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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 5, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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from south carolina, as i just mentioned, former governor from virginia, so on. it might have more even more time to discuss policy issues at the earlier debate. >> dana bash, thank you very much. that's it for "the lead." i'm turning it over for brianna keilar, subing for wolf blitzer next door in "the situation room." \s happening now, breaking news. another gunman opens fire at a theater complex. police say the shooter is it dead after a battle with a s.w.a.t. team, but what was in the two backpacks. defending the deal president obama goes all out for making the case with the nuclear agreement with iran, saying the choice is between diplomacy or war. but is iran already busy with a cover-up of a suspected nuclear site? it is part of the plane, the malaysian leader says it is indeed from the mh370.
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it's the biggest break yet. will it help investigators find the airliner? and taking on trump. he surged ahead of the pack. now donald trump's republican rivals are fighting to keep up. can they trip up trump at the first gop debate? wolf blitzer is off. i'm brianna keilar, you are in "the situation room." breaking news. once again a gunman opens fire inside a movie theater, this time near nashville, tennessee. police say he injured three people with pepper spray and may have wounded one with a hatchet. the shooter exchanged fire with one officer, then was killed in a clash with a s.w.a.t. team. a bomb squad is now examining two suspicious backpacks, and a break in the mh370 mystery, malaysia's prime minister
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confirms that the wing part belonged to the missing airliners. french investigators will now try to learn more from this deby. president obama defends the nuclear deal with iran saying tell keep iran from getting the bomb and it's the only alternative to war. will the president's tough language convince opponents or make them dig in their heels? i'll speak with the president's deputy national security adviser ben rhodes and our correspondents, analysts and guests standing by with full coverage of the day's top stories. we well-gin with an attack in a movie theater. pamela brown, what are you learning? >> brianna, this was a frightening situation for the movie-goers of "mad max" this afternoon. around 2:00 p.m. eastern time a 51-year-old white male who lived in the area entered the theater armed with a gun, with a hatchet, two backpacks and apparently wearing a surgical mask. he released pepper spray, police
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say, and at that time a 911 call was made, and people ran out to officers who were actually working a crash right near the theater, told them what happened. one of the officers went into that theater where "mad max" was playing. apparently there was an exchange of gunfire and apparently the gunman went out the back door, where he was meat by the s.w.a.t. team and was shot and killed. >> the two women had beened with chemical spray. their faces were blasted with pepper spray. back to insite the theater. the gunman apparently released this pepper spray throughout the theater. as additional officers entered, it was thick with chemical spray, with irritant. gas masks were brought into those officers as they attempted to get this person into custody. >> he said the only person hit
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with gunfire was the gunman. we know atf is also responding. they'll want to figure out what was behind this. still too early to know anything in that regard. 6r. >> have the -- police said at last check they were going to detonate the two backpacks. we know he had a back pack as well as a satchel. they said they didn't know whafs in there. at this point we're not sure whether they detonated the back packs, brianna. fortunately no one was seriously injured. >> thanks so much. joining me to talk more about this. we evan perez, and tom fuentes. we have a suspect who was
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wearing this surgical mask, a gun a hatchet or axened pepper spray. >> i think that they knew he was spraying the chemical and he was trying to prevent it from choking him. >> it seeping lie such a disjointed thing. it makes me wonder if maybe he didn't intent to kill anybody but himself. it didn't sound like at the took a lot of shots except except the police. whether this was suicide by cop, later engaged the s.w.a.t. team to be taken out, it surprises me other than the one injury to the person with the hatchet being hit in the shoulder that he had -- >> he didn't do much more damage. >> exactly. evan, you have officials who are saying at this point they don't know why he targeted this
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particular movie "mad max." they confirmed he's a 51-year-old white male and you have atf and fbi assisting. where do they go from here? >> one of the things the police said was looking at one of these backpacks they were not comfortable with what they are seeing. he's trying to figure out whatever he was carrying in there has been detonated, secured to make sure there's no danger. now they're going to try to go to his home to figure out whether there's any clues there. obviously there's a great danger based on what they're seeing just this these back packs that they might be booby-trapped. whether or not he told anybody about his plans, whether or not he wrote anything down, all of these things will take several hours before they can rule out other theories. >> they're not comfortable, tom, with what's in the back pack. would they have been been able
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to get any glimpse into this? are they going to be uncomfortable with this back pack and another bag that he had with him? are they just going to be uncomfortable with that and detonate it even without knowing what's inside? >> that's a good question. i think the lat of comfort may be that they had a robot that took an x-ray and they saw wires or, you know, containers inside of it that made them suspicious and decided that's it. we're going to use the robot, removed it, put it in a bomb containment vessel of some kind, take it to a safer location, 24e7b go through the pieces later to see how it was built and the detonation wires and other explosive material was contained and then do that with the second device. >> you had the recent shooting at lafayette, and in the scheme of things we're talking a couple shootings here. these are the latest in a string, you had one in aurora, colorado, years ago, not too
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long ago. what is going on here? >> i have to tell you, i went to the movies on sunday afternoon with my wife. you know, i thought about it. >> i think about it too now, evan. >> it hadn't ever entered my mind before that. we know from previous -- from previous incidents like this, that these shooters, that these people study previous incidents. we know the shooter in newtown studied the aurora shooting. we don't know if this man was looking at other previous incidents, but we know from previous incidents, they do tend to do that. that's something that the fbi profilers will be looking at, behavioral scientists study this stuff, because frankly it's almost impossible to stop this thing. we do have information on what's going on in nashville. we'll bring you the latest information as we get it in. again, this is ongoing. you want to turn to the
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nuclear deal with iran. president obama today made a strong pitch for the agreement. he said the alternative may be war, but amid the furious debate here in washington, there are signs that iran may already be trying to cover up the nuclear tracks. jim scuitto has the latest. what are you seeing, jim? >> brianna, we heard, as you said, a president uncowed by doubts, and painting it as a choice between diplomacy and war. but today cnn learned iran may be trying to do that just that, attempting to sanitize one of the most sensitive suspected nuclear sites. today the president made an impassioned, even defiant defense of the iraq nuclear deal, attempting to dissuade skeptical lawmakers from blocking the deal. >> i've had to make a lot of tough calls as president. whether or not this deal is good for american security is not one of those calls.
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>> it's not even close. cnn has learn the u.s. intelligence community believes iran is attempting to clean up one of the most sensitive suspected nuclear sites. the mill tar installation at parchin after new imagery showed heavy construction equipment. the president dismissed the possibility that iran can hide nuclear activity. >> it isn't something you hide in the closet. it can leave a trace for years. the bottom line is, if iran cheats, we can catch them, and we will. >> a senior intelligence officials familiar with the imagery in question tells cnn that the iaea, the international agency responsible for inspecting iran's nuclear sites is, quote, familiar with sanitization efforts, and the international community has confidence in the iaea's technical expertise.
