tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 12, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
much and tune in on sunday to state of the union with candidate maybe bill de blasio and ken cuccinelli on sunday. our coverage on cnn continues now. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, powerful storm, the new forecast is just coming in for tropical storm barry expected to make landfall in louisiana as a hurricane bringing a storm surge and heavy rain to an area that is already suffering flooding. why officials are so concerned. resign and replace. labor secretary alex acosta amid an uproar over the sex crime plea deal he oversaw for jeffrey epstein a decade ago as a u.s. attorney as sources say president trump is considering replacing the director of national intelligence dan coats. fiery hearing. following a congressional report
about babies being separated from their migrant parents at border, and hearing fiery and furious lawmakers lashing out at a former immigration official. and putin show of force. russia delivers a very advanced missile system to turkey who just happens to be a nato ally. how worrisome is vladimir putin's latest show of force. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news, the latest forecast is just in for tropical storm barry. which is expected to make landfall in louisiana tomorrow as a hurricane. with the mississippi river already above flood stage, barry's storm surge and heavy rainfall could be especially dangerous. the mayor of new orleans is asking residents and visitors to shelter in place while people in some areas are asked to
voluntarily evacuate. also breaking, sources tell cnn that president trump has talked with his advisers over the past few days about replacing director of national intelligence dan coats. that follows today's resignation of labor secretary alex acosta under fire for a plea deal he worked out as a u.s. attorney a decade ago which gave multi-millionaire jeffrey epstein a very light sentence for sex crimes. i'll speak with democratic presidential candidate john hickenlooper and congressman ro khanna of the oversight committee and our correspondents and analysts will have full coverage of the day's top stories. as the gulf coast braces for barry, we begin with our national correspondent ryan young in new orleans. what is the latest there? >> reporter: wolf, people are worried about rain and especially all of the water that is here. you look at the mississippi behind me and the mighty mississippi 12 to 15 inches of water, could be headed this way and of course with the water already threatening some areas, people are being told to shelter
in place. >> we're focusing on 8:00 p.m. this evening, asking people to stay at home, shelter in place. >> reporter: heavy rains and powerful floods and a strong storm surge. that is the triple threat that barry could be packing as tonight it is slowly churning toward louisiana. >> i want the folks in louisiana to know we're taking this very seriously. >> reporter: barry is the first tropical system to threaten the u.s. this season and is presenting new orleans with a dangerous problem. >> prepare for heavy rain, slow-moving with consistent rainfall. >> reporter: the mississippi river is already about ten feet above the normal level for this time of the year. and barry storm surge could cause it to rise another two to three feet, meaning the river could crest at 19 feet tomorrow. a level it hasn't reached in nearly 70 years, a -- a cording to the national weather service. >> these are adding up to a
unique circumstance. >> reporter: officials are confident none of the levees in new orleans will be breached and the pumps were put to test this week when the underground drainage pumps were briefly floodi flooding over streets and underpasses. >> we believe it will be able to with stand this storm. >> reporter: barry is also expected to dump anywhere from 10 to 15 inches of rain and that is forming mandatory evacuations in some low-lying areas. >> tropical storm barry is a dangerous and life-threatening storm. >> reporter: but despite the evacuation order, some residents are preparing to ride out the storm, stocking up on sandbags and supplies. >> i expect some tidal surge and maybe a little flooding. i don't see no point in having to leave. >> reporter: president trump has declared a state of emergency for louisiana. and the governor has activated 3,000 national guard troops to assist with the destruction this storm is expected to bring and
it isn't just louisiana expecting to feel the impact. mississippi, alabama and the western florida panhandle are preparing for extreme rain and flooding. 118 pumps are ready to go just in case the water does come into the city but we talked to someone in the ninth ward who said they're only leaving if god tells them to. so you could understand there are some people who just don't believe in the storm. >> good luck over there, ryan young in new orleans for us. let's get more in the latest storm forecast from our meteorologist tom sater in the cnn weather center. what is the latest forecast, tom? >> well, it looks like barry has moved 30 miles since the last advisory and currently 70 miles south, southeast of morgan city and expected before landfall on saturday morning to reach a category one status. it means very little because this is all about being a rain-maker. we were discussing this in the weather center, it woudn't be a bad thing for this to become a hurricane. let's get power behind it and get it in and out but it looks
like barry will hang around the state of louisiana until maybe monday. so there is our first problem. unlike, of course, other situations where it starts to pick up speed later in the week, we'll be talking about that, but ten, 20 inches still right on cue and looking at pressure dropping which means it is trying to intensify and broad circulation is hard to find a core here, they're starting to see feeder bands now in the panhandle of florida, this is the time now where we may be able to see a few unfortunate spin-ups, meaning small tornados. but most of the precipitation, even though some is moving in, it is all about the rain and the storm surge. never before have we had a tropical system move toward the mouth of the mississippi river with storm surge battling the extremely high levels on the mississippi trying to exit. so, again, we have to rely on the expertise of the men and women of the army corp of engineers. they say that the levees will hold. two days ago the forecast for the mississippi river was going to be at 20 feet. they dropped it to 19. which is great news. that is a big difference from
