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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 30, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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colleague, jake tapper, will pick it up from here. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. "the lead" starts right now. the white house complaining that bob mueller is the third wheel in president trump's relationship with president putin. "the lead" starts right now. shaken and spooked. the whitehouse admitting the president is rattled as he comes face-to-face with world leaders, including a couple he won't call out for murder. breaking news. a major earthquake hitting the u.s. roads and bridges out, aftershocks still going on, and a new look at the wreckage across alaska. and a putin-approved poisoning. the british now drawing a direct link to an attack on their soil that left an innocent person murdered.
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will president trump have anything to say to putin about it? welcome to "the lead," i'm jake tapper. the world lead. president trump holding crucial meetings now with world leaders at the g20 summit in argentina, but just one glimpse at his twitter feed makes it clear the president's focus is somewhere else entirely. mr. trump going after the russia investigation this morning, and trying to explain why it's no big deal that he repeatedly lied to voters by denying any business or political ties to russia during the campaign, despite the fact there were some. he tweeted, quote, oh, i get it, i'm a very good developer, happily living my life. when i see our country going in the wrong direction, i decided to run for president and continue to run my business. very legal and very cool. talked about it on the campaign trail. lightly looked at doing a build somewhere in russia, put up zero money and zero guarantees and
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didn't do the project. witch hunt. wow, a lot of falsehoods. president trump clearly rattled by michael cohen's admission that cohen lied to congress about a proposed trump project in moscow, so as to be consistent with the lies president trump was telling voters on the campaign trail. a source telling cnn the president is, quote, spooked and completely distracted. mr. trump also cancelled his meeting with vladimir putin, citing russian aggression against ukraine, but talk with crown prince mohammed bin salman, also known as mbs, the autocrat that the cia believes ordered the murder of jamal khashoggi. >> mr. president, what did you discuss -- >> come on, come on! >> we had no discussion. we might, but we had none. thank you very much. >> cnn's jeff zeleny live in buenos aires where the g 12 summit is under way. the russia investigation is affecting the president as he
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attends this important summit. >> reporter: jake, the white house press secretary, sarah sanders, used the word undermine when she says that is what they're doing with the relationship with russia. clearly it was on the president's mind from the very beginning of the day when he got up ask set out for a day-long series of meetings, meetings with world leaders. he still spent the day also explaining why he's not meeting with one of them, vladimir putin. president trump on the world stage today at the g20 summit in argentina. but still furious and fixated on the russia investigation. the president insisting again today it's not why he cancelled a meeting here with vladimir putin. still blaming that on russia's aggression against ukraine. >> ukraine. we don't like what happened. we're not happy about it. nobody is. and hopefully they'll be able to settle it out soon, because we look forward to meeting with president putin. >> reporter: but the optics and timing of a one-on-one putin meeting not ideal for the white
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house. as trump becomes the central figure into whether his campaign conspired with the russian government in the 2016 campaign. the president started his day here in buenos aires, defending his business dealings with russia on twitter as very legal and very cool. later, the white house released a statement, again, calling it a russian witch hunt coax but acknowledging, it does undermine our relationship with russia. as world leaders gathered, the president four seats away from saudi crown prince mohamed bin salman who the cia believes ordered the killing of "washington post" columnist, jamal khashoggi. the president has repeatedly contradicted that assessment. today said the white house and crown prince exchanged pleasantries. asked about what? the president shrugged. the president only a few steps behind as the saudi leader and russian president had a warm encounter. all smiles and a longhand shake.
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the white house hoped a signing ceremony for the new u.s., mexico and canada trade agreement would be the high point of the day. but a frosty relationship with canadian prime minister justin trudeau over steel and aluminum tariffs made clear that deep tensions remain with the key u.s. ally. so the most consequential meeting of this summit here, jake, is coming tomorrow evening at a dinner with the chinese president, xi jinping. that is the first time that president trump will meet face-to-face with his counterpart in more than a year. of course, at issue is the u.s. going to back off, back down. is the chinese president going to back down in this ongoing escalation of a trade war. the president we know likes to make a deal here. but his base also likes this fight with china. jake, that is the one overriding question of many here at this summit. not involving, at least, what's on the president's mind, russia. jake? >> jeff zeleny with the president at the g20 summit. thank you so much.
