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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 12, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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of endangered specie. an environmental promised to challenge this move in court. follow me on facebook and instagram and twitter at jake tapper or tweet the show at "the lead." coverage on cnn continues right now. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, shooter's friend charged. federal prosecutors charge a friend of the dayton, ohio, gunman who killed nine people and injured dozens. authorities say the man bought the 100-round magazine and body armor used in the attack and helped the shooter assemble his gun. tonight what we're learning about why he helped the killer hide his weapons. punishing immigrants. the trump administration is rolling out brand-new regulations designed to deny green cards or visas or citizenship to people who come to the country legally just because they have used federal aid programs. at the same time the white house
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said it is planning more radi radio -- more raids on people who use immigrants. also breaking, losing the mooch. president trump is escalating his feud with anthony scaramucci, the mooch as he's known is now against the president's re-election bid because of mr. trump's behavior after last week's mass shootings. scaramucci said the president is acting nonsensical. how is the white house responding? and russian nuclear mystery. new questions about what caused a deadly explosion and possibly russia's worst nuclear disaster since chernobyl. is vladimir putin trying to cover up a meltdown in his nuclear program? i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we're following breaking news in the investigation of the mass shootings that left nine
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people dead in dayton, ohio. police killed the gunman less than a minute after he opened fire but now federal prosecutors have filed charges against one of his friends. he's accused of buying the high-capacity magazine the gunman used during the attack and wounded dozens of people. and also tonight, president trump is escalating his feud with one of the most loyal defenders. anthony scaramucci said he no longer supports re-elected the president citing statements and tweets he said that i'm quoting now, a license to hate. and the trump administration has announced new regulations that could limit legal immigration. the rules could prevent low-income immigrants from getting green cards or becoming permanent citizens if they use federal aid programs such as food stamps which is legal. i get reaction from denny heck, a member of the intelligence
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committee and our correspondents and analysts will have full coverage of the top stories. let's begin with ryan young. ryan, tell us more about the breaking news about the new charges filed in the aftermath of the dayton mass shooting? >> reporter: wolf, new information in this case, ethan caulley charged with providing materials to the shooter. we know that 100 drum, the ammunition drum was out there before has now been connected to this man and according to investigators he wanted to hide it from his parents and that is why connor [ inaudible ] and investigators talked about how it was ordered and assembled at an apartment and during that time they did drug. in fact, listen to federal prosecutors talking today. >> caulley indicated that he purchased the items for betts and stored them at caulley's residence to assist in hiding the items from betts' parents. >> reporter: this is important if you think about the shooting where nine people were killed.
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that high capacity weapon was used and as you walk down the street methodically trying to get inside of the club, federal investigators and local police who showed up that video as police were able to surround him and shoot him before getting in the club, tems us that if connor betts was able to get inside hundreds of people could be injured but we know these two men were talking about part of this in terms of weapons and assembling it at the apartment. what we do know from federal investigators is they do not believe this than many idea about the shooting or what was going to take place and they've been able to get into the shooter's phone and starting to go through that evidence because of course people in the community are wondering about what the motive could have been in the shooting. that so far hasn't been determined yet, wolf. >> and prosecutors are also the shooter hide the gun, the - ammunition, the clips and all that, right? >> reporter: right. exactly. at his apartment. they believe he got the 100-round drum and part of the
