tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 11, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT
administration about steps next and working with russia and the change in behavior from syria and russia because of the threat of a possibility military strike. >> indeed. you've been watching "around the world." thanks so much for your company today. wolf blitzer in the cnn newsroom next. >> happening right now, a ceremony is getting under way over at the pentagon on then, the anniversary of the september 11th attacks. earlier, a moment of silence marked the exact moment of impact. also right now, authorities are inspecting trucks at two bridge and tunnel locations in virginia after a threatening phone call. state police are on high alert in the hampton roads area. also right now, the obama administration facing new questions on syria after the president's primetime speech last night. reporters are looking for answers at today's white house briefing.
>> i'm wolf blitzer in washington. president obama hits the pause button on military action against syria to give diplomacy a chance. but how long can he wait and what happens in the meantime? later this hour, i'll give you my take on what's going on. last night in a primetime speech, the president made his case for military action and he pushed congress to give him the authority to strike syria. at the same time, he said he's willing to give a diplomatic effort by russia some serious time to play out. >> it's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed. and any agreement must verify that the assad regime keeps its commitments. but this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force. particularly because russia is one of assad's strongest allies. >> so here's where things stand. military ablgz against syria clearly on hold for now. the president has asked kong are esto post phone any votes on authorizing a u.s. military strike. one big question is whether
syria will comply and surrender its chemical weapons. the president says the u.s. military will keep the pressure on and be ready to responsibility if diplomacy does not work. the next crucial step in all of this, trying to iron out the details of this russian plan to be put syria's chem weapons under international control. now we're getting a report that russia has given the u.s. its plan for initial review. let's bring in foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty watching what's going on. jill, what are you hearing about this report? >> well, wolf, those reports are coming in from the russian wires and they're coming from kazakhstan where the minister lavrov, foreign minister is currently. he will soon be on his way to geneva to meet with secretary kerry. and they are saying that a plan, no details yet on that plan, has been turned over to the united states, and it has a plan of
implementing that initiative for putting the chemical weapons under international control. now, just a couple of minutes ago, in the briefing at the white house, jay carney outlined three parts that would go into that. he said they'd have to be secured, they would have to be moved from assad's control, and then ultimately they would have to be destroyed. now, we do know that secretary kerry and lavrov also will have technical experts who will be sitting down in geneva when they meet on thursday. they'll be going over all of these details because after all, this is a complex thing to do, and even more so in a war zone. wolf? >> you know, the secretary of state and the foreign minister of russia, as you know, jill, they've spoken at least nine times we know of since that august 21st chemical weapons attack in syria which the u.s. says killed 1400 people. so the stakes are enormous
really for tomorrow's meeting in geneva, right? >> reporter: they are because really, this is the way either something is going to be worked out or it isn't. because right now, this really is what's stopping president obama from going forward with that vote. it's the diplomatic initiative they're hoping. and it's really a technical initiative that they're hoping can actually work. there's a lot of doubt. you'd have to say as you well know, in washington, this might be a delaying tactic. might be a delaying tactic by russia or by syria. so they have to test it. that's the word you're hearing from a lot of u.s. officials, testing it, making sure that it really holds up and it's something that can be done realistically as opposed to just pushing off some type of deadline. >> jill dougherty for us in moscow. thank you. so what is president obama's next move on syria in what about the u.s. congress? what do lawmakers do right now?
brianna is at the white house. the diplomatic efforts by the president, some serious time on syria. what is he planning to do during this pause, shall we saw? >> you know, right now, wolf, the focus is very much on what comes out of this meeting with secretary kerry and his counterpart, sergey lavrov. it does appear at this point at that time white house is trying to regroup and sort of figure out what their next step is. if you ask them, they'll say plan a was military force. plan b is now this diplomatic effort. if that is to fail, then we could go back 0 plan a. of course, as dana will tell you, the appetite for military force on the hill was already small before, and it has only diminished because of what has happened with this being a potential diplomatic i guess off-ramp you could say for the white house right here. so they're putting a lot of emphasis on the meetings that are going to happen in geneva.
