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tv   Wolf  CNN  May 26, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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some final pictures as we wrap up the program live from houston. the president just during this hour promising help for the people of houston. my colleague, wolf blitzer will continue this story right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington 6:00 p.m. in london 8:00 p.m. in baghdad, 9:30 p.m. in tehran. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much forever joining us. we start with a major iraqi offensive aimed at isis. the iraqi military move comes ss a week after they took over ramadi. the iraqi move also aimed at taking back anbar, mostly in the
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grip of isis fighters right now. our senior international correspondent initial peyton walsh is joining us live. he's in baghdad. what do we know about this iraqi military offensive? who exactly is taking part? >> at this stage, wolf i'll explain the scene around me. we know the last hours or so have been fraught by a sandstorm. we're in the back end of this here in baghdad. which explains the mist you're seeing behind me. that will have substantially slowed progress on the ground militarily. who is involved in this? well for the most part people in fact who will not benefit too much from the cover the sandstorm provides. on the pro-government side the shia militia, also we are aware that the police and military are involved in this too. isis have had a week or so now to dig in. this flurry of activity began with announcements this morning,
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state television inhad thing at a big operation to take anbar but it was the shia militia surprised many i think, by stamping their mark on this operation, giving a press conference outlining the main detail of the first moves which are to take the key supplier to anbar to head up to a key oil town. that's what they're focusing themselves on first up we heard from the prime minister and defense ministry through the same state tv channel suggesting that it would be a combined police military and militia group that would move towards ramadi and around anbar, the province it's in. but as it stands clearly no military advances overnight with this kind of sandstorm blowing around ramadi. we are told a semicircle roughly to the south is where pro-government forces have laid their positions now. potentially for some sort of activity in the days ahead, wolf. >> just to be precise, nick are the iranian backed shia militia,
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are they taking the lead in this new offensive to try to retake ramadi or regular troops of the iraqi military? >> reporter: it is quite clear if you look at the choreography of how announcements were made today and what appear ss to be happening on the ground there will be of course iraqi military and police involved here. it was simply the fact that it was the shia militia that gave the name call it answering the call of hussein, hussein being the son of ali, the forefigure of shiaism here. very much putting a shiaen bradding to this operation. which will cause many in the iraqi governments, if there are that many who hope to see a broadly nationalistic coalition of military police sunni tribesmen, we're told by officials today, that thousands could take part in this. they are simply going to have to see how cohesive the forces can
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be in fighting together. that's key. isis disciplined focused and now we dug into ramadi. if there isn't cohesion they will have i much longer fight ahead of them than previously imaginable. >> be careful, especially in the sandstorm that's affecting the region. nick paton walsh in baghdad. the role of the united states in the anbar province may be limited, the policy on air strikes as the force is being supported must be under iraqi military command. that may be hard to determine with so many iranian backed shiite militias fighting and sunni tribes involved as well. joining us from montreal is the former u.s. ambassador to iraq, ryan crocker. joining us from raleigh, north carolina the retired lieutenant colonel james reese. our cnn global affairs analyst, former delta force commander and joining us from irvine california bob bear our cnn security and intelligence analyst, a former cia operative. ambassador what's the story right now? is this effort largely as we
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just heard from nick based on iraqi shiite militias is this what the u.s. wants because clearly they want the iraqi military to take charge not iranian-backed shiite militias. >> well we have to sort of sort through the smoke and dust here to figure out actually what is going on. clearly if this were to be an iranian-backed shia militia effort it would be about the worst thing i could imagine from the point of view of u.s. interest. >> why is that? >> this is a thrust into the heart of sunni iraq. anbar province the citadel of sunniism in iraq if you will. i cannot imagine anything more carefully calculated to permanently split this country apart, the country of iraq apart, than a shia-led military
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effort into a completely sunni area. >> that's very disturbing. bob bear as you know we just heard nick report this from baghdad, it was the shiite militia that announced the launch of this operation to try to retake ramadi the no the iraqi military not the iraqi government. they specifically used a shia imam's revered name as if they're deliberately seeking to poison the iraqi sunnis. what do you make of this? >> well i agree with ambassador crocker who knows this region better than anybody in the world, i think. this is an absolute catastrophe if those militias take ramadi destroy the town. it's the heart of the sunni arab part of iraq invoking the name of the grandson of the prophet hussein is an insult to sunni muslims. this will have a sectarian meltdown which we're nearing in the middle east. especially iraq will have reverberations everywhere from
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europe yemen to saudi arabia to the rest of the gulf. this is an exclude catastrophe. >> what do you think, colonel reese? >> i disagree wolf. i've been saying that i disagree. i understand there's a lot of smart people out there who have worked this problem for a long time. but i think we're making a lot of generalizations. we don't have a lot of good information on the ground. we don't have a lot of our own assets that are feeding us information. and, again, as i've been on the ground here just got back again. again, there's a political side and then there's everyone else on the ground. maybe at the political side like ambassador crocker says it could become a catastrophe. but when you have 250,000 people that are being displaced, trying to move to baghdad, it's just like happened in tikrit they had three elements they had the military police federal police and they 4 thehad the night division attacking in tikrit. they were successful.
