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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 23, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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>> i'm trying to think of a way not to have trump in my answer. >> walter and donald. >> walter stewart as a host some day? >> i would love to have a go. >> blunt talk right now. we are all out of time and stay tuned. a special live edition of state of the union gets going right now. >> coming to you live from washington for a special edition of state of the union. we are awaiting a live press conference in paris where three americans are being hailed as heroes after they took down a gunman who opened fire on a train traveling for amsterdam to paris. witnesses describe a dramatic
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scene as a man was overpowered and he injured somebody sitting nearby. a british knj described what happened next. >> i saw a man with what i think was an ak-47. it was some kind of a machine or submachine gun. my first reaction was to sit down and hide. then i heard one guy, an american say go get him. i heard another american say don't you do that, buddy or something like that. >> in an act of bravery, they did do that. the gunman was armed with two guns with several rounds of
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ammunition and a box cutter. i want to get to turkey and nick robertson outside the american embassy in paris. they were scheduled to meet with the french president and they are being hailed as heroes in france. >> from the top of the country from the president to everyone on the streets. those young americans came out and they had been talking to the police and giving all the information they could about bringing down the attacker. as they came out, french people were standing on the sides of the street and three young americans who helped prevent a massacre on the train. there was applause and shouting
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and cheering. people came to us on the streets today and yesterday saying they believe these men saved many lives and they will meet the french president tomorrow. not just the french president, but you can't get better than that. that are treated like rock stars. the interior minster and transport minster. they are getting a top presidential hospitality. we understand they walked into the room for a press conference. it looks like now they are having their pictures taken and not since world war ii have
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americans been greeted so positively. they were all aboard this train when the gunman opened fire and as we have been talking about over the last 48 hours, this amazing act of gravely was one of those when others rushed out and they rushed in type of scenarios where americans responded and there was a threat present and these americans saved the lives of countless people on the train and as you can see, they are about to sit down. one of the three americans, spencer stone, his arm is still in a sling. he was injured and still taking care of the injuries. i'm sure they will be asked about that. an incredible moment and it looks like we are just moments
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away from the press conference getting started. let's listen in. >> i want to start by thanking president hollande and the interior minster and the people of france for their heart felt out pouring of support and concern for these young men. i also extend my thanks to the fresh authorities, doctors and nurses and everyone who took such good care of them after the attack. we often use the word hero and in this case that word has never been more appropriate. i know these nung wen won't like it because in the briefed with
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we know each other, they are so humble. but they are truly heroes. as president obama said in his phone call with president hollande last night, these three brave young americans along with the french and british passenger demonstrated remarkable bravery and acted without regard for their own safety to subdue a heavily armed individual who appeared intent on causing mass casualties. when most of us would run away, spencer, alec, and anthony ran into the line of fire. saying let's go. those words changed the fate of many. i also of course comment the other passengers, french and british who displayed equal
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heroism in confronting the assaila assailant. i add my personal thanks and gratitude to the young men who demonstrated the very best of america through their selfless actions as a represent of my country, as an american, and as a mother of a son not much older than you. i am so proud to be sitting here with you. thank you so much. and now we will take a couple of questions and i'm going to let mike standing to my right call on you. thank you so much for being here.
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>> i have one mobile microphone so state your question to the microphone. we have a show of hands. can we start with you? >> from the associated press. my question is for spencer. you described the guns and what prompted you to react the way you did? >> it's kind of a long story, but i just woke up from the middle of a deep sleep and alec was next to me and i turned around and i saw he had what look to be an ak-47 and it looked jammed or it wasn't working and he was trying to charge the weapon and alec hit
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me and said let's go. we tackled him and hit the ground and alec grabbed the gun while i put him in a choke hold. he kept pulling more weapons left and right. he pulled out a hand gun and a box cutter and started jabbing at me with that. we let go and all three of us started punching him while he was in the middle of us and i was able to grab him again and choke him unconscious while alec was hitting him in the head with the pistol or rifle. i can't remember. that's pretty much it. survival. to survive and my friends and everyone else on the train to make it. >> spencer, has it sunk in what
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happened? >> no, it hasn't at all. it feels very unreal. it feels like a dream. i don't know what to say. >> the guy had a lot of ammo. his intentions were pretty clear. you can speculate all day long, but like spencer said, it doesn't seem real. >> abc news. spencer e i gather that you were injured and [inaudible] . >> well, i didn't even -- other
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than my finger, i didn't feel my other injuries. i knew i was bleeting, but i didn't know it was that bat. i saw he was squirting blood out of his neck and i was going to use my shirt, but that wouldn't have worked. i stuck two of my fingers in the hole and found what i thought to be the artery and pushed down and the bleeding stopped and i held that until the paramedics got there. >> stand and identify yourself, please. >> thank you very much. it's nancy from nbc news. spencer, alec, or anthony, can you me at what point the gunshot went off? was it during the struggle and was it a stray bullet or aimed at someone and have you digested the magnitude of the reaction to all of this for your heroic
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actions? thank you. >> the gunshot was probably the first noise i heard and that was followed by breaking blasts. the gunshot was the first thing that came to our attention. i didn't know at the time, but that was the first thing i heard. it was behind me so i had no idea what he intended to do, but that was the first thing that happened. >> [inaudible]. . >> i thought they were going to let us go after questioning. >> initially after it happened, i kind of realized the magnitude.
