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tv   Wolf  CNN  August 23, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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. hi there, i'm brianna keilar in for wolf blitzer. from wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks you for joining us. president obama is on the ground to get a firsthand look at devastation left behind after catastrophic flooding. the president just arriving moments ago. he is there to check out
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flooding areas that so far we have seen over the past several days and claimed at least 13 lives. also you have as many as half a million people affected by this. but the president's trip follows criticism from some who think he should have been there sooner. our nick valencia is live in denham springs, louisiana, just a few miles east of baton rouge. we have michelle kozinski who is at the white house. nick, tell us what the president is scheduled to see while he is there and what the expectations are from flood victims during visit. >> we just saw president obama land a short time ago. he was greeted by the governor, local congressman and member of fema. he will be ushered over to one of the nine parishes affected by this significant flooding over the course of the last ten days. much of that water has receded but problems here still remain.
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pre residents here don't want to get into the politics. we asked them what think think about president obama's visit. some say it is too little too late. some say, the shooting of sterling at hand of who wheefrs, assassination of three baton rouge police officers weeks of that, president obama was nowhere in sight. he did send vice president biden to the funeral of the slain officers. president obama will meet with the family members of the slain officers before touring baton rouge. the focus is not on politics but it is on the recovery. people here, we asked about the visit of obama and this is what they have to tell us. >> help us. that's all i can say, you know. just help us. >> nothing he can do for us that we haven't done for ourselves. i've got no help from the government. i asked for help but my community has come through. >> i think it is great trump
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came into town to show support. and you know, that's a good thing. to tell you the truth. >> what about obama? >> he should have been here. >> the numbers are staggering, brianna. still 3,000 people remain in shelters. 60,000 homes damaged and school was scheduled to reopen but it has now been pushed back to september 6th. here in livingston parish, where the president of the parish, says they are hardest hit. the anticipation of when school opens is still uncertain. brieian? >> you can really commiserate with what they are going through at this time. michelle, what is the white house saying about the criticism that the president should have come off of vacation to pay a visit? ? the white house was asked about this directly yesterday. first of all, about did the president considerate least not golfing on the same day that donald trump was down there, criticizing him over that.
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and president secretary said, no. that was not a consideration. the white house wants to stand its ground. and it's been making the case over the last two weeks that first of all the white house does its best work not necessarily there on the ground but by declaring this a disaster which the president did right away by allowing the approval and disbursement of federal money. more than $120 million approved for that area. some of that has already been distributed to families p to meet their everyday needs. and other things that white house has done like putting the fema administrator down there, sending department of homeland security secretary down there. the white house wants to say, look at the job we've done. such that even the highest ranching republican in louisiana, lieutenant governor, has been praising the federal response. not to say going down there doesn't mean anything, the president was probably always
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going to go down there. the white house likes to do it on its own time when the time is right. they also keep saying the governor of louisiana asked the president to wait and not go down there right away. because of the resources that it takes away from what is needed immediately on the ground, brianna. >> what about looking back for instance to superstorm sandy. i know they say look, it is a democratic governor who says we don't need to be there right way. we hear that from hillary clinton as well. she doesn't have a trip on her schedule. compare this to superstorm sandy. what is the timing there for how long it took for him to pay a visit? >> we looked into that too. it was about the same. the storm hit on october 29 and the president was done there around the 15th of november. about two weeks after the fact. and again, officials in new york were asking the president to not go down, it was michael bloomberg at the time, he was asking the president ton go down right away, to wait until there
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was a calmer period when he could go visit the coastline. not only in new york but in new jersey. that was a similar trip. the president went down there, met with people in a neighborhood. pictures of him hugging them. talking about the federal response. always the same. it is kind of the same political issue that comes up. whether you have a republican or democratic president, someone will say, dwr aren't you down there now? where is the president? at least being, you know, with the president's -- a presence down here. where it is hardest hit. what the white house said today is that president is used to this. he is aware that some people are going to try to score political points at times when they should not. and they obviously feel this is a time when they should not. but i think when you have something like baton rouge newspaper coming out with the editorial on why they think the president should be there, it hold more weight than say a politician complaining about why
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the president isn't there, brieian? >> including democratic politicianes. michelle kosinski at the white house. nick valencia on the ground in louisiana. thanks so much. let's bring in our panel now. dana bash, eugene scott, susan page. i talked last week, susan, to former senator marry landreau. she is a former senator who can say more of what she thinks. it is good donald trump is coming. it brings awareness. we need money. people need money. there needs to be donations. she welcomed anyone coming even though you have for instance president obama not going until tuesday, until today. should he have gone sooner? >> i think it is a missed opportunity. his ratings are healthy. can't say it hurt him there.
