tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN September 17, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
a very good tuesday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. >> and i'm poppy harlow. both the united states and saudi arabia say they're confident cruise missiles were used in the strikes on the saudi airfields. this comes from a source who tells cnn that the missiles approached at low altitude assisted by drones. it's a big question because it would be an act of war.
both countries believe there is a high probability they were launched from an iranian base near its border with iraq. joining us live from riyadh, saudi arabia, diplomatic editor nic robertson. nic, tell us what they're saying here about responsibility and what they're not say. >> reporter: well, what they're saying officially is that iran made the weapons, saudi officially is saying they haven't figured out where those weapons were fired from. but a source with knowledge of the investigation says there's high probability that they've now figured it out that they were fired from iran, that they did fly the short distance across the border into iraq, over kuwaiti airspace, through kuwaiti airspace and into saudi arabia and on to those oil facilities. part of the calculation and part of the assessment of responsibility of take-off location and the weapons systems themselves we understand is
being developed through a joint saudi and u.s. military weapons expert investigation. what they have at their disposal is more than we might have surmised over the weekend. we all so the plumes of smoke coming out of the oil facilities. we all so what looked like for all intents and purposes pinprick strikes, just big holes in the roofs but not a lot rof construction targets. some of them fell short in the desert north of these oil facilities and that has provided u.s. and saudi investigators with equipment that hasn't been totally burned out.
it's that equipment, what they'll be able to see when they take it apart that it is iranian-made weapons technology. it will take more than that to pinpoint the take-off and launch point, which is now high probability in iran, but this has been a big lead for investigators. >> the question is what is the response? is it a military one? nique robertson, thank -- nic very much. >> the president talks about being tough on iran but he's reluctant to get into another conflict in the middle east. the president is trying to thread the needle, avoid looking weak but also avoid a mideast conflict. >> reporter: that's right. once again we're seeing those two competing instincts in the president's head playing out very much in public, as he often does when he's debating these kinds of issues. it was only a few months ago back in june that we saw the
president fighting those two competing instincts again when iran downed that u.s. drone. now what we're hearing on this latest attack on saudi arabia is he wants this to be investigated first, he's holding back on giving his full-throated allegation of iranian culpability but is still trying to sound strong. listen to him yesterday in the oval office. >> i don't want world war with anybody but we're prepared more than anybody. the united states is more prepared than any country in any history if we have to go that way. as to whether or not we go that way, we'll see. i'm not looking to get into new conflict, but sometimes you have to. >> so on the one hand there you have the president saying we don't want to get into a new conflict but at the same time we're prepared to go to war with iran if necessary. this is the kind of debate we've seen play out in the president's
head. meanwhile we've seen mike pompeo very quickly blaming iran on saturday just hours after that attack took place. he described it as an attack not just on saudi arabia but an unprecedented attack on the world's global oil supply. this all comes as we're getting more and more information about the responsibility for this attack. the president, though, holding back. >> jeremy, thank you very much for that reporting. >> joining us now live from capitol hill, this is senator lindsey graham speaking to manu r r raju. >> nobody is talking about invading iran but we want to make them pay a prior for them affecting world order. i think "the new york times" reporting was clearly right, that after the correction was
made, you still call for the impeachment of brett kavanaugh, that says more about you than it does about him. nadler said we're in the going down that road. durbin, to his credit, said this is not where we should be going. it's presidentially-run politics. i always wondered if you do this as a presidential candidate, how do you expect your nominees to be? do you really want to impeach somebody based on a "new york times" report that's proven to be wrong? and if this is the only way you can prove you're a real contender for the democratic nominati nomination, then that says a lot about where we're at as a country and eventually i think helps trump. >> senator lindsey graham commenting on the possibility
against iran for a strike that u.s. and saudi may be coming close to blaming iran for. let's talk with ann garin, white house reporter for "the washington post." you hear lindsey graham talking about a strike on oil refineries as a reasonable retaliation if it's determined that iran was indeed behind these attacks on saudi facilities. you cover the white house. what is the president's appetite for military action here? he has been very much on the fence in his public statements back and forth and we know just a few months ago he pulled back from retaliation on a u.s. asset. does the president want military action here? >> the short answer is no, he doesn't. he would prefer to avoid it, i think very clearly prefer to avoid it. he said so yesterday. he is caught between a couple of political imperatives here.
