tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN August 17, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
moderating a town hall with house speaker, paul ryan. speaker ryan will answer questions about the challenges facing congress when lawmakers return to the hill. everything from the federal budget, tax reform, infrastructure, there might be a question or two about president trump. town hall airs monday on cnn at 9:00 p.m. that is it for the lead. jake tapper signing off. turning over to wolf blitzer next door. happening now, breaking news, terror on the street. a van plows into pedestrians in a busy barcelona neighborhood in a horrifying attack directly in front of a hotel housing an american college basketball team. at least 13 people are dead. scores more are injured. and now, there's word of another vehicle plowing into a police at a check point. international man hunt. at least two people have been arrested following the barcelona attack and terror investigators are now searching for more amid reports the suspects may have been trying to reach a getaway car. now isis is calling the
attackers it's soldiers. are they part of a terror network plotting more strikes? getting history wrong. president trump tweets a debunked story about an american general executing terrorists more than a century ago. a fake anecdote he also used on the campaign trail. but the president's facts aren't only wrong, his take away from the false legend is what one historian calls ridiculous. and changing the subject. with president trump increasingly isolated and under fire, he lashes out at republican senators critical of him in tweets in defense of confederate monuments. but the pressure on the president is growing by the hour. how will he respond to gop lawmakers now openly questioning his competence and his moral authority? i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room.
killing at least 13 and injuring 100 others. spanish officials were quick to call it a terror attack. and a short time ago, isis called the perpetrators it's soldiers. two people arrested and right now police are searching for more possible suspects. and moments after the attack, a driver ran over two police officers at a nearby security check point. it's not clear whether the incident is related to the carnage in barcelona, but officials now say that vehicle, the vehicle that hit the police officers is being searched for explosives. president trump was quick to call events in barcelona terrorism. label he was reluctant to use regarding the deadly car attack in charlottesville by a white
supremacist. with a growing number of republican senators rebuking him. has not demonstrated quote the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to be successful. and tim scott just called the president's equivocation of neo-nazis indefensible. adding that president trump's moral authority has been unquestionably compromised. we're covering all of that, much more in this hour with our guests including senator ben cardon. on the senate foreign relations committee. a very grim scene in barcelona. >> think about this, it's about 5:00 in the evening on one of
the great boulevards of the world where literally thousands of people are relaxing, and the horror begins to unfold. [ sirens ] >> reporter: police and rescue squads rushing to the scene, searching for the terrorist. dozens of people on the ground, victims of the ferocious attack and those trying to help them. this was the horrific picture just moments after witnesses say a white van suddenly turned and barrelled down the pedestrian walkway in the capital jammed with restaurants, shops, and tourists from all over the world. according to eyewitnesss, the van raced along at close to 50 miles an hour, clearly targeting people for a third of a mile. >> all the sudden there was a tidal wave of people and they were hysterical. it wasn't just a small number, it was a large number of people.