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but i think there is a symbolic importance to the president being on the scene even if it is respectful of the need of the first responders to do their jobs. one thing we have learned about president obama is that he is either -- this isn't a part of the job he really embraces. this is, from the start, more symbolic aspect of the presidency, he has sometimes been slow to recognize how important they could be to people. we have heard from people in louisiana and baton rouge there is not enough attention nationally to their plight and the president going creates a spotlight. >> donald trump been tweeting about this. surrogates hammering the president on why he didn't go sooner, eugene. i guess how much damage is done and does it matter as much because he is not running for president, but certainly hillary clinton is. >> i don't think the damage is permanent. so that newspaper that wrote that editorial originally
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blasting president obama released another one today praising him for coming down. they could have taken an approach that said you should have got here faster but that's not what bulk of the editorial did. the bumming focused on what the community needs to do to move forward. there is temptation it look at this as pure politics. but it seems like everyone on board is trying to make sure that the press dents get the help they need more than anything else. >> you had donald trump visiting. this struck me. donald trump and mike pence showing up, because he failed to show what is happening at the moment. there is a track of what is donald trump doing and how is he campaigning and he doesn't sort of acknowledge what is going on in a way where he can show leadership. but he did go to louisiana and visited the flood zone. you heard louisiana's governor saying the visit is helpful and here is what he told dana on state of the union this weekend. >> because it helped to shine a spotlight on louisiana and on
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the dire situation that we have here, that it was helpful. and i will tell you that i also appreciated the good phone call, the conversation i had with governor pence, who was sincere and genuine. we spoke for a long time on friday morning about their desire to be helpful. >> in a moment like this, it is where you have a disaster, it cuts through some of the political back and forth. we saw this with superstorm sandy. you are seeing it here. >> that's right. as you said, that's a democratic governor. who was skeptical but clearly very, very happy that donald trump went down there because the fact we are having this discussion about the politics of it has very much helped shine a light on. and i think one of the thing and susan you touched on this, that has been frustrating for people in the flood zone there, is that this has not been one of those massive events, like a hurricane where everybody watches it and radar and it comes to shore and then you know, people are
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looking at it and thinking, how can we help? this is a flood that snuck up on them. it took a couple of days to make everybody aware of how severe it is. and it is incredibly severe which is why when i did interview the governor the first thing i said to him is what can people do, he said, we need help. they are getting the help they need from the federal government but not from everyday americanes. there hasn't bnt national spotlight on it that trump did put on and of course today president obama is by visiting. >> and one reason donald trump was able to sput spotlight on the event, that was a rough week for him the way it started in some of his speeches. by the end of the week, the speech, he regretted some of the words he used. he worked with church answerses
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handing out clothes and food. >> susan, how do candidates weigh the fact they could take way from first responders and also the fact that some people don't realize, there is a benefit to them going. it brings a lot of attention. especially to something like this where i think regular americans were not cognizant of how severe this was. how do they weigh that? >> i think politicians are concerned about how politicses come across. that means you don't want to be in a situation where you seem to be making it harder for first responders to do the job they do. on the other hand, there are airports every place. can you fly into an airport, do an event, talk to people, say this is a problem the whole nation should address. and not be too intrusive with what first responders need do. but it is something you hear from both sides. sometimes i think it is handy excuse for somebody who doesn't actually want to go it a place quite yet. >> i was covering the bush/white house during katrina. i went down there as part of the
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white house pool when he finally did go, seems like it was many, many days later. i went back and looked, actually it was only five days later. and katrina was much worse than what we are talking about here. >> like the picture showing him flying over and looking down and looking so discon nengtd. >> looking removed is the story told. >> susan, eugene, dana. thank you so much for all of you. you are actually going to stick around. you're not off the hook yet. we have more to discuss, including donald trump's call to a special prosecutor to investigate the clinton foundation. we will continue to follow president obama as he traveled around flood devastated areas of louisiana. he is on his way right now to an affected neighborhood, near the baton rouge area. republican congressman is traveling with the president and will talk with us live in just a few moments.
