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tv   Wolf  CNN  May 13, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. 7:00 p.m. in brussels. 8:00 p.m. in damascus. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. donald trump is on a different mission today. let's call it an explanation offensive. yesterday, he was here in washington. he was trying to mend some fences and today, he's talking about party unity as well. he's also defending positions and opinions that have dogged him out there on the campaign trail. issues like his proposed temporary ban on muslims entering the united states or his refusal to release his tax returns. >> i don't have swiss bank accounts. i don't have offshore.
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i really have a very, very clean company. and believe me, if i didn't, it would have been reported. >> what is your tax rate? >> it's none of your business. you'll see it when i release. i'm not the president right now, so anything i suggest is really a suggestion and if i were president, i'd put in legislation and do what i have to do. i'm not softening my stance but i'm always flexible on issues. i'm totally flexible on have many issues. >> besides the meeting with house ryan yesterday, donald trump placed a call to an outspoken republican critic, senator lindsey graham. the two spoke about national security among other things and afterwards, graham said it was a good call, but still, he isn't formally supporting or endorsing donald trump. i want to welcome in dr. ben carson from palm beach gardens in florida. dr. carson, thank you very much for joining us. >> always a pleasure. >> you were always a former republican presidential candidate and now a seemingly jack of all trades for the trump
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campaign. what exactly, dr. carson, is your role in the trump campaign? >> you know, i don't want to be pigeon holed into any one thing. donald trump and i have talked about our mutual desire to make prosperous in all aspects. education, defense, getting along with each other, finances. so right now, you know, you deal with the problem. the big problem right now is unity. so obviously, we want to focus on finding waywa waway was to m people understand what's going on. i was gratified with the meeting with the speaker yesterday along with mr. trump. and the thing, i think, that they got to do is to speak to each other. that really is the key to understanding. rather than getting the respect
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of corners and throwing barbs at each other and recognizing donald trump is not a politician. so he has not learned political speak. how you wrap things up in a nice little package and put a bow on it. he's not learned how to do it. i never learned how to do that. i hope he never does because it's what the people understand. not so much what a lot of people in washington and the media understand. >> dr. carson, one of your jobs is to get former republican presidential rivals on board. you're on board. chris christie clearly on board. tuesday night, you called the house speaker paul ryan. did you set the stage for that meeting, in other words, were you instrumental in making sure the speaker of the house and the republican nominee were working together and actually meeting? >> well, the meeting was going to occur, and, you know, i simply wanted to make sure that
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both sides understood the other side as much as possible. you know, for instance, donald trump is said to be against entitlement reform. he's not against entitlement reform. he just thinks that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to attack entitlements first. the first thing you do is fix the economy. give people lots of options. have money flowing into the coffers and when that's happening, if entitlement reform is still necessary, then you go ahead and do it. it's a matter of prioritizing. but a lot of people sometimes get that the wrong way. >> the speaker wants entitlement reform and medicare, that's a major way to deal with the national debt but donald trump out there in the debates and you were on the stage with him during the debates. he's made it clear he doesn't want any changes at least right now on either social security or medicare, right? >> again, the point being the
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more important urgent issue is to fix the economy. get the flow moving in the right direction. instead of increasing deficits, start decreasing deficits. >> yesterday, senator lindsey graham, as you know, really an outspoken critic of donald trump tweeted this following the 15 minute phone conversation. i had a cordial pleasant phone conversation with mr. trump yesterday. i congratulated him on winning the gop nomination for president. he said they spoke for about 15 minutes on national security issues among others. were you behind that phone call setting the stage up for the phone conversation between lindsey graham and donald trump? >> no. i had nothing to do with it. that said loads about those individuals being willing to bury the hatchet and talk and i think you're going to see that hatching for a lot of people as they stop and think about the alternatives and they start thinking about their children
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and their grandchildren and what's going to happen because what we're talking about in november is a monumental election. that determines which kind of country we're going to be. are we going to be a country that is up for and by the government where the government controls your life and gives you your rights or are we going to the country of and for by the people where our rights come from our creator? this is a huge die kos, dichotomy. >> when i spoke to trump at trump tower, he said you will find him a vice presidential running mate. what's your role in vetting potential candidates? >> my role is really to talk about, you know, what kind of person we're looking for and some possible suggestions. that's been done. and we'll talk about lots of different things. a lot of things that will help to improve the country in the