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ar-15 and the body armor which was supposed to be so important as he moved his way down. of course the cops were able to surround him and take him down before he got inside of the apartment -- but you see atf and federal investigators were at the apartment the day after the shooting. they did quick work in the case to figure this out all. >> they did. ryan young, thanks so much for that report. the president's response to the mass shootings has cost him the support of a one-time aide. let's go our chief white house correspondent jim acosta outside of the president's golf resort in new jersey for us. jim, the president's -- feud with anthony scaramucci seems to be escalating. >> just this afternoon president trump and scaramucci exchanged attacks on twitter and president trump said he just wants to be on tv and scaramucci said the president has lost his fastball. stephanie grisham is accusing the mooch of acting in a way and
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now the question is whether other republicans will follow. >> reporter: it is a mooch mutiny as former white house communication director skrar is bolting from trump world, announcing he will not back the president in next year's election. >> i think you have to consider a change at the top of the ticket when someone is acting like this. >> reporter: the reason scaramucci points to the president's handling of the mass shootings in el paso and dayton and the divisive rhetoric. >> he is giving people a license to hate, to provide a source of anger, to go after each other. and he does it on his twitter account so let's just stop for a second and think about this. >> reporter: that rare criticism from a trump loyalist turned defector comes after the president slammed scaramucci over the weekend tweeting, anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on tv. and it is not for being the mooch. white house press secretary stephanie gresham said scaramucci is just out for attention saying in a statement he worked at the white house for less than two weeks and is
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certainly no expert on this president. this is all self-serving on his part and the media plays right into it. it is embarrassing to watch. but the president's critics say mr. trump has learned little from the el paso shooting and still targeting latinos. noting a new administration policy aimed at making it tougher for legal immigrants to receive government assistance like food stamps. >> we're simply making effective what congress had already put on the books. so there is no reason for any particular group to feel like this is targeting them. this will apply across the world. >> reporter: announcing the change, top immigration official ken cuccinelli predicted more i.c.e. raids like the operation last week in mississippi which leapt immigrant children in tears. >> you could expect to see more of that as part of the message this administration, we're going to enforce the law. >> reporter: on vacation in new jersey, the president isn't taking a break from twitter, re-tweeting a conspiracy theory over the weekend that the clintons were somehow behind the apparent suicide of sex offender
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jeffrey epstein, part of his long pattern of spreading false conspiracy theories. >> he think the president just wants everything to be investigated. perhaps there is a public interest in knowing more about that but again this is all speculative and not for me to go further than where the doj and fbi are right now. [ crowd chanting ] >> reporter: one actual occurrence that isn't getting much attention from the president, the fact that it has been two years since the white house -- that the white supremacy in charlottesville. >> excuse me, excuse me -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> and you had some very bad people in that group but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. >> reporter: it is not clear whether scaramucci's defection will have much of an effect on the rest of the republican party. the president spent much of his vacation already fundraising to hold a rally in new hampshire later on in the week.
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scaramucci said he's only saying out loud what many republicans say privately. wolf. >> jim, thank you. jim acosta reporting. joining us now democratic representative denny heck on the house intelligence committee. congressman, thank you for joining us. several issues i want to go through with you but let's start with the news the friend of the dayton shooter bought the high-capacity magazine used in the attack and first of all, do you support a ban on the high-capacity magazines. >> sure. i see no reason why these weapons whose only purpose to kill as many people as possible allowed on the streets. i hope this individual is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and according to the charging authorities but the fact of the matter is we won't begin to mitigate this. as important as prosecutions are, until we could adopt common sense gun safety legislation. >> republican congressman mike turner who represents dayton,
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now supports limits on magazines. is this an area you think you could find common ground, democrats and republicans working together? >> well, i hope so, wolf. and in fact, i see some ser pentible shift going on here. you had the mooch response to that in a rare instance, i actually agree with the president, the mooch will say anything he can to get attention but i find it rich the president would accuse anybody else of this. but you also had your own host s.e. cupp announce she dropped her membership in the nra. there are signs here but we need to qualify and tem -- and temper this by martin luther king who said wheels don't not have inevitability and the president is fickle and could change his position and said that he hopes to get something in the way of background checks but the nra who is opposed to all gun safety legislation will have a seat at the table and we know that at certain senator john ber oso
