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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 14, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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storm clouds. kim jong-un poised to taunt donald trump with a nuclear test. dictator and commander-in-chief trading threats as china warns about the dangers of war in the region. will tensions explode in hours ahead? damage assessment, we are learning more about death and destruction caused by bombs and why this was unleashed gns isis now. are there plans to use it again any time soon? private list. the trump decided not to release visitor logs. who or what is the administration trying to protect? cops behaving badly. stunning video catching an officer punching an unarmed man in the face as he got out of his car with his hands up. we have new details on the case tonight. will the police be punished? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keiler. you're in "the situation room."
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>> tonight, north korea is warning president trump against any reckless provocation promising its response would be merciless and leave no survivors. kim jong-un's regime is escalating threats in a very dangerous time. the defiant dictator appears poised to conduct a test at any moment and u.s. warships are in the region on alert. we are told president trump is being briefed as he spends the weekend in his florida resort. mr. trump warning that the north korea problem will quote be taken care of one way or another. a white house official says military options are being assessed and those options will be assessed during mike prens's trip to south korea this weekend. all of this as the trump administration flexes its military muscle. we have video of the 11-ton bomb the u.s. dropped on isis targets in afghanistan. 36 terrorist fighters were killed. pentagon is defending this
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decision to use the so called mother of all bombs in combat for the first time. calling this the right weapon against the right target. also tonight, to georgia police officers have been fired after they were caught on separate videos, punching a motorist in the face when he had his hands up. and kicking him as he laid on the ground in handcuffs. now the officers are under criminal investigation. we will have more on that ahead. i'll talk about those stories and more with our guests this hour. we have congressman ruben gallago with us. he is on the armed services committee. and correspondents and analysts are also standing by. first cnn global affairs correspondent elise lavitz. elise, north korea ramping up threats. trup. showing he is will to use force. >> after two major military strikes, questions about whether trump's foreign policy is relying too much on the military. tonight, new warnings from china. as mentioned rise with north
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korea, chinese foreign minister warning that if war breaks out, quote, there will be losses on all sides. russia, iran and syria also issue warnings to the u.s. against new strikes in syria. the threats follow president trump's decision to launch two major military strikes. in afghanistan and syria. >> we have the greatest military in the world and they have done the job as usual. so we have given them total authorization and that's what they are doing. and frankly, that's why they've been so successful lately. the display of military might, a message to u.s. enemies and their supporters and what is quickly becoming a hall mark of trump's emerging foreign policy. >> president trump has given much more lee way to military commanders to strike and their's striking. i think that does send a message around the world that america's back. >> unbelievable. >> it's an about-face from the candidate who promised a national security strategy that
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put america first. >> i want to help all of our allies. but we are losing billions and billions of dollars. we cannot be the policemen of the world. >> but as commander-in-chief, trump acknowledged images of last week's gas attacks in syria add deep impact. >> i now have responsibility and i will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly. >> in the span of a week trump has also changed his mind on the nato alliance. now viewing it as a tool to counter russian aggression in europe. >> i said it was obsolete. it's no longer obsolete. >> and abandoning his hard line stance on china. now calling president jinping a partner to counter north korea's nuclear threats. >> president xi wants to do the right thing. we add very good ponding. i think a very good chemistry together. i a think he want to help us
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with north korea. >> if the trump foreign policy is emerging, it would be, don't have a doctrine. >> i like to think of myself as a very flexible person. i don't have to have one specific way and if the world changes i go the same way. i don't change. well, i do change. >> trump says he trusts his commanders pressing him to flex u.s. military muscle in yemen where the u.s. is stepping up against isis and trump sent additional troops to fight isis since taking office and in afghanistan where his national security adviser, mcmaster, is traveling soon to plot the future of the u.s. military presence. trump now learning to trust the expertise of his generals he once boasted about knowing more than. >> i know more about isis than the generals do, believe me.
