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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  January 12, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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isis blamed for another shocking blast and senseless murder. "the lead" starts right now. terror in one of most visited cities in the world. a suicide bomber killing at least ten innocent poem after allegedly sneaking in from syria. trouble for hillary clinton. signs history could be repeating itself in iowa. only with senator bernie sanders playing the part of senator barack obama. plus -- it might be the first time sean penn did not want a camera following him. but today, new images show someone was on the actor's tail as he was on his way to interview the most want the drug lord in the world and it wasn't paparazzi.
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hello, everyone. live pictures of the capitol building here in washington, d.c., where in just a few hours president obama will deliver his last, last, state of the union address. we're going to be covering it from all angles from the white house to capitol hill. this is "the lead." i'm jake tapper. live up on capitol hill. where congressional leaders will gather this evening along with the supreme court justices and others. we're going to break down what we expect to hear from president obama and from republicans in response to what the white house is saying will be a nontraditional speech. more on that coming up this hour. first, let's start with breaking news in our world lead. the u.s. condemning today's terrorist attack in istanbul. turkey blaming isis for the suicide bombing. the blast happened in a popular and heavily guarded tourist area in the heart of istanbul. the terrorist waited until midmorning and detonated a bomb in a busy historic square
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killing tip people. eight of those killed were germans, 15 other people were hurt. for the terrorists, turkey says, they know he was from syria but he was not on the list of refugees authorities were tracking. cnn's senior national correspondent arwa damon joins us live from istanbul. what are you learning on the ground there? >> reporter: well, at this stage, jake, turkish officials are saying this individual only recently crossed into turkey from syria, perhaps one of the reasons why he was not necessarily on the intelligence agency's radar. because they are at any given time tracking numerous individuals. we also do know that this person was born in 1988. and that, at this stage, the turkish authorities do believe he was a member of isis. now, how much coordination did
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the terrorist organization have in terms of directives when it came to carrying out the attack, what the target should be. that at this stage we do not yet know. but it does seem as if this was a deliberate move to send a message not only to turkey when it comes to how vulnerable this country is, despite many ongoing efforts to try to clamp down on various different individuals affiliated with terrorism but also send a message far beyond turkey's borders. the target of this attack, tourists that not only are fundamental to turkey's tourism industry, to its economy but this also serves to send that message that isis most certainly does like to emphasize and that is that no one can necessarily consider themselves to be safe, jake. >> arwa damon, thank you so much. let's turn to our politics lead. the inevitable democratic presidential nominee hillary clinton, well, she might be
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quite everyboitiable. bernie sanders with a 14-point lead. perhaps more surprising in iowa today, a quinnipiac poll shows bernie sanders winning there, too. let's go right to cnn's senior political correspondent brianna keilar in ames, iowa. the clinton campaign looks like she's into trouble. >> reporter: they're stressing they've said all along the race is going to be close, both in iowa andy new hampshire and it would be unusual for someone in iowa for someone in hillary clinton's position to get more than 50%. privately, what we're seeing is the campaign recognizing, of course, that there's an enthusiasm gap, that they have to really rely on the ground game that they have built here over months. and also, they're preparing for perhaps a longer primary season than they had anticipated.