that one foot. all of the red dots along the mississippi river are areas where the levees are below 20. north of the river, to the east of new orleans, these areas of red are areas where they have failed during katrina. so they're going to be watching it and, yes, the water will rise but more importantly it is all about the 10 to 20 inches of rain and i fear hundreds and hundreds of 911 calls, 250 911 calls two days ago when nine inches fell. >> this is a dangerous situation, tom sater, we'll get back to you. we'll have much more storm coverage just ahead. i'll speak next hour with the mayor of new orleans latoya cantrell. there is other breaking news we're following right now. including one high-profile deba -- departure from the trum administration, and sources say he's considering making another dramatic move. let's go to jim acosta with the very latest. >> reporter: well president trump once again has another acting member of the cabinet as
labor secretary alex acosta announced he is stepping down and a senior official said the president was stewing over his fate after he was dragged into the jeffrey epstein scandal but there may be another top official heading for the exit at the white house. the director of national intelligence dan coats, we're told the president may be ready to make a change there as well. there wasn't much laboring when it came to the fate of alex acosta as the president walked the embattled secretary in front of the cameras to announce his departure. >> and alex, i think you'll agree, i said y-- you don't hav to do this. he doesn't have to do this. >> reporter: the outgoing labor secretary said he didn't want to be a distraction amid growing questions over the sweetheart deal he gave to jeffrey epstein. >> so i called the president this morning and i told him i thought the right thing was to step aside. >> reporter: but sources told cnn the president had been stewing over acosta's fate after praising the secretary earlier in the week. >> he's done a fantastic job.
>> reporter: a senior administration official said there were concerns the revelations in the case would provide ammunition to democrats in 2020. >> well, it is certainly clear that he had to go. i think what this shows more broadly is a pattern in this administration where the country's business cannot get done because of these horrifying scandals that touch the white house. >> reporter: despite his past friendship with epstein, mr. trump claimed he once tossed the multi-millionaire out of his club in florida. >> it shows you one thing, i have good taste. but jeffrey epstein was not somebody that i respected. i threw him out -- >> reporter: the president also confirmed reports that i.c.e. agents are launching a multi-city roundup of undocumented migrants this weekend. >> we're not giving warning. no, we're not giving warning. if the word gets out, it gets out. it starts on sunday and they'll take people out. >> reporter: officials say the president's disclosure could jeopardize the operation. >> we're focused on criminals, we're focused on if you look at
ms-13 but when people come into our country, we take those people out and we take them out very legally. >> reporter: the president made time to respond from criticism from paul ryan from a new book called "american carnage" how he said mr. trump didn't know anything about government when he came into office. >> so paul ryan was not a talent. he wasn't a leader. when the people in freedom and great congressmen wanted to go after the dems for things they did very badly, he wouldn't give subpoenas, whereas nancy pelosi hands them out like they're cookies. >> reporter: the president also fired back at vice president joe biden. >> everybody that knows him knows he's a weak man, he's an ineffective man. president xi laughs at guys like that. >> reporter: after biden described mr. trump as a foreign policy disaster. >> the world sees trump for what he is -- insincere and
ill-informed and impulsive and sometimes corrupt. dangerously incompetent and incapable in my view of world leadership and leadership at home. >> reporter: but the president surprisingly came to the defense of house speaker nancy pelosi after she was blasted by congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. the new york democrat appears to suggest pelosi criticism of outspoken freshman house members was racially motivated, something alexandria ocasio-cortez denied. >> she's not a racist, okay. for them to call her a racist is a disgrace. >> reporter: now as for other departure that may be on the horizon here at the white house, sources tell cnn the president is frustrated with the director of national intelligence dan coats but replacing him would leave another vacancy in a critical national security position in this administration and the defense department and department of homeland security both have acting secretaries and one other thing that we're watching, wolf, we're waiting to find out if, in fact, the former
special counsel robert mueller's testimony next week will, in fact, be delayed. our capitol hill hill team earlier in the day, wolf, was reporting that it may be delayed next week, which would put off potentially for another week a huge sect acle here in washington. >> standing by for final word on that. jim acosta, thank you vefrp. joining us now, democratic congressman ro khanna of california, a member of oversight committee. thanks for joining us. >> wolf, great to be back on. >>
let's begin with the latest depart our from the president trump cabinet. does alex acosta still need to testify before the house oversight committee despite his resignation. >> he does. because americans are concerned that there are two different types of justice department -- justice pose those that are rich like epstein and get away for something with a 13-month sentence for trafficking in a sex offense and others who will get long jail sentences for marijuana offenses. so acosta needs to explain why that discrepancy exists.
