so get your law hat on. there is going to be more conversations about this coming. laurie segall, thank you. appreciate it. thank you everyone, as well, for watching. do appreciate it. my colleague, wolf politiblitze doing the debate tonight so jake tapper is going to sit in for him and he's up next. hello. i'm jake tapper. wolf blitzer is on assignment. he's getting ready for tonight's big cnn republican debate in just a few hours. right now, it's 12:00 p.m. here in houston, texas. 1:00 p.m. in washington, d.c. 9:00 p.m. in baghdad, wherever you're watching from around the world. thanks for joining us. up first, we're counting down to the last republican debate before super tuesday. it could also be the last chance for donald trump's rivals to try to slow his momentum towards the republican presidential nomination. the stage is set for this evening's showdown. you're looking right now at live
pictures from inside the debate hall at the university of houston. donald trump will be front and center coming off three straight primary or caucus victories. he'll be flanked by senator marco rubio of florida, and senator ted cruz of this home state of texas. along with dr. ben carson and ohio governor, john kasich. on the campaign trail, rubio and cruz are already sharpening their attacks on the front runner. >> we can't be fooled by pt barnum. the time for the clowns and the acrobats and the dancing bears has passed. >> the front runner in this race, donald trump, is actually alluded to the fact he thinks parts of obamacare are pretty good. i can tell you, everybody running for president tells you i want to get rid of obamacare. i'm the only one that's ever
done anything about it. >> it remains to be seen, of course, just how aggressively either marco rubio or ted cruz will go after donald trump this evening. also, how will trump respond to new questions about his tax returns, questions raised by the previous republican presidential nominee, mitt romney. and can ted cruz bounce back after three disappointing third-place finishes in a row? to talk about that, let's bring in cnn political reporter, sara murray, and senior white house correspondent, jim acosta. it is an understatement to say that people who are in the cruz camp and the rubio camp are hoping that the candidates will take on donald trump and in an effective manner. how likely is it, do you think? >> well, that's a great question. because they really go in -- if you are marco rubio and ted cruz, with two goals tonight. one is to slow donald trump's momentum. but the other is to kill each other off. both of these campaigns are saying, we need this other guy to get out of the race so that
we can take on donald trump one-on-one and win. so i think you're going to see a couple things tonight. one, like you saw there, marco rubio foreshadowing these attacks on donald trump. he also went after him last night on israel and on not being suitable to be commander in chief. we can see some of that. for ted cruz, i think he's going to hit back hard at marco rubio, and at donald trump, and try to beat back this narrative that he is running a campaign of dirty tricks, that he is a liar. he really needs to put that to bed if he is able to survive his campaign. and instead of turning in those third-place finishes, start turning in first-place finishes, jake. >> and sara, it's obviously cnn is excited about this debate. but it's nt hype to say that this debate really could be pivotal. we saw the importance of the debate before new hampshire when marco rubio didn't have a good night. and that clearly affected the trajectory of his campaign. how high do you think the stakes are this evening? >> i think it's kind of impossible to overstate them at this point, jake. look, this is the biggest moment
ahead of super tuesday, to slow down donald trump and for marco rubio and ted cruz to prove that they're an alternative. look, we also have to remember that john kasich is going to be on this stage tonight. he's heading into the march 1st states, much like marco rubio, not well-positioned to win any number of them. so he's going to go on stage tonight and try to beat back the narrative that marco is the only guy who can take on donald trump. the campaign just tells me they picked up another billionaire backer from california. they're hoping they can craft this narrative they are still in it. but the reality is, one of these candidates is going to have to prove that they can one, take on donald trump and beat him. and two, that they can actually win in these states and not just on the debate stage. i think that that really sets up what we're going to see tonight, jake. >> and jim, former presidential nominee, mitt romney, he said that all of the republicans should release previous years' tax returns. but it really seemed to be a criticism that was sharply aimed at donald trump. take a listen. >> i think there's something
