tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN May 16, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
switzerland. why does that matter? because their country has long been a go between in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between tehran and washington. even those nondiplomatic relations took a sudden turn for the worst two weeks ago, and now we know why. "the new york times" says that u.s. intelligence received photos of iranian forces loading missiles onto small boats on the persian gulf. a forceful u.s. response was driven by hard liners in the white house and the state department, but the president is said to be chafing at the drum beats for war and pushing now for diplomacy. imagine that. cnn's abby phillip joins me now again. is this meeting with the swiss president about establishing perhaps a channel with iran to diffuse the tensions building there now? >> this is apparently about president trump making it very clear to iran, and really the whole world, that he wants negotiations to occur. as a way of perhaps bringing down the temperature on some of
these tensions that have been escalating for weeks now. but it is a little bit intection with what has been going on in the administration, which is ratcheting up of the rhetoric around iran, moving military resources to the region in response to what the administration is saying credible threats coming from that regime. so president trump is trying to assert himself here, saying this is the way i would rather do business. and it reflects a tension within his advisers, particularly with his national security adviser john bolton, who in the president's view, has been pushing toward military confrontation with iran and also with venezuela. just a general kind of combativeness and hawkishness from bolton is something that has rubbed president trump the wrong way. trump has just in the last week or two said that he actually tempers john bolton, and the white house has pushed back on the suggestion that there is a major disagreement between the president and his advisers. sarah huckabee sanders, the
press secretary said just this morning there is no disagreement on this issue and that the president is the ultimate decision maker. but there's clearly a disconnect and our sources are telling us president trump has expressed to people close to him that he's frustrated by this sense of hawkishness coming from his team of advisers. this swiss meeting is his way of saying what i want to do is get on the phone with iran and cut a deal. >> interesting. the president wants to talk with iran. something he's criticized his predecessor for repeatedly. let's talk about the intelligence because this is at the center of the issue because this is what raised the alarm, the question about the missiles. senator tz, and i spoke to one earlier today, bob menendez, frustrated they have not gotten a briefing on this. now there's a talk of at least briefing the gang of eight, the senior senators and those on the relevant committees. >> exactly, this gang of eight meeting we're expecting to happen today. the topic, we have been told, is on the middle east. broadly, but we believe that it will cover this issue of what is
happening in iran. and there has been a public dispute between officials, for example, in europe and in the united states about how credible is this threat. but u.s. officials are telling us it is very real, and what is happening in this gang of eight briefing is in a classified setting, they'll get more information about what the intelligence community is seeing as a threat from iran, and that's going to be a critical in moving the process forward. whether we will find out more about that is an open question. these gang of eight briefings are usually very closely held, and it's going to be in a classifying setting for that. >> abby phillip, thanks very much. now to barbara starr at the pentagon. so tell us about this intelligence that set off the alarm bells here, because there were questions about it. the administration feeling quite strongly about this. what do we know? >> well, look, it was cnn that broke the news last week that what the intelligence was was multi-faceted and it did include imagery of iranian missiles on small boats being run by iran's
militant iranian revolutionary guard corps. we have known that for some time. the question now is as they begin to brief congress and some of the skeptics is whether the intelligence community, whether the pentagon, can demonstrate they have the intelligence that shows a new and different pattern of activity by the iranians. everyone knows that they engage in very adamant fiery rhetoric, very anti-american in that part of the world. knows they that have engaged in provocations in the past. so what is new here? you might ask. what will the intelligence show? the pentagon is adamant the intelligence has shown that iranian elements are preparing very clear words, preparing for a possible attack against u.s. forces. now, since this emerged last week, that attack, thankfully, has not happened. and the pentagon's strategy appears to be one that president
