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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  July 23, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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o delivers more. comcast business gives you gig-speed in more places. the others don't. we offer up to 6 hours of 4g wireless network backup. everyone else, no way. we let calls from any of your devices come from your business number. them, not so much. we let you keep an eye on your business from anywhere. the others? nope! get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go online today. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. president trump launches an all caps late-night twitter on iran. plus, angry tweet storms about russia meddling too, filled with falsehoods as the president's
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former campaign chairman goes on trial this week. and as democrats warn, a justice brett kavanaugh would threaten health care, new conservative ads target vulnerable democratic senators. >> heidi heitkamp has a decision to make. does she support kavanaugh and prove she's on the side of the president and you? or does she side with the radical liberals in washington, d.c.? >> back to that story later, but we begin the hour with the president's all-caps twitter warning to iran and the question of whether it's furthering or undercutting a carefully crafted administration policy rollout. never, ever threaten the united states again, or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. that tweet from the president shortly before midnight. that threat jarred national security officials here in washington and immediately overshadowed a carefully detailed speech given last night by the secretary of state out at the reagan library in
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california. making the case that 40 years of iranian revolution have delivered little to the iranian people. >> the level of corruption and wealth among iranian leaders shows that iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government. sometimes it seems the world has become desensitized to the regime's authoritarianism, but the proud iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses. and the united states, under president trump, will not stay silent either. [ cheers and applause ] >> that message from secretary pompeo to iran citizens, the united states is with you. but the message from pompeo's boss is the one dominating the he headlines, even as the white house struggles to explain exactly why the president sent that menacing tweet. sarah sanders telling reporters
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the president was responding to a sunday speech by the iranian speech. in that speech, he said iran prefers peace was prepared for, quote, the mother of all wars. but john bolton saying the president has been speaking about iran for days. president trump told me that if iran does anything to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before. with me in studio to share their reporting, cnn's dana bash and amy walter of the cook political report. why is the question. a pre-midnight tweet from the president of the united states. all capped, shouting at iran, shouting to the world. we do know he was coming back from bedminster. >> there's a host of
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possibilities. one possibility is it was just a distraction ploy. he's had a bad couple of weeks, especially last week in terms of headlines. this is one way to shift the attention of the media, get us talking about something else. the other possibility is he's trying to run a play, a foreign policy play that in his mind has been successful. that was the north korea play where you demonize and ratchet up the rhetoric against iran only to then, you know, sort of create a crisis that you then sort of come in and try to solve. i think bolton is sort of suggesting the latter. the evidence seems to suggest maybe the former since there was no evidence that this was sort of something that was being discussed at the white house that we know of before this. but i think we'll have to sort of see what beats two, three, and four are before we know. >> and iran is a much more complicated play. north korea has an audience of one. kim jong-un calls the shots.
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in iran, you have the ayatollah, then president rouhani. >> to that point, ufs goii was back and forth on text with a democratic senator who said exactly that. this is not a country we should casually threaten to fight with because their dynamics are much, much different from north korea. and we know that. iran, it bears repeating, is very much connected to not just what's going on in iran and its nuclear capability and so forth, but playing in a not so undercover way in syria and elsewhere in this very, very volatile region. it is dangerous to do this. not saying that he doesn't have a plan, but it certainly on its face looks a lot more like a distraction than a plan. >> in part, the president was responding to this from the iranian president, president rouhani, who by most accounts is considered more of a moderate. a lot of people think, be careful, mr. president. if rouhani loses power, you
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might get someone more conservative. but this is the tough talk the president was responding to. >> translator: mr. trump, don't play with the lion's tail. this would only lead to regret. you will forget regret it. you are not in a position to incite the iranian nation against iran's security and interests. the iranian nation knows its interests and sacrifices to protect them. you are mistaken. >> it is tough talk, but if you go back through years and years and years of iranian leaders giving speeches, this is almost like for breakfast you have bacon and eggs and call the united states terrible. >> it seems like president trump, though, he really seems to believe that he was very successful in north korea and that kind of playing this madman, you deponent know what i'm going to do next, it can throw people off. i think that he feels like he can make that play or that possibly he can make that play with iran. now, it is a very different situation, and it's also a test of this idea of america first.
