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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  January 5, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm PST

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or severe liver problems. tell your doctor about bleeding, new or unexpected shortness of breath, any planned surgery and all medicines you take. i will take brilinta today. tomorrow. and every day for as long as my doctor tells me. don't miss a day of brilinta. i'm brooke baldwin, thank you for being with me on this tuesday. you're watching cnn. i want to welcome our viewers here around the united states and around the world. we begin with what may be the most emotional moment we have ever seen from president obama as just a little while august had he announced his executive actions on curbing gun violence. the president shed tears as he spoke about some of the the youngest mass shooting victims
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during his time in office. the 20 first graders killed at sandy hook elementary school. >> our right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in blacksburg and santa barbara and from high schoolers at columbine and from first graders in newtown. fir first graders. and from everyone family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
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every time i think about those kids it gets me mad. and by the way it happens on the streets of chicago every day. >> and to joe johns we go. i mean, the element of the emotion there obviously in that room and then let's get speci c specifically, joe, to the president's proposals. can you explain what he's doing with regard to also expanding background checks here. >> absolutely, brooke. he's been described as no drama obama. this was not one of those moments. rare when you see any president of the united states tear up in front of the cameras, but we know this has been the single most frustrating issue for president obama, the inability to get measures on gun control through the congress. these changes are being presented as overdue clarifications to law even
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though they are described as an overreach reach by. the critics. the president is calling for expanded background checks for private sales of firearms making background checks more thorough. new funding to treat mental illness and r more people power to handle the increased workload on background checks and law enforcement. the president clearly trying to create some urgency on this issue. listen now. >> instead of thinking about how to solve the problem, this has become one of our most polarized partisan debates. despite the fact that there's a general consensus in america by what needs to be done. that's part of the reason why on thursday i'm going to hold a town hall meeting in virginia on gun violence. because my goal here is to bring good people on both sides of this issue together for an open discussion.
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i'm not on the ballot again. i'm not looking to score some points. i think we can disagree without impugning other people's motives or being disagreeable. we don't need to be talking past one another, but we do have to feel a seasons of urgency about it. >> white house press secretary saying the new guidance from the white house will begin being implemented today. that's one of the advantages of an executive order. there could be legal challenges, of course. >> we'll explore all that a little later. but for now, thank you so much. today the president did note that despite how divisive the issue has become, it actually has national consensus. 84% of american households with guns support background checks including on sales at gun shows and online and overall 89% of
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all voters are for expanding background checks. let me turn to kelly and mike week, an owner of a gun store in georgia. also with me is evan perez. great to have all yof you on. kelly and mike, let me begin with you. from what i understand, on days like today when the president speaks about gun. s, you sort of have a running joke that the days that r your gun sale spikes are days that the president addresses this issue. is that correct? >> yes, ma'am, it is. >> tell me about that. tell me why you think. >> i think a lot of people are scared they are going to lose their right to buy firearms. so just like a storm comes sbo town and the grocery store is out of bread and milk, the same kind of thing when people are afraid they are going to lose something. if they are entertaining the idea of buying a gun, they come in and get one. >> do you think that's a justified fear or simply people
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think that the president truly wants to take their guns away even though he said the opposite? >> that's hard to tell. by his actions or at least his speech today, it dount sound like he wants to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens. i think by and large, there is a feeling out of washington that most lawmakers, at least liberal lawmakers, want to take firearms from everybody. >> or make it harder for everyone to get them. >> i want to come back to that point. here you are in georgia. i see the guns on the racks behind you. what's considered a good day for you all as far as how many guns walking out your store? >> a good day would be over 100. >> when do those good days happen? >> usually around this time of year around christmas,
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thanksgiving. >> it's been more so lately. we have had a lot of 100-gun days here since mid-december. >> the last few weeks have been really tense. gun sales have been kind of high. >> and why do you think that is? we have had a lot of mass shootings in this country. do you think that's tied to o it? >> i think it is. i think there's a fair number of people that are concern ed they are going to be caught up in a situation like that and be unarmed and then there's probably an equal number of people that are worried that they are going to lose their right to own firearms. >> kel stay with me. i want to bring evan in. i think it's important to explain to people who are wat watching. here we have kelly and mike in had this gun store, obviously, licensed, doing the right thing, making sure they are giving criminal background checks. there are differences with regard to gun shows or buying guns online and hob yiss versus
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those who do it for business. what will be changing now? >> frankly, just very little will be changing. the fact is that this is the current law. it's the existing law that if you engage in the business of dealing firearms, you're supposed to get a license and you're supposed to do background checks. a lot of people do try to claim that they are hobbyists and skirt under the law, but the atf, they send people undercover pretty much at every gun show, flea markets to just check to see why people are doing this. the problem is that we're talking about an agency that's stuck in 1972. that's the size of the atf. it hasn't been able to grow. the president says he's going to add 200 atf agents. that barely keeps up with the number of people that are retiring from the agency. we had 60 agents that retired in
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december. the problem is enforcement. you're going to clarify existing regulation. it won't affect the folks that run this gun store. it will affect people trying to skirt under the law. if the atf can get around to enforcing this and if you actually have prosecutors around the country who want to bring these cases. that's a big if because you can bring cases like this in new york or in the northeast. you can accuse people. you sold a couple guns and you're really a licensed dealer or somebody who should have a license and you're not doing it, but out west in arizona, you're not going to get that kind of enforcement from prosecutors. it's not going to happen. >> so obviously there's the issues you point out about the a atf enforcement and be able to enforce this. then mike, the issues, and i'm
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sure you know. this is your business. you're not engaging in this, be but people skirt the law. you have been to gun shows. is there anything that the president did today that you support? >> absolutely. the hiring more agents for the atf to enforce the rules that we already have is a great idea. it will take more than 200 to do the job though. he mentioned buying firearms online and having them shuped to your house with no background check and that's wrong. that's a a fallacy. you buy online and it has to be shipped to a licensed dealer like us. >> which is what you do. >> exactly. >> and gun shows, there's no gun show loophole. . if you buy at a gun show from a dealer, we do the same paperwork there that we do here in the store. the loophole is private sellers and that's where you get sinto whole different range of gun sales. private sellers do not have to do background checks.
