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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 20, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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why now? we're getting new details this hour. paris attack. multiple shots ring out and police are targeted in a city scarred by terror. new details this hour in the deadly violence and whose behind it? talking terror. president trump says the paris shooting looks like an act of terror as the investigation is just getting underway. the commander in chief making new public comments about global threats citing unusual moves within the last few hours in response to north korea's taunts. ready for war? hundreds of u.s. troops are training for combat on the korean peninsula right now and chinese attack planes are on high alert today. is north korea ready to launch a pre-emptive strikes as it threatens to quote t completely destroy the united states. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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we're following multiple breaking stores. stories. cnn has learned u.s. authorities are preparing to seek charges and seek the arrest of wikileaks founder just days after the cia director declared wikileaks a nonhostile intelligence service. also breaking. an attacker opening fire right in the heart of paris. at least one officer was killed before police shot and killed the gunman. french authorities are looking at terrorism as a possible motive. cnn is learned the attacker was on the radar of french security services for radical islamic activities. president trump says the paris shooting looks like another terror tack during a news conference just a little while ago, the president also spoke about what he calls the menace from north korea declaring that the u.s. response is in good shape. his words. tonight we're told chinese war planes have been put on higher state of alert as north korea
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threatens to launch a pre-emptive strike that would destroy the united states and south korea in their words, in an instant. a defense official tells cnn china's military is preparing for all contin jens is including a war in its backyard. with hundreds of u.s. troops now engaging in combat drills with south korea. this hour. i'll speak with congressman peter king. he's a key republican on homeland security committees. our analysts are standing by. first let's go to our cnn international correspondent melissa bell. she's in paris covering this latest attack. what's the latest? >> reporter: this police operation is still going on down here on the shaunz elise. it was three hours ago now that we now know that this man pulled up alongside a police vehicle, emerged from his car and began
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slooting. we heard the gunshots from up here on the cnn terrace but assumed that it must have been fireworks. we now know it was the sound of him shooting towards that police van. one policeman has been shot and already the political campaign that is in full swing here in france and we are just days away from what many had already suggested was likely to be a historic president election with a massive shift possibly on the cards depending on who could get ele elected. these stories are now almost guaranteed to dominate the final push to the with the new piece of information with sources telling cnn that this man was under active surveillance. now one of the candidates in that race has made the question of whether the french called there's about 50,000 of them. she has said they should be thrown out of the country and if she were president that's what would happen the very next day. that crucial piece of
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information likely to play into the political campaign over the next couple days, wolf. >> we're just learning isis has now claimed responsibility for this attack on the streets of paris. if, in fact, that turns out to be the case, how will that play out? we know there are major presidential elections in france, national elections coming up on sunday? >> reporter: again, another part of the far right's narrative is that the question of fighting extremist in all its forms and particularly in its violent forms here in france. what we've seen are smaller scale attacks with fewer numbers of people targeted, unlike the big attacks we've seen over the last couple of years, but security forces targeted. we saw it tonight, we saw it at the airport and just before that in the museum. the very people out policing france's streets as a result of its state of emergency, the tens of thousands police men and women, they themselves are
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becoming the target. often of these people acting alone in a many smaller scale but deliberately targeting those out there protecting the streets of france. that appears to have been what happened tonight in paris. >> we'll get back to you meanwhile president trump speaking out about the paris attack and much more during a news conference just a little while ago. let's go to jeff zeleny. the president was quick to say paris looks like another terror attack. >> reporter: he was indeed and he urged strength and vigilance. it looks like attacks like this are simply not going to end but the president also focused his attention on the domestic agenda. the white house of course is keeping a close eye on that ticking clock of the 100 day mark that hits next week. the president says he's intent on revivaling health care and keeping the government open. president trump striking a bullish note today on health care saying he's determined to revive the stalled republican
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plan. >> i'd like to say next week but i believe we will get it and whether it's next week or shortly thereafter. >> reporter: as the president welcomed the italian prime minister to the white house, he expressed condolences and concern in the wake of the paris shooting. >> that's a very, very terrible things that's going on in the world today but it looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say? it just never ends. >> reporter: the president -- the french authorities who opened an antiterror investigation that stopped short of declaring it an act of terrorism. >> we have to be strong and we have to be vigilant and i've been saying it for a long time. >> reporter: with the 100 day mark of his presidency fast approaching the white house is eager to show at least some signs of action next week. asked whether or not he would see health care or a government funding bill passed, the president answered like this. >> okay. i want to get both. are you shocked to hear that? >> reporter: tonight a new poll offers a skeptical warning.