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many lawmakers aren't convinced. they take particular issue with the fact that the administration has not released details of agreement with ran and the iaea and won't confirm in u.s. officials even read them. >> why now will you not give us the documents that exist that are so important to all of us relative to the integrity of this? why not? >> we don't have the doubts in the first instance. we don't have them. so we don't have them to give to you. i didn't see the final documents. i saw the provisional documents, as did my experts. for the president, it remains cleesh -- >> let's not mince words. the choice we face is diplomacy or some form of war. maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. >> this is the satellite imagery in question showing the site and this is what's been identified
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as analysts. you see a vehicle here, when may be a bulldozer, you see some rubble here and here. the judgment of the u.s. intelligence community is this is an attempt to sanitize some of the -- as the president said, brianna, you can dig, bury all the you want, but the nature of nuclear materials is that it sticks around for a long time. we're talking millions of years. they say they're confidence in the iaea's ability, despite activity like this, to detect that kind of activity. that's the president's position and the administration's position. >> jim scuitto, thanks for that report. joining me is the assistant to the president, also deputy national security adviser, ben rhodes, coming to us from the north lawn of the white house. ben, thanks for talking with us today about this. i do want to ask you about the iran deal, but first we're also following this movie theater attack in tennessee. i'm wonder if you can share any information you have learned or
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if the president is monitoring this situation? >> well, brianna, in these times of circumstances it's the local officials on the ground who are the tip of the speer. they obviously will have the most current information. at the same time we're always in coordinate with the fbi and log officials when 1/3 incidents like this, the president's homeland security adviser is regularly following these incidents. she can provide updates going forward. >> i do want to move on and talk about the iran deal. the president made his pitch today. is he confident that he's going to have the votes that he needs for this to survive? >> yes, brianna, we're very confident. we're very confident we can hold that veto with the democratic caucus in the house and also the senate we're
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focused on. if you look at recent days, just today you had angus king in support of this deal. in recent days people like chris murphy and tim kaine, very prominent senators coming out in support of this deal, so we're confidence we'll be able to move forward. >> do you think you'll be able to win over senator hardin, for instance? senator schumer? >> we're going to try to win over everything we can. we believe the more people know about this deal, the more likely they are to support it. >> i want to play something the president said earlier today. let's listen. >> the hardliners chanting death to america, who have been most opposed to the deal. they're making common cause with the republican caucus. >> he seems, ben, to be really
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picking a partisan fight right there with those comments, but at the same time one of the biggest hurdles that the administration that you are facing is with democrats, is with the president's own party. >> well, we've had solid support from democrats in congress since this deal was announced. think the fact of the matter is, as the president said, the republicans have signed up and come out in support of the deal before they even read it, so we're used to some reflexive partisan issues, we're expecting there to be very strong republican opposition as there has been on any foreign and domestic policies, but we're confidence there's a growing base of spot among democrats for this deal. >> why do you have so many dmocrats who are opposed to this, though? >> well, i don't think we have so many democrats opposed to it. if you look at the people who have come out and taken positions, it's very clearly a vast majority -- >> in fairness, ben, this is what you're working on, this is what you guys are working on,
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and the arms are twisting, when you have big names like senator schumer and senator car din and a number of other democrats in the house as well as the senate who have these reservations. what are their concerns? and, you know, how do you address those concerns? >> first of all, the people you have mentioned have not come out -- >> other they have reserved, having an idea of what is on the table here and it's been at this point a couple weeks, they have reserved judgment and are making up their minds. they have not rallied behind the president. they obviously have concerns, how are you dealing with that and acknowledging that there are reservations on your side of the aisle as well? >> well, look, we think it's entirely appropriate, people want to take the time to get briefed. we've had them democrats like nancy pelosi, adam shchiff,
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several senators have come out in recent days, so the people declares their pg on this, in terms of the democrats are very much coming out in support of this deal, but again, if people want to take time to study this, this is very technical, we believe the more people know about the facts, the more likely they are to support the deal. and we think at the end of the day the support will be there. >> can you give us some insight into something we are just hearing about, jim scuitto reporting that iran is attempting to clean up one of the is suspected nuclear sites, there's satellite imagery showing heavy construction equipment in the area. can you give us a sense of what they are up to? >> well, first of all, i won't comment on intelligence reports. what i would say is this. in the deal, we're at 24 there 7 at the nuke already facilities. we are referencing actions that
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iran took well over a decade ago, it was determined -- they about looking at what they did in the past, and again, what the president made clear today is that you cannot sanitize nuclear materials. in some cases they leave traces for thousands of users. it's radioactive material, so again this is not the kind of thing you can hide in the closet or even run over with a bulldozer. whether it has to do with their passwork, but importantly about their future work, so we can detect any effort by iran to cheat. again, i don't think iran will be able to clean up in a couple weeks something they weren't able to try to clean up over the last decade. we're going to get access necessary to go into it. and we'll have the ability to verify that iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon. >> whatever this may be in the scheme of things, you're saying
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it's negligible? >> absolutely. every day people will come forward with different arguments. the bottom line is look at the inspecting regime. we're there looking at the whole nuclear supply chain. if there's a suspicion site, we can get access even if iran objects. they cannot hide nuclear materials in the closet. >> ben, i am sorry to end it there. i think i cut you off about a sentence or two short. we do have to go. thank you for calling us. there is a press conference under way in nashville following this attack. >> steven has agreed to make a brief statement to you all. he's not going to entertain any questions. he's going to make a brief statement and turn around and walk away. he's doing this today so that his privacy is maintained and his family is not disturbed or
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bothered today or in the coming days. again, stephen has agreed to make this statement now. no question, and then when he's done, he's going to turn around and walk. okay, sir. >> the only thing i would like to say is i'm eye ternly grateful from metro police department for their fast response today, and the fact that no one else got injured other than the person who did this. i would ask anyone to pray for his family, because he obviously has some mental problems or something else. my family does not want any kind of 15 minutes of fame. we were not looking for any of this. we did nothing to bring this upon ourselves, and i'm very, very grateful that no one else got injured here today, other than the person who perpetrated this. again, i just want to say i'm eternally grateful for the metro police department for the absolutely phenomenal job they
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came here, the speed with which he got here when they were called and the emergency medical technicians. i would also like to thank all the citizens who gathered around us, helped my daughter when we were pepper sprayed. that kind of gives me a little more faith in humanity again. i really don't have anything else to say. i know you all like to have a lot of questions answered, but there's nothing i can answered. i have no idea why this gentleman decided to attack us. he is, from my understanding no longer able to answer those questions. in the coming days that come ahead, please direct all of your inquiries to the metro police departments so they will find out what they can about this gentleman or tbi. i just don't want to be involved. >> you were inside the theater constituent? >> no questions. thank you.