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>> military experts are pointing to a popular saying in the military. you can delegate authority but you cannot delegate responsibility. as commander-in-chief president trump still owns the consequences of the decisions taken by the military on his behalf. he may be glad to take credit when the mission is successful. the question is whether he would be able to share responsibility when things go wroj wrong, including civilian casualties. >> thank you so much. president trump is monitoring the situation in north korea as he spends another weekend at his florida resort. we go live to the senior white house correspondent jim acosta. jim, we know the president's been getting briefed on north korea. what's ahead for him in coming hours? >> as you said, brianna, president trump will monitor the situati situation from his florida resort. he will have some national
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security aides by his side to keep him abreast of what is happening on the korean peninsula. meanwhile we should point out vice president pence is headed to south korea to consult with leaders in that region. there are no changes expected to pence's schedule. a spokesman says despite this dangerous mischief on part of the north korean dictator kim jong-un, and we can put this on screen, the vice president delivering a reassuring message to u.s. allies saying the u.s. south korean alliance is the linchpin to peace and stability in the region. the president vice will also reaffirm president trump's ironclad commitment to. the president did offer a pretty big incentive to help control the north korean situation despite the fact the president once promised to label china a
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currency manipulator. a report came out this afternoon. china instead will be added to a monitoring list as the administration is calling it. keeping an eye on china's trading practices but not calling it a currency manipulator. we will see if that helps prod chinese to help with the north koreans. >> thank you so much, jim acosta at the white house for pups. now a global impact. the largest conventional bomb the u.s. ever used in combat. sending a clear and deadly message it isis. kwe the question tonight, did kim jong-un get the message as well? you are learning more about this decision to use this powerful weapon. >> we are, brieian. we still have the military explain yg this particular weapon was necessary for this particular mission. u.s. forces in afghanistan calling it the right weapon against the right target. new dramatic video of the blast showing the moment of impact by the massive 11-ton bomb.
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>> it was really powerful. used to destroy all of their tunnels and caves. >> taking out three underground fortified tunnels that isis or daesh had been using to attack government forces. destroying weapons and ammunition along wait, according to u.s. and afghan officials. >> there were isis bases over there. they had activities in those areas. last night's bomb was really huge. when it dropped, it was shaking everywhere. >> 36 were killed, but no civilians hurt. >> let me be clear. we will not relent in our mission to fight along side our afghan comrades to destroy isis k in 2017. >> u.s. military today defending the decision to deploy the most powerful nonnuclear weapon in the u.s. arsenal. duped the mother of all bombs. it's capable of destroying an
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area equivalent to nine city blocks. >> this is the right weapon against the right target. >> a spokesperson tells cnn each bomb cost about $170,000. because it is built in-house and created from parts of existing sift t systems. >> it is constrained. no civilian collateral damage. it will collapse tunnels. explode ieds. >> but beyond its physical impact, military analysts say there is payoff in flaunting such a huge weapon which could rattle isis on the ground. >> it will have a huge psychological effect on this area that has a lot of transitioning between pakistan and afghanistan isis fighters. >> afghan ambassador to the u.s. says to expect an increase of military action in afghanistan. >> do you need the u.s. to do more to make that happen? should they expect more u.s. action like this? >> well, in operations like this, we do use -- we do do joint operations with the united
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states military. so yes. >> the white house is attempting to frame this mission as one in a series of recent military successes. >> another successful event. >> but there have been challenges in the larger fight against isis. just this week, the u.s.-led coalition in syria killing 18 of its own allies from the syrian democratic forces. but u.s. central command said was actually requested by the syrian democratic forces who thought the target was an isis fighting position. >> sn. >> >> there's been more scrutiny. in the past month there are two other u.s.-led air strikes killing allies. one in mosul and the other in raqqa. >> thank you so much for that report. let's talk more about all of this with a democrat on the house armed services committee. we have congressman ruben gallago with us today. congressman, thanks for joining us.