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let's talk about this with my experts. i want to start with the president and the delicate dance about whether or not he's actually going to have a meeting with the saudi crown prince, mohamed bin salman. they exchanged pleasantries but haven't had a formal discussion yet. look, the cia said that mbs, the crown prince, ordered the murder of one of your colleagues at the "washington post," jamal khashoggif khashoggi. is the white house concerned about that potential imagery or the imagery of pleasantries being exchanged? >> that's something to watch. we know at these international summits there is a lot that goes on beyond the formal bilateral meeting. that's why this also is relative to putin and we'll be really watching closely and looking for what kind of conversations they have. for example, at tonight's dinner with all the g20 leaders. when i was on the paris trip, we know he had a lot of interesting conversations with other world leaders in paris that day. but the image, especially just
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with the mbs and vladimir putin kind of having that high-five earlier today was a reminder about just what are intelligence agencies have said and how the president cast so much doubt on what our intelligence agencies have said. >> we're told that the french president did bring up the murder of khashoggi with the crown prince. do you think president trump will? >> absolutely. here's what's bothersome about watching all of this unfold in terms of saudi arabia and russia. donald trump is supposed to be the america-first president. and yet he seems to be in a very submissive, weak pose when it comes to these meetings with world leaders. why is it that when the president of the united states says there will not be a meeting with putin, putin feels so emboldened he says, no, there will be an impromptu meeting? to me that sounds like a confrontation where putin is in control of events, back-stabbing his buddy who killed a "washington post" journalist and the president doesn't know what to do. >> it's very curious, president
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trump was asked if he'll meet with president putin. take a listen. >> will you meet -- >> thank you so much! >> let's go! >> we don't know. >> so he's asked, mr. president, will you be exchanging pleasantries with putin? and trump says, i don't know. i don't know. not particularly. i don't know. what's going on here? >> well, i think it's a lot of diplomacy, but donald trump trying to figure out what his place is and what his place isn't. the reason he cancelled the meeting with putin, he may say hello to him, he didn't want the press and he didn't want the scrutiny on whether his business interests in russia during the campaign and perhaps even now, he havendoesn't want to be aske about that. he knows what cohen said and what he knows what he said. and if those are inconsistent, there would be more questions about his relationship with putin now. and is his business interest driving what we're doing as a country in russia or his political interest for america
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driving it? and right now it's unclear >> and jackie, the president says he didn't meet with putin or cancelled the meeting with putin. who knows if he's actually going to meet with him. because as a protest for russian aggression against ukraine. but sarah sanders released a statement this morning, attacking the mueller probe and saying, quote, the russian witch hunt hoax, which is hopefully now nearing an end, is doing very well. unfortunately, it probably does undermine our relationship with russia. okay, first of all, that sounds like it was completely dictated by president trump. >> nonsensical. >> doesn't make any sense. but second of all, why would the mueller probe be more upsetting and more undermining of the relationship than the fact that russia attacked the united states and interfered or attempted to in the u.s. election? that doesn't seem to make sense. >> because it affects the president directly. i think is the answer to that question. but look, the reason why president trump is so distracted is because there are very few things in this scenario where he can have control. the mueller probe, the
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relationship with saudi arabia right now he's facing a revolt in the senate over, you know, not being able to brief them. even with russia. he was -- his hand was forced on russia sanctions because the congress rebelled against him. he really is sort of tailspining right now, because he is someone who really needs to be holding the reins and is not. >> and i want to bring the image that sunlen talked about a second ago, which is really just the most jarring image. and it's russian president vladimir putin approaching the crown prince, and they slap each other five like nba all-star players in the locker room. so delighted with each other. and just -- show it again. they know that they are on camera before the world. and they are strutting. they are excite about meeting each other. and i think a lot of people see that and are horrified. >> exactly. and, again, like, it just -- that smile, especially, because we had a better view of putin there.
