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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 27, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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yes, there is already a meghan markle effect in full force. >> it is good to be meghan markle, isn't it? >> it is great to be meghan markle. this is a lady who who is an independent successful woman who has done an enormous amount of charitable work already. she's done well. >> thank you, victoria. always a pleasure. that's it for us. i'll see you tonight at 10:00. pam brown takes over for "the pam brown takes over for "the lead" right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com president trump said it's back to work. maybe after another round of golf. "the lead" starts right now. from burping bridges on twitter to building them with dems, the president begins to focus on the issue that we all may be talking about as a battle for the balance of power begins in 2018. purge. a word that usually comes after kim jong-un in a headline, but one gop lawmaker is now standing by his comments that that's what should happen at the fbi.
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plus, sex crimes at 30,000 feet. why are so many reports of sexual assault in the skies not being investigated? and good afternoon. welcome to "the lead" on this wednesday. i'm pamela brown in for my colleague jake tapper. and we begin with our politics lead. and the white house's goals for 2018 starting with an infrastructure bill. in the coming weeks, the trump administration is set to unveil a proposal to fix the nation's bridges, highways and airports, but could democrats put up a speed bump or even a roadblock? let's begin with cnn's ryan nobles in florida where president trump is spending the holidays. ryan, he just checked off a major win with tax reform. is the white house feeling confident about building bridges with democrats in the new year? >> reporter: well, pam, there is no doubt that the president and his administration feel they have a degree of momentum behind them after passing that sweeping tax reform bill into law. and he believes that infrastructure could be a very
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positive agenda item for him going forward, primarily because he thinks he can get democratic buy-in. in fact, friday before he left to come here to florida, this is what the president said about a potential infrastructure bill. >> infrastructure is by far the easiest. people want it. republicans and democrats. we're going to have tremendous democrat support on infrastructure, as you know. i could have started with infrastructure. i actually wanted to save the easy one for the one down the road. >> reporter: so an easy one is how the president described infrastructure, but his plan would be pretty big. this is a look at what white house officials are telling us to expect some time in mid-january. this is a proposal that could mean $200 billion in federal funding. the goal would be that federal funding would encourage funding at the local level as well. this is even something the president is planning on making one of the primary planks of his state of the union address in january. pam, we should point out that this was a campaign promise of the president. at that time, he promised $1
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trillion in funding. the question is, can he get democrats to come on board, particularly in an election year where democrats may not be encouraged to do anything to help this president? pam? >> yeah, that's a serious consideration. and, ryan, yesterday cnn shot video of the president golfing. any sign of him doing that again today? >> reporter: well, this is kind of a silly back and forth that's happening between the news media and the white house. we did have a location on public property where we were able to get a view of the president golfing. it happened twice this week. today when not just our cameras but from a number of different news organizations showed up in that same spot on public property, a big, mysterious white box van showed up at the same time. in fact, when our photojournalists attempted to move around the van to get a shot, the van moved with them. and then after a very short period of time, the van left. now, the united states secret service says that they had nothing to do with that van and the palm beach sheriff's office
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also saying they have nothing to do with that van, but we can tell you today, pam, we never saw the president on the golf course, even though he was at trump international golf course for quite awhile this morning. >> the mystery surrounding that white truck continues. ryan dmoebls, thanks so much. i want to bring in my panel right now. rebecca berg, cnn political comment ate mr. singleton and week-ly standard editor at large, bill kristol. what do democrats have to gain by working with the president ahead of the midterms in 2018? i mean, the president seems pretty confident he's going to be able to work with democrats on infrastructure. do you think it's going to be that easy? >> no, i don't think so. cnn just reported today that the president's approval ratings nationally are at 35%. so why would democrats want to work with the president? now i think democrats are going to be as objective as they possibly can be about this. you will hear democrats say we want to work on something and i think they will fight like health care on the things they disagree with. >> on the flip side of this,