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when you're looking at iran and you have secretary of state pompeo saying we're talking to the iranian people and we're telling them we're with them and almost getting close to this idea, do they want regime change. well, what happens if there is regime change? what happens when the people rise up? how much would america intervene? that's a big question. >> is it also a question of who's on first? meaning, we often have these conversations about the president, especially on russia policy. his administration has taken a lot of steps. they're pretty tough when it comes to sanctions and the like. mike pompeo was at the reagan library doing something many have tried before. the state department kicking in with a sophisticated effort, tweeting in farsi, saying, look at your leadership. the ayatollahs have a $96 billion hedge fund, that they're stealing money from their people. let's listen to him here. listen to mike pompeo's voice telling the iranian people your economy is struggling right now,
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look what your regime is doing with your money. >> today, thanks to regime subsidies, the average hezbollah combatant makes two to three times what an iranian firefighter makes on the streets of iran. the bitter irony of the economic situation in iran is that the regime uses the same time to line its own pockets while its people cry out for jobs and reforms and opportunity. the iranian economy is going great, but only if you're a politically connected member of the elite. >> again, every administration since ronald reagan, the iran hostage crisis, has tried this. but it's worth trying, especially when you see evidence in iran that the sanctions are now back in place because the president pulls out of the iran nuclear deal. broader dissent within the iranian people. if you're the united states of america, you want to tell those people you're watching and you're here to help. >> this is the non-tweeting way of having a response to iran. this is the policy answer to why
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they did not like what they saw from president obama and the iranian deal there. the message from the obama administration was we get the sanctions back, the iranian people get money, the economy does well. it's win/win. they're able to rise up with a better economic situation. that obviously has not happened because you can't trust the iranian leadership. they're going to take it. they're going to line their own pockets. so that's a very sort of traditional way to make policy. just to say, this administration made policy this way, saying x would happen. x has not happened. we need to take a new tact. that's very different than tweeting in all caps about how we're going to do whatever the most horrible, terrible thing we could ever do with you. but i agree with almost everyone around the table that this is more of a pattern than it is anything else, right. the thing about the president,
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we always say he's so unconventional. he's so unpredictable. no, he's not. this is totally predictable in that his message is i am strong, the u.s. is strong, no one's going to mess with us, and as long as i project that, then we're going to win. >> what's the risk in that though? if you never threaten the united states again. that's what the president said, never threaten the united states again. again, it is like oxygen in iran for the leadership to threaten the united states of america. that is one of the ways they deal with the dissent in their own country. they try to create a distraction that the united states is the boogie man. >> one of the thing that's been undermined here in the united states is the idea that the president's words carry immense amount of weight around the world. the truth of the matter is because, as you noted, there's been this now real disconnect between what the president says and what the administration actually does. there is less danger than there was under previous presidents that the iranians are going to
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actually sort of force the president to actually follow through on his words. basically, people think this is just his sort of twitter rantings, and we can sort of go about our business. you'll see more. the iranians respearen't going back down. the iranians aren't going to stop criticizing america. what will happen is nothing will happen. we won't go to war with iran, and people will sort of shrug. the word of the president of the united states will have been undermined. >> in a way, the president's words should have no meaning. that's an odd thing to say. but i hope you're right in the sense that it's a lot more complicated. you have israel right now in a stand-off with iran. there's been military action in syria, hezbollah, hamas. some people worry there will be provocation. remember when those navy personnel will taken in the gulf. there's a lot of worries you get people testy and on edge, then there's a miscalculation. we'll see how this plays out. up next, robert mueller's first big courtroom test. the paul manafort trial kicks off this week, including a big
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welcome back. this is a giant week in the special counsel investigation. the president, not surprisingly, aggressively trying to steer the conversation. take a look. these tweets just in the past 48 hours. a witch hunt, a rigged witch hunt, a discredited mueller witch hunt. no public response from the mueller team because it does its talking in the courtroom. there's big action there today and throughout the week. the paul manafort trial opens wednesday. the final pretrial hearing under way as we speak right now. trump's former campaign chairman facing 18 charges, including bank fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. important to note these charges are unrelated to the 2016 trump campaign. they have to do with work manafort was doing in ukraine prior to his campaign service. the 69-year-old faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.
