tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC May 22, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
starting right now on "this week" with george stephanopoulos. locked and loaded. >> crooked hillary clinton is the most anti-gun, anti-second amendment candidate. >> it's now an all-out battle with both sides firing away. >> unlike donald trump, i will not pander to the gun lobby. >> our brand-new poll reveals trump's surprising strength and clinton's potential for a big boost ahead. but is bernie sanders still standing in her way? >> i don't want to see the american people voting for the lesser of two evils. and fear factor. after that mysterious plane crash overseas, the tsa's tough job just got even tougher. will fear of terror tangle u.s. airports? plus, zika threat. the sudden spike in cases here at home.
and why it may get much worse. from abc news, it's "this week." here now, chief anchor george stephanopoulos. good morning. it seems like nothing in this year's race for the white house has been predictable. our brand-new poll from abc news and "the washington post" promising more surprises to come. out just this morning, it shows a tight battle between two of the most unliked candidates ever. the top line, donald trump, has edged ahead of hillary clinton. drawing 46% of registered voters to her 44. that lead is inside the margin of error. so technically, a dead heat. but take a look at these trend lines. from september of last year, clinton has always been out front, in march, a nine-point lead. now that's gone. you might say the poll shows a race to the bottom. 60% of americans have an unfavorable opinion of donald trump. 53% for hillary clinton. the first time in the history of
our polling that a majority of americans hold a poor opinion of both candidates. trump's pulled ahead by bringing republicans home. 85% now support him. almost half say he holds the core values of the party. it's not great but a big improvement from the primaries. he's persuading independents to come his way. turning a nine-point deficit in march to a 13-point lead now with independents. hillary clinton is having a hard time shoring up the democratic base. 15% of president obama's voters last time now say they'll vote for trump. will clinton get a bounce when the primaries are over? there are some clues in the poll that may happen. she has to get by bernie first. >> albuquerque is ready for a political revolution. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: one irony of the campaign, the candidate with the worst chance of making it to the white house is the most popular right now. [ crowd chanting ] >> all: bernie, bernie! >> reporter: only bernie sanders cracks 50%. the primaries are not simply a
popularity contest. it's all about the delegates now. as "snl" joked last night -- >> i'm not going anywhere. >> reporter: -- sanders almost done there. >> senator sanders, i'm sorry, but the night is over. >> no, no, it's not over. it's not over until i say it's over. >> oh, hello, bernie. i didn't see you sitting behind me. so far behind me you can never catch up. >> reporter: or as hillary clinton put it -- >> i will be the nominee for my party chris. that is already done in effect. there is no way that i won't be. >> reporter: to sanders supporters like those at lack weekend's nevada party convention, fighting words -- >> this meeting is not over! >> reporter: their passion is still strong. that worries democrats looking for a smooth ride to the convention in philadelphia. >> it was a scary situation. i was there. i saw it. it was frightening. >> reporter: friday night, sanders full of fight. >> over 400 of these superdelegates indicated their support for secretary clinton
before anyone else was in the race. before the first ballot was cast. [ crowd booing ] that is what the anointment process is about. and it is a bad idea. >> and senator sanders joins us now. senator, thank you for joining us again today. >> my pleasure. >> secretary clinton's gotten definitive right now. she says i'm going to be the democratic nominee. there's no way i won't be. can you lay out a credible path to stopping her? >> well, i think she might want to talk to the people of indiana, west virginia, and oregon, who voted very strongly for me in the last three contests. the people of kentucky, who kind of split the delegates. i think we'll do well in the nine remaining contests. so i think secretary clinton is jumping the gun a little bit here. here's the scenario. we understand we have about 46% of the pledged delegates.