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infrastructure is something that democrats want to fix. they've been outspoken about it. the fact that we're heading into a midterm be enough to stop democrats from working with the president, rebecca? >> well, you have to consider what the final plan is going to look like, pam. you have to assume that anything coming out of a republican congress or a republican house or republican senate, and, of course, the president himself being a republican, republicans are going to want spending cuts to compliment any sort of spending increases on infrastructure. and so democrats it's possible would oppose some of those cuts. so with any sort of legislation we're talking about in congress, the devil is always in the details. but from a political perspective, i would expect some of these red state democrats, especially on the senate side, joe mansion. in their states, they supported donald trump. they're going to be trying to appeal to voters who supported trump. so they want to show they're willing to work with him as well. >> i hope rebecca's right, that republicans still care about the
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deficit and the debt enough to actually insist on spending cuts to pay for the infrastructure but there is no evidence that they -- trump certainly doesn't care about it. >> bright. >> trump will cut a deal with democrats and take a lot of republicans along with them. the republicans as it turns out don't care much about the deficit and the debt. i think that's a very bad idea. we have a tax plan that balloons the debt even more. infrastructure is sort of the conservative politically correct term for stimulus. we had a huge infrastructure plan in 2009. president obama spent hundreds of billions of dollars. we were in the deep recession. now we're growing 3%. we're eight years into a recovery. there is very little case, in my opinion, for spending a huge amount of federal money without at least cutting somewhere else, but no one's going to cut anywhere else. >> if you remember, let's remember trump's contract with the american voter he said he would introduce a bill for $1 trillion towards infrastructure within the first 100 days. now the proposal is $200 billion. >> it's not realistic. as it relates to republicans and tax cuts, i'm a republican when
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george w. bush was in office, we spent a lot of money, a ridiculous amount of money. i don't think that's going to change under president trump. i do think there are going to be republicans, perhaps heritage foundation, et cetera, that is going to put pressure on the white house to say, no, if you're going to pass infrastructure, you have to have tax cuts in it-- >> spending cuts. >> spending cuts, rather. you can't continue to spend money as if there is no limit. the average person, bill, sees that and say, okay, if i'm at home with a husband and wife and thinking about spending on a monthly basis, they have to figure out where every single dollar is going to go. they expect politicians to do the same. >> trump and the democrats are going to get along great spending our money and putting us more into debt. none of bush's deficits were as high as the current deficit today. paul ryan made his career on entitlement reform because we're going to go bankrupt, which we are. the debt is getting too high. he's given up on that. this is very revealing with a republican president and congress -- >> he's not a real republican. >> you know, think about this, what are we talking about?
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a big suspending program. we're not talking about entitlement reform. what was the republican issue for 2013, 2014, 2015, twoilkt? correctly, in my view ---entitlement reform. >> paul ryan is -- >> it's pragmatism. it's the reality of the situation as mitch mcconnell has pointed out the majority in the senate is going to narrow in the next year. >> doug jones of alabama. >> the 49 majority. everything has been difficult for senate republicans with 52 votes. if you look at the situation with 51 votes, everything is going to be that much more difficult. >> really quickly before i let you guys go. trump tweeted it was time to get back to work starting yesterday after christmas, since then he's visited his golf course twice. look, this makes it 87 days president trump has spent at his golf properties. a lot of people are on vacation. he has every right to go golfing. this is notable only for trump's own hypocrisy. he criticized obama for golfing, but does it matter? have people just accepted this is just the way the president
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operates? >> the pot calling the kettle black, come on, nothing surprises me from this president anymore. he criticizing everyone else and does the same exactly. it shouldn't be a surprise. people at this point in time said that's trump and trump is going to be trump. >> that's trump. he's going to say he's going back to work and hits the golf course. >> from my point of view, he does very little damage when he's on the golf course. if he let's h.r. mcmaster run our foreign policy and let's john kelly run the white house and let's, i guess gary cohn run trade and economic policy, that's fine. he should play two or three rounds a day. take advantage of the good weather. >> over the weekend he was golfing and tweeting about andy mccabe retiring. it doesn't keep him on twitter. >> maybe he should be doing multiple rounds instead of just one. >> all right. everyone stick around. a lot more to discuss. so will democrats work with president trump in the new year like we were just discussing? i'm going to ask congressman greg meeks up next. stay with us.