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i didn't quite understand that all this would happen, but i knew it was something very serious because we were traveling internationally and my two friends are off duty military so i knew it would be bigger than just the initial investigation, but i had no idea it would be like this. >> next question from one of my french colleagues. identify yourself. >> thanks, guys, for what you did. my question is simple because the french minster will start to act. could you just tell us what you saw from this guy and tell us about him and my second question is what are you going to do right now and when are you going back to america? thank you.
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>> can you repeat the first question? >> sorry. the french minster talks about the french guy just before you. he talked about this guy. i would like you to describe if you have any information about this french guy or what he did really. and when are you going back to america and what are you going to do. thank you. >> i personally don't have a lot of information on him, but he started the struggle at first. i feel like he deserves a lot of the credit. if it wasn't for him, maybe it could have been different. i don't know when i'm going back. anthony should be going back shortly and me and alec and my family and his family should be headed to somewhere in germany for medical care and from there we don't know. >> next question, sill vee.
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>> thank you for what you did. for those people who are watching this around the world because that's what it is, is there a lesson that you would want to convey maybe for yourself or others? i realize it hasn't quite sunk in as you said, but if you have a thought for others, what lessons they might gain from that. >> these are my friends and i was the third to get up and i just want the lesson to be learned that basically in times of crisis like that, i want it to be learned to do something. hiding or sitting back is not
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going to accomplish anything. the gunman would have been successful if my friend spencer had not gotten up. i want that lesson to be learned. in times of terror like that to please do something. don't just stand by and watch. >> i would like to say the guy who is in the hospital, is he okay? >> when i was talking to him on the ground, he said he was from virginia. he seems to be doing well and will have a full recovery soon. >> i spoke to his wife and he is doing pretty well.
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>> he was saying he felt the lesson was, i wonder what you think about that. did your training help in being able to assess the situation and act quickly with the state of awareness that others should have and i wondered if you could describe what it was like. >> i feel or training mostly kicked in after he was subdued making sure there was not another shooter, but mostly indistincts and survival like spencer said. what was the other part? describe him?
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i didn't have much of a state of awareness. we acted without much thinking going on. at least on my end. i don't know about them. he was skinny, 160 or 170. >> he never said a word. he basically came in and at that time it was do something or die. i have two questions.
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is we hear you were not supposed to be in that carriage in the first place, is that right and the gunman has spoken to his lawyer and said he had no terrorist intentions and no shots were fired and he was a homeless man. i wonder what your reaction is ta to that. thank you. >> we had first class tickets to the carriage where the incident took place. we were sitting in a different carriage because we couldn't find it at first. we decided to get up because the wi-fi was not good. we had first class and said we might as well sit in first class. we decided to go to the car about a half hour into the train ride and to the point that he was just trying to rob the train. it doesn't take eight magazines to rob a train. >> next question, sir? >> "people" magazine.
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for the three of you, you have been friends for a long time. does the back story work in to the trust in that position? >> i trust both of my friends very much. if it wasn't for them, i would have been dead. we all had a critical role in whatever happened. everyone else that helped the conductors and the guy at the bathroom. everyone played their own part. no one specifically is to praise, i feel. >> i don't know what i would have done if i was by myself. i don't know. i saw spencer and alec get up and they are my close friends, i couldn't let them go alone. that was the reason i got up out of my seat. >> i would like to say thanks to chris for helping out. he helped tie the gunman up and
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he was helpful because he spoke both languages. you guys doing all right? will you take a comb more? >> if you can describe what kind of state -- [inaudible]. . >> i can't really tell you. he seemed like he was ready to fight to the end. so were we.