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it wasn't pretty. it was ugly. it was successful. i think it's the same model you'll see out west in al anbar. listening to the soldiers on the ground and junior leaders on the ground not at the political, not at the general officer level, they see i common enemy. they want to fight together to defeat this. maybe that's the problem. we have a break between political and everybody else. >> all right. i want to play ambassador crocker, let me get your reaction. it's a really critical statement that the u.s. defense secretary ash carter told our barbara starr, pentagon correspondent, he minced absolutely no words. he's the defense secretary of the united states. listen to this. >> what apparently happened was that the iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. they were not outnumbered. in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they
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failed to fight. they withdrew from the site and that says, to me and i think to most of us that we have an issue with the will of the iraqis to fight isle and defend themselves. >> you know ash carter. he's highly respected, the defense secretary. presumably he's privy to the most sensitive information about the capabilities of the iraqi military. does he know what he's talking about? or is he wrong? >> wolf i would simply note that iraqi forces have been fighting out there for the last 16 months. since the beginning of last year. the city is almost fallen on a number of occasions. they've held on with their fingernails. and i think we need to take that into account. i think there are real questions about leadership and generalship in the iraqi security forces. and i would ask where are we?
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we used to be able to make a difference in decisions on command and control. i would suggest that part of the problem that iraq is facing today is because we have been missing in action. >> so you blame the united states more than the iraqi military is that what you're saying, ambassador? >> there is a very complex situation out there. what i am saying is that we have shown we can make a difference when we bring our influence together. this is ultimately a political situation, a political struggle. the politics are pretty badly messed up right now. we can make a difference in that. we're not making that difference. >> we just heard moments ago, bob bear the white house press secretary josh earnest speak out on this issue. he was asked whether the defense secretary was authorized by the white house to blast the iraqi military the way he did.
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listen to the response from the white house. >> well what secretary carter said is consistent with the analysis that he's received from those who are on the ground, who are looking at this situation. he has also indicated on a number of occasions, that there is an important role for the united states in our coalition partners to play in supporting those iraqi security forces. >> all right. what do you think is going on over here bob bear? >> ash court erarter, it was an incredible statement. he told the truth as it is. i believe him. the implications are scary is what he basically said isis is more of a state than iraq is. where does that leave us? we are not in touch with al anbar and ramadi's fall was a strategic setback in the sense that we've lost the sunni
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heartland. in any war we participate in by air or with baghdad is going to look like we've joined a side in the civil war. right now, this government the basically success of maliki is still a sectarian. he's a member of the dawa party. it's a sectarian government rejected by the sunni. unless there'ses apolitical framework as ambassador crocker said it will be a civil war that goes on forever. >> colonel reese, i know you disagree with the defense secretary, ash carter. you were just there in iraq spent some time with the iraqi military. there's no doubt that there are iraqi soldiers who are deeply committed to the struggle against isis. but where does the whole bitterness between iraqi sunnis and shia play in? because you heard a lot of sunni ministers in the government echo basically what ash carter said that the iraqi military did not show a will to fight. >> yes, wolf it's difficult. both bob and the ambassador say, it's a conundrum, a difficult
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situation. but, again, at the level, the people level, some of the soldier level, i seen him. i seen sunni and shia fight together on top of a roof in tikrit. again, it's one focus, one isis enemy. as it moves up the chain of command there seems to be this resonance and unfortunately, i think a lot of times back here we resonate that sunni/shia aspect ourselves sometimes. that's what we know. that's what we're always afraid of. instead of looking at maybe is there another aspect out there. i'm not saying this is easy. it's a difficult situation. i will tell you about secretary carter. the department of defense prides itself on yes, no, i don't know. and when you start your statement with apparently as the secretary of defense that to mean is we really don't know. like bob said we don't have a good look in al anbar. it's a problem.