in order to get 50%, we have to do very, very, very well in the remaining nine contests. i think we have a shot. it's going to be an uphill climb. i think we have a shot to do that. we're going to fight as hard as we can for every delegate and every vote. the other point i would make, george, is that if you look at virtually all of the polls done in the last six, seven weeks, in every one of them, national polls and staid-wide polls, we defeat donald trump by larger margins, in some cases, significantly larger margins, than does secretary clinton. you have a lot of superdelegates out there. 400 came on board clinton's campaign before anybody else was in the race. i ask those superdelegates to take a look at which candidate is the stronger candidate to defeat donald trump, something that has got to happen, in my view. i think the objective evidence is our campaign is the strongest campaign to beat trump. >> the clinton campaign pointed out they got 3 million more
votes than you have. when you look at the delegate map, she only needs 90 more pledged delegates to get ahead of you, to win. her lead over you is twice as large as president obama's in 2008. to win, not only do you have to do very well, you have to get close to 70% of the vote in every remaining state. that's really not possible. >> i wouldn't say -- i would say it's a very steep uphill climb. you know, from day one, it has been an uphill climb for us. we started taking on the entire establishment. we have now won 20 states. between you and me, i think we're going to win many of the remaining contests. one of the points clinton makes. >> many is not good enough. >> she's not three -- she's not 3 million votes ahead of us. they have conveniently forgotten the states that have caucuses that we won overwhelmingly. i think the reason we do well in the remaining states, the case we make to the
superdelegates is the democratic party has to open up its doors in a way it hasn't. to working people, low-income people, young people who are sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics. we need an election coming up -- that has candidates that are not strongly disliked. i don't want the american people voting for the lesser of two evils. i want the american people to be voting for a vision of economic justice. of social justice. environmental justice, of racial justice. that is the campaign we're running. that's why we're getting the support we are. >> is that how you describe hillary clinton against donald trump? the lesser of two evils? >> well, if you look -- well, i wouldn't describe it. but that's what the american people are saying. if you look at the favorability ratings of donald trump and hillary clinton, both of them have very, very high unfavorables. you're not going disagree with me on that, are you?
>> no question. absolutely. our poll shows that. for sure. our brand-new poll. it has some evidence that your contest is creating challenges that could hurt the democrats in november. secretary clinton is only running even with donald trump in 18 to 29-year-olds. that's a big drop for her. and 20% of your supporters now say they would vote for donald trump over hillary clinton. that's a big jump since march. if this nomination fight doesn't turn out like you hope, are you confident you'll be able to convince your supporters to choose hillary clinton over donald trump? >> well, you know, two things. number one -- it's the function of every candidate, bernie sanders, hillary clinton, donald trump, to reach out to the american people and make the case why they should be supported. and i have every confidence that if hillary clinton is prepared to stand up to the greed of corporate america and wall
street, is prepared to be really strong on the issue of climate change. support, as i do, a tax on carbon. is prepared to say that the united states of america should join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all people, paid family and medical leave. is prepared to say that the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality today in america, where almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1%, if she's strong on those issues, yeah, i think she'll win and win by a large vote. but if she is not, she'll have a problem. i think the reason we're doing so well is that the american people know that if elected president, bernie sanders will stand up, fight for working people, and take on the greed of wall street and corporate america. >> are you going to push for those positions in the democratic platform? >> we are going to push for the most progressive agenda that we can that stands with the working people of this country.
george, i know the media doesn't talk about it too much. but the middle class of this country has been in decline for 30-plus years. and the gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is getting wider. we have a corrupt campaign finance system that allows billionaires to buy elections. we are going to fight for an agenda in the democratic platform that recognizes that reality. that makes the democratic party the party that stands for working families, not for wall street. not for corporate america. >> a lot of democrats nervous about the protests at the nevada state convention last week. a number of your supporters are filing perms to protest in philadelphia as well. are you encouraging that? are you confident you can keep the situation in philadelphia under control? >> one of the things that bothers me about media coverage of nevada, i saw a story on "the new york times" chairs being thrown. did you see any chairs being thrown? there weren't any. they had a bunch of police officers there. to the best of my knowledge, i wasn't there. nobody was touched.
what happened was there was no violence. what happened is people were rude. that's not good. they were booing, that's not good. they behaved in some ways that were a little bit boorish, not good. but let's not talk about that as violence. do people in philadelphia, going to philadelphia or any place else in america have the right to demonstrate? have the right to express their concerns? i thought that was the first amendment of the constitution. freedom of expression, freedom of speech. so, no, we're not encouraging anybody. in fact, i read about this in the newspaper the other day. but of course, people have the right to peaceably assemble and make their views heard. let me say this, what's going on and the democratic party has to recognize this. our supporters don't go to fancy, high-priced fund-raising dinners. that's not who they are. they're working to feed their family. give their kids an education. those are the people coming into our movement. i hope the democratic leadership is smart enough to say, come on
in. we want you in. your views are the views of the majority of the american people. let's work together. that's what i hope the convention is about. obviously, i hope that i win the nomination. >> if you don't, sir, my final question. are you open to being considered as secretary clinton's running mate? >> it's a little bit early to talk about that. right now, our function is to do everything i can, george, you'll see me running all over california, in new mexico. we're going to do everything we can to get every vote and every delegate that we can and go into that convention with as much momentum as possible. >> didn't hear a no, senator, we'll talk to you soon. take care. >> thank you. let's talk about this now on our "roundtable." joined by matthew dowd, cokie roberts, bill kristol, editor of "the weekly standard" just out with its 1,000th issue. congratulations. >> thank you, george. >> and donna brazile. polls out this morning.
