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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 19, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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secretary of state speaks out warning that iran may follow the same dangerous path as north korea. what does it mean for the future of the deal that the president railed against during the campaign? syria moves most of its warplanes to a single location in the shadow of a russian air base. apparently looking for cover from the kremlin in case u.s. missiles strike again. risk of war, as north koreans cheer the attack on the united states the trump administration is ready to respond with overwhelming force if necessary. and factored out, fox news is take taing bill o'reilly off news for good as he reels from a sexual harassment scandal. the conservative movement and president trump.
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we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room. breaking news tonight. tough new talk from the secretary of state about the nuclear threat from iran. as a review degets underway abo to diffuse that threat. rex tillerson warning provocative actions pose a grave risk to the united states. tillerson facing reporters just hours after he confirmed they are complying with a nuclear deal at least for now. warplanes on the move in the aftermath of the missile strike ordered by president trump. u.s. defense officials say syria relocated most to a base very close to one of russia's primary military installations inside
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the country. looking to help protect remaining warplanes in case the u.s. strikes again. we are also following moves by russia amaid escalating tension. bombers buzzing the coast for second time in 24 hours, coming much closer than the day before. and another breaking story we are following, an ally of president trump and a powerful voice in the conservative movement yanked off the air. fox news announcing that it is cutting ties with anchor bill o'reilly as he faces sexual harassment allegations. this hour i'll talk with ed royse. we are standing by as we bring
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you full coverage of today's top stories. first let's go to michelle at the state department. we heard from the secretary of state a little while ago. he is likening iran to north kor korea. >> north korea already has nuclear weapons capabilities and iran does not. it happens as they certify that iran is complying with the nuclear deal. they are announcing the possibility of reimposing sanctions that would end the nuclear deal and are calling it a failure because it doesn't take into account all of iran's other bad activities. what is this? is it rhetoric or part of some broader strategy? for the first time in this new administration secretary of state rex tillerson certified to
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congress iran is keeping up its end of the nuclear deal, something the administration must do every 90 days. this administration also made it extremely clear today. that is not enough. >> it really does not achieve the objective. it is another example of buying off a power who has nuclear ambitions. we buy them off for a short period of time and somebody has to deal with it later. unchecked iran travels the same path as north korea and take the world along with it. >> tillerson is review whether it might reimpose sanctions that were part of the iran deal. if it happened then no more deal. >> strategic patience is a failed approach. a comprehensive iran policy all of the threats posed by iran. it is clear there are many. >> everywhere you look, if
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there's trouble in the region you find iran. >> president trump never actually said he would rip up the deal on day one but he said plenty against it. >> the dumbest deal i have ever seen in the history of deal making. >> my number one priority is the dismantle the disasterous deal with iran. >> this will be a totally different deal. >> now his administration is beginning a 90 day review of the deal. >> if he thought everything was fine he would have, you know, allowed this to move forward. he is doing the prudent thing by asking for review of what's happening. >> and worry about the fact that nuclear inspectors don't have any time any where access to suspected nuclear sites. they request whether anyone would know iran is complying. iran continues to sponsor terror. hezbollah and lebanon. >> they are on the march. the list has increased
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dramatically since the date that the jcpoa was signed. >> those activities were kept separate. and breaking the deal by imposing nuclear related sanctions which tillerson says the u.s. could consider. >> by not implementing it you give the ammunition they need. it would be disasterous for the deal but potentially for the region. what they may be doing here by ordering the review is signaling to their base. they can say to their voters, hey, we didn't like it. we looked at it but it's the least bad alternative and we are going to keep it. >> for questions we have today that were not answered, if you're calling it already a failure why are you doing a review? it sounds like they are already made up. if they are focusing on
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destabilizing and terror related activity which were intentionally kept separate, treated separately so that iran would enter the deal in the first place why are you talking about sanctions that are related to the nuclear deal and not other sanctions that are in place that directly focus on those kinds of activities? it is amid escalating tensions. let's go to barbara star. what are you learning about the relocation of those remaining operational syrian military aircraft? >> good evening. clearly the syrians are looking for protection and they believe the russian military can give it to them. april 6th missile attack at a syrian air base now rever ber
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rating inside the regime. they are moved the majority of operational fighter jets to a coastal air base putting the syrian jets under the protective umbrella of russia's adjacent air base. >> it points to a much closer relationship than we thought oth otherwise. it might be an indicator they might want to protect some of the assets, potentially weapons and potentially fuel storage areas. it could also mean they may be facilitating chemical weapons. >> something to worry about giving the willingness to use military force in retaliation for the regime's attack using what ber national agencies believe was a finding underscored by the international inspectors regime for the inspection of chemical weapons.
