tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN January 28, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm PST
deepest condolences all these years later. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." my interview at that time with former secretary of state hillary clinton. the news continues next on cnn. wolf blitzer, thank you so much, my friend. great to be with you on this thursday. i'm brooke baldwin. we begin with donald trump. you know what, he has sold out that fund-raising event out of the showdown with fox news. tonight, instead of taking center stage, the final debate before the crucial iowa caucuses, trump promises he will be on his own stage, raising money for veterans. two of his competitors in this republican field actually plan to join him. we're going to get to that in moments. we'll be talking to one of them. all of this is the latest in this republican front-runners thoughts.
trump did not want one of the network's anchors to moderate. fox refused to budge. then put out a statement that trump's camp called an attack. thus the boycott. the flagship anchor, bill owe rily o'reilly. >> i thought you should have been the bigger man. but i'm not going to tank any action against it. don't you think that's the right thing? >> it probably is. you know, it's called an eye for an eye i guess also you can look at it that way. >> no, no, that's old testament. >> bill. >> no, no, no, if you're the christian, the eye for the eye rule goes out. here's what it is, turn the other cheek. >> bill, let me tell you, you're taking this much more seriously than i am. i'm not taking it seriously. i'm going to have a wonderful time tomorrow night at 9:00 at drake university. >> they want to know you. by walking away from this debate, you're not giving them the opportunity to know them as
well as they would like. >> i'm not walking away. >> all right. despite the fact trump was there with o'reilly last night. his republican rival are also sweetening their offers to entice him still to debate. two superpacs are offering to give $1.5 million to veterans organizations if trump commits to a one-on-one debate that cruz is proposing. polls taken just in this last week show cruz is neck and neck with trump in iowa. let's kick things off with my colleague. she is in des moines, just outside of drake university, where that event will be held tonight. we really don't know much about this trump event. we know it involved veterans. we know it's at drake university. what else do we know? >> there is still a lot of mystery surrounding this event. i think that speaks to how hastily this was all arranged by the trump campaign. first, we do know there will be two of trump's opponents.
mike huckabee and rick santorum, both confirming they will be at this event tonight. and thing just two miles away to this event here at drake university. this event hosted by donald trump. huckabee spoke with wolf blitzer and told him why he made this decision. >> it's to honor the troops. it's not an endorsement of trump's presidency. i'm still running for president. but i'm delighted to join with donald trump in an effort to salute veterans. you know what, i didn't have anything going on at 8:00 tonight. i offered by the way i would take his podium at the 8:00 debate. and, you know, that was rejected. so i said okay, i'll find something else to do at 8:00. >> now, dorors will open in abot four hours. this will start with a
preprogram of sorts, we're told. the main event will start at 9:00 p.m. eastern. that is no coincidence. the exact same time the debate will be starting. the trump campaign very aware. very wanting to capture that counterprogramming moment there. we know the trump campaign has said tickets were sold out. this auditorium holds 7,700 people inside. the trump campaign saying this is a fund-raising and it will benefit veterans organizations. there's a lot of mystery around where that money goes to. the trump campaign has not yet named what organizations. there's already been much pushback from veterans groups. saying they don't want to be associated with it. some even saying they would decline funds if they were donated because they don't want to, in their words, be involved in a political stunt. >> we're talking to veterans on this show to get their take. the mystery, the drama. thank you so much. someone else who doesn't
have anything to do the 8:00 tonight will be this man, rick santorum. he will be joining me live next hour to chat about why he says yes to trump in terms of attending his event there tonight at drake university. let's talk about how all this is going to impact the race for the white house. here with me now, the senior adviser to jeb bush and former chairman of the american conservative union. also, cnn's senior political roberter nia mallika henderson, a trump supporter, and our guest, the editor of the iowa republican.com. all of you, thank you for being with me as there is much to talk about. i want to see a show of hands. how many of you think, you know, jeb bush is saying i'm putting 20 bucks on the fact that trump ends up showing up is 1th hour tonight. how many of you think he will show on that debate stage? >> absolutely not. >> okay, crickets from all four of you. there you go. so that's a no.
al, let me begin with you. you know, what do you make of all this back and forth between trump and now ted cruz and offering money, come debate me? carly fiorina's jumped in this as well. veterans are in the middle of it. >> yeah, well, we'll put this in historical context. i remember in '12 "newsweek" was hosting a debate with trump as the moderator. most of the contestants said no way. trump went crazy. he said what should that matter, if you're man enough, you should show up and do your best. so look at this thing now, four years later. there's a lady he doesn't like as moderator and he pulls out. totally contrary to what he said four years ago. and in this deal with the charities. look, i'm offended by it. i think if you're a multibillionaire, you should put money out of your own pocket if you want to support a charity as worthy as the wounded veterans. but to hold them in the middle
of this political thing for pure show and put a little carrot in front of these organizations so that they participate, i frankly am offended by that. and carly fiorina, to come out -- who's never given a penny to a veteran organization like that and say, i'll put in $2 million. come on. if you want to write a check, write a check. but don't make it conditional or political show. >> she's never put a penny toward any veterans organization, but to your point about putting a sort of carrot in front of them. tara, i'm curious, trump is your guy. what's your response to that? >> i really do think that trump's doing a worthy cause tonight. i don't think it's -- like i said yesterday, i don't think it's about megyn kelly specifically. i think fox news launched an all-out war with donald trump and i think the megyn kelly thing. they could have chosen any moderator and they chose megyn kelly. again. if you're going to poke a bear,
you have to get ready for the bear's response. trump basically says fox news, i've done six debates thus far, i've won them all, i don't need your debate. i can go and raise money for a worthy cause. that's our veterans. why is that a carrot, okay? well, he just developed a worthy cause to go raise money for. so i don't think it's a carrot. i don't think anyone should be offended. love that word these days. i mean, and carly fiorina, good for he $2 million for our veterans? needless to say, our veterans have not had enough money thrown their way anyway. let's raise as much money as possible. and i think you will see a lot of people are going to turn off the fox news debate tonight and they're going to tune in to donald trump. i am. >> how is all of this, craig, how is all of this being received where you are in iowa, the state that really matters the most, as we're four days away from the caucuses? >> look, this is all that's being talked about.
