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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 11, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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conversations. back with regard to the u.s. and north korea with the latest tripling down from the president of the united states there in bed minister during the working vacations, so stay tuned. i'm brook baldwin. thank you so much. the lead with jake tapper starts right now. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. a brand new warning. >> anything in respect to guam or anyplace else with territory to america, he will regret it and regret it fast. >> might be more accustomed to hear in a hollywood flick. military solutions are now fully in place.
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locked and loaded. should north korea act unwisely. hopefully kim jong-un will find another path. meet with secretary of state rex tillerson and lieutenant general h.r. mcmaster and nikki haley. before the latest tweet, said to the state run media the u.s. is, quote, driving the situation to the brink to a nuclear war, and, quote, suffer a shameful defeat and final doom. if the u.s., quote, persists in extreme military venture. correspondents from guam, tokyo, and beijing to the pentagon and new jersey where the president is on his working vacation. we're going to begin with cnn's barbara starr at the pentagon. here's what his words locked and loaded meant militarily. >> we are looking at that very carefully and i hope that they are going to fully understand the gravity here of what i said and what i said is what i mean.
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so hopefully, they'll understand peter, exactly what i said and the meaning of those words. those words are very easy to understand. >> very easy to understand. what do you make of that and what are you hearing from people at the pentagon. >> we'll see if kim jong-un understands what the president is saying. what he's doing, people will tell you, is laying out a military strategy for dealing with korea we have not seen him do it before. he has gone bit by bit and started talking about if they initiate something, the u.s. will react and narrowing it county. mu down. if they attack an american ally or territory, guam if you will. he's laying out these are his lines in which the u.s. will respond. preemptive strike but haven't heard about that. if north korea makes the move to attack america through guam, firing those four missiles at
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guam as they have threatened to do. and he talked today, very interestingly, i thought, about the u.s. being able to react fast. what we know is that the u.s. military for weeks now has had options for the president for so-called rapid response option if it came to that. they are ready. locked and loaded, maybe those are hollywood words but the military reality is the u.s. has the missile defense in guam, ships at sea and troops in south korea, japan, spread across the pacific. they have aircraft, bomber aircraft fighter jets. everything is really in place if the president gives the order, if it comes to that, jake. >> barbara starr. martin savidge is in guam. home to two u.s. military bases and 200,000 americans.
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guamanian official said it would take 14 minutes for a north korea missile to reach the island. that's the headline, nearly 200,000 u.s. citizens in guam including 7,000 service members woke up to this morning. how are preparations going there? >> reporter: two kinds of preparations going on here, jake. the physical of the emergency supplies. what you might lay in for a hurricane, typhoon. and then there's the mental preparations. that's a lot more difficult. you mentioned the headline in the paper, a new day or headline. missile launch. but look at the bottom down here. officials, quote, do not look at the flash. that's a direct reference to any kind of nuclear fire ball that could, in fact, come if kim jong-un were to carry through on his attack. the governor is trying to play it down carefully. telling people that, look, life should go on as normal. you're safe and sound on this
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island. the old keep calm and carry on, but then the civil offense and the homeland security of guam and they're put on a fact sheet of what to do in the event of a nuclear attack, including, yeah, don't look at the fire ball. by the way, get beneath something for any kind of shelter. duck and cover. you may remember from the cold war era. on top of that, saying if it do does go off, scrub yourself down in the shower with soap and water vigorously. all of this designed to make people understand the severity of the situation. this is truly one they worry about here in guam. >> that's quite a headline in the paper. martin savidge, thank you. in the event of a launch, north korea said it would fly over key regions of japan. ku kyung lah is live. >> reporter: it's a visible step
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being done in public view. the japanese military moving ground based missile interceptors into those regions specifically called out by the north koreans as any potential missile. these are areas that would fly specifically over japan, overnight in the overnight hours here in japan. those interceptors were moved on to bases in four locations of those areas and something we need to point out, jake, one of those areas is hiroshima. it's through the history, the constitution here is a pacifist one and what we're seeing here are people who actually bare the scars of the only nuclear bomb dropped on the country. they are arming themselves via their self-defense ministry for anything to potentially hit this country. so a defensive posture here in japan. >> hiroshima and nagasaki on