trump may be embracing, which is deterrence. why they sent an aircraft carrier, b-52 bombers to show iran the price of doing anything would be way too high. >> the question here, and this is "the new york times" reporting, a question of interpreting those photos as to whether those missiles burr put on those boats to presage a new offensive attack on u.s. forces. others reading it as being perhaps defensive. i know that's a judgment call, but is that the correct description of the dispute, the remaining question about the intelligence? >> i think that the burden will be on the intelligence community and the pentagon to try and show congress that this intelligence, the imagery and the intercepts, the communications intercepts that the u.s. has, show a new and different intent. they show a capability. the repweapons are out there. do they show an intent that is somehow different than the routine operations of the
iranians. >> do you know, and do folks who have different agendas use that intelligence to justify a position and read it one way, others read it another way. always a question. >> as tensions build, iran's foreign minister said his country is using, quote, maximum restraint but is prepared to defend itself against the u.s. fred pleitgen is on the ground in iran. i wonder how iran is reading this apparent internal battle in the trump administration, trying to divine iran's intentions here and also device the next best step because the president seems to be making clear he doesn't want to get into a shooting war with iran. >> yeah, jim. i think the iranians are very much aware of the fact there are divisions inside the white house. on the one hand, you have really the political side here in iran, including iran's supreme leader who came out less than a day ago and said there's not going to be a war with the united states. he said iran is not interested in a war with the united states, and he also said he believes the
united states is not interested in a war with iran because they think it's not in their best interests. you had javad zarif who said it's the u.s. who is escalating. on the other hand, you also have the iranian military, and mostly coming from the revolutionary guard corps, the elite wing of iran's military, and they got a new leader just a couple weeks ago. he came out late last night and said he believes iran was on the cusp with a full-blown confrontation with the united states. he said that he believes that the u.s. was trying to get iran to its knees. he said he thinks the u.s. will fail, and he also says he believes this is the biggest test for the islamic revolution since 1979, since of course, the revolution itself. now, it's interesting to hear some of these iranian commanders talk because they are quite bold, some of them, in the statements they make. i spoke to a former senior member of the revolutionary guard. he said look, what the americans need to understand is that if there is some sort of miscalculation, that the
iranians are not just going to use their missiles but use their proxy forces as well. >> fred pleitgen in iran. let's discuss withdied john linboard, the assistant deputy secretary of state for iran during the obama administration. good to have you on the program. >> thank you, jim. >> let me ask you your reaction to an interesting dynamic here, that president trump, who pulled the u.s. out of the iran deal and repeatedly criticized president obama for talking, negotiating with iran, that apparently now he wants to talk with iran to find a way out of this. surprised by that? >> not really. i mean, i'm gratified that things, they have backed away from what looked like a very serious situation. but in fact, if the president wants to talk to iran, there's ways of doing it. i might suggest that threats and
accusations and the kind of pressure which is clearly aimed at bringing down the islamic republic may not be the best way to go about it. >> it seems that those threats are emanating from one camp in this administration, perhaps led by john bolton, who, and it's not the first time he's gone down the regime change path. he's been very public about his desire for that. i mean, do you see that as the fault lines of this administration? sort of a bolton camp and maybe surprisingly, the president on the other side, looking for a more conciliatory approach. >> it's hard to say, but in the case of ambassador bolton, the motivation is very clear. he's never hinted at it. he's doing what his pay masters want him to do. his pay masters are, of course, in this iranian cult group called the mek. he's been speaking on their behalf, a paid speaker on their behalf for many years. i understand he makes $25,000 to
$50,000 a speech. and their agenda is very clear. they would like to provoke a war. and he has been advocating their position for a long time. the case of secretary pompeo, i'm not sure what his motives are. it really doesn't matter in the sense of what he's doing, but he seems to have this unremitting hostility and the only way that he will deal with the islamic republic would be for it to surrender completely. under those circumstances, you can see how it might be difficult for the iranians to pick up the phone and dial the numbers that they have. >> the president's intent here seems to be to get iran to negotiate again a new better deal. of course, the president talks about a better deal and a whole host of circumstances here. but the iranians are saying hey, if we're going to do that, you have to get back in the deal we already negotiated. you have covered iran for a long