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>> spanish media are reporting that this man may have had flammable liquid with him. maybe there was an intention of setting fire to the train. when you went through the satchel, did you see anything that resembled that? >> there was just magazines and a few little things in the front. there was no container of liquid or anything like that. >> let's try to limit it to two more. is that fair? yes. >> from "the washington post." spencer and alec, i wanted to ask you based on your military training, as you saw the shooter operating the guns, did he seem to be trained or know what he was doing and could he have
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inflicted more damage? >> yes. he clearly had no firearms training whatsoever and yes, if he knew what he was doing or even got lucky and did the right thing, he would have been able to operate through all eight of the magazines and we probably wouldn't be here today i along with a lot of other people. >> to know you are both to be welcomed by the french president and french minsters and belgian prime minister, how do you feel? >> it feels pretty crazy. i never thought i would be here in this position. it's unreal like i said before. >> me personally, i'm waiting to wake up.
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this all seems like a movie scene or something. it's like he said, the word to describe it is pretty unreal. >> thank you very much, gentlemen. please join me. >> i want to say to the french people, you guys have been more than kind and the medical staff and the cops and everyone. the surgical team that reattached my thumb and the tendons and the nerves and everything, i want to say thank you. all the nurses and techs and paramedics were great. thank you. >> the police too the day we were there. we really appreciate that. >> thank, everybody. >> it's not often you hear applause at a news conference, but we got one at the conclusion of that in paris as americans anthony sadler, spencer stone and alec told the stories about thwarting the train attack.
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they were heroes. interesting to hear their accounts telling reporters in the room it was gut instinct and one of the heroes, anthony said please do something. don't just stand there and watch. that was his recommendation to anybody who finds themselves in that same situation. then you heard spencer stone saying this felt like a dream and it was unreal and i think anthony sadler said it seemed like something out of a movie. it certainly was but this one had a very, very good ending. let's turn now to i believe we have paul kirk shank, nick robertson first standing by. you just heard that press conference in paris. what grabbed you? they were very humble in taking this praise from the french people. it was quite extraordinary. >> sure. and certainly there has been a
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lot of praise from the french people and this not being able to wake from the magnitude and this being like something out of hollywood. until they come out of the french presidential palace, not just the president, but the prime minister and the transport minster and interior minster and the belgian minster, this is an unreal experience for anyone. what they have seen and witnessed themselves, driving out of the police station the few brief minutes out on the streets in france have seen people clapping and applauding them. what grabbed me there is their description of this attacker. about 5'10", tall, about 165 to 170 pounds. not saying a word through all of this, but determined to continue to fight and continue to fight. some reports have been circulating here in france that
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maybe the assailant was on drugs. everything they are saying is that no, he was fighting back. they had to knock him out and hit him on the head with one of the two weapons to calm him down before they could hog tie him. to get that away from him he was attacking spencer with a box knife. we are learning the extent of his injuries. his thumb was coming off and they had to reattach the nerves and the tent ones. this, if you will, this attacker silent and utterly determined. he didn't seem at all on some kind of drugs. >> all the passengers on the
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plane including the three brave americans were lucky that the gunman was not capable of using those firearms in a very effective manner. he didn't seem to know what he was doing and not get many shots off and because of that all of the passengers were very, very lucky. we want to encourage the viewers to continue watching. the three american heroes who thwarted the train attack on friday. what it means for people riding the rails not only here, but around the world. we'll be right back. ♪
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>> welcome back on this special edition of state of the union. we are coming out of the press conference featuring the three brave american heroes who thwarted the train attack last friday in france. joining us to talk about this, paul kirk shank, our counter terrorism expert here at cnn. you have new information about the suspect. tell us about him and what you make of this suspect and how his training or lack of training may have had a great deal of influence. >> according to an official, the suspected gunman is believed to have travelled to turkey between may and july to join up with
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isis in syria. it's not clear whether he managed to get over to syria. he is believed to be possibly connected to a french isis cell in turkey that previously directed an algerian student to launch an attack against cherchs that. student was arrested in april as he put his plans into operation and the lead up to that, he was uniicating with this cell talking about the anj of launching attacks. very, very interested with the likes of what happened the other day. this gunman on the train potentially had a link to this group of french fighters in turkey. it raises all sorts of concerns about isis using turkey.
