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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  August 16, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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here's exactly what donald trump doesn't need right now. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. trump's campaign chairman, paul
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manafort, supposed to be keeping the candidate on track and message, facing questions about whether he received millions in illegal payments from ukraine's former pro-putin ruling party. manafort calls the questions silly. meanwhile, hillary clinton rolls out the big guns in her war on trump. >> no major party nominee in the history of the united states of america has -- don't cheer. quiet. just listen. -- has known less or been less prepared to deal with our national security than donald trump. >> want to get right to the questions about paul manafort and his work in ukraine. cnn's senior investigative correspondent is drew griffin. he joins us now live. so drew, donald trump said a lot of nice things about vladimir putin and made controversial statements about russia and ukraine. trump's campaign manager, paul manafort, is in the news because his name came up in connection with a corruption scandal in ukraine. tell us what you know about this.
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>> real quick backgrounder for those of us who don't follow ukraine politics. paul manafort worked for this party of regions in ukraine for many, many years, don. that party eventually took control of the government under president yanukovych and it fell apart. yanukovych ran basically through russia to escape probably being put in prison back in the ukraine. well, now the current government in ukraine formed this anti-corruption bureau which basically is looking back at the government and uncovering tons and tons of corruption and possible under the table cash payments. in the course of the investigation, paul manafort's name has come up. why? because his name has shown up 22 times on these ledgers. they have 841 pages of handwritten notes that seem to be showing payouts to various members of the party.
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they are all very detailed. and although we don't see manafort's name on the documents that have been released, we are told by the government agency there that at 22 times, paul manafort's name appears next to $12.7 million in what they are saying was designated payments. that specific term, designated payments, is made because they can't really tell if paul manafort got that money or not. >> okay. i want to read the statement from paul manafort. he says he's never taken any cash payments. this is a statement. he said the simplest answer is the truth. i am a campaign professional. it's well known i've done work in the united states and overseas campaigns as well. i've never receive a single off the books payment as falsely reported by "the new york times" nor have i done work for the governments of ukraine and are russia. further, all the political payments directed to me were for my political team, campaign staff, local, international,
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polling research, integrity, and television advertising. the suggestion that i accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly, and nonsensical. why are his dealings with ukraine so important, drew griffin? >> because it's who he was dealing with in ukraine. first of all, it would be important if these were, in fact, illegal payments made which has not been proven. that's part of the corruption case. what's important in terms of this election is that the person that he was basically supporting or working for in the ukraine is allied now very closely with vladimir putin. obviously has very strong russian ties. there's no real direct connection between paul manafort and russia and/or putin other than they had this client or paul manafort had this client who is now very much allied with vladimir putin. >> all right. drew griffin, thank you very much. i appreciate that. i want to bring in cnn presidential historian douglas brinkley and ambassador james
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woolsley and jill dougherty of the cannon institute in washington, she joins us via skype. i'm so glad to have all of you on for this. this a very interesting and intriguing story we've been dealing with here. jill, i want to get your per perspective. you lived in russia. you reported for condition on russia and its relationship with the rest of the world for many years. what do you make of this story about paul manafort's dealing in ukraine? >> well, i mean, i think objectively you can say that he was hired, it appears, to do a makeover for the party of regions. the party of regions is important because that, of course, was the party that yanukovych was in. it was known as kind of this party that was aligned with oligarchs and kind of criminal elements that had a very bad reputation. and also mr. yanukovych, himself, was very let's call him rough around the edges and needed some sanding off. so apparently the job was to
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create a better candidate, somebody who'd come across more smoothly, who would talk about economics. and would say the right things to the people in the eastern and the southern parts of ukraine which are kind of more russian-speaking areas. so that doesn't surprise me. i mean, we know that. i think the difficulty here is that they have this ledger, which really doesn't prove anything at this point. you have to say it doesn't prove that he took the money. he didn't sign it apparently. whereas other people who took the money did sign it. so what does it prove? at this point, nothing concretely, but it looks bad. and it looks bad because, don, you know, ukraine has a lot of problems with corruption. really it has for years. i covered it for years. it's a major problem. when you get involved with people like that, it's a never-ending list of questions