time. do you see any chance that the iranians would go back to the table with trump without him re-entering the nuclear agreement? >> unlikely. simply because he has not shown good faith. he has -- he basically tore up a deal that was made not only by not only the united states and his predecessor, but by four other countries in addition to iran. and simply walked away from it probably for largely domestic political reasons. being obsessed with his predecessor and having this persona, wanting to project this persona of being the world's greatest negotiator. >> well, we'll see. see if the greatest negotiator can get a better deal or even a negotiation for a better deal. thanks for coming on. >> thank you, jim. >> happening now, the fbi briefing florida lawmakers on the russian 2016 election hack in their state. will this change how we operate and secure america's voting systems ahead of 2020 when we
know russia will attack again. >> plus, president trump is set to unstral a new immigration plan, but he's already facing pushback from within his own party. >> and the president won pennsylvania in 2016. that was key to his victory. joe biden just made another move to make sure he doesn't win it again in 2020. welcome to our lounge. enjoy your stay. thanks very much. ♪ ♪ find calm in over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. it's another way we've got your back. the business platinum card from american express. don't do business without it. leave no man behind. or child. or other child. or their new friend. or your giant nephews and their giant dad. or a horse. or a horse's brother, for that matter. the room for eight, 9,000 lb towing ford expedition.
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the president will unveil his new immigration plan this afternoon. but not even republicans may be onboard. cnn is learning the proposal will focus on border security, imagine that. as well as this, merit-based immigration. it's aimed at gaining support from his own party. one thing, though, and this is key, admitted from the immigration proposal is daca, the fate of the nearly 4 million dreamers, as they're known. still a sticking in the republican party. one the president is avoiding for now. dana bash joined me now. let's get to seriousness of this proposal. without dealing with daca, a central issue in this from the beginning, is this a serious legislative proposal? >> is it a serious proposal? yes. is it a proposal that could get enough republican votes, never
mind democratic votes? unclear, and unlikely, i think, it's fair to say at this point. back to the first question about the plan, which you have there on the screen. what jared kushner and the white house's goal obviously has been is to say we're going to go beyond the very, very harsh draconian rhetoric you hear from the president and some of his top aides. almost on a daily basis. and acknowledge to the business community, especially, we need immigration. we need legal immigration, and that's where the merit-based comes in. >> a good point, too, because oftentimes, people imagine the battle lines are so clearly drawn, but the business community tends to support republicans. they have been saying, guys, agricultural industry, manufacturing, they rely on this. you can't put up a big wall and say no one come in. >> that's exactly right. but those are the business community republicans. and i guess some democrats, but mostly republicans. then you have the hard-line
republicans who say, you know, the wall should go to the sky, and people who are not from this country should not come in. certainly illegally, but we should limit legal immigration. so that's one tranche of the problem. the other is what you mentioned, jim, which is there's a democratic house. there's a republican senate, but you need 60 votes to get anything done, which means some democrats need to and onboard. and what that means is for anything like this, there has to be a negotiation. so i have talked to a senior republican who is intimately involved in these conversations this morning, who said a couple things. these are the problems which are not unfamiliar. we have heard about these for a long time. number one, the democrats. they are skeptical because they have seen the rug pulled out from under them before when they have gone to negotiate and have what they thought were deals on this issue before. the other issue is that they see the political writing on the wall.
they do have control of the house. they could take control of the white house. the biggest issue is still republicans and the president himself, because he has not been willing, and really reluctant to anger his base. and if you take a step towards daca, towards making anybody undocumented in this country able to stay legally, he is going to anger the base. he has the political capital to do it, he's being told by a lot of people. he just hasn't been willing to do it. unless he's willing to take that step, anything even small is going to be unlikely to get through. >> so even lindsey graham is saying this is not intended to become law. that this is essentially a political proposal here. is that what we're looking at? just a play, you know, towards 2020? >> well, you know, yes. yes, or an opening salvo to show that they are thinking about immigration policy, not just rhetoric, at the white house.