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only 36% of americans say republicans controlling congress should try again to repeal and replace obamacare. while 60% say they should move on. the president made clear he was intent on moving forward regardless. >> the plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good and a lot of people are liking it a lot. we have a good chance of getting it soon. >> reporter: moving to foreign policy mr. trump also had tough words for the iran and the nuclear agreement. >> as far as iran is concerned, i think they are doing a tremendous disservice to an agreement that was signed, it was a terrible agreement. it shouldn't have been signed. >> reporter: his words far stronger than secretary of state rex tillerson who said earlier this week, the u.s. will stick with the deal for now. >> we're analyzing it very carefully and we'll have something to say about it but iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement and they have to do that. >> reporter: the first
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face-to-face meeting with prime minister comes one month before the president will travel to italy. on the first foreign trip of his presidency. he'll attend the group of seventh summit where the leaders will meet. the president also took speculation that he will have another meeting. >> i look forward to meeting the pope. >> reporter: now white house press sean spicer said the president wants to meet with the pope at some point but he said that meeting is not confirmed for next month in italy. the president at least at this point is not scheduled to go to the vatican or to rome. he'll be in sicily but it's something you heard the president say he would like to do. wolf, on health care. the white house is intent on trying to get that jump started. they've been working here behind the scenes and i'm told they'll be working throughout the weekend trying to get some of those republicans in the middle and from the freedom caucus on the right together on this but
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it's still very much an open question if they can get that kind of an agreement. the president said he hopes next week but he left the door open to the fact that he might even take longer. >> thank you. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> there's more breaking news tonight. we're getting new information about possible charges against the wikileaks founder julian assange. our justice correspondence are here with details. pamela, tell us what you're learning. >> reporter: we have learned u.s. authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of julian assange. this is according to u.s. officials speaking to myself, my colleague evan perez. the justice department probe of assange and wikileaks dates back to at least 2010 when the site first gain widespread attention for posting thousands of files now known as chelsea manning. now prosecutors over the years have struggled with the first
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amendment precluding the prosecution of assange but now we have learninged through these officials that they have found a way to move forward. the attorney general today was asked by my colleague about the focus on getting assange. >> crime reduction over all is one of your top priorities and last week -- [ inaudible ] -- assessing the scourge of wikileaks and chelsea manning leaks. can you talk about whether it's a priority for your department to arrest assange once faen and for all and whether you can -- >> we are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks. this is a matter that's gone beyond anything i'm aware of. we have professionals that have been at the security business of the united states that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quiet serious, so yes, it is a
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priority. we've already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made we will seek to put some people in jail. >> evan, has something changed recently because, wikileaks and assange, they've been in the u.s. cross hairs for years? >> that's right, wolf. under the administration of barack obama's administration, attorney general eric holder determined that it would be difficult to bring charges against assange because wikileaks wasn't alone in publishing these documents. several newspapers including the "the new york times" did as well. the investigation has continued but any possible charges were put on hold according to officials that we've been talking to. now the u.s. view of wikileaks and assange began to change after investigators found what they believe to be proof that wikileaks played an active role in helping edward snowden a former nsa analyst and last week
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director of the cia gave a strong hint about what has changed. take a litsen. >> wikileaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. it has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the cia in order to obtain intelligence. it directed chelsea manning in her theft of specific secret information. it overwhelming focuses on the united states while seeking support from antidemocratic countries and organizations. >> and wolf, we've talked to julian assange's lawyer and he says he's had no communication with the justice department despite multiple efforts he's made to get some clarity as to whether or not this investigation is still ongoing. he says that they've been unwilling to have any discussion about this and he says there's no reason why wikileaks should be treated differently from any other publisher, he says that wikileaks serves in the public interest publishing information not only about the united states but other countries as well. >> as you know, julian assange
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has been sitting in the embassy for a long time so can the u.s. get him. >> the government officials have granted him asylum and until that changes he will likely remain there in the embassy. what's interesting here within d.o.j. they were closely watching the election in ecuador because one of the candidates voud to no longer give assange asylum. within the department there was lace strong feeling that they need to do to send a political message in the interim. >> good reporting as usual. let's get some more on all of this. joining us now republican congressman peter king. he's a member of the both the house homeland security committee as well as the intelligence committee. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> so what's your reaction to this breaking news that the justice department now is taking steps to arrest julian assange?
