tv Wolf CNN January 15, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST
hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington, 6:00 p.m. in london, 8:00 p.m. in jerusalem. wherever you're watching, thanks so much for joining us. the president in 2018 declaring he is not a racist. the new fallout from his vulgar remarks and the republicans who are still silent. all of this as the clock ticks on a d.r.e.a.m.er deal and a government shutdown.
will it stop the government from running? the president of the united states being compared to joseph stalin? not from democrats but a republican u.s. senator. and he'll do it from the floor of the u.s. senate. the president pushing back on critics who say he is a racist due to his comments he made about african nations and haitians. here is his charge about racism. >> i'm not a racist. i am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, that i can tell you. >> the president is also denying that he made the vulgar remarks and he's getting support from his homeland security secretary and from two republican lawmakers. >> are you saying the president did not use the word that has been so widely reported? >> i'm telling you he did not use that word, george, and i'm telling you it's a gross
misrepresentation. how many times do you want me to say that? >> i didn't hear that word, either. i certainly didn't hear what senator durbin has said repeatedly. >> i don't recall him saying that exact phrase. i think he has been clear, and i would certainly say undoubtedly the president will continue to use strong language when it comes to this issue because he feels very passionate about it. >> senators perdue and cotton initially said they did not recall the president making those remarks. let's go to senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny. he's at the white house. jeff, why all the pushback now? >> that's a great question because it has been a slow pushback indeed. when the president said those comments last thursday, the white house did not deny that he said that. this has been a slow denial over the past two days. those two senators now saying on friday that they couldn't recall what he said, they came out on sunday saying they do not recall
what he said. his homeland security secretary also said that. the president said he had strong words about this but he did not use that particular vulgar expression. wolf, regardless of all of this, the underlying factor is the week here is beginning in a much different place than just a week ago when it seemed there was an agreement being reached between democrats and republicans on daca. those young immigrants who came here through no fault of their own, whose time is essentially expiring here. this is all wrapped up in that government funding bill that ends on friday. but wolf, it's hard to imagine how they can even be on that with the president saying i'm not a racist, democrats saying he is, and republicans saying they did not hear him say that. all of this coming after the president returns from a three-day weekend later this afternoon, wolf, from florida. >> that clock is ticking friday night at midnight. that's when the government runs out of money. it could be a government shutdown unless they pass a spending bill. jeff, thank you so much. senator lindsey graham, by the way, is standing by his
recollection of the infamous oval office meeting on immigration. senator graham says reports of the president using vulgar language are, in fact, accurate, and he tells the charleston, south carolina post and courier this, quote: my memory hasn't evolved. i know what was said and i know what i said. also senator graham said this. >> the discourse right now is pretty low. we're producing some pretty good policy, but those of us in my business need to up their game. it's pretty embarrassing when you have to take your children out of the room just to report the news. >> joining us now to discuss this and more, cnn political director david chalian and political reporter. lindsey graham was one of the
seven lawmakers in that meeting. he's a republican. he's not backing down at all. >> i think this debate about what word exactly did he use, it misses the point entirely. for senator perdue to say it's a gross misrepresentation what dick durbin presented, it just belies the facts. lindsey graham was in the room and corroborates it. he tells tim scott what word was used. tim scott said it supports the public accounts that are out there. whether he used that word in the room or not seems to miss the larger point here, that as you started the show, wolf, the president of the united states on martin luther king day wakes up to headlines everywhere saying, i'm not a racist. the fact he felt the need -- he got a question, sort of a question that none of us could imagine prior to this presidency being asked, and answered it and asserts, as he did during the
campaign, i'm not a racist, i'm the least racist person i know, to have that be the headline on mlk day shows you just how unsure he was. >> and when there was an mlk day event, he just ignored the questions. this time he didn't. >> he's trying to defend himself from democrats on the hill and people around the country saying these are clearly racist remarks. the thing i think is interesting is how much this has roiled the immigration talks. there was a potential daca deal on friday, but this has set it back miles and miles, if you will. you have senior senators calling the number 3 democrat in the house a liar. you have people saying they want to censure the president for remarks that he made. and there is a -- was a
