tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 2, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
happening now, breaking news, son-in-law trouble. cnn has learned that the special counsel team is now looking into jared kushner's role in the firing of former fbi director james comey. this as a new poll shows nearly half of americans suspect president trump committed a crime. overhaul. just hours after house republicans revealed their long-awaited tax plan, top gop lawmakers are raising red flags about the impact on the deficit. will the president's hopes for a quick and needed legislation win be dashed? imminent nuclear test. a new warning tonight that kim jong-un is preparing to provoke the west again as president trump is about to land near the dictator's doorstep. tonight, kp hcnn has learned th
kim is moving closer to being able to attack the u.s. mainland. and under the isis flag. authorities say the suspect in the deadly truck attack also wanted to cause carnage on the brooklyn bridge. we're learning more about the terror in new york city. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking tonight, cnn has learned that the president's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner has turned over documents to the special counsel robert mueller. this as mueller's team has started asking witnesses about kushner's role in the firing of former fbi director james comey. stand by for details. also, a just released abc news "washington post" poll shows 49% of americans believe president
trump likely committed a crime. and more than two-thirds of americans approve of the criminal charges filed against mr. trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort. also breaking, president trump is pressing house republicans to pass their newly unveiled tax cut plan before the end of the year but there's already pushback within the republican party against proposed limits on some popular deductions, including breaks for interest on home loans and on state and local taxes. the republican plan would simplify the tax code, slash rates for corporations and reduce taxes for many americans while adding more than a trillion dollars to the federal deficit. and the president's national security adviser is warning that north korea poses an urgent threat to the entire world just hours before president trump leaves for a very high-stakes trip to the region. cnn has learned that north korea's already working on an advanced version of its existing
intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially reach the united states. this hour i'll talk with republican congressman ted yoho, a key member of the foreign affairs committee and our correspondents and specialists are also standing by. first, let's get more on the breaking news about jared kushner and the special counsel's russia investigation. we're joined by our justice correspondent evan perez. evan, tell us what you've learned. >> wolf, jared kushner has now turned over documents to special counsel robert mueller as investigators have begun asking questions about kushner's role in the firing of james comey. sources tell us, wolf, that mueller's investigators have expressed interest about kushner. that includes obstruction of justice and the motivation for comey's firing is a part of that. the mueller team's questions is that they are extending beyond the 2016 campaign to actions taken at the white house by
high-level officials. it's not clear how kushner's advice to the president might play a role in a part of this. sources close to the white house say that, based on their knowledge, kushner is not a target of this investigation. kushner turned over those documents voluntarily that he had from the campaign and the transition and these related to any contacts with russia. the documents are similar to ones, wolf, that kushner gave to congressional investigators. >> but this goes beyond the documents. your reporting karats that witnesses are now being asked about kushner as well? >> that's exactly right. sources tell us that investigators have asked witnesses about kushner's role in the firing of comey. we've heard conflicting accounts from sources. some say that kushner was a driver of the president's decision. others say that he didn't oppose it and that it was something that the president already made his mind up about. investigators have also asked about how a statement came to be issued in the name of donald
trump jr. with a russian lawyer. kushner, you remember, attended the june 2016 meeting at trump tower between top trump campaign officials and a cadra of russian officials with links to the kremlin. it was arranged after donald trump jr. was told that the russian government wanted to pass along damaging information about hillary clinton as part of its pro-trump efforts. the meeting was also attended by paul manafort who was, at the time, the trump campaign chairman who, of course, this week got indicted. they asked about the circumstances surrounding the departures of certain white house aides. a white house official tells us that mueller's questions about kushner are not a surprised and that kushner would be among a long list of people that investigators would be asking about. a lawyer for kushner, wolf, did not comment when we reached out to him and the white house also declined to comment. >> evan perez, thanks very much. we're following multiple new
developments in the russia investigation tonight. let's bring in our senior washington correspondent brianna keilar. several key figures were in court today also up on capitol hill. >> that's exactly right, including carter page, one of president trump's former campaign foreign policy advisers. he finally met behind closed doors and so did one of eight people that was in that room with donald trump jr., paul manafort and an employee of a russian oligarch along with others. all of this as the campaign chairman made his case to a judge. president trump's former campaign chairman paul manafort in federal court today. his attorneys arguing he should not be confined to house arrest because he has been traveling legally and returning home since august when he was first aware he would be indicted. monday a judge deemed manafort a
flight risk because of the 12 federal charges he's facing, including conspiracy against the u.s. and fraud, which carry a maximum penalty of more than 15 years in prison. prosecutors have noted that manafort has three different passwords and registered an e-mail under an alias. manafort contends that his $10 million bond and community ties are sufficient to ensure that he won't flee. manafort is one of the most recognize people on the planet, given the substantial media coverage around him. >> there's a restless desire that i'm certain come january 2016 mr. trump will invoke. >> reporter: there are growing questions about what attorney general jeff sessions knew about the trump campaign and russia amid revelations he was in a meeting when, according to court filings, former trump campaign foreign policy adviser george papadopoulos suggested trump meet with russian president vladimir putin.
