to the deadly attacked? >> and meanwhile, president trump has not let go of the condolence call controversy with the gold-star widow, and donald trump is disputing the call with the widow that she says left her in tears. here we have the chairman of the joint chiefs. obviously he's feeling the need to get out and answer questions, making a point to answer all of the questions and repeatedly saying the public is owed more information. but at the same time there was so many basic questions he could not answer, things like where exactly were these troops when they came under fire. were they wearing body armour? we are three weeks after the
incident. detailing a revised timeline of the ambush that killed four troops. october 3rd, 12 members of the u.s. special operations task force leave the capital of niger with 30 nigeren troops, their goal a reconnaissance mission 30 miles north. >> the intelligence at the time was contact with the enemy was unlikely. >> but they came under fire, about 50 local fighters with ties to isis. nbc reports u.s. officials are looking into whether the militants were tipped off by somebody in the village. the special forces team engaged in the firefight for an hour before requesting help, and within minutes french jets were scrambled but took another hour to arrive to the remote
location. >> i don't know they thought they needed support prior to that time. i don't know what their initial assessment was of what they were confronted with. >> the french did not drop bombs. the pilots had the authority but could not readily identify allied forces. it remains unclear how sergeant la david johnson became separated from the group and why it took two days to locate his body about a mile away. >> did our forces have adequate intelligence, equipment and training? was there a pre-mission assessment of the threat in the area accurate? >> the administration expedited condolence letters to families of fallen soldiers after president trump made this remark last week. >> i have written them personal
letters. they have been sent or they are going out tonight. >> the following day, the president going a step tpufrt making this false claim. >> i have calls, i believe everybody, but certainly i would use the word virtually everywhe everybody -- >> an e-mail exchange between the white house and pentagon shows that the president's aides knew these remarks were not true, and the aides rushing to learn the identity and contact information from the defense department. there were some surprising details to come out, and to hear it was not a 30-minute firefight, but lasted several hours from mid morning to the evening, and among those that had been vocal and trying to find more out about what happened was senator john mccain. we know his committee will get a
classified briefing from the pentagon on thursday. >> thank you for that reporting. let's bring in our panel. we have cnn political analyst, david gregory, and chris cillizza. the whole niger tragedy spawned very interesting and informative and unusual press briefings. it's interesting to see him there talking to the press, and a few days ago it was chief of staff john kelly, and that has caused some of its own controversial, his briefing there. where do you think we are with niger? >> i think among the most important questions is to really understand what the u.s. mission is in niger, and not just niger but other african countries and other parts of the world where american forces are there, and probably small numbers, probably
an advisory capacity. fighting an enemy in isis has been defeated on the battlefield but will mutate into a more localized but still deadly force. americans are entitled to understand what america sees as the mission, deploying these kinds of troops. that's at the largest level. and then more specifically here, were there intel swrupligence fs and what were the procedures that led to such a long time lag to getting to the forces that had fallen on the battlefield. the pentagon is getting into a position where it's saying the american people need to know more about what our situation is over there. >> right, and there's a bigger factor into who knows what. chris cillizza, we know and realize advice and assist is a falsely benign suggestion that
men and women will be in harm's way and they may die doing this advising and assisting because that's what just happened. the link between the pentagon and the people is congress, and they don't want to own this. they punted president after president, and we are now hearing what we often here when pressed, and then it disappears. yes, i agree with you, we will take it up now because we have not done so since 9/11, unless you count the iraq war. >> i am skeptical, because we often talk about it and then it disappeared. there are a few consistent voices, and tim kaine is probably the highest profile one, vice presidential nominee in 2016. he said we can't continue to do the endless conflicts without the amf.
