hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. 8:00 p.m. in moscow. 3:00 a.m. friday in guam. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. up first, president trump about to huddle with lhis national security team as north korea ups the ante regarding its threat against the united states. outlining details of its plan to strike near the u.s. territory of guam. north korea says it involves a simultaneous firing of four intermediate missiles aimed just off the pacific island and mocking president trump's threat to release a fire and fury. and quoting the north korea's statement now calling it "a load of nonsense." here in washington, the trump
administration is pushing back against criticism its sending mixed messages on north korea. >> some of you may disagree with this, but the united states is on the same page. whether it's the white house, the state department, the department of defense, we are speaking with one voice. we are all singing from the same hymn book. >> let's bring in our cnn without reporter kaitlan collins, barbara starr and senior international correspondent ivan watson in guam for us right now. kaitlan, the president gets a high-level national security briefing very soon. give us a preview of who he'll be meeting with and what we can expect, the next u.s. step in response to the latest north korean threat. >> reporter: yes, that's right, wolf. the president is going to have a high-level security briefing this afternoon at his golf course here in bedminster, new jersey. with national security adviser h.r. mcmaster, his new chief of staff john kelly and vice president mike pence all here
this afternoon. reporters will get a chance to see the president after this briefing happens, where the president has the opportunity to comment further on his remark the other day that he would respond with fire and fury in response to, if north korea continued to threaten the united states. we also heard from the white house earlier this morning on north korea's threats to strike guam. sarah huckabee sanders, the press secretary, said the president's thinking hadn't changed and he made it very clear where he stood on north korea. you're right. we've heard mixed messaging coming out of this administrati administration. we heard from secretary of state rex tillerson saying americans could sleep at night. there have been mixed messages comes out but remains to be seen if the president will comment further on north korea today, wolf. >> we're told, kaitlan, a pool of reporters, camera crew, will go in to the end of that security meeting and potentially have an opportunity to hear from
the president. his first public comment since the latest north korean threat. isn't that right? >> reporter: yes, that's correct. >> all right. we'll stand by for that. we'll have tape presumably at the end of this briefing and get the president's latest reaction to this escalating nuclear tension. kaitlan, stand by. barbara starr what do we know, first of all, about these missiles that north korea's now threatening to fire into the waters just off guam? maybe 10 or 20 miles off the coast of guam? >> reporter: well, look, wolf. they're called the waysong 12s. so-called intermediate range ballistic missiles, well within range of being able to hit guam, having a theoretical flight range of about 2,000 miles plus. the reason we say theoretical, because north korean missiles are not known for precision, accuracy and targeting. it has to be determined as soon as -- if they fire them -- if
they fire them -- very quick analysis by u.s. intelligence about the trajectory and whether or not they can actually hit guam and that's what people are looking for. i think it's important to say while this is so serious, it is a threat still today on paper. the north koreans have these missiles. they have tested them. they have been able to successfully fire them. no question about that. but whether they can actually live up to the threat of being able to send them so far and target guam will remain to be seen. it doesn't lessen the concern. it doesn't lessen the threat, but the north koreans have had some issues with their targeting. so it's something that keep an eye on as the u.s. begins to prepare what response, if any it will have in place. wolf? >> if these missiles are launched towards the u.s. territory of guam. ivan, you're there in guam for us. it's considered, they call it the tip of the spear of the u.s. military presence in the
specif pacific. it's sort of used to being in at at least the rhetorical cross hairs of this action. what's the reaction to this latest specific military threat coming from north korea? >> reporter: well, the tip of the spear with two important u.s. military bases but also home to more than 160,000 american civilians. and there is concern here in guam, but certainly no signs of panic. partially because the civilian officials here, the governor, who i caught up with, is insisting that the threat level is not raised to guam right now. and i had a chat with him about some of the defensive measures that he feels have him feeling confident about guam's safety. take a listen. >> how much does guam depend on the t.h.a.d. defense tim? >> that's the final layer. again, there are several layers. there are layers that are