but the question is whether or not it gets from proposal to real discussion. and you mentioned this in the intro, jared kushner, just the beginning, the fact he's had to try to shore up republicans. he hasn't talked to democrats about this, gives you an early indication of how tough this issue continues to be, especially as we're getting closer to the election. >> yep. that's the fact. dana bash, thanks very much. >> thanks. now to the escalating tensions between the u.s. and china. president trump is issuing an executive order barring u.s. firms from using telecom gear that the administration deems a national security threat. the move, likely to have a major impact on one of the world's largest providers of telecommunications commit, huawei, which happens to be a chinese company, a major one. this as the two nations battle over not just security but the trade war as well. once again, american farmers are among those caught really in the middle of this, following the
latest round of chinese retaliatory tariffs, those in retaliation for president trump's. cnn is talking to farmers in central indiana this morning. what are they telling you? i'm curious, because a lot of farmers supported the president's aggressive posture regarding china because china, let's be fair, has been a cheater for a long time in trade. is that support for the president wavering as farmers pay the price? >> good morning, jim. well, there's no doubt that farmers here in indiana are hurting. but they do very much support the president in his efforts to negotiate with china. they're sort of going with this mentality, no pain no gain. they believe that the pinch they're feeling now is actually worth it for a positive outcome. today, we're on phil ramsey's farm here in indiana. he normally sells about a third of his soy crop to china, but as we know, they're not buying right now. he's talked about the hardships
that that has placed on him, having to pinch pennies, how he's going to pay for groceries. and keep the electricity on here at his farm to keep it running. >> a year ago, i was very patient because i thought we were dealing with a reasonable country and reasonable people that would come to an agreement. and now i'm not patient. i'm anxious for them to get something worked out. i have no idea how to get the white house and congress together. it's almost like a bunch of junior high kids out there. and i am disappointed in our congressmen for not thinking about the country. >> jim, you hear the frustration there. i spoke to phil, and he told me that he's had some sleepless nights about this. he's really worried about whether or not he'll be able to
sell his soy and corn, and for what price, whether or not he's going to be able to pay important bills. but as you heard in the beginning there, he very much still supports the president in hes efforts, hoping that eventually they'll close that deal with china. jim. >> vanessa, thanks very much. great to have you out in the field on this. well, there's a war under way. you may not know it, both russia and china waging war. a secret war on the u.s. it's called the shadow war. it spans from under the waves, submarine warfare, all the way into space where they deployed space weapons. this trade war part of that war as well. it affects each one of us. i write about this in my new book "the shadow" war out this week. i would be flattered if you took a moment to take a look at it. i have been working on this a long time. coming up, location, location, location. joe biden anoupss where he will set up his 2020 campaign headquarters. well, listen to this, in a state that typically plays a very big role in presidential elections.