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>> i have to see what the charges are but based on what pamela brown is reporting i think this is overdue. i'm glad that the justice department has found a way to go after assange. i think he's gotten a free ride for too long and i've been very critical of being in both parties including republicans who somehow thought assange may be an ally of ours or maybe willing to help us. to me he's caused tremendous damage to our national security, put american lives at risk and to me his motivations and i totally agree with mike pompeo. i served with him on the intelligence committee. he's an outstanding cia director and i'm really glad that he put this issue out there front and center. >> does this signal to you, that the president is taking this threat of wikileaks the threat posed in the 2016 election more seriously because during the campaign, he often would praise wikileaks? >> yeah. i think the president is seeing this now from a different perspective and realizing that,
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while may be one day is a sank can help you overall this is damaging to the interest of the united states and again he's put american lives at risk over the years and it's -- i think it's important to stop him now. i know it's going to be difficult because of the fact that ecuador is allowing him to stay there, the sanctuary and been given asylum. the type of secrets that come out, the type of information that comes out maybe only 5% or 10% is damaging but that 5 or 10% could put many american lives at risk. >> the fact that the u.s. now is going to go after julian assange does that suggest the u.s. might go after others and do you see a direct connection between julian assange and the russian government specifically putin? >> i haven't seen enough of that. obviously it seems as if there was collusion between assange and the russians in the last campaign. i've not seen all the evidence on that.
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i haven't opened -- there was some connection there at least and again there was damage done by him, so to me that should be part of overall investigation and i have an open mind on it but my inclings is yes, there was some involvement. >> what happened today in paris? we've now received this claim of responsibility from isis for the paris attack. they did so very, very quickly. is it rare to hear a claim so quickly from isis? what does that say to you and do you believe it was isis? >> again p it's too early to tell. it certainly appears -- all the indicators are that it was terrorist and it was islamist and isis would be the most likely suspect. the fact that the perpetrator who was shot was on a terror watch list or the french equivalent of our terror watch list makes it pretty clear to me that this was a terrorist event.