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>> that's the thing. that's the tricky thing, right, kelly? >> right. for him to extend background checks, is he saying all private sales have to do background checks. if he is, how is he going to know who is selling guns? a man behind the camera, he can sell a gun to one of his friends and nobody would know that happened. what i'm wondering is if he's going to go into gun registration next because he's not going to be able to -- that would be the only way to enforce that. >> let me end with you all asking this because you're so in the weeds on this and know how this works and know how to do all this lawfully. if you could help -- i don't mean to say bang congress over the head, but if you could have one law enforced or go through congress that everyone could agree on that would make sense tr your perspective with regard to keeping people safe and
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keeping guns in good folks' hands, what would it be? >> i don't know that you would need to add anything more other than the personnel to enforce the rules we already have. >> kelly, you agree? >> i agree. i think there's so many laws out there now that are just overlooked. . if they would enforce the laws and keep people from selling guns that are constantly selling them as a business without a license. i have no problem with that. there are people out there that do that. does the atf have enough people to watch them, no. as long as that's going on and that's not enforced, i guess that would be the biggest thing is being. able to enforce the already existing laws. >> i really appreciate your time. you're two people we wanted to hear your perspective. it matters. and evan perez, thank you so much as well in washington.
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by the way, reminder to all of you, president obama will be joining anderson cooper this thursday for an exclusive one-hour live town hall to discuss gun violence in this country in the united states of america. you can watch right here on cnn turz night at 8:00 eastern. just ahead, an nra publication taking some heat for showing these bullets around the photographs of two democrats. hear why they did this. . plus one american has been killed after a helicopter comes under attack. what's behind the e resurgence in afghanistan. and the ad war between the candidates is heating up. most of the ads stay away from the front runner donald trump. why is that? i'm brooke baldwin, you're watching cnn. ♪ while you're watching this, i'm hacking your company. grabbing your data. stealing your customers' secrets. there's an army of us.
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you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. this next story demonstrates the continued danger faced by u.s. soldiers involved in america's longest war. hours ago an american soldier was killed during a special operations mission with afghan troops in helmand province. a medical helicopter came ushd attack by a round while on the ground. this happened in a region where the local police chief says taliban fighters have made end roads despite efforts to root them out. . let's talk about what's happening in afghanistan with phill phillip mudd. can you explain what this
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special operation might have entailed, how a medical chopper might have been involved for backup? >> sure, special operations in this part of afghanistan which is the heartland have been quietly increasing. brooke this is an example of what's happened over the past 15 years when u.s. forces moved in after 9/11. the taliban controll eled 90% o the territory. kandahar province and also helmand province. what's happening now is as u.s. forces have withdrawn over time, afghan security forces have not been able to hold on. now the u.s. has been reincertificating itself in this special operations tragedy as a result of that reinsertion. the americans trying to give some backbone to the security operations down south. >> add this dath to the six troops killed by a suicide bomber in afghanistan recently. why are we now seeing -- is it because of what you pointed out
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that these stepped up attacks are occurring? >> we're seeing a couple things happen that i think are preductable. let's understand for a moment the history of afghanistan. the central government has never projected power sbo provinces. this is a land of war lords. as the western forces have withdrawn. the war lords have moved into this vacuum. the security forces despite the training of the americans are just not up to the task. it's hard for us to understand as well and a lot of these areas the taliban has support because they bring security where the government does not. >> how do you mean? >> these provinces don't have a lot of presence of the central government. so in insecure areas and in this area you have a lot of drug trafficking going on. you have a choice. you can have the war lords run things, you can have violence run by narcotics or the taliban move in with their form of
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brutality, but that brutality brings security. the villagers will take security despite the fact that our girls can't go. to school. >> and that's why also officials in helmand province are warning it could fall to the taliban. thank you. coming up next, was it a message that went too far. the nra posting a photo showing bullets next to these photos of two new york lawmakers. some are calling this a vailed threat. we'll speak with one of them. also cruz attacks rubio, jeb bush taking on kasich, the political knives are out in a wave of new attack ads. why aren't any of them directed at the republican front runner? we'll discuss that, coming up. this is brad.
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are you wondering how close we are to the primaries? let's take a look at the map. 20 stops and town halls and events and appearances today. look at this graphic. the candidates are on the trail in full force with with just four weeks until the iowa caucuses. not only is the campaign trail heating up, several ads from the republican candidates in the groups that support them launching today across iowa and new hampshire, so good luck if if you don't have dvr with that. let me bring in ruth marcus. ladies, a pleasure. let's kick it off, i want to ask about two ads in particular.
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this pro marco rubio super pac. let me show you the last 8 seconds of one of them. >> one high tax common core liberal obama care medicaid expanding president is enough. >> so rubio, ted cruz, chris christie, they are tied for second place behind donald trump. why is that one targeting christie? >> well, christie has the most momentum in new hampshire. he's come from the bottom of the pack in a very impressive surge. that has taken the wind out of l sails for rubio and others hoping to make a breakout in new hampshire. i think they pretty much conceding to iowa, but they want to be second to trump in new hampshire. there's too many of them. if you look at the mepercentage you add them up, they need to quit and anoint one of them. no one is going to leave the race. you're looking at a splinter that's going to help trump win new hampshire.
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>> on the democratic side, hillary clinton, she's definitely waited waist deep in trump waters. she was saying he has this pension for sexism, but now she's changing the course saying just like we saw her husband in new hampshire yesterday really saying nothing, not responding. do you think that's the right call not having sharp el bows here? >> we all have new year's resolutions and hers are to quiet down on the pension for sexism front on trump. that's probably a good. call because she doesn't have anything to gain at this stage in the campaign by getting into it with trump in that way. it certainly helps him in a primary election both. occupy the air waves and dominate them even more than he already has and to rile up voters against her.
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so i think it was smart for the clintons to sort of back off on that a little bit. >> some of us haven't been that successful. >> speaking of trump, the republican veteran josh holmes and mitch mcconnell said this. at some point we have to deal with the fact that there are two candidates who could utterly destroit republican bench for a generation if if they became the nominee. we would be hard pressed to elect a republican dogcatcher north of the mason dixon or west of the mississippi. >> if you talk to republicans who are looking at these maps and races and who the front runners are, seats they need to defend in swing states or districts that voted for obama, they are nervous about the prospect just like josh said by the normminee of trump or senat cruz. they both the people who are
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looking at the maps feel be will put pressure and create a real opportunity for the democrats. it's not that they take the entire. congress back, but it's not unthinkable. that's frightening to them. in this respect, cruz is no better than trump. they both are serious liabilities at the top of the ticket. >> on trump, this is what i wanted to get to. carly fiorina, that separate story has been rolling around. tweeting donald trump reminds me of the kim kardashian of politics. famous for being famous and the media plays along. >> i might have been the first one to call him the affluenza candidate. it's a fair comparison. not that he killed anybody, but he thinks that his wealth makes him qualified to be president.
