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tv   Wolf  CNN  October 21, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in new york. 8:00 p.m. in mosul, iraq. 1:30 a.m. in pyongyang, north korea. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us. and donald trump hits the campaign trail after getting booed at a charity dinner. donald trump saying he might not accept the election results. holding a rally now in fletcher, north carolina.
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you're looking a the live pictures. moments ago he spoke about the road ahead to election day. >> and i don't know what kind of shape i'm in, but i'll be happy and at least i will have known win, lose or draw, and i'm almost sure if the people come out we're going to win. >> the candidates and their surrogates are fanning out across key battleground states. besides north carolina, trump holds rallying in two pennsylvania towns. his running mate mike pence an event in new hampshire. hillary clinton's campaign is in ohio. her running maehl and vice president biden are on the campaign trail in pennsylvania. bill clinton rallies supporters in florida. bring in our political panel. joining us, david chalian, cnn political director, jackie co kucinich and zeke miller, political reporter for "time" magazine. david, north carolina clearly a critically important battleground state.
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donald trump desperately needs to win north carolina. the rally so far seems to be sticking mostly to the script, the teleprompter. heard him say a new catch phrase, we have to drain the swamp. this is a key moment for him right now. >> i think that drain the swamp message is one he should be hitting every day from here on out. i think that is something that actually not only just works for his base and actually can begin to add some voters to his coalition at the end here. people who are so fed up with washington, that decide that he is -- the change that is needed. listen, north carolina is going to be a hard-fought battle from here all the way out 234that st is not going to move outside of that toss-up category. locked in. few movable voters. a huge test a huge test, of each side's ground game operation, data operation, when we see the results november 8th, wolf. and eight years ago president
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obama, correct me if i'm wrong, david, eight years ago president obama captured north carolina over john mccain, but four years later narrowly lost to mitt romney, correct? >> that is correct and why the clinton campaign early on in brooklyn at headquarters circled on the map as the state they most wanted to fight to win back. after it slipped away from obama in the reelect. >> see what happens this time. jackie, hillary clinton released a new ad featuring the gold star parents of captain khan. the muslim-american u.s. army captain soldier who died in iraq while fighting off a suicide bomber. trump got into a feud, as all of us remember, after the family spoke at the democratic national convention. here's part of the new ad. >> my son was captain khan. he was 27 years old and he was muslim-american. i want to ask mr. trump, would
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my son have a place in your america? >> very powerful ad. begins airing in several battleground states. how effective, jackie, do you think it will be? which states do you think will have the most impact? >> i think this will be a very effective ad. particularly places where you have a lot of veterans. where you have a lot of minorities who might have felt offended by donald trump's warring with the khans. for, you know, weeks and weeks, and this reminds them of one of the biggest arguments hillary clinton has against donald trump, and that's his temperament, and so i imagine this will have an impact with people who are still paying attention. a lot of these states are already, they're early voting is happening. so every day counts. >> certainly does. zeke a new poll out. look at this. it shows trump and clinton deadlocked in georgia. in georgia, of all places. trump 44%. clinton 42%.
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clearly within the margin of error, an atlanta journal-constitution poll in georgia. that close in georgia, donald trump clearly has problems right now. other states he's got some problems as well. within the margin of error. what's going on over here? >> certainly right now we're seeing donald trump have a lot of weakness among republicans, both in georgia, arizona, ohio, other states, where he's just not getting the same percentage of republican voters who are right now saying they're going to turn out to vote for him on election day or early voting. a problem for him. it's a solvable problem. means he doesn't necessarily have to win over a lot of swing voters in those states in order to get back on top in georgia and arizona, if those republicans come back home. the problem, if he has that problem in arizona and georgia what is the problem for him in ohio and pennsylvania? in michigan? all of the -- you know, all the states he kept, north carolina. the states he talked about expanding the map to, what he really needs to win the race to
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get over 270 electoral votes. a problem with his own base, that's the real indicator there in georgia. and arizona as well. >> last night the al frfred e. smith denner. aukwards times. let me play kniss. >> this. >> -- truly inspiring's gives me hope that in america it's still not possible for a fella named al to be the commander in chief. >> hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the watergate commission. >> now, recently one of john's top advisers told the "daily news" that if we keep talking about the economy, mccain's going to lose. so tonight i'd like to talk about the economy.