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whether or not it was isis or isis just trying to claim credit for it, in either event i'm fairly certain it was islamist who did it. isis, you can't ever believe them. we'll have to wait and see if they are responsible. and either way isis is an evil organization. >> in their statement, by the way, which i have here, they say an islamic state fighter carried out the attack. they say that the groups media wing was responsible. they also say that the attacker is a belgium national and cited security sources. that's from the statement from isis. let's move on and talk about another development, the state department now confirming that iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal. so what is the president mean when he says iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement? as you know within the 90 days they have to notify congress of
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compliance, they've notified congress that iran is in compliance but the president says they're not in compliance with the spirit of the deal. what's that say to you? >> i think secretary tillerson said the same thing yesterday after the state department didn't certify they're in compliance with the agreement. i think the understanding was or at least the hope was from the obama administration that once this agreement was entered in to it would help to bring iran into the community of nations that abide by some international more rays but from the moment the agreement was signed iran has been flouting the spirit of it, the fact that american sailers were kept prison there back in i guess two years ago now. again, behavior since then has been not at all cooperative. they've certainly as far as i'm concerned still with hezbollah, had a mas, still a discord in
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the middle east. israel is more concerned about them now than they've ever been. iran, it's technically compliant with the agreement but i think the spirit of the agreement was that this would make iran would cooperative as far as dealing with other nations and that is not been the case. i think that's what the president is getting at and iran is under the agreement, i was opposed to the agreement, it is there and in place but it does put them on the path so ultimately being able to have a nuclear delivery system. >> in maybe ten or 15 years assuming they comply all these years. iran has signalled though it will resume it's nuclear program right away if u.s. were to back out of the deal. can the u.s. afford to deal with escalating nuclear threats let's say not just from north korea but also iran if this deal is broken? >> that's something that has to be balanced, the secretary of state and his cabinet have to look for that in consultation with congress. right now the immediate focus is on north korea, but also we have -- we have to be able to do
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more than one thing at a time and i saw the other day for instance, that netanyahu was concerned about iran. so we just can't focus on one and ignore the other but if you ask me which is the prime importance right now i would say dealing with north korea. >> we're going to deal with north korea in a moment. i got to take a quick break, congressman. we'll discuss that and more right after this. can solve pros with the most precise data at their fingertips. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a medication... ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years. humira works by targeting and helping to... ...block a specific source...
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breaking news tonight. isis is now claiming responsibility for a shooting attack on paris police that left one police officer dead. we'll have more on that. that's coming up. in the meantime we're back with
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congressman peter king. i need you to stand by. we're getting new information on the korean situation. u.s. and south korea and chinese forces are all preparing for military action as north korea threatens war, beijing putting war planes on high alert and american troops engaging in combat drills with south korean troops right now. let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what are you learning? >> reporter: all of this an indication of the growing tensions on the korean peninsula. china has put some bombers capable of carrying cruise missiles on high alert status. a u.s. defense official tells cnn. >> the reason they have their bombers on alert is they can respond should there be a ca necked strike against north korea. >> the u.s. has seen an extraordinary number of chinese aircraft being brought up to full readiyness through
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intensified maintenance. all preparing for what the u.s. says is a north korea contingency but officials can't say what that contingency might be. >> they see that possibility of north korea were to implode as their biggest geopolitical worry. >> reporter: as tensions rise across the region, the "uss carl vinson" strike group is expected to arrive within days. it's planes will conduct visible flight operations. u.s. submarines will be able to remain covert under sea conducting surveillance of north korean communications if ordered. a joint u.s. south korea military exercise named max thunder now underway. the second largest air exercise held on the peninsula. all aimed at insuring the security of south korea and the 28,000 u.s. troops there. no let up in the militaristic