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he thinks his wealth allows him to say whatever he wants about other people and being trump and being rich means never having to say you're sorry. that sounds like the affluenza candidate to me. >> that was all you. >> one of those times that carly fiorina and i agree. they don't come that often. >> there you go. duly noted. we dug back to a piece she wrote in december talking about there are so many candidates on the republican side. you were saying without cutting the field in half that there's no mathematic possibility of beating donald trump and that january will reveal who will drop out. who is dropping out? >> i really do think a at some point you're going to need to see rick santorum and rand paul, governor huckabee, a bunch of them go. like i said, it's going to be hard o convince those who feel they are gaining traction in new hampshire. governors bush and kasich probably carly fiorina,
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obviously rubio to push them out of the race. but it is really a slice of the pie. trump has a bigger slice than all of those people combined. in some polls the establishment slice could overtake him, but it's a spoiler effect that benefits him if they don't consolidate the vote. >> thank you so much. coming up next, the tension between saudi arabia and iran ratcheting up even further. how does this impact the u.s.-led coalition in the fight againstist nis syria. . plus the nra facing harsh criticism after tweeting this image of two new york lawmakers surrounded by bullets. one of those state senators joins me up next to respond. yur watching cnn.
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just past the bottom of the hour. i'm brooke baldwin. iran's president is still furious. he said saudi arabia cannot hide. just over the weekend the saudss, cuted the shia cleric and 46 other people. the government says they were guilty of terrorism. the cleric's death set off massive protests among muslims in iraq and in iran. secretary of state john kerry has reached out to leaders of both nation s s to try to calm tensions, but it's spreading. let's bring in graham wood, a contributing editor at "the atlantic." let me begin there. shia/sunni religious war, that goes back years and years. and this is sort of now m
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manifesting itself not too far away. you have this u.s.-led coalition fighting isis. how does what's happening with iran and saudi arabia affect that? >> the coalition that's fighting isis in syria and iraq is not going to be affected so much, but we have to understand that isis is now a regional power. it's trying to -- in saudi arabia itself is trying to overthrow. so what we can see is this is a sectarian civil war that's spilling over and has effects in saudi arabia itself. so saudi arabia is really trying to shore up its radical credentials because it's being threatened by radical sunnis. when they call a shiite cleric, by doing that, they say we are exactly as sunni as you want us to be. so you don't have to overthrow us and replace us with isis. >> what's complicated here is in the u.s. relations both with iran for certain reasons and long standing friendship with saudi arabia. given what's happening now and our interests in destroying
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isis, what does the u.s. do? >> i think the big danger is seeing regionally as taking a side in this. right now isis is trying to say that the united states is on the side of iran. a lot of sunni arabs believe that the united states is basically on the shia side. this is a sectarian war. it's a regional war. the more that the united states is seen as being on one side or the other, the less leverage it has on both sides. it wants to make sure the iran deal goes through and make sure its regional partner res main stable. that means towing a very unsteady line. >> as we talk about that, there's this new video showing u.s.ist fighters ill killing hostages. there's a man dubbed the new jihadi john. the uk is trying to figure out exactly who he is, what do we
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know, if anything? >> we don't know very much. we have seen a masked man. we have seen killing ander heard an accent. it's an accent shared by a lot of people. there's some talk there might be a particular named individual who is known, but so far we can't say. we know what it's meant to do is to terrify, to threaten, to do the usual things that isis videos are supposed to do to audiences who speak english, which is to make us terrified of them. >> that's what they are trying to do with this sort of western british accent. >> with great success. they want to say we are already in your society. we can already threaten you. and we have people who speak your language and who want to put a gun to your head and kill you. >> graham wood, thank you for coming by. we also have this. was it a message that went too far? the the nra posting a photo showing bullets next to pictures of two new york lawmakers.
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some are calling this a vailed threat. we'll talk to one of the lawmakers. plus the mother of the so-called affluenza teen will be extradited from los angeles o to texas to face that felony charge. meanwhile her son isstill in mexico. what kind of conditions is he facing as he is sitting there? we'll explore that, coming up. dayquil liquid gels and go. hey buddy, let's get these but these liquid gels are new. mucinex fast max. it's the same difference. these are multi-symptom.
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as president obama today unveiling his new initiative to curb gun violence in had this country through a series of executive actions, lawmakers in new york are facing backlash to their own gun proposal. the nra tweeting out this picture alongside an article slamming this bill, which seeks to control ammunition sales in new york. the two state lawmakers are furious that photographs of their own faces appear next to
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bullets. one of those lawmakers joins me now from brooklyn. she's senator roxanne broussard. also joining me is jean casarez. . just to set this up, tell me what this article was about and obviously the backlash to the tweet. >> you're going to talk to this one in a second and believed the way they can limit and help gun control is by lumting the ammunition that someone can buy for their gun. because without a bullet, you can't shoot a gun. these two legislators have that bill now. if you have a semiautomatic pistol and allows ten bullets in the magazine, you'd be able to get 20 bullets for three months or 80 per year. they believe that will help the situation. they also are saying that in order to buy the ammunition to begin with that you need to have a registered gun that goes with the the ammunition you're trying to buy.