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right now president obama is in louisiana. he is visiting with victims of the historic floods the residents have been dealing with for day answerss and days now. we are expecting to see the president within the next hour. he will be speaking to the press after his tour of the damaged
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neighborhood and we will hear shortly from a republican congressman who is traveling with the president. so stick around for that as well. let's check in on the race for the white house. hillary clinton will be raising a lot of campaign cash. donald trump will be rallying hi supporters on the campaign trail. we are just 77 days to election day, if you can believe that. tonight, clinton attend a hollywood fund-raiser hosted by justin timberlake. new poll released today shows clinton with a huge lead over trump and a key swing state wab virginia. roanoke college poll finds clinton leads trump 55 to 36%. she is ahead by 16 point in four-way race when you add third party candidates. donald trump holds a rally in austin, texas this evening. also stepping up attacks on the clinton foundation and accusations of a pay to play operation. >> the amounts involved, the
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favors done, and the significant number of times it was done, require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately. >> now let's bring back our panel. we have dana bash, eugene scott and susan page. so what do you make -- i feel this is a blast from the past. right? this idea after special prosecutor. what do you make of this, dana? >> it would be political malpractice for him not to call for this. this is remarkably conventional for someone like donald trump. you have the bag of reer toal tricks you use when someone is in trouble. special prosecutor, okay, check. he has to do something like this. but in all seriousness, it does remind voters and it keeps the story going for voters, that there are issues and more issues that we are seeing potential
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issues, i should say, daily as the e-mails come out. >> you worry or i should say, supporters of hillary clinton and of the clinton foundation, susan, worry that found dation getting a bad wrap. it is a gigantic charity. there is good work done. but at the same time, there is a platform for the clintons. big money that comes into it. overlap between the charity and the her campaign. >> these are self inflicted wounds entirely predictable from the start. you remember at her confirmation hearings, senator luker raised this very question. how are you going to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest and they failed it take the steps you might rationally have taken if you ever thought you would run for president again. it is like the e-mail scandal. this is a gift that will keep on giving to the republican campaign for the rest of this campaign. we will hear stories about disclesh urs about clinton foundation, actions on behalf of
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donors connected with the state department an coziness. and the release of more e-mails from now through october. it'll be an issue that clinton campaign will not be able to get over. they have to plow through it. >> while giving up corporate donation answers foreign donations if she does win the presidency, it is not all of the donations so it makes you think as well this could be the gift that keeps giving in a clinton presidency. i do want to ask you, eugene, about donald trump. he was supposed to give a speech on thursday. we were anticipating this. he was going to talk about immigration. we were going to see what his policies are. he is not now. this is how his campaign manager explained that. >> a very simple reason. that's been on the schedule for a while. we inherited it. immigration is a very complex issue. to get it to come out right with your specific plan should not be rushed. he is taking in the wisdom of many different counsellors on this issue. >> how much is it that it is
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that but also that he built his immigration policy and campaign on deportation force and build the wall. and his new advisors or worried that is not going to fly with people in the middle. >> it is certainly not flying with people in the middle. those those are people he needs to get right now. one of their biggest critiques is this isn't even that feasible. if he continues to make this promise that he will enact if he gets into office, i think he will have disappointment from his base. and i think his supporters, new staffers are trying to bring that back a bit so people don't call him what they've called other politicians who got into office and haven't fulfilled prom sises. >> i do want ask you about something, we will end on a fun note here. but also a serious note. hillary clinton was on jimmy kimmel. and the state department has this plan now to release this additional 15,000 documents. some e-mailes. some duplicates of what we see.