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>> donald looks as the statue of liberty and sees a four. maybe a five, if she loses the torch and tablet, and changes her hair. >> a little flavor of years' past this year. it got awkward last night and even some boos. extraordinary. isn't it? >> it is. this event has always been highways trically, an opportunity not only to sort of display self-deprecating humor, poke a little fun at yourself, show humility, but also to show some kindness between the candidates. and that -- that just did not really exist in terms of what we saw on camera. we heard from cardinal dolan earlier today prap thereerhaps e a few kind words exchanged between the two. on display a break from tradition and it probably fits
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this campaign season. we shouldn't have expected going in that they were going to be able to completely remove themselves from the, the darker tenor and tone that the campaign has had. >> jackie, let me play that clip from cardinal timothy dolan. catholic charities event. very important dinner. let me play the clip of what he said this morning. >> and after the little prayer, mr. trump turned to secretary clinton and said, you know, you are one tough are and talented woman. and he said, this has been a great, a good experience and this whole campaign as tough as it's been, and she said to him, and, donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterwards. >> all right. in private, they seem to have a relatively cordial exchange. not necessarily all that cordial in public. familiar note to all of us who have watched the debates. >> you know, it's so nice to hear that. it would be nice to see it once in a while, but that's what you sort of expect, what we see on
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capitol hill a lot. their at each others throats in public and behind the scenes actually trying to work together. the fact they did have that, the cardinal relayed that exchange is comforting and almost seems like it's hearkening back to days that weren't that long ago. >> not that long ago. everyone stand by. there's a lot more politics we're watching. the road to the white house. also coming up, donald trump. donald trump's drop in the polls. we're watching that closely right now. directly affecting down ballot races and putting several red states in play. we'll discuss. monitoring donald trump who's speaking live right now, and a massive internet outage affecting social media sites and news organizations around the united states right now. u.s. government looking into this very, very closely. including some suggestions this could be a possible cyber schiff, he's
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select committee on intelligence joining us from washington. congressman what can you tell us about this? was this the result of a cyber attack on the united states? >> wolf, we still don't know who is responsible. i spoke with the administration within the hour about it. obviously the department of homeland security is looking deeply into this. it's of great concern, but at this point it's too early to say what wases cause of this, who is responsible. what the motivations may be. >> we did get a statement from the white house press secretary josh earnest who said i've seen the reports. i know the department of homeland security, that is the u.s. government agency that's responsible for monitoring our security and cyber space and coordinating with the public and private sector to protect u.s. interests in cyber space is monitoring the situation and take a close look at it. at this point i don't have information to share who might be responsible for this malicious abouttivety.
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this suggesting this probably was the result of a mass attack on the internet? >> i had the same impression from that language, wolf. you would imply this was the result of a cyber attack, not the result of some accidental technological malfunction, but i think there's still, in these early hours, a lot we don't know about just how this took place, but if it was a cyber attack, i'm confident with the forensic capabilities we have, we'll get to the bottom where it came from and figuring out the why, of course, is of vital importance. >> we know that you believe and others in the u.s. intelligence community believe that russia has been responsible for the cyber attacks on the democratic national committee, other democratic party organizations, if you will. do you also believe, i just want to be precise, that russia is directly responsible for the cyber attacks, the wikileaks documents that have been released. the e-mails of john podesta, the hillary clinton campaign chair? >> well, i certainly think that
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the, and i can only comment at this point on the publicly available reports, but i think that the dell report that came out recently by that private security firm was very credible, and that report concluded that the russians were behind the hack and release of the podesta e-mails as well. i also think what the director of national intelligence and secretary of homeland security said prior to these podesta hacks about the dnc, that the method and the motivations were consistent with russian practices is true of the podesta e-mails as well. and, of course, it's perfectly aligned with the efforts they have given through their hacking and release of helping donald trump. so i think that's certainly our, is a very credible public report that this private agency put out and very consistent with what the russians have been doing all along, unfortunately. >> donald trump questions whether russia is responsible for the hacked e-mails. listen to this exchange that trump had with hillary clinton during wednesday night's final presidential debate.