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we actually have a full screen. you said my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have prioritized rebuilding our nation's crumbling infrastructure. we all agree it needs to happen. so in light of what you said back in may, does that mean you'll work with the president on supporting this bill? >> well, as i heard in your panel, the devil is always in the details. my concern was that was before we spent over $2 trillion for tax cuts for the top 1%. now you're talking about $200 billion which is not enough to do anything of substantial nature as far at as what our infrastructure needs are and, you know, i think that you look at what the middle class, the working class and poor folks, well, clearly you're going to cut things that are important to them. like i think they would like to go -- republicans would like to go after entitlements like medicare and social security and medicaid. so i've got to look at the entire package. >> there is no indication at this point that that is a priority for the republicans in the new year, right? >> oh, i think it is. i think one of the things they do and it's been their strategy
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all along is to say they're reducing government or going to give back the people some money in tax cuts so they can say that the government is broke. so we've got to cut some of the entitlement programs or we've got to cut some of the most, you know, health care. also with this passed tax bill, 13 million americans who had health care covered may lose it. we've got problems that regard. so it's my responsibility now not just to be looking at what's right in front of me, i've got the responsibility of looking at a broader and bigger picture and a lot of it has been shaped by already giving away $2.5 trillion to the top 1% of americans. >> so then what would democrats be willing to work on with the president next year? >> well, i think that if you look at the president talks about health care. not repealing and replacing, as he talked about, but we all said there were some fixes we could do to make sure the that the affordable care act -- we want the 24 million people to have health care. if you talk about regulations of
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community and small banks so that local business folks, small businesses and people can get mortgages and we make sure that some of the regulations that are placed on some of our small and medium sized banks and regional banks that are really based in the communities. if they have unintended consequences from the some of the dodd/frank regulations, i'd be willing to work with them on that. >> infrastructure is off the table unless there is more money? >> infrastructure, as i just said, on a bigger picture there, we've got to look at now based on the fact that we gave $2.5 trillion basically to the top 1% of americans and corporations, where is the money going to come from? i cannot allow someone to rob peter to pay paul, i've got to make sure we are taking care of the middle class and working class families throughout america. >> let's talk about the middle class, the working class, because the tax law -- the gop tax law under that 91% of the middle class americans are going to get a tax cut next year. bernie sanders, democrat, your colleague in the senate, said
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that is a very good thing. do you agree with him? >> 80% of the tax cuts that are coming is going to go to the richest 1%. so, yes, if you want to say you're giving them a crumb, and that tax cut expires in ten years. whereas it does not expire for the major corporations of america. so there is a bait and switch is what i'm concerned about with how this president has governed over the last year. he baits and then switches. he says one thing and then there is really a different result. and so we've got to be careful. you know, i've said all along that this president is a con man. and we've you've got to see a con man, he gives you something that might sound sweet but you know it's going to be bitter in the end. so you've got to pay extra attention to what he does because he's a bait and switch con man and that gives me a concern. >> all right. let's talk about some of the rhetoric coming from democrats. house speaker nancy pelosi called the gop tax bill
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armageddon. some of your colleagues are pushing f pushing for president trump to be impeached. do you think the democrats are overplaying their hand with that kind of rhetoric? >> look, i think we're the greatest country on this planet and think we are going to survive donald trump, but i think for the sake of our institutions we have to hold everybody accountable, including donald trump. so donald trump, i think if he had his way would undermine the basic institutions of america as is indicated by him and other republicans trying to go after the fbi, mr. mueller and others. so it's the institutions that if we allow that to happen would be the destruction of our country. but i have faith in the american people. i have faith that that will not happen. that sooner or later we will stand up to make sure that we preserve the institutions that are so effective and what has made america the country that it is. >> all right. congressman gregory meeks, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. strong words from a former white house ethics lawyer.
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he says it's time for the new fbi director to stand up to trump or stand down. we'll talk to him up next. my experience with usaa has been excellent. they always refer to me as master sergeant. they really appreciate the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police. usaa was there hands-on very quick very prompt. i feel like we're being handled as people that actually have a genuine need. we're the webber family and we are usaa members for life. usaa, get your insurance quote today.