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future. so, you know, it's a shifting role, as it would be with anybody who's trying to help, you know, create a situation that will be beneficial for everyone. >> unlike donald trump, almost all if not all of the 16 republican presidential candidates, they really like you. they had really nice things to say about you during the campaign. you had a good relationship with almost all of them, i think, it's fair to say. is one of your assignments now to get the other candidates, let's say senator ted cruz, on board working, supporting donald trump? is that really possible given all the animosity, the exchange of bad words that occurred? >> all things are possible. i would love to see a situation, quite frankly, where all 17 of us were able to sit in a room and have a discussion about our goals and our visions for the country with no media involved. and i think we could probably
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iron out quite a few issues. one of the things we have to understand is that this is not about any one person. this is about america, and the future of our country. if we can just get people to understand that, we can solve a lot of our problems on both sides of the aisle. >> you could get ted cruz or jeb bush for that matter to endorse donald trump? >> well, i believe that both ted cruz and jeb bush, when they really sit down and begin to think about the future of our country and start thinking about their children or grandchildren, they will come to the right conclusion. right now, you know, wounds are open, and what happens during this process with all the back and forth and the name calling, i would have hoped maybe we could have learned from 2012 but we didn't. people don't seem to learn. if they did, we'd learn from all the societies that came before
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us who were pinnacle nations that destroy themselves. people don't seem to learn but doesn't mean we can't keep trying and pushing and hoping to open people's minds to things that actually make sense. >> one final question. are you open to being his vice presidential running mate? >> i have no desire whatsoever to be anything in government except a loyal patriot who will help, who will advise, who will bring opportunities to help improve our country. >> but if the president elect says to you or the presidential nominee says to you, dr. carson, i really need you, the country needs you right now, you're a patriot. you wouldn't say no, would you? >> it would have to be an extraordinary circumstance. i don't see that occurring. >> dr. carson, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> donald trump seems to be
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bragging about himself. that's hardly news but a report that trump posed as his own pr spokesman to brag about himself generating headlines. "the washington post" said trump did exactly that in a recording from 1991 in the excerpt, the person who identified himself as john miller talks on the phone with a reporter about rumors involving trump and madonna. listen for yourself. >> i don't think we ever reported that about madonna. >> well, she called and wanted to go out with him back in texas. and by the way, i'm sort of new here. >> what is your position? >> well, i'm sort of handling pr because he gets so much of it. and frankly, i mean, i could tell you off the record. until i get to know you, and talk a little bit off the record, i can tell you he didn't care. >> on nbc's "today show," trump denied that voice was his. >> it was not me on the phone. and it doesn't sound like me on
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the phone. i will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone, and when was this? 25 years ago? >> in the early '90s. >> you are going so low as to talk about something that took place 25 years ago about whether or not i made a phone call? i guess under a presumed name. >> let's bring in our chief political analyst, gloria borger and ryan. "the washington post" had this story today. trump denied that was his voice. where do we go from here? >> this is a story that's been around for years. it's been written about in a lot of biographies about donald trump. and in fact, after this conversation, this report on "people" magazine, carswell wrote a story and it was headlined "trump says good-bye marla, hello karla" and a mysterious pr man who sounds just like donald trump calls to spread the story. eventually, she wrote a story
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that quoted donald trump saying that this call was, quote, a joke gone awry. back then, he actually admitted that he had played this game with journalists. so i think he's going to have to explain this a little bit further as the campaign continues because when you're joking around way back when and not a presidential candidate, and you think this is the best way to spread your own pr, that now you're a presidential candidate and you have to answer these questions. >> you turned something that was a joke and reported as a joke back then and i think a lot of people would have said he was a new york businessman messing around with the tabloids. >> and she made it clear she thought it was trump. >> now turned it into a campaign issue by going on tv and maybe wasn't prepared for the question and didn't think it through and now he's basically said
