tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 17, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
good evening from the battle field they call the 2016 republican primary. breaking news. a rear guard effort to keep the party's front-runner getting the nomination. it keeps generating headlines. today conservative leaders met in washington to essentially plan ways of stopping donald trump. cli quentin hillier is the group's spokesperson. your group conservatives against trump believe there's a candidate that can win by a
clear majority that's not trump. how so? >> if we have a unity ticket, if the other candidates, including ones that have gotten out of the race, ban together and pool their resources, we think that donald trump can be held with a substantial lack of a majority. not just barely eking out. but we think another anti-trump candidate can get a clear majority, fair and square out in the open, above board. no rules fights. just by winning the votes of the public and winning the votes of the delegates. >> how does your group hope to make that happen? clearly all the current candidates would have to agree on that other than trump. you have cruz and kasich who clearly believe they should be the sole candidate. >> there's still plenty of time for the candidates to pull together for them to do the math, to look at the polls and
for them to figure out what may be the strongest combination of the ticket or something like that. but it clearly can be done. the arithmetic is still there. only something like just over 50% of the delegates have already been awarded. and of the ones that's have been awarded, trump has won less than 50%. if he stays under 50%, in the upcoming contests, he might get wiped out next week in utah and arizona. then all of a sudden, he does not look like an inevitable winner and people quill started to say, hey, we can do this. >> cruz and cause itkasich beli have a path. kasich has been fighting hard. just won in ohio. he's now saying he has the wind at his back and the map looks more favorable for him. why would either of those two drop out? >> well, as i said, they would pool their resources based on upcoming contests. >> what does that mean, though? >> well, if, for instance, one
of them wins both utah and arizona and -- which are the two that come up next tuesday, and then another one does worse than expected, all of a sudden, they start to do the arithmetic again and one of them may say maybe i can't do this, but i can certainly stop trump and get on the ticket and we can really put a good administration together, build a team that the american public will really like. and so that's what we are suggesting as long time conservative activists. these are not party insiders but these are people who met today who have been in the trenches as grassroots activists for 10, 20, 30, even 40 years. >> quin hillyer, thank you for being with us. back with bill press, bakari sellers, kayleigh mcenany,
margaret hoover and ross douthat. >> basically, you know, quin is too polite to say it but there isn't going to be a cruz/kasich ticket. but frankly nothing we've seen from kasich's campaign to date strategics he's particularly interested in that. >> john kasich, if i recall correctly told ms. gloria borger that he'd be the worst vice president in history? >> in history. >> people have said a lot of things that they've had to walk back, including pundits. >> i just heard quin say he wants to build a ticket the american people will really like. it's not quin's job to build a ticket. it's the american people to select who they would really like. heess talking about a unitykasi. cruz sat 411, kasich at 169. you look at the map going forward, new york, new jersey, connecticut, kasich is poised to
do well in those states. ted cruz is not. kasich may go up in the delegate count a bit. but trump is poised to do exceedingly well on the map going forward. cobbling together a fractured ticket baseod two people who are very below trump is a problem. >> what's you need to do is -- what cruz needs to do because realistically, kasich is -- that's what we're talking about. cruz needs to win the west. that means ideally winning arizona, which will be difficult but ultimately winning california. and you can see a scenario where cruz and kasich separately, kasich wins the bay area ba basically and cruz tries to win the inland empire. it's winner take all by congressional district. it's dozens of separate primaries. >> it's also based on the belief that anybody who likes kasich is going to be willing to vote for a president cruz, which is, you know, not necessarily the case. >> i think this whole thing is fantasy land. unity ticket?