there. either he's not anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is, or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay. or perhaps he hasn't been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he's been telling us he's been doing. and i think that's -- the reason that i think there's a bombshell in there, is because every time he's asked about his taxes, he dodges and delays and says we're working on it. >> jim, walk us through what you think the meaning of this broadside from mitt romney is. is this a symbol of the panic that the republican establishment is feeling? >> jake, i think it's a symptom of it, no question about it. but we should point out to our viewers in just the last several minutes, mitt romney has been putting up a tweet that really responds to the sharp criticism from donald trump. earlier this morning, donald trump was saying mitt romney should just come out and endorse
marco rubio already, going to that notion you just mentioned, jake, perhaps the establishment freakout we're witnessing here. but mitt romney just tweeted in the last several minutes, me thinks the donald doth protest too much. show voters your back taxes, #whatishehiding. that's sharp words from mitt romney, given the fact he was the last standard bear for the republican party heading into the presidential general election back in 2012. the fact that he is going after donald trump now and asking him to release his taxes, is quite something, given the fact that donald trump right now is looking very much like he might be the republican nochl knee this time around. and, you know, there is no love lost, it appears, between these two figures. which is also remarkable, given the fact that donald trump endorsed mitt romney four years ago. i remember, you know, donald trump had some very kind words to say about mitt romney four years ago. now donald trump is tweeting this morning, you know, i will do what mitt romney could not do four years ago, and that is win.
so this may be a symptom of the establishment starting to have some serious jitters about the prospect of drimp beionald trum t the nominee, jake. thank you so much. the republican committee says it is not up to the organization to choose. sean spicer says the nominee will need the organization, need the rnc to win in november. >> no nominee can win without the party. reince priebus has put four years of data and field staff out there, building this party, making relationships, ensuring that whomever that nominee is, is prepared to go. it's a relationship. and you don't go into any relationship and tell anybody you will do this or that. that's false. what i do believe is important is that, like any relationship, we need the nominee. the nominee needs us. we're going to be proud participants in helping them win back the white house. >> let's bring in cnn political
commentators, amanda carpenter and kevin baden, republican strategist with no dog in the hunt. she is a conservative writer and former communications director for senator ted cruz. amend, let me start with you. what do you make of how the rnc is trying to negotiate this tricky terrain with mr. trump? >> sean spicer has an incredibly hard job to do. but at this point, i think we really have to look at the wisdom that rnc has exercised thus far. they intentionally accelerated the primary schedule, designed it that way, so they could protect the front runner for being criticized too much. now we're seeing people like mitt romney coming out, saying this guy needs to be vetted a little bit more. so that decision is looking very poor at this point in time. and also, we should be revisiting the postmortem report they put out after the last election, where they encourage everyone, republicans, to do something, anything, on comprehensive immigration reform. because we have to reach out to hispanic voters. that was a brutal mistake, damaged marco rubio more than anything. the fact that he did gang of eight. and the reason that republicans have no credibility on
immigration led to the rise of donald trump itself. so the rnc has something to answer for. >> kevin, you used to work for mitt romney. this is some really sharp, sharp criticism. #whatishehiding from mitt romney -- about the republican front runner. that's wrong. >> i think at the heart of this is a desire by mitt romney to see people take donald trump head on. i think the second part of it is that he recognizes the effectiveness of this attack. because it was effective towards him. he also knows that this is something that the democrats are going to do. and i think he's sort of exposed one thing that donald trump has as a weakness, which is donald trump doesn't like when people ask him questions that he doesn't like to answer. this is one of those instances. last night he dodged and we've had on it, by saying my taxes are very complex, there is a lot of work involved in putting them together. but we're not talking about taxes going forward. >> we're not talking about 2015. >> we're talking about returns that he took a picture with
