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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 9, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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reelected. they are more often than not the true believes. i think it says something about how people like to digest their politics these days, they like to be entertained. >> turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news, trump's warning. donald trump tells a crowd that if hillary clinton gets to pick whur supreme court justices, there is nothing they can do about it, but then he adds maybe the second amendment people -- is that a threat? trump's campaign blames the media. behind her, the father of the gunman who killed 49 people at
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an orlando nightclub is spotted standing behind hillary clinton at a florida rally. he says clinton would be good for u.s. national security. the u.s. clinton campaign says he was not invited. and i want to debate, donald trump says he is on board for three debates with hillary clinton but he wants to see the terms and reserves the right to renegotiate. will he show up? i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> the breaking news, donald trump goes unscripted again and sets off a stunning new controversy. he says hillary clinton was to apolish the second amendment and if she picks her supreme court justices there is nothing you can do. then trump suggests maybe the second amendment people can do something. the clinton campaign calls the remark dangerous saying a presidential nominee should not be suggesting violence.
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the trump campaign says he was talking about the political influence of second amendment supporters. another republican senator, susan collins, is refusing to vote for donald trump. she says he would make the world more dangerous. she slams what she calls his cruel comments saying the tipping point was the feud of the muslim american parents of a fallen shoulder. and the father of a terrorist that killed 49 people in a nightclub is spotted standing behind hillary clinton at a rally. he says clinton is good for the united states and donald trump has no solutions. our analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories. let's start with breaking news. an off the cuff donald trump state being seen as a threat. jim acosta is out on the campaign trail, this is setting off shock waves. >> that is right, wolf.
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it sounded like his most outrageous statement yet during this campaign when he suggested in this venue here in wilmington, north carolina that people who support the second amendment o could do something about hillary clinton. democrats complained that trump was inciting violence against clinton. the trump campaign say there's is nothing to see here, and it is media bias. >> if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't know. >> now, element as soon as trump made that comment, the clinton campaign put out a statement from the campaign manager, we'll put it up on screen, it says what trump is saying is dangerous. a person seeking to be president
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of the united states should not suggest violence in any way. and as we mentioned in the trump campaign, they put out a statement that the advisor for trump out out a statement saying no, it is called the power of unification. second amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified and they have tremendous voting power. they will be voting this year in record numbers for donald trump, not hillary clinton. in the last several minutes, donald trump was trying to clean up some of these comments. the nra saying they're going to come out in force to defeat hillary clinton at the ballot box in november. but democrats are very fired up over this. the sandy hook tragedy happened there. senator murphy put out a tweet saying this was not a gaffe on
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donald trump's part. this came on a day when a lot of people were listening about whether or not donald trump would stay on script. at the detroit economic club, he was not distracted by the protestors. after that he was deluged with all kinds of criticism coming from former national security officials. from senator susan collins in maine. trump says this was overshadowed by his comments on the second amendment. he would never hire the national security officials. they got this country in the mess in the first place. i suspect in the next 24 hours we'll be hearing more from donald trump. >> jim acosta in wilmington, north carolina, thank you. you're there, i assume he is
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going to try to fire up the campaign. what else are you hearing about this uproar. >> wolf, i think one of the biggest differences for the came pain now is how quickly the trump campaign moved to clean up the comments. in the past they left this kind of thing just hang out there for days and weeks at a time. these are the kinds of off the cuff comments that give republicans cause. people that are cautious about supporting donald trump, look at moments like this and say this is a week where you are supposed to be staying on message. a week when the trump campaign wanted to talk more about the economy. wanted to roll out more specifics about donald trump's economic plan and that is not the kind of thing happening when we're talking about his comments on the second amendment. >> and more polls are coming out in key battleground states. what are the latest numbers showing us, sarah?
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>> well, it is a mixed bag when you look at the latest polls. when you look at florida, the sunshine state, a hugely important state in a general election. hillary clinton is at 46%, and trump is at 45%. a rougher week for donald trump. when you move on to ohio, it is tight, but it is clear that right now hillary clinton has the edge. she is at 49%. donald trump is at 45%, and wolf, this matches up with what we're hearing from political operatives. this is not a blow out for hillary clinton. sh is a close race, she has an edge, but donald trump has an opportunity there. they would like to see the numbers reserved. when you move on to pennsylvania, you see the gap that can be problematic for donald trump. hillary clinton is at 52%.
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donald trump is at 42%. this is a huge gap and the trump campaign made no secret of the fact that they want to make a play for pennsylvania even though it has been such a difficult state for republicans. wolf, right now it looks like a long shot. >> is there any indication that they're going to start buying significant numbers of ads. the clinton super pacs are spending a lot of money on them. >> that is a must ri of the trump campaign. initially they didn't have much in their campaign war chest, but they ramped up their fundraising and they tapped into this small donor base. they did a little digital sizing and we see the pro trump super pac ramp up a little, but it is nowhere near where hillary clinton is at. this is a candidate that
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believed from the beginning that he can rely on free media. that is a risky gamble to make when you're going into the general election. your opponent is outspending you so heavily on the air waves. >> we'll stand by to hear from donald trump in fayetteville, i would think, fairly soon. sarah, thank you very much. joining us now, jeff sessions of alabama. he was an early supporter of donald trump. mentioned, at least, as a possible running mate. could be in the cabinet as well. i know you're smiling, it may be premature for all of that. >> good evening to you. >> i know you just flew into washington, you may not have heard the latest uproar, donald trump said something off of the cuff at this earlier rally that is causing a lot of uproar right know. let me play the clip. >> if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do,
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folks. the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't know. >> that is the comment that is generated all of this controversy. the clinton campaign said this after donald trump's comments, they said "this is simple. what trump is saying is dangerous. a person seeking to be president of the united states should not suggest violence in any way." >> i agree with that. they should not suggest violence and i don't think he did. i had not heard that statement, but what i think he is saying is the second amendment people care about this, hillary clinton's position on the second amendment is that she will appoint a judge that will make it not a personal right, which means any state and city in america can completely ban firearms. 5-4 in the supreme court. a new justice would make it 5-4 the other way and that would reverse that holding giving the states and cities the power to
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ban firearms. >> you understand how this can be interpreted as suggesting violence. at that point, he says although the second amendment people, maybe there is, let me read to you a tweet -- >> let me just say, i don't think so. he has no intention of suggesting a violence against hillary clinton. i don't believe that is possible. >> a lot of people are concerned, senator chris murphy, your democratic colleague from connecticut said "don't treat this as a political misstep. it is an assassination threat upping the possibility of a national tragedy and crisis." >> that would be totally wrong. i don't believe that is true. i don't think that is what he meant. i don't think it is what will impact this election. on the latest numbers coming out, they show income for working americans down again. the economy is not doing well,
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and we have to do better, and he has a bold plan that will work. >> he is about -- you support him, he is a friend of yours, you work closely with him. he is about to deliver a major speech at a rally in north carolina, just a little bit from now. his campaign put out a statement, and i will read it to you, jason miller, senior communication advisor. the power of unification. second amendment people have amazing spirit and are unified and it gives them great political power. this year they will vote in record numbers and it won't be for hillary clinton, it will be for donald trump. that is the reaction from the donald trump campaign. if you were advising him, you know he is about to go out and speak. what should he say to try to put this commotion, there is a lot of angst out there right now. what would you advise him to say? >> i don't believe this is a serious statement of any kind that will impact the election. i think he should continue to talk about what he meant.
