tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 12, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
picked someone, a final decision, when he truly hasn't. so it is not over until it is truly announced but this is the thinking today. >> as of this moment. >> 4:59. >> be sure to tweet me. >> happening now, breaking news. deadly bombings. police warn residents of austin, texas, to be alert. police say the attacks are related. president trump is offering only modest propose as to address gun violence. is he backing away from his own ideas on age limits and background checks?
stormy daniels offered to send $130,000 directly to president trump to get out of the confidentiality agreement. will that bold move let her speak openly? and share evidence about their past relationship? and from moscow with poison. britain's prime minister said it was a nerve agent developed in the former soviet union. the white house condemns the attack but why won't it blame russia? you're in "the situation room." >> we're following several breaking stories out of the white house. deadly bombings in texas as well.
let's begin a deadly series of package bombings. two people were killed and an elderly woman was critic alally injured. the bombings appear to be connected is that they're sending out urgent warnings to residents. what are you learning? >> that's right. >> there appears to be three bombings all connected. police are sending a task force. calling on more resources from the fbi and the atf to investigate these three package bombs are being left overnight at the door step of homes, of people opening these boxes in the morning and that's when they're exploding. there are two deaths connected
with it. an elderly woman was seriously injured this afternoon. police are saying they're going to call in additional resources, the fbi and atf. moments ago, police described this latest incident that occurred this morning. >> both incidents, the victim in this incident came outside of her residence and found a package out front. and she picked up the package and at that point the explosion, the box detonated. based on evidence we have at this scene as well as at the other two scenes where we had these explosions. this evidence makes us believe that these incidents are related. we do not have a specific victimology or ideology that we have identified. so assigning a motive to this, we're not possible to do that based on the stage that we're at in the investigation. >> one of the things they're
looking at as a possible is that a hate crime, two of the victims african-american. the latest was an his hispanic woman but police are not ruling that out. motive appears to be the key for investigators. >> i'm going to be speaking later in "the situation room." we'll get more from our reporter. >> the president is shying away from any bold measures. and stormy daniels is talking about a very bold move. is the president not backing down on gun violence in the earlier steps he said he supported? >> certainly the president said, just as a few weeks ago when he had the survivors and the family members in the white house here.
that he would do what others have done to try to find a solution to the school shootings in america but it has fallen far short of that. president trump retreating on guns. the the president significantly softening his stance and putting on the back burner his call to raise the age from 18 to 21. >> the president is pushing forward on things we know have broad based support and we can immediately get done. >> after the parkland school shooting nearly a month ago, the president vowed to stand up to the nra. he said he was committed to finding a solution to the school shootings. >> there's nothing to be afraid of. if they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in a while. that's okay. >> last month he said 18-year-olds should not be able to buy weapons like the ar 15 used in florida.
>> talking about changing the age from 18 to 21. so they buy a revolver, a handgun. they buy at the age of 21. and yet, these other weapons, they're allowed to buy them at 18. how does that make sense? >> that was not part of the plan announced today. on twitter he called for the strengthening of background checks with highly trained expert teachers allowed to carry weapons. the president said he was watching court cases and rulings before acting. states are making this decision. the white house insisted the president hadn't abandoned his far tougher talk on guns. it was simply being practical. >> he hasn't backed away from these. as i said, they're still outlined in the plan but he can't make them happen with a broad stroke of the pen. the only event on his schedule was to welcome the houston astros to the white house. the administration did create a
commission on school safety led by education secretary betsy devos. >> we can't just keep setting up blue ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband and they meet and they have a meal. they talk, talk, talk. two hours later. then they write a report. >> meanwhile, the stormy daniels controversy is intensifying with the porn star offering to return the hush money so she can talk freely about her affair with president trump. the actress said she would be willing to spend $130,000 to the president by friday. she asked to be released to speak openly and freely about her relationship with the president. she's asking to use any text messages, photos and videos relating to the president that she may have had in her