a person in the room at the time said trump did not rule out the idea but sessions, who was then chairman of trump's national security advisory committee, rejected the suggestion. >> i've racked my brain to make sure i could answer any of those questions correctly. >> reporter: sessions failed to tell congress about the proposed trump/putin meeting during his confirmation hearing and again during recent congressional inquiries into russian election meddling. >> the idea that i was part of a, quote, continuing information during the campaign between trump surrogates and the russian government is totally false. >> reporter: sam clovis, trump's pick for the agricultural department, has withdrawn his name from consideration. the unsealed court documents show papadopoulos contacted a campaign supervisor who was
clovis and he encouraged papadopoulos to take the meeting. clovis said he didn't want to be a negative distraction writing, "the political climate inside washington has made it impossible for me to receive balance and fair consideration for this position. the relentless assaults on you and your team seem to be a blood sport that only increases in intensity each day." the clovis pick was already controversial since he has a history of homophobic comments, wolf. >> brianna keilar reporting for us, thank you. let's talk more about the breaking news in the russia investigation. joining us now, ted yoho, a member of the foreign affairs committee. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me on, wolf. >> let's talk about the special counsel for a moment. he's asking about jared kushner's role in the firing of
the fbi director james comey. how worried should president trump be about that? this is his son-in-law. >> i don't think at all. he's invited them into that cabinet area close to him as an adviser and he had an opinion and i think what i've learned about the president and i'm sure you know this is that he's very stern and makes his own decisions and he'll listen to things but when a decision is made, ultimately i'm pretty confident it's his decision. >> it's clear that mueller is investigating what's described as possible obstruction of justice by the trump white house in the firing of comey. what the president knew about that june 2016 meeting in trump tower and how likely do you think it is that president trump is completely ex ronerated? >> i think that's going to happen. he said he didn't know anything about that. we've talked about this before and this is going to play out
and it will work out through the investigation and i think when it comes to -- all gets done, i think president trump will be exonerated, like you said. as you started off this segment, i heard you talk about north korea. those are the things that this investigation will come and go and things will come out of that and people will be prosecuted that need to be prosecuted but more importantly gearing up for a nuclear test and let's hope they don't. >> we'll get to that in a few moments. i know you chair a subcommittee on asia. we'll talk about that in a few moments. i want to clear up some other issues. your name has come up, we're getting a clearer sense for the russian outreach with a guilty plea fortunately george papadopoulos. the white house said he was a low-level volunteer. another campaign official called him simply a coffee boy. i want you to look at this picture from the republican national convention in july of last year.