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on the second amendment, it is under great threat from hillary clinton's appointment to the supreme court. no doubt about that. it will eviscerate the strength of the second amendment if the court reverses it's 5-4 ruling with justice scalia, the fifth vote. >> it was awkwardly phrased, though. >> it may have been awkwardly afrai afra phrased, but he talked aggressively to the people. instead of hiding like hillary clinton does, he goes and interviews and does things i think is worthy and good. >> even if he was joking, this is something you don't joke about. >> you absolutely should not joke about it, you're exactly right. you how old not suggest that violence could be used in this political system. it is contrary to everything we believe in, you're right about that. >> let's talk about something else he said today.
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he is talking about if the election is rigged and voter fraud. at one point he said jokingly that some of hillary clinton's supporters will vote 15 times. 15 times. he was joking, but is he laying the ground work for calling this whole election rigged if he doesn't win by suggesting that hillary clinton voters are going to go out and vote 15 times. >> i don't think many will, but we have seen fraud repeatedly, and there is a problem if you don't use a voter id when you go to vote. you can vote for someone under another name that you know is not available to vote that day. but there are dangers out there, but i don't think -- hopefully that won't be a major impact in the election, but the democrats start their pre-emptive attack on republicans, and republicans start their pre-emptive election -- >> but you don't really believe a presidential election can be rigged? >> we don't know how florida
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came out. there was a lot of hard feelings about that, one precinct can make a difference in an election. >> let talk about this letter from 50 republican top national security advisors, foreign policy advisors that they issued yesterday suggesting they could not vote for trump because he would be dangerous to the world, dangerous for u.s. national security. you read the letter, you know some of the individuals, former cia directors, you know these individuals, your reaction? >> i knew a few of them. a lot of them i did not know. a majority i did not know. >> the director of national intelligence. >> yes, and several others i knew and respect, but i just want to say it's not 50 of the top best known people -- but still, not a top list of some of the top republican leaders in congress, number one. number two, many of these were
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involved deeply in pro immigration activities. several were like trade representatives, they believe in international trade, and a large number were deeply involved and very aggressive, some say overreaching foreign policy that got us into so much trouble in the middle east. trump, if you have to know, he is more humble about use of american power. he will show more restraint. his criticism of hillary clinton has been that she has within o too -- libya, syria, iraq. that decision in iraq was devastating to us. >> we have more to discussion on national security and foreign policy. stick around, we'll take a quick break, we'll be right back.
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book direct... and get the lowest price online braking news, donald trump goes unscripted and sayed that maybe the second amendment people can stop hillary clinton. the trump campaign says the nominee was talking about political action. >> michael flynn, the retired lieutenant general in there, who
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else is on your inner circle. >> he talks to people, some he has not revealed they just want to talk privately. the key part of what he sees is that the united states has overreached. i know one time i asked secretary gates shouldn't we be more humble about our policy, and he lit up and talked about that a good bit. he mentioned that we have to be thoughtful, a strong ability to defend this country. we have to go after the direct threats like isis. just nation building and overall, we have to be more careful. >> top national security advisor in the white house, who would be
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in that inner circle? >> i advised him not to talk about that. but i don't think we should be talking about who should be in there. i'll tell you what i believe, wolf. i believe if you're elected president of the united states, you have to go to the best people, even though thaes opposed your reaction if they can establish a foreign policy, we need a bipartisan foreign policy. we can't be flip-flopping every time there is an election. i think we can sustain a containment type strategy against islam, attacking the great greatest threats to us. i think he will seek the best people he can get. >> the former ahead of the defense, he is a close advisor
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to donald trump, out there speaking publicly. he did say that donald trump's ban on people coming from other countries, it is not really a workable program right now. you had a lot of time talking to donald, does he listen to the top advisors get and get their thoughts and appreciate what they are saying or is he doing what is in his gut and mind. >> for example on that, he pushed back and moved back on some of the things he originally said. we'll look at the countries where we have a significant number of terrorists coming from and we'll need to slow down. i think that is correct and sound. we need to make sure we have the best possible vetting procedure we can have when we have a history of one nation, perhaps sending a lot of terrorists here. >> a ban on all muslims, but he is -- >> a temporary ban on muslims
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until we figure out what is going on, and he backed off of that take a look at the countries where there is a prevalence and slow down. >> i want to get your quick reaction. susan collins of maine wrote this article. she says basically it would make the world more dance rouse. >> she is concerned about some of the statements he made and that we all heard and talked about, but i just have to say
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the people with the most endorsements have done the least well. he has talked to people about their wages, their public safety, the international failures of hillary clinton, and he has risen to the top. i think has time goes by he will strengthen as we go into november and win this election. i think the american people want to change. they do not want business as usual. they want a strong leader, someone not afraid to speak up. >> by our count now, there are at least six republican senators who say they're not able to support donald trump. there are probably others out there as well. what do you say to these republican colleagues that are your friends, you work with them. there is a growing number of prms who is saying we can't go along with him. >> he went after them on trade.