i was doing research and came across the fact that within 13 days of the las vegas shootings, the largest mass murder in modern history, interests in searching for bump stocks basically went back to preshooting levels, and now you are seeing stories that that part of legislation is stalled in congress. we pay attention to it in the moment we pay attention to it and then we pay attention to other things, and these operations continue on. we only pay attention when there's unfortunate tragedies. i am skeptical you see anything underlying in congress. >> their missions will be cloaked in secrecy anyway, but it was president obama that
wanted to rely heavily on missions that is a counter terror mission. and it's congress that has not shown the courage to take on how much any president should have in fighting this kind of war. you go back to our position in vietnam, and we spent years using advisers, and building it up largely without the american people focussed on what our mission was over there, and they were in fact, dying, as advisers to the south vietnamese. we know this part of history, and what is is we are dialing down on this, and congress is going to get more information. >> by the way, quickly, alisyn, one bipartisan you see with each president is an effort to lesson the control that congress has. that is consistent throughout time, and you are seeing it with
trump. the presidency will seize as much as congress allowed them to seize in power. >> and one republican was saying yes congress has taken respond with these things, we fund them. that's how it's taking responsibility. he's like, we fund them and know what is happening. >> you have the senators saying they didn't know. >> they are saying they didn't know about the troops. >> the whole lindsay graham and schumer saying they didn't know the scale of what was happening in niger, this is curious. >> it's concerning, i would say, frankly that you have senators at that level. chuck schumer is the most powerful democrat in the senate, right? this is not a rank and file guy.
>> it was obama that went to congress, the most recent president to do so during the syria thing, which is a story that became about his perceived weakness and he said i will do something in syria if you give me authorization, and the democrats and the republicans both bailed. >> yep. >> this is why it's important. any president, any secretary of state, it's very important that they step forward, asprbl shresn the new administration, and they layout for the people what their vision for the world is, and we don't have that from this administration for a number of reasons, skhincluding the disfunction, but these things matter. congress should know. >> why would you set yourself up and take on the onus as the executive if congress wasn't pushing their own powers? if they are going to give it to you without an explanation, why wouldn't you take it? >> because i believe trump wants
to outline what he thinks is outlining priorities in fighting a terror threat. he has tried to do it and he has done that with immigration controls, and it's important to do it with the disintegrating of isis. that starts with congress, and that's the kind of thing that has to happen. >> chris to, your point, of course -- again, the executive will seize as much power as is available to them. is that just the nature of the beast. donald trump sometimes forgets this, but we have a try par tig -- if that balance of power, if the
legislative is not willing to make choices that do things like not fund priorities until they learn more information about it, the executive will continue to grab and grab and grab. that's not about president trump. george w. bush, and barack obama, you saw the working to consolidate more and more power and decision making in the branch. >> tripartite. that's a big word. in just hours president trump is going to break bread with senate republicans, and he has a high stakes meeting on capitol hill. he is there to remind everybody they are supposed to be on the same team and get on the same page with two big issues, tax and health care. joe johns is live at the white house with more. what are you hearing?
>> well, while the president is headed to capitol hill to participate in the tuesday lu h luncheons, the message is clear, if you don't support the tax bill you will go down in the next elections. he wants a tax bill on his desk by thanksgiving, and that's a heavy lift in any situation, especially this one, because many of the ways to try to pay for the bill, as required by senate rules, keep coming off the table. the last example of that, the president tweeting just about 24 hours ago that he wants to protect 401(k) plans so there will be no changing of the fo 401(k), and there had been talk about reducing the pretax income that workers could save under
