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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 16, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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break iing news. his own words. president trump insists he personally and easily wrote the answers to robert mueller's collusion question, so why did he spend days with his lawyers and months negotiating the terms of his responses? indictment revealed? a bungled court filing contains a bombshell. a reference to charges julian assange. is there a connection? freedom of the press. a judge sides with cnn ordering the trump administration to restore the press pass of our chief white house correspondent, we'll talk about the ruling and the impack of news coverage of the president. and kim's ultra weapon. the north korea leader returns to a more aggressive military stance,ing a new and mysterious
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high-tech weapon. is he trying to put pressure on president trump? we want to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn braeaking news. >> cnn has learned about a meeting between president trump and his lawyers to try to wrap up the process of answering robert mueller's questions about possible collusion with russia. the president claim he's been writing those responses by himself and that been easy, even though he's been holed up with his legal team now for days and days. the president down play iing th gravity of the moment and denying hi obvious anger as mueller and his team move deeper and deeper into their end game. this hour, i'll talk to senator richard blumenthal. he's a top democrat and our correspondents and analysts are standing by. first, to jeff.
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the president has spent a good chunk of this week working on those answers for mueller. >> if he has, the president has spent nearly every day here at the white house working with his lawyers on the written answer, which he said were easy, but that doesn't explain why it's taken him so long to answer them. or it does not explain why he's calling it a hoax. but it explaining one thing. he said he believes this ve investigation is coming to an end. probably explains why he's been on edge all week. after railing against robert mueller for days and discrediting the russia investigation for more than a year, president trump confirming he's finished answering questioning and he insisted he wrote the answers not mentioning he spent at least three days this week huddled with lawyers. >> i write answers. i was asked a series of questions. i've answered them very easily. very easily. >> yet the president's mood all
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week and his tone today in the oval office suggested the questions may have been anything but easy. giuliani telling "the washington post" some were possible traps and unnecessary. the president did not say why it's taken so long to answer questions about possible russian collusion, but he assailed mueller and his team's credibility. >> they like to catch people. you have to be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad sbep intentions. there never should have been an investigation. it's not of me. as far as i'm concerned, i like to take everything personal lly because you do better that way. >> his legal team is is trying to determine whether any of questions would put the president in legal jeopardy. even though he sought to discrept the investigation. >> the witch hunt should have never have taken place. it continues to go on. i imagine it's ending now.
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from what i hear, it's ending and i'm sure it will be just fine. you know why? because there was no collusion. >> that will be determined by the outcome of mueller's investigation. as the president weighs a shake up -- in this, there are arsonists and firefighters. the president is looking to get rid of the firefighters. the r more he does, the faster his administration is going to burn down. jor george conway, husband of the president's counselor, declined to join the justice department last year. >> i'm wahotching this thing, is like the administration is like a shit show and a dumpster fire. i'm like, i don't want to do that. >> in the oval office today while signing a cybersecurity bill, kirsten nielsen stood just over the president's shoulder. she has repeatedly drawn the president's eyre, but he's yet to dismiss her because he's still searching for a
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replacement. asked whether he was agitated, he said this. >> i'm not agitated. a hoax. i'm extremely happy. i'm very happy with almost all of my cabinet. and you know, changes are made because they're always made. especially after midterms. thank you very much. >> in the east room today as he honored elvis, babe ruth, justice scalia and others with the nation's highest civilian honor, the president had this to say to the late justice's wife. >> his wife, who's become a great friend of my family, myself. and their nine children. ann, gene, john, catherine, mary claire, paul, matthew, christopher and meg. you were very busy. wow. wow. i always knew i liked him. >> so, this week is winding up here at the white house with a staff shake up still in the