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and just that giant smile. >> i've never seen him smile like that. >> the biggest smile i've seen. again, that reminder, for us especially, and perhaps the rest of the world, that these are two leaders that our president has, you know -- hasn't been able to stand up to in these incidents. >> and they're both strong men. they're both strong men who the president has embraced around the world. >> and murderers. >> right. and they're vicious and they suppressed the press in their country. but i think it was more than that. and that is that they know they're on camera, which is what you said. so they're strutting, right? but they're sending messages to the u.s. and others that at these critical times, despite how bad we are as autocratic leaders or as dictators, if you will, that saudi arabia, we've got other friends than just the u.s. mr. trump, we've got other friends. and as a matter of fact, we're building a better friendship now, because we're strutting our stuff in front of the world stage. >> and take a look at what democratic senator bob menendez,
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the ranking democrat on the senate foreign relations committee. he put up that video and wrote, that feeling when you own the president of the united states and can do whatever you want. that's what he wrote. >> listen, that's harsh, but it's just hard to watch. because it's my view, i have a lot of problems with how president trump acts. but when he goes abroad to a conference like that, he is our president. i don't want to see our president take a back seat to thugs, back-slapping each other and watching our leaders flail and let it happen. that is the whole point of going to summits like this. and if he can't express american interests on that stage -- there's a lot of problems and we take a lot of stuff here. but those are our family. those are domestic problems. he needs to tell those people to stop and get in line. >> and when shinzo abe, the japanese prime minister, met with president trump, he said, quote, i would like to congratulate you on your historic victory in the midterm elections in the united states. obviously, whether or not president trump had any sort of historic victory in the midterm elections, where he lost the house of representatives is another -- is a question.
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but clearly, foreign leaders have learned -- >> flattery is all that matters. all that matters is what you say, not necessarily what you do. because then you can do what you want. and you've seen this over and over again with foreign leaders. i mean, you saw it with saudi arabia. >> flattery will get you everywhere. save the penthouse for putin. new details on what robert mueller is uncovering about business deals as he looks at the president's children and leaps right over the president's red line. then, that escalated quickly. trump cabinet secretary ryan zinke getting really personal in a public attack in a congressman who just told him to resign. stay with us. (burke) parking splat. and we covered it.
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trump and his inner circle. former trump fixer, michael cohen, testifying that then candidate trump, despite claims to the contrary, was pursuing plans for a trump tower moscow well through june 2016. sources telling cnn that donald trump jr. and ivanka trump both had knowledge of the trump tower moscow plans and according to yahoo! news, mueller asked questions about their roles in the project. cnn has also confirmed the buzzfeed scoop that there was talk of gifting russian president vladimir putin with the $50 million penthouse apartment in the proposed luxury building. cnn's sara murray joins me now. the president may be thousands of miles from home but the mueller probe is not far from his mind or twitter fingers. >> ask gives you a sense about how this moscow project could be more worrisome to president trump, because they could drag the trump kids further into the russia probe. >> we have a great relationship
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with putin and russia. >> the glitzy trump tower moscow could have featured a pent house for vladimir putin and a ivanka trump branded spa. instead the deal is creating another headache for president trump. en snaring his children in the russia probe and prompting his former personal attorney, michael cohen, to add another guilty plea, this time for lying to congress to his roster of offenses. in 2016, he had potential business interest in russia -- >> i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia. because we've stayed away. >> now trump is acknowledging and downplaying the moscow project. tweeting friday that he lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in russia. put up zero money, zero guarantees and didn't do the project. witch hunt. the project never came to fruition. but special counsel robert mueller's interest in the family business could put the trump kids under additional scrutiny. as part of his plea deal, cohen said he briefed trump family
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members about the moscow project. although the plea deal doesn't state which family members. when donald trump jr. testified before the judiciary committee, he told them he was peripherally aware of the deal. if the ivanka branded spa had moved forward, she would have been given sole discretion to approve the facility plan. so far, ivanka has not testified before congressional committees. another potential selling point for the moscow project, a free penthouse for putin. valued at $50 million. felix sater, who worked on the project with cohen, said it was an idea considered as a marketing ploy for the moscow project. even though trump said he had no active russian business interests during the campaign, now he says it only made sense to keep potential deals like the moscow project in the works. a seeming contradiction to some of his earlier claims. >> i was running my business while i was campaigning.