401(k)s as a way to pay for the bill, but apparently the president doesn't want that. the administration is also loathe to touch entitlements, which would be a way to help. and there's real heartburn about getting rid of or changing the mortgage interest reduction. the question of how to pay for that is anybody's guess right now. the people in capitol hill said they expect to get some type of a bill for people to look at sometime next week. back to you. >> the devil is in the details, as you point out, joe. thank you for that. the president did not back away from the disagreement with a soldier's widow yesterday or with congresswoman, frederica williams. and we have congresswoman maxine waters that will weigh in on this gold star controversy. but do they need help making more of their own tears? if you have chronic dry eye
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about the call to the widow of la david johnson. she was on tv, and it's confirmed she and family members were hurt by what was said in the phone call. president trump has repeatedly attacked congresswoman frederica wilson, who was with mrs. johnson when she took that call. this turned into a political feud. everybody says they care about the families of the fallen and yet this continues. joining us now is democratic congresswoman maxine waters. thank you for joining us. always a pleasure. >> you are welcome. delighted to be here. what do you make of the state of the feud? >> it all could be settled if the president of the united states of america would act responsibly and simply apologize. just call mrs. johnson and say that i certainly did not
intended to make you uncomfortable in the way i spoke about your son. of course i respect your son. i respect all of our military personnel and for all of those young people who were killed in niger, i am profoundly sorry. he has to do that and kelly has to do that and they could put an end to this. but for the president of the united states to attack this woman, this mother, this wife, this pregnant woman who has lost her husband, who already has three children, and don't know what the future is going to hold for herself, and for him to attack her and call her a liar is just unseamly, and i don't understand why the president of the united states would behave this way. of course it's consistent with his behavior, but at some time you think he would stop it. >> he think he is being attacked. i am not reading his mind, that's what he said. i hear you about the president
and mrs. johnson, but then you have kelly who was really talking about congresswoman wilson. you say he owes an apology as well to whom and why? >> well, he absolutely does owe her an apology. he came before the public and he said he was in attendance at the event where she was naming the new fbi building and he repeated what he said, which he said that she said. that was absolutely not true. when the videotape came out showing what she said that day, it absolutely was different than what he was saying. so he just made it up. he did not tell the truth. i think he was trying to defend this president, which is unfortunate because he's had a successful career, and for him to come into the white house and start to defend this president is going to, you know, create a lot of damage for him and his
credibility, so i am just sorry he found himself in this position, and i would hope he would apologize. he needs to apologize. he absolutely did not tell the truth. >> he said he was defending what is sacred and that the congresswoman has made this a political football, and she attacked the president and called him names and didn't need to do this in this set of circumstances, that she should have exercised some restraint as well. >> that is not a credible argument. the president of the united states started this, and he politicized this when he talked about how he had called or written to all of those families where they had lost someone, you know, in war, and that the other presidents had not done this, obama had not done it, and nobody has done as great as he had done, and then we found out he lied again, and he's trying to clean up after the fact. he's asking his staff to identify all of these families
that he did not call, and then he's following up, sending them letters later on even as of today as i understand it. that's ridiculous. he does not have an argument. >> this has become an ugly war of words, and you have been named a combatant in this as well i want to play you sound. >> wow. what a moving evening this is. i am sitting here listening, watching, absorbing, thinking about ali, even though i never met him. and with this kind of inspiration, i will go out and take trump out tonight. >> those words have been
interpreted as an attempt on the president's life. how did you intent them? >> that's absolutely ridiculous. nobody believes that a 79-year-old grandmother who is a congresswoman and who has been in congress and politics for all of these years talking about doing any harm. the only harm that i may be doing to the president is i want him impeached, and those people who are so opposed to my leadership on impeachment are organizing the right wing, the white nationalists, the kkk, organized an effort to try and defeat me in my election coming up and to discredit me. everybody knows that i am on the front lines, not talking about any physical harm to anybody. i am talking about impeachment, and i'm not going to stop. i believe this president is not worthy. i think this president should not be representing our country. he has alienated our allies.