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a lot of people have a different view on trade. many people feel very strongly like lindsey graham. so they have some reasons to be concerned about it, but i think with regard to his statements and the way he conducted the campaign, i think they're being too har much about this. we have a choice that is so dramatic about hillary clinton and donald trump, it is so dramatic. he has a solid humble responsible foreign policy agenda that he laid out. and i think his trade policy is a thing that we have to talk about. we have been taken to the cleaners on these policies. i supported them in the past, but i studied the results, and they have not worked for the american people. >> senator jeff sessions of
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alabama. hillary clinton's campaign now dealing with embarrassing pictures. who screens the people who attends her campaign rallies.
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hillary clinton's campaign today is coping with some embarrassing pictures from her latest rally in florida. brian todd has the video, what does it show us. >> this is inexplicable. it shows the father of the orlando shooter sitting squarely behind hillary clinton beaming and cheering her on. tonight their in full damage control mode as he sings the
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candidate's praises. . >> a rally where she needed to connect with voters in the most important battleground state of them all. >> this is fabulous, thank you. >> a crowd in kissismmee florida. >> i know how many people, family members, loved ones and friends are still grieving. >> as she says that, sitting just behind her in the red cap with the large mustache, the father of the orlando shooter. one supporter in the backdrop they never expected. >> mateen spoke to wptv about what he showed up. >> it is a democratic party, everyone can enjoy.
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he showed a banner supporting hillary clinton for her position on gun control. this is a man who once touted himself as a candidate for president. and in the week of the massacre had rambling coherent press conferences. me says he was invited to the rally, but the campaign says not by them. they say the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event, but this unfort forced error comes at a bad time as clinton pushes for support in florida. >> the pain is still raw. if the conversation turns to her and shows that she could be affiliated with a terrorist family, the suggest is off of her and on to trump and that is not where she wants this to be.
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>> a key question tonight, are the people behind the candidate vetted for those placements. dan, a staffer, says he would not call it vetting, but he says usually an advance person for the campaign goes through and picks people to go own the stage, sometimes they're mvp's and they're known to the campaign. sometimes they show diversity in age, race, et cetera. one person saying that the advance person should be fired. she just ignored a question on this at a political event a short time ago. >> thank you, let's get insight from our political experts. gloria borger is joning us.
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you're in touch with the clinton campaign, no official reaction? >> they say they're unaware of the fact that he was at this event until it was over when they were contacted by a television station from here in florida. so since then, there has been no reaction from the florida campaign. they're saying, privately, look, they don't like the optics of this. they're trying to put it in some perspective in the sense that it is an open campaign event. and as brian was just reporting, i have ben to countless rallies, people style in behind the speaker there. he craves publicity. he has his own youtube channel and other things. of course he wanted to get in
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the camera shot there, but clearly someone on the clinton campaign did not realize who he was. >> yes, politically very awkward for hillary clinton especially in a battleground state like florida. i was surprised that donald trump at his rally poke for an hour and he did not raise the issue. >> he was handed a political gift with this. and it was very surprising to me that the trump campaign didn't come out and say something about it, have their candidate say something about it why is he there in the photograph, why is he there supporting hillary clinton, and it was easy for him to hit it out of the park today, wolf. instead, as you were talking about earlier, he went off script. he was talking about the second amendment and you know, in a
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way, that was really confusing to people, and if i were a political candidate running for the highest office in the land, i would not want to give anyone the opportunity to think that i was threatening violence against my political opponent, but that is the kind of confusion that ensued today. >> if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't know. >> they're saying it was just political, they could go out and politically support him, but you're getting a very different reaction from the political campaign. >> yeah, there was a lot of confusion, but lets let's
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provide context. he says in the event that hillary clinton is elected, there is nothing you can do. he said well there might be and he mentioned the second amendment people. that could be a message -- that could mean an assassination on hillary clinton, but not saying let's get out and organize and make sure that hillary clinton was not elected. this was after that election, and like i said, i'm not surprised they're trying to clean up, it is a tough thing to spin, that is for sure. >> how is the campaign seeding on this? >> they often allow insults and things to go by the wayside. they released a statement saying any call for violence is unacceptable here, but democrats are coming to the same conclusion. we have seen senators and others
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saying this type of language is unacceptable but hillary clinton not saying a thing. they're allowing other people to take care of this for her. >> there is more information coming into "the situation room." including this. the clinton campaign argumenting states that usually go republican. can she turn them blue? if you're 50 or over, what comes to mind when you think about healthcare? understanding your options? or, if you're getting the care you need?
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not only are today's new
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polls showing hillary clinton leading in key states, she is also targeting states that are usually republican. what states are they going after? >> new polls out today show hillary clinton leading donald trump by large margins in iowa and ohio, but looking tight in the state of florida. by no accident that is where mrs. clinton is spending a lot of her time this week. >> hillary clinton is digging in for the second straight day in battleground, florida. >> everybody has a take in this. >> making a play for red states that could turn blue in november. clinton pushing a new line of attack against donald trump's vision for the economy, mocking
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his newly announced economic team. >> he has three wall street money managers, an oil barren, someone at the lead of a bank -- >> it is just a partial list, other names are being put on as we speak. in the next few weeks you will see the full council, but we have tremendous brain power working on it. >> that as he picks up more endorse wants including two epa advisories. they tell cnn they are recruiting disaffected republicans to join the effort, but insist that some are leaving on their own. despite turning against trump, susan collins can't back hillary
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clinton either. >> i have a lot of concerns and i'm not going to support her. >> the campaign is also challenging trump to compete to the three presidential debates this fall after he said he was concerned about conflicts with nfl games. >> i don't think we should be against the nfl. >> clinton looks forward to participating in all three presidential debates adding that our campaign is not interested in playing along about a debate about debates or bargaining around them. today also focusing on policy, criticizing republican congressional leaders for not passing legislation to fight the virus. >> i would very much urge the leadership of congress to call people back for a special session and get a bill passed. get a bill that is focused on
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combatting zika passed. >> a little more tonight on the debate issue from our colleagues at "time" magazine. in a phone interview, trump said he would do the debates, and suggested that he might have suggestions to change the terms in much the same way he renegotiates the primaries. >> thank you, coming up, donald trump goes unscripted, sets off some shock waves and listen carefully to this, critics saying he is suggesting violence. >> if she gets to picture judges, nothing you can do, folks. but the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't know. where we explore. protecting biodiversity. everywhere we work. defeating malaria. improving energy efficiency. developing more clean burning natural gas. my job? my job at exxonmobil? turning algae into biofuels.