today and tweeted out. he can release those today. >> right. >> and democrats are going to make this attack. i think other -- his opponents in this campaign are probably likely to take up this line of attack. so if he doesn't have anything to hide, he should put them out there. >> i heard some people suggest this isn't fair today. of course it's fair to do. donald trump has made his wealth, the reason why he should be trusted to be president. also the ongoing question about what organizations has he donatesed to. what is his value, net worth. but also, what are his values? those returns will show us. >> also a standard threshold disclosure. every single candidate for the president releases two years of tax returns. >> and the argument is that this stuff should come out. this was the argument against mitt romney in 2012. release it now, while republican voters are still making their estimations and see if there is anything there that could hurt the republicans in november, do it now so republicans can make their judgment now. >> yeah. and there were many republicans that privately communicated to the campaign in 2012 that holding back when governor
romney initially resisted, or at least took his time in releasing those tax returns, that it was a mistake. and to put it out, disclose it, and go on. >> and he did that, and it ended up not hurting him at all. >> he eventually did. and if you remember during the general election, what the democrats did was make requests for additional disclosures. and when those additional disclosures didn't come, the democrats framed it as this is somebody you can't trust. what is he hiding? now even though there is nothing to hide and he could be trusted, those questions in the voters' minds were oftentimes crucial in whether or not people decided -- >> what's so interesting about it, mitt romney is doing the exact same thing that donald trump -- that was done to him, including, you know, engaging in hypotheticals about this might be in there or this might be in there. a lot of people called it dirty pool. and now mitt romney is doing it to his own party! >> and i think there are fair critiques of that. that he's making an unsubstantiateded claim like that. there is only one way to dispute it -- >> release the returns. thanks so much. tonight is the night.
join my colleague, wolf blitzer, as he moderates the final republican debate before super tuesday. the republicans square off this evening, 8:30 eastern, 7:30 central, on cnn and cnn international. bill and hillary clinton holding several events in south carolina today ahead of the democratic parties' primary in that state. noticeably absent from south carolina, bernie sanders. we'll discuss, coming up. plus, one senior republican is calling for senators cruz and rubio to team up. to take down donald trump. but to do so, one of them, of course, needs to drop out. the details, just ahead. ( melodic, calm music ) we said goodbye to the day. and to the city. and drifted off into the twilight. and when we woke, we found that the whole world had reinvented itself.
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you may have ibs. bloating? ask your doctor if non-prescription ibgard is right for you. ibgard calms the angry gut. available at cvs and walgreens. welcome back. we're on the campus of the university of houston, getting ready for tonight's republican debate. let's turn to the democrats for a second. with only two days until the south carolina primary, democratic presidential candidates bernie sanders and hillary clinton are going with very different strategies, despite a large lead clinton is hitting south carolina hard. she's crisscrossing through the
palm metto state today, making four campaign stops. absent from the palmetto state today is rival bernie sanders. he's in ohio right now, with planned stops in michigan and illinois. sanders' schedule is raising questions on whether or not he has written off south carolina. let's discuss it. i'm joined by senior washington correspondent, joe johns. he's in columbia, south carolina. and cnn correspondent, chris frates, in ohio. hillary clinton getting some help from her husband on the trail today? >> get agoing a lot of help from her husband, bill clinton. and yes, all here in the palmetto state. they are crisscrossing the state today, going to several different cities. and look, the strategy certainly right now is to run up the vote in south carolina. in hopes of demonstrating what the hillary clinton campaign can do when the broader demographics of the democratic party are at play, opposed to what we saw in iowa and new hampshire earlier this year.
hillary clinton right here in columbia, south carolina, earlier today articulating some of the core themes of her campaign, as we approach final arguments. listen. >> we've got work to do to help more people, to be able to knock down those barriers that stand in their way. to an education, to health care, to economic opportunity. and that includes taking on systemic racism, which is still a problem in america. it includes reforming the criminal justice system. it includes providing alternatives to jail and prison. >> so, bill clinton, hillary clinton, all over the palmetto state. they will be joined by chelsea clinton tomorrow, campaigning in advance of the primary for saturday. but i also have to say, jake, there is going to be a very quick pivot on saturday, hillary clinton headed out to alabama and then on sunday, to arkansas.