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he's also scheduled for a separate trial on other charges later this year. our crime and justice correspondent shimon prokupecz is outside the courthouse. we're learning manafort is in the courtroom right now. what else are we learning? >> reporter: yeah, john. so some decisions here, some rulings from the judge. he just granted a request from prosecutor prosecutors from the special counsel's office a request he made that he grant five witnesses immunity. these are five mystery witnesses. we don't know anything about them. but prosecutors had last week asked the judge to grant these witnesses immunity so they can come in and testify, not have to take the fifth. they could freely testify without the fear of prosecution. clearly these are important witnesses to the prosecution. so the prosecutors had asked that the judge go ahead and give them immunity. that just occurred moments ago. other procedural matters here in court today involve the request
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over documents, manafort's attorneys asking the judge to delay this trial because the late production of some of these documents. that decision, we expect, among other things more procedural, kind of cleaning of the house matters to take place at some point this afternoon. everyone is due back in court at 2:00, john. >> and given what we've seen play out in the recent weeks and months, the tensions between manafort and the special counsel's office, i would say this is unlikely, but we're always open to the possibility of a surprise. any possibility of a plea deal? >> certainly that is possible in this case. it's usually difficult once a trial starts to give a plea deal to anyone. however, that could change if somewhere along the way manafort decides to cooperate with the special counsel. of course, there has been a lot of talk that all these charges, this one and obviously the case in d.c., is all about putting pressure on manafort, who if convicted, would likely spend the rest of his life in jail.
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he is 69. perhaps this is all about putting pressure on manafort to cooperate. that is always a possibility. >> shimon prokupecz at the courthouse in virginia. keep us posted if there are any other significant rulings. back in the room now. again, to be careful and fair to the president, this trial has nothing to do with the 2016 campaign. however, it does have a lot to do with the credibility of the special counsel's office, which is you shouunder constant attac the united states. this is one trial. there are other cases still in the system. there are sentencing of national security adviser who's admitted lying. manafort's former deputy admitted lying. so there are people closer to the president who have admitted lying to prosecutors who will be sentenced later. how important is this trial for the special counsel, who doesn't talk in public, only the courtroom? >> it's important -- i think you hit it right when it comes to the special counsel's credibility and their ability to successfully prosecute a key player in trump world.