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house speaker paul ryan very powerful here in washington and popular in his home district in wisconsin but ryan faces a primary challenge today from the right. his challenger is a businessman and a big donald trump supporter. our senior political reporter is joining you us now. you're there in the district. what do we know first of all about ryan's opponent? >> well, he's really a political novice, when not running a race like this, and really a no-namer until donald trump started tweeting nice things about him last week and donald trump having a back and forth with paul ryan whether or not he will endorse paul ryan. virg eventually he did. he's trying to stoke antipathy on the right over paul ryan's record on immigration and on trade. and i had a chance to talk to mr. nealon earlier today, and i asked him three times whether or
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not he thought he'd win. eventually he said he would but suggested he had won a moral victory of sorts. are you going to win tonight? >> absolutely. we've already won. look what we were able to do, we were able to bend of arc of paul ryan's trajectory. he's already said he's against tpp and in fact i think he said it to you. he was the mercenary champion for fastrak. >> sounds like a moral victory than actually a victory-victory. >> look, stopping that transportation partnership is a victory for america. >> reporter: will you be the seat after tonight? >> absolutely. i feel strongly we will be. >> reporter: he got in hot water last week considering the country should deport all muslims. i asked him, he walked back,
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suggesting the country should look at targeting people who could actually do harm to the homeland and we'll have a chance later tonight, wolf, to actually hear from paul ryan assuming he wins and will probably answer questions about donald trump, too. >> closes that district 8:00. reports shortly thereafter. coming up, donald trump sends shock waves going off-script. critics say he's suggesting violence. stay with us.
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a month after 9/11, i got a call from david and he told me he was going into the national guard. he was sent to iraq to be a gunner on a humvee. a car pulled up in the driveway and three soldiers got out, and the sound of their boots as they came up those stairs will, will stay with me the rest of my life. you have moments when you really don't want to live anymore, it's a fate that i would not wish on anybody, not anybody. when i saw donald trump attack another gold star mother,
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happening now. breaking news suggesting violence? donald trump sparks a new uproar
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saying maybe second amendment is a parties can do something to stop hillary clinton. the trump campaign insisting he was only talking about voting. did he mean something darker? rejecting trump. coming out against donald trump. citing, constant stream of cruel comments and says she has to accept what she calls the unpleasant reality that trump won't change. more republicans turning against their nominee. many people saying donald trump's repeated use of that phrase coming under scrutiny. critics charge he's using it to camouflage distorted claims. now even sparking a twitter trend. who are these people? do they even exist? and spied from the sky. satellite photos reveal what appears to be reinforced airplane hangars on islands built by china and disputed territories. the buildings are big enough to house any of china's fighter jets even though the country
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promised it won't militarized the islands. how will the u.s. respond? we welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking news. there's alarms by remarks by donald trump some see a threat against hillary clinton's life and trump supporters insist were only encouraging gun rights supporters to vote. a rally a short time ago in north carolina saying hillary clinton wants to essentially abolish the second amendment and warned as president she'll pick is a people court justice whose will do it and then said, "there's nothing you can do, folks" but added what he called second amendment people can do something to stop clinton. also breaking, new polls just released that show hillary clinton is leading donald trump in three key midwest battleground states.
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the nbc "wall street journal" and marist polls show clinton mod deftly in ohio and holding a double digit lead in pennsylvania. amid all of this a top republican lawmaker saying she will not be voting for trump. senator susan collins of maine tells cnn she believes the gop nominee is unfit to be president, that his values represent a threat to the republican party and he could make the world more dangerous. recovering all of that, much more this hour with our guests, including trump supporter and republican congressman duncan hunter and our correspondents and expert analysts are also standing by. we begin with those remarks by trump that one democratic senator is calling an assassination threat against hillary clinton. cnn political reporter sarah murray is with the trump campaign in north carolina rikc. trump's team is trying to put out this latest fire, moving quickly?
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right, wolf. didn't take long to see the outcry from political observers who saw trump's comment, second amendment supporters should do something about clinton as a call 0 violence, insisting has is not what they meant. one thing is clear, wolf, this is the kind of dust-up that once again knocked donald trump off message on a week he was hoping to talk about the economy. donald trump setting off controversy with another off-hand comment. one some believe amounts to a violent threat against his political opponent. >> hill are you wants to abolish essentially abolish the second amendment. if she gets to pick her jumps, nothi judges, nothing you can do. although, the second amendment people, maybe there is, i don't know. >> reporter: suggesting second amendment voters have the ability to stop clinton wonder what he meant. coalesce gun supporters behind
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him or something nor nefarious. the clinton campaign quickly seizing on trump's comment the sign the gop nominee is inciting violence saying in a statement, this is simple. what trump is saying is dangerous pap person sedanger o ous. person seek the presidency should not suggest violence in any way. the trump campaign swiped back billing it as a media driven and simply trying to rally gun voters. in a statement, it's called the power of unification. second amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified giving them great political power and this year voting in record numbers and it won't be for hillary clinton. it will be for donald trump. but trump's latest off the cuff comment on a week when he was striving to stay on message is exactly the flare-up giving members of his own party pause. the latest defector senator susan collins of maine who penned and op-ed saying she will
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not vote for trump, even telling jamie gangel trump poses a risk to the nation. >> donald trump, in my judgment, would make a perilous world even more dangerous. >> reporter: her announce innocent coming soon after a group of 50 gop national security officials said they can't back trump either, arguing he would put at risk our country's national security. trump quickly dismissed the snub. >> these are 50 people running our country forever and they said, we can't support donald trump. the reason they can't? because i don't want these peop people. i'm not going to high them. >> i've always had a good temperament. it's gotten me here. met a lot of people in the primaries and it's not appropriate to kwhachange when you're winning. >> reporter: today mocking
