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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 29, 2019 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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happening now, trump's new feud. trump is escalating his attack on congressman elijah cummings and the city of baltimore after a series of racially charged tweets called cummings district a rat-infested mess and now al sharpton said what is the president up to. >> the president picked an inexperienced loyalist congressman for the job of director of national intelligence to replace dan coats, the respected former republican senator who openly contradicted the president on russia and north korea. killer's motive. police identify the gunman who
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they say opened fire at the gilroy garlic festival in california killing three people and wounding a dozen others. do ominous social media posts from a white supremacist book give a strong clue to the motive. and it is debatable. as democratic presidential candidates prepare for two nights of debates, right here on cnn, they're fighting among themselves over health care. will medicare for all be the hot topic during the debates. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in detroit and you're in "the situation room." we're in detroit. where we're counting down to tomorrow's democratic presidential debate right here on cnn. we're in the spin room which tomorrow night is filled with candidates and surrogates to try to influence opinion after the debate. but we're also following other major stories. president trump is stepping up his attacks on congressman elijah cummings and the city of
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baltimore, parts of the district. after racially charged weekend tweets are rant in which he called the city a rat and rodent-infested mess where no human being would want to live. the president is calling oversight committee chairman elijah cummings king elijah and calling al sharpton a con man. also tonight, the president plans to replace the director of national intelligence dan coats with republican congressman john ratcliff. and when he contradicted the president on russia, ratcliff attacked former special counsel robert mueller and even republican senators have given the pick a tepid response. i'll speak with congressman done buyer of the ways and means committee and our correspondents will have full coverage of the day's top stories. let's begin with our senior white house correspondent pamela brown. the president is going after an african-american congressman and
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his city. >> reporter: that is right, wolf. he's also now going after an african-american activist in addition to congressman elijah cummings. using the word "infested" to describe his home town, a word he used recently to describe the countries where he said four minority congresswomen should go back to but tonight as the president fuels racial division, the defenders vow he's not a racist. tonight president trump expanding his attacks against baltimore congressman elijah cummings, to include activist al sharpton. trump tweeting cummings district has the worst crime statistics in the nation, 25 years of all talk, no action. adding, so tired of listening to the same old bull. the feud with cummings began on saturday when the president peppered the committee chairman with tweets calling him a racist and claiming his district is the most dangerous anywhere in the u.s. and no human being would want to be there and a
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rat-infested mess. cummings fired back saying he goes to his district every day and fights for his constituents. cummings recently subpoena trump's family and complained about the administration's handling of the border crisis. trump is going after democratic activist reverend al sharpton for supporting cummings, saying next reverend al will show up to complain and protest, adding sharpton is just a con man at work. sharpton was quick to fire back. >> i know donald trump. he's not mature enough to take criticism. he can't help it. as far as me being a con man, if he thought i was a con man he would nominate me for his cabinet. >> reporter: noticeably quiet is close trump ally and long time friend of elijah cummings congressman mark meadows. cummings has previously come to his defense during a public hearing when he was accused of being racist. >> of all of the people on this committee, i've said it and got in trouble for it, that you're
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one of my best friends. i know that shocks a lot of people. >> and like weiwise mr. chairma >> but you are. >> reporter: today they ignored the shouted question off camera at the white house for a bill signing. the chief of staff defending his 'saying he isn't a racist. >> no human being would want to live there. >> when trump attacks people -- >> this is perceived as racist. do you understand why. >> i understand why. but that doesn't mean that it's racist. the president is pushing back against what he sees as wrong -- >> reporter: all of this amid a shake-up in the president's director of national intelligence. the current director dan coats now out. trump's choice to replace him, texas republican congressman john ratcliff. a member of the house judiciary committee who was less than five years of national security experience and who trump once thought was too nice according to sources. until he aggressively questioned the former special counsel robert mueller last week.