>> cnn also learned congressman, the director of national intelligence dan coats, who you just heard jim acosta report, might also be on his way
out. what impact would that departure have on president trump's overall national security team? >> it is concerning because this president has a pattern of removing those who stand up to him or give him information which he disagrees with. he got rid of mattis because he was standing up to him and shanahan, there was the scandal that was in part leaked because shanahan may not have supported the president, and coats has had the temerity to sometimes question the president. so we see that the president just wants yes people around him. >> the house oversight committee held a hearing today on family separation and conditions at various migrant detention facilities on the southern border. lawmakers became very emotional and at times very angry as did the former acting i.c.e. director tom homan who was a witness. watch a little bit of this.
>> i've is the here and listened to horror stories, i thought it was fiction, i thought it was a novel reading from charles dickens. and the conditions that prevailed 19th century london. children without soap, children in filth. conditions that none of us would ever count innocence with our own children. any child in our care is our children. >> let me explain why i'm
sitting here so frustrated because i'm the only one in this room that wore a green uniform and been in that line and found dead aliens in a trail abandoned by smugglers and left them there because they weren't money and the only one that stood on the back of a tractor-trailer surrounded by 19 dead aliens including a 5-year-old boy who suffocated in death in his father's arms. i was there. and i saw and i smelled it and it is terrible. and i still -- i still have nightmares to this day. >> congress mman, you were at t
hearing, is the committee getting answers on the policies on the border especially impacting the kids. >> no, we're not. and tom homan was a badging witness and not answering the questions and interrupting jim connelly and ilhana presley and wasn't answering questions, why can't we get kids food and blankets and get them access to a doctor, we're not talking about anything more than upholding basic human rights. frankly upholding basic
moral principles rooted in faith. >> congressman ro khanna, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. up next, the latest forecast is in for tropical storm barry which is expected to hit the louisiana coast tomorrow as a hurricane. don't miss your golden opportunity to experience thrilling performance. now, at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. get 0.9% apr for 60 months on all 2019 models. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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room" is democratic presidential candidate john hickenlooper. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. thanks for having me on. >> so denver, of course, state capital of colorado. it is on the target list of the ten cities that the administration wants to raid looking for undocumented migrants. what would you have done if you were still governor of colorado in response to this upcoming i.c.e. operation. >> well, i was mayor of denver before i was governor so i think we and there are a number of laws that have gone through the judicial review, but the local safety -- the state patrol, the local police are not intended to help the federal government do their work and the second question is why would the president create this sense of terror and hist aria -- hist
aria if they found to be deported they committed a violent crime and let's go through the process and be transparent and have a priority list and do things the way that those of us who have been successful in governing, these are the processes that work. why won't he do that. >> the president said i.c.e. is focusing in ongoing after criminals and that democrats like you, he said, are resisting his immigration policy because you want open borders. do you want open borders? >> no, i've said -- when i first ran for mayor in 2003 and i never run for student council but you have to have borders that work and believe you have to have laws that are obeyed. but that means we've got to go a comprehensive resolution of our immigration issues and that starts with making sure we have a humanitarian process at the border for the refugees that are coming, i think it means we also go back to making significant investments in guatemala and el
salvador and honduras to make sure there is not a source
of refugees and make sure we have a system here for all of the people that are here undocumented and make sure that -- we're not going to deport 11 million people. let's get to a conclusion whereby this country can continue to move forward and be the beacon of freedom and hope that it has been from the very beginning. >> a lot of democrats and republicans here in washington and on capitol hill would like comprehensive immigration reform but not yet ready to take up that matter. let's talk while i have you governor about your presidential campaign. in a cnn poll just after the first democratic primary debate, you registered at less than 1%. what are you doing differently during the cnn debate later this month in order to stand out from the pack? >> well, i'm going to keep pushing that i am the -- the one person running who is actually done what everyone else is talking about. colorado got to universal