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clinton for saying she's short-circuited her handling of the e-mail issue a. >> can you imagine if i said that i short-circuited? they would be calling for my execution. electrocution. they'd bring back the electric chair. it's one thing to make bad decisions. it's another thing to be wacky and make bad decisions. >> reporter: now, of course, the clinton camp taking shogts at trump as well. putting out a statement last night saying hillary clinton will appear at all three debates, goading donald trump to say whether or not he will also be onstage. he told "time" today he absolutely will take part in three debates, but says he still has conditions, still raising the question whether he might actually be there. as for that second amendment fiasco, we'll watch here tonight in a couple minutes when donald trump begins to see if he tries to further clarify remarks from earlier today. >> see what he does. thanks for that, sara. trump's unconventional style
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includes the way he speaks. one phrase he often uses often coming under scrutiny. dana bash is with us talking about trump's habit of declaring many people are saying. >> right, wolf. so many familiar trumpisms. huge, believe me. big league and, of course, you're fired. but now one phrase trump uses as a crutch, at least seems to, when going after someone or something has taken on a life of its own. >> reporter: it has long been a staple of trump is peek some people are saying. >> a lot of people are saying that. >> half the people in this room are saying, some people. i don't know. >> reporter: then this tweet. many people are saying that the iranians killed the scientist who helped the u.s. because of hillary clinton's hacked e-mails. >> let's go. >> reporter: that harsh allegation using only "many people are saying" as his proof made the catch phrase and instant internet sensation. ah, many people are saying, #, went viral, becoming a forum to
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mock trump. hillary clinton's spokesman tweeting many people are saying a unicorn is housed in a cage above trump tower. the band spoon, many people are saying the next album will heal the sick and end all wars. it's just what many people are saying. a serious question, why send this into the ether with a version of many people are saying to back it up? >> is he a natural-born citizen? some people -- i don't know. >> reporter: sometimes it's about knocking an opponent off message, like during the primaries when trump questioned canadian brn dorn ted cruz's eligibility to be president. >> a lot of people think you have to be born here. born on this land. >> reporter: cruz, then gaining on trump in iowa denounced trump's allegation. >> the legal issue is straightforward. son of a u.s. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen. >> reporter: other times it appears trump uses it to change the subject when getting bad
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press. connecting clinton to an executed iranian scientist came little more than an hour after the "new york times" first reported about a letter signed by 50 gop national security experts warning trump would be a dangerous commander in chief. >> a lot of people are skeptical what happened and how he died. >> reporter: when trump started focusing on clinton after he locked up the gop nomination, he used his, some people say phrase to road test conspiracy theories from the 1990, like questioning whether clinton aide and friend vince foster really committed suicide. trump telling "the washington post," "there are people who continue to bring it up, because they think it was absolutely a murder. i don't do that, because i don't think it's fair." beyond why trump does this, the question of, do these people exist? and if so, who are they? one source familiar with how trump operates tells cnn sometimes those "people" are some of trump's 10.8 million twitter followers. many of whom constantly send him ideas and suggestions.
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remember, this trump m.o. work ford him in the gop primaries. and even before he ran in 2011, seizing on the obama better movement. >> a lot of these birther are quality people that just want the truth. >> reporter: still, scroll through trump's twitter feed, he's erelied on the phrase for years "many people have commented that my fragrance success is the best scent and last the longest. try it and let me know what you think." even though trump's ". people saying" tweet yesterday spawned and avalanche of criticism and mockery on twitter and facebook all day today, tlaump yet to respond. we have not seen anything on social media. >> see if that happens. good report. thanks. more on all of this, trump supporter, republican congressman duncan hunter of california joins us. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me me you.
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>> a lot of issues to go through. the latest commotion out there. listen carefully to what donald trump said at a rally a couple hours or so ago, because it's generated a lot, a lot of interest. listen to this. >> hillary wants to abolish essentially abolish the second amendment. by the way, if she gets to pick -- if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. although the second amendment people, maybe there is. i don't know. but -- >> all right, congressman. what do you think he meant by that? >> what i think he means by that is what every politician, anybody running for office around the world has probably said multiple times at multiple events. we can stop this person. that's it. wolf, i don't -- i don't think there's anything nefarious. i think the media is blowing this up. i don't think it's a story at all, frankly. i mean, i can't count the number of times i've said at my events
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to my people who are going to vote for a me, we can stop my opponent. we can stop hillary clinton. there's something we can do about this person getting elected. what that means is, we're going to vote for me, donald trump, and not get hillary clinton elected and that's what we can do about it. that was easily understood by me. i'm a second amendment person. so i guess he's talking about me when he says, second amendment people. i didn't take anything from that that had anything to do with assassination or trying to, you know, commit some kind of violent act, and, too, wolf, you know this. when you talk politics you use metaphors and analogies all the time. if you -- especially me. i did three tours overseas. i used military analogies and metaphors all the time. somebody wanted to take those, what i say, make them literal or find something that said duncan hunter is trying to promote acts of violence against people they would have taken it totally out of context of what i meant.
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this is how politics is. i think the media has really jumped on this and is raeti icr something over nothing what it does. >> not just the media. politicians. critics of donald trump. chris murphy tweeted this in response to what trump said. don't treat this as a political misstep. it's an assassination threat. seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy, and crisis, and general michael hayden, former head of the cia and the national security agency, he said this -- what he told our jake tapper. >> that was more than speed bump. all right? that's actually a very arresting comment. if someone else had said that outside the hall, he'd be in the back of a police wagon now with the secret service questioning him. >> all right. so those are serious, serious statements you just heard, congressman. go ahead and react. >> well, number one, freedom of speech is one thing. right? i think general hayden, i
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respect him greatly. i think he's wrong on this one. i don't think you hull somebody away saying we're going to get out the vote and stop hillary clinton from becoming president. it's that simple to me, wolf. i think general hayden is wrong, and i understand what the senator was saying, too, but this is politics. this is presidential politics. people are going to make as much of a deal as they can about something like this. i don't even think it was trump misspeaking. i think trump said what he meant, and what he meant was, we can stop hillary clinton from being elected. we can stop hillary clinton from being the next president who chooses who's going to sit on the supreme court. >> you know -- >> over the next four years. >> congressman, the secret service takes very seriously threats of assassination to a president or nominee. >> no violence mentioned there. >> let me just point out what the critics are saying and give you a chance to respond. he was saying if she gets to pick her judges.