i talked to a candidate on the trail today. and i asked him, i said, so what -- how are people responding. and he said, this is all people want to talk about. so here we are, you know, less than five days away from the caucus and even the other candidates are stuck talking about donald trump at their own campaign events. i mean, it's quite astonishing. >> the remaining candidates on the stage, i keep thinking about them, you have senator cruz, who i imagine you know will have the biggest polls eye on his back tonight. how will these candidates maneuver successfully? >> that's the big question. how many does fox even set this up? do they put sort of an empty podium in the middle of the stage? do the other candidates feel like they should attack donald trump, even though he's absent? some of them have -- some have been reluctant to do that. do they have a different
strategy tonight? i think you'll see a firing squad with the folks remaining. particularly, you've got that establishment group with rubio, with jeb bush, with kasich. and then with cruz, trying to really be the big man on that stage. of course, he is lagging in polls compared to trump's national polls and he's neck and neck in iowa. he's got to make a really big splash. he's got to get some incoming from everyone on that stage, rubio and everyone else. >> with respect to the firing squad, a quote from house speaker paul ryan if they're pointing fingers at one another and they're taking one another out, that then is leading to the rise, is it not, of the trumps and the cruzes of the world? >> i think that's right. what's been remarkable here is you have had people have a really hands off approach to donald trump. they've really been going after ted cruz with this idea if they take ted cruz out, somehow down the line, that somehow donald trump will fall. he will implode. seen so far. haven't obviously
so it is this remarkable weird strategy i think that people have in terms of sort of hands often do nald trump approach and hoping down the line something else happens. >> here's where i'm curious, because you do see a group of republicans who are andy trump but you don't see a group of republicans who are really coalescing behind an alternate candidate like a jeb bush or marco rubio. why hasn't that happened yet, do you think? >> well, nature will take care of it in the next 15 days. look, i think donald trump, more than being offended by megyn kelly, figured he had enough of a lead in iowa that he didn't need to risk a knockout punch just like a boxing match so he said i'm not doing it. i think he thinks it's a smart thing because he's got nothing to lose. he figures he's going to coast to a win in iowa. we'll see. i think that's part are of his thinking. you go to narrow the field of social conservatives.
it will be tough if the caucus results reflect the polling numbers for mike huckabee or rick santorum to be able to justify staying in. and then in new hampshire, a week later, you know, out of those four gentlemen, maybe a couple of them survive into south carolina. so we'll have two states. each state will narrow the field in a different lane so to speak. i think you'll end up with three or four viable candidates for the remaining 36 states in the primaries. >> all right so some political darwinism to be played out in the next 15 days. final question, john mccain was on seth meyers and he said 2016, this whole race, is a completely different planet compared to '08. here he was last night. >> 2008, does this just feel like a whole different world? 2016 -- >> different planet. everything's different. >> how do you think you would be doing if you were running the
sort of campaign you ran in 2008? >> i just think it's so hard for these men and one woman to break through. because trump takes all the oxygen out of the room. >> craig, what do you think? >> i was on the campaign trail tuesday. i hit four different campaign events. i compared it to the first three were like "little house on the prairie" and the final event was like a wwe wrestling match. the comparison just isn't there. it's crazy. i've watched this for a long time. i don't know what's going to happen. all of a sudden he makes a decision not to debate. we're in unchartered waters in this entire election process. even in iowa and beyond. >> i know everyone goes back and says listen, reagan didn't show to that final debate, you know, before iowa in 19 0. but this just feels so utterly
completely different. thank you all very much. >> thanks, brooke. just ahead here, as we're talking about veterans, a number of them are criticizing donald trump over this event that some of them are calling stunt tonight. we'll talk to one who says trump has gone too far. plus, we'll speak with a debate coach. and rubio visibly frustrated over trump's antics. hear what the candidate said about the circus. janet? cough if you can hear me. don't even think about it. i took mucinex dm for my phlegmy cough. yeah...but what about mike? it works on his cough too. cough! it works on his cough too. mucinex dm relieves wet and dry coughs for 12 hours. let's end this. there's no one road out there. no one surface... no one speed... no one way of driving on each and every road.
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here is a look at tonight's main stage podium lineup. texas senator ted cruz, who's number two in the polls, really so close with donald trump, he gets that center podium position now. should the candidates ignore trump? look for an opening to shine? or spend precious moments attacking him? let me bring in southern illinois university's debate director todd graham. todd graham, welcome back. out of the gate here. since we know cruz will be front and center, i imagine the bull's-eye on him will be quite large. what's his first move? >> cruz's first move. bask in the glory. ted cruz is now on center stage. a place where he kind of thinks he was born. i'm just saying this guy likes attention. and donald trump gave him the center podium. appearance matters, brooke. for him to be in the center of a two-hour debate stage is a huge boost for ted cruz. >> everyone, though, i talked to ahead of this, they're essentially saying this is like political whack a mole with ted
cruz's head. how does he handle that? >> i think cruz will handle it better. he handled logical arguments better than he does illogical ones. so i thought in the last debate he didn't handle donald trump's argument against him very well. because those weren't necessarily good reasoning. i think he'll do a little bit better in tonight's debate. what it will give him is more time to answer marco rubio. rubio hit him at the end of the debate with a bunch of different commends and ted cruz didn't have time to answer them. tonight, he will. >> someone who will be on that stage, senator rand paul, he acknowledged that with trump not being there, he says he plans to spend much of his type going after ted cruz. here's a snippet of what he could say. >> i think trump's main addition has been silliness, bombast and empty rhetoric and, you know, calling people name.
i don't think he's added much substance the whole year. i don't think he'll be missed. i don't think trump's a conservative. think he's a fake and a charla on it. >> i have a feeling with the other candidates, will not be, you know, crying over trump's not being there. how should the other candidates maneuver and showcase himself or herself the best. >> if hi wants to bring himself up, there's two people he should attack. the easiest person to attack is the one who wasn't there. so if you'll notice, in the debates, they've always done well attacking who? clinton and obama. i believe it's a great opportunity to attack trump because none of them fared well
when he was on the stage. so tonight's the night for rubio and others. even jeb bush. and jeb bush's mother he could bring up. all of these things you could bring up in a debate when trump's not there. the one thing you have to be concerned about is once you give these candidates courage to attack you, like trump tonight, et cetera, they will continue those attacks in future debates. >> doesn't always help them when they do. we'll have to postgame this and circle back and see how it goes. todd graham, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. coming up, moving away from politics. this breaking news involving disneyland in paris. a man armed with guns, ammunition, arrested while going through security. also ahead, the vice president, joe biden, weighing in on this current crop of republican candidates. why he says they were sent from above.