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correspondent evan perez. what does this tell us? and there's also been a lot of cloak and dagger here, has there not, because they won't identify those two counties? what's going on. >> the fbi is still being very tight lipped as to exactly what are the details behind the two counties breached by the russian military intelligence, the gru. we know from the florida governor there were at least two counties. according to him, he said during the briefing he learned there was nothing changed, no votes changed, but they were able to access the election systems for those two counties. now, the florida delegation has been demanding to know more. why is the fbi not telling exactly what counties they were, how far this got, when did it happen exactly, and what are these counties and what are the state able to do to be able to prevent this from happening in 2020? >> so do they have a -- because this has been the key. in 2016, it was about disinformation, an information
op. there was no votes physically changed in the system, but that's always been a question for the intel agencies, would russia take that step? is that the concern going into 2020 that russia has demonstrated a capability of at least being able to do that. is that what they're concerneduble as we look to the presidential election? >> absolutely. i think they're concerned perhaps the russians were able to get into these systems to see how they worked and what they can do to interfere with it. the next time around. and then secondly, you know, just the fact that they're in there could undermine faith into the -- of the public in the results of the election. again, that could be just as harmful as making any changes in the election results themselves, jim. >> absolutely. because you wouldn't have to do much. you could do it in a couple counties and people start to raise questions about it across the country and politicians taking advantage of that. it's very concerning. evan perez, great to have you on the story. >> joe biden is setting up shop in a key battleground state. this morning, the biden campaign
announced philadelphia will be home to its 2020 headquarters. the numbers suggest it's a great place for the former vice president to start. a quinnipiac poll shows biden holds an 11% lead over president trump among pennsylvania voters. cnn political director david chalian joins me here now. he's in pennsylvania for a reason here, and pennsylvania will be key to deciding the 2020 race. >> there's no doubt, and it's why joe biden is book ending his sort of three-week rollout, his first public appearance was in pittsburgh. he's going to wrap up this weekend with a big speech on the theme of unifying the country in philadelphia. he's putting his headquarters there. clearly, this was one of the states we call the blue wall that trump busted through to win the white house, and if indeed as you just looked at that early poll there, joe biden is making the case he's better equipped than anyone to make sure that state flips back to the blue column. >> i'm sure he'll mention it a few times that he's originally from scranton. scranton joe. the other issue that struck me, and this is also in the
quinnipiac poll. we don't have it up on screen, but i think the number was 68% of voters believed biden had the best chance of beating trump. and the next one down was way down in the low digits, bernie sanders. this is a consistent thing, is it not, among democratic voters in this cycle. the quality they want most from the democratic nominee is electability against trump. >> somebody that can defeat donald trump. that's the case that joe biden is making day in and day out. he's trying not to engage in a nomination process in a primary with his fellow democrats. he's trying to stay above, keep the focus on donald trump, and try to convince democratic voters, and these polls help that, that he's the one who can most easily defeat him. the number like you that you cited, it begets more and more confidence among democratic voters that he is the one. >> a self-fulfilling prophecy. bill de blasio, mayor of new york, he's now in the race. credible candidate? >> certainly credible candidate. 8 million people here he ov
oversees, this is a big city, and some people say it's the second hardest job in american politics. bill de blasio, his local press corps did not want him to run. it's met with some jeers. his point is he has delivered on the key policy issues that the democratic party is craving right now, whether it's a $15 minimum wage, universal pre-k, guaranteed health care. he wants to go out to the country and make the case, i actually have enacted this agenda and want to take that nationally. today, he'll head to iowa and we'll see if indeed he gets any kind of a look from voters. i will tell you this, he's already hit that 1% threshold in three polls to qualify for the debate stage next month. >> and 8 million people is bigger than a lot of u.s. states in terms of managing that. quite a big laboratory for these measures. okay, montana governor steve bullock. he has something that should be a real advantage for a candidate. he's a democrat with greatssucc