come on. there were once 16 versus 1 and there was talk about, we've got to get together against trump. whatever happened? now we're down to, we only have two left versus trump and they really think they'll get together? it's not going to happen. >> easier to get two together. >> what's to stop donald trump, by the way, the art of the deal, et cetera. what's to stop donald trump from going to ted cruz. they had that bromance at one point. now they seem to hate each other. but what's to stop trump from going to cruz and saying be my vice president. >> please. as a democrat, is there any way trump can make that happen. >> i'd vote for that. >> it could be trump and kasich. but you can make the point that cruz has shown the ability to get more votes than kasich. it would be the republican establishment nightmare but the conservatives who met today might be able to live with that because they believe that cruz is a true conservative where they think donald trump is not. >> i don't think that fixes the
problem that many in the republican party are having. a trump/cruz ticket exacerbates the problem because one of the -- lindsey graham is having this issue and the rest of the republican party are having this issue trying to maintain some semblance of power in the united states senate. and that's not going to happen with trump and cruz. >> they represent what is right in this election. cruz and trump together. they are taking 60% to 70% of the vote. they are the outsiders. ted cruz is the man that looks at mitch mcconnell and called him a liar in the senate. >> aren't we ignoring the other thing. this anti-trump effort moves forward, doesn't it just make all these trump voters, and there are a lot of them. there's more of them right now than for any other individual candidate. doesn't that make them feel disenfranchised and possibly not come out to vote come the general election? >> there's a question about all the people he's bringing out. whether they've come to vote out before in the first place. disenfranchised white voters who haven't traditionally --
>> republicans have enthusiasm on their side right now more than the democrats, it seems. >> enthusiasm for donald trump and against donald trump. it's talking about like, oh, is there cruz/trump, trump/kasich. this is like a mind-numbing, mind-boggling experiment that is so hypothetical and unrealistic. what it demonstrates is the party is not united. and any time the republican party isn't nominated, we lose national elections. so it doesn't -- it's very hard to see. look, the conservative movement is not -- the conservative movement has come out. it's not the leaders. ted cruz saying, never trump, never trump. >> just a few daysing -- >> never trump movement is morphing into a ted cruz movement. there's no way ted cruz n donald trump then pair up. a house divided just doesn't -- >> the never trump movement san invention of the leadership. they are the ones meeting. a poll came out showing 33% of sanders voters said they could not see themselves voting for hillary. we're not talking about a never
hillary movement. >> don't believe that poll. >> this is orchestrated from the top. >> it's based on nothing. >> there's also nobody to bring the republican party together. it's sure not mitt romney. it's not marco rubio. it's definitely not donald trump. >> why are you saying that? >> we've had a lot of elections where there have been a tough battle and supporters of one candidate said oh, i'll never vote for barack obama, and things change once a candidate is named. just as if donald trump gets the nomination. it's very possible. look, lindsey graham who said it's being shot in the head and being poisoned. >> trump is different. trump is not a figure like -- the historical comparables are barry goldwater and george mcgovern. >> george wallace. >> right. who lost big and had some members, democrats who wouldn't support mcgovern, republicans who wouldn't support goldwater. trump is beyond that. he is in more a weird mix of george wallace, ross perot and
these candidates who are so far outside the -- not just the party establishment but the world that most conservative voters operate in. >> do you know what people said in june when trump got into the race? his unfavorabilities were so high, he could never win. if all 106 presidential candidates we've had, no one has had worse unfavorables than trump. he moved those numbers and is now the presumptive nominee. >> defying boundaries. >> he is defying boundaries. >> it is not -- >> what's inaccurate is the unfavorables outside of the -- >> we're talking june numbers. that's within the republican party. >> in the republican party, he has decent favorable numbers. he also has some of the weakest support and weakest ratings of any potential mairjor party nominee since walter mondale.
>> walter mondale didn't move high unfavorables higher than anyone ever before within the republican party. two huge positive ratings. he has the ability to defy ratings. >> okay, but if you're going to run in a general election, you don't just run with republicans? what does he have a 60-something -- 68% unfavorable. >> but to kayleigh's argument, since she's the only real trump supporter here, i want to back up her argument and push back on this. donald trump has defied the rules of politics. >> absolutely. >> every step of the way. so aren't you all still applying the old rules of politics? who knows in a general election what donald trump is capable of doing? >> a lot of my friends -- i am not relishing. i'm not like ecstatic or taking trump lightly. it's more pride in being able to beat back on that george wallace-esque xenophobia in november that i'm excited about doing. but, you know, you have to
understand that donald trump has galvanized something in this country on the left and it's not even on the left. it's just with people of color that we haven't seen before. and the coalition that it takes to win the presidency is not the same coalition that's required reagan democrats in 1980. barack obama has fundamentally changed that. >> changed even since barack obama? >> obama didn't get 271 electoral votes. he crushed mitt romney. >> we've got a lot more to talk about including what a convention battle to stop donald trump might look luke. the history is fascinating. it could make history all over again. and later this -- >> i've had about enough of your false contrition and phony apologies. >> michigan's governor and others in the grilling they got over the toxic waters in flint. my school reunion's coming fast.