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this week in 1945. editorial published today, if north korea launches missiles, china will remain neutral but if the u.s. and south korea initia initiate, china will take action. will ripley. we hear russia and china are working together? >> they are trying to convince the united states to suspend the military exercises scheduled to begin later this month as they always do in august and april and they anger pyongyang. north korea often launches missiles during the exercises, happening miles from their own borders because they tell people the military exercises which the u.s. insists for training purposes are addressed for an invasion. interesting you mentioned the article, the editorial in the times but it does represent the views of some factions of the chinese government implying if the united states were to use a preemptive strike on north korea, china would intervene,
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that changes the whole dynamic and even though that's not the official government line, there are analysts who believe it reflects the unspoken policy of china who continues to issue statements urging all sides to diffuse tensions, not aggravate them with the kind of rhetoric we heard just minutes ago, jay. >> president trump said the american military is, quote, locked and loaded when it comes to north korea. what does that mean? we'll talk to a retired air force combat commander who led thousands serving in japan, korea, hawaii, and guam. that's next. does that. it was tough getting out there on stage. i wanted to be clear. i wanted it to last. so i kept on fighting. i found something that worked. and keeps on working. now? they see me. see me. see if cosentyx could make a difference for you- cosentyx is proven to help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...find clear skin that can last.
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if it does anything to any u.s. territory or ally, kim jong-un will, quote, fast. and joining me to talk about this, herbert hawk carlisle commander of the command and led
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45,000 airmen in japan, hawaii, and guam. pacific air forces. thank you for being here. appreciate it. you just retired in may, congratulations on your service well done. unable country and human rights oppre oppressor and not the say kim jong-un, it should be favorable but we hear language from the president we're not used to hearing with international crises or showdowns with individuals like kim jong-un. fire and fury. locked and loaded. he'll regret it fast. what's your take on that rhetoric? >> well, korea's been going downhill for a long time. so over several administrations, what we've tried hasn't really worked but at the end of the day, one thing that military does well is plan and we've been planning for a long time and the turn that's often used for the
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korean peninsula is the fight tonight mantra. >> what does that mean? >> the folks on the korean peninsula and the vicinity are ready to go at a moment's notice and always on call. always ready. that means that we don't know what's going to happen and we know he's unpredictable and irrational. we are in close proximity, so the challenge for us is that we have dominant air power. we have dominant naval power and we have a very, very incredible and good missile defense system and a great partners and allies in the south koreans, but he has the challenges with time and distance. >> so when you're dealing with somebody who is an unpredictable and unreliable like kim jong-un, the argument from rex tillerson is president trump using threats like fire and fury, the likes of which the world has never seen.
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he doesn't speak diplomatic language and doesn't respond to the kind of calm language that president clinton and george w. bush and barack obama used. therefore, president trump is using language maybe he'll understand. any concerns about using that kind of heated rhetoric? >> i'm not inside those discussions. i will tell you, secretary mattis, i worked for him a couple of times and utmost respect and admiration and obviously, not secretary tillerson well, but those conversations inside the administration, i don't know how they're, what they're talking about or how that's going. i will tell you the way the president talks to me, kind of goes back to the days of the cold war days almost to the brink and then you find out, you know, what's going to happen then? and i think what is happening now if you look at it across the
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administration, between secretary tillerson and mattis, obviously, the president, general mcmaster, the national security advisor, i know they're all talking and thinking about it. i do know, i don't think a rational player will respond rationally. that's concerning. >> we heard that china or there was an op-ed in the chinese newspaper that represents a faction of the chinese government saying that if north korea starts something militarily, china will refrain from any action and if the u.s. or south korea do, china will not. they're basically saying, there better not be a preemptive strike but if they strike, we're not responsible. >> it's incredibly concerning because the fact that, well, the fact that it's neutral is good and if we did something to defend ourselves with missile
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defense or an attack coming our way and eminent and attribution, we knew that was going to happen, our ability to defend against that and then retaliate, they'd stay neutral, that's good. the preemptive strike, that's a huge challenge. we can win the war. i think the chairman said that and i believe that. we have dominant air power and we have the capability, but the cost would be extraordinary. >> what would the cost be? tens, if not hundreds of thousands? >> back to time and distance. he can do things in a state that doesn't have to worry about the partners or allies. he can do things very rapidly. so time is a factor and then distance. not 25 miles away. scary. >> and 14 minutes to guam. >> it's just the challenges that it poses to the military.
