hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 6:00 p.m. in london. 8:00 p.m. in damascus, syria. wherever you watch around the world, thank you very much for joining us. donald trump has moved two steps closer to officially capturing the republican presidential nomination. easily won the nebraska primary and west virginia, he reached 76% of the vote by the end of the night. some expected a little bit of a protest vote against trump in west virginia and nebraska. that didn't happen. he had no serious opposition, obviously. trump now has 1,147 delegates
and needs just 90 more to formally clinch the nomination. on the democratic side, bernie sanders scored another win against hillary clinton taking west virginia impressively. clinton leads the race by about 300 pledge delegates and needs just 148 delegates to clinch the nomination. while sanders celebrated his victory, he also said the party was unified with one main goal. >> our message to the democratic delegates who will be assembling in philadelphia is while we may have many disagreements with secretary clinton, there is one area we agree. and that is we must defeat donald trump. >> just a day away from an event that could shape the presidential race going forward. the scheduled capitol hill meeting between the house speaker paul ryan and donald
trump. ryan is arguably the most influential republican in washington. last week, he made waves when he said he wasn't yet ready to support the presumptive presidential nominee, donald trump. today he said this about that. >> i don't really know him. i met him once in person in 2012. we had a very good conversation in march on the phone. we just need to get to know each other and we as a leadership team are enjoying the fact that we have a chance to meet with him. there is plenty of room for different policy disputes in this party. we come from different wings of the party. the goal is to unify the various wings of the party around common principles to go forward unified. >> let me bring in manu raju our senior political reporter up on capitol hill and jim acosta, our senior white house correspondent. jim, we heard speaker ryan. what is trump saying ahead of the meeting and what's at stake for the presumptive republican nominee? >> reporter: wolf, both sides, they say they don't know each other but saying all the right
things about this meeting tomorrow between donald trump and house speaker paul ryan. the speaker is one top republican who doesn't have a special nickname coined by donald trump. the presumptive gop nominee has not lashed out on speaker ryan. both men sound like they're getting on the same page. he's stressing party unity and trump is sounding hopeful to bring ryan on board. here's what he had to say earlier this morning. >> we'll see what happens. if we make a deal, that will be great. and if we don't, we will trudge forward like i've been doing in winning all the time. >> ryan is trying to down play the importance of tomorrow's meeting but i can tell you to talking to sources that many gop members are holding off on whether to support trump altogether. so if this meeting blows up in trump's or ryan's face, it could be messy. manu hearing on capitol hill tomorrow, paul ryan was saying this is a big tent republican
party. that would presumably include donald trump under that tent, wolf. >> presumably. manu, what is the speaker trying to get out of this meeting with donald trump? what does he need to get from donald trump in order to go forward hand in hand? >> reporter: the house republican majority is his top priority this year and he does not want donald trump to make it harder. 30 seats need to foot. if not, democrats take the majority he wants. he said the party can unite behind shared conservative principles. he was asking in the press conference today whether or not they could get behind certain ideas given they disagree on a range of ideas from immigration to trade. he said it's not about policy ideas but getting behind principles. now, i was talking to a lot of house republicans who actually are concerned at paul ryan's approach saying he should get behind trump because that will lead to unify. >> i find it interesting with
the statements made on cnn saying it's donald trump's job to unify the party. mr. speaker, you're arguably the highest ranking job in the nation. what's your job? >> reporter: now, when i asked paul ryan at this press conference, what about concerns that you're making it hazarder harder to unite? he said, i want real unification. not just to say it. and tomorrow is the beginning of that process, beginning of the dialogue, to get the party united against hillary clinton, presumably, wolf. >> manu, stand by. what about donald trump? there seems to be confusion right now. is he ready to release his tax returns? once the audit is done, is he saying he's not going to release the tax returns before november? what's the latest? >> reporter: this is one reason some republicans are reluctant to get behind donald trump. the issue of his tax returns. he told the "associated press"
it would not be before at the lex elections in november. we reached out to verify whether the candidate is ruling this out altogether until after the election. they've not gotten back on this, wolf but donald trump repeatedly said to you and others, even at debates, he will not release returns while under an irs audit. which is apparently still under way, but keep in mind, richard nixon did just that when he was president. so democrats, wolf, will be tempted to say, trump is falling short of the nixon standard on this. >> jim acosta and manu raju, thank you as well. tomorrow's trump visit to capitol hill. armstrong williams, business manager for dr. ben carson. dr. carson supported donald trump. house speaker paul ryan had kind words for dr. ben carson earlier this morning. they spoke, i take it, armstrong, last night. how did that conversation go?