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>> i think it's -- >> she has no idea whether it's -- >> because it's -- >> russia, china or anybody. >> i am not quoting myself i am quoting 17. >> you have no idea. >> do you doubt? 17 -- >> our country has no idea. >> agencies -- well, he'd rather believe vladimir putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. >> how conclusive is the intelligence that russia is directly responsible for the hacking that putin himself ordered it? >> well, as was said as recently as yesterday, they don't say they have confidence in an intelligence judgment lightly. here i think the evidence is really quite overwhelming of russian involvement in the hacking release of these e-mails. donald trump knows better and when he denies this and says nobody knows. secretary clinton doesn't know, essentially director of national intelligence doesn't know, what donald trump is really saying is
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that my campaign is more important than the national interests, and if i have to deny the obvious facts, if i have to carry russia's water, i'm willing to do it. anythi anything in the service of my campaign, and that is somebody were you don't need as commander in chief. >> donald trump really lashed out at president obama and hillary clinton among others. i want you to listen to this. >> we have a bunch of babies running our country, folks. we have a bunch of losers. they're losers. they're babies. we have a president all he wants to do is campaign. his wife, all she wants to do is campaign. and i see how much his wife likes hillary, but wasn't she the one that originally started the statement "if you can't take care of your home" right? "you can't take care of the white house or the country" where's that? i don't hear that.
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i don't hear that. >> referring to some statements made eight years ago, when hillary clinton and barack obama were both running for the democratic presidential nomination. i don't know if he was exactly quoting michelle obama accurately. we'll check that out. give me your reaction when you hear that kind of assertion from donald trump. >> well, honestly, my reaction is, keep it coming. here he is attacking a popular president, and attacking an even more popular first lady. it's a terrible campaign strategy, and it's one that isn't going to attract anyone new to his campaign or support him or win over anybody that's not already devotedly in his camp. this is just the kind of thing he's been doing all along. i don't know if it actually happen, bring the alienated half brother of the president to the debate. what's the point of that? such a distraction from what his message supposedly is, and a terrible campaign strategy and why his campaign has really,
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it's just really going down the drain. >> all right. adam schiff, the congressman from california. thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. coming up, the battle for mosul continues as isis claims its carried out multiple attacks in another city not too far away. we're going live to iraq when we come back.
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back to our political discussions. the race for the white house in a few moments. first, an update on the iraqi army's military offensive against isis terrorists in mosul. isis is striking back south of mosul in kirkuk, where they've launched attacks on government buildings. those militant attacks come as the losses mount for isis in and
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around mosul, the second largest city in iraq. a key tart get in the fight for iraq. nick paton walsh joins us. what's the latest? what are you seeing from the ground where you are? >> reporter: this attack on kirkuk, very much a typical tactic of hitting an unexpected area. kirkuk held by the peshmerga launching many of the attacks against mosul at the moment trying to take the plains around that key city off isis. the kirkuk attack, coming at dawn, used a number of different assets positito attack that cit still ongoing. able to get pictures on live kurdish television giving people the idea isis can strike at will. still not upsetting the applecart of the main campaign, that continues to push ahead. finding stuff resistance. we ourselves saw how drone used to spot peshmerga positions,
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direct artillery, position of the drone s shot out of the sky by peshmerga and also have come across waysisisseemed to use drones to drop explosives near our positions as well. remarkable the tech they make out of nothing, sort of homemade. at the same time, announcing a u.s. loss. unclear in directly involved killed by an ied, minimal information is always the case since a u.s. death and we, ourself, have seen u.s. special forces on the front lines. not involved in the assault, level with you, wolf, we see they're armored vehicles often going in behind the first column of peshmerga against isis. the white house accepts they are in harmal way. turning out to be lengthy, bloody and isis have much more fight in them than optimists believed was the case before. >> isis still in control of mosul as we speak. we'll see how the military offensive goes down.
