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tv   At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan  CNN  January 7, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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with ray in the star wars edition of monopoly. thank you for joining me this morning. i sure do appreciate it. "at this hour with berman and bolduan" starts now. hello, everyone, i'm john berman in new york. >> and i'm kate bolduan live in fairfax, virginia, at george mason university where just hours from now president obama will face critics and supporters of his executive action on guns during a town hall right here on cnn. new this morning, both the gun owners of america and the nra have declined cnn's invitation to take part in this. we should note, despite that, there will be many nra members and gun rights advocates in the audience tonight. we'll speak with both sides of this impassioned debate. first, back to new york with
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john. lots going on. we have breaking news out of paris where on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the magazine "charlie hebdo" that left 12 people dead, a new possible terror attack has been thwarted. french officials say a man wielding a meat cleaver and shouting, allah akbar, approached a police station before being shot and killed by officers. the man was apparently wearing a pouch that seemed to be filled with fake explosives. just moments ago, we learned he was carrying a piece of paper with the isis flag. that and a note written in arabic claiming responsibility for the attack. want to get straight to cnn's atika shubert. a lot of new information. >> reporter: there is a lot of new information, but still a lot we don't know at this point. we also have some conflicting reports. police say that he was armed with a butcher's knife and he approached the police station and he was shot immediately by police on the scene. they feared that the bulky vest
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he was wearing may have had explosives. they sent in a remote-control device to check. they now say it was a fake explosives vest. an eyewitness we spoke to also said she saw the incident. that he walked towards the police station and that he didn't have anything in his hands, but that he did appear to have cables or strings coming out of his sleeves. when police shouted at him to get back, he continued to move forward. that's when he was shot. according to this eyewitness, three times. so, we do have some conflicting reports here. we're still trying to get further details from police. they say they have not been able to identify the man yet or whether he was in contact with any other terror suspects or groups. it's important to note, john, they have not classified this as a terrorist attack yet. they've simply called it an aggression. they're trying to get more details before they define it any further. >> atika shubert at the scene of the incident, whatever you want
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to call, it however you look at it, it was certainly unnerving given the one-year anniversary of the "charlie hebdo" attack at the same time of day of those attacks. want to bring in cnn terror analyst paul. what do you make of this. >> john, they're investigating all of it at this point, clearly. but it does seem to be probably an isis-inspired attempt attack on a police station. isis called for exactly those kind of attacks. it took place at exactly the same time as the "charlie hebdo" attacks. 11:30 in the morning here in paris. obviously, that has a lot of symbolism. there was a lot of anger amongst islamist extremists because of the cartoons produced by "charlie hebdo." a lot of excitement in that same
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radical community because of those attacks. so, this could be a copycat one year on, inspired by isis. to launch an attack on police on the one-year anniversary. >> these copycat attacks are the very thing so many officials across europe are worried about right now. paul, there is also new information, so many threads coming in on the various investigations in the most recent paris attack. >> that's right. i got a briefing from a senior belgium counterterror official on monday. they told me there are two operatives still at large who played a senior role in the conspiracy of the paris attacks, a more senior role than abdelhamid abaaoud, the ringleader in paris behind the attack. that they were in communication with the attackers before, during and after the attack,
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giving orders to the attackers here on the 4th of december, belgian authorities put out their pictures. they wanted to find them, but they had not identified them at that point. i'm told they are now very close to identifying them. of course it will be a very different question whether they'll be able to apprehend these two men who are considered armed and dangerous and may be planning possibly, one has to fear, more terrorist attacks in europe. so, this conspiracy just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. ultimately tied back to isis in syria believed to be tied back to the top leadership of the terrorist group there. >> the investigation continues and they keep pulling on these threads. it gets bigger and bigger. paul in paris. iran making bold claims against saudi arabia.