i think they're hoping that buys them time here through the weekend, and as well as they're looking to the u.n. to sort of buy them time, as well, wolf. >> and the president is making it clear, did he last night, his aides are making it clear, they're going to continue to hold this military threat directly over syria right now because they believe that's giving the impetus, if you will, to the syrians and russians to at least consider some sort of diplomatic move. >> yeah, that's what they say. there's a couple ways to look at this. one they do feel that this development did come about because they had this military threat, but at the same time, i think they were also searching for a way to justify why president obama essentially as we know now, wolf, kind of took the u.s. to the brink of their being a strike. so i think in a way, they're also looking to save a little face in what appears to be president obama kind of going back and forth. we heard last night in the speech he argued for military
force but he also argued against it. so there certainly is that element they're trying to make sense of some of this here. >> brianna keilar at the white house, thank you. let's go to capitol hill right now where the president made an in-person appeal yesterday to both democrats and republican boston now the action clearly on hold at least for now. let's bring in our chief congressional can correspondent dana bash. where do the senate and the house stand right now, dana, as far as a formal syria resolution is concerned? >> reporter: everything is on hold. the pause button has been pressed. that is at the direct request of president obama. i'm told that's actually what he said in the republican lunch that he attended yesterday. but in the meantime, there is some discussion, actually significant discussion going on behind the scenes, particularly in the senate with senior republicans and democrats trying to come up with the proper language that they would not need if in fact they would need
to push the diplomatic process forward by keeping the teeth of military activity as an option. so that is being discussed. but it really is on the back burner. meanwhile, we're seeing something that we have not seen very much of at all in recent years. and that is bipartisan praise for russia. watch this. >> i believe that russia's goal is, in fact, to eliminate these weapons. and i would point out that that is also our goal. so i very much hope that the pathing to settlement although complicated, no ubt do, but if well intentioned by all participants, it can be accomplished. >> last night, he stepped back from an international crisis that could have had catastrophic consequences by deferring to the russian diplomatic initiative, thank god. >> that kind of sums up the feeling here.
he's pretty candid about the relief a lot of people feel here but they also understand as much as they want to trust that the russians will be able to work this out with the u.s. and then of course, more broadly at the u.n. they're not entirely sure this is not going to come right back into their lap. wolf? >> so do they get back to some domestic agenda issues during this pause right now? they've got to fish the spending bill by the end of this month, a debt ceiling they've got to raise next month. other issues like immigration reform. what's going to happen as far as that domestic agenda is concerned? >> already yesterday afternoon, there was talk in the hall about an energy bill which we hadn't heard at all discussed. anything of that ilk, you know, since congress came back or when they were on recess. of course, the big issue is that this is what we thought we were going to be talking about all of september, and that is the deadline for the government to run out of money at the end of september. september 30th if congress
doesn't pass a bill to extend it. and what's going on right now is absolutely a turn to that particularly in the house where republicans have a proposal for a three-month extension and they're struggling to get the votes because of opposition on the right and the left. ta probably sounds familiar, not just with syria, but also domestic issues, as well. >> these are really, really important issues that have to be resolved in the next few weeks. thanks very much. the controversy over u.s. military action in syria even surfaced today at a ceremony be in new york marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. listen to this. >> and my uncle salvatore, i was only 3 when you were taken from us and we love you and miss you very much. and president obama, please do not bring us to another war. >> that was part of a somber remembrance ceremony held in morning at ground zero, 2,753
people were killed when terrorists flew two planes into the world trade center towers back in 2001. another service is happening right now at the pentagon. 184 people were killed in the attack there. defense secretary chuck hagel will speak this hour. president obama was at a separate pentagon service earlier this morning. he spoke to the victims' family members telling them the hearts of the nation still ache for all the lives lost that day. a service in shanksville, pennsylvania, commemorated the heroic passengers and crew members of united airlines flight 93. they tried to overtake the terrorists when the hijackers crashed the plane into a field. 40 people were killed. and on the first anniversary of an assault on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, a car bomb exploded outside a foreign ministry building in benghazi p while no one was hurt, the blast did blow away large parts of the building's facade. it was exactly one year ago
today, four americans including the ambassador chris stephens why killed in a terror attack on the consulate in benghazi. security has already been tightened at western diplomatic posts around the world on this dale because of 9/11. the syria debate on capitol hill, we're reaching out for reaction from both sides of the aisle. one for, one against. did the president's speech change anyone's mind? we're about to find out. i'm beth... and i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can.