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work, but we are told the president is looking for replacement in key positions and cabinet secretaries before he removes anyone. now, wolf, the president is traveling to california to get a firsthand look at the deadly wildfires. this comes after he blasted california officials earlier in the week and threateneded to withhold funding, but his tone there as softened considerably as the death toll has risen. now at least 65 dead and some p. of course everything here at the white house will still be waiting for him. >> certainly. thank you. let's get more on all of this from our senior justice correspondent. evan perez. the president said mueller's questions weren't that difficult. if not, why has it taken so long? >> these questions, he is capturing what he and his lawyers believe, that these are not very complicated questions. the problem is, that when you
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answer them, you have to, you know, you have to do so with the knowledge of what robert mueller has in his investigation and they don't know everything rory mcilroy has. i think as pam brown reported earlier today, there's some hiccups about whether or not they want to answer question regarding the transition. that's a curious development. early on, they demarcated the place they were going to draw the line, which was the inauguration. every else they thought was fair game for mueller to ask about. anything after was not. if they're drawing a new line, that's going to be an interesting new wrinkle in the negotiation with robert mueller's team. >> the president says he wrote the answers. personally wrote all the answers to the questions submitted by mueller. not his lawyers. could that be a problem? he can't blame his lawyers if anything goes wrong. when the president finishes the
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take home as i call it. when they submit this in the m coming days, he's going to have to attest to those answers. he best be very involved in making sure these are the correct answers. but we know behind the scenes, wolf, his lawyers have been working on this. we know he met with the lawyers before the midterms. they were a couple of sessions before the midterms and now, this week he's been intensely focused on this. this is going to be his answer in the end. >> turning to another rather fascinating twist we just got on the whole mueller probe. the wikileaks founder, julian assange, as you know, he may be facing criminal charges. we learned this criminal criminal charges by the justice department because of a clerical error made by the justice department. is this related to the russia investigation? >> potentially, it is. thank goodness for the eagle eyes of sheamus hughes, the
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professor at george washington university. while we were watching the football game last night, wolf, he was reading some of these filings and found this unrelated case where someone apparently cut and paste a couple of paragraphs and plopped them into this unrelated case and has something to do with assange. as best we can figure out, this means that somewhere urn seal, reported the justice department had prepared those against assange. this means that a there are some charges sitting there sealed by a judge. dwoent know whether they have anything to do with the russia investigation. a lot of other considerations that the justice department and the fbi have looked at with regard to assange. but really what this means, wolf, is that there's a lot more to what's been going on behind the scenes with regard to wikileaks and so on that we just don't know yet about.
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>> we know only a tiny percentage. thanks for that. joining us now is richard blumenthal. senator, thanks so much for joining us. and how significant is this development in julian assange of wikileaks. do you believe it's connected to the mueller investigation? >> almost certainly. the charges are probably like the ones against the russian vel jensen operatives and others whom and the special counsel's office has already charged. the espionage act, defrauding the government, a violation of the computer fraud and abuse act all connected to the hacking into the dnc files and other potential acts against the
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democratic campaign. linked to possibly the trump campaign. so, they could be very important to the special counsel investigation of trump collusion with the russian interference in our election. >> had you heard anything specifically about julian assange facing criminal charges? >> there were rumors and reports and obviously he faced criminal charged in connection with violations of the laws in sweden relating to his sexual misconduct. but none of the sealed specifics about the indictment. your point b about our knowing just the tip of the iceberg has to what the special counsel knows is very, very well taken and significant. robert mueller is three to four steps ahead of any of us. whether it's the assange indictment or the other
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potential charges that could be forthcoming. there are rumors and reports about those charges. after this quiet period. and the questions themselves that have been put to the president. the president quite rightly feels that the walls are closing in because he has to answer these questions with a precision and accuracy that don't apply if he's just making broad statements on the white house lawn or even in the press room. >> the president says you know, he personally wrote the answers to the written questions submitted submitted robert mueller and the president said i'm quoting, they're not very difficult questions. what does that tell you? >> his calling the answers easy tells me that it's either false bravado or self-delusion or simple deception. and all of it is dangerous to the president's case because he has to take these questions very seriously and there are reports, very significantly, that a