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>> thank you for having me. >>. >> the use of the mother of all bombs, massive ordinance air blast bomb in afghanistan, was this appropriate in your view? >> well, until we get more information, i'm going with no. because it sounds like they went after 36 isis infantrymen or whatever you want to call them. it seems like you just use a shotgun to kill a fly. i'm not sure it was the right use of this type of weapon. i think there are other weapons that could have done it. >> i would ask you this, and you may certainly know this, but they got caves and tunnels as well, this sort of network of caves and tunnels used to transport weapons et cetera. that was not worth using this on? >> again, there are other ordinance that could have done the same job. i'm not entirely sure it was the proper use.
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i think the bigger concern is just because the military asks the president to do something, he should not always say yes. that's a concern. if someone has served in the military like i have, i trust a lot of my generals. but if you give too much power to the military, they will a lot of times advocate for the strongest use of force and sometimes that's not what you need. in this case, it may be. but in other cases like we have seen some of the civilian casualties that happened in mosul, it could create say theation where sloppiness occurs and innocent civilians are killed because of collateral damage. >> we've add number of experts say that maybe this is sending a message to north korea. in their estimation they think this is much more about the war in afghanistan. but at the same time, if kim jong-un is seeing this, this is sending some sort of message, right? >> well, right. i think also do we want to send a message? i think the most important thing right now when you're dealing with a nuclear armed country
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with a psycho path as dictator, that you see in north korea, what we need to do is deescalate. this is not the time to, you know, try to act like a tough guy. north korea knows about our capabilities and willingness to protect our allies and so for us trying to push forward and push the envelope, i think it will create an escalation that could be very dangerous and tip over into a hot war involving nuclear weapons which is again, nobody wins witho wins when that occurs. >> when it comes to china and north korea and diplomacy, obviously we saw president trump meet with president xi. he said the visit went well. we see china halted imports of north korea coal. flights between beijing and pyongyang is suspecting flights. that's a key link. does he get credit for these developments?
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>> i think it's important for us to understand that china needs to have a stable border with north korea. they are the last people that want it see north korea get into a hot war on the peninsula. it doesn't end well again for anybody. i'm glad that trump is engaging with china but again biggest problem here is that he needs to be the ma sure aduture adult in. he doesn't have to poke a stick at the north korea dictator. we need to show strength quietly and negotiate with japan, south korea, north dreea akorea and c. if you're tough, you don't have to say you're tough. people know it. i don't think president trump knows how to use american military might as well as tough diplomatic strategic goals. >> i just want it make sure, with strikes in syria, with the use of the bomb in afghanistan,
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is that what you mean by the acting tough when it comes to north korea that he is sending a message? >> no. no, no, actually. >> you mean just the language? what he has sort of said about this is going to be -- it's a problem and we're going to fix it? >> yes. when you're conducting foreign policy in middle of the night tweets, that's immature. prompting over twitter or the air waves is also immature. the goal is for the united states not to engage in seitsel in a hot war. not for president trum top stroke his ego by taunting a country that has nuclear weapons. >> it seems he is responding though to real international threats. in way that sometimes we wouldn't see him do on the campaign. >> okay, i'm just not going to give him credit for finally
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acting like an adult for 10% of the time when he should be acting like an adult a hundred percent of the time. he should be acting presidential, working the world of diplomacy, not spending so much time down in florida, being in t"the situation room" and talking to generals and our diplomats that understand what is going on in the peninsula and study up. this is important. we are dealing with a lot of countries that hate each other, that have nuclear weapons and he is tweeting at the opposition. and potentially getting us into a shooting war. so i'm not giving him credit for at least curtailing a little bit of that when he should be doing that from day one. >> when you see the moves he made militarily, even when you see his meetings with foreign leaders, some of of the moves when it comes to china, are you seeing anything cohesive or what could be the beginning of a more cohesive strategy like a trump doctrine?