background checks, gun safety, we got to near universal health care coverage, we became the number one economy in the country, people cared about that. i think now i've got to draw a better vision of what that means for the future of america and what means to have an economy that is really roaring forward but at the same time with the highest environmental standards, the highest ethical standards and making sure that we begin to re-grow the middle class. >> according to a report in "the washington post," as you probably know, several of your top aides supposedly left your campaign because they advised to you drop your presidential bid and instead run for the senate against the republican incumbent senator cory gardner. first of all, is that true? >> well, we had a disruption, let's call it that and not -- several weeks ago. in business, in politics, i've rebooted a number of times and oftentimes things have dramatically improved and i'm in iowa now and i'll be in new
hampshire early next week and we're drawing that clear distinction that we were able to get the environmental community and the oil and gas industry to actually create methane regulations. methane, 25 times worse than co2 for climate change and we're the one place where we could get it done and i think that message resonates with people in iowa and people in new hampshire and south carolina and nevada. >> democrats certainly, as you know, could use another senate seat. if your campaign, governor, were to fail, and not gather the momentum you clearly want, would you consider dropping out of your presidential bid in exchange for a run at the senate? you're a two-term governor and popular in colorado and you would represent a significant threat to the republican incumbent. >> well, wolf, at this point i'm a 100% focused on trying to be the democratic nominee for president and i feel like not only can i beat trump, and i think in many ways i'm the one person that could legitimately
say i'll beat him in ohio and michigan and pennsylvania and north carolina, i created a strong economy and i've created those jobs but i think i could also bring the country together on the other side. and i think i've got a responsibility to myself and i think to the country that i've got to give it 100%. so i'm not -- people call or ask me questions that i don't even pay attention. i'm very focused on here is who i am and what i -- what i did in colorado and how to
expand that for the united states of america. >> one of your democratic rivals, kamala harris is taking on the front-runner joe biden. listen to what she had to say, an exchange today before the former vice president and his behavior in the last debate. >> we're on a debate stage and if you have not prepared and you're not ready for somebody to point out a difference of opinion about the history of segregation in our country and what was necessary to deal with that, which at that time was
busing, then you're probably not ready. >> do you think her attack on joe biden is fair game? >> well, you could tell that the campaign is picking up steam when people are beginning to sharpen their tools and begin to attack each other. i don't think that is in the best interest of the country and i understand how that works. i still never have done a negatineg -- a negative ad or
attacked opponents. doesn't mean i don't draw a clear line of distinction and open about those places where trump has made promises that haven't been fulfilled, but i think it is -- it is certainly in the democratic primary if we're not careful and i think this also gets to the massive expansion of government that some of the democrats are proposing, we have to make sure we don't help re-elect president trump. i would argue he's one of the worst presidents we've ever had. we don't want to give him any extra assistance. >> governor hickenlooper, thank you for joining us and good luck
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house speaker paul ryan. let's ask our political experts about all of this. and paul ryan and this new book "american carnage" by tim alberta said this, i told myself is i have to have a relationship with this guy to get his mind right because i'm telling you he didn't know anything about government. i wanted to scold him all of the type. today the president responded to that, also responded to what alexandria ocasio-cortez had to say about the current speaker. watch this. >> paul ryan let us down. paul ryan was a terrible speaker, frankly he was a baby. he didn't know what hell he was doing. cortez should treat nancy pelosi with respect. she should not be doing what she's doing. and i'll tell you something about nancy pelosi, that you know better than i do, she is not a racist. okay. she is not a racist. for them to call her a racist is a disgrace. >> so you're reaction? >> first of all, probably not internal democratic politics
being defended by president trump is probably not the ally you want out there saying that. whether he's correct or not. so that is
at the -- not the high-profile political person nancy pelosi wants making the case for her. on the tim alberta book, i read this book and it is a fantastic book and filled with nuggets like that. and, look, paul ryan left the scene now and he's pretty free to speak. but classic trump coming -- paul ryan making a fairly measured criticism of the president and trump hitting him back twice as hard with a sort of school yard taunt. >> we shouldn't, abby, be surprised the president reacts the way he does in the face of criticism. why is it that so many of the republicans wait until they're out of office before they say what they really believe? >> that is a great question, wolf. i think especially for paul ryan who especially in the latter part of the tenure really went out of his way to defend president trump in the face of a