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the u.s. retaliatory response took out 20% of syria's operational fighter jets. it includes seven su 22s and 16 mig-23s. making the point u.s. and russian military are still talking about their combat air operations. >> we are deconflicting with russians. we continued to deconflict for safety of flight to avoid any kind of misunderstanding or any kind of inadvertent running into each other in the air. >> and while syrian looking for russian protection they are getting closer to u.s. shores. for the second time in two days two cold war era russian bombers were spotted flying off the coast of alaska at one point
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coming within 36 miles of the mainland but staying in interational air space. u.s. military conducted routine intercepts and the bombers turn back towards russia. the u.s. military does not see russian flights as any particular immediate military threat but it does say all sides are keeping an eye on each other. >> certainly are. thank you. let's talk about the president's global strategy, the urgent new threats right now. >> i don't think it's really what we are going to see happen here. what i think we will see at the end of the day is a circumstance in which you have the trump administration enforcing the agreement, but also looking at
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missiles and the icbm program that iran is undertaking right now. because they are giving these orders and shouting death to america, death to israel there is this very real interest right now in looking at targeted sanctions specifically against their icbm program, their ballistic missile program. i think that's where you'll see the energy. >> despite the tough talk today the state department, trump administration did certify to congress as they have to do every 90 days that iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal. do you agree they are complying with the terms of that deal? >> they are complying with the
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terms of the deal that they helped write. they wrote that deal in a way that we cannot get international inspectors into the sites to actually check. we know they pushed the envelope in terms of caps on heavy water and in terms of uranium. they keep doing things around the edges where we can get a look. it looks like they are stretching it. there are so many spots we are never going to be able to get inspectors into these mill their sites we will never know. the question for us is are we going to respond to this new program to mass produce intercontinental ballistic missiles. i think there we'll see the administration say we are not going to allow the iranians where we gave up billions in relief. we are not going to allow them to go forward and mass pro dude icbms so when we are at the end
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of the agreement in 13 or 14 years and we left everythiift e that point that we'll have a turnkey operation for icbms. i think that's the thrust here. we are looking at what we can do to stop that icbm program. >> but considering the growing nuclear threat right now from north korea, they already have nuclear bombs. they are trying to place them on war heads. is it wise, do you believe, for the u.s. to break this deal with iran and find itself in a similar situation elsewhere? a lot of experts say if the u.s. were to break the deal they could find -- could have a nuclear capability? >> well, remember, what i see going forward is legislation that i and my ranking democratic member and the democratic whip and the republican majority
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leader are all jointly working on. my legislation would allow us to move forward with sanctions on their nuclear program. of course the administration is sanctioning some of their terrorist activities, some of their abuse on human rights in the prisons, the torturing going on. this would not conflict with the agreement itself. it would allow us additional diplomatic and financial leverage we need against iran to make certain they do not go forward and build out this icbm program. i'm just speculating that is probably where we end up. >> let me shift gears. does syria's decision to remove the remaining planes, its air kroo craft closer to a russian based.
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>> what you see the administration and frankly political leadership pushing for is a diplomatic resolution to this with moscow which seeks to find someone other than assad in that position as key decision maker. so i think the point has already been made, taking out 23 of their aircraft. i think it made that point. and i think you'll see at this point a great deal of attention given to how we can get sort of a win-win for everybody in the region. the reality is this is not add van teenage use to washington or any other capital in the region to have this kind of disfings.
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>> on the threat right now, you told us the other dad -- i know it's a very sensitive topic but can you we lap rate on that? >> what i will tell you is there is a bradder way to cut off parts. as you know south koreans have been fishing out of the water. north korean rockets out of the launch and they found that the parts themselves ls, whether it's the motors, wiring, those have been made in china. clearly the international sanctions which i passed through the house and we passed through the senate and into law and the u.n. sanctions, which were based on that bill are not being
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complied with by beijing. you can see a lot of effort to convince beijing that we have a new round of sanctions that are going to come and shut down their banks. that happened if you recall a decade ago when at that time we caught these financial institutions helping north korea. if we shut down those banks and give them the choice of either doing business with the united states or north korea, but not both, none of them can afford
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bankrupt bankruptcy. >> i want you to standby. we'll take a quick break. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ i'm dr. kelsey mcneely and some day you might be calling me an energy farmer. ♪ energy lives here.
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if a paint could realize the full potential of any color... ...is it still paint? aura interior from benjamin moore®. we are getting information. the white house denying that anyone mislead about the strike group after president trump claimed an armada was heading towards the korean peninsula when it wasn't. have we received any clarity about the deployment?