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from wyoming doesn't see something happening here. so this will happen if and only if the american people rise up and make their points of view known and said it is time to put a stop to the senseless slaughtering of american citizens in our malls and churches. >> we've gone through this drill so many times and how do you make sure this time, congressman, this will still be a priority when congress returns in mid-september from the recess? >> so there are a lot of members of congress, including the majority of the house, who you know, wolf, passed not one but two gun safety legislation bills in february. six months ago both related to background checks. the only way in which the senate will move is two-fold. one, if the presidentst united states finally makes his position clear and sticks to it. that it is time to stop the slaughter. and i frankly don't think that will happen unless americans throughout our great land make it clear to him that this is what they expect him to do and what they expect the united states senate to do. >> on immigration, congressman,
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this new rule that -- that the administration is putting out to penalize people who use certain medicare and it will benefit immigrants with better english and better education. is the administration bypassing congress to enact the president's vision of what the president calls merit-based immigration? >> well, yes, of course he is. the president hates all immigrants unless his mother and father-in-law and his wife. he hates them when they are here without document orz a green card or here seeking asylum and he hates them all. and the irony of this particular circumstance, wolf, is a lot of people here who are on green cards are working in very low-paying jobs that nobody else wants to do and that is why they qualify for some of the benefits. he's not only going to be hurting these families, he's going to be hurting the local economies which need these people to fill the jobs. >> if it is harder to immigrate
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legally, talking about people who come to the united states legally, could this actually incentivize illegal immigration? >> well, as i think i've said to you on this very program, wolf, i believe the president's behavior over the last two years has, in fact, incentivized an increase attempt to migrate to the united states because the so-called coyotes down in the three triangle countries of central america have been telling people, you better get in now because it will only get worse. so i think his rhetoric has increased efforts to get in legally and illegally. >> the trump administration as you know has also directed immigration and customs enforcement to conduct more raids like the ones we saw in mississippi the other day. what is your reaction to that? >> you know, wolf, i didn't go to sleep after the night of that raid feeling one bit safer because these 600 people got up very early in the morning to go work in a chicken factory and provide for their family.
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it seems to me the priority of i.c.e. ought to be trying to find those people who have genuinely criminal backgrounds and i'm not talking about speeding tickets. some of the people actually had ankle bracelets, not because they were criminals, but because they had sought asylum here and that was the way to continue to track them. i don't feel any safeer that i.c.e. undertake this is. i think they out to have better priorities for what they use their money for. i was just down at the border week before last and we have a situation down there that isn't good. and it is going to get worse as the president implements his so-called -- and i say so call advisedly, migrant protection protocol where he is sending everybody back south of the border. i was in el paso the day before the walmart incident and the truth of the matter is juarez is going to struggle and i think it is a ticking time bomb to deal with all of the people seeking asylum in america that we've sent south. i think that is extra legal and there are two courts that have suggested that it is an illegal
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action but we'll see where that goes. >> ruptive denny heck, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, sir. up next, president trump said he received what he described as a beautiful letter from kim jong-un last week. but kim's government is following up another round of missile launches with a crude and rather vulgar complaint. and a deadly explosion followed by conflicting reports of a possible radiation release at a military test site in russia. did one of the vladimir putin's newest weapons blow up? it's a beautiful piece of land.