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nick pateing walsh, as i always say, be careful over there. talking more about the iraqi military offense on mosul. joining us from chicago, illinois, republican congressman add ang kinsberg, remains a major in the u.s. air national guard, former member of the house arms services committee. congressman, what are you hearing about the progress in this battle to liberate mosul? >> well, seems like the front end of this battle has gone pretty well. scene in mind, what you have right now is outskirts. it's not the main part of the city. the second biggest city in iraq, which you can compare to, you know, milwaukee or something like that in terms of size. the real question's going to be, does isis decide to stay and fight to the end? in which case, you have a block to block fight. looking for boobytraps, ieds and it will be very slow going, or does it at some point isis make a stand and decide to melt away and go to, you know, spiritual center of raqqah? that's the real question.
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keep in mind, the united states, who's better at this than anybody, it took us a while to pacify mosul. this could be a long road, indeed. >> let's not forget when the isis terrorists took mosul more than two years ago they captured a lot of sophisticated u.s. military equipment, armored vehicles, among others. so they do have weapons. they do have capabilities. there's no doubt about that. you heard donald trump at the presidential debate with hillary clinton the other night say, this, the timing of this iraqi/kurdish military offensive right now was designed to try to help hillary clinton's campaign. do you believe that? >> no. no, not at all. i mean, you know, look, i've been extremely critical of president obama and some of the civilian leaders we have in terms of timing. in terms why it's taken so long, and things along that line, but no. that's a pretty dbig charge to say somebody is doing a military
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offensive to help a campaign in a presidential election. i don't ascribe that to anybody. i have major disagreements with president obama, but i also don't think he would do an offensive just simply to help in a presidential race. and i don't frankly see how this does help hillary clinton. i don't see how it helps donald trump either. this is part of what needs to happen to liberate mosul, and so i don't put a lot of stock in it. i highly doud mosul will be liberated within two week was, anyway. >> it's going to be a while and now that these isis terrorists thoir own counteroffensive against kirkuk, an oil-rich area. a lot of iraq's oil is in kirkuk, i remember when i was there, i was in mosul. if the isis forces could take kirkuk that would be an enormous loss for the iraqi government. i don't know if that's realistic, but they launched and assault there. how worried about you about that? >> i'm worried in that obviously loss of life perceived instability, things along that line. i'm really not worried about the
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full of kirkuk. kirkuk was actually a very friendly area during the iraq war. i remember flying in a number of times to the air base in tekirk and it's very sympathetic. that said, isis, as they're losing ground in mosul and syria and elsewhere, they're trying to send the point mainly to think potential recruits and to their people they're still on the offensive. i think that's what this stems from it. i'm not overly worried about the fall of kirkuk, basically, but i do think we have to be aware that they are going to lash out's that could include, by the way, lashing out in europe, lashing out in the united states, or other places in the middle east. it's very likely. >> i know there's great fear that the isis terrorists, they can launch attacks against the oil fields, blow up oil fields, blow up a dam, if you will, cause enormous, enormous grief for the people of iraq. let's talk politics for a moment while i have you, congressman. mark meadows, congressman from north carolina. he's a republican. he says house speaker paul ryan
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could have trouble staying in that position because of his comments, lack of support for donald trump. listen to what meadows says. >> -- as a people who believe so desperately that we need to put donald trump in the white house. >> uh-huh. >> they question the loyalty of the speaker. i do think there will be real discussions after november 8 on who our leadership will be and what that will look like going forward. >> you told me you can't vote for donald trump, even though you're not voting for hillary clinton either. could what speaker ryan is doing right now cost him the speakership? >> i don't think so, but, look, you know, congressman meadows has a history of threatening speakerships and dropping motions to vacate as he did against the last speaker. you never know. some of these folks -- ryan is not 100% to them. therefore, anything short of