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a press conference there coming to us from nashville. we believe that may have been a victim or certainly someone who knew some of the victims there in that movie theater in nashville where the alleged attacker appears to have been -- to have been killed. he was -- we're just learning one of eight -- with you eight victims in the movie theater at the time. he apparently is the one who suffered the lacerations with the hatchet or the ax, which we understand that the perpetrator in that attack was wielding. as you can see, he's standing there before reporters. he's in pretty good condition, considering that was the injury that we understood to be the most severe of the injuries sustained there by those inside of this movie theater. we're going to continue to follow this. it is developing outside of
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nashville, the latest in this string of movie theater attacks. we'll be back with more of that in a moment. next we are working on some of that breaking news. ahead, we have today's breaking news in the mh370 investigation, malaysia's prime minister says the plane part that washed up on the beach is from the missing airliners.
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we're following breaking
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news. today's dramatic revelation from malaysia's prime minister that the debris found on a remote island off africa does indeed come from the airliner that's been missing for nearly a year and a half. i want to get the latest from and i have jails correspondent rene marsh. >> malaysia's prim told the world there was no question that the piece was from mh370, but tonight drama behind the scenes. sources tell me crash investigators are calling the announcement prematue. i'm told experts looking it el die bring have not found anything yet to definitively link it to mh370. the debris is indeed from mh370. >> reporter: malaysia aprime minister for the first time uttered words families of the 239 people on board mh370 have waited 515 days to hear. >> we now have physical evidence
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that, as i announce on 24th march last year, flight mh370 tragically ended in the southern indian ocean, but the french prosecutor woring on behalf of families was not ready to say the flaperon, found on reunion island, belonged to mh370. >> translator: there's a very strong is that position that the flaperon does belong to the boeing 777. >> we went to an aviation forensics lab in maryland to find out. joe reynolds worked on high-profile aviation crash investigations like value jet and air france 447. let's talk about they tears here. >> very helpful to know whether
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things came apart because of a lot of force, impact, or whether they broke up because of, let's say fatigue in the air. >> that analysis is not done with the naked eye, but heavy-dutiy microscopes. >> it has a rotating capability. >> the pattern in this 3-d image will tell a story. >> every time it bends or breaks, it forms a tiny mark. that way they can see if it was an instantaneous break or something that happened over time. >> now that investigators may have a piece of the mh370 mystery, her tasked with answering not only where, but how is the jetliner went down. >> and it's worth noting boeing put out a statement today, made no mention that its representative on the ground has confirmed without a doubt this is mh370. most people will agree, this probably is a part of the missing plane. the problem is experts looking at it say they don't have that
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definitive proof just yet. we do know tests will continue on this piece tomorrow. brianna? >> rene marsh, thank you. we have david gallo, the direct ovr of spect projects for the institution, and he's also a cnn contributor. we have peter goelz, a former managing director of the national traffic safety board, and we have correspondent richard quest along with tom fuentes, who is a former fbi director, and a cnn analyst. we'll be right back with more on mh370.
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we have breaking news. a part came from flight 370, the airliner that disappeared nearly a year and a half ago. experts in san francisco started examining this part, the flaperon today. a french prosecutor is being a little less definite says there's, a very strong suspicion the debris came from the airliner. let's discuss all of this with our experts. first off, with you expectation that this is indeed, and we're hearing this from the malaysians
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from this plane. how significant is this? >> it's significant in that it gives closure. those who choose to accept this evidence, to realize the flight did indeed as the malaysians say end in the southern indian ocean and all those on board perished at sea. that is no small feat, no small undertaking, but it doesn't go any further than that. it's both one and the same time incredibly significant, but at the same time not that significant, because it doesn't tell us what happened or where. >> because it's just one piece, right, peter? >> it's just one piece. you have a dozen or more investigator poring over it. they are not going to make a statement until they're 100% sure. the prime minister was
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confidence that -- >> the malaysian prime minister. >> the malaysian prime minister. he was not going to give up cross of this investigation. he needed to make a statement. he wants to move on. >> what's with the difference between what his's saying and what france is saying? is this just perfunctory caution? >> i think it's caution, it's also the tradition of the investigation. you have the introduction of a new country into this investigation. that was really not probably not. they could have shipped the part to australia, and we could be beyond this. >> so david, this is the first people from mh370, but you would expect at some point, right, that there's going to be more. what will that look like? we heard one expert from australia say we could see pieces on the shores of taz mania. >> sure, that's true. but the question is whether out there between the impact site
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and reunion island are those other pieces. they could be any place in the indian ocean. if they got caught on the inside gyre, this could well be on the inside of the indians ocean. >> i know a lot of the other pieces you're saying could be in other places. does this mean the search area was the correct search area before? >> yeah, i don't think -- i don't think this changes the search area. that was based on the satellite handshakes. now, they'll want and hope that somehow this piece, the forensics will lend support to the impact being off the west coast of australia, but i don't believe it's going to change that at all, and those ships and men and women are out there looking for the main body of wreckage. >> the main question is if this was a criminal act. what happened to this plain,
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many think is purposeful. will this piece help at all? >> probably not. the reason is if there was a bomb on that plane there would be explosive residue, other cases of fire or some disaster, but most of that would be inside the cabin, inside the airplane. the piece of wing that's to the rear of the or to the middle and extended exterior to the plane, it falls off in the ocean, we may not know why. if you remember some of the earlier plate crashes, you know, the broken half -- >> you need the black box or the interior of the plane to give you -- >> you need the rest of the plane. thanks to all of you. coming up, why is the most hunted mant are man on earth going public? stand by for new details on al qaeda's notorious bomb maker.
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al qaeda's notorious bomb maker has suddenly gone public. cnn's brian todd has been digging up new details. >> u.s. intelligence officials and others who have tracked ibrahim al asiri saying he's andang russ as ever, he's working on more sophisticated bombs and planning more attacks, but a move may also expos him to a kill strike from u.s. drones. he's known to operate in the shadows, a master bomb maker on the run, but he seems to have broken his cover to write an article. he disputes an al jazeera documentary that alleged that -- are all of us spies?