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>> all right. we're just learning that the five permanent members of the united nations security council, that would be the united states, russia, china, france, and the united kingdom are going to be meeting later this afternoon to start discussing what's going on in syria and perhaps this russian initiative to come up with a plan that would not only control syria's chemical weapons but eventually wind up destroying those chemical weapons stockpiles. nick paton walsh is up at the united nations. we'll check with him later to see what's going on. clearly diplomatic movement in advance of tomorrow's major meeting between the secretary of state john kerry and russian
foreign minister sergey lavrov. though the senate vote is clearly delayed the president will still need an answer an at some point down the road. does he get the go-ahead from congress just in case if the new diplomatic case russia initiated does not pan out? oo. >> even a limited strike will send a message to assad that no other nation can deliver. i don't think we should remove another dictator with force. we learned from iraq that doing so makes us responsible for all that comes next. but a targeted strike can make assad or any other dictator think twice before using chemical weapons. >> the indiana republican senator can coats was on the fence at least till yesterday. shortly after meeting with the president on capitol hill, he came against any authorization of u.s. military strikes in syria. he's joining us right now. thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you.
>> you're a member of the senate intelligence committee. do you have any doubt that the syrian regime of bashar al assad did in fact use chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 people outside damascus august 21st? >> no, i don't. it the evidence strongly points to the fact he did use these weapons against his own people. >> what, if anything, do you want the united states to do about that? >> my certain is that the president has not announced and i've been in many, many briefings, including direct discussions with the vice president and, of course, the president's presentation to us yesterday, plan b isn't there. we don't know what's going to happen if this so-called limited attack shot across the bow unbelievably small doesn't work. and what it will bring us, how will it engage the united states in potentially a fourth effort in the middle east to resolval problems. hearts go out to those who have suffered, not just the 1400 in the gas attacks but the 100,000
that have lost their lives. we need to very carefully understand what our future is in the middle east in terms of how we can engage and how we can't. our people are war weary but also war wise. we have learned lessons. what is laid out on paper in terms of engagement whether it's just an attack or boots on the ground has not given us the results we hoped for. >> so if the russian initiative were to fail, let's say it fails, if it were to fail, you would still oppose any u.s. military retaliatory action against the syrian regime. is that right? >> well, listen, i don't think it's a all for one, one for all forever draw the line. clearly circumstances can change that i think would put this maybe more in the strategic interests, long-term strategic interests of the united states. an attack on israel, a retaliation, using those weapons across the border, you never want to totally draw the line
and say no. we need different circumstances and more information than we have right now. i think in order to engage. >> so i guess the question is this, and i know that a lot of members are struggling and i'm sure you're struggling, as well. if a country uses chemical gas, sarin gas to poison its own people, we just say the united states just says the international community just says that's too bad. go ahead and do whatever you want. because that's the alternative if you listen to administration officials, they say the president drew a red line deliberately because that is so outrageous to do something like that, the world must do something. if the world doesn't, at least the united states should for moral considerations. you understand that argument they've been making. >> i do. >> well, wolf, i'm not sure that line was drawn decidedly or planned. might have been more accidental. the president found had ipz in a situation where he felt he had
to respond. but no, we take each situation as it arises and evaluate it on its merits in terms of what we can do and what we can't do effectively. because we have not gotten a solid answer in terms of what do we do if this doesn't work and how do we engage and get into a fourth effort in the middle east which doesn't bring us desired results. i think all this has to be put in context of what we're dealing with now and what different circumstances we might be dealing with in in the future. >> we heard several of your colleagues in the senate, democrats and republicans say they hope this russian diplomatic initiative, would. do you. >> we all hope it works. but i think we all have or most of us at least have severe reservations about trusting the russians. what is their motive here? they've been supplying syria with weapons from the beginning. it is their surrogate country in the middle east. they bought time who knows for what reason. we need to be skeptical there and i think the president has indicated that. but you know, we sort of
stumbled into this through accidental diplomacy. it did buy the president some time. i don't think the votes are there either from democrats or republicans to pass this in the senate and give him that authorization. perhaps he wants to pursue this partly for the purpose of better explaining to the american people what our interests are and how we should go ahead. we'll see how all this develops, but we have to be skeptical about the ability of the united nations even to technically carry this out in the midst of a war. it's hard to see how this will be implemented ebtively and perhaps resolve the problem, but if it can be resolved in a constructive way, of course we would support that. >> senator coats, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. the other side of the issue will be heard, as well. we're going dob speaking live with congress woman debbie wasserman schultz about her decision to support the president. what a loss could mean to the rest of the president's agenda. we'll be right back.