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tonight's breaking news in an effort to stop donald trump raises a natural question. if the battle continues on to the convention floor in cleveland, what would that look like and what does history say about how it might end. tom foreman looks ahead in part by looking back. >> reporter: let's say it happens like this. trump roars into the republican convention in the lead but short of the delegates he needs to clichb the nomination. a great fight breaks out among the campaigns yet in vote after vote, no one can seal the deal. is it possible some new arrival could emerge from nowhere to become the nominee? our mark preston studies such things for cnn. >> sure.
absolutely can happen. >> reporter: how? step one, a week before the convention begins in cleveland in july, a republican committee will meet and political pundits already expect they will get rid of a rule requiring any candidate to win at least eight states to be nominated. that opens the door wide, not only to current contenders but to others as well. >> anybody can be brought in at that point. anybody. somebody who is not -- >> it would certainly have to be a republican. >> but somebody who has not been campaigning at all. one name that keeps coming sup paul ryan, although he's said he has no interest in it. could be jeb bush. could be newt gingrich. >> reporter: step two, convince someone like that to play peacemaker at a convention in chaos. and step three, take another vote. if the new arrival hits the magic number, that person is the nominee. it's just that simple. or maybe not.
franklin roosevelt emerged from a contested convention in 1932. he led the voting going in but had to face off stiff competition. >> the motion has carried. and governor stevens is nominee of this convention. >> adelaide stevenson won a contested convention but lost the general election. same with thomas dewey for the republicans. so it's rare. >> do i think it's going to happen? probably not. >> reporter: but for all the debate, campaigning and voting, it really could happen. and the fallout from that could be historic indeed. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> we are back with the panel. ross, is there any chance a draft candidate could come to a contested convention in your opinion? >> any chance in this election
cycle? yes, there is some chance because there's some chance of just about anything happening given what we've seen to date. it obviously seems very unlikely. the most plausible scenario is if trump falls short, meaning he both falls short of the threshold and can't round up some of the uncommitted delegates beforehand and then loses on the first ballot, or, you know, has a plurality but not a majority, then the delegates start being freed up. at that point, most of those delegates if the cruz and kasich campaigns have been smart have been precommitted to them. as more and more get uncommitted you'll see cruz's numbers and kasich's start to rise. you'll probably bet on -- and then you do get into the point we were talking about unity ticket fantasy earlier. you get to the point where cruz/kasich becomes the likely scenario. to get to somebody else coming in you'd have to have something
happen to stall that pattern where -- >> trump doesn't have a really traditional campaign organization. it's a pretty small organization around him. really a handful of people who are with him. does that put him at a disadvantage if it does get to a contested convention that he doesn't have a deep bench of, you know, people who are going to be rolling up their sleeves and in the mix? >> yes. the answer is yes. what you need is people on the ground who have the political chops, the political know-how and savvy to understand how to corral people and know the process in order to not game it but to put it into your favor, to tip the skalss. it is at that point -- >> can he just fire up those people? >> he certainly has time to hire up those people before he gets to cleveland. >> he's already doing it. >> has he started? >> their campaign is doing it, as has every other campaign. sending out e-mails, calling people and saying, here's your delegate convention. you've got to go to this. you've got to represent us. what they've got to do is not
only make sure on the first ballot these people are with them but then if, by chance, there's a second ballot, make sure that these people remain your people. because once it's open season, it's open season. and a lot of these delegates are of the political ilk who may be more establishment. >> the question is what happens after you leave this brokered convention? if donald trump goes into this brokered convention with 1,000 delegates, and then somehow gets it taken away from him, what happens -- what happens to all of those? and you just contrast that. let me just paint the picture. you have this brokered convention where cruz or kasich or mitt romney or whomever you all choose today comes out on top and it's not donald trump. then the next week bernie sanders standing from the floor in philadelphia saying, i, too, support hillary clinton and barack obama saying, i support hillary clinton. and they come out unified. just look at the dynamics.