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about how corrupt they are. >> ambassador, i think i heard you there sort of, you know, saying i don't know if it was agreement, what have you, but let me ask you that. guest after guest has come on the show and expressed surprise at the level of comfort that donald trump has with russia and vladimir putin. do you think paul manafort has any influence on his views of russia which are surprisingly rosy for a republican or any political figure, for that matter. >> i have no idea. never met mr. manafort. don't know what he knows. i do think the key issue with respect to russia is that we may need to try to work with them against isis. just as we worked with stalin against hitler in some 50, 70 years ago. i think that will put a lot of tension on the american system because any of these east european and reaches all the way
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to russia countries in which you have former kgb people in positions of importance, can certainly end up with a lot of corruption and so forth. and i've got to say just personally, not because i know anything about this particular case, but it does seem to me that this press release is pretty early. that is one somehow ought to do some investigation of whether, as manafort apparently says, any money that he got was for his entire establishment, which is expensive, et cetera, when -- ought to get on top of the facts here, i think, before we start drawing judgments about whether this was corrupt or not corrupt or somewhat corrupt or whatever. >> douglas brinkley, i want you to give us some context. how big a problem is this issue with paul manafort and his russian tie? >> i think, don, it's
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potentially very damaging. paul manafort might have to end up resigning over this. he's now under the heat lamp. this is a huge front page "new york times" expose. manafort, in the past times, you know, for example, back in the '80s, he backed the marcos regime in the philippines. he seems to be willing to do business with people that are enemies of the united states, and we're going to have to see whether or not he got any cash or not. it's back to the old, follow the money. if it turns out that manafort did take some of these transactions, didn't report it, he could be under serious trouble and it's a new stress for the trump campaign who's been hemorrhaging the last couple weeks. >> he and the campaign have been talking a lot about the media, basically building up a case that the "new york times" can't be trusted. he says the payment is falsely reported by "the new york times," i've never done this or worked for the government of
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ukraine or russia. furthermore, all the payments were the entire political team so he's seeming to say, you can't believe what the "new york times" says. >> "the new york times" in my mind is the paper of record. they put a lot of skin in this doing a major front page investigative story like this and it's not a short story, it's a long one with a lot of details. at the very least, paul manafort's an insect in the jar getting shook up here. i don't think calling something silly, "the new york times" as a liberal paper is going to work. he's got to step up and come on a show, fox or cnn, and explain some of this, because it really stinks from high heaven. >> jill, how do you think vladimir putin is assessing donald trump? what do you think he makes of him? >> you know, i think he is pretty much the way he assessed him right from the beginning, which i think -- you know when he called him colorful? i think he knows that he's a lot
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of excitement, bombast, etc. and so, i think putin probably finds that intriguing. i think he definitely likes the comments that donald trump has made about russia, about putin, a strong leader. we have to have better relations with russia, nato, which, of course, russia hates, is obsolete, the comments about crimea, the annexation of crimea, saying that maybe that's okay, maybe we can accept that. obviously, what trump is saying, putin likes. but i will tell you, don, that behind the scenes in moscow when i was just there last month, there are people that are concerned about the unpredictability of mr. trump. it's not clear, precisely, how he would follow through on these things that he says. would he really make relations better? or would he take a different tack? he is difficult to predict, and
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the russians kind of know that. putin is a pretty savvy evaluator of personalities, and i think he pretty much understands where donald trump is coming from. >> considering your experience, ambassador, being an ambassador, i want to ask you, trump calling on russia to hack hillary clinton's e-mails, also saying that putin wouldn't go into ukraine, although he had already done that, are these troubling statements to you on the way he's handling the historical role that russia's played in world events? is this troubling for you? >> i think any discussion of russia ought to show some balance. when part of the balance is that we may need to work with them against somebody like isis and one needs to think how we would do that without causing other problems for ourselves. and i -- i think that russia is a problem. they remind me a little bit of
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the old farmer that abraham lincoln used to say lived next door to his family when he was a little boy, the old farmer used to say, i don't need much land, just what adjoins mine. and that's kind of russia. they keep moving in on crimea, on moldova, et cetera, whatever, without being checked. and when they are checked, and when one is going through a period of getting along with them, which i was lucky enough to write after the berlin wall fell, they can be cordial, reasonable folks to work with. it's -- they're a complicated country, and we need to be firm with them. we need to be fair. but we always need to keep an eye peeled for these kgb connections and under some of
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the oily garks that could really distort our dealings with them. whether that's been distorted in the case of mafrnafort here, i have absolutely no idea. as i said, it seems to me, some of these press releases are a bit early in the process before anybody has really looked into the facts. >> thank you so much, everyone. when we come back, donald trump's war of words against isis, can he stay on message, or will his own past statements come back to haunt him? "why are you checking your credit score?"
