hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. >> this is cnn breaking news. we begin with breaking news. in a new interview, very ominous words from north korea's foreign minister. he says president trump "lit the wick of war in a speech before the united nations general assembly." if you remember, the president put north korea's leader on notice in that address referencing kim jong-un as rocket man and saying the
country would not survive north korea would not survive an american attack. our global affairs correspondent elise lab is joins us right now. very strong words from the foreign minister of north korea, a direct threat to the united states. >> that's right, wolf. of course, president trump has been increasing his rhetoric since that u.n. statement talking about possible military action being the only way to deal with north korea. now, just a short time ago, foreign minister re-yong ho with the russian news agency tas said by his insane statement in the u.n. arena, trump it can be said has lit the wick of war against us. and went on to say that north korea is actually winning and is working on having a military parody, a balance of power with the u.s. and clearly, wolf, this rhetoric between kim jong-un and president trump has really grown sky high. the fear of course, is some kind of miscalculation or unintended
consequence that could lead the past rhetoric into a type of military action and, of course, president trump examining all his options with his commanders and his u.s. officials about increasing the pressure on north korea not just on sanctions but also his military options. >> i'm just reading the interview, elise, that re-yong ho, the foreign minister of north korea gave to the russian news agency. he also in this interview, the foreign minister of north korea said that the korean leader kim jong-un would issue this warning that the united states should act sensibly and stop touching us if they do not want to disgrace themselves in the face of the whole world, the foreign minister added that north korean forces will not leave america the aggressor state unpunished. it comes as u.s. military exercises are continuing over the korean peninsula right now. including some major bombers that are flying over south
korea. this is always seen as extremely sensitive to north korea. >> well, of course. and also all this talk about the military action, the sanctions on north korea have been heating up. kim jong-un clearly feeling the pressure. diplomats and u.s. officials tell us that those sanctions also are starting. north koreans are starting to feel the heat. and you remember, would he have, just a few weeks ago, kim jong-un made the first ever i think public statement in his own name talking about president trump. if you remember, he called him an insane dotard, if you will, kind of an insane kind of senile old person. and, of course, the threat here, the problem is that i think u.s. officials are worried that north korea sees the united states as bluffing. when president trump talks about military action being the only way and you remember president trump's tweets telling secretary of state tillerson that his diplomacy was a waste of time,
the fear is that north korea will think the u.s. is bluffing, try to test the u.s., and then the u.s. will be forced to take some military action if kim jong-un were to take that extra step, not just launch a missile or a nuclear test but a rocket perhaps at a u.s. territory. that could really set things out of control, wolf. >> yeah. elise lab inwith the breaking news. thank you very much. let's discuss this and more with the former defense secretary of the united states william cohen. mr. secretary, thanks for joining us. when you hear these ominous words from the foreign minister of north korea, what's your reaction action? >> i think we're seeing trash talking carried out at the global level now. the president wants to give instructions to the nfl what their players should or should not do during the national anthem. i would hope the nfl would give the president some instructions saying we don't tolerate taunting on the football field because a taunt is the calculated to provoke a physical
reaction. and you could have a fight break out. so no taunting allowed. i think we need to follow that at the international level on the presidential level and so trash talking now could in fact escalate, taunting to provoke the north koreans. it may be that the president wants to taunt north korea into taking some kind of an action which we could then respond with overwhelming force. i hope that's not the case that we're leading up to that, but that's a possibility into if that were to happen, thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people along the demillerized zone in seoul the capital of south korea is 20 or 30 miles below the dmz, they would in danger. >> hundreds of thousands if not more. if you had even a limited type of that's correct carried out by the north koreans not using it nuclear weapons but 19,000 or 20,000 pieces of artillery in that neighborhood. it's very dangerous. let's continue to squeeze north
korea economically, diplomatically, wage an information war campaign against them in terms of trying to undermine the support that are kim jong-un has. make him go to sleep each night worried whether he has the support of his people. then go to the chinese and say look, we need to work together here. we can work together to either change the direction of kim jong-un or change the leadership in north korea. but the two of us have to do this together and we're counting on you and i assume that's what the president is going to say when he goes there. >> the foreign minister in this interview said that any attempt to strangle us under the pretext of carrying out the sanction resolution is equivalent to an act of aggression and war. that in return, we will not abandon the use of our extreme means. so even if what you're suggesting continue the sanctions, continue the diplomacy. they see the sanctions as an act of aggression and act of war. >> we see the firing of missiles
