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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  December 29, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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happening now, new year's eve plot. a planned terror attack thwarted. the alleged target, holiday celebrations in an historic square. learning new details of the two people arrested. what is their connection to isis? trump's new attack. donald trump goes after the husband of his main democratic rival invoking the sexual scandals that dogged bill clinton's presidency, declaring monica lewinsky and paula jones fair game. how will hillary clinton's campaign react? breaking news, historic flooding, millions of people in the path of rising water that could reach unprecedented levels. the national guard called in as the death toll climbs. we're covering all of this live. wolf blitzer's off today. i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room."
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> we are following breaking news. deadly flooding that's about to get much worse. the national weather service warning of potentially history ex-high water in missouri. mandatory evacuations under way. the governor called in the national guard. one levee along the mississippi river has been breached. following the terror threat around new year's eve celebrations. arrest of two people accused of plotting an attack in historic belgian square. the plot appears to have been inspired by isis. we're covering all of that and more with guests including the ranking member of the house armed services committee, adam smith. correspondents and expert analysts standing by. let's begin now with cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto.
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this concern over terror around the new year's holiday extents beyond europe. >> it does. the holidays a nervous time for authorities, people in the counterterror field and this is no exception, particularly as isis has shown its ability not to only to plan and orchestrate attacks abroad but inspire people to carry out their attacks on their own. all of this happening as the u.s. militarien creasingite pressure on isis and killing several senior isis leaders in iraq and syria. >> reporter: with new year's fast approaching, authorities across the world on alert for terror from belgium to bangladesh, to new york city. >> people should feel safe this new year's eve because we're there. you're going to have one of the most well-policed, best-protected events in one of the safest venues in the world. >> reporter: police arrested two men in connection with a plot to attack historic sighs in the
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belgian capital on or around new year's eve. the target brussels' central square, grand palace. the plot inspired, though not directed, by isis. police conducted several terror raids sunday and monday, seizing military uniforms and isis propaganda. the government raising the threat level to three out of a possible four, meaning an attack is likely. in bangladesh, the u.s. embassy warned u.s. citizens of possible attacks on new year's eve. new york says there's no credible threat to the celebrations but dispatching 6,000 officers to times square, where more than 1 million people are expected on thursday night. the secretary of homeland security encouraging new york police academy graduates to be vigilant on their new beats? the face of this current threat to our country, i encourage you to bill bridges to the communities in this city that
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the islamic state is attempting to target for recruitment. >> reporter: underscoring the homegrown dangers, a british couple both convicted today of preparing for acts of terrorism as investigators seized stockpiles of chemical and bomb making materials at one of their homes and this video, showing them testing an explosive device. >> it's clear that radical and violent extremist ideology was motivated for these offenses. >> reporter: on the battlefield in syria, the coalition announced that air strikes killed isis leader charaffe al mouadan, who officials say had direct links to mastermind of the paris attacks and actively plotting more terror. over the last month the coalition says it has killed some ten isis leaders and operatives on the ground in iraq and syria. some of them senior, some continuing to plot attacks overseas the question is whether killing high value targets, as
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they're called, whether that makes a difference in their capability both on the battlefield and carrying out terror attacks abroad. that's an open question. >> we want to bring in cnn global affairs correspondent, alece labot. the coalition killed an isis member with connection to the paris terror attacks. >> charaffe al mouadan, 27 years old, traveled to syria in 2013 but we understand that he was in touch with abboud, who was the suspected ring leader of the paris attacks and paul cruickshank, cnn terrorism analyst learned from his sources he was in touch with the paris plotters days before the attack. as jim said, seemed to be actively helping it plan some attacks in europe in the west. we don't know what his involvement is in those attacks. planned attacks or in the attacks in paris but a
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significant kill, the u.s. thinks, in terms of the direct links to paris attacks. >> one in ten of what the coalition are calling high-value targets, right? >> we don't know how high value they are. they've been described as middle to upper echelon. today the collision tried to make a direct link to killings and effect it's having. you've seen recent successes on the battlefield on the coalition and iraqi forces against isis. the coalition is saying they're hampering their ability to be have command and control, launch attacks, having direct effect on the ground. >> you talk about one of the successes obviously that would be ramadi, where you have iraqi forces who have pushed out right now, i think, 75% of the city they've been able to clear. any sense, as the prime minister takes a victory lap today, is there a sense that the iraqi forces will be able to hold that? >> you could say it's 75% of the city or you could say isis is still in control of 25 percent
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of the city. the city, as we've seen pictures, in ruins now. they've been evacuating citizens. iraqi forces are trying clear the area of explosives that isis left behind but the coalition does believe the iraqi forces will be able to hold the city. they're having a lot of help from iraq/sunni tribal leaders helping to hold the city. they think it will hold. >> it would be more significant if iraqi forces were able to go in and clear isis out of mosul. that would be huge. but yesterday, talking to a coalition spokesman, a u.s. colonel, he sort of said, look, there's other places in anbar that we need to deal with. but today, i spoke with the iraqi ambassador and he said sort of next thing we're doing is mosul. so what is it? >> he's -- i talked to him earlier as well -- mosul is the big fish, right? fauki
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talking about fallujah. you saw the prime minister in ramadi saying mosul's next, they want to get isis out of iraq entirely by 2016. so some ambitious goals. talked to iraqi experts, they say it's ambitious but doable. come spring we could see a pesh towards mosul. but the iraqi forces are not completely ready yet. you heard the coalition spokesman say they're still training iraqi forces, forces have been depleted after this fighting, they need replenished a lot of work to do but they feel they have momentum in their favor. of course they want to turn around the narrative that isis now is on the defensive. >> it would be huge if they could. we'll have to see if that pans out. >> i want to get more on all of this with the ranking member of the house armed services committee, democratic congressman adam smith of washington. i want to ask you about ramadi. first you heard the u.s. coalition says that charaffe al mouadan was one of ten high-value targets that was
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kill. what can you tell us about the other targets in the raid? we're still trying to get more information about it. >> i don't know a lot of the deta details. overall, i think progress is being made because, keep in mind, one of isis' biggest narratives is that they are expanding, that they are moving forward and making progress. and they're not. they've lost ramadi, they've lost a round in syria. the other huge issue this was the iraqi military that was successful in ramadi. prior to this, most of the success we've had against isis has been led by the kurds. so to have another group in effective fighting force is a huge positive. and all of 0 the individual targets, including the one you mentioned, that, too, helps roll back the sense that isis has any momentum. that is very, very important. >> what can you tell us about the role within isis, and how significant this is? >> you know, i think -- i don't know, he's certainly not at the top. we went through this with
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al qaeda, as joe said the most dangerous job in the world is number three at al qaeda. i don't think the individual tar targets are as important as progress made on the ground. the question, will they have people to replace these guys. they usually do. we have to roll them back on the ground, take back their territory, undermine their narrative they're making progress so fewer people will be willing to join. of course a much, much broader and more difficult ideological struggle to stop individuals who are being radicalized like san bernardino, like paris, like in the plot just disrupted. those are the most immediate threats to us. and stopping that ideology, turning that around, going to be a very, very long-term struggle. >> congressman, stay with me. i do want to ask you about ramadi and also isis documents seized in a raid. maybe what they tell us about the fight against isis. we'll be back in just a moment with more questions for congressman adam smith.
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following fast moving developments in iraq where the prime minister visited ramadi one day after declaring it liberated from isis which seized control seven months ago.