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>> i agrow with the chairman this morning when he said donald trump is not above the law. he's not. but he damn sure shouldn't be below the law -- >> reporter: the new york times is reporting senate intel chair richard burr among other republicans have privately expressed concern ratcliff is too political for the bipartisan post. and in a statement burr said he will move swiftly to confirm ratcliff and hopes to work with dni deputy sue gordon in the interim. now i've asked the white house for clarification on why sue gordon hasn't been the acting -- and he doesn't believe elijah cummings or donald trump is a racist but even as allies of the president defend him as not being a racist, his tweets are stirring racial divide and putting allies like meadows in a tough spot, wolf. >> pamela brown at the white house. thank you very much. let's bring in our chief national security correspondent
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jim sciutto who is monitoring this. so what do we know about congressman ratcliff, what does he bring to the possibility if he's confirmed as the director of national intelligence. >> well, wolf, much shorter resume tan previous directors of national intelligence. look at james clapper, he served in intelligence for 50 years and previously the director of one of the 17 intel agencies that the dni oversees. you look at the other directors of agencies today, paul nakasony, director of the nsa, was prior the commander of cyber command and commander of u.s. second army and gina haspel has been there for decades and to have a congressman insuranced and served a few months on the house intelligence committee doesn't match up in terms of experience and it raises the question as cnn is reporting that would truly impress the president and had reservations about ratcliff, was his perform abc in the mueller testimony just last wednesday and his comments often echoing the president's own critiques of the russia investigation.
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listen to here. >> the mueller report and the conclusions weren't from robert mueller. they were written by what a lot of people believe was hillary clinton's de facto legal team. people that supported her and even represented some of her aides. >> reporter: as you know, bob mueller pushed back against that and said politics played no role in his choice of the many deputies and lawyers on the investigative team that he chose for competence. and another point, the dni was created after 9/11 to help coordinate intelligence sharing among the agencies but also to help prevent politicizing intelligence or at least concerns about it. of course there were all of those concerns bts use of intelligence in the run up to the iraq war. politics have very much been separated from this position by design. and that is why you're hearing reservations not just from democrats but from republican lawmakers. >> what does this tell us, jim,
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about the way the president sees his chief intelligence leader, the man who is supposed to bring him the daily national security intelligence briefings? >> it raises the question as to whether the president wants someone in that role who is willing to bring him information and intelligence he doesn't want -- he doesn't want to hear. we know from reporting that mick mulvaney, the chief of staff, instructing a former dhs secretary kirstjen nielsen not to bring up russian interference in the election because that is not a topic the president wanted to hear about and even though russia interfered in 2018 and will do so again in 2020 and that raises questions about what the president wants from the role. remember dan coats a year ago perhaps when he put one of the first nails in his coffin as dni said he will remain in the role as long as he could speak truth to the president and we knew he did that on occasion particularly with regard to the russia investigation to a degree
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the president was not comfortable with so this raises the question about how the president sees this role. we know what the intention of this role was when it was created. it may be that the president has a different view. >> all right, jim sciutto reporting for us. jim, thank you very much. congressman don byers is joining us, a member of the ways and means committee. i want to get to the director of national intelligence but let me get your reaction to what the president said over the weekend about your democratic colleague elijah cummings. the tweets that he posted about cummings and baltimore. >> just absolutely reprehensible. i keep hearing back to do you have no decency. elijah cummings has been an extraordinary public servant. it is terrible to mock him by calling him king elijah and remarkable that every time trump talks about rat infested he's talking about a member -- either a city of color or a member of
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color. it's -- he's the president for baltimore and for maryland too. he should be bringing us together rather than attacking us and driving us apart. >> you know, it is really pretty significant because presumably a lot of political pundits suggest the president believes these kind of attacks on congressman elijah cummings will help him politically. do you think they will? >> i certainly hope not. he's racist but i really don't want to believe that america is racist. it certainly is a terrible long-term strategy. even if it would help somebody in one election, it divides our nation on the worst possible -- on the nation -- the matter of color alone. again, we need healers to lead us, not people who bring out the worst in each of us. >> let me get your thoughts on the republican colleague john ratcliff, the president's expected nominee to become the