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>> if that's the kind of revolution he's talking about, i'm worried. >> hillary clinton going hard at rival bernie sanders as a pair of new early state polls show him in the lead. >> secretary clinton and her campaign now know that she's in serious trouble. >> reporter: the vermont senator running ahead of clinton by 14 points, 53-39%, in a new hampshire poll from monmouth university. >> obviously very pleased by recent polls. >> reporter: in iowa a quinnipiac university poll showing sanders with five-point advantage. clinton, on the trail in the hawkeye state is zeroing in on potential sanders vulnerability with democratic base. his moderate stance on gun control. >> stand up to that gun lobby, bring people together, and let's have common sense gun safety measures. >> reporter: clinton ratcheting up attacks while picking up a key endorsement from the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. that is her daughter chelsea
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hammers sanders over health care while making her 2016 debut. >> senator sanders wants to dismantle obamacare, the c.h.i.p. program. >> reporter: sanders is weathering the storm, making the case the recent attack show he is a real contender. >> she's been getting more aggressive with you. >> yes. >> why is that? >> it could be that inevitable candidate for the democratic nomination may not be so inevitable today. >> reporter: sanders seems relaxed amid the tough fight. joking about potential white house accommodations. >> is it offbrander to a democratic socialist to live in a mansion like the white house? >> well, i would consider it more like public housing. >> reporter: one top democrat not caught off guard by the close race, vice president joe biden. >> i'm not surprised that it is
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viewed as neck and neck. >> reporter: biden telling cnn's gloria borger that sanders' success due to authenticity on the issue of income inequality. >> bit-badernie is speaking to yearning that's deep and real and he has credibility on it, the enormous concentration of wealth in a small group of people in the middle class being able to shown being left out. >> but hillary's talking about that as well. >> but, it's relatively new for hillary to talk about that. hillary's focus has been other things and that's bernie's -- no one questions bernie's awe th authenticity on those issues. >> you bet bernie sanders loved to hear that. the clinton campaign is relying on seasoned caucusgoers. first-time caucusgoers more likely to support bernie
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sanders. in 2008 more likely to support john edwards and barack obama, both of whom beat hillary clinton. >> something about in-kind contribution to bernie sanders campaign. donald trump going hard after texas senator ted cruz, in particular, questioning whether his republican rival is really a quote natural born citizen. cruz says the matter is straightforward. he is qualified to run. but today the texan got a little saltier. he had this to say about the current national front-runner. >> the past couple of elections we saw the democrats thrilled that they got the nominee they wanted to run against in the general election. and it seems hillary folks are very eager to support donald trump and the attacks that are being tossed to my direction. regardless, he's entitled to toss whatever attack he wants. i haven't reciprocated. edon't intend to. >> a reference to lawrence tribe
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a legal expert and hillary supporter saying the issue is not settled. sara murray in cedar falls, iowa where donald trump is going to deliver his own prebutle to the president's state of the union address in a few hours. what are you expecting mr. trump to say? >> reporter: well, jake, i think the biggest question is whether he's going harder against ted cruz. i think these are the sharpest comments we've seen from cruz against trump. and as you said, trump will be right back here in iowa where he's hoping maybe this late push will get him over the top in a state where he and cruz are locked in a dead heat. donald trump's not taking any chances in iowa. >> i have a great relationship with the people of iowa. >> reporter: back on the stage. hawkway state, could be key to a huge victory. >> i would love to win iowa. we'll see what happens. i think i'm going to do great there. if we win iowa i think we run
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the table. >> reporter: but first, he has to contend with ted cruz, who is locked in a dead heat with trump in iowa. >> four weeks ago, just about every republican in the race was attacking donald trump. today, just about every republican is attacking me. >> reporter: as for cruz, he's dipping into trump territory. stopping by a gun range new hampshire. >> you don't stop the bad guys by taking our guns. you stop the bad guys by using our guns. >> reporter: trump still trounces his competition. the gop primary, far from over. trump's already sharpening his attacks on hillary clinton. >> i think she's having a tough time. she's got some guy, i mean, he should be easy to beat. how can you lose like this? he really isn't even a democrat. >> reporter: telling "the tonight show"'s jimmy fallon that's just a taste of what he has in store for clinton if the two go head to head in a general
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election. >> look, i haven't started on her though yet. but last week i did a little bit. we haven't even started. >> reporter: claiming his other asset could give him a boost along the way. >> perfect. tell me about yourself. >> i'm an extraordinarily handsome person. i have a beautiful head of hair. >> i know, i noticed that. yeah. >> reporter: meanwhile the other gop candidates are honing their jabs ahead of the next gop debate where the main stage shrinks to just seven candidates. trump will be at center stage, flanked by cruz and marco rubio. then chris christie and ben carson. and jeb bush and john kasich at either end. that leaves rand paul, carly fiorina, rick santorum and mike huckabee for the undercard debate. paul tells cnn's he's going to pass. >> anything that's not first tier. we have a first tier campaign.
