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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  February 28, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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different? >> no. it's the same environment. everything is the same. just -- like i said before, 12 years in the nba, not a problem, not an issue. year 13, not a problem, not an issue. same old, same old. >> that's it for me. i'm brooke baldwin. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. the white house warns russia not to do what russia may have already started doing. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. it's playing out like a tom changes see thriller. ousted ukrainian president viktor yanukovych breaks his silence and vows to fight for his country's future as russian troops are spotted. the politics lead. flashback friday. withheld pages from the clinton presidency is released and shines new light on hillary
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clinton. and the buried lead. actor seth rogen calls out washington, d.c., for not calling out something that is important. seth rogen live on "the lead" today. good afternoon, everyone. i'm jake tapper. we're going to begin, of course, with the world lead and armed men who may be tied to the russian military who have seized control of two airports in the ukraine. we're also hearing that as many as 20 russian marines armed with machine guns have surrounded a tv station in crimea, southern ukraine, although for right now they remain outside of the building. marines were called in to keep the building secure. this, as the country's ousted president emerged from the shadows today and came out swinging against his political opponents. a defiant viktor yanukovych made an appearance under russian
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presence saying that he's still in charge and he's not backing down. >> translator: nobody has overturned me. i was compelled to leave ukraine due to a direct threat of my life and my nearest and dearest. >> so that was his explanation for why he left. what he could not explain is how he plans to take back control of the country where an interim government is already in place and elections are set to pick a new leader. not to mention the fact that his supposed benefactor russian president vladimir putin has remained relatively quiet has his neighbor to the west unravels. putin put in a call for european leaders and at the same time, troops identified as russian military forces were spotte in the ukraine region of crimea that has a russian ethnic majority, that area. it's referred to as an armed invasion and prompted secretary of state john kerry to issue these cautionary words.
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>> an intervention would, in our judgment, be a very grave mistake. it would be completely contrary to russian policies as stated now with respect to libya, syria, other places. and any acts -- the question is whether or not what is happening now might be crossing a line in any way and we're going to be very careful in making our judgments about that. >> cnn's ian lee is joining us live from kiev. what can you tell us about the airport and the air space closed? >> reporter: well, jake, the men that have taken this airport or who have been there, i think we don't know who they are but i think what we are seeing is the most telling. these are very professional looking soldiers. they have new equipment, new uniforms, and they are moving in a way that is not would be like
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a rag-tag force. we don't know why the air space has been closed. neither the civil administration here in kiev or in the crimea has given any reason why or when it will reopen again. but definitely tense times here. >> what do you know about reports of the russian military moving directly into crimea. >> reporter: this is something that we've been watching all day. whether it's youtube videos or on multiple local networks. we're seeing at least 11 helicopters moving across the crimea towards an area called ballbeck. we're seeing a youtube video of that and all this is really backed up by the government saying that what we're witnessing is annexation of the area. as you pointed out earlier as well, a probe russian television station has, what we are hearing, marines from the black
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fleet securing it to make sure it's not tampered with. as well, we're also hearing that these forces are moving towards an area of the capital sevastopol. >> has there been any move by the ukrainian military? >> reporter: well, yeah, the government is basically calling this an invasion, annexation of the crimea peninsula. they have called for restraint from the russians. they are saying that the russians need to leave but they are also saying that the ukrainian military needs to show restraint. they are saying they don't want any more bloodshed and right behind me here in kiev, they are still mourning the people who died in those bloody protests just very recent, dozens of
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people died. they don't want to see any more bloodshed. they are trying to go to the security council which is convening. they are trying to go to the european union to make sure that the sovereignty of the ukraine is respected, jake. >> ian lee, thank you so much. stay safe. so what is putin's game plan here? joining me is jane harman, also a member of the defense policy board. and the state department foreign policy board. former congresswoman harmon, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> let's talk about what can only be described as the turmoil. two airports reportedly being occupied. it's unclear by whom at this point. russia is denying their involvement but the men we heard described sound by all indications to be russian military or at least affiliated with the russian military. can the u.s. believe the russians when they say it's not them? >> well, let's be -- we need to be very careful. the john kerry clip that you
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just showed shows that he is being very careful. no question. a third of ukraine is a russian dissent and the history was with the old soviet union and, yes, there have been russians on eastern ukraine soil for years and years and the kgb has its t tenicles out. however, that does not mean that there may be an invasion. this may be an effort to get russia to secede. putin tries to stick his finger in our eye at every opportunity. however, i think we have an opportunity to gain here. it's not just us. it's primarily the eu which is watching this enormously carefully and the upper hand would be to get this interim government to be inclusive, to invite which it has not done. some of these crimeans to be part of the government and to try to set up for the first time
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since the orange revolution a tolerant, pluralist and competent government. ukrainians want competence. they want bread and food. and they haven't had that since the orange resolution. it's been a very disappointing outcome. think the egypt movie. this is not the only place that this is happening. and so if we are careful and if our conversations are somewhat in private, much as this show is wonderful, jake, and if the eu offers the right economic aid packages and if the interim government makes the right moves, vladimir putin is going to be sitting in the corner sucking his thumb. >> yesterday we had senator john mccain on and he said that the eu and the international monetary fund should be in ukraine right now offering money, offering a bailout package, economic assistance to fend off any encroachments by the russians. you agree with that, i take it?