side of the syria discussion up on capitol hill. let's get the other side, the florida democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz joins us. thanks very much for coming in. >> great to be here. >> as far as a vote is concerned, authorizing the use of military force both before the speech last night, after the speech last night, it still looks like a huge uphill struggle if not impossible in the house of representatives. given the long-standing opposition, the strong opposition not only from many conservative republicans but many members of the liberal democratic base. is that a fair political assessment? >> well, i think actually, what's the most important development is beyond the president laid out a very convincing case both in terms of the evidence that he presented to the american people, that assad actually committed this attack and murdered almost 1500 of his own people in cold blood but also the moral case. and i think what's clear here, and i think this is the
discussions i've had with colleagues over the last 36 hours is that many of us if not most of us believe and understand that the president won't have this political and diplomatic potential solution to securing these chemical weapons internationally and preventing assad from using this em again without their belief that will we would strike. and that threat was important and it remains important so that they understand that they need to proceed with their proposal to have these chemical weapons secured. >> but i think it's still an uphill struggle. look, i spoke with congressman elijah cummings last night. you know him well. >> yes, good friend. >> i don't think there's a member of the house of representatives who admires and even loves the president more than elijah cummings. even he told me last night he has not yet been convinced that he would vote yet in favor of a u.s. military strike as much as he supports the president, and
he speaks for a lot of liberal democrats out there. so i'll repeat the question. it's still a huge uphill struggle to get those 217 votes that you will need in the house. >> it's important that the president and the administration continue to educate members to make sure they understand that the evidence is there will, that as the world's only remaining superpower that we have the moral necessity to make sure that a leader like assad can never again commit the murder of almost 1500 people, that he did including the children, and then one thing the president said last night really has stuck in my mind. i think this will help members to get to where they think they would support authorization is that you know, as one of the -- as really the only world superpower, when we have the ability to make a difference and engage in moral leadership and
block abhorrent conduct like this, and this is not majorly impactful on the united states of america, it's essential that we do that. we have to -- we have to make sure that leaders like assad and subsequently iran and others and terrorist organizations understand that there will be a certain and severe response when you engage in conduct that the entire world virtually decided over almost 100 years ago was abhorrent and unacceptable and should never be utilized. >> listen to the former president, jimmy carter, how he spoke out on this issue last night. >> congress has not yet decided what to do. united states publicing is heavily oriented against any military strike. i share that belief, but i'm also concerned about what president obama can do now to bring back his stature and to make sure we have a successful
conclusion of rapidly changing events in washington, in the united nations, and new york and syria and obviously, in russia. >> not often you hear a former democratic president speak of a current democratic president that his international stature has been diminished. so what would you -- how you respond to that criticism from jimmy carter? >> well, i mean, i think president carter speaks from experience about diminished stature in an international crisis. but so obviously, his input is valuable. but i think president obama is in the strongest position -- has put america in one of the strongest positions we've been in in over a decade. you know, president george w. bush had significantly degraded our international influence around the world. we stood alone in the war in iraq. we were roundly criticized and rightfully so. and today, we have 35 nations
that have, that, signed the statement in support of the u.s.'s commitment to strike. and who have underscored the importance of degrading and deterring assad from ever being able to commit these horrific acts against his own people, particularly children, again. so president obama's leadership has rebuilt our credibility around the world with leaders that was decimated in the previous administration. >> a lot of people i'm sure will disagree with that assessment, especially given the fact that british parliament, our closest ally wouldn't even support toe tension u.s. military strike in syria. >> the reality is that we have leaders standing with president obama, standing behind president obama that simply weren't there in the previous conflict that turned out to be one that was based on trumped up intelligence. here the intelligence is clear. there's no disputing it. it's essential ta we not allow
any leader in the world and certainly no terrorist organization to think that the united states will shrink from action when people are murdered in cold blood by their own leaders with chemical weapons snees debbie wasserman-schultz, also the chair of the democratic national committee. thanks for joining us, as usual. >> thank you. so here's a question. are there more terror threats facing the united states today than actually before the 9/11 attacks 12 years ago? the new york city police commissioner, ray kelly, says that may very well be the case. he's standing by live. we'll get his assessment when we come back. the day my doctor told me i had diabetes,