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next director of national intelligence. do you believe he is qualified? >> absolutely not. i was horrified by the distortions in his presentation with mueller last week. and it is terrible to think because he made a splash on national television he's now qualified to be dni. dan coats was a remarkable leader. a republican but a long-time senator and intelligence committee who was ambassador to germany for three or four years. he had the insight on intelligence for decades before he was appointed to that position. as jim sciutto pointed out for the other leaders in our community, so to take somebody like john ratcliff, i don't think he's a bad guy but he was a prosecutor and a member of congress. there is no way he has the background to lead dni. >> when congressman ratcliff questioned robert mueller the other day he said he agreed that russia interfered in 2016 but then he said this and let me read it. i want to find out if russia interfered with our election by providing false information through sources to christopher steele about a trump conspiracy
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that you determined didn't exist. does it sound, congressman, like ratcliff accepts the conclusion from mueller and the intelligence community that the russians interfered to help donald trump? does ratcliff need to be asked about that? >> he does need to be asked about that. and if he thinks that russia interfered, i wish he would talk to senator mitch mcconnell and let the senate proceed with all of these good bills to help prevent russian interference in 2020 and 2022. >> on fox news this sunday, ratcliff said the mueller report was effectively written by, quote, hillary clinton's defact or legal team. do you think he could be confirmed if he doesn't believe the findings of the mueller report are legitimate? >> well i don't think he should be confirmed period. but, yes, i think that is a reasonable thing. i'm also so glad that bob mueller fought back right away and pointed out that -- that is a ridiculous statement. there are one or two or three people on the whole defense team
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that had given to democrats in the past. this was not a hillary clinton defense team at all. >> let's turn to impeachment. there is a big debate among democrats, 106 of your colleagues support opening some impeachment inquiry. on friday members of the house judiciary committee said what they would do -- what they are doing is already an impeachment investigation. do you think there is a real difference? >> oh, i think the investigation is the first major step in the inquiry. i've come out for inquiry. that number is growing every single day. i think we added a number right after the mueller hearings. and so people push back and say why impeach if its dead on arrival in mitch mcconnell's senate? but we just passed a $15 minimum wage, we've passed preserving the pre-exclusion for health care and meaningful immigration and universal background checks and done a lot of stuff that is dead at the feet of mitch mcconnell. but that doesn't prevent us from
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trying to make the most perfect union we can. >> do you need that full house of representatives to formally vote to begin an impeachment inquiry? >> i do not believe so. i think that is up to the committee chair, specifically the chairman of judiciary. i don't think that nancy pelosi as our speaker will move aggressively until we get to a working majority at least among the democrats. i was glad to have justin amash on board. we certainly like to get more republicans who are aghast at the president's behavior and the crimes he's done in the past and his divisiveness to come on board with us. >> you serve on the ways and means committee, congressman. you filed a lawsuit to get the president's tax returns. now his lawyers are asking a d.c. federal court to blockhouse democrats from getting his state tax returns. but your committee hasn't gone that route. so how do you interpret this move by the president? >> i think he's afraid. my understanding is that new
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york has gone forward and gotten the returns that he's filed in new york. obviously we would love to see them but our chairman richie kneel is following the law carefully. this law 6103 dating back to 1924 gives ways and means the right to ask for his tax return but not necessarily the new york returns. so we're fighting this in the courts. we may lose the battle or two but i'm confident we're going to win in the end at the supreme court level. just because the law is clear. >> thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. up next, as we counts down to this week's democratic presidential debates right here on cnn, the candidates are squabbling among themselves over health care, especially the idea of medicare for all. (kickstart my heart by motley crue)) (truck honks) (wheels screeching) (clapping) (sound of can hitting bag and bowl) (clapping) always there in crunch time.