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>> reporter: so we've seen donald trump's sharp words against ted cruz, against hillary clinton. we'll see what he has to say about barack obama tonight just hours before the state of the union. jake? >> sara murray in cedar falls, iowa. the white house says that this will be a state of the union like no other we've ever seen. but will republican reaction be out of the ordinary or is it already partisan politics as usual. that story, next. soyou get hungry just thinking about 'em. and at red lobster's big festival of flavors you can savor 2 of 7 new and classic creations on one plate for $15.99. like delicious new maple-and-bacon grilled shrimp, because c'mon, what doesn't bacon go with?
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on location with the famous, big idaho potato truck. our truck? it's touring across america telling people about idaho potatoes. farmer: let's go boy. again this year the big idaho potato truck is traveling the country spreading the word about heart healthy idaho potatoes and making donations to local charities. excuse me miss, have you seen our truck? you just missed it. ahhh! aw man are you kiddin' me?
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just a few more hours until president obama comes here to deliver his last state of the union address. when the president does, he, we are told, will offer an optimistic view of a nation on the rebound. he will look to counter the fear and the anger and the anxiety igniting voters on both sides of the aisle. here on capitol hill, criticism has already begun. cnn's political correspondent
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dana bash joins me live on capitol hill. what are republicans saying ahead of the speech? >> i've been standing here, talking to republican lawmakers walking back and forth and the most moderate republicans who don't have a lot of, you know, tense anger towards the president, are kind of rolling their eyes and shrugging their shoulders. that was the house speaker walking by. a nice segue to tell viewers about a breakfast he had. you and i were both there. he made very clear that he sees this as a political event. much more so than before the past states of the union because the president, he believes, is going to lay the groundwork for who he hopes will be his successor, hillary clinton. he said that he expects the president to set up six or seven straw men. this is what he said. he said, my assumption is he will do everything he can do bait us into fights with him to make us look like we're angry
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reactionaries incapable of winning the electoral college. how they avoid looking like that, that's an open question. i'm not told of any special instructs the speaker has given to republicans. what we heard from the speaker this morning was that he is practicing what he called his poker face. because he is in a new speaker. it the first time he's sitting behind the president. he's used to showing his reaction on his face. he says this time he won't be able to do that so much. >> dana, despite all of our attempts to get the speaker to weigh in on the 2016 presidential contest he would not take the bait. but dana, he did very clearly leg out a very different message and different strategy for what he thought the republican party should be than what we've heard from people like donald trump or even ted cruz. >> absolutely. it was fascinating. his whole message was, we've
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heard him say this a little bit it was more pointed. we can't be the party of opposition. we have to be the party of proposition. he has to help the republican party get onnite way trying to get the white house no matter who the nominee is because they have to be standing for something before the personality shows up in whomever the nominee is. >> we have major breaking news just in to cnn. according to a u.s. defense official, iran seized u.s. navy boats, ten american sailors have been detained. this is breaking news right now. let's bring in cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. >> potentially alarming situation under way, certainly serious. word from defense officials and senior administration official that two small u.s. navy boats, in transit from bahrain -- from kuwait to bahrain, that they were detained by iranian naval vessels with continue u.s. sailors on board.
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the u.s. has been in touch with iranian authorities who confirm that those those ten sailors are in iranian custody but the senior administration official tells us they've been assured they will soon be released. they've been assured they are healthy and in good condition. regardless, however, if those dangerous waters there, conflict between, really, military, between u.s. and iran, just to have those sailors in iranian country -- custody, rather, a serious situation. remember a couple of weeks ago, an iranian, small naval boat fired rockets close to a u.s. aircraft carrier in the persian gulf at least a message, not trying to put the u.s. aircraft carrier in danger but a message. this one you might be able to take as well i don't have to mention the timing with the president giving his final state of the union address where he'll be likely to mention the iran nuclear deal, days away from
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implementation, meaning when those punishing economic sanctions on iran will be lifted in conjunction with that nuclear deal. timing of this, with the state of the union, with that nuclear deal, coming certainly dangerous and concerning timing. >> very, very strange timing, jim sciutto. let's go to the pentagon, where barbara starr has more on ten american sailors who have been detained by iran. what can you tell us? >> reporter: a senior defense official here at pentagon has just finished briefing reporters on this incident. what this official is telling us, it was a short time ago that two united states navy small craft were on their we from kuwait to bahrain in the persian gulf, and apparently, according to this official, indeed, it appears, he says, that the two u.s. navy craft entered iranian territory waters briefly.