>> dr. carson is about unifying the party. he has a very good relationship with the speaker, and of course, with mr. trump. it just, sometimes there's a misunderstanding. especially with the media and with staff and so what dr. carson wanted to do was present a human side this man is willing to listen, he has strong ideas, and that he shares many principles the down ticket up for reelection are up for also and speaking of dr. carson this morning, he thought it was effective because the speaker did convey this conversation is very productive. it was very important. and dr. carson assured mr. trump is a reasonable man. >> i take it that donald trump asked dr. carson to call the speaker in advance to sort of set the stage for tomorrow morning's big meeting, is that right? >> well, dr. carson and mr. trump spoke earlier in the week and dr. carson in that conversation was talking about
sharing his advice on what needs to happen on thursday. the importance of it. and in the course of the conversation, he mentioned to mr. trump, you know, i have a relationship with the speaker. if you want me to sort of talk to him, before this meeting on thursday, i will be more than happy to do so and he gave the blessings. from that conversation, they had this conversation last night. they want to meet in person but because it happened at such a last minute, not the schedule to make that possible. >> i know you spoke to dr. ben carson. did dr. carson emerge from the conversation upbeat that the two men, the speaker and the republican nominee would emerge hand in hand going forward towards the convention? >> you know, listen. speaker ryan is a good guy. he's a principled guy. a strong guy just like mr. trump. speaks his mind. very candid and an honest guy. so you can't take offense at the speaker being candid just like mr. trump speaks candid. you have to respect that. so what the speaker was saying
is this. we've got a down ticket. there are people who are nervous about the kinds of things mr. trump has said in the past. can we be assured? they want a president to be willing to negotiate and who understands what their goals and their policies are. that's reasonable. >> the bottom line is last week, the speaker told cnn's jake tapper he was not ready to endorse donald trump meeting, d him being ready? >> no, i don't think so. it shouldn't happen. >> why? >> it's a process. they're meeting. men are meeting. both with critical roles in this country. they should sit down and talk like men, unify the party, show respect, see what their differences how. >> did the speaker say what the differences are in terms of policy? what his main concerns are, as far as the positions of donald trump? >> dr. carson conveyed those to mr. trump in a conversation from this morning and it will remain private. mr. trump was very receptive to what dr. carson had to say to convey from the speaker and
that's why mr. trump said early on this morning he thinks that the meeting will go well and that was after his conversation with dr. carson. >> mr. trump will go forward and modify some of the more controversial positions? let's say temporarily banning muslims from coming from the united states. i know that's a source of concern from the speaker. >> sometimes, dr. carson was saying this morning, the media misinterprets what he's conveying. he's not trying to ban all muslims to this country but talked about the extremist bringing refugees. make sure we protect the safety of the american people. and how do we get to the place where we protect the safety of all americans? and that is something that they can sit down and discuss and come to a reasonable compromise. >> last week, when i met with donald trump, he told me that dr. carson was helping him vet candidates to be his vice presidential running mate. is dr. carson involved in that? i know cory lewandowski is in charge. >> yes. well, it's a process. mr. trump put together
individuals like dr. carson, part of a committee to make recommendations on vice presidential candidates. dr. carson made his submissions as well as others. the process was turned over to corey and this is just the first phase of the process. this process will continue and as dr. carson is needed, he will be involved. >> he seems like a trusted advisor. >> let me tell you. carson loves this country. he believes in the gop. he wants to unite the gop. whatever it takes for him to do that, he's willing to fulfill that role. >> thank you for coming? >> good to see you. florida senator marco rubio said he'll support donald trump as the republican nominee but he also says he understands why other republicans might not. republicans like paul ryan. >> the difference between speaker ryan and myself is i ran for president. i signed a pledge, put my name on it and said ill support the republican nominee and that's what i intend to do. what i am not going to do is sit