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we could win it but there's huge challenges getting there. >> general, thank you so much for being here. we appreciate your time. congratulations on your service. >> president trump with a high level meeting with top advisors. we'll go live to the president's golf club in new jersey. up next. ♪ buried just under the surface, the answer to it all. ♪ we want to need each other. ♪
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hour. president trump again turning up the language on north korea just minutes ago. hr mcmaster and secretary of state rex tillerson as the threats reach more volatile territory. cnn's athena jones is traveling with the president in bridgewater, new jersey. president trump not dialing it back again. >> reporter: not at all. this is the third time this week, not counting the president's remarks on twitter. this is the third time we've
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heard him deliver a stern warning or you could call it a threat to north korea. what he had to say once again. >> he does anything with respect to guam or any place else that's an american territory or an american ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast. >> reporter: now the president also said that kim jong-un would regret uttering a threat in the form of an overt threat toward guam or any other u.s. territory or ally. jake, as we know, kim jong-un uttered a threat. the threat to guam and so you have leaders around the world, certainly in that region listening very closely to the president's words and it may not be exactly clear what sort of action would be necessary to prompt a reaction, certainly military-wise from the u.s. what is clear is that the president wants to continue to be strong, to put forward a strong front towards north korea
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to encourage them to back down. as you mentioned at the top of the hour, the president is going to be sitting down with u.s. ambassador nikki haley, national security advisor hr mcmaster to discuss this issue and we could hear more from him on this topic. jay? >> we heard a lot of members of congress, how are they reacting to the president's words? >> it's interesting. no reaction to what he just said and earlier this week, defended the fire and fury against north korean and heard party say they want to see him and about this topic so a range of reactions from members of congress. j jake? >> thank you so much. the prospect of north korea looms. on the horizon, we take an inside look at an internal war against the president's national security advisor. stick around. >> to advance and protect. ♪
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a source knowledgeable about the day-to-day challenges of national security advisor general hr mcmaster describes to cnn an incredibly difficult work environment for man trying to steer this crisis with north korea. he knows he's under attack from all sides in the building, the source told me. it's ferocious. noting even people within the white house are trying to undermine mechancmaster because doesn't share the nationalistic foreign policy views but the campaign against mcmaster and outside intensifying and now a closer look at some of the national extreme views mcmaster is being pillaried for not sharing. the national security advisor and council are trying to provide counsel as he escalates the high stakes showdown from
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north korea, but general mcmaster, national security advisor to the president, fending off information and sometimes disinformation campaign against him by a warring faction vying for power under the same white house roof. allies of the senior strategist and those of his first fired national security advisor michael flynn. >> it's a fight for the soul of president trump as he grapples with, should i be more of a traditional national security president or in my campaign voice. >> he was a quote platform for the alt right. a web site that launched attack after attack against mcmaster in a slew of recent articles. the atlantic counsel's digital forensic research lab noted many stories including others by fringe web sites and figures including info wars have been
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pushed on social media but a former breitbart employee and sputnik news and fringe conspiracy theorists and access and propaganda? someone not particularly influential but extremely noteworthy. michael flynn junior and general michael flynn. partly because of the box. they say the campaign began in earnest and five controversial officials of the nfc brought in by flynn. w. rich hagans was fired by mcmaster subject to debate. some sources say and the matter
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of this memo, riefed with of the pair noid internet. sfl you do not like this memo because you read it and say, is he talked about it by that guy? >> reports to unravel a bizarre conspiracy theory about the coordinated effort with the establishment, the media, bankers, islamists, black lives matter, the aclu, cooperation in europe and united nations, cultural marxists or government apparatus. al of whom are banding together to delegitimize and destroy president trump and prevent him from making america great again. from this, trump must be destroyed, it states.