children were screaming, there was clearly a lot of distress. >> the panic rush for safety had local people at one point referring to a mass trampoline. and it wasn't over yet. when the van finally crashed, other witnesses say two armed men jumped out. u.s. officials say local authorities believe the men were trying to reach a getaway vehicle, but instead ran into a restaurant. >> the police were saying that go away, there's like an armed man. run away because you cannot be hear. >> isis issued a statement claiming the perpetrators are soldiers of the islamic state, that is not explicitly claimed responsibility for the attack. amid the con cushion shock and suffering, a few witnesses reported hearing shots and as police led some to safety, others were told they had to stay put and await evacuation. even as the investigation, the manhunt, and the agony roared around them. police now say there never was a
standoff that the restaurant where people ran in. we don't know for sure if there were ever gunshots, although people say they heard them and we don't know what happened at the police barricade. as we go deep in the night, there in spain, many, many, many questions unanswered. all we know is terrorist have strucked in the most dreadful way. >> terrible indeed. for that, let's bring our chief national security correspondent. jim is also working the story for us. you have new reporting on isis's presence in barcelona. >> that's right. this is coming from the head of the global terrorism center in spain. formerly with the superior ministry there. going back more than a decade. he says that there have been previous arrests of isis operatives in barcelona, one earlier this year that was widely reported in april, but also in 2015, some 13 isis operatives arrested in spain, several of them in barcelona, disrupting a plot targeting
barcelona, markets, like the one we saw attacked today, but also police stations with explosives. so today, if it turns out to be indeed an isis director inspired plot would be the first successful isis attack in spain, but not the first attempt at it, a presence there that is deep, that authorities have been aware of and that they've been trying and with some success until today, trying to put a lid on it. >> we're getting more information as we speak right now, jim, we're now told that one person was killed in an explosion in a house in an incident that police -- in an incident connected to the barcelona van attack. this according to to the interior ministry. this was an explosion that actually occurred last night we're told, jim. the victim is spanish, was not on police radar, once again, one person was killed in an
explosion last night. and police suspect this was in fact connected to the van assault that killed all of those people today. there seems to be a bigger plot here. >> no question. well first of all, the scale of the attack itself, one having multiple attackers, multiple vehicles and just the success of getting on to that busy thoroughfare indicated some planning and typically with the attacks, there's a network, if indeed this explode last night is connected to this leads you to believe. and often you will see this happen after attacks as well. as they begin to seek out how far that network extends. i'll tell you this, wolf, i spoke to a security source who went to barcelona a number of weeks ago and profiled the
militant community there and while the numbers are not the same that we have seen in france or in belgium, still, a very tight community, a very insular one, a very difficult to penetrate one with pakistani nationals, moroccans, et cetera, with ties to international terrorist groups, it's a strong presence there and clearly a powerful presence as well. >> we're also getting word from one police official who says one of those arrested is moroccan, the other is a spaniard. >> and in almost case, that network turns out to be much bigger than just the actual perpetrators of the attack as we
saw today. >> we want to continue our coverage with the breaking news. he's the top democrat on the senate foreign relations committee, senator, thanks for joining us. >> wolf, it's good to be with you. >> all right. compared to other european countries like france or britain or belgium, hasn't been a frequent target of foreign terrorism, at least in recent years is that threat shifted. >> i think what we are seeing here in spain, we don't have enough information yet, but it looks like it was a coordinated effort, not one isolated incident. and that should be a major concern as to what type of intelligence information we have about planning of activities in spain and other countries of europe. >> as you know, as isis has been losing ground on the
battlefields in iraq and syria this year, many experts were deeply concerned that the jihadists will quietly move back into europe and elsewhere and plan attacks for this summer, are we beginning to see that fear come to fruition. >> well first, we've got to determine whether this was coordinated through isis operatives or whether this was self-radicalization. we don't know that. whether this was a planned attack in barcelona or whether it was just self-radicalization of people in the country. to counter these types of activities. it's tragic, our prayers go out to the victims and we are with spain. >> president trump quickly reacted to the attack in barcelona with this tweet, and i'll read it to you, senator. the united states condemns the
terror attack in barcelona, spain, and we'll do whatever is necessary to help. be tough and strong. we love you. as you know, he was sort of reluctant to apply the terrorism label to the car attack in charlottesville, virginia, which was allegedly carried out by a white supremacist who's now under arrest. why do you think there is a difference? >> wolf, you cannot explain what the president has done in the last couple days here in the united states with white supremacists and neo-nazi's participating in virginia, and he says there's multiple sides to the tragedy. there was not. we needed moral clarity from the president, he needed to be strong in condemning the neo-nazi's and white supremacists, he was not and it was an opportunity to to bring our country together and the president just failed. >> and just a little while after that initial tweet on the barcelona terror attack, the president tweeted again in reaction to today's attack.
