wonder maybe the federal reserve, which remember raised interest rates for the first time in nine years on wednesday, perhaps the fed is going to raise rates a little bit more than the market is expecting. i think that's contributing to some of the spooking -- the selloff that's going on today. >> okay. paul lamonica, thank you for the perspective, thank you for calling in. still ahead, he is the teenager too rich and too spoiled to go to jail. he killed four people in a drunk driving accident. remember he was put on probation. he is now missing. find out who just joined the search after authorities believe he fled the country. and we will hear from the family of one of his victims. ♪ (vo) some call it giving back. we call it share the love.
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during our share the love event, get a new subaru, and we'll donate $250 to those in need. bringing our total donations to over sixty-five million dollars. and bringing love where it's needed most. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. but it is not the device that is mobile, it is you. real madrid have about 450 million fans. we're trying to give them all the feeling of being at the stadium. the microsoft cloud gives us the scalability to communicate exactly the content that people want to see. it will help people connect to their passion of living real madrid.
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tand that's what we're doings to chat xfinity.rself, we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time.
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every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. an update for you today on the affluenza teen who has gone missing with his mother. now being sought by the texas police, the fbi and the u.s. marshals because he has gone missing while he is supposed to be on probation. this is the aftermath of the 2013 accident that landed couch in trouble on probation. he was convicted two years ago of drunk driving. his truck plowed into a group of people killing four of them, but
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instead of jail time as i mentioned, he got probation. his attorney sold the judge on the idea that the then-16-year-old suffered from affluenza, that he's rich, spoiled and his parents didn't tell him the difference between right and wrong. fast forward to today, he and his mother appeared after this video surfaced allegedly showing couch playing beer pong. and if it's him, it could be a violation of his probation. not surprised by this. the father of a victim who survived that original crash and an attorney for others who did not, they talked to my colleague john berman. >> anger has to subside at some point. anger's a temporary emotion. and, you know, i try not to hang onto that, but i do feel like accountability hasn't been demonstrated yet. and i would still like to have some accountability because i need for my son, lucas, to see that there are consequences for bad decisions. >> do you have any updates right
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now in the hunt? >> no. from what we understand is he was gone for awhile before it was determined that he was gone. and the sheriff here in ft. worth has made statements like, you know, he is number one on our list. we've enlisted the u.s. marshals. we've enlisted the fbi. and the local sheriff here rather colorfully said when we find him he's going to go to big boy jail. >> the sheriff in tarrant county, texas has declared him a top fugitive saying to ethan and his mother, quote, we are going to find you wherever you are. and la bron james, listen a lot of people want to get close to lebron. this man seen in this video from last night's game, chasing loose ball, wait for it, he ends up -- oof, hurts every time i watch crashing into the wife of pga golfer jason day. you see it from another angle. you can't really see her.
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he landed smack dab on top. here are some of the close-up stills of the collision. ellie day was knocked from her chair right there, play was halted until she was put on a stretcher with a neck brace and she was taken to the hospital. the good news i can tell you is that she is back home today recovering. lebron james did jump on twitter and say he was sorry. before i let you go, the white house -- you saw the president just a moment ago, he is now officially joining in on the "star wars" mania today. the president and first lady hosting a screening of the super popular sci-fi movie for gold star families. this is so wonderful. this is an organization for family who is have lost relatives in combat. and here are storm troopers arriving with press secretary john earnest a little while ago. >> we've got a bunch of gold star families and their kids who are going to get a special screening of the movie. and so we obviously are very grateful for all that they are doing to pay tribute to the
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sacrifice that so many gold star families have made for our country. >> so from the storm troopers i believe i got an urgent e-mail that r2-d2 was in the white house, so there you have it. may the force be with you. i'm brooke baldwin, "the lead" starts now. thanks, brooke. after a year filled with isis horrors, the president yet again tries to calm a nation. "the lead" starts right now. for the fourth time in two weeks president obama addressing fears of a terrorist attack at home and concerns that he is not handling the threat well. did he reassure the american public this time? bernie sanders supporters accusing the democratic national committee of being in the tank for hillary clinton. his campaign now threatening to take the democratic party to court after the dnc cut them off from the life blood of their campaign. plus, in virginia an entire county's schools shut

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