a dead heat. this is going to be a tight race. >> i think this race is going to be incredibly volatile. through october, i think. i think primarily driven by the fact that we have two candidates, as you showed in the beginning of this thing who are incredibly unpopular with the vast majority of the american public. donald trump slightly less popular. both very unpopular. both distrusted. it's almost as if, to me, it's like the 1927 yankees playing the 1998 yankees. two great teams but the rest of the country is left out of this conversation. >> this is all before the general election campaign begins. it's actually hard to imagine that either one of those candidates is going to get above 50% favorability. >> i think this is the high point of favorability in the course of this. i think you'll see, it will be an unpopularity contest over the next five months. >> some of that depends on the conventions. some of that depends -- >> i think they'll each get a bump out of the convention.
>> the democrats could get a decrease. >> the poll is 50% of each of the candidates' voters are not voting for the candidate. they're voting against the other person. >> right, and look, donald trump has consolidated the republican party. >> pretty remarkably fast. >> you know what, just as fast as another tweet he'll probably send out within the hour. he's consolidated. democrats are still in a contentious primary. there is no question that hillary clinton has the lead in pledged delegates. that matters. superdelegates. that also mattered. raw votes. we still have a candidate, bernie sanders, you heard him say he'll continue to contest this campaign until june 14th. >> and it's having a huge impact if you look in the poll. not only are young people off of hillary clinton completely. people like bill kristol who said, find somebody as an alternative to trump. the voters are not saying that. more romney supporters are for trump than obama supporters are for clinton.
>> i want to bring that to bill krs toll. you have made no secret about that. you're against trump. trying to get a third party candidate into the race. that movement seems to be dwindling. >> i don't think so. the republican national committee and the trump and clinton campaigns are trying to strangle it in its infancy. because they're scared of it. i mean, look at that poll. when you throw mitt romney's name in, someone who hasn't run in four years. an impretsssive man. he right away is at 22%. he hasn't done anything. in other polls, the independent generic independent continues run 20, 21. half of the clinton voters and half of the trump voters don't want to be for clinton or trump. they're against the other person. if they had an alternative -- the way the country is really set up, a quarter of the country is for trump. a quarter of the country is for clinton. half the country is open to an alternative. the abc poll shows half,
basically half, 45% saying, we would like to have a third choice. i think the ground is there. >> they always say it. >> nobody is willing to do it right now. >> let's see. it's a tough thing to ask a politician. it's a tough thing to ask someone to do. let's see what happens in the next week or two. >> a car with passengers and fuel. but there's no real apparatus and motor to -- >> there doesn't need to be an apparatus. there just needs to be a driver. the problem is there's a missing driver in the car right now. i think this is a perfect opportunity for the rise of some third party or fourth party person. >> you have libertarian gary johnson. >> which abc, which we didn't put in this poll. i think he's probably at 8% or 10% in the course of this. it doesn't, to me, it's not about winning the election and winning the electoral college. it's representing a vast part of the country, as bill says. a vast part of the country does not feel represented by donald trump or hillary clinton as reflected in the fact that they don't trust them and they don't like 'em. and i think, even if somebody was to run, they should run. to represent a voice in the country that feels totally
unrepresented by these two major party candidates. >> it looks like in this poll that white men feel very represented by donald trump. it's striking how much they're for him, i mean, by huge margins. but also that the republican registration is up. and that really tells you something. that's not just anti. that's people getting in because they want to vote for him. >> he has room to grow if he can bring down the big personal negatives. about temperament. qualifications. >> he loses almost every personal character and is ahead in the poll. which basically means -- the greatest vulnerability hillary clinton has is that she's an establishment insider candidate. and he's an outsider candidate. >> in voter interviews, what i have heard. people saying, i don't like him. i don't like his statements on muslims and mexicans. all that. but i'm voting for him. why? because voting for her is more of the same.