bipartisan vote on friday about where to go from here. my candid assessment is negotiations are going nowhere but nobody wants to go away from the table right now. that was a quote from my friend who is in there. >> in the oval office in a white house meeting that was televised, a 55-minute meeting, he seemed open to doing something immediately for the d.r.e.a.m.ers, the daca, when he was responding to senator feinstein. then kevin mccarthy weighed in, we have to talk about security, and he said okay. he seemed to be very, very flexible, let's get this done, let's let the d.r.e.a.m.ers, the 700 or 800,000 stay, but he was hit from the right and that seems to have an impact on him. >> i think more than anything what he was doing in that meeting was trying to erase the portrayal in the michael wolff
book "fire and fury" in the white house. >> which he was successful at doing. >> he was successful at doing. what i think we noticed right away, wolf, remember, there was confusion about his position at the moment, but that night he was out there tweeting that the wall has to be part of it. rachel said they're back in the firm positions of where they were rather than a new position. i totally agree with you about what the impact of these remarks are on the daca debate, because it seems every democrat i've spoken to feels now more emboldened in their position to really try and use the spending bill moment, this deadline coming up, as leverage. and now their base will be that much more unforgiving in deal-making after these remarks are public. >> it seems from sources i'm talking to today that the conversation has sort of shifted from can we get a daca deal on friday when the government runs
out of money, to, we don't have a daca deal, we're not going to get a daca deal and how do we keep the government open? right now republicans will meet in a couple hours to talk about a short-term spending agreement that will sort of kick the can into february. in december they did the same things. democrats and the senate, i think 17 democrats ended up voting for a short-term agreement even though they said they won't vote for a long-term agreement without a d.r.e.a.m.er solution. my question is do these, quote, shithole remarks embolden them to say, we're not going to give you any votes? >> this is a critically important week and we'll be watching them very closely. the clock is ticking, as we like to say, friday night deadline for the government to come up with something. i assume they'll come up with something and avoid a government shutdown, but we shall see. guys, thank you very much. the president's ex-wife now defending him against those racist charges and his mental stability at the same time.
ivana trump in her own words. that's coming up. after hawaii gets a scare of pushing the button, north korea has more direct talks with south korea. you'll hear more what to expect. the president of the united states being compared to joseph stalin on the senate floor. you'll hear why. that's coming up. anna, do you yes! those plans? i just wanted to show you something i've been wor... ♪ james r. and associates. anna speaking... ♪ james r. and associates. anna. ♪ [phone ringing] baker architects. this is anna baker. this is what our version of financial planning looks like. tomorrow is important, but you're ready to bet on yourself today. spend your life living.
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the president's ex-wife ivana trump is coming to his defense on the fallout from his vulgar remarks about nations in africa and the comments. she denies her husband is a racist. >> i don't think donald is racist at all. sometimes he says these things, you know, which are silly or he doesn't really mean them or something like that, but he's definitely not racist, i'm sure of that. >> i want to bring in our white house reporter kate bennett who has been following this story for us. it's not the first time ivana,
his ex-wife, has come to his defense. >> it's certainly not. in fact, ivana in october wrote a book called "raising trump" in which she talks about the president. they seem to have a close relationship. the current first lady melania trump has not said anything about this latest controversy, although, wolf, that's not unusual. melania trump doesn't typically respond when the president has these controversies. >> what does the current wife and the first daughter, ivanka and melania, what are they saying about all this? >> not a whole lot. we reached out to the white house and neither of them have responded to comment on this latest controversy. melania did comment about the michael wolff book calling it a lie, saying it was a work of non-fiction. interestingly her spokesperson said melania trump might at some point tell her own truthful story, which leads people to think down the road she might
have something to say. but right now the first lady and the first daughter are avoiding this controversy. we have not heard from them. melania trump this morning did tweet a martin luther king jr. tweet honoring the day and saying we all need to represent the civil rights leader. >> it seems president trump has a pretty good relationship with his wife. >> she did say back then when ivana trump made that comment, i don't want melania to be jealous if i call the white house, and melania responded, this is about selling books, i'm first lady, this isn't something we need to worry ourselves with. she did sort of fire back. >> when the president traveled later this month to davos to the world economic forum, the first lady will go along as well. >> the first lady will go with him to davos. she'll be front and center when
he gives his remarks there and sheila company him on this trip. >> keep up the great reporting. thanks very much. a new twist today in american tensions with russia. you're going to hear why moscow is now berating the united states saying america is is destabilizing the world. plus, as north and south korea meet again for talks about the winter olympics games in south korea, we're hearing from former secretary rice who is describing kim jong-un as, quote, pretty clever. we'll tell you why she thinks that. that's coming up.