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those is very tight water space. what the u.s. cannot say at this point is, frankly, whether it was intentional breach of iranian waterses or unintentional. that remains to be seen. this is happening near iran's farcy island in the persian gulf. what we are told is the u.s. navy lost contact with these two small patrol craft that were carrying a total of ten sailors. they lost contact with them. they got no apparent distress call that we know of at this point. they began a wider area search and quickly determined that the iranian military, iranian naval authorities, apparently had the sailors. diplomacy sprung into action quickly. secretary of state john kerry speaking to his counterparts. we are told, at this hour, that the sailors, u.s. navy sailors, will be allowed by iran shortly,
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if not already, to continue their voyage, their planned trip from kuwait to bahrain. but i have to tell you, this u.s. official that just finished briefing reporters could not say, at this very point in time, whether the navy sailors have been released by the iranians or whether they left the farcy island and their status. it's a diplomatic dance they are doing now. they are not willing to say at this moment that the u.s. navy sailors are being detained by iran because they say iran has assured the united states the sailors will be allowed to continue their journey, that they are safe, that they are well, and that they will be allowed to continue their journey. a lot of international very quick diplomacy, urgent diplomacy and military diplomacy
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going on at this hour. not at all clearing not at all clearing exactly how the u.s. military lost contact with these two boats, how the boats apparentlien terred iranian territorial space and who exactly, from iran, came out from farcy island and took these sailors into custody, if you will, even if it was very briefly, even if officially under international law they were not detained. they certainly will held by iran. jake? >> stunning news from the pentagon. barbara starr confirming reports two boats, ten american sailors, have been -- i don't know what word to use other than detained though the pentagon is not using that word officially -- they are in the custody of iran right now in the persian gulf although it seems iran is offering r reassurances the sailors will be released. senator, thanks for joining me.
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obviously, you were booked to talk about foreign policy at large and the president's state of the union but this is stunning news. we're both learning about it at the asame time. assuming what the officials are telling barbara starr are accurate, what's your reaction to the news? i think the white house needs to be honest and transparent as quickly as possible with the congress, house and senate, perhaps a delay to the start of the state of the union to tell what happened. apparently a pattern of aggravating action by iran. we know that iran has taken ships that were under the flag protectorate of the united states, they. to test ballistic missiles in spite of the sanctions. a pattern by iran detaining the u.s. sailors. think is a serious enough event we shouldn't proceed with the festivities of tonight until we have answers. >> independent of what is going on now, if you're tuning, two
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american boats, ten american sailors, in custody of iranian military officials, although iran is assuring the united states that they will release these ten american sailors, regardless of that crisis or whatever you call it right now, you mentioned the ballistic missile test by iran. barbara and jim sciutto mentioned the firing against an american es havevessel. it didn't hit it but firing. this is a country that the united states is engaged in a huge diplomatic engagement with and removal of 0 the sanctions all of which is supposed to start soon. >> iran set to receive billions and billions of dollars in economic activity from around the world, cash released to iran as a result of this agreement on the nuclear deal. this agreement ought to be delayed until we find out exactly what's happening, until we know what the administration is going to move forward with
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sanctions on the ballistic missile tests. this is a nation holding journalists captive in iran. i nation responsible for the deaths of americans. in fact the general testified before the united states congress saying at least 500 men and women, soldiers, were killed because of iranian activities in the middle east. >> iran giving weapons to shiite enemies in -- >> correct. here we are on the eve of the -- the night of the president's state of the union address and iran detaining american soldiers. this is a pattern of aggravating action by iran that proves when the ink is dried on the iran nuclear deal, this pattern of activity is going to continue. i think it's irresponsible of the united states to allow this to go forward. it's irresponsible of our partners around the globe who were part of the graemt to ignore the continued hostilities by iran. >> let's talk, for a second, if we can, about the state of the union address. president obama and the white
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house are conveying that the president's message will be nontraditional. it will be optimistic, though the country is feeling anxious and nervous and unsettled about things the president has an optimistic vision. you're somebody, because of your abt to convey optimistic vision, what's your take on what you want to hear from the president? >> i believe when you focus on what we can achieve together, that optimistic message will be for republicans. nontraditional speech for the president, talking about working together with congress in ways that they means it. in the past several states of at downs he talked about ways to work with congress and turn around way stick his finger in the eye of congress. congress has written laws to oppose those actions. guantanamo bay, something important to the people of colorado, the president cannot spend money on the transfer of guantanamo bay detainees.