and that's exactly what they don't want. >> which means if an independent candidate could run as a genuine outsider. a fresh voice. >> but that's not mitt romney. >> no, but it is ben sass or someone like that. there's a chunk that wants anti-washington and doesn't want hillary clinton but is not committed to donald trump. >> here's the thing, george. she's still fighting a two-front battle. she's fighting a consolidated republican party that has vilified hillary clinton from the time she got out of college. and she's also dealing with a democratic party that is still, in my judgment, coming to grips with the fact that we have a very liberal, loud, progressive base. we have to say this about bernie sanders. a year ago, he was an error in the poll. just an asterisk. over the last year, he's built a tremendous movement of supporters across the board. black lives matter, occupy wall street, fight for 15. here's a guy who has branded himself as a populist, as a
force for change. he's a cult hero. i think the democratic party will have to come to gripes with that. >> can and will he bring all of his supporters under the tent? i know that phrase lesser of two evils caught your eye. >> it's a contentious primary. but democrats don't call each other evil. >> if the shoe fits, donna. >> you know what, bill? >> how could i resist that? >> well, if the shoe fits on donald trump. because if donald trump represents change -- with the kind of misogyny and bigotry that he's spewed out. i don't know what the chances are -- >> sanders saying that he would win is really ridiculous. because what has not happened is no one has said anything against him in this campaign. hillary clinton hasn't because she doesn't want to alienate his supporters. and the republicans don't because they want him to stay in there and beat her up. >> the democrats have consolidated. if you look at the poll. they've consolidated as much as the republicans. >> no, they haven't. >> yes, they have.
85% of them are for hillary clinton. the problem she has is independent voters. she went from up 9 to down 13 in two months with independent voters. the problem is an enthusiasm gap. donald trump has enthusiastic supporters. bernie sanders does. hillary clinton does not. >> how much of that changes? you're right about the democratic party. how much room to grow does hillary clinton have once this primary is over? once president obama comes back and together and blesses it. >> i think hillary clinton is favored in this election. you look at the states, demographics. the country. as you say -- barack obama has not entered the election fray. he's at 50, 51, 52% popularity. i think donald trump is still the underdog. this poll shows, people underestimated donald trump all along, that he could be elected president of the united states. >> absolutely.
>> not out of the question. by any means. >> and a third of the country is independents. if a third is independents and they each have what are the negatives among independents? >> 65%. >> 65, 70%. >> on the point of president obama, he gave that commencement speech at rutgers last week. it seems like he's itching to be hillary clinton's communications director. >> he has to get bernie sanders out of the way. that's the problem. >> not only president obama. the vice president. elizabeth warren. there are so many democrats ready to litigate the conversation with donald trump. i looked at the poll. i don't like to read polls in the morning without wine. >> wine in the morning? >> i'm from louisiana. i go to church. we have wine. >> i take a sip. >> all right. but look. look at the attributes. look at the issues. she has room to grow. >> she does. >> she has to continue to consolidate democrats. has to really focus like a laser
beam on the millennials. at the end of the day -- >> it's white women. white women will determine the election. >> they were rubbing their hands together, saying, give us donald trump. give us donald trump. >> we never said that. nope, that's not true. >> i think hillary clinton -- i think hillary clinton has an advantage in the course of the election. but it does show how flawed she is as a candidate. okay, we gotta take a quick break. i want to come back and take a look at how this trump versus clinton battle might play out. an opening salvo on guns with donald trump at the nra. >> hillary wants them to be defenseless. wants to take away any chance they have of survival. if you take that gun away from them, it's going to be very unfair situation. and that's why we're going to call her heartless hillary. >> and hillary hit back in florida. >> we know the gun lobby is powerful. i believe it's the most powerful lobby in washington. and we know that some candidates
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♪ i know russia well. i had a major event in russia two or three years ago. the miss universe contest. >> i travelled the world, capital by capital. leader by leader, twisting arms to help build the global coalition. >> we're not going to be led down the tubes by an incompetent person like hillary clinton. boy, do i look forward to debating hillary. will that be fun. [ cheers and applause ] oh. >> what should we expect from a clinton-trump debate? we're going to take that on with "the roundtable." expect from a clinton-trump debate?