here for sixth months and take shots at the republican nominee. i ultimately believe he has earned and i respect the will of the voters and believe he's earned the opportunity to go out and make his case to the american people without having people taking shots at him every day. >> you saw paul ryan say that he can't support him right now. you see mitt romney, george w. bush, george h.w. bush not going t to the convention. are you going? >> there's a role for me to play. there's a lot of people that are supporters of mine. there's an opportunity to kind of get together with people and be a part of that. i haven't made that decision but it wouldn't be because of donald trump or in spite of donald trump. >> joining us from los angeles, our cnn national political reporter, also with us, david gregory and cnn political analyst. the host of "the david gregly show" podcast and cnn reporter. thank you very much for joining us. let me start with you. senator marco rubio said he doesn't know if he's going to the convention but he'll support
the republican nominee. that's going to be donald trump. so is there a role for him moving forward and make sure they get elected and that donald trump's campaign in whatever kind of way it is run doesn't affect the down ballot races that ryan is going to be looking after. and so i think that this meeting is a situation where you have two guys who both actually have a good amount of leverage and i think that ryan can use that to his advantage. he's taking a very cautious approach to donald trump and he is making it clear that there will be some negotiation here
over what's going to be best for the party and how candidates should respond to donald trump. if donald trump gets out there and says things that could potentially hurt their campaign. so it's going to be a fascinating thing to watch over the next couple of months. but paul ryan standing by his guns seems like a good place for him to be. >> david, you just heard armstrong williams is an advisor and spoke with paul ryan last night night. he doesn't think he will fully endorse donald trump. right? >> i thought was armstrong said was on point. look, paul ryan is the speaker of the house. he is the head of a coequal branch of government or part of the speaker of the house. he is a force to be reckoned with here and both donald trump and ryan need each other if they're going to advance to some of the conservative principles and i think ryan wants to negotiate a little bit. you mentioned some of the areas where he's uncomfortable. he wants to see if trump is willing to moderate and to tackle a bit on his beliefs as
the general election candidate and so does marco rubio. i mean, it's very simple. trump is either going to bring some of these guys into the fold or they're going to maybe support him holding their nose. and that's going to be on trump because he's the leader of the republican party but he doesn't lead all of the republican party. >> marco rubio said he made a commitment, made a pledge to support the republican nominee. he's going to live up to that pledge but didn't back away from the very harsh words. >> i can promise, he's holding back from the convention. >> what about the issue of donald trump now suggesting that american people don't really want to see my tax returns. i'm not going to release my tax returns. they're under audit. it's not a big deal. >> it's going to be a big deal in this campaign even if donald trump thinks it's not going to be. the clinton campaign and the democratic super pacs will use it as a prism to look into past business practices. we know how effective this attack was against mitt romney
in 2012. will it be as effective against donald trump? he's a candidate who defied the rules of political gravity in this primary campaign. perhaps, it won't be as effective. one thing i can say that donald trump in his outreach to the coalition often working class white voters, he has actually shown some capacity to empathize with the economic plight of everyday americans and it perhaps is not an effective attack against mitt romney portrayed as a vulture capta capitali capitalist. >> i talked to jane sanders, wife of bernie sanders and he released one year of his income tax returns and said to me, we're not going to release anymore of the bernie sanders income tax returns until hillary clinton releases the transcripts. i assume donald trump could pick up the bernie sanders line as well although donald trump hasn't released any income tax returns. >> there's no question he'll be