>> kayleigh? >> it would ensure hillary clinton's presidency is what it would do. if you took the nomination from donald trump. i would advocate for him to run third party. a lot of trump supporters would advocate. he'd feel like something was taken from him and the american people who voteod him -- >> i'd have a case for him to run third party. >> anderson -- >> i think this whole conversation is too little, too late. they had their chance to stop donald trump. and they did not. it's good to hear paul ryan say, criticize donald trump now but he never did anything about the tea party which kind of created donald trump. john mccain criticizes donald trump. he gave us sarah palin. mitt romney criticizes donald trump. he welcomed his endorsement in 2008. they have created donald trump. they are going to have to live with him as their nominee. and if he has the most delegates going into cleveland, he deserves the nomination. >> we saw in exit polls last week 50, sometimes 60% of the electorate in these states felt
betrayed by the republican party. how would they all of a sudden feel unbetrayed by the republican party. >> more betrayed by the republican party. >> exactly right, bill. >> there are no good outcomes for the republican party in this scenario. i mean, i'm a little skeptical that trump would run a third party bid because he'd have to pay for it personally on a scale that he hasn't had to pay for things yet. i think the more likely scenario is he just goes around the country hosting, you know, town halls and press conferences for two months, which would be covered on cable news, i imagine. and, you know, trashing the cruz/kasich ticket and so on and that would probably help deliver the white house to hillary clinton. absolutely. >> i want to thank all our panelists. the supreme court justice nominee on capitol hill. merrick garland met with some democratic senators. will any republicans follow suit or stick by mitch mcconnell's promise to not budge? that's next.
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go to pge.com/solar. together, we're building a better california. judge merrick garland has been supreme court nominee for less than two days but finds himself in the middle of a bitter partisan fight. he met with some democratic seniorities. mitch mcconnell has promised garland will not get the same
courtsy from republicans. pamela brown joins us now. he made the first trip to capitol hill. >> thises should first day of lobbying for himself on the hill. he met privately with democratic senators harry reid and patrick leahy. after the meeting, reid came out and said he believes garland will ultimately get approval given the public pressure on republicans who have vowed not to hold hearings. he scolded republicans saying they're putting politics above the law to get more people to the polls in november. but this is likely not merrick garland's last trip to the hill considering some republicans now are saying they'll meet with him. >> what is the evidence the republicans are softening their stance or is there any? >> last night, since we spoke, there have been seven republican senators we've counted so far that we know of that they they are open and meet with merrick garland after the recess. some are changing their tune
after initially saying they wouldn't meet with president obama's nominee. chuck grassley who was initially noncommittal came out today and said he's willing to meet with dictators so he's happy to meet with a decent person like garland if he's willing to meet with dictators. some of these republicans are in the midst of a re-election campaign and democrats hope this public pressure will cause more republicans to change course. >> if the next president is a democrat, would republicans push for a hearing for garland in november with the belief that the next president might try to push somebody who is far more liberal? >> that's been the speculation. so far two republican leaders came out today. chuck grassley and john cornyn. and they said it would be a mistake to consider garland during the lame duck session after the elections. grassley called it intellectually dishonest since the republican party line all along has been to let the people decide in the upcoming election. other republican sources i've
spoken to have said garland has the best chance of getting through in a lame duck if a democrat is elected president so we'll certainly have to see what happens here. >> pamela brown, we'll be watching. announcing that nomination, president obama talked about garland's work at the justice department where he oversaw the federal spbs to the oklahoma city bombing. in the aftermath of the devastation that left 168 people dead, including many children, the president noted how garland worked side by side with first responders and served a community that was in obvious, horrible pain. >> merrick also made a concerted effort to reach out to the victims and their families. updating them frequently on the case's progress. everywhere he went, he carried with him in his briefcase, the program from the memorial service with each of the victims' names inside. a constant searing reminder of why he had to succeed. >> he's kaurld his work on the