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breaking news. president trump speaking at a firehouse in west palm beach to firefighters. let's listen. >> you guys were depleted, too. particularly the police were giving them military equipment, which was taken away by the previous administration. you know all about that. and now you're getting the military equipment. they didn't want us to use the military equipment. somebody will explain why. now you have the best military equipment and you're able to use it for the police force. i want to thank you for the job you do medically and the paramedics and the job you do with the fire has been incredible. so they said would you like to come over here and say hello? some of you've i've met, many of you down in palm beach, but you do a fantastic job so we just wanted to thank you very much. really fantastic people. and hopefully with the media surrounding us they'll understand exactly what's
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happening. because we want to give these people credit for the great job they do. so thank you all very much. we appreciate it. now i'll go back to palm beach and you go back also watch yourselves on television, all right? create some stars in here. you know that, right? do you have any questions? >> the house and the senate passed the safer -- [ inaudible ] is that a good thing? >> well, they just passed it. it's coming to me and it's a good thing. you like it, right? >> we love it. we just appreciate -- >> you know one of the things that people don't understand, we have signed more legislation -- we broke the record of harry truman and saying if we get this big tax cut, because that's the legislation of all legislations. that's the biggest there is. but that included anwar, as you know, and it included the repeal of the individual mandate, which is a disaster. that's where you have the
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privilege of paying a lot of money so that you don't have to buy health insurance, all right? the most unpopular thing. which most people thought should have been unconstitutional. but we repealed it and got anwar, which is going to be one of the great drilling sites of the world. a lot of things. but we had a lot of legislation passed and here's an example of something that soon will be passed and sign. so, yeah, we're going to take -- your folks have been fighting for that for a long time. we've got a lot of legislation passed. they were saying that if we got this one done w, we would have succeeded with legislation. but i believe we have -- you have to ask those folks, but i think they know the real answer, we have more legislation passed, including -- the record was harry truman. that was a long time ago. and we broke that record. we have a lot done. in addition, we have a lot of executive orders. we've gotten a lot of the rules and the regulations -- you people suffered from that to a certain extent, too, in all fairness. but a lot of the regulations
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were voided and now you can go back to work and do your jobs. in the case of builders and farmers and so many others, they can go back and do their jobs. we have the all-time record for stopping ridiculous regulations and we're very proud of that. that's one of the reasons the stock market has jumped at a record level. we've broken 84 times this year, the stock market hit a new high, 84 times since he won the election on november 8th of last year. so that's something ween can all be proud of. that means you are all very smart. your families, say, boy, you're a great investor, right? when you have your numbers go up and your stocks go up and everything else. when the stock market goes up, that affects everybody, not just you. you think of the rich. the fact is that it affects everybody because people own stocks, whether it's in 401(k)s or otherwise. we'll get that signed. it's going to be signed. [ inaudible ] >> oh, good.
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you have 15 of them. you know who were talking about? come on over here. applause -- [ applause ] >> better sign it. now i have no choice, right? thank you, everybody. thank you. congratulations. thank you. thank you very much. i'll go back and sign it fast, okay? >> all right. there you heard president trump speaking at a fire station in west palm beach. it was a little tough to hear him there. it didn't look like he had a mike on. i want to bring back my panel to discuss. what i think i heard him
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thanking the firefighters for all that they do, asking the media to cover them all. cnn does highlight the work of our first responders, just putting that out there. it didn't take him long to turn the focus on what he perceived his accomplishments in the first year in office. say under his administration more legislation has been passed than harry truman. fact check. is that true? do we know? >> probably not. >> tax reform -- >> what's interesting, though, is that this is something he's been saying, pamela, since his first 100 days. it might have been truer at that point when you're considering all of the small pieces of legislation and bills that we don't necessarily pay attention to at the national level, but it's not true any longer, certainly. yet he keeps saying it because once donald trump latches on to a line he likes, he use it is over and over again. >> he said it just before he left for mar-a-lago, too. >> he was in the clubhouse, just finished his round of golf, he was watching the show and heard