pressured on this and criticized for it and you're right. the democrats have hit him hard. but he is defying some of the criticisms that mitt romney got. a rich guy out of touch. trump is certainly a mega rich guy, but he's got a different relationship with the american electorate. that we'll see. i think there's a larger point in all of this. the tax returns and the negotiations with the party. donald trump has redefined the republican party of 2016. there will be limits to that or the influence of the establishment and that's what we are figuring out. he's asserting his primacy and we are working off a play book for conventional that may not apply. >> he redefined conventional wisdom thought was part of the game. not necessarily so as far as donald trump is concerned. thank you very much. bernie sanders pulls out yet another win this time in west virginia. is his message impacting hillary clinton's stance on various
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the house democratic leader nancy pelosi spoke to our chief political correspondent dana bash. >> i'm respectful of the fact that donald trump has been, well, supposedly will be nominated, we assume, will be nominated. the people have spoken. and by the way, i am not a supporter of super delegates. i am one. but i don't support him. i haven't even endorsed yet in the election because i think that there should be no doubt that what the people say is what the outcome will be. >> dana is joining us now live. you spoke to her about the interview. you pressed pelosi on that endorsement question. what exactly did she tell you? >> reporter: that's right. she not only said she's not a
fan of super delegates and of course, talking about the democratic nominating system that people who are in elected office like herself are super delegates and so they get a say in who the nominee is. i thought that was an interesting comment, but again, even in that same breath, she wouldn't say that she will endorse hillary clinton, even though we're as far out as we are. she's been consistent in doing that. however, wolf, however, she also gave a very strong hint as to who she would like to be the president. never mind the nominee, by using the pronoun she and i thought that was very interesting that she almost used the same language as joe biden and barack obama, all of whom won't formally endorse hillary clinton but are clearly pushing right up to the line by saying that they believe that the president, whomever she may be, will do x,
y r y, and z. unclear if she will before the primary in her home state of california, which is june 7th. >> i think they're all pretty much on the same page when it comes to that sensitive issue. thank you very much, dana. hillary clinton gets back on the campaign trail after another loss to bernie sanders. she's campaigning in new jersey this hour. in the west virginia primary, she lost to sanders by more than 15 points. brian fallon is the press secretary for the clinton campaign joining us live from new york. thank you very much for joining us. we heard the house majority leader nancy pelosi is not ready to formally endorse. she's no fan of the super delegate system. sort of puts her in line with bernie sanders. he hates that super delegate system. what's your reaction to that? >> reporter: throughout this process, we've been focused on winning a majority of the pledge delegates. that's why we're so proud we have a commanding lead in terms of pledge delegates earned through the states that hold
contests for the last several months. by any measure, whether you look at pledge delegates or the popular vote, hillary clinton has a commanding lead. that's how we know she's going to be the democratic party nominee and obviously, we respect the comments that you heard from leader pelosi there. her state has yet to vote. california is coming up in june. we're looking forward to hopefully earning leader pelosi cease support when the time comes but in the meantime, focusing on the pledge delegates. that's why we contest the primary through the last state votes and the district of columbia in the middle of june. even as we undertake some general election preparations to get ready to face donald trump. >> california, june 7th. a week later. the last contest, the district of columbia for the democrats. clearly, in secretary clinton's favor but how frustrating is it to have these losses to bernie sanders? >> well, the result last night was not unexpected in west virginia. we are in a stretch of the nominating calendar where we're, again, seeing some states bunched up that are favorable to