floating in the pacific. in terms of, of missile defense. in, i mean, there is a t.h.a.d. system even in south korea now. and the t.h.a.d. system happens to be the last, or a layer, of a defensive shield. >> reporter: so that's part of why the governor here in guam feels comfortable that for missiles to get all the way from north korea to here they have to cross over south korea, over the sea of japan, the east sea. over japan as well and then over hundreds and hundreds of miles to try to reach this area as well, and it would have to deal with u.s., south korean and japanese missile defense, umbrella and security. as far as ordinary people go, wolf, well, the opinion is mixed, depending how you talk to. some say we've been threatened in the past by north korea. this is nothing new. we trust the u.s. military to protect us. others, far more concerned, and one woman i talked to said she
had to tell her 6 and 8-year-old kids what to do if there was a drill and we heard emergency sirens ringing out and they were in school and she's at work far away from them. and if those sirens go off, worst-case scenario, because missiles are fired in this direction. wolf? >> obviously very, very scary, frightening situation. ivan watson, thanks. barbara starr, kaitlan collins, thanks to you both as well. more perspective on this north korean threat from someone with firsthand knowledge of the military and diplomatic challenges involved. served as defense secretary under president bill clinton. mr. secretary, thanks for joining us. >> great to be with you. >> talk about the current state of this threat and how specific and serious is it? >> i think we found ourselves and wrapped ourselves in a rhetorical corner right now that the president has by his rhetoric initially tempered by secretary terillerson and
secretary mattis saying, gone from threatening action to actually having the north koreans threaten they are going to take specific action. that is something that really can't be allowed to stand. and i think we have to communicate to the chinese, this is something, if someone were to threaten you, i'm going to fire four bullets at you, wolf. they're at your feet. about 20 feet away. not to worry. i don't think that will be an acceptable situation. that is the equivalent of what the north koreans are now threatening. i think the president after pe receive he receives his brief, should make a short statement and go radio silent. radio silent, tv silent. twitter silent. >> he basically drew a red line in that fire and fury statement. he made the other day saying if there are more threats from north korea, the u.s. will respond with fire and fury. that the world has never seen before. now north korea in this very
specific statement that their military commander put out, delivered, a specific threat to guam, a u.s. territory. >> threat to take action against. that was a different -- secretary mattis said. if you threaten to take specific action, that's opposed to just making a threat. now we're in a situation where they're threatening to take specific action. i think what we have to do is send the signal to the chinese saying, this is going to be met with a response. we'll determine how and when that takes place but this is not going unresponded to. so you can do a number of things. we could really shut down the flow of ships going in to north korea. things coming out for sale. really cramp their economic survivability. do a number of things including taking military action. now, the president, someone floated the notion, the pentagon is now revising or updating their plans to use a b-1 bomber strike, limited strike. >> preeverybodytive strike.
>> is that fake news? the president said i'll never tell you my plans. someone's telling us. >> we don't know that. >> we don't know if it's true but a mistake to float that, because that could produce a reaction. we have to be careful and go to the chinese saying this is serious. something that could provoke a reaction, a military action. >> and plans for everything. i'm sure they have all sorts of plans. listen to lindsey graham, a republican senator who said he had spoken at length with president trump about this and says the president does want to find some sort of negotiated, diplomatic solution, if possible, but then listen to what he told hugh hewitt on his radio program earlier. listen to this. >> if negotiations fail, fail, he is will be to abandon strategic patience and use
preemption. i think he's there mentally. he's told me this. now, the question for him is, what are the options available to him under the preemption, you know, scenario? he's thinking, well, long and hard about it, and his rhetoric yesterday i think is a change that is probablynecessary nece >> a preem-emptive strike is th necessary? >> i don't think we should ever plan on a pre-emptive strike because the consequences are uncal clabl. >> talk about that. say the u.s. launched b-1 bombers or other bombers and took out what the u.s. regarded as most of their major missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles and whatever nuclear capability they may have. how would the north koreans respond? >> the likelihood is that seoul would not exist. seoul would be in ruin. >> the south korean capital? >> the capital with many people.