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president issuing threats against north korea. lavrov warning of further tensions and confrontations with the peninsula and saying, the united states quite plainly says that the military confrontation is inevitable, however, everyone understands the catastrophic consequences of such recklessness. let's go to senior correspondent matthew chance joining us live from moscow. lavr lavrov is critical with u.s. normally, but this is a bit more harsh, is that right? >> i think that's right because he spent the last two and a half hours here in moscow which is an annual event that he hosts, basically using it as an opportunity to publicly berate the united states for its actions overseas, he said he's destabilizing the global order, he criticized the u.s. for the threats the u.s. had made against north korea and iran. lavrov accused the united states of provoking tensions on the
korean peninsula, and as you mentioned, he warned of what he called the catastrophic consequences of such recklessness on iran. sergei lavrov, the russian foreign minister, warned the united states not to go back on the controversial nuclear deal. because he said that that would be negative for future agreements with other countries, particularly north korea where such agreements are entered into. so yes, it was a marked change in tone from the foreign minister compared to what we saw a year ago when president trump was inaugerated where lavrov was very much looking forward to better relations with the u.s. >> it hasn't happened. let's talk a little more about sergei lavrov's comments and the developments involving north and south korea.
bob barrons, a former political analyst, senior correspondent clarissa ward. bob, let me start with you. before we get to the russian issue, i want to talk about north korea. i want to talk about what condoleezza rice, the former u.s. secretary, said. listen to this. >> i think kim jong-un is turning out, much more so than i thought, to be actually pretty clever. the approach to the south koreans was clever. the decision to go to the olympics is clever. i think he is more isolated than his father was, certainly more reckless. i wonder sometimes if he really believes it when he says, i can destroy the united states, because anybody who tells him something he doesn't want to hear seems to get killed. >> so you agree with her assess
sn assessment? >> i agree completely. it is cutting u.s. policy. the north koreans have their missiles, have their bombs and are saying, let's be friends again. if we lose the south koreans on this, we don't have much. >> that's an important point. clari clarissa, do foreign minister's lavrov's comments and this attack against the united states not only involving iran but north korea, how does that serve moscow's interests? >> well, it's just incredible to me, wolf, what a difference a year makes. i mean, this time last january, i was sitting in moscow and the kremlin was trying very hard to keep a smirk off its face. people were grinning from ear to ear. they were quite literally thrilled at the result of the u.s. election, at the prospect of a much more russia-friendly leader being elected as
president of the united states. it didn't take long for that honeymoon period to sort of fade away, and i do think there was anxiety always about the fact that president trump was an unknown commodity. but now we find ourselves at a stage where many russians are privately telling me that they actually would have been happier if clinton had been elected president. that is something i would have thought would be inconceivable to hear them saying before, and i think it's for a number of reasons. obviously the trump administration under a huge amount of pressure politically to uphold sanctions against russia. we've also seen the move to declare russia today and sputnik as foreign agencies. of course, though, at the end of the day, what we're looking at is a real disparity in foreign policy where the u.s. foreign policy not entirely clear, but we're hearing a lot of belicose statements from the white house
about iran, about north korea, about syria, and specifically with syria and north korea, these are areas that the russians had really considered themselves to be a main player at the negotiating table. so i think you're seeing a real chilling of the relationship. i think you're seeing a very ticked-off foreign secretary lavrov, and yes, it's just an extraordinary difference in such a short space of time. >> certainly that u.s.-russian relationship, bob, certainly from the beginning of the trump administration till now has dramatically deteriorated. >> absolutely. clarissa is absolutely 100% right. this relationship with russia is going downhill fast. they're worried about north korea that there could be a conflict, if accidental or intentional, and they're worried about iran. if we withdraw that nuclear deal from iran, the iranians will withdraw that bomb again. so the russians are very worried about this --
>> the public lashing out about the russians, lavrov today against the trump administration, is a lot more vociferous than president trump lashing out at the russians. he doesn't usually do that. >> very odd. what the russians are going to do at this point, i don't know, but they're very worried about this president, his inconsistencies, his blustering and the rest of it. if the russians are worried, i'm worried. >> clarissa, what about these new talks that have been scheduled between russia and north korea? it's only a few weeks before the games in south korea. do you think this is just game playing ahead of the olympic games? >> i think there is a sense of optimism in some quarters. these are the first face to face meetings we've seen between north and south korea in two years, so they are not significant. and while it's all being done through the mechanism of the
olympics and sports, of course, diplomacy and sports often go hand in hand. i'm sure many remember ping-pong diplomacy during the time of richard nixon. so i think this is clearly a crucial time and everybody anxiously awaiting to see whether some kind of a thaw is indeed imminent, whether more pressing concerns will be laid into. nuclear issues could indeed be reached, which is why you're seeing a lot of confusion not just from sergei lavrov who we heard from earlier in russia but from a lot of countries about why the trump administration is just now kind of seemingly engaging in military preparation exercises or looking into military options for a military conflict or solution to the korean peninsula crisis. the timing of that seems a little awkward and a little