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>> yes. but they offered $15 billion and then withdrew it and depending on what they do with their gas subsidies for ukraine, they can again pull another 5 to 5 billion out of the country and try to let's anticipate the games but carefully done. there is so much reason why ukraine wants to be not part of europe but certainly a pluralist country with a huge european influence and a russian influence and if the ukrainian is smart, they will show the world that they actually know how to fairly and fully include their own people in a government that will just wow all of the rest of us. they have an opportunity. it's tough, but they have an opportunity. >> congresswoman, the british foreign security is going to meet with the ukrainian interim leader. do you think secretary kerry should make a similar offer to go to ukraine? >> well, our government is certainly involved.
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our assistant secretary for europe, as we all know, was embarrassed by putin but she's intimately involved and she's a very capable woman, victoria nuland. i'm sure he will consider making that offer. the whole world is pretty dangerous at the moment, jake. there's a lot of places to cover and we're going to have a lot of middle eastern leaders in washington in the next couple of days meeting with the president. so i don't know when the right time to make that offer is. but should we have our eyes on this? should we be sober and careful? absolutely? this is in the interest of the united states and we do need to pay careful attention to what is happening here and we should not, it seems to me, miscalculate what is going on. saber rattling doesn't necessarily mean that there's a russian invasion. >> congresswoman jane harman, thank you. appreciate it. thousands of documents from the clinton presidency just released, detailing everything from bill clinton's insecurities
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that's why i recommend polident. [ male announcer ] cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. wow, my excedrin reallye.aner, does work fast. not gonna happen. excedrin ends headaches fast. in fact for some, relief starts in just 15 minutes. excedrin. headache. gone. welcome back to "the lead." the politics lead now. it feels like a classic rock radio plug. we're digging into the vault for vintage '90 hits for way back in the clinton white house. moments ago, the first portion of more than 30,000 pages of clinton administration documents went public. earlier this week, josh gerstein broke the news that the documents were being released. cnn has been pouring through these files for relevant information. what stands out among the many
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documents? >> it's mostly color. but the part of hillary clinton, you're able to see that her aides fully acknowledged that there is a problem with her image. that she has an aversion for the washington national press, as she call it. the couple interesting points we should talk about as well, it's really the rolling up to the re-elect for bill clinton. one of her -- her chief of staff, i should say, talks about using not the internet but internet, saying hillary could speak to young women through internet. most of these are actually -- they are written memos. they are not digital. and then another one suggests that they could have her on an issue of home improve the many. improvement. that's way back in the vault. and the show is willing to do a show on women, children, family issues, whatever they wanted and they thought it would make her very likable. and then in 1999, she had an
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exploratory committee, she was going out for a listening tour and an outside adviser was giving her tips on how to handle this saying, no matter what the question, use your answer to get back to our message. you have a tendency to answer just the question asked. that's good manners but bad politics. the stuff that she was trying to grapple with. and then another one was, how does she distance herself from her husband's presidency. it said, don't use the administration's record as your own. one example was when you're talking about the children's health insurance program, talk about what you did, not what your husband did. >> stay with us, bree yan ianna. i want to bring in john king, associate editor for "the hill," a.b. stoddard. john, from what you've seen so far, any game changers in these documents, anything that could hurt a possible clinton run? >> so far, underlining so far, no, absolutely nothing. they are worried about her