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local tribal leaders and telling cnn as much as one quarter of the city is controlled by terrorist forces. back now with the ranking member of 0 the house armed services kitty, democratic congressman, adam smith of washington. congressman, we are hearing in is, iraqi forces have recaptured most of ramadi, key word being most. do you think this is a victory that will be long lasting, that will hold? >> i think it will hold. the question is where does it go next. are they, first of all, able to clear the city entirely, clear the surrounding areas? have they able to build on this progress? and one of the big questions there is, still got to get some details on this, how many sunnis were involved in this assault? how bought into the iraqi military and government is the sunni population? is that reflected in this victory in ramadi? will it build and grow? that's the key. moving up into heavily sunni areas. if the sunnis still think that
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the baghdad government is a sectarian government that is against them, it will be hard to get those sunnis to fight with the iraqi government. that's going to be the key. whether the next step is fallujah or mosul or wherever, the key is to get the sunnis in iraq to believe that fighting with the iraqi government is a better choice than fighting with isis. it's still yet to be proven that's the case. >> you talk about the importance of being able to clear the quarter of the city under isis control. what are the challenges in doing that? >> i imagine it would be very, very difficult because you're up against a terrorist group, they're not trying to hold territory as simply trying to commit acts of terror against the occupying forces. i think it's going to be very, very difficult to clear the city in that regard. completely eliminate the enemy forces. it's going to take some time and it's going to be difficult because also not clearly identified. you have to move in amongst the population and figure out who's with isis, who isn't. i think it's going to be a
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challenge. >> we heard from the coalition spokesman that i asked, is mosul next, and he said, there are other part of anbar that need to be addressed. obviously mosul is an eventual goal but he seemed to sort of, i guess, put aside this idea that this was the next punch of the one-two punch. talking to the iraqi ambassador to the u.s. today, he really had his eye trained on mosul. so, which one do we sort of -- which one would you lean into, which assessment? >> i think the coalition's more accurate. what's been true for a number of years iraqis have consistently overstated what their forces are capable of doing. also, they've consistently overstated the degree to which they are willing to truly reincorporate sunnis into the government, into the military. we've been hearing statements look this for some time. and yet we still aren't quite -- close to where we need to be in terms of having a truly
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coalition government in iraq where the sunnis are truly represented and that's the key, like i said, to building and going forward. i would listen more to what the coalition has to say. this is important progress we can't understate that. isis has been saying they're on the march, going to build a caliphate, it's going to grow and it's going to grow. that makes people want to join them. they're not growing anymore. they're shrinking. and people are less willing to be on the losing side. we've seen this in some reports about some of the difficulty now in recruiting, people not being as willing to poe into the fight with the coalition bomb, with forces that are actually fighting back. it's, you know, it not as attractive when you're not winning and be graing more territory when in fact going in reverse. >> reuters, i want to ask you about this, isis documents u.s. special ops retrieved in may include everything how isis keeps sex slaves to organ
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harvesting that they participate in. how valuable will these documents be in further military operations? >> i think they'll be incredible valuable. that's the thing to remember, ultimately al qaeda in iraq fell apart in the first place because not only -- they're uncapable of governor earning and govern in a way incredibly punitive to the population. the people who live under the rule for a day or two say we don't like this, we don't want these guys to be governor earning us, give them any kind of reasonable alternative, if the baghdad government would open its arms even a little bit to the sunni population, they don't want to be with isis. these guys are violent psychopaths. they don't know how to govern, even the territories they control. we've got to make that clear. this is what's going on in the terror controlled by isis, just incredibly violent behavior against the population. this is not good for anyone who
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is going to be under isis. that's a big part of the argument. like i said the other part is offer a reasonable alternative, don't push the sunnis out of power in baghdad. show them there's a better place to go than isis. isis is a horrible alternative but given what's happened with the baghdad government, since we left in 2011, sunnis didn't see that as i good alternative either. >> congressman adam smith, thank you so much. also happy new year to you. >> happy new year to you as well. >> donald trump named some names. he says fair game to talk about bill clinton, monica lewinsky and paula jones. how is hillary clinton going to react? much more on this hour's breaking news. deadly floods forcing missouri's governor to declare a state of emergency and activate the national guard. tucson.
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following dramatic, new developments in the war against isis. u.s. military says coalition air strikes have killed ten senior isis leaders in iraq and syria this month, including a man linked to last month's bloody terror attacks in paris. with us, cnn contributor michael weiss, a senior editor of "the daily beast" and co-author of isis, inside the army of terror, cnn counterterrorism analyst, phil mudd, and cnn national security analyst peter bergen. what do we know about the isis leader killed in the air strike, and really how important he is in the scheme of things to isis? >> well, truth be told we don't
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know all that much. the biographical details are sketchy, 27-year-old french national, apparently had been in touch with the paris attacks so-called mastermind abboud. according to cnn's paul cruickshank, who did a very good report, witnesses during the massacre recount a gunman take a cell phone and calling souliman an alias. the pentagon said he was a high ranking or senior official. i'm skeptical of that claim. number one, his age 27, is a tender year to be that high up in the echelons of isis. two nationality. if he's french chances of him having a he ranking position within the isis sort of constellation is slim. they tend to be iraq c.s who run the show there. i don't know. i'm waiting to see what more information and news reports come out about him.
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also i put this in the back of your mind, when we say that he was behind or had a role in the paris attacks, that can mean anything. the fact that he was in touch with the master mine of the attacks doesn't mean he had any kind of command and control or was the money guy or the weapons, you know, sort of acquisition person behind any of it. it could mean that they were fellow travelers, they were part of the same network in syria. >> so, still definitely questions that you're raising there. phil, the coalition says, you know, this target was actively plotting another attack. what does that tell you in terms of intelligence gathering, whether it's improved in europe in the wake of the paris attacks? >> it's improved in the short term. look isis won the first round from their perspective, the success of the paris attacks but they've got a couple of problem. look the breadth of the attacks, the number of individuals involved, remarkable from a counter terrorism perspective.
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each individual represents a vulnerable, phone, e-mail address, friend who talks about what they were doing, how they traveled. intelligence analysts pull together technical information they'll find the mode of operations if syria and target people as we've seen in the past week. second and final thing i'd say, isis, unlike al qaeda, does not have a lot of experience, not only running these operations but getting out of these operations with security practices. in this case, my guess they didn't know well enough how to cover their tracks and they paid a price, brianna. >> what do you think, peter? do you think the coalition is overstating, that's the question that michael's raising, overstating the importance of this target that they've taken out? do you think it's any sign they're able to do a about thor job in terms of intel and tracking these guys down. >> on the latter question, things have gone from a poor record, recall the attempt to free american hostages july 4, 2014, intelligence too late, and
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isis killed those american hostages. i think you know, how much later the intelligence is significantly better. think about jihady john who was the executor of many of the western hostages who was killed in november. asayyaf, the financial guying a lot of records rovered from the ten coalition saying has been killed, that's a fairly good record compared to a poor record if you go back to over a year ago. >> and on the ib of whether the target overstated or calling these ten senior level or high value targets, is that hard to say? there's a reason the cool lig wants to say look we're doing a good job here, right? >> michael's point is correct. people who run this organization are iraqi and next level down are syrians. westerners have some role, think about jihady john. but they are the leaders of the organizations. >> okay. that's a very important point you make there.