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you making gun of him playing golf instead of working. he quickly put on the suit -- he had a quick turnaround, hustled over to the fire station. there he is in his work attire thanking first responders. who can dislike that? cnn reports and the president responds. >> when i think of leadership, i think of leaders being selfless, once again we see this egoist type of behavior mentality coming from the president. at one moment he's thanking the first responders and then he's talking about himself. when is it the right time to appropriately thank people for their action, to their work and what they're contributing to society overall versus what he's doing as president? again, a lot of people keep pointing this out, there is a lack of transformational leadership from this president. we continue to see that time and time again from this president. if you want people to rally behind you, to support you, you
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have to make them feel good besides talking about yourself. the president isn't doing that. >> he started off doing that. >> he started off great. >> it sort of reminds me, remember when he was at the cia and early on and he was talking about how large the crowds were at his inauguration, you know, kind of bringing it back to himself. i mean, in fairness, he did -- some of the points he made, look, the stock market is high. the stock market is doing well. is that fair for him to point that out as an achievement under his administration, bill? >> sure. to the degree he's holding most of his supporters at this point, he's not doing great in the polls but not as badly as he might be, it is mostly because of the economy and the market. i'm struck by how many reluctant republicans i run into don't like trump much, really dislike his personal qualities and some of the decisions, a lot of the rhetoric, but, you know, the economy's fine. there has been no foreign policy crisis yet. it's not as bad as you say, bill. i hear that all the time. i think he's wise -- at some point the stock market will go
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down and you're sort of on your own. >> it won't be his fault, right? >> it won't be his fault. people underestimate our conversations around washington when we talk about trump's tweets and how much the health of the economy, for which he deserves a little credit but not that much, honestly, is holding him up. it would be an interesting question where his approval numbers would be if we get a downturn. >> everyone stick around. thanks so much. also this week, president trump has renewed his war of words on his own fbi, doubling down on his frequent criticism of the bureau, calling to tainted with the reputation in tatters. now a former top aide to president george w. bush says the new fbi director needs to stand up to the president or step down. richard painter was the former white house counsel on ethics to president bush and he joins me now. bottom line, why do you think the head of the fbi, christopher wray, needs to stand up to the president or resign? >> well, first, i want to emphasize i think christopher wray is an excellent person to
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lead the fbi and he has impeccable credentials, but it's a challenging job, particularly under this president, and christopher wray has a job to do. he has to defend his agency, the fbi, against the unwarranted attacks from the president of the united states and from members of congress. there is honestly no evidence of disarray at the fbi or corruption at the fbi that's at all extraordinary and nothing like what the president of the united states and various members of congress have alleged. and row mccabe, the deputy director, is a man also of impeccable credentials. he's done a very good job. the allegations against him are just flat-out lies so it is the job of the director of the fbi to stand up to the president when he has to and say, no, that is not right what you're saying about mr. mccabe, it's not right what you're saying about my agency. he needs to defend his agency. if he doesn't have the courage to do that, he's going to have
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to stand down. >> he has testified before congress, this happened earlier this month, where he was asked about the president's attacks on his agencies. here is how he responded to that. >> there is no shortage of opinions out there. what i can tell you is that the fbi that i see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep americans safe -- >> so you say he needs to defend his agency. did he go far enough there? >> well, he went some of the way. but since then, we have had the president lash out on twitter against andrew mccabe. we've had a congressman call for a purge of the fbi at the department of justice. that is a direct affront to the civil servants who work in these agencies. he has to go further. christopher wray needs to tell the president of the united states to stop attacking the fbi and officials in the fbi on