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>> ambassador crocker, you know the culture, you know the language you know the people. if the president of the united states called you right now and said ambassador what do we need to do? quickly, give us the most immediate recommendation you would offer. >> one word, engage. that means sending the secretary of state out there right now. it means for the president himself to be on the phone to the prime minister and to other iraqi political leaders. wolf you can't beat something with nothing. right now, politically we've got next to nothing in the game. and that leaves it to the iranians. that is not taking us to a good place. we can still make a difference but we're going to have to up our game politically very substantially. i would have my secretary of state on a plane right now. >> and the vice president, he called the prime minister yesterday. they spoke on the phone. that's not enough, ambassador? >> sustained engagement is what we need. we have not had that for the
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last few years. we need it now. you he had, a phone call is important. a visit is even more important. and a string of visits and phone calls to demonstrate that this is of critical importance to the u.s. that we are going to make a difference we are going to use our influence is what we need to demonstrate now. >> ryan crocker, the former u.s. ambassador to iraq thanks very much. james reese, bob baer thanks to you as well. we'll stay on top of the story. the stakes enormous. stunning pictures out of texas here in the united states you're looking at a live shot from one of the u.s.'s biggest cities. we're talking about howison texas now. chunks of it under water after flooding has wiped out whole neighborhoods. we'll go live to the center of the disaster. that's coming up next. later, the secret trial that american journalist held in iran the editor of "the washington post" standing by to join us, live. riasis most of my life.
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here in the united states a massive rescue effort under way right now as texas and oklahoma grapple with deadly floods. take a look at this this is houston, a huge u.s. city brought to a halt. floodwaters swallowing up roads, thousands of cars under water. the death toll continues to rise. right now it stands at nine. four in oklahoma five in texas, another 12 people are still missing. among the known dead 18-year-old high school student alisa renee ramirez. her car overcome by rising water as she was driving home from prom. among the missing, laura mccomb and her two young children. they were swept away when raging floodwaters uprooted their vacation home. a new number just in this storm
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damaged more than 1,000 homes, many of those houses simply washed off their foundations by fast-moving water. president obama last hour saying he has spoken with the texas governor, greg abbott. >> our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities affected by some of these devastating record-breaking floods. i assured governor abbott that he could count on the help of the federal government. >> we're standing by by the way, to hear from governor abbott. he'll be speaking with us shortly. i want to bring in meteorologist jennifer grey she's in hard-hit wimberley, texas. tell our viewers what you're seeing. >> reporter: this is devastating, wolf. this is one of the first areas hit. because all this water rusheddown stream. it only made matters worst in the houston area after they got eight to nine inches of rain this additional water didn't help whatsoever. we are standing along the banks
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of the blanco river. it's raging past. this was above my head. this rose to 43 feet before the river gauge broke. so we actually have no idea to know how high it actually was at its highest point. but it has lowered considerably. you can see the trees just littering the banks and a lot of these homes are built well above this river, probably never guessing that the water would come this high. but it did. like i said the water above my head on sunday by the time this river crested. look just over my shoulder this home completely ripped off its foundation. all the homes on this street look similar to this and they're all just pushed back. i took a closer look a moment ago. the water line is just on the top of the first story. you can imagine water went at least eight to ten feet inside this home. it is just pure devastation all across here wolf. you can hear the choppers flying above me.