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larger set of questions relating to the post inaugural period. as you pointed out earlier in the show. which he has declined to answer. so far. that report is for example in today's "washington post" article on the answers. so there is a whole new area of questioning. i would be very surprised if donald trump did the answers to these questions. i would be very unsurprised if there are not more questions put to him that he so far has not yet answers. >> yeah, the president and his lawyers apparently don't want to answer any questions, certainly not after the inauguration, but even during the transition after he was elected. is the president in your opinion, facing serious legal jeopardy right now? >> he is facing very serious legal jeopardy. there's a prime official, a plausible case of obstruction of justice against him. there are elements of evidence
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on each of the critical factors that have to be proved in court. and one of those key factors, intent. is shown by his ongoing misconduct. in for example, his potentially involving himself in either the firing of the special counsel, if that's what matt whitaker does, his acting attorney general, or the stifling of that veinvestigation, which is why w are taking action to fore stahl any action that would stop or stimey the action. >> he's also hearing the mueller investigation is wrapping up. how concerned are you, senator, that whitaker, the acting attorney general, will be the one deciding what to do with mueller's final report? >> i'm deeply concerned, wolf. because matt whitaker has indicated a clear hostility to the special counsel investigation. in fact, he called it at one
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point a hoax. echoing the president himself. he has provided a road map in effect to how the special counsel investigation can be dealt a death by a thousand cuts. cuts in authority. cuts in funding. and a refusal to issue or approve indictments. and that kind of in effect slow motion saturday night massacre is a danger that i have raised and the legislation that i have talked about proposing would in fact require full disclosure and transparency of all the evidence, all of the findings, if there is any effort to stifle or someti this investigation. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> just ahead, new glimpse into the chaos within the trump administration.
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from kellyanne conway's husband. stand by. you're going to hear his rather colorful comparison of the white house to a dumpster fire. also coming up, federal show ordered -- to e instate the press pass. we'll talk about the ruling and what it means for freedom of the press. give it to me straight. no, you don't understand, i don't know how to say this. i'm just a tv doctor. they also know you should get your annual check-up. it could save your life. schedule a check-up with your doctor, know your four health numbers, and start taking control of your health today. cigna. together, all the way. five-year cancer survivor. being diagnosed with cancer made me rethink everything in my life. the things that became important to me were the relationships with people.
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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! president trump is responding to a ruling that he
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was wrong to revoke perress pas of jim acosta. he said the new rules of the quote decorum of the news media are being drafted. the white house has restored costa's access. let's get more from jessica schneider. you were there. you were in the courtroom. how consequential is this judge's ruling? >> yeah, wolf, the judge giving cnn and jim aan immediate yet initial one. this is just round one in a lawsuit that could continue here, but for now, the judge sided with cnn, issuing the emergency order that the white house must reinstate his hard pass. that's something the white house did today. judge kelly, he was appointed by trump. he's been on the federal bench for just about a year, but u he did come down against several of the government's arguments, even indicating if the president tries to fight cnn fur the, the
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judge said cnn would likely prevail in the case. the judge criticized the way the white house went about taking away jim's hard pass, saying that it was quote, shrouded in mystery. especially since the justice department lawyers who argued this case on wednesday, they couldn't even conclusively tell the judge who ordered it. whether the it was the president or the press team and the judge also questioned why the white house gave some of those shifting explanations and even noted that sarah sanders' initial claim that acosta inappropriately touched a white house intern, the judge said that was likely untrue and partly base d on evidence of questionable accuracy. the judge referencing the video clip sanders tweeted out last week. this was a narrow ruling and that he said he was not deciding that broader first amendment. you know, there are -- they put it this way.