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there would be some checks and balances to make sure you're not buying ammo for a gun you don't own. the nra responded to all this. first of all, they said it is easy to see that the two lawmakers know next to nothing about the subject of firearms and ammunition. manufactures don't even package ammunition with such a random number of cartridges in many cases. they also say it does absolutely nothing to address crime. how many criminals will really follow such an insane law. that's why they are called criminals. . we want to show the picture. this is the tweet that actually had the photograph. but bill de blasio said, knock it off, nra. it's suggestive. i stand with the legislators. they now have responded. joe an simon said that the nra
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is intending to be intimidating with their response to all this and they say it's outrageous and there's a a subliminal message of violence. >> let's hear it from the senator. one is the language that the nra is using about you and your colleague, but also i want to ask you just the photo here of your face with the bullets. when you first saw it, what was your thought? >> outrageous. it's totally inappropriate for the nra to have posted that picture. it's given someone who is unbalanced seeing that picture, that's really given them ammunition to do something that the nra subliminally is telling them to do. >> did you feel threatened? was that your word? >> yeah, e yes, i think anyone seeing their puckture posted in
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that manner and the climate that we're currently living in will feel threatened. it's inappropriate for them to do that. if they are so concerned about legislation that we are proposing, why not reach out to us and try to speak with us. if they think we're e heading in the wrong direction, come out and tell us that. ask where we intend o to go with this. don't make threats across the internet. that's what they have done. >> the language calling what you're proposing saying you know next to nothing. when you bring up you would have liked to have had a dialogue with the nra. now that you have been vocal about the photo, what have you heard back in response from them? >> nothing. their followers continue to send e e e-mails and tweets just
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give. i ing comments. we are living in a society where there's an increase in gun violence. it's our obligation to take care of our communities. and this is one step in taking care of our community. how do we prevent gun violence from escalating. we do not want it to continue. lumting the amount of ammunition someone can purchase is a first step. it's not going to end violence by any means. but it will prevent mass shootings from occurring. no one who has a legal right to large quantities of ammunition will be prevented from purchasing that ammunition. but then again, we're not looking to have the common person purchase large quantities of ammunition as if. they were going to arm a small
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militia. that's what we're trying to prevent. >> i know that the san bernardino situation was a basis for this proposal for legislation. they u had stockpiled 6,000 rounds of ammunition. what's to stop somebody from taking a little bit longer to perpetrate the attack but to stockpile and get their friends in on it and then would have enough weapons to attack. >> senator? >> you know, it's not the best answer or solution, but we have to put a a stop somewhere. if your friend is willing to go out and purchase 6,000 rounds of ammunition for you and the sell er is not checking putting a stop to how much you can purchase, we hav a serious problem there. it starts first with the seller of the ammunition by them checking the amount you're purchasing and placing a stop. you should not be able to go into that ammo store ever two days and say i'm going to purchase six rounds of
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ammunition. i have a license for a shotgun, but i want to purchase ammunition for an ak-47. it's not correct. the checks and balances needs to start with the seller of the ammunition. we're saying we must limit how much ammunition someone can purchase. >> i know the president and after sandy hook that was part of legislation nationally. that went nowhere. but we are seeing some change with the president today. we'll leave it. jean casarez and senator, thank you so much. all this talk about preventing gun violence in america, president obama will be joining anderson cooper thursday for an exclusive one-hour live town hall to discuss gun violence in america. we want you to join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern here on cnn. coming up next, the mother of a so-called affluenza teen is in court today. los angeles judge approved her
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voila. remotes, come out from the cushions, you are back. the x1 voice remote is here. the mother of the aflunz sateen will be heading back to texas. the judge approved the extradition and is due to face charges for helping her son flee the country. they were caught last week in mexico. her son ethan was on probation after killing four people in a drunk driving crash in 2013 when he was just 16. he is still in mexico today and may soon be fighting efforts to return him to the united states as well. stephanie e lumbar is outside that courthouse today.
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what was this hearing today? >> reporter: pretty much it was about four minutes. i took a look at my watch to see how quickly it was done. the judge wanted to make sure that was her signature waiving her right to stop the state of texas from coming to get her. she will be leaving los angeles to head back. . keep in mind, this is a felony charge she's facing here by getting in the way of a fugit e fugitive's arrest. she's looking at up to ten years if found guilty. >> that's the mother. we await for news on the son. stephanie e lumbar in l.a., thank you. sikh unger, you're a bounty hunter. you have arrested more than 4,000 fugitives in your 30-year career. great to see you back. listen, as we talk about ethan couch and hearing new details about what life is like in this detention facility in mexico, you're familiar with this.
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what's his day like? >> you got to remember it's a third world country. of course, their standards are are clearly not up to ours here. the human rights people there really don't keep an accounting of what goes on in the prison system. it's a pretty bad place to be excludeing extortion. these are common things that happen in mexican prisons. especially people there from another country can technically be extorted. >> what's the facility itself like? can you give. me details? he would have access to television, basketball court, that kind of thing. >> usually not, they are usually not very sanitary. the cells are very small in size. the food is not up to par. and the conditions are just very sub standard. >> given your knowledge of
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mexico and this process, this extradition fighting it, will there be any difficulties getting him back home? >> the process in mexico is usually to protect mexican citizens. this person, the fugitive is a united states citizen and i do not see the judge granting him a stay there. although he can appeal it, but i feel he will be back in a week being brought back by the marshal service. >> in all your years tracking fugitiv fugitives, do you think they thought once they crossed the border they were free to go? >> in their minds, i'm sure they felt that way. but as you know, the united states marshal service is very efficient in what they do. they had their electronic surveillance unit on them relatively quick and apprehended them quickly.
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as you know in the past, you can see the fugitives very rarely make it. even the fugitives that are on the lam for large amounts of time are eventually caught. >> sikh unger, thank you. we continue on here. you're watching cnn. thank you for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. we begin with what may turn out to be the most emotional moment of president obama's time at the white house. today quite e emotional shed dig a tear or two as he ae announced executive actions on curbing gun violence in this country. it came at the moment that he stopped and remembered the youngest mass shooting victims during his time in office, those 20 first graders killed at sandy hook elementary school. >> second amendment rights are important, but there are other
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rights that we care about as well. we have to be able to balance them. . because our right to r worship freely and safely, that right was denied to christians in charleston, south carolina. and that was denied jews in kansas city. that was denied muslims in chapel hill. they had rights too. our right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in blacksburg and santa barbara and high schoolers at columbine and. from first graders in newtown, first graders. and from every family who never
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imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives but a bullet from a gun. every time i think about those kids it gets me mad. and by the way, it happens on the streets of chicago every day. >> let's get to this now from the emotion to the specifics of president obama's proposal that would mandate people in the business of selling firearms to get. licensed dealers requiring them to conduct background checks on buyers even at gun shows or online. it would also add 200 new atf agents to enforce the laws, better mental health treatment and boost safety technology like
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guns activated by fingerprints. let's explore all of this and the challenges ahead with cnn's legal analyst jeff toobin. gentlemen, good to see both of you. jeff toobin, before we get to the nitty-gritty of executive action and challenges, to see president obama -- and i have interviewed two of the people standing over his shoulder who each lost their sons. they embraced as the president is wiping tears off his left cheek. it's something you rarely ever see. >> the president has the nickname no drama obama for good reason. he is a cool customer. and i think all of us who have covered him and interviewed and spent time studying his presidency, you're just shocked to see this. there are certain subjects that move him. there are politicians like john boehner who cry all the time. there's nothing wrong with that, it's just part of their personalty. that's not him. to see that sort of e emotional