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tehran accusing the saudis of bombing its embassy in yemen. this is to ban its citizens from making pilgrimages to mecca and medina, two of the holiest sites for muslims. possibly ratcheting up tensions between these two nations even further. let's get over to cnn's senior international correspondent nick paton walsh in beirut with more details. what more are you learning about what actually happened here? >> reporter: well, the key thing we're missing at this stage, kate, is actually proof that the iranian embassy and sanaa was actually struck by saudi jets. the iranian foreign ministry says that is the case and guards of the embassy were, in fact, injured during that strike. the saudi coalition says, well, you know, we're investigating that but we don't have any credible evidence. we're not getting a lot of that from the ground ourselves at this stage. but, frankly, the facts of the matter, sadly at this time, regardless, of course, of the impact it has on those injured
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aren't quite what's so important. what this really does is inject the reality of potential actual conflict between saudi arabia and iran. now, their rivalry, their proxy war, has been behind so much of the instability in the middle east for the past years or so. it's right at the heart of the syrian conflict and it's at the heart of what's happening in yemen where a group called the houthis, backed by iran, and saudi arabia's government with jets trying to dislodge them on their side, too. this particular attack f it did occur, unclear really quite what level of damage happened. takes what we saw in the past few days, where the execution by saudi arabia of a pro-iranian shia activist outraged iran, and commercial ties shattered. the fact we now see the potential of some real actual
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conflict, bombs being dropped by one side on the other, takes us from the rhetoric to a whole new stage, potentially. we don't know the exact facts of the matter. we do know we have an escalation now in the rhetoric at a time where the middle east is torn apart by the rivalry between these two nations, which is the foundation of so many of the conflicts across the whole middle east right now. kate? >> and as you point out, a lot is still not known about what happened here. the fact this comes after the violent protests at the embassy in tehran, are there concerns this air strike, if it is true, that it could be a revenge strike? >> reporter: very hard to tell quite what the motivation would have been behind that. we're not quite sure what necessarily was -- whether or not that was a deliberate target at the stage the iranians claim it was. the problem really comes down to the public arena in which this rivalry is playing out. the seeming need for each side to escalate their response one
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tit/tat for the other. the saudis have done good getting gulf states to cut ties are iran, pressuring iran. president rouhani made it clear he condemns the attack in iran. the question moving forward, does this eventually calm down because both sides see it not really benefiting them taking this to a more open conflict where they go back to the posturing and proxy wars of previous years or entering a new chapter here, regardless of the fact we still don't know what happened to the saudi embassy in the capital of sanaa. >> nick paton walsh in beirut. thanks so much. happening right now, ugliness on wall street. but really just moderate ugliness. the dow is off to its worst trading year, beginning at least, in eight years. take a look at the board right now. the dow is down 144 points. nerves frayed right now.
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after china had a retched day. the markets in china close after a few minutes of being open, shut down completely. they lost 7% before they shut down trading. joining me now, cnn's chief business correspondent, christine romans to explain what is going on. we wake up together, in a matter of speaking, we were nervous that today was something to be awful on wall street. >> they traded for 30 minutes. the joke was, beforein' anybody could get a cup of coffee drank in china, the markets were closed. the chinese government closed the markets. they have circuit breakers, like a shock absorber, it's a new phenomenon there, when there's a lot of selling, they shut the markets. it makes it worse. people lining up to sell again when they op. this is what happened in shanghai. down 7% and closed. europe opening and it looked ugly. look, europe was lower. then the u.s. coming in and it looked ugly. the u.s. market was down some 350 points right at the open.
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but now, look, it's cut those losses in half. i think this is encouraging. you've had 500 points of loss for the dow this week alone. that's horrible. that's retched. another 150 points right now. but it was much worse. >> it's not good but it could be much worse. as you look at the dow 30, some bright spots. >> some are turning higher. i think this is showing you it's not just indiscriminate selling across the boards. that's what we saw 12 hours ago around the world. a fear trade, john. buying gold, buying bonds, selling stocks, risk-off, they call, it the market pros call, it because they're so concerned about china's market mayhem. also concerned about china's economy. slow in growth there. what that's going to mean for the u.s. you look within the u.s., you still have some pretty decent fundamentals. you got car sales at record high last year, probably a record high this year. a jobs report tomorrow that could show wage growth and could show decent job growth. >> signs today that maybe the
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u.s. can weather the storm taking place. thank you so much. in the race for president, happy birther day. surprising political leaders now coming to the party questioning whether ted cruz is eligible to be president. plus, surprising new ad from marco rubio. what it is revealing and, more importantly, why. much more from here in virginia at george mason university as the nra turns down an invitation to attend tonight's town hall with president obama. donald trump at the very same time says it's hillary clinton that wants to take everyone's guns away. i'll speak with both sides of this fiery debate. this is cnn special live coverage. this is how banks used to see me.