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they said continuing to defend the white house's lawful actions here, it -- and maybe go from -- >> they're saying they would just leave if they don't want to answer questions from reporters. what's the white house plan going forward? >> as for the lawsuit, the question is will the white house continue to fight? it seems like they will with this recent department of justice statement. to create those rules for future press conferences. he talked today how he set a limit on how many questions reporters can ask. how he'd stop them from making statements and he did say that if reporters don't comply with those rules in the future, the president has promised to throw them out. the president also indicated this might not be the last court fight we could see in this matter. take a listen. >> if they don't listen to the
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rules and regular lationregulatd up back in court and we'll in. but more importantly, we'll just leave and then you'll be really happy because we get good ratings. >> so the president promising to set maybe new rules at those press conferences, but what about in the courtroom? what happens after this initial victory for cnn and jim acosta? well, the lead lawyer in this case for cnn, he said the network is open to a settlement that would avoid further legal proceedings, but at the same time, wolf, the legal team is ready to go forward and litigate to protect first amendment rights for all journalists. >> jessica, thank you very much. and joining us now, ted, the attorney representing cnn. congratulations on this initial victory. thanks so much for joining us. explain, ted, what the judge specifically ruled out today? >> what the judge ruled today was based on our request for a temporary restraining order.
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it's a first step, but extremely important. the judge ruled that mr. acosta's press credentials needed to be giving back today and said a first amendment right of access to the white house, a libertyprotect ed by the due process clause and it's not per miss bable to deprive somebody of that. that wasn't done here so the court ordered the press pass be given back. so we're cheering the first and fifth amendment. >> and so the judge said jim has to give his hard pass back immediately. i want you to elaborate the message this sends out. >> this sends a very strong message because to have a ruling so quickly, one of our arguments was that every day that mr. acosta didn't have his press kre kren shls was irreparable. it's very rare to have something happen this quickly. in fact, the report so
quote
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unequivocally said that what the white house had done did not comport with due process, likely did not. we haven't finished the case yet and said the white house can't violate the rights of reporters and news organizations. i can't throw people out arbitrarily and that's an important message for our country and democracy. >> let me read the statement sarah sanders released, quote, today k the court made clear there is no absolute first amendment right to access the white house. in response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the report reporter's hard pass and further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. there must be decorum at the white house. how do you resfopond? >> first x i think it's good if they're going to develop stab standard, but the first part, that she's distorting the
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court's ruling. the court ruled a first amendment right of access to the white house. they opened their doors. a vital part of our dmomsy to be able to cover it. that's a distortion of the court's ruling. one of the other things the court ruled today was that miss sanders initial statements about why they were revoking mr. acosta's press credentials was likely untrue. based on the information of questionable accuracy, that's when she disseminated this videotape and claimed something else happened that just didn't. >> and her statement saying they view it differently than you. >> when folks see the written transcript, they'll agree with me and not here. >> where does this go from here? what's next? >> the next, we owe the court a report on monday about the next steps in briefing what's called the preliminary injunction. that's the next step. it can only last two weeks.
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so we're going to come a briefing schedule then hearing date for the injunction. the government will be able to respond more fully. they had a day and a half to respond to put more briefing in and can try to put evidence in. they didn't put any evidence in so we'll go through that. we may have a hearing again in a couple of weeks. there's still more work to be done. mr. acosta is going to be covering the news and we're going to try to make this a permanent victory, but we're very happy today. it's an important day for our institutional system. >> thanks very much. just ahead, more on the president's latest huddle with his lawyers as he tries to get his final answers to robert mueller on the question of collusion. will the special counsel find the president's responses believable and by his claim that he wrote all the answers by himself? ever. ♪ behr premium plus, 'behr' through it all with a top rated paint at a great price.