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analysts say al asiri may have just let the ego get the best of him. >> he thinking he need to correct the record here, but quite extraordinary he's doing this, basically that he's the most -- >> reporter: al asiri has a u.s. bounty up to $5 million. a counter terrorism official tells cnn he's an ally of al qaeda on peninsula's new leader. he's believed to have masterminded the 2009 christmas day underwear bomb plot, the 2010 printer cartridge bomb attack. both targeted aircraft heading to the united states. both almost succeeded. analysts say he's learned from his mistakes. >> it's still a safety jumps that we're working on a device that will make it through u.s. protocols. >> a nen gen rawlings of
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devices, there's even intelligence suggesting the group is looking into surgically implanting explosives. he's tried a version of that before. he played a bomb inside the body of his own brother, who tried to assassinate saudi arashia's counter spy chief. he's a legend in jihadist circles, and tech be a strategy to persuade recruits. >> they don't produce as much information, and they don't have the same network on twitter. therefore possibly putting a figure like al siri out there is a way for them to get more buzz. >> which group is more of a threat to the u.s. homeland? tonight a u.s. officials tells me isis is more of a threat for immediate small-scale lone wolf
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size attacks. as for attacks, this official says al qaeda and its affiliation, they remain the top threat, brianna. thanks so much. coming up, new details about this attack at a mother theater in nashville, tennessee. vo: today's the day. more and more people with type 2 diabetes are learning about long-acting levemir®. as my diabetes changed, it got harder to control my blood sugar. today, i'm asking about levemir®.
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donald trump and his top
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nine challengers are getting ready for the first debate of the 2016 presidential campaign. cnn chief congressional correspondent dana bash is in cleveland. dana. >> the name of the game in prepping for any debate is expect the unexpected. but a whole different thing when the unexpected could be donald trump. >> reporter: the biggest event at this cleveland arena these days is usually when the man on the mural across the street plays. nba star lebron james. but all these satellite trucks are lined up for a political sport, the first republican 2016 presidential debate. >> this is not reality television. >> reporter: sources close to the nine gop contenders sharing the stage with the unlikely front-runner donald trump insists he will not be their focus. >> all of us were owing voters an explanation of who we are. >> reporter: as for trump he insist he's wants to focus on issues. >> i'm not looking to hurt anybody. i'm not looking to embarrass
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anybody. if i have to bring up deficiencies i will bring up deficiencies. certainly i am not looking to do that, i would rather go straight down the middle. you don't know what is going to happen. >> reporter: and tries to lower expectations politician style. >> i have never debated. sort of my whole life has been a debate. i never debated before. the politicians all they do is debate. >> reporter: the question is whether the man who retaliated against an opponent by reading his cell phone on live tv can help himself. trump's hard charging lawyer warned maybe not. >> looked what happened lindsey graham not in the debate, look what happen. rick perry, not even in the debate. if you attack donald trump he will come back twice as hard. >> while trump may be the most entertaining jeb bush may have the most to lose. he is still the favorite among many establishment republicans and this is a critical chance for him to prove he is worth the record $100 million plus he raised. >> i'm the -- i'm -- my dad is the greatest man alive.
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if you don't like it i will fake you outside. >> that shaky performance earlier this week has some backers worried. not to mention the stumble yesterday when talking about funding for planned parenthood. >> you could take dollar for billion dollars for women's f a- health earn use. >> reporter: his campaign is trying to stay on message in a new cheeky way. the jeb bush swag store. selling things like this vintage tank top. >> this was a serious decade. >> i spoke to a bush source, a little while ago who said that of course, even if donald trump says he is not going to go after any one, they do expect the moderators to tee it up for either trump or jeb bush to go at one another. particularly since they're going to be next to each other. so they say if that doesn't happen it could be television malpractice. >> malpractice. i like that. dana bash in cleveland. thank you. next a gunman opens fire inside
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a tennessee movie theater. what was in the backpack that he was carrying? you know the best thing about summer pizza? it tastes light. it tastes fresh. and it's pizza. try our new grilled chicken margherita pizza. a large for only $12.00. and, add a chocolate chip cookie for only $5.00 more. better ingredients. better pizza.
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happening now. breaking news, theater shootout. a gunman carrying a hatchet and pepper spray is killed by police inside a nashville cinema. a bomb squad called in to detonate his backpack. what was his motive? what might police find as they search his home? >> hard sell. president obama warns skeptics of the iran nuclear deal they must choose between diplomacy and war. can he win over enough support to get congressional approval of the historic but controversial agreement? i'll be asking senator angus king who just announced how he
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will vote. >> mh370 confirmation. the prime minister verifies the wing debris is from the jumbo jet that vanished. french officials are less definite. investigators are getting their first up close look at the part. what will they find? >> taking on trump. republican presidential front-runner the man to beat tomorrow in the first gop debate of the 2016 campaign. how are his rivals planning to steal his spotlight? we are getting new information tonight. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off. you are in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we are following breaking news. an attack inside a movie theater near nashville, tennessee. police say the gunman was also carrying a hatchet and pepper spray he used before he was killed in a shootout with
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police. also malaysia's prime minister is now confirming that a piece of debris that washed ashore on reunion island in the indian ocean is a flaperon from the wing of malaysia airlines flight 370. it is the first piece of physical evidence from the missing jumbo jet. >> tonight as president obama ramps up pressure on lawmakers to back the nuclear deal with iran, we are learning of a disturbing incident. a source tells cnn an iranian warship briefly pointed a weapon at a u.s. helicopter that had just landed on a coalition ship in the gulf of aiden. the incident lasted a minute. no shots were fired. we're covering all of that and more this hour with our guests including senator angus king, member of the intelligence and armed services committees, we have our correspondents and expert analysts as well. we begin with cnn justice correspondent pamela brown. she is following the breaking news for us. pamela, what do you know about what has happened? and what's known about this
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shooter in tennessee? >> we are learning that the shooter was a white male who was 51 who lived in the area. according to police this all unfolded at 2:00 clock p.m. eastern time. the shooter walked into a theater. theater-goers were watching "mad max." he was as you pointed out armed with a gun, pepper spray, wearing a surgical mask and he also had two backpacks. right after that apparently a 911 call was placed. people ran out. two police working the crash right next to the theater. one of the officers went into the theater. there was an exchange of gunfire. then the gunman went out the back door where the s.w.a.t. team waited. the and the gunman as we know was shot and killed at that point. here's what police had to say about what unfolded. >> the two women had been doused with chemical spray by the suspect. their faces were blasted with pepper spray.
