tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 16, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
locked and loaded while a commander in iran's revolutionary guard said his nation is ready for full-fledged war. this is all happening after a weekend strike in saudi arabia that heavily damaged some of the world's biggest oil production sites. yemens, who the rebels have not only claimed response, they say more attacks could be on the way if the saudis do not back off in yemen. but the white house is not buying that, among them, secretary of state mike pompeo who tweeted this is the fault of iran and iran alone. we should note he did not provide any evidence for the claim, and iran denied any involvement. a top official tells cnn, its's difficult to believe that iran did not play a role. the official says they could not have pulled it off with just ten
drones as they claimed. cnn is tracking this fast moving story from all parts of the world. nick paton walsh is in tehran. kylie atwood is also with us. i want to start with you nick the president starts with the rhetoric but then does not follow through. he also did not call it out like secretary of state mike pompeo did. so is locked and loaded talk or a real threat? >> reporter: locked and loaded means bad things at this part of the world. but at the same time the tweet was being put out, the iran foreign minister was reminding people that the things trump tweets lasts about 10 minutes here. so against the allegations thrown against them, they reject them but they also learned the
departure of the national security advisor, john bolton, they're dealing with an administration in turmoil. and iran's foreign minister said they're giving way to maximum deceit. we've heard iran's president speak saying he believed the drones issue is less about oil and more about regional stability and security. i paraphrase here, pointing towards the conflict in yemen where he said american and european armament is being used daily to put people in awful conditions. so there's clearly a feeling here in the spotlight, they reject the accusations, but slowly we hear more from more anonymous officials about what they think really happened but still there's a massive lack of evidence for an accusation as stark as this. you say we've been here before, brooke, we've not been dealing
with damage of this scale, deep inside saudi arabia, the crown jewels of their economy, an embarrassment for them. they have not come forward and blamed iran, they said it's iranian-made weapons. but we're looking to the days ahead that could worsen this crisis. and iranian officials are hoping an off ramp happens and this can calm this down. >> you're right that pompeo is providing no evidence. kylie you have new evidence on the findings and the attack, what have you learned? >> reporter: we're learning the u.s. has told at least one u.s. ally in the middle east that the u.s. believes iran was behind the attack, which as nick said, secretary of state mike pompeo has publically said. but also the u.s. has intelligence that leads them to believe that iran staged these attacks likely from iranian
grounds. that they didn't come from another place like yemen. we've heard u.s. officials say that yemen, in their accounting, what they are seeing is not the place these were attacked from. but this would be new if these attacks, as the u.s. allies are being told in the region, did come from iran. but weave not seen any of this intelligence publicly pronounced by u.s. officials. they are saying that yemen wasn't to blame but they haven't produced any proof that backs up their claim that iran carried out the attack and the potential that it was carried out from iran staging grounds. and that is the real question here, when and if the u.s. is going to provide that intelligence and what kind of decision they're going to make about the trump administration policy going forward. if diplomat that i spoke to about this, and what the u.s. is sharing privately at this point with u.s. allies said it's one
thing for them to tell us. it's another thing for them to show us. >> kylie and nick, thank you both so much from iran and washington. bob bear, a former cia operative, focussed on the middle east. tells cnn the attack on the saudi oil fields could force the u.s.'s hand when it comes to iran. >> it's very unlikely that yemen has the technology to launch ten drones, evade radar and the rest of it. we're pretty well settled on the idea that the huety's who've claimed responsibility for this are backed by iran. we're inching for a conflict with iran. there's no way this administration or europe can let this go. you know, this is a stabilization facility that provides up to 8 million barrels a day. if you take that thing out and continue these attacks we're
talking about the energy supplies for most of the world. sabrina is a reporter with "the washington journal" and a cnn political analyst. thank you for being here. i wanted to go back to president trump's lock and loaded comment. in one tweet he says the u.s. is ready to respond. in another he says, quote, we are waiting to hear from the kingdom has to who they believe was the cause of the attack. it almost seems like the president is waiting for permission to act. do you think it's because of his close ties with the saudi's? >> it's highly unusual for any administration to outsource its foreign policy to another country, particularly one where we have as complex a relationship as we do with the saudis. this administration, like previous administrations, has largely turned a blind eye to