possession. the white house did not respond to her offer today. thought as the white house expresses anger at more members of the trump cabinet. white house officials were dismayed by devos filing answer basic questions that the nation's schools. >> i hesitate to talk about all schools in general. because schools are made up of individual students attending them. >> have you seen the really bad excuse? maybe tried to figure out what they're doing? >> i have not. i have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming. >> maybe you should. >> maybe i should. yes. >> this comes on the heels of the white house scolding for cabinet level officials for embarrassing stories about expensive travel and unethical behavior. it is a clear message optics matter. despite multiare clouds of
controversy hanging over the white house, the president made it clear that he is looking ahead to his re-election campaign offering a preview at a rally in pennsylvania. >> our new slogan, when we start running, can you believe it? two years from now? is going to be, keep america great! >> so the president looking ahead to that. but it is questions the gun proposal that is raising some eyebrows. after all the meetings, simply he is not following through on what he said he would do. the white house insisting that he wants to do steps instantly, administratively. and he is committed to passing laws here. there was no sense of the president talking out loud today. of course, his bully pulpit is the most important tool the
president has. >> let's to go our senior investigative correspondent. this is a real in your face maneuver. what's behind it? >> tough lawyering, wolf. stormy daniels wants to cut a deal with the president. she returns the money and he frees her to speak. the her seeks to allow daniels to use and publish any text messages, photos, and or videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession. in a further attempt, the attorney would send the money directly to president trump by wire transfer. not to michael cohen who claims he is the one who made the
payment. it was part of a continuing effort by daniels' attorney to keep it alive and keep the pressure focused on the president. >> i don't know why the president can't come out and state unequivocally definitely he know about the payment and did he have anything 22nd the payment being made? simple questions. you don't need 140 characters on twitter to answer those three questions. >> no response from anyone on president trump's legal team today. daniels wants an answer on her offer by tomorrow at noon. >> all right. joining us now, senator ben cardin. thanks for joining us. do you agree with some of your come beings the fbi should address this matter involving
stormy daniels and her alleged relationship with the president? >> well, clearly there could be some legal issues here. no one is above the law, including the president of the united states. there's certainly a lot of questions that i think americans would like to have the answers to. some issues about whether or not campaign laws were broken by the payment by the president's lawyer. >> what's your reaction to the very strong statement given today by theresa may. >> it is highly likely that russia was responsible for the act against sergei and his daughter. there are only two plausible explanations for what happened in salisbury on the fourth of 4th of march. either this was a go directs
attack against our country or the russian government lost control of its potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed to it get into the hands of others. >> senator, your reaction. >> prime minister may is doing exactly the right thing. she is standing up for her country, the sovereignty of her country is that the protection of her citizens. contrast that to what president trump has not done about russia's interference in our 2016 elections never giving a clear statement that it is unacceptable and vladimir putin will be held accountable. to say this is inexcusable. it appears to be a direct attack against her country or she points out some really careless reckless conduct by mr. putin. >> the white house secretary sarah sanders called the attack an outrage and offered words of support to the british government bust she pointedly stopped short of the blaming russia. is there anything the administration should be doing
specifically to support the british government beyond words? >> well, you know, the report that i authored in january, talking about what mr. putin uses in order to attack on countries, this comes right out of that play book. the poisoning people that disagree with mr. putin has been done. we know about. the president has not made it clear that type of conduct can never be tolerated and there will be repercussions if mr. putin does not change his course. >> do you worry that something similar could happen here on american soil? >> absolutely plflt putin refines his tactics and what he does in other countries, he clearly could attempt those type of tactics here in the united states. >> the republicans heading the russia probe in the house
intelligence committee. they're expected to announce fairly soon a conclusion to the interview portion of their investigation. the democrats very upset about it. is what they're doing pre mature? >> well, clearly we need to have an independent sbregs what russia was doing in the united states. what's being done on partisan lines will not have the credibility it needs for recommendations to have weight. we believe they're working in a much closer bipartisan way. it would have been preferred for us to have an independent investigation as we did after 9/11. we need on take steps against future aggression from mr. putin in russia. >> thanks for joining us.