senator sanders demographically. but within indiana a few days ago, the result last night in west virginia does not alter the fundamental state of the race on the democratic side. we have a commanding lead from the pledge delegate perspective. we have a popular vote lead of 3 million votes and as a result, we know who the democratic party nominee is going to be. even knowing that, however, we are going to continue to contest these primary states. that's why hillary clinton is in new jersey today. she's been traveling throughout california and june, as we just said. we're going to be campaigning for every vote in this primary through the end of the voting. but we do so knowing that the verdict is not in doubt in terms of who the nominee is going to be. >> the chairman of the republican national committee, reince priebus, rid duiculed th loss to bernie sanders. nothing short of embarrassing hillary clinton has been defeated 20 times by a 74-year-old socialist from vermont. who's your reaction to that kind of criticism? >> the difference is at the end,
our party will be united. and the republican party right now is in shambles thanks to reince priebus's efforts. he embarked on an autopsy process, diagnosed all of these problems that pervaded the republican party, came up with all of these prescriptions for how the party needed to remold itself and recast itself, move to the middle, focus on things like comprehensive immigration reform. none has been followed and they nominated someone in donald trump, high negatives going into the general election and reince priebus who hails from wisconsin can't bring the speaker of the house on board with the prospect of a donald trump nomination. we're happy to have this situation that we have on our side where we have a very spirited contest afoot. bernie sanders has done a great job of bringing more people in the democratic party and that will put us in an even stronger position against donald trump
and the party which reince priebus has so far failed to successfully unite. >> senator sanders appears to put hillary clinton more on the left with health care, the campaign stop on monday, she moved closer to bernie sanders' position. he supports medicare for all. listen to what she said. >> i am also in favor of the public option so that people can buy in to, you know, medicare above a certain age to take a lot of pressure off the costs. if you were able to move people 55 or 50 and up who are the bigger users of health care into the medicare program, they will have to buy in but it would be into such a big program that the costs would be more distributed. >> might not be medicare for all but medicare for more. does this represent a major shift in her position? >> actually, it does not. this is a concept she has supported for many years now. it was first floated in 1998 but then president clinton and something she talked about on
the campaign trail in 2000 rubbiruwhile running for senate in new york. my old boss, chuck schumer, getting the affordable care act in the senate, we came close to getting this but for a last minute setback with senator leishman suppoooes lieberman. she referenced it yesterday because it's one option among others that she'd be open to in terms of trying to get a public option out there on the exchanges to help make health care more efficient and less expensive for those trying to get it. >> ryan from the clinton campaign. thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. just ahead, bernie sanders admits it's an uphill climb but holding on hope for taking hillary clinton in the race. do the numbers add up though? our political panel is weighing in right after this. if there's a breaking point, we'll find it.
looking at some live pictures from, this is hillary clinton in blackwood, new jersey, before a packed crowd of supporters there. she's talking very passionately about jobs, increasing wages, and giving credit to president obama for digging the country out of recession when he took office nearly eight years ago. we'll continue to monitor hillary clinton's event. update you later this hour. in the meantime, her challenger, bernie sanders, keeps insisting that he's, quote, in it to win it. he did win the west virginia primary rather impressively yesterday but the math clearly not in his favor right now. sanders only picked up seven more delegates. net delegates than clinton from his latest win.