humanitarian atoarocities in yemen, there's been decreasing support for that effort from members of congress and then there's this administration's response to the murder of jamal khashogg khashoggi. the president's son-in-law, jared kushner, is close to the crown prince, and then there's the financial entanglements that the president's family has in the region. so the question is, is the president's response going to be driven more by what is in the interest of the united states and his national security or his personal rapport with another regime. >> you hear bob pointing out this is a massive supply of the world's oil. >> that's a complex question for this administration. on one hand it's a president in favor of scaling back u.s. involvement overseas,
particularly the middle east. then they have to deliberate whether this can go ignored, what response is appropriate. i think there's a higher burden of proof as the americans are wary of the lessons learned from the iraq war. when you take this president in particular and his pension for insk inconsistencies and at times not telling the truth, what the options are in engaging militarily with iran. the president on multiple occasions has ignored the council of his own advisers. withdrawing from the iran nuclear accord. he has the opportunity to de-escalate if he sits down with the president. >> members of the media lashed out. let's listen to what they have said in the last couple days and
months. roll it. >> the president has made clear, he's happy to take a meeting with no preconditions but we are maintaining the maximum pressure campaign. >> the president has made clear he's willing to made with no preconditions. >> no preconditions? >> not as far as i'm concerned, no preconditions. >> you hear it for yourself, this is false. why is the president trying to pretend otherwise? >> it's unclear and often times he has this approach he wants to appear tough at the outset of these negotiations but he's trying to label these assertions that he was willing to meet with no preconditions as fake news. but the sources are his own cabinet officials. >> yeah. >> you know, all of this notwithstanding, i think that's part of the problem with this president is there's so many inconsistencies at a time you need steady leadership. this is the first time he'll have to sit down with the iranian president to
de-escalate. i don't think there's appetite for potential military conflict. another thing, this comes at a time when the president lost his national security advisor, he's surrounded by a lot of acting officials. it's not clear who's calling the shots. certainly secretary of state mike pompeo has perhaps the most influence and is the one that holds the president's ear. it would be more reassuring for people if the administration were coming in from a position of strength but it's characterized by a great deal of dysfuncti dysfunction. they have to make sure they have a unified posture when they go in and sit down with president rue ha knee. >> is the president looking out for the united states or the president? good to see you. thank you very much. new details today on the investigation into justice brett kavanaugh's misconduct before his confirmation. what we learned about who was and who was not interviewed by the fbi. plus senator elizabeth warren
has yet to take on the president with policy but she has a plan for that. the woman accusing antonio brown of rape meets with the nfl today. could this change the game plan for next sunday. you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin, we'll be right back. my grandfather had an amazing life, but ancestry showed me so much more than i could have imagined. my grandfather was born in a shack in pennsylvania, his father was a miner, they were immigrants from italy and somewhere along the way that man changed his name and transformed himself into a successful mid-century american man. he had a whole life that i didn't know anything about. he was just my beloved grandpa. bring your family history to life like never before. get started for free at ancestry.com
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we are back. you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. new outrage today over one of the most contentious issues of the trump administration. the sexual assault allegations against supreme court justice brett kavanaugh. at least six democratic presidential candidates are calling for his impeachment after the "new york times" published an exert of a new book on kavanaugh. joe biden, bernie sanders, amy klobuchar are calling for further investigation. it details conduct when kavanaugh was a student at yale. and democratic senator chris coons urged the fbi in a letter to interview one particular witness, the same person the times reports saw the incident. justice kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the accusation and the
"new york times" on sunday put out an editor's note saying the female victim in their original story declined to talk and her friends say she does not recall the incident. cnn is not reporting any details of the claim because we have not independently corroborated it. but that's not all from this book excerpt. it also describes how an attorney for one of kavanaugh's accusers, deborah a ramirez gave the fbi a list of 25 witnesses but the fbi did not interview a single one of them. president trump has sent tweets supporting brett kavanaugh, and goes on to say, the justice department should come to his rescue. ann milligram once served as the new jersey attorney general she's a professor at nyu law school now. thank you for being here. when you see the president saying the justice department should come to his rescue, does