>> appreciate it. >> up next, the house intelligence committee is moving quickly to wrap up their investigation into russian meddling in the russian interference in our election. and rub thing new information with the murders of o.j. simpson's ex-wife and her friend. in an interview finally being made public, does o.j. simpson confess? let's take a look at some numbers:
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republicans are moving to wrap things up. there's not much that democrats can do about it. right? >> that's right. we expect the witness part of this investigation is done. republicans do not plan to call any more witnesses before this committee. they plan to release draft report. a report about their findings. we'll see if the democrats had agree with the findings but i'm told the democrats were caught off guard by the republicans to end the witness interviews. in fact, they have yet to discuss with it adam schiff. another sign of the part sandal tensions that have really engulfed the committee. they are disagreeing on a wide range of issues. perhaps the most central is collusion between that's the. a number of them have said there's no evidence of collusion but democrats said there has
been a number of things that raised concerns about the prospects of collusion. and they say there are a number of areas that need to be looked at. for witnesses who did not provide documents including financial documents related to the trump family finances. something they have yet agreed to do. but they see it as the he believed the end of the road. they will move to the actual portion of the investigation where they release the report. there will be a fight over public opinion with which side is right. and what exactly happened in the 2016 elections. we'll see if the senate intelligence committee will continue its investigation or it will come to a different result. >> a lot more bynum cooperation on the senate side. the house side, it is completely collapsed. the bitter, angry partisanship.
democrats point a finger in large part over devin nunes, the republican chair of the committee who was forced to step aside temporarily because of his briefing with the president. republicans want to thenld rather quickly and we saw it devolve into a partisan infighting when they traded these memos earlier this year about exactly whether or not there was any abuse of the surveillance process while monitoring the trump associate carter page. really assign that this committee has really got grid locked. the end of the road. >> thanks very much. police warn residents of austin, texas, to be on alert as the city rocked by a deadly series of package bombings.
two people are dead and one woman was critically hurt. police say the attacks are related. and disturb go new details emerging about the murders of o.j. simpson's ex-wife and her friend. does o.j. simpson confess to the killings in an interview that is finally being made public? stay with us. yoooogiiiiiii!! but when it comes to mortgages, he's less confident. here, yogi. thank you boo boo. fortunately, there's rocket mortgage hmmm. hey. by quicken loans. it's simple, so he can understand the details and get approved in as few as eight minutes. my kind of pic-a-nic basket. apply simply. mmm-hmmm. hee, hee. understand fully. mortgage confidently. rocket mortgage by quicken loans. fthere's flonase sensimist.tchy and watery near pollen. it relieves all your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist.
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we're covering a new proposal by an attorney for stormy daniels who has offered to pay back $130,000 in hush money in return for the freedom to speak and publish text messages, pictures, videos about her alleged affair with donald trump. let's bring in our analyst and our reporters. and jeffrey toobin, explain the legal prediction the president finds himself in as a result of this latest legal maneuver by her and her attorney. >> well, it is very simple. if he does nothing, she talks and tells her story. which is the one that michael cohen paid $130,000 to keep secret. if he engages legally, if he becomes a apart to this lawsuit, he more or less admits that he knew about and approved the $130,000 settlement, which so far at least through michael cohen, he's denied. so he is really in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. >> does it sound like she has
evidence of an affair with the then private citizen in 2006 in. >> well, you mean independent corroborative evidence like photos or texts or e-mails, you know, she has certainly raise that had possibility and there is photo that shows they were fwhuns close proximity. it is certain lay tantalizing fact they are throwing out there. we'll have to see if there's anything more to it. >> he is in a legal bind. >> part of it is were any kind of campaign finance laws violating, you have some cloots want officials to look more closely into that. it is a political and p rmpbl bind as jeffrey mentioned. they are very savvy team in
terms of media. the lawyer there is very telegenic. stormy daniels is all over twitter. she's doing shows every place. so this story has legs. she's a porn star and her name is stormy daniels. it is difficult because of this agreement to do what he normally does. to go after people by name and attack them. he has been and has to be silent. >> how does the president find his way out of this? >> normally he ignores, denies, do something that changes the subject. the problem is the $130,000 payment and michael cohen. michael cohen paid $130,000 for something. he could be infinitely we thinky is that there aren't a lot of times you see six figures to a porn star who alleges an a fair with the president of the united states just cuz.