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new this morning -- unlikely voices with unlikely opinions on the question of whether ted cruz, who was born in canada to an american mother, is eligible to be president. almost all legal scholars say yes, certainly. but now senator john mccain, who faced a similar issue during his 2008 bid says he is not so sure. >> what came up in my race because i was born in panama, but i was born in the canal zone, which is a territory. it's a u.s. military base. that's different from being born on foreign soil, so i think there is a question. i am not a constitutional scholar on that, but i think it's worth looking into. i don't think it's illegitimate to look into it. >> the flames on this issue, if you will, have been fanned all week by donald trump, who now tells wolf blitzer that cruz should go before a judge to settle this issue.
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>> he should ask for a declaratory judgment because that will clear it all up. this would clear it up. you go into court, you clear it up. declaratory judgment. the judge would rule. once the judge rules he's okay, then the democrats can't bring a lawsuit later. >> i want to go to cnn's chief political correspondent, dana bash. she is with the cruz campaign in storm lake, iowa. a lovely snow-filled snow -- storm lake, iowa. you've been on the bus and ted cruz has sort of moved beyond the fonz, at least a little bit here, and started to direct this more directly. >> reporter: that's right. he's jumped beyond jumping the shark, if you will. i have to say just kind of for a moment here, i'm old enough to remember being here way, way back in 2008 when john mccain was being questioned about whether or not he would be eligible to be president of the united states because he was born in panama. you heard him kind of explaining the differences.
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that it was a military installation, so on and so forth. but i think it just kind of goes to show the way things look depends on where you sit. and john mccain and ted cruz have not always seen eye to eye on everything. you're right. ted cruz is now getting into the nitty gritty about what exactly it would mean if he is president, particularly given the fact that he has a legal background. i asked him about these issues. >> reporter: speaking of the constitution, you may have heard that donald trump is bringing up the fact that you were born in canada. and saying that if you're the republican nominee, it could be held up in the court for two years. you're a constitutional scholar. you've argued before the supreme court. why do you think on the legal basis he's wrong? >> oh, look, the legal issue is straightforward. the son of a u.s. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen. >> reporter: it's never been tested. you know full well because
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you've done it on other issues. >> the laws of the constitution of the united states are straightforward. the very first congress defined the child of a u.s. citizen born abroad as a natural born citizen. many members of the first congress were framers at the constitutional conference. at end of the day, this is a nonissue. my response as we were talking a minute ago, i tweeted a link to a video of fonzi jumping a shark. i'm not going to engage in this. the reason is simple, there are far too many serious issues facing this country. last night north korea claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb. what the american people are looking for is who's prepared to be commander in chief? who has the seriousness, who has the judgment, who has the knowledge, who has the clarity of vision, who has the strength -- >> reporter: let me button this up. just on the issue of the passport. >> what passport? >> reporter: donald trump is suggesting -- saying that you had a canadian passport. >> it's not true.
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>> reporter: false never had one in your entire life? >> yes. >> reporter: you asked your mother, your dad, you never had one? >> yes, i'm sure. >> reporter: so, john, he's trying to put this to bed as much as he can. good luck to him because donald trump is continuing to throw ideas out ooeter -- ether as we heard from wolf blitzer's interview last night, like if he should go to a federal judge and ask a federal judge to end this for once and for all. i'm sure ted cruz will not be that successful in moving past these questions. >> it's not just donald trump now. it's john mccain asking these open questions as well. dana bash in iowa, thank you. want to talk more about the legal challenge to cruz that donald trump is asking about. george washington university law professor jonathan turley joins us right now. professor, trudonald trump saysd cruz should get a
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declaratoriment statement from a federal judge. what is such a thing and how would that work? >> mr. trump was referring to the declaratory judgment act. in order to use that act, which is an act where a court can declare a federal law or policy to be unconstitutional, you need standing. you need to be able to show that this is a case or controversy under what's called article 3 of the constitution. i actually litigate a lot under that act and i doubt a court would actually do what mr. trump suggested. you can't just walk into a court and ask for a judgment, like some type of legal slurpy. they don't just serve up that type of advice. they're particularly worried about anything that is a political question, but also they don't want to give what's called an advisory opinion, that is, to give an opinion in a case that isn't rite ripe for review or where there isn't article 3 standing. >> you brought up slurpies. let me bring up article 2, article 2, section 1, clause 5.