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>> no. and it's very dangerous. he has no doctrine. no predictability. if you look at the history of foreign policy and wars that accidentally get started, it's because there is no consistency in one nation's foreign policy. he is so unpredictable and impulsive, it is likely to trigger shots being fired by the other side because you can't predict the actions of somebody like donald trump. that is very dangerous. he needs to, geb aga again, get washington, d.c. both are are republicans, he could have advice to create a true doctrine. and the doctrine didn't have to be the trump doctrine. it could be something that keeps america safe and continues to push forward on our foreign policy goals and interests. and that does not mean that the trump doctrine is allowing him to tweet at other foreign leaders just to help boost his ego. >> congressman ruben gallego, we
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have more to talk about, including white house visitor logs, which we just learned will not be made public. we will have more on that. termites. we're on the move. hey rick, all good? oh yeah, we're good. we're good. terminix. defenders of home.
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visit quickbooks-dot-com. we're back now with democratic congressman ruben gallego. i want to talk to you about a new announcement we have from the white house. they say they won't voluntarily release visitor logs which is something the obama administration did. all- albe it, amended at times. they say, given the dwraf national security rsings and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, the white house office
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office will disclose sec see the service logged as outlined under the freedom of information act a position the obama white house successfully defended in federal court. what do you make of this? >> he says he is transparent but then he does the same thing. this is typical trump hypocrisy. we know why they are doing this. there is a lot of people of questionable nature going ftwo o the white house to have meetings. and they are embarrassed about who they are meeting with. there are questions like what happened with russia. who on the campaign cluded with russia. how far up and down did it go within the trump campaign as well as transition. >> have you no doubt -- you said colluded. you didn't say allegedly. you have no doubt someone colluded with russia? >> i have no doubt. not that i have information either. i want to make that clear. but by the way the campaign
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acted and by the way the aides acted, bragging about things coming off of wikileaks, clearly someone was talking to wikileaks which is proxy for russian intelligence. so look, they are just trying to hide when they are meeting with. again, we still have a lot of unanswered questions about russia. you know, we need to make sure we refocus on that. there's a lot of issues going on but a foreign country tried undermine our democracy and may have done so by inflewening the election. >> something happened yesterday that maybe didn't get as much notice especially in light of this massive bomb that was dropped in afghanistan. the president signed what would block federal funding to states allowing -- sorry, it would allow states to block federal funding to planned parenthood and other abortion providers. this is something that really galvanized liberals. we saw that when it came to the
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march we saw in washington. yet it doesn't seem like we have seen the backlash. what do you make of that? failure to organize against that? >> quite the opposite, actually. yesterday i was a speaker at planned parenthood luncheon here in arizona. the largest we've ever had, about 1,500. we have people with planned parenthood and other type activis activists galvanized and haven't seen the highest kind of recruitment as well as donations. donald trump signed the order quietly and very atypical of donald trump, he didn't brag about it. i think this will have its effect in the election cycle. the fact they are letting states opt in or opt out tells you a lot that they were afraid no go the full bore. this is still a problem. but you know, this issue is not going away. people are very animated.
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again, not an abortion issue. this is an organization that provides, you know, life-changing screenings for women and sometimes are the only type of medical services and or preventative pregnancy service he as well as std services that are found in many of our small and poor communities. and it's unfortunate that donald trump doesn't even listen to his own party, at least the republicans voters who also disagree with defunding at least in some point, disagree with defunding planned parenthood. >> many of his followers want to do that too, though. there is a rallying call for many of them. congressman ruben gallego, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> just ahead, two officers have been fired. are they going to face criminal charges after caught twon separate videos punching and kicking a motorist who was not resisting.
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there is growing concern that kim jong-un could order a sixth nuclear test at any time. this would be a dangerous provocation even as the regime is warning president trump against saber rattling saying its response would be merciless. we are joined by our political and military experts to talk about this. so the language that's coming out of north korea, frequently
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hyperbole and a lot of times you can't take it out of face value. it is also definitely work listening to, if that makes sense. that's the interesting thing about north korea. threatening merciless response to any american provocation. blaming the rise and tension on president trump's aggressive words. how risky is this situation? >> tensions are certainly very high and it is hard to say exactly how risky it is. north korea has done this before. this is a leader that talks very tough. talks very big. and is very unpredictable. but as you said, there are american firepower in the area. there are -- there's increased pressure, not only from the u.s. but president trump is also tried to get china to increase the pressure on north korea and we will just have to see. and they are slightly close to vest about what the white house will have ready, should something happen over the weekend. they say they are ready but not saying with what. so we will have to wait and see.