oklahoma city case the most important thing he's ever done. laura sanchez has a look back. >> reporter: with debris still smoldering in the streets and bodies still buried in the rubble of the alfred p. murrah federal building in oklahoma city, colleagues say federal prosecutor merrick garland saw an opportunity to serve. >> i was given one evening to pack and say good-bye to my 3-year-old and 5-year-old daughters and my wife and we began from there trying to find out who had blown up the building and where the ryder truck was from. >> reporter: as the name timothy mcveigh made national headlines in april 1995, garland was getting an up close look at the destruction. among rescue workers digging a massive crime scene for signs of life. the harvard graduate took command of an enormous investigation. >> witnesses that can tie him to the mercury and the ryder truck. >> reporter: piecing together
evidence to try and bring justice for the 168 victims, including 19 children and their families. >> merrick was on the ground at the get-go. and the reason he was there was we needed somebody who would make sure we had a flawless prosecution. who would relay to the victims and coordinate law enforcement. he brought all of those qualities, and then a great deal of heart to that process. >> reporter: jamie gorlick, a friend n colleague, said his hands-on approach had a tremendous impact on those most affected by the bombing. >> he is really smart. he is very careful. he is a sweet person. you can see that yesterday inning his remarks. there's a sweetness to him. >> reporter: those closest to the investigation also noticed the father of two's meticulousness, refusing to take in evidence that wasn't obtained via subpoena, even if it was voluntarily handed over. to be sure mcveigh and his
accomplice terry nichols wouldn't get off on a technicality. he went by the book, literally. a colleague told "the washington post" that garland carried around a paperback version of the federal rules of criminal procedure. that approach helped secure convictions and help oklahoma city move forward after the deadliest home-grown terrorist attack on u.s. soil. >> most significant thing i worked on. the thing that i feel like i was able to make the biggest personal contribution to something. lots of things lawyers work on they don't feel like in the end you don't know if it makes any difference. other people could have done the same but i think being there makes you feel like you had a role to play in the investigation and helping pull people together. >> reporter: forest sanchez, cnn, new york. just ahead, house lawmakers grill michigan's governor about why he waited so long to do anything about lead-tainted drinking water in the struggling city of flint and how the
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well, some of the adjectives used to describe today's testimony in the questioning blistering, withering, unrelenting. a fair description of the grilling michigan's republican governor faced today on capitol hill. governor rick snyder was there to testify, of course, about the lead contaminated dric ed drinkr in flint, michigan. a man-made public crisis. this was a man-made crisis. it happened on his watch. a disaster that state officials really ignored for 18 months. even in the face of growing evidence. also testifying before the house oversight committee, the head of the environment protection agency. from the start we should point out this hearing was incredibly contentious. >> reporter: governor rick snyder desperately trying to hang on to his job. >> i kick myself every single day about what i could have done to do more. >> reporter: members of congress were not sympathetic. >> plausible deniability only works when it's plausible.
and i'm not buying that you didn't know about any of this until october 2015. you were not in a medically induced coma for a year. and i've had about enough of your false contrition and phony apologies. >> we have no evidence of you traveling to flint for seven months, governor. i'm glad you're sorry now. i'm glad you're taking action now. but it's a little bit late for the kids in flint. >> they told you about these concerns and you did nothing or he didn't tell you and you are an absentee governor. you need to resign. >> reporter: it wasn't just governor snider who faced blame. republicans focused their sights on president obama's epa administrator gina mccarthy. >> you just don't get it. you just don't get it. you still don't get it. >> not only am i asking you to be fired. if you're not going to be fired,
you should impeach. >> reporter: often bickering over who is more to blame. >> administrator mccarthy, why didn't she get on the phone and call me. this is that culture that got us in this mess to start with. where is common sense? >> i will take responsibility for not pushing hard enough. but i will not take responsibility for causing this problem. it was not epa at the helm when this happened. >> reporter: mccarthy deflected several questions about whether the epa did anything wrong. >> would common sense not have told you, hey, stop drinking the water. >> not at that point in time. >> not that that point in time. >> at what point in time? >> as questions continued, flint residents protested in the hallways like they have for months. e-mails show governor snyder's top staff members knew of problems four months before action was taken and the public was warned. some members of the committee weren't buying snyder's claim that he wasn't looped in.