>> 225 million people in the area. >> at least. consider new york city. the equivalent of wiping out new york city. >> and do that with conventional weapons? >> within 45 seconds of time, flight time into seoul. they're only a few, 34 miles away. >> basically, mortar, artillery conventionry weaponry north of the demilitarized zone would immediately respond jrchlt. >> i believe they would and i think the military planners understand that. hundreds of thousands potentially dying. >> including 28,000 u.s. troops? >> including u.s. troops. the calculation, always an impediment to our taking action. go back and read dr. kissinger's white house years. in 1973, richard nixon had a similar problem, and they hesitated to take any action. also fear. had to fight on two battle fronts with vietnam and korea. but the fear was, we've got a lot of people there, innocent
people who would die. >> from your perspective and you're a former defense secretary, there really isn't a pre-emptive strike contingency that's realist? tlrchlts is a con ting an. >> there is a contingency and it's real but what the american people would find unacceptable. >> the u.s. cannot tolerate a nuclear-capable north korea? >> we have a way to solve that, going to the chinese, russians and the others saying, let's shut down their economy. really prevent them from doing what they're doing, because they've been actually able to improve their economy with the help of the chinese, russians and other people including some of our allies. we have to go to allies saying no more business with them. they built guns, have missiles. can't have butter anymore we can't continue to give them food or fuel. a better option than a pre-emptive strike. >> starve millions of north koreas? >> i'd take that over hundreds and thousands and potentially millions of south koreans and
the american people, yes. >> secretary cohen. of all bad options right now. thanks very much for joining us. the former defense secretary william cohen. coming up, president trump about to get a very high-level national security briefing amid this ongoing threat from north korea. we're standing by for any presidential remarks and we'll have that for you. stay with us for that. also, other stories we're following. grudge match. the president lashing out at the senate majority leader on twitter. so why is he attacking the man he needs to get his agenda through? details, when we come back.
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it's just a burst pipe, i co(laugh) it. no. with claim rateguard your rates won't go up just because of a claim. i totally could've - no! switching to allstate is worth it. welcome back. in less than an hour from now president trump's scheduled to have a high-level national security briefs as north korea threatens a strike on the u.s. territory of guam. we're standing by for any presidential remarks. stand by with us for that. first, there's brand new cnn polling just released in the last hour that shows republican
lawmakers are taking a solid hit after failing to repeal obamacare. take a look at this. 7 in 10 americans saying they disapprove of the job republican leaders in congress are doing. that's a 15-point drop since january when president trump first took office. this comes as the president is escalating a feud with someone who is supposed to be one of his key allies in congress, the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. for a second day in a row the president is attacking mcconnell, tweeting from his golf resort this only minutes ago -- mitch, get back to work, and put repeal and replace, tax reform and cuts and a great infrastructure bill on my desk for signing. you can do it. earlier today the president tweeted another tweet. listen to this -- can you believe that mitch mcconnell, who has three repeal and replace for seven years couldn't get it done? must repeal and replace obamacare. the president's attacks come after mcconnell said this in his
home state of kentucky earlier in the week. >> our new president has, of course, not been in this line of work before, and i think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process. >> let's discuss with our chief political analyst gloria borger and cnn political director david chalian. gloria, this battle the president is having with mitch mcconnell. what's up with that? >> maybe jeff sessions feels good about that because he's off the griddle this time. look, i think the president feels there's no hell to pay for attacking mitch mcconnell. in our poll you were just talking about, we asked republicans who they -- their approval ratings of both trump and the republican leadership, and the approval rating for donald trump is about double what it is for the republican leadership. and republicans overwhelmingly
do not blame -- they do not blame the president for all the problems that have occurred legislatively, and so -- this president believes he can attack republicans. he's attacked more than half a dozen of them, calling them quitter, because it works with this base. in the long term i would argue it might not work so well for him if trying to rally troops because they want to know they can trust him and he will have their back and it's career in what he's done to members of the senate that, in fact, he won't. for the larger picture, his base thinks it's fine for him to go after them. >> and awkward for other republicans, david, in the senate to see the president of the united states going after the republican majority leader? >> right. although they've observed donald trump's behavior for two years throughout the republican nomination race and this is not unfamiliar territory. >> but he's president. has to deal with the republican