one is to respond to what lindsey graham was referring to there, which was a serious attack on an ally, saudi arabia, and a serious attack on the global oil supply. those are things that any president would not take lightly and this one has take reason to be concerned about. and, on the other hand, he has his own political impulses here, which are against foreign intervention, against nanything to do with widening u.s. involvement in the middle east and pleasing those supporters who believed him when he said when he was running in 2015 and 2016 that he would end u.s. endless wars and bring troops home. he doesn't want to head into election with a new conflict in the middle east that he helped make. >> brad: and your piece yesterday foreshadowing a lot of
this. the needle he tried to thread is great and you talked about dual instincts for the president. lindsey graham tweeted about the possibility of attacking those oil refineries. he just said it again. but then you have another republican, mitt romney, saying it would be a grave mistake to have u.s. intervention and escalation like this. who has the president's ear more on this ? >> reporter: well, peoppy, we ae daily trying to figure this out. mike pompeo was the first u.s. official to call iran out by name, just, you know, within hours of the attack over the weekend. the president has been more reluctant to actually 100% pin it on iran and he has sent pompeo to saudi arabia. we think he'll go fairly soon
for some on-the-ground discussion. and i do not expect the president to make a final decision about what he will do and maybe not a final determination that iran is to blame until pompeo gets back. >> annegearan, thank you. >> and two former members of the president's administration and his former campaign manager have all been subpoenaed to testify today. go of those will be no shows. rick dearborn and rob porter have immunity. corey lewandowski is going to show up, though. >> and manu raju has just spoken to corey lewandowski. what did he have to say? >> reporter: i didn't speak to him about the upcoming hearing,
guys. we do expect this to be a pretty combative hearing with corey lewandowski. last time he eye periappeared b the house intelligence committee, they questioned him about activities that occurred during the mueller investigation and things that occurred during the white house, he refused to answer those questions, even cursing at democrats. democrats telling me today they expect a very combative, fire require performance by lewandowski. in the letters sent from the white house to the house judiciary committee last night, it says they will not allow him to speak about any top exoics outside of what was in the mueller report. they say those could breach confidentiality rules, even
though lucorey lewandowski neve served in the white house even though dearborn and porter are not showing up, defying a congressional subpoena. ultimately the president asking corey lewandowski approach jeff sessions to limit the scope of the mueller investigation. those matters will come up. how lewandowski ultimately respo responds remains to be seen. he says in his view there is no collusion and that will be the refrain. expect a lot of theatrics today. ultimately we'll see what democrats and republicans learn from this testimony. >> lewandowski repeating the president's language there, no collusion, no obstruction.
though that's not what the mueller found. >> manu, thank you. a huge crowd returns for elizabeth warren last night. we'll discuss. >> and the president is expected to address the homeless crisis in california when he visits the state today, but it's an issue with real people at the center of it. we're going to hear from one of them. >> it means it can happen to anybody. >> it can happen to anybody. it's not someone else's problem. it's a problem we all could face. and the magic power of unlg your room with your phone. i can read minds too. really? book at hilton.com and get the hilton price match guarantee.