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but some are now. this is a big deal. not a you will of the released as the clinton folks said they would be. this came up last night as she joked about the e-mail controversy with jimmy kimmel. >> well i think i would be distraught if we didn't have face time. >> you do that a lot? >> all the time. >> and have you considered using face time instead of e-mail? [ applause ] >> actually i think that's really good advice. >> so like that was amazing what he said. she is basically saying i do face time all the time. she has grand kid of course, she wants to see them. he thinks, you ever think of doing that instead of e-mail? oh, good advice, right? sort of a funny joke but it speaks to something that is plaguing her. >> so maybe this is a good thing. humor on the campaign trail. i think that can be very effective in trying to diffuse a
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controversy. though this won't be completely diffused -- >> you know this, you cover her everyday. for someone like hillary clinton who is accused of not showing her true self or true personality, having a human side, doesn't get any more human than laughing at yourself. >> thank you guys so much for being a part of the panel today. up next, back to ba louisiana where president baks is touring flood damage. we will hear more about the affect. and criticism he has arrived there too late. stay with us.
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breaking news this hour right now. president obama is touring flood damage in louisiana and much of the area. here actually represented by republican congressman garrett graves who is joining me on the phone. congressman graves, you are there with the president. give us a sense of what he is seeing and really what you want him to see. what you want him to take away from this visit. >> well what he is seeing right now, he is in one of the neighborhoods that did experience flooding. we're walking around looking at debris piles and looking at residents in the area and getting a feel for the impact of this disaster. and in regard to what we hope he sees or hope he understands how big this is. in some community, 90% of homes, businesses, churches, not for profits, flooded and destroyed.
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extraordinary impacts. as we go through and gut the homes you're watching people's lives whether it is kids' stuffed animals to family heirlooms. >> it is everything. taking walls out. stripping the homes down really to the studs. that's what we are are seeing everywhere. just the clean-up is going to be so monumental. i've heard a lot of people, democrats and republican, urging politicians, presidential candidate, to get down to louisiana, to bring awareness to this. because folks do need donations. what does it mean to have president obama there and what do you think about the timing of having him there? >> i think it is important to have him here. have you people who just the -- i think the contrast of the news talking about him being on vacation, i don't think that went over well. so very appreciative of him
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coming down. this spt a traditional disaster. this will take an extraordinary response because of how huge it is and how big the impacts are. he needs to come down here to see it, smell it to appreciate what is going on. i know there is a lot of appreciation for him being here because you can't understand the disaster unless you're here on the ground. >> we heard one resident earlier on in the hour saying i haven't gotten much help except for my community. my community has really come through. but of course there is a role here for the local government. a role for the state and federal government. how much assistance does louisiana need from the federal government? >> well, look, you're exactly right. there is a role for the local and state government. you can play the scenario out. thousands and thousands of times over. people have experienced water anywhere from two feet high to over the ceiling. they've lost both cars because they are flooded out.