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>> it was a declaration of war on some of the choices for personnel that the president has made. this memo's was essentially, those generals or those that had been in the process, that's not your brand, that's not who you are. >> the memo compares trump to abraham lincoln with a struggle between good and evil. quote, in the same way president lincoln was surrounded by political opposition inside and outside of his wire, overt and covert forms, so too is president trump, higgins writes. had lincoln failed, so too would have the republic. president trump defended mcmaster just yesterday. >> he's our friend, my friend, and he's a very talented man. i like him. and i respect him. >> the evidence the campaign is having an effect. mcmaster trying to give essential advice during this time, forced to fend off attacks from the far right both from outside the white house and the
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memo makes pretty clear from inside as well. cnn reached out for comment and the memo was not an official nfc docume document. this memo is quite something that they would write something like this is astounding. >> not just some adjustment but bush, clinton, had made horrible mistakes and this point of view. i thought to myself, i don't know, who knows how it will play out and the real policy is behind the rhetoric but three weeks into the administration and national security advisor
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and reince priebus and so to speak, on the national security council and others, perhaps, in the room to discuss policy and now, whatever you think of trump's tweet and his occasional statemen statements. john kelly is the staff and i feel better about our chances of coming out of this well with this new team and it has led to this reaction and not the original group that the trump might thought they were going to get advising president trump. >> and a lot on his plate and i don't imagine it's whatever he's fending off from bannon directly with allies and others attacking him but says this is now a thing
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that mcmaster has to deal with. >> definitely a thimg. people feel he's not supportive enough and he needs to go but the memo is that donald trump liked the memo, so it's like we could say that while these are people that are gone now and have this new leadership in but the memo got to the president. the president sought, he liked it. he was told that to the person who wrote it and fired, very angry about it. the memo is insane. people should take time to read it to understand as the wording goes, people are in the white house that believe this is in the memo and the alt right stuff about the memo with people who call rights based on sex and
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ethnicity. >> there's a thing about politica political correctness. >> people want equal rights but it also, this idea of the mar marxist. i think people believe washington has a problem and there are things that need to happen. but it just doesn't exist. >> what's disturbing about it is it's not just these fringe players on twitter. or on facebook out there. these are people that, first of all, get retweeted in the administration and they obviously, some of them have white house sources and this is part of the president's base that somebody in the white house is nurturing and taking care of. that will probably continue and hr mcmaster and john kelly have tough jobs.
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i'm told when took over, he was astonished to see the kind of people at different levels. pretty serious levels of the national security council and donald trump didn't even know him when he took the job and waited and chief of staff and i feel much better about the country but john kelly there and hr mcmaster but trump himself has an inclination to say the least, people in his family do and close to him, steve bannon is still there. it's not as if the fight for what, i think i would regard as a reasonable policy making process in the trump presidency is resolved and i would say the chaos is pretty chaotic. kelly has been there just a couple of weeks but those close to the situation, it remains a very haphazard system even though kelly is doing his best to get it under control.
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>> tstz a feature, not a bug. how long can general kelly tolerate a situation where steve bannon and maybe they're doing it on their own without him telling them to do it. who knows? but how long can he tolerate a situation where steve bannon's allies, the people that used to work for him at breitbart are constantly attacking the national security advisor? constantly sending out nasty tweets one step removed from the breitbart people? how long will he tolerate that nonsense? >> i guess that's up to him. in a certain sense, trump apparently believes in this kind of management which is to pit people against each other and to have this kind of chaos, and so i don't, unless the president wants it to stop, it's not going to stop. which general kelly has to decide and i assume he considered this before he took the job, whether or not he wants to work in an environment like this because it's not a secret
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that this is the environment and the question now is does he want somebody like these other people? >> normal authority? and on the flynn bannon side of this. all over tv this week. he's not part of the national security council. he hasn't seen the documents. it's mind boggling as someone who served in the white house the idea, i would example, i was the vice president's chief of staff and similar level, second tier, would go to the tv and just pop off my views in the middle of a crisis? i would have been fired in ten seconds. i would have been out of the white house. that's good test for kelly.