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>> not yet. the wlouhite house insisting an armada heading as a show of force. the administration knowledged one key part of that armada was actually thousands of miles away from the sea of japan. a senior administration official tole us it was all a miscommunication. sean spicer insisted because -- here is what he had to say. >> the president believed he might have spoken too quickly on this location of the vessel before it was -- >> we have an armada going towards the peninsula. that's a fact. it is happening. >> sean, i want to follow up on that. you know, obviously when the president of the united states says there's military hardware going to the middle of a crisis the waallies are encouraged.
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when that happens to not be the case they can interpret that as a false encouragement. how is that explaining that in fact the urg the build up there was no u.s.s. carl vincent? >> the statement that was put out was that it was heading to the korean peninsula. it will arrive there -- >> it is headed there now though. >> sure. but that's not what we ever said. we said that it was heading there and it is heading there. >> now, this went on and on and spicer went onto maintain spicer did not maintain when clearly the president and other top administration officials left that the carrier was on the way. it was a massive miscommunication. >> you're also getting new information about the white
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house effort to repeal and replace obamacare. what are you learning? >> that's right. top white house officials are clearly keeping an eye on this critical upcoming milestone. the 100th day of office. we are told by sources that the white house is exploring woing o repeal and replace obamacare before that 100 day milestone. one source says top republicans are concerned about setting arbitrary deadlines. it bit this white house badly when it did not have votes to pass and more concerning, the government runs out of money just as the president hits 100 days in office. a government shut down at that time would be a disaster according to one source i talked to. so keeping the government running will be the top priority when congress returns next week. this white house wants to put a win on the score board and
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looking at obamacare to do just that. >> thanks very much. let's get back to the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. on this last point that we just heard, how realistic is this new white house healthcare push? >> you know, i'm not sure at this point, well oolf. i'm listening to their concerns about health care costs and access and at this point i couldn't tell you because i haven't seen a version of this legislation. >> so you think there could be a vote to repeal and replace in the house of representatives before the end of next week?
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so at this point i don't know the answer to that. >> let's see what they working up behind the scenes. on this miscommunication regarding the u.s.s. carl vincent strike group. we were told it was moving towards the korean peninsula. now it is eventually moving towards the korean peninsula. does it undermind the credibility as commander in chief when we get these miscommunications? >> well, i suspect a lot of focus here may have been on the fact that the north koreans that have spent several weeks prepping for a nuclear weapons test. it would have been their sixth test. there was considerable communication sent their way on this issue. now, i guess we'll never know whether or not part of what they responded to was the message that a carrier group was headed to the region. >> so you think it was
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deliberate trying to send that message when the pentagon now that aircraft battle group was moving closer towards australia for exercises with the australian as opposed to moving towards the korean peninsula? >> what i remember from history is franklin roosevelt responding to a question about an aircraft carrier group. they asked him where did this come from? his response was law. the reason he said that is because he did not want those in tokyo to know where that particular aircraft group was at that moment deployed. and so i don't know the answer to this. there were other reasons they may not have done that test and instead just did a missile test. part of it might have been press from china. part of it might have been the concern about elections in south
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korea, where they obviously would prefer the left leaning candidate to win in that election. and so they may not have wanted to go forward with the tests they were preparing for. but for some reason they stood down. other reasons could be our secretary of defense was in the region. secretary of state, our vice president was on his way and so all of these messages were collectively being sent. i don't know which particular one, and perhaps we'll never know, worked into the kal ccalc. we are putting an enormous amount of pressure on what not do. >> thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> congressman ed royse. just ahead, bill o'reilly is
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but we've got the get tdigital tools to help. now wi xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to xfinity.com/myaccount rex tillerson warning iran could follow the same path as north korea. launching a new review of the
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iran nuclear deal. tillerson saying it ignored serious threats. we are joined by political experts. john kirby, what do you make of this? they say iranians are in complian complian compliance. >> what they said was they might review the nuclear sanctions we lifted as part of the deal and sort of revisit them. it would undue the deal. so lifting them then puts us out of compliance in the deal we helped negotiate. i think really today i think it really bothered them they have to certify. i don't think they liked having to do it because it is accurate iran is in compliance. it is really a reaction to not liking the fact that they have to admit the deal was actually working. >> certain part of what iran
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wants to do really can't be verified by international inspectors. >> that they are cheating. >> they are not cheating on the deal. there is the most rigid inspection ever put in place on a proliferation deal like this. the inspectors have 24/7 monitoring. i think what they were trying to get at is the destabilizing activity iran conducts and it should have been covered in the deal. if we try today lump in support for terrorism and all of the other bad things iran does in the region -- >> the secretary of state said iran is the world's number one leading number of terrorism. >> it comes from an administration that doesn't like to dauk about the human rights and they are dumping everything else into this deal. they are trying to change the deal or at least trying to publicly find a way to say we should be getting out of this
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deal it seems to me. they are kind of looking for a reason. they will look over it in the next 90 dwas. i think you got the signal from agree with you, they didn't want to say iran is in compliance but they did and they had to sort of say a big but, something else is coming. >> the bottom line point they are making that in the 90s when bill clinton administration had a similar deal it would end its nuclear program, how did that work? how did it work out? what they are saying now is this iran nuclear deal, guess what? it will work out the same way as north korean nuclear deal. >> they are wrong. how do we get the chiez these to cap north korean nukes?