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something that's not true. that he's already essentially admitted to a far better as a politician to say that's just me being me back in the '80s when i was battling the tabloid press. >> he should have said when savann savannah, i was just playing around, but if in fact, he says that wasn't his voice, you heard him say that this morning so that raises, as you point out, to a different level. >> absolutely. i did this with a sales call. verizon called me. hey, that's not here. governor kasich will join cnn's anderson cooper for an exclusive interview. his first since dropping out of the republican race for the white house. that interview actually is going to take place monday night, 8:00 p.m. on cnn. coming up here, as republicans try to unite the party,
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democrats struggle to unite sanders and clinton supporters. we'll discuss that and get live pictures of security lines spilling into the atrium. moments of department of homeland security in washington announced the new plan to ease those lines. why the head of the department said relief won't come anytime soon and why isis is now declaring a state of emergency in their proclaimed capital of raqqa in syria. we have details. new information coming in as well. see me. see me. don't stare at me. see me. see me. see me to know that psoriasis is just something that i have. i'm not contagious. see me to know that... ...i won't stop until i find what works. discover cosentyx, a different kind of medicine for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
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e.t. phone home. when you find something you love, you can never get enough of it. change the way you experience tv with xfinity x1. welcome back. republicans say they are moving closer and closer. the long slog towards roughing up the primary process keeps ongoing. let's get our chief political analyst gloria borger and ryan liz. are they making progress on the
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democratic front? what's the latest? >> you know, i think they're trying and i think that everybody understands the math. and bernie sanders in his last victory speech after west virginia did two things. he said i'm all in. i'm in it until the very end, but he also took a pivot to start attacking donald trump. so it's clear to me when this is over, and i don't think bernie sanders is going to be able to convince enough super delegates to go to his side, so when this is all over, he's going to work as hard as he can to defeat donald trump. that was very clear to me and so if you have bernie sanders out there and then you have president obama out there preaching party unity and getting out the vote, that's a pretty good combination. >> they do well in the final few contests. the question is, does he throw in the towel after june 7th in california or june 14th in the district of columbia or wait and
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wait until the convention in philadelphia in july? >> i think there's a lot of his supporters that want him to go to the convention and make a stand and want him in between june, i guess, 14th. because dc technically votes on june 14th. >> it would be very important. i like the district of columbia. >> i think they want him to go to the convention and continue this, frankly, farfetched super delegate strategy of trying to convince super delegates in states and districts that he won to support him. and i think you can't underestimate the fact that he has this campaign infrastructure raising as much as a million dollars a day, this self-perpetuating money machine and the reason he doesn't drop out is he can't afford not to. never had more raising than the presumptive nominee this late in the process. >> remember, barack obama after hillary clinton dropped out, and by the way, she stayed in late but he helped her -- >> until after puerto rico.
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>> he helped her retire the campaign debt. bernie sanders doesn't need to cut any deals about his campaign debt. but the question is can he convince the super delegates, even if he were to win california, could he convince the super delegates to switch from hillary clinton? i think that's very difficult because they're party people and bernie sanders has not been a democratic party person. >> he'll have a lot of influence. he's got a lot of delegates. he's got a lot of money. he's got very enthusiastic young supporters. he'll be able to shape the democratic party. >> and to congress, of course. >> on policy, i think he's going to make a big stand at the convention, on the party platform. he's got some issues like campaign finance and the influence of wall street. he's going to want to police, if hillary clinton becomes president, he's going to want to police her advisors and nominees. he's moving the party to the left. >> you heard dr. carson speaking about the republican side just
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telling me a few minutes ago hoping all the republican candidates, all 17 of them, can get together, sit down in a room, have a great conversation with donald trump and he's not ruling out the possibility that even a ted cruz or a jeb bush could eventually go out ooand endorse donald trump. is that overly optimistic? >> if he's trying to set up the dinner party and get a bunch of rsvps, i think there will be a few missing, honestly. i think lindsey graham has been nicer about trump lately which is interesting to me. very nice. but do i see jeb bush embracing donald trump in any way, shape, or form? >> no. ted cruz, no. given the personal venom. early on, cruz was sort of a semisuppo semi-supporter of trump because he thought heck get the supporters but cruz attacked his wife and father. i think it's difficult, don't you? i mean, trump did.