clinton, by the way, has 2235 delegates including more than 500 so-called super delegates. sanders has 1466 delegates including only 41 super delegates. let's bring back our panel. mave, does losing to sanders once again very decisively, i should say yesterday, hurt her in terms of momentum and potentially enthusiasm? >> absolutely. i mean, she's had to come off of a string of sanders victories over the last couple of weeks and it just seems to keep driving the narrative that the party is not 100% ready to get behind her. sanders does have a very difficult path ahead, but there is a scenario where he could go into some of these other states and win more and more delegates and start having a more powerful argument to those super delegates that they should flip
this his favor. so i think that this race is still, you know, very much undecided and we'll have to see what clinton can do in the coming weeks to keep his numbers down. >> david, listen to what bernie sanders said about his effort to overcome hillary clinton. listen to what he said. >> we think we have an outside shot to actually end up with more pledge delegates than secretary clinton. we understand that's a steep hill to climb. but we've been climbing steep hills from the first day i was in this campaign. >> he said we think we have an outside shot to actually end up with more pledge delegates. pledged delegates. >> i mean, that's not going to happen. in all likelihood, it's not going to happen but he has a responsibility to his supporters to keep in it and to keep fighting because there's no reason not to. he also, like hillary clinton back in 2008, is on track to win a number of these final contests
taking it to the very end. what i keep saying is that bernie sanders is a movement politician. he's got a lot of support and a lot of money. there's every reason to keep advocating for his positions to pull her farther to the left and he is exposing her weaknesses. whether she thinks or others think that's good for her or the party is not a material to bernie sanders because he's got supporters who want him to keep making his case. >> joe biden seems to be weighing in more assertively. he told abc he thinks he would have been the best president. he's not running. he was thinking of running. he probably would have run before the death of his son, beau biden, and then decided not to run but had a sort of quasi endorsement of hillary clinton. >> i feel confident that hillary will be the nominee and i feel confident she'll be the next president. >> how important will his role be going forward, clearly, the
president will have a very important role. >> i think joe biden's role is important. it's striking how the democratic party lined up behind this nominee even though it doesn't have a nominee. that's different than the republican party which does have a presumptive nominee. i think the white house will be important in the campaign especially if the president's approval rating remains at 51%. he'll be an asset for hillary clinton. the white house is planning to send him to swing states. he can be very effective with his coalition. that hillary clinton would like to assume in places like denver, miami, cleveland, potentially, in all these swing states and i think we'll see the first lady, michelle obama, an effective campai campaigner in 2008 and 2012 with hillary needs it. >> good timing. job approval numbers above 50% which at this stage of presidency is pretty good.
thank you. there's breaking news we follow right now. an explosion three years ago at a fertilizer plant in the town of west, texas, that killed 15 people was not, repeat, not an accident but a case of arson. just minutes ago, state and federal officials announced the fertilizer plant was deliberately set on fire. some 500 homes and other buildings were destroyed. as many viewers would remember. the pictures were simply awful what was going on. the atf, alcohol tobacco firearms, said the investigation is now ongoing. >> over $2 million has been spent on this investigation. costs which have included rebuilding to exact specifications, portions of the west plant in order to determine exactly what happened. investigating leads, conducting interviews, and leaving no stone unturned. >> a reward of more than $50,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest. the crime tip hotline, let me
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another. isis claimed responsibility for that attack. jim sciutto is following this story for us. there's clearly been an uptick in violence and terror in baghdad and elsewhere, including in the so-called green zone, supposedly the secure area where the diplomats, a lot of american diplomats are based. >> that's right. this is a way for isis to show that it could still exact damage. in iraq, even as it's under pressure from the anti-isis military campaign and it's been suffering lawsuits in that campaign. lawsuits of territory. lawsuits of key battles and perhaps with some bravado, they're striking inside baghdad now because they are losing every engagement on the battlefield but keep in mind, this is a victory of sorts for isis to break through that tremendous security that you have around the capital of baghdad right now and three deadly attacks in one day. it's the deadliest day in months in iraq. >> and it's a continuation. there have been several terror attacks in baghdad over the past
few weeks. have the iraqis asked the u.s. for more support? >> i spoke to the u.s. military in baghdad and say they have not asked for support here, but no one is underestimating the seriousness of the situation because what isis is doing, they're trying to bring back those horrible days in the mid 2000s of sectarian war. all three targets were shia. a neighborhood with a key shia shri shrine. they're trying to stoke that shia/sunni violence we saw explode with horrible circumstances, really, a civil war about ten years ago. so these kinds of attacks have a real potential to create something even worse than what we're seeing. >> the pentagon announced more u.s. marines sent to protect american diplomats at the u.s. embassy in the secure green zone, not necessarily that secure. >> you can call baghdad to some degree one of the front lines of this conflict when you have people dieing in those countries. >> the situation unfolding. thank you. still ahead, remarkable scenes from inside war-ravaged
syria right now. cnn is live in the capital of damascus. we're going there when we come back. you pay your car insurance premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. yeah... surprise... your insurance company tells you to pay up again. why pay for insurance if you have to pay even more for using it? if you have liberty mutual deductible fund™, you could pay no deductible at all. sign up to immediately lower your deductible by $100. and keep lowering it $100 annually, until it's gone.