over the japanese territory and threatening to hit guam or the united states as pretty aggressive. i think what we have to do is say we're going to follow this policy of isolating them diplomatically, economically. we have to bring them to their knees economically in order to bring them to the table. i think threatening war, walk softly, talk softly, carry a big stick. >> you want trump to stop referring to kim jong-un as rocket man. >> yeah. if you take a two-edged sword and try to wield a two-ended sword that has no handle, you're as hurt by it as your potential victim. that's what we're doing. the president lowers his estreem when he gets into name calling. that's not consistent with the dignity of the office. >> should the u.s. continue these exercises over south koreian air space, these bombers? as you know, the north koreans always see that as a potential act of aggression. >> we should continue to do what
we're doing saying if you're going to threaten either our neighbors the south koreans, japanese, guam, the united states we're going to show you we have a force capable of really inflicting unreally substantial damage without calling it you're going to destroy their country. it's a message to south korea to say we're with you and to message to china saying we're hoping you will help us avoid this. >> one very disturbing development over the past day or so, a south korean lawmaker says the north korean cyber warfare experts managed to hack into very sensitive u.s./south korean information and actual security information including a u.s. south korean decapitation program to get rid of the north korean leadership. if that's true they managed to steal this sensitive
information, that's very alarming. >> it may be time for the united states to call an audible in terms of what our policy and practice should be and what the strategy should be in going after north korea should we have to do that. i don't know if your report is true. even if it is true, we have enough flexibility in our contingency plans to take whatever action we need to in order to achieve our objective. i wouldn't get too hung up on that. i don't know the facts. >> secretary cohen, thanks for joining us. william cohen, the former defense secretary of the united states. other major news we're following including the deadly wildfires raging in california's wine country. more than 500 people now reported missing in sonoma county alone while the first burn out of control with no rain in sight. 17 deaths are now blamed on the fire while hundreds of families desperately searching for loved ones. mandatory evacuations are in place. thousands of people are leaving their homes behind while hospitals try to move critical patients to safety. and this. take a look at this.
new video showing intensity of the blaze on the night that the fire broke out in sonoma. sheriff's deputies drove through the flames while hurricane force winds helped spread the fire through northern california. it's not just wine country battling wildfires. you can see dozens of fires stretching through the entire state of california right now. cnn's rib young joins us live now from santa rosa in california, in wine country. tell us what you're seeing. >> reporter: this been completely scary. you gave the number about 500 people missing. i can understand the terror people to are feel. people have asked us, do we know where their neighbors are. they had no chance to figure that out. look at this neighborhood. more than 8,000 people lived here at one point. now there is nothing left. you can't even tell sometimes where the houses start and ed. as we walk through this area here, look inside this car. you can see how ravaged the fire
moved through here very quickly. you talk about the deaths. 17 people have been killed because of this fire. 20,000 people have had to evacuate. as we take you around the corner here, i'll tell you this, we talked to a man today who said he was awakened by his dog. the next thing you know he came outside and all he saw was the fire starting to roll over the top of his house. he wanted to get out quickly. it was bumper to bumper traffic. listen to what he just told us. >> my one dog is really alert to things and started barking and just wanting me to check on stuff. it was windy. i went out front. ashes coming down. wind blowing. went back in, checked my phone see if there's information about what's going on. didn't really find anything. came back out. embers dropping everywhere. grabbed my keys, my truck and dog and took off. i'm just glad to be here. glad to have my dogs. you can replace the stuff but life's the most important. >> yeah, you can understand that
feeling. we've had several other neighbors stop by and ask us if we had additional information. right now it's hard because people can't figure out what's left here. wolf, one of the things that stood out to us is trees like this one right here are the only thing that's left standing besides the chimneys. some people have stopped and said that was my tree from my home. the guy with the dog said people in this neighborhood may know him because of the two dogs. he's hoping they'll reach out to him on facebook. he's worried about people. we've talked to police officers who have had issues with looting. can you imagine that? people showing up here taking what's left from the people who lost everything. >> so heart breaking, the fires, the earth quakes, the hurricanes. just keeps ongoing. ryan young on the scene for us. thanks for that update. and this is another important story just coming into cnn. the pentagon now says isis is responsible for an and bush that killed four u.s. troops in niger. let's go to our correspondent barbara starr working the story