a red state. does that put him as a credible candidate as well? >> he is credible, and governors, we have seen that in the pipeline in recent american political history. he's saying not only did he win in a red state, but he won in the same day that trump won montana by 20 points. he's making his first trim to iowa. he's not shy and neither is his campaign about saying it's iowa or bust for them. they have to make something happen to show he's a credible contender. i think you'll see him plant himself in iowa. the attorney general there is helping him out. >> that's really the thing, you could have one good result in one of those early states. >> the whole calculus changes. >> beating expectations, finishing third could be a win in some of these early states. all right, looking at this field, you have 23, i don't know who else can join by the first debate. how quickly does that pare down or does it not because there are a lot of debates, right? >> yeah, and the first two debates, june and july, the dnc
has already said 20 is the cap. so they're not looking to shrink the field beyond that yet. we'll see if the threshold starts going up to narrow this down. listen, there's already a top tier of five or so. biden is in a universe by himself and there's a top tier. this will become a race that focuses on the front-runners, but we have a long way to go, and results can reshuffle that. >> and a good debate moment, positive or negative, oh, we forgot about this field. >> i would say it's going to be crowded for a while. >> great. david chalian, thanks. >> the white house has issued two new pardons. what does it take to get one from this president? maybe writing a good book about the president might be a factor. orlando isn't just the theme park capital of the world,
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president trump has issued two new pardons. one going to a former newspaper publisher who happens to have written a glowing book about him. both men have been out of prison for a number of years and both have interesting ties, though, to the trump white house. joining me to discuss this, anne milgram, the former new jersey attorney general. anne, always good to have you on. >> good morning. >> conrad blad, he's written a lot of glowing columns about the president. wrote a glowing book about the president. does that raise questions as to why he among thousands and tens of thousands of -- >> millions. >> millions in the u.s. gets a pardon and not the other folks? >> i think it does. there are a few points to make. first, the president has the power to issue pardons whenever
he wants to whomever he wants, but there is a process that should be and traditionally has been followed and there's no process in the trump administration. it's kind of like the friends and family celebrity plan. there's a real problem and a question of fairness when you rightly point out there are millions of convicted individuals in the united states of america, millions of people in jail today, and how that works should be equitably done. there should be some sense of fairness. >> the process, that's why we have laws. so many examples of where the process has been thrown out the window with this administration. let's look at the other one, patrick nolan, a former republican legislator convicted of corruption. served his time as well, but worked with trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, on the prison reform plan last year. first of all, that was a noble project, no question, but does it raise questions about whether that personal connection with kushner led to the pardon? >> i think the way trump is doing all these pardons including the past ones, dinesh
disouza, sheriff joe, they raise personal connections to trump that he's pardoning his friends or people he likes. the one difference i would pak with mat nolan is pat nolan, i have known him since 2010, 2011, he's been a great leader in the criminal justice reform movement. on the republican side, he's done a lot of public service. my issue is the president never said what the process is. if he came out and said people who provided a lot of service to the country can get pardons, i would say, yes, he can be on that list, but again, it looks like it's all coming through family and friends, celebrities, elton john. >> political points. is that a misuse, an abuse of the president's pardon power? >> the power is wide ranging, and the president can do it. just because he can do it doesn't mean he should do it. >> he could start a war with canada tomorrow. >> so many americans have criminal arrest records. the president should do this process in a way that is fair and equitable and lets all of
the millions of americans who have been convicted have an opportunity to apply and there should be clear standards for when they can apply. that's not happening here. >> oftentimes presidents issue these pardons on their way out of office. the president has issued ten pardons. you mentioned some of them before. is that unusual pace of use of the pardoning power? >> president obama did a lot of pardons. and a lot of clemency, what he did, though, is essentially set out here are the criteria, and he made that public. then people came forward. he did, there are thousands that obama pardoned during his presidency. i don't think it's an unusual pace. what i think is unusual is that the president hasn't even gone through the department of justice process. he's changed the way it's been done historically and he's picking almost out of thin air the people who he thinks deserve pardons and there's a lack of fairness. >> or that kim kardashian lobbies for. >> exactly. >> thanks very much. >> she's a woman, black, gay, and he's going to be chicago's next mayor.