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this morning sources are telling cnn there is a high probability the attack on a saudi oil feel originated from an iranian base near the iraqi border. they say drone-assisted cruise missiles were used in the strike. american investigators are now working with the saudis to d definitively identify those missiles. senator, we appreciate you taking the time this morning. >> thank you, jim. >> first question, the administration has not made a final determination here, but there appears to be evidence
there citing of irani iaian involvement here. if that is established def f definitive definitively, do you believe the u.s. has retaliate? >> i spent the morning going through classified briefings. i believe iran was the source of the missiles, and attacks on saudi arabia. in terms of an attack, which was your question, as of this point, no. i think we ought to continue with the sanctions, they are biting, they are punishing and making a difference. saudi arabia needs to be prepared because i believe they were caught completely off guard from this attack and we need to prevent others from buying iranian oil. i think what they've done with this attack is continue what they've done for a while of trying to interrupt the flow of oil around the world, driving up the prices so they can sell it. they need the money. iran needs the money because the sanctions have been so damaging
and punishing to them. >> as you know, the president floated the idea of relaxing those sanctions, giving something of a lifeline, a few billion dollars in relief. do you have believe this is an advisable step, paving the way for negotiations? >> reporter: i support the diplomacy effort the president has made. there was going to be an opportunity next week in new york, but there are a lot of people and you know that, you've lived in that part of the world, you've benefited from undermining, whether it's the houthi. any settlement between the united states and iran would mean less resources to those sources of terror. so it looks to me like somebody
is trying to blow up any effort of people to work together to find peaceful solutions. >> as you know, there was a peaceful solution, whether the president or others liked it or n not, there was a nuclear deal signed to by the u.s., but the president pulled out of it. i wonder if you see as you have this possible march towards military conflict here that to some degree this is a crisis of the president's own making? >> oh, i don't believe at all it's a crisis as you've described it. i thisnk that president trump ws right to pull out of the iranian nuclear deal. it didn't stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. specific to what happened this weekend, that deal did nothing with the strategic weaponry, the
mess ills th missiles that have been fired, all those armaments were not outlawed by the iranian deal. what happened this weekend to me points to who iran is fundamentally. they a terrorist nation. they are a global threat. and we need to have a united world to isolate them, to point that out to say, look, we don't want to change the regime, we want to change your behavior and it's time to do it now. >> i want to ask you about saudi arabia. we're coming up on october 2nd, on the one-year anniversary of the brutal murder of the journali journali journalist jamal khashoggi. i wonder if you still believe a reevaluation is necessary. >> i believe it is. i voted for that in the foreign minister committee.
the murder was brutal, ruthless. it was done by people who were unforgiving are a dictator who had that ordered in my opinion. american values of completely opposite of what happened with the murder. so, yes, i support selling arms to saudi arabia in their effort against iran, who i believe as very threatening to the world. >> speaking of u.s. interests here, the president made quite an interesting statement on twitter regarding the possibility of retaliation. he said in effect, and we put the tweet up on screen if we have it, we said in effect we're going to ask the saudis, take
advice from the saudis on what terms -- under what terms we would proceed going forward. it appears the president is saying the u.s. should take direction on retaliation from saudi arabia. is he outsourcing a key national security decision here to the saudis? >> not at all. i spent plenty of time with the president. he's not going to take direction from any foreign country at all. he didn't run that way and he doesn't serve that way so i don't believe that at all. i think he is going to work with saudi arabia to see what they may need in terms to be able to defend themselves in which my opinion they were completely unprepared to defend or protect again. >> senator john barrasso, we do appreciate it when you come on our program. >> thanks for having me.
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during a rally in new york city last night. >> her speech focused on her plan to end corruption in washington. it was so much more than that. she took aim at one hurdle since her campaign, the question of electability. listen to this. >> well, i know what some of you are thinking. i do. whoa, too much, too big, too hard. okay, nobody here, but we know there's some people over there. people are scared. but we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in just because we're too scared to do anything else. >> huge cheers from the crowd. with us, politics reporter for bloomberg. good morning. thanks for being with us. how consequence was that rally last night, not just what she said but the four hours of selfies afterward, the turnout.
what does it mean for her? >> it was quite a crowd. elizabeth warren is drawing a lot of people to her rallies. in seattle where i was a few weeks ago she drew an estimated 15,000 people according to her campaign. the new york one was about 20,000. she's trying to show she has a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of grass roots enthusiasm. she's contrasting it to someone like joe biden, whose crowds were like hillary clinton's whose supporters don't show up screaming and cheering. >> you heard elizabeth warren saying the crowd might say i'm thinking too big, i'm working too hard, et cetera. but the real concern you hear from some democratic party folks is that she's too left, right?