for us. what are you learning? >>. >> reporter: good afternoon, wolf. we are now hearing from the pentagon that they have confirmed to their satisfaction it was isis behind the ambush several days ago that killed four american soldiers and wounded two in the west african nation of niger. you will recall this was the deadliest attack against u.s. forces since president trump took office and he has yet to publicly comment on this entire episode. the pentagon now saying it was a group of about 50 isis fighters that ambushed these four american soldiers. killing these four, wounding two others whether he they were on what they thought would be a routine visit to villagers in the southwest area of niger. they were there on a so-called advise and assist mission when isis attacked, they had machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. the american troops only had their rifles with them. no explanation yet on how the
intelligence could have been so poor that the american troops did not note that there were 50 isis fighters in the immediate area. and that those fighters were there ready to ambush them. very difficult circumstances for this is 12-man team led by u.s. army green berets. those soldiers, those that were killed in action now being of course, returned to the united states, returned to their families. the wounded are said to be in stable condition. but an awful lot of questions how this one u.s. military mission in west africa could have gone so wrong. wolf? >> you point out the president has not said anything about this. has he reached out to the families of those four green berets to express condolences for what occurred. >> reporter: the white house has not said that yet. we are told that defense secretary james mattis regularly reaches out to the families of the fallen.
but there is another matter to be pointed out here. one of the soldiers la david johnson, was not found. he is deceased. but he wasn't found until 48 hour later. they -- he is the gentleman you see there on your left. his body was not recovered. and in fact, behind the scenes we know and are reported that an urgent rescue mission was being launched because they were not sure when they couldn't find him if he might still possibly be alive out in the field, wounded, possibly even in isis hands for a brief period of time. president trump was briefed on the entire rescue mission. it did not get carried out because they did find very sadly, they did find his body but they found him 48 hours after they found the other three. and nobody knows at this point exactly what happened to him, wolf. >> very disturbing indeed. four american green beret
soldiers killed and now the pentagon confirming isis responsible for those killings of those american troops. barbara starr at the pentagon, thanks very much. other news we're following, reaction pouring in after the rapper eminem unleashes on president trump in a five-minute freestyle rap why he's demanding his fans choose between him or the president. plus the nfl firing back at the president taking credit for something that the nfl says doesn't exist. the league policy to tand for the anthem. we'll discuss that and more. and more star actresses coming forward accusing harvey weinstein of sexual assault and harassment. a big question now, is the movie mogul in legal jeopardy? in cordless technology. the new ego backpack blower. blasting 600 cubic feet of air per minute. it delivers the power of gas... without the noise, fuss or fumes. exclusively at the home depot and ego authorized dealers.
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including allegations of brap. a spokesperson for him says any allegations of nonconsensual sex are denied. a los angeles tv reporter says she was sexually harassed by weinstein and decided to speak out after high profile actresses started coming forward. >> when you see the huge names that have come out, it gives you an understanding of how hard and difficult it is for women for victims of this type of behavior to come out publicly and talk about it. these are very powerful women in their own right. a lot of them come from very powerful hollywood families. even they weren't protected from a man like harvey weinstein. >> some perspective from our panel. a cnn politics and media reporter. jessica nider and laura coats a legal analyst, former federal prosecutor. ha das, you've been doing a lot of reporting on the weinstein
company. it says it had no idea and didn't know anything about these allegations over the years. what are you learning? >> that's what they're saying publicly. it's clear they're afraid of the jeopardy they might be in. under california law, they just as liable as the company as harvey is himself. this is clearly bad for the company. they're experiencing -- amazon is start to distance itself from them. it's hard to believe nobody on the board knew about this or heard about it. as we've seen from the reporting, multiple executives including a former president said they were aware of it. so the fact that the board is claiming they just were completely unaware of it is sort of hard to believe. >> legally they could be liable. >> def. it depending on the statute of limitations, how long ago these incidents happened, whether these women will come forward. the fallout from this is going to continue for a long time. >> as you know, jessica, the
manhattan d.a.cy advance looked at it back in 2015. the police in manhattan even wired one of the women. we've all heard that audiotape by now but decided they didn't have enough evidence to go forward and charge weinstein. what else are you learn? >> that was in 2015. there's been fierce pushback by the district attorney's office about any implication that maybe campaign contributions from harvey's lawyers may have influenced the decision not to prosecute. they're pushing back against that. there are some questions because one of his lawyers david boies has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to cy vance throughout many of his campaigns however the district attorney's office are pointing this out saying that davies didn't actually represent weinstein in that investigation and say in