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this is the article that talks about presidential eligibility and it says this. no person except a natural born citizen or a citizen of the united states at the time of the adoption of the constitution shall be eligible to the office of president. this is what this is all about. the words natural born citizen against, most legal scholars say cruz is almost certainly eligible but it's never been decided or litigated or ruled on by the supreme court. >> that's right. in fairness to mr. trump, it is true that this has never been clearly answered by the supreme court. and we are living at a time when we're seeing many immigration questions, such as children born to undocumented persons, are still open and contentious questions. so, that part of it is certainly true in fairness to mr. cruz, the historical records and the statutory record does, in fact, favor him rather significantly in his interpretation.
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and mr. cruz is very knowledgeable about the constitution. i've had conversations with him in the past. and he is certainly knowledgeable about that history. in 1790, it was clear that the congress adopted a definition that supported mr. cruz's claim. moreover, the english common law that existed at the time the constitution was written also clearly supported this definition. and much of what the framers did, they did on the back -- on the sort of foundation of the english common law, which they're very familiar with. >> ted cruz knows that, as you said. this is a man who's argued before the supreme court. he knows what he's talking about here, most definitely many legal scholars agree. jonathan turley, appreciate you being with us. thank you. i want to bring in mercedes schlapp and hilary rosen. mercedes, i want to talk about john mccain. because john mccain when asked about ted cruz, is he eligible,
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could have easily said yes and moved on. but he didn't. he said the questions are legitima legitimate. what's going on there? >> well, i think that john mccain has a disdain for ted cruz. it's very clear that that has never been what you would call a loving relationship in any way in the senate. it was john mccain who came out and spoke about the tea partyers and senator ted cruz calling them whacko birds. this goes beyond -- it's more of a personal hit. i think it's the fact that john mccain wants to keep this question of ted cruz's eligibility in the news, in the media. and, again, it's an interesting political battle to watch. it's more of a political issue than legal issue at this point. >> it's not just john mccain or donald trump. rand paul is doing it, too. and hillary, so, too is josh earnest from the podium in the white house briefing room. listen to this. >> it would be quite ironic if
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after seven or eight years of drama around the president's birth certificate, if republican primary voters were to chose senator cruz as their nominee, somebody who actually wasn't born in the united states and only 18 months ago renounced his canadian citizenship. >> you know, i know what he's doing there. but wouldn't the high road to be, yes, he can run for president and move on. >> josh earnest is given a few slap-arounds given what the president has gone through over the years. let's look at the bigger picture because i think what we're experiencing with john mccain, and i think we're going to start to see it more with other more mainstream republicans is that they are starting to look at their two alternatives in this primary as being ted cruz and donald trump and they're panicking. they need to find as many issues as they can to sort of keep these guys in lower numbers.
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and, you know, when the alternative to donald trump becomes ted cruz, you have, you know, 50 republican senators who can't stand the guy, all huddling and figuring out, how do we keep that guy out of it, too? so, i think we're seeing just the beginning of what's going to be a republican primary int internessing war. >> marco rubio today released a pretty stark television ad. i want to play just a part of it for you. >> our goal is eternity, the ability to live alongside our creator for all time, to accept the free gift of salvation offered to us by jesus christ. the struggle on a daily basis is as a christian is to remind ourselves of this. the purpose of our life is to cooperate with god's plan. to those who much is given, much is expected. we'll be asked to account for that. >> so, this is marco rubio now.
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in an ad basically professing his faith, professing his christian values. this is not something he runs on as much as some of the other candidates, so the question is, why? what is he aiming at here? >> for senator rubio his faith is an important part of his life. with that being said, obviously, politically we're looking at evangelical voters. very key in states like iowa, very key in southern states like south carolina, for example. so, he needs to make inroads with these evangelical christians. why, john? because right now ted cruz is doing very well with the evangelical voters. especially in iowa and in south carolina. and actually trump is doing fairly well with that group. again, i think this is a play for marco rubio for individuals in those states, evangelical christians, to see that side of marco rubio, which he clearly has stayed away from recently. >> he may not need to win that group but can peel them off. one last question on joe biden. he did an interview where he
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essentially says every day he regrets the fact he didn't run for president. >> i regret it every day, but it was the right decision for my family and for me. >> now, you know, it's interesting to hear that. he says he regrets it every day but he stands by his decision. leave that aside. but it did make me think about this in joe biden. don't you think there will be a time this month, next month, beyond that, where joe biden will say something that will complicate things in the democratic primary, specifically for hillary clinton 1234? >> well, look, they're very good friends. and i'm sure that making the decision not to run for president was an acknowledgment he was going to end up supporting hillary in the primary and the general election. i have no doubt about that. look, you know, great public servant who had a lot to offer. i do believe he's wistful looking at the action that's going on and thinking that he had something to offer here.