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calling his baltimore area district and i'm quoting the president now, a rat and rodent-infested mess. let's bring in our political experts to discuss. mia, is the president using this going on the offensive, going after elijah cummings, going after baltimore to try to change the subject from the mueller testimony because increasingly a bunch of more democrats are now supporting some sort of impeachment procedure. >> i think that is right. you have seen a handful of additional democrats come out and say that they want to at least open up some sort of inquiry into the president and possibly impeachment inquiry. but i think this is also part of the main attraction for this white house and part of the main attraction of his re-election campaign. stoking racial division, stoking a culture war between urban areas and rural areas. perhaps suburban areas and city areas. so that is what we've seen. that echoes 2016 and of 2012 when he was teasing a run for
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the presidency and talking about birtherism. this is what we'll get from this president going forward. but, sure, i do think he practices the art of distraction. but with this, this is going to be part of the main ingredient of his campaign because he thinks it stokes enthuse. and it binds his base emotionally in many ways as he talks about identity and who belongs here and who doesn't. so i think this is what we'll see from this campaign. >> let me read, april, a bit of the boston -- "the baltimore sun" editorial board reaction to what the president was tweeting over the weekend. this is from the baltimore sun board. quote, while we would not sink to name calling and the trumpian manner or rude fly point out that he failed to spell the congressman's name correctly, we could tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the office and the mocker of war heroes and the gleeful grabber of women's private parts and the serial bacter of businesses and the
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useful idiot of vladimir putin and the guy who insisted there are good people among murderous neo-nazis that he's still not convincing americans that he possesses a sints illa of integrity. better to have vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one, closed quote. you're from baltimore and you still live in baltimore. what is your response. >> in the baltimore area. "the baltimore sun," bravo. they got it right. this is such a punch in the gut. this is something that a lot of people are really trying to digest. i mean, just personally, like i said, i'm from the baltimore area, i've had doctors call me, i've had preachers, my pastor call me. they can't believe this. these are people who are helping in the community. and now this. and i'm trying to find out what is next. from congressman cummings and
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the congressional black caucus because this is an urban area. and talked to the head of the congressional black caucus who happens to be in ghana for the 4 hundredth anniversary of the -- the commemoration of the first coming to this country and i talked to karen bass and she said we're waiting to get back to talk to congressman cummings and see what he suggests. this is a real issue. and the president is not -- his hands are not clean in this. he is the president of the united states. he can come in with some kind of emergency order to do something. i mean, i think back, wolf, remember katrina. george w. bush dealt with the communities and cities in urban and rural areas affected by katrina. they were held in a special category. then you have barack obama deal with the city of detroit. detroit was placed in the special category. now mr. president, it is time for to you do that about baltimore instead of talking about the rodents and infestation there. >> jeff zeleny, does the
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president believe this rhetoric will help solidify his base and is that a good assessment on his part. >> he certainly believes that and we'll find out if it is going to work or not. this is a pattern that we've seen again and again. our colleague victor blackwell counted over the weekend the number of times the president has used the word infested. so he believes this is language that comes naturally to donald j. trump but now he's president donald trump and that is why it carries so much more magnitude and we'll see if it works or not. certainly among his base he knows this is a way to fire them up and the question is the exhaustion factor among voters of all stripes. what does that do? do people tune out of politics overall and that could be a win for the president as well. so buckle up. this is largely what is going to be happening over the next 16 months or so. we'll see if it works. we don't know if it will or not. >> david axelrod, you wrote if the president loses next year in
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2020, this will be why. why do you say that. >> it goes to the point jeff was making. i think there is a limit to what people are willing to tolerate. even if they like some of the things that he's done, there is a recognition that this is -- to live at a ten all of the time with the president of the united states issuing these divisive, racist kind of grenades, launching them time and time again, picking fights with tantrums on twitter that engulf everyone. it makes it very, very tough as a country to get anything done. and i think that the real question people -- reagan said are you better off now than you were four years ago. the question people will have to ask themselves in 2020 is can we take another four years of this? >> but the economy is very good. >> but that is -- >> that is an important issue. >> it is a very important issue and an asset for him but instead he's talking about this. and i think that frustrates a