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reaction. i think it's also a part of i think he feels like he's had a successful presidency. health care, this iran deal, ended the war in iraq. he has not done what he wanted on guns. i think the frustration of that really came through today. >> mike, to you, on just the specifics now as we talk about the gun show loopholes or r if you're trying to buy guns online. i have talked to a lot of people who say this is executive action, but it's really not a whole lot. how do you interpret this and how will this be enforce d by atf? >> it's a start. it's unfortunate we couldn't have done this through congress, but the president decided time is up, it's time to do something about it. it doesn't close the gun show loophole. only congress can require background checks on every buyer. but it will define who is
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engaged in the business. so those people who sell guns at gun shows may now become engaged in the business and have to have a license. and by being required to have a license, then they have to do background checks. so it's kind of going around through the back-door to close the loophole. it doesn't officially do it, but it will certainly restrict the number that are sold without background checks. >> it's amazing. this is going to be a defining moment of the president's term in office. this scene today. and it was a big moment. but what he he actually did was pretty small because that's all he can do. if you want to change gun control in the united states, congress has to do it, not the president. so i was just struck by the con strast between this really bureaucratic step in the direction of closing the gun show loophole and this incredible emotion that we see. >> so given precisely that point
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that it wasn't this sweeping change, then are we to assume that someone still along the line is going to challenge this and then where would that play out? >> i don't think this action today can really be challenged in court. in part, because it's so minor. all he really did was said this is the definition we're going to use in deciding who is a gun dealer. if someone is arrested and then convicted under this new. definition, that person can then challenge his or her conviction in court. woor talking about something that would take months, if not years to work through the legal system. this isn't even like his immigration regulation where he issued a binding interpretation of law that could be immediately challenged in court. this is just a clarifying instruction. it is not that big a deal. >> even though it's not interpreted that way on the
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trail. >> that's right because it's part of the politics of the day. there's nothing wrong with that. but it's not something that is going to wind up in the courts any time soon. . >> it's interesting. mike also with atf, what they are adding some agents o to enforce this. is that even enough? >> in my opinion, no. but congress is going to have to approve the funding for that. it's going to be interesting to see where the efforts in this country go. are people going to spend all their efforts trying to defeat this or say why it's wrong and make sure it doesn't succeed or are they going to put all their efforts into helping develop solutions. this is a first step. criminals are stul going to get guns no matter what you do, but it's a first step in lumting access to guns. so if congress funds it, that's going to be a accept in the right direction to give new resources they need to enforce this. >> atf has been a target of republicans in the house and
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senate. the atf was big. er in the 1970s than it is today. >> that's what evan perez was saying last hour. >> the country has 50 million more people. so this is -- any law enforcement agency with firearms in it is not going to be popular with the republican party and that's why this will be controversial, the adding of agents. >> thank you for the segue. let e me move on and let's talk politics. what really stood out today as we mentioned off the top here was that the president's emotion and it will be how this is interpreted on the trail as well. let me bring in gloria borger. has a close eye on not only this president, but others. was it just watching all this today, was it a surprising moment for you? >> it's always a surprising moment when you see a president of the united states wipe a tear
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from his eye. and i think, however, we have known that since sandy hook this has been one of the great frustrations of this president. after sandy hook, he put vice president biden in charge of gun legislation that would have called for serious background checks and it was serious reforms and that failed. but it not only failed because of republicans. it failed in the senate because of four democrats who were afraid of taking on their voters in pro gun states. >> let me stop. you there. stay with me. i wa'm told there's a news conference underway talking about the aftermath of the san bernardino shootings. let's dip in. >> the head of counterterrorism in l.a. for the fbi. first off, through the holidays, our folks were working this
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investigation. we continued to work it. this is, as i said from day one, this is a priority investigation and will continue to be such. to date, we have conducted over 550 interviews. we have collected 500 pieces of evidence. we have also executed 29 search warrants on this investigation to date. we have scrubbed a number of social media, as i told you from day one, that was one of our big focuses to ensure that we are able to hopefully determine the motivation of syed rizwan farook and his wife. based on a variety of sources, we have determined at least to some extent the movements of syed rizwan farook and tashfeen malik that day and before the incident occurred. we have accounted for 3 hours and 42 minutes of their time.
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we are missing 18 minutes of their time. so why is that 18 minutes so important? it's important because we want to ensure that we know whether or not they stopped at any locations, any residences, any businesses that we don't r already know about. we want to ensure if they made contact with anyone that we don't already know about between those hours or between that time that we're able to fully investigate those matters. i've told you we will leave no stone unturned in had this investigation. this is not an average investigation. e we all know that. that's obvious. but for that purpose, that's why we're really here today. we want to talk directly to the public and we want to ensure that they understand what we're missing. i'm going to go through a a time line very quickly for you. and i'm going to ask the public to hopefully help us out with this investigation and to if you have information to come to us
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with it. so the time line as e we know so far, they left their house at 8:37 a.m. on december 2nd. he left his house at 8:37 a.m. he arrived at the irc at 8:47 a.m. he he left the irc at 10:37 a.m. he then returned to the irc at 10:56 a.m. and over the next few minutes the attack took place inside the irc where multiple people were shot and 14 people were killed. they then visited a lake that porng. the missing time line i have is from 12:59 p.m. to 1:17 p.m. on december 2nd. again, 12:59 to 1:17, that's 18
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minutes of time we're missing. we acted for this from a variety of sources, traffic camera, witness accounts and other techniques and that's the time that we're missing. we want to make sure that if the public has any media in their holdings, witnessed any sightings that you come to us and please give us that information. we want to make absolutely certain that we know as much as we can possibly know about their activities both before and after the attack that day leading up to the point where the police engaged them and ultimately killed them both. ooum going to point out the map. the map is here. the l shape you see is through the city of redlands and san bernardino. that the is the area we know these two were in following and prior to the shooting. they went back and forth and it's a whole route that they took and there's no rhyme or
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reason to make for it yet, however, that 18 minutes is critical. we know they went and parked at certain places and we know they spent time at those places. we don't know what they were doing at those place, but that route is important for you to understand. in the spirit of leave iing no stone unturned for the victims, that's why we're here and we ask the public to call. the number that i'm going to give to you for the public is 1-800-225-5324. 1-800-call-fbi. when you call in as the public, you hit option 4. once you hit that option, you'll be directed to a physical person and they will assess your call and if necessary they will send you a url or a place you can upload any media that you have. i will say itto business owners
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and homeowners and citizens. if you have already been talked to and turned this information over, thank you. that's helped us construct this time line. if you have not been talked to by the fbi, because we have talked to a number of people. those 550 plus interviews don't even account these types of interviews. if you have not been talked to and have some sort of media in your holdings or surveillance camera footage or cell phone footage, please give that to us. 1-800-call-fbi. operators are available right now. they can help you determine whether your material can be sent to us. the additional display of fphots we have to help you hone in on that information are here. this is the suspect vehicle. the license plate is different from our area. that's a a utah plate. that's the plate that came back to the rental car that they were driving that day.