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folks are getting out were surveying the damage. there are a dozen people missing in this county alone. we have search you kroos s crews out, crews that are starting to clean up the debris and the trees, things like that. they have a long way to go 200 to 300 homes completely destroyed across the area, wolf. >> any relief in the forecast? what are you hearing, jennifer? >> well we are going to stay mainly dry today and tomorrow. we do have a slight chance of a little bit of isolated activity. areas that do get caught in the heavy downpours they risk flash flooding because it's so saturated, the rivers are filled to capacity. we are going to stay mainly dry for a couple days. unfortunately more rain in the forecast by the end of the week and the weekend. folks need to know when it comes to weather, more people die in flooding than anything else. when you hear those warnings you need to seek higher ground immediately. >> good advice, jennifer. thanks very much. once again, we're hoping to speak live with the governor of
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texas, greg abbott. he's supposed to be calling us in a little while. we'll have that that's coming up. we'll get an update from him. if you'd like to help those affected by the severe weather in texas and oklahoma go to and you'll be able to impact your world. an american journalist is now on trial in iran accused of being a spy. jason rezaian's trial is being held behind closed doors. even his wife has been locked out. we'll talk about his fate with one of his colleagues at "the washington post." that's coming up right after a quick break. three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do, drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had a liberty mutual new car replacement, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. new car replacement is just one of the features that come standard with a base liberty mutual policy. and for drivers with accident forgivness,rates won't go up due to your first accident.
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right now an
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americandownalist on trial behind closed doors in iran. jason rezaian is accused of spying for the united states. the first session of the trial ended today. it's not clear what happened since it's in the open to the public. both rezaian and his wife were arrested last july. she's since been released on jail. we have the paper's foreign editor douglas, thanks very much for joining us. i've been following the story from the gng. we know "the post" has been using strong language characterizing what's happening, calling it right now this trial a shameful act of injustice. tell us what's going on based on everything you at "the washington post" now know. >> well what's so alarming is that we know so little wolf. it's been ten months now that jason has been in prison in iran. and the access to him has been extraordinarily limited. we've been unable to have direct communication with limb communications have really been limited through his wife and only a 90-minute visit with his
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lawyer. we had hoped today would be good news. we hoped it would be a chance for the world to scrutinize the charges against jason and bring this matter to a swift resolution. instead, it's proceeding behind closed doors and what will happen today or what will happen next. >> what's the basis of their accusation that he was engaged in espionage against iran on behalf of the united states? >> well again, even that is unclear. the case file remains secret. the lawyer who's been permitted to review it has been able to speak publicly about it. there's absolutely no foundation for these charges. what i can say, they're absurd and preposterous. jason was a journalist. >> tell us about him a little bit. most of our viewers are not all that familiar with his work at "the washington post," jason rezaian. >> he grew up in the san francisco guy, he loves baseball and burritos and hanging out with his friends.
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he's also the son of an iranian father and decided to begin his career as a journalist in iran about five years or so ago. he believed in helping both countries understand what another better. he wrote about the lives of the iron iranian people in a vivid and compelling way. >> you would think the united states has leverage on iran right now given the negotiations on this nuclear deal supposed to be wrapped up by the end of the month. they're going to get tens of billions of dollars in frozen assets released to them. are you satisfied with what the u.s. government is doing to try to win his release? >> we're grateful in all the u.s. government has done and making clear that what the iranian government is going is unacceptable. the louder the complaints are raised perhaps the more chance there is they will be heard. i'm not so sure about leverage though. iran's a complicated place. the people at the bargaining
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table with the u.s. are not the ones who are making the decisions about whether jason ought to stay in jail or not. those people are operating under a different calculus i think. >> if the president of iran said you know what give him clemency let him go it's not a big deal wouldn't the judiciary have to go along with that? >> well actually if the president -- i think the power really rests in the hands of the supreme leader not the president. the judiciary operates with extraordinary independence and we haven't yet heard from either ayatollah ayatollah hamani the supreme leader. >> you think it would go up to him? >> i do. >> thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> besides jason rezaian, there's three other iranians being held in iron.