he continues to lie day in and day out. he creates controversy. he can't get along with the members of congress. he needs to be impeached. i want him impeached and i will continue my efforts to call for his impeachment. >> when you were saying take him out you were talking about your efforts to impeach him. >> thank you for responding to it. let's say it was not a threat against the president's person, but this talk is ugly talk on both sides. do you believe that you and others should start and be the change you want to see and have a more high level of decency in how you discuss those that you want to criticize especially when it's the president of the united states? >> i think i have been extremely responsible in laying out the case in which this president should be impeached. i know the right wing, the white nationalists, all of those who are organized around this
president do not like this, and people are not accustomed to a woman, in particular, an african-american woman taking this kind of leadership. how dare me challenge the president of the united states? but we have never witnessed a president who has been as irresponsible and as dangerous as this president. i think that we need to step up to the plate and tell the truth and speak truth to power, and that's what i am doing and that's what i am going to continue to do. i know it's unusual. people have not seen anything like this before, but i believe that for as long as i have been a member of congress, a legislature prior to coming to congress, i have learned to accept responsibility and i know it seems controversial and it's unusual, and people are so accustomed to politicians patting each other on the back and saying nice things about each other and hiding the truth and not letting people know how
they really feel, i'm not that kind of person and i am going to continue to call it like it is, and speak truth to power, and say that this president is not capable of managing this country in a responsible way. i think congress needs to step up to the plate. we have the power. we have the power to determine whether or not constitutionally he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. that's our decision to make. i am saying to our members, let's do it, let's move. we cannot allow this president to destroy this country. >> you would have to have a vote, that's what impeachment is all about, first in the house, and then as confirmed in the senate. you don't have the votes. >> yeah, but i am depending on the representation by those who may be opposing me now to prove that they are patriotic. this is about patriotism. this is about do you love this country. this is about whether you are
willing to step up to the plate no matter the criticism of the president of the united states. if those who claim to be patriotic will stand by and watch this president do what i believe he has done in his administration, and his campaign, collude with russian, and be such a friend to putin that he won't even criticize him -- >> you need proof of those things. >> i know, and that's why we have a special counsel connecting the dots. i am sorry the intelligence committee of the house and the senate have not done their job. >> i get your feelings, but it comes down to facts. >> absolutely. i will tell you this, every day that we are learning about the relationships with him and his allies and the kremlin and putin, whether it's manafort or roger stone or any of them, and we are learning that these allies all have connections, and
they have lied about having met with representatives from the russian government, and we know that something is there, and let mueller do his job. i think he will connect the jobs. >> i am not agreeing with you, because i don't know that we have a conclusion, but that needs to be the process, and so at the end of the day it comes down to proof. thank you for taking the opportunity to come on and explain what you meant and to talk about what matters. >> absolutely. thank you so very much. the deadly ambush in niger sparking lots of questions. the fbi is now involved in trying to get answers. former intel committee chief, mike rogers, is going to tell us what they might find. 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.
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explanation of what their men and women were doing at this particular time, and when i say that i mean men and women in harm's way anywhere in the world, and those are all fair questions in my judgment. >> joining us now is cnn national security commentator and former house chairman, mike rogers. you can analyze this on so many different fronts, from the intelligence front and from the lawmaker front and from law enforcement front because you were part of the fbi. so let's start there. why do you think the fbi is now involved in this investigation? >> you know, of all the things i have come up in the press the last few days, alisyn, this was the most interesting to me, and we have special forces around that region, and training forces in places like chad and other places to try and get their own troops up to snuff. this would have been consistent with that message, all of those
groups are operating in these lawless areas. it's in the u.s. interests to help the locals fight this. the one thing that surprised me is the fbi would be investigating, and that makes me question if they were outside of their proceedtocols. why would somebody call in the fbi? they ha >> it's not customary to call in the fbi. the general said with regard to the fbi it's very normal for them in counterterrorism operations to conduct investigations, and it could be related to threats to the united states and i believe that's the capacity in which the fbi is conducting the investigation now. >> well, if that's what they are doing it would be separate from the engagement investigation, and they didn't make that very clear. if the fbi is investigating why they were there, that to me is