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at this point, i'm going to thank you, first of all, thank you for your continued support for this investigation. i'm also going to thank you for those of you that have given the families their privacy. the families have been through a lot. we have engaged with them once. we will continue to engage with them very soon. we want to keep them updated. they went through a tremendous amount of trauma and will continue for months and u ultimately years and their holidays were not the same as many of yours and ours. thank you and i will take questions. >> the map starting at the far left. and get. ing to the right. >> i don't have that today. i'm not going to go through it because it's con vi lewded. it they went back and forth and up and down. it's difficult to discern.
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>> that's the area, the box within which they stayed. just within that box, we don't have anything to indicate they left that box, but we're mising that 18 minutes of footage. >> that's correct. >> we do not at this point. >> what did you recover from the lake that belonged to them? what did you recover, if anything? >> we recovered a number of items from the lake, none of which to this point seem relevant to this investigation. however, because we know they stopped there right next to the lake, we did feel it was worth the investment of our time and resources to search that lake. i think we would have been remissed had had we not done so. >> good question.
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as of today, we do not see any indications of a foreign directed terrorist attack. this seems to be an inspired terrorist attack. >> i have a question about the showed up at the irc and started shooting. they were there for a few minutes and they got to the lake at 11:45 a.m. so that's 45 minutes where they just driving around? >> yes, they were. >> is there evidence they stopped anywhere else? >> there's not evidence they stopped. there's not evidence that they stopped anywhere. there is evidence that they stopped at a parking lot and they also stopped at the lake. other than that, it was a lot of driving around. >> what parking lot? >> i don't recall the exact location. >> did they stay there awhile? >> no. >> when these people go in there
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and shoot 36 people and then remain in the area. >> e we don't know what to make of it. as we have said, they were obviously heavily armed. they had a lot of ammunition. we do not know of any secondary targets they intended to hit that day. it's not beyond the realm of possibility. we're unaware of any secondary targets. >> why they went home and how long they were there? >> we do not. >> will you be releasing the 911 tape? >> not at this point. we're still discussing it. . not yet. . >> i think -- where were they last seen? and you say it's critical to account for these 18 minutes. is it critical to know the time line or why is it critical? do you think it's going to lead you somewhere else? >> i don't have the exact place
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where they were last seen. they were within that box. but again, why is that 18 minutes critical, because it's possible, again. possible, that they stopped whether it be a storage area, residence, business, it's possible there was a contact. we just don't know. it very may not be an important fact, but until we close that gap, we don't know. >> what did he do while in the meeting in the morning? did he take anything with him? >> he took a backpack in with him and left it inside. inside the backpack is where the pipe bombs were. >> before the shooting? >> and then at 1:17 where the gap begins, where are they at that point? >> again, they are within that l-shape. because they moved around so much, it's hard to tell where they were at every single point. but we can track generally their movements to some extent based
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on all those indicators i talked to you about and other techniques but those would be traffic cameras, surveillance cameras, witness accounts. >> the end of the 18 minutes, any idea? >> i don't have that with me. >> what was the exact time they were picked up by police? >> they were initially seen at 2:52 p.m. that's when they were seen driving up to the house. shortly after the engagement with police took place and that's when you had the fire fight. >> better idea o of why they did this? >> we believe this was an inspired act. we don't have any indications of the foreign directed act. >> any personal grievances you have come to learn about as to why they chose their target?
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>> you can read the complaint. there's some indications in there. as to why they chose this target, i do not know that. i know there was a lot of chatter early on about workplace disputes. we don't see any indications of that. we don't e see any witness accounts where there was a fight or argument with syed rizwan farook inside the venue at which this act occurred. >> correct. >> any other people during that time? did they go inside that house? >> i don't have that available. they did not go inside the house. >> what surveillance? >> that was 2:52 p.m. that was the actual detectives who saw the vehicle driving. i'm going to take three more
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questions. >> can you characterize this whole time? were they zigzagging around? were they stopping? >> a lot of zigzagging around going back and forth on the highway. going up, going down, there is no rhyme or reason to it that we can find yet. maybe that 18 minute closes that gap, maybe it doesn't. >> just more of the same? >> more of the same, yes. >> local schools or targets for the attack? >> other than what you see in the complaint for marquez that's already out there, other than that, we see no indications of any intended attacks on schools. i'll take two questions. >> you talked about what witnesses were meeting with him.
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>> there are photographs with him inside the venue. seemed to be okay. again, originally, there were accounts that there was some sort of dispute, that there was some sort of an argument. we have found no legitimate accounts of anything. like that at this point. >> at this point i'm going to end it. >> the fbi, we covered the shootings live in san bernardino. just a couple weeks ago, 14 people killed. that was the fbi saying this investigation has been our priority. even through the holidays, they have gone through hundreds of pieces of evidence and have scrubbed social media. the key is this 18-minute stretch of time there asking the
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public if you knew anything, if you have media, if you saw these folks, they want to hear from you. >> i have evan perez with me. i think it's interesting how they are talking to the public. i'm going to ask about that. evan, why is it so important? i have u to imagine to get every single second of that day to answer the question of the why. >> right, exactly. the why and really whether there's anybody else they don't know of who had anything at all to do with this. that's what the big question remains. and as long as you don't have those 18 minutes you can't rule out they might not have met with someone, they might not have been communicating with someone, taking a phone call on one of their cell phones. they did have one cell phone they were able to track and able to find that they went to this lake and this regional park where they did that search that
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we carried pictures of. they knew a little bit about where they have been. they saw where they were. but they don't know exactly about this 18 minutes. it's a very big leap for them to even get to this point because if you remember, after this event at first they didn't know about the four hours. there was a lot they didn't know about the four hours in between the time they carried out the attack and the time that they finally engaged in the final shootout with those federal agents. so this 18 minutes is very crucial to try to determine whether or not anybody else, and again right now, there's no evidence that indicates that there's anybody else that had anything to do with this. they believe this is an inspired attack that these people carried out based on the fact they were radicalize d. you can't rule out any of that possibility without knowing about these 18 minutes. >> i'm curious, how unusual to have the fbi hold a news conference and straight up ask
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the public we need dwrr help because we need to know what happened. >> this is unusual. 18 minutes i think they want to close the loop and make sure there's nothing they missed that they didn't meet with a co-conspirator. and they just want to make sure they didn't meet with someone else and discuss some future plans. but none of this really makes sense. when active shooters go in and conduct these acts, they expect they are going to get killed a the end when police arrive. these two, he left the backpack with pipe bombs earlier in the morning. they did the shootings. he knew he would get caught probably that day. so it's odd he would try to dispose of evidence because he was going to get caught by the police because they knew who he was. i think they were just driving around waiting to engage the police and finish it off in a a different way. >> but again, hearing from the fbi appears to be self-inspired terror attack, not foreign
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inspired, which is what they were saying more or less from the get go. they want the information from the 18 minutes for now. evan perez and mike, thank you both so much. now this. >> what the airstrikes and the ground offensive didn't destroy, isis rig ged to blow. >> inside war, cnn goes straight to ramadi, the isis stronghold reclaim ed by iraq forces. what we found there from tunnels to booby traps to families left with nothing. sglrve plus if the armed activists in oregon were muslims or members of the black lives matter movement, would the fed's be responding differently? my next guest thinks so. we'll talk to him, coming up. when my doctor told me i have
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a group of protesters say they are prepared to occupy a federal wild leaf refuge for as long as it takes. it could be days, weeks, perhaps months. in a tweet that has since been deleted, they will pack up and leave only after the government gives up control of this land. this father/son duo ranchers reported questioned to serve out their sentences for arson on federal land. even though they have distanced themselves from this occupation, protesters say they are staying put until their demands are met. all of this despite pleas from local authorities to leave. >> we came prepared. we're in it for the long haul.
