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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 13, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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news, killing spree, just released video shows police engaging with the dayton gunman as authorities reveal new information about his movements and communications in the hours and minutes before the slaughter. violent clashes, riot police confront protesters at one of the world's busiest airports as unrest in hong kong intensifies, will chinese troops intervene? trump blinks, the president steps back from his trade war with china, delaying tariffs, a day after stock prices plunge. is he simply putting off the economic pain? and putin's secret force, cnn goes exclusively inside a boot camp of the kremlin leader's army for hire. why were the russians spying on
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our cnn crew along the way? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news on the dayton shooting massacre, police revealing new details on the shooter's movements that night. just released video shows how officers confronted him less than 20 seconds after he fired his first shot, before killing him seconds later. also breaking. china may be closer to intervening against pro-democracy protesters in hong kong. president trump says u.s. intelligence officials told him that chinese troops are moving to the hong kong border. this, after thousands of demonstrators paralyzed hong kong's international airport, clashing with riot police. this hour, i'll talk with
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democratic congressman don beyer and our correspondents and analysts are also standing by. first, let's go to gary tuchman in dayton, ohio for us. police gave us the most detailed timeline yet of the leadup to the mass shooting. >> that's right, wolf, this killer killed nine people, including his own sister. he wounded 17 people, including a friend of his. now we know conclusively it was all planned, it was all deliberate. video we've seen for the very first time. it is a picture played out in grainy surveillance video of the methodical plans of a mass murder. >> now he's traveling eastbound and you'll see that he has the backpack and he's in long sleeves and the backpack is weighted down, it's not empty. >> tonight police are laying out the timeline of last saturday night's mass shooting in dayton, ohio for the first time. showing video, they say, shows connor betts was acting alone. his night begins without his weapon, hayes enters blind bob's bar with a sister and friend at
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11:04 p.m. he leaves the two of them and goes to ned pepper's bar at 12:14 a.m. it's crowded and he stays there for 30 minutes. when he leaves he walks right past a police car. >> he's aware of where they were. >> reporter: at this point the shooter heads back to his car where police say he changes his clothes and grabs a backpack filled with his weapon. >> he's wearing a backpack, a long sleeve shirt. the path on the right-hand side shows how he went. he's going to cut back over to the alley. this is from the record store so we can catch him cutting that same path right here. >> betts is alone and they don't believe his sister or friend, who would both be shot, knew he was carrying his assault style rifle and body armor in his trunk. >> we don't see anyone assisting him in committing this horrendous crime. it also seems to strongly suggest that his companion had no idea what he was going to do, nor did he have any knowledge of
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the weapons that were in the trunk of that vehicle. >> reporter: moments later the 24-year-old opens fire. they can tell he's firing because the crowd reacts. >> this is the patio. they're moving. we heard shots. we know he's been firing because past this umbrella is the taco stand on fifth street. that's where the first three fatalities occur. one of them his sister. >> reporter: as he crosses fifth street he's still shooting, when officers react. >> he's engaging right now, that was the shooter that just went by. >> reporter: investigators say he was shooting for 32 seconds. >> you're going to see the shooter continue to run right here, and going to end right here. >> reporter: before police take him down. and once again in the awful parts of this video the shooter is all by himself which is convincing evidence he did not have an accomplice while carrying out the murders. in regards to his sister and his
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friend police still don't know if it was on purpose. police say they know his mind-set, he was obsessed with violence. wolf, back to you. >> gary tuchman, thanks for the update. breaking news on the unrest and chaos in hong kong. paula hancocks is joining us live from there. you've been covering the clashes between the protesters and riot police, give us the latest. >> reporter: well, wolf, at this point you can see it's early in the morning and people are coming to try and get their flights. it looks like an ordinary airport but just hours ago there were those clashes between riot police and the protesters. riot police at the entrance of one of the world's busiest airports, not something you would expect. chaos at one of the world's busiest airports. protesters barricading themselves behind a wall of luggage carts and chairs as they