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we're back now with "the roundtable." and the first big policy battle between trump and clinton. guns the subject. kicked off by donald trump on friday when he got the endorsement of the nra. >> in trying to overturn the second amendment, hillary clinton is telling everyone, and every women living in a dangerous community that she doesn't have the right to defend herself. so you have a woman living in a rough community, a bad community. sorry, you can't defend yourself. >> hillary clinton fought back last night, saying that while trump bans guns in some of his hotels, he wants to put them back in schools. >> every school, he said. that idea is not just way out there. it's dangerous. you want to imagine what trump's america will look like, picture
more kids at risk of violence and bigotry. picture more anger and fear. ask any, any of the mothers here tonight if they want to live in that kind of america. enough is enough. >> and we're back now with "the roundtable." donna brazile, i want to begin with you. trump tweeted about this overnight. since that speech from hillary clinton. he said, crooked hillary said that i want guns brought into the school classroom. wrong. she was referring to a speech he gave where he said he wanted to do away with the gun-free zones in schools. it does seem like hillary clinton won't shy away from the gun issue. that's something new since al gore didn't become president back in 2000. >> i always tell the story. when i was managing al gore's campaign, my father heard all the ads. he listened to conservative radio. he said, i hear al gore is going to take away guns, and i'll shoot you first. i said, no, that's a lie. the problem is the lie is out there.
it's always out there that hillary somehow or another is going to take away guns. democrats are going to destroy the second amendment. that's not the truth. donald trump, as you well know, was for the clinton assault rifle ban back in the 1990s. he supported the president on newtown. the problem with donald trump is that he -- he's flexible. he'll change. he'll continue to change. hillary won't change on this issue. i think the american people will be with her on background checks. making sure we protect our children. she has to articulate that. >> this gets back to white women. that's exactly what this is aimed at. people that are pro-gun won't vote for hillary clinton. people who are on the fence, particularly white women, are going to maybe look at this and say, you know, she's really right about this. and here's what her issue is in going up against him. she needs to put back together the obama coalition. look, romney won whites and he won independents. so give them to trump. but she's got to get young people. and that's what a lot of all this lgbt stuff is all about. sending young people into the democratic ranks.
she's got to get more white women than barack obama did to make up for the deficits she'll have from his coalition. and that's what the gun thing is. >> to me, the nra gun discussion represents what we'll see over the next five months. an immense culture war. one side says, we don't want to change our culture. and i -- listen, i live in texas. i own five rifles. i think we should have common sense gun regulation. the problem in the gun debate and many of the culture debates is that both sides talk about facts that are both myths. one side says, if we take away guns, people will be safer. the other side says, if we give people more guns, we'll be safer. both are wrong. i think what will happen is we'll fight this culture war over guns, marriage, a number of things. >> you say that. i wonder if trump provides a trickier target on the other issues, like gay rights, like
abortion, where he's been kind of all over the map. >> right, and even on guns, it's unclear what trump's position is. if he's saying someone in the school who is capable, qualified, a guard, a teacher. might not be bad to have guns. that's not a crazy position. some schools probably do have guards in front of them. what strikes me most by that exchange? she's responding to him. i don't think particularly effectively. i say this as someone who is not for either of them. so i think i have some analytical distance on this. i just think if you watch that exchange, you think, who knows with trump? >> he drives the news cycle. tweets, call-ins. he brought up the issue of bill clinton. his women issues. he used the word rape talking about it. the clinton camp is saying she's not going to respond. the campaign is. is that going to work? >> i think they have to do both. they have to, at some point, fig yr out how to catch up with somebody who has been able to generate almost $3 billion of
free media. what is driving the narrative every day is awful. it's a potty mouth. and i find myself talking about thingses that i don't even talk about. ever. but, this is donald trump. and what you have with donald trump is somebody who is not going to tell the truth. fact-checking him is like trying to find the moisture content of the ocean. he moves. he switches. so, look. she has to run a campaign for the presidency of the united states. not run against donald trump. because you can't win that campaign. if she's able to talk about big issues in a way that animate the public, and get people talking about the economy, i think she can get to 270. >> the problem is presidential elections are never fundainnocently about issues or qualifications. they're fundamentally about values. i agree with bill, though, as i said, i think hillary clinton is favored in this election. she's likely to win this election. i think right now, donald trump represents to most people, a value conversation that they don't trust hillary clinton on.