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but it is important to note that the prosecutors in this particular case explicitly said they do not plan to show any evidence, to present any evidence relating to collusion with russia at this broader manafort trial. but there is also one aspect of it that shows -- the prosecutors will allegation that paul manafort, one of the things he was working on, one of the loans he got was from a financial institution. the executive at that institution was asking for a quid pro quo, to work on the trump campaign and then to work in the white house if he won. so this also, if you kind of take it up to 10,000 feet, is a reminder also, even if it doesn't have anything to do with collusion, that this is a guy who candidate trump brought in at the highest level of his campaign. he had literally decades of allegations of pretty, you know, working with pretty bad guys
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around the country. >> it should have been no surprise to republican nominee for president donald trump in the spring of 2016 that there was a lot of flashing lights around paul manafort, including in the russia area. so the president has been attacking this process from the beginning. including tweets over the weekend. here's one. so president obama knew about russia before the election. why didn't he do something about it? why didn't he tell our campaign? because it's all a big hoax. that's why. and he thought crooked hillary was going to win. well, he was told. he was told. our marshall cohen here at cnn, others reporting from cnn that the president was personally warned in august 2016 by seen your u.s. intelligence officials that foreign adversaries, including russia, would attempt to infiltrate his team or gather intelligence about his campaign. so the president -- sorry, sir -- is lying. why? >> the president, he also in that tweet called it a hoax again, and the white house is now saying he was just saying collusion is a hoax, not the whole thing. but president trump has over and over again kind of conflated
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this idea of whether his election interference and collusion and he just seems to want to say it's fake. everything is fake. don't pay attention to that. i think when you look at this manafort trial, even though it's not really connected to the campaign, i wonder how much it will upset the president to see these headlines, to see what's happening. he just doesn't like anything from the special counsel, any attention to that. so his reaction could, i think, be interesting to watch. >> as this investigation moves on and the other cases are resolved and the other investigative questions are answered by bob mueller, including will the president ever sit down for an interview, to see the professionalism. that's one thing everybody tells you about the mueller operation. they know what they're doing and have re-created meetings to the point that the people at the meetings are stunned they know more about it than they did. >> the only thing i would say is
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that it's also -- you negotiation bob mueller has in some ways been the great white hope for democrats in the last couple years. they sort of imbue in him this idea he's going to be the one that's going to solve this political problem of donald trump for them. this could be an example of where, you know, if the manafort case goes forward and it turns out that paul manafort maybe in the end didn't ever really have a lot that he could give up on donald trump, as dana was suggesting, it's another reminder, i think, for democrats that we don't know where the mueller investigation is heading. it could head in some direction that, you know, democrats would like to see and trump is ousted from office or through some other political -- or maybe not. this could be a reminder that we don't know. >> great point. it is not a witch hunt. it is led by a very serious, credible person. but we don't know a whole lot. still waiting on that one. excellent point. up next, the president's popularity and a question every
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does your business internet provider promise a lot? let's see who delivers more. comcast business gives you gig-speed in more places. the others don't. we offer up to 6 hours of 4g wireless network backup. everyone else, no way.
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we let calls from any of your devices come from your business number. them, not so much. we let you keep an eye on your business from anywhere. the others? nope! get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go online today. we're approaching 100 days to the midterm elections. it's 106 if you're counting at home. the biggest single factor in a president's midterm election year is the president's approval rating. new poll numbers today show the president's actually inching up a bit. if you look here, new nbc/"wall
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street journal" numbers, that's still historically low, if you compare it so other presidents. but 38% last october, up to 45% in this polling now. again, still below 50, but that's better news for the republican party, better news for president trump. let's take a closer look at the numbers within his own party. why don't more republicans stand up to the president when they disagree? because republican voters love this president. 88% approval among republican voters, as you see. president johnson and kennedy, democrats here, eisenhower, nixon, george w. bush. only george w. bush had a higher approval rating among his own party. remember, that was after 9/11 when george bush's poll numbers were off the charts. so the president is very strong with the republican base. republicans don't like to cross him. one of the interesting things during the trump presidency, there are some republicans who say they're republicans because of trump. there are other republicans who say they're republicans. they were republicans before trump. they're a little ambivalent about the president. that number, the percent onage
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say they're both, has spiked a bit in the last month. why? could be a blip. could be we're getting closer to the election. one thing we do know in most of the country, not all of the country, but most of the country, if you are a republican on the ballot, you look at these numbers, that's why you're seeing so many candidates saying vote for me, i'm with trump. >> president trump needs fighters in the senate. fighters like kevin nicholson. >> everyone says they're for trump, but i'm the only candidate who's supported donald trump in the 2016 primary. >> i'm kevin cramer, candidate for senate, and i approved this message. >> what else did we learn when we look at these numbers? one of the things we always watch is the congressional generic ballot. it was ten points for the democrats back in june. it's six points now. be careful when you go month to month in polling. we're 100 days out.