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just getting a little breaking news here from the breaking trail from the democrat's side. let me go to des moines, to iowa, to jeff zeleny who is there, watching what is happening. >> republicans are having their own debate, over the debates. there's also debate over the debate on the democratic side. just coming in a few moments ago. secretary state, former secretary of state hillary clinton is agreeing to do a debate next week in new hampshire and she's also agreeing to what bernie sanders asked for, to do more debates down the road, in both april and may. so senator sanders mentioned to us a short time ago today that he would agree to that debate next week in new hampshire if his top rival agreed to debate him down the line. appears that's exactly what happened here. so for all the talk of the
democratic national committee try to limit the number of debates, it looks like we'll have at least perhaps up to three more democratic debates as this process goes on. the first one will be next week in new hampshire, if bernie sanders agrees to this. an interesting moment here of course, the context here is that a tight race here in iowa, but as well in new hampshire. she is running behind bernie sanders. so agreeing to more debates. this race could go on longer than expected, brooke. >> long game on both sides. debate about debates. thank you so much. i'll see you in iowa tonight. breaking news here. we have learned this man carryinging two automatic weapons has been arrested at disneyland paris hotel. police say a manhunt is now under way for his female accomplice. bomb squads are searching the man's car. a spokesperson said during a
routine x-ray screening they found the weapons in the man's suitcase. he first said he was carrying them for his own protection. they also say the 28-year-old was carrying a koran at the time of his arrest. now to this emotional homecoming. more than 500 days in the making. "washington post" journal iist jason rezaian went back to his newsroom today. his family, his employer, "the post," fought tirelessly for his release. he and three other american prisoners were flown home this month in this prisoner exchange deal with iran, accompanied by secretary of state john kerry. rezaian was visibly shaken, sharing some of the details of his hundreds of delays of captivity. most of all, grateful to be
home. >> i'm honored to be a part of this ceremony marking the next chapter in the history of "the washington post." for much of the 18 months i was imprisoned, my interrogators told me "the washington post" did not exist. but no one knew of my plight. and that the united states government would not lift a finger for my release. today, i'm here in this room with the very people who helped prove the iranians wrong in so many ways. each day since my release, i learned more about the efforts to gain our freedom, which began the moment yagi and i were taken from our home. there's so many people to thank. >> jason rezaian, welcome home. coming up next, several veteran groups ripping donald trump for holding this event
tonight. one group calling him a loser. how is this for veterans here? is this offensive? we'll talk live with an army veteran, jack murphy, next. into a new american century. born with a hunger to fly and a passion to build something better. and what an amazing time it's been, decade after decade of innovation, inspiration and wonder. so, we say thank you america for a century of trust, for the privilege of flying higher and higher, together. ♪ inthe mid-size van, from mercedes-benz. it's got small-ability and big-ability. towing-ability and stowing-ability. rack-ability and hvac-ability. it's fully customizable and sized just right to give you cupcake-ability,
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welcome back. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. donald trump is not going to this fox debate. instead, he's doing this counterprogramming thing, hosting a fund-raising event to benefit wounded veterans at the very same time this event is going on. and now veterans are sort of caught in the middle of this story. two republican candidates issued quick challenges in the fallout over this debate controversy. superpacs supporting trump's closest rival in iowa ted cruz, they're offering to pony up $1.5 million to veterans organizations if trump shows up to debate ted cruz one on one. then carly fiorina upped the
ante saying she would donate $1.5 million to veteran groups to join that cruz/trump event and she would give $2 million to debate trump tonight. so there's that. at least one veterans group has a strong message for trump. keep your money. founder of iraq and afghanistan veterans of america paul reikof. he tweeted vets don't need stunts and he could decline any contributions. how do we find out about this? i want to welcome back u.s. army special operations veteran jack murphy. former green beret. nice to see you. i reached out to you because i was just curious, talking to a couple different veterans. sort of across the spectrum about how they feel tonight. how do you feel about what trump's doing? >> i think what he's doing is using veterans as a sort of strategy in his veterans campaign. the military and veterans in
general are one of the few institutions respected around the country so it makes sense for trump to try to hijack that cause. >> you feel like he's hijacking it? >> yes, he's try to say i'm great because of my association with veterans. it's very much a strategy that he uses. >> what do you want him to do tonight? you don't like what he's doing. but he is with veterans. we are talking about veterans, which is a good thing. >> sure, sure. i mean, if he raises some money and it goes to a good cause, that's great. however, i really can't blame that director, paul -- yeah, i really can't blame him for saying we don't want to be associated with the publicity stunt. he wants to keep his organization focused on the vets and not on this political circus. >> he's saying just donate to us directly, don't make it a thing. on the flip side, david gergen, who is on cnn all the time, he is also a veteran, and he said
this last night. >> when fox issued an extraordinary snarky and insulting statement about trump, he said "i'm out of here." he stood up to the media. that rarely happens in media. i think it drives home the point that trump is running as a guy who's not going to be owned by anybody and he's willing to stand up to people and walk away it i also thought frankly he was smart to schedule this thing on the veterans. he's been arguing for a long time with all these ratings, the people ought to take their extra advertising revenue and give it to veterans, now he's doing it himself. >> i don't know how many twists and turns you followed about this whole thing, about the ayatollah and putin and if you're the -- all the twitter followers. it was a snarky statement. trump's like, all right, i'm not coming. can you understand where he's coming from a little bit?
>> in the sense i think it speaks to a larger trend in the media. when i was a young man, when i was a kid, it was just cnn. it was sort of center, center left. and then fox came in to compete for those conservative viewers. what's happened over time is americans have pooled into two different camps, into far right and far left. and trump is an expression of that. he speaks to the far right. he's been able to run an anti-media campaign which is something we're able to do now. that we're firmly into the mobile internet era. >> he's saying potentially i don't need you, fox, i'm going to create my own event. we're still waiting for details. we're talking to senator santorum who apparently is going tonight as well. huckabee will be at this trump event. i think it will be interesting to see what happens. >> i think that's a trend you'll see in the next presidential campaigns more and more is sort of an os traization of the media. >> jack murphy, we're in unprecedented times, my friend. thank you very much for your
candor. coming up, joe biden calls this republican race a gift from god. republican congressman jason chafits will join me. we'll be right back. and quit a lot, but ended up nowhere. now i use this. the nicoderm cq patch, with unique extended release technology, helps prevent the urge to smoke all day. i want this time to be my last time. that's why i choose nicoderm cq.
so much attention has been focused on donald trump and senator ted cruz. lead-up to the all-important iowa caucuses four days from now. the republican presidential candidates are really at the top of the polls here. so close when you look at the numbers. behind they, distant third, you have florida senator marco rubio, he is on the trail in iowa trying to remind his supporters to keep the big picture in mind, defeating the democrats come november.