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but he made that decision. i think democrats are happy with our choices. and we'll move on. can i say on the marco rubio thing really quickly which is that marco rubio is running for president of the united states, secular country, not for pope. while this might help him in a democratic primary move him up towards ted cruz with evangelicals, the problem republicans will continue to have is that the more they are fighting for a very small segment of voters in the republican primary, the more they're distancing themselves from the general election. >> there's plenty of faithful people, people of faith -- >> it's not about not having faith. >> it's okay to talk about your faith. absolutely okay to talk about what you believe. >> it's not about not having faith. it's about talking about america as a purely christian country, which, of course, it's not. so, that's -- you know, that's where we're going to find differences when we get into a general election, you're going to have -- >> at this point he needs to talk to the gop voters. and part of that voter base, are
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the evangelical christians which includes libertarians and other segments of the population. >> that's exactly my point. >> why not if you have your faith, be able to talk about it in public? it's a free country where we're able to do that. that's the beauty of america. >> you should. >> whether you're christian or muslim or jewish. >> you should talk about it from your own perspective. >> it's one ad. it's one political ad. >> it's a political ad running right now. marco rubio has chosen to put it up on the air waves. we'll see how long it lasts and if he continues to speak this way, perhaps, on the stump as well. hillary rosen, mercedes, thanks to have you here with us. coming up, thanks, but no thanks. the national rifle association says it will not attend tonight's town hall on guns. we'll tell you why. plus, north korea says it's the real deal. a hydrogen bomb capable of unleashing extraordinary, but experts say they have serious doubts. we'll take you inside north
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welcome back. from george mason university in virginia where tonight president obama will sit down with cnn's anderson cooper for a live town hall meeting to take on one of the most fiercely debated issues in the country today. guns in america. the prime time event brings together folks on both sides of this debate, those for and against more gun control, victims of gun violence and their families. the nra, the country's largest gun rights organization, most
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often cited as the gun lobby has declined to take part. although many individual members of the nra and gun rights advocates will be joining in the discussion. let's bring in right now cnn's white house correspondent michelle kosinski for more on this. this all comes, here's the important context, just after the president unveiled his controversial executive actions on this very topic. >> reporter: right. maybe you should brace yourself there. i wonder how feisty this debate is going to get. the white house never intended for the president to take executive action which, by the way, didn't go nearly as far as they would have liked. given emotional speech and that be the end of it. lacking anything more they could do unilaterally, they see this off as a jumping off point, as they put it to, inspire more passion in people that feel the same way so they can influence their lawmakers, vote their minds, maybe make changes within their own communities. that's why the president agreed to do this town hall. in fact, he said his goals are to have good people on both
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sides of the issue in afternoon open discussion. that you don't have to be disagreeable while you're disagreeing. you don't have to talk past each other. you do have to have a sense of urgency on this issue, in his view. the white house sees it as maybe sparking a broader discussion, what additional steps could communities take. you know the white house has broad support on background checks. it's like 80% to 90% of americans agree with that, including republicans, including gun owners. it's just that when you look at the broader issue and look at some recent polls, they show 62% of americans disaprove of how president obama is handling the gun issue. just over half now oppose stricter gun laws. that tells you how complicated this debate always is. now, cnn has invited people on both sides of the issue to be is there but the nra -- america's biggest voice on gun rights says
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they don't want to be a part of it. they're calling it a pr spectacle organized by the white house. as you and i both know, this was not organized by the white house. cnn asked the president to be a part of it, kate. >> exactly right. you lay out perfectly how complicated the issue is and exactly why cnn is holding this event. thank you, michelle. let's discuss this further. let me bring in chelsea parsons, an expert on gun policy at liberal leaning, and sunny hostins. thank you for being here. michelle was laying out, broadly speaking, there are a lot to get into the details of what the president unveiled in his executive action, mostly focusing on expanding background checks. chelsea, you've worked for years on this. some of your recommendations were actually taken -- used in these executive actions by the white house. but immediately we heard from republicans, opponents of gun