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a former u.s. marine. there were reports last month that he had gone on a hunger strike to protest his treatment. also, abidini is serving an eight-year sentence after being accused of helping underground churches in iran. then there's retired fbi agent robert levinson he disappeared more than eight years ago while working for the cia. it's believed he's being held in iran as well. the fbi by the way has offered a $5 million reward for his safe return. still to come catastrophic flooding like we haven't seen in a long time. parts of houston, the nation's fourth largest city under water. we'll speak live with the texas governor, greg abbott on what's going on in texas right after this. complete the job with listerine®. kill up to 99 percent of germs. and prevent plaque, early gum disease and bad breath. sfx: ahhh listerine®. power to your mouth™!
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reform rather than doing one thing at a time. this agreement gives us the structure now to implement comprehensive reform. in addition this agreement takes police reform to another level. and will allow us to rapidly accelerate our program. it will also hold us to an implementation plan that will ensure success. we will have community policing at the end. we will have community policing as part of our dna. and that will be accomplished through training in areas such as use of force, de-escalation, scenario-based training, community policing search and seizure training. there will also be accountability and transparency through the office of professional standards, civilian review board, community policing
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commission reform and police investigation of the use of force, upgrade of equipment and technology and, again, in crisis intervention. i look at this agreement and the reform in it not as a program. this is not for us a program. this is -- becomes a way in which we do business in the city of cleveland, as i said before it becomes part of our dna. finally, i want to say that this is really a defining moment for the city of cleveland and for the citizens of the city of cleveland. it will define who we are as a people and who we are as a city. over the last several days the general peaceful response to the officer brelo verdict is reinforced my belief that cleveland is a community where peaceful demonstrations and dialogue will and can provide for change and will make a
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lasting difference for the people of the city of cleveland. in spite of all of what i've said we have to continue to recognize that we still have tanisha anderson and tamir rice case before us. the decisions on that will be coming probably in the near future. but this agreement will serve as a catalyst for us to do those things necessary to ensure that we would not have to do these kind of things again or have the results that we've had in the past with the division of police and the citizens of the city of cleveland. we're here and we do with one voice. and despite our differences in views, in points of view and despite our differences in emotions we've been able to be peaceful and united in the way in which we've dealt with things that have confronted us and the
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challenges. as we move forward, it is my strong belief that when other cities across this country address and look at their police issues in their communities, they will be able to say let us look at cleveland, because cleveland has done it right. but i will say to you that doing it right is not a matter of any individual or just one entity or organization. it really takes a community. anything that we've done in cleveland has resulted in positive change that has been substantial and substantive has meant to create a complete community environment. one of the departments in that has been the department of justice and the local u.s. attorney steve dallenbach who i want to present to you. >> the mayor of cleveland announcing an agreement with the u.s. justice department. it follows a scathing report about violations excessive use
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of force by the cleveland police civil rights violations and now the justice department is going to oversee many aspects of the cleveland police department going forward. you just heard the mayor make that announcement. other news we're following involving houston, it's facing a crisis right now of epic proportions, catastrophic flooding people dead roads flooded. we'll speak live with the texas governor greg abbott. that's coming up.
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join cnn for a look back at the moments that made a network.
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you might not necessarily be all that well a name to the general public but bernie sanders, democratic presidential candidate, says he shouldn't be underestimated. the vermont senator is kick off his campaign in burlington vermont. our senior politics reporter steven collison is on the scene for us. we have our chief political analyst, gloria borger and jeff zeleny they're here in the studio with me. steve, let's begin with you. the rally expected to start in a few hours, complete with guess what ben & jerry's ice cream. are they expecting a huge turnout there? what's going on? >> they're expecting at least several thousand people. not just from burlington where bernie sanders was mayor for four terms but from all over new england, notably new hampshire as well. ben & jerry's ice cream is iconic local firm with progressive roots they're
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handing out free ice cream tonight. there's a good chance for a substantial walkup crowd as well. >> is he going to lay out what he calls his agenda for america in this speech? the key issues he'll be hitting? >> right. bernie sanders will seize this platform tonight, the biggest platform he's ever had to argue his populist economic causes that have been the basis of his political career for several decades. he'll talk about breaking up wall street banks. he's going to talk about the need to tackle mountainous college debt. he's going to talk about global warming. i think what he's going to try and do is peel away some of the progressive democrats who really want a contest against hillary clinton and perhaps hoping that elizabeth warren was going to run. i think nobody believes really that bernie sanders are going to win this nomination but he could really shape the race perhaps, pull hillary clinton a little bit to the left on some of the economic issues. >> steven collison thanks very much. we'll check back with you.