gauche to a lot of analysts who would like to see everybody sort of standing quietly and supportedly on the sidelines cheering on these talks, seeing where they'll go. it's normal, of course, to have some kind of military contingency plan. but between the debacle in hawaii and the rhetoric we heard from president trump and this "wall street journal" article, i think there is some concern in some international quarters that maybe the u.s. is speaking out of both sides of its mouth at the same time, wolf. >> lots of confusion on that front as well. speaking of what happened in hawaii, bob, does that false alarm, and panic of a lot of people, understandably so, the ballistic missile warning that it was coming towards hawaii, does this underscore some national security threat potential, a vulnerability? >> i think it does, wolf. i remember in 1988 we shot down a civilian airliner. the radar was bad.
the guys working the radar didn't know it and the chances of a conflict with north korea are not far off. and without some sort of hot line to pyongyang, we'll always have that danger. it's not perfect, the radar. >> it took more than half an hour for them to finally correct that false warning. that was a serious, serious problem. they have to make sure it doesn't happen again. thank you very much, bob bear and clarissa ward. congress may turn the democrats' dream of taking back the house of representatives into a reality and create a new nightmare for the gop. we'll go inside the numbers when we come back. don't wait until february. walk into a jackson hewitt and you could get up to $3200. so why wait for your refund?
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disparaging remarks about african nations in haiti are causing a diplomatic firestorm. south africa and ghana are the latest to summon officials about the controversy. david mckinsey is joining us from johannesburg in south africa right now. david, how much damage has been done specifically with the relationship between south africa and the united states? >> reporter: wolf, it's extremely unusual for the south african goth to bring the head of the embassy here and give him essentially a dressing down to protest the relations from president trump. the south africans didn't buy what donald trump said in that controversial meeting. there has been outrage throughout africa and elsewhere with citizens on line and diplomats in the u.n. calling these statements racist and saying it harms the relationship between the u.s. and the countries of africa. now, that meeting just wrapped up. the south africans just put out
a statement saying the americans said there are no changes towards the united states and the relationship with africa, and they still want to move forward with forging those relationships. but wolf, it's very difficult for state department officials on the continent to conduct their work, many say, when the president is undercutting that work in many ways by making these disparaging remarks. wolf? >> very disturbing developments indeed. david, thank you very much. the firestorm along president trump's tumultuous first year is bringing uncertainty to the balance of power here in washington as well. right now republicans control the house of representatives, the u.s. senate and the white house. that includes a 46-seat majority in the house, but there are fears among republicans that their lead could not only shrink but potentially completely disappear. let's bring in our senior political analyst mark preston to break it down for us. take us through, mark, the
margins right now. because this year a lot is at stake. >> a lot is at stake, wolf, and i think the first year we need to look at is 2018 right now. that gives you control of the congress. democrats only need to pick up 24, a net win of 24 seats in order to take back the house of representatives. but history is going against republicans when we look at this. let's look at the historical perspective right here, wolf, and we can pull that up. it shows that 32 seats are the average loss for a president in a midterm. just to put that in perspective. back when bill clinton was president in his midterm back in 1994 the republican wave, 52 seats were lost. barack obama in 2010 during his first midterm, he lost 63 seats. so certainly going against republicans when you're going into november. but let's continue on. let's see what the seats are up for grabs as we talk right now. 45 seats right now. these are people who are retiring because they want to or they're retiring to run for another office. this number, by the way, does
not include the competitive seats where democrats might be able to knock off an incumbent. we talk a lot about the me too movement and how it affects politics. 394 women are either running for ofr office, have filed for office or are likely to do so. we're getting this number right now from the center for american women in politics at rutgers university. wolf, to put this all in perspective, we talk about democrats taking back the house of representatives and how legislating. it is. but if democrats take back the house, they will control the power to launch impeachment proceedings if they feel like they want to do so in 2019. so there is a lot on the line. >> the democrats are trying to put together more viable candidates to run against some of the republicans who may be vulnerable. >> they are. and this is an interesting fact. when you're looking around the country right now, you only want to include democrats who played
well in the house. democrats are trying to find perfect places in the house. coming up, president trump says he's not a racist amid the growing backlash from his growing remarks. i'll ask a republican lawmaker if he thinks the comments were racist. we'll be right back. 's ever said microwaved. you deserve a breakfast made with respect. try the new bacon, egg, and cheese on brioche. panera. food as it should be. you or joints. something for your heart... but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. they always refer to me as master sergeant.