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rhetoric from kim jong-un's regime. north korea issuing a dire threat, saying, our pre-emptive strike towards u.s. and its followers will be the most merciless strike aiming for a complete destruction. and at the underground nuclear test site where the world awaits a sixth nuclear strike, a curiosity. the latest satellite imagery shows a volleyball game in progress. >> reporter: no one can say how long the chinese alert status is going to last but u.s. officials say it's still their view that north korea could conduct an underground nuclear test at any time. >> thank you. let's get back to congressman peter king. president trump sounds confident that china is fully invested in trying to rein in the threat from north korea. do you trust china to do that? >> i trust china to do what it feels is in its best interest
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and right now president trump has convinced them or he's partially convinced them that it's in their best interest to side with the u.s. now what that exactly means, china has been more positive toward us advise avee north korea in the last two weeks than thif been in the previous 20 years. whether or not china can deliver on that, whether or not they will put check pressure on, whether they make it clear to north korea they will not tolerate any attack by north korea, again, president trump feels confident and his people feel confident from talking to the chinese government that china is now closer to us than they've been before. it's a very tense situation over there. president obama didn't tell president trump when they met in the oval office that his first major crisis will probably be north korea. this is a country or situation which really is successive american administrations have not been able to deal with and now when they are capable of an
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international delivery of nuclear weapons it's really reaching a critical point and it can't be put off much longer. >> i was told president obama told the president-elect at the time that north korea represents the gravest national security threat facing the united states right now. you've suggested, congressman, a threat from north korea has reached what you call a crisis point. here's the question, under what conditions would you support a pre-emptive u.s. military strike? >> again, that's for the president and his people. i would say if we saw that north korea was about to plan and attack themselves, if they were going to plan an attack on some country in the pacific or god forbid on europe or the united states, then that certainly to me would be the president's prerogative. i don't want to talk about that. that's all the contingencies the
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president has to have. right now so long as north korea knows and china knows that the u.s. is serious, i think that's the reason why we're seeing this type of action by china. now whether or not it's smoke and mirrors, whether it's real, president trump and his advisors, secretary mattis and tillerson, they believe that it's for real, so let's hope it stays that way and let's make sure the administration keeps that pressure on and hopefully gets this resolved diplomatically, economically without having to have any type of hostilities break out. >> the american missile defense system designed to protect the american homeland, congressman, against north korea intercontinental ballistic missiles has tested successful. so far only about half the time. if the continental u.s. is vulnerable to north korea, do you believe the administration is prioritizing enough to deal with this issue? >> i think that the trump administration is doing all it
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can to prioritize. whether it's intercepting the icbms or using all the resources available or whether or not we have military ready which i believe we will be. everything that can be done will be done. now the reality is that even if it does become an military engagement, we will ultimately be successful. no matter what you're talking about a massive loss of life, certainly on the korean peninsula and other parts of asia at the very least. nobody wants to go there but we can't rule it out because again, this is critical. north korea now has nuclear weapons and they are either capable or just about capable of launching them in a way that could certainly reach the u.s. within a year or so and certainly attack reach many of our allies right now. this is very critical. we can't keep putting it off the way we've done for the last 20 years. >> let's not forget the u.s. has nearly 30,000 military personnel
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along the demilitarized zone, another 50,000 u.s. troops in japan. >> absolutely. >> congressman, thanks as usual for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> just ahead, we'll have more on the breaking news, the feds preparing to seek charges against julian assange. it's a sign that president's attitudes toward wikileaks is now changing. and a new legal about showdown pitting the president against the federal judge he famously criticized during the campaign. will the feud influence a key deportation case testing the president's immigration policies? when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz.