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gloria bernie a long shot running against hillary clinton for the democratic nomination. all of us remember there was another long shot named barack obama, a freshman senator running for -- to challenge hillary clinton almost eight years ago. he did sort of well. >> well i think bernie sanders, if he were to be honest honest honest he would say to you he doesn't expect to win the nomination. but what he wants to do is shape the debate. i think he may be able to do that. the one thing about bernie sanders, there's no ambiguity. this is something who tells you where he stands whether it's about wall street whether it's about big business whether it's about billionaires and millionaires as he often says running the political system. he is unafraid to say what he thinks and he is completely authentic. so in terms of hillary clinton, he may kind of knock her off her stride a little bit and force her to be more specific on issues like trade, for example, on how she would deal with wall street for example, on her big
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contributor, even on the clinton foundation. because he will really push her and i talked to one democrat today who knows bernie sanders really well and said he's going to get under her skin a little bit. so wait for that to happen. >> i'm sure you agree, right? >> that will be interesting to see if he will get under her skin. we've seen her in tough races before where it is easy to get under her skin. what i think is most interesting. he sent out an e-mail it ended with people should not underestimate us, let's rock the boat. he's prepared to rock the boat trying to shape this nomination. sure he knows he's not probably electable. the clinton campaign thinks he's a good foil to have in the race. they'd rather have him than elizabeth warren. if he gains online support and internet support and he has a big youthful following, how big of an issue that will be doing forward? i think it we be the summer of bernie, perhaps. >> stand by for a moment. there's something else developing right now.
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we've been reporting that massive rescue effort under way in texas and oklahoma. they're facing deadly flooding. take a look at these pictures from houston right now. a lot of the city under water, the death toll continues to rise. it stands at nine right now. another 12 people are missing. we're join on the phone by the texas governor greg abbott. governor thanks very much for joining us. i know this is an awful situation. give us an update first of all, on the number of people still missing stranded. >> wolf first, our hearts go out to people across the state of texas, houston that's been under water right now. i toured from wichita falls to wimberley yesterday where we had a massive tsunami-type flooding that took place in the blanco river. we still have countless people who are missing, unfortunately we have people who have passed
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away. it's premature to put a number on our -- or count the number of people we've lost so far. we're still involved in the rescue component, phase of this process. we will continue that and then we will begin the rebuilding process. >> do you have governor the resources you need are do you need national guard personnel? do you need the federal government to help you? >> wolf we've had incredible support at the local level, the city county level, the state has deployed our national guard and our state troops to help in the rescue missions. i did receive a phone call from the president earlier today offering support of the federal government. the president expressed his sincere sorrow about those who have lost their lives. and also the full commitment of the federal government to help us face the challenges we are facing. >> what's your biggest concern,
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governor right now? >> the biggest concern, obviously is the loss of life. >> the biggest concern obviously is the loss of life. we have concern that we'll have ongoing rains during the remainder of this week. we need to make sure that every person in texas who is listening to this right now understands that if the local officials say get out of the way, evacuate because of rising water, that people heed that advice. we need to make sure we lose no more lives. the water's rising rapidly in certain regions. people need to understand the power of this water. it can wipe you away quickly. so stay out of harm's way. stay out of the water. let the water recede. then you can rebuild your lives. >> correct me if i'm wrong, houston is the fourth largest city in the united states. has houston seen anything like this in recent years? >> reporter: we saw something almost precisely like this with tropical storm allison back in -- around the 2001 time frame where houston was under water almost the exact same way.