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twitter and tell that congressman and all the rest of them who are shooting their mouths off without any knowledge of the facts that they are just flat-out wrong and there is not going to be any purge of the fbi on his watch. >> okay. >> he needs to stand up to these people. they're acting like dictators. >> you say purge. let's go to that sound from congressman francis rooney. he was calling for a purge of the fbi. i want it to play you what he told my colleague brianna keilar this afternoon. >> i think if you've got 2% bad apples like this strzok guy and orr, what i worry about is the debilitating impact of strzok and possibly mccabe on the institution itself and on the importance that institution has in our country. >> and he's also referring to andrew mccabe, the deputy director of the fbi. but do you see, richard, the other side at all? because it does seem like whether or not you think they're accurate, that kind of rhetoric is playing in, you know, people in the gop, in the republican
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party and their views of the russia investigation and robert mueller. >> well, i've been a republican for 30 years and i want to stay with the republican party. that doesn't appeal to my type of republican. it doesn't appeal to patriotic americans to see the fbi attacked that way. this is rhetoric that appeals to the extreme right-wing of the republican party. we talk about purges of the fbi, what that -- what the message is is he doesn't like the fact that there are any democrats working at the fbi. people who may have contributed some money to democrats or expressed support for democrats and personal messages they send in texts and so forth and andrew mccabe has absolutely all the right to have his wife run for public office. he shouldn't be attacked because his wife ran for public office. mr. mccabe did a very good job as deputy director of the fbi. he's not a republican. i'm a republican. but i think we need to honor our civil servants of both parties. they are entitled to their
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positions. they're not -- they should not be retaliated against because of the political views, the civil service laws protect them and we don't have purges in the united states of america. i mean, that's soviet russia or nazi germany, that's not the type of rhetoric we use in the united states of america and that man does plot belong in congress. i don't care which party he's in. i sure as heck don't want him in my party. >> richard painter, thank you so much. >> thank you. well, american warplanes dropping bombs on terrorists over the christmas weekend as the trump administration says isis is on the run. but top pentagon brass said there is a big problem. we'll explain up next. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
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and we're back with our world lead. u.s. warplanes bob barreding al shabaab terrorists. the strike comes at a top coalition official warns isis firefighters are moving with,
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quote, impunity throughout western syria. barbara, isis was supposedly losing ground and on the run. what are you learning? >> well, today, we had a major briefing from a top coalition official, pamela. what he told us is, yes, they are making significant progress against isis, and, in fact, they think there may be less than 1,000 isis militants operating in iraq and syria, down from tens of thousands at the peak of that organization. all of that good news. territories being recaptured. cities and people are being liberated. all good news. but there is a huge caveat here, in fact, they are noticing that some isis militants are moving west in syria. and that means they're move into areas controlled by bashar al assad. .means they may be taking shelter in those areas because assad really still cannot control his own territory. here is the problem, the coalition which says it is going to stay until it defeats isis is
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not going into those areas held by assad. u.s. troops are not going to go in to that part of syria. the forces they are backing likely not going into that part of syria. so how do you defeat isis when you don't chase them down into their final stronghold? they are hoping the syrians and the russians get it together and are able to do it, pamela. >> and speaking of the russians, barbara, a russian general accused the u.s. today of training former isis militants? >> he did, indeed. the general, a very top russian general, in an interview reportedly saying he believes the u.s. is training in southern syria isis militants and former isis militants, offering very limited evidence of his contention on this matter. i suppose you would have to consider why the u.s. would be doing that and what the motivation would be. until the russians come up with some pretty clear public evidence, there is a lot of
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skepticism, to put it politely, about what the russians are saying. >> all right. barbara starr at the pentagon for us. thank you so much, barbara. >> sure. well, sex crimes in the sky. are airlines doing enough to protect passengers trapped at 30,000 feet? and what are they doing if there is an incident in flight? stay with us. it's when i ponder the deep questions, like which came first, the egg? or the chicken? how would i know? but i do know that first, qualcomm connected the phone to the internet. and now, everyone is posting and scrolling and sharing everything. yessir. qualcomm invents, then the world innovates on top of their breakthroughs. invention comes first. and a whole lot of it starts at qualcomm.