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lot of republican politicians. but i think one of the things we should note is that his rating on the economy and people's sense of the economy is much higher than their estimation of him and i think the reason for that is his personal behavior. >> you think this is going to continue between now and november of 2020? this kind of assault. >> i think that is right. if we look back to 2015, as he was launching his campaign, this is the kind of rhetoric he employed through his campaign and the idea of build the wall and banning muslim and those are the chants that got the loudest applause, became a chant, the build the wall idea. and so, yeah, i think he thinks it works. as you said it comes to him instinctually and that is who he's been for many decades. if you go back to the history even in new york, this is who he is, this is where he lives. he gets feedback and sort of support from the chattering classes of conservatives whether it is on fox or russia limbaugh
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or breitbart and it goes back to something steve bannon talked about. the idea if you get democrats having to talk about race and racism, they feel like they're on good ground. we don't know if that is the case. who do you alien ate as david talked about by focusing on this. >>ond eve of the debate, the president is trying to program everything. his background is in television and entertainment, by announcing the revival of the death penalty last week, on the eve of these debates. by having this conversation on the eve of this debate, he does, indeed, try to program the conversation. it will be interesting as we see democratic candidates here, of course they want to talk about a lot of other things, we don't know if this is going to work or not. but among his voters, he believes it will. the voters in the middle who elections are right on, we'll see if it -- >> if you get floor a tit-for-tat with the president,
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negative energy against negative energy, he's got more force than you. >> and he's objected himself into this state and baltimore is every city and baltimore is philadelphia and atlanta and baltimore is chicago and -- baltimore is detroit. and not only that, i'm thinking back to something that you said talking about what reagan said, but i'm thinking about what the president said when he was running for president the first time. what do you have to lose? >> everybody stand by. because there is a lot more we need to discuss. we're here in detroit. the democratic presidential debates tomorrow night and wednesday night. we're here in the spin room. we'll be right back. rets. and i don't add up the years. but what i do count on... is boost® delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink has 20 grams of protein, along with 26 essential vitamins and minerals. boost® high protein. be up for life.
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we're back with our experts in the spin room near the site of the cnn presidential debates here in detroit. amid preparations for her appearance wednesday night, senator kamala harris today released details of her medicare for all health care plan. and it drew immediate criticism from both the joe biden and bernie sanders campaigns. let's go to our senior national correspondent kyung lah. tell us more. >> reporter: well, immediately what this does is according to senator harris, if she does become president, she envisions it would scale up medicare as we know it in 2019. so here is a look at the details. it does preserve a single-payer
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option, a government-run option, traditional medicare as we know it. but it also has an option for private insurance. so if you get your insurance through your employer or your employer decides to offer, it you could stay with the private insurance. but it would be regulated by the federal government. the harris plan envisions it would look for medicare advantage which is something about a third of medicare enrollies take part in. it is different from sanders in that senator sanders wants to eliminate all private insurance. so how would she pay for it. she said she would not tax households that make less than $100,000. it is a progressive tax that starts once you hit over $100,000 in your tax plan, in your household income. again different from bernie sanders because he would start his tax at $29,000. so the criticism started right away. the opposition. the bernie sanders camp saying, quote, you can't call this medicare for all. joe biden's team saying, quote, this looks like they're trying
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to unravel the aca and the republican national committee saying that looking at when she would start her tax hike, well it's a lot like unicorns and magic wands. that being a quote. we should point out she's releasing it on the day before the debate, wolf. certainly throwing down the gauntlet saying here is what i believe, now bring it. >> are policy rollouts like this one part of preparing for tomorrow night's debate? >> reporter: a little bit. but when you try to sort of draw that out from the senator, just asking what else is she doing, she's been very mum. what we did see from her today is she did do a couple of retail stops. she went out and took a coffee break if you will with a bunch of campaign reporters trailing her. and what she said as we try to ask her what she was doing to prepare, she kept it quite lighthearted. >> what is your mission in this debate specifically?