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back to inside the theater of "mad max." the gunman apparently unleashed this pepper spray through out the theater. as additional officers, the s.w.a.t. team entered the theater it was very thick with chemical spray, with irritant. gas maxes were brought in to those officers as they attempted to get this person in to custody. >> police say it appears that one of the theater-goers had a minor injury from the hatchet that the gunman had on him. we know the fbi and atf are working the scene right now. investigators want to know what the motive was here. trying to answer the questions -- was this terrorism it? is too early to know that. police said they're looking into a report that the gunman had uttered something in a public space just before going to that theater. >> do we have any idea, pamela, what is in the backpacks that police were so can sernd aboonc? >> yeah, a big question. the bomb squad was there on the
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scene. from what they saw they were not comfortable with officials there on the scene. so they said they would detonate the two backpacks. the gunman had one in front of him as well as the a satchel. as far as we know they're securing the scene, neutralizing the threat with the backpacks. >> pamela brown, thank you for your report. >> short time ago we heard from a man who was inside the theater. he was slightly injured by the gunman's hatchet. he asked to be identified only as steven. >> i am eternally grateful, excuse me. for the metro police department, for their fast response today and the fact that no one else got injured other than the person who did this. i would ask anyone to pray for his family because he obviously has some mental problems or something else. >> want to get more on this now, on the breaking news with cnn justice reporter, evan perez and fbi assistant director and cnn law enforcement analyst, tom fuentes. tom, you see what the guy was armed with. do you have any sense of what
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his intention was because of it? >> to me it looks like that his intention may have been to be killed by a police officer and not actually kill anybody else. i think other than the hatchet attack on this gentleman, and spraying pepper spray. but having a firearm in a crowded theater that is as easy as could be to kill people. we have seen that in the prior theater shootings. the fact that he didn't makes me wonder if he didn't want to or wasn't trying to specifically. but did engage in gunfire with the police. the police killed him. >> how sophisticated is this attack? >> listen, this is something that anybody could pull off. it's what they call soft targets. that's the reason they call them that. at this stage what the a.t.f. and fbi want to make sure of is this man's home its secure, that there there are no booby traps there waiting for him. they're going to search through, look through the computer, telephone. talk to his family members if he has any that know him. talk to friend to see if there
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is any indication of what was coming here. really it is indefensible. >> we breathe a sigh of relief when we seat victim who is going by steven, first nay, to know he was the one injured by the hatchet. he looks like he is doing fine. but this is the -- sort of a string that we have seen in lafayette, victims there not as fortunate. a deadly attack there in a movie theater. what is with these attacks? are these copycat attacks? what do you read into that? >> i think they are to some extent copycat. it is just that the person who does the attack knows there are so many people in a confined dark airate rea, it is going to easy if they choose to kill a number of people. it will not be that hard. if you tighten down the security on theaters, switch to shopping malls, or churches during main services. there will be other soft targets available to do that if they prevent this from theaters.
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>> at a ser tecertain point do officials say we need to tighten security or implement awareness tin the soft target areas. >> one of the things they do, they do warn law enforcement there might be copy cats. i think that's what might have inspired this one. really it is impossible for us to live our lives and go around duke the things we do, going into the mall, and into the stores and have to put up with additional security. i don't think the american public wants to deal with that. there are some countries, israel for instance where you might encounter this before you go there. i don't think the u.s. public is really there yet. i think at this point. you have to go on living your lives. i thought about this before i went to the movie theater sunday. and i definitely thought. i went out and did what i want to do. >> i think about it whenever i go to a movie theater. more on the story in a second. evan, tom, thank you so much to both of you. want to begin with cnn senior white house correspondent, jim
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acosta. let's talk about the iran deal. that's what we'll discuss here. president obama had a sharp rebuttal to critics of the iran nuclear agreement. jim, what did he say? >> in a fiercely anti-war speech, president obama sounded more like ted kennedy than john f. kennedy. his message on his controversial nuclear deal boils down to this. i was right about iraq. so trust me on iran. the president of the united states. raising the stakes in the debate over his nuclear deal with iran, president obama warned if congress rejects the agreement the u.s. will begin the march to military conflict. >> the choice we face is ultimate low between -- ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. he likened it to the ruling clerics in iran. >> it is the hard-liners, chanting no to america, most opposed to the deal, making a common cause with the republican
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caucus. >> he blasted skeptics claiming a better deal could be had. >> those making the argument are either ignorant of iranian society or they're just not being straight with the american people. >> nuclear armed iran would be even more dangerous for israel dismissing complaints from its prime minister benjamin netanyahu. >> i do not doubt his sincerity. but i believe he is wrong. >> the president described the upcoming vote on the nuclear agreement as the most important decision facing congress since lawmakers authorized the iraq war. a move mr. obama said he correctly considered a mistake. diplomacy he cautioned, deserves a chance. >> resist the conventional wisdom and the drum beat of war. >> reporter: the president neglect to mention vice president, secretary of state and former secretary of state all supported the iraq war and even some fellow democrats are now wary of the iran deal. >> madam secretary, this agreement or war, is that the
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choice? simple yes or no? >> i don't think it is a simple yes or no. >> reporter: the white house chose american university as the backdrop for the speech to invite comparisons to president kennedy's historic address at the school in 1963. kennedy's adversary, a nuclear soviet union. >> for in the final analysis our most basic common link is that we all in habit this small planet. we all breathe the same air. we all cherish our children's futures. and we are all mortal. >> the president urged the nation to follow kennedy'sly. >> now more than ever we need clear thinking in our foreign policy. >> with the white house giving up on attracting much gop support the speech was really aimed at nervous democrats. but republicans are outraged that the president compared them to iranian hard-liners. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell called on the president to retract the comment. their fight moved to social media as the president was tweeting at mcconnell, arguing
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killing the deal would accelerate iran's nuclear program. >> jim acosta at the white house. i want to talk more about all of this with independent senator angus king of maine member of the intelligence and armed services committees and worth noting senator you do caucus with democrats and you have recently said you are in favor of this iran deal. >> about two hours ago. >> about two hours ago. >> tell us how you came to the decision? >> this is literally the hardest decision i have ever had to make. probably the most important vote any of us will take. i took it really seriously. the way i approached it was in two paths. one was to dig into the agreement itself. the first thing i did was read the whole agreement. make dozens of notes in the margin. then chase down my questions. then the second piece was to talk to outside people not necessarily the administration. outside experts on arms control. inspections, nuclear -- nuclear inspections and all those kinds
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of issues. and then finally to talk about alternatives. it's really easy to take an agreement like this or any other agreement and say -- "oh it is terrible it's got this hole and that hole." the real question is, compared to what. what are the alternatives. that's what led me finally a conclusion to support it. there are two alternatives. one is we walk away and the opponents basically say, okay, walk away, increase sanctions then the iranians will come back to the table and get a better deal. the problem with that its that our partners in the sanctions have already agreed to the deal. they indicated we met yesterday with all the ambassadors of the p-5 plus 1 countries. they basically said, we're not going to necessarily stick with the sanctions. we couldened up with the worst of all world. iran unfettered by the restraint of the agreement and weaker sanctions. i don't know how that is going to get us where we want to get. >> you are confident that
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inspections will be where they need how to be in order to verify iran is not moving towards weaponization. >> very important point of inspections i havened heard much, many talk about the iaea. on top of that we have the intelligence services of half a dozen countries who are going to be watching iran all the time. it is really a two-tiered inspection system. i can't reveal the contents. part of our review was a classified review of the agreement by our intelligence community, the whole, all 17 agencies. and i can tell you that that conclusion was reassuring to me. >> as you listen to the president's comments today. i wonder in particular what you thought about one thing he said. especially as some one who is an independent. he said that those chanting death to america, talking about hard line iranians have found common cause with members of the
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republican caucus. is that smart when you are frying how to -- or is that just a sign that he has complete leave given up on republican sews he can take that shot. >> i wouldn't have taken that shot. i don't think that aid the cause. in fact i think there are republicans that are really thinking hard about this agreement. i was talking to one this afternoon. and i've don't think it helps. you know, i -- i think we got to reach across partisan lines here to solve any of these problems. but i have to say -- from his point of view. there were people on that side of the aisle who came out dead against this agreement within an hour of its announcement. they hadn't read it. they didn't have the background on it. and that's pretty frustrating. as i said if those guys were in a jury pool they would have been disqualified for prejudice from voting on the case. >> indeed some are rejectionist of the concept of the deal and also democrats who are still
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waiting and they're on the fence trying to decede side what they're going to do. >> that's where i have been for the last month. i've fooe feel like it is in the national interest to do the agreement. >> stay with us. i have many more questions for you regarding the recent bomb maker, one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. we'll be talking more with senator angus king. after a quick break. ♪ ♪
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we're following a dramatic move by a master al qaeda bomb maker, ibrahim al asiri is one of the world's most wanted terrorists believed to have made a rare public statement in a letter urging supporters to launch attacks inside of the u.s. we're back now with independent senator angus king of maine, member of the intelligence and armed services committee. senator, have you been briefed on this letter? can you tell us are you pretty confident -- are officials, government officials pretty con -- confident this is indeed ibrahim al asiri? >> i have got to say he may be the most dangerous person in the world. he is somebody we have been after for years. and he is the guy that is working on building bombs that can't be detected.