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chicago will swear in its new mayor next week. and the woman who is taking over that office is a true trail blazer. lori lightfoot will be the first african-american woman to lead chicago and the first who identifies as lesbian. she just finished wrapping up three days of meetings with officials in washington. she joins me now. mayor-elect lori lightfoot, thank you for joining us and congratulations on your victory. >> thank you very much. >> i should note you're part of our game changer series. we're speaking to a whole host of politicians breaking new ground here. i want to talk to you about what is one of your focuses as mayor of chicago. you have been speaking to speaker nancy pelosi in washington. you also spoke to the president's daughter and adviser, ivanka trump, on a whole range of issues, including gun violence. and i'm curious, as you spoke to them, did you find any potential middle ground on that issue that has been so divisive? >> well, i'm not so sure about
gun violence, but i think the thing i was encouraged by in my conversation with ivanka trump was, one, her deep understanding of things on the ground here in chicago. she talked a lot about violence, workforce development, the need to make sure that we have a real plan for those who are coming out of incarceration to be able to reintegrate into the city, and we talked, of course, about opportunities zone. i think those are things that we'll be able to build upon. obviously, i'm not going to compromise my values in engaging with anyone from the trump administration. but i thought we had a productive conversation. >> infrastructure is another priority. it's one that we hear of some discussions between democrats and the white house. president trump, nancy pelosi, but again, i'm a bit of a skeptic on this because i have heard that mentioned 1,000 times before, after any election, that's the one thing republicans and democrats can work together
on. do you see potential for that there, and what would chicago want to be the priority? >> well, look, i think that there has to be some common ground on infrastructure. all across the country, there are great needs for rebuilding our roads, our bridges, tunnels, our infrastructure is definitely crumbling, and we have a substantial number of needs in mass transit here in chicago. so i'm hoping that we'll see some movement in the congress in a bipartisan fashion to get a bill on the president's desk that he can sign. my sense it from the conversations we had last week that there is willingness on all sides. but the big question, the long pole in the teptd, is how you're going to pay for it. that's where the differences arise. but i'm hoping we're going to keep pushing because we need the resources. >> understood, and i'm glad you're hopeful. on the issue of gun violence, because chicago has had such a problem, as you know. i don't have to tell you. and i think many americans are
aware of that, but in recent months, there's been a decline in gun violence. and as the country struggles with this issue, particularly the politics of this issue, what lessons can it learn from chicago, methods that work, that make a difference to save lives? >> well, i think you've got to make sure that you have the right data analytics in place. by that, i mean really looking at crime trends over multiple years to understand where the hot spots are. our situation here in chicago is unique. a lot of times the media paints with a broad brush and says it's gang related but a lot of the conflicts we're seeing are block by block conflicts that are as much about social issues and spats as they are about drug territory and gangs. so being smart and understanding the nature of what's actually happening on the ground, and then what we're going to be doing is sending more resources to those areas that are most distressed. we're going to flood the zone with programming, activities,
that hopefully will give our young people an opportunity to latch on to something positive and let people in those distressed neighborhoods know we're there for them. we're going to be present and do everything we can to keep our communities safe. >> final question for you. and we mentioned you are a ground breaker. in this country, and i know your focus is on making a difference for your city, so i don't want to overemphasize that, but still, it's important for many people to see the first black woman to lead the city of chicago's size. tell us what that means to you and what you want to show people, what you want to be not remembered for yet because you have a long way to go, but how important is it for you to be that kind of ground breaker? >> well, it's really important to me. particularly when i think about the arc of my family history. my maternal grandmother was born in 1898. she was just this side of slaevry. i think about the things that occurred over the course of her life in the early part of the
20th century and the lessons i learned from her, the lessons i learned from both my parents and my mother. it's a big historic moment for me personally, but what i hope it is is an inspiration for young people, particularly young girls, to aspire to achieve really anything that they want. that the sky is the limit. that's certainly what my parents preached to me. and really enabled me to take advantage of every opportunity that was in front of me, and i want to make sure i bring those same kind of opportunities to young people in our city. >> well, there's no question you're an inspiration to many. lori lightfoot, thanks for coming on. we look forward to keeping up the conversation. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. just minutes from now, president trump looks to ease the growing tensions with iran by speaking with the swiss president at the white house. will that work to ease those tensions?
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i'm kate bolduan. thank you for joining me. this hour, what could be a pivotal moment in the dangerous standoff between the trump administration and iran. president trump is sitting down with the president of the swiss federation this hour. the white house making it very clear the point of the meeting is to try and establish a back channel of communication with the iranian leadership. the president also making a pitch -- almost