so once the primary gets started, the voting gets started, they're going to move very quickly to the super tuesday states. >> and chris, in ohio with the sanders' campaign, just a simple question. is the sanders' campaign writing off south carolina? >> well, i'll tell you, jake, when you talk to the sanders campaign, they definitely say they are not writing off south carolina. they point out to the fact that he has been campaigning there for months and he's going back on friday. but when you look at all of the time and money that they have spent in south carolina, they still haven't really been able to eat secretary clinton's lead. that's largely because she has such a strong well of store among the african-american community. and that brings us to why bernie sanders is in ohio today. he's making sure he can stay competitive throughout the primaries that are coming up. and you really heard him start to talk about african-american issues in a way that you didn't hear him in new hampshire. he talked about how he's been listening to african-americans talk about why unarmed blacks
are being shot by police. he made the point that young african-americans are -- have a higher unemployment rate and that african-american women have a higher wage gap than whites. let's take a listen to how he talked about criminal justice reform just a few moments ago, jake. >> i have talked to people in the african-american community, people with phds who say if i'm driving across the country, i get kind of nervous. i get kind of nervous. and the reason for that is that african-americans are stopped a lot more for traffic issues than are whites. we have got to take on this issue of institutional racism and a broken criminal justice system. >> so there you have bernie sanders talking about institutional racism of broken criminal justice system. and that's largely because even when he leaves south carolina on saturday, he needs to build support with african-americans
going through into super tuesday, and beyond. and that's part of what you're hearing in that stump speech. and i would expect, jake, to continue to hear it moving forward into march. >> all right, joe and chris, thanks so much. coming up, the battle over the next supreme court justice. senate republicans have promised no hearings, no vote. they won't even meet with the potential nominee, president obama says he's going to go ahead with the process and accepted them one. we'll get democratic senator al franken to weigh in on the fight. he'll join me live, next.
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republicans may be one step closer to a meeting about the supreme court vacancy. but the big question, of course, will it make a difference? case in point, republican senator chuck grassley, who scha chairs the senate judiciary committee wrote an op-ed today about holding consent. it's based on the principle that in an american democracy, in a divided nation, he writes, the people should be able to write in on such a consequential decision. it's an extremely contentious issue between senate republicans and democrats. let's discuss it with democratic senator al franken, a member of the key committee, the senate judiciary committee. senator franken, thanks for joining us. >> you bet. >> so the obama administration had floated the notion that they were vetting nevada republican governor, brian sandoval, to fill the supreme court seat left empty by the passing of antonin
scalia. but he issued a statement saying he had notified the white house and senators, democrats and republicans, that he is with drawing his name from consideration. what do you make of this? >> you know, whoever the president submits in line with his constitutional obligation and duties, we will consider. and i'm on the judiciary committee, and that means having hearings, which is -- which we have had every time a nominee has been offered by the president since they first started having hearings in 1916, over 100 supreme court nominees have had hearings. nine didn't, but those were all confirmed within 11 days. so this is unprecedented, what
they're talking about doing. and it's irresponsible. and i -- it's without precedent, and this is very destructive. i believe. >> do you think that the white house was seriously considering sandoval, or do you think it was about more making a point of, look, even if we nominate a republican governor, the republicans are such obstructionists. >> i don't know what the white house -- i'm sure they're trying to find someone who would be a very good supreme court justice, and who could pass through the senate if -- once they have a hearing. >> you are -- you're friends with senator grassley, the chairman of the senate judiciary committee. at first, he said that he hadn't made up his mind about whether or not he would hold hearings. and then all of a sudden he was very firmly against it, writing
an op-ed with michigtch mcconne saying there wouldn't be any hearings, writing another op-ed today in "usa today." a similar situation played out with republican senator, lisa murkowski from alaska. she said she thought there should be hearings and later that evening, somebody tweeting from her account, maybe her, tweeting that there should not be hearings. what's going on? >> well, they're obviously falling in line. this is very disappointing. the constitution is very clear that when you have a vacancy, in this case caused by justice scalia's death, that the president has a responsibility to nominate a prospective justice, and we in the senate have the obligation to provide advice and consent if we so -- you know, on the consent side if we consent.