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sorry. >> he's a turn the other cheek kind of guy. trump went after him in some, excuse me, ben carson. trump went after ben carson and put it all behind him and basically compared him to a child molester at one point in the campaign and carson completely forgiven him for all of that. the idea that jeb bush is ever going to support donald trump, i think, is pure fantasy. and trafrankly, i think he said publicly he doesn't want their support. >> thank you very much. >> sure. coming up, homeland security secretary jay johnson here in washington releasing a so point plan to address the increasingly long lines at airports across the united states. we have live pictures. this is coming out of atlanta. the plan, plus, the warning for travelers here. you pay your car insurance
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there's growing anger and frustration among travelers here in the united states who are seeing the security time and security lines rise at the nation's major airports. this is a video, by the way, taken yesterday of the long line in chicago's o'hare international airport that took several minutes to just walk the length of the line. sometimes it takes hours and causes thousands of people to actually miss their flights. we heard from the head of the transportation security administration and the secretary of homeland security. >> with travel increasing, this spring and this summer, tsa and
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i have developed an even more aggressive plan to address aviation security and reduce wait times in partnership with airports and airlines. to address increased wait times and continue to provide aviation security, we have developed a 10 point plan that will keep passengers moving and most importantly, keep passengers safe. >> cnn's top from reagan national airport in washington, the news conference just wrapped up. tom, so what's in the 10 point plan? >> reporter: wolf, everything plus a couple of kitchen sinks. they say they're going to use more k-9 dogs to search and more officers, more technology, they're going to have more traffic flow control people basically everything you can imagine to try to make it both quicker and safer this summer. that's what they're aiming for
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but these are the things we've heard many times promised before and grilled about in congress yesterday with all of these plans that still to lead to problems still and actually led to one key question. listen. >> so we are in fact bringing on more tso and invest in more k-9s, more technology. we are working with congress to make sure the tsa has the funding it needs to have the tsa workforce. >> reporter: one thing that will really jump out from you in the 10 point plan is if you're a passenger, one of the things is they work with the airlines to further reduce the size and number of carry-on bags you can bring on the plane. it's not clear how reducing the load there is not going to increase the load screening in other bags and certainly increase the cost to travelers out there but the bottom line
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for everything they say they're going to do and the confidence they say they have in it when asked, can passengers this summer expect to not have three hour waits for planes? the homeland security secretary said, simply, i hope they won't. >> me too. i hope they won't either. thank you. coming up, new calls for the release of some classified documents that may show as many as six people in the united states and lower level saudi officials may have supported the 9/11 hijackers. new details coming up next. ht a. right at home's professional team thoughtfully selects caregivers to help with personal care, housekeeping, meals, and most of all, staying engaged in life. oh, thank you, thank you. you're welcome. are you ready to go? oh, i sure am. we can provide the right care, right at home.
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that just tastes better. with more vitamins. and 25% less saturated fat. only eggland's best. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. september 11th was the deadliest attack on soil and
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still many questions surrounding who may have helped those 19 al qaeda terrorists in the weeks and months leading up to the attacks as our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto tells us 28 classified pages of a congressional investigatory report may hold some answers. >> it's an allegation that's lingered almost since the moment the towers fell. that saudi arabia was somehow tied to the 9/11 attack and speaking by telephone, former 9/11 commissioner john lei man said the pages of the congressional report contain evidence that as many as six saudi individuals supported al qaeda in the run-up to the attacks. those individuals, he says, work for the saudi embassy in the u.s. saudi charities and the government funded mosque in california. l leiman makes clear that the summary reports contain no
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smoking gun and like the 9/11 commission concluded, leiman does not believe the saudi government or any of its senior officials supported or were aware of the 9/11 plots. however, leiman said evidence of lower level saudi involvement was never sufficiently investigated and should now be, quote, vigorously pursued. others put richard echoing leiman's call. >> we would not be so arrogant as to think we with our limited time and resources have investigated every single aspect that there is to look at in the 9/11 disaster. >> when it completed its investigation in 2004, the 9/11 commission concluded it found, quote, no evidence that the saudi government as an institution or senior saudi official's individually funded al qaeda. saudi officials repeatedly cited that conclusion as eliminating
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the possibility of any official saudi role. >> if you look at the commissioner's report, it deals specifically with saudi arabia's role there was no saudi role nor any official role in this situation. >> some 9/11 commission members do not dispute the defense. >> there's a substantial jump to suggest that somebody who had a job in a consulate is a representative of the saudi government. >> however, leiman said the commission's conclusion intentionally left open the possibility that lower level government officials or employees may have played some role even if they were not instructed by saudi leadership and it's that lingering question he hopes the 28 pages release and further investigation will answer once and for all. the 9/11 investigation was terminated, leiman told cnn, before the relevant leads were