for the general election. while this might appeal in the primaries, in general there was concern whether she could compete with donald trump. particularly in the swing states. >> this is an obstacle she has faced. took a more center left approach after major landslide defeats democrats had in the 1980s, some of which were with left-wing candidates. elizabeth warren is arguing and bernie sanders is also arguing that the game has changed, that it's now a base turnout election, that it's about mobilizing your supporters, that the universe of swing voters whats -- has shrunk pretty dramatically and that the way to turn out new voters is a big, far-reaching, transformative and disruptive agenda. >> sahil, you write in your
piece democrats love to nominate brainiacs and that's good for elizabeth warren. what she doesn't play up at all or really talk about at all is the fact that she was a republican for a really long time, until the mid 90s and the bank sruptcy process and seeing what americans were going through fundamentally shifted her view. isn't that something that could help her maybe in a primary against a joe biden and certainly you would think in a general to show those people, hey, i may be a little bit more like you than you think? >> she really isn't talking about her republican past, as can you imagine. a lot of democrats don't want to hear that. in a general election, this is a really key point that you bring up because both campaigns, the trump campaign and democratic operatives believe that the whole race is going to come down to a handful of swing states, wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania and florida. there are a couple of different ways that democrats can make up
the margins they lost in 2016. one is through the white working class. to flip some of those voters who supported president obama in 2012 and moving to trump and the other way to do that is by boosting turnout. if african-american turnout was what it was in 2012, then hillary clinton would be president. this is a contrast of elizabeth warren's message of inspiring and turning out more people and joe biden's message of flipping those people back who supported president obama. >> donald trump was in new mexico, trying to flip that red. we'll see if he's got numbers that indicate that it's possible. >> they think he do. >> sahil, thank you very much. >> coming up, can net in tbenja netanyahu hang on to power? i signed up because i was curious.
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we have some very sad news to share. abc news is now reporting that legendary journalist cokie roberts has died. she was a long-time washington reporter and was inducted into the washington and cable hall of fame. "cokie roberts will be dearly missed. cokie's kindnesss are generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made abc a
better place and all of us better journalists." abc said her death was due to complications from breast cancer. she was a ground breaking, female journalist, a legend in the business and she was an author. she wrote books about the civil war and the women who took part in the founding of this nation and she was a friend and mentor to many journalists including myself. this is sad news to hear and we send our best to her family. >> yes, we do. such a voice for npr. >> benjamin netanyahu, polls there close and by midnight we'll know if he's going to hold on to power. >> it's a very tight race. netanyahu has prosed to annex part of west and perhaps end the possibility of a two-state
solution. his rival, bennie gantz, says netanyahu is a danger to democracy. so, aaron, you've been involved in some very difficult negotiations. try to resolve this issue, peace between israeli and the palestinians. what would the significance be of netanyahu to retain power after making threats to annex part of the west bank, put a nail in the coffin, you might say, to a two-state solution. >> i haven't really given up hope. even though the threat to a two-state solution is nothing short of profound, i think the reelection of. prime minister and the jordan valley and enexation in israel, even bennie gantz won't
challenge it. but that's 30% of the west bank and combined with the issues on the ground, you have a serious, serious threat to the prospects of separating israeli and palestinians through negotiations if mr. netanyahu was reelected, whether he annexes the west vjordan valley or the west bank -- this is probably the most pivotal, consequence and uncertain election in israel's political history. >> well, and one, aaron, it could also end in a constitutional crisis for them. if neither gantz or netanyahu are able to form a coalition,
then what happens? >> israel doesn't have a formal constitution but i've heard it referred to as a constitutional crisis. i think the president of israel will go to extreme lengths if in fact there's a deadlock to try to persuade and prevent a return to what now seems unimaginable but quite possible that this will end with neither of the major parties being able to cross 61 to put together a government. israel will have been without a functioning, duly elected government for well over a year and elections probably wouldn't happen until early 2020. so that's an outcome i think that everyone will try to avoid. >> you also have this personal interest of the israeli prime minister accused of corruption who, if he wins, has threatened to in effect change the law to protect himself. tell us about the significance of that for the rule of law in this country. >> you know, the issue of parliamentary immunity is one thing and i think if there.