and the constitution also says that the president has a four-year term. and scientists tell us that there are almost 11 months left in the president's second term. >> right. senator joe biden, when he was chairman of the senate judiciary committee back in '92, you were not even in the senate at the time, i don't hold you responsible for what then senator biden had to say. >> thank you. >> he certainly sounded different -- he certainly sounded different than you sound back then. he said if a vacancy was created in '92 when george h.w. bush was president, that then president bush should not appoint somebody. and i've been hearing republicans all week invoking the biden rule. what do you make of that? >> i think there's a couple things that should be brought up. first of all, biden was chair of the judiciary committee when justice kennedy was confirmed in the last year of reagan administration. and secondly, i think that the
context of that was a justice with, you know, resigning, who is older. that would be like, say, justice ginsberg deliberately resigning so that president obama could appoint somebody or nominate somebody. that's -- this is very different. this is a vacancy caused by the death of a justice. and so what we're talking about now is for the next two terms of the supreme court, that we would not have anybody there. and that's just unacceptable. especially when you have -- would have so many 4-4 decisions. and people rely -- americans rely on decisions from the court. >> senator franken, i know you've endorsed former secretary of state hillary clinton for the democratic presidential nominee. >> i have.
>> and she certainly seems like she is regained, if she ever lost, her front-runner status. what do you make of donald trump as the potential republican nominee, and do you think democrats are not taking him as a threat seriously enough? >> well, you know, he's not the nominee yet. i'm not a republican. that's their job. thank goodness. they have to choose who their nominee is going to be. i know that whoever their nominee is, we are going to take very, very seriously. because as a senator, i've seen kind of up close how important it is who the president is. and as i -- again, read my constitution, the president has these four-year terms. and the president has the power granted to him by the constitution for all -- each of those four years.
>> all right, senator al franken of minnesota, thank you so much for joining us. we always appreciate it. >> you're very welcome, jake tapper of washington, d.c. >> coming up, a senior house republican calls for ted cruz and marco rubio to unite on a single ticket. a letter he's now circulating and why he says it would all be for the good of the republican party. plus, reaction from a top cruz supporter. that's all coming up next. ♪ look how beautiful it is... honey, we need to talk. we do? i took the trash out. i know - and thank you so much for that. i think we should get a medicare supplement insurance plan. right now? whether you're new to medicare or not, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. it's up to you to pay the difference. so think about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan,
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this evening's republican presidential debate. the last one before super tuesday. aren't you guys supposed to be in class? [ cheers and applause ] >> moms and dads paying tuition, take a look. take a look. i don't know what's going on here. putting that whole college loan thing into a different light. the stage is being set for tonight's republican presidential debate, which can only be seen on cnn and cnn international. it will feature the five remaining republican candidates squaring off one final time before the all-important super tuesday. donald trump will take center stage as the front runner with three straight victories. that leaves the other candidates on a mission to try and slow his momentum and get their own breakout moment before 11 states, including this one, head to the polls. a total of 595 delegates will be up for grabs for the republicans. nearly half the amount needed to win the republican presidential nomination.
the stakes, needless to say, are quite high for all the candidates this evening. perhaps, especially, for marco rubio and ted cruz as they try to close in on the undisputed front runner, donald trump. now a republican congressman is calling for rubio and cruz to join forces, and unite against trump. congressman trent franks says, one candidate should continue in the race, and in the other, asris hunting mate. take a listen. >> we really have a mathematical issue here, rather than a political one. i pray both these candidates will consider the alternative and the fact that the window is closing. i don't want to suggest how they should do it. it's not a matter of running from the fact. but yes, if it comes down to flipping a coin, flip a coin for the sake of the future. >> let's talk about this with former georgia congressman, bob bar, a supporter of ted cruz. he joins us from atlanta. what do you make of congressman frank's idea? >> it's not going anywhere. this question comes up pretty
much every cycle, where somebody out there believes, rightly or wrongly, that the candidates -- certain of them, should drop out. it's not going to happen. in this case, you have two very well-known senators who are very, very strongly committed to running, who have many, many supporters all across the country. they're not all of a sudden going to drop out because a congressman asked them to. despite the fact that, you know, a lot of people may want that. i support senator cruz, and i would be very disappointed if he were suddenly to just -- because he loses a game of rock, paper, scissors, drop out of the race. >> an article in the "national review" says some conservative activists backing senator ted cruz are re evaluating their support after three straight third-place victories -- or nonvictories, i should say. and these activists are considering defecting to senator rubio if cruz doesn't do well on super tuesday.