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clash with riot police at the hong kong international terminal entrance with batons and pepper spray. one officer appears to pull out his pistol, after protesters overpowered him, grabbing his baton and using it against him. after several minutes police start retreating. their arrival by the bus load created a window for paramedics to rescue a man who passed out after protesters accused him of being an undercover cop. the second consecutive day thousands of hong kong activists have forced this international hub to cancel all outbound flights, sparking anger and frustration from stranded travelers, the scenes at the airport highlighting the intensity of the moment for the people of hong kong. today president trump reacting to the powerful images. >> the hong kong thing is very tough situation, very tough. we'll see what happens. but i'm sure it will work out. i hope it works out for everybody. including china. >> this is the tenth straight week of protests, which have
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brought this region with its two starkly different political systems to a screeching halt. it all started because of a proposed law that would allow accused criminals to be extradited to mainland china which activists say would let the chinese government target political enemies. but now that bill is being suspended, but not formerly withdrawn, and protesters' anger has spread to the perceived excessive violence by police. china has taken the demonstrations as a direct challenge to its rule, sending tanks to the border, and demanding protesters back down. hong kong's chief executive carrie lam who backs the bill says hong kong is no longer safe due to the mass protests. >> the rioters have pushed hong kong to the brink of no return. >> reporter: we're also hearing stronger words from beijing saying these protests are now showing some signs of terrorism and also, you know that there are some images of chinese military moving military vehicles on the other side of the border, heavily edited, with
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music as well, obviously images that beijing wants these protesters to see but of course it does raise questions as to what comes next. wolf? >> very dangerous moment indeed. all right, paula, thank you, paula hancocks in hong kong. now to president trump, he's monitoring china's response to the hong kong protest while taking a step back from his own trade war with beijing. cnn's chief white house correspondent is with the president in new jersey. he publicly disclosed information from his private intelligence briefings. give us the latest. >> that's right. president trump is adding more drama to the unfolding volatile situation in china. at one point tweeting that u.s. intelligence has information that the chinese are moving troops toward hong kong. the president is also temporarily backing down in his trade war with china, delaying a new round of tariffs on chinese products coming into the u.s. revealing what may be sensitive,
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national security information in a tweet president trump inserted himself into the growing crisis in hong kong. as the protests there were becoming more violent the president hinted china may be about to take action, tweeting our intelligence has informed us that the chinese government is moving troops to the border with hong kong. everyone should be calm and safe. democratic senator chris murphy criticized the president's tweet saying this is not foreign policy, the president hardly sounded phased by it all. >> we'll see what happens but i'm sure it will work out. i hope it works out for everybody, including china, by the way. >> reporter: the president is backing off his trade war with china, delaying a new round of tariffs on chinese products until december. the president said his administration is doing that to spare shoppers during the holidays, even though he's repeatedly said that tariffs aren't hurting consumers. >> we're doing this for christmas season. just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on u.s.
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customers. >> reporter: on the domestic front the president continued to express confidence that new gun control legislation could make its way through congress despite stout gop opposition. >> very difficult. there's nobody more pro-second amendment than donald trump but i don't want guns in the hands of a lunatic or a maniac. and i think if we do proper background checks we can prevent that. >> reporter: the president also defended top immigration official ken cuccinelli who told npr the poem on the top of the statue of liberty should be changed. >> give your tired and poor who can stand on your own two feet. >> i don't think it's fair to have the american taxpayer pay for people to come into the united states. >> reporter: he was echoing stephen miller who downplayed the importance of the poem two years ago. >> the poem you're referring to was added later, it's not actually part of the original statue of a liberty.