general contribution dozen dew not affect their investigations. the d.a.'s office said there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute. however the nypd came out with a statement last night painting a somewhat different picture. here's the statement from the nypd. they said the case was carried out by experienced detectives and supervisors from nypd's special victims unit. the detectives used well established investigative techniques that recorded conversation with the subject corroborates the acts that were the basis for the victim's complaints to the police a day earlier. this follow-up reported conversation was just one aspect of the case against the subject. so the nypd there implying perhaps there was additional information in an addition to that reporting and the d.a.'s office pushing back against that, as well. >> laura, a lot of people are wondering what kind of legal jeopardy, legal trouble does harvey weinstein face. ar a former prosecutor. what do you think. >> there's two different aspects, civil and criminal
liability. hadas mentioned the civil liability. if the company knew about the behavior or if a manager ie harvey weinstein who is a very bigwig, it's his company, it's named after him, if he did the actions they are liable under california law. there's also the idea of the criminal case, a much harder case 0 problem for the reasons jessica pointed out. not only do you have delayed report are for.of the alleged instances which has already been a hurdle for people like bill cosby and roger ailes on whether it was justified or credible. you have the idea you no longer have dna evidence if there was any, you do not have the corroboration necessary to prove the claims and the victim blaming mentality of many people in society who question the credibility of anyone who delays in reporting. that's not going to carry the day. you already have his comments. one interesting point about the d.a.'s office in new york, the ronan police officers were so adamant about having one aspect is because this d.a. has already
been under fire recently under contributions from marc kasowitz involving donald trump. do the investigators have the wherewithal to capture the mens rea to prove the case. the police officers are saying look, we know what we're doing here. it was your prerogative not to go forward with the case. we captured and corroborated the event. we've all heard the tape. what i didn't hear yet from having heard it was the idea of this being an act that was about whether or not there was consent provided or revoked or not having a chance to be given. that was the hook that the d. after's office was looking for. is there fact or proof of corroboration that was not a son sensual act that took place the day before. i don't know. >> he has now left the country there are reports. harvey weinstein has flown off to europe someplace for rehab. is that right? >> that is what we're seeing, as well and that his wife left him, george gina chapman. clearly he's trying to as he
said publicly trying to get a second chance. i don't believe he'll have a second chance. he's been ostrasized from not only the tv and film community but also the political community. >> if he stays in europe like roman polanski stayed in europe, does he have to worry about legal jeopardy here in the united states? >> let's not follow the path of row pan ski to tray and separate yourself from someone who is a sexual predator. that is the poster child for what is predation. he is an american citizen. harry weinstein's company would still be liable. his absence from that company whether abroad or domestic would not be impacted. the bigger issue is whether or not any of these instances fall under the statute of limitations. in california and new york, you no longer have a statute of limitations that would not allow him to prosecute for 30 years ago. if anything happened after 2005 or 2017, well, harvey weinstein has a criminal problem today regardless where he is.
>> and we're told that the manhattan d.a. cy vance may be answering reporters questions soon. we'll have coverage of that, as well. thanks very much. excellent analysis. the rapper eminem meanwhile blasting president trump on everything from race to the military. why he's telling many of his blue collar fans it's me or him. plus just in, the boy scouts of america says it will start allowing girls to join the group. but there's a catch. we'll have the details. that's coming up. ♪ go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid. experience amazing. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare,
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forward. that's the basis for it. i understand that folks -- folks are outraged by his behavior. i understand that there are many other allegations that stased. but in our case, we did what i think the law obligates us to do, focus on the evidence and the fantastics that we have and then i relied on the true professionals to help guide to the decision which is not always going to be the popular decision. that's the nature of being a prosecutor. >> reporter: were you the final say. >> what else do you need? >> when you say we, do you mean you made the decision? >> we made the decision as an office. i was guided by the head of our sex crimes unit. and her recommendation. and that's what and her investigation is what led me to the conclusion. >> reporter: do you regret taking donations from the president and do you regret taking donations from the president and from weinstein's attorneys? >> from the who's? >> marc kasowitz.