the president not realize that the doj is not his personal law firm? >> it feels like the president keeps forgetting that, and i've been a state, local and federal prosecutor, none of those offices, including the united states department of justice work for the political head of the country. so there's a deep problem with the president using language that suggests that the department of justice should in any way be involved with rescuing someone. what is really the issue here is what the department of justice should have done. the fbi is a part of the department of justice, what has not been explained is why those 25 witnesses were not interviewed. why a full and fair investigation was not done. and what's deeply problematic is that the senate majority, the judiciary committee majority, the republicans did come to credibility -- they made credibility determinations about deborah ramirez and it's clear now they did it without the full investigation. >> they were tasked, they had a little period of time, the fbi
to do this investigation. why wouldn't they have spoken with other 25 people. >> that's a great question. it feels congress should look at that question. it appears they were limited in scope by the senate committee, they were asked by the senate u judiciary majority, to do a small number of people and not do the corroboration or not to interview other witnesses that might have had information that related to the allegations. that's very unusual. i've overseen background checks as ag, probably thousands of criminal investigations you always follow the facts and evidence where it goes. >> what about the fact that chris coons, the democratic senator, urged the fbi to reach out to this witness with key information about this alleged incident back at yale and apparently the times is reporting that the fbi didn't investigate. how does a letter from a sitting senator get overlooked? >> that goes into the same
bucket if witnesses are saying here are five people that could provide information, if a sitting united states senator said someone came forward to me, we would expect the fbi to run down the leads. whether or not there's credible evidence is another question. but to not start that, i find deeply problematic. i would not have conducted a background check that way. let me move to the opioid crisis, fpurdue pharma is filin for chapter 11 bankruptcy to settle litigation with two dozen states. it's been part of the settlement, but what happens next? >> this is part of a settlement with 24, i think, states and counties and territories in the u.s. are part of the agreement. there are a number of states that aren't. so this doesn't end the conversation about what happens to purdue. in many ways it starts the
conversation. the goal of the company is obviously to sort of halt their more than 2,500 cases brought against purdue to halt all that civil litigation in an effort to find a settlement and restructure the company. but there's questions like how much money will come out of purdue pharma will other states who settle. will the sacklers, who own the company, be personally litigated against. it looks like a big deal, and it is, but it's step one in a long process to figure it out. >> thank you very much. the republicans challenging the president are furious as some states cancel primaries. and senator elizabeth warren rarely uses the teleprompter but she will be doing so tonight. one of her new plans would have targeted the president's sister. we'll explain coming up.
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using the president and his family as case productions. close the loophole that allows federal judges to escape misconduct by stepping down from their post. quote mary ann trump berry resigned from the bench ending an investigation into the trump family's decades long tax scheme for potential fraud. she goes under my plans, investigations will remain open until findings are made public and any penalties for misconduct are issued. joining me now is dana bash. what do you make of her using such specific examples? how effective will this be? >> she is trying to prove a lot of things p but she's trying to prove she's the best democrat to go up against donald trump. by citing not just any family
member, in fact, just reading through this plan again which is very lengthy again as you can imagine, she cites several trump family members. but on the issue of the president's sister, she's not somebody who has been really part of the political discussion as aggressively as you might think she's been because there's so much. the volume of questions and chaos coming in and out of the administration, swirling around the administration is so great. but what she's referring to is the fact that the president's sister retired at age 82. it's not like that would be that surprising. but the fact is that she retired apparently after she got word that there was an ethics investigation opening up after the "new york times" did a lengthy piece suggesting she was involved in an alleged tax scheme back in the 1990s. so that's what that's is
referring to. back to the point of her proving she's the best person to go up against donald trump. you can bet there's going to be a tweet, plus plus from the president -- >> plus plus. >> -- because of her singling out his sister. this is important to note, that's just one thing. there are so many issues in here in this plan that she put out and the speech she's going to give about it, talking about the corruption that she alleges goes on. you know, on many, many levels with washington, but in particular this administration, this president. >> we'll watch for her tonight and then the trump tweet plus, plus. let me ask you about this. there are three republicans challenging this president in the primary. but they are now sounding after off republican leaders in several states cancelled their 2020 primaries. and mark sanford isn't actually ruling out a legal challenge in his state of south carolina. this is joe walsh. listen to this.