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waiting for him here am washingtwas -- in washington is more fallout over his vulgar comments and the deadline over the government shutdown. congressman, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me on, wolf. >> let me get your reaction. what did you think about the president's reported commentsri, those comments the president put forward? >> those comments are disturbing to get problems solved like immigration and daca. >> what would you like the president to do? would you like him to apologize for saying those words? >> i don't know that i can call on the president to do any particular thing or not, but i certainly feel that they were
disappointing comments, and i just -- i think it just shouldn't be. it distracts us from getting things done. we have a lot of things on our plate the next two or three weeks, including funding the government and figuring out a solution for daca and border security. >> there was sort of a thunder of silence from some of your republican colleagues. the majority leader mitch mcconnell, i don't think he's said anything yet about those words that are causing major disruptions between u.s. relations and african countries, different countries around the world. what do you recommend the republican leadership should say to the president? >> well, i think several people have said they were disappointed in comments like this, and it's important we show the world that we still have the fundamental american values that have made us the excellent nation that we are and that we haven't a b
abandoned those principles of humanity. >> the president has said over the weekend that the daca deal, the so-called compromise that was put together by democrats and republicans, including lindsey graham and dick durbin on the senate side, he said now it's basically dead. are you okay with that? >> no. the deal i'm familiar with is the one kevin mccarthy explained to us thursday which would be a daca extension in exchange for some border security enhancements and ending chain migration and ending the diversity lottery. i thought all that made pretty good sense to me. >> you think there could still be an agreement by friday? would it be part of whatever extension of the federal budget? because the federal government runs out of money friday night at midnight. they've got to pass a spending bill. would the d.r.e.a.m.ers, 700,000, 800,000, would that be included in that deal? >> we certainly need to come up with a solution to that. i haven't heard anyone that wants to kick these poor children out of this country,
but most people on our side of the fence want to also couple it with some of the needed reforms to our visa and immigration system. the democrats voted in 2013 in the senate to end the diversity lottery and end that chain migration as part of the previous migration package, so i don't know why they can't do it again. >> that was a package that was passed in the senate but not even brought up for a vote in the house of representatives. i want you to listen to what the president said last night about the democrats. listen to this. >> we are ready, willing and able to make a deal but they don't want to. they don't want security at the border. we have people pouring in. they don't want security at the border, they don't want to stop drugs, and they want to take mona way from our military, which we can't do. >> do you agree with the president? do you think he's telling the truth that democrats don't want border security, they want drugs coming into the united states, they don't want to support the u.s. military? do you believe that? >> no, i don't. and they have voted for these
security enhancements in the past. i just want to see them do it again as part of a comprehensive daca solution. >> yeah, they say they will vote for border security, the democrats, as part of an arrangement to allow these d.r.e.a.m.ers to stay in the united states. what they don't want to vote for is 15 or $18 billion to build a wall all across the u.s.-mexico border. you don't want to do that, either, do you? >> the thing about that wall, i've had a lot of business down in the valley so i spent some time there. there's 350 miles of pedestrian-preventive wall, mostly around the cities. then there's another 350 miles of vehicular preventive wall that could be hardened up and expanded to make people hard to cross in and around the you are -- urban areas. but there's also the part that goes through big ben national park and the