he said this, study what general panthershing of the united states did to terrorists when caught. there was no more radical islamic terror for 35 years. presumably, senator, the president was resurrecting what is clearly known as a debunked anecdote that he used to tell out on the campaign trail last year, describing an incident where general panthershing used bullets dipped in pig's blood to kill muslim terrorists during the aftermath of the philippine. historians have argued that such an incident never happened. i wonder if i could just get your reaction. >> well fake news is fake news and doesn't make a difference how many times you tell it, it's a lie. and the president should absolutely -- this is outrageous he would continue to repeat this, which is clearly wrong. >> ben rhodes, former national security advisor to president obama had this to say about the president's tweet, trump is
using made up events to support atrocities against muslims, he is doing grave damage to u.s. standing, literally and seriously. the united states senator relies on a coalition of nations, many of them a majority muslim to carry out the fight against isis. do tweets like this endanger that international effort? >> absolutely. america is in our deals and values. values of supporting diversity, recognizing the value of all people of good governess, anticorruption, against human rights violations. and when the president makes these comments, he divides us, he has loses our moral standing where we need the support of countries around the world, muslim countries, all countries to fight these extremists. and america's compromised from the president of the united states makes those types of comments. it certainly puts us at greater risk no, question. >> more breaking news, senator, including word now that the two
suspects who have been arrested, onespan yard, one moroccan, neither was the driver of the van that plowed into that street where all those pedestrians had gathered killing so many people. we're going to follow the breaking news. senator, i want you to stand by. we have much more on the barcelona terror attack right after this. (vo) dogs have evolved,
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releasing new details about today's deadly terror attack in barcelona. quickly go back to our chief national security correspondent. jim, you're getting new information. what are you learning. >> that's right, wolf. multiple developments just in the last few minutes. the first is that the two arrests that police have made since this horrible attack, they're saying that they were related to the attack, but crucially, neither was the driver of that van. so, police facing a situation here where the driver behind all of those deaths there with the vehicular attack still not in police custody. that is one development. another development. police now saying that last night, prior to this attack, there was a police operation in which one person, a suspect, was killed in an explosion. and police are saying that that person, that explosion, was related to today's attack. so, police were on to something here, a network, people tied to this attack today in barcelona before it happened. again, an explosion last night,
a suspect killed, somehow tied though, police not detailing to the attack that took place today. now in addition to that, a third development, you'll remember that in the hours after this attack, there was another incident where a car rammed police at a police check point. policeman injured, not killed, that person killed that suspect killed in that altercation, but police not saying yet whether they know there is a connection between that incident and this attack. again as always with these terrorist attacks and the hours that follow, rapid developments, police doing their best to find the entire network behind this attack, and they haven't done that yet. crucially the driver still on the loose. >> yeah, the manhunt continues. all right. thanks very much. jim, stand by, we're going to continue to monitor all of these late-breaking developments. but there's also news that's breaking right now, including some sharp new criticism by republican senators of president trump's handling of the deadly
and racially charged violence in charlottesville, virginia. senator bob corker now saying the president has not demonstrated the stability or the competence to be successful. and senator tim scott just said the president's moral authority has been unquestionably compromised by his equivocation of white supremacists and protesters opposed to them. back with senator of maryland, the ranking democrat on the foreign relations committee. we're going to talk about all of that in just a moment. first i want to get more from our white house correspondent sarah murray. the divide between the president and the increasing number of republicans, top republicans is growing? >> well that's right, wolf. the president is really on a political island after he made those comments essentially equivocating neo-nazi's with the people who were protesting and against them. so today, president trump is responding by lashing out at members of his own party. >> reporter: president trump