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thousands are traveling through to get there over the last couple of years. they are trying to redirect them to launch attacks. that is very worrying indeed. >> a lot of officials in the obama administration feels turkey is beginning to get a handle on this. phil is also joining us and i wanted to talk to you about the lack of military training that apparently this terrorist gunman did not have any training or else he would have been able to inflict a lot more damage. he had eight magazines on him. that's incredible. also the military training the three american heroes had. >> we think he didn't have
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training because of the inability to execute the strike effectively. some of these guys don't always remember the training they had. in addition to the heroism of the three americans as paul was suggesting, we have a lot of questions from an intelligence perspective that we have to answer. did he have a cell phone or a laptop and where he has been traveling to? i want to know the specifics of the network that might suggest there is a broader experience. on the comment about the three americans, i believe their background helped not just with the medical development, but the push to action as soon as you see something. i don't know how many people would do that, as soon as i saw them speak, it seemed we should transition as soon as we get to this isis phenomenon with attempted attacks from see something, say something, to see something, do something. the feds are not going to find something like this. it will take someone on the
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train to stop them. >> absolutely. that's one of the three americans that said is don't just stand there and watch, do something. at the end of the day, it may come down to the bravery of the passengers in that scenario to stop something like this from happening. in some of these instances, a terrorist may not think somebody is going to fight back. that adds an element of surprise that they may have to deal with. this goes down in a much better out come. one thing i want to ask you about is how much longer can we go on with lesser train security and plane security. when you go to the airport and around the world, it's a far different situation. this man was able to get on the train with an ak-47 and eight magazines and another firearm and box cutters.
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you wouldn't be able to get on a plane like that. i know it's inconvenient, but something will have to change. >> for the euro-style services between london and paris and brussels, but not for the trains that run from amsterdam from brussels to germany and paris. they may look at reviewing that in the future. there is a lot of concern that they might target trains and seen attacks on subways in 2005 and bomb attacks in madrid as well. just before that. a lot of concern that this could be a new form of terrorism and others in the past. we saw bomb plots and law enforcement to try to stop the plans to make arrests. now the terrorists and wannabes
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are moving forward quickly and the flash to bang is very, very difficult. for law enforcement to intercept, they could go out and get it on the black market. >> paul and phil, thank you very much for that analysis. we want to encourage our viewers to continue to watch for developments on the breaking story on the three brave american who is prevented an immense tragedy. when we come back, we will talk about the tragedy and donald trump. stay with us. when you're not confident you have complete visibility into your business, it can quickly become the only thing you think about.
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can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive? . >> welcome back to state of the union. it was the hottest ticket in mobile, alabama. 30,000 people lining up and all of them waiting in 90 degree heat to see the republican front-runner, donald trump. doing a fly by while the rolling stones roared over the stadium speakers. when he landed he doubled down
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on the controversial position to deny citizenship to the children of the undocumented. with us is trump's campaign manager. cory, just want to ask you about this, there has been back and forth about how trump would execute this idea of taking away birth right citizenship. there is a lawsuit that said some officials are denying that to babies born in texas. how is this going to work? >> thanks for having me on and we have to think about how big of a problem this is. if you think about anchor baby, those individuals having children here so their children can be u.s. citizens, there 400,000 taking place on a yearly basis. that's the equivalent of the population of tulsa, oklahoma. the 47th largest city in our country. we have a huge problem with illegal immigration.