what do you think of that? >> it's more of what we always see as we get closer to an important date. in this case, super tuesday or s.e.c. tuesday next week. people are always going to start feeding stuff to the media that either helps or hurts one candidate or another. the fact of the matter is, certainly from my perspective here in georgia, senator cruz is doing very well. we see no dilution or lessoning of his support from any of the groups that have supported him. >> a new monmouth university poll out today shows that senator cruz is ahead here in texas, which is obviously senator cruz's home state. he's at 38% ahead of donald trump, and 23%. marco rubio at 21%. a senior republican lobbyist saying texas is in the bag. but the bag has a weak bottom. how important is a win in texas, and additionally to that, there is another poll showing rubio trailing in his own state,
trailing trump. can a candidate credibly continue if he doesn't win his home state? >> it would be very difficult for that to happen, particularly at this stage. and that's why we're very pleased, as cruz supporters, to see ted cruz strongly ahead in texas, and why i think senator rubio should be very concerned that he is not doing well in his home state. >> all right, former congressman bob bar, cruz supporter, thanks so much for joining us. great to see you, sir. >> thank you. just in, nevada governor brian sandoval, saying today he's not interested in the supreme court nomination. he said, quote, i notified the white house that i do not wish to be considered at this time for a possible nomination to the supreme court of the united states. i have also spoken to senators reid, heller and mcconnell and expressed the same desire to them. the notion of being considered for a seat on the highest court in the land is beyond humbling. and i am incredibly grateful to
have been mentioned, unquote. white house press secretary, josh earnest, saying the president has a team of people continuing to evaluate candidates. coming up, congress accusing the pentagon of deleting e-mails and providing false information regarding national security. the details on that story. plus, new information on the battle to unlock the iphone belonging to the san bernardino terrorists. the fbi outlining exactly what they are asking apple to do, and why apple is saying no. 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
welcome back. we're live on the campus of the university of houston, getting ready for this evening's republican presidential debate. the last one before super tuesday. but let's turn to some world "news now." isis and al qaeda foreign fighters and home-grown terrorism. the iphone and encryption software. these were just some of the topics mentioned at a worldwide terror threat hearing on capitol hill earlier today. top security officials testifying before the permanent select committee on intelligence. here's the director of national intelligence, retired general
james clapper. >> there are no more sunni violent extremist groups members in safe havens than at any time in history. the rate of foreign travelers traveling to syria and iraq in the past few years is without precedent. at least 38,200 foreign fighters, including at least 6,900 from western krirs countries have traveled to syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2012. >> let's bring in our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. barbara, what were some of the highlights of today's hearing? >> hi, jake. well, you know, the intelligence community likes to make a light-hearted comment about all of this, calling it the litany of doom, and that is what it was. i think one of the real underlying threats, which is how much isis has taken over as a major threat to the u.s., how much it has grown beyond what al qaeda ever was. and that is driving a lot of what the intelligence community clearly is doing these days.