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>> you said you were here to help the citizens of the county. that help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed occupation. it's time for you to lee our community, go home to your families and end this peacefully. >> with these protesters vowing to stay for the long haul, law enforcement should just wait them out. others beg to differ. they say it would be a different story if the occupiers were muslims, african-americans. great to see you, welcome. >> thanks a lot, brooke, great to be with you. >> let me read part of what you have written. you say flat out, quote, here's a question worth asking. what would happen if 150 armed black lives matter proit'sers occupy ied a a federal build. ing? go on to write this. if protesters were to take over a federal building armed to the teeth with fire power and they certainly would not do this, they would wind up dead or in
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prison for life on terrorism charges. you're calling out the double standard here in oregon. >> no question. this country has a double standard. i would say it's a color-coded system when it comes to defining terrorism. throughout the years black people have been criminalized and it seems that white people take over a federal bulding it's okay. no need for concern. it seems law enforcement doesn't really care. i'd argue if this it group had been black or brown and muslim, there would be a much different response. actually a violent response. >> what about i can hear the critics of your thesis would be saying, hang on a second. these armed protesters in oregon, yes, they may be armed, they are not destroying property, no one is in danger there. what would your response to them
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be? >> it's good that they are not destroying property, but i believe that terrorism goes far beyond just e destroying property. the fact is that they are heavily armed to the teeth. they are in possession of a federal building. it seems like they want something to happen. i don't think it's a good thing. whatever it is they expect to happen. you can't have people just taking over government property with guns and expecting to die r or to cull or be killed. i think it's a recipe for disaster. >> you mentioned a word a second ago. i had a separate guest who would agree. she used terrorism. would you call this terrorism? >> definitely. definitely. it's not just a a matter of violence, but it's the use of
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force threatening and intimidating. it's not just an issue of killing people, but it's an issue of them being there in a forceful situation. they plan to be involved in acts of violence if necessary and it's clear that these days you have these militia groups who go around carrying their weapons and it's not just a matter of making a political statement, but they know that they are instilling fear into the hearts and minds of people. and that's why they are effective. it's because of the threat they feel they pose to these people to the public in general. >> the federal government says they are monitoring the fbi. we wait to see how long this thing could go on. david love, thank you. >> thanks for having me. coming up next here, it is
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called hollywood heroine. . we'll talk to sanjay gupta about this dangerous epidemic. plus a super pac set up to support marco rubio sets sights on chris christie. we'll dig into the political ad war and find out why no one is going after donald trump. .
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. it is called hollywood heroin and killing people quickly. eight people in the state of massachusetts have died in just one week from the new strain of this drug. police are still trying to
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figure out why it's so danger s dangerous. just over the weekend, police seized 9,000 bags of heroin with the hollywood stamp and arrested four people. let me bring in sanjay gupta who has been on this for some time now. so sanjay, what is it about this strain of heroin that's so awful and deadly? >> they are still trying to figure that out. the big concern here is that with certain heroin batches, people are actually cutting them with another drug. basically it's just a much more powerful version of this. it's a medication that's up to 100 times more powerful so they use to to increase the potency. but if they get exposed to something that's much stronger, that's where they run into problems. so typically somebody who has been using it quite a bit thinks they know what they are getting and they get something much more
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powerful. >> so they get this powerful form of heroin and in some kaszs if you were to overdose and the paramedics rushed to you and using this certain kind of drug that's saving people. >> it's a drug that's been a movement lately in many states to try to make this more widely available. but basically it's an antidote. so even someone who stopped breathing, if they get this narcan, it can reverse the heroin out of the receptors and brain and makes someone able to start breathing again. it can be quite effective. we have seen it at work in various places. that's what hay would get in an ambulance or emergency room or from the individuals themselves. >> so if we're talking about this particular. strain of hollywood heroin and the deaths in massachusetts, you
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have been reporting on this for so long the issue nationwide. but with this, is this specifically problematic in new england or the northeast? >> it's a good question. it's really problematic all over the country. what's so scary about it and frightening is that many of the people who are heroin users now started off as addicts to pain pills. they may have gotten a precipitati prescription from their doctor and become addicted. they could no longer get the pills so they turned to heroin, which is the same active ingredients. the thing about heroin is you may not realize this, but it's cheaper and in many states more widely available than these prescription pain pills. so that's often the trend is they start adducted to pain pills and then turn to heroin. and i think one statistic said up to 80% of new heroin users started off with an addiction to pain pills.