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home is destroyed. they lost their cars, furniture. their employer is under water. they are upside down in their mortgage. play that out thousands and thousands of times. even schools aren't open, churches aren't open. so there is the government here and i think when you look at examples like hurricane sandy and katrina and others this is what you would compare them to. you just look at a different type of recovery or response package. a different response simply isn't sufficient. >> we have a lot of viewers watching and a lot of people have seen the devastation. what do you want to tell them about how they can help people in louisiana? >> all right, i think we lost congressman graves, unfortunately. can you go to we can link you up with ways to help people there just in this
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just to give you a quick update on president obama, he is visiting victims in louisiana. our own nick valencia is reporting he is also expected to meet with families of the baton rouge police officers killed last month by a gunman. the president will speak to the press after his tour of this neighborhood and we will bring you his remarks when they happen. i also want to bring back in cnn white house correspondent michelle kosinski for more on this ongoing tour and response from the white house to this
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disaster. this has been an issue for president obama, michelle. >> yeah, definitely. and we will hear what he says in a few minutes now. how much politics plays into that. you know president obama wants to keep politics out of this. but inevitably it has come in. just given the timeframe. we are talking about superstorm sandy earlier and response to that. that is also, remember, right before the 2012 election. you have president obama told by then republican neyor of new york, don't come just now. wait a little while. so president obama visited thereabout two weeks after the storm. but before that, if you remember, it was the republican governor of new jersey, chris christie, who welcomed president obama coming even sooner. within days of sandy hitting. but at that time, it wasn't president obama who was criticized for his visit. in the since of new jersey at least, very timely visit. it was christie who was
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criticized for being seen by some as cozying up to president obama for complimenting the federal response. for giving him a hug at one point. so it really works both ways here. and we will see what president obama has to say as well as the response to that. the white house is mostly concerned with the local response, with reaching out to people, with connecting with them. and most importantly for disbursing federal fund already on the way. >> i was waiting in ohio for president obama at the time and he cancelled his events and instead went to the jersey shore and i recall michelle even after the election when obama won there were folks who had supported romney who felt that chris christie had really -- some say he cost romney the election. whether that's true or not. but they did not like that he did. . that's a good point. >> especially right before an
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election, something like how a storm response can work for or against everyone involved and how politics play into that. >> and a risk on which way you go. you don't know how it is going to turn out. michelle kosinski at the white house. thank so you much. turning now to the war against ice pips iraqi troops saying they cut off a key supply route into the city of mosul. >> now iraqi forces say they have detonated at least five suicide car bombs targeting security forces. iraqi leaders saying they believe the city will be retaken by the end of the year. we have cnn senior national correspondent arwa damon near the front lines. saying they are are trying to inflict maximum damage in key areas of mosul. >> reporter: skies full of thick smoke, target for isis. moving hundreds of oil tankers a
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day out of these fields, now set a flame by ice tosis to decreas visibility from above. we are some 40 miles south of mosul. land iraqi forces haven't stepped on since two years ago, corpses left to rot in the sun. their commander tells us isis appears to be weakened. >> before, as i told with you be the majority of fighters, attacking us were foreign fighters, thousand they put some foreign fighters, with local fighters, now think think they have lack on foreign fighters. >> on display weapons troops found in residential homes. among them homemade morter toops and morters larger than anything the iraqis have at their disposal. anything significant gain, the air base, third largest in iraq,
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much of it destroyed by isis fighters as they withdrew. leaving, we are told, explosives under piles of dirt on the runways that need to be cleared. this will be a vital forward base for iraqi answes and poten u.s. forcees. families stumbling away from the fighting. >> translator: they took half of our men. forcing them to fight for them. they killed my father. >> reporter: tears for all they lost. loved ones gone in a war that few can fully comprehend. the lives they knew and loved disintegrated years ago. to the southeast of mosul, kurdish have pushed their front line forward as well. the defensive berm snakes its way along the east earn north. the villages controlled by isis visible in the distance. here, too, they have noticed isis weakening, showing us how
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isis moves within nondescript buildings, like this. >> the fighters did initially drop down and take a few steps into what appear to be some sort of tun ill. but rather than take their chances, they decided to then withdraw and seal off the entrance. the whoek hold around mosul is tightening and the government's pledge to liberate the city by the end of the year is still the goal. the battle there with over a million civilians will potentially be starkly different from the ones out here. but success will be defined and land gained, not lives destroyed or lost. >> and arwa damon joining me now. tell us, arwa, more about what you have been witnessing today. >> reporter: well, we were down at that front line and in the town you heard us speaking about in the report in those images
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with that black thick smoke rising. and for the entire day it continued to darken, all of the skies. despite that we did see numerous air coalition air strikes. very slow going for forces. one of the roads they were trying to use to the south to enter into the city was if lane with roadside bombs. vehicles that were booby trapped in that area they were attacked by some isis fighters driving vehicles, basically. suicide car bombers attempting to attack them. but the other aspect of all of this when we are talking about military preparedness is of course the humanitarian side of it and brianna, there is an estimate, according to iraqi commanders. 10,000 civilian nets town of guyeda along. we do know that historically isis used a population as human shields. and there are children there.