leadership. >> no doubt. he doesn't do the job of president like other presidents have. i think they've observed that for the last six months. i -- everything gloria is saying is true about our polls. it's very easy to see the politics of the blame game, donald trump versus republicans in congress, donald trump wins that. what is not clear at all to me is how this actually makes it easier for him to get a leg slative victory. that's actually what donald trump needs. so does mitch mcconnell and so do republican senators, but donald trump, sitting at 38% approval rating just having a strategy that excites your base because you're taking on the republican establishment doesn't actually get to where donald trump need to go. wrack up ws because his own legacy needs this. >> in our poll among republicans who were asked, who's most responsible for the lack of bills passed so far? look at this. opposition from democrats, 51%. disagreement among republicans,
32%. only 8% of these republicans say a lack of leadership from trump is responsible. >> well, one thing that stuck out to me in the pollaliti aliwe for cooperation and say this about the president's public fight with mitch mcconnell. the twitter stuff is for mainstream, mass, public consumption. look at the same time what he's doing. supporting mcconnell's choice to replace jeff sessions in the senate and just as we, just before we came here on this panel, naming as the new chairman of the federal regulatory committee, mitch mcconnell's former policy director. a traffic trump play. like, the carrot and stick at the same time trying to figure out, what's the strategy? it's kind of everything. >> chaos. there is no strategy. >> i read earlier, gloria, two of the tweets donald trump used going after mitch mcconnell, the original one, senator mitch
mcconnell said i had excessive expectations but i don't think so after seven years of hearing repeal and replace. why not done? three tweets he's devoted to going after mitch mcconnell. >> when something is on donald trump's mind, let's say we all find out about it and quickly. he goes at it over and observer agaiobserver -- over again. look what he did to jeff sessions for days in a row. mitch mcconnell, luckily for him, established a policy, goes back to the campaign, i think, saying i'm not commenting on the president's tweets. i don't comment on twitter. i think he and his staff are continuing that policy and that's probably the right thing to do. particularly since, by the way, his wife is also in the president's cabinet. >> you have that and that can be a little tricky. >> a little awkward. covering the white house a new white house chief of staff. i thought things would calm down a bit. what happened to that? >> maybe the president read all the coverage how things were supposed to come down and
decided to remind everybody who is actually in charge. an interesting dynamic. with general kelly, though, i think, you know, you see a dynamic what we can see. the tweets continuing. or resumption of those tweets. the president having a little bit more public meetings at bedminster and what we can't see. the conversations happening among the generals as president trump likes to call them. so sort of from the national security advisors, the defense secretary, to the chief of staff, and to some degree the inclusion of the secretary of state, there are a lot of those conversations going on right now, and in an effort to guide this back towards diplomacy. i still think general kelly inside the white house has a lot of goodwill and good faith from people, but in terms of publicly, this sort of idea that nothing to see here is, well -- >> and the retired marine corps kelly, and look at cover of "time" magazine. we know the president likes general kelly.
>> likes to look at the cover of "time" magazine. you see the cover. general john kelly. trump's last best hope. now, this is a sensitive issue when it comes to the president of the united states. >> yeah. y may recall, he's known for hanging false magazine covers in his clubs what have you. pretty obsessed with "time" magazine covers. likes his own, legit, in his office. i don't know it bodes well when a staff member ends up on the cover of "time" magazine. donald trump likes to be the one out in front. >> no star is brighter in the constellation than donald trump. remember when steve bannon was on the cover. he was in the doghouse for a while. this is a little early for general kelly to be in the doghouse. we'll have to see if he sat down for an interview or posed. >> what do you think about the point of the article? donald trump's last best hope? >> there's been a lot of, this is the most important test, and
this is the last time, but i think there's, general kelly himself said no to this job several times before taking it. there is a recognition among everyone inside the white house including the general himself this is absolutely a critical and pivotal time for the white house to turn around the narrative dogging them the first six months of office. >> forget the country's in the midst of a crisis in north korea as all of this politics is unfolding as well. guys, thanks very much. gloria, david and margaret, good conversation. coming up, my next guest has a message for the president of the united states when it comes to north korea "this is not a playground. ." talking about the growing nuclear threat, right after this. e) (flourish spray noise) (flourish spray noise) the joy of real cream in 15 calories per serving. enough said. reddi-wip. (flourish spray noise) share the joy. is that we can bounceg back from anything.