an issue that i would like to know a lot more about. the fbi would conduct and sometimes does participate in raids in counterterrorism patrols and other things to collect intelligence, and that can happen, and maybe happened in this case. we don't know. if they are investigating something other than that, which is what certainly the press accounts, i think it's going to be interesting. i think they have to come out and make it very clear what the mission set was, even if they cannot talk about a clandestine mission, and you don't want to disclose how our special forces are operating around africa. this was not an aeintentional engagement. >> here are some of the unanswered questions that
general dunford could not answer because he did not have enough information yet. did the u.s. forces have adequate intelligence? did the u.s. armed have adequate equipment? how did u.s. forces become separated? that's a huge question. the most haunting one is why did it take 48 hours to locate sergeant johnson and why did they find his body in the condition that they did. do you think that the fbi will be able to answer those better than the military? will we get answers to those things? >> i would suspect that the military is going to do that portion of the investigation unless there's something that we're not aware of in the facts currently. that should be a military investigation. you have to remember, in this context, they had a superior
number force attack a smaller unit of niger forces as well as 12 special forces that were accompanying them on the patrol, and so it sounded like the battle lasted a long time. this was not a small firefight and then things broke up. it sounded like it went on for some period of time, in that there's likely to be confusion. i would not leap to a conclusion on why the body was separated, you know, the contact with the enemy, tends to move. they have been moving and then you would go back and police up your fallen comrades. did something happen they were not prepared for in this particular engagement? remember, our green berets are trained for hearts and minds operations, and they can put a hurt on you, don't get me wrong,
but they want to meet the locals and collect intelligence and try to co-op people in the communities to push back against terrorism on the rise in africa. >> great to have your expertise. thank you so much. there's a tampa bay neighborhood on edge because of fears that they may have a serial killer hunting people there in florida. this man on your screen, the police want him. they say he's a person of interest after three homicides all in days. we have a live report, next.
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woman: and i know how hard that is to hear. but you're in the right place. man: and dr. pascal and her team, they know what to do. they know what to do. the doctors know what to do. so here's the plan. first off, we're going to give you all... (voice fading away) there's a manhunt under way in tampa, florida, after people were gunned down in the space of two weeks. what you have learned? >> reporter: alisyn, the tampa police are no closer today to
finding the killer that has terrorized the seminal heights neighborhood. there's little information the police is not sharing with the public, but the fact is there's little information for them to share. no suspects, no motives, no leads. a frustrating process for this police department. >> i assure you these are linked. they are within one-half mile of each other. there was the first two within the a few days and the next one was eight days later. they are altogether. they were all alone. it's, you know, the neighborhood is on edge. >> reporter: one important piece of information in the investigation, there was a video that was captured the night of the first murder of benjamin mitchell on october 9th. this video shows a person of
interest. they are not calling the individual a suspect but it's somebody they want to bring in and somebody they want to talk to to see what they could have seen. they have brought in a couple individuals that could be that person. no information to bear there. they continue to work for the person in that video, chris. >> that is a frightening set of facts they are dealing with down there. another big headline for you. the podesta group says it's cooperating with bob mueller's investigation, and tony podesta is chairman of the firm. nbc news reports mueller's interests in podesta escalated into a criminal inquiry. cnn has been told the inquiry was always criminal this nature, and the podesta criminal investigation has grew to the manafort investigation.
how? manafort helped recruit in the west. we don't know how much deeper the investigation is getting. a new government report sounding the alarm on climate change, and the report from the accountability office outlines the staggering economic consequences, saying the government has spent $350 billion to respond to extreme weather and fire events. economic losses from three hurricanes and wildfires are set to exceed $300 billion this year alone. crews are working the cleanup and oil spill from a deadly blast on a rig in louisiana. it happened more than a week ago. you probably have not heard about it even though it's probably the largest dump since horizon. the volume of oil could be as much as 672,000 gallons. one person died in the explosion and seven others were injured.
president trump taking aim at republican senator bob corker again even though they are expected to cross paths again today on capitol hill in meeting trump where they were hoping to get on the same page. i should know. i have chronic dry eye caused by reduced tear production due to inflammation. so i use restasis multidose®. it helps me make more of my own tears, with continued use, twice a day, every day. it's also what i prescribe to my patients who have this condition. restasis multidose® helps increase your eyes' natural ability to produce tears, which may be reduced by inflammation due to chronic dry eye. restasis multidose® did not increase tear production in patients using anti-inflammatory eye drops or tear duct plugs. to help avoid eye injury and contamination, do not touch the bottle tip to your eye or other surfaces. wait 15 minutes after use before inserting contact lenses.