rubio warned them not to get side tracked by the fact trump is boycotting tonight's debate. >> 90% of their coverage is on this whole thing, oh, donald trump's not going to show up. ted cruz is challenging him to a debate. interesting side show. great et show on earth. this is not a show. this is serious. we cannot lose this election. we have to turn this country around now. we cannot wait another four years. >> joining me now here in new york is utah congressman jason chaffetz. congressman, so great to see you. >> thanks for having me. >> listening to rubio saying this is serious. this is not a show. when you see that and you hear that, to me, that says, my goodness, he's been on the trail, for what, six months, and he's still frustrated, frustrated over this guy trump. >> there's a lot of oxygen
sucked out of the room on what is legitimately a side show. >> even before then. >> we as republicans, we better darn well start talking about issues, about policies, and why conservatives and the white house would be better for the country. that's the heart and soul of why rubio is running. he's got to be talking about the issues. and these other little things are distracting. >> how does he do that tonight sans trump on the stage? >> look, trump not in the room, a, most people get more time. and when you get in and start talking about foreign policy, about how to grow the economy, all those types of things, marco shines. he is our best foot forward as republicans. if we want to win, we better darn well have marco rubio at the top of the ticket. >> senator ted cruz will finally get that center podium spot. there's a lot of negativity swirling around him. the fact there's not a single
republican senator who works with him on the hill who is saying we like this guy to me speaks volumes. why is that? why is not a single senator publicly endorsing him? >> he'll have to answer that. there's a reason why a lot of us of the younger generation support marco rubio, myself, a host of others. we're behind marco rubio because i happen to have met and expect time with every single candidate on both sides of the aisle, some more than others, and marco rubio is just that person who we gravitate to as that leader. >> why not cruz, give me something, i mean, i see this look in your eye. >> i don't want to say anything negative about him. i can tell you the positives are so great for marco rubio. he's just an engaging personality we trust. marco has actually passed some substantive legislation. when he went after those risk corridors and got that legislation passed in his first term that shows success in bringing both sides of the aisle
together that other candidates haven't been able to do. >> when you hear -- hear house speaker paul ryan say you look at this and it's like the circular filing squad, that's not a good thing. >> i don't think you've seen rubio taking direct shots. >> do agree with speaker ryan? >> when we're beating up on each other, we're not beating up on the policy differences between ourselves and clint and sanders. >> rubio's taking direct shots? >> he's had $20 million laid down and he's still in the top three. that's pretty remarkable and i think shows the staying power. that's not going to be let up after the nominee comes. a lot of democratic money coming after you. thing they're mostly scared about having marco rubio at the top of the ticket than they would be senator cruz or any of the others. >> did you hear what vice president joe biden said? >> no, i didn't. >> let me share with you. he said -- actually, we have the sound. here you go.
>> okay. >> we may be given a gift from the lord in the presidential race here. i don't know who to root for. cruz or bush or -- what's that guy's name? he's having a fund-raiser for veterans tonight i'm told. all kidding aside, folks, you know, it's been a tough last couple cycles. but we should get up. there's a real shot here. >> cruz or what's his name. he's the vice president. >> i would agree with the vice president. he just said the last couple cycles have been tough. >> give the vice president a microphone and they'll be
material there. >> this is why he writes, why isn't marco rubio winning? he's well liked by republican voters. nothing scandalous has emerged to derail him. yet here we are just days from iowa and prominent republicans are frustrated and confused, resigning themselves to complicated bank shots to take one or both of them out, instead of doing what many expected, simply rallying to rubio. why haven't more republicans come together, coalesce behind one, not trump, candidate? >> we have a lot of good qualified candidates. there's a lot of people who don't -- >> isn't that part of the problem? >> i also think it's an opportunity. because we have a very diverse ticket. from carly fiorina to dr. carson. you keep going down the list, we have a very diversified ticket above and beyond what normally people say, oh, republicans, there's just all this certain type. we have two people. a cruz and a rubio. that have their names on the
ballot. you would have never expected that two, three years ago. they're still getting familiar with these people. i'm convinced in my heart when people get to know marco rubio, hear him, see him, understand him, listen to him in the debate, that's why he has this growing momentum and why i think he's the best foot forward come november, i really believe it. >> congressman, thank you. next, new developments in flint michigan and the effort to fix this ongoing crisis of lead-tainted water. my next guest is stepping up to help people who need it the most. she is the queen of soul, detroit native aretha franklin live on cnn next. man (sternly): where do you think you're going? mr. mucus: to work, with you. it's taco tuesday. man: you're not coming. i took mucinex to help get rid of my mucusy congestion. i'm good all day. [announcer:] mucinex keeps working. not 4, not 6, but 12 hours. let's end this get fast-acting, long-lasting relief from heartburn with it neutralizes stomach acid and is the only product that forms a protective barrier that helps keep stomach acid
and 2% back at the grocery store. even before she got 3% back on gas, all with no hoops to jump through. katie used her bankamericard cash rewards credit card to stay warm and toasty during the heat of competition. that's the comfort of rewarding connections. apply online or at a bank of america near you. where you can savor 2 of 7 new and classic creations on one plate for $15.99. and bold flavors ghost pepper bbq shrimp
it said, "rocky mountaineer: all aboard amazing". oh remotes, you've had it tough. watching tvs get... ...sharper... ...bigger... ...smugger. and you? rubbery buttons. enter the x1 voice remote. now when someone says... show me funny movies. watch discovery. record this. voila. remotes, come out from the cushions, you are back! the x1 voice remote is here. the money is starting to arrive for the people of flint, michigan. the state senate today eunanimously approved $28 million to go towards resolving
the toxic water crisis. the money will also help folks pay utility bills. in washington, d.c., representatives from michigan are also trying to cull more federal dollars for pipe improvements health needs. someone else lending a helping hand, the queen of soul, aretha franklin. she joins me on the phone from detroit. miss aretha, it is an honor and a pleasure. thank you for calling in. you were born and raised in detroit. this is personal for you. tell me what you'll be doing. >> i was not born in detroit, but i'm been here so long, i might as well have been. >> might as well have been. tell me what you're doing for the good people of flint, michigan. >> well, my contribution to this disaster in flint is 50 hotel rooms nightly for as long as
possible. hopefully it will help out. >> how long have you been following this disaster? because it has been raging on -- far longer i think than much of the public realizes. i'm wondering at what point did you say enough is enough? >> well, just really came out on tv, probably about the same time you became aware of it is when i became aware of it, when we began seeing these bottles of brown and green and yellow water and corrosion in the pipes and this sort of thing. what's going on there now. >> i was -- >> about the same time as everyone else. >> in the last couple of months. the site of the prescreening, your father's church in detroit, new bethel baptist. you come from a family with a rich history in civil rights, community involvement. how does that legacy influence
the work you do today? >> well, yes of course my dad was a board member with sclc and dr. king, and i am just concerned where the community is concerned in detroit. this is where i live. this is where i was wrobrought . flint is so close to detroit, it might as well be detroit. so i can appreciate artists like cher and -- who donated $30,000. and eminem and puffy brought in crates of water and so on. and i've put out a call to smoky and stevie and barry gordy. i understand barry's in london be but i have put in calls to them and duke here of the four tops to see what they will donate to flint. >> you know, miss aretha, people have called this environmental racism. now, the governor, he says
that's absolutely not the case. what do you think? >> i think that we should just wait until all of the facts come out. and we have heard and know what all of the facts are. we know what the facts are on one side of the fence and that's the people's side, you know, that have been drinking and bathing in and what have you, cooking, in this water, in this leaded water. so we're waiting for the facts to come out on the other side. >> and of the people, just final question, i think, so much about the kids, you know, these young -- little girls and boys. >> the most terrible thing about it. because it's more serious for the children than anyone else. although it effects adults as well. it's just more serious and treacherous where the children are concerned. >> they still do not have
water -- >> and that will go on for generations. >> that's the frightening thing. aretha franklin, thank you so much for your time. i really, really appreciate it. >> thank you, thank you, brooke. top of the hour, you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. donald trump has sold out that fund-raising event. instead of taking center stage at the network's republican debate, the last debate before the crucial iowa caucuses, trump promises he will be on his own stage across town, raising money for veterans. two of his republican rivals plan to join him. now trump still has a couple of hours to change his mind. he really has been holding firm even against the urgent pleas from fox's flagship anchor bill o'reilly. >> i think you should be the
bigger man and say, you know what, i didn't like it, and you should make that case all day long. but i'm not going to take any action against it. you know, don't you think that's the right thing to do? >> it probably is. but, you know, it's called an eye for an eye i guess also. you can look at it that way. >> no, no, no, no, if you're the christian, the eye for the eye rule goes out. here's what it is. turn the other cheek. >> let me tell you, you're taking this much more seriously than i am. >> well, polls taken just this past week show cruz is neck and neck in iowa. mark preston, what do we know about trump's event tonight? do we have any idea how many people were showing up, who will be there? >> well, you know, brooke as you said, it sounds like the event is sold out. where he's holding this event is where the democrats took the stage on cnn just a few days ago. i can tell you having been inside that auditorium, it's not
so much the people inside, it's so many people are going to be on the outside. he has -- trump has angered the republican establishment. because he has effectively sucked all the oxygen out of the political universe here in des moines. he is the topic of conversation right now about what's going to happen. i don't think he's going to appear tonight. but even as he has, when i say appear, appear on the gop stage on fox. what he has done is he has received a little bit of cover from two of his rivals for the nomination, rick santorum and mike huckabee. huckabee just a short time ago told us why. >> it's not an endorsement of trump's candidacy. we've got the caucus this monday night. i'm delighted to join with donald trump in an effort to salute veterans. i didn't have anything going on at 8:00 tonight. so i figured why not.