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control saying putting it all together, it doesn't add up to much. >> yeah. i think that what the president's package represents is a really smart, thoughtful but modest step forward in addressing some gaps in our current laws and policies. i think the president did what he could do within his current authority. but what we really need to make a significant impact on gun violence in this country is for congress to act. we need for legislation to be passed, to expand background checks, we need other laws to be addressed by congress if we really are going to make a big impact on this. >> are you frustrated he didn't do more? >> no. because i think the president did what he could do within his authority. i think that's a really strong package. not only did he address the background checks by high-volume gun sellers but he added smart, targeted enforcement pieces here that will help federal law enforcement better enforce the law on the books. >> that immediately leads to
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republican opponents immediately said, this is illegal, an overreach and a violation of liberty. is he on legal ground, from what you can see? >> president obama is a constitutional law scholar. so, to be clear, this is constitutionally sound. and i think what was very smart from the white house is that he called it an executive action as opposed to an executive order. let's face it, an executive action and executive order, they're the functional equivalent of both. but i think that people that are saying this is illegal and overreaching is really shocking to me because many people are saying it's actually quite modest. i think it is pretty robust. if you look at what he has done, he is trying to close this online gun show loophole where criminals do go and try to buy firearms. since 1998, back me up if i'm
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right, about 2.4 million purchasers that -- criminals that tried to buy guns were prevented by the background checks. this argument we're hearing all the time that, hey, criminals don't submit to background checks. guess what? they really do. the background system has prevented those purchases. so, why not go further? why not make sure that not only the stupid criminals going through the background checks, let's try to stop those that are trying to go around the background checks and going online and buying them from private sellers, why don't we try to get them out of criminals' hands? >> that's led to an important question, which has con founded me from the administration so far. they have not put an estimate on how many people will be covered. how many more people will be covered through these executive actions? >> we don't know. that's part of the problem. when we're trying to craft smart, targeted gun policy is
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that we are really at a deficit of information. it's very hard to know how big is the scope of the current private sale market and firearms. these are sales happening completely off the grid. they're happening completely outside the eyes of law enforcement of atf. it's very hard. what we know is there are a substantial number of individuals who are telling guns as private sellers. they're selling them in high numbers -- >> is it in the tens of thousands? is there any -- >> well, there have been some studies. my friends at k2 global intelligence have done some sort of undercover buys on arms lists. what they found just in their research is 1 in 30 purchasers online from arms list were criminals buying guns. to put that into context, if you have a typical boeing 757 and you have 130 people on that plane that are terrorists, that
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would be 22 terrorists on the plane. as a country, do we want those stats? do we want 1 in 30 criminals to have guns? i think that estimate actually is really not accurate. i think it's a much higher number there. so, they are operating in the shadows but all of the research shows that there are many, many criminals. criminals purchasing guns, at least 1 in positive from this one study, on the internet. don't we want to stop that? >> it speaks to the complicated nature of this issue. we'll hear from the other side. the other side saying very clearly from these executive actions, what what they see, would not have prevented a sandy hook, would have not prevented san bernardino. this is some of the stuff we'll get into. we'll hear from the other side. you can be sure these are some of the very tough questions president obama will face tonight in this town hall. chelsea, thank you so much. really appreciate it. a reminder to all of you, president obama will be joining
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anderson cooper for this live town hall on guns in america. 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. also ahead for us as republicans threaten a legal challenge to the president's gun measures, one top lawmaker is calling for the president to shift his focus to what he actually calls the real issue behind gun violence. he will be joining us next. and no signs so far of radiation. skepticism is now growing over whether north korea actually tested a hydrogen bomb but that nation's lead are, kim jong-un, says he'll prove that test was a success. cnn is in yong nang.