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against north korea. case in point, just this morning, republican governor marco rubio tweeted this. attacks on potus for statement on north korean nukes are ridiculous. they act as if north korea would act different if he used nicer words. but democratic congressman joachim castro of texas has a very different view. that president trump needs to stop acting like he's in a playground fight. he writes, start behaving like the president of the united states. joining us now, congressman joachim castro a member of both the intelligence and foreign affairs committees. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> what's the bottom line? you thing the president's posture and public statements so far as north korea is concerned could be dangerous? >> they could be and most of all are not helpful pe went solve a situation and a crisis with north korea and try to denuclearize them by getting into either a shouting match with them by mouthing off to them or by getting into a
twitter war with kim jeong un. so the president i think needs to approach this in a more responsible, let inflammatory way. accident mean you can't be strong behind the scenes but i don't think his comments are healthy in this situation. >> how do you think the u.s. could souncounter the threats te u.s. particularly the territory of guam? >> first, the administration can be very proud that helped usher through the u.n. the strongest sanctions ever by the u.n. and the world and the u.s. should be proud of it and build upon that and use it as leverage to bring north korea to the table to talk about due nuclearization. instead of taking time to do that, the president, looks like without consulting his generals, military, certainly congress and allies in the region, instead, taken upon himself to make
inflammatory remarks. he needs to settle down, consult with those groups, with our allies and take advantage of the sanctions just passed. >> what happens if the north koreaen the make their threat so and actually land as they say they can achieve 20 or 25 miles off the coast of guam? what does the u.s. do then? >> the first thing is i think some of these threats have been made because the president also made his own threats. that's why i'm saying we need to allow diplomacy a chance to work instead of going tit for tat with a 32-year-old dictator in north korea. >> the point about diplomacy, i keep hearing that, congressman. and the critics argue this -- diplomacy was tried for eight years of the bill clinton administration. diplomacy was tried for the eight years of the h.b. bush administration and eight years of the obama administration. now by the u.s. intelligence
estimate, north korea not only has intercontinental ballistic missiles but are capable of miniaturizing nuclear warheads and put those warheads on those missiles. diplomacy over all of these years clearly has failed. >> well, you're right, wolf. if the reports are true, then you're dealing with a nuclear state and the only question is, when they press that button, how far can those missiles go and will they hit their targets? because of that, we have to approach this in a sane and sober way and, remember, kim jong-un and north korea have never existed under the kinds of sanctions and the kinds of society that they will have because of those sanctions that were passed by the united nations. so we have to allow ourselves a chance to leverage those sanctions, to bring them to the table. i understand that diplomacy has failed before. i understand that the six-party talks, for example, didn't work. but they're also facing something they've never faced
before in those sanctions. >> let me get you -- while i have you, congressman, you're on the intelligence committee, investigating russia's meddling in of russia in the 2016 election. we learned yesterday fbi agents raided former campaign chairman paul manafort's home in alexandria, virginia, just outside of washington, d.c. did it last month, the fbi agents went in with a search warrant. do you think that he actually committed a crime? because in order to get a federal judge to give that search warrant there has to be probable cause that a crime may have been committed. >> well, ultimately, that determination will be left up to a grand jury to bring charges and then ultimately to a judge or jury, but it certainly is remarkable that the special counsel was able to obtain a warrant especially at that time of day to go collect the information, whatever information they did, and so it shows you that this investigation has gotten very
close to president trump. remember, this was his campaign manager for a time. and also that the special counsel is not pulling any punches. he's not playing favorites or backing off any particular person, and it's good to see he's running a thorough and fair investigation. >> joachim castro of texas. thanks so much for joining us, congressman. >> thank you. coming up, we'll get a different perspective. sean duffy, standing by live. lots to discuss with him. we'll be right back. there's nothing more important to me than my vacation. so when i need to book a hotel, i want someone who makes it easy to find what i want. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. c'mon, gary! your vacation is very important. that's why booking.com makes finding the right hotel for the right price easy. visit booking.com now to find out why we're booking.yeah!