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and popping off for the next few days? >> i do think it's an open question interfering with the u.s. election and also investigating who is behind this campaign to go after mcmaster? we know at least one person employed by sputnik news owned by the russian government who is doing it. stay with us. we're going to talk about president trump's other war of words with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. that's next. but if that's not enough, we have 7500 allys looking out for one thing, you. call in the next ten minutes to save on... and if that's not enough, we'll look after your every dollar. put down the phone. and if that's not enough, we'll look after your every cent. grab your wallet. access denied. and if that's still not enough to help you save... ooo i need these! we'll just bring out the snowplow. you don't need those! we'll do anything, seriously anything, to help our customers. thanks. ally. do it right.
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back with my panel.
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kirsten. >> my critics are saying that because it's me. if somebody else uttered the exact same words, they'd say, what a great statement, what a wonderful statement. they're only doing it, but i will tell you, we have tens of millions of people in this country that are so happy with what i'm saying because they're saying, finally, we have a president that's sticking up for our nation and frankly, sticking up for our friends and our allies. >> he's saying that the only reason people are criticizing him is because it's him and if any other president, let's say president obama or george bush said fire and fury or locked and loaded, that the criticism would not be there. it would be compliments. thoughts? >> i don't think that's right. and i think that people look to the president for stability and for reassurance and those kind of comments are not reassuring to people. i think it's frightening to people and the fact you have homeland security warning people in guam not to look basically if
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there's an explosion, not to look at it because you could be blinded, i think those are scary things for people and doesn't matter who the president is that's saying that and people expect the president to deescalate. the fact is, a lot of things out of north korea are things they say all the time. other presidents have not responded this way, whether it's president obama or, you know, president bush. >> there's been an unofficial policy since eisenhower of not talking this way about nuclear weapons. i recall george w. bush getting some criticism for his rhetoric when he talked about a crusade and wanted dead or alive and i think first lady laura bush even made fun of him for that one. >> i hope honestly, at this point, as an american, that privately, the right, we have good communications with our allies, they're not freaking out, we have sensible policy and know what we really want to have happen here. i assume we're communicating with the russians and chinese and back channels with the north
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koreans. there's a huge question with north korean policy down the road. are we willing to tolerate them having militarized nuclear weapons they can fit on an icbm but getting through this crisis, i hope tillerson and pompeo are dealing with their counterparts and probably, have to come pretty close which is embarrassing and difficult to telling them, the president will say these things, trump is trump but here's the actual policy. >> what do you think of the locked and loaded language? doesn't mean anything militarily, like it's a line from a movie but what does it mean? >> it doesn't seem to mean anything. i don't think there's been any movement that we've at least that's been reported that would suggest that the military is somehow mobilizing or doing anything different than they would normally do. you have someone on earlier talking about the fact they're always on alert basically. in south korea. i think the united states is prepared, but no, he's suggesting something has happened that hasn't happened
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and you're right, behaving like, you know, arnold suarchwarzeneg or something like that. >> trump will take credit and say, see, i make them back down. they didn't fire the missiles, they once said they might fire towards guam? that's a victory for the u.s. we stop north korea from attacking part of the united states? i don't think that's a huge success in north korean policy but i hope north korea doesn't do that and i suppose trump would take credit. would it embolden him to think, i handled this the crisis? you want it to come out well but he'll think, i handled that brilliantly and it won't be kelly and mcmaster that took a huge amount of work but his bluster paid off. >> will ripley in beijing reported that russia and china now urging the united states not to go ahead with its joint military exercises with south korea that had been previously planned. russia is an interesting player
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in this and when the president asked, his response to the fact that putin ordered 755 u.s. diplomats and personnel to be exhibited from the embassy, this is what president trump had to say. >> i want to thank him bauecaus we try to cut down on payroll and as far as i'm concerned, he let go of a large number of people because now we have this smaller payroll. there's no real reason for them to go back. so i greatly appreciate the fact that they've been able to cut our payroll for the united states. it will save a lot of money. >> sarah huckabee sanders today today that the president was being sarcastic which i think is probably credible but i think one of the questions is, again, why will president trump never ever say anything negative about vladimir putin even when he is taking a definitionally anti-american position? >> that's the million dollar question and i think that it's why people get upset and