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100% is not enough. look at paul ryan, the fact he was the first person to really talk about tackling the nation's financial problems, talking about tax reform. he wants to reach out to people that don't traditionally vote republican. he's an optimistic person, and he knows when ronald reagan talked about a shining city on a hill, that's what we need to be again. not this angry, divisive thing. so, look i don't know what people are going to try to do. i will tell you that paul ryan, speaker ryan, has my full faith, and i'll do everything i can to defend him as speaker of the house. >> what about the trump narrative, claims of a rigged election, if you will. how does that affect your campaign? and the campaign of other house republicans? >> you know, everybody in their own district is different. i don't like the claims of rigged election. i mean, there have been voter fraud in the past you know, something i think we ought to always be aware is, signs of any voter fraud, but the most basic underlying thing that we have, before even getting into debates and before even a campaign, is people have to have faith that
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their vote's going to count. if they don't have faith the whole institution crumbles. making claims they're rigged, that donald trump thinks he will lose is also just a -- it may not be politically popular to say it, but we have to defend the basic tenant of democracy, which is your vote counts. so i don't like what i hear, but, you know, that's not been the first time this year. >> certainly not from your perspective it hasn't. adam kinsinger, thanks very much for joining us. >> you bet. thanks, wolf. take care. coming up, hopes for winning the wohite house are apparently fading. a republican group out with a new strategy to help gop candidates struggling to maintain control of the senate. we have details, when we come back. oh comfy sweater. you keep us warm yet make us look cool. and with a capful of downy infusions with touch activated freshness, you've got a few more tricks up your cozy sleeve.
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gum® brand. welcome back. new signs the republican party is at risk not only of losing the presidential race, alsoed u.s. sflaenate. take a closer look. polling in new hampshire shows the state's democratic governor maggie hassan eight points ahead of kelly ayotte. in response a gop group is out with a new ad pushing voters to re-elect their senator as a check and balance of what could be a clinton white house. watch this. >> america's future is far from certain, but no matter who the next president is, new hampshire needs a strong voice in the u.s. senate. that senator, kelly ayotte. she works across the aisle to get things done. >> our chief political correspondent dana bash is with us. senior political reporter manu
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raju has the latest on all of this. dana, doing a lot of reporting on this. how worried are republicans about so-called down ballot races? do you expect ads like this to start appearing elsewhere? >> yes, they are worried, and, yes that is the hope. when i was talking to a source who helped get that ad that you just played on the air, starting today in new hampshire, it was explicitly with the hope that other like-minded conservative groups, more establishment-oriented republican groups, like the chamber of commerce, will turn their attention, and more importantly their resources towards the senate exclusively. now, that is effectively what has been going on with regard to money, but message is the difference here, and that's what made that ad that you just played different from what we've seen in that it makes pretty clear that this republican group believes hillary clinton is likely to be in the white house,
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and the message to voter is -- you want to keep your republican senator in this case, kelly ayotte in, and you want to keep a republican majority as a check and balance on a hillary clinton white house. the goal, again, by the chamber of commerce is not just new hampshire but try send a single to other like-minded voters and even candidates, saying explicitly, we're going going to win the white house. you've got it elect me. >> what other type races do we see emerging, manu? >> democrats need to pick up four seats to take back a majority and have a lot of opportunities. expecting them to probably win in illinois and wisconsin. two on the map right now. dana talked about new hampshire. also pennsylvania. another very tight race that could go either way, go the other way, and looking at three red states that are going to be critical that republicans now hold that democrats have a chance, a serious chance of winning, in north carolina,
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indiana, missouri. those could easily flip. republicans only have one pickup opportunity. that is in nevada. harry reid's seat is a toss-up between the republican and democrat. democrats have a very good shot, just because they have so many opportunities, and if donald trump continues to slide, and loses in some of those states by significant margins, it's going to be very hard for republicans to run significantly ahead of the top of the ticket. that's why donald trump's performance is so critical for republicans in keeping majority in congress. >> and an illinois republican senator -- >> probably one views as likely to lose his seat, but is still maintaining, has an outside chance. republicans believe that perhaps he could survive, if the democratic candidate tammy duckworth underperforms. when you look at the landscape