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avoid runoff with the second place challenger william thompson. it's unclear if he's clinched it. speaker christine quinn and anthony weiner conceded defeat last night. the election took place on this the eve of the anniversary of 9/11, a very difficult day for the city, indeed for the entire country. somber ceremonies were held across the united states, including at ground zero in new york. joining us from new york right now is the police commissioner, ray kelly. commissioner, thanks very much for coming in on this very important day. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> you recently said, commissioner, that the threat of terrorism is, in your words, as great if not greater today than it was before the 9/11 attacks. explain what you mean about -- because that raised a lot of eyebrows. it raised a lot of concern when i heard you say that. >> well, obviously, core al qaeda has been diminished
somewhat in pakistan and in the fatah, but we see the al qaeda arabian peninsula in yemen, woo he see al qaeda in ma grib gaining strength. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has had several plots against the united states. we see al qaeda in iraq which was basically defunct in 2008. they have re-emerged. we have the al nusra front in syria that is in many ways supplied by al qaeda in iraq. we have al shabab in somalia, still in existence, still posing a threat to us. now, in the last ten months, in new york city, we have had several threats against the city. we had an individual five blocks away from where i stand thought that he was exploding a bomb that was going to blow up the federal reserve bank. obviously, that was a sting well put together by the fbi. we had two other individuals who
came here last november the brothers who were plotting to have bombs go off at iconic locations in new york city. we just had a young man a few months ago based on some significant undercover work, he was arrested, going to yemen to learn about terrorism and terrorism trade craft, and we're sure that he would have come back here. we had another plot where individuals were arrested and one of the things they were going to do was to attack a train going from new york city to canada. we had the boston bombers who were coming back here to new york. so he these are some things that are not necessarily in the public eye, i think they should be, but that's the life that we live here. we've had at least 16 plots directed at new york city since 9/11. so that doesn't look to me like a significant reduction of the threat.
>> let me ask you this. are these so-called lone wolf individuals who are inspired by al qaeda? or are these terrorists ideologies, or are these coordinated plots by individuals from overseas who are using these people here in the united states which was the case of course, on 9/11? >> well, we think that's both. certainly cases where individuals go back, go to pakistan or go to other countries, learn and how to do bad things and come back to the united states. and we've seen that. the brothers we talked about certainly spent time in pakistan. they were not 100% exactly what they experienced when they were there. we saw the older tsarnaev brother who conducted the boston bombing. so i think it's a combination of both. clearly there are people who are
inspired, motivated by the internet. of that's the world in which we live. so it's not only one singular threat that we fa is. >> commissioner, listen to this little line that the president delivered last night in his address to the nation. >> if we fail to act, the assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. as the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have to reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them. over time, our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield and it could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and use them to attack civilians. >> that last line jumped out at me. i'm sure it did at you, as well. here's the blunt question. is new york city, ready, prepared to deal potentially, we hope it never happens, with a sarin gas attack by terrorists?
>> well, when you say equipped, obviously, it would be a develop traumatic event. we do have chemical agent detectors deployed in our city. our police officers have mass rapid response macks to protect them, but the citizenry is expos exposed. so it would be a very, very terrible event to happen here on the streets of new york city. i think we are prepared as best we can as a locality. but you know, use of chemical agents in a built-up area is certainly of concern to us. >> it would be a horrendous development. let's hope it never happens. commissioner kelly, thanks very much for joining us, especially on this 12th anniversary of 9/11. thank you. >> thank you, wolf.
president obama makes his case for attacking syria, but not necessarily right now. we're going to take a closer look how well he delivered his message to some very skeptical americans. gloria borger isened staing by live. woman: everyone in the nicu -- all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment. i wouldn't trade him for the world.
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the president explains to the nation why he thinks the united states should take military action against syria. so here's a question. what is he effective? in a cnn/orc instant poll take immediately after the speech these are people who watched the speech, not the nation as a whole, 60% say they favor the president outlines. 37% are opposed. speech watchers were split whether the president made a convincing case for military action. 47% said yes, 50% said no.