>> oh. no contribution ever in my seven years of district attorney has ever had any impact on my decision making in a case. contributions are unfortunately a part of running for office. they're legal. and i have a very sound vetting system. so the answer is, i don't regret as a d.a. having to raise money in order to campaign for office. and nothing that marc ever contributed or anyone else ever contributed has had the slightest impact on my decision making. i've been a lawyer now for 35 years i understand how to focus on the law and what my obligations are as district attorney. they had no impact on my thinking. > do you regret the decision? >> reporter: is it appropriate that district attorneys are allowed to raise so much money from --
>> the answer is that it is legal. >> yes, legal, but is it appropriate. >> into it is legal and it is common practice for district attorneys to be able to raise money from lawyers even though those lawyers may have matters before the audience. >> does that make it right? >> it makes it legal. what it does do is obviously calls for an opportunity like this for me to rethink with my assist pts how we wish to handle this mat going forward. it's absolutely legal but it doesn't mean that it shouldn't be re-examined. >> do you regret the decision. >> do you wish that you had in light of all the allegations nationwide, do you have any regrets about not prosecuting harvey weinstein at this point? because obviously in your statement, you said some errors remain by the nypd. let's do the monday morning quarterback. >> let's try to be fair and straight. if we had a case that we felt we
could prosecute and my experts felt we could prosecute, we would have. we take on many, many, many difficult sex crime prosecutions with individuals irrespective of their background or their money. so that's not an issue for us. we merely are based on the facts, not what people think about it, not whether people liked harvey or not. obviously, he has some serious issues and the tape is terrible. i as d.a. have to be guided by the evidence and the elements of the crime and my experts in office and if i stop being guided by any of those things and start being guided by outside influences whether it's money or whether it's public opinion, then i'm not doing my job. i take -- i'll take criticism for my decisions but my decisions were based on the law and the investigation. >> reporter: were there any disciplinary actions? >> have you given any of the
money back? >> manhattan district attorney cy vance answering reporters quesz explaining why back in 2015, they didn't press charges against harvey weinstein even though the nypd had wired a woman. we've all heard the audiotape by now, but he said there simply was not enough evidence to go forward. laura coats is still with us, our cnn legal analyst, former federal prosecutor. he made the case. it wasn't popular, certainly not now with everything we know but back then in 2015, they had no choice. they didn't have the evidence to press charges. >> that's what he's say. of course, the missing element i'm sure he is speaking of is the idea of intent and also about whether or not there was con essentialule agreement between the two people. of course, the tape we heard, the audio does describe i can only call it creepy, disturbing potentially criminal behavior on the part of weinstein.