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>> one of the things we're seeing, so president trump meets with president xi, then we see air china suspend flights between pyongyang and beijing. then you see the no oil imports affected yet, but the coal imports affected. so i mean, is this the route forward when it comes to more after diplomatic effort than obviously a military effort in. >> it does seem like china is the adult in the room as far as this issue is concerned, with regards to the u.s., south korea and north korea. everyone saying, take a breath, tone it down. they suspended air travel as well. i think for both sides they are trying to take something out of it. for china, a huge party meeting in the fall. the president has it look strong from that perspective and to say, you see what i got president trump to do. he is not calling us a currency manipulator. president trump said after i sat
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down with president xi, he told me for about ten minutes about the history of north and south korea. i realize now that's a really serious issue. a complicated issue. so if both sides can seem to walk away with a victory, then yes this does seem to have been a good week for both presidents. >> general, what do you think about this? because when it came to say, syria, using chemical weapons, we saw president trump do not air strikes on syria. we have seen him go after isis in afghanistan or certainly his general there did. that's not the option he has with north korea. >> not at all, brianna. what i would say is from a risk perspective and from a tactical to strategy perspective, the two strikes we've seen in syria and general nicholson, not mr. trump dropping a bomb in afghanistan, those are tactical events, low risk. what we are seeing in korea
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truthly concerns me. i spent time on the peninsula serving there. what i tell is you this is a high risk operation. there are an lot of courses of actions or options. you can't just react with an air strike because there are people involved and this is a strategy. it should be part after strategy as just -- opposed to just a tactical event. i'm very concerned about this because we do not have a strategy. we certainly have a war plan or campaign plan that we could apply in korea but it doesn't consider a preemtive strike or reactive strike with weapon systems that could result in a very irrational actor in north korea pounding the south korean peninsula with artillery. >> david, have you seen this tweet from donald trump jr? this caused a lot of conversation. bomb the hell out of isis. check. another promise kept.
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hashtag, maga, mother of all bombs. bomb emoji. >> this is perhaps not the most mature way to look at warfare. it didn't change much about the strategic catalyst to celebrate it because it is just a really big bomb is not the way that i think most folks who have much experience with military tactics or strategy would see it. >> speaking of someone who does have that experience, general hurtling, your reaction? >> i've got two reactions. and you're baiting me. my wife told me ton give emotional reactions on cnn. >> i give you permission. >> she wins. >> i will refrain from emotional reaction. from a guy who has never seen combat and doesn't understand the implications of killing other people. from a more refrained military analyst perspective, this isn't helpful. this is not what maturity is. in terms of understanding the professionalism of soldiers who
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have been in a fight for a very long time to have someone from the outside as if they were tweeting from bar say something like this. >> i'm picturing general hurtling's lunch table with his wife. i think we have an idea how that went. >> just a good thing don jr is in charge of golf courses. >> yeah. don't they have work do? they spoke for hours and weeks and months on ends how they will separate responsibilities and not focus on what their father is doing. they just run the business. >> we have much more ahead with the panel. we will talk about shocking video ahead as well that renews questions about police violence, race and justice. we will talk about a georgia case and whether the firing of two officers is enough. bp developed new, industry-leading software to monitor drilling operations in real-time, so our engineers can solve problems with the most precise data at their fingertips. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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we are back now with our experts as president trump spends another weekend in florida dealing with global tensions as well as domestic politics and of course, golf. i want to ask you, general hurtling, there have been many calls for president trump, especially as we have scent air strikes, to articulate a more cohesive foreign policy strategy, what can he do? >> yeah, i think we have seen some attempts at that. i know general mcmaster is looking to pull together a strategy and that's what's needed brianna. you we don't have that.