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the first thing we need to do is build a wall. >> let me ask you this and jump in. if somebody comes over from great britain and they have a baby in manhattan. are you saying that that baby would also have birth right citizenship taken away? it doesn't matter what part of the world the parents come from or is it only about couples that come from latin america? >> it's from anywhere. there was a woman who came from china to have children here. it is well documented that the dea and ins followed women from china. we are the greatest country in the world. everybody wants to come here and be a citizen of our great country. there is a proper way to do that. we need to follow the rules. just like many of our ancestors. they came through ellis island or other places and had children
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here to become great members of society. coming here illegally is not an option. >> let me ask you about this. >> excuse me. illegal immigration is coming through. we see the severity of the crimes that illegal immigrants are committing and sanctuary city should be defunded and people like their families who are first class victims of the illegals. >> let me ask you about this. i'm sure you heard about this. there reports about the event in alabama and a man in the crowd was shouting white power and the situation in boston that cropped up where the two men beat up an immigrant and said trump was right. are you concerned this rhetoric, this anti-immigration rhetoric is going to spiral out of control and people are going to
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get hurt? >> nobody is condoning violence and mr. trump would never condone violence. i don't know about the individual in alabama. there were 30,000 plus people in that spade yum dedicated to make america great again. there is nothing wrong with being proud to being american. we would never condone violence. by no means would that be. we should not be ashamed to be americans. we should be proud of our heritage and continue to be the greatest country in the world. >> with jeb bush, they said that trump is really other people's problem. not jeb bush's problem. what do you make of that statement? are they being too confident that it's trump versus bush? >> i think what you have is a low energy candidate that doesn't excite anybody. their super pac said that and
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that same day in alabama, they fly in an airplane to talk about jeb's accomplishments which are so few. what they say and what they do are two different things. if his candidacy was resonating, he wouldn't have 125 people away and mr. trump has 2500 people. the enthusiasm speaks for visit. >> that are is true. thanks very much for joining us. good talking to you. and after the break, what joe biden is up to. the top secret meeting that has tongues wagging. the possibility of a flare swas almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid,
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. >> breaking news between joe biden and elizabeth warren. biden is considering a last minute run for the white house. warren pledged not to run, but has not endorsed hillary clinton. they wonder if this could be a biden-warren ticket. the front-runner. with us is dr. ben carson. dr. carson, thank you for joining us. does the prospect of a biden-warren ticket worry you very much? >> no, it doesn't. i am very happy with whatever they come up with because i think this election will be an excellent opportunity for the
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american people to make a clear choice. i don't think it will be muddied. >> would you be willing to serve as donald trump's vice president? this was something in the media this week. the summer of the outsider and just about all the polls, the top two republicans are yourself and donald trump. would you serve as his running mate and would you want him to serve as your running mate? >> all things are possible, but it's much too early to begin such conversations. >> all things are possible. >> dr. carson, let me ask you this. on the subject of immigration, a big dispute over birth right citizenship. let's put it up on screen. if somebody comes here for the purpose of having a baby so that they have an anchor baby, we should keep that family together and send them back where they come from. some people consider the term anchor baby a racial slur.
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what do you think? >> i think it's silly political correctness. everybody knows what we are talking about. we need to talk about the actual issue and stop getting pulled off into the weeds saying you can use this term and can't use that term. it's so silly. >> you said that the united states should consider using drone strikes to secure the border with mexico. what did you mean by that? drones are used for surveillance and are you talking about taking drone strikes at the u.s.-mexico border? >> it was quite clear what i was talking about. i said that drones are excellent for surveillance. along that border, we have miles and miles of fences and i went there last week. i didn't see any border patrol people. the fences are so easy to scale. it's almost like not having a fence there. drones can help with the
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surveillance and in no way that i suggest drones be used to kill people. i said that at the time. i said some of you are going to say carson wants to use drones to kill people. how ridiculous. at some point i hope we have responsible media that focuses on the problem. we have a huge security risk there and talking to the sheriffs down there on the show, some of the other law enforcement, listen to the frustration. you should have them on your show about what's going on down there. it seems like we have not only the cartel s to deal with and the drug smugglers, but the federal government and that is not being helpful. >> they released 67,000 of these people. >> there were reports that said you were at the very least considering drone strikes on cartel s at the border. you said under no circumstances
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would you use drones for military purposes along the u.s.-mexico border whatsoever? >> that's a total lie. i said it's possible that a drone could be used to destroy the cages that are utilized to hide people. >> hide immigrants who who would be hidden? >> the scouts and people facilitating all the legal activity. those caves are evident. i hope you have some of the sheriffs that can show you the pictures and what's going on there. we are not getting support from the federal government to deal with the people. they are being outgunned. 66% of the border is not under our control. >> i want to make sure we button this down. you are saying in some instances you would advocate using drone strikes to take out cartel s that are bringing migrants
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across the border. is that what you are talking about? would there be some instances? >> read my lips. listen very carefully to what i'm saying. i said there are caves that they utilize. those caves can be eliminated. there a number of possibilities and that could be one of them. i am not talking about killing people. no people with drones. >> doctor ben carson, thank you very much for joining us. we appreciate it. thank you, sir. >> my pleasure. >> you can catch more of the interview with ben carson online at don't go away. we'll be right back. eumatoid ar. and you're talking to a rheumatologist about a biologic, this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage.
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