so the he said, she said, the allegations that came up in the 2016. where do we go from here. who paid $130,000 out of a shell company in delaware out of his own money. you have to address that and explain it in some way, shape or form. >> hold on. a lot of questions the white house needs to answer but they're not answering they will. >> yeah, and one of them is what's the deal with this payment? did the president know about it? did he directly authorize it? did he reimburse michael cohen? as some show that michael cohen expected. and were there other women who received these types of
payments. it is a little incredible this would be a one-time thing when you think about donald trump and his personality and all the other allegations from other he said about we heard during the campaign. >> if you look at the agreement, it looks like a form. like something that has been used more than once. and one reason michael cohen might be trying on keep stormy daniels silent, he is worried about the flood gates. if there are others who have received compensation in return for their silence, if stormy daniels can break with impugnity, perhaps they feel they can too. let me say that i don't know that there are other agreements. but it raises the possibility. and remember that michael cohen as recently as february 27th, was seeking to keep stormy
daniels quiet through other means. the restraining order over arbitration that she did not know about. i think stormy daniels and her lawyer are playing the media game. that doesn't mean it's false. we don't know. why is michael cohen, maybe to jeff's point. why is michael cohen so dead set in making sure she doesn't tell her story? the restraining order and all these others. >> to switch gears, the white house is struggling to explain why the president has backed away from his earlier position torsion purchase certain rifles, you have to be 21 years old.
>> it doesn't make sense that i have to wait until i'm 21 to get a handgun but 18 to get an ar 15. i'm curious what did you in your bill. >> we didn't address it. >> do you know why? you're afraid of the nra. >> he wants to study this. >> they've formed a blue ribbon commission which is a kick the can down the road commission. he himself talked about how useless commissions were. what we do know is that shortly after that meeting, another some point donald trump talked to the nra. that's where he's come down wholesale on the nra. all along, much of the energy he was talking about for give up reform was about arming teachers. >> he told senator toomey, because you're afraid of the nra, right?
and it looks now like he's afraid of the nra. >> it does look that way. even if he's not afraid of the nra, the white house can make the argument that congress isn't behind this. there aren't the votes but this shows that trump at the very least feels like he need to exert his capital on this issue. >> why did the president cave? >> because the nra is the most important constituency of the republican party. for a long time, the nra was sort of bipartisan. they would support will democrats now and then. they have completely given up on the democratic party. their ratings and their money is so important that they call the shots. and if you look at the president's proposal, there is nothing there that the nra is going to fight about.
which is even different from florida. the nra runs the republican party now. it is as simple as that. and donald trump for all his bravado is marching to their tune. governor rick scott did not cave to the far in this age limit issue. so more news we're following. an alarming assessment of the infighting at the highest levels of the department of veteran affairs. described as increase ily isolated. plus, a supposedly lost interview of o.j. simpson. is it tantamount to a confession? with a replacement you can trust. all done sir. >> grandpa: looks great! >> tech: thanks for choosing safelite. >> grandpa: thank you! >> child: bye!
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tonight we have alarming details about infighting at the highest levels of the veterans affairs. it oversees care for millions. right now it seems to be on increasingly shaky ground. >> you've got a cabinet secretary running an agency while there are that's the inside the agency, not just trying to undermine him but actively lobbying to replace him. >> they were the most unlike of allies. the cabinet member first picked
by barack obama but then openly embraced by donald trump. >> i'll tell you about david. he's fantastic. >> tons the bromance appeared to have cooled. after a series of scandalous headlines about him and his wife going to wimbledon on the. at a pair's dime. there were a number of serious issues. he has denied wrongdoing and the president has said he has the president's full support of the. >> the president is glad for the job that he's been doing and modernizing the v.a. >> but behind the scenes he is not happy. he was called out on the oval office carpet by chief kelly for causing drama. axios then met with shulkin.
in the meantime, inside the varks headquarters, sources say he says they're lobbying the white house for his ouster. sources say he has revoked access to his tends floor office. going as far as to put an armed security officer outside his door. and sources say he hasn't spoken to some staffers for weeks. >> we're going to ensure every veteran in america has the choice to seek care at the veterans administration, or to seek private medical care, paid for by our government. >> cnn has seen that it has gone on for months. >> it will not be privatized under my watch. >> the striking thing about
shulkin's situation, is he is doing really well for the trump administration but being fwakd the president's allies. what gets lost is the president's agenda that the agency's ability to respond to a crisis of the. >> reporter: multiple sources say tensions increased after trump installed political appointees and now the turmoil has spilled out publicly. telling the press that he wants to purge his team. even telling "the new york times" that ted president's support for the removal of any staff members who didn't support him chflt the times reports angered the white house. the leader tasked finds himself fighting a war inside the trump administration to keep his job. >> last week, shulkin called all of this an unfortunate distraction. but a sign of how broken it is,
he has back one-man personal campaign. and the impact could be on the veterans who rely this agency in times of great need. >> lots at stake. thank you. coming up, durk revelations in a newly revealed interview in which o.j. simpson discusses . e the thought of my symptoms returning was keeping me from being there for the people and things i love most. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira can help get, and keep,uc under control when other medications haven't worked well enough. and it helps people achieve control that lasts so you could experience few or no symptoms. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb.