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most presidents come into office with an ideology and approach to governing the world around them. i don't think mr. trump did that. he is depending on his nsa to do that for him. it is one thing to conduct action. it is another thing to be flexible. both of the things mr. trump has shown he is good at. but it's a third thing to have a strategy and vision for where you want to go. that allows to you allocate resources and tell your subordinates, like the state department, military, commerce treasury and a boat load others what you expect them to do and contribute in terms of campaign planning and just how you strategize and deal with the rest of the world. it is an binary operation. he is treating still treating most countries in a binary trans actional mode as opposed to transformational global mode. >> you almost said he was tweeting. which he almost is too as well. >> i am. i'm still fired up about his son, sorry. >> i know you are.
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and members of congress, something they are calling for. they want there to be this more cohesive strategy. not here in town to get that. they are on easter recess. and that means drama, quite frankly. listen to this moment. tense moment at town hall held by congressman of oklahoma. >> i pay enough taxes. before i ever got there and for my company to pay my own salary. this is my own service. no one pays me go. i do tz it as an honor. i'm just saying -- this is a service for me. an career. i thank god this isn't how i make a living. >> you won't take the $1,000 then? >> i have about. i paid it back. here is the deal on this one, guys. i'm gone 42 weeks out of the year and i do my best it serve you guys. but there's also some facts that you wouldn't hear or you don't. so if you're on the road and
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have you vehicle insurance, make sure you can pay for the person you hit. that's the mandate on that. it is totally different -- ma'am, please. i know you had a lot of coffee this morning, but please. give me a second. guys -- >> that's insulting. >> it is cringe worthy. >> yeah. you're not going to find much sympathy for two industries here. if you're an airline executive or politician. to spend all of this time saying i spent 42 weeks doing this and i don't have to be here and ma'am get more coffee. next time she goats to vote she may vote for someone else. i don't think that was a good call on his part. these voters want two major things. health care and their jobs back and job guarantee. something this president ran on, something he guaranteed and thus for hasn't been able to deliver, even though again, cut him some slack, it is not even a hundred days yet. >> what is your read as you watch what is going on with some of these recesses or on recess at some of these town halls? >> this is an example after
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poorly-handled town hall. a lot of these guys try to talk to people and sourt out problems. they are dealing with some of the people at town halls are activists. they come there to protest. but others really did want answers. what we saw there was, you know, you don't have to have that job, you run for it. you can walk away. and that sort of, disrespectable constituents never really ends well. and it is not like the tax money that that congressman paid, david, was later earmarked to later pay his salary. i thought once he was going down that path, you're just -- that's a losing argument. >> that's right. i that i lot of these folks are republican congressman are in trouble because the president has pursued health care. biggest issue so far in this deal-focus way. he want a deal, doesn't matter what's in it. what do they go home and sell to people? what do they say i'm fighting
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for? there's not an ideological concept to that. >> can you talk about this palm beach post report? it's fascinating. it says mara laggo, the president's resort, is still a top venue to held event and fund-raisers. couple of things, it can accommodate a lot of people and only a couple of places in palm beach can do that. now have you organizations like susan g. komen, or the zoo, especially when you think about the trump brothers going out and killing big game which is against conservation efforts of the zoo. they still have parties there. is this a conflict of interest for the president? >> well, no more a conflict of interest than the many other things his businesses are doing np th in this case, they're renting out ballrooms to charities. charities reserve things way in advance. so they are already locked in for next year. there aren't very many places to go. and in palm beach donald trump is seen him as different than we see him. they see him as one of their
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own. kingpin of charity circuit. they don't see president trump the same way. in a mental sense in a lot of ways, and that's one of the ways they see donald trump differently than the rest of the country. i don't think he will suffer much there. >> 17th visit to a golf course since taking office. >> so, presidents need to have a way to blow off steam. it is okay to go to the golf course. that said -- >> i'm not going to golf -- >> donald trump shot himself in the foot here. spent all this time criticizing president obama for his golfing habits. and now he spends a lot of his time on the golf course. it is that hypocrisy that is getting him in trouble. not the fact you know, that's where he dwoez goes to think or off steam. that's fine. just, you know, what he did before is what makes it questionable. >> now they are hiding, too, as well, his golf be.