already isolated after his controversial comments about charlottesville is driving the wedge even further. today trump cheered on a challenger to jeff flake, a trump tweeting, great to see he's running against flake jeff flake who was weak on borders, crime, and a nonfactor. he's toxic. >> can you see me? >> reporter: and he took i am at lindsey graham, saying publicity seeking lindsey graham falsely stated that i said there is moral e give lan si between the kkk, neo-nazi, and people like that. he can't forget his election trounsing. the people of south carolina will remember. trump has suggested there's little difference between white supremacists and liberal protesters. >> i think there's blame on both sides, you look at -- you look at both sides, i think there's blame on both sides. and i have no doubt about it. >> reporter: today, hidden from view, but active on twitter,
trump fanned the flames of debate over the civil war and white identity politics. turning the argument away from his own comments, the president is embracing statues commemorating the confederacy. sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. you can't change history. but you can learn from it. robert e. lee, stone wall jackson, who's next? washington? jefferson? so foolish. the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns, and parks will be greatly missed. and never able to be compare bli replaced. the president's embrace of confederate history and culture comes less than 24 hours after his chief strategist steve bannon told a reporter for the american prospect the democrat, the longer they talk about identity politics, i got them. i want them to talk about racism every day. if the left is focussed on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can
crush the democrats. bannon, the former editor of the breitbart also down played his role in elevating the far right. saying, et no nationalism, it's losers. it's a fringe element. and adding, these guys are a collection of clowns. the majority of americans 55%, said they disapproved of the president's response to charlottesville, according to a new cbs news poll. but among republicans, the reaction was flipped. 67% said they approved of the president's response. just 22% said they disapproved. in one of the sharpest criticisms of trump yet, gop senator bob corker said energizing the base isn't an excuse for fueling polarization and called for radical changes in the white house. >> the president has not yet -- has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence.
he needs to demonstrate in order to do it. >>. >> reporter: at one point under consideration to be president trump's vp, wolf. >> there's another development as we know it, yesterday the president under pressure because so many members revolting in protest to what his reaction was to what happened in charlottesville, virginia, the manufacturing console, the strategy and policy forum. now a third council also going away. >> that's right. business executives were fleeing president trump yesterday. today the white house put out a statement saying, essentially, we were in the process of forming and infrastructure council, we are abandoning that effort now. they didn't give a reason, but wolf, you can imagine it's probably difficult to get people to sign on publicly to anything like that involving president trump at this moment. >> very important developments indeed. very embarrassing for the white house as well. sarah murray reporting, thanks very much. now let's get back to
senator ben cardon, the top democrat on the foreign relations committee. your chairman, you just heard your chairman bob corker say, and i'll just repeat it once again, he said, the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the confidence that he needs to be successful. i said president trump has not demonstrated, he understands the character of this nation. he's a republican, he's your chairman, how remarkable is a statement like that from a republican leader in the senate as far as the republican president of the united states? >> well, i think quite clearly, you know, heard the white house say that democrats are focussed on race, we're not focussed on race, we're focussed on american values. and republicans are focussing on american values. so what senator corker said, i think reflects the fact that there shouldn't be a partisan division when we talk about america's strength and our values. and what the president did in
the last 48 hours was clearly a long, it was clearly a loss of the moral clarity, and i think senator corker understood that and that's what he was referring to. the senator corker and i work very closely together. democrat and republican on foreign policy issues. because we know we're stronger when we speak with the united voice. i think that's true also on these states fundamental values. >> in a statement senator corker also hopes the president will engage in some self-reflection. his word, self-reflection. do you hold out hope that the ft. actually wants to change the way he does things? >> you know, i can't speak for the president, i'm always surprised and disappointed by what he has done in regards to these issues in the last 48 hours. i do know that the american people want democrats and republicans to join together and to speak out on behalf of america. and i think that's where senator corker has given us hope that we can find democrats, republicans