george papadopoulos is seated just to your right. would it be appropriate for a volunteer coffee boy to be sitting on that panel at the convention right next to you? >> i don't know. i can't answer that. there is a reason i'm sure they put him there next to us. i can't say any more about that. i didn't know who he was at the time. >> clearly the panelists there are not low-level volunteers doing coffee runs. they are to speak to delegates about what is going on inside the campaign. this is a very sensitive and important moment. >> sure. and i have a disadvantage, i don't see the photo in front of me so i can't say. >> well, let me describe it for you. it's a meeting sponsored by the american jewish committee and there's a bunch of high-level people, bob corker is there, among other things, the senator from tennessee, chairman of the foreign relations committee, you're there, some professors
are there. >> oh, i remember that one. yeah. i remember that. >> what was that meeting all about and what do you remember about papadopoulos that day? >> i don't remember anything about him. i just remember being there. it was something we went over there and talked to that community for a short period of time and i just remember we went and left. but i don't remember anything specific as far as if russia was in there or anything like that. it was more the stance with the united states and policies with israel. >> when you read the details of the papadopoulos guilt plea, does that, to you, sound like collusion? >> no, because, again, i haven't read it and i haven't seen what led up to that and what they are charging him with. i can't comment on that. >> why were suthey told about stolen e-mails before the americans knew about russia hackings? >> i wish i could answer that
but i can't. when you're close to am ka pain, certainly you get information before anybody else and what you decide to do with that is depending on the campaign. so i'd let this investigation work out and then let it lead to where it's going to lead and the people that need to be held accountable, i'm sure they will be. >> but if a person with significant ties to the kremlin offers russian dirt on a political opponent, especially if it's stolen e-mails, what's the right thing to do if someone, freor example, came to you with that? >> well, we can go back to the hillary clinton take in the dossier that was out there that she decided to run with it or their team decided to run with it so we can go down a bunch of different avenues there. we talked about this before when jared kushner took that or donald trump jr. took that meeting initially to get that information as opposition research. anybody would do that. >> the hillary clinton dossier is a separate matter.
if someone came to you and said we have stolen e-mails, they are very sensitive, they involve your political opponent, what would you do? would you say i'll take it or go to the fbi and say there's been a crime that's been committed? >> i'd have to wait till i was in that but i would probably go to the fbi or to some authority. i would. but i'm not in that situation. you have to put yourself in that situation at that point in time in the campaign when it happened, were they told it was stolen? you know, again, i'm at a disadvantage because i haven't read that. >> well, papadopoulos, as we know, pled guilty to the charges leveled against him. another question, i want to clarify, "the daily beast" is reporting that national securitier adviser michael flynn, who was fired for concealing his phone calls with the russian ambassador to the united states followed russian propaganda and twitter accounts in the month before the election. why was a top campaign official
spreading propaganda from russia? >> did he say look at this, what's going on or this must be true, look at the dirt on somebody is. so i can't comment on that. >> considering, though, the backdrop of the russia investigations, the investigations up in the house and senate as well as the special counsel, robert mueller's investigation, would you advise president trump to meet with vladimir putin during his upcoming trip to asia? >> i think he's going to focus and they'll have those meetings when appropriate. the focus right now is on america's commitment to the asia pacific area. the asean countries, the apec coming up and summit coming up and with what is going on in north korea, that's where his focus is. this is something over the last eight years we've had a strategic of policy patience and
i just got back from vietnam, singapore and hong kong and the word we heard over and over again is where is america? we need your leadership and with this administration, they are seeing it, they are seeing the freedom of navigation in the south china sea which has been void. they are welcoming this trip and i think that's where president trump should focus on and that's where he's going to focus. >> there's more breaking news, congressman. i want to take a quick break. stand by. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,... ...isn't it time to let the real you shine through? maybe it's time for otezla (apremilast). otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,...