let's show the veterans our support. >> there you have mike huckabee and santorum will be appearing tonight. trump says he's going to be raising money for the wounded warriors and for veterans of the iraq and afghanistan wars. i will tell you this, when you're looking at what's going to happen tonight, all eyes will be on donald trump. brooke. >> we'll talk to santorum coming up. we'll see if we can get anything more out of the former senator about what this is tonight. thank you so much. now, trump's rivals are ribbing him big time for his no show this evening. here's just a little sample. >> i think he's very much afraid of questions about his bankruptcies. maybe afraid about the fact that he's actually never voted in a republican presidential primary. for 70 years, he's been a progressive democrat. i was wondering if maybe he's going to show up for the democratic primary debate the next time. >> apparently mr. trump
considers megyn kelly very, very scary. and you know donald is a fragile soul. she might ask him mean questions. who knows what could happen. i mean, his hair could stand on end. >> also, to discuss with me, cnn national political reporter. also a campaign consultant. cleveland pastor, trump supporter daryl scott and brian stelter, host of "reliable sources." welcome to all of you. daryl, let me just begin with you. when you look at the polls from iowa, you see where trump and cruz are, they are neck and neck. i also know they're a lot of undecided caucusgoers. the fact that trump is not showing up at the debate tonight, isn't that a tad risky? >> well, not necessarily. i really believe this is going
to demonstrate the popularity of mr. trump in iowa. the fact that he has an alternate event. the ultimate event is getting more publicity. is getting more attention than the main event. to be honest, nobody cares what's going on at that debate tonight. they're going to be wondering what's trump going to be talking about. trump will probably get more interest by himself tonight than all the other candidates combined at the debate. i was supposed to be at the debate. maybe i'll try to sell them now because they're virtually worthless. >> i see you shaking your head. as a campaign veteran, i have to go to you. where does this rank as far as opportunities you've seen pulled over the years, and you heard daryl, will it work for trump? >> there's no question it's an epic stunt and no other candidate could even attempt to do that.
donald trump has defied every conventional rule. he has dominated the discussion today, there's no question that he is sucking up the oxygen in the days before the caucuses. we'll see how it goes tonight. i think he'll be the topic of conversation at the debate even though he wonder here. this ranks right up there with some of the biggest stunts. >> it's such a fascinating media story. brian, here we have trump, he's not showing up tonight at the fox debate. he was on last night talking about the debate. it looks like you have bill o'reilly, was he begging, what was that? >> he was pleading. they are longtime friends. clearly, he couldn't. i think at this point there's maybe a 1% chance trump will show up at the debate tonight. but i disagree with one of the other guests. i know we're on a rival channel of fox but i think fox has a big event tonight. i'm expecting 14 million viewers to tune in because of all the curiosity about what happens when you take the showman off
the debate stage. what happens to the debate. it changes the dynamic entirely. i think it's going to be a big split screen moment. i'm going to have my remote control in hand going back and forth between fox and the other channels. no matter where you are, if you're on twitter tonight, facebook, you'll be able to watch and see trump everywhere. even though he's not at the debate. i think the headlines tomorrow morning will be about what cruz does, what marco rubio does, what the other candidates do. because all them have this once in a lifetime opportunity. >> that's precisely what i want to ask about, how do the other candidates handle this? with trump who sucked so much of the oxygen away. is it cruz with the bull's-eye on his back? how do the candidates maneuver tonight? >> i really think it clearly is ted cruz with the bull's-eye on his back. it does give the candidates a little bit of breathing room. for example, jeb bush isn't going to be fending off insults from donald trump every other minute. for those 14 million viewers
that brian is expecting, that does give those candidates a chance to get their message out. at the same time, i think this story, in terms of its effect on iowa voters, is overblown. the ones i've talked to bouncing around the state here over the last couple of days if they were for trump, they are still for trump and think this is just a side spectacle. if it weren't for trump, then they're the ones complaining he's not going to show up tonight. i'm looking forward to this trump debate tonight. he'll have huckabee on stage with him. santorum who are two previous caucus winners, who have a lot of sway. the fact they're showing up after the undercard debate says a lot too. i think it will be a split screen moment. and a fascinating one for all of us. >> it's a great point. they both win iowa and they will be there with trump. then you have marco rubio who, you know, was just talking to congressman chaffetz, he says he's the one to watch. this is marco rubio recently on the trail. >> i know all the press here,
90% of coverage is on this whole thing, oh, trump's not going to show up. td cruz is challenging him to a debate. interesting side show. greatest show on earth. this is not a show. this is serious. we cannot lose this election. we have to turn this country around now. we cannot wait another four years. >> ryan, do you get the sense this -- marco rubio obviously very passionate about this, roiled by trump's being antics. >> i think he's frustrated. there's been talk of a marco rubio surge for months. it's just not materialized. he's been forced to contend with the trump side show. the back and forth with cruz and trump in iowa. he really hasn't had a breakout moment despite the hope from some of his supporters he would. clearly, i think he's frustrated heading into the final days of the caucuses. >> by the way, there is another
debate next week. >> there is. this time next week, there's a debate on abc. you have to wonder if trump's going to come to that one or not. i think a lot of it is a smoke screen. he's continued to attack megyn kelly on twitter today, retweeting with vicious insults, some of them completely inaccurate. some of this is very personal for him. the question will be this time next week. has he made debates irrelevant? or will he go to the next debate on the broadcast network and get back in his ring? that makes this one all the more interesting tonight. we'll see just how many viewers skipped it just because trump wasn't there. >> daryl, you know trump. you know his showmanship skills. what do you imagine he will pull out of his hat tonight to ensure that he overshadows that debate on that other channel? >> to be honest, he can just be who he is. he overshadowed them naturally. i really mean that rubio, cruz,
these guys really need to send mr. trump a thank you card and thank him for allowing them to have some measure of spotlight on tonight. a spotlight that nobody's going to pay any attention to. all donald trump has to do is be himself. he resonated with the american voters. the crowds demonstrate that bat. he's going to stand his ground. he has a tremendous amount of pride and self-respect. and fox sunk to a level that you wouldn't expect from a network. they were really very childish in the comments they made on him. he's not going to participate in that because it's evidence that he was right in his assertion that the reporting, the journalism, was biased. o'reilly began to beg him. even began to quote the bible to him saying he should forgive. one thing bill o'reilly didn't mention is the fact that forgiveness is based upon repentness. god won't even forgive you if you don't repent. if fox repented to trump, if they apologized, he would have