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that enmmeans she picks judges, already the president, can pick a supreme court justice. nothing you can do. although the second amendment people, maybe there is. i don't know. that's the way he said it. so he wasn't talking about necessarily people going out and voting right now. he was saying, what happened if she's president of the united states? there's nothing anyone can do about the judges. she's going to pick, unless the second amendment people, maybe there is. you understand why they're suggesting he was entering into this, this awful world of potential violence? >> sure, wolf. i would disagree on this point -- you're treating mr. trump's words like he is the most articulate person who's ever graced our ears with his words, and that is not true. he is not a politician. he is not a person like you who's very well spoken and articulate. he's a business person running for president. i don't think the way he said that, and the sequence of his
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statements, i'm not going to judge him on that, because i don't think that's what he meant and i think he can be inarticulate at times. what i think he meant by that, what he said we can stop her from becoming president. stop hillary clinton from being the person who picks the next supreme court judges. but -- say he was an english professor with a ph.d. in grammar i think we could go through with this way and dissect what he said literally based off the sequence he said it but i'm not doing that with mr. trump, because you can't do that with mr. trump. right? sometimes he says things that -- >> all right. >> the way it comes out is not what he means. this is not an assassination talk or a talk about violence. it's talk about beating hillary clinton. >> you know he wants to be president of the united states. as you know, you're a politician, words do matter. you have to be precise in what you're saying. >> absolutely. that is what makes trurp differ.
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i'm not the most articulate person in the world but trump hasn't ever run for office anywhere. he is a business person who misspeaks a lot because he doesn't speak for a living, like you and i do to some extent. i see where it happens and i think it's going to happen more. this is not going to be the last time and the certainly not the first. >> some advisers, congressman, they want him to stick to scripted speeches as yesterday at the detroit economic club and not necessarily go off the cuff. hold on a moment. more questions. i want to get to the national security issues that came up. you heard what susan collins, republican senator from maine had to say. much more with duncan hunter, right after this. al fruit, wholesome nuts and crunchy flakes. good things come together to make one great thing. great grains. why be good when you can be great? ssoon, she'll be binge-studying.
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following breaking news. remarks by donald trump and critics taking as an assassination attempt against hillary clinton. donald trump saying second amendment could stop hillary clinton. he said he was talking about the voting for second amendment. continue our conversation with republican congressman duncan hunter of california. congressman, republican senator susan collins of maine, she announced she will not support donald trump and said, and i'm quoting her now, she said "the unpleasant reality i've had to accept is there that will be no new donald trump. just the same candidate who will slash and burn and trample anything and anyone he perceives as being in his way or an easy escape goat. regrettably his essential character seems to be incapable
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of change or growth." >> i respect senator collins decision there and he has grown in this way, wolf. he is not a politician, not a person on the news that talks for a living. usually reads scripts if on television. he's a businessman running for president. in the beginning, i mean, if we chronicled his gaffes or mistakes from when he first started in the republican primaries when this whole thing first started those would be many, many more than we would calculate now towards the end. i think he's simply getting better at articulating what he's thinking, putting that into words and that takes time. in fact, for most people it takes years of speaking publicly to be able to really translate cogently what you're saying. takes practice like anything else. i think he's growing in that way. number two, i think he understand now more the
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complexities of the world than when he first ran. at the same time things are not overly complex. you talked about those 50 signatures, those gop foreign policy national security experts and former ambassadors and so forth signing this letter on trump. i think it's unfair, frankly. if you look back to 2000, the year 2000, the iraq wars, i fought in twice. afghanistan which i fought in once, you look at those and the framework in which the united states operated, both foreign policy, state department-wise and defense-wise and what we did there nor national security, i don't think trump believes that works. he as president is allowed to say or him as a candidate is allowed to say i don't agree with the framework we've been fighting wars in the middle east and southwest asia, and those people who were the architects of the way that we're still fighting wars over there, they're allowed to say that they
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don't like me, because i think they're wrong in the first place. also added in isis and other stuff, which wasn't quite right, but i think he's right on his first points. >> so here's the question. you just said, donald trump is not necessarily as articulate out there speaking off the cuff. not reading a prepared speech from a teleprompter, doing it a little more often lately. over the past year plus most rallies just speaking, got some notes in front of him. you say he's not necessarily all that articulate. do you trust donald trump national security policy judgment more than these other republican national security advisers? these foreign policy experts who signed the letter saying ths sa not support donald trump? >> yes. in this way. my dad was chairman of the armed services committee during the iraq war. my dod ad is not one of those signers, senator sessions is not one of those signers. chairman of the armed services
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committee now is not one of those signers. i could give you 50 names of people who do support donald trump. general flynn. i could go through other generals names without knowing they want mention and tv or not. my point, i can give you 50 smart people who specialized in foreign policy and national security and say say they are behind trump. folks with big names, give them that, get together saying we're not going to vote for this guy doesn't sway me whatsoever and sure is not going to sway the millions of people that lost their jobs in is this country. they're speaking to a much different group of people than the majority of folks that are going to vote for donald trump. they don't care what the former mid-level ambassador to turk hey to s turkey about trump's foreign policy. they care about jobs and putting americans first again. >> director of national intelligence, former homeland
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security secretary. there's a few big shots who signed that letter as well. pretty well-known types. we don't have to go through that and you speak from the heart. served three combat tours of duty in iraq and afghanistan as well. let me ask awe final question on donald trump's tax returns. sean duffy, a republican from wisconsin. i assume you know congressman sean duffy. >> yes. >> with us 24 hours ago in "the situation room," and he said he believes donald trump should release his tax returns, which all presidential candidates have done since the '70s. do you agree with sean duffy? >> no. i don't think that trump needs to show his tax returns, and if i recall correctly, wolf, he said he would once he was done being audited. so i think that's a fairly straightforward answer. but, no. i don't care about trump's tax returns. truly. this is where -- we're dealing with a type of person running for president right now, a billionaire businessman that is different than the majority of
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candidates like the clintons who got into office not poor but not wealthy, and then got out of office and got extremely wealthy. whereas trump's coming into it very wealthy in the first place. that's different. but, no. i actually don't care whatsoever about his tax returns being shown. >> all right. duncan hunter, thanks very much. disagreeing with sean duff pip appreciate it, duncan hunter of california. we're following the breaking news. more on donald trump's remarks. critics say sounded like a threat against hillary clinton's life. we'll have hillary clinton's response to all of that. scover that in a lexus suv there's no such thing as adverse conditions. ♪ ♪ for a limited time get some of our best offers of the year at the lexus golden opportunity sales event.