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image. she has a distrust of the press. she's very important in policy. you may not find that in the laura bush or barbara bush policies. they were worried, she was worried that the cbo might, quote, screw them. this administration has gone through that. every administration goes through that. we've never had a candidate in the digital age who has everything about her. her husband administration and the records are available. she's never been a candidate we think we know so well, yet there's a huge resource of information that we may still learn things. >> a.b.? >> i think it's interesting what it reveals about the health care debate because it really goes through the tension with congress, the fact that you're not really going to keep your doctor or the fact that corporations are going to go up, not down. and it's interesting timing because this week she actually came out, which surprised me, earlier than i expected, early in 2014, before the midterm
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election when she's apparently going to be making a decision about the presidential run, to start bucking up president obama's health care law. i thought it was very interesting that she dare to say, you know, to take it on so she can be attacked for being willing to stand by a fix-it. people are going to ask her, what are her plans to fix it? i'm surprised she made that choice. >> and there are still thousands and thousands of more documents? >> that's right. today, 35,000 documents. but you're being looking at 30,000 more over the next couple of weeks and then on into the next or really the end of march. so there's a lot more and what did we not see here today? anything about monica lewinsky, anything about whitewater. so the big things are still to come and really i think no matter what comes out of that, even if it's like this, stuff we kind of know but it's an interesting glimpse behind the scenes, it's going to be fodder and used by her critics. >> comparing to what has come
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out so far, the stuff in the blair documents down at the university of arkansas and i think fayetteville seem more telling and potentially more dangerous when she was bad-mouthing the feminists. >> these are bureaucratic documents so far. pretty much standard fare. that's how it works. it's how it worked then during the internet days and it's how it works now. >> the internet days. >> and i'm sure it's how it worked in the radio days, too. trashing people who trash her, building an enemy's list for revenge, it is more personal. but the fundamental question for any of this is, is it new details that you've already filled in for hillary clinton or does it make you stop and say, whoa, this is a new insight into this person. it's very important color and nothing new or fundamentally new. we always knew she was very conscious about her image. i remember covering about being
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very mindful if somebody crosses me, write that down so i can remember that some day. >> what do you think about younger voters for whom monica lewinsky is someone that they've only read about or heard about. >> i think with an ethical scandal or any kind of corruption, what you said about the blair documents, i agree with you. she really feeds to appeal. if she runs for president in 1 1/2 years, that's going to be the history-making banner of her run. anything that would reveal that she's making fun of women, that former senator bob packwood might have groped or anything, that she is dismissive about in terms of women. in any kind of compromising situation, her tone in those diary entries, according to diane blair, really could be more damaging than just this stuff that we find out about how she deals with it. >> republican senator accused of sexual assault, sexual
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harassment and they needed him for health care and she was annoyed at the people criticizing him. >> a.b. stoddard, brianna keilar, john king, thank you so much. he's about to speak at a meeting for democrats. first, funny man seth rogan gets angry on capitol hill. he talked about a topic very close to his heart. >> i should answer the question, i assume many of you are asking, yes, i am aware that this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana. e foo. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. [ male announcer ] just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. [ corrine ] super poligrip is part of my life now. starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family.