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we're following lots of breaking news this hour. isis declaring that one of its fighters carried out a shooting incident in paris tonight that left the attacker and one police officer dead. also cnn has learned that u.s. authorities are now preparing charges to seek the julian assange. kileaks founder, let's bring in our national security and political experts, gloria, what does it tell us about this shifting trump administration attitudes towards wikileaks because remember what he used to say during the campaign? >> i do. he used to say he loved wikileaks, remember that? but at a news conference earlier this year, i just went and looked at this. the president tried to make a distinction, he said in one case you were talking about highly
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classified information, the theft of assuming of cyber tools used by the cia and he said in a another case you're talking about john podesta saying bad things about the boss. and i think that what we saw from the cia director, pompeo, was a clear indication that they believed that this is not a first amendment issue, but is, in fact, the question is whether wikileaks was directing its sources to steal -- to steal he information. >> the nearly, i think unanimous conclusion of all the u.s. intelligence agencies and the law enforcement agencies that wikileaks was used by the russian government during the campaign to undermine hillary clinton's presidential ambition. >> the trump administration initially, they didn't really start with a lot of credibility on this issue. they have every incentive to really go hard after this because it will bolster their
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case that they're in a different place. this isn't the campaign any more and now it's about the security of the united states. >> you served as the state department spokesman and also the pentagon spokesman during your time there. do you remember if there was serious consideration to formally filing charges seeking the arrest of julian assange? >> i know that there were broad interagencies discussion about a whole range of options. i don't know about this specifically or what the discussions were. i wouldn't have been in the room for that. they did discuss a broad range of options including internal. looking at how we do cybersecurity, how we train our troops to treat defensive information. >> he's got the protection of the embassy of ecuador in london, so is all this moot if they let him stay there? >> i don't think it's moot. are you talking about he's going to live in the embassy for another 30 years. i think we got to put paper on the table at some point. if he ever moves and the department of justice says what
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do we do now, you got to look bad. we got to say it's time for you to leave and we're going to go to the brits and say extradite him. >> if the u.s. does seek the arrest of julian assange, file formal charges, what's the message that sends to russia? >> not much. if you're thinking that we send a serious message, you've got to look at the wake of what happened in the american election last year and what's happened in the interim. we have a french election coming up in a few days. if the russian took a message from the american warnings, you would think they backed away from the french elections. instead they're doing the same thing with right wing candidates in europe and france that they did to america. they don't care. >> isis now claiming responsibility for this attack in paris. what does that say to you? >> i'm not surprised by it. i don't know about the veracity of it. i think that's going to play out but i'm not surprised that they would want to claim responsibility for it whether they had anything to do with it
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or not. it fits their narrative. >> gloria, you watched the president with the italian prime minister today. what did you think of the way the president handled these national security issues? >> well, at the beginning of the president conference i think he missed an opportunity because i think and i expected him to just open it by sending his condolences to the people of paris and france and he came around to that and he did it later but it did kind of surprise me because that's what we've come to expect from presidents, when things happen, like this, was also surprised he announced it was an act of terrorism so early on before word was officially confirmed. >> what do you think? >> that's something he's done in the past and i wouldn't be surprised if they used this to bolster their narrative for the court case that's still going on with the various travel bans,
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because they've used nar tifrs that don't necessarily fit what actually happened to try to bolster that in the past like san bernardino and orlando and paris for that matter. so we'll have to see how they use this but it wouldn't be surprising. >> everybody stay with us. just ahead a flash point from the 2016 campaign comes back to haunt president trump as the judge he accused of being a hater is assigned to hear a case that could be pivot arl for the trump administration. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment. new lower taxes. and new university partnerships to grow the businesses of tomorrow today. learn more at
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breaking news tonight. isis is now claiming responsibility for a shooting attack on paris police that left one police officer dead. more coming up right at the top of the hour. but first a new legal showdown between president trump and federal judge he lam basted during the campaign. that would be judge curiel who resided over a lawsuit against trump university. now he's been assigned to hear the case of a man who says he was improperly deported by the trump administration. cnn's jessica snider is following the story for us. lots of irany here. >> definitely a lot of twist. it's random that he was assigned to a case. now judge curiel will decide whether custom and border connections needs to hold over documents who lawyers say he was improperly deported. >> i have a judge who is a hater
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of donald trump. a hater. >> reporter: the federal judge who heard the class action lawsuit accusing trump university of fraud called out regularly by donald trump on the campaign trail. >> he's a hater. his name is gonzalezo curiel. >> reporter: then candidate trump attacked the california based district court judge for his mexican routes. >> we have a very hostile judge. now, he is hispanic, i believe, and he is a very hostile judge to me. >> reporter: even though judge curiel was born in indiana. >> i've been treated very unfairly by this judge. this judge is of mexican heritage. i'm building a wall. >> reporter: trump tweeted on may 30th i have a judge from the trump university civil case san diego who is very unfair an obama pick, totally bias hates trump. trump later issued a statement in june 7th, it is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical
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attack of people with mexican heritage. in january, curiel approved a $25 million settlement in the trump university suit. now a new complaint has been filed against the trump administration's customs and border protection and the judge randomly assigned to the case is judge curiel. >> it's called the wheel. it literally goes into a barrel and it gets assigned randomly to a judge. >> reporter: mon tes's lawyers allege he was deported to mexico earlier this year even though he had active protections under the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. but the department of security says he left the u.s. voluntarily something that requires preclearance under daca so he lost his protection. and when he tried to sneak back into the country on february 19th he was caught by border patrol. >> he once was covered by
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>> now this lawsuit isn't about the actual legality of the deportation of him. instead, his lawyers want the records to eventually find out whose story matches up, since mr. montes deported the first time by border pa control but he says he left. >> much more news right after this. so you miss the big city? i don't miss much... definitely not the traffic. excuse me, doctor... the genomic data came in. thank you. you can do that kind of analysis? yeah, watson. i can quickly analyze millions of clinical and scientific reports to help you tailor treatment options for the patient's genomic profile. you can do that? even way out here? yes. even way out here.