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breaking news, president trump is ramping up his feud with former white house communications director anthony scaramucci. who criticized the president's divisive and sometimes racist rhetoric and announced he no longer supports the president's re-election. let's dus with our political experts. chris cillizza, you write that what scaramucci is doing is trying to soothe his own conscious. explain what you mean. >> okay. anthony scaramucci in interview with john newman on new day and several other interviews in the last 27 hours said this is a nuclear reactor melting down. his -- donald trump's
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divisiveness and cleat -- is providing cover for people who think offin tolerance. and two days ago was the anniversary of the death of heather heyer who president trump said both sides are responsible. scaramucci has every right to say i no longer support this president but the justification is things are different with donald trump than they were two years ago or five or ten years ago is not bourne out by the facts. >> toobin, scaramucci reports to the president's increasingly divisive rhetoric as the reason he can no longer back the president. but as chris cillizza just pointed out, this rhetoric has been going on for quite a while. >> i'm not nearly smart enough to know what is going on inside of anthony scaramucci's brain but i do know he's not an elected official and what will matter is when republican-elected officials who are running for re-election
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start criticizing the president. because that is going to indicate that they believe the republican party is moving away from him. jeff flake, bob corker, the senators who criticized the president, republicans, they fled. they gave up. because they knew how much donald trump controlled the republican party. anthony scaramucci doesn't control any votes as far as i'm aware. the interesting thing and the important thing will be when republican-elected officials start standing up to him and as far as i'm aware, not a single one has. >> the ones who have, the elected officials quickly announce they're not seeking re-election for whatever reason. >> exactly. >> jackie, why is scaramucci's abandonment causing the president such grief, because he's tweeting about it sort of nonstop. >> that is a great question. we feel like it is a broken record at this point. who isn't the president attacking on twitter. i think this goes without being
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said but the president just does not like being publicly humiliated and he's obviously an avid cnn watcher. and cable news consumer. but i think jeffrey is right. at the end of the day it doesn't matter what anthony scaramucci says. what matter is what all of the people who continue to work for him are saying and what they really refuse to say on the record about the president and what elected officials also refuse to say about this president. >> just one quick thing to add to jackie's point, i do think it is worth noting trump has loyalty over law. when sunshiomeone breaks that c- that code for whatever reason, he can't keep it to himself more. that probably explained the scaramucci thing. we've seen that with other people who have broken from donald trump whether it is amma rosa and he reacted that way because he can't help himself. >> let me get april to weigh in. what do you think?
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>> wolf, i want to go back to chris's earlier point. this demask us moment for anthony scaramucci has been an evolution. i remember when anthony scaramucci and i first met we were on opposing sides of each other about donald trump and he went in on me. and then we talked about it. and then later on he became a white house employee for 11 days and thin stel in support of the president and still on television and he and the president were talking. but after a while there was an erosion and anthony started to see the light and he would say things that made me say, hmm, he's think being this. and then i emailed with him yesterday and today and we have been talking and he's very concerned about this -- all of this racial animus and rhetoric that the president said and this elijah cummings stuff and the tweets and comments especially when elijah cummings's home was broken into. it bothered anthony and talked about how he treated me, how the
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president tweeted me and he's concerned on this two-year anniversary of charlottesville at the same time anthony is coming out saying this but anthony is also taking -- getting death threats because of this and this is -- this is what people are not reporting but he told me today via email he's getting death threats because he came out against the president. he feels in his heart this has to stop and he doesn't feel the president should be re-elected. >> you make an important point, jeffrey toobin, that despite the rhetoric the approval among his base really hasn't changed. >> yeah, because what we never fail -- we never come to grips with is that all of this hostility to immigrants, all of his racism maybe that is what people like about him. maybe it is not something they just put aside. maybe the fact that donald trump disparages immigrants the way he always talks about people of color and disparaging ways, the
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way he gloats when elijah cummings' house is broken into. maybe that is what people like about him. that it is not a flaw. it is not a majority of the population but the idea that his racism and his bigotry are going to cost him support, maybe it will gain him support. >> everybody stick around. there is a lot more we need to discuss and we will right after a quick break. billions of mouths. billions of problems. morning breath? garlic breath? stinky breath? there's a therabreath for you. therabreath fresh breath oral rinse