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tonight, we have disturbing new revelations about the notorious murder of o.j. simpson's ex-wife nicole and friend ron goldman. brian todd is here. this comes from a newly released interview with o.j. simpson. >> that's right. the only time he has given an interview about the murders. he seems to play off the theories about a possible accomplice, in some instances seems to not take the two murders seriously. o.j. simpson laughs repeatedly. he laughs when he says how hard it is to talk about his ex-wife's horrific murder, laughs when he mentions charlie. >> charlie. >> a mysterious friend who hasn't been matched to any person who simpson says came with him to the murder scene. he describes the crucial moments of june 12, 1994, a story he
insists is hypothetical. >> i remember the cold feel, and this guy kind of got into a karate thing, i said well, you think you can kick my ass. i remember i grabbed the knife. i do remember that portion, taking the knife and charlie, and to be honest after that i don't remember, except i am standing there. >> he infers he blacked out and laughs bizarrely. >> i hate to say this. i'm sorry. i know we have to back up again. >> and says he was standing in blood. >> i don't think any two people could be murdered the way they were without everybody being covered in blood. >> the idea that o.j. simpson is still toying with people, spinning out theories, including incriminating ones, is so repulsive and so horrible to the victims' families. >> it is part of fox's show called "the lost confession."
the only interview simpson has given about the murders of nicole and ron goldman. it may never have really been lost, although fox claims to recently have discovered it. they shelved that interview following public outcry. it was originally supposed to be part of promotion for his book "if i did it." christopher darden, former prosecutor, part of the team that infamously lost that case was part of fox's panel. >> i think he has confessed to murder. he may try to describe it as a hypothetical, but of course it becomes i. i did this. i felt this. i saw this. i think charlie is o.j. this is no hypothetical, this is reality. >> o.j. simpson, not guilty of the crimer murder. >> is there any legal action he could face? >> there's absolutely no legal recourse against o.j. simpson at this point. double jeopardy prevents another criminal trial. there already is a multi million
dollar civil judgment against him which he has avoided to a great extent paying. >> fox says simpson didn't get paid for this interview, but the fascination with the case endures. fox's interview follows widely viewed airings of the documentary "oj, made in america." and "the people versus o.j. simpson." >> this case is a circus. >> in the interview, simpson as always shows no lack of self pity. >> almost like they killed me. who i was was attacked and murdered. >> the goldman and brown families opposed the airing when it was first scheduled to air in 2006, they didn't want him making money off the murders. in a statement obtained by cnn, an attorney for fred goldman says the family welcomes the airing of the interview, everyone can now make their own judgments. wolf? >> in the interview, simpson reverts to his tactic of criticizing ex-wife nicole. >> that's right. he refers to nicole being physical and violent with him
during their marriage. he often talks about how after they split up, she was associating with unsavory characters, having wild parties. the only reason he kept coming to the house was stop the behavior and protect his children. that's the theme throughout this. >> thanks. coming up. residents of austin texas he to be alert as they're rocked by bombings. two people are dead, an elderly woman critically injured in the bombing. police say the attacks are related. orious" by macklemore ♪ (speaking in french) ♪ this is what our version of financial planning looks like. tomorrow is important, but this officially completes his education. spend your life living. find an advisor at northwesternmutual.com.
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breaking news. shutting it down. cnn learned republicans on the house intelligence committee say they've found no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia and are putting out a report without consulting with democrats. is it the end of the committee's contentious investigation? stormy tease. a lawyer for stormy daniels says she's willing to payback president trump's hush money so she can talk freely about the affair she said they had more than a decade ago. does she have text messages, pictures or videos to back up her claim? russian nerve agent. britain's prime minister lays blame on russia for poisoning of a spy and his daughter on english soil. the white house condemns the attack, refuses to blame russia. why is it standing with russia instead of our closest ally. texas bombings. two bombs explode, killing a