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>> there's a super max in colorado and talk of sending some of the guantanamo prisoners to that super max. >> they inspected another prison, enclosed, they'd have to spend millions to prepare it for guantanamo bay detainees. but it doesn't matter if it's super max or closed prison, it's still in violation of 0 the law. yet the president is expending money in violation of 0 the law to work on the transfer of guantanamo bay detainees. a speech by the president is one where he is sincere, we can continue successes we had last year in the house and senate. transportation bill passing for the first time in 18 years, education bill passing for the first time in a decade. those are the things american people can expect if the president is willing to drop his partisansh partisanship, willing to work with us and not set the stage for the transition of his third term, and that's hillary clinton. >> a lot more to discuss. but we done have time because of the breaking news out of iran.
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senator, thank you for joining us. when we come back, much more on this breaking news. u.s. officials saying ten american sailors being held by iran. we'll go right to the white house for the latest after this quick break.
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. breaking news, into cnn, minutes ago u.s. officials say iran has ten american sailors in custody. apparently two small american vessels, boats, en route from kuwait to baja rain when the u.s. lost contact with these boats. joining me now, white house press secretary josh earnest. what can you tell us about the ten american sailors in iranian custody. >> u.s. officials have been in touch with the iranians about the situation. this is a situation that we're monitoring closely. we've received assurances from the iranians both our sailors are safe, they're being -- afforded sort of the proper
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courtesy that you'd expect. we've also most importantly received assurances they will be allowed to continue their journey promptly. so this is -- the substance of the communications that we have with the iranians today and it's a situation we're going to continue to watch closely. >> josh, there's only so much you can say about this developing story. did the iranians accuse the american sailors of being in their waters? did they give any sort of reason for taking ten american sailors into captivity? >> well, jake, the circumstances, we're learning more about the precise serbs of this incident, i don't want to say anything based on the first unconfirmed information we have at this point. the thing i can tell you we are watching this closely, and we have received assurances from the iranians that our sailors are safe and they will be allowed to continue their journey promptly. >> corey gardner, senator from colorado, said that the white
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house needs to brief congress before going through with the state of the union address, this is a very alarming situation. are there any plans to brief congress, the senate foreign relations committee, house foreign affairs committee, anyone up here? >> i'm confident officials on the president's national security team will be in touch with members of congress to make sure here to aware of the conversations we've had with the iranians. certainly everybody should be aware of the fact we have been in touch with the iranians and they have assured us our sailors are safe, and they'll be allowed to continue their jumpny promptly. >> we booked you to talk about the state of the union, and i will get to that because i know that you want to talk about that. but one more question, what do you say to people who say, iran fired upon, not on, didn't hit, but fired a warning shot of sorts, towards an american ship in the last couple of weeks. they test fired i believe a ballistic missile. and yet in a few days they're
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scheduled to have the relief of all of those sanctions, basic question being, this does not seem look a country that is ready to be welcome back into the community of nations. >> that's right, jake. certainly the united states has been concerned with the kind of provocative destabilizing actions that have been a hallmark of iranian behavior over the last several decades, in fact. and that's why, a, that is why the united states and this president made it a priority to organize the international community to reach an agreement with iran that will prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. this is best way to ensure that iran will not on tan a nuclear weapon. based on their commitment to ship 98% of the uranium stockpile out of the country, iran doesn't even have the nuclear material necessary to build one nuclear weapon we all did that without a single american shot being fired. so that's indication we're