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donald trump laying out a list of foreign policy proposals today as he tries to get his campaign back on track. i want to bring in buck sexton,
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former cia analyst, angela rye former executive director of the congressional black caucus, andre bower, former lieutenant governor of south carolina and bakari sellers, a hillary clinton supporter. you guys make up? >> high five. >> tell him what it is. we just are screaming over each other so we couldn't hear one another's points. >> i still love everybody. >> bakari, nobody asked you. >> that was andre. all southerners do not sound alike. >> y'all country. my bad. >> okay. let's start off with this paul manafort thing. a report about paul manafort, ledger of cash payments. millions upon millions of dollars. from a pro-russian party in ukraine. manafort says this is unfounded. says it's nonsensical. buck, i want to start with you. do you see a big problem here? >> yeah, manafort's had clients
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in the past, including the dictator of the philippines, he's had a number of clients which would be problematic. this is now unproven. this allegation hasn't been shown beyond a reasonable doubt that he got this money, but the connections to the yanukovych regime -- is tied into russia would be something a lot of people look at given the -- for the trump campaign to say pro-putin things. that's concerning. i do think that trump actually has some damage control to do on this issue or will continue to have damage control to do on this issue. i think for manafort, we'll see what else they can found. there's a lot of hacking, a lot of interesting stuff being leaked these days. >> bakari, what's the response from the clinton side? >> bakari, what's the response on the clinton side? >> i actually agree with buck. let's have a breaking news chyron at the bottom. it's not just these payments. this is relationship with a russian oligarch who was just indicted in a chicago courtroom recently who he had business dealings with in new york. you talk about carter page who
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is well known with his financial ties to russia, senior adviser to donald trump. talk about michael flynn cozying up to donald trump with a weird partner in jill stein. listening and boosting up putin every chance they get. then you hear the foreign policy that comes out of his mouth which it just goes against traditional american foreign policy but embraces putin. so you look at all these things together and there has to be some unraveling because what it appears to be is the trump campaign is a wholly owned subsidiary of russia. >> that's a bit much. >> that's a tweetable moment. >> that's more than anybody could prove or support. >> as is the clinton foundations. >> here we go, andre. >> are we going to talk about their connection? >> go ahead, andre. >> i'll just say, you want to draw ties, look at the donations that have flown into the clinton foundation. millions upon millions of dollars that have russian ties. look at the uranium that went to
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russia. look at some of her votes and then look at some of the dollars that followed her votes or her leadership, and there's clearly ties that we could discuss with the clintons and russia. >> in trump's foreign policy, national security speech, he's having a love fest with russia the day after there's a damning "new york times" piece about paul manafort. paul manafort's statement today doesn't refute the fact he's received payment from some of these sketchy -- the spaces. he also says he didn't get paid from any governmental entity. it doesn't debunk the fact that there was a campaign-related entity that he worked for. so, although buck talked about the reasonable doubt standard or beyond a reasonable doubt standard, we don't have to do that in the court of public opinion. >> no, we're analyzing. if we're talking about sketchy foreign donations, the clintons get a gold medal for that one. they are first. they are number one. nobody else will even come in the stratosphere of clintons when it comes to taking money from dictators.