forgiven them. but without the apology, there's no forgiveness. you do what you do. i go over here, i'll do what i do. let the best man win. >> i think o'reilly was saying, what about the whole turn the other cheek thing? >> when trump is president, there's awfully hard questions asked of him in the white house so it's time for him to get ready. >> he can answer the question. trump receives more insults than any other candidate that is in american history probably outside of nixon. he's called a cloud, a carnival barker, a blow-hard. when he responds, they call his response an attack. it's like america getting criticized for responding to pearl harbor. rand paul. rand paul put his thumb in his mouth and went home after the last debate because they wouldn't let him on the main stage. >> he used colorful language as well. >> and nobody finds anything wrong with it.
if trump had did that against him -- >> some people do, with all respect. maev, you've been listening. who has the most to lose tonight? final question. >> the republican debate. >> maev, please. sorry, pastor. >> i think that ted cruz potentially has the most to lose here. we've seen him sliding back a little bit in the polls here. he's really got to knock it out of the park. trump has given him an opportunity to go on the offensive and get some attention, get on that news cycle. he's really got to convince people tonight that he can project that kind of strength that they're drawn to in donald trump. i think it's going to be a fascinate thing to watch. >> fascinating indeed. >> we can all agree on that. >> yes. thank you all so much. love all of the diversity of opinions. bring it on, all of you. thank you. we mentioned this event tonight, this trump event.
former senator rick santorum, he will join me live coming u.e in why he will be standing with trump at this event. also ahead, i'll talk with two veterans. one who disagrees with trump's move and one who's okay with it as veterans groups have really been ripping this front runner with regard to whatever he's doing tonight. a disturb warning today about that mosquito born virus infecting pregnant women. officials say the spreading explosively. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever?
you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. it turns out the number of our nation's veterans are not thrilled about donald trump's fund-raiser tonight for wounded warriors. trump decided to host this last minute event. after dropping out of the fox news debate. he sparred with fox's bill o'reilly last evening. >> we're going to help a lot of veterans whereas fox is not giving anything to veterans. >> oh, stop. >> i'm going to make a substantial donation -- >> now there is even more potential money on the table for
veterans from trump's rivals. here's a couple new developments. one, superpacs supporting cruz are offering to done eight $1 million to veterans organizations if trump says yes to this offer from cruz. and then this, republican candidate carly fiorina, she upped the ante saying she would donate $2 million to veterans groups if trump says yes to debating her. at least one veteran organization telling trump to keep his money. the founder of the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, paul reikof, a couple of tweets, but one effectively said vets don't need political stunts and he would decline any contributions that came from trump's event this evening. sergeant nick irving, a former army ranger and special ops sniper is with us. thank you both for your service and thanks for joining me today.
nick, to you first. how do you feel about all of this swirling? >> i don't necessarily agree or disagree. i think donald trump using his platform to step down and not, you know, conduct the debate and shed some light on veteran organizations. money that veteran organizations need. we look at the fact that, you know, a few organizations have been called out for fraud and scandals. shedding some light on, you know, the fact that veterans do need help. it's a big deal. >> it's a big deal. you're saying essentially listen to some of these veteran organizations need the money i think is what i'm hearing. david, do you agree with that, are you okay with this? >> well, certainly agree it's always good to bring attention to veterans organizations. but, i mean if you're blessed enough to have millions of dollars of discretionary income to donate for veteran support, then you should just donate it and don't make that money contingent on receiving any
political gain from it. it's not a new thing. veterans have sort of been patronized in politics for a while because it's a universally popular thing to support. but it's just a little patronizing, insulting for potential commanders in chief to round up a bunch of veterans and hold this money up in the air and say, you know, i'll give it to the veterans if i get what i need out of it right before the iowa caucus. >> i think that's kind of what paul was saying. essentially saying, listen, veteran groups need the money. we don't need you to hold an event and polite siize it just give us some cash. i was moved by your own story. just remind viewers about your accomplishments, the struggle also coming home and why it is so important to highlight, you know, what veterans need.
>> of course, i did quite a few deployments, multiple deployments. my last deployment as a sniper. 120-plus operations in less than 3 1/2 months. lost some really good friends. one in particular, benjamin kopp. he saved my life. i wouldn't be here today. i watched him die 20 feet away from me. also saw another man in front of me less than 2 inches away get shot in the chest. i remember sitting in a ravine of his blood. i went through some really hard times after that. getting out, i decided to pick up private military contracting. i got tired kind of leaving home so much. so i created a company. i started up a business. became an author. but as far as the va and what i needed for the problems that i faced and many other veterans faced, alcoholism, things of that nature, i wasn't really getting that. luckily, i had a good family and
had a good support system. as far as help from the outside it really wasn't there. >> so that's the point. the help isn't entirely readily available for veterans. and david, finally, just to you, i mean, i hear you on the taking issue with the politization of what's happening and veterans sort of accidentally stuck in the middle of all this. at the end of the day, does it matter, publicity is publicity. and we're sitting here on cnn talking about veterans and needs and, hey, if some money gets kicked your way this evening because of donald trump, is that necessarily a bad thing. >> of course it's a good thing if the money goes towards the veterans organizations. who cares as to how it gets there. it's a little like i say patronizing to have him play this game. since you have me, i share a lot of the commonalties of nick's story. so let's take this opportunity to remind america that between
500,000 and 800,000 homeless veterans will exist on our streets some time this year. and 33 percent of homeless males are u.s. veterans. currently, more people that served in the vietnam war are homeless than died in the vietnam war. so there's a huge, huge need out there. there's a lot of reasons for that. nick mentioned some of those a moment ago. but, you know, i think in general america is largely unaware of these issues. so this is maybe just a great opportunity to remind america of some of those issues. >> and thank you for that. thank you to both of you, for everything you've done for this country, for taking the time today. i really appreciate both of you. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks, guys. coming up next here, more than 2 dozen cases of the
mosquito born zika virus confirm in the united states. experts warn the virus with this suspected link to brain damage in babies is, their words, spreading explosively. we'll take you live to the epicenter of the outbreak in brazil. also ahead, hillary clinton and bernie sanders agree to new debates including one next week right before the new hampshire primaries. we'll have that coming up for you. well, it was nice to see everyone.