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more on the breaking news to now. donald trump remarks a little while ago ta gun rights supporters could stop hillary clinton from enacting gun control. trump krit sacritics saying he invoking violence, trump supporters saying he was talking about voters. dana bash is back to talk about it and wanna summers and "washington post" assistant joining us, cnn special correspondent jamie gangel as well. play the clip that generated all this commotion, and then we'll discuss, dana. >> hill r wants ary wants to es abolish the second amendment and by the way, if she gets to pick -- if she gets to pick her
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judges, nothing you can do, folks. although, the second amendment people, maybe there is. i don't know. but -- >> dana, how's this going to play out? >> i think it's, if this was a kind of one-time thing, that donald trump does something that everybody goes, oh, my gosh to, then maybe it would be kind of more of a blip. so i don't think that this is going to change very much when it comes to the trajectory of the campaign. however, i do think, look, i mean, maybe he was kidding. maybe he meant something else. when i watched that, i went, oh, my goness. you could actually see one of the guys behind him wincing. or looking over at the person with him going, oh, my gosh. did he just say that? you know. rudy giuliani, is that with donald trump as we speak blaming the media saying we're creating this. it is true democrats jumped on this in almost -- expansive and
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extensive way. so it does kind of make it more partisan. >> and interesting to see if donald trump himself tries to clarify and fix this. >> they have planned a statement. put out a statement. >> and i'll read the statement just to be precise. it's called "the power of unification" second amendment people have amazing spirit tremendously unified gishing them great political pow around this year voting in record numbers and it won't be for hillary clinton. it will be for donald trump. jason miller, senior communications adviser for the trump campaign. curious given the discussion that's developed. >> sure we haven't heard of last of this. >> if trump decides to clarify it himself and we're monitor that closely. something else he said today, david, generating buzz, not as much as this, when he said hillary clinton, talking about voter i.d. and a rigged system. he said hillary clinton voters might vote 15 times or something. then he said, i will not tell you to vote 15 times. i will not tell you to do that.
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you know, it's generated some commotion out there as well. why is he even talking about the suggestion that a presidential election could be rigged? >> yeah. trying to underscore this theme he has worked throughout the primaries and now the general that the system is rigged. the average person can't get a break. he's speaking as a man of the people and that whether it's debates or primaries or party rules, that the deck is stacked against regular guys like him, and this is just one more way for him to do that. >> wanna, national security advisors not able to vote for donald trump is just the beginning or will we see more? >> the people who signed that letter, senator collins, the five other senators i believe said he won't back their party's nominees, in the establishment, been with a party a long time. my big question, whether or not it trickles down to voters.
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cnn did a poll right after the democratic convention. in that poll more than one-third of republicans, 35% would not be proud to see donald trump as president if he wins the election in november. that's striking to me. if donald trump can't win over the overwhelming majority of members of his own party he just can't get the votes needed to win the election. >> show you the six republican senators already publicly came out and said they won't be able to vote for donald trump. susan collins, jeff flake, lindsey graham, mike lee of utah, more potentially could be on the way. ben sasse. and you can the first covers with the senator a strong message to republicans who might say she is betraying her party. listen to this clip. >> i would say to them that donald trump does not represent the values or the heritage of the republican party, and we should not be afraid to say
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that, and indeed, there is a risk to the republican party if donald trump is perceived as embodying our values. >> so why did she decide to do this right now? >> so i thought that was just interesting, wolf, what she did. she's not betraying the republican party, she says, trump is the one betraying the republican party. senator collins has been thinking about this for a long time. i've talked to her over the last several weeks, months, and she's been very public about her concern about it. she says the straw that broke everything was what donald trump said about the khan family. the parents of the muslim-american soldier killed in iraq. she could not abide by that and also mentioned she was very upset about his mocking the "new york times" reporter who has
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disabilities. she was upset about the way he treated the indiana judge, judge curiel, who is of mexican heritage, and said he couldn't be fair. i think all of these things built up. she also serves on the senate intelligence committee, and she used to be the chairman of the homeland security committee, and there is no question she is also very, very concerned that donald trump could be dangerous. she says he doesn't have the temperament, doesn't have the judgment, and she feels that if he was in the international arena, she says repeatedly, things could spiral into a very dangerous cycle. >> but she also told you she's not going to vote for hillary clinton either. right? >> right. that was a change. the door was open just a little crack a couple of weeks ago. she told me there was a small possibility that she would vote for hillary clinton.