lot of things that reporters who spoke to him privately and understand what is really going on know that he had a hard time with and now we know because it is on the record in this book, but he worked very hard to patch things over publicly and privately with president trump. and it worked. i think toward the end by all accounts they had a pretty good relationship but this book is laying bare what has been underneath the surface all along, the president has never trusted paul ryan and paul ryan has never liked trump. and that is just the fact of the matter. they patched it up for a couple of years to get a few things done and now that that is over, paul ryan is telling the world how he really feels but for people it seems a little too little too late. >> and now you spend your career in national security and the reports that we're getting that the director of national intelligence dan coats may be the next senior trump administration official to be removed. >> and we don't need another acting cabinet-level official and we have four with the acosta resignation but when it comes to
the director of national intelligence, it is largely irrelevant who is fit -- who is filling that seat. we have a lame duck dni in dan coats. president trump puts more trust in vladimir putin than dan coats and trump is the ultimate client for the intelligence community. he's not looking for a director of national intelligence he's looking for someone to fit his political talking point so if dan coats leaves, whoever comes in next will face the same challenges. he'll call on intelligence community to fit a campaign slogan and undermine them and discount what they are saying if it is not censored before it meets his desk, if it doesn't fit again with the 2020 campaign slogan. >> and you remember in helsinki the president clearly didn't accept dan coats' view about russian interference. he accepted putin's view. >> aibbsolutely and that is onef the many sources of tension in the intelligence community. dan coats is a professional and
a former senator and former congressman and he's one of the last men standing of the people who president trump brought in at the beginning to
give him a sort of sturdy foundation, the kind of establishment figures that would give him credibility on foreign policy, but the president has grown tired of those people and one by one they have left the administration, dan coats is one of the few left and president trump has frankly become estranged from him for many, many months now. at this point for dan coats it is a matter of staying in the job so somebody is in that job because it is not clear who would replace him and if the president would pick someone who could be confirmed by the senate. >> very good -- >> i disagree that it doesn't matter that he's there. i think as the sort of establishment adults vacate the administration one by one, it's policy making becomes worse. >> everybody stick around. there is more news we're following. president trump confirms federal raids aimed at arrested and deporting thousands of undocumented migrants will begin this sunday. up next, the harsh reality faced
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that obvious? yes it is. you know, maybe you'd worry less if you got geico to help with your homeowners insurance. i didn't know geico could helps with homeowners insurance. yep, they've been doing it for years. what are you doing? big steve? thanks, man. there he is. get to know geico and see how much you could save on homeowners and renters insurance. breaking news, president trump today confirmed federal immigration raids will begin sunday, something a senior administration official calls head-scratching because it could jeopardize the entire operation. agents intend to arrest and deport thousands of undocumented people targeting ten major cities across the country. cnn ed lavandera has been traveling with undocumented migrants and joining us live
from el paso. what are you learn being the upcoming raids? >> reporter: well, we are told by immigration officials that these raids will focus on picking up some 2,000 people roughly in nine major cities across the country. and we're told that these will likely be migrant families that have recently crossed over into the united states and that they are now eligible to be deported and they've exhausted their immigration process and they now qualified to be deported. but despite that, there is a ripple of fear and anxiety ripping across the country and many of the migrant communities, many people worried about the collateral that will be picked up in these raids across the country, many undocumented migrants live in house holds where there are u.s. citizens and other undocumented migrants. so the scope and the breadth of this is interesting to see how it plays out in the coming days and we're told many of the undocumented migrants don't plan to leave their homes over the weekend out of fear of what is going on. and all of this comes, wolf, at
a time when we are airing a cnn special report this evening, 10:00 eastern time here on cnn taking a much closer look at the lives of undocumented immigrants here in the united states and try to capture just how int interwoven the community is fabricated in american society and depending on these people, especially of the farming industry. >> how do you find people to come work for you? >> recently i needed to replace a worker. and i went on indeed and craig's list. then facebook. and i had about 20 to 25 people apply. i started to interview and the first one i interviewed i hired her. she was a no-show. then i tried another person, and