>> we can't just cancel elections in this country. that's what donald trump is doing. he's literally canceling elections. and it's very easy to be pissed off at trump but we're used to this with trump. he is a would be dictator, he'd like this to be russia. i'm blown away in my disappointment with the republican party, who is in cahoots with this president. >> does he -- do they have a point? we should note that both parties have done this in year's past. >> that was right. that's what i was going to say. yes, he has a point but it isn't unprecedented. go back to 1992 when george h.w. bush had a primary challenger, pat buchanan, the party also cancelled primaries to help. it's happened in both administrations when their
incumbent is part of their party. having said that, this is a president who ran on a rigged system and fixing a rigged system. so it's a bad look to cancel primaries if you say that you want an open and fair system, in general, that includes the party in which you are leading. it is also true, brook, that going back to that 1992 example, pat buchanan, obviously did not win. but it is an example through history of a real challenger to an incumbent causing that incumbent to become a one-term president. george h.w. bush lost in 1992 to bill clinton. if you go back to jimmy carter, he had a challenger by the name of ted kenny and jimmy carter ended up losing to the republican ronald reagan. so there is a history, a pattern when an incumbent gets an actual challenger them not surviving in
the general election. this is a president, though, who has almost unprecedented support among the republican base so it's hard to see any of these three challengers really getting ahead. but getting back to my original point if you're going to say you're fighting against a rigged system and you don't allow people to be on the ballot and voters to vote within your own party, it's hard to make that argument. >> thank you very much. >> thanks, brooke. in the biggest labor strike in a decade, negotiations are underway right now after nearly 50,000 auto workers walk off the job. we'll take you there. as antonio brown's accuser tells her story to the nfl. i'll talk to the columnist who says there is no right or wrong for the patriots, only wins. orlando isn't just the theme park capital of the world,
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the woman accusing nfl star antonio brown of rape and sexual assault is meeting with the nfl today. brittany taylor made the accusations in a civil suit filed just a couple days ago. taylor has known brown since college. she worked as a trainer for the seven-time all pro. brown denies the allegations claiming the two had a consensual relationship. today's high-stakes meeting with the investigators at the nfl coming woun day after the controversial player made his debut for the super bowl champions. brown caught several passes, including a touchdown, but his
future with the team and really the league is now up in the air as the nfl is now getting the accuser's side of the story. nancy armor is a sports columnist for "usa today" and she writes bill belichick's prominent use of antonio brown on sunday left no doubt where his moral compass points straight up, by way of his middle finger. >> does belichick just not care? >> he's trying to do whatever it takes to win. if that means playing a player that others would, you know, have some concerns about the optics, he doesn't really care. we've seen this throughout his career that he's willing to do whatever it takes in order to have the patriots win. >> there was a report out before sunday's game that bob kraft, the owner of the team said they wouldn't have signed brown, had they known about the lawsuit. if you take kraft at his word, why do you think he played? why wasn't he benched? >> and that is the million
dollar question. but this is the patriots trying to have it both ways. you have robert kraft saying i wouldn't have signed him, then you have bill belichick not only playing him but making him a dominant part of the patriots' yesterday. if he was such a concern, you didn't have to play him yesterday. you could have deactivated him or not played him or not gone to him. but this is the patriots trying to have it both ways. >> what do you make of how much they played him and the big tom brady embrace in front of the cameras, you point out in your column. what do you make of that? >> i think this is a message sent this is the patriots way, and p patriots way is doing it their way. it could be a fact they don't know how long they're going to have him so they are going to get the most use out of him as they can. it's two-fold. >> last question, what do you
know about the nfl's meeting with brittany taylor. >> she said she will cooperate. because there are no criminal charges filed here, the nfl needs to see if there's a sense if the claims have merit. and the only way to do that is talk with her authenticating claims she made, text messages she had in her lawsuit. after meeting with her, it could be a different story. >> thank you very much. good to have you on. >> thanks, brook. up next, thousands of vaping cart ridges spiked with illegal drugs. we'll talk to an investigative reporter who looked into the dark side of the cbd craze. ♪ work so hard ♪ give it everything you got ♪ strength of a lioness ♪ tough as a knot ♪ rocking the stage
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accused of running an illegal vaping operation. investigators are testing dozens of cartridges. those arrests come as federal health officials are trying to track down the exact source of lung illnesses linked to vaping that have killed six people and made hundreds more sick. holbrook, thank you for being here. first of all why would someone want to do this, to spike, you know -- to do the spiking? just to be malicious? >> the best we can tell they do it for economic reasons. synthetic marijuana is man-made, it's much cheaper to make that in a basement or lab than it is to grow hemp and extract the cbd from it. >> so you guys did this whole investigation. what was your biggest takeaway? >> well, the investigation started when authorities in
mississippi raided some case stations and vape shops and t s tested the cbd products in there and they found fentanyl. so we began to wonder how big a problem is this? so we surveyed the 50 states and found in nine states, cbd products had been tested, mostly vapes but also edibles like gummies and contained k-2 or spice. so based on what we learned from the survey of the states and online discussions board which people talked about buying synthetic products or what they suspected to be synthetic products, we went out and bought products, tested 30 total and ten of them were found to contain synthetic marijuana. >> the ones that contained the synthetic marijuana, were they just off the street or from a legit dispensary? >> these were purchased from a
conve con convenience store in florida, and a store in los angeles, as well as a convenience store in south carolina. >> and the people behind spiked vapes leave few clues as to who makes them or what's inside. so how is someone to know if they're getting a good product? >> they don't know. if you don't do your research, you're not going to know. one of the brands that we tested, we purchased seven from three different states, and four of those were spiked with synthetic marijuana. so even if you were to use the same brand, you might not know from location to location or time of purchase if it's safe or not. >> i know it's the fda that's in charge of regulating cbd, but if some vapes have this -- the drugs, the synthetic marijuana in them, then it's the dea.