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among those meeting vice president mike pence, the security adviser general h.r. mcmatch thor and the new white house chief of staff retired marine corps general john kelly, all participating in this briefing. we're also told the president and the vice president, they may speak afterwards. there will be cameras there. we'll have live coverage of that. the briefing comes as tensions between the united states and north korea near and all-time high and as leaders around the world look for any sign as to what the president, president trump, might do next. joining us now to discuss the president's approach, republican congressman sean duffy of wisconsin. congressman, thank so much for joining us. >> it's good to be with you, wolf. >> so republican congress -- republican senator lindsey graham said he spoken at length about north korea with president trump and says is willing to abandon patience and launch a pre-emptive strike against north korea if necessary.
is that something you think would be a good idea? >> well, listen, i think that comes with a lot of risk, as you reported. what happens to seoul, south korea, in north korea then responds. what i think is refreshing is we have some of the brightest military strategists in the world that work for the u.s. military and advise the u.s. president. i think the president now is going through every different situation to make sure we can stand down this north korea threat. and one of them is a pre-emptive strike. we have to look at facts on the ground and advice from our military leaders. >> did president trump draw a red line with north korea when he stated earlier in the week that if north korea made anymore "threats," they will be met with fire and fury, his words, like the world has never seen. north korea, you know, responded last night with a threat of its own saying they will launch four intermediate range ballistic missiles over japan aimed towards the u.s. territory of guam. by mid-august. that would be next week.
unless they see some toning down of the u.s. threats. >> it's interesting that north korea wants us to tone down our rhetoric for years made threats against the united states and our allies around the world. if you look at bullies on a playground or in north korea, they understand tough talk. they understand strength. that's what donald trump is projecting right now. i think it's important that, not just north korea but the rest of the world understand that donald trump is being crystal clear. that he will protect guam and american interests, and they will be met with fire and fury should they continue with their armaments, with their nuclear tests and their long-range missile tests which can bring a paylode to our shores. that clarity is refreshing. you know this. it's been three presidents who tried the passive approach that hasn't done anything to step
back the aggression of north korea. it's failed in cuba. it failed in iran. this passivity. in iran we gave them billions of dollars of unmarked cash in gold and that hasn't gotten that regime to come back into the global fold. they're emboldened by weakness. strength is what gets them to stand back. >> as you know, the president by -- his advisors suggested he ad-lib that threat of fire and fury the other day, not necessarily coordinating it. it wasn't scripted, he just spoke out about it. does that concern you at all, congressman? >> well, i know the words were inscripted but the tone and the strength of the message i know had been discussed. that's what the white house has put out. >> so what -- let me interrupt for a second. so if the north koreans go ahead and launch these four intermediate range ballistic missiles towards guam and there's 160,000-plus u.s. citizens, people of guam are u.s. citizens, who live there.