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there was a good chance that i wouldn't have won. in which case i would have gone back into the business. and why should i lose lots of opportunities? >> i built an unbelievable company. but if you look there, you'll see there's nothing in russia. >> now, of course, it's not illegal for donald trump to mislead the american people. the big question, though, is whether in his written answers to special counsel robert mueller those line up with the latest we know now about this moscow project and how long discussions went on about it, jake. >> sara murray, thanks so much. back with my experts. just to underline this, the president said in january 2017, no deals that could happen in moscow because we stayed away. not true. >> not true. >> they didn't stay away. >> definitely not true. >> that's a lie. >> yes, that is a lie. but sara is right. it's not a lie to lie to -- >> it's not illegal. >> it's not illegal to lie to the american people. that said, we don't know what he said to mueller. we don't know -- guiliani said something to the effect that his written answers match up with
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michael cohen. michael cohen is a liar. who is telling the truth here? maybe we'll see that report some day and that will make it all clear to us. >> some potential exposure for donald trump jr. and ivanka trump, it seems, based on the fact they were part of the briefings that michael cohen says he gave. >> they've got to be interviewed. as a former prosecutor, prosecutor's love this type of stuff. not just because it's -- there may be an inconsistency with what trump wrote and what michael cohen pled to, but this crux -- this intersection of business and political interests and whose interest donald trump is representing i think i'm more scared or -- trump should be more scared of what other deals are in the pipeline. because if he lied about this while he was campaigning and still cuddling or coddling putin, then whose interest is he representing? are there other business deals? and remember this part. we don't know what mueller knows. mueller shows what he wants you to see, and at the right time he drops other indictments or charges. and if i was donald trump right now and i know he's a subject
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that he knows a subject and possible target of this investigation right now, the walls are closing in. or at least the pyramid prosecution, they're up to here right now with the top being donald trump. they're on their way. >> what's also interesting, in march 2016, in the midst of this effort to try to build trump tower/moscow, trump as a candidate makes the case for easing sanctions against russia for the annexation of crimea. telling the "new york times" that nobody cared, other than the u.s., and that the u.s. was the least affected because we were so far away. so trump is developing a foreign policy framework towards russia while at the same time he's actively pursuing business interests there that vladimir putin can make or break. now that might be legal, but god, that stinks. >> here's the whole big question. we are now learning that donald trump had extensive business talks with russia before he was a candidate and as a candidate. so big question. was there a deal to accept election help from russia in
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exchange for policy? meaning in terms of sanctions, withdrawing from nato, modifying the gop platform. there's three big buckets of investigations going on that all come together, because all these people report to donald trump. there is the business deals, which michael cohen is singing like a bird about and gets to the trump family. there is the wikileaks hack, which roger stone and jerome corsi were involved it. and then the policy issues which manafort who is an insider and lobbyist, and michael flynn, who will be sentenced next month was involved in. three separate things going on right now. it all gets back to trump, because trump is the only person who ties it together. >> and what i find interesting, too, what else is going to come down the mueller pipeline in terms of lying to congress? we know a lot of people have talked to congress during the respective committee's investigations, including don jr. himself. and i found it remarkable what richard bird said earlier today. he said, if you lie to us, we're going to come after you, which is a pretty stark statement from the chairman.