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it's called the zika virus. it's infecting pregnant women. officials today reporting as many as 4 million cases over the next year. and right now, dozens of people are infected right here in the united states. cnn is in brazil. the country considered really ground zero for this particular virus. our international correspondent bureau chief talked to one mother whose son was born with a birth defect. >> reporter: she was so excited. but the birth of her second child left her more alone than she could have imagined. at 3 months, he has a big appetite, just like her first baby. but he was born with a small head and brain damage. microcephaly. >> translator: people here react like he has a contagious disease. people look at him when we're in the street. >> reporter: there was no warning. doctors only detected the disorder after luis was born. >> translator: what gives me
strength is the love i feel for him. >> reporter: luis will need to be cared for his entire life. [ speaking foreign language ] so she's doing this three timings a week. taking her son to physical therapy. yet she goes back to work in march. it's not clear how she's going to do this. she's the only person in her family who has a job. here we've seen the heartache and financial burden this is putting on families. more than 4,000 cases of newborn microcephaly since zika was detected less than a year ago. a third of them are here. where babies and moms face endless jabs and tests. >> chasta darlington joins me live. if brazil is ground zero, what's being done to stop this? >> well, the problem, brooke, is there's no vaccine, there's no cure. what brazil is focused on is
fighting the mosquito that transmits it. it's the same one that transmits denyin dengy fever and yellow fever. troops are going door to door looking for pools of standing water under plants, in water tanks, that's used as a breeding ground for the mosquitoes. they're educating families about how to protect themselves. it all sounds like a great plan except for the fact this isn't the first time they've done it. so far, they've pretty much failed. dengy fever is pretty widespread here. last year was a record year. so you have to ask how really efficient, how effective this will be. and what doctors keep telling us is take a look at brazil. because what you see here may be what's coming your way. >> how frightening for these mothers to be. thank you. thank you very much. coming up next here on cnn, republican presidential
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welcome back. i'm brooke baldwin. republican candidates will get a taste of what their campaign looks like without donald trump. as you know, he will not be attending tonight's debate. instead, just two miles down the road at the very same time mr. trump is hosting a rally that he says will generate money to help veterans organizations. we know two his fellow republican rivals will also attend this rally after participating in tonight's undercard debate. former arkansas governor mike huckabee and rick santorum who joins me now from a very chilly des moines, iowa. senator, great to have you back. >> it's beautiful out here, what are you talking about? >> gorgeous, gorgeous. all right, so you, sir, actually won the iowa caucuses four years ago. you are going to this event tonight. can you please tell me what's happening at this event? tell me everything you need.
>> well, first off, as you mentioned, we will finish our debate. we were invited by the trump campaign to come to a fund-raiser. to raise money for veterans organizations. and as i told a lot of people here, if i didn't have any other plans, i wasn't -- didn't have anything planned during that time. and, you know, if hillary clinton would have asked me, will you come to a fund-raiser, help raise money for veterans. i have two boys at the scitadel. i care for our veterans a lot. if i can help in any way trying to raise money for veterans organizations, i frankly don't really care who is hosting it. i'm happy to participate in it if i have time to do it and i do. >> so i'm sure you've heard some of the criticism especially from some veterans organizations.
i agree with you. he says, listen this is great, veterans front and center, this is an excellent thing. paul reikopf would disagree. he said we need smart specific plans on va reform, suicide. he says he's not taking a time from anything you guys might raise tonight. what's your response to that? >> well, i have presented smart specific plans on how we're going to deal with va reform. i'm a va brat. i grew up the first 18 years of my life, i lived on va grounds in world war ii apartments. i saw the deterioration of the va. i've calleded for allowing veterans on sort of routine care that the private sector frankly does better than the va does to allow our veterans to go and get care in those settings in their community and to transform the veterans administration into a centers of excellence for two areas. one, being exactly what he
talked about, ptsd and the high rate of suicide among veterans. i'd love to see the va be a national center of excellent on mental health and focused on ptsd which is a huge problem unique to our veterans population. i'd also like to see them be a center of prosthetics. i also have a plan but i also want to help our veterans. there's groups out there the that need resources and if i can help them, i will. >> it's veteran organizations who will be front and center this evening, along with you and governor huckabee and trump. can you tell me what else you know? are there other big names being flown in? is there a concert? do you know anything else? >> i know all the campaigns are setting up web pages to encourage people to go and contribute. we're talking to some charities right now. just obviously we're doing this on the run. but we're talking to charities right now that we can designate
for receiving those contributions through our website. and, you know, we'll pass on obviously 100% of the contributions on to these organizations. i look at it as an opportunity to focus attention on something that frankly has not had as much attention as i'd like to see. there is -- is not a meeting i have in iowa where i don't get a question concerned about vete n veterans. people are being more and more conscious about this. when i saw that idea, i thought this is an opportunity to take lemons and turn into lemonade. >> yes, 22 every day. let me ask you about the race in general. you and the rest of your republican colleagues running for president. i mean, the house speaker, paul ryan, recently referred to you all as a circular firing squad. you know, here you are all attacking one another. last time we chatted, we talked about your attack ad on ted cruz. what would your response be to the speaker of the house?