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but it's not a blowout. it's a little closer for republicans. you see the numbers up there now. it's 49 to 43. july was 50/40. >> it's not really statistically significant. although, democrats would want to come into the midterm elections with double-digit leads on the generic ballot. but there were a couple other numbers that really struck me in this poll. not only is the president doing better among republicans, but the intensity, the support is as high as it's ever been. more people not only disapprove of the president than approve of him, but the intensity of disapproval has always outnumbered the intensity of approval. that's still the case, but for the first time, we're seeing those numbers really start to tick up among those people who say they support the president, approve of the job he's doing. 29% say they strongly approve of what he's doing. the independent number is the number that i spend a lot of time watching because independents in these last few
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midterm elections, especially the ones that were blowouts, the party who won had a double-digit lead, almost close to 20 points among independent voters. in this poll, democrats lead by 20 points among independents. >> that's so interesting. such an important thing to watch. going back to the intensity of republican support, that is so important to explaining what's going on in washington. that's the whole story, actually, about what's going on. when people ask over and over again, when the president says outrageous things, does outrageous things, where are the republicans, why aren't they standing up to him? because their constituents, the people who elect them, by and large support the president. it is why the people who are most critical, openly critical, of the president are the ones heading for the door. they're retiring, and it's for the most part buzz they couldn't get elected in a republican primary because the people who
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elect them don't like the criticism they're putting out there of the president. it is really important, and it is really illustrated. >> and it is why he stokes siege mentality on just about every issue, whether it's the mueller investigation. he wants to keep his people with pitchforks in hand to keep them motivated. >> but what i wonder is does that get people to the ballot when president trump is not on the ballot. do you like -- >> president obama could answer that question for you. >> exactly. do you like president trump enough to get out in the rain or whatever you have to do? get off of work to go vote for this republican who's not trump. >> i think that poll suggests they're not. >> i think that's a fascinating question. even more so than the obama years, when you talk to trump republicans, they don't like congress, even their own congress. they have great disdain for the establishment. will he be effective in getting them to turn out to help him essentially? here's another number. wooe we're an evenly divided country.
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that's not breaking news. it's gotten more exacerbated in recent years. but look at this question here. republicans in congress have been too close to trump, 38%. not close enough to president trump, 48%. is there any question you could ask in america where you don't get a divide like this? >> no. >> i think you now have gotten us to that place. but i think that question is really important about who turns out to vote. we've seen it in poll after poll after poll. when you ask voters how enthusiastic, what's your intent, democrats continue to have an advantage. sometimes it's bigger. some polls it's smaller. that's why we're going to pay a whole lot of attention to a special election coming up in a couple weeks in ohio where we will see if these poll numbers actually translate to reality in terms of who's turning out and who's not. we know that over the course of these special elections, democrats have had an enthusiasm advantage. is it going to continue, or is this spike in support showing that republicans are, i think
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you said, coming home, getting closer to the election, and the more that they see the news media beating up on the president, the more it unites republicans behind the president. >> great point. we'll watch the elections. by next week, we'll be inside 100 days. the environment tends to sl solidify. hard thing to say in the volatile time we live in. but you have a better sense. the white house just announcing sarah sanders will give a press briefing this afternoon. that's at 2:00 p.m. eastern. up next, the british prime minister theresa may reveals her favorite american tv show. don't want to miss that, do you?