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>> reporter: the president also resumed his war of words with former communications director anthony scaramucci. >> he wanted to come back into the administration for the last five months, begging me to come back in. i said anthony, i can't take you in, i'm sorry. he's a nervous, neurotic wreck. >> reporter: scaramucci fired back tweeting president trump isn't a fan of anyone willing to tell him the truth, the emperor has no clothes. ♪ i'm proud to be an american >> reporter: the president turned an official white house speech into what sounded like a campaign rally. >> in 2020 we're running so get out there and make sure we win. >> reporter: as he complained just being president has cost him billions, a claim that came with zero supporting evidence. >> it's probably going to cost me, including upside down side lawyers it's probably costing me from $3 billion to $5 billion for the privilege. >> reporter: for the moment the white house is offering at least the appearance of taking the gun issue seriously, a white house
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official said daughter and adviser ivanka trump is sounding out lawmakers on the phone, unclear how much pull ivanka trump has on capitol hill. democrats and republicans are still miles apart on this very critical issue of gun control. wolf. >> yes, they are, jim acosta, thank you for that report. let's turn back to shooting massacres in dayton and el paso. joining us congressman john beyer in virginia. speaking out today about the push for gun control. you've been a leader on these issues. thanks for coming? >> thank you very much, wolf. >> you've heard about the two mass shootings. the president, mitch mcconnell the majority leader and other republicans want to do background checks. do you buy that? >> i'd love to buy that because this is something we passed hr-8 in the house, which is universal background checks. has the support of 95% of americans. we have a good chance of passing it in the senate if mitch mcconnell will allow it to come
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to the floor. what we fear is they'll do a watered down version or something that doesn't make a difference. this is something the american people should embrace. i don't agree with president trump on much but if he's willing to embrace universal background checks we should celebrate that. >> let me show you a picture of the gun and the clip that killed all these people. there you see it right there, 100 rounds potentially within 32 seconds, kills nine people that quickly. that kind of gun, should it be available legally to be purchased in the united states? >> absolutely not. and it was illegal for about ten years. that law unfortunately had a sunset clause on it but one of the things we'll have to do between now and the end of the year is ban assault weapons. somebody said today well, we give them to young men in the military but they're under very close supervision with lots of training and regulated ammunition. we don't give them to kids in their neighborhoods in the streets. >> but you say the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, going to need 60 votes in the senate to get anything 24ru. he's just waiting, you say, for the outrage to die down as it
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always does after every one of these mass shootings. >> going all the way back, as far back as i can remember, but at least to the connecticut shootings we always thought now is the time, the fierce urgency of now and yet mcconnell has been able to postpone, postpone and then people focus on something else, on hong kong, or on immigration, on the statue of liberty, you know. >> the house judiciary committee, jerry nadler's committee, they're all coming back to work on gun control. but what's the point if it's not going anywhere in the senate? >> you know, we've been in this -- i think we've passed 400 bills in the house this year. that are sitting on mitch mcconnell's desk. it's the great frustration for us. one man has basically stopped our democracy from working. and i guess the best thing we can do right now is keep fighting, keep pushing it forward, keep describing to the american public what america could look like if we would get a republican leader in the senate that would allow us to have debate and votes on these bills.
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>> let's go to the protest in hong kong. very significant. you said this, your message to the protesters earlier, to those standing up for freedom and human rights in hong kong we are with you in the fight against oppression. are you satisfied with what you're hearing from president trump? >> not at all. i was very disappointed by trump's comments. he said i hope they can work it out. i hope it's good for china too. this is a really interesting experiment where we have one country in two different forms of government. people in hong kong have been a democracy for a long time. they obviously are very reluctant to give up extradition rights and to give up their democracy. these are not domestic terrorists, these are people fighting for freedom. we should be standing with them. >> immigration, get your reaction from the comments of ken cuccinelli, acting director of citizenship and immigration services, he updated the famous emma lazarus quote on the statue of liberty said it should read like this give me your tired and your poor who can stand on your
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own two feet and it will not become a public charge. what's your reaction to that? >> it's just horror struck. there's a reason we didn't elect ken cuccinelli governor of virginia, we went to the same high school and i can't imagine our christian jesuit background saying this is what you do to the poor. we're supposed to be lifting people up. this notion that if a person is just deemed to be possibly on food stamps or medicaid they're no longer eligible for a green card or a visa, you look at so many americans, they're going to have a bad spate in their life for a couple weeks or a couple months, here you deny them citizenship. >> we're talking about people who are working and living here with their families legally. >> legally. >> not undocumented immigrants, we're talking about legal immigrants, what's the potential impact of this new regulation that the trump administration wants to put forward? >> wolf, one of the things we've seen last couple years is the
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people coming to domestic violence shelters and emergency rooms has been way down. they're afraid they're going to get turned in. these are people without papers. this extends it to people here legally. they're going to be access to services of government, including legal services, for fear they would no longer be able to become a citizen. >> i want to get your reaction, your thoughts, yesterday we marked the two-year anniversary of heather heyer's death in charlottesville, virginia. her mother pushing legislation for hate crime statistics. explain what your no hate act would actually do. >> heather heyer, same anniversary of a man shot to death on his doorstep in okay, both clearly hate crimes, neither rated hate crimes in the police reports. there's 3,300 police departments in the country that don't report any hate crimes at all. i'm a businessman, you can't manage what you don't measure. the no hate crimes bill puts
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really strong incentives for every police department to keep good records on the hate crimes so we know the challenge we have before us. >> it's important legislation. thanks very much, congressman, for coming? >> thanks, very much. there's more breaking news just ahead on the dayton mass shooting timeline and the chilling new video of police engaging with the shooter and we'll also take you inside the boot camp of vladimir putin's secret private army, the russians apparently growing so anxious about our exclusive cnn reporting that they kept tabs on our crew. but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management.