let's bring in our chief political analyst gloria borger. once again, this is an instant poll, not the whole country but only people hole actually were watching the president. he seemed to have two messages. let diplomacy work but keep that threat alive. >> right. and i think what you see in the instant poll is the public seems as am bib lent as the messages, right? we have to pursue diplomacy, but keep the option of force there. and i think what you see is a public that's just as conflicts as the president seems to have been throughout this entire crisis. you know, 2 1/2 or 3 weeks ago, we seemed to be talking about the imminent use of force. then he decided to go to congress. john kerry has a slip of the tongue or whatever it was, and now we're talking about the u.n. and russia. so i think the public has a right to kind of be a little bit confused and am bib lent. >> let's listen to elijah cummings. i interviewed him right after the president's speech last
night. he's a liberal democrat from baltimore, maryland. a strong supporter of the president. >> i've got to get past, wolf, the idea that it might much room into something else. that's the uncertainty. >> in other words, there would be unintended consequences. >> that's right. >> and there could be an escalation of this war and once again, u.s. troops would be on the ground. >> 11 years, trillion dollars, people killed. that's what our folks are worried about. i think that's the worry whether it's a republican district or a democratic district. be frank within my district, i've only talked to maybe three or four people out of 2,000 or 3,000 who said they're for this. >> joe, what does that tell you if even and elijah cummings is not yet on board with the president? >> it tells you this as a war weary country. nobody wants to go to war. the president is saying this wouldn't be a war. that it would be what john kerry calls unbelievably small. but there's a lot of the
reluctance there. it also tells you why the president decided to ask for this pause here in congress because he didn't want to vote because wolf, if you were taking a vote, he would lose. and that would be a huge humiliation for him just as it was for david cameron in great britain. so this diplomatic initiative right now tosses a lifeline, not only to the white house to a certain degree so they can regroup, but also to members of congress who by the way, would prefer not to vote on this at all. >> gloria borger see you later in the situation room. thanks very much. still ahead, first hurricane of the atlantic season now gaining some strength. we're going to tell you where it's headed. a writer and a performer. ther, i'm also a survivor of ovarian and uterine cancers.
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the potential for a diplomatic solution in stocks higher right now. take a look, up about 110 points right now. it's been up yesterday, the day before. people are relieved at least there's a possibility there could be some sort of diplomatic solution. take a look at this. we're getting the first look at the first hurricane of the atlantic season. humberto is a category one with 80-mile-per-hour winds right now. it's churning in the atlantic ocean just west of the cape verde islands. humberto is expected to strengthen over the next 24 hours but it's not expected to threaten land. turning to the contentious debate over gun control that cost these two colorado lawmakers their jobs.
state senate jon morris and senate senator angela gearrin were booted out of office in a recall. the democrats both packed the state's new gun control laws which set off the recall fueled by angry gun supporters. moore says he doesn't support a thing. listen to this. >> if passing gun safety legislation in colorado cost me my political career, that's such a small price to pay because the families of gun violence victims pay a huge price every single day. and so the least i can do is stand up and do the right thing. >> the new tighter gun laws in colorado were passed by colorado's democratically controlled legislature after last year's deadly shooting at the aurora theater. >> vladimir putin putting together a deal potentially when it comes to syria's chemical weapons, but can he be trusted? a former kgb official.
now vladimir putin is fresh off his hosting gig at the g-20 summit. he's looking like potentially a peace maker. brian todd is taking a closer look at this russian leader. what are you seeing? >> the more we look at his efforts to make peace, the more you're hearing skepticism among top u.s. senator s on whether h will be hahn stz. his kgb code name was the great cardinal. can he be tested. john cornyn just a short time ago ticked off several reasons why he said we don't think they could be a diplomatic partner. they have vetoes resolutions on syria. they have sent advanced weaponry to the syrian regime. more than $11 billion in 2000 alone. they're the top supplier of weapons to syria, including some attack helicopters that hillary
clinton warned last year would escalate this conflict dramatically. russia has a naval base in syria on the mediterranean, russia has not been forthcoming with its own compliance with the chemical weapons commission. those are doubts raised on whether russia is going to be the honest broker and just this morning, a russian newspaper reported about their business dealings with iran, another reason that u.s. leaders don't trust vladimir putin here. saying russia is going to offer to supply iran an s-300 air defense air systems when they meet with the president on friday as well as offer to build a second reactor at the nuclear power plant on friday. doing business with iran, doing business with syria, top reasons why john mccain, john corner, and others are very skeptical over whether or not putin will be an honest broker. >> tomorrow, a crucial meeting on this. thanks very much.
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assad, giving the military and economic support they proiz. they insist the threat of strikes has forced the russians and syrians to at least consider some sort of deal, and if implemented, a huge if, it could not only deter and degrade the weapons but actually destroy them. we'll see what happens tomorrow. that's it for me. news room continues with brooke baldwin right now. wolf, thank you. great to be with you on this wednesday. i'm brooke baldwin. we top this hour here with two days, two days after russia proposed it, reportedly the plan for syria to hand over control of its chemical weapons arsenal is now on paper. this is at least according taa russian news service. presumabl presumably, secretary of state john kerry will see those details for himself tomorrow when he meets with sergei lavrov in