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peter, actually, no, i want to ask phil a question here. when you see these plots that are hatched in belgium and targeting belgium as we see recently, why is that -- why is it so significant when talking about all of the plots? why is that really the area that so many are concentrated on? >> i'd say comfort level and target of opportunity. look if you're looking at major cities that isis might want to target, madrid, paris, london, belgium, new york, what are the issues that they're looking at is how they are animpacton europe, how they have an impact on north america, the people that are striking them and syria and iraq. but the second issue, the issue that we've seen since 9/11 attacks in america, when you have a recruit who doesn't have a lot of experience, you want to send that recruit back into an area where that recruit has a comfort level, an area he's lived in. if i were to ask you to run an
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operation in turkey versus new york, where would you say you have a comfort level? we're seeing not only high priority city but an area where isis is training somebody who done have a lot of experience the trainee will say i think i know how the trains work, how the police works, how the city works and that's going increase prospect that these cities like belgium will be chosen as targets. >> good point, as we see two men arrested today in belgium. phil, michael, peter, thank you so much to all of you for joining this panel today. coming up, donald trump's latest threat to name names when they brings up bill clinton's old scandals how will hillary clinton respond? growing outrage in chicago. policeman pleads not guilty to murder and powerful mayor cut short his holiday vacation to deal with the city's anger. this, i'm hacking your company. grabbing your data. stealing your customers' secrets.
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presidential politics donald trump trying to turn up the heat on hillary clinton declaring today it's fair game to talk
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about bill clinton's involvement with monica lewinsky and paula jones. but on the campaign trail, mrs. clinton ignored trump and questions about his latest threats. i want to bring in chief political correspondent, dana bash. is she going to be able to keep avoiding these questions about what donald trump is saying? >> it's unclear, brianna, but certainly tried so hard today. not only didn't mention him at all in her campaign event in new hampshire, she evaded a question which she appeared to hear from cnn right afterwards but it is hard to see how she does that much longer especially since the subject of trump's attacks lately, her husband, will be on the trail next week. >> she says we'd love to run against trump. her worst nightmare. >> reporter: that could be since donald trump appears determined to relive a nightmare in hillary clinton's life, her husband. philandering. >> a lot of abusive women and look whether it's monica lewinsky or paula jones or many of them, and that certainly will
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be fair game, certainly if they play the women's card with respect to me, that will be fair game. >> reporter: back in 2008, trump told wolf blitzer the opposite, the former president's dalliances are a nonissue. >> look at the trouble bill clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant and they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. >> reporter: this morning, trump tried to explain his 180 by insisting it was his job as a businessman to say nice things about politicians. >> i'm dubbed as a world-class businessman which frankly, that's what i am. and i got along with everybody. i got along with the clintons. i got along with the republicans, the democrats, the liberals, conservatives, that was my obligation, as a businessman. >> reporter: in i statement a clinton campaign spokes person said hillary clinton won't be distracted by attacks he throws at her and former president clinton. it's not just trump bringing bill clinton into the 2016 race.
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>> starting in january i will have my not so secret weapon. >> reporter: hillary clinton is trying to capitalize on his popularity with the democratic base. sending her former husband on the trail starting next week. another angle for trump to needle the clintons about, tweeting, remember that bill clinton was brought in to help hillary against obama in 2008, he was terrible, failed badly, and was called a racist. this morning, trump insisted he doesn't think bill clintons a racist, also suggesting clinton's not the dynamo he once was. >> i don't believe he is a racist, if you want to know the truth but they called him a racist, it was a miserable campaigning he did poorly and they're bringing him out again. he's being wheeled out. >> reporter: so far trump has been able to get his message out with media, calling into shows, twitter. cnn is told he had $25 million set aside for tv ads in 2015 and
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never spent a dime. starting next week, that will change. >> we're going to spend a lot of money over the next four weeks and we're going to just -- we want to go in -- we don't want to take chances, we're too close. >> what ads would look like remains to be season. a trump source tells me they're ex-about ex-to get hit hard by candidates trump considers desperate before voters go to caucuses and the polls. if that happens trump source says they will use paid advertising to hit back, quote, ten times harder. >> ten times harder. we shall see. donald trump is campaigning in iowa later tonight and he's not only attacking the clintons also going after some of his republican opponents again. cnn's senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny waiting the start of trump's rally in council bluff. set the scene for us, jeff. >> reporter: donald trump is coming to council bluffs, trying to squeeze in a bit of voter time between the christmas holiday and the new year's holiday. you can see here, people have
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started to arrive, probably 30 minutes or so ago. this is a big size room, big size hall for most candidates but this is not donald trump size. we are standing here in a big hall but it's cut into quarters. one of the small of the trump rallies i've ever seen. we see donald trump talking so much about his crowds. the key question observe the next five weeks do all of the 50 em who come to see the show, come to see donald trump actually turn out in caucus for him on the night of february 1st? and we watch people come into this event, you know, there are volunteers who are having them sign names, having them sign up but the question here is, all of these new people he's bringing in and attracting will they go to the caucuses? that is a big challenge here in the next five weeks to get his ground game going more than his air game going on those ads that dana talked about. >> jeff zeleny, 4 he will be once the event starts and watching it.
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more on what's ahead in the presidential campaign. dana bash still with us here and also joined by "the washington post" assistant editor and cnn senior political reporter, nia malik ka henderson. bill clinton, it's interesting, i think if you looked at any republican candidate they shied away from this, rand paul, right, he tried this sort of once. he's popular. but this is donald trump. does this work for him? >> absolutely, it could. i mean, let's -- you know, also remember that donald trump wants this conversation to be going on because as if he is the republican nominee, which he is not yet. nobody has taken any votes, phone of that has happened though it feels like the campaign has been going on two years. he can bring this issue up like nobody else has before because he doesn't have the same filter that other politicians do, that
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more traditional politicians. >> and he's rewarded for it. >> and he's rewarded for it. somebody asked why didn't this issue come up in 2008. i thought, well, it's because hillary clinton never made it out of the primary. when she was going at it with a democratic primary opponent, barack obama, there's no way he would have brought up this bill clinton stuff because, at the time especially, bill clinton was incredibly popular with the base. so it wouldn't have helped him. >> is this about drumming up the base or is this about positioning himself as someone who could run about hillary clinton or is it both? >> i think it's both. it's like a preview how he would run if he was to match up against hillary clinton. so far, in these hypothetical races he lags behind hillary clinton. of course those are meaningless at this point. i think the question is, will it work in terms of dinging either bill clinton or hillary clinton. that's the whole thinging hillary clinton some of her best favorability ratings came in the depths of the monica lewinsky
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scandal. it's also odd because it feels like 1990 again. if the idea is to remind voter office sort of clinton fatigue, i think that might be a better angle but this idea that oh, guess what bill clintonhood affairs, really? is this breaking news? >> yeah. it was rand paul said something interesting which was, you know, this is something that can be discussed but he said he thought the better line of attack, if you're trying to create a quote/unquote woman problem for hillary clinton, would be to point out that she's taken donations from institutions or countries, institutions in countries that don't have great records when it comes to women's rights. i thought that was an interesting point. does this work to kind of drudge up monica lewinsky and paula jones, do you think? >> that would be the line of attack that rand paul would take if he were leading the race or one of the leading conditions in the race. but for trump, who is leading the race, i think this goes with
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the brand he's established in the primary, hey i'm not political correct, i'm willing to talk about bill clin, hey, it's fair game, at the same time if you scratch the surface every time he makes comments about bill clinton he reels them back, you know. people said that he's racist but i'm not the one who said he's racist. >> a columnist in your paper karen tumlety, the story about you have to be careful if you're hillary clinton. you want to have the not so secret weapon to come in and help you with the democratic base as we've been talking about, but if you invite bill clinton you're inviting all of the bill clinton, the good, the bad, the ugly. in this case, maybe donald trump is right. it is fair game. >> and he's not the typical spouse, you know, he isn't sort of the typical spouse of the candidate. he has this record himself and certainly hillary clinton was a big part of his administration.