who will join together and urge this white house to understand that the president must speak with moral clarity. and he did not do that in virginia. >> while he was tweeting this morning, the president also went after republican senators jeff flake and lindsey graham on twitter. how isolated do you believe the president is right now? >> well, we could also add mitch mcconnell and his comments about senator mcconnell and senator mccain. the list goes on and on and on, if you disagree with the president, particularly if you are a republican, he's going to show his wrath. he demonstrates the classic problems of a bully. he tries to act and is acting as a bully. and that should have no place in the white house and no place in our country. and it is i think extremely disappointing in the way this he conducts himself from people who disagree with him. >> senator ben cardon of maryland, thanks so much for joining us. >> wolf, good to be with you, thanks. >> and to our viewers, we're
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at least 100 others are injured after a van mowed down pedestrians in barcelona. police now say the driver of the van escaped. also breaking, president trump's continuing series of messages on social media, apparently met to shift the focus away from his off the rails news conference earlier in the week. we have lots to discuss with our specialists. let's begin with paul crookshank. isis has claimed that the attackers were soldiers of the islamic state. so why go after this particular target in spain heavily, heavily populated by tourists from around the world? >> well, wolf, the first thing to say is they provided no proof they were actually behind this or connected to this attack any way they put out false claims before after the manila casino attack which ended up being nothing to do with isis. we'll have to see whether there is a an ex us is back to isis here. if there is in some way, then this is a really international target. you think of the americans,
french, germans, dutch, people from countries involved in the anti-isis coalition and in a bigger way that spain is at the moment. so this is an attack not just on barcelona, not just on spain, but on the entire international community. if it is indeed linked back to isis as isis claims. we're hearing some very troubling details, wolf, including about this house explosion, the night before the attack in the local area. which killed one person, injured another person nap brings up the possibility that this cell were planning some kind of bomb attack and then switched to plan b after a mishap. we're waiting to hear more from spanish authorities about that. certainly any time you hear about an explosion in a residence, that brings up the responsibility of explosives of some kind of bomb-making being involved. worrying that there could be others still throughout, they don't appear to have the perpetrator in custody at this
point. they're on red alert right now. >> and we do know that police suspect that that explosion the night before at that house was connected to the individuals who were involved in the car ramming, killing those pedestrians in barcelona. i want you to stand by, i want to bring in phil mud whose been looking closely at all of that. phil, take us inside this investigation right now. what are officials in spain looking for, how specific are they? what kind of help are they getting from the u.s.? >> this is a race right at the outset for the simple reason and there are people involved in this conspiracy and they're still out on the streets. they're going down and they may act. what you're doing initially it talking to the people in custody and asking simple questions. question one is there imminent threat, is there another operation launched. question two, i want names and addresses. e-mail addresses, geographic
addresses. are there fingerprints other than theirs at that apartment? that tells me they're out there. one final point in terms of your comment on the american involvement in other intelligence agencies. very simple. that's data. as soon as you get a name, phone number, e-mail address, security services around the world are going to cooperate with the spaniards and ask simple questions like do we have indications that person travelled? do we have indications they ever communicated with an isis member in syria. right now, bottom line a lot of americans presumably were there in that area as well visiting barcelona, including six american university college basketball teams were in that area as well. let's hope all of them are okay. one more thing, phil, we're just getting word that the van driver in this terror attack fled the vehicle, police say they're still searching for him. there's no evidence he was armed.
quote, the driver abandoned the van and escaped from the area the police chief in barcelona said. he went out to the say witnesses did not see a weapon on the driver as he fled. so what does that say to you that the driver is now remains at large? >> the gives me one clue here, wolf, there's a simple calculous i look at in the initial stages of these investigations. we've seen two things that are important. numbers of people. as soon as you see a lone wolf, i start to ask questions about whether that person operated in a basement, even simple questions about their mental capacity. a lot of lone wolves i see are not mentally capable. as you see a conspiracy of this size, the likelihood that this conspiracy i think reaches out of spain has increased and the fact that they even have a getaway plan is a clue. a lot of these people, if they're simple, are just focussed on the operation and not thinking as much about how to get away. i think we're going to find more links in this case. >> gloria, the president initially tweeted this, and i'll put it up on the screen.