why can't law enforcement get a handle on this? >> the dea tells us they're fighting this unprecedented battle against opioids, you have thousands of people dieing and they have to -- they have to set their priorities. and that's what it is. it's, you know, drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine, those type of things. >> i appreciate you coming on and you guys doing this investigation. thank you very much. it's frightening. >> i appreciate you having me. thank you. more on our breaking news this afternoon, the u.s. has assessed the attack on saudi oil facilities, they're assessing that it came from within iran now we wait to hear from the white house. plus even before this confirmation, the president said the u.s. is locked and loaded but then the white house tries to backtrack by asking you to believe that up is down and left is right. new analysis next. but allstate helps you. with drivewise. feedback that helps you drive safer.
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that in america's criminal justice system we deincarcerate women and children, end solitary confinement and work on keeping families in intact. >> when you finish your term in prison you should not only be able to vote but have access to housing, to pell grants. >> i recently spoke to several amazing women working to improve the lives of women who have been incarcerated. they've teemed up with an organization called ladies of hope ministries. and its founder topeka k. sams turned her own story of incarceration into action. watch this. >> tell me a bit about your story of incarceration and what you've tried to do to help on the other side. >> right. for sure. growing up in new york, born and raised in long island, two parent home, franchise business
owners, had every opportunity in the world. decided to do to college in baltimore and end up getting caught up. you get away from the sheltered life into a different life. and ended updating guys selling drugs, selling drugs myself which eventually landed me in prison on a federal charge. when i was there, even having visits every week, access to phone calls, being able to call friends and family and realizing most of the women there did not. and when they came home they wouldn't have resources to come home to. the conditions of confinement were unhumane. people were getting beaten, raped, didn't have access to proper hygiene products. children were being ripped away from their parents. mothers are being kidnapped off the street for charges being criminalized for poverty and addiction. god placed it on my heart to start the ladies of hope
ministries. and i created an organization that helps to impact thousands of women across the country. >> i want to come back on what you're doing to help. how -- like i know the wmba has been powerful on social issues, black lives matter, social injustice, gun violence. why women and why mass incarceration? why is this important to you. >> i think it's important not only to myself but my teammates. it's important we have the platform and we're able to advocate what we believe in and we're able to reflect that in our unity day. and it's great to have kia clark to back up and remind us when you take your jerseys off after those two hours in practice, in a game, you are an individual in society and we are impacted as well as african-american women. >> i joke with topeka before we
started today she rattled off 10 or 15 things we could do. what are the action items that as an organization, as a team that could help the system -- >> like what? >> going out in the schools and talking to the youth. i was surprised by how many parents stood up during that event and talked about how they wanted their young daughters to hear these stories. they needed young women to understand where their lives could end up if they don't kind of listen to not just what their parents are saying but what others are saying who have been negatively impacted by situations like this. >> you talked about how it touched your heart and you are walking the walk now. how are you working to help women coming out on the other side. >> our work is epic. we say ending poverty and incarceration of women and girls. because of that, in order to end mass incarceration you have to end poverty. the way you do that, you have to make sure people have their basic needs met. it's a human right to have
sustainable housing, food in your stomach. so we created hope house. the angel food project, which is a partnership with whole foods, and other markets in the city. and then in order to empower women to use their voice we created faces of women in prison, a speakers' bureau where we feel women should not just retell their stories without being paid. that's public speaking and that's a career someone can get into that will help to change legislation. we do legislative add koe va say. we help women find jobs. we're hiring women who can go into these corporations and have jobs. but utilize all their skill sets to transition their life into something they can be proud of. we're doing incredible work because we are moved from that lived experience.
>> thank you, ladies. if you'd like to learn more about ladies of hope ministries and how you can help go to lohm.org. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. continue on. you are watching cnn i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. the "new york times" is reporting that prosecutors in new york have subpoenaed the president's accounting firm for eight years of both his personal tax returns and his corporate tax returns. so that, in part, involves the investigation into the hush money payments made to stormy daniels. keep in mind this comes days after cnn reported that prosecutors spoke with the president's former fixer, michael cohen in prison. let's go to our cnn legal analyst, and former federal prosecutor for the southern district of new york. what's your reaction to this? >> this looks like a logical next step