>> well, you look at my debate performance, you follow me in my town hall meetings. i don't attack people other than on substance or lack of experience to do the job. i think those are incredible areas for contrast. and i do present the contrast on that. i don't and have not and will not go after people on personal things that a lot of these campaigns are doing. i've never done that. i didn't do that with mitt romney or newt gingrich four years ago. i'm not going to start now. i think the idea, mr. speaker, you're not going to have an election where you draw contrast. i think that's -- that's not much of an election. i think that's what people want to hear. they want to hear the differences on the issues. and the differences on the experience and your record of accomplishment and that's what i speak about. >> now we have this from the vice president. i don't know if you heard this, he was at a retreat in baltimore today. here's what joe biden has said. >> by the way, we may be given a gift from the lord in the
presidential race here. i don't know who to root for cruz or bush or -- what's that guy's name? he's having a fund-raiser for veterans tonight i'm told. >> any thought on that? >> he did mention my name so i'm good with that. i think four years ago, there was a lot of folks on the other side of the aisle that didn't want santorum to be the nominee. i expect they don't want santorum to be the nominee this time. hopefully that will be a good signal who the other side might fear the most. so i'd appreciate it a vote. >> all right, senator rick santorum in iowa, nice to see you, thank you very much. >> thank you, brooke, stay warm. >> i will. try. coming up next, hillary clinton and bernie sanders agree to new debates as voting is set
to begin. we'll take you back to iowa. we hear from the first time from an emotional jason rezaian just weeks after "the washington post" reporter was freed from that iranian prison. we'll share that with you coming up. l pain. urgent diarrhea. now there's prescription xifaxan. xifaxan is a new ibs-d treatment that helps relieve your diarrhea and abdominal pain symptoms. and xifaxan works differently. it's a prescription antibiotic that acts mainly in the digestive tract. do not use xifaxan if you have a history of sensitivity to rifaximin, rifamycin antibiotic agents, or any components of xifaxan. tell your doctor right away if your diarrhea worsens while taking xifaxan, as this may be a sign of a serious or even fatal condition. tell your doctor if you have liver disease or are taking other medications, because these may increase the amount of xifaxan in your body. tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are nursing.
turning to the democratic race for the white house, big news from the campaign trail. hillary clinton has just accepted a challenge from her chief rival, bernie sanders, to participate in several more debates. clinton more had pressed sanders for more rounds on the debate stage so let's get right to our cnn senior political correspondent, brianna keilar in
newton, iowa. so on both sides here now there have been debates about the debates. what do you know? >> that's right. okay, so hillary clinton's campaign now agreeing -- well, i should say bernie sanders agreeing to hillary clinton saying that she wants there to be a debate in new hampshire, something martin o'malley said that he was game to do. but bernie sanders was holding back on that. the real reason being she's the one with something to gain here, he is ahead of her in the polls in new hampshire, and this is the culmination of months and months of this debating over debates. people who support bernie sanders have long said why were there only six democratic debates. this was the dnc trying to prop up hillary clinton and hurt bernie sanders. but in the end i think actually a lot of folks have looked back and said, you know what, maybe it didn't serve hillary clinton all that well to not have these debating opportunities, so now bernie sanders has said, okay, i'll do new hampshire but i also want to debate in march, and i want one in april and i don't want them to be on these weekend nights when people aren't
watching. the clinton campaign agreeing. >> okay. so more debates there. then you have bernie sanders releasing a note from his doctor today about his health. here's what he told your colleague and mine, jeff zeleny. >> you're releasing your medical records. >> yeah. >> you say you're in very good health. how do you feel? >> i feel great. >> are you in good fighting form? it was not as dramatic as donald trump's. >> i know. my doctor is not quite as dramatic. but thank god i am in very good health. >> he's looking strong. thank goodness he's in good health. if elected, he would be the oldest president ever chosen in the united states. he seems fine. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. he would be 75 if elected. why isn't that kind of a problem for bernie sanders? i tell you, brooke, it's almost in a way part of his draw even for some of the young people i
talked to. they'll say maybe it's weird that i like this guy but i do. it's not really a problem for him and it makes you wonder if part of the reason is because hillary clinton will be 69 come election day. even though he's a little older that her, they're of the same generation. if he were facing off a much younger front-runner maybe it would be more of an issue, but it hasn't been. >> septogenarians rule say a lot of people. coming up next, plucked off the streets and held captive. now a freed american is sharing his story about what life was like inside an iranian prison and how he refused to give in to his captors.
very first time from some of the american prisoners who were recently released from iran. jason rezaian returned to his second home today. >> much of the 18 months i was in prison, my iranian interrogators told me that "the washington post" did not exist. that no one knew of my plight. and that the united states government would not lift a finger for my release. today i'm here in this room with the very people who helped prove those iranians wrong, my mom, mary, my brother, ali, and my wife, yegi. you guys mean everything to me. i'm just happy to be home with you. >> rezaian one of four americans swapped. a fifth prisoner was released earlier this month.
he was a student studying abroad in tehran. he spoke with anderson cooper about what the interrogations were like after he was tossed in prison. >> their very first sentence to me is do you know jason rezaian. i said of course, the whole world knows jason rezaian, everybody knows that name. they were pacing behind me, the prayer beads clicking in his happened. and he said he's never leaving and neither are you. >> were they accusing you to your face? >> oh, absolutely. >> of what? >> i was accused of trying to overthrow personally the iranian government. i was accused of having access to bank accounts of millions of dollars and accused of knowing the locations of weapons caches that had been planned around the country to prepare for my work. when i pointed out to them that the entire -- the tools i had available to me to accomplish this deed, which i would say would be fairly difficult consisted of a tax books, a newspaper, some flash cards and
some pens, they said, well, it's not our plan, it's yours. >> when did you know you were going to be released? >> i had no idea i was being released until the minute i was in an suv with diplomatic plates surrounded by foreigners who were saying next stop is the airport. but an hour before i was released it was definitely the most, i think, dangerous two hours probably dangerous and difficult time for me. i was, you know, violently pulled out of my cell, put into the -- rushed down to the basement. you make a series of left/right turns that are designed to disorient you. you go downstairs. i could not believe even having spent 41 days there, could not believe what i was looking at. i'm looking at a pitch black room with a single spotlight pointed at a chair with an ultra high definition camera, not dissimilar from the ones you have, pointed at my face and a
white sheet next to the camera. i sit down. my interrogator walks in, stands behind a white sheet. i have no idea what they're about to film. the man operating the camera has a surgical mask on. you know, i'm sitting there, spotlight is on me and they say matthew, matt, this is your last chance. admit why you are here. admit that you are here to overthrow the government. admit that you work for the u.s. government. admit, admit it. admit the truth. and, you know, this was a particularly proud moment for me. i contemplated it. they said do you need time to think? i said yes. they said we'll give you a few minutes. but this is your last offer. this is your last chance. we've been very nice to you thus far. and i believe what they're saying. they come back into the room and i look right in the camera and say i've said everything i have to say and i stand up and turn
my back. >> hours later, he was released. thank you for watching. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead" with jim sciutto starts right now. >> thank you, brooke baldwin. in tonight's performance the role of donald trump will be played by darrell ham monday. "the lead" start right now. donald trump still planning to no-show and hold a rally down the block for the troops. what will the other candidates do with all that extra oxygen? spreading explosively, the new and disturbing warning about the mosquito-borne virus infecting pregnant women and their babies. plus they are "silence of the lambs" scary and still on the run. new arrests in connection with the manhunt for three escaped inmates. who helped break them out. welcome to "the lead." i'm jim sciutto in for jake tapper and wein