united states condemns the terror attack in barcelona, spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help be tough and strong, we love you. well that came within a few hours of the terror attack. contrast that to his reaction to the attack in charlottesville, virginia, where he was very reluctant to brand it as an act of terror. >> he was. in his first tweet after that, he said, we all must be united and condemn all that state stands for, there's no place nor kind of violence in america, let's come together as one. and we all know what occurred in the days after culminating in the press conference on tuesday where he made it, you know, if you want to call a terrorism, call it terrorism. call it murder, whatever. he still -- it was sort of suggested by somebody as his domestic terrorism, and then he responded to it. clearly, it's not as clear cut for this president to call this terrorism as it was in barcelona. >> his second tweet on what
happened in barcelona, chris was specific, he said this, study what general pershing of the united states did to terrorists when caught. there was no more radical islamic terror for 35 years. he was recycling something he often said during the campaign, debunked anecdote. i want you to listen to actually what he said in february of last year. >> 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. and he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pig's blood. you heard that, right? he took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pig's blood. and he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people, and the 50th person, he said, you go back to
your people, and you tell them what happened. and for 25 years there wasn't a problem. >> he was referring to -- he alleged was general pershing's behavior. >> okay. couple things, one, he says 25 years, he says 35 years in the tweet. that's the least of the problems with this though. historians, which, you know, i'm sure donald trump may not trust, but historians who fyi cover history and write about it say that there is very little evidence that it happened the way it did. that is concerning, though frankly, if you don't know that donald trump has a casual relationship with the truth at this point, you haven't been paying attention. if this is what teaches you that. i think the more concerning thing here is wolf, what he thinks this represents that he thinks this is the right response. remember, this is someone back again during the campaign when asked about water boarding, say water boarding's the least what have i'm going to do to these people. just blowing the torture debate out of the water.
he is under the impression that this makes him tough and that it differentiates him from the people who have gone before him most notably barack obama. that this shows that he will be tough with these people, the reason that isis exists in his mind is because barack obama was not tough enough on terrorism. he will be. he views this as a way to make good on that. quite skeptical that it will work, but that's what he's doing. >> you know, when the president tried to explain, peter, is initially tepid response to what happened in charlottesville, virginia, he said he wanted to wait for all the facts to come in because he was wanted to be very precise, he wanted to make sure he had all the facts. the day he recycles this gruesome legend that has been widely debunked, how do you explain that? >> that's how you know it was bogus. donald trump is rarely, ever, measured and careful about the facts. that's just not who he is.
and just to add, not just that this is false, if it were true, it would have been a war crime. an atrocity to kill 49 pows. so you're boasting not only something that didn't happen, if it did, it would have been a mark of shame in american history in, let's remember, a philippines war that was a war of american colonialism against phillippe know struggling for independence. so what message does that send to the muslim world? first of all, fwhebl war crimes against muslims and secondly that we believe in colonialism. that's a great message to send when you're fighting a war against isis. >> what is the message this kind of anecdote, false anecdote sends to america's allies in the muslim world. there has to be a close relationship in fighting isis, al qaeda, and other terror organizations. >> well, there's messages on two levels. there's a political message, i saw leaders from the republican and democratic side, the best leaders when the kitchen gets hot, they turn down the
temperature. the president is making an amateur move. the kitchen's hot, he turns the temperature up. regarding allies, let me make a practitioner's comment. the president's comments are amateurish from a practitioner's perspective. certain reason, when you see a situation like this, the first question is what does the adversary want? they're isis, they want to grab your attention. what did the president just tell them and tell our allies overseas? one terror incident in the president says in the midst of all the problems i've got, you grab my attention. you've got to tell the adversary, do whatever you want, we'll respond, but we got higher it priorities and you are chump change. he just told them that they grabbed his attention. that's an amateur move. >> paul, quickly, does it fuel isis' propaganda? >> these are very offensive words, wolf, very inflammatory words and of course it fuels isis propaganda, but it also puts americans at risk overseas.