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topping our political radar, the senate votes on a new veterans affairs secretary today. robert wilkie was nominated after president trump fired david shulkin back in march. the president initially was going to nominate ronnie jackson, but he was forced to withdrawal. in a highly unusual move, senator rand paul says he'll meet with the president today and ask to revoke the security clearance of john brennan. former intelligence officials typically maintain their high-level security clearance even after they leave their posts. and don't miss this. the british prime minister theresa may has a lot on her mind these days, brexit, her relationship with president trump, europe, her own future. what does she do to relax? asked at an event in newcastle, she said she likes to walk, cook, and watch a little bit of
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american tv. >> i have over 150 cookbooks. i spend quite a lot of time looking at cookbooks. and i have -- i do enjoy, if i get the time, watching -- does anybody here know the american series "ncis"? i quite like watching "ncis" when i can. >> and? >> it's a top-rated american show. isn't it always in the top? so she has her finger on the pulse of american viewing habits. >> the prime minister has domestic political trouble. should she be telling the people she watches american tv? >> it's escapism. >> it was a human moment. the truth is we all watch good british tv. why shouldn't she watch american tv? everyone here watches "the crown." >> actually, my favorite right now is a french drama called "the bureau" which is about an
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espionage. subtitled in english but great show. >> "billions," "goliath." anything that is not about what we do every day. >> "the americans." >> yes, i love "the americans." >> wow, okay. >> i started watching that before this current news cycle. >> i'm a huge fan of "monty python." up next, the democrats think the climate is just right for a big blue wave come november. question is, can they get out of their own way? and home insuran. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance. and still get great coverage for you and your family. call for a free quote today. you could save $782. liberty mutual insurance. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! welcome back. it is a raw time in democratic politic, even as the party is upbeat about its election chances. some love bernie sanders and think he got a raw deal in 2016. others see him as a show boat at a time when the party needs workhorses. elizabeth warren is taking heat for, get this, not being
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sufficiently liberal. with that debate comes a generational fight too, from ambitious, younger house democrats, for example. nancy pelosi calls them inconsequential. they beg to differ. >> tim ryan ran against her. he had an entire week to campaign and a third of the caucus voted for him. i don't think that's inconsequential. we need a uniter in our party. we can continue to have these narrow and divisive politics, or we can find lead who are are going to bring us together. >> it is interesting to watch. there are all these skirmishes within the democratic family, even as the overall landscape looks pretty good. is that normal? >> yeah, i think that's pretty normal. i think the question is not so much what does it mean for 2018. it's what it means for 2019 and 2020. look, democrats are completely united around all kinds of candidates to win the house, the senate. they don't care. conservative, liberal, wherever you are on the spectrum. the biggest challenge, of course, is what's going to
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happen if democrats take the house and nancy pelosi goes on as speaker. i met with a bunch of democratic candidates for the house last week. most of them are under 40. some of them are under 35. a good number of the people that i met with, probably about a third, said they definitely were not voting for her. how many of those people win and how close the majority is tells you about her chances. >> candidates, just among the chaerc challengers, or candidates for open seats, about 25 have made pledges no the to vote for nancy pelosi. that doesn't include the incumbents who already said they wouldn't vote for her. >> is there any conceivable projection where the democrats have a more than 25-seat margin after this election? even if they have a big blue wave? >> she might be able to hold on. >> just barely. >> it would have to be a big blue wave, which has happened. we saw it in 2006 and the only
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side obviously in 2010. so the question -- look, she is a very, very astute politician. she sees the writing on the wall. it's really hard for her to imagine running and losing. but regardless of that, i think you made a really important point. it's also the question of what happens when you really do need one leader in that you need a nominee for president of the united states. i interviewed the dnc chair over the weekend, who was saying he welcomes all of these different voices and it's really good for the party. it might be, but it also is what brought on donald trump on the republican side. there were 17 candidates. the people who were similar kind of canceled each other out. you have to say that when you're the chairman of the party, but when you look at the nuts and bolts, it's not that easy. >> part of the reason there's so many candidates, people look at the barack obama example. he wasn't supposed to win.