>> it is why it was so important what he said to you the other day when he said it was none of your business about -- >> the tax returns. >> -- because the truth is, everything is our business when somebody is running for president. for exactly the reason matt just said. because we don't vote on issues. we vote on who do we trust more to handle whatever issue is going to come up in the next four years? because we, as voters, know that we're not going to know that the twin towers are going to come down or anything like that. so we need to trust someone to handle any issue. and we need to know everything about that candidate. >> and the majority -- and the facts are clear. if moll after poll, the majority of americans don't trust. i agree that's the key word. they don't trust either hillary clinton or donald trump. such an astounding fact. the two front-runners. >> we have to get over the fact that we won't have a lot of love in this election. we have to value somebody as a leader who is stable. >> this is where hillary should make her -- honestly, if i were advising the clinton campaign. don't go negative on trump. it's pointless. does she actually have a vision for america? a reason for people to think she
has fresh ideas? about dealing with economic problems? better foreign policy? that's the challenge. >> i disagree. i mean, i disagree with that. i think she needs a vision for america and a platform she runs on. i think the only way to beat donald trump in the course of this is every single day, you have to poke him. poke him on things he's vulnerable on. day one, after this thing started, he clinched the nomination. they poke him on trump university. they poke him on all this stuff. where he'll react to it. if he's poked on those things, he reacts to it. i think they need to undercut him. if i were hillary clinton's folks, as a businessman. >> and where he put white people out of work. >> i want to pick up on that. as we go to the debates and look forward to the debates. two questions i want you to answer. number one. do you believe we'll have the traditional three debates between the candidates? more or less? and number two, what is the -- what are those debates going to look like? >> i think we're likely to have the traditional three debates. i think that -- it's going to be
very nerve racking for the clinton campaign to go in and try to figure out what she says if he starts going after bill clinton. if he starts going after her. how does she handle that? >> i think we'll have the three. under what format? a lot of debate over the debates, especially from donald trump. they won't be the only ones in the debate. there is likely to be somebody else standing there. that changes the dynamics. it will be fascinating. how she handles the things he says that the republicans were unable to handle. his insults. how she handles those on a debate stage. >> and how viewers react to them. >> the one thing we know for sure is that she's well-prepared and knows how to handle herself. we don't know the character that is going to be playing the part of a republican candidate who is somehow or another become a conservative. and a champion for values that conservatives have believed in for the last 40, 50 years. the problem for democrats is we're accustomed to running
against conservatives. >> somebody that represents the people. >> the theory is somebody has to get 15%. looks doable in the polls. it gets you in the debates. that gets you in the debates. if you have a debate between hillary clinton, donald trump, and a young senator like ben sass, i think all bets are off. >> go back to 1992. ross perot won 2 out of 3 with george bush and bill clinton. the latest on egyptair when we come back. brought down by terrorists or mechanical failure? the latest from two congressmen close to the investigation is next. and you're talking to your doctor about your medication...
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then we asked some older people when they actually did start saving. this gap between when we should start saving and when we actually do is one of the reasons why too many of us aren't prepared for retirement. just start as early as you can. it's going to pay off in the future. if we all start saving a little more today, we'll all be better prepared tomorrow. prudential. bring your challenges. when we come back, the latest on the egyptair mystery. at first so many thought it had to be a bomb. >> what just happened about 12 hours ago? a plane got blown out of the sky. and if anything -- if anybody thinks it wasn't blown out of
the sky, you're 100% wrong, folks, okay? you're 100% wrong. >> three days later, no one knows for sure. we're going to get the latest from our reporter on the scene and members of congress on top of the investigation. this is our promise. farmers of fairlife, we start with delicious, creamy, real milk that's then ultra filtered so fairlife has more protein and and only half the sugar. and never any artificial growth hormones. at fairlife, we believe in better. real is touching a ray.
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question rattling nerves all over the world. was it terror or some kind of catastrophic error? abc's matt gutman is on the scene in cairo. good morning, matt. >> reporter: behind me is the egyptair head quarters. it is the nerve center for this now international search for the plane. it is unfolding very quickly here. because there's a ticking clock. the life span on the batteries on the black box. they've been submerged for four days now. there's a ship moving into the search area with sophisticated sonar equipment to scan the seabed to search for the wreckage. it has equipment that will pick up the signal, the ping from those black boxes. early thursday morning, that plane lurching to the left 90 degrees and spinning around 360 degrees and the evidence of the violence of what happened aboard that plane. we saw in those debris, that the egyptian navy has scooped up from the sea. the airline seats that seem to
be absolutely mangled. the twisted metal. the cushions that seem to be tattered. a woman's purse perforated. that shoe right there. all of those seem to be right along with the acars messages. there seemed to be a fire on board and disintegrated that plane at all the -- altitude. so important to get the black boxes. another clue overnight, isis issuing a 30-minute diatribe, vowing attacks during ramadan but not mentioning flight 804. and at home, the security concerns. adding to already brutal lines at airports. look at atlanta hartsfield airport. lines were two hours at times. tsa rain out of barriers. had to improvise. mary bruce has more from reagan national in washington. >> reporter: good morning, george. until congress acts, the tsa says the long lines are likely here to stay. the tsa is dealing with more travelers as we head into the brutal summer months.