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. back with our analysts and correspondents and april it has been two years since the deadly protest in charlottesville that led to the president's infamous comments very fine people on both sides and now the el paso shooter is believed to have paritied president trump and does the president fully understand the impact of his own words? >> the president is cunningly skillful and strategic in his wording. he knows what he's saying. and he knows what he does. again, i've said this before, he may not think he's a racist but the racist believe he's a racist. this president has got to understand that words mean something. and he does know words mean something. but his use of words at the wrong time. and not only has this president
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put himself in a situation where history will carry those words from charlottesville, or when he talked about the exonerated five, both sides. he said things to evoke feelings from a certain group. but those feelings are causing a division in this nation that we feel that we see and people are now getting hurt. and this president understands even though he's limited in his governing, he understands keenly what he's saying and doing. >> and it is very interesting, jackie, because you saw "the new york times" analysis that shows the language used by the confessed killer in el paso doesn't just match what president trump has been saying but relied on terms that he and others have been saying like invasion, replacement commonly used by this right-wing media attack by white supremacists if you will. so what does that tell you? >> the conservative eco chamber has had a corrosive and damaging
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effect to democracy. but i want to go back to a point that april made which is so important, it doesn't matter whether or not the president believes he's racist. he understands that his explicit racist attacks and his coded attacks on people of color and lawmakers of color, he understands the political expediency of these things and that it works to his benefit and works to stirring up his base. so whether or not a democratic candidate wants to call the president a white supremacist, he is aiding and fuelling them and providing them with ammunition to carry out these pretty atrocious things that are resulting in mass shootings and in death. and i think we all really need to be watching out for his next campaign rally, i think that is the next true test of whether or not he understands the gravity of his words and it is clear from his visits last week that he didn't see the need for unity as the rest of the country did. >> and always has been since a candidate. his first speech announced and oh, i came down the gold elevator or escalator and that
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is when he said mexico is sending us rapist and criminals and not forget when he talked about gonzalo curiel, an indiana-born judge of mexican descent overseeing a trump universitiy case and he had a conflict because trump said he will build the wall. he has throughout his life and not just his political career, weaponized race and racial animus. it is a fact. you can't debate it. and at the start he knows what he's doing. >> jeffrey, what do you think in. >> birtherism. >> it is the core of his political appeal. the reason he's involved in politics at all is that he told racist lies about where barack obama was born. that is the -- that is how he became a -- went from being a reality television star to being a political figure. by telling these racist lies about barack obama. and so it all flows from that.
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and in the idea that he's going to change in some way is absurd because if you remember the 2016 election as i think many of you do, he won. and he thinks he's going to win again the same way. >> a lot of people -- democrats are nervous, chris, because, yes, his job approval number hovers around 43%, 44%, but when folks are asked in the national polls, his approval on the economy is in the mid-50s. >> yeah. if you had a messenger who focus focus focused exclusively on the economic numbers that is a bigger worry. donald trump ain't that messenger. he steps on good economic news regularly with his tweets, with his comments, with his attacks on people like elijah cummings. so i actually think that disconnect should worry republicans more than democrats. the reason why is typically people approve of the economy, presidential approval is high.
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the fact that people approve of his handling of the economy and his presidential approval is still in the low 40s, that would concern me if i was donald trump because something that -- that is a. historical and i don't know how solvable it is. >> stand by. new developments in the investigation following sex offender jeffrey epstein jailhouse suicide over the weekend. sources tell cnn epstein was not checked on for a number of hours before his death. our national correspondent athena jones is joining us. bill barr said there were serious irregularities at the jail. update us. >> reporter: that is right. according to a.g. barr and not checking on epstein's cell is gent protocol. according to a source briefed on the matter who spoke with my colleague evan perez for a number of hours leading up to his death, guards did not check on his cell. it is protocol for guards to check on inmates every half hour. and justice officials have also uncovered broader problems here
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at the facility. it is long been considered among the best in the entire bureau of prison system. but these issues are certainly to be part of the investigation into what happened to epstein. tonight growing questions and investigation announced after accused sex trafficker jeffrey epstein died from apparent suicide over the weekend and in manhattan metropolitan correction center. >> i was appalled and indeed the whole department was and frankly angry to learn of the mcc's failure to adequately secure this prisoner. >> reporter: william barr blasting the jail for what he called irregularities that are concerning. and the department of justice inspector general said he would get to the bottom of what happened. the financier was found unresponsive in his cell on saturday morning and later pronounced dead at a local hospital. the medical examiner conducted