same problem. then i hired another person, worked for four hours and
said, this is not what i want to do. and then i hired another person, an able-bodied locally born-and-bred young man. >> and you're being nice. you're saying locally bred and native born, you're talking about white workers? >> i am. you said that. a nice young man. but worked eight hours, and said this work is too hard for me. i know -- i just can't do this. this wasn't the first time that i've gone through this scenario. >> reporter: so, wolf, this is called the hidden work force and we hope it is -- this immigration debate has become so toxic in the united states and we hope this deeper poignant look at what is going on with the undocumented migrants in this country. wolf. >> excellent work ed lavandera
and viewers tune in later tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern for ed's special report, the hidden work force, undocumented in america. coming up, why is russia's vladimir putin selling sophisticated missiles to turkey? a u.s. ally, a member of nato, the answer may impact u.s. national security. most advanced safety technology on a full line of vehicles. now, at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2019 es 350 for $379 a month, for 36 months, and we'll make your first month's payment. experience amazing. change has many faces. names you'll never know. the bright-eyed, the brave, the visionaries. where challenges exist, you'll find them. at citi, we empower people who are out to change the world. because tomorrow belongs to those who welcome it with open arms.
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another in your face move by vladimir putin as russia sends a very advanced missile system to turkey, which happens to be a nato ally. brian todd has been looking into this. >> the trump team is pretty upset over this. issuing stark warnings to the turkish government. vladimir putin has not only come between america and a key ally. he may also have figured out a way to steal information about a new american fighter jet. >> tonight a big money military score for russian president vladimir putin undermines the u.s. in the process. a shipment of sophisticated surface to air missiles has arrived on the soil of a crucial american ally, turkey. >> this system is able to defend airspace to take out really sophisticated fighters, intelligence aircraft at long ranges and a pretty high altitude. >> russians won't be operating the s-400 missiles on turkish
soil. turkey is buying them. a trump administration official tells cnn tonight, it's a problem, there's no question about it. why? >> turkey has been in the process of acquiring a fleet of american f-35 fighter jets, and turkish pilots were recently training in arizona on how to fly them. the f-35 is the most expensive weapons system in history. a warplane with great agility, and stealth capability, which means it can evade most radar detection, which president trump has bragged about. >> the enemy cannot see it, even if it's right next to it, it cannot see it. >> they have warned the turks, the russian missiles aren't compatible with american weapons systems. the russian air defense missile systems if they're close to the f-35s can figure out the secrets of the american warplanes. >> what we may be able to do is get a much clearer picture of
how that radar works against your stealth aircraft, right? and would allow the user of that air defense system to much better design future radars and future air defense systems to work against u.s. fighters and u.s. aircraft. >> analysts say the bigger worry is by selling these missiles to turkey, vladimir putin is once again trying to undermine american influence and drive a wedge between america and its important friends. >> he would love to try to strip turkey away from nato, and he would love to try to undermine the united states. and make it harder to cooperate with its nato partners. for putin's perspective, this is a win across the board. >> experts praise the trump team for coming down on turkey for buying those russian missiles. trump has slammed nato, demanding they increase their share of the cost of defense. >> they're not paying their bills.
>> and by doing that, he's played into vladimir putin's hands. >> to the extent president trump has been a force of disunity between the two sides, he's certainly unwittingly perhaps helped vladimir putin in his project to undermine confidence in the nato alliance. >> what's putin's next target in his effort to undermine american alliances in europe? he's got big oil deals with italy and is trying to help hardline right wing politicians get elected there, he's got a big nuclear reactor deal going with hungary. the russian president prying those nato allies away from america. >> brian todd, thank you. coming up, breaking news, a new forecast predicts tropical storm barry will make landfall in louisiana as a hurricane bringing a storm surge and heavy rain to an area that's already suffering floodsing.
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rain, bulging rivers and surging ties. i'll talk live with the mayor of new orleans. more vacancyies. how empty
will the trump cabinet get. >> the trump executives may be off the hook. we'll tell you what we're learning. a tale of two speakers. the president defends nancy pelosi while lashing out at the former gop leader at the house, calling paul ryan a failure and a baby. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the situation room. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we