with fewer agents leading to massive lines, marathon delays, and some seriously frustrated flyers. now, some airlines are taking matters into their own hands. american is using $4 million of its own money to tackle this problem. and flyers are flocking to precheck. enrollment in that program is skyrocketing as passengers look for some edge here. congress has approved $34 million to hire hundreds of new agents. but the tsa says that's a drop in the bucket. in order to fix this problem for good, they say they need more resources. lawmakers are reluctant. some republican leaders in congress say this is not about money, but management. all questions likely to come up this week when the tsa administrator testifies before congress on wednesday. but until then, george, if you're headed to the airport, the best thing you can do now is give yourself more time and brace yourself for a wait. >> thank you, mary. let's talk about this with the chair of the house foreign affairs committee, ed royce, and adam schiff. the ranking democrat on the committee. congressmen, thank you for joining us. let's begin with the egyptair mystery. so much conflicting evidence.
no heat signal of a big explosion. you have those other signals of some kind of smoke in the cockpit. %-p plane going down. hard know if this leads you in the direction of terror or some kind of catastrophic failure. >> here's what we know about isis in egypt with airliners. they took down an airliner from egypt flying to russia. we know they're working on a bomb that is undetectable. we know there was smoke in the avionics bay and the lavatory. we know that a rapidly compounding problem in the computers. and the windows opening to the sky. those kinds of circumstances could be explained by a terrorist attack. >> in your view, is terror still the leading suspect? >> in my view, it's highly likely because of the amount of effort isis and al qaeda have put in trying to build an
undetectable bomb. and this is one of the concerns we have had about allowing isis to operate in raka with their facilities to try to develop that type of bomb technology. the same is happening in the middle east. the same is happening in north africa. isis is in egypt right now. fighting in -- >> we know that isis is active and wants to commit acts of terror. are you convinced this is the leading theory? >> i'm not convinced. i think it started out, certainly, as our main suspicion, particularly in light of the sharm el sheikh attack. we have examined the overhead images. the intelligence. the manifests. we have not come up with any hard evidence of terrorism as of yet. it seems very suspicious to me that we're four days later, no claim of responsibility. isis releases a video or audio tape, doesn't claim responsibility. if it was isis.
it's still very possible. i think it is more likely to have been a lone actor that wasn't operating with the command and control of raka, taking matters in their own hands. at this point, we can't confirm either theory. i think either is now equally plausible. >> the other odd thing to me is that we didn't hear from the pilots. even though you did have three minutes there. we have nothing to indicate any communication there as well. >> and the idea of the plane moving around could be consistent with a struggle going on. >> it could be a struggle. it could be a colossal failure of the technology on the plane as a result of a fire from two wires connecting with each other. we have seen that in the past. the reality is, the evidence can point in either direction. but in all of our intelligence holdings at this point, no clear corroboration of terrorism of yet. >> meantime, we do have security concerns here at home, congressman. we have the long, long lines.
the tsa saying they could use more screeners, more money. and at the same time, they won't sacrifice security to get people through more quickly. >> we have moved through legislation that would allow for the hiring of more screeners. also for the payment of overtime. one of the difficulties we have had is with a great deal of turnover at tsa. there are management problems at tsa. with this legislation, it's also important the administration move in with an overhaul of management at the tsa to make them more effective. and let me add one more thing -- >> replace the administrator? >> well, think we have to have better results at tsa. most of the audits show there are management problems there. the other problem we should be focusing on on the wider picture of the challenge is to the extent that we don't have an overarching strategy to take out now isis with its training camps and its bombmaking equipment. i'm just back from north africa.