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it's taken him days and days and they've been going through this process for weeks and months. >> months, yes. as usual, the president is respond iing to what he's read. in the knews media. told "the washington post" that the process is complicated. that raise issues. the president i think correctly thought this the better spin to sp put on this was the whole thing was easy. i answered these questions, answered them. where the truth is in this beats the heck out of me. why he's saying what he's saying. >> because as jeffrey and jackie points out, yesterday, giuliani said these questions create more issues for us legally than others. some of these questions that mueller submitted. >> particularly when talking about obstruction of justice questions, which is why his lawyers are going through these
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are a fine tooth comb. they don't want the president to write something that will get him in further legal jeopardy. that's why they're not doing the questions face-to-face in part because the president has the tendency to e lap ration. yes, the lawyers are writing the questions. >> elaborate. i like that word. is that what the president does? i think according to many people, what he does lie. and i think that maybe is a b bigger problem. >> we could play word games all day. >> let's be precise. the president says he hears this whole mueller investigation could be wrapping up soon. >> the first point, we don't know. this investigation has been incredibly successful at keeping news the dark. lodgely, you would say if you are up to interviewing the principle in the case, that you must be getting you know, logically, you would say you're getting near the end.
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the big question is whether the president is making these pronouncements because what he's hearing via lawyers or whether he has kind of a sense that his acting attorney general is put ing pressure on mueller. to wrap it up. those are very different rationales and expeck tactation what those comments would mean. >> what do you think, jeffrey? >> i think this is closer, much closer to the end than the beginning, but keep in mind, the white house has only agreed to answer questions about the parts of mueller's investigation that deal with pre presidency. the president's dealings with russia if any during the campaign. they are still a complete logger heads about whether the president will answer any questions rartding things he did as president. the firing of jim comey, for example, the president's lawyers have said that's protect eed unr article two and it remains to be scene whether mueller will force a fight over that, which could
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delay the whole thing for months. >> a shot in the midst of this, we got an intriguing development today thanks to a justice department major blunder, we now have learned that julian assange may be facing criminal charges. there may be sealed indictment right there and we know that potentially, there's a connection there to the russia investigation. >> potentially. but as you point out, wochl, this is still a sealed dime, so it's unclear exactly what this indictment charge is and whether or not it has anything to do with mueller. there are a couple of options. on the one hand for a long time, the justice departmentd the ider assange and they've not done that r for obvious reasons because of freedom of the press issues or what have you. but if there's a charge here against assange, this would necessarily have to do with the act of actually getting information to release. you know, if they are looking at not the fact that he may have
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been involved in some sort of hacking or some sort of computer fraud, a case that can be made there and that would be potentially tied to the mueller investigation. >> mike pompeo, jackie, himself, when he was cia director said that wikileaks was basically a hostile intelligence arm of the russians. >> right. you know, now, he, i don't know that he's back up on that. but he certainly hasn't been as brazen as he was or as forward as he was. i know jeffrey can give me the better word. than he has in the past. >> well i think it's a tough call. the legal issue connected to the wikileaks is really hard. because you know, we want to have a system where journalists can receive classified information. improperly obtained information and give it to our readers without being prosecuted. that's how things have worked to date. is that what julian assange and
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wikileaks have been doing? that's one way of describing it and if that's the way you describe it, we don't want that. >> with the government, jeffrey says, wikileaks is a hostile arm of russian intelligence. not a journalists organization. >> well, i mean, i understand that's what secretary pompeo said when he was cia director, but look at the facts. he received documents and then b b distributed them to the public. you know, if he's a bad person or if he has bad motives, that's not necessarily relevant to the legal questions. the legal question is he performing a journalistic function. this is a very unusual situation. but i think it's a lot more complicate. >> before we get to the issue of whether or not there were sealed documents there's the issue of how he received those. whether they were accurately involved in stealing those documents. that raises another legal issue
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that he could be prosecuted for. >> hold your thought for a moment. we've got a lot more coming up. let's take a quick braeg. we'll be right back. i'm at this wing joint telling people that geico has been offering savings for over 75 years. that's longer than the buffalo wing's been around. dozen wings. and did you know that geico... (lips smacking) offers mo... (coughing) motorcycle insurance? ho-ho... my lips are burning. (laughs) ah... no, my lips are actually burning. geico. over 75 years of savings and service. see how much you could save at geico.com. it's too hot. oh, this is too hot, mate.