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. in the url 60s, the hims are replaced. you have the assertion, the rhythms and the sort of starkness. >> the white people who want to do rights, but there are so few. if 10,000 rattlesnakes was coming down this aisle and i had a door i could shut. should i let all these rattlesnakes come down hoping that a thousand get together and form a shield or should i close the door and stay safe? >> you couldn't see people with
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big free throws, die chiccies and fists up. >> all of a sudden there was a sense of identity through style and music. ♪ say it louder ♪ ♪ >> james brown "say it loud" i'm black and i'm proud. >> brings back memories. the president and ceo of the naacp cornell william brooks joins us. thanks for joining us. tell our viewers, how did music help shape the civil rights movement in the united states? >> well, music in a real sense is represented back in the day and certainly even today a spiritual rather than digital download into our hearts, into our souls. it inspirs resistance, courage, it inspires a commitment to a day better than the day in which you're now living. it's also -- it also represent
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an affirmation of a dignity and identity. one of the things i think about is the black power movement and the black lives matter movement of today are both about affirmations of identity as well as inclusiveness. and so to aas the result ththe black and i'm proud is to promote an attitude of identity. i think that rings true today in the black lives matter movement. those assertions are made by people who aren't are black, aren't all black. >> who else stands out? we just heard james brown what musicians and songs stand out in your mind. >> when you think about nina simone singing about the death of martin martin as an ellay, we
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think about marvin gaye singing about and describing mothers crying over sons being lost in vietnam. those words resound and reverberate as true today. we think about the mother of orlando castillo or the mother of michael brown grieving the loss of their sons. so music has always not only reflected what we're going through as a nation but it has also marked where we're going as a nation, what we aspire to be as a nation. and so music has been incredibye powerful. when we think about in contemporary times, rise up or kendrick lamar's "all right" or beyonce's "formation." these songs are not just an expression of the hearts.
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they're an expression of the movement. musical has been incredibly important in the life and as operation of the ncaa. i love it. i love music. i've always been inspired by it. in fact, when we set in the office we sang. even in the police van we sang and we inspired ourselves. >> you've seen this documentary that's going to air later tonight. briefly, give me your review. >> i think it's powerful. nina simone should be -- her words and her lyrics should be on the lips of americans across the country. james brown is just iconic. when we think about we shall overcome as a kind of a hymn of not only patriotism but protest,
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this is powerful as it speaks not only to then but now. >> corner >> please join us later tonight. the original series "sound tracks" premiers here on cnn. erin burnett "out front" starts now. >> stability for a deadly attack on the famous champs-elysees in paris. plus the attorney general under fire. why did he slam a federal judge and insult the state of hawaii. a top democrat investigating trump's ties to russia. just back from overseas. he'll tell you what he found. let's go "out front." the breaking news, prisz attack. isis claiming responsibility moments ago for an attack on the world famou


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