and in libya right now, they're working on the capability to develop bigger explosives. new ways to attack in egypt, in tunisia, and across north africa. just like they're doing in the middle east. this will come into europe and to here unless we're effective in deploying a strategy to take isis out now. >> a two-pronged strategy. one overseas. but also, congressman, here at home. you have talked about the repeated tsa failures to capture fake weapons on tests. >> yes, and the good news on that front, george, is that tsa has been improving. doing their own checks. testing employees. those results are improving. still, i think there's distance to go. i won't truly believe the results until the independent inspector general does their own tests. and confirms the improvement. i think the long lines at tsa are not necessary to security. and i think there do have to be management changes.
it's not just management though. there have to be more resources, more screeners, if we want to do away with the long lines. as the chairman pointed out, that's not a complete defense. we have to maintain the offense. that is going after isis. going after this caliphate. shrinking its size. we have seen improvements there. nn nonetheless, we see attempted attacks on aircraft. and with the numerous bombings in baghdad. they're going to move to a more guerrilla-type campaign as their space shrinks in syria and iraq. >> congressmen, thank you very much. >> thanks, george. >> thanks, george. when we return, zika in the u.s. we'll talk to the top u.s. official dealing with the crisis and our own dr. richard besser. that's next.
this is something that is solvable. it's not something we have to panic about. but it is something we have to take seriously. this is not something where we can build a wall to prevent. mosquitos don't go through customs. to the extent that we're not handling this thing on the front end, we're going to have bigger problems on the back end. >> president obama making the case for congress to pass $1.9 billion in merge funding to
tackle zika as we go through the bigger season. the cdc announced there are 157 pregnant women in the u.s. with science of zika infection. they're all related to travel outside the u.s. we're joined by the director of the national institute of allergy and disease, dr. fauci. and our own chief health expert, dr. richard besser. thank you both for joining us. dr. fauci, let me begin with you. where do we stand with the virus? what kind of spread are we looking for in the summer? >> we certainly have a significant number of travel-related cases right now in the continental united states. well over 500. and we have several hundred what we call locally transmitted cases in the caribbean in the sense of american territories. particularly puerto rico. so we already have zika in the united states. it's travel-related. the concern is we'll have local transmission. people getting infected in the united states but who have never left the continental united states. we fully expect that that will happen as we get to the more robust mosquito season in the next month or so.
the question is, we need to be prepared for that. make sure that those local outbreaks don't become sustained and don't become disseminated. that's the reason why we need to have a very, very forceful preparation right now before that happens. >> i want to get to that. and that is the real threat. it starts to spread locally here at home. we know that pregnant women are at risk. what about women that want to become pregnant? >> it's an unanswered question. it's one of the reasons that they have to do studies to monitor women. we know with similar viruses, once you're over the infection, it's out of your body. they have seen in this virus, in men who have been infected in some of these countries, they've been able to isolate the virus for at least 60 days. they don't know if women will have a similar situation. >> dr. fauci, we just saw the president arguing for the $1.9 billion in money. the house republicans are arguing back that there's plenty of money left over from the battle against the ebola virus. what is wrong with that argument?
>> well, that is a spurious argument. because we're not finished with ebola. we may not see it in the front pages of the newspaper. and the major outbreak is certainly not there anymore. but we have the danger of cropping up of ebola. we have seen over the last several weeks, cases far down the pike from the original infection are transmitted. including by sexual transmission. we can't take our eye off the ball regarding ebola. that would be robbing peter to pay paul. >> you're seeing some concern that this may be overhyped. people looked at the warnings of ebola. thought there would be millions of cases. turned out to be about 5,000 here in the u.s. what do you say to those that say the zika threat is also overhyped? >> when there's a new outbreak, a new infectious disease, you have to go all in. because you don't know in the
long run what it will look like. it's easy to get money and resources in the midst of something like ebola. when it's panicking the entire world. preparing for something so you can try to cut back on that, if you're successful, people say you overhyped the situation. and if you're not, they say, why weren't you prepared? >> and dr. fauci, the long-term solution to zika, a vacciccinva. where are we? >> it's a long-term solution. we're right now very aggressively developing a vaccine. we'll be scheduled to go into what i call phase one trials to determine the safety of the candidates that ultimately will be tested for efficacy. we'll start that by september of 2016, hopefully, we'll get enough information to then start a large trial in the beginning of 2017. >> finally, dr. besser. we know that there's so much zika in brazil. the olympics coming to rio this summer. what do you make of the calls to cancel? >> well, i don't think it's going to happen. i don't think it will be canceled. i think it's important that pregnant women don't go.