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and he says the committee has already made a lot of referrals to the special counsel to doj that they are constantly revague the testimo the testimony. >> and led to the michael cohen plea this week about lying to congress. >> right. >> and adam schiff, almost certainly going to be the chairman of the house intelligence committee, he said they're going to reopen the investigation, which the republicans on the committee have said that. >> and they should. >> and also share, just as richard burr, the republican in the senate says he's going to do or has been doing and share the transcripts to see if there are others who lied. >> certainly parallel tracks to this. and coming from a lot of different directions. remember one thing. the business interests of donald trump are still in play. remember, he didn't put his business interests in a blind trust. he still owns those companies. he's delegated them to his sons and what have you. but his companies are doing business all around the world. we can't forget about that, and i think mueller is focusing on
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that as a pathway to get whether you lie or not, because mueller doesn't like liars. whether you get to it through business interests or national interests, there's going to be a day of reckoning, if you will. and that day of reckoning is going to come through the mueller investigation. >> and amanda, you wrote a whole book about how much president trump lies. >> yes. >> gas lighting. >> yep. >> i want to just remind people what michael cohen says is that they were trying to make a deal for trump tower moscow and that deal lasted way until june 2016. take a listen to some of the things that president trump has told voters. >> i don't deal there, i have no businesses there, i have no loans from russia. i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia. because we've stayed away. >> here's where i think the big gas light about this comes into play. a lot of the appeal of donald
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trump through the campaign for republicans was that he's his own business guy. he doesn't need to get donations from anybody, because he can just run for president. no strings attached. and now we see the whole time he was advancing his own personal interests at the expense of the whole entire republican party. >> and he has different strings. they're still strings. >> and vladimir putin at the entire time could have explained to american voters how president trump -- candidate trump was lying. everyone stick around. a powerful and massive earthquake hitting anchorage, alaska. it's pummelling the region with a series of strong aftershocks. all of this as people begin to see just how bad the damage is. stay with us. i just got my cashback match, is this for real? yep. we match all the cash back new cardmembers earn at the end of their first year, automatically. whoo! i got my money!
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breaking news in our national lead. new images coming in after that 7.0 earthquake near anchorage, alaska. here's what it looked like as it happened inside a courthouse in anchorage. people ducking for cover as the ceilings started to come crashing down. and more frightening scenes, some roads buckled. someone is in that car there on the edge of caving in with the rest of the road. the force of the earthquake knocked alaska tv stations off the air. it damaged two local hospitals, cracking walls and floors inside. i want to bring in cnn's nick watt. nick, officials still don't know the extent of the damage or how many people may have been hurt
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or god forbid even killed. >> that's right, jake. we heard from the anchorage police department a little while ago that they say major infrastructure damage. but teams are still out assessing that damage. they say that buildings and homes have been damaged. we know now also a road near palmer, 40 miles northeast of anchorage, has been closed. we have heard of rock slides closing on the roads. a road near the airport in anchorage also collapsed. downtown, a sinkhole has opened up in the middle of a road. as you mentioned, two hospitals partially damaged. they say they got some water leaks and cracks. but those two emergency rooms are still open. no reports yet that we're hearing of injuries or fatalities. now so now, some good news. the school district reports all kids are okay. and also there was a tsunami warning in effect earlier. and that has now been lifted. of course, the tsunami can be the most dangerous part of the situation like this. back in 1964, there was a huge earthquake up in alaska, around
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139 people killed. a lot of them were killed by the tsunami. but that danger has now passed. listen, the aftershocks are going to continue to be an issue. we've already had one up at 5.8. we've had more than 30 reported aftershocks so far. and those will continue through today, through weeks, months and according to one expert we spoke to, perhaps even years. and they can, of course, cause more damage. jake? >> nick watt, thank you so much. joining me on the phone right now is the mayor of anchorage, alaska, ethan berkowitz. mr. mayor, thank you so much for joining us. you felt this quake. tell us about the moment it happened. >> it was very sharp and very loud when it came. and very clear that this was something bigger than what we normally experience. and we live in earthquake country. so folks here are used to small tremblers, but this was a big one. >> where are you right now, and obviously most importantly, are you aware of any victims, either injuries or fatalities?