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and we are back with our buried lead, that's what we call stories that haven't gotten much attention. explosive allegations of sexual harassment and assault aboard commercial flights. cnn tracked down several female passengers who say airlines did little to stop alleged misconduct in the skies. cnn's rene marsh joins me now. rene, this is a major issue that really hasn't gotten a lot of attention. >> reporter: yeah, you're absolutely right and we searched several federal court records and we found several lawsuits against commercial airlines by
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passengers who say they were sexual assaulted or harassed and that airlines just simply didn't do enough to help. now we even found cases where children were victims. now four brave women are telling us about their me too moment that took place 30,000 feet in the air. >> reporter: a man arrested last week accused of fondling two female passengers on board a united airlines flight from newark to buffalo, new york. katie camp pose was one of them. >> he grabbed my upper thigh, like the crotch area. and he grabbed it pretty forcefully. >> reporter: a police report says that the man told the other woman he would like to kiss her. when she declined, he started stroking her leg. the man now charged with disorderly conduct. united airlines told cnn we have zero tolerance for this type of behavior and our pilot requested that local law enforcement meet the aircraft on arrival. not enough for campos who
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tweeted, do better, united airlines. she says the flight attendant did not offer her to switch seats. she had to demand it. she was then placed directly behind the harasser. the airline says because there were few empty seats, the touching continued. >> at the end of the day, they didn't protect my safety or those around me and i don't think that that's a good excuse. >> reporter: like campos, these three women tell cnn they were sexually harassed or assaulted on commercial flights and all of them complained the flight crew did little or nothing to help. >> he grabbed my arm and my side right under my left breast, right next to my left breast. >> reporter: she was a on a delta flight from los angeles to denver in may. she says the flight attendant was of no help. >> don't worry about him, he flies with us all the time. he's delta platinum. >> reporter: hart has a pending lawsuit against dell to for failing to intervene and continuing to serve him alcohol.
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the airline would not comment bud said it takes these incidents seriously and law enforcement enforces them. >> i was dozing off when i felt a hand in my crotch. >> reporter: alison filed a complaint with delta after her flight from seattle to amsterdam. >> there was not a clear procedure for what they should do. they asked me what i wanted them to do. >> reporter: a month later, she received an e-mail saying it's not fair when one person's behavior affects another. and as a good will gesture, offered her 10,000 miles. >> if somebody reports a crime to an airline, it should be flagged, it should not be treated as if it's lost luggage. >> reporter: the airline told cnn, we continue to be disheartened by the events she described. >> he started to touch my leg, stroke my leg, tickle it. >> reporter: jennifer was on a flight from newark to phoenix. she, too, says the flight crew
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did not move her away from her harasser. instead, the airline made an offer. >> he gave me four $100 gift certificates for travel on an upcoming united flight. and he refused to let me talk to a manager. >> reporter: but shortly after a news article about her ordeal was published, united management called to, in their words, check on her. >> this message is for ms. jennifer. this is [ bleep ] calling from united airline's executive officers. i can't even imagine, you know, what you went through when you were on the flight with the gentleman seated next to you. >> at thousands of feet in the air, you can't call for help, you can't remove the problem. >> reporter: sarah nelson is president of the one of the world's largest flight attendant unions. >> in my 22 years as a flight attendant, i have never taken part in a conversation in training or otherwise about how to handle sexual harassment or sexual assault. >> reporter: the union surveyed nearly 2,000 flight attendants,
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one out of five said they've received a report of a passenger's sexual assault, but law enforcement was contacted less than half the time. cnn reached out to all of the major u.s. airlines and the industry trade group that rests them. none agreed to go on camera, but all released statements with a similar message, passenger safety and security is their priority and they say flight attendants are trained to handle these incidents. but none gave a detailed explanation of the policies or guidelines. no federal regulatory agency tracks how many midair sexual assaults happen nationwide, but the fbi does track how many it investigates. federal data shows a 66% increase from 2014 to 2017. the fbi says it's unclear what's behind the rise. but what is clear for these women, flight crews need to do more because at 30,000 feet, there is no escape. >> i want to thank all four
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women for sharing their stories with cnn. the four women in this piece say they want three things, the flight crew should always separate the victims from the harasser, do not allow drunk people on flights, alcohol, in many cases, played a role in many of these incidents. they also want to see law enforcement called and report these cases upon landing every time. they advise to female travellers, try to avoid the middle seat and the window seat, if possible. it allows an easier getaway if you're seated in the aisle seat, and, pamela, i can tell you lawmakers right here in washington, d.c., they are very aware of this problem. they have been pushing for legislation that would essentially beef up flight crew training and also mandate better tracking of these incidents. >> so where does that legislation stand? >> so we do know that senator patty murray, she is pushing for some legislation to be included in a larger faa reauthorization bill and that could happen as
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soon as next year. >> but, i mean, i'm so glad you did this report, highlighting a big issue. when you're 30,000 feet up in the air, there really is no escape. what do you do? rene marsh, thanks so much. and in our national lead, the justice department now investigating potential injustice inside its own walls. and looking into how to deals with sexual harassment allegations. the review comes after the department's inspector general found, quote, potential systemic issues in how it handles those claims. "the washington post" first reported this story including a "money newsroom" sent to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein in may. lacking clear rules about how harassment reports should be handled and warned that, quote, strong action would be needed to address the issues. the prince and the president barack obama gives his first interview since leaving office to prince harry, but did he get a royal wedding invite? find out what the prince is saying about who is in and who is out. that's next. i didn't really know anything about my family history.