netanyahu obtains 61 votes, that's going to pass. but there is a supreme court in israel and an independent judiciary. what would likely happen if he retains a majority is he will introduce legislation to prevent the supreme court from overturning dual lily regulated legislation passed by knesset. that would open the door it seems to me to a slippery slope that would compromise one of the few remaining checks and balances on mr. netanyahu's power. again, he's fighting not just for his political life but for his freedom. and faced with an existential crisis, he's likely to say or do anything in order to stay out of prison. >> just shows how high the bar is here on multiple front -- the stakes are, i should say. great analysis, thank you so much. quick break. we'll be right back. be working. that's why your cash
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. today president trump heads to california where he is expected to discuss his administration's plan to take on that state's homeless crisis. >> about a quarter of the country's homeless population lives in california. our dan simon has the story of one man who just exemplifies how complex this crisis is. >> reporter: ever since he was a young boy in texas, sean has
promise. a valedictorian in high school, he got into harvard but chose yale, majoring in economics. wall street beckoned but then came his own business. >> i own all my decisions and choices, the good and the bad. >> reporter: today he is homeless, living on the streets of los angeles. it means it can happen to anybody. >> it can happen to anybody. it's not someone else's problems, it's a problem we all could face. >> reporter: his income dried up. then he lost his rock, his mother. and his problems got worse. he's one of 60,000 homeless in los angeles. >> you'll find musicians and photographers over there. the problem is the cost of housing. >> reporter: they all live in a small tent city, dwafrd by gentrification that has taken over the area. drug needles litter the
sidewalks and crews are routinely dispatched to clean up human waste, mere blocks away from some of the biggest tech companies in the world. >> what they are doing to our beautiful california is a disgrace to our country. >> reporter: president trump may be on the verge of a major crackdown. according to "the washington post," he is considering a directive to have the tents swept up with the homeless moved to an unused government building. >> the idea we're going to force people into a facility that's probably located in a very remote area is not a solution. >> reporter: mike dickerson co-founded a homeless advocacy group. he said a better solution would be figuring how the to build more affordable housing and providing better services, whether it's mental health or access to jobs.
how would it strike you if all this stuff was kind of removed and up folks were taken to some other place? >> then it i would leave that other place immediately. >> reporter: sean, 52 years old and married to another homeless man doesn't want to be confined by the rules of a shelter. he has a laptop and a cell phone. he's been okccupying this space for six year and has been homeless for ten. he admits to be a meth user. >> i would prefer to be somebody who can still go to the library when i want to and do the things i need to do. >> reporter: but then there's the reality of life on the streets. >> every time you sleep, that's when you lose. that's when people come and take your things. i'm a heavy sleeper. i lose a lot. >> reporter: i spoke to sean's family. they have repeatedly tried to help him over the years but he
has rebuffed those efforts. it shows you how difficult these efforts can be. as for trump intervening, local officials will tell you they welcome federal resources but simply taking people and putting them in a warehouse without adding additional housing is really not a workable solution. >> dan, we're so glad you did that story. it reminds people that these folks are like you and me. still ahead this hour, three masked teens shot and killed outside a home near atlanta. why authorities say the man who pulled the trigger may have had the legal right to do so. 's newes farther than ever before. with more engineers. more towers. more coverage! it's a network that gives you ♪freedom from big cities, to small towns, we're with you. because life can take you almost anywhere,
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developing this morning, three georgia teens are dead after they were shot by a homeowner in a possible case of stand your ground. >> an alarming story. diane gallagher jones us with more. i know a lot of things aren't 100% clear but what do we know about what happened here? >> reporter: according to the county sheriff, on monday morning at 3 a.m., three teens covering their faces with masks approached a home in conyers, georgia. there were three people outside. the sheriff said one of the teens fired at those people. they believe this may have been an attempted robbery. they say that the homeowner then returned fire. he shot and killed all three of
those teen-agers. there's still a lot of questions here. this happened at 4:00 in the morning on monday. somebody who knew those teens talked to our affiliate here in atlanta about just how they think about this situation here. >> i understand one shot to stop the people, the victims or whatever, but aggressively to shoot these little teens, that's overkill. >> it's sad. you shouldn't risk your life for nothing like that because you can't get it back. now they're gone and it's sad. >> reporter: it is. we're talking one 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds here, jim and poppy. at this point the sheriff's office said no charges have been filed. they are still interviewing that homeowner and talking to the other two people in the front yard and the neighbors around there. just a lot of questions about this whole situation right now, but it's still three teen-agers who died and a lot of questions. >> please keep us posted.
thank you for joining us today. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. and coming up kate bouldan with "this hour." >> good morning. there's a high probability the attacks on the saudi soil sites were launched from an iranian base. and right now president trump is offering up really contradictory messages on how he believes the u.s. is planning to respond. you will respond of course the locked and loaded tweet from this weekend. at this point he's