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we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig. wakey! wakey! rise and shine! oh my gosh! how are you? well watch this. i pop that in there. press brew. that's it. so rich. i love it. that's why you should be a keurig man! full-bodied. are you sure you're describing the coffee and not me? big day for the president. he's heading to capitol hill to meet with gop senators. the president's interaction with senator bob corker, who is a republican, is sure to be watched. the president writing minutes ago, bob corker who helped president o give us the bad iran deal and couldn't get elected dogcatcher in tennessee is now fighting tax cuts. corker dropped out of the race in tennessee when i refused to endorse him and now is only negative on anything trump. look at his record. get the bottom line from cnn
political director, david chalian. what does the back and forth with corker leave for the kumbaya lunch today? >> there's nothing to indicate nothing has changed with trump and the republican senators, mccain, mitch mcconnell, you could tick through a slew of senators that are on the wrong side of donald trump with his twitter rants. he can go after one of theirs -- it's a club up there, as you know, chris, and corker is retiring and has made a real public break with the president in ways his fellow senators have not, and donald trump, as you know, is never going to let that lie. >> this just in. from twitter. bob corker responding right now,
same untruths from an utterly untruthful president, #alertthedaycarestaff. i know you say add him to the list of susan collins, and i think he's in a different category. >> he is, because he's politically free to do this in a more substantial way because he's retiring. >> what does that mean, though, help people understand it or help me understand it better f. you are not running again you can say things that you believe are true, because otherwise what happens if you need to run again? >> it's not true verses true chris, it's that you are no longer concerned about the repercussions, you no longer fear whatever political backlash
can come your way by take on the president of the united states. >> bob corker keeps doing this, and he is in his own category, and he is really giving an unvarnished assessment of how he sees the president. listen to this moment. >> look, i have gotten to known the president in a unique way, and i guess like all americans i had hope that he would rise to the occasion and bring out the best in our nation, charlie. hopefully what presidents do is try to bring the country together and unify around common goals and not to debase our country, if you will, and that has not happened. i am beginning to believe it's not going to happen. >> so david, in the halls of congress there, because he's a short timer, does it matter what bob corker says? >> it matters in two ways,
alisyn. he's a senior statesman from the president's party. having a senior's statesman, basically if i can paraphrase, declare the president trump presidency a failure, and having no hope it will be able to turn around. those are hugely reverberating words through the halls of congress. i would also say it's important because you will recall that bob corker said a few weeks ago that he believes he's speaking for many in his conference who have not come out to say -- >> that's the rub, though. that's the rub. he doesn't get to be a proxy. one of the reasons that what corker says is so kind of eye pop something becau popping is because of people not saying it. mcconnell, ryan, they would make a snake jealous the way they were able to twist around to avoid saying anything about the president that could be interpreted as criticism,
because they are worried about what will happen. it starts to become deafening, and ryan joked about it, i have to wake up and pretend what tweets i don't see, and that's not funny because it's his job. corker looms even larger. >> yeah, chris, i will say if i was working in the white house this morning and i saw the president tweet this, the first question that i would ask myself is, okay, the president believes that there is nothing more important done than the tax legislation through, and how does what he's doing today accomplish that? i would argue it doesn't. >> david, thank you very much for the bottom line. >> sure. cnn "newsroom" with john berman will pick up after this break. we'll see you tomorrow.
. good morning, every one. john berman here. a republican u.s. senator basically just said the president is a juvenile liar who lies. that's paraphrasing, but the actual words from senator bob corker is no more gentle. so how did we get here? well it's all about lunch. the president is headed to lunch on capitol hill to talk tax cuts but the meal just turned into one of the most uncomfortable thank thanksgivings you could have. >> are you confident he's got il