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it goes to the continuous threat that we are under. i don't want to be a fear mongor and frighten people. but there are out people out there that want to do us harm. >> he is, on the cutting edge of technology. experts attest to this trying to find undetectable bombs that can go through really to get on a plane is certainly his goal. is there a concern seeing him come out and give this message. even acknowledging there is some risk in it because couriers have to be used, we know bin laden was trace tld through a courier. seeing him take that risk does it make you think or are you led to believe there could be an attack on the way? >> these people are determine. there has been a debate recently in the intelligence community, who is worse, isis, or aqap al qaeda? my answer to that is yes. >> both, right?
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>> they're both. they're dangerous in different ways. this guy, he is, he is an al qaeda guy. and their orientation is towards plots like september 11. sending people bombs on airplanes. airplanes into buildings. that kind of thing. isis is dangerous in a different way. they don't necessarily hatch plots they send out what amounts to a terrorist apb that says go and kill some americans. like the -- >> smaller scale. unpredictable. >> very unpredictable. hard to disrupt. hard to know they're going to happen. because there may not bea plan. it's just somebody out there go to a recruiting center and shoot some marines. that's almost impossible for us to cope with except by local law enforcement. >> so you think, al asiri may be the most dangerous man alive. what priority is there on getting him? how has he evaded u.s. intelligence, u.s. attempts to attack terrorists overseas?
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it seems like there have been question as the b questions about whether he was alive and he appears to be. how many of priority is it to get him? >> it is one of the highest priorities of the united states government. he is, as i say i think one of the most dangerous people in the world. and this letter simply underlines the fact that -- he wants to do us harm. >> senator angus king, appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today. thank you so much. >> glad to be with you. >> ahead, donald trump's republican rivals plan to go face to face with the gop front-runner in tomorrow's first presidential debate. and the breaking news on missing malaysia airlines flight 370, why are officials hedging after malaysia confirms a part from the missing plane has been found? but you're armed with a roomy new jansport backpack, a powerful new dell 2-in-1 laptop, and durable new stellar notebooks,
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fireworks and fighting words all likely tomorrow in the first republican presidential debate. the pressure is on those nine candidates who are sharing the main stage with front-runner donald trump trying to steal at least some of the spotlight that he has monopolized for weeks now. can they do it? cnn chief congressional correspondent dana bash is in cleveland where all of this, where this big show is going to take place. all the attention dana has been on donald trump. what are you hearing from your sources about the other candidates?
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>> the other candidates probably not surprisingly for the most part are going to try to focus on themselves, on their own record. on trying to really introduce themselves to the republican electorate in a way that they haven't been able to do before. but, of course, the x factor, the donald trump factor is very much front and center literally. he is going to be in the center podium. and as much as these other candidates try to kind of prepare for how to deal with that it's not going to be easy for them to do particularly when it is, maybe not so much what donald trump is going to say about them. he at lowest made clear he wants to not focus on other. he is going to focus on issues and what he has been talking about. perhaps if the moderators try to mix it up among the people on the stage particularly when you are talking about maybe the three in the center. donald trump, jeb bush to his right, stage right, and then scott walker, stage left. >> dana, you have jeb bush, he is in the number two spot right next to trump.