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she has now said she will not do that. she's taking a look at the libertarian ticket. she likes william weld. she does not know jerry johnson has some concerns and then said she might very well write someone in, and i tell you on her short list of people that she might write in is the man that she endorsed at the beginning of this campaign, and that's jeb bush. and in the sense that i got today is, we can expect a write-in vote from her but she has a certain luxury in that maine is likely, it's not a battleground state in the classic sense of ohio or florida. >> guys, everyone stay with us. we have more information coming in. new polls showing hillary clinton leading in some of the elections, most important swing states targeting other states, that usually vote republican. stay with us. across new york state, from long island to buffalo,
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the trump campaign facing a new uproar. trump remarks at a rally what he called the second amendment people to skop hillary clinton from enacting gun control. top democrats say it was a threat on hillary clinton's life. the trump campaign says he was encouraging voter turnout by gun rights supporters. our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny joins us with more right now. jeff, has hillary clinton addressed these latest trump
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comments? >> reporter: wolf, she has not addressed these comments herself. she was asked twice this afternoon, and did not respond, but just a few minutes ago, vice presidential candidate tim kaine harshly responded, temperamental and he's not suited to the task. all this is coming as clinton is trying to broaden her appeal and not only to democrats. hillary clinton is casting a wider net tonight. >> thank you for the work you do every day. >> reporter: searching for new republican supporters and newly competitive red states possibly up for grabs in the wake of donald trump. the clinton campaign's concerted effort to recruit some republicans peeling off trump is paying off at least in small ways. two prominent republican environmentalists who ran the epa during the nixon, and bush administrations announced support today for clinton saying
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trump shown a profound ignorance of science, particularly on climate change. and republican senator susan collins of maine has not come out for clinton. >> i have a lot of concerns about hillary clinton, and i am not going to support her. >> reporter: cnn learned the clinton campaign is also eyeing new investments in georgia and arizona. exploring whether trump's challenges have created a realistic opening in republican territory. those are two red states with a high share of hispanic and black voters. democrats believe they can flip. a delicate dance for clinton. in florida, blasting gop congressional leaders for not signing off on zika funding. >> get a bill passed. a bill focused on combating zika passed. >> reporter: while in florida, visiting ousted chair debbie wasserman schultz. >> please, do everything you can to make sure debbie has a
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resounding victory on august 30th. >> reporter: fighting for her seated in congress in a primary this month. one of the remaining wars in the democratic family feud. bernie sanders is supporting wasserman schultz's rival. >> after you take a few days off -- we got to get back to work for november! right? >> reporter: all this as clinton's rally monday night outside orlando focusing on trump -- >> he wants to roll back regulations on wall street. >> reporter: suddenly overshadowed by another man -- the father of pulse nightclub shooter omar mateen sitting just behind clinton watching agency she taas she talked about a mas shooting killing 49 people in june i. know how many families, love ones are still grieving. >> reporter: telling an affiliate, seddique mateen, he's a democrat and wanted to attend
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the rally. >> shouldn't be surprised. i love the united states. and i've been living here for a long time. >> reporter: he said he supports clinton. >> clinton is good for united states. versus donald trump. >> reporter: now, mateen, a native of afghanistan is a u.s. citizen. he has said incredibly provocative statements in the past. clinton is not disavowing those words tonight, wolf. her campaign is focusing on the provocative statements of her rival instead. >> jeff zeleny reporting for us. thank you. just ahead, a possible military buildup by china. what new satellite images are now showing. stop...
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signs tonight that china may be carrying out a military buildup on man made islands it constructed in disputed waters. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is working the story for us. jim, there is a lot of concern about what china may be up to right now. >> these are brand-new satellite photos released by washington. here's what they show that these islands really created out of nothing in the south china sea now have hangars able to accommodate the biggest warplanes in china's arsenal. let's dial it a bit. these are current pictures. let's go back to march of last year where they were constructing them and myself and a team were flying over them in a plane. by the end of last year they'd added this runway. that runway about two miles long and can accommodate any aircraft
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in the chinese military fleet. let's toggle forward to just june of this year. they have these hangars here. these can accommodate all of the fighter jets in the people's liberation fleet. these can accommodate even their warplane, and their refuelers and there are also other things they haven't identified here yet, wolf, but i spoke to an analyst who said they looked like defensive positions and all of this adds up together to something that looks very much like a military installation. xi jinping who promised president obama he would not militarize. >> you've been all over this since that report and you did last year which was nominated for an emmy, jim sciutto. congratulations on that amazing reporting by our own jim sciutto. >> now a cnn exclusive. secret battles against isis revealed thanks to heroic actions. >> our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr has this.
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these were highly classified missions. >> wolf, the battle against isis has largely been waged in secret by u.s. special operations forces. the battles far from the public view, but now tonight here "in the situation room," we have new details. >> navy s.e.a.l.s in a fire fight against 100 isis operatives in iraq. this cell phone video captures a rare glimpse into the deadly world of special operation the public is never meant to see. navy s.e.a.l. charles keating was killed here. across the isis battlefield u.s. special operations are engaged in missions so perilous it's become a secret dossier of courage in the fight to kill isis. cnn has learned there are four silver stars, the third highest award for valor for combat against isis that are so classified no details are available. none. but clues on other battles are
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emerging from documents obtained by cnn detailing the combat awards for missions never fully described in public. one filed details exclusive new information on a july 2014 raid that so far has only been briefly acknowledged. a silver star was awarded to an army helicopter pilot for a 10-hour classified, high-risk mission deep inside enemy territory. the pilot flew overhead for five hours after being wounded during the initial assault. the mission, navy s.e.a.l.s and army delta force commanders had tried to rescue american hostages being held by isis in raqqah, syria, including journalist james foley later murdered. the americans had already been moved. we now know how tough a fire fight that was. a marine was awarded a bronze star as he came into close
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combat with isis and eliminated a grave threat. and from may 2015 significant new detail about a raid inside syria to capture a top isis operative named abu sayyaf. he was killed in a fire fight. for that raid, a silver star secretly awarded to an army pilot for a nighttime high-risk mission deep inside enemy territory. he continued to fly for over an hour despite sustaining intense battle damage to his aircraft during the initial assault. cnn is withholding names of the troops involved at the request of the pentagon, but we are revealing their valor. >> 20% of the awards are not in the public domain, whether they were in a classified operation or a number of the special forces and for security reasons. >> over 240 awards for the battlefield since 9/11 are still
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stamped classified. president obama also secretly awarded medals to the navy s.e.a.l.s that killed osama bin laden. former s.e.a.l. jeffrey egers was there and recalls an extraordinary scene. >> it was the humility of the military forces that were there, the fact that they were trying to deflect credit elsewhere. >> let's come back to where we started, wolf. since 9/11 over 240 awards for valor to american service members in secret because the missions they have been on are so classified and so dangerous, it is a breathtaking dossier of courage and valor on the battlefield. >> and as you say, there have been hundreds of these awards since the 9/11 attacks. the pentagon is taking a closer look at all of them? >> that's right, wolf. they are, in fact, reviewing all 1200 awards for valor since 9/11. many in public, some not, but they're going back through all of the files now because they want to make sure that all
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service members got the awards and the recognition that their acts deserved on the battlefield. some of them may be upgraded. wolf? >> good reporting, barbara. thank you. that's it for me. thanks for watching. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. "out front" next, the breaking news, donald trump accused of making a death threat over hillary clinton. did he? new polls show hillary clinton leading in battleground states and double digits in pennsylvania. can trump close the gap? trump says he loves mormon, but the feeling doesn't seem to be mutual. could it cost him the election? let's go "out front." ♪ ♪ and good evening. i'm erin burnett. "out front" tonight, the breaking news. donald trump speaking to supp t supporters in north carolina making a comment that sounded

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