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parents there trying to protect their children from the violence. looking for but failing to find escape routes and what we see when it comes to qayyara in and of itself is a fraction of the military challenges the iraqis will be facing but also the potential humanitarian catastrophe that will be generated once they reach that final target and that is iraq esecond largest city, mosul. >> how does the battle shift the closer they get to mosul? >> that's what is interesting to a certain degree. bar what we are seeing right now in qayyara, iraqis and peshmerga say they see isis putting up less than a fight than they had experienced in the past. the isis positions outside of the city of mosul itself but even within it have been the subject of some very heavy coalition air strikes. and in fact everyone will admit
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that without the coalition support they are receiving they wouldn't have been able to reach the point they are at today. but the key issue is that mosul is most likely going to be very different. most of the villages and towns are in open terrain and fairly small. mosul is a city with anywhere from 1 to 2 million people. it has very winding densely packed roads that would be ideal for an entity like ice toys use if it wants to try to draw in iraqi security force and engage them in street to street combat. it also has some very well developed portions of the city. so there is a concern for the population there. the assault on the city of mosul is the largest assault it take place on a single city via military since the u.s.-led invasion in 2003. that gives an idea of the
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challenges that lie ahead and there is unpredictability because isis is known to be an entity that quickly changes tactices. >> arwa, tomorrow, has the story of the refugee children who has had to flee the city of mosul. >> reporter: they spent 7, 8, 9 hours walking just to get here. >> still ahead, most voters want to know the presidential candidate is fit enough to work in office. what we know about the physical condition of hillary clinton and donald trump. and we are just moments away from president obama -- from president obama speaking live in louisiana after touring the catastrophic flood damage. these are live pictures you are looking at now. we will bring you that as soon as it happens. thanks. stay with us.
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we have live pictures we're showing you of president obama there in zachary, louisiana. this is a flood-damaged area. he is touring the catastrophic
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damage there. actually, correction, this is just moments ago. these are trainaped images of a moment ago. president obama is there speaking to victims in the area. shortly he is going to give a statement about his visit and the federal government's voel in cleaning up the area. these are live pictures of his visit. hillary clinton says she just doesn't understand why the trump campaign keeps bringing up bogus claims surrounding her health. she responded to the false rumors by joking about them during an appearance on "jimmy kimmel" last night. >> can you open this jar of pickles? >> both candidates released brief health records in 2015. let a he get a fact check of them. joining me now, cnn chief
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medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, there are these conspiracy theories out there. we want to know what are the facts that we actually know about hillary clinton's health? >> reporter: well, let me preface by saying that, brianna, doctors like journalists would like to get as much information as possible. in this case we have letters from the doctors sort of summarizing the health. we got a letter from secretary clinton's doctor who kaends the whole letter by saying, she's fit to be president, she's fit to hold that job. talks about her health history. going back quite some time. we know for example she had a blood clot known as a dvt back in 1998. again in 2009. then she had this injury to the head when she slipped and fell and also developed a blood clot in one of the veins around the brain at that time as well. so we know that she's treated with blood thinning medications as a result of these clots. we know that she's treated for hypothyroidism. has allergies. these are the sorts of facts
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that they put through in one of these letters. but again they sort of make an assessment as someone who's examined secretary clinton -- i have not -- but the doctor that's examined her says she's if it to car fit to carry out the duties of theletter. when you read it, what jumped out as you as a doctor? >> reporter: it isn't the type of letter that a doctor would typically writes. donald trump would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. how can one know that sort of thing. but also terms like astonishingly excellent as a way to describe laboratory results and blood pressure. also talking about test score. the psa test score came back. we always talk about the results -- not a test score. it is not the s.a.t. example, for example. then also looking at things like someone that has a positive result.