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he has been stumbling a bit lately. how much focus is going to be on him? >> you know he i think really has the the most to lose in this kind of debate. because the expectations are high when it comes to jeb bush. he just raised over $100 million. he is still the favorite among most in the republican establishment. and they want to know that they're getting their money's worth and he can really deliver, particularly bre after he had been out of the game so long. he certainly has been campaigning like gang busters all over the country. a whole different thing when you are standing on the stage with all of these people especially since he hasn't done it since 2002. any kind of political debate like this. one thing i am told by bush sources is he is very much focused on the idea that he knows that people know his name. but not necessarily who he is. they hear from his opponents about common core and other issue that conservatives dent like. so he is going to try to fill in the blanks on what he says is
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his real conservative record. if you go back to 1994, for example, he was a popular conservative governor. he was one of the most conservative in the country. so he is going to go back in time and remind people of those positions that he held back when he was governor of florida. >> all right, dana bash. stay with us. i am going to bring in now cnn chief political analyst gloria borger, cnn senior washington correspondent, and ron brownstein, editorial director of "the national journal." if you are the nine other republicans -- [ laughter ] >> that's a crowded stage. it is so crazy isn't it. if you are the nine other guys, they are all guys, how do you prepare for this with donald from snp a trump? >> are they all wearing bracelets that say "what would donald do?" >> as dana was saying. i talked to a couple campaigns today. what they seem to be saying, look, i know i have to present a contrast to donald trump in some
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way, shape, or form. but how -- i have to tell the american public how that can trast iscan -- contrast is a part of what kind of president i would be. because most of these people are actually introducing themselves to the american public for the first time so they can kind of get a good look at him. jeb bush has the name. people don't know who he is, right? and scott walker is a governor. but people don't know really who he is. he is a young guy. bush, walker have different challenges ahead of them. but i think trump if he doesn't attack them, basically, he will just be within of the gang. >> overall i hear so many people say "republicans need to channel the disaffected republican voter that trump is attracting. don't attack donald trump. but speak to the folks he is a tracting." what i don't alwa always -- how
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you do it? >> he is a tracting them with vitriolic language on if graduation. look, i think the other campaigns still do not expect donald trump to be the ultimate nominee, ultimate winner. they think in the end he will face the same kind of fate as many early front front-runners in national polling. rudy giuliani led in all 10 cnn/orc, all 12 gallup polls, and he did not win a single primary. in the end they have to make their calculation about whether they want to inherit the trump support they think will be there. if you are jeb bush, a very different calculation. i think their campaign fairly believes the longer donald trump remains a viable force the more it helps them because the it gets in the way of candidates lake walker who could prove a potent threat. >> there is a burden on jeb bush, higher expectations for him because he has not had a
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strong week. campaigns are not won and lost day by day, week by week. it's a long haul. jeb bush has a burden to show he has fire in the belly. >> he can read this republican establishment. >> i do want to bring dana into the conversation. there is a big issue ahead of the debate, dana, that jeb bush is dealing with. that is that he said, he is not sure the u.s. need what he said "$500 million for women's health issues." he was talking about the planned parenthood debate. he had to clarify since then and say, "look, i misspoke." tell me about how he is going to deal with this? how he is going to try to atone for this as he tries to attract some female voters? >> look, it its not going to be easy. i'm not sure how much a factor in the debate tomorrow night. certainly big picture, long term absolutely it is going to be a factor. the fact that some bush sources were saying to me, look, the fact that they clarified it in
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an hour and not in five days with lots of different variations like what happened when he stumbled on iraq, shows that he is learning. but it also does show that he has got cob webs. whether it is that he -- still is kind of figuring out how to campaign in today's day and age. or whether the fact that he is actually been campaigning pretty hard. he is human. and god forbid he is actually tired. who knows what the reason is. but, yes, on substance, he says that he was talking specifically about planned parenthood. you can expect him tomorrow night to talk about the fact he cut planned parenthood spending, funding when he was in florida. but it is a soundbite. and a soundbite they know as much as anybody else can be used over and over and over. if he is the nominee by the democrats. >> i think what people, voters, republicans want to see from jeb bush is a passion. he said he wanted to campaign joyfully. he doesn't look particularly joyful to me. they want to know he doesn't
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just want to be the new ceo of the family business, right. >> he looked more energetic before. now he seems a little tired. he seems a little nervous. what's your observation? >> the race has been up-ended. he didn't expect this to happen. as ron was saying earlier, we could go through primary by primary. nobody wants to be the candidate of the summer. there 'tiis, you know we are no sure if the same playbook will be in order here. the sixth year of the tea party. something happening in the republican party, largely caused by president bush and his brother and his father. so this is a tough burden for him. that's why. >> there is resistance to him in the tea party populist side of the party. the campaign is impressive in many ways. his performance has been singularly inconsistent. at times engaging showed a personal side that is stronger than george w. did. but he has stumbled. the cobwebs is a good word. this is someone who has not run
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for office in over a decade. running in hypercav naffeinated politics. >> he started out with such a rush. you know, a lot of money. over $100 million raised. an he was on facebook. he was tweeting. sudden leap now it is probably because trump has sucked up all the oxygen. sudden leap now there is this kind of plateau for bush. he has to get himself out of it. he has to tell the voters, "you know what, i really understand you because the feeling about jeb is that trump is more in tune with the republican base than jeb is. >> 120 million reasons not to count jeb bush. >> exactly right. >> well, the race is young yet we will see. ron, gloria, jeff, dana. thank you for joining us. great conversation. we could go on for hours and hours. >> we will tomorrow. >> we sure will. breaking news next. the first piece of physical
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evidence from missing malaysia airlines flight 370, or is it? tonight french and malaysian officials seem a little bit add ots. plus the search for more debris from the missing plane. it is intensifying tonight. we have some breaking news straight ahead. no student's ever been the king of the campus on day one. but you're armed with a roomy new jansport backpack, a powerful new dell 2-in-1 laptop, and durable new stellar notebooks, so you're walking the halls with varsity level swagger. that's what we call that new gear feeling. you left this on the bus... get it at the place with the experts to get you the right gear. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great.
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following breaking news in the mystery of missing malaysia airlines flight 370. the country's prime minister saying that a wing part that washed up on a remote island is in fact part of the boeing 777 that disappeared 17 months ago. but french officials now looking at the debris are sounding less definite about this.
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want to bring in cnn aviation correspondent rene marsh. working the story. sort this out for us. what's the lateest? >> today the malaysian prime minister uttered the word for the first time that families of the 239 people on board have been waiting to hear. take a listen. >> an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on reunion island is indeed from mh370. we now have physical evidence that as i announce on 24th, march, last year, flight mh370 tragically ended in a southern indian ocean. >> well a definitive state from him. but a french prosecutor working
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on behalf of families of four french citizens used more cautious language saying there is a strong suspicion it is from the missing plane to. night sources tell me crash investigators are calling the prime minister's announcement premature. i'm told experts actually looking at the debris have not found anything yet to definitively link it to mh370. we should also point out boeing put out a statement today that made no mention. its representative on the ground has confirmed without a doubt that this is from the missing plane. i should point out most would agree this is probably from the missing plane. but experts looking at the piece say they don't have that definitive proof just yet. we do know that tests will continue on the piece tomorrow. >> all right, rene marsh, thank you so much. let's get more now with cnn aviation analyst, miles o'brien, and cnn aviation correspondent, richard quest, former managing director of the national transportation safety board, peter goles, and former fbi
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assistant director and law enforcement analyst, tom fuentes. richard, your reaction to what we heard from the malaysian officials and also what we heard from the french officials? >> my understanding is that the word "conclusively" came from the malaysian people at the -- the france investigation and they accounted that back to the prime minister's office. that's why it was included. malaysian airlines officials there believe that they have seen certain elements of that flipper -- flaperon that pretty much definitively for them -- we don't know what it is that's the problem. they haven't revealed that important point. but i can't believe that the p.m. would have used the word conclusively if he didn't have something more than just a hope and a prayer. >> miles, what could they see on this small piece of the plane that would tell them definitively, yes, this is from
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mh370? >> well, definitively, a serial number. if they did in fact find a serial number it wouldn't take long to cross check that, then there wouldn't be any confusion what we are seeing right now. what you have here, the prime minister saying what we all know to be true, it's very likely. he is saying it conclusively. the french are saying what we have been saying all along. there is a strong presumption here that stand to reason given the fact there is only one 777 missing anywhere in the world much less the indian ocean. so we are, kind of mystifying frankly. it does lead me to believe there must not be a serial number at the moment. >> it's mystifying tom, as we went through the process initially really the whole world was watching as the plane disappeared. there was a lot of criticism about coordination, everyone being on the same page. do you look at this and see any of that? >> well, a little bit. the french have a different investigative system than we do here in the states. they put an investigative magistrate in charge.