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>> and democrats love him, right? he wasn't successful in 2008, stumbled on the trail, wasn't helpful to his wife who was more helpful in 2012 with barack obama, kind of explainer in chief he was nen as a nickname around the white house. so, you know, we'll see if this works. we'll see how long he keeps this up. trump obsesses with things and then moves on. we'll see what happens with this. >> does she -- today she was on -- in a campaign event and asked this, there's no doubt she heard the question but sort of looks sort of past the questioner, she's not going to answer it. but there's going to be a press availability where she takes questions and tis is go heing to come up. what does she say? >> i think in many instances she's been poorly served by the people who are sort of crafting her messaging. to dana's point this is fair game, she's going to have to address it. were i advising her i would tell her to say, look, my husband and i have been married for 40 years, we're parents, we're
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grandparents, weave had struggles like everybody else we can talk about this but why don't we talk about issues voters want to talk about. >> make herself a sympathetic figure. >> the problem is that people, you know, millennials don't remember but people who -- >> they don't. >> are thinking, especially women, and people who i have talked to democratic circles we talked about this yesterday, it's not just about their personal lives. it was that because he was a political figure and because he came out on top politically in a way that was kind of remarkable at the time, a lot of because the women involved, that trump is talking about, paula jonesing monica lewinsky, were demonized, maybe not by clinton himself or clinton's inner circle and clinton allies and that's the thing that trump is really hitting on and that is potential problem for both of them. >> dana, david, nia, thank you so much. coming up, outrage in chicago, a
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following breaking news in missouri where the national guard has been activated as millions of people brace for the national weather service says could be historic flooding. at least 13 in missouri are amopg more than 40 killed by severe weather in the past week. alina machado is in west alton
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near st. louis. evacuations under way. give us the latest on how serious the situation is. >> reporter: high water is already blocking several roads into and around west alton, missouri, just 70 miles from here in union missouri, there are several homes and businesses that are already under water. authorities there telling cnn they've had to rescue at least two people who got caught up in these rising floodwaters. today missouri governor jay nixon is asking people to please avoid driving through roads that look like this. listen to this. >> just this morning we were informed of additional three flood-related deaths. this brings total number of fatalities of the storm to 13, 12 of which were caused by vehicles being swept for flooded roadways. now that the rain has moved out, the threat has changed but it is not by any means over. >> reporter: and that is exactly why the mayor of west alton,
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missouri, has asked residents to leave. this is a voluntary evacuation but he still has asked people to leave because they're bracing for what could be very serious flooding, brianna. >> we've heard that some of the levees have been over topped or sort of this overflow. what about the possibility for levees breaking which would be, you know, that would just be almost catastrophic compared to some overflow. >> reporter: it's something authorities here in missouri are keeping an eye on. we spoke to the mayor of west alton and he says they're used to flooding in the area but the big difference here, this time around, what makes the situation unique, is how quickly floodwater vhave risen. they didn't even have time to prepare ahead of time. we didn't really see many sandbags protecting property in west alton, missouri, and that's why most of the town has evacuated. the mayor says 50 people,
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though, are planning to ride this one out primarily because they live in elevated homes. >> thank you so much. i want to bring in cnn meteorologist tom sater. he is monitoring the situation from the cnn severe weather center. we're talking about a number of rivers here and also a lot of -- you talked about this earlier. sort of feeder creeks and rivers that go into the bigger ones. >> absolutely. i mean this is my hometown. i spent the last week there and it rained every day. record 5, 6, 7, 8 1/2 inches. but it was the same storm system that raked the south with the ornds that s s tha tornadoes that set the stage for the heavy rain. arkansas river has problems thousannow, as well. when you have this much, even though i love the show me state scenic small creeks and rivers, it can cause a problem. the bench mark for flooding on the mississippi is 1993.
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thousands and thousands of homes and businesses were flooded. they have done some improvements and in fact many areas west of the metro area of st. louis out toward st. charles, st. peters, there have been levees that have been reinforced. but when you look at the flood watches in effect, let me show you why this is a big concern for st. louis. the mississippi river flows north to south. typically we see the flooding when the snow melts. but then you have smaller rivers that feed into areas like the missouri river, the missouri goes in to the mississippi. t the merrimac river also flows into the mississippi. we're expecting a crest this downtown st. louis to stay just employ the all-time record near 50 feet. in fact it will be 5 1/2 feet from that. but in places such as union, pacific, the river has risen 30 feet since saturday and these will be historic levels that will soon reach the mississippi. the problem is that the waters are so high in the mississippi,
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it's keeping the flow away from these communities. so again as the waters rise from union to pacific to arnold, we will see the crest continue on rise until this mississippi river can start to flow and drop its crest to the south. >> all right. we're poised for this to get worse before it gets better. tom, thanks so much. i do want to move on to another important story that is developing right now. an intense and dramatic scene outside of a chicago courthouse today, protesters heckled a chicago policeman as he came to plead not guilty to murdering a teenage boy. laquan mcdonald was shot 16 times. and officer jason van dyke's indictment this month and release of a police video of the shooting touched off a crisis that has some chicagoans demanding the resignation of mayor rahm emanuel. let's bring in or sein senior p reporter and law analyst and
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criminal defense attorney. so you're hearing these calls, manu, for rahm emanuel to step down. he's coming back from vacation where he's been with his family in cuba. what are the chances that he resigns? >> i think very little. probably not going to happen. largely because those calls for him to resign are coming from protesters and people like al sharpton, but they're not coming from the heavy hitters in chicago politics. i spent yesterday on the phone talking to chicago aldermen, speaking to state lawmakers, members of the congressional delegation. and right now they're trying to give him space to operate, trying to fix the problems in chicago. danny davis, a congressman who event ares the west side district where the would killings happend over the weekend, said i'm not calling on rahm emanuel to resign. i want to fix these problems in the police force. we have his ear, we need to push him do this. but if there are any further missteps by the mayor, that could change. but right now at least he seems safe politically. >> and his personality really isn't one, right, he's sort
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of -- >> he's a brash individual. >> he sure is. what about this recall election? >> yeah, there is an effort in the state legislature to actually force a recall of the chicago mayor. now, this is not allowed currently under the law, but a lawmaker has introduced this this bill. but what is happening emanuel's indicate is that the leadership, democratic leadership, opposes this bill. so it's probably not going to pass. that means that rahm emanuel is safe until his next election, 2019, unless the problems get worse. unless those calls from the lawmakers intensify for him to resign. that could change things. right now he seems to be not going anywhere. >> tom, you were a police officer in chicago for many years. so what we're seeing some of these steps that the mayor has taken, for instance, in the wake of the shooting of laquan mcdonald, he's fired the superintendent, he's brought in new leadership, he's been attending community meetings trying to outreach and create a dialogue with people in the communities.
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are these things that cover him politically or are these things that will actually help deal with this problem? >> i don't think -- i was a cop just outside of chicago. i don't think that they will help in a big way. you sacrifice the superintendent, but who made the decision to hold the video until after the election? that independent review body that is under the mayor's office, you know, that investigation and the politics behind that really are separate from will this police tent. the police department is being sacrificed -- >> so you're questioning whether that was a political decision basically. >> yes. >> okay. and do you think the possibility of that is that it was? >> i don't think it would have been the superintendent's choice to hold on to that video for a year. an investigation like that doesn't take a year. so i think that it was political from the start. and then you sacrificed the superintendent mccarthy. meantime the crowd is calling for him and they're not going to get him. he won'ting reca inbe recalled.