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going off your answer there. >> do not mess up. >> my mother raised me to be polite and i intend to be polite. i will express differences and articulate them and certainly point out where we have differences of opinion. because i believe that democrats and the american voter have a right to know that. but there is no reason we can't be polite. >> reporter: and the usage of the word "polite" is in response to what joe biden said last week saying, wolf, that he will not be so polite in the debate this time. wolf. >> kyung lah, thank you very much reporting for us. mia, after the first debate, senator kamala harris, she got a nice little bump. do you anticipate she'll get another bump tomorrow. >> it depends on how she does. she got a seven point bounce, up to number two in the debate right behind joe biden. she had a 19 points or something and at about 12 points now and in this latest quinnipiac poll. that has always been the
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question about kamala harris. when she got momentum, could she sustain it. we see now that this was a bounce and she hasn't been able to sustain it. you see her trying now to stake out ground where she's to the left of joe biden and to the right of bernie sanders on any number of issues. the question about that is that sort of no woman's land. is it too mushy or not clear enough in terms of what kind of presidency, what kind of administration would a kamala harris administration be. obviously joe biden trying to stake out the centrist lane in sanders and warren trying to say that is the progressive lane. we'll see how she does on wednesday. >> i'll point out, she's trying to staunch the bleeding on an issue very, very tough for her, medicare for all. she's been on both sides of this, whether she would eliminate private insurance or not and joined sanders and she signed on to his bill. she's been attacked for that. so i think she needed to establish what her position is before this debate and even so i
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expect this will be a point of contention. she may hope for politeness, she may have a better chance of passing medicare for all. >> let me show our viewers the new quinnipiac university poll. this is national numbers. presidential democratic candidates. and you see, up on the screen, biden has a lead, 34%, and warren 15% and harris 12% and sanders 11% and buttigieg 6% and everybody else way, way down. >> for joe biden it shows that he has had a pretty successful july nationally. he's had a much more aggressive phase two of the campaign if you will, doing interviews and policy speeches. he was trying to gain up ground from his pretty lackluster miami performance. but david is right about kamala harris, i believe that she, of course, is trying to articulate her position because she has had several of them on health care. now she finds herself in a -- it is the center but she'll be -- defending attacks on both sides here. so how she responds so that is
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interesting. but inside of this poll, very interesting, joe biden, the former vice president, still has the majority of support, some 53% from african-american voters. that is a key block in this primary race. so to me what is the most telling, not this 34%, this is a fleeting number. we have to look at early state polls. he still holds the majority of african-american voters and for him that is what he will need if he is going to weather what is shoour to be a tough week for him as well. >> in the early voting, in the early states like south carolina, the african-american vote is critical. >> critical, yes. and it is interesting, you just brought up south carolina, kamala harris i talked to her a couple of weeks ago at the essence festival, the largest gathering of african-americans in the nation annually and i said your numbers in the black communities still aren't where they should be and she was keenly aware that barack obama's numbers weren't all there at first. but south carolina was the pivotal point for him when all of that kerfuffle with bill
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clinton and jesse jackson happened but what put obama over the top was iowa. so i don't know how the stars would line up for her if they can line up. but she's banking on what happened in the past for obama, it could happen for her. >> right now biden does the best among the african-american voters. >> yes. and barack obama is largely the reason for it. he chose biden as his running mate and that is considered a certification on the part of -- the endorsement. >> why doesn't he endorse him? >> you would have to ask him that. >> he's got friends -- >> i'm here for cnn. >> because he picked him. he thought he was best qualified for president of the united states -- >> and i've done a lot of reporting around this, an endorsement would be helpful but it is not going to be determinative and president obama knows he has to sit this one out. he's not ruled out endorsing but in this phase of the campaign but joe biden knows he has to win this on his own so even though he's coming in with high numbers, boy, he has a lot on the line here because he's been
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telegraphing attacks that he's going to be doing. if he doesn't articulate those or deliver those as well as his aides, that will -- >> the words that he used in the debate were less important last time than the body language. he seemed a step behind and what he needed to do in this debate is be engaged and interactive and be commanding -- >> no decaf. maybe caffeinated coffee. >> everybody stick around. there is more news we're following. the urgent search for clues behind the deadly attack on a food festival in california. don't miss your golden opportunity to experience the luxury you desire on a full line of utility vehicles. at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2019 rx 350 for $389 a month, for 36 months, and we'll make your first month's payment. experience amazing.