around the world at this kind of inflammatory statement only increases the motivation for extremists to launch attacks against americans, and i can tell you the kind of terrorism officials here in the united states, the people putting themselves in harm's way are deeply disturbing by what has been said. >> everybody stick around, we have much more on the breaking news. the latest on today's terror attack. at least 13 people are dead and 100 are injured, we'll be right back. [upbeat music] >> announcer: no one loves a road trip like your furry sidekick! so when your "side glass" gets damaged... [dog barks] trust safelite autoglass to fix it fast. it's easy! just bring it to us, or let us come to you,
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we are monitoring developments. just one of the topics showing up on president trump's social media feed in an effort to change the subject after his off the rails news conference the president is sending messages defending confederate monuments. the president seems to be stoking a nationwide controversy right now. >> he is stoking a controversy that has taken off and accelerated since the charlottesville violence. we are dealing with fallout from the president's latest tweets on confederate monuments as cities around the u.s. deal with protests, vandalism and the removal of stratus. in durham, north carolina this week a statue of a confederate soldier is pulled down by protesters. in that same city today a statue of comfort general robert e. lee
on duke university campus is vandalized. in baltimore four monuments are taken down in darkness overnight on orders from the mayor. she says it is in the interest of public safety following this. the street violence in charlottesville resulting in a young woman's death. tonight analysts say that event and president trump's pronouncements have taken an uncomfortable american predicament to a new level. >> the debate has accelerated. >> reporter: fuelled by president trump's controversial handling of the after math. today the president tweeting sad to see history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with removal of status and monuments. what culture is he referring to? >> i can't say for certain what president trump is referring to when he says culture but i think he can infer that it is something that i heard as a boy
growing up in a little town segregationists saying we can't have black kids and white kids attending school together because it will destroy the culture of the south. it will destroy a way of life. >> reporter: president trump seized on the events in charlottesville to make a case that hits at white identity politics. >> george washington was a slave owner. was george washington a slave owner? so will george washington lose his status? are we going to take down status to george washington? >> reporter: president trump tweeted today you can't change history but you can learn from it. is there merit to that argument? douglas says it is more complicated. >> they are not memorials to the confederacy but expressions of white southerners messages when they wanted to make clear to black americans that they were never going to be able to vote and have access to the courts
and never real citizens. >> he predicts there will be more confrontations in america over confederate monuments and says politicians may start to take legal action banning the removal of the monuments. that is happening in alabama tonight. birmingham's mayor has ordered covering of a confederate monument. alabama's attorney general is suing the city for violating an act that protects the monuments. >> this controversy has made its way to washington where we are and the halls of congress. >> there are actually ten confederate status inside the u.s. capitol. democratic senator says he is going to introduce a bill to remove the status. he calls the presence of them there painful. >> thanks very much. the breaking news coming up. a deadly terror attack in barcelona, spain. we are learning new information about two suspects in custody. are they isis soldiers as the terror group claims?
republican senators criticizing president trump's handling of the deadly violence in charlottesville, virginia. can his tweets change the subject? we, the people, are tired of being surprised with extra monthly fees. we want hd. and every box and dvr. all included. because we don't like surprises. yeah. like changing up the celebrity at the end to someone more handsome. and talented. really. and british. switch from cable to directv. get an all included package for $25 a month. and for a limited time, get a $100 reward card. call 1-800-directv. a penny it's ourr back to school one cent event at office depot office max. notebooks! one cent! rulers, glue and 12-pack pencils! all one cent each! hurry to office depot office max! ♪taking care of business (dogbreak-n-bites are great. they'll break off a couple if you sit, you stay. but if you want all four, mmmm...
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the major international city with basketball team. some players among tourists nearby. search for suspects. new arrests in an urgent man hunt. isis claiming its soldiers are behind the carnage and the terror. president trump tweets support for confederate monuments into racially charged controversy and demanding focus from outrageous remarks. the president promotes a debunked legend. and revealing strategy. the president's chief strategist declares, is steve bannon admitting that president trump's fire and fury was just bluster? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room.
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