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and that person runs the investigation. not the police. and in this case we are not hearing from a spokesperson for the federal government, not hearing from a spokesperson from the french equivalent of the ntsb, you are hearing from this local investigative magistrate who has taken over the case. a little different system. why they're not being more definitive, i really dent know. >> peter, weigh in on this as you have seen what transpired today. i know you assumed all along it is a piece of a 777. it's got to be this plane, right? but at the same time there is this caution that we are hearing. >> i think what happened you have a group of individuals who are going to look at this piece of the wreckage. they probably said "this is it. it looks pretty good." the malaysians, they want to be out in front on this. the prime minister has the responsibility, really, the right, to make this announcement. he made it. while he was making it some of the other investigators are like, let's take a slower look. walk it back just a little bit.
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i don't think it is a big deal. i think they're going to lock this in in the next day or two. and we will move on. >> much more to talk about. peter, tom, miles, richard, stand by. we have more questions with our panel of aviation experts and correspondents after a quick break. a car that can see trouble... ...and stop itself to avoid it. when the insurance institute for highway safety tested front crash prevention nobody beat subaru models with eyesight. not honda. not ford or any other brand. subaru eyesight. an extra set of eyes, every time you drive.
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a wonderful experience. my oldest son now works for pg&e. when i do get a chance, an opportunity to work with him, it's always a pleasure. i love my job and i care about the work i do. i know how hard our crews work for our customers. i want them to know that they do have a safe and reliable system. together, we're building a better california. wonderful, crazy mornings. we figure you probably don't have time to wait on hold. that's why at xfinity we're hard at work, building new apps like this one that lets you choose a time for us to call you. so instead of waiting on hold, we'll call you when things are just as wonderful... [phone rings] but a little less crazy. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. we're back now with more on
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the breaking news. malaysia's prime minister confirming the piece of wing debris being examined in france is, in fact, in missing malaysia flight 370. i want to bring my panel of aviation experts back in. we have miles o'brien, tom fuentes and peter goelz. one of the questions is, peter, will there be more debris? it seems like that's possible, but it's not necessarily going to be the case. but also, the ideal debris that investigators are hoping to find is the black box. is there a situation where they find the black box and we never really are never able to find out what happened here? >> the first answer is, there may be more wreckage, but it's not likely. that's a big ocean. we may come across it. the currents are not regular. in terms of the black boxes, there is a probability of some
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level that the voice recorder may not have anything on it because it records back over itself every two hours. the data recorder, if this was a deliberate act and he did turn off the transponder, he might have also turned off the black box. the mystery could continue. >> think about that, miles. the idea that going through all of this, all of this time, all of this search, the fact that there are family members, hundreds of them waiting to figure out exactly what happened, for some of them perhaps this is a clue that is important, for others they want answers, that's so important to them. what do you think about that, the idea that we may never have the answers? >> it's really a heartbreaking thought when you start thinking about it, especially if you put yourself in the position of those families that you may play that black box, that cockpit voice recorder back and hear
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nothing but engines and ultimately the sudden end for that flight. there is no black box for the human mind. when you look at a deliberate act, we have to think about what was going on in a human mind. we don't know whose human mind. maybe just maybe just who is in that cockpit and the absence of other evidence, maybe that will tell us somebody, if we can get to it. >> tom, it does seem to be the prevailing thought, theory right now that this was intentional, which therefore would mean that it is criminal. but if you are not able to determine that, that's really a setback, isn't it? >> it is. i think the problem with this is, the big part of that theory is that since we can't prove something else, it must be that. it's really more of a process of elimination than proof. as miles said, if that voice cockpit recorder looped over
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itself and you only hear engines and you do get the data recorder separately, it may tell you what happened to the airplane but it may not tell you why or who did it. it will still be a mystery. >> there's a liability issue here, right? >> yeah. the liability -- if the pilots were at fault or the maintenance was at fault, then it's their responsibility. >> malaysia air's responsible for hiring the pilot or not being up to par on maintenance. >> if it's a mechanical defect, it's boeing's problem. boeing has deep pockets and can be sued in the united states court system. that's a different set of liability for who is going to pay out in the long run. >> not only that, miles, if there is some sort of defect, talk about how important it is to find that out. when you are talking about that air france flight and the tubes, that was important for pilots, for airlines, for people constructing airplanes to know about for other situations.
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right? >> yeah. the term is that the rules are written in blood. another way of putting is in tombstone mentality. the fact is, aviation is safe because accidents happen and we learn from them. we learn about flaws in the machine, in procedures, in how planes are flown. and if there is something to this crash which leads in that direction, here we are 515 days later, and we can't say for certain. we presume the 777 flute eet ise to fly. we can't say that with absolute certainty. >> if you are looking at the recent crash in the alps and look at this where the thought is that this may have been intentional, do you think, peter, that airlines or oversight entities need to institute better rules about background checks on pilots? >> airlines and the civil aviation medical authorities are
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wrestling with that problem. it's a serious one. they are concerned about it, particularly after germanwings. i think you will see steps to be more inquisitive on the pilot's mental health and being able to report more on it. >> you think there's a way do that? >> i think there is. i consult for a company that does that. for aviation and law enforcement and other entities. it's possible. there are systems out there to do those kind of background checks, not just on the aptitude to mechanically handle the airplane but the other issues of character profile and mental health issues and reasons that someone -- the germanwings didn't commit just suicide, it was mass murder. if that's what happened in this case, again, it's more than pilot suicide. it's mass murder. >> there were so many red flags in that case that officials should have been able to see. certainly, if they could have seen them, they would have been able to determine some very important information. tom, peter, miles, thank you so
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much to all of you. great insight. you can follow us on twitter. join us tomorrow in "the situation room." thanks for watching. i'm brianna keilar. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. breaking news. a gunman opens fire in a dark movie theater, also armed with a hatchet, pepper spray and wearing a surgical mask. the latest on this breaking story. the search for mh370, confirmation that the debris found in the indian ocean is, in fact, from the missing plane. was bill clinton actually the one who pushed donald trump to run for president? we have new reporting tonight about a very important phone call between the two men. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm kate baldwin in


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