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tonight there are disturbing new clouds about the gunman who opened fire at a festival in california. police say he used an assault-type rifle and killed three people before officers shot and killed him. cnn's dan simon has the very latest. >> reporter: tonight police identifying the shooter in the gilroy garlic festival shooting as 19-year-old santino william legan. >> the suspect engaged the officers and fired at the officers with that rifle. and i had three officers that engaged the suspect. >> reporter: police revealing the weapon used in the attack. >> the rifle that this suspect used was an sks, an ak-47 type assault rifle. it was purchased legally in the state of nevada on july the 9th of this year. >> reporter: before the
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shooting, posted on instagram under an account bearing the shooter's name, mention of a friend's white supremacist book, the caption reads, why overcrowd towns and pay more open space to make more room for expletives and speaks of smokey the bear and talks of high fire danger and in another a picture of the garlic festival. according to police, legan bypassed security by cutting through a fence and went on a rampage. >> he just wanted to shoot at everyone. he didn't have no direct target. he just wanted to be shooting everywhere. >> reporter: officers killed the shooter about a minute after he opened fire. but not before he injured 12 and killed three. >> despite the fact they were outgunned with their handguns against a rifle, those three officers were able to fatally wound that suspect and the event ended very quickly. >> reporter: a 13-year-old girl, kayla salazar and trevor kirby
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and 6-year-old steven romero were among those killed. >> i can't believe they told me he was in critical condition, that they were working on him and then five minutes later they told me he was did. >> police are still chasing leads on a possible second subject. >> we certainly are investigating all leads to determine who that potential second suspect is and what exactly that person's role was. >> reporter: and once again, the gun used was purchased legally in the state of nevada earlier this month. such weapons, assault-style weapons cannot be bought or brought legally into the state of california. it further points out the gun divide in this country. we are in a parking lot used by volunteers to park their vehicles. you company see lots of vehicles
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in the lot. they had to flee so quickly they couldn't even grab their cars. wolf, back to you. >> awful situation. thanks so much. days after being arrested and jailed as part of a crack down on protesters, a top critic of vladimir putin is strongly suggesting he was poisoned while in custody. our brian todd has been looking into this for us what are you learning? >> reporter: they are pointing the blame squarely at the kremlin for an allergic reaction he had while in jail. analysts say given putin's track record, something nefarious could have occurred. he is one of vladimir putin's worst enemies, alexi has led protests and called for putin to be ousted. tonight through his attorney, he says he was the victim of putin's ultimate form of pay back -- poison.
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>> translator: he really was poisoned by some unidentified chemical agent. >> reporter: once in jail, he said he suffered an allergic reaction and was hospitalized, even though he said he never had allergi allergies. his personal doctor says there was a chemical substantial introduced into his body that caused the reaction. but a hospital official denies the accusation. >> translator: nothing of what you spoke about has been proven. >> reporter: navalny is no stranger to putin's rapp. he was once damaged in his right eye. protests brought thousands to the streets where putin's forces cracked down and arrested more
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than 1,300 people. >> it is quite possible, very probable, that they did something out of spite to navalny, who actually was the first one to call for a protest. >> reporter: navalny called for the the protests because of a decision to bar many from running for city council, a position that putin and his cronies still control. >> they don't want any outside political forces making their way on to any part of the election ladder, even a moscow city council. >> reporter: the russian president himself wasn't in town, electing instead to preside over a huge parade on the water in st. petersburg, staged by the russian navy. but analysts say despite being miles away, putin could have easily ordered navalny to be
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punished, especially given the fate of putin's other enemies. sergei skripal and his daughter were nearly killed last year in great britain with a powerful nerve agent. and former russian intelligence agent who had dug up information tying putin to organized crime was killed in london when someone slipped the radioactive substance polonium into his tea. navalny has been trying to prove the alleged corruption by putin and his cronies. >> there's a lot of anxiety around putin's success, around the elites that are around putin and i think there is a sense of is everybody going to hang together? is there loyalty if somebody dissents? is the deck of cards going to come down? they're in an era of anxiety. >> as for all the poisonings,
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putin has consistently denied them, calling the accusations unfounded. wolf? >> thanks very much. coming up, president trump steps up his attack on powerful congressman elijah cummings and his city of baltimore.
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happening now, picking a fight. president trump escalates his
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racially charged attacks on elijah cummings and expands them to al sharpton. >> the president moved to replace the director of national intelligence dan coats with john radcliffe, but tonight his lack of intelligence experience is giving some republican lawmakers pause. motivated by hate? new details of the california festival shooting that left three people dead, including two children and a dozen people injured. now investigators are revealing new information about the gunman, his weapon and how he carried out his murderous spree. >> and no holds barred, we're counting down to the democratic debates. a new poll just out tonight shows who's gaining ground in the white house race and who's slipping. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and


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