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an autopsy on sunday but has not determined the cause of death pending further information. epstein had been held in the federal jail since early july when he pleaded not guilty to charges of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls, some as young as 14. he was placed briefly on suicide watch after he was found in his cell with marks on his neck on july 23rd. but he was taken off suicide watch at the end of july. according to protocol for the special housing unit where he was kept, guards are supposed to check on inmates every 30 minutes. but a source tells cnn, epstein's cell was not regularly monitored the night before he was found dead. >> was this a matter of incompetence, indifference or something more nefarious. >> reporter: epstein's apparent suicide is less than 24 hours after over a thousand pages of documents containing more disturbing sex trafficking allegations against epstein were unsealed in a related lawsuit one of his alleged victims filed against one of his associates. as for epstein's accusers, now robbed of a chance to face him
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in a court of law, barr insists this is not over. >> but let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who is complicit with epstein. any co-conspirators should not rest easy. the victims deserve justice and they will get it. >> reporter: and there is more on the legal front today. epstein accusers are asking a federal judge to unwind the non-prosecution agreement epstein reached with federal prosecutors in florida over a decade ago as part of the previous sexual abuse case. that would give authorities greater power to go after epstein's alleged co-conspirators and that 2007 deal granted immunity and identified four women by name. wolf. >> frieda jones in new york. thank you. just ahead, experts fear a deadly mishap involving a nuclear-powered russian missile may have just caused worst
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tonight president trump is weighing in on twitter after a u.s. official told cnn a new type of nuclear-powered russian missile likely caused a deadly explosion at a remote military test site. there is concern it may have caused the worst nuclear accident since chernobyl. our senior correspondent fred
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flig polite again is joining us. >> reporter: it is a nuclear miss cruise that is powered by a nuclear engine and you're right, president trump weighing in on this as well saying the u.s. is learning a lot from the mishap that took place and a lot of pop are very concerned about the quality of the air in that area. the russians for their part, wolf, not acknowledging that it was a new type of rocket and not saying whether or not there is actually any radiation that was released. here is what we're learning. tonight confusion and concern about a mysterious explosion and a missile test gone wrong that some now fear could be the worst russian nuclear disaster since chernobyl. moscow acknowledged a blast took place at a naval range last week but won't say whether it was nuclear. instead saying liquid fuel caught fire during trials in the arctic north, leading to the blast. local authorities initially said they recorded a short-term spike
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in radiation levels. but their statement was later deleted. and the defense ministry claimed no dangerous substances were released after the explosion. but tonight experts tell cnn satellite images show the russians have sent a special nuclear fuel carrier ship to the area. >> that ship is used to carry nuclear fuel and russia in the past has used that ship to transport the radioactive reactor unit from the nuclear powered cruise missile. >> reporter: russia state-run nuclear agency did admit that five of the employees were killed in the blast. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: a chain of tragic accidents happened. although our preliminary analysis indicates they were fighting to get the situation under control. unfortunately that failed. >> reporter: last year vladimir putin revealed russia is testing nuclear powered cruise missiles to counter nato's missile defense systems. >> translator: now that the
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missile launch and ground tests were successful, we can begin developing a new type of weapon. a strategic nuclear weapon system with a nuclear-powered missile. >> reporter: if this was nuclear, it would not be the first time moscow muddled the messaging after a potential nuclear mishap. in 1986 the soviet union didn't acknowledge the chernobyl disaster until western nations detected heightened radiation levels in europe. >> we need to move quickly and carefully. >> reporter: thousands of people died in the aftermath of that meltdown which is now the subject of the hbo series chernobyl. and in 2000 moscow kept its own public in the dark about the sinking of the cursed nuclear submarine killing all 118 sailors on board. leading to harsh criticism of then new russian president vladimir putin. tonight more questions than answers remain as vladimir putin's office still has not commented at all on the explosion leading russians and the world guessing how dangerous
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the aftermath might be. and just to give you an idea of how low the confidence in the local authorities and their information is for the people who live in that area, we're getting media reports that apparently there was a run on pharmacies in the adjacent towns in that area, people buying iodine tablets to try and counteract any sort of radiation they believe could be in the air, wolf. >> pretty scary stuff indeed. thanks very much. coming up, north korea follows up another round of missile launches with a rather crude and vulgar complaint. yet president trump is touting what he describes as a beautiful letter from kim jong-un. what is the brutal dictator up to now? we're pretty different. we're all unique in our own ways. somos muy diferentes. muy diferentes. (vo) verizon knows everyone in your family is different. there are so many of us doing so many different things. (vo) that's why verizon lets everyone mix and match different unlimited plans. sebastian's the gamer. sebastian. this is my office. (vo) and now with more plans, everyone gets what they need without paying for things they don't.