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>> i'm at the emergency operation center, it's a beehive of activity. a bunch of very trained professionals doing what's necessary to keep the city moving and moving ahead. to your knowledge, there are no fatalities. we have had at most minor reports of injuries. there's been some damage assessment. the roads in and out of anchorage are damaged and not operable. anchorage, we're the size of delaware. so the fact that the roads in and out are closed is significant. >> how is the city holding up? you're obviously very concerned infrastructure wise about these roads and whether or not supplies are going to be able to get in and out. what most concerns you? >> well, the port and the airport are open. so we're not all that concerned. i think we're a tough, resilient group of people here and know how to rely on one another. and this is a community that's dealt with earthquakes and disasters before and we have the right kind of attitude for
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dealing with this. >> is this something that residents in your city were prepared for? you said that this is earthquake country. but were you ready for something like this? had buildings been prepared? is there emergency response plans you're all just following in anticipation of such a day? >> it's not just the emergency response plans that we've deployed. it's the fact that we have building codes and building professionals here that know how to build for these kinds of conditions. i would like to emphasize, too, we're somewhat fortunate that it occurred when the weather was somewhat benign. it's in the high 20s, low 30s right now. and it occurred during the daylight, which the farther north you go, it's dark for large portions of the day. so we have better ability to assess what's going on and to allow people to make it around safely. >> so my understanding is that there are thousands of people who have lost power. some might be in their cars right now listening to satellite radio or might be at a friend's house or restaurant or whatever. what is your message to those people who have lost power?
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>> most of the people who have lost power are not in anchorage. the biggest power losses are to the north and in the valley. but my advice to people is to stay in place, stay calm, and find a friend, find a business to go into and just sit this out for a little bit. everything is going to be okay. >> and tell us just as somebody who has lived in alaska, how did this quake feel compared to others you might have experienced? >> this one was much more dramatic than many of the ones i've felt in the past. it was sharper, it was louder and it was something that you knew was bigger. >> all right. mayor ethan burerkowitz of anchorage, alaska, stay in touch, let us know how we can help and thank you for your time. >> thank you. this quake caused panic at the airport, it diverted inbound flights and evacuated staff. let me bring in rene marsh. what are the damage reports coming in from the airport?
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>> reporter: i know the faa and airlines at this point, they are still doing those damage assessments. but we do know that the airport is now down to operating from one runway. so all flights are going out of one runway. but i want you to listen to the moment when this earthquake struck and just listen to how air traffic controllers scrambled to make sure that pilots were safe and that they did not land at the airport. take a listen. >> turn around! >> is that for fedex? >> yeah, go around. >> going around, 49. >> there was a earthquake here. >> aircraft, we're evacuating. a quake. everybody stand by. >> so that was at the height of all of this. and now you're looking at images inside of the airport as passengers were experiencing this earthquake at the height of this. we know that all operations at ted stevens airport, the
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international airport there in anchorage, came to a complete halt. that air traffic control tower we heard those controllers, they were evacuated. we know flights that were in the air and bound for this airport, they were diverted. but at this hour, i just spoke with the faa. we know that that tower, the air traffic control tower where you heard those controllers on tape, that is operating once again. however, operations are very limited at the airport at this hour. again, the faa telling us that they are down to one runway that is operating here. they still have to do their inspections of the tower so they get a full sense of the damage there, jake. >> and rene, there's a major pipeline in that region. what do we know about that? >> yeah, this is a major pipeline. we understand that it was shut down as a precaution. this is the transalaska pipeline system. it's about 800 miles long and it's among the world's longest pipeline operating there in alaska. we do know that it's owned by
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four oil producers. again, they said no injuries, no damage that they know of at this point. but shut down as a precaution, jake. >> all right. rene marsh, thank you so much. no spy gets on a plane with enough poison to kill thousands of people without telling his or her boss. that's the assessment from british intelligence agents about the deadly nerve agent poisoning in the uk. and you'll never guess who they say gave the order. stay with us. we're drowning in information. where in all of this is the the stakes are so high, your finances, your future. how do you solve this? you partner with a firm that combines trusted, personal advice with the cutting edge tools and insights to help you not only see your potential, but live it too. morgan stanley.