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i don't get it. the second piece of this, let's be real. rex tillerson is not doing anything here. your options, reimpose sanctions. who else signed here? the russian, chinese, europeans. they will say give it a try. we'll keep training. this is a very disburse program. they will rebuild it and have the option to retaliate. i think he wanted to say we don't like it and will i have to certify it i will say these are not good guys. >> and what the president as a candidate said almost every other day. this is the worst deal ever. he said it was the worst deal ever and it might be momentarily satisfying to say he kept a promise. in the long term if the trump administration does that they are sort of back to square one. >> and if you think iran is bad now go ahead and rip the deal. give them what they want. they would love to see nothing more than the deal ripped up.
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give them that victory. >> and if we impose sanctions again what good would that do? >> nothing. >> you have to get the group to agree to that. >> right. as you well know there is one other option and that's the military option to drop a huge huge bomb on iran's -- >> you can't bomb away the knowledge though. you can't bomb away the knowledge. >> if they don't have technical means there what do they do then? >> if we looked at this in years past and the best you'll buy yourself a couple years. you can't bomb away all of the technology they can reacquire. this deal works. it does prevent them from nuclear weapons capability. the big thing is north korea has that capability now. i disagree with secretary of state when he says left unchecked they would go the way of north korea. this deal checks only far
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certa for a certain period of time. >> that after 15 years -- >> they can start enriching after 15 years. the inspection regime doesn't have a sunset. it never goes away. >> all right. everybody standby. there is more developments including in syria right now. the regime of assad moving its operational warplanes the a base with russian protection. we'll have that and more right after this. sign? when i needed to create a better visitor experience. improve our workflow. attract new customers. that's when fastsigns recommended fleet graphics. yeah! now business is rolling in. get started at fastsigns.com.
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we are back and tracking new moves by russian and syrian warplanes and escalated tensions after president trump ordered the cruise missile strike in syria. so the syrian regime of assad are remaining warplanes and basically moved to an air base controlled by the russians. good move. >> i think it's a great move. it says more about the russians than it does the syrians. they went to moscow and try a moral argument. you can't affiliate with assad. what do they say? if you miss you hit a russian aircraft. russians saying you can talk and we are not going to listen and when you talk we are going to double down. >> so it means the syrian regime means russians will protect
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them? >> sure. they believed that for a couple years now when putin started propping them up. that's what this means. >> so what does the u.s. do? if there's another syrian chemical strike against civilians and all of their operational planes being effected by russian warplanes? >> it makes it more difficult depending what proximity is. it will complicate a similar move. >> does it complicate the president's relationship with putin? he said he could have a really good relationship. that relationship not so good. >> not so good. >> look, i think that this has shown the president that putin is not to be trusted. we are cutting a deal with him over syria and not as easy as he seemed it would indicate.
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these are complex chest games in 3d he is dealing with. i think this move points it out to the american public and i'm sure the president and his team are very well aware of this. i think his team was well aware of it. i'm not so sure how well aware the president was. >> amidst all of this, for the second day in a row russian bombers are buzzing the alaska coastline getting 36 miles away from the alaskan coastline. telling them to get out of here. >> i think it would be smart to be a wait and see. president obama has taken a lot of flak for not being decisive. this might be one of the situations where if i was trump and national security folks you might want to see what happens and not take the bait. there are too many other things going on. >> is putin testing president trump right now?
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>> i think so. there are lots of reasons they do this. coming on the heals -- look, there's ndbiti no decision before it is time. you have to think these things before it's time. >> there's a difference between campaigning and to governing. >> is putin testing trump? >> i think so. >> i think the russianing buzzed alaska just by accident. stay with us. just ahead, new reporting on the end of bill o'reilly's 21-year career at fox news. what it means for the conservative movement and president trump. tech: when your windshield needs to be fixed...