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. welcome back to "the lead," time now for our buried lead. that's what we call stories that we don't think are getting enough attention. this is an issue that we don't talk about enough. alzheimer's. this week, seth rogen took on a more serious role. he flew all the way to d.c. to testify on capitol hill about how alzheimer's has hit home. they created the hilarity for
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clarity. republican senator mark kirk tweeted a picture, thanks to seth rogen about efforts to end alzheimer's. rogen said, why did you leave before my speech? just curious? it was, quote, very symbolic of how the government views alzheimer's. it seems to be a low priority. we're pleased that seth rogen could join us from california. >> i'm doing very well. thanks for having me. >> before we get to the senators attending your hearing, i want to get to why you're so passionate about this issue. tell us about your mother-in-law. >> yeah. my mother-in-law -- i've been with my what now wife for almost ten years. i met her mother when she was in her early 50s. and she was very shortly after that diagnosed with early onset
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alzheimer's and now she's in her 60s, early -- by the time she was 60, actually, she lost her ability to walk, talk, dress herself, pretty much all of her motor skills and, you know, the things that made her who she was were gone. and it was truly something that i had never seen before at all. i didn't even know the disease could do that to people at all, nonetheless people that age. and i found it really shocking. >> my grandfather had alzheimer's. it's a horrible, horrible disease. this, i imagine, is why it bothered you so much, that only two senators were there for your testimony. do you think that shows that the others who weren't there, the 16 who were not in attendance don't care about it or it's just a low priority for them? >> i don't know, honestly. and i will admit that i'm very naive to how the government works and how these people's days are scheduled. but to me, there was an enormous discrepancy between how people
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seemed to feel about the importance it needed and how they seemed to feel about the importance it needed. i mean, there are 16, 18 people on that committee. very few were actually there. and it wasn't just me talking. honestly. i could totally understand if they didn't want to hear the testimony of a stoner, idiot, actor. but some of the people talking were some of the most educated and the people who were really on the forefront in the whole world is to try and find a cure for the disease and statisticians explaining the financial toll. i mean, i actually probably had the least actual impactful thing to say when it came on government ramifications and they still couldn't be bothered to hang around to hear it. honestly, to me the most distressing thing is the senator is how he had been diagnosed with alzheimer's and the whole point of a plea like that would be to get the personal connection with the people who were actually making these decisions and the fact that they
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weren't there to hear another senator talk about it was -- it was a little upsetting to me. >> so we believe in getting answers on this show and so we've been reaching out to the senators and their staffs to find out why they were not there. this is some of what they've said. >> whone of them was meeting wi an astronaut. >> mark kirk was meeting with an astronaut. >> and who wouldn't want to meet with an astronaut? >> well, be that as it may, they know that 7 of the 17 were at the panel before yours which included the national institute of health. it's often said, and i think it's true, sparsely attended hearings are not that unusual. 7 did not get back to us but 11 did. you know mark kirk was with the astronaut and also the ceo of a planetarium. one was at a funeral. five others say they were meeting with constituents and two were chairing their own committee hearings. i don't know if that reassures
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you at all but that's what they were doing. >> well, in a way it more speaks to how like the government works in general and my lack of knowledge of it but at the same time, i'm equally disappointed that this whole system is set up to hear the personal pleas of people and they are not there to hear it. they read a transcript of it later or something like that. and the whole point of it just seems a little bit lost, i guess. someone telling you after the fact, oh, and a guy was there and he said how upset he was about the fact that he was diagnosed with this disease and it was very touching. but, yeah, i feel like they were there and it would show people that it was a higher priority if they were there. >> one of the two senators who attended the hearing, republican senator jerry moran said, the most important thing to remember is that the appropriation committee shares seth's commitment to finding a cure which is why we held a hearing
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on the subject. increased funding for alzheimer's research by $100 million in 2014, 20 million more than the requested by president and increased funding for the nih by $1 billion in the last appropriations bill. is funding still out of whack? >> the funding is still out of whack. it's exponentially more costly than other diseases that get, you know, more funding than it does and it -- yeah, it could use much more. i mean, i feel like it is great that they did that and i shouldn't scoff at that. it's a very large amount of money and i'm obviously grateful that that's moving things in the right direction. but, yeah, i mean, one of the doctors who was there was telling me that people who are choosing what type of career they want to enter as doctors are less inclined to choose alzheimer's if it's something that they want to procure because the funding is not
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steady enough to tell them as a doctor that it is financially a stable line of work to go into. and that, to me, was very upsetting. >> you also mentioned something i thought was really interesting in your testimony. that you have a lot of misconceptions about alzheimer's because of the way it's portrayed in film and tv. how -- where is the disconnect? how different is it in real life than what we see on tv? >> it's drastically different. again, i think mtv you see it portrayed as someone forgot their keys or someone keeps asking the same question or they don't know what year it is. but, yeah, the experience with my mother-in-law, anyway, has been -- it's completely debill stated here. she can't speak at all. eye contact is considered a massive victory. i mean, it's, again, just so brutal and depressing. i, as someone who makes movies, understands why it's not been
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portrayed that much because there's nothing remotely uplifting about it. there's no bright size to it. there's no cure. >> of course, it's a horrific killer. it's the sixth leading cause in the u.s. more than 5 million americans suffer from it. 15 million caregivers for these people and the cost is skyrocketing. seth rogen, thank you so much. we'll see you soon, hopefully. >> thank you so much for having me. and for people who want to learn more about seth and his wife's cause, visit the president is about to make a statement on the chaos in the ukraine. we'll bring that to you live when it begins. and a break-out year for black actors and films. but is hollywood making it too tough for black actors to break through? you really love, what would you do?"