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>> joey, this officer who is charged in this fatal shooting of laquan mcdonald, he pled not guilty to this murder today. people are looking at this case and they're saying how is this different from the case of the officers who shot tamir rice or michael brown or the officers accused in baltimore in the death of freddie gray. >> it's a great parallel to draw. good evening to you. but i think the significance difference is this. remember that with tamir rice, 12-year-old in cleveland who was shot dead at the hands of police, there is no indictment. so therefore the criminal case in terms of that matter is over. certainly the federal government could intervene. i don't think that is going to happen. certainly they will look at it, but it's a higher standard federally. if you look at michael brown in ferguson, of course, no indictment of darren wilson, so therefore never a trial. however with freddie gray, there was an indictment and those six officers are beginning process of going to trial. we saw a hung jury as it related to the first officer of course.
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so this particular case with an indictment begins the process. and i think based upon that, you'll see a trial and you'll see both sides whether or not there is guilt or not guilt. >> guys, thank you so much. appreciate it. coming up, new details of a new year's eve terror plot and suspects who appear to have been inspired by isis. ove all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon. look for savings on boost® in your sunday paper.
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happening now, isis terror. local leaders say the militant group still is wielding power in parts of a key city where iraqi forces say they have taken charge. are coalition gains at risk tonight? new year's eve threat, about 48 hours before the celebration in time's square, new arrests overseas are linked to a holiday attack plot. i'll ask mayor bill de blasio will security concerns in new york city right now. and poised to strike. we're standing by to hear from donald trump. he's heading to iowa and he's zeroing in on the clintons and scandals from the former president's he past. will trump pour more fuel on the
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feud tonight in wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room." we are following new moves to thwart terror attacks. the u.s.-led coalition says its air strikes have killed ten senior isis leaders in iraq and syria in recent days. the coalition says one of the slain terrorists had a direct link to the mastermind of the paris attacks and was actively planning additional attacks against the west. in belgium, authorities have arrested two people in connection with a suspected plot to attack brussels during new year's eve celebrations. we're told the plot appears to have been inspired by isis. also we expect remarks by donald trump, he has been escalating his war of words with hillary clinton. he. >> mike: insists it is fair game to bring up monday any came
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lewinsky and other women involved in bill clinton's past. we have analysts and newsmakers standing by to cover all of the news breaking. and i'll be talking to the mayor of new york city about any potential new year's eve terror threats in time's square. but first i want to get to elise labott, she has the latest on the battle against isis in iraq. the terror group is still a threat in are a mramadi. this isn't over. >> and it comes on the announcement of ten isis leaders killed. we aren't sure how senior any of them really are, but the direct ties to the paris attacks with at the least one of the killings very symbolic. and today the coalition made a direct thing between the killing of isis leaders to the losses the group is suffering on the battlefield including ramadi. >> reporter: as iraqi forces evacuated civilians from ramadi city center and swept for explosives left behind, pockets
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of resistance remain. tribal leaders charged withholding ramadi tell cnn isis still controls a quarter of the city. now mostly in ruins. still, the u.s.-led coalition said it was confident the iraqis would hold the area. >> we don't think that the remaining enemy has the umph to put the iraqi security forces off of their positions. >> reporter: iraq's prime minister arrived in ramadi under heavy guard, a day after the army declared the city liberated. today he saluted the troop, promising to take the fight to mosul and push isis out of iraq entirely by the end of next year. today the coalition boasted ten isis leaders have been killed in recent air strikes, includie he will that dan oig who was believed to be planning more
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attacks against the west. >> to facilitate the activities, your ability to conduct activities goes down. we haven't receivsevered the he the snake yet. we have to be clear about that. >> reporter: they have helped secure a hydroelectric dam there isis grip, located near the eastern city, it chokes off a key supply group. but despite the battlefield losses, one retired general warns isis is growing as a worldwide threat. >> while they may not be doing ground military offenses, they're still controlling the social media, they're still attracting a significant number of recruits and i think their new strategy for inspiring attacks worldwide is approach very effective for them. >> and this just in, we're learning about what could have
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been a close encounter between a u.s. warship and an iranian rocket. last week the u.s. aircraft carrier the uss harry s. truman was in the strait of hormuz when they fired rockets about 1500 yards from the carrier. there was no direct communications between the u.s. and iranian navys. the carrier transited without any further incident and is now in the gulf launching air strikes against isis. u.s. military officials tell our jamie crawford the iranians didn't seem to be targeting any specific ship, but they believe rockets were very provocative. they say this ship did not tray into iranian waters and was in an internationally recognized maritime traffic land and it just shows the potential for the dangers between the u.s. and iran when the u.s. is operating in the gulf. they have had a few close calls with iranian ships this year. >> they weren't communicating, but they were certainly
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communicating in a way there. all right. thanks so much. now to new year's eve terror fears. the city of brussels is on alert after the arrest of two people linked to an alleged plot to arrest get high profile sites on thursday night during holiday celebrations. well, tonight new york city is ramping up its security before more than a million people gather in time's scare to ring in the new year as they always do. miguel marquez is in new york for us. miguel, tell us about these security preparations that are under way. >> reporter: it's massive security operations for a massive party across the city. there will be tens of thousands of events, parties all across the city. what used to be just a fun time is now considered a soft target after the paris attacks and san bernardino. so the new york city police force very he awaaware of that. they say they will have everything thrown at this, everything from bomb sniffing dogs, chemical detectors, raid
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yi yags detectors and even a lot of special forces that they have brought on, as well. the police commissioner talking about the number of police they will have ready at times square earlier today. >> nobody can match what we can put out on the street. the 6,000 officers that will be here, that's larger than just about three or four police departments in the united states. and they will be within this multiple square block area. >> thousand, now, if you want t times square, you have to go through two magna tomorrow ters. they will have plain clothes and police out there, as well. the big difference this year is that they will have about 800 additional police officers out there and rapid reaction force or a critical response team that they have developed over the years basically the mayor of new york says they can respond to up to 12 different attacks at the
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same time. the city extraordinarily confident that they can take whatever anyone can bring at them. >> all right. miguel, thank you so much. i do want to talk more about this new year's eve security there in new york with the mayor of new york, bill de blasio. mayor, thanks so much for joining us. we certainly appreciate it as we wait for a million people to be there in times square and obviously so many millions more watching the festivities at the home on television. this security that is in place in new york city ahead of new year's eve, it sounds like it will be higher than in years past when you're talk about 800 additional police officers. >> that's right, we added just this year in the wake of the first terrorist attacks, we added a new critical response command, 500 police officers who are specifically focused on anti-terror activity, preventing terror and god forbid we ever had to respond rapidly, they have that capacity, too. 500 plus officers who are trained, highly trained, well
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armed, for this duty and this duty only. and it's the most that any city in this country has. so that force will be ready in addition as you heard thousands of other officers who are will be a key part of our capacity on new year's eve. look, this is going to be a very, very safe place. time's square will be one of the safe he is plast places in the d a lot of security measures you will see and a lot of security measures that you won't see that will help keep people safe. >> so when you're looking at the threat level to new york, do you think it's higher this holiday than in past years? >> look, we know that because of isis it's a more complicated overall dynamic, but will in terms of threats directed toward new york, there has been a lot of chatter, a lot of traffic in terms of information around the world, but there is not a credible directed at new york, not a threat corroborated in a
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meaningful way. we've been in constant touch with the fbi and homeland security and other agencies, including earlier today, and they confirm that there is not that kind of credible threat. but that doesn't in any way decrease our vigilance. morning city will be prepared, we're the best prepared city in this country to handle any terror threat. i always say for 14 years since 9/11, nypd has thwarted plot after plot over the years that were stopped by the nypd. we're very happy that there is no credible threat at this point, but we don't ever rest on our laurels. it will be the biggest force out on new year's eve than you've ever seen. >> i spoke yesterday with congressman peter king and i want to get your thoughts on this why he's floating, that law enforcement needs to increase its surveillance of muslims. today you had jeh johnson saying law enforcement needs to reach out to this community. do you think that the new york police department is doing enough to reach out to muslims? certainly we know there have been issues with the
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surveillance program that this city had undertaken and it's ended up in federal court. >> well, first of all, i agree with secretary johnson. i have a lot of respect for peter king, but i think he's in the wrong place on this one. secretary johnson is right. the way do a better job of know wlag is happening at the community level and knowing that there are some individuals who aim to do us harm is to deepen the relationship with the muslim community, with all communities. because we know sadly that domestic terror has taken many shapes including all those horrible campus massacres and other things that have nothing to do with jihadists. so we need close relationships in all communities including the muslim community. the previous surveillance ol city in new york city did not work. commissioner bratton was the first to say he wanted a change because he didn't think it was effective. by the way nypd has 900 muslim american officers. and we're very proud of them and they are also a crucial part of our ability to connect more deeply with the community. so it's all about a community
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engagement, communications, intelligence cath gathering tha comes from active and organic respect between police and community. >> if you could stay with us, i want to talk to about gun violence. we'll talk about that right after this.