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we're back with ted yoho following the breaking news regarding the president's son-in-law jared kushner. cnn has learned that the special counsel's team has started asking witnesses about kushner's role in the firing of james comey. we're going to talk about that. more with the congressman. stand by, congressman, because there's other important news we're following right now. the house speaker paul ryan is insisting to cnn that the russia probe won't, repeat, won't get in the way of passing the new republican tax bill. ryan spoke with our congressional correspondent phil mattingly. the russia probe aside, there are plenty of potential land mines in this new republican plan, right? >> no question about it, wolf.
when you talk to rank and file members, there's plenty of enthusiasm, anything to do something legislatively. the same members, wolf, are keenly aware that the difficuet are hard to swallow. >> reporter: a wide-ranging overhaul. >> this will deliver the most transformational tax cuts. >> reporter: the top goal of the year with no shortage potential road blocks ahead. >> you've been blunt throughout. there is a reason this hadn't been done in 31 years. >> reporter: paul ryan making a clear cut guarantee. >> can you guarantee that all middle class taxpayers will see a tax cut? >> that's the entire purpose of this. >> reporter: and touting a targeted approach for u.s. tax payers. >> this gives the average tax
family about a $1200 tax cut. absolutely. i think this is a game-changer for our economy. >> reporter: 429 pages. the product of weeks of intense negotiations. now public and drawing support from the president. >> i really believe we'll have it done before christmas. i consider that to be one of the great christmas presents. >> reporter: the bill dramatically cuts the corporate and business tax rate and collapses the number of individual tax brackets from seven to four. but it's also rife with potential problems. powerful interest groups like realtors and home builders vowing to oppose the bill over the lack of new home buying credit and a $500,000 cap on the mortgage interest rate deduction for new home purchases, all as
democrats, many of whom pledge to oppose the bill before it was even released attacked the proposal for favoring corporate cuts over relief for every day americans. >> big, wealthy corporations count far more than kids in this bill. >> reporter: but republicans are holding firm. >> we're doing it. >> reporter: hoping to achieve a once in a generation goal. >> we're going to get this done. why? because the american people deserve this. >> reporter: wolf, if you want to get a sense about the political and policy urgency here, look at the schedule going ahead. the house ways and means committee takes up this bill on monday. they want it on the house floor a week from that point. during that point, the senate will start taking up its proposal. the idea here, both the house and senate pass a bill by thanksgiving. that's moving at hyperspeed here and when you ask aides why, when you ask lawmakers why, they are realistic about things. they acknowledge the longer a tax reform bill hangs out there, the easier it is to attack, the easier it is for lobbyists to
mobilize and go after the bill. they want to try and take that away and seize on what a lot of members feel like in the wake of legislative failures is a political imperative, wolf. >> phil mattingly, thank you very much. let's get back to congressman ted yoho of florida. are you going to vote for this republican tax plan? >> i am seeing the complete language. i came into this thing very critical of the process and skeptical. after today, i feel a lot better about it and i feel this is something that the american people are going to really benefit from and you're going to see people at all different income levels benefit from it. >> with the proposed cap on interest deductions hurt the economy, hurt some of your constituents of florida? >> oh, i'm sure some people will feel like that but the whole mortgage deduction was there for first-time home buyers, for people buying their starter homes. $500,000 home is a pretty good size house in florida. i think that's a good thing. it's a compromise. i know some other people would
rather have it on any size home but i think that's a good thing to keep in place so people can afford to buy a house and deduct that interest. i think that's a very important thing and i think it's a good compromise. >> the republican plan would also repeal the deductions for medical expenses, student loan interest and dependent care assistance accounts. are you worried about how that potentially could hurt your constituents? >> no, because, you know, it might do that in one part of it but the other one incentivizes investment into colleges. it invecentivizes parents and children and relatives so it goes back in there. that's a wash and overall it's going to put more money in the american taxpayers' pocket from the upper levels all the way down to the lower income levels. the lowest tax rate is zero. >> but congressman, if this legislation were to repeal and it says it will repeal the deduction for student loan
interest but it would not repeal -- let me repeat the question. what message does it send to repeal the deduction for student rate interest but also repeal the estate tax for the superrich completely by 2024? >> okay. let me take the first one. they're incentivizing putting money away for college tuition, so that's a good thing and that's what we want. and thereaga again, there's goi to be a tradeoff. the inheritance tax needs to go away. i've had people that i've dealt with as a veterinarian working on their farm, family farms have gone away because of this. this is something that families have worked, put their sweat equity in to create a business, a farm that they can pass on to the next generation. they've paid taxes on it and done all of those things required by government tax laws.