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overall, illinois is viewed as almost very, very likely to flip, just because it is so difficult for a republican to anyone a blue state, like illinois, in a presidential election year, and there's no outside money going in to help mark kirk right now. so that's going to be very hard for him to win back. one of the four that democrats are assuming they will pick up in taking back the majority. >> and if they get a 50/50 split in the u.s. senate, if there's a democratic president, democratic vice president, the vice president is the president of the u.s. senate and he presumably will cast that tiebreaking vote in favor of democrats. in the majority. dana, a number of reliably red states turning into toss-up states. early voting results showing that two in particular, talking about arizona and utah, are looking relatively promising for democrats. pretty xoidna pretty extraordinary.
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1234 i isn't it? >> it is. and toss-ups for different reasons. utah is because, utah is largely mormon. that is not trump territory. not at all, and the mormon republicans that were already onboard with donald trump pretty much left in a mass exodus after the tape came out of him saying what he said on "access hollywood." that combined with the fact that there's a third-party candidate there, evan mcmullin, who is a mormon himself, who has been running hard there, that the clinton campaign thinks he actually could win that state and rob those electoral votes from donald trump, and then if you look at arizona, there's a different reason, that it is perhaps competitive. the fact that michelle obama was sent there yesterday tells you everything you need to know. the main reason there is because of the demographic changes. it is a growing hispanic population there. and a lot of young people, also, and older people for that matter, but the democrats think that it is more ripe
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demographically than others. one thing that's surprised me, georgia. georgia is a state that nobody even thinks about on the presidential level. it is reliably red and republicans i'm talking to are very concerned that state could actually flip for democrats this year. >> manu, you're well plugged in with members of the house and senate. it's extraordinary, isn't it, that the republican leaders in the, in the house of representatives, the speaker, paul ryan, the senate, mitch mcconnell, majority leader, both have been pretty silent when it comes to the trump campaign. right? >> yeah. i mean, just in such a bind right now over donald trump. particularly paul ryan. the way he's handled this for months. it shows exactly the predicament he's in. the challenge for ryan right now is that he, of course, came out and said, told colleagues he would not defend donald trump in the aftermath of the release of that "access hollywood" tape but has not spoken out publicly
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against donald trump, because he does not want to get backlash from the right. but ryan is in a difficult spot, because if you get, right after the elections, if you do keep the majority, it's going to be a narrow majority, have a vote on the floor of the house in order for him to be re-elected as speaker, and he cannot afford to lose many votes, particularly conservative votes. because conservatives could be more powerful in the next house republican conference. more moderates lose their seats. so paul ryan is in a difficult spot. as he speaks out or does not campaign with donald trump, conservatives are not happy and threatening to vote against him. one reason why he has been silent about donald trump over the last couple of weeks, and i'm not sure if he'll say anything about him before election day, wolf. >> calling it the sounds of silence. quoting somebody else. guys, thanks very manu, dana, thanks. and teasing the government with mixed messages when it comes to its relationship with
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the united states. that's next. >> i dub that person the filipino mike pence. ♪ share the joy of real cream... ...with reddi-wip.
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a fracture now michelle, what is the white house saying today? >> it's clear the white house and u.s. officials aren't sure how to take these comments for a number of reasons. first of all, duterte, the new president of the philippines, is a guy who built his presidency on making these sweeping and extremely controversial statements. this is the same person who on the eve of his first meeting with president obama, or what was supposed to be the first meeting, cursed president obama and said he would curse him again if he brought up the extrajudicial killings of people during the philippines drug war. the white house then canceled that meeting that was supposed to take place.