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we're back with mayor de blasio. as the nypd ramps up security for new year's eve. and we also want to talk about other grave concerns for mayors and law enforcement officials across the country. i'm sure you've had your eye trained on chicago as we have where mayor emanuel is under fire, facing calls to step down in the wake of this shooting and killing of 17-year-old laquan mcdonald. we also saw the shooting by police in chicago this weekend that included an innocent by sander, a 55-year-old woman who is the mother of five kids. just devastating. there are calls for him to resign. but when you look at this, having come at this as the mayor of new york as we saw so much outrage over what happened with eric garner, what do you think
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the mayor needs to do and officials in chicago need to do to bridge this gap with the african-american community? >> there is a lot of work to be done in all our cities. so let me be blunt to begin with. we had a path we had to travel in this city over the last two years. we had a lot of tension between police and community over the previous stop and frisk policy which we've changed, we had to make a series of reforms and they have been tough do. we will retrain our entire police force in how to deescalate conflict. a lot has to change, the eric garner incident was very painful for this city. and that pain lingers. and i understand, so i can relate to some of the challenges that rahm emanuel is going through. look, he has to succeed is the bottom line. folks who are calling for his resignation i don't think are thinking through the whole equation. rahm emanuel is now the person who is in the position to turn the situation in chicago around, who can drive the reforms and
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changes that are needed. and they will have to be very, very substantial. because the community has deep and real concerns. so i would say, no, rahm emanuel is needed at his post. i know he has a long history of changing organizations and he's a forceful leader. if he applies himself as i think he will do very effectively to reform, i think he's literally the only person who can make these changes. but they have to happen urgently. >> i want to talk to you now about politics because you're in this unique position of having been hillary clinton's campaign manager when she ran for senate successfully in 2000 and you endorsed her this year after you voiced a little skepticism about her which we took note of. we're seeing donald trump right now really going after bill chin to. he says he's fair game. what do you think about that? >> i think donald trump is trying to mask the fact that his rhetoric and his ideas are increasingly divisive and it's
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actually putting a lot of the american people against him including a lot of republicans. he's spoken out in many ways against women, mexican american, muslims. he's put foreign ideas about muslims and about a religious test for whoever gets to come into the country which are literally unconstitutional. and so i think he's trying to distract from his own mistakes and his own very radical views, and to start calling out bill clinton, if there's ever been the case of the pot calling the kettle black, donald trump who has offended so many different people, has offended women regularly throughout the campaign, it and hillary clinton has a clear vision for where she will take this country. she had a real vision to how to turn around the economy.
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and i think more and more people are listening to hillary clinton instead of donald trump now struggling to find a way to actually seem like a legitimate general election contender against hillary clinton. >> he is a prominent figure in your city. you have some familiarity with him and i think a knowledge of things he has said and done over the years even in con skrunks with the city. when you listen to donald trump that we're hearing now and we've heard over the last several months, is that the donald trump that you recognize from before he declared his candidacy? >> no, i think what is so interesting is there was always a guy who liked attention, who was colorful, didn't mind controversy. but there was not this negativity, this bitterness and divisiveness which has increased month by month since he's been a candidate. i think a lot of people in new york would say maybe they liked him, maybe they didn't, but they wouldn't have seen him as a negative and divisive figure a guy who is very willing to tell
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you how wealthy he was, but not a guy who offended people on a regular basis and seemed to enjoy it. this this donald trump is a dangerous pig, a demagogic figure. . >> mayor de blasio, thank you so much. we appreciate you talking with us today. happy new year. >> and to you. >> and just ahead, we he expect remarks from donald trump will come at any moment. he is headed to a campaign event in iowa. and the clintons aren't the only ones who are unentder attack bye republican frontrunner tonight. ? yeah. yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] safe driving bonus check? what is that? so weird, right? my agent, tom, said... [ voice of dennis ] ...only allstate sends you a bonus check for every six months you're accident-free... ...but i'm a woman. maybe it's a misprint. does it look like a misprint?
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we're expecting new comments at any moment now from donald trump. you can see his plane there landing at omaha, nebraska, not far from his campaign event in iowa where he will then be heading as he pursue as new line of attack against hillary clinton. jeff zeleny has been covering trump's appearance. he's really escalating this battle against not just hillary,
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but bill clinton. >> reporter: he sure is. the one way to unify republicans, the one way to rally the republican base is to go after the clintons. so that is exactly what donald trump is doing here, trying to rally the conservative base by mentioning the name of monica lewinsky, paula jones and others. when bill clinton hits the campaign trail next week, we'll see if they take the bait. donald trump is opening a new front in his war with the clintons. providing political scandals from two decades ago. >> there was certainly a lot of abuse of women and you look at whether it's monica lewinsky or paula jones or many of them, and that certainly will be fair game. >> thank you all so much. >> reporter: bill clinton ready to hit the campaign trail, trump said on the "today" show everything is fair game in his drought reach to women voters. even this. >> certainly if they play the
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women's card with respect to me, that will be fair game. >> reporter: in new hampshire today, hillary clinton ignored trump's latest taunt. her campaign issued a statement saying hillary clinton won't bullied or distracted by attacks he throws at her and former president clinton. the clintons, the picture of a big happy family seen here on a sunday stroll in new york. a stark reminder of how much time has passed since this tense moment at the height of the monica lewinsky scandal, raising the question of whether these old controversies still carry any weight. trump once a golfing buddy with the former president told wolf blitzer in 2008 clinton's impeachment was nonsense. >> look at the trouble bill clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant and they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. >> reporter: this morning he tried to explain his change of heart. >> i'm dubbed as a world class businessman which frankly i am. and i got along with everybody,
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the clintons, republicans, testimony, liberals, conser conservati conservatives. that was my obligation as a businessman. >> reporter: but now trump is butting heads. the new feud has trump's primary fight written all over it. few things rally republicans more than taking on the clintons. overnight he tweeted, remember that bill clinton was brought into help hillary against obama in 2008. he was terrible. failed badly. and was called a racist. from name calling to nose picking, the trump campaign once again took the low road, retweeting a photo shopped picture of jeb bush picking his nose. a bush campaign spokeswoman fired back. out on twitter, there arose such a clatter, late night twitter drunk donald is back at it, all candidates feeling the pressure. marco rubio and chris christie also in iowa, squeezing in a final round of handshakes and speeches of 2015. in the new year, trump said he's going to open his checkbook in the final month before the iowa
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caucuses. he gloated in a tweet today that he spent less than any candidate saying now i will spend big in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. he's fighting to stay out front. >> i demand the election be today. >> reporter: but the election is not today. so that is the challenge for donald trump. over the next five weeks, turning crowds like this you see behind me into caucus goers. some of these people have not yet attended the caucuses, they're newcomers to process. so that is the challenge going forward. if donald trump is able to make these people his supporters on february 1 or if ted cruz and other more engrained candidates will actually have their supporters turn out more than he does. >> it's a big question. jeff zeleny there for us in iowa and we'll be waiting to bring donald trump's comments to you once he gets started there. joining me now, i have a donald trump supporter and tea party leader scotty hughes. and she's also chief political
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correspondent for usa radio network. thank you so much for being with us. this is what is getting all the headlines, this new line of attack or this expanded line of attack that donald trump has about bill clinton saying he's fair game. what is the point of this line of attack? >> listen, i don't think it's new. and remember who hit first. hillary clinton charged trump as being sexist. and this has been the plan and the protocol of hillary clinton's campaign all along is to claim sexism. and it doesn't matter whether mr. trump, ted cruz, whoever is in that first spot, you know they will be charged with sexism. and a lot of talk about bill past indiscretions will be the final nail in the coffin? absolutely not, but this is just another leg in her legacy.