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>> breaking news tonight, fox news cutting ties with its biggest star bill o'reilly after fox president roger ailes was forced out. shock waves ripping through the conservative movement where bill o'rile was an icon, a powerful advocate for president trump. gloria borger is with us, also dylan buyers and brian stelter. bill o'reilly put out a statement an hour ago completely denying the sexual hare asment allegations calling them completely unfounded claims what do you make of this? >> yes. he is signalling to his fans and maybe future business partners
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that he believes he's a victim of a campaign trying to take him down. we're here on cnn, a fox rival but let's be honest. o'reilly is incredibly controversial, not well liked inside the network as dillon has been reporting. many colleagues knew about the reputation. fox knew about these allegations for a long time. went ahead and kept him on the air anyway until this week. the mur docks are trying to clear up this culture problem inside fox. >> not worth it anymore, dill lon because all of the advertisers or so many of them refusing to pay a lot of money for those commercials? >> well, look, there was a lot of advertiser pressure. a lot of advertisers pulled out. the consideration here i don't think was primarily financial. the consideration here was really about that public pressure from the outside. question of what kind of company not just fox news was but what
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kind of company 21st century fox was. then, also a question about the sort of like internal anxieties among members of the staff. automatic of that sort of came together coupled with a review by the paul weiss law firm into the accusations. the statement coming from 21st century fox said that o'riley's ouster was a result of that review. clearly something that in that review, something in that investigation, either unearthed or reskbe rated something that the murdocks decided they can't tolerate at the company. >> roger ailes first, now bill o'reilly. can there be more out there? >> i don't really know. that could be the implication that you have a law firm coming in and doing a serious review that is not internally done. this is a company trying to get out from under this more as, i
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believe. they have to could it. they're trying to buy sky news. they have issues that as a company as large as they are that they cannot be dogged by this. while this was about sexual harassment and cleaning up the environment internally at fox news, it looks like a business decision, really, as much as anything else. but no modern corporation right now can have this kind of a cloud hanging over its head, no matter how much money bill o'reilly brings in. >> brian, you saw the reports that roger ailes walked away from fox with, what, 40 million. any idea how much bill o'reilly's going to walk away with? >> neither side is commenting. it suggests there's some sort of exit agreement, perhaps an
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noncompete clause where o'reilly gets 10s of millions of dollars not to go work for someone else right away. the head of news max told me i'd love to talk with o'reilly right foul. he may be being paid -- if his salary is 18 or $20 million a year, that adds up quickly well don't know sure. it's common that he would be paid in this situation but we don't know for sure. >> this has been going on for years. you saw the long new york times article that got the momentum going a few weeks ago. fox has known about this for many years. >> that's absolutely right. in fact, that new york times report you referenced, $13 million in settlement money to five different accusers. fox and 21st century fox were involved in some of those payments. the idea that they had no idea
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what bill o'reilly was doing or what the accusations against him were are just not true. that gets to a question of what happens with fox now? is there more talent at the network that might be accused of sexual harassment? then, perhaps most importantly there's a question about who knew what and who tolerated what. some of the women who came forward and accused roger ailes last year also implicated bill shine who was roger ailes' right-hand man, has since taken over a as co-president of the network. they brought their complaints to him, they say. he was involved in dealing with some of the stress brought on by one of the accusers. there's a question about how deep this goes in the company. then the question becomes how far can the murdocks go in shaking up the company. >> you owe, o'reilly's contract
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was renewed. >> recently. >> right. and these payments were made to these women. so you know, it seems to me like everyone was kind of willing to say, we'll let bigones be bygones. >> until gretchen carlson spoke out last year. when she sued ailes, that's the domino effect that started all this. what courage it must have taken for her to step forward. >> i guarantee you the money bill o'reilly gets will be a lot more than the women. >> there is a nine to ten-minute period between when fox news decides it's going to get rid of roger ailes and says it has zero tolerance for any kind of behavior that makes employees uncomfortable and the bill o'reilly scandal. the mur cobs at the end of the
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day they make decisions based on what they believe is good for the business. there is sort of a ka fitch las vegas here to public pressure. obviously they were aware of some of what was going on before ultimately deciding to fire him. >> we'll leave it on that note but certainly be more fallout. thanks very much for warning. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "out front" starts right now. >> "out front" next, breaking news, the trump administration taking on iran tonight. a warning that iran could become the next north korea. is trump gearing up for the fight against the islamic republic? what about ivanka and jared? a former nfrl star aaron hernandez dead from apparent suicide. why would he kill himself days after being acquitted? good evening i'm erin burnett. breaking news, taking on iran, the trump administration

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