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tonight, another twist in kim jong-un's campaign to win over president trump. we are learning details about a recent letter the north korean dictator sent to the president, what it might mean for relation with a crucial ally. brian todd. what is kim up to now? >> reporter: he is doubling down on a tactic he used for months, trying to drive a wedge between president trump and his south korean ally, moon jae-in. and the north koreans have resorted to using curse words to portray the south koreans in the worst possible light.
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at north korea's brutal dictator is playing pen pal to the president, is trying to drive a wedge between america and one of its most important allies. kim jong-un's foreign ministry is threatening to freeze south korea out of future nuclear talks, expressing anger over the joint u.s./south korean military exercises under way this week. kim's regime accuses south korea and its president moon jae-in of trying to disguise military drills by changing their name, putting out a rare statement in english that reads an expletive, the hard and dry stinks even if wrapped in a flowered cloth. >> this is the bomb bas we have come to expand of pyongyang's propaganda machine. they're dumping on the south koreans now. they don't respect moon. they're looking for equality with the united states. >> reporter: in apparent attempt to win that equality, kim jong-un sent another letter to
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president trump, which the president again called beautiful. >> it was hand delivered and it wasn't touched by anybody, they literally take it from north korea to my office. we have a system. the old fashioned system. you don't have to worry about leaks. something nice about that. >> reporter: in the letter trump says kim complained a lot about the joint u.s., south korean exercises. trump in a tweet said in the letter, kim did the unheard of, saying he was sorry for something, saying it was a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that the testing would stop when the exercises end. trump and his team minimized several short range missile tests kim's regime conducted in the past few weeks, even though experts say they pose a threat to millions, including 80,000 u.s. military personel in south korea and japan. >> as north korea develops these capabilities, it enhances their ability in conflict to be able to threaten attack on american
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civilians and military personnel living across east asia. >> veteran diplomats say essman in lating trump's ego to get sanctions lifted and to peel trump away from allies in the region. >> this is all about playing to donald trump's vanity, conveying to him that you're the man, you can do the deal that nobody has been able to do before. >> reporter: analysts say while this is going on, it is possible, even probable, kim jong-un is still manufacturing nuclear war heads, perfecting long range missiles in secret, so if the entire process with the united states breaks down, he is going to have new capabilities to show off and use for provocation. wolf? >> thank you. brian todd reporting. coming up, more on the escalating feud between the president and former trump loyalist known as the mooch. i'm finding it hard to
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custody accused of arming the shooter. authorities say he made a crucial purchase that allowed so many people to be gunned down so quickly. crackdown. as the trump administration promises more raids on undocumented workers, it is taking new action that could dramatically cut the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter and stay in the united states. too mooch drama. anthony scaramucci says he is done supporting president trump. what was the final straw, and does it matter to the president as he hits back at scaramucci tonight. and putin's private army. cnn investigates a secret fighting force doing the strong man's bidding. tonight, the kremlin so rattled that a key putin ally is falsely accusing our courageous correspondent of being a spy. we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. i am wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."

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