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in medicine, it is a good thing if you have a negative result, not a positive result. i only point that out not to pick on the guy, but rather to say that is typically not how these types of letters are written. that's what jumped out at me. in addition to the fact that there is just not a lot there. there is not a lot of objective information which we want. we always want more. as i said. but this one has an astonishing lack of it. >> how important is a clean bill of health? we are talking about two candidates who are old, comparatively, to others. >> this is almost more of a nationwide philosophical issue. there is no panel to sort of say, hey, look, we want to set up an independent panel aside from the doctors to establish what the health of the candidate is and what is necessary to be able to carry out that job. that doesn't exist so we are working in a little bit of a vacuum here. i think how important is it, when you poll people on it, it sort of depends on the overall health of the candidates that they interpret someone's on
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campaign trail, they see them working day and night. they see the kinds of foods that they eat. they see the kind of temperament they may have. that is the only thing that really the voters have to go on is their judgment based on what they're seeing. sometimes that can be very deceiving. >> sanjay, thank you so much for breaking that down for us. very important and complicated issue. we do appreciate it. we are monitoring president obama. he is in louisiana looking at the flood ravaged area. he's talking to the fema director, craig fugate, someone who's been in louisiana before in closer proximity to the time this started. obama administration is saying they have their top guys on this but it is president obama taking several days to make it down to louisiana that has him facing some criticism from republicans. and also some concern from democrats in louisiana who just want people like president obama, donald trump, hillary clinton to get there to raise awareness and help bring in the
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donations that this area so badly, badly needs, where you have tens of thousands of people who are out of their homes. only a small portion of them with insurance to deal with this flooding. it is a clean-up of gigantic proportions and president obama is getting an impression of that right now in zachary, louisiana. we also have some breaking news. hackers thought to be working for russian intelligence have carried out a series of cyber breaches targeting reports at "the new york times" and other u.s. news organizations according to u.s. officials briefed on this matter. cnn's evan perez joining us live now with the details. what do we know? >> reporter: brianna, the fbi is investigating these series of intrusions that are believed to be the work of hackers working for russian intelligence, and that these hackers were targeting "new york times" reporters, as well as some reporters for other news organizations. what's really emerging from this
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intrusion, these breaches, is the picture that perhaps russian intelligence appearance to be trying to breach organizations in washington who have a window into the u.s. political system. they're going beyond the usual hacks against u.s. government agencies. they're targeting think tanks. obviously we know previously that they hacked -- or believed to have hacked the dnc and other democratic party organizations. now we've learned about these hacks targeting "new york times" reporters and reporters for other news organizations. we did reach out to "the new york times." they declined to comment on this attack or whether or not there is an investigation of it. but they did say the following, like most news organizations, we are vigilant about guarding against attacks to hack into our systems and there is a variety of approaches we take up to and including outside work with investigators and law enforcement. we're told the "time" has brought in some outside cyber security investigators and they
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are working with the fbi to try to figure out how these hackers got in and what the damage is. there is a scary proposal that comes out of this obviously, the fact that if you get into reporters' contacts, you might able to learn who they are talking to in the u.s. government, as well as their communications and e-mails. this is all part of this investigation by the fbi. >> he have been perez, thank you so much for that report. very alarming. what you are seeing in the small screen there, president obama is expected to speak for reporters any moment in zachary, louisiana, touring a neighborhood impacted by the deadly floods. we'll bring you that live. "newsroom" starts now. here we are, top of the
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hour. i'm brooke baldwin. thank for being with me. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world as you are watching cnn's special coverage of president obama's response to one of the country's worst natural disasters in recent history. in fact, let's listen in. here is the president. >> another member of congress here? to begin with, i just want to say thank you to the outstanding officials behind me who have been on the ground working 24/7 since this flood happened. it begins with outstanding leadership the a the top, governor john bel edwards. we very much appreciate all the outstanding work he's done. his better half, the first lady of louisiana, i know has been by his side every step of the way and we are grateful for her. i know they've got their own cleaning up to d