why should we have to tax it again? pass it on to the next generation. that's one of the beauties of our country. >> they've increased the tax exempt status for states -- for individuals 5.5 million it's going to go up to 11 million for couples and -- >> 20 million. >> and then above that, you would pay tax above 20, $22 million under the new legislation. 22 million. not a lot of small farms are worth $20 million, right? >> there are plenty of farms worth well over that in our area. we have some farms that are 10, 20, 30, 50,000 acres. >> they are not small farms. >> it protects them with the deductions that you first mentioned. the five goes -- it goes up to $20 million and then the whole tax goes away after six years. this is something that we've been fighting for for a long time. let's get rid of it. it's not that big of a generating for revenue for the federal government and it's taxing people for success and
hurting businesses for families to pass on a business that they put all of that sweat equity in for the next generation. >> congressman ted yoho, thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me on. more ahead, exclusive reporting on the special counsel's office and scrutiny right now. jared kushner and his role in the firing of the former fbi director james comey. and new video of the terror in new york city as the investigation now widens the scope of the attack plan becomes clearer. who knew that phones would start doing everything?
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breaking news, cnn has learned that the president's senior adviser and son-in-law jared kushner has recently turned over documents to the special counsel robert mueller. sources say mueller's team is interested in kushner as part of the russia meddling probe and investigators started asking questions about kushner's involvement in the firing of james comey. let's bring in our specialist. what's the significance of this special counsel's focus now on kushner? >> well, there's a number of things. first, we know that the special counsel mueller is focusing on the inner circle, the associates that are closest to trump. it's significant that trump is now producing documents, memos, e-mails. kushner has been sort of a common actor. we know that he was in the infamous trump tower meeting. reportedly he tried to set up
this covert communication channel using the russian embassy. everywhere you look, all of the suspicious activity that goes on there, jared kushner is there. he might have produced a lot of material documents what occurred during the campaign. >> how worried, gloria, should kushner be that mueller is closing in on the inner circle of the president? >> i think this all goes to the question of obstruction and obviously i think mueller is going to ask the same question about the president himself. it all goes to, one way or another, the comey firing, at least this part of it does. and so i think he's not going to be thrilled about this but his attorneys inside the white house have made it very clear that they have cooperated with all of the document production and not only from jared kushner but i'm presuming from other people inside the white house who played a role in the transition or the campaign and up until serving now and i think one thing i agree with you, susan, one thing about kushner is, that
whether it was on board air force one where they were trying to figure out how to -- you know, how to talk about that meeting in trump tower, don junior's meeting in trump tower or jared was at westminster when he decided he wanted to fire comey, i think it makes a lot of sense, as my colleagues have reported, that the special counsel would be interested in jared to find out exactly what his role was, if he had any role at all or if he was a bystander. >> he apparently did not update the security form. >> that's right. the fs-86 form. so i think they're looking at everything as the special counsel should. >> david, there's some interesting poll numbers in the newa new "washington post"/abc poll, for example, papadopoulos and
manafort are limited to them, 28% and represent broader wrongdoing, 53% and no opinion, 19%. 49% of the americans, according to this poll, believe that it's unlikely and 49% likely that president trump committed a crime. >> it's worth pointing out i think two points. one, even though not everybody are political junkies like us and following the twists and turns that come out about this, the public at large are seeing details that come out week by week, day by day, month by month, and the general trend is maybe towards we're not at the point where we're looking at crimes or collusion being committed but people in the trump circle were cozy with russians throughout this campaign and that's leading people, i think, to come to some of these conclusions. i think it's worth pointing out, except in the case of