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making progress in countering the threat posed by iran. >> i hear you, but ten american sailors in their custody right now, josh. i mean, i think there are a lot of americans watching this thinking why are we about to give them sanction relief? they have ten americans wherever, in a boat, in a cell, wherever. >> these were sanctions imposed on iran over their nuclear program. as soon as iran takes steps they've committed to take and those steps can be verified by international nuclear experts we'll know that iran will not develop a nuclear weapon that said, jake, we're going to continue to have sanctions in place against iran because of their support for terrorism, we're going to have sanctions in place against iran because of continued development of their ballistic missile program. we have been clear about the fact iran is subject to additional sanctions because of the tests they conducted at the end of last year. we continue to be concerned about this situation. that precisely is why the
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president made preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon a top national security priority, and we're making progress in accomplishing that goal. >> josh, you came here to preview the president's state of the union. we're told it's a nontraditional speech. what can viewers expect to hear? >> the president has a lot to talk about when it comes to all that we've accomplished and a lot that he wants to talk about in terms what we hope to get done in over the remaining year that the president has in office. what the president's hoping to do use this opportunity to have a conversation with the american people about longer term challenges facing the country but longer term opportunities that are available if we actually make the right choices at this point in time. the president's going to talk first and foremost about the economy. we've seen our economy change dramatically because of technology. some ways that technology has allowed our economy to expand prosperity in ways that were previously unimaginable. what's also true we're seeing technology is having an impact
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of eliminating jobs not on a factory floor but a variety of sectors. what policies can we put in to support our work foreas the economy goes through changes but ensures the workforce is positioned to benefit from the changes that we know are taking place and that are only going to accelerate. more on our breaking news. u.s. officials saying ten american sailors are being held by iran. we'll be back after this quick break. i cox on location with the famous, big idaho potato truck. our truck? it's touring across america telling people about idaho potatoes. farmer: let's go boy. again this year the big idaho potato truck is traveling the country spreading the word about heart healthy idaho potatoes and making donations to local charities. excuse me miss, have you seen our truck? you just missed it. ahhh! aw man are you kiddin' me?
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welcome back to "the lead." following this breaking news off the coast of iran. iranians holding ten american sailors in custody. the white house just told us, moments ago, that they have received assurances from iran these sailors are safe and being treated with courtesies afforded them. that should be afforded them. cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto continues to work his sources. new details on who precisely may
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be behind this? >> this is key detail, iran's state news agency reporting u.s. sailors picked up by boats of iran's revolutionary guard corps, tied to the hard line camp in iran which has its own military, including its own navy, really, in the persian gulf, which has contested u.s. ships before, cargo ships, u.s. aircraft carrier a couple of weeks ago. to be key here, that is a hard lined camp opposed to detente with the u.s. and opposed to the nuclear deal, which is meant to be implicated -- implemented, rather, in the next several days. so, you see there, hear, a reflection of the divisions in that country. remembering this nuclear deal in effect is the president's nuclear deal, it not the hard-liners nuclear deal. so the timing of this, days before the implementation is telling. but i will add, as you mentioned, we are hearing from the white house the u.s.
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received assurances the sailors are safe and they will be released soon which would mean iran, if it comes to be, wants to end this quukly as well. we'll have to see that when it happens. following it very closely. >> praying for the ten sailors. thank you, jim sciutto. continuing to follow breaking news about the ten american sailors held by iran, all of this hours away from the president's final state of the union address. what impact could this news have on his speech this evening? that story, next. across america, people...