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house where president obama is getting ready to weigh in on the tensions in ukraine. armed forces are said to have surrounded airports in crimea and southern ukraine and also a state-run tv station. this, as the ousted president, viktor yanukovych, came forward today vowing not to step down. let's bring in senior white house correspondent jim acosta. jim, what are we expecting the president to say here? >> i think the president is going to back up secretary john kerry and other officials, including jay carney earlier this afternoon, that any moves by russia to intervene in the crisis to perhaps invade that territory of crimea would be a grave mistake, in the words of white house officials and according to secretary of state john kerry. one thing that we've been pressing officials all day long,
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jake, is exactly who those forces are in the crimea area. we're seeing forces with insignias that appear to be blackandover or concealed. it's not clear who is on the ground in crimea. hopefully we'll get updated information from the president as to what that is. jake, make no mistake, this is, again, once again, another confrontation between the president and vladimir putin over what is happening. those events on the ground in the ukraine. >> let's bring in chief national correspondent jim sciutto. i was e-mailing with a senior official who points out that the russians have a base and the question is whether what they are doing is out of line, crossing over what they should be doing. the administration not clear right now. but that is the biggest concern. what are you hearing from your sources? >> reporter: i'll tell you this, jake. i'm hearing increased anxiety. i've been hearing it all day. more anxiety today than
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yesterday and more yesterday than the day before. so these moves have made them nervous. yes, it's true they have a base there and there is an argument i'm sure they will make that they have a right to do what they are doing. remember, you have some very stern public warnings from every single u.s. official in lock step in verbatim rhetoric, really, don't do anything that could be misinterpreted but clearly these are the kind of actions that we're seeing. soldiers without insignias on their uniforms, more than a dozen planes landing at that air field. troops surrounding a pro russian television station. all of the moves that the u.s. warned russia against making appear to be happening right now or things that could be interpreted as such. u.s. officials have not confirmed that they are russian forces. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, the president anticipated a much different relationship with russia in his
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second term. of course, when he told medvedev to convey to putin that he'd have more flexibility in his second term, we're not sure what he might have been referring to, but clearly putin is giving president obama less flexibility when it comes to how to deal with these moves that he's making. >> well, that's really the problem, jake. the only u.s. move is diplomacy and presidential muscle power, which were about to see about the power of the oval office. there is no talk about any type of u.s. military action. nato military action. but i have to tell you, underscoring what jim sciutto said, the anxiety at the pentagon certainly rising throughout the day. the anxiety across the administration. and here's the reason. putin has engaged in an interesting military tactic. he has not given the u.s. any
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warning time. >> barbara, we're going to go live to samantha powers speaking live. >> government efforts with appropriate international assistance to bring bought economic recovery and new hope for the future. thank you. and i'd be happy to take a couple of questions. >> so who should be involved in this international media nation and has the u.s. communicated to russia its concerns that it's greatly disturbed by these reports and it wants russia to pull back? >> first, let me say that the president of the united states will be speaking on the issue of ukraine later today. so you'll hear directly from him. in terms of the mediation mission that we think is urgently needed, i think what's important is that it be seen as independent, credible, obviously
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the secretary general has dispatched a former ambassador to ukraine. as many of you know. the osce has historic connections, obviously, to many, many parts of the ukraine and to the ukrainian people. what we think is important, again, is that there is a mission at a time when the crisis seems to be escalating rather than de-escalating and we think that mission be carried out in service of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of ukraine. >> can i ask you how you would describe the russian military movement in crimea. do these count as an act of aggression? >> i'm not going to be characterizing the movements. you'll be hearing from the president shortly. beyond the point that i've
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already made, we are deeply concerned by these reports, deeply concerned by what we see as the facts on the ground. and we urge russia to help us get ukraine back on a path to a better future. >> thank you very much. >> that was u.s. ambassador to the united nations, some man that power, talking about the u.s. having grave concerns about what exactly is going on in the presence of the russian military. we're expecting president obama to walk into the brady briefing room and address his concerns specifically to president putin and others in russia about what is going on right there. gloria, we were talking earlier -- gloria borger is joining me right now. we were talking a moment ago about what russia is doing and
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it's important for people to have the context, in 2008, russia did invade georgia. it was a completely different set of circumstances. >> right. >> but putin has done something like this before. >> right. and that's one of the reasons, of course, the president actually spoke with putin about this during the olympics and took the opportunity to say that theyle agre theyle agreed that all sides need to refrain from my military intervention. that's why you see the secretary of state john kerry going out very forcefully talking to journalists stressing that it would be hypocritical for the russians to have any military action after they objected to military action in syria and military action in libya. and what we seem to be hearing is some suggestion of international media mission, which you see the united states trying to make sure that they don't end up in an east/west