papadopoulos, everyone is just charge, not guilt. >> he's decided to plead guilty. let me have you weigh in, bianna, and then we'll go on to something else. >> the timing is interesting because this comes at a time when the president is allegedly starting to turn or question jared kushner's advice and whether it's from steve bannon or others that are starting to say, listen, you look at all of the decisions that have gotten this president into hot water and they all seem to point to jared kushner. jared kushner allegedly was the one who was pushing the president to fire comey. now you have questions about what he was doing at that meeting at the trump to youwer. jared kushner is part of a scrappy team that didn't have much experience or he was the man who led the brilliant digital campaign. so at some point one has to wonder about timing and when, if ever, jared kushner will
actually start to see real tension with the president playing out in the public. >> let me get your thoughts, bianna, also on the republican tax cut plan, 400-page legislation that was unveiled today. clearly there will be lower taxes paid by a lot of americans but with a lot on the deductions going away, i assume some americans will see their taxes go up. >> especially those that are looking to buy a new home when they're cutting the mortgage interest deduction as well. i think the best gauge is to see what their reaction has been. we're not hearing from corporate america or small business owners. i think you're going to start hearing from, as we've already started to hear, from the real estate lobby and state and local players as well, governors and mayors of high-tax states that are going to be affected unfairly about this. a lot of the people you were talking with who support this bill in the legislation say that's going to be made up by other deductions but when you do the math, you'll hear from
republican senators, like marco rubio, who say one doesn't balance the other out. so it's not just a now.blican/democrat issue right this is divided amongst states and amongst households. people that are wealthy are probably going to like this bill. some that are not are going to like it as well but i think you pay attention to the lob bow in this country and you'll get a good sense of what the reaction is. >> marco rubio tweeted, gloria, house tax reform bill is only the starting point but $600 child tax credit and potus goal of helping working families. the president says he's going to sign this into law by christmas. do you think he'll be able to do that? >> i wouldn't put any good money on it. tax bills are very difficult. that's why you only have them every decade. it takes decades to get a tax bill. and when you have people like the national association of home builders because of the drop in the mortgage interest deduction, you are going to have the democrats saying this is a
benefit to the wealthy and corporate america because of the estate tax repeal. you're going to have -- you're going to have the deficit hawks saying, this is going to cost $2 trillion over ten years and we can't afford it. so this is just round one. tax bills are always really hard. i think, look, what the president is trying to do and what the white house is trying to do, understandably, is to say, we have to get this done so we have something to bring home to our constituents because we failed on repeal and replacing obamacare. and so i think the president is trying to kind of put some pressure on here. but, you know, these folks are not going to be pressured on this. >> some republicans deeply concerned. >> you know who is -- >> hold on. i want david to weigh in, that are deeply concerned that it's going to raise the deficit. >> republicans have a couple of problems, as bianna pointed out. there are things like the mortgage interest deduction and
state income deduction. that's giving some republicans some pause. the deficit, who is going to pay for all of this tax cut and, lastly, yes, president trump wants to push people towards getting something done but i believe there are only 25 legislating days left this year. republicans know that they have a heavy load. >> go ahead, bianna. >> gloria mentioned pressure. i think the most pressure right now is on gary cohn and steve mnuchin. you heard the president say if they don't get this done, they are not going on the asia. we've seen the president say those half-joking threats. a lot of pressure on them. >> and we're going to stay on top of this story. it's not going away anytime soon. there's other important news we're following. we're about to get the latest on the new york terror investigation and the disturbing details about the additional
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our national correspondent jason carroll is in new york for us. jason, we have new video and a lot of additional details about how this deadly attack was planned. >> reporter: a lot of new details, wolf. it's becoming more and more clear to investigators that the suspect had been planning this attack for some time. all of this as they continue to focus on his communication, who he was talking to, when he was talking to these people and what, if anything, they may have known about his plans. this is the scene just moments after a school bus was rammed by the terrorist pickup truck. >> oh, my god! >> okay. i need an ambulance right here. >> reporter: all four people inside survived. one student recovering from surgery, another even returning to high school the next day. >> i consider the suspect an enemy of new york city. what is exceptional here is the fact that new yorkers were undeterred. >> reporter: speaking at the