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so the white house knows that a lot of what duterte has been saying is rhetoric that seems designed to get attention for the philippines, to make his case of an independent philippin philippines with less u.s. influence and get a rise out of the u.s. he stated clearly on thursday that he wants to separate from the u.s. militarily and economically. what complicates things is that since then his trade minister said no, he didn't talk about separation, his spokes certain said he has no intention of severing tried ties with the u.s. so here's how the white house responded with a little something unexpected of its own. listen. >> his office today is seeming like they want to walk it back. >> i've dubbed that person the filipino mike pence. we haven't heard my specifics from the filipino government about what precisely president
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duterte means with when he refers to a separation. but those comments are creating unnecessary uncertainty in our relationship. >> yes, he really did call the spokesperson for rodrigo duterte the filipino mike pence. he's joking but this is obviously rocky. it's a 70-year relationship. there are new updates in the defense agreement. this is a treaty partner in the u.s. and this is a force to be reckoned with against china and its growing influence in that region so the u.s. considers the philippines to be an important partner in that region. but when duterte repeatedly makes comments like this it adds awkwardness if not damage at this point, wolf.
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>> and donald trump only moments ago used duterte's comments to slam president obama. michelle kosinski at the white house, thanks very much. up next, paranoia or legitimate fehr? north korea's kim jong-un taking extra precautions, afraid for his life as reports swirl about assassination squads and inside players. palace intrigue in the hermit kingdom when we come back.
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kim jong-un right now apparently fearing for his life. there are rumblings out there of secret squads of assassins gathered in south korea ready to strike. but as our paula hancocks reports, the most serious threat against the north korea's leader's life may come from within his country's own confined borders.
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>> reporter: is kim jong-un an assassination target? south korea wants you to think he is. the defense minister says an elite team is on standby to take him out if there's an imminent nuclear threat. the intelligence agency backing him up this week telling lawmakers they believe kim jong-un himself is worried about his personal safety. changing venues and schedules at short notice and buying explosives and poison detectors from overseas. claims we cannot independently confirm. but some question whether south korea could get close to the northern leader. >> i don't think there's any other leader protected the way kim jong-un is. if you were to assassinate him, it would open a general war in which seoul would be completely destroyed and undoubtedly north korea would lose that war but it's -- you're playing with fire. >> reporter: this man says he believes the threat to kim jong-un is far closer to home. the son-in-law of a former prime minister of north korea, he says he has contact with some of the
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elites still in congress i can't think, despite detecting two decades ago. "since kim jong-un keeps killing many of the high class" he tells me "they don't trust him. there's a real possibility someone could assassinate him to save their own life. not an organized plan but a very real chance of an impulsive assassination." kang claims he met a member of the elite who lives in north korea in a third country who confirmed the threat of an inside job is credible since kim jong-un executed his own uncle at the end of 2013, a number of defectors have said elites fear for their own safety. further high-profile executions just reaffirm that mistrust. there have been a number of elite defections since kim jong-un took power at the end of 2011. including one a couple months ago, a senior diplomat stationed in the united kingdom which would suggest that those closest to the north korean leader do feel serious fear about falling
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from favor. south korean intelligence officials estimate that so far this year kim jong-un has ordered the public execution of 64 people. paula hancocks, cnn, seoul. >> paula, thanks very much. that's it for me, thanks for watching. the news continues next on cnn. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin, you're watching cnn, it's friday. thanks for being here. no time to waste with the presidential candidates with the debates behind them. the only faceoff now, the finish line. november 8, election day, just two weeks and four days away. the trump and clinton campaigns are blitzing the battleground states to get out the vote. surrogates are in the key state, pennsylvania, florida, new hampshire, and in a little bit we'll see hillary clinton