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following multiple breaking stories including the new timeline of the dayton shooting massacre including video of the gunman in the final hours. republicans are behind the push for new gun control, president trump claims, cnn has spoken with multiple sources who say otherwise. is there real progress being made on the issue of gun control legislation as the president insists? >> never say never, wolf, but i don't think so. there's two reasons why. one is because the president, when he gaggled with reporters at the end of last week on the white house lawn used the word meaningful background checks, the word meaningful in front is republican code for, well, if these weapons for purchased legally what would background checks have really done anyway? and so it suggests to me there are enough republicans in his ear saying why should we do this, we don't have to do this, the second thing is that senator
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mcconnell has not called the senate back into session. republicans are playing a waiting game where they want to see if this issue fades from public view by the time congress comes back. >> the senate is supposed to come back by mid-september. that's a while. the judiciary committee is coming back to deal with this but are they going to be able to create political pressure on the senate to do something? >> i don't think that's likely. they sort of need to work out what they're going to back. i heard congressman beyer talk about an assault weapons ban. that's not something that all democrats back or are ready to back. they're more kind of in the background check, high capacity magazine backing, red flag laws. there seems to be more consensus around those. once they get their house in order, so to speak, then perhaps they can go a little bit more forward. but to your point, i think the other thing that is a huge factor here is president trump himself. if he is going to really put pressure on republicans. because they'll follow his lead in a lot of ways so he keeps
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that pressure up perhaps something can get done, we just don't know. >> the white house is confirming that ivanka trump, the president's daughter, senior adviser, she's in talks with lawmakers, democrats and republicans, to try to work out some sort of deal on this. what do you think, is she going to be qualified, is she going to be able to do something? >> oh, i don't know how much depth was put into these calls. it has been reported that she spoke with senator manchin about the possibility or appetite for reviving the manchin bill. that's what's been reported. from a skeptical eye ivanka trump's name always gets thrown out there through sources, and these kinds of situations. where the -- i guess from a palatable standpoint it looks like her remaining silent is not something that's optimal for her profile. on the other hand, she is a person that has, apparently, the president's ear so if this is something she could really expand upon, and come up with
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more voices to get to the president and as was mentioned earlier on the panel to really get him to do something and to push for some legislation, maybe this could lead to shotgun. but as of now this is just one report and it's better than nothing but i don't see how tangible it is for moving this forward. >> jackie, how were the democratic presidential candidates working to keep this gun control issue on the agenda? >> it's interesting. we've seen democrats more united on this issue than ever before. complete reversal from what you saw in the wake of 1994 republican electoral victory after the assault weapons ban was passed. this is for good reason. this is a -- you know, a good electoral strategy. if you look at midterms, if you look at -- i think something -- a group of voters we haven't been speaking about a lot is this mass shooting generation. which really, these activists, these young parkland kids dead a lot of get out the vote turnout
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and actually increased turnout in 2018 and i think that's why you see people like joe biden and other candidates, you know, putting out these op -eds and making strong calls for an assault weapons ban, to make these activists again to get people to turn out. >> see what happens. everybody stick around. there's a lot more to discuss, and we will after a quick break. we're pretty different. we're all unique in our own ways. somos muy diferentes. muy diferentes. (vo) verizon knows everyone in your family is different. there are so many of us doing so many different things.