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houston being on the gulf coast has received this on occasion. and of course as hurricanes have passed threw there. this is something -- passed through there. this is something not new to houston. houstonians are accustomed to dealing with this periodically. we will survive this challenge again. >> when you say, governor, that houston is under water, houston is a large area geographically. what would you say what percentage of the city is under water now? [ inaudible ] >> it's not like new orleans faced during katrina. the way houston sit geographically is there are bayous throughout town. those bayous during time of heavy downpours like what we had, they overflow. so the regions are the part of town that are under water are the regions that are near those bayous. there are certain parts of town that are completely dry. people have no view of what is
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existing in other parts of there are areas of town that are near the by use that are completely under water. houses cars businesses, but the water will quickly recede and people will get back to the business of rebuilding their lives. >> i'm sure they will. if people are told to evacuate immediately, how do they know where to go? >> the first thing you do is you get as far away from the water as you can go. there are multiple areas where people will be able to locate to the red cross as well as other agencies in the greater houston area are there to help. we are going to have a press conference at 4:00 today where we will be providing more detailed information about where people can go, where they can evacuate to. but the main thing is that people do not drive your cars into rising water.
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we've seen that all too often. not just in houston but other parts of the state of texas. people think they can drive vehicle through the water. that cannot be done. cars have been stalled and lost, and people have lost their lives. whenever you encounter high water or rising water, don't go through it. go back, go around it wait it out. please evacuate and get away from water as you see it rise. >> important and excellent advice. governor good luck you to, to all the people of texas now and oklahoma for that matter. we're going to stay on top of this story. it's a disaster that's unfolding right now. thank very much for joining us. >> thank you. to our viewers, to help those affected by the severe weather in texas and oklahoma go to and you will be able to impact your world. we'll be right back. moderate to severe crohn's disease is tough but i've managed. except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor,
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you can save up to $423. for a free quote today,call liberty mutual insurance at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. we're commemorating an important anniversary here at cnn. 35 years on the air. over these decades, we've witnessed history. and on this special anniversary, we're taking time to remember the stories that changed all of us. tonight, we'll air a special report 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. perhaps no single day stands out more than september 11, 2001. [ sirens ] >> a plane crashed into -- >> described as inside the 747
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-- >> we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the world trade center. >> big bang and then we saw smoke coming out. everybody started running out. [ sirens ] >> my producer called said he's listening to the radio. i said, no. he said you should. >> he said a plane just crashed into the world trade center. i didn't know if it was a big plane or small plane. it was an accident it was deliberate. >> when the second plane hit the south tower, i think we all knew it's the act of terrorists. >> i started driving toward the bureau. i could see people in washington were driving the other way. people trying to get out of washington. people were freaking out. >> at the pentagon a plane or a helicopter has crashed, and the
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pentagon is being evacuated. >> ted also was a friend of mine. his wife died in that plane that hit the pentagon. she told him before they hit the pentagon -- she called him before they hit the pentagon on her cell phone. he had to tell her that two buildings have been hit in new york. and they said good-bye to each other. she knew they were going down. >> don't miss our special report "breaking news: 35 years of cnn." it airs later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. and also please make sure to go to you can read some of my memories from the first gulf war, i've written a personal account of that day that saddam hussein invaded kuwait when i was cnn's pentagon correspondent. that's it for me. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern
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in the situation room. for our international viewers, amanpour is coming up next. for our viewers in north america, "newsroom with brooke baldwin" starts right now. wolf thank you very much. great to be with you on this tuesday. i'm brooke baldwin. we begin with breaking news here. america's fourth largest city is right now under water. epic rainfall massive flooding have absolutely swamped houston like never, ever before. at least two people have lost their lives here. five statewide. cars entirely submerged. look at this -- one after another after another, not going anywhere. completely swallowed up. homes swallowed. dozen of vehicle lined up on the side of the road after more than ten inches of rain swamped the city in less than 24 hours. highways, they're washed out. public tra