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and welcome back. the pop culture lead. a prince and a former president paling around. prince harry and president obama sitting down for a radio show to talk about everything from life after the oval office to how leaders should act on social media. i wonder why that came up. >> all of us in leadership have to find ways in which we can recreate a common space on the internet. one of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. they can be just cocooned in information that re-enforced their current biases. >> i wonder who he's talking about, bill. >> i worshipped nder as well. are you going to the wedding? >> i haven't received my invite. >> susan and i will look for you there. with the obamas and, you know, the others. >> by the way, do we think
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they're going to get invited, the balls? >> there is a wick question mark. could it potentially create an international incident? president trump hasn't made a state visit yet, much less been excited to the wedding. >> he hasn't even met the queen, right? exactly, that is the big question. i've been reading what the royal watchers have been saying and they say it would be a big skarnd or could cause some issues if obama is invited and the president -- >> as long as honestly susan and i are there, they've got republicans and the obamas. what's the problem? we don't need the trumps. >> president obama has forged a personal relationship with prince harry. it's on a different level. >> would anyone be surprised if he invited president obama over president trump. >> prince harry is smart because he's trying to keep the mystery alive about who he is going to invite. let's listen to what he said. >> we share the same kind of mindset on the charitable sector, on foundations and mainly on the youth of today. the young people of this world
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are incredibly inspirational. >> well enough to invite him to your wedding? >> i don't know about that. we haven't put the invites or the guest list together yet, so who knows whether he's going to be invited or not. wouldn't want to ruin that surprise. >> your reaction? >> i love the response. i mean, look, i think president obama made a very strong point when it comes to leadership and the responsibility and expectations of leaders. and we look to our leaders for direction, for guidance, and i don't think president trump has met that mantle. when you step up to the plate to lead, there is a crown, if you will, symbolically speaking that we place above our leader's head and the expectation is that leaders rise to the occasion to wear it. i don't think president trump has met that expectation. i would invite president obama. he would probably be more fun anyway. >> if prince harry invites every anti-trump republican to troll donald trump. john kasich's there, ben sasse is there, mitt romney is there. >> exactly. >> that would be good. >> what do you make of former
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president obama doing his first interview with prince harry? >> certainly not what you would consider a hard-hitting interview. talking about issues that are important to president obama. you can see him laying the groundwork for the things he wants to focus on in his post-presidency and deftly avoiding opportunities to take a dig at president trump. >> it's true. he didn't say it by name, but the social media comment was clearly targeting president trump, right? >> i thought it was done delicately. if you don't like -- i'm old fashioned and don't like to criticize an american president when i'm abroad. president obama was speaking to a foreign interviewer there for the bbc. i think he probably has that view but he managed to raise the question of social media and the responsibility of how to deal with it without mentioning president trump. i thought that was deftly done. >> it was very tactful the way he responded. i mean, look, president trump has criticized president obama. he started the birther issue. as an african-american, i can tell you there are a lot of people in my community will
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never forgive president trump for that. and despite all of those things, despite all of that, the character attacks, the attacks on his family, he rise above the occasion over and over again. >> thanks to you three. it was so fun having you on the show. be sure to follow me on twitter or tweet the show @theleadcnn. that's it for me. brianna keilar nilg filling in "the situation room." happening now, ready to launch? u.s. officials say there are indications that north korea may be preparing for a new missile launch just a month after it declared it could strike the u.s. mainland. cnn is also learning the trump administration has decided to be more desecrete about military exercises amid new talks for direct talks with kim jong-un's regime. purge the fbi. after president trump called the fbi tainted, a republican congressman calls for a purge of america's top law enforcement agency, accusing it of being bias

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