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we have more breaking news. "the washington post" is now reporting that the cia has concluded that the saudi crown prince ordered personally
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ordered the assassination, the killing of "the washington post" contributor, jamal khashoggi. this story says the cia assessment, the officials who prepared the assessment for the cia drek r tirector and the pre of the united states have high confidence it was personally r ordered by the crown prince. >> so what that tells me is that the cia has looked at not only human intelligence, but samples. they've compared notes with other agencies and prepares consulted with other agencies and gathered enough information to come to the fact he was involved in the killing of this journalist. this is something that a lot of us was the case and it's highly unusual for the cia to make such a definitive assessment, but this seals the deal for everyone who kind of looked at the story. and we're thinking that this just doesn't smell right. >> it's going to put enormous
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pressure on the president of the united states to do something about u.s. saudi relations. >> it will and it won't just be coming from externally outside of the country. it will be coming from congress. we had someone like bob corker, who's on his way out, that he thought mbs was it was getting closer and closer to him, but the white house has tried to push this away from mbs because they really invested in that relationship. just a couple of days ago, john bolton said the tape that's out there apparently didn't implicate thim thim. >> ron, what do you think? >> this is the last thing the president wants to tedeal with. he has done everything he can to avoid imposing accountability on saudi arabia. it goes to the broader vision of foreign policy that's almost completely detached from any kind of connection to american values. not only with adversaries, but with allies. as we saw again with the struggles and conflicts in paris
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and you do see this as one area where there's a piece of the republican party that is willing to stand up. >> we've heard from president and other administration officials that their sense this was a rogue operation, but if you believe the cia assessment, it clearly was no rogue operation. the killing of khashoggi. >> absolutely not, but you know, let's remember, the united states senate is not just in republican hands. it's in even more pro trump hands than it was before election day. that the even the mild critics like flake, like corker, they're gone and mitch mcconnell is not going to let anything come up for a vote that donald trump is against. and especially when it cops to foreign policy. so this is embarrassing. this is you know, it's a
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grotesque story. but is it going to constrain the president in remaining alive with mbs? >> i think that's a critical point because everything this president has done up to this point when it comes to the intelligence community has been to side with. this is a high confidence assessment. this is the intelligence committee -- this is an opportunity for the president to say look, i've got a committee that serves me and works to give me the vaadvantage. he can do the right thing here and side with the intelligence community. >> another new nugget in the story is that the crown prince's younger brother who was until recently, the saudi ambassador to the united states, personally assured khashoggi that if he went to the consulate in istanbul, he would be safe. clearly, he was not. he has not come back to the united states. the saudi ambassador. we'll have much more on all of
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this. this is breaking news. we'll be right back. you always pay your insurance on time.