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which is interesting. the white house is frequently. i want a moment to have a brag session. i want to put up a photo that we saw on the washington post. that is you, david, and who is that? but maybe the next reporter, your daughter. what is she holding? >> a reporter's notebook. she brought a reporter's notebook to cover the big event. >> the big event is that you got a pulitzer. you have dogged reporting chasing the money trail when it comes to donald trump revealing things as well as let's see access hollywood tape. things that otherwise never would have been uncovered. this is what your daughter had for show and tell, in this photo on tuesday. so what was it like? >> incredible, to be surrounded by your family, everybody you work with, everybody you know, to be at the center of attention. it was incredible. i thought i was prepared for it. and it was far more than i expected. >> we saw his reporting ahead of the campaign, right?
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this is something that just clearly stood out. >> i don't know anyone who wasn't thrilled. congratulations. >> i think you tweeted saying there's more work i have to do. >> what did that mean for your daughter to be there? >> it's tremendous. she got to lord it over all the other pre-ks the next day. >> what did the other students have? >> some nail polish and other stuff. i'm so glad she got to be there. >> i'll give you the final word. >> just a climt him and say remind all your listeners that there are two organizations named specifically in the constitution of the united states. that's freedom of the press and
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a strong military. so i think we've got the leader of that field right there in your panel. >> congratulations. we get to claim you as a yibtor so we're especially plowed. thank you guys so much. just ahead, the cops, the video and the criminal investigation unfolding right now. will there be charges for punching an unarmed man with his hands up?
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. in georgia tonight, a criminal investigation is under way after stunning video surfaced of a police officer
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punching an unarmed man in the face as he got out of his car with his hands up. a separate officer seen kicking the same man on he laid on the ground in handcuffs. the officers are white. the suspect is black. he was unarmed and he was stopped for a traffic violation. the gwinnett county police department says there's no defense for this kind of action and the police officers are suspended. this was unusually quick for this police department to respond like this and they're looking at potential criminal charges. what do you expect? >> the office of professional standards, the internal affairs unit will take 60 days, maybe more to investigate this. the fact that they dismissed these officers so quickly means they're very confident. now comes a potential criminal investigation. they could be investigated for
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not only battery in georgia but abuse of office, which means they abused their position. it's a series of legal stepping stones. people are surprised to learn that even for a traffic violation a driver can be ordered out of the car. once the officer gets that close to the citizen, any furtive movements. that couples with the odor of marijuana and any prior experiences with this particular citizen. >> even with that, eechb if you have those items of defense, i mean, it's undeniable, the hands are up and then the police officer just punches him with such incredible force. how would that defense work against this? he literally lets his hand go to
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punch him. >> in cases like this, officers are -- they're trained to identify any furtive movements as potentially something dangerous. maybe he articulated some bulge in the pocket that we can't see in this video. there are a number of different things. along with that odor of burned or fresh marijuana depending on what the officer may have smelled, i'm not saying it's a winner of an argument. i'm saying that we can expect these officers or this particular officer, the one that threw the punch to try to articulate this as a defense as he's investigated criminally. >> considering how swichtdly the police department acted does that bode unwell for the officers in the criminal case? >> generally, yes. these investigations often take much longer than 24 hours. we are living in a new era of
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digital and video evidence where things can be resolved quickly as they have been here. even with that said this is a relatively quick period of time to brit it to an internal conclusion. >> thank you for watching. to those of you celebrating easter, we wish you a very hymn holiday. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. >> "out front" breaking news on the brink. north korea threat eniening the. plus new video of the multi-of all bombings. was it the right of wrong weapon? the trump examination announcing it will keep secret who visits the white house. what or who are they trying to hide? good friday evening. i'm erin burnett. out front, the breaking news, we


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