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the worst of the worst. as long as it's all about ending poverty or whatever it is that they pretend. >> let me -- >> i want to move on. go ahead. >> yeah, i just wanted to say that there's a vast difference between the work of the clinton foundation and actually gearing your foreign policy in a very dangerous way where you're talking about pulling out of nato. when you're actually giving talking points in favor of the invasion in crimea, those are two vastly different things. just goes to show you that russia is having an influence on donald trump's foreign policy. that's a fact. >> trump talked today about russia and the context of partnering with them to fight isis. let's listen. >> if i become president, the era of nation building will be brought to a very swift and decisive end. a new approach which must be shared by both parties in america, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the middle east must be to halt the spread of radical islam.
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i also believe that we could find common ground with russia in the fight against isis. >> andre, is this campaign too cozy with russia or are you okay with it? >> absolutely not. look, if somebody wants uses to help fight some of the most dangerous people in the world, we'll take all the help we can get. the fact someone wants to say we shouldn't engage in a policy whereby we entered into an agreement, paid twice as much as all other countries combined and they can't pay their little pittance, countries that are wealthy, that we shouldn't engage in a discussion that says, hey, look, folks, we've been doing all this, carrying the burden, shedding american treasury and blood, you've got to come to the table and do what you agreed to and that's pay your bill. that's kind of an international code and agreement that you live up to your part of the bargain. the fact that we shouldn't come back and say, look, folks, you got to come back and agree to what you agreed to do.
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we should continue to put the burden on the taxpayers, not that we're already paying more than 50% of the total -- >> that's not how foreign policy works, though. >> then in addition, we're going to pay everybody else's. don't worry about it. we'll keep digging the hole deeper. put ourselves in a bad financial situation around the world because we don't want to have a discussion with people that should be paying their fair share and not -- >> okay. angela, you look confused but i have to get a break in. we'll be right back.
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hillary clinton campaigning today in scranton, pennsylvania, with native son joe biden. the vice president criticizing what he calls donald trump's outrageous and dangerous comments and saying trump is not qualified to be president. back with me now, buck sexton, angela rye, adra bower and bakari sellers. buck, i know you think this was by far one of trump's best speeches today, but i want to ask you about this part. listen. >> i was saying this constantly and consistently to whoever would listen. i said keep the oil. keep the oil. keep the oil. don't let somebody else get it.
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if they had listened to me then, we would have had the economic benefits of the oil which i wanted to use to help take care of the wounded soldiers and families of those who died in the war. >> so buck, why do you say that he missed the mark on this one? >> well, keeping the oil or rather going to war for oil was one of the main talking points used both by the american left and also much of the rest of the world that was in opposition to the war. so if you were, in fact, to be seizing oil and using the proceeds, it would look like a colonial venture and be opposition against it, inflame the entire muslim world. i think it's on its face obvious why we couldn't go in there and be like thanks for everything, we're going to take the oil now. and this is ours. there were other good things in the trump speech. he gave more in the way of specifics on what he would do about immigration. rightly it's been pointed out by other panelists, not enough, doesn't take into consideration
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the fact that there are some vetting procedures. but yeah, on seizing the oil, it's a talking point, it's not a smart one. it's one of the reasons the foreign policy establishment is among conservatives even the most critical of donald trump of any of the politico groups you could point out. >> all right, before trump's speech this morning, hillary clinton tweeted this. andre, this is for you. trump says i know more about isis than the generals. do believe me. you know what? we don't. and then released this web ad. listen to this. >> 50 former national security officials who served as top aides in republican administrations came out against donald trump. >> i know more about isis than the generals do. believe me. >> trump, quote, continues to display an alarming ignorance of basic facts of contemporary international politics. he would be the most reckless president in american history. >> he's saying he's going to work closely with the muslim world. at the same time he's going to bar muslims from coming to the united states. >> a total and complete shutdown of muslims. >> he is a stunning ignoramus on
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foreign policy issue and national security. >> what do you think of nato? it's not like it was my primary subject in all fairness. what happens if one of these countries gets attacked by russia? are you saying you're not going to protect them? i say, well, let me ask you, have they paid? >> so andre, he walked back some of these claims today, but does it look like a habit -- i'm wondering, though, is it going to begin to wear thin with voters? >> i hope not. i hope they'll see some ideas he's a total change agent, look, some of these policies we had in the past haven't worked. making our neighbors and friends pay their fair share is part of how you're supposed to respect each other and enter into these agreements. >> i mean, walking back, making statements and walking them back i'm wondering if that's going to wear thin with voters.