all of this leading to the republican chairman of the committee absolutely blasting the pentagon, and it really caught our attention over its intelligence practices. the chairman accusing the pentagon from everything of providing the congress with false information to deleting e-mails. another e-mail scandal out there. listen to just what the chairman of the committee had to say. >> we have been made aware that both files and e-mails have been deleted by personnel at cen com and we expect these and all other relevant documents from the committee. >> the war against isis, now, they say no, we didn't delete any e-mails, they told us a short time ago all senior leader
e-mails are maintained. the congressman did not refer to senior leader e-mails, he just said e-mails. the committee critical of the pentagon claiming, saying, alleging, that the pentagon gave them false information about the relocation of an intelligence center so contractors would be kept happy because they'd be working close to london and not in another much more remote location. so besides all the threats out there, isis, north korea, everything, russia, a lot of anxie anxiety, a lot of tension between the committee and the pentagon this morning, jake. >> all right, barbara starr at the pentagon. one of the top issues, the battle between the fbi and apple computers. as the company fighting a request to unlock the iphone used by one of the san bernardino terrorists. the director today explaining the judge's order. >> the federal judge has ordered the maker of the phone to do two
things. that is disable the auto erase function on the phone so that if the fbi is trying to guess the pass code to the phone it doesn't automatically delete the contents essentially aft effort tenth try. and second, to disable the delay between tries function. if we're going to try to guess the code, it doesn't take years and years but instead we're able to do it in minutes and hours. the code the judge has directed apple to write works only on this one phone. the code will be at apple which i think has done a darn good job of protecting its code. >> let's bring in democratic congressman adam schiff, a ranking member of that committee on intelligence. you talked about this at the hearing. what is your position? >> my position is that in term also of the phone that was used by the male shooter farouk in san bernardino, i think the fbi has a good legal case under the
all writs act to follow up on the earlier court order that apple assist in this way. i think apple has a compelling argument that while this order may only deal with this one phone, the precedent will be applied to other cases around the country and i think the director of the fbi pretty much acknowledged that today. so this case has much broader policy implications which is why ultimately the court decision won't decide this issue. in fact, by the time this court rules on appeal, apple will have probably already changed its operating system such that the fbi won't be able to request this relief in the future. ultimately, it's going to fall on us, jake, in congress, to try to draw the line in terms of what the technology sector must or must not do and i think that would be best if it can be part of a negotiate agreement between the tech sector, law enforcement intelligence community as well as stake holders. i think that is the best way forward at this point.
>> you also spoke about libya where isis is clearly gaining a stronger foothold. what do you think should be done to keep isis from taking even more control of that country? >> i think we have to act more aggressively and more swiftly in taking out key isis figures and pushing back isis in supporting militias that will fight isis and i'm worried that we have not been as aggressive on this front as we should be because we have been waiting for this political fight between these two factions and libya, they're trying to form a government to be sorted out. that has gone on week after week, month after month, and all the while that these two factions are fiddling, libya is burn. i'd like to see us with our european partners act more aggressively, militarily, and con tem rainious with the diplomat efforts. frankly, if we allow isis to get that kind of a foothold, a
so-called caliphate in libya, we have seen in iraq and syria just how hard it is to later uproot. >> i know you're concerned about libya and the greater middle east is about that country not about politics. but can you say anything other than the region is in a worse situation than it was when president took office in terms of libya and iraq and syria and in that sense, isn't this an issue that is really helping republicans as they make their case to the american people this election year? >> i think it's certainly true that the arab spring unleashed really incredible unprecedented forces which has caused a lot of these state boundaries and lines drawn up over a century ago to largely evaporate in places like iraq and syria and introduced a whole new level of violence and instability in the region. i don't know you can lay the arab spring at the feet of the
administration. there's certainly going to be a lot of fodder to debate over what our policy ought to be going forward in syria and iraq. i do think it's interesting, though, much as the republican presidential candidates criticize and attack the president over his handling of syria and iraq, they don't really offer much in the way of a different policy. they largely subscribe to what the president is doing and if they don't, they're unwilling to say they really want to introduce strong numbers of american troops. i think lindsay graham was the only person will to go there and he's no longer in the presidential field. >> it's a fair response. congressman adam schiff of california, permanent select committee on intelligence, thank you. >> thanks, jake. >> that's it for me. i will be back at 4:00 eastern, 3:00 houston time on "the lead." for our international viewers "amanpour" is next. for viewers in north america, "newsroom" with poppy harlow and
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all right, top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in for my friend brooke baldwin. you're watching special coverage of the debate which is, john berman, tonight. >> thanks, poppy. i'm john berman at the university of houston. right here in less than seven hours, you will see the smallest field of republicans on stage so far under the greatest pressure in this campaign so far. behind me are the great students of the university of houston. they were talking to cnn's jake tapper just a few minutes ago. you can s t