>> there's no doubt in my mind that in a corporate ceo did what knfr snyder's administration has done, he would be hauled up on criminal charges. >> reporter: sarah ganum, cnn, washington. >> should point out at the democratic debate in flint, both democratic candidates, bernie sanders and hillary clinton, have called for governor snyder to step down. also said that they wanted to see the results of investigations. that hearing room today was packed. they needed overflow room to hold everyone who came to watch it, including dozens of people, as you saw in that report, from flint. among those people was a woman named leann walters. back in january, cnn's dr. sanjay gupta met walters' 4-year-old twin sons. like thousands of children in flint, they drank the lead-tainted water. one of the twins is much smaller than his brother. his mom says he's barely grown at all over the last year. medical experts agree that
there's no safe level of lead for children. a local doctor found that lead levels in flint kids doubled and even tripled in some cases. hard to imagine after the city switched its water source to the flint river to save money. leann walters joins me tonight. leann, obviously a lot of anger and finger pointing from politicians. do you feel you got the answers you wanted? >> no, i really feel like there should have been some more in-depth questions that were asked today. i'm gratful for everything that they did ask, but i really feel like there needed to be more timeline questions that were asked today. trying to get us closer to the answer to what happened. >> do you think there was enough of a focus on what's going to be done to actually help you n other families? >> no, i don't. i don't think we got any really straight answers on that today. one of the things that snyder had talked about today that really stuck out for me was when he was talking about the water infrastructure money he's put to the side for the whole state of michigan.
that is completely unacceptable. >> you are saying flint should be the priority? the people of flint have been poisoned. that should be priority number one? >> oh, absolutely. you know, you didn't change the water source in michigan for the entire state. you changed it for the city of flint. therefore, as, you know, snyder had final approval on that. the money needs to go to flint first and foremost. once our infrastructure is fixed, then the rest of the state. >> you confronted the epa chief mccarthy after the hearing. what did you hope to hear from her? >> i don't agree for the fact she would not take any responsibility on the epa shoulders today for what has transpired. mdeq is primarily at fault for this but epa plays a part in this and does share blame. and i actually confronted her face-to-face about some of her testimony because what she was saying was a lie. >> the lie is what, that they knew and they are not really owning up to it? >> the lie was that when she was
talking about when miguel's report came out in june, that the reason why they didn't step up and move faster was because they said it was localized to one specific area. that is a lie. knowing there was no corrosion control in place at that time, you cannot definitively say it was localized to one area because you are breaking a federal law. >> who ultimately is to blame here in your eyes? who do you feel holds the most responsibility or is there frankly a lot of blame to go around because there were a lot of hands in this? >> there's a lot of blame to go around to all levels of this. but essentially, you know, she was making -- gina mccarthy was making governor snyder look good today by the fact of what she was doing. and it's sad because as the leader of the epa, the good people that work for the epa, the people in region five that are on the ground in flint really trying to do good and make a difference are the ones who are going to suffer with blowback today from what she
said. and the way she presented the epa today. >> we heard from the democratic candidates when they were in flipt. both think governor snyder should resign. do you think he should? >> honestly, i believe at this point we should use his guilt to get what we need in regards to our infrastructure. why not use it to get the people what they need. >> if somebody came in in his place, he may not feel that same sense of personal failure? >> well, not so much that. just that with him already being so neck deep into this, he's got the guilt of what's happened. and i really feel it would hinder us timewise to have him resign or to have him be recall in getting things done. it would make things go slower than they're already going and they're going slow enough. >> how is your family doing? >> my family is dealing with some serious health issues. my son is still not growing. my boys have speech issues and
hand-eye coordination issues. >> can you drink the water in your home now or do you still have to go travel, get bottled water to bathe, to drink? >> we still do bottled water. we will never trust a water source ever again just because we're told to. >> leeanne, thank you for being with us. so sorry for what you and your neighbors are going through. hard to imagine what the people of flint are going through. secretary of state john kerry says isis is responsible for genocide in iraq and syria. an exclusive look inside rebel-held syria. the damage on the front lines. , with rich omega oil. it repairs hair deep inside. 10 times stronger hair. 90 percent less breakage. omega repair, developed with claudia schiffer, from schwarzkopf.