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that's what i'm asking. >> you know, i think continuing to hone a message down and say, look, these are my most important goals to take in to a new presidency, he's going to continue to focus more and more and get more specific. i don't know if that's walking back. at least saying these are my more top priorities, i think is what he's trying to do now. he's trying to get a more clear and concise message. >> andre, that's not going to happen. >> is this honing a message? angela? >> no, it's not. donald trump is two different individuals depending on if he's on prompter, somebody wrote that, or if he's off prompter at a rally. he is not honing in on a message. he is still not answering even on anderson's show earlier, the general can answer the how. the how is the most important part of a foreign policy speech, an economic policy speech. he cannot answer how. and so you're talking about honing in, what do voters really need to hear? he's still defending whether or not people believe he was for or against the iraq war and he's been both. he was doing that in today's foreign policy speech. he's not honing in on any message.
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he's still being distracted by the -- >> bakari, go ahead. >> can i piggyback on -- >> that's so true. the first thing you've -- i miss you. >> andre, i want to piggyback on angela's point. donald trump was for the iraq war. donald trump was for the 2008 iraq troop withdrawal. donald trump was for the libya intervention. donald trump was for the ouster of mubarak. all of those things today he was against. it's not -- he's a change agent simply because he changes his foreign policy position depending on the day of the week. that's not necessarily the true definition of a change agent. yes, to answer your question, don, i think the american public is going to get very wary of this. you can't believe what comes out of his mouth. >> buck sexton, go ahead. >> i want to say, look, hillary clinton has more foreign policy experience than trump. when we line these two individuals up, what you see is somebody with foreign policy experience but a record that many people point to and say was an abysmal failure and a guy who doesn't have foreign policy
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experience and obviously hasn't spent a lot of time thinking about foreign policy until he decided to run for president but has some gut instincts some people think would serve him well as commander in chief. i think everything else beyond that is kind of getting into details we don't really quite have yet. we don't know who donald trump's secretary of state would be, we don't necessarily know who his secretary of defense would be. you have somebody with a bad record in hillary clinton. and you have somebody with no record and some statements that he needs to walk back with donald trump. foreign policy for trump is a problem. i don't think -- i think it's very difficult to make the case that this is a major strength for his campaign. outside of dealing with the islamic state and radical islam where i do think that the american people are much more aligned with trump than hillary clinton. >> thanks, everyone. when we come back, donald trump says his so-called extreme vetting would protect us from isis, but would that actually work? takbbq trophies:hese best cracked pepper sauce... most ribs eaten while calf roping... >>yep, greatness deserves recognition.
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donald trump calling today for, quote, extreme vetting of would-be immigrants. lots of tough talk, but short of specifics. bernard kerik, former new york city police commissioner. harris is author of "demystifying islam, tackling the tough questions."
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gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on. donald trump revealed ideas for combatting radical islam. let's listen. >> the common thread linking the major islamic terrorist attacks that have recently occurred on our soil, 9/11, the ft. hood shooting, the boston bombing, the san bernardino attack, the orlando attack, is that they have involved immigrants or the children of immigrants. the time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. i call it extreme vetting. in addition to screening out all members of the sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes toward our country or its principles or who believe that sharia law should supplant american law.