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so mr. trump defending himself against these horrible things that he's the one that is sexist when in truth hillary has been married to the biggest sexiest in american political history. >> rand paul brought this up a long time ago, but didn't really expand on it, certainly not in this way that donald trump has. i want on show you there is a picture of clinton out from this past weekend and she's out for a walk. she's grandma, chelsea pregnant again, out walking the baby. i just wonder where does the line -- where is the line drawn for donald trump. is it he think that chelsea clinton would be fair game or is will some sort of distinction between bill clinton because of the position that he's in? >> listen, that is a lovely family photo, i'll be the first to say. but let's also look at their christmas card photo which was from like 1995 i think, a reminder of when bill clinton was president. so nobody has drawn bill clinton ton into this campaign except hillary herself. so therefore it is fair game.
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>> wait, what about chelsea, though. what about other family members? >> well, the key thing about chelity, hillary has not brought chelsea or her grandchildren into the campaign. and with hillary bringing bill back on to the campaign australia, it does make it fair game. plus bill and hillary clinton are tied so conveniently with the clinton toupd days, a foundation that has taken millions of -- >> so is chelsea obviously tied to the clinton foundaion. and also we expect that she will serve some role on the campaign trail. >> if you're going to bring your family into it, be prepared. and on if you're going to bring chelsea, whoever you bring in, and you do the claim of sexism depends mr. trump, be prepared to defend the fact that you sat the there and took money from countries that have a strict discrimination against women policies like qatar, like saudi arabia, nations that the
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secretary of state's office has said has an anti-women policy. >> and i want to let you are viewers know what is going on. this is a live camera going up the steps to donald trump's plane? this is ally l ly actually in . these are reporters that you're seeing going on to the plane. so we'll try to bring you this live. so we'll monitor this and tell you what is going on as it happens. so ask the iscotty, be preparedi have to interrupt you. but you say this is fair game. do you think this maybe opens the doors for democrats or even republicans who say, look, donald trump, you know, you don't have a really shiny personal record, you've been married three times, allegations have been made depenagainst you doesn't that open him up? >> it is fair game and i'm
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waiting for those to come out. but the difference is that the women victimized by bill clinton, he was in position of power over him. the ex-wives of donald trump are still all very friendly. the women bill clinton actually sexually assaulted or the one that's had affairs with, he was in a position of power over them. that's the difference between the two. >> okay. and then i want to ask you about something else that touchdown, something he retweeted, a photo shopped image of jeb bush picking his nose just to be clear, jeb bush not actually doing this, this is photo shopped. you look at that, is that presidential? >> you know, at this point everything in this campaign defies all things of what presidential is. but it just shows how childish -- >> i'm so sorry to interrupt you. we'll take this press availability live, donald trump on his plane.
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>> you tell us when. >> yes. >> everybody ready? okay. go ahead. [ inaudible question ] >> are your own personal indiscretions fair game? >> yes, they would be. and hillary brought up the whole hipg with sexist and all i did was reverse it on her because she got a major problem right in her house. so if she wants to do that, we're going to go right after the president, the ex-president, and we'll see how it all comes out. and i feel very confident that it will come out very well for us. i will say this, the last person that hillary wants to run against is me. you saw the polls come out today where i'm beating her or tied with her at worse. and we're doing very well. we're did doing very well in all of the poll. we're really doing well in iowa. and you see that.
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the cnn poll, i'm up by 13 points in iowa. we're at 33 versus 20. cruz being in second. and we're doing really well. and we're doing very well in the iowa poll. >> -- a general campaign against hillary? >> in the democratic debate, they mentioned my name nine times they didn't mention anybody else's. so i really felt i had to respond. so all i did it really was respond. [ inaudible question ] >> you know, it's very important to understand that one of the magazines recently said donald trump is a world class businessman. and i am. i made a tremendous amount of money and i built a great company and we need this kind of thinking when we have $19 trillion in debt and all of the problems that we have. but as a world class businessman and as frankly a businessman, you have to get along with
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everybody. you want democrats, liberal, republican, conservatives. and i owed to myself, to my family, to my company, to my employees to get along with everybody. and i always have gotten along with everybody. [ inaudible question ] >> no, i think it's fine. as a businessman, i want to get along with with everybody. as a politician, frankly, in washington we have gridlock and it would be really nice if obama could get the republicans, the democrats together and get something done. it's total gridlock. they don't like each other. the whole thing is ridiculous. but as a businessman especially as a really successful businessman, it was my obligation on really get along with people. i'm a conservative republican and in many ways i'm very conservative. but i had an obligation to my company and to my employees and to my family to get along. so i was able to get along with clinton, i was able to get along with virtually every politician you can imagine. and when i went to washington
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and when i needed something, i got. [ inaudible question ] >> i think we're doing really well. as a candidate, we're coming really, really well with evangelicals. if you look at the numbers, i'm at the top or close to the top with evangelicals. i've developed an amazing relationship and i'm a protestant, i'm a presbyterian to be exact. i've gone through the whole thing. and my relationship right now with evangelicals and always has been outstanding. so i don't know who is leading with evangelicals. i just saw a poll coming out where i'm leading with evangelicals. i'm doing very well with the tea party. and i'm doing very well in iowa.
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if you look at cnn which is a really poll, i'm at 33 and cruz is at 20. so i don't know how i'm going to do, but i think i'm going to do very well in iowa. [ inaudible question ] >> it's possible. it's really possible. i mean, i respected a number of them. i won't say every one of them. some more than others. but i have great respect for a number of the candidates that i'm running against. >> you have been in the entertainment world, the political world. how much entertainment is there? >> such an interesting question. you've been in the entertainment world and i've been in the business world. and a lot of it can be applied. frankly, whether it's business or entertainment or politics, a lot of it can be applied. it's bean an amazing period of time. i've really enjoyed this. we've had just incredible
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results. the relationships i've developed in iowa have been incredible, new hampshire and south carolina and virginia and texas. i'm leading in the florida polls against two people that one is a governor and one a senator, sitting senator. and i'm leading substantially in florida. we're leading in ohio against the sitting governor. we're had an amazing period of time. we start the process. february 1 is a big date. and i think we're going to do really, really well this iowa. >> can tell us how you will ensure people who are supporting you at rallies will be out there on caucus day? >> well, as you know and if you look tonight, this might be bad weather, but the place is packed. and we get by far the biggest crowds. the question is whether they show up for caucus. i think the answer is yes. as you know, we have sam and chuck and some incredible people
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under them. but we'll see what happens. people want to see our country become great again. we are a trouble tha country th seriously troubled. we have nothing but losses. obamacare is a disaster. rates are going up 25%, 35%, 45%. virtually every year. it's a catastrophe. we don't win with anything. we don't win at the border where people are just blowing across in to our country. and i really think those people, i think all of those people and even those weren't at the rally, i think they will come out and caucus and we'll have a very big victory. but we'll have to see. >> how much -- >> it's been reported $2 million -- >> i'll be spending a minimum of $2 million a week and perhaps substantially more than that. >> jeb has spent $40 million.