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confrontation which is something that they don't want. >> secretary kerry saying this is not east versus west. this is not rocky 4. president obama saying we don't view this through a cold war chess board type thing. barbara starr, there have been questions through the last 24 or so hours about these armed individuals in uniforms and whether they are russian troops or just allied with the russians. crimea, obviously, in southern ukraine is majority ethnic russian but what are you hearing? >> the u.s. does now believe that some number of these troops are indeed russian troops, that they have moved some of their forces. let's keep in mind, they have forces at that naval base nearby in self sevastopol and the big
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question is, has this been the russian takeover? this is the assessment that both the pentagon and white house and community is trying to come to this afternoon. they are very leery of talking about it in such absolute terms. they are still of the mind they don't want to escalate the situation further. make no mistake, you know better than anybody, putting president obama out there is putting, like i said before, some serious muscle power of the oval office behind the diplomatic rhetoric. this is a direct message to putin, we know what you're doing and cut it out. this -- the problem that the pentagon has, that the intelligence community has, is over the last several days the russians had been able to move faster, put their people where they want to put them, go to airports, go to bases, move around kiev, move around the crimea faster than the u.s. can
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react to it and right now the intelligence community, the pentagon is playing catchup, trying to figure out what moscow is up to and moscow so far is showing a very shadowy hand, not being terribly clear. and that's leaving the u.s. in a tough spot. just what exactly are they up to and did they, in fact, move over to take over crimea. there are people who are saying that is what happened, jake. >> jim sciutto, what are your sources telling you? >> this is the thing. we've been focused in the last 48 hours on this thing. will russia do a georgia-style invasion in 2008 in crimea today. in effect, that's an i mperfect question. they don't have to do that to carry out a military invention. the other options are smaller forces-led black ops, that kind of thing, and that appears to be what we're seeing right now. so russia, the russian
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officials, sergey lavrov can give assurances that they will not invade, not do a military intervention but in fact what we see happening in reality is a smaller pinprick kind of thing distributed. those troops in the airport, troops surrounding a pro-russian television station. that appears what is playing out right now. it doesn't have to be a georgia-style invasion to be a serious military intervention and i see officials in kiev saying that this intervention will have, in their words, serious consequences. >> and jim acosta at the white house, we're expecting president obama to come out any moment and address this. this is a delicate dance for the white house. the president needing to assert his feelings but also not wanting to create more of a provocation than it needs to be. there's a battle of wills
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between president obama and putin. >> that's right, jake. he doesn't view the situation with president putin as an international chess match but that appears to be what is taking place. so we've been asking jay carney all week, you may not see it this way but vladimir putin may see it this way and what is your response to that and basically the white house doesn't want to play that game. they are watching what vladimir putin is doing. i asked jay carney earlier today, what are the u.s. options if the russians do go into crimea and quite frankly, jay carney did not have an answer for that. he said, we don't want to speculate on what our options will be. so as barbara was saying, this is putting the bully bull pit on the global stage to warn the russians to stay out of there. at this point, it's very unclear as to what options this white house would have. we heard jay carney in the
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briefing room earlier today saying that what is at stake or the united states when it. coulds to crimea? there is there is such a thing as a bit from president obama but the president doesn't have a lot of options. what we're really looking for is some clarity. who those forces are on the ground in crimea and does the united states view that as a provocative move by the russians. >> i want to go now to kiev ich. cnn's ian lee is live there. you've been reporting about this all day. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, jake, as far as the ukrainian officials are concerned, these are russian troops making intrusions on to
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crimea soil. they talked about it all day saying that this is an armed incursion by the russians. we've had a ukrainian official say that ten planes have landed in the crimea. they are planting a picture of what appears to be a russian takeover of the area. they've also said that civil administration buildings as well as communication centers have been -- the russians are trying to take those over as well and to block any of ukraine's military in the area from activating. now, the acting president here has called for restraint so far, saying he doesn't want to see any more blood, jake. >> i'm an, as you know, crimea part of russia when it was
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krushtev and are they, in your ability to discern from meeting individuals inside the southern ukraine, are they supportive of the russian government and any attempt to return crimea to the russian, for want of a better word, empire? >> right. the crimea, the majority of them are russian. the russians are very keen on keeping this area. and as we reported earlier, you have a pro-russian television station in the crimea being protected by the marines from the black sea fleet. so this is definitely an area that the russians believe have a
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close kindrid spirit with and the people reflect that sort of spirit, too. you see them on the streets. a lot of people, are russian flags waving them as well. there is a significant minority there that is very much anti-russian and they shouldn't be overlooked. the ethnic majority there, who is muslim, and they are very much anti-russian or pro-ukrainian. you're right. this is an area that is predominantly ethnic russian. >> barbara starr at the pentagon, what would have to happen for the u.s. to get involved in any way beyond sanctions or threats of sanctions or urging the international monetary fund to boost parts of ukraine that are more pro-western? >> you know, we've talked to a lot of people about this over the last 24, 48 hours. there's simply no appetite for u.s. military action and some of the experts we're talking to say maybe that's the signal that moscow has heard, that the u.s.