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>> i want to start with you, mr. kerik, from a law enforcement standpoint, how realistic is it when you listen to his plan? >> i think it's realistic if you have the manpower and resources but you also have to have relationships abroad like with syria, for example, we're bringing in syrian refugees. we don't have the ability to have contact with their embassies. we don't know where they're coming from. you have the fbi director, the cia director and the dhs secretary all three of which have said the vetting probabilities, possibilities for vetting syrian refugees right now are almost impossible. that's a bad thing. and i don't care if it's syrian refugees. i don't care who it is. anybody that comes into this country, we allow to come into this country, should be vetted intensely to ensure that they're not going to harm this country. >> we are a country for the most part of immigrants, children of immigrants. don't you think in some ways having relationships with
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immigrants or being just who we are, that doesn't help us as a country, that doesn't keep us safer as a country? >> no, it does, but don't let the wrong people in. it's a pretty simplistic thing. >> all right. what's your reaction to -- what's the reaction from muslims that you're speaking to about donald trump's plan? >> well, it -- we see donald trump as continuing to implement or say some things that are really profoundly ignorant and spreading bigotry by fanning the flames of mistrust and even fear of islam and muslims and he talks about immigrants in general, but really specifically focused on islam, on muslims, on sharia and when people hear terms they don't really even know, it is bound to create misunderstandings. we invite americans to understand islam. when we started the true islam campaign, it was all about go to trueislam.com, find out what islam is and what extremism is. we're against extremism, and here are the 11 principles we think can enhance our national security and protect this nation. >> do you think there should be stronger vetting along the lines
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that donald trump expressed today? >> absolutely. as a member of a muslim community, our international leader has always said we should -- we have a responsibility to take care of the refugees, a moral responsibility, but to ensure isis and their sympathizers don't sneak into the country under the guise of being a refugee. have a vetting process to make sure we're safe while also taking care of our responsibilities of helping refugees escaping warfare. >> i want to ask you about sharia law because i'm going to ask this for bernie. donald trump citing muslims who want sharia law over american law. this is according to pew. i want to read this. just under 1% of the u.s. adult population is muslim. from what you know about the muslim community at large here in the u.s., do they want sharia law here in the united states? from what you know? >> you know what, some say they do. some muslims i know say they do. they support it. they would support it. is that the case? you know, personally, i don't think so.
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sharia law, he can talk more about this than i can, that's the legal system for the muslim community. saudi arabia is run by sharia law. are we ever going to have that in this country? no. it goes completely against the constitution. so -- >> harris, do muslims in this country want sharia law? >> well, because there's no monolith, i can't say for certain for all 100% of them. there's a minority that talk about sharia law as a system of government. a vast majority understand that's not what sharia is meant to be. there's a reason we widely condemn the governments of saudi arabia, afghanistan, sudan, they try to legislate religion which is not what islam calls for which is why one of the principles on trueislam.com is that islam calls for a separation of religion and state. so all these countries have gotten it wrong. the prophet muhammad said you keep them separate completely and he had a pluralistic society. he allowed jews and muslims and pagan live in peace with one another. he didn't impose islamic law on
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them. then there's other things people call sharia. stoning women to death, that's not part of sharia, not mentioned in the koran at all. that's why the community has been vocal in condemning other muslim leaders that call for these things. i think it's important to hear these muslim voices to talk about there's a nuance here and there are muslims on our side to try to defend this nation and the world from peace. >> let's listen to another portion of donald trump's speech today. >> one of my first acts as president will be to establish a commission on radical islam which will include reformist voices in the muslim community. the goal of the commission will be to identify and explain to the american public the core convictions and beliefs of radical islam. this commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators and immigration screeners. >> a commission with muslims. good idea?
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>> i think, yes, a commission of muslims is a great idea. you need to see muslims as part of the solution, not part of the problem. now, you have to have the nuanced conversation. have to understand what these principles even mean. yes, i'm all for the things he's talking about. about increasing our security. working with muslims. but if it's just about protecting america from muslims, a certain type of muslims, then we're really spending a lot of money and resources on a small problem. what about the greater number of deaths at the hands of gun violence, what are we going to do about that is. >> thank you, both. i appreciate it. coming up, the latest on the deadly floods in louisiana that have forced thousands of people to flee their home. if you have medicare
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more than 20 inches of rain have fallen in and around my hometown of baton rouge, louisiana, over the last few days, resulteding ing in massiv flooding and it's not over yet. joining me now is the louisiana state police superintendent. thank you so much. you guys are going through so much lately. we've been watching this footage of the flood all weengd long. you've been out surveying the damage with the governor today. what are you seeing? tell us the latest. >> well, first of all, i don't
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know what they're going to throw at us next, don. it's been six weeks, just been incredible right here in the baton rouge area. i got a chance to spend the day with the governor. he's big ongoing out to these locations. we were in livingston parish, st. mary parish, iberia and of course east baton rouge. we went to those locations because that's where the people have been taken out of their homes. we've got almost 40,000 meters that have been turned off and electricity's off in that area. we've got 30,000 people that have been rescued. as i'm talking to you tonight, we've got about 14,000 people that are in shelters primarily here in the baton rouge and surrounding areas. we've had seven people die. this morning, 78-year-old woman rescued out of a tree, spent the night in a tree and the water now is moving towards ascension parish, interstate 10 is closed between baton rouge and new orleans at the bayou manchac.
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they're detouring traffic. >> these are all major highways, right? and you said i. >> -- i-12 coming in, you can leave the state but not get back in. this struck me today when i looked at this. someone set me the cover of the advocate in baton rouge saying, state of disaster. is it -- it's a disaster there for much of the state, right? especially baton rouge? >> it really is, because here's the deal. it's a no-name storm. this was something that said, oh, you prepare like a hurricane. no, you don't. this one, it just came upon us and just started dumping massive amounts of water. we go back to our record books, 1983 was record book, you know, throw those records out. because we've surpassed them. so now what the meteorologists are telling us, you're going to have a lot of water and it's going to be deeper.
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interstate 12 was shut down for 30 hours, over a thousand cars stranded on the interstate. those people to sit there and say, we're going to make this happen, but it was pockets of water, dry land, 12 feet of water, dry land, so we couldn't get to them with boats because you have to pick the boats up and move them so the water receded in that area. >> so they just sat on the interstate for days, i would imagine. listen, i know that you said it was seven that was dead that you have accounted for, but earlier today, the governor was saying that he won't know the final death toll know for several days. i mean, that must be difficult. >> we won't. >> for everyone's morale. >> yeah, we have to go to every house now. once the water receded, all these homes that are completely covered with water, we've got to go to every single one of those and go inside of them and check for anybody that might be in those areas. that's something that we've got to deal with. we've got a lot of people that we know that people haven't accounted for. we had a massive failure of our
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cell cellular system, they've come back and at&t had installed some towers and tough like that, brought it back up, but most people have gotten rid of their landline phones so when the s l cellular system is out, that can be problematic. >> the only way i could get in touch with my family was with people who had hard lines in their homes. the cell phones said, all circuits are busy now. i have to ask you about the forecast, colonel, because i understand it has stopped raining in some places but it may -- there may be some rain forecast to other places. how long do you think it's going to take for these flood waters to recede and what do you estimate about clean-up time? >> i think what you've got to get is these rivers have to crest. they'll be doing that over the next several days. the water has moved south. that's why we're right here in
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ascension -- but nothing that'll give us concern. so we've just got to track this water here. we've got ascension parish has two prisons in it, so we have to check that to make sure that's not inundated. so r are we out of the woods yet? absolutely not. as we speak, we're still doing rescues in ascension parish and in east baton rouge parish, so those are still ongoing. we have a long ways to go, and we just need the public to work with us. and if they don't need to be on the roads, please stay off the roads, but the rest of the country can pray for us because we've got some human beings here doing some incredible things and the resolve from these people, don, it's amazing. i'm proud to be a part of it, proud to see it. long way to go, though. >> i'm glad that you're okay and thank you for doing what you do and our thoughts are with all the people down there in louisiana. we want to thank you, and we're going to tell our viewers how you can help. you can help the victims of louisiana's flooding by texting
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la floods to 90999 to make a $10 donation. just to show you how dangerous a situation it is, i spoke with the colonel just a short time ago, and tins our conversation, we learned that the number of people killed has increased now to nine in just less than an hour. so from seven to nine. our thoughts and prayers are with the people of louisiana tonight. we'll be right back. . . .
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