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. secretary of state john kerry said today there's a word for what isis is doing minority groups in iraq and syria. that word, he said, is genocide. it's the first time that america has made that declaration since 2004. the impact on civilians, it's hard to overstate. our senior international correspondent clarissa ward has done extraordinary reporting from inside syria, at great risk to her own life. here's her report, which we warn
you contain traffic images. >> it's an all too common site, the moments after an air strike, survivors stagger from the rubble. those still trapped call out for help. the target this time, the courthouse. activists say the bombs were russian. with rebels took the capital, they saw it as a crucial act to demonstrate they could take the territory. any civilian infrastructure is a potential target, including hospitals. last month four were hit in a single day. one was supported by doctors without borders. this is what remains of it now, at least 25 people were killed.
this doctor was the general manager. he told us that russian and regime forces target hospitals cynically and deliberately. >> translator: they want to kill the maximum number of people. also they want to forbid the area from having medical service. if there's no doctor, no nurse, no hospital, then there is no health care for the people and people had flee. >> reporter: is it possible that they did not know that this was a hospital? >> translator: everyone knows this is a hospital. there was even a sign that said this is a hospital. but if they didn't know, this is an even bigger disaster because if you were bombing a building like this without knowing it's a hospital, it means you were hitting totally indiscriminately. >> reporter: against the backdrop of this vicious war, islamic factions have gained the upper hand here, among them an
al qaeda affiliate. the landscape is peppered with signs shunning western democracy and urging all men to join the jihad. one encourages women to cover up completely. this doctor works at the only hospital still standing in the area. he's no militant but sees this conflict in back and white. >> translator: the whole of the syrian people is against isis and against extremism, but we see that the russians are bombing far from isis, and they're focused on civilian areas. >> reporter: i asked him why he doesn't leave syria. >> translator: if i did that, i would abandon my conscience. this is our country. we can't desert it.
if we left, then we have sold our morals. who would treat the people? i could very easily leave, but we will remain steadfast. i am prepared to die rather than to leave. and i will carry on no matter what. >> reporter: carry on in the faint hope that for the next generation of syrians it will be better. >> clarissa joins us now. i'm so glad you were able to get in just to show people what's going on there. people blame russian for the air strikes. can they tell whether it's russia or assad forces? >> there's only two players in these area, the russian air force and the assad forces.
we reached out and they categorically denied having any involvement or targeting civilian infrastructure. but we looked at report that doctors without borders put out in 2015 when they do a breakdown of how many facilities were hit and they found 82 were hit and the vast majority happened in october, just after the russian intervention of the military began. looking at the buildings and the intensity of the bombardment and the sophistication of the weaponry and bombs that were clearly used, all of it would seem to indicate that it does not make sense that russia had no part in these attacks. >> john kerry has said what russia is doing is genocide. is that more symbolic at this point? >> reporter: i think that's exactly what it is. it's symbolic. there's no question to those on
the ground had have suffered at the hands of isis. there will be some comfort in that. what many syrian people will be saying, however, is why does the u.s. prioritize the crimes of isis over the crimes of bashar al assad because when you look at the numbers of people who have been killed, assad has killed hundreds of thousands more. so it's an important symbolic gesture but many people in syria will feel it doesn't go far enough. >> clarissa, thanks so much. we'll be right back. my belly pain and constipation? i've heard it all. eat more fiber. flax seeds.
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that does it for us. thanks for watching. we'll see you again at midnight eastern for another edition of "360." "trump's talk of riot if he doesn't get the nomination has the gop up in arms. >> nobody should say such things in my opinion. to even hint at violence is unacceptable. >> i'm don lemon. president obama strategizing to make the case against trump. is it all too little too late? plus a political ad that everybody is talking about. >> when the head of the ku klux klan, when all these weird groups come out in