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able to be investigated. leiman points to some clever semantics in that 9/11 report conclusion saying, for instance, the saudi government, as an institution or that senior saudi officials did not fund al qaeda. that left open the possibility that lower levels played a role without the direction of the saudi leadership. to be clear, the saudi government also supports releasing those 28 pages, the saudi foreign minister saying exactly that just last week in geneva. jim sciutto, cnn, washington. >> let's discuss these developments with my next guest. adam shiv of california, ranking member on intelligence. congressman, thank you for coming in. >> you bet. >> you read the 28 pages, still classified, right? what can you tell us about that without violating classified information? >> i think the best description i've heard of them is there's like a police report that have a lot of allegations and point to certainly things that look
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incriminating. >> against who? >> in the sense that there are connections that are portrayed potentially as a coincidence that there's a certain meeting in a restaurant that there are contacts with the embassy that i think. >> by some of the hijack ers? >> by some of the hijackers. you read that and think, how likely is that to be a coincidence? the reality is that the 9/11 commission that then went and investigated these allegations in the commission's work in the joint inquiry's work weren't able to essentially follow the trail to any high ranking saudi officials, but nonetheless, these pages, i believe, should be released. they can be redacted if there's concerns about sources and methods but let the american people see what's in them. often, the speculation is worse than the contents and sometimes when you release a document like that, as many years have gone by. it generates new information. people who read it are aware of connections that maybe the investigators weren't. so i think they should be released. >> 15 of the 19 hijackers were
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saudis. bin laden, of course, was a saudi. if you read those pages, why doesn't the administration, for all of these 15 years, they've argued that there's sensitive information in dealing with sources and methods that would undermine u.s. national security, and that's why it's kept classified. >> i think it's a combination of reasons. yes, in part. there's a need to protect sources and methods, but that can cbe done. you can redact the information so the sources are protected. part of it is to avoid damage to the relationship between the u.s. and said rab whudi arabia. >> there will be speculation about what's in the 28 pages, even when released and i think there will be a lot of head scratching about how is this possible and people will certainly, many, lead to the conclusion that saudi officials had somehow been involved and that has not been corroborated and i think the american people can be entrusted to draw their
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own conclusions and get the information to have that balanced with what the 9/11 commission self did thereafter. so i don't frankly think that damaging potentially a relationship or embarrassment to that relationship is a good reason to withhold information to the american people. >> six individuals apparently had contact with some of the 19 hijackers. i assume all of them got out of the united states shortly after 9/11. is that right? >> i don't know exactly what the timetable would be. but i would imagine that probably none of them were still in the country. >> they were all saudi citizens? >> i believe. and i would have to go through what he was referring to. there were certainly several people referred to in the 28 pages that had contact with people who ended up being among the hijackers, and i would suspect they're all out of the country. i don't know that for a fact. it will be difficult, i think, to pursue new leads this long after the fact but nonetheless,
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you could have new information come to the fore and that's a good reason. >> there are lawsuits now pending in which victims families, the 3,000 people killed, they want to sue saudi arabia in part. the administration is resisting that saying that's not appropriate. they have diplomatic immunity. where do you stand on that? >> this is the much more difficult question in my view. that the release ought to be easy. my question is, is there a way to draft this law? we'd like to see the 9/11 victims be able to pursue relief and compensation from anyone responsible. is there a way we can draft this law that doesn't invite the u.s. to be sued around the world? you could easily perceive, for example, iraqis who lost loved ones for going to war based on faulty intelligence. you could see us being sued by afghans, by syrians, and others. and so obviously, we have an interest in protecting our service members as well as our country from those kinds of suits and the question is, can this litigation be allowed to go
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forward without exposing us in return to a lot of litigation from around the world. >> in a different matter, raqqa. the isis capital in syria. u.s. spokesman, colonel steve warren said today it looks like isis declared a state of emergency in raqqa. what can you tell us about that situation? >> i think they're concerned in raqqa as they see the territory they have around raqqa shrinking. as they see military maneuvers undertaken by kurdish and arabic forces in the region and don't know what's coming or when. and, you know, they're under real financial pressure. we have, i think, attacked their oil infrastructure. we have attacked literally their holdings of cash so they're having some difficulty paying their fighters and their pl employees, effectively. very lethal though and still don't see the light at the end of the tunnel and even seeing them hunkering down in raqqa, we see the timeline for the
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reconquering of mosul. still a lot of hard work ahead. >> enormous work ahead. thanks very much, congressman. ad adam schiff. the untraceable ghost killed in syria. no one is claiming responsibility, at least not yet.
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in the last few years brussels is infamous for a recruiting ground for jihadi fighters. a mother is sharing her story. and demanding the know why some of the convicted recruiters are now walking free. cnn's erin mclaughlin tracked down one of those men in this exclusive report. >> reporter: photos from the 18th birthday. a family trip to celebrate. one of his mother's happiest memories before he went to syria. >> we don't know what's happening in syria but we are sure when's happened with him when he was here. >> reporter: eight months after that trip, salia as her son became radicalized. he sent her a facebook message to let her know he was in syria.