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suspicious at these kinds of comments. i could see that being a sarcastic comment but there's always extra focus on donald trump when it comes to the russia situation because he is so willing to criticize pretty much everybody and attack them in the most vicious terms possible and for some reason, will not with putin. >> criticize people who work currently in the trump, for donald trump as president in the state department and conservatives have issues with the state department and trump has some issues. when you're president of the united states, to publicly just mock and denigrate people? whether they're american or russian nationals, people working in the u.s. embassies and it's a risk in russia, not a wonderful assignment, probably. it's sort of a lack of appreciation what it means to be president in the united states mocking people working in the state department. >> there was an assistant secretary of state expressing camaraderie and sympathy for american diplomats and personnel
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which is not obviously what the president had done. thank you so much for joining us. appreciate it. in moments, president trump will meet with nikki haley, secretary of state rex tillerson expected to make more remarks afterwards and bring them to you as soon as they happen. put him in the same category as syria's brutal dictator and now venezuela's leader wants to talk to president trump? that's next. crab lover's dream and new favorites like dueling crab legs with dungeness and snow crab. it's happening right now right here at crabfest. red lobster. now this is seafood. you myour joints...thing for your heart... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide.
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another part of the world in the world lead. venezuela president nicholas maduro wants to meet with president trump despite calling him a dictator and imposing what they hope will be crippling
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sanctions. he's instructed his foreign minister to approach with arranging a meeting with president trump but next month's u.n. general assembly as more venezuelans look to flee the violence and dire food shortages in that country. reporting now from caracas. >> we have venezuela government officials, what is next for the country? the response, peace. but as we talk to people on the streets, we found a lot of uncertainty. many wondering, what's next for the country? its economy and its people. so many reasons why the friends find it hard to let go. this could be the last time they see each other. jorge and carolina are leaving. >> translator: uncertainty, she says, is why they're saying good-bye just like friends and family who scattered across the globe.
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>> venezuela, kchile and peru. >> reporter: so much happened. the controversial election, attempted revolatit and for mos venezuelas, little changed in their daily lives. tasks that should be simple remain a challenge. employee managing the bread line said he can only guarantee enough bread to sell up to here. a common occurrence here in a country plagued with food shortages. jennifer is not optimistic. >> she says everyone is leaving. they can't find food or medicine. >> where she would go? the united states. >> reporter: long lines are a way of life here. people are waiting for hours, to paperwork inside this building where you'll find the spanish embassy and looking for a way out. 17-year-old andrea isn't looking
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forward to moving but acknowledges it may be the only way to chase her dreams, the possibility of a successful career in venezuela? the government has promised solutions for the economic crisis. many supporters believe they're on that route. this man calls venezuela is best country in the world, free and democr democratic. jorge believes in venezuela too. he and carolina hope to come back one day but not willing to wait around to find out what is in venezuea's immediate future. kacaroline and jorge and the ba are now in peru and many looking to the united states. venezuelans are the top asylum seekers in the united states now. >> lay la santiago. be sure to tune in for "state of
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the union." tom bossert. cory gardner of colorado and retired general james clapper at 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. eastern on sunday. follow me on facebook and twitter. you can tweet the show @thelead and turning you over now to one mr. wolf blitzer right now next door in the situation room. >> happening now, breaking news. he will regret it. president trump unleashing a series of harsh new threats against north korea. the president warning kim jong-un against any attack on guam and says he hopes the dictator fully understands the gravity of his words. secret diplomacy and refusing to comment on back channel u.s. communications with north korea which cnn learned have been taking place amid the escalating crisis. will that be the key to averting a military confrontation? the u.s. is now locked in a standoff