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>> he hasn't spent $40 million. he's wasted $40 million. that's a big difference. so i'm going to be doing big ads in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina and they will be very substantial and i think they're very well done. i've seen the first two or three of them. i'm really proud of them. we'll be talking about a lot of things including the border, including trade, including isis and security for the country. we'll be talking about a lot of things in these commercial. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't think i need on spend the money baecause as you look t the poll, reuters came out and i'm close to 40. and second i believe is 13. which is a big gap. and i'm very proud of the fact that i've spent the least and i have the best result. you look at a guy like bush, he actually spent $59 million and he's no where. and otherwise likewise have
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spent millions and they're nowhere. so i'm proud of the fact that -- that's what the country needs. that's the kind of attitude and thought process, spend the least and be the best. in education, we spend more than any other country in the world per pupil by a lot and we're 28th. that's the opposite of my campaign. so i'm very proud of the fact. but now i'm going to spend anyway. i don't know that i need to, when i see a 40 or a 12 and 13 is second, there is no reason to spend, but i feel i should spend. and honestly, i don't want to take any chances. we're itti idoing so well this new hampshire, south carolina, in nevada the poll came out today, it was i don't understand. 38 or 39 and everybody either is very low. but i feel i have apan obligation to myself and the country. if anybody goes after me, i will spend a lot of money against the
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people who go after me. [ inaudible question ] >> i'm just saying if somebody attacks me, i will attack them very much and very hard in terms of the ads. $35 billion underbudget. i thought as of january 1 i would have spent $35 million on ads. i've spent nothing. so i'm $35 million under budget. which is a good feeling. when i build, i like to build under budget. when we fix the infrastructure of our country, i want that to come in under budget. because we have people who don't know what they're doing. so we will fix the infrastructure and it will be done at a reasonable cost, not a cost where they have 25 times overruns. with projects that start out at x, some of them cost 20 and 25 times. that is gross incompetence or theft or it is honedishonesty o something. but some of these projects start off as little projects and they end up being disasters.
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we'll he saend all of that. >> the shooting in san bernardino was a radicalized american. you've said to keep muslims from entering the united states. that said, would you suspend if i other constitutional rights of muslim americans, gun ownership, anything like that? >> i would look very seriously at people that are here that are becoming radicalized. if they're using our internet systems better we do and we're the ones that invented it. and i'd certainly get all of the geniuses there silicon valley together and we will put a stop to all of these things going on where young impression al people are becoming radicalized. as far as that horrible couple that killed 14 people with more to come because you have some seriously wounded that maybe won't make it fro what i understand, we have to have people turn them in.
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people knew they had pipe bombs all over their floor. they had like 20 pipe bombs all over the apartment. people saw it. why didn't they turn them in? there is something wrong. something is going wrong and we'll get to the pot of bottom . but people have to turn these people this. these people are sick people. and a lot of people knew what was going on with the man and wife, if i can even say that because i think it's so horrible. >> we're watching donald trump ahead of an event that he has in council bluffs, iowa. we'll continue to monitor this, we'll be back after a quick break. because i think it's so
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let's talk trump as we monitor this live press avail that he's got going on in his airplane on the tarmac in omaha nebraska, ahead of an event in iowa. we are joined by the former senior advisor to mitt romney's campaign and former top spokesman for the hillary clinton campaign and for the dnc. he currently heads up georgetown university's institute of politics and public service.
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thanks for being here. the question i have is if donald trump keeps hammering hillary clinton does she or her supporters at some point have to address it? even if they don't want to when over and over he is going to talk about paula jones and monica lewinsky? >> i don't speak for hillary clinton or her campaign, but i would be thrilled if i were them right now donald trump is solidifying with this line of attack, he's solidifying supporters in the republican primary that he may have been losing to ted cruz, solidifying his position as the republican nominee, and only emboldening hillary clinton supporters to fight back against him even harder in a general election. this is a win/win for her. this line of attack didn't hurt politically in 1998. didn't hurt the democratic party in the midst of the impeachment hearing. the american people pushed back on this line of attack
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politically. so the notion it would come back and hurt 20 years later to me seems tone deaf. it's exactly what his supporters want him to be doing, but i do not think general election voters will respond to this. >> obviously this has positives to donald trump. what about the general election? >> i think just about anything is fair game in a presidential race, but mo is right. the assumptions have been the women's issues that relate to bill don't stick to hillary. trump is willing to test these old assumptions. i continue to think that the issues that hurt hillary the most relate to her character, her ethics and her trust.
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there are plenty of issues out there that are more relevant and potentially more harmful to her than her husband's bad behavior. let's not lose sight of the fact that democrats may be nominating the first person for president to ever be under the cloud of an fbi investigation. so there are more fruitful lines of attack for donald trump than reviving these old allegations about bill clinton. >> more from you guys and more on donald trump after a quick break. ♪ and then santa's workers zapped it right to our house. and that's how they got it here. cool. the magic of the season is here at the lexus december to remember sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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>>. >> we are back now with our political experts as we await donald trump taking the stage in iowa. eric, i wonder and a lot of people wonder this, if the establishment sort of coalesces around one of these more standard-bearer gop candidates, is that going to be enough to take on donald trump? >> i think our establishment candidates so-called needed two things to happen. they needed the field to thin
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out a little bit so that the establishment could rally behind a single candidate and they needed ben carson to remain strong so he could divide that outsider vote with donald trump. the fact that that has not happened, neither of those two things is going to make it much harder for them to make a strong run at donald trump. >> mo, it's interesting we just heard donald trump say hillary clinton doesn't want to run against me. a while ago i think i was hearing from the campaign they really didn't think it was going to happen and they wouldn't have to run against donald trump, but they thought he was a good foil for hillary clinton. what do you see, i guess i should say, in a hillary clinton/donald trump win? before it seemed like folks were saying that would be a shoo-in for her. maybe that's the case -- run, not win, run. >> if anybody thinks that this general election is going to be a run away for either candidate, no matter whoever is on the ticket, i don't think they
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understand current politics today. we are a polarized nation. this is going to be a close election no matter who is on the ballot. having said that, candidates do matter. i do think donald trump is probably one of the easiest candidates for democrats to run against, but he can still win. democrats need to keep remembering that. the mood of the electorate, the way we are polarized today, the anger that is out there, what it is he is tapping into, he could still win. i think he has a very good shot being the republican nominee. democrats could hope for that, but they shouldn't rest on that. it's going to be a long slog. >> 20 seconds with you, eric. if you're doing odds on this, what is the chance that donald trump is the republican nominee? >> i think there is a strong chance. there is a scene in the movie "rocky" where apollo creed's trainer warns him against
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fighting a southpaw like rocky because unorthodox fighters are unpredictable. that makes them harder to beat and that could be the problem hillary has with donald trump. >> thanks so much to both of you. thank you so much for watching. "erin burnett out front" starts right now. breaking news, donald trump saying he will spend a minimum of $2 million a week on ads leading into iowa. the republican front-runner taking questions on his plane as he lands in iowa for a major rally this hour. trump saying if he cheated on his wife, it would be fair game for his gop rivals, but are his attacks on bill clinton for what trump calls a terrible record of abuse a fair game, too? the affluencea teen and his mother caught in mexico. he will likely only spend 120 days in jail. let's go "out front."


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