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we're back with our analysts, as the president and his team are going to new lengths to defend the regulations that may drastically limit legal immigration here in the united states and bianna let's talk about what ken cuccinelli the acting director of citizenship services is saying, he's amending the iconic po poem inscribed on the statue of liberty. >> would you agree emma lazarus's words etched on the statue of liberty give me your tired, your poor are part of the american ethos. >> they certainly will, give me your tired and poor who can stand on your own two feet and who will not become a public charge. >> those are very, very tough words that he adds to emma lazarus' poem, who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge. for a lot of us, including you
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and me, this is very personal. >> it is, wolf, and it doesn't quite have the same ring to it as emma lazarus' words do. i came as a political refugee at 18 months. my parents and i were allowed to leave the soviet union with $75 apiece, $225 in hand, we left the life we knew, not because we had a good life back in the soviet union, people moved to this country for the most part not with a lot of wealth, they leave their country that they're familiar with because they're able to make the risk, wanting to make the risk in a country that forever has been welcoming to immigrants and been given the opportunity. you hear about the american dream, the american dream doesn't start with somebody who comes here with $200,000. the american dream comes with people who come to this country with the incentive to become american citizens and contribute back to this beautiful country. but with that comes, sometimes, some aid and financial aid that will come in the shape of private donations or from the government. we were fortunate enough to be
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welcomed to galveston, texas, the jewish community and private donors helped my parents get on their feet and land jobs. but for others they rely on government subsidies. for the president and the government and the administration to be making this new -- first of all, moving the goal post, talking about those here undocumented now we're talking about those here legally, it sends this message you're not welcome to this country and that's always what's differentiated us from the rest of the world, is that this is a country where people from all different backgrounds can come and contribute. that seems to change the narrative, that the statue of liberty stands for, et cetera. and then if you want to get down to semantics, as we know, white americans are the largest recipients of government subsidies, food stamps, medicaid. i don't know why we have to have this conversation now. if you want to clean up some of the bureaucracy in government subsidies, sure there's abuse in the system. you can talk about that, say we're going to offer limitations for the amount of time and years
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people can spend on government programs but to just eliminate this right now sends a terrible message, terrible. >> the president today was defending what ken cuccinelli was saying, we should only let those come in who will never be a burden. >> this whole line of thinking is a cheap line. i echo everything bianna said. similar to what white house adviser stephen miller said to our colleague jim acosta two years ago in the white house briefing room. republicans have trotted this out every now and then during the trump administration to try and undercut this broad idea we have shared for so long that america is a nation of immigrants and it shows how far, wolf, republicans have started moving away from the idea that president reagan once stated this is a shining city on a hill and that we're sending out a beacon that the best and brightest from the world are coming here. >> it stokes resentment.
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6.5% are on medicaid. 4% -- >> 6.5% of what? >> immigrants, excuse me. >> legal immigrants. >> legal immigrants are on medicaid, 4% use snap. >> food stamps. >> food stamps. these aren't large numbers of people. they're making up a problem nofrd in order to create an other which is what this administration does when you talk about immigration. we've seen it over and over again. >> we should note another notable descendant of immigrants which is, you know, all really ken cuccinell served to remind me today, stephen miller written by his uncle actually, his grandfather immigrated to ellis island after fleeing belarus from violent anti-jewish problems. he came with $8 in his pocket. the sheer hypocrisy. and his comment just underscored the lack of introspection that i think the white house has had for what a lot of these policies are doing and they're currently
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wreaking havoc on communities already here. "the washington post" reported yesterday that actually 20% of legal immigrants living in new york city have already withdrawn from a lot of benefits they're recipients of because they're living in fear. changing asylum laws, deporting, mass deportations there are tons of americans living in fear at the moment. >> if i could just add, on a positive note, there are so many charitable organizations in this country that i would expect would stand up. we are the most charitable country in the world. not taking away from the obligation the government should hold but notwithstanding, a lot of private charities, religious, what have you, are going to step up and help refugees and immigrants come to this country if the government doesn't follow through. >> everybody stand by. there's a lot more news we need to cover. just ahead, cnn gets exclusive access to take you inside the boot camp of a secret army that's doing vladimir putin's bidding, and expanding his
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tonight we have more of cnn's exclusive reporting on a secret private army that does whatever vladimir putin wants, russia's fears about our