do you not haval full corroboration in that tape alone that the actions of grabbing her breasts as she alluded to in the audiotape what is what she did in response to it at the time that it happened and whether or not it was invited or disinvited kuck. that's the par they're looking at, talking about the idea of any missing elements. the police department has already said there was more to the story. we need to hear that before we can assess what the d.a. was talking about. his particular speech he just gave is no different than the one that bruce castor to say when he was trying to defend his decision not to prosecute somebody like cosby. there is the run of the mill critique that happens for every elected d.a. who is beholden by contribution dollars and that people believe it may impact their decision. this feels like that same sort of case. >> he denied that flatly. he said he's been the d.a. for seven years. you've got to get laek and raise money. he says no matter how much money anyone provided him, they only
look at the facts whether or not there's a case. what you're suggesting is that's not necessarily true? >> i'm suggesting that that is what he is saying. that he is beholding only to the lems of the law and the crime as he is presented with the packets and makes an objective decision. however, anytime there is an elected district tosh or an elected prosecutor, there will always be the murmuring of people who decide they are in fact doing the opposite of making objective analysis and decisions. now, in this case, i don't have information to suggest that he has not abided by his oath of objectivity. instead i'm looking at the fact that looking at this case from only hearing the audio for that sting operation between harvey weinstein and this actress, i can only assess what he was missing in order to go forward with the case is the most important element which is the mens rayia, criminal intent and, of course, whether or not this particular woman when she was involved in this alleged
incident, whether or not she gave consent or not. if she did not, i can see them having a different outcome of this case. but based on his statements that's what he was guided by, the absence of a particular element. >> very quickly before i let you go, the d.a.'s office and the district attorney in manhattan keep saying the nypd placed the wire on this woman without consulting them to begin with. that was a problem. >> and here's why they're saying that. because of course, the prosecutor is the one who can bring the charges. yes, the nypd any police officer can actually arrest and charge somebody with a crime but the ultimate charges that come out i've prosecutor's office have to come out of a prosecutor's office. the absence of the strategic alliance between the two would have necessarily resulted in not having every single element they're looking for to be corroborated in the tape. the police department saying we did our job, you do yours. the d.a. is probably saying you
didn't do your whole job if you were not aware in the planning of the sting operation what specifically we needed to problem in terms of element to prove there was a lack of consent and criminal activity afoot. that absence of the agreement of the mind will probably be the most pivotal decision that the d.a. had to make. >> there's plenty of legal jeopardy harvey weinstein still faces. thank you very much. other breaking news including north korea saying president trump has "lit the wick of war." they also called him insane after his rocket man speech at the u.p. u. united nations, plus moment away, the president getting reads to to greet justin trudeau. much more on this when we come back.
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from the boy skousts america, the board of directors voting today to now start admitting girls into the boy scouts. cnn's nick valencia is joining with us details. walk us through the circumstance what led to this important decision? >> reporter: the boy scouts of america finding themselves in the political spotlight. just moments ago making this historic announce the via a press release saying girls will now be able to join their iconic cub scout program. girls available to advance to the highest rank of eagle scouts after years of requests from family members and girls to join the organization. here's what they said saying families today are busier and more diversity than ever. there are more single parent households than before making convenient programs that be the whole family more appealing. many groups currently
underserved by scouting include account hispanic and arab sthun communities prefer to participate in activities as a family. there is a caveat. this start in 2018 with sons and daughters of the cub scouts joining either existing packs, establishing a new girl pack, establishing a pack that consists of boy dens or girl dens or remaining in an all-boy pack. we heard from the church of latter day saints saying no changes will be made to their programs. remember earlier this year, the boy skousts america doing an about face in a more than century year old stance that paved the way for transgender boys to join the organization. there's still no word how this will impact the girl scouts of america. we're reaching out to them for comment. >> the nick valencia, a hick decision from the boy scouts of america getting ready to welcome girls. the rapper eminem unleashing
a blistering attack on president trump as the culture wars in the united states intensify. among other things accusing the president of using his fight with the national football league to distract from more important issues. here's part of his freestyle rap during the bette hip-hop awards. >> it's like we take a step forwards, then backwards but this is his form of distraction. plus he gets an enormous reaction when he attacks the nfl so we focus on that instead of talking puerto rico or gun reform from nevada or these horrible tragedies and he would rather cause a twitter storm with the packers. >> so far no comment from the white house but let's discuss with our panel. we have carrie bacon, senior political writer for 538, political analyst molly ball, writer for the atlantic and politics reporter and editor-at-large chrysalis za. what does all this say in where this stands in this culture war?