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putin approved the murder. a stunning but not entirely surprising assessment by british authorities today in our world lead. according to two officials, the
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uk has determined russian president vladimir putin signed off on a poison attack on former russian spy sergei skripal and his doctor while living in england. it sickened both and killed an unrelated woman. cnn's alex marquardt joins me now. we have seen this from russia reaching beyond borders. what are british authorities saying now? >> jake, putin has made it plenty clear what he thinks about people who he believes betray russia. traitors always end badly he said. now telling jim sciutto and kim doze inju dozier could only have happened with putin and it could have been worse. the number of people who could have been killed is in the thousands, british officials say, a deadly chemical attack so brazen, they believe it could only have been ordered from the very top, by president vladimir putin himself. the nerve agent attack in
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salisbury, england, targeted former russian spy sergei skripal. he fell ill, along with his daughter. a couple found the bottle, opened it, and a woman died. cnn has learned that british officials believe the poison, known as novachuck was brought into the uk by russian agents via a commercial flight or diplomatic pouch. >> nothing happens in russia when it comes to the security without putin's sign-off. there are no rogue operations in russia. >> reporter: putin has repeatedly denied russia was behind the attack. but has not hid his feelings about skripal. >> translator: he's just a spy. a traitor of the motherland. he is simply a scum bag. that's all. >> reporter: the british government has said the attack was carried out by these men seen here in surveillance video. authorities accuse the men of being agents with russia's military intelligence unit, known as the gru. and originally suggested the order came from higher up.
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>> the gru is a highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command. it was almost certainly also approved outside of the gru at a senior level of the russian state. >> reporter: despite overwhelming evidence, the alleged russian agents claimed they were simply tourists in custody. they gave an interview to russian television. >> translator: our friends had been suggesting for a long time we visit this wonderful town. there's the famous salisbury cathedral, famous not only in europe but in the whole world. >> and jake, beyond putin's role, officials are stunned by the recklessness of carrying around that much poison. they don't believe that russians wanted to kill as many people as they could have. but jake, it was incredibly risky. >> alex marquardt, thank you so much. in politics today, a nasty back and forth between the president's interior secretary, ryan zinke, and the democratic congressman who will almost certainly chair the house committee that oversees zinke's department. the committee on natural resources.
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this started with congressman raul calling upon zinke to resign, given the mountain of scandals surrounding him, including one just referred to the justice department, according to sources. then zinke fired back in a tweet, mocking rihalva and noting a settlement he paid in 2015 calling on him to resign. let's bring in lauren fox. and lauren, zinke's response was very trumpian. mock a critic's alcohol dependency issue. >> that's right, jake. and this may not have been a coincidence. ryan zinke has been in the hot seat. there has been a lot of questions about whether or not he would continue in that post at the interior department. so, you know, moving forward, it's very clear that zinke is trying to impress president trump. he wants to show he's going to be able to handle the spotlight come january when democrats take the house. now, i want to read that tweet from ryan zinke, because the
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language is really important. zinke said in the tweet to response, this is coming from a man who owes nearly 50,000 in tax dollars in hush money to cover up his drunken and hostile behavior. he should resign and pay back the taxpayer for the hush money and tens of thousands of dollars he forced my department to spend in investigating. he is asking for the resignation in part because of these investigations. those investigations span from questions about conversations that zinke had with halliburton chairman about a development project back in zinke's hometown of white fish, montana. there are also questions about whether the interior department improperly injected itself to block a casino deal in connecticut. and grivahlva said, quote, the american people know who i am here to serve and they know in
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whose interests i'm acting. they don't know the same about secretary zinke. look, jake, this is only going to escalate in january when democrats take control of the house. because this isn't the whole investigation they're going to be looking into. there is going to be a broad speck tru spectrum of cabinet secretaries who have to come before the committees and answer tough questions. so just expect more of this, trying to emulate trump when they stand up for themselves and president trump and his administration. >> lauren fox, thank you so much for that great reporting. appreciate it. 500 million names, addresses, credit card numbers, passports. marriott hotels, the victim of a massive security breach going back years. they might have your information. so why didn't one of the world's largest hotel chains report it immediately? stay with us. my ancestrydna results revealed parts of me i didn't even know. i find out that i'm 19% native american, specifically from the chihuahua people. what! that's - i find that crazy. it traces their journey in the mid-1800s from central mexico to texas.