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investigation became evident as a cnn crew was ominously followed. our chief international correspondent clarissa ward is joining us once again. you traveled to africa to get the story and the russians were tracking you and the crew. >> that's exactly right, wolf. we went to the central african republic because one year ago three russian journalists traveled there to do a story on the growing presence of russian mercenaries. they found themselves ambushed and brutally murdered, no proper investigation has been conducted into their deaths. we went there to learn more about the broader push that we see russia making across africa. initially the russians were fairly welcoming but as our reporting got deeper we found ourselves being constantly harassed and followed. >> reporter: this is boot camp. for recruits to a new army in the war torn central african republic. the troops are being taught in
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russian. weapons are russian too. it's taken months to get access to this camp. officially this is a u.n. approved training mission. but the russian instructors won't talk to us or even be identified because they're not actually soldiers. they're mercenaries. sponsored by a russian oligarch with close ties to the kremlin, they are the sharp end of an ambitious drive in africa stoking fears in washington of russian expansionism. the man in charge here is a former military intelligence officer. he is now the security adviser to the central african republic's president. >> russia is returning to africa. we were already present in many countries during the time of the soviet union, and russia is coming back to the same position. we still have connections, and we are trying to reestablish them. >> reporter: that's not the only
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reason they're here. the central african republic is rich in natural resources, gold and diamonds, and the russians want them. we are on our way to one of seven sites where a russian company has been given exploration rights. >> one of the challenges of trying to nail down exactly what the russians are doing here is that once you get outside the capital this is still a very dangerous and chaotic country. last year three russian journalists were ambushed and killed while working on a story about russian mercenaries. >> the drive is bruising and long. along rutted tracks to a tiny village of straw huts and then we have to cross a river and this hand pulled ferry. local teenager rodriguez agrees to show us where the russians have been active. it's another bumpy ride through the bush. the last part of the journey is
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on foot. we asked the workers if they have seen any russians. so he's saying that earlier this year there were a lot of russians here, looking for diamonds. rodriguez says the russians now employ hundreds of workers on r mines like this. they panned through the sand in search for a precious fragment. whatever they find, they say, must be handed over to the russian's agent. these guys are saying that the russians who visited this spot actually came from the training camp at borengo we visited. it's clear they're doing more than just training troops here. cnn has learned the mining exploration rights have been given to a company called lubai invest. it's part of a sprawling
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business empire owned by this man. an oligarch close to russian president vladimir putin he has been sanctioned by the u.s. for meddling in the 2016 election. and a cnn investigation based on hundreds of documents has established that the companies are also providing the mercenary muscle. he is believed to be the man behind vogner, the most notorious private military contractor. on our return to town from the mines we notice we are being followed. we try to approach but the car drives off. we catch a glimpse of four white males, all but one hide their faces from our camera. there is no license plate. police later confirm to us that they are russians. near our hotel we spot the vehicle again. we try to get closer, but the
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men drive off. so we're back at our hotel now, but a little bit shaken up because that car full of russians has been following us for quite some time. we don't know why. we don't know what they want. mindful of the murder of the journalists last year we leave town the next day. but back in the capital, russia's growing influence is impossible to escape. on the streets, even on the air waves. radio lingo songo features african music and lessons in russian. no surprise, perhaps, that it is funded by the company lubai invest. the manager tells us the station wants to deepen cooperation between the two nations. and in a country where education and entertainment are in short supply it seems that plenty of
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people are listening. american officials say they are greatly concerned by russia's actions here and that they undermine security. but with the u.s. shrinking its footprint across africa and with minimal official kremlin involvement putin has little to lose. it's a straightforward bargain. they provide the weapons and the training and in return they get access to the country's natural resources. and in the process hope to reinsert themselves as a major player in this region. it's a campaign for hearts and minds and hard power. and russia is moving quickly to get a step ahead of its rivals. now prigosian has repeatedly denied having any relationship to these groups. we reached out and tried to get