even if it lands in the waters 20 miles say from the coast as he project, what would you want the u.s. to do in response to that? >> listen, i don't want to put what my ideas are on your show. this is important for the particular ed to continue to consult with his military advisors. but there might be swift and strong response and reaction from the united states government. they have to be aware of that. i do think that the kim regime has been used to playing american presidents and their passivi passivity, and they could chart that up. know how we'll respond. with donald trump, i think there's a bit of uncertainty how he's going to act, which is confusing the north koreans and that's a good thing. bottom line, wolf, is, how do you reduce this threat? continue failed policies of the past or change our tone and rhetoric and even that change in tone i think sends a message to china and to russia to say, listen, you guys better get involved. we can make a difference with sanctions, and all have to be on
the same page putting pressure on north korea. you can't say one thing to the international community, china, and continue your trade with north korea and support that rogue regime. if you don't want american boots on your soil and don't want to see a nuclear armed conflict, get involved. this is escalating and we have a nuclear hermit regime making nuclear threats to the rest of the world. this is unacceptable and unten al and we need pushback here. and wolf i want to make a point -- under the leadership of nikki haley, u.n. ambassador, all members of the security council unanimously approved a tough sanctions solution against north korea. quickly, do you agree, believe, some of your democratic and republican colleagues in the house and senate believe, that before the u.s. were to launch any pre-emptive strike against north korea, congress should approve a resolution authorizing the use of military force against north korea? >> i think that's pretty
challenging. you lose your -- your surprise don't if you go to congress and say we're going to strike north korea. i want to put this within our generals and with our president who are duly elected by the american people to take that action by surprise if they choose to do so but i want to make it clear, wolf. this can explode. this could be a powder keg and be very bad for the world. a pre-emptive strike is the last resort of all the tools we have in our toolbox, because you don't know how it can play out and can be bad for everybody. so let's try to get other folks to the table and put pressure on north korea and have a peaceful resolution that's the best net outcome we can have. >> let's hope. sean duffy of wisconsin. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. coming up, a huge mystery unfolding in cuba right now. u.s. state department employees injured and what is described as a possible acoustic attack. what happened? is a third country involved? going live to havana, right after this.
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sounds like a plot from a movie. several u.s. state department employees in havana, cuba, experiencing unexplained hearing loss, and other physical ailments. u.s. officials believe they may have been victims of what's described as an acoustic attack and may have expelled two cuban diplomats from the united states as a result. cnn's patrick ottoman is on the scene for us. explain what we know. this is a very significant, serious story, but complicated. >> very much so, wolf. let's just start off with what is an acoustic attack. u.s. government sources tell us
that american diplomats at the residences here in havana, their homes, started feeling unwell, perhaps they were suffering from a concussion, that one diplomat suffered hearing loss and now will need hearing aids, and u.s. officials believe that somebody, they haven't identified who yet, placed very sophisticated devices in or around these diplomat's homes that emit a signal you can't hear, a frequency that essentially causes these very serious kinds of health problems. the u.s. is investigating who could have been behind this. they believe perhaps a third country wanting to, quote, drive a wedge between the u.s. and cuba, may be involved, but there's still a lot of unanswered questions here. the cuban government has denied any involvement in this, say they're cooperating with u.s. and are even allowing fbi agents to come to cuba to help investigate u.s. government sources tell us. they believe some individuals in
the cuban government must have been involved to allow these attacks to go forward. and what we're told though, wolf, is that for the time being, there does not appear to have been any further attacks. >> so basically what you're suggesting is some very high-pitched audio with, was sent out to the homes of these u.s. diplomats, that they couldn't hear anything but it would have an impact on their hearing, is that right? >> that's correct, it's a sonic weapon. this is a new tool that countries use to disrupt and cause injuries. none of these devices as far as we know have been discovered. again, sources telling us that these devices were placed in diplomat's homes or around their homes to try to cause them great distress, wolf. >> i'm sure it's an ongoing mystery that needs to be fixed. thanks so much, patrick oppman, our man in havana, appreciate it very much. that's it for me.
to all of our viewers in the united states and around the world, thanks very much for watching. i'll be back, 5:00 p.m. eastern, in "the situation room." i'll have a special interview with a former obama security, susan rice, live with us. meantime, the news continues, right after a quick break. no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no. the running of the bulldogs? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money aleia saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. thank you for being with me. this very minute, president donald trump taking a break from his golf cart to meet with his national security team about the back and forth nuclear threats with north korea. president trump will huddle with his advisers inside his new jersey golf club. as north korea refuses to back down on its threats. in fact, not only is north korea mocking president