>> $18 billion is what they are asking for. do you support that? do you want to spend $18 billion to at least build some of the wall? >> well, again, in the 2013 law, there was proposed $1.3 billion for some additional fencing. i heard the number $1.5 billion the other day. >> that's a lot less than 18. >> it is. it's probably a lot less wall. but we need to fortify the border both with physical and technological barrier where most of the crossings are taking place. >> bottom line, what's going to happen this week? will the government stay open or will it have to shut down friday night? and will there be an agreement on the dreamers? >> i'm hopeful and optimistic. i'm an optimistic person. you don't go into construction if you're not. we are caught between rocks and hard places. i talked to a guy the other day, we have on the one hand daca. on the other hand border
security. need to increase defense. on the other hand the issue of shutting down the government. >> we'll see what happens. i suspect they won't shut the government down. maybe have another continuing resolution to keep it going, at least for a few more weeks and kick the can down the road a little bit, see what they can come up with. the clock is ticking. lo lots at stake now. thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me on, wolf. just ahead, families fleeing bombs and bloodshed, now facing violence miles from home. a cnn special report from inside war torn syria. arwa damon is live. apple car play compatibility... -wow... ...and teen driver technology. that's crazy... yeah... now to get all of the features, you'd need all six of those crossovers. that's insane! yep, and you still wouldn't get everything that's in this equinox. wowww... six cars in one. get zero percent financing for sixty months. or two thousand two hundred and fifty dollars total cash allowance on this equinox lt
driving isis from raqqa. the bloodshed in syria is certainly far from over. now the town of idliba is being hit by air strikes. arwa damon joins us from irbil in iraq. why is the area being hit so hard now? >> reporter: it is idlib, the country side, the last remaining rebel stronghold. there was a lot of optimism after that strike on the syrian air base you mentioned that perhaps this administration would somehow save the syrian people. the sad reality has been that it's not the case. it peers one is peering into a dollhouse of broken lives. bits of concrete tumble down as
people try to clean up or salvage what they can amid the horrors they can't escape. five of his relatives were killed in that building. there were three children among them. images like this are familiar from a year ago in aleppo but this is idlib, meant to be a refuge -- one of the last remaining ones -- as part of a so-called deescalation zone that has become anything but. the four strikes here happened five days before we arrived. many of those we met had fled from aleppo. so lucky they were in the back room. >> yes. >> reporter: this man is haunted by all he's lost. his wife was killed in aleppo six years ago. he's raising his two sons on his own. we asked where the boys are now.
his eyes filled with tears. we fled from aleppo to get here, he tells us, whispering, choking on his words. there is no solution. there is just no solution. the boys were both studying for exams when the bombs shook the building, sucked the air out of the room and everything went pitch black. they were screaming, daddy, daddy, muhammed remembers. he couldn't find them right away. when the kids were younger, back during happier times. what childhood, he laments, what childhood? children have lost everything in life. wolf, as the bombing intensifies in these so-called safe areas, hundreds of thousands of people are again on the move. really being crushed, suffocated into this shrinking space against the border with turkey.
when you talk to them, it is not a matter of if the areas will be bombed. it is a matter of when. then, wolf, where will they actually go? >> seems to never end. what's next for those residents, arwa? do they have a place to go? >> reporter: no. they don't. in fact, they have to guarantees. all they crave is the most basic of things at this stage -- to be able to tuck their children safely into bed at night rather than try to stave off the cold with the measly blankets they have. they are in makeshift camps, in pre-existing and ever-expanding camps. they struggle when it comes to food. they struggle when it comes to medical aid. you have such a massive amount of people on the move and not enough assistance reaching them, wolf. >> it's been an awful situation. it doesn't seem there is any end in sight. arwa damon doing excellent
reporting for us as always, joining us from irbil, not far away in iraq. that's it for me. i will be back. amanpour is next for our international viewers. er in the u.s. viewers, "newsroom" starts now. wolf, thank you. i'm brook baldwin. thanks for joining us today. this is a day marked by a contrast as people pay tribute to the icon's fight against racism, the president of the united states is defending himself insisting he's not a racist. >> no, no. i'm not a racist. i am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. that i can tell you. >> the president continues to be dogged by the fallout of reports he called
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