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contact from his concord catering company but we did not hear anything back from them. >> amazing reporting, clarissa. tell us more about the people who were following you and our we have been able to learn more about them through the dossier center here in london run by michail kodurkolskip we were able to identify one man. he is a young translator who works unsurprisingly for a pregozian company. >> you think these are the same people who filmed you and our crew and put out a mini documentary in russian trying to discredit you. >> that's right, i mean once you start to look at the network you realize all paths lead to pregozian. the company that put the the 15-minute propaganda piece trying to discredit is owned by
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pregozian. the mercenaries also believed to be run by pregozian. the business network, the mining rights all by pregozian. this is quite clearly, wolf aban attempt to discredit us and our work. >> at first you were welcomed into the training camp. why do you think they let you film the training. >> wolf, i think it's important to understand that there is a legal and legitimate side to what the russians are doing in the central african mission republic. it does have u.n. approval, an official nod of ownership from the kremlin as well. but i think they quickly became ununcomfortable when they saw okay maybe these guys have been doing homework, spent the better part of a year trying to report this out. once they knew we were leaching the capital trying to get to the mines that's when things got kmuvl. you are only seeing half in the television piece. that was non-stop harassment stopped at checkpoints, stopped
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by police accused of having false papers. smuggle diamonds. really it was relentless. >> what are u.s. officials saying about putin's army of mercenaries moving into africa? >> there are real concerns. the new head of afri cromme general steven townsend is concerns. we haved heard it echoed by john bolton. but how do you deal with a fighting force with no official ownership. >> thanks for doing that courageous exempt reporting for us. we are grateful to youen at crew. thank you so so much. much more ahead right after this. all money managers might seem the same, but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better.
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tonight, the justice department is temporarily reassigned the warden at the new york prison where jeffrey epstein apparently killed himself. and two staffers have been put
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on administrative leave pur. our justice correspondent jessica snider is here we are learning more. >> ton the justice department is taking the swift action at the metropolitan correctional center. but really union heads representing thousands of workers throughout the bureau of prison systems say decreased stachg levels is really the root of the problem leading to everything from contraband getting in to concerned about the safety of correctional workers and the inmates. stont jeffrey epstein's suicide is shining a sholt on what employees say are widespread problems at federal presentences unions representing guards nationwide report staffing shortages mandatory overtime and regularly forced to work 60 to 80 hours per week. the personnel crunch began cascading after a hiring freeze was instituted across all federal agencies four days after taking office in 20162017.
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>> the hierpg freed freeze has had a significant affect on alling the facilities particularly this facility. you are talking about staff constantly working 60, 70 hours a week. >> even after the president ended the freeze in april 2017, it remained in plaps for the bureau of prisons. according to an analysis from "the new york times," from december 2016 to march 2018, the number of correctional officer vacancies including supervisory roles went from 1306 to 2137. a jump of almost 64%. attorney general william barr finally lifted the freeze and opened hiring last april but the lasting effectives are april as the attorney general vowing to investigate the death. >> we are learning of serious irregularities at the facility deeply concerning. and demand a thorough investigation. >> krn has learned that on the night of epstein's suicide at least one of the two employees
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on duty was filling in as a guard and was not part of the regular detention workforce. it's unknown what the person's regular position is but a measure put in place to deal with budget constraits called augmentition a all too common at the bureau of prison 141 facilities where workers hired as teachers and dukes are trained to fill in at posted normally manned by detention officers. >> any time we cut budgets it's detentions there are 2.2 million people incarcerated in the country. 7.3 million under the supervision of the correction the agencies but still for this to happen in the special housing unit, a manna had been on suicide watch or a week it was unconscionable. >> and cnn has learned that epstein was taken off suicide watch just days after his first suicide attempt in late july. he was supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes but a person briefed on the investigation tells us there were no checks on epstein in the hours before he was discovered early saturday
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morning and wolf of course investigations are ongoing from the fbi and the inspector general but the bureau of prisons has not responded to our request for kbent. >> they got to fix this this is an urgent problem. thanks very much. and to our viewers thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> outfront next, breaking news, california county is just filing a lawsuit to stop trump's controversial new plan targeting tens of thousands of legal immigrants. the man behind the plan ken cuccinelli is my guest. trump defends a conspiracy theory involving the clintons. why he obsessed withis his former riflen. >> at ground came in iowa for liz with beth warren. good evening. outfront the tonight the breaking news the first lawsuit against the trump immigration policy blacking hundreds of thousands of moles

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