school's campus, new york city mayor bill de blasio minced no words about the suspect. >> i believe this is an individual who should rot in prison for the rest of his life. >> reporter: authorities say sayfullo saipov z he now faces terrorism charges. new sketched show him ent oring court in a wheelchair where he declined to enter a plea. the 29-year-old appears to have little remorse, killing eight and injuring 13 in tuesday's violent vehicular rampage. court documents show he requested to display an isis flag in his hospital room and felt good about what he had done. in fact, he planned it me tick lousily. he planned on renting the truck with no intention of returning it. the neighbor took this photo,
showing the same kind of truck parked in his neighborhood ten days before the attack. just when investigators say he used it to practice making turns. he says he didn't always drive alone. >> the question is, they most know something. >> reporter: initially, the fbi asked for help in finding a second man in connection with the terror attack, but missed urgent questions about the accomplices said this. >> we have found him. i'll leave it at that. >> reporter: saipov was the only one in the truck tuesday. he continued the deadly drive beyond the west side highway to the heavily trafficked brooklyn bridge. instead, he crashed here, where police found a trove of ovid. >> saipov committed this attack in support of isis. >> reporter: investigators found
approximately 90 videos and 3800 images related to isis. wolf, the city has begun installing concrete barriers along the pathway to provide more protection for pedestrians. tonight, the attention is focused on remembering the victims. tonight, there's a candle light vigil under way to honor them. wolf? >> deepest condolences go to the families of those who died. jason, thank you very, very much. just ahead, will kim jong-un ratchet up his taunts to president trump as the president visits the korean peninsula? will be american energy.
tonight, a new warning that north korea is preparing to launch another provocative test as president trump prepares to go to the region tomorrow. it is more alarming than ever given rapid advancements in his weapons program. barbara starr is working her sources. what are you learning? >> reporter: good evening, wolf. here is the latest. before president trump takes off for asia, the u.s. air force has flown two b-1 bombers over the
peninsula in a show of force getting a heated response, an indicator of how tense it all is. tonight, north korea is working on an advanced version of the intercontinental ballistic missile six months after it was tested. a missile that could reach the united states. kim jong-un is accelerating the nuclear warhead and missile programs aimed at being able to attack the homeland. president trump's rhetoric already grabbed the attention. >> they will be met with fire and fury. >> reporter: as the president travels through asia, don't expect any of that to change. >> i don't think the president -- have you noticed? >> reporter: top officials have been sounding a more sober alarm. >> in terms of sense of urgency today, north korea poses the greatest threat. >> north korea accelerated the threat it poses to neighbors in the world.
>> reporter: north korea is working to improve rocket fuel to missiles can fly longer distances. missile engines and motor components for greater reliability and targeting and guidance systems for accuracy. >> the north koreans have been able to make tech know logical breakthroughs at a more rapid pace than anticipated. >> reporter: the u.s. continues to believe in 2018, north korea could put a miniaturized nuclear warhead on top of a long-range missile making it able to hit the u.s. chief of staff, john kelly, hinting north korea made progress on the warheads. >> the american people should be concerned about a state that has developed a pretty good icbm capability and is developing a pretty good nuclear re-entry vehicle. >> reporter: hours before the president leaves, a marker laid
down. >> the united states will respond with all capabilities available to north korean aggression. >> reporter: but, the u.s. intelligence community is watching very closely north korea's underground nuclear test site. they have had collapses of the geology of the rock underground and making it difficult to do another test. wolf? >> thanks very much. that's it for me. erin burnett out front starts right now. outfront, next. breaking news, trump's son-in-law, jared kushner turning over documents in the russia probe. what was his role in the firing of comey? jeff sessions, questions about his testimony to congress. did he commit perjury? senator al franken demanding answers. he's my guest this hour. the republicans role out their plan to cut taxes. who is getting the