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then came a chilling phone call. the syrian guide said, congratulati congratulation. your son died as a martyr and then he hung up. it was horrible. when i heard about his death, i felt like i died myself. she says her son was the happiest of her four children. she didn't know the most dangerous jihadist recruitment network in brussels approached her son. it is veteran jihadists and recruiters. some would go on to carry out the terrorist attacks in paris and brussels. authorities prosecuted for man 60 recruiters and foreign fighters. one of them was sala. his recruiters were declared guilty as you see here, the judge allowed them to walk free pending their appeal. cnn tracked down one of the recruiters to his home address. that is neighborhood of of a
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recruiter convicted. her son said he pleaded, he wanted to come home. the recruiter said, no. we're here to ask him why. we ring the doorbell. his mother answers. she screams at us to leave her alone. as we walk away, the recruiter appears and confronts us. his words are not welcoming. he refuses to talk to us on camera. belgian authorities tell cnn they have not notified residents that a convicted jihadist recruiter is living in their midst. we saw a teenaged boy entering the same apartment building. the president of brussels tribunal says in belgium it is not unusual for a criminal to go free while they're waiting for appeal. if they're not considered a flight risk. how's it that a convicted member of a terrorist organization sentenced to seven years in prison is allowed to walk free
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after his trial? >> translator: the judge says that this man's behavior is good throughout the trial. and this decision of the judge needs to be respected. >> reporter: for the mother, the fact that her son's recruiters are free while he's dead is too much. she says it's as if he's died twice. >> i don't really believe in human justice. but in a god justice and he will pay. not here. but by god. and i just want to tell him that my son didn't have second chance like him. >> reporter: erin mclaughlin, cnn, brussels. up next, a mysterious terror leader killed in syria. new details coming out on the man some called a ghost. stay with us.
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a key commander designated a terrorist by the u.s. government is killed in syria. mustafa badreddine often referred to as the untraceable ghost. he was suspect in the murder of the lebanese prime minister nearly two dozen other people back in 2005. a funeral procession for badreddine was held in beirut this morning. fred pleitgen is in damascus, syria, on the phone for us. white house press secretary earnest told reporters here in washington no u.s. coalition forces or planes were in the area where this hezbollah commander was killed. who was he and do we know who killed him? >> reporter: that's the big question of who killed him and interesting of conflicting information that came through from hezbollah about this today. originally they said it was the
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israeli air force. that a targeted him and killed in an airstrike. however, they retracted that statement and only gave a very vague statement saying that he died, quote, fighting against terrorists. which obviously means against the opposition here. now, at this point in time, it is unclear whether or not he was killed in an airstrike or killed by some sort of surface to surface rocket missile so a mortar. absolutely unclear at this point in time but, wolf, what is clear is that he was one of the key recruiters here for hezbollah fighters in syria. you have mentioned he is an operative for decades already and played a key role here for hezbollah in syria of a big logistical role of fighters from lebanon in here to syria and apparently he made a statement just a little while ago saying he never wanted to return to lebanon unless it was victorious after the war on the part of bashar al assad or draped in a
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flag as a martyr. of course, from today, we know that's what happened. you said he was brought home, a funeral procession and killed her in syria, wolf. >> like the russians, the iranian hezbollah is a big support of the al assad regime in damascus and they have enem enemies out there, don't they? >> reporter: you're absolutely right. hezbollah, iran and russia, there's groups that oppose them and quite frankly, especially around that area around the damascus airport. also the area where there's a very prominent shia shrine. hezbollah is a shia organization. we have seen some attacks on that in the past. some car bombings on that in the past. and quite frankly, looking at the past couple of weeks the attrition rate for hezbollah and also for the iranians is quite high. you look back at last year and near a town in the north of syria you had the largest loss of life for the iranians ever
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since they have acknowledged they have fighters on the ground here. some 13 iranians killed there and they have a lot of enemies, certainly israelis one of them but also of course very much of the groups opposed to bashar al assad, wolf. >> fred pleitgen in damascus. thank you. that's it for me. the news continues right here on cnn next. i'm pal la brown in for brooke baldwin. nice to have you with us on this friday. there's new problems for donald trump's campaign. one day after the presumed nominee met with top republicans on the fence about whether to back him. we'll begin with problem number one, recording of the 1990s that raises some questions about whether trump posed as a press spokesman. there's recordings of interviews early in trump's real estate career and on separate occasions two alleged media reps of john