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won't do anything about it militarily. they won't be stopped. economic diplomatic pressure, that sort of thing. if russia is now trying to take over crimea, essentially, they have that largely sympathetic population there. that's one set of military facts. but if moscow wanted to do something much more substantial across ukraine, that's going to be very tough. they have a military challenge in front of them. they need supply lines. they need vehicles. they need rail lines to move in armoured vehicles. they need airports that they can control. that's how you get the supplies in place to take and hold territory. the question that the intelligence community is looking at, is this what he wants? does he just want crimea? and what does the u.s. do about that? because if you let that stand, the military relationship with russia becomes very problematic
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across the board. the effort to get them to cooperate in syria, the effort to get them to help deal with iran and its nuclear program, the effort across the board to get their cooperation in any number of matters. this becomes -- this becomes much more of a global security issue and it becomes a big issue for nato. you know, 50 years plus, 60 years plus at the state toe alliance which was formed to try and stop the communist block and now russia has moved its move. nato is not able to do anything about it. these are some of the stakes in place and many people far more expert than ne will tell you this could provoke a financial and investment crisis across these sectors of eastern europe. this could be -- have much more widespread effects than we're even beginning to contemplate, jake. >> senior national security correspondent jim sciutto.
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jay carney was asked, what exactly are the u.s. national security interests and carney talked about human rights and territorial sovereignty. explain what experts are telling you, what is the interest that the u.s. has in preventing russia from making incursions into the ukraine? >> i think you have a handful. here is one. stability. ukraine is in europe. this is not a million miles away. it's a country of 50 million people. the prospects -- i don't want to say civil war but an internal conflict that close to europe is inherently unstabilizing. that's one issue. two, you have, you know -- the president says he doesn't want to play a cold war chess game here but in fact you may see that playing out. clearly, russia at least has cold war nostalgia for its fear of influence. it wants to claim back at least the western -- the eastern part, rather, of the ukraine. and you see it playing out in this country a push and pull between the east and west.
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the eastern part of the country leaning towards russia, russia system, the russian economy. the russian part the other way. that's a real and divisive split with a lot of history and cultural divisions that contributes to instability. plus, this is an important relationship, u.s. and russia. and i think you can see this relationship in peril. you have assurances from senior russian leaders to the u.s. that they would not do something and that something appears to be happening right now. we deal with russia on so many issues. iran, syria, you name it. if we can't trust each other or trust those assurances, that's a problem. >> i was interviewing michael mcfaul and he said he couldn't believe that russia would engage in something like this because it would be so destabilizing. gloria borger, very quickly, because we have to throw it to wolf, what does the president
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say? >> they need to ask questions about whose forces are moving into crimea. they have denied that it is their forces and intelligence is telling them that and then he has to say that and then direct what needs to be done next, jim. >> that's it. our coverage conditions with "the situation room." we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we're following the growing crisis in ukraine where tensions are rapidly escalating and the president of the united states, president obama is about to walk into the white house briefing room to make a major statement. the ukrainian government is accusing russian black sea forces of trying to seize two airports in crimea and cutting off communications between the russian majority region and the rest of ukraine. russian troops also