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we're continuing to follow the breaking news on the killing of the journalist, jamal khashoggi. we're also learn about another
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controversy. we're joined by michelle. you have some exclusive new reporting. what are you learning? >> reporter: well, you know, it has been nearly four years since the saudis launched this intervention in yemen, fighting against a rebel group called the houthis. where it stands right now, it is the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. 13 million people at risk of starving to death. since the murder of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi by the saudis, the u.s. has pulled back some of the help it gives the saudis in yemen but one might think at this point it would be a no brainer for countries in the u.n. security council to put out a resolution calling for the cessation of hostilities, to allow humanitari humanitarian aid to get in. now we find out that the uk that's been putting together a resolution sent its foreign secretary over to saudi arabia this week. he brought a copy of the draft resolution with him and sat down
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face-to-face with the saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman. one source tells us that's unusual, normally for a discussion like this he would meet with somebody on his own level but two sources tell us that the crown prince, quote, threw a fit over the resolution. other sources are more diplomatic. they say he didn't like it. he has reservations but overall it was a cordial discussion. so now the uk secretary goes back, has discussions with allies like the u.s. and france to try to figure out what to put in this resolution, highlighting just how sensitive this is. how concerned western allies still are about possibly hurting the relationship with such a key ally in the middle east and that possibly having repercussions. today, a human rights watch said that the saudis have way too much sway in the u.n. security council, so now this resolution that we expected to see come out this week, we likely won't see a draft until next week, but there are going to be a lot of eyes watching to see how tough the
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language, essentially rebuking the saudis, is or is not, wolf. >> all right, good reporting, michelle, thank you very much. also tonight, north korean state media says kim jong-un has personally overseen testing of a new high-tech weapon that appears to be a direct message to the united states as nuclear talks between the two countries have stalled. let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what do we know about this weapon and why north korea is now boasting about it? >> reporter: that's the key question. why are they doing that? and wolf, the unanswered question always is, what is kim jong-un really up to? north korean state broadcasting announcing kim jong-un has personally supervised testing of what it is calling a new ultramodern weapon. the only evidence so far? a photo of kim with his commanders but no indication of when or where it was taken. south korean sources say it may
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have been long range artillery. the worry? not the weapons test itself. sources say it may not be that new. but why now for kim? >> it certainly shows a return to the militaristic stance of north korea. it's certainly in contrast to his statements of seeking peace. >> reporter: a sign of that peace process, south korean guard posts blown up at the dmz, a confidence building measure. u.s. intelligence still believes kim wants a nuclear deal with president trump in exchange for sanctions being lifted. but kim is under pressure from his own elites not to give away the store to the u.s. >> he has to depend on the military, his security forces to stay in power, and those security forces and the military were never going to let him make a bad agreement. >> reporter: now, a possible concession from the white house, trying to find a way to ensure there will be another trump-kim summit.
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vice president mike pence telling nbc news that a list of nuclear and missile sites must be discussed between the two leaders at the next meeting instead of insisting north korea provide the information beforehand. >> i think it will be absolutely imperative in this next summit that we come away with a plan for identifying all of the weapons in question, identifying all the development sites. >> reporter: talks have stalled, discussions with secretary of state mike pompeo were cancelled earlier this month. it's a stark difference from the image president trump painted just after the midterm elections. >> we're very happy how it's going with north korea. we think it's going fine. we're in no rush. >> reporter: north korea also announced it's deporting an american man who entered a restricted border area and claimed to be cia. south korea believes it's the same man who was caught in similar circumstances last year and deported according to the associated press.
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and the trump administration issuing a statement about that situation, and obviously very pleased that the north koreans are not holding on to this man. >> kim jong-un, barbara, has been complaining about a lot of things, including u.s. military exercises. does the u.s. take that seriously? >> reporter: well, you know, the big exercises had already been cancelled to try and stir movement towards diplomatic action to keep kim happy, if you will. there's some small-scale exercises going on. he's complaining about those too. the theory goes that he is trying to get as many concessions out of the u.s. as he can in order to keep those elites, those security forces and his military forces back home happy and keep himself in power. >> all right, barbara, good reporting. thank you to you as well. before we go, a very, very important programming note for our viewers. please be sure to watch my special report, "ted turner: the maverick man," a profile of the founder of cnn as he celebrates
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getting ready to celebrate his 80th birthday. happy birthday, ted. he's a great, great man. he did so much for all of us. we are grateful to him. the program airs tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. eastern, right here on cnn. "erin burnett outfront" starts "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com president trump calling for respect and decorum in the white house. this is reality. plus, president trump's legal team pushing back on specific questions from special counsel robert mueller. and we're going to tell you what they are. this as trump says he has written the answers to mueller himself. and the breaking news this hour, "the washington post" reporting that the cia has concluded the saudi crown prince personally ordered the assassination of jamal khashoggi. not what president trump wanted to hear. what will trump do now? let's go "outfront."

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