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>> wow, we'll look for more on your investigation tonight on the heroin epidemic. dr. sanjay gupta, thank you so much. coming up next, the republican party now revealing who will be delivering the response to president obama's state of the union address next week. i think back to the recent past you had marco rubio, bobby jindal, who gets the nod this time? also the white house really sort of trying to figure out how to thread the needle here. why an execution in saudi arabia is straining ties with america's long-tomb ally. proof of less joint pain. and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain,
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this just in. governor hailey of south carolina will deliver the republican address following the state of the union next week. in a statement she says, quote, this is a time of great challenges if r o our country but also of great opportunities. i intend to speak about both. let me bring in dana bash. now we have the name. my immediate thought was, potential future vp pick. talk to me a little bit about that and how this is also become this whoever issues this response to the president it's become like an infamous or interesting position for these folks. >> it's a be careful what you wish for because it doesn't always go well. let's start with what you began with that she's a potential vp pick. there's so much buzz around her as that she is a pretty successful, very successful,
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certainly if you're a republican, governor of a southern state. she has been doing well when it comes to the economy, when it comes to education reforms and others. so it is let's just start where we should start, which is her record and her experience and her abilities. but let's also look at what i was just calling her, the pronoun, she's a a she. and the bottom line, there's no other way to say it, but republicans in washington particular, particularly on capitol hill, are desperate to counter the idea that the republican party has turned sbo an anti-woman bigoted party. so what better way to do it, let's start with her experience, to have a successful southern governor who was a woman, who is a minority, and can show that side of the republican party. i think if you look the at the full package for the party, it is frankly genius when it comes
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to governor hailey, it's a tough bag because you had marco rubio's infamous water moment. bob but jindal did not do himself any favors. it was awkward and odd. and the list goes on when it comes to republican responses. >> so governor haley for that. february 1st, the iowa caucuses. take a look at this map. you have 20 stops, town halls, events, all today. the candidates there on the trail in full force. not only is the trail heating up, but you have several ads from republican candidates and groups that support them are launching today across iowa and new hampshire. and two alone are from a group that supports marco rubio both with the same target. watch this. >> chris christie could well be obama's favorite republican governor. why? christie's record. he instituted an internet sales
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tax, supported common core and liberal energy policies. incredibly crihristie even back obamacare's medicaid expansion. chris christie, one high tax common core, liberal energy loving president is enough. >> so not only is it a rubio super pac, it's the rubio campaign going straight after chris christie. why? >> this is a perfect example of how these campaigns are trying to play a game of chess with the map that you just showed. people who support rubio, including and obviously especially the super pac who isn't supposed to talk to the campaign, are worried about the fact that in new hampshire chris christie is doing better. i'm told that internally inside the super pac that rubio is still beating chris christie, but that chris christie is coming up on rubio.
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so for marco rubio to be the establishment alternative going down the road, he has to do well somewhere. let's just assume in new hampshire donald trump wins because he is ahead in the polls and i'm told he is even in some private polling among many republicans if marco rubio loses in new hampshire to chris christie, he's in trouble. he's got at least perform a strong second if not win to be able to continue on and do well where the rubio campaign hopes to do well, which is south carolina. so that is the reason. it's because they are looking ahead. they see chris christie as a potential threat to their long-term game and want to try to nail them. and i'm told by a source at the super pac, they are worried that chris christie is basically living in new hampshire right now. he's been winning support on his personality. he has a big personality. he's having these town halls day in and day out, but they want to remind people of the record. >> all these candidates are --
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why is no one targeting the front runner? where's the antihad-donald trump campaign ad? >> it's simple. it doesn't work. people have tried it. jeb bush is out there saying it until he's blue in the face. he's talking about it as we speak. it's not working. >> thank you so much. my next guest says president obama is siding with iran over saudi arabia as the sides are es kalating. hear his reasons for saying that, next.
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erin: dear freshpet, when i first got max, my main goal was to feed him a quality diet. i decided to give freshpet a try. dexter: there's real chunks of vegetables and chicken in it. raul: and, if the food is in the fridge, you know it has to be fresh. patrick: he's a happy guy when he has his freshpet.
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we are getting word of more fallout over the growing feud between saudi arabia and iran. kuwait says it's recalling its ambassador with iran, just the latest country to side with
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saudi arabia. the escalating crisis is threatening to destabilize the weekend. the saudis executed a number of people, among them a prominent shia cleric. iranian protesters retaliated, torching and raiding the saudi embassy in tehran. the president of iran calling the cleric's execution a, quote, great crime. josh rogen is with me. >> happy new year. >> happy new year to you. given everything that's happening in the middle east, how does this put the white house -- what kind of position does this put the white house in? how should the u.s. handle this? >> sure. well, it puts the white house in the worst of all possible positions. the administration came out yesterday and said we're not going to take sides. this is for the saudis and iranians to work out for themselves and we're not going to use our influence. the problem with that is as far as the saudis are concerned, the u.s. has been moving both before
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the crisis and now even after the crisis toward the iranian position. they have been displeased for a long time about the iran nuclear deal, about the u.s. syria policy, and then in the wake of the crisis, the u.s. has been criticizing saudi arabia. they defended the iranian position that the government wasn't responsible for burning the embassy, that was the state department spokesman yesterday. so the saudis look at all of this and say if you're not listening to us and we don't feel like you're being responsive to us, why are we going to listen to you? this presents problems for the u.s. policy across the region, especially in syria. >> but wouldn't this -- it would behoove the united states not to take a hard line side, though, with either country. >> well, yes, that's their argument. it's true that saudi arabia is still our ally and we still have a deep relationship with them and all of that. at the same time, unless we play some sort of role in bringing these countries together or doing something to help resolve
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this crisis, it's very likely it will get worse and it will affect us. it will affect our policies in syria, our efforts in yemen, our efforts to fight isis in iraq and syria, so the u.s. can't just sit back and say, oh, well, there's nothing we can do. we don't have any influence. influence is kind of like your muscles. if you don't use it, you lose it. believe me i know. >> okay, i'll take your word for it there, josh rogin. you quoted aaron david miller, former middle east negotiator in your piece. the obama administration seize the iran deal as the one stabilizing factor in the region that is increasingly spinning out of control and is therefore giving the u.s.-iranian relationship top priority. he led with that but what was his point in saying that? >> right. this is something i think people inside the obama administration will acknowledge. we've got the iran nuclear deal and that's the president's legacy. that's in a very delicate stage
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right now. that's what they're focused on. and they don't want this to get in the way of that. so they really can't confront the iranians. we've seen a string of incidents. the administration was about to sanction iran and pulled out at the last minute. congress passed a bill to increase waiver restrictions on iran and john kerry promised he would waive those restrictions. so the saudis look at that and say that's not good for us so we're going to go our own way. when the saudis decide to do something like anger iran by kifg a shia cleric, they're just not listening to us because they believe that our priorities keeping this iran nuclear intact and that comes at a cost to them and that's coloring this whole crisis. >> josh rogin, thank you so much. >> any time. >> and before i let all of you go, just a reminder, please, most definitely tune into cnn thursday night. president obama will be joining anderson cooper for an exclusive one-hour live town hall to discuss gun violence in america.
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watch it right here on cnn thursday night, 8:00 eastern. and we will be right back. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a stag pool party. (party music) (splashing/destruction) (splashing/destruction) (burke) and we covered it, october twenty-seventh, 2014. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. 27 days until iowa, and it is getting ugly out there. "the lead" starts right now. republican candidates throwing shade in every direction, as they swing through new hampshire and iowa, and establishment rivals are going for blood. >> every time i think about those kids, it gets me mad. >> president obama tearing up at the white house today as he thinks about the sandy hook massacre and announces some new gun control measures, moves that he'll make without congress, but will they prevent another newtown or another child's death on the streets of chicago? plus, tech toys from virtual reality to the