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back with breaking news. ten u.s. navy sailors held by i rap, the white house says they have received asur rances members are safe and treated with courtesy. news coming at an unfortunate time for president obama hours away from the state of the union address where he wants to project optimism. let's talk about this all. joining me, david gergen, former adviser to presidents nixon, ford, reagan and clinton. also with me david axelrod, former senior adviser to president obama. your first reaction to this
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news? i mean, this is obviously most unfortunate for the ten sailors and their families but a horrible time for a president who wanted to convaey optimism o the public. >> this is a presidency, at any given moment they can hijack your plans. i'm sure what's going on at white house a discussion where do you think this will be at 9:00 tonight and if it's ongoing, how do we deal with it in the speech? >> what would you advise president obama, were you you you in there and facts remain what we know them to be, we keep getting assurances they will be released. >> two alternatives. go a or b at the last second. if they come out before the speech, he's -- that's something to crow about. at a time when people are questioning whether this iran agreement's work the way it was supposed to. we were supposed to see a friendlier iran, constructive iran out of the agreement, what we were led to believe.
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if the sailors are held through the speech, it's tough for the president. >> what if they're not, what does the president do? what if they're still in iranian custody? >> one of the difficulties with the iran agreement it focused on the issue of the nuclear capacity. the fact is, they ship their enriched uranium out of iran, that is what the deal called for. one sense you can say, given hostilities thank god they have shipped it out. but i think you have to address the fact that's what the agreement was about. we have a lot of work to do. you need to say something about we're going to defend our people from them and all hostile forces. >> this in a way symbolizes the very problem that president obama faces. he is more optimist and more confident about the direction of the nation than the public is. >> exactly right. it's very hard to move the needle in the speech. president obama has a not had much success.
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i'm surprised to see the headline in "the huffington post," how president obama came to hate the state of the union address. i'm like, what? >> he hasn't expressed that to me. look it's an opportunity and he'll take advantage of the opportunity. there's a limit to what you can do, particularly in a political season and giving the intractable nature of the politics. it a chance to recount where we were, we we are, where the country will go and i think he's going to take advantage of that. >> the last president got a bounce on the state of the union was bill clinton. he knew how to pump these things. 1998 he got a ten-point bounce. nobody has been able to equal that since carter. >> what did he do? >> a budget agreement, balanced budget. >> the country was in a different place. >> he came in at 64% in approval. 20 points ahead. >> david, the president talks about how there have been 68 straight months of job growth, how things are getting better, how the world is safer though it
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doesn't feel like it necessarily, murder is down, crime is down, et cetera. that's not what the public feels. the public is anxious and worried. >> as much as to make the case where the country should go, he should talk about the future. there will be some of that element of talking about where we were and where we are. i think a lot of it will be focused where he thinks we ought to go. he wants to frame the discussion not just for this election year but beyond. >> and, david, let me go back to where we started this conversation. if the news is bad, if the ten american sailors are in iranian captivity at 9:00 eastern this evening, does president obama mention that in his speech? >> absolutely. he has to mention it whatever way it goes. this is important. everybody's watching. it's just not any country that sees ten guys, it's iran. iran is central to america's perception of their security and anxiety in the world. if not enough we have terrorists but we don't know whether to
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trust iran. iran, this rivalry between iran and saudi arabia, could -- could lead to conflict there. this is a sensitive part of the world. i think the toughest part of the president's speech is foreign policy. i think tonight he's got to hit it harder. >> thanks to both of you. much more on this breaking news that ten american sailors held by iran. stay with us. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts. great tasting, heart healthy california walnuts. so simple. get the recipes at rheumatoid arthritis like me...
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welcome back to "the lead." live on capitol hill, the startling breaking news, breaking just in the last hour, u.s. officials acknowledge ten american sailors are now being held by iran. sources say it is unclear if the two vessels carrying the american soldiers breached iranian waters or not. all of this could throw
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president obama's speech writing team into a precarious state of limbo. the state of the union is just a few hours away. what does the president say about this? national security likely a central theme of the president's address. this urgent development could change what the president says tonight. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer and "the situation room." happening now, breaking news, u.s. sailors seized. ten u.s. navy sailors they are now in iranian custody after two small u.s. navy vessels entered iranian waters. urgent high-level effortsed up way to try to secure their release. suicide blast. isis blamed for a bloody attack on u.s. ally. a bombing in istanbul's tourist district kills at least ten foreigners. turkey said the assailant recently arrivro