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he became president. donald trump overtook his party and is now president. i'm interested in the fight within the liberal movement, if you will, the progressive movement. we did a segment yesterday on the program where we noted bernie sanders and cortez went to kansas. it's a big question. can the democrats sell bernie sanders' liberalism in the heartland? if you look at the district map, that's where the republican majority is. i was hammered by people on twitter saying, how dare you say bernie sanders is the leader of the resistance. i didn't say that. i said they went out there as part of the resistance to make this case. this is part of their case. >> whether you're in kansas or the bronx or in vermont, we have common interests and common aspirations, and we have got to fight for an america that works for all of us, not just the 1%. >> this is about inspiring people to the polls, giving them something to vote for, creating hope for this nation, and knowing that so long as there are working class americans who believe in a prosperous and just
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future, we will have hope no matter how red the district. >> the incoming was the resistance is women. the resistance is not bernie sanders. is that a widely held view? is that hillary clinton support who are are still mad at bernie sanders? is it democrats saying bernie sanders is still an independent? is it just we live in feisty times? >> i think part of it is searching for the soul of the democratic party. a lot of what i've heard in talking to different people involved in politics is they feel like the democratic party has taken certain groups for granted, including black americans, other people of color. they want to have more representation. so i think you're seeing part of that play out now. >> it's also true that when barack obama took his message early on in the 2008 campaign, when he took it to iowa and realized they could actually sell the idea of a black
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candidate named barack hussein obama in iowa. there was a revelation inside that campaign that this could actually work. i think the democratic party is trying to figure out a version of that same question, which is can you take bernie sanders' liberalism, can you take that wing of the party and somehow sell it, find a way to craft the message and find the right messenger to sell it in that part. >> you're going to get in trouble for saying it's his wing of the party. just trust me. >> turn off your notifications. >> 106 days to go. up next, a commercial break where you just might see evidence of the latest flash point for trump state democrats.
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four trump state democratic senators are the targets in a new round of tv ads aimed at promoting the president's supreme court nominee. you may see those ads here on cnn, during this program. they're the new targets, and they are viewed as the democratic senators who might have the hardest time selling a no vote on kavanaugh back home. a conservative group aligned with the white house hopes to ramp up the pressure. >> so why won't joe donnelly commit to supporting kavanaugh? is he more interested in siding with chuck schumer and elizabeth warren? has he forgotten who he represents? tell joe donnelly his vote on kavanaugh is something you won't
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forget. >> it's a fascinating fight. this weekend democrats sounding a new alarm on kavanaugh. newly released documents from his questionnaire to the senate shows he questions the supreme court order that president nixon turn over the watergate recordings. democrats say kavanaugh is too fond of presidential power, and his views could impact the special counsel investigation if he gets to the high court. it's so far a traditional supreme court fight, but because we have the election year, because you do have these trump state democrats, it's going to be pretty hard for joe donnelly, heidi heitkamp, joe manchin. >> but there's also going to be a lot more material yet to come. they have something like 6,000 pages to go through. we're going to see a lot of this stuff leaked out. it's going to put a lot of pressure on the real divide within the democratic party. that's going to be a big difficulty. >> and the pressure is going to be intense. it already is intense from their own party leadership. what they're being told is vote no, we're going to work really hard to take over the majority in the fall in the senate, and
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we'll get our way the next time. those are lots of ifs. >> i want to show you this dnc e-mail. say no to the kavanaugh e-mail. the word "president" is misspelled. the democratic party did that. get an editor. this is the intensity you're talking about. they say, you know, he'll throw out obamacare, overturn roe v. wade, excuse trump in the investigation. we don't know that. but that's what they believe based on earlier rulings. >> i think the question is the democrats that you identified, they have -- in order for them to buck their constituents and vote in lock step with their party, they have to not only be convinced that they'll all do it together, but that the democrats will be able to flip a republican. so far, it's not clear. there are targets that the democrats have, but it's hard for those folks to buck their own constituents. >> which will drag the drama out to the very end. all the democrats are going to wait for those republicans to go first, hoping they get a flip.
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>> and they shouldn't hold their breath. >> not going to hold their breath. all right. thanks for joining us today. just monday. a great week ahead. wolf starts right now. have a great day. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. president trump, he's lashing out on multiple fronts today as the controversies around him grow more and more toxic. first, the threat of war escalating with iran. president sending a furious message to iran's president. never threaten the united states again or suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. a quote from the president. and the walk back on russia continues after a week of damage control in

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