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new this morning, our reporter inside north korea, the country that claims that for the first time it exploded a hydrogen bomb. south korea planning to respond by blaring propaganda over loud speakers at the demilitarized zone. the rest of the world is flat out skeptical. officials say it was not a hydrogen device. so far no radiation has been detected but north korean officials say they will prove to cnn that the test was the real deal. our will ripley was traveled extensively in north korea is the only u.s. reporter in the capital of pyongyang. this is his report. >> reporter: john, i met just a few hours ago with north korean government officials who told me they are not afraid of more sanctions as a result of north korea's fourth nuclear test, a test they claim was a hydrogen bomb, a claim disputed by many national experts. the north koreans told me this
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country has already lived with crippling sanctions for so many years that tightening their belt and moving forward with the nuclear program is something they are prepared to do. they compared themselves to a hunter holding a rifle and they compared the rest of the world led by the united states to a pack of wolves. and north korea says it is not going to be lowering its rifle. they say will continue to develop weapons of mass destruction that they say they will only use to protect themselves. there's another development on the peninsula that can really escalate the situation later today. around noon local time, south korea is saying that in retaliation for this fourth nuclear test, they're going to turn back on those propaganda loud speakers that we last heard over the summer after two south korean soldiers were injured in land mines on the border between north and south korea known as the dmz, or demilitarized zone. those loud speakers are infuriating to the north korean regime because they send loud south korean propaganda into the
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north territory. the timing couldn't be worse for the north korean's government because today happens to be kim jo jong-un's 33rd birthday. what will happen next? what will the north's move be in response? something we'll have to watch very closely here in pyongyang. >> our will ripley, the only western reporter inside north korea right now. our thanks to will. john mccain now raising concerns, raising questions, he says, about ted cruz's eligibility to run for president because cruz was born in canada. well, now ted cruz getting ready to speak. you're looking at live pictures right now. how will ted cruz respond to john mccain? stay with us.
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. welcome back. we're live from george mason
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university in fairfax, virginia. where tonight president obama will join anderson cooper and a life audience for a special town hall event tackling one of the most heated issues today. guns in america. it comes on the heels of the president's tearful rollout of his executive actions on gun control. among the measures that the president unveiled is expanding background checks on private gun sales, hiring more atf agents to enforce gun regulations and an increase if funding for mental health care. republican critics quickly blasted the moves as both ineffective and overreaching. joining me now to discuss from capitol hill, republican congressman kevin brady of texas, a member of the house leadership. congressman, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you, kate, thanks for having me. >> the house speaker, he said yesterday that republicans, they're going to look at all options, is how paul ryan said it, to stop the president here. what are those options? >> first, let me start with the
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main case, which is, look, gun violence is real in america. but nothing's going to change as long as you ignore the root cause of much of this violence, mental illness, and you focus on taking away rights of law-abiding citizens. the president i think is sincere. but after seven years of doing virtually nothing, trotting out that same old outdated ineffective ideas, it just won't work, if you're ignoring, especially since you're ignoring the mental health care issue. so we're going to, one, stop this unconstitutional grab, and we're going to focus on some real solutions, which is mental health care. there's two major bills in the house and senate that we think really begins to address a broken health care system and you look at the president's proposal. look, no real solutions. $500 million. it's one hour of federal spending. it will not make america one
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hones safer. >> i do want to ask you about the mental health care compon t component. you say first we're going to stop him. how? are we talking about a little challenge? >> you know, we'll be using every constitutional power we have from legal challenges to the power of the purse to legislation. i think it's important to point out, the american people have a roll in this. even when the president held the white house in both chambers of the house and senate, the american people didn't go for this. and so it's not like -- like congress is blocking these old outdated ineffective solutions. the american people frankly don't believe it will make them safer as well. i really think, i think most republicans do, that if we really are honest about the fact we don't have a mental health care system in america and what we have is broken and unaffordable and, frankly, you see these mass shootings. the one common theme here is why
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didn't we identify it or someone identify and get these people help. i really think that's where there's common ground in this debate. >> on the mental health care component, you say nothing's going to change as long as he keeps ignoring this aspect. he is calling for $500 million, half a billion, to put towards this. you say that is weak. do you want more federal funding in this area? >> it's a great question. think about this. no real mental health care reforms in this package and the equivalent of one hour of federal spending assigned to an issue that he believes is so critical to the safety of america. it's a drop in the bucket. it isn't applied to where it needs to be. i don't know why the president doesn't sit down with republicans in the house and senate and let's really tackle mental health care. because at the end of the day, i think that's where we can make the biggest difference in
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stopping some of this gun violence and actually making communities safer. >> we'll see exactly where that conversation goes tonight at this town hall. congressman kevin brady, thanks so much for joining me, i appreciate it. coming up next, we are following breaking news in paris where an armed attacker was shot and killed in front of a police station there. stay right here with us. we'll be right back. ♪
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>> announcer: this is cnn break news. >> hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view." in paris where the specter of terrorism is never far away, least all on the one-year anniversary of the charlie hebdo attack. today, anxiety is mixed with some sense of relief that police were able to foil a brand-new attack by a man who was armed with a meat cleaver and what


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