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are you getting low costs and award-winning wealth management? if not, talk to schwab. the money lead now. 500 million names, credit card numbers, passport numbers and other personal data could all be compromised. the international hotel giant, marriott announced its guest reservation system was hacked in an attack going all the way back to 2014. the hackers got into the reservation database of starwood resorts which marriott owns and includes hotel chains such as the st. regis, sheraton, westin and others. they found out in september but
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are only warning the public now. marriott says you'll get an e-mail and a free membership to a fraud detection service. for our popular culture lead, as we head into the weekend. one of the most popular fiction writers in history, 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of "along came a spider" by james patterson, the thriller that introduced the world to the detective, alex cross. this month marks the publication of the newest alex cross book, number 26 in the series, the number one best-selling detective series in history. patterson this week visited "the lead" to talk about alex cross and his last book which he coauthored with president clinton and how writing fiction in this bizarre era can be quite challenging. so this is the 28th alex cross book? >> who is counting? >> and the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the character. three films featuring him. why do you think he's so compelling, even 25 years after you introduced him? >> i think it's two pieces. one is the pages keep turning.
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it's very fast-moving. and secondly, i think people are really into alex and his family. how do you balance work, in his case, very stressful work, and all of our work seems to be pretty stressful these days. with family. >> and he's been portrayed in films by morgan freeman, by tyler perry. >> yeah. >> when you conceived of him -- >> we're doing another one -- hoping to do another one now. i don't know who will play alex. >> was there anyone you thought of when you conceived him? >> i think the first was probably denzel. and denzel was interested, but he said i don't do franchises. >> maybe him for this next one? who knows? >> yeah, i -- >> so the book before this was even more unusual, which is you wrote -- coauthored a book with former president -- >> yeah, yeah -- >> -- clinton. >> uh-huh. >> and the president is missing. there are some messages in the book about a president, the dangers of surrounding yourself
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with sycophants. was that aimed at anybody in particular? >> no. and we were -- we really were very careful not to. and i spent the last 16 months or so with the president. he almost never talks about trump. i don't talk about trump. and one of the things that's interesting nowadays is given what's going on in the city and around the world, it's very hard to write fiction. because how do you top what's going on every day? >> how do you do it? >> well, in the case of target alex cross, i think we did a pretty good job. over the last 20 years or so between "saturday night live" and some of the tv shows, we start ridiculing the president, which in some ways is healthy. and in other ways, people start forgetting how important the job is. how difficult the job is. >> so you hold the guinness world record for the most number-one "new york times" best sellers. you've sold more than 300 -- >> and i'm building on that record, i'll tell you. >> you sold more than 380 million copies of your books. >> yeah. >> worldwide. and you write all sorts of
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genres now. thrillers, kids' books. >> yeah. a kids book is a passion. bringing up our son, he wasn't a big reader at first. and one summer sue and i -- he was about 7. we just said, you're going read every day. >> it's so important to get kids reading. what's the key? how do you do it? >> and you know, we have rules in the house. don't track mud on the rug. show up for dinner. there has to be a rule where you've got to read. you're going to become a good re reader because it's all built on that. >> what do you tell people who say god i would love to write a novel. >> you have the passion or you don't. if you don't have it, you'll never finish the book. >> you clearly have the passion. >> i do. i don't work for a living. i play for a living. >> james patterson, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. good to meet you. be sure to tune now cnn this sunday morning for "state of the union." i'll have ohio senator sherrod brown and mark warner. 9:00 a.m. and noon eastern. our coverage on cnn continues
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right now. have a great weekend. happening now. breaking news. dangerous earthquake. anchorage, alaska, suffers extensive damage from a powerful quake centered just miles from the city that closed airports and damaged hospitals. we're getting dramatic new video of the shaking and the aftermath. undermined relationship. the white house says the mueller investigation is hurting ties between the united states and russia. but president trump insists, it's not the reason he cancelled his meeting with vladimir putin at the g20 summit. more manafort charges? special counsel robert mueller's team is considering bringing more criminal accounts against the former trump campaign chairman, paul manafort, who mueller says violated his plea agreement. and the