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temporarily ban muslims from entering the united states. today he said he was thinking about setting up a commission to take a serious look at the plan, one that might be headed by the former new york city mayor rudy guiliani. london's new mayor who is muslim said trump is trying to divide america from the rest of the world. >> i think you've got a choice to the elections in november. hope over fear. you have a choice of unity over division. choice of somebody who is trying to divide not just your communities in america but divide america from the rest of the world. that's not the america that i know and love. i'll do, you know, i'll go to america because you know i love the country. but also i think you know new york and chicago and austin and other parts of america have a lot to teach the city how to address the issue of climate change. how do we fix air quality. how do we do integration better, how do we keep our cities safer.
of course i'll travel to america. i'm hopes he's not the guy that wins. >> you can see christiane amanpour's full interview at the top of the hour for cnn international for our international viewers. in a war torn country the u.s. and russia try to work together to strengthen a fragile cease fire in syria. there are some signs of life coming back to places like damascus. our senior international correspondent fred pleitgen is in damascus for it. you've been to syria several times over the years. you've covered the conflict. you've been talking to people on the ground in the capital. what are they saying about life where you are? >> reporter: well, it's interesting, wolf, there's much more people on the streets these days in syria since the cease fire has been put into place. than i've seen in the past four years that i've been coming
here. the interesting thing is that it's not only the markets that are crowded, shops that are crowded, the fact that people are bringing their children out as well. i was speaking to some folks earlier today and they were telling me for the better part of the last five years we've been keeping our kids basically indoors. this for the first time they can go out. they've heard the borders, the bombs, the machine gun fire. it's good for the kids to be able to go out without having any fear. now one very remarkable gentleman that we met here in damascus is the man who by all accounts is the last registered american here in damascus. his name is thomas weber. he's 71 years old. he's been living here since 1975. he says he wouldn't want to live anywhere else. listen to some of what he said in our interview today. >> it's a sad situation that's going on. again, let me repeat i hope there's going to be long lasting peace. we'll get the displaced people that are in syria coming home again, rebuilding their home.
rebuilding their lives. and the millions of people that are overseas. we hope they'll be coming back. all we hope and pray for is that the western world and the governments of the west will help support a long lasting peace. >> reporter: so he says he feels fairly safe here in the syrian capital. since the cease fire has gone into effect. he said syrian authorities treat him well. he's had close calls as well. i was in his neighborhood earlier he said there was rocket time there and there was one time a rocket mortar landed a few feet from his house. the war here in syria that's something affected him as it's affected everybody else here in the capital syria and in so many other cities in syria as well. we always have to keep in mind that right now in the capital city, damascus, there is a fair amount of calm, if you look to places like aleppo and the out skirts there the war there is
certainly much in full swing. it's unclear whether or not the international community will get the warring parties to stop the war anytime soon. >> have you noticed major changes in damascus? specifically the capital over these past few years, your visits there? >> reporter: yeah. i mean, it's really gone through ebbs and flows. one of the things we've seen since we've been here there are more people who are willing to come outside. it seems as though they have at least a little bit of hope that the fact that the cease fire that you're seeing in damascus keeps getting extended. maybe it could morph into something more positive. on the other hand they see the diplomatic process in geneva is very slow. but at the same time they do have hope at this point in time that maybe this is something that could last, wolf. >> fred pleitgen reporting from damascus. thank you very much, be careful over there. an important programming note, later today on "anderson
hi there you're watching cnn i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. in less than -- checking my clock -- 24 hours from now, a meeting that could shape the future of the republican party. the presumed republican nominee for president, donald trump, is set to sit down with house speaker paul ryan at 9:00 a.m. sharp tomorrow morning. this after speaker ryan's bomb shell last week, right here with jake tapper on cnn that he was just quote, not ready