>> one is that there's no line that demarks politics from entertainment from sports anymore. we sort of knew that but this is yet another example of that. you can't separate these things out anymore. i don't know if that's trump, i don't know if it's modern culture but whatever it is, it's all in one big pot now. other thing that it says is that there's a significant divide in the way in which donald trump is viewed. again, this is not new particularly but the way in which donald trump is viewed by different communities, that he is reviled by many people who view him as eminem lays out in racist terms in divisive terms. eminem condemning him will be great for donald trump among that other group of people who are on the other side of that divide who broadly speaking, view him possibly and like that the entertainment industry is attacking him. >> as we're speaking the president and the first lady they're on the south portico
getting ready to welcome the visiting prime minister of canada, justin trudeau and canada's first lady at the same time. i don't know if we're going to hear anything. when they approach, let's listen in and see what they say. i um some reporters, a pool of reporters might be shouting so i guess the pool of reporters must have been rather far away. couldn't shout out any questions. there will be an opportunity, photo opportunity in the oval office. pretty soon we'll see what they
have to say. jeff is joining us, senior white house correspondent. any word? >> settling on a replacement to lead homeland security. previous secretary is now chief of staff jon kelley. we are hearing the leading contender and person likely named is kir citizen nelson to jon kelley who is the white house chief of staff. she has a long history and experience working inside that department of homeland security as well as an expert in cybersecurity. she pent sometime in the george w. bush administration working on national security counsel as well. so we are hearing from sources here at the white house as well as sources on capitol hill that she is likely to be named as the next secretary of homeland security. of course this department, wolf, as you well remember, was created in the wake of 9/11,
after the 9/11 terror attack. so she is the first woman to serve in this department. but you did just see the president welcoming the canadian prime minister and greeting him in the oval office shortly. >> and we'll hear what they both have to say, prime minister and president of the united states. molly, what's your reaction to the nominee to be next secretary in homeland security? >> in the trump white house this represents a victory for the chief of staff jon kelley who the president tweeted in support of just this morning, despite rumors that he was making himself not so popular with the boss, with his forceful attempt to impose discipline. this is someone a close ally of jon kelley who would continue the policies he put in place at
the department of homeland security. shares perspective. what's seen as enforcer in the white house. and that didn't necessarily endear her to everybody. but they are trying to put their people in these positions as a way to nudge policy in whatever direction that the president hasn't articulated policy in a lot of these areas, this is certainly a victory for that sort of mainstream wing. >> yeah, she worked with jon kelley at the department of homeland security. then she came with him back to the white house when he became the white house chief of staff. the president tweeted this morning, i'll read it, the fake news is at it again, trying to hurt one of the finest person jon kelley by saying heel soon be fired this is made up by the dishonest media. chief is doing fantastic job fr me and more importantly the u.s. very strong words from him.
given the reports wee have seen there may it be problems. >> and there is tension. i think the new pick goes to this point again we have basically have the president versus own national security staff. she's another person that will be trying to rein in the president. her resume suggests she has a lot of experience in washington. so again trump facing off with this person adds to this mattis, mcmaster, kelly wing of people who don't agree with the president on core foreign policy. which i assume there may be more and more in fighting that we have seen. >> think about the department of homeland security is involved in. big contentious issues within the white house also outside. this is huge deal for the white house and differing views. also in charge of implementing the travel ban, which is still in different versions and supposedly under revision. so that's going to be a huge deal. and she's going to have to weigh in on that. >> and she's got to be, first of all, formally nominated, then go
through a come fir manfirmation. but that looks like that might happen. and the homeland security policy is critically important. >> absolutely. because it's new, obviously created under george bush, it doesn't gets much attention as the larger state defense. but, yeah, in trump's world these are going to matter. what's interesting is, let's say that she is formally nominated. the confirmation process in the senate will likely be okay given that she's the pick. but i think every nomination process you'll see will be more and more contentious. remember he has to pick an hhs secretary at some point too. i think there are going to be a lot of senators, not just democrats who are going to say you want us to green light all of these people through, when he spends days at times attacking people. i don't think bob corker is voting against this woman to be
dhs. but i'm just saying it just the disconnect between donald trump thinks he can attack, attack, attack, and there will be no impact. and like maybe it's not nominees. maybe it's not tax reform. but on something, and something big probably, his inability to get along or pretend that he likes members of his own party in the senate i think will be problematic for him. it's cutting off your nose despite your face strategy that will come back to bite him. >> and he may have to nominate a new secretary of state at . point as well given the tensions between him and rex tillerson. we'll see what happens. gurks thank you very much. coming up more on north korea. north korea calling president trump insane, saying he's lit the wick of war. we'll have details. much more on breaking news when we come back.
you are watching cnn i'm brooke baldwin. lits get straight to california breaking news. raging wildfires are turning increasingly deadly and more destructive. flames moving fast devouring areas the size of football fields every seconds. the winds hurricane forecast. at least 17 dead and 600 people reported missing. the devastation taking grim toll on people's lives and property. so far 2,000 homes and buildings destroyed. more than 100,000 acres burned. and more than 17 fires still