tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN September 8, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
i turn you over now to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, spinning out of control, donald trump is declaring a victory over hillary clinton and is offering a spin on comments from overnight. they have been saying u.s. generals are reduced to rubble. tonight, new questions from critics about his readiness to be commander in chief. >> not smiling now, hillary clinton lays into trump calling him unfit to be president. critics say she should have smiling more in that national
security forum, we will break down with what both candidates said. debate expectations. a majority expects hillary clinton to out perform trump. will they be the most watched presidential debates ever? from dangerous close encounters with american plains to blocking american ships, what is behind the blazen new acts. >> we're following breaking news in the race for the white house. her policies "produce ruin and
death." trump says clinton's performance showed she is unfit to be president. clinton saying the same thing about trump. calling his criticism unpatriotic. new polls show clinton leading trump in pennsylvania and ohio. the candidates are tied in florida. also following growing concern over russian and iranian apartment. the pentagon said there has been dozens of sdpents this year. including a russian fighter jet coming within ten feet of a navy plane. we're covering all of that and more this hour with our guests. and our correspondents and expert analysts are standing by.
let's start with our senior correspondents. >> they are, and the voters are getting a sneak preview. donald trump and hillary clinton are pounding each other on the issues that will shape the final weeks of this campaign from russia to the iraq war. >> i thought it was very port and revealing in many ways. >> declaring victory, donald trump walked into an education event in cleveland and sounded like he was in a schoolyard brawl. >> every time she talks about the subject it is different. think h she has to get her act together. >> clinton is swinging right
back slamming braise of vladimir putin. >> the man has very strong control over a country. >> she blasted trump's remark that he is more effective than barack obama as a leader. >> it is scary and dangerous. . it suggests that he will let putin do what pugh tip wants and make excuses for him. >> the back and forth went all day long. talking about how the obama administration treated the u.s. military. >> i think under the leadership, the generals have been reduced to rubble. >> we saw that he is temper mentally unfit and unqualified to be commander in chief. he trash talked american generals saying they have been "reduced to rubble." >> on this comment about the intelligence briefings he received as a candidate.
>> in almost every instaps, they were not happy. our leaders did not follow what that were recommending. >> democrats say it is more proof that trump is not fit to receive those briefings in the fist place. >> i think what he said was inappropriate and undisciplined. i would never comment on any aspect of a briefing. >> trump once again tried to make the case he opposed that war from the start, even noting that media reports rated that claim false. >> i did oppose it. i was opposed to the war from the beginning. long after my interview with howard stern. >> are you for invading iraq? >> yeah, i guess so.
>> he is now pointing to another interview he gave to fox news in 2003 saying i think the iraqi situation is a problem and the economy is a much bigger problem as far as the president is concerned. >> i didn't have access to all of the intelligence and information that she did and everyone else did. >> trump gave clinton a pass on that prewar intelligence telling the "new york times" saying that was based on lying given to her, she was very smart and has a major chance to be our next president. clinton is focusing on trump's plans for iraq now. >> he says his plan is still a secret, but the truth is he really doesn't have one. >> still not pointing to an interview where he said the situation was a mess, but many war critics were raising questions about the wisdom of
invading iraq. >> jim acosta, thank you very much. let's get more on this. a member of the armed services committee, also served in iraq and afghanistan, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me, wolf. trump has been inconsistent in describing his plan to defeat isis. yesterday afternoon he reversed course, said he would rely on the generals to come up with a new strategy to defeat the terror group. last night he said the generals had been, in his words, reduced to rubble. do you agree with his assessment that the generals have been reduced to rubble. >> it's more nuanced than that. we have a fantastic chairman that i served with.
he said i ran as the biggest threat for a race. wanted a plan for a nuclear iran. you have a military that tries to give their strategy and advice to this president, but we have seen over and over that the national security council and the administration disregard the advice of our military leaders and does what they want to do anyway. i think that is what he meant by that. they're not being heeded the way they should be. >> so you disagree that the generals have been reduced to rubble? >> i agree, but it is more nuanced. if that is what he meant by that, and i can't get in donald trump's ahead and see what he meant by that, i think he means their advice is being minimized, and that is what i took out of
what he said. at the same time we have great general leaders, a great chief of -- chairman of the joint chiefs. we have great generals in right now that have riseen to the top. so at the same time she right and wrong. it depends on the context that he means it in. >> let me give you an example for the generals. donald trump seems to be in a different page than his top military advisor. i want you to listen carefully to what general flynn told me yesterday here in the situation room, and what trump later told matt lauer last night. >> do you have confidence in the current leadership in the u.s. military? would trump accept them? >> i think we have all of the confidence in the world. absolutely, absolutely.
these are lifelong servant that's have given it all. i think what they need to be able to do is unleash our military capabilities and other capabilities that we have for our government system, particularly in the intelligence community, to be able to really go after and defeat this enemy. >> you're going to convene a panel of judges and you said you know more about isis than the generals. >> i'm looking at the generals today, you probably saw, i have a piece of paper here, 88 admirals and generals endorsed me today. >> he said he doesn't have confidence in the current generals, he will be looking at another batch of generals, are you with him or lieutenant general flynn? >> i am with flynn on this, and
i think it takes trump to know, the people that know the most about go to war more than anyone else. >> but here is the thing, under this administration, the military leadership that we have right now has not been listened to. that, i think, is what trump is saying. >> what evidence do you have that the president of the united states, the commander in chief, the secretary of defense, are not listening to the current leadership. >> jim maddox being dismissed. general jim kelly who ran guantanamo bay, he was not promoted after reaching a certain level. you have a lot of people who
don't fall in line with this administrations politics that are dismissed or not promoted. you have great leadership, you have great leaders right now, but you also have people who didn't toe the line for this administration and they were dismissed. >> do you think trump trusts our leaders and their ability to fight isis? >> yes, especially the ones that have been there and know what they're talking about. i think you can draw a dichotomy. they know the area, the ones that sit back here and have not been on in like ten years, they're very politicized. they are combat leaders who know what to do on the ground. >> i need you to stand by. we have more questions and lots of information coming into the
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did you believe they would be giving away something along those lines with their so-called body language? >> yeah, here is the reason why, wolf. when we pulled out of iraq, that was the president and hillary clinton did that against all of the advice of our military leadership. it was done against all of the advice of our military leadership. not arming the ukrainians. that is against all of the advice of not just military leadership but our state department. i have seen the same thing that says "here is what we're doing." you say do you agree with what we're doing? and they say we're going to do what we're told. >> how do you know, congressman, that was against all of the advice that the president and his top national security advisors were receiving. how do you know there was a
difference of machine? usually there is often a difference of opinion. >> let's talk about military strike that gain the advice of the highest generals of the land. this administration went against the direct advice of these guys. that is a plain fact. they say if you pull out of rie iraq, you will have isis. you have no more u.s. marines and soldiers on the border. that was directly against military advice. so some guys said pulling out of iraq is a great thing. congressman, you know who came up with that time table for the withdrawal of all u.s. forces from iraq, sfliegt. >> sure, but. >> it was president bush -- >> it doesn't matter if it was
him or obama. >> president bush came up with that time line, by the end of 2011 all u.s. troops should be out, and the iraq military spent hundreds of billions getting ready. they were supposed to be able to take charge and clearly they couldn't. >> and military advisories will say never set arbitrary timelines. no matter the timeline, we have hearings with the same generals that try to -- we hear their unadulterated point of you and president does not heed their advice in many situations. >> duncan hunter, thank you for joining us. coming up, brand new polls from critical battleground states.
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forum. let's get more on the clinton campaign that is unfolding right now. joe johns is joining us right now with the latest. trump demonstrated he is tempermentally unfit and unqualified to be president. >> hillary clinton's campaign got going fast today after that candidate's forum. she held a news conference to try to get the last word in. ripping into donald trump for praising putin. and said he trash talked america's generals. to the hillary clinton is ratcheting up the attacks on donald trump. >> everything is a game. it's like he is living in his own celebrity reality tv program. you know what, donald? this is real reality. this is real people. this is real decisions that have to be made for our country. >> and she is clarifying a
pledge from wednesday night's national security forum. >> they're not getting ground troops, we're not putting ground troops into iraq ever again or into syria. we're going to defeat isis without sending in ground trips. >> i have said it before on numerous occasions. i believe it. i think putting a big contingent of ground troops on the ground in iraq and syria is not in the best interest in the fight against isis and other terrorist groups. i support the air campaign. i support special forces, i support enablers. i support surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissa e reconnaissance. >> also standing by in an interview on wednesday that isis is rooting for trump to become president siting a former high
ranking terrorism official. >> he quoted isis spokespeople rooting for donald trump's victory because trump has made islam and muslims part of his campaign. >> president obama offering his own rebuke of the g.o.p. nominee during an overseas trip to laos. >> i don't think he is qualified to be president of the united states. and every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed. >> the president urging americans not to excuse trump's rhetoric. >> behavior that in normal times we would consider completely unacceptable, and outrageous, becomes normalized. and people start thinking that we should be grading on a curve. >> and clinton blasting reince
prebus for his controversial tweet criticizing clinton for not smiling during the forum. >> i don't take anything seriously that comes from the rnc. >> clinton reiterating her regreat for using a private e-mail server while secretary of state. >> there was no headers, there was no statement, top secret, secret, or confidential. i communitied about classified material on a wholly separate system. i did exactly what i should have done. i take it very seriously, always have, always will. >> once again, her fundraising is picking up after almost 30 fundraisers in august, she attended the first in september today. >> let's talk more with our political experts on all of this
so donald trump says he knows more, he said this in the past, more about isis than the generals do. yesterday he said that the generals have been reduced to rubble under president obama and hillary clinton's leadership. he still enjoys a significant amount of support from the military, from veterans, how will this play? >> he enjoys three to one support even after the kahn family and the whole gold star controversy. he still does enjoy a huge amount of support. his campaign will say that he was talking about his frustration with the united states policy that reduced the generals to rubble. but there is really another way to interpret that, and this is that the generals are rubble and they could take that in a very different way. as with immigration policy, we're finding ourselves trying to figure out what donald trump means. when it comes to national
security and what he would do. he also said, wolf, that he would fire a lot of these generals. he either respects them or he would fire them and by the way we know you can recall people, but you don't really fire them. so everybody is left scratching their heads. >> he said there would probably be different generals if he was elected president of the united states, but his top military advisor, michael flynn, told me here yesterday we just heard it that he personally has all of the confidence in the world in our current military leaders. so there seems to be a major disconnect there. >> and not the first time that there has been a major disconnect, we have seen from donald trump and one of his top advisors. we saw hillary clinton go to north carolina today. trying to hit home the idea that donald trump did not have respect for generals. four major military bases are
represented in north carolina. 15 electoral votes on the table. very, very important for hillary clinton to try to least eat away at what has always been and probably be a pretty solid constituency in the election. >> why does trump always say he always opposed the war in iraq. before the war, he says i probably did support the war. >> i do think that he probably believes he did oppose the iraq war at the time. and the comment was more of an off-hand comment. >> howard stern said are you for invading ooerk. trump said yeah, i guess so, you know, i twish was -- i wish the first time it was done correctly. >> i bet he wishes he had that back. collarly an after f-- clearly a
affirmation. he was not a politician at the time. he didn't oppose the war like barack obama opposed the war, and the only thing that we have out there is the comment that undermines the case. >> this is one of his biggest weaknesses, right? you're going to see the entire nation focused on this election. when you have an audio recorded on a radio show, it is hard to say that he did, investment, back the war. >> once we invaded and it wasn't go well, he said it was a mess, but it was already started. >> he said two days into the war, he said something along the lines of "it has been a militarily speaking -- from a military standpoint, a
tremendous success and that interview with esquire, that was august 2004, more than a year after the war, and he just found out that he was into the war. >> right, and then a lot of war skeptics were starting to voice their concerns about what was going on in iraq. so he is not very special. he says i knew all along, i would have done this differently, based on what he said on howard stern, he wouldn't have. the vast majority of politicians including hillary clinton and mike pence voted for and did. >> before i was against it, which is what we heard before. >> the other thing, jackie, causing concern back in 2013, he had a tweet about men and women serving in the military. he defended it last night,
basically the bottom line saying when men and women are serving together, there is obviously sexual harassment and things like that and he defended that last night. >> here it is. unreported sexual assaults in the military, what did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together. >> this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how men and women in the military work together and it is the professionalism of the military, and it undermines the contributions that women have made in the military. he should definitely clarify this. it burnings off women and it could also turn off veterans that don't want to hear their female or male colleagues disparaged like that.
>> in the military there has been a lot of controversy over this about whether or not you should have outsiders doing the judging rather than your superiors. some women might not want to testify in front of people they actually work for. so that, that is an ongoing issue. >> this is what donald trump has struggled with. he doesn't want to clean it up because he doesn't want to succumb to political correctness. if he did that it would probably help him with women voters. >> when he said what were those geniuses thing -- >> attacking the generals and, quite frankly, the civilian commanders in the military making this decision. let's just take a step back and look at last night in totality. hillary clinton seems defensive. we can go into the reasons, it was not good for donald trump, he offered to specifics on any major issues, and quick frankly when he went out there and offered praise for vladimir
putin and criticized barack obama, the pugh research center last year did a global research study on what people thought of vladimir putin in 45 countries. 75% of americans thought putin would not do the right thing for world affairs. >> that is based on 82% approval rating. >> what does it say about the upcoming presidential debate? >> well, fasten your seatbelts. i think they were not on the same stage together last night and you see what occurred today in the aftermath. and i think that hillary clinton is not going to be shy in any way, shape, or form about attacking him on an area where she has a great deal of
confidence. so, you know, i think we all ought to stay tuned for that one. >> get ready for that. stay with us right now we have much more to discussion. we have brand new poll numbers from four of the most crucial battleground states including ohio and florida. we'll share those numbers with you, and later the latest from the pent gone where there is growing concern on provocations of the u.s. wall. it's not something you do now and then. or when it's convenient. it's using state-of-the-art simulators to better prepare for any situation. it's giving offshore teams onshore support. and it's empowering anyone to stop a job if something doesn't seem right. at bp, safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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following the breaking news of the presidential race. clipton and trump, that race getting tighter and tighter, let's start in florida, tied at 47%. clinton leads 47% to 43%. in pennsylvania, clinton is holding on to a five point advantage, 48% to 43%. >> we looked at the cnn orc international poll and we're starting to see it now in the state polls as well as much as there was consternation. there is a couple things to keep in mind. talking about the state of north carolina right now that barack
obama won in 2008. it was reliable red, now it is a battleground, but you have virginia to the north. it is a bigger problem that if they were to knock off north carolina, democrats are now looking at georgia. these are states that republicans should not have to spend money in and should not have to focus all of their time. it is basically a few states that will make the difference. >> it is, almost like in 2012 and in 2008, the electoral map favors obama in 2012. talking to republicans on capitol hill, they feel better now about trump. even if they're not criticizing him because that margin is tight. he told me yesterday he is happy
that the margin is tight now because that will help his guys down ticket. even if trump loses some of those states, by four or five points, better than if he is losing by eight, nine, or ten points. >> and it does make a difference. they were saying that trump doesn't really have a presence there. compared to hillary, she is just flooded the zone across ohio, and donald trump is woefully behind there. when it comes down to it, when the margins tighten, that ground game will really matter. >> and you saw in the poll numbers that gary johnson, the l libertarian, he is getting 19%, 14%, 8% in florida, a lot of experts think the numbers are tra drained away from hillary clinton's support. but he got himself into a lot of trouble today. he was asked about aleppo and he
didn't fwhee it wknow what it w. >> i think that is disqualify g disqualifying. let's see what happens to his numbers now. i think voters will take note of that, particularly when you have a commander in chief debate like last night. if you look at a state like north carolina, he is at 15%. voters are upset. they don't like any of these guys. there was a bumper sticker "i hate my guy, but your guy is worse." so people were looking at gary johnson, but if they take a serious look at him now, after that comment, they might reconsider. >> we'll be talking a lot about the tightening of the race. those that are not there, they're basically all going to be there. what we're going to see is a
consolidation of republicans getting behind trump. but it will come down to a couple key states. that has to be troubling right now for republicans, specifically the trump campaign. >> and gary johnson could make a difference if it is really, really close. >> if folks like in the clinton clan start to make the case that a vote for gary johnson is a vote for donald trump. >> ralph nadar got 2.7% of the vote, and let's see what happens. other important news, growing concern over the increasingly brazen attempts by adversarie adversaries.
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this week's intentional and unsafe encounter between a russian fighter jet and u.s. aircraft is being compared to a similar provocation last spring when a russian warship buzzed a ship. it's a long list of military challenges from potential u.s. adversarie adversaries. let's get the latest from barbara starr. >> wolf, russia, iran and north korea's military all taunting the u.s. military. it may be turning into a significant strategic threat. tonight, fresh reason for concern following the close
encounter of a russian jet and a u.s. reconnaissance plane. the russians coming within ten feet of the u.s. deck. just the latest in russian provocations directed at the u.s. military in the air and at sea this year. defense secretary ashe carter warning the russian government that the u.s. is watching and is ready to act. >> make no mistake, we will defend our allies, the international order and the future it affords us. >> with russian aggression not decreasing, some see a deliberate strategy at work. >> the fact they are engaging the u.s. in such a dramatic fashion indicates they are willing to challenge the u.s. at every step of the way. >> russia is hardly the only count country attempting to provoke
the u.s. military. iran continues to harass u.s. ships with dangerous approaches like this that u.s. military officials have deemed unsafe. some coming within 100 yards of u.s. navy vessels. in the most recent, an iranian boat came to a dead stop in front of a u.s. navy ship risking collision. the pentagon points out there's been 31 such encounters this year up from 23 incidents all of last year. >> they are telegraphing the way they will counter the u.s. vessels. that shows they want to challenge u.s. vessels and they're willing to do so not only in wartime but in peacetime. >> each incident carries the risk of miscalculations and the united states being drawn into an unintended conflict. the stakes even higher in the pacific where north korea continues to test ballistic missiles often with little
warning and the potential for dire consequences, weapons that may be able one day to reach the united states. tensions have been rising significantly on the peninsula since pyongyang tested a hydrogen bomb this year. coming up, donald trump is facing fall out for praising russian president vladmir putin. there's breaking political news. that's coming up next. this is how you apply the first paint that kills bacteria. sherwin-williams paint shield continuously kills 99.9% of bacteria.
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donald trump accuses hillary clinton of a cover up. stunning insults of president obama and america's generals. democrats say trump faced a crucial commander in chief test and failed. clinton's dismisses the complaint that she didn't smile while talking about national security issues. the attacks on both sides escalating as polls show a tightening race in some of the presidential battlegrounds. trump's running mate refuses to say whether his boss